Reviews of trade paperbacks of comic books (mostly Marvel), along with a few other semi-relevant comments / reviews.

20 September 2012

The neo-Mok excuse

I try not to let personal problems interfere with this site,65 but some of you may have noticed how long it has been since I posted a review. My excuses are:

• Last week I had a cold; that, and my other responsibilities, kept me from getting anything useful done. I do not suspect Filthy Flagellum had anything to do with the matter, but I cannot be sure.
• The week before, I was performing my annual service on anti-Claus duty a little early. One week a year is a small price to pay for defeating the forces of the Frozen North. Keep those engines running, and keep pumping out those kids — we’ll beat the ice yet!
• The rest of the time — from late July to Labor Day — I spent in quiet contemplation at my Mok farm. Well, I say “farm,” but I suppose a stickler, such as the Department of Agriculture, might call it a “secret private experimental facility.” Semantics, really.

I founded the farm in 1995, when I realized that — contrary to what the narrator in the Thundarr the Barbarian intro says — the Moks weren’t going to create themselves. So I dedicated the old family farm to the project, hired some of the sharpest scientific minds in the tri-county area, and began playing God. Or Steve Gerber, if you prefer.

We’ve come a long way in less than 20 years. Morphologically, our neo-Moks are quite similar to the TV models, with lustrous coats in autumnal colors and a yodeling growl that routinely inspires passersby and visitors to suggest, “Lords of Light, would put a muzzle on that abomination?” Their incisors are the correct size (about 6 inches long), and we were fortunate to find the genetic markers for the distinctive raccoon-like eye markings early in the process. We’ve never managed to breed the correct size — ours are a mere 5 feet tall and 125 pounds — but I prefer them this way. Larger Moks would be too hard to control.

Sentience is a tricky goal; Professor Jethro says, “The neo-Mok blindly responds to stimuli without reason, lashing out at its environment like a beast. It is nothing more than a machine that coverts organic materials into excrement.” Dr. Zebediah disagrees: “That’s no different from most of your family, Jethro, but I ain’t recommending putting them in cages … except your double cousin Obadiah, maybe.” That prompted Professor Jethro to challenge Dr. Zebediah to a duel; as the challenged party, Zebediah chose the peer-reviewed scientific paper as his weapon. One of them should have satisfaction in the matter in a generation or so.

I don’t know who to agree with — except with Zebediah about putting Obadiah in a circus, or perhaps a humane zoo. Have you seen that boy? I’d call him a freak, but that’s an insult to freaks.

Anyway. Got a little distracted there. Reviews should recommence Friday. Barring another squabble between Jethro and Zebediah.

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