[REVIEW] End of Month Reviews #36 - December 2006 [spoilers]

Saxon Brenton saxonbrenton at hotmail.com
Mon Jan 1 00:34:43 PST 2007

[REVIEW] End of Month Reviews #36 - December 2006 [spoilers]

Reviewed This Issue:
      Academy of Super-Heroes #75  [ASH]
      Bush43 #62  [AC]  {not posted to RACC}
      Drabble Girl: Drabble #14-26  [LNH]
      Superfreaks #18-21  [Superfreaks]
      Ten Word Masterpiece Theater #1-17  [LNHY]
      Thunderclap #3  [Misc]
      Town Heroes #1  [BP]{VC}

Also posted:
      Fuschia Grabbag Surprise #4  [8Fold]
      Jolt City #4  [8Fold]
      A Journey 3 The Mind Of The Seemingly Unstable  [LNH]{VC}
      Limp-Asparagus Lad #57  [LNH]
      Unfinished Sentence-Verse #10  [usVerse]

     It seems that the Eyrie moderation software went down over the
holidays due to a blackout, but thanks to diligence, a bit of luck
with travel arrangements, and the type of commitment that makes Anal-
Retentive Archive Kid tell me he's damned proud to be character on
this newsgroup, Eagle was able to get it up and running, and ahead of
schedule too.  As ever, thank you for your efforts Russ.
     Uhm, let's see.  Okay, the RACCies nominations ballot have been
posted, as well as the nominations ballot for the RACCies Hall Of Fame.
You have until the end of January to get your nominations in, and then
I'll send out the voting ballot at the start of February.
     Meanwhile, it seems that January 2007 has also been designated as
Apes Month, so if you have any stories about, featuring, or simply
mentioning hairy anthropoids, now's the thematically appropriate time
to wheel them out.  And if it makes it any easier to come up with Ape
stories, Tom Russell has also thrown open a Haiku Gorilla fanfic
challenge for the same period (details in the follow up to _Haiku
Gorilla_ #214, posted on 9 Oct).
     Spoilers below...


Academy of Super Heroes #75
'Eyes Of Evil'  (Metropolis V)
An Academy of Super-Heroes [ASH] series
by Dave Van Domelen

     The conclusion of the 'Metropolis' arc.  Dvandom released it onto
the ASH webpage back on Boxing Day and was kind enough to email me a
heads up , and I'll admit that even if Eagle hadn't been able to get the
moderation software back on line until early January I was still intending
to give it a December review.
     The various plots swirl together to their climax as the schemers
make their moves and take advantage of others' moves.  The 'winner'
turns out to be Anatole Mabuse, who successfully managed to use the
wedding of his boss to houseclean his boss' domain.
     Meanwhile, cyborgs.  So, the Santari and consequently the Planetary
Confederation of which the Santari is one of the two dominant political
forces treat cyborgs as property (unless I've got the causal relationship
around the wrong way).  Okay, that ties in with the Pranir organlegging
operations, but that in turn suggests to me that there should be lots
of cloning for spare parts, ala the Byrne-era Krypton, since we know
that the Scytharian corporations have cloning abilities.  But that in
turn would argue against a need for organlegging from Earth in the
first place.  Dave, do the Santari have some something against organ
replacements using cloned issue (whether as a minor social stigma or
a full blown law equating cloned tissue as being as 'artificial' as
cyborging?)  I've done a google search but can't seem to find anything.
And running off on a tangent, it also occurs to me that underhanded
political shenanigans involving involuntary cyborging give the
Scytharians an overtone of Baron Kaza's body banks...

Bush43 #62
'What's Up Doc'
An Artifice Comics [AC] series
by Jason Kenney

     No, this didn't get released on rec.arts.comics.creative or the
associated mailing list.  You'll need to go and check the Artifice Comics
website to read this one: http://www.artificecomics.com/
     So, Professor Richmond has a tizzy because Jeffery went about trying
to save Pacific City his own way rather than follow Richmond's plans, and
sets off an almost-issue long fight scene whereby Richmond and various of
his cronies dump on Jeffery rather than try to do something constructive
about the impending arrival of the Imperial Magistrate.  Because after
having failed to coerce Jeffery into playing a pivotal role in his
purported plan to save the city, using what little time is left to enact
petty revenge is always such a productive use of resources, isn't it?
     Oh, and the federal government finally steps in to try and do
something in Pacific City.  I dunno, I think Jeffery must have still
been punch drunk at that point, since the answer to his question, 'Why
didn't the government try to do something about Erlend's usurpation of
Pacific City within the last four months?' is pretty obviously that they
didn't feel they had the wherewithal to pull it off until now.  More
specifically, it's only with a crisis coming and Erlend's administration
falling to pieces that they think they can re-establish control
incrementally over the only-just-now shaking loose pieces.  Then again,
his line about the vultures swooping in and picking off what's left
afterwards suggests he already knows.

Drabble Girl #14-26
'Back To The LNH!'  ;  'Search, Search And Search Again!'  ;  'Polynone!'
'Team Up!'  ;  'Team Up Redux!'  ;  'On The Prowl!'  ;
'First Strike!'  ;  'Second Strike!'  ;  'Third Strike'  ;
'You're Out!'  ;  'Smack-down!'  ;  'Flight!'  and  'KABLOOM!'
A Legion of Net.Heroes [LNH] limited series
by Jamas Enright

     Drabble Girl is returned the LNH-HQ and relates the news that the
Wordinator has already sent its polynome avatar into the Looniverse.
Dr Stomper rigs up some sensors to track the polynome via unstable
wordage, and Ultimate Ninja arranges for several parties of Legionnaires
to begin searching.  Drabble Girl is the one who finds it, and after she
and Dr Stomper fight it, it flees to the crater created by the arrival
of the KABLOOM tube.  Then bad things start to happen.

Superfreaks #18-21
'Revenge Reloaded'  ;  'I'll Never Forget What You Did Last Winter'  ;
'Legion Of Extreme Fans'  and  'Final Preparations'
A Superfreaks [Superfreaks] series
by Martin Phipps

     Issue 18 sees the return of Zon, along with an army of clones of
himself, seeking revenge against Extreme.  This in turn prompts a teamup
between Extreme, *his* clones, Extreme Force, and Scott Grey.  Best line
of the story: "That's the problem with relying on capes.  You're perfectly
safe until someone stronger comes along."  (Alas, it's also the rationale
behind the non-superhuman arms races.)
     Issue 19 has an investigation into teenagers receiving threats and
then being murdered, motivated by a hit-and-run that they perpetrated a
while ago.  Issue 20 has a murder committed at a fan club for Extreme,
motivated by the desire to raise the club's profile and complicated by
the fact that the victim has self-resurrection abilities ("do we charge
the[m] with murder or attempted murder?").
     Issue 20 has a series of murders and attempted murders being
committed not just by paranormal, but by outright mystical means as an
angel of death makes its presence known.  Fortunately the university
where it's happening /just happens/ to have a mystic master pledged to
protect the innocent working there and able to help.  Matters are brought
to a close as the long-running engagement of Mary and Edward subplot
culminates in their wedding.

Ten Word Masterpiece Theater #1-17
A Legion of Net.Heroes Y [LNHY] series
by Arthur Spitzer

     More constrained storytelling, starring the trio of Papervenus,
Scissorist and Rockpettingboy.  Scissorist is arrested for using
excessive violence against a mugger, but Rockpettingboy, as always, is
only interested the free beer.  Indeed, Rockpettingboy is lured to his
death in a trap set with free beer, prompting Scissor to commit suicide
out of unrequited love.
     The storyline actually works quite well when collected together and
read in one sitting.

Thunderclap #3
A Miscellaneous [Misc] series
by Rick Hindle

     Shoot, it didn't take Tommy long to blab, did it?  Anyway, after
trying to explain to his friends the sense of responsibility and
inheritance that drives him, Clay gets into a fight with Red Samurai, an
opponent of the previous Thunderclap out for revenge.  Thunderclap does
well enough at first, but carelessly allows himself to be distracted by
the coolness of being in a superpowered swordfight and gets wounded,
then has to be rescued by the timely arrival of the extraterrestrial
hero Ironwing.
     Unfortunately the wrap up of the fight doesn't go all that well.
He tries to project the same type of front that he's the original
Thunderclap to Ironwing as he did to the police, and only succeeds in
making a jerk of himself.  That said, I do wonder why Ironwing would
have gone up to Thunderclap while he was getting medical attention from
third parties and started talking about whether this was his first
combat related injury.  It's one thing for the police to figure out for
themselves that Clay isn't the original Thunderclap, it's quite another
for a fellow hero to ask about it in front of the paramedics without
checking whether you want to be known as the legacy holder rather than
the original.

Town Heroes #1
A Boring Publications [BP] story
by Tim Munn

     A Vocabulary Challenge story.  During the first two scenes I though
I had a grip on where this story was going, but then I realised that that
they and subsequent scenes weren't tying together.  This gave it a bit of
a surreal edge, although not to the extent that the hallucinations in the
first two episode of _A Journey_ were.  Oh, all right, the clown beside
the drunken pastor's hospital bed came close, but this is a Possible Man
story and I'm prepared to give it a lot of slack on sheer random weirdness.
     So instead I tried reading the story as though it were a series of
vignettes from an established series that I simply wasn't familiar enough
with (or perhaps a new series, since Tim started _Mail-Order Super-Heroes_
only last month, and both stories feature members of the Heroes Alliance),
kind of like Jesse Willey's habit of writing a story as a series of
subplots running in parallel.  This tactic worked somewhat better,
although the fact that we only occasionally got an explanation of who
these people were and what they were doing (perhaps a limitation of the
Vocab Challenge format) still made it rather frustrating.

Saxon Brenton   University of Technology, city library, Sydney Australia
     saxon.brenton at uts.edu.au
The Eyrie Archives of Russ Allbery which collect the online superhero
fiction of the rec.arts.comics.creative newsgroup can be found at:

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