Monday, December 13, 2010

Marvel Team-Up #127

Let's watch the Watcher waste our time!

EDIT: With apologies to Fantastic Four and Uatu fans - his first appearance was in Fantastic Four #13, not #48 as I say in the video. Not sure how I screwed that up, so just sorry.


Mountain King said...

I could go into detail about why Time Lords ect don't interfere with other races, but it would be pointless. The underlying reason given for why God like aliens don't get involved is actually a simple one. If you can always rely on someone else to do your dirty work you won't do it yourself.
That's why some people still live with their parents into their thirties or refuse to take out the trash. As long as someone else is around it's not their job and they don't have to get involved.
I think you could find the argument form Superman IV useful here (my god, I've found something good about that film?!) If Superman did exist mankind wouldn't bother to do anything to save itself from it's own stupidity. Heaping responsibilities onto our heroes they don't need. In the end we'd come to worship the God like beings as if they were Gods. That is until they failed us, but that's another argument.
Hence the Prime Directive and that sort of thing, its all to prevent the misuse of power, whatever that power is. The Doctor skirts this problem by getting others to do the dirty/important work while he just sits back and picks his moment to act.

Anyway, the review. I never understood the Watcher (you missed either a Buffy gag or a Highlander one there, but never mind). As I pointed out above I can understand why he couldn't interfere directly, but he was such a one dimensional super-being that it struck me as a hollow plot contrivance. A half baked mouth piece for the writer to exposit through. He might have been expanded upon elsewhere, but much like DC's Phantom Stranger any real development would just ruin the thin shell of mystery built around him.
As for Spiderman, wouldn't Madam Web have been better to provide the "jewel". Going on to predict that from this disaster Checkov's daughter would go on to help other young women pressured into drugs and other activities. A small change in the right place making sweeping improvements.
Heck, the Watcher could have done that anyway, making that rambling self-congratulatory monologue mean something?

I never cease to be amazed that comics like this are published, when a tiny bit of extra thought by a man shivering with flu could improve it ten fold. Sure it's clichéd, but in the end there's only supposed to be 32 stories. It's how they are presented that counts. In that regard this was just pathetic.

Anyway, onto your contribution. Nothing epic, but fun never the less. The MST3K threw me for a moment, but I got all the references (and I suggested one you missed). I'd describe the review as "Vanilla", and what the comic deserved. A clear headed observation and dismissal. You didn't push the boat out, but entertained.

May you, and your good lady, have a merry Christmas


Trevor said...

Ho-ho-horrible comic!

I didn't know you were a fan of Neon Genesis Evangelion, Linkara. Did Iron Liz get you into the series? Also, nice job summing up the stupidity of The Watcher.

NickG said...

Great review, after a weekend of shoveling this was a nice pick-me-up.I really liked the brain guy clip you added,MST3K FTW.

Lundarigirl said...

Virgina...? Aw... that's too expensive of a trip for me. Dang!

Oh well. Have fun. Can't wait for next week's review.

Jesse said...

Yay! Snow Fame! Miss that guy.

Not much to say about the comic so I'll go to the suggestion.

Why not review the God of War comic? Kratos vs Wonder Woman is something they should do later on.

Falcovsleon20 said...

Aw, I was hoping for an excuse to use the line: "In the beginning there was....HOWARD THE DUCK!"

A video game related comic, eh? The only one I can think of are the obvious Sonic the Hedgehog requests you constantly get swamped with so I can't help you the.....OH WAIT! I thought of a good one now! I seem to recall that Archie Comics also did a mini-series of Nights into Dreams! It'd be interesting to see what you think about that one. (Since I remember reading it when I was young and having mixed opinions back then)

RestamSalucard said...

What is this suprise nostalgic Christmas Comic you speak of? THE PEOPLE MUST KNOW!

john said...

First!!!...Sorry, this is the first time i've ever had a chance to get a FIRST!!

DarkMeir said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DarkMeir said...

I did a 'wait...what' of my own when you didnt make any kind of comment about the license plate being R2D2

Steve said...

Well, I guess that answers the question on how you view the Prime Directive. XD

Anonymous said...

That Shinji Ikari comment killed me.
Great review.

Hmmm... video game comics. Not exactly an expert on this but you could do if nobody finds some really ludicrous ones or you're very short on time (and I'm gonna include manga because, hey there are also japanese videogames that got comics in Japan and you said you would consider doing exceptions for special events):
- The Official Left4Dead comic (I'm genuinely curious how it holds up.)
- Super Mario Bros comics (I've only seen scans of specifically ludicrous panels with them being part of a "Nintendo Comics System" series )
- The Kingdom Hearts and Legend of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time + Majora's Mask mangas (admittedly they are not really bad, just a bit goofy and, well, a different take on the source material).

Season Greetings from Europe, seeing how most of us leaving here won't be able to see you at Magfest.

On an unrelated matter, I've always wondered, do you actually intend to ever do European comics? Or is that a "no-no" like Japanese ones due to cultural differences?

Kingzero said...

To be perfectly honest, this review wasn't one of your best to me. I actually do understand why some 'godlike' beings don't always act when there's a problem. They don't want to be relied upon. They want to work in a 'light touch' sort of way. But you're free to have you own opinion, of course.

The review just came off as a bit more ranty than the average video, which I'm sorry to say.

The joke at the end about the power of editing was funny though. Can't wait for the next video.

YetAnotherGeek said...

...Power Rangers Christmas comic?

Anyways, good stuff here, even if the beginning rant went just a tad too long. I now want to see other superheroes use "ice cream" as an excuse. By the way, was the Spider man clothes switch ever explained?

Lastly, for Magfest...a live AT4W? On a video game comic? did Sonic and Doom there a Mario comic? Something tells me that Mario has made some crappy comic books, dunno why.

The Forbidden J said...

What, you can't see purporange? By the way, how are you enjoying this lovely Minnesotan winter of ours?

Anonymous said...

There was a version of the Batman costume with a bright yellow oval in the middle of his chest. Apparently that's where the most kevlar is on his costume. Give thugs a target and they won't try for a head shot.

Sooz said...

Don't listen to the haters, Linkara, the way you say "room" is awesomedorable.

Also I like how apparently the dood assigned to watch THE ENTIRE PLANET EARTH has apparently been ignoring the non-Christian parts of it, at least judging from his line about Xmas being important to the children of Earth.

ShadowWing Tronix said...

Video game comic recommendation: Valiant's "Game Boy", a series in which Mario is summoned by kids via their Game Boys to travel to our world (at about the size of an action figure) to battle the enemies of the first Super Mario Land game, who keep tricking some schlub into bringing THEM in through another Game Boy as part of Tartagna's brainless plans to win over Princess Daisy by conquering the world even show she tells him not to.

Somewhere in that run-on sentence has to be comedy.

joeymartin64 said...

When you made that joke about Spidey's sense of urgency in the middle of the review, I was expecting the ending song to be Foreigner's "Urgent," especially considering the way you emphasized the word. Single-lyric gag, but it could have worked.

Rockwell's "Somebody's Watching Me" would have been fun, too.

Anonymous said...

This may sound odd, bit this band Kirby Krackle has songs you might use in the endings.
Like for instance a song called "Can I Watch You"... it's about the Watcher

Anonymous said...

While I agree with the whole monologue at the end that we need to see the beauty in small, everyday happy endings rather than big flashy cosmic events, I also agree with you that the Watcher's explanation doesn't excuse him from the fact that he could've done so much more to help people out on Christmas than he did.

And honestly, this touches on a larger philosophical issue about human nature and whether that nature can really be permanently changed by outside forces. It's a question that's divided great thinkers (and even whole religions), and I doubt that a cheesy one-off christmas special comic book will add anything groundbreaking to the debate.

Loved the NGE reference. I'm going to have trouble seeing Spidey now without thinking "I mustn't run away!" xD

And the crystal ball = LotR palantir nearly made me fall out of my chair in unexpected laughter. Nicely done. Can't wait to see what's coming up next week!

Amnesia said...

Alexandria? Sweet! I might actually make it there!

But, if I don't, let it be known that it was not from lack of trying.

YetAnotherGeek said...

Wait, I change my mind; the schedule said one that "you would never believe existed", so...Star Trek Christmas! I can see it now...

"Everyone on the Enterprise liked Christmas a lot. But the Vulcan, who lived just next to the captain of the Enterprise, did not."

vezon said...

I second the Left 4 Dead comic, because A. it's free, and B. it takes established continuity (and the developers' own take on the game) out behind the shed and puts a shotgun to its head.

E. Wilson said...

I think Civil War pretty definitively proved that, yeah, Spidey will pretty much do anything for anyone who's nice to him.

The really irritating part about this issue is that the Watcher's monologue at the end was almost heartwarming. The idea that he'd be moved enough around the holidays to want to connect to someone on a human level is actually a good one, which a much better story really should have been told about.

And I'd be remiss if I didn't say that casting the Watcher as Rod Stirling is absolutely brilliant.

SynjoDeonecros said...

A videogame comic? Oh, that's simple; any of the Mortal Kombat comics from Malibu; Liefeldian artwork, contrived dialog that forces EVERYONE to speak in the third person, most of the comics are spent on random stuff outside of the titular tournament, and worst of all, Shao Khan never wears his helmet. Trust me, this is something that would be perfect for a live show. My personal choice: Goro,Prince of Pain 3-parter, if only because the titular character, despite being a Shokan prince and MK champion, wielding a BFG against a badly-designed KAK.

Speaking of, I hope you're planning on recording it for future release online, for those of us who can't make it to MAGfest.

As for the comic, the Snowflame joke was classic, and I have to agree with you to a point with the Watcher, especially with him trying to keep an air of impartialness when he clearly interfered. However, as Mountain King stated, if those "superior beings" start interfering with every little incident in a "lesser beings'" society would not only be called upon to do everything for those beings, but would be stretched pretty thin, themselves. Uatu helping the Earth fend off Galactus, I can understand, since it's a "superior being" protecting "inferior beings" from being exploited/destroyed by another "superior being", but interjecting himself in a common drug crime? That's a bit beneath him, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

I have to ask cause it seems like something Marvel would do for a x-mas story, but is there a spider-man comic where he helps santa deliver presants?

ComicZA said...

OMG his next review should be Alpha's Magical Christmas, the power ranger's Christmas special. It's not a comic but it deserves a good riffing

Lizard-Man said...

Great review there Linkara, also interesting use of the Watcher there, never thought of him like the host to the Twilight Zone. Makes sense when you think about it.

Also, I think I can help out with that video game comic thing for your live show, if by help only give ideas.

I found this here list of video game centric comics:

Theres a few you've already done, but plenty of others you haven't.

I'd suggest three of them, first Atari Force... that concept just screams poor idea. Second the captain N Comics. Technically its based off the show, but it is a show that was meant to sell video games and starred video game characters, could work. Finally Bloodrayne, because Spoony once said he suggested you, him and the critic review that movie instead of Alone in the Dark based on the fact Uwe Noll had made a movie of the franchise and there was comic out about it. I figure that with the way Rayne's games have dipped sharply in quality the comic isn't too good either. Its a possibility.

A good chunk of those comics would be a good source of fodder, I don't think all of them sucked, I read the Halo ones and they were pretty good. In any case, thats my suggestion and you can use that list if you want help finding them as well.

Keep on reviewing Linkara!

Jer Alford said...


BTW, if you wanna see who would win in a fight between Santa Christ & Bearded Idiot, go to...

Radar said...

Marvel Team-up! This takes me back! The one where Spidey teamed up with Adam Warlock to fight the Stranger was my first Spidey book! Waitaminnute! The cop told Spidey they found drugs, how else would they know drugs were involved, but she had the drugs with her! The hell?

Anonymous said...

He's Shinji Ikari...


I going to suggest the Primal Rage comic. It's a pretty bad one shot comic that I bought for two reasons. One, I was a big fan of the Primal Rage game. Secondly, it had some concept art for the sequal.

Saddly, the second game was never released. AND IT SCREWED ME UP FOR LIFE!

Paul S. said...

If you're looking for a video game comic may I recommended Malibu Comics infamous Street Fighter series? It was so bad that Capcom of America pulled Malibu's license after 3 issues. One of which featured a completely pointless guest-appearance by Malibu Comics pre-Ultraverse superhero The Ferret.

Jeff said...

Malibu's Street Fighter comic would be a good one to review. It was so crappy Capcom made them stop after three issues.

flamesquad said...

I agree with Sooz; your pronunciation of "room" is endearing! :D

I was half expecting a call-back to "who looks at the people who look at stuff". -snerk-

As far as video game comics go, I recall seeing an Assassin's Creed comic in Slacker's not too long ago. The cover art was...well, it looked like the artist had taken a WIP and handed it over to an editor with a severe need for corrective lenses. >_< That seems rather telling as far as quality goes, although I didn't get a chance to read the thing.

FugueforFrog said...

Ah Marvel Team-up...seeing you were doing this made me look up the comic...and made me realize how weird and bizarre a lot of them were. I mean, Spidey has to team up with most of the relevant heroes of the 70s and 80s for...THOSE!? it just me or did you somehow fuse Rod Serling and George Takei for Uatu? And...yes, they were praying to the alter of Snowflame, so maybe he should find something better to do than mess with such a holy god...because as we all know, Christmas is a time for snow.

Kingdom of Evan said...

Good review. You're spot on in your characterization of Uatu, though you mention his first appearance was the Galactus trilogy, which is incorrect. His debut was 25 issues before that in the Fantastic Four issue that introduced Red Ghost and the Super-Apes (whom the Four defeat with Uatu's help, the first of his long career of Watcher oath-breaking).

Anonymous said...

Don't listen to those people trying to change the way you talk. It's who you are, don't change yourself just for the internet.

As for video game comics,I don't read very many comics. The only one I know of is turok:dinosaur hunter, I found it at a yard sale a couple of months ago. My God is that a fast paced comic.(And not in a good way.) Entire plots are compressed into a single panel. Main characters are introduced in one panel then killed in the very next panel.Also, I'm only guessing it's a video game comic because it does not mention the game at all.Nor does it make me want to play the game. I especially like the part on the back page where they say they believe they should "Stress story first..." and "Set all of it in a credible universe...".

Anonymous said...

Great review as always, not sure what I liked more, the Snowflame reference or comparing Peter Parker and Shinji.

Roger said...

I am afraid I have to disagree with Linkara. I think he does not see the whole piucture. I understand his position on helping other species, races, groups, etc. The problem with that is that helping them is always done from the point of view of the needs of the helper, nor the helped. This implies that many times, good intentions can end up yielding terrible results because of our ignorance and haughtiness. I, as a Spanish national know, as you, as an American do also know, that history is teeming with people trying to help out others and ending up screwing things even worse. See what happened to pre-discovery indigenous tribes in the American continent, the blacks in africa, the current situation in Irak... All good will and desires of offering salvation of the soul, all with terrible results for those who actually did not ask for any help, but found themselves invaded in all ways.

With all this said, I think it is retarded that there are such characters as the watchers or the monitors in comics, movies or tv shows. I understand their reasons but they always seem to behave like dicks.

sean said...

Oh the Watchers. My fav moment w/ him is still when Wolverine stumbles into his base and gets thrown out like yesterdays trash. Even had that moment in the animated series. good times.

deuxhero said...

If the "Watcher" type groups were portrayed as a bunch of lazy jackasses who watch people for the same reason we watch TV or even just went with the logic that any wiping out crime could only be done by removeing free will on some level (you know, like actual God) they would be a lot less annoying.

"A surprise Christmas comic that I bet none of you ever believed would exist!"

Cthulhu Christmas? Some character explicitly not a Christan Christmas?

GreatSG said...

Just had to comment that I'm definitely looking forward to all the Channel Awesome folks going to Magfest! I'll definitely have my Tom Servo I've shared before on hand with me, so I shouldn't be too hard to find. Hopefully you won't either since I have a few comics you've reviewed previously that I wouldn't mind getting you to deface with a signature. So can't wait for this con!

Gyre said...

The best stories at least justify the inaction by cold wars with neither side trusting the other. The real reason of course is that they introduce super powered characters and then realize that these characters could solve all the problems with the blink of an eye* so they have to scramble for reasons why they don't act.

Basically it's bad writing.

*See the Ancients in Stargate

Anonymous said...

I ask you this
If you saw an ant-hive attacking a nest of cockroaches, would you save the cockroaches?

Or a better example, have you ever noticed in the nature documentaries how the crew doesn't intervene when one animal attacks the other?
Do you think they are being douche-bags?
What's with crocodiles ripping-up baby buffaloes?
Are the documentarists bad people because they won't interfere?

so yes, I call bull-crap on your rant

Oh, and thanks for telling people to be nice to shop employees on Christmas, I appreciate that.

Lizzie said...

Linkara, never change. :)

On Watchers and such... at least Time Lords have their own lives. And it's my impression that they are supposed to keep time in order and not let the universe explode. The Watchers just watch. I don't even know why. If this guy wants to intervene and protect Earth from big stuff, fine with me. But he makes a big deal about 'nooo, I can nevah interfere. I must observe the savage course of... hang on. Take this mission. I was never here.'

What a lame comic. You know what was better than this? The Hey Arnold Christmas episode. Similar, but without the drugs or the Watcher, and actually heartwarming.

starofjustice said...

While this comic was horrible and I found your review amusing, I have to agree with your viewers who say why these god-like beings don't solve our problems for us. If they solve our problems once, then the next time something bad happens people will ask why let little Susie die. Or why they let gas prices go up, or why they let it snow so you had to get your butt out of the chair and shovel the driveway. We wouldn't see why we should do anything because a Superior Being is around and willing to intervene. The arrogant ones are still annoying, though.

Which doesn't mean that "people" with certain gifts asked to make a difference can't be jerks about it too. Ever hear of Southern Knights?

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"I ask you this
If you saw an ant-hive attacking a nest of cockroaches, would you save the cockroaches?

Or a better example, have you ever noticed in the nature documentaries how the crew doesn't intervene when one animal attacks the other?
Do you think they are being douche-bags?
What's with crocodiles ripping-up baby buffaloes?
Are the documentarists bad people because they won't interfere?

so yes, I call bull-crap on your rant "

There's one teensy little problem with your analogy:

We are not cockroaches. We're not wild animals attacking one another. The reasons that nations go to war or one person harms another are different than why animals do so.

And that still doesn't address helping people who are just left out in the cold.

But yeah, retail people deserve respect for all the crap they have to go through.

KynElwynn said...

As for video game comics to review, there's been some good suggestions (Street fighter and Mortal Kombat specifically, why is it the fighting games get comics made of them?) However I would suggest the Darksiders comic for a few reasons:
Artist Joe Madureira not only did the comic, but the character designs for the game (which are goofy), the purpose of the comic is to provide exposition into the backstory of the events of the game, but it does a lousy job of doing that, it's short. I mean really short. the entire history of the "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and how they came to be" is squeezed into about ten pages.
It was awful and you may be able to locate a scan or torrent of it online.

Anonymous said...

@Lewis Lovhaug

Yes, but here we are talking about beings that are supposedly as far above us, as we are above said animals

Sure, writers are rarely able to depict something so advanced correctly (cosmic-horror stories are the closest to getting the idea right), but it's the thought that counts

And from an animal perspective, humans could very well appear like gods (if they were able to grasp the concept, just as we might not be able to grasp the motivation of a more advanced being which in turn may really only care for us as much as we do for animals)

more on the concept

Anonymous said...

on linkaras comment ^. I feel that these supposedly superior beings shouldn't be interferring in the everday problams of mankind, as, in the end, that is something we should be sorting out ourselves, so putting people in a house is beneth them, and should be our concern.

HOWEVER, helping a family reunite on christmass eve is also beneth them, so instead the watcher should have done something far more major (like someone else said, that speech at the end was great, basing a story around that would have been far better).

Anonymous said...

As long as the godlike entities even exist you have to ask "why did they let little suzie die?"

Because well....they did.

And its not like they have to "blatantly" help, they could use subtle means to safe lives etc.....but they just choose not too.

Feeling other beings as inferior and not worth bothering with due to having less power or intelligence despite being sentient and them knowing it; well that would go in the "dick" territory.

Jeremy A. Patterson said...

The Southern Knights met The Grinch!


Dustin said...

I am not a comic book reader but I LOVE the Howard the Duck movie. (I may be the only one.)

So I hope you get around to reviewing the comics as I don't know what to expect from them

BTW, Am I the only one who got a smile out of the R2D2 plates on the car from the comics?

Have a Merry Christmas EVERYONE!!!

starofjustice said...

Yes omnipotent beings can act subtly, helping people out from behind the scenes. I still think that raises questions of "where do we stop" and "how much right do we really have to involve ourselves" and "can even omnipotent beings be expected to notice every little problem," but I'm not religious nor much of a philosopher, and I'm so probably not equipped to give intelligent answers to those questions.

I will say I think it's not as simple as they have the power, they should use it to protect us squishy folks. Especially if their existence is known. I don't know the issue or anything but I remember reading this comic in The Greatest Superman Stories Ever Told where the Guardians of the Universe try to guide Supes into only protecting people from things they can't deal with themselves, or people will start depending on him for everything. Which is what I was talking about before.

starofjustice said...

As for videogame comics, the Nintendo Comics System offers plenty of targets (and I know I saw the "best of" book on Link's shelf once). The Captain N ones were even goofier than the show, and not even in a good way.

Anonymous said...

how about the legend of zelda comic by valint or perhaps sonic the comic (fleetway) it's magazine size too or how about the turok comic by acclaim or the sonic/image/x-files/the lost ones crossover (archie)

-banjo tooie

Yogurt said...

Oh, THAT Watcher.

You know, he became less interesting after he first warned the FF about the coming of Galactus back in the day.

Now he just....well, he's boring. And bald. Lot of cool bald dudes, he is not one of them.

As for the intervention argument, rather than bore you with excerpts from philosophy texts or rabbinical literature, I think I'll quote one of my favorite shows:

"Bender, being G-d isn't easy, if you do too much people get dependent. And if you do nothing they lose hope. You have to use a light touch, like a safecracker or a pickpocket. When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all."


Xephon0930 said...

Speaking of Snow Flame,I think he needs his own movie that is a parody in itself and should team up with Deadpool to annoy the zombie Rorschach.

Anonymous said...

Great review.

In light of the video game comic requests, I was going to suggest the Sonic promo comic...but there is something far worse than Sonic's origin story. GAMEBOY the comic No. 1.

Both comics you could find scans of online.

Anonymous said...

hey linkara how about sonic #113 it's a adaption of a episode of satam (cry of the wolf) but, they throwed out the plot of the episode and replaced it with a story that dosent make sense and has art that makes slient hill look good in comparision.

Scutigera said...

Another fine review. I recently watched sfdebris's Prime Directive video, as I'm sure you did as well, and I agree with pretty much everything he said.

Just to play devil's advocate though, and following up on what Mountain King said, the Watchers acting to directly fix major problems would most likely have a profound effect on human society. Suppose the Watchers were to cure AIDs overnight; even if they didn't reveal themselves people would know that an outisde power was responsible, and would expect that outside power to fix other problems in future...and likely wouldn't place as much emphasis on fixing things themselves, all of which would likely lead up to a greater disaster.

I feel that is the premise behind Watchman; we know from our own history that the United States and the Soviet Union backed down on the brink of a nuclear war, but the heroes in the Watchman universe didn't know that and they acted with the power they had to stop a war, with tragic consequences.

In this light, the Watcher's decision to help only one individual who would not have an immediate impat on human society does make sense.

But anyway, what was Captain America doing on the roof? That's one of the most random cameos I've ever seen! :)

Sijo said...

I have read this comic, and yeah, I was really disappointed. I can see what they were shooting for- a story where The Watcher shows he does care about common humans and finds a way to help at least one despite his noninterference oath. But the plot just makes no sense nor was the victim very relatable. Too bad.

Btw, the reason Uatu doesn't interfere directly anymore like he used to in his earlier appearances is because he was finally arrested and put to trial by his own people for breaking his oath (in a 70s issue of Captain Marvel) and presumably since then, they've kept a closer look on what he does. It's better that way, as letting beings like him do anything they want would only make the superheroes look unnecessary or helpless.

Thanks for another fun review, and Happy Holidays! :)

Jon Holtgrefe said...

I think the other issue with non-interference, which I don't see that anyone has brought up yet(if I missed something I'm sorry) is that at what point is too much interference, it would be very easy for god-like aliens to end up being dictators to lesser beings, so the superior beings see it as easier to just stay neutral and only get involved in extreme circumstances.

There is a lot more nuance with the Time Lords, after all it is well established in continuity that the Time Lords were initially conquerors themselves and then they tried to help some people and that went very wrong so they never officially interfere save in the gravest of circumstances(although when they do interfere they don't hold back, see the last episode of The War Games for proof of that).

It should also be remembered that they have the Celestial Intervention Agency that covertly monitors and manipulates events, often using renegade Time Lords who they can easily deny ever sending(usually the Doctor). There is also the matter of the fact that they have become extremely arrogant and somewhat incompetent from their long years of observation, as seen by any time some enemy gets through their supposedly impenetrable defenses.

It should also be noted that the Doctor calls them out on both occasions in which the Time Lords try to accuse him of something.

My bigger issue with such god-like beings is that this explanation is often absent, instead the aliens just say that they don't interfere and nothing more or only stepping in at the last moment after quite a few people have already died and such inconsistency as is shown in this comic(after all the detailed description of the Time Lords non-interference comes from various episodes over the course of nearly 20 years.

andrew said...

It's already been pointed out... but the Watcher's first appearance was actually Fantastic Four #13. He also appears again in #20 the first appearance of the Molecule Man. After that he appears AGAIN in issue #29 of Fantastic Four, and even gets a COVER APPEARANCE on that issue. I believe #48 is his next appearance in Fantastic Four -- but he may also have had an appearance in other Marvel comics before that time -- certainly there was an appearance in Strange Tales that might pre-date the Galactus story.

It seems like a small detail -- but for people who love those stories it's not. Utatu was someone whose mythology was already really well developed before Galactus ever showed up, and his fear leant the entire story a real sense of gravity and power.

This isn't the first time I've seen someone make this claim that this was the Watcher's first appearance, and as a hardcore Fantastic Four fan the mistake is rather annoying.

Having read this issue I found your review kinda funny... though I think the comic is only bad if, as you did, you come into it hating the Watcher premise. If you like the Watcher you'll probably enjoy the issue.

--Andrew S.

David Twiddle said...

Hey there Linkara,
Loved the review. Heck, i love all of them.
You said you wanted something to cheer you up.
Here is a link to a short on Youtube that mashes Doctor Who with Star Wars. Watch to the end of the credits!

Marc Reyes said...

I do love how Captain America can simply just show up and give a rallying speech or whatever, and still be helpful in that regard. Just shows you how awesome a guy who essentially dresses up in the American flag can be, even when not kicking ass for America.

As for video game comics, I suggest hunting down Malibu's short-lived Street Fighter comic. There's a reason that friggin' Capcom even told Malibu "stop making this comic, now". It really is that horrible

David said...

I'm gonna throw in another suggestion for the Nintendo Comics System Game Boy comics.

Jeremy A. Patterson said...

David: The NCS Game Boy comics were kind of odd: Mario interacting in the 'real world', with realistically drawn people!


Scutigera said...

Since I see many people arguing against Linkara's statements, I feel I should clarify that I believe intervention is justified when an entire sentient species is facing extinction or a similar disaster is occurring beyond the control of said people to fix. Speaking biologically, there isn't much real difference between one sentient species, such as the human race, and another, such as, say, the Time Lords or even the Q. The only real differences between said species are cultural, and since the potential for communication and understanding is there I believe there is an obligation to assist one another.

After all, there is no fear of cultural contamination if there won't be any culture left to contaminate.

greg said...

I know you've mentioned being an sfDebris fan so I'm not surprised to hear some similar things in this video as in his about the Prime Directive. Did you draw some inspiration for the non-intervention rant from that?

Andrew said...

Fun review, Linkara, and I just would like to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. And I wish I could make Magfest, but I probably won't. Still, sounds awesome. Have fun!

FoxTrax said...

Damn, THAT was harsh.

And fun. Hope I see you at Magfest.

Just one question. Is there some kind of set limit for for how young comics can be before you review them?

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"Damn, THAT was harsh.

And fun. Hope I see you at Magfest.

Just one question. Is there some kind of set limit for for how young comics can be before you review them?"

I want the comic to be at least a year old before I review it, so a full storyline can develop and any emotions people have about it can die down a bit.

kais saidi said...

to uatu's credit though,i have to say that when he wants to help ,he can helpful but only if the situation demands .for instance ,during the(flawed but still very enjoyable) onslaught saga he brought en sabah nur (a.k.a I AM APOCALYPSE!!!) to new york & convinced him to help Cable to destroy the psionic theory if nathan & sue storm lacked morality it could have worked,since weakening onslaught required killing franklin, but in practice ... let's say apocalypse's plan wasn't met with the biggest enthusiasm.

If i may suggest a good Howard the duck storyline ,my first choice would be the MAX imprint run (since quesadilla is against smoking in all its forms, Howard can't appear in the mainstream because of his trademark cigar),it was absolutly Great & steve Gerber's finest work ,at least for me

Night said...

Well, let's be honest here: if you were really unto a god, there's no accountability either, so any incentive to do good must come from within. This is why Superman makes sense; he was raised to be who he is. Societies that have been godlike for generations, however, I think would start to lose the impulse. Having no problems themselves, why should they view them as something that needs to be solved?

Jesus! Warn someone the next time before you flip out the Sauron on people!

"If logic applies to this situation at all." Man, you know it's bad when Peter's snarking on it.

Spidie! No more heroic spaz attacks! You're on your meds now!

Snowflame's back. I have to admit, I'm glad to see him. Maybe you can get Spoony to dress up as Snowflame and do a poor greenscreen battle between him and the Ultimate Spoony. (That'd be awesome.) Or maybe Liz? Wait. No. THAT GUY WITH GLASSES AS SNOWFLAME.

Ebon said...

I am now forever going to imagine Uatu with the voice of Rod Serling.

Hawkflight said...

Dear Linkara,

After listening to your opening statement about how these (presumably) omniscient beings never intervene, I'm curious to hear your opinion as to similar, real-life practices here on good ol' planet Earth (erm, the real one I mean).

One of the most 'human' examples is on the show Meerkat Manor, where the narrators often anthropomorphise the meerkats they're documenting. (Oh yeah, SPOILER WARNING.) In one of the last seasons, the leader (Flower), a "character" who had been built up to a ludicrous degree, got bitten by cobra and died (and many tears were shed that day). Many people think the crew should have intervened and saved Flower's life, but they didn't. They decided not to intervene, and let nature take its course.

So, I'm curious as to your opinion on this, and how such scenarios compare to these great omniscient beings depicted in the comic books.

Hoping to hear from you soon,
Hawkflight (aka Erin Gruenzner)

Demis Harper said...

I have to agree with you on the douchiness of uninvolved aliens, Linkara. To a point. The only thing different in my opinion is when the aliens simply don't understand or care to understand other races.

Take for instance the elder things out of HP Lovecraft. They have no connection to humans on any form other than they may have created them as servants. Other than that, they really have no connection culturally, linguistically, or emotionally. To them, we are animals for study, and in that context non intervention works (even though the elder things didn't have such an philosophy).

The problem is most of the non-intervening beings in comics and other media are a lot like us. They tend to look like us, they talk like us, they share traits of our civilizations such as clothing, writing, etc. The only difference is they have either a lot of macguffin tech or some extra special power.

In that position, they come across a lot more as having inflated egos rather than being entirely alien and actually superior enough to view us as such low beings.

I suppose, however, if media did go with the entirely incomprehensible watchers they would have to be used for some kind of horror because being incomprehensible kind of limits the ways interactions can happen between themselves and other beings. So we end up with intergalactic douchebags.

Adam Graham said...

The thing with Uatu is that he HAS landed in trouble with the Watchers, one time even being tried for it and he promised never to break his vow again. He finds it hard because he cares but on the other hand, he also has a vow and a burden from his own cultural background.

I don't think it was a bad story at all.

Adam Graham said...

Thinking about this even further (maybe over thinking it), but if we can accept that the Watcher has taken an oath not to intervene and that he can get in trouble if he does big interventions too frequently that he has to work through getting other people to take action than he couldn't have solved world hunger or saved any of the other unfortunates. If he handed Spider-man a stone with generic girl in poverty, Spidey can't do much with that. However, Spidey had just been talking to someone whose granddaughter was in trouble, so it's the perfect opportunity to subtly do something nice.