Seanbaby: Comic books take place in a universe where mad artists have been layering deranged ideas on top of each other for 80 years. An editor might say “yes” to your idea of Werewolf Captain America or “sure” to a summer-long event where every character becomes an ape. The point is, you don’t lose your job as a comics writer for being stupid or crazy. Unless you’re as stupid and crazy as Chuck Austen. Chuck Austen was so bad at writing comics, and this is real, DC replaced his credit with a fake name to boost sales and then fired him. He left mainstream comics and started an “adults only” project where his cranky horniness and garbage ideas could run free. Hey, Brockway! Let’s read Chuck Austen’s WorldWatch (2004)!
Brockway: I don’t want to! Let’s do literally anything else. Let’s help stupid cancer children learn to add or something, I really think we could give back to-
Seanbaby: WorldWatch was a disaster in more ways than should have been possible. If your 12-year-old handed you this, their very first comic, you would tell them, “Son, you didn’t make anything. That’s Wonder Woman and Power Girl. And Black Panther, The Flash, and Giant Man. You’ve joylessly repackaged tired superhero archetypes into something you can masturbate to, and even that is a tired idea done too many times to count. You’re grounded, and when your father gets home we’ll discuss whether we can even salvage you, our gross mistake.”
Brockway: Is the only difference between “adult comic book for sale for real money” and “embarrassing slash fiction hidden in the bad parts of the internet” the quality of the inks? Because those are some good, bold lines!
Seanbaby: So the premise of the comic is that it’s adapted from the autobiography of the Wonder Woman character called EXPOSING MYSELF, which Chuck Austen himself points out is very clever because she’s also mostly naked. This is the most he ever explores this pointless, artless conceit. There is no playing with the idea of an unreliable narrator or a commentary on how truth is reshaped as it travels through different media. This is porn fan fiction with a baby’s idea of a fancy storytelling device stapled to the front of it. And sorry if I don’t feel the need to construct a proper joke for this occasion, but nice fucking typesetting, guys. This is Times New Roman font with random line breaks, centered. It is, without exaggeration, the worst an untrained amateur can possibly do, and it would take a professional designer intent on sabotage to make this page look uglier. My point is, Chuck Austen has thought of the shittiest, most creatively bankrupt idea and can’t even get his notes for it down on paper without failing artistically.
Seanbaby: WorldWatch opens on an unexplained superhero fight where War Woman introduces the main characters. All it really does is introduce the reader to the uniquely hacky writing of Chuck Austen. He is both very proud of “creating” his own superheroes, but also knows he can yadda yadda through their intros because they’re just Wonder Woman and Superman. He even steals the old bit about Superman’s “real” name being Superman but figures you saw Kill Bill, so there’s no real need to explain what the fuck he’s talking about. Then he brings it all home with a joke about how The Intercessor’s other real name is “Ass-faced, dickwad.” But here’s a fun writing tip the rest of us learned in fourth grade: the comma here means War Woman is calling the reader, not The Intercessor, a dickwad. What you’re saying here, Chuck, other than “I have no talent,” is “The Intercessor’s name is Ass-faced, and in addition to that, fuck you, dickwad reader.” And fair enough; the reader here has made a terrible mistake.
Brockway: Chuck has shown he’s willing to, if not break the Fourth Wall, at least peek around it. He does play with some very interesting meta-fiction in his work. For example: In every single page of this comic book you can find clever hidden hints that imply it is not a good comic book.
Seanbaby: Next up is Wanda Jehu, “Tiger Princess,” who is an extremely naked lady Black Panther. And it should really help explain the thing Chuck Austen has with women that after fourteen words explaining nothing at all about her, he calls her “Fucking bitch” and has no more to say. I have no notes on this other than how it’s quite good.
Brockway: So many people were writing in to Marvel demanding that Black Panther have more tits. This had to happen. It’s simply filling a gap in the market. Hey speaking of filling gaps: Chuck Austen felt the need to specify that, if Black Panther were female, he would lick his own pussy.
Seanbaby: I love a good reference to jokes that don’t exist, but might in a different universe! Oh, and lets add “cat tongues” and “the human clitoris” to the list of things Chuck doesn’t understand, I guess.
Seanbaby: Every one of these bios is worse than nothing. This character, who is a topless lady Quicksilver covered in quicksilver, is an active member of the United States military only there’s some kind of confusion regarding her real name? What? Are you fucking telling me Chuck Austen created a female character wearing no shirt and dog tags that say her name and the description he has written for her is “NO ONE KNOWS HER NAME!” This is something a neurologist would hand back to you and say, “No need for a consultation. This is already more than enough to diagnose a serious brain disease.”
Brockway: I will say that I appreciate how the artist draws her titties just going everywhere when she superspeeds.
Brockway: Normal women with non-insane boobs wear sports bras just so they don’t get hurt while walking down stairs. Sergeant Mercury goes topless with size DDDs and then breaks the sound barrier. She is absolutely knocking herself senseless with those titties. Every time she uses her power she wakes up in the hospital with a concerned nurse asking if things are all right at home because it looks like she’s been slapped across the room by a huge man with no fingers.
Seanbaby: It’s absolute proof Chuck never considered or showed this to a woman. The slightest reasoning would reveal her to be the last character in this universe whose uniform should be cargo pants and flopping tits. Forgetting to give your speedster superheroine a sports bra is a virgin move. If Chuck Austen showed this comic to 2000 women, 1200 of them would condescendingly explain how tits work as if he was a little boy and 800 of them would spray him with bear mace.
Seanbaby: Doc Gulliver’s intro somehow says less than the others. Chuck has made Hank Pym, but black, which I have to be honest, worries me a bit. Or as I’m sure Chuck Austen would put it, “Homey, this trippin’ shit is going to get uncomfortable as a motherfucker, probably with something about larger than ordinary penises.”
Brockway: “All right, who’s left? Who haven’t we ripped off? Giant Man? That’s Hank Pym, right? The wifebeater? Let’s make him a black guy!” -Chuck Austen
Seanbaby: Now that you’ve met five members of the 135 member team and learned nothing about them, we see the ending of the battle. War Woman is screaming “FACE DOWN — HANDS BEHIND YOUR BACK, JERKOFF!” to an unnamed pharaoh who we later learn is named Pharaoh.
This is a mature, 2004 spin on children’s books, so Pharaoh does not scream, “By the bonesands of Sekhmet you shall pay for such an insult!” He goes, and I quote, “WHO YOU CALLING JERKOFF, YOU BONDAGE WHORE!!” It’s a term that’s both not a thing, but also wrong? I mean, yes, War Woman’s costume is aggressively porny. Comics have been putting women in sexy outfits for years with the understanding there’s some kind of function to leotards and catsuits. Readers don’t need much of an excuse to forgive boner pandering, but this woman seems to have glued tiny, sharp shapes to her erogenous zones. And in the behind-the-scenes section, Chuck’s excuse is, “You would do it too if you had these titties.” You might not like it, bad-tittied ladies, but some men just know how to write women.
Brockway: Solid logic, though. It’s why I walk around with my balls hanging out of my zipper. Don’t worry, it’s not obscene: There are sharp little metal bits covering 12% of them.
Seanbaby: BONDAGE WHORE!!
Brockway: If you call me a “Bondage Whore” again, I will pinch your dick off. I know that’s a weird and clumsy threat, but it’s kind of my trademark.
Seanbaby: War Woman’s costume looks like underwear scientists were trying to discover exactly how much material you could remove from a thing and still call it a strapless bra. She has a staple remover for panties which eliminates all fiction of functionality. This woman ruptures her liver and transverse colon every time she does a situp. So I’d argue “whore” is fair game if you’re saying hurtful things about her, but “bondage whore” is absurd. If anything, this is a costume designed specifically for escaping sexual restraints.
Seanbaby: The fight, none of which is shown to the reader, ends with Pharaoh simply teleporting away. Well, before he goes, he says, “When I find the Sphere, War Woman, you will be my most prized sex slave. And you will like it.” If you found a little boy in a sex trafficker’s trash, WorldWatch is what you would help him write in order to channel the unstoppable darkness inside him.
Seanbaby: The conversation back in WorldWatch’s space base is a spectacle of simple-mindedness. A stuttering bow-and-arrow character is introduced who only gets one line and it’s “Fuh-fuh-fuck you, In-In-In-tercessor.” It’s nothing– barely a placeholder for a line that undercuts the very serious drama between The Intercessor and War Woman who are arguing about whether superheroes should kill supervillains. It’s absolutely the most basic philosophical dilemma you could conceive of, and both sides are being argued by a man too stupid to know he’s making a parody of the very concept of thought. I should also mention during this, the other characters are complaining about how noisy Power Girl is when she fucks. This is Chuck’s contribution to the superhero genre: less than nothing, and cliches having loud sex (more on both later).
Brockway: There is no subject Chuck Austen doesn’t think he’s equipped to handle.
Brockway: Yeah, tackle the abortion debate this panel, Chuck. You earned that.
Seanbaby: I think I can tell which side of this argument the author is on because War Woman’s argument seems to be “there is a moral equivalence between unborn babies and SUPERVILLAINS” and that seems too dumb even for Chuck’s brain.
Seanbaby: The debate ends like I imagine most of Chuck’s interactions: with the man telling the woman all she needs is a hard cock, getting punched in the face, and calling her a stupid fat cow. WorldWatch is written from the perspective of War Woman, but The Intercessor is clearly the author insert. The Intercessor might as well turn to camera and say, “I’m Chuck Austen, and I dare any of you ugly sluts to try that shit in real life. Name the time and place.”
Brockway: I may not understand the fineries of grammar, but according to the rules we established earlier, he’s actually addressing a person named Stupid and calling the reader “fat cow.”
Seanbaby: Oh, shit. This is what I was worried about earlier. The omnidisciplinary scientist, who is black, talks like the gangstas from Chuck Austen’s TV fifteen years before he wrote this comic. And it took him, let’s see… one, two, three word bubbles before he brought up his gigantic black dick. Plus, this is all an inelegant contrivance. This professional superhero has a little black eye and he’s suddenly given “some shit that’s gonna make [him] heal like a motherfucker. But it may have some side effects.” Doc Gullivar might as well turn to the camera and say, “I’m Chuck Austen, obvious sex pest and fluent Black speaker, and that character is going to go insane or get tentacles or something later.”
Brockway: He’s in the same gang as Argyle from Night Man. Classic Argyle callback! Y’all remember Argyle, of course. This bit landed!
Wait, I’m suddenly worried we’re skipping over Chekhov’s Fuck Noises. There were Fuck Noises mentioned at the start of this comic; they must be used.
Seanbaby: Chuck Austen’s crowning achievement is the character of Omnia, who is Power Girl only more naked, and she noisily fucks everyone, all the time. This turns out to bite her in the ass since her only weaknesses are shame and not remembering which space bases are sound-proofed.
Seanbaby: You’ve already guessed this, but Omnia is Chuck Austen’s dream girl. She is a party in and out of spandex, so super hot, can be easily tricked into sex with anyone including -get this- other girls. Oh, and she’s cool enough for faaaaaarts! You can almost see where the author backspaced “Her favorite not-weird penis is mine, the genius who didn’t ruin Uncanny X-Men, Chuck Austen.”
Brockway: Stop. Zoom. ENHANCE.
The hot girl has a tattoo that says “HOT” on her arm. Chuck Austen thinks that counts as “foreshadowing.”
Seanbaby: I bet she has found her “HOT” tattoo to be a nice conversation starter for strangers too shy to mention her exposed labia majora.
Seanbaby: I can clinically prove Chuck Austen’s idiocy with this one page of comic book. It’s awful, sure, but that’s an opinion. I mean look at how he can’t even keep track of his own basic script. One of those characters having astronaut scream sex was told only two pages ago their space station was not sound-proofed. And then we cut to another character explaining how he has told both of those characters, multiple times, everyone can hear them fuck. A full 40% of this issue is dedicated to the noise they make in bed, it’s the only narrative arc Chuck Austen cares about, and not a single detail of it can be kept straight. And, remember the basic premise of this entire thing? Because Chuck Austen doesn’t– this comic is being adapted from a story told from the point of view of a woman who did not hear any of these conversations or have any reason to know about them. Chuck Austen is like an old pair of scissors in that he’s somehow found the only way to masturbate “wrong.”
Brockway: I just think everybody should see a full-body shot of Satyr.
I know what a satyr is, and I’ve seen them drawn well. They either have to be shorter than a person, or you need to enlarge all of them proportionately. What you can’t do is just use normal human proportions and then stretch out the goat legs to fit. Satyr looks like the front half of a Wolverine centaur. He’s wearing hipster skinny goat-legs. Also it’s mentioned that he’s naked all the time, but we don’t see his goat dick here. Which means it’s hidden away in some kind of goat-dick pocket, which goats don’t have. Get your dickbuilding right, Austen!
That’s all: Back to topless superheroes.
Seanbaby: It’s so incredible that the explanation for this superhero’s costume was she ripped two tank tops and decided the only solution was to retire from shirts completely. Chuck Austen can clearly think himself into a situation where a woman is exposing herself, but once he’s there he is so helpless to his boner he can’t look around to see if it makes any sense. I believe in literature this is called the Incel’s Inveiglement.
Brockway: It’s true. If you ruin a piece of clothing, you just don’t ever use it again. I had to wear holes in two pairs of underwear before I understood that I simply must have my balls out — for practical reasons. It’s why The Incredible Hulk is so careful to show that Hulk has NOT ruined his pants in the transformation. They know that if it happens even once the rest of the entire series will just be shot after shot of enraged green dong.
Seanbaby: So Sergeant Mercury is the second female character who is sexily naive and also the second female character showing off her tits because they rule. This means everyone is trying to have sex with her, including Doc Gulliver, the team leader which leads to this exchange:
Seanbaby: This woman who enlisted in and worked for the US Army, an organization Google tells me has the exact percentage of black people as the city of Chicago, is just now learning people of color are capable of getting horny. And look at the sneering delight the black character is taking in her awkwardness. This is, suspiciously, something an unskilled artist would create if they thought racism only existed as a way to give black people an advantage over Whites. I’m not saying that’s what Chuck Austen thinks, but there is no safer place in the world than under a 100-ton weight set to fall if Chuck Austen says something wise and good about racism.
Brockway: I’ve read comic books. There is so much room for a bad writer to hide in the realm of comic books. All you have to do is write fistfights about Eternity Crystals or some shit, and not say anything remarkably stupid about gender politics, racism, religion, abortion, or racism again. Chuck Austen didn’t just ignore that list, he went on a scavenger hunt trying to hit every one in a single issue.
Seanbaby: Injecting a real pop culture reference into a comic book has to be done carefully because it changes the setting from a world where nude magic celebrity gods who shower in crested, winged face helmets are normal to this one (where they are not). And it goes without saying if you want to impart on the reader the feelings you get from a song about determination, don’t pick an unreleased single from an album you misspell by an artist you misspell. Oh, too late. Better luck next time, #1 PLINK fan, Chuck! Anyway, these are the kinds of things that cross my mind during the part of the story Chuck Austen assumed I’d be jerking off to. Let’s learn about this Dr. Strange guy who is melting into her room while she’s naked, not for the first time!
Brockway: Actually, I don’t think Intercessor is Chuck’s authorial insert. I think Chuck wrote Intercessor as a strawman of every good-looking “norm” who bullied him after Sunday School. It’s just that Chuck is so dumb he influenced himself and came around to thinking Intercessor was making some pretty good points about how maybe it is the sluts who are wrong after all. No, I posit that Chuck Austen’s Mary Sue is Qabbala: The wise, wry — intensely sexy, yes, no question – boner magician that every woman wants to bang, but he’s just too aloof to let them. I think this for a number of very smart and shrewd reasons that I have carefully deduced from the work, and also because Chuck Austen just said so:
Gasp, it’s foreshadowing!
Seanbaby: You think Qabbala is who Chuck sees himself as? He’s a sexy, famous, majestic comic writer who is so smart and hot, but could destroy all of you with his limitless power if he felt like it, but he might not and that would be amazing and magical too. I guess I’m not seeing it, but speaking of foreshadowing, I hope they resolve that lingering plot of whether the topless white girl in the year 2004 learns to be okay with “race mixing.”
Seanbaby: Oh, good. She goes to him and explains “her parents didn’t like blacks” and they fuck. This was actually Tiger Princess’ cunning plan so she could watch them on a security monitor and masturbate.
Brockway: This is the face Tiger Princess makes while masturbating. It’s a mix of “watching the squirrels try to get to your new squirrel-proof birdfeeder” and “Willem Dafoe.”
Seanbaby: It’s the look of someone who gets a sexual thrill from manipulating two horny, already mostly naked people into having sex, but I don’t think she’s the bad guy here. If anything, she put an end to 4 minutes of systemic spaceship racism.
Seanbaby: Chuck needed a scene to show The Intercessor stewing in anger, so he wrote a page of plotless background dialog. Every word of it is people talking about pornography or getting ready to bone. Add it to the list of events that would be strange to put in a comic book based on an autobiography written by someone who didn’t know about them, but I mainly bring it up because “virgin alone with his impotent rage while seemingly everyone around him is having sex” is Chuck’s most on-the-nose self insert yet. It’s like Brockway writing a novel where the main character is a motorcycle centaur and the setting is everyone else shutting the fuck up.
Brockway: No, I think my authorial insert would be more grounded. Just an absurdly idealized version of myself. 30% funnier. A few inches taller. Ripped. Tiny pink mohawk.
Seanbaby: In a shocking reveal, The Intercessor overhears War Woman in bed with… the villain Pharaoh!? But instead of rushing over to superkill this international murderer in his home and confront his treasonous ally, he giggles. He, the hero(?) of this comic, will soon use blackmail to have his petty revenge on that cow for daring to reject his sexual assault!
This is top notch writing because Chuck gave us all the puzzle pieces. The Intercessor’s super hearing was mentioned twice, and the non-sound-proofing of the orbital base was mentioned 689 times. Which means War Woman had to be totally dumb to get caught doing this, proving she is a stupid, fat! Bondage! Whore!! THIS IS YOUR FAULT, ALL WOMEN!
Brockway: He stole my fucking trademark threat! Chuck Austen, I’ll pinch your- no, I can’t even use it anymore! Where am I going to find another threat so clumsy and awkward to say? “I’ll fondle your dong… on?” Oh shit, nevermind. I nailed it in one!
Seanbaby: Before we go, maybe my favorite madness in all of WorldWatch comes from Pharaoh’s character bio. Chuck wanted to write something to help explain the unrelatable amount of wealth possessed by “gazillionaire industrialist,” Rex Farrow. He landed on “more Learjets than pairs of underwear.” Then he realized in a comic where everyone was nude, that might mean as few as one Learjet. A normal writer might have backspaced and tried again, but Chuck pressed on. He added, “forty pairs of underwear, at all times.” Then he realized that’s, what, maybe a hundred dollars worth of underwear? That’s barely mid-range furniture salesman rich. A normal writer might have definitely started over by now, but not Chuck. He put a rich guy spin on those forty pairs of underwear. They aren’t, like, in a drawer. They are “brand new, laid out fresh every day to choose one from.”
Brockway: This is a guy clearly frightened to wear through underwear, knowing he could never use them again if he does. He must have weird, embarrassing balls.
Seanbaby: That’s the way Chuck Austen proves how rich this guy is! He buys one pair of new underwear every day and adds it to the 39 that did not please him yesterday. Or does he buy 40 pairs of underwear every day and throw 39 away? Wow, even when he’s making his third desperate attempt to explain a fleeting, dumb-as-fuck thought, Chuck Austen still writes with such compelling mystery! And thanks to his bizarre choices in typesetting, I think it’s also beautiful poetry?
He had forty
pairs of underwear, at all
Brand new, laid out fresh every
day to choose one from.
We met when he was putting on
a fund raiser for child-