And we’re back! I received some complaints over the last Load that I’d like to address before we get started. Namely, some readers took issue with my assertion that no one needs Zatanna. Apparently, some of you do need her…a lot. One reader said, “Usually, you’re just annoying, but this Zatanna thing really proves how obnoxious you are.” Another reader called my dismissal of Zatanna “supercilious,” which I immediately looked up in the dictionary. Coolly and patronizingly haughty. Yup, that is so totally me. I want you to know that I take all of your criticisms and suggestions seriously, especially this one: “I’d like to tie you up naked and read the best of Zatanna to you.” I’m intrigued, but that sounds like a lot of effort for about 10 seconds of reading. –Chance
Now, on with the Load!
You know, Damian and Stephanie paired up on their own a few months ago, without any help or direction from Bruce. So, I don’t see why they feel the need to explain a new team-up as an assignment from Bruce’s Ego, Inc. Whatever the reason, the pairing works. Damian and Steph are such complete opposites that it’s destined to be fun whenever they’re together. He can teach her how to take her role more seriously. And she can teach him how to loosen up. Sort of like me and my last boyfriend. (P.S. I was the serious one. He was the loose one.)
|Batman and Robin #19
Oh god, I’m going to miss the Absence. She was just so deliciously weird. Plus, she shared my disdain for Bruce Wayne. Artist Scott McDaniel injects a lot of cleverness into this issue, and it becomes something of a game to turn the page and see what he’s going to put in that big open space in her head from panel to panel. (My favorite is the moon shining through.) I take comfort in the fact the issue ends with a promising “End?” with a question mark instead of a definite “End.” with a period.
|Birds of Prey #8
The scantily-clad men ran off in the last issue, so there’s no eye candy on display this time around. Instead, we’re treated to more restraint on the part of the Birds. Dove has proven that she has mega Princess of Power weaponry at her disposal, so why not use it? Freeze the bastards. The real highlight in this issue is Penguin’s charm school for terrified cocktail waitresses. Hilarious.
|Daredevil: Reborn #1
I tuned out of the Shadowland event about halfway through, when it became apparent that Matthew was going too far and would have to learn a valuable lesson about restraint and the power of friendship. So, forgive me for being slightly out of touch here. However, I’m assuming that Matthew is now on a lonely walkabout to try to make sense of his fall from power and discover just who he is and what kind of hero he wants to be. (He should join Superman on his walkabout.) Whatever the case, the worst place to start your long day’s journey into night is in a scary, dusty desert town full of suspicious locals. There are really only two kinds of these towns in American pop culture. The aforementioned desert town where it will take days for your car to get fixed, just long enough for the locals to rape and eat you. Or the beaucolic, too-good-to-be-true Twilight Zone kind of town where you discover some kid is the mayor or everyone gathers together once a year to stone a neighbor to death. Really, once you leave a major city in the US, those are your choices. So, you know, good luck, Matt!
Okay, look at this. If this is what Lois Lane wears out in the field (literally) when she’s covering a potentially explosive environmental expose, it’s no wonder she’s stuck in Metropolis. I don’t see Diane Sawyer or Katie Curic tramping it up while tramping the globe, chasing a story. Lois, I know that you’re aging, while Clark stays young forever. But raiding the closet of a 14-year-old teen in crisis is not the answer.
Aigh! I can’t believe Brian didn’t like this. I was able to overlook some things, because I really, really like the relationship between Starman and Congorilla. First of all, it’s just so ridiculous. Gay, blue alien guy teams up with man trapped in the body of a gorilla. It’s almost Perfect Strangers. But it works. There’s an authenticity to it that rings true. When you’re not only the “gay guy,” but the “gay guy with a lot of baggage,” finding allies isn’t easy. I imagine it’s also a challenge being a giant gorilla in the world, too. I’ve loved them together since Cry for Justice, and this issue is an important little detour to devote some time to Starman’s healing. Good, good stuff.