Doom's IV #2
November 3, 2008
In the future, stupid names will be all the rage.
(We see Linkara walking to his closet, bending down to search through comics. We see him throw down S.C.I. Spy #1, (comic unknown), and Skynn and Bones #1, followed by Law and Order #1, Daredevil #306, and New Guardians #2, all to the tune of “Magic Moments” by Perry Como. He finally finds the comic he’s looking for.)
Linkara: Aha, now we’ve got it.
(We then cut to him sitting on his futon)
Linkara: I’ve already covered the start of Image Comics in my very first text recap with Rob Liefeld's Youngblood #1, so they require no introduction. As for today’s subject though, I sadly can’t find much information on this book. All I could find was that apparently it was a marketing disaster with only the logo of the book solicited, without any actual information on what the book was about or any of the characters featured within it. Though frankly, I don’t think proper marketing could’ve saved this piece of crap; and even though Rob himself didn’t draw or write the story, it has that unique Liefeld touch that is unmistakable. As such, let’s dig into Doom’s IV #2.
Linkara (VO): The cover’s a little weird. I’m used to seeing these pin-up covers from lazy artists, but why the heck are logo and Image symbol tucked away in the lower left corner. That’s where the barcode supposed to go. Admittedly, the comic book store that I go to just types in the individual prices for each issue, but that won’t be the same at every store and especially not at book stores. Now what about the ISBN number? How is it supposed to be tracked at all as a item produced by a company? I looked through the book; there isn’t a barcode anywhere. Well, unless it was cleverly hidden into a character’s crosshatching. Yeah, there it is. Right on the woman’s right thigh. That must be the barcode right there. Anyway, the point being, why they put them there? Heck, they even shrunk the logo down more! It’s a Rob Liefeld pinup, it’s not like it needs this space. Ya know, with the lack of promotional material and the lack of a genuine barcode, I’m starting to think this comic was never released at all. Maybe what I got here is a bootleg Image comic. Ah well. Anyway, it’s just some generic busty woman with Wolverine hair and huge impractical hoop earrings. Oh, and half of her legs are missing. Looking at the credits, Liefeld is attributed as the creator and the person responsible for the original script, but the pencils were done by Mark Pacella. Pacella apparently also wrote the script, along with Kurt Hathaway, the editor and letterer. Why do I bring this up? To make sure the blame gets spread around as much as possible. The comic opens to… I don’t know, some kind of really phallic spaceship flying around. Right beneath the spaceship is a robot or something with a muscular structure that according to all the laws of physics should mean he can’t move his arms.
Linkara (VO): (as Narrator) More machine than man, he is called Mech-Max.
Linkara (VO): So... what, he’s like Darth Vader?
(Plays clip from Star Wars Episode VII: Return of the Jedi)
“Obi-Wan Kenobi: He’s more machine now than man.”
Linkara (VO): (as Narrator) He’s just one in an army of bionic mercenaries that carry out the directives of the Doom’s Corporation.
Linkara (VO): Hang on a second, the corporation is called “the Doom’s Corporation”? The “Doom’s” as it belongs to the doom? Does Dr. Doom have his own corporation?
Linkara (VO): (as Dr. Doom) Doom demands his morning coffee, Mrs. Richards!
Linkara (VO): (as Narrator) It is the hands of this unit that Syber-Idol has placed his most important mission. The first stage was to steal his way aboard the Doom’s IV cruiser before its departure from their now abandoned headquarters.
Linkara (VO): Wait, why do the good guys call themselves “Doom’s IV” if their enemy is the Doom’s Corporation? Obviously, I’ve thought about this more than the writers did.
Linkara (VO): (as Narrator) Now, as the reluctant quartet known as Doom’s IV flee the location of their most recent battle with the minions of the Doom’s Corp., Mech-Max shuts down all his interior systems, his servos and relays awaiting a series of coded magnetic signals.
Linkara (VO): Man, is he going to be upset when it turns out the message’s “Drink More Ovaltine.”
Linkara (VO): (as Narrator) Inside the mysterious Grimm Jet...
Linkara: That’s seriously the name they’re calling their ship? “Grimm Jet?” (holds up two fingers) With two M’s? Not going to go with something sleek like “Black Raven” or something descriptive like “Flying Penis”? Just going to go with the misspelled, depressing name? (shrugs) Well, I guess I just don’t have that sense of extremeness necessary for this comic.
Linkara (VO): Inside the Grimm Jet, we get a big ol’ exposition fest courtesy of Grimm, the leader of Doom’s IV. Do we learn why they’re fighting the Doom’s Corporation? Well, of course not! We do learn that they attacked the base for the Corporation at a place called “Skull Mountain” (Must be a tourist trap.), and that they’d barely escaped from the base, where the Doom’s Corporation has been developing very advanced weaponry. We also learn that Grimm is from the future, which begs the question WHEN in the future we stop developing good names for things. Seriously; “Grimm Jet,” “Skull Mountain,” “Syber-Idol” with a S instead of a C! Apparently, no one prints dictionaries or hold spelling bees in the future. And Grimm itself is just an idiotic name for this character. I mean, look at him! He’s got a half-face mask and some sort of technological harness around his chest with an infinity symbol engraved in it. Why didn’t they call “Cyber-Infinity” or “Syber-Infinity” with an S if they wanting to keep with that route? Oh hell, why not “Infinite Man” or just anything other than frickin’ “GRIMM”?! Oh, and who makes up our motley team? Golden’s “Grimm”, the woman on the cover whose name is “Burn”, some guy who raided MC Hammer’s wardrobe, and Hellboy. Nah, I’m kidding. His name’s Brick. The guy who looks like Fabio with a bad fashion sense informs the reader about each of their abilities. He can phase, Burn has “heat” (No, really?), Brick can morph into sand (I guess being huge isn’t really a superpower, considering Rob Liefeld characters) and Grimm has ”futuristic armor.”
Linkara: In the future, armor will only cover half of your face and leave every vital part of your body, save for the center of your ribcage, uncovered and unprotected.
Linkara (VO): He also comments...
Linkara (VO): (as Grimm) Let’s see them capture us when I start downloading some serious mean on the main frames.
Linkara: Damn you, torrent pirates! Does your evil know no bounds?!
Linkara (VO): Also along for the journey are two annoying kids. And to make matters better, this all happens on a crowded two-page spread, as if all of this garbage couldn’t be contained in a few smaller panels. The others question Grimm on their destination, and he avoids answering. While Brick talks to the two kids, who are apparently his own, Lord of the Bad Haircut, who apparently is named Jason Slyder, decides to turn his back to the reader and thinks about how “Burn’s so sad all the time”. Sad all the time? Look at this face! Is that expression “sadness” or “I’m a Vulcan from Star Trek”? Being the sensitive ladies’ man that Jason is, he asks Burn if there’s a coffee maker aboard the ship.
Linkara (VO): (as Burn) Look Jason, just because I’m the only girl here over eighteen doesn’t automatically qualify me to be your personal stewardess.
Linkara (VO): Jason, still flexing his manly backside to the reader, thinks “Wow! Not good.”
Linkara: Now where will he get his coffee?
Linkara (VO): And now some dialogue between the kids and… WAIT A MINUTE?!?! What the hell just happened with Brick?! One minute he’s just standing over the kids looking like he’s going to attack them (even though it doesn’t match his dialogue), and suddenly, BAM! He explodes! And what’s his reaction to his spontaneous combustion?
Linkara (VO): (as Brick) Whoops! Clumsy me.
Linkara: Clumsy you? Clumsy YOU?! What, did you trip while carrying unstable chemicals? What the hell just happened?!
Linkara (VO): Ah hell, let’s just move on. Anyway, Brick’s decapitated head says that he and the kids can have a normal life again soon. His son, Troy, who seriously needs to clean all those smudges off his face, brings up that he hopes they can a skateboard rink. Ah, don’t you love dialogue that stands the test of time? I mean, who would want an XBox or something when you can have a skateboard rink. Anyway, all three discuss what they want and really this bears no relevance to the plot so let’s move on. Jason, apparently growing 20 feet tall on this page, tries to explain to Burn that he just wanted to talk to her over coffee and drown out their sorrows.
Linkara (VO): (as Burn) Do you think that’s easy? I can’t simply adapt to my new life if you and Brick have. It’s not that simple for me -- it never will be.
Linkara (VO): Yeah, if I had hair like that, it would be quite a change in my lifestyle too.
Linkara (VO): (as Jason) She’s taking this whole situation pretty hard. It’s easy for me -- I never had much besides my computers, anyway. As for Brick, he’s still got his kids. Kate’s had to remove herself from her family and friends...
Linkara: (as Jason) And I had my chatrooms!
Linkara (VO): Suddenly, for some reason, the Sun decides to rise up behind Grimm when he decides to tell the group they’re going to Vancouver to his base. Is Grimm Japanese or something? What is up with this effect? Is he cooking a giant egg behind him? Speaking of which, what the hell is up with that stick Grimm carries around with the leaf on it? Is it an air freshener? Well, I suppose the guy would stick up a bit considering the effort that must go into moving an over muscled body around. Yeah, I know I keep getting away from the plot, but visually this comic is just so unappealing. My mind just drifts when trying to read it and I’m only seven freakin’ pages in! Anyway, we cut back to Mech-Max who now looks like a poorly-designed Transformer. I fully expect to suddenly speak in a robotic voice “Transform and Roll Out!” Annnnd flipping the page, we see that focusing back on Mech-Max was a red herring, since now we switch over to the Doom’s Corporation itself. Within some random room rests the aforementioned Syber-Idol, who’s got so many lines on his face you’d think a little kid just scribbled the marker all over it. Syber-Idol looks kind of cool with parts of his body suspended in a little chamber, but we never get a good look at it.
Linkara (VO): (as Syber-Idol) “Even here, locked away within my metal prison, I am capable of victory over those traitorous fools! I will personally destroy their plans for freedom with my very own hands.” And with my own hands, I mean ordering a underling to do it for me.
Linkara (VO): Some unseen minion (Apparently, they couldn’t afford extras in this comic) shouts out that their particle cannon is priming. The cannon shoots and the narrator the standard schtick of explaining what’s going on to anyone who apparently just lost their contact lenses.
Linkara (VO): (as Narrator) As Syber-Idol’s sinister command is carrying out by his unwavering soldiers of evil, a radio energy-wave is sent on a mission of betrayal.
Linkara: I DARE you to try to diagram that sentence.
Linkara (VO): Long story short and four long panels of extreme closeups later, the beam makes contact with the Grimm Jet, activating Mech-Max.
Linkara (VO): (as Mech-Max) Surrender-to-Mech-Max! Now!
Linkara: (as Mech-Max) Surrender to Mech-Max while I fire my finger beams in random directions!
Linkara (VO): When asked why the intruder wasn’t detected, Grimm points out that he did everything except make a visual inspection of the ship’s exterior prior to takeoff. And no one noticed the extra weight? And that…
Linkara (VO): (as Grimm) I’d say we’ve been carrying a stowaway. But I STILL should have detected its presence.
Linkara (VO): Jason shouts back, “Forget the techno-babble, you two! I’d say we got ourselves some grade A trouble.”
Linkara: Techno-babble? I sorry, Jason, but (drops comic and makes air quotes) “visual inspection” is not technobabble. THIS is techno-babble.
(Plays clip from Star Trek: The Next Generation “The Best of Both Worlds, Part II”)
Data: Using multimodal reflection sorting, I have been able to detect a complex series of subspace signals between Locutus and the Borg ship.
Linkara: Learn the difference.
(Plays NBC’s “The More You Know” clip)
Linkara (VO): Grimm attacks Mech-Max with a giant drummer stick while giving orders to the rest of the group. Mech-Max shoves Grimm away, but then Brick attacks. Mech-Max just slams Brick away while shouting “I-am-Mech-Max! I-am-power!”
Linkara: Isn’t it weird how a character speaking in the third person suddenly increases their awesome factor by 20%?
Linkara (VO): Brick’s body smashes partly because of the impact causing a piece of debris to suddenly hit Burn, who’s crouching down to make sure her legs are still in the panel. Jason attack Mech-Max using the full force of his superpower: Self-Amputation. Despite the fact that he’s kicking metal, Jason shows no sign that he’s in pain from the attack.
Linkara (VO): (as Jason) We’re STILL see to it that you’ll return to home base nothing but a pile of computer parts. And we’ll stick your parts in static bags so we can keep your components safe. Because that is what we do with our computers.
Linkara (VO): Honestly, who the hell talks like this guy? Mech-Max phases his head… or something. It’s not entirely clear what he does. Though he says “Mine-is-the-power-to-disrupt-and-control-any-radiomagnetic--enhanced-power-factor.” Now that is techno-babble. Grimm wacks Mech-Max on the head and shouts “That explains it!” Explains what? Your armor?
Linkara (VO): (as Grimm) He’s been sent here to wreak havoc with your abilities and capture us all!
Linkara: (side view as he gasps and turns to the camera) He’s been sent to capture you all. H-How could he know that? Could it be because… (dramatic sound effect) he already said so?!?
(We see a panel covered with arrows pointing to Mech-Max’s dialogue balloon with says “Mech-Max-is-here. Prepare-for-immediate-transportation-to-Doom’s-Cor--”)
Linkara (VO): Burn realises that Jason isn’t moving while Grimm asks for Brick’s help.
Linkara (VO): (as Brick) I’m sorry, man. But that tin suit is making it tough for me to -- PULL MYSELF TOGETHER! It would be hard for you to being made out of Chi-Chi’s salsa.
Linkara (VO): Burn jump starts Jason by lightly burning his skin… with four arms. Yeaaah. Jason tells her not to do that to him again and suddenly Burn’s in tears, apologizing since she can’t control her heat.
Linkara (VO): (as Burn) Mech-Max is making me pulse hot and cold. I’m doing all that I can not to reach flash point. Forgive me.
Linkara: (as Burn lying on the futon “sexually”) I can’t stop posing like I’m in a Victoria’s Secret catalog. Please, forgive me!
Linkara (VO): Burn says every time the ship dips into a valley to avoid radar, Mech-Max seems to drained of his energy.
Linkara: (starts flipping through the comic) When the hell did that ever happen? Did she read the script?
Linkara (VO): Grimm, somehow managing to speak three paragraphs worth of dialogue before he even swings his stick here, says they need to cut off his power feed, wherever it's coming from.
Linkara (VO): (as Narrator) With a thunderous roar, the cold sky appears to rip open. The consummation between darkest evil and blackest science offends the heavens.
Linkara (VO): Ah, crap! It’s that damn narrator from Thunderstrike #1!
Linkara (VO): (as Grimm) What--? He’s surging with power!
Linkara (VO): Look at that guy! He’s surging with tumors, Grimm. Optimus Cancer’s face suddenly morphs (so he’s a T-1000 now?) into the face of the Syber-Idol. I’d tell you about the stunning and gripping dialogue being spoken, but frankly I’m too mesmerized by Burn here. Apparently, she’s opted to stop fighting and just start doing her Jenny Craig workouts. Brick, in his sand form, sneaks up behind Syber-Max and attacks but his powers get disrupted again and he gets blown up. I’m not sure what happened to Grimm and Jason, but Idol-Mech confronts Burn who generates a wall of flames.
Linkara (VO): (as Burn) I won’t sit idly by while you attempt to destroy us!
Linkara: (as Burn) And by that, I mean I’m going to sit here like I have for the last ten pages!
Linkara (VO): (as Syber-Max) So the timid, little schoolgirl finds her courage after all! Bravo! Have a gold star!
Linkara (VO): Grimm, apparently jumping out of the wall, hits the Idolatrous-Mech on the back and tells Burn to land the ship in the trees so Syber-Man can be cut off from his power.
Linkara (VO): (as Syber-Max) You- you’re mad!! You would risk your own lives to acquire freedom--?
Linkara: Because that’s just how we roll… (jabs finger forward) in America! Or Canada, I guess since that’s where they were going. (shrugs)
Linkara (VO): Of course, instead of following instructions to LAND the plane, Burn apparently sends it crashing right into the freakin’ trees.
Linkara: (laughs) Oh, you know those women drivers. (continues to laugh before shifting his body forward to the camera) DEAR GOD, THIS COMIC SUCKS!
Linkara (VO): The artwork is atrocious, the dialogue is stilted and moronic and the story itself is as bland as the characters.
Linkara: But just to REALLY torture myself, why do I take a look at the letter’s column of the book just to see how people were reacting to it at the time?
Linkara (VO): (as guy who wrote letter, noticeably struggling to say the words) Dear Rob and crew, I don’t know how you keep coming up with these great characters and titles, but you sure know how to make a great comic. Extreme Colors simply make every page beautiful.
(Linkara’s face is twitching in anger)
Linkara (VO): (as another guy) Dear Mark Pachella, You are by far the greatest artist of all time.
(Linkara’s face is getting more irritated)
Linkara (VO): ''(as yet another guy) If you make a movie, get Mark Paul Gosselar (clip from Saved by the Bell) (Zack from ‘Saved by the Bell’) to play Slyder. (picture of Van Damme) How about Jean Claude Van Damme as Grimm? He’s perfect for the part.
(Linkara drops the comic and screams. To the tune of “Combine Harvester,” Linkara starts crying, hitting his head against the futon, makes gibbering noises with his finger, cries some more, hits the comic with his hat, points the magic gun at it, up close to camera says “MY BRAIN IS TRYING TO ESCAPE THROUGH MY EARS!”, cries some more, hits himself with his hat, makes more gibbering noises, and finally tries to rip the comic. In the end, we see a worn-out Linkara without a jacket holding the comic up so we can see the cover.)
Linkara: Well kids, that was a fun comic. Wasn’t it? I have to go lie down now.
(Linkara drops comic and walks out of the screen. Credits play out once again the tune of “Combine Harvester” by the Wurzels)