Brute Force #1-4
Issue(s): Brute Force #1, Brute Force #2, Brute Force #3, Brute Force #4
80 Page Giant has a great overview of this series, including an interview with Simon Furman. See the comments on that page for some clarifications from Budiansky and Viola.
As noted in that article, while the story is about talking dolphins in battle suits and the ads in the book, for things like Mighty Mouse and other Star Comics books, the plot is fairly complex and the subject matter is pretty heavy, dealing with evil corporations and a serious look at environmental issues. The environmental message isn't "give a hoot, don't pollute"; it's "those McDonalds hamburgers you love are contributing the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest".
The story starts with some hamburger clowns raiding a lab where a gorilla is being placed into an exoskeleton that enhances its intelligence and allows it to speak English.
The lab is part of Multicorp, which among its other holdings also owns Tastee Burgers. The clowns were actually hired by the CEO, Mr. Frost; he wants to use the gorilla to crush resistance to deforestation in South America (even as, for publicity purposes, he donates money to the environmental group Fresh Air). The experiment on the gorilla was being done by Dr. Randall Pierce (which coincidentally - or is it? - was the fake name that Tony Stark once used when pretending to give up Iron Man's secret ID). The gorilla, it turns out, was only being operated on because it was brought to Pierce while injured.
Pierce actually intended to use his augmentation process on five different animals, and he wanted it to be a little more voluntary on the animals' parts. But Pierce now feels compelled to accelerate that plan. And really, when your plan involves a bear in a belly shirt, why wouldn't you move forward with it?
From left to right, we have Wreckless, Hip Hop, Surfstreak, Soar (Pierce wanted to call him Slipstream but Soar decided otherwise), and Lionheart.
The group is pretty hilariously undisciplined, as you might expect.
Who gave that poor dolphin a suit with legs? Couldn't his suit fly or something?
Wreckless is armed with a Bearzooka. And therefore this comic is the best comic ever made.
Brute Force manages to stop the gorilla, whose name is Uproar, but Uproar escapes. And Frost has now developed additional animals to join Uproar in a group called Heavy Metal.
Clockwise from the top, we have Tailgunner, Armory, Ramrod, and Bloodbath.
Pierce continues to have trouble controlling Brute Force.
And frankly, screw Pierce. Why should he tell these animals what to do or decide who is leader? All he has hanging over their heads is the fact that he needs to maintain their suits or they'll fall into disrepair. Rise up, my animal brethren! Don't let that human boss you around!
Pierce gets a call from Surfstreak telling him that Heavy Metal is attacking an oil tanker.
Surfstreak delayed their attack until the Coast Guard could arrive. But the CEO, Frost, frames Pierce, claiming that he was the one that created Heavy Metal. He then sends Heavy Metal to attack another tanker (he's trying to discredit a rival company by causing them to have an Exxon Valdez style spill). This time all of Brute Force show up to stop them.
Brute Force manages to drive Heavy Metal off. But with Pierce arrested, the group is on their own. They wind up hooking up with the Fresh Air environmental group, despite some members of the group having concerns about the neural enhancement process that the animals have been put through.
A Canadian businessman named Marc De Mal then invites the environmentalists to see his latest experiment. De Mal is developing a new environment that can survive in the kind of pollution that his company creates. That means new plants, new animals, and new people, and the environmentalists were lured there to be guinea pigs. Brute Force rescues them, fighting De Mal's twisted animal creations.
By issue #4, the once radical environmental animal group are now the establishment moderates, fighting actual radical environmental groups that are trying to stage a protest on nuclear power.
It turns out, though, that the terrorists were actually hired by Frost. Capturing one of them, after some interrogation by Lionheart...
...confirms that Frost is the enemy.
This results in a final confrontation with Heavy Metal (this first panel below is amazing)...
...as well as Frost's human mercenaries.
In the end, Pierce is cleared of all charges and Frost is arrested.
My assumption is that Lionheart kills and eats Pierce as soon as the book ends and then they find some other scientist to intimidate into maintaining their suits so that no stupid humans can boss them around any more.
This was obviously intended to be independent from the Marvel universe, but there's nothing explicitly contradicting the idea that it could take place there. And of course, due to the books' popularity, Bruce Force went on to
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Linkara reviewed the whole series so I do give this wacky thing respect for at least being remembered by Deadpool too.
Posted by: Ataru320 | July 27, 2015 4:55 PM
Armory... is a squid on tracks. Wow :)))
Posted by: Piotr W | July 27, 2015 6:30 PM
It's like a terrifying '90s version of We3.
Posted by: Mortificator | July 27, 2015 10:14 PM
I remember being interested in the series based on their cover in Previews, but I never did pick it up. I think I failed to put it on hold (I probably didn't even remember the book's name), and never saw it on the racks.
Posted by: Erik Robbins | July 27, 2015 10:30 PM
The Marvel Appendix claims that it was some Canadian dude who created the "twisted animal creations", not Frost.
Posted by: Michael | July 27, 2015 11:26 PM
Yeah, that is the case. Thanks, Michael.
Posted by: fnord12 | July 28, 2015 8:16 AM
fnord, I'm still waiting for you to review Power Pachyderms!
Posted by: Ben Herman | August 6, 2015 8:27 PM
Ben, just get a job at Marvel comics and write them into the Marvel universe and then i'll have no choice but to review their comic.
Posted by: fnord12 | August 6, 2015 9:50 PM
Comments are now closed.
|SuperMegaMonkey home | Comics Chronology home|