Podcasts/Episode 255

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The Letters Page: Episode 255
Writers' Room: Freedom Five #475

Freedom Five 475.png

Original Source

Primary Topic


A new Citizen?!

Show Notes:

Run Time: 1:35:40

It's been a while since we've talked about Citizen Dawn related stuff. Can she survive this return to her stories?! Villainy is afoot!

This story has a decent amount of musing and live creation, and I think that's nice! Do you enjoy that sort of thing? We hope so!

Join us next week for Editor's Note #69, and if you're part of the Letters Page Patreon, join us this Friday for the livestream... but not at the normal time of 11 AM, no no! This Friday's livestream will be at 3:00 PM, Central time! We hope you can join us for it!

Characters Mentioned



  • The topic today was a total suggestion from the listenership. Somebody suggested “Citizens of the Sun Civil War” and they thought “Yeah… Sure. That’s a thing that happened. Why not?” and then it made it all of the way through voting and here we are.
  • When does it happen? If it’s after Sunrise then Dawn herself is going to be absent. If it’s before the Wayward Sun story then most of the Citizens are largely forgettable/undifferentiated from one another. They wind up putting it in Freedom Five #475 in November 1989, so between those two events.
  • Is it a single issue? In that time period comics were largely self-contained stories. Sure, there was ongoing continuity with things happening at the beginning and end of issues that segue from what came before and a cliffhanger for what comes next, but most of the time if you bought an issue you got a complete story. Not to say that there weren’t arcs - there was a three issue Ambuscade arc in FF #472-474 [we don’t get a lot of story details here, but the DE Ambuscade card “Rigged to Explode” cites the middle issue], but that was a thing where the Freedom Five are doing whatever the ongoing plot had been from the prior issue, but then Ambuscade shows up and now they’ve got to deal with him.
  • Christopher thinks that if they just push one element that needs to be in place a bit earlier that they can get this story done in one: just make sure that we see Highbrow join the Citizens a few months earlier.
  • In the mid ’80s we have the event where Parse kills Head Doctor and the backlash of his death is what creates Highbrow. Some time in ’88 or early ’89 we should just have some Citizens of the Sun content in which we see her join them. It’s actually kind of interesting that we have this powerful group that is very much a “If you have super powers you’re welcome here,” but we don’t actually ever see anybody get super powers and then go straight there to join up. We have a bit early on fairly close to the Parse incident when Highbrow pulls herself up out of the muck [we don’t have a lot of details about the process further out than “immediately after Parse kills Head Doctor” but this is the first mention of “muck” that I can recall], and then a while later we have a scene showing her join up with the Citizens.
  • Let’s just have this as a running subplot for a while. We get a page of her journey from the muck, to her head getting bigger and her hair falling out, to the Citizens in books here and there along the way. They have her join the Citizens in June 1989 in Freedom Five #470 and the thing when she pulls herself up out of the sludge be in March ’89 in Freedom Five #467. Huh… is this the first appearance of “Highbrow”? She wouldn’t call herself that in this one page and she’s not doing anything yet, but this is after the event that cause her powers to manifest. Does she call herself Citizen Highbrow? We’re not to Sunrise where the gimmicky naming schemes really pick up, but we do know of some already by now (the Seasons were in Wayward Sun, Hammer and Anvil have been around forever, Gate was in Expat’s backstory). Whatever, let’s officially say that #467 is her first appearance as Highbrow since it’s close enough.
  • There should probably also be a few pages spread out between June and November to show her there doing Citizens stuff. In particular, we should see Highbrow going through the “learning about the Citizens” process that listeners of the podcast have gone through. Ultimately, this is the level of “The Citizens are cool, this place is great, but Dawn is a problem.” At some point leading up to today’s issue she starts seeding dissent.
  • It’s not initially as simple as “taking over” - her point is more that there shouldn’t be an individual above the rest of them at all so this is going to come down to the message of all citizens being equal vs. the cult of personality around Dawn herself.
  • So… where do the Freedom Five factor in at all? The big story twist would be Dawn herself asking for help because a strong hand in charge of these people is preferable to them squabbling between themselves. Christopher doesn’t know if that works because of how bad Dawn is as an individual - also her pride wouldn’t allow it (she’d rather kill all of the Citizens and maybe herself before she’d ask for help). Maybe it’s some other concerned Citizen rather than Dawn herself making the ask. The Citizens are a rabid dog and you need Dawn holding the leash. Spring is a good candidate - one option is to have somebody doing this in a sneaky way, but Spring is somebody who could be coming at this 100% earnestly. There’s various takes on this through the rest of the team, but Legacy responds to that genuine “somebody asking for help” call to action. He’s not a dupe, but he’d rather at least look into it. There’s also the whole “the two sides fighting each other may in itself break the world in half” or something.
  • Oh, there we go. Spring isn’t there on behalf of either side; she’s basically betraying all of the Citizens, but she sees what’s about to go down and recognizes that this is bad news for everybody and so is trying to prevent things from getting out of hand by asking for some outside assistance.
  • Basically both sides think “Oh, Citizen Spring is so nice; of course she’s on our side.” That’s interesting: the Seasons are probably split. Summer is on the Citizens’ side (she’s interested in some chaos) and Autumn and Winter stick with Dawn and both sides just presume that Spring’s with them. Hammer and Anvil are clearly with Dawn. Hmm… Truth, Dare, Blood, Sweat, and Tears are all introduced in Sunrise so they’re not available yet. We probably have a smattering of others who are in this issue but die. Let’s say Shake, Rattle, and Roll.
  • This issue just jumps right in with the Citizens stuff. Freedom Five has been doing this “page here and there with Citizens content with no explanation” so we finally just start this one with a few pages of Insula Primalis political drama. We open with some council chamber in the Citadel where several high-ranking Citizens are talking about current goings-on with Dawn mostly doing the “overlord silently presiding over the council meeting” thing. Then Highbrow kicks in the door and points out that the meeting itself is yet another “some Citizens are more equal than others” thing which is against what the stated ideals for the Citizens are. Dawn says that she’s starting a war. Oh, you see, the war has already begun. explosions occur outside We get some panels of fighting happening in various places and that’s when we also see Spring look worried and sneak away. There’s probably a Winter vs. Summer thing happening as that’s the one you want to see.
  • We cut from there to a scene with the Freedom Five, I dunno, playing basketball or something “normal” like that. They make it Legacy and Wraith vs. Tachyon and Bunker (AZ is the ref) so we can get some tension between Wraith and Bunker. It’s supposed to be a strictly “no powers” game. They think that Bunker is likely pretty good, although he’s on the short side. Tachyon and Legacy are both tall, but are probably having to think a lot about not going too fast considering they’re both also fast without having to “turn on” their powers or anything. Wraith is probably also really good at the whole “throwing a projectile at a target” thing, though. It’d be a good game. Too bad the story isn’t really about this situation and we get maybe a page.
  • Nope, we get 2 pages. There’s some tension between Maia and Tyler - they’re both very athletic and not dissimilar in height and defending in basketball can be a rather close activity. As she goes to shoot at one point she just shoves him aside and he falls, scraping some skin off his knee in the process. Due to the injury, play stops and while she takes a look/is concerned about hurting him they’re quibbling a bit about how he was guarding too close or whatever when Spring walks up to them and heals his leg.
  • We have the discussion described above with the added detail that we can throw in a “Well, she healed my knee so I’m on her side” quip from Bunker at which point he is also the one to point out that even if they don’t trust her, the potential outcomes of what she describes warrant at least taking a look.
  • So, how do the heroes approach this? Do they sneak onto the island and try to go the political route rather than the fighting one? Hmm… Citizen Spring knew a way to get off the island without being spotted, so they use that knowledge and some stealth tech (see Stealth Suit Bunker) to help get them onto the island and they establish a base camp in the jungle. Spring continues to run intel for them, reporting where fights are breaking out so that the heroes can go and attempt to stop them before they get too destructive.
  • They joke here about the whole “Absolute Zero being offered a place in the Citizens” thing and him “just refereeing”, but then realize that using the basketball game setup as a model for how this plays out is actually not bad. The problem is that there are three sides. There’s Dawn’s status quo, there’s Highbrow’s “all Citizens are equal” thing where she’s probably not going to be satisfied by any outcome where Dawn is still around (because even if she’s “just another Citizen” there will always be people around who will defer to her), and there’s Spring who wants people to talk.
  • Oh, there we go. Throw Winter and Dawn together (with Dawn being Dawn and Winter being cold and dispassionate about things), Highbrow and Summer together (because Summer loves any opportunity to throw literal or metaphorical fire into a situation), and Spring and Absolute Zero are the mediators. Adam thinks that we should have the heroes fall into the same “sides” as they had in the basketball game. Bunker and Tachyon side with Dawn in that she’s the tactically-correct “hand on the leash” choice as she represents a command structure. Wraith and Legacy side with Highbrow on the egalitarian, “heart of the people” option. They don’t think this final conflict actually has any fighting happen (we get that out of the way prior to arriving here at the end) but we conclude this with Absolute Zero giving a speech.
  • After this, Dawn agrees that sure, what they say has merit as it is what the Citizens are supposed to be about, but she will keep leadership but only in as much as somebody has to be responsible and the position should be a burden in that way. Fine everything’s wrapped up, time for the heroes to go. As they turn, she speaks up again - however, she cannot let the amount of rebellion that’s happened here stand without some punishment. She then blasts Highbrow and it’s such that everyone assumes that she’s dead and we only find out later when she shows up again that she’s lived (and her head is even bigger - like, every time we see this lady her head is just a bit bigger).
  • Having arrived here at the end, they think that this actually is two issues and spills over into #476. The first issue covers through the heroes arriving on the island and seeing how bad things are (ending with a big splash page of Citizens fighting with the heroes thinking they’re too late). The second is a bunch of fighting and the sides being drawn among the heroes as well, etc. Spring says some stuff. AZ says some stuff. Things seem resolved but Dawn has to have the last word by killing Highbrow.
  • Do the heroes just leave after that? They adjust the timing. After the “armistice” is agreed upon and Highbrow says that “the Citizens have decided that the Freedom Five have helped today and are free to go, right Citizens?” Dawns eyes narrow as she glares at Highbrow, but she then agrees. The heroes leave, and that’s when we get the “However…” bit and Highbrow gets blasted.
  • Christopher also thinks that sometime in the first half of #476, during the “things are really bad” fighting, the volcano erupts as a result of something that various Citizens are doing. We just need to establish the actual environmental threat that having all of these powered people at odds represents.
  • This gets us some good characterization for Dawn, too. Sure, she’s a horrible person in general, but she really does care about the Citizens and the well-being of the group as a whole. She’s willing to actually have a talk about the problem.
  • They name the story Citizens’ War (parts 1 and 2) - they obviously need to steer away from “Civil War”. This really was meant to be the death of Highbrow - this wasn’t a setup for a later return. It was just the end of this subplot of “person gets powers, joins the Citizens, recognizes that Dawn is terrible, fallout from that” that had been going for a few months. The character had made enough of an impact with readers, though, that she was brought back, just no longer liking the Citizens. Having a villain with specific beef with Citizen Dawn is kind of interesting.


  • During the Sunrise episode, there was a question there was a mention of what Citizen Dawn did to her husband - did she actually marry Citizen Pain? They misspoke. He is the biological father of Expatriette, but he did not marry Citizen Dawn nor did she expect him to be a parent to the child beyond the genetic level. You could consider him a “donor” but that implies that he volunteered rather than what actually happened. Dawn is just a terrible person, guys.
  • Citizens Blood, Sweat, and Tears got their powers (indirectly) via GloomWeaver: have they ever been shown interacting with him and/or the Cult of Gloom? Any repercussions for their using his power? There were no repercussions in the “you’re using dark magics that take as well as give.” [Well, probably beyond the curse that transmuted their bodies.] They’re doing a pretty good job of bringing gloom into the world, so they’re set there as well. They’re more effective than the average Cult of Gloom member. Something to keep in mind here is that their origin is basically just an explanation for “and here are three more Citizens” that doesn’t really ever come up after that - they’re just Citizens. Now, post-OblivAeon when they become the Vandals we start pulling on their origins a bit more.
  • Both Hammer and Anvil had run-ins with magic users that gave them their powers, but I’m suspicious of any “…and they never show up again, don’t worry about it” instances - do either the hedge witch (cured Hammer’s burns and gave him fire powers at the cost of his parents souls) or the wizard (Anvil rescued him from something, but then robbed him and so got cursed) show up again? Have they been named? Both of them play roles in Sentinel Comics, but not in major character ways. Well, one of them is a bit more important. The other is around too, but don’t worry about it. [Aside to each other: “They’re both part of the thing?” “Yeah.”] Adam can remember who one is no problem. Christopher points out that the other is pretty well hidden, but is “part of the thing.” Then there’s discussion of whether they will actually ever get there. It seems so far away with the rate they’re moving plot forward in the RPG era. But then again, they’ll often hit a bunch of stuff in big bursts, so who knows? Christopher has two “big things” that he hopes they’ll get to. [My thoughts just to get them down somewhere: I think the witch is Rose Griggs - Chaos Witch and that the “wizard” is one of the Atlantean Masters that have been hinted at.]
    • Really, though, there’s just this whole aside with the whole thing where they talk about various “things” they want to get to from 48:15 through 51:45. Basically they might need to start talking about them on the podcast if and when it becomes clear to them that they won’t be able to do the “long form” version. However, Adam has the idea that maybe they should try to fit time in to do at least one stand-alone RPG adventure (i.e. ones not tied to a particular book) a year like the Terrorforms one they did for Gen Con this year. They probably have the production capacity for that and it would be a way to at least start moving towards these story points they’re so excited about.
  • What is the command structure of the Citizens beyond “Dawn is in charge”? Who would be the official next in line in case she was unavailable for some reason? The main thing is that Hammer and Anvil are her most trusted servants - but they’re more the dogs she sics on people when necessary. That being said, if you’re some random Citizen and Hammer and Anvil show up to tell you to do a thing, you do the thing. It’s presumed to come from Dawn. They’re not good leaders, but are excellent lackeys. If they are doing something and appear to have direction and goals, it’s probably because Dawn set them to do it. Then there are the Seasons who have more autonomy. They aren’t as close to/associated with Dawn to the level that Hammer and Anvil are, but they are up there in the command structure. Dawn thinks that she’ll be around forever and that between Hammer & Anvil being there for strength and the Seasons for wisdom/cleverness things could manage without her for a while. Blood, Sweat, & Tears; Assault & Battery; and others are not part of that planning. Note that when Dawn is incapacitated for any length of time the Citizens are basically worthless/useless due to the lack of direction and the infighting for position.
  • When was the first appearance of Citizens Truth and or Dare? They don’t have a firm idea off the tops of their heads - the only ones that they definitely have are Hammer and Anvil. Do they think that these two showed up before Sunrise? They don’t think so. They have Hammer, Anvil, and the Seasons along with a random assortment of others over the years (and some of those individuals might show up in a team later - like, we see this guy with an axe and earthquake powers at some point, but then later he’s paired up with a sword/energy blast guy and they become Citizens Assault and Battery) but most of them show up in Sunrise. If that’s the case for these two, then their first appearance probably Sunrise #1 but we wouldn’t actually spend much time with them until later [the episode about the Sunrise story puts them in Sunrise #12, released February 2nd 2000]. Anybody whose debut is during Sunrise is in the first issue from November 17th 1999.
  • [I wrote in a long letter about the timing of the events depicted on DE Expat’s Liquid Nitrogen Rounds and her base character card’s incapacitated side. I included a lot of context as I’m trying to pin down how it’s related to other things going on in other comics at the time but I’ll skip that and just get to the meat of the explanation.] This is among their best examples of “messy comics storytelling.” We’ve got overlapping issues and people in multiple places at once - they’re actually probably too good about avoiding this kind of thing to the point where it breaks verisimilitude of the Metaverse a bit, but here we have a notable example of it (but an intentional one! They sometimes make such snarls of events unintentionally too):
    • Those cards are from Justice Comics #536 from January 2000 and while not being part of the “main” story for Sunrise, they are tied to that crossover event. That is, it’s not an issue that’s “required” to follow the main plot, but it is slotted into what’s going on. In that issue, Dawn is planning her assault on Megalopolis and Expatriette goes to the island to try to talk her out of it or stop her. She succeeds at neither and gets captured by Citizens Hammer and Anvil. This leads up to Freedom Five #598-600 which is when Dawn herself shows up in Megalopolis for her big attack.
    • For the whole event, any related issues (stuff like this JC story or the individual Sunrise issues) would have a text box on the first page that says something like “this issue takes place before Freedom Five #[x]” or whatever so that you can get the timing right when reading even if the actual production/publication schedule means that a given book might come out before something that technically preceded it. The important thing about the specific JC example here is that it comes out before those three FF issues so that Dawn hasn’t yet arrived in Megalopolis, but it actually probably also technically takes place before Sunrise #1 despite several issues of that limited series coming out before this one.
    • All of that being said, what’s going on in Dark Watch (this JC issue came out the same month as DW #7 and the first appearance of Harpy) does not really have room to acknowledge that Expatriette is doing something over on Insula Primalis at the same time - the “B Team” book is just doing its own thing, especially in those early months.
  • How often do we see Citizen Dawn attempt to recruit heroes (particularly younger ones)? Do we ever have a scene with her, Legacy, Felicia, and Expatriette where she makes a push to recruit Felicia, going so far as to call her “the daughter I should have had”? Oof… They could see somebody doing that kind of thing in the America’s Newest Legacy book, although Dawn isn’t really around much in that time. We actually see her trying to recruit people very rarely. There’s that notable story with Absolute Zero, but for the most part people go to her rather than her seeking people out.
  • Is there ever a story where some non-powered person managed to trick Dawn into accepting them as a Citizen? Would such a thing to happen, would its revelation shatter her view of the world/herself or would she just kill the interloper? They don’t know that there is a story. If there was, Christopher’s approach would be to have somebody use technology to “show” that they had powers and then hide it. Later Dawn would figure it out and the fact that she was able to figure it out is proof that the person isn’t as good as they thought they were and she’d kill them. If there was a specific book just about the Citizens of the Sun (divorced from things like Sunrise that are about a specific attack that involves the heroes - just a book following them like Freedom Five follows that team) there might be room for such a story, but there isn’t one. It’s a fun story and might be some fan story that gets posted somewhere that people all just kind of headcanon.
  • Would she accept a sycophantic non-powered person as a servant? Like, they’re not trying to join the Citizens, but just recognize her greatness and serve her? Is her worldview eradication or subjugation of non-powered people? She doesn’t want people who just want to serve her, she’s interested in servants who are themselves powerful individuals. She would not mind eradication, but once she has the reins of the power structures of the world she basically wouldn’t care what happened with those lower life forms as long as they stay out of the way and out of sight. If they went into hiding she wouldn’t bother hunting them down.
  • Do the Citizens have any particular phrases/greetings/etc. as a result of their insular, cultish society? There’s probably a bunch, like saying “go with the dawn” as a goodbye or something. They’re all exactly the kinds of things you’d expect.
  • Would Dawn recruit somebody whose powers are that they can dampen/negate other people’s powers? That’s a really tough question! It’s definitely a power and an incredibly useful one for fighting those misguided “heroes”, but having somebody who passively turns off powers around them is undoing the whole thing that makes the Citizens special. Remembering the “Dawn is very charismatic, but is a horrible person” detail - she’d likely have such a person locked away somewhere safe away from everyone else and fed and whatnot by people who don’t depend on their powers too much and just kept there as a “use in case of emergency” tool. You’re powerful and important and one of us, but you’re too dangerous to be allowed to roam freely.
  • [Letter has a long preamble about the status of Citizen Dawn post-OblivAeon that we’ve been told about thus far - mostly that she’s absent in the RPG timeline, but there’s also a mention of her doing “normal Citizen Dawn type things” in Tactics, which prompts the following:] She’s not doing normal Citizen Dawn things - her plot in Tactics is kind of a new direction, although one that’s not explored in either the comics nor in gaming products here because both were discontinued before those stories got resolved.
  • Is she just in hiding, from everyone - the Citizens as well as the wider world - while she heals up and recoups her power in the lead-up to a new plan for world domination? Could her ego allow her to simply stay away from her Citizens like that? If not that, and this is admittedly a very long shot, did her actually stepping up to help during OblivAeon set her on a path to doing good in the world? Will she not be featured in a “Villains” RPG book because she’s no longer a villain (if still not likely a Hero - she seems like anti-hero material at best)? Both of those main thoughts have some interesting ideas in there - “the second one is less right but neither of them are on the money.” “She’s not not a villain” except for the OblivAeon incident, but that’s a self-preservation thing along the lines of Baron Blade’s involvement. Most villains don’t get redemption arcs, which is why the ones that do stand out. Honestly, they probably already have more than is realistic, but Dawn isn’t going to get a redemption that’s that “easy”.
  • We’ve been told that in her youth Dawn was quite a reader (indeed, she was more interested in books than in the lives of her peers), but since becoming Citizen Dawn she avoids “human culture” - does she still read? Christopher thinks that there’s room for a story where we see Dawn going around kind of badgering various Citizens about how they’re supposed to be writing, but eventually she goes back to her chambers in the Citadel and pulls out a normal book (from a collection of many) - like Crime and Punishment or something recognizable to the audience. She reads and takes notes and it becomes clear from her thoughts that she desperately wants to regain something she’s lost. She wants books like this that hit her like things did when she read them in her youth, but she just can’t manage to get anything going now. From all appearances, it looks like Dawn has everything that she could want, but we’re let in on a number of things like this that shows the kinds of loss she has experienced. She can’t get any good Citizen books, so she has to resort to regular human ones - and she enjoys them, but feels bad about it. There’s a focus on creating a Citizen culture, but which fails and she resents human art. It’s the fact that she’s trying to force things that are why the attempts will fail. There probably are Citizens with artistic talent who could create compelling works, but the push to make artificial, propagandized Citizen art rather than human art will fail because the Citizens are human. Message-first storytelling sucks and that’s what she’s doing.
  • In the Fanatic vs. Organization episode I was struck by a question that asked about non-human Organization members. For story reasons it makes sense for why baseline people make up the ranks, but Pike seems like the kind of guy to use whatever resources he has available. A storyline in Goodfellas suggests a possibility: in that movie, some of the main characters could not be considered “made men” because they were Irish rather than Italian - could non-humans/powered individuals be useful but never considered to really be part of the Organization? They can see that to some extent. Like, they could hire the Hippo, but he’s not part of the Organization. There are probably more “contractors” like that here and there, but they also don’t think that this is some codified thing within the Organization. Most supervillains hires by the Organization to do a job aren’t thinking that they’re “joining the Mob” here (there’s a bit of hubris involved in being a supervillain).
  • Adam mentioned 2 witches in relation to Dark Watch - I’m not going to get into the weeds of the accuracy of the King James translation and whether מְכַשֵּׁפָ֖ה (mechashefáh) means “witch”, “poisoner”, or something else, but I can see Harpy being just the kind of contrarian/emo/goth/young person to pick a fight with Fanatic about it, even before the thing with Matthew - any chance of an odd-couple team-up between the two of them as they go after Apostate? This would need to be post-Matthew and they just don’t know if there’s enough room in there. There’s also just not a lot of chances for them to cross paths. Dark Watch is off in its own lane most of the time as is Prime Wardens and there’s not a lot of bleedover between them. Putting Fanatic alongside NightMist and Harpy gets real dicey real fast. Occasionally it’s done, but most of the time the answer is to just not have to deal with it.
  • So, Fanatic’s powers work on her belief and that if she believes she can do a thing she can and events that shake that faith can reduce her effectiveness; let’s say for the sake of this question that if she encounters more of herself (alt-Universe versions or somehow we get a situation where she can duplicate herself like Proletariat [aside from the guys: the name for such a character is The Host, but if they did this in a Disparation issue or whatever they wouldn’t be identical copies - each would represent a different aspect of the Host, the problem here is that they’ve already done this “story” in Dinah Dozen and they don’t want both of these stories to be in the comics]. Would a single Host clone be stronger than a single Fanatic because they could come with the standard teamwork “together we can do anything!” mentality? Would it be weaker than her due to being away from its “pack”? Could such clones believe in one another such that they’d give each other boosts? Could they boost themselves by believing that another clone believes in them? This is an interesting thought experiment. In the situation where you just have Fanatic, but with duplication powers the same restriction would apply as with alt-reality versions of her. Note that Proletariat is of one mind across all clones so if he’s got Fanatic powers too there isn’t a varied level of beliefs between the clones. In reality, though, if they were creating this character they would just remove the belief aspect of her power set. It’s not a thing that comes up in the comics often anyway - nobody weaponizes that aspect of her character because it breaks the storytelling. It’s there as an aspect of the character, but it’s not one that’s used in that way. She doesn’t know that her powers work that way, although some characters do (Scholar probably does but wouldn’t tell her, Apostate knows and tells her but she doesn’t believe him). There’s also some hair-splitting to do between “belief” and “faith” - she can’t just conjure a sandwich because she believed that she had one. It’s a manifestation of her faith in that a thing will happen. Most frequently when it comes up it’s used to explain/retcon something that’s otherwise unexplainable. “How did Fanatic survive [x]?” Because she’s Fanatic. It’s never just artlessly stated as the reason why on the page. It’s very much a soft magic system.
  • What heroes are the most frightening for a henchman to fight? Fanatic, Parse, and K.N.Y.F.E. seem like they would be at the top of the list due to the high likelihood of winding up dead or maimed, right? Those three are up there. Bunker is also pretty scary given that it’s a walking tank that’s often shooting a lot of ordnance and the henchman is just a guy, although he loses some points just for being so “mundane”. Wraith would be pretty scary to fight if you’re in a situation where you know that she’s hunting you. A lot of the magic users are probably scary for the reasons that Bunker isn’t - even Argent Adept. Darkstrife and Painstake as well for just “They’re just demons, guys!” reasons. Fanatic is likely the top of the list though because she’s overtly magical and just a brutal force of nature to fight. K.N.Y.F.E. is fun just because she’s obviously going to be having a great time beating you and your buddies to a pulp.

Cover Discussion

  • Does Adam want to do both covers? Well, let’s talk about what we have to work with first.
  • Issue #475 is probably Highbrow taking on Dawn? Could it be the basketball game? No, because they never do that. The “we’re just hanging out” stuff isn’t cover material. Okay, so back to the Highbrow one; is it the kind of “cover fake-out” thing where we see her wearing a Dawn-style outfit (although maybe black or something to distinguish it) and holding Dawn by the throat or something? The idea that Highbrow has defeated Dawn and taken over is the “lie” that the story is setting up.
  • Issue #476 is probably just a big fight scene. Two sides of the Citizens clashing with the heroes in the middle going “oh no!”
  • Adam’s just going to do the first one. Would it have “part 1 of 2” on the cover in this era? Probably not, so just “Citizens’ War”. They probably both just say that.