Extreme Super Christmas Special #1
December 14, 2009
Nothing like a yuletide yawner to celebrate the season.
Linkara: Hello, and welcome to Atop the Fourth Wall, where bad comics burn. I freaking love Christmas!
(He snaps his fingers, and to a flash of light, Christmas decorations appear in the room, and a Santa hat appears on top of Linkara's regular hat)
Linkara: There's something in the air around Christmas. It's just full of joy, full of good cheer. Still, this is the show where we review crappy comics, which usually means that my good cheer will resume once the show is over.
(Suddenly, a ghostly voice is heard)
Ghostly voice: Linkara...
Linkara: (stammers) What? (looks around)
(A ghost (played by Loren Lovhaug, Lewis' father) appears in the room; he has chains around his person)
Ghost: Linkara... It is I, Jacob Marley...
Linkara: Oh, you have got to be kidding me.
Marley's Ghost: Linkara, these are the chains that I have forged in life. You wear such chains. (Linkara stares silently) You will be haunted by three... (suddenly, he ducks as Linkara fires his magic gun at him) What the hell?
Linkara: We are not doing this.
Marley's Ghost: Huh?
Linkara: (insistently) We are NOT doing a Christmas Carol parody. I refuse!
Marley's Ghost: But your feelings about Christmas...
Linkara: I love Christmas! You make me like it any more!
Marley's Ghost: Okay, but what about making you appreciate good comics?
Linkara: I've got a whole shelf full of good comics. I read them when I want to. This show is about reviewing the crap for entertainment value.
Marley's Ghost: Um, okay, but the three spirits are still booked. Uh...
Linkara: Look, unless this involves the Muppets or Patrick Stewart, I don't want any part of it. (aims his magic gun again) Get out!
Marley's Ghost: But...
(Linkara fires his gun at him, making him disappear. Linkara then puts the gun away and looks back into the camera)
Linkara: (slightly startled) Oh! Uh, so, with that, let's dig into (holds up comic for review) "Extreme Super Christmas Special #1".
(AT4W title sequence plays; episode title card has "The Twelve Days of Christmas" playing over it; cut to a closeup of the comic's cover)
Linkara (v/o): I gotta say, I don't hate this cover. I don't like it, but I don't hate it either. Unlike a lot of the books I feature on this show, it actually is related to the plot. Really, the only thing that's got me confounded are the five rings down in the bottom. Where did they drop from? They're clearly bouncing off the ground, yet there's nothing about this character's pose that implies he was holding them or anything. Otherwise, it's competent.
Linkara: Although, what should be the mark of quality is that, reading further on, this character's name is Troll. And he's a member of Youngblood. (smiling, he slowly points his gun at his head)
Linkara (v/o): One last note on the cover: the title. The plot of this book involves trying to retrieve all the items in the Twelve Days of Christmas song.
Linkara: Could someone explain to me what exactly is so EXTREEEEEEME (as always, rock music is heard, accompanied by random flashing words) about the Twelve Days of Christmas? Or, for that matter, super? I admit, it's "special", but probably not in the way they were going for.
(The credits page on the comic is shown)
Linkara (v/o): Looking at the credits page, I'm forced to sigh, shake my head, and once again be reminded that sometimes good artists and writers work on not-so-good products. Here, we have Keith Giffen, who is usually very funny, as well as Todd Nauck on "breakdowns", which in this case I'm sure refers to penciling most of it. Made worse is the list of six people who needed to finish the dang thing, including, among them, our old pal Rob Liefeld.
Linkara: Because it wouldn't be Christmas without guns and homicidal tendencies! (Weird Al Yankovic's "The Night Santa Went Crazy" plays briefly and Linkara dances to it)
Linkara (v/o): And one last note on the credits: Gloria Vasquez is credited with coloring, or to be accurate, she's credited as the "colorsist". That's just close enough to sounding like a real job, like a coloring assistant, that I'm not going to mock it, but since it comes up under spellcheck, I am awarding it an honorary "BECAUSE POOR LITERACY IS KEWL". (the comic proper begins) We open to an island near Greece, where some guy wearing a purple muumuu and beret is shearing some sheep.
Man in muumuu: Do not look at me that way, little one!
Linkara: (as this man) You know I only have eyes for you.
Man in muumuu: Without your wool, we would starve!
Linkara: (as this man) I make a mean wool chop.
Linkara (v/o): So the sheep walks off and... uh, it explodes...
Linkara: (as man in muumuu) Huh, I guess really should've cleared out that minefield.
Linkara (v/o): We cut to New York, where we meet this Wolverine ripoff named Troll, and he's hilariously replacing the words of "Deck the Halls" with his own lyrics, including comments about flatulent, old women in Hell.
Linkara: (holding up a pocket watch) Hey, kids, let's see how long it takes for me to hate this character!
Linkara (v/o): So, he enters his apartment, carrying a huge bunch of gifts, but someone is there waiting for him.
Troll: Who let you into my apartment?! And how about you and me make a night of it??
Linkara: (looking at pocket watch) Oh, yeah, that didn't take long at all.
(Suddenly, there is a bright flash of light, and another ghost (played by Lewis' mother Avonelle Lovhaug) appears in the room; the room remains very bright after she appears)
Ghost: Hello, Linkara.
Linkara: (startled, covering his face) DAH! Lady! Turn down the high beams!
Ghost: Would you so soon put out what worldly hands the light I give?
Linkara: Yes, damn it, because you're blinding me!
Ghost: Oh, fine. (she raises her hands and turns down the brightness) There, better?
Linkara: Yes! Geez, why don't you shine a spotlight in my eyes, why don't you?
Ghost: I am the ghost of Christmas past.
Linkara: Yes, yes, I know who you are.
Ghost: I've come to show you your past.
Linkara: (holding up index) Nope! No, we're not doing this! Look, I love Christmas now. I loved Christmas as a little kid. For that matter, I love comic books. That's why I do this show. Knowing why something is crap helps you better appreciate something that's good!
Ghost: But what about the beloved comics of your past?
Linkara: What, "Amazing Spider-Man #351", the earliest comic I ever remember reading? Yeah, I own (holds up two fingers) two copies of it. Or do you mean (holds up a worn-out copy of...) "JLA Titans: The Technis Imperative", my favorite comic? (points to it) Still got that, too! In fact, I should probably get a replacement. This one's kinda wearing down.
Ghost: Oh, well, in that case, I'm gonna knock off for the night. (waves) Merry Christmas! (leaves)
Linkara: (waving) Merry Christmas. Oh, get those lights checked, lady. I think you got a power surge running through them.
Linkara (v/o): Turns out the person in his apartment is Circe.
Linkara: Circe the Sorceress sold by the seashore for sixty cents, so she sold it a sign saying the price. Saucy.
Linkara (v/o): She yells down at Troll that she was sheared...
Linkara: Circe the Sorceress was sheared by the shore...
(Cut to a clip of Monty Python and the Holy Grail)
Keeper of the Bridge of Death: Get on with it!
Tim the Enchanter: Get on with it!
Knights of the Round Table: YES! GET ON WITH IT!
(Back to the comic again)
Linkara (v/o): ...'cause she had been a sheep for 2,000 years, and that her grazing is what caused her to gain so much weight. Yeah, because grass is so high in fat and calories. And considering she no longer has wool as a sheep, the fact that she's bald makes no sense whatsoever, unless her hair when she was alive happened to be made of wool. She explains to him that the only way reason she hasn't killed Troll is because exhausted her magics on a spell.
Circe: In exactly twelve hours every male on this planet will be magically transformed into a rooting, grunting WARTHOG!
Linkara (v/o): Circe wants to explain why she's doing this.
Troll: If we're going into a flashback, I should warn you... they give me gas!
Linkara: Anyone else getting "Bimbos in Time" flashbacks?
Linkara (v/o): So, back in the past, Troll and Circe used to be an item. I'm sure some Youngblood fan wants to explain how Troll is thousands of years old, but I remind people once again that I do not care whatsoever, so you would simply be wasting your time. Troll tells her that he'd love to see a demonstration of her magic. However, she establishes that her magic only works on men and that he's the only man on the island. He tells her that it'd be fine, since she can always change him back. Also, apparently, her dress can change colors since it shifts from red to blue here. Anyway, she performs the magic, but he suddenly grabs a mirror and reflects the magic right back at her, transforming her into a sheep. Uh, didn't she just say that her magic only works on men? Shouldn't it just do nothing to her? For that matter, why does magic apparently work like laser beams that can be reflected by mirrors? Oh, well, at the very least, I can award her an honorary Finger Beams Award since she says her magic is all in the fingers. So, why did Troll do that? Perhaps to save others from her spells in the future? Or to prevent "Amazons Attack" from coming to pass? Why, of course not! He only did it to steal her necklace!
Linkara: Our hero, ladies and gentlemen: a conniving, thieving dick who tricks a woman into the form of a sheep for 2,000 years. I'm just saying they could have had a better Youngblood hero for this. I mean, hell, (holds up an action figure of Shaft) Shaft at least has his own action figure.
Linkara (v/o): Oh, and when we cut back to the present time, we actually get to see Troll's flatulence.
Linkara: Ha! Not since Epic Movie have we seen such well-crafted humor.
Linkara (v/o): Anyway, Circe says that if he gets her all the stuff from the Twelve Days of Christmas, she'll undo the spell. Not really sure why the hell she's giving him the chance. Frankly, if I had been stuck as a sheep for 2,000 years, my thoughts would probably have gone straight to horrifying, insane revenge on mankind, and in particular, this asshole with only one proclamation of "Hello". So Troll runs out to a jewelry store to grab the first item on his list.
Troll: Five golden rings!
Linkara: (looking closely at a golden ring in his hand) "And in the darkness, blind them"? (throws ring aside) Stupid Chinese knockoffs!
Linkara (v/o): By the by, I continue to say that this guy is an asshole for stealing all this stuff. Yes, I understand that he's trying to save the world, but he's already been established as a foul-mouthed, thieving jerk, so this is just establishing a pattern of behavior, frankly. What makes this worse is that we later see that there is in fact the Youngblood headquarters that has tech and resources that he could be utilizing, as well as people, so there's no excuse for him not to just call in, explain the situation, and not have to be running around on his little scavenger hunt. But then again, if he did that, there would be no comic, so let's continue with the stupidity. The police learn that he's broken into a zoo and stolen two turtledoves, though he apparently didn't think to check the list twice in a row, since he has to turn himself around and go back to the zoo to get a collie bird, or as he's saying it, a calling bird. Yes, believe it or not, this is actually a plot point. Next, he's after the eleven ladies dancing, so he kidnaps eleven Rockettes, none of whom object to this.
Linkara: Let me ask you, dear viewers: if you were part of a famous dance troupe in New York, and a short, unfunny man with unbelievable hair came by and told you to come with him without explanation, would you do so?
(Suddenly, another ghost (the Ghost of Christmas Present) appears in the room, played by Lewis' brother, G. Lovhaug)
Ghost: Ha! Look upon me, Linkara!
Linkara: (irritably) I'd rather not right now.
Ghost: You have never seen the likes of me before.
Linkara: Yes, I have. Numerous times, in fact, in many Christmas specials. WE'RE NOT DOING THIS.
Ghost: Oh, very well, spoilsport.
Linkara: You don't have any little kids under that robe, do you?
Ghost: Why, yes! The boy is Ignorance and–
Linkara: Look, I don't care what their names are, just give them a burger, you creepy pedophile!
Ghost: Huh. I never thought of it that way before. Well, merry Christmas, (leaves) and a happy new year!
Linkara (v/o): By the way, for some reason, one of the Rockettes is bent over and checking out another's ass. So, I guess to accomodate all the people, Troll stole a bus or something, not that it's explained. He arrives at the Canadian border, which I'm pretty sure would take quite a while for him to reach, and asks to reach the country so he can get some Canadian geese. The Mountie operating the customs station doesn't believe them, so he goes off to make a call to his superiors. And apparently, his phone has the ability to change his uniform from red to gray.
Linkara: I've got to say, so far, I'm not particularly impressed with the (makes "finger quotes") "color assisting" of this comic.
Linkara (v/o): Troll quickly sneaks across the border and steals the geese before driving off. This is the savior of the planet, ladies and gentlemen. Subsequently, the authorities contact Youngblood's liaison, Graves.
Graves: This had better be important. I was in the middle of my Christmas "pudding"... if you know what I mean.
Linkara: No, I don't get what you mean, and frankly, I hope I never do.
Linkara (v/o): Turns out that one of the Rockettes is actually an accomplished pilot, since she's perfectly able to fly some high-tech jet that belongs to Youngblood.
Troll: Punch in the co-ordinates for Bavario, okay?
Pilot: You mean Bavaria?
Troll: Whatever! Just do it!
Pilot: You men just can't deal with a woman who's your intellectual equal!
Troll: If you're so freakin' educated... then why a Rockette?
Linkara: Once again, our hero: a sexist, thieving, kidnapping pig.
Linkara (v/o): The Rockette points that she's got legs to die for; hence, her career choice. Fair enough, but as I am wont to point out, the assumption that she just may like dancing, but still be rather skilled and intelligent is lost on our dear hero. I hope Circe turns him into a goat just to spite him. And of course, what other reason to go to Bavaria but to pick up eight women in stereotypical clothing who milk cows. Yes, eight maids a-milking. Notice also that they are apparently clones of one another. Apparently, the Jackal relocated to Bavaria. At the Youngblood command center, Graves learns of what Troll is up to. He's so shocked by this that it temporarily cures his Youngblood's Disease.
Graves: Well, I'll be damned.
Linkara: (as Graves, looking around and squinting) So this is that sight thing that people have been telling me about.
Linkara (v/o): Troll goes to France to pick up some French hens, purchasing them at a pet store, which is apparently open on Christmas. Weird. Also, humorously enough, the demonic Frenchman... Seriously, look at those soulless eyes... states that they actually get their hens from a supplier in Connecticut. Seems like it'd be cheaper to get them from a local supplier, but what do I know? Now comes the only genuinely funny part of this comic: Troll travels to England and demands that some government representative hand over twelve members of the House of Lords. I've gotta say I never thought of that. That's actually kind of funny. But then it's undercut by British stereotypes.
Government representative: I had to give him the addresses! The chap threatened me!
Linkara (v/o): And of course, the high-tech jet just can't handle the weight of twelve English Lords, since they're all so fat, you know. Ha ha. So he then transfers them to an Air Force base. In England. Okay. But with more British stereotypes, like this fellow who's drinking tea.
Airport signal tower operator: I say, Reginald... bit of a sticky wicket, whot?
Linkara: (as operator) Come on, eh, chaps? Let's take the Alamanian lift over to the lorry and have ourselves a jolly good time over a good cup, eh, guv'nor?
Linkara (v/o): Back at Youngblood headquarters, a liaison instructs them to not stop Troll's activities, since he thinks that Troll must have a good reason for doing what he's doing.
Liaison: And he did save Lord Halsey from throwing himself off Big Ben!
Linkara: If that was a joke, I don't get it. Wait! Stop right where you are! I'm sure about a dozen of you are going right for the comments and about to explain it, but before you do, CHECK THE COMMENTS!
(Shots of comments to Linkara are shown)
Linkara (v/o): I know this may be difficult to believe, but I do read all the comments. So, last week, I did not need to have about fifty people all telling me about the real-life "Naked News" crap or even as far back as the Kool-Aid Man review informing about how I don't know jack about science.
(Sitting with Linkara is the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come)
Linkara: So in other words, before you feel the need to point out that I'm a moron, make sure someone else hasn't done the work for you already! (looks to see the ghost beside him) Oh, hi, Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come. (the ghost points at something with a robotic hand) What's that? (looks at where the ghost is pointing) Uh, there's no gravestone over there, there's just Pollo.
Pollo: (offscreen) The Day of Reckoning is at hand.
Linkara: Is that a robot hand? (suddenly, the ghost slaps him in the face, startling him) Son of a...! (the ghost leaves; Linkara looks around and grunts in frustration)
Linkara (v/o): So now they've picked up some bagpipers who try to start playing, but Troll humorously starts shooting at them! In a plane.
Linkara: Our hero, a murderous, sexist, thieving, kidnapping, douchebag idiot. (beat) And bagpipes are awesome.
Linkara (v/o): Back over to Circe, who's watching a news program that warns about Troll's psychotic rampage. Apparently, despite Graves saying he's got a hunch about Troll doing something right, he's evidently forgot to tell the news or the police or anybody that they'll deal with it themselves and to not be concerned about him. So after nabbing some swans, they head over to Central Park, where there's already a pear tree waiting, courtesy of Circe. And I'd make a joke about seeing two huge moons in this picture, but I fear that's exactly what they were going for. So Troll arrives on time, singing the song until he reaches "four calling birds", and Circe reveals that the original version of the song was "four coly birds". Thus, he got it wrong. But somehow, it seems the birds he did get are coly birds, and midnight hits, and Circe transforms back into a sheep. Um... why? Oh, according to Troll...
Troll: She had to sacrifice something for a spell that big.
Linkara: (dumbfounded) What the hell does that mean? She managed to get herself back to human form, only so she could transform back into a sheep, along with all the other men who would be transformed?
Linkara (v/o): And so, our comic ends with Troll rightfully in prison. Turns out that the Rockette was the one who knew about the coly birds thing. Oh, and just to really add in the humor, turns out that the partridge that they got was Danny Bonaduce, who presses charges against Troll. Seems that no one actually believed Troll's story, though none of the Rockettes or maids or lords or anything corroborated it when they saw Circe transform into a sheep.
Linkara: (angrily holding up comic) This comic sucks! The jokes are few and far between, and even then, there's not enough actual funny to fill a test tube! So let me just end this whole holiday cluster crap with this... (he changes his tone to something more pleasant) Merry Christmas and happy holidays from Atop the Fourth Wall. (tosses comic aside, gets up and leaves)
(End credits roll)
I took away the Christmas lights because they kept screwing with the focus, plus I couldn't tell if they actually were appearing on the camera's viewfinder.
There are also a whole ton of crappy pinups in the comics of Image character that no one even cared about. I didn't find them particularly Christmas-related, so I skipped over talking about them.
(Stinger: The Ghost of Christmas Present is seen again)
Ghost: Oh, very well, spoilsport. (leaves)
Linkara: You're a jolly fellow. (laughs)
Ghost: (returning) OH, VERY WELL– (laughs)
Linkara: (trying not to laugh) Not jolly...
(Everyone in the room laughs, then the Ghost takes out a huge machine gun and aims it at the camera)
Ghost: Merry Christmas... (rotates the gun barrel)