New Kids on the Block 4
December 6, 2010
This comic has NONE of the right stuff.
(Open on Linkara seated on his Futon)
Linkara: Hello, and welcome to Atop the Fourth Wall, where bad comics burn. It's that time of year again, probably my favorite time of the year besides Halloween: Christmastime! (snaps his fingers and a Santa hat appears over his regular hat) For the next few weeks, we're going to celebrate the season by reviewing a few horrible Christmas comics. First up is the "New Kids on the Block" comic.
(Footage of a New Kids music video is shown)
Linkara (v/o): Ah, good, something else from the '80s and '90s to remind me how I'm officially old for remembering them. For those of you too young to recall them, the New Kids on the Block were one of the earliest modern versions of what we think of as a boy band. I'd like to think I have something interesting to say about them, but I don't. As a little kid, I was aware of their existence, but that was pretty much it. I never listened to their music, and I'm not gonna listen to very much of their music for this review. Oh, Marky Mark was a member of New Kids on the Block, apparently. I didn't actually know that. For those of you who don't know who Mark Wahlberg is, well, here's one movie he was in.
(Cut to a clip of The Happening, where Elliot Moore (Wahlberg) is addressing a house plant)
Moore: I'm just going to talk in a very positive manner, giving off good vibes. We're just here to use the bathroom, and we're just going to leave. I hope that's okay. (touches leaf) Plastic. I'm talking to a plastic plant.
(Cut back to the New Kids video)
Linkara (v/o): Anyway, you're probably wondering who in their right mind would want to have these people in a comic book.
(Cut to shots of covers of Harvey Comics, including "Richie Rich" and "Casper the Friendly Ghost")
Linkara (v/o): Harvey Comics was a comic book publisher that lasted a surprisingly long time, considering what they had to offer. The most well-known properties they had were probably "Casper" and "Richie Rich". From what I've read, Harvey Comics wasn't exactly in their best state by the time the '90s rolled around, and, well, let's face it, when your comics are competing against the mullet-wearing, gun-toting superheroes of the '90s, and you had "Richie Rich", you're probably not gonna be making the top ten in sales.
(Cut to a shot of another Harvey Comic, this one a New Kids on the Block comic)
Linkara (v/o): However, they did land a license to the New Kids on the Block comics... and proceeded to milk it for all it was worth. I found at least three series that the New Kids on the Block were stars in, some sites saying it was six, but I didn't care enough to actually sit and count all of them.
(Cut to a second New Kids comic, this one a crossover with "Richie Rich" – seriously)
Linkara (v/o): But two of the series weren't even just about the New Kids; there were direct crossovers with "Richie Rich" and... some other character I don't know. It's amazing that anyone thought this was a good idea, but that probably helps explain why Harvey Comics isn't around anymore, many of its properties sold off to other publishers later.
Linkara: So, let's dig into (holds up the comic of review for today) "The New Kids on the Block #4", the Christmas issue of their main series!
(AT4W title sequence plays, followed by title cover for this review, with "The Right Stuff" by New Kids on the Block playing in the background; cut to a shot of the cover of this comic)
Linkara (v/o): The cover is standard fare for a holiday issue: the five boys emerging from a giant present. Also, good God, what were you two [sic] doing inside of the present? And why are you still doing it when the present is opened? Or are you just bending over like that because you slipped? And... geez, not even your Christmas hat wants to sit on your head for some reason. Also, is it just me, or are these two guys [Jonathan and Jordan Knight] clones? We open up to the five dressing up as Santa Claus, because apparently they're holding an outdoor concert. In the middle of December. And somehow, these Santa outfits were what they chose for this. You know, I'm not a singer, but that just seems like a way to make you all sick from the cold weather and make it difficult for you to complete your concert tour schedule.
Jonathan Knight: What a beat way to spend our day off, Danny!
Linkara: "Beat" is not an adjective. Try again.
Danny Wood: Yeah, Jonathan... tryin' on Ho-Man costumes for our holiday concert...
Linkara: "Ho-Man costumes". There are so many inappropriate jokes.
Joey McIntyre: Think this beard would chump people into believin' I'm the real Santa...?
Linkara: I have no idea who you are, and yet I hate you already.
Store manager: Everybody but my cleaning lady, Joe... That's her mop!
Linkara: Yeah, just go ahead and rub that dirty, filthy janitor's mop all over your face, dude. It's worth it to con people into believing you're Santa! (rolls eyes and facepalms himself)
Linkara (v/o): The group is wondering how the suits will look in daylight and decide to just walk out of the costume shop. One wonders why a group with this much fame is doing their costume shopping at a corner store costume shop instead of just having the makeup and costume people that work for them handle this. I mean, you wouldn't want to do it in public because you might have a mob of screaming fans suddenly show up. Oh, look, that's exactly what happens!
Girl in crowd: EEE-EEEK!! I told you I saw the New Kids around here!!
Linkara: (as another girl) And the dozens of us here all instantly believed and followed you!
Linkara (v/o): Conveniently, the door locks behind them, and they have to run down an alley to try to escape the mobs of women who no doubt want to strip them naked in the snow.
Joey: Let's fly...
Danny: ...like Santa...
Linkara: (irritably) Santa doesn't fly!
(Cut to a shot of Bearded Idiot from "Superman At Earth's End")
Linkara: (even more irritably) THAT DOES NOT COUNT!!
Donnie Wahlberg: ...and don'cha pause...
Jonathan Knight: ...'Cause if the fans catch us...
Jordan: ...we're a hopeless Claus!!!
Linkara: (very much not amused) That is quite possibly the worst pun I have ever heard in my entire life.
Linkara (v/o): I don't even get why they did it. None of their other dialogue to each other is done in rhyme, so why force the rhyme there? And are the New Kids psychic? How the hell did they know how the others were gonna finish the sentence? The New Kids duck into a social welfare business called the Helping Hand Society. Their pursuers apparently can't see more than two feet in front of them since I highly doubt the New Kids would be able to evade them while wearing heavy Santa suits and fake bellies and RUNNING IN THE SNOW. They're caught by Mandy, a blind woman who assumes the five are new volunteers.
Mandy: The pick-up truck you'll be driving is outside...and ready to go!
Donnie: D-D-Did you say, "Pick up"?
Jonathan: You can pick me up... any time!
Jordan: Me too!
Linkara: You guys were being chased by dozens of women just two seconds ago. Were they all hideous in your eyes?
Mandy: I'm glad you're all so enthusiastic, because there's lots of work to do!
Linkara: Apparently, according to this comic, becoming blind makes you unable to realize when you're being hit on.
Mandy: Thanks for volunteering, guys... Christmas is our neediest time!
Danny: Don't mention it!
Jordan: Halloween is our favorite holiday!
Joey: Happy New Year!
Linkara: (confused) What the hell was that? Are they just speaking randomly now?
Linkara (v/o): They arrive at a house that they're going to be fixing up, which surprisingly has a lot of boarded-up windows. This isn't some cheap shack, either. This looks like a nice flippin' place. Did the zombie apocalypse happen in this universe and no one told the owners it was over?
Mandy: This is the house we'll be decorating, boys.
Danny: Gulp! I didn't know Dracula was into Christmas...
Linkara: What is wrong with your brain? It's not like it's some old spooky castle. I'd kill to live in a place like that!
Joey: ...Didn't you ever hear of "Jingle Bats"?
Jonathan: ...or "Bite Christmas"...?
Linkara: Why are you talking? Every time you talk, you only prove why you shouldn't.
Linkara (v/o): One of them [Joey]... What, you really expect me to learn their names? They all dress the same way, and their personalities are easily interchangeable. They might as well have called themselves "New Clones on the Block". ...points out that it's weird that they're decorating a house that nobody lives in. Good point, who exactly commissioned this organization to do this? I'm not sure if this comic is trying to embrace stereotypes about blind people, and it's kind of difficult not to notice when this comic makes the blind woman look like Mr. Magoo. They're not sure how to get into the house, so one [Donnie] tries to climb up onto the roof... buuut instead falls down through two floors right into the cellar.
Donnie: (dazed) Uh... this is just the break we needed, dudes!
Linkara: (laughs) Oh, he broke his spine in three places.
Linkara (v/o): So, with access via the cellar, they go about cleaning the place up and hanging up Christmas decorations. They finally ask her what the deal is since no one is around.
Mandy: Most people don't realize it, but one advantage of being blind... is that I can hear sounds that others don't notice! I've walked by here many times... and I know there's a family living in this house!
Linkara (v/o): WHAT?!? THAT'S YOUR LOGIC?! NO ONE IS EVEN PAYING YOU TO DO ANY OF THIS?! YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW THAT ANYONE LIVES IN THIS PLACE! And if someone does, you're freaking breaking and entering, and you put that hole in their patio! Look, I've heard the same thing about enhanced senses, too, but if all you've heard are "sounds", that could mean anything! Maybe there's a raccoon living in this place. Maybe it's actually a crack house for some teenagers who sneak in for one reason or another!
Mandy: They're probably afraid to show themselves! I guess they don't realize this house is going to be torn down soon...
Linkara (v/o): Why the hell would anyone do that? This house is in the middle of nowhere. Who owns this place? Why do they need to tear it down? Urgh! Anyway, one of them [Jordan] walks into a closet and sees two pairs of eyeballs floating in the darkness. He yells in horror, causing the others to pick up Mandy and run away.
Danny: Run for your lives! Jordan just saw a "YAAAH!"
Jonathan: A "YAAAAH!"?
Joey: Yeah! Like in "Godzilla vs. the 'YAAAH!'"
Linkara: Now you're just making up random phrases, loosely connected. It isn't funny, and it doesn't make any bit of sense!
Linkara (v/o): Before they can run off, they discover... What do you know? A New Kids on the Block album! They theorize that whoever lives there must really love the New Kids, and they start singing one of their songs. Yes, because their acapella version of it must be indistinguishable from a recording with music. It turns out there's a family living there, the kids running out when they hear them singing.
Boy: Daddy! Mommy! Somebody's playing a New Kids on the Block record!
Linkara: (as boy) That's justification enough for us to be idiots!
Linkara (v/o): The family explains to Mandy that they can't afford to pay rent and are staying in the old house until they can get back on their feet. But that's okay, because Mandy says that her organization can help them find a new home. Not new jobs, mind you, just a new home. Okay, this is just ludicrously idiotic. Mandy, why did you waste your and the people you thought were volunteers' time? You knew the place was gonna get torn down, and yet you wanted to decorate it anyway?! And you went through all of this nonsense because you heard people in here every once in a while?! How do you know that they didn't know about it and were just there to pack up remaining items? And this family has nowhere else to go?! Why'd they hide out there instead of, well, anywhere else?! And why are they only NOW accepting help from charity?! Why didn't they go there themselves?! Oh, God, who cares? This story ends with the New Kids once again saying moronic things to each other. This comic is actually an anthology book, meaning there are even more stories with the New Kids. Next up is "Strictly Unconventional", wherein the New Kids on the Block go to a New Kids on the Block annual fan club convention. Yes, I'm serious here.
Linkara: Why do I get the feeling that the artists' alley is filled with nothing but Yaoi slash art of the New Kids members?
Jordan: It's a great idea, Joanne!
Linkara: No, it isn't. None of this has been a good idea.
Jordan: But do you really think the fans will believe that we're New Kids look-alikes?
Joanne: Trust me, Jordan! As the fan club president, I told all the members that you're not the New Kids... Now you can walk around and enjoy the New Kids fan club convention without any problems!
Linkara: Okay, (holds up index finger) one, seriously? A New Kids on the Block convention? (holds up two fingers) Two, why would you go to that kind of trouble for a plan that probably won't work anyway? (holds up three fingers) Three, I've been to anime conventions as a guest before. It doesn't matter if you're a look-alike or the real thing, you look close enough that people will come up to you and want to have photos with you!
Linkara (v/o): This plan is even dumber when you consider that people will still go up and ask them if they're the real New Kids, since their freaking pictures are EVERYWHERE! Hell, that's even what happens: someone yells and points out that it's really them! Sure, she gets shooed off by someone else saying it's not really them, but still... Not far away is the most stalker-ish fan in the history of ever. It's a girl named Fanny Tweetersweet... Yes, I am serious. ...who has a pink van marked "Super Fan" that has a radar dish on top. This girl actually has developed technology that serves the sole purpose of tracking and identifying the New Kids. Dear God, not even US-1 had that kind of technology in his truck!
Fanny: As their number one fan, it's my duty to know where they are at all times!
Linkara: (more than a little irritated) SEEK... PROFESSIONAL... HELP!
Linkara (v/o): She uses her handy New Kids tricorder to track them into the convention, but she accidentally breaks it. She then tries to get them to sign her autograph book so she can RUN THE HANDWRITING through the computer to confirm it's THEM! What is wrong with this person?! Why is she not using her technological genius for the good of mankind instead of this?!
Fanny: I'll clip one of their toenails and run it through my New Kids toenail analyzer!
Linkara: (utterly disgusted by what he's reading; calls offscreen) SECURITY!!!
Linkara (v/o): Anyway, they trick her into thinking that they're not actually there by making a fake live broadcast behind some potted plants to simulate their being in a jungle. The next story is an adaptation of "The Night Before Christmas", only with the New Kids in it.
Jonathan: (narrating) Our stockings were hung by the CD machine, / In hopes that ol' Santa would soon make the scene.
Linkara: That won't work, for you see, it's a tight fit. Santa comes down chimneys, you boneheaded twit!
Jonathan: Danny, Joe, Donnie 'n' Jordan piled-up Z's in their beds, / While memories of concerts played-back in their heads.
Linkara: Accusations of lip-synching haunted their dreams, tearing up their careers right at the seams.
Linkara (v/o): I'll continue the summary in rhyme, since it's funny. If you prefer something else...
Linkara: (playing with a toy bunny) Hey! Look at the pretty bunny!
Linkara (v/o): The New Kids run out, summoned by noise, seeing an odd Santa and equally odd toys.
Jonathan: When what to our wandering eyes should appear, / But a stretch limousine... and eight lovely 'dears'. / With a jolly ol' passenger so classy and slick, / We knew in a moment: 'twas our manager, Dick! More rapid than Porsches his limousine came / And he whistled and shouted and told us their names:
Dick: It's Mandy and Rachel, Amy* and Rebecca... / Meet Madeliene and Allison, Kristen and Jessica!
- NOTE: Linkara reads "Amy" as "May".
Linkara: That doesn't really rhyme, and if I may be so astute, there are many jokes I could be making about prostitutes.
Linkara (v/o): I don't get this scene, and it's best left forgotten. Why not? They do it well, sensing how it is rotten! It's insulting to women and serves no point. It's almost like the writers were smoking a joint! The limo vanishes, and in a confusing two panels, they hear a loud noise and reenter through strange channels. They climb through a window... when the door wasn't locked... It's almost like this comic was made to be mocked. Suddenly, Dick returns and he carries gifts in a sack. Dear Lord, where did I get this, and can I have my money back? Dick says the gifts are all meant for them, but they all must have taken a hit to the brain-stem. They want to give the presents to all of the people.
Linkara: And I just want to go leap from a tall steeple.
Linkara (v/o): These are personalized presents, you (?) nimrods! You have all the brainpower of a school of dim cods! The presents won't match the people, and returns will be plenty. Everyone will get gift cards that equal bucks of twenty. Maybe you should've just been polite and accepted the gifts, you know. Perhaps that wouldn't have featured so much suck and blow! Speaking of blow, here's another thing to ruin everyone's moods...
Santa Claus: Merry Christmas to all... and to all... party on, dudes!
Linkara (v/o): Dear God, there's more?! When will it end?! It's a two-page story that I just want to rend! It's about a girl who has a date with a New Kid named Joe... who's about as interesting as freshly-baked potato. And yet many people crowd them, invading their space. I'm surprised the girl didn't spray any of these losers with mace.
Linkara: (holding up comic angrily) This comic sucks, and I tell no lie. It's boring, it's moronic, and I just want to cry. That's it for now. Next time, it's another comic's turn, here on Atop the Fourth Wall, where bad comics burn. (slams comic down, gets up and leaves)
(Stinger: Fanny Tweetersweet is shown again)
Fanny: Only a science major could've created a New Kids on the Block toenail analyzer!