Linkara: Hello, and welcome to Atop the Fourth Wall, where bad comics burn. You know, believe it or not, of the 41 episodes of this show that I've produced, only one comic has actually had Rob Liefeld drawing or writing them.
(Cut to a shot of a cover of a "Cable" comic book)
Linkara (v/o): I know! I was surprised by this, too, especially when I realized that today's subject, "Law and Order", was another incident of Liefeld-inspired artwork. As I said last time, the man's work was highly influential in the artistic style of the early '90s: unusual proportions, emphasis on cheesecake art for women, and huge guns were all the rage. And the pouches. Oh, dear Lord, don't get me started on the pouches! Anyway, the point is that eventually Rob split off from Image Comics and started his own studio, Maximum Press.
Linkara: And unsurprisingly, it churned out this piece of trash. So let's dig into (holds up the comic of topic today...) "Law and Order #1".
(AT4W title sequence is shown, followed by the title of this episode, while Patti Smith's "Because the Night" plays in the background; cut to this comic's cover)
Linkara (v/o): Geeze! There are only so many ways I can say "It's bland", folks. Well, can't fault them for false advertising, though: two women in cleavage-exposing outfits and holding guns; it's this comic in a nutshell. Although, to make this cover a little different, is this bald guy scowling and violently straining his neck. (reads text in starburst) "1st exciting issue!!!"
Linkara: Ooh, how much do you want to bet that that's a massive lie?
Linkara (v/o): We open to a dark alleyway in Manhattan. (reads caption text) "Two minutes in the future..."
Linkara: Wow, this really is the not-too-distant future.
Narrator:Monsters prowl the city in the guise of men. The innocent die at the altar of brutality, while the working stiffs cower behind their doors, refusing to get involved.
Linkara: Did I accidentally buy an issue of "Daredevil"?
Narrator:Chaos holds unchallenged dominion over the night.
Linkara: I thought the night belonged to lovers.
Linkara (v/o): Blah, blah, blah, more narration as a woman emerges from a portal.
Narrator: In two minutes the predators will have a new enemy...
Linkara: The next movie franchise crossover: "Predator vs. Leprechaun"!
Linkara (v/o): So now it's the present. So... two minutes ago? Two minutes from the present, which is now the future? Comic creators, if you're not gonna be about what time things take place, don't even bother telling us! (narrator voice) Her name is Order. She's barely seventeen.
Linkara: But don't feel bad about leering at her in her skintight outfit or anything.
Linkara (v/o): Okay, if I keep making fun of this narration, we'll be hear forever, so here's the gist of it: Order is partnered up with this guy named Law. How ironic. The two apparently kill Mafia members, and Law was supposed to be indestructible, but now some super assassin has slaughtered him. Oh, look! Underage butt! Um... Order, th-that's not how you apply CPR, Order. Some super cop or something take Order into custody.
Max Speer: The name's Max Speer. People tell me I've got an attitude problem. Ain't no problem at all, I can back it up!
Linkara:(as Speer) You think I've got an attitude problem?! Oh, I'll kill you, son of a bitch! I'LL KILL YOU! (rushes at the camera)
Linkara (v/o): Mr. Speer takes her to the underground facility known as The Hive.
(Cut to a shot of a Batman comic)
Batman: Bees. My God.
(Back to the Law and Order comic)
Linkara (v/o): Hive is one of your standard super-secret organizations that only the President knows about, investigates the paranormal, and blah, blah, blah. We flashback to when Law met Order. Order was a drug addict whose dealer almost killed her with a bad dose of some drug. Order showed up and saved her...
(Law showed up, not order. Sorry.)
Linkara (v/o): ...and the two became a duo out to kill criminals.
Narrator: He saved her life and gave her a purpose. All he demanded in return was her unquestioning obedience. In time she grew to love him.
Linkara (v/o): Yeah... that just screams "unhealthy relationship".
Narrator: The shallow kind of love born of dependence. She knew he would not approve of her affection, so she never expressed it.
Linkara (v/o): Instead, she just made really bizarre facial expressions at him while aiming her eyes off in random directions. Still in exposition mode, Law was apparently an intergalactic mercenary who had been taken by an alien group called the Abraxis.
(Cut to a shot of a DVD cover for the movie Abraxas)
Linkara (v/o): No, no, not that Abraxis.
(Back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): This group of tall Yodas. The Yodas show him all the terrible things he had done as a mercenary.
Narrator: The massed anguish of ten thousand innocents, free-floating in the universe, adrift without a home... and suddenly he knew!
Linkara:(as Law) My God! I'm the one who made Han Solo not shoot first!
Linkara (v/o): The Yodas tell him that there are no gods, no justice, save for what living beings must impose. Oh, so the Yodas are objectivists. Thus, he must atone for his sins by becoming Law, to right wrongs through killing evil.
Linkara: Yes, atone for your murders by killing people! (beat) Wait...
Linkara (v/o): While Order just babbles Law's name over and over, we meet another woman leaping around the city in a green costume with a boob window. Why, the Sultry Teenage Super-Foxes are back, apparently. The narrator goes all film noir on us and starts yakking...
Narrator: There--down below--she sees them coursing through the streets like a malignant virus! The veins of this city are choked with corruption. Its arteries are clogged with vice.
Linkara: So, if I'm reading this metaphor correctly, McDonald's is the source of all crime!
Linkara (v/o): Back in the lab, Law is being dissected, and it's plainly obvious that he isn't human because he has extra organs. Testing out his weapons reveals that they are more powerful than anything on Earth. Seems to me that playing around with the alien guns when you have no idea how they work or what they do is an impressively stupid thing to do, but then again, I'm not the scientist. Speer goes off to talk to order, saying that she "should be coming around about now." What do you mean "coming around"? She's been awake since you captured her! Or do you not hear her say "Law" every five seconds? Anyway, they bring her to an interrogation room.
Max Speer: Now, nobody's heart is breaking over some disemboweled Mafiosi and assorted Guttersnipes. In my opinion, you've done some good. But a license to kill belongs strictly to agencies like mine. We guard it jealousy! If we let everyone have it, we wouldn't be special!
Linkara: So he's not really worried about national security or vigilante justice, but rather... (whiny voice) "No! You can't play on my swingset! Nyah, nyah, nyah!"
Speer:(narrating) She just glares like she wants to bite the nose off my face.
(Said look involves a wide mouth of shock, which doesn't look like glaring at all)
Linkara (v/o): HA! Yeah, she really looks like she's giving you a look of death there, Spearmint! Allow me to express my own anger at this comic the same way!
(Linkara is seen giving a look at the camera the same way that Order is)
Linkara (v/o): Up on the roof, the girl in green pushes her ass out behind her, no doubt because that thong she's wearing is riding up like nobody's business. Speer decides that it's story time, however!
Speer: It's about a girl growing up in the mean part of the city. No dad in sight, and Mom without the talents or skills to make ends meet the legal way. One day the girl comes home to find a pimp doing something unspeakable to her mother's corpse.
Linkara: Yeah... it's an okay story, but we were going for something with more of a Harry Potter-ish thing for our next line of children's books, know what I'm saying?
Speer: The girl bounces between juvie and foster homes for a few years. Nobody tries to reach out to her. At the age of fourteen, she vanishes, and everyone figures she's dead!
Linkara:Hannah Montana: The E! True Hollywood Story!
Speer: You know this girl, don't you? Her name's Vanessa Kelly.
Linkara (v/o): This is apparently Order's real name, and she reacts in shock to it. So... how did Speer get this information?
Speer: Vanessa Kelly didn't die. Somehow she transformed herself. She became a fighter.
Linkara:(looking at comic cover) Well... I guess she does kinda look she belongs in the Street Fighter universe.
Linkara (v/o): However, their conversation is interrupted when Green Girl suddenly bursts through the wall. Can someone please explain something to me? Okay, I get the hyped-up muscles, the cleavage, the skimpy outfits, but why in the hell does she and so many other '90s characters have a single shoulder pad?! What kind of protection is ONE going to do you?
Girl in green:I'M HERE FOR THE GIRL!
(Cut to a clip of Rush Hour, with Carter (Chris Tucker) addressing Lee (Jackie Chan))
Carter: The girl don't like you!
Linkara (v/o): Emerald Gal promptly kicks Speer in the stomach and frees Order, handing her a gun.
Girl in green: It's set for stun...
Linkara (v/o): So the two open fire on random silhouette people in the Hive. And look at all the bullets that are flying here! Somebody want to tell how you set bullets on "stun"? Speer manages to recover and asks Order to wait.
Speer:Vanessa! Listen to me!
Vanessa: Vanessa Kelly's DEAD, mister. There's only ORDER now.
Speer:(narrating) And I'D be dead if they WANTED me that way.
Linkara:(looking at comic, confused) Huh?
Speer:(narrating) And I'D be dead if they WANTED me that way.
Linkara: What the hell does that line have to do with anything? Who's "they", and why the hell should we care about whether they want you dead or alive? And how exactly is that a response to her saying that she's Order now?
Linkara (v/o): And what's with all the weird faces we keep getting? Their jaws are just protruding, for some reason. Their mouths are half-open. It's like all the characters were suddenly replaced with large-mouth bass! A few minutes later, the two stop at a rooftop. And so, our comic ends with Order suddenly leaping at the woman in anger, realizing that...
Order: With that GUN, you're the only one... ...WHO COULD HAVE KILLED HIM!!!
Linkara: Well... actually, you got a pretty good look at (a shot of the real assassin from earlier) the assassin from earlier, and let's just say boob window was not part of his attire. (holds up comic) This comic sucks.
(Cut to a shot of the back of the comic)
Linkara (v/o): Oh, but we're not quite done yet, because we're also treated to this special message from Marat Mychaels, creator of "Law and Order". (reading text) "Welcome to the first issue LAW AND ORDER! First off, I'd like to thank you for giving this book a try! I think you'll be pleasantly surprised!" I sure am! I was expecting something really terrible. Instead, I got something mediocre and boring. "Having the cast of characters fleshed out in a story that I was pretty proud of was only the first step." What character fleshing out? Other than Order's past, what do we actually know about her as a character? Unless by "fleshed out", you mean "revealing more skin on their costumes"? And what happened to the bald guy that was on the cover?
Linkara:(holding up comic) I think we all know what a comic book called (makes "finger quotes") "Law and Order" should've been about: (shots of Lennie Briscoe (saying "Brains!", as per a word balloon) and Det. Robert Goren appear in the corners of the screen) Zombie Lennie Briscoe and Detective Goren. (points at screen) They fight crime!
(Linkara slams the "Law and Order" comic down and walks off)
(Stinger: Linkara has returned)
Linkara:(looking up in thought) You know, if that girl in green really did kill Law, could we saw she (looks toward camera in mock surprise) "betrayed the law"?