Channel Awesome
Silent Hill: The Grinning Man

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October 17, 2011
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A world of nightmarish delusions come to life... written by someone delusional.

(The room surrounding Linkara's futon is full of fog, as is often the case with Silent Hill comic reviews)

Linkara: So here we are–

(Suddenly, he stops as he becomes annoyed by the fog in the room. He takes out his small fan and uses it to blow some of the fog away)

Linkara: So here we are, my friends: the very last Silent Hill comic I have to review. Three years of looking at this garbage, and, well, I'm sure you all have a lot of questions. Will I review "Silent Hill: Hunger"? Will this, after so many dreadful comics, be any good? What will I look at next year for Halloween? Well, we'll discover the answers to those questions together. Right now.

(Cut to a shot of the cover of The Silent Hill Experience for the PSP)

Linkara (v/o): Probably not...

(Now cut to a shot of "Silent Hill: The Grinning Man")

Linkara (v/o):

(Finally, cut to a shot of "A Nightmare On Elm Street: Paranoid")

Linkara (v/o): ...and probably something "Nightmare On Elm Street" related.

Linkara: So, let's put an end to all of this and dig into (holds up today's comic, ironically one of the potentials for next year, which he had rejected...) "Silent Hill: The Grinning Man".

(AT4W title sequence plays; title card has creepy organ music playing in the background; cut to a closeup of the comic's cover)

Linkara (v/o): This one I'm not reading from the trade, since I actually do own a copy of "The Grinning Man". (deadpan) Yay, I feel so "proud". And hey, I suppose there's truth in the title of this one: the cover features a man that's grinning. Mind you, he's also got some kind of neo-cowboy thing going for him and a bare chest for no reason, so there are other descriptive factors to him other than just grinning, but hey, it could be worse. This comic could've been called "The Man Who Shapes His Hair Like... (a shot of the following appears in the upper-left corner...) ...Jessie From Pokemon." We open on some guy attempting to perform a magic ritual.

Man: Az-Azazoth... Protect your servant.

Linkara: Damn it all, Scott Ciencin! Are you not actually at fault here? Did you submit a script for a "Call of Cthulu" comic and IDW just (slaps comic) slapped the Silent Hill logo on it?

Linkara (v/o): Mind you, the spelling is off...

(Cut to a shot of the Wikipedia article for Azathoth, with an illustration of the Spaghetti Monster)

Linkara (v/o): ...but Azathoth is the name of a deity from the Cthulu mythos and, assuming this picture is correct, was probably...

(Cut to a closeup of the Spaghetti Monster image)

Linkara (v/o): ...the inspiration for the giant Spaghetti Monster, and considering Scott Ciencin's use of names and themes from Lovecraftian horror, I have a hard time believing that it's a coincidence.

(Cut to a closeup of the cover of the book "The Cthulu Mythos Encyclopedia")

Linkara (v/o): Lovecraft and Silent Hill are not the same thing! Obviously, some of the monster designs take inspiration from Lovecraft, and you could probably make some other connections...

(Cut to a shot of a Lovecraft illustration of a Cthulu-like monster terrorizing a small island in the middle of the ocean, as a group of people try to escape in a rowboat, while an ocean liner appears in the background)

Linkara (v/o): ...but the common Lovecraft mythos are about ancient, alien, godlike beings of immense power...

(Cut to footage of a Silent Hill video game)

Linkara (v/o): ...whereas "Silent Hill" is more commonly about psychological traumas given manifest forms. Both are good, both are scary, BUT STILL ARE NOT THE SAME THING!!

(Cut back to "The Grinning Man")

Linkara (v/o): Ugh! Anyway, the guy starts his ritual.

Man: Give him strength to strike down your enemy. Bring your emissaries to me!

Linkara: (phone recording voice) This is Azazoth. Your call is very important to us. However, there is no one currently available to take your request. But if you'd like to leave a short message, please do so after the beep.

Linkara (v/o): Unfortunately for our nameless friend here, the Grinning Man arrives.

Grinning Man: Sheee-(beep). You're one ornery mofo, now ain't ya? That's okay. Kinda puts a smile on my face.

Linkara (v/o): And puts tattoos on your torso.

Man: I'm not telling* you anything else.

  • NOTE: The man actually says, "I'll not tell...".

Grinning Man: No need. You've already told me plenty, hoss.

Linkara: (as the Grinning Man) And really, I did not need to know about all that stuff you do with the goats.

Linkara (v/o): A bunch of monsters show up behind the ritual guy, and the Grinning Man tosses away his cigarette near some crates conveniently labeled "explosives".

Grinning Man: I see you got your weapon out, boy... Me, too. Draw.

Linkara: Well, this cult guy could probably draw something better than this comic, that's for sure.

(The credits for this comic book are shown, with Nick Stakal being credited with art for this comic)

Linkara (v/o): I'm serious about that. The artist for this one is Nick Stakal, the same artist who drew "Dead/Alive", and it's horrible! The best example I can give for why this is terrible is probably on the next page.

(Cut to said next page)

Linkara (v/o): They're apparently in a mine shaft that looks all well and good. Then the mine shaft, and it's okay on the "KRA BOOOM" panel. But then look at how he depicts flames in this story: as wispy, almost paper-like strands, kind of painted orange and white. Oh, and with black outlines, too. Yeah, the light of fire and big plumes of flames naturally needed to be OUTLINED IN BLACK. I mean, it's just impossible to see them without those lines! The Grinning Man emerges from the flames with nary a scratch on him.

Grinning Man: Don't need to turn down the heat on my account...

Linkara: (listlessly) He's the Joker. Seriously, he grins, he tells bad jokes, he kills people, (holds up comic and points to cover) and just look at the face on that cover. He's the Joker!

Linkara (v/o): He's also a smug jackass as he comes to a road and finishes his thought.

Grinning Man: 'Cause you can't get no hotter 'n me...

Linkara (v/o): I should also point out that he apparently decided to finish his lame joke HOURS LATER, because now it's daytime and he has to be pretty far away from the mine shaft. Otherwise, the two women who stopped to give him a lift would notice it. Sequential storytelling? Reasonable time transitions? (scoffs) We don't have time for stuff like that! We need to show off the Grinning Man's magical powers, as he casts a spell to make himself look more like Fabio or something to attract the attention of the two women. Naturally, they find nothing strange about a random guy in the middle of the desert... Maybe they thought he ran away from the production crew filming Gerry... requiring a lift to Silent Hill. And really, a lift to Silent Hill? From the DESERT?! Maybe the flashbacks in "Among the Damned" didn't take place in Iraq or any country with lots of deserts, but rather RIGHT OUTSIDE THE TOWN, since apparently, in the comics' version of the place, Silent Hill isn't a New England tourist town, but rather SOMEWHERE OUT NEAR RENO! Anyway, we cut to a guy [Robert Tower, as he is named moments later] getting out of bed.

Tower's wife, May: What is it, tough guy? Not sleep well?

Tower: No. Not that.

Linkara: (as Tower) It's just the way I'm drawn, is all. I look like I'm made out of Play-Doh.

Linkara (v/o): Our hero this time is a state trooper named Robert Tower, who has a kind wife who helps him with his breakfast and cleans his clothes.

May: I'm gonna make us some breakfast. Ham and eggs.

(Cut to a clip of The Tommy Wi-Show)

Tommy Wiseau: I was just preparing an egg breakfast!

(Cut back to the comic again)

Linkara (v/o): The way this is drawn, you'd think the fact that she has no expression on her face as she says this would be significant. See, that's the thing about sequential art. Basically, we have snapshots that tell a story. Every panel needs to be significant and have a purpose. But this blank look on her face? Completely meaningless! We never see her again. What's done better is the bottom panel, where he has a card congratulating him on his upcoming retirement. We cut to his office, where he's talking with a woman whose son has gone missing.

Woman: It's that town. Silent Hill. Jesus, I never would have let my Jimmy go there if I'd have known people believe there's demons and (beep) like this there. His damn friends, they got him into it.

Linkara: (as this woman) Poor Jimmy. My little James. He said he got a letter from his dead wife. His friends were just playing a horrible prank on him.

Linkara (v/o): She's been coming for six months, and unfortunately, they haven't been able to find him.

Tower: Abandoned towns can be dangerous places. Drug dealers take over buildings and we run them out. Squatters and psychotics--

Linkara (v/o): Oh, for crying out...! I mean, are they really saying the entire town is abandoned?! It's not like Silent Hill was some Podunk, tiny little village, with, like, three stores in it that'd be easy for it to become completely abandoned!

(Cut to a montage of a Silent Hill game, showing off various locations, which Linkara describes)

Linkara (v/o): There were apartment complexes, a motel...

(Editor's note: "At least 2, actually.")

Linkara (v/o): ...a hotel, an amusement park, its own police station, a historical society, a White House, an orphanage, a theater, a prison, two hospitals, and various homes!

(Cut back to the Silent Hill comic)

Linkara (v/o): How the hell is a town THAT DAMN BIG, but it could become so completely abandoned that there's no law and order whatsoever?! It made more sense in the games because there seemed to be an actual town full of people that just none of the protagonists could see.

(Cut to a shot of the movie version of Silent Hill)

Linkara (v/o): And it's not like this is taking a cue from the movie, where the town was abandoned for legitimate reasons.

(Cut back to the comic again)

Linkara (v/o): This came out a full year before the movie! Ergh! Anyway, the woman yells at them for not being able to do anything and they clearly don't care, blah, blah, blah. I'm not trying to gloss over a person's pain for losing their child; it's just we barely even started the story yet, and this is just padding. Tower talks with one of the newer cops, named Hampton. They apparently do have some leads on the woman's kid, but they don't anything solid and he keeps staying out of their reach.

Tower: Don't get me wrong. I feel for those people. If it was my wife, my kid, I don't know what I'd do. You can't feel for them. That's not what they need.

Linkara: (as Tower) You need to not give a damn about them at all. Have no emotional investment whatsoever in saving people and stopping criminals.

Linkara (v/o): He goes into their break room for the retirement party and good-natured ribbing ensues. Following a conversation with his wife about what he's going to do after retiring, he goes to meet his replacement [Mayberry, as mentioned moments later]. There's apparently a wall full of pictures of people who have disappeared in Silent Hill, and the new guy is hanging out in front of it.

Mayberry: All of you sad, sad people. One by one you came to Silent Hill, and whatever you might have gained, you suffered loss, as well.

Linkara: (as Mayberry) All you sad bastards who are forced to use breakable weapons. How do you break a katana by stabbing monsters?

Mayberry: I am one with all of you. And I promise, I will carry each of your messages home.

Linkara: (as Mayberry, holding up his hand to his ear) What's that? No, Mrs. Bernstrom, I will not carry your grocery list home. I don't care how lazy your husband is.

Linkara (v/o): Tower is pissed about this guy, Mayberry, because he had named his successor and doesn't want somebody here who buys into the hype about Silent Hill. However, the State Commission has decided on him being there since he's apparently an...

Commissioner: ...F.B.I. hotshot. Degrees from everywhere.

Linkara: (as Commissioner) He's most proud of his degree from bartending school.

Tower: You thinking what I'm thinking?

(Cut to a clip of an episode of Pinky and the Brain)

Pinky: I think something, but the Rockettes? I mean, it's mostly girls, isn't it?

(Cut back to the comic)

Linkara (v/o): They think that if Mayberry gets his eyes on the situation, then he may decide to leave on his own. They get a call to investigate a crime scene: an overturned stagecoach, with lots of blood and entrails scattered about. And we once again see the brilliantly terrible artwork on display here. I couldn't tell at first by looking at this that was a car and that the three things in front kneeling down were supposed to be people. Then on the next panel, everyone's faces are oddly angular and too heavily inked. Mayberry has already read Tower's file and is honored to work with him.

Tower: All right, get those people back. We've got a murder scene here...

Linkara (v/o): Wait, what people? You mean that one guy standing right there? If there's supposed to be a crowd watching this, SHOW A CROWD WATCHING THIS! Mayberry says he's wrong and that it isn't a murder scene, that this was staged for them. He points out several forensic clues, like the smell not being ripe for human blood, no skid marks where there should be, and tire treads aimed right at Silent Hill. He deduces that it was placed there so cops wouldn't go looking for the people most likely still alive, and instead waste time looking for dead bodies in the crash. They decide to head to Silent Hill to investigate, Tower discussing how he doesn't think Mayberry is up for the job. Mayberry, in turn, quotes some Robert Heinlein to establish for us that he's into science fiction. He does it with all the subtlety a bad writer can produce, but hey, so far, this book hasn't done so badly in establishing character.

Linkara: A pity that we're more than a quarter of the way through, and I still don't know what the plot is.

Linkara (v/o): On the way, mist starts to surround their car, and Mayberry talks about how accepting that there are monsters in the town, means that it opens the door to the supernatural and paranormal being true and that anything is possible. Tower thinks he sounds like a lunatic, but Mayberry responds that he figured he'd understand.

Mayberry: You know what's going on over there isn't natural and you've made your peace with it.

Linkara: (as Mayberry, terrified and cowering) Oh, God! (points) That guy with the doorstop with a head is trying to impale me on his giant phallic symbol of a knife! (as Tower, reading the Silent Hill) Huh? Oh. (waves dismissively) Yeah, cool, whatever. Oh, hey, the Timberwolves game is on.

Mayberry: By the way, how far are we from Lakeview Hotel?

Tower: Why?

Mayberry: Big place, lots of room... A maze from what I've read...

Tower: True...

Mayberry: And it's said to be temporally and spatially challenged. Physical laws break down in there.

Linkara (v/o): Oh, yeah, that's true.

(Cut to a clip of The Doctor in Doctor Who, looking toward a hallway)

Linkara (v/o): I heard about this one guy in a bowtie and a tweed jacket who got lost in there once.

(Cut to footage of a video game with an alien invasion in the form of a wave of UFOs, followed by one alien knocking out a man with a stun gun)

Linkara (v/o): Also, in one room, you can summon aliens, and they'll shoot you and abduct you.

(Back to the comic again)

Linkara (v/o): Tower, not buying any of this, says they're going to stop so he can smoke. In reality, he's setting Mayberry up for a prank, getting a text from his friends about it. Mayberry notices a flying monster, but Tower doesn't see it. We cut to two kids being chased by a group of monsters.

Grinning Man: I'm just happier 'n a pig in sh(beep), I am...

Linkara: (bored, with his head resting on his hand) And I'm as bored as a... person that's bored.

Linkara (v/o): They see the Grinning Man and run towards him, screaming for help as tentacles start rushing at the kids. (sarcastically) Oh, goody, that's what these comics were really missing: tentacle hentai. (normal again) The Grinning Man, being such a nice guy, waits and waits for them to get closer before he opens fire on the monsters. The tentacles pierce his flesh, but he heals and shoots at them again. And yeah, more exciting scenes of a guy shooting guns at monsters! I'm sure that hasn't gotten old by now. Oh, wait, it got old the first time we ever saw it!

Grinning Man: Yee-haw, you ugly (beep)kers! That's right, that's what I'm talkin' about!

Linkara: By the by, this comic has the most profanity out of all of them. And like a 14-year-old trying to pretend he's mature by writing in lots of swear words, all it does is show how completely immature it really is.

Linkara (v/o): He tells the two kids he has plans for them, and we cut to Tower and Mayberry at the Lakeview Hotel. Tower tells them to call it in. What exactly he's calling in, I'm not sure, since, for all I know with this art, that's a big plume of fire coming out of that one... part of the hotel. A window? I can't tell! The car won't turn over, either, so they decide to head in. Yeah, that seems sensible. Inside the hotel are two other cops wearing monster costumes that they got from some kids filming a movie... Whatever. ...and loudly exposit their plan to each other, even though they probably both already know it. One of them worries that Mayberry will open fire when he sees them, but the other guy is convinced he'll just beg them to take him to the mothership.

Linkara: Oh, he won't fall for that. He's studied Silent Hill! You have to use the blue gem in the room before he can be taken by the aliens! Don't you know how the UFO ending even works?

Cop: Then we beat the sh(beep) out of him, and when he's crying like the little girl that he is, we lean on him about where the (beep) the pigs took all our crack, 'cause we got buyers all pissed off. Then Tower comes in, scares us off with a couple of stray rounds, and Mayberry goes running back to his mommy with a stain on his–

Linkara: Aaand this comic officially loses hope for another likeable protagonist. Based on the dialogue from before and the description of this plan, Tower was in on this. He is in on a plan to beat the crap out of a fellow officer just because the guy believes in supernatural phenomena! Dickhead!

Linkara (v/o): On top of that, since they're waiting in a hotel, they probably set up the car crash so they could bring him out here, though how the hell they did that with no lead time is anyone's guess, meaning they're wasting a hell of a lot of time and money to pull a prank that wouldn't even work anyway. The guy's an FBI agent already! Do you really friggin' think he's going to be scared off? Especially since you bring up the drug thing, which adds even more questions about this moronic prank. So you're gonna pretend to be drug dealers disguised as monsters? Why? If you're just disguised as monsters, fine, makes sense. But then you're pretending to be drug dealers, too? Otherwise, why would monsters be demanding drugs from cops– Oh, forget it! I'm glad you assholes get killed in the next page by the real monsters. You're idiots, and the police force would be better off without you. Though, in fairness, what happens is that they hear a sound and they realize it's not Tower, since Tower would have given them a signal. As such, they pull their guns and get ready for whatever it is. Man, I like that they're smart enough to recognize when a situation is going bad, but I'm still happy they're dead. On top of that, the Grinning Man apparently now controls the monsters, since he follows them in and shoots the two officers, since they...

Grinning Man: ...look too busted up to be much good to me. Have to put you down to friendly fire.

(Briefly cut to a clip of an episode of Batman: The Animated Series, showing the Joker cackling crazily; then cut back to the comic)

Linkara (v/o): Back with Tower and Mayberry, Tower states his theory about there being drug dealers and sickos who live in Silent Hill, but Mayberry points out that he's never actually seen any people like that in the town. Mayberry points out that he saw the flying demon earlier, and Tower goes off on him, yelling at him that he's sick and stupid if he actually believes that stuff. Mayberry in turn acts like a crazy person and talks about how people could still be alive, (dramatically) but in other dimensions! (normal) Yeah, keep doing that; that'll convince the skeptic.

Mayberry: Aren't you at all curious? What they want? How they got here? What their coming means for all of us?

Linkara: Well, "Dead/Alive" answered that for us. (holds up index finger) They want to spread evil because... they're evil and have no other actual motivation. (points to camera) The truth is out there, and it's really lame.

Mayberry: We're afraid of the things that we don't consider aesthetically pleasing. Fear is the mind... killer.

Linkara: Fear is the little death that brings total oblivion...

(Editor's note: "'Obliteration,' I mean to say.")

Linkara: ...and this comic sure as hell is not worthy enough to quote Dune!

Linkara (v/o): I also find it twistedly ironic a story that does nothing but rot your brain with stupid is talking about what the mind killer is. And allow me to emphasize that further. We're now past the halfway point, barely any plot, and Whatley shows up! Or rather, three of him. They could be floating down the stairs or just be badly drawn or suspended by tentacles, I don't know, but yes, we finally get Whatley in one of these stories. Tower tries to arrest the three floating triplets with blank eyes, but Mayberry just says to shoot them, though he says so in a panic, so maybe the other officers were right about him wetting himself at the sight of the monsters. Great, one of our heroes is Fox Mulder if he was a complete wuss!

Whatley: They wear pistols like our enemy. But they do not yet have his brand. And they are very ugly.

Linkara: You're not exactly a GQ model yourself there, Whatley. If I were you, I wouldn't be pulling the ugly card.

Whatley: Kill them. Consume their flesh... and their souls. So commands this incarnation of Whatley.

Linkara (v/o): (incredulously) Wait, "Whatley incarnations" now?! The hell?! The lead Whatley says he recognizes "this one"... though which one he's referring to, I'm not sure; I'm guessing Tower... and they just vanish.

Tower: (Beep) just happened?

Linkara: (frustrated) That's what I'd like to know! (facepalms himself) I can't believe this. I simply cannot believe, after a combined thirteen issues of comics, we still have no clue who Whatley is or why he's in these things!

(Shots of Whatley from past Silent Hill comics are shown)

Linkara (v/o): He appears in "Dying Inside" out of nowhere, with short hair and commanding Pyramid Heads and nurses. He shows up in "Dead/Alive" to fight Lauryn in a weird-ass battle and trying to make Kenneth Carter into OJ Simpson before some goddess eats him or something. And now he appears here with three of himself and does crap-all!

Linkara: (throws up arms) Congratulations, Scott Ciencin! You are the first writer in history to make a villain who does nothing, affects nothing, and has absolutely nothing to do with the story he's the villain of! (applauds sarcastically) BRA-FRIGGIN'-VO!

Linkara (v/o): The two hear screams and hurry up the stairs, Mayberry saying they should just leave and the sounds are probably the monsters. They find the two women who had earlier picked up the Grinning Man trapped behind mystical symbols. They say they tried to leave, but it burned them when they did. Mayberry thinks he can create a counter incantation if he can get access to "the database in Virginia", but Tower just... shoots... the symbols? I don't know what the hell this panel is, but I think he shoots the symbols and breaks them. Score one for the effectiveness of bullets over bullcrap. They head outside and find the cars wrecked, Mayberry wondering why Tower isn't falling apart because of all this. Because of all what?! I've seen episodes of Barney scarier than what we've seen so far! Tower tries to question the two girls, but there are symbols on their forehead that keep them from saying too much. Then a pilgrim and a doctor arrive.

Doctor: I'm Sawbones.

Pilgrim: I'm Stiff.

Linkara: The Sawbones and Stiff Variety Hour, coming to NBC.

Linkara (v/o): Actually, they are two other guys who have the Grinning Man's symbol on their foreheads who are here simply to exposit that the Grinning Man is taking over Silent Hill and changing this place so it suits him. They ask Tower to put him out of their misery, which our brave hero does without a second thought.

Tower: Okay. So we got some crazed magic man with a Wild West fetish shooting the sh(beep) out of this place.

Linkara: (irritably) How the freaking hell do you know that?! You haven't seen the Grinning Man! No one has described the Grinning Man to you! All you know is that someone is taking over the town! How the freaking hell did you get the Wild West theme for the Grinning Man?!

Linkara (v/o): And for a guy who didn't believe any of the supernatural stuff until it was right in front of him, he's taking this all in stride. I can just imagine what the police department is going to be like if he stays on.

(Cut to a clip of an episode of The Simspons, showing Police Chief Wiggum being interviewed by TV reporters at the Springfield Museum)

Chief Wiggum: We think we're dealing with a supernatural being. Most likely a mummy. As a precaution, I've ordered the Egyptian wing of the Springfield Museum destroyed.

(The policemen are seen raiding this part of the museum, with one policeman shattering a glass case containing a mummy and another throwing the Mona Lisa painting on a fire started in the middle of the room)

Wiggum: (to this policeman) Nice work, Ed.

(Back to the comic again)

Linkara (v/o): He says the real reason why he's able to cope with this is...

Tower: Either I'm crazy now... or I was wrong before. I'm going with door number two.

Linkara (v/o): Hmm, can't fault him there. They go off to try to find his friends who going to pretend to be "monster drug dealers"... Oh, so they weren't in the hotel? ...and they discover their dead bodies. Mayberry is indeed having trouble dealing with all of this, thinking it's all a dream, but figures there must be a reason why all these years, Tower never saw the monsters. If this was a good Silent Hill story, it'd be because the town wasn't interested in him. Since this is a bad one, there is no good reason. Speaking of no good reason, they finally run into the Grinning Man.

Tower: So what's your deal?

Grinning Man: I hunt.

Tower: That's it?

Grinning Man: Isn't it enough?

Linkara: (frustrated) NO!! NO, IT'S NOT!! For crying out loud, you're the damn title character, and the best villain motivation you have is, "I hunt"?! You have mystical healing symbols and magic and crap that turns you into Fabio, AND THE BEST REASON YOU HAVE IS, "I HUNT"?! Wow! Scott Ciencin put (points at camera) you in this story to make Whatley look like Lex Luthor by comparison!

Linkara (v/o): Oh, and Grinning Man, put on a damn shirt! You look ridiculous, you stupid, stupid character! Mayberry finally grows a pair and shoots the Grinning Man, but he quickly regenerates and chases after them, evidently shooting his guns at nothing in particular. At least, I think he is. Incomprehensible art, you're soaking in it! Tower tells Mayberry to get the two women to safety, but he has to go back.

Tower: There are others here. The ones he robbed from the stagecoach. I'm not leaving until I find them.

Linkara (v/o): Wait, so Tower's pals didn't set up the stagecoach thing to make them go to Silent Hill? When did they have time to plan their prank and coordinate with Tower and then subsequently give them a way for them to be in Silent Hill waiting for them?! Ugh! We need to get through this! Last ten pages, really quick. He finds the other people the Grinning Man took. The symbols allow the Grinning Man to draw power from the people he branded so he can be healed, and the symbols also protect them from the monsters. Tower frees a family contained by some more mystical symbols and leads everyone out. There's a pointless action scene of Tower killing monsters who have gone berserk without the abiility to eat anybody, and then we find that the Grinning Man has taken Mayberry off-panel. The Grinning Man wants him to give up the people he's draining the life from, but Tower just shoots him. However, Tower's bullets actually hurt the Grinning Man. Why? No reason!

Tower: Ever wake up, know something was wrong, but you couldn't put your finger on what it was?

Linkara: (angrily) I CAN! NONE OF THIS MAKES ANY SENSE!!

Tower: All these years, these things–demons, or whatever the (beep) they are–didn't touch me, didn't even let me know they were here. Maybe it's because I was helping them keep the lie going about this place being normal.

Linkara: And since the Whatleys are here to confirm that this is related to "Dead/Alive", THAT'S IDIOTIC! They want to make the nightmares of the town affect the entire world! Keeping it a secret is just... STUPID!

Tower: I hope not. I thought it was true. My best guess is that they can't get to me, and you can't either, because so long as I can remember, nothing gets in with me, not unless I want it to.

Linkara (v/o): Let me get this straight: the only reason you can fight the Grinning Man is because you're too mellow?! Fantastic!

Tower: Cost me my marriage.

Linkara: Mayberry mentioned earlier that Tower had been divorced once, but I figured he got remarried or was at least with someone new. After all, if he hasn't, who was that woman at the beginning, and who was he talking to on the phone earlier?!

Linkara (v/o): So the Grinning Man is dead and Tower calls him a pussy. Our hero, everybody. And so, our comic ends with the remaining monsters apparently all converging on him and Tower trying to pretend that he's badass by aiming his gun and saying...

Tower: Draw.

Linkara: Wait, was this supposed to be a Western? (stammers briefly) Screw it! (snaps comic shut and holds it up angrily) This comic sucks!

Linkara (v/o): The artwork is atrocious, even worse than "Dead/Alive" at times. The villain has no character! He laughs, he grins, he has no real name, and does what he does for stupid reasons! There's barely a plot! It only gets started halfway into the thing and then rushes toward a ludicrous finale. The two main characters are annoying as hell, one mistaking a lack of emotion for being a badass – it isn't the same thing – and he's really a jerk; the other a whiny geek who wets himself at the first opportunity.

Linkara: And I'm sure you're all wondering, which of these one-shots is the worst? Or in fact, what's the worst out of all of the Silent Hill comics I've read for this show? Who friggin' cares?! They all suck! Read "Silent Hill: Sinner's Reward". I haven't read anything of "Silent Hill: Past Life", except the first issue, but it's gotta be better than (holds up "Grinning Man" comic) this! Thank God I never have to do any more of these stupid Silent Hill comics anymore. I–

(Suddenly, Linkara is interrupted as the sound of a siren is heard and the room turns red. He reacts more in annoyance than alarm as he sighs and facepalms himself)

Linkara: Really? You're doing this thing again? It's not like you're gonna be able to top last year.

(He rolls his eyes and groans, then gets up from his seat, tossing the comic behind the futon. He walks out into the living room, and much to his surprise, he spots several boxes stacked on top of one another in the doorway. He spots a piece of paper tucked between the boxes, which he takes out and reads)

Linkara: (reading) "The boxes of our souls are mires in the good and the bad. The right and the brown are your friends, and the rainbow of the popcorn will show the light of truth. We are all boxed in, all part of–" (stops abruptly as he crumples up the paper irritably and throws it down) Okay, boxes, since obviously pushing you out of the way is not going to work... I mean, why would it? are just going to topple over and go away for me. And if you don't, (becomes angry) I'm just going to step over your ASHES!

(To his surprise, the boxes do fall over)

Linkara: Thank you. I'm glad we could reach an understanding.

(He walks over to the front door and tries to open it, but it won't budge. He spots another message taped on the door, which he takes and reads)

Linkara: (reading) "This one we're not giving you. You will not be allowed to leave until you solve this puzzle. Gather an item from a forest, a city and from Hell, then the door will open." (looks up in frustration) And how am I supposed to gather items like that if I can't leave?!

(Then he spots another message, this one reading: "...OKAY, THE DOOR IS OPEN. WE AWAIT YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE.")

Linkara: Thank you!

(He walks through the door – and immediately finds himself in what looks like his parents' house. He looks around in confusion)

Linkara: Okay, this is freaky. This is where I used to live...

(He nervously walks through the house and into the living room)

Linkara: Oh, I get it! Trying to set me off guard and all that. But it won't work. There's not a damn thing you can do to me!

Voice: Isn't there?

(Startled, Linkara turns around to spot... Whatley himself (played by Lewis' father, Loren), surrounded on both sides by Pyramid Heads)

Linkara: Of course, I should have known. Whatley, I presume?

Whatley: I am the last of the Whatleys, the founders of Silent Hill, and–

Linkara: (arms crossed; angrily) NO... YOU... AREN'T! You're a shoehorned-in character from a crappy horror comic written by someone who has no idea what makes "Silent Hill" frightening!

Whatley: I have reality, Linkara, and so does my god! The Order has spent a great deal of time on you, Linkara, trying to destroy you for denying our words! The "Dying Inside", the "Dead/Alive", "The Grinning Man" who paints it black among the damned! We created a grand weapon, we enslaved the Red Executioner, and we'll spread the gospel through YOU!

Linkara: Oh, yes, Whatley, you certainly have a lot to answer for, don't you?

Whatley: We shall convert you to our cause and spread the word of our god!

Linkara: The Entity? (Whatley stares) Yeah, I worked it out. After all, that black book mentions the Entity a lot. It figures that your sect of the order worships it.

Whatley: You were meant to possess the Absent Grimoire. Its tales and spells were meant to make you more malleable to our cause. The conqueror and the robotic effigy had goals that coincided with our own.

Linkara: You want me to spread the word of the Entity into the nightmares of everyone in the world.

Whatley: You will make them accept their fate! The beast is already here and it's been growing for some time. A piece of the world has already been consumed!

Linkara: (crossing arms again) And if I just decide to shoot your ass and go on my merry way?

Whatley: You cannot escape your destiny! Resistance is futile! (points one of the Pyramid Heads toward Linkara)

Linkara: You know what your problem is, Whatley? As a villain, you're boring and derivative.

(He sees the Pyramid Head that Whatley sicced on him raise its sword to strike him, but he takes out a sword of his own and blocks it)

Linkara: I, on the other hand, find whole new ways to be innovative!

(He knocks the Pyramid Head's sword away and then stabs it, spurting blood everywhere and killing it)

Whatley: (to the second Pyramid Head) Pierce his flesh! Empty him of his soul so we can fill him with the Beast!

(After stabbing the first Pyramid Head, Linkara looks up to find the second Pyramid Head about to attack. He tries to block this Pyramid Head's attack with his sword, but it slams its head into his, making him stumble. Then it drives its sword into him! Linkara's eyes open wide, presumably stabbed! But then the sound of a hum is heard, as it is revealed that the Pyramid Head's sword has not pierced his skin, but rather phased through a body of light. It turns out that this Linkara was not the real Linkara at all, but a hologram. He was actually wearing a mobile emitter on his arm this whole time)

Linkara: (awkwardly) Um... I'm dying! Oh, looky here, I am so dying! Oh, woe is me! I am dead! Blargh...

(The Pyramid Head removes its sword and the Linkara hologram laughs)

Whatley: What is this blasphemy?!

Hologram Linkara: (waving dismissively) Oh, shucks, ya got me. (chuckles as he takes out a communicator and pushes a button) Come on down, kids!

(Suddenly, Iron Liz, 90s Kid and the real Linkara appear in the room, guns at the ready. Liz shoots down the remaining Pyramid Head)

90s Kid: (firing his gun around wildly) DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUDE!!!

(Liz looks at him and he stops, as they all, including Whatley, look around at what's happening. 90s Kid gets an uncomfortable look on his face)

Iron Liz: Nice shootin', Tex.

90s Kid: I-I meant to do that.

Iron Liz: The air's not attacking us.

90s Kid: (looking at his gun) I think the side of this is broken.

Linkara: We'll worry about that later. (turns to Whatley) Ah, Whatley, I presume.

Whatley: What?! What is this?!

Hologram Linkara: (pointing to the mobile emitter on his arm) Oh, you probably mean this. It's called a mobile emitter. It's from Star Trek: Voyager. It allows a hologram to walk around outside of a holodeck. (smiles smugly)

Linkara: In this case, a hologram of me!

Hologram Linkara: (waving) Hello, Linkara!

Linkara: Hello, Linkara!

Hologram Linkara: How are you doing?

Linkara: I'm doing very well, thank you.

Hologram Linkara: Would you like to explain, or shall I?

Linkara: Oh, you do it. You do it so well.

Hologram Linkara: Thank you! (turns back to Whatley, holding up two fingers) Two years in a row, Linkara has reviewed Silent Hill comics. (Linkara bends down to put something on the floor) And two years in a row, crappy Silent Hill stuff happened to him. Did you think he wouldn't notice the pattern?

Linkara: And I suspected, with the last Silent Hill comics that I had to review, that I'd have to deal with this crap again. So, for the last three weeks, I've had Holo-Linkara here doing the reviews, while I've been (points toward the sky) up above in Comicron 1.

Hologram Linkara: Not a fun prospect, I admit, but we've muddled through somehow.

Linkara: And I've figured, when everything went down and when the time was right, I'd come down here, guns blazin', and put an end to this once and for all.


Linkara: (exasperatedly) Yes, yes, yes, horrible pain and suffering, you shall rule the world. We'll get to that in a second. But first...

(The Linkara hologram pushes a button on his mobile emitter and disappears as Linkara walks over to one of the dead Pyramid Heads)

Linkara: Pyramid Head, you are a creature of evil. I tamed your ilk once, (holds up a Poke Ball) and I shall do it again. Poke Ball, go!

(He throws the Poke Ball on the ground. It opens and captures the Pyramid Head in it. Linkara then picks it up again)

Linkara: (triumphantly holding Poke Ball up to camera) Yes! I caught a Pyramid Head! (awkward pause) Again. (turns back to Whatley) And speaking of creatures of evil...

Whatley: You cannot judge me! I do what I do in the service of the Beast!

Linkara: You're absolutely right, I can't pass judgment on you. (shrugs) Hell, I can't even turn you over to the police either. I mean, hell, what am I gonna say to them? That you underwent a magic ritual to try to turn the world into nightmares using demons from the other world? Yeah, I don't think that's gonna hold up in court. (holds up index finger) Buuut there is someone here who can pass judgment on you.

Whatley: What?!

(Linkara takes out his magic gun, twirls it around and then aims it at Whatley, who looks shocked)

Linkara: Tell me, you remember the name of the girl your cult murdered in order to create this? (looks at his gun)

Whatley: No...

Linkara: Oh? (becomes disappointed) Pity. I haven't been able to figure that out. (brightens up again) And you know, part of the reason that all the crap that happened last year happened was because she thought that all the people responsible for her current... circumstances... were dead. (aims his gun at Whatley again) Let's let her judge you, shall we?

(Linkara fires his gun at Whatley)

Whatley: (being hit) NNNNOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

(The room and the screen fill with white light that blocks out everything. When the light disappears, Whatley is gone, and the red light is gone. Iron Liz and 90s Kid take their hands away from their eyes from having to avoid being blinded. Linkara lowers his gun as Iron Liz and 90s Kid look around)

90s Kid: Uh, I was hoping for a bigger explosion.

Linkara: I didn't ask for a critique.

Iron Liz: So it's over?

Linkara: Yeah, I think it's–

(Suddenly, they hear that creepy buzzing sound that's been dogging the series for a long time now. They look around, Iron Liz aiming her gun)

Linkara: (shaking head solemnly) No. This is only the beginning.

(Creepy laughter is heard as the screen goes black)

(End credits roll)

In re-reading the sequence of Tower on the phone, he might actually be talking to his daughter, but that doesn't cover the woman who he was with at the beginning. I sure as hell hope THAT wasn't his daughter, too.

A fan came up with an interesting theory that Scott Ciencin HAS played the game, but thought the characters were uncool losers and thus wanted to create heroes who were AWESOME!... but instead were just faux-badass jackasses.

(Stinger: Benzaie is seen in his room)

Benzaie: Hey, SadPanda?

(Cut to SadPanda in his room)

SP: Yes, Benzaie?

Benzaie: Well, I just wanted to check in and see if you were okay. It seems that half of France's population has vanished in the past few days.

SP: I wouldn't worry. It's certainly not some kind of demonic god from another dimension come to consume us all, so forget about it.

Benzaie: (confused) Well, that was oddly specific. But anyway, I just wanted to check in and see if you were–

(Suddenly, he gets cut off by static that fills the screen, revealing that Benzaie is gone when the static clears)

SP: Well, motherfu–

(Suddenly, static fills the screen here, too, making SadPanda also disappear)