Heavy Gamma

Heavy Gamma

UPDATE: They are still doing it!!!

Bounding Into Comics brought this one to my attention.

The character of Taarna the Tarakian was first introduced in the movie Heavy Metal (1981).  It was an anthology movie whose various stories were stitched together by an evil green ball called, the Loknar.  The Loknar’s powers were whatever they needed to be so the stories could happen.  Fine. It wasn’t a great film.

In the final segment, the Loknar lands on some random planet and turns the locals into a barbarian zombie hoard.  The BZs head off to destroy a city of “philosophers and scientists.”  These limp wristed, beardy types naturally have to have someone else do their fighting for them.  So, they summon the last descendent of Taarak the Defender (whoever the fuck he was).  Taarak is described as a “mysterious warrior”.  The mystery is that the producers made up a name and provided no background whatsoever.

 Anyway, Taarna the Tarakian,  is the descendent.  

This is the most she ever wore. Put a pin in that.

She gets the call and then spends a LOT of time skinny dipping before putting on some bikini armor and heads off on her flying pterodactyl-chicken to save the city.

Which has long since fallen.

And all of the people have been killed.  Having muffed that job she heads off to avenge them and promptly get captured.  She is stripped naked again, tortured for a bit, then escapes, and with the aid of her mighty pterodactyl-chicken, commits glorious lightning-filled suicide destroying the Loknar and ending the movie.

Honestly, not a great character.  I prefer Den.

In case I haven’t made this clear, I am not invested in this stupid character.

However, she has her fans.  So they were all excited when they heard that Heavy Metal was bringing her back.  I don’t know why the hell they were excited because Stephanie Phillips was going to be writing her.  Phillips was hired by DC Comics in the last five years which should tell you everything you need to know about her.

Taarna the Tarakian has never worn more than her armored bikini and usually wears a lot less than that.  As naturally as a pterodactyl-chicken gets shot down by a barbarian-zombie, Taarna was provided with full-body modest-ware.

Naturally her longtime fans noticed and objected.

I had heard from a friend that Heavy Metal had been completely turned around by its new management team and was back to being great.  Since one them had worked for DC, I had reserved doubts about that.  I was right to do so.

The full bore linear gamma male butthurt that erupted out of Heavy Metal’s social media account was all the proof I needed that the magazine was now completely converged and busy driving off its customer base in favor of one that will never show up.

No, she has no reason to suddenly wear full plate armor. There is nothing in the plot that compels her to do so. The Gamma is lying of course.

A few people were foolish enough to mistake the Gamma for an intelligent man capable of reason. And tried to argue with him.

And as naturally as every new Star Wars movie is shit, there came the inevitable middle finger to their customer base.

Heavy Metal is dead. Mourn it no more than you would the Katzenjammer Kids.

It had it’s day but that day is long over. You can’t wish a product of its time back into being anymore than you can make Taarna fans happy by putting her in a burka.

Quit trying to bring back the past and move forward to something new and better.

Okay, I’m done here.

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Comments (21)

  • Cloudbuster Reply

    “We don’t want fans like that.”

    Etched on the tombstones of an awful lot of dying media companies.

    May 28, 2021 at 5:01 pm
  • Hefner V Reply

    My first reaction was, “What? Taarna’s story has already been told. What about the new Tarakian, who was born to protect the next generation? Tell me about her.” That story might even go over with a new generation of fans.

    May 28, 2021 at 5:17 pm
  • Chris Lopes Reply

    Sir Gammalot might have tried to actually explain the change in the context of the story instead of “just read it you cretin.” Most people are reasonable enough to accept change if it can be justified by story logic. But you have to show them respect by explaining it. “Just trust us” doesn’t fly with most people.

    May 28, 2021 at 5:27 pm
    • Talos Valcoran Reply

      It almost certainly cannot be justified by in-story logic, hence the resort to “feth you, pay me.”

      May 29, 2021 at 1:11 am
  • Michael Maier Reply

    Yeah, some years ago I bought HEAVY METAL on DVD or BR. It’s bad. Painfully bad at times.

    But it isn’t hard to realize that
    1: It was cartoon porn released at a time when real porn was hard for teenaged boys to get a hold of.
    2: Even if it wasn’t about the sex stuff for someone, anything animated that wasn’t “for kids” was looked at as extra cool in those days. Japan gets that, but the US still looks at most animated films as “stupid”.

    Animated film that are more mature than TV cartoon fare is a vastly-underserved market. I’m still amazed at times that small, unknown studios do not make animated films with less-detailed computer graphics but with good stories and characters. Watching THE HOBBIT and WATERSHIP DOWN I was pleasantly surprised to enjoy both immensely. Looking past the more primitive production, the stories and voice acting are excellent and both hold up well. Why aren’t more independent studios doing things on a more cost-effective basis?

    May 28, 2021 at 8:05 pm
    • Codex Reply

      Thunder, thunder, thundercats-HO!

      May 30, 2021 at 5:49 am
  • Sasha Hrongmitts Reply

    Gen-Xers grew up watching cartoons and wearing heavy metal band t-shirts whilst doing wheelies on our bikes.

    Millenials grew up watching cartoons and wearing Pokemon t-shirts while being strapped down in the back seat like veals.

    One of these groups has a very unhealthy obsession w/ the media of their youth. My guess is it was the only outlet for joy they had, and they never got past it.

    May 28, 2021 at 9:20 pm
    • Seeker Reply

      The explanation is that Gen Y/Millennials had access to better animated shows than Gen X, but worse contemporary live action TV (for shows aimed at children). When Gen X was growing up, most animated shows were product placements with messaging, while live action shows could just be themselves. There were some decent entries back then without that blemish (for example the Flintstones and the Jetsons in the 60’s), but most animated shows in the 60’s to early 80’s were cynical toy marketing devices given shoestring budgets. Duck Tales in 1987 is typically credited with breaking that mold, which is just in time for early Gen Y to remember it. Then you had other western entries that followed like Batman the animated series in the early 1990s and the Simpsons in 1989, setting a new trend. You also saw Anime go mainstream in the 1990s/2000s with shows like Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Pokemon, etc.

      May 29, 2021 at 12:18 am
    • jorgen b Reply

      “One of these groups has a very unhealthy obsession w/ the media of their youth.”

      Which group are you accusing Sasha?

      May 29, 2021 at 1:07 am
      • Apollyon Reply

        Ha. Wouldn’t you like to know…

        June 8, 2021 at 11:06 pm
  • Doc Reply

    “You aren’t the fans we’re looking for.”

    “We aren’t the fans you’re looking for. Move along. Move along.”

    May 28, 2021 at 9:42 pm
  • Azathoth Reply

    “We don’t want fans like that.”

    Quoting the epitaph for the modern comic book industry as a riposte is a weird flex but then I have an IQ over 90.

    May 29, 2021 at 12:14 am
  • Albert Reply

    It was only ever wanking material, unless I’m greatly misinformed. Pretty sure the internet makes paying for wanking material obsolete. We should root for Heavy Metal to stay woke, so that it wastes as much woke money as possible.

    May 29, 2021 at 7:04 am
  • joe90 Reply

    Stephanie Phillips holds a PhD in rhetoric and composition, She was required to produce original research that expanded the sum totality of human knowledge on rhetoric (no doubt improving on Plato) and composition (there goes Shakespeare). {https://www.stephaniecomics.com/about}

    Given that the first issue of Taarna is proclaimed naturally as a “collector’s item issue!”, YOU, oh Dark Herald, should do a “review” for your humble yet attentive & handsome readers.

    May 29, 2021 at 11:57 am
    • doug whiddon Reply

      phd’s don’t do original research anymore (as far as i know) now, they just write critiques.

      May 29, 2021 at 1:32 pm
    • furor kek tonicus Reply

      how, at this late date, could you even make any substantive contributions to Rhetoric or Composition? the Greeks had Rhetoric figured out over 2000 years ago and between the Russians, Shakespeare and Melville, i’m pretty sure we’ve got Composition covered.

      May 29, 2021 at 1:50 pm
  • furor kek tonicus Reply

    to be fair to Heavy Metal though, wasn’t it written by free love hippie gammas in the first place?
    so now you’ve just got modern (publicly) anti-sex gamma feminists posturing against the pro-sex gamma feminists from 40 years ago.

    May 29, 2021 at 1:54 pm
  • Sky the Weird Reply

    Heavy Metal was written in the Apex of the Sexual Revolution in the Seventies. I remember seeing soft core porn in the book section of Roses. Things like Emmanuelle with pictures from the movie😁. Everything changed after AIDS. Now all the young folks have joined the Junior Anti Sex League and are protesting orgasms.

    May 29, 2021 at 7:46 pm
    • WiseSol Reply

      I’m tempted to leer and say that I’ve brought several women to protesting orgasms, but that would be in poor taste. I’ll content myself with the tired: The Protesting Orgasms would be a great name for a band.

      May 29, 2021 at 10:13 pm
  • Sensor Sweep: Robert E. Howard, Manly Wade Wellman, Ravenloft, Flight of the Amazon Queen – castaliahouse.com Reply

    […] (Arkhaven Comics): However, she has her fans.  So they were all excited when they heard that Heavy Metal was […]

    May 31, 2021 at 4:31 am
  • Grames Barnaby Reply

    Heavy Metal as an adult sci fi magazine really was only as good as what it imported from Europe and who was running the joint. Most of it’s memorable work was basically stuff imported from the Les Humanoïdes Associés and the original Metal Hurlant back in the 70’s and 80’s and housed such real talents such as Jean Giraud (Moebius), Jacques Tardi, Hugo Pratt, Milo Manara, the list goes on. Heavy Metal then also filled out the mag with some hit making american talents like Richard Corben, Steranko, Gray Morrow, Walt Simonson, etc.

    But after Les Humanoïdes Associés had no less than two financial implosions between the late 80’s and 90’s and no longer run with Kevin Eastman in the last incarnation, a disconnect formed with a severe lack of good Euro or high artistry available for the speculative anthology mag. It probably didn’t help either that Humanoïdes, Titan, along with Cinebook made the distribution of many older Euro comics easier to get to for people worldwide.

    The current owner and CEO Mathew Medley (see here in all of his greasy glory : https://matthewmedney.com/about ) is one of many millennial corporate communists come latelies from the dis civic world of the modern day music/entertainment industry. Complete with all of the fake money and prestige that it entails (along with the fake pony tails).

    His decision in running Heavy Metal isn’t to make it a good solid fantasy anthology series anymore with paid top tier comic talents from around the world. It’s to degenerate it into nothing more than an empty “brand” complete with a silly mascot, and an online marketing campaign and behavior that rips off the Wendy’s fast food twitter account along with imitating outdated methods of market distribution. Such as making your business selling $ 4.99 singles in the direct market in 2020 right in the midst of a Weimarian financial crunch. And from the rumors of plenty of customers that went along with the new regime is that Heavy Metal has been failing to meet simple things like even pre-orders and a whole host of distribution problems that their current customers have been beefing with on the twitter. That is the real cover up, not the armor that’s going to be in like one issue.

    But maybe the whole Taarna tempest in a teapot is yet another apt metaphor for the “brand”. Taarna originally was a rip off of Arzak because they simply didn’t want to pay for the rights to represent Moebius’s high end work in the movie.

    Now what you should Dark Harold afterwards, is talk about the real star of Heavy Metal, Richard Corben’s Den.

    June 19, 2021 at 3:36 pm

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