Friday, June 21, 2013

Threshold #6

Ember is certainly looking much better.

According to the cover, Ember's head injury wasn't as terminal as the six panels of her lying in the street bleeding out had lead me to believe. That's the last time I allow a comic book death to fool me! I should have realized that unlike Catwoman who is only human and thus definitely dead from her head wound, Ember is an alien that has learned to survive The Hunt and probably has some kind of tricky advanced technology capable of keeping her alive.

But before I find out why Ember is still alive, Jediah Caul has to make his way back to Tolerance. He's currently sitting on a space rock outside of Brainiac's Skull-Jellyfish Hybrid Space Ship feeling sorry for himself because he's about to head back into Tolerance and The Hunted to save whats-her-name. I don't know what her name is because I'm not sure who he's talking about. Stealth? I don't think he's met Stealth yet. Ember? She's dead! But he is with her on the cover! So maybe her! My Raccoon/Kitten Hybrid Alien Crush whose name I've forgotten? Maybe Kit Kat? Was her name Kit Kat? One thing he's definitely not doing is considering rescuing Captain K'rot. Screw that guy!

Oh yeah. He means Ilda, Star Hawkins robot assistant with his ex-wife's personality. I think this comic book has too many characters for my feeble mind to remember them all. Maybe more alcohol would help!

Maybe if I ate breakfast more often, my memory would be better. I seem to remember a commercial where a bunch of kids spun around in circles and then fell over because they weren't eating their breakfasts. So maybe breakfast just helps with spinning around in circles. Boy, if my memory were better maybe I could remember how to make my memory better. Stupid memory. You're a failure!

One thing I do remember is that I kept calling Brainiac "Gigantic Penis" last issue for some reason!

Oh yeah! That was the reason! I guess Ilda and I think alike.

Jediah Caul returns to threaten Brainiac while Ilda has him under her control. But her control doesn't last long enough and Brainiac comes back, breaks Jediah's back paralyzing him from the neck down, and ejects Caul and the Tolerance Collection into space. I guess Tolerance wasn't worth much because what kind of a collector voluntarily gives up a piece of their collection? I've traded Magic the Gathering Cards with people before and they're ruthless bastards! Although I shouldn't say that about all of them. When I first began playing Magic the Gathering, my girlfriend and I were looking through our cards at a laundromat in Santa Clara. Now this was just after The Dark set had been released but we didn't know anything about how Magic sold cards in new sets and new releases. We just had starter decks. Some guy from Santa Clara University was there and saw us and broke out his Magic cards. He realized we were new to the game and was excited to share in our new found wonder of this weird ass game. You need to realize this was, shit, twenty years ago? Something like that. Magic was an odd little new type of game. Now CCGs are fucking everywhere but this was a new and fascinating concept back then. This guy gave us both a Maze of Ith which was pretty generous considering that it was the only Maze of Ith I ever owned even after buying many, many The Dark packs.

Actually that story was a lie! I've never played that nerdy game ever! I also never spent $20 on an Argivian Archaeologist card nor do I even know if that's a thing or not!

Meanwhile on Tolerance, T'morra is speaking with whoever Ember really is via some kind of communication device. Ember was supposed to be keeping an eye on Stealth instead of scaring the shit out of her by getting herself shot in the head while trying to befriend her. Unless T'morra isn't using a communication device at all and Ember is actually the tree inside his headquarters. T'morra tells Ember to respawn and go recover Stealth.

T'morra's conversation is interrupted by Ric Starr, SPACE RANGER! Was every science fiction hero of the Silver Age named Star? I know my proof of theory only includes two people, Ric Starr and Star Hawkins, but isn't that enough? Ric is visiting to inform T'morra that Lonar the New God has joined forces with Blue Beetle.

Oh yeah. Ember is the tree.

And then Jediah Caul returns to Tolerance, destroying Ebon Guard ships live on Glimmernet. Stealth sees the reaction of Tolerance's citizens as they cheer the revolutionary underdog. Or maybe they just like seeing Green Lanterns make things with their green light. Whatever the reason, they're happy and on Caul's side. Stealth begins to believe that T'morra might be right about turning the people against The Hunted program. Lonar and Blue Beetle are also watching Caul's return to Tolerance while working out their own deal.

So will Blue Beetle be done after Threshold? Cured of his parasite? Nah. I bet he simply ends up on the Teen Titans.

Lastly, Star Hawkins sits depressed and drinking in his office having lost Ilda again. Brainiac deleted her before breaking Caul's back although Hawkins doesn't know that part of it. He just knows she never came back from her mission with Jediah Caul. But that's okay because he keeps a back-up flash drive of her personality! He just needs a new robot body for her.

And speaking of Star Hawkins, it looks like he's the back-up feature for this issue! That's good since the cover mentioned he would be. But this is DC Comics and you really can't put your faith in the veracity of the cover. You just pay your money and hope at least the title was right. And in some cases, like Aquaman, even that seems suspect when Aquaman barely even appears in the issue.

Case in point! The cover mentions Kolins as an artist in the issue but he was doing the Larfleeze back-up. The artists of the Star Hawkins back-up are Timothy Green II and Joseph Silver. Green and Silver! It's like a superhero team!

Star Hawkins has been hired by T'morra to find the Legendary First Hunted that has evaded capture since the game began. Turns out she's the woman behind The Crimson Thrust, the best Hunt Club on Tolerance. I suppose that's one way to keep from being captured. And The Crimson Thrust are ready to take Hawkins and Ilda's head to meet her.

Giffen is at his best when he's one or two degrees away from writing Ambush Bug.

Threshold #6 Rating: No change. I actually thought that Threshold would be the comic book that broke the trend of DC's "War Books" getting cancelled immediately. This isn't technically a war book even though it replaced G.I. Combat which replaced Men of War. Those two titles sucked and deserved to be canceled. I felt they took war too seriously which is exactly what a war comic doesn't need to do. They need to take the characters seriously, maybe exaggerate them a bit as fighting men, but then don't put them in normal war situations or modern terrorist battles. Men of War was almost good when they had a moment with Sgt. Rock meeting a super hero, but then it collapsed back into poorly sequenced battles and mundane battle scenes. Then, again, it almost got interesting when Sgt. Rock Junior encountered a group of seeming immortals, greats from battles across time. But there was no follow through and the story didn't go anywhere. G.I. Combat decided to bring back The War Wheel and The Haunted Tank, so it seemed to be trying to play up the outrageous World War II stories. But Nazis are over and done with. They can't continuously be the villainous specters of war until the end of time. I'm pretty sure they keep coming back as the inevitable enemy because they had great uniforms. They really popped!

I think I was going somewhere with this. Oh yeah! Threshold seemed like the non-war war book that could work. It's science fiction and set in deep space, so it was removed enough from the idea of real war to be fun. It has so many different characters that I can't remember them all but most of them (when I know who they are) have an interesting, individual story to tell. This is a book that could have run for a long time. I actually feel the least interesting character though is Jediah Caul, the main character. That might have hurt the book a bit. Maybe they should have lead with his becoming a Green Lantern because that was my favorite bit with him so far. He shot a Green Lantern in the head and the ring popped off the Lantern's finger and chose Caul as the successor. That's got to fuck you up a bit.

And what's going to happen to Captain K'rot? I hope we find out who took his leg before this comic is completely over.

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