The Letters Page: Episode 187
Writers' Room: Dark Watch Vol. 1 #137
The kids are alright! Or are they?
Run Time: 1:27:25
What sort of mess are these two going to get themselves into? And how will they get out of it? You'll just have to listen and find out!
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Join us next time for a Writers' Room about an issue of Engine Block Blues!
- They’re gonna be flailing a bit this episode. They have done zero prep work for this week’s prompt of “Setback/Harpy team-up”.
- Harpy’s first appearance is January 2000 in Dark Watch vol. 1 #7. They also don’t want it to happen after 2015 [2016 being OblivAeon]. There are a bunch of specific stories in DW that they know about and have pretty well ironed out by now and Christopher doesn’t think that it’s in any of those. His preference would be for it to be a story that happens somewhere in the 3 years between DW volumes (January 2012 through December 2014).
- That’s coming at it from a “where should this story be happening?” angle when “what kind of story is it?” is perfectly valid as well. In fact, let’s look at that a bit. “Why is the story just the two screw ups?” prompts a bit about how Expatriette is a screw-up sometimes too. Well, she makes poor choices but things work out. Actually, Setback is probably the best screw-up as his tend to work out as beneficial in the long run.
- Christopher’s reasoning for preferring the between-DW-books era is it could be a story where he’s run afoul of some mystical thing and needs help and goes to NightMist. She’s not there, but Harpy is and so does her best. She’s got enough knowledge and power to know how bad the situation is, but also enough to give it the ol’ college try, even if maybe she shouldn’t. That story wouldn’t involve the rest of the team. “The rest of the team is captured and we need to rescue them” would cover that as well, though. Adam points out that there’s not a lot of overlap between “capturing NightMist” and “capturing Expatriette and Mr. Fixer” - it’d be weird for somebody to go after the magic lady and a couple of street-level fighters. You might be able to get away with “somebody captures the whole team” but then Setback and Harpy just manage to escape (due to luck and raw power) and then come back to save the team. This sounds like something that happens in the middle of an arc, though, so I guess we’re doing one of those instead of a single-issue story.
- Y’know what? That doesn’t not fit with the Apex arc that happens near the end of DW volume 1. They weren’t intending for that to be where the story wound up today, but it could work. That arc starts in April 2010 DW vol. 1 #130, [coinciding with Alpha: The Wolf-woman #19] and runs through late 2011 [we have been told September, so #147 and #36 respectively for those two books], so there’s plenty of room for this sort of thing to happen and Apex’s pack is a group that’s capable of capturing Dark Watch as a whole (especially in this arc due to the presence of Magistra Damaris (the vampire that’s working with them).
- There are three main arcs to the overall Apex plot. The first ends with the revelation that Alpha is a natural-born werewolf and she’s largely incapacitated by this. In her absence, but with some advice from Alpha, the DW team goes in to try to handle things without her and get captured. Up to this point, the readers know that this vampire is helping out, but the heroes don’t because she’s been in the background rather than involved in the direct conflicts.
- We know that the revelation involving Alpha happens in DW #135 and then in #138 there’s a big fight between the team and the werewolf pack. What we’re talking bout today can be the intervening two issues. The issue where they’re captured doesn’t even need to involve a fight. They successfully sneak in, but then the vampire, whom they were not aware or nor expecting, snares them. She knew that some heroes would try something like this eventually and so had a plan in place. “What are you going to do, turn us into werewolves?” “Werewolves!? No, I’ll be sending you back to the Court of Blood.” Being vampirized is the best case scenario awaiting them there (or at least the women - Setback’s likely gonna be food and who knows what the deal with the dead guy is going to be). That put’s today’s Writers’ Room story as Dark Watch vol. 1 #137 in November 2010.
- The thinking here is for #136 to end with that moment with the vampire informing them that they’re going to be sent to the Court of Blood as a cliffhanger. The other option is to end with Setback and Harpy escaping so that we can hit the ground running in #137 without spending pages getting them free. Christopher’s preference is for the former - the idea could be that the issue as a whole could be a set of homages to other prison break/characters sneaking around plots from pop culture. It’s the Die Hard issue.
- A questions at this point then are how the two of them get free without the rest of the team joining them and who they’re up against since the two of them versus the whole werewolf pack seems a bit much. An option could be to have them in-transit with just the vampire and an escort of a few werewolves - if they’re all in the same wagon/cage, though, that becomes a bit problematic. Maybe they’re all separated after capture. Setback gets free because, wouldn’t you know it, they didn’t lock his door properly. He manages to find/free Harpy, but getting to the rest of the team is harder. Christopher even suggests that they manage to find/free another team member relatively quickly, but they’ve got the whammy put on them by the vampire and until they deal with her somehow the other DW member is essentially dead weight (this is largely a way to avoid the “first thing we do is free NightMist and now everything is much better” problem).
- Why isn’t Harpy also out of it? Maybe when Setback first gets free and finds her she is, but Huginn and Muninn show up and help snap her out of it; not directly, but they get Setback’s attention and lead him off to get some plant to have Harpy smell to wake her up (“I can’t believe I’m following birds around”). To save time, maybe it’s not a plant outside, but maybe just something in a bottle there nearby already.
- Christopher’s original thought on this was that they were in the process of traveling as this happens, but now he thinks it’s better if it’s just in the vampire’s “home” within the werewolf area - say several wagons that have been set up in a “camp” area which is where all of her stuff is as opposed to the less orderly, “feral” werewolf vibe the rest of the place operates under. As such, the team is split up just based on there only being so much room per wagon.
- Setback and Harpy are in the “apothecary” wagon. He gets free for dumb luck reasons. Huginn directs him to the proper bottle to wake Harpy up and he dumps the whole thing on her. This works, but she figures that a few drops would probably have been sufficient, but now they don’t have any to use on the others. They’ll have to take on the vampire herself in order to remove her influence from the rest of the team.
- Adam brings up the point of “where are they?” and they figure someplace out in the middle of nowhere Appalachia. Someplace that can give that appropriately “Transylvanian” vibe of woods and mountains.
- Harpy can “feel” where NightMist is because of magic and they find her. Christopher uses a metaphor of “underwater” for kind of how she looks in her cage. Adam runs with this as a literal thing, like what if they have her submerged in a tank of “water” (it’s actually blood) as part of what’s holding her since a magical being at this point and they need something more to contain her. Christopher’s not sold on this, but given the option to have Setback break open the cage and tank, but having the “water” not move is pretty cool, so let’s run with it.
- A fun gimmick for the issue that Christopher comes up with now is that NightMist is in this special containment thing and it makes sense for her to be the first person that Harpy goes to help. Then they try to find Expatriette because Setback would want to find her and there’s some similarly overwrought setup keeping her constrained. Then they go find Mr. Fixer who just looks entirely catatonic/dead. “Oh, no! They did something to him too.” At which point he sits up with a “No, I’m okay.” That’s just how he is. Oh, maybe he’s got a metal spike through his chest pinning him in place. He can’t remove it for magic reasons (which is why he’s still here in the first place), but there’s nothing stopping Setback from doing so.
- That might have to be the issue. There’s the waking up, freeing Harpy, some sneaking around bits. Finding the magical nonsense around NightMist and Expat but being unable to do anything about it, then this funny bit with Mr. Fixer to round out the issue.
- So, know that we know the magical water tank and spike subduing two of them, what’s the nonsense keeping Expat trapped. It doesn’t need to be as complicated since she’s just “normal lady who’s good with guns”. Probably something more just tied to her mind as the baddies are probably aware that Expat’s ability to plan things (especially with regards to dealing with people with more power than she has) is the larger threat now that she’s a captive. Adam’s thought here is that Setback and Harpy find her with her mental capacity set back to a childlike state. She’s having a tea party with her dolls (although the dolls and tea set are just sticks and rocks and stuff). She can even talk about her mother coming back soon (referring to her as Citizen Mom) and this is a bad thing. That’s suitably creepy. She’s also going to be very embarrassed about this situation if anybody ever tells her about it/if she remembers it later. It’s also worth noting that this doesn’t reflect her actual childhood behavior (well, “terrified of her mom” likely does).
- Conflict! They probably successfully sneak from where they start to where NightMist is without drawing attention (well, Setback likely steps on a stick that cracks loudly, but Harpy has some birds make a ruckus to cover for them), but they do notice that there are werewolves nearby on the way. Then in the process of breaking the stuff around NightMist they make enough noise to cause a few that were nearby to come see what’s going on. It’s still a stealth mission, though. He tries to open the “blood tube” that NightMist is in, the blood remains tube-shaped after it’s opened and Setback can’t reach into it or anything to pull her out (it definitely looks like liquid, but he’s a solid as far as getting her out of it goes). Harpy sees that some werewolves are loping their way, so they have to book it out of there - it’s possible that Harpy may have been able to do something about it, but they don’t have time to try.
- Back to Expat, there’s probably a werewolf there with her anyway to keep tabs on her. Even better, he’s “participating” in the tea party and she’s calling him “dad” - he’ll be in trouble once Citizen Mom gets back, we all know how that went last time. In her mind, she’s having a nice time playing with her dad that she definitely never got in reality. For extra knife-twisting, when we first get to this scene we could be seeing it from her delusional perspective.
- How do the two heroes sneak around without giving themselves away by scent? Either they roll around in something to mask themselves that way or Harpy magics up a solution. Hmm… maybe after they run from the NightMist wagon and wind up out in the woods, Harpy finds some moss or something that she’d learned about from NightMist. She can make a quick poultice from it and, with a bit of magic, it will eliminate their scent completely. This works great, except for the fact that Setback appears to be allergic to something in it and breaks out in an itchy rash. When they come across the Expatriette and werewolf scene, the werewolf can perk its ears up and sniff, but then goes back to watching his charge when he doesn’t register anything out of the ordinary, showing that the stuff worked.
- They take out this werewolf (Setback puts it in a chokehold and Harpy does some magic to try to speed up knocking it out), but as soon as this happens Expatriette just starts screaming about her dad and “not again!” kinds of things. So, she’s inconsolable and they can’t take her with them either due to the ruckus, and Setback’s managed to get scratched up by the wolf in the process. Magistra Damaris shows up, sees the outcome of the struggle, says some stuff about how these stupid mutts can’t do even a simple job right, and sounds a general alarm.
- So, they can continue on to get Mr. Fixer as stated earlier, but now they think that just as they get him, the wagon gets torn open and there’s a fight to be had rather than any chance to run away.
- Adam wants to see more examples of Harpy not being as good with magic. Like, she can’t heal Setback up, but might be able to at least make it not hurt. Christopher’s take on this is less that she can’t do the magic, but she’s constantly doing too much of whatever it is. Making a magical poultice specifically based on something she learned from NightMist is fine, but if she’s got to wing it [heh], she has trouble dialing the effects back. Like, rather than a sleepy spell on the werewolf that Setback fights, she tries to just hit it with a magic blast. Whoops, it’s too big and it launches both the werewolf and Setback through the side of the wagon and makes a lot of noise then on top of Expat’s wailing.
- Christopher has another thought on Mr. Fixer’s situation, though. He’s dead, so the wolves just buried him (still with the spike through him as mentioned, though). That makes the “No, I’m fine. Can you pull the spike out?” reveal even funnier. They need to find him, though, which could be another job for birds after they discover that he’s not in any of the wagons. They already know about his… living-impaired status, but they’re dismayed that the spike is yet another problem and that they won’t be able to snap him out of it, which is when he speaks up.
- Setback goes to pull the spike out and it causes great pain. Harpy just uses magic to telekinesis it out, but as usual things go too hard to fast and she winds up flinging it really far and this lets the baddies know where they are, and so the issue ends with them finally having gotten Mr. Fixer up and moving again, but they’re surrounded while down in a grave. Adam suggests flipping this - magical backlash prevents Harpy from doing anything to the spike, so Setback just grabs and pulls, but this causes arcs of magical energy/lightning to erupt from them and into the sky, acting as a really obvious beacon where they are. It’s painful, but he just endures it and gets it done.
- They love how much our two heroes here are messing up at every opportunity, but are still making progress on the plot. This is “success with a major twist” at every point and it’s great. Setback is also just in really rough shape from the werewolf scratches, the hives from the poultice, and magic electrocution, but at least he gets a “You did good, kid.” from Fixer who’s finally an adult in the room for these proceedings (although, one with his own issues, obviously).
- So, this issue ends with our three heroes surrounded and in rough shape. The next issue can then jump straight into Mr. Fixer going to town on these jerks. This one was about Setback and Harpy just doing their best since they’re the two worst options in terms of this team to have trying to do this sort of thing on their own. We still manage to get good character moments for Expat and Mr. Fixer in the process. Additionally, they like the idea of having Harpy be insistent that the first thing they do after she gets woken up is to find/free NightMist. Everything will be fine once NightMist is able to help. She then loses it a bit when they find NightMist and can’t get her - Harpy doesn’t have self-confidence and only leaves her mentor behind when Setback basically picks her up and jumps out the window.
- That can even lead to Setback having to pep-talk Harpy. He’s strong and tough and basically has the power of “jump right in/try anything, things will work out for the best” but her relies on his friends. She’s his friend, but she’s also the only one he has here so she needs to pull it together so we can do this, but you need to be working the problem with me. Setback himself doesn’t have the solution to any of their problems, but he knows that because he’s there, she can come up with something that will work. They just have to keep working the problem in front of them.
- Which of the members of Dark Watch do Harpy’s cohorts like the best (guessing Setback because he’s likely going to give them snacks)? They don’t like Mr. Fixer for “animals don’t like dead people who are walking around” reasons. Adam says that Expatriette doesn’t like them and shoos them away, but that answers the question because of course the “pet” likes the person who wants the least to do with them. Additionally, NightMist wants Harpy to do magic stuff not bird stuff, so that’s a bummer for them. They probably like Setback more after today’s story, but they like the idea that these two birds like the gun lady with all the shiny bullet casings and whatnot. It’s also funny that Setback desperately wants the birds to like him (snacks, tries to get them to ride on his shoulders, etc. - just wants to be their best friend who isn’t Harpy), but they are indifferent. We could also have a fun moment at some point where Expat is cornered and out of ammo, but then she looks over when one caws or something and it’s brought her a round.
- If Setback and Harpy swapped powers, would their mutual experience with having to deal with unfolding chaos help get them cope with the change? It would probably be more bad than good (for narrative reasons - that’s the story you tell with that situation). Harpy is cautious up until the moment she goes too far, and that’s not a good way to use Setback’s powers (the best use there is to just keep trying and failing until something finally works). She would be too careful and wouldn’t “get the failures out of the way”. Likewise, Setback’s “try and fail until you try and succeed” is extraordinarily bad when dealing with magic.
- What is the favorite bird of each member of Dark Watch? Mr. Fixer likes a pigeon. People call them rats with wings, but they’re not giving them enough credit. Expatriette likes various raptors like hawks and falcons (doves just kind of follow her for some reason - Christopher imagines a scene where Expat is doing something and there are doves around and Muninn just dive-bombs in and takes one out). Setback likes lovebirds who are friendly and snuggley and cute and pretty. Harpy likes crows. NightMist likes something more elegant. Not a swan, but there’s probably something she likes for its magical significance. Snow owls are a good look for her (and they also immediately invent a magical reason - they always nest along ley lines, that’s why she likes them, guys, not because of how pretty they are).
- Has Harpy ever Darkened the Sky during a fight with Citizen Dawn in an attempt to dampen her powers? That wouldn’t work. They could see her trying it and Dawn scoffing that it’s not like it’s an power cable she needs to be plugged into - she’s like a battery and she’s already charged up. Oh look, now all your birds are on fire and that’s providing more light for me. Amateur. Daughter, even your friends are disappointing.
- If you replaced Harpy’s mask with a fake, but she still believed it was real, would she gain any benefit from it? That might be a good idea to try on her. The mask is a temptation; something that’s always there as a reserve of power if she ever wants/needs/can be convinced to do a lot of bird stuff. Having a convincing fake there could work as a safe confidence boost, that she would feel better for having, but in itself it wouldn’t increase her power. She’s already got access to her own magical abilities. From NightMist’s perspective, it would probably only be upside for her to have a fake mask.
- In the Dark Watch Annual #3 episode, you specified that Harpy was the main person involved in freeing Setback from the fae influence after the incident with the leprechaun - how is it that she’s the best option here? What weaknesses does she exploit? What types of magic does Ogma use against her? How do the Dagda and the Morrigan involve themselves with the matter? The way that you deal with the Fae Court and getting out of a debt or agreement is to be tricky and/or to twist the words of the binding agreement in clever ways to get out of it. Or maybe get Ogma into Harpy’s debt somehow and then forgive that debt in return for them releasing Setback from his. Like, somehow she gets one over on him and, due to hierarchical stuff, wouldn’t you know it, now she’s queen of the leprechauns. Now, that’s more of a hassle than she would want to put up with, but she’ll abdicate in Ogma’s favor if he releases Mr. Riske over there. They spin this out to have occurred over the course of the issue - near the end Ogma’s had enough of this and calls on the others to take her away, but they obey her. It’s then that she reveals that, over the rest of the preceding issue, she’s said some rather odd things here and there that seemed a bit like non-sequiturs at the time that he’s acknowledged. Add them up, and it amounts to her being the ruler of leprechauns for tricky wordplay reasons. Him refusing her request for Setback’s freedom for a third time, right before he got fed up and called in the goons, is the trigger for everything else locking in. Now that I’m in charge, maybe I’ll just stick around for a while and join the Fae Court (the Morrigan is all cool cool cool and wants to see how this is gonna play out - she’s already interested in Harpy and wanting her around).
- Back in Setback’s episode it was mentioned that he was raised by a single mother - while I imagine that who is father was isn’t important, I’ll still ask: who was he and why wasn’t he around? In Adam’s mind, it’s not really addressed, but he thinks it was just divorce followed by his death. Somebody around sporadically for a while and then gone. Christopher imagines a slice-of-life story that goes into Setback being told by his mom that his father was a d-bag (short for dad bag, everybody) who left them and to not waste time thinking about him. Then, in the present, Setback decides he wants to track his father down, and in the process finds that he’d died like 3 years ago. He didn’t ever really amount to much, but he finds out about the family he started after leaving Pete and his mom. He’s got half-siblings and, while the guy wasn’t there for him, these kids wouldn’t even exist if his dad hadn’t left when he did and he did his best by them. Pete doesn’t even tell them that he’s related - he doesn’t want to change their image of their dad to include “abandoned a previous family”.
- Did Lillian ever date anyone? We don’t really get much of her life in prison other than conversations with Tachyon and the like during visiting hours. Surely there’s something that addresses it since she becomes Harpy, though. Comics are like 30% or more soap opera and Dark Watch in particular has a tendency to drift in that direction, which might explain flagging sales after a while (it’s definitely more soap opera than Freedom Five, but also definitely less so than Prime Wardens). More other characters than inter-team dynamics, but it happens (“everybody tried to date Alpha” as a possibly-just-a-joke aside here).
- In episode 183 there were a lot of questions about flesh children and their potential personhood which was quickly dismissed, but which I also find troublesome considering that we know some of them are sent out without knowing that they’re flesh children - acting like normal people right up until some critical moment; considering other autonomous or semi-autonomous artificial entities in the comics, (mechanical golems, Omnitron-X, etc.) how much of a “person” are they? Would killing a flesh child carry a moral hazard on par with killing a normal person? Adam thinks offhand that they are approximations of people, but not actually people. His basis for that is that even the ones that don’t know what they are don’t really think that they’re people; they’re just programmed to act as if they are normal people. Christopher disputes this as they’ve said that this kind of sleeper agent, like the Tempersonation, do think normally. We’re getting into the weeds on the difference between “seeming” and “being” - if I seem to be nice and I’m acting nice, does that mean that I am nice? Maybe. If everybody who sees this thing walking around thinks “that’s a person” and the thing itself thinks “I’m a person”, what would make it not a person? There’s a bunch of further running in circles on whether they think or just “think that they think” or what that even means. It’s a fun, confusing problem that, unfortunately, lacks a neat solution. Once they’re activated by Biomancer, they are essentially “dead” and puppets, but that just leads to a possible interpretation that Biomancer “makes people” just to kill them when he wants them to do a thing for him. At the very least, none of this nuance would be present for decades worth of Biomancer stories. For a long time they’d be understood to be non-sapient constructs with no moral peril in “killing” them, despite the fact that they think that they are sapient beings themselves. Christopher gets on-board with the statement that they’re not made to be sapient, sentient beings, but they are made to think that they are. Then we’re just left with the “seeming vs. being” problem and whether that is enough to create a moral dilemma in killing them. Even with all of that said, they don’t need to answer this question here (and likely shouldn’t) as it makes for an interesting point of discussion both in and out of comics.
- Does Biomancer make money by using a hospital or medical insurance company (make flesh children, have them “get sick” at an non-suspicious rate, have them use his high-priced hospital for services, slowly draining funds from companies into his bank account)? Seems good. Sure.
- Are some/most anti-vaxxers actually flesh children since they avoid hospitals? It’s certainly a good cover for the flesh children to use.
- If a Biomancer clone didn’t know that it was a Biomancer clone, would it try to make its own Biomancer clones as decoys? Would those clones fight for the right to be the “original” Biomancer (no, this isn’t the plot of an episode of Rick and Morty, so don’t bother double-checking)? Biomancer has absolute control over his flesh children. That being said, there are definitely Biomancer clones that totally believe that they’re the original. The real Biomancer shows up and they have a brief “Ah shucks, I thought it was me” moment before just getting on with it. The real one probably does have the occasional moment of uncertainty and tries to think of ways to test. Just seeing whether he can make the flesh melt off of himself is no good because he’s replaced so much of his body over the centuries. There’s probably an issue at some point that follows Biomancer as he’s making plans and everything, only for the real one to show up at the end.
- On a scale of 1-10, how bad would it be fore Biomancer to get his hands on Guise (considering his Philosopher’s Stone/Singular Entity-infused body)? It would be bad if he could render Guise’s body down into a slurry that he could then use to do his normal Biomancer stuff with. There would be an interesting question, though, on who’s conscious control that body stuff would respond to; Biomancer or Guise. That makes it a more interesting story.
- Why does CON have a gender (it seems like she might be the only Sentinel Comics AI to have a particular gender, so it’s a notable thing)? CON is the amalgamation of a bunch of people working together on it. A major part of that was Unity - like, they ballpark her as something like 40-50% responsible, with the people she was working with responsible for the rest. That is the single-largest-chunk of responsibility and it let Unity influence the final product more than the others and as CON’s intelligence was based on a gendered human intelligence, that resulted in CON presenting as female. That’s not to say that CON is Unity - she’s more like Unity’s “daughter”.
- What would happen to Muerto if there were no more electronics left on Earth? He would just be a ghost.
- How’s this for a custom “Final Wasteland”-type setting: Ryan eventually just gives up and opens all his suit’s valves, burning him to a crisp, then his isothermic transducer kicks in and generates a huge glacier around his corpse? That sounds reasonable, but it would be a result more of just his powers than anything reliant on the suit. The air rushing into the suit would burn him, but he’s still cold enough for that burning-him air to start freezing around him, but that could very well lead to a “glacier with AZ’s corpse embedded in it” happening.
- You mentioned the possibility of an “old Fanatic” in a Final Wasteland situation - if she believed that she could, could she bring back/fix the world? Would that not work as it requires affecting something besides herself? She can affect things external to her self. However, the way that she could probably try to do this would likely involve being convinced that she would need to sacrifice herself in some way to do it. The problem there is that while she might believe that it would work, once she’s dead there’s no more “belief” happening to make those changes happen and it wouldn’t work. Well, it might depend on how she imagines that this will happen - if she thought that whatever she was doing would fix things before she died, then it might. There’s a neat visual of her believing that whatever she’s doing will bring life back to the barren wasteland, and as she’s dying we see a circle of greenery and flowers sprouting around her, but then she dies and the circle stops expanding. Just this one little circle of her remaining influence where stuff grows.
- Christopher suggests a rather busy cover with the Expat-with-“dolls” scene while Setback wrestles with the werewolf and Harpy is preparing some kind of magical blast. Adam thinks that this kind of focus on the single most chaotic scene of the issue would have been something done in like the ’90s rather than 2010. By here were skirting the era where cover art might as well be portfolio pieces for the artist. Adam doesn’t like that, so if he’s calling shots at SC, he’d still insist that the cover be something to actually convey the story of/sell this particular issue.
- Alternate suggestion: roughed-up Setback and somewhat unhinged Harpy looking like they’re in trouble, but can these two heroes pull out a win? Maybe not even a whole lot of context of what their trouble is. Adam suggests possibly at least having werewolf shadows around them. Christopher’s about to go all-in on a cover blurb about the issue story when Adam tells him that at this point all he gets is the story name: “Werewolf Story part 6” or whatever.
- So, what is this issue in terms of that? Sure, there’s an 18-month arc, but there’s crossover between DW and Alpha: The Wolf-woman" during this time and everything is written with the eventually collected trades in mind. If we’re assuming 6-issue trades, this is the second month of the second 6-month block. “In the Clutches of the Coven” could work if they want to establish that Magistra Damaris is in something called the Coven or something. That kind of leaves the wolf part of the setup out, though. How about “Act on Instinct”? That’s more a good option for the first* arc. They want to have the vampire’s presence noted as well, though, since she’s important to the plot. Adam suggests that Blood Moon would be good for the third arc, but Christopher thinks that it’s great for this one as this is the bit where the vampire is most important. Blood Moon Part 2 it is, then.