Bender believes his age is showing. So he visits a futuristic plastic surgeon to alleviate his troubles. In the second story, Zapp Brannigan risks his life to save a DOOP cadet, or does he?
If you can accept that a robot would go to a plastic surgeon, rather than say a mechanic, you might get more mirthful mileage out of the first tale than I did. I couldn’t accept the premise. Bender fretting over a flaking chassis and a dented “shiny metal ass” struck me as ridiculous. All Bender had to do was get a sander and a buffer for the so-called robo-acne and a mallet and assistant for the dents.
Rogers picks the one individual out the Futurama cast who could not possibly be the star of the story and makes him the star. The story is a parable that amounts to Mr. Lizard’s advice: “Be just vat you is, not vat you is not. Folks who do zis, have the happiest lot.” The jokes within the tale are funny, but I just couldn’t feel the full impact of the gags because of the inane basis of the story.
The second story also by Rogers is much better. This vignette neatly characterizes Zapp as a first class weasel with a vainglorious cunning that occasionally usurps his incompetence and stupidity. The resolution is simply brilliant and shows that this is as honest as Zapp Brannigan can possibly be.
Neither story suffers from bad artwork. Mike Kazaleh, Andrew Pepoy and Alan Hallard nail the likeness of the cast, and their design for the plastic surgeon is unique in that she possesses gill slits on her arms. I’ve never seen that before. Most creators position gill slits on the necks of their amphibian characters. It doesn’t actually matter where you locate them. The delicate bones of the ear evolved from gill slits. Amphibian characters that possess ears and gill slits simply must have had extra slits. The extra slits need not be placed anywhere special so long as the ones recapitulated by the vertebrate embryo develop into the inner ear. In the case of the plastic surgeon, we might imagine her ancestor to be a fish with a long line of gill slits from head to tail.
John Delaney, Dan Davis and Nathan Hamill illustrate the second story. In this tale, the signature shadows of Delaney and Davis become parody and emphasize the hammy nature of Zapp’s saga of false bravery. I also loved the seedy expressions from Zapp as he attempts to take credit where credit isn’t due and skunk a way out of his predicament.