This show started off reminding me of KICK ASS, and now it’s playing far more like ANIMAL MAN. The creators must have a serious thing for superhero comics by Scottish writers.
To explain a semi-obscure reference briefly… mad Scotsman Grant Morrison’s run on ANIMAL MAN bucked the trend of superheroes leaning toward grim realism in the 80’s by fully embracing the genre’s most whimsical absurdities...
Actually, the book was probably as dark as the comics of its time; it was just far more surreal about it. Things got really meta. Animal Man slowly became aware that he was a character in a comic, he visited the limbo where obscure characters go when they fall out of popularity and he eventually met Morrison in person. More to the point here, his journey of meta-fictional-consciousness expressed a lot of conflict about the bellicose nature of superheroics and the futility of all the battling. Every flashy scene was underscored with a melancholic sense of doom and, as a reader, you kept squinting at every line, trying to discern what it was really getting at.
SAMURARI FLAMENCO is making me do that, right now. There’s a bizarre juxtaposition where all the From Beyond agents still exude a kind of menace, even though the writers are trying to out-do themselves with ridiculous names and gimmicks for them. Likewise, this episode borrows a lot of shots from that recent SUPER SENTAI special that brought back every single Red Ranger; except it takes that a step farther by rolling out analogs for basically every tokusatsu character, ever. The way Red Ax just pulls this blatant fiction out of his hat... you can just never shake the sense that something’s out of place.
(Hell, the message of real human beings being inspired to live up to these superheroic examples recalls the ending of Morrison’s JLA run where the whole world becomes empowered).
And the introduction of “From Beyond Flamenco” is right up there with meeting the author, of course. For the first time in a while, a cliffhanger made me have to actively resist the urge to load the next episode too early. I need to know how weird things are going to get!
About the Author
|Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk|