Some faggot from Denmark who has a massive hate-boner for self-rightous webcomic artists who shit up what could otherwise be good comics, with their personal politics.
comics this absolute brony furry LARPer moron needs to review:
Bengal Tales (check if up to 50 pages)
For the review of Quantum Vibe:
|Original review author:||webkilla - Original review written in January 2018|
|Webcomic names:||Quantum Vibe|
|Author:||Scott Bieser for all the art, and most of the writing. Two different colorists have with the comic through the years.|
|Start Date:||Jan 3. 2011|
|End Date:||Both still ongoing, but vol. 3 ended May 2015, vol. 4 ended July 2015, vol. 5 ended November 2017|
|Genre:||Science Fiction, politics|
|Defining Flaw:||See the genre(s). This is big L Libertarian/An-cap Sci-Fi and it's not shy of reminding you of that, especially later on|
Just like the Probability Broach then this comic is quite well drawn, and its clear that Scott isn't a bad artist. Also unlike the Probability Broach then in this he's a lot better at not drawing the bad guys as grotesque villains, but 'merely' as villains and letting their actions speak for them instead.
Volume 1-3 is fairly good sci-fi, with not too much overt political bullshit (but lordy its still there) - but after that the comic takes a steep nose-dive, which keeps it from earning a higher rating.
All main characters have extreme plot-armor. Anything bad that happens to them, including decapitation, is ultimately fixed with little to no permanent issues due to magic sci-fi bullshit.
The setting itself is somewhat interesting,
There are worse political propaganda comics on this wiki, and its less insane than the Probability Broach or Escape from Terra, but not for a lack of trying - likely more from the guy making it having seen the others and simply learning from their mistakes.
This wiki has several reviews from comics that had come out of "Big Head Press" - the libertarian/An-Cap online media company. To this end it was only a question of time before this comic came on the chopping block. On the plus, then it seems to be the least offensive of all the comics there...
But ok, Scott Bieser, the guy who writes and draws the comic, also drew The Probability Broach. This comic seems to basically be the artist going "I can do better than that" and then... well... doing so. Though, it doesn't take much to go from batshit fantasy-land political propaganda to slightly less batshit political propaganda, and make no mistake: All of the Quantum Vibe stories are political propaganda. Also fun fact, according to his wikipedo page then he used to be a computer game animator, but we're talking for ancient games like Battle Chess 4000 or stuff for the NES.
When volume three ended, we got a nice wrap-up to a four and a half year long story. The story that came afterwards, volume 4, took a huge dip in the quality of the writing - putting political commentary far above good story progression. This will be explained further in the story and plot section for the various story arcs - lets just say that when the comic started featuring 2015 youtubers, it jumped the shark really fucking hard.
Story and Plot
Overall the setting of the comic is that of a future around 2500, where humanity has spread throughout the solar system - and yet the various human colonies and planets seem to poses wildly different levels of technology.
For Vol 1-3: Quantum Vibe
For a simple TL:DR: Mad scientist recruits girl, reveals that he is one of her 11 or so daddies (no really) and they tour around the solar system doing SCIENCE while bad guys try to stop them because bad guys. In the end its revealed that the mad scientist is old as dirt and somehow managed to nuke the middle east at one point, but then he becomes a robot and everyone lived happily ever after because nobody can really die, because you can brought back as an AI in a humanoid robot.
Ok, for a slightly more detailed walk-through, keep in mind this is a 4-year long comic. However, Scott actually has a nice little "Quantum Vibe So Far" catch-up comic that clues you in on most of the major plot points:
We start off being introduced to sci-fi space elf girl, she just broke up with some muscian Chad and lives on an L-5 space station (thus, 'elf' girl), and gets a new job with a mysterious scientist who apparently invented techno-babble. He's also crazy rich, because for some magic reason it seems that most an-cap/Libertarian fanfics feature a main character who seems to just have endless money because no-government wonderland.
Anyway, they zip off to Mercury and then we're introduced to this gem of a man who we're shown quite well to be an asshat who cares more of the company-government he works for, than his own children. He also cheats on his wife without hesitation. We're also introduced to another old rich fart who's about to kick the bucket. he's not terribly relevant to the story, but his femdroid sex robot is, because he wants to grant her freedom when he dies. He then dies.
Anyway, the scientist and elf-girl arrive on Mercury (can you tell that this story kinda jumbs all over the place?) and bump into company-man asshole. Here we learn the horror of Earth's corporate rulers: they use genetic engineering to make the managers and executives into beautiful and inteligent ubermench while making the workers into midgets genetically programmed to hate themselves and love their corporate overlords. Sounds amazing doesn't it? You can't at all tell that this is an-cap propaganda, right?
Now as a plus, compared to an-cap themed comics like Escape From Terra or The Probability Broach then Quantum Vibe actually does a fairly good job of setting up this guy as a villain and fleshing out the setting for him. Sure, most of the stuff about the corporate genetic engineering stuff comes as exposition dumps - and we're never told how they got away with it to begin with - but it makes for a very convincing villain.
Anywho, elf-girl flies a spaceship over the surface of the sun, shit happens, minor assassination attempt, so the two leave Mercury and then the plot stops so we can watch the elf-girl watch a an exposition dump/documentary about "belt-apes" who live on Earth's moon. Here we first learn that on Luna people talk like retarded ten-year olds who dabble in leet-speak - this doesn't just get annoying fast, it gets really annoying really fast. Anywho, we're taught that 300 years ago belt-apes were made to be better space-based laborers. We also see the first example of how pants-on-head retarded Luna's government and judicial system apparently - Basically it is Probability Broach levels of "if they are this stupid, why aren't they all dead yet?" lunacy. Pun intended.
We then find scientist and elf-girl in a brothel on Venus (because surprisingly non-sexy reasons) where we finally learn what the big project is about: Basically mad scientist guy wants to discover parallel universes and means to travel between them, to allow for continued human expansion - since the whole solar system has been settled and apparently outer space is impossible to navigate because dark matter. Also we get moobs.
But ok, at this point in the story we have basically gotten everything set up: We know what the "good guys" are working towards, and we know that two competing mega-corporations are using dirty tricks to capture them and learn what they're doing - because it is of course totally obvious that whatever mad scientist guy is doing is going to be ground-breaking and very prophitable.
Then we zip back to Luna for no real reason to check on space Obama and we see that he's actually a spy using holographic disguises, as he turns into space George W Bush to elude some goons following him. Meanwhile elf-girl is having fun with her new-found endorsement-contract riches from her sun-dive, as the spy gets hired by a third mega-corp to do the exact same thing as the first two ones: Find out what mad scientist guy is up to.
Spy then hires on some kind of charmer to get into elf-girl's pants which, considering how many random strangers she's banged so far in the comic, really isn't going to be difficult.
Here we're also introduced to Luna's use of fiat currency, you see, so far in the story we've seen people talking about "silgrams" and "augrams" - literally grams of silver and gold, you know the wet dream of an-caps and whatnot - never mind that doing that wouldn't make any sense if asteroid mining is a thing, which it is in the comic.
Nowm you're not allowed to convert the Luna money "Miltons" back into gram-money. Can you smell the heavy-handed political commentary? We are of course also told that the Milton is suffering from massive inflation - not shown - and get a not at all subtle jab at the US TSA border control invasive scans and enhanced screenings, which leads to the elf-girl being instructed to disarm herself because you're not allowed to carry around weapons on Luna. This of course terrifies the elf-girl, but as we can see from the not at all subtle way the TSA agent is drawn, then this elf-girl clearly has nothing to fear.
We also learn that its actually cheaper to pay the fine for being caught with a weapon, than getting a permit - we also learn on the same page that L-5 city somehow doesn't have "lower classes" of people, but the moon apparently does, and the government doesn't want it armed, because of course, because an-cap utopia is of course a perfect place where everyone is rich and has the right to bear arms.
Once the duo escapes the customs check-point they hook up with another old friend of the mad scientist who of course is also super rich. The next mildly interesting things that happens is that the mad scientist goes to a doctor to fix his fucked up body which had previously been established to be due to a botched rejuv treatment - you see, in this setting people are already living for centuries as long as they can afford to pay for the right medical techno-babble. While scientist is in the doc-tank elf-girl tours the city, seeing gems like how racist the locals are to people from L-5 station, gets harrassed out of a bar due to her L-5 accent, and then meets a mysterious sexy stranger who we totally haven't seen getting hired to charm his way into her pants earlier. At first we get a mild attempt at a cliffhanger but it turns out that he's made up a fake background as a publicist.
Some stuff happens so she has to stick around crazy-town a bit longer, so she bangs charmer - but because he's a dumbass who can't whisper he gets busted really quickly. Her trying to leave turns into a fight which she wins because of course, escaping by somehow slipping into her "bubb" (flying bubble?) but gets busted by the cops for driving without a licence or valid ID. This turns out to be a setup where elf-girl gets framed for having drugs on her.
Now, with Luna's judicial system previously established to be pants-on-head retarded, elf-girl's treatment is not exactly kind or fair. As a side note, this is the first time we see her ears confirming that "elf girl" isn't exactly wrong. While in the slammer elf-girl makes friends with a belt-ape we previously saw get wrong-fully convicted.
Now the fun and games begin: a random lawyer shows up, claiming to be sent by a space utopia city legal service but elf-girl hadn't been able to contact anyone yet about where she was. Also with his smile, he totally doesn't look like a bad guy - no, not at all. Grade a subtlety going on here. He informs her that she was actually out for three days following the beating the cops gave her and then he tries to ask her about what mad scientist is working on. We also see the cops listening in on her convo with the lawyer, because of course they would. Elf-girl hits the prison library, gooogle-searches the lawyer and discovers that he's in the pockets of the third mega-corp - so much for the mystery of where he's from.
Once in court elf-girl rejects the lawyer and points out her lack of a phone call, because as luck would have it, then the bought-and-paid-for judge didn't get the case. Elf-girl uses this to contact mad scientist's rich buddy, who sends a proper lawyer and gets this rolling. This includes getting a private investigator involved which ends up a little messy. In the meantime mad scientist is done rejuving and doesn't look like a hamplanet anymore.
As he gets clued in on what has been happening with elf-girl we learn that the cops have been stalling, because apparently the drugs found on elf girl are 'missing' from evidence - this forces the prosecution to drop the charges. With everyone out the belt-ape joins the gang as the muscle.
The gang leaves for mars, and the rich guy even sells his shit and skips town and in true Atlas Shrugged fashion this leads to an instant real estate crisis, because when the rich righteous folks leave bad things obviously have to happen.
On mars, which is owned by a Chinese mega-corp and thus now known as "Houxing" we learn that for formal events, you're supposed to show up with a sexy fem-bot and a sexy lady because reasons. By grade-A plothole luck the gang ends up renting the very same fem-bot that we saw earlier get cheated out of her freedom, though he memory has been wiped. Now, the purpose of this visit is a party where they are to deal with the dead old-guy's heirs: They don't know what the project is about, and might blab if told. During lunch they're also warned that at the party they'll meet a nasty Chinese mega-corp dude. Guess who the next villain of the week is? We'll you'd be partly right: turns out that one of the two heirs is a horny moron who wants money so the two heirs are considering selling their shares in the secret project to that mega-corp dude.
During these negotiations we get mention of that tried and true an-cap stable, the "non-aggression principle", and mad scientist has the others leave fearing for their safety, while we learn that the Chinese mega-corp treats its AIs and androids as slaves.
Speaking of robot slaves, remember the fem-bot that mad scientist rented? She and elf-girl end up wandering a mars city after escaping the party, having dropped off the belt-ape for an injury due to the higher mars gravity. Also, remember the horny heir? Guess what happens next. Did you guess that horny heir gets monkey smash'd?.
With everyone back to 100%, the four leave for one of Saturn's moons. Enroute there is trouble in the form of an android assassin who already tried to get at the scientist once before. Fem-bot fights the joker, manages to space him, but gets rekt in the process because she's a sex-bot not a fight-bot. During her rebuilding the belt-ape finds a boyfriend and we meet a talking chicken-person in the form of the transhuman commander of the ship because why not.
Some random inconsequential shit happens and the gang leaves for Hyperion - their final destination - on a ship owned by two mega-corps. Can you say foreshadowing? Initially they talk politics to some corporate jokers where we learn that the L-5 space station colony somehow has "governance" but not really a government? An-cap logic at its finest, including a claim that fiat currency is somehow 'phoney money'.
The real fun starts when space pirates show up and effortlessly defeat the ship's counter-measures, taking over the ship. Now, the first hint that there's something... off... is when the pirate captain is introduced like some kind of hero - because of course.
Lets just say that the sentences are rather gory and... of course the mad scientist is friends with the pirate captain.
You see, it turns out that the space pirates are 'freedom fighters' trying to free the people living on the moons of jupiter from corporate rule. And yes, elf girl ends up banging the pirate captain because that's pretty much what she does to every male good guy character we've met so far.
...oh and how do space pirate freedom fighters communicate? Why, via an encrypted blockchain complete with a not at all veiled reference to bitcoin.
Now, after leaving the secret pirate lair, on the ship to their final-final destination, scientist gets attacked by a certain android disguised as a human - but the android fails, and instead somehow escapes with elf-girl as a captive. We also learn that its the original mega-corp company man we met first in the comic who is behind this android kidnapper, and they're going too fast in a different direction to catch them.
..but there's a fem-bot in leder-hosen in a tiny rocket who can intercept!. Because leder-hosen, why not.
Grudge-match ensues, and fem-bot destroys the android with her newer and far superior combat-tech body. However, she is vulnerable to EMP-rayguns but the company-guy with the gun is vulnerable to shovel to the face by elf-girl. Strangely enough elf-girl is upset that fem-bot got 'killed' again, because its not that many pages ago that she restored that very same fem-bot from a backup. And of course mad scientist had a spare robo-brain ready for use.
With that out of the way, there's nothing left to stop them reaching Hyperion - though we do get a bit of foreshadowing that there's more to come. There our scientist finally meets up with his fiance but after a night together the trap is sprung!
Turns out that the mad doc is from our time and did some naughty things. We then get a massive exposition dump/history lesson where we basically learn that our mad scientist was once a normie who married an Iranian girl, but Iranian daddy didn't like that his daughter had married a non-believer so they all had to die. This made our scientist mad to the point that he wanted todestroy Islam, which he then did by making friends with Israel and then hacking their nukes and launching them.
He then hid via various false identities and cosmetic surgery, but then the Yellowstone super-volcano errupted to make things worse, while survivors tried to hunt him down but he slipped away to the new lunar colonies. Oh and mad scientist does admit guilt.
This sounds like the end of the story, then... not quite. Elf-girl and fem-bot runs off to finish the project, and scientist gets shot down while on his way to Earth for prison. As for finishing the project then everything seems ready when the duo shows up at the secret workshop. Also elf-girl ends up banging the fem-bot, because she fucks everything.
Finally finishing the project, it turns out that they've invented functional interstellar teleportation technology. Now what? Why, you rescue the scientist! Turns out he was captured by the Chinese mega-corp.
They escape and regroup at the L-5 station, and get interrogated by its rather oddly dressed leaders, which includes a furry. Here its pointed out that a teleportation drive is a bit dangerous - you know, teleportation of nukes and stuff, but scientist is now scientist-bot comes and gives some notes to elf-girl, who later develops a teleport-shield that solves that issue.
That kicks off a grand expansion of human space with people teleporting all over the galaxy. That's the end of that story: As far as we know, all survivors lived happily ever after.
For Vol 4: Venus 23
This story opens up with a guy with a massive chin sneaking home to his totally not intentionally ugly aunt who berates him for being out late. Hoo boy, I wonder who'll be the good guy here and who'll be... if not a villian, then certainly not a supporting character.
Wonder-chin then has a nightmare where his dad gets eaten by a giant robot fish which turns out to be rather topical, since apparently the world he lives on is run by robots - robots who seem to have a metal hate-boner for the mega-corporations from the previous storyline. Oh gee, I wonder what that will lead to?
It leads to lunch, where we get a hint that there's something wrong with wonder-chin's father and an art class where the students are taught that they just have to put effort into their art, and it doesn't matter if the end result is crap. On his way home, wonder-chin and his aspie buddy get stuck on a tram due to a power failure but then he has to dodge patroling robots to get home.
Later wonder-chin and kid aspie sneak off to an underground party where what looks like a mob-boss wants to get wonder-chin and kid-aspie (who's good with technology) to help him hijack un-used cars and set up a black market car rental - because the robot state apparently controls who gets cars.
...and after the duo leaves, we see the mob boss get a call from someone who looks rather famililar - the plot has arrived.
Indeed, after that we see some AIs talking about some kind of medical procedure that didn't go right - who might that be?
These questions and the plot will have to wait, because its time for wonder-chin to show the class his history report where we get a cheeky exposition dump on what happened since the last comic: Basically shit happened because faults with the anti-teleport shields messed up some techno-babble, which somehow killed off inter-stellar travel, isolating all new colonies, including the world of Zytomonde where the story is taking place now. But... wonder-chin claims that's a lie, and that Zytomonde was isolated for political reasons, but robot-teacher straight up gags him with a robot tentacle-arm and hauls wonder-chin off for telling "untruths".
Wonder-chin is then interogated by the robo-gestapo for thought-crime and trying to undermine his classmates faith in the social structure. Still, he gets off without any punishment because his classmates delete his heretical essay from his tablet, and he returns home to find that his father has returned from prison, only he's also been lobotomized.
So, we have an oppressive robot regime that lobotomizes dissidents, re-writes history and and intimidates students who question it. Subtle.
During a later meet-up with the mob-boss, wonder-chin is met with elf-girl which leaves us a lot more questions than answers - but it seems that she's building a resistance movement.
Later, back in class, we are taught that Zytomonde doesn't just have a planned economy, but a planned ecology. After that, during another meetup with the mob-guy, wonder-chin hands over a car-hacking device that aspie-lad made but they are being spied upon. Oh dear.
next day we learn that aspie-lad has run away from home and has hidden with some rebels of some kind.
At this point in the story we start to meet all the cameos at the rebels:
karen Straughan - a youtube-famous MRA - who we later learn is actually a fem-bot in disguise, not the same fem-bot from the previous story though
Diana Davison - another MRA who even uses the comic's illustrations of her in videos see around 25 seconds into the vid. In the comic her character is called "Diana Martelli".
Sargon Of Akkad - they even call the character Sargon, and the comic uses a character based on how his online avatar looks - he also only shows up briefly.
Now why on earth an an-cap comic would be featuring Mens Rights Activists and left-leaning anti-SJWs is beyond me.
Anywho, wonder-chin is unwittingly leading a daisy chain of spies because he's looking for aspie-lad, one of his class-mates who might be a state informant is following him, and another of his class-mates who might be a state informant is following her. Who is the real spy? Who is on the up and up? Who knows!
But then the rebel hideout that aspie-lad is in gets raided and upon escape aspie-lad and wonder-chin meet up and meet elf-girl who leads them to a new hideout that doesn't have any kind of security system so the jokers following wonder-chin walk right in - resulting in a bit of a fight, and a hurried escape to elf-girl's space ship.
Now we also learn that the class-mate girl who followed wonder-chin who wasn't a spy is a conspiracy nut, but that's quickly forgotten as wonder-chin, aspie-lad and conspiracy-girl are wowed by the fancy tech that elf-girl has. Upon arriving at elf-girl's home, the three gawk around and spot a painting featuring mad scientist, fem-bot and elf-girl and apparently this reminds the three that they had been taught in school that elf-girl was a villain who "inflicted capitalism on the universe".
Say it with me kids: Subtle.
After a lot of back and forth, conspiracy-girl being paranoid about shit, we finally get a proper bit of exposition on the true past of Zytomonde: it was supposed to be a literal Venus Project based on the RL ramblings of a dude who wanted to create a planned economy/planned ecology utopia, where robots would do all the work and humanity would just party hard all day.e
So... this entire story arc is a piss-take on a real-life post-socialist post-capitalist postscarsity concept of a utopia. Well that just seems kinda petty all of a sudden.
Anyway, in true an-com fashion we are told that this idea of a utopia not based on a free market economy is stupid and that all other attempts to make similar cyber-utopias ended with disaster. We're also told (not shown) that Zytomonde's population is in decline and that the very rebels that elf-girl have assembled are probably the smartest minds that Zytomonde currently have to offer. Why oppress people like that? To maintain the 'sustainability' oriented society instead of trying to advance things which might upset the balance, because we are simply told that all welfare states are bad.
Say it with me again kids: Real subtle.
"The bad guys are bad because they believe in things and do things that are just always bad"
Now, to move the plot along, the solution is obvious: Down with the evil robo-socialists. Elf-girl says that wont work, since people like their gilded cages - she also admits to being the cause of wonder-chin's dad getting lobotomized.
Yes. Space-Spanish speaking Space-Alex Jones.
And before you can mary sue, conspiracy-girl - who came from a world with tech that is basically lagging behind 300 years technologically - has sniffed out a conspiracy where elf-girl lives. Because of course.
So while the rest of the gang and elf-girl run off to Zytomonde to fight for freedom conspiracy-girl wants to explore the space city she is in, but wont get a brain-implant to properly interface with the super tech there. So, what to do? well, the the house AI gives her a mini-spaceship that folds up into a suitcase and just demands that she signs a document that she wont violate the NAP (Non-Aggression Principle, more an-cap jargon) - no need for a drivers license, insurance, or anything else. Makes perfect sense when you're just arrived the day before on from a technologically retarded world.
Thus the story splits in two, with the gang enroute to Zytomonde where we learn that robo-socialism straight up makes you stupid because welfare states pamper people too much so they don't learn.
Back in "Oz" - the space-city that elf-girl lives in, we manage to conspiracy-girl about to commit an attrocious bit of social faux-pas: She was going to go out into the city without a laser gun on her person. That's right folks, we are at Escape from Terra levels of stupid. The real irony is that we get some rather sensible questions towards how silly such a social requirement is by conspiracy-girl, but as is well known among an-cap propaganda comics, then you cannot argue against walking around with an arsenal, so she gets a wrist-mounted death ray and then flies off to seek out the studio of Datawars.
Then back in Oz, Conspiracy-girl is already being a better private dick than the private dick she seeks out info from, because of course. But she gets ignored because she's a nobody with no real evidence.
meanwhile the gang is in a shoot-out but teleports away with the captive rebels. They then also teleport out some more captives. Elf-girl then graciously gives all the liberated rebels two and half hours to decide if they want to go back to Zytomonde as rebels, or emmigrate to her space city. No rush?
Back in Oz, Conspiracy-girl finds the late Not-Alex Jones's co-host but she isn't open to ideas that he was murdered and totally isn't being really shady about it. After lunch conspiracy-girl ends up being stalked by a VERY shady character.
Because she has her feels, elf-girl teleports straight to the AI controlling Zytomonde - this goes roughly as badly as you can imagine. Also it turns out that her fem-bot friend is a traitor - the one who looked like the butch MRA. The evil AI try to brain-drain elf-girl - this ends up with a fight in the matrix.
Back in Oz, the mysterious gift from the strange stalker turns out to be statist propaganda and seems to be evidence of a conspiracy to - GASP - try to set up an actual government over the space city! We are of course told that this is very bad. Conspiracy-girl then gets a call from the late not-Alex Jones' co-host, she wants to meet with conspiracy girl, alone.
Faster than you can Admiral Ackbar this gets her captured and surprise-surprise, the co-host is a bad guy but when co-host tries to kill her the mysterious shady stranger rescues her - it was the private dick from earlier! And he offers her a job, as a private dick
Back on Zytomonde, Elf-girl is brain-fighting in the matrix, so much that her head lights on fire because reasons. This is of course not really something you survive. Back on her space-ship aspie-kid detects this, since he got a cyber-implant so he plans to attack the AI head on, but...
...elf-girl is now fem-bot elf-girl because her mind took over the Zytomonde AI during the fight - because we've already seen one main character in the comic "die" only to come back as a robot. Tension? What tension?
Oh and her former fem-bot ally turned traitor? She mysteriously dies while in prison, with no known back-ups - spoopy!
Also conspiracy-girl got to torture the shit out of evil co-host with a meta-spiked glove. Because an-cap society is humane and civilized, amirite?
Oh and wonder-chin's dad got his brain restored, but he thinks the new fem-bot elf-girl is icky because he's been hating on robots all his life. Somehow elf-girl thinks that's unfair and calls him an idiot walks off and meets with mad scientist and Murphy. The end.
No really, not additional resolution for Zytomonde or the rebels - nothing, no explanation how her taking over the place worked out. Instead we get...
For Vol 5: Assimulation
If you think the name is stupid, oh boy... you have no fucking clue. Clench hard my hearties, because this is going to get fucked up.
Ok, the story starts right after the last one, with fem-bot elf-girl meeting mad-scientist-bot and the original fem-bot, the former sex-bot - this is now their story.
Right off, we get a taste of how creatively bankrupt this story is by introducing it as "To boldly go where no manic dream pixie girl has gone". That's right folks, this sci-fi by TVtropes.
The story that sci-bot and fem-bot tell is that to begin with, they "woke up" as their backups kicked in, because they had evidently died. But you know, they're basically AIs now, so they have backups. Dramatic tension doesn't really exist in this story.
Then they figure they'll do some robo-fucking when they're walked in on where we meet our pixie-girl. Turns out that she's the great-great-whatever grand daughter of elf-girl. It also turns out that she's delightfully lol-random and just happened to have built a spaceship. Because of course.
Pixie-girl talks them into letting her on for their shakedown cruise before the robo-due leave to find how they previously died, but the next thing we see is the two waking up as new backups kick in because guess what: They got rekt, again.
They wander around, find that 'someone' has built a new spaceship, guess who built it. Oh and she's now suddenly an expert in robotics because she had to spend her time on something while the robo-duo was away. Also she wants to come along on their trip this time to find what killed them, twice. They name the ship something pretencious and off they go.
Suddenly action for no apparent reason. Turns out that it's just pixie-girl playing on the holodeck. Next up pixie-girl is tasked with doing some busy-work, looking for techno-babble stuff while the robo-duo wait for the plot to move, but that doesn't end well though it turns out that she failed her task because some other techno-babble. Captain fem-bot goes to apologizes which somehow ends up with pixie-girl sucking on some robo-titties.
If nothing else, then we have confirmation that pixie-girl is related to elf-girl. For some reason this upsets elf-girl whom this story is being told to - to which fem-bot notes that at the time pixie-girl was the same age as elf-girl when elf-girl and fem-bot first had sex.
Anywho, sci-bot found an explanation for the technobabble that made pixie-girl mess up her task: It's a namedropping of a current theoretical NASA project called the Alcubierre drive which is basically how ships in Star Trek fly around: squish space-time in front of the ship, and stretch it behind it.
Then we're told that despite centuries of teleportation-based space exploration then nobody has ever found any technologically advanced aliens. We were first told this back in volume 4.
They finally approach the strange alien galaxy, at one of the hotspots for space-travel they detected. They discover that they have radio.
Too bad that when they turn on the radio, it seems to be fart noises. Get used to those, you'll be seeing them a lot in this comic.
A bit more poking around finds them a video signal: The aliens look like humans with heads that are butts with four eyes.
No I'm not linking a picture of them. In fact, they're part of the reason I don't even bother linking any art for this comic.
Anyway, while a translator compiles the robo-due goes away for some private time while pixie-girl wonders if she can talk them into a threesome because of course. Also she apparently equipped sci-bot with a monster robot dick for teh lulz.
So while the robots are fucking around, pixie-girl looks closer at the planet the video signal was from. she spots a small settlement but that page has softcore robot porn, so you might not want to click that link. It's not nearly as sexy as it sounds, but at least they seemed to figure out how to use the mega-schlong upgrade.
Also there's an alien ship approaching and first contact is made, face to butt-face. Communication is done via fart-noises. It should be noted that the fart-face aliens seem to have uniforms that look a lot like Star Trek starfleet uniforms.
The aliens invite the trio to come to their colony, to which end the exchange translation software. This leads to the aliens wondering about two of the jokers being robots - the aliens become quite curious at their technology on this account. Sci-bot volunteers to be the first one to visit the aliens. The trio is quite weary of sharing their technology with the aliens - because... it's theirs, and giving stuff away for free is bad, m'kay?
While sci-bot is away, we learn that the assliens are entirely heterosexual.
Back on the alien not-star trek federation ship, we learn that all their seniors officers are female, and all their low-rank officers and grunts are males. We are straight up told that this is because their females are smarter, while their males are stronger, so they divide their society up entirely like that.
Also the asslien females have two sets of boobs.
In engineering we get some techno-babble and are told that the aliens can fly at 250 times the speed of light. However, the aliens are stupid: They figure that the pixie-girl is young, so they can't have been traveling for that long, but that they must have come very far away they corner sci-bot and challenge him on where he's from.
They even hint he might be a spy for their enemies - which reveals that there are OTHER aliens afoot in the alien galaxy! All the while sci-bot tries to stone-wall the aliens when it comes to telling them anything about where he's from. However, the aliens demand that he tells them something about where he's from if they're to continue talking, so...
Suddenly the alien ship makes a jump to warp speed. fem-bot and pixie-girl catch up only to find the alien ship under attack! Fem-bot and pixie-girl fly in and zap the attackers but apparently that makes the raider ship's warp core explode, but fem-bot teleports the exploding core away.
Back on their ship, fem-bot accuses sci-bot of having revealed tech-secrets but he says that he just lied the assliens.
It's a curious quirk of just how paranoid the three main characters are. They want to learn everything about the new aliens they discovered, but fuck you if you want to learn anything about them in return - because my stuff, no sharing!
Anyway, the aliens want to tour the bot-ship because how the fuck did you teleport an exploding power core and whatnot.
During this tour we get the first taste of not-star trek federation "great public good" logic in a big ol' exposition dump where we're told things like how the assliens don't execute people and whatnot - a fact that sci-bot reacts with scorn to, because of course.
Next up they have to deliver on the lie that sci-bot put up about their totally not teleportation tech, which they sort of do. It's a lot less interesting than it sounds.
After that the asslien officer returns to the assliens, and the trio debate on whether to stick around. sci-bot wants to run away, because they assliens are obviously militaristic and STATIST, which obviously makes them untrustworthy.
At this point anyone who isn't braindamaged should be able to predict what will happen next: The assliens, being a very poorly made parody of the star trek federation - only evil, of course - will eventually try to steal the super-tech from the good guys, because the star trek federation is obviously nothing but evil space commies. That's it, that's basically the entire premise of this story arc... or is it? (It is, for a large part, sans the bullshit in the end of it)
Anyway, the trio discuss whether to play nice with the aliens, during we learn that our 'heroes' live in what they call a "Propertarian Anarchy" with an Egalitarian Justice System. Can you say an-cap buzzword word-salad?
But you know, it's just the comic trying to not so subtly remind the reader what the good and wholesome values are, compared to the obviously evil aliens.
Of course, if they opted to run off this storyline would be over... can't have that, so instead they visit the aliens and the aliens start getting confused about what government their visitors represent... oh boy.
The visit reveals that pixie girl is using a machine to speak fart-talk because she can't do it well enough organically. This leads to a blow-job joke from sci-bot, which in turns lead to the curious detail that asslien anatomy doesn't allow for oral sex.
Because that information was totally critical to the story, and we so needed to know that at some point pixie-girl sucked off sci-bot - who is the AI reincarnation of pixie-girl's grea-great-something grandfather. Cyborg incest, in my politically charged sci-fi? It's more likely than you think.
Apparently there are four other alien races. We have our cat-ailens, lizard-aliens, insect aliens and not-borg. Of the four the insect aliens look the most original, the cat aliens look like your run of the mill star trek shitty face-prosthetics aliens (who totally aren't the Klingons), and the lizard aliens just look... generic, but are evil totalitarians. The insects come in three genders and are just as bad as the two others. The not-borg look like borg, but with skirts, and act exactly as you'd expect.
Truly, the pinnacle of original alien design going on here.
It seems that fem-bot also detected the bad writing because she wants to leave. Meanwhile in space we see the aliens on the asslien ship trying to figure out how to capture the bot-ship. Whelp, so much for subtlety.
Back planetside at the negotiation table, we learn that assliens consider themselves part of the United Community of Sapiets which totally isn't a reference to anything from Star Trek.
Of course, instead of running away fem-bot says she wont share tech, but is willing to help secure peace in the asslien galaxy - which is kinda stupid, something the asslien leader certainly seems to think, as she tries to Have the bots arrested on blatantly trumped up espionage charges she the assliens can steal their technology but they teleport away. Unfortunately pixie-girl seemed to have forgotten her teleport-buttplug, so she... remains behind.
Thus the game (and plot) is afoot.
Back on the ship, the two bots find their ship in tractor beam lock but that doesn't prevent a teleport though its first after the teleport that the two bots notice that pixie-girl is missing. Also there is an asslien boarding party on board just because.
So, time for setting up a counter attack. Apparently sci-bot totally hacked the asslien's ship computer just by touching a console and this nets them some new sub-space communication systems and techno-babble scanners. However, when they go to test them they find that they cannot teleport anymore.
This will actually be a key plot point later - but at that point in the plot its mainly an excuse to give pixie-girl some time in prison, because apparently Scott loves him some young female main characters waking up in prison.
After getting fitted with a shock collar, an interrogator shows up and we learn that pixie-girl is being charged with spying for the not-borg. Makes perfect sense, right? Doesn't help they the interrogator isn't buying her story about being an intergalactic explorer. Oh and they think the robots are pixie-girl's servants because obviously AIs can't operate on their own. The assliens have also detected pixie-girl's cyber implants and nano-tech in her body, which is why they think she's a not-borg spy - this bit actually makes sense.
After all that we get a nice and cruel demonstration of the shock collar after which she's put in a proper prison cell with no bars, but the shock collar will zap her if she leaves.
With nothing better to do, pixie girl hacks the asslien wireless network. Next up she's taken to a common area, during which we see a ton of new aliens. Pixie-girl then gets to enjoy some fine prison cuisine.
Back on the bot-ship sci-bot is super salty that he can't make with the teleporting but suddenly what totally isn't a Klingon bird-of-prey spaceship shows up and just sort of sits there
Turns out that its a lizard-alien spaceship. They're clever enough to quickly exchange translation software, using asslien 'spit-talk' as a common point of reference. Next up the aliens imply that they might want the ship and the bots as salvage, because fuck AIs, amirite.
The two bots jetpack to the aliens who of course wants the bot's stardrive technology to which the bots try to hustle the lizards like they did the assliens. During all this the bots figure out that the lizards are spies and that they're on a scout ship - still, the lizards play ball.
Back in prison, pixie-girl is ready to roll out her hack of the asslien system, but then in the cell opposite her a cat-alien guy is tossed - She decides to bring him along in her break-out because reasons. Of course, they can't really understand each other - but of course he teaches her, and she is totally a quick study
Of course, her plans to escape get somewhat sidetracked when she gets hauled off and properly tortured - of coursem this only makes her want to escape all the faster.
Deploying her hack to remove her collars and setting off a radiation alarm she hacks a ship and her and Ralf fly off. Unfortunatly the ship wasn't quite as abandoned as they had hoped - and so they make their escape.
Elf-girl finally asks the obvious: did pixie-girl fuck the cat-man - the answer is, of course: Yes, but we first get to see that later.
Back with the bot-duo and their lizard buddies, we see the lizards actually call the assliens 'commies' - something sci-bot follows up on, to which we are told that it's not a reference to communism, even if they like to call the assliens and the other aliens in that community for 'communists'.
They're mining asteroids, and the lizards wont let the bots back on their ship which makes no sense, but oh hey look at the time: its time to escape the aliens again. To do this sci-bot has figured out how to fix the teleporter using techno-babble
However, before they do that they build the lizards a new star-drive, but then run into what totally isn't a knock-off borg cube - Guess who?
The old robot actually looks a tad familiar...
But first the comic snaps back to pixie girl and catguy, who arrived somewhere and puts on a silly disguise - but she gets into trouble while modding their ship by some rando alien but cat zaps him despite the alien offering to split the Community's bounty on her. Pixie girl appreciates this but the assliens are still after them so they have to fly off.
Back with sci-bot, fem-bot and sci-bot 2 we learn that sci-bot 2 identifies as the old mad scientists's identity - you know, the mad scientist who started a nuclear apocalypse. Apparently fem-bot 2 kicked the bucket at some point earlier, making him go all genocidal again
Oh and in case it wasn't obvious: sci-bot 2 is in control of the not-borg.
It apparently started when the two originally ran into the bug-aliens and were tortured, with fem-bot being mind-wiped and turned into [http://www.quantumvibe.com/strip?page=1666 a sex-bot for some random ugly alien. It was after that, while disassembled, that he was 'recovered' by the not-borg and...
Then sci-bot calls bullshit, pointing out how much this is like the star trek borg.
Anyway, that's quickly brushed aside and sci-bot 2 explains that upon contact he haxxored their shit and took over their hive-mind. With that story done he casually remarks that his plan is to use the not-borg to wipe out the bug aliens.
We then learn that sci-bot 2 sort of hacked sci-bot one, also robo-tits - but they fix that, and then decide not just to run away but to stay and somehow use the not-borg to find pixie-girl.
At this point sci-bot floats the idea that they're trapped in a virtual reality sim - but they're vague about it, though he uses the idea to justify how a version of himself could be ok with trying to kill so many people.
The not-borg then inject pixie-girl with nanites and then the comic goes off the deep end, as her mind interfaces with the hive-mind:
Apparently Kek is a god of chaos, and he's manifest a reality for him and pixie-girl to interact in. I wish I was kidding.
He introduces her to the gang - which includes a floating testicle, a purple-looking guy and The Dude from Big Lebowski.
I need to know what kind of acid Scott took when he wrote this.
And while the Kek and The Dude 'references' are painfully obvious, then this review can't really pin down the testicle-with-a-hat or the purple guy, but it's obvious that they're references to something.
Then we get the most rediculous exposition dump ever: these jokers are apparently 'gamers', but also gods, who spotted Earth and saw some Star Trek re-runs - and then they figured they'd pick a galaxy, tweak the laws of physics there to make warp drives actually work (which is why the teleporters stopped working) and then make a real-life simulation of star trek.
They also name-drop the story-arc in this - unironically calling it an "assimulation"
The morality of what they're doing - uplifting aliens and making them fight each other - is never touched upon.
Now we get the glorious stupid reason why they want to talk to pixie-girl: Genocidal sci-bot is fucking up their game and they want her to fix it. Also the dude says he cannot abide that they're messing up their game.
This is the first time pixie-girl hears of the sci-bot that took over the not-borg, but she quickly figures out his genocidal intent
Oh and the gamer gods want pixie-girl to fix the game by becoming the not-borg queen. By some miracly of plot convenience, she agrees - which leads to a rather amusing reunion with fem-bot and sci-bot where she fails her role and breaks character as the queen the instant she meets her friends and then she tells them everything
Sci-bot 2 quickly discovers them and is not pleased, but pixie-girl pulls a super secret robot-expert trick to instantly defeat sci-bot 2 and then she presses the attack in his cyber-mind.
In the matrix she finds Sci-bot 2's inner child who is oddly racist and tries to strip her naked to which he gets smacked. We then get the line "You hurted me - I dindu nuffin" - and then I, the review, drank a gallon of bleach.
...and that's it. The fem-bot and sci-bot went home, pixie-girl stayed to play not-borg queen. Resolution? How she actually fared as the borg queen? What happend to cat-guy? Nah, we don't need silly details like that. Instead we get then next story:
For Vol 6: Chateau Périlleux
This story is 100% centered on paranoid-girl from Vol. 4 who now works for the private dick who saved her and its basically a murder mystery. elf-bot wants the PI and paranoid-girl to investigate the murder of the traitor-bot who ended up siding with the robo-socialist regime from Vol. 4. Apparently she was killed while in custody, and her mind-backups were wiped. However, at the time of making this review this arc wasn't done - so who knows who the real bad guys are.
This reviewer's guess is that its an evil statist and socialist conspiracy aimed at bringing the space-city under some kind of state control - because this arc has political intrigue written all over it.
The art is really good. This guy has been illustrating comics for ages, and is a really good artist. He can give his characters a wide range of emotions, if he deigns to grant them such expressions. To this extent this review doesn't feature any illustrations. There's nothing to really complain about when it comes to the art or the art quality.
Sure, during Volume 5 with the ass-aliens things got really silly, but if nothing else it was likely meant as some kind of joke on star trek aliens and how they were always just humans with random crap glues to their face - why not make it humans with butts for faces, right? Childish, silly, yes, but the art itself was stellar.
One of the biggest pluses for the comic is that the villain characters are hardly ever intentionally caricatured as villains like in Escape from Terra or the Broach comic. Sure they might be drawn to look like smug assholes, but most of them are actually fleshed out so we understand that they're assholes beyond just the visual storytelling of how they're shown. That's a hallmark of a good comic. Of course, that writing of the villains - their motivations, the 'villainy' they purport... that's for the writing... and not all of that is equally good.
TL:DR The art in the comic is good, even if the things being drawn are occasionally silly.
Rule one of a comic with a political agenda is that you can't really 'debate' the politics in the review. Any kind of propaganda comic will invariably strawman its opposition, and present the things it does like in the best way possible. What it can be rated on, is whether it does that at the cost of the comic and its story.
For volume 1 through 3, the initial story arc, then this is rarely an issue. There are a few politically charged walls of text here and there, mainly around the main character's visit to earth's moon - because the moon's government is shown to be horribly corrupt and its people xenophobic and their economy in ruins, while the main characters are civilized, sophisticated and always able to conjure up endless amounts of money. Still, its a good sci-fi story about a young girl getting mixed up with a mad scientist, a coming of age story of sorts where she grows a lot as a character - and is repeatedly shown to break down crying after having to kill people even when its always in self-defense.
Basically the main characters are flawed, quite often shown as vulnerable and having to run for it - especially during the Luna visit where elf-girl ends up in prison for a brief stint.
However, in volume 4 the quality of the writing takes a dive. From random references to youtube personalities which will only end dating the comic, to a story arc that centers entirely on fighting the AI-regime on a robo-socialist planet purely because the 'good guys' don't like their politics, to the fact that we are simply told that socialism = bad. As noted previously, then this basically falls under strawmaning the opposition for a propaganda comic - but in this case it makes the message of the story come across as incredibly hamfisted, especially considering the lack of any real resolution to the story, after elf-girl takes control of the robot-regime.
It's a question of show, don't tell - it wouldn't have been difficult to show in the comic how the robots reject random citizen's requests to start new businesses or introduce new technology. It would have been very easy to use visual storytelling to get the message across - and it is done to a very limited extent, like the bit about how the robots give car-privileges to whoever they favor the most and whatnot, but even that bit of information is given to us in an exposition dump, not shown to us. Thus the comic tips its hand and reveals that the cartoonist has prioritized his political message over making a good comic with a story that makes sense.
Volume five suffered in the sense that it wasn't really original sci-fi anymore. It reduced the comic to star-trek fanfiction, mixed with internet memes. The villains were villains because we were told so, hardly ever shown why, and the "gods" who were "gaming" introduced an element of the supernatural to the comic setting that basically throws all logic out the window, and replaces it with internet memes. I mean, for fuck's sake - making Kek a character? Ya that wont date the comic horribly.
It basically came across as if Scott had run out of original ideas at this point. Volume 4, while hamfisted, at least original in using an obscure but very sci-fi form of socialism to set up as the big bad - but volume five was just star trek fanfiction with an alien race that had butts for faces and twice the normal amount of tits, who were evil space communists, though even that is something we're only ever told, never shown.
This reviewer has no opinion on Volume 6's - it's too early in the story to get a read on the writing, but it seems to be ok detective drama, though chances are it'll lead to some political bullshit eventually due to the story's link to Volume 4's story.
In conclussion for the writing: It's good when Scott can ignore the politics and just come up with original sci-fi. It's hamfisted when he fails to do so, and by volume 5 its just star trek fan-fiction and internet memes. A sad decline.
Scott Bieser has a wikipedia page for those curious. He illustrated but did not write The Probability Broach, and also illustrated another Libertarian/An-Cap bit of fiction called A Drug War Carol which is a pro-legalization comic using the Christmas Carol story - which in true an-cap fashion is behind a pay-wall after the first few pages.
Basically he's deep into right-wing Libertarian and an-cap politics, something that is reflected to various degrees in this comic.
The comics: Quantum Vibe - the archive gives easy access to the various volumes
The Probability Broach - another comic that Scott drew, but he didn't write, though it clearly shares a lot of similar sci-fi and political elements. It's safe to say that Scott lifted a ton of elements from this comic and used them in his own work, though he did refine and update a lot of it.