The New Review Crew is SW, Mechaman, Jon, Stirge and *THE* Mason Kramer.
|0: Abysmal||(I've seen Power Rangers fanfic better than this.)|
1: Very Bad
|(Ooog. Give me Tales to SMURFIFY any day.)|
|(Little White Dojo. 'nuff said.)|
3: Very Poor
|(Better than Tales, but not by much.)|
|(I liked it. It was better than Cats.)|
|("Eh." Okay, not bad, but not good either.)|
|(Genuinely good read. Basic Superguyage.)|
7: Very Good
|(High basic Superguyage. The difference between 6 and 7 is fairly slim.)|
|(Very high quality writing.)|
|(Really excellent, even for Superguy. Can have no serious flaws.)|
|(The kind of thing that leaves you sitting there in front of the screen going "whoa...." for a while. These are VERY, VERY RARE.)|
This is a first issue, and like many of its type, introduces several characters and doesn't spend much time with any of them, making it hard to get a feel for them at this point. The writing is solid Bankert, the imagery simple and easily pictured, and it ends on something of a large cliffhanger. I expect good things out of this series, if Bankert can refrain from returning to the land of the dead.
|Jon: 5.5||Stirge: 5||Mason: 6||Jesse: 6||James: 5|
Total: 5.5 -- Evil Government Conspiracies
Alternate futures are hard to do well -- far too often one gets the impression "in all this time, that's all that's happened?" But Teen Team 2001 is managing to paint a convincing picture of five years' worth of events while simultaneously providing a fascinating counterpoint to Chris Angelini's "Winner Take All", enhancing that series's feeling of urgency.
Teen Team 2001 #35 is clearly a "breather" issue -- last issue gave us the destruction of Stately Ward Manor, and next issue looks to be a dramatic last stand which will surely leave Mason crying in his beer once again. The framing sequence with Phong Nguen provides a masterful alternate view of our heroes -- showing them as the truly *super*guys they are, people who are different from and above the ordinary person, while simultaneously showing how, despite all that, they are still essentially powerless against the overwhelming force opposing them.
I'm certainly looking forward to the next (concluding?) episode.
|Jon: 7.5||Stirge: 7||Mason: Abst.||Jesse: Abst.||James: 6|
Total: 7 -- "All right, Astatine, we can go get ice cream after the battle" "YAY!"
This has been an entertaining storyline since it began, and that hasn't changed, even though we're on the road to the end. Big Things(tm) are afoot, and I for one can't wait for them.
|Jon: 5.5||Stirge: 6||Mason: 8||Jesse: 6.5||James: 6|
Total: 6.4 -- "You forgot to press 'Enter'..." "Dowh!!"
Unfortunately, however, there is a minor problem or two with this episode. Not with the prose itself, nor with the comedy, but if you look at the above text, one notes that some of the racers and plots seemed to have dropped off unexpectedly. What happened to the Sentries, ALU, or Zaratharawallawalla, the Spirit of Minor Vengeance? What of the poor, er, HEROIC Spoonman? I mean a day _has_ passed, by the end of the episode, yet not even a passing mention was made.
Hopefully this little glitch won't happen again, but don't let this nitpicking keep you from enjoying the wild ruckus and total carnage.
|Jon: 7||Stirge: 8||Mason: 7||Jesse: Abst.||James: 7|
Total: 7 1/3 -- You want an Identifying Quote from that monster? Pfft. Get real.
This was... not a good episode. It wasn't mind-rendingly bad, but neither was it up to par by any stretch of the imagination. The scene transitions were jarring, the prose was choppy (*Especially* the first scene), and it suffered from all the problems that tend to plague Nopporn's works.
The first is characterization. There are -way- too many characters being introduced -way- too fast. I barely have a grasp on most of them except for "X can do Y". Characterization. Do these people do anything other than fight and, er, screw around? Darned if I know, 'cos it sure doesn't come up very much in the story.
Wonky Time/Dimension Stuff. Trust me, I know what I'm talking about in this regard. Time loops are enough of a headache when there's a point to them. I only hope that there's actually a point to this one. It's too early to tell.
Shameless ripoffs. I watched Babylon Squared. I like Babylon Squared. I do not like Superguy Does Babylon Squared. This episode's plot was so obviously ripped off and utterly gratuitous that the story would have been vastly improved by simply leaving it out entirely. Babylon Five and Deep Space Nine should not be required backstory for understanding and enjoying a Superguy Post. Period.
In summary, this post was a lot like Nopporn's other works. Lots and lots of building blocks, but lacking any development on them or any real sense of bringing things together. Not recommended unless you're a completist.
|Jon: 5||Stirge: Abst.||Mason: Abst.||Jesse: 3||James: 4.5|
Total: 4 -- "Not the one..."
This post was a nice, solid, well-written Chris Angelini post. It was slightly surreal, but that was apparently the point. It was enjoyable, but it just didn't feel substantial. However, it -is- nice to see Lyle getting an issue all to himself, after so long lurking in the background of the Dream stories. All-in-all, most definitely worth reading, and then worth reading again to try and puzzle out the dream sequence.
|Jon: 7||Stirge: 7||Mason: 8||Jesse: 7||James: 6.5|
Total: 7.1 -- Weird dream symbolism.
This episode was -very- funny, in places, and Rob's writing style remains very good. However... it would be nice to know what's going on. It's been five episodes, and still we don't really have a clue -why- things are happening, just that they are. Still, this is an episode definitely worth reading, and I'm looking forward to what's next.
Not that I have the faintest idea what's next, but I'm looking forward to it anyway.
|Jon: 6.5||Stirge: 6||Mason: 6||Jesse: 6.5||James: 7|
Total: 6.4 -- "Hell, I'm a god damn Buddhist, for Christ's sake, what the hell am I doing swearing like this?"
This post was fun, and well written. It's nice to see a Round Robin plotline that doesn't go utterly, wackily, through-the-wall metaphysical, for once. (Joke! Joke! Guys, put down that wombat! Aiiee!) A good read, and this series looks to be continuing to be that way.
|Jon: 6.5||Stirge: Abst.||Mason: Abst.||Jesse: 7||James: 7|
Total: 6.8 1/3 -- Salvaging spacecraft for tractor parts.
Unfortunatly, the presentation of this rather interesting backstory revelation leaves rather a lot to be desired. First of all, Odd Science's discovery of the origin of the Nanites was oddly unforeshadowed, especially given that Robotech_Master apparently wrote this post *before* most of the Grand Tour. Had we seen Dr. Science investigating and making connections, with mysterious hints being dropped about his past, this revelation could have come much more satisfyingly.
Additionally, Odd's motivation for keeping said backstory a secret from the rest of the team strikes me as somewhat unconvincing -- Team M.E.C.H.A. accepted Adam Douglas back into its ranks after he shot their leader in the Industrial Revolution, after all.
My greatest problem with Team M.E.C.H.A. #84, though is that these rather interesting revelations are presented through an amazingly dry lump of plot summary and exposition. A significant fraction of this episode consists of summaries or extracts from previous storylines of "Team M.E.C.H.A." or "Dvandom Force", which all-in-all gives the story a feeling like those end-of-season T.V. shows which re-use footage from earlier in the series in order to save money. I've read these stories before -- they were much more enjoyable in their entirety.
Expositing and retelling backstory for those who came in late is a necessary but tricky task in any serial medium, but it is essential not to forget that the audience will undoubtedly include long-time readers as well as newcomers, and thus backstory-revelation should include something *new* -- new revelations, new points of view, or characterization through the personality of the storyteller, for example -- for the benefit of those readers.
I don't mean to criticize this story excessively -- Summer's Nanites *did* need a backstory, and tying them into Dvandom Force makes the Grand Tour arc into a sensible, integral part of the larger picture of Team M.E.C.H.A., rather than simply a year-long digression. But the presentation of this idea was, unfortunately, rather lacking.
|Jon: 6||Stirge: 5||Mason: Abst.||Jesse: 7||James: 6|
Total: 6 -- Wavy flashback lines.
Instead we find the characters, save for Delta, on a night on the town. Why? Dunno. Delta sneaks out to watch TV, and chats a little with the Laptop. Again, why? Actually, this second time it's a bit more clear, as Delta gets a little bit of characterization time. Sad to say, the rest of the characters go into stereotype mode afterwards. The two males supposedly are reduced to hormonal reactions, and the ladies are not far behind. When the "crisis" happens at the end, well, it's a bit out in left field, since nothing gives a hint about it before a rather abrupt revelation by Delta. Overall, not necessarily a BAD episode, but not much to support it.
|Jon: 6.5||Stirge: Abst.||Mason: Abst.||Jesse: 5||James: 5.5|
Taylor is one of the most entertainingly *funny* Authors on Superguy, and several of his trademarks are used in this episode, which contains his best work in some time. A huge anime fan, he isn't afraid to gently mock the conventions of the form, in a scene that had me drop-down laughing for several minutes. Looking forward to next episode, where, according to the teasers, "Stuff go boom."
|Jon: 7.5||Stirge: 9||Mason: 9||Jesse: Abst.||James: 6.5|
Total: 8 -- "And I'll form the-- no. I can't say it. It's too stupid."
As such, the episode is somewhat difficult to summarize, insofar as there aren't really beginning or ending situations to point out. The various former Hero Patrollers, plus assorted altiversal counterparts, LNH characters, PRECOGS guardians (about which more later), and the like, run around meeting up with one another presumably in preparation for a final confrontation with the bad guy two issues down the line, in what would have been the original outline's climax. As such, though, this episode feels like it has excessive set-up and not enough delivery.
I'm also a little dubious about the whole idea of using the xxxPRECOGS altiverses in Superguy, insofar as Precogs are, as far as I know, an alt.comics.lnh / rec.arts.comics.creative thing, being originally one of the LNH's multitudinous parodies of the comics industry, in this case of Diamond Previews. As this is the case, one would expect that for the majority of Superguy readers this would be an in-joke they wouldn't understand. The altiverse is fairly clearly drawn other than that, though, so hopefully the obscure nature of the in-joke should not impede enjoyment too much.
|Jon: 5.5||Stirge: 6||Mason: 7||Jesse: 6.5||James: 6|
More than half the action takes place before the trial even begins, thanks to the cross-circuited dreams of last MMM episode. Tris and Momentum have a little chat, and discover some disturbing facts, while both ALU and Mobsters prepare in their own way to give Mo an opening and a second chance. Both Shana and Trashman dust off rarely-used (well, textwise) skills and subterfuge as Bruce Rogers defends himself admirably from the story-hunting reporter. And then, cricket in hair, and resolve in her heart, Mo comes to trial. And what a trial it is. Short, lively, and with much homage to a certain off-beat courtroom comedy, the lawfirm of Ward and Johnson present their case in a witty and concise style aided by their expert witness's unflappable testimony. And then, just when the magic moment is about to happen, the other shoe is dropped with a bang.
Nice pacing, witty dialogue, bad karaoke, this ep has something for most everyone to enjoy.
|Jon: 8||Stirge: 10||Mason: Abst.||Jesse: Abst.||James: 7|
Total: 8.3 -- Bored and Boring Multibillionaire dialogue