Friday, 31 October 2008

An Ode to Carnivac

I set out to write an article about the Pretender Beasts. There was a great chance that it would have turned into me wittering about Carnivac for 20,000 words. Then I woke up and read the old TF UK comics with Carnivac in. That chance then rose. Then I started fiddling with the Carnivac I recently got off ebay. That chance then broke the probability of '1' and started rising... somehow.

So yeah. Carnivac

There is a good chance you remember the Pretenders. They were amongst the last lines of 'gimmicky' Transformers that were about when the line finally died, from 1988-1989. The idea was simple - you'd have your transforming robot still, but they would also have a suit of armour, the Decepticon's being shaped like a monster, the Autobot's like a human, giving you literally two toys in one. Unfortunately the technology of the late eighties wasn't up to it, giving us immobile shells and robots which all looked identical and transformed by bending over, looking like a robot bent over rather than a car or a plane.

Of course, then there were the Pretender Beasts.

Released in 1988, there were four of these guys, two Autobots and two Decepticons. Rather than humans, they were disguised as animals. They have a rather fond place in my cold, cold heart for several reasons. Firstly the only Pretender I ever owned as a kid was one of these (Catilla in case you're wondering). Secondly when I was little, being a Brit, I used to get the Transformers UK comic. This was a comic better than the US version, so much better in fact that the Americans eventually nicked the British team to write theirs! One of the back-up tales in it featured three of the Pretender Beasts - Carnivac, Catilla and Snarler. I'll explain more in a bit.

I'm going to give the majority of this article to Carnivac, since I recently bought him complete (including instructions) and boxed off ebay for £25 shipped. That's $50 to you yanks. Yes I may be crazy but I'm still employed for a good 2 1/2 months still!

Carnivac's outer shell is a wolf with a vest on. There's something a bit off about it... probably the giant eyes he has, bless him. But still, the box art at least is very very nice and gives the little guy a lot of personality

I would actually rate his and Catilla's shells the best of the Pretender Beasts. They both possess a very very nice sense of dynamism and movement which the other humanoid pretenders, forever locked to attention, do not possess. Of course the downside is literally no articulation. When I was small, playing with one consisted of holding the tail and using it to hit things. I was such a scamp!

Of course, the Pretender hides the robot inside! I always liked how the shells split open down the middle letting the robot spill out in a folded up foetal position. To my small mind, it was quite cool. Of course, you can start to see Carnivac's beast mode here...

Now, this robotic beast is described as a wolf. I don't know what I'd describe it as. It has got very thin gimpy legs, a silly mouth, and... that is about it. A mouth on legs. The silver visor-like head is quite cool and menacing though, and despite the lovely brown plastic, he doesn't look that bad. Of course, he doesn't look that great either.

Robot mode is... an aquired taste. The instructions attempt to claim that the head can turn, and indeed it can a little bit but it is set too far back into his hood to actually try turning it! Carnvac also has a big-ass gun, which is cool. I'm trying to think of some positive things to say, but seeing the robot almost paralysed, able to wiggle his arms up and down in vain, well... Hasbro have a lot to answer for. He can point at things, and you can smash him against other toys whilst shouting 'DAH DAH DAH!' without smashing, so I guess if Carnivac was aimed at the 3-5 age bracket he's perfect.

Now, looking at the box, we see the original colours for this guy are far more attractive. But thats not to say I don't dearly love Carnivac as he is. For a start the brown is replaced by gold and he has turquoise hands instead of purple. I have no clue why they changed that, unless Hasbro thought it made him look too interesting...

Of course, the big reason I love this guy stems from the comics. When I was little they were my lifeblood (and the UK got much better stories than the US). One such tale was that of Carnivac. He and Catilla, his best buddy had defected to the Autobots and were being hunted by the Decepticon's Mayhem attack squad, led by fellow Pretender Beast Snarler. Carnivac is caught by the Mayhems when he is alone having deserted his new-found comrades and is caught in a battle to the death as he measures his own life against saving the small Mexican village he inadvertantly drew the Decepticons to. Of course Catilla and his Autobot buddies eventually rescue Carnivac, but not before Catilla is killed as a parting shot
Its really very very good. However my mother read the first issue of the sequel to that arc, where Carnivac goes on a murderous revenge spree against the people who killed his best friend, and decided that it was unsuitable for me to read. I was then set on the Beano and only found out how the story ended a few years ago. Well, every story has its happy ending I suppose...

Snarler is a big fat pig. He turns into some kind of... drill thing. Needless to say he's my least favourite of these guys. He spends the entirity of the comic run trotting about in pig mode, and only once do we see him outside his shell (and in robot mode no less) in the UK comics: when he is playing cards with Spinister.

That's Carnivac at the window. Bless him.

Catilla was the guy I had as a kid, and was a saber-toothed tiger. He also bore a striking resemblence to Battle-Cat, especially since he had a helmet too, but I suppose all sabre tooth tigers look the same

Catilla's main role in the comic was to get himself killed, letting Carnivac flip out. When I was small I would re-enact Catilla's death with his Pretender shell and a Ninja Turtle sword. I was a... special child...

Chainclaw is a bear with a very... odd facial expression. Like he is constantly constipated or had a lipstick accident or something. He is probably the most obscure Pretender Beast, having only appeared in two comics ever (and obviously no television appearances since these guys were too late to be in the cartoon).

In US 67 Chainclaw gets around four frames of action before being killed by Galvatron like the cannon fodder he is! He gets even less when he is punched to death by Starscream in Fallen Star! Poor guy.
So there you have it, Pretender Beast goodness. There is a small part of me which wants to actually find Snarler and Chainclaw so I can have the complete set. Of course, there is a part of me who wants to flip out and murder people, I just ignore all those small parts...

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Gobots Collision Course Comet!

I was bemoaning my existence on the internet this morning, when my good friend Fulcrum (that's his REAL NAME, honest. He just had really cruel parents) decided to change this. And make my life much, much worse with the 'gift' of a Gobots NOVEL. Or junior book, whatever.

Reading it affected me in many ways. My eyes welled up. With blood. I began to cry. For humanity. So as a lovely gesture, I will let you see the beauty that is...
Collision Course Comet!

Wow, do you feel the drama? Whilst Transformers had epic tales about rogue gods and betrayals written by Simon Furman and illustrated by such celebrated artists as Andrew Wildman and Geoff Senior, Gobots had... a kiddies book with a very... strange picture on the cover. It's supposed to be Crasher, the female villain. Who looks like she's wearing a headband with two cartoon eyes beneath it. It makes me cry, that someone who draws worse than me actually got employed somehow. But wait, it gets worse, as my pithy comments will soon show you...

 First off, that's blatantly not an observatory. That's a long-range cannon. Silly US government, hiding military equipment inside civilian buildings. Want more proof? Well, if the comet is so gosh darn special, why are the scientists huddled outside, rather than do anything useful with their equipment?

 Now we get some action! Or we would if that paragraph was actually readable. Did lights jump at the scientists? And to celebrate, did Crasher really eject her back wheels? I really, really doubt it

 Look, I'm sorry. For something that has a slight educational air (comets are cool, kids), this takes the cake. The truck is blatantly orange, not yellow. I can't even begin to explain how retarded you must be to make that mistake in something publishable (that's not a BBC Doctor Who novel)

 Crasher shoots into the air like a bullet. Does that mean she's traveling several hundred meters a second into the air? Erm... no.

 Well, see those gritty illustrations with so much life and emotion to them? No, well neither do I. And its obvious that the writer has absolutely no clue what the hero Gobot is supposed to be called. Can I also raise at this point that Crasher is supposed to be female. Wow, what a... looker?

 Milkshake? Little adventure? God, Gobots suck. But at least there's a macho character called Matt. Who was inside the Gobot at the time, but mysteriously didn't get crushed. I suppose this pilot enjoys driving around inside dump-trucks late at night. Probably moonlighting to support his illegal second family.


 Matt now seemingly has a head growing out of his shoulder. He probably thinks he's in Army of Darkness, not Gobots. Or at least wishes. Why does the hero Gobot have no self-confidence? Probably because no-one actually knows his name. Ho ho ho. And that Crasher. Again, what a looker...

Crash Halley's comet into Earth? Who does Cy-Kill think he is? The Cyberleader from Attack Of The Cybermen? (And if you don't know, please, please don't ask). Would something utterly millions of miles away and consisting mostly of a substance that would burn up upon entry to an atmosphere really be that effective as a missile anyway? Only in Gobot Land!

But... no... what on Earth is wrong with that man's eyes? See a doctor, quick! I have a drawing which I did when I was three which looks better than that

Hnn. Mixafon. And it's stupid inhabitants who look like comedy stuffed toys. And let themselves get whipped by Cy-Frickin'-Kill. It was about at this point where my mind leapt out of my ear and made a break for the door. Well, what was left of my mind anyhow, the rest had already departed years ago.

What the hell? Are these Mixafons French or something? And can't they move their hands from a raised position at all? It's really not a question of 'was the artist drunk?'. No, it's more 'how much did he have and can I have some too?'

Oh, more clever science. Forgive me if Gobots thrill me too much

Silly Matt. Up late at night with a young girl, playing with his enormous telescope. Heh. Heh. Heh.

Cy-Kill calls some scientists on their Bat-Phone, and asks them to surrender. Surrender what? The Earth? Their telescope? That really cool coffee mug in the corner with the witty slogan? Also note that Cy-Kill is really clever. The good guys would obviously assume he would hide the gravity device on board his massive, heavily-armed battle cruiser. So.. he didn't put it there. Sneaky

Matt's not looking for scientific info. He just ran to his computer to grab some porn after copping a look at his friend's ass. No, seriously, look at the pictures. Good man...

The writer has no clue as to this Gobot's name either, does he? If indeed it was written by something sentient, something I am beginning to have doubts with. And this 2001 rip-off monolith is guarded by a mighty force of... one. Its like the villains don't want to win. Also note how Crasher is once more posing in her character sheet model. In space.

Feinted. They use the word feinted in a kiddies book. What sort of kid know what feinted means but doesn't know that scientists are KNOWLEDGEABLE?

Woo! The heroes won! But what is their final task?

...we don't find out. Obviously the Gobot was made to self-destruct, thus destroying the device in a manner unfit for a kiddies book. Or the writer committed suicide after reading his draft and it had to be finished by his 3-month old kitten. But the good guys won. And AJ had apparently spent the last few hours pleading for mercy. Well, if you were a hot female locked in a room with loads of geeky scientists whose time was numbered, wouldn't you? (And by that, I mean they wanted her to watch Transformers The Movie. Yes)

So thats it. Gobots. Excuse me whilst I play with Mr Noose. He's much more entertaining

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Adventure On The Island

Recently in the attic, I discovered a big box of my Primary School stuff. My school was great, if only for the fact that they forced you to write stories rather than do silly things like "maths" or even "lessons." The best find though, was this, my first ever book! Reprinted here, in its entirely, it tells the epic struggle of man against giant fish monsters, in its original format. No words or spellings have been changed. Hence the lousy, nay insane punctuation...
Adventure on the Island
by matthew marshall

The map
One day me Tom and Daniel were in our submarine when I found a treasure map. "Lets get the treasure" said Tom "I wouldn't if I were you I said." Daniel said "come on". OK I said and we went to the island. "This is easy" I said. But just then the submarine was attacked by sharks fortunately the submarine was not damaged. The sharks were so dumb they didn't realise the submarine was amde of metal. we were safe on the island

Exploring the Island
When me Tom and Daniel were on the Island I said Hey Tom we'd better make a map of this place. Why said Tom I said because if Were Lost We can find our way back. oh said Tom. So me Tom and Daniel were exploring the island. Daniel was tired so he went Back to the submarine and when Daniel was inside he went to bed to have a long long long long rest and he had some food to keep him company. in the subMarines cupboard Tiny Ted Leroy the Lion and Daniels ted and my toy Robot Were having a party. Back on the island I had found a sand pile. While Tom Was looking at Skull Cave I leaned against the sand pile and a door opened and I fell in.

The lightening jump.
"Help Tom Help" I said. Tom said "Matthew where are you". I said Down here I think Iv'e found an under water base". "Where?" said Tom. "Down here" I said. Tom sais "Where's down here". I said "Look Tom I leaned against the sand pile and a door opened and I fell in". "Oh" said Tom. So Tom went over to the sand pile and Tom saw the Hidden door open and he went Down the steps and just then He saw me lying on the floor Tom said "Hey matthew why are you lying on the floor?". I said " I fell down Oinion head come on Lets get to the submarine to tell Daniel whats happened. "OK" said Tom, but then some giants appeared they weren't giant people but they were fish like giants. "Yikes" I said. Tom said "Help! the giants have Blocked the door way. I said "Tom Lets run down this corridor just then we Stopped. I said "Look Tom an appearing and disappeaiing floor oh oh the giants are going to catch us". Tom said Jump so me and Tom Jumped.

When me and Tom jumped I didn't notice that there was loads of giant fish on the other side. So when me and Tom jumped the fish like giants shouted "Boo". That made me and Tom lose concentratian so me and Tom fell down and down and down and down. I felt like the sky was falling on me. Tom felt like a baked bean suddenly there was an explosion and bodies Were lifted up by the the explosion. There were two bodies that looked like mine and Toms and the bodies looked like they were bleeding. The Giants Said we were dead.

 The Great Escape
I said "Ha Ha Ha Ha I don't believe it they fell for it". Tom said it was a good idea of yours to use those inflatable dummys and its lucky we had our protector shields with us". I said "I threw that bomb p to destract them and we dived into this chamber just in time! come onLets get help. So I got out my walky-talky and I tuned it on and this is what I said in it "matthew to base matthew to base do you read me? were in danger bring equipment Now!". Tom went over to me and said "matthew wouldn't it be great if there was a time machine". I said "um Tom there is and theres an escape machine. Come on Lets escape". So Tom and I went over to the escape machine. But Tom fell down a hole so I got into the escape machine and it took me outside and When I got out of the machine the machine disintegrated and then a fleet of submarines came into view and the teddy ship was alredy on the island. Tiny Ted got out of it riding bashasaurus. Then the Zoids came. Two Zoids were on one of the wwimming Zoids and Kannon Blasted two halves of the sea apart with his powerful cannon and if the sharks attacked manta zoid wolud kill them. When all the zoids were on the island the submarines got on the island and when the cuddly toys were out of the submarines the submarines transformed into robots so they broke the door open and then rescued Tom and destroyed the monsters. Then we got home.

Wasn't that exciting children? And if you're extra lucky, I may even upload my other stories...

...or not

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

[Turtlewind] Zombie Hunting For Beginners

There's nothing more annoying than waking up one morning to find a zombie standing over your bed, murmuring something about "brains..." or other equally uninteresting subjects. Of course, any sensible person has a vial of holy water by their bedside for just this eventuality, but it's such a nuisance cleaning up the bits of dead skin from all over your room.

Obviously this isn't the most common of instances - I can count the number of times it's happened to me on the fingers of my remaining hand - but the undead threat is ever-present, wherever you are. The only solution is to strike first, and to strike hard.

So where should the budding zombie-slayer look for his targets. The obvious location, the local graveyard, is probably best avoided - every undead-hunter in town is going to be staking the place out, looking for their next frag. A far better idea is a subway tunnel, where tramps hang out - zombies there can sometimes go undetected for weeks, wrapped in a mouldy blanket and feasting on the brains of late night passers-by.

The second thing a Slayer should think about is weapons. Yes, we all know about holy water and burning pitchforks, but those are so passe these days - to get your kill-count up quickly, the modern hunter uses blast-effect weaponry like rocket launchers and proximity mines. Just make sure you're not too close before you set them off.

Fortunately, it's easy to tell a zombie from a real person - just look for the dead stare in its eyes, the voiceless murmurings and seemingly random movement. I find that principle places for zombies to congregate are nightclubs; camp the exit at around 2am and you'll easily pick off twenty or thirty of them before they start to catch on. Once they start shuffling towards you, a fast car will prove valuable - they are conveniently positioned along posh streets - you're working for the good of mankind, so nobody will object to you requisitioning one.

The life of a zombie hunter, of course, isn't without its dangers. In addition to the obvious chance of getting your brains eaten by ravening undead, there are other less obvious risks - a successful killer of zombies runs the risk off alerting more powerful undead, such as vampires and even the dreaded balrog - so always carry a couple of spare stakes around, even if you don't think you'll be needing them. Despite their unintelligent exterior, some zombies retain a shred of their old cunning, so beware of deviously positioned traps and snares. And even a small wound inflicted by zombies could prove fatal if it's not treated properly - the risk of infection is high, due to zombies' notorious bad hygiene.

Having said this, zombie hunting is an exciting and rewarding pastime; there's nothing like destroying a pack of the living dead to bring a bit of spice to your evening. Remember, even though they're dead, they will still burn.

Turtlewind Index

Monday, 27 October 2008

Songs About Drugs

Being a University English Student, I felt that I should put my mastery of the English Language to the test, and so hacked out this masterwork. I rule you.

The tour bus screamed over the deserted moor, as tour buses are wont to do. Of course, it also made what is technically known in the business as 'drivey sounds', but that doesn't sound dramatic at all. And in a gritty and dramatic story such as this, such frivolities are allowed. But the authorial voice isn't, sadly. Pretend that didn't happen.

The tour bus screamed over the deserted moor, mist rising against its wheels of burning rubber, satanic headlights piercing through the gloom to illuminate the misty wasteland stretching ahead. And then, without warning, an old lady stepped into view carrying a large bag full of shopping and kittens. Muffled voices echoed out of the dark coach as if spoken by Satan himself

"Oi, Sean. Old lady! Right right!"

"Don't listen to him Sean. Left!"

The coach careered down the road, eventually swerving left to smash into the old lady and all her kittens. And then it reversed back over her.

"Yup, left. Toldya James"

Inside the coach, Sean grinned at himself, and nimbly gobbled down a whole Mars bar, wrapper and all. The day was only going to get better...


Mike Oldfield studied the stage being erected outside Buckingham Palace with disdain. True, the coming concert to celebrate the Scientologist religious festival of Giant Space Lobster +4 Day was going well. Little children wearing masks of the true saviour, L Ron Hubbard were collecting tins of money to line his pockets and thus keep the evil aliens away. In the far distance, Tony Blair himself was shaking hands with a few hobos, his tin-foil helmet reflecting the evening sun.

"Keep it simple, Mike, we're paying for this from the Feeding Orphans Fund" Tony Blair had told him when it was announced that he, as the greatest musician on the planet was to host this event, which would culminate in the sacrificing of crisp £50 notes to a giant effigy of L Ron, in order to keep the aliens away. Mike swigged another bottle of vodka, before smashing the empty vessel on the head of a nearby poor person. Something was going to go wrong, he felt a tingle in his spine. Swiftly, he turned round and stabbed the tramp who was trying to steal his coat in the face.

"Mike, where shall I put the 200 man triangle orchestra?" shouted a rather shabby worker. Raising another bottle to his lips, Mike indicated some space on the stage. "Right there, scum. Right next to the giant Tubular Bell and the herd of virgin Ostriches.

No-one knew why Mike Oldfield wanted virgin Ostriches on stage, nor how he knew their... condition. No-one dared ask, not after what had happened to Richard Branson after Oldfield had assumed command of the country's military forces, and found that Branson, against popular opinion, was not made of pickles. He was now though.

Rubbing his hands, Mike Oldfield stalked towards the stage, a glint in his eyes as he saw an Ostrich that had got loose. And was hanging about... a tour bus? He moved closer, to suddenly find himself surrounded by three men with guitars.

"Hello Mike" spoke the first one. "My name's James. And we're here for your concert. Sean, get him!"

With that word, the one no-one had bothered to call Nicky grabbed Mike from behind, whilst Sean lumbered forward to bite Mike solidly on his hand. And that was all Mike knew for a few hours.

As Mike's body slumped to the floor, James rubbed his hands. "Finally... we, the Manic Street Preachers, will have our day in the sun again! Muahahaha". He pauses. "That doesn't sound much like me"

"No, it doesn't" retorted Nicky. "It's almost as if someone who has no clue about the Manics, save his housemate's continual dribblings about them, is writing a Mike Oldfield slash Manic Street Preachers fanfic."

At the mention of the word 'slash', James twirled around in worry, as if expecting to see a naked Jon Bon Jovi exciting the bus and doing an exciting dance in front of his face. To his relief (or at least that's what he told everyone afterwards) this didn't occur

Sean simply smiled and stuffed a bag of jelly beans into his mouth, the whole bag becoming a visible bulge in his chin. "Silly Sean, the scamp" said Nicky, ruffling Sean's hair.


Mike awoke to the roof of a cramped tour bus, which smelled... odd. Quickly, he heroically leaped out of the window, sneakily bypassing the still open door. Woozily picking himself up and placing his mangled tin-foil hat back on his head, he looked to the sky and Big Ben. "Still 2 hours to go till the concert begins. Those Commie scum haven't won yet!" he exclaimed, as his left hand began to twitch and jerk about...


"James, this tin foil itches" Nicky complained fidgeting, as Sean scampered about on stage, poking everything inquisitively, and trying to gnaw on one of the microphone stands, without much success. James nudged Nicky, and carried on with his work, handing a long list to the elderly conductor.

"I must say, this is quite... well, quite." The conductor scratched his forehead. "But, if it's what Mike wants, it's what Mike gets. I don't want to be pickled after all." With a nervous glance behind him, he spied the familiar jackbooted figure of Mike Oldfield stalking towards the stage. "Oh... there you are sir" he called.

Mike was about to reply, when suddenly some bikini-clad women wandered past. At night in winter, yes. His left hand suddenly became outstretched, and practically dragged him towards them, away from the stage. "The heck..." Mike struggled valiantly with his hand, but it was not to be denied. After doing bad things with the third dog he passed, Mike began to scream in rage, eventually taking out his trusty guitar and smashing his hand until it fell off at the wrist. And he fell over through blood loss and unconsciousness.

From the stage, James looked on in puzzlement. "...but I thought Sean bit his right hand..."


A hush fell over the now crowded London, as the most important concert of the day was to be held. The stage fell dark, and then blazed with light as three figures all holding guitars marched on. James stepped forward. "Hello ladies and gentlemen, and Queen..." He gave a smile and a bow to the Queen, watching from the balcony of the nearby Palace. "Mike Oldfield couldn't be here today because he went mad and hacked off his own arm with a guitar, so the Manic Street Preachers are here to entertain you instead!"

Some of the crowd cheered. Some screamed something about the 'Maniacal Street Preachers'. But most simply looked onto the stage, eyes glazing over as they began to play their first song.

"La la la drugs. La la la kill your parents. La la la drugs" sang the boys, their message of evil and taking drugs filling the air, and the empty heads of the audience. Soon everyone was under their Maniacal spell, and the crowd cheered when Sean stepped forward and without warning bit the head off a live baby towards the end of the number.

The music died and soon, so did the applause. "And now", shouted James loudly, a look of evil about his face. "The main event". Without warning, he turned his guitar towards the balcony of Buckingham Palace, and pressed a trigger. The gun disguised as a guitar worked, as a hail of thudding bullets spread out, leaving the Queen of the Nation a mangled, bloody mess. "Hail to the king, baby!" shouted James, when suddenly...

"STOP!" Mike Oldfield emerged from behind the curtain, looking slightly shabbier than usual, hair a mess and a guitar now tied onto the stump of his left wrist. He waved the guitar in the air threateningly. "Let this be our final battle!"

And then the world exploded.


Many still talk about what happened that fateful day, as the titans clashed. Some believed that the Manics slaughtered Oldfield, others that Oldfield's decent music caused his enemies to immediately surrender. What everyone can agree on though, is that staging the confrontation at the very moment the Giant Space Lobster of Scientology +4 broke through the dimensional gates was a Bad Idea. Even more confusing was the immediate invasion by the forces of Cuba, which drove off the Scientologists and their crazed Lobster overlord.

The forces of evilness were defeated by the combined power of music, and Fidel Castro's army. And a better world was forged for all. Now, excuse me whilst I stand in line for my daily beatings, comrade...

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Superman vs The Evil Hitler Twins!

Some things are painful. Having a tooth extracted, being beaten by a steel bar, or introducing your genitals to a cheesegrater. But even Mr Cheesegrater is preferable to the abortion of a comic I am about to show you. The year is 1995, and someone at DC comics gets really drugged up and decides to write a very very odd story about an old Superman in a post-apocalyptic world fighting evil Hitler twins with gigantic guns. Which would be fine if the thing wasn't so po-faced and serious.

So strap yourself in for this epic masterwork. It is the far future, and Superman is currently living with androids above a nuclear-devastated world in a flying city. However the androids decide to nuke Gotham City from the air which makes Superman go all emo and fly off angrily

Now, please note Superman's uncanny resemblance to Santa at this point. The story is exponentially more exciting if you imagine Santa in Superman's place. Anyway, even though Gotham is now crawling with monstrous evil mutations, Superman doesn't want it destroyed by 'the power of the gun'. Um, no Superman, they're going to nuke it from orbit, that's a tiny little bit different from shooting a city with a .45. Semantics aside, Superman decides to go to Gotham himself.

In Gotham, Superman is immediately attacked by a bat-like creature, uttering "Bruce, is that you?" since yes, Batman is easy to mistake for an actual bat-creature. This is even less forgivable since it is revealed that Batman is long dead and Superman himself buried him. But visiting the grave alongside a gang of biking youths, Supes finds Batman's bones gone!

Exploring the Batcave, we see 'The Expunger', an hilariously gigantic gun which was part of Batman's last case. Note this gun, it will play a large part in the unfolding tale

In order to find out what's going on in Gotham, Superman and the kids travel to find the evil 'DNA Diktators' who have taken control of the city. They are attacked by mutant creatures wearing Nazi armbands, German helmets and shouting "Schnell schnell". Oddly enough this goes uncommented on by all the characters. Obviously this sort of thing is common in the future.

But lo, look who the villains are! It's really two Adolf Hitlers! Yes, one evil Hitler clone may be a cliche, but two are a science fiction epic! Please stop a while to meditate on this stupidity. Anyway Superman runs back to the Batcave and realising that he is too weak to fight the Hitler twins on his own, decides to take along the gigantic gun as an ally!

Confronting the evil Hitlers again, they explain their origins. Note the tanks behind them. Obviously the scientists who cloned them were bored in their underground bunker. So they cloned Kennedy for his leadership. Then they cloned Einstein for his genius. Elvis, over on the right was obviously cloned to entertain them. Then they thought "God, we're bored. I know, lets make clones of the most evil man who ever lived, that'd be a laugh!" It is nasty Hitler who has nicked Batman's body, so he can make the stupid bat clones. What a fiendish master plan!

The Hitlers attack Superman (I can't believe I'm typing this, then again I can't believe DC published this) and seem to not understand what bullets are called. No Hitler, they're not 'little bits of metal', they're BULLETS. It is also about this time that Superman makes the realisation that Hitler is responsible for every war ever :

"I understand now. The nations had to defend themselves... they had to build engines of destruction, in order to stop you... once the arms race started, it never stopped... more and more deadly weapons, more hatred, more killing... all because of you!"

Yes Hitler, damn you for sacking Rome, starting the Crusades and um, killing the dinosaurs.

With his last strength, Superman, um, uses his GIANT gun to shoot Double-Hitler to death. And thats it really. Superman finds the body of Batman and decides to burn it so "this won't happen again". Obviously Hitler clones are running about the future with secret bases all the time.

Of course, as a final twist, the dying Superman decides to burn himself along with Batman's body. Which I would imagine would be pretty bloody painful and more than just a bit silly.

The little kid hammers home the message by throwing his gun away. But no kid, guns didn't kill Superman, standing in a fire did! Get away from the fire!