"Best-Laid Plans/Space Cowboy" (FRINGE #4)

To those who have not read the Fringe comic series but would like to read it, please, don't read any further, as this does contain spoilers. The first half of this comic (titled "Best-Laid Plans") is the fourth part of the Walter and Bell series. At the end of the third part in the series, the two of them escaped from the "soap company," and I am assuming that some time has passed since then. Bell is out on a date with a woman named Jill, and he is interrupted by Walter telling him that he needs to get back to the lab as soon as possible, and by the way, I would like to make an observation about the phone with the video feed. In "Peter" (2.15), Walter shows a cell phone to the government in 1985, saying that the technology is from the Other Side, and this comic takes place in the 70s, so is the phone with the video feed from the Other Side? Anyway, much to Bell's dismay, he returns to the lab, only to discover that the U.S. Air Force is there to blackmail the two of them into assisting them with a project; they want them to figure out what this strange machine is, a machine that was located in Argentina six months prior, and finish constructing it. We see that Walter has a cow (which I find hilarious), and we also see Rufus, seemingly a very happy dog who enjoys spending time at the lab. Unfortunately for Walter and Bell, however, Rufus sees donuts, and while they are inside of the machine, Rufus accidentally turns the machine on, leading them to discover that the machine is a time machine and that they have been sent to Germany in the 1940s.

This is the comic in which it is discovered that Walter's father was a Nazi, but it is not discovered until the fifth comic that he wasn't a Nazi in the traditional sense but was instead a spy. This is touched upon in "The Bishop Revival" (2.13), which is kind of neat, because the glyph on the cover of this comic is the seahorse, Robert Bishop's nickname. I remember being really excited at the end of "What Lies Below" (2.12) seeing the promo for "The Bishop Revival" because I knew that the main purpose of the episode was to reward those who had read the comics. I don't care much for the episode, but I do really appreciate the tie-in to the comics. "Fracture" (2.03) ties into the comics, as well, tying into the second half of comic 1.2, "Strangers on a Train." Anyway, Walter is being his usual self and is introducing himself to people that he doesn't know, saying, "Hello, I am Dr. Walter Bishop." I do find it odd, however, because in this comic, Walter seems to be a little bit more like the Walter that we know and love now, but about ten years after this comic, when we see him in "Peter" (2.15) in 1985, he is almost nothing like the Walter that we now know. The final observation that I would like to make, though, is that there is a gold bird on Hans Froelich (Walter's father)'s desk, which ties into the first half of the first comic, "Like Minds." I can't believe that I didn't notice that bird the first time that I read the comic, but I've noticed it now, so obviously, it is Walter's father that Bell sees in the first comic.

The second half of this comic is titled "Space Cowboy" and is about the death of an astronaut named Raymond Chester. I personally think that he is stupid to agree to anything and sign paperwork before knowing what he is getting himself into; I wouldnever do such a thing, but I am assuming that he trusted his government, which I suppose is honorable, honorable but stupid. In this story, Chester is basically asked to take a drug which he is told will make him more durable in space, doubling his ability to retain oxygen. What happens, however, is that the drugs cause him to be completely out of control. His heart rate and his testosterone level spike, which ultimately cause him to have a heart attack. A couple of months later, a trial is held, but the court can't seem to get any answers out of anyone, and it's not too long before it becomes obvious to us that a cover-up is at work, a conspiracy, especially when, at the end of the story, we see another man signing on to do the same thing. Now, why is the U.S. government giving drugs to astronauts that they know will kill them? That is beyond me, but at any rate, I really don't like this story; it has no connection to the Fringe mythology at all and is not very interesting as far as I'm concerned. I like the Walter and Bell story a lot better (as I usually do), but overall, I give this comic six phones with video feed.

No comments:

Post a Comment