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Ontology on the gone!

The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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05/13/2004 Archived Entry: ""B.A.B.E. FORCE" review"

Back to School #1 and #2
Publisher: forcewërks Productions

Review by Jane Seaton

For once in my life, I can identify with the heroes of a superhero comic. I'm too stupid to survive in American suburbia. Grace and Nicolette (B.A.B.E. FORCE master tactician and gifted linguist respectively), a gleeful pair of innocents who shouldn't be allowed out in those bodies without a licence, are struggling to make sense of the greatest intellectual challenge they've ever faced (Yeah, right. Maybe they should have speed-watched some Buffy videos before embarking on this mission.). Trouble is, they're fitting right in, and so long as their resumés include DD cups, scary familiarity with high energy physics, and a willingness to party like five-year-olds until your global peacekeeping force needs you to kick ass - well, Nicolette is already on the cheerleading team, and there's nowhere higher to aim when you're posing as an American teen.

So maybe this comic is about what happens when the nerds fight back. The author (sorry, comic authors always qualify as nerds) is taking potshots at small-scale corporate America. Grace and Nicolette are 'nerds in suburbia', Edison, their sidekick, is clearly assigned nerd status in his minibio in #1, even if suburbia is his homeground. Dr Chaos is an economic nerd (running his soda empire as if he's going to wipe out the opposition by building a larger lemonade stall). And the unashamed uber-nerds, The Hawthorne High School math club, espouse the traditional nerd tactic of embracing, and meanwhile loathing, their nerdy heritage - it's good to be a nerd, but only if there's absolutely no alternative.

Finding alternatives are the school's lesbian maintenance supervisor and Helga Chaos. The only characters in the comic with both intelligence AND integrity, they reject conformity in favour of world domination. (Okay, the supervisor lady's world extends only to the maintenance corridors of Hawthorne High, but right now, that includes Grace and the showers, and that's enough for one working woman on one working day.)

What happens? Hm. Donkey basketball, marching band, flying soda cans, kick-ass DD-cup superheroes... You have to ask? Clunk, Skrrrrrrrrrk, Braaaaaam, and then a sell out. The math club get to take B.A.B.E.FORCE to the ball. Even the lady supervisor swaps her overalls for a frock and steps out with Clown (Did I fail to introduce you? Sorry. B.A.B.E.FORCE majordomo, basketball ref and baton twirler to the high school band - clearly he coached Nicolette for her cheerleading auditions and knows some tricks to turn an honest lesbian maintenance supervisor's head.)

Small-scale corporate America (AKA Dr Chaos) rebuilds the school gym and wraps his sister's knuckles, and nothing has changed, and everything is for the best in the best of all possible suburbias.

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