The Marville Horror Part 4: Stay with the TARDIS, Damn It

March 11th, 2009 by | Tags: , , , , ,

Article by Fletcher “Syrg” Arnett.

If you’re still foolish enough to trust the covers, you might think this issue is action-packed. You’d be very wrong, though. Let’s see what our recap-writing buddy has to say this time.

See that movie reference there at the end? Yeah, I don’t think Jemas knew there was a Jurassic Period, because over the next two pages they all keep referring to it as “How long until Jurassic Park?”, “150 million BC — Jurassic Park”, and it’s rather irritating. Also irritating: we know damn well from the first issues that the time machine can send things to a pinpoint time. It’s how all the stuff arrived right where Al was when it was sent back to him. For some reason, this has changed all of a sudden, because now instead of just punching in “150 million BC” as a destination, they have to count up through the years at “50 million years an hour” and so they need to stick a young organism inside the time machine with them inside a bag made from Al’s future-shirt.

Now, let’s be honest. Time travel is a bitch to do right in any kind of story. If this were a good story, I wouldn’t be overthinking this, because I’d be caught up in the story. But no. I’m going to dissect every issue in this next scene. How the FUCK does a single being inside the time machine start evolving spontaneously when all the humans are left untouched? You can’t claim it’s set for humans alone, they sent the dog back in time. (I just realized, I don’t think AOLstro is going to show up anymore either. Sorry, canine-lovers.) But somehow, since nobody seems to know what the fuck they’re doing, they toss a random microorganism and some water inside Al’s shirt-bag and how do they tell when they’ve arrived? When the damn thing evolves into something that’s in the Jurassic period, of course. But this will make even less sense a panel later, because then we see that inside the time machine is a screen that shows what’s OUTSIDE OF THE FUCKING TIME MACHINE! And if you want to get even pickier there’s the fact that they keep saying, “Oh hey, the time machine only goes through time, not space, so we’re always at the same point in time as my house in 2002.” Except the Earth is constantly moving, so driving like they are? Someone’s ass would get tossed into space, is all I’m saying.

Anyway. Let’s get over the science wankery and back to the story: the microorganism has evolved into a “duckbill”, signifying that it’s time to get out of the time machine again. Apparently this is an actual dinosaur species, but I’ll let you guys see where there might have been some creative liberties taken:

Ooo yeah. Because we didn’t have enough sassy dinosaurs in comic books. Thank god Snorts here runs out of the time machine, and Jack has to chase after, telling the humans to stay the fuck where they are.

If your square for Retarded Protagonist Bingo included “told to stay put, runs off at the first sign of a threat”, put down a marker, because they all run up a tree when some other duckbills come by. Despite cries of, “They’re herbivores,” everyone gets towards higher ground… and then the duckbills pick up a downed tree and a trio swing it like a club to knock down the tree our heroes are in. Luckily, Snorts rushes in and stops them from being… why the fuck were they being chased? They really ARE herbivores, and they’re like three times larger than the humans. I can’t see why the fuck they went to all this trouble. Also, you could probably wonder how Snorts even has any kind of credit with these people. He’s been in a time machine his whole life, how the fuck did he know his own kind and how to stop them with impassioned pleas?

I hate this book.

Anyhow, onwards. Now that the humans are family (“You’re only family or enemy to a duckbill.” – thanks Snorts, HOW THE FUCK DO YOU KNOW THIS), and Jack gets all high and mighty over how humans are apparently the exact same because we… eat animals? I don’t know anymore. But he and Snorts run off again, and this time it’s the very-carnivorous “Raptor” that attacks the crew. I guess they didn’t come around for a while after the Jurassic era, but frankly, I had to Google that to even know, so let’s let it slide. Duckbills smash the raptors down, declare that their young are dead because raptors leave no survivors, and walk off. Then we decide to have everyone start bathing for no real reason, so Jack can both stay with the crew for more than five minutes, and get preachy again.

I’ve already gone off on some tangents, and this one is actually in my field so it would take even longer if I went into it, but the short answer is: this is completely fucking wrong and that 10% thing is a myth I’d love to hear die off soon. Jack keeps rambling, eventually letting slip that there’s an asteroid coming, extinction event, you know the drill. This time we bring an otter along as the clock to see when humans appear. I am really beginning to doubt Jemas’ grasp on biology at this point, but what the hell. Let’s play along. Mickey, cheerful as she is, asks them to go slowly to watch the asteroid hit Earth. Al, who has gone between bleeding-heart and cold-hearted from scene to scene for the past two issues, is now in “blubbering pussy” mode, saying that he doesn’t even believe Jack exists, much less his prophecy that the asteroid will be coming. Then, when it does, he begins sulking in the corner only after amazingly large amounts of life have begun to come around again. Keep in mind he was totally down with the “patricide and cannibalism” part last issue while MICKEY complained, so maybe there’s some kind of body-swap subplot at work which we were never told about, like the love story.

Then we reach the final page of the issue. I couldn’t describe how stupid this is, and so it is something I will let you read for yourself.

Incidentally, I’m gonna blame the inker for this art. There was nothing nearly as retarded in issue 3 (which had no inker, if you recall), and it had a hell of a lot more close-up shots. Oh, and yes, that last line is indeed implying what you think it is. And you thought that whole “evolved from canines” thing was the worst possible origin for him, bet you never expected him to really be a time-displaced otter!

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    4 comments to “The Marville Horror Part 4: Stay with the TARDIS, Damn It”

    1. the suspense is killing me. Also, the art and writing are killing me.

    2. @mack: The whole thing is killing me so much, I’m dead.

      If I just wrote random crap down it would be better than this garbage. Jemas actually thought he would outsell Peter David with this?

    3. That Jemas thought he could outsell anything is astounding enough.

    4. I actually read this issue when it came out, but managed to convince myself I only imagined it. It is really, really hard to believe this got published, let alone REpublished as a trade.

      Man, I feel so bad for Doc Bright. No wonder he phoned it in; would YOU want to spend much time thinking about this script?