The New Review Crew is Jesse Taylor, James Rinehart, Jon Lennox, Eric Sturgeon, Chris Angelini 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.) Also known as "What's this guy doing slumming with us hacks?"|
Pretty high standards there. So, while I started reading Eric Sturgeon's "Steel Angel" with a bit of trepidation, I was rather pleased to see the balance was held. Passing references to Morgan aside, the kidnapping of Anne by Joseph and Darwin (if you don't know who THEY are, then I'm not about to spoil it) was nicely done in that almost NONE of the plot invovled needed knowledge of the Main Superguy line nor did it make gratuitous references to the main line. Yet, both the Sun Wizard and Technomancer stayed in relative character that when I connected who they were (I confess; I actually mistook Joseph for someone else before I saw his name), I could agree that they were not "out of character".
If anything, one of the pluses were also a minor flaw. Stirge puts us in the thick of things, without resorting to telling us what Altiverse this is, or indeed, much about location. This is a plus, since it gets us straight into the meat of things without boring us by "setting things up" as it were. However, at the same time, I'm not sure where this takes place or not. I _think_ it's in the equivalent to Vietnam, but there are few locational clues in the text, save for Anne's language. While it's not too pressing now, I'd rather not find in subsequent episodes that this had taken place in Hoboken or some such. A little more grounding would be appreciated.
All in all, an excellent attempt at altiversal superguy, and quite possibly Stirge's best work to date.
|Jon: Abst.||Stirge: Abst.||Mason: 7||Jesse: Abst.||James: 7||Chris: 6|
Total: 6.7 -- "Like, oh, like, Sun, giver of the, like, Tan, remove yon damsel-like babe, for she is, like, about to, like, block thy rays, and, like, make my tan, like, uneven."
With that great beginning, Our Protagonists go through a scene change, then head back to the store Maxine owns, which is, naturally, being robbed. One fight scene later (and a beautiful one at that), Maxine decides not to press charges, and actually--nah, that's too much of a spoiler.
Ben Brown doesn't do sweeping epic stuff, he does light comedy. Which is what this list needs more of. Who needs angst? Here we've got humor, decent writing, humor, well-thought-out characters, humor, a city you can see, if you look carefully enough, and, lest I forget, humor. Maxine is the most unusual protagonist to hit this list; she wants to take over the world, and her usual methods are destructive, but she doesn't want to hurt anyone. The scary thing is, she's smart enough that shejust might be able to pull it off someday...
|Jon: Abst.||Stirge: 7.5||Mason: 7||Jesse: 7.5||James: 7||Chris: 7|
Total: 7.2 -- "My grant came through. I'm getting twenty thousand dollars from the government to study vigilantism first-hand."
|Jon: Abst.||Stirge: 7.5||Mason: Abst.||Jesse: 8||James: 7||Chris: 7|
Whoo. This issue is _packed_. Reading it straight through is a lot like weathering an invasion: there's so much action going on that you actually feel tired by the end. Not that this is a bad thing: somehow, Amy manages to keep her chaos on a tight leash, never letting it get too out of control. Slackers #15 does a good job of bringing together the various plot threads that have been left dangling until now, leaving off the explanations until the anticipation has been properly built up. More importantly, it also provides some much needed characterisation for Marv, who until now has been rather formless. He still needs a good deal more, but this issue finally manages to define him in the minds of the readers.
If there is anything which could stand improvement within this issue, it is the introduction of code names. After fourteen issues or so, the changeover to hero identity for the Slackers is a bit abrupt. Fortunately, civilian names aren't abandoned entirely by the narration, which helps to minimise this problem. Otherwise, a good issue from a consistently good Author.
|Jon: Abst.||Stirge: 7||Mason: 7||Jesse: Abst.||James: 7||Chris: 7|
Total: 7 -- "Nobody's going to think an invasion of flying pink spaghetti is threatening. What you got here is just....stupid."
Has it been mentioned recently how bloody difficult it is to review an Author's Altiverse post?
[You just did -- Ed.]
Grr... Anyway! This post chronicles the journey of two new Authors, Mechaman and... um... Phil, who doesn't have an alias. Oh, and Phil's muse, Aerianne. What are these three journeying towards? Why, their Authorial Demenses, of course! Their homes, their writing tables, the place they go to when their Musae inspire them to the creation of new works of wonder and glory!!!
*cough, cough* Right. Um, anyway, there's a lot going on in this post. Running ("Oombaraga!") gags, and actual *subplots*. Not just a sort of little tie-in things, but actual, honest to goodness, real life subplots.
For an intro AA, this post kicked butt.
Hmm... scratch that.
This post kicked butt.
It had a funny fight scene. It had Swedes. It had a Cantata. It had me -- although I was apparently wearing my 'Designated target' shirt at the time. It had Muppets. It even had a veiled reference to a popular numerology thing that the Author of the post deserves to be repeatedly thwapped for. *AND* it was well-written -- an AA! Well-written!
I honestly can't find anything wrong with it.
If you like the Author's Altiverse, then unless you're weird, you will like this post.
|Jon: Abst.||Stirge: 6.5||Mason: 7||Jesse: 7||James: Abst.||Chris: 7|
Total: 6.875 -- "Though I don't think 'Crazy Eddie's High Calibre Express Service' will get my business anytime soon..."
The series is somewhat confusing at the moment. We know very little about any of these characters, save that they're all members of the "Bermuda Triangle Brainpack." This will change, of course, but for now, we have to wonder why all these kids would want to enter an inherently dangerous area like Superguy. :)
Still, it's an entertaining read, and the problems are easily surmountable.
|Jon: Abst.||Stirge: 5.5||Mason: 6||Jesse: Abst.||James: 5||Chris: 5|
Total: 5.375 -- "Geez, Gina, what'd you do, bump us all into an episode of Sliders?"
From here on, things get strange... or stranger, if that's possible. Admiral Morgan and her Merry Band grow bored with their latest pastime: watching pro golf on television, and decide to destroy something instead. They settle on revenge against Spoonman, for his actions in the Road Race from Hell(tm). Things would be looking bleak for the man of flatware right about now, if not for the timely arrival of Dana Wader and her shuttle craft, which rams Morgan's ship in a desperate attempt to... prove... something. Probably revenge. That's what these evil types go all out for. A battle ensues on Morgan's ship, which leads to the destruction of the youth ray-gun and a subsequent infantisation of Wader, Morgan and the crew. How cuuuuute.
This issue is very tightly focused, which helps the reader greatly in picking back up where 'Wandering Morons' left off. It is also well written and a truly funny read. This issue does nothing spectacular, but then again, it doesn't have to. 'Most Totally Evil' #14 seems to set out to tell the story of the top competitors for the prize of the same name, and does it cleanly and without pretence. While a subplot or two might be refreshing, and probably necessary for the long-term freshness of the series, the lack of such isn't noticeable yet.
|Jon: Abst.||Stirge: 7||Mason: 8||Jesse: Abst.||James: 6.5||Chris: 7|
Total: 7.125 -- "It's a perfect plan! Why, I just love having the greatest hero in the world pound on me..."
While the plot in this episode moves sort of glacially, this ep was still nicely done, coverng what points are still relevant now that the shuttle crash incident is behind Helen and her crew. An excellent starting off point for people who didn't read the first 10 eps. (And will want to see precisely WHAT they missed afterwards)
|Jon: Abst.||Stirge: Abst.||Mason: Abst.||Jesse: 6.5||James: 7||Chris: Abst.|
Total: 6.75 -- Case in point, this informative brochure, which just goes to show that if you're really good at propaganda, you don't even have to be subtle about it.