Current Reviews


Seven Soldiers of Victory: The Bulleteer #4

Posted: Saturday, March 18, 2006
By: Ray Tate

Writer: Grant Morrison
Artists: Yanick Paquette(p), Sergio LaPointe(i), Alex Sinclair(c)
Publisher: DC Comics

Craptastic. If Michael Bay directed an Oprah Winfrey show that was guest-hosted by Jerry Springer, this would be it. The conclusion to The Bulleteer doesn't work on so many levels.

Morrison makes the same mistake Simone made. He concentrates on the villain of the piece and neglects the star-hero. Supersonic Sally doesn't have the resonance of the Bulleteer, and I felt nothing for her when she described her "plight," mainly because it's so horribly contrived and poorly constructed.

A white witch gives a magical whistle to young Sally to reward the girl for her kindness. Tooting on the whistle transforms her into Supersonic Sally. Supersonic Sally does good. She fights crime. She obeys the law. She teams up with a magical Teddy Bear, and then she gets busted by Child Services for being an orphaned child in a twenty-four year old body. That's a lot less funny than it sounds.

For all the wrong reasons the first falling domino surprises. Sally didn't tell anybody that she was a child living in a twenty-four year old body. Later in the story, she clearly indicates that her identity is secret. So how did anybody find her out? No matter how they found out about Sally, Child Services doesn't have a case.

The argument is that while Sally looks twenty-four, she's mentally a child. Well, let me counter that argument. Time has passed from the moment Sally received the whistle to the moment her parents died. When Sally receives the whistle she looks to be about fifteen. She operates in the era of propeller planes to the period of tail-finned cars. That's ten years. So if I added that to her original age, she's an adult at twenty-five. Even if you make her original self to be a well-developed twelve year old at the time she receives the whistle, she's still an adult at twenty-two. There's no reason to suppose that she mentally stopped growing.

Morrison's story hinges on Sally being mentally broken by an orphanage's headmistress, and she can't be placed in an orphanage if she's an adult. So with a disregard for silly things like reason, she's classified as a child and thrown in an orphanage. Contrivance number one.

Traumatized but able to escape, she meets up with the wrong man who using her starts the super-hero prostitution/adult entertainment racket. Contrivance number two.

This stuff should be nasty, but the way Mr. Morrison marionettes Supersonic Sally into an astoundingly ridiculous situation just lacks the potency it should have. It also depends upon the argument that Sally hasn't mentally matured. Contrivance number three.

Morrison then reveals one more surprise regarding the louse. This revelation makes her chance meeting with the skunk contrivance number four.

Even if you are Grant Morrison, you cannot stack contrivance upon contrivance in your story and expect it to be lauded. Even if you are a Grant Morrison fan, you cannot ignore the hollow shell of Bulleteer's conclusion.

Encyclopedia Morrisonica

Although a contrived mess of blech, there are some allusions to be found in this final issue of the Bulleteer.

The Magic Whistle---Shazam!

Supersonic Sally--ignoring her lunatic corruption for a moment, you can see that she pays tribute to Captain Marvel. Her younger self transforms into an older alter-ego. She also references Lana Lang who in the pre-Crisis was given a ring by a grateful alien. The ring transformed her into the reserve Legionnaire Insect Queen.

Teddy--Tawky Tawny

Bleakdale Home--Charles Dickens' Bleakhouse.

The Wardrobe--Could reference C.S. Lewis' The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe since it offers Sally a chance to escape.

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