Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Earth Final Conflict Review: 1x05 Old Flame

So, about two years ago, I started doing my own little reviews for Earth: Final Conflict. I lagged out, basically because I'm a lazy sort, but considering that I've posted next to nothing on this blog for ages, I thought I'd try doing it again.

This has nothing to do with my strange desire to watch a hyperaged alien baby, a homicidal FBI agent and androgynous aliens or anything like that.

Especially since at least one of that is a spoiler for much later in the series.

Now since it's been a few years, I'll warn you that my reviewing style will probably have changed. But to follow along, there's still the helpful little index page in my sidebar. Enjoy!

"I want that second chance."

So this episode starts with a fancy gala affair of some sort. Boone and Lili are there, looking spectacular. Seriously, Lili's dress is amazing. Boone even says that she looks lovely, for a Marine. They trade some banter before parting and Boone goes to find Da'an, who stands out in the crowd in the way you'd expect an alien to stick out among a group of really rich people in fancy dress. Sandoval is there too of course.

Everyone heads outside for a speech. Apparently the Taelons have donated a conservatory...which apparently consists of three modern art sculptures on the front lawn. They make pretty sounds though, and grow as attractive people touch them.

I suppose a dirty joke is a bit too easy there.

And actually, the sculptures have grown into a building which is purple and cathedral like (of course), and Da'an resumes his speech inside. Apparently some human musician has mastered a very difficult Taelon instrument. And Boone recognizes her name: Elyse Chapel.

Elyse is a very pretty brunette, and playing the Taelon instrument seems to work like everything the Taelons do: pretty purple lights and lots of waving your arms around. The audience seems to enjoy it, and Da'an looks pleased. Sandoval glances up at Boone for some reason, but I doubt it's for romantic reasons.

At least I hope not. Boone would crush him.

Anyway, Boone and Elyse definitely know each other as, after the performance, she greets him warmly. (She calls him "Will" even!) He compliments her playing, awkwardly, while she bluntly tells him that she's here for the week and asks if they can get together. I like a woman who knows what she wants. He demurs, but she insists. And he'll meet her tonight.

Da'an has noticed the sparks of rekindled romance and asks for a history. Short answer: he worked security for the UN, she was a harpist with the NY Symphony, they knocked boots. Da'an looks like he's wondering if he'll have to fridge another of Boone's ladies.

Later on they eat dinner and there's the usual television ex-lover bickering about who broke it off with whom (does anyone ever have this conversation in real life? I certainly haven't.) Of course they discuss his marriage, Boone seems to have made it to the quiet acceptance stage. Maybe due to some of the events in the last two episodes. Maybe because he's across from a beautiful woman. Who knows. Anyway, as it happens, the Taelons want her to stay and run the conservatory, she 's decided she only wants to stay if it's okay with him. No pressure, huh? He needs to think about it.

In a nuclear facility, guys are loading mysterious boxes onto a truck, and as it drives off, someone lands on said truck by way of rope and bridge. Through a nifty ruse regarding fake radiation levels, the truck-jumper lures the two drivers around back where they're ambushed by the jumper's friends, who get it open.

Back at Boone's awesome office, Lili (who's back with her normal awful 90s hair instead of the nice do from the party) teases Boone for details and reminds him that the Companions must be number one. A surprisingly jovial Sandoval enters and joins in on the mischief.

Fortunately Boone is saved by old-partner Bob who tells him of the truck hijacking. We find out the contents of the truck (some fissionable plutonium), and Sandoval deems it a threat to Da'an and recommends Boone head the crisis team with old-partner Bob.

Old-partner Bob gets a rank this episode: Lieutenant. Go Bob!

Boone wastes no time getting details and issuing commands to Bob and Lili. Sandoval announces that he'll seal the lakefront (they think the thieves are still in the city) and heads off.

Since Bob's already done what Boone's supposed to be doing, Boone's knocking on Elyse's door. He wants the second chance. But she 's weeping and declares that it won't work. He's near tears and she's crying.

Back in the office, Lili and Sandoval are reporting to a pacing Boone. After Sandoval leaves, Lili confronts Boone. She'd checked with Metro (where Boone was supposed to be) and he'd never showed up. He asks if Doors had anything to do with the threat, but Lili denies it. "We have no use for plutonium." Boone tells her to prepare the shuttle, they're going to DC.

Boone is now confiding in Dr. Belman, whose hair has grown back nicely since last episode, who looks as though she really doesn't want to be hearing this. Boone wants to know if the CVI is why he can't concentrate on anything but Elyse. Belman points out his lack of Motivational Imperative makes him free to love. Boone is unhappy with this, but Belman is thrilled at the implication that the CVI may be enhancing his emotions and wants to run some tests. It's not exactly impromptu brain surgery, but it does lead to some fun freaky flashbacks. Belman verifies that everything's normal. Boone is not happy with this as it means the issue is all his.

Boone is in the process of confronting Elyse, when he's interrupted by Lili and the actual plot of the episode. He tells her to stay put, while he goes to investigate.

Three young men who are not conspicuous at ALL are carrying a case through the platform. This ultimately leads to a firefight between hoodlums, police and Boone, who skrills one. Unfortunately, Elyse followed him and is taken hostage. But Elyse redeems herself by biting the guy and getting free so Boone can skrill the guy. Lili and the cavalry come running to see them making romantic on the stairs.

They find a private place and make out, while Lili pays a visit to an appealingly shirtless Augur. (I love this show.) There's some flirting on Augur's part, but he's willing to help. Lili wants info on Elyse and wants to keep it between the two of them.

Boone and Elyse have done more than make out, it looks like. They're in bed. He's happy and he's also shirtless. (I still love this show!) Elyse is weirdly morose, and she REALLY doesn't like his skrill, equating it to a leash and collar. She seems to apply to the Jonathan Doors school of thought re: Taelons.

Back at work, Lili and Boone discuss where the thieves (thief?) will go next. Boone's planning to lessen security and set up a trap. He then reveals to Lili that Elyse is also anti-Taelon. She's relieved to know he hasn't told her about the Liberation, but she thinks he's not thinking clearly. She makes the mistake of bringing up Kate and he blows up at her.

Augur calls Lili in, he's found the goods: Elyse is on the FBI payroll. And there's something else that we don't get to see.

Lili comes back to Boone's office and shows him the file. Boone is in denial, but Lili has something else: a file on two FBI officers, both of which are Elyse in very bad wigs, proving she's done the espionage thing before. Boone is in shock, but he's interrupted by Bob who's got some results re: their trap. Boone is even more wooden with shock. Lili looks guilty and sympathetic.

Lili, Boone, Bob and others are at the checkpoint, dressed as security. Bob questions one, and Boone glances over and CVI-flashbacks onto the guy's watch. The ambush is successful, leaving Boone more time to brood in his office.

Actually, he's looking at old photo albums (Facebook as imagined in 1997!). Lili comes over to find out what he was doing and make fun of his tux. He takes her through some of the old photos (including the great one I used as teaser image). He also has letters that he'd sent his mother, which he'd scanned onto disk after she died. The important thing however is that there's no reference to Elyse, even though this was the period they were supposed to be together.

They stop at a picture of Boone spending his birthday with friends, and Lili coaxes him to work with his CVI to remember. He remembers her at his birthday all right: celebrating a private romantic birthday with her.

Back at the conservatory, Da'an approaches Elyse, who is playing the Taelon instrument. He notes the anguish with which she's playing. They have a quick cryptic conversation about hiding things. She looks upset.

Meanwhile Lili's brought coffee to Boone. Boone calls back to Lili's statement from the pilot about how once he knew her, he'd never question her loyalty. He says that she was right. She thanks him and tells him that Dr. Belman's investigated. Then Sandoval shows up, looking oddly earnest. Boone's got some questions about the interrogation of the thieves, but Sandoval has no good answers.

Elyse meets Boone at her apartment. They embrace. They talk about her fears re: the Companions, and Boone traps her by asking her about something they said on the way back from the Statue of Liberty. He's never been there, which I find oddly sad. Even though I've never been there either. He confronts her about the made up past. She comes clean: she's playing a role for the Companions, but she didn't count on him. She claims to be genuinely in love with him.

Back at the Embassy, Boone brings Elyse to Da'an and Sandoval, telling them that she's confessed to working against Companion interests. She's taken away by security while Boone watches. Sandoval, who looks hard and grim once more, paces around and questions Boone about Elyse. Boone explains that he kept quiet to find out about her allies and mildly points out that altering memories is a good way to test the CVI. Da'an looks pleased though he questions Boone on how he discovered the tampering. Boone gives an earnest explanation of his comparison of CVI memory with his photos and his deduction that it was a quality control test.

Da'an is pleased and tells him no other implant was able to look within as he did (Sandoval looks v. displeased). It's also revealed that Da'an engineered the theft of plutonium to measure his efficiency during the emotional turmoil. Boone IS upset that he'd killed a man in the test, and asks if that truly served Companion interest. Da'an says that some sacrifices are necessary in developing the Taelon/Human bond.

Later, Lili finds Boone who expresses his feelings of violation. He thinks they've invalidated everything. Lili disagrees. They talk about how she figured out what was wrong, then Boone looks pensively at a picture of Kate and stares out the window.


New Characters/Developments:

Elyse Chapel: FBI agent/Taelon stooge, theoretically William Boone's ex-girlfriend

CVIs: can be used to implant false memories. The use of memory is a recurring theme in the show. We'll see them a lot: inherited memories, implanted memories, repressed memories. They're generally important.

Boone: apparently keeps a record of everything. And is a dog person.


I've got mixed feelings about this episode. The action plot was weak, but it's supposed to be since the Elyse/Boone plot was the core of the episode. I'm generally not a fan of romantic subplots, but this one had an actual point.

I didn't like how the episode had Elyse declare that she'd fallen in love with Boone. I hate the plot twist of the hero being the one man to reach the femme fatale. Yes, he's a great guy, but really? And no one briefed the woman on which fake memories were planted in his head? I call shenanigans.

Where did they find an FBI agent who can play a Taelon instrument anyway?

That said, it was interesting to see Boone in the "falling in love" phase, even if it was artifically induced. He was a little dorky, and openly emotional, a nice change from his usual cool block of woodness.

Lili was wonderful in this episode and I liked the way the show made it clear that her distrust of the situation with Elyse had nothing to do with jealousy. Lili's attracted to Boone, yes, but she was perfectly happy to tease him about his dinner with Elyse. She only got worried when he started acting out of character. And then she confronted him, and when he behaved irrationally in response, simply went to Augur (who is always great) and got the proof she needed.

I liked that the ep also fleshed out Boone's partnership with Bob Morovsky. Even though they're no longer partners, they still understand each other. Bob doesn't mind Boone's abruptness, Boone knows what steps Bob's likely to have taken. It's clear they've been working together a long time.

Sandoval and Da'an didn't have much to do this episode, but Sandoval did have some interesting bits. I especially liked how, when Boone took command of the theft situation and issued orders to Bob and Lili, Sandoval made a point of saying what he was going to do. It was probably exactly what Boone would have ordered anyway, but it was a nice emphasis that Bob and Lili are subordinates, but Sandoval is Boone's equal. Sandoval was acting very strange during the episode, from jovially asking about the date to his youthful earnestness when reporting the results of the interrogation to Boone. But that makes sense within the context of the test. Once the test was over, Sandoval was back to normal.

And actually, Dr. Belman's comment about how an MI-less CVI might react to anger or hate may explain a lot of a certain character's actions in later seasons of the show. But that's a spoiler. :-)

Ultimately, this episode re-enforces my opinion of Kilner as an actor. In the quiet scenes, he's amazing. Whenever he's with Elyse, he shines. The way his voice shakes and his eyes glitter during the first speech about wanting the second chance is wonderful. His shock and violation during the reveal is very believable, and the confrontation scene with Da'an and Sandoval is great, especially when he lets slip his unhappiness about having killed a man.

But again, explosive anger does not work. I cringed when he yelled at Lili, and not in a good way. He was much more believable when talking to Sandoval about the interrogations. The quiet anger feels much more appropriate to the character than yelling. I hope the writers realize that soon.

So what did we learn this episode: CVIs still suck. And rekindling old romance is never a good idea.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

So Yeah, I'm Pissed Off About This Too:

David Brothers and Ragnell have already made great, intelligent posts on the subject of Secret Avengers #21. I'd actually recommend reading them before you continue reading this, because they've said everything so much better than I can.

That said, I'm going to add my own angry reaction to this too.

Okay, so here's the page in question:

Okay, this is completely unacceptable for all the reasons that David and Ragnell cover in their posts. Steve Rogers may not be calling himself "Captain America" in this scene, but he is Captain America. The idea of Captain America saying this, even in bluff (and David confirms that it is no bluff, as the next page involves considerable violence), is completely abhorrent.

But you know what bothers me the most about this scene: that Steve Rogers would ever say, as he does in the last panel: "I don't believe in torture. It's ugly, dishonorable and unreliable. So I'm going to let my colleagues do it."

Emphasis mine.


Look, I admit, I'm a very hard sell in the idea that Steve Rogers would condone torture at all. It would have to be a VERY compelling, well-written, and carefully structured story (or set of stories) to allow me to believe character development that would lead Steve Rogers to a position where he found torture an acceptable route. I think that it's possible for someone to tell this story and have me believe it. This is not that story.

But more importantly, even IF Steve Rogers was ever in a position where he condoned torture, he wouldn't do it like this.

There are some character who, while moral, can take the "plausible deniability" stance. For example, when Cyclops established X-Force, he allowed Wolverine to keep him out of the day-to-day running of the team. I had no problem with this decision, because I think that it fit both with how both characters perceive the role of the leader of the X-Men. I think it's fair to say that Cyclops has developed over the years into a character who will uphold the letter of the law, but violate the spirit, in order to serve what he sees as the greater good.

Steve Rogers isn't that kind of person. Steve Rogers isn't that kind of leader. Steve Rogers, whether he goes by "Captain America", "Nomad", "Commander Rogers" or any other name, is a man of utmost integrity and courage. If Steve Rogers is going to violate a law, he will violate a law and he will not hide behind loopholes or plausible deniablity.

This "I'm going to turn my back and let my friends violate my principles for me, so I can keep my hands clean" thing? Out of the fucking question. If Steve Rogers is going to condone torture, he's going to condone torture. He's going to say something like: "I don't believe in torture. I think it's ugly, dishonorable, and unreliable. But right here and now, I think it's our only option."

He will own the violation of his principles.

Also, there is no way in HELL, he would turn his back and leave the room. Steve Rogers is no coward and he doesn't shirk his responsibility. If Steve Rogers made the call to condone torture, he would be in that fucking room. This doesn't mean I think he'd inflict the torture himself, of course. I honestly don't believe he has the capacity to do that. But he would be there to see it. As a matter of responsibility, he needs to see the consequences of his decisions through to the end.

I generally like Warren Ellis's work. I think he has a very distinct style and tone that suits certain heroes and teams better than others. I loved his Astonishing X-Men for example, and I think the above scene would not, necessarily, be out of character for Cyclops. But Cyclops is not Captain America. And Captain America would not make this call.

I am very disappointed in this issue. This is not my Captain America.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Meme Answers

1) Guy Gardner (DC Comics)
2) Emma Frost (Marvel Comics)
3) Tobias Gregson (Sherlock Holmes)
4) Starfire (DC Comics pre-reboot)
5) William T. Riker (Star Trek TNG)
6) Amy Allen (The A-Team)
7) Professor Charles Xavier (Marvel Comics)
8) Deanna Troi (Star Trek TNG)
9) Carrot (Discworld)
10) Cheetara (Thundercats, old version as I haven't seen the new one)


6 and 7's boss announces he's running for president and dares them to find a reason for him to not run. What do they do? If they find something embarrassing do they tell anyone?

Okay, well, considering we have Amy Allen and Charles Xavier...about the only time I think Xavier has anything that can be called a boss is when Scott overthrows him. I could see Scott hiring a reporter in a botched PR attempt though.

Amy's a super-reporter and Xavier's a telepath, so finding secrets shouldn't be hard. On the other hand, it's hard to think of something embarassing that wouldn't have already come up, so exposing the secret is pointless. They may have to go to plan B: four guys in a van, shooting but never hitting anything to try to changes his mind.

1, 4, 5 and 9 all have an embarrassingly geeky hobby, what are they?

Guy, Kory, Riker and Carrot. Strip Dungeons and Dragons. I'm pretty sure Guy, Kory and Will can find a way to make it work.

2, 3, 8, and 10 all discover they're one class shy of completing college degrees. What classes would they sign up for?

Emma Frost, Tobias Gregson, Deanna Troi, and Cheetara.

Hmm, well. I'm a big supporter of basket weaving. Mostly because I think it'd really annoy Emma and Gregson. Troi would enjoy it, and Cheetara would weave the baskets too fast to really bother with.

1 asks 10 out on a date. Does 10 accept? If so, where do they go?

Guy and Cheetara. I could see it. So yeah, she accepts. They go and prank Mumm-Ra. Poor Mumm-Ra.

Superman is visiting, and comes down with a case of Super-Hiccups. What do 2,5,8 and 9 do to cure him?

Emma, Riker, Troi and Carrot. Well, Troi and Riker probably have some cure from the Enterprise. If not, Emma can always try impromptu "mental therapy" to get rid of it (the catatonia afterward is a bitch."

Failing that, Carrot can try to scare them out, which should be pretty funny.

#1 and 4 have decided to throw a fancy dinner party. 3 is being lazy, and 6 and 10 are allergic to everything. How does 7 get things under control...and who polishes the silver?

Guy and Starfire throw the party, Gregson is lazy, Amy and Cheetara are allergic...

Well, it's Xavier so I think he gets things under control through a mix of authoritative commands, a hyper-competent but emotionally disturbed teenager, and dubious-ethicality telepathy. Cyclops will polish the silver and like it.

Hal Jordan shows up and declares that he is powerless except from the waist down. What do 1,4 and 8 do about it?

Guy laughs his ass off. Starfire grins and says at least the important parts still work. Troi offers therapy.

2, 3 and 9 go to Las Vegas and make fools of themselves. What happens in Vegas...stays in Vegas...except that there is video footage. What does 10 do about it?

Emma, Gregson and Carrot go to Vegas. I suppose Cheetara can run and steal the video. She'll probably keep it quiet because even though Emma and Gregson are jerks, Carrot's a nice boy.

A giant serpent is running amuck. How does 1 handle it?

Well, it's Guy. He handles shit like this on general principle. So he'll use the ring, whack the crap out of the serpent while insulting its parentage in the process.

Evil hammers are falling from the sky and making people act crazy. Does 2 grab one?

Please, Emma Frost doesn't do manual labor. She might make Scott pick it up though.

3 finds out someone made an adult film based on his/her life. 3's response?

well, Gregson IS Victorian. He'd probably use it to gloat over Lestrade.

4 somehow screwed up the past and now 5's life is totally different. How did 4 do this, and how is 5's life different?

Well, they are in the right order time period wise. I'd like to think Starfire accidently blows up Alaska. This is nothing against Alaska, as I'm sure they rebuild. But this might have led into Riker's interest in buxom aliens.

Sally Floyd calls 6 unAmerican for not following Nascar. What does 6 do?

Heh, Amy's a member of the A-Team. I'm pretty sure she can change her mind. Or call the guys in. Somehow this will lead to Face pretending to be a Jeff Gordon type, BA in a race car, and Murdock showing us all why helicopters should be permitted to race.

A war is brewing between heroes. What does 7 do?

Depending on his mood at the time: Xavier'll mind whammy or do jack shit. :-P

8 is taken to an alien planet and forced to fight for a vague concept. 1 through 10, who does 8 pick to be his/her team (5 people total)

Hmm. Well. Deanna Troi's not much of a fighter herself. I'll go with Starfire and Cheetara for physical muscle. Emma Frost and Charles Xavier for mental muscle. (Being from Betazed, she probably understands military use of telepaths better than anyone.) And Riker, because someone needs to discuss ponderous Federation concepts with her while hitting on the alien babes.

9 finds out that there is going to be comic based his/her life. The team is Mark Millar and Jim Balent. How does 9 react, and what would be the series be promoted as?

Hmm, well. Carrot's a nice boy. I'm sure he wouldn't react too violently. On the other hand, I'm sure Angua might have an opinion or two, as Balent's version of a lady werewolf might get interesting.

And he might have to go politely discourage Mark Millar's portrayal of the Watch.

10: same thing, only the team is Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. How does 10 react, and what would be the series be promoted as?

Cheetara would probably have fun with that. She's an alien cat lady who runs fast, so I'm sure the Chivalrous Cheetah will save the day!

3 and 4 have been hit with a shrinking ray and are trapped in 7's bedroom. What's the most dangerous thing in there to them in their five-inch-high forms?

Hmm, Gregson and Starfire. Xavier's room. My guess would be accidently getting stepped on by Magneto...

...not that I'm implying anything.

1, 2, and 8 go out partying with a shapeshifter pretending to be 9. Who figures it out first, and what gives him away?

Okay, well assuming neither Emma's telepathy or Deanna's empathy pick up anything. I'm sure they'll figure something out when Carrot actually understands/reacts to Guy's obnoxious comments.

2,3 and 5 visit a parallel world in which 7 was never born. What's the most obvious difference?

Emma, Gregson, Riker...I suppose this is differentiated from Age of Apocalypse since Xavier was alive and then died in that one...

My guess is that there are a lot fewer teenage mutant vigilantes?

6 has been elected President of the United States, somehow. What cabinet positions would 7, 8, and 9 be up for?

Amy? Awesome. I think Deanna will get to be Secretary of State (she's more likeable than Xavier). Xavier can be Secretary of the Interior. Carrot can be Secretary of Justice.

The rest of the positions will be filled by the A-Team. All of them. There will be a lot of explosions.

There is going to be a film based on Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose.
1 and 7 are up for the role of Tarot. Who gets cast, but who would be better for the role?

Guy Gardner or Charles Xavier. Hmm. Guy's redheaded, younger, and has gone around wearing less clothing, so he'd be best for the role. Thanks to Xavier's mind-whammy, he'll also be the one to get it.

2 gets roped into a debate over Wicca with Raven Hex. How long does it last and who wins?

Emma would hardly do anything so uncouth as to argue politics or religion. She might however exchange fashion tips.

3 gets stuck working with the Skeleton Man. How long does the Skeleton Man go without almost dying, and does 3 do anything to prevent this? Bonus points if you say how 3 and Skeleton Man end up in a compromising position and what the position is.

Hmm, well considering Gregson's got at least one guy killed for inactivity. I think the Skeleton Man has about fifteen minutes. Gregson might call in Sherlock Holmes...

For the compromising position: Gregson gets caught trying on Skeleton Man's outfit. Scotland Yard will never stop laughing.

8 wakes up to a naked were-cat under his/her bed. 8's reaction?

Deanna will probably have the poor confused thing transported to the holodeck until they can figure out where it came from.

6 finds a sleeping vampire cheerleader in his/her luggage. The response?

Amy finds a sleeping vampire cheerleader in her luggage. She'll probably call Murdock. It seems like the sort of thing Murdock has seen before.

9 is being haunted by a ghostly T-Rex. How does 9 resolve this issue?

Carrot will explain to it how many laws it's breaking and politely ask it to leave. Carrot is very persuasive.

10 is attacked by foul mouthed schoolgirls with swords in their rulers and a leader with uranium filled breast implants. Does 10 defeat them and how?

She'll probably run around them until they fall over. Fortunately she should be able to outrun a uranium-breast implant explosion...

Ghostly nurses are attacking people and stealing body parts. If the ghosts won't tell 4 where they are going, can 4 still stop them?

I'm pretty sure Starfire could take a couple of ghostly nurses. :-) And look better doing it.

Uh-oh, it looks like the Misfits have finally taken Jem & the Holograms out. 1 through 5, who steps in to repalce the band and what instruments do they play?

Hmm. Guy, Emma, Gregson, Starfire and Riker.

Well, Riker plays the trombone. I don't know if Gregson can play an instrument, but maybe he could learn the drums?

Starfire's the only one outrageous enough to be the lead singer. Emma'll be the keyboarder who always thinks she should get more attention. And Guy'll be basist. He should have fun revisiting the war-paint of his Warrior days.

Speaking of the Misfits, it looks like they have been arrested for all the stuff they do. 6 through 9, who replaces them and what do they play?

Hmm. Amy, Xavier, Troi and Carrot. Well barring Xavier, and MAYBE Troi, I don't think this group will be particularly good at the bitchy misfit angle. I'd put Xavier on keyboards, Amy and Troi singing and guitar. Carrot on drums.

Does 10 represent the Misfits in court? Only on Third Earth.

General Hawk is looking for a few good men (and women or robots) 1 through 10, who gets picked and what are their are their codenames? If they have alter egos, then they have to pick new names.

Hmm. I think I'll go with Guy, Starfire, Carrot and Cheetara, for combat ready characters.

Riker and Troi are sort of military already. And Troi's got a semi-useful psychic ability.

Amy's hung around a group of crazy war vets with guns and a van, and picked up some of their skills, so he might pick her too.

As useful as telepathy is, I doubt he'd pick Emma (too high maintenance) or Xavier (not so good at follower-type roles), and Gregson's probably out of luck unless they needed someone used to Sherlock Holmes.

For codenames...

Guy Gardner: The Monkey-Spanker
Starfire: Corona (referencing stars AND beer!)
Riker: The Trombone(r)
Amy: Lady A.
Troi: Mistress Mindscrew
Carrot: The Giant Dwarf
Cheetara: The Speeding Bullet

Giant robots that change shape are attacking! 1,3,5,8, and 10 are caught in the middle. What do they do?

Hmm, Guy, Gregson, Riker, Troi, Cheetara

I'm thinking Guy and Cheetara would go straight for ass-kicking, Riker and Troi would contact their ship and beam civilians out. Gregson would complain and maybe call Sherlock Holmes for an explanation.

A giant zombie is tearing up the city and just shoved 2 inside it's rib cage. What does 6 do?

Probably call the A-Team. If anyone can handle a giant zombie, they can.

9 has been swallowed by a one eyed monster! What does 9 do and can 7 help?

I'm pretty sure Carrot can punch/slash his way out. Xavier can give him directions so he doesn't get lost on the way.

Meanwhile, a giant goblin is turning the Statue of Liberty to life so he can date it. Does 4 play match maker or not?

Starfire's pretty open-minded, so sure!

1 through 9, who would like to be on Geekademia, the best darn podcast on the internet?

I think Gregson, Riker and Troi are most likely too. For one, they'd be appreciated there. For two, the others are a tad impatient/snooty.

1,3,7, and 9 form a team. What is their name and can 2 stop them?

Hmm, Guy, Gregson, Xavier and Carrot. I'll go with some variation of "the almighty douchebags." Which they're okay with, because Guy likes to call himself "almighty", Gregson and Carrot don't know what a douchebag is, and Xavier let his students cast his vote.

Emma can probably stop them. Xavier's a stronger telepath, but she's surprised him before, Gregson's an ordinary man, Carrot can be reasoned with, and Guy is distracted by boobs.

4 gets blasted into space and forced to watch bad movies. Do they use special parts to make some robot friends? if so, what parts?

Hmm, Starfire doesn't normally tend to build robots, but she's from a space faring society and hangs around with the Titans, so I bet she can learn. She likes people after all. She probably asks Cyborg to send her up some materials.

What song does 9 play when he/she tries to kill 7 with a forklift?

Killing me softly with his song.

Does 3 know where the fish live?

If he doesn't, I'm sure Sherlock Holmes could tell him.

Can 2 live like the hu-mans? Does 3know of...the plan?

Only if the hu-mans can afford a designer wardrobe, and probably. He IS the smartest of Scotland Yard, after all. He'd find out just to lord it over Lestrade.

would 8 wish away all the springs?

Nah, she likes springs.

1,4,7,9 get cast in a Marx Brothers biography. Who plays who?

Hmm, Guy, Starfire, Xavier or Carrot.

I'll go with Xavier as Groucho, Starfire as Chico, Carrot as Harpo and Guy as Zeppo. (He IS the underappreciated Green Lantern after all.)

5 gets roped into hosting a horror movie on a local TV station. What character does he/she play and is it based on Elvira?

Riker, hmm. Well, I don't think he could pull off Elvira's wardrobe (though maybe he could talk Troi into it). He could probably pull off smarmy vampire type, though.

1 has to take care of a cat that eats nothing but Italian food. How do that go?

Eh, Guy could go for Italian. It'll work. Especially if he can make Hal or Kyle cat-sit.

2 finds a duck with gold bands around its feet. what does 2 do?

Probably leave it alone. Emma Frost doesn't do wildlife.

3 runs into two men who are vague about eveything. what happens to 3?

Probably ends up another one of Watson's case files.

4 finds him/her self trapped with Funky Winkerbean in a lousy pizza place. How long before 4 beats Funky to death?

Starfire's fairly nice, but I'd give it 2.5 days.

5 is nearly run over by a hatefilled old man in a school bus. 5's response?

Riker would probably shrug and introduce himself to the old man's attractive daughter.

3, 6 and 9 go for a nice walk in the country.

Who falls in the river and why.

Who feeds the ducks and what does he/she feed them.

Who declares that it's a dull day and they should fight to liven things up.

Hmm, Gregson, Troi and Carrot. I'll go for Gregson falling in the river, (he was looking for a clue), Amy feeds the ducks as part of Hannibal's plan, and Carrot suggests the fight.

However, as Gregson and Amy are fairly ordinary people, he'll probably suggest they go find a bar of drunken idiots so he can fight them instead. Amy will go for it, she probably misses good bar fights.

can 6 insepct concrete?

After a year or two with the A-Team, I'm sure she can forge some credentials.

can 3 catch rats?

No. Lestrade is the faster runner. :-)


I hope you enjoyed!

Thursday, January 05, 2012

quick update

:-) So anyway, this week got a bit hectic, so I'm delaying my meme answers to the weekend. This does mean if you want to hop in to ask anything else, you're more than welcome!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

A Rant About Comic Book Death

Okay, so, I figure I'll give it one more day for the meme. So if you'd like to hop in to ask more questions, please do!

Meanwhile, I've been catching up on comic book gossip. And I've discovered a bit of a pet peeve.

Can we put a moratorium on asking if, after INSERT COMIC BOOK HERE, killing off characters is entirely meaningless?

Because, dude. This ALWAYS comes up. This time it's Fear Itself's fault. But before Fear Itself, people were saying the EXACT SAME THING after Flash Rebirth, Captain America's return, Green Lantern Rebirth, the Black Lantern storyline, Bucky Barnes's return, Jason Todd's return, Death/Return of Superman, and so on and so forth.

Hell, Bruce Wayne died TWICE to pave the way for Dick Grayson's Batman, just in case the first time didn't stick.

Guys. Character death in comics IS meaningless. It has always been meaningless. It will always BE meaningless. It's like character death in a soap opera. Ultimately, it will only last until someone has a "better" idea.

So someone died in Fear Itself. That someone turned out not to be dead. Someone else dies in Children's Crusade. That character may or may not come back by the end of the arc.

Well...of course. This is a series about the Scarlet Witch! Are we really supposed to believe this is the end of the story?

Killing a character (or seeming to) in act one and bringing that character back in act four is not a new literary device. It's not a new comic book device. Off the top of my head, we saw it in Blackest Night. We saw it in JLA Obsidian Age. I'm pretty sure it's happened to the Avengers and X-Men more than once.

Now, I agree, it is a problem when the reader isn't engaged enough in the storyline. Spacing fake deaths, or undo-able deaths out is probably a better option.

But ultimately, a death in comics is like any other event in comics. It's about the execution of the story. If you're emotionally involved in the death scene, even knowing the odds that the character will be back by the end of the arc. Or the end of the year. Or the next main crossover event. Or the next main "let's restore comics to our childhood memories!" nostalgia crisis. Then it's a win. If you're emotionally involved in the resurrection/return, whether you feel relief, anger, joy, or whatever. It's a win.

If you feel apathetic toward either the death or the resurrection? It's a failure, but what the hell, it's not like they can't kill the character off again (and resurrect him/her later.)

It's comics. Death is never permanent except for Barry Allen, Bucky Barnes, Jason Todd, Uncle Ben or Thomas Wayne!*

And honestly, I'm fine with that.

(*Until someone with enough clout has a "better" idea. :-P)