REVIEW: End of Month Reviews #96 - December 2011 [spoilers]

Scott Eiler seiler at
Mon Jan 23 19:56:33 PST 2012

On 1/23/2012 4:16 PM, Saxon Brenton wrote:

> LNH20 Comics Presents #1-5 'The Spoon of Destiny Saga'  Parts 1-5
> by various  (Adrian J. McClure, Lalo Martins, Andrew Perron, Dave Van
> Domelen, Martin Phipps)
>       (As an aside, I have been wondering to what extent the LNH20
> reboot might suffer from 'classic storyline repeat-itis': the observed
> tendency of particularly DC (with its various reboots, particularly of
> the Legion of Super-Heroes, since the original Crisis On Infinite Earths
> in the mid 1980s) to retell - with or without major variations - the
> origins of its protagonists and the major villains as well as to retread
> the major storylines of the past.

I sense we're avoiding this by *not* starting with the original concept: 
  What If the LNH Were Created Today?

>      The number of participants in the opening cascade
> storyline in _LNH20 Comics Presents_ is a good sign, and it's also
> brought in repeated story posts from otherwise non-LNH affiliated
> writers.  And as Andrew Perron has commented, enthusiasm tends to beget
> more enthusiasm.

Yeah.  I guess we'll have time later to write that new-reader intro 
story we always wanted.

> SW10: Powernaut 1941 #1-8
> 'The Powernaut Smashes Through!'  ;  'Un-Occupy Europe!' ;
> 'Aryan Man!'  ;  'Le Resistant!'  and  'Who Is Le Resistant?'
> A Superhuman World [SW10] series  {HCC25}
> by Scott Eiler
>       Two things of note here.  Firstly, it's usually the case that the
> mosaic narrative that Scott has been building in the Superhuman World
> setting consists of various stories that take place sometime around
> about the setting's subjective present.  But obviously there's no rule
> that mandates this, and this miniseries jumps back in time to World
> War 2.

Yep.  Many or most of my Powernaut stories will take place in "the" past 
of Superhuman World.  But Powernaut 1955 won't!  (At least not in its 
literal form.)

>       Powernaut is clearly drawn from the comic book archetype of the
> weakling who overcomes his weakness.

I also tried to throw in some good old-time pulp hero.

> However the intersection of the
> story with the High Concept Challenge #25 ('The French Hero') also gives
> him aspects of the inspiring/patriotic character.  While it's not the
> case that he's one of the flag-suit costumed heroes, the plot point that
> his journey across Europe inspires the French can be seen as an extrap-
> olation of his by-his-bootsraps origin.  It may not be a complete
> equivalence, but if Charles Atlas can help inspire 90 lb weaklings to
> become heroes of the beach, then Powernaut can help inspire the French
> to take back their country.

I hadn't thought of the Powernaut as anyone other than someone who was 
spectacularly beating up on Germans.  But you can bet some French 
philosophers did.  8{D>

>       The art is rather cartoony.  Which is fine.

Thanks.  I admited long ago that I am a cartoonist, not an artist.

> I mean, let's review
> what we learnt from Scott McCloud's _Understanding Comics_ about iconic
> versus representational art.  Art that isn't fully 'realistic' can
> nevertheless still impart meaning by having its shapes and forms
> transmit representative, iconic meaning rather than literal, photo-
> realistic information content.  In other words, instead of just seeing
> the things, cartoony art lets us see the things as a combination of what
> they are and what they represent, even if this is at the expense of
> exact physically identifying characteristics.

... Yeah, Scott McCloud *is* one of my influences.  (I just now dug out 
the cartoon he autographed which *I* drew of *him*.  I should probably 
get that framed.)

>       More subtly, I quite liked the talking head shot of Le Resistant in
> issue 7, which by the positioning in a three-quarters pose so that his
> jaw line protruded below his collar bone managed to give the impression
> of him leaning forward, as if talking in emphasis.

Thanks.  I was actually just thinking of Le Resistant as being on a 
balcony.  Hence the conveniently dramatic bazooka angle, too.

> By comparison I was
> less impressed with the transition of Paul to Powernaut in the first two
> panels of issue 1, since there was a radical change to the shape of his
> face that I was left wondering if there was some sort of super-soldier
> serum involved to not only give him more muscle mass but also change the
> bone structure.  I felt this took the iconic representation of someone
> transforming himself into a 'square jawed hero' too far, and I found it
> distracting.

Sorry.  But I felt it important to have the face change, and no more 
outlandish than the corresponding body change.  It wasn't super-soldier 
serum that gave him the power to jump the English Channel, but it wasn't 
weightlifting either.  More like magic.  At least for *this* origin. 
Stay tuned for more origins!

> SW10: 'Worse Than Useless?' 24 Minute Challenge
> A Superhuman World [SW10] series  {HCC26}
> by Scott Eiler
>       Notwithstanding Wyatt's concerns, the fact that up until now
> Ellipsis was the only person who could get his technology to work gives
> one possible answer to the old question of why inventors of super-
> science gadgets use them to rob banks rather than patent them.  That
> said, there are still many possibilities for complications that this
> situation.  The one that springs to my mind is why one government or
> another hasn't tried to grab a monopoly on the Ellipsis tech as a
> strategic resource.

Oh, they've tried...  There's a lot of 1990s backstory I've never really 
told.  I'll see if I can work in some references when next I visit this 
storyline.  Some of it will eventually show up in Powernaut 1992 too.


(signed) Scott Eiler  8{D> -------- ---------

Turns out I'm an anally-fixated oedipal paranoid with 
south-of-the-border schizophrenic delusions...  But never mind, I've 
found me the ideal job.  I'm going to run for President!

- Major Honey, scripted by Grant Morrison, Doom Patrol #46, August 1991.

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