Nova Girls: Kissing Canvas
March 24, 2014
A photo comic that makes you embarrassed for everyone involved... except for maybe the "writer."
(Open on Linkara sitting on his Futon)
Linkara: Hello, and welcome to Atop the Fourth Wall, where bad comics burn. So here's something I kept thinking we were going to run into on this show, but haven't until now: photo comics.
(Cut to an example of what he's talking about: "The Last Game Cartridge Hero")
Linkara (v/o): As the name implies, instead of having drawn or painted artwork to tell a story, it's done in photographs. I remember when I was a little kid and I got the Fox Kids Club magazine in the mail. They had "Power Rangers" and "Masked Rider" comics every once in a while that were photo comics.
(Cut to footage of Alpha's Magical Christmas)
Linkara (v/o): In fact, my first exposure to that Alpha's Magical Christmas thing I did a crossover with Lupa for, photo stills from that repurposed for a dumb little Power Rangers comic.
Linkara: And in case you're wondering, the children being at the command center got even less explanation in the photo comic than it did in Alpha's Magical Christmas.
(Cut back to shots of the Fox Kids Club magazine)
Linkara (v/o): I hesitate to call a photo comic lazy because honestly it's just taking another art form, photography, and using it for sequential art, which is already supposed to just represent people in a story. And hell, plenty of artists use models to try to create a more realistic-looking person in their own artwork.
(Cut to a photo-realistic painting of various D.C. superheroes posing proudly)
Linkara (v/o): Alex Ross comes to mind instantly with his beautiful photo-realistic paintings for stuff like Marvel's or "Kingdom Come".
(Cut to a comic of the Fantastic Four by Greg Land)
Linkara (v/o): On the other side of that spectrum, you have tracer extraordinaire Greg Land, who just like boxes the same damn photographs over and over and over, so a single woman on one page can have four different hairstyles because he's tracing over four different people. Oh, Greg Land, your day will come on this show. But let's get back to photo comics again.
(Cut to a montage of Italian comics, such as "Lancio Story" and "Sukia")
Linkara (v/o): In particular, the term apparently used for photo comics or photo novels is "fumetti", an Italian term meaning "puffs of smoke", referring to the dialog balloons. Although, for the Italians, fumetti are just comics, much like how "manga" is a Japanese word for "comics", the word is used in America specifically to refer to photo-based sequential art. And as I said, it's not necessarily lazy. Hell, lots of web comics use the idea to great effect, either for personally photographed stuff or something like "Darths and Droids", which rethinks all of Star Wars as a Dungeons and Dragons-style role-playing game, often making more sense than the actual movies.
Linkara: But like all different forms of comics, there are good ones, bad ones... and then just plain weird ones. So let's dig into (holds up the comic of discussion...) "Nova Girls: Kissing Canvas" and... (with uncertainty) try to wrap our heads around this.
(The title sequence is shown, after which we cut to the title card for this comic, while The Cure's "Friday I'm In Love" plays in the background; cut to the cover for the Nova Girls comic)
Linkara (v/o): The problem with any original photo comic featuring actual people is, how do you make the photos look good without appearing staged or stilted? Stuff that's an adaptation from a movie is easy enough; the single frame of a movie is already blocked in a way that makes it look natural. And then there's this cover. See, it's bad enough that all these women look very staged in the posing for this cover, but they couldn't even get them all centered. I've seen this kind of cover done dozens of times.
(Cut to a cover for a comic called "Brute Force vs. Heavy Metal")
Linkara (v/o): Hell, we've had it on the show once or twice, like "Brute Force #4"; two groups charging at each other.
(Cut back to the Nova Girls comic)
Linkara (v/o): It doesn't make any actual sense from a narrative perspective, but it's not supposed to, it's just supposed to look cool. But this comic has everything shifted slightly to the right, so there's this big empty space on the left. They might've been shifted down a bit, too, since one of the women on the right is barely on the page and looks like she's got a piece of paper stuck to the back of her arm. And said woman isn't even looking at her opponents; she's looking more towards the camera, as if they took the photo at the wrong time, like they were still setting up. Oh, and of course, there's the lack of a background, instead having kind of white, kind of pink, kind of orange fog and lots of black dots everywhere, like the paintbrush was dripping on its way someplace else.
Linkara: Now, given this comic's relative obscurity, most if not all of you are probably asking the same question: who are the Nova Girls? (chuckles) And if anyone out there has the answer, please tell me, because I found jack diddly about who they are.
Linkara (v/o): The generic name could mean anything, and Google searches didn't bring up anything. What I could find was that there are apparently three comics, all (?) like this one, featuring the Nova Girls. I say "apparently" because what I could find about them was pretty much just this comic. This thing is just as obscure as "The Wild". This is supposed to be the second one, but lord knows if it has any bearing on the events of the story. (reads comic) "Guest starring the Corporate Raiders and the Killer Secretaries in an all-out battle spectacular!"
Linkara: So... the Nova Girls are office temps?
Linkara (v/o): Both the Corporate Raiders and the Killer Secretaries have trademark signs next to their names. I didn't try to Google those, but I have more results for searching for "Corporate Raiders"? Are they part of a roller derby? Are they motivational speakers? WHAT IS THIS COMIC?!
(Open to the first page of the comic, the title page)
Linkara (v/o): Even the name of this thing is suspect, since the title page is a dedication for some people's help in writing "Space 34-24-34", and the copyright information is for "Kissing Canvas" and "Space 34-24-34" again. Is this supposed to be about business women in space? Why does this need to be a photo comic? Who is the "canvas" that someone will be kissing? Or is "Canvas" the name of a person doing said kissing? I'm sure some of these questions will be answered once we actually start talking about the damn story, but these are the questions racing through my mind just from the perspective of someone walking past the comic rack in the '80s and seeing this thing. But one last thing to note before we get to the comic proper: the creative team; specifically, that the "writter"* of this comic is Scott Lobdell, the writer of the new "52 Teen Titans" and in particular "The Culling". Oh, but I won't hold that against him for this book. (chuckles) Instead, what I'll hold against him is that incident from a few months ago, where he sexually harassed a woman on a panel and made a halfhearted apology where he clearly didn't understand what the problem was, and only did so after it became public.
- NOTE: Yes, the comic does read "writting", not "writing".
Linkara: That incident, by the way, is what finally got me to drop "Teen Titans". Yes, not even "The Culling" had gotten me to stop reading that crapfest of a book. So let's see what he did for this crapfest of a book.
Linkara (v/o): We open on a space station; specifically, at Kan-Vass, Inc., (reading text in a dramatic voice) "a sprawling monolithic city in space, housing corporate offices, a sports complex, and a movie production company."
Linkara: (still in dramatic voice) Also a Blockbuster Video, but no one seems to use it anymore.
Linkara (v/o): "The Nova Girls, at the invitation of 'Boss Kan-Vass' have just abruptly concluded a private screening of his latest movie..."
Linkara: The twist of the movie was that the story was actually good.
Linkara (v/o): So, the Nova Girls have been invited to this film screening – in space – so what is our first sight of them? Leaping through the film screen and yelling to "stop this film!!" First of all, why the hell are you wrecking this guy's screen? It's kind of an asshole thing to do, ladies. Secondly, I can't help but notice that the Nova "Girls" are all grown-ass women. Was "Nova Women" not piffy enough? Thirdly, why are they all leaping around like this when five out of the six of them are in business skirts? I've never worn one before, but I don't think they're actually all that conducive for leaping ten feet off the ground. Hell, I'm not even sure if they're actually leaping through it or if they want the film stopped because the screen already had a big hole in it, since the women on the far left and right have their arms extended out past the hole in the screen. Fourthly, what the hell kind of movie is this? From what I can tell on the parts still remaining on the screen, it's apparently a black-and-white film where the women toss their necks back and forth... and then they take their own necks off to reveal some kind of alien head underneath; a big-necked alien that could not fit underneath the heads.
Linkara: They're also all in leotards, so maybe this is actually some kind of aerobics video. Take off your head, ladies, it's the best way to deal with neck tension.
Linkara (v/o): Some of the women have their own unique accents and speaking styles, like the one who stutters, the one on the far right who has a French accent – shown by misspelling the words to show how they sound with said accent, because poor literacy is also a way of showing nationality. And when we flip the page, suddenly, they're not in some theater, but a dude's office. Was the screen in there or did they just get out of their chairs, leap through the screen, and then surround his desk?
Nova Girl #1 (Dobrah): IF YOU RELEASE THAT "MOVIE" WE'LL SUE!
Linkara (v/o): I imagine if they're releasing a movie about you, haven't you signed away the rights already?
Nova Girl #2 (Rial): (French accent) IF ZEE PEOPLE OF MY PLANET SEE ZAT--ZEY VILL REVOLT!
Linkara: France is a planet now?
Nova Girl #3 (Rupiah): (Brooklyn-ese voice) I SAYS WE MURDERIZE HIM--AND ANYONE ELSE WHAT MIGHT'TA SEEN DIS FLICK.
Linkara: Murder threats over a movie, not just to its creator, but to anyone who actually saw it. Our heroes, everybody!
Nova Girl #4 (Haler): YOU MADE US LOOK...UM--UH--DUMB.
Linkara: Not like this comic book. So far, that's made you look like the most sane, rational and intelligent people ever.
Nova Girl #5 (Kopec): SPEAKING OF REVOLTING... WHO WROTE THAT "SCREENPLAY"--YOUR BROTHER?!
Linkara: Um... sick burn? (shrugs in confusion)
Linkara (v/o): Their self-described leader Lira... We haven't gotten names yet...
(Cut to a shot of the Nova Girls' photos and matching names on the back of the comic)
Linkara (v/o): ...but there are names and photographs listed on the back of the book with pictures, although with the dodgy photographs, similar colors and hairstyles for some, it can be difficult to tell who is who.
(Cut back to the comic panel with the Nova Girls confronting Kan-Vass in his office)
Linkara (v/o): ...asks what Mr. Kan-Vass has to say for himself. It's here where I notice that Kan-Vass is actually drawn, not a photograph. It's like some caricature with red eyes and a huge chin. I guess it's because he's an alien and they couldn't afford doing makeup effects for a stupid photo comic. But then, why is the entire set drawn? Seriously, the Nova Girls are the only real things here! Is this the same universe as Cool World or Who Framed Roger Rabbit or something? Anyway, Kan-Vass shrugs off their complaints.
Kan-Vass: THAT'S SHOW BIZ!
Lira: AND IT'S MY BUSINESS THAT'S GOING TO SUFFER! YOUR FILM PORTRAYS US AS MALE-FANTASY, INSPIRED, PLANET-HOPPING, MONEY-GROPING MERCENARIES WITH NO SCRUPLES AND EVEN LESS PERSONALITIES!
Linkara: Why do I have the distinct feeling that that's going to actually be what this comic is about?
Kopec: AND EVEN THOUGH THAT MIGHT BE ACCURATE...
Linkara (v/o): Wait, so they are a male-fantasy, inspired, greedy group of space mercenaries? Why would you say that about yourselves? And wait, they're greedy space mercenaries who have sold their likeness rights to a corporation who have turned their adventures into a movie franchise?
Linkara: (confused) Was this the inspiration for "Schlock Mercenary"? Gotta say, that's a much better comic than this. Less photographs at least.
Rial: OUI! WHO VOULD HIRE US AFTER SEEING ZIS BOMB?!
Linkara (v/o): I think your first question is, who would hire you when they see that you apparently spend all your time getting horribly sunburnt? Like this woman (Kopec's face is clearly a reddish pink) over here? Seriously, that was the best photo you had of her? But yeah, they're upset about being portrayed in this manner, and one of them says the ads make them look like "BUNS WIT' GUNS!" Again, a sunburnt lady just said that the description of being male-fantasy-inspired was accurate. Look, I appreciate that these women don't want to ruin their business image or be portrayed as if they were soft-core porn stars, but perhaps they should be consistent with their message. Also, the movie is called, "Space 34-24-34", which I now have to assume is referring to their body measurements. I'm not sure what Chinny McBusinessman here was expecting their reaction to be.
Kan-Vass: IT'S SO EASY TO CRITICIZE AFTER THE MOVIE'S MADE, MS. KOPEC*.
- ANOTHER NOTE: In the gallery at the end of the book, Kopec's name is spelled with a K at the end, but not in the comic itself.
Linkara: As opposed to what, criticizing the movie before it's made? (shrugs)
Linkara (v/o): One of the Nova Girls says that before becoming a Nova Girl, she was "THE MOST FEARED LAWYER IN THE GALAXY," and they plan on revoking the license for their images. However, he's not budging and says that since they're public figures, he doesn't need the license.
Kan-Vass: (to himself) AND WHAT FIGURES THEY ARE, I MIGHT ADD!
Linkara (v/o): You know, Chinny McBusinesspants, ever heard of "public relations nightmare"? Seems like that could threaten your stupid movie, dude. Maybe you want to try not making suggestive remarks in a business meeting? He tells them they can't barge in– GEEZE! How huge is this guy?! Look at the proportions! His nose alone is almost as big as her face! Using some kind of special spikey security orb, the Nova Girls are zapped and then wrapped up in nets. They all start yelling about this situation, but one of them suggests they calm down.
Lira: GIRLS, PLEASE-A LITTLE DECORUM AS WE'RE TOSSED OUT ON OUR BUTTES. (pronounced "butt-es")
Linkara: (making "finger quote") "Butt-es" is the future space way of saying "butts".
Linkara (v/o): They're dragged out of the office and into the hallway, which apparently just has a bottomless pit right in the middle of the floor. Man, space OSHA is really getting lax in the future.
Dobrah: IF WE LIVE THROUGH THIS--I'M GOING TO SUE THE PANTS OFF OF KAN-VASS.
Rial: VHY GIVE HIM POSITIVE RE-ENFORCEMENT?
Linkara: (confused) Getting sued is an ego boost? What the hell is that supposed to mean?
Linkara (v/o): The six are dropped into the bottomless pit, and naturally, the photographs of them are just them all standing up and holding their arms above their head to make it look as silly as possible.
Kopec: TO THINK I LEFT MY OWN CENTURY TO BECOME A NOVA GIRL--WHERE WAS MY MIND?
Linkara: Okay, now I really want to know what the backstory for this group is, because apparently people will travel through time in order to join this famous mercenary group!
Dobrah: WE CAN NAIL HIM FOR COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT, IMPROPER USE OF A LOGO...
Linkara: Ah, so she was a YouTube lawyer.
Dobrah: ...INFLAMMATION OF CHARACTER...
Linkara: Yeah, definitely a YouTube lawyer.
Linkara (v/o): The tube becomes a slide that puts them out in some white-tiled room.
Haler: G-GUYS, I DON'T TH-THINK WE'RE IN KAN-VASS ANYMORE...
Linkara: (irritably, holding up index finger) One, that was a terrible pun. (holds up two fingers) Two, unless the tube slide teleported you someplace else without us noticing, you are on a SPACE station! You are STILL in Kan-Vass, so the pun doesn't even work. (holds up three fingers) Three, it's still a terrible pun!
Linkara (v/o): So somehow they've ended up back on their own ship... their own cartoony ship with their own cartoony hologram named Holohank 500. Lira says that she has a plan on what to do next.
Lira: INSTEAD OF PUTTING ALL OUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET--
Kopec: SPEAKING OF EGGS, I THINK I JUST HEARD MY BIOLOGICAL ALARM CLOCK GO OFF. WHY DON'T I RETURN TO MY OWN CENTURY AND--
Lira: KOPEC, PLEASE!
Linkara: What the hell was she about to say? Go back to her own century and... get pregnant?
Linkara (v/o): Anyway, the idea is to split up. The blondes will try to negotiate with Kan-Vass, while at the same time, the brunettes will sneak in and try to destroy the film in the files. Lawyer lady, identified as Dobrah, because that is a name in the future, will try to make some legal maneuvers to legally handle things in case their illegal operations fail.
Rial: OUI! VE VILL BE VERY CAT UND MOUSE, CLOAK UND DAGGER...
(Cut to a clip of Babylon 5)
Man: Lucy and Ethel...
Linkara (v/o): Meanwhile, Kan-Vass is meeting with some kind of big alien centipede thing who has a lisp named... Athp... er... He wants Athp to get rid of the Nova Girls.
(Cut back to the cover of the comic)
Linkara (v/o): I should mention at this point that this comic is 46 pages long. It was sold for $5.50, and as far as I can tell, it's from the '80s, where the normal price of a comic was still below two dollars. Someone seriously thought people wanted a comic about the Nova Girls dealing with an unflattering movie about them that was twice the length of a normal comic and more than twice as expensive. You can't even chalk this up to being an independent company; it's still ludicrously expensive for a comic from this time period. And we are only one-fourth of the way through it!
Linkara: And as I looked at how many pages remained in this comic, I only had one thought: (looks listless) Oh, God, this is the next Bimbos in Time.
(Cut to a cover for this comic)
Linkara (v/o): Think about it: an unfunny, humorous future tale about women in scanty clothing involved in a stupid story that drags on far longer than it needs to, and yet, in some ways, this feels worse than "Bimbos in Time". "Bimbos in Time" was, by its creators' own admission, designed to be the worst comic ever.
(Back to "Nova Girls")
Linkara (v/o): Somehow, I doubt that the same goals were in place for this, since this actually required significantly more effort in order to pose the women, take photographs, and then cut them out and put them into this comic. Bear in mind, even if this comic is from the '90s and not the '80s, Photoshop still wasn't a thing yet. People need to actually put work into this.
Linkara: And that's just even more depressing, that these poor women probably wasted their whole weekend for this thing. I hope they were paid well at least.
Linkara (v/o): Oh, yeah, the scanty clothing thing... the three Nova Girls sent to negotiate with Kan-Vass are now in leotards for no discernible reason.
Dobrah: WHEN MY PLANET LOST ME TO LIRA IN A POKER GAME TWO YEARS AGO--I WAS AFRAID I'D DIE IN ACTION AS A RELUCTANT NOVA GIRL.
Linkara: "Lost you in a poker game"? So you're a slave? And wait, the entire planet lost you in this game? Is poker an intergalactic Olympic sport or something? What the hell?
Dobrah: IT JUST OCCURRED TO ME, I'LL PROBABLY DIE OF EMBARRASSMENT FIRST.
Linkara: Doesn't surprise me. I suspect that modeling for this comic has not made it onto the resumes of many of these women.
Pollo: We'll be right back after these messages. Or will we?
(To a dramatic sting, the camera zooms in on Pollo as the AT4W logo appears in the corner. The video then goes to a commercial. Upon return, Pollo is seen again)
Pollo: We're back now. Or are we?
(Again, a dramatic sting is heard as the camera zooms in close to Pollo, then abruptly zooms back out again)
Pollo: Yes, we are. (the AT4W logo appears in the corner)
(Back to the comic in progress)
Linkara (v/o): Anyway, Lira is meeting with Athp and says that if Kan-Vass agrees to not release the movie, the Nova Girls will make some public appearances for "some of his more respectable projects." Lira, the dude made a film named after your body measurements! What the hell makes you think he has any "respectable projects"? Hell, even she asks if he has any. Knowing Kan-Vass' type, I think the closest you'll get to "respectable" is a project probably under the title "Amazon Cannibals on the Moon". Athp contacts Kan-Vass to let him know, but he just says to go with the plan of killing them instead.
Athp: EVERYTHING ITH THET TO GO! ALL WE'RE ATHKING ITH A FEW HOURTH OF COMMUNITY THERVITHE.
Lira: YOU MEAN SOMETHING LIKE FEED THE HOMELESS?
Haler: I THOUGHT IT WAS S-STARVE THE HOMELESS AND FEED A C-COLD?
Linkara: I can't imagine why you thought you would be portrayed as dumb, stuttering girl who I still don't know the name of.
Dobrah: THAT WAS IN MY TIME--DURING THE BUSH ERROR.
Holohank 500: DON'T-YOU-MEAN-"THE-BUSH-ERA?"
Dobrah: YOU DIDN'T LIVE THROUGH IT.
Linkara: (laughs) Oh, dated political references, I make those, too!
Athp: WE WERE THINKING ABOUT A TATHK THAT WOULD DRAW UPON YOUR RARE "T&A"-FACTOR. THAT ITH, YOUR TALENTTH AND ATHTHETH.
Dobrah: I'M BEGINNING TO LIKE THIS GUY.
Linkara: (mock surprise) This was written by the same guy who sexually harassed a woman on a panel? And is responsible for Red Hood and the Outlaws version of Starfire?! I would've never guessed!
Linkara (v/o): Lira is super-confident about this.
Lira: I'LL TELL YOU--THIS IS MY BEST PLAN YET.
Dobrah: CONSIDERING HER PAST PLANS, HOW DO YOU ARGUE WITH A STATEMENT LIKE THAT?
Haler: YOU SH-SHOULDN'T BE SO NEGATIVE ALL THE TIME. AT LEAST HER HEART'S IN THE RIGHT PLACE.
Dobrah: WHO CAN TELL UNDER ALL THAT PADDING?
Linkara: (holding up index finger) One, are you really being that pissy about a padded bra? Really? (holds up two fingers) Two, are you suggesting her brain is in her chest?
Linkara (v/o): Meanwhile, the brunettes have made their way down to the vault of Kan-Vass' station, one of the women being overly aggressive, as she's been the whole comic, while the French lady does the actual work. Also, they're wearing black camouflage makeup on their faces for no reason. In fact, why even have the black outfits? It's bad enough they're doing this in high heels, but the place is perfectly well lit, and it has a bright red carpet, light gray walls, and a blue ventilation shaft. You stick out more in the black outfits! The French lady is able to get into the ventilation shaft, but Crazy Psycho Lady isn't done being a crazy psycho.
Rupiah: I BETTER DOUBLE-BACK AN' GIT ME PORTABLE HYDROGEN-BOMBER.
Rial: SURELY YOU JEST, NO?
(Cut to footage of Airplane, involving the inevitable comeback...)
Dr. Rumack: I am serious. And don't call me Shirley.
Linkara: Sorry about the obvious reference, but frankly, with comics like this, I need to periodically be reminded of real humor.
Linkara (v/o): Also, French Lady is apparently a royal princess or something. I'm having a hard time tracking down Crazy Lady's accent. With her constant use of "dis", I keep thinking it's a Brooklyn or Jersey accent, but then she did the "git me portable hydrogen-bomber", and suddenly I wonder if she's supposed to be Irish or something. The vent leads them into the vault, which is basically a hi-tech computer room. Psycho Lady wants to just blow everything up and be done with it, but French Princess Lady apparently is also a master hacker and she wants to try breaking in digitally. Unfortunately, the computer isn't being responsive.
Rial: NOONE EVER SAID I VAS BEAUTIFUL, AND SEXY, AND INTELLIGENT.
Linkara (v/o): And she's making the "wah-wah-waaaaah" shrug. Hilarious. And again, I bring up a "Bimbos in Time" comparison: somehow, these women are acting more like the concept of a bimbo than the ones in "Bimbos in Time"! Back over to Dobrah, she's still waiting in the lobby to see Kan-Vass and file legal papers.
Dobrah: THE UNSUSPECTING FOOL! SHE DOESN'T REALIZE I AM INSID'R OF THE CORPORATE RAIDERS!
Linkara: Well, she knows now! You just said it out loud, you dumbass!
Linkara (v/o): Dobrah decides to practice what she'll say in court.
Dobrah: "LADIES AND GENTLEMEN OF THE JURY..." NAH, TOO CLICHE. "HELLO JURY! WELL, HELLO JURY!" TOO CUTESY. HOW ABOUT "IS THAT A REAL JUROR, OR ARE YOU EATING A BANANA?"
Linkara: (dumbfounded) I have the sudden urge to punch something.
Linkara (v/o): So, Insid'r gets relieved by a member of the Killer Secretaries... Still don't know who they or the Corporate Raiders are. Are they mercenaries, too? Nothing is explained. ...and they're apparently just supposed to detain Dobrah while the other Nova Girls are killed. Meanwhile, said Nova Girls are entering a locker room, which I guess was just part of the station, which contains alien professional wrestlers. My friends, I think we finally figured out what the deal is with the Ultimate Warrior: he's an alien!
(Cut to a clip of The Ultimate Warrior)
Ultimate Warrior: Load the spaceship with the rocket fuel! Load it with the worst!
(Back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): Athp returns to the Nova Girls with new outfits.
Athp: HI CHEEKTH- I MEAN CHICTH- I'M BUTT- I MEAN BACK- FROM MY RUMP- I MEAN ROMP.
(Linkara looks up, glaring. Cut to a clip of a sketch on Robot Chicken, showing Leonidas from 300 watching TV)
Leonidas: This... isn't... FUNNY!! (kicks the TV over)
(Back to the Nova Girls comic)
Linkara (v/o): I don't even get it. With the way the comic is framed, they're facing Athp. Why is he making the butt Freudian slips when he can't see their butts? Two of the alien wrestlers notice them.
Alien Wrestler 1: ARE THOSE THREE HOT, OR WHAT?
Alien Wrestler 2: I PREFER MY WOMEN WITH SCALES, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
Linkara: Ah, Future Alien Pro Wrestler, the Cinema Snob.
Linkara (v/o): Athp claims they're just supposed to go into the arena and sign some autographs, and insists they wear the outfits, which are apparently even skimpier than their current ones, to their annoyance.
Kopec: WHO MADE THESE OUTFITS...CURE-AID?
Linkara: The best answer I could get about what "Cure-Aid" is... is that they made Band-Aids. Or "adhesive medical strips", if you don't want to go with the brand naming. I don't get it. Is the idea that the outfits are just as small as Band-Aids. Because they're clearly not. I mean, you can't even exaggerate that. What is the joke??
Linkara (v/o): Back with the infiltrators, Crazy Psycho Brooklyn Irish Woman is finally given the name Rupiah, and apparently she just has issues with men in her life, since, when French Lady says that a computer is just like a man, she starts ranting about her relationship issues and shoots the computer instead.
Rial: YOU- YOU CROISSANT!
Linkara: (mock shock) "Croissant"?! Language, madame! (shrugs)
Linkara (v/o): This sets off the alarm, leading to one of the few funny lines in the comic.
Rial: I UNDERSTAND NOW– YOUR PLAN VAS TO ATTRACT AS MANY GUARDS AS POSSIBLE SO VE COULD SIMPLY ASK ZEM FOR ZEE FILM.
Linkara (v/o): The security spike balls return, and they get into a fight with them, giving us the brief character development where we learn French Lady joined the Nova Girls to escape her responsibilities of her kingdom. Then some actual guards show up. Next scene!
(Said scene is Dobrah in the lobby still)
Dobrah: THE UNSUSPECTING FOOL! SHE DOESN'T REALIZE I'M A KILLER SECRETARY. MAYBE WE NEED A BETTER PRESS AGENT.
Linkara: Well, she knows now! You just said it out loud, you dumbass! (suddenly stops himself) Wait, didn't we go through this scene already?
Linkara (v/o): Yeah, we did! We just repeat the scene earlier, only with slightly altered dialogue. Dobrah still practices her courtroom lines with stupid jokes, the Killer Secretary is replaced and seen! Thanks, because it was so damn funny, we needed to see it again! So, over to the wrestling Nova Girls, we finally see their outfits, and... they're only slightly more revealing than their previous ones. Hell, Lira is still in her leotard, only her legs are covered now. She's actually wearing more clothes than she was before. But yeah, here's the gag: it turns out they're actually in a wrestling match with those of Corporate Raiders women.
Corporate Raider: D'FAULT, A'SETS– THOSE NOVA CURLS HAVE NO IDEA WE'RE THINLY DISGUISED CORPORATE RAIDERS.
Linkara: (frustrated) WHY DO YOU PEOPLE KEEP ANNOUNCING WHO YOU ARE IF YOU DON'T WANT THEM TO KNOW?!?
Linkara (v/o): The announcer says to "let the slaughter begin," and the Nova Girls aren't really catching on.
Kopec: "SLAUGHTER"? NOW THERE'S A QUAINT COLLOQUIALISM YOU DON'T HEAR EVERY DAY.
Corporate Raider #1: WHICH IS NOTHING COMPARED TO THE WAY YOU'RE GOING TO BE BEGGING, PLEADING, HEMORRHAGING...
Corporate Raider #2: IN OTHER WORDS, YOU LOSERS WILL BE KISSING CANVAS BEFORE YOU KNOW WHAT HIT YOU!
Linkara: So I looked it up, and apparently, (makes a "finger quote") "kissing canvas" just basically means to be knocked down, face-down in particular. It's used in boxing matches and other kinds of fights. Fair enough that I just didn't know that beforehand, but then why the hell is the villain of this book named Kan-Vass??
Linkara: So, fight scene, with some shots looking fairly decent for the photo comic, the concept of them getting knocked around and hit... but then, there's this shot at the bottom, which just seems to have bizarre proportions on the women. Lira's neck is really long; the woman on the right looks like a distended Barbie doll. I don't even know how the hell that can happen with a photograph. There's also this shot of what is supposed to be one of the Corporate Raiders holding up and carrying two of them, even though she clearly has no grip on them whatsoever. Hell, this shot confused me at first, since I thought they were flying. Meanwhile...
(We are back once again with Dobrah in the lobby)
Dobrah: THE UNSUSPECTING FOOL! SHE DOESN'T REALIZE I'M A KILLER SECRETARY. MAYBE WE NEED A BETTER PRESS AGENT.
(Cut to a video clip of a man drinking water from a cooler)
Offscreen voice: This seems awfully familiar. You guys ever get the sensation of deja vu? Ah, well, it's probably nothing.
Linkara (v/o): So, back to the infiltrators. They beat up the guards and demand they hand over all the original prints of the film. They quickly bring said prints.
Guard #1: HERE WE ARE--LADIES, EVERY AVAILABLE PRINT OF "SPACE 34-24-34".
Guard #2: REELLY--ER, I MEAN "REALLY."
Linkara: (laughs uproariously) That pun doesn't work, because they're pronounced exactly the same and they would have no way of knowing the difference.
Linkara (v/o): They destroy the prints, and the guards run off, but not before handing over some incriminating photos of their boss to them, hoping they'll be useful. They must not get paid very well. The two say farewell to the guards and run off themselves. (reads text) "UNDER COVER OF A SILHOUETTE, THE GIRLS SWITCH INTO THEIR COSTUNES." [sic]
Linkara: Okay, comic, you got me, that was another funny joke. A pity your ratio for them is only one every ten pages or so in a 46-page comic.
Linkara (v/o): The two are intercepted by another two members of the Corporate Raiders holding toy guns at them. Back over to the ring, the Nova Girls get slammed on their asses, and the announcer says their opponents will move in for the kill.
Kopec: "KILL?" I DON'T REMEMBER HULK HOGAN EVERY KILLING ANYONE.
Linkara: Well, if Spoony is right, he's done a good job killing his own career. (a rim shot is heard)
Linkara (v/o): Holohank shows up again to inform the Nova Girls that their opponents are none other than the Corporate Raiders. Still have no idea that the Corporate Raiders are supposed to be a rival mercenary group, a wrestling team or just a poorly-conceived clone group of our heroes, but I'm pretty sure it's that last one. Anyway, they realize that they were told it was a publicity stunt so they'd pull their punches. However, they're now ready to fight at full power!
Lira: ACTIVATE BATTLE-UNIFORMS!
Linkara: (holds up Power Rangers button) It's morphin time!
Linkara (v/o): So yeah, I guess the Nova Girls are actually magical girls or something, since now they have their normal leotards, and they charge at the Corporate Raiders.
Lira: THIS ONE'S REAL SIMPLE... WE GIVE THESE CORPORATE RAIDERS A HOSTILE MAKEOVER-NOVA GIRLS STYLE!
Linkara: All right, girls, perm your hair at them!
Linkara (v/o): And thus, they fight, with considerably better photo stills that actually look like fighting instead of just floating cutouts.
Kopec: BL'K MONDAY-WHAT A JOKE. BY THE TIME I'M DONE WITH YOU, YOU'LL BE BLACK AND BLUE TUESDAY!
Linkara: Personally, I don't care if Monday's blue, Tuesday's gray, and Wednesday, too. And Thursday, I don't care about you.
Linkara (v/o): When one of the Corporate Raiders is tossed into the audience, it somehow causes a full-scale riot. The audience just starts fighting with one another, and this expands into the ring somehow. I have stopped giving a damn. And more fighting as the infiltrators fight the two Corporate Raiders, who apparently forget they have guns that are designed to shoot things, opting instead to pistol-whip Rupiah. The French princess then kicks their asses and sends them flying in a much more terrible photo-filling job with awkward proportions. Corporate Raiders are considerably tinier than they were before. Back in the ring, the Corporate Raiders there surrender and ask if they can join up with the Nova Girls, but they refuse.
Lira: YOU CORPORATE RAIDERS, AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, KAN-VASS STARTED THIS... AND WE'RE GOING TO FINISH IT!
Linkara (v/o): And... then a red ball comes out of the ground with red energy lines coming to it and a bunch of sparks and I don't even know.
Haler: B-BOSS, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!
Kopec: AT FIRST GLANCE IT LOOKS LIKE SHE'S COMBINING WORK WITH PLEASURE!
Linkara: What exactly does she do with the big red energy thing that's larger than she is for you to make that statement?
Linkara (v/o): And we see that it's actually some kind of energy mace that she uses to smack around the Corporate Raiders.
Kopec: THIS WHOLE GIG IS GETTING TOO PHALLIC FOR MY TASTES.
Linkara: You know, I'd start asking what the hell she's even talking about now, but I just know the answer would be stupid.
Linkara (v/o): And then turn the page, and suddenly, we're in the lobby where Dobrah has been waiting, and the ceiling is busted open and there are people fighting and some are drawn and some are real and everyone is in here doing this, even though there's no reason for it to have expanded out into this and Dobrah isn't even reacting to it at all. She's just sitting there, and I think that that one alien on the right has a butt for a head, and then the infiltrators and their fight expand in here, and then suddenly people have green laser guns and the one right here can't shoot at the right angle, and the perspective is all over the place, and some people are tiny, and the woman shooting at the wrong angle is saying she won't get a person a cup of coffee, and I just... I don't...
(Cut to a clip of the RiffTrax film on Setting Up a Room)
Kevin Murphy: WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?!
(Back to the comic again)
Linkara (v/o): Dobrah realizes that she's not gonna get her day in court, and thus, she wasted the whole day just sitting there for no reason. So she gets pissed off and morphs into her uniform... with one addition.
Dobrah: (to herself) RE-ACTIVATE 18-HOUR BRA!
Linkara: (dumbfounded) What the hell is she even... WHAT?!?
Linkara (v/o): Dobrah tells the other Nova Girls to get behind her.
Kopec: I WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO THE BILL OF RIGHTS AND DUE PROCESS.
Linkara (v/o): WHY ARE YOU WONDERING THAT?!? And are you behind her, or is this just like a weird comic pseudo-panel thing? WHAT IS WITH THE PERSPECTIVE?! And... Dobrah holds on the comic page... and rips it... over... all the aliens and Corporate Raiders. That's... That's not an exaggeration.
Kopec: I THINK WE'RE BREAKING CONTINUITY FOR THE SAKE OF A JOKE.
Holohank 500: REMEMBER-NOT-ONLY-IS-DOBRAH-A-TRAINED-PROFESSIONAL-SHE'S-ALSO-ONLY-A-COMIC-BOOK-CHARACTER!
Linkara: I'm in Hell. That's the only explanation. I have somehow died or been cursed by a demon to live out the rest of my days in Hell reviewing this comic!
Linkara (v/o): So after wrapping all of their opponents within a comic page...
Linkara: (aggravated) I CANNOT EVEN BELIEVE I'M SAYING THAT!!!
Linkara (v/o): ...Kan-Vass shows up to complain that he's ruined, thanks to everything that's happened here, including the destruction of the film, the blackmail material, the destruction of his arena, and the medical bills for the Corporate Raiders and the Killer Secretaries. Dude, given how condensed that pile is right there, I doubt you have to worry about the medical bills. Chances are, they're all dead now. Or it could just be the perspective screwing up again. Kan-Vass tells them they haven't seen the last of him, and they walk away.
Kan-Vass: YOU CAN KISS YOUR ASSETS GOOD-BYE!
Lira: HERE'S AN IDEA... KISS THIS, KAN-VASS! (punches Kan-Vass in the face)
Linkara (v/o): Uh... kiss what? The thing you're looking at in the photo still instead of the guy you just punched? And so, our comic ends with Holohank informing them that they don't have time for rest and relaxation now.
Holohank 500: OR-HAS-EVERYONE-FORGOTTEN-YOU'VE-BEEN-HIRED-TO-OVERTHROW-THE-GALACTIC-OVERLORDS-ON-BEHALF-OF-THE-SPACE-ORPHANS?
Linkara: Oh, yeah, I totally forgot about that! Namely, because it hasn't been brought up before! (becomes angry)
Linkara (v/o): And they fly off.
Narrator: JOIN US AGAIN IN THIS FAR FLUNG FUTURE AS THESE MEGA-MOUSSED MAIDEN MERCENARIES CONTINUE THEIR NEVER ENDING FIGHT FOR TRUTH, JUSTICE, AND... WHO ARE WE KIDDING? THEY'RE IN IT FOR THE MONEY!
Linkara: (grinning broadly) Our heroes, everybody! (becomes angry as he holds up comic) This comic is... WHAT?!?!?
Linkara (v/o): What the hell is this thing?! What am I holding in my hands?! What is the point of it?! What is it promoting?! Why was this made?! Who was it intended to appeal to?!
Linkara: It takes a special kind of comic to rival "Bimbos in Time" or "Marville" for (makes a "finger quote") "long, overdrawn waste of my brain space", (smiles sarcastically) but "Nova Girls" has succeeded (becomes angry again) with flying colors!
(Linkara throws the comic down and gets up and leaves)
If Kan-Vass intended to murder the Nova Girls, why didn't he just connect the bottomless pit tube thing to an incinerator or something?
This comic is a piece of croissant.
Sonic Live doesn't really count as a photo comic I've reviewed, since the parts with photographs are intended to represent "the real world" outside of the comic/cartoon and it's only for a brief segment.
And yes, I know I missed a few spelling errors the comic made. "Costunes," for instance.
(Stinger: Linkara returns and leans in toward the camera)
Linkara: Oh, God. There are still two more of these I have to review at some point.