"Death Trek 100 Part Two: Analysis of a Story Where the Writer Run Out of Plot": In the perfect, picturesque town of Promised Land, Professor Shakespeare greets his English literature class at the University of Hope. He informs his students that today they wil
- Here we have the justified use of a full-page panel for major death and destruction. It's in keeping with the lead character's other works, and allows the artist to flex his creative muscles. And of course the reader loves it!
Synopsis for "Death Trek 100 Part Two: Analysis of a Story Where the Writer Run Out of Plot"
In the perfect, picturesque town of Promised Land, Professor Shakespeare greets his English literature class at the University of Hope. He informs his students that today they will be covering story plot, specifically looking at an example of what happens when a writer runs out of plot by analysing Lobo #36. He first asks his class what could cause a writer to run out of plot, calling on Hemingway who suggests the author was overambitious, thinking he could stretch a single issue story over two books. Chaucer wonders if the subject matter failed to capture the writer's imagination and he grew bored. Twain ends by implying the editor didn't like the story, instructing the writer to end it prematurely. Shakespeare mentions he will cover the power of editors in his next class, before beginning his recap from where the story had last ended.
Lobo wrests the stone club from his aggressor and strikes back at the native headhunters relentlessly until the entire ambush is quelled. With the camp secured, Randy Wartz and Juliet Rinosseri take the opportunity to steal a kiss, but are yet again torn apart by their prejudice relatives. With five more travellers dead, the others question continuing forward when they should have turned back at the mountain pass. Silas refuses to give up, especially when there are now even fewer people to divide the royalties for the broadcasting rights. Once more they bury their dead and set off on the next leg of the Devil's Trail.
Shakespeare is confident the writer had no idea the plot would wear thin at this point, for if he had, he could have padded the story with serviceable, gratuitous violence. Chaucer is shocked that his professor would suggest such a thing from a Lobo comic.
At the edge of the Desert of Despair, Lobo cautions his fellow travellers that inhaling the dust causes severe, suicidal depression. He covers his own face and recommends the others to hold their breath. As they race across the parched earth, one person in the back truck suddenly gives up on life, shooting himself through the head. Two more take their own lives before they clear the disconsolate wasteland.
Although Shakespeare appreciates the humorous interlude, he believes that this is the point the writer realised the story was going to run short.
The wagon train halts as they reach the River of Fire where they are welcomed by the racially stereotypical barquero. To avoid being cheated, Lobo negotiates with the ferryman who asks for one million pesas to cross. Lobo is outraged, and with only a few more words exchanged, he punches the chiseler in the face then kicks him into the scalding waters. Silas wonders if that was necessary considering he was only asking for twenty-three credits. They load the first two trucks onto the raft and navigate across, but halfway, one of the men smell something similar to a plasteek fuse just before they explode.
Shakespeare points out the justified utilisation of a full-page panel depicting major death and destruction. One of his students inquires why full pages aren't just used all the time, and their professor responds by saying many writers would if they could get away with it.
Lobo points to the remaining five members of the team, claiming one of them must be the saboteur. While Silas and Mrs. Rinosseri separate the young lovebirds who claim they want to marry, Reno Wartz takes offence to Lobo's accusation. The two stare each other down, their hands hovering over their holsters. The reach for their guns together, both letting off multiple rounds. Lobo casually blows the smoke from his barrel while Reno slowly comes apart, his arms and left leg detaching from his torso. Silas tries to comfort his dying cousin but his head comes loose in his hands.
Chauser exclaims that has to be considered padding, but Shakespeare defends the writer, explaining how the multiple panels slowed time to build and release tension. Poe proposes that a page of violence must indicate the plot has run dry, but Shakespeare continues, advocating that, besides the comedic element, the scene bolsters the reader's awe of the protagonist. Keeping in mind that the map from Part One still depicted one last location before Promised Land.
Managing to cross the infernal river, Lobo is optimistic now the traitor is dead, leading the four survivors through the ancient ruins on foot to avoid attracting the attention of the mutant cannibal inhabitants. However, their intrepid guide steps into a snare trap and finds himself facing the cannibals upside down from a tree. Lobo is knocked unconscious with a mighty swing of a wooden mace.
Upon recovery, the Main Man finds himself in a large cooking pot alongside Silas and Mrs. Rinosseri, with Randy and Juliet standing over them. They were the traitors all along, killing off their interfering families so they could finally be together. Lobo, on the other hand, isn't going to sit around and become stew. He leaps out of the simmering water and negotiates with the tribe. Because they poached his employer, he tells them he's now out of pocket, so he can either kill them all, slow and painfully, or they can let him leave in exchange for the young couple. Lobo drives off while Randy and Juliet share their final moments being boiled alive.
Shakespeare is confounded. He argues that the writer could have padded two pages with violence, yet chose to let the story run short instead. Hemingway notes that Lobo comics often end with a grand explosion, and proposes that he could be saving pages for this reason. The lecturer rationalises that Lobo is approaching Promised Land and there are no explosives in town.
Lobo pulls up to the cheering crowd as they hail the completion of the Death-Trek 100. As the lone truck comes to a stop, the people swarm around asking what happened to rest of the party. Lobo brazenly presents the private journal of Randy Wartz who recorded every sordid detail, and eagerly starts the bidding.
A perplexed Melville declares that there are still three pages remaining, despite the story being finished. A concerned epiphany befalls the bard as it dawns on him that they may have been the filler the whole time!
Two devious STV reporters aren't willing to pay millions for what should be public information, and sneak into the back of the truck looking for answers. To see in the dark, one of the men strikes a match, providing enough illumination to find a note from Juliet Rinosseri attached to a sack. Addressing Randy, she conveyed that if things didn't go to plan, the stash of high-NRG explosives would be their back up plan to blow their families to pieces. The flickering fire consumes the match, singeing the reporters finger, causing him to drop the naked flame into the combustible material. The centre of Promised Land erupts in a ferocious conflagration, levelling all nearby structures, as Lobo strides unfazed from the raging inferno.
Appearing in "Death Trek 100 Part Two: Analysis of a Story Where the Writer Run Out of Plot"
- Professor Shakespeare
- Silas Wartz (Final appearance; dies)
- Reno Wartz (Final appearance; dies)
- Randy Wartz (Final appearance; dies)
- Juliet Rinosseri (Final appearance; dies)
- Native Headhunters (Final appearance; dies)
- Mutant Cannibals (Single appearance)
- Bird Boys (Hawkmen) (Mentioned only)
- Mrs. Rinosseri (Final appearance; dies)
- El Barquero (Only appearance; dies)
- STV Crew (Only appearance; dies)
- Ernest Hemingway
- Geoffrey Chaucer
- Mark Twain
- Edgar Allan Poe
- Herman Melville
- Jane Austen (Cameo)
- Alan Moore (Cameo)
- Promised Land
- University of Hope
- The Devil's Trail
- Mountain Pass (Mentioned only)
- The Forest of Skulls
- The Desert of Despair
- Hell River (River of Fire)
- Death Valley (Ancient Ruins)
- Lobo #36
- The Journal of Randy Wartz
- Lobo's Spacehog (With wheels)
- Wagon Train (Destroyed)
- Among the literary legends attending the lecture, there is a heavily bearded man with long hair wearing a Swamp Thing T-shirt, presumably Alan Moore.