Part one is here. I might be able to finish the first book today, might not. I’m not aiming for anything in particular, just how many words I end up typing. In case you want to keep up with this review, expect me to write one out every 3 days or so.
The other day I was having a discussion about Quentin Tarantino’s skill at writing/directing. In the end we decided that Tarantino was more of a “Movie DJ”. He takes existing movies and mashes them up and turns them into something different. Linkara is much the same way, the comic seems to go from one set piece inspired by a movie to another set piece inspired by a movie. So far we’ve seen 1984, and in this issue there’s 2 other scenes from major movies.
The other thing is that it’s kind of obvious that Linkara doesn’t understand the scenes he is lifting, or what even made those scenes work. So far the 1984 of this world doesn’t make much sense. In 1984 you could feel that there was something wrong with the world as it was, but so far there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with The All. Obviously there’s a level of debate to the loss of individuality, but there appears to be no crime, plenty of food for everyone, work for everyone, housing, etc. Linkara appears to have made an unintentional utopia for the most part.
But you ask, what about all the cameras everywhere? Well whats so different with the world we live in today? From the time you leave your house to when you get home you are filmed on average 22 different times. Not just from when you enter a store, but most stores now tend to film the front of their store too. So just about every store you pass has you on film. I don’t see how it’s much different then from this world. On with the review!
I actually sort of spoiled this page in the review of page five. The only thing I didn’t mention is the passing mention of “insane people who are trying to bring chaos to the all”. There’s also that thing which appears to be a wire that goes into his neck. What is the point of it? Do you need it to work these computers? How did it get there? Why does it appear to change size in different appearances? He also mentions that information comes in from all over the world, so does “The All” control the whole world, or just a certain area? I also find it funny that one of the spots which clearly has cameras is the entrance to his work, much like any other job you’ve had.
On this page, Gamma receives an urgent message that tells him to Take Cover Now. There is then a THOOM! and 2 guards go flying by. If this seems at all familiar, it’s probably because it reeks of the scene from The Matrix in which Neo is being chased by the agents and gets messages from Morpheus telling him which way to go. Also I’m not exactly sure what happened here, but I’ll get into that in the next page.
Everyone is now in a panic. Stuff is a mess and there appears to be a hole in the wall. When someone mentions to call security, someone else mentions that those two guys were security. Someone does mention in the background that the security guys are still alive. Which is something I should mention, I guess one of Linkara’s idea of someone being a hero is them not killing anyone.
We meet Eighth Wonder, the female superhero from the cover and the one who saved the girl from implied rape. She speaks to two other heroes called Dusk and Mystery Man telling them she’s in. We also discover that she did blow a hole in the wall to get in. I guess the people working there are lucky that she used just enough not to hurt anyone but security, and that they (apparently) are on one of the lower levels of the building.
Actual line of thought from Gamma “Am I Dreaming? Have I Always Been Dreaming?” I’m waiting for him to mention going further down the rabbit hole. Will that be the blue cupcake or the red cupcake? Just follow the White Pigeon… One of the security guards mentions for everyone to stand back, as this is a crazy woman. I’m inclined to agree with the security guard, considering she just blew a hole in the side of the building.
Despite being armed with some sort of futuristic gun, Eighth wonder throws an 8 ball at one of them, and uses punches and kicks to take out the other one. She claims she’s not crazy, just a concerned citizen there to lodge some complaints. So it appears in this world the best way to lodge a complaint is to blow a hole in the side of the building and knock people around.
Okay, it appears I was wrong. Despite there obviously being two security guards going after her on the previous page, now there’s only one knocked down. So I guess the one she threw the 8 ball at was the same one she punched and kicked. Which leaves me asking where is the other guard? It’s a mystery. Eighth Wonder threatens everyone to not stop her, but Gamma gets up and decides to follow her. When one of his co-workers decides to try and stop him from stopping her, he questions why he would want to stop her.
I don’t know? Maybe because your lucky to be alive after she decided to blow a hole in the side of your building? Who knows how bad the security guys are hurting right now. At the very least they are probably missing some teeth. Finally what about all the other people you work with? Some of them might be seriously injured, you know cause someone just blew a hole in the side of the building?
Gamma chases after her, she catches him and says “I don’t need a sidekick” (remember that line for a point later on in the comic). I should also mention that she’s got him by the tie and is prepared to punch him out. Good thing you went chasing after her! There’s not much to say about this, other then that the door to the stairs thoughtfully says Stairs on it.
Gamma says “Because there’s something WRONG with the world. I don’t know what it is, but I think you know how to fix it.” This inspires her to take Gamma with her and they run down the hallway. I still beg the question of what exactly is so wrong in this world? Another point is that apparently they got the obesity problem under control too, as not a single person we have seen so far could be called fat or even the slightest big overweight. But dam them and their forced 5 minute long stretching regime in the morning.
Two heroes have taken over what appears to be a TV station. There are two people tied up and another one being held at sword point. The two heroes look suspiciously familiar, the one with the sword has a cap and hat along with a cloak and is in all black:
The other guy working the controls is wearing a trench coat and a white mask covering his whole face, which has a question mark in the middle of it:
Rorschach gets in a discussion with the guy who is being held with a knife and appears to be in charge. He asks them to stop, Rorschach says no. The guy then says that they have to listen and they can’t do what they are doing. Rorschach then asks him a hypothetical question, if he said he could sprout wings and fly away, would the guy in the suit say he can’t do that either? The guy says of course he would say he can’t do that, and asks if the heroes are insane.
Now we come to another problem with the logic in the comic. If The All has to come before everything else, and you must always do what someone requests of you, how come this guy says what he says? Because obviously there’s a point where if someone said “Go jump off a cliff” you would say No for your own self-preservation. So you can’t request outlandish things of people, yet requesting sex is fine?
While Rorscach punches out the guy in charge, he takes the time to quote The Sandman “His Madness keeps him sane” which does little but make you wish you were reading Sandman, a much better comic. We find out that this is part of “Operation Vendetta”…
Page Sixteen To Twenty
V for Vendetta – television speech from fhimt.com on Vimeo.
Seriously, it’s Operation Vendetta because it’s almost exactly that speech. Since I don’t want to ruin the comic too much, I’m going to show my favorite part of the speech.
Please consider for a moment – You might as well be dead
Nothing you ever do will really amount to anything.
Your effects on this Earth will be limited to just this lifetime
And then you will fade to dust after you died. No one knowing you ever existed
This is more a window into Linkara’s mind then anything to do with the comic. To him it’s probably some great revelation that the reality is your life is pointless. You live, you die and the world goes on for 99% of the people. Linkara isn’t going to be remembered 50 years after he’s dead, and neither will I for that matter. But once you come to that point, it’s about just doing what makes you happy. It’s about realizing to make the most out of your time. Linkara’s obsession with comics and superheroes is a fear of death and being forgotten. It’s going to be amusing when he can’t make money on the internet and has to get a real job and “surrender his individuality”.
I should also mention that once again they mention people being “grown” and not born. I’m curious if this is like the Matrix and people being grown, or if by grown they mean becoming an adult. It’s a weird use of the word grow/grown so far without explanation. She also mentions that they are all slaves, but if so I haven’t seen anything that makes life so horrible for any of them. Sure there’s cameras everywhere, and maybe you have to do a job you dislike, but there’s nothing that looks so horrible compared to life today. I guess part of that depends on your definition of individuality, is not having your own name that important?
Either which way the speech apparently has some kind of an effect on the people. One person rips up their ID card. Another group of people look angry. Some people look startled and shocked. One guy clenches his fists. But I would like something a little more to see why people were upset but not acting out before this speech. Or what are the Superheros offering people that they don’t have now other then individuality?
Page Twenty to Twenty Three
I swear I’m not copping out on reviewing these pages, but there’s really not much to comment on in these pages other then the action. A bunch of security guards show up at the door to the TV Studio. Eighth Wonder throws out a bunch of 8 Balls which produce gas and bright flashes that blind the guards. The guards immediately yell not to fire, which allows the heroes who have all hand to hand weapons to easily defeat the guards. Now I do have a question though, all these guards have visors that cover their eyes. What are the point of these visors if they are so easily blinded by bright lights?
Also the guards were in formation facing the heroes, why couldn’t they have just opened fire in the direction that they had seen the heroes last? Why are they suddenly a jumble mess just because someone threw a few 8 Balls at them. Either way the heroes handled the guards and proceed to escape to the top of the building. Seemingly stuck now, the heroes have jetpacks and proceed to take off from the roof, ending the comic.
The comic is a little more then famous scenes put into comic form. It’s 1984, into The Matrix, into V For Vendetta. There’s almost not an original thought anywhere in this comic so far. It’s also hurt because it seems as though your expected to fill in the blanks that the comic leaves. So your not supposed to like the society that currently exists because you are inclined to believe it is like England in either V for Vendetta or 1984. But there’s nothing to really solidify that belief here.
It also seems that despite his fondness for comics, Linkara doesn’t seem to grasp the point that they are making. Especially the works of Alan Moore. Rorschach sees the world as a white and black place, and his death was because of his refusal to compromise. Your supposed to question his world view though, and the way he does things. He’s a hero, but does he take things too far? Reality isn’t as simplified as Rorschach boils everything down to. That Rorschach was considered crazy by both superheros and regular people seems lost on Linkara.
V in V For Vendetta seems to be another area in which Linkara is confused. You are supposed to decide whether V is a hero or is insane. All the clues in the book that refer to V’s background are the ones that he left for the Fingermen to find. He is striving for anarchy, a system of government (or non government) that very few people find appealing. Before we even meet V, he’s already killed 40 of the survivors of the camp he was held at. How do we know that everyone that worked at that camp was an evil person? Some people are just doing their jobs. What Moore was trying to do in both comics was to get you to question the hero. That seems lost on Linkara.
What this comic really needed was more time dedicated to setting up the world in which Gamma is living. Show us more then implied rape as the reason why Gamma is questioning the world. There are plenty of dystopia’s out there to use as an example, other then flat out ripping off 1984 without the context. One of my recent favorite examples of a dystopia was the movie Wall-E, in which an insane level of consumerism reached it’s ultimate peak on the spaceship. The comic should have ended with Gamma seeing Eighth Wonder and feeling like his eyes have been opened up to the answer of all his worries. You don’t get that feeling here, it’s wasted and just falls flat.
In conclusion, while it’s not a bad idea so far, it’s nothing that hasn’t been done better elsewhere. Go re-read V for Vendetta, Watchmen or 1984.
Coming up next, Issue 2 of Revolution of the Mask