Podcasts/Episode 245

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The Letters Page: Episode 245
Writers' Room: Virtuoso of the Void Vol. 2 #50

Virtuoso of the Void Vol 2 050.png

Original Source

Primary Topic

Diamond Diva/Diva


Someone's about to have a bad day!

Show Notes:

Run Time: 1:35:25

The prompt for this episode was "a hero turned villain", and we start off by going through many instances of this in Sentinel Comics, before getting down to the business of ruining a perfectly good hero. Greater than good, in fact! It's a real shame.

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Characters Mentioned



  • The prompt this week is “A Hero Turned Villain”. They already have a bunch of these. Tony Taurus/Heartbreaker, Shrieker/Glamour (the first such example in the pages of Sentinel Comics), Proletariat (given that he started as a Soviet WWII-era hero and ally of Legacy - he stayed the same, but the geopolitical situation changed around him), Legacy/Iron Legacy (at least within his home universe he turned from Hero to Villain). The rest are more handwavy: Corporal Steven Graves/Fright Train only works in that he started out working with a Hero even if they were rivals. Aminia Twain/Miss Information. Nina Arbor (personal assistant/lover of Michael Conteh)/Professor Pollution. Bugbear - for NightMist reasons he becomes a Hero for a little while before reverting, so this is Villain-Hero-Villain. “Wraith”/Hangman. Expatriette/Eclipse (in that for those few months the readers don’t know that her being a villain as Eclipse is just an act she’s putting on to further a heroic end).
  • They’ve also got a lot of Villain turned Hero - they did a whole EE expansion where the Hero decks qualified, plus stuff like Freedom Six Bunker and whatnot.
  • What they need to determine here is what the parameters of today’s episode are.
    • Is it a Disparation issue? They don’t think so. Stick to the main universe as using alternate realities (even for things like Miss Information that involves one) seems like cheating for the prompt here.
    • Do they want to 1) take an existing hero and make them a villain, 2) take an existing villain and give them a heroic backstory, or 3) make up a new character? They also think that this sticks at least through the end of the Multiverse. This prompt creates a villain for them to use, so a temporary thing like the Eclipse example is out. As such, they can’t use any of their main heroes, if they go with option 1 it has to be a really minor character. Option 2 is also kind of tricky just given the way they go about approaching villains to begin with. [This also prompts discussion of Operative’s backstory being such that she might qualify in a Fright Train way. Visionary also isn’t on the list since, while she does horrible villainous things, Dark Visionary is never a major antagonist that other heroes are fighting; she gets away with it right up until she doesn’t.] A hero for option 1 that Adam brings up is to use a Golden Age hero and he suggests White Knight. Christopher points out that way back they had said that she was a forgotten character that never got used for anything after her initial appearances (except in a Disparation thing much later). They created her as an example of a character that came up, did her thing, and then never got used again. Using her here would be counter to the reason they made her in the first place. That leaves option 3: they’ll make a hero, craft a timeline for them, then turn them into a villain and tell that story. They’re going to do some of this off the air now.
  • They’ve figured out a character who had been around for a long time and even integral to a lot of things (while still being a side character) and they’re going to tell us about 3 issues today, the second of which will be the one with the most detail.
  • First, they’re finally giving in to a lot of listener demands in telling a story by famous Metaverse comics writer (and famous lunatic), Guy Hampton. This was a point where Guy Hampton, in his first comics writing experience, takes over Virtuoso of the Void in volume 1 #120 in April 1983. He tells a story with Argent Adept fighting Man-Grove where Man-Grove is doing some magical-suppression thing to cut AA off from his ability to connect with the Void through his music. He can still do some magic stuff and music stuff, but the “of the Void” part of his job title is being shut down. About 2/3 of the way through the book the big twist of the issue is that a new character is introduced: another Virtuoso of the Void. A rending of the veil between reality and the Void opens and out steps this figure in a diaphanous outfit. She plays some notes on her crystalline flute and dispels the curse affecting AA. She’s the Diamond Diva and she’s a Virtuoso from centuries ago who was going to be destroyed and instead of suffering that fate she took refuge in the Void itself and has been living there ever since. She’s taken to protecting Earth from the Void from that side rather than the usual method.
  • So, this is about a decade after Argent Adept was introduced and he’s well-known and popular. This character comes along to just unseat him. Everything he can do, she can do better. She is a better Virtuoso of the Void than Argent Adept is. Not that that’s particularly difficult; he screws up a lot. She’s what a Virtuoso can and should be; she had proper training whereas he’s just flailing about trying to figure it out as he goes. He asks why she doesn’t help protect Earth and oh, honey, she does. That’s why Earth isn’t overrun by Void creatures. Virtuosos on Earth come and go, but she’s not going anywhere. She never even got around to meeting the last three before AA. This issue is titled “A Music Lesson”. Diamond Diva becomes a rare, but reoccurring character who shows up to give him advice/assistance, but also to give him serious imposter syndrome.
  • Our next issue is in 2005. In the intervening decades the Prime Wardens have formed and broken up. Virtuoso of the Void volume 2 #50 in December 2005. The issue opens with Diamond Diva reaching through the Void to Argent Adept. “Today we’re defeating Taranerach.” As a reminder, that’s a powerful Void creature who’s been around for forever (it first showed up in Toll of Destiny #3 in 1973 - just a few months after Argent Adept himself first appeared). It’s a rare opponent, but always a scary one. The only reason Taranerach isn’t a major Sentinel Comics villain is because it’s never been successful in making it out of the Void into “normal” reality - it would be a huge problem if it managed to do so. Much like how Zhu Long has the power to be a major villain, the fact that he never does A Big Thing™ in the pages of Sentinel Comics is why he doesn’t get the Villain treatment (Taranerach is also typically a solo villain in Argent Adept stories, or duo in this case with Diamond Diva; he may not even ever show up in Prime Wardens stuff). Taranerach tries to get in frequently, but is usually stopped by Diamond Diva and sometimes even by Argent Adept.
  • Quick aside to mention that over the years we’ve learned that Diamond Diva’s name is Celeste Whiteworth. She’s centuries old, but time passes weirdly for her in the Void and her music helps keep her alive anyway.
  • Taranerach is doing a thing in the Void and she fails to stop him from doing so this time. Let’s say that he’s doing some ritual to align the resonance of the Void with the resonance of the material plane in order to create a permanent portal between the two. She’s been working for months, if not years to stop him from completing this thing and she’s slowed his progress but it’s finally gotten to the point where he’s going to finish it and, if he does, that’s game over.
  • She contacts Argent Adept and he’s ready to go fight Taranerach, let’s do this thing. “Great, your job will be to stay here and babysit the portal while I go fight Taranerach.” If they both go to the Void and fail to stop him, there won’t be anybody left in his way. Argent Adept is the backup plan speed bump in case Taranerach gets by her. He points out that maybe it would be better for him to be the one to go fight him so that she, with her greater experience and everything can be in charge of the last-ditch efforts when the chips are really down. She dismisses this plan saying that Taranerach will just destroy him.
  • So, they do the plan. Argent Adept is fighting Void demons that are still getting through and stabilizing things so that the portal doesn’t expand while Diamond Diva is fighting the big bad (visible occasionally through the portal). With the portal open, however, we’re in a high-risk/high-reward situation - rather than having to access the Void through his music, it’s right there and he can pull on it directly. AA is pretty sure that he’s found a source of enough power that he can just close the portal from here. Diamond Diva seemed pretty certain that closing this thing would be impossible, but “I know what I’m doing and I see how it can be done.”
  • The problem here [which I’m not sure has actually been stated outright, but I think I can recall some hints at it] is that the power of the Virtuoso of the Void is static. You can have multiple Virtuosos at the same time, but that means spreading the power out among them. What he’s feeling isn’t just the Void portal being open giving direct access to his power source; what he’s feeling now that he’s looking for it is the portion of the Virtuoso power that Diamond Diva has. He reaches out with his magic, “grabs” that extra power, pulls it to himself, and then expends it in slamming the portal shut. It’s only as he’s doing so and the portal’s closing that we all (readers and AA) see what’s actually happening as Diamond Diva is rendered powerless as Taranerach descends on her.
  • Now, he’s solved this one portal problem, but now he’s down a much more competent/experienced ally. Of course, this is also a “power up” moment for Argent Adept given the Virtuoso power he took from Diamond Diva (partially explaining his ability to go toe-to-toe with Dark Visionary during Cosmic Contest). Now, he’s not as strong as Diamond Diva was (a lot of the power was expended in closing the portal), and certainly not as strong as having the two of them active was - it’s bad news to be in this situation even if he personally wound up stronger afterwards.
  • This issue was titled “The Day the Music Died!” and the press hints about the “death of the Virtuoso of the Void” which implied Argent Adept. There could even have been in-setting hints like maybe AA got some prophecy told a few issues back.
  • The third issue they’ll talk about today is 5 years later. Argent Adept is more powerful, but has been kind of mopey in a “I can’t be trusted” kind of way. The Prime Wardens won’t join together again until July 2011 and we’re in February 2010 with a story titled “The Death of Virtue”. During this issue we get a flashback to what happened to Diamond Diva, but from her perspective. She’s suddenly lost her power while in the Void and facing down an incredibly powerful Void creature. She’s still really resourceful, though. Her options are either to 1) die or 2) find some other source of power, and fast. So, she reaches out the Void and pulls it into herself to fill the hole left by the Virtuoso power. All of her white/crystal (y’know, diamond) motif stuff turns Void purple. When Taranerach sees this he stops attacking. “This is an even better outcome than I could have hoped for.” And he just leaves.
  • She’s now a Void creature and we get a montage of what that means, which includes a growing hunger for the material plane and her thought processes becoming very dark. Back in the “present” of the story, Argent Adept encounters a new foe, Diva.
  • What sets her apart from other Void creatures? One is her knowledge and history of being a Virtuoso. She doesn’t just want to devour/destroy the material plane; she’s also got an angle of “recovering what was mine”. She has this hole that she’s tried to fill with the Void, but as the name implies, the Void isn’t particularly good at filling holes. She’s been pretty warped by this whole process and has this gnawing hunger for the material plane, but she’s also specifically going after Argent Adept in the hopes of reclaiming the Virtuoso power. She’s still using her flute as her instrument for using her Void powers, but it’s very much presented as a perversion of Virtuoso power.
  • [They repeat the title of the issue but not which book it’s in. Given the date, if this is issue VotV vol. 2 #100, this is the Death of Anthony Drake issue.]


  • [SpectralTime starts with a long preamble: In the case of existing, main heroes turning to villainy there are basically only two types of people who are happy about it: burnt-out writers who are bored of the status quo and are desperate to change things up and no longer care whether the changes are good and soulless marketing vampires who want a striking image to plaster on covers and billboards to generate buzz - basically nobody else is happy [insert long list of reasons why fans, other writers who might want to use the character, or even people who aren’t fans but now have to put up with them being in the news, etc. wouldn’t be happy with such changes]. In short, changing heroes to villains (as opposed to villains to heroes) is almost always a shortsighted and creatively bankrupt attempt to chase attention at the expense of everything else, doomed to fail to stick/get swept under the rug.] They see what you’re saying and agree that, say, in the case of Diamond Diva that there would have been readers who liked her and felt that this move “ruined” her. There are creatively interesting reasons to turn villains to heroes and vice-versa (and agree that villains to heroes is easier), but they acknowledge that any attempt to do this with their “main” heroes is just inviting trouble for themselves. The one example that Adam can think of where a hero turned villain that was well-received (but, of course, has been reverted back to a hero) was the Dark Phoenix story. After Jean became the Phoenix she was on that path, but there were several years of comics before the Dark Phoenix story where they put in the work.
  • How gradual was the Tony Taurus villain turn? You’ve mentioned that his experience in the Bloodsworn Colosseum was the breaking point, but can you get in to the order of events leading him to become Heartbreaker? Was it a sudden snap, or a gradual wearing down? When he turned villainous, did he jump right into the costumed-villainy role or was there a gritty transition period as a more conventional hit man? By the point of the Colosseum story he’d already gotten worn down to the “people suck” point. He was the only good cop in Rook City for a while, but he started doing bad stuff in his attempts to fight back against the corruption. It’s a “staring into the abyss” situation where he’s mired in it for so long that he can’t help but be affected by it. The Colosseum experience was just the straw that broke the camel’s back after years of slow despair. Even when we meet him he’s already presented as worn down. He did have a period as a hit man in a “people get what they deserve” kind of attitude character for a while - it took a few years for the whole Heartbreaker persona to emerge. He was never a main character where he was the focus of an entire story; we just see snippets of him from other characters’ points of view. When Heartbreaker happens it’s a surprise, but one that you can look back through Tony’s appearances and make sense of it (although, Heartbreaker’s identity isn’t known at first).
  • We know that Aislin Allen/Glamour is at least somewhat comfortable with killing people (she claimed the Glamour identity by killing her predecessor), but on the sliding super-criminal scale from “never actually killed anyone” Ambuscade to “I trust I don’t have to elaborate further” Spite, where does she fall? Does she make attempts to limit collateral damage during heists? She’s closer to Ambuscade than to Spite. If there’s a midpoint between those extremes, she’s probably about midway between Ambuscade and that midpoint. Her general attitude is that she’s not going out of her way to kill people, but you can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs. She’s not out to kill people, but she’s not going to shy away from it if she thinks it necessary. Her main reason to avoid collateral damage is that it’s chaotic and she’s very much about control.
  • [Preamble basically repeating what they mentioned at the top of the episode regarding her] What is Professor Pollution’s deal? Is she trying in some twisted way to fix the environment, but is too twisted to realize that she’s actually destroying it? Is she one of those “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” or “survival of the fittest” types of villains? Is she just spreading the love in a “look what being exposed to toxic chemicals did for me” kind of way? Is she trying to speed up environmental catastrophe just so that we more quickly reach the point at which those in power decide that we finally have to do something to protect the environment? Just a jerk who’s lashing out at the world to make everything as miserable and disgusting as she is? Mainly the last one and the inverse of the one before it. She’s not trying to prompt people in power taking steps to fix things; she’s of the opinion that “we had our chance” and is just out to pollute everything until we’re gone. No matter how polluted things get, the Earth will be fine and life of some sort can recover. What needs to go are humans.
  • Before getting into more specific Aislin Allen questions, let’s set a baseline: is the original Freedom Four/Five stuff still part of the canon, i.e. is the Shrieker recognized as a former teammate by Legacy and Wraith or just an old contemporary? Teammate. It’s not really brought up much, but it’s “we just don’t really talk about this” rather than “this didn’t happen.”
  • We know from the Burying the Blade episode that he had a hand in turning her towards villainy; how did they find each other? Was her fall from grace encouraged by Blade manipulating her from the shadows? Was she already pretty committed to the mirror-mask and red spandex look beforehand and it was more just him giving her some pointers? She was already on that path when Blade encountered her. He recognized what was going on and offered a little shove in that direction, but it was a direction she was already moving in (and, in fact, they’re pretty certain that they’ve said that she had gone to him in the first place). They haven’t really talked about this much on the podcast and aren’t likely to do so soon. She went to him in a position of “Hey, I know you hate them. Help me out.” “Give me what I want and I will give you what you want.” [Those are direct quotes from Adam and Christopher respectively. Just noting the latter in particular due to a certain fan theory some of us have.]
  • Glamour’s one of the few villains whose identities have remained secret to the heroes; when did the readers learn her identity? Was it something shown immediately upon her taking the identity or was it a big twist reveal after years that Glamour was no longer Melissa Morris? It was a twist reveal, but not really a big one just because the Shrieker was invoked so infrequently. The big reveal that “Glamour has been Aislin Allen all along” was met with a few big reactions, but was more generally met with “Who?” It’s made clear beforehand that it’s no longer Melissa Morris, so there’s some build up/anticipation to the reveal.
  • Why Glamour anyway rather than making up her own villainous identity? Was the “illusions” gimmick really that enticing for her? Was it just easier to take up a role that already had street cred? Did she just really like the mask? A little bit of all of that, but you’re coming at this backwards. It’s not that she went “I’m going to become Glamour because that’s the best fit for me” - things are this way because writers wanted to do “Glamour used to be a hero” as a big reveal thing and any justification was worked out later.
  • For the hero-turned-villain for today’s episode, did anyone try to take up the heroic identity after the original’s fall? Were there other heroes who knew them before and after the fall? Did we ever see a Disparation issue exploring how their fall might have been averted? Because of the specific situation here we’re not really in a position where somebody could take up the mantle - each Virtuoso is unique under that larger umbrella term, after all. Yes, there were heroes that knew her before and after. If there was a Disparation issue regarding this event it would involve Argent Adept reaching out to take the power he can feel and missing - he grabs Taranerach’s power instead. He still slams the portal shut, but now we have AA with Taranerach’s power out in the world and Diamond Diva’s the main character of the story as she tries to make it back into the world to stop him.
  • Given Glamour’s popularity/presence as a villain, does that prompt more frequent flashbacks or other reasons to remember the Shrieker existed? Once Glamour is revealed to be Aislin Allen we probably see more of the Shrieker than we had in comics for decades prior. There’s an attempt to add depth to her earlier persona that just wasn’t actually there. There might even be a limited series of Freedom Four: The Forgotten Years or something that’s drawn retro that includes her in backup stories or something. That might even be before the Glamour reveal and readers started anticipating that Sentinel Comics was going to try to bring Shrieker back.
  • Does Glamour ever disguise herself as the Shrieker to mess with anyone? They don’t think so. Who would that even mess with?
  • What are the chances of the Shrieker showing up anywhere in Definitive Edition? Very low. They don’t think there’s even really a space to see her.
  • Does alternate-universe Shrieker ever get in a shouting match with Gruum? Who would win? Gruum would win a shouting match. Come on, it’s right in the name. Shrieker shrieks. Screech screeches. It would be fun to imagine a Disparation story with the three of them as a trio.
  • Did Rambler give Spite the power to rampage through Æternus or was that all just Spite himself once given the opportunity? Could other non-magical characters who wind up in Æternus gain similar power or was Spite unique in that regard? Rambler didn’t give Spite power. This was mostly just Spite’s base hatred levels and the fact that by this point he’d already bootstrapped himself up to having at least some infernal powers already (by Abomination of Desolation he’s using the blorpy body horror powers, infernal powers, psychic powers, and all sorts of weirdness). Most people don’t go to Æternus via death. Most people don’t go to Æternus. Spite’s situation here is kind of an exception - Æternus isn’t “hell” just “hell themed”.
  • What does Æternus as an entity itself think about that event? Spite’s soul is useful enough for GloomWeaver to want it, so could Æternus have used it somehow too? The Princes of Æternus don’t like what Spite’s up to because he’s not following the “rules”, but those are just rules that they set up. Æternus just cares about torment. Spite’s presence is only interesting in terms of how much torment he generated in the denizens of the place, which was a nice bonus to this guy’s presence, but it’s not important to it or anything.
  • At what point would you decide to make a story into a one-shot issue or limited series rather than putting it into an ongoing title? Would you have made the Spite vs. Rambler story into a one-shot if Mystery Comics hadn’t just been about to explore Host stuff? In terms of the industry, these things range from “not important at all” to “incredibly important” - sometimes it’s just “we need to put out more comics this month” so throw together another limited series or take one of our inventory stories and make a one-shot. But then you get stuff that are tied to major crossovers (like Sunrise or OblivAeon) are crucial to understanding what’s going on. One-shots can go either way, but limited series tend to be bigger deals. It’s rare (although possible) to have limited series that don’t matter at all. The effort involved in putting together multiple issues is just high enough that it’s hard to justify doing one on a whim. Let’s look at Cosmic Contest. If you’re reading everything then it’s extremely important. If you’re not reading everything it’s not important at all. This story in particular may have wound up in a one-shot if it couldn’t have fit anywhere else, but not a limited. The issue is that one-shots do their best if you don’t require tons of outside context or are part of a major thing and this story doesn’t really fit either of those.
  • We know that Alpha owed Rambler a debt, but has that been collected? They don’t think that he has by the end of the Multiverse. It’s possible that it came up in her book somewhere, but they don’t have something planned out for it.
  • If so, can we submit that as an episode topic? If not, why not? The more likely thing to have happened here is that writers forgot that it had been set up. As such, if it did get called in, it probably happened much later than you’d expect - like usually you’d want the context of a debt being called in to be familiar to readers and so wouldn’t want to call back to a story too long ago. So, when it does get called in it’s by a writer who happened to come across the setup in the back issues and realized that it was never followed-up on.
  • When Rambler calls in debts, how does he do so? The Spite fight seemed to have him just teleporting in the people who owe him from wherever they are on an instant; is that typical? Did he have to set this up ahead of time (which he could have done given that he was the one who arranged for this conflict to happen in the first place)? Pulling people to his side like that would have required preparation. Not in terms of him having to find these people and talk to them, but in setting things up to make it happen. It also depends on what kind of entity it is that owes him the debt. Some ethereal being from another Realm likely has “is summonable” as a trait to begin with. A person like Alpha might require things more like finding them and talking to them to “settle up”.
  • It seems like Rambler might be playing “gotta catch ’em all” with various souls from underworlds - is he trying to sever them from their associated Realms or something? If Rambler is trying to get relics from various “underworlds”, how would he go about getting one from The Grey or Clarity? He’s not trying to sever connections like that. He’s not the most long-sighted of characters. Not to say that he’s short-sighted, but he’s not pulling extremely long games like some other masterminds out there. Every bit of leverage that he can get, he’ll try to get. He’s very vulnerable. He’s done enough stuff to get a target put on his back by too many big players and so he’s got to find whatever edge he can. Every little bit helps. It’s less plans within plans and more just covering his own butt in whatever way he can think of.
  • Thinking of entities/groups that make deals (the Fey-Court, Rambler, The Organization, Wager Master, Zhu Long, and Monty Hall), whose deals are 1) the most convoluted, 2) cause the most anxiety in the other party, 3) turned out worse for the other party, and 4) more likely to be cancelled by the listed party above? Fey-Court are almost definitely the most convoluted. Zhu Long’s close. The most anxiety is likely Zhu Long if you realize what exactly you’ve done. Otherwise probably Wager Master or maybe Apostate. A general person on the street might actually have the most anxiety from the Organization just because they’re more of a known entity. Deals turning out worse for the named character probably is Wager Master, but bad for the other party is Zhu Long. Zhu Long “wins” the vast majority of his deals, to the point where if he doesn’t he gets angry about it. The most likely to forgive a debt in this kind of situation is probably the Organization as the types of things they get involved in can quite easily have a situation arise such that letting somebody off the hook is better for them just as a numbers game decision. Not to say that mob activity is forgiven lightly (there’s that whole stereotype of gangsters breaking legs over debts, after all), but it’s possible for other circumstances to affect a prior deal. Wager Master, as a counterexample, is locked in to whatever he’s set up.
  • You’ve mentioned an update to the SCRPG Starter Kit [yeah, they’re basically redoing the layout of the whole thing], and I know that you can build the same character in multiple ways depending on what you want to emphasize about them, but are you going to be updating the character stats to be more in-line with what appeared in the core rules once it was done? They were never intended to be the same as the core book - the Starter Kit versions are from before the Sentinels of Freedom started. There will be minor tweaks to how they’re built so that they match the final character creation options, but the goal isn’t to have them be identical to the versions in the core game Archives.
  • Are there any changes coming that weren’t mentioned in the update that mentioned the new version (say, Art that Adam drew more than 5 years ago)? They think it looks good. Adam hit a point around the time of OblivAeon where he’s no longer hating his old work. He’ll still redo OblivAeon content arts for the hypothetical DE OblivAeon set, but the Starter Kit arts are still fine.
  • There is one thing I noted about the Starter Kit art, though - the final art of Baron Blade has two normal arms, unless I’m not fully understanding how that Murcurium limb works, so what’s going on there? What even is Murcurium? It’s a wonderful metal used for cool inventions in Sentinel Comics. Adam’s intention here is that it’s still the metal arm, but it’s nanites for which the “default” state is to look like a normal arm. He’s wearing power dampening shackles and that’s disabled the nanites’ ability to do more interesting things.
  • Superheroes fighting each other is a staple of the genre, but SCRPG doesn’t really work for doing that; compared to the Health totals they have, Heroes deal a lot of damage and somebody tuned for single-target damage can likely knock out another Hero in a few hits; how would you handle PVP in the game? They are pretty sure there are sections for handling player character conflicts in the GM section. Even so, there’s a difference in handling inter-player conflicts beyond combat. One option for how to do this, assuming both players want to do so, and also assuming that the characters aren’t actually trying to kill one another is to model a combat as a series of opposed Overcomes rather than Attacks. Make it more narrative. Both of them would also simply discourage players from doing this in the first place. Additionally, while hero battles are a staple in comics, it’s actually much less common in Sentinel Comics. As such, if this kind of thing is really what your players want to do, there are likely better game systems to be running that would be a better fit.
  • Polly Hedron’s plan in Neighborhood Watch#5 seems really dumb - I mean, connecting Akash’Flora to Æternus seems less well thought out than most of the Vandals’ plans, and they’re idiots; is Polly generally more on top of things than this? Was she just underestimating how bad Æternus really is? She did underestimate it, but her plan was also to just harvest energy from it. Her main mistake here is assuming that Æternus is just a place and that the associated problems are due to the things living there. She didn’t understand that Æternus itself is bad news on a conceptual level. She also had made the assumption that the scientific stuff she’d set up would allow her to handle it.
  • Does Polly Hedron have a doctorate (her bio says that she studied science, but that could mean anything down to “liked to read pop-science books” - I’d just like to be able to address her properly when I’m explaining in detail why it’s a bad idea to create portals to super hell)? She has several doctorates, none of which specialized in super hell. Of the She-nanigans she definitely has it the most together, but that’s not a hard title to claim.

Cover Discussion

  • Of the issues discussed today they’re doing the cover of the second one, Virtuoso of the Void vol. 2 #50 from December 2005. They’ve established that the title of the issue is “The Day the Music Died!” which seems like it would be a mistake to leave off of the cover. Beyond that, having Argent Adept, Diamond Diva, Taranerach, and the Void on there is the way to go. The nice thing about Taranerach is that you can kind of go wild on the art - there’s no need to be consistent for how he looks.