The Webcomic Watchman

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Review #44: SIZZZORD-FIZZZZZIGHT!

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Damned Indians and their tomahawk-throwin' ways!

Title: S12ORD
Artist: "yamslayer" (a.k.a. Dan Chamberlin)
Writer: "DemiLevy"
Genre: Action!
Updates: Randomly
Link: http://s12ord.smackjeeves.com/

"Okay, Samuel L. Jackson with a straight-edge sword versus a half-dozen guys with guns. Who would win?"

"Sammy J. man. Can't fuckin' beat that guy."

"Okay...what if those half-dozen guys had motorbikes? And what if they were in the desert and there were a bunch of innocent people circling in conestoga wagons?"

"Now you're just getting retarded. Why would anybody be riding in Conestoga wagons with swords if they had motorbikes with guns in the same place?"

"Fine, how about if we had Samuel L. Jackson team up with Pocahontas--"

"You mean the real one, or that horrible Disney caricature of Native Americans?"

"Somewhere between those two. Anyways, what if we had Sammy J. and Pocahontas fighting a woman with a rapier, a magic rapier that could instantly grow roses from its hilt..."

"Oh...kay..."

"...and the roses were throwing knives?"

"What the fuck? Why even bother with the sword then?"

"And let's say this all happened in a forest next to a desert town."

*cough* *sputter* *wheeze*

"I can understand if you're speechless, you've obviously never heard an idea this cool. I'm thinking of turning it into a webcomic. What do you think?"

*gurgle*

"I guess I'll let you sleep it off then."

I apologize, this was not the one I meant to review when I posted that song hint a couple posts down. Then again, it's not like there was a prize for guessing correctly anyways. That comic is being put on hold. I've decided to finally jump into S12ORD.

First off, do not expect anything involving plausibility with the story. As you may have garnered from the imaginary dialogue above, this story is rife with anachronisms, where your Suspension of Disbelief is entirely propped up by the Rule of Cool to see whether the former runs out or the latter keeps on jamming needles of dopamine into your spinal cord before you shut off your browser window.

Anyways, the protagonist of this story is a black guy named Malcolm (who for the rest of this review shall be referred to as Sammy J.) who just happens to have amnesia that makes him forget everything except the ability to beat people with a sword named Arondight [Google sez: Arondight was the sword of Sir Lancelot].

Just a short moment after he gets rescued by Pocahontas (who will be called Prima for this review, as that is her character's name), troops from the Evil Empire just happen to be riding around on motorcycles with guns and a flaming hand guy. They proceed to destroy everything Prima cares about, though both Sammy J. and Prima manage to fight off the mysterious evildoers with only a sword and a tomahawk.

Honestly, why even bother if no one actually thinks to shoot the good guy? They even carry a wireless communicator, despite the complete absence of anything resembling power lines or a communications tower (possibly explained as "A Wizard Did It"). Why not just send in some more motorbikes to finish him off?

Ah, but then it would be a short story, right? Let's move on.

So anyways, after a little emoting, Sammy J. leaves Prima behind to walk into the nearby forest (not a joke) to meet a woman who seems to recognize him. The two reminisce about The Twelve. Who are The Twelve? We won't be able to find out because the forest caravan is attacked by hidden archers.

[Ed Note: If you haven't guessed that The Twelve are probably the Chosen Ones who hold the magical S-izORDs, please turn in your brain at the desk before you leave.]

Another action scene later, Sammy J. attacks an evil woman who steals the rapier called "Hauteclere" [Wikipedia sez: Hauteclere was "the sword of Olivier, a character in the French epic, The Song of Roland.]. She repeatedly screams that "brute force is useless" despite the fact that she's able to block quite well with the blade against a much heavier blade. This is the part where the creative team behind this work will scream "Rule of Cool" or "A Wizard Did It" and expect you to accept it. If this were a one-shot gag comic, then that might be acceptable, but you gotta offer a little more class than that.

And I didn't even get into the part about the roses that double as throwing knives.

Now, as for the artwork itself: from a technical standpoint, it holds its own (minus this aberration). But as a guy who took a few years of fencing lessons back in the day, the poses during the current fight scene just feel all wrong. Sure, it starts out small, with the handles being switched around at the end of this strip, then there's this whole strip where Sammy J. strikes a dramatic pose to move a few feet forward. Then uses two hands to thrust a one-handed sword and takes her time, despite having no problems with handling it correctly before. And then Malcolm kicks her in the gut despite falling downward from his magic teleport above her (A Wizard Did It).

Okay, I seem to be nerd-raging on this one fight scene, but why is Sammy J. jumping up and down like a fucking bunny when he leaves himself open to getting skewered? And if the evil woman was able to kill one of The Twelve in a brief battle scene before, why is she suddenly incapable of scoring a single cheap shot without the really stupid throwing knife-flowers?

And on one last note, if the Evil Empire had people with guns, why is the evil woman forced to use archers anyway? Couldn't she have just bought a pistol for one of her evil henchmen?

*Le Sigh* Well folks, I tried to make this review funny, but how can you mock a comic that does such a great job of parodying itself? If you can get past the anachronisms, the contradictions, the cliches, check your disbelief at the door and find yourself able to watch an entire season of Naruto without being physically strapped down to a chair with your eyeballs propped open and a bucket of cold water thrown in your face every 15 minutes, then you'll probably enjoy this.

Well, the Internet Hate Machine now has its pound of flesh. Tune in next week when Dr. Haus wonders why he still has to give a shit about webcomics.

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