Cultural Crossovers #19: Avengers: Infinity War

In which TF is thoroughly W’d.

  • This piece of history is really sucking for the Asgardians. Culled twice? (Or three times, by the end.)
  • EBONY MAW, YOU POMPOUS ASS!
  • Oh, Loki. Don’t ever change.
  • Well, that’s a new experience for the Hulk, and I don’t think he cares for it very much.
  • And Heimdall of Asgard dies well.
  • Well, shit. Loki might actually be really dead this time. Never expected to be saying that.
  • And that’s some nice targeting for a dying god.
  • Aw, those crazy kids got back together. Excellent. Shame about the interruption.
  • Man, it would be nice if our universe came with a bunch of convenient ontotech keys. As long as they were in the right hands. Namely, ours.
  • Good cape.
  • What the hell is that, a giant flying cyclotron?
  • Great distraction, kid. Completely indistinguishable from genuine panic. And great cameo.
  • Pompous ass and dumb muscle. Nice pair.
  • Damn, Thanos gave the big guy PTSD.
  • Now that’s some fancy suitage. Pretty sure you can’t actually make one even with our tech, but still. Unless that’s vibranium, maybe.
  • Spider-Man has evidently has time to get used to Starkplanations.
  • Best cape!
  • Ah, that new suit smell. Nice crazy-prep.
  • Light-lag: sucks.
  • Man, we love these guys.
  • Not sure you have god wipers.
  • Drax has quite the man-crush, there.
  • Well, that’s a hell of a thing to bond over. Such magnificent dysfunction.
  • He decimated Xandar? Damn. We liked that place.
  • Nidavellir sounds interesting. Let’s go there. The audience is very much with Rocket, here —
  • Well, okay, except that last bit.
  • It can speak! (Not the mind stone; that we were expecting. The one-man brute squad.)
  • You have a beard now.
  • And Team Freedom And The Right Thing continue to kick ass. Were we expecting any less? We were not.
  • This, presumably, is the culling of Gamora’s homeworld.
  • So, literally killing half the population.
  • That’s a hell of a thing to ask. Even more of one to have to ask.
  • Drax, the Destroyer of Moments.
  • Also, Tivan, what in the universe could you possibly sell an Infinity Stone for?
  • And there I was expecting Drax to play the role of Leroy Jenkins.
  • That was too quick.
  • The reality stone. Right.
  • Okay. That was both messy and awesome.
  • Damn. All that for nothing.
  • And this Ross continues to prioritize being an asshat over, well, reality. Fortunately, Rhodey knows that.
  • Thank you, Cap, for continuing to be the voice of ethics.
  • Shuri built you a new arm! Can’t wait to see how this one performs.
  • I’m guessing you missed hearing about the whole Dormammu incident?
  • Makes perfect sense to us. Also, you have the same chronic hero syndrome as your mentor, there.
  • Beautiful. And the perfect end for said pompous ass.
  • Well, it is a Strange name.
  • Welcome to the team. Everyone else’s induction was about that short, too.
  • Seriously, that’s your motivation? DO YOU KNOW HOW BIG THE UNIVERSE IS? AND WITH THE SIX STONES YOU’RE LOOKING FOR, COULDN’T YOU DOUBLE THE SIZE OF THE UNIVERSE ANYWAY? OR AT LEAST THE AMOUNT OF RESOURCES?
  • AND YOU KNOW WITH POPULATION GROWTH YOU’LL HAVE TO DO IT AGAIN AND AGAIN?
  • YOU’RE INSANE.
  • …and that looks really uncomfortable.
  • Thanos shows that he does know the one way to make torture work.
  • Nidavellir sounds like one hell of a forge.
  • We understand your motivation, Thor. Just hope you have something left when it runs out.
  • You collecting body parts again?
  • Well, okay, it was one hell of a forge.
  • 3/4 of a ship isn’t so bad.
  • “Blanket of death”.
  • Mr. Lord is his father…. oh, wait.
  • I’m guessing scrying gambit. Yep, scrying gambit.
  • Those are poor odds. Or a certainty, depending on how you look at it.
  • …okay, how did you get there?
  • Which raises the question: just how sapient/sophont are the stones? Other than mind, obviously.
  • So, the soul stone has a test that guarantees only deeply terrible people can take it. Seems poorly designed.
  • Well, shit.
  • Nice kinetic barrier. Couldn’t do better ourselves.
  • Well, I guess they probably would have some spares.
  • Jump-starting a neutron star. Impressive. Also, what the hell are the dwarves made of?
  • Put Banner in the Hulkbuster suit. Cute.
  • Nice to see T’Challa and M’Baku getting along so well now.
  • Ah, the infamous Inhuman Wave Attack.
  • A bold move, and did Thanos teach any of his minions tactical acumen?
  • (Guess he’s helping to reduce overpopulation by ensuring as many of his own armies die as possible.)
  • Okay, what the hell is Thor made of? Flesh-phase neutronium?
  • The axe is Groot.
  • The audience wonders how the Bifrost is still working when its generator presumably got all blowed up with Asgard.
  • Still a grand opening move.
  • This not-plan is going remarkably well.
  • …until then. Quill, dammit. We understand, but damn it.
  • You just threw a moon at them. A friggin’ moon.
  • Dual-wielding a raccoon. That should go on the resume. But watch your arm.
  • Heh.
  • And I shall call you Excessive Wheelbots.
  • Well, Okoye, that would be why.
  • Some of those armored war rhinos seem like they’d be useful about now.
  • You won’t like him when he’s angry, either.
  • …and now you’re throwing singularities.
  • That is probably the greatest honor a human has ever received.
  • This, presumably, is the one path out.
  • Okay, that’s a really nice starship-killing axe.
  • …did he just turn Bruce into a half-fossil?
  • How impressive is it that the Scarlet Witch is able to significantly hold back Thanos while simultaneously destroying an Infinity Stone? All of impressive, we say.
  • Horrible as it is for those people who have already had to make the worst possible heroic sacrifice and have it be for nothing, having it actually reversed right in front of your eyes manages to out-horrible it.
  • (Worse, in-‘verse, because this might actually be a possible kind of causal weapon.)
  • Oh, gods. So close.
  • And Peter dies thinking he failed. Thanos needs to die twice for that alone.
  • (Huh. How did Bruce get out of being half-phased into solid rock?)
  • Hope that pager calls someone… you might have been better off calling most of a movie ago. Did no-one keep Fury up to date?
  • “THANOS WILL RETURN”. Well he’d better. He’s got a hell of a lot of red in everyone’s ledger.

…really, they’re not gonna want to make the audience wait too long for Endgame, ’cause the audience is all heated up and baying for ol’ purple-chin’s blood. Now it’s personal.

(Which is to say, they are a passionate race, and they have an understanding of the proper protocol for heroic sacrifices, which is to get together, hunt down whoever was responsible for ’em, and get medieval on their ass. And they’ve been following these folks through their triumphs and tragedies for eighteen movies now.

Damn right it’s personal.)

Cultural Crossovers #18: Black Panther

Okay. A quick preamble.

This is going to be a really hard one for the Imperial audience to understand. Not because it’s not an awesome movie, or anything, but simply because they have absolutely no cultural context for the background – and there’s only so much gnostic overlays can do.

(For those who are haven’t been keeping detailed track of the cultural background elements, here’s your quick summary of the main divergence points in their history:

  • Well, for one thing, there was considerably less phenotypic divergence to go from, because of the limited initial population, slowed divergence, and a couple of bottlenecks, so while people could talk about the six original eldrae races, the two that came later, and the further divergence of cladism, it was never quite so immediately apparent. Which I mention not to explain a lack of racism, but rather to point out why the racial distinctions we make are so non-obvious to them
  • …but even that isn’t particularly relevant, since no-one got around to inventing hierarchical moral racism. At least part of that is down to the various different sets of instincts we’ve addressed in a whole lot of places (starting here) and in particular being too individualist to really grok group identitarianism and associated status games; as for the rest —
  • — well, let’s just say that the civilization whose unofficial motto was always “slavers, die!” never found any particular need to develop copious justificatory bullshit for treating people as property.
  • Colony, and its derivatives, don’t have the same contextual meaning. (See here for more.) A colony is founded out of nothing; if there were people there already, it ain’t a colony, not in Eldraeic.
  • And even if you do get around that problem by translating “colonizer” into traän-rianqármoníë daráv (“conqueror”), you then face the secondary problem that Earth-style colonialism is not how the Consolidation worked. (You can tell that because, y’know, all Earth’s empires fell, and most of them – especially in the “colonial” era – didn’t work very well for the owners even when they were up and running.) There were no metropole-periphery distinctions, no subject peoples versus ruling ones, no mercantilist exploitation (free trade, rather, which enriches everyone – just as planned). Admissions were preferred to forcible annexations, and even forcible annexations became peers with all other constituent nations. And history, naturally, proceeded very differently…
  • The sort of ugly urban ghetto of poverty and its associated vices that Earth cultures like to shove people in to oppress them doesn’t exist there, either. Partly for reasons as given here, but also because of things like the Citizen’s Dividend, eleemosynary organizations, and because the Empire has a pretty firm grasp on its economics and the shit you don’t do if, like the Empire, you hate poor people and wish to solve this problem by enabling them to self-upgrade into rich people.

)

So as you read through the point-by-point below, the thing you need to remember is that – with the possible exception of anyone who’s taken the official Exploratory Service “Barbarians Gonna Barbar: Here’s How” course – while the audience may love this movie, they don’t really get this movie. Earth-style racism doesn’t have anywhere to fit within their cultural context. It just reads like humans decided to arbitrarily pick a subset of themselves to be giant dicks to just because, and who the hell does that?

Who, indeed.

So, anyway, here we go:

  • Vibranium has lots of interesting properties, evidently. But, hey, so does our orichalcium.
  • This, we presume, is not Wakanda.
  • Is that a… glowy lip barcode? Interesting ID mechanism.
  • The Third Directorate approves of your spying on your spies.
  • One of the poorest countries in the world? Oh, this is quite the cover-up, we can tell already.
  • How to get an Imperial audience to stand, cheer, and root for you from then on: introduce yourselves by whacking a bunch of slaving assholes while being awesome.
  • And now we go straight from “my, that’s a gorgeous landscape” to “ah, this is where Earth has been hiding its real advanced civilization all along”.
  • Given the interesting properties of vibranium, one would think someone would have noticed what that was made of. Or at least that it was made of something unusual.
  • Between the post-poisoning conversation and the “spreading out the crime scene”, these guys are into some cold shit.
  • Ooh, cyborg.
  • (For anyone who might have the wrong idea of what the hyper-civilized Imperials might think of the ritual-combat succession and so forth, they have a great deal of respect for a culture that preserves its traditions and authenticity during its advancement, rather than getting all bland as many less respectable cultures do. And they have some interesting succession mechanisms of their own. And, y’know, it’s easily interpreted as a kind of consensual governance mechanism.)
  • ((I’m just going to take a moment to add to my preamble that this was something the Empire positively encouraged during the Consolidation, because having many diverse parts and cultures to draw from was one of the major factors that made the whole effort worthwhile.))
  • Can’t say they’re going to think much of M’Baku’s ideas, but they certainly respect his willingness to put himself on the line for them. And both his and T’Challa’s actions at the end of the fight.
  • There is going to be, I foresee, much speculation about the Ancestral Plane and its relationship with vibranium’s other properties. And that sky. (Comparisons to the Ocean of Souls included.)
  • T’Chaka delivers very good advice. Very hard, indeed.
  • Case in point: both Nakia and W’Kabi are making exceptionally good points.
  • Presumably someone like Klaue is where Howard Stark got the vibranium for Cap’s shield? That seems like something that’ll come back to bite later.
  • Shuri has best lab. And terrible best taste in puns.
  • Nanofabric, bead-tech, a sand table based on utility sand, vector control (!). Awesomeness.
  • It’s a little early in the movie to contemplate sequels, but honestly, at this point the audience is hoping for an entire movie titled Shuri, Tony, and Bruce Do Science To Things. Throw in Hank too, maybe.
  • Oh, gods, it’s a Ross.
  • Well, aren’t you charmingly eccentric.
  • Kicking that much ass in a formal dress, it’s easy to see how Okoye got to the top of the Dora Milaje.
  • Oh, that’s what’s in the arm.
  • A vibranium car. With, presumably, vibranium-infused glass windows. And with that remote-driving system — hell, you could just remote-drive it through anything you didn’t want to be there.
  • Guessing that arm-tool is Wakandan in origin, since it seems able to blast vibranium (a presumably specialized task). And picking up all the pieces of the vibranium ex-car is going to be a hell of a job for some Wakandan-on-the-ground.
  • Diplomacy, I believe, is not her business.
  • Called it!
  • Okay, this Ross may be all right. Also, those kimoyo beads are even cooler than we thought.
  • W’Kabi, you know there’s a difference between “not trying” and “not succeeding”, right?
  • So, between your collection of kill-scars and your expendable girlfriend, we’re guessing you’re a serial asshole. And with that ring, that’s some bad news.
  • Oh, gods, you’re the kid. Who your father just abandoned there. In a “civilization” which is starting to sound like a very unpleasant place. Although we’re guessing “your people” doesn’t mean Wakandan expatriates for assorted reasons, and this is where we’re failing to grok, per preamble…
  • And now we know what Everett Ross’s “have I just been abducted by aliens?” face looks like.
  • Look at all the pretty maglevs!
  • So, the CIA took someone whose “people” – at least on the maternal side – their parent civilization was oppressing the hell out of, and trained them in breaking civilizations. How did that possibly seem like a good idea?
  • Wait, this idiot planet is oppressing people based on melanin levels!? What the hell!? (There are probably not enough emphasis italics in the world to express the strength of this reaction, given that despite all the really dumb-assed things in the galaxy that they’re aware of, this one is even dumber.)
  • …and assuming the facts are as presented, N’Jadaka does have a point. A very good point. But even if his strategy would succeed perfectly, he’s about the least suited person in the world to carry it out.
  • Oh, shit. There is no limit to how badly this could go.
  • One also has to wonder what N’Jobu would have thought of his son’s actions, given how destructive they seem likely to be for Wakanda.
  • …yeah, you’re definitely going to work out as king. Guess that civ-breaking training stuck. On the other hand, especially given how easily the keepers gave in, we frankly disbelieve that that was all of the Heart-Shaped Herb.
  • “And their children”. Oh, the irony. Real seeker of justice you are.
  • M’Baku, you enormous troll!
  • With the note that his subsequent actions only increase our respect for his strength and honor, as well as his enormous trollishness.
  • Assuming, that is, that you want the world to think of you as the architects of a bloodbath everlasting.
  • Really, W’Kabi? Really?
  • …although those shield-cloaks are really cool. Paging a kinetic barrier designer to the engineering courtesy phone.
  • Is that… an armored war-rhino?
  • (On a personal note I really want that sand table.)
  • One day people may figure out that beating on the Black Panther only makes him stronger, but it is not this day.
  • Yeah, that’s your motivations made plain, all right, pretty words notwithstanding.
  • We think that is called battle trolling.
  • Everett is best Ross.
  • Although despite his brokenness, his crimes, and his plan to unleash horrors in revenge, the audience does feel sympathy for N’Jadaka’s tragedy in the end, especially after those dying words. (And, it is very fair to say, considerably less for the entire rest of the planet which allowed the horrors that broke him to happen.) And for the greatness that could have been, had they not thrown him away as a child.
  • And is thus cheering for T’Challa’s new outreach policy.
  • (The similarities here with their own difficulties with trying to do good in the rest of the Worlds, and the problems of trying to do it by force, do not escape anyone.)
  • Ooh, you’re going to feel really dumb for asking that, French guy. As is only right and proper, because as questions go, it was neither courteous nor wise.
  • …and evidently they figured out how to fix Bucky a lot faster than anyone thought. Cover-up wins again!

So. Yes. The audience loved the movie, and Wakanda, and our protagonists, very much.

But, by damn, has their opinion of the rest of Earth (formed, you will recall, essentially from the previous MCU movies) dropped more’n a few points.

Cultural Crossovers #17: Thor: Ragnarok

In which there is an apocalypse.

  • Man, that’s a lot of chains.
  • Well, you’re an unlikely flaming chap. But I guess if there are ice giants, there should be fire giants.
  • Thor, you’ve been hanging out with Tony Snark too much.
  • Oh, you shouldn’t have said that. Keep your special hat secret.
  • We approve this music choice.
  • Well, Asgard’s standards in gatekeepers have gone all to hell.
  • …even by ontotech standards, Mjolnir is hax.
  • Don’t think their standards in Viking-inspiring women are doing so well, either.
  • Oh, Loki. Evidently you gave up completely on subtlety and subtlety-adjacent things when you kinged yourself.
  • Awwww. But you two were so cute! And no Jane means no more Darcy, Best Intern Ever!
  • Well, isn’t that… Strange.
  • Implication: Asgard also has wizards. Of course, Earth also had wizards all along.
  • Loki is having a really bad day.
  • And Odin seems to be enjoying his retirement.
  • Well, this introduction is going well.
  • Mew-mew! Noooo!
  • Hm. Bifrost is also a place. Interesting. And one you can be thrown out of mid-transit.
  • Well, shit. We’ve seen those guys fight, and so… implications unpleasant.
  • Is that… a planet-sized landfill? With wormholes dropping garbage out of the sky? But… but… (economists have meltdown)
  • (I mean, I suppose it could be natural, but there had to be something better to use it for.)
  • Guessing these folks got landfilled too, at some point.
  • A very drunk Asgardian?
  • Not bad “going through them” for someone that drunk. “Blowing through them”, one might say.
  • And so passes the last of the Warriors Three. (Hm. I wonder where Sif is right now.)
  • Ah. So, they have a sideline in slave gladiators. Delightful planet, this Sakaar.
  • (Oh, right, where the paper people come from.)
  • Of course Loki would turn up there.
  • This one is laid back for a gladiator. Insert obligatory stoned pun here.
  • One might think slaughtering the entirety of Asgard’s military forces would be something of a self-own for the new queen…
  • (And this is why historical revisionism is problematic.)
  • …oh. A giant army of the mostly dead. And giant wolf!
  • (Awww, puppy.)
  • The hammer is his… hammer. Yep. Just his hammer.
  • Okay, so if there was this elite force of women warriors, what was that whole deal back in Thor about Sif being one?
  • Tough crowd.
  • Oh, that’s where you ended up.
  • Not sure he likes that name.
  • Like he said, god of thunder…
  • puny god of thunder. And Loki gloats, of course…
  • …or not. Someone’s feeling their elemental associations today.
  • Es. 10 says Heimdall is running the resista —
  • — thank you.
  • Evidently extended runtime is good for Hulk. And he’s got himself a life now.
  • And a robust sense of humor. And, ooh, a statue.
  • Ah, Heimdall has an exit. Guess when you can see everything in the universe, you pick up on all the back doors.
  • Nice escape. Well, right up until the Quinjet got Hulked, and the Hulk got dehulked.
  • Man, how bad must two years worth of Hulk-hangover be.
  • “Melt-stick,” seriously?
  • The Valkyrie rode pegasai. Okay, let’s revise the mythologae recreation list.
  • “You’ve been on a planet before.” Heh.
  • And soon it will be three.
  • Well, except for Hulkfest Carnivale whatever-local-year-this-is.
  • Worst impromptu name ever.
  • The “Devil’s Anus”? Apt. And dreadfully entendric.
  • You have a terrible job, Grand Master’s chief minion.
  • That is a terrible strategy, but that’s a really nice ship.
  • That, on the other hand, was a very nice strategy. If a mite dickish.
  • …something about a black light…
  • That would be a fairly odd thing to have a doctorate in.
  • Maybe not a gun, but it’ll do.
  • Awwww, puppy.
  • One would think they’d have better methods of interrogation on Asgard, but maybe Hela gets her kicks this way.
  • A very convenient wormhole, indeed.
  • And Thor teaches us all how to do provoke and confront.
  • DON’T SHOOT THE — well, okay, guess you have to.
  • Well, that wasn’t the plan.
  • Just you and your undead slaves, eh, Hela?
  • Welp, Loki and an opportunity to be theatrical. Should’ve called it.
  • Big-ass lightning bolts speak louder than words.
  • This is the best fightin’ music ever.
  • Alas, poor Fenris. You deserved a better mistress.
  • (But, hell, no-one else even wounded the Hulk. Ever.)
  • Even unavoidable sacrifices suck.
  • And Skurge of Asgard, at the last, dies well.
  • Bloody hell. He wasn’t kidding about being mountain-sized.
  • The audience also hates this prophecy. Civilizations should not fall. That is literally the opposite of the proper course of events.
  • Hulk is disappoint. Biggest challenge yet.
  • Korg, your timing is just the worst.
  • Well, won’t Earth be surprised to receive a sudden shipful of Asgardians? (Especially those Asatru whose worldview wasn’t already beaten all to hell in the last few years.)
  • …assuming that leaves anyone alive, that is.
  • And what’s about to couldn’t happen to a nicer planetary slavemaster.

Cultural Crossovers #16: Spider-Man: Homecoming

Does whatever a spider can…

  • Guess we’re going to have to assume some sort of introductory foo, here. Otherwise no-one’ll know who Spider-Man is, in medias res and all. Apart from what we saw in Civil War.
  • Well, lady, you just lost all our sympathy. You don’t stiff someone on a contract.
  • Yeah, those are some pretty nice things.
  • Ah, quick recap.
  • Nice self-awareness there, Tony.
  • Yeah, waiting on the call sure does suck.
  • Seriously, a dick pun is the best you can do?
  • You need some sort of changing room. Really.
  • Also, more work, maybe.
  • Nice toys, boys. We can’t exactly approve of what y’all opening guys are doing, but still, you don’t stiff people on contracts.
  • Man, you broke the Death Star.
  • LARB.
  • Free pudding, yay! Hopefully not made from larb.
  • Although those would all be really cool powers. And they’re good questions. Should work on those.
  • Okay, how did they get Cap to make those videos?
  • Ah, the perks of Avenger-hood.
  • Okay, score one for the stunner-fist.
  • Oh, your boss is not going to be happy you lost that.
  • Your power-set is really very poorly adapted to suburbia.
  • Nice parachute feature. Needs some beta-testing.
  • Ooh, remote-control suits. Nice.
  • Also nice reference. Shame no-one has the background knowledge to get it.
  • “The Shocker”? Well, I suppose it’s slightly better than Taserface…
  • Seriously, you’ve got to remember which gun is which.
  • I applaud your lair-logic.
  • So, what do strontium, barium, and vibranium have in common?
  • “Training Wheels Protocol”? Seriously, Tony, that’s a name that almost demands that someone turn it off, and you had to know that Peter’d go looking. Maybe “Prevent Your Head From Exploding Protocol; Do Not Disable”? At least then he’d have to read the code first.
  • Really, ammo selection should be her job, or what’s a suit AI for?
  • I’ll take one of those portable doors.
  • At least it’s not a radioactive energy core.
  • Dear lift-lady: Less reassurance, more action.
  • Now that’s an awesome drone.
  • Someone throw that guy out of the elevator and let the reasonable people be rescued.
  • Well, that kinda-sorta worked.
  • “Man-Spider”? Come on, guys, get it together.
  • Seriously, WHO GOT CAP TO MAKE THESE VIDEOS?
  • …these protocol names really aren’t getting any better.
  • And seriously, Peter, get Karen to read you the instructions first.
  • Okay, someone needs to have a word or two with you about collateral budgets.
  • And, oh yeah, how even not fancy space guns can fire through wrapping.
  • …so close.
  • Ooh, a swarm of shovebots. We like.
  • Desperation. It’s a hell of a drug.
  • Man, harsh. Although it’s not like Tony doesn’t have a good point. Several of them. From experience.
  • Ah, young love. At least you’re getting good advice on this one.
  • …oh, my. This will work out badly.
  • Although credit to him, offering a life for a life.
  • At least he didn’t ask for your pants, dude.
  • Glad someone’s having a good time. In the chair.
  • Although Peter is definitely right that y’all should do more listening.
  • Is that self-repairing? I don’t think that’s self-repairing.
  • Good strategy. Much overkill. Smart. Not good enough, certainly, but still smart.
  • And there it is. (We were noticing your heroic quality all along. Glad you caught up with us.)
  • Pretty sure ‘retroreflector’ is not the term, there.
  • Is that really a case of arc reactors?
  • You can’t believe that worked?
  • …now that. Damn. That was an awesome landing.
  • It’s over. You know it, you know there’s nothing to be gained, and you’ve been an honorable enemy thus far. Don’t —
  • — do that.
  • Nice note.
  • Yeah, you’ve got to secure the bathroom first.
  • No, that may be your worst analogy ever, and it’s up against some damn stiff competition.
  • ..we hope you’re going to give him Karen back. They were really bonding.
  • Awwww. We’re all so happy for you crazy kids.
  • Ah, you did! Excellent.
  • Oops. (And, man, are we going to be disappointed not to see how that conversation ended before we see Spider-Man again in Infinity War.)
  • Well done, sir.
  • …you’re just trolling us now, aren’t you?

Writer Crisis

Well, our server just died today. This is a mite awkward for us here, gentle readers, since if it doesn’t work, our network doesn’t work, and if our network doesn’t work, neither of us – writing, software developing, any kind of freelancing – can do any of our work work that pays the bills.

One hates to bleg, even if it is ethical, but needs must when the power company breaks your stuff, and so:

Please help, and if you can’t donate, please reshare. We don’t need very much to get back up and running, so even the tiniest bit helps.

Cultural Crossovers #15: Guardians of the Galaxy 2

Yay, it’s these guys again!

  • Quill’s parents, we presume. Along with a very large violation of ecological safety practices.
  • Well, that’s a weird way of assembling planets into a megastructure. Wonder what the point is, apart from saying “we can make gravity our bitch?” Although that kind of is a point.
  • Ah, Rocket. Your adventurer-fu is strong. And, hey, you never know when another dance-off might be needed.
  • Well, that’s a whole pile of ugly.
  • Groot: Still adorable. Still trolling Drax. We approve. The space-rat riding is new, but we agree with that too.
  • Drax: still insane.
  • You guys sure love gold, huh?
  • Well, hello, Nebula.
  • Rocket, while we agree with your assessment, you’ve got to have a —
  • Okay, I’m pretty sure doing a “bit of both” wasn’t supposed to be at the same time.
  • Wow, you’re not just understanding but actually constructing metaphors now?
  • Well, that’s an interesting way to control your space fleet. Do they keep the high scores somewhere?
  • Quantum asteroids? Unlikely, but cool concept.
  • Drax: even insaner.
  • You have interesting-looking jump points.
  • $10 says Drax wants another go.
  • …called it.
  • At least it waited until you were done crashing to fall off.
  • Well, that’s a remarkably nondescriptive name.
  • Hey, it’s Yondu!
  • Hm. Ravagers have a code, mythos, a notion of exile. Hmm. Tell us more, plz.
  • Oooh. Nice nano-make-shit spray. Or nano-make-ship spray, in this case.
  • Cool-lookin’ egg-ship.
  • Drax, I don’t think that was a secret to anyone.
  • Oh, this ambush will not go well, if I know Rocket.
  • Yeah, I know Rocket. And the soundtrack makes it.
  • …but then there’s Yondu and his knife missile.
  • Wow, some of these guys came out of the shallow end of the gene pool.
  • Oh, Kraglin. Bad call.
  • Nice-looking planet, Ego. Presumably very much a product of ecopoesis, gravity being what it is.
  • Well, small g, maybe, but you’ve built a hell of a temple-museum to yourself. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
  • Yeah, that does look like mutiny. Traditional spacings and all.
  • Isn’t ‘metaphorical’ a bit too large a word for you, Taserface?
  • Taserface.
  • Quite the sense of revenge you’ve got there, huh, Nebula.
  • Sniff. Playing catch with the light-ball is all kinds of touching. But the other shoe has to be dropping any moment.
  • And that seems likely to be it.
  • “Too adorable to kill”, really?
  • Shit, he’s a champion asshole.
  • Not very clear on this, Groot – which is odd considering your language skills elsewhere. But evidently he picked up on Rocket’s love of body parts.
  • Now that’s a much better call.
  • Damn, but Yondu’s good with that thing. That’s friggin’ war-poetry, right there.
  • Oh, now that’s just showing off.
  • Love the incendiary mode. And that’s an impressive – if an expensive – use of a modular ship.
  • Y’know, it generally helps to speak of unspoken things. We find. As a rule.
  • And Gamora, as expected, cuts the matter to the heart.
  • Man, that ship gets crashed a lot.
  • Okay, how the hell is she even holding that gun? Damn thing must be made of spinmetal and aerogel.
  • Thanos has a lot to answer for.
  • Hey, making weird shit sounds good. Actually, it seems like a much better use of divinity than Ego’s starting to preach.
  • (Also, Mantis and Drax are adorable and bizarre.)
  • …that is a lot of corpses. And seeing as Ego is the entire damn planet and is keeping them inside him, dear gods, is that creepifying.
  • Now that was a heart-to-heart.
  • Oh, holy crapballs, you’re a class II hegemonizing swarm.
  • Beyond such things as friends? Killing the woman you loved so you wouldn’t be distracted by her? You are the worst god ever. And considering the competition for that slot…
  • Well, given that you want to turn everything in the universe into you, it’s not like he’d have been spending the next thousand years as anything else anyway.
  • Any chance you assembled a planet-killer bomb from that guy’s eye, Rocket? Would be handy about now.
  • Yeah, it’s actually quite surprising that you don’t have a lot more issues.
  • Hell, if you need that thing to get in, I’m impressed with the security of the Bank of A’askavaria. Beautifully flexible, though.
  • It’s cute that the Sovereign go to the trouble of projecting their faces on the AKVs they’re piloting just so you can see who’s killing you.
  • Or, y’know, you could just improvise a planet-cracker on the spot. That’s cool. Hey, can we hire you?
  • Oh, god, everyone’s going to die.
  • Drax: still a troll.
  • Good gods, what was powering that arm? Was it designed so you could tear it off and throw it as a grenade? (I mean, knowing Thanos, yes, but still.)
  • Also, that entire planet has a terrible case of resting bitch face.
  • Um, a sane, decent, loving one?
  • If you two are all there is, what else is he going to do for fun?
  • Pretty sure he can. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s obligatory. Bugger destiny anyway.
  • Just about any of the infinity of possible meanings. You’re a heggie swarm. Boring and meaningless are among the top concepts associated with heggie swarms.
  • And by some miracle, Groot doesn’t kill everyone.
  • (I wish the people in this hypothetical theater would get all the nuances of the Pac-Man joke.)
  • Not sure Star-Lord is ever going to be just like everybody else. He’s got you out-awesomed for a start, Mister Celestial.
  • The audience rises and salutes Yondu’s final sacrifice. If they could, they’d vote him into Valhalla unanimously.
  • And are delighted that the Ravagers agree.
  • Oops.
  • Okay, are those guys getting a spin-off of their own in which they steal some shit? Please?
  • More rigidity of the stick up his butt, too?
  • (Probably lacking most of the context for teenage Groot too, alas.)

A Modest Recommendation

I’ve been enjoying reading this webcomic a whole lot recently:

Grrl Power is a comic about a crazy nerdette that becomes a superheroine. Humor, action, cheesecake, beefcake, ‘splosions, and maybe some drama. Possibly ninjas.

…for all those reasons, plus recent SFnal elements, and that our protagonist’s brain seems to work in disturbingly similar ways to the brains resident at Chez Author.

And thus I recommend it to you, Eldraeverse readers, because I suspect it would also suit your taste.