Avengers Assemble Featuring Captain Citrus #1
May 4, 2015
Saving the world with orange juice and Florida!
Linkara: Hello, and welcome to Atop the Fourth Wall, where bad comics burn. As you can tell from the title of this episode, this is not the Patreon-requested comic strip "My Cage". That'll be coming later this month, after a bit of reorganization. What are we doing instead? Well, (dramatically) welcome, my friends, to "PSA Hell"!
("PSA Hell" title is shown)
Linkara: Yeah, if I'm going to do a Patreon-sponsored episode, I want to actually devote time to researching it and giving it the time it deserves. Unfortunately, I'm having to write, record and edit this episode in, like, three days unexpectedly. Whoops.
(Cut to a shot of the poster for Avengers: Age of Ultron)
Linkara (v/o): But fortunately, sometimes, comics provide for us with shorter stuff that we can work with, plus episodes that I can capitalize on, thanks to the recent release of Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Linkara: Did I also mention that I just paid taxes, so I'm feeling a little bit broke right now?
(The poster for Age of Ultron is shown again)
Linkara (v/o): Although, I'm sure when this eventually gets reloaded to my YouTube account, people will still be wondering what the hell I'm talking about when Age of Ultron was released years ago or something. But whatever. The point is, orange juice!
(Cut to a shot of a poster showing the "amazing 5" of orange juice: taste, vitamin C, potassium, folate, and no sugar added)
Linkara (v/o): Yeah, last September, Marvel teamed up with the Florida Department of Citrus to produce this comic.
(Cut to a shot of Captain Citrus, the department's mascot, who is a giant orange with arms and legs. Yeah.)
Linkara (v/o): The department's already had a mascot called Captain Citrus, who appeared to be some kind of sapient orange that encourages you to drink its blood. Also, it was from space or something.
(Cut to a shot of a pile of oranges, some green in color)
Linkara (v/o): Orange sales have apparently gone down over the last decade in Florida, due to a number of factors, not the least of which being a disease called greening that has negatively affected orange production.
Linkara: This is what happens when you try to go green for everything. Does anyone really want green orange products? I mean, besides Ecto Cooler?
(Cut to a shot of an Avengers comic featuring a new version of Captain Citrus, a citrus-based superhero)
Linkara (v/o): The point is that they revamped the character to try to promote Florida citrus and thus decided to work with Marvel since, well, superheroes are big today, the Avengers in particular. And thus, we have the revamped Captain Citrus seen here, producing at least two comics featuring the character alongside the Avengers. There's supposedly a third that was being produced, but I haven't seen it. However, this is one of the unique opportunities where you can read the comic at the same time as I'm reviewing it, since, at the time of this video's release, there's a free digital copy of the book on the Florida Citrus website.
Linkara: And I know what some of you are thinking: "Wait, doesn't this break your rule of only reviewing comics that are a year old?" To which I say, "Let's dig into (holds up comic of review) 'Avengers Assemble Featuring Captain Citrus #1', and see if anybody actually cares about that or this book, of all things."
(Title sequence rolls, followed by title card, which has "Fruit Nut" by XTC playing in the background; cut to a closeup of the comic's cover)
Linkara (v/o): The cover is fine, if a little plain. In the background, we see four of the Avengers, Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow and Captain America, rushing to the sides, while front and center is our new star Captain Citrus. I've got to say, it's not all that bad a costume. I mean, like the cover, it's rather plain, but we've seen worse hero outfits, and I actually kind of like the green grass lining on the pants; helps break up the colors a bit. That being said, I'm not quite sold on his chest insignia. I'm sure they're going for a sun or an orange or something, but the arrows make it look like his symbol is actually a joystick from above.
Linkara: Maybe Captain Citrus is an unlockable character if you do the Konami code.
Linkara (v/o): We open in Florida, naturally, where a bunch of pink creatures are leaping up from the ground and tossing around very tiny cars. A mother and her child run up to some police officers.
Mother: Please... help us! These... These monsters... They came out of nowhere!
Policeman #1: Everything looks under control to me, ma'am.
Policeman #2: Yeah. Move along, please.
Linkara: I'd call out the cops on this horrible behavior, buuut this is the Marvel Universe. They're probably jaded to this kind of thing by now.
Linkara (v/o): Meanwhile, the Avengers are arriving in the Quinjet.
Iron Man: Our intel from S.H.I.E.L.D. was right, Cap...check out those freaks!
Linkara: (as Captain America, holding Cap's shield, frustrated) Tony... (facepalms himself) Those are the Florida civilians we're trying to rescue.
Captain America: They're called humanoids, Tony. Despite their name, they're actually androids...
Linkara: (as Captain America) They also more resemble ladybugs, so... we're actually really confused about the name.
Captain America: They're nearly invulnerable to physical attack, so our only hope is to scramble their internal circuitry.
Linkara: (still as Captain America) We've prepared several copies of Internet Explorer to install on them.
Linkara (v/o): And so the four Avengers charge out, leaving nobody to fly the Quinjet as it crashes into Disney World or something. They engage the robots and wonder where exactly they're coming from. But enough of the superhero action; let's head on over to an orange grove and the family that farms on it.
Father: Deb, if you're not going to eat a big breakfast, at least drink your orange juice.
Linkara: (as Deb) Actually, I'm really more into apple juice. (as father; gasps) I HAVE NO DAUGHTER!
Linkara (v/o): Their TV on the wall is soon reporting about the artwork from the previous page of the Avengers going into battle.
Newscaster: This is a special news alert! Orlando is under attack by hundreds of creatures! In response, the Avengers have arrived, but they're greatly outnumbered!
Linkara: (as newscaster) This has been Plot Convenience News, all the plot that needs reporting on for the characters that need to know.
Linkara (v/o): The son of the family, John, sees the news and realizes he needs to leave.
John: For whatever reason, these solar pods chose our backyard to fall into...and me to bond with-- Now I have to use them.
Father: We're proud of you, John. But be careful...it sounds dangerous out there.
Linkara: Turns out this isn't Captain Citrus; he just wants to go out there to sell the solar pods to somebody.
Linkara (v/o): Whatever the "solar pods" are, it's kind of nice that John's family is fully aware of his superhero duties. You still don't see that very often in comics, even after all these years. Anyway, by going into another room and activating the "solar pods", John becomes CAPTAIN CITRUS!
Captain Citrus: ...Let's show the world what CAPTAIN CITRUS can do!
Linkara: (as Captain Citrus, posing) Mostly, I can do lemonade and Sunny D.
Linkara (v/o): Back in Orlando, an energy blast comes down and hits one of the humidroids or whatever.
Captain America: Thanks for the assist, Iron Man!
Linkara (v/o): However, it's not Iron Man that saved Cap.
Captain Citrus: Actually, the name's Captain Citrus. Need a hand?
Captain America: Definitely. What did you shoot them with?
Captain Citrus: Pure Florida sunshine.
Linkara: (as Captain Citrus) Just wait until you see my Florida humidity attack.
Linkara (v/o): I don't know if that line is so bad it's good or just plain stupid. But either way, regardless of how silly this is, I do actually like that Cap just accepts the help right away. Cap's an accepting sort of guy, and Captain Citrus, despite how goofy that sounds, proves right out of the starting gate to be helpful. Hell, he even asks if Cap needs any help rather than insisting on helping. But back to the ridiculous, as we see another of Captain Citrus' juice-based powers: hard light weapons he can summon up.
Linkara: So does Captain Citrus actually have any powers revolving around... (waves hand) you know, citrus?
Linkara (v/o): Cap summons the other Avengers to him, explaining that he has a plan: Captain Citrus can focus his solar energy through Thor's hammer and create a wide, arcing beam that'll take out the androids in a single burst.
Captain Citrus: I'm projecting all the power I can, Thor. I hope I don't overload your hammer!
Thor: You needn't worry, new friend. Mjolnir can contain any force.
Linkara: (as Thor, holding up his hammer) Mjolnir comes equipped with the mightiest of surge protectors.
Linkara (v/o): The plan works, and the androids are all disabled. However, Thor says they're not done yet, seeing as they don't know who sent the humanoids or why the authorities didn't intervene.
Captain America: Officers, none of you lifted a finger to help. What happened?
Police Officer: I--I can't explain it, Captain. I know it sounds crazy, but at the time everything looked normal.
Linkara: (as police officer) I mean, usually, the attacks by killer robots happen in the evening, but still...
Captain Citrus: It may just be a coincidence, but the other day I noticed a clearing in a neighbor's grove, like the beginning of a construction project, but the center was covered by a huge tarp.
Captain America: I don't believe in coincidences.
Linkara: (as Captain Citrus) Hey, Cap, we both ordered the same drink from the coffee shop. (as Captain America) I don't believe in coincidences.
Linkara (v/o): And indeed, it is no coincidence, since they fly out to that grove and discover a giant metal structure collecting lightning. Criminy, look at that. Must've been one hell of a tarp covering it. The five exit the Quinjet to go to the structure and investigate, Captain Citrus ordered to go in last, as he can get out and alert S.H.I.E.L.D. if things go south. However, upon entering, they find this dude: The Leader. In case you've never heard of him, he's a Hulk villain, a guy enhanced by radiation.
Linkara: Because it is always radiation.
Linkara (v/o): And he gained increased intellect and a giant head, because radiation doesn't do anything half-assed. He also has a bunch of wires connected to his big-ass head while under the salon hairdryer. As soon as they approach The Leader, an energy field comes up and paralyzes the five while he begins monologuing. He's created a massive mind control device that's powered by local lightning storms. A byproduct of the machine, however, is extreme cold and frost, which is killing the surrounding orange groves, and he makes sure to tell us that.
Linkara: A machine that controls people's mind? Huh. Eh, just another day at the office. Destroying orange groves?! YOU DISEASED MANIACS!
Linkara (v/o): It seems he's sent the robots to test the city to test the machine's ability to control the police and now intends to take the mind of the President. Fortunately, Captain Citrus is able to break free of the restraining field, though even he admits he's not sure how he did it.
Captain Citrus: Maybe it's my solar pods--maybe it's my connection to these groves--or maybe you just really ticked me off.
Linkara: (dramatically) Captain Citrus, with powers and abilities too vague and ambiguous for the ordinary man!
Linkara (v/o): The Leader warns Captain Citrus that his machine will kill anyone who tries to tamper with it, but he has an offer of his own.
The Leader: But if you join me, together we can rule the world!
(Cut to the inevitable clip from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back)
Darth Vader: (to Luke Skywalker) With our combined strength, we can end this destructive conflict and bring order to the galaxy.
(Back to the comic)
Captain Citrus: Join you and betray my family? Think again, genius!
The Leader: No one refuse me! No one!
Linkara: (as The Leader, raising his fist in the air) DAMN YOU AND YOUR LEMONADE, CAPTAIN CITRUS!!
Linkara (v/o): Captain Citrus' blasts bounce right off of the machine, which fires back at him, but he's able to defend himself. He realizes the only way to cut off its power is to interrupt the lightning strikes going into the machine. Naturally, he decides to do that with his body; specifically, his repeatedly-mentioned "solar pods", which are apparently the circles on his wrists. He does this, and shockingly... yeah... he gets electrocuted and falls to the ground. The Avengers are freed as the machine goes off and they make short work of The Leader's androids, capturing him. They see that Captain Citrus is dead nearby, but then again, this is just an orange juice PSA, so naturally, he's not quite dead yet. Plants start sprouting up out of the ground around his arms, and his body glows; in particular, the solar pods.
Linkara: At this point, you really have to start wondering why they didn't name him (makes "finger quotes") "Captain Sun" or something.
Linkara (v/o): And he gets right up. The feedback from the lightning... it knocked me for a loop. I should've been a goner, but farmers down here... well, we're stronger than anyone knows.
Linkara: (as Captain Citrus) And it's all thanks to He Who Walks Behind the Rows.
Captain America: And you've shown that the efforts of one person can save all of humanity from would-be dictators. I don't know who you are in civilian life, but I know those closest to you will be very proud.
Linkara: (as Captain Citrus) Thanks, Cap. I'll be sure to tell my cat that you said that.
Linkara (v/o): And so, our comic ends with The Leader being taken away and Captain Citrus flying off.
Captain Citrus: What a day...I met the Avengers, fought one of their worst foes, and helped save the world... And just think, it all started with a glass of orange juice!
Linkara: (as Captain Citrus) It'll end with one, too! I'm contractually obligated eat oranges in some capacity for every one of my meals, and no other fruits. I feel dead inside. (closes comic and holds it up) Anyway, this comic... is actually pretty decent.
Linkara (v/o): Honestly, its biggest problem is that Captain Citrus, despite the name, does not seem to have any powers related to juice whatsoever. They're all based on sunlight or light in general. I mean, he's not the kind of character who's going to take the world by storm, but for a twelve-page story, it features the Avengers, plus another hero, fighting some bad guys, kicking ass, some drama at the end, and defeating the villain. All ends happily. It's fairly weak as a PSA, though, since there's nothing about the character to imply that eating oranges or drinking orange juice will lead you to be as strong as Captain Citrus, nor any real educational about oranges or the actual problems facing orange farmers, especially since they blame the problems orange farmers are having on a big-headed supervillain and his mind control machine versus the numerous other factors in real life. However, it's fun and a little silly, and really, sometimes that's all I want from my superhero comics.
Linkara: Speaking of fun and silly, next week, the Doctor Who and Star Trek: The Next Generation crossover comic. All of it. Thanks, Patreon! (gets up and leaves)
(End credits roll)
So did the solar pods give him the outfit, too, or did he make that himself?
This issue's individual title is "Choose Wisely," as if the entire story was building up to whether Captain Citrus was really going to betray everyone and join up with the Leader. Weird.
(Stinger: The panel showing John and his family is shown again)
Father: We're proud of you, John. But be careful...it sounds dangerous out there.
Linkara: (as father) Watch out for grape juice! If anyone throws it on you, you'll lose all your powers!