The Letters Page: Episode 257
Writers' Room: Cosmic Concurrence #12
We're off to Gen Con! Here's a space story!
Run Time: 1:39:07
We're happy to be here, and we're also happy to be going to Gen Con! If you're in the Indianapolis area on this coming Sunday, August 6th, at noon, come to Stadium Room 12 and join us for a live show!
However, before that, we go to space with our most oft-character-changing hero, Parse!
Oh, and because Adam had to make that poster for the comic book cover anyway, here's a "clean" version of it.
No episode next week, because of Gen Con! See you after the dust settles!
- What do we know about Parse in space? The first thing that might technically qualify was in 2005 and isn’t really what we mean here - that was a “Parse is wrongfully imprisoned in the Block due to Miss Information stuff” (story also includes Captain Cosmic and Tempest). It was close enough to the concept and was received well enough by the readers that a few years later it becomes a part of Cosmic Concurrence shortly after that titles launches (it starts in October 2008). It’s a weird book - it’s published every other month, but has oversized issues so that it can cover a rather large story in a single issue rather than having issue-to-issue story lines (not to say that some issues aren’t a grab bag of shorter stories too).
- The first issue is a modern retelling of the Cosmic Omnitron story - a lot of the details that you think of regarding that event are probably from Cosmic Concurrence #1 rather than Freedom Five #408. While “Omnitron is back and came from space” and “Parse’s powers are tied to Omnitron somehow” are details from the old days, this is where things are actually explored/explained more rather than just being set dressing. They’ve said it before, but they’ll reiterate: Parse is just all over the place and is the subject of a bunch of retcons (kind of - they never go so far as to change what she did, more how they approach her going forward). It’s an interesting character trait and feels more like a real person - she’s gone through a lot of changes in her “life”. Who needs consistency? Adam can think of a character in real-life comics who has had like 10 mutually-exclusive origins over the decades because none of them stick.
- So, we go from the Omnitron thing rather quickly into “Parse in Space”. While Cosmic Concurrence isn’t a book that really has a single character “headlining” it, this arc for her is a big part of it. At this time she’s basically “lost in space” as she doesn’t have her own ship and is kind of a cosmic hitchhiker - bouncing around from here to there having adventures, nominally with the goal being to get back to Earth. Within a year or so it’s just set this up as the status quo for her, though. We’ll start a story in medias res already on whatever planet this story will take place on without explaining how she got there or stating the goal of getting home. She’s just solidly a space-faring character and they expect readers to just get on board with it.
- Other stuff that we get in the book includes Jansa and the Enclave, Captain Cosmic things, K.N.Y.F.E. occasionally, etc. An important place-setting thing that happens somewhere in here is Parse and Jansa becoming acquainted with one another. They’re not “friends” because look who we’re talking about, but there has to be enough of an understanding between them to justify the conversation they have during Cosmic Contest. The first Cosmic Concurrence story with Jansa that Christopher has tagged in the spreadsheet is in 2010 - plenty of time between then and 2015’s Cosmic Contest (or even earlier - that doesn’t have to be the first time Jansa appears in the book).
- Do we want to have “Jansa meets Parse” be today’s story? That wasn’t exactly what Christopher had been thinking, but we could certainly do it. It’s not like that would be what the story was even about - their meeting would probably be incidental to something else that Parse was doing.
- What story do they want to tell today? It’s probably in either Cosmic Tales or Cosmic Concurrence. The story type could be the standard “adventure where the hero stops bad guys from doing bad things” but they could also do kind of a fable/morality tale thing. Hmm… A thing that could be done that plays around with her “constant retcons” history. Like, start a story with ’80s Parse fighting thugs in a back alley (even more fun if this is how a space comic starts with no explanation). Then we see that Parse is thinking about the past and how she’s much happier with herself now, but recognizing that she has a bunch of trauma about her own past. Then we do a space thing and whatever that story is helps her work through things; recognize that you are not your past actions.
- What if the story has her encounter somebody who’s basically the space version of what she used to be? Like, we can have some harsh, lethal vigilante or something that (whether it’s because she’s asked to take them down or she just runs across the situation) the idea is that everyone wants her to kill the person and instead she helps the person choose a different path. Adam doesn’t think it needs to be anybody else “telling” her to kill the person - her own inner monologue can carry the debate between what’s expedient and what’s right.
- How do we evoke the harshness of ’80s Parse with a space alien without being too on the nose? Adam considers whether we need to come up with the person’s actions first or their motives. Christopher also wants this to be a space story - it’s too easy to have it set in a city and do kind of a noir thing, but this is billed as Parse in Space, so let’s do some space-faring rather than just doing a story in a city on an alien planet.
- With the latter in mind, this isn’t just going to be a “serial killer” or something - it’s probably larger scale. Does she have her own ship for this story? We probably shouldn’t give her one because then she can just go back to Earth whenever. It’s a nice difference between her and K.N.Y.F.E. that Parse is more subject to the whims of circumstance. Sure, she’s trying to get home (nominally - by now the readers get the idea that we’re not in a huge rush to get her home), but it’s a series of trips in that general direction more than a known route/itinerary.
- Okay, so she’s on the space equivalent of a Greyhound bus. We can still start with a page or two of ’80s Parse vs. Drugboys and we end that with Parse blowing up one of their warehouses. She “wakes” from her dream/daydream/reminiscing/whatever in this place because somebody is looking out of the window of the space bus and cries out about an explosion on the planet below. Somebody has just blown up the space bus depot where they were supposed to land. This is a pretty remote planet but she had a lead on somebody that might be heading in her direction who was supposed to be here and who could drop her at Earth along the way.
- Logistics of the space bus: they don’t think it’s even a matter of “landing”. The busses don’t land - they just dock at a space station in orbit and that’s what just got blown up. They really do have to stop at these particular “depots” - without this one here, they either have to go back to the last stop or on to the next one (or if you’re just heading here anyway you can use an escape pod to go down to the planet). They can’t just hang out here indefinitely.
- Working out things the writers know but readers don’t yet: why would somebody blow up a bus stop? Because they know that somebody on the bus is a bad person who is going to do a bad thing. So, we have some character who knows about at least one person on the bus, but for whom “just blow up the bus” is too much collateral damage. We’ll say the bus stop is automated and is basically just there to refuel these things and allow people to get on/off. There’s probably at least some tech workers, but what Christopher is imagining here is “minimal loss of life” rather than “zero loss of life” in terms of acceptable casualties.
- The person on the bus: have they already done bad things or is this a Minority Report-style pre-crime situation where the person is trying to stop them before they can? The pre-crime angle let’s us kind of do that parallel to Parse deal without being too obvious about it. Not that we want them to have powers (that gets us even closer to Parse in terms of powers) - this isn’t actually a precognitive situation, they just know the person’s plans through some more mundane means.
- They should be a villain. This has to be a person who’s already done bad things. Every fiber of Parse’s being should be telling her that killing them to stop them is appropriate. Maybe instead of a pre-crime thing it’s some kind of religious fanatic whose space religion commands them to kill whatever and the person is trying to stop them. Christopher’s not sure if “space zealot” is the vibe they should be shooting for. He thought that the solution to the problem is to reform the villain by the end and “just abandon your space religion” is kind of a heavy lift there.
- We need somebody for whom their motive is something which Parse can see how they arrived where they are and how from a certain perspective the bad thing they want to do is justifiable. Then we have an angle for her to be able to convince them to take another point of view on things. Thinking about that, the motive should be less “I need to take down this individual” and more like “I need to take down this institution.”
- They start off with a jokey “this corporation got my family hooked on space drugs” which was immediately equated with Big Pharma. In the time period this comic is likely to be, Pharma = Bad is already enough in the cultural zeitgeist so as to be too obviously bad. Christopher then jokes about a “Save the Space Whales” charity as a less obvious option, but that’s where they choose to actually go with this.
- There’s a bunch of space megafauna out there that are being poached, hunted for sport or just getting them out of shipping lanes, etc. Christopher brings up a thing they already invented (something like “epi-chordate”) but they don’t know if they want to use that here. “It’s more of a ‘time thing’.” At the least it could be one of a number of things mentioned. They could also do an early Galactic Strike Force reference. It doesn’t have to be a specific type of critter - the charity is involved with conservation of a bunch of things.
- So, what are they doing wrong? Is it just the money? Probably at least that, but also some eco-terrorism. Morphon Intergalactic has been monitoring the movement of these space creatures and a group is going to be traveling across a major space-shipping lane and so some more radical members of Morphon Intergalactic blew up some ships to give the things a chance to get through. We get some of the upper echelon of Morphon Intergalactic that is doing the big corporate “all about the money” thing while they’re also perfectly happy weaponizing the more radical members in service of that - intentionally recruiting people with those tendencies and stoking their anger. Big donors give big money, radicalized people bring attention to the “problem” and therefore drawing attention of further big donors who have suddenly been hearing about the plight of the space whales on the news.
- That’s a pretty good addition to the story. A big organization like Morphon Intergalactic is something that Parse can be dealing with for a while and there’s a variety of “antagonists” that can come from it, including bureaucratic problems that can’t be solved by putting an arrow through them. Let’s have this issue be the first appearance of Morphon Intergalactic and for this type of thing Christopher wants to put it in 2011-2011. It can even be a light retcon to fold in a few previous “space terrorist” things we’ve seen.
- Okay, Morphon Intergalactic is a thing. Bad stuff is done in their name all the time, but under the guise of being “good stuff”. We have somebody who is radicalized against them due to said bad things being responsible for the ship carrying their family getting blown up or something. What is our villain for this story (since Morphon Intergalactic isn’t the villain in this story - they’re the cause of many problems, but they’re going to be around for a while and today’s story isn’t part of a “taking them down” arc)?
- Adam’s idea is somebody who is an actual “save the space whales” activist who hates Morphon Intergalactic because they’re terrible and give all such activists a bad name. Eh… that gets into too much of a “justified grievance” person and they want somebody who is a villain and looks like a villain doing a villainous thing. This idea could be somebody she encounters over the course of the Morphon Intergalactic thing.
- So, somebody who is terrorizing the terrorists. What’s the angle? The thing they want is to destroy Morphon Intergalactic. Maybe we just have Morphon Intergalactic themselves enlist Parse to go after this “villain”. Man… we’re kind of just abandoning the whole Space Bus thing (and the “thinking about the past” intro), aren’t we? Starting with the flashback just makes it too obvious that we’re doing the “villain who is like Parse was” gimmick. We just start with her at Morphon Intergalactic.
- It’s this shiny, fancy place and we’re basically getting the corporate “tour” introduction since this is the first time the readers learn about it too. She meets some public-facing/public-relations type person who’s very charismatic and everything. They tell her about the organization’s distributed fund-raising/supply systems that involve “local outposts” all over the place. Recently there’s been some person or persons blowing these outposts up. They’ve heard about Parse from somebody she’d helped (Editor’s Note: see Cosmic Concurrence #whatever) and would like her to help (and can pay her [some space monies] - she figures she could use [some space monies] and agrees).
- They put her on a ship headed to one of the outposts. There’s other Morphon Intergalactic people headed that way too, and they’re more rough-and-tumble types, but we get some fun characterization along the way. They’re named people that we get to like over the course of the trip. They arrive to find the outpost has been destroyed and the ship gets attacked. The crew Parse was sent with are getting picked off - ultimately leaving just Parse to deal with the “villain” but we see the crew members’ reactions to the situation that indicate that maybe they’re questionable types themselves. We basically want a moment of “Are we the baddies?” from Parse.
- Adam thinks that at this point we need to drop the “Parse dealing with ‘past her’” entirely. There’s basically no point where she wants to kill this person. The setup with the Space Bus and doing this whole bit might still exist as a story out there somewhere, but it’s not this one. Y’know what - that one is in Cosmic Tales vol. 2 #529 in March 2014. It’s a one-issue filler story between a Fashion story and a K.N.Y.F.E. story. It’s a straightforward “Parse encounters ‘Space Parse’” thing.
- Anyway, this story is the “Morphon Intergalactic hires her to kill this villain or at least make them no longer a problem” thing. A fun bit here is that Parse’s powers of making connections are what tips her off that the people she’s working with are terrorists. Like, she makes the connection that when they talk about their next job being “clearing out the shipping lanes for the space whales” and other coded language that they’re going to blow up a bunch of ships.
- We get a bunch of Sherlock Holmes moments of her noticing things, but we don’t get what her conclusion is that she’s drawn from them until later. Like, they arrive at the exploded outpost, the ship is attacked and they crash on some planetoid, we do the horror movie thing with the crew getting picked off until it’s just the leader, Parse, and the adversary left. The leader guy calls for her to help, which is when she asks “Why?” and then lays out the whole thing about them being mercenaries/terrorists and that this is obviously somebody you’ve crossed before.
- Hmm… if that’s where we’re going, we should make the crew a bit more formidable. Okay, the ship crashes etc. Parse winds up separated from the crew in the wreckage and comes across the adversary. They claim that Parse is “one of them” which is when Parse says no and gives the explanation of what she’s determined about them. She gets it. This isn’t the way to go about it, though [see, Christopher brought it back around]. You don’t want to kill these guys. You don’t want to blow up outposts. That’s not good for you. What you need to do is to reveal what Morphon Intergalactic really is to the rest of the galaxy.
- Okay, that’s fun. We’ve set up this whole group that can be a long-term enemy that’s also a source of more immediate enemies to fight. What we still need is to actually figure out who the “villain” here is.
- Given the story they don’t necessarily need “powers” - being an alien, they can get away with “better than human” in some ways without being something that is necessarily qualified as a “power”. Maybe some cool tech to go with it. Probably looking at the “guns and explosives” route. Maybe something to make them stealthy. Hmm… Y’know what? They’re going to do a thing that was brought up recently - they don’t really have people with straight-up invisibility powers, so let’s do that. These aliens can turn invisible. The bad thing that got this one mad at Morphon Intergalactic is that their terrorists blew up some cargo ship that, unbeknownst to anybody, actually had hundreds of these aliens (Chameleoids? No, Kamilioids. Done.) on it. Kamilioids have been doing this for a long time and people don’t really know a lot about them because they are very hard to find unless they want to be found.
- What do they look like? “They’re invisible - we just talked about this.” For real, though, Christopher’s idea is that when they are standing perfectly still they’re invisible, but whatever weird spacial warping thing is happening around them is disturbed when they move. They can move a little/slowly without being too obvious about it (think the invisibility effect in the Predator franchise), but the faster they’re moving the more visible they are. They can also turn this ability off entirely.
- When they do turn the power off, what do they look like? Their arms split at the elbow so they have two upper arms, but four forearms. There was an offhand comment earlier about using something from Galactic Strike Force - they’re like the Neo Elves.
- Names! After a few jokey options they realize that Reckon isn’t taken. Mixing things up a bit they go with Wreckon. Or maybe he starts out with “Dead Wreckon” because his family and everything he cared about is dead. But then later after Parse helps turn things around for him he shares that his old name was Nolios.
- Anyway, they team up and manage to set up a situation such that they can fake their deaths and get away from the mercenaries/terrorists. That way, they can sneak around and get video of them contacting somebody at Morphon Intergalactic and the conversation is incriminating. Released to authorities, video is broadcast, head of Morphon Intergalactic sees it and says something like “A minor setback.” Things are set up for further conflicts.
- Okay, so we need some of the terrorists to live here so that they can make the call that’s recorded. Let’s say 1-3 of them. Parse fights Dead Wreckon a bit and wins, then the two of them fight the terrorists and “lose.”
- Let’s place this thing: Cosmic Concurrence #12 in August 2010. First appearance of Dead Wreckon and Morphon Intergalactic. Dead Wreckon isn’t the last Kamilioid but he’s the last member of Clan Destin. The effort “the writers” went into for the names there kind of strikes them as being something that was done kind of as a one-off that then went longer than anticipated.
- We start at around 55:30 with Bloodsworn Professional Wrestling:
- The Celestial Tribunal against Dok'Thorath: Adam thinks the Tribunal wins but Christopher thinks that it depends on the era. If it’s during the Civil War when Voss isn’t around, it easily goes to the Tribunal. If it’s either late enough in the Civil War that the sides have really coalesced, or it’s a time when Voss is in charge (either it’s set before the Invasion of Earth or it’s in a hypothetical future state where he’s risen to power again) - basically if there’s any strong leadership who can mount an actual defense, even if all that means is that there are leaders in the War who can agree to “pause” things while they all deal with this external threat - then it’s possible for the Thorathians to win. They don’t think that the Civil War is in that state at the end of the Multiverse Era, though. With that said, they’re going to stipulate “during the Multiverse Era” for these unless the setup explicitly requires it to be post-OblivAeon. The Tribunal still has the edge, but the Thorathians are capable of fighting back effectively if we’re in a period where Voss is around.
- Space Pirates (the Scravagers) vs. Time Pirates (the crew of La Paradoja Magnifica - La Capitan herself being MIA for our purposes): Well, if we’re leaving out captains, let’s assume that Trickline the Despoiler is absent as well. Adam says Scravagers and Christopher says the crew. Christopher’s thought process is that La Paradoja Magnifica is a source of power in itself and the crew members are all quite powerful individually. Adam thinks that the variety of crazy aliens with space tech is more than a match. It’s a blood bath either way, which they agree on. Another point is that there are more Scravagers, but from a story perspective that gives the edge to the rag-tag group of named crew members. Christopher thinks that Scravagers are d10 Minions but the Crew are Lieutenants (ranging from d6 to d10). The fact that they disagree to this extent is an indication of how close the match would be.
- A half-dozen Balarian vs. Orbo: Orbo at a walk. He just eats them. What are they going to do to Orbo? They can probably hurt him a little, but they just get devoured.
- One of each of the Gene-Bound varieties in a battle royale: Adam puts his money on the Bionauts as he thinks they have the best blend of armor vs. firepower. Christopher thinks that the Psy-weavers are just terrifying, though (there is the “weakness” of the brain jar itself, but breaking it would still be pretty tough). The Bionauts are interesting in that regard in that breaking the suit open is also bad for everything around it, but Christopher thinks that it would also then die in short order. Ion Lancers are probably the biggest threat to the Psy-weavers as “they’re pretty mindless”. The Shock Infantry actually are a decent threat just given how dangerous Maerynians are. It actually might be between them and the Bionauts. Let’s say those are the last two standing and the Shock Infantry blasts open the Bionaut’s suit, killing it, but this also winds up killing the Shock Infantry in a Pyrrhic victory.
- Is there a moment when Parse is casually talking to an alien and points out that they are autistic (or vice-versa - basically, is there an autism PSA involving Parse)? There probably is an autism PSA with Parse in there somewhere, but probably not while dealing with aliens. They don’t think there’s ever be a situation where Parse is talking to an alien and says, “Oh, you’re autistic.” At best what you’d get is her noting that “people who think like you do on my planet are called ‘autistic’” but she recognizes that it’s more “normalized” for their people, etc. Nothing as revelatory as you’ve presented it. That being said, Parse has been handled in good ways and bad over the years and some writers have probably managed to have her talk about her autism in a healthy/positive way, but then you get others who try and it winds up being really hokey.
- Are we getting a “fat” Parse variant in Disparation? If you look at EE the art for her is kind of all over the place. Adam’s intention was basically that she was short and curvy, but not what he’d call “fat”. He just didn’t have a good handle on how to draw that. He thinks that you see her change over the course of the deck and that Fugue State was probably her at the biggest version of her, but that variant won’t be out for a while. We do see her with varied body types in her deck, though.
- How many digits of pi does Parse know? All of them. She has memorized the first few dozen, but if she needed to she could just calculate it as far as you’d like. She hasn’t ever actually gone all that far due to how long it would take, but she could. Maybe that’s her version of “counting sheep” to fall asleep - she calculates digits of pi in her head.
- Has it ever been stated that Parse needs glasses because she’s nearsighted or farsighted? Why doesn’t she use contacts? How bad is it if she loses her glasses mid-fight? Are they used to impede or improve her powers in some way? She’s nearsighted. Most farsighted people don’t wear their glasses all the time and only put them on to read. The main thing she probably needs them for is archery. They don’t think she usually has any kind of fancy science glasses that do more than correct her vision, but there’s been enough variety in how she’s written that somebody has probably given her some at some point. They improve her powers to the extent that they let her see things.
- Can Parse spot the difference between a flesh child and the original? Does Parse ever try to hunt down Biomancer? She can see through many of them. It’s not like she can just point out the one among a crowd walking down the street. She interacted with Tempest during the Tempersonation era - granted that is a retcon, but it’s still a thing that happened without her catching it. You could maybe explain that one away as “he’s an alien” and she had limited interactions with him prior to the swap. Canonically, though, she is quite good at spotting that something is off about them. If you ever have that classic standoff situation where she’s staring down the original and the fake with each trying to convince her that they are the real one, she knows which is the real one. If she has both right there, she can pick out the original quite easily. There isn’t a “Parse hunts down Biomancer” story. They’re not notable foes.
- Can Biomancer make flesh objects in addition to flesh children? Like, could he make a flesh table? Sure. They don’t see why not.
- Within the Metaverse, what was the motivation for the light reimagining that happened to Ambuscade in his Critical Event? You’ve said that his original creator had largely retired by then (to come back for Vertex stuff), so was this a case of fans who grew up with him becoming comics creators themselves and wanting to do something special with their favorite villain? Was the success of this story what set him on the road to getting the heel/face turn that Greazer Clutch never got? Was there a popular appearance in the animated universe that resulted in aspects of that version of him to be imported into his comics version? A part of it was the way that Ambuscade was being treated/perceived by the readership - they were leaning into the goofy side of him. To a degree it’s the Harley Quinn effect - he’s a character that people respond to the kitschy parts of him and that winds up working its way backwards into the source material too.
- At one point did your vision for the character change to become more comedic/less serious? The very beginning. The first thing they did with him was as a random character design in the Megalopolis deck and at that point they figured he was this serious villain guy. Then they started working on his villain deck and had to work out more about him. When they decided that he was an actor, the phrase “I do all my own stunts” was there very quickly. That phrase plus the French accent is the seed of the character.
- [Commentary about how the various influences that seemed to go into his design/back story also seemed like they were taking themselves very seriously and the humor was basically based around how these people were doing strange things while taking themselves so seriously - which also seemed to be in his EE appearances (see, “doing his own stunts” included flying a fighter jet while trying to shoot Tachyon).] Part of what allowed them to make him “somebody who really does want to kill heroes and mount their heads as trophies on his wall”, which is really dark, is that the goofiness of the character otherwise undercuts it. Spite basically wants to do the same, but without any goofs and see how terrible he is seen as by contrast. Because he’s “funny” he’s allowed to not be a monster.
- At what point between his original deck release and, based on my estimation, Vengeance (see his appearance in Parse’s deck) did he become a more comical/likable character? Was this all just a 4D chess thing and you meant for him to be funny the whole time? They meant it the whole time. He takes himself very seriously, and he is a legitimate threat, but the comedic potential was always intended.
- Did Ambuscade ever learn about the Tempersonation and therefore the fact that he had never actually defeated Tempest? What would his reaction be to learning it? It never comes up. If he did ever learn of it he’d have two reactions. First, he’d go to have a one-on-one hunt vs. Tempest. Second, he’d try to find and hunt down Biomancer for his interference.
- Was there a missed opportunity to have the first part of the Citizens’ War story be titled “Dawn of War” with a similar pun for the later parts? Was there just concerns there about a certain other game company’s IP? They look into it and while Games Workshop did for a time have “Dawn of War” trademarked, their mark would have been for game products and there wouldn’t have been a reason that a comics story couldn’t use that very common phrase. [There’s also a comment about how that would be a good name for another story. I can’t tell if that was a reference to one they already have in mind.]
- Would it be feasible (assuming voting got through) to have a Disparation or Inversiverse story about the Citizens of the Sun? Would writers have explored what they were like if they were unpowered - say, a Dawn Cohen who was a tech genius and had a vision of technological superiority rather than superpowers? Something weird like the Citizens being cultists trying to raise a dead god named Dawn? Explorations of what they were like in the Iron Legacy universe or Vampire universe? Well, they did one story already with a very different take on the Citizens. If you wanted to submit a topic for “alternate versions of the Citizens of the Sun” there’s probably plenty of Disparation stories that show this kind of thing, even if it’s not necessarily the focus of the issue. There’s probably room for a “Dawn and the Citizens have take over the world and everything is a utopia, except something that’s not…” thing too.
- When do we get a story about Citizen Don, an unpowered man who gets dragged into the Citizens of the Sun through a set of wacky misunderstandings and follows his struggles to survive an island full of dangerous wildlife and superpower supremacists? That’s in one of those parody/comedy books.
- Is there a version of the Fantastical Festival of Conundrums and Curiosities that connects to/can observe more than one universe? If so, does that make its creator Meta Mittermeier? The MMFFCC is not a bridge between universes. There’s an argument to be made that traveling between the MMFFCC in one universe to one in another could in some circumstances be easier than other means of inter-reality travel, but it’s not a consistent thing and you’ve probably got to be capable of inter-reality travel in the first place. It’s not that the MMFFCC gives you the ability to travel thusly, it’s just probably easier to manage it if you already know how.
- Has Fanatic ever appeared in any non-Sentinel Comics? You know, in a crossover? deep sigh So, this letter is just for dumb jokes, isn’t it.
- Which font is the Atlantean Font of Power? Is it sans-serif? Could the Atlanteans kern properly? There’s a joke to be made here about a story that doesn’t involve Fanatic or Apostate being a sans-seraph one…
- Has the Adhesivist ever referred to himself as a gluminary? If so, did Baron Blade hear about it? How does his miracle adhesive work? Does it involve gluons? If so, what was Tachyon’s reaction when she analyzed a sample? They wish they had thought of “gluminary” - that’s a good one. Christopher also loves the pseudo-science reason for how his glue works being gluons.
- Your outro message thanks us for “supporting the Multiverse” - could you hold it up for a bit, my shoulders are getting really sore? Sure thing, Atlas.
- So, what can they put on this cover that doesn’t give away too much of the story? This is 2 years into the space-faring Parse era, so Adam’s vague idea is out (he had something if it was the start of her space times). Christopher suggests maybe her being hunted in the wreckage of a ship. Let’s see… in 2010 we can get pretty weird. What if we make it look like a vintage “save the whales” poster?
- They look at some examples of that kind of thing and find one they like the general vibe of. Also, they’ll still need the Cosmic Concurrence trade dress, so rather than the cover just being the poster, they could make it so that the poster itself is slapped on the side of a space ship or something. Christopher’s actual idea is just that the metal surface is visibly damaged so we see both the Morphon Intergalactic message, but it’s “covering up” the damage they’re causing.
- Can we incorporate Parse into the poster? Let’s combine the basic idea of the conservation posters with design motifs from WWII recruitment posters, so we have Parse in the “person being recruited” spot in the art.
- They still need some copy for it, though. They were here first" with a big space whale in the center with Parse looking up at it in wonder. How about the Morphon Intergalactic logo? [Christopher shows a real logo to Adam and suggests that kind of thing only with a “squiggly space whale type thing”.]