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Recap / Atop The Fourth Wall The Sleepwalker

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AKA the OTHER longest story arc.

After reviewing Power Man and Iron Fist #79, several months after giving Pollo a new voice, (and presumably after his birthday showdown with Mechakara), an unknown woman is seen sneaking around Linkara's apartment trying to find the Magic Coin but gets driven off when Linkara and Pollo show up.

A week later, while finishing up his review of Nightmares on Elm Street #1-2, Linkara is interrupted by someone knocking on his door and goes to answer it, only to discover a giant eye staring at him. This is just the beginning of things as he soon begins seeing and hearing things which disappear as soon as he turns away. Thoroughly unsettled Linkara decides to work on his next review while a clawed glove reaches towards him....

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Having been unable to escape the room Linkara decides to review Nightmares on Elm Street #3-4 and afterwards tried to block out the continued knocking which turns out to be Pollo and Harvey trying to get into the room. While everyone is distracted trying to get to Linkara the unknown woman from before tries to steal the Magic Coin again but sets off an alarm that draws attention from Harvey and Pollo, who accuse her of being responsible for what's happening to Linakra. She professes innocence while noting she only came for the Coin but upon hearing about what's been happening explains that it's common for reviewers to encounter trouble based on what they're reviewing during Halloween and notes that Linkara is most likely having a nightmare where he fights Freddy and encourages them to just let it play out. Harvey notes that there's just one problem with her theory, which Pollo explains:

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Pollo: He's not asleep.

The woman explains that she's not responsible for what's going on and while arguing with Pollo and Harvey opens the box of the Magic Coin, which is glowing brightly. She notes that the Coin is responsible for what's happening to Linkara, to the confusion of Pollo and Harvey who note that it doesn't match up with how Linkara uses the Coin. The woman explains the Coin's origins as having originally been part of a magical spear that was created to drive off an Eldritch Abomination only for it to be discovered that the spear's mere presence affected humans which required it to be melted down and forged into other items. Harvey is skeptical, noting that everyone has been around the Coin and Linkara is the only one being affected. The woman notes that the Magic Coin responds more to magic users than mundanes, which is why no one else is being influenced. Pollo reluctantly allows her to leave with the Coin on the off chance that getting it away and draining it's magic will help Linkara. Once she leaves they start tracking her, something she's aware of, and Harvey questions Pollo on whether they should trust her. Pollo agrees but doesn't believe she was lying.

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Meanwhile, after finally finishing the comic books, Linkara begins an engagment with what he thinks is Freddy Kruger, but then Dr. Linksano manages to get through telling him that he's hallucinating. After a short battle, Freddy is stopped, and Linkara sleeps for a week to overcome the effects the magic coin had on him. On waking again though, he sees a shadow of Freddy, telling him, "It's your move." Oh, and also, "Who said I was Freddy?"

Uneasy about this turn of events, Linkara began prepping for his next challenge. Returning to the future message from Ghost in the Machine, he enlists the help of the thief to solve it. Her name is Erin. She has her own robot named seris, and as an expert in ancient things, she begins looking over the message for possible ways to solve it. After some time, she uses the sentence "The Babylonians knew the truth" to give Linkara the key: missing numbers to solve the message. Linkara then used Nimue's computing to try and come up with the message, and gets several possibilities. However, upon seeing the most likely possibility, Linkara withdraws to Comicron 1 panicked. Why?

Message: A Piece of the World Is Still Missing

The scan of the world though reveals nothing. But immediately afterwards, Comicron 1 mysteriously crashes. And 90's kid still has been missing.

Tropes

  • Action Girl: This arc gets to show off how badass Viga and Erin are.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Rather surprisingly, the Entity is given a sad send-off near the end of the arc. It's revealed that the Entity that everyone has been fighting is merely a fragment of the original and it has been playing with everyone to distract itself from the fact that, even six years after its initial defeat, it is no closer to discovering its purpose than when Linkara asked his initial question. After grudgingly realizing that it is insignificant in comparison to the vastness of eternity, the Entity allows itself to die, with Linkara gently telling it that he is right there with it.
  • Ambiguously Evil: 90's Kid continues to act mysteriously. It turns out he's not being evil at all; he's formed an Enemy Mine with Lord Vyce to stop the Entity for good.
  • Armor-Piercing Question:
    Linkara: The Entity is dead! [begins to glitch] It's been dead for years!
    Erin: Oh really, Linkara? Well then, tell me—who have you been playing chess against?
  • Ascended Extra: Eliza the Lizard is much more prominent than usual in this story arc.
  • Bait the Dog: Lord Vyce spends the majority of the arc after the Entity's existence is revealed getting to know Linkara's allies, grudgingly acknowledging his past misdeeds, and even showing off a more sympathetic side. Then the Entity kills itself and Vyce goes insane, believing the creature to still be alive, and expands the singularity in order to consume the Earth in a last ditch effort to destroy his hated enemy.
  • Batman Gambit: How Linkara eventually manages to defeat Vyce once and for all. Linkara uses the mobile emitter to create an Entity look-alike hologram that mocks Vyce and tells him that it can escape into another universe using Comicron 2. Vyce, having seen the Entity repair Comicron 2 during the previous battle, is wary of destroying the ship and decides to board Comicron 2 itself. After subduing the false Entity, he flies Comicron 2 toward the singularity and overloads the engines so that it can't fly out. Only then does Linkara reveal that he is on Comicron 1 and the Entity is a fake. With the engines disabled and Linkara refusing to allow him back on Comicron 1, Vyce is left with no way to escape the singularity and is sucked in.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: Linkara bluntly tells Harvey he's keeping tabs on his friends in the wake of 90's Kid's betrayal.
    • Though he later reveals he'd always had cameras everywhere so he can show his adventures at the end of his reviews.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Defied by Viga; see Screw This, I'm Outta Here!.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: 90's Kid continues to cement himself as this.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • Jaeris in the second Halloween arc; he's working on a portal that will allow him to go back and fourth between universes.
    • The Entity.
  • Came Back Strong: Comicron 1 is destroyed early on in the storyline and Linkara has to create a new spaceship from the parts of the old. However, once Vyce joins the heroes, he unlocks all of Comicron 1's untapped abilities, including self-repair, making the spaceship stronger then it's ever been before.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: Jaeris returns the mobile hologram emitter that he stole at the end of the second Halloween arc, and it gets utilized in order to trap Vyce in the singularity and kill him once and for all.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The coded message 90's Kid brought back from the future finally returns, and its true meaning is revealed.
    • The Magic Coin and its anti-Outer God enchantments.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: 90's Kid himself, in a respect: the revelation at the end of the "Trial of Peter Parker" review that he was working with Lord Vyce in secret only truly becomes a factor in this arc's plotnote  at the end of the "Reagan's Raiders #1" reviewnote , when the others corner him to demand answers to his private activities, only for Vyce to show up and take him away.
  • Chess Motifs: Linkara is repeatedly seen playing chess with himself. It's eventually revealed that this is part of the Entity's possession of him. Also, some of the chess moves that Linkara makes while he's himself parallel elements of the Entity's possession, with him putting the Entity in check once his friends, thinking that Linkara has turned into a Well-Intentioned Extremist, start making a move to stop him, while checkmate eventually leads to the Entity being separated from Linkara's body.
    • Chess as a metaphor for an elaborate game also reflects the fact that the Entity's actions are centered around it not wanting the game to end—a line it repeats multiple times as it begins to show its hand.
  • Contrived Coincidence: The crashing of Comicron-1 turns out to be this. Comicron-1 crashing after Nimue fails to find traces of the Entity on Earth is what convinces Linkara its still alive and kick starts his Sanity Slippage. Linksano and Pollo however reveal it was just one of their security drones having gone nuts and causing damage to the ship, Vyce later confirming that Comicron-1's crash landing was nothing but sheer coincidence.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Viga already owns a cyclotron and a particle condenser because she's an Internet reviewer.
  • Demoted to Extra: Viga and Eliza haven't had much of a part in the bigger storyline after they helped fight off the ghosts haunting Linkara's house.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: The Entity (or rather, the last piece that remained of it) was thought to be the Big Bad and Final Boss of the arc, but when Linkara finally manages to prove that it is irrelevant and insignificant, it accepts its own death and fades away. However, Lord Vyce reveals that he is still just as crazy and egotistical as ever and still refuses to believe the Entity is truly, finally dead. He proceeds to enlarge the singularity to the point that it will consume the Earth whole, proving himself as the Final Boss.
  • Enemy Mine: We finally learn that 90's Kid has formed an alliance with Lord Vyce to destroy the piece of the Entity that still exists inside Linkara. However, just when it seems Vyce has become more sympathetic, due to having been right about the Entity still living all along, he witnesses it dying for real thanks to Linkara...and completely loses his cool, refusing to accept it's gone and vowing to destroy the Earth in order to "win the game".
  • The Extremist Was Right: Lord Vyce was right all along that the Entity is still alive. However, it turns out it's just a small and less powerful piece of its former self that was dormant inside Linkara until only recently, and when it commits suicide again, Vyce goes right back to being a Windmill Crusader.
  • Halloween Episode: This arc starts just before Halloween 2015, includes it and Halloween 2016 as sub-arcs, and finishes shortly before Halloween 2017.
  • He's Back:
    • [At the end of Reagan's Raiders #1, Lord Vyce is revealed to have regained his old armor with the help of 90's Kid and ambushes Linkara and his allies when they try to interrogate the latter.
    • At the end of Ultimate Power #4, the true Big Bad (well, one of them) of the arc reveals itself — the Entity, having been possessing Linkara and manipulating him subconsciously ever since the King of Worms accidentally awoke it.
    • At the end of Comic Book Quickies #7, Comicron 1 rises off the surface of the Moon like a phoenix from the ashes, repairing itself thanks to Vyce giving Nimue access to the Forge.
  • Hoist by Their Own Petard: How Vyce meets his end. Not only does he end up getting sucked into the very singularity that he enlarged in order to destroy Linkara's universe, but the singularity closes after he gets sucked in thanks to the fact that he turned himself into an Entity-like creature of living data so many years ago.
  • Hidden Agenda Villain: "Freddy Krueger", if he even exists. Turns out he was just a manifestation of the Entity hiding inside Linkara, and its agenda is to force him to keep playing its own insane game in order to stave off the inevitability of its own death.
  • Impersonating the Evil Twin: Holokara pretends to be the Entity in order to lure Lord Vyce to Comicron 2.
  • Long Runner: This lasted the better part of two years, from near the end of September 2015 to the end of September 2017.
  • Loophole Abuse: Why does the singularity close after Vyce enters it? Because it was designed to contain a data-based life form like the Entity. Or Vyce...
  • Meaningful Rename: 90's Kid claims that he has grown so much over this event he is changing his name to 90's Dude. Linkara tells him that people will probably still call him 90's Kid.
  • Motive Decay: The Entity's motives are acknowledged by the crew as being bizarre [once Linkara is freed from its influence, as Linkara points out that, despite having returned to life for years now, the Entity hasn't bothered to absorb the people of Earth anymore. Eventually, Linkara realizes this is because the Entity desperately wants Linkara to keep fighting it; without some purpose driving it, the Entity realizes how insignificant its existence is now.
  • Noodle Incident: Linkara and Nella rescuing Dr Block and Dr Tease from Mexican prison.
  • Not Me This Time: When Harvey asks 90's Kid and Vyce if the Entity was responsible for Comicron 1's crash, Vyce says no, it was just a coincidence, but that the Entity would have taken it out eventually.
  • Not Quite Dead:
    • The Entity isn't truly gone, having hidden a piece of itself within Linkara before "killing" itself in their last confrontation, with him unaware it's inside him.
    • Comicron 1, as it turns out, has the ability to self-repair with the right materials.
  • Not So Different: Linkara realizes that he and the Entity fragment are both afraid that their lives are insignificant to larger forces beyond their control. The main difference is that Linkara believes we can define our own significance and strives to seek new challenges before his time is over, whereas the Entity cannot handle the idea that its existence means so little to eternity itself and chooses to die rather than try anything new.
  • Not So Similar: Linkara seemed to be going down the same path as Lord Vyce, letting his ego and paranoia turn him into a Well-Intentioned Extremist, but it was actually the Entity possessing him and using that as an excuse. When the real Linkara is released, he goes back to his old plan of Talking the Monster to Death while Vyce, who had until that point been portrayed sympathetically, once again refuses to believe it's dead and betrays everyone in order to pursue his delusional crusade, even if it involves destroying the Earth or the whole universe.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Erin, upon realizing that she's not dealing with Linkara during his rant in "Ultimate Power #4", but an Eldritch Abomination.
    • Everyone upon learning that Margaret is also possessed.
    • Vyce has one in the storylines finale after Linkara reveals that the Entity he thought he was fighting was actually Holokara and that Vyce destroying the engines in order to send Comicron 2 into the singularity means that there is no way for him to steer it back out.
  • Properly Paranoid: Linkara, though he may be losing the properly part. Or rather, the Entity is using the excuse of Vyce trying to replace it as a cover story to justify Linkara's actions to his allies. If anything, it turns out that Vyce was the one who was right all along throughout the post-Entity storylines; everyone thought he was just in denial about the Entity's death. Then it's double subverted when Linkara finally defeats the Entity, with everyone else watching via a security feed, and Vyce flips out, utterly refusing to believe it's dead and engaging a network of satellites to create a singularity that will swallow the entire Earth.
  • Prophecy Twist: When Linkara takes the time to analyze the future message, he begins to suspect it's talking about Lord Vyce becoming the new Entity. Turns out it was actually talking about the Entity being alive inside Linkara.
    • It also said A piece of the world is still missing. It wasn't talking about something in the world missing, but rather that a piece of the Entity is still alive and missing from the rest of it that committed suicide.
  • Psychological Horror: Aside from the lack of any signs that the Entity is actually coming back, the horror of this storyline comes from Linkara becoming more and more paranoid and unhinged, starting to question himself and his beliefs and how it's affecting his other relationships. The only monsters that are definitely real are the ghosts from the second Halloween mini-arc. That is, until Ultimate Power #4...
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Linkara and his team moving in with Viga occurred because Lewis moved to a cheaper place in real life.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Harvey, Pollo, and Linksano were right to worry about Linkara's actions. What they were wrong about is the reason why — they thought Linkara has been turning into a Well-Intentioned Extremist, but in truth, the Entity has taken over his body.
  • Sanity Slippage: Linkara seems to be suffering from this, especially after the destruction of Comicron 1, as his paranoia grows and he starts shutting out his friends in his certainty that either the Entity is coming back or Vyce is going to become it. However, it turns out that a piece of the Entity is still alive, but it's been possessing Linkara himself the whole time — and still worse, after they become separate and he's finally able to defeat it, a watching Vyce loses his last thread of sanity, flying into a rage, refusing to believe it's gone, and trying to destroy the Earth in his mad desire to win his war against the monster.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Viga is savvy enough to move out as soon as she hears about the possibility of ghosts.
  • Sequel Hook: As soon as Linkara leaves to join his friends in celebrating the final defeats of both the Entity and Vyce, a piece of paper materializes on his chair, inviting him to the latest Contest of Champions...
  • Shocking Voice Identity Reveal: Midway through yelling at Erin in the video for Ultimate Power #4, Linkara's voice changes — into the Entity's.
  • Sheathe Your Sword: Once Linkara figures out the Entity is trying to draw out their "game", he willingly gives up the fight, refusing to prolong it any further even if it means losing his life. Luckily, it turns out the Entity isn't powerful enough to pull the same stunt it did last time and fighting Linkara is the only thing left to give its existence purpose. Without that, it ceases to be.
  • Ship Tease: Downplayed, but Linkara and Viga do seem a bit...closer after fighting off the ghosts.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: When Eliza notes that Viga might have the right idea, Linkara and Pollo counter that a) if this anything like past Halloween reviews, the ghosts won't let them leave, and b) even if that weren't the case, the lack of past hauntings means that there's no guarantee that the ghosts are bound to the house and be unable to follow them.
  • Suddenly SHOUTING!: During the Wham Line revealing the Entity controlling Linkara, the Entity shouts "And it's one I intend to win!"
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Lord Vyce is shown in a more sympathetic light come The Reveal that a piece of the Entity was alive inside Linkara, as he laments how his quest to destroy it has cost him everything. Even the Entity itself proves to be really sad and pitiful at the end when Linkara defeats it by refusing to play its game any longer; it struggles to accept its own insignificance and finally fades from view. However, Vyce then subverts this trope hard by flying into a rage and trying to destroy the Earth because, as Linkara initially believed, he really can't accept that the Entity is dead.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: As before, Linkara can't battle the Entity but rather talks to it. Doing so reveals that the Entity is really not trying to fight him but is seeking a new purpose, since the rest of it killed itself to find out what became of gods when they die. Ultimately without a purpose, the Entity fades away on its own.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Lord Vyce fills this role for Team Linkara once they learn that the Entity really is still alive, having possessed Linkara and lain dormant until the King of Worms accidentally revived it. And just when the "evil" part seems to have been dropped, he witnesses Linkara defeating the Entity — and loses his composure completely, trying to destroy the Earth because his sheer ego really won't let him accept that it's dead.
  • Tomato Surprise: The whole time, Linkara was afraid that Vyce would make himself a being like the Entity—when a piece of the Entity took hold of Linkara.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: The King of Worms, who woke up the dormant Entity while poking around in Linkara's mind.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • While the Entity is veering on one when it reveals itself to Erin, it really hits the breaking point when Linkara stymies it by refusing to play its game any longer and delivers a blistering "The Reason You Suck" Speech, pointing out how its purpose of devouring reality has been proven meaningless and it's been trying to stave off the inevitable by screwing with him. After raging for a while, it quiets down and sadly accepts its own death, fading from existence in front of him as he does what little he can to comfort it.
    • Unfortunately, this leads to another, even bigger breakdown from Lord Vyce, who refuses to accept that his nemesis is finally, truly gone and engages a satellite network to create a singularity that will destroy the Earth, proclaiming that he has won the game!
  • The Watson: Eliza.
  • Welcome Back, Traitor: After finding out Linkara is possessed by the Entity, his team begrudgingly join up with 90's Kid and Lord Vyce; when Linkara is freed, he joins them all with not much complaint; after it's over, nobody seems to hold any resentment toward 90's Kid, while they assure Linkara that anything bad he did was really due to the Entity's poisonous influence.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: When hearing about what's happening to Linkara, Erin assumes that it's a case of the "Internet reviewer gets attacked by a character from the comic/movie/video game/whatever they're reviewing trope", in this case, that he fell asleep and is now dealing with Freddy. Pollo quickly corrects her.
  • Wham Line:
  • Wham Shot:
    • A piece of the world is still missing.
    • Lord Vyce back in his armor.
    • Linkara taking off his glasses to reveal the Entity's glitched out eyes.
      • Margaret is also under the Entity's possession, as Linkara's allies (and Vyce) discover.
    • Comicron 1 rising again after having crashed on the Moon the year before.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • 90's Kid gets this royally once Linkara and company learn of his dealings with Vyce.
    • Linkara himself gets chewed out over his actions in looking for Vyce, crossing lines the others don't like. While they were right to worry about Linkara, they were also Right for the Wrong Reasons, as a piece of the Entity was really hiding in Linkara himself.
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