Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Mysta: Escape from Paladnor



In Planet Comics #58, the prison-planet of Paladnor - an institution that Mysta created to rehabilitate abusers of scientific knowledge - is wracked by earthquakes and volcanic explosions that threaten to destroy the entire world. Director Garro of the Science Council coordinates a massive rescue of the prisoners, but is the disaster a natural event or an escape attempt by a criminal mastermind?

Garro comes across at first as hopelessly bureaucratic. Informed of the disaster by guardships orbiting Paladnor, Garro's initial reaction is that sending aid is "a tough order to fill," but that the Science Council will do it's best. "Take care of your end and I'll get the ball rolling here," he orders his men who are already on the scene. That sounds like a diplomatic way of saying, "Do what you can, but don't hold your breath about getting any help."

Surprisingly, Garro comes through and is quickly on the planet to coordinate the evacuation. And fortunately, he's also brought along his favorite science technician, who - unknown to him - is actually Mysta. I'll leave it to you to discover what happens.

What I'm most interested in is figuring out why Mysta's still undercover in the Science Council. There have been some hints in the last couple of stories that she may be attracted to Garro, but there's none of that in this one. Her feelings about Garro throughout have vacillated between jealous attraction and scorn at his stupidity. She's on the disdainful side this time and it makes me realize that perhaps she simply doesn't know how she feels about him.

And what about Bron? He's not mentioned in this story, but Mysta was getting almost swoony about him before she met Garro. Makes me wonder if her attraction to Garro isn't a deliberate distraction from Bron. Perhaps her feelings for Bron have frightened her to the point that she needs to get away for a while. Garro's a handsome dude, so perhaps she's torn between being physically attracted to him and being repulsed by his incompetence. Although, if Garro continues performing like he does in this adventure, she may not have as much of a conflict to resolve.

Bad news for all you Brysta 'shippers, but Mystarro folks shouldn't get too comfortable either. If Mysta's reaction to Bron is any indication, she may run out on Garro too if things get heavy.

When you click through to read the whole story (you will, right?), be sure to read Sleestak's thoughts on Mysta's job as Technician. I hadn't put it together as well as he did, but the title obviously has a different function in the Science Council's culture than we're used to and Sleestak's figured it all out.
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