The Letters Page: Episode 254
Writers' Room: Prime Wardens Vol. 1 #171-173
Ambuscade is gonna win!
Run Time: 1:38:41
We try to skip the banter, and only sort of succeed. Places to be! Stories to tell! And tell, we do!
Lots of Ambuscade questions. This Ansel G. Moreau guy is popular!
Join us next week for Episode #255, all about the Citizens of the Sun Civil War!
- So, about the name of this event is “La Gloire!” It’s “The Glory!” just, y’know, in French. They spend a little bit of time butchering the pronunciation up front and that continues throughout the episode.
- This story happens in Prime Wardens vol. 1 #171-173, March-May 2000. This is during the latter stages of the Sunrise event over in that limited series and the Freedom Five book. Fanatic shows up in both of those stories. Don’t worry about it. She’s very popular in this era - we’re a couple of years out from the Baptism by Fire story and she may be at the height of her popularity from that through the “Fall of the Prime Wardens” in 2001 (although she does still get a solo book afterwards). Anyway, Sunrise is when her sword breaks but it remains unbroken through the end of this story in PW. We said don’t worry about it.
- Also, this is during the Tempersonation era, so they need to remember that Tempest is thoroughly boring and gets no good lines as they go through the process of making up the story beats.
- While this is a story where the team “loses”, it’s not meant to be a precursor to the Fall story. This is less about them being a bad team and more about Ambuscade being awesome (although it does highlight the problem that the Prime Wardens are less a “team” and more “a handful of individuals who are good at things and do those things in proximity with one another” - well, Tempest isn’t really “good at things” at the moment, but again that’s the writing).
- The story begins with the team receiving a lovely, beautiful, immaculately-calligraphied letter. Ambuscade has been watching their exploits for many years and has decided to grant them the highest honor - being the quarry of his greatest hunt yet. It will begin later today in west Africa and he will be armed with nothing but his wits as he turns their strengths against them.
- Of course, the heroes’ response is to basically agree to not go to west Africa. That’s when the magical spikes activate.
- To back up a bit, there’s been an ongoing Argent Adept subplot for about a year now. In PW #162 (June 1999, just after the Strike Force Invasion crossover wrapped up) we have two things happen. One was a thing where Visionary had a terrifying vision of things coming from beyond the stars. That’s left open-ended and never really got resolved, but later writers pulled that dangling thread into being OblivAeon-related along with so much other stuff. The other thing are a bunch of “magical spikes” that show up all over the world. These are physical things that thrust up from within the earth and resonate with magical energy. There are probably hundreds but not thousands of them all over the world.
- Now, the magical spikes don’t actually factor into today’s story directly at all and remain an unresolved subplot following it (issue #179 in November is a “flashback clip-show” issue of prior Prime Wardens adventures that lead to the reveal that their actions are the cause of the magical spikes with the resolution happening in the December issue). What’s important is that in our first issue today, the spikes “activate”.
- Argent Adept has been monitoring them and has magical feelers out to keep tabs on everything, so he notices. They’re resonating and sending out connecting lines between them (not, like, visible things, but magical). They’re kind of setting up a network that’s at odds with the “natural” ley-lines. Is this related to ley-lines somehow? It’s not clear. What AA does know is that when these things are on, the criss-crossing energy lines create zones where he can do some magic to open a portal so they can take care of things on the other side. He only gets a kind of general feel for where that’s going to be. Haka jokes this time: “Wouldn’t it be funny if this one took us to west Africa?” Argent Adept is sure that it doesn’t and they go through.
- They emerge in sunny San Alonso. They’re near a magical spike, but there doesn’t seem to be anything really going on. That’s not uncommon. Sometimes they go through and there’s some magical whirlwind going on that they have to stop, sometimes there’s a villain there doing a thing they have to stop, other times there’s nothing at all going on. It feels like there’s some intention behind things - that some mind is leading them around. As such, when there’s nothing going on it is kind of frustrating. The other members of the team feel a little annoyance at Argent Adept - like he’s doing things wrong and sending them on wild-goose chases because he thinks that something is going on and because the portals are one-way now they’ve got to spend the rest of the day getting back to where they were before they got interrupted.
- Anyway, as they’re prepared for this to have been for nothing, a bunch of trumpeting/screeching starts coming from nearby. They rush over to where this is coming from, which turns out to be the zoo. Somehow, a bunch of animals have gotten out of their enclosures. This isn’t really" a Prime Wardens-level problem, but there are dangerous animals loose and people are panicking and they’re here already* so whatever. They go corral the animals.
- Haka picks up the lion by the scruff of its neck as you might a kitten. Tempest says that he will go talk to the fish because did you know that he can talk to all aquatic life (just having some fun with wooden Tempest dialog here. Fanatic flies around collecting birds to put back in their enclosures. Captain Cosmic is running along trying to chase down some small canids of some sort (dingoes, foxes, what exactly is not terribly important). He trips over something. As he gets up he looks up and says “Bollocks.” We don’t see what he saw, but something hits him and we change scene.
- From there we go to Argent Adept. He’s running into a tunnel that goes under an aquarium exhibit. As he’s walking through it, there are speakers on proximity switches that play a recording that points out interesting things to look at as zoo-goers pass. As he passes one, instead of pointing out some interesting coral or something the voice says “And ’ere we see zee Argent Adept walking along zee tunnel. Oblivious to zee fact zat ’e is about to be ambushed by zee mighty ’unter, Ambuscade.” [This whole section, and I’m guessing much of the rest of the story here features some “amazing” French accent work.] So, he’s not terribly surprised when Ambuscade shows up, although being shirtless is a bit of a surprise. He attempts to throw some magic at the problem and it goes horribly wrong. The acoustics in this underwater tunnel are just bonkers and so his musical magic doesn’t do what he expects. He cracks the glass roof right above him and so he’s got to spend most of his attention on holding that up/closed. Ambuscade notes that this looks pretty dangerous and it would be a shame if something were to happen to AA and we end the scene there in a similar end to the Captain Cosmic scene earlier.
- That’s the end of the first issue. We cut straight to a splash page with AA and CC trussed up at the feet of Ambuscade, holding the AA’s cape in one hand and CC’s shirt in the other. We’re actually back to where we last saw CC - on the ground we can see what it was that hit him. A zoo sign saying “Now entering west Africa”. [Also, the cover of the issue is a clue as to who the first victims would be. Ambuscade is holding a scrap of CC’s shirt and he’s wearing AA’s cape.] “Two Prime Wardens down, but zee best is yet to come!”
- They’re not going to go into quite as much detail on the next two issues.
- The next part opens in medias res with Ambuscade and Haka fighting. Ambuscade’s dialog involves him reminiscing about the good ol’ days where they fought. What is notable about this time is that Ambuscade has really stepped up his game. No guns, devices, or powers - he’s just put in the time to train up to this level. Haka can not land a hit/get a hand on him. He’s also talking a lot. Past Ambuscade appearances wasn’t nearly this quippy. The thing we all have in our heads about Ansel always boasting and talking himself up during a fight? This story is the origin of that. Prior to this he was a more serious “I am here to hunt zee heroes” kind of thing. All business. Now he’s fun.
- Back to the fight. Neither of them is making much headway since Haka is Haka, but Ambuscade is dodging around and maybe getting a little trip in here and there. The main result of this is that Haka is getting irritated. He’s being careful (not punching through exhibit walls or anything), but the fight traverses quite an area and eventually they’re in a big building with more glassed-in aquatic exhibits (stuff that couldn’t go in the big aquarium stuff from earlier.
- Eventually, this leads into the scaffolding above all of these tanks. That’s where Ambuscade manages to get a bit of an advantage since there’s so little footing available. He manages to trip Haka, dropping him into the only one of these tanks with an open top. Almost as though somebody planned it. Anyway, this thing is really big and after he’s dropped in a crane swings over to drop the metal “lid” on top. Haka could punch his way out through the side, but that would dump thousands of gallons of water everywhere and kill whatever fish and whatnot are in here. He swims to the top and tries to punch his way out that way, but punching 1) while submerged in water and 2) while not braced against the floor or something solid kind of makes that difficult. As he’s trying to do that, he gets wrapped up by the ridiculously big octopus that calls this tank home (they bring up for context that the largest recorded Giant Pacific Octopus was 30 feet across and over 600 pounds - this is a comic and so even that probably gets exaggerated). So, Haka (who is sad about not getting oxygen, but can hold his breath a good long while before it’ll become a real problem) is left wrestling with this thing. As Ambuscade exits through the roof we see a crowd of people approaching the tank to gawk and take pictures of the big man fighting an even bigger octopus.
- No no no. They said they weren’t going to do as much detail. Tempest is boring and is fought in a herpetarium and Ambuscade traps him in a lizard cage under a bunch of heat lamps that dry him out. He’s in the middle of gloating after accomplishing this when Fanatic blasts through the wall and the issue ends.
- The last issue is mostly the Ambuscade vs. Fanatic fight and her appearance here is very similar to the one they talked about fairly recently where she is basically “a horror monster”. She’s being played up as just being this scary force. Ambuscade isn’t quite as quippy now because 1) he’s really got to focus up to deal with her and 2) he’s legitimately scared of her. He retreats into the “cave exhibit” that features various cave/subterranean ecosystem animals. This lets him use the shadows for cover while she just cuts her way through the fake stalagmites and whatnot while glowing brightly. She is not being careful like Haka was. She’s getting frustrated by the lack of sight-lines the “cave” environment causes and how that makes following Ambuscade difficult. She decides that she’s done with this cave nonsense and just blasts up through the roof. Now, the top of the cave exhibit is still covered with open-air exhibits and her crashing up through that looking angry and ready to just start blasting things causes alarm in the zoo patrons who start yelling that this must be the person who’s letting animals out and wrecking things.
- This “the public has turned on you” is her “defeat” moment and is when Ambuscade emerges with the next two trussed up Prime Wardens with a quip about how she’s found her “adoring public.” But look how great he is. Wouldn’t you all like to take pictures with the great Ambuscade? He’s fulfilled his challenge by turning the heroes strengths against them. “You’ve been worthy opponents. Au revoir!” Then there’s some small amount of confused applause as the crowd isn’t sure if this has been a show. Ambuscade definitely signs some autographs on the way out.
- We know that Ambuscade manages to best the Prime Wardens in this story, presumably with little to no tech helping him out; additionally, the Prime Wardens features absolute powerhouses like Haka and Fanatic whom he’s been unable to defeat in prior outings - what was different this time? Planning, setup, environment, etc. Early Ambuscade appearances didn’t have him be as calculating as he had to be here. He gets better with time. It’s also the case that early on he was overconfident and thought he was better than everyone else already. He learned from that experience and here all of his opponents underestimate him.
- Does he do something to shake Fanatic’s faith? Not so much her own faith, but he prompts her into acting in a way that breaks the public’s faith in her which leads to her questioning herself enough for her to “lose”. This isn’t something you can do to win against her “every time” as this is one of those “the writers need Ambuscade to win” situations and so it does in this case, but it’s also something that is “earned” by the work Ambuscade puts in to set up the situation.
- Does Ambuscade use his energy manipulation powers during the fight? If not, is it because he’s unable to or because he thinks it gives him some sort of advantage? They think by this point that power has faded. He might re-up the treatment or whatever to have them again after this (a year after this he’s got a bunch nonsense in his appearance in Alpha 2000 - like, a bio-mechanical arm and a laser sword kinds of nonsense). This is one of the lower-power Ambuscade stories, though.
- Given that he was able to flawlessly defeat the Prime Wardens here, which/how many other heroes could have been added to the hunt with him still coming out on top? Could this incarnation of Ambuscade have won the Cosmic Contest? He would not have won the Cosmic Contest. This situation was one where he was in an advantaged position from the start given that it was happening in a location of his choosing. Fanatic almost disrupted his plans by showing up directly rather than him having an opportunity to “hunt” her more actively first, but things still wound up where/how he wanted. Like, this was him playing with a bunch of Successes and Overwhelming Successes and one Minor Twist. He would not have had the opportunity to set things up in Cosmic Contest and adding any additional heroes would have screwed this fight up for him since he wouldn’t have planned for them.
- Critical Events don’t have the full issue list like standard Events do; is this story contained in just the one issue or is it spread out a bit? As should be obvious from the rest of the episode, yes it’s over multiple issues.
- Was the letter penned by Ambuscade in French? Regardless of the language, was the writing so extravagant that the Prime Wardens had trouble actually reading it? It was not in French (other than a few phrases like “au revoir”). The writing is fancy but legible. The comic just shows the letter rather than having somebody read it aloud.
- The Critical Event can claim victory not by incapacitating all of the heroes, but simply by acquiring 30 tokens (earned whenever he damages a hero); was his plan here less actively defeating the heroes and more just making them look foolish? If so, was this fight being broadcast somehow? Did somebody else put Ambuscade up to this? Nobody put him up to it - he just did it to show how awesome he is. The media is there because of the “a bunch of animals are out of their enclosures at the zoo” thing going on and so them capturing Fanatic “about to smite a bunch of adorable zoo animals” is part of the plan. He was very careful in choosing this location as there’s just enough peril for the bystanders without him actually going so far as to dangle them from a ledge or something. He was not actively putting people in direct harm.
- The associated art lacks his “mechanical” arm and he’s using a stone spear; additionally the mechanics of the fight seems to show him as being averse to using Devices; was this the point where his RevoCorp-derived powers started to fail and he wasn’t using them as much? They talked about the powers already, but the arm thing is just a metal “sheath” device he can put on; he still has his normal arm (except in Alpha 2000, which also gets reverted back to his normal arm again later - Alpha 2000 sure was a trip - maybe RevoCorp can just regenerate limbs if you have enough money). This is just him and his wits and his planning. A way to up the challenge in the game (to reflect the comics scenario) would be to have this be the CE Ambuscade vs. the Prime Wardens, but then stack the Environment deck to be as good to the villain as possible.
- Is this story just to showcase how the Prime Wardens, while individually very powerful, just don’t work together? Was there any particularly egregious Tempersonation dialog in this one? That’s accurate - they’re not working together here at all. At one point during the fight in the herpetarium Tempest says “Stand still so I can shoot you with a bolt of lightning” [they continue to riff on more horrible dialogue]. Like they said before, this is not meant to presage the Fall of the Prime Wardens but a running theme of the whole title was that these mega-powerful people just couldn’t work together. That’s a major difference when volume 2 roles around where they’re much more a team and kind of a family which they all didn’t realize until the team had fallen apart and they weren’t around one another any more.
- If Ambuscade was successful in his alternate goal (which seems to explicitly not be to kill any of them), what ramifications does this have on the team? Was this another item that led to the team’s break-up? It contributes to their fall, but it’s just one event in a long series of them that contribute.
- We’ve been told that Ambuscade doesn’t really go in for collateral damage - sure, he’ll blow stuff up and/or put people in danger, but when he does so it’s with the expectation that the heroes will save the people which is part of the plan - have things ever gotten out of hand/not gone to plan? Does he have a body count outside of his stated quarry? Has he ever gone out of his way to prevent a death when something goes wrong? If people died during his schemes, would he be remorseful about it later (either through the failure reflecting on him as an imperfection or as genuine regret)? After this story there is definitely an event where he sets up a bunch of explosions or whatever and he winds up having to save somebody himself and the act of saving the person results in his defeat (“Eh, worth it”). They don’t think of him as a murderer, but they think that there are likely some implied deaths in his earlier appearances and at that time he didn’t seem to care (say, if he blew up a building). It’s never his intent to murder people and it’s not confirmed or anything, but he has a lot more humanity on the page from today’s story on. Prior to this, his “hunting” the heroes kind of carried the implication that it’s trophy hunting in the “mount their heads on the wall” kind of way as his means of proving himself against them, but this story is also a softening of that in that he’s just counting coup against them rather than trying to kill them. Hmm… There’s also a bit of softening of that back in the ’94 story where he and Alpha are dealing with an Entertainer thing - that was the first time we see him doing things “for show” rather than being a killer. He still wasn’t as quick with a quip back then, but it was a change-up from his prior demeanor.
- [Letter ends with an acknowledgement of his more conscientious behavior while still being this self-aggrandizing, bombastic character.] That’s a big part of his appeal - he’s a fun villain. That is primarily true only after today’s story, though. That over-the-top, ridiculous accent, “do my own stunts” persona was this later development.
- Was Ansel’s search for entertainment following his departure from the film industry (i.e. big game hunting and whatnot) public knowledge? Was it covered up by his publicity people? Did it just not come up? There wasn’t a lot of backlash against big game hunting until relatively recently, say post-2000. Sure, there were interest groups opposed to the practice, but they don’t recall “general public sentiment” being against it until relatively recently - it was just “a thing rich people do.” Part of what makes this a difficult question to answer is that Ansel G. Moreau didn’t exist in the comics until Ambuscade showed up and Ambuscade is around for a while before we get his backstory. We’re not getting this stuff in chronological order.
- Was the public aware of his increasingly weird mental state leading up to his jump to full-on villainy (say, magazine covers with articles about whether the industry was taking a toll on everyone’s favorite action star)? This goes back into the “we only heard about this stuff after he was already around as a villain” thing. As part of that backstory we may have been shown headlines along those lines. He really just kind of disappears from movies for a while, but it’s kind of him just dropping out of his own volition while he goes hunting. It’s not until he’s in the process of getting powers and whatnot that his face is horribly scarred. There’s another good question later, so let’s put a pin in this for now.
- Was him showing up as Stuntman celebrated or was it just baffling to people? Was it even widely known or was he doing so in relative obscurity? Honestly, kind of the latter. He didn’t make a big announcement of his turn to being a superhero or anything. Almost nobody knew that he was Ambuscade as he didn’t anybody to know that he’d been horribly scarred or anything like that. Sure, Ambuscade also did his own stunts (and it’s weird that he’d call what he did “stunts” in the first place), but it wasn’t a connection anybody made.
- So, “doing his own stunts” has to include vehicle stunts too, right? Cars, bikes, planes, helicopters, trains? What kinds of licenses/certifications does he have? He definitely does cool car and bike stunts. He can pilot a helicopter. He has an amateur pilot’s license. He knows how to stop a train but he’s never been a railroad engineer. He can fly a plane and knows how to crash land and then walk away before it explodes (basically, he knows how to do a controlled crash for all of these). He’s done a lot of jumping out of things. He’s done HALO parachute jumps and BASE jumps. Lots of hanging from high places. Lots of boat stuff. He can do flips on a jet-ski.
- What about spacecraft? We know he goes to Mars: does he pilot his own way there? No. There’s teleportation/portal tech that he used to get there. He doesn’t know how to pilot spacecraft. Christopher imagines a situation where he finds himself in a spacecraft and self-assuredly assumes that he knows how to do it since it reminds him of a movie he was in. “You just flip zeze switches et voilà!” This would not work out for him. Adam thinks that “as sci-fi as these spaceships are” they’re probably pretty easy to figure out and he’d do okay.
- [A pretty fun in-character letter at around the hour mark from Ansel G. Moreau’s #1 Fan about how this podcast keeps dragging his name through the mud, etc. with the slander that he’s the villain Ambuscade. To the extent that there are questions it boils down to:] How many people know about him being Ambuscade/is there a cover-up of some sort (say, by the movie studio and/or his publicists)? Very few people know. Occasionally he’ll put out a statement about still being on a journey of self-discovery or whatever. He probably has a guy who is “security” but is more like a butler/driver and is the one who mostly deals with the publicist and whatnot. He’s the “handler” who he employs to manages all of that stuff. Ansel attempted to keep the whole Ambuscade thing from him for a long time before finally telling him, but he actually knew immediately. He’d be Ansel’s best friend except for the whole “is an employee” thing that kind of sullies that relationship. The public doesn’t know - he’s just this guy who used to do a lot of movies (but was really niche - he was a great action star who did the stunt work, but he never branched out like a lot of other action stars do) but he kind of just disappeared after a while.
- [That is followed by another Ansel Moreau #1 Fan, but from the writing style is almost definitely a different person, so we’ve got a rivalry going in the correspondents.] What movie is Ansel acting out on his Stuntman character card? He’s not acting out a movie. He’s just being appropriately dramatic.
- Why doesn’t he just get some cosmetic surgery to fix his face? No surgery could ever fix such a hideous scar. His face was perfect before and no surgical procedure could restore him to perfection. There would always be some reminder.
- For Action Hero Stuntman, which movie is being filmed on his character card? It’s not a movie. That’s just whatever situation that version of Ansel has found himself in.
- Given Ansel’s past as a movie star, how often did that past come back to haunt him during his Ambuscade days? Did he ever refuse a “job” because a past co-star would have wound up in the crossfire? Did he ever take a job pro bono since it involved a rival actor that beat him at the box office? Was there ever an obsessed fan that figured out his identity and stalked him (hunting the hunter)? They love the idea of an obsessive fan hunting down Ambuscade. Like, he shows up at Freedom Tower looking for help (“I’ve got a stalker.” “You are a stalker.” “This is different!”). There was a short run in the ’00s where Deadpool had Tom Cruise’s face (but it was Thom Cruz). They can imagine a similar story where somebody wants Ambuscade to go after Bradd Pit or something - “Zis one is on me.” If Ambuscade was a bigger character there’s a lot that could be explored here. He’s just not. He’s maybe a B-level villain and there’s just not a lot of space devoted to him to justify it.
- During Ambuscades years of hunting humans, did he ever succeed in hunting humans? Does that equate to killing them? In true big game hunting style, does that lead to him having people’s heads taxidermied and mounted on his wall? Does Stuntman have to avoid having people over to his home due to the decor? He does not have human heads mounted on the wall. He also isn’t the type to have heroes over to his place, with the possible exception of Mainstay. He wouldn’t have hunted “normal” people - he’d have jumped straight from big game animals to superpowered heroes as that’s where the challenge is. They think that outside of the implied collateral damage situation mentioned earlier, that he has not killed anyone in his hunts. That’s a level of irredeemable that they don’t have him reach.
- What’s the history of the reveal of Ansel’s disfiguring scar? Ambuscade has been around for a long time, but he wears a mask. Was some writer tempted to show off this horrible disfigurement or was the joke always that it was this little cut? If the former, was there a retcon? Hmm… we wouldn’t have seen his face until sometime after today’s story. It’s sometime in the ’00s.
- What about his maskless appearance in Double Tap #2 (granted, that’s a citation from an EE card)? His appearance there is him wearing a disguise, so he’s got a mask or other concealing cosmetics on. If we ever see him early on without a mask, it’s with him doing something to conceal the truth (possibly just being off-panel entirely at the time), which is more terrible than you could imagine. [They say the first time we see him was shortly before the first time that Glamour does the illusory Ambuscade thing, but that would be a retcon as we’ve been told that happened in ’99.]
- As I understand it, Ansel G. Moreau went to RevoCorp to get surgery to obtain powers and received both a horrifically disfiguring scar and the power to charge up objects with energy; his EE deck had several references to the latter (turning innocuous objects into bombs, charging up his weapons for extra damage, etc.) but I don’t see any such references in DE - what happened? The lore book still references the powers, so you don’t seem to have retconned them out of existence, so how do his powers factor into his DE iteration? Was it a conscious decision to not depict them? Adam’s thoughts on this is that Ambuscade’s powers in the comics are spotty and inconsistent and people don’t know what to do with them in his stories. The comics state that he has energy manipulation powers like that and sometimes that is treated as an ability to absorb a big hit from a hero and redirect it, but sometimes he doesn’t do that. Other times it looks like the “charging objects to make them into bombs”, but other times he just sets up conventional bombs. As far as what the deck depicts, they think that the way they’ve set him up to appear and play is more indicative to how he “works” over the entire span of the character’s existence as a villain. The specific thing that Christopher wanted to do with his Event was have him win if he incapacitates a single hero, because that is him winning a hunt at which point he leaves - that’s a very important character vibe to get across for a story. He can see doing another Critical Event that’s based around his energy powers, though. He just doesn’t do the energy stuff consistently or notably enough for it to be a good thing to model into his deck natively, but they could pick one story where it does feature and do it that way. The “iconic Ambuscade” is him with his metal arm and guns. The powers are meant to just kind of be there in the corners of the flavor around him. Adam even thinks that they’re best used as a surprise because people forget that he even has powers (including the writers!).
- We know that Ansel G. Moreau had an absolutely perfect face before his disfiguring scar; we also know that Biomancer can create copies of people that are accurate enough to fool friends and loved ones - can Biomancer create such a copy of Ansel or is that level of perfection beyond even his abilities? He could make a copy of Ansel G. Moreau that most everybody in the world would look at and recognize, but people like our two #1 fans who wrote in earlier would probably note that something was off. Ansel himself would recoil in disgust from this hideous abomination which looks nothing like him.
- If a flesh child Ansel were to start showing up in the tabloids how would Ambuscade/Stuntman respond to that information? Ambuscade would hunt it down and kill it. That’s an easy one. Stuntman would hunt it down and then find a way to publicly reveal that this thing that was walking around was an imposter.
- Has Ansel G. Moreau run into the Tony Hawk problem (it’s become a meme recently around the fact that people know his name without knowing what he looks like and so when they meet him they have more of a “oh, like the skateboarder?” reaction rather than actually having it click that it is him)? The tricky bit in comparing Ansel G. Moreau and Tony Hawk is that Tony is well known in a field (skateboarding) in which nobody else is famous with the general public. Ansel is more on the level of Jean-Claude Van Damme or Steven Segal where it’s “action movie star” famous, but not like Tom Cruise or Bruce Willis famous. Oh, no, you know who is a better direct analogue? Dolph Lundgren. He’s not Schwarzenegger or Stalone-level famous, but he fought them in notable roles and that’s the level of “general population” fame he has.
- Can we get some clarification/post-spreadsheet update on the timeline of Ansel’s journey from villain to hero? First Appearance of Action Hero Stuntman: Disparation vol. 2 #81 in May 2009. Last appearance of Ambuscade: Temporal Targets #6 in May 2010 (the Chrono-Ranger on Mars thing). First Appearance of Stuntman in Mystery Comics vol. 2 #482 in October 2013 (this is him first showing up and doing “superhero comics stuff” as not-Ambuscade - it’s a conflict with the Operative - he’s not calling himself “Stuntman” and he’s not yet really a hero yet, which is maybe what was confusing). Road Warriors in October 2015 (he and Mainstay fight some drug boys and he fully transitioned to hero).
- Are you interested in doing Writers’ Room episodes for heroes for whom the covers are already drawn? Yeah. Those are slightly less interesting to Christopher in that they don’t really add more content, but if there’s something we see in DE materials that we want to know more about, we can try to get them episodes so go ahead and submit those topics. The only topics they dismiss out of hand are basically things that are so vague as to not even be a distinct prompt. Things might not show up in voting because they’ve just been tagged for a specific later month or two different prompts converge on what would be the same story and so only one prompt is chosen between them. Especially, at this point, prompts like “a Legacy story” are very unlikely to get into voting given their broad scope that are easy to roll into other more focused ones.
- So, this is only the second Prime Wardens story we’ve gotten (with the first being the one where they break up) - what gives? Is this just the way voting has gone or do they just interact with each other this little? Mostly the voting. Issues of Prime Wardens do tend to have all 5 members, but we just haven’t gotten many of their stories through voting. They have told a few more (like the Heart of the Island story), but they just may not have been Writers’ Room episodes.
- Do we ever get a connection between GloomWeaver and General Geist and his reanimated Nazis? Do we ever get to punch Ghost/Demon Nazis? They don’t think that one Golden Age issue is the actual last appearance of General Geist, just his last appearance as a normal person [they did kick around the idea that he shows up again in the ’80s or something]. They don’t think that he is GloomWeaver-related.
- They already have the cover for the first issue of the story. Do we want another? The third one could have Fanatic being extremely menacing. The second could have something like Haka drowning, although that sort of gives away the end of the story. Christopher suggests “a thing that doesn’t happen in the issue” - Ambuscade sitting in a fancy chair in his den with the Prime Wardens’ heads mounted on the wall behind him. The first one doesn’t have any words on it, so this one probably doesn’t either, but Christopher will think about it.