Podcasts/Episode 215

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The Letters Page: Episode 215
Writers' Room: Disparation Vol. 2 #103

Disparation Vol 2 103.png

Original Source

Primary Topic

Galactra

Intro

Time for a bit of passionate heroics!

Show Notes:

Run Time: 1:26:14

We're into the month of June! Disparation all month! Will it wear out its welcome? Who can say? Time will tell!

First, we get into the heady topic of "chip clips" and then solve them. Also, we tackle fries. Is this the return of the food episode? Listen and find out!

This coming Friday, we're recording an episode about "Vampire World". Get your questions in before the sun rises and we all turn to dust!

Characters Mentioned

Summary

Overview

  • They’ve already got portions of this one figured out. In March of 2011 we have Disparation vol. 2 #103. The first quarter of the book introduces the character in medias res during a big splashy fight scene. The next quarter does the backstory. Then the back half of the book is a big villain fight. [They talk a bit here about the timing of other Inversiverse content in Disparation - this is cleared up a bit in the Letters Page Discord but they got details wrong after looking at the wrong line in the spreadsheet. This is right in the middle of the era where Disparation had regular Inversiverse backup stories rather than being shortly before it as stated in this episode. That being said - they did say that there were occasionally full issues of Inversiverse content rather than just being backup stories, they just didn’t know that today’s issue was one of those.] Anyway, our story today is about Issa Uzara, Captain Cosmic.
  • Okay, so the bare-bones story structure is there, but not details. If this was a main-reality story, the level of threat they’re looking for is something like “Captain Cosmic fights the Celestial Tribunal”, but they can’t just do that, because it’s the Inversiverse. We could do “Thorathian rebels” as the bad guys. Dok'Thorath is such a great place, why would anyone rebel against it? But we’ve got some Thorathian terrorists who are out to do bad stuff - they’re using the Inverse Thorathian Freedom Fighters as the villians.
  • So, we have Captain Cosmic chasing after these Thorathian terrorists who have kidnapped some important Thorathian potentate and are fleeing in commandeered space ships. Fun action where she’s flying around blasting some ships, crashing through the hulls of others to fight inside, etc. She winds up capturing a bunch of the terrorists and saving the potentate. After returning them to Dok’Thorath she’s about to fly off to do whatever when she gets a mental message from Fesauthia the Fervor who congratulates her on a job well done, but that there’s more that requires her attention (apparently Fesauthia is much more involved in the Inversiverse than she is in the main continuity). That reveal is a prompt to show the backstory here. Just how Inverse do we want to go?
  • Well, as a Singular Entity the Fervor is still a being of Passion and she’s not going to change too much here. Does Issa come from a planet of passionate people where she was the cold one? Nah - the circumstances don’t have to be inverted, just the morality. She’s still the passionate one from a cold culture, but rather than going in a rebellious direction with it she’s trying to get people to enjoy life more. She wants the power because there’s something horrible that’s going to happen and she’s the only one who cares enough to save people now instead of just taking time to see what happens/deal with it later. Maybe the threat to the planet could be the Host because that’s all about emotions and whatnot.
  • What about Jansa? Have we done what she’s up to here? [looks it up] Yes, she’s still collecting Endlings, but she’s also creating them by destroying everyone else from their civilizations. That’s fun - she shows up on Ellona Bohz. Sure, the people fight back, but they’re not really fighting together. They don’t have the will to rally together in a coordinated resistance. Or maybe we stick with that “looming threat” thing in that they find out Jansa is coming for them and they just can’t be bothered.
  • That latter one raises the question of how this civilization got as advanced as it is while being that uncaring about everything. The main continuity has them as more coldly logical (like Vulcans), but being this resigned over the end of their people is beyond that. Maybe the backstory here also goes into detail about how they became an advanced civilization and then decided that there was too much competition/ambition and so they did away with it entirely. Sure, there’s no more war and backstabbing within the culture, but now they’re vulnerable to this coming disaster. Really, the Narians aren’t really important in either continuity so it’s possible that this explanation of how the Inversiverse is different was also just a letters page answer rather than being in the story itself. Basically, the idea is that the decision to be analytical was made by people doing so for good reasons in the main reality and bad reasons here because Inversiverse.
  • Anyway, Issa is someone who has somehow broken away from that and is going to find a way to save her people. She, rather than demanding power from the universe, is more in a position of pleading to the universe that there must be a way to save her planet and that’s when Fesauthia steps in. She’s not doing the “here’s some power, go for it” deal - she’s going to ask a lot from Issa in return in this reality. It’s a much more hands-on arrangement where she will make Issa into Captain Cosmic, which should let her save her people, but then she’s going to get sent on other missions as well as a Scion of the Fervor! She also likely gets banished from Ellona Bohz anyway for breaking the rules of their culture or something.
  • So, we have the intro and the origin, what for the main threat for the back half of the story? We could just lean on the Enclave, but we already did something related to that. Maybe we can use Jansa as a coda, showing that she was behind the seemingly-unrelated threat of the main plot of the book. Like, maybe she sends out her executioner Slamara or something.
  • Anyway, this story should be a showcase of the good parts of Passion. Galactra is Passion taken to dangerous extremes, but this story can be one that shows how much a force for good it can be when channeled in the right way. Passion as an expression of the real truth of a person and being the best version of yourself. Galactra also lacks compassion - she’s very selfish so having this Captain Cosmic be very compassionate is another useful way to contrast the two of them.
  • So, we need a story where her having this compassion and wearing her heart on her sleeve is her strength. They also kind of need a “space good guy” to give the Inversiverse treatment as a villain, but those are kind of sparse. It’s too early for Void Guard. They very intentionally have a small number of heroic space characters in their roster because if you have a lot of them in the regular continuity you wind up with a “why haven’t they just solved all the space problems?” situation. It’s no longer the “unknown”. They do have K.N.Y.F.E. who at least ducks in and out of space stories since the ’90s.
  • On the K.N.Y.F.E. front, we have to address the fact that F.I.L.T.E.R. here is the First International Laboratory for Testing Experimental Rehabilitation - it’s not even a super prison, but is just a facility on Earth. Specifically, they have a base in Antarctica that happens to have a “super powered wing” known as the Block. Okay, so let’s riff on the possibilities here:
  • Paige Huntly serves as a rehabilitation worker in the Block. She encounters some inmate who has persuasion powers or something. She is legitimately trying to help this person out, but doesn’t know that the person is trying to manipulating/undermining her. In the end she winds up doing something under this influence and winds up with powers, but corrupted. Christopher: Now all we need is a reason for her to be in space and we’re good to go. Adam: That inmate can be an alien.
  • This alien doesn’t have to be anyone, because using up more of our characters in related stories just makes the world smaller. That being said, Greazer could be fun as he kind of straddles that good/bad line anyway (he kind of generally works out as an antagonist for the heroes, but deep down he’s a good guy - reversing that might not really work, though). We also don’t really want to spend too much time working through this background stuff. She worked in the Block, got corrupted by this alien, gets powers, and escapes with this alien to space. The alien is small-minded in terms of what it wants, though, and Paige had been drawn in by the possibilities that Space! offers and so either kills or simply abandons the alien somewhere and goes off on her own. She’s going to fight and conquer, possibly getting some like-minded people to join her along the way.
  • So the villain here is also this passionate, driven person, but (again) lacking in compassion. It’s entirely possible that Fesauthia just points Captain Cosmic her way without giving actual instructions in what needs to be done about her - or maybe it’s more interesting to have her give Captain Cosmic directions but then CC defies them to do another thing. Could be a simple “go kill her” order that’s refused in order to help her instead, or we could go with a less antagonistic “here’s this passionate person, help her find her place” but CC winds up needing to kill her for the greater good (removing this passionate person to allow the joy of others to be greater). For the latter, it’s possible that this Paige Huntly puts CC in a position where the choice is to kill her or Paige kills a bunch of other people. It’s not like the Fervor cares about those people’s lives within the context of their deaths just being part of Paige’s conquest (which is a big Passion thing).
  • Acronym for the villain? They don’t want K.N.Y.F.E. again and there are other reasons for not using S.W.O.R.D. or [B.L.A.D.E.](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blade_(character)). The thing that Christopher finds himself drawn to in this situation is B.R.A.N.D. [see definition 4] - or maybe just pick a non-acronym since the acronyms are typically given by F.I.L.T.E.R., which wouldn’t be the case here. They take some off-air time to look up names and they just landed on The Malcontent. Her deal is to disrupt systems so that she can take over the ashes of whatever metaphorical fires she starts. Her time spent as a rehabilitation person gives her a good handle on systems and psychology and she’s good at nudging things. Backstory is covered in something like a two-page spread as the Fervor dumps knowledge into Issa’s mind.
  • So, we have Malcontent doing a thing and Captain Cosmic being sent her direction to maybe help with the whole high Passions thing, but she winds up doing the heroic thing rather than the “all emotions are good” thing. They don’t really want CC to disobey the Fervor, but maybe misunderstanding unclear instructions. Like, the direction was to find the best way to channel Malcontent’s emotions, but the best solution is one that requires realizing that there’s no way for Malcontent’s passions to run high that doesn’t result in misery for everyone else and so she gets put down. CC can try her best, but the Fervor reassures her that not all expressions of emotions are good expressions. It’s fun to imagine that whatever the outcome was that the Fervor would have spun that as being what she intended to happen. It’s also fun to have this reality to be her actually trying something rather than just doing a thing and moving on (like with Galactra).
  • So, what does Malcontent to, what does Captain Cosmic do about it, and how do things shake out between the two of them. Adam proposes that Malcontent has gotten into a place and has prompted some infighting and whatnot. There’s this one planet she really wants to control but there’s no way she’s getting in there without destabilizing the whole solar system first. This general idea prompts Christopher:
  • There’s a planet of very emotional people - the exact opposite of the Narians’ culture while being relatively nearby. It’s known to the Narians and so Captain Cosmic knows about it as an option. Her plan is to collect Malcontent and take her there as she figures that she could fit right in there. Where does she get Malcontent? She’s just flying around in a spaceship doing her thing here and there and CC just tracks her down. A fight starts (because Paige Huntly is still Paige Huntly) but CC is there to talk/help. She directs her to fly over to emotional/fighty planet and explains how she thinks that Malcontent will fit right in there.
  • It’s not enough; even with a relatively conducive culture she wants more. She makes some plan to try to destabilize the orbit of the planet so that it hurdles into the sun while she herself goes off to to even bigger and better things. Adam thinks this is kind of a dumb plan for her: what does blowing up a planet (or equivalent) actually do for her? That’s why Adam’s initial pitch here was that there was a specific place that was so stable that she’d have to destabilize a lot more things just to worm her way in.
  • Okay, so maybe we have a stable planet/culture, but part of that is that they set up a colony on their moon where all the disruptive elements got sent. That was all long enough ago now that the moon has it’s own culture, but one that’s considerably more chaotic than the planet. The moon would be a great place for Malcontent - it’s full of the sorts of passionate people she’s already kind of started to surround herself with as her ship’s crew.
  • Of course, Malcontent doesn’t want to just integrate with this society. She wants to take the planet too, so her plan becomes to drop the moon onto it which should be sufficiently disruptive to give her an in with whatever survives.
  • Reminiscing about the time that Galactra tried to steal a moon presents them with the solution. Captain Cosmic has to “steal” this moon to keep it from falling onto the planet.
  • So, they come up with some mechanism by which this moon society works. There’s some mechanism by which they power everything by the geothermal or similar properties of the moon, but it requires somebody do be hooked into the system to “drive” it. Everybody else can just go about doing their thing as long as somebody is doing the work. Malcontent volunteers for some time doing this job and that’s where she gets the means to also destabilize things so that it falls out of its stable orbit. Captain Cosmic uses her powers to fight against whatever it is that Malcontent is doing and that strain winds up destroying her (and the mechanism so nobody is “driving” the moon anymore). This is a good outcome in that the moon isn’t going to crash into the planet, but its neat, regulated orbit is no longer present and so tides and other things start to go weird on the planet as a result too so it’s not a neat and tidy resolution.
  • This one was kind of messy, so…

Recap

  • Book opens with a battle already in progress with Captain Cosmic in battle against Thorathian Terrorists who have kidnapped some important potentate. It’s “Captain Cosmic” still with Galactra’s blue/white color scheme. She takes over the ship that the hostage was on, returning them and the captured terrorists back to Dok’Thorath. As she’s ready to leave the planet, she’s contacted by Fesauthia the Fervor and that causes her to reminisce.
  • Flashback to her origin story where Ellona Bohz gets word that they’re in danger of a civilization-ending attack by the Terminarch, Jansa vi Dero. The culture is too detached emotionally to care or do anything. Issa Uzara is not so emotionless and so calls out to the universe for the power to help her people, at which point the Fervor grants it to her as her champion Captain Cosmic. She saves her planet, but also gets banished for her emotions.
  • Back to the present, the Fervor tells Captain Cosmic that she needs to go handle a situation caused by somebody calling themselves Malcontent. Info dump about this universe’s Paige Huntly who was once a F.I.L.T.E.R. rehabilitation person but is now running a space ship with a similarly chaos-minded crew around and disrupting things.
  • CC tracks Malcontent down, they fight because of course Paige wants a fight, but they eventually have a discussion about how CC knows a place where they all might fit in - the moon provides what’s necessary so the inhabitants can all do what they want. New detail: The moon is alive! It’s a Satellan, which form symbiotic relationships with a planet that it will then orbit. Somebody has to interface with the Satellan every month and when Paige does so she convinces it to do the whole “crash into the planet thing, Orbo”. The climactic battle that kills Paige also kills Orbo. Let’s get rid of the “exile” bit of the moon’s history - Orbo is just a Satellan that goes around and has accumulated this population of chaotic people over time because of the way he provides for their needs. He’ll travel to planets and orbit them for a while and powers himself back up due to gravity or something, but then moves on. Malcontent is going to use him to crash into a planet, though, and after he’s dead his body continues to orbit the planet as a new moon (which is why it’s so disruptive - it wasn’t always there).
  • Anyway, CC has to fight Malcontent-while-interfaced-with-Orbo and we have a cool fight in the core of the “planet” where she has to overpower them and that process winds up just killing them.
  • Captain Cosmic laments the fact that she couldn’t “save” Malcontent or similar, but is reassured by Fesauthia that sometimes strong emotions can be destructive, etc.
  • Coda where Jansa, observing these events, has determined that this Captain Cosmic is unique among the Narians and would make an excellent addition to her collection and therefore sends Slamara after her.

Questions

  • [Letter starts off with how it’s kind of weird that Galactra saves Captain Cosmic at the cost of her own life in Vertex while she has nothing but rage for him normally] If they gave that impression about only hating him or whatever in early statements about her, that has been retconned and it should be clear by now that her feelings towards him in the main continuity are not that simple. They were wrong about a lot of stuff in the early episodes. Basically the first 50-ish episodes predated the Timeline Project and are very suspect in places, then the next section of episodes is pretty good but still off here and there, but it’s really started to get tightened up once they started doing the actual prep work for the Definitive Edition set and the start of Writers’ Room episodes (so since around summer 2019).
  • What are Inverse Galactra’s feelings towards Captain Cosmic? She is Captain Cosmic!
  • Is Hugh Lowsley the handsome bad boy that she just knows that she can change? There’s certainly a story that involves him (likely as one of the backup story plots) that has Captain Cosmic, Null, and Materio [the Lowsley brothers were mentioned in episode 91]. It likely doesn’t have the same romantic subplot stuff just given what they’d already done regarding Null and Materio. It’s possible that the romance is between Issa and Nigel rather than between her and Hugh. They could see doing (down the line) and “Inversiverse backup stories” episode where they do a Writers’ Room for 3 or 4 of them which could include this one. Adam also brings up the question of, in the case that they do a Disparation issue that fits into the period with backup Inversiverse stories, if they’d do the main plot and the backup story. Why not!
  • If Inversiverse Rahazar were to show up in comics (granted, that’s pretty low odds), what would his deal be? Given that he was a terrible tyrant in the main continuity, they could easily tie a bow on that and say that he was the benevolent leader of the “good” planet featured in today’s episode. The only reason to not bother doing that is since they cover a lot of ground in this issue, such a person wouldn’t really get much time on the page and it seems like a bit of a waste to put a named character in that position. In any event, “inspirational leader” is the archetype slot he’d fill. They could just drop him in here as a cameo and come back to him again in a later issue too.
  • Prompted by the thought of Inverse Galactra, how do Singular Entities go about choosing who to grant powers to? Well, in this episode we see one taking a much different approach to her relationship to such a person.
  • If a Singular Entity sees that a person should be given powers, do they choose to give it only to that Scion? It seems like handing out powers to a person across the functionally infinite Multiverse would be time consuming and/or likely a significant drain on the Entity’s power, right? They don’t think there’s a “should” or rule involved. They also don’t think that it takes any energy from them to “maintain” a Scion’s status nor that granting power to a person actually reduced the power they have available in a meaningful way (or even at all - maybe they just arrange for things to be this way without “giving of themselves” in order to make the Scion) - the size of the Multiverse doesn’t really matter to a Singular Entity. The important thing regarding Singular Entities in general or Scions in particular is that there isn’t any kind of hard and fast rule about how things must work.
  • It seems like being chosen to be a Scion might involve being so dedicated to the aspect that the Entity represents that such a person would seem insane by normal metrics; is Galactra “insane with passion” as an example? Her people would see her as insane for sure. They don’t think you necessarily have to be that dedicated to a thing. Legacy isn’t dedicated to Progress - Wellspring just seeded power into this family line and that line in total represents an embodiment of Progress, but no individual is dedicated purely to it. Again, there aren’t hard and fast rules. Some Scions are dedicated to the aspect of their patron, others might just have a connection through weird circumstance (Guise and Wager Master, for example), and some might be unwitting Scions like the Legacy example.
  • Did Null and Materio show up in today’s episode? Does this story take place before or after the events mentioned in episode 91 where we first heard about them? This story takes place after that earlier one. They’re not in today’s issue, but they and Captain Cosmic would all appear in that backup story from even later. [Moved from discussion after next point:] This heroic Galactra/Captain Cosmic would definitely also show up in the big splash-page fight cameos during OblivAeon.
  • Are certain major events in the main continuity mirrored in the Inversiverse? Was there a villainous Materio story to mirror the heroic Infinitor one? Would the Inverse Galactra have a role in that story? Sometimes events get mirrored like that. It would hard to have one for heroic Infinitor, though, since the only real time to have it happen would be during (or maybe after) OblivAeon. It’s also very important to note that Disparation continuity is not policed nearly as strongly as the main reality’s continuity. Like, by a long shot. Sometimes you might have a comic that somebody did that eventually gets retconned into being part of the Inversiverse just because the characters in it happened to be reversed on the hero/villain axis even if the original author didn’t actually intend for that to be the case, so you get oddities. Beyond that, with the Multiverse there are probably multiple functional Inversiverse-like realities so who even knows if disconnected “inverse” stories are in the same continuity. The Extremeverse is notable in that it’s several different kinds of XTREME in the same reality. Why not? but also: Why?
  • Have these important-to-the-main-continuity alternate universes shown up in Disparation:
    • The home universe of Omnitron-X (or maybe 2 universes since there’s apparently two of them)? There’s probably some story about the story world Omnitron-X came from, but it’s not terribly interesting. Like, it’s just one where Omnitron tried 9 times without winning and gave the 10th time travel abilities and an empathy chip to try to go back in time to change things. They also think that both Omnitron-X units came from the same reality. Like, something happened during its hopping around time that wound up splitting off a new version, only one of which then went back to the Singularity story. One thing to say about this “home universe” is that it’s more technologically advanced than ours.
    • The home universe of the Aminia Twain that becomes Miss Information? That one doesn’t seem all that different from the main continuity at least up until Aminia’s death. Oh, there’s something to try. We could even have a story in volume 1 of Disparation where the story is showing what were to happen if Aminia Twain were to die. Like, the team fails to save her and then without her organizational support the team just falls apart. Later this story is used as the basis of the Miss Information backstory. Let’s put that into issue #17, April ’91.
    • The home universe of Dark Visionary? They don’t think we see this in-depth. Mostly just flashback stuff from regular Visionary stories. [Note that they have said that an Evil Visionary story that got retconned to explain the Dark Visionary personality was featured in Disparation vol. 1 #3 in prior episodes.]
    • The home universe of K.N.Y.F.E.? They don’t think so. She’s been so all over the place since joining F.I.L.T.E.R. that even she isn’t exactly sure what her home reality was. Things just kind of blur together when you’re going in and out of so many different realities.
    • Is Sergeant Steel from Universe 1 or does he have his own home universe? It’s most likely the case that he’s from some other universe, but we don’t get into his backstory enough to the point where we’d explore that.
  • Is Paige Huntly’s new moniker, Rival, an acronym? No and neither is Malcontent, but for much the same in-universe reason: they weren’t given my F.I.L.T.E.R. Well, also for the same reason here in reality - Christopher and Adam don’t want to have to come up with more acronyms.
  • In episode 209 it was revealed that there were two Omnitrons-X (for the purpose of this letter we’re adopting the terminology “Traveler Omnitron-X” for the one who was part of the Singularity event and simply “Omnitron-X/U” for the other who stuck around more long-term); in the past you mentioned Omnitron-X had a time travel team-up with Chrono-Ranger - was that Traveler Omnitron X or Omnitron-X/U? Both? Neither? That would have been Omnitron-X/U.
  • With the knowledge that Traveler Omnitron-X shows up here and there across time, but out of order, is it possible for him to show up in the RPG era or would the sandwich bag stop such encounters? Absolutely not possible.
  • Did Traveler Omnitron-X ever show up in Disparation? For sure.
  • Did an alternate version of Omnitron-X show up in Disparation? For sure.
  • Was Traveler Omnitron-X ever used as a deus ex machina in a story after he was introduced? They don’t think so.
  • Before Omnitron-X/U became Omnitron-U was there any way to distinguish the two of them by looking at them? Somewhat. Whenever Traveler Omnitron-X shows up it always looks the way it does in Singularity (taking into account changes in art style over time). Omnitron-X/U starts that way, but as it’s around we see a lot of different tinkering with different plating/chassis stuff over the years. When Omnitron-X gets a deck in Definitive Edition there will be a wider variety in appearance due to this than there was for the EE deck.
  • What’s the deal with Omnitron-X’s timeline with regards to the original diagram you provided back in episode 9? So, Omnitron-X is created and goes back to destroy the original during Singularity - however, it hits some other points along the way to try to “triangulate” its endpoint and to also solve a few other problems here and there that it knows about. During one of those stops, that iteration of Omnitron-X gets its time travel equipment damaged (i.e. during the encounter with Free Radical) and that expression of Omnitron-X isn’t jumping around anymore. This is a situation where they realized that they’d created too complicated of a story to be accounted for with what they’d originally intended. It’s a retcon, but rather than one that changes the story, it’s one that’s meant to explain the story as told originally [remember earlier in this episode where they talked about how the first 50 episodes were in terms of details]. This creates a paradox, since the Omnitron-X in the Free Radical story can’t time travel anymore, but Omnitron-X also already traveled back in time to show up for Singularity. Since both things are true, there must be more than one Omnitron-X and therefore there must have been something that happened prior to that point that was sufficient to split the timeline (or at least split Omnitron-X).
  • Are there any other notable appearances of the Magic Freedom Five team or their universe (from Disparation vol. 1 #4 and their return in the Free Radical story in Justice Comics #503)? There’s probably another at some point since it was a notable volume 1 creation. The writers seemed to like revisiting those.
  • You’ve suggested that Omnitron-U had a “soul” while Omnitron-X did not - does that mean Omnitron-U could do magic? They’re going to try to split some hairs here. They don’t think that Omnitron-U has a soul, but the capacity is there for one to stick if some magical nonsense were to try to give him one. Omnitron-X couldn’t retain a soul in that way. That’s in the context of Sentinel Comics where “souls” are definitely things. Omnitron-U, if transported to the real world here, you’d likely have arguments as to whether it did or not just like you have to argue about whether anything/anybody does.
  • If Omnitron-U has a soul and could do magic, can Soothsayer Carmichael’s inability to do magic indicate that he lacks one? Souls are necessary but not sufficient for the practice of magic. Omnitron-U lacks a soul, but couldn’t do magic for more reasons than that. Carmichael has a soul, but just lacks the ability to do magic just like most other people in Sentinel Comics.
  • Re: Souls and personhood - This might resolve the question of whether flesh children are people; Can Visionary or other psychics “hear” flesh children thinking? Yes - she could read the mind of a flesh child. Given that, however, they also want to point out that souls are not necessary for “personhood” either as they think Omnitron-U is definitely a person but lacks a soul.
  • If yes, is that an honest-to-goodness, capital T “Thinking” or just part of the disguise that Biomancer put in there that doesn’t actually reflect what the flesh child is doing? Would a flesh child thinking “I would like a cupcake” typically be followed by the flesh child eating a cupcake as you’d expect? Let’s say “yes” for now, but reserving the right to change that if the rabbit hole we’re exploring requires it. What Visionary is picking up is largely just the electrical impulses in the brain. She can’t read a robot’s mind because they operate in different ways, but the brain that Biomancer is giving his creations is similar enough to still work.
  • What happens if a flesh child meets something outside of its “programming”? Like, if a flesh child that’s programmed to be a suburban civilian gets teleported into space, would it try to hold its breath and otherwise freak out like a regular person would or would it not know how to act since it’s in a situation beyond its expected parameters? They act like a regular person (and then die because they’re in space). If we were to throw them into a situation where they could survive but lacks the context, say Dok’Thorath, there are likely both “normal human freak out” and “unexpected input blue screen shutdown” stories in how flesh children react. There is a spectrum to how much time Biomancer spends in the creation of his flesh children and therefore there’s a spectrum to how they would react in this kind of Out of Context event.
  • If they have their own thoughts and are directing their own actions, aren’t they then people and so Biomancer overriding that personality when he “activates” them is murder? Christopher completely agrees (as he’s said he thinks they’re people before). That being said, Biomancer doesn’t care. Also, due to that spectrum of time/care taken when creating them, not all flesh children qualify - don’t ask the question of where the line is drawn. There are the “mindless automaton” ones that definitely aren’t people, the “indistinguishable from people” ones that definitely are, but the gradient between them is so fine to be able to draw the line. No flesh children have souls, some flesh children have personhood, all flesh children are fundamentally gross.

Cover Discussion

  • Three options: basic showcase of Captain Cosmic, Captain Cosmic vs. Thorathian Terrorist spaceships, or Captain Cosmic origin story w/ Jansa stuff. They don’t think putting Malcontent on the cover is on the table. Adam’s leaning towards the first option. Christopher points out that even with that he could put some Thorathian ships in the background or something. He probably won’t. [See the actual cover art for how much of a lie that wound up being.]