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

Tom Russell milos_parker at
Mon Oct 16 09:02:10 PDT 2006

Martin Phipps wrote:
> 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.

I actually don't think the flashbacks in GREEN KNIGHT # 6 interrupt the
flow of the story; for all intents and purposes, they are the story,
and they recieve their pay-off in the Fear Ray itself.

The stories in GREEN KNIGHT # 4 also recieve their pay-off at that
point, because one of the story's major threads is how much respect
Martin has for Ray's methods.

Really, there were two major threads in THE GREEN KNIGHT: one was Ray's
death, and the other was Martin taking on the mantle of the Green
Knight.  To ignore the flashbacks is to ignore the bulk of Martin's

I understand your reservations about flashbacks, and I often share
those reservations myself.  At the same time, THE GREEN KNIGHT was a
story that, somewhat like SPEAK!, was largely concerned with the past
and one's relationship to it.  It's not about Ray connecting with his
two sons (Martin and Anders) but rather about how he can't connect with
them.  He can't move on, and he really can't make ammends for his past
mistakes in his last few months.  It's about alienation and distance,
not coming together, which makes it by its very nature not a dramatic
work, but an interior one.

And so memories are very important in such a work.

>  (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.)

I created the Lunchbox Lass origin story _before_ I knew I was going to
be using the character in another series.  I cut many references to it
because I think it made her too angsty, and threatened the internal
integrity of that series.

> 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?

I don't think Martin's given it that much thought before now.  Probably
because that was always the way things were done.  Also, out of respect
for Ray's wishes that he not be identified as the Green Knight.

>  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.

Well, we'll see about that.

> 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?

His father is still alive, though their relationship is strained (that
hasn't really been explored or explain at this point).  You do raise a
valid point, but even if Martin exists as a non-entity, if the
criminals he fought as the Mask with No Name discover who he is without
the mask, they at least have a face to be looking for.  And, besides,
the police were looking for the mask with no name as well; while he
might be able to ellude capture and still operate, I don't think he
wanted that hassle.

It's true, however, that he doesn't have much to lose-- at least, not
until now.  Now he has Roy, and perhaps even Pam.  Of course, being
Martin Rock endangers Pam more than being the Green Knight does.

>  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

He worked odd-jobs, nothing out-and-out illegal but under-the-table
stuff just the same.  He lived in abandoned hide-outs and led a very
spartan existence.  I'm sure that some days, he didn't eat at all.

(This was all in the ANNUAL, by the way.)

> 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

This is a valid point, and could be a line of thought Martin Rock will
pursue in the future.

On the other hand, Martin's stated purpose as the Green Knight-- to
make a difference in the community-- might be damaged if there's no
mystique to him.  Or it might be helped: wouldn't it make more sense
for him to be an ordinary guy?

The secret identity question is a very important one, and one that I'm
going to be addressing in future installments.  Thanks for bringing
these points up, Martin-- it's something for me-- and the readers-- to
think about.

> 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?

Ray didn't want it known; Martin respects the man enough to keep his
dying wishes.

> > 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.).

Um-- where was there male-male bondage-domination/S&M in my story?
> Martin


More information about the racc mailing list