The Buddy Cop Fantasy Therapy Hour
The Prime of Ambition is by Naomi Craig and Alyssa Follansbee (a.k.a. "The Sly Eagle" and "Luth'rai", respectively).
I flipped through the dossier before taking a seat on the opposite end of a desk where two elves sat, one white and one black, giving threatening looks at each other. After a few minutes, I spoke, â€œYouâ€™ll have to excuse me, Iâ€™m not exactly a relationship doctor. So who wears the figurative pants between you two?â€
â€œDude, we are not gay.â€ The white elfin kid replied
â€œRight, and neither was Larry Craig.â€
â€œOh, you got burned man!â€ The black elf snapped his fingers to emphasize this point.
The white elf rose out of his chair, about to do something he would probably regret to his buddy when I tossed a paperweight between the two, "Excuse my manners, we seem to have gotten off on the wrong foot. Please sit down so we can continue." After a tense moment, he finally decided to sit down, â€œAlright, letâ€™s start from the top here, you two come from a fantasy comic called The Prime of Ambition, correct?â€
â€œWhat is 'The Prime of Ambition'? Is it a number? An object? A catch-phrase that sounded cool at the time, perhaps? Whose ambition are you talking about? The title makes about as much sense as Ratification of Lambs. Try looking through a dictionary to make sure your titles make proper sense next time.â€ After waiting for an answer and receiving none, I continued, â€œI will say itâ€™s pretty damn well drawn. The comic has some amazing artwork here, but artwork can only take you so far before the story has to step up its game. So, hereâ€™s my question: Why does most of the script so far sound like a freakinâ€™ buddy cop flick?â€
â€œWhat do you mean, 'buddy cop?'â€ The white elf said, â€œWeâ€™re from the year 4322. There are no cops, just roving bands of adventurers who party up at the nearest tavern.â€
â€œI mean the buddy cop dynamic that seems to constitute the majority of the archives of this comic so far. More specifically, the dynamic is what the people at TV Tropes refer to as the â€˜Salt and Pepperâ€™ odd couple. The white elf is the uptight asshole who suspects the black elf of trying to kill him in almost every scene, and the black elf is the super-streetwise dude who is so perfect in everything compared to the rest of the protagonists he borders on Mary Sue-ism. It seems difficult to make a character-driven story when everyone except for the drow dude is so damn two-dimensional they could be scratched out on cardboard with a purple crayon and no one would know the difference.â€
â€œOh câ€™mon, the story is much deeper than that!â€ The white elf jumped up, â€œYou donâ€™t know me! You donâ€™t know any of this story! We actually have humans and a dwarf traveling with us in our merry five-person band!â€
â€œReally? So tell me, have you or anyone else in your group actually done anything useful aside from bitching at your drow buddy over there?â€
â€œMan, sit the fuck back down before I slap you.â€ The black elf yelled after his buddy failed to give an answer
â€œI think I see the problem here,â€ I started annotating both profiles in the dossier I held. The diagnosis was relatively simple, solving it would be much, much harder. â€œOkay, white elf kid, youâ€™re just mad about getting the short end of the stick compared to your friend, right? It's clear that your buddy wears the pants in this relationship.â€
â€œIâ€™m a Sun Elf, Iâ€™m 189 years old! Iâ€™m not just a whiny kid and he's...â€ The white elf still didnâ€™t sit down.
â€œYouâ€™re a damn liar." I cut him off, "Anyone with that much age and experience wouldnâ€™t have the demeanor of an 8 year old who had his lollipop stolen throughout most of the comic unless they were either a hermit or carried a chip on their shoulder the size of a two-story house.â€
"I have real reasons for hating these dark elves!"
"Yes, there seems to be some stuff about them destroying your homeland, but you don't quite mention why you take it out on your buddy."
â€œ...but you donâ€™t know about those Drow!â€ He continued to whine, â€œThe things their people do to us real elves! They lie and kill and steal and they come after our womenâ€¦â€
â€œShut up, you racist mother-fucker!â€ The black elf sprung up from his chair and delivered a powerful slap to the side of the white elfâ€™s face, â€œI spent an entire goddamn chapter trapped in a forest with your white-bread ass, and you canâ€™t bother to respect my culture or the fact that Iâ€™m the driving force behind this story? You can go fuck yourself while I save the princess on my own.â€
Sensing that a full-blown fistfight was about to break out, I jumped over the desk and thrust my arms between the two elves. â€œWait a minute, havenâ€™t you seen the black and white drawings in the comic?â€
â€œWhat do you mean, 'black and white'?â€ the dark elf growled, looking for a way to get around me and fight his friend on the other side.
â€œJust look at this comic, as an example.â€
â€œWhatâ€™s your point?â€ The white elf replied.
â€œDonâ€™t you get it? Itâ€™s hard to tell the two of you apart in this example aside from the quiver of arrows strapped to the white elfâ€™s shoulder! This shouldnâ€™t be about black and white elves or who gets more face-time or whoâ€™s more Mary Sue-ish. This story should be about both of you guys working together to have a more peaceful relationship!â€
â€œSo youâ€™re saying that weâ€™re all brothers on Godâ€™s green not-quite-Earth?â€ The black elf finally relaxed, willing to listen.
â€œYeah. Thanks to the spirit of multiculturalism, we can make whatever world it is you guys come from a better place.â€
â€œWow, I never thought about it that way!â€ The white elf said, finally extending a hand of friendship to the black elf, â€œWe shouldnâ€™t let our old prejudices get in the way of saving the world. Letâ€™s work together to make everyoneâ€™s lives better.â€
â€œI agree.â€ The black elf said, embracing him in a totally platonic hug.
The sound of a shrill alarm roused me from my slumber as the vision of a black and a white elf embracing in the office suddenly disappeared, giving way to the reality of my darkened room at six o'clock in the morning.
â€œFuck, it was all just a dream.â€ I growled, slamming my hand on the â€œsnoozeâ€ button, â€œI knew that peace and love shit was too good to be true." As I dozed off to sleep for another 10 minutes, I could only hope the comic got better than the 73 pages of canonical racial tension I had browsed through.