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Reviews Comments: We Don't Need Another Garth Ennis Worm film/book review by Axelx Gabriel

Ok picture this scenario:

It's a story about a team of Anti-heroes who do what they will with whatever morally-ambiguous means necessary to get the job done at stopping crime, while at the same time complain that the Superheroes who do exist suck at their job and that what they do is actually the better way, especially sense the story is written so that they're always right.

Now from that assessment, am I talking about The Authority, The Boys, or Worm? Because they're really all have the same premise. Which makes this web series already contrived from the start. Yet it only gets worse from there. In fact, I would wager even Garth would think this story goes too far.

This series is beyond dark. Not just dark in it's setting or it's characters or even in their morality. It's in the utter doom and gloom that seems to start with bullying incidents towards Taylor, all the way to what amounts to bullying that she does as a supervillain. Put simply, the big problem with the story I have is that, I honestly do not care what happens to these people. The trope Darkness Induced Audience Apathy was made for this series. None of the characters come off as sympathetic or even likable in the end as they all carry shades of evil or jerkass. They do all sorts of despicable actions from mutilation, torture and even Rape. All of which they consider justified. If the characters come off as utter assholes, then why should I care what happens to them? Not to mention that how the story just keeps on ramping up the sheer amount of deaths in order to keep up with its Loads and Loads of Characters it's not so much a harsh crapsack world but more like a contest seeing if you can guess who'll be killed next.

What's just as worse is the style of writing the author has chosen, It can best be described as first person/stream of consciousness. Events and actions go by so fast, I have no clue what I just read and then the story will just carry on like I had any clue about what was just said. The story carries on, and I just lose interest because it prefers to practically say how excellent it is without worrying if the audience thinks it really is.

I seriously don't recommend this series. Avoid at all costs if you can.

Comments

  • RobinZimm
  • 26th Aug 13
I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it. I don't think the author intended the readers to see the Undersiders — including Skitter — as heroes to be admired, but in telling the story from Taylor's perspective he grants them an awfully Sympathetic POV most of the time.

I still recommend the series, but I'll keep in mind the things you don't like about it — it's not for everyone.
  • Gorkamorka
  • 27th Aug 13
While the characters being sympathetic or not is personal preference, and the darkness is subjective as well, the writing style is not.

The author clearly knows how to write.

If you find a scene too fast paced you can, dunno, go back a few lines and re-read it? slow down your reading?

I'm not even sure where do you get that the story pats itself on the back and does not worry about the audience, it's obvious that the author reads the commentaries and tries to adjust if he screwed up.

Or that the characters keep dying because there's too many of them... no wait that's just plain false too, almost all the main characters are still there. Considering the amount of life or death battles they go through, against kaiju-like monsters or The Verse take on the Joker it's a wonder so many people survived.
  • Itinerary
  • 27th Aug 13
I disagree with this review for much the same reason as why I disagreed with your statements in the discussion section: instead of addressing the problems that are actually there, you address problems that you make up out of your apparent need to reduce a compelling character into some caricature of a self-hating bully.

Worm is not about a team of Anti-Heroes. Worm is about a team of supervillains, most of whom are in it for their own self-gratification, but manage to be sympathetic characters anyway. Worm is about trying to do good while being bad. Neither is the story written so that they are always right-half the time when they actually get into discussions with superheroes that are actually informed, they lose. Taylor's justifications are challenged and she often cannot back them up, resulting in compelling moments of self-examination that ultimately culminate in-

Actually, judging by your posting history, you haven't actually read most of the later story, so I won't spoil it for you.

Your inability to care about the characters is of course your own prerogative.

Your opinion of the author's writing style, is, as Gorkamorka pointed out, wrong.
  • AxelxGabriel
  • 28th Aug 13
I did read it actually, and No they are not sympathetic. They're just selfish. All of them are in one way or another. That's why I specifically said that none of the characters are in anyway sympathetic or likable. And when you seriously look back on everything they did, all they end up doing is bad despite trying to do good.

And of course they end up always right. Even when a superhero manages to win an argument, something important suddenly occurs and then the whole matter is forgotten and dropped. So they're never even acknowledged at being right.

This characters aren't supervillains by any measure of the word, they're just evil.
  • Itinerary
  • 28th Aug 13
I find the implication that you cannot find selfish characters sympathetic to be interesting, even in the various non-personal forms of selfishness displayed by the Undersiders. Tattletale's driven to prevent what she sees as a mirror of her brother's suicide, Grue just wants to protect his little sister, Rachel just wants to be left alone with her dogs and runs a shelter for abused animals. Regent is pretty much the only one that fits the traditional portrayal of "selfishness as wrong" with his hedonism, and he ends up making a Heroic Sacrifice to save Imp. If none of these characters are sympathetic to you, then I think that the gulf between our perceptions is wide enough that we will never be able to understand the points of view of one another.

As for "they end up doing bad...", well, yes. They're supervillains. Actions have consequences, and Taylor spends eight arcs trying to save Dinah as part of her self-imposed atonement-something that she ultimately succeeds in doing. She accomplishes other good things along the way-providing a distraction for Leviathan at the shelter, protecting people from Mannequin, and establishing a safe zone in the chaotic mess of post-Leviathan Brockton Bay.

I would point out that you have apparently failed to read the entirety of the Drone arc with regards to Taylor being forced to deal with what she did.

Also, how does "not supervillains" = "evil?" Are you implying that they're worse than supervillains somehow?
  • Itinerary
  • 28th Aug 13
Well, yes, that is obvious and entirely the case, and I have never asserted otherwise. But surely you expected your opinion to be contested and your assertions challenged? That's the point of putting information up on the internet, after all, to debate, contest, and learn!
  • Gorkamorka
  • 29th Aug 13
Ah, you see, there are comments to reviews for a lot of reasons.

One is, as Itinerary points out, to discuss things over. No one is forcing you to do so, but if you do well... you should expect a discussion. That's normal.

Another is because some people, like you, write deliberately misleading or false information, and the review's comments are a good way to point it out.
  • RobinZimm
  • 3rd Sep 13
@Gorkamorka: While I agree that it is legitimate, appropriate, and indeed laudatory to discuss our differing interpretations of the work, preferably while citing the material therein to support our positions, not everyone is energized by a lively debate of this kind (particularly when it's many on one) — I think it is entirely reasonable for Axelx Gabriel to bow out of the discussion.

Although I am mildly curious as to exactly how much of the series Axelx Gabriel read. I really don't want people to dogpile on the fellow any more for admitting to bailing a mere umpty-hundred-thousand words in, but there are a number of points in canon that lay behind my disagreement with the OP, and if Axelx Gabriel read or skimmed through many of them, that would say interesting things about the relative nature and/or strength of those points to each of us.
  • PsychoGecko
  • 5th Sep 13
As someone who has read Garth Ennis, particularly The Boys, I disagree. As someone who knows about killing off shallow characters left and right, I do not believe the author to have done this. And from my experience reading the story, the story often does a good job making the readers sympathetic to even characters previously hated by almost everyone. So that's my take on your review.
  • AxelxGabriel
  • 28th Sep 13
I honestly do still carry my opinion of this story and review.

Put simply, this is a story where for more then 20 Arcs,the Main protagonist and her team either cause or are complicit in the following:

Bullying, Intimidation, Power-Hunger, Mutilation, Torture, Extortion, Kidnapping, Murder and Rape.

There comes a point where you lose sympathy for a character no matter what sympathetic background they might have. All thecharacters lose that way before the halfway mark.

  • erraticegomania
  • 30th Sep 13
I disagree categorically.
  • Darkwing
  • 2nd Oct 13
Honestly I can't tell if Axel just can't understand the idea of moral complexity, and highly imperfect, but still sympathetic charecters, or just a troll. On the comments for Worm, he kept basiclly asking why Taylor couldn't just act like Superman and Batman, and comparing her to the two in terms of morals. Thing is Worm is not a Superman or Batman story.

As for the Rape thing, He also went on about how the incident would legally be rape, while ignoring the fact that no one calls it such in story, and if it were meant to be such it sure would have. He seems to have cherry picked though as I can think of numerous incidents by charecters that are far worse violations than the one he singled out. They just can't be used to further his aurguments in the way he wants.

Finally it's very fitting he brings up The Boys. The Boys is Garth Ennis hate letter distilling all his distaste for superheroes and how he sees them as stupid arrogant bastards, while ignoring much of what is actually the case with them, and how much better western anti-heroes are. This review is much the same.
  • AxelxGabriel
  • 3rd Oct 13
Again dude, you still think I can't handle Moral complexity or imperfect characters.

I have stated time and again I have no problem with that, what you fail to grasp is that everyone has a line where a character loses that sympathy. Loses the excuse of moral complexity.

There's only so far main characters can be villain protagonists before you end up no longer caring what happens.
  • AxelxGabriel
  • 3rd Oct 13
Again guys, you all seriously come off as just "butt hurt" because I don't automatically heap praise on something you like. Get over yourselves, not everyone is going to like what you like, and most certainly not everyone will like this series.

I certainly don't.
  • Subspinipes
  • 4th Oct 13
Axel, you just got outed for sock-puppetry by the author with screenshot proof. I told the author I wouldn't bump these reviews, but since you already did, I don't feel guilty about it. Go to the comments on arc 29.7 to see it if you don't believe me.
  • RobinZimm
  • 4th Oct 13
Specific comment is here re: confirmation of sockpuppetry.
  • MrMallard
  • 4th Oct 13
You don't like it enough that you keep on reading it. To all others reading this, please note that Axel keeps returning to this story that he keeps telling people to "avoid at all costs". He can't even follow his own advice in his review. What's worse, he keeps creating alts to post other reviews and comments that echo him (right down to the writing style). He's a troll.

I have done no such thing and I would thank you to not accuse of something without proof.

Says the guy who makes unsubstantiated attacks on the work.

This looks to me like a bunch of fans beating on a non-believer. From that screenshot, I see the guy making 2 posts on the same account - unnecessary, yes, and not up to scratch with the expected rules of communication, but definitely not the same guy using a second account to post the same message.

I have no idea what's going on here. To be honest, it looks like drama importation.
  • Subspinipes
  • 4th Oct 13
Mr Mallard, giving you the benefit of the doubt and assuming you aren't another Axel X Gabriel alt, I'll give you a synopsis. Axel has been posting trollish comments on the story under his main handle "Axel" and on the one in the screenshot. There have been suspected other accounts, but those have not been verified. This has been confirmed by the author himself. This is not drama importation, this is calling out someone for blatantly lying about a story and manufacturing dissent to back him up.
  • MrMallard
  • 4th Oct 13
"posting trollish comments on the story" - you are discussing sockpuppets on another website, here on a review of the work - on another website. You have taken the drama from its source and placed it here - that's drama importation.

This Axel guy might have started it by writing the review, but if no-one had added to the shitstorm (which is now 30 comments long, go figure) it would have withered and died. You took your battle and brought it here, for little to no reason.

I am a long-registered troper, since 2011, with a pretty active life on the forum. Check for yourself. I am not a sock puppet. I'm not a mod, but I will ask you to stop because this continuous fighting is annoying as shit and not at all deserving of an additional 3 reviews for your crappy group of friends to talk crap on, for a work I believe sounds derivitive and mediocre. Knock. It. Off.
  • qtjinla15
  • 4th Oct 13
Mrmallard would you like to join my league of intelligent people I am forming?
  • maninahat
  • 5th Oct 13
I'm only early into the series (chapter 3.3), however I can already see some of the issues this reviewer was griping about. Specifically in regards to the writing - it does come across as clunky quite often, and there is an occasional unnaturalness to the dialogue. I don't think it is a deal breaker by any means and I'm enjoying the story so far.
  • LordYAM
  • 1st Mar 15
Taylor is a complex figure but it is made clear she's deeply flawed; she's in the wrong as often as not and the only things that unambiguously work are the non evil actions. Compromising her integrity leads to disaster repeatedly
  • ShonenHero
  • 5th Jun 15
I pretty much agree with the review, I tried to like Worm and I got at least a quarter into it but as it progressed I realized that the point of the story wasn't really to develop Taylor's character in a positive direction but to deconstruct traditional cape roles and tropes, to explore a villain/antiheroe's perspective, and to showcase and explore moral myopia in a world full of metahumans.

With that framing in mind I stopped becoming invested in Worm. It also didn't help that I found most of the cast unlikeable including Taylor. There are few genuine or morally straightforward heroes in this story, which wouldn't be a problem for me if I thought Taylor was one of those few.

Honestly, read it for yourself. This certainly wasn't my cup of tea, but it may be someone else's.
  • LordYAM
  • 27th Aug 16
Axel\'s a fucking imbecile
  • RareGiftFiend
  • 7th Jul 17
Wow. This person states their opinion and gets attacked. That is terrifying and disgusting.
  • Elmo3000
  • 7th Jul 17
Having read some of The Boys and a lot of The Punisher, I don\'t think we really need a first Garth Ennis.

...

Took me nearly four years to think of that comment.

  • SpectralTime
  • 7th Jul 17
Well worth waiting for anyway.
  • Robotnik
  • 9th Jul 17
Garth Ennis is awesome.
  • MrMallard
  • 11th Jul 17
lol, Worm. I used to cry and whinge on every example of drama I found in the review section, but this review was my first experience dealing with actual rule-breakers. A ton of comments (and I think a couple of retaliatory reviews?) got deleted for drama importation, there were screenshots from the Worm website and a lot of back-and-forth bickering that had jumped directly from the Worm forums straight into this comment section. I don\'t remember if the author commented on this review via his own website, but one of the remaining comments implies that one of the users over here was in some sort of contact with the author, or made some dumb pact on a blog post or something to pledge that he would stop causing drama. I dunno. They were kind of nuts.

The reviewer got into deep shit over on the official forums, because a bunch of deluded fans couldn\'t take criticism of a thing they liked. They argued that the reviewer was completely and utterly wrong in his assessment of the work, accused him of sockpuppeting and generally being a hater and a troll. And then they dragged it over here, where it didn\'t belong, because they were so self-righteous and angry that someone would dare challenge the genius of their favorite new author. I haven\'t thought about Worm in years, and I never read all that much of it so I can\'t comment on the quality of the work - but if there\'s any lesson to take away from this, it\'s that you should never take criticism of a work so seriously to the point of offence. Especially if you\'re not the one being criticised.
  • LordYAM
  • 10th Nov 17
Well.....that\'s kind of untrue actually. He said the main character was a rapist; while she DOES do a lot of dicey things rape isn\'t one of them so in that regard yes Axel was lying his ass off. Also the heroes DO actually win a lot of the debates with the villains.
  • LordYAM
  • 12th Nov 17
So yes. Alex DESERVED to be piled on because he IS a worthless shitbag
  • NordRonnoc
  • 13th Nov 17
The Ennis-like tone and the rapid fandom sure is throwing me off from looking into Worm. Thanks a lot.
  • LordYAM
  • 15th Nov 17
Ok. Mallard acts like Axel was a poor aggrieved victim being abused by the mean ol fans. Two problems. 1.) Even the most diehard fans cheerfully admit that there are problems with the story (EVERYONE criticizes the time skip). 2.) Even if you don\'t like a story saying that a thing happened in the story that doesn\'t (like the main character raping someone) is not legitimate criticism. It would be like hating George Bush jr and then claiming he\'s a pedophile. Even if you detest George Bush jr that goes beyond legitimate criticism and into outright dishonesty. Axel was basically doing that; the main character gets up to a lot of crimes but Axel instead makes up one in order to make her look worse.

Basically, no Axel was not an innocent. He lied his ass off and got caught lying. He deserved every bit of pillorying he got.
  • SpectralTime
  • 15th Nov 17
...Four years down the road, and you\'re the one committing dread necromancy to complain about it. *Really* doesn\'t make you look like the reasonable party here.
  • LordYAM
  • 15th Nov 17
Raregiftfiend's the one who reopened it actually a few months ago). Mallard also took a swipe at the fanbase and I only commented because he ignored what Axel was doing (again whether you like the story or not saying that the main character RAPES someone when she doesn't is not "expressing an opinion." THAT'S what people were criticizing him for and whether you like the story or not THAT'S entirely fair ground to criticize someone.)

So technically THEY'RE the one's committing necromancy

There are plenty of people who think worm is too dark. That's their perogative. But saying that a character commits rape when they don't.....if you're going to criticize worm there are PLENTY of things that you can criticize about it (the time skip, the fact that some of the arcs are rather clunky, that it can be overly dark at times.) Instead he chooses something that didn't happen. It's like accusing x men of being racist and focusing on storm when one of the storylines has a white woman swapping bodies with an asian woman.
  • MrMallard
  • 15th Nov 17
My comments regarding the fanbase are completely true, though. The fanbase did raid this review and start calling Alex and defenders of his opinion "sockpuppets" and "trolls", and by doing so they imported drama from the official Worm forums to this website - links and all. There were also several reviews posted by people who had joined the website solely to take part in the madness, seemingly made directly to challenge this review and basically tell this Axel guy "How about them apples? Now Worm has some REAL representation on this website!". Frankly, I think he's being a bit hyperbolic and annoying myself - but the events that unfolded in response to this review was crazy, and it was uncalled for. That was my beef back in the day, and it's that beef that came back to the surface when I saw that this review had been bumped.

I'll admit that I dived into this issue again prematurely. As far as Axel being a troll and sockpuppeting? I can honestly believe it, because I've stepped out of TV Tropes and been exposed to a lot of annoying hyperbole that reminds me of this review and Axel's comments afterwards. I will specifically apologise for summing up the issue as thus:

because a bunch of deluded fans couldn't take criticism of a thing they liked. They argued that the reviewer was completely and utterly wrong in his assessment of the work, accused him of sockpuppeting and generally being a hater and a troll. And then they dragged it over here, where it didn't belong, because they were so self-righteous and angry that someone would dare challenge the genius of their favorite new author.

—because I see there's more to it, that Alex was presenting something of a skewed narrative of the work, and I was quick to judge on an old memory from when I was 18. Frankly, I don't look back fondly on my activity here as far back as 2016 - I've changed a lot even since then, let alone 2013, and my recent comment was kind of just a dumb, shit-talky moment because I remember my part in this whole debacle. That's poor conduct on my part, and the comment is a bit incendiary as well.

But I will stand by the rest of my comment. Because while I can see that I've gotten some things wrong in an effort to beat my chest like a moron, I still actively believe that the reaction to this review was ridiculous. TV Tropes reviews mean almost nothing, anyone with an account can make one and any other active fans can dispute his claims and discredit the review themselves - Itinerary and Gorkamorka had already done a great job of pointing out flaws in the review, before off-site links came into play. And ultimately, a review can get buried and die without all that many comments - becoming lost to only those who are actively seeking Worm out, who also had access to two other reviews at the time, both of which were more balanced than this one. The fans flooded the review and blew it up because they didn't like it, the only reason it's even relevant any more with a solid 9 other reviews of the work is because of the controversy. Which, admittedly, I am currently a component of. The best way to deal with trolls is to ignore their hate and let the subject's quality speak for itself - the fans just added more fuel to the fire, and they did it with a sickening amount of vitriol.

You can see in one of my 2013 comments I mention that this review had over 30 comments at one point - that comment of mine is now #19, because a good chunk of the chaos was outright deleted by the moderation staff. I absolutely took a swipe at the fanbase, because they were out of line.

Regarding my own necrosis of this review - someone brought the review back to the top of the page, and I had a bit of a laugh and a type before going back on my way. I left a comment while the review was on top of the pile, as did Elmo 3000, Spectral Time and Robotnik. All of us posted one message each, though their comments were just chill one-offs, and my comment spans two paragraphs and is solely me talking about myself like a jackass. Your reply to me is fairly tame, but you decided to chip in again a day or two later, replying to your own comment and bumping the review as opposed to editing your pre-existing comment - after the review had sunk a bit in the list - with an incendiary comment about the reviewer being a worthless shitbag who deserved to be attacked. And you prompted a response again today, when I had no intention of returning to this review. I had my fun and got out, and you've stuck around to elicit a response. You've left more comments on this review in the last seven days than anyone has left in the entirety of 2017, and your response of "no, them" comes at the behest of a guy who seems to be suggesting that you chill out a bit.

I made a goof out of self-centred ignorance, but I stand by the majority of my comment. Your grievances regarding Axel have now been addressed, and I hope that now I've heaped out as much honesty as I can ladle out, you're satisfied with my answer - I'm not completely innocent here, but your response here has been less than stellar too. You seem to have a long-running beef with this guy - you tried to revive this review in 2016 with some absolute flamebait, and while I understand why you dislike the guy, I think you're as much of a bad apple here as I am, at least.

That's literally everything I have to say about Worm. I shouldn't have bothered with my dumb comment, and this review and the work it represents should have stayed buried where it belongs.

EDIT: Made a few edits regarding the formatting of a quote, and also distanced my comment from the other posters before me. Prior edit namedropped Orwellian Editor, when I was attributing more blame to myself rather than polishing my own misgivings to make myself look better. Comment is finished now.
  • Elmo3000
  • 16th Nov 17
I just want to reiterate again that Garth Ennis is awful.

EDIT: Went back and read the review and the comments again and... huh. Um, Lord Yam guy, it's weird that you're accusing this Axel person of being dishonest for saying Taylor is a rapist, when Axel never actually said that Taylor is a rapist. They just said that rape is something that one of the apparently heroic-ish characters does.

It's also weird to see the number of times people said 'Hey Axel, you just don't understand morally complex, imperfect but sympathetic characters, okay?' Obviously I can't speak for Axel (unless, like Mr Mallard, I'm also under suspicion of being one of his alts - that one made me laugh) but, uh, Watchmen, Game of Thrones, you could throw Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul in there. Oh, and my favourite film is In Bruges. And I thought Worm was rubbish. So it could be that I am a fan of morally complex, imperfect but sympathetic characters, I'm just not a fan of badly-written morally complex, imperfect but sympathetic characters. Especially when they include a rapist.
  • Theokal3
  • 16th Nov 17
I just want to reiterate again that Garth Ennis is awful.

No argument there as far as I am concerned.
  • Robotnik
  • 16th Nov 17
Garth Ennis is fine. Or at least, his comics are.
  • Elmo3000
  • 16th Nov 17
I\'ve only read bits of The Boys and a lot of The Punisher but... eh.

I get the feeling that Garth Ennis used to get bulled by a group of kids who dressed up like the Justice League for Halloween.
  • SpectralTime
  • 16th Nov 17
Garth Ennis is a very talented writer with a chip on his shoulder the size of Australia who has decided to squander his entire career making self-indulgent tripe and Darker and Edgier trash to get back at the social conservatives he loathed in his Irish childhood.

And... thatís fine? I mean, thatís his right. I just donít think itís really what I wanted from his work. Story of the whole damn British New Wave really.
  • Robotnik
  • 16th Nov 17
Well, if we\'re going to throw words like \"tripe\" and \"trash\" around, I could say something similar about parts of Fullmetal Alchemist or Trigun. To each his own and all that.
  • SpectralTime
  • 16th Nov 17
...Eh, I already tore apart one of ol\' Garth\'s signature comics. I don\'t need to commit further unnatural molestation of this review\'s corpse. Or the corpse of the thing it\'s reviewing for that matter.
  • LordYAM
  • 17th Nov 17
No he actually did say Taylor was a rapist at one point elsewhere in another comment (He accuses Taylor of raping Triumph). And yes Regent is described as having committed rape in the backstory. Thing is, the story makes no illusion that Regent\'s a psychopath. The reason you can sympathize with him is that a.) he was doomed to be a monster from birth (his dad is basically charles manson with superpowers) and b.) he sincerely tries to rise above his evil nature (the reason he\'s so disdainful of shadow stalker is that he endured far worse than her at the hands of his monster of a father whereas she suffered far less....but uses it as an excuse to bully people).

Also, even the fanbase is all to willing to criticize elements of the story; however overall I believe it does hold up fairly well.

Also I\'ve read some of Ennis\'s work...and actually enjoyed it. The Boys can be obnoxious but some of it\'s points (That event crossovers are stupid and overdone, that heroes need training) are actually pretty good and the story makes clear that Butcher himself is a deeply evil man who needs to be put down in the end.

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