Who’s Flying This Party Plane? – Phonogam: The Singles Club #4

The cover to Phonogram: The Singles Club #4
Time Magazine’s haircut issue.
From Series: Phonogram: The Singles Club

What Happened:

At the dance club where the rules are:

1. You must dance.
2. No boy singers
3. No Magic

Seth Bingo and Silent Girl have arrived to do their DJ duties. Seth is hyper opinionated about every musical request he receives. He also is capable of holding major hyperbolic grudges against everyone in the room while at the same time being 100 percent willing to spend quality time with them. Silent Girl on the other hand just seems pretty chill. Chiiiiiill.

For instance, when Penny B tries using her charm magic to get Seth to play The Pipettes (In the process breaking rule number 3: No Magic, and the unspoken rule number 4: Seth hates you) Seth screams at her for having poor taste. In the meantime, Silent Girl puts The Pipettes into the music queue because she likes them.

Another example, when David Kohl makes a request Seth yells at him for having bad taste in music. Again, Silent Girl puts the song in the queue. BECAUSE IT’S KIND OF THEIR JOB.

Anyway, their night is pretty uneventful. They are observers of everyone else’s drama. The biggest point of concern for them was when no body was dancing in the club. THIS CANNOT HAPPEN. It was fortunately quickly resolved by the fool proof solution of playing Blondie.

Seth gets caught up in the performance of being a DJ when Silent Girl tells him to be her pea in a pod and mimic her chiiiiillness. Just relax Seth. You guys are here to play music and make people have fun.

At the end of the night, David helps them unload their music and shares a taxi with them after his two friends Emily and Kid With Knife has left him to have sex with strangers.

What I Learned From This Comic:

Jamie McKelvie’s Ctrl+C Ctrl+V game is strong.

The Creators:
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Penciler/Inker/Letterer: Jamie McKelvie
Colorist: Matthew Wilson

A Day in the Life of Rorschach – Watchmen #5

The cover to Watchmen #5
Everyone’s favorite neighborhood joint, the old Double R Crossbones.
From Series: Watchmen

What Happened:

Rorschach (Walter Joseph Kovacs) is busy with his investigation. He’s starting to see a pattern of heroes being removed from the board. The Comedian (Eddie Blake) was killed and Doctor Manhattan (Jonathan Osterman) has fled the planet. It would appear that a villain is at work. So his crazy, hyper paranoid/super self assured brain tells him to start attacking the only old man he knows.

Moloch The Mystic, an ex-villain, assures Rorschach he doesn’t know what is going on. Rorschach believes him and tells him to get a license for his gun because Rorschach is a moral absolutist. Rorschach also just broke into a person’s home and destroyed their property without any proof or reason of their fowl doing because Rorschach is only a moral absolutist towards others.

Rorschach goes about his day of ruining diner menus, being spooked by silhouettes of people kissing, and being wrong about how clear his gloves are. It’s a true baby’s day out.

Back in the world, Russia has the everyone worried that World War III is about to start. Two detectives start their day with a murder suicide of a father who didn’t want his kids to see the upcoming war.

Nite-Owl II (Daniel Dreiberg) and Silk Spectre II (Laurie Juspeczyk) have a nice awkward lunch together. Since Laurie no longer has money or a home provided by the government since Doctor Manhattan left, she moves in to Nite Owl’s home. Nite Owl is super bummed about this not turning into amazing sexy times right off the bat.

An attack on Ozymandias’s (Adrian Alexander Veidt) life worries Rorschach further and he visits Moloch after a note for him is left at their agreed drop off spot. The meeting is unfortunately a trap, as Rorschach finds Moloch dead and his apartment surrounded by the Police because they received an anonymous tip.

He tries to escape and injures many of the police just doing their job because Rorschach is a moral absolutist but Rorschach is captured in the end. They remove his mask to reveal he is the vagrant with the “The End Is Near” sign who has appeared in the book before.

What I Learned From This Comic:

Rorschach only knows the first and last step to cooking and eating an egg.

The Creators:
Writer: Alan Moore
Penciler, Inker, Letterer & Cover Artist: Dave Gibbons
Colourist: John Higgins
Executive Editor: Dick Giordano
Editors: Len Wein & Barbara Kesel

The Joker’s Halloween – Batman: Gotham After Midnight #6

The cover to Batman: Gotham After Midnight #6
Well. Gross. Now I know where pumpkins come from.
From Series: Batman: Gotham After Midnight

What Happened:

Bruce Wayne (Batman) tries to woo Detective Clarkson with brunch and pearls but strikes out big time. Also, he apparently has flashbacks of his mother dying whenever a pear necklace breaks. Also, Clarkson is really rough when handling new jewelry. The whole thing was a disaster. I blame everyone.

Batman throws a dramatic, dynamically hissy fit about not being able to capture Midnight. The mystic artifacts he’s been stealing and the list of his victims do not seem to match together as far a motive usually does. This makes Alfred wonder if maybe they are not supposed to match. Alfred also calls Batman on being upset his date did not go well. Right on Alfred.

Work then calls Batman to action because The Joker has kidnapped a school bus full of kids. Batman is able to break into his safe house and starts roughing him up for the location of the children when Midnight strikes with a surprise attack. Joker and Midnight’s long history (a couple hours) of communication and team work (Joker invited Midnight over to hid in a box) ends abruptly when they can’t decide who is working for who. Or is it who is working with who? Or is it who is working on behalf of who? I’m not sure what the argument is actually, and they probably aren’t either. Some folks just don’t know how to speak without being angry about something!

Batman takes advantage of their fight to get the upper hand. Before the Joker can tell Batman who Midnight really is, he wounds the Joker and flees. Batman is forced to stay behind to save the Joker’s life.

He does get the name of who Joker thinks Midnight is though: Detective Clarkson’s partner Detective Lucas.

Meanwhile, a lost Lucas is found by an angry Killer Croc (Waylon Jones).

What I Learned From This Comic:

Sometimes a Brunch is a lunch.

Writer: Steve Niles
Artist: Kelley Jones
Colorist: Michelle Madsen
Letterer: Pat Brosseau
Executive Editor: Dan DiDio
Editors: Michael Siglain & Harvey Richards

Astronaut Welcome Party – Y: The Last Man #14

The cover to Y: The Last Man #14
Three parachutes. Because two would have looks like a bikini top.
From Series: Y: The Last Man

What Happened:

Yorick Brown (last man on earth, no big whoop) is kidnapped by the Israelis and Agent 355‘s ONE JOB is to keep him safe. So she’s feeling a little down about her quality of work right now. No stress Agent 355, everyone’s allowed to have an off day.

Anyway, Agent 355 has a plan to get Yorick back (attah girl!). She’s going to trade for the last man on earth with the two new men coming to Earth. Agent 355, Natalya Zamyatin, Allison Mann, and the twins (Heidi/Heather) were preparing a landing site for the astronauts who have been stranded in space since the plague killed every man on earth. Now Agent 355 is going to use the knowledge of the two astronauts who are men to lure Alter Tse’elon and her troops into an ambush and rescue Yorick.

But Alter knows it is an ambush. And Alter also does not plan on making the trade. Plus the way alter sees it, she wants her country of Israel to be the only one with men left on Earth. So, if she can’t get the astronauts as well, she’ll just blow them up with a rocket launcher.

Yorick, though an escape artist, is unable to get free. So he uses his immense powers of annoyance to convince Alter’s second in command, Sadie, to stop her from killing two of the OTHER last men on Earth. Sadie fails, but Yorick manages to knock Alter over while she fires upon the landing space capsule containing the astronauts with a rocket. The capsule is still damaged and lands hard on the earth.

Yorick waits to hear over the radio from Agent 355 if the astronauts survived in a very meta cliffhanger.

What I Learned From This Comic:

When you’re identical triplets in the Israeli army, they will let you all serve in the same combat unit.

The Creators:
Writer/Co-Creator: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist/Co-Creator: Pia Guerra
Inker: Jose Marzan, Jr.
Colorist: Pam Rambo
Letterer: Clem Robins
Separations: Digital Chameleon
Editor: Heidi MacDonald
Assistant Editor: Zachary Rau
Cover Artist: J.G. Jones

The Heroes Ruin a Nice Evening – House of M #6

The cover to House of M #6
Pictures of people in the middle of the Electric Slide never do the dance justice.

From Series: House of M

What Happened:

It’s the big day! Our heroes are all ready to kill someone because some angry people said it was their only option and no one argued against it! Heroism!

The heroes, with their true memories restored, are gearing up to attack Magneto (Erik Lehnsherr) and The Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff) during their special… party? They’re doing something fancy. Doctor Doom, Black Panther (T’challa), Namor, and Storm showed up and got announced like it was Cinderella’s ball. I hope they have fun at least because things are about to go real bad for the party.

The plan is for the heroes to distract Magneto and his family while Cloak (Tyrone Johnson), The White Queen, and Layla Miller go searching for Professor Xavier, who they assume has been captured. Only problem is: Magneto thinks Xavier is dead in this reality.

WAIT I LIED THERE IS A SECOND PROBLEM: Xavier’s grave is empty!

After a very very very brief discussion on whether or not they’re about to do the right thing (destroy a worldwide utopia and kill several people in the process) the heroes steal a SHIELD Hellicarrier and poop Magneto’s party. He is really mad.

What I Learned From This Issue:

Doctor Doom knows the power of good press.

The Creators:
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciler: Olivier Coipel
Inker: Tim Townsend
Colourists: Frank D’Armata
Letterers: Chris Eliopoulos< Cover Artist: Esad Ribic
Editors: Tom Brevoort, Stephanie Moore, Molly Lazer, & Andy Schmidt

Zombie Factories On The Moon – JLA #14

The cover to JLA #14
Nobody told Darkseid he’s allowed to retake that Drivers License photo if he isn’t happy with the first attempt.

From Series: JLA (Vol 1)

What Happened:

It’s fifteen years in the future and the time displaced Aquaman (Arthur Curry), Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner), and The Flash (Wally West) have joined forces with the last remaining heroes on an Earth conquered by Darkseid. The plan is to undo Darkseid’s conquest by returning to the past. There, the JLAer’s can stop Superman (Clark Kent) from destroying Lex Luthor’s Philosopher’s Stone which begins the chain of events ending with Darkseid in charge.

The plan is also to blow up the zombie factory on the moon because zombie factories are never a good thing.

Black Racer, the New God of Death, is observing the whole thing from the shadows because this is NOT GOING TO WORK OUT.

Azteka and Argent (Toni Monetti) lead the assault on the Zombie factory. Argent figures out a new way to use her powers after a conversation with Green Lantern. This helps them a little bit but Argent is still fatally wounded by a blast from one of the factory’s guards. So Azteka turns off a switch on his armor that keeps the whole thing from blowing up in a catastrophic explosion. Why is that a switch? Shouldn’t that at the very least be a lock? Or maybe two switches? What if Azteka bumps a coffee table the wrong way? Boom?

This seems like poor super hero costume design.

Also, seconds ago we saw the heroes watching innocent humans being separated in the factory from their families. This upsets the heroes a lot! So they blow every one in the factory up? Problem solved? I guess. It did technically remove the problem.

Back on Earth, Batman (Bruce Wayne) uses his disguise as the Darkseid’s assistant Desaad to ambush him and the Grandmother Box with the remaining heroes. He tricks Metron like Tom Sawyer to become human for a minute so Batman can knock him out and steal his time traveling chair. Then he sends The Flash, Green Lantern, and Aquaman back home to fix the timeline. Batman and Wonder Woman (Diana of Themyscira) die fighting Darkseid. Green Arrow (Connor Hawke) and The Atom (Ray Palmer) die killing Darkseid.

Then Orion, decides to destroy the whole reality because honestly do we need another alternate future? No! Scrap it!

What I Learned From This Comic:

Metron would make for a great little brother.

The Creators:
Writer: Grant Morrison
Pencils: Howard Porter
Inker: John Dell
Colorist: Pat Garrahy
Separations: Heroic Age
Letterer: Ken Lopez
Editors: Dan Raspler and Peter Tomasi

Sam’s Awful Roadtrip – Locke and Key #4

The cover to Locke and Key #4
I refuse to make a photobomb joke in this image caption. The image captions are a place for a higher quality joke than that!

From Series: Locke and Key

What Happened:

Sam Lesser, the student who murdered the Locke’s father, has escaped from jail and is traveling to the Keyhouse to release the mysterious and trapped Dodge. Plus he’ll probably try to kill the rest of the Locke family. It’s how the guy is now.

His awful home life and status as a social outcast in school make Sam an easy mark for Dodge, who is able to contact him through a painting of the Wellhouse when she’s been trapped. It’s Dodge who bargains with Sam, offering him anything he wants, if he could just get the Anywhere Key from Mr. Locke which would allow her to escape. The attempt to get the key goes very poorly and results in Mr. Locke getting killed and the rest of the family traumatized enough to move to the other side of the country.

So Sam is on a horrible road trip to get to the Keyhouse, where the remaining Locke’s now live and where Dodge’s Wellhouse prison resides. He manages to hitch hike with truckers for a while by giving them oral sex for rides. Gross. One trucker offers to help him get more money by giving oral sex to his friends. Gross. Sam kills the trucker and takes his money. Not as gross, but still very very evil.

Sorry, didn’t mean to come off as so judgmental to people who give oral sex to truckers. You’re not gross and what you do is probably terrifically beautiful in its own way. It is more the action of a mentally unstable person like Sam Lesser being bullied into giving oral sex for car rides which is gross.

Sam later kills an entire bus of people after he’s been recognized by a woman with a baby. Sam is a little too far gone to start feeling remorse for him now.

Back at the Keyhouse, the youngest Locke child, Bode, had a dream where his dead father told him a joke. Desperate to know the rest of the joke he asks his oldest brother Ty. Ty is able to work through his grief over his fathers death to try and help. Bode also asks his older sister Kinsey and uncle Duncan, who are busy enabling the widowed Mrs. Locke’s alcoholism.

Bode figures out the meaning of the joke is about an echo. Bode has been talking to an Dodge, who has been referring to herself as an Echo in the Wellhouse recently. Unable to determine if this is a clue or warning, Bode shrugs it off.

What I Learned From this Comic:

Don’t take the bus.

The Creators:
Writer: Joe Hill
Penciler, Inker, Cover: Gabriel Rodriguez
Colorist: Jay Fotos
Letterer: Robbie Robbins
Editor: Chris Ryall

Mister Fantastic’s Self Loathing – Fantastic Four (Vol 1) #500

The cover to Fantastic Four (Vol 1) #500
Well, you don’t look a day over 400.
What Happened:

WEBSITE NOTE: This is the first issue of Fantastic Four (Vol 3)’s returning to its original Vol 1 numbering. Since it is also the concluding issue to a Vol 3 story line this issue is listed as both a Vol 1 and Vol 3 series.

From Series: Fantastic Four (Vol 3)

From Series: Fantastic Four (Vol 1)

Mister Fantastic (Reed Richards) has been captured by a magically souped up Doctor Doom (Victor Von Doom). Reed’s been given a chance to fight back by being locked in Doom’s library of magic texts. The challenge is for Reed to figure a way out of his magical prison by learning some magic from Doom’s archive of knowledge. It’s all an effort to humiliate Reed, who despite being a super genius, knows nothing about magic. He tries anyway though. Doom has sent his son Franklin to Hell, currently has his daughter Valeria, and is torturing the rest of the Fantastic Four with his magic. So… he probably should try REALLY really hard.

He stinks way too much at magic though! Luckily, the spirit of Doctor Strange (Stephen Strange) shows up to cover for him. Strange has also been incapacitated by Doom, but is able to use a little bit of his magic to assist Reed undetected. First thing they do is teleport out of the library to Strange’s house where Reed has a better chance of learning magic. Reed tries to read the teleportation spell like a mathematical formula and it puts them in the middle of traffic instead of Strange’s home.

See how far learning math will get you? It’ll put you right into harms way. Take heed, children.

Things don’t improve much and time runs out for the two of them. Doom pulls Doctor Strange’s spirit back into his captive body. Reed, still unable to wrap his head around the idea that there might be forces he’ll never understand, cannot cast a single spell successfully. Strange does gift him a tiny gun thing before he is zapped away and says it needs magic words to work.

After a lot of trial and error, Reed figures out the magic words are admitting he’s stupid when it comes to magic. Reed does a lot of self deprecating humor with grand magical results! The freed Fantastic Four then takes on Doom.

He gets cut up by The Invisible Woman (Sue Storm), knocked around by The Thing (Ben Grimm), and even roasted by The Human Torch (Johnny Storm) but Doom still won’t fall. Finally, Reed tricks Doom into admitting that he is not in debt to anyone, which goes against the the deal he made with demons for his new magical power. The demons are real mad they’re not getting credit for Doom’s makeover! They attack Doom and the Fantastic Four jump through their demonic portal to grab Franklin and bring him back.

While retreating back out of the portal, Doctor Doom tries to get Reed to help him escape but Reed will no longer be tricked by Doom. So, Doom makes sure Reed will never forget him. He magically scars half of Reed’s face with grotesque burns.

What I Learned From this Comic:

If magic actually worked like it does for Mister Fantastic, I would be the strongest magician in the world.

The Creators:
Writer: Mark Waid
Penciler: Mike Wieringo
Inker: Karl Kesel
Colorist: Paul Mounts
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Albert Deschesne
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Assistant Editor: Marc Sumerak & Andy Schmidt

Jason Blood’s Test – Green Arrow (Vol 3) #6

The cover to Green Arrow (Vol 3) #6
Honestly, it looks like Etrigan has every right to be angry.
From Series: Green Arrow (Vol 3)

What Happened:

Green Arrow (Ollie Queen) and Batman (Bruce Wayne) have been attacked by Etrigan! Etrigan seems to really want Ollie dead without even meeting him first. So we can’t blame Ollie’s personality this time. After Etrigan knocks Batman around and blows up his plane, Ollie steps in to shoot a fire extinguisher arrow into the demon’s mouth. Etrigan, who lives within the endless flame and torture of hell, finds this UNBEARABLE and returns to the human form of Jason Blood.

Justin isn’t sure why Etrigan attacked Ollie, but he suspects it has something to do with the fact that the two of them are searching for a hollow. A Hollow is a body without a soul, which provides an all too enticing prize for demons of hell who need a free body to return to earth. And Ollie just mystiously came back to life missing memories after being dead for years. Strange!

Arsenal (Roy Harper) and Black Canary (Dinah Lance) show up. Ollie is happy to see Roy again and gives him a hug. Ollie is happy to see Dinah again and makes out with her. A lot of physical contact getting thrown around here. Roy offers to take them back to Star City with the Teen Titans jet.

On the plane, Black Canary and Ollie work to figure out what memories Ollie is missing. Canary is more than a little peeved that he conveniently doesn’t remember all the horrible things he did which led to the two of them breaking up. Ollie thinks it’s GREAT that he doesn’t remember those things because its almost like they never happened! Well, in his mind it never happened at least. They very much happened.

The gang goes to Jason Blood’s place where he’ll be able to tell what is up with Ollie. He suspects Ollie is a Hollow, a body without a soul. So he surrounds Ollie in magical protection circle and summons a horde of demons. The demons reeeeally want to get to Ollie, which is all the proof Jason needs to know he’s a hollow. Which meeeaaaannnsss…

Jason has to kill Ollie.

A hollow is too dangerous to have walking around because any demon can easily possess him, even high level demons which could bring about the end of the world.

Jason turns back into Etrigan to do the deed. Batman, Arsenal, and Canary try to fight through the horde of demons to save Ollie but are too late. He’s been roasted to nothing by Etrigan.

What I learned From This Comic:

The “that’s not how I remember things” defense doesn’t work even if you actually don’t remember those things.

The Creators:
Writers: Kevin Smith
Pencilers: Phil Hester
Inkers: Ande Parks
Colourists: Guy Major
Letterers: Sean Konot
Cover Artists: Matt Wagner
Executive Editor: Mike Carlin
Editors: Michael Wright, Bob Schreck

Black Magic Washes Away The Goth – Phonogram: The Singles Club #3

The cover to Phonogram: The Singles Club #3
A new haircut and a new attitude! That’s all you need to turn your life around! And a lot of dark magic! That’s all you need!
From Series: Phonogram: The Singles Club

What Happened:

Emily Aster does not want to go to the club with her friend and fellow Phonomancer (music wizard) David Kohl. David promises the club will not be terrible, because the music is only allowed to have female singers. It will probably be a little bit bad though, because it is an indie club. Regardless, this tiny lifeboat of hope somehow coxes Emily into going to the club.

She’s a little peeved to learn the DJ is Seth, a man she hates. Seth also hates her. They’re two peas in a pod! Seth hates Emily because she stole his girlfriend from him. Emily hates Seth because Emily hates people for petty reasons. Seth is still pretty cool about the whole thing and offers to play requests for David and Emily. Emily and Seth manage to insult each other over the popularity of her request then Emily runs off victorious.

Emily feels GREAT about how awful she was! Before, when she was different, she would let Seth walk all over her and get under her skin. She just doesn’t care about that stuff now. Now that she’s changed.

Because she HAS changed.

When Emily goes to the bathroom she doesn’t see herself as she is in the mirror but instead the version of herself she banished to limbo with her phonomancy magic. That version was depressed, cut herself, listened to bands like Garbage, and was very very very very 90’s. Now that that version is threatening to return. This startles the newer, more chic Emily. She never wants to be that type of person again and is willing to fight to make sure she does not.

Emily then successfully freaks out another girl in the bathroom by using her phonomancer magic to know the song that was playing on the radio when she was in a car crash which killed her brother. So lets not root too hard for Emily to win this battle! She doesn’t approve of the song, either.

She dances with David and his friend Kid With Knife in the club. They are eye-balled and gossiped about by clubbers in the know (David made a name for himself by killing a God a while back). Then Emily, discovering she hates the club now, decides to do something the old her never would: sleep with a stranger. This turns into a symbolic and literal middle finger to her banished self.

What I Learned From This Comic:

You really don’t want to listen to LL Cool Jay in the car.

The Creators:
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Penciler/Inker/Letterer: Jamie McKelvie
Colorist: Matthew Wilson