Computers! Long a source of amusement. But in the early days of the development of the "internet" as a tool for "e-commerce" allowing "cyber-businesses" to "creat dumb sounding terminology that we would abandon almost instantly" and "make money," different competing solutions to the problems of electronic commerce arose. For instance, how do we take credit card payments for goods or services without the physical credit card present? And if we just take their credit card number, how do we know that card number isn't false or stolen? Well, many players in the early days of the dot-com boom tried to take a crack at these problems. And one part of one of those solutions? Comic books.


I know, I know, this is one more muscular dude leaping out at the reader in a flurry of computer assisted gradients and lens flares. What does this have to do with computers? Well if you were at the 2001 trade show where this promotional comic book was distributed, you were probably already totally sick of looking at clip art of middle-management types standing in front of PCs with smiles or concerned looks on their stock photo faces, and this exciting comic book adventure was probably just what you needed to put a little spring in your trade show step as you lugged your goodie bag full of promotional materials, hats, pens, flashlights, and other giveaways back to your hotel room.


I agree, the fear and deception of Comic Sans has ruled too long! Cyberspace is in danger, mostly because "cyberspace" is a terribly cheesy term that thankfully became dated almost instantly, and the culprit is the evil Mulct, a creature that assumes the identities of others in order to commit fraudulent acts in "cyberspace." Who will stop Mulct, or at least ask him what "Mulct" is supposed to be? Because "Mulct" sounds like something you put on your roses in the spring. Anyway, RocketBridge (sm) has a young warrior armed with the tools to defeat Mulct, and this warrior's name is Jupiter, and the time is now, and the showdown is at hand, and the trade show Happy Hour in the bar starts in 45 minutes so you have some time to kill.


CyberFinancial's profits are down because of fraud! Computer fraud! Not mismangement or the state of the economy as a whole, but computer fraud! And if they don't stop that fraud, it could be the end of us all, thanks to those handy suicide pacts every employee of CyberFinancial signed on to, I guess. Scream some more, Mr. Manager.


Meanwhile in another city, using stolen credit numbers apparently leads to amazingly pleasurable sensations. Is credit card fraud THE GREATEST HIGH? Just say no, kids


And yet, that orgasmic incident of credit card fraud alerts the RocketBridge team! Our hero Jupiter is prepped for his mission, which it seems will include at least five CDs worth of data. That's potentially almost 3.5 gigabytes worth! These days you could put that all on a flash drive small enough to accidentally swallow, but in 2001 this was state-of-the-art.


Just think, every time you tried to buy a 50lb sack of dog food from "Pets.com," this super-dude had to load up his CDs, have your IP address manually entered into his wrist-computer, and then pose awkwardly as he blasts off, or into, or cyber-whatevers his way towards verifying your identity. "Pets.com" will be out of business before this guy even gets off the ground!


I'm not sure if Jupiter is being zapped in "Tron" fashion into the digital environment, or if everybody we've seen so far in RocketBridge Jupiter Control are actually computer programs who talk and wear clothes like people. One thing I AM sure of is that RocketBridge is a leader in information management and is also a subsidiary of Trans Union LLC, one of those credit reporting agencies that does a great job keeping track of everybody's credit scores, except when they don't and are forced to pay massive fines.


As Jupiter contfronts Mulct, who is using his Wolverine claws as data port connectors, we get a flashback to the beginning of Jupiter's cyber career as a cyber weapon against cyber fraud in the cyber landscape of cyber business. Cyber cyber cyber. Welcome to the early 00s.


Remember kids, jamming your Wolverine claws into electrical circuits will NOT allow you to commit credit fraud, and that horrifing smell is NOT ill-gotten money, but your flesh burning. Don't do it - not even once!


Jupiter is just two minutes old and already he's crushing the arms of his computer-environment chair and being lectured on how authentication is the engine behind online identity validation!


I kind of get half of what they're talking about here, but electronic notary is a thing that I don't believe caught on, and "increasing match rates" by "customer review" with a "personal review module," well, that just doesn't make any sense. I guess I just don't understand cyber commerce here in the cyber business world.


Sometimes you just can't hide the joy of being fully equipped online credit check software! Hug it out, guys. Hug it out.


We've got to be light-speed fast and undetected so that the online customers experience no delays when they impulse purchase groceries from "Webvan.com", toys from "eToys.com", or simply throw cash down the rat hole that was "Flooz.com!"


Your JOY-CLICKING DAYS are OVER, you JOY-CLICKING JOY-CLICKER! Prepare to be TERMINATED of your JOY-CLICKING!

I just like saying "joy-clicking," that's all.


The challenge of comic book illustration is how to best portray complex ideas in a visual medium. Luckily, for super hero type comics, every single concept, including "providing seamless authentication to any business," can be boiled down to a drawing of a dude shooting energy out of his hands.


Here the comic book perfectly captures my reaction whenever anyone starts talking about "databases." NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

And hey kids, remember, Jupiter is a cyber-being who only exists in the computer world, so don't YOU go trying to jam CDs into your forearms. Okay, fine, try it, see what happens.


Jupiter uses his laser sword - I don't know what computer function this is metaphorically representing - to symbolically castrate Mulct, earning an approving smile from Debbie, his Time-Life Operator.


Cyber-business should not have to worry about fraud, ever! Because there are so many other things they need to be worried about, like "how to pay their employees" and "how to stay in business" and "what to do with a warehouse full of Pets.Com mascot puppets after we go out of business."


There's an interesting panel here where we get to see our sleazy, chainsmoking, really getting off on credit fraud credit fraudster in front of his PC while the green glow of Mulct surrounds his monitor. I think this is supposed to clue us in to the fact that our whole exciting story is taking place in the computer world, "Tron"-style, but it looks more like his PC has a ghost problem.


Again, more talk of "databases," more brandishing of phallic laser swords, and more horrified reactions from the listeners. I feel ya, Mulct.


Mission accomplished, and Jupiter is "coming home", because computer programs have homes?


Self-aware computer software aware of its own inherent reproducibility, leading to inevitable identity crisis problems somewhere down the line? Sure why not.


And so legions of pumped-up computer supermen put an end to fraud forever! And if you believe that, I am Prince So-and-So from Nigeria with $5,000,000 US (five million) to invest that I must move out of my country because of war and famine and flood. Please give me your bank account number so I may deposit this money as a token of my good faith to you. God bless.


Oh that poor exhausted cyber-financial CEO. He must be plumb tuckered out. Luckily, I hear those golden parachutes are really comfy.


What's that? Unsolicited spam email? With a phone number!? Better call it right now!


Sure, that's a big chunk of Comic Sans there, but it's not distracting me from the really odd angle from which we're gazing up at Jupiter and his computer man-boobs. Are we kneeling before RocketBridge?


Let RocketBridge protect YOUR e-commerce cyber-business from credit fraud and cyberbullying and any number of other computer related e-problems! And better do it fast, because if RocketBridge and Jupiter and its five-CD approach to cyber-security ever made it to actual real world operations, they didn't last long. Like so many other ambitious e-commerce and cyber-related ventures of the early 2000s, RocketBridge isn't around any more. I guess Mulct won after all?

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