Superfreaks/ACRA: Superfreaks #8

Tom Russell milos_parker at
Wed Sep 27 22:33:34 PDT 2006

Martin Phipps wrote:

> Okay.
> Better?

Well, I did like seeing some of the investigation process, but having
it not pay off was a little disappointing.

I know a lot of crimes go unsolved, and so maybe you're doing it for
versimilitude, but if the case isn't really solved, it isn't really
detective work, is it? :-)

My complaint isn't so much with the pat solutions to the crimes but
rather that we don't get to see the process leading up to that pat
solution, which should be appropriately convoluted, to my mind.

As for these strange blocks of text interrupting the flow of the

>   "Do you mind stepping out of the way so I can take
> pictures?  Thanks!"
>   Frank Lopez was hired by the Pepperton police as a
> sketch artist.  It was his job to draw pictures of
> suspects based on what witnesses described to him.
> This was not, however, a full time job and he had been
> working in the meantime to get approval to work at
> crime scenes gathering evidence.  For now, he was just
> taking pictures and observing his fellow CSIs at work.
>   "The victim appears to have been killed by gunshot
> wounds: one to the chest and one to the upper torso."
>   Detective Mary Jones had only been working for the
> Pepperton Police for only five years.  She was good at
> her job, both as an investigator of crime scenes and
> as an expert in questioning witnesses.  Recently she
> began dating Edward Bailey, another member of the
> Pepperton police force who worked full time in the
> crime lab.  With her being a detective, she was
> effectively his immediate superior.  She hoped that
> their dating would not in any way interfere with their
> work.
>   "Can we recover any of the bullets?"
>   Detective Michael King had also been working for the
> Pepperton police for only a few years, having served
> previously as an investigator for the marines at the
> base in Pepsicola, Florida.  He always felt a deep
> frustration when faced with bureaucracy and actually
> prefered the way civilian police forces were able to
> operate in the open without having to keep any secrets
> from the general public.  Recently, he's encountered
> the same sort of bureaucracy when trying to deal with
> members of the local government run superteam, the
> Extreme Force Six.  It took him a while to convince
> himself that it was necessary for them to keep secrets
> from the general public, such as their individual
> identities.  Convincing his fellow police officers
> turned out to be more difficult.

-- well, they're strange, and they interrupt the flow of the story.  I
know I sometimes harp on people for their lack of exposition, but
really it's a lack of _necessary_ exposition.  That is, I think the
reader should have the information they need to understand the story
they're reading currently.

All that information?  It's not necessary, and it's distracting: it's
certainly not your style, Martin.

I think for  this story, the exposition you need is--

> Michael King and Mary Jones: crime scene
> investigators.  Mark Johnston and Tom Jackson: police
> officers.  Jack Greenspan and Edward Bailey: medical
> examiners.  Alan Russell and Leroy Laurel: lawyers.
> These are the men and women who are truly our last
> line of defense.  But what about the capes whose cases
> they have to investigate?  Should they be considered a
> help or a hindrance?

-- and that's it, really.  It tells you everything we need to know
about these characters in this particular story.  (King's relationship
with the Extreme Force Six is implied in those scenes he shares with
Super Soldier.)

I hope we get to see more detective work next issue.

> Martin


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