[Rev] End of Month Reviews - April 2004 [spoilers]

Saxon Brenton saxon.brenton at uts.edu.au
Sat May 1 17:20:34 PDT 2004

End of Month Reviews - April 2004
  Reviewed this issue:
      ASH #48 [ASH]
      Bush43 #17 [AC]
      Eternal Affairs #1 [AC]
      Generation Z: The New Class #3 and 4 [LNH2]
      LNH Asia 2020 #1-4 [LNH2]
      LNH Europe 2020 #1-4 [LNH2]
      Transit City #1 [IP]
  Also posted:
      The Team Director's Cut #8 [LNH/ACRA] 
          (reprinting The Team #23, 24, Patient Zero and Absurd Lass
           and The Team #25)
     And so we reach the point where my original reasoning for writing
these reviews seems to be paying off. The month leading up to the
long weekend in April have always been a peak time at UTS library.
combined with all the fun and games we've been having with the
system (you would not be-LIEVE the number of ways that a computerised 
circulation system can break, but still continue to limp along
that everything is fine...) meant that under other circumstances I
have put off reading pretty much everything listed above except for 
Dvandom's stuff - probably until the RACCies nominations period at the
end of the year, knowing me.
     But with an imposed monthly deadline, I forced myself to read
just skim) all of them. Excuse me a moment while I gloat to myself.
     Right, enough of that. We have an extensive - and diverse,
wise - list of postings to get through. To paraphrase Super Grover: On
with the stories...
     ...but first something I should have thought of earlier:
     Spoilers below.
ASH #48
'Shattering Helas G: Storm of the Eye'
An Academy of Super Heroes [ASH] series
By Dave Van Domelen (Dvandom)
     The Moslem Confederation's expeditionary force fights its way to 
Mount Olympus, where the Eye of Purity faces off against Q'Nos in
combat. The Eye dies, but in a final twist revealed at the end, was
to strip Q'Nos of much of his power. It becomes clear that despite the
continued expansion of Q'Nos' holdings, the geopolitical jostlings
also continue. The Minotaur has only delayed a final confrontation,
dealt with it decisively in the here-and-now. 
     While reading through the fight scene it seemed strange to me
the point of view was *not* that of the Eye himself, but that quibble
dealt with when the final twist ending was revealed. In any case, the
final confrontation is now open for the title characters to deal with.
Bush43 #17 
An Artifice Comics [AC] series
By Jason S. Kenney
     Bush43 gets some combat practise in with Alfonse, and then
has a favour asked of him by the New Mages member Eldritch to do some 
sparring with her as well. Then afterwards he comes home to find
and Victoria taken out by woman with a sword. The latter two fights
Bush43 taking wounds despite his supposed invulnerability, which 
bamboozles and irritates him considerably.
     Apart from Bush43's usual smartarse quips, there's a couple of
scenes in here. His admission of his distrust of the extremism and 
instability of the New Mages and their patrons the Romanovs gives a
summary of the political/paranormal situation, while his explanation
Eldritch that her spandex costume shows her muscle movements and 
telegraphs her moves in advance is one that I'll have to remember for 
playing with genre conventions. But for my money the best bit was,
asked why he's such a graceless fighter if he's a fencing champion, is
that grace and form are needed for structured fencing duels but not
random fights with supervillains calling themselves 'AssMasters'.
Eternal Affairs #1
'Figure of 8'
An Artifice Comics [AC] series
By Chris Munn
     A homeless man is murdered, and the paranormals of Eternal
who investigate it discover that it's far more than just a random
The victim has been killed and magically cursed to stay dead (or
continually die again) if he's ever resurrected. Meanwhile Mayor
rehashes the politics, and potential pitfalls, of forming the Eternal 
Affairs division with Dr Creep.
     It's a first issue and not unsurprisingly pretty much everything 
here is establishing ideas and characters. I'll admit that the
in style from the opening into the rest of the story threw me a bit,
rather than dismissing it as 'just' a fantasy sequence that can afford
be gaudy rather than noir like the rest, I keep coming back to wonder 
whether the victim really might be a superhuman, and if so whether his
murder was predicated on that fact. As in, ritual sacrifice of a
of power. We'll have to wait and see, I suppose.
Generation Zed, The New Class #s 3 and 4
'New Genesis, Parts I and II'
A Legion of Net.Heroes 2 [LNH2] miniseries
By Martin Phipps
     I'll run these together (and will do the same with the LNH
Europe crossover, further down) partly because they make up one story
partly to save myself time. (Hey, just because I finished reading 
everything on time doesn't change the fact that I'm typing the entire 
month's reviews up at the last minute).
     Set in the year 2019 future version of mainstream LNH continuity,
#3 sees the graduation of students from the Newer Mutants and the
Generation Zed from the Net.ropolis Academy. Some of the characters
to joining LNH Europe, while others establish LNH Asia. These events,
turn, lead into the LNH Asia and LNH Europe miniseries. Members of 
Generation Y as well as the previous Generation Zed hold a farewell
Various people get to exposit backstory and/or have character
     In #4 Deja Dude displays the new LNH Asia headquarters, leading
the lovely scene of a flabberghasted N realising that Deja Dude's
house in Thai.lan.d is in fact a mundane house that's bigger on the
than on the outside and chock full of high tech equipment. Thereafter 
follows more character introductions and exposition of backhistory
how the members of the team form more than just representative group
Asian nations, but also a thematic group of family, since many of them
have different fathers who were nevertheless alt.versions of Deja
And while I recalled the existence of Psykeye and Philip Martins 
(Colourblind Kid), I had completely forgotten about Sailor Coon and 
Tuxedo Mongoose.
LNH Europe 2020 #1-2, 3-4
'Brothers Up In Arms' part I and III
'Dorf Wars, Episode III' parts I and III
A Legion of Net.Heroes 2 [LNH2] miniseries
By Martin Phipps
LNH Asia 2020 #1-2, 3-4
'Brothers Up In Arms' parts II-IV
'Dorf Wars, Episode III' parts II and IV
A Legion of Net.Heroes 2 [LNH2] miniseries
By Martin Phipps
     These twin miniseries contain two four issue crossover stories, 
each bouncing back and forth between titles. If I were in a paranoid 
frame of mind I'd accuse Martin of deliberately trying to make a
of these stories as difficult as possible. As it is I know that he
thinks much like I do and likes to parody the publishing conventions
comics as much as the story and genre conventions. Fortunately for
he writes much quicker than I do, so he can pull it off.
     In any case, the first story arc is 'Brothers Up In Arms' and
the quest by the Brotherhood of Net Villains to find Lagneto, and the 
efforts of LNH Asia and LNH Europe to investigate this, one way or 
another. Structurally the arc is heavy on exposition and introduction 
- it's fortunate that the introduction of LNH Asia already took place
Generation Zed, The New Class #3-4 (see above), so that part II could
given over too at least to a cursory fight scene between Deja Due II, 
Moonfire, and Utraman, and the net.villains Capatin Coredump,
and Robgoblin. As it was I found myself wondering how a confrontation 
between Grim and Gritty and Lagneto would play out in the
short time of the final issue - and then it turned out that they
be. Once again, Martin seems to be aware of the dramatic tension
that this causes, since in part IV he throws in a confrontation with
Boba LaRocque and his Dorian destroyer, which in turn springboards
the 'Dorf Wars III' story arc. Nevertheless, the resolution of the
situation does feel like an anticimax, no matter how much it allows 
Martin to put a case for a humanist assessment of Lagneto, or play
the theme of mistrust between superheroes.
     Actually, during first reading I was wondering whether Deja
precipitous actions might affect inter-hero relations in future
- especially in light of the scene in part III where Hamster Man 
investigates the details of Lagento's trial and 'death', correctly
that there are suspicious circumstances, but then goes further to
the possibility that Lagneto might be assembling a mutant army in
If Deja Dude's actions and memory wipes were discovered, this would
him and the rest of LNH Asia in even deeper conflict than that shown
part IV - but the 'Dorf Wars III' storyline didn't bring that up, and
authorial comments at the end of 'Brothers Up In Arms' seem to deny
possibility entirely.
     The second story arc is 'Dorf Wars, Episode III'. Boba LaRocque
awaiting trial on Looniearth, and makes trouble by mentally
members of LNH Asia into fighting each other. Then Dorfian ambassadors
turn up and insist that Boba be tried on the Dorfian homeworld, which 
after negotiations is what happens while some senior members of the
travel along as observers.
Transit City #1
'Midnight Dance'
An [IP] series
By Byron D. Molix
     This issue 1 is far longer than that of Eternal Affairs, and
a lot more action in it. Crimefighter the Falcon goes after Mafia Don 
Risseti, capturing him and bodyguards for the police. Risseti tries to
retaliate with hired assassins, only to have Falcon beat them and then
fire two non-primed rockets into Risseti's headquarters during a
     The story is pretty much entirely action/adventure, with only a
throw away wise cracks, such as Falcon's acknowledgment of "the
posturing and banter". At this point it's kind of hard to see if the 
Falcon really is psychotic, or is just playing at being that way to 
intimidate the crime families that have over the years done away with 
the previous generation of crimefighters.
Saxon Brenton     Uni of Technology, city library, Sydney Australia
saxon.benton at uts.edu.au

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