Superfreaks/ACRA: Superfreaks Season 3 #1

Tom Russell milos_parker at
Wed Oct 3 21:58:43 PDT 2007

The illustrious Dr. Phipps wrote:

>   "Hey, what's a beautiful nubian lady like yourself
> doing in a place like this?"
>   "Not much."
>   "Heh.  Is that your natural skin colour or do you
> just tan really well?"
>   "It's all me."
>   "I see.  So every part of you is the same colour?"
>   "That's right."
>   "Even your naughty bits?"
>   The lady took a sip of her drink.
>   "I bet they taste like chocolate."
>   She sighed.
>   "They say the darker the fruit the sweeter the
> juice.  So what does your juice taste like?"
>   "Wouldn't you like to know!"
>   "I would!  You see, years ago I went black and never
> went back.  Nor do I ever want to."
>   "That's your choice."
>   "Choice?  Hell, no, it's an obsession!  So, what do
> you say?  Care for a little cream in your coffee?"
>   "What's the plan?"
>   "The plan?  The plan is for you to come with me and
> the two of us find a hotel that rents rooms by the
> hour."
>   "Fair enough."


By the end of that scene, *I* wanted to kill the guy. :-)

>   "It's not that," Lana told him.  "We get some
> unsavory people coming through here and it's not as if
> they come here on their own free will.  You might as
> well put him in a T-shirt that says 'Take me
> hostage!'"

Nice extrapolation; it's nice to see characters using common sense in
a superhero universe.

>   "Your mitochondrial DNA is not a match to your
> mother which means that it wsn't her egg that you grew
> from."
>   "There must be some mistake!"
>   "There's no mistake.  I can confirm that your mother
> is your mother: she provided half of your chromosomes.
>  But she didn't provide your mitochondrial DNA and
> that is only possible if you are a clone!"

Nice detail with the mitochondrial DNA.  It's these kind of details
that I was talking about in previous reviews-- factoids and
extrapolations that make me feel smarter for having read it.

Now, if you'll refresh my memory-- are these clones actually incubated
in someone else's womb, or are they being raised in some kind of
stasis tube or something?  I seem to recall them being prematurely
aged, which would imply the latter; does that mean then that there is
no mitochondrial DNA?

I'm a bit shaky on genetics, but not shaky enough to marvel at the new
humming sheep they've engineered in Liverpool.  They're called the

[insert rimshot here]

>   "Check the other results!"
>   Edward shrugged his shoulders.  "Okay."  he checked
> the results for sample B.  "Whoa!"

I'd like to think Edward would have checked both samples before
announcing the results one way or the other, regardless of whether or
not the Human Spiders were all up in his face.  But I also know that
this lapse allows for the dramatic "zinger" revelation that ends the

>   "It happened when I was working at Goodhead
> Corporation," Human Spider A told them.
>   "Goodhead Corporation?!" Edward asked.
>   "You were working for Edward Alexander Goodhead?"

That reminds me of Boopsie Goodhead.

There's no joke or story or anything to go along with that-- it just
reminds me of Boopsie Goodhead. :-)

>   "He means that they might not have gotten Kenneth
> Kendal's permission to clone him," Edward explained.
>   "Exactly!" Michael said.  "And now that we can prove
> that you are clones then the onus is on Goodhead
> Corporation to show that they had permission."
>   "You need permission to clone somebody?" Human
> Spider B asked.
>   "Of course!" Michael said.  "That was the first law
> drawn up when the cloning process was perfected: it
> was illegal to clone somebody without their
> permission."
>   "Even if you take genetic material from a clone and
> use that to make another clone, you still need the
> permission of the original donor," Edward explained.
>   "Indeed," Michael said.  "That's why legal precedent
> had stripped away any rights from clones to exstablish
> individual identities: clones were considered the
> property of the original donor."
>   "Like your hand or your foot," Edward explained.
>   "And, of course, this never seemed a problem at the
> time because clones were made to be about as
> intelligent as a well trained dog."

I like the way you worked the exposition in here, Martin-- it didn't
interrupt the flow, it felt natural (as the two clones would probably
not know much about the legality of cloning), and it imparted very
important information.

>   "Who was patient zero?" Michael asked.
>   "Kurt Rasputin.  He died a few days ago.  The
> funeral is this afternoon."


>   "Doctor, what's wrong with Nathan?" Scott asked.
> "Is he going to be alright?"
>   Javier sighed deeply.  "Your son has Rasputin
> Syndrome.  There's nothing I can do to save him."

Now, I know I've given you flack for the way you name characters
before, and I'm almost certain that you grabbed the last name Rasputin
because of a certain Marvel mutant who was felled by a certain mutant-
only virus, but-- c'mon.  Naming a fatal disease after a man who was
nearly impossible to kill is either (1) odd or (2) ironic.

Either way, you should claim it's # 2. ;-)

Also, the name seems to be a sort of a misnomer anyway, because if
they know what it does-- kills mutants-- and how it works-- by feeding
off of their powers--  wouldn't that make it a disease and not a

A syndrome, as far as I understand it, is a group of symptoms that
often overlap or occur concurrently.  The symptoms of AIDS are caused
by the disease of HIV-- AIDS itself is not the disease, but rather the
results of it.

In some cases, they don't know _what_ causes a particular syndrome.
They still don't know what causes Autism, and so it (and Asperger's)
are considered syndromes and not diseases.

So, wouldn't the mutants be suffering from Rasputin Disease or Virus
and _not_ Rasputin Syndrome?

Though of course some diseases _are_ called syndromes anyway... but I
think a  mind as acute as Javier's would be fairly precise in
assigning a name to the disease.


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