Daftwager Twitter Fiction Day 55: Musical Face Off With Doll Face & The Men O’ Rags And Patches

January 10, 2010

Day 55:


07:00; Daftwager! A Maestro On The Rise! Daftwager! My Lasers Will Blind Eyes! Daftwager! All Will Scream In Surprise! Daftwager! Whomever Bars My Plan Dies! Daftwager! I Sing While God Cries!

07:10; Von Quatloo! A Paragon of Skill! Von Quatloo! I Will Set Fire To The Hills! Von Quatloo! My Enemies I Grill! Von Quatloo! Millions Shall Number My Kills! Von Quatloo! Of Death, I Eat My Fill!

07:20; I destroy/ All joy. Burn all toys/ For all girls & boys. The love I hate/ The hate I freed. Hate I’ll make great/ Love I’ll cut, make bleed. One day everybody will shiver/ the universe I will make my mirror.

07:30; I well remembered/ those I dismembered. I have recalled/ those I mauled. I have surely ruminated/ on those I decapitated. I have called to mind/ Those I left behind blind. I’ve even sung/ On he, I hung.

07:40; Thinking back on my life/ Of causing death, shock & strife/ To child, waif or wife/ Ending all with the knife. Considering my times/ Looting the dead/ And the other crimes/ Prying gold teeth from heads.

07:50; Therefore, when then pressed to assess/ A history, of extreme physical duress/ On the whole, if I could go back/ And had it, to do over again/ It’d be a yet darker black/ And still yet more bloody pain.

08:00; Provided Neil Patrick Harris or Hugh Wooster Laurie is singing this on the West End, in six-to-eight months, the requisite resurrection of Mr Lloyd Weber’s lead singer need never come to exposure …

08:10; LW is a club member, of course. He pours out his pitiful little story of artistic frustration for the tenth time since I revived the girl. I tune it out, concentrating on my accord, with the good ‘Joseph James’.

08:20; Dear boy insisted on seeing picture of Princess Shelley before agreeing. The standards of these mountebank-murderer gigolos these days. I presented him such pictures of PS, unobtrusively obtained …

08:30; … taken from a distance due to PS’s phobia of mirrors, photography or film and so the entirety of her might fit in frame. Her size, rather than her hysterical vampirism, is the cause of her image aversion.

08:40; She is quite large for what is, essentially, a land mammal. Certainly she is anorexic – after all, every time she looks in the mirror, she sees a fat person. I give him a hula-hoop, for reference, to waist size.

08:50; Ain’t no blubber big enough/ Ain’t no depth too low. By now, ‘Joseph James’, has already presented hurried goodbyes to Miss Clymenstra, fraudulently foisting a good excuse, should he need to return.

09:00; LW still, teary-eyed and soused to the gills, looks set on an eleventh recounting. I dismiss the thin-fingered little strangler as my nine o’clock arrives. A Miss Clymenstra, bigwig CEO and inelegant poet.

09:10; Oh yes. Very yes. I replay the start of my meeting with ‘Joseph James’. I still have the microphone-recorder, from when mental projection & perusal required recording equipment. And hours of tape …

09:20; Real time reading reaps rewards here. She is shocked, hurt at the callous tone of voice and cold terms with which she is being discussed by her lover. She is in pain. And she believes; a mighty bonus!!!

09:30; She always suspected … why does this keep happening to her … why does she keeping falling for at best emotionally unavailable men and at worst … at very worst … out right con artists, & murderers!

09:40; She has a good cry. Crying is not to be underestimated. Many times I have tortured someone to insanity, to uselessness, when tears restored them for interrogation purposes. I hand her some tissues …

09:50; … my hankerchief being purposefully pox-ridden. Then I make it clear to her the lack of legal recourse in this situation. The recording, obtained under false pretenses, would never stand up in the court.

10:00; ‘Joseph James’, rinsed of guilt, would wash away the bloodstains and repeat it all again. Unless, of course, were someone to stop him. In personal sense. In a physical sense. In a very permanent sense.

10:10; She ceases snuffling. Of course, she says, this would be for the safety of others. The CEO, deep down inside, thinks something very different, right where I can see it, plain as day. It is as dark as night.

10:20; So strenuous my stressing of this safety situation motivation that she almost believes me. As such, I therefore tell her ‘Joseph James’ should have one more mission. If he reforms, he will go free & clear.

10:30; The subject of this mission will be so pathetic, so trusting, so sad that if his heart is not turned from this evil act then he possesses none & may be put to death without a qualm. CEO Clymenstra chills …

10:40; … until she sees pictures of Princess Shelley. A straight face is kept, equal to my own, as I recount how ‘Joseph James’ shall need to engage in childish fopperies & idiocy to seduce this mammoth maid.

10:50; All I require is a donation. Far, far less than she would have lost had ‘Joseph James’ succeeded in his scheme – even less than the legal fees she would have incurred in pursuing the ostriches of justice …

11:00; … from her, and from the families of all his previous victims. There is quite a list – ‘Joseph James’ had a very guilty, very detailed conscience – didn’t even notice my rifling such, unused, sections of brain.

11:10; I’m obliged to her collecting the contributions for corporal punishment for me. Once the cheques clear, I will forward to each a live video stream from St Vago, featuring Joseph James. For a … judging.

11:20; Yes, I will still shake Princess Shelley like an epilepsy seizure sufferer. That will come in six months. I require ready cash, now. The tally of victims, at ten thousand apiece, sterling, should be £500,000.

11:30; To claim the entirety of Princess Shelley’s pecuniary assets is my aim. In this scenario, it is much preferable that he be dead. If I can have a cabal of conspirators, who would rush to take credit … good.

11:40; Clymenstra, setting out square-shouldered and straight-jawed on her errand, waves back shyly. A strand of the poet is extant, still, I see. Perhaps C would consider writing lyrics, for my new musical …

11:50; … after all, I should be able to inflict pain upon my patrons, so that they might sympathise with victims on the stage. Altogether, that was relatively easy to arrange. Scuppering ‘Mary-Lou’? Easier still …

12:00; … just a series of pen strokes away. I write up a letter, detail events and enclose recordings, to Sir Cyril Pankhurst ‘Deviant-Cable’ Gavotte-Smithington. Backdate couriers that the letter waits a week.

12:10; If I showed him now, he’d never believe. But one week, engaged but eligible, targeted by every tricky tart & totty toff in London; he will find something else. ‘Mary-Lou’s’ conventing would hold him …

12:20; … his sense of honour upbraiding him to resist. But, if he had a reason … anything like a reason … he would accept it. He will have the informant paid off for form’s sake. Then when he starts thinking …

12:30; … Cyril will want her safely married away … then he will want her punished. Oh yes. A formal form of the above conversation with Clymenstra will be messengered over automatically. Cold vengeance.

12:40; Seven days: Clymenstra; to rally the families, Cyril; to be primed as a 1-man ATM. Should all go to plan, & I don’t quite see with even my 3rd eye why it wouldn’t, I will be up 1 million, by week’s end.

12:50; I turn to my invisible audience and bow. Do I not deserve honour and ovation, wealth and oblation? They do not even applaud in return. How patently unmannerly!

13:00; I tell them I know they are here. That they have been here all matin. That I know they know all about my schemes – a compliment to their comprehension. Naught.

13:10; *Sigh* One receives a reputation for irrational cruelty – a candid slur on my rational sensibilities! – all because one’s enemies are illogical buffoons. Ah well.

13:20; I tell Cheshire what she is thinking. She is thinking I always do this to empty rooms. She is thinking I’m bluffing. She thinks she is safe in the corner. Wrong.

13:30; Cane strikes into empty air, connects with the back of her big Cornish head. Unconscious, unitard-attired in Paradigm’s ‘Emperor’ line, falls the invisible woman.

13:40; I wait, while she shimmers into the solid spectrum of light. First the bones – but with her catsuit & cowl, the first thing to reappear are thus the teeth, then light-sensitive eyes, of the transparent Cheshire.

13:50; Read her mind. Atlas sent her, keeping a convivial eye on my new rumoured abilities & I. Sweet, in that sugar is a poison, in excess, rotting one’s teeth, blinding one’s eyes & endangering one’s kidneys.

14:00; Nervous systems overlap & entwine like kudzu. Cheshire requires Atlas’ patronage; her cost of living is high. She can pay her way of course – invisibility! – but not all can be ‘bought’. Like; one’s health.

14:10; Arteries and veins probe into existence, tracing bone. Health can, of course, be bought, but Atlas is one of the few specialist suppliers, aside from Ratman; Invisibles are very often riddled with cancers.

14:20; Tendons & muscles trace out an outline. Invisibles … aren’t. Not in every spectrum. Need to see. Infra-red, thermal imaging … or ultraviolet. Skin intangible; uv permeable. Organs; solid, enough to die.

14:30; Organs inflate into gory existence. Invisibles: act at night. Less radiation, to fry glass-lidded eyes, or wound their on-display insides. Unless: tailored threads so fine as to be unseen, but are still uv proof.

14:40; Skin tone appears in painter-strokes. A suit fit for an Empress. Paradigm used anoviruses to create stem cells from Chesire’s skin, cultured to shift into invisibility with C while protecting C from uv rays.

14:50; Leather catsuit & cowl, sprayed-on tight. Largely boring, except the leather is technically her skin. Almost alive – requires C’s slathering her every bodily inch in a blue bio-plasmic paste before donning.

15:00; Yes, boring, except it is technically her blood. Keeps the suit … stimulated. Red leather from heel to head, the eyeglass apparatus capping her cowl looking like a crown. Night Shade’s work, no doubt.

15:10; Cheshire, red queen of corporate chaos; ‘off-ed’ her head. Croquet mallet, if I’d my druthers; she sabotaged a game for Ratman. Still, never hold grudges; rather release them, wild, to monstrous effect.

15:20; The Vigil Alliance gave her this suit … & the need to work for them, for maintenance. Ex-Cold War agent, ex-industrial espionage agent, aiding the Atlas-Vigil Alliance scheme to privatise world peace.

15:30; Once cogent, I insist on bandaging her boo-boo. I loop the gauze around her head, watch the blood seep into it, make it disappear. Like a photograph development, in reverse. I take a few … samples.

15:40; Of course I wanted her conscious while ‘administered aid’. Time to read her mind, assess her report to Atlas. Not bad; assumes I have thermal-imaging contact-lenses. Also; I want her to feel this hurt.

15:50; Yes, we should fight. The muscle relaxant I administered in her time of somnabilia somewhat stops this. Jefferies escorts her to a taxi, all to glad to oblige rule-bending, given my helping clubbie LW out.

16:00; I sit down. Much to think about, mostly other people’s thoughts. Still, this might proceed faster second time around. This one knows all about speed, and I know all about her. ‘I know you are here.’

16:10; Nothing! Has my observer not obtained an instrumental lesson in what happens when I am meaninglessly defied by super-powered voyeurs in haute couture. I proceed in the face of idiocy.

16:20; Not quite as easy. Her thoughts aren’t easy to read – very fast. All the same, I’m hearing ‘corner-corner-corner!’ in squirrel-speed speak. Will make no difference if I can’t catch up.

16:30; So I do. ‘Strike-Swing-Connect-Connect-Connect-ion! Clobber-Connect-Punch-Connect-‘ ha! TGV’s BORE renders me a momentary swiftness of foot & accuracy of cane.

16:40; A moment of hummingbird movement; then, preciptating out of the air like dew, is the lady in Paradigm’s ‘Physics Cheetah’ friction-free leotard, the super-speedster March.

16:50; Ex-soldier, freed from parade march by an accident with particle acclerators & mercury. Like Excelsoar: no tactile telekinesis. Like Excelsoar: tight suits & boots. Like Excelsoar: laid low, by my hand.

17:00; Fingers twitch in muscle memory. She is Ratman’s errand lass, sent to seek out the source of my strange powers. Constantly vibrating at post-visibility velocity, she remained out of sight for all of today.

17:10; Toes whir, in a floorless staccato-step. March, under the aegis of the Vigil Alliance, requires Ratman’s industry to survive. Money? Moves faster than I the eye. Health? Mental; it is aid behind the eyes.

17:20; Spasm rampage all over. Neural pathways were changed in the quantum molecular mishap. Army med discharge due to psychological instability, because M either perceived time moving snail-speed …

17:30; … or an incomprehensible rush of sensory overload. Ratman adapted Night Shade’s neural net designs, creating cortical info analysers, levelling out a flooded stream of consciousness to a quiet dribble.

17:40; Eyes, in REM sleep. Not that that was the original Ratman adaption. Torture & incarceration; distort a normal viewpoint: wreak instant sensation-scalding or stretch seconds the length of a 1000 years.

17:50; Atlas’ pioneering boy scout bio-tech keeps the kleptomaniacal ex-spy alive and kicking while Ratman’s infamous interim-compensator implants leave this world-saving ex-soldier dead sane. *Laughter*

18:00; She awakes, the albino white, red-eyed. I inspect her head, the implant studs & info jacks ever so delicate. A little sticking-plaster, a vial of blood … an anesthesia where it will metabolise quickly, here.

18:10; Her mind has slowed right down. A preview of her report to Ratman; I may have sonic ear buds sensitive to high-level vibration frequencies in addition to thermal imaging contact lenses. Bully for logic.

18:20; I inspect the elaborate & oversized timepiece strapped to her waist – almost half past six! Time to get the last of these ladies on the road!! Probably not by 3rd storey window, however tempting it is!!!

18:30; March is martially capable & very angry. She is also groggy, and suggestible about ‘being late’ for what I urge is a ‘very important date’. Shuffled into a cab, by the ever-capable Jefferies, I sigh in relief.

18:40; So neither Ratman or Atlas trust me as far as I could throw them and I perceive their fervert fondlings to be done with the craven claws of the Vigil Alliance, Shade & Paradigm as the puppetmasters …

18:50; … good! Enough of this bally mess of praise & accolade. If I’m to be so praised abroad, well … they are disabled at birth as foreigners! Old Blighty is better: my lovely, lice-ridden, gun-wielding-queen.

19:00; Now I alight, fie! As the Club Dungeon Planet xXx of Nantes is known as ‘L’Etrangier’ & the still-under-repair Paris branch known as the ‘Feasting Hall of Fools’, I away to London’s ‘Wonder Land’.

20:00; The Club’s current proprietor resembles Dylan Moran; as if the lout Irish carouser had been borne, by cats, fully-formed, only hours earlier, & particularly for this evening. He is as courteous as always.

20:10; Column of cement bumps my elbow. I turn to remonstrate, then, seeing his calcified condition, allow him a brief reprieve. Sylvestite Stone: currently pilloried for a year due to charges of public sodomy.

20:20; Lithophile – tried to seduce Nelson’s Column. Took his sentence on the chops like a trooper, but allowed leniency in affixing the stone entirety to caterpillar treads. A drinks cabinet would be pushing it.

20:30; Rector Farnsworth leans on the bar, heavily tanned by the light of other suns. Sent by Squid Bishop 3rd-Grasping-Limb to convert the heathens of Paradise Five; Success! A record low genocide num.

20:40; Eternal life, benevolent god & the miracle of consubstantiation; someone has to beat the Catholics to the sweet, sweet nectar of their immortal souls. Even multi-limbed reptoids can be damned forever.

20:50; Even Farnsworth’s worthy conversion report, given in person would not warrant the gas-giant hollow-jump GNP-product expense. But the first interstellar Christian marriage, in the Church of England?

21:00; Shows me pictures of his Intended. Most would recoil in ‘the Horror, the Horror’. I, however, have been studying the missives, & correctly compliment him on the whiteness of her innermost tooth row.

21:01; Their marital bed is – then I hear her mind, reading it, as I’ve always wanted to. Backstage somewhere, yes, but distinctive as I imagined. All in the third person. Intense, time slows, reading real time …

21:02; Stockings first – wide-meshed fishnets with gathered seams running down the back. Her toes keep poking through the holes, threatening to tear the fine material. The lace garter belt holds them in place.

21:03; Next an intricately-patterned pair of black lace panties, French-cut, of course. The material feels strange going on; an errant fold in the lace in fact a gap, cleverly hidden, for all their apparent ‘elegance’.

21:04; The matching black bustier is snug in the back; a few adjustments to the straps makes it … bearable. The bottom was even more restrictive than the top, compressing her ribcage several inches, at least.

21:05; The dress itself; black silk, white lace trim. No maid, French or otherwise, ever worked in such a getup: not in any domestic capacity. The cut in front; a slightly rounded ‘V’ – usually a squared-off ‘U’.

21:06; The cut: dress conceals nothing not already covered up by the ornate bustier. The back; similarly low-cut, leaving most of her smooth back bare – discounting the ‘ornamental’ ribbons, holding it closed.

21:07; Lace trim abounds, naturally; skirt section takes it to extremes. Three separate layers of stiff, lacy folds were attached beneath, as a kind of ‘underskirt’ that extends just a bit past the dress’s hemline …

21:08; The crinoline; starched and reinforced, presses the skirt out at almost right angles to her legs. Hem only coming to a mid-thigh, the final effect is quite ‘pronounced’ especially when walking; the whole …

21:09; … has a tendency to sway from her hips, moving as a unit. Of surprising-high quality, one expects cheap fabric, glue; instead, the lace & silk are soft, the stitching well-concealed and surprisingly strong.

21:10; A delicate pair of fingerless lace gloves: clasped at the wrist. A black ribbon choker: unornamented, but for the lace trim. Dangerous-looking eight-inch stiletto heels: patent leather, shined mirror-bright.

21:11; Thick, white powder-paste applied everywhere skin shows, until not a shadow of burn scars surface. The blind bumps of her old optical orbs thus pasted in a putty she thumbs colour contacts on each.

21:12; A wet noise: the light-weight Guy Fawkes mask – minus moustache – seamlessly adheres into place. She tests: the artifical glint of her contacts in the mirror, waggles her silver tongue through the mouth.

21:13; The dark-haired page-boy wig, straight strands at mid-neck length, sits evenly along her bald head. She pats a useless headpiece – lace trim on satin even here – into place into the perfectly-coiffed hair.

21:14; Check: paste dried to a flexible skin-like surface, uniform across her frame & bone white. Jewellery; A mauve-flecked agate, set in silver, lies pendulous between her breasts. Does not check; hypnotic.

21:15; Left hand; pinky: ‘*’, ring: ‘D’, middle: ‘O’, index: ‘L’, thumb: ‘L’. Right hand; thumb: ‘F’, ring: ‘A’, middle: ‘C’, index: ‘E’ pinky: ‘*’. The letters are reversed – readable only in mirrors, & bruises she inflicts.

21:16; She snaps the fake nails into place, red as the rouge & lipstick of her mask. An exercise in razors. The paste puts them in their place – she lost any chitinous growths they could be attached to in the fire.

21:17; Earrings, simple silver hoops, attached to ersatz earlobes on mask-edge. Hearing: perfect, as are her senses of sight, smell, touch and taste. No idea how, all her sensory organs immolated, but: perfect.

21:18; Does her scales, like a schoolgirl. Doctor Shutter Grutt thought music studies to be appropriate Accomplishments for such wilful a girl as herself. She even played her violin, as Grey Field burned down.

21:19; She considers the fire – enveloped everything! – eyes, ears, hair, tongue, skin! -And them I am out! The pain is beyond comprehending; she regards it as a nostalgia, of the loveliest thing she ever made.

21:20; Then the house band starts up & I have eyes only for the stage! Eyes, ears, noses, lips, skin in fact; they all look a pinch blank!! But beautiful, all the same: Doll Face & The Men O’ Rags N’ Patches!!!

21:25; Doll Face: committed to Grey Field Sanitarium back in the dull days when a wild night on the town could get a girl sectioned as suffering clinical nymphomania on the word of 2 doctors. Ah, the 1980s.

21:30; Shutter Grutt vapid psychological theory: dressing women in petticoats, chastity belts, high heels, ball gags, maid uniforms & whatever else rattled his chains, would curb their ”gross, sexual tendancies”.

21:35; In an isolated town owned by the ‘Step-Forward Wives’ Institute, Grey Field Sanitarium used haemhoraging-edge of hallucinogens, pychotropes, electric shock therapy, neurosurgery & ”mood music”.

21:40; Along with Music, Doll Face was encouraged to take up Painting, Gardening, Cookery & Dance, moderate pursuits designed to ”restore” women to the golden age of sexual inequality & impotence …

21:45; … from which she graduated top of her class. Receiving her diploma from Dr Grutt himself, she was their success story. Very successful – in how she spinning-kicked Grutt’s throat, shattering his larynx.

21:50; In a move adapted from her Dance, she silenced Grutt & his vocal control over her & her classmates. A dance-karate sequence later & all the orderlies were immobilised, just before gas filtered down.

21:55; Mixtures from the art room & the kitchen had created mustard gas, napalm & various poisons. Released, visited upon the ceremony’s attendants, through proffered refreshments & burning art projects.

22:00; Grutt, in his greasy fumbling, had produced a being of enhanced kinesthetics, nonlinear senses & brilliant intellect. She was more merciful than they; she killed them before the garden nitrogen exploded.

22:05; Odd old tale isn’t it? Probably entirely false. Can’t read ‘her’ mind – her pain is too exquisite … Did you know Grutt submitted ‘dysfunctionally homosexual’ men to the same treatment? Food for thought.

22:10; Backing up the most scarred ‘woman’ in singing is none other than the Men O’ Rags N’ Patches: have stab wounds all over their bodies. Could sew them up, but they prefer to let their stuffing hang out.

22:15; A quintet of knights errand set upon a witch regarded to practice the occult art of poppetry; European equivalent of voodoo dolls. Seduced them sufficiently to snatch sorcerous hair samples from each.

22:20; Souls welded to lifesize mannequins (more skin space sensation, like QK’s gorilla suit) & tortured into a catatonia. Unbeknownst to the witch, souls survived in the dolls after the original bodies burned.

22:25; They awoke to glass eyes, leather skin & smiles sown onto their faces. What they did to the witch is unrecorded & they have no physical brain to read. Still – Gingerbread Houses do burn very merrily.

22:30; They give me ‘Doll’s House’, ‘Play Time’, ‘Cut The Strings’, ‘Punch & Judy’, ‘Maquette of Terrible Purpose’ & ‘Guy Fawkes Set Alight’. Her voice should not work, making it mighty. Still: time is down.

22:35; Descending to soundproof private Private Rooms, I easily relax. A day started swerving the intrigues of such intelligent enemies as Ratman & Atlas will end enjoyably, playing a simple game of poker …

22:40; … with Ratman & Atlas. Oh yes – received the invitations yesterday. Tipped their hand in a sense – they make it best practice policy to eyeball my handheld technologies before our regular card games.

22:45; Atlas & Ratman games are stuff of super-industry stories. Once monthly these titans in the business of metahuman moneymaking, research & development play, share ideas & lie like old grandmothers.

22:50; To liven things up, beyond simplistic card-counting & reading of facial tics, there is the added element of Turing-Testing. In essence; oneself, Ratman & Atlas are ‘real’ – the other 2 players; may not be.

22:55; Clones, robots, ghosts, zombies & aliens – these two are utterly unscrupulous when it comes to creating counterfeit card-players. In one case they convinced the invitee that they were the automaton …

23:00; … where as I, invited to 20 games, have yet to be fooled by everything reasonable & several things that weren’t; if I hadn’t met that ‘young boy’ in his office as avatar of the moon, they’d have had me …

23:05; We’ve bluffed each other over green baize for years. The cheating is assumed of course; its only poor form if one is caught: aught else is fair game in this game. Mind-reading; this will be so very merry.

23:10; Ratman; no aliases extant. Appearance: Richard Branson, dotted with plug-in ports & tattooed in binary code, all where a Sunday suit would cover them. Mind-read: bursts of static, squeals of silence.

23:15; Ratman: An Apocalypse Engine, The Army of Empty Children & 5 out of every 9 Electric Valkyries. As ill-used as they were by their purchasers, R’s designs were the essence of the unethically sound.

23:20; Atlas; no known alter ego. Appearance: George Best, pierced neuro-pressure points & metabolic-patched joints, usually hidden, by formal dress. Mind-read: bogus belches & pseudo-silent squelches.

23:25; Atlas; A-Genesis Generator, The Greatest Generation Restoration & 3 out of every 7 Papal Reboots. Bad-handled by good-minded masters, A’s solutions were otherwise epitomes of clever kindness.

23:30; The game itself in the back of my mind, I focus on the possible fake among our other attendants; an attractive young woman with digitized red eyes & a large, maybe-mechanical, green-haired gorilla …

23:35; … neither of whom is fake. Both quite human, I’m sure, though, like Ratman & Atlas, I cannot read their minds. A & R might do much to outwit me, but mindless doubles of their girlfriends goes too far.

23:40; Queen Kong; Ratman’s social significant other & secret test pilot of his bleeding-edge tech. Former Navy experimental diver, debilitated in driving 1 of R’s prototypes. Paraplegic; possibly an amputee.

23:45; QK: product of 50 engineers, 28 surgeries & £12 million. Brain & nervous system silicate studded, QK’s larger-body/tactile-area allows an almost-human skin-sensory-receptor count of ’16-squared’.

23:50; Eve Austin; Atlas’ hetero life partner & silent lab cat of his state-of-the-life science. Ex-Air Force test pilot, nervous system schismed in nerve gas exposure spared by A’s medsuit. Spinal cord severed.

23:55; EA: blood, sweat & sundry other fluids of 68 biologists, 20 neurosurgeons & £10 million. Cortico-muscular, kinetic-supressor & neuro-metabolic patch implants allow 17 articulated decimal pressures.

00:00; So: the other players definitely not doubles of A’s & R’s girlfriends; many gynoid crafters has discover this the hard, ‘cricket-bat’ way. Also; R doesn’t know EA is a hero & nor A know QK is a villain.

00:05; Now, the politics of the day pronounced upon, A & R conversate upon the speculative. A thinks R is speculating when he opens with an acid vat death trap & R thinks A is speculating when counters-

00:10; -with an akaline-base bomb! R: trapdoor-drop into a spike-filled corpse-pit! A thinks a moment, then: sketches out an anti-grav device powered by ambient energy from the akaline-acid voltic battery!

00:15; This is but an old opening gambit – soon they soar on imagination, their rival views powering their magnificent minds more than any other stimulation, just as it apparently was in their college days. Aw …

00:20; … how sweet – R has just proposed the triggering of a supersonic pulse designed to deafen, defecate & derange its subject. A, with but deftly defused remains of R’s earlier tornado torpedo to hand …

00:25; … he quickly constructs a counter-frequency canceller from the torpedo’s scanner-simulator: a sonorous silence tolls. However: the Law of Conservation Energy cannot be flouted even in conversation.

00:30; The theoretical lair explodes in shockwaves of song, the opposing noise released from the impromptu device’s constraint. Hilariously, this will almost certainly be a future adventure of those contumelies,

00:35; -The beautiful & svelte villainess known as The Female Guerilla, designation Major Nagi & her constant clasher the bulky and brauny heroine known as Airman Mechanic, codename Captain Carter …

00:40; … running respective research & development black-ops for Ratman & Atlas. Queen Kong’s green fibre-optic follicles & huge frame allow ranges of sense & emotion, bereft from the ‘her’ inside her …

00:45; … aka Major Nagi. Shorn of the bigger experiencesuit, her strength trebles, her sense of pain is quartered, her expression resembles a botox-botch overdose & she is a small, strong, senseless cyborg.

00:50; Secretly armed with Ratman’s latest villain tech to test, Nagi is quite terrifying. Wielding weaponery seven generations beyond even the government, only Eve Austin might stand proud, in the guise of …

00:55; … chrome-covered Captain Carter. A heavy sensory deprivation suit, designed as an exoskeleton for her to learn use of & grow strong in her cortico-stimulator augmentations is now her battle armour.

01:00; MN vs CC, will, in an inevitable few months, repeat everything here theorised in life, all the requisite traps & gadgets reproduced as hand helds. But where was I? Oh yes; the fake of the 5 is therefore-

Powers Volume 2, Astro City Volume 2, Animal Man Volume 2, 100 Bullets Volume 2, The Boys Volume 2, Dr Who: The End of Time

January 10, 2010

Powers Volume 2:

Collects issues 8-11 – (half the issues of the previous trade paperback & seemingly excising the 7th issue). This is half relief (including scripts in the first tpb fattened unnecessarily) & half disappointment  at the brevity. An excellent three part story all the same. It adheres to the police procedural ‘reality’ created, without too much sackcloth & ashes over said reality. A solid mystery, good tension, good story & a very careful ‘?’ in the end. The idiosyncratic art & dialogue continue – hard to read but good to read.

Astro City Volume 2:

Haven’t read vol 1 – on order! – but this is … genius. Clever. Compact. Surprising. Thoughtful.

Astro City is Busiek’s creator-owned comic. Ostensibly, Busiek says the classic comic A-plot is the B-plot & the B-plot is the A-plot – really though, the classic comic clash is the context, the A-plot is the drama. It maps the classic destinies that we know & that we love – and that is purpose. Busiek doesn’t let other writers play in his sandbox because ‘if they blow up the moon, then I have to write with a blowed up moon’ – rather, I think Busiek could write a blowed-up moon, but he couldn’t write it if someone did something character-changing; murder, death, crime. Astro City is my attraction to creator-owned incarnate – the see-saw of constant character change is wearing on larger titles, sometimes.

Astro City Confession details the Confessor & Altar Boy, as told from AB’s point of view. Yes this is Batman, and not-Batman at the same time. All the formative experiences & answering drives are different, all the tropes & questions are the same. Won’t speak to the details – this is one set of surprises upon which one shouldn’t spoil on oneself – but there are several notable mentions: One of the first superhuman religious supergroups I’ve seen in a while that haven’t been cast as crazed zealots or hypocritical conmen. One of the first guy-brought-in-to-succeed-where-superheroes failed wasn’t underlined as evil. A Crowning Moment of Heartwarming story ‘Called the Nearness of You’ at the end.

Also: Alex Ross of Kingdom Come fame does beautiful covers AND character design – so don’t be shocked that the Superman, Wonderwoman, Capt Marvel & Batman alternates bear a passing similarity to the KC styles in-comic & are pretty much those characters verbatim in the cover art. Except The Samaritan (guess?) has blue spit-curled forelocks.

Animal Man Volume 2:

Excellent yes, and a terrible tease! The double-epilogue mysteries have developed into whole-issue mysteries, as Post-Crisis continuity quakes annihilate the known & the forgotten. The concept of being retro-reduced to an artist’s sketch is a clever & visceral type of Nightmare Fuel. And then Morrison goes ahead and lays down a smart, informed & undecided view on animal rights & experimentation, just to screw with us on several levels, the genius.

100 Bullets Volume 2:

Conspiracy on the scale of the Manchurian Candidate. Tragedy on the scale of Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid. References, suggestions, double-feints & surprises. Graves & Shepherd, Dizzy & Lono, etc. Short stories, long arches – it is crime drama & government coverup written by a guy in Chicago & drawn by a guy in Argentina. ‘The Game’ – 100 bullets, the person who screwed up your life & an untraceable, diplomatic immunity gun – is writ large here, self-conscious of what a large play it is, & its smallness in the world being revealed as the untrustworthy Trust – yet avoiding the crypto-crime that leads to stream of consciousness nothing . . .


The Boys Volume 2:

7  issues – we meet another Batman ( i like those, you see ) – exploding villains try to takeover Moscow – and we meet the creepiest comicbook version of Stan Lee ever. This is knock-Icarus-out -the-sky action with Iapyx pulling the trigger. First read suggests that is Ennis’ Crapsack World – all heroes are perverted, deluded dictators. Second read suggests that this is Butcher’s not inaccurate, not strictly accurate take on things. It also introduces the true villain of the piece – an unrecognisable suit, blending to the background even better than Billy’s Badass Longcoat – an appropriate enemy for Billy, whose elegant shutdown plan hopefully promises more than the usual evil executive.

Dr Who: The End of Time:

So. Slipping this in with the comics is appropriate. Death of Batman, Death of Sandman (re-read recently, also by Gaiman), death of an unnamed favourite in the selection above – the Death of the Doctor is, appropriately, one that gives dignity to the death and puts a portion of the emphasis on the aftermath as well as the act. Curious guy-love between Master & Doctor aside, it was stylish tragedy.

Yes, a gun apparently threatened a guy with an annihilation hand. Yes, a gun apparently threatened a guy with force lightning powers. Yes, apparently radiation killed the guy who absorbed triplified x-ray machine rays casually into his shoe. No, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that it was a good death. We all know that Batman, Sandman & (censored) could all die – and therefore they never die. We know they have limitations – and therefore we allow them to have none.

All those deaths were different – some with the guy who never killed killing with his final breath, others where he didn’t until the last – some with the ultimate guy killing our guy, some with our guy making a quiet, unknown sacrifice. All the same – The Doctor prophecy, foreshadowing in human form as it was, was effective because they usually get so much less warning, less able to express the bitter taste of someone else walking off with your clothes & your memories – and the bitter release from the cycle of endless death & loss.

Was glad about the ending – when I saw the cast listing including Pretty Much Everybody, was worried Journey’s End was coming about again. This was better. The silence, the note, the save, the sontaran, the lottery ticket – particularly liked the tragic little laugh-sob thing Tennant pulled off about the Journal of Impossible Things. I hope we don’t see those assistants for a while, if ever again – not dislike, I just want to see this character build his own gallery, of good & evil, and not be weighed down.

Afterall, as with Sandman, This Doctor died when he needed to change, as change is a little a disease – its why its called a ‘growth’.

Spring 2010.