Podcasts/Episode 153

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The Letters Page: Episode 153
Creative Process: Legacy's Supporting Cast

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Good morning, heroes! Let's talk about Legacy's friends!

Show Notes:

Run Time: 1:30:44

Adam and I are here to talk about the character that you, dear listeners, demanded we bring up again. You can't say we never gave you anything! We're just here to act on the will of the people. Simple public servants, that's us.

We talk about some minor characters, but also some that have more impact than expected on Legacy's story. Which Legacy? Well, we get into that, too!

A bit after the 39 minute mark, we dig into your questions, which are many and excellent.

This Friday is the first recording of the first ever "Publishers' Note" of the Letters Page podcast, starring our very own Paul Bender! You'll be able to hear that episode in audio form next Tuesday, but if you're on the Letters Page Patreon, you can watch it happen live! And, if you're a Contributor to the Patreon, your questions will be a part of this new, experimental episode! What will happen? Who can say! Join us!

(Oh, also, extra props to Trevor for the new outro! What do you think of it?)

Characters Mentioned



  • The much-demanded “Legacy Supporting Cast” episode begins with a rundown of the already extant supporting cast members so they can spot where there are gaps.
  • Starting at the end, they already have the supporting cast for the post-OblivAeon era Legacy: Jessica LaPorte, Marissa Snow, Jason Wong, and Nathan Gregory that they first talked about in the Young Legacy episode were around pre-OblivAeon and Jason and Marissa are still around afterwards (Jessica’s gone and Nathan Gregory/Antimox is a series of question marks, don’t worry about it). The main thing they want to get out of the way is that by “Legacy supporting cast” they mean Paul Parsons VIII.
  • So, while Paul Parsons VII wasn’t around for when his son was Legacy, his wife Nancy would still have been around while her son was Legacy, though. She was a relatively minor character, though. [Back in episode 78 they said at around 38:40 that Paul VII’s wife was named Joyce. Retcon!] She would have been around more often in the earlier issues of Justice Comics and then become less of a feature as the years go on. Paul VIII himself was first introduced in JC #77 and existed as a kinda sorta sidekick in a few issues here and there before replacing his father as Legacy in #102.
  • Issue #102 was also the introduction of one Emily Evans, the future Emily Parsons and mother of Pauline Felicia Parsons who was born in #182 in June ’55. Repeating a point from previous occasions: it was kind of a radical move to have the next member of the Legacy line be a woman, although that wouldn’t actually happen for many decades (she wasn’t even a teenager in comics until the ’80s).
  • Almost by accident/coincidence, Freedom Five Annual #3 in August ’59 has a lot of supporting cast introductions. The writer actually slapped a name on the city where all of this had been happening for the first time, so we finally call it Megalopolis and establish that (as a City of the Future) it has a monorail. Likewise he introduces the mayor and police chief of Megalopolis as recurring characters. He also introduces Aminia Twain as an administrative assistant for the team. They don’t think this writer was necessarily a good story writer, but he had a good feel for worldbuilding and filling in the corners of the setting.
    • Names that we haven’t had before: Mayor Frederick Fremont (who probably sticks around at least until the ’70s - the only reason to change the person in office is to make a story out of it and there’s no point if he hasn’t been around for a while, after which point there might be other mayors come and go over the years [one is named in at least one RPG scenario in the core book if not in others]) and Police Chief Chuck Callahan - a reference to Charlie Callahan, the policeman from the golden age radio serial. It’s not the same character, just named in reference to the older one.
  • Spangle the Parsons family dog comes in in ’67.
  • So, in the 20-ish years he’s been Legacy, we have a fairly robust cast of characters for him. They could tell us more about the mayor and police chief, but honestly they’re exactly what you’d expect those characters to be from this era. The question then is what kinds of supporting cast does he accrue from the ’70s to present?
  • The people we have here so far easily fall into the categories of “family” and “work associates”. Now, the Freedom Five and whatnot are likely friendly with him, but they still fall into “work people”. Things we can try to slot in somewhere: a friend who isn’t a work person and a government contact/handler/liaison (to be clear, it’s not so much somebody coming in to tell Legacy what to do - he’s going to do “what’s best for America” and so, depending on the situation, this person might be a somewhat antagonistic character on occasion - but at least it’s a reason for him to be kept apprised of situations he might not have clearance for otherwise).
  • Government person first. The idea that Legacy fights “for America” is kind of just a “known” fact of the character from the beginning, but this detail of there being an actual contact person here makes sense in the early ’70s. We’re dealing with the whole Vietnam/Nixon era thing where fighting for the good of America/doing the right thing might not be synonymous with doing what the American government wants you to do. They decide ’71 is a good spot to have the writers toeing that particular line and start off on that more antagonistic footing and then their relationship can evolve with the times (mirroring however “the American spirit” and “the American government” play off of one another at the time).
  • Why does one person who was a political appointee stick around across administrations? We already know the Freedom Five Initiative has government backing, maybe it was only now that the president decided that there needed to be more direct oversight. This person shows up to be their handler. They don’t have/need a handler - they just get information from the government, not orders. Well, they do now. This sets them up for at least half a decade of outright hostility between them.
  • They like the idea of this person eventually saving Legacy at some point (I don’t hate you. This is my job,) and/or despite everything they still become seen as part of the machinery that keeps the Freedom Five going and are part of the “family”.
  • Looking at the era they’re talking about, we’re right around the time that Justice Comics started its hiatus. It’d be a funny meta joke for the liaison’s first appearance to be in Freedom Five #259 in November ‘71, then the next appearance is in December over in Justice Comics #380 with something like “There’s going to be a lot of changes around here. I’m shutting all of this down” and then the next month the Legacy book is now America’s Finest Legacy. Additionally, that can be a “reason” for the style shift between JC and AFL - the former kind of was Legacy just cowboying around, but it had kind of drifted a bit and got used for a bunch of other characters’ stuff over the years, so AFL became more of a standard Legacy title again.
  • So he shows up and introduces himself as Jefferson Knight, the guy who’s going to be reining them in a bit since they’ve been left to their own devices for a bit too long now. This sort of oversight on the government funds they’ve been receiving is new. What is he, FBI? CIA? Secret Service? He’s the Director of the Freedom Five Initiative. He comes in relatively unassuming, but he’s no nonsense and simply lays out How It’s Going To Be From Now On. He’s a very smooth operator. Prior to this we knew there was the FFI that was a government aegis for the heroes’ operations (more or less handwaved as Legacy showing up and just asking for government approval for a hero team), but this is the first we’ve seen of an actual organizational apparatus at work. This would be the organization that actually pays Aminia Twain’s salary and funds the Freedom Five HQ building.
  • Jefferson probably sticks around for a good long while. They think maybe around the time of the Miss Information story in the ’00s is a good time, especially since by then we probably like him. [Plus, I don’t know how often the president actually changes in the Sentinel Comics Universe, but with Comic Book Time it’s entirely likely that there haven’t been the half-dozen or so administrations that there were in reality by that point.] If we like him, having him be a victim of Miss Information might be intriguing. No need to get into that story today, though.
  • So, there we go. He’s both an antagonist and supporting cast member for the FF and Legacy in particular. He shows up in the team book, then jumps over to JC to shut things down, and then AFL starts with him laying down the law on how things are going to change if Legacy expects to keep his government affiliation/contract/whatever. He starts as a pain in the butt, but becomes a part of the family over the years. There might be that “I don’t hate you” bit mentioned earlier, then also in the ’90s there might be some government corruption thing going on where he “accidentally” leaves some file out where the heroes can find it. The gradual change for the character is from “I am in charge of this organization” to “I believe in the mission of this organization.”
  • For the friend [very brief mention of Firestarter in case you missed the reference to the shipping episode], when would we be introducing them? If it was a college friend and we’re saying they’ve been around for a while the late ’60s is kind of the earliest you’d push it back. They could just have a new character show up in the ’80s and just say that it was a college friend who hadn’t shown up in the hero stories before that (Legacy probably wasn’t throwing barbecues on-page back in the Silver Age). Adam throws out the idea that it could be a childhood friend. Christopher’s fine with that, but he thinks that a character who’s introduced in the ’50s or ’60s is likely to have a different feel to him than one introduced later on and just retconned into being a long-time friend.
  • It’s the gritty 1980s. What’s the “gritty” version of Legacy? "Having a friend who’s not related to work or family." Even if it’s an established childhood friend that’s named and even seen on page way back when is fine if they weren’t really a recurring character until the ’80s when somebody brings them back. The story could even be that they show up again with an “It’s been years, what brings you to town?” and it’s that he owes money to the mob or something appropriately ’80s that Legacy then has to help him sort out.
  • Childhood friend makes the most sense to have shown up briefly in that brief period between ’46 and ’48 where Paul VIII was a character, but before he became Legacy, when this guy could just be “Legacy’s son’s friend” rather than “Legacy’s friend”. Let’s put it in June ’47, JC #86 as his first appearance, but he’s an incredibly minor character until that ’80s reappearance, possible falling out, then reconciliation.
  • His name is Dwight Davis and he first shows up in those early stories, but is just young Paul’s friend. He’s not notable to the story until the ’80s (AFL #114, June ’81) when he shows up to see his old friend Paul, although he’s acting a bit odd. Turns out, he owes money to the mob. This is how to do a gritty Legacy story - get somebody else involved in the grittiness where he has to help out somehow. Dwight’s plan is to let the mob guys see that he’s friends with Legacy and that maybe they should lay off a bit. Paul just thinks his old friend Dwight wants to reconnect and go play pool at this pool hall. In the end, Paul figures out what’s going on with Dwight and helps him out by dealing with the mob. He’s disappointed in his old friend, however, especially with the way Dwight has leveraged their friendship like this and they have a falling out.
  • This was likely meant to be a permanent state when it was written due to the trends of the time. Then in the late ’90s somebody decides it was silly and has them reconcile. Legacy seeks out his old friend, who’s having a rough time of it more or less as a drifter. “You came to me for help and sure, you made a mistake, but we all make mistakes.” Hmm… maybe even very late ’80s or early ’90s as a realization Legacy has after nearly dying in the Voss invasion. He started to keep less of a tight grip on his teammates and daughter after that - he loosens up and part of that is making amends with Dwight because what kind of hero turns their back on a friend because they made a mistake?
  • Other people: the late ’70s introduces Larry Hillburn, the janitor at FFHQ and eventually head of janitorial staff at Freedom Tower (first mentioned back in Setback’s episode). The implication is that he’s been around for a while when he first shows up (like Aminia hired him a ages ago off-panel). Brianna Hawke is the high-powered, high-stakes lawyer who gets stuff done and first shows up in FFA #8 (May ’80). While the first time we see Freedom Tower is in FF #510 (October ’92) the next issue is the first time we actually do stuff in it and we are introduced to Don Vickers, FT’s head of security (who, despite taking his job very seriously, is pretty laid back given the fact that the building is full of superheroes [presumably, he’s the guy speaking on the flavor-text on “Security Station” in the Freedom Tower deck]).


  • Not really having thought of Legacy being the type of guy to really befriend people outside of the hero community, is there somebody from the neighborhood or government whom he’s befriended/invited to the barbecues, etc.? A lot of the people they’ve talked about, especially like later on Jefferson Knight, could be the types that eventually get invited to holiday parties and whatnot. Same with Dwight. Heck, Brianna Hawke qualifies for that sort of thing (although more likely to mix a martini than just grab a beer).
  • Have there been supporting cast members who enter the story from Emily’s side (friends, political rivals, etc.)? That’s a fair question that they didn’t get into, but that’s kind of getting into “supporting cast for the supporting cast” territory. Emily doesn’t have a book after all, she just might have the occasional story focus here and there in other books, although her position in-setting and as a character in Legacy’s stories becomes more prominent at time goes on. There’s a lot of America and its government already baked into the idea of Legacy that it’s kind of inevitable. There probably are named characters in terms of allies or enemies in Emily’s political life, but they also probably aren’t around or important over the long term.
  • Is there a “Wilson”-type character for the family; some older neighbor who offers advice and whatnot? Not a singular neighbor figure like Wilson, but you get assorted avuncular figures in terms of heroes like Haka or Scholar, but also just some of the other supporting figures like Larry or Don. Aminia probably did that before the Miss Information thing (well, she still could afterwards, but you might not want to trust her at that point - there could be a fun story where she genuinely was trying to be helpful for some reason and nobody trusted her).
  • Are there any rowdy teenagers in the neighborhood that he’s taken under his wing to get back on the right path? Sure, that kind of “making the world better not by punching things, but by being an inspiration/aspirational role-model” is really on-brand for him. Maybe not in terms of characters that stick around for more than the one story, but something along these lines certainly.
  • Have we ever had a Disparation story where we see Legacy as president of the US? Maybe not an entire story based on that, but there almost has to at least be a story that’s happening in a world where that’s the case. In continuity there could even be a story where somebody’s trying to get him elected, which he wouldn’t really have any time for (“I think you mean my wife, son” although Emily might not want that either).
  • How are presidents generally treated in Sentinel Comics? They’re not frequently called out by name. There might be the occasional call-out after a new one comes in or something (and when Obama started he seemed to show up in media everywhere), but it’s also the case that they’ve had fictional presidents named, like President Hargett (although he’s mentioned in relation to Project Cocoon and Visionary’s backstory). They say here that there’s probably a mix of real presidents like Nixon and fictional ones and likely using the latter type when there’s some actual plot involving them or bad actors in government in general. [Their stance back in Editor’s Note 35 was that in-setting it’s likely just fictional ones, for exactly this kind of “it’s better to have a fictional president if they’re an alien or something” reasons.] They can run the gamut from entirely fictional, to thinly-veiled stand-ins, to real figures.
  • Were there any villainous presidents? Not in the “president who is a super villain” sense, but that’s kind of where the story of Jefferson Knight started where the government was put in opposition to the heroes. The action doesn’t touch the president most of the time - various agencies or the general bureaucracy are much more common governmental problems than the office of the president itself.
  • Legacy is portrayed as being loyal to America; is that loyalty to the American government or to America as a concept? Is the America of the card game an idealized version of it? America of the comics is very much a reflection of America of the time and place that particular comic was written (with the added filter of an individual writer and editorial staff’s current viewpoint on the matter). In general, it might tend a little towards an idealized version in that we have things like “Megalopolis is a shining city of the future” as a constant way it’s portrayed, but then we get Rook City. They’re a pair of caricatures, just of the best and worst of what a Big City can be respectively. The government itself is largely operating on the West Wing model where most people involved seem to genuinely try to do what they think is best for the people, especially in stories where Emily’s involvement is the reason for it to feature in the story at all.
  • Would Legacy’s loyalty remain with an America that had elected, say, a violent fascist president? Would he instead of supporting a borderline treasonous government instead side with the oppressed people? That’s sort of the thing they’ve worked out is how the America’s Finest Legacy book starts out after Director Knight shows up. There’s likely some pressure to go an destabilize some third-world countries here and there and he has to try to work out what being Legacy means while also threading the needle of being a government asset through the Freedom Five Initiative. That being said, the main SotM-era continuity only goes through the end of 2016 and becomes even more of its own thing after that (because of OblivAeon being a rather large disruptive event that isn’t modeled by reality - what we have going on is the COVID-19 pandemic which the comics universe isn’t dealing with) and as a result the state of politics has diverged even more. If there was a treasonous and oppressive government, Legacy would absolutely be on the side of the people. However, he also believes in the system and would want to do things the right way - fixing what’s gone wrong rather than taking an anarchist/overthrow the government approach.
  • [Angry Taxpayer Letter starts just before the 56 minute mark - he starts by sounding off against the assumptions made about him in regards to the Rainbow Roadie letter in episode 152] How was Legacy paying the bills before he teamed up with the Wraith and, presumably, gets some funding from her? Is he an actual government employee? Are capes a work expense that he can write off for tax purposes? Does he just live off the kickbacks his wife probably gets? The Freedom Five Initiative is a government program, so I guess he’s technically an employee, but it’s more that the Freedom Five are given operating costs from the government. The story with Director Knight is where that relationship between the FF and government becomes more formalized and adds some checks and balances. They think that Paul VII was just active military through his death.
  • Is there anybody looking into the corruption of this Legacy/Montgomery Industries/Senator Parsons financial setup? Michelle Hausmann has probably looked into what’s going on with these heroes, but Director Knight is the more likely person to be carefully looking at the books at this point.
  • Has he ever had to deal with Ray Manta looking into the obvious Deep State government conspiracy that’s going on? Obviously. It’s probably all connected to MKUltra or something.
  • What kinds of sweetheart deals have Montgomery Industries or Eaken-Rubendall Labs received over the years? Funding for her lab is explicitly Tachyon’s payment for being part of the Freedom Five Initiative. Wraith very much tries to keep Wraith stuff separate from Montgomery Industries. Her identity is probably even secret from the government - anonymity likely a part of her agreement in the first place. That means they don’t pay her, but she’s fine with that. It’s an interesting dynamic that the two most famous members of the team have such different stances regarding their position relative to the government - their respective cities of operation probably has something to do with that.
  • [Angry Taxpayer sign-off acknowledging a newfound respect for Absolute Zero, being the only one on the team who’s not independently wealthy or operating on an unlimited DoD budget but still working his butt off and frequently being the one to take the worst licking in a fight.] Well, he does get to walk around because of that unlimited DoD budget. Granted, he is in deep debt to them because of it, which is a big part of his story over the long term.
  • So, Emily Parsons holds a fairly significant position of power, but one that is incredibly boring in the context of a superhero story. However, it seems unlikely that you have a prominent political figure that some writer wouldn’t eventually decide to get political with; as such: is it ever specified which party she’s a member of? There are fake party names and the nicknames or whatever they use aren’t even consistent over the decades. You’re right, though. The only times to bother bringing her up is to make a point because it’s boring compared to the superheroes. Sometimes they talk about real world stuff outright, but other times it’s more allegorical. Sometimes you might think she’s being written to “definitely” be either Republican or Democrat (depending on the writer or era) but it’s an editorial mandate that you can’t just outright say that she’s one or the other. You can have a political message, but they can’t take the form of “vote for this real life politician/party” - you’re safer with talking about a situation and why it’s a problem that needs to be addressed.
  • How often does she get used to make preachy monologues? Not frequently, but she has been used as a political mouthpiece of the writer/editorial staff, but that’s not common. Mostly, if Sentinel Comics is comfortable taking a stance on something within the pages, it’s generally going to be a stance that they’re pretty sure the readership will mostly be on-board with already. That being said, “preachy” isn’t the adjective to shoot for here - that sort of approach to your messaging isn’t fun and they want Sentinel Comics to be fun.
  • In the Starter Kit, Legacy has the family Ring as part of his equipment/costume description, but in the RPG core book it’s absent from Legacy’s and Heritage’s write-ups - where is the Legacy Ring now? The ring goes with the Legacy name, so Felicia has it even if it’s not listed on her character sheet (Christopher: “She wears it on her thumb”). [We do see it in the art on page 20 of the Stolen Legacy adventure in the family picture when the costume is being handed off to her.]
  • Do you have something in mind for Felicia’s first child and the continuation of the Legacy line? They have thought about it. They have plans. It’s super far down the line. Don’t worry about it. They have so much stuff to get through before they would get into that and they hope that they have the opportunity to share it all with everybody.
  • Wouldn’t Legacy’s great-great-great-etc. grandchild eventually have acquired so many powers as to be invincible? So you’re saying that you don’t already see Legacy as being nigh-invulnerable. They’ve got bullet-proof skin and can shake off the occasional massive attack. Is there a power creep problem in the Legacy line? Yes. Intentionally. Almost like that would need to be resolved somehow eventually.
  • In Editor’s Note 22 you had mentioned in response to a question about super pets that Guise had a cat, but we still haven’t heard more about it - what is it like? Does it have powers? Is it really just Guise shape-shifted into cat form? It will come up in Chapter 2 of the Sentinels of Freedom video game.
  • I thought of a sad option for what Mr. Fixer could have named his cat: Charlie after his former mechanic assistant. Ouch. They think that Mr. Fixer isn’t the type of person who would name an animal after a person who had died.
  • Doesn’t Expatriette seem like the type of person to have a guard dog or something to help warn her of intruders or help track opponents in a fight? No, she’s not. A pet, even a working pet like this, is an extra responsibility that she would have to pay attention to and that, if she were to care about it at all it would become a liability on the field and she’s very much a “I look out for myself and nobody else” type. It’s only a later development that she starts softening on that front, and by then she’s already got a pet - Pete.
  • Ambuscade definitely has a hunting dog, right (I’m imagining her named Vedette, or “star”, although we know who the real star is here)? No, it’s the Ambuscade show and having a dog would be cheating.
  • I agree that Spectre isn’t the right name for Wraith’s cat because that’s obviously the name of NightMist’s black cat who talks and helps her solve magical mysteries, right? Man, you’re just adding so many pets for these characters.
  • We’ve seen normal pets and alien pets, but what of mythical/magical ones? Does Argent Adept have a small tame Void creature or maybe a griffin? Does Harpy have any magical birds besides Huginn and Muninn? The “lots of pets” thing continues. They’re going to say “no” for now. They do have somebody with a more mystical pet that will come up later.
  • Does the second translation of “goat” in Mordengradian coincide with GOAT (“greatest of all time”)? Would a Mordengradi citizen have a particular reaction to hearing, say, Michael Jordan referred to as the GOAT? Would they say that Baron Blade is the GOAT? The concept wouldn’t translate like that. The word that refers to The Goat would never be applied to a person, that’s ridiculous.
  • Does Mordengradi have a concept of a scapegoat or a “bad goat”? Are goats in general viewed positively considering that they’re so similar to The Goat? There probably isn’t a specific bad goat. Goats are goats and are helpful creatures to have around, and then there is The Goat. There isn’t necessarily any kind of “holiness” or reverence to goats, but you still kind of wind up being nice to goats as a general rule because you only know which goat is The Goat during the festivals and you wouldn’t want to accidentally be mean to The Goat, would you?
  • Since Guise happened because of Wager Master, does that make his creation a Singular event with alt-reality versions of him being in realities that split off afterward? Did Wager Master go around to other universes just to “accidentally” make more Guises? Are some universe’s Guises just not tied to Wager Master like this in the first place? It is generally true (meaning that there might be the odd edge case out there somewhere) that Guise is a result of Wager Master, but that creation is neither a Singular event nor a Fixed Point.
  • [Posit of a situation where a universe splits off before Guise’s creation and there’s still a Guise, just not related to Wager Master - the salient difference is that he can’t break the 4th wall and is just insane.] Well, you can argue that “our” Guise is like that - he can’t actually break the 4th wall and just has the delusion that he can, it’s just that he happens to guess very accurately. That being said, your ideas for making Guises without WM’s involvement is fine.
  • [Birthday request: either/both of you doing the ’90s X-Men cartoon theme. Yes, I know it doesn’t have any lyrics.]
  • In the D-List hero episode, a comment about why there aren’t many animal-themed characters in Sentinel Comics prompted a thought: there aren’t really any notable dog-themed characters in comics generally (not just in SC); sure there are dogs but not dog-themed people. Why do you think that a dog-themed hero hasn’t been done? This whole letter kind of falls apart given that there are dog-themed characters [they cite a Dog Man, but the only thing I can find with that name is a children’s book series, not a big-two comics property - that being said, there are a few to mention].
  • Does Pug Parsons put on a cape and fly around? Does Tachyon have a greyhound that bites crime? Does Omnitron accidentally upload itself into an AIBO? They talked about the Spangle and the Freedom Pets book for some of that. Adam’s pretty sure he drew a robot dog in the Mission deck where we see the Omnitron world [it’s there, just kind of obscured by the mist gate effect].
  • Who would form the “Freedom Rangers Sentinel Squad” obvious Super Sentai rip-off/homage? The Freedom Five were kind of Sentai in the story they told already. If they were to make such a team from the ground up, they might pull in some extant heroes but making them from scratch might be more the way they go with it. Nothing like this happened in the main-line American comics, though (yet).
  • Does Vanessa getting possessed count as “having powers”? Does the creation of Mentality count as that universe’s “Vanessa Long” getting powers for the purpose of the Fixed Point? Does she have any other powers? Did OblivAeon just do a shoddy job with making the Fixed Points? Mentality is this universe’s Vanessa Long. She doesn’t have other powers, but the “getting possessed” thing leaves residual powers even after the possession aspect has been cleared. This would just be the origin story telling how this Vanessa gets powers here (and that happens to include a brief period as an out of control villain). It’s not so much that OblivAeon makes Fixed Points, he’s just lining similar things up - he’s mainly trying to be a manipulator rather than going out and “making things happen”. It’s when he finally takes personal action that we get the OblivAeon event itself.
  • Are the Manga-verse characters all full-fledged heroes (around 20-30 HP each) or more a team like the Southwest Sentinels (around a dozen HP each)? If they were modeled with a deck, they’re meant to represent “full” heroes and so would have received their own individual decks. Think of the story: it’s a team of heroes banding together to fight the villain. That matches up with a standard multi-hero-deck setup for a SotM game. Even then, the HP is obviously a game-reasoning abstraction. If you were to model Spider-man and the Hulk in this system, they’d probably have HP totals in the same general range even though the amount of damage they can each take in the actual comics is wildly different. Like, if Spidey had 28 HP, Hulk would probably be somewhere in the low-to-mid 30s, but if we were to abstract the story-level stuff if Spidey were at 28, Hulk would have 50 or more, easily, but that doesn’t make for good game balance (it’s a fun thought experiment to have Hulk have only 30 or so HP, but is also Indestructible and the lower his HP goes the more dangerous he gets to be for the other heroes).