YMMV / Atop the Fourth Wall

For History of Power Rangers examples, see here.
  • Acceptable Targets:
    • Gary Brodsky, Rob Liefeld, and anyone responsible for a horrible comic.
    • The Irate Gamer, whom he seems to think is a moron.
    • One More Day, to the point where he had the Continuity Alarm on standpoint to attack him when it was brought up.
    • Frank Miller, whose fall from comic fans' grace has been the subject of his recurring AT4W sub-segment Miller Time.
    • The DCU's New 52 reboot, though he has noted that there are some New 52 publications that he does like, such as Earth 2, Demon Knights and Scott Snyder's run on Batman, and has given positive reviews of issues of some horror-related New 52 series like Animal Man and Frankenstein Agent Of Shade in Longbox of the Damned.
    • Artist Greg Land for his habit of tracing drawings of people from other sources, including other comics and even porn.
    • The Purge and its sequels in his vlog for Deadpool and his overview of the problems with Civil War.
  • Accidental Innuendo: "This comic sucks... Linkaraaaa!"
  • Anti-Climax Boss: Holokara's set up as being invincible, due to being made of light. Linkara deactivates him with a single voice command. Later proven to be Subverted. He does come back shortly afterward, but with Linksano and Pollo getting rid of him again almost as easily. However, his shot at well-intentioned extremism and his attempt to convince Linkara of how necessary it is, proves that he was really around to test Linkara's morality instead of his fighting prowess or weaponry.
  • Arc Fatigue:
    • The Lord Vyce arc, which took around nine months from beginning to end, and went on continuously (the Mechakara and Entity arcs, while eight months long, both had extended "breather" periods, whereas the Vyce arc didn't). Still, it could be divided into three sub-arcs — Linkara's abduction and return, the story of the Magic Gun's origin, and the actual confrontation with Vyce — for easier consumption. This was repeated with the Gunslinger arc, which also has three sub-arc divisions (Linkara losing his magic and Holokara taking over, the team trapped in the apartment by the Gunslinger, and the final confrontation with the Gunslinger and Dr. Insano).
    • The Sleepwalker arc has taken nearly a year and a half by this point, which admittedly is similar to the Gunslinger arc, but even Lewis admitted that part of this is due to filming difficulties; he does plan to have it wrapped up in time to get another story arc in before his 10th anniversary.
  • Author's Saving Throw: There seem to be many of these. If enough people complain about a perceived plot hole or just that something wasn't addressed, it will most likely be addressed in the next storyline-related episode.
    • After various comments pointed out that Linkara never saw the outside of Vyce's ship, yet instantly recognized it, the next episode has Pollo note this, then Linkara asks who else would have a ship with a giant V on it.
    • In the commentary of "Pokemon: The Electric Tale of Pikachu", Lewis admits to having pulled one with why Missingno was afraid of Lord Vyce, aware that didn't track with how he built it up as an unstoppable universe-devouring Lovecraftian demon. He came up with the idea that Vyce's attacks were able to hurt it, but — according to Missingno, at least — couldn't kill it, but it found being able to be hurt at all such a blow to the ego that it hid out in our dimension so Linkara would defeat Vyce. It was NOT afraid of Vyce; just sufficiently annoyed with him.
    • The very end of the Real Ghostbusters in Ghostbusters II review features Jaeris, visiting Linkara via portal, returning the mobile emitter he'd stolen during the Gunslinger arc, thus tying up the loose end left from the Aborted Arc of him planning to use it against his then-enemy.
    • During the Sleepwalker arc, Linkara's friends come across as a little too unsympathetic to Linkara starting to cross lines they're uncomfortable with, treating it as baseless paranoia when there is an actual and obvious threat that's driving him to such extreme measures. This gets addressed when they meet 90s Kid again and call him out on working with Vyce, pointing out that they left Linkara because of how far he was going, but 90s Kid is hardly any better for what he's done. On top of that, 90s Kid himself reveals why he was working with Vyce and the real reason for Linkara's behavior.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Fat Grandma. Some find her so random it's hilarious, others think she's kinda racist (a white man, playing a white woman, acting like a Sassy Black Woman) and just obnoxious.
    • The King of Worms. Some found him to be a suitably good villain and that the Court of Worms storyline had some great tension and didn't overstay its welcome like some other storylines. Others found him to be stupid looking, and ultimately feel that he's proof that the show couldn't escalate past the Entity, a sentiment reinforced when the Entity returns and is revealed to have been responsible for the King of Worms' demise.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The conclusion of Amazons Attack involves Linkara becoming sucked into a portal, becoming animated, then teaming up with Wonder Woman to fight a giant version of the comic itself. It has a 'To Be Continued' on the end, so it was either intended to go somewhere but was left hanging, or was intended to be a Take That! at how Amazons Attack essentially went nowhere.
  • Broken Base: The show has its own page.
  • Captain Obvious Reveal: Parodied and defied in his "15 Worst Comics I've Ever Reviewed" video.
    Linkara: Spoilers: Holy Terror is the worst comic I've ever reviewed. Sorry, but I think it's pretty obvious in that regard. And as such, because it is so obvious, I'm taking it off the table. I want to have some surprise in this list.
  • Complete Monster: Mechakara is a Knight of Cerebus and a robot from an Alternate Universe where Linkara's Robot Buddy Pollo turned evil, killed him, and robots overthrew humanity. His plans revolved around sending Linkara into a mental breakdown; and, when that fails, he captures him and plans to kill him slowly, simply because his death went too fast the first time around. While that would normally make him just another killer robot, he stands out when, after getting the magic MacGuffin that he came for, he decides instead to destroy all organic life in the multiverse. During the Silent Hill Dead/Alive videos, Mechakara slowly Mind Rapes Linkara into thinking he's the (actually long dead) man who tortured his daughter to create Linkara's Magic Gun and almost convinces him to kill himself. In To Boldly Flee, Mechakara passes himself off as Linkara and infiltrates the USS Exit Strategy, intending to kill the entire crew with the help of the forcibly assimilated Todd and Nostalgia Chick. Mechakara would later assimilate the crew of the Caelestis space station and drained the life force of one astronaut in an attempt to recharge the ship. Only working with others when his goals coincide with theirs and perfectly willing to kill them otherwise, Mechakara is fueled only by his hatred for Linkara and all organic life forms.
  • Counterpart Comparison: Despite being a Pokemon, The Entity actually shares a surprising number of similarities with the D-Reaper from Digimon Tamers. Both are computer programs that have evolved to become Godlike Eldritch Abominations seeking to consume/destroy everything.
  • Crazy Awesome: The fight at the end of the Power Rangers Zeo #1 review.
  • Creepy Awesome: The Entity.
  • Critical Research Failure: When he accuses Alfred of stripping Robin of his leotard to dress him in All-Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder, he misses the clearly-visible leotard right under the pyjamas that Alfred put on him — meaning he just put the pyjamas on over the leotard.
  • Ear Worm: The theme tune, as well as some of the music used in the reviews (particularly stuff like the Power Rangers theme).
  • Engaging Chevrons: When Iron Liz reviewed Chain Gang War, she got her own version of the theme tune, only for Linkara's regular theme tune to play immediately after it.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • DUUUUUUUUUUDE!! '90s Kid is the most awesome Atop the Fourth Wall character EVEEEEERRRRRRRRRR!! His guest review of Freak Force was RADICAAAAAL!!
    • Harvey Finevoice has also become quite popular, though not quite on the level of '90s Kid, whose recent plot-relevance might just make him a case of a Breakout Character.
    • As of the New Guardians #1 review, the spotlight has been taken from Linkara by the crazy antics of Snowflame. Read the comments to see why.
    • In the DVD episodes, Linkara finds his own Darkhorse, Tomboy, in the pages of Captain Flash. She's a powerless preteen girl whose badassery completely outshines the titular hero.
    • Mechakara is also a pretty popular character. Mostly for being a Knight of Cerebus, how he was nearly able to kill Linkara in their battle, and that he's an evil Pollo from an alternate universe. He's so popular that he was resurrected during the Vyce Arc and makes a cameo in a couple other reviews. He even lampshades his own popularity in the Sultry Teenage Super-Foxes #2 review.
    • Lord Vyce, another villain whose popularity gets him resurrected frequently.
    • Jaeris, the Gunslinger, is very popular over at the Treehouse, the fan community/Kink Meme at Livejournal.
    • Fat Grandma is extremely popular.
    • And so is Moarte.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Linkara and Viga are the ones people now ship together the most, likely to in part to both the real-life relationship between their actors and the fact they are just down right adorable when in each other's company.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The Superman vs. Terminator review mocks his Schedule Slip on Revolution of the Mask, with Linkara decades in the future promising fans the third issue will be out soon. Issue two came out a couple months later, but a bit after that, the comic's artist seemingly vanished from the face of the Earth, not responding to any of Linkara's messages after they wished each other a happy Thanksgiving. Thankfully he soon found a new artist, but that was a scary period.
    • In his Planet of the Symbiote Review, Linkara makes a joke about a character who looks like an older '90s Kid. Said character is possessed by a Symbiote. Come the end of the episode, it turns out Linkara's joke wasn't far from the truth.
    • Knowingly mocked in "Mr. T #1," when he says that only an idiot could ever think Mr. T could be guilty of any crime, then immediately prays that T is not involved in some horrible scandal in the near future.
    • In the #200 ending song, there's this line "As allies and enemies both come and go" with Dr. Insano as the image for "enemies". While Spoony had left almost a month before this was released, the video was recorded before that.
    • His early episodes "suicide gun" jokes now feel this way following the tragic death of his close friend Jew Wario.
    • His review of Fame #1 and the questionable comments about Jew Wario using a female avatar in the Pokemon movies reviews are harder to sit through after Iron Liz came out as trans.
  • Gateway Series: Although Linkara did not expect non-comic books fans to find the show funny, one of the most frequently asked questions is "how do I get into comics?" from people who became interested in comic books after watching the show. This also influenced his decision to phase out the Continuity Alarm. Originally he had it so that he wouldn't ramble about continuity to seasoned comic readers, but found that more people actually wanted him to get into the history of the things he was talking about.
    • His frequent cameos with other Channel Awesome reviewers are likely to get you to pick up their shows on your regular viewing schedule.
  • Ham and Cheese:
    • His Snowflame impression.
    • Only to be outdone by Will Wolfgram's Snowflame in the "New Guardians #1" review.
      Snowflame (Will): Snowflame is stealing your shoooooooes!
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The show has its own page.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight:
    • Harvey calling Linkara kid, signifying that he thinks of him as a surrogate son.
    • His demands to bring back Lian Harper in DC's rebooted universe are this now that Convergence did just that.
  • He Panned It, Now He Sucks:
    • After his reviews of All-Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder and The Dark Knight Strikes Again, Linkara suffered a bit of backlash from Frank Miller fans who said that Miller's contributions to the comic industry (namely, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Batman: Year One) gave him a free pass to do wackier stuff. Linkara heartily disagreed.
    • He seems to have taken steps to avoid this with his Spawn review, noting at the beginning that he didn't want to bash Spawn as a character, and that Spawn was better than most early Image comic characters by far.
    • He also invited this in his "Next Top 15 AT4W Screw-Ups" segment, where he went on at length on a tirade against the X-Men comics, blaming them for being the in-universe causes of some of his most hated crossover events in Marvel's recent history... or not when Linkara later clarified in his "Youngblood #5" review that he was "half joking" and acknowledged that the X-Men did have some good runs and good characters in its roster.
    • He managed to avoid this in his Man of Steel v-log, albeit accidentally (seeing the movie over a month after it was released due to being busy).
    • In panels, he's mentioned this is the reason he doesn't do reviews of work by Garth Ennis and Mark Millar, despite not liking their work. He eventually reviewed Millar's For The Animals (noting it's a very good comic that really gets Superman as an inspiring icon) and Trouble.
    • Linkara also noted that no one cared when he mocked Stan Lee, despite Lee having a larger impact on the comic book industry than Miller.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The show has its own page.
  • HSQ:
    • Goes off the charts numerous times, especially in response to the Visual Effects of Awesome.
    • Holokara threatening to kill '90s Kid. It starts off with just him telling '90s Kid to stop interrupting the show, but then suddenly turns to Holokara phasing his hand into '90s Kid's chest and threatening to stop his heart.
    • During the Star Trek/Green Lantern: Spectrum war story segment There's a brief moment of relief from Nimue and Pollo trying to assure Linkara that the Entity is dead. Then the engines start going haywire, Comicron-1 crashes on the moon, and Linkara and the gang have to escape in the Vigilant. The episode concludes with Linkara being sure that the Entity is still alive, and the all too familiar musical cue ends things with a final shot of the wrecked Comicron-1
  • Iconic Character, Forgotten Title: Does this in his opening credits. Atop the Fourth Wall gets name-dropped once (twice in the full version), but the song ends on repetition of his name and a separate logo.
  • Inferred Holocaust: Points out that Nightcat blowing up a garbage barge would pollute Hudson River even more.
  • Internet Backdraft:
    • His critique of The Dark Knight Strikes Again has led to some harsh responses from Frank Miller fans and his lack of response to The Maxx was taken as an indictment of its quality.
    • Verging into real-world politics was his crossover with The Nostalgia Critic to review Superman IV: The Quest for Peace; they staged a rather elaborate joke about the unrealistically happy reaction of all the world's leaders to Superman announcing that he was taking their nukes. In this exchange he mentioned Israel not as a value judgment, but simply as a group of people that probably would not burst into wild happy applause if they were stripped of their nuclear arsenal by outside forces. He received a barrage of hatemail afterwards, both from people who supported Israel and thought he was being disloyal and from people who do not support Israel thinking he was supporting their sovereignty. He even addressed this in his commentary for the review.
      • Some of it was also because he expressed belief in the threat of Mutually Assured Destruction, the idea that nukes prevent wars and encourage peace. Since no one would dare go to war with a country that possessed such weapons, and no one with nuclear weapons would dare use them. [You know, just like every politician on all sides at the time the movie was made believed].
    • Again, Adblockers.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks: The reason he discontinued his "That's All I'm Saying" videos, where he looked at new comics on a weekly basis and gave short honest opinions on them. He felt they became repetitive and had him saying the same thing over and over.
  • Jerkass Woobie: The Entity, post-resurrection. It is still a highly elitistic Eldritch Abomination... having an existential crisis. It departs somberly, musing on whereas the parts of it that committed suicide beforehand found peace.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Linkara himself is a rare Anti-Heroic version. He frequently defeats and outsmarts villains FAR more powerful than he is, simply by virtue of being quickwitted, audacious, and Crazy-Prepared.
    • The King of Worms learned well from the Entity's failure, and spends its entire storyline playing Linkara for a sucker, replacing certain characters with robot duplicates to guide his every move before getting rid of him once he's served his purpose. In the end, all of Linkara's preparations are utterly useless, and he only "wins" because something in his head he had no idea about scares the King to death.
      • Of course, the Entity's "failure" turns out to have not been such a failure after all, as it actually survived by dwelling within Linkara, and it was what scared the King of Worms to death. It then proceeded to mastermind the entire conflict of the ensuing story arc, complete with chess motifs.
  • Memetic Badass:
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • I AM A MAN! *punch* and variants.
    • Also helped popularize "Bees. My god."
    • Linkara (and by extension Lewis) having an obsession with Cybermats.
    • "HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM?"Explanation 
    • After his appearance in a Sad Panda countdown in which it was claimed that Linkara reviews lamps, the whole idea of him being a lamp reviewer has been mentioned many times by other reviewers.
      • He later made a similar joke in his review of All-Star Batman and Robin #8 where he joked that maybe some people live in their own little worlds where he's a badger who reviews late-night talk shows. Badgerkara quickly took off.
    • Basically, any joke or clip he uses repeatedly tends to catch ona.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Mechakara was always a Complete Monster, but firmly crossed it when he tried to drive Linkara to suicide (and it was not Played for Laughs) by making him think he was the father of the girl who was turned into his magic gun.
    • Holokara pulls an extreme Face–Heel Turn and dives over the horizon in a single move, when he threatens to kill '90s Kid if he ever interrupts the show again. Definitely not Played for Laughs.
    • He crosses it again later when he threatens to maim Harvey Finevoice when Harvey calls him out for threatening to kill '90s Kid. Specifically, he casually threatens to crush the singer's vocal chords.
    • Lord Vyce crosses it when he Mind Rapes NIMUE, forcing Linkara to shut her down. At this point, we can pretty much drop the "Anti" part of Anti-Villain. And if that's not enough, he crosses it even harder much later when he tries to destroy the Earth and even the universe with a singularity generator because he can't accept that the Entity is truly gone, despite having just watched Linkara defeat it for good.
    NIMUE: You are evil, Lord Vyce, despite your proclamations to the contrary.
  • Most Annoying Sound: The random audience chattering in the live segments, particularly when somebody in the audience tries to insert their own two cents when Linkara's trying to continue with his segment. To give an idea as to how this can annoy everyone, read the comments below this video.
    • It got to the point where Lewis had to include disclaimers before the live shows about speaking out loud during the review.
    "Just remember, I am recording this. So if you're not funny, then you're being not funny in front of thousands of people."
  • MST3K Mantra: In the Marville #4 review, telling the viewers not to take his hologram being the one who reviewed the third issue too seriously amounts to this.
  • Never Live It Down: One time, in his PO Unboxing Videos, Linkara and Viga went three hours of unboxing, before Linkara realised that he forgot to turn on the sound recording. He had to check if the sound was on, several times, in the next PO Unboxing.
  • Nightmare Retardant:
    • Okay, once the Entity was finally out in the open, it had a lot of really creepy lines with a neat voice filter effect, and the way it kept glitching out and teleporting around the room was genuinely creative and freaky. But it's in the form of '90s Kid. Linkara already has such an adorable baby face and '90s Kid has such dumb fashion sense it dulled the edge of the horror a bit. But for others, all that made it even worse...
    • After all the buildup over the face of the King of Worms, it's a platinum mask with eye and mouth holes. He's also played by Suede doing a bad impression of Bane. Moral: never build anything up as "more frightening than anything" or the like.
      • And then he touches Linkara's head and dies. Ironically, for a villain built up as fear incarnate, the King of Worms is probably the least scary thing in the series once he actually shows up.
  • So Bad, It's Good: Some people enjoy the Vyce arc solely because of what a hilarious Sue it makes Linkara, and also to see how epic he can make it. Given some of the reviewed material, this may be deliberate.
  • Space Whale Aesop: The Holokara/Magic Gun arc has one of these because in the end, he learns that his magic stopped working because Margaret, aka the Magic Gun, let him find out that he was turning evil. At the same time, a hologram of Linkara made before he left fully turns into a Knight Templar and acts out his darkest feelings. The arc ends with Margaret letting Linkara know that the warning about turning evil was her goal, and Linkara feeling confident that he won't turn evil after how fast his friends turned against the Hologram. The lesson learned is that anyone can be evil, regardless of how good they think themselves or the good they've done in the past. The problem is that Margaret is magic, which has inherent Detect Evil properties, something that most human beings don't have access to. Linkara had magical, objective proof that he was turning while no one in the real world would. Also, his assurances about his friends doesn't work as well because they believed it was an expendable hologram. Linkara himself had been using Kill Sats and making other morally-questionable decisions for a long time without anyone calling him out for it.
  • Special Effect Failure:
    • The poorly-animated Vohrsoth. Lampshaded in-universe.
    • The above, as well as many other special effects blunders, is lampshaded by Linkara's future self in the show's April 2011 recap, with him often noting that "they should fix that".
    • The Gunslinger notices that his gunshots produce sparks and explosions, yet do no damage to anything in Linkara's apartment. This becomes a plot point in the next episode.
    • The Conspicuous CGI involving Pollo and the Cybermat during the Star Trek II comic review was sort of an inevitability.
    • While inside the Court of Worms, one can clearly see Lewis' apartment reflected in the mask of the King of Worms. It also looked like Lewis was wearing the Harvey costume and filming with a tablet computer.
    • The effects in the movie don't look all that hot either.
      • Vyce's ship looks really fake compared to the show, not helped by the constant panning shots of it.
      • The sets also leave a lot to be desired. For instance, the bar at the beginning has a bookshelf off to the side; the bridge of Vyce's ship looks desolate and made of cardboard; and the space station's control room is clearly someone's basement (which is lampshaded since it's a Call-Back to To Boldly Flee).
      • The chroma-keying fares no better. This is obvious during all the scenes in the engine room, which look like they came out of something from the mid-90s.
      • The effects used for Mechakara's torn up face and later, his endo-skeleton, look worse than the CGI (and that's saying something). The latter simply being a classroom skeleton model painted silver, with tin cans for shoulders. It's really disappointing compared to the makeup in To Boldly Flee.
      • None of these are helped by the film being shot in 720p, as opposed to 1080p or higher.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Holokara threatening to kill 90's Kid was a severe overreaction but he did raise the point that 90's Kid is always interrupting reviews and Holokara did ask him to stop before resorting to threats.
    • Linkara's getting angry with 90's Kid over draining the BFG is treated as unwarranted but it is understandable considering 90's Kid ruined one of the few weapons they had that was still capable of functioning for an idiotic reason.
    • During the Sleepwalker arc Linkara's friends choose to walk out on him for starting to cross lines that they don't agree with, such as putting them under surveillance without telling them and trying to hack into government satellites instead of waiting for help from Alan. While they have valid concerns about him Jumping Off the Slippery Slope it's ignored that Linkara has very good reason for acting like this as 90s Kid is working with Vyce and the very real possibility of the Entity returning is looming over their heads. Linkara's friends come off as very unsympathetic towards him trying to be prepared for future threats, especially in light of how often they get caught off guard. Though this is undermined by the fact that he had been watching them without their knowledge or consent due to 90's Kid's apparent betrayal and that the last time something like this happened, Linkara was becoming evil. It's further undermined once it's revealed that the Entity is possessing Linkara.
  • Uncanny Valley: The Entity is just unsettling to look at. Nevermind that it's taking the form of comic relief '90s Kid with a distorted voice and unnatural, interference cascade eyes, but every shot focusing on it just glitches from time to time, like its voice scratching and repeating, or its body blinking in place or from one place to another. Just its presence is outright creepy, let alone all the rest.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Iron Liz, in her debut appearance, was wearing Linkara's jacket and hat and very little makeup, and was holding a comic book in front of her chest. Those fashion and blocking choices - coupled with an unusually deep voice, due to being a trans-woman - had a lot of people confused. The name "Iron Liz" helped settle things, as did the introduction of her blog, where there is a much more flattering photo of her on display.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome:
  • What an Idiot: Harvey shooting at Holokara when he should know that he's Immune to Bullets. It's lampshaded when Linksano chastises him, saying it was doomed to failure, and Harvey admits that he was angry and not thinking straight. He suggests that he should have hit the Holo-Emitter which generates Holokara, but Linksano says that it would be heavily shielded, and would have ended just as badly.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: Linkara invokes this New Guardians #2 with the dialogue and Snowflame, but some of the other stuff he looks at would likely leave the viewer thinking this:
  • The Woobie:
    • The little girl from the Silent Hill Dead/Alive prologues. The parents who she loved and adored never cared about her other than using her as a sacrifice to forge a weapon to use in mass genocide for their God. She was tortured and killed to create the weapon (Linkara's magic gun), but when they touched the weapon they were driven insane and killed.
      • The fact that her name has been forgotten, even by the cultists who killed her makes it just a bit more painful.
    • After Holokara threatened them, '90s Kid and Harvey became Woobies as well.
      • And then Harvey becomes perhaps the biggest one on the show when we learn about his Dark and Troubled Past.
      • The Gunslinger is also a massive example of Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds; despite being the main villain of his arc (initially), when his backstory is revealed, it's hard not to feel bad for him.
      • Somehow, the Entity becomes this at the end of its life, overcome by the painful realization that even its existence is meaningless, and the revelation that the entire Sleepwalker arc was it trying to justify its existence. When the Entity fizzles out, it's depicted as a sad moment.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/AtoptheFourthWall