Brute Force #3
January 16, 2012
Cyborg animals, swamp monsters, and the Airzone Solution. It must be Brute Force!
(At a local convention, Linkara walks up onto a panel stage in front of a crowd)
Linkara: Brute Force.
(The audience cheers. Cut to a shot of the cover of "Brute Force #1")
Linkara (v/o): Yes, "Brute Force", the comic about animals given cybernetic enhancements to protect themselves against the ravages of man! Before we look back at what has come before in this awesomely stupid series, I'm sure some people are wondering of why we aren't looking at another issue of "New Guardians", like I solicited.
(Cut to a shot of the cover of "New Guardians #1")
Linkara (v/o): Don't worry, this isn't a case where the comic was good or that it didn't have any material. I'm just postponing it because I found something that I need to look into before I do a review properly.
(Cut to a shot of the cover of "Brute Force #2")
Linkara (v/o): Back to "Brute Force": as I've stated in the previous "Brute Force" reviews, we have ourselves a book created with the entire idea to sell toys... like pretty much every franchise ever made.
(Cut to a clip of Spaceballs)
Yogurt (Mel Brooks): Merchandising, merchandising!
(Cut back to the "Brute Force" cover)
Linkara (v/o): Of course, this unique case was that it was Marvel, a comic company, trying to sell a toy line with the tie-in comic before any toys were ever made, hoping to get toy makers to acquire the license to make the toys based on the stuff. It didn't take off.
(Linkara is now sitting on his futon again)
Linkara: But it did produce four issues of an insanely entertaining comic. Let's dig into (holding up today's comic) "Brute Force #3".
(AT4W title sequence plays; title card has "Linger" by The Cranberries playing in the background. Cut to a montage of shots of the first two "Brute Force" comics as Linkara gives a recap)
Linkara (v/o): The story so far: the president of ConGlobal Mega Corp. [Mr. Frost] stole his own property – namely, a cyborg gorilla – to use it, along with several other cyborg animals as his own personal mercenary force for whatever evil deed he felt like committing that day. Dr. Pierce, the inventor of the Brute Force technology, equipped a dolphin, an eagle, a bear, a kangaroo and a lion with armor to bring back the cyber gorilla and stop evil corporations from clearing away grazing land. The armor enhanced their strength, enhanced their intelligence, and granted the ability to shoot lasers from their eyes. In the last issue, the evil corporate president, Frost, sent down his team, Heavy Metal, to an oil tanker of a competing business, but Dr. Pierce arrived with Brute Force to stop them. However, Heavy Metal quickly escaped and Frost called the FBI on him, trying to frame Pierce for everything he had done.
(Cut to a closeup of the cover of today's comic)
Linkara (v/o): Our cover for this one is crowded, but with good reason. We have the five Brute Force animals walking in a swampy area, while behind, they're stalked by some kind of "Toxic Waste Terror", as the caption box puts it.
Linkara: Ah, yes, the Swamp Thing sequel series: "Swamp What the Hell".
Linkara (v/o): We open at the home of Charlie Sutton at almost four in the morning. Charlie was that guy who we briefly saw in issue 2, where we learned that Brute Force is in fact well-known among environmental groups and therefore can be hired out for whatever little dirty job they need to do.
Charlie: Why? Why? Why? Why? WHY?
(Cut to a clip of The Room)
Johnny (Tommy Wiseau): (anguished) Why, Lisa, WHY?! WHY?!?
(Cut back to the comic)
Charlie: Why am I still up? Why am I bothering with this? Why? Because... Because I'm dedicated to saving the Earth, that's why.
Linkara: (announcer voice) This has been "Rhetorical Questions and You". We now return to your regularly scheduled programming.
Charlie: And since I volunteered my home for the next meeting of the Fresh Air Organization's board of directors, I get to organize the presentation.
Linkara: (as Charlie, holding up index finger) New idea! Robot squirrels that can be unleashed upon the rain forest to defend trees with explosive acorns!
Linkara (v/o): Charlie spots some movement outside his window and grabs a baseball bat, deciding to confront whoever it is. However, the members of Brute Force storm in past him!
Wreckless the Bear: FOOD! You got food!
Linkara: (waving dismissively) No, no, no, no, no. You're a bear; he is food. A bit stringy, I admit, but still...
Linkara (v/o): The Brute Force quickly starts raiding the guy's house, knocking over his fridge and trying to get his fish. The animals quickly realize they're frightening the poor guy and decide to explain what the hell is going on. Pierce ordered Brute Force to retreat while he stayed behind to try to clear his name.
Soar the Eagle: (narrating) According to Dr. Pierce, it would have been the end of Brute Force-- they'd have taken away our armor, our thoughts, made us just... animals again!
Linkara: Yeah, I mean, your sentience has done nothing but help so far...
Linkara (v/o): ...what with the destruction of several acres of rain forest you claimed to be defending, the destruction of that factory that probably put several people in the hospital, and probably also got people fired because of the lost productivity. Oh, and let's not forget just breaking and entering this guy's house and wrecking his stuff.
Linkara: Truly, you are the best that the natural world has to offer.
Linkara (v/o): The eagle says he was told to pass on a message to Charlie.
Soar: "Please help keep the dream alive!" Does this mean something to you?
Linkara: (as Charlie) Yes, but I always thought that "Linger" was a better Cranberries song than "Dream".
Charlie: Pierce's dream... to create a team of bio-enhanced animals-- you--that would safeguard the world from its impending environmental Armageddon!
Linkara: Yeah, he tended to blow stuff out of proportion like that, since this "impending Armageddon" is approaching rather leisurely, since there are still rain forests and trees and animals and etc.
Linkara (v/o): Charlie says he'll help the animals however he can. Buuut...
Charlie: I am, first and foremost, a member of the environmental group Fresh Air. I abide by their decisions. I can't help you unless they approve.
Linkara: (as Charlie) I am Charlie Sutton of Borg. I make no independent decisions except for what the collective has decided.
Linkara (v/o): We cut to the regional headquarters of the FBI, where Pierce is being interrogated.
FBI agent: Why not just come clean and tell us what you hoped to gain from this mad scheme?
Pierce: How many times must I tell you people? All I was planning was to save Earth from mankind's abuse of its natural resources.
Linkara: (as Dr. Pierce) By destroying that oil tanker! N-No, wait!
FBI agent: Brute Force was trying to save that tanker, to prevent thousands of gallons of oil from spilling into the Mississippi!
Dr. Pierce: Don't you see? You're being played for fools-- ALL OF YOU! There are two groups of animals! Brute Force and an evil, twisted version of them called Heavy Metal-- belonging to the head of Multicorp, Adam Frost!
Linkara: (as Dr. Pierce) You've got to believe me! The leprechauns told me about this conspiracy that Frost is behind! The same leprechauns who gave me this technology to enhance animals! THEY TOLD ME YOU'D BELIEVE ME! THEY GAVE ME THE POWER TO FLY!
Linkara (v/o): Frost and two FBI agents are watching from behind the one-way glass.
Frost: Sad, Agent O'Donell, very sad... that a man of Pierce's talents should sink so low! He's become bitter and twisted, seeking both to save his own hide and tarnish my reputation! When he found how Pierce was using the money I supplied him with, I had no other option but to fire him!
Linkara: (as Frost) I paid for dung beetles for rocket launchers, and this is what he delivers? (shakes head) Unacceptable!
FBI agent 1: We reckon he's in the employ of some hostile foreign power.
Linkara: Where the hell did you get that idea from? Wouldn't you just figure that he was an environmental terrorist? Did the Commies try to build cyborg animals during the Cold War?
Linkara (v/o): However, the blond FBI agent isn't so sure Pierce's guilt.
FBI agent 2: (thinking) I've been checking up on Pierce. He's brilliant, respected among his peers, committed to saving the environment. I can't believe he'd suddenly turn to a life of crime! Crazy as Pierce's story sounds, I tend to believe it!
Linkara: This remake of The X-Files isn't very good.
Linkara (v/o): It turns out the other agent is also disbelieving of the situation.
FBI agent 1: (thinking) Frost may well be a pillar of the community, but something about that man turns my stomach.
Linkara: (as Frost, cackling) Those fools believe me! Now to use Heavy Metal to take out more of my business rivals! (as FBI agent) You know, there's something I don't quite trust about that guy, but I can't put my finger on what it is. (cackles as Frost again)
FBI agent 1: (thinking) Trouble is, there's a lot of pressure from upstairs to bring this case to a swift conclusion. Dare I risk going out on a limb for Pierce? What's more important-- my job-- or the truth?
Linkara: Call this toll-free number (phone number pops up: "1-800-THETRUTHMORON") to cast your vote on what's more important.
Linkara (v/o): Back at Charlie's house, the meeting is in full swing, but before they can talk about Brute Force, Charlie brings up another topic with his slide show.
Charlie: Here he is-- Marc De Mal. If you're going out to Canada to meet with him, Jo-- may I suggest you pack a gas mask!
Linkara (v/o): This Mark De Mal is apparently played by Roger Delgado.
(Cut to a clip of an episode of Doctor Who, featuring The Master, played by Delgado)
The Master: I have so few worthy opponents. When they're gone, I always miss them.
(Back to the comic again)
Charlie: When the last readings were taken, his chemical plant there was pumping toxic fumes into the atmosphere at a rate far beyond any legal limit! De Mal is rich, powerful and--in my opinion--very dangerous!
(Cut to another clip of another episode of Doctor Who, once again showing Delgado as The Master)
The Master: I am many things.
(Cut back to the comic)
Jo: How do you know? You're basing this on hearsay, rumors. Rumors my visit will disprove!
Linkara: Um, he says he has actual readings of the toxic levels. That means it's not based on rumors and hearsay. That's actual evidence. You're a moron.
Linkara (v/o): Yeah, by the by, I looked ahead. She's not on his payroll, she's just an idiot who was charmed by him. Smooth.
Charlie: Look, I just thought of some sort of back-up...
Jo: What do you suggest? The A-Team?!
Linkara: (as Mr. T, pointing to camera, while the A-Team theme plays in the background) Now, you listen to me, Hannibal! I ain't working with no animals that transform into planes! Those suckers can't be trusted!
Linkara (v/o): Charlie suggests Brute Force, but the woman balks at the suggestion.
Jo: You must be joking! They're freaks of nature...
Linkara: Um, no, they're regular animals with technological enhancements. If they were "freaks of nature", they'd have natural robotic armor!
Jo: ...lab animals forced to perform the equivalent of circus tricks!
Linkara: Oh, yeah, circus animals regularly fight with bazookas and lasers! LADY, EVERY LINE YOU SPEAK MAKES YOU DUMBER!
Linkara (v/o): Brute Force reveals itself to the gathered committee... and end scene. We just cut to De Mal's toxic factory. I guess that scene wasn't really all that important. Anyway, Charlie came along with the woman, Joanne, to tour the factory that is quite plainly churning black clouds into the sky. Yep, I can see why she believes this guy is on the level. De Mal shows them first to his "proudest achievement": a biodome containing bizarre plant life.
De Mal: As Earth has evolved before, so must it evolve again, adapting to the industrial society it has reared. I am simply giving the Earth a helping hand!
Linkara: (as De Mal) Behold, Venus flytraps that feed off McDonald's!
De Mal: My jungle consists of mutant strains of plant life, developed here by my scientists. They not only exist in polluted air-- they thrive on it!
Linkara: (as De Mal) Mind you, we still have some kinks to work out of the poison dart roses that eat your face if you try to smell them, but hey, this is still just a prototype.
Linkara (v/o): He then shows them Project Ark, and it means pretty much what you think it would mean. The two are dumbfounded, and De Mal says it's dinner time. Outside, Brute Force decided to go ahead without the committee's permission. They inadvertently breach the security perimeter, which blasts apart the bear's siege tower. The defenses outnumber them, so they decide that things will be safer inside the perimeter defenses as opposed to outside. Pierce did say he gave these things human-level intelligence, right? Well, okay, let's be fair: the humans in this series haven't exactly wowed me with their own intellect, so maybe the animals are geniuses by comparison. Speaking of, we cut to De Mal eating some drumsticks while he entertains his guests.
De Mal: I see myself... as Noah-- preparing my ark of survivors for a new world. But a world of my making!
Jo: Wh-What do you mean?!
De Mal: After developing mutant plant life, my scientists turned their attention to the animal kingdom, breeding new strains that will survive in the polluted world of the near future...
Linkara: (as De Mal) And then they had to go ahead and make hybrid cars! Don't they see that playing God is the better solution?
Linkara (v/o): I always love how completely insane rich people can be depicted in comics. Don't you think that if you were smart enough to get rich, have a huge industrial complex in business, that you wouldn't be so crazy and moronic that you're creating a Noah's Ark for the polluted future? I mean, where are the crazy rich people who just like really stupid-looking cars, but are otherwise harmless? Anyway, since the committee members of the Fresh Air Organization are just so darn smart, Charlie immediately stands up and declares that De Mal is a madman! Yeah, that'll end well for you.
Charlie: We're environmentalists! What on Earth did you expect to gain by inviting us here?
De Mal: Ah, yes... Guards!
Linkara: I love that nonchalant reaction. It's like, "Oh, really? I didn't know that. I thought you'd be into this. My bad."
Linkara (v/o): His guards grab hold of the two.
De Mal: You see, Mr. Sutton-- my scientists are having trouble perfecting the bio-engineering of humans into pollution-breathers. They need-- more test subjects!
Linkara: Wait a damn minute! An evil company is trying to increase the amount of pollution in the atmosphere while also attempting to turn humans into pollution-breathers? This is the plot of The Airzone Solution!
Linkara (v/o): Brute Force makes its way into the biodome, and De Mal is unconcerned because of the mutant abominations he has waiting in it. The Brute Force are having a tough time breathing in the polluted biodome and try to find a way out, but are confronted by the three-headed monster from the cover. It's a stealthy thing, too, what with the snake, wolf and... whatever the hell the third head is supposed to be. A bull? I don't know. The eagle is sent off to find Charlie and Joanne, figuring that they must be in trouble.
Surfstreak the Dolphin: (thinking) Joanne called us freaks of nature! Is this how she sees us? These animals are the freaks. Even worse... they're victims. Unlike ourselves, they didn't have a choice in becoming what they are--a mad, murderous monster! It can't be blamed for its actions! So how do we stop it... without killing it?
Linkara: (massaging his forehead in frustration) Oh, for crying out the bean... This is some idiot's version of how nature works! That it's benign without humankind screwing it up! I would remind you that on this team, only the kangaroo is an herbivore! The rest still kill other animals to live, except for maybe the bear, who's an omnivore and can eat both meat and plants! (points to camera) That thing is trying to kill you, and it's probably mindless! (holds up hands) I am NOT weeping for the pollution monster!
Linkara (v/o): De Mal has transformed straight into a Captain Planet villain as he has strapped the two environmentalists to slabs and is now gloating about his master plan.
De Mal: You should be proud! If the operation is successful you will be the first nu-man and nu-woman to breathe pure pollution!
(Cut to a clip of The Airzone Solution)
MacNamara (Alan Cumming): Neat idea, bad image.
(Back to the comic again)
Linkara (v/o): Charlie points out that even if the atmosphere could contain all the pollution, it'd still take decades for the kind of effect that he'd want.
De Mal: True, but as I have already said, I intend to give Mother Earth a helping hand! BEHOLD! The rocket contains enough concentrated pollution to make Canada and North America's air unbreathable to all but my new race! Soon all Earth will be purged-- ready for a new era!
Linkara (v/o): Okay, one, that rocket looks like it's getting ready to take off. You're not sure yet if your airzone solution is going to work yet. You're going to toxify the planet and be screwed over if it doesn't work! Two, even if it does work, that's going to be millions of people that need to be converted, and I'm guessing you haven't been working closely with hospitals to train them in this procedure, so most people are going to die! Three, assuming you want billions of people to die so you have no one but your elite mutant fish people around, I hope you enjoy dooming all those remaining mutant fish people to die, as you won't have enough population to sustain the species without eventual inbreeding leading to extinction! Four, you're only doing Canada and the U.S.A., which means the rest of the world is going to blow the hell out of you when they find out what you're doing! Five, even assuming all of that...
(Cut to a clip of an episode of Doctor Who, showing Peter Davidson as the Fifth Doctor)
Linkara (v/o): ...the ghost of Peter Davison is gonna show up with every other actor who played The Doctor and kick your ass!
(Cut back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): Meanwhile, back at the fight, three of the Brute Force are getting knocked around, especially due to the polluted air. The dolphin wants to fight, but he keeps refusing to do anything in fear of hurting the unholy nightmare. Anyway, the eagle arrives to free Charlie and Joanne. De Mal launches the rocket, but the eagle grabs his Kindle away to prevent him from opening the silo doors for the rocket. The eagle gets the two out of the restraints and they make a run for it.
De Mal: Come back! COME BACK! You can't do this to my glorious dream!
Linkara: (as De Mal) My glorious dream of pollution! (beat) ...Why did I want this again?
Linkara (v/o): The dolphin uses its water gun to try to blind the creature, but in fact, it kills it.
Hiphop the Kangaroo*: Oh man! You hit it with clean water, right? To a creature that lives and breathes pollution, it must've been like poison to its system!
- NOTE: The kangaroo was originally named Boomer, but inexplicably changed to Hiphop for this comic.
Linkara (v/o): You know, even polluted water still has water in it, and if it was indeed some kind of plant creature, it still needs water of some variety. Anyway, they all make their escape, and the dolphin is depressed that it killed the creature. De Mal, meanwhile, runs towards the rocket.
De Mal: Come to me, pollution-- bathe me in your glory! If this be my destiny... I WELCOME IT!
Linkara: (dramatically) And thus, Captain Pollution was born!
(Cut to a clip of an episode of Captain Planet)
Duke Nukem: Let our polluting powers combine!
(Back to the comic again)
Linkara (v/o): And so, our comic ends with the entire facility blowing up, no doubt killing many, many people who worked in that factory.
(Cut to the Mystery Science Theater 3000 gang watching Pumaman)
Tom Servo: Certainly, this is a victory for good!
(Cut back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): The dolphin is still saddened by what happened, but Joanne reassures him that he didn't know what would happen and that the poor creature was better off dead anyway. She's convinced now of their good intentions and they agree that they now have to take on Frost and Heavy Metal directly.
Linkara: (holds up comic) This comic sucks, but it's still enjoyably stupid.
Linkara (v/o): However, this is probably the weakest so far of the issues. It feels like a filler issue from a later part of the series. This De Mal guy is just introduced out of nowhere and interrupts the plot with Frost and Heavy Metal. There's barely any action in this, just Brute Force stumbling around and causing havoc. No awesome scenes of cyborg animals fighting, just them getting their asses kicked by the thing with three heads.
Linkara: Hopefully, when we eventually reach the final installment of "Brute Force", it will more than make up for (gestures toward comic) this disappointment. (throws down comic, gets up and leaves)
(End credits roll)
I'm guessing that in the world of Brute Force, environmental terrorists don't actually exist. If they did, they'd have to acknowledge that not all people trying to save the environment are good guys.
And yes, I know about We3 and how Grant Morrison did the story of cyborg animals completely straight. It's a good story, but I find it depressing as hell save for the (mostly) happy ending.
(Stinger: A clip from Spaceballs is shown, showing Lone Starr (Bill Pullman) and his group approaching Yogurt at a table hocking Spaceballs-themed merchandise)
Yogurt: Merchandising, merchandising, where the real movie from the movie is made! (holds up a Spaceballs t-shirt) Spaceballs, the t-shirt! (holds up a Spaceballs coloring book) Spaceballs, the coloring book!
(Suddenly, the image freezes as an arrow points to the coloring book, which has someone looking suspiciously familiar on the cover)
Linkara (v/o): Hey, I just noticed this: Spaceballs the coloring book has Optimus Prime on the cover. I don't know what cutscene that was.