Saturday, March 10, 2012

Ultimate Warriors Crazy Comic Book #2

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"... I realized Renegar had finally made a good suggestion. He was making comment to how some of the readers of 'Warrior' may have been somewhat confused by the storytelling and the fact that Warrior is told from two points of view... so let's straighten it out."

The very first page of Warrior #2 wastes no time in acknowledging that nobody understood a damn thing that happened in the first comic book. As a matter of fact it was not until I forced myself to slow down and study each panel meticulously, taking the time to photograph and write a general overview of the book that I sort of started to understand just what the hell was going on.

It was while writing this article, "Ultimate Warrior's Crazy Comic Book!" that I actually started to grasp onto some of the books concepts and strangely enough actually enjoy the comic. It was an interesting journey through the pages of Warrior #1 but somehow through the books convoluted story I started to look beyond what was simply presented in front of me and see that someone, someplace put a lot of hard work into this book. Once I got past what Warrior #1 wasn't and focused on what it was... I really did find enjoyment in what was printed in front of me.

I can only speculate what went on behind the scenes on this comic and we will get to that a little bit later in the article but I will say that in some weird way I feel like I owe it to everyone who worked on this short lived series to continue along with their story and write about the rest of the issues.

Warrior #1 is like a low budget b-movie... but the good kind of b-movie that doesn't really realize its limitations and just swings for the fences anyway. If you have not done so already please take the time to read my first writeup "Ultimate Warrior's Crazy Comic Book!" so that you can get caught up on the story so far. Once you have done so prepare yourself, for the story found within the pages of Warrior #2 is somehow stranger than the first book...
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Warrior #2 opens up in the only logical place it could, right outside WARRIOR UNIVERSITY! Complete with an empty "Reserved: Warrior" parking space. You know I had heard a rumor that in the early 1990s the real Ultimate Warrior drove around in a truck with a picture of his face painted on the hood. I can only hope that he also had his own "Reserved: Warrior" parking spot outside his house.

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Naturally people are leaving flowers for Warrior, at least I think they are flowers. They sort of look like a bunch of meatballs sitting amongst lettuce. Which I guess if you are going to leave gifts for someone as bat-shit crazy as the Ultimate Warrior, it might as well be meatballs and lettuce.

For those wondering what happened to Warrior, it it is not quite clear what exactly happened to "the big man" but according to the first comic book he is laying in a coma, with his girlfriend by his side. A good portion of the first book and much of the second take place 'within the mind of the Warrior'. Which sort of explains the sudden jumps between things you will see here in a second.

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First we have to take a look inside WARRIOR UNIVERSITY which is apparently filled with prostitutes and hookers from the looks of this page. All of whom are standing around talking about how the Warrior being in critical condition is giving them "the chills" and making them think "way too much".

If there is one thing we do not want, it is thinking hookers. I really enjoy the gigantic random picture of Warrior that is apparently overlooking the front lobby of WARRIOR UNIVERSITY, I want me one of those.

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Wasting no time to jump to the cosmos we have what appears to be a shooting star or some type of asteroid / comet. Rocketing its way past many stars and planets. Shooting towards some unknown location. Ready to make "pointless retribution"  on.... wait, what? Pointless Retribution?

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Realizing that I am just a pretend internet writer with ambitions to one day publish a small novel or something I can honestly say that "pointless retribution" is about the worst choice of words you could use to describe what is probably an important event in your comic book. I have sort of learned to give this comic a pass for lots of its little issues but "pointless retribution" is a little much. Even for crappy Warrior Comic standards.

I also have to point out those red bars along the side of the page. They are here to help us the reader better understand what the hell is going on. The inside cover of Warrior #2 provides the following helpful analogy: "the telling of the story happens from two points of view. The first is a take action, aggressive, outward expression point of view and secondly, an introspective, intuitive, inner-self, let's-think-this-situation-through point of view. The former is done in the red caption and the latter in the pale yellow."

So instead of making Warrior #2 less confusing... they just added a color coded system and then explained it in an equally confusing manor. This specific panel has red around it. Some will have yellow. Others will have nothing. Take that for what you will. We have more important issues to take care of. Such as this guy:

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Who is quite pissed off and is absolutely convinced that people are trying to steal his AB Flex T-Shirt. I wonder if WARRIOR UNIVERSITY tests for HGH? If so I think Mr. Ab Flex should be on top of that list.

Seriously, there is an entire page dedicated to this guy and the story of what he had to go through to get that shirt. I have no idea how this relates to anything else going on in the book. I should also note that I am not skipping over any important or informational panels. So far everything you have seen is in the exact same order that it is in the printed book. The "pointless retribution" comet page is directly followed by this guy and his AB Flex T-Shirt. Which I am basically assuming is just filler material.

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This however, is actually not filler material. Our Pointless Retribution Comet went speeding along until it reached the planet earth, at which point it blasted its way through a set of hospital doors. No doubt killing some innocent bystanders in the process.

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It turns out that comet was not so pointless after-all. As a matter of fact it speed right along until it presumably smacked Warrior right upside the head and awoke him with a gigantic "F-F-U-U-U--!" ... or maybe that was just the reader reaction after the first comic book. So may questions, so little answers.

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Either way it leaves us with the still kind of naked looking Warrior sitting alone.... aware... in the "Terrain of Testament". I haven't really explained much about the Terrain of Testament yet because I do not fully understand what they were trying to convey with it.

The way I interpret the Terrain is that it is not an actual physical place that Warrior is in but a psychological place, a zone if you will, that is found deep within Warriors psyche.

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And Warriors psyche is not a place easily understood. For it is filled with random gigantic tornadoes. "Countless will be the ones who hide from ever finding the courage to face the twisting and turning of the world in which they live. Running for a cover never deep enough, yet its shallowness creating a depth to their misery that they and the loved ones who willingly follow them shall never survive..."

This text box is in yellow, which according to our handy dandy color chart means... umm, actually I really don't know what it means or why its yellow. We just sort of have to go with it and assume there is some greater meaning to it that none of us will ever understand.

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Warrior #2 also introduces us to the concept of  "Belief Banners", you know those red ribbons that Warrior ties around his arms. Apparently now they are permanently attached him, showing "his life" as well as speaking to him and giving him directions. Belief Banner speak is done via purple text boxes.

Just to recap sometimes we have red or yellow stripes other times they are red and yellow text boxes. Now we also have have purple text boxes to accompany the normal white text boxes. All things done to help the reader better understand the comic book. Seems to me it would have been much easier to just make the book not so confusing. But what do I know.

Actually here is what I do know. The "Belief Banners", despite having the stupidest name imaginable, seem like one of the few "real" comic book ideas that made it all the way from inception to print. I have a feeling that this book was heavily influenced by the real Ultimate Warrior, who takes credit for writing the books convoluted story. Who probably had zero interest in writing a comic book. Who probably looked down on the genera and figured he would do it "his way" to satisfy his own ego.

I would really like to talk to the other people involved with this book, and if I am lucky maybe one day I will. There has got to be an interesting story behind the creation of this series. One in which I imagine a team of talented writers and artists, who probably could have made 'Warrior' into a far better book.

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After Warriors shocking self realization that he has things growing out of his arms he decides to fight this snow beast thing. The comic describes it as "the beast within" meaning that it is supposed to represent some sort of higher struggle that the Warrior is having between himself and the animal living inside him.

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Which of course leads to a gigantic metallic blue Ultimate Warrior appearing out of nowhere and fighting with the original naked Warrior, which for those keeping score at home is actually in the mind of the real Ultimate Warrior, who has just woken up in the hospital bed after being hit by a comet. Sense. This book makes very little.

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Blue Warrior and Naked Warrior "pok" it out for a bit until suddenly...

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... Blue Warrior curls up into a ball and turns into an infant? A faceless one glowing  radioactive green, to be exact. I am going to level with you guys when I first got this comic in the mail I was super excited and immediately sat down to read the thing. When I reached this point for the first time it finally struck me, this story doesn't make a lick of sense.

I expected the book to be crazy but.... wow this is just over the top nuts. Once again I am not glossing over any important plot points either. The only stuff I am not showing you is some of the long dialog boxes that seem to go on forever and ever.

When I say stuff like "a metallic blue Ultimate Warrior appears of of nowhere" I literally mean on the page prior to his appearance he was not present and then suddenly... he is and the snow beast thing is gone... but before you have time to wrap your head around either of those two concepts they hit you with a glowing green alien baby, which I guess is supposed to represent the "child within" the Warrior. And none of this has anything to do with the "Belief Banners" that they spent all that time setting up right before this madness.

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The only logical thing this book could do at this point is just show a page of Naked Warrior screaming in frustration for no apparent reason. Given the context of everything else that has happened thus far, that is not a bad assessment of the situation at hand.

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Warrior then proceeds to monologue for the next page and a half. I will spare you the recap. Trust me its not interesting. Ending on yet another cliffhanger we see that Real Warrior is summoning up the "warrior within" himself and is now getting ready for battle. But a battle with what?

I am perplexed. I figured that Warrior #2 was going to have a bit more to do with the apparent villain introduced at the end of the first book. Taking time away from Warriors crazy self reflection dialog and focusing on some other characters may have been the key to getting people interested in reading the series.

Instead we get more strange stories taking place in some cosmic realm involving Warrior fighting with himself. Not exactly the most thrilling (or easily understood) thing for us readers here at home. Yet somehow I am still just as intrigued as ever to see what happens next in the crazy world of 'Warrior'

We only have two issues left in the books short run and I would imagine that by the third issue, madness is bound to ensue. I'm still keeping my fingers crossed that at some point Warrior goes on an Incredible Hulk like rampage through a crowded city street, demolishing everything in his path. I know if I would have been in charge of the series, that would have been how I would have opened up Warrior #1. So stay tuned faithful readers, we will be taking a look at Warrior #3 sometime here in the very near future. Who knows what we will find within its pages. Maybe that one will finally start to answers some of these burning questions. Probably not.  Let's leave with some more Warrior wisdom:

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"Nothin' like kicking the shit out of yourself... cleansin' oneself of the guilt and negativity." 

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