Saturday, May 29, 2010

Ultimate Challenge! The List Of Awesomeness!

So, I had this thought. In the grand tradition of such epic events like 10 Comic Book Characters You Hate Day and the eight kajillion events happening daily at Comics Should Be Good, I had the following thought:

My recent stand-on-the-K-Box-and-tear-down of Brightest Day #1 made me think--You know, I like comics and all that, but I seldom seem to say so. And I don't want to constantly harangue people about shitty comics all the time (which is one of the reasons that the Prattle has exceeded its comics remit from time to time) lest I get so pissed off I forget why I liked them in the first place.

So I thought I'd redress that this way--by giving you ten awesome things from comics. Chris Sims has Batman tossing a car battery, TV Tropes calls them Crowing Moments of Awesome, and these ten things are my equivalent of that--they are the stuff that got me to love comics in the first damn place. Now, all of these aren't from comics, but they're in that spirit.

These aren't in any particular order, positively loaded with spoilers, and probably aren't explained in any great detail (or I'd have another humongous series of articles that I procrastinate about writing) they're just a list of 10 awesome things about comics. If you ain't feeling that, or you're too soaked with hipster irony, then dammit, this ain't for you.

Here we go:

1. IRON MAN #200--"My friend is dead . . .others may have been captured, taken who knows where . . .I could have stopped him before it got to this point, but I didn't. But I will. I'll accept the responsibility that goes with who I am and I will stop Obadiah Stane."

Cue the rollout of the Silver Centurion armour, a battle with Stane 30 issues in the making, and Tony Stark becoming Iron Man once again.

2. JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED-"Divided We Fall." Braniac and Luthor are one being (to Alan Moore's eternal regret, Braniac's head is not worn as a hat), and powerful enough to hold the entire Justice League at bay. The only one with a chance of stopping them is The Flash . . .who proceeds to run around the entire world and lay on a beatdown so epic it traveled back in time and caused the Tunguska Explosion:

3. CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS #10--Obviously, myself and MightyGodKing are the only folks who like Crisis (or would, in fact, admit it in public) and enough people out there already have already mentioned the more well-known moments, but for me, even though it doesn't end well for anyone concerned is this moment in Crisis #10:

The Anti-Monitor has tricked the united heroes and villains to travel back to the dawn of time itself and begins draining their power in an effort to complete his destruction of the Multiverse. It has something to do with Krona seeing the Anti-Monitor's hand rise out of the maelstrom of creation which will a) destroy everything and b) inspire Krona to star in JLA/Avengers twenty years on.

But right when this is supposed to happen, something resists him. As all good villains must, the first thing out of his mouth is "Who dares?"

And the Spectre (DC's preferred deus ex machina for decades now) backed by every magic user in the DCU, appears and replies: "I dare, cruel one! And I will stop you!"

It's a real "raise your fist in the air" moment for me, and moments like that are pretty much what I read comics for, so really everybody wins.

4. INFINITY GAUNTLET #4--Thanos has the power of God, has killed half the universe, and the only hope that remains is a gambit involving an army of Earth's Mightiest Heroes.

Guess how well that goes?

Print photo at home
And yet . . .the one guy left standing, the one guy with no powers, the one guy who basically has a trashcan lid for a weapon, will still stand up to a pissed off genocidal god:

Print photo at home

. . .who breaks his unbreakable shield with contemptuous ease:
Print photo at home

. . .and Cap still refuses to back down and basically punches God in the face in response:

Print photo at home

Man, good thing I had all these images left over from when I covered this in the old blog. Heh.

You know, people think that speech from Civil War or wherever where he talks about planting himself like a tree next top the river of truth or whatever it said is epic. These people are objectively and consummately wrong. That's telling you how awesome Cap is. This comic showing you Captain Fucking America laying one on the jaw of the supreme being, and that is straight-up showing you how awesome Captain America is. Even if he's the last man standing, he will never surrender.

5. NEW X-MEN #150--Cyclops has had enough. The deception with Xorn is the last straw in what's been a pretty awful year for him. Resolving that he's done with the whole "repression" thing (which was pretty much his defining characteristic) declares that he's going to cut loose from now on, starting with Magneto.

By which I mean he grabs Magneto by the throat and point-blank blasts the helmet off his face. For longtime X-Men readers who'd grown used to Cyclops being the bland, unexciting and unending whiny leader, this was big-time stuff and possibly the beginning of subsequent writers making some effort to break him out of being the repressed stick in the mud.

For me though, it always gonna be the "Holy crap! Cyclops is breaking bad? Cyclops?"

6. JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED--"Clash." Just . . .this (and yes, I wish I had a better clip as well) as Captain Marvel sends an open letter to superhero comics circa 2000-present:

7. THANOS #6--In trying to eliminate his need to consume planets, Galactus unleashes a force that consumes entire realities. Lucky for him, Thanos is in the midst of a face turn and comes to his aid. And by "comes to his aid," I mean, he traps the creature on one planet, detonates an entire nuclear arsenal on said planet whilst simultaneously crashing another planet into that one. God, I love comics sometimes.

8. ACHEWOOD: THE GREAT OUTDOOR FIGHT--To win the Great Outdoor Fight, Ray Smuckles has to beat up his friend Roast Beef, who was instrumental in getting him that far in the first place. The penalty for not doing this is that they'll get run down by men in jeeps. Rather than "beat real on his friend," Ray decides that the only sensible course of action is to tear the whole Fight apparatus down.

Y'know, putting aside that the whole thing is epic as hell you can hardly imagine that this is happening in the same strip that usually does jokier fare. It also tells us that true friendship is being willing to destroy an entire organization for someone.

9. CAPTAIN MARVEL #29--Mar-Vell has just been beaten down by the Controller, who's only a Dragon for Thanos, who holds the Cosmic Cube and godlike power over . . .wow, Thanos showed up a lot on this list, didn't he?

Trapped under the wreckage of Avengers Mansion, Mar-Vell is spirited away by Eon, a cosmic entity who looks like a tree (hey, it was the 70's) and for most of the issue questions Mar-Vell about just how far he's gotten being the Kree warrior who thinks most every problem can be solved by punching it really hard. That is--not very far at all.

So he's given a chance to become something greater--to evolve into the Protector of the Universe (which still seems to involve a lot of punching, but what are ya gonna do?) and be the key to defeating Thanos (who very helpfully waits before starting up the whole "turning into God" thing so Mar-Vell can get his shit together) and Mar-Vell decides to make the change that will allow him to be what is needed.

Now, admittedly Captain Marvel is not necessarily an a-list hero, but this issue does a great job of summarizing his history and building an argument that there's potential there he should live up to. And while he doesn't fight anyone physical in this issue, that he triumphs over his inner demons feels like a satisfying enough victory in itself.

10. Oh, and last but by no means least, thanks to time and the toll it takes, comics are just about the only milieu where we Doctor Who fans could see a scene like this.

Maybe you have your own list, maybe you want to call me on bits of mine--lord knows I'm sure to have left stuff out. I'd love for this to become a thing and for other people to post ten awesome things from comics. Let's take the weekend off from gnashing our teeth about the Sentry retroactively fucking everyone. The mendacity will be here when we get back.

Friday, May 14, 2010


Geoff Johns utterly confounds me.

Unlike pretty much all my follow commenters on the Internet (e.g. the ones people actually read) who find Geoff Johns to be the most toxic sort of backward-looking nostalgia-mongering since that brief flash of madness where people really cared about what Alex Ross thought of the current state of superhero comics, full stop I actually find Johns ideas rather intriguing.

At least the ones he seems to stumble onto by accident on the way to something that really pisses me off, anyhow.

You see, I like the idea of the "rainbow Lantern" corps--I can totally get behind an "arms race" of power rings, as the idea that people just fall in line and accept the authority of the Green Lantern Corps seems to be rather flimsy and in need of explanation. The Time Trapper being a constantly-shifting sentient timeline? Liked that. Hawkman's stop-and-start rat's nest of continuity being explained as imperfect perpetual reincarnations? Very clever, I thought, even if it steamrolled over John Ostrander's Hawkworld/Hawkman stuff, which I quite enjoyed.

I was even able to find stuff to like in Blackest Night that helped the stuff I didn't (the zombies, the gore, the fact that you can pretty much skip to the last 3 issues because NOTHING HAPPENS UNTIL THEN EXCEPT GODDAMN ZOMBIES) I liked the idea of deputizing heroes and villains to serve as substitute Lanterns; I liked the idea that Earth was the actual cradle of life in the universe and the Guardians had hid that fact to protect Earth and justify their authority; I liked that Sinestro, of all people, got the White Lantern power.

But of course, all these bits get pissed away, on the way to Blackest Night's ultimate denouement, wherein a great lot of heroes and villains come back to life (funnily enough, most of them died in the gore-fests of the 2000s, now that I think of it) and Martian Manhunter gets some bloody pants, Firestorm's a white guy again (not that I often agree with Chris Sims, but his article on this tendency hit the nail on the head as to why this was a terribly worrying trend, and that was before they snuffed the Ryan Choi version of the Atom), Deadman is "aliveman," and here's goddamned Aquaman back and . . .well, things just kind of sputter to a stopping point because things don't really end in the Big Two's superhero comics, one just bounces on to the next thing like a ping-pong ball in a clothes dryer.

It's a really awful ending, as you're kind of geared up for this big-ass showdown that . . .never comes. The Deputy Lanterns are gonna take down Nekron and the Black Lanterns, only they don't. Then Sinestro (who looks like Hitler and is powered by White Power--why no Geoff, that doesn't look bad at all) and he doesn't. Then Hal Jordan gives his abominable "We came back to life because we didn't feel like being dead, so there!"speech and they can't beat them and then the cavalry finally rides in and . . .fucking Aquaman? Really? Really?

And even that doesn't really solve things to any satisfactory conclusion. Nekron just kind of explodes because it seems like a good idea at the time, Black Hand gets dragged off and things just kind of fizzle out, because by God, we've gotta have Brightest Day here next week.

One would imagine that Brightest Day, by it's very name, and because it deals with the aftermath of the DCU's darkest hour and ended with resurrection, that it would have a slightly cheerier remit. Surely, the heroes who'd been dead for some time would take some time, at least, to be grateful for their second chance at life, maybe grapple with the fact that time moved on slightly, maybe . . .

. . .yeah, right. This is DC we're talking about here. Brightest Day is about as glum and joyless a comic as it is possible to make with human hands, and bear in mind two things: One--it spins out of a limited series featuring zombies ripping people's hearts out.

Two--I've read every issue of the original Faust, and it's like bloody Planet Terry next to this. It's an utterly joyless grind wherein everyone who's resurrected slogs grimly through things when they're not actively whining about being alive, and of the three black people who get any face time in the story, one is a child-molesting pirate, one whines that Ronnie Raymond is a shit Firestorm (and he is) and the last one kills a whole fish market full of white people when he hears Aquaman's back because White Power Geoff doesn't care about black people and oh yeah, he's actually Black Manta.

Now, the idea that resurrecting Aquaman should drive anyone to anything but yawns and a deep sense of apathy is frankly silly enough, but the idea that Black Manta (whose superpower, as Seanbaby one remarked, is that "he owns a boat") was just marking time in a fish market because without Aquaman to pester, life had really lost its luster is just . . .fucking dumb.

And not really in keeping with Black Manta's characterisation. He's a black guy (and because he was a black guy, he had to have "Black" in his name because we might have gotten confused) who has plans to build a homeland for black people under water. So, uh, why the fish market job? Has the recession hit supervillainy as well? How is that gonna get you any closer to Underwakanda? You have a helmet that shoot fucking lasers, man. There's options.

What else is going on on this issue? Oh, the White Power has left a White Power Battery in the middle of the street which no one can lift except whoever's worthy, Deadman's whining about being alive, and Aquaman can only summon dead sea creatures who go 'round killing everyone, which, when you think about it, makes Aquaman about 75% more useful than he is the rest of the time.

You know before, when I said that Geoff Johns tends to create stuff that I find interesting by accident on the way to annoying me about something else? Yeah, well, there was absolutely nothing of that to distract me from how goddamned annoying this comic is, and when you consider that this week had an utterly gratuitous Titans issue wherein they killed off the other Atom (because Titans wasn't enough of a gore-fest to begin with--I swear; if Wolfman and Perez had it to do over again, with the benefit of hindsight, they'd never have done the Judas Contract if they knew what dire bilge would result from the generation that thought it was the kewlest thing evar) and Paul Jenkins wrote Stupid Fucking Paul Jenkins Comic #2314, Featuring The Sentry fighting very hard to collapse everything stupid and awful about superhero comics in the new millennium into a black hole of suck, this was the rancid cherry on top of the proverbial shit sundae.

Seriously--if you were in a comic shop, this was the collectively stupidest Wednesday on record. Everyone should have walked out of the comics store hanging their heads in shame.

Going back to the Sims article for a second (lest my froth lead to more parenthetical asides--oops, too late) I don't actually believe that Geoff Johns wants to whitewash all DC characters (but White Power Geoff is too good a name not to use, and I hope someone'll get the Arrested Development reference) but shit like this doesn't help. Three black people in the issue, and they're all awfully unpleasant.

I don't want to read stuff like this. I don't want to read comics wherein a bunch of dead heroes whine about not being dead anymore. I want to read stuff like Power Girl (well, until that gets bent into shape and she starts whining and shit) --I want to see superheroes doing superheroic shit and enjoying themselves while they do it. I want to see them have fun doing it, and I want to feel like I've had a nice break from the cares and difficulties of my own life when I'm done.

And most of all, I want to know why in the FUCK these people who want the Silver Age back SO DAMN BAD seem to want everything BUT the essential optimism that characterized the fucking Silver Age brought back. I can't be the only person who's noticed this, can I?

In short, I would not recommend this book. I didn't think it was very good.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


We've talked about Power Girl a few times here at the Prattle, chiefly when she returned home in a muddled mess of an Justice Society Annual and the latest semi-annual kerfuffle having to do with her bustline. As the second one covered most of her particulars, this gives the the luxury of not having too delve into them again here.

Recently, they gave Power Girl a series, which seemed a surprising notion to most, considering her generally adversarial characterization and tortured continuity would have made her radioactive for that sort of thing.

And yet . . .it's become quite the cult hit. Perhaps it's down to the creators (to be honest, it's hard to imagine a better fit for this book than James Palmiotti, Justin Gray, and Amanda Conner) the mise-en-scene that puts Power Girl in New York City, sets her up with a sufficiently intriguing civilian identity and supporting cast, or maybe it's because this is the most upbeat, non-grim, non-gritty, just plain fun superhero book DC has managed to publish since the mandate came on high that superhero comics were Serious Business and in no way, shape or form should be considered "fun."

Having said that, Judd Winick takes over the book with issue #12, which ought to show all us fools buying the happy fun superhero book what for, eh? I expect with him at the helm, the book will sink quicker than the Lusitania, as Winick writes exactly the kind of comics I never want to read.

But let's dwell on the positive, for once--when I cover Brightest Day #1 next time there'll be plenty of negative to go around--Power Girl manages to make a character who's been so muddled actually work and this trade collecting the first six issues really shows how workable it is.

Power Girl's bewildering origin is briskly covered in the first page of the book and with that out of the way, we're straight on to the action. Someone is making New Yorkers crazy (well, moreso than usual) and raining down what looks an awful lot like the Big Daddies from Bioshock down on the island as a prelude for ripping the island of Manhattan up into the sky. It's up to Powergirl (with guest stars the Justice Society and the new Terra) to find out what's causing it and get them to knock it the hell off already.

Meanwhile, in her civilian identity as Karen Starr, PG is busily trying to rebuild her old company as a newfangled think-tank which uses bleeding edge theoretical technologies to better mankind in a Tony Stark kind of way (I have to say--the idea of using grey goo for post-superhero battle cleanup was actually pretty clever) and dealing with the hassles of obnoxious co-workers, trying to make a theoretical company turn a profit, and the perils of trying to find a new apartment that is immediately destroyed by an alien ship crash-landing in Central Park.

It's competently done superheroics with, thank God, a minimum of angst and metatextual hugger-mugger, and that alone is rare enough that I'd recommend this book, but what really puts it over the top for me is the interplay between Terra and Power Girl. I haven't read the Terra mini-series that came out before this, but somehow PG ends up as the mentor to the new Terra (who has nothing to do with Tara Markov, and good damn thing--that well is long since dry) and Palmiotti gets a hell of a lot of mileage out of Atlee's spunkiness and curiosity playing against PG's less patient, slightly more cynical attitude. It's not chemistry that one would imagine would work, but it ends up working very well and in some ways becomes the spine of the book.

And one of the reasons it works so well is Amanda Conner's art. Her ability with expressions is just staggering, whether it's Atlee and PG at the movies, PG's straining to lift a falling spaceship, or PG's adorable yet perpetually annoyed-looking cat, she really gives these characters actual character, and in an industry that currently exalts the most ghastly stiff photo-referenced crap, she's positively a treasure and one of the reasons this book works as well as it does.

In conclusion, ladies and jellyspoons, I don't care of Power Girl's never appealed to you at all or DC's utterly dunderheaded attempts to force things back to the Silver Age have completely turned you off to them, or it seems utterly futile to have a look at a book that's going to lose it's creative team soon, but you totally should, as this is (maybe) not an antidote to the mess superhero comics have found themselves in circa 2010, it certainly helps to take the pain away.

In short, I highly recommend this to you.

Friday, May 7, 2010


Well, seeing as how I am the Internet's pre-eminent loudmouth on all things Iron Man (seriously! Even War Rocket Ajax said so) it behooves (behooven? does behoove?) me to weigh in my thoughts on Iron Man 2, as I am two hours fresh from the theatre having just seeing it on opening day and I can tell the Four Readers out there are dying to know what I thought of it. Spoilers ahoy--we doin' this.

Iron Man 2 picks up six months after the first movie, and Tony Stark is kicking ass and taking names. He has, as he says in the movie "privatised world peace"--an interesting concept I would rather have seen rather than be told about--as it would have been an interesting flipside to his previous monopoly on arming the world. With his fantastic suit or armor he's invincible (as people are years away from duplicating the process that created the suit), overconfident, utterly cheeky, and proves that one can indeed have balls so big that bullets do nothing as he owns the US Senate, arch-rival Justin Hammer (played by Sam Rockwell as a being that exhales sleaze the way you and I exhale carbon dioxide) in one fell swoop.

He's also dying. The arc reactor in his chest is poisoning his blood in a mostly well-thought out subplot that I was eternally grateful was not the Extremis plot as previously speculated (There are people who think the Extremis plotline in the comic was a brilliant spin on Iron Man. These people are completely, absolutely, catastrophically, objectively wrong.) The resolution is a little creaky (a lot, actually) but I'll get to that in a minute, but the way it drives Stark into more risky and alienating behaviour is actually well done and drives the story in a rather Empire Strikes Back "just keeps getting worse for the gang" kinda way.

The crisis point comes when Ivan Vanko, whose father worked with Tony's father (who, in an eternally amusing bit is played by Roger Sterling from Mad Men as Roger Sterling, pretty much) on the arc reactor thing and Swears Revenge on him. The whole attempt to set Vanko and Stark up as products of their fathers and their pasts falls flat here, mostly because Mickey Rourke hunger-dunger-dangs his way through his dialogue in a way that the word "unintelligible" doesn't even begin to cover. But he's effective physically as Whiplash and manages to make the whole "guy with a whip against the guy wearing a walking tank" thing work in a way the comics sure as hell never did.

Insofar as any of his plan was understandable without subtitles, it's pretty smart--Vanko just wants to demonstrate that Stark isn't invincible, and trusts that his many rivals will pounce him at this sign of weakness--he just plans to demonstrate it in public. But things develop that Hammer sees an opportunity to finally crack Stark's design and frees Vanko, who agrees to design an army of drones for him (though he has his Own Reasons, naturally--Hammer never once comes off as the sharpest knife in the drawer in the film. Obadiah "IN A CAVE! WITH A BOX OF SCRAPS! Stane, he ain't.) and bides his time for his final revenge with Stark.

Meanwhile, Stark seems to be taking care of the whole destroying himself thing pretty ably--alienating himself from Pepper Potts (who at least doesn't kill the Big Boss by throwing a switch this time) and finally forcing Jim Rhodes to steal one of his older suits and smack some sense into him in a pretty damn good fight that is pretty damn physical and has some decent fight choreography for something that was sure quite a lot of CGI. Credit where it's due--there's some real heft in the fights and the camera isn't all juddering around and stuff so you can't really make out what's going on. I do call bullshit on the "speed ramping" stuff though: Stop that. It's two thousand god damned ten. You know better.

Anyways, Rhodey delivers the Mark II two the government, which Hammer refits into War Machine, the Drones get built and Stark, with a little help from Nick Fury and The Most Plot-Convenient Box In The World figures out a way to upgrade the arc reactor in such a way as to where it won't kill him.

This bit is actually one of my biggest problems with the movie. Stark works out after seeing a filmed message from his father that he hid the plans for an entirely new element in the design of his expo's grounds. I know what the point of the scene was--Stark never knew his father and never knew how proud he was of him and how he'd bequeathed the future to him--I got all that without the utterly obvious & damn silly device of him hiding the new element on his fucking fairgrounds.

This is a great excuse for a new suit of armour (now with Big Triangle) and a final showdown with War Machine and the Drones on the Expo's grounds. Y'see, Vanko having figured out how to seize control of them all in an effort to . . .y'know I'm not sure what the whole point of having Hammer's Drones shoot up Stark's expo really was, and as Vanko spent more time learning hacking than he did elocution, so I can only speculate it was a general "blow up his spot" kinda thing. He was very upset about his bird maybe--I really couldn't tell you.

The fight between War Machine, Iron Man, and the Drones is a good bit of business and plays a lot better than the Iron Monger fight from the first movie did, as the multiple Drones allow for a little variety and a good long fight wherein none of the principals takes their mask off just in case the people watching are too dumb to remember who's who (I really hate this cliche, and it took me out of the fight at the end of the first movie) which has a good Crowning Moment of Awesome for Iron Man (You'll know it when you see it) and culminates with a big fight with Whiplash in his new upgraded armor.

That part I'm not so crazy about. Having read some ancillary stuff about the making of the movie, the creators of the film were anxious to avoid a fight that looked too much like the Iron Monger fight, but that's pretty much what they ended up doing. It's not bad (and has a pretty cool resolution) it's just . . .a little disappointing.

You may have noticed I haven't talked much about Nick Fury or the Black Widow being in this movie. That's because they don't really do that much--the Widow gets to kick a little ass in an ultimately futile (but amusing) bit in the third act and Nick Fury shows up to nudge the plot along, shoehorn some stuff about the Avengers movie to come, and generally be Samuel L. Jedi for a little bit.

I know everyone's nerded out about the Avengers teases that were in the movie, and . . .yeah, wonderful. It's great they're trying to link a bunch of movies together and I hope it works, but trying to do all that within Iron Man 2 meant there were a lot of bits that didn't really work for this movie that just called attention to themselves. I laud them for what they're trying to do, but really . . .it needs to be a bit more invisible to be more enjoyable, and I'm looking right at that damn post-credits bit.

Anyhow, thankfully the movie finishes on a nice callback to the Senate stuff from the beginning of the movie and we're off until Iron Man 3 hits in 2012 or whenever.

A major quibble (for me, anyways)--the score is atrocious compared to the first one. I liked how the Iron Man theme gradually "built" through every iteration of the armour was a cool little extra touch and I missed that this time out, John Debney's score is generic, obvious and too damn loud in the bits of the score that aren't AC/DC's greatest hits collection (and seriously--given how obviously mercenary having AC/DCs song jammed willy-nilly on the soundtrack, y'all didn't even try to get "War Machine?" How hard could it have been--I mean, KISS will come to my house for $100.) and it really lets the movie down when it should be at a more epic pitch. I know we're well past the days of good purpose-built scores, but when done properly, they add a lot to the movie.

It may sound like I didn't like the movie as much as the first one and . . .well, I didn't. But only narrowly so--I've told people it's an A to the first movie's A+--The armor battles are suitably epic, the suitcase armour was awesome as hell, and the movie's weaker bits are fortunately eased by Robert Downey Jr's considerable charm and amused cheekiness in the face of . . .er, everything. The rest of the cast mostly acquits themselves well--no one really stands out, but no surprise there--Downey pretty much owned the first movie also, didn't he?

In short, it's pretty good, and doesn't suffer from a dramatic slide in quality as sequels often do (and before you bring up Spider-Man 2, I remind you that people who believe Spider-Man 2 was a great movie are also utterly, tragically and catastrophically wrong) and advances the first story in some interesting ways without having to leech off of "iconic" stories from the comics (not least of which because there aren't any). The idea of Stark's Iron Man tech touching off an arms race (or an Armour War?) is a good one, and hopefully it'll be carried through to a logical conclusion in the third movie.

It's not what it was, but it'll do.