REVIEW: End of Month Reviews #54 - June 2008 [spoilers]
saxonbrenton at hotmail.com
Thu Jul 3 22:46:46 PDT 2008
[REVIEW] End of Month Reviews #54 - June 2008 [spoilers]
58.5 #44 [LNH]
Academy of Super-Heroes #90 [ASH]
Chessmen: Foundations #1 [AC]
Guardian Sentai RoboMan #1-5 [PSP]
Jolt City # 14 [8Fold]
The Reverse Engineers #2 [ASH]
Extreme #1-3 [Superfreaks]
Anthology 2: Seraphim Wing [AC]
Legion of Net.Heroes Vol.2 #27 [LNH]
Mister Blister and Sister State-the-Obvious #1 [LNH]
Apropos of nothing to do with amateur fiction:
One of the people in one of my role-playing gaming groups recently
decided to record and podcast some of out sessions. The first
opportunity came a few weeks ago, when the rotating gamesmaster's
position moved on to the next person. Now, keeping in mind that this
group has been playing approximately fortnightly for just over ten years
and hasn't had a name, I was mildly bemused to discover that we are now
The Future Guys From The Past. Anyway. The 2 hour session from mid June
is up, in five parts, at: http://futureguysfromthepast.mypodcast.com/
So if you have a hankering to waste some time listening the gaming
antics of some Australian guys in their late 30s playing a Star Wars
adventure, recorded with bad sound that those who have mechanical
aptitude in these things swear they'll be able to fix next session...
well, this might be worth your attention.
'Only Waiting For This Moment To Arise'
A Legion of Net.Heroes [LNH] series
by Lalo Martins
The story starts with a brief vignette of Cannon Fodder continuing
his search across various worlds for the Xinerama Brothers. And maybe
he found them. Certainly he found something, since he returns at the
end to get assistance from the New Misfits.
However, in the meantime the bulk of the story is the concluding
half of the fight between the New Misfits and their Evilverse counter-
parts, Acla Fright - which is short but full of incident. After having
killed Blackbird as part of their infiltration efforts, the Acla
Frighters are surprised when Blackbird's powers recreate his body,
reveals himself as one of the family of Wicked (cf Ben Rawluk's _Teens
In Trenchcoats_ series) and proceeds to beat the crap out of them.
Regrettably for the villains: they are stupid. They make the mistake
of confusing the fact that the heroes don't kill their opponents with
the notion that they don't have the wherewithal to kill them, and thus
even when captured they cannot help but taunt the heroes. This sets off
Smoke Ring Girl, who kills them and herself with her powers.
Academy of Super-Heroes #90
'Kheper's Path Part II: Jaws of Apophis'
An Academy of Super-Heroes [ASH] series
by Dave Van Domelen
The investigation into the murder of Devlin Marx continues. Details
gathered by the police lead Contact to conclude that the person who
purchased the antimatter bombs was wearing armour of extraterrestrial
Santari make - and that narrows the leads to only a few people who have
access to technology that has been interdicted for sale on Earth. Along
the way Contact also has a chat with Doctor Developer, and then finally
gets the go-ahead to interview the Catholic Pope. The plot thread with
Kim Bell proceeds, as it's implied that the 'help' she is currently
receiving is at least partly a scheme by Marx.
Chessmen: Foundations #1
An Artifice Comics [AC] series
by Aaron Baugh
This is a fairly straightforward 'introduce the concept and
characters to the audience' episode. Industrialist Nicholas Castle has
put together a team of superhumans named the Chessmen and spends this
story selling them to a general as replacements for the Seven team. Now,
some of the origins and powers are fairly straightforward, even mundane
as far as four-colour heroes go, while others (such as that of Adam
Lazarus, the Bishop) are more idiosyncratic and interesting. I suspect
that it will be the personalities of the individuals that make or break
them as characters. However, for now it's enough that Castle is
presented as outgoing - even arrogant and abrasive - and with just a
hint at the conclusion that his self-confidence might cover something
underhanded. Is he another example of an 'evil corporate boss'? Or
does the fact that he himself is part of the team hint at a more
complicated motivation? We shall have to wait and see.
Guardian Sentai RoboMan #1-5
'Attack on Blizzard Base Zero' Component 01.1 ;
'Attack on Blizzard Base Zero' Component 01.2 ;
'Attack on Blizzard Base Zero' Component 01.3 ;
'Phase Three! Go Robo Vehicles!' Component 02.1 and
'Phase Three! Go Robo Vehicles!' Component 02.2
A PSP [PSP] series
by Adrian J. Watts
Okay, I'll admit that the visuals of the opening scene are
impressive. When I got to the end of the second paragraph I thought,
"How can you not love a setting that has people living in a giant
robot head buried under the snow in Antarctica?"
Anyway. Adrian Watts has posted (or had posted for him) an
Artifice Comics story to RACC before, but _Guardian Sentai RoboMan_
is a separate setting and imprint (although I have yet to figure
out what PSP actually stands for). Adrian's webpage at:
http://www.night-jaeger.net/ contains an eclectic collection of
amateur fiction and fanfiction, including several dozen episodes of
this series. As the name indicates, it's an adventure story
featuring the elements of sentai teams and transforming robots
(although not of piloting shapechanging mecha).
Kiko Sato is brought to the Blizzard Base Zero in Antarctica to
participate in the Project: Roboman being run by Dr Nagura and
Dr Smith. She meets these two, as well as Dr Nagura's son/ward Ian/Ikku,
and Sei - the latter two being trained in the powers granted by the
roboman costumes. However, she is also just in time for an attack on
Blizzard Base Zero organised by the Sorceress Miko and Jinsei (a shape-
shifter who has been masquerading as Dr Smith). The Sorceress Miko has
used her pixie related powers to take control of soldiers of the Black
Battalion (and the revelation of precisely how she tricked them into
being unwittingly covered with her pixie dust, under the cover of
plaster dust from a damaged wall, was impressive).
The compromised soldiers attack Blizzard Base Zero, giving Jinsei
the opportunity to use the pixies to kidnap Dr Nagura, as well as
prompting Kiko to don the third roboman costume and join with Sei and
Ian to ward off the assault. The three then take refuge at a Black
Battalion safe house to await debriefing on the disaster, but
unfortunately the administrators of Science Island (the supervisors of
both the Black Battalion and Blizzard Base Zero) have to sort out which
of their soldiers have been taken over first. The implusive Ian goes
off to find answers rather than continue to wait, and then gets attacked
by a humanoid turtle called Shellshock who was sent by Jinsei to kill him.
Jolt City # 14
'The Sensational Character-Find of 2007, Pt. 3: The Secrets of the Contessa!'
An Eightfold [8Fold] series
by Tom Russell
Well, that's a nasty surprise ending.
Derek's training with Martin continues, and Derek also develops a
friendship with Erika, an older woman Who just happens to be the Clockwork
Contessa and whose sexual obsession with the Green Knight incited her to
kidnap and rape him back in #8. She is seriously emotionally unbalanced,
and to be honest I can't tell whether she is sexually obsessed with the
Green Knight and feels genuine guilt for her obsession, or has a guilt-
and-punishment fetish with her harassment of the Green Knight as its focus
(her hysterical self-condemnation put me in mind of the 'naughty nun
sketch' from Monty Python And The Holy Grail, which I'm pretty sure will
loose me some cred as a reviewer).
Meanwhile there's a serial killer on the loose, and this plot thread
gets various scenes. Despite this I was faked out by the discussion
between Derek and Martin over the practicalities and obligations of Derek
telling his father, Moses, about his superhero training (That discussion
it looked like foreshadowing, something that was almost certainly
deliberate on Tom's part). In nay case, because of this near bit of bait-
and-switch I didn't anticipate that Moses Mason would be revealed in the
last line as one of those people who had been murdered.
The Reverse Engineers #2
An Academy of Super-Heroes [ASH] series
by Andy Burton
It seems that one of the ways that Dr Developer chose to protect
Detroit was to enlist the help of Spaz in erecting a magical barrier
around the city that made it 'functionally invisible': people simply
tend to ignore the place. As seen over in the _Academy Of Super-Heroes_
over the past two issues, this not only tends to affect people who are
immediately physically present, but also the national administration
which has apparently been made to 'forget' to rescind its contract
town status. The other method of defence is to have a team of
superhumans on hand to handle attacks, which is what happens in the
present when the Tinker Team somehow gets in and starts causing havoc.
A Superfreaks [Superfreaks] series
by Martin Phipps
This series picks up where _Superfreaks Season 3_ left off, with
Extreme having just returned from a sojourn in space. His team leader,
Waterlord, suggests getting his newborn son Tyk-El tagged with a tracking
device, which is just as well since the kid soon wanders off to China.
After being recovered Tyk-El is enrolled at Javier's in issue 2.
Meanwhile the clone rights agenda continues to bubble away.
Issue 2 is also interesting in that it shows Extreme, in his secret
identity, being slightly ethically underhanded in using his powers to
spy on the police for the purpose of gaining a news scoop. This
contrasts his ethical dilemmas in issue 3, when fanatics from the
'Extreme Is God' fan organization cause trouble, ranging from
suicide through to execution style murders.
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 and its sibling group
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