TV That Watches YOU!

Batman and the Outsiders Annual #1 - Pages 30-34
Alright, let's give this Outsiders story a push (off a cliff) so we can be done by Christmas. Chapter 5 begins after the whole team has been captured by the Force of July. It is still the 4th of July 1984. Cut to outer space, a prescient Shakespeare quote, and lots of space garbage. In space, no one can hear you litter.
Eric Blairman's secret satellite has sent a signal and that signal is KLIK. Also, WHRRRRR. Wondering why there's sound in space? It's the DC Universe. Just look at Superman: The Quest for Peace. The DCU has sounds in space. Cut to: Mountain lair.
Given that the Force was simply to be on the lookout for interference from the Outsiders when they stole the circuit at STAR Labs, it seems like Blairman had a lot of foresight to engineer bonds specifically tailored to these heroes. Well, one gets the impression they don't think much of Katana's abilities. It's not that she doesn't get fancy manacles (those are for energy blasters only), but that they left her swords on her. But the Force is keeping watch so, they shouldn't be able to escape.
There's something about an underground lair that just makes villains want to tell their life stories, isn't there?
So because he had the same(ish) name as George Orwell, he went from intrigued to obsessed with turning America into a utopian nightmare. My own name is that of a French economist, so obviously (wait, let's research this guy...) I will end up hating banks to big to fail yet requiring government hand-outs. Wait. That DID happen. I'M SORRY I EVER DOUBTED YOU MIKE BARR! Let's throw a parade!
Omni-Cast can tap into ANY TV station, even WOODTV in Grand Rapids, but what happens when you reverse the polarity of the neutron flow?
It... works? You mean to tell me my TV can be used to spy on me, visuals and sound, without it being modified in any way? Because of course, a cathode tube is just a reverse camera, and a speaker is a reverse microphone. I hope that big computer is smart enough to flick between "channels" (as many as there are sets in the U.S.A.) and find the terrorists planning attacks while watching Merv Griffin. It's quite unbelievable.
AND you can spy on people over 1984's version of the Internet! (Okay, that's a little more believable, even though at the time, it wouldn't have gotten you info on too many people.) Still, what's that guy looking for? OH MY GOD!
Be careful what you read on Wikipedia! IT'S ALL COME TO PASS! What else can our kids look forward to Messrs. Blairman and Barr?
Digital compositing? Tails wagging dogs? Fake Conservative news?! MIKE BARR - SOUTHSAYER! (Of course, let me point out that faked or not, the footage is based on a real fight with real criminals. In other words, the Outsiders got pwned by whoever these crooks were - just look at that footage!) Chalk another one up to the Omni-Cast. Not that Halo gets it.
He's using footage to discredit you anyway, girl. No one's gonna listen to you. WOULD SOMEONE ANSWER THAT PHONE PLEASE?!
If that seems like a strange turn of phrase for Black Lightning to use - after all, Halo is hardly likely to curse - it's part of the plot. Because Halo doesn't understand the phrase, so she picks up on the one word she does know... but first, let's listen in on that phone call.
And now you know how Reagan got a second term, winning by a landslide. I bet Mondale pledging to raise taxes was a FAAAAAAAAAAKKKKEEEEE!!! Ok, back to Halo, painfully processing BL's clue:
The blue aura is the illusion aura. But you know, if the manacles didn't stop her from generating her auras, she could have used red to melt herself out of the trap. I'm asking too much again. Let's just be happy with the fact that she understood Lightning's suggestion at all.
Does Halo look free to you? If she's free, why isn't she flying off? Well, just goes to show the Force isn't any smarter than the Outsiders are. And why free oneself when you can pour on the irony and have the guards become the instruments of your escape?
Soon they'll all be free and who wants to bet this time they win where twice before they've lost?


Matt Celis said...

That should be "Messrs. Blairman and Barr." I love Batman & the Outsiders for the idea and the art by Aparo, but honestly if one re-reads the first 20-odd issues and annual, there are a LOT of terrible plot holes and wacky happenings.

Siskoid said...

As long as you realize I'm doing it in the spirit of tough love. Basically, the blog-series is about poking fun at the tics of early 80s superhero comics.

Matt Celis said...

Yeah...I'm a guy who will buy any comic from that era if it features the heroes being sucked into a video game and other hilarious early '80s themes.

Siskoid said...

Oh my, has this happened to the Outsiders?

I bet at least once.

Anonymous said...

In that faked footage, Geo Force is wearing his old uniform. Bet that's going to be central to the resolution of this.

Siskoid said...

If only.

But good call on the artist's part, since GF JUST got the new costume, and the footage is older.

Matt Celis said...

if it didn't, it should have! maybe DC can do another "retro" series like they did a while back and Mike Barr can write it!


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