Kamandi at Earth's End #4
June 10, 2013
Pointlessness at Earth's End! Stupid Ideas at Earth's End!
Linkara: (listlessly) Hello, and welcome to Atop the Fourth Wall, where bad comics burn. "Kamandi at Earth's End #4". (raises hand and shakes it back and forth, as if waving flag) Yaaaay...
(Cut to black)
Linkara (v/o): Previously on the "Kamandi at Earth's End" reviews...
(Shots of "Kamandi #3" are shown)
Linkara (v/o): A meathead named Kamandi was tasked by a sentient computer Mother Machine to kill the guy responsible for the apocalypse... I'm sorry, Second Apocalypse, because apparently the first one was returned under warranty or something. He met up with a muscle-bound idiot named Sleeper Zom and a scantily-clad woman named Saphira, and the group found their way to Washington, D.C., where we discovered that books are full of thinking.
Linkara: However, books like this are evidence that they are not made with thinking.
Linkara (v/o): After escaping from chicken robots intent on killing them and not killing them, they proceeded along the most idiotic transportation project ever and were captured by people wearing very stupid outfits and warned them that Deathslingers were coming. And then, two seconds later, the Deathslingers came. I'd say this subplot was pointless, but under the sheer weight of every other pointless and asinine thing we have to deal with, it seems a little redundant.
Linkara: So let's dig into (holds up today's comic) "Kamandi at Earth's End #4" and see if there's anything left worth caring about. (beat) My money is on "no".
(AT4W title sequence plays, and the title card has the title song from UHF playing in the background. Cut to a closeup of the comic's cover)
Linkara (v/o): Well, it's taken us this long, but we finally have a cover that confirms that indeed we have finally reached "Superman At Earth's End". You know, it's kind of funny. I started reviewing this series to try to look back on what led us to Bearded Idiot, but we've seen so much else that's wrong with this lame-ass series that reaching this finally just isn't worth it. As for the cover itself, it's not bad. Not great, either. I admit it's a striking image, with the focus on the S shield, but complemented by the Santa Claus beard, that does make you want to read more, but then again, it is just that and nothing else. Though, I suppose the less we see of this guy, the better. Gotta love the crappy tagline, too: "THE MAN OF TOMORROW... TODAY!"
Linkara: This comic takes place in the future. It's not "today", it's the Man of Tomorrow... tomorrow! (rolls eyes)
Linkara (v/o): We open with some Mad Max-inspired roadster with Orcs on top of it.
Ben Boxer: (narrating) Ben Boxer's Log, September 29, 2101, A.D.: Beaming a magnetic resonance scan into their TV set, we monitored the conversations of Kamandi and his friends as they drove west...
Linkara: (as Boxer) And tonight, we're going to share those secret conversations with you live and on primetime!
Boxer: (narrating) We learned that they were heading for Arizona... looking for somebody Machine Mother wanted dead.
Linkara: Obviously, Machine Mother had a bad experience at Amy's Baking Company. Topical!
Boxer: (narrating) About the time they hit Kansas, they found something they never expected-- a road war.
Linkara: Yes, a (makes "air quotes") "road war", but only because of this moronic idea of a 40-mile-wide highway. And considering the apocalypse has already wiped out most of humanity, this is technically a world war at this point.
Linkara (v/o): You know, why is it that post-apocalyptic stories usually have the people running around in big, bizarre-looking outfits? And why do they always have a ready supply of various types of weaponry and custom vehicles? Wouldn't resources, especially ones like that, be extraordinarily scarce difficult to produce, especially custom-painted ones? Anyway, with their enemies approaching, Sleeper asks Vile John if they can have their guns back.
Vile John: I'll bring it up at the next meeting of the knitting club, kid...
Linkara: Oh, he's totally serious. They needed to learn to knit so they could put random stars and words like (makes a "finger quote") "Moby" on their clothes.
Linkara (v/o): Also, "kid"? Really? Kamandi is supposed to be a kid, and that's stretching it, but Sleeper Zom looks 40 and has one huge-ass earring for no reason. Vile John orders one of his men, named Tanker, to open fire on the approaching vehicles. Tanker does so, along with his associate, Stinkfoot.
Linkara: Okay, you've got to imagine that showers are not the highest priority for anybody after the apocalypse, so you have to wonder: how bad is the smell if you've actually earned the name "Stinkfoot"?
Linkara (v/o): Also, Tanker has "UHF" written on his shoulder for no reason.
Linkara: You know, Weird Al's UHF had concepts like Gandhi 2, Conan the Librarian, and Wheel of Fish, all of which are infinitely more interesting than (holds up comic) this comic!
Linkara (v/o): And going back to the "scarcity of resources" thing, we've got four massive roadsters approaching, and I just have to shake my head. Okay, if they have the resources to build things this huge, why are they sitting on top of them instead of inside of them like tanks? In fact, why aren't they tanks? I mean, they could have just been salvaged cars, but you know what? I've seen some stupid car designs in my life, but I really doubt this model took off as a popular one, especially because they're so friggin' huge! I mean, come on! These can't be salvaged vehicles. Or is the highway littered with ten-foot tires from monster trucks? And yeah, I guess you could say that, with the insanely large highway, you'd see more gigantic cars, but don't you think the cars would be more designed for comfort instead of being as impractical as these things are? I mean, sure, that's fine on the highway, but the rest of the world still has normal streets! Anyway, enough about the dumbass cars; back to the other dumbass things about the comic. The attack blows up one of the cars, and we get our issue's title: "Kamandi at Earth's End: The Man at Earth's End!"
Linkara: (deadpan) Wow, I bet you really agonized over that title for this issue. Where do you get your ideas?
Ben Boxer: (narrating) Kamandi had got himself into the middle of a titanic clash between a road king named Vile John-- and a Canadian brute called The Emperor of the Night Zone.
Linkara: So we were just in Washington, D.C., on our way to Arizona, and now we've got people from Canada driving down to engage in turf wars? I may suck at geography, but I'm pretty the Canadians are going a bit out of their way for this.
Linkara (v/o): As the Canadian forces break through a wall or something, Vile John orders Kamandi and company to arm themselves and to come help in the defense.
Man: Strap on your engines, boys-- we're ridin' out ta da field of honor!
Vile John: It's days like this what makes death worth livin' for!
Linkara: (deadpan, massaging his temples) Right about that. The more I read this series, the more the sweet embrace of death looks appealing.
Linkara (v/o): So Vile John gets his own super-fancy car that has half a dozen chain guns attached to it. You know what these things actually kinda remind me of?
Linkara: (holding up an elaborate toy car) This is from an old toy line of the '90s called Z-Bots. You'll notice that, despite having spikes in the front and missiles on the back, it's still a much more practical and cooler vehicle than the ones in this comic!
Linkara (v/o): So the two gangs slam into each other, and Ben Boxer narrates that the Canadians were much worse than Vile John's forces – not that it makes any difference; there is nothing interesting to look at in this comic. Frankly, I can't tell which is which. After the cars ram into each other, a big troll guy with chains going down from his neck to his... crotch... Ew! ...leaps over and he gets shot by Kamandi.
Kamandi: I never did care for Canadians!
(Cut to a clip of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 gang watching The Deadly Mantis)
Tom Servo: (narrator voice) Canada, our mortal enemy.
Linkara: I know I used that particular clip in the very first "Kamandi" video, but this concept never stops being silly.
(Cut to an Aussie man, played by Lewis)
Aussie: The ball ain't movin', lads! (looks to camera) Oh, we'll be right back. (walks off as AT4W logo appears) Bloody 'ell!
(We got to commercial; upon return, the Aussie man returns)
Aussie: We're back now, mates. (drawing a bow and arrow and running off-screen) That pyro is a spy. (the sound of a raging flame is heard while the AT4W logo appears) OH, GOD, NO, HE ISN'T!
(We cut back to the comic as the review resumes)
Linkara (v/o): This artwork is horrendous, and I don't just mean the character designs and guns and crap. Remember how I talked in the last "Kamandi" video about how they made the big open highway so they wouldn't have to draw the backgrounds? Yeah, it's pretty evident that that was the case here. For the first fourteen pages of this comic, there are zero backgrounds! The only way they could have gotten worse at this would have been if there were no colors or gradients, if it was all just white. But honestly, if they were gonna be so lazy with the artwork that they're not gonna bother drawing backgrounds, just make it all white anyway! Vile John gets killed by the Emperor of Stupid Hats or whatever he is... not that I care, just here for summarizing purposes. And when our "heroes" are threatened, Ben Boxer fires his weapons to annihilate the attackers. And thus, they decide to just kill everything and let God sort it out, and our heroes make a hasty retreat. However, apparently, the government wasn't doing a very good job maintaining the massive forty-mile-wide freeway, since they fall into what they describe as a pothole – a pothole large enough for an entire giant car to fall into. Yyyeah. Anyway, the car somehow survived that, and they land inside of the bunker system that Kamandi had previously been inside of.
Linkara: Okay, again, they have traveled at least over two states by now! This stops being a (makes an "air quote") at some point and just becomes the underground nation of mole people!
Linkara (v/o): They discover a giant computer at the end of the corridors, which are large enough to drive through.
Kamandi: Woo! I knew it! Just like home!
Linkara: (as Kamandi) Virtual reality sex, (gives a thumbs-up) here I come!
Kamandi: This gotta be...
Linkara (v/o): Ugh, poor grammar.
Kamandi: This gotta be a military fortress... the North American Defense Command... It's part of the bunker system!
Linkara (v/o): Uh, yeah, Kamandi, you just said that on the last page! Oh, and great planning on the military's part: put a massive complex underneath a friggin' freeway! Actually, you know who probably built this? The same idiots who made that underground base for the Atomic Knights from "Battle For Bludhaven"! Just put secret military facilities underneath public areas, so that if something goes wrong, it'll blow up as many innocent people as you can! Brilliant military thinking!
(Cut to the obligatory clip from Patton)
Patton: (looking out through a pair of binoculars) You magnificent bastard, I read your BOOK!
(Cut back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): Kamandi accesses the computer to talk to Mother Machine. She says she's working on a plan to kill Ben Boxer and the biomechs, but in the meantime, he needs to complete their mission.
Mother Machine: Find the man. Find my enemy. Please find him and kill him as I asked, my son.
Linkara: (as Kamandi) Eh, this show is boring. (holds up remote control) Let's see what else is on.
(He pushes on the control. The screen cuts off through static, and we see a commercial for Spatula City, as seen in UHF)
Announcer: There's just one place to go for all of your spatula needs...
Random voice 1: Spatula City!
Random voice 2: Spatula City!
Announcer: A giant warehouse of spatulas for every occasion.
(Static cuts off the image again as we cut back to the comic again)
Linkara (v/o): Anyway, I think I was wrong. They didn't arrive in the bunker system, they clearly arrived in the Plot Convenience Playhouse, since, in the next area, there's a military high-speed jet-tube that will get them to the next leg of their journey. Ben Boxer and his forces arrive to attack, and they once more retreat to the tube. They manage to activate it just before they're blasted and Ben Boxer narrates their journey to us, saying that they'll let Kamandi reach the person he has to kill, since they suspect the guy can be helpful to their cause. He also talks about the places they'll pass through, like the "missile fields of West Kansas", "the Graveyard of the First Apocalypse", and to the Arizona area, where people after the Second Apocalypse went to die.
Linkara: Yeah, because when the world is ending, the first place I think of going to is... Arizona. (shrugs)
Kamandi: Okay--this is it. Let's go topside and look around.
Linkara: (as Kamandi) Everybody, remember where we parked.
Linkara (v/o): And thus, they go topside and... (sighs) Geez, is this ever a sad sight. In the Grand Canyon are hundreds of thousands of corpses. Pretty shocking that the bodies are this intact, to be honest. And it's explained that people were dying from some virus that was killing everybody.
Kamandi: So many died that they had no place to put 'em!
Saphira: So they decided to fill up the Grand Canyon with 'em?
Linkara: This is simultaneously horrifying... and horrifyingly idiotic.
Linkara (v/o): You know, if there were this many people dying from an illness, it's probably not the best idea to just shove their diseased, rotting corpses in a big, open hole in the ground. For that matter, why the hell aren't these three retching their guts out? Dead bodies stink! And that many, especially diseased ones that are mostly intact probably are a bit of a health hazard for these idiots. Oh, and by the way, kind of hard for me to feel horrified about the apocalypse and the dead bodies when the same damn comic was glorifying death and violence NOT TEN PAGES AGO!! Anyway, back to the land of plot convenience, there just happens to be an auto museum next to the Grand Canyon, so they can steal another car, this time a purple, open-top Humvee or something. And naturally, it still works.
Saphira: This car is way cool.
Kamandi: Yeah... I wish I lived back in the days when everything was peaceful and people drove around in these!
Linkara: (as Kamandi) You know, in the days when dinosaurs roamed the land. (beat; normal) What? Don't you remember issue 2, which informed us that these idiots think dinosaurs and humans lived in the early '90s together? Or do they mean we lived in peace with our T-rex brethren?
Linkara (v/o): They arrive at a Hopi Indian reservation and start looking around for the guy that Machine Mother wants Kamandi to kill. I'm frankly just amazed that we actually have backgrounds for a change. They're not very good backgrounds, but after the fourteen pages of blank colors, this is actually really welcome. They can't seem to find anybody, but fortunately for Kamandi, there was a communicator back in the bunker that he can use to talk to Mother Machine.
Linkara: I would say that this is another example of coincidence and luck serving the needs of plot convenience, but frankly, a communicator in a military bunker area is probably the most logical thing they've run into so far.
Linkara (v/o): Mother Machine tells him to keep looking around, and they finally spot him. Dude offers Kamandi some dried deer meat if he's hungry, trying to hold off the surprise reveal, and Machine Mother orders Kamandi to kill him. And so, our comic ends with that surprise reveal. IT'S SUPERMAN! (dramatic sting plays)
Linkara: (dramatically) OH, MY GOD!! WHAT A SHOCKING SURPRISE TWIST THAT (holds up comic) THEY REVEALED ON THE COVER; THUS IT WASN'T REALLY A TWIST! (angrily) THIS COMIC SUCKS!!
Linkara (v/o): Even ignoring the idiocy of having the twist ending of Super Santa revealed by the cover, this issue pretty much reveals how completely pointless both this issue and the previous one really were! Issue 3 made a whole big deal about getting the message to Vile John about the oncoming attack. They get the message only seconds before the attacks begins, and the fight lasts fourteen pages of badly-drawn shooting, driving and stabbing... and then they're completely gone from the story!! It's all just one gigantic load of padding to get to this point! We still don't know anything more about these characters or why we're supposed to give a damn about them!
Linkara: The real name of this series is "Waste of Time at Earth's End"! (throws down comic, gets up and leaves)
(End credits roll)
Most of this comic is just our heroes running away from things.
I think this issue was made because the editor told the writer that their stupid subplots weren't going anywhere and to finally get on track or else they'd cancel the whole thing, thus resulting in plot convenience after plot convenience to get them where they were going.
(Stinger: Ben Boxer's narration of Kamandi and company's arrival in Arizona is shown again)
Boxer: (narrating) We learned that they were heading for Arizona...
Linkara: (as Boxer) With all the Mad Max stuff going around, we thought they were going to go to a specific place, but it seems they went beyond Thunderdome. (smiles smugly)