REVIEW: End of Month Reviews #78 - June 2010 [spoilers]

Andrew Perron pwerdna at
Sun Aug 1 14:26:37 PDT 2010

On Sun, 1 Aug 2010 00:04:21 +0000 (UTC), Saxon Brenton wrote:

>      Anyway, I'm mildly interested in seeing how the depiction of the 
> Multiversal Office is handled in the ASH setting.  My reason?  Well, the 
> Multiversal Office first appeared in the initial Net.Trenchcoat Brigade 
> story/chaotic add-on cascade _Wrath of the Administrator_ back in the 
> early 1990s and later got used by Dvandom in the 'Bad Forms' arc for his 
> old Legion of Net.Heroes series _Constellation_ and crossovers.  

And their appearance in ASH, usually so isolated from other fiction
universes, was a welcome surprise! (Both the isolation and the appearance
make sense, mind you, due to how the Barrier works and how the Office

> I mention this because I think there's a subtle difference between its two 
> depictions - which I suspect I only really notice now because I recently 
> reread parts of _Wrath of the Administrator_ when I was researching the 
> character of Doubt, the Eight Endless for the 5th High Concept Challenge 
> back in December 2009.  The NTB story, being faux-Vertigo style, 
> combined the surreal with the Kafka-esque.  The LNH story, being 
> superhero parody, took the surreal and pumped a lot of it up to become 
> silliness and could not help but tone down some of the Kafka-esque 
> elements.  Quite apart from the whole 'superheroes simply fight their 
> way through any obstacle' inherent within the genre, the way that Acton 
> Lord was able to (quite brilliantly, actually) outthink the Office's 
> drain on his life force defies the type of existential helplessness that 
> unaccountable bureaucracy should create.

Which is (one reason) why I love superheroes: they fight helplessness,
apathy, and the deprecation of the individual.

>      Now, at the risk of pointing out the bleeding obvious, _Academy of 
> Super-Heroes_ doesn't quite share the genre styles of either the Trench-
> coaters or the Legion.  It's more of a science fiction/four colour 
> superhero hybrid.  What will that mean for the way the Multiversal 
> office  manifests in the mainstream ASH universe?  We shall have to wait 
> and see.

I figure it'll be more about the mechanics behind the Office than either of
the previous two was; more so than NTB because it'd decrease the horror,
and more so than LNH because it'd get in the way of drama and
puncheminnaface. (LNH had more than NTB, tho, because puzzle-solutions are
so intrinsic to superheroes; the Easily-Discovered Man part of the
crossover is probably the best example.)

> The Gong Fu Kid 
> A High Concept Challenge [Contest] posting
> by Martin Phipps


> Fortunately the first _The Karate Kid_ movie has such a high profile 
> pop-culture presence that I can recognise its general plot structure 
> even though I've never seen it or its sequel.

Actually, this was based on the recent remake!

> Jolt City #19
> 'The Little League of Doom!'
> An Eightfold [8Fold] series
> by Tom Russell


>      Other impressions:  Poor Blue Boxer is still smarting from the 
> public reaction to his fight with the telegraph pole, huh?  Well, his 
> success in solving the problem of the Little Leaguers should help soothe 
> his ego a bit - but I suspect that'll just set him up for his next fall.  

I don't think we'll be jumping right into hubris quite yet.  It looks like
Derek's going to be the main action hero from now on - which means he'll
have a whole new set of problems on his shoulders.

> Sad things is, the Boxer is a bit of the cocky side, coming up with good 
> ideas but not necessarily thinking them through.  The engineering of the 
> pizo electric boots are a case in point.  So I would hazard that the 
> Boxer needs to learn from his setbacks, rather than merely move past them. 

He seems to have some ability in that area - more than Martin does,

>      And then there's Dr Tarif.  WTF!?  Does she read comics as well?  
> Or does she just read *everything* and retain it all with near-eidetic 
> memory?

Dr. Tarif <3

> So, is it possible that it can be proclaimed: "Tom Russell! 
> J'Accuse!  For all your claims of hating anti-superhero stories, you have 
> become what you hate, and stand guilty of *gratuitous grim'n'gritty*!"  
> Eh, maybe, maybe not.  The final 'the dead are dead, let them rest in 
> peace' statement provides a more realistic balance than any revelation of 
> a post-mortem vindication, but the fact remains that the scene is still 
> written to evoke emotion and the inherent unpleasantness of the emotion 
> may contribute.

Yeah; it's grim, yes, and an argument could maybe be made for gritty, but
it's definitely not gratuitous.

> Yeah, it's the 'show, don't tell' adage.  
> Possibly this is a bit unfair a comparison in this instance, since the 
> Fish summary is telling of things happening in the future, and at the end 
> of an already lengthy story really does need to be a short and sweet.  
> You can't really construct an epilogue showing something like an innocent 
> man rotting in gaol for several decades.

Mmmmm.  After thinking about it, I realized that part of my problem with it
is that I simply don't like "this is what the future is going to be"

> SW10: What About Judy And Me?
> A Superhuman World [SW10] story
> by Scott Eiler


>       At times like this I really regret the presentation of Wyatt's 
> reports in blog entry style.  I get the feeling that they're able to 
> handle reports of straight facts, but that they're less amenable for 
> explaining feelings and motivations.  Even if they're his own.  
> Especially if they're his own.

I'd like to see this story from the opposite point of view!

Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, or another, anyway.

More information about the racc mailing list