Rick Rants by Rick B.

March 3, 2021 Articles

This is a Rick Berg Rant and not associated with Graham Crackers Comics except as a publisher…

What ridiculous little thing set me off today?  I am hoping it is not true and just a ruse, to cause doubt and disarray but I’m pretty sure Thor just got ‘Johnsed” in the worst way and I can’t take it anymore.

One of my least favorite writers today is Geoff Johns. Not because he is 100% not Alan Moore, aka Dudsday Clock or Batman 3 Questions Not Answered. Not because he chose TV over comics, Stargirl will never be as interesting a character as Jack Knight. She just won’t, give it up. Not because he left Marvel for DC, Teen Titans over Avengers? C’mon son really? Not because he is super popular and people will read a book just because his name is on it and I need to be contrary to be contrary. No, I don’t care for most of his work because he is the king of one of my least favorite tropes in pop culture today. It is not even a new trope. It has been around forever but I find Geoff uses it the most and is praised repeatedly for it.

That trend? That little thorn in my side? Every gosh dang thing has to be connected somehow and someway but that FACT has not been revealed until just this very second because otherwise this entire story has no point or reason to exist. Nothing is coincidence or random. Everything from radioactive spiders biting people to X meaning 10 to “my grandfather is who?” to “You made me! You made me first!” has to be tied to something else to create more empathy for the character.

I first became in Tim Burton’s esteemed 1989 BATMAN movie. Jack Napier killed Thomas and Martha creating Batman. Batman did not save Jack creating the Joker. It was a neat twist that at the time made it even more personal between Batman and the Joker. It contradicted the comics I had read but freaking Mister Mom was fighting the Cuckoo Nest guy over a James Bond girl.

But then suddenly unnecessary connections were popping up everywhere I looked.

Of course, the criminal Peter let go was the murderer of Uncle Ben, right? Well not until Sandman was revealed to be Uncle Ben’s true killer because plot reasons!

Thor is not just the god of thunder anymore; his hammer actually has the rage of storms inside it and that rage is just as much in control of worthiness as is Odin’s enchantments.

Welcome to Smallville where every villain was created because of kryptonite. Every. Single. One. And they each waited a week to discover that they had powers and a gripe with the world. Clark didn’t stop and help them because that is how he was raised, he now felt obligated to because his simple existence and survival caused everything. Instead of wanting to help, Clark was continually weighed down by it and wishing he was normal. Just like the previous 60 years’ worth of Superman comics, right? Right?

Hal Jordan did not suffer a nervous breakdown and go nuts. He was infected by the yellow fear monster Parallax hidden in his ring the whole time! We just never mentioned that for 30 years until it was time to put Hal in the fridge. Oh yeah, I forgot, we just never mentioned that for 15 years after Hal went nuts either. And while we are at it, Sinestro did not just randomly have a yellow ring from Quark. Yellow (part of the afore(never)mentioned Parallax creature) was part of a whole spectrum of colored based opponents and co-workers. Some of whom came before the Green Lantern Corp. We just never mentioned them or needed that extra help until just now during this specific crisis.  Also, the Green Lantern Oath was not just an inspirational speech to activate the lanterns, it was prophecy and a warning, if you only paid more attention to the lyrics!

The DC Nu52 was not just a marketing strategy Flash mistake that eventually needed a rebirth, it was Dr Manhattan’s attempt to entertain himself because of the need to keep Watchmen’s tpb sales going to be surprised.

Batman did not just keep running into weird liquid metals, they were all part of the evil Bat-demon god’s plot to unleash the Dark universe because of course Zur En Arrh is a thing that happened and matters.

Peter Parker was not randomly bitten by a radioactive spider; he was always the spider-totem just waiting to be released. And luckily someone else bit by Peter’s spider was hidden away to keep the Inheritors at bay until it was time for a new guilt trip for Peter.

Bruce Banner was not just a rage monster, his dad messed with his DNA for years! Cable was not just a warrior from the future everyone already knew, he was Cyclops’ son come back from the future! Bruce and Clark’s moms were both named Martha! Darth Vader was Luke’s father! Leia was his sister! Darth Vader made C-3P0! Thor’s mom was not Freya, it was the Earth! I mean, Thor’s mom was the Phoenix force! Wait? What? That is sooooooooooooooooooooooo dumb and pointless.

My lost and probably missed point is that heroes are not as heroic or special any more. Instead of doing what they do altruistically for the betterment of everyone, they are destined/ trapped to fight evil. Meaning that if Peter was not the Spider totem, he might just have had a really bad allergic reaction and never became Spider-Man. Or if the Guardians did not infect every ring with FEAR itself, when Hal overdosed on them with grief over Coast City, he might not have snapped at all. Thor is no longer is just the God of Thunder struggling with worthiness; he is a mutant that needs a ruby quartz hammer to control his powers. Ugh. Even villains do things because they were made that way so we feel something for them as well. Loki is not just the god of evil anymore, he’s an adopted kid with extreme daddy issues.  Venom is not just a combo symbiote/ rival that hates Peter/ Spider-Man because of rejection and jealousy, he’s the next in line of weaponized black goo created so long ago that it fought Thor 1000 years ago on Earth and before that millions of year ago fought and infected a time traveling Silver Surfer. Heck Venom might just be part of the reason Galactus’ universe died in the first place causing the entire Marvel Universe as we know it to exist. Jack Kirby and Stan Lee split up just before revealing that fact in Fantastic Four the real long-lost issue #102.

Sometimes bad things just happen. Or good things. Not every teeny tiny thing needs to be connected.

How do I know? Well, I used to have to visit my mom’s friends religiously in Bolingbrook. My first doctor was located at Glen Ellyn Clinic in Glen Ellyn. My first non-Naperville GCC work was to help move the Wheaton GCC store to its current location. Our car broke down on a family trip in Dekalb and I spent the day there because we couldn’t get a rental for hours. And the only comic shop I visited more than twice that was not a GCC was the Paperback Peddler in Aurora.

What does that all mean? I now manage the Wheaton GCC that I helped moving in. Before that I opened and managed the Dekalb GCC for 12 years. Before that I managed the Bolingbrook GCC for a while. And right before that, I managed and closed down the Aurora GCC which was the Paperback Peddler only months earlier. Oh, and Glen Ellyn??? Well, I managed the Glen Ellyn GCC for a week while the manager was getting married. And what does all that mean? What is the deeper connection? What could this be all leading to?