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NOW! Comics Astro Boy - Issue Thirteen

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Welcome back, readers. I wasn't able to buy today's issue myself, but it was scanned by the lovely Tawashi Bus Hat. The colour quality is a little different from the standard of these reviews, but it doesn't matter. This issue deserves no respect. If you like I.Q. Plenty or seeing Astro get punched in the face, you'll like this. If you don't (because you are a reasonable human being), you will react to this book as if it were made of body parts.
This issue is the hardest to find. Maybe it's because like issue five, the cover has beefcake on the cover and nobody would seriously touch something like this unless there were hundred dollar bills taped to every page. Astro posing next to a muscular man in his underpants is bad enough, but Astro's ravaged body at the feet of a flexing muscleman with an oblong groin? Sweet mother of God, Ken Steacy, are you trying to inspire some messed-up shotacon porn?!
We open with Astro coming home to discover his parents angry for no reason, taking place less than hours after Astro rescued Archie. Wait...so Astro went to school at nine o'clock and left after the first recess, approximating to 11:00. He then got involved in a police chase, had a nuclear reactor meltdown, was detained in a radiation saferoom, had his energy system and internal workings replaced, then hunted down a secret underwater base and rescued a kid. Then he came home at 3:30 PM. Does anyone else see the hole in this?
Elmer sure does. DAMMIT SON, HOW DARE YOU SAVE THE UGLY KID AND GET INTO USA TODAY ALL IN ONE DAY. Or maybe he's mad that part of the end of The Death Balloons got ripped off last issue.
In the meantime, I.Q. Plenty and Spud are in I.Q.'s house, trashed on sugar and chips, and watching something called Mighty Mutex. I know the enthusiasm in your body has just evaporated, so I feel it's perfectly fine to tell you that Mutex is the dude on the cover.
Also, he's going to become a reoccurring character. We are all going to hell.
Did anyone else see the "twinkle in his dad's eye" part and think of that old Family Guy episode?
I.Q. begins telling Spud the story of Mutex, who...turns out to be a real person. Mutex was born after his mom got the general area around her baby oven shot with isotope radioactivity. Instead of frying her unborn son like chicken, he gets born with superpowers. He uses these powers to cheat loudly at football and become a TV superhero, at one point eating a car on The Late Show, while this thing that is supposedly David Letterman looks on. How is it that a tiny thing that barely looks like Letterman is the best drawn male in the comic so far?
That doesn't matter, because apparently Cybotics came on the market, and were so much faster and more efficient than him that Mutex lost his career. How do either of these event fit together? That's like telling everyone your house burned down because two guys in the next county got married to each other.
But don't worry, I.Q. is really gonna get back at Rod and Steve.
I can't wait either, Spud! Watching you two take over this comic gives me a feeling not unlike smashing my hand in a car door!
In the meantime, Astro's parents are mad that Astro didn't bother to tell them immediately about issue twelve, but if he did manage to do all that in one day and just got back from school, how can they give him crap for not getting to tell them yet? And this coming out of two cyborgs who refused to tell their "son" where they came from. I feel bad for Astro...as if the psychotic Evangelion-esque nightmare he's lived through isn't enough, his new parents are dicks.
It is also Elefun's fetish.
So, the emergency workers found two people bordering on death, but Elefun rescued them (stole their bodies) and transferred their consciousness into robots (put their brains in robots) and they magically fell in love with each other upon being activated.
You know...because they're a man and a woman. So, regardless of whether or not Rebecca may be physically attracted to Elmer at all, they're married forever regardless. And now that they're sealed together, they get to be constricted to suburban homelife with kids. We're eight pages into the comic and already I hate everything inside it that moves. Also, they drop the hint that they're going to get a daughter soon.
Meanwhile, Mutex is now living with his mom in a trailer, Fenton Crackshell style. Why has his mom - we'll call her Momtex - gone from an isotope researcher to a curler-clad homemaker? Maybe it's because...her husband is no longer there. Is it not possible to find a consistent, strong female character in this comic?
Well, Mutex gets mad about the baseball game on TV being played by robots, and Momtex tells him to shut up, so he offers to punch her in the face. Then I.Q. Plenty knocks on the door and a thousand orphans die.
Damn union workers and their fracases.
So, as Astro is about to go to bed (what time is it now?!), Elefun calls. Remember that inexplicable appearance of Bugsy in issue twelve? Well, something stupid has happened and Elefun doesn't know what, and Astro is the only functioning person they can send in. Elmer tells Astro to "charge up" by giving him one C-battery.
It turns out that Bugsy had been holding a "rights rally", despite robot rights actually having been passed over a week before, when Mutex came out of nowhere and flicked him off the podium. The giant robot boob from before tries to help him, but Mutex breaks his hand and beats him thoroughly. Astro shows up, so Mutex begins to beat him in a variety of ways. This is beginning to get unsettling, and I can't help but think this is the point in time when Ken Steacy was nothing but sick of working on this comic and Astro Boy, and decided to take out his frustration.
In retaliation, Astro punches Mutex into a wall, and...uh, isn't hitting a human against A) Asimov and Tezuka's robot laws, and B) out of character? If Astro got attacked by a human, he'd throw him into something moderately-soft so he's get the picture, or bend an I-beam or telephone pole around them so they'd keep still. Then he'd be really polite, so they'd feel bad.
The pin-ups are so dumb that even the characters know.
Looks like Mutex heard that idea about the I-beam, because he's just rolled Astro into a ball Tosaka-style and thrown him through the fourth wall. Bugsy tries to intervene, but he gets stamped on, to the delight of everyone in the tri-state area. That blonde reporter from before, Barbra, shows up to comment, but Astro is too busy trying to shoot Mutex in the face with his ass lasers.
Mutex is starting to lose, so he calls for I.Q.'s help. I.Q. pulls a "circuit scrambler" out and prepares to use it on Astro, when a mysterious gentleman with eyes on a hat blows it up with his head. While it sounds like I was just putting random words together, this makes the second guy-we-know-from-before-in-a-mask to appear. Do you want me to just tell you? Okay, highlight the following...it's Boynton in the hat, and Lance as Cloakmaster. You saw this coming and it's still lame.
How's that revenge high doing, Steacy?
If you think this is disturbing, what do you think Tezuka and his family thought when they saw this? This issue alone did more damage on their willingness to license overseas than anything else, and nobody knows it ever happened.
Bart told Bart Junior quite a lot about his heroes.
Just as Mutex prepares to make Astro's head explode, Fist Of The North Star style, a crowd gathers and begins pelting garbage at him. Mutex watches I.Q. and Spud run off, and he realizes he's been a douche for the past issue. But suddenly Barbra appears as a monkey man and offers Mutex a deal with a TV show.
I had to.
After taking the deal, Mutex goes and apologizes to Astro, saying he was only taking out "pent-up frustration" on him, which seems unfair, because he only stopped beating Astro because everyone was disgusted, and more importantly, someone magically gave Mutex what he wanted. Astro is somehow not offended, and goes home.
Is Rebecca holding a remote from the side, or is that a cigarette, or is that something else? I honestly can't understand Steacy's art anymore.
As we learned that Bugsy survived for no reason, it turns out that Astro got to cameo in Mutex's show. Do I honestly feel anything? If someone beats the hell out of you in public, you don't accept their request to recreate the battle on TV! Elmer complements Astro on his acting skills, which should go something like "Gee, son! You sure made a convincing scream when that man kicked you in the stomach!"
Let's make a list of things this comic taught us...
  • Women work best when confined to a household.
  • As long as you had a deep problem in the past, hurting someone else for it is perfectly fine.
  • As long as you give the aforementioned hurt person something, you are cleared of all fault.
  • Robots can totally attack a human without any detrimental health effects on the human.
  • Your parents can and should make you feel bad for anything they feel necessary.
  • Marriage is a sacred bond between a man and a woman who were killed by a robot and had their brains stolen by an old man.
  • I.Q. Plenty, Spud and Bugsy are loveable characters worth coming back every single issue.

I hate this issue more than issue nine, which I hate more than issue three. After going through it, I have a sick, churning feeling in my stomach, like having a head-on train crash in my torso. You want to see an approximation of my face?

D/Sergei; episode 2 of Key The Metal Idol
Ken Steacy, when I said "dream big", that was not a passport to "do retarded things". I have no idea why you have avoided getting back to me with that list of questions about this comic, and I feel my politeness there was more than you deserve for this issue. It is garbage almost everywhere. I have a deep bond with the Astro Boy series...it was one of the oldest cartoons I ever watched, and it was the first anime I got into years later. Did you think this was an okay thing to do to an internationally-beloved franchise? To quote a certain internet fad, you dun goofed.

All written material here is 2007-2011 Fauna Crawford, along with any images identified as such. All other copyrights belong to their respective owners and creators. Permission is required to use any original material from this site.