Review: End of Month Reviews #34 - October 2006 [spoilers]

Martin Phipps martinphipps2 at
Sun Nov 5 01:59:14 PST 2006

Saxon Brenton wrote:

> Frankly, I'm with Detective Phelps on this one: I wonder how the
> rulings allowing the ownership of sapient creatures that so closely
> resemble humans, no matter what the exact nature of their creation was,
> came about in the first place.

Legal loopholes?  In Canada there is legislation in place stating that
if a person has skills that can not be replicated by local workers then
they're put on the fast track to obtaining a work visa.  So there's a
bar in Toronto that legally brought in dancers from Thailand and the
Philippines based solely on the argument that if the customers wanted
"exotic" women then Jane Blo from Mississauga would never fit the bill.
 That being the case, I figured it wasn't such a stretch for lawyers to
put through the argument that clones were property and not people, even
if the clones themselves more and more resemble ordinary people as time
goes by.

> I think I can see how it was
> passed, but I think it has more to do with the structure and nature of
> the storytelling in the Superfreaks setting than with in-story logic.

That plus the fact that once you establish that you are dealing with a
world in which people can fly, climb walls and have bits of metal
emerge from their forearms then right away you are not dealing with the
real world and it just becomes a question of keeping the world you are
dealing with internally consistent.  I know that after Arthur
established the whole God-is-an-asshole thing for LNH Y while
simultaneously creating teams like the Teen Fascists and the Deadly
Serious Squad, we get this image of a world in which the far right has
taken over in the US (to an extent even farther than they actually have
in the real world) and where daemons can be portrayed sympathetically
because the nature of society is such that they could never be accepted
by mainstream America.  So I suppose we can look at Superfreaks now as
a world where anti-abortion activists don't exist, at least not to the
extent they do in the real world (because nobody in their right mind
would recommend abortion anyway over contraception as a means of birth
control) and so we don't have the stem cell debate and, by extention,
the knee jerk objection to cloning and thus we end up with this
seemingly bizarre legal decision that slipped through the cracks and
didn't even make headline news.  That's asking for a lot I know, but if
you like the idea of being able to order a clone of a porn star over
the internet then you'd be willing to suspend belief for long enough to
accept the premise.  Is that sexist?  Only if I never allow for the
possibility of a male clone... and I do have an idea for a story
involving male clones so I guess that evens things out. :)

> But there's also a whole bunch of dreams that the cast keep
> having.  It could be a unifying thematic link to the story and I'm just
> being paranoid, but at first I was wondering whether someone with dream
> manipulation powers was messing with them.

I was originally working on a story in which a cult leader was
controlling people by giving them their fondest desires in their dreams
but then realized that since dreams typically _do_ give you what you
want (at least to begin with) that there was no need to introduce such
a villain who the Extreme Force Six would have to be brought in to
defeat anyway.  One of the problems with this series from the beginning
is that the police can investigate supervillains activity but they
can't do anything about them so there's always a love/hate relationship
between the police and the heroes no matter how arrogant and obnoxious
the heroes may come across to them.  (Part of it _is_ jealousy, as well
as a feeling of inadequacy as ordinary human beings, which I think was
subtly revealed by the fact that Michael and Mary both dreamed about
being heroes themselves in their dreams in this issue.)  Besides, any
psychoanalyst can tell you that you learn a lot about people from
studying their dreams, but it isn't often that I see dreams used this
way, ie as a way to reveal aspects of people's characters.


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