Heroes and Villains: Conspiracy: The Illuminati, Doomsday Clock, Bill Maher

Ahh, here we are… the calm before the storm. The last new comic book day before American Thanksgiving. Next week it will be all holiday gift guides and Cyber Monday sales and a dead sprint until December 25th. I’m already trying to come up with a end of year “best-of” list and I’m finding it hard to believe 2018 is almost over. But for now…comics!

Conspiracy: The Illuminati #1
Hans Rodionoff (W)
J.G. Miranda (A)
Zenescope Entertainment

As a member of the liberal media and secret lizard person… this book speaks to me.

That being said, I’m not quite sure what to make of the book. The plot is depressingly timely in a “ripped from the headlines” manner that would make Law & Order: SVU proud.

You’ve got your Alex Jones analog in a conspiracy theorist with a web show that stokes the flames of a disenfranchised populace…which predictably ends in a mass shooting. OR DOES IT. The book seems to be intentionally provocative in its depiction of all too familiar events for US residents which it then throws out the window in favor of a vast conspiracy.

Granted, this is only the opening chapter of the book. The larger narrative may provide something of value or a redeeming message once it’s all said and done. It takes a deft hand to pull off social commentary of this scope and not cheapen the real life events on which it is based.

Or maybe that’s what I want you to think. I’m busy typing this from my subterranean lair and after I finish this I have to go influence the outcome of Dancing With The Stars, decide what snake oil supplement is going to be sold on Info Wars next week, and then I’m going to rap with George Soros for a bit about how 2019 is going to go. It’s going to be a doozy!

Assorted Musings

-So it’s been A YEAR since DC’s much ballyhooed attempt to ensure Alan Moore never speaks to them again was published. I speak, of course, of Doomsday Clock. We’re eight issues in and the titular Doomsday hasn’t even shown up yet. But Doctor Manhattan finally has and the results were… I can’t remember?

Listen, when Geoff Johns and Gary Frank get together the end result is usually 1) something worth waiting for and B) usually best enjoyed as a collected edition. Frank’s pencils are, as usual, amazing but when they initially announced it would be monthly I think we all had a healthy amount of skepticism. You gotta let Frank…Frank that’s all I’m saying.

I’m sure they started out with the best of intentions for the book to be a monthly one but the gap between the issues is personally killing me. I have to keep the last published issue readily available so I can bring myself up to speed so I’m not entirely lost. I’m not sure where it’s going and I don’t know if it’s going to be worth it but I guess we’ll see in another eight months.

Also, I will not be surprised if they announce a film a adaptation for the DCEU within the next two years. That’ll really push Moore over the edge.

-Bill Maher, eh?

Clearly, there’s nothing I’m going to be able to add to the conversation on this one. But I do think it’s safe to assume that this may be the only time in recent memory that the entirety of comic fandom was able to agree on one thing: “Screw this guy.”

If you’ve been living under a rock, or mercifully without the internet, Maher made some intentionally inflammatory comments about the passing of Stan Lee and was summarily excoriated by every fan with a Twitter account. Neil Gaiman, the elder statesmen of the “Comics are Literature” movement was brought in via Twitter to dunk on Maher and it was fantastic.

Taking a potshot at a recently deceased person and simultaneously downplaying their accomplishments and contributions to western pop culture is extremely poor form. A “dick move” as the kids say. But he’s a guy that has made an entire career off of just that.

I think I made it about fifteen minutes into Religulous before I wised up and said “Enough already, I get it, religion is for dummies!” It was like listening to a friend who had recently discovered atheism try and convert you to their church. Watching his various appearances in other media over the years gave me more of the same. A man who thrives on being contrary (which I admittedly appreciate. In extremely small doses).

It’s all well and good when he’s debating someone with a viewpoint that is opposite of mine as I classify myself as a filthy liberal. But I’d no sooner attempt to take him to church on politics because it’s not my thing. This isn’t a “stay in your lane, Maher” nor is it a “debate me” blog. If anything, it’s probably more of a “feel free to ignore me the way I’ve been ignoring you for years” blog.

What he said about Lee was shitty beyond the shadow of a doubt but it didn’t ruin my day. To paraphrase Gaiman, more people cared about Lee than will ever care about Maher. By that metric we’re both equally insignificant in the presence of the guy that helped create Spider-Man.

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