REVIEW: Superfreaks Season 2 # 7

Martin Phipps martinphipps2 at
Fri Sep 7 21:37:17 PDT 2007

On Sep 7, 12:41 pm, Tom Russell <milos_par... at> wrote:

> >   "I have the power to get very angry when faced with
> > evildoers," Mr. Angry said.
> >   "And?"
> >   "And what?"
> >   "And then what do you do?"
> >   "What do you mean?"
> >   "So you get angry when faced with evil doers.  What
> > good is that?"
> >   Mr. Angry got angry.  "Just what are you trying to
> > imply, hmm?  And what can you do when you are faced
> > with evil, hmm?"

This was a rip off of a similar scene in Mystery Men with Ben
Stiller's character Mr. Furius also talking to reporters.

> >   Another reporter spoke up.  "And what do you do?"
> >   "You want to know what my powers are."
> >   "Yes."
> >   "I'm Psychic.  That's why I am called 'Psychic
> > Girl'."
> >   "So you can read minds?"
> >   "Uh huh."
> >   "So what am I thinking?"
> >   "You're wondering if I can really read minds."
> >   The reporter nodded.  "She's good," he said to the
> > man next to him.

This is similar to a scene in The Animal where Rob Schneider's
character is explaining to reporters what he can do and a reporter
asks him what he (the reporter) has up his butt.  The difference, of
course, is that the joke in that case was that the reporter had a pen
up his butt whereas the joke here is that Psychic Girl isn't really
psychic and merely states obvious things.

>  I
> especially love Chesspawn's odd line, "I have the ability to come back
> from the death"; it's much more memorable and quirky than, say, "I
> come back from the dead".  

Well, obviously, the Legion of Extreme Fans is a rip off of the LNH
and Chesspawn is Cannon Fodder.  One of the recurring gags in the LNH
is to have characters refer to their character traits as "powers" so
Crossword Master would say "I have the ability to do crossword
puzzles" as opposed to "I do crossword puzzles" which sounds
considerably less special and useful.

> And, of course, there's this great pay-off:
> >   Three thugs were attacking a woman in an alley.
> > Chesspawn shooped down and introduced himself.
> >   "Beware evildoers!" he said.  "For I am chesspawn!"
> >   The three thugs weren't intimidated by him at all.
> > "So what can you do?" one of them asked.
> >   "Um... die?" Chesspawn said.
> >   The thugs laughed.
> >   "You got that right!"

Being a fan of comic book cliche's, I actually thought the pay off was
when Chesspawn identified the thugs who then said "But you're dead! We
killed you!" which, of course, the police accepted as a confession.

> While the plot Martin used for his "crossover" event story was pretty
> much a by-rote adaption of the Secret Wars, I _did_ enjoy the way it
> paid off in this scene:
> >   Scott walked up to Mary.
> >   "Mary?"
> >   "Yes, Scott?"
> >   "I just wanted you to know that it wasn't my
> > intention to skip bail."
> >   Mary smiled.  "That's okay.  We figured you'd been
> > kidnapped by the Beyonitor like everybody else."
> It was a very nice extrapolation of the "heroes kidnapped by cosmic
> being" trope.

The beauty of having different plotlines going on at the same time is
that I didn't actually have to show his bail hearing or show him
disappear and yet the reader shouldn't miss these scenes because the
fact that he was granted bail and was subsequently kidnapped are
recapped here.

> >   "Anyway," Mary said, "the hearing is tomorrow
> > afternoon.  Please try not to get kidnapped by any
> > more omnipotent entities before then.  Okay?"
> And that was a very cute line.  It's also nice to see the law
> enforcement be understanding and accomodating.

In #6, Mary was angry because her friend got fired from her job at the
bank.  I figure there must be something likable about Scott because
people don't stay angry at him.

> Which brings me to something that kinda stuck out a bit:
> >   Alan Russell smiled as well.  He was very happy for
> > them so, just this once, he didn't mind losing a case.
> Now, this moment in and of itself is a little interesting, and
> inherently so: a prosecutor doesn't mind losing his case?  Especially
> one who's been as determined as Alan Russell; remember the trial of
> Extreme during the very first Superfreaks story arc?  (I remember that
> one particularly vividly, because deaths don't get much more, well,
> Extreme than being killed by super-sperm.  It was a nice extrapolation
> of the archetype and his powers.)  That was an accident; this crime
> was deliberate.
> Of course, that resulted in a death, while Scott's crime was a simple
> bank robbery.  That certainly factors into things.  And Scott was
> pretty short on money, what with a wife and kid...
> So I understand him being sympathetic.  But it comes across as too
> much of a surprise for me.  It's not some glaringly obvious flaw or
> anything, but with a little more set-up-- perhaps a scene prior to
> where Alan agonizes a bit over the case and about the moral dillemias
> inherent in his empathy-- that would be interesting.
> Of course, what's really interesting is that Alan didn't actually
> "lose" the case; the sentencing was only suspended.  It's possible
> that since we did not see the trial, that Scott had plead guilty to
> the crime, in which case even Alan still would have won, and could
> recommend a shorter sentence, or even time served.

He didn't really have to plead guilty as he had already confessed to
the crime.  Thus all that remained was the sentencing.  As DA, Alan
was obliged to ask for the maximum sentence and the defense was
obliged to ask for mercy so Alan did, in effect, lose.

Nevertheless, I suppose in retrospect "he was very happy for them" is
a bit much and "he was very sympathetic with their situation" would
have been a better phrase to use.

> One thing that _was_ odd about the last issue was this exchange:
> >   "I'm sorry," Scott said sincerely.  "Maybe I can go
> > speak to the bank manager and explain what I did."
> >   "You can do that," Mary said, "but you're still
> > going to jail."
> Because if Scott did talk to the bank manager and returned the money,
> the bank manager could choose to not press charges.  (Recall that this
> is the Commercial Bank of Pepperton and _not_ a Federal or National
> Bank.)  I'm not saying that the bank manager would necessarily choose
> to have the charges dropped.  But since, in my experience, Commercial
> Banks are private businesses, the manager/owner has the same right as
> any store owner or citizen to choose to drop a charge against
> someone.  Even a rape victim can choose to drop a charge; murder is
> the only crime I'm aware of in which the victim cannot choose to not
> press charges, for obvious reasons.  But Mary makes it sound like even
> if the manager was amenable, Scott would still be going to jail.
> Weird.

You forgot the context: Mary was upset over her friend getting fired
and Scott was offering to talk to the bank manager on her behalf.

Secondly, while commercial banks are private businesses, I imagine the
local bank managers are answerable to the CEO and wouldn't have the
authority to say all was forgiven.


More information about the racc mailing list