[REVIEW] End of Month Reviews #33 - S...2006 [spoilers]

Martin Phipps martinphipps2 at yahoo.com
Mon Oct 16 08:28:56 PDT 2006

Tom Russell wrote:

> Martin's not a particularly introspective character-- especially in
> contrast to Anders Cradle, who was extremely introspective and tortured
> by living in his head-- but he is an introverted one.  He's someone who
> is more concerned with physical action and physical reality, and I
> think he's aware of the dichotomy at work here.

Another thing: you seem to have an almost George Lucasesque need to go
back and provide established characters with an origin, at least with
Lunchbox Lass and Martin and probably others.  The argument seems to be
that the origin story will better help the reader understand the
character but, frankly, I think that the origin stories should be
interesting enough stories on their own that they can be separate
issues and not interupt the flow of an on going storyline.  (In the
case of the Lunchbox Lass origin, the story was actually a back up
story in Journey Into Irrelevancy which ironically itself turned out to
be almost irrelevent in the sense that it wasn't reprinted in the
Net.Heroes on Parade TEB, which implies that you decided that readers
could after all understand her character without reading her origin.)

With Martin, I find certain things don't add up and I would like some
in story explanations for them without having to go back and read his
origin and try to figure things out for myself.  For starters, why
_does_ he need a secret identity?  Wouldn't have been that much easier
for him to get a job as a bounty hunter if he had just told Pam that he
used to be the Acrobat?  I mean, geez, like she hasn't figured it out
anyway.  I remember an old Spiderwoman comic in which Jessica Drew
thinks "It's a good thing that Nick Fury knows that Jessica Drew and
Spiderwoman are one in the same so that I can get clearance from a
senior law enforcement officer and qualify to apply for a private
investigator's liscence!  Best at what I do.  It isn't nice.  Full
focused intensity of my powers.  Evil incarnate.  People who hate and
fear us.  Blah blah blah."  Okay so I made part of that up but the
first sentence is exactly as I remembered it.

Seriously though, why does he need a secret identity?  To protect Roy?
Um, Roy appeared with the Green Knight at the news conference (such as
it was) so nobody needs to figure out that Martin and the Green Knight
are one in the same.  In fact, Anders threatened to tell people that
Martin had been the mask with no name.  What was Martin afraid of?
That the villains would track Martin to where he lived and attack those
he cared about.  Um... where did he live?  Whom did he care about?  It
seems to me that Martin had spent ten years as the mask with no name
and he hadn't even filed income tax in the meantime.  (Which makes me
wonder where he got food if he didn't have a job and if he _did_ have a
job why he didn't file income tax.)  It's as though Martin Rock had
ceased to exist anyway and the mask with no name was who he was.  It
would have been as if Anders had said that the mask with no name was
John Smith.  Okay.  So he has a name.  So now he's the mask with a
name.  Big hairy deal.  It's not like he has an Aunt May to protect.
It's as if he is protecting his identity for no other reason than
because four colour conventions require him to do so.  He seemed to
almost come to that conclusion himself when he asked himself if he
really wanted to go to the trouble of maintaining two identities but,
alas, the other shoe didn't drop.  I'd be willing to bet that coming
clean with his identity would have helped him with regards to the FBI
too for that matter.  Would there have been any harm in at least
letting the FBI know that Ray Crandle had been the original Green
Knight and he had been his sidekick?  Hell, he might even have been
able to get a ligitimate job with the police on either the local or
national level and not have to skulk around so much (in either

> Provoking anger and joy are perfectly valid responses
> for art to provoke; why not an erection?

Would it be too much information if I said that this mission was
accomplished?  But I quickly went limp as I'm not into male-male
bondage-domination / S&M (and I really don't want to know if anybody
out there is so please don't own up to it.  Thank you.).


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