Another 15 Missed Opportunities
December 31, 2015
Another 15 jokes or remarks that could have been made!
(The room is still decorated for Christmas, but Linkara is now wearing his normal attire)
Linkara: Hello, and welcome to Atop the Fourth Wall, where bad comics burn. Two thousand fifteen is coming to a close, my friends, and... (hesitates slightly) it was okay, actually. We had some highs, some lows, but ultimately, not too bad. (frowns) Sure as hell better than 2014 was. Screw that year!
(Cut to a montage of shots of the covers of comics Linkara reviewed over the past year)
Linkara (v/o): By contrast, this year saw a lot more in terms of positive reviews, mostly thanks to us starting to do Patreon-sponsored videos. Some of them were obscure comic titles, like "Protoplasman" or "Steam Wars", while others were so outside my area of expertise that you've got to wonder why the hell they asked me to do it, like "Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines" or the first act of "Homestuck". By that same token, Patreon saw me looking at much more mainstream stuff, like a crossover between Star Trek: The Next Generation and Doctor Who, or even yet another "New 52" review with the bedecimaled "Green Lantern #23.1".
Linkara: That one was there lest ye feared that Patreon-sponsored reviews would lead me to just reviewing good stuff. (gives a thumbs-up) Thanks for the utter mediocrity with your retcons, DC!
Linkara: And both have to do with robots and cyborgs. (shrugs) Coincidence? (points to camera) You make the call!
Linkara (v/o): The awesome and stupid were represented with the triumphant return of "Brute Force" and the out-of-nowhere Doctor Who with "Power Man and Iron Fist". New beginnings of stupid were brought to us in our follow-up to "Marville", "Trouble". And most topical of all, we went back to where Star Wars all began, with an adaptation of George Lucas' original rough draft.
(Cut to a shot of the cover of "All-Star Batman and Robin #9")
Linkara (v/o): My video host of many years finally closed down, forcing me to have a larger presence on YouTube and a more thorough switchover to Screenwave.
Linkara: Just FYI – some people say adjusting the settings by hitting the HD button should fix some problems if you have them. And boy, will that be obsolete if I have to jump players again.
Linkara (v/o): History of Power Rangers concluded. Some undead jackass took over my living room twice this year, but the events of my life were much more low-key than normal. Well, aside from my birthday, when I went into space with some friends of mine, then later hallucinated a whole bunch after meeting some random blonde woman who stole my magic coin.
Linkara: I should really follow up on that at some point. Which brings us to the subject of today: things I probably should have done earlier. These are Another 15 Missed Opportunities of Atop the Fourth Wall!
(A montage of clips of of Linkara's past episodes are shown, set, as is often the case with Linkara's "missed opportunities" videos, to Frank Sinatra's "My Way", before showing the title for this; this will be the interlude footage throughout the video. Cut then to the AT4W opening titles, followed by the title card, which has "My Way" playing in the background)
Linkara (v/o): Number 15: From "Zombies Christmas Carol #1-3".
(The panel showing Scrooge telling off Mr. Sands and Mr. Jeffers is shown)
Linkara (v/o): Yeah, starting this one off from just two weeks ago, thanks to a glorious pun suggested by a commenter. So, Mr. Sands and Mr. Jeffers, now rejected by the miserly old asshole, walk out into the street. I guess they're just gonna have to face the zombie apocalypse themselves.
Linkara: I think we can definitively say that these two are utterly Scrooged. (grins)
Linkara (v/o): Number 14: From "SCI-Spy #5".
(Shots of "SCI-Spy #5" are shown, emphasizing the reveal of Isis as a robot)
Linkara (v/o): So, Isis Nile is in fact a robot. Or at least, there's a robot version of her running around who also happens to be a TARDIS. I could make an obscure Doctor Who joke here and mention the Melkur from Keeper of Traken, buuut instead, I'll make an obscure self-referential joke to my own show. During the firefight, Robo-Isis gets her head blown off. This is, for some reason, a bit of a problem, since once you blow the robot's head off, it's now completely useless to them.
Linkara: Now we truly know that the future is dumb. Don't you remember "Strange Adventures #136"? (a shot of Robot J-9 appears in the corner) Robot J-9 had swappable heads! Just pop on a new one, Isis! I am annoyed that our technology has gone backwards from otherwise completely unrelated books that don't take place in the same universe!
Linkara (v/o): I mean, she is bigger on the inside. Did nobody think to pack a helmet or a spare head in that thing? We remembered Random Cone-Headed Girl, who I'm sure we're supposed to know, but not something to keep her head from exploding?
Linkara (v/o): Number 13: From "All-Star Batman and Robin #5".
(A shot of the ASBAR version of Wonder Woman is shown)
Linkara (v/o): Behold Bonkers Betty, Frank Miller's reinterpretation of a feminist icon, probably the most popular and well-known superheroine in history and the third member of DC's Trinity.
Wonder Woman: (to a man in her way) Out of my way, sperm bank.
Linkara (v/o): She walks around the city, gripping a newspaper tightly with death in her eyes and insulting someone who's barely in her way, and people are either lecherous towards her or rightfully terrified of her. Her narration indicates that everything about this place makes her want to murder basically everything and everyone around her because of all the evils of men. Her conversation with the, quote-unquote, "Justice League" makes it clear she wants to put one of her stilettos through Crazy Steve's head.
Wonder Woman: We hunt down the Bat-Man like a rabid dog. We kill him. We chop off his head and plant it on a stake and present it to your "authorities"-- as their first gift from the Justice League.
Linkara: Aaaand with this character and this interpretation of her in particular, never before has it been more appropriate to yell, "Pants to be darkened!"
Wonder Woman: We announce to all the world that we police our own. If none of you are man enough, I'll dispatch that psychopath myself.
Linkara (v/o): Themyscira's ambassador of peace and truth to the world, everybody.
Linkara (v/o): Number 12: From "Wild Thing #1".
(Cut to a shot of the comic's cover)
Linkara (v/o): You know, for an episode where I opened the review portion by talking about how I wanted to review it based on its cover, I missed out on kind of a major thing about it. I probably forgot about it, because usually when I'm reviewing something, I'm doing it based on a scan of the book, and, well, this thing is really only viewable in a physical sense. You see, in addition to "Wild Thing"'s piss-poor costume, the Escher girl's posing in the upper left; the inclusion of Venom and Carnage, because popular characters on a cover sell; generally awful art with bad proportions; and a lack of background; this cover is also a gimmick cover. And the worst part is that it's not even a particularly cool cover gimmick, like something shiny and sparkly. No, no. The gimmick? The characters are raised off the flat surface of the cover so it's bumpy. That's it.
(Shots of the Escher girl in the comic proper are shown)
Linkara (v/o): And clearly, this comic above all else deserved a gimmick: a boring, generic story about a cyberpunk future lady who travels into virtual reality and fight supervillains to increase sales. Because, you know, it's like being in virtual reality and everything is so real! It's like the characters in the comic are coming right at you, like in 3D!
Linkara: (holding up comic) Or maybe the original intention was for it to be raised even higher so perverts could rub their fingers on Wild Thing and something went wrong. (shrugs) Who can say?
Linkara (v/o): Number 11: From "Kamandi At Earth's End #5".
(The final panels of the comic are shown)
Linkara (v/o): So, something weird happens at the end of this issue that comes right the hell out of nowhere that I didn't catch before. At this point, Bearded Idiot has been blasted away and Kamandi is speaking with Mother Machine, who is suddenly on the opposite side of the country because of reasons, and Mother Machine wants him to come back into the bunker. He asks if he can bring Saphira and her pants with odd holes in them, too.
Mother Machine: No. She is not permitted. You have Carol to give you pleasure. This girl is not permitted.
Kamandi: But, Mother... Carol's only a simulation... I can't have children with Carol...
Linkara: When the hell has Kamandi ever shown any interest in having kids? Hell, given his already childish mindset, I imagine it's more just so that he can have some more friends to play with.
Linkara (v/o): Not to mention, when the hell did Kamandi and Saphira start a romance? How exactly did he sell her on this idea, anyway?
Linkara: (as Kamandi) Hello, woman, I've known for less than a week. Would you like to spend the rest of your life living in my basement and boning so we can have lots of kids that you'll have to be responsible for, since all I know how to do is wash my hair and shoot guns? (grins)
Linkara (v/o): Number 10: From "Comic Book Quickies #3".
(Cut to a panel from one the quickies: "Marvel Team-Up: Aunt May and Franklin Richards vs. Galactus")
Linkara (v/o): And since this is from a "Comic Book Quickies" episode, this'll be quick. So, Aunt May, having become Galactus' Herald...
Linkara: Yeah, if you haven't seen this episode yet, ya might want to pause and take a gander.
Linkara (v/o): ...flies out into space in search of new sustenance for Galactus. Since Galactus previously gorged himself on every Hostess product on Earth, Aunt May is supposed to find planets. And oh, boy, does she find one! The mother lode of planets! That's no moon, that's a battle cake! And thus we have the only clip that could ever describe such a thing...
(Cut to a clip of Ghostbusters)
Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson): That's a big Twinkie.
Linkara (v/o): Number 9: "Neutro #1".
(Cut to a closeup of the comic's cover)
Linkara (v/o): Yeah, we're going all the way back to a classic for this one. The most powerful robot ever constructed, the devastation of all mankind, the one who does not know the difference between right and wrong: Neutro!
Linkara: Basically, it's been pointed out to me that the various things we were shown that Neutro could do was essentially a Chuck Norris list before Chuck Norris lists were a thing, so why stop with what they presented?
Linkara (v/o): Neutro was once bit by a rattlesnake. After three days of pain and suffering, the rattlesnake died! When Death came for Neutro, he just shook Neutro's hand and told him thanks for all the help. Neutro was originally supposed to be in The Force Awakens. He only bowed out because, if not, no other film would ever win the box office again. Neutro doesn't play Angry Birds. When he plays, it's Cowering In Fear of Neutro Birds! Neutro has all 974 Pokemon! That's right, he has the ones that haven't been invented yet.
Linkara: Why hasn't Neutro been on the show for like three years? (points to camera) Because he went out for drinks with Mr. T, (leans in close to camera) and they haven't finished yet.
Linkara (v/o): Number 8: From "Daredevil #1".
(The panel of Daredevil's built-in radar is shown)
Linkara (v/o): Daredevil has developed a built-in radar that allows him to walk around and avoid obstacles, handily indicated with this "ping!" sound effect, because I guess his built-in radar is a literal radar with a little bell inside of it. However, I have my own theory about what that is, based on this dotted line. Clearly, Billy from "The Family Circus" is throwing things at him for stealing his gimmick, but just happens to be doing it at the right time for him to turn.
Linkara: Yes, a "Family Circus" joke in the year 2015 from a comic book reviewer on the Internet. This is the kind of topical, cutting-edge humor you've come to expect from a pioneer like myself.
Linkara (v/o): Number 7: From "Captain America Comics #1".
(The panel showing Red Skull attacking Bucky Barnes is shown)
Linkara (v/o): The Red Skull, having gotten a hold of Bucky and held him hostage, plots to kill him soon.
Captain America: (behind door) Knock! Knock!
Red Skull: Who's there?
Linkara: (as Captain America, holding up his shield) FREEDOM! (holds up and fires a machine gun)
Captain America: (bursting in) It's me, you sap!
Linkara (v/o): I love how he's running like this. Screw Captain America as a jogger, he's doing the splits in the air here.
Linkara: (as Captain America) On your right? No. On your face! (makes a punching motion)
Linkara (v/o): But actually, the missed opportunity here is a glorious line of dialogue from the Red Skull as he flees from Captain America.
Red Skull: So they think they're winning, do they? I'll be back--- with more murder!
Linkara: It's one of those lines, like (makes "finger quotes") "I'll kill you to death," where you really have to wonder what he even means by that. Is he planning on returning with a murder of crows, or is he gonna drop off a dead body in front of them and be like, (as Red Skull) "Ha! You're not really succeeding in beating up my goons, because I killed this guy!"
Linkara (v/o): Number 6: From "Youngblood #7".
(The infamous shot of Troll showering is shown)
Linkara (v/o): So, while Troll is showering...
Linkara: (smiling) Aaaaand there's your happy thought to end the year on! At least your nightmares are getting a good start in 2016! (shrugs)
Linkara (v/o): And the narration captions inform us of this little factoid...
Narrator: A little known piece of super-hero [sic] trivia: they can't sing.
Linkara: Oh, yeah? I think a certain Man of Steel would disagree with you there.
(Cut to a clip of It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's Superman!)
Superman (David Wilson): (singing) Don't they know... the strongest man... can cry...
Linkara: At the very least, Peter Parker proved they can dance.
(A clip of Spider-Man 3 is shown, showing Peter Parker dancing like an imbecile)
Linkara (v/o): Number 5: From "Marville #6".
(Cut to a closeup of the cover for "Marville #3")
Linkara (v/o): So, one of the things I harped on in regards to "Marville #3"...
Linkara: (exasperatedly) Or the hologram of me did, if you want to be pedantic.
Linkara (v/o): ...is how that book stated how wrong it was, how sad it was, that molecules had to die, that God should have set up a system where nothing had to die, ever and ever and ever and oh, my God, even hippies look at this crap and say, "Dude, what the hell?"
(Cut to the panel from "Marville #6", showing Al's description of how animals were taught to limit compassion for their own species)
Linkara (v/o): Buuuut then we had "Marville #6", which tries to tell us that this system is necessary for the world to work, that we shouldn't feel sad about it, even though it spent an issue telling us how much it sucks. It tries to justify it by saying that without that system, animals would multiply and plants would die off and yadda yadda yadda. And while originally my notes for this missed opportunity were about the contradiction, I think what "Marville" was trying to do was to show development, that the system sucks, but it's okay, even if it does suck, but that ultimately this whole thing is supposed to be about world peace, which really means he's just rambling and meandering around and freely admitting that Jemas himself had no idea what the hell he was saying. There is no grand philosophy to all of this, especially when you consider the idea of animals killing each other is for population control, but then brings up fighting amongst humans was originally for fun and crap. What, we're special because we're more intelligent? That seems to be the implication, since they bring up how stupid the dinosaurs are... except, of course, that contradicts issue 4, where the dinosaurs could talk and have intelligent conversation!
Linkara: So I guess this one is not so much a missed opportunity so much as it is you could write a three-volume book on everything wrong with "Marville" and still only scratch the surface. That being said, on the subject of world peace... (grins)
Linkara (v/o): Number 4: From "Marville #5".
(The panel showing Jack tell Al, Lucy and Mickey about the threat of World War III is shown)
Linkara (v/o): Jack, who may or may not God, tells the assembled group of morons why he's doing this.
Jack: (to Mickey) You and Al and Lucy are all rich and famous in your time. And in your time, the world is heading towards an all-out war. If the three of you can understand the roots of war, maybe you can work to prevent World War III.
Linkara (v/o): Hmm... Forgetting for a second that that plot point is completely dropped right afterwards, that is a noble goal: world peace, preventing war and all.
Linkara: Except, there's a bit of a problem with that: Al is from the future. Al is from the year 5002 AD. Al is from 3,000 years in the future, and everything is (scowls) hunky-dory! So even if World War III is a thing, and it clearly wasn't, things seem pretty okay in the future.
Linkara (v/o): I mean, hell, not only do people live longer, as evidenced by 3,000-year-old Ted Turner and Jane Fonda, but our retro video game consoles will survive all that time in a dude's basement, too.
Linkara: And also that our retro game consoles can be repurposed into grandiose sci-fi tech. I eagerly turning my Game Boy Pocket into a fully-function holodeck.
Linkara (v/o): Number 3: From "Gameboy #3".
Linkara: So, since this is coming out on the final day of 2015, it falls to me to make the final Back to the Future joke of the year while I still have time.
Linkara (v/o): So, our old pal Herman has gone to Jerky's Burger Bar to calm his nerves a bit after stealing his mom's money and car.
Linkara: Herman: (salutes while holding Captain America's shield) a true American hero!
Linkara (v/o): However, there's someone else at this burger bar who we should be concerned with: Marty McFly!
(To a dramatic sting, the camera zooms in on one bar patron with his back turned to the reader, who wears a red-orange vest like what McFly wears)
Linkara (v/o): What, think it's some trucker or someone else with a random red-orange vest?
Linkara: (looking thoughtful) Although, admittedly, a Game Boy comic crossover with US-1 would be pretty awesome.
Linkara (v/o): But no, I have further evidence that this is Marty. Recall that Pionpi came through the Game Boy next to threaten Herman, wanting him to be brought to a major population center; in this case, China. So allow me to remind you of this clip from the review...
Linkara (v/o): (audio from review) What did they do, add link cables?
Linkara: (not wearing his hat) Link cables? (puts on a rainbow-swirl cap) Where we're going, (dons sunglasses) we don't need link cables.
(To the climactic music from Back to the Future, panels of Herman's car being driven by Tatanga's army are shown)
Linkara (v/o): Number 2: From "Tandy Computer Whiz Kids: The Computer Trap".
(A panel of Judy Baker in the museum with Alec and Shanna is shown)
Linkara (v/o): So, Judy Baker is inside this Museum of Technology and Computers or whatever, along with Alec and Shanna. Terrorists have taken over the Nakatomi Institute of Computers... Seriously, these "Whiz Kids" comics blend into each other so much, I really don't recall what this place was, and I don't feel like looking it up again. ...and the good Miss Baker needs to contact her newspaper to get word to them, and subsequently the police, about what's going on down here. Her solution is to place an "acoustic coupler", which involves placing a phone on this device, to send a message through the phone lines on her Tandy 100 computer to her newspaper.
Linkara: Yep, pretty much a flawless plan. (nods, then becomes frustrated) Why not just use the phone AS A PHONE?!
Linkara (v/o): And don't tell me it's because she's worried about making too much noise. She's loudly explaining what the hell she's doing! They don't even find her because of noise, just that they hear her communications with the coupler. But yeah, remember, kids: it's always more important to show your products than do the thing that'll be quicker and more helpful.
(Cut to a clip of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 gang watching Design For Dreaming, showing a woman being enthused by so many futuristic gadgets in the house)
Crow: Just because it's futuristic doesn't mean it's practical.
Linkara (v/o): And the number-one missed opportunity this time is from... "Red Hood and the Outlaws #1".
(Shots of this comic are shown)
Linkara (v/o): So, everybody's favorite tool, Jason Todd, rescues Roy Harper, and fortunately, not his stupid trucker hat, from a bunch of people who'd like to kill him in the fictional nation of Qurac. However, they are soon confronted by a series of tanks, and in this very tense situation, one normally uses humor to defuse things. Unfortunately, one's taste in humor sometimes goes very lowbrow and very stupid, although, in this case, as it turns out, it's just very stupid.
Jason: I hope you have at least one good backup.
Roy: 38 of them.
Narrator: I don't get it. Who do we know who carries a pair of 38s?
Linkara (v/o): Aaaaand Starfire!
Linkara: (mock amusement) It's funny because Starfire's mammary glands are quite sizable! (smiles) Except, of course, it's actually an incredibly stupid joke.
Linkara (v/o): See, I'm sure the two were going for bra size, which has a number and then a letter for cup size... except that number does not refer to the size of the breasts, but the band size, meaning that "a pair of 38s" means absolutely nothing here!
Linkara: Hate to play the stereotypes here, but it really says something when it comes to the male comic writer knowing nothing about women and their clothing.
(Cut to a closeup of the comic, "Just Imagine Stan Lee Creating the Flash")
Linkara (v/o): And that's it for 2015, everybody. It's been a very interesting year.
(Cut to a closeup of another comic, "Nightmares On Elm Street")
Linkara (v/o): And hopefully, 2016 will continue to bring us some interesting things to talk about.
Linkara: In particular, next year will bring us a crap-ton of "Star Trek" reviews in honor of its 50th anniversary, at least one Pokemon review in honor of its 20th, a more thorough retrospective on Blue Beetle, more Patreon-sponsored reviews, some old favorites, some new favorites, and the 400th episode... which no one has guessed so far, not that I expect them to. (salutes) See you then.
(End credits roll)
Sooo I apparently forgot that my last "Missed Opportunities" videos was two years ago and this should really have been another 15 screw-ups. Whoops.
I'm sure Saphira was sold on the relationship idea, too, what with her arguing with Kamandi previously about the value of books and their quantity of Thinking.
(Stinger: A panel of "Marville #1" is shown, showing Al getting into his time machine, bidding farewell to his parents)
Linkara (v/o): You know, given the year Al comes from and his going back in time is really the first major plot point of "Marville", we have him to blame for all of it. And thus I dub him...
(Cut to a clip of the MST3K gang watching...)
Film narrator: Terror From the Year 5000! (Mike and the Bots let out a startled yelp)