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.

Cultural Crossovers #14: Doctor Strange

A quick pre-note: while suspension of disbelief is needed to believe in magic, of course, it’s not an unfamiliar context to the audience. The eldrae have a fine old hermetic tradition of their own, even if it’s regarded these days mostly as philosophy and “how we scienced before we learned how to science”.

Sadly, however, that both doctor and wizard mean “wise man”, in a sense, will be a little lost: long-term readers will remember that *there* doctor is a purely medical title, and the learned in other fields are generally titled academician.

  • This folding of space is exceedingly impressive. Especially since everything isn’t collapsing.
  • Doctor Strange, we presume.
  • My, someone has an ego. (Not that that’s a bad thing when you can so obviously back it up.)
  • Well, okay, maybe that’s going a little far. Also, “Strange Technique”? Snerk.
  • Avoiding a challenge, Mr. Ego? Makes your perfect record a little meaningless, no?
  • …and that would be the world taking your valxíjir from you.
  • That avoidance bites back.
  • I’m not sure that’s mania so much as a very familiar kind of despair. And yet, that’s still no excuse for such discourtesy.
  • Always at the far end of the world, the wisdom is.
  • Hiding in plain sight, I see. Promising.
  • (Only some of the audience have the cosmopolitan experience to understand why it’s odd that the Ancient One doesn’t look ancient, because…. well, all the Ancient Ones they’ve met look like that.)
  • You know, much as the audience might be inclined to agree with him, being punched right out of your body should really be awfully convincing. Even without the free trip through the Realm of Forms.
  • …or maybe the Realm of Hands. What the hell, other plane?
  • Ancient Snark from the Ancient One. Also, seriously, you show him the true nature of the universe and then throw him out? That’s a real dick move.
  • Wi-Fi, indeed. Heh. Although the audience is unlikely to understand the whole Magic vs. Science trope this is playing off.
  • Especially since the Ancient One’s spells-as-programs metaphor is exactly how they’d be inclined to think about magic anyway.
  • “No knowledge is forbidden, only certain practices.” Ooh, we like you.
  • Okay, as a general rule of thumb, rituals that make your eyes all charred-looking are probably not from the puppies and rainbows side of the force.
  • The “sling ring”? I mean, the device is nifty enough, but it needs a much cooler name.
  • Yeah, control by surrender doesn’t make much sense to these guys, either. Harmony vs. Discipline trope, and all that.
  • No educational methods quite as effective as the ones ending “or death” anywhere, I see.
  • Didn’t take you long to figure that out. But really, the one on his desk? That’s just trolling.
  • A mirror dimension? That’s awfully convenient – artificial, we suspect.
  • One does wonder who exactly the Living Tribunal are.
  • Ah, the shiny green pupil of the Eye of Agamotto. No-one’s in any doubt whatsoever as to what that is.
  • Oooh, time rewinding. We want one. Well, actually, we want quite a lot, because Just Think of the Potential Applications.
  • …ah, yes, “don’t screw around with time”. That’s a universal everywhere. Alas.
  • Extradimensional invasions, parasite universes. Gotcha.
  • Yeah, that’s something that could have done with a little explanation up front. Maybe one of those cute sayings about great power and great responsibility?
  • Hey, you don’t need to look surprised. You have the Ring of Everywhere-Going, and all.
  • …best windows ever. (The Claves in the audience grin smugly.)
  • Got to love the old infinite passage trick.
  • Man, I hope that wasn’t expensive.
  • Best cloak!
  • Nice portable prison.
  • Also, Kaecilius, I like your ambition and your distaste for time and death, but someone should really have explained to you the charred-face thing and the fundamental problem with borrowing power from extradimensional assholes.
  • See, he gets it! Easy principle, right?
  • Still best cloak!
  • And now for an astral asskicking. Astkicking?
  • From remote viewing to remote electrocution. I bet that application wasn’t in the library.
  • Well, your world’s been thoroughly upended. Was the bigger revelation that the world works completely differently, or that Strange grew up?
  • You know, people with the powers to alter natural law defending natural law per se is remarkably ironic, inasmuch as complete devotion to that principle would require doing absolutely nothing.
  • The architects in the audience really, really want to be able to fold space like this. Such possibilities!
  • (Also, is there really only one Dark Dimension? Or is Dormammu just kind of Spell-My-Name-With-A-The pretentious.)
  • Well, her method evidently sucks less than theirs.
  • …the audience hisses. Their lives have plenty of meaning without the prospect of death hanging over them, thank you so very much.
  • Awww. Best cloak really is best cloak.
  • Steal centuries of life from a giant abomination? Not the worst deed ever.
  • Always nice to see a too late arrival from time-to-time. Especially when there’s a convenient rewinder.
  • Heh. Stuck in a fish tank as time unwinds. What an embarrassing way to go.
  • Listen to Wong. Wong understands the rules of ethical singularities.
  • A time loop to trap a timeless being? Strange, you magnificent bastard!
  • …and getting killed over and over again how many thousand times? Dammit, man, we have to offer a standing salute to your collection of moon-sized orichalcum balls!
  • Yeah, they really should inscribe those the other way around.
  • Oh, for frak’s sake, Mordo, the whole damn planet was about to get eaten. How could there possibly be a bill larger than that?
  • Called it!
  • Well, hello. So, there weren’t wizards on Midgard before? (And, even more importantly, Asgard doesn’t have self-refilling steins?)
  • You walking away makes you undutiful. Going around taking away everyone else’s powers, starting with those which allow such unnatural acts as walking? There aren’t words for how much that makes you suck.
  • And what’s wrong with the world is that not enough people subscribe to the naturalistic fallacy? You cosmic jackass.