Speed Steer #5
June 2, 2014
More powerful than a locoMOOtive! Faster than a speeding BOVINE! Able to leap over tall moons in a single bound!
Linkara: Hello, and welcome to Atop the Fourth Wall, where bad comics burn. I've never eaten at Chick-fil-A.
(The Chick-fil-A logo is shown, followed by food served there)
Linkara (v/o): Which is odd, considering, as you may have noticed whenever you go back to the first video and see how different I looked a few years ago, I'm a fan of fast food restaurants. Hell, according to their website, there are several Chick-fil-A locations within driving distance of me. Even more bizarrely, if you ask any Channel Awesome contributor, they'll tell you that the only food I subsist on is chicken fingers.
Linkara: (pointing at camera angrily) Which is bullcrap and you know it, especially when you have (A shot of Holokara eating a bag of Fresh Express lettuce (from the "Marville #3" review) is shown in the corner) this clip of me on this very show angrily eating lettuce!
Pollo: (offscreen) Isn't that clip showing the hologram of you and not really you?
Linkara: Shut up!
(Another shot of food at Chick-fil-A is shown)
Linkara (v/o): Even weirder, I didn't even know Chick-fil-A existed until AngryJoe brought them up.
Linkara: During the whole Kickassia thing, Joe was pushing us to make our first target for expansion a local Chick-fil-A. He led a one-man assault on it. Unfortunately, it was Sunday, so it was closed.
(Cut to a montage of covers of comics involving cow superheroes from Chick-fil-A)
Linkara (v/o): Let's avoid the controversies related to the chain. We're not here today to talk about that. And frankly, I'd rather not have to spend the second week of the new website banning people because of a flame war. No, instead, let's focus on other silly things the company has done: namely, comic books aimed at children under the line "Amazing Cow Heroes".
Linkara: Oh, yes, this is a thing that exists. Let's dig into (holds up today's comic) "Speed Steer #5".
(AT4W title sequence plays, and the title card has "For All the Cows" by Foo Fighters playing in the background. Cut again to the cow-themed comics put out by Chick-fil-A)
Linkara (v/o): To be fair, this is not actually the fifth issue of "Speed Steer", just the fifth comic that they put out. The other comics in this range include "DeciBell", "The Icy Adventures of Cold Cuts", "The Amazing Swatter", and quite possibly the greatest comic book ever published in the history of mankind, "The Invincible Cowborg".
Linkara: Eventually, we are going to be looking at all of these comics if only because I really, really need to find out the story behind Cowborg... and most importantly, if he has anything to do with (A shot of the following is superimposed...) Manborg.
(More cow-themed comics are shown)
Linkara (v/o): So, here's the deal: from what little research I've done about this... and really, why should I be doing any kind of research on superhero cows? This concept should stand or fall on its own merits... the cow superhero thing has actually been a promotional campaign for the chain for years, even making a cosplay appearance at San Diego Comic-Con.
(The promotional campaign is shown: cows painting signs that forms the phrase, "EAT MOR CHIKIN")
Linkara (v/o): The idea behind the promotion is that the cows are discouraging people from eating beef – and instead eating chickens because, well, Chick-fil-A.
Linkara: Already this premise is on shaky grounds because it's basically saying, "Don't slaughter our group of animals, slaughter this other group of animals!"
(Cut to a closeup of today's comic, "Speed Steer #5")
Linkara (v/o): But let's not worry about the horrible implications there, and instead look at the cover. It's fairly decent for what it is, with a nifty logo with a rocket ship behind it. There are even little lightning lines on the S for "Speed" and "Steer", giving it a nice, stylized look. Speed Steer itself also has a rocket ship on its side. I guess the idea is that it's as fast as a rocket? Well, actually, there is an explanation for it, but I'll get into that later. Now, let's wonder about other things concerning the outfit. Like, is that a mask or part of its skin? I ask because if it's a costume, I'm not exactly sure how Speed Steer puts it on.
Text: Will Speed Steer put a speedy stop to the burgers?
Linkara: Yes, but people will still eat steak.
Linkara (v/o): We open on a farm.
Narrator: Our story begins late one peaceful summer night.
Linkara: (narrator voice) Summer days drifting away, to, uh-oh, those su-hummer nights...
Narrator: After a long day chasing butterflies in the meadow, a calf sleeps peacefully at his parents' hooves.
Linkara: (narrator voice) The calf's parents taught him at a young age to hate the butterflies and demand their extermination.
Narrator: Little did that calf know that this night would change his life forever.
Linkara: (narrator voice) A gunman killed the calf's parents, forcing the calf to become... Bat-Cow! (beat; normal) I'm not kidding; "Bat-Cow" is a real thing. Look it up.
Linkara (v/o): A flaming meteor falls nearby, and fortunately, Ted Turner is nowhere in sight to karate-chop it, so instead, it just crashes. For some reason, this doesn't wake up the farmers, but it does attract the local cattle.
Linkara: Why does this suddenly feel like a prequel to the movie Giant Spider Invasion?
Linkara (v/o): Well, let's not be too hasty. There are other things that could crash like this, like Mjolnir, or Superman, or... The Blob.
Narrator: The calf stared out into the meadow, unsure if he was still asleep and dreaming or wide-awake.
Linkara: (narrator voice) Then it remembered that it was a cow and didn't really care either way.
Narrator: The strange glow called to him.
Linkara: So, what we're really seeing here is the equivalent of a Monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Soon, we're gonna see this herd of cows fighting off a rival group of cows for water.
Linkara (v/o): And indeed, the calf moves in closer to the rock, which is now glowing green. Now it's radioactive! That can't be good!
Narrator: As the cosmic mists washed over him, filling his body with an unknown and fantastic energy, he realized that this was no dream...
Linkara: (narrator voice) It was a wide-awake nightmare!
Narrator: ...it was the beginning of something new and indescribable.
Linkara: (narrator voice) Indescribable! ...Except for all the descriptions we'll be providing in the narration.
Linkara (v/o): And thus, our title page: "The Speed Steer – Sprinting Ahead of Herd"! And it's here where I explain the rocket ship thing. Apparently, prior to the release of the comics, there actually were preview images given for the books. And the preview image for "Speed Steer" reveals something interesting; namely, that its... uh, name was not Speed Steer at all. The original name for Speed Steer was in fact "The Gristle Missile".
Linkara: (upset) Why the hell would you change that?! I mean, yeah, "Speed Steer" is a bit more accurate since its power is super speed, but that's a great friggin' name! Why would you throw that away?
Linkara (v/o): Ergh! Anyway, the next day, the farmer who owns the field is confused about the crater. Well, "confused" is probably too strong a word. "Uncaring and slightly bemused" would be more accurate.
Farmer: Huh! Whaddya know about that... A crater in my pasture.
Linkara: (as farmer) Huh. (points offscreen) And there's a Klingon over there blowing up my silo. Go figure.
Linkara (v/o): Speed Steer, chasing a butterfly – no doubt to lynch it per his parents' instructions – suddenly feels a great surge in speed, allowing its form to vibrate and sending it rocketing all the way from Georgia to New York. The New Yorkers are unfazed by the sudden arrival of a cow, simply wanting it to get out of the streets. Okay, they were clearly looking in the direction of the cow as it arrived via super-speed, as indicated by the dirt cloud behind it! You just saw a super-speeding cow! BE IMPRESSED, DAMMIT!
Narrator: It was clear that something was different about this calf. His parents would do their best to keep his gift a secret from the herd...
Linkara: (holds up index finger) One, they're cows. How the hell would they really understand that he was different and had super speed? (holds up two fingers) Two, they're cows! What are they gonna do if they find out anyway? Go to the papers?
Narrator: ...but he had other plans. As the years passed he honed his amazing abilities in order to fight for cows everywhere, one grill at a time.
Linkara (v/o): And we see the farmer cooking some steaks on a grill, but when the farmer's back is turned, Speed Steer zips by, takes the steaks away, and replaces them with hot coals that spell "EAT MOR CHIKIN!"
Linkara: (holds up index finger) I am going to ignore the fact that Speed Steer can write in English. We can assume that the meteor enhanced its intelligence enough to understand and write in English, despite some spelling errors. Nope, my question is, how the hell did he manage to move the hot coals without any kind of (holds up hand and wiggles fingers) opposable digits whatsoever?
Linkara (v/o): Not to mention, this goal seems really inefficient. "Fighting for cows, one grill at a time"? If he can understand English and spell things out, why the hell doesn't he show up at the White House and spell out "STOP EATING COWS" in rocks in front of the President? It'd probably raise more awareness than stealing a single farmer's dinner. Speaking of, the farmer is upset that this has happened "again" and pulls out a branding iron out of nowhere. Does he usually keep a heated branding iron around when he's grilling? Oh, and we soon see just how much of an asshole this farmer is. He comes racing toward the cattle in the back of a four-wheeler, not really driving it, but twirling a lasso over his head as he gets closer. Even if he somehow knew that it was his own calf that had done this, he wouldn't know it has super speed, so what the hell does he hope to accomplish? And hell, what the hell is he hoping the branding iron will do? That it will somehow stop him from moving at super speed? And hell, this just seems disrespectful to ranchers and farmers with cattle, who of course have strict regulation of how they treat their animals to make sure they're humanely cared for, and just because you don't want to mistreat the source of your milk and general livestock, because it could hurt your income. I'm not saying animal abuse doesn't happen, but the cattle seem too numerous and in good shape to be neglected by this dick. The farm looks pretty nice, all things considered. Anyway, somehow, the farmer knows that Speed Steer is responsible, so it [sic] starts chasing him. Speed Steer goes into a clothesline, and in particular, the ultra-stretchy fabric of the farmer's skivvies, which apparently also had holes in it perfectly placed for its eyes.
Linkara: Well, the cattle appeared to be well-treated up until this point, but apparently, the same can't be said for this guy's laundry.
(Cut to Pollo)
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. We then go 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. We then cut back to the comic as the review resumes)
Linkara (v/o): Naturally, Speed Steer is able to outrun the farmer and move so fast through a cornfield that, as the narrator says...
Narrator: His super speed generates so much heat that it turns the cornfield into a sea of popcorn!
(Cut to a shot of the well-used panel from "Superman At Earth's End", showing...)
Hitler Clone: Of course. Don't you know anything about science?
(Cut back to "Speed Steer")
Linkara (v/o): Yyyyeah, I suppose it's possible that this cornfield is specifically for popcorn production, since you need a specific kind of corn bred for that purpose, but somehow, I doubt that's the idea they were going for. However, Speed Steer isn't finished yet, since he soon leaves the farm and makes his way to a local town derby, where Speed Steer manages to outrun several horses. The announcer gives him the name of Speed Steer as he passes the finish line, but his troubles are only just beginning. The farmer is still in pursuit of Speed Steer, but he's joined now by the horse race jockeys.
Jockey: Hey! No one shows us up like that!
Linkara: (annoyed) It's a cow!
Linkara (v/o): The only person who has actually been mystified by this thing is the race announcer. And he's a race announcer! He's supposed to sound amazed by everything! It's not over either. He's soon being chased by a police car, and Speed Steer makes his way into a racecar arena. He then reaches the infield, where a family is grilling.
Narrator: In his attempt to get people to give up beef, Speed Steer snatches the platter of beef.
Linkara: His attempt to get people to give up beef is by forcing people to give up beef by preventing them from ever eating it.
Linkara (v/o): So, evidently, the other cows can read, too, since we soon see Speed Steer's parents looking at a newspaper article about their son.
Narrator: The secret was out. The day his parents were dreading had finally arrived.
Linkara: (as Speed Steer) Mom, Dad, I'm pregnant.
Narrator: They would have to leave their farm in order to protect their son. Soon, the whole town would come looking for him.
Linkara: (irritated) He's a cow wearing clothes that obscure most of his features! Why would they come looking for him in particular here?!
Linkara (v/o): But of course, the farmer somehow knew already and comes by again to look for him, making me wonder why he thought the cow would come back after what happened before. But before he can rope the cow, he discovers the barn door open with "EAT MOR CHIKIN" written in white paint.
Linkara: Man, the Seven Commandments of Animalism are getting weirder every day.
Narrator: Now that he was off the farm, Speed Steer was free to take his battle for bovine justice to the streets.
Linkara: When the hell did that ever stop him? We just saw him at a racecar track!
Narrator: Little did he know that his biggest challenge was yet to come...
Linkara: (as narrator) Arby's new sandwich, the Mega Montana!
Linkara (v/o): No, instead, what's responsible is in this rather plain, nondescript, windowless building, which is apparently the Beefytown Burger headquarters.
Narrator: Up in the Beefytown Burger board room, the CEO explains his master plan...
Beefytown CEO: Well done, ladies and gents. After our next grand opening, this town'll be completely surrounded with Beefytown Burger restaurants! Wha-hoo!
Linkara: (confused) Their CEO is Mario?
CEO: With no place else, we'll take over– nothing can stop us! Wha-hoo!
Linkara: (as board member) Uh, sir, take over what, exactly? The town, you mean? The world? Why would we want to do that? It seems like it'd just be easier to, you know, sell hamburgers.
Linkara (v/o): However, instead of asking that legitimate question, one of the board members instead wonders about Speed Steer.
CEO: Speed Steer? If he gets in our way I'll turn him into fast food! This town is ours!
Linkara: Mayor McCheese's early days are not as surprising as you would think.
Linkara (v/o): Also, geez, dude. I know this is your product, but do you really need the huge stacks of hamburgers at this meeting? I mean, there aren't even any fries. Anyway, we cut over to another part of town, where a large group of people are gathered around a Beefytown Burger.
Voice on speaker: Welcome one and all to the grand opening of the latest and greatest Beefytown Burger restaurant!
Patron: Ugh. Another burger joint?
Linkara: Why did you bother coming out to the grand opening of this place if you were just gonna complain about it?
Linkara (v/o): However, Speed Steer will have none of this, zooming through the place and removing all the burgers from it.
Linkara: Our hero, everybody! He forces fast food restaurants to lose business, thus depriving innocent employees of their wages.
Linkara (v/o): Then again, I don't think this place would have been very successful anyway. They apparently hadn't finished putting in the menu inside of it, judging by those blank signs up top. Back over to Mario, he angrily rants to the board about how Speed Steer is ruining their business. Man, he turned that around quickly; it's only been a day. As such, he decides to set a trap for Speed Steer by throwing a parade that announces a big burger giveaway at an island.
Voice on P.A. system: Free burgers for all!
Linkara: Wow! Free burgers for everyone? Even the poor?! That would actually be a very kind thing for them to do! And they're apparently the villains, for some reason!
Narrator: Our hero must stop that party!
Linkara (v/o): That night, Speed Steer zooms toward the island to attack the legitimate business and their evil giveaway of free food. However, he quickly becomes trapped in some glue left on a dock, since the corporate guys just knew he was gonna come to the island via... that dock, I guess. Also, Speed Steer now has the rocket ship logo and yellow fire mask. I don't think those were part of the farmer's long johns. Oh, hey, we also get Speed Steer's trademark catchphrase: "Moo". Some of the Beefytown goons attack, but no one brought any guns, so Speed Steer is able to accelerate his tail into a high-powered fan that blows the goons off the dock...
Linkara: (listlessly) Yes. That really just happened. Every time I think I've seen it all in this job, I get to witness a cow blow away evil corporate burger joint goons... with his tail.
Linkara (v/o): The tail movement is so fast, in fact, that it breaks off the boards he was stuck to – perfectly onto two dockboards, of course – and propels himself on them like water skis to the island, where the Mayor is presenting CEO Mario with the key to the city. Upon spotting Speed Steer, more goons try to attack him, but Speed Steer easily dispatches them and begins circling Mario. He goes so fast that he creates a whirlwind that propels Mario into the air. We don't see him drop again, but what does fall is a blueprint for his nefarious scheme, which he apparently just carries around with him, I guess to remind himself how it goes in case he forgets. The Mayor catches the plans and reads them.
Mayor: They were planning to take over the entire town...
Linkara: (holds up index finger) Yeah, remind me again how they were gonna do that...? By building burger joints? You know, it's been a while since we've updated the list of ridiculously stupid evil plans, but it seems we have a new "dumbest": the plan... is no plan!
Linkara (v/o): And so, our comic ends with the Mayor giving the key to the city to Speed Steer for his heroic work in abusing a CEO who was just trying to do his job.
Linkara: (holding up comic) This comic sucks on steak.
Linkara (v/o): But don't get me wrong, I still had a blast reading it. It's incredibly stupid and I think it knows it's stupid. After all, it's about a friggin' superhero cow. I sincerely doubt anyone took this project seriously. But at the same time, the plot is dumb and our hero is kind of an asshole. I know he's supposed to be defending beef, but I would remind you he's still encouraging the eating of other animals.
Linkara: And I'm hoping to grab even more comics in this range, especially since later issues (holds up index finger) are even supposed to feature team-ups. What's better than one superhero cow? The bovine Justice League, that's what. (throws down comic, gets up and leaves)
(End credits roll)
Maybe the rocket is actually supposed to be Speed Steer's cutie mark.
So did they all just give up the chase at some point and decide it wasn't worth the effort of chasing the cow?
(Stinger: On board Comicron 1, the Ninja-Style Dancer tosses a dart at a bottle, which causes it to freeze into an ice cube when it hits. The Ninja then crosses his arms)
Dr. Linksano: (holding a calculator) Excellent! (pushes some buttons on calculator) The freeze dart appears to have worked as planned. Now, if it'll last as long as it's supposed to, we should have another weapon to add to the Arsenal of Freedom.
(The Ninja holds up a sign reading "GOOD. CAN I GO? I'VE GOT A GIG.")
Dr. Linksano: Hmm? (looks over and sees the sign) Oh, yes, go and dance with Miley Cyrus or whatever it is you do. I'll stick around here and do real work. (giggles)
(The Ninja shrugs and starts to walk off. Suddenly, he hears the sound of something zapping Linksano, who yelps as he is hit and falls over. Startled, the Ninja turns around to see what it is. It's a Cybermat, having knocked out Linksano and now coming towards the Ninja. Alarmed, the Ninja escapes from the Cybermat by detonating a smoke bomb, allowing him to disappear. To a dramatic sting, the screen goes black)