[Reviews] Because I'm Bored Reviews #1 (Spoilers)

martinphipps2 at yahoo.com martinphipps2 at yahoo.com
Sat Apr 30 10:01:40 PDT 2005

Consider yourself lucky: Imelda's gone back home for a fiesta in her
home town but I have to work on Monday.  In the meantime, here I am. :)

ASH #58 - Big Break by Dave Van Domelen

The problem with serious universes is that you have to take everything
seriously.  So references to the Sans Rouge terrorist organisation
fighting a "guerrilla war for the liberation of Quebec" have to be
taken seriously even though the reader might suspect it was intended as
a joke.  Granted, it wasn't that long ago that there were real
terrorists in Quebec, namely the FLQ, but there have been two
referendums since then and they've both (if only narrowly) gone in
favour of federalism.  Presumably the Sans Rouge would be fighting for
the liberation of Quebec from the majority of Quebeckers themselves.

Of course, being Canadian and having lived in Quebec for six years (and
having voted in the last referendum) that reference bothered me.  It
also bothered me whe a Philippine woman was described as speaking "a
Spanish/Tagalog creole".  First of all, Tagalog contains a lot of
Spanish words but that doesn't make it a Spanish/Tagalog creole any
more than English is a French/English creole by virtue of English
having borrowed a lot of words from French.  It's modern Tagalog and
modern English, respectively.  If Breaker didn't understand someone who
was from outside of Manila then it is probably because the person was
speaking Cebuano or some other Philippine dialect.  People were
speaking different languages on the Philippines before the Spanish ever
came: in fact, Cebuano is a lot like Malaysian or Indonesian.

By placing ASH in the future, Dave gives it a sci-fi feel.  References
to SEATO (South East Asian Treaty Organisation?  A military
organisation like NATO?  The analogy with the European Union would be
SEAU: South East Asian Union.) and the Pacific State (actually in #57)
are good and welcome.  I was surprised to learn, however, about the
fate of Beijing, not having followed ASH all these years.  I had
assumed that the ASH universe was a utopian future like that of the
Legion of Superheroes but that might be because literature usually
makes a point of painting the future as either utopian or apocalyptic
in order to set the appropriate mood.  It doesn't have to be one or the
other, I suppose.

I notice that Dave's writing compared to Arthur's (or my own) contains
less dialogue and more description.  Again, this helps establish the
serious mood: dialogue is ideally suited for character interaction,
repartee, quips, jokes and anecdotes whereas Dave obviously wants to
establish the settings in which he wants to move the characters around.
 I suppose it is analogous to creating comics with vivid backgrounds as
opposed to having all the action set in the foreground.  At the same
time, however, I find that stories in which the characters don't say
much that I really don't get to know the characters and don't really
care what happens to them.  This might also be related to the fact that
Dave's background is in role playing games as opposed to actual comics
or teleplays or movie scripts, which invariably contain a lot of

LNHY: Looniverse Y #5: Affirmative Action     by Arthur Spitzer

Funny.  Technically, Kid Kicked Out has become a lesbian.  It would
have been interesting if the narration had laid out (no pun intended)
exactly what Kid Kicked Out would have wanted to do with Giga.bit of
Buxom, but maybe Arthur didn't want to go there.

The Legion of Net.Heroes, volume 2 #'s 1-2 by Jamie Rosen

#2 was much better than #1.  #1 had the standard
plot.  Of course, future LNH stories could have old women still hating
Ultimate Ninja because they think he is a bank robber.  Or Maclaughlin
Man or Limbaugh Man could go on TV and suggust there are "unresolved
issues" surrounding the case.  But no.  I suspect this storyline isn't
going to get picked up.  It's too bad.  The J. Jonah Jameson / mutant
menace storylines in Spiderman and X-Men, while sometimes overdone (and
while the former was usually only used for comic relief), contributed
to the popularity of the respective characters amongst people who see
themslves as underdogs trying to stand up against similar injustices.

Anyway, #2.  It was good that there was no villain this time.  Maybe
this was done deliberately.  After introducing a new villain and
defeating said villain all in one issue, it would have been silly (in a
bad way) to introduce and defeat yet another villain in #2.  Mind you,
it could be argued that Linguist Lemur was a villain in this issue:
after all, if she had remained smart enough to talk then how come she
wasn't smart enough to figure out what had happened?  Or did she like
being a lemur?  Whatever: the fact that Linguist Lemur could talk was a
pleasant surprise (ie it was funny) so I'll let that go.  Two pleasant
surprises in one issue.  Not bad.

8FOLD: Speak! # 1 by Tom Russell

Will Greggory go on to become a university professor, go mad, start
killing his own students and eventually come into conflict with a newly
formed group of super heroes?  Perhaps. :)

Also Posted:

Vel #13 by Jesse
Onion Lad #2 by Jesse
Swamp Patrol #22 by Jamie Rosen
Template #1 by Jamie Rosen
LNH: The Alt.Riders #35 by Jamas Enright
LNH Asia: 2 Slow 2 Serious by me
LNH Asia: The Week After Next by me


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