REVIEW: End of Month Reviews #58 - October 2008 [spoilers]

Saxon Brenton saxonbrenton at
Tue Nov 18 14:14:46 PST 2008

[REVIEW] End of Month Reviews #58 - October 2008 [spoilers]
     Academy of Super-Heroes #93  [ASH]   
     Guardian Sentai RoboMan #16-17  [PSP]
     Post Modern #2  [AC]
Also posted:
     Ars Magna #6  [AC]
     Considering that there's so little being posted to RACC just at the 
moment you'd think I'd have even less excuse to procrastinate  in 
producing this, wouldn't you?  Feh.  Let's just get this over with so 
that I can get back to some other writing projects that I'm juggling. 
     Meanwhile, minor correction of a typo.  The episode title of _Silver 
Age Superfreaks #6_ given last EoMR should have been 'Midnight' rather 
than the hideously misspelt 'Mightnight' that was given. 
     Spoilers below:
Academy of Super-Heroes #93
'Billions Served Part 1 - Roll the Bones'
An Academy of Super-Heroes [ASH] series
by Dave Van Domelen
     Start of a new story arc, and so there are a number of things 
happening -- but not all of them are necessarily related to what the main 
thrust of the arc will be.  The final scene with Sam Walters recruiting 
Hector McGee to lead Freedom Alliance as the new Brightsword smells like it 
will be part of it.  However there's also carry over from the past arc, 
and knowing Dvandom's approach to world building there may even be the 
equivalent of whatever passes for slice-of-life stories among the metahuman 
    The formation of the Hero Alliance as an ideological counterpoint 
to the Academy for control of the Combine's political soul is an interesting 
angle.  Years ago Peter David  pointed out that part of what makes a truly 
great villain is that they get away with it.  Now, goodness knows that there 
are enough of those in the ASH setting.  However, this group seems to have 
the makings of a rival who the Academy won't even be able to beat up and 
then grumble about how they can't pursue because of political considerations. 
(Or maybe not.  It depends on how Walter's plan unfolds, really.) 
     That said, the Freedom Alliance simply aren't going to be able to get 
away with *just* being a posterboy (postergroup?) ideological alternative 
to the Academy of Super-Heroes -- and I don't say that merely because this 
is set in a superhero genre setting and you just know that there will be 
fight scenes in the offering.  Since they are being formed on an assumption 
of a genuine but varying interpretation of patriotism and nationalism 
(rather than, say, an early _Thunderbolts_ style fraud), then they'll 
probably be fighting the same types of menaces that the Academy fights. 
Actually, if they're trying to spearhead a Manifest Destiny ideology they'll 
more-or-less have to fight the same menaces that the Academy does, simply so 
they can avoid looking like second stringers and thereby propagandise the 
superiority of their political position.  So the question inevitably arises: 
will the Freedom Alliance have the wherewithall to fight and survive against 
the likes of the Conclave of Super-Villains or the Impossible Five -- or 
will they get squished?
     Moreover, will they go looking for trouble to advertise themselves, 
thereby disrupting any number of thorny political situations that so far 
the Academy has been able to keep under control on by dint of delicate 
handling.  Oooh, there are so many ways that the mere presence of the Freedom 
Alliance can make things go wrong.
Guardian Sentai RoboMan #16-17
'On Guard'  Component 06.1 and 06.2
A [PSP] series
by Adrian J. Watts
     Plotwise, it's been two weeks since the attack on Blizzard Base Zero 
by the Black Battalion (who had been magically subverted by the Sorceress 
Miko).  In that time the Robomen have set up base in New Orleans and are 
hanging out at the 'Hey, Pizza!' restaurant; the Black Battalion have been 
disbanded and the Earth Defence/Leadership Directorate seems to have lost 
a lot of political influence; and Dr Nagura has been rejuvenated and turned 
evil by the Sorceress Miko and Jinsei, and the three of them have Doctor 
Brachis.  Meanwhile, in these two episodes the Robomen take it upon 
themselves to guard a shipment of EDD artefacts in London from being stolen 
by the Sorceress Miko and her allies or minions.  Naturally enough the have 
to fight off an attempted theft.
     At this point the dynamic of this series seems to have reached a 
plateau of stability.  What is less clear is how long this particular 
dynamic's stability will last.  Will it be more or less permanent, with the 
team of Robomen continuing to hang out in New Orleans?  Or will it simply 
be the lull before the storm of whatever the now-evil Dr Nagura plans to 
unleash in order to fulfil his stated aims of destroying both the Robomen 
and world?
     I'm not completely sure.  There are all sorts of plot elements that 
could indicate further shifts.  Certainly now that Dr Brachis has regained 
consciousness from her coma it seems likely that Dr Nagura will have more 
free time to put his plans in motion.  The discovery by Jinsei that he can 
create more of the rare and sought-after raido energy shards by killing 
Miko's pixies just screams of future antagonism and betrayal between the 
two, as well as a potential energy source that the Robomen could use to 
expand their range of operations.  Moreover, overall the disbanding of the 
Black Battalion and the loss of influence of the EDD have all the makings 
of a  'the situation has fallen apart, now its time to rebuild' story arc. 
     That said, I could just be grasping at any plot element that happens 
along.  I honestly would not have expected the Robomen to have gone to 
ground for two weeks at a pizza restaurant while they knew that Miko and 
Jinsei were still on the loose, even if they were critically short of 
energy shards.  So I doubt if I have much hope of predicting even the 
general direction -- let alone the specific plot points -- of this series. 
Expect the unexpected.
Post Modern #2
An Artifice Comics [AC] series
by Jason S. Kenney
     The episode has extensive overlap with last issue, this time seen from 
the viewpoint of the character of Eldricth.  She was one of the metahumans 
kidnapped and experimented on by Richmond, and who were freed as a result 
of the raid by Johann Weisz and Cassandra Trellis.  Eldritch is deported 
to the United States, with the strong implication of being assigned to 
superhuman operations.  As ever for a series that is laying the groundwork 
for the later status quo, we'll have to wait and see what sort of operations 
those are.
Saxon Brenton   University of Technology, city library, Sydney Australia
     saxon.brenton at
The Eyrie Archives of Russ Allbery which collect the online superhero 
fiction of the rec.arts.comics.creative newsgroup and its sibling group 
Superguy can be found at:       or   or
Take a summer road trip with Windows Live Hotmail. Multiple prizes and the ultimate dream beach house!

More information about the racc mailing list