Podcasts/Episode 201

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The Letters Page: Episode 201
Return of the Shipping Episode

Original Source

Primary Topic

    Intro

    Oh, hey there. Welcome.

    Show Notes:

    Run Time: 1:43:01

    Did you like our new intro music? I sure did! It's amazing.

    What is this episode all about? Your shipping letters! There are a lot of them. So many that we didn't get through all of them. Spoilers, I guess. Point is, this month's Editor's Note will involve MORE Shipping letters! We have so many left in the hopper still.

    Next week's episode is Tachyon's wedding! Get your questions in now!

    Characters Mentioned

    Summary

    Overview

    • They kind of counted on the listeners to handle this one. This isn’t a Writers’ Room or Creative Process where they have a specific set of things to make up and they already covered what they had ready to go the first time this topic came up. As such, there isn’t an Overview this week and we’ll get right to Questions.

    Questions

    • Based on some details in the Supernatural Settings episode: Biomancer/Madame Mittermeier? Shipping Biomancer with anybody is super weird to Adam. He brings up a discussion that happened in the Patreon Discord server the other day: somebody noticed that the reason the Mocktriarch (Biomancer’s Matriarch clone) had 117 HP is because that’s how many species of corvids there are and Adam quipped that he found one of each and that’s what she’s made of. He shows dedication to the craft, but the dude is creepy. That being said, if he’s dating Madame Mittermeier and she wants to watch a movie with him but he just really doesn’t want to watch it, he can always just sub in a duplicate of himself.
    • An old sunken ship is Captain Cosmic/Argent Adept, but that got nixed when it became apparent that AA was attracted to music and CC was attracted to beautiful but emotionally manipulative alien ladies who steal his powers - then DE came out. Christopher, we need to have a talk. What even is the flavor text on “Alacritous Subdominant” (CC saying “I feel the timbre of your verse flowing through me, shaping this construct like nothing I’ve ever manifested before!”)? What’s wrong with it? He just feels the power of Argent Adept within him that bolsters his ability to make constructs. Nothing wrong with that. Nothing! Normal friend stuff, like showing you how to make pottery. Don’t make it weird.
    • [I also used to ship NightMist/Harpy, but then we found out that their relationship is more mother/adopted daughter, so that’s out.] Actually, they think it’s more teacher/student, but the prohibitions there are still present. It’s not quite as familial a relationship as the rest of Dark Watch has, but still the power imbalance is weird for shipping.
    • [Then MindWanderer suggested Harpy/Marty Adams and that’s got potential.] They’re both “students” of more experienced heroes who deal with magic stuff, so that tracks. appreciative mumbles at the idea
    • You said that Absolute Zero had a love interest named Karen Gold in the ’60s/’70s, but that era would have been in his least approachable/most misanthropic; all a civilian would know of him would be that he’s a guy in a metal suit - how did they meet/start dating? Yeah, she shows up in the late ’60s and is stripped from his stories because the writers noticed that this was getting a little too cheerful for him and they needed to twist the knife some more as we got into the gritty ’80s. Throughout that time, however, she’s still there mainly to shine a light on just how cruel his existence is, even if nominally she’s a bright spot in his life. Like, she’s a significant other for him, but they can never touch. She’s a person who genuinely likes him for his personality and who he is, but ultimately that’s not enough and so she leaves him. We don’t actually get much about how they met - she’s there as a supporting cast to showcase his character rather than having much character of her own. Sure, she’s the target of villains in a story or two, but they don’t really get more to introduce her. She’s just there as “this girl AZ has been seeing between villain stuff”. About all we get is that she was an innocent bystander in some fight and they met as a result of that (say, something happened at a beatnik cafe and they exchanged two words and she realized he had the soul of a poet - quick, hamfisted, expositionary dialogue because it was the ’60s and they just needed to establish this instantly - if we even got that much). She’s around for not quite 15 years, but didn’t have a specific meeting point shown in the comics. A lot of support characters in that era of comics are just kind of dropped in unceremoniously. Now, in many cases that’s a matter of the assumption being that the character is part of the hero’s backstory and has been part of their lives all along, just without showing up on the page prior to being introduced.
    • In the Citizen Storm/Primal Wardens story Writers’ Room you mentioned that Arataki and the Argent Artist had dated - was this a case where alternate-universe versions of a person don’t always have matching orientations as one another or was his asexual/aromantic nature part of why their relationship didn’t work out? The former - the Argent Artist is not asexual/aromantic. Alt-reality versions of characters can differ from one another in lots of ways, so if you’ve got a ship pairing that you like, but the participants’ aren’t oriented accordingly, fear not! There’s some universe out there where they are.
    • [Quick shout-out to platonic friendships and appreciating the rare example of Absolute Zero and Tachyon being opposite-gender best friends who are just friends without any romantic shenanigans.] They really like that friendship as well. They think it’s one of the more mature relationships they’ve come up with.
    • [Another suggestion for Sky-Scraper and Tempest to be friends as they’re both friendly aliens with tragic pasts (and a shared instigator) trying to make their way on Earth, where they’ve fallen in love with pop culture. Sky-Scraper even likes Tempest just fine. Tempest, you’re missing out on a great buddy!] Well, they admit that Tempest has a long way to go, but that they’re on better terms even just by the time OblivAeon happens. He’s got internal stuff to deal with, but he’s not taking the time to deal with it yet as he’s keeping himself busy with all of the Maerynian stuff instead. He’s not dealing with Thorathian stuff enough for him to have to confront it. I mean, Vyktor’s around but he’s a monster and so probably wouldn’t help anything.
    • Who, in-universe, is a shipper? Who’s always trying to set the other heroes up with one another and/or gossiping about who’s dating (or should be dating) whom - my bet is on Unity? That’s a pretty good bet. Idealist is for sure up there too - she’s probably trying to set her uncle Jackson up with nice ladies all the time. And hey, if muscles aren’t your thing, she’s got a smart/creepy uncle too! As for others besides the obvious ones: Christopher suggests Haka and Adam suggests Legacy. Legacy totally gives the “So, when are you and [so and so] going to settle down?” speech. Haka is the type to meet two people who he thinks would be good together and then orchestrate some situation to get them together (which is kind of his way to live vicariously through others - he’s old enough that he’s kind of done with personal romantic relationships). An issue that would totally work is Unity reaching out to Haka as one of the wisest people she knows: obviously The Wraith and Bunker should be dating and just won’t acknowledge it, so help please. They do a whole thing to try to contrive that situation. It doesn’t work and they wind up mad at each other instead. Then Wager Master does something dumb and they wind up getting together.
    • [Letter begins with a long list of canonical couples and also frequent fan-ships] Are there any particular ships that you’ve seen among the fandom that you just find odd? Not cursed or anything, just something that you didn’t expect? From the list you gave, they think Felicia/Harpy and Felicia/Unity are a bit weird. They’ve given up on fighting Felicia/Ivana Ramonat (they don’t even meet!), but that one is a pretty standard-issue fan-ship to the point where it’s not weird. Stuntman/Mainstay seems more like a bros thing than a ship thing. Here’s a weird one not from the list: Legacy/Citizen Dawn is one that’s out there - Paul with anyone seems weird to them because he’s such an established family guy (some “temptations” a la Firestarter in the ’80s notwithstanding). Another weird one is Wager Master/Madame Mittermeier (laughs from Adam “Oh my god, we allowed that”).
    • How plausible are the following headcanon statements about relationships in the comics?
      • At least part of Ermine’s reason for getting involved with Fright Train was to annoy her parents: The problem is that Ermine and Fright Train started dating fairly late in the timeline. Like, it’s roughly contemporaneous with Bunker/Wraith. Almost as if it was a response somehow.
      • Expatriette is kind of non-monogamous - like, not so much that she wants multiple partners, but she would feel better if Pete had more people than just her, so he wouldn’t be alone if she were to die in some horrifically violent manner (or at least he’d have someone to do “normal” romantic stuff with): they don’t see it so much as “non-monogamous” as much as “you could do so much better than me.” She is aware that she is very good at the things she’s good at, but also that a big part of the awkwardness of their relationship consists of her trying to talk him out of being in a relationship with her. Like, he likes her for who she is and wants to be in a relationship with her. She thinks that that makes him an idiot. He acknowledges that that is her viewpoint on the matter, but let’s go get a pizza. He’s the emotionally mature one in the relationship, while she’s the one who’s actually good at life stuff in the relationship. From the outside it’s common to think of him as being the “younger kid of the two of them” and that’s not untrue for “daily life” and “crime fighting” stuff, but he’s actually the emotionally mature one. They are reasonably well balanced, despite the surface level not appearing that way at all. Thinking about him being alone after she died his stance would be that he’d be sad forever and she thinks that he should go out and start dating somebody new right away. “Look at these muscles. Somebody should be dating these muscles!” She might not want him to be actively dating somebody else while they’re together, but she does want him to have more people in his life (y’know, friends to go see movies with - ignoring the fact that he wants to see the movie with her).
      • Parse isn’t particularly interested in romance, but wouldn’t mind having a big himbo of a boyfriend who wasn’t intimidated by how smart she is - like having a human-shaped golden retriever: Parse is not a patient person and would not do well with somebody who couldn’t follow what she’s talking about, no matter how attractive. She is used to people not understanding her when she talks - being understood is high on her priority list for a companion. The kind of unconditional love you get from a dog is nice, but it’s also not from an equal. She would want somebody who can keep up with her, or at least is curious enough to want her to explain so that they do understand. Mordin Solus could work except he’s a bit too whimsical for her tastes. She and Expat are similar in that they’re more high-functioning than their partner, but that works for Expat and wouldn’t for Parse. What they need is very different.
      • Baron Blade occasionally considers getting married and having a Baroness, but more importantly he wants an heir to carry on the family line - they’ve got to best that Parsons dynasty eventually!: He does not have the time/attention/inclination to have a spouse. The occasional dalliance is all well and good, but he’ll grow a kid in a lab if necessary. He doesn’t love anyone but himself.
    • [Pretty entertaining in-character letter from An Overexcited Fangirl that’s so excited for the new canon relationship between… GTG and Flat River Group and whether we can expect some big deliveries or hefty updates.] They have more flexibility than they had before, so they expect to do some more big projects. Stay tuned, this year will have 3 more releases. Definitive Edition is out to backers and is now up on the webstore, as is The Cube which they’re excited about, but didn’t have a KS or pre-orders or anything. On The Cube, it’s apparently had quite a journey. It was Museumsplosion for a while (a placeholder name picked to intentionally sound stupid), apparently, but before that it was actually a submission for the “weird contest” for people to submit ideas along the lines of Deck Building: The Deck-Building Game - he really liked this one, but it was so much bigger than the other games they selected for that product line that they decided to make it its own thing instead of trying to chop it down in size. It was originally Tile Laying: The Tile-Laying Game and has had several iterations along the way. Legends of Sleepy Hollow is finally in the process of shipping to backers too.
    • How big did any of these get in the Multiverse:
      • Tricks & Chill (Glamour/AZ): I’m sure there’s somebody who ships them, but they don’t know about that one.
      • Point & Click (Parse/Omnitron [any version]): that one makes more sense. Definitely fills the requirement mentioned above about being able to keep up with her.
      • Lunar (or Solar) Eclipse (Baron Blade/Citizen Dawn - the name depends on which is the alpha in the relationship): That could be a strong Metaverse ship. You have to ignore the fact that Dawn wouldn’t want to be with somebody without powers. Maybe after Vengeance.
      • Game, Set, Match (Wager Master/Setback/Ra): Nope. That’s a nope.
      • Mega-bites (Omnitron/Mr. Chomps): Mr. Chomps is a sweet innocent robot, how dare you? Ignore his foul-mouthed, chain-smoking, hard-drinking tendencies.
      • Alpha (or Apex) Predator (Alpha or Apex [or both]/Naturalist): They can see people shipping Alpha/Naturalist.
      • Wromance (Wraith/Writhe): Eh… They both hang out in the shadows a lot. Maybe call it Cloak Closet.
      • Wordless Love (Progeny/Citizen Anvil): No thank you.
      • AeonSpring (OblivAeon/Wellspring): Christopher: “That one’s canon. [beat] No.
    • Are there any characters that got more ships than others? Certain ones that people connect with get more ships. Young Legacy, K.N.Y.F.E., Setback. Anybody who people identify with as characters. Wraith has generated a lot of heated discussion over a very long period of time - before Bunker she had a number of relationships and people had opinions on which were the right ones for her.
    • Is there a large Slash community online? There, kind of already is… The fact that we’ve got as much discussion about it here means that there’s definitely such a community in the Metaverse. Adam prefaces this with a disclaimer to only do this if you’re an adult, but AO3 already has plenty of Sentinels stuff if you go looking.
    • In many of the Wraith’s story we hear about the boyfriend that died(?) in the mugging that led to her becoming the Wraith; who was he? What was he like? What role did he play in particular in her deciding to become the Wraith? Do we every hear from him again (either in flashbacks or in “back from the dead but oh no it’s a trick!” stories)? Any Disparation stories where he became the Wraith after Maia died? Has she entirely moved on, or does a part of her still mourn for him? The reason they gloss over him so much is because he’s functionally a nobody. In her origin story he’s just there as backstory detail. You get the occasional retelling of that origin over the decades and in much more modern versions we get an added detail that the mugging was “her fault” (in that she wanted to take a shortcut down this alley). That being said, it is an important part of her story to the point that it’s weird that they’ve never told us that his name was Trevor Barr before now.
    • What kind of wacky incident finally got Wraith and Bunker to admit they had feelings for one another? How did the rest of the Freedom Five find out after they obviously tried to keep it a secret? What do they admire most about/get annoyed most about one another? How upset is Valentine about all of this? He’s devastated. The point where they realized it was the Wager Master story - “We only did this because Wager Master Cupid-ed us, right?” … “Oh no, I have feelings.” There was maybe a 6 months to a year where each of them is trying to hide the feelings while trying to figure out if the other one feels that way too. Meanwhile the rest of the team is just tired of this and just wants the two of them to just talk about it already - the rest of the team knew before they did. Both of them appreciate the levelheadedness the other possesses - when the midden hits the windmill they’ve got things under control. Adam points out that he, at least, doesn’t really spend a lot of time thinking about what he admires in people he’s in relationships (of various sorts) with. Like, he hasn’t thought about it in those terms and so would have difficulty actually putting it into words. Bunker and Wraith have been working together forever - they’re just very close and feel a camaraderie that’s just there. He doesn’t imagine that they have a list of qualities that they like about one another.
    • In DE we see Maia Montgomery having drinks with Mark Benedetto (presumably to get Leverage on him), but how far did things with him go? How many showers did she need to get rid of that gross feeling afterwards? She’s flirty at him a few times in attempts to get information out of him, but it’s not like they have a “relationship”. He’s likely also trying to get info from her - although he doesn’t figure she has much actual power over Montgomery Industries. She’s probably just the dumb rich girl with her name on the building while it’s actually run by a board of directors. That’s okay, he likes dumb girls.
    • Were Wraith and Naturalist ever close (both being industry people with secret identities)? Eh, they could see something like that happen in the ’00s or something. That could totally be something writers tried to make happen for 6 months or so, it’s just difficult to maintain due to the logistics of the two characters.
    • Preliminary question: in various places we’re told Wraith’s mom’s name is Abigail or Rebecca, which is it? Imagine if you would a ridiculously polysyllabic name: Abigail Rebecca Montgomery. Abigail also happened to be her mom’s name, so she goes by Rebecca and that’s generally what she’s known by.
    • Daniel Montgomery died during OblivAeon, but presumably Rebecca is still around - given that Wraith is perpetually in her 20s, her mom can’t be that old and probably has a lot of life left to live; would a current, RPG-era Rebecca have a nice date with any of the following: [Quick note: RPG-era Wraith is in her late-20s and they see her parents as having had her fairly late, and so put Rebecca in her 60s.]
      • Graham Pike (The Chairman): Maybe. He probably puts on a good date.
      • Michael Cross (Crossword): Probably no. He’s probably at least a decade or two younger than him.
      • Billy Barnum (the Entertainer): He’s roughly Wraith’s age (maybe in his 30s), so that would be weird.
      • Skeleton Key: No. Just no.
      • Kris Barron: Probably not. [Aside with Baron Blade taunting the Wraith about sleeping with her mother!]
      • Aislin Allen or Aminia Twain: Same answer for these two - “Rebecca Montgomery is a straight lady.”
      • General Armstrong: Sure, maybe.
      • A parent of Cassandra Lilya who also lost their significant other: That would be awkward. Wraith’s mom dating Ermine’s dad with the prospect of them becoming sisters is a fun story, but not one likely to have actually happened.
      • Ansel G. Moreau, Night Hunter: RPG-era Ansel is… probably not in the mood to date.
      • Jim Brooks: They joke that he’s a lot older than her [well, if you look at their dates of birth], but that could work.
      • Hugh Lowsley: No way. She is nowhere near unhinged enough for him.
      • Slim Walker: He’s very old for her and not looking for those sorts of attachments.
      • Ryan Frost: They don’t think that fits very well.
    • [Writer talks about their old ship of Legacy/Expatriette based on their upbringings: She had powered parents, but would appreciate him as somebody who would be caring/nurturing. His own mother was not powered, but he seems like the type to have respected her, so why not be with somebody like that.] Not something they’d considered, but the train of logic you employ makes sense.
    • That being said, I really like Setback/Expat for a lot of similar reasons - does she just have a thing for superpowered hunks? Would Setback be perfect for her even without his powers? Setback would probably be even more perfect for her if he didn’t have powers. It’s much more about personality than powers or “hunkitude” (which certainly doesn’t hurt, but it’s not what the relationship is based on).
    • If Legacy had been single when they met, could Expat and Legacy have been a thing? Doubtful - he’s kind of old for her. He’s “early middle age” already in the ’80s when she was a teenager. Even if we say they’re of comparable ages (because once you’re all in the “grown up” comics category it’s honestly hard to tell relative ages) it’s unlikely. He’s too corny for her, she’s too disreputable for him. She’s fine as an ally, but she’d need to straighten up and fly right for more to be on the table. Like, the only way this thought experiment works is if the writer is going for a “Legacy falls for a villain” kind of story, but that’s already exactly what Firestarter was there for. Citizen Dawn as Legacy’s mother-in-law is a fun Thanksgiving visual - granted, they think that Legacy/Dawn is more likely than Legacy/Expatriette and that goes to show how unlikely the latter situation is given how weird the former is.
    • How “safe” are the various relationships within the context of editorial meddling in the Metaverse? They lean way into OTP territory. They play around with character relationships until the right one happens and then basically never gets messed with (although they can think of a few they don’t want to talk about for spoiler reasons). Relationships can be threatened, but that doesn’t mean they’re broken. The fact that we’re all looking at the timeline at once gives us a kind of weird perspective on these things, though. Wraith/Bunker is new and isn’t something that was an on-again off-again thing for decades.
    • Have their been stories where writers tried to mess with the “established” couples and then are either just forgotten about or acknowledged as just that weird thing that happened years ago? Some of that definitely happens too. Either stuff that was X and Y go on a date or their dialog is real flirty for an issue, but then three months later that element is gone entirely. Or two characters kiss after a fight, but then nothing ever comes of that. The ones that we know about are the ones that succeeded.
    • Does Harpy have any love interests in the Multiverse era that for one reason or another just hasn’t come up? Does she get involved with anyone post-OblivAeon? No and yes.
    • Do we have any non-monogamous relationships in Sentinel Comics (other than the Ennead who are implied to be a polyamorous group)? How about the following as examples:
      • Expatriette doesn’t have time for jealousy and would be fine with Pete going on dates with other people (but Pete would never go for that)? Potentially - there could be a writer that had a situation where Pete wanted to go on a date night and she doesn’t and then the words “you should just date other people on the side” come out of her mouth. Nothing ever comes of that, but the idea could have actually been put out there on the page. The trick of it is that Pete is absolutely committed and faithful to her and she “doesn’t have time for” her relationship with him let alone anybody else.
      • Haka would only ever love one person at a time, but would be okay with that person needing more? Haka could almost count himself here. He doesn’t have a monogamous relationship. He’ll get together with somebody occasionally, but there aren’t ongoing relationships with those people. It’s complicated to think about his feelings on these matters. Like, he’d be up front with the idea that whoever he’s with “would be happier with someone else” and would step away. Lots of good heartbreak stories (his or theirs) around Haka.
      • There’s more than enough Stuntman to go around for everyone, right ladies (but then he’s jealous about his “harem” because he’s the worst)? Yeah, sure. You’re not wrong.
      • K.N.Y.F.E. doesn’t do monogamy, obviously, but does she do romantic relationships at all? Eh… she kind of does “romantic” stuff, but yeah, not “relationships”. She is similar to Haka in that she has no ongoing relationships but winds up entangled with people. She’s also very different from Haka in how she goes about things and her reasons for it. “K.N.Y.F.E. is ‘YOLO’ the character. In a lot of ways.”
    • Are there any polyamorous heroes? Are any such relationships depicted on-panel or only implied? How about a super team that was a polycule as a gimmick, but was quickly cancelled? The Ennead is canonically a polycule. In the Multiverse timeline there aren’t any heroes that are depicted this way; if somebody is sleeping with somebody who’s not their partner, that’s a source of drama. At an oversimplified but quickly-stated level, people in a poly relationship have talked about things ahead of time and so it’s not drama. Comic book storytelling is often “people aren’t communicating well and, as a result, there is drama”. Also keep in mind that the Multiverse era ended in 2016 and greater cultural awareness/discussion of such things wasn’t really prevalent until around then (or at least they don’t recall it being talked about much). So, Multiverse-era it wouldn’t really have been a thing, but who knows for the RPG era. They don’t have any specific plans for it right now, but it’s not completely off the table.
    • We know that Captain Cosmic is our resident Space Flirt™ and that most of his forays appear to just be flings, but do any of these incidents come back later? Say, does some beautiful space princess that he hooks up with come back into the picture as an Empress at the head of an invading alien fleet? Any young alien heroes with energy powers and suspiciously half-human features cropping up out there? There are for sure tons of situations that come back to haunt him. It’s not until… maybe the late ’00s when he starts transitioning from Space Flirt™ to Space Dad™ and writers start moving away from that angle for him. Happily, we start to get K.N.Y.F.E. picking up that role around then. He’s still got his entanglements (and complications arising from them), but they’re treated a bit more seriously.
    • Here’s the shipping question that everybody’s really waiting for: how long until the last DE box is shipped out to backers? Is there any rhyme or reason to the order in which they shipped? How much space at GTG is filled with DE boxes? All of the backer boxes have been shipped! The rhyme/reason is sorted by type of order: all the people who just got the game and foils went out before people with those plus sleeves and anything more complicated than that (more than one copy of a thing, for example) was after those “easy” ones. It’s just easiest way to batch the job to streamline the actual process of packaging and shipping. Within those categories, Christopher’s not actually sure. It’s not by backer number. It might be by backer order. Certainly not by name. It’s whatever order that the Kickstarter people put them onto the spreadsheet that gets handed off to them to put into the shipping software.
    • We know that both Captain Cosmic and K.N.Y.F.E. have quite the list of hookups, but which of them have had the weirder experience? We were told that they never wound up with each other, but if they wound up in a bar trying to one-up each other, who’d have the more impressive example? Would such a scene have them actually say it on-panel, or would one just whisper in the other’s ear, evoking a stunned “Okay, you win”? They both think K.N.Y.F.E. Captain Cosmic sleeps with variously colored space women. K.N.Y.F.E. does not have such standards. She’s out there for unique experiences. If she’s run into something the likes of which she’s never seen before… fantastic. YOLO. If the mic-drop example is stated for the reader, it might just be her dropping the tidbit that she’s actually married to a member of the Fae Court. If whispered, the reaction from Hugh is “The whole thing?” “Yeah, the whole thing.” What the reader doesn’t know is that she’s talking about Orbo. They’ll let the listener try to work out the logistics there.
    • You mentioned a long time ago that Sky-Scraper and Captain Cosmic had a relationship that didn’t go anywhere, but that didn’t come up in the later Sky-Scraper Supporting Cast episode that went into detail on some of her other relationships - given that (I think) the former was before the Timeline Project, have you since then decided that the two heroes simply didn’t date? has the Hugh/Portja thing just become an event that writers/readers treat as having not happened? The Hugh thing probably happened in the late-’80s and was acknowledged that they’d dated for Space! reasons (she’s an alien and he’s Space Flirt™). It’s a few issues at most and then we all pretend that it never happened as they move on to do other stuff with Portja. It’s technically canon, but nobody brings it up.
    • Is there more context for K.N.Y.F.E./Chrono-Ranger? Was it “standard” or “Best of Times” Jim? Was he on a longer CON mission or did La Comodora give him some shore leave? This happens after the Lone Gun one-shot which is the transition to Best of Times. He and La Comodora are doing stuff out in space and run into K.N.Y.F.E. who’s also out there doing her thing and so joins up with them for a few issues of Time & Time Again in mid-2014 (issues #31-33). The… liaison between Jim and Paige happens at this time.
    • Speaking of Jim, you sunk the idea of him and La Comodora, but how about him with a younger La Capitan? Is there perhaps a time pirate from the Telenovelaverse who wanted to smooch a problem away instead of punching it? It would not surprise them at all if at least one of the various La Capitans they capture tried to seduce him. This sort of thing isn’t off the table.
    • In RPG era, is Brianna Hawke interested in the new History/Shootin’ teacher at Freedom Academy? She’s a possibility for a lot of people. That’s not bad. She’s closer in subjective age to her than to, say, Rebecca Montgomery.
    • Unity went through a bunch of one-off dates before winding up with Benchmark; did she ever go on a date with Pete Riske or Marty Adams? No on Setback and probably not with Marty - they run in different enough circles that it’s unlikely.
    • In the Multiverse-era did Paige ever drunkenly kiss another girl in a bar? Yes, but does she even need to be drunk for that?
    • Any follow-up dialogue from her about not really being into that/regretting it/etc.? No. She’s not one for regrets.
    • What percentage of the K.N.Y.F.E.s sent to Wagner Mars Base were married to strange Fae Court entities? At least 20% of them. Maybe not to the same (alt-reality) entity in particular, though. It’s hard to pin down. A survey was not taken.
    • Which number is higher: the number of humans destroyed by OblivAeon or the number of The Fervor has given power to? The OblivAeon one.
    • If Blood Countess had survived into the Final Wasteland by finding Haka and drinking his blood, how many decades would it take before one fell in love with the other and then how long before they break up? [Lots of high-pitched hedging noises before answering with:] Who can say?
    • If Argent Adept, Baron Blade, and Time-Slinger were to compete in a hansomeness contest, who would win (and which hero would have to join the contest just to keep Baron Blade from cheating)? Adam, before the question is even done being asked: “Time-Slinger” although he admits that RPG-era Argent Adept has a very nice beard. Setback is the guy who comes in to stop Baron Blade. Then he ends up winning because Expatriette is a judge.
    • How much effort is xxtz’Hulissh putting in to keep its romantic interests a secret? Seems like an Unknowable being would try to keep that under wraps, but it can’t keep it a Secret or Veil would know, right? We fall back again on things being Unknowable is distinct from it being a Secret. Also, xxtz’Hulissh has a really good poker face.
    • Any hints on running romantic subplots in the SCRPG? Yes: talk about it beforehand. Make sure that everyone is on-board/do not surprise anyone with it. That largely applies to any aspect of the game (power scale/stakes of the game, etc.) but figuring out if everybody is down with romantic plots between player characters, between them and NPCs, or whatever is something that should be hashed out prior to those plots happening. Knowing your and your players’ comfort levels is key here. Additionally, how involved those romances are going to get with whatever peril is facing the heroes. Beyond that for actually running them, consider the toolkit that is the existence of Twists within the system. Maybe not for every bit of drama involving relationships, but they’re there to use if you want them. A lot of the best roleplaying experiences happen without any of the actual game mechanics being involved, after all.
    • What’s an example from Sentinel Comics of the “Dogged Underdog” archetype that worked out for the best when romance was involved? Setback is the obvious one. They don’t have a lot of Dogged Underdog characters who go on to have successful romances. Sorry to give the really obvious one as the only answer, but he’s just so much the example for this sort of thing. Comics are mostly populated by competent, attractive people and so pairing them up is kind of easy. Not that Setback is unattractive or incompetent, but he’s the most “underdog” guy they’ve got and is kind of the goofball of the group.
    • Due to the number of submitted questions for this topic, the Editor’s Note will be a continuation/follow-up for more of them. Christopher did want to end today with this one, though:
    • With all of the shipping going on, can we hear more about some of the friendships? We know about Tachyon/Absolute Zero and Mainstay/Stuntman, but who else hangs out in their free time? Board game nights? Emotional confidants? Who knows whom’s coffee order and will bring them a fresh cup as a pick-me-up? Every team has friends. NightMist and Mr. Fixer are a good one; she’s the “magical mentor” of the team, but he’s just the mentor. The two of them have conversations about that stuff - sharing their experience, but also their fear and doubt. Then the Dark Watch team itself forms officially and he’s kind of a monster. For that matter, so is she! By the time they’d have a good conversation about all of the weird stuff that happened to them, she’s gone. Harsh. Scholar is everybody’s friend, more or less. Naturalist/Akash'Thriya and Naturalist/Argent Adept are both there. In the ’90s we get a bit of that with Wraith and Setback - he’s introduced as an ancillary-to-the-Freedom Five character. Tachyon has Unity in that kind of role and Setback kind of starts working with Wraith in a “I’m going to fight street-level crime” sort of capacity. That pretty quickly gets dropped when they have him get involved in Expatriette stories instead. He and Wraith do have more of a friendship than is often alluded to, though. Early on they can see Expatriette and Parse being frenemies/rivals somewhat. Bunker and Wraith are in this category for forever until the writers have them get together romantically. Like, Legacy is “everyone’s dad” and then we had the Tachyon/AZ and Bunker/Wraith friend pairings for decades. Prime Wardens is a bunch of somewhat dysfunctional friends. They’re all “friends” but most of them can’s “do friendship” right. Haka/Tempest is probably the most functional friendship between them and they are very good friends, but beyond that… Argent Adept does his zoning out magic thing without telling anybody. Captain Cosmic flies off to do space stuff at the drop of a hat. Fanatic is… well… Fanatic. Haka and Tempest are the rock holding the team together and for a good chunk of time Tempest isn’t even Tempest.