Ruby Nation

Ruby Nation
Ruby Nation: The Webcomic

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Disability Blog Carnival, Now With 100% More Neil

You may have already read my postscript for the recent Ruby's World strips, but they're also up on the Disability Blog Carnival. There are plenty of great articles here, my personal favorites being " How Disability Affects Wellbeing " and " The Big Society and Charity Model of Disability "

These blogs should be required reading for any participant in a human society. You can read them Here.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sonichu Sub-Episode 4 Critical Review: Childish Idolatry Just The Way You Like It

Happy Thanksgiving, Hope You Like Crap

Christian Weston Chandler's famed inability-- nay, unwillingness*-- to grow up is best symbolized by his avatar's power sources. In the augmented reality of CWCVille, Chandler's toys, games, and dress-up accessories aren't just creature comforts**-- they actually give him the strength to defeat his enemies. This gives a whole new meaning to the phrase " Security Blanket ", because the security provided to Chandler by his in-universe playthings is the equivalent of the most dangerous private military contractor.

Sub-Episode 4 has Chris-Chan demonstrate the power of his Peter Pan mentality upon more villains ( i.e. people who don't want to see a creepy little man soliciting his body in a public place ). We open to see Chris-Chan sitting in the Mal-Wart region's food court ( a.k.a. the real world Wal Mart, because that's where all the eligible young singles congregate ), musing upon how the world is against his Love Quest. He is confronted by the B-Manajerk and his partner " Merried Senior Comic "***, who tell him that love is forbidden in the Mal-Wart region. They call him a solicitor, an accurate assessment that sends Chris-Chan into a self-righteous fury. Fortunately, Chris-Chan is joined by his latest electric hedgehog creation, Darkbind Sonichu ( a mixture of Sonic, Pikachu, Darkwing Duck, and Link from Legend of Zelda**** ).

In the fight, Chandler uses all of his childish playthings with deadly results. Not only does his Sonichu medallion allow him to once again become Chris-Chan Sonichu, but it turns the anime wing hairclips on his head from a girl's cosplay accessory to actual flight-capable wings sprouting from his skull. In the battle, Chris-Chan also accesses his Pixelblocks to create a duplicate of himself that throws off the B-Manajerk-- because the 8-bit video game construction toy is now apparently capable of creating a lifelike copy of an organic lifeform.

It's a common theme in hero stories to demonstrate that super-powers can't solve personal problems-- that being Spider-Man won't help Peter Parker keep a job or a girlfriend, that Iron Man tech won't solve Tony Stark's fear of intimacy, that Green Lantern's ring can't stop bigoted thugs from beating up his gay assistant, and so on. This is not much different in Sonichu, except for the fact that this is how Christian Weston Chandler honestly sees his life. He believes that Sonichu is advantageous for him as a potential mate. The security he feels with the trappings of his TV-Y7 fandoms is where he feels empowered, and he doesn't listen to anyone who would tell him otherwise.

But if CWCVille makes Chandler's comfort zone into a super-power, then it also makes the people who tell him what he doesn't want to hear into one-dimensional villains. It's not enough that Wal-Mart not be a place where soliciting for a mate is acceptable, it has to be a fascist regime with anti-love laws written into its constitution. And it's not enough that Chris-Chan simply wants a mate but can't find one due to him being Chris-Chan, he has to be a tragic hero fighting on against the " infinitely-high boyfriend factor ".

* The disturbingly extensive documentation we have about Chandler's life is plenty of reason not to show him sympathy; the people who try to defend him need only read the CWCiki to learn that nobody trolls Chris worse than Chris.
** I'm not really one to criticize adult men for having toys, given my three-figure collection of Transformers. But like with his other quirks, Chandler's problem isn't that he has interests below his appropriate age range-- it's that he doesn't want to bother with anything else, and doesn't feel like he should have to.
*** Nobody has figured out what that string of misspelled words means. Probably not even Chandler himself.
**** The latter because he wields a sword and is on a quest to rescue his princess, Zelina Rosechu. Ironically, the Legend of Zelda games never suggest that Link's desire to save Zelda is anything more than his platonic heroism.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Captain America " Fighting Chance ": A Really Uncomfortable Masterpiece

I recently read the two trades collecting " Fighting Chance ", the Captain America mega-arc by the late writer/editor Mark Gruenwald. My thoughts on the story are extremely conflicted, because while it's a surprisingly deep and poignant examination of the character and his legacy, it also has an unfortunate implication that doesn't seem fully addressed by the text.

The story begins with Steve Rogers talking to a doctor, who'd examined him regarding cramps and fatigue. The news he receives is much more dire than he expected; the Super-Soldier Serum that made him into Captain America is breaking down, and his body can't handle the level of activity that being a superhero entails. He receives this ultimatum; retire from crimefighting and live a full civilian life, or stay as Cap and risk total muscular paralysis within a year. Guess which one he chooses? Spoiler alert; it's not the one that would suggest he could have a meaningful life without punching Nazis in the jaw.

I became interested in this story because of its similarities to Metal Gear Solid 4, which has super-soldier Solid Snake aging rapidly and having trouble being an action hero. While Cap doesn't wrinkle up or start growing a dapper grey mustache, his experience is similar, failed by the physical strength that defined him and going into action despite increased risk. Both characters also start to require assistive technology to keep fighting, Snake wearing his Octocamo muscle suit while Cap starts wearing a belt-and-pocket-laden gadget suit, and later dons a Starktech exoskeleton once he completely paralyzes himself. There's even a thematic link between the two stories when both characters start thinking about their legacies, and what they'll leave behind for the next generation. For Snake it's being treated as a burden by former comrades, while for Cap it's meeting a new generation of vigilantes with different-- and often perverted-- interpretations of the American dream.

However, the place where they diverge is the place where Fighting Chance makes me uncomfortable. For Snake, death is the inevitable outcome of his aging, and he's desperate to finish his mission in the little time he has left. But for Cap, THE TERMINAL PROGNOSIS IS HIS OWN DAMN FAULT. The doctor tells Cap that he can live out a normal life if he retires from the battlefield. Cap doesn't like this news, but he does very little to try and take it easy-- instead, he keeps putting himself into combat situations. In doing so, he aggravates his cellular degeneration and eats away what strength he has left. Other than then-girlfriend Diamondback, he keeps his illness secret from his comrades, even his super-genius friends like Hank Pym and Tony Stark*. There are plenty of instances where the muscle spasms render Cap less effective or even outright useless, but he keeps fighting.

This is even more troublesome when you consider the fact that not only is Captain America capable of living a normal lifespan, but that his intervention isn't absolutely necessary for the world's security. Snake has the " advantage " of being the designated hero of his world, capable of feats no other soldier could match. In the world of Metal Gear Solid, being able to take down a ten-story robot with nothing but a rocket launcher is a skill that's very rare, especially amongst people who don't want to destroy civilization. But there are plenty of other superheroes in the Marvel Universe, and while they might not have Cap's legendary skills or reputation, they could certainly do the job. Even before the Marvel Universe became professionalized with an omnipresent SHIELD and a 50-State Initiative, there were Avengers teams on both coasts, the Fantastic Four and their network of fantasy nation friends ( T'Challa, the Inhumans, Namor on a good day, etc. ), dozens of urban vigilantes in the Big Apple, and way more mutants than anybody cares to remember. To Cap's credit he does start training Free Spirit ( the one new flag-suited vigilante in the story who isn't off their rocker ), but his pride keeps him from asking for help from people who can do the job without risking paralysis.

Of course, Cap eventually gets better**, but he didn't know that he'd make a full recovery... what Cap knew was that he could have lived out the rest of his life as a civilian, but instead chose to kill himself with a blaze of glory. This was explicit with Snake, who's always been presented as a death drive hero. But Cap is the great boy scout, the guy who sets the moral standard for the rest of the hero community. When he's killing himself to pretend that he can still be a superhero in spite of his disability, he's saying that he has no worth outside of his physical abilities. He doesn't even try to consider what he could do besides being Captain America.

Unfortunately it's an occupational hazard of the narrative for heroes to completely disregard any handicaps that would interfere with them doing their job. Metal Gear Solid 4 at least pulled no punches in showing how Snake's final mission was motivated by a mixture of necessity and self-loathing. But then again, Metal Gear Solid 4 was the last Sold Snake game, and subsequent games have starred other characters. Steve Rogers came back, so not only was he willing to disregard his health out of idiotic pride, but he didn't suffer any permanent consequences for it.

I mean, one of Cap's contemporaries was FDR, and he led us against the Nazis from a wheelchair...

* In an issue by Len Kaminski, Steve Rogers confides in Tony the degeneration of his Super-Soldier powers, but conveniently omits the fact that being Cap is killing him.
** And I admit I haven't read the stories in which he recovers, but since these stories were published in the 90's, I was fairly certain that he wouldn't stay down.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ruby's World: Ruby and Jens Postscript: The Redemption of the Neurotypical

I've finished the latest round of text pieces for Ruby's World, but the ending came sooner than I'd originally planned. Normally I don't like to talk about my work, for fear of A.) hindering the audience's ability to make their own conclusions, and B.) coming across as a pretentious douche. However, this is a case where the audience is unfortunately not likely to come to these conclusions.

If it seems deliberate that the two boys in Ruby's life-- Jens Larson and Jiro Sasaki-- both have first names that are four letters and start with J, that's because it is deliberate. The early drafts of this story were called " Ruby and Jens ", and only had those two characters plus Ruby's father. The rest was more standard high school superhero stuff, with Ruby's giant form triggered by stress ( sort of like a pre-college " Savage She-Hulk " ). These stories, which I did in undergraduate largely as prose pieces, were extremely crude by comparison to what I'm doing now. Like any self-respecting artist, I look back upon my previous work and see only mistakes, and the only satisfaction I get is to realize that I'm not doing that shit anymore. The thing that bothered me most in hindsight was the fact that I wrote Jens as too idealized a normal guy-- he was still without powers and had a sarcastic voice, but he was unremittingly loyal and selfless, and more effective in combat situations. Which in hindsight, is pretty ridiculous even by science fiction standards; if you want to compete in a world of super-powers, you have to work harder than ever, and the sacrifices that must be made to become that competent leave scars that take you outside the world of normality. Just ask Batman.

When I revised the story in 2008 and expanded upon it dramatically as " Ruby's World ", I kept Jens around, but instead of using him as more of a male power fantasy ( albeit one who exists in a world where the protagonist is a female hero, and is measured by his ability to be badass by normal human standards ), I used him as an obnoxious counterpoint to Ruby and the new characters. Jiro was created as an explicit contrast to Jens, someone who had the hyper-competences, but came from a place of feeling like an outsider. While Jens' issues were mostly ones of teen angst, Jiro had hard challenges in his life-- autism, poverty from the hardships his Japanese-American family still faced, incredible PTSD from the experiments that made him a cybernetic super-soldier, and clear markings of difference even with his powers ( red eyes and metal joints ). And Ruby became closer to Jiro because he actually understood what it was like to be different, instead of slumming with the outcasts despite having the ability to pass for normal.

When I started writing the text pieces from Jens' perspective, I started with a clear direction in mind; I was going to make him a villain. I would have his feelings of inadequacy due to his lack of powers get to the point where he'd abandon Ruby and her group, and make a deal with Beagle Labs to get powers of his own. Of course, he wasn't going to become evil, because he was doing it to secretly help Ruby. Similar to Revolver Ocelot from the Metal Gear Solid games, he'd ultimately be on the same side as the heroes, but he'd make himself the bad guy and make morally unconscionable decisions in the process. And he'd do so knowing that it would eventually get him killed, but that sacrifice would be redemptive.

However, as I started to get feedback on these stories, particularly from a friend who eloquently expressed how he could relate to Jens, I changed course. Even though Jens could pass for normal, it was observed that he didn't feel normal-- even before the world became overtly transformed by nanotech, he felt weak and inadequate. People think it's easy for young men in American culture, at least compared to young women-- however, many of the privileges that come with being in the majority are only available if you meet the majority's criteria. If you want to be treated as a strong man ( especially in high school ), you have to act manly, to not show feelings and through your weight around, and to not have interests that could put you in the out-group. Jens was shy and awkward, and didn't fit those criteria. Even though he was male, white, straight, and neurotypical, he still didn't fit socially. Which is why he's drawn to Ruby and her group-- he knows what it feels like to be an outcast. Realizing that, I thought it would be better to keep him alive. A heroic sacrifice after feigning treachery would suggest that the character's worth was contingent on an impressive suicide, and would be a betrayal of the audience members who found something worthwhile in Jens.

So I shifted direction with the story, and changed the text pieces to reach a quicker but more subdued and humane ending. I wanted instead for Jens to reach some kind of peace with himself-- not for him to stop feeling inadequate, but to give him just enough of a morale boost to keep going. The scene with him and Alexis talking was a metatextual expression of this; both characters feel peripheral, as Alexis has the same feelings of inadequacy, and while she does have powers, they're non-combative and ill-defined ( in contrast with the rest of the series, where advanced technology explains everything ). Their ability to go on becomes contingent on their ability to find worth in themselves, instead of their roles in cultural ( and in this case, literal ) narratives.

Given my own experiences, I feel proud that I am able to use my work to examine the troubles that everyone feels-- even if they don't wear it on the outside.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sonichu Episode 11 Critical Review: CWCVille the Confederacy

The Horrible Hate Crime, Here

Even the early Sonichu comics aren't free of Christian Weston Chandler's problems. The formal introduction of the Chaotic Combo has them come together to stop a common threat-- Black Sonichu, who steals the all-powerful Sunstone from Flame the Sunbird*. The formations of hero teams are often contrived, but the circumstances here take the ham-handed coincidence up to eleven-- as Black Sonichu escapes with the Sunbird's Sunstone, he literally bumps into four of the five ersatz Sonichus, giving them reason to meet. Magi-Chan joins up with them after their chatter bothers his meditation, and the original Sonichu isn't far behind. What results is six electric hedgehogs against one, which is about as contested a battle as the Hulk vs. Woody Allen

What makes the circumstances especially humorous/horrifying is the insistence Chandler has on referring to Black Sonichu as black-- the other Sonichus calling him " Blackie " or " that Black guy ". Since that's his only distinguishing characteristic from the the other Sonichus, one might see this as unintentional. However, racism is one of Christian Weston Chandler's many despicable traits. He doesn't hate black people as openly as he hates gays or other autistics ( especially those with the Asperger's Syndrome diagnosis ), but he does make it clear that his Love Quest doesn't include non-white women, he portrays the head Jerkops as scary black men, and one of his most infamous videos has him scream the N-Word at a troll. It's debatable how conscious Chandler's race hatred is, because he will deny being a racist if he is given that label, and a lot of it he just picked up from his less-than-tolerant Southern upbringing ( and refuses to correct, since Chandler's most fatal flaw is his unwillingness to admit any wrongdoing ).

However, there's a really unsettling subtext to the fact that the Black Sonichu is the one being beaten by a mob of brighter-colored Sonichus. It's even worse when you consider Black Sonichu's origin-- he was literally cloned to serve Naitsirhc's evil whims, and has never been given the opportunity to exercise free will. He's simply doing what he has to in order to survive, since he would certainly be terminated if he disobeyed Naitsirhc. At least the Chaotic Combo use stun force instead of inflicting a killing blow, but they've still treated him as persona non grata, even though he doesn't have the power to fight off six copies of himself.

What's even more unintentionally disturbing is the fact that Chandler will eventually have Black Sonichu reform, but in doing so change his name to " BLAKE Sonichu ". Chandler allegedly did this to quash the accusations of racism, but the fact that he surrenders his color identity upon converting to " good " is a troubling coincidence. Of course, CWCVille isn't a place for diversity, because that would involve the introduction of new ideas. This is the paradise of a man who specifies that the woman who finally takes his virginity should be white-- as though he's in a position to be choosy about who will lower themselves to an unemployable man-child who lives with his parents and carries the stench of sweat, grease, and the Axe body spray that he uses as an alternative to bathing.

Oh, and if you thought that the racial implications of this chapter were bad enough, Chandler posts an mock advertisement for a hotline that lonely men can call for a free girlfriend. That CWCVille apparently has a state-sponsored prostitution service is bad enough, but for some reason, the ad says that if you call now, late, or early, you will instead get a monkey. This was probably an attempt at " random access humor ", using non sequitirs in lieu of actual jokes. At least I hope it is, because state-sponsored beastiality is even worse.

And now I go to take five consecutive showers before writing the next critical review, which is one of the dreaded Sub-Episodes...

* A character who doesn't appear to be outright plagiarized, meaning that he/she will have little to no page-time.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sonichu Episode 10 Critical Review

Descent Into The Dark Heart of CWCVille

The " Sonichu Babies " story introduces an important fixture of the Sonichu storytelling engine-- the Chaotic Combo. If Sonichu is the avatar of Christian Weston Chandler's hopes and dreams, the man ( or electric hedgehog ) he wishes he could be, then the Chaotic Combo are his circle of friends. But they're not friends so much as groupies and imitators. The members of the Chaotic Combo are transparent copies of Sonichu, with color coding and minor traits being the only distinctions. They even carry " Sonichu " and " Rosechu " as surnames-- the origin story has them spawned from the same Chaos Energy rainbow that turned a Pikachu into Sonichu, refracted clones of the original.

It's suitable that a character who is already a plagiarized copy associate with characters who are themselves copies of him-- talking xeroxes so faded that Sonichu looks better by contrast.

But Chandler still maintains the delusion that he is creating a series that will be a merchandising phenomenon, as opposed to a complex psychodrama starring his baggage with guest appearances by bored internet trolls. So we get obligatory origin stories for each of the Chaotic Combo, starting with them as " Sonees " and " Rosees " ( the infant form of the Sonichu/Rosechu species, and a merchandising hook as transparent and nauseating as the Ewoks ). The distinctions between the stories are based on the colors and " elemental " characteristics of the copies, stealing from the rock-paper-scissors combat system that drives the Pokemon games. However, each story foreshadows the psychological horrors to come, as seen with...

-- Wild Sonichu, the green Grass male. We see a page of him in his baby Sonee form, toddling around and saying " Sonee " in an infantile tone. Since CWCVille is an inherently childish setting, the super-infantilized Sonee goes past being cute and into being nauseating, and even hideous. Fortunately for us, within the next page ( following an " Eventually " caption "* )

-- Bubbles Rosechu, the blue Water female. She is adopted by a female Swampert Pokemon, and stumbles around in her Rosee form until a whale suddenly appears to drop a boulder upon her new mother. Bubbles immediately matures and rescues the Swampert. Bubbles doesn't really develop any character despite being another female and the blue part of the rainbow group, but the Boulder-Dropping Whale becomes a fan-favorite. The incidental characters in Sonichu gained a following as a means to spite Chandler and his main cast-- a webcomic called " Moon Pals " was even made to chronicle their adventures. Unfortunately, the Boulder-Dropping Whale failed in his noble mission to exterminate the Rosee spawn and her protector.

-- Angelina Rosechu, the white Flying female. She is adopted by a convent of nuns and is raised to be a devout Catholic electric hedgehog. The fact that nuns are traditionally chaste and do not approve of pre-marital sex makes her presence in the coming comics hypocritically hilarious.

-- Punchy Sonichu, the red Fighting male. He is raised in a dojo by a sensei who makes a lot of " random access humor " references. This term is what Chandler uses to refer to his style of comedy, which consists of random non sequitirs. Chandler is a huge fan of Family Guy and the Adult Swim cartoons, which are about as mature as his tastes go. While " edgier " than traditional Western Saturday morning cartoons, they still reflect an immature mindset, using cartoon characters to do shocking and random things. They tend not to have any meaningful characterization or narrative structure, and treat concepts like sex and excrement as new and shocking. Except when they do it, it can actually be funny-- Chandler's " random access " is truly random, and just comes across as forced and obnoxious.

-- Magi-Chan Sonichu, the purple Psychic male. He is raised in isolation to focus his psionic powers, observing human culture from outside media. This is an excellent approximation of the way Chandler understands the world, learning of mature concepts through scatological late-night cartoons, morality from children's hero shows, and relationships from romantic comedies and internet porn.

If I seem like I'm rushing through this, it's because the narrative structure here does the same-- we are given the supporting copies of Sonichu, we are given token backstories in the pretense that they are independent characters, and then we are forced to move on. But remaining to flesh out the Chaotic Combo would mean that this is an organic narrative that fleshes out its characters. And Sonichu isn't about trivial things such as " plot " and " characters "-- they're just the flimsy foundation of Chandler's refuge from reality. And once his infantile utopia is besieged by the outside world....well, that's when things get interesting.

* The time frame for this is ambiguous; how long did it take for these characters to mature? The original Sonichu and Rosechu evolved from mature Pokemon forms, but these characters started as infants, yet immediately matured to adulthood. Unless time flows differently in separate regions of CWCVille...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The New Avengers Cartoon, And Why I Love Voice Actors

Even more than live actors, voice actors get around....with different roles, that is. And it never ceases to entertain me how many different characters can be attached to a voice actor, especially one with a distinctive voice. For example, with the new Avengers cartoon...

The Jarvis AI ( Phil Lamarr ) is also Vamp, the bisexual, flamenco-dancing, nigh-unkillable villain from Metal Gear Solids 2 and 4. Presumably, he's planning to hijack the Iron Man suit so he can go down on the Avengers Mansion's silverware.

Rhodey ( Bumper Robinson ) is Bumblebee from the Transformers Animated show. I really hope he'll call Tony " Boss-Bot " at some point.

The Wasp ( Colleen O'Shaughnessey ) is Konohamaru, the tag-a-long kid from Naruto. Aside from the different genders, they're equally annoying and largely useless.

The Black Widow ( Vanessa Marshall ) is Irwin, the nerdy sidekick from the Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy. Hail Hydra, yo!

The Red Skull ( Steve Blum ) is, amongst other characters, Leeron, the flamboyantly homosexual tech guy from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. He certainly gave the Third Reich a hard, manly twist.

Amora the Enchantress ( Kari Wahlgren ) is, amongst others, Haruko Haruhara, guitar-slinging space-wacko from the dub of the even wackier anime FLCL ( Fooly Cooly ). And lo, was Midgard besieged by a pox of vespas..

Dr. Leonard Samson ( Cam Clarke ) is Liquid Snake from the first Metal Gear Solid. Hopefully the gamma treatment will compensate for his DAMNED INFERIOR GENES!

Any others?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sonichu Sub-Episode 3 Critical Review: Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before

Explaining The Joke, Here

....a Dean of Student Affairs at the Piedmont Virginia Community College*, by the name of Mary Lee Walsh, is confronted with a student creating a problem. The student, one Christian Weston Chandler, is soliciting newsletters based on his plagiarized children's comic strip that explicitly ask for a boyfriend-free girl, and publicly carrying a sign doing the same. The dean sees him as a public nuisance at the lowest, but since the dean is also a member of the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance, perhaps she suspects something worse about this creepy little student.

So the dean reprimands the student and tells him to stop spamming the campus with his desperation. But the student ignores her warning and continues to carry his " Attraction Sign " and distribute his " Sonichu's News Dash " papers. The dean, obviously annoyed by her authority being ignored, calls the student into her office, and orders him to stop. She uses very blunt but accurate language, saying that the student would never get a girlfriend this or any other way. He angrily screams at her, but all it does is get him expelled for a year.

But the dean doesn't hear the last of the student. The student works the dean into his plagiarized children's comic strip as an evil witch, who spends her spare time plotting against love itself. The student, on the other hand, is reinvented as the hero who fights for the sake of love. After a tense** fight, she is defeated when the hero teams up with his plagiarized cartoon " son ", pooling their powers together for a massive energy blast that defeats her. For now.

But it doesn't end there. While the dean doesn't dignify the student with a response, the group of internet users devoted to following the student's terrible life and work take note. And seeing the badly drawn image of the evil witch Mary Lee Walsh, they interpret her golden helmet as a shock of blonde hair with horns, and draw her as a sexy succubus. Some fan stories even cast her as a heroine, fighting against the corrupt regime of the student's ego-based imaginary town.

So the elderly dean of a southern US community college, simply by doing her job, becomes turned into an online sex symbol that doubles as a troll symbol. And here's the punchline...

This isn't a joke. All this shit actually happened.

And nothing I say can top that.

* You can find the full story here; yes, an entire Wiki has become devoted to Chandler's failures.
** If by " Tense ", you mean " badly drawn Pokemon moves followed by Mary Lee Walsh tapping Chris-Chan Sonichu on his neck, causing him to revert back to Chris-Chan in the dumbest weakness since Thor turning back to mortal Dr. Don Blake if he lets go of his hammer for 60 seconds ", then yes, it was quite " tense ".
*** Courtesy of Sonichu Finale, one of many entertaining fan works that redeem Chandler's " creations " with good writing and art. And one of many fan works replete with Metal Gear Solid references.