Friday, 31 May 2013

ALF #15: "Blind Date"

(The Old Man And The Sea-People)


This is another one of Byrne's "bitty" issues, where several different plot lines are checked in on - which is fine - and none of them advance particularly far - which isn't.  In his later career Bryne will perfect the art of wide-ranging sluggishness with X-Men: The Hidden Years, but he's still building to that level of ability here, so at least the primary plot here develops.

We'll start with that, then. Quick recap: Heather hospitalised by terrifying lake monster, Judd unable to swim, Marrina called in to deal with what might in fact be a long-lost family member. You'd think Marrina would find this a bit of an imposition given her daily routine of being seduced by an underwater king.  Still, it does seem like Namor's gotten a little clingly lately; maybe she's glad of the break.  Indeed, maybe she's hoping this potential genetic cousin might prove a bit of a hotty.  Sure, he slashes the legs of swimmers and drowns and dissects babies, but she can change him.

After a while searching around the bottom of the lake [1], Marrina finds a cavern leading to a chamber half-filled with air, wherein lies a big surprise.  Exactly what lies beneath we don't get to find out just yet, but it's clearly done a number on Marrina; she returns to the surface hungry for blood. First in line - again - is poor ol' Puck.  Wasn't Oscar Wilde who said to be eviscerated by one fish-woman can be regarded as misfortune?  Maybe Marrina really did find a hot new aquatic lover down there; I know I get a taste for murdering dwarves after I've had sex.

Fortunately for Puck, this time he sees it coming, and is able to keep Marrina from killing him by, I swear to Gods, employing the matador skills he learned in Spain whilst hanging out with Hemingway.  Alas, a rampaging fish-woman-pseudo-bull isn't his only problem once a lovesick Namor bounds into view and jumps to all the wrong conclusions.  A strange man playing matador with his beloved?  We know what he's going to say to that!

With just one puch, the surprised Puck is flattened, but it doesn't take the Prince of Atlantis long to realise he may have picked the wrong side in this particular fracas (someone should compile a list of all the times Namor has slugged the wrong person; I bet it outstrips even Worf's beatdowns).  Even once he's figured out his mistake, though, Namor can't bring himself to fight his beloved with his full strength, which makes it hard to deal with the blood-crazed Marrina.  Alas, so distracted are Puck and Namor by the strange behaviour of their friend that they fail to notice the arrival of a newcomer, who quickly takes both of them out with Vulcan nerve-pinches/ deadly throat-pointing. The Master has returned!

Elsewhere, Mountie Douglas Thompson gets a call from Anne McKenzie, the woman he secretly loves but is inconveniently on the run from the law, and it turns out Snowbird as well; Aurora continues her battle against her unwelcome spare personality by chopping off her hair (worked for Britney Spears, I guess, so long as the word "worked" no longer works); Elizabeth Twoyoungmen bursts in on her father to explain that she needs his help, but that there's no chance this will mean she'll let up on being a thunderous arsehole.

[1] Using an increasing spiral search pattern.  Is that the most efficient way to cover terrain?  I should know this, shouldn't I?  I suppose since they know where the creature last struck it makes some sense, though being that close to shore would surely cause a barrier to the spiral.


The main action in this issue takes place over the course of a few hours.

The opening scene with Snowbird is described as taking place on Saturday morning in early spring.  Since there's no connection between Snowbird's appearance and the rest of the issue, though, we can split the timeline here, as we so often do with Byrne.  It's explicit here that Snowbird's scene predates Marrina's expedition, so we'll place that on the preceding Saturday..

We should also note that its been ten months since Anne McKenzie's arrest.  when Thompson starts to think about how she broke out "last...", he was presumably going to finish "year".


Saturday 7th and Friday 13th April, 1984.


X+6Y+37 and X+6Y+43.

Contemporary Events

Man, I still miss the Specials.

Standout Line

"I promised Guardian my killing days were over when I was paroled into Alpha Flight" - Puck

Eugene Judd a convicted felon?  Intriguing...

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