REVIEW: End of Month Reviews #82 - October 2010 [spoilers]

Andrew Perron pwerdna at
Tue Nov 30 21:24:38 PST 2010

On Wed, 1 Dec 2010 01:06:45 +0000 (UTC), Saxon Brenton wrote:

> Academy of Super-Heroes #109
> 'TGIF'    [The Office Part 3]
> An Academy of Super-Heroes [ASH] series
> by Dave Van Domelen


>      Looking at the above summary, it might be thought that the depiction 
> of the Office is a little bland.  Well, maybe.  Frankly, if you want 
> non-stop superhero action then _Academy of Super-Heroes_ is probably not 
> your cup of tea anyway.  However in this case the dramatic tension of the 
> story came from trying to carefully work out an alien and potentially 
> dangerous environment before the characters' own ignorance caused them to 
> make a fatal mistake - arguably the one point of fundamental similarity 
> that a hypothetical SF story might have with a hypothetical horror story. 

This is basically how I feel about ASH in general.  There's action, sure,
and characterization, definitely, but they come in second to the *ideas*.

> Godling #17
> 'Trapped!'
> A Miscellaneous [Misc] series
> by Jochem Vandersteen

I will comment more on Godling... soon.

> Just Imagine Saxon Brenton vs. Andrew Perron in the Return of the RACCies! #9
> 'All You Need To Understand Is..'
> A Legion of Net.Heroes [LNH] and RACCies cascade   {high concept 13}
> by Andrew Perron


>      This story was written to take advantage of the theme for High 
> Concept Challenge 13, 'a legacy reclaimed'.   It's a pretty obvious 
> candidate for tying into that HCC, since the cascade so far has been 
> making heavy use of multiple versions of Manga Man and the generational 
> debt owed by the Power Manga to at least one version of the previous 
> Manga Men.  

Indeed. Note that I was going to write *some* version of this story; the
challenge just provided the perfect impetus.

> In this episode one of the subteams confronts Manga Man Gold 
> and learns his origin: he is the (currently) chronologically first but 
> narratively not the original Golden Age Manga Man.  (Clever use of a pun 
> as foreshadowing there, by the way.)

Heeheehee, thanks. I thought it might feel clunky.

>      I enjoyed this story on a number of levels.  There the notion of 
> creating an archetypal culture based entity by merging a man with 
> several iconic spirits, as well as the lyricism with which Manga Man Gold 
> related his story, interspersed with bits of self-depreciation (needing a 
> spreadsheet to keep track of the complications) 

I originally intended Manga Man to be more sarcastic, but his most painful
barbs came out pointed inward.

> or outright silliness 
> (Blasferatu's power to Hide In Shadows While Wearing Loud Clothing).  

Since Gold's tale was pretty serious, I put in Pure Silly wherever I could.

> And, okay, yes, all the throwaway details of 'LNH fanwank'.

I dug up as many pre-existing characters (who would fit the situation) as I
could.  It's amazing how many areas of LNH continuity remain unexplored.

>      Which is why it was rather relieved when, after the full origin was 
> unwound, it turned out not to be the origin of the version of Manga Man 
> who's been around since the start of the Legion in 1992, but that of a 
> new character who's a continuity insert.  This is paradoxically because 
> his insertion tidies the situation up, no matter how complicated the 
> process is itself.

Ah, good, it worked.  I was trying to spin a situation where the backstory
was all *there*, but wouldn't need to be referenced to understand a story
with the character(s).

>      My point here is that while both the events that removed the original 
> Iron Man and then returned him were complicated (involving mind control, 
> alternate timeline duplicates, and then artificial pocket dimensions being 
> used to reboot parts of history by juvenile reality manipulators) those 
> complications were ultimately a zero sum draw.  They performed demented 
> gymnastics with continuity so it ended up back where they started.  The 
> status quo was restored and if the reader doesn't want to worry about the 
> effects of that era (or for a newer audience, doesn't know about it in the 
> first place) then they can ignore it because the end result (if not the 
> process of getting to that result) had been abrogated in a self nullifying 
> continuity loop.

And note that Gold himself *intentionally* does this, by creating Manga Man
Black - a "purified" version who's Just A Villain (if one with plenty of
delicious characterization on his own; see Beige Countdown/Midnight for
lots of this).

>      Andrew's Golden Age Manga Man origin feels something like that to me.  
> It's a wonderfully baroque contrivance that doesn't actually affect the 
> first Manga Man, and indeed via time paradox actually derives from the 
> first Manga Man despite the fact that for the internal chronology of the 
> Looniverse the Golden Age Manga Man precedes him.  

Yes!  I have beaten the Post-Crisis Superman problem! (Well, *one* of the
Post-Crisis Superman problems.  There are a few.)

> It's a story telling 
> tool that can be used to explain away any remaining unaccounted for Manga 
> Men that have appeared in this and previous _Just Imagine_ cascades.  And 
> maybe any in the future too, since it suddenly occurs to me that what I've 
> just described fits the story telling function of things like Dr Dooms Doombots.

...are there going to be more? @.@

Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, thinks we've pretty much reached our
limit on Manga Man, sans sentai shenanigans.

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