Monday, May 22, 2017

Dieselpunk Manifesto Episode Four

This picks up with strip #30 of the Buck Rogers' strip and reviews 30-39.

When we last left our intrepid duo Buck was left stranded in the Southwest desert and Wilma was in the clutches of the Han Emperor and to get her memories wiped after a dramatically appropriate period.

Well Buck isn't too intrepid. He gets rolled by a couple of generic murder hobos as soon as he snoozes and is left to walk the rest of the way, no food, no water. He's nearly buried in an avalanche, drinks brackish water and somehow doesn't puke and gets his with a sandstorm. All this time Wilma is a captive in the lap of luxury and told she is about to be made the Emperor's favorite!

You gotta wonder what Buck was like before he got buried in that mineshaft. Was he an axe murderer or serial peeping tom? Because his karma seems to be black since strip 27.

Seriously if Buck bought stock in North American Inertron that shit would stop falling up.

He finally falls afoul of two more murder hobos who make the grave error of attacking Rogers when he is awake and facing them. Remember what I said about 25th Century folks being inferior in the art of dishing out knuckle sandwiches? Buck is about to beat the snot out of them when an airplane from the Navaho Org shows up and starts strafing the tramps. Fortunately they slow up and use a rocket pistol to scare them off so Rogers survives. The Commander introduces herself as Nunah and takes him back to her Boss ... who locks him up!

The Columbus Org Boss blew the whistle on Buck stealing their only plane (he probably accused him of winning his duel with Kane by cheating for good measure). Rogers is going to be held and tried for treason. Well what'd you expect? The Orgs are under military rule and Rogers just stole their only scout plane. What if they needed it for something crucial? Like I dunno, carrying dispatches instead of trusting them to a nut from the dark ages and his groupie (sorry but Wilma's acted that way the last few issues)?

Things look bleak but there are some tried and true pulp traditions. When things get boring a guy with a disintegrator walks into the panel, Buck and Wilma are idiots when it comes to expressing their feelings like adults, and when the chips are absolutely down your hero will be offered an escape by either a disgruntled minion or a beautiful woman.

Buck's luck finally changes as it is the beautiful Nunah who offers to let him out of the Org's underground guardhouse!

I note that as you travel further westward the Orgs seem to have less resources and be very well camouflaged. By the time you crossed the Appalachians Han airships and troops were really not tyrranizing and terrorizing with any gusto. As you got closer to the West Coast things were hurting for the Americans (murder hobo attacks were up 40% as well).

I also note that unlike Arm:2419, the Han are the ones with the magical sensors that can tune any view you wish. In fact this intrigues Wilma and she begins acting more like a resistant than arm candy. It is an important divergence from Arm: 2419, where the Americans had technology using an entirely different spectrum the Han didn't even suspect.