[Reviews] Re: End of Month Reviews #45 - September 2007 [spoilers]

Martin Phipps martinphipps2 at yahoo.com
Mon Nov 12 05:38:23 PST 2007

On Nov 12, 3:32 pm, Tom Russell <milos_par... at yahoo.com> wrote:
> On Nov 12, 12:23 am, Martin Phipps <martinphip... at yahoo.com> wrote:
> > > Well, a character doesn't have to be likeable to be interesting.  TAXI
> > > DRIVER unfolds solely from the point of view of Travis Bickle-- but
> > > I'd hardly call him likeable.
> > Maybe not but it is the movie that gave us the famous Robert Deniro
> > line "Are you talking to me?", isn't it?  There must have been
> > something about the character that people liked. :)
> Um... the fact that he's a bloodthirsty psychopath who hates women and
> blacks and is obsessed with pornography?  Yeah, I guess one could call
> that likeable. :-)
> The thing isn't that he's likeable at all-- but that he's compelling
> and interesting.  Part of that is achieved by getting us into his
> head, and seeing what parts of us are reflected in the dark abyss of
> his soul.
> > > I think that singleness of focus is a positive in Law and Order, which
> > > I still think is the greatest television show ever made.
> > And yet the show on the other channel that had investigators juggling
> > up to three cases at a time got better ratings. :)
> And JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA as written by Meltzer was DC's top-
> selling book.  That doesn't mean it's good, though.
> > > Well, the old Batman TV series was a comedy, and so I'd cut it a bit
> > > more lee-way. :-)
> > True.  I think the comics were pretty much the same at the time
> > though.
> Well, in the comics, if I'm not mistaken, Batman and Robin _were_
> deputized as police officers.  Generally, though, they were only
> called in on cases that pointed to the Joker, the Riddler, et al.
> > Maybe I missed it but I also would have expected a lawyer (or even a
> > judge) at some point in #'s 10-11 to have argued that nobody could go
> > to trial, let alone jail, when there isn't even enough evidence to
> > prove that the victim is dead, let alone murdered.  Granted, I have
> > the same objection with regards to Prison Break.
> But Martin isn't sent to jail on those charges; he's sent on the
> Supervillain Charge, which is a result of his possession of a Vibra-
> Jacket.

Except that he actually had been in possession of a vibra jacket.
Guilty.  But Roy Riddle could have been asked to testify at his bail
hearing that he had found it in the snow and given it to him to give
to the police.  He could have said (truthfully) that Martin had
already met Danielle and that he knew (truthfully) that she was
somebody they could trust.  Hence no SV charge.

Of course, the story _demanded_ that Martin go to jail so he could
break out of jail, find Dani and Fay and clear his name.  It's just a
question of whether the reader is willing to buy the contrivance of
Martin going to jail on a misdemeaner charge of "possession of illegal

> And he only goes to jail because he's remanded to custody.
> He's not sentenced to prison, but rather being held there because he
> was considered too dangerous to be on the streets; the ADA uses the
> "murder" investigations and Martin's own rotten reputation against him
> to get the judge to agree to remand him instead of granting bail.  He
> does not go to trial, and probably wouldn't have done so for several
> months, as is generally the case with the U. S. justice system.

Maybe.  But it is also a right for a defendent to be provided with a
lawyer: a defendent cannot even be questioned until he is provided
with a lawyer and until then he is remanded at the police station, not
in prison.  Unless Martin waived the right to counsel he should have
had a lawyer defending him at his bail hearing.  The only possible
reason he would have waived cousel would be because he didn't want a
lawyer asking him difficult questions that could compromise his Green
Knight identity.  Well, tough.  Did he really think it would be a good
idea for him to degend himself at the bail hearing, let alone at
trial?  I see Pam actually went to the trouble of finding a lawyer for
him (and sure enough Martin was worried about Pam telling him his


> >He
> > also said that they don't lie which is why he had to keep his word to
> > Snapp.
> > Which reminds me: if the DA was in Snapp's pocket then why did Snapp
> > tell the Green Knight to stop Derek from testifying?
> So he could have something over the Green Knight.  It's a power play.
> He's also testing to see if the Green Knight will keep his word, in
> case he can exploit that at a latter date.

It does get Martin off the hook I suppose if the ADA was never going
to have Derek testify.  I mean, Martin supposedly goes to see Fisk (as
the Green Knight) and says "Don't make Derek testify!" and Fisk says
"Okay!" but Fisk wasn't going to have him testify anyway but now
everybody blames the GK.  I suppose it could have been argued that
Martin saved Derek's life (again) as there's no way that Derek would
have gotten adequate witness protection with such a high placed
information inthe DAs office.

> >And that's not a good thing.  Take for example the
> > secret identity thing: we found out in #11 that he had a valid reason
> > to keep his Mask with No Name idenity secret: as the Mask with No Name
> > he had killed people.  Thing is, that is not a very honourable reason
> > to want to keep your identity secret.
> That's not the only reason, though.  Part of it is out of habit, sure;
> part of it is to try and keep Ray's secret,

Where did that come from?  At the end of Green Knight #3, Martin was
asking Ray why he didn't make a mask statement as he got older:

  Martin turns down the volume.  "You given it any
   "You mean a Mask Statement?  No."
   "Why not?"
   "It's my secret.  It's all I have."  The answer is
too candid, and so he back-tracks: "And besides,
there's Anders to think about.  I don't want anyone
coming after him."
   "That's baloney," says Martin.  "No self-respecting
supervillain attacks a hero's family after the hero's
released a Mask Statement.  The whole point of it is
to come clean and announce that you're out of the
running.  Out of the game, as it were."
   "That was fine and dandy before," Ray says.  "B.
But.  Times have changed.  You don't get the same kind
of people that you did before.  Bunch of punks now."
   "I think Anders can take care of himself anyway.
He's got the money."
   "It gives them an edge.  You got to play the game
fair, but you never, never give them an edge.  Though.
 Like I said.  P.  Punks these days.  Even playing
fair gives them an edge."
   "Times have changed," Martin agrees.  "But you
still have to have some faith in people."
   Ray doesn't answer.
   "Look at it this way," Martin says.  "When you're
gone, if you take your secret to the grave, then no
one will ever know who you were, what you did, what
you stood for.  We had some great adventures, didn't
we?  Wouldn't it be a pity if they"-- here he sweeps
his hand out to indicate the television, the city,
perhaps the world itself-- "never found out the truth
about it?"
   "You know the truth."
   "That's enough, then," says Ray.
   "What about Anders?"
   "I'll tell him, sure.  When the time's right.  But
I'll do it.  You're not going to tell him."

The subject never came up again.  (The next issue was devoted to a
flashback, then Anders took a pee, then there were so more flashbacks
and then Ray died. :))  It seemed to me at the end of Green Knight #7
that Martin's reasons for not wanting his own identity revealed had
more to do with his Mask with No Name days than anything else:

  "When the time comes, Mr. Rock, you will renounce
my father's will and any claim to his property or
   Martin burst out laughing.  "What?"
   "I'm not joking.  You will do this, or else."
   "Or else what?"
   "I will tell every mob boss in Jolt City who wears
the mask without a name."
   Martin's face drains white.

This didn't make a lot of sense to me at the time.  Now, mind you, we
had been told earlier in Green Knight #6 that the Mask with No Name
had killed four people in Jolt City but presumably he had killed "only
when it was necessary" which to me suggests self-defense.  There was
no indication that the Mask with No Name was going around on a
Punisher style rampage, Martin's own feelings of guilt
notwithstanding.  So his admission in Jolt City #11 came as a complete
surprise to me.

Now, granted, I haven't read your Green Knight / Jolt City stuff as
carefully as I probably should have to warrant criticising: I read
Green Knight #'s 1-3, 5 and 7 and Jolt City #'s 1-9 all the way
through but I did skim over parts of GK 4 and 6, JC 10-11 and the
Annual.  That's not a bad sampling though I must say.

Anyway, the next time Martin's accused of murder there had better be a
frickin' body. :)


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