Podcasts/Episode 229

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The Letters Page: Episode 229
Writers' Room: Virtuoso of the Void Vol. 2 #76

Virtuoso of the Void Vol 2 076.png

Original Source

Primary Topic

Intro

WHO IS THIS:

Show Notes:

Run Time: 1:28:57

Not much banter as we have a lot to get into here... but definitely go watch Everything Ever All At Once. Christopher saw it when it came out and Adam just watched it in the last week and so now they can't stop talking to each other about it and have to actively restrain themselves from doing so on the air. (Christopher has been waiting for MONTHS for Adam to see it, just biding his time...)

And then! We get into making a thing! We do it all with no planning! And we're really pleased with how it turned out!

We go through questions, including one that calls us to task in a really good way, and we're honestly excited for the work of improving and making things better. What are these notes talking about? Listen and find out!

Characters Mentioned

Summary

Overview

  • The prompt for today is “the thing that scared Dark Visionary”. This was not something that was prompted by them - this is just an idea that some Patreon member came up with that they thought would make for an interesting jumping-off point. They have no idea what that thing is.
  • They have a lot of room to place this one. They don’t want to “cheat” here (by saying she fears death, or go to silly route and say she’s scared of puppies or naked mole rats or something) and there are some options that don’t work (can’t be GloomWeaver due to the story where she first shows up and doing Mr. Jitters seems rather cheap too). Let’s do this the other way around - rather than figuring out what it is up front, let’s just start telling a story and see where it leads (with a bit of role-play in that they’re a creative team with an editorial mandate to tell a story about what scares Dark Visionary so they at least can have that requirement in mind as they go).
  • As for having “a lot of room”, they have from the mid ’80s until Cosmic Contest as that’s when Dark Visionary was around. However, they can’t really go too early because we need to establish her as a character for something scaring her to really land as an outlier. Late ’90s is probably the earliest they’d want to do it, so let’s put it somewhere in the ’00s. What titles could it be? Justice Comics is always there as an option, although this doesn’t really feel right. Cosmic Tales is a maybe. Mystery Comics is as well, although CT might be a stronger contender (really depending on what the nature of the threat winds up being). Tome of the Bizarre is still the Naturalist and so seems off-base. Not impossible but less likely.
    • Adam is starting to have the story take shape and thinks that the majority of the issue should take place inside Visionary’s mind. Maybe the issue starts with the good Visionary screaming in their shared mind space and Dark Visionary “goes” to investigate and finds some horrors.
  • Given that, we could have some of Naturalist’s mysticism coming through and have it be some kind of mental parasite that’s inspired by something drawn from some African myth. Christopher thinks that going too targeted and it being “something only Dark Visionary would be scared of” is a mistake. “Mental parasite” isn’t a bad idea to run with, but let’s not rule out there being a person behind it rather than it having to be some kind of eldritch spirit. We want this to feel “earned” in that by the end of this not only should it be scary but also entirely reasonable for Dark Visionary to be scared of it. Like, if you know much of anything about Dark Visionary it’s reasonable to come to the conclusion that she is scary and we want something similar (if not “scarier” than she herself is, at least something that it makes sense for her to be scared of this thing too).
  • Maybe instead of starting inside Visionary’s brain (or with her mental scream) we start with establishing that something is happening to other people that’s destroying their minds and leaving them as vegetables (the name “thought eater” is thrown out as a joke since they’ve already made something with that apt name).
  • While they said up top that they didn’t want her to be “afraid of death” as in “afraid of dying” could we do something where it’s some more tangible thing? Like an aura of non-existence or whatnot. Oooh, maybe a person that anybody they touch is forgotten by everyone else. The thing that you’re scared of in this situation would be losing your place in the world - all relationships and other ties to the world around you are destroyed. Adam brings up the good point that that’s not exactly something that Dark Visionary would avoid. Christopher considers maybe “including yourself” as part of the forgetting? Maybe this is somebody with such terrible amnesia that they can spread it to you with a touch and it’s so virulent that not only do you forget everything about yourself, so does everyone else. It’s scary in the way that death isn’t scary so much as the anticipation/inevitability of death is scary. There’s something there, but they need to find something that’s a better hook for it.
  • Maybe it’s not “touch” but is related to some psychic thing. Maybe she dealt with this or something very similar in her home timeline and seeing it again here means bad news. Maybe it’s not something that feeds on memories or thoughts or whatnot, but specifically on “psychic power”. If this thing manages to successfully feed on Visionary/Dark Visionary and takes away the psychic power they have, we’re basically just left with Vanessa Long as a normal person who is once again in charge of her body. Without any powers, Dark Visionary would be left as an extra psyche attached to the body, but relegated to being a passive passenger who can’t communicate or exert any control. That is scary in a way that’s particular to Dark Visionary’s situation, but is also scary generally to anybody with psychic power.
  • From there we can say that this was a hero that Dark Visionary had to fight in her home reality who was the Psychic Silencer or something (Psylencer?). She won, but it’s a rough fight and so when the Universe 1 version shows up she’s not happy with it. They think the Psylencer is the result of some lab experiment. Where in her home reality it wound up being a relatively straightforward fight, in this reality she can feel it as it’s created. She has a general sense of the psychic environment just by having her powers active, but now there’s this pocket where she can’t sense what’s going on and that’s immediately reminiscent of Psylencer which is an existential threat to her.
  • So, the obvious direction to go with that is to have it be tied to Project Cocoon. After Visionary stormed the place to free the young Vanessa Long things kind of got broken up, but you get little splinter cell groups still carrying on various shenanigans and one of these has a specific grudge against her and so create something to end her. So, we’ve come all the way back around on not wanting to make a thing that’s specifically targeting her. Whoops.
  • They think this thing (person? yeah, person) that they make gets out of their control and can still affect regular people. Everybody’s got some low-level psychic stuff going on - if only the idea of “surface thoughts”. Like, if you’re targeted by this thing’s power you have a little mind blank moment. Y’know, like when you forget why you were coming into a particular room. Or you realize that you’ve been staring off into space, lost in thought, but suddenly can’t recall what you were actually thinking about. It’s not too bad for normal people - it’s not “lost time” where you wouldn’t know how to got to where you are, you just can’t remember what you were thinking.
  • Story stuff… Maybe we see a few other psychics that this thing has affected and Dark Visionary is investigating. These people are worse off for having this thing’s powers directed at them and are closer to being vegetables (maybe they lack short term memory but also no longer have any drive to do anything - they still could, but there’s no desire). The process of having your psychic powers drained away is more traumatic to the mind than the simple skimming off of the surface thoughts.
  • Oh… This sounds an awful lot like they’ve been Greyed. Do we want to make this related to the Grey? Like, the Project Cocoon people somehow managed to distill some Grey essence into this Psylencer person. Actually - after writing it down, Adam likes it better as just Psylence. Anyway, their mind is a conduit to the Grey this results in they themselves being kind of spaced-out, but they know that they can feel psychic energy and when they take it from those people and put it into the hole in their own mind they gain more agency, so there’s a feedback loop of them slowly accumulating agency that allows them to more effectively go after people with psychic powers.
  • Making it personal: this person had been just somebody working at Project Cocoon (“Karen from Accounting”) on the day that Visionary wrecked the place to save the young Vanessa Long. She got mind-spiked in the process and was basically left brain-dead, but other Project personnel did experiments to try to bring her back. None of that was successful, but there was something they could do - it wouldn’t return Karen, but her body could become something that could get vengeance on her behalf.
  • Okay - now that we’ve got that worked out, where does this story play out? Is it still a Naturalist thing? No, this doesn’t sound right for one of his stories. It’s not Justice Comics either. It could be Arcane Tales or Tome of the Bizarre, but they’re both busy being either Ra: God of the Sun or the Naturalist book at the moment. It could be Prime Wardens, but constrains it to just a few years before the Fall story happens but even then it doesn’t really sound right. Could we go earlier? How long did Mind Over Matter go? ’92 - that’s too early. Virtuoso of the Void might be the winner as it can work as something of a prelude to what goes down in Cosmic Contest. There’s space in that book basically any time after 2002. It’s kind of a weird thing to put in this book, but it’s a weird book to begin with. Mystery Comics could still work, but VotV still looks better. Disparation could work if we used it to tell the story in Dark Visionary’s home reality for the first half and then showed how a similar thing was happening in the main reality. Yeah, this is looking more and more like “Argent Adept helps ‘Visionary’ against Psylence”. If we push the story to the late ’00s it can really be a starting point for Argent Adept figuring out what’s going on with Visionary.
  • This isn’t a 6-issue arc itself is it? No, but we can say that there is a 6-issue arc in the book where Visionary is present in the book and this is maybe 2 issues of that. Let’s say that arc starts in November 2007. Man, y’know… This could be a 3-issue arc given how short comics are and how decompressed the storytelling was at the time. If we wanted to make it a big deal it could be a full 6-issues, but that still seems less likely.
  • The connection to the Grey is also a good one for Argent Adept to be involved with. Dark Visionary can be approaching this problem from the psychic end of things, but he can be paying attention to the whole inter-dimensional nonsense thing it’s got going on.
  • Okay - they’ve talked themselves out of it being the full 6-issues. If that’s the case, then Psylence is the villain of the story for which Dark Visionary is in Virtuoso of the Void, but Dark Visionary should be the villain. Let’s have the Psylence story be issues 4 and 5 of the arc with issue 6 being more of a Dark Visionary vs. Argent Adept thing. We’ll do issue 4 today - VotV volume 2 #76 from February 2008.
  • Anyway, the first issue (#73 in November 2007) involves Visionary showing up to help Argent Adept deal with something, but from dialog and whatnot we’re let in on the secret that Dark Visionary is in charge, despite appearances, and she’s attempting to manipulate Argent Adept since she recognizes that he’s a threat to her. Issue ends with a coda showing Project Cocoon working on something. Interludes showing that progressing continue in the next few issues. These lead to…
  • The fourth issue (#76) where we have Argent Adept hear about somebody with latent/low-grade psychic powers (like a “strip mall psychic” scam artist type who happens to actually have minor powers) that has had something bad happen to them and they go to investigate/deal with it. Dark Visionary has been feeling pockets of “wrongness” that Argent Adept has linked to some dimensional weirdness and that we’ve been aware of alongside the Project Cocoon stuff.
  • Early on in the investigatory process, Dark Visionary is attacked by Psylence and Argent Adept manages to get them out of there. We get a fun dramatic irony thing where “Visionary” is telling Argent Adept the story of how she defeated the terrible villain, Psylence, but the art is showing the real version where Dark Visionary is the villain fighting a heroic Psylence.
  • We probably also hear the term “Project Psylence” in the Project Cocoon sections at some point (maybe in issue 3) so that we tie it directly to Dark Visionary telling a story about Psylence in her home reality. They don’t think that this person actually knows that they are called Psylence at first - maybe by the end of the issue if they’ve taken power from enough people. Like, maybe the first encounter between Psylence and Visionary presents the former as a sleepwalker/zombie type of “personality” but by the next one she’s “fed” on enough others to be more of a person - one who knows that she is no longer “Karen from Accounting” (or whatever they eventually decide she was), but is a new being - Psylence. We get a monologue that handily describes the process that’s going on here for the audience.
  • Oh, there we go. What she’s doing is taking bits and pieces of various people’s minds to build her own patchwork one.
  • To recap: we have the attack at the beginning, the relating of the story from Visionary’s past, a bit of Project Cocoon stuff, and then we end with “we need to go after this thing” and Argent Adept magics up a way to shield Visionary from Psylence’s attack, and we end with them finding the no-longer-zombie-ish Psylence who monologues a bit. That’s “today’s issue”, but let’s workshop the resolution.
  • The easy option is for issue #77 to be one big psychic battle in Visionary’s mind. Psylence is a threat to both of them and so we get Visionary and Dark Visionary having to work together. Argent Adept shows up in the mind-fight and there being two of them is weird and the various explanations (maybe Dark Visionary claims to have made a copy to help fight Psylence - Visionary claims otherwise so there’s this confusing argument between the two of them and Dark Visionary winds up making a bunch of duplicates as cover; “See, this is normal.”).
  • This prompts an adjustment to the end of the previous issue - we have the heroes face off with Psylence and she just walks right up to Visionary and puts a hand on her head, right through AA’s shield. The issue ends with them “failing” and the next one starts with the two Visionaries fleeing horror-movie-style from Psylence in this mental landscape. Hiding memories, making fake memories as distractions, etc. as this inexorable force is just walking through their mind. Argent Adept gets in there eventually and all of the false memories are what explains there being a bunch of Visionaries around. Most of them are “robotic”, but them not acting just like the real one is a feature in that still having two around that don’t act identically (and one is contradicting the “real” one) is good cover for Dark Visionary here.
  • Anyway, not to drag this out, but the heroes win by Argent Adept managing to disconnect Psylence from the Grey. Project Cocoon can collect her later and might be able to do something with her (maybe not reconnect her to the Grey, but give her some other kind of psychic power or something to let her do kind of the same things, but maybe not to the same level as before).

Questions

  • [Question starts with a supposition that getting a “Dark Visionary” requires the 3-universe setup that resulted in her in the main continuity.] That’s just what happened this time - you can just have evil Visionaries. Heck, that’s what Dark Visionary started as in her home universe - she was just “Visionary, but a villain”.
  • How often has that happened? Is there a Dark Visionary in the Animal-verse (thus necessitating 3 Animal-verses to set it up)? The deal with a Multiverse is often just finding a way to get to the same ends via alternate means. Maybe there’s an evil Visionary who’s absorbing peoples’ minds and winds up generating a “good” personality from within in the process. There are a lot of options and most don’t require three universes. Of course, to answer the “how often has that happened?” question the actual answer is “a small infinite number of times” just that most of them never happen anywhere near the pages of Sentinel Comics. For those cases that happen in Sentinel Comics, it’s a single digit number of times, probably just the once.
  • Which heroes does Dark Visionary clash with while having full control of the body? We know about her taking down Tachyon right as her villain reveal happened and then the incident with Argent Adept during Cosmic Contest that detached her from the body, but were there any others in the interim? Anybody have powers that meant that she either avoided them at all costs or sought out to remove as a threat preemptively? She sought out AA to remove him as a threat in the arc they invented today. She’s dealt with Parse. The Prime Wardens as a group. Scholar. There are several “Oh, no! Visionary has gone evil and we have to fight her!” stories over the years, but they typically ended with her “coming to her senses” and getting herself under control again and it’s presumed by the heroes to be a momentary lapse or an outside influence. The closer we get to Cosmic Contest the more she tends to play the straight-up villain.
  • If Visionary and Dark Visionary were both willing is coexistence a potential option for them? Could they share the mind/body or would one always have to be dominant? Is there an issue of Disparation where we see something like this? The differences between the standard Visionary/Dark Visionary pair makes this unlikely to work, but let’s posit a case where the morality of the two doesn’t immediately rule it out. We’ve got some Vanessa Long who has another similar mind dropped in. There’s some initial “no, this is my mind; get out” vs. “I don’t want to be here but I have nowhere to go and forcing me out basically ‘kills’ me” discussion but where the story goes is an attempt to find another suitable place for that second mind to be put. Can we find somebody in a coma? They do, but trying to put the other mind in there wakes them up. Further attempts are made, but eventually they wind up having to pause that search to fight some bad guys. During that fight they discover that the “original” Visionary has powerful telepathic abilities and the hitchhiker has powerful telekinetic abilities and swapping back and forth who’s in charge makes them more effective together than either would be individually. They eventually come to terms with it and decide to work together in that way. Let’s put that in Disparation vol. 2 #71 in July 2008 (shortly after the arc from today’s episode).
  • So… when did you decide to make Rambler? Was it right after the American Folklore episode? Is he an amalgamation of ideas that you’d had bouncing around for a while before that? Kind of both. He’s an amalgamation of ideas that they’d had around for a while, but they’d worked out the Robert Johnson stuff in broad strokes before that episode, but the name of “Rambler” came later. That episode was a little bit of kayfabe - they already had the concept but the character was fleshed out in the process of doing the episode.
  • You’ve said that the red outfit we see in the RCR rule book isn’t his “normal” look but is something weird happening for Realm of Discord reasons - so what does he usually look like? The outfit in that image is still his outfit, it’s just not usually bright red. His look does change depending on the era, but “mysterious wanderer” is the overall vibe. His face is hidden a lot of the time (broad-brimmed hat, coat collar turned up, etc.) and tries to lay low. He frequently has a guitar with him. He can actually summon it, but it’s never in a flashy, overt way. It’s always, something like he excuses himself - he’s got his guitar right over here… and he pulls it out from nowhere. Like, you can be in an empty room with him sitting in a chair and in the course of talking to him you walk all the way around the chair and know that there’s nothing else in the room. Then he reaches down and picks the guitar up from the ground. It’s like in a video game that has a horse you can “summon” by pushing a button and it runs up from off-screen. It was totally just over there where you weren’t looking. His “magic” is always subtle like that. Soothsayer Carmichael would really enjoy this - of course, he’d be going into long explanations of the magical principles at work that allow for Rambler to have “just put the guitar over there earlier”.
  • Rambler and Scholar seem to have a similar narrative role (showing up as support/to give advice in other heroes’ stories) - in which ways are they used differently? They disagree strongly that they’re very similar. They do both just kind of drift in and out of stories and can show up somewhat randomly, but Rambler isn’t really there for advice/mentorship. He’s going to be more dismissive in a “why are you messing around with [x]?” kind of way. We do occasionally get advice from him, but it’s his own flavor rather than anything like the kindly, supporting manner that Scholar offers. Rambler is more focused on “removing evil” than he is on “amplifying good”. Rambler doesn’t really care about other people (and due to his nature, can’t).
  • What was Rambler’s role in OblivAeon? Where is he following it? He was probably dealing with Aeon Men and some of the Scion fights. He probably didn’t have a major role anywhere (but also probably not inconsequential). His “stuff” is so different from the standard hero thing that he’s not a spotlight character. He’s around for OblivAeon because everyone is, but his shtick is to take care of stuff on the sidelines that nobody else is even aware of. Like, if he’s given a side-story during the event it’s probably something along the lines of “something a Scion did has left a power vacuum somewhere and something bad would happen if he wasn’t taking care of things”. He’s still around after OblivAeon, but he remains on the periphery. He’s likely dealing with fallout resulting from all of the relics that NightMist had been the custodian of being dispersed. He’d likely have been a better steward of Diamond Manor in her absence than Harpy is, but he can’t really be tied down to one location like that.
  • [After listening to the Rambler/Papa Legba episode I have to say something: voodoo is a living religion with millions of practitioners worldwide, most from marginalized cultures. It has had to deal with centuries of being cast as “devil worship” by a white, Christian society. Within that religion, Papa Legba is a sacred, revered figure who takes part in nearly every religious ritual of importance (roughly equivalent to the idea of “Saint Peter at the gates of Heaven”). He was co-opted by folklorists in the early 20th century as a way to demonizing blues music and its largely Black audience by connecting Papa Legba (and other voodoo spirits) with the devil. Blues musicians then worked such things into their own mythology and it’s via that route that he entered the Robert Johnson story (and thus Sentinel Comics’ version of him). The later retcon that this “Papa Legba” was really GloomWeaver was still concerning, but the idea that comics people would wind up at this “kind of racist” position is realistic in the way we understand the Metaverse to operate, sadly, and is not really any different from how Apostate does the same sort of thing with Christianity. However, this re-retcon making Papa Legba a separate being who is merely a scheming minion of GloomWeaver is too much and falls into every racist trope of voodoo that’s been spread. Taking a revered figure of a living religion, making him evil, but also a “slave” minion of another more powerful being, while reimagining him as a stereotypical “crossroads demon” divorced from any of his actual cultural identity. I ask: can you reexamine this, please?] Good points! From their perspective, they think that the story as they’ve told it would fit into the Meta context of what kind of things would have been in comics due to a popular understanding of the figures involved but then later, more well-informed writers realize the racist ground that we’re treading on and a later writer “fixes” things. Adam brings up a point that his view of “Sentinel Comics” taken as a whole is that “figures from beyond” are always" treated as suspect at best and he doesn’t think that it’s necessarily inconsistent for “voodoo” figures to get similar treatment. That being said, there is a fair distinction to be made between “Papa Legba” as a character at all* within Sentinel Comics and this specific characterization where he’s a minion of GloomWeaver (and there’s a bit of discussion about the connotation of “minion” here - as they imagined him prior to this, while he’s an “agent” of GloomWeaver, it’s in the context of somebody who makes deals and it’s possible that GloomWeaver himself has made deals with him that he would eventually come to regret, but that’s getting a bit sidetracked from where they want to go with this). Christopher thinks the best fix here is to say that this deal-maker Papa Legba is an imposter. It’s somebody who’s taken up that name to fit into this specific role. They don’t have any “real” gods in Sentinel Comics to begin with and this Papa Legba is no different. Y’know what would be a good additional twist on this if we’re playing up the “making deals that are binding, but might even be getting one over on GloomWeaver” thing? He’s actually one of the princes of Æternus in disguise (Greezigrax). So, we’ve got the original story that was pulling on this racist trope, a later story that changed up the identity of who is involved but didn’t really fix anything, and then a later story that establishes that all of that unfortunate-implications stuff still happened, but the identity of this “Papa Legba” figure isn’t really the actual voodoo guy, but has been a demon who’s just co-opted the bad folklore stuff for his own reasons while playing multiple sides. They might still massage the details on this going forward, but that’s the general idea: it took Metaverse writers multiple retcons over the course of decades to get to a point that explains the unpleasant history of the character by just straight-up saying that it was never the “real” Papa Legba.
  • [Different writer - just to be clear on the separation from the above letter] The Rambler story, with all of the deal making and getting them fulfilled in unexpected ways seems very Fae - was that intentional? Does anybody involved in the story have an unexpected connection to the Fae-Court? Does your Fae realm even work that way (i.e. lawyering their way out of deals)? Reading this, the Papa Legba stuff actually sounds more like a Fae thing and connecting him to that might actually make for more interesting new story stuff than the Æternus connection would. So, this will need to be taken into consideration in the further discussions regarding “Papa Legba’s” identity. They have a shape-changer (Lugh), but it’s by far not his shtick. Still, having a Fae who is playing Ramber, against GloomWeaver, against humanity fits pretty well. They’ll think about it. If you want them to talk about it more on the air, give them an appropriate topic and see if it gets voted in.
  • If Papa Legba is an “Agent of Gloom” and we’ve heard about one other person using that label (Spite) - how many Agents of Gloom are there? Any of the Chosen likely count as “Agents”. There are certainly dozens, if not hundreds of such characters over the history of Sentinel Comics. They’re basically the more important “named” cultists rather than the anonymous mooks. Some of them might be granted special power from GloomWeaver, others might already have power. Cult Leader Massey is just a guy who might have been granted some vague Gloom powers. When Rook City Renegades comes out you’ll get to see several of them.
  • What draws GloomWeaver to a person to pick them out as an “agent”? People who can do more than the “standard” general cult activity. Like, the generic cultist can do things for the cult to further his designs, but the main thing they do directly for him is worship which gets him power. An agent is able to do things above and beyond that for one reason or another - rather than just taking the power they generate, he lets them keep it because they’re the type of person to use that power for a greater return on investment (that’s not to say that he’ll never take their power, just not right away).
  • So, why is he called “Card Shark” - do aliens also think he looks like a shark (a creature from Earth)? Did some Earthling see him and just blurt out that he looks like something from back home (rude!)? To go along with the idea that Earth games originated in space, does the contact implied by that allow for the possibility that he’s actually related to sharks? The real answer is that nobody named him. He’s called “Card Shark” because of the phrase “card shark” exists independently (like, they’re saying that “shark” in this usage is onomatopoeia for the sound of shuffling or something) and that he’d be confused if you said he looks like a shark. “What’s a shark?” If he ever saw Earth sharks he’d be really confused/disgusted. Alternately, maybe his people are just the Sharkians or something and, once again, they’d be confused about the existence of sharks.
  • [Oh, the idea of games being introduced to Earth by aliens makes sense! Some of the earliest board games we know of were from Egypt and Mesopotamia and if the aliens were here building the pyramids maybe they just brought in the games to fill some of the down time.] Aliens didn’t build the pyramids. It’s highly amusing to consider that 1) they did and 2) that they had “down time” while they were at it.
  • You said that aliens brought games to Earth, but wouldn’t it make more sense for Wager Master to have done the opposite (he was Guise’s roommate and learned about dice and cards and whatnot, then rather than having to learn all of these other aliens’ versions he just massaged the timelines to introduce the Earth versions everywhere/when)? That might be easier. It might even make more sense, but it’s not what happened. [They thought that they were being clear that their statement that games came from space was a joke, but apparently they weren’t being clear enough so here we go.]
  • Since Wager Master also uses cards/dice etc. was he a common source for Earth and Alien versions or just a point of cross-contamination between the two? They don’t think that Wager Master is involved (they also didn’t think they’d have to think about this joke this much). WM uses those things on Earth because he’s playing along with the gimmick. He “plays dice with the cosmos” because some Earthling said that phrase. Like, they think that alien card suits don’t have the same origins as Earth’s, they were originally very different and just happened to arrive at a similar end point.

Cover Discussion

  • Do we want Psylence on the cover? It wouldn’t not make sense to have her there. She’s been teased in the issues leading up to this. They only now realize that they didn’t give her a name, but that’s because she doesn’t have one. The body may very well have been named Karen, but that’s not her anymore. Let’s just go with Karen since they’ve said it so often at this point. She’ll eventually have a name, but it’ll be one that she stole from somebody. Anyway, Adam thinks it’s just a picture of Psylence. He wants to evoke the Grey in some way. It’s a Project Cocoon thing, so maybe put some “tech bits”/diodes or whatnot on her. How much “costume” does she have? They think that the Cocoon people give her a “psychic soldier” outfit before she’s let loose.
  • So, she’s not exactly in street clothes, but they think it’s something that she can fight in. Not that she’s precisely a physical threat (although they can see later appearances where she’s taken somebody’s memories of how to fight and becomes good at fighting), so no weapons or anything, but she should have some “armor” but not so much that she can’t “blend in” with a crowd. Let’s go with a jacket too, because those are cool.