Brute Force #4
September 16, 2013
Protectors of the environment! ...when they're not destroying it...
(Linkara is feeling rather down as he rests his head on his hand)
Linkara: Hello, and welcome to Atop the Fourth Wall, where bad comics burn. My friends, this is a sad, tragic day. This is a time for mourning and reflection, for you see... this is the final issue of "Brute Force".
Linkara (v/o): I know, right? How the hell can this series only get four issues when so many other worse comics get longer runs? We live in a world where the sheer awesome stupidity of cyborg animals protecting the environment with laser eyes and bear-zookas is restricted to a mere four issues...
(Cut to a shot of the cover of "Justice League: Cry for Justice #1")
Linkara (v/o) ...yet "Cry for Justice" gets seven...
(Cut to a shot of the cover of "Marville #1")
Linkara (v/o): ..."Marville" gets six...
(Cut to a shot of the cover of an issue of "All-Star Batman and Robin")
Linkara (v/o): ...and "All-Star Batman and Robin" gets ten!!
Linkara: There is no justice in this world. So all we can do now is celebrate "Brute Force" (makes a saluting motion) and salute its epic dumbness and hilarious concept.
Linkara (v/o): Let's recap, shall we? Dr. Randall Pierce decided to invent a bunch of cyborg armor for gorillas that was then stolen by the evil company that he worked because of reasons that remain unclear. As a response, he decided to equip a bunch of other animals with cybernetic enhancements that, in turn, gave them enhanced intellects and weaponry. They then proceeded to blow up half of a forest that was already being demolished another evil company.
Linkara: I would say it seemed like a good idea at the time, but... (hesitates) no, it was a bad idea then, too.
Linkara (v/o): Upon learning that that evil company actually worked for his evil company, Pierce stupidly confronted his boss, who made it look like he was the one who had done it and thus got to work assembling his own team of cyborg animals that are evil for no good reason. Pierce got arrested and the Brute Force joined forces with his ginger-afroed friend Charlie Sutton, who proceeded to go an investigation of yet another evil company that was trying to fill the world with pollution and mutate human beings into mutant fish-people who could breathe the poisoned air.
Linkara (v/o): So that diversion got taken care of so that the story can actually get back to its own damn plot, which is where we are now.
Linkara: So let's dig into (holds up today's comic) "Brute Force #4" and see if they can make the conclusion as awesome and crazy as it began.
(AT4W title theme plays, and the title card for this episode has "Ghost Love Score" by Nightwish playing in the background. Cut to a closeup of the comic's cover)
Linkara (v/o): Our cover is exactly what we've come to expect from this comic: the members of Brute Force and the members of Heavy Metal charging at each other, ready to kill their opposite: Robo-Bear vs. Cyber Gorilla! Techno-Dolphin vs. Laser Shark! Lion-Bot vs. Rhino-Tron! There is nothing sweeter, my friends. Mind you, in terms of raw silliness, at the speeds that they're going at, they're just tackling each other, but I can't help but feel it looks awesome. And considering how little sense the rest of the series has, I can't really fault the thing at this point for it.
(The comic opens to the first page)
Linkara (v/o): We open with an environmental terrorist inside of a nuclear plant, waving a gun around and ranting. I love how this guy apparently does not know how his gun works, based on the way he's holding it.
(Linkara is seen holding a machine gun in the air – the wrong way, with the barrel pointed at himself, in imitation of the way the terrorist is holding it)
Linkara: PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT! (he pretends to fire the gun – into himself; he pretends to die)
Terrorist: You hear me, pigs? Try and storm this place and we'll blow it sky-high! You've seen the explosives... You know we're serious.
Linkara (v/o): Okay, one, you don't even know how to hold your own gun. I don't think you know how to operate explosives. Two, judging by the chain-link fence, you're standing outside the nuclear plant, which means that the police would have had to have seen the explosives outside the plant as well. Otherwise, why would there be a problem if the cops were inside of the plant already? Meaning that the explosives must still be outside the plant. I mean, I have to figure as much; otherwise, why did you have them outside and then move them in? I don't get it. And since they're outside, that probably means they're not gonna do that much damage. Three, nuclear plants are not something you can just switch on and off or let it sit for a while on its own. I'm gonna take a wild guess here and say you probably evacuated the place or even have hostages who aren't maintaining the plant right now. So, odds are they're probably gonna get blown sky-high anyway when the thing isn't being maintained.
Linkara: And finally, this issue has people breaking into a nuclear plant? And yet, it was the first issue where people were dressed up like clowns? (beat) Does anyone even remember that story? Guys dressed up as clowns that broke into a nuclear... (becomes frustrated) IT'S NOT FUNNY IF I HAVE TO EXPLAIN IT!
Linkara (v/o): The police have set up a perimeter around the plant, and naturally, news reporters are on the scene.
Reporter 1: Do you suspect the Commies?
Reporter 2: How about Middle Eastern terrorists?
Linkara: (as a policeman) At this time, we suspect either the Decepticons or a rogue faction of COBRA. However, we are not prepared to rule out Hoggish Greedly or Team Galactic. This seems like the kind of stupid thing they would do.
Linkara (v/o): It's actually kind of surprising that we're seeing legitimate environmental terrorists in this comic. I joked about Brute Force being an environmental mercenary group before, but this is the kind of series where you don't really expect to see the crazy side of environmentalism. Anyway, the reporter says that they belong to a group called Meltdown... Oh, no doubt because they hate coal power... and are threatening to blow up the main reactor.
Female reporter: ...releasing vast amounts of lethal radiation into the atmosphere!
Linkara: And... you know, into all the things that are under the atmosphere.
Female reporter: Just three years ago we saw the disastrous effects of an explosion at the reactor in Chernobyl, the Soviet Union... Will we see the same here on American soil?
Linkara: Never heard of Three Mile Island, have you, lady?
Linkara (v/o): The reporter points out that their demands have been rather vague.
Linkara: (as a terrorist, wearing a black covering over his face) We demand that you... (looks up briefly) stop doing the bad things... and be better at the good things! Also, we want pizza. Preferably Domino's, but we're open to the option of Pizza Hut. (looks offscreen) You guys care about toppings? (looks back into camera) We don't care about the toppings. Feel free to surprise us.
Linkara (v/o): Nearby, Charlie Sutton and a guy named Jack Hutton, who was at the meeting of the Fresh Air environmental group from last time, though he had a different hair color, are observing these proceedings and talking about how they have to stop Meltdown.
Jack: Apart from the more terrifying possibilities, their action will tar all environmental groups with the "terrorist" brush! Including our own, Fresh Air!
Linkara: (sarcastically) Good that you have your priorities straight, dude. Sure, loss of life, cancer for the survivors, environmental damage, (points to screen) but what's really at stake here is your reputation!
Linkara (v/o): They retreat back to their craft while they send in Brute Force to deal with them.
Linkara: Oh, yeah, send in the inexperienced animals, who have so far done massive amounts of damage, stumbled over each other, and are equipped with various dangerous weapons, into a nuclear reactor, against armed suicidal terrorists! This is a good plan.
(Cut to the obligatory clip of Patton)
Gen. Patton (George C. Scott): (looking out through a pair of binoculars) You magnificent bastard, I read your BOOK!
(Cut back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): And yep, we see the dolphin [Surfstreak] apparently entering in through one of the water pipes and emerging from... uh... an open-air water tank? Pretty sure water tanks at nuclear plants aren't left outside without any lid on them. Oh, and check it out, he even runs into barrels and barrels of radioactive waste! What the hell were those doing there?! The only way the dolphin could get inside would be through a pipe leading to a lake or a river or something, so that means barrels of radioactive waste are just sitting and waiting to be dumped into a water supply!
Linkara: I don't think the terrorists needed to do anything. It looks like this plant was having problems already if that was how they manage their radioactive waste!
Linkara (v/o): The kangaroo [Hiphop] leaps over the fence... Wait, are the police and news reporters only at the front door of the plant?
(Cut to a clip of an episode of Futurama)
Smitty: (arriving at the gang's door) Come out with your hands up! We have you partially surrounded!
(Back to the comic again)
Linkara (v/o): And the kangaroo tells the lion [Lionheart] and robo-bear [Wreckless] that they need to wait outside, since this mission requires both brains and brawn, which he says he has an abundance.
Linkara: I would like to remind you that the kangaroo is named "Hiphop". On their first mission, he was too busy listening to his Walkman to actually fight crime and he talks like 90s Kid.
Linkara (v/o): The eagle [Soar], dolphin and kangaroo all charge in through the doors, finding a group of terrorists holding uzis. The dolphin uses his water pistol.
Surfstreak: You humans seem to be getting hot under the collar-- so why not cool down?
Linkara: Unfortunately, the pun ended up not making any sense because the water was boiling hot.
Linkara (v/o): The eagle knocks around another one and warns them to be careful, since hitting the wrong thing in here will result in them all dying horribly. So naturally, the kangaroo knocks a guy into the high explosives, sending the sensitive material off the table.
Narrator: Surfstreak leaps, moving at the speed of thought-- knowing with grim certainty that he's far too late!
Linkara: Boy, did I ever call that one.
Linkara (v/o): Outside, the bear and lion burst through the fence and knock out a few more terrorists. The police are informed about the animals that have done their job for them, much to their surprise. The Brute Force carrier ship also lands inside the plant, and surprisingly, nothing has blown up yet. Why? Well, as it turns out, the boxes full of explosives are completely empty. Hutton wonders just what the hell the terrorists were hoping to accomplish, since, as I mentioned before, their demands were vague, and they couldn't make good on their threat to blow up the reactor. Sutton tells them they need to get out of there since he overheard on the radio that the police are gonna storm in. As such, they decide to take one of the terrorists with them for interrogation. Also, it looks like this terrorist is holding a sparkler. I have no idea what it's actually supposed to be in the plant, since we see quite a few of them scattered around the place, but if it's a light post, but it seems to be unusually active. And pink. Anyway, while they make their getaway, it seems the Scorpi-Noc jet of Heavy Metal is arriving to pick up the terrorists. The police are of course baffled by this, but they also notice that there were two separate groups of animals working this whole thing. On board the Brute Force jet, which everyone keeps referring to as an Armadillo, though frankly, I don't see it, the animals express how much they miss Pierce. It's been a weeks since he was arrested and they haven't really done anything to clear him. However, that means they need to find Heavy Metal, which unfortunately hasn't been since, well, two minutes ago, but they didn't know that. Speaking of, Heavy Metal is flying back to their base and are being chewed out by Bob Evil or whatever his name was.
Mr. Frost: (on board communicator) I don't believe this! What do you mean you were LATE?!
Linkara: (as one of the Heavy Metal animals) Well, sorry, boss, but it was rush hour and there was construction work being done and we had to stop for gas! It happens!
Mr. Frost: And how can you be one terrorist short?
Linkara: (as the animal) Ah, those companies never give you all the terrorists that you ordered. You should call customer service.
Mr. Frost: Those neuro-enhancer helmets you wear are supposed to increase your intelligence, Uproar-- not lessen it!
Linkara: (as Mr. Frost) This is not going to look good on your performance evaluation, Uproar! Don't count on getting a raise this year!
Linkara (v/o): The boss... Frost; he said his name again... tells them to get that terrorist that Brute Force took back or kill him before he talks. Fortunately for them, they're keeping track of Brute Force's ship so they can follow them. We cut over to CoHuge Co. where Frost reflects on things.
Mr. Frost: What a track record! I've given Heavy Metal three jobs and they've botched each and every one!
Linkara: To be fair, Brute Force hasn't exactly wowed us with their own efforts. If there had been actual explosives in those crates, this whole thing would have gone straight to hell.
(Cut to a closeup of the carpeting on the floor. A Cybermat rolls across several times, making beeping noises as it does so, creating this message in the floor: "We'll Be Right Back", along with the AT4W logo appearing in the corner. We cut to a commercial. Upon return, the Cybermat rolls across the floor again, this time leaving the message, "And Now We're Back", with the AT4W logo appearing in the corner again. We cut back to the Brute Force comic)
Linkara (v/o): It seems that the terrorists weren't real terrorists, but thugs hired by Pierce to fake a terrorist attack on the plant to try to ruin Meltdown's reputation. So, we don't even get real environmental terrorists. Of course. I'll get into this whole plan in a minute, but in the meantime, Frost says he needs to take charge of Heavy Metal himself. We cut over to The Habitat, the headquarters for the Fresh Air group and now Brute Force. The captured terrorist refuses to talk, and Hutton says that they really have no right to hold him, so they're gonna need to let him go. However, Hutton says that the actual Meltdown group was just planning on filing a report on the plant's substandard safety features and how it probably would've led to a prison sentence for its owner; furthermore that the plant itself was also owned by MultiBig Corp. So you can probably connect the dots for yourself. My problem with this is that the plan doesn't make a lot of sense. I get the idea of discrediting the Meltdown group, but I don't see any escape strategy for the terrorists. The boxes with explosives were empty, so if the cops did eventually charge in, they'd realize they didn't have anything, or they'd assume that the bombs had been planted, and thus they'd search every square inch of the plant for them. That, combined with all the media attention put onto the plant by the attack, means that other independent sources would end up inspecting the place, and you'd be right back where you started. And if there was no way out for the terrorists, they'd get arrested and eventually spill the beans on your plan. Hell, the fact that the terrorists' demands were so vague would place even more suspicion on the whole thing.
Linkara: (looking offscreen) So, Mr. T, do you want to sum up this little scheme that Frost tried to pull off?
(Cut to a clip of an episode of The A-Team)
Mr. T: That was a terrible plan.
Linkara: Thank you once again, Mr. T.
Linkara (v/o): However, to the group, it's still just speculation anyway, because the guy won't talk. But that's a further moot point, since the lion just walks in and the guy starts squealing that he'll give everything away.
Terrorist: Just keep that thing away from me!
Soar: Lionheart, you didn't--
Lionheart: There's a time for lambs... and a time for LIONS!
Linkara: (as Lionheart) I threatened to make him watch The Lion King nonstop until he talked. Guy apparently hates Disney movies.
Linkara (v/o): However, Heavy Metal arrives and launches an attack on The Habitat. Fortunately, Brute Force counterattacks in their very silly-looking but badass vehicle modes. Just look at that! Look at that lion-cycle. Look at that bear with the extended claws and monster truck wheels. Look at the kangaroo that's... Actually, I have no idea what the hell the kangaroo is supposed to be? Siege tower? I don't know. Anyway, over to the FBI regional headquarters in Manhattan, it seems the FBI have been informed about how there's two animal groups running around, corroborating Pierce's story about Brute Force being good guys. It seems Blond FBI Agent believes him now and has even managed to secure a release for him. And now, over to the awesomeness of cyborg animals fighting each other!
Linkara: I think you all know where I'm going with this...
(He smiles and makes a signalling motion with his hand, and we have the fight between Brute Force and Heavy Metal shown, once again set to "Ghost Love Score" by Nightwish)
Linkara (v/o): I mean, just... This is incredible, my friends! Lionbot used sand attack! Cyber-gorilla's accuracy fell! Brute Force even admits their mistakes and learns from them, like how the eagle manages to get the drop on the vulture [Tailgunner] this time.
Soar: (thinking) Charles Sutton taught us well, made us see the mistakes we made last time we fought Heavy Metal!
Linkara: So, the lesson here is that Pierce sucked at training you guys. Yeah, I can believe that.
Linkara (v/o): While Heavy Metal is getting its ass kicked, Frost arrives with some of his own goons. Frost has come to this battle himself... with no mask or anything to hide his identity. And he's charging into an enemy base while his own forces are losing badly.
Linkara: (imitating a kid's show host) Hey, kids! Our word of the day is... "Dumbass"! (the word "Dumbass" appears in the corner) That's what Frost is. Can you say "Dumbass"? (puts his finger to his ear as if listening) Very good! Our phrase of the day is... (the words appear as he says them...) "Plausible Deniability". That's what Frost doesn't have. (gives a thumbs-up)
Linkara (v/o): The bear and kangaroo face off against the rhino [Ramrod].
Hip Hop: Hey, Wreckless-- it's time we played Ramrod some rock music, know what I mean?
Linkara: I know exactly what you mean, Hip Hop.
(He raises his finger in the air and again plays "Ghost Love Score")
Linkara (v/o): Actually, it's a bad pun to knock over some rocks onto the rhino, but I prefer to think they beat him with the power of rock 'n' roll. On a nearby jet, Pierce and the FBI agent are on their way to the Habitat. The agent tells Pierce that the local FBI is sealing off the beach and they're going to head over there.
FBI agent: But if you're wrong, and all we net are your animals and a few environmentalists, my superiors are going to ask questions I don't have the answers for!
Dr. Pierce: Relax, we'll get there in time... (thinking) I hope! Last time Brute Force battled Heavy Metal, they flirted with disaster!
Linkara: Wait, how the hell do you know that Heavy Metal and Brute Force are fighting each other right now?
Linkara (v/o): Frost and his goons burst into the Habitat and knock out Charlie Sutton before grabbing the terrorist. Back over to the fight, the gorilla splashes water on the lion, which drives it nuts.
Lionheart: RRAAGH! Now-- slashrendriptearkill!
Linkara: (as Lionheart) Rip and tear! Rip and tear your guts! You are huge, Cyber-Gorilla! That means you have huge guts!
Soar: (thinking) Lionheart's hatred of water must have driven him berserk!
Linkara: Uh, based on the brief research I did on Google, while lions hate water, I don't think they hate it enough to go into homicidal rages.
Linkara (v/o): However, the lion stops itself.
Lionheart: No. That old way. I better than that now. I let you live, monkey.
Linkara: (as Lionheart) We settle differences with Yu-Gi-Oh cards! I fan of elemental heroes deck.
Linkara (v/o): They manage to take out the shark [Bloodbath] and then the octopus [Armory], who continues to be multiple tentacles wielding multiple laser guns. Charlie Sutton comes around and warns Brute Force about Frost escaping with the terrorist, allowing Brute Force to easily deal with their goons. However, Frost then puts an uzi to the terrorist's head and threatens to kill him if they don't let him go. However, a helicopter with Pierce and the FBI show up and create a dust storm around Frost. The terrorist, naturally pissed off that his life was used as a bargaining chip for Frost, promptly decks him and... Er, wait, no, it isn't the terrorist, it's Pierce, who I guess leapt out of the helicopter at a weird angle. I was confused because the terrorist and Pierce are wearing the same colored clothes and have similar-colored hair. Nice job. The FBI agents arrest Frost.
Frost: On what charge?
Linkara: (hardly believing what he read) "On what charge"?! On what...?! Hey, asshole! You've got a dozen witnesses placing you here and breaking into private property with an uzi and threatening someone's life with that uzi! YOU ARE DONE!!
Frost: This man will tell you nothing... isn't that right?
(Cut to a clip of an episode of Doctor Who)
Castellan Spandrell: In the light of your impressive record so far, I would make no rash commitments.
(Cut back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): However, with the threat of a lion's roar, because that will hold up in court, the terrorist says he'll tell everything. Pierce wonders where the hell the Habitat and all of Brute Force's equipment came from.
Terrorist: Don't you remember the check Frost gave us as a publicity stunt? In a way, Frost ended up financing his own downfall!
Linkara: (as the terrorist) Turns out some people really love giant novelty checks. They paid a fortune for that thing.
Linkara (v/o): Seriously, though, after this entire debacle, I really have to wonder about Frost's competency as a villain and a CEO. And so, our comic ends with Pierce, Sutton, Hutton and Brute Force heading back into base and saying how they have a whole planet to clean up.
Narrator: The beginning...
Linkara: And as far as I know, Brute Force has not appeared in anything else ever again. (closes comic and holds it up) This comic is stupid but stupendous!
Linkara (v/o): At this point, is there anything left to say about this whole thing? It's insane, it's dumb, and it is fantastic! Marvel, bring back Brute Force! And yes, I know about the comic "We 3", but that one was trying to do the concept of cyborg animals and playing it straight... with heart-wrenching results. Bring back Brute Force and keep it as fun as possible, just like this miniseries was.
Linkara: (making a saluting motion to the comic) Farewell, Brute Force, and a flight of cyborg angels sing thee to thy rest. (tosses comic aside, gets up and leaves)
(End credits roll)
Sooo what happened to Pierce's son? He just kind of disappeared after the first issue.
Wait, Pierce was confused about where the money for all their equipment came from? How the hell did pay for Brute Force originally, then?
(Stinger: Linkara stands in his living room, talking on his cell phone)
Linkara: No, Alan, I do not need your technicians to look over Nimue. No, I trust you just fine; I don't trust the technicians.
(Suddenly, Jaeris teleports into the room. Linkara holds up an index finger to him, indicating that he will be with him momentarily)
Linkara: (on phone) Look, you can vouch for them all you want, but they're not you, so I don't trust them, Alan. Look, something has come up. Can I call you back? Thanks, man. Bye. (hangs up)
Jaeris: Who was that?
Linkara: Friend of mine named Alan. He's my liaison with the U.S. government.
Jaeris: Why do you have a liaison with the U.S. government?
Linkara: Because I've got a spaceship in orbit with a big gun pointing down. People get understandably antsy about that sort of thing. Anyway, what's up? Did Pollo finally find your home universe?
Jaeris: (shakes head) Nah. Never does.
Linkara: Look, dude, we will find it. It's just it's a big multiverse out there, and the maps don't match up. We will find a common reference point and we will get you home. You can count on that–
Jaeris: Look, I didn't come here to nag you about that.
Linkara: Then what do you need?
Jaeris: I... (stops, hesitating) I came to apologize.
Linkara: For what?
Jaeris: Fo-For everything! For everything that happened in the last year. Maybe I should've come to you from the start. Maybe I shouldn't have tried to take your gun. I just need to say I'm sorry.
Linkara: (shrugs) Apology accepted.
Jaeris: Hell, if I had, I never would have gotten straight–
Linkara: (holds up index finger) Stop right there!
Linkara: I was the one who destroyed the watch.
Jaeris: Might as well have been me.
Linkara: The only thing we're responsible for is our own actions. We can play the blame game some other day. Maybe if you had, this wouldn't have happened, but in the end, I was the one who destroyed it. It was my choice, and it was the wrong choice. We've all done things we regret. And we're probably going to do a lot more.
Jaeries: Okay, then.
Nimue: I see the beast inside you. I see the beast inside me.
(Nimue starts babbling various lines of dialogue, before saying "Greed" over and over again. Linkara is concerned)
Linkara: Nimue, hard reset vocal interface now!
(Electronic beeping is heard)
Nimue: Hard reset begun.
Jaeris: The hell was that?!
Linkara: It's a problem we've been having with her. It's only getting worse. Three or four times a day, she'll just start saying random gibberish, usually devolving into saying a word over and over. Sometimes, it's a number; sometimes, it's a poem. Last week, it took us three hours to get her to stop saying "Hot Pockets".
Jaeris: (taking Linkara aside) And you haven't found out why this is happening, right?
Linkara: No, we can't find anything wrong with her.
Jaeris: Look, do you know why Sierra calls me "Master"?
Linkara: (hanging his head) No, why?
Jaeris: Because I had to reprogram him completely once. I had to install loyalty and obedience into him, down to every scrap of code that he had. Because the original Sierra... The original Sierra evolved. He got smarter. But he didn't know how to use that intelligence. He could think a billion things in only a few seconds. And there was nothing that could interact with him. He went insane. Literally. The artificial intelligence went completely mad and he tried to kill me. I almost didn't get out of there alive. I managed to disable him and very painstakingly reprogrammed him, that he would never, never be a threat to me again. I think you may want to do the same to her.
Linkara: She... She has ethical subroutines and the ability to cope with new problems while following that morality. She's not gonna try to hurt me.
Jaeris: (scoffs) Yeah? Sierra did, too. That didn't stop him.
Linkara: Look, the robots that I built, the artificial intelligences, they don't work like that. Yes, they can access incredible processor speeds and do that kind of speedy work, but when they're not, they think normally. Pollo never went insane. The Cybermats are perfectly reasonable.
Jaeries: I really do think you ought to pull back on her freedom before she does something she won't regret.
Linkara: I'll think about it.
Jaeris: Yeah. (turns to leave) Be careful. (teleports away)
Nimue: Hard reset completed.
Linkara: Feeling better, Nimue?
Nimue: This unit is operating within standard parameters.
Linkara: Good. (takes his cell phone and dials a number, then walks off) Hey, Alan, what were we talking about?
Nimue: (whispering) I'm going to kill you.
(A dramatic sting plays)