Future Five #1
January 18, 2010
College has never been so insulting!
Linkara: Hello, and welcome to Atop the Fourth Wall, where bad comics burn. So, some said it was a waste of time to review Spiderman: Storm and Cage because PSA comics are automatically going to be bad, to which I say, "So? They're still bad."
Linkara [v/o]: Crap is crap. If it's a professionally produced and distributed item, it should be fair game for a review. Plus, if it's funny, why not do it anyway?
Linkara: So, why am I bringing this up now? Well, today's comic is a different sort of PSA, Propaganda. And I'm trying to pad this out since I can't find any info on it. So with that, let's dig into Future 5 Number 1.
[Title sequence and intro]
Linkara [v/o]: Believe it or not, I'm actually going to give this cover a bit of credit. Yeah, it's a group shot of them running at the reader like so many others, but it actually does feel like it has energy to it. Mind you, there are still a lot of things wrong with it. The background is a gradient map and it's crowded with text.
Title: [reads in epic voice] "Future 5: The Power of Your Mind!"
Linkara: Ooh, don't quote me on this one, but I got a feeling we're in for some [booming voice] POWERHOUSE EXCITEMENT!!
Subtitle: "What is the evil plot of Doctor Know?"
Linkara [v/o]: Well, judging by his eyes, it's to get some LASIK surgery. Seriously, that can't be healthy. We open to a expository page that explains each member of the Future Five.
Narrator: The Future Five devote themselves to defending society against the forces of ignorance...
[Cut to Linkara dressed in army attire, wearing a bullet chain, and holding a rifle]
Linkara: General, ignorance is coming up over the hill. Our guns are useless against it. What do we do? This is a bug hunt man, a bug hunt!!
Narrator: ... and aiding students everywhere in achieving a successful future.
Linkara: Just the five of them aiding students everywhere? I'd hate to see that phone bill.
Narrator: Called together by their mentor Professor Nightbird...
Linkara [v/o]: Uh-huh. I'd come up with a joke, but it's about to get even dumber.
Narrator: ... who keeps a careful watch on the nation's students from his office at the city university,...
Linkara: [narrator] Especially the girls' showers. He keeps a VERY close watch on them.
Narrator: Each member applies hard-won college learning and experience in unusual ways---
Linkara: [narrator] At first we all laughed at the death ray powered by diplomas, but now it's a welcomed part of the college experience.
Linkara [v/o]: By the way, our professor, Nightbird, is a Native American. How do we know he is? Why that Native American pendant. Judging by the symbol on it, he's obviously a member of the... uh... Nativo Americano tribe... yeah. Anyway, let's meet the other members of the team.
Narrator: Chef - whips up powerful combinations of food and spices to combat evil.
Linkara: Yes, the forces of evil quake in fear of his Oregano cannon.
Narrator: Techno - uses his technical training to uncover dastardly plans and thwart them.
Linkara: [narrator] He pwns noobs daily at World of Warcraft.
Narrator: Luna - a licensed veterinarian, her animal friends aid her fight for justice.
Linkara: [narrator] She'll be the Ma-Ti of the group.
Narrator: Sky - the team pilot, who uses her engineering knowledge to master any situation.
Linkara: With their powers combined, they become CAPTAIN COLLEGE.
Linkara [v/o]: The quote/unquote "story" begins at a charity fundraiser by wealthy industrialist Dr. Leonard Know. Hmm, according to the cover, he's got some sort of evil plot. Let's see if this dialog gives it away.
Von Landingham: Dr. Know, you've come through for us once again. Your homeless kittens charity ball is the talk of the town. People will do anything for an invitation!
Linkara: THAT SON OF A BITCH!! TRYING TO HELP OUT HOMELESS KITTENS! LET'S GO BURN HIS FRIGGIN' HOUSE DOWN!!
Narrator: Unknown to Mrs. Von Landingham...
[The West Wing]
Bartlet: Dammit! MRS. LANDINGHAM!!
Narrator:.. and the other guests, beneath Dr. Know's magnificent mansion lies a secret room that contains all the necessary tools to carry out his plans for complete and utter domination of the world!
M Bison: OF COURSE!!
Linkara [v/o]: So, what are all these diabolical but necessary tools? A video game system, a TV screen, and some kid who can read his own poetry.
Linkara: Hmm, end of the world as we know it. And I feel fine.
Narrator: The next morning, the Future Five assemble
Linkara: [chuckles] Whoa, that doesn't make this thing dated at all. Wait, this was made in 2005. So, it was dated even when it came out. Smooth.
Linkara [v/o]: Anyway, Professor We're-So-Multicultural tells the kids that...
Nightbird: ...an alarming number of kids right here in this city are choosing not to go to college.
Linkara [v/o]: Chef responds.
Chef: What kind of cow-brained- er, sorry Luna- kids would do that?
Linkara: [throws the comic down and gives the Italian salute] Hey asshole, sit and spin! I personally know people who either chose not to go to college or had to drop out for various reasons. GO TO HELL!!
Chef: [continuing] Don't they know that without a college degree or technical school training, they're limiting their potential?
Linkara: Bill Gates was a college dropout... Food for thought.
Chef: I mean I could have ended up as a fry cook in some low-class dive, but since I went to culinary school and really learned my trade, I have my own restaurant now.
Linkara: Rachel Ray has no formal training in cooking, but through actual hands-on experience, she got herself several TV shows and books. [pause] Bite into that, dickweed.
Linkara [v/o]: Okay, before I get people jumping down my throat, yes, college can indeed be a good thing. I myself have a bachelor's degree in English and a minor in philosophy. But a college degree is NOT a guarantee for success nor does its absence mean you will fail. Plus, the fact that the comic outwardly insults people who choose not to go to college makes me want to see Gordon Ramsay meet this asshat of a chef.
Ramsay: If you'd shut the *bleep* up for thirty seconds, you might learn something.
Linkara [v/o]: And as I said, I know people personally who either didn't finish college or in fact ended up with careers that had nothing to do with their college degree. [Caption appears: "As for those highest incomes, consider what jobs REQUIRE those degrees."] UGH! This is why this isn't a PSA comic. It's just propaganda. Anyway, back to the comic.
Techno: I mean, why settle on surfing the net when you could be building it?
Linkara: I'm a college-educated comedian who puts out weekly videos on the internet and even I have no idea what the Funk and Wagnall you're talking about.
Linkara [v/o]: Oh, and as if we didn't have enough of a descent into insanity, the veterinarian, with a squirrel on her back since as a doctor she'll need that squirrel to stay sanitary, and the pilot suddenly hold up giant cue cards.
Luna: Everybody knows how important college is - Just look at these inspirational people.
Linkara: And to quote Green Arrow from the awesome comic Kingdom Come, "Now for the Democratic response." Here's a quick list of people who either dropped out of college or never attended at all: [for that list comes photos of said people and celebrities] Quentin Tarantino, Steve Jobs, Frank Lloyd Wright, Dan Aykroyd, David Bowie, Patrick Stewart, Rosa Parks, Stan Lee. It's a funny old world, isn't it?
Linkara [v/o]: Why our friendly pilot even holds up a grad game.
Sky: Check out these people the professor found! See if you can match the name with the college they graduated from.
Linkara [v/o]: [Nightbird] Yeah, Sky, we're in the middle of a crisis. Maybe we can play the stupid game that gives away the answers on the bottom later.
Techno: Hey guys, look what I just found. I took the dropout data the professor put together and mapped it. It's a twenty-mile circle with Knoweverything Industries sitting right in the middle.
Linkara [v/o]: So, what? Is Dr. Know emitting an energy field that's making people drop out of college? Why the hell would the company being in the center make a difference? Luna is shocked to know that Dr. Know is evil.
Sky: Tough luck, Luna. Dr. Know doesn't care about anyone but himself, let alone kittens!
Linkara [v/o]: So, if he's truly this evil mastermind, where's the money for homeless kittens really going? Professor Politically Correct reveals to the others that...
Nightbird: Dr. Know is using his band of Know-nothings to infiltrate middle schools and pose as students who are too cool to care about school.
Linkara: MY GOD!! HE'S GONNA HAVE A BUNCH OF KIDS WHO DON'T CARE ABOUT SCHOOL TALK TO KIDS... Who don't.... care about school because they're kids. Am I missing a step here?
Linkara [v/o]: Oh wait, this must be the rest of the plan.
Nightbird: Once they've convinced the other kids that there's no reason to go to college or any other way to pay for it, he'll be closer to his ultimate goal--
Chef: Yeah! Being the smartest and most powerful man on earth.
Chef: Being the smartest and most powerful man on--
Linkara: Yeah, Chef Idiot, I heard you. This is, without a doubt, the DUMBEST plan I've ever heard! You know the list of dumb plans? Throw them all out. This trumps the list. This is dumber the twin clones of Hitler. This is dumber than Nightcrawler as the Pope. This... is just... DUMB!!
Linkara [v/o]: He wants kids not to go to college because this will somehow make him the most powerful and intelligent person on the planet. Whoever wrote this comic has no conception of reality. There is no way in hell someone could write this in a serious manner. I suppose they could have just been doing it for a paycheck, but DAMN. Now we get to see this plan in action as a bunch of slack-jawed middle schoolers are being lectured to by this loser in a green sweater.
Sweater: Nah, forget about college. I might go to high school so I can meet chicks, but as soon as I get a job I'm outta there.
Linkara: [sarcastic] Wow, such a convincing argument, especially since middle schoolers are all looking forward to having jobs.
Linkara [v/o]: Speaking of which, why the hell are they lecturing middle schoolers about this? Maybe my middle school experience was difference, but I never gave two thoughts about college during middle school. That was something you're worried about in high school.
Sweater: I'll just find some job at a burger joint and put it on cruise control. More time for hanging out that way.
Linkara: You know, I know some very nice people who work in a McDonald's and this comic is saying they're beneath college graduates. How is it that a ten-page comic is able to induce such irritation and rage with me?
Linkara [v/o]: So our merry band of dumbasses fly off in their helicopter armed with random animals and food. Since this is a propaganda comic, we also get more bits that explain different types of colleges as well as financial aid options. Sky decides to whine about her own life instead of flying the frigging helicopter.
Sky: I used to ask myself about what I wanted with my life to be like when I was 25.
Linkara: Yeah, I was held back a lot in high school.
Linkara [v/o]: That line just further illustrates the stupidity of this whole thing. I'm not even 25 and I graduated from college already. Do they think kids don't think about college until they've already been an adult for several years? Yeah, I suppose what she means was what she'd be doing with her life at the age of 25, but it's not a very well-written sentence especially coming from something that's supposed to convince kids to get more education. So they arrive at City Middle School, love the creativity of this thing by the way, and confront one of the evil kids disparaging about college. And like true heroes, they threaten him with Luna implying that her snake can crush him and Chef says he'll use his special... brand of... herbal ... tea.
Linkara: HEY!! CHEF RAMSAY!!
Ramsay: Are you a dumb blonde? You f***ing donkey!
Linkara: THANK YOU!
Linkara [v/o]: Anyway, the kid admits that Dr. Know's plan is-- hey, wait a second. He's named Dr. Know. Doesn't that mean he went to college? So, the other lesson here is that going to college could result in becoming an evil industrialist, who tries to help kittens. The middle schoolers, being the rock stupid easily lead dimwits that they are, instantly believe the weirdos with snakes around their necks or a webcam on their shoulder that go around bullying others. After some more cliched phrases like stay in school, lots of options, blah blah blah, Dr. Know apparently shows up to shake his fist at the Future Five. [villain voice] "You'll pay for this, Captain Planet!! Er, I mean, Future Five!" And so our comic ends with Johnny Thunderbird warning others like Dr. Know will still try to thwart kids' attempts to go to college for some reason and the kids should be aware of The Power of your Mind!
Linkara: See? Told you we'd get our POWERHOUSE EXCITEMENT. THIS COMIC SUCKS!! It is an insulting, boring, illogical waste of everyone's time and I feel sorry for any kid who had to read it! But, you know, it does teach a very important lesson about going to college, so maybe I'm being a bit too harsh on... [doorbell rings.] Oh, excuse me. [Linkara puts down this comic and walks off to fetch the door] Oh hey, it's my student loan bill. Wait, MY STUDENT LOAN BILL?! OH, FU-- [cut to black]
Supposedly, this is a team of five, yet Professor Thunderbirds-Are-Go's contribution was to sit on his ass and put together meaningless data.