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It's his world.. you're just living in it...

Today is

Feedback on Feedback - August 3
with special guest columnist Chris Wolvie

It was a year in the making, but Dark Horse Comics FINALLY decided to let those who were holding out for a superhero exhale again. On July 4, the "Feedback" comic book was released!

Who's "Feedback", you ask?

I don't blame you if you don't know; it HAS been a while. But "Feedback" is the superhero alter-ego of 34-year-old software engineer Matthew Atherton and, last September, comic uber-legend Stan Lee named "Feedback" as the "next great superhero" after Matthew won the Sci-Fi Channel's reality series "Who Wants To Be a Superhero?"

Originally slated to be shipped that month, the comic was pushed back several times and, then, actually pushed FORWARD from THIS September until now. Just before the second season of "Superhero" hit the expanded cable airwaves, the 40-page comic book - under the name of "Who Wants To Be a Superhero? #1" - was released.

(OK, if you're an avid fan of comics or "Feedback" in general and you have yet to get the comic yourself, you may want to stop right here. There ARE a few spoilers in the next paragraph... so if you are one of the people who screamed at people about them talking about the last
chapter of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows", don't bother reading the next paragraph, mmmkay?)

The story - written by Stan the Man himself - is an origin story to the core. Matt, a skilled electronics repairman and aficionado of comics and video games (which he used to fill a void when his father passed away when he was a kid), gets an offer from a half-cyborg named
"Ironside" to fix the electronics on the ultimate armored car. As soon as the job is finished, Matt learns that "Ironside" is actually "Eliminator", the deadliest terrorist around. Matt gets beaten up severely and then gets struck by lightning. As Eliminator leaves, Matt comes to...only to find that the energy from the bolt now coursed through his body, courtesy of the joystick he was holding. He had long dreamed of being a superhero...and now he realized he WAS one. He was able to go after Eliminator, thwart his plan to blow up the nuclear power plant in the city...and then spend some quality time with the girl of his dreams.

(The spoilers are over, can come back in the room now.)

OK, first the pros. I liked the way Stan incorporated Matt's own life into the storyline. Yes, Matt's father died when he was young and he turned to comics and video games to fill the void. And, yes, Matt has a "girl of his dreams" who actually HELPED create the "Feedback"
character. It's also interesting that Feedback's first heroic deed had nothing to do with his powers; just like in one of the challenges in the series, he stopped his primary task to bring a lost little girl to her mother. It proves that Feedback is more than just a guy living as a human generator; he was full of class and never fails to help people in need, despite how hurried he might be.

The cons? Well, for one thing, electrical pulses and the Magneto-esque manipulation of electronic equipment aren't Feedback's only powers. One power I was very interested in was his ability to emulate video games and using the powers in said games to thwart evil. No such luck there; all we saw about that was the child Matt playing an arcade game and then an adult Matt fixing one and showing some punks how well HE could play. He wasn't anywhere NEAR a game after he got his powers.

And that's another thing; Stan changed the origin a fair deal from Matt's own story about Feedback. In Matt's version, while he was working on a bio-organic computer system using organic computing, he was caught in a large explosion that bombards his body with hi-tech
cellular shrapnel (read "nanobots"). Of course, that doesn't explain about the "emulation" powers; at least being hit by lightning while holding an Atari 2600 controller is a viable explanation.

Somehow, I doubt this may turn into a monthly deal with Dark Horse. I was hoping for a four-part limited series myself, maybe including "Dark Enforcer", the super-villain of the first season of "Superhero". But, on the other hand, Matt has gained a BIT of popularity with his character. He was even at the San Diego Comic-Con, talking about the second season. And, even if it IS just one issue, he IS immortalized now in the Dark Comics pantheon of heroes.

We can only hope Feedback's Sci-Fi Original Movie is decent. I know the movies they concoct aren't exactly Oscar material... but they ain't Golden Raspberry material either. If Matt acts well enough and if they stick to the true origin, then the movie (whenever it comes out) should
live up to the high standards of comic-book guys everywhere. Otherwise,...

Most Negative. Feedback. EVER!

Now for some feedback on three more pricing games in the TPIR alphabet.

Pocket Change - No two numbers are close to each other. I.e. if the second number is low, then the third number is high, etc. The last number is 5 or 0.

Poker Game - If you have two pair or worse, get rid of it. Three of a kind or better wins this game. A Full House or 4 of a kind is an automatic keeper.

Punch-a-Bunch - If you are stuck with this game, pick from the first 2 rows. It's much easier to keep the money up there, so the lower values are usually at the bottom.

Gordon Pepper bleeds pinstripes. E-mail him at


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