The Thing from Another World: Eternal Vows: #3-4
October 13, 2014
If this was an imitation, a PERFECT imitation, how would you tell if it was a real Thing comic?
(Just like last time, open on the title for this series, parodying The Thing, suspenseful music and all, but suddenly, Linkara interrupts before the title can finish)
Linkara (v/o): Hold it, hold it...
Linkara: (waving irritably) ...hold it, hold it, hold it, hold it, hold it, hold it, hold it! Why the hell are we still bothering with that eye-catch anymore?! What's left of this comic that's actually tied with The Thing?! (sighs and shakes head) Hello, and welcome to Atop the Fourth Wall, where bad comics burn. Let's continue talking about the travesty that is "The Thing from Another World: Eternal Vows".
(A montage of shots from the previous two issues are shown as Linkara gives a recap)
Linkara (v/o): Last time, the Thing decided that, instead of trying to infect and absorb all life on Earth, it wants to settle down, get married, maybe raise a family in New Zealand. As such, it has infected this woman, Jenny, and has spent most of her free time, educating her about stuff she should already know now, because she is the exact same alien we've seen in a movie and two miniseries, BECAUSE THAT IS HOW THAT WORKED IN THOSE! But no! Instead, she proceeds to have sex with her Thing boyfriend and is totally cool with eating people to survive. Much like the Thing itself has with this entire idea of eating people, Jenny has been infected with something far deadlier than any alien shapeshifter: the retcon virus! She has retconned herself into not giving a damn about her own humanity or the humanity around her and is just going to go into alleyways in her underwear so she can spring on unsuspecting people with her evil purple tentacles. Fortunately for the fine drunken assholes of Wallace Harbour, MacCready has come singlehandedly to deal with the Thing infestation, finally fully embracing his action hero persona he adopted from the last two miniseries. I fully expect him at some point to torch the Thing, then grin and proclaim...
(Cut to a clip of True Lies)
Harry (Arnold Schwarzenegger): You're fired.
(Cut back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): Some people have said that this was rumored that this was an unrelated horror story that got quickly rewritten to include the Thing for brand recognition. I can certainly see that with the way this has been developing and its clear lack of continuity in regards to the alien, but I'm kind of iffy on that being true. The amount of rewriting necessary in order to accommodate Thing elements is quite head-scratching, especially in regards to its backstory and MacReady's presence at all, since otherwise I assume Detective Rowan would have been our main character trying to uncover the truth behind all this and then stumbling upon the alien, but that would've taken longer to develop in this story, instead of just MacReady landing and giving all the backstory. Plus, some stuff is gonna happen in the second half to make it more closely linked to the ideas behind the apocalyptic theme in the movie. I'm not saying it's impossible if this was a different comic when it started, but I haven't seen the actual corroboration from the creators that that's the case. However, what does make me think this story was supposed to go off in much different places is something I'll get to later. I still have problems calling this "The Thing", though, so why don't we call it by the poorly-translated title we got from last year instead.
Linkara: For now, let's just dig into (holds up today's comics, one at a time) "The Error from Another World: Eternal Vows #3" and "#4" and see if J.P. Junkie can stop Wallace Harbour from becoming Error 404.
(AT4W title theme plays, and the title card has "The Purple People Eater" by Sheb Wooley playing in the background. Cut to a closeup of the third issue's cover)
Linkara (v/o): So, continuing on our train of "unconnected to 'The Thing'", we have this cover. It seems innocent enough, with various monstrosities attack MacReady and Rowan, burning building in the background to help sell how chaotic this is... and yet, there are things that throw the whole thing off: namely, Mac shooting a purple scaly thing with bullets! MacReady knows full well that bullets are useless and yet here he is using them! Then again, maybe he's just confused. His eyes look like they're shut tight, so maybe he thinks that the flamethrower he's holding. You'll also notice the abundance of spiked tentacles from the first two issues. More on that later.
(The comic opens to the first page)
Linkara (v/o): We open on the docks again, with MacReady talking to Rowan about how he hopes the Gettysburg captain will keep his word about keeping the ship anchored in port. He wants to use the crew to help him deal with the Thing.
Linkara: (sarcastically) Gee, it's almost like you shouldn't have come here ALONE to deal with the Thing! Ha-doi! (slaps himself on the head with a dopey expression on his face)
Linkara (v/o): MacReady wants to track down the woman they saw the Thing turn into while it was roasting... See? Continuity is irrelevant when we need to move from plot point to plot point. ...since he knows she wasn't one of the earlier murder victims... which brings up something I didn't catch last time. The Powell-Thing not only assimilated Holt, it completely changed bodies with him! Yeah, they found a body for Powell on the docks in Issue 1, despite it being Powell who was the one who infected Holt! Can the Thing manipulate the DNA of the people it assimilated to make them look different? But whatever. Rowan realizes that he knows who that is. We then cut over to Jenny as she wakes up, getting a phone call from her friend at the clothing store to learn that she's late for work.
Linkara: Ah, yes, the true weakness of the Thing: (points to screen) its need for a paycheck.
Linkara (v/o): We also learn that Rowan and MacReady stopped by the clothing store, looking for Jenny, and she discovers that Holt was arrested, but before she can do anything about it, the two arrive at her house and storm in. Despite MacReady aiming a flamethrower at her, Jenny is quite jovial.
Jenny: Sergeant Rowan...and Mr. MacReady, I presume. So, what can I do for you?
Linkara: (as MacReady) Well, you see, ma'am, we're door-to-door flamethrower salesmen.
Linkara (v/o): MacReady answers that she can burn in Hell and promptly fires on her – literally. However, somehow, the flames seem to be having a hard time actually sticking to her, since she jumps out a window without any sign of her being previously on fire, except maybe being tan in a few places.
(Cut to a clip of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 gang watching Hobgoblins)
Crow: So, the result of this complete immolation is just... minor redness and irritation.
(Back to the comic again)
Linkara (v/o): Also, again with her just running around in her underwear. That is her character in this story: no personality of her own, just negligees, panties and bras. In addition, you know she's a Thing because of her snakelike spine here. Rowan wants to stay behind to deal with the fire that started, but Mac's smart enough to go chasing after Jenny. Unfortunately, she's apparently a sprinter, while MacReady must think that this bush he's fallen into a Thing, with how he wrestles it. And then Jenny stops to giggle for a second while she runs away. Priorities, woman! Jenny runs into this guy who apparently knows her, despite us never seeing him before, and he starts groping her. Naturally, he gets spiked tentacles in the face for this, although the Powell Cylon in her head tells her not to do this, since it infects him instantly. She instructs the guy, named Julian, to stall MacReady while she gets away. Also, she does the hair thing again. What the hell?
Julian: Why Jennifer, I never knew you cared.
Linkara: (as Julian, wearing a pair of dark glasses like he's blind) I'm retaining my personality, too, it would seem. I'm gonna put these tentacles to good use. (points to camera) Oh, my...
MacReady: A girl... puff, puff... in underwear...
Linkara: (as MacReady) She was in Puff the Magic Dragon underwear. Did you see her?
Linkara (v/o): Julian says he hasn't seen her, so he runs off. However, Julian then quickly encounters this lady who he starts making out with... aaaand tentacles go in towards the butt.
Linkara: (creeped out, grimacing) AAAAGH! I gotta go take a shower for the next five years!
Linkara (v/o): Jenny heads to the clothing store, but of course, it's not to get something to wear. Instead, it's so her friend can tell her that whatever's wrong, she can tell her. Jenny takes this as a cue to attack and eat the woman while the Powell in her head tells her not to. MacReady retreats back to Rowan, where they're undergoing a blood test... for some reason. I get wanting to test Rowan, but why is Mac testing himself? He never touched Jenny, never came close to touching her. I don't know, maybe he got some of her blood on him from the shattered window. Anyway, back over to Jenny and... um, wait. Jenny infected this woman, but she didn't assimilate her. WHY THE HELL NOT?!? Yeah, here's another thing for our big collection of changed premises: the Thing doesn't assimilate people, it just infects them when it eats them. It doesn't absorb them, it doesn't become one big entity, it just infects them, and in this case, for no real reason! Oh, and this woman, Sharon, is also retaining her own memories and personality, save for the desire to kill stuff, and is perfectly okay with this! God, this is stupid!
Sharon: These memories... The voices...your's [sic]... Old Garth's... Powell's... A... fish?
Linkara: Strangely, the fish's thoughts are the most intelligent out of this group.
Sharon: My God... MacReady! He wants to kill us.
Linkara: (as Sharon) I should remember that already from the multiple times we've encountered him, but somehow we've completely forgotten about him!
Linkara (v/o): And indeed, just as Powell warned Jenny, Sharon immediately assimilates a guy who walks into the store, right the hell out of nowhere! Geez, she turned psychotic faster than Jenny did. Also, this has been bugging me for a while: the tentacles thing. How lazy is Paul Gulacy being with the artwork when that's the only way it's shown assimilating people?! We know that's not the only way to do it in this story, since I think Jenny would've remembered getting stabbed with multiple tentacles during intercourse, and DON'T ANY OF YOU DARE SUGGEST THAT HIS PENIS BECAME A PURPLE TENTACLE, BECAUSE EEEWWWWWW!!!! But yeah, why did Sharon even attack the guy? We've established that when a new person is assimilated, they get the previous memories. So why the hell don't the newly-infected realize the bad idea of eating up all the food supply?! This comic can't even stay consistent with its own bullcrap! Some time later, Rowan and MacReady discuss have things gone bad. The curfew is effective, but it's been ten hours since they last saw Jenny, so it's likely lots of people have been infected.
Linkara: (stroking chin, sarcastically) Gee, it's almost exactly like what was said in that movie you claim to be a sequel to!
Linkara (v/o): Realizing that the town is doomed, they walk off. And what's Jenny up to?
Powell: Yes, my darling?
Jenny: You did warn me, didn't you?
Powell: Yes, my little Jenny. You've opened the gate. It's out of control. The island will be turned in three days. You have no choice. In three days, the food will be gone. They will feed on each other. They will feed on you.
Linkara: (incredulously making an "air quote") "Feed on each other"?! What the hell are you talking about?! You're all the same entity! Your cells are exactly the same! YOU'RE ALL DISCONNECTED PIECES OF THE SAME CREATURE!!
Linkara (v/o): And so, Jenny decides to just fire to everything.
(Cut to a clip of Yu-Gi-Oh: The Abridged Series)
Dimitri: I've got it: ARSON!
(Cut back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): Yeah, our villain of the story is doing the job for our heroes and setting this town ablaze, because (mockingly) she doesn't want to be eaten by the other Things. (normal) Because apparently she's got her own mind and personality separate from the friggin' main one. How? (scoffs) Who the hell knows? I've read the suggestion that the Thing itself is perfectly consistent with the movie, even with the food angle, since we didn't know its motivations. I still call bullcrap, but whatever. It's just that Jenny and Powell's personalities were able to overcome the Thing's personality (mockingly) because they loved each other so much! (laughs derisively) First of all, what sort of fanficky Care Bears bullcrap is that? This isn't a story about love conquering all, it's about an alien creature that's gonna destroy all sense of self and bodily autonomy as it assimilates you! IT'S THE END OF THE FRIGGIN' WORLD!! Secondly, what the hell does that say about everyone else who got assimilated? That they just didn't love anything strongly enough? Thirdly, we've seen other people retaining their own personalities for the most part, too, and that didn't involve love! Fourthly, it still doesn't explain why the hell they're both okay with eating people without a second thought, or why Powell felt dooming his girlfriend to the same crappy Thing existence as himself was a good thing to do! And barring that, the fact that they don't care about other people's lives makes them irresponsible, selfish, murderous sociopaths, and thus their love story just becomes tedious and irritating, AND I WANT THEM TO FRICKING DIE!!! Anyway, back over to Rowan and MacReady.
Linkara: (shrugs) Rude!
Linkara (v/o): The two were apparently gonna try to hightail it out with the helicopter, but apparently one of the Things made it to the helicopter first, and instead of just escaping, they trashed it, including the radio, so MacReady can't call for help. Although, frankly, if he didn't bring help to begin with on this, who the hell was he going to call? The two spot the town starting to go up in flames... or is it just the boats? How the hell does Jenny plan to get out of here?
MacReady: She's isolating the island.
Linkara: (holding up index finger) Um, the real-life Stewart Island may only have one town on it, but it's still almost 700 square miles of area. Unless she's The Flash, I don't think she could isolate the whole island!
Linkara (v/o): Which brings up something really weird. The back inside cover of the comic keeps showing a map of Wallace Harbour. Why? No clue. It never really changes the reading experience, it's just... there. Anyway, our old pal Julian is assimilating some woman while wielding... THE CLAW! But then Mac shows up and torches him and the woman he was assimilating. Rowan is put off by all of this, but no time to worry about that! They head to the hotel, hoping that the phone line there will be intact to call the mainland.
Linkara: (as MacReady, making a phone shape with his hand (i.e., pinkie and thumb)) Hello, police? Shapeshifting alien monsters are assimilating all the people on Stewart Island and setting fire to their only means of escape! (beat) No, that's different; these ones are purple.
Linkara (v/o): The hotel clerk threatens them with a shotgun due to all the Things running around, but then he's stabbed from behind by Sharon.
Sharon: Hi, boys... Let's party!
Linkara (v/o): Aaand she licks the blood.
Linkara: Congratulations, comic! You have turned an unknowable terror into a mustache-twirling jokester! Any other movie monsters you want to ruin while you're here, hmm? Maybe, uh, Jason Voorhees spouts one-liners? Make Freddy Krueger's killing method be deadly tap-dancing shoes? Give Michael Myers a stupid hobo beard and have him yell, (shakes fist) "DIE!" and–
(Suddenly, a shot of Michael Myers from Halloween 2 is shown, with a full beard growth like a hobo)
Linkara: Oh, for the love of...!
Linkara (v/o): So, naturally, MacReady torches her– erm, uh... Oh. He doesn't. The two just... run off. She was... right in front of them.
Linkara: You know, I'm beginning to suspect that this comic is kind of stupid.
Linkara (v/o): The two head for the Gettysburg, since it's pulling out, but they need to swim for it. Rowan stays behind, admitting he doesn't know how to swim, so he says he'll buy time for MacReady to get there by using the flamethrower. And yeah, in case you thought they didn't burn Sharon because it was out of fuel, nope! Rowan manages to set some more fires while he's at it, but indeed, Sharon is still there, too, and approaches him with a few others. But he decides to shoot himself with his gun to prevent his assimilation.
Linkara: (as Rowan) But before I die, I just have to know one thing: who started that barroom fight?!
Linkara (v/o): The would've actually been a decent moment if not for the fact that this comic is terrible. And so, Issue 3 ends with MacReady looking back at the town that is now a blazing inferno.
(Cut to a clip of an episode of Red Dwarf)
The Cat (Danny John-Jules): All in all, a hundred percent successful trip!
(Cut back to the cover of the comic)
Linkara (v/o): So, here's why I think this story did undergo heavy rewrites. Dark Horse has solicitations on their site for each issue, which I came across while trying to find background info on the comics.
(Cut to a shot of Dark Horse's site, with information on this comic)
Linkara (v/o): Only the first issue's solicitation seems accurate, talking about Rowan arriving on the island to investigate. The preceding issues, however, are not quite so accurate, starting with Issue 2's description talking about Jenny going through "her own little private hell" while fighting for control of her memories and desires.
Linkara: Oh, yeah, I really remember that struggle she had in the opening pages when she deliberately set a trap while sitting in her underwear so she could eat a guy and only stop because it was actually Powell.
Linkara (v/o): It also praises the writer, David de Vries, for being a native New Zealander who could write the dialogue accurately.
Linkara: (deadpan) Hooray, he accurately predicted a drunk in a bar threatening fights with Americans because of a string of murders.
Linkara (v/o): And now for Issue 3's solicit, it goes completely off the rails.
Text: MacReady, The Thing's first, and worst, nemesis...
Linkara (v/o): Unnecessary comma...
Text: ...is going to extremes to keep it from migrating beyond Stewart Island, New Zealand.
Linkara (v/o): Oh! Yeah, he really went to extremes in this! Remember when he fell in that bush? The landscaper worked really hard on that!
Text: He couldn't care less about Jennifer's problems in coming to terms with her newly realized status of being deceased... not to mention being an extension of The Thing.
Linkara (v/o): Well, it's hard for him to care when she doesn't seem to either.
Text: But while he's got The Thing coming at him from one direction...
Linkara: (holding up index finger) Um, don't you mean "running away from him"?
Text: ...he's got the disbelieving Wallace Harbour townsfolk coming at him from another. That's making it very difficult to do what he really wants to do -- torch the whole dad-gummed town!
Linkara: Isn't it fun when people are making up their own story instead of the crappy one delivered to us? Especially when it's the complete opposite of what actually happened?
(The solicit for the fourth issue is shown)
Linkara (v/o): But let's move on to the final issue and ignore the solicit for it, which is actually okay, save for the implication that MacReady and the Thing are "wed" to each other. Uh-huh, sure, whatever justifies your stupid title.
(Cut to the cover of the fourth issue)
Linkara (v/o): The cover is okay once again, with a great inhuman-looking purple creature... though it's ruined by the gray body sticking out of it. Not that I don't like the concept of the bodies partially merged with it, but they look like a sticker someone slapped on the Thing by not making the colors match or flow with the rest of it. Also, given the polka-dotted tentacle wrapped around MacReady's arm on the cover, well, he's infected.
(The comic opens to the first page)
Linkara (v/o): We open with some guy on the deck of the Gettysburg watching the blazing inferno.
Linkara: Well, if you can't beat 'em... (puts comic aside and holds up a bag of marshmallows) I'm making s'mores! Anybody want any?
Linkara (v/o): Naturally, this guy does not seem to have any reaction to this other than to really want to smoke.
(Cut to the MST3K gang watching The Leech Woman)
Crow: (as Neil Foster) You know, you're getting in the way of my cigarette.
(Back to the comic again)
Linkara (v/o): Hearing a moaning sound from a lifeboat, he goes over to find a naked Jenny inside.
Linkara: Yeah, Jenny finally ditched the underwear because it was getting way too hot. (nods, then gives a look of disgust)
Linkara (v/o): We cut over to MacReady, who's also on the boat... with dry hair and clothes.
MacReady: (narrating) God, I'm tired... Haven't slept for days. Can't sleep. Don't dare. Not until it's over.
Linkara (v/o): Okay, either he hasn't slept before coming here or he's been sitting, watching the inferno for days! I'm pretty sure someone from the New Zealand government would've noticed by now and done something! Also, we see tons of seagulls flying around in this panel. Mac's not worried about one of the Things assimilating a seagull and just flying away?
MacReady: (narrating) Fire will destroy everything. Those it misses will eat each other. Then starve.
Linkara (v/o): You know, the animals thing really does bug me, too, in regards to the whole "the Thing is just eating people" idea. Why can't it just eat animals for sustenance? It seemed perfectly capable of eating a cat before. Jenny and Powell worried about running out of food, but you still have a ready-made food supply, considering all the animals on Earth. You can establish an actual civilization and organize farming of animals for food just like we do already! And so what if it eats all other life on Earth? The Thing came from space! There are other planets with life on it! The Thing knows how to build and operate a goddamn SPACESHIP! IT CAN LEAVE!!!
Linkara: How far have we fallen? I started these "Thing" reviews a few years ago, because The Thing is one of my favorite movies of all time, particularly because none of the characters were stupid. And now we have a story where everyone – the characters, the creators, the editors – didn't stop and think about anything!
Linkara (v/o): Mac spots blood leaking from the lifeboat, revealing Jenny's dead body. Yep, she pulled the body switch trick again and is now one of the crew. Aaand the Thing didn't just dump the body overboard why? MacReady runs and warns the captain, who's pretty disbelieving.
MacReady: Not only can these Things assume their victim's identity, they can leave their victim with theirs.
Linkara: (yelling angrily) THAT NEVER HAPPENED IN ANY OTHER STORY EXCEPT THIS ONE! STOP MAKING UP RULES!
Linkara (v/o): MacReady and the captain go below to start taking blood tests of the crew, which they all pass... except one of the crew also points out that neither MacReady nor the captain have been tested. Mac consents, but the captain refuses, trying to get them to start looking for the Thing elsewhere. But of course, Mac isn't taking any of that, and the captain reveals itself as the Thing. So, explain to me why exactly the captain didn't just assimilate MacReady when the two of them were alone on the bridge? And don't tell me it was out of concern for creating competition. We just established that it could kill someone and leave a body! The Thing could've claimed MacReady went crazy and he had to put him down in self-defense. But whatever. MacReady shoots a flare gun into the Thing's face, which does nothing but blow off a chunk of its face. Instead, it starts going crazy in tentacle-stabbing everybody except MacReady.
Crewman: MacReady! Do something!
Linkara: (incredulously) Are we really at the point where MacReady is the only one capable of doing anything?!
Linkara (v/o): But yeah, Mac sees there's no hope here and makes a run for it while the others get eaten. And I mean physically eaten now. We have abandoned all pretense; the Thing is just stuffing people inside its many mouths.
Linkara: (sarcastically) Congratulations, "Eternal Vows"! You have made me seriously miss the much more horrific assimilation scenes from "Climate of Fear", (scowls) another story where almost everybody is an idiot!
Linkara (v/o): The one theme that's consistent across all these miniseries is "light and run away", so MacReady decided to burn the ship down and let God sort it out.
MacReady: (narrating) No more feeding. No more hiding. You have to turn them... turn them all... Conquer the enemy from within.
Linkara (v/o): Uh, I'm pretty sure at this point it's completely open war, Mac. This isn't really subversion anymore.
MacReady: (narrating) It's you or me now. You. Or me. 'Til death us do part.
Linkara (v/o): Believe it or not, that actually is the correct phrasing from the Book of Common Prayer, and it's only America that uses "do us part" more commonly. However, since MacReady is supposed to be American, nice screw-up on how he says it! Thank God we have that New Zealand accuracy here for our American-made character!
Linkara: And again with the tenuous wedding phrases that they keep shoving in to try to justify the title. Did the editor for this act like American International Pictures and come up with the title before they came up with the plot?!
Linkara (v/o): The Thing, being a stealthy giant monster manages to sneak up behind MacReady before giving itself away by hissing.
MacReady: (narrating) God, it's combined... fused them to itself. All or nothing.
Linkara: (as MacReady) Yeah, I've never seen it do that before! (rolls eyes)
Linkara (v/o): Also, nice tentacle censoring her tiny nipples, comic. That makes her being topless from the waist up okay! Although, to be fair, we do have another topless guy attached to a huge tentacle, so points for equality. Wait, look how his skin has a gradient effect to it! So the colorist is capable of making the transition from humanoid to Thing much less like welding one to another. And as such, they've just been lazy this whole time!! Mac ignites the gas he's been pouring all over the ship, and the Thing once again seems to get rid of its own burning, but then sprouts this weird-ass Little Shop of Horrors bud that splits open and reveals a naked woman, whom I presume to be Jenny. Because just like in "SCI-Spy", Paul Gulacy can't seem to resist shoving in naked women for no reason. It crawls out and asks MacReady for help, but Mac just pours gasoline on it and burns her, jumping off the deck off the ship to the water.
(Cut to a clip of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, showing James T. Kirk yelling that epic line...)
Kirk (William Shatner): KHAAAAAN!
(Cut back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): The boiler room in the ship goes nuts from the fire and the Gettysburg goes boom. And now it's time for an entire page of padding! MacReady flashes back to the history of the Thing from the movie to the first miniseries, indicating that the writer may have actually seen the movie, or at least read a very detailed synopsis. And yes, I say "padding", because MacReady speculates about how it could've survived the submarine attack and figured it became a fish – WHICH WE ALREADY KNEW!!
MacReady: (narrating) No matter... I got you this time.
Linkara: (exasperatedly) Well, if it doesn't matter, then why did you just spend a page talking about it?!
Linkara (v/o): I mean, just... We shoved the entire backstory for the mini in the FINAL ISSUE of the comic, which isn't necessary anyway, because the only people buying this are people who are fans of The Thing, who probably picked up the other miniseries before this one and know all this crap already! GAH!
MacReady: (narrating) Those here won't escape. Haven't had time to learn. The few to survive will panic.
Linkara: (yelling in exasperation) THEY ALL HAVE THE SAME MEMORIES AND EXPERIENCES! (shakes comic in frustration) THIS MAKES NO SENSE!!
Linkara (v/o): But before MacReady can celebrate, a tentacle nabs onto his leg, revealing a spider-headed Thing crawling up on him.
MacReady: (narrating) It... It's dying.
Linkara: (as MacReady) I know that because... (awkward pause) Shut up.
Linkara (v/o): So, with all of that, Mac has only one reaction he can give...
(Cut to a clip of the climax of Star Trek III: The Search For Spock)
Kirk: (kicking Kruge in the face to knock him off the cliff) I... have had... enough of YOU!
(Back to the comic again)
Linkara (v/o): So the Thing head just falls into the ocean, and everything is perfectly fine and there are no negative consequences to that. Or rather, MacReady grabs a stick so he can beat the head-crab. (mockingly) But I thought it was dying, MacReady! Doesn't matter anyway, because the tide shoves Mac back, revealing... Wait, the boat's still intact?! WE JUST SAW IT EXPLODE!! And Mac falls unconscious from exhaustion. As for the Thing head, Powell and Jenny realize their only chance to survive is to conserve themselves into taking on a new form: specifically, a fish again.
Jenny: Oh Powell... Powell... Hold me again... before the memory fades... forever.
Powell: Sorry, Jen... Should never... loved you. But... you... so beautiful. Human self... couldn't... resist.
Linkara: (grossed out) Agh! I think I'm gonna be sick! I want to use a clip to showcase how badly written, cheesy and awful this is, but what could possibly match such garbage dialogue that causes such revulsion? (suddenly brightens up) Ooh! I've got it!
(He snaps his fingers and we cut to a clip of The Room)
Johnny (Tommy Wiseau): You know what they say: love is blind.
(Cut back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): And so, our comic ends with them kissing and transmogrifying into a fish, with only one word remaining: "Food."
Linkara: (utterly dumbfounded) So, is it still the Thing? Or... Or does it think it's a fish? Will it ever remember being Powell and Jenny...? (suddenly becomes upset) Oh, who the hell cares?! (snaps comic shut and holds up this one and all the other comics angrily) These comics suck!
Linkara (v/o): The big problem with this story is, of course, its connection to The Thing. Continuity is all over the place, so much worse than in the other minis. If we ignore that connection and just try to make it its own horror story, it's better, but not that much better. It's still riddled with plot holes, given the idea of the memory transfer and how the monster itself is either dumb or stupidly in love with some personalityless woman. Seriously, Jenny has nothing going for her except her relationship, despite her technically being just as much of a main character as MacReady! For that matter, the lack of MacReady in the first issue hurts this even more, seeing as he is supposed to be the hero, and he can't be bothered to be in it for a whole quarter of the story! Plus, as we see with the final panel, his fight is once again futile, because it's just gonna start all over again! Hell, he's once again left for dead, exhausted, for the third friggin' time! I was much happier with how "Climate of Fear" ended, since while it was action schlock, there was a sense of victory there and a much happier ending. Instead, it leaves the door open for another unnecessary miniseries, where maybe the Thing decides to have Thing children or something. The artwork is... better than "SCI-Spy", I'll grant. It's still not very good, though. Paul Gulacy still has trouble drawing human faces that don't look very same-y. At a few points, MacReady is a dead-ringer for Starchild. And eyes are still his greatest enemy, while naked women are his greatest love. Although, more headscratching should go to colorists Matthew Hollingsworth and Steve Matson, who did a bang-up job making New Zealand look dreary and drab and the Thing a one-eyed, one-horned flying purple people eater.
Linkara: But we're not quite done yet. While this is the end of the continuing story of the three miniseries, come back next week for our conclusion to Dark Horse's "Thing" comics. (beat) And maybe I'll look at "The Northman Nightmare", too. I don't know, I haven't decided yet.
TO BE CONTINUED
(End credits roll)
Why did it take so long for Macready [sic] to speculate how the Thing got to the island? What was he DOING for those days while the city was on fire?
And where exactly did Jenny's body get the sports bra she was wearing when Mac found her? Was the guy she assimilated wearing that?
(Stinger: The screen is black)
Linkara (v/o): Okay, first and foremost, let me be clear about this...
(Cut to Linkara's apartment as everyone prepares to enter the portal that Dr. Linksano made: getting dressed up and grabbing assorted technology and weapons as they do)
Linkara (v/o): The primary goal of this operation is to attack and neutralize the King of Worms. If any of you have qualms about this idea of killing it, I would remind you that this thing's big brother almost gobbled up the entire human race. We only survived because I convinced it to kill itself. I sincerely doubt that trick will work twice. The King of Worms declared war upon us when it took over my Cybermats, kidnapped Jaeris, and tried to take over the minds of all the robotic forces we have. This is just our way of ending the war. Speaking of Jaeris, our secondary priority is to find and rescue him, though how difficult that will be is unknown. Frankly, we don't know what to expect on the other side of that portal, but it's probably gonna be nasty. Now, all of your weapons have been modified by the good Dr. Linksano so that they should effective against Entity-like creatures in various ways. But considering Vyce never actually killed the Entity, that effectiveness will only get us so far. Ever since our last confrontation with Vyce, we have been working around the clock. We've built new weapons, new technologies, and we're better prepared than we've ever been before.
Pollo (v/o): What should we be expecting when we get there?
Dr. Linksano (v/o): There's little information about the King of Worms' domain. Lord Vyce's records hold an account of one man who did foolishly venture into it. When he escaped, he was placed in an insane asylum. His ramblings contained only one description of the dimension itself: "Fear predates the tongue or race. There is a place it hides, where maggots crawl at clockwork pace, and platinum masks secede the face. In frightful white, there lies a place. The King of Worms abides."
Linkara: You know, one of these days, we're gonna encounter villains who don't like expositing everything in rhyme. (sighs) All right, everybody! (takes out his magic gun) Heat 'em up!
(Harvey holds up his machine gun and Pollo leans forward, ready to move)
(Linksano pushes some buttons on his device)
Dr. Linksano: Ready!
(Linkara fires a blast from his magic gun at the portal, where it hits, creating an energy field. Then, still firing the gun, Linkara takes his magic wand and holds it up to the gun, causing the magic blast to get even stronger. Linksano continues to push buttons on his controls all the while. The frame around the portal causes sparks to emerge and the portal itself takes on a reddish tint in the energy field. The field then turns an orangish yellow. Finally, Linkara stops firing his gun, smiling confidently)
Dr. Linksano: The portal... is open! (pushes some more buttons) Your task is now complete.
Linkara: (surprised) What? The hell do you mean by that...
(But before he can finish, he hears a cybernetic sound. He looks around and then reacts in alarm as he looks down at the floor)
(He shoots at the Cybermat on the floor. It sparks, then stops. Suddenly, it leaps at Pollo and knocks him down)
Linkara: (worried) Pollo, you okay?!
Pollo: Antigravity propulsion disabled. I'll transfer myself to another body–
(But suddenly, this Cybermat and a second run into Pollo and zap him, disabling him in an explosion of sparks)
Linkara: Nimue! Emergency procedure four! Isolate them!
(As a Cybermat rolls across the floor, it runs into a force field that Nimue has set up, stopping it. But then Dr. Linksano, still pushing some buttons, turns off the force field, allowing the Cybermat to go through)
Linkara: (turning to Linksano, alarmed) WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?!
Dr. Linksano: I am disabling Nimue's interface with the systems of this apartment.
(Linkara rolls his eyes and fires his gun at Linksano, who falls over, as if dead. Linkara is shocked by what happened and runs over to Linksano's fallen body)
Linkara: The... It should've just stunned him! I don't...
(Upon closer inspection, however, he discovers that Dr. Linksano is in fact a robot, whose body was torn open, revealing circuits and wires inside the body. Linkara is confused)
Linkara: The hell...? (looks up) Harvey, we have to–
(Suddenly, he stops as he looks around. Harvey looks around, too. They see the floor is covered with Cybermats. Some are on Linkara's chair, his futon, some of the shelves, and the glass cases)
Linkara: (softly) Harvey... we're surrounded.
(Harvey drops his machine gun and walks over to Linkara)
Harvey: Correction, Linkara.
(Linkara turns to Harvey in alarm. Harvey holds up his right hand and pulls on it. Some of his fingers come off, revealing a gun underneath, which he aims at Linkara!)
Harvey: You are surrounded.
(He fires a shot at Linkara as Eliza the foam lizard watches, then backs away. The screen goes black dramatically)