The Thing From Another World #2
October 15, 2012
Maybe all that The Thing wanted was a hug? Did no one ever stop to ask?
(Just like last time, open on the title for this series, parodying The Thing, suspenseful music and all)
Linkara: Hello, and welcome to Atop the Fourth Wall, where bad comics burn. Today, we continue our look at the comic book sequel to John Carpenter's The Thing.
(A shot of a script of Carpenter's interview with Robert Sykes is shown)
Linkara (v/o): Sadly enough, I recently read an interview with John Carpenter where he said that this was his favorite spin-off media sequel to the movie. Still, there's no accounting for taste, and most people I've seen who have read it didn't hate it.
(Shots of the first issue is shown)
Linkara (v/o): And I get why they don't. But all reviews, in the end, are opinion-based. I just try to explain why I think this comic is a piece of crap. Now, before we recap the events of the first issue... though, really, I don't know why; why would you be watching a review of the second issue before the first issue? ...let's talk about some other spinoff material.
(A shot of one of those spinoffs, "The Things", is displayed on the website Clarkesworld)
Linkara (v/o): One that I do actually recommend is a short story called "The Things", which is the events of the movie as told from the perspective of the alien. As far as the alien's concerned, it thinks it's doing our species a favor and is actually baffled by our life form, since humanity is apparently the only creature it's ever encountered that remains in a static shape. It also suggests a few other things that seem to contradict the movie or at least say that The Thing was aware of stuff that we'd never assume it would be, but that's okay. In the end, it's really just fan fiction that got published in an actual magazine, but hey, it's good fan fiction and definitely worth a read.
(Cut back to the first "Thing" comic)
Linkara (v/o): As I said last time, the main problem with this comic is the shift in tone from suspense and horror to action horror.
(A clip of the Thing prequel movie)
Linkara (v/o): One of the problems people had with the prequel film is that they felt it was too much of a retread of the Carpenter film, and, like I said, it's hard to do a sequel to something like this without covering the same ground over again.
Linkara: Which is why, in 2005, the Sci-Fi Channel actually did start making plans to create a sequel miniseries called Return of the Thing, which would move the action out of Antarctica.
(A montage of shots of concept art for the miniseries is shown)
Linkara (v/o): The general idea was that the Soviets had gotten part of Outpost 31's distress call, and several months later, when the winter finally died down to allow someone to get there, they got to the camp before the Americans and discovered what happened, including the crashed alien spaceship. They took samples and we later learn that the Soviets had hoped to turn it into a biological weapon, but when they discovered the creature was intelligent and beyond their control, they wisely disposed of most of it and froze the rest. Cut to 23 years later, where a sample of the Thing is on board a plane flying over New Mexico. It somehow escapes, causes the plane to crash, and it gets into a small New Mexico town, population: about 300 people. Pursued by a joint Russian and American force to try to contain the Thing, not helped by the fact that the Thing is trying to infect animals as it goes, and we truly see the scope of imagination of how terrifying this thing is. What if a guy sneezes millions of Thing particles into the air? What about insects they can't catch? I mean, what could they possibly do to contain this?
(Cut to a clip of Alien)
Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver): I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
(More concept art is shown)
Linkara (v/o): I haven't had time to read the full scripts, but said scripts, and a lot of concept art, were leaked a while ago and it actually looks like it could have been a very interesting idea, going bigger than the original film and transferring the setting to another area that could be considered remote, but equally desolate. And yet, it's a thousand times closer to the idea of the Thing infecting humanity than it was at the bottom of the world.
Linkara: And here's a really scary part about that miniseries... (leans in close to camera, sotto voce) The Thing figures out how to get around the blood test! (sits back in futon) I'll let that thought sink into your nightmares.
Linkara (v/o): So, why wasn't it made? Eh, no one could say. Biggest bet is that with all the transformations and practical effects they wanted to do, it just wasn't feasible on a made-for-TV budget, especially without CGI. And bear in mind, the Sci-Fi channel wasn't exactly known for its groundbreaking integration of CGI and live-action.
(Shots of Sci-Fi Channel movies are shown: Alien Apocalypse, Megasnake and Mansquito)
Linkara (v/o): Alien Apocalypse, Pterodactyl, or numerous other creature features, usually involving giant snakes, anyone? Or perhaps the simultaneously worst and greatest title for a monster movie ever: Mansquito.
(Cut back to the Thing comic)
Linkara (v/o): So, let's get back to the sequel that was made. In the first issue, MacReady and Childs decided to just wander out into the storm for absolutely no reason. Childs wandered off on his own; MacReady wandered onto a boat, then a helicopter, then on foot again, wandered around with an American SEAL team member, who kept flip-flopping about whether he believed in aliens, and then at the end, Childs just kind of wandered in with some Argentinians.
Linkara: Come to think of it, this comic has more walking in it than "The Lord of the Rings". So let's dig into (holds up today's comic) "The Thing From Another World #2" and see how much more exciting walking action we can get.
(AT4W title theme plays, and title card has "That Thing You Do" by the Wonders playing in the background. Cut to a closeup of the comic's cover)
Linkara (v/o): While the cover for this one contains similar elements to it as the first issue's cover – humanoid figure with alien tentacles ripping out of it – there's something about it that doesn't make it work quite as well as the first. I'm not sure exactly what it is, but I think it has to do with the head. It looks slightly cartoonish and kind of out of proportion with the body, like it was too small for that torso. And the hair billowing the way it is just looks... simplistic, for a lack of a better word. It's not exactly bad, but it just doesn't quite have the same punch to it as the first one.
(The comic opens to the first page)
Linkara (v/o): We open where we left off last time, with Childs bravely managing to rescue MacReady with the Argentinians.
MacReady: You son of a bitch... you left me on the ice to die!
Linkara: Personally, I would have opened with "Hello".
Linkara (v/o): Also, if the dialogue is to be believed from the previous issue, Childs actually somehow got the whaling ship to pick you up, so I don't know why you're trying to strangle the guy. Erskine, however, takes out MacReady with a judo chop to the shoulder.
Erskine: Your friend's out of his goddamn mind.
Linkara: Says the man who keeps flip-flopping about whether he believes in aliens infecting people.
Linkara (v/o): Erskine introduces himself while cuffing MacReady, talking about how the man in the litter is wounded and needs assistance, while MacReady is is his... prisoner. "Prisoner"? The hell?! Do I have to play that clip again of Ron Perlman asking if we've been paying attention today?! MacReady isn't guilty of anything! You saw the Thing burst out of a guy and destroy your ride home, then you accused him of trying to get frozen because he was infected, even though that doesn't make any sense the two are alone. If he was infected, he could just attack you without worrying about bullets. How the hell is he your prisoner?!
Childs: You've looked better, Mac.
MacReady: Yeah, I've been having a bad week.
Linkara: (as MacReady) This week just sucks! I lost my job, lost my chest computer, lost my hat, an alien is trying to eat me, and I think my girlfriend is cheating on me.
Linkara (v/o): MacReady asks Childs how he got out there.
Childs: We were at the station. You passed out. I took you out onto the ice...
MacReady: To die?
Childs: To be found...
Linkara: To be found by whom? Magic elves?
Linkara (v/o): They were in the middle of a snowstorm! Again, where did you think you were going to find help?!
Childs: I tried to get back to the camp to burn the bodies. I got lost in the storm. The Argies found me and brought me in.
Linkara: Maybe I've been wrong about Antarctica all these years. It sounds like it's only, like, two miles long. Everybody keeps conveniently finding someplace they can go or someone who can help them.
Linkara (v/o): MacReady calls bullcrap on this and asks how he can know if Childs isn't infected.
Childs: You're still alive.
Linkara (v/o): That's a good point, actually. If the Thing had infected Childs at the end of the movie – and I'm talking in terms of the comics' continuity, anyway – dragging MacReady out onto the ice really wouldn't have accomplished anything. If the Thing was assuming they'd be rescued, they'd probably stick closer to the outpost in the few places it was still warm. After all, smoke was still billowing out from the camp when MacReady arrived last time. Childs asks him what happened back at the station.
MacReady: Superman and his friends came out of nowhere.
(Cut to the title for the old Superfriends cartoon series, with all the characters popping up out of thin air, one by one, including the infamous Marvin, Wendy and their dog, Wonder Dog. Then cut back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): Childs wonders how likely it is that the SEAL guys are infected, since it also means MacReady is infected, too, although if that's the case, why would the two of them be fighting when Childs and the Argentinians found them? They arrive at the Argentinian base, and it's actually pretty big, with tons and tons of people around. MacReady is, naturally, pretty horrified by this prospect.
MacReady: Childs, you can't let us go in there... If those people become contaminated...
Childs: Relax, Mac... It's all been taken care of.
Linakra: (as Childs) Turns out if we just show someone who's infected Toddlers and Tiaras, they immediately surrender themselves to be burned. (beat, then normal) Wait, that doesn't make any sense. This takes place in 1982; they haven't seen that crap yet. Uh... something from the '80s... Uh... (exhales, then brightens) Oh! Hold on! (takes cell phone) I know someone who owes me a joke.
(He dials a number and puts his phone to his ear. Then we cut to the Cinema Snob as he stares quizzically at a DVD of Galactica 1980)
CS: (sighs) So am I Craig or Vincent or... whatever the hell I was called in outer space? (drops DVD) My life is confusing.
(Suddenly, his phone rings, his ringtone sounding like "It's an Inky-Dinky-Doo-Da Morning" from Nudist Camp of the Dead. He answers it)
Linkara: Hey, Cinema Snob, I'm reviewing a crappy sequel comic to The Thing, and I need an '80s reference.
CS: (scoffs) Well, that's easy. You got 1980 Galactica, T.J. Hooker, Manimal, Auto Man, The Master... uh, Hawaiian Heat. Take your pick.
Linkara: Galactica 1980, gotcha. Thanks. (hangs up and picks up comic again, then speaks as Childs again) Turns out if we just show someone who's infected, Galacti– (stops abruptly) Wait a second. I'm trapped in my apartment and I can... (snaps comic shut and grabs phone again) just call the outside world! (he stops, however, before he can dial) No signal?! The hell?!
Linkara (v/o): Anyway, the Argentinians explain that Childs told them what happened at Outpost 31. We can presume he brought them to the Norwegian outpost and they possibly went to Outpost 31 short after MacReady and Erskine left as evidence. Otherwise, I doubt they'd just take his word for it. The Argentinian leader says they have to undergo the blood tests before they can be allowed to move freely in the camp. Erskine, however, deicdes to continue to be a dumbass.
Erskine: Well, this science project is going to have to wait. I need to get to a radio -- now.
Linkara: (as Erskine, holding up a machine gun) God, I love how my character has so many levels! Angry, frustrated, stupid...
Linkara (v/o): The Argentinians, in a shocking twist for this comic, are not idiots.
Argentinian: We'll be happy to oblige-- after the examination. Now I must ask you to surrender your weapon, Commander.
MacReady: And if I refuse?
(The sound of a gun clicking as it's being cocked is heard)
Argentinian: I'm afraid I really must insist... at least until after we have conducted the test.
Linkara: (excited) Oh, my Lord, we have a character who's not MacReady, who isn't a walking stereotype or just plain dumb! And I don't think they ever give him a name!
Linkara (v/o): As such, I will name him. I name thee... "Señor Sunglasses". So they're brought to a medical building where Childs is tested first. Not sure why he's being tested; I would have thought they'd already have done so after he explained everything to them, but whatever. Maybe they only found him in the last few hours or so. Anyway, he's clean. MacReady is next, and he's also free of infection.
Childs: Congratulations, Mac. You're clean.
MacReady: Go to hell.
Linkara: Aaaand now MacReady is being a jerk for no reason. Is he just pissed off because he has to go be in the video game after this?
Linkara (v/o): For some reason, they decide to test the wounded man next instead of Erskine... and it goes nuts. Seriously, look at this. Either this is really wonky perspective or this dude's head is huge. And all that from overhearing that they were going to test his blood?
Linkara: The Thing is just like a little kid going to the doctor: you can tell it about the lollipop it's gonna get afterwards, but it doesn't matter; it'll still throw a temper tantrum.
Linkara (v/o): Where the hell did all those tentacles just spring up from? Like I said, back in the "Starstream" review, the Thing is not that fast. It takes several seconds for it to form appendages like this, and we see the tentacles are strong enough to smash glass as MacReady grabs a monitor or something to defend himself. Hey, you know what the Thing really should do?
(Cut to a clip of the 2011 Thing movie)
Linkara (v/o): Form some of kind of spear/grappling hook things and just snag everybody in the room. What? If it can do it in the prequel, can't it do it here?
(Cut back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): Childs tosses a gun to MacReady and he unloads on it, although both should know that bullets are just a minor annoyance to the Thing. The alien turns into a giant lint ball and I guess scoots away on the power of... really silly. I mean, what the hell is this thing supposed to be, anyway? I kind of see a guy in there. Was that the wounded man who transformed? There's a giant mouth and apparently enough strength to burst through the wall... Oh, I get it! He's like some nightmarish version of the Kool-Aid Man! (as the Kool-Aid Man, distorted) OH, YEAH! (normal) Oh, yeah, and all these guns. I should talk about that. There are a few real-life details to point out that are probably forgivable, given certain necessities of the story, both of the movie and the comic. Like the climate.
(Cut to a clip of the movie)
Linkara (v/o): It probably wasn't well-known to the original filmmakers or comic creators that there are long stretches of time at the top and bottom of the world where the sun doesn't rise and the sun doesn't set. Something like that, you have to kinda hand wave. But the other is that the Antarctic Treaty actually forbids military from operating on Antarctica and in fact bans any guns from being on the continent. We saw last week that the comic was attempting to follow closer to real-world logic, with the locations of the research outposts on the continent, and yet didn't follow those other little factoids. It's the sad truth of this kind of story, my friends; either your story is in a universe where these aren't a factor or you go all in with it being realistic.
Linkara: Then again, (makes a "finger quote") "realistic" is probably not the word you want to use in relation to a movie where Wilford Brimley tries to build a one-seater UFO out of helicopter parts.
(Cut back to the comic again)
Linkara (v/o): But yeah, everybody's got all these assault rifles and the like, despite them being banned. But, again, necessity of the plot, just like some... other items in the movie that probably wouldn't be in Antarctica.
(A clip of the movie is shown)
George Bennings (Peter Maloney): Mac wants the flamethrower!
Childs (Keith David): Mac wants the what?!
Bennings: That's what he said. Now move!
(Back to the comic again)
Linkara (v/o): Mac and Childs say they want to go after the Thing creature as it scurries off.
MacReady: We'll need your ice demolitions, Colonel Palomo...
Linkara: Now, you could say that the Argentinian leader now has a name, and I therefore shouldn't call him "Señor Sunglasses" anymore, (holds up index finger) but bear in mind, we've been with Mac ever since he was picked up by the Argentinians, and not once was he ever told Señor Sunglasses' name. He's making that name up as far as I can tell.
Linkara (v/o): They pursue it in the snow tractor and find the remains of the wounded man, apparently abandoned by the Thing, since it didn't have time to finish duplicating him. I really don't think that's how that works. But yeah, Childs pours kerosene on it and lights it up.
Childs: It's been my experience that these dudes have a serious aversion to fire.
Linkara: Well, thank you for the exposition that anyone who's been reading this already knows.
(Cut to Lewis standing off to the side dressed as Freddy Krueger)
Lewis: We'll be right back after these messages. (smiles evilly as he holds up his claws) So don't fall asleep on me, okay?
(The AT4W logo appears in the corner as we go to a commercial break. Upon return, we see Lewis as Krueger again)
Lewis: And we're back.
(Again, he grins evilly as he holds up a claw to his mouth)
(The AT4W logo appears in the corner again as the review resumes)
Linkara (v/o): They arrive at Crevasse Fields and leave the tractor, since the ice is heavily fractured and taking as something as heavy as the tractor out is too risky. I admit, for the most part, Issue 2 has improved on some of the problems of the first. The characters, if we can call the unnamed Argentinians that, are not stupid, and it's not just MacReady rambling to himself out loud for half the book. Here, we have a natural point for drama: two guys – can't tell if they're MacReady, Childs or the Argentinians – argue briefly about whether they should call off the search until morning. It's pushing 60 below, and it's likely they'll freeze to death if they keep searching, but at the same time, they don't want to risk the Thing freezing itself out in the crevasses and they'll never find it. Neither side is right or wrong, it's just logical thinking, given the situation. Although, this does push suspension of disbelief again, with the Thing's speed. How the hell did it get so far away from the Argentinian camp so fast? I never knew tentacles were faster than legs. Or hell, it was a big ball before. Was the camp on top of a hill and the Thing just rolled down the whole way into, like, a snowball or something? Anyway, they seem to decide to head back to the snow tractor, but the ice under Childs cracks and he falls into a crevasse. Fortunately, he fell onto a ledge and they throw a rope down to him. Unfortunately, the MacReady luck has done it again. Why? Because it just so happens that the Thing was resting inside this particular crevasse. Oh, I'm sorry, did I say "the Thing"? I meant the Sarlacc. Seriously, Childs shines a flare down and reveals this Thing.
Linkara: How the hell did the Thing get so big? Did it find the only Antarctic McDonald's and just went to town? Or did it eat a whole bunch of penguins or something on the way?
Linkara (v/o): They pull Childs up right as he throws a grenade down the Thing's mouth and blows it to hell. What, no quip from Childs? Oh, come on! As serious as the movie was, MacReady still got an awesome final line to toss at it before the dynamite.
(A clip of the scene in question is shown)
MacReady: (throwing the dynamite) Yeah, fuck you, too!
(Cut back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): No "See you in Hell" or "Up yours" or... something? Ah, well. However, while this might seem like a perfectly good place to end this story, we're actually only halfway through it. Erskine, who was apparently with the hunting party for the Thing, says he wants to use the radio right away and report everything that happened, especially since he's 23 hours overdue. Señor Sunglasses leads him away to the radio room and we see Childs and MacReady talking about it.
Childs: That SEAL's been checking his watch more than a referee in overtime.
MacReady: Maybe he's got a hot date.
Childs: With who? Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer couldn't find his way in here. What's eating you, Mac?
Linkara (v/o): What's eating him? He was the one who suggested the hot date thing at the– Oh, wait, did the comic switch the word balloons around? That "Rudolph" line was probably MacReady's, too. Although, I suppose the "What's eating you?" line could be referred to MacReady's facial expression here.
(Linkara imitates MacReady's "eating you" facial expression)
Linkara: (as MacReady) Can't you tell how worried I am?
Linkara (v/o): MacReady realizes that the wounded man's blood never got near the flame, but it went nuts anyway, and that by doing so, it interrupted the tests. Erskine never got his blood tested. This bugs me, because it's such an obvious screw-up to make. They could have quickly tested Erskine before they left, but at the same time, given the excitement and the fact that they needed to hunt after the Thing, I'll let him get away with it. Then again, when did Erskine get infected? When did the wounded man, the helicopter pilot, get infected? And if Erskine was infected this whole time, why he just infect MacReady while they were all alone on the ice? Then he could have used MacReady's knowledge of the area to get to the Argentinian camp. The more you think about the idea of Erskine being infected, the less sense the events leading up to this make.
(Cut to a clip of Batman Forever)
Bruce Wayne (Val Kilmer): It just raises too many questions.
(Back to the comic again)
Linkara (v/o): MacReady suggests that Erskine was just pretending to be so gung-ho about destroying the Thing and was possibly going to team up with the Sarlacc out in the crevasse until Childs gave it a grenade antacid. The two go to the radio room and find the place wrecked, including the three Argentinians and they're dead. Um, what? Why did he kill them all? Why not try to subtly infect everyone while also calling for an evac? The comic already established that the slightest touch can infect people, and there are people walking around everywhere. We see that guy had a gun in his hands. MacReady and Childs were just in the other room! Why did nobody hear anything?! That dude got his face shoved in a computer!
Fuse Box Counter: 1
Linkara (v/o): God, I used the "It raises too many questions" clip too early! They find a communication left behind that Erskine was calling for an emergency extract from a Navy ship.
MacReady: D-4-N, that's a Navy unit designator for a warship...
Childs: No ship could get through that ice, Mac.
MacReady: But a submarine could.
Linkara: Boy, I sure hope they just meant navigating around glaciers or the like until they reach the coastline, because the alternative (waves dismissively) would just be really, really stupid. (laughs) Spoilers: it's gonna be the really stupid thing.
Linkara (v/o): Because of how close they are to the rendezvous time, MacReady and Childs don't have time to warn the Argentinians about what happened. They also spot the snow tractors have been disabled. God, Erskine is the frickin' Flash! However, a snowmobile is still online, so they hop on – with rifles... What, a dinky little research outpost has flamethrowers, but not the Argentinian camp with, like, a hundred people? ...and they give chase to the coordinates, spotting Erskine quickly. Erskine shoots at them, but misses. Mac is a better shot, though, and unloads a few bullets inside of him, though, of course, it doesn't really do anything. However, the ice starts to crack. Why? Well, because of the enormous SUBMARINE coming up under it!
Linkara: (massaging the temples of his forehead in aggravation) This... I don't even know where to start with this.
(Cut to a clip of "Superman At Earth's End", showing the Hitler Clones)
Hitler Clone: Of course. Don't you know anything about science?
Linkara: Well, that's one way, I guess, but let me put it another way: ANTARCTICA IS NOT SOME GIANT ICE CUBE!! Underneath all the snow and stuff, THERE IS A CONTINENT! With, you know, GROUND! And ROCK!
Linkara (v/o): And while, theoretically, a submarine could punch up through the ice if it was thin enough and wasn't any ground, all the previous shots seem to suggest this was pretty far inland and nowhere near the coast. But hell, even if we said this was plausible, what exactly was Erskine's plan? Look at this! IT'S JUST COMING UP OUT OF THE ICE! Anyone who was waiting for it just went into the water and FROZE TO DEATH!! Wouldn't the submarine commander know that?!
Linkara: (with resignation) I will grant the submarine rising from the ice one bit of praise, though: it looks freakin' awesome!
Linkara (v/o): Seriously, this makes absolutely no sense, but hot damn, is it gorgeous! I want that painted on the side of my van! And I don't even own a van! Anyway, Erskine climbs up to the hatch of the sub, which, of course, is opened, with a few guys standing there in shock, as he takes on a more alien appearance. He decapitates one of the Navy men rather quickly and leaps down into the sub, one of the remaining men calling out an intruder alert. Wait, that microphone he's holding, is that normally outside a hatch? Wouldn't that get, you know, wet?? Anyway, the Thing, showing the same kind of brilliance it's demonstrated already, just starts going nuts in the sub, killing people and breaking crap as it goes. It triggers the sub to go into a dive, despite the main hatch being open, MacReady and Childs climbing into the sub as it goes down. The controls aren't answering and the sub collides into a rock formation. The Thing, one of the most self-sabotaging villains ever! With the submarine stranded, MacReady and Childs quickly give the lowdown about what's going on to the remaining sub personnel and that the Thing is between them and the submarine's escape pod. You know, this actually might be a good idea for a Thing sequel, too: the Thing loose on board a submarine; cramped quarters; once again, no room to escape; limited amount of people; fire is out because of the limited oxygen... There's an idea here. A pity that it's all getting crammed into the last five pages. Speaking of, they point out that fire can kill it, but of course, they've only got three hours of air left, so that's a bad idea. The remaining nine people decide to move as a group to get to the escape capsule, but of course, the Thing comes up and attacks. MacReady grabs a CO2 fire extinguisher and uses it on the Thing, which seems to piss it off but good. MacReady tells Childs to get into the escape capsule, but Childs says he can't.
Childs: It's trapped now, Mac! We blow this hatch and that thing dies here... We can't let it get out and go to sleep on the ice. It's got to die now.
Linkara (v/o): And thus, he blows the hatch and blows them all out into the water. Yyyyeah... Childs, the Thing can survive being frozen. What the hell makes you think drowning it will work? MacReady, still on his best luck, manages to surface and to get onto a floating block of ice, though, of course, all the ice-cold water on him is doing (sarcastically) such wonderful things to his body.
MacReady: I'm alive. The wind... God, now the wind... The cold... It's going to kill me. I can't let that happen... I can't die. I'd better... get some... sleep...
Linkara (v/o): Boy, that is a pickle. Okay, so how is MacReady gonna get out of... Wait, that's the end?! THAT'S THE END OF THE COMIC?!?
Linkara: (utterly stupefied) THAT'S HOW YOU END THE STORY?!?!?
(Cut to a clip of The Thing)
Palmer (David Clennon): You gotta be fucking kidding...
(Cut back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): What the hell was the point of bring MacReady and Childs back for the sequel if you're just gonna leave it ambiguous again what happened to them?!
(Another clip of The Thing is shown)
Linkara (v/o): Hell, MacReady is pretty much exactly where he was before: half-frozen, exhausted, and not certain if the Thing is alive or dead! Any good ideas he may have had for continuing the story are kind of screwed over, because it was all pretty POINTLESS!! Oh, well, maybe not entirely pointless. You see, my friends, this is not the end of MacReady's story. A few months after the two-part "Thing From Another World" miniseries, there was another sequel...
(Cut to a shot of that sequel)
Linkara (v/o): ..."The Thing From Another World: Climate of Fear", which continued MacReady's fight against the Thing into a remote outpost in South America. Unlike this story, unfortunately, the artwork on that one is terrible, but let's not get into that today.
Linkara: Instead, (closes comic) I will simply point out that (holds up comic) this comic sucks!
Linkara (v/o): Like the first issue, it's not entirely without merit. It's nice that the Argentinians were smart and the distraction caused by the escaping Thing could have made for an intense monster hunt and an exciting climax. But overall, the miniseries fails to recapture the same suspense and paranoia as the John Carpenter film. The only distinct characters are MacReady, Childs and Erskine. MacReady's mind seems to be snapping under all the pressure, Childs made an absolutely stupid blunder at the very end by trying drown the Thing... Here's a thought: if MacReady could survive to the surface, chances are, the Thing could, too. ...and Erskine was never likable in any sense, so we don't care if it turns out that he's infected. There are a bunch of plot holes that are not easily filled, and it ends on an ambiguous cliffhanger that does not surpass the ending to the film. The artwork is still gorgeous, and unlike last time, there weren't any hiccups in the storytelling.
Linkara: All in all, it just feels like they had plenty of good ideas, but needed another few drafts to hammer out a more solid story that either brings closure to The Thing or end it on a note better or on par with the apocalyptic suggestions of the film. (throws down comic, gets up and leaves)
(End credits roll)
The website Outpost 31 also examined the coordinates listed on the piece of paper and found that they were in an area of Antarctica where there is land, so I'm not nitpicking.
I would have made more fuse box jokes, but honestly there aren't a lot of electronics in this comic. I think the makers of the game forgot it took place in 1982, as well.
(Stinger: Dr. Linksano is operating a tricorder, while 90s Kid is pacing around, holding the BFG. Harvey Finevoice, meanwhile, stands off to the side, tie undone and shirt collar unbuttoned, while holding his tommy gun. Everyone has a look of suspicion on his face. Linkara enters the room)
Linkara: Any luck?
Dr. Linksano: (groans) Unfortunately, no. Yes, I can link several communication devices together to create a signal strong enough to reach orbit, but I keep running into the same problem: there just isn't enough power to signal a teleport.
Linkara: And that's assuming that whatever is keeping us here isn't also blocking the communications channels. After all, Pollo was on board Comicron 1 when this all went down, and by now, he should have figured out something's wrong.
90s Kid: Dude, didn't you say you were gonna work on getting the protection spell down so we can, like, bust through the doors?
Linkara: I've been trying, but unfortunately, the book only talks about casting the thing, not dispelling it.
Harvey: I tried taking the hinges off the doors. Thought that something that simple might be overlooked, but the screws wouldn't budge. I think I stripped them, too.
Linkara: It was a good idea to try anyway. What about the main computer, Linksano? Didn't you say you found a way to get it back online?
Dr. Linksano: I tried six hours before I gave up on it. The main relays are just too badly damaged to bypass.
Harvey: (sarcastically) Yeah, I bet you're working real hard on fixing it. I mean, you've been such a big help so far.
Dr. Linksano: What's that supposed to mean?
Harvey: Oh, nothing. But I ain't the tech wiz and I don't know anything about the kid's magic voodoo whatever, so I've had a lot of time to stand around here and think the last few days. (90s Kid stares, shocked) I just find it kind of funny that the guy who's supposed to be the scientific adviser around here seems to be pretty crappy at anything scientific!
Dr. Linksano: What the hell are you talking about?!
Harvey: You were the one who sent the kid out on a wild goose chase for Dr. Insano when his magic went haywire! You started working on a gun for the kid when he decided to go travelling around, but you never got the thing to work right! And it was your communicator that crapped out on him when we needed to call him! For someone who's supposed to be such a scientific genius, you don't do much around here but screw up!
Dr. Linksano: (pointing at Harvey) There's always a margin for error in science, you crooning crap-head!
Harvey: Not to mention that ever since the bucket-head escaped from that universe we sent him to, (points at Linksano) you haven't had any incentive to help us anymore!
Harvey: Yeah, Nimue was watching him – until her (points machine gun in the air) speaker phone went broke! He's been alone on the ship lots of times! He could have screwed around with her circuits any time! (becomes suspicious as he turns back to Linksano) Assuming, of course, (aims his machine gun at Linksano) he's really who he says he is.
Dr. Linksano: What are you blathering about?!
Harvey: (gestures toward 90s Kid with thumb) It happened with the idiot last year. The Entity possessed him, and it wasn't that doofus walking around!
90s Kid: (offended) I'm not an idiot.
Harvey: (still aiming his gun at Linksano) Maybe Vyce was right and he didn't die in the idiot. Maybe he just jumped ship!
90s Kid: (angrily aiming the BFG at Harvey) I'm not an idiot!
Linkara: Harvey, stop it! That doesn't make any sense!
90s Kid: (shouting) I AM NOT AN IDIOT, FINEVOICE! (points at him) And you're not half as smart as you think you are!
Dr. Linksano: Indeed! For someone who throws around words like "idiot", you haven't been particularly helpful to the cause! All you do is wave your tommy gun around! (points accusingly at him as a thought comes to him) In fact, when this all started, you left the room to get that useless anachronism!
Linkara: All of you, QUIT IT!
Harvey: (turning sharply to Linkara) You're gonna listen to Linksano?! He could be tricking us! He could be the Entity! He could be one of those things from those comics that you're reviewing that pretends to be someone else!
90s Kid: Dudes, the Entity is dead! It's, like, fried!
Harvey: (turns to 90s Kid) Oh, yeah, and you'd be the expert, right? You know, maybe the Entity didn't jump ship. Maybe we should be looking at the guy who was possessed last year and almost killed everyone!
90s Kid: (pointing at Harvey accusingly) You leave the apartment all the time to go on gigs! And yeah, I bet lounge singers are really popular since rock 'n' roll got, like, six decades on you!
Harvey: Do you even listen to the crap coming out of your mouth?!
90s Kid: Better than the crap coming out of your mouth, (mockingly) Finevoice! (aims BFG at him) Assuming that's who you really are!
Linkara: (exasperated) This isn't getting us anywhere! We have to work together in order–
Harvey: (turning sharply to Linkara) And YOU...! (Linkara recoils from being shouted at as Harvey points at him accusingly) You left us alone for three months with a psycho hologram that almost offed us! Did you even think of a way to let us shut him down if things got bad?!
Linkara: There was a way! You could have turned off the entire time!
Harvey: Yeah, right! ...Or maybe you're not who you say you are!
Linkara: Oh, come on!
Harvey: The mobile emitter was GONE the next day!
Linkara: An intruder got inside and took it! Nimue wasn't able to identify who it was. And even then, it was never switched on again inside the apartment.
Harvey: Yeah, somebody got in. But you'll notice the intruder alarms didn't start blaring when he did! Maybe somebody let them in!
Linkara: You know, I should be accusing all the rest of the you! After all, I've been gone the last few months! Any one of you could have let that intruder in!
Harvey: And that's assuming that you came back at all.
Harvey: We were out of contact with the kid for almost a month. Maybe he never made it home. (points at Linkara accusingly) Maybe you're something else entirely!
Linkara: (pointing back at Harvey) And yet you're the one throwing accusations out against everybody else! 90s Kid is right, you do leave for months at a time without telling us where you're going!
Dr. Linksano: (also pointing at Harvey) And you're the one who keeps trying to pit us all against each other!
Linkara: (turning sharply to Linksano) But he does have a point, doc! (points at him) You have been remarkably unhelpful! You know, maybe I should have picked someone else to be my scientific adviser!
(Suddenly, everyone all erupts into argumentative shouting at each other. All the while, however, a shadow creature on the wall watches. The camera then fades to black)
(Another stinger: the Cinema Snob is seen again)
CS: (looking at the Galactica 1980 DVD) ...whoever the hell I was called in outer space? (drops DVD) My life is confusing. (then he feels something in his coat pocket and takes it out) Sunglasses. (puts them back) My fucking phone.
(Cut to him on his phone, which he hangs up and puts in his pocket. He sighs and sits there in silence, drumming his hands on the arms of his chair. Then he takes off his glasses and puts them in his pocket as well. He then puts on another pair of glasses and then continues to sit and drum his hands on his chair. Cut then to him putting taking off these glasses and puts on yet another pair of glasses. Cut to him taking a roll of scotch tape. He puts some strips on his nose and the back of his head. He then puts another strip on his upper lip, curling it up)
CS: Hey... (holds out hands) Hey... Hey...
(Then he rips the tape off his face. He reacts in pain. He wads up the strips of tape he pulled off and throws them aside. He then puts the roll of tape in his pocket. Cut to him holding up the sole of his shoe, which has a worn-out hole in it. He takes off his shoes and holds his feet up to the camera, wiggling his toes)
CS: Guess I'll go pee now. (gets up and walks off)