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  #181  
Old 10-17-2017, 01:59 PM
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Kalir Kalir is offline
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I'm slacking off and EOV is only going to make it worse. Going to the next writeup.

Book 37: The Weakness! Jake's not in town and it's not a fratricidal threat! They found Visser Three's feeding spot! Rachel takes charge and comes up with a good plan: nobody can survive four cheetahs to the face. Nothing could possibly go wrong! Just ask the Yeerk inspector with the Garatron host. What's a Garatron? Well, it seems like an Andalite, but its about as different from them as Klingons are from us. Also they can effortlessly outrun cheetahs.

The Garatron inspector is part of the Council of Thirteen, not yet seated on the council but aiming for it, and they're checking up on Visser Three's progress. It effortlessly kicks the asses of all present Animorphs and leaves them to run off licking their wounds. Faced with a foe that can outrun cheetahs, Rachel's new plan is to give the illusion that their army is much larger than it is by hitting the Yeerks with all they have, very publically, trying to embellish the incompetence of Visser Three before the inspector. This might work better if not faced with something that can outrun cheetahs, but the Garatron doesn't interfere.

And Rachel's plan takes up the first half of the book and is really just the Animorphs trash a bunch of public places screaming "YEERKS GO HOME". And it works phenomenally well until Rachel realizes oh no, she gave a grandpa a fatal heart attack during their first strike! This single civilian casualty which is equal parts accident and coincidence shuts Rachel down and gets her crying like a baby.

Ugh, skipping to the end.

Rachel has to save Cassie after she screws up a raid by virtue of the Garatron existing! She crashes a jet into the community center over the Yeerk pool! (Still a year and a half before 9/11, for the record.) Visser Three taunts the inspector into trying to finish off the Animorphs and Marco's cobra morph bites them! This book reads like a Worlds of Power book with extra melodrama. GO AWAY!
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  #182  
Old 10-18-2017, 10:04 AM
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Kalir Kalir is offline
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Book 38: The Arrival is much better and I will try not to blitz through the summary fueled by snark and being late for work.

Erek's dad (also a Chee, of course) was doing some spying in a building connected to the Sharing, and the Animorphs come to the rescue! Business as usual for them... until out of nowhere, four Andalites (including one girl Ax thinks is very cute) come out and start fighting like crazy. One of them even goes right for Visser Three, although he's caught off-guard and can't kill him. This gives everyone a sudden surge of hope, especially Ax: has the cavalry finally arrived? Are the Andalites here to save humanity?

Well... no. Let's go down the list. First, Commander Gonrod-Isfall-Sonilli is the pilot of the Ralek River, and loudly blusters that he is the highest-ranked Andalite within light-years. And he has all of three people under his command: the female cadet Estrid-Corill-Darath, the warrior and assassin Aloth-Attamil-Gahar, and Apex Level Intelligence Adviser Arbat-Elivat-Estoni. Their mission is not to save the human race, or even to stop the Yeerk army. It is just to assassinate Visser Three. Nothing else.

Although Jake conducts himself admirably during the meeting with the Andalites (far moreso than Gonrod, anyway), the news that the cavalry has arrived, and it's a skeleton crew on an assassination mission, has got everyone feeling just hopeless. The Animorphs as a group more or less disintegrate under this stress, leaving Ax without the command of his human prince, so he decides to go work with the Andalites. And to be fair, he has been missing his people dearly (although the whole assassin thing has him uneasy, as he's very faithful in his people).

Turns out the entire team is a dysfunctional mess. Gonrod and Aloth were both prisoners before this, Gonrod on charges of cowardice, and Aloth for selling organs from fallen soldiers on the black market. Arbat might be one of the biggest names on the war council purely from his position, but he comes from a strictly academic background. The Ralek River is an outdated science vessel with barely any weapons, only used because the actual ships are being directed to the war effort elsewhere.

And Estrid... well, Ax can't put his finger on what's odd about her, but he does know that she is really pretty and they have a shared interest in human cuisine. They go on a date in the Gardens and it's pretty cute, although her reference to extremely high-level theoretical sciences catches him off-guard. He's also not used to the Andalite military having women in the ranks, but it's not a huge problem with him (probably because he spends enough time with Rachel to know better).

During their first attempt to assassinate Visser Three, it's a disaster. Arbat insists on the first shot due to Alloran being his brother, but he misses, and even a top marksman like Aloth can't reliably hit someone aware of him, far away, and behind a troop of Hork-Bajir, Even more suspiciously, when Aloth is wounded as the group is retreating, Arbat executes him with a shredder beam from behind. Arbat claims that Aloth would have slowed them down too much to make a clean escape, but now Ax has some serious doubts.

Erek's dad helps him out here, and the two of them break into the records of the Ralek River to find out more about what's going on. The records show that everyone on the ship was killed in action, save for Estrid, who just flat isn't on record in the Andalite military at all. Which means that this ship is clearly intended to be a suicide mission.

Ax confronts Estrid about this, and stumbles upon her being brought on for her actual expertise. She's not a soldier at all, but a scientist, focused on an obscure branch of chemistry. But as it happens, she accidentally discovered a bioweapon with incredible military application. In this case, it's a compound that could kill off Yeerks by the truckload, even inside human hosts. Arbat realized this and pulled every string he could get to set up this mission, which is only using the assassination as a cover for the real mission: wiping out the Yeerk army on Earth. The fact that the virus could easily mutate and become equally harmful to humans is a secondary concern at best.

It's about this time that the Animorphs pop up and say "wow when you're dealing with hostile third parties, feigning dissent and scattering is really useful for throwing off suspicion". Yeah they were there all along. Everyone, including Estrid, hurries off to the Yeerk pool to stop Arbat, who has the chemical weapon and fully intends to use it to stop the war as quickly as possible, no matter the cost.

This is also where Ax realizes that he just has a crush on Estrid, and doesn't actually like her, because she still thinks that ending the war by any means is an ideal thing, and hey maybe the chemical weapon won't kill all humans I'm pretty sure we're good. Also: Gonrod turns up as actual cavalry, since while he's a pretty cowardly fighter, he's one of the best pilots you could ask for, and he burns a hole through the top of the Yeerk pool and airlifts everyone to safety after the chemical weapon is destroyed by Estrid. Arbat is left behind for the Taxxons to eat.

They never say if Gonrod and Estrid make it back home safely, but that's really not the point. This book is here to drive home the assumption they've been gradually challenging over the series: yes, the Andalites, specifically Elfangor and Ax, have helped them fight the Yeerks so far, but no, you absolutely should not trust the entire species. If someone wants to win the war at any costs, sooner or later, they're gonna collect on your tab.
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  #183  
Old 10-18-2017, 10:15 AM
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Octopus Prime Octopus Prime is offline
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These stories would be easier to follow if the aliens had names like “Frank” or “Bernice”.

Or at least fewer hyphens in their existing names.
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  #184  
Old 10-18-2017, 07:32 PM
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Kalir Kalir is offline
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So Book 39: The Hidden is pretty bland in its main plot. It's a by-the numbers retread of Megamorphs #1: The Andalite's Gift. Slightly different in the method: the Yeerks salvaged the old Helmacron ship's sensor tech and are tracking morph energy with a helicopter. Easier to understand than a Veleek, but harder to kill and armed with Dracon beams. So if you want a new plot, look elsewhere.

If you want horrifying bioterrors, though? This is your book. As I might've covered, Andalite tech is handled by thought, including the Escafil device. And Cassie has it on her when she has to hide in a van shipping a Cape buffalo to The Gardens. And I know most in the American audience know buffalos as "those things we hunted to extinction", but if you ever want a thing to disprove the "herbivores are peaceful" myth, the Cape buffalo is absolutely the beast to do it. It tears through a bunch of Controllers, including Chapman, with Cassie as its doppelganger.

The upshot of all of this is when Cassie sees that buffalo in the wilderness... with Chapman's face. This buffalo somehow gained morphing powers and acquired Chapman's DNA, and knows just enough to become a shambling, feral, naked version of their assistant principal. Like, just take a bit to think on that. Sure, the Escafil device usage stretches the ol' disbelief, but eh, I've read Dr. McNinja, my disbelief practically floats.

So interspersed with the game of morph keepaway, the Animorphs have to figure out what to do with the buffalo. It's still a security risk, since a Yeerk could take the buffalo and then they have a weird version of Tobias. And the morphing is barely controllable by the buffalo itself: it mostly mimics Cassie (although it acquires Visser Three and wins a tailblade fight with him, so that's cool). Most of the crew thinks killing it is the right answer, but that straddles the line between murder and animal cruelty in a way Cassie is not at all okay with.

The buffalo isn't the only animal that does this, either: an ant manages to acquire and partly morph into Cassie. And oh man, if you thought the ant scene was bad? Imagine being an ant suddenly faced with the individuality, senses, and instincts of a human. Cassie is almost murdered by a constantly screaming doppelganger of herself armed with ant mandibles and extra legs. After being saved by the buffalo, Cassie just goes nuts stomping the earth where the ant demorphed until there's nothing there. That's some grade A nightmare fuel.

Sadly, buffalo friend is killed by Yeerks as collateral damage, and the book goes back to being Megamorphs #1 Helicopter Edition afterwards. I can see why people might hate this book or think it's stupid, but I adored every bit of the buffalo.

Last edited by Kalir; Yesterday at 11:50 AM.
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  #185  
Old 10-18-2017, 07:39 PM
Westerhof Westerhof is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalir View Post
Imagine being an ant suddenly faced with the individuality, senses, and instincts of a human. Cassie is almost murdered by a constantly screaming doppelganger of herself armed with ant mandibles and extra legs.
If this isn't the cover art for this book, I will riot.
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  #186  
Old Yesterday, 07:55 AM
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Default WHY YES I AM GOING TO TWO COMPLETELY SEPARATE SERIES OF POSTS FOR EACH SET OF COVERS.

BOOKS 31-35

BOOK THIRTY ONE: WHEN THEY SAY "IT'S ALL IN YOUR HEAD," BELIEVE IT....


HMMMMMM.

HMMMMMMMMMMM.


Yeah okay. COVER GRADE: B

BOOK THIRTY TWO: EVERYTHING CHANGES. BUT NOT QUITE LIKE THIS....


This is the most phoned-in main series cover so far. I mean, you know a starfish's mouth is on it's underside right? There should be all sorts of body horror going on here as her mouth is traumatically relocated to her stomach! But nope! You can see her totally not-fucked-up face as far as the second to last morph! Pathetic. Absolutely pathetic. COVER GRADE: F-

BOOK THIRTY THREE: CHANGE HAPPENS. WHETHER WE LIKE IT OR NOT...


I'm notably lukewarm on most of the BLOO MANG covers, and I still think the drawing of the OL' BLEU looks pretty bad, but this one's actually pretty great. I love how they split the difference between a hawk and a horse by just throwing another pair of hawk legs on it, that I'm almost willing to overlook how they totally failed to make his wings transform into hands. Also there's this.


Ahahahahahahahaha hell yes. COVER GRADE: A

SIDE STORY: VISSER


Look at this dumb motherfucker trying to act all hard. What a nerd. Fuck off, nerd. COVER GRADE: C-

BOOK THIRTY FOUR: WHAT YOU DON'T KNNOW CAN'T HURT YOU. EXCEPT FOR THE YEERKS...


If there's one thing that sells me on this one, it's Cassie's neck in the first transition image. It reminds me of the Irritability comic where Exoth creates a clone of himself with a 4-ft long neck for no reason. I don't have time to find in the archives right now. Irritability is fucking awesome. COVER GRADE: B-

BOOK THIRTY FIVE: THE PROPOSAL


Poor kid looks like he's had it... Ruff. BA-DUM-TISSS! COVER GRADE: C

Last edited by BEAT; Yesterday at 07:56 AM. Reason: AND I'M GOING TO DO THEM CONCURRENTLY USING DIFFERENT FORMATS AND ONE OF THEM WILL HAVE HIGHER QUALITY SCANS THAN THE OTHER. THESE ARE ALL CHOICES I MADE ON PURPOSE.
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  #187  
Old Yesterday, 07:59 AM
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VAGUELY RELATED: I MENTIONED IRRITABILITY IN THE LAST POST AND THIS IS THE MOST RECENT NON "BAD" COMIC.



IT FEELS APPROPRIATE.
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anda-light novels , animorphs , body horror for kids , brain slugs , crocobear , cronenberg's creatures , teens with attitude , war is hell , worst space horse

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