Marville #6 and #7
January 6, 2014
Our long national nightmare is over! It's the final issues of Marville!
(Open on Linkara's futon, which is empty, and that can only mean one thing: Marville! Linkara appears, with his hand, holding a bottle of alcohol, coming down hard on the futon as he struggles to get up, feeling quite hung over. Suddenly, the screen disappears, replaced the present-day Linkara, with his new attire and his futon in front of his bookshelf, feeling an empty bottle. He looks up to see he's on camera)
Linkara: Hmm? Oh, I'm sorry. That was the drunken opening from the very first "Marville" review. I'm sorry about that, I just got confused. Why? Because "Marville #6", the last issue of "Marville", (gnashes his teeth angrily) is a recap of the series!!
(AT4W title sequence plays; title card has "Bohemian Polka" by Weird Al Yankovic playing in the background)
Linkara: Like I said when this first began, every issue of "Marville" is worse than the one before it. And thus, we have reached the final real issue... and it's BAAAAAD!! I'll explain what I mean by (makes "finger quotes") "real issue" later.
(Shots of the issue to come are shown, revealing it is little more than a recap of the previous issues)
Linkara (v/o): But wait! Don't turn off the video just yet, as if this is just a lazy bunch of panels and text copied and pasted from the previous five issues. Oh, no, they actually bothered to draw new artwork for the recap and have a framing device for the recap!
Linkara: (irritated) Bad enough that we have to relive this insanity, but I can't even ignore it as if it was just an easy cash grab or something, (becomes more irate) because they actually had the INDECENCY to put EFFORT into it! It's "Marville", so it's not very much effort, but still...
Linkara (v/o): A recap of the events of the previous "Marville" issues would be pretty pointless, because that's exactly what we're about to see. But if you need a recap of something, here's the recap of "Battle for Bludhaven".
(Cut to footage of that series of videos)
Linkara (v/o): (audio from review) The government controls the city of Bludhaven, because they're idiots. The Atomic Knights are running around Bludhaven with no clear end goal, because they're idiots. The Secret Society of Supervillains send two teams of nuclear-themed characters into Bludhaven, because they're idiots. Firebrand... is an idiot.
(Cut back to the present-day Linkara)
Linkara: So let's dig into (holds up today's comic) "Marville #6" and be thankful that this is the last we'll ever have to see of this.
(Cut to a closeup of the comic's cover)
Linkara (v/o): The cover would have been fine if this had been a Wolverine comic that was about Wolverine accidentally having a camera glued to his face. The problem is that it is not, and Wolverine is not a prominent character in this comic. So yes, the cover is awful, not that it would've been much better if this had been a Wolverine comic.
Linkara: I'd make a joke about me shoving my face in front of the camera, but... I've already done that before.
(Cut to a clip of Linkara's review of the New Teen Titans anti-drug PSA)
Raven: (audio from review) Please... do not run.
Linkara: (audio from review; as Raven) Aren't my eyes comforting when they're up close like this?
(Cut back to the current review, showing an alternate cover with the obligatory redheaded lady on the cover)
Linkara (v/o): There is an alternate cover with Red-Haired Cover Lady swinging in Spider-Man-themed lingerie. It's about as random as anything else in this story, so I guess that means it matches perfectly. And hell, at least that can be considered Ultrasoft or Spank material...
(Cut back to the cover showing Wolverine)
Linkara (v/o): ...unless you're that turned on by Wolverine's poorly-rendered claws. Seriously, look at the angle of those things. It's hard enough to believe that he can fit claws in his arm. They're not even exiting out in a reasonable manner. Toy Wolverine claws attached to the back of a kid's hand are more accurate!
(The comic opens to the first page)
Linkara (v/o): We open with the image of asteroids falling towards Earth.
Al: This is a good story.
Linkara: The previous five issues would suggest otherwise.
Linkara (v/o): It's Al talking to someone: specifically, an editor. Yeah, Al is pitching "Marville" to a comic editor!
(Cut to Phelous)
Phelous: (confused) What?
Al: But this really is good. See... asteroids are destroying the planet.
Linkara: That is a good thing, for some reason.
Al: And I'm watching TV.
Editor: Teenager, right?
Linkara: Only teenagers watch TV! (shrugs)
Linkara (v/o): By the way, this is what I mean by "effort". The image on the TV? It's the same one that was in the first issue of "Marville". The artist actually gave enough of a damn to go back and make sure it was the same. How depressing is that, that "Marville" is the one that remembers stupid little continuity like that, yet a team of writers and artists on "Countdown" can't keep things consistent from one issue to the next?! He explains that his parents sent him back in time to save his life, and the editor asks why they didn't go with him.
Al: I think they were trying to stay true to the Superman legend.
Linkara (v/o): One, the Superman legend did not involve time travel using PlayStation and Atari parts! Two, in the original issue, Ted Turner said that their "tragic deaths will give him a heightened sense of responsibility". THAT'S SPIDER-MAN, NOT SUPERMAN!! And he can't say that he didn't know their motivations, BECAUSE HE WAS THERE WHEN TED TURNER SAID IT!! The editor, however, decides to harp on the Superman thing.
Editor: What is this, a Superman re-make? It will never sell. You can't just go changing a legend. Super hero [sic] origins are sacred-- ask any fan.
Linkara: (dripping sarcasm) AH-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA! HAAA! HAAA! FUNNY. (gnashes teeth)
Al: That's the whole point of the story. Readers should love their heroes, but not get too hung up on the stories that writers make up about them.
Linkara: (incredulously) Wait, that was the point of "Marville"?!? Then why the hell did we spend three issues on incorrect science related to the origins of the universe and humanity?! The hell does that have to do with superheroes?!
Linkara (v/o): Also, bullcrap! Emotional investment is necessary for us to care about the outcome of a story. You can't have it both ways! It's either pretty artwork just for the sake of pretty artwork or a story where the outcome is relevant to us. Or, at the very least, you can't have ongoing continuity. Actions either have consequences or they don't!
Linkara: Maybe this is just his way of trying to say, (mocking voice) "Our criticisms for 'Marville' are irrelevant, because we're not supposed to care about it.'" (normal again) Which is kind of the stupid logic I expect at this point, frankly.
Linkara (v/o): The editor is already confused.
Editor: I'm not tracking here-- how do you separate the hero from his story?
Linkara: Ask the creators behind "Amazons Attack"; they did a great job of separating Wonder Woman from her own damn crossover.
Linkara (v/o): Also, that sentence comes out of nowhere. He wasn't talking about the hero and their story; he was talking about reader investment.
Al: You'll see, if you just make a comic about my story, see...
Linkara: (massaging his forehead in frustration) Al, they did, and I still don't see! Oh, I am going to have to stop critiquing every piece of dialogue in this, because this is taking far too long! Much like how "All-Star Batman and Robin" takes too long.
(Cut to a clip of Linkara's review of "All-Star Batman and Robin #6")
Linkara (v/o): (audio from review) We cut to "five hours ago". So, five hours ago from three hours ago?!
Linkara: (audio from review; anguished) WHAT TIME IS IT?!?
(Cut back to the "Marville" comic)
Linkara (v/o): He [Al] says he was reliving the origin stories of Superman, Spider-Man, and Batman, and all were sillier than the last. But the editor objects to this, though for different reasons than I do.
Editor: Listen, son, you can't go around saying that comic legends are silly.
Linkara: (as editor) Comic books are serious business! Now, let me tell you about Arm Fall-Off Boy. (a shot of Arm Fall-Off Boy appears in the corner)
Al: They are all great heroes, but the same old stories about them are getting, well, old.
Linkara: He's got a point there, but fortunately, we got some fresh concepts in superheroes, like Psychoman.
(Cut to a clip of Linkara's review of that comic)
Kevin Hardin: (audio from review) Or maybe this is just one of those mysterious things that just happens, like the first time I came!
(Cut back to the present-day Linkara)
Linkara: Or perhaps Captain Electron.
(Cut to a clip of Linkara's review of that comic)
Holokara (v/o): (audio from review) Plus, with how tight it [Electron's cape] looks around his neck, it kind of seems like it's choking him. Which would probably explain why it seems like he's looking off in two different directions.
Linkara: Or even Captain Tax Time.
(Cut to a clip of Linkara's review of that comic)
Linkara (v/o): (audio from review) He's apparently the guy from the cover who thinks that stripes equals taxes.
(Cut back to "Marville")
Linkara (v/o): Al says that he wanted to be a hero, so he started fighting crime. The editor likes this, since "crime fighting sells", which is such a bizarre statement to make in relation to superhero comics. No kidding, crime fighting sells, when they're the dominant friggin' genre in comics and have been so for 70 years! You would think someone like Bill Jemas, who works behind the scenes of a comic company, would actually KNOW HOW EDITORS TALK!
Al: That's what I thought, and I had my speeding bullet feeling.
Linkara: (confused) "Speeding bullet"...? The hell?! Oh, I get it! That feeling you get when someone's going to shoot you! Yes, Al, I imagine you would have that feeling.
Linkara (v/o): And here's where we start getting that Marville laziness to set in, because now, most of the pages are either gonna be splash pages or two panels per page. It's new artwork, but not particularly good artwork. Hell, look at poor Spider-Man up there. Must've overjammed his web cartridges that day, since they're as thick as a power line's now.
Al: But then I realized that good and bad aren't black and white.
Linkara: (sarcastically) What, not gonna bring up the time you met Alan Greenspan? Or Rush Limbaugh? OR SPIKE FRICKIN' LEE AS THE KINGPIN?! Or do you just want us to forget all about your celebrity guest stars? Unfortunately, I can't forget!
(He snaps his fingers. Cut back to Linkara's review of "Marville #2")
Linkara: (audio from review; unimpressed) Spike Lee is The Kingpin.
(Totally nonplussed by that stupid plot twist and even stupider joke, Linkara puts down the comic and walks outside his apartment. He gazes out beyond the trees in depression, while the love theme from Manos: Hands of Fate plays in the background. Cut back to "Marville #6")
Editor: Everybody knows that. The point is good guys vs. bad guys make for great comics.
Linkara: Man, even Bill Jemas realized that people get sick and tired of heroes fighting other heroes.
Al: But the main lesson I learned is that capturing criminals will not--
Editor: Eliminate the cause of the crime. Everybody knows that.
Linkara: (exasperated) Look, could you stop interrupting his pitch?! The sooner he explains his stupid idea, the sooner you can tell him no and we can END THIS!
Editor: The point is that books about the social problems that cause crimes are for the reference section of your college library. Comics are about fighting bad guys, not about fighting unemployment.
Linkara: Wow! That's incredibly short-sighted and dickish, especially in light of all the highly successful comics of the last thirty years that had nothing to do with superheroes fighting crime! ...Asshole.
Linkara (v/o): Al is unperturbed by this and moves on to the events of Issue 3.
Al: I wanted to learn the meaning of life. So I took the machine all the way back to the beginning of time. I was ready to find God.
Linkara: Unfortunately, he brought us along for the ride.
Editor: Did you find him in heaven?
Linkara (v/o): I just realized: the editor is not questioning the fact that Al is telling the story as truth. The editor only cares about the comic aspect of it, not signalling for security to get this crazy person who claims he's from the future out of his office. Anyway...
Al: But it turns out he's down here with us on Earth. And he's not just with us; we are actually part of him.
Editor: Can you see how blank my stare is?
Linkara: Can you see how annoyed my stare is?
Al: You know, like ants in an anthill. Together they have a collective intelligence that none of them understand.
Linkara: I'll just add this to the ever-growing list of things that Bill Jemas doesn't understand.
Linkara (v/o): The editor is equally dismissive.
Editor: It's a miracle! I never thought I could care this little about a comic.
Linkara: I'm beginning to think this is just the actual conversation Bill Jemas had with the other people at Marvel when he proposed this thing.
Al: Then me and the girls meet this guy Jack and we go skinny dipping.
Linkara: Well, enough about sociology; let's now talk about naked people!
Linkara (v/o): And of course, this is the first time Al has brought up Mickey and Lucy, but hey, here's a repeat of them swimming around naked. Still don't get the point of them being naked. He talks about the single-celled beings that created life, thankfully not telling us this time about how cute they are, and then how Mickey and Lucy disagreed on what this said about God and the universe.
Editor: Mickey the cab driver?
Linkara (v/o): No, Mickey the good Lord, the proportions on this artwork! Look at the size of her feet! Each one is bigger than her head! Her legs aren't any better, approaching "22 Brides" level stilt legs!
Linkara: Say, that reference I just made to "22 Brides" reminds me of my review of "22 Brides".
(As Linkara looks up in thought, we flash back to that review)
Linkara: (audio from review; holding up comic) This comic sucks!
(Flash back to the present day)
Linkara: There was a deeper meaning I was trying to convey when I reviewed "22 Brides". Namely, that "22 Brides" sucked.
Linkara (v/o): Also, her taxi is just short of a monster truck in terms of its size. Al then brings up Lucy's side of it. Also, Al has gone out of his way to point out that Mickey went to Rutgers University and Lucy to Princeton. I think it's a vain effort to try to make it seem like the characters are so intelligent and we should totally believe what they're saying, ignoring the fact that they're NOT REAL PEOPLE! Oh, but a quick look at Bill Jemas' Wikipedia page says that he's originally from Princeton, New Jersey, and he has a degree from Rutgers. So it could've just been a cute little pointless shout-out. Either way is dumb. But hey, let's forget about that and move on to more pseudoscience. The editor talks with Al briefly about how obvious all this stuff is, until Al points out that plant species had to...
Al: ...eat their parents to survive...
Editor: I never thought about this before. But now that I have, I still don't care. Does anything exciting happen?
Linkara: Do I even need to be here? The editor seems to be doing just as well without me.
Linkara (v/o): So, what's the exciting thing?
Al: We battle the dinosaurs.
Linkara: If by (makes a "finger quote") "battle", you mean "ran repeatedly away from"...
Editor: Did you use superior human intelligence to defeat them?
Linkara: (as Al) No, fortunately, we had a single-celled organism in my jacket that evolved into a fish and then a talking Jewish duckbill named Snorts, who was able to convince them that we weren't a threat. (smiles and nods) ...Why are you looking at me like that?
Al: Not really. They just decided not to kill us. See, they accepted us as family. Those critters will do anything for their own species, but everything else is just food.
Linkara (v/o): Um, no! That's not what happened! Is Jemas forgetting what happened IN HIS OWN DAMN STORY?!? Snorts convinced them they were friends! They didn't just "decide not to kill them"!
Linkara: (irritably) It was STUPID, yes, but if you're gonna recap this mess, DO IT ACCURATELY!
Editor: Okay, okay. Kill or be killed. Eat or starve. What are you trying to achieve?
Al: World peace.
Linkara (v/o): Didn't Issue 5 end with the declaration that we just need to stop believing in things, have sex, and thus world peace? Really don't know what's going on anymore. Oh, and now it's time for new material that Al claims was talked about before, but it wasn't. Trust me, I've actually read the other issues.
Al: Jack wanted to show us how 500 million years of evolution taught animals to limit their compassion for their own species. That way, they do what they need to survive, in blissful ignorance of the feelings of their victims.
Editor: Blissful ignorance is bad?
Al: No, the world would grind to a halt without it. If carnivores saw herbivores as family, they would stop eating herbivores and starve to death.
(Cut to a clip of an episode of Scrubs)
Dr. Cox: (to J.D.) If you loved the sound of your very own voice any more, you'd probably just sit in a little room all day and sing to yourself.
(Cut back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): Just in case you don't remember, animals kill members of their own species all the damn time. This leads to Al saying that without this, the herbivores would multiply out of control, eat up all the plants, and the animals would die off, and there wouldn't be any carbon dioxide, and thus the end of the world. Of course, he's saying this while there's clearly still plant life present in the artwork, and this really has nothing to do with anything. Is that magma in the bottom of the panel or a pool of blood? So now it's time for the editor to get him back on track, asking what this has to do with world peace.
Al: I didn't get it either until I met Wolverine.
Editor: Wolverine moves merchandise!
Linkara: And yet it didn't save the sales of (points to comic) this series.
(Cut to Linkara wearing a blue outfit)
Linkara: (arms crossed) We'll be right back, ya Slifer Slackers!
(He walks off as the AT4W logo appears in the corner. We go to commercial. Upon return, Linkara appears again in his outfit)
Linkara: And now we're back. I love this outfit.
(He walks off as the AT4W logo appears in the corner. Cut back to the comic)
Al: Wolverine was the first human.
Linkara: Still stickin' with that story, eh? You know this is a work of fiction because the editor didn't toss his ass right out at that moment.
Al: He was raised by animals-- by Neanderthals.
Linkara: (holding up pen) Aaaand another one for the list! (writes in a piece of paper) "Bill Jemas does not know the difference between animals and Neanderthals."
Linkara (v/o): They talk about the crap from last time about whether it was war between humans and Neanderthals that killed off the Neanderthals or if human genetics was just a more dominant aspect and, oh, dear Lord, this is still so asinine!
Al: Wolverine had hundreds of mates; all of the children were human, and all of their children were human.
Editor: I guess that stands to reason, but it's not a popular theory among archaeologists.
Al: Because our basic, inbred instincts are against seeing any of those Neanderthal "animals" as part of the human family, and we can't get our arms around "inter-species" mating.
Linkara: (as Al) Those stupid archaeologists, with their "degrees" and "actual scientific research". They know nothing! I, a comic book writer, know more than they do!
Linkara (v/o): The editor says he's heard enough.
Al: Will you publish my story?
Editor: I like it personally...
Linkara: (incredulously) WHY?!
Editor: ...but there is just not enough action for the comic...
Al: Hey, I forgot to tell you about the part where asteroids clobber the Earth's surface.
Linkara: (as Al) Did you know that the dinosaurs died off? I sure didn't!
Linkara (v/o): Mass genocide, when you need more action for your comic book story! Why not?! It worked for "Countdown"! The editor asks if Jack knew that the asteroids were coming and Al begins to wonder about that himself.
Editor: Okay, here's a good one: Think about why God didn't wait until after the asteroid shower before he created life and started evolution. See, then dinos never would have been killed or massacred. Did Jack tell you that?
Linkara: (as Al) Well, no, but then, he was kind of preoccupied. Any time he saw water, he immediately stripped down and went swimming.
Linkara (v/o): Al asks the editor if he's proposing that God is evil because he let the dinosaurs die off.
Editor: No, no, just the opposite. See, in your story, you can show God planning the whole Jurassic Park so that mankind would someday find crude oil.
Linkara: (screaming in fury) PERIOD!!! JURASSIC PERIOD!!!! NOT "PARK"!! JURASSIC PARK WAS A MOVIE!! HOW IS EVEN THE EDITOR GETTING THIS WRONG?!? WHY ARE THEY STILL HAVING THIS CONVERSATION?!?! (looks at comic) JUST END!! EEEEEND!!! (shakes comic around angrily) EEEEEEEEEENNNNNNNNNDDDDDDDDDD!!!!
(A montage begins, showing footage of Linkara's meltdowns from past episodes of his show (such as his reviews of "Amazons Attack", "Tandy Computer Whiz Kids: The Computer Trap", and "Maximum Clonage"), set to The Wurzels' "Combine Harvester". He is first seen sobbing, then he is seen punching the "Amazons Attack" comic with his fist. Later, he clutches at his face in aggravation. Then, cut to him putting his hand on a Fire Flower toy)
Linkara: (audio from review) Why aren't you giving me fire powers?!
(Then he is seen trying to cut his wrist with his Power Rangers dagger. Then he punches himself in the face and then holds up his bunny figurine)
Linkara: (audio from review) Look at the pretty bunny! (breaks down crying) Look at the pretty bunny!
(Cut now to Linkara reading "Southland Tales")
Linkara: (audio from review) Wow, "Southland Tales" is so deep...
(Cut to Linkara staring at a Weedle doll, hugging a teddy bear and sobbing, and then dumping a plastic bag of colored balls out over his head. Now cut to him holding up his hands and making them move like puppet mouths. Then he tries to slit his throat with Pyramid Head's huge knife, but gives up. Then he is sitting on the floor, crying and hitting himself on the head with his hat. Finally, cut to him trying to cut his wrist with his magic gun, but making no headway)
Linkara: (audio from review) Why doesn't it work?!
(Now cut back to the present-day Linkara, who smiles and put his head on his hand)
Linkara: (sighs with relief) That was relaxing. Looking at old clips of my insanity is far more entertaining than anything these characters have said so far.
Linkara (v/o): The editor suggests that the death of the dinosaurs and their transformation over millions of years into crude oil were part of God's plan, since all of the products of that, like gasoline and rubber and plastics, make modern life possible for us.
Al: None of that ever came up in conversation.
Linkara: Of course it didn't. You were too busy talking about how body heat was connected to fricking spines!
Editor: It all fits, everything.
Linkara: Yeah, much in the same way that if you take a hammer to two puzzle pieces from different sets, they'll eventually fit together.
Editor: Those big BB-brained beasties couldn't have evolved into people...
Linkara (v/o): And yet they were perfectly capable of intelligent speech, AS WE SAW!!
Linkara: WHAT IS THE POINT OF THIS ISSUE?! Anyone who actually is still reading this would have read the previous issues and knows that it's blatantly CONTRADICTING ITSELF!
Linkara (v/o): But the editor is just doing this so he can try to save the comic concept.
Editor: I'm grasping for straws here-- trying to find some kind of hook for your story.
Al: What about world peace?
Linkara: (looking thoughtful) Hmm, story about world peace? Hmm, I don't know. What do you think, Superman IV: The Quest For Peace review?
(Cut to a clip of the Nostalgia Critic's review of Superman IV: he takes out his gun and aims it at Linkara)
NC: (audio from review; Texan accent) We don't take kindly to logic in these here parts, boy. (Linkara jumps back in shock) Now get back to watching Clark Kent act like an idiot!
(Cut back to Linkara's review of "Marville")
Linkara (v/o): And now it's over to the discussion of war from the last issue.
Al: Jack showed us how war started. Early wars were not about killing, they were more like a sporting event.
(Cut to the Mystery Science Theater 3000 gang watching Phantom Planet)
Crow: Come on, we didn't like these scenes the first time!
(Back to the comic again)
Al: A few of the guys from each side would fight.
Editor: Sure. That's probably historically accurate...
(Linkara glowers darkly at the comic book and raises his middle finger at it)
Al: See, the main point is that the tribes did not hate each other. They had their beefs, but they understood that they were all part of the same human family.
Linkara (v/o): Um, no! As far as we can tell, prehistoric civilizations engaged in murderous warfare, too! It was quite common! There was no recognition of mutual family and crap! We didn't just conk each other on the heads and then sing "Kumbaya" for the rest of the night! It says on Bill Jemas' Wikipedia page that he has a bachelor's degree in history and a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School! HE MINORED IN PHILOSOPHY AND ECONOMICS!! HOW CAN SOMEONE WITH THOSE KIND OF CREDENTIALS NOT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THOSE SUBJECTS?!?! The editor says that ending war is as simple as understanding that we're all part of the same human family.
Al: Unfortunately, it's not that simple.
Linkara: (yelling exasperatedly) THEN WHAT WAS THE POINT OF ANY OF THIS?!?!
Al: Early man really believed in community. They considered all of nature to be family.
Editor: Sure; an ancient hunter who killed a deer would make a sacrifice to the god of the deer. It was all part of their mythology.
Al: To them, it wasn't mythology, it was a religion that showed their compassion toward all living creatures.
Linkara: (struggling to make sense of what he just read) They showed their compassion for living creatures... by killing a living creature...
(Cut to a shocked Weird Al Yankovic, who has a box full of Dunkin' Donuts in his hand)
Weird Al: (throwing box down angrily) WHAT THE FUDGESICLE?!
(Cut back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): The editor says he's not gonna publish a book about religion or politics. We'll just ignore those other Marvel comics that have dealt with the nastier side of religion and politics. Oh, what were they called? Oh, yeah, "THE X-MEN"!!
Al: But religion and politics are the whole point of the story.
Linkara: (incredulously) You said earlier that the whole point was about teaching people that they shouldn't take comic books so damn seriously! Do you have some kind of condition where you can't focus on just one thing?!
Linkara (v/o): He said that the chiefs and medicine men of early tribes helped to form them into working communities, but eventually their ideologies made neighboring tribes into enemies. It allowed them to think it was okay to kill them without compassion or think of other people as less than human. In other words, politics and religion should serve the people instead of telling people to hate. There's your grand conclusion to all of this: the "No Fricking DUH!" philosophy that Bill Jemas has been trying to teach us! And so, our comic – and "Marville" – ends with Al walking towards the exit, the editor rejecting the comic.
Editor: Son, if it were up to me, I'd publish your book for you. But this thing will never sell.
Al: But we're talking about world peace.
Editor: Sorry, kid.
Linkara: (infuriated beyond belief) YOU SANCTIMONIOUS SACK OF FECES!! YOU'RE TRYING TO PIN THIS ON US?!? "Marville" failed sales-wise because (mocking tone) we couldn't accept your grand vision of world peace? That we only wanted superheroes punching each other?! GO TO HELL!!!
(A shot of the first comic's cover is shown)
Linkara (v/o): YOUR COMIC DIDN'T SUCCEED BECAUSE IT STARTED AS A LAME, UNFUNNY PARODY OF THE COMIC BOOK INDUSTRY...
(Cut to a shot of the cover of the fifth issue, which infamously reads, "Originville")
Linkara (v/o): ...AND THEN WAS AN INACCURATE, MORONIC TALE ABOUT GOD AND THE UNIVERSE!
(Cut back to the sixth issue, which is not quite over yet, as it also features a letter from Bill Jemas)
Linkara (v/o): IT FAILED BECAUSE IT SUCKED!! AND WE'RE NOT EVEN FULLY DONE YET, BECAUSE NOW WE HAVE MORE OF BILL JEMAS WHINING ABOUT HOW IT'S OUR FAULT THIS HIS COMIC DIDN'T DO VERY WELL! (reads letter heading) "An open letter from Bill Jemas to comic book creators".
Letter: "Marville does not have the stuff that makes for top-selling comics, but it does explore the origin and meaning of life, so I thought it was worth a six-issue series."
Linkara: Technically, it was a five-issue series and then a sixth issue where you (shakes fist) jerked around retelling those five issues! You could've just published (smacks comic) this and saved us all a lot of time!
Letter: "And, because I'm president of Marvel, I could ignore the bean counters and publish Marville without regard for minimum sales projections and margin requirements."
Linkara: (sarcastically) Yeah, you acted like a real responsible president, what with you starting this comic on a BET with Peter David in the midst of trying to recover the company from its friggin' BANKRUPTCY! Good use of company resources there, dude!
Linkara (v/o): And now that he's done pissing on his readers for not accepting his vision, now he's gonna piss on the competition! He talks about how there aren't a lot of openings for new talent at Marvel, and you could work for DC– Oh, I'm sorry, AOL Comics! Yeah, keep that topical, asshole. But they don't publish anything that actually "says anything".
Linkara: Yeah, I mean, what comics have DC ever published that have deep meanings and said important things? Oh, yeah, quite a few!
Letter: "You can try Image, but they have their own financial limitations, and they ask you to cover your own creative costs along with their printing costs. So this outlet is plugged into a life-savings vacuum cleaner."
Linkara: I admit, I don't know how accurate that statement is, but, uh, Billy boy, if you're trying to say something important, (gestures toward comic; mocking tone) is money that big a deal? (makes an exaggerated sad face)
Letter: "You can try one of the 'indy' [sic] publishers, but they can't afford coloring or coated paper, so your graphic story won't look very good."
Linkara: Oh, yeah, and "Marville" has just looked like a fricking Da Vinci painting! And the fact that it was in color (mocking tone) really helped the quality!
Linkara (v/o): So, where the hell is he going with this? Well, apparently, his experience with "Marville" has inspired him to create a new Marvel imprint: Epic Comics, a line for creator-owned stories to give a new platform for new talent. Actually, Epic had been a previous Marvel imprint in the '80s and '90s, but had died, probably because of the speculator boom and Marvel's then-coming bankruptcy. And to be fair after all my yelling... this was a good idea. One of the problems of the modern industry, especially in regards to Marvel and DC, is just how little new talent gets to come in on the writing side of things. They tried to attract novel writers and movie writers, who aren't actually big comic book fans, when they should be trying attract fresh talent like they've done before. So it's a great idea to create a line of comics devoted to getting people who can bring in innovative ideas and new concepts and imaginative–
Linkara: It lasted one year before it was canceled again. Yyyyeah.
(Cut to a closeup of the cover for the seventh issue. Wait, weren't there only six?)
Linkara (v/o): Now, here's where we come to the real finale of "Marville". See, as I have been stating throughout the "Marville" reviews, the series is only six issues long... but technically seven. Now, why is that? Well, because there was a seventh issue of "Marville" published. It's just it's not really an issue of "Marville". "Marville #7"... is the submission guidelines for Epic Comics.
Linkara: So you have a new imprint that you want people to submit to, and instead of labeling it as (makes "finger quotes") "submission guidelines", you make it the seventh issue of a comic that not a lot of people read. (shakes head) Really does fit in with the "Marville" brand of logic, doesn't it?
Linkara (v/o): And that is why "Marville #7" is technically the best and worst issue of "Marville" – for the very same reason. Because it has absolutely nothing to do with "Marville".
(The comic opens to the first page)
Linkara (v/o): Now, a clever writer would have made it connect with "Marville" by having Al, Lucy and Mickey describing these guidelines. But no, just lots of text and stock artwork. These guidelines are really kind of odd, too. They keep admitting that the books with the greatest sales potential are ones with Marvel staples like Spider-Man or the X-Men, but that they already make so many Spider-Man and X-Men books that it's hard to stand out from the crowd, and they really want the best possible stories out there to make things look different. It is rather amusing, though, that they admit that they don't really care about excelling the creators' profit, but their own, citing that creator-owned books don't really sell all that well.
Text: From Marvel's point of view, these books don't have much value, because most of the long-term upside opportunity for ancillary revenues belongs to you, not us.
Linkara: Marvel Comics: We only care if WE succeed!
Linkara (v/o): Still, they encouraged the creation of brand-new characters outside of the established superhero families, as well as encouraging a look at other genres besides superheroes. They bring up the comic "Alias", which I haven't read myself, but have heard really good things about, and how it's a detective story that fits in with the Marvel Universe, but is really not about superheroes. Also, annoying things.
Text: Back in the early 1990s, Marvel writers forgot that Peter [Parker] was supposed to stand for teen boys everywhere and made him do things torn from the pages of their own lives. He aged, he got married, he got boring. Then we all looked surprised when teens stopped reading Spider-Man books.
Linkara: Because teenagers never age and never get married. (scoffs) However, teenagers do make deals with Satan. Thanks for that wisdom, Marvel! (gives a double thumbs-up)
Linkara (v/o): But let's not turn this into a diatribe on "One More Day". In the end, this whole thing has been about "Marville".
Linkara: And my friends, (holds up "Marville #6") "Marville" sucks!
Linkara (v/o): While I hesitate to call any comic "the worst comic ever made", because there's always something out there that can reignite the rage, it's certainly up there. It is a vanity project that insults science, religion, comic creators, comic readers, and just general good taste. The writing is preachy and moronic. The artwork is inconsistent and poor and often does match what is actually happening. The characters are morons or mouthpieces, and often both. Its message is based on fabrications or delusions, and we will probably never see its like again.
Linkara: But we can say that, in one regard, its message of world peace was somewhat accomplished, because regardless of who you are, where you came from, or where you are going, (holds up index finger) we are all united together in common cause, because nobody, NOBODY (points to "Marville" comic) likes "Marville". (throws down comic, gets up and leaves)
(End credits roll)
I'm guessing the connection between superhero comic books and religion discussion is that we shouldn't take figures from religion so seriously. Another "this is not new information" bit of philosophizing from our pal Bill Jemas.
So God planned for the dinosaurs to die off to make modern life possible? Okay, so what the hell makes OUR current age so damn special? Or is there another species of dinosaur that will yield dilithium crystals or something for space travel?
(Stinger: Linkara returns quickly)
Linkara: Oh! (sits down) Going to MAGFest! Don't have time to burn all the issues, sorry. Oh, and yes, someday, I am gonna review the most infamous of Epic Comics' lineup, "Trouble".