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400th Episode (Marvel Super Special #7: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band)

Marvel-Super-Special-7-Sgt.-Peppers-Lonely-Hearts-Club-Band-768x339.png

Released
May 30th, 2016
Running time
32:16
Previous review
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Tagline
The 400th episode is here! This time, let's have some fun...
Link


(See Part 1 before reading)

(Open on a depressed Linkara leaning his head against his living room bookshelf and sighing as he tries to figure out what it is he's reviewing)

Linkara: What's the point of all this? No one's gonna like this episode. I mean, it's supposed to be a musical, but it's taken me this long just to get to the second song! Is this really worth all the headache? (suddenly looks up with a look of renewed determination) Yes. Yes, it is. Because it's getting better all the time. I'm getting better all the time.

(He returns to his futon and sits back down. He picks up the comic again and takes in a deep breath before resuming the review)

Linkara: So, after Strawberry finishes tripping balls...

Linkara (v/o): ...she quickly makes her way to B.D.'s recording studio and gets the group up to speed. Hell, she even knows that Mr. Mustard is following her.

Billy: Don't worry, you're safe now.

Linkara (v/o): Yes, Strawberry, take comfort in Billy... who himself is apparently so high that he's talking to the air above your head as opposed to you. The boys rush out of the studio, but are immediately confronted by Mr. Mustard and Brute. Unlike in the movie, where the group just steals Mr. Mustard's vehicle without encountering him, Brute runs up and grabs Billy, holding him up into the air. Man, Mr. Homn from Star Trek: TNG was a badass. Billy is still holding his guitar, and the strings accidentally strum up against Brute's coat, which creates a small bit of music. According to the narration, music is "Brute's only weakness".

Linkara: Unfortunately, it turns out he's only into rap.

Billy: Hey! The music is calming this big thug! Play something and he might let go of me.

Mr. Kite: (narrating) The band starts playing an air at once.

("Shoot To Thrill" by AC/DC plays briefly)

Mr. Mustard: No, you can't do this to me. The F.V.B. made me a winner!

Bob: Nonsense! All bad guys are losers.

(Cut to the obligatory clip of an episode of Doctor Who)

Cyber Leader: There is... logic... in what he says.

Linkara (v/o): They steal the vehicle, with Robin Gibb... Yeah, his name is Bob, but honestly, the Bee Gees are just playing themselves... courting Martha the robot. Hey, robots need love, too, you know. But anyway, yeah, they find the drum and head off to Dr. Maxwell's offices to find the first instrument. In the movie, he's played by Steve Martin for some reason. Dr. Maxwell himself sings "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" and uses said silver hammer to turn old people young. Aaand you know how the lyrics to the song describe Maxwell Edison killing people with his hammer? Yyyeah, that's not in the movie, but here, we get to see it: at least three people murdered by him. Of course, his little youthful transformation ability with the silver hammer also turns them into slaves of F.V.B., but of course, no one bothers to point out that HOLY CRAP, HE HAS A MAGIC HAMMER THAT TURNS PEOPLE YOUNG! Admittedly, it apparently turns them into Boy Scouts, based on that uniform, but still...

Linkara: And after his murderous career, Maxwell Edison retired to Stockbridge, where he went under the nickname (makes an "air quote") "Mad Max" by the residence, met the Fifth Doctor, and then some Internet reviewer mispronounced "Gloucestershire".

Linkara (v/o): Our heroes arrive to fight Dr. Maxwell and his nurse flunkies.

(Footage of the movie showing the fight there is shown)

Linkara (v/o): Unfortunately, unlike the movie, this does not result in a lightsaber battle between Steve Martin and Peter Frampton.

(Cut back to the comic)

Linkara (v/o): Instead, while they retrieve the magic coronet [sic], Billy is knocked out.

Strawberry: No, he can't be dead! Not now!

Linkara: (as Strawberry) He has to die at the climax! This is just narratively lame!

Linkara (v/o): Billy is still alive, though, and there's a bit of a change here, because it's now when Strawberry sings "Strawberry Fields Forever" – in the movie, anyway; she sings just one line of it here – instead of after the second instrument battle. He's in a coma... or something; it's not entirely made clear.

Mr. Kite: (narrating) Strawberry treats him with the best possible medicine... her tender love.

(Cut to a clip of an episode of Scrubs)

Dr. Cox: You gotta give it time, because you see, when you're waiting for someone to magically get better all by themselves, the whole thing becomes about time.

(Back to the comic again)

Linkara (v/o): Yeah, why the hell is she singing about herself? It's like the producers knew there was a song called "Strawberry Fields Forever", but never paid attention to the lyrics of it! You could've called her Rita and used "Lovely Rita" to help Billy recover, like him singing it to her earlier to tell the tale of how they met, then have her sing it here to bring him out of the coma or whatever. Instead, they called her Strawberry Fields when that song is about nostalgia and apathy towards one's current surroundings, which neither applies to her character, nor has any relevance to the situation at the time she sings it. So, whatever, she sings to him.

Mr. Kite: (narrating) Billy wakes up and everything is perfect again.

(Cut to a clip of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 gang watching The Thing That Couldn't Die)

Tom Servo: Wow, they held the tension for a full second.

(Cut to the Sgt. Pepper movie, showing a scene matching the comic – or not)

Linkara (v/o): What, you're not gonna do it like they did in the movie, which looks more like Billy is gonna regenerate into Colin Baker?

(Cut back to the comic)

Linkara (v/o): They get on their way to the next instrument, being held by a cult leader named Father Sun, who is using the magic tuba to create a bunch of brainwashed servants. And of course, the F.V.B. motto of "We Hate Love, We Hate Joy, We Love Money" plays continuously to the brainwashed masses. So, what does Father Sun have to say?

Father Sun: Love me! Yes, you love me!

Linkara: Father Sun, your brainwashing is a little confusing and contradictory. Are you money? Because I don't see how they could love you if you're not.

Father Sun: Love me! Yes, you love me!

Linkara: This is a weird cover of "Lovefool".

Linkara (v/o): Man, Zordon used to look really scraggly before he lost all his hair. Actually, this is supposed to be a cover of "Because (The World Is Round)", but for some reason, none of the lyrics are here. In any event, our heroes arrive and find the tuba, with Robin Gibb deciding to fiddle with the equipment on all the brainwashing monitors.

Dave: I'll show the world who Father Sun really is.

(Cut to a clip of Wayne's World)

Wayne Campbell (Mike Myers): Why, it's Old Man Withers, the guy who runs the haunted amusement park!

Old Man Withers (Carmen Filpi): And I would've gotten away with it, too, if it hadn't been for you snooping kids!

(Back to the comic again)

Linkara (v/o): They pull the wires out of the equipment, which somehow reveals... the same guy, only now he isn't a disembodied head.

Mr. Kite: (narrating) His disciples have seen it all.

Disciple: No, it's impossible!

Linkara: (as this disciple) We were worshiping Alice Cooper?! Awesome!

Mr. Kite: (narrating) The crowd becomes unruly... Could this loser be Father Sun?

Linkara: What exactly is so different about him now? Or did the Kirby Krackle around his head really add to the mystique that much?

Linkara (v/o): This especially doesn't make sense that they're calling him a loser because the comic doesn't reveal his backstory as a heavily-bullied crossing guard like the movie does.

(Cut to more comparable footage of the movie)

Linkara (v/o): And it doesn't even go down like this. Screwing with the equipment just creates a bunch of feedback that messes with the brainwashed.

(Cut back to the comic)

Linkara (v/o): But no, in this case, they all grab baseball bats and proceed to beat Father Sun to death!

(Cut to the Mystery Science Theater 3000 gang as they watch Pumaman)

Tom Servo: Certainly, this is a victory for good!

(Back to the comic again)

Linkara (v/o): With the third instrument in their possession, our heroes head out... but the robots refuse to help anymore, initiating their self-destructs. Billy hits on an idea of how to start looking for the last instrument.

Billy: We'll organize a special benefit concert in Heartland. And then we'll use the proceeds to fund a nationwide search and bring back happiness to our town.

(Cut to the MST3K gang again as they watch This Island Earth)

Crow T. Robot: Sounds like a really crappy plan, but okay.

(Cut back to the comic)

Linkara (v/o): We cut back over to B.D. headquarters. B.D. is not happy about how the band has had to cancel several appearances as a result of their escapades.

B.D.: Six million dollars lost. I wish I had never heard of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Linkara: He says that now, but later in life, he would learn to regret how he treated them.

(Cut to a clip of the Twilight Zone episode "The Changing of the Guard")

Prof. Ellis Fowler (Donald Pleasance): I gave them nothing. I gave them nothing at all.

(Back to the comic again)

Linkara (v/o): Dougie arrives, though, to inform them of the benefit concert, which, for some reason, involves circus performers and them singing, of course, "For the Benefit of Mr. Kite", even though the benefit is for the instruments, or Heartland itself in the movie, and not for Mr. Kite specifically. And for some reason, B.D. records their performance in secret.

B.D.: I'll sell this on the black market. The boys will never know.

Linkara: Yes, make an illegal recording of the benefit concert for a bootleg release instead of just using your legal right that's probably in your contract to record it for the mass market. (beat) Wait, what?

Linkara (v/o): However, while the guys are busy with the concert, Brute arrives again and kidnaps Strawberry, bringing her to Mr. Mustard. Fortunately, we are spared the utter creepiness of him and Strawberry singing "When I'm 64". They've also made off with the instruments, the benefit concert money... and Lucy and Dougie.

(Cut to a scene from the movie that's not included in the comic)

Linkara (v/o): Yeah, they cut out a scene from the movie, where the two decided to take the benefit money for themselves and sing "You Never Give Me Your Money". I'll give it this: despite the fact that the song's actual meaning is completely different from this situation, the lyrics kinda work for their characters up until that point, especially with their acting during it, so cutting it was kind of a bummer when just suddenly a bunch of stuff happened off-panel. We also skipped the guest appearance of Earth, Wind and Fire, which was probably a better cut, since it was just a song in the concert.

(Cut back to the comic)

Linkara (v/o): But yeah, as Mr. Mustard's escapes with Strawberry and the others, our heroes set off in pursuit in the fastest of vehicles: hot-air balloon.

Billy: Mr. Mustard kidnapped Strawberry and stole the show's money!

Mr. Kite: There's only one thing left to do. You must chase after them in Heartland's hot-air balloon.

(Cut to the Bee Gees on Saturday Night Live)

Robin Gibb: Are you out of your mother-lovin', dope-smokin' hippie mind?!

(Back to the comic again)

Mr. Kite: (narrating) Mark, Bob, Dave and Billy quietly watch Sgt. Pepper's weathervane disappear behind them. They have a feeling that this is it, the final revelation... of the Future Villain Band.

Linkara: "Future Villain Band", the terrifying story of Justin Bieber, Robin Thicke and Chris Brown joining together in one unholy union!

Linkara (v/o): Or, you know, a shirtless Aerosmith. That works, too.

F.V.B. lead singer: We, the Losers, have won!

Linkara: Hey, I've got a song for every statement you've made in this thing: (leans in close to camera with a scowl) "Walking Contradiction"!

F.V.B. lead singer: Now I, Sal, will rule over the world of rock 'n' roll.

Linkara: (rolls eyes) Great, our future overlord is named Sal. Might as well have called him Steve.

Linkara (v/o): But yes, the ruler of rock 'n' roll, with his... saxophone... and coronet... and tuba... Dear Lord, you guys suck!

Linkara: (holds up hand defensively) Not Aerosmith, of course, just the Future Villain Band thing. But anyway...

(Suddenly, he is interrupted by a siren, accompanied by a flash light which turns the room a distorted, grainy shade of red. He looks around in confusion and worry)

Linkara: The hell...?! (puts comic down) How can this be happening?!

(Linkara gets up and walks out of the room. Startled, he hears a band playing "Come Together", which confuses him even more. He spots Douwe Egbert playing electric guitar, Pyramid Head playing acoustic guitar, Whatley (played by Lewis' father, Loren) as lead singer, and Dr. Linksano on drums)

Whatley: (singing off-key, with his voice not matching his mouth movements)

Here comes Linkara
His show is weekly
And he's got a robot...

(As Linkara walks up, it is revealed the band is simply following words displayed on a screen, like karaoke)

Whatley:

And more than one Troller
His Patron sponsors pay a fee
At the end of each episode, there is a tease

(Linkara stares at the lyrics on the screen in utter confusion, then shrugs and shakes his head in exasperation. He stares with his eyes slightly rolled up)

Whatley:

He fly an airline
But not a football
Nor will he linger
He drinks Coca-Cola
He say "I am a man and you know me"
Don't make him read "Marville", that's his only plea

(Linkara crosses his arms and looks up)

Whatley:

Don't ever
Right now
The show is free
He got bad production
And he hates the reboot
And he's got a spaceship
And a '90s slacker
He sits on the couch indefinitely
Engage him on Blue Beetle and he'll never cease
Don't ever
Right now
The show is free

(A musical interlude plays briefly, which annoys Linkara even more)

Whatley:

He's a Twitter poster
In the early mornin'
He would be much taller
If he had a junk food filter
He does more Star Trek than SF Debris
His convention bookings are a sight to see
Don't ever
Right now
The show is free

Linkara: (totally unimpressed) You're serious with this?

Whatley: Behold, Linkara! My Future Villain Band!

Linkara: (clutching at his forehead) Oh, for the love of...! It's been five years, and you're still just as derivative, Whatley!

Whatley: What do you mean "derivative"?!

Linkara: (makes "air quotes") "Future Villain Band"? First of all, all the villains here are from my past, not my future! Second, that's just the name of the villains in Sgt. Pepper! Couldn't you make it "Linkara Villain Band" or something?

Dr. Linksano: Ooh, that is a better name!

Linkara: Linksano, what are you doing there?!

Dr. Linksano: I used to be one of your villains!

Linkara: Yeah, but you haven't been for years. You're in a band?

Dr. Linksano: I have other interests outside of you, Linkara.

Linkara: And George Burns, you're supposed to be the narrator!

Douwe Egbert: They made me a better offer. You clearly didn't need me anymore.

Linkara: And really, Whatley, how are you here at all? Margaret destroyed you!

Whatley: There are opportunities, where the line between death and life can be crossed, when I can finish what was started!

Linkara: (deadpan) And that opportunity was a comic adaptation of a movie about a Beatles album?

Whatley: The line between fiction and reality is even more precarious than the one between life and death!

Linkara: Also, this is your big revenge scheme? You form a band and sing a parody song?!

Whatley: I also kidnapped one of your loved ones.

(Confused, Linkara looks around and spots Pollo chained to a chair)

Pollo: Hey, Linkara.

Linkara: Pollo, you have a gun! How did you get chained up?

Pollo: I have other interests outside of you.

Linkara: (massaging his temples) This day refuses to not be idiotic.

Whatley: Your sanity is hanging by a precarious thread, Linkara! All it needs is one little push to drive you over the edge!

Linkara: (still massaging his temples) No argument here.

Whatley: Think of it, Linkara! After all you've done for 400 episodes, you witness so many insane comics, so many terrible plots, crappy characters, and the morally offensive that you've been told to like! And it never ends, Linkara! Your job will never be over! This is why this comic shall be your downfall, for you will never be as popular as the Bee Gees! You will be forever seen as a scammer and a fat loser! (Linkara stares, saddened by this news) You, are a failure!

Egbert: (looking into the camera, resuming his narration) Linkara briefly considered the words of his otherworldly enemy, (Whatley turns and stares at Egbert) wondering if perhaps he had–

Whatley: SHUT UP!

Linkara: Well, you've got a point or two, Whatley. I'm never going to be as popular as the Bee Gees, bad comics do keep getting made, and in the end, I'm probably never gonna make the industry any better. (throws out arms) I'm just some guy on the Internet making fun of awful books. But a failure?

(Suddenly, Pyramid Head starts strumming on his guitar the music for "Getting Better", which the rest of the band quickly picks up on)

Linkara: (singing)

I used to get mad at the fools,
The villains who thought they were cool
The throwing around,
Insults and put-downs
Haters and trolls are just tools
I've got to admit, I'm getting better
Turning out content all the time

(Whatley checks his watch impatiently)

Linkara:

I'm sorry to say, it doesn't matter
However much you complain and whine

(Linkara briefly pretends to play keyboard while Pollo turns his head, as if to the beat)

Linkara:

Used to be a nebbish young man
Without a clue or a plan
Although I'm a nerd,
My voice is still heard
From here all the way to Japan
With 400 shows, I've gotten better
Special effects and funny lines,
Were used to be half in the shadows,
Had a catchphrase since episode 9
Miller Life and Brodsky, they're unkind

Egbert: (singing) He's getting better all the time, better...

Dr. Linksano: (singing) Better...

Pollo: (singing) Better...

Linkara:

I am getting better all the time

Pollo: (singing) He's getting better all the time...

Linkara:

I used to let comments and insults
Control me and keep me away
From the things that I love
Never been mean,
Only slightly obscene
Storyline, just 'cause I can
I have to admit, I'm getting better
Every Monday, the show's online

(Whatley crosses his arms, unimpressed by anything)

Linkara:

Yes, I admit, it's much better
It isn't perfect
But that is fine
I am getting better all the time

Egbert:' (singing) He's getting better all the time, better...

Dr. Linksano: (singing) Better...

Pollo: (singing) Better...

Dr. Linksano: (singing) He is getting better all the time!

Linkara: (singing) I am getting better all the time!

(The song ends, and Linkara spreads his arms out wide in anticipation of applause. Instead, Whatley stares at him. Linkara blinks his eyes and looks around awkwardly, still waiting, but to no avail)

Linkara: So, uh... what are we supposed to do when the singing is over?

Whatley: (sharply turning to Pyramid Head) Red Executioner, KILL HIM! (Pyramid Head shrugs, but does nothing) Kill him! He has no weapons!

(Linkara looks behind Pyramid Head and spots a Pokeball lying on a desk)

Linkara: (incredulously) Dude, did you just steal the Pyramid Head I caught in a Pokeball?

Whatley: The barrier is only weakened when you started the review! I didn't have time to plan my vengeance!

Linkara: Wait, does that mean that the barriers will be restored once the review is over?

Whatley: ...Yes.

Linkara: So, what will happen to you?

Whatley: George Burns, kill him!

Egbert: With what?

(Whatley is about to speak, then holds up his index finger, and then stops himself as he tries to think of something. He strokes his chin in thought)

Linkara: You get returned to wherever you were when you died, don't you?

Whatley: (turning to Linksano in desperation) Linksano!

Dr. Linksano: Actually, I've gotta run, too. I'm in talks to host the next version of Cosmos, and I cannot miss that meeting.

Whatley: Very well, I shall kill you myself, Linkara! Prepare to feel the wrath of–

Linkara: Pollo, please shoot him.

Pollo: Okay.

(Pollo fires a blue energy beam at Whatley, who clutches at his chest in pain and keels over, groaning. He raises his hand in the air)

Whatley: Avengeance!

(Whatley falls over completely. Linkara rolls his eyes and sways his head around and then walks off)

Egbert: (looking into camera, narrating) Linkara was victorious, but at what cost? His best friend was dead, and he would have to carry that weight.

Pollo: (shaking head) I'm not dead.

Egbert: I know, I'm just following what the script says.

(We then cut back to Linkara's futon)

Egbert: (narrating) With the strange and awful events behind him, Linkara knew that the only way to bring closure to this whole thing would be to finish his review. And he was able to get back from the other world because... (Linkara returns to his spot) the Kool-Aid Man is red, I don't know. I don't get it, either. I'm gonna knock off for the day.

(Linkara picks up the "Sgt. Pepper" comic again, resuming the review)

Linkara: So, anyway...

Linkara (v/o): Where the hell are they? They're just on some piles of giant coins, there's a floating staircase, and the next page reveals a huge crowd of F.V.B. slaves watching all this unfold.

Sal: Tonight I've proven... that even talentless people can win!

Linkara: Look, guys, just because you did the theme song to Armageddon, doesn't mean you're untalented. I didn't even think the song's bad at all.

Linkara (v/o): As they start singing "Come Together" and taking control of Strawberry's mind, she screams out for help... and who should answer the call but Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band!

Billy: Hang on Strawberry, we're coming to save you.

Linkara: No, you fools! Aerosmith's followers can shoot flaming CDs at you!

Linkara (v/o): The Bee Gees engage Brute and Mr. Mustard, while Billy heads for Sal.

Billy: You almost ravaged my country, you want to destroy all that is good and worth living for. That has gone on long enough!

Linkara: (as Billy) It's time for Frampton to (holds up fist) come alive, asshole!

Linkara (v/o): The fight is freeing the crowd from F.V.B.'s control, but Brute is pretty damn strong. Barry Gibb goes for the instruments, but Brute grabs him again.

(Cut again to the clip of the Bee Gees on SNL)

Barry: I'll rip off your hands, wear them like boxing gloves, and beat you to death!

(Cut back to the comic)

Mr. Kite: (narrating) At this point, it's more than a simple fight between good and evil. It's a batlle [sic] to restore honor and the value of life itself.

(Cut to a clip of the MST3K gang as they watch Are You Ready For Marriage?)

Tom Servo: (laughs) No, it isn't.

(Back to the comic again)

Linkara (v/o): Brute gets punched into the object Strawberry's attached to, and unfortunately, it's not very strong, cracking under the impact and sending Strawberry hurtling over the edge of the stage... to her death.

Linkara: Hey! Here's this extremely colorful, goofy little film with awesome covers of Beatles songs and a plot about stolen musical instruments! Now let's murder the love interest! (slaps himself on the head with a look of disgust on his face at the sheer absurdity of it all)

Linkara (v/o): We cut to Strawberry's funeral in Heartland. Billy is of course grieving, but that can't spoil Lucy's good mood.

Lucy: As soon as this is over, I'll make him forget about Strawberry.

Linkara (v/o): Fortunately, Donald Pleasance is kind enough to tell her to shut the hell up.

Linkara: You might think it's because he has sympathy for this situation, but actually, it's because he needs Lucy to go kill the Puma Man.

Linkara (v/o): Days pass, and Billy's grief just gets worse and worse, until finally he's ready to kill himself over this. However, instead of trying to jump from a tall building, he apparently decides to impale himself on a pitchfork. Fortunately, we are spared that unnecessarily gory demise by a bright light coming from... the Sgt. Pepper weathervane? It starts spinning rapidly and transforms into... well...

Mr. Kite: (narrating) It explodes in a flash of light to reveal... --SGT. PEPPER!

Linkara (v/o): Wait, that's supposed to be Sgt. Pepper?!

Sgt. Pepper: I came back, Billy, to give this story a happy ending...

Linkara (v/o): Um, what the hell?! We saw Sgt. Pepper at the beginning of the comic! Why the hell is he suddenly a black guy?!

(Cut to a clip of Bubba Ho-Tep)

John F. Kennedy (Ossie Davis): (...who is black for some reason) They dyed me this color!

(Cut back to the comic)

Linkara (v/o): I mean, it's not like I'm complaining, since now Sgt. Pepper apparently is being played by Lando Calrissian. I'm just wondering why the hell they didn't just keep him consistent. You've got Billy Preston playing Sgt. Pepper in the movie, so just make him that way in the original, too! And before anyone points out Peter Frampton being, you know, white, it was already established in the comic that Dougie was adopted. Make Billy adopted, too! Also, why the hell does Sgt. Pepper have a new magic cornet? This one comes from the weathervane. Does that mean there are two of them now?! Oh, and by playing the new cornet, Sgt. Pepper magically makes Strawberry return to life and appear before Billy!!

(Cut to a clip of an episode of Scrubs)

Dr. Cox: (to a female nurse) When you're waiting for someone to magically get better all by themselves, the whole thing becomes about time.

Linkara: (confused) Huh.

Linkara (v/o): The cornet proceeds to transform the Bee Gees into their Sgt. Pepper clothes.

Mark: They're the Lonely Hearts Club Band's magic uniforms!

Linkara: (incredulously) The uniforms are magic, too?! That was never mentioned before! My God, this truly is (makes an "air quote") "It's magic, we don't have to explain it!"

Sgt. Pepper: I'm not done yet. In a flick of my hand, I will put all of you bad people back on the righteous path. Mr. Mustard, Brute, Lucy and the Diamonds, it's time for you to enter the orders.

Linkara (v/o): And indeed, we see that they are now magically dressed like the Pope, a bishop, and some nuns.

Linkara: This is gonna be really awkward if it turns out any of them are Jewish.

Sgt. Pepper: B.D. and Dougie, don't you know that wealth is a reward for hard work and honor... not shameless greed? Now, you shall make amends.

Linkara (v/o): Said amends are... to have B.D. wrapped up in the tape recording of the benefit concert... and... Dougie to become a monk? The hell? Oh, and by the way, this really does fit with the Sgt. Pepper mind control mindset: redemption does not come about through personal choice and guilt, it is forced upon you, regardless of free will. But yeah, he gives Billy and Strawberry a happily ever after together.

Sgt. Pepper: Finally, to all you Heartlanders, who believe in the joy and love that the sound of music can bring... I give you the power to become the star of your own dreams.

Linkara: Yeah, that sounds great and all... at least until one of the Heartlanders secretly has murder fantasies! Thanks, Sgt. Pepper!

Linkara (v/o): And so, our comic ends with Sgt. Pepper becoming the weathervane again, telling them that they must all now work to make the world better.

Sgt. Pepper: Fill every man's heart with happiness. So that there's no more sadness. Music is the key. Music is the way... to live bright and sunny days, forever and always.

Linkara: (looking off to the side, stroking chin in thought) "Forever and always"... "Music is the key"... (looks back into camera with confusion) So, if we listen to the theme from Baywatch, we'll solve all the world's problems?

Linkara (v/o): (incredulously) How much "Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds" did you have to take to think up this ending?! This feels tacked on, like the studio mandated a happy ending, and they couldn't think of anything except "Weathervane comes to life and fixes everything"! What the hell would've happened if the weathervane had been a rooster instead of this guy?! Would we have had poultry singing and dancing to a Beatles song?!

Linkara: (stroking chin) Actually, come to think of it, I kinda want to see that now.

Linkara (v/o): Oh, and when the weathervane returns to its former state, it's clearly no longer Billy Preston. Doesn't even make sense in this context anyway.

(Cut to a clip of the movie showing Preston as Sgt. Pepper)

Linkara (v/o): In the movie, when he becomes Billy Preston, he sings "Get Back", a song that Billy Preston recorded with the Beatles.

(Back to the comic again)

Linkara (v/o): He doesn't even say the lyrics in the comic! What the hell was the point of it here?

Linkara: And so, this momentous occasion draws to a close, and what else can I really say but (holds up comic) this comic sucks!

Linkara (v/o): In some ways, it is superior to the movie in that it explains some aspects in greater detail, like the idea that it is Sgt. Pepper coming back to life briefly, while in the movie, it's just the weathervane itself comes to life for no reason. Unfortunately, it also has all the same story deficiencies as the movie when it comes to a lack of explanation for anything. Why are Sal and his band considered losers? Where did F.V.B. find all these guys who have the magical instruments? Why, if this is a famous wartime band that stops several wars, did they not have a music contract until now, and they're not more famous when they relaunched? The inclusion of Beatles songs feels even more superfluous here than in the movie. At least with that, it's just kind of a surreal experience. But here, we do have dialogue on occasion. But that also points to the fact that since there's so little dialogue, we need narration to tell us what characters are feeling and doing. Mind you, that was often true of a lot of comic books at the time, but still, it feels more like something copied from the film because of the lack of character development there, too. Plot points go nowhere, like Strawberry's parents or Brute being pacified by music, and the ending is a big ol' deus ex machina! Aside from some artistic hiccups here or there, though, George Perez's artwork continues to shine on through and give us distinct individuals for everyone, capturing the likenesses of the lead characters beautifully. And the hiccups can really be forgiven, considering how miserable a time he was having on this book.

Linkara: And thus ends another review, my friends. And because I've gone on for so long, I feel I need to say something. So, let me conclude things out with this statement...

(The music of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" starts up and Linkara sings to it)

Linkara:

It's 400 episodes today
Four hundred times that you hit play
I hope that I have made you smile
That's another comic for the pile

(He throws the "Sgt. Pepper" comic on a pile of other old comics he reviewed)

Linkara:

Before the credits roll again
Let me say to viewers, new and old
Atop the Fourth Wall is never ending!

(We are then shown montages of past episodes of the show as the song continues)

Linkara (v/o):

Atop the Fourth Wall is never ending
I always want to do the show
Atop the Fourth Wall is never ending
There are still comics out there that blow
Atop the Fourth Wall is, Atop the Fourth Wall is,
Atop the Fourth Wall will never end!
The video players change
The reviewers will, too
The critics will still snark and joke
We still will entertain you all
We hope to entertain
And even if someday you die,
Give another show out there a try
As long as you can still find a way
To laugh and smile every day
The show will never really end
That's a promise from Linkara!
Atop the Fourth Wall is never ending!

Linkara: That's it for this one! See you all next week for "Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man" and all the weeks to follow for a whole lot more! (gets up and leaves)

Linkara (v/o): (singing) Linkara...

(End credits roll)

We can forgive the lack of "Lovely Rita" in the movie, though, simply because Sandy's rendition of "Strawberry Fields Forever" is so damn good.

Originally this was supposed to end with cameos dancing to this song, but sadly didn't get enough to justify it. Enjoy the clip show!

(Stinger: Douwe Egbert is seen playing his guitar, but hits a sour note)

Egbert: Shit! I'm sorry...

(Lewis and the others are heard laughing in the background. Cut to another stinger, showing the Bee Gees having a fight with some goons. Barry Gibb punches one goon so hard that he falls face-first into a pie. Then cut once more to the clip of the Bee Gees on SNL)

Barry: (standing up dramatically) I'm Barry effin' Gibb! (does some karate motions before sitting back down)

Barry and Robin Gibb: (kicking their legs out) Hi-ya! Hi-ya! (turn to each other) HA!

(end)

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