Category Archives: Uncategorized

Messenger of Fate

You’ll all think I’m crazy, but I want a Fate action figure ASAP! That said, I’m aware that this particular 90’s DC character isn’t winning any popularity contests with the fans. But you know what? I like him, so I’m writing about him. (Sticks out tongue in defiance!) Seriously though, if you’ve never actually read his title and base all of your feelings on the misconceptions that Jared Stevens as an embarrassment to the mantle of Doctor Fate, you’re really missing out. I love Dr. Fate too. But there had to be room for both characrers in a comic universe so vast and diverse. Anything can happen in a work of fantasy afterall. Now that I’ve said my peace, I present to you my thoughts on “Fate” issue #0! Enjoy, Unspokenites.

Demons seem to pollute every corner of this place. Ash and brimstone poison the very air. The horrific creatures writhe and slither everywhere. Their sheer numbers make one wonder what’s up and what’s down in this living hell. That’s when Jared Stevens startles awake. He’s seated on a rickety, small plane with two others. The men remark on his health but he dismisses their concern. They are thieves and drug runners. He on the other hand deals in the theft and sale of relics and antiques. (That’s a man with morals right there. At least he doesn’t run drugs. Of course, he did arrange to help these other drug runners in the transport of said drugs…..Oh well. No-one’s perfect.)

One of the men asks if the pilot can be trusted. Jared replies that he trusts him completely. He owes him one. Just then, the subject of their conversation enters the cabin and opens fire on all three of them! The criminals drop, riddled with holes! But Jared dives to find cover! The pilot promises that he wasn’t paid to take Stevens out. If he surrenders, he won’t be harmed. Positive that this is a blatant lie, Jared pulls a knife from his boot and throws it at the traitor’s hand! It hits home and the pilot drops the gun! That’s when one of the others uses his last breath to fling a grenade at their attacker! (A grenade?! Who carries a grenade onto a plane in case of emergencies? A man that thinks ahead, that’s who!) The plane quickly explodes into flames, hurling Jared Stevens through burning shrapnel and the night sky beyond! He crashes down in a forested area, apparently uninjured!

After quickly checking himself for injury, he then makes sure the bag containing the relics he recently stole are likewise unharmed. Seeing that everything’s intact, he sighs in relief. However, this relief doesn’t last long as he’s suddenly aware that he’s not alone. An almost-skeletal, elderly couple walk slowly towards him! (I’d scream like a little girl here! Too many zombie flicks growing up!) In a gravely voice, the man says that they have been on his trail in order to reclaim what is rightfully theirs! Before Jared can say much in his defence, symbols that he recognizes as Egyptian ankhs appear in the man’s eyes as he says that this matter will be better settled at the Tower! Stevens then loses consciousness.

After the trio has mysteriously disappeared, a vehicle drives up. Two suited men emerge and scan the area. They seem annoyed as one comments that they have arrived too late. Their boss will be most unhappy should they not find their prey soon. It’s then that the two shed not only their clothes, but their skin, revealing horrific, demonic forms underneath! The bigger of the two places a clawed hand on the ground. He comments to the other that residual magics have been left behind, magics that can be followed. (Things have really heated up, Unspokenites! We’ve got two naked demons in the mix now! See? Symbifan hooks you up when he tells a story!)

Jared Stevens shakes his head as he tries to regain consciousness. He sees that he is bound by rope and seated in some type of stone room without windows. The elderly couple stands before him. The man speaks. They are known as Kent and Inza Nelson. He states that the items that Jared has in his possession are none other than the helmet, cloak, and amulet of the mystical avenger known as Dr. Fate! He continues that he and his wife used to be merged into one being and that combined, they were in fact this hero! (Can you imagine merging bodies with your significant other? Ugh! The chick flicks you’d have to endure!) It seems that a recent event involving time separated and aged them, casting the artifacts back to the place of their origin, Egypt. That’s where Jared found them and took them, seconds before the rightful owners were to reclaim the powerful artifacts.

The couple then place the helmet between them. Inza looks to Jared and comments how it’s a shame that he doesn’t believe in any of this and uses his talents on petty crime. She could see him being destined for much more. (Forshadowing, or is this old mummy actually hitting on poor Jared? And right in front of her hubby! Talk about a cougar!) Especially with the one who is coming. A dark one known only as Kingdom. Kent and Inza then concentrate, using every bit of their combined willpower to try and become how they once were trying to make Dr. Fate live again! Jared frees himself with his hidden knife. He warns the elderly duo to return the artifacts to him! Thats when the demons burst through the stone wall!

They’re the demons from earlier! They have tracked the three humans to this place and now, they’re out for blood! The demons announce that they are called Bloodstain and Thunderspawn (Do you think you can become a successful doctor or lawyer with a name like Bloodstain? Well…..maybe. Moving on.) And they’re here to kill everyone in this room! The couple attempt to use what’s left of their arcane powers to ward off the demons but alas, they break right through their weakened magical forcefield! Jared tries to attack physically, but is knocked aside as if he were as light as a feather! One of the evil creatures hurls a strange orb at the heroic couple! It states that this object will remove what is left of their already ebbing lifeforces! Unfortunately, it hits its targets!

As the sphere takes the life that’s left within the bodies of Kent and Inza Nelson, Kent stares Jared Stevens straight in the eye with a surprising look of peace upon his face. He says that he is content that his time is over, because his legacy will live on! Then, the two legendary heroes disintegrate in a blinding flash of light! The bigger of the two demons complains that his lust for death has not yet been sated. He grabs Stevens by his arm! The other demon notices that Jared has the amulet of Dr. Fate in that very hand and warns his evil partner not to destroy the relic! But this warning comes too late! The amulet is crushed along with Jared’s arm! The result is an earthshaking explosion! (There’s alot of flashing and explosions in this scene. Readers with sensitive eyes may wish to look away.)

Jared Stevens crawls from the rubble, clutching his utterly ruined arm in anguish. He hears sounds of what must be an epic battle being fought nearby. He curiously investigates. A large humanoid is fighting a man dressed in crimson, his arm wrapped in golden ribbons. He also brandishes a large golden blade. He hears the man call the large being Kingdom. It appears as though this Kingdom is winning. As the man falls, he utters through his pain that though Kingdom has defeated Dr. Fate, he will not fall so easily! That’s when Jared spies this hero’s face…..it’s his own! (Surprise! What? You knew?! Look, just because this comic originally came out in 1994 doesn’t mean that you have the right to be a smarta$$!) Jared awakens. He clears the strange vision from his head and wraps his damaged arm in the mystical cloak. He then grabs Dr. Fate’s helmet and leaves this disastrous scene behind him. He needs time to process all that has transpired and hide from any demons that might still be nearby.

Later, Jared Stevens’ ex-wife, Holly, returns home. Noticing signs of a break-in, she grabs a butcher knife and slowly looks around. The man sitting in the darkness of her living room speaks, scaring her half to death. Then, fright becomes anger as she recognizes the voice. Assuming that her ex-husband is once again in hiding from some illegal activity gone wrong, she demands that he leave immediately. That’s when he takes her by the shoulders with shaky hands and says that he needs to hide somewhere safe and collect himself after all that’s transpired. She then sees him fully as he steps out into the light. A long, red ankh completely covers the right side of his face! Little does she or he know it, but a hero was born this night! It was fate.

End.

The Armageddon Agenda (part 3)

Wow! With the overwhelming success of part 2, I’d be crazy not to complete my look back at the TMNT/Mighty Mutanimals crossover event from Archie Comics! It truly brings a tear to this old nerd’s eye. Anyway, all of that emotional stuff aside, I really should get to the article. I don’t want to keep my fan waiting…..

The heroes are beaten, battered, and held captive by the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse! Null looks on with grim satisfaction as the combined teams are held firmly in place by hi-tech restraints and dangle from large posts that are fixed in the hard ground. On a nearby cliff, Death looks on as he plays with his marionettes, the very instruments that he’s using to control his fellow Horsemen. Jagwar demands to know why Null is doing all of this. Why summon the Horsemen? Why destroy the rainforest? Why kidnap his human mother? (Notice how he asks about his mother after asking about the rainforest? Great son she’s got there! Sheesh!) Null’s answers are simple. Since his last defeat at the heroes’ hands, he has decided that his ultimate revenge would be the death of all life on Earth. Plain and simple. (Overreact much?) And the one to press the button that would destroy them all will be their trusted friend and ally, Kid Terra! As for Jagwar’s mother, she will be a part of his harem when all is said and done!

A very smug Null then strolls off to his hidden prison to fetch Terra. But when he enters the chamber, all three of his captives are missing! All that remains are untied ropes! Outside, the changeling bird/woman, Azrael, swoops in, surprising the confused Horsemen and freeing half of the mighty band of heroes by tricking War into smashing the poles they’re held on! Raphael, Mondo, Jagwar, and Screwloose immediately throw themselves into combat with the titanic villains as Donatello busies himself with freeing the other half of their heroic group! With the Horsemen occupied, it doesn’t take long before Michelangelo, Ninjara, Splinter, Leonardo, Man-Ray, Wingnut, Dreadmon, and Leatherhead are likewise freed! (Whoa! That’s a lot of characters to keep track of in one scene! Good thing I’m an excellent writer. I know because my mommy tells me so!)

Death continues to look on from a distance and control the other powerful monsters, but his actions do not go unnoticed. Kid Terra and Juntarra have spied this through the use of Kid’s binoculars and make a move to help the situation. Kid Terra moves on the Reaper while Juntarra silently approaches Null. Terra strikes death straigh in his grinning face but the creature only laughs! Just then, before Juntarra can stop him, Null fires a single, well-aimed shot from a concealed handgun! Kid Terra falls from the cliffside, dead before he hits the ground below! (Sob. I’m sure he’ll be fine. This is a comic book after all. Sob. No-one ever stays dead in a comic book. I mean, look at Spidey’s Uncle Ben for example…..Harder sobbing.)

Azrael joins Juntarra and the two women disarm Null while Screwloose checks on Terra. While he feels for a pulse, Death comes up from behind and swings his deadly scythe at the mosquito-like alien, knocking him aside! Meanwhile, Ninjara has joined the other two females in surrounding Null! Ignoring all of this, the Reaper reaches down towards Kid’s still form and begins to pull the human’s soul from his body! As the Horseman attempts to perform his grisly work, an unnoticed Screwloose spies the discarded marionettes! Guessing as to their use, he uses all of his might to crush the puppets to mere fragments! While on the battlefield, the Turtles and Mutanimals see three of the notorious Four Horsemen fall to pieces until nothing remains! (Trust a mosquito to be the end of even the Biblical Four Horsemen! Those things seem to be the bane of all existence! And you thought that only cockroaches would remain at the end of all things!)

Null uses this confusion to pull his firearm free of the changeling female! But rather than fire it, he turns to leave! As he does this, large, bat-like wings sprout from his back, ripping their way free of his expensive suit! He then shoots into the shy with a final word that this changes nothing. He will have his revenge one day! (Why do villains always leave with that line? For once, I’d like one of them to say, “Wow! You really beat me and foiled my evil plan. Good job, guys. Should I turn myself into the authorities now, or after brunch?”) Meanwhile, Death has pulled Kid Terra’s soul free of his corpse with a maniacal laugh! But the Reaper has forgotten his scythe! Juntarra picks up the weapon and swings it with deadly efficiency at the enemy! The blow shatters the Horseman ‘s skeletal body! Kid Terra then gasps for air as his soul returns, bringing him back from death! (Ha! Told you! Sniffle…..)

Beaten, Death reforms upon his pale steed and races off to parts unknown. While Terra recovers in the care of the heroes, the Ninja Turtles ponder just how they’re ever returning to New York from this far away place. But, this is a matter for another time. Afterall, they just survived an encounter with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse! After that, everything else is a cake walk!

End.

Dedicated to my biggest fan and the one who brought me into this world, my mother. Thank you for always being there, mom. I love you with all of my heart.

Webs and Croutons

David versus Goliath. Achilles versus Hector. King Arthur versus Mordred. Hulk Hogan versus the Ultimate Warrior. These were truly clashes between titans. Fights between two, mighty combatants that have gone down in history. This is not one of those fights. So sit on back, relax, and pop the popcorn, because your Friendly Neighborhood Symbifan is about to take you back to a comic epic of yesteryear! Witness the majesty that is Marvel Comics’ “The Ren & Stimpy Show” #6!

Our story begins as 90’s cartoon characters, Ren and Stimpy, sit down at their kitchen table to enjoy their favorite breakfast, Powdered Toast. But what’s this? The can is empty. No reason to panic though. Stimpy dons a peculiar-looking headset and calls out over a large microphone for the assistance of none other than Powdered Toast Man! He’ll fix this problem in no time. Suddenly, the kitchen curtains blow with a mighty gust of wind and Ren and Stimpy await the awesome entrance of their hero! But strangely enough, Spider-Man has appeared instead! (What’s this? Why Spider-Man? Does Disney know about this unannounced cameo appearance? In a comic book that spotlights Nickelodeon animated stars no less? Gasp! Better watch out or this intellectual property will be acquired next!)

Obviously confused by this strange turn of events, the duo question the wall-crawler as to the whereabouts of their breakfast champion. Spidey nonchalantly answers that Powdered Toast Man is simply under the influence of an evil villain and that he’s just subbing until all is righted. To prove that he’s just as useful as his predecessor, Spider-Man fires his web-shooters at Ren and Stimpy’s empty plates, creating toast-shaped webbing masses! Suddenly, Spidey receives an alert from the spare pair of Powdered Toast Man’s shorts he’s currently wearing under his own costume! (Why’s Spider-Man wearing P.T.M.’s undies? Was this a prerequisite for being his stand-in? Is this a common superhero practice? Where’s the Comics Code Authority when you need it? Color me offended!) After Spider-Man makes a hasty exit, the two try their “web toast”……and actually enjoy it!

Meanwhile, not far from this scene, Powdered Toast Man is wreaking havoc upon the city at the command of his arch-nemesis, Dr. Dough-Naught! Spider-Man arrives on the scene and looks on in horror as the destruction to his beloved metropolis mounts! Spidey surveys the situation, trying to come up with a plan that might succeed against the mind- controlled Breakfast Avenger! Swinging down, straight into P.T.M.’s path, the wall-crawler tries first to talk some sense to the other superhero. Perhaps he can get him to break the villain’s hold on his own. No such luck! Dough-Naught increases the power to his control device, forcing Powdered Toast Man to attack! (Here we go, folks! It’s time the fight of the century! That’s right. It’s Darth Vader alone against the Klingon Empire! What? It’s Spider-Man, and he’s fighting who now?)

P.T.M. wastes no time! He unleashes a barrage of high-speed croutons from his armpit, stunning the web-slinger! Spidey quicklly recovers and responds with a powerful left hook to the other hero’s toast-shaped face! Seemingly unaffected, Powdered Toast Man fires an onslaught of raisins from his mouth! The bullet-like projectiles are halted however by Spider-Man’s webbing! Still under the villain’s evil control, P.T.M. blasts razor-sharp, stale toast slices at the wall-crawler! Spidey uses his spider-sense to dodge every one of the deadly weapons, advancing on his friend-turned-enemy! When he’s close enough, Spider-Man hits Powdered Toast Man with all of his strength! While stunned, he then follows this attack with a powerful blow to the other hero’s stomach! The Breakfast Avenger falls at last! (You should all know that this is by far the strangest thing I have ever written!)

But what’s this? Powedered Toast Man isn’t finished yet! No, he has one more trick up his crusty sleeve! Using a finger to block one of his nostrils, he blows with all of his might, unleashing a devastating attack at an unprepared Spider-Man! He has unloaded a mucus-like fluid that has completely encased Spidey. As this sticky dough begins to quickly dry, it hardens like stone! Spidey finds that movement has become quite impossible! Has evil truly won the day? Will Powdered Toast Man forever be a servant to the evil Dr. Dough-Naught? (Will Symbifan finish writing a single article without chain-smoking an entire pack of cheap cigarettes?)

Never! Mustering up all of his inner strength, Spider-Man shatters his rock-hard prison, freeing himself completely! That’s when Spidey spies the source of his salvation, a large milk truck! Before his opponent knows what’s going on, the wall-crawler grabs the hose from the back of the vehicle and turns it on, saturating P.T.M. in gallons of milk! This attack not only defeats the Breakfast Avenger, but frees him of the supervillain’s mind control! Powdered Toast Man collapses, too weakened to even stand. But before Spider-Man can even utter a word, his spider-sense tingles! Confused as to the source of the danger, Spidey never sees the lead pipe as it comes crashing down on the back of his skull! (I would like take this moment to say that lactose intolerance is no joke. And neither are the loud and deadly farts that are a side effect of this very serious condition. That is all.)

Again and again the pipe comes down on Spider-Man’s already severely wounded body, wielded by an enraged Dr. Dough-Naught! Powdered Toast Man reaches towards his friend and ally but is too weakened to be of any use! Suddenly, P.T.M. remembers the spare can of powdered toast that he carries in his trunks in case of emergencies! He quickly seizes it, pops it open, and devours the contents! Powdered Toast Man is now at full strength once again! (Hey, it has to be tastier than spinach! Popeye cartoons speak filthy lies!) The hero leaps through the air, straight at Dough-Naught, and connects with one mighty punch! The villain is then thrown into the air where a wounded Spider-Man encases the villain in webbing! He then comes plummeting to the street below, unconscious and defeated!

Now that the danger has passed and the villain lies beaten, Ren and Stimpy run out to meet the two superheroes. They exclaim how the two of them should really make their partnership more permanent as they just worked so well together. Spider-Man replies that a superhero of Powdered Toast Man’s caliber just isn’t in the same league as a seasoned veteran like himself. This causes the Breakfast Avenger to lash out verbally to defend himself. Soon, an argument escalates about just who would actually win between the two of them in a fair fight. Powdered Toast Man then sucker punches Spidey through a nearby brick wall.

Nuff said!

Dedicated to the fans of the Unspoken Decade. Without you, there would be no Symbifan. It’s as simple as that. Until next time, peace out!