January 24, 2008

My hatred of pants knows no bounds.

I have been broody and depressive for days. Finally, fucking finally, this enervating phase is passing. Luckily for both you and I, there is always a silver lining in every hideously mutated cloud who's anus is bleeding. I have re-discovered yet another box of comic books from my youth in NM, and since all I've been doing is lying in bed with the heater on reading comic books...well let's just say, that I've stumbled back across some real "treasures" here. I admit that a pre-teen's taste is questionable hence the secret shame of owning every Power Pack ever or being the owner of the complete Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld series plus knowing her connection to Mordru. If you are not a comic book nerd, then I have just typed a bunch of words that mean nothing to you, and if you are a comic book nerd, you are laughing at me. Because that shit is AWFUL and pretty fucking girly to boot but 'twatever' on you; I am a girl and a princess.

Hearken unto me my subjects, because I seem to have found something worse than even my previous terrible pre-teen fantasy lusting --posters of the Lost Boys, INXS, and Sebastian Bach on my wall back then--, a story that, possibly, could be DC's worst mini-series ever: Conqueror of the Barren Earth. I think I had purposely blocked out this whole storyline; I found it that disturbing as a young girl. It all starts off so promisingly as one of those back-of-the-book mini-stories in Warlord, and then gets its own mini-series and descends directly to what is perhaps my personal 4th ring of HELL, the misogynistic ring of scifi/fantasy doom. The realm of Slavegirls of Gor and wenches and women being treated like chattel, and that *always* ALWAYS gets my goat. I liked Red Sonja, and Conan's chick, Belit, the Pirate Queen because they were bad-asses. They were not the norm in their societies; they were strong women who kicked ass and fought with swords. You had to beat Red Sonja in fair combat before her goddess would let her have any kind of sexytime hanky panky, and NO ONE could beat Red Sonja in fair combat, not those vampires, the plant dude, or even Conan managed it. True, Sonja did wear a chain-mail bikini, but she could drink any man under the table, manhandled the occasional wench a bit, and admitted her armor chafed. My kind of woman. I'm not wild about her genesis story being a casualty of war/gang bang victim's revenge tale, but she is both a survivor and a warrior. I guess it could be worse. Red Sonja has a mad on for the world, and it's understandable. This is old skool Red Sonja, and possibly the best Red Sonja cover ever combining unicorns, demons, insects, dragons, wizardry, swords, and BOOBS in one giant sucker punch of fantasy.

This is Red Sonja: She-Devil With a Sword not the new namby-pamby porn face of doom Red Sonja. Check out the boots here; for some reason I have always loved her odd leather garter/boot ventilated footwear system and am always on the lookout for a pair. Unfortunately, I have come here not to praise Sonja, but to bash Jinal Ne' Comarr (tho' I LOVE superfluous apostrophe's in names) would-be Conqueror of the Barren Earth.

The Barren Earth is our planet Earth, just the used-up, dried-up version of the future. It's a dessicated world that's a cross between Dune and Tattooine, complete with lizard people, mutants, floating cities, spore people who worship mushrooms aka the Mulge and barbaric humans in cloaks and headbands (natch). Sweet. Our heroine, a middle-management translator type from the civilized human-conquered universe that long ago fled the 'ole homeworld hellhole, has come to Earth in a spaceship looking for an ancient army or weapon or some bullshit to fight the alien Qlov who are attempting to wipe out humanity. PS. She also has a sun-sword ala Thundarr the Barbarian. Everyone else on her ship either dies when the ship crashed or gets summarily eaten or murdered in the first few pages. All but Jinal Ne' Comarr a woman who needs no pants in space, or any pants ever for that matter. Go cloaks! Fuck pants. No seriously, fuck you and your pants.

Jinal is also a chronic mouthbreather which does her no favors with me. Apparently, this mission she went on (to the Barren Earth) was pretty much immediately recognized as a bad idea; this red-haired senator lady up above us is basically organizing a rescue mission like 2 days after they left or something which begs the question of why go at all then in the first place? WHY? Who cares? It's all about survival on the Barren Earth and the freedom to go without pants. See what I mean about the mouthbreathing? She always looks like she's ready to suck a dick and luckily she seems to always be knee level. Ugh.

I'd show you some more artwork and lead you through the story, but seriously the art is all terrible and visually boring and the storyline is pretty standard. Girl is trapped in a post-apocalyptic dystopia; she is searching for a weapon and a way home. She must survive and roam the deserts and tame the BARREN EARTH. There's lots of battles with guns and swords, and everyone is riding around on giant lizards trying to fight the Mulge (fungus people), the Harahashan (lizard people), and Zhengla, the jaundiced and vaguely Asian barbarian war king.
Of course Jinal ends up at his feet with her damn mouth open. Of course. Woman, do not give him ideas! He has mushrooms growing out of his head. I shudder to think of what horror lies behind the smelly crotch fur. Smell the glove Jinal. Smell the fucking glove! As you can imagine, this bodes ill for our intrepid heroine.

Luckily for Jinal, Zhengla has always wanted a golden-haired warrior Queen to ride at his side. He likes that she's feisty and knows martial arts and never wears pants. They wrestle a bit.

Until she is his by right of conquest (his words not mine). Ick, your mushroom horns are freaking me out. Just wait 'til we find out how he got those fucking nightmare things. It is, a wrongness all the way around. I promise you.

There is a money shot in every comic book, a splash page that is really supposed to wow you. Here comes the money shot:

Yeah. Whee. Big lizard in my backyard. Panties totally dry. Plus, the cliche of axe-throwing betrayal under the cover of a fight, but (of course) he turns and grabs the axe out of the air and throws it back killing Jinal's mount. Of course, he does. Those magic mushroom horns give him magic(k) powers and + 25 reflexes. Now she has to walk (the horrors), and where once she was a Queen...now she is a slave.

Being a slave involves lots of interesting career choices: walking, sitting at knee level, pouring things, wearing stupid outfits, getting smacked around, and being traded to mulge people for horrible sexual favors involving spores (my mind's eye it is evil). The possibilities are endless! It's like Jinal's been training for this her whole life.

Oh Jinal, you too can be USED. Seriously, this shit is ripped straight from a Harlequin Romance, and it makes me rage-y. Jinal, sweetie, you have a napkin on your head and a great many superfluous belts attached to your bikini top and your billowy crotch protector (still NOT pants as far as I am concerned). He has to sleep sometime doesn't he? Stick a hatpin in his ear and be done with it. You are the worst warrior woman ever. NEVER SUBMIT. Death is preferable to his horrible mushroom-y caress. I can just imagine his breath too, never mind his ball funk. Oy. fucking. vey.

Finally, she is given a gun and the opportunity to kill Zhengla. He deserves to die for putting her in that outfit alone. What does our girl do? She mouth-breathes for awhile giving her tiny brain ample time to process the request.

Then, she fucking falls in love. BARF. I was 12 when I first read this comic book, and I was ENRAGED then. Such total and utter bullshit, let's fall in love with the man who enslaved me and beat me and wanted to pimp me out to the Mulge. He doesn't even call her by her name! He refers to her as "golden-hair". At least learn your slaves' names! Worst. employer. ever. I make this picture palatable by imagining his mushroom horns launching off his head like little rockets. And what's up with the golden aura? Is that the sheen of their love, or the funk of his sex pheromones igniting? HATE. HATE. HATE.

Speaking of mushroom horns, once Jinal embraces Zhengla's destiny or whatever the kids are calling it these days. She gets the horrible and disturbing story of how he received both his destiny and his fungus horns. Brace yourselves. The artwork and inking are so bad that it's kind of hard visually to see what's going on which is kind of a blessing. Once you wrap your brain around this story though...ugh.

Let me boil it down for you. Zhengla went into a door in a giant mushroom and found these Mulge assholes doing something rapey...sigh....to this woman tied to a slab of rock....oh yeah...and she's been crucified by mushrooms nailing her to said slab. AND, she has mushrooms growing out of her eyes? I told you it was a fate worse than death to sleep with the fungus men. Rightly so, she begs him to kill her, and then she will give him the greatest gift of all, a dream.

BUT...to get that dream? Zhengla has to kill the chick and rip her eyes out. Blargh! Then, he has to kill a giant lizard, dip the mushroom EYES in lizard BLOOD, and EAT them. Double FUCKIN' BLARGH! What does he get for all that effort? THIS.

My eyes they bleed. I have had better hallucinations from cough syrup. If that caliber of crappy vision is all it takes to ignite my DESTINY, then welcome to my personal Qwisatz Haderach Jihad. I'll be your messiah; expect the death and destruction to be starting any day now. You may want to stock up on asbestos underwear too, as I'm fond of fire. NO, don't. Asbestos causes cancer.

I stopped reading this terrible series at this point and never went further. Done. ENOUGH with your pants-less shenanigans. However, I did learn the ending during my research on this bullshit. Jinal hangs with Zhengla 'til he conquers the Barren Earth. Then, she kills him, eats the mushrooms growing out of his head, and learns in a psychedelic vision that she is really the messiah who is destined to unite the Barren Earth with the Qlov, the Mulge, the Harahashan (lizard/human hybrids), and the regular humans who eschew pants. Except for then, her friends in their spaceship show up, and Jinal is all Audi 5. Gotta jet and get a cherry lime and cruise the Galactic Sonic for cute boys. You can take your messiah-hood and shove it; I'm tired of hanging out in this dump; and I need a mani and a pedi, stat.


Dear Gary Cohn and Ron Randall, on behalf of little girls everywhere, let me say I hate you for birthing this shite into the world.


Robin said...

That.... love.... was the most bizarre load of rat funk I think was ever written... and is obviously read by youngters who later in life become serial killers or sex goddeses... and only you know which you are ;P

Ro-Beast Rollie said...

This makes me want to embrace someone's destiny.

feendog said...


Kirp Howby said...

More people should wear less pants.