Sunday, September 30, 2007

League of Superheroes on Flashpoint, Part 2

Ansric: But what did you think of the story itself? Would you buy it?

Genie: I don't usually buy books. I either get them online or read them at a library.

Tom: When it's closed.

Genie: It's easier that way. Otherwise I'd have to assume a visible identity, and even then they wouldn't expect me to speedread a stack of books.

Ansric: What about the rest of you? Would you buy Flashpoint?

Rod: I would.

Allen: I'll agree with the big guy on this, though I still think more hacking would be better--and maybe a Catholic character or two. What did you think, Genie?

Genie: I have no preference about denominational representation, but it does seem odd that they would use physical conflict over cyber-terror. Given the probable cost of their equipment and their refusal to take lives, hacking would be more efficient. If they targeted components whose loss would not harm people, they could still effectively bring the system down. Trading identities and information on people at random would be good, or they could simply de-classify all information and randomly boost ordinary people's bank accounts. The chaos and humiliation could be leveraged into a campaign to get the local governments to re-assert control.

Allen: That does sound reasonable.

Charlie: But it wouldn't do anything about the spiritual conflict, which is the main problem. God gave us these bodies not only to interact with his creation but to interact with the spiritual world. I don't think you can do spiritual warfare with hacking. Mr. Creed got that right: a spiritual problem needs a spiritual solution. Our technology only positions us for the same on-our-knees work Christians have always done.

Genie: I would think that superhumanity would imply super-spirituality. If I became a Christian, my mind would still be an asset, wouldn't it?

Charlie: No more than any other mind that's yielded to God. The power and glory are his. And I think you'd find--I think you have found--that all superhumanity magnifies is sinfulness. If we could improve our spiritual state by our own efforts, that would be salvation by works, so all that gets improved is the fleshly side of us--our sin nature.

Genie: I don't know. There are other superhuman characters; what do they say?

Ansric: Heather from "Changelings" and Martin both agreed that the arm of flesh counts for nothing; only the power of God matters. Mike Q. Fagin from The Janus File just said that the book wasn't written by a superhuman, or he would know that we aren't made for that anymore. Then he said something about a curse and walked away. Colin from The Gate of Hell agreed with him.

Rod: He would. They're almost twins, except Mike's a nutcase and Colin's doom incarnate.

Genie: Mike is not a nutcase. He's the most intelligent person I've ever met, but his powers are a burden to him. That's why he goofs around. I thought his salvation somehow mitigated his problems, though.

Ansric: Others like him are generally sociopaths, and he isn't. That's a big difference. Anyway, Heather and Martin said that the key is superhumanity God's way, by the Spirit of God coming upon people--though they allowed that it still doesn't make much difference in spiritual matters. Their unusual spiritual insights and powers are gifts from God to help them perform their duties. And even Guardians and Heralds fail. Now, last call for opinions.

Tom: I like the humor, and the spiritual points were well done. Dad was bothered by a few things, but he said he wanted to see the next installment before deciding.

Rod: I think it's pretty good. And it's simple enough even Allen could read it.

Allen: I think it should have pictures to help people like Rod. Oh, I forgot--there aren't any people like Rod.

Charlie: I think the Holy Spirit can deal with any problems, but it is a good start.

Clarice: I wish he'd told what happened to Legacy. And I think e-girl should tell the story sometimes.

Genie: It's outside my field in more ways than one, but I think it's a good example of Christianizing the genre.


cathikin said...

This was a great way to do a review in a fresh way! I enjoyed the insight of the people in your forum.

cathikin said...

I really enjoyed reading this discussion. It was a fresh approach to reviewing.

Frank Creed said...

Calamity Kid and e-girl are off signing books so I've got to do this myself.

A view points.

Allen will like War of Attrition: Book Two of the Underground. There is a Latino Body of Christ sniper character who goes by the name of Vex. Vex crosses himself frequently.

Genie needs to watch the Bruce Willis movie Live Free or Die Hard. Cyber-terrorism is still real terrorism. Also, in Flashpoint: Book One of the Underground, the plot was an extraction operation, so there had to be boots on the ground.

Charlie, Charlie, Charlie. Re: super-spirituality, you are going to have to wait untill the last book of the series in order to get-it. For now all I can tell you is that to put the intellect over the body is an act of monasticism; God created both, and both are important. He cares for us in this life as He will in the next.

Clarice, all I can ask is patience. You'll learn more about Legacy's fate, and get to read an e-girl first-person POV novel in 08 and 09 respectively.

*tip hat to Ansric* You're a real character!


Steve said...

But does Vex cross anyone else? Would he cross his own mother?

Genie's commenting on overall strategy.

As for Charlie, he's not talking about intellect; he's talking about the spirit. An intellectual problem, such as an equation, calls for an intellectual solution. A spiritual problem, such as demons, calls for a spiritual solution.

Frank Creed said...

Steve? The real Steven L. Rice? The humble master of dry sledgehammer wit and pun put down his puppets? Spiff!

Vex crosses the line and the BoC's Agape code. Check Calamity Kid's shoutlife page for a hint. Trouble on a stick, this one.

Genie's right but we're workin ' a crowd who's not read the book. Shhh! Oh dang I said that out loud!

Charlie will like the last book, but that will take years. I've taken your Theological criticism to heart, and got myself a brainsorm last-novel spiritual-soloution top-secret ending that will blow Charlie away. Tell Murray to shut up--that was a metaphor--Charlie won't explode!

As always my friend, faith,

Steve said...

Charlie's comments are based in part on the choice he and his friends make at the close of the origin series, in Genie Reborn. When they have tried the Ultimate Suits, Charlie's response is very odd (by worldly standards) and leads to later stories such "Time Lord."

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