REVIEW: End of Month Reviews #77 - May 2010 [spoilers]

Arthur Spitzer arspitzer at
Sun Jul 18 15:35:21 PDT 2010

Saxon Brenton wrote:

> Beige Midnight #6
> 'The Ice Caverns Of Existence'Â  (The Bart Age)
> A Legion of Net.Heroes [LNH] miniseries
> by Arthur Spitzer
> Â Â Â Â  
> Â Â Â Â  I was originally planning on skipping over commentary on this 
> mini... (checks back through archives of past EoMR) *again* but I came 
> across some characterisation in it that I absolutely adored.
>      Now, Arthur is quite good at depicting existential angst.  And 
> at this point in the story the existential angst is particularly 
> appropriate, considering the beige effect being created as part of the 
> ominous buildup to the awakening of the Bryttle Brothers.  Nevertheless, 
> when I got to the part where Contraption Man sat down and had a talk with 
> Ripping Dancer, it sent tingles up my spine with the depiction of someone 
> who was (still) all messed up inside as a result of going through Retcon 
> Hour the first time, but wasn't incapacitated by it.  Instead Contraption 
> Man was using it as a negative motivation - something to steer away from.  
> It was such a simple thing, but in the light of Contraption Man's past 
> history and the way most other characters are currently falling victim 
> to the apathetic depair of the beige effect, it was a lovely thing to see.

Glad you liked that...

>      While we're here, let's summarise the plot.  Previously the Legion 
> had defeated Hex Luthor's plans to both use thousands of newbie net.heroes 
> as cannon fodder against the Bryttle Brothers while also manoeuvring 
> to take over the world.  They exposed his plans and deposing him as 
> president.  Now the LNH have split into groups (again) in order to 
> defeat Bart, the Dark Receptionist and herald to the Bryttle Brothers, 
> in less collateral damage intensive ways.  One group has gone to the 
> planet Qwerty, where Bart has been arranging an elaborate trap.  
> Meanwhile another group - with the semi-coerced Hex Luthor in tow - has 
> travelled into the past (to Retcon Hour, in 1994) to pre-emptively mess 
> with Bart and instil a weakness in him that the Legion can use at a 
> later date.
> Â Â Â Â  Among all of this Hex and the Legion continue jockeying for the 
> upper hand as they set up doublecrosses and counter-doublecrosses for 
> each other.  Thematically this is appropriate, since no matter what 
> previous versions of Hex Luthor may or may not have been like, the 
> current iteration is a Man With A Plan.  That said, at a very late 
> stage of preparing this review it occurred to me that Occultism Kid 
> was probably not the best person for Hex to give his little speech 
> about how the naive net.heroes should trying living in the real world.  
> As a master of mysticism Occultism Kid should have a better grasp than 
> most people that personal point of view is paramount in dealing with 
> reality, and should not have been rattled by Hex's opinion.  From 
> Occultism Kid's standpoint Hex's ruthlessly pragmatic/cynical stand is 
> still just another variation on a hopelessly materialist take on reality.  
> This in no way affects Hex's later actions in neutralising Occultism 
> Kid's magic: that was an eminently sensible tactical move.  But in the 
> initial verbal sparring match Occultism Kid should have rolled his eyes 
> in quiet amusement at how limited Hex's viewpoint was, or perhaps 
> matched Hex with his own take on the matter and used it to deliberately 
> break his mind.
> Â Â Â Â  And running off on a semi-tangent there were many amusing scenes, 
> ranging from the appearance of the ever-reactionary Legion of Net.Hippies 
> ("Why did it have to be Hippies?") to Kid Recap facing down Ultimate 
> Ninja.  The best bit was the extended sequence where Occultism Kid gives 
> up (for perfectly logical reasons) his protection against being retconned 
> and ends up as a cynical Net.Trenchcoat Brigade style magician.  I sit 
> here wondering whether the points I made where something that Arthur 
> considered, and then rejected because a disquieted reaction from 
> Occultism Kid to Hex's speech made for better foreshadowing.

No, that part with Hex and OK needed a lot more work...
Just call it a casualty of writer's exhaustion....

Thanks for the review Saxon...

Arthur "see if this actually posts" Spitzer

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