Wisdom of the Ultimate Warrior

Bloggified by Jake on Thursday, June 8, 2006

Harry the Stick is/was a homeless man who used to live in downtown Mesa, Arizona. I have no idea what his real name was, but he had a long, scraggly beard and carried a large walking stick that he would be just as likely to twirl as he walked or rode his bike as to swing threateningly at cars or people he didn't like. Hairy, stick... Harry the Stick.

If you were ever lucky enough to strike up a conversation with Harry and avoid the walking stick skull massage, you were given a glimpse of a world that made any issue of Jimmy Olsen look perfectly rational. In truth, nothing Harry said was understandable. He used words you knew and enunciated them, but the order in which they were strung together did not translate to anything meaningful.

Not everyone is lucky enough to have a homeless schizophrenic to provide batshit insane gibberish to their lives, but that's where Ultimate Warrior helps fill a void in easy-to-carry, take-anywhere comic book form. The problem is reviewing this book is nigh impossible.

Let me attempt to explain... and realize I've literally spent a month and a half trying to wrap my brain around a way to present this. When I fished this out of the quarterbox at Greg's Comics in Mesa (be sure to ask the owner about his favorite episode of the Munsters!), I let out an audible yelp of excitement as I foresaw a thorough mockery of the Ultimate Warrior's fantasy world beliefs.

The key to a joke about Jimmy Olsen calling Superman to clean up a roach infestation is that we live in a world where we understand the dangers of calling 911 for non-emergencies and we can relate the Superman signal watch as kind of an ultimate 911 call, yet it's being used for the most mundane things. Having that basis, we insert the joke.

But the Ultimate Warrior's world does not conform to anything you or I understand. As I've thought through this presentation, I honestly believe I may need to include every single panel to illustrate just how little sense any of it makes. The book starts out incomprehensible and gets worse with every page.

The utter nonsense of the book is perhaps best understood not by reading the story within, but by reading the support material. The story of the book can simply be dismissed as a bad comic story. Hell, Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Garth Ennis, Peter David, and everyone else who's made a name being a great comic writer has a few story arcs or miniseries that never quite made as much sense on paper as I'm sure they made inside the writers' brains. Just a Pilgrim springs to mind. Or The Invisibles.

Inside the front cover, however, is a long commentary from the Warrior titled "Need to Knows," which tries to make the point that this is not a bad comic story, but rather that it makes perfect sense to the madman behind its creation. I've scanned it and if you click on the image to the left, you too can attempt to make sense of it, but be warned. Thar be madness that way.

He tries to explain some of the stuff that might confuse the reader, but only manages to muddy the water further with a story about beating up some guy from "Fan Magazine" that is certainly all made up, but makes you wonder whether Warrior is joking or whether he truly believes it happened.

In the sixty-four lines of rambling, Warrior tries to explain that the book is told from two perspectives: an agressive one and an introspective one. This explanation, by the way, does nothing to help explain any of the dialogue. The most revealing line about this whole debacle, however, has to be when it's explained that the two points of view are represented by red and yellow captions representing the aggressive and passive points of view respectively. This statement is then followed by:Holy shit! You've come up with a completely idiotic method of story telling to get across your incomprehensible dogma and decided the only way to make it the least bit understandable is to color code the contrasting ideas, and couldn't even keep the colors straight?!?!? Things are made even worse by the fact he needs to clarify three different uses of the word "Warrior" (the title of the book, his name, and the general term meaning "a person who wages war"... fortunately, he doesn't make any references to the song by Scandal, the Oakland-based NBA team, nor the 1979 movie about a street gang framed for murder, or things would get really confusing) with color-coded asterisks... but miscolors them as well!

Remember when I said this book got worse with every page? Well, this is the inside cover, so it's all downhill from here. I won't even try to get into the story today. Instead, flipping to the back of the book, there are three more pages of supporting material: a two page essay about Belief and a page explaining "Destrucity."

Don't bother dictionary.com-ing it. Destrucity is a word Warrior made up to mean... something...

It's kind of the culmination of believing all the stuff Warrior believes. It's also the name of a universe in which the comic book character Warrior fights to become the Warrior. Seriously, if you have trouble with the concept of Destrucity, just wait until you try to follow the rest of this crap.

If I stretch this thing out over five days, can I still declare this a "theme week" if it starts on Thursday?

Part Two
Part Three

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