The Letters Page: Episode 265
Writers' Room: The Guise Book #22
- [URL to the Libsyn page. Libsyn Audio]
Run Time: 1:50:31
This Halloween, Guise has got his hands full... full of stakes with which to stab vampires! Draculas, specifically.
We tell the whole tale, revealing much, but also sneaking some non-reveals in there, as well! We also answer many questions on a few topics, including the surprisingly well-received Sk8Blayd episode!
Join us next week for an episode about GloomWeaver and Æternus... which we've already recorded! But if you've got questions about the Prime Wardens in the Egyptian Underworld, send them in!
- Today we’re doing The Guise Book #22 from October 2013. We open with Guise in bed. Well, we don’t know it’s Guise right away. There is a person in a bed. A full moon is visible through the window. An ominous shape materializes up from the floor - a distinctive, cloaked shape shrouded in mist or something. It approaches the bed and reaches down to the sleeper. He pulls the covers back, revealing Guise asleep. The vampire bends down to grab him, ready to sink his fangs into Guise’s neck.
- Guise stirs from sleep, mumbling something about needing five more minutes before school. Then he fully comes too just in time to register the red eyes, white fangs, and slicked-back black hair with a widow’s peak, that’s just the picture perfect movie Dracula who intones “I vant to suck your blood,” and attempts to bite him. Guise manages to blorp out of the way with an “oh, no!”
- This must be a dream! Only… “you’re not naked and I’m the normal amount of naked I always am.” This causes Adam to groan a bit as we’ve all been reminded that Guise’s “outfit” is just his body. Christopher thinks that by 2013 this actually does get brought up semi-regularly in Guise comics. The writers know what they’re doing.
- We get a bit of slapstick as the vampire advances on him as he tries to escape, tripping over a chair. It breaks, supplying Guise with a bit of sharp wood that he then uses to stake the Dracula in the heart, who then crumbles to dust.
- Well, that was weird. Some vampire sneaks into my home at midnight on Halloween to drink my blood. I thought it was just an angry trick-or-treater who was mad that I set out a sign saying “help yourself to candy” and an empty bowl. But no, this was a real vampire.
- Adam starts to say that there’s something left behind by the dead Dracula that would lead Guise to some dark and foreboding house. Christopher disagrees (don’t worry, we’ll get there). First, and unsatisfactorily for the story, Guise just shrugs and goes back to bed. Then another Dracula shows up and after he deals with it he gives an “Ugh! Fine!” and goes to deal with whatever is going on.
- Is it an identical Dracula or do we have a series of them? Maybe have the same character played by different actors kind of thing. Like, the first is Bela Legosi and the second is Christopher Lee.
- So, first Dracula shows up, Guise stakes him and then goes back to bed. Another shows up, Guise wakes up and wonders if he’s dreaming this time (or still dreaming) - either way, he takes that one out too and goes back to bed again. A third shows up - Guise attempts to stake him too, but he turns into a bat and flies away. Guise is annoyed at his kill streak getting broken and that now he’s got to actually go on some dumb mystical quest. Then Guise turns into a bat and flies after him.
- Now, the comic nerds out there are probably going to ask the obvious question of “Wait, so Guise can use his shape-changing ability to look like something that can fly and then actually fly?! To which we must point out that this is a Halloween story, so shut up, nerds. Okay, fine. The”reason” is that he had just seen somebody turn into a flying bat and so the mechanics of how they work was foremost in his “mind” and so he could manage it. Normally he doesn’t bother remembering junk like that.
- To pull back the veil a bit, Adam and Christopher already know what is going on and what the twist is, and vaguely what the endpoint is, but most details along the way are getting invented as they go. A question that’s brought up here is how the Dracula that just turned into a bat and flew away was able to do so.
- Anyway, we cut to some “haunted house” where the bat flies in. Then Guise-bat shows up and crashes into a tree and then the ground. He gets up (as himself again) noting that that was way harder than he expected and it was a horrible idea for him to try (and was mostly gliding and him finding ways to jump high off of things - basically it’s funny for the nerds to get upset about him being able to fly and then getting those complaints undercut a page later).
- He turns into a Guise-color-appropriate version of Charlie Brown’s ghost costume (so probably a yellow sheet with pink eyes and purple “holes”) and knocks at the door with a “Trick or treat”. It creaks open and a voice within says “Vhat are you supposed to be?” His reply of “I’m a ghost” is just confusing given the very strange color scheme. Anyway, Guise is looking for a bat.
- We haven’t seen the speaker who opened the door yet, but it’s just the third Dracula again, just looking different in a hat and glasses. It’s here that we get the classic “Enter freely, and of your own will” line, despite that line being delivered when he looked like he did back at Guise’s place. Anyway, we get a lot of “heavily accented” writing, which in print mainly means that Dracula’s speech drawn in a more ornate “font” and we get those w-to-v transpositions.
- Guise is a dummy, but not this much of a dummy. Does he just stake this Dracula right away? The way Guise’s comedy works isn’t so much “show, don’t tell” as it is “show and tell” - he says what the thing is a lot (see: the description of how he wasn’t really flying).
- Oh! When was that bad movie? 2004! After he turns back from being a bat he says something about needing to do this for serious and he turns into Hugh Jackman as Van Helsing. Nah, “too obvious” and then turns into the Charlie Brown ghost. Basically, a gag to indicate that he’s playing along and knows what his “role” is.
- Anyway, he does the “trick or treat” thing once he gets to the door and gets invited inside where the candy is. He’s offered a drink and asks for some garlic. Or perhaps a crucifix. Or some silver bullets (or is that just for werewolves… am I being culturally insensitive here?). Basically he’s asking for random stuff that’s 1) not “a drink” and 2) is useful for killing vampires. The vampire circles around behind them as they make their way to the parlor and tells Guise to make himself comfortable while he goes to get that… garlic and crucifixes. “Wait, that worked?”
- Guise is enough of a dummy to think that the vampire would bring him those things if he said he would, but he would also expect some screaming from the kitchen if it was happening. Just as he wonders aloud at the lack of screaming he’s grabbed from behind and it’s a fight. Guise manages to slip away and drops the ghost costume look to face off against this Gary-Oldman Dracula as another Vampire Slayer. The joke we insert here is that after Guise “zhwoops” away from the Vampire who says something about drinking his blood, yadda yadda, Guise says from off-panel that he knows what’s necessary to defeat the worst vampires: the most badass vampire slayer of all time! Then we turn the page to see him as Buffy. There’s a fight. Guise stakes the vampire and delivers that classic Whedonism, “Well, that just happened.” So dumb.
- Having defeated the vampire he followed here, he figures it’s a job well done and tries to leave. He can’t (not in a magic way or anything - it’s just the door is locked and he’s unable to break it down). He could probably find a way out eventually, but after he breaks his enormous cartoon mallet on the door he hears something up the nearby, very elaborate staircase. He heads up, passing a vaguely-familiar portrait (they discuss a bit just how obvious that this “recognizable villain as a vampire” is to readers - they don’t think it’s immediately obvious who it is because between the vampire getup and whatnot it’s just not that easy to distinguish people in comics by their facial features alone due to differences in artists’ styles). Anyway, Guise remarks upon it being familiar and keeps going.
- From here on we do a multi-Dracula fight. Like, they come in one at a time, but faster than he dispatches them and eventually flees. Maybe running out into a hedge maze. Maybe falling through a trap door into a basement full of coffins. We’ll get there.
- So, he makes his way into some master bedroom type thing and he runs into Count Orlok (he counts as Dracula in that Nosferatu was just an unauthorized film version of the Dracula story and had to change the name to skirt copyright - they have a bit of a discussion of whether he counted given that this was “Guise vs. the Draculas” but when Christopher discovered the “filling the serial numbers off” nature of the film he was back on board). There is one at least on their list that definitely isn’t Dracula and is there for a joke, but the others are at least Dracula-adjacent or parodies.
- Guise is done messing around with these jerks who keep greeting him like he’s an expected guest or whatever rather than somebody here for them to kill/for him to kill/whatever. He’s just going to go straight to staking these guys so he can go back to bed. He runs up to stake him, but it supernaturally-quickly ducks to the side and gets the drop on him. They fall through the floor, then the one below, landing in the basement surrounded by coffins. Count Orlok rises to loom over him and two of the coffins open revealing Vlad Tepes and sexy Dracula. We see other lids come up and hands reaching out, maybe some silhouettes of more doing the Vampire stand in the background.
- That’s the setup for the joke of what Guise fights all of the vampires as. What is that? A nun? There’s a dumb one that they would love but can’t use [unfortunately unstated in the recording, although I have my suspicions]. They retcon earlier things. This is where he goes all Hugh Jackman Van Helsing. They change the joke earlier to him talking about how he’s going to need to blend in - disguise himself so that they could never expect that Guise is here to kill vampires. “I’ve got it!” Then we smash cut to the door opening and we see him as the ghost. He stays Van Helsing basically this whole fight. He’s very clearly just purple Hugh Jackman and the joke is that they have Guise mess it up by incorporating something from another Hugh Jackman role, but they’ve got to be very careful here. They have him say he’s Jean Valhelsing or the famous vampire hunter 24601 or something. “I think you’re confused.” “Eh, it’s the most recent one I’ve seen.”
- Is here where we start getting the cameos? Nah. We probably see copies of some of the previous ones [I’d point out that Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee each played Dracula in multiple films] as he fights them. He probably gets bitten at some point as he’s fighting the gang and manages to retreat up through a cellar door and into a hedge maze, pursued by the Draculas.
- There’s a chase scene as he navigates the maze. We get some jump scares as Draculas pop out of the hedges. Bats flying overhead. He’s getting more and more overwhelmed as he goes and here is where the cameos come in. We see him turn a few corners, see a scary vampire and retreating each time, before turning a corner and seeing… some shirtless teen boy, sparkling in the moonlight. “Are you afraid?” “Yes, actually. Maybe a different kind of fear. Where is this going?” The stakes poor Edward and keeps going.
- He gets through the maze with a bunch of vampires still clawing at him as he arrives in front of an old greenhouse. He shakes loose the last few vampires, ducks through the door and shuts it behind him. Guise is out of breath and starts complaining about there being too many vampires. There was those two at his house. Then a third that got away. Then, I dunno, eight or nine in the house… He’s interrupted by a voice from off-panel. “Ten. Eleven. Ah ha ha!” Lightning strikes, revealing a (legally-distinct) puppet vampire. This is the most knock-down, drag-out fight yet and Guise gets messed up. Eventually he grabs the vampire that’s basically on top of him and dives onto a left-over stake in the ground that was used for tomatoes or something, driving it up through both of them. He gets up complaining of how much that hurts, but then he pulls the stake out of himself and he’s fine because Guise cartoon logic.
- Then organ music comes in (an organ in the greenhouse?) as Guise limps like a roughed-up action hero towards where it’s coming from. We see the figure from the portrait earlier playing it. “Welcome, Guise. Or should I say Joseph King.” Guise is alarmed that this guy knows his real name. As the figure turns we see his real skin color - mostly but not entirely hidden by the white powder paint he’s got on to look like a vampire. “Welcome to the lair of Green Grosser the Impaler!” “Oh, you again.” “Are you impressed with my vegetable vampires?” “I’m mostly impressed that you managed to get that organ in here.”
- So, all of the vampires are vegetables that Green Grosser made. Around him we can see some in various stages of growth (some still green on a vine, some partially emerging from the ground, etc.). They’re all pretty green at this point. Green Grosser plans to take over the world, but knew that Guise would try to stop him and so had to be dealt with first.
- Guise figured all of this out already. “Yeah, so when I staked those vampires back in my house they didn’t turn to ash or dust or whatever. It was more like mulch/wood chips. They were obviously plants.” Sure enough, if the reader flips back to look that kind of detail is present in the art. The house basically screams “deranged gardener” and the thing that really made it obvious was when the garlic he asked for did nothing.
- So, how does he end the threat? Since we’ve established that he’s been on to Green Grosser for a while now do we say that he managed to grab a stray can of weed killer while running through the hedge maze? Nah, the greenhouse is full of dead plants already - it would probably burn real good. What could Green Grosser have provided along the way for Guise to have assembled something to make fire with? Oh. Easy. Green Grosser has put candles all over the place around the organ because of the ambiance and many fertilizers are quite flammable.
- “I’m kind of surprised you’d put out so many candles considering how combustible… [he hefts a large bag over his shoulder] this fertilizer is.” “You wouldn’t! You’d blow up too!” “Eh… I’ve had worse.” boom We transition outside the greenhouse as it explodes, spreading fire around the grounds.
- Hmm… they kind of want even more of a Loony Tunes vibe to what Guise does. Maybe we see a big barrel labeled “pesticide” over in the corner when the scene is established and while Green Grosser is monologuing Guise “sneaks” (like, extremely cartoony “sneaking” movements) around beside the organ and grabs some matches and then over to the pesticide. Green Grosser is too far into his monologuing to notice - he eventually wraps things up with a dramatic gesture to where Guise was as he ends on “…your doom!”
- Guise clears his throat. Green Grosser looks over to where he’s already got the open barrel and the matches set up. “You wouldn’t!” “Already did.” boom
- Are we being clear here that Guise isn’t just killing Green Grosser? Like, he doesn’t seem to be the murder/suicide type to deal with a problem. Okay, part of the monologue can be about how Guise is trapped here and he’s “…unable to escape your doom!” Guise does the thing as specified. “You’ll kill us both!” “I guess that’s a good reason for you to unlock the door so that we can both escape before it’s too late.” We get a panel of them frantically running to escape and then the greenhouse explodes.
- Christopher suggests that the Green Grosser gets away in the aftermath, but Adam points out that they can have a criminal go to jail. He’s somebody that’s an option for. Guise ties him up and leaves a note for the police. It’s far too long a note that talks about how he’s not sure “whether creating vampires out of plants is a crime, but you will probably know what to do with him…”
- We don’t see the cops collect the villain, but we do have a coda where Guise returns to bed. Do we just have an actual vampire show up? Maybe we have Guise leave the scene with Green Grosser and there’s a vampire in the shadows across the street who’s been watching and leaves us with an “Interesting. Very Interesting.”
- So, from what we’ve been told up to this point, there have been at least a few Draculas and they were random vampires who took up the name as a play to try to “take over” the Court of Blood - how many times do they show up in Sentinel Comics? How often does a new one crop up to try to dethrone the Blood Countess? If I were to search the Metaverse wiki, just how many pages for “Dracula” would pop up? Today’s Draculas (with the possible exception of the shadowy figure at the end) aren’t actually Dracula. Or even “vampires”. On a wiki page of all of the Draculas who have shown up in Sentinel Comics, these would be an aside that talks about how if you want to be technical there was this one issue of The Guise Book that had a bunch of characters who, by name, would have to technically count as “Dracula” but none of whom are actual vampires. They think that there are between three and five instances of a Dracula trying to take over the Court of Blood. There are two Draculas, one was a patsy set up by Blood Countess herself, but one, while still a pretender, had actual plans and was an actual threat to her authority.
- So, while we know that “Dracula” isn’t “real” in Sentinel Comics - is Vlad III Tepes around and doing stuff? Well, that second fake one claims to be him, but isn’t really. They don’t think that Vlad the Impaler is around as not-a-vampire either.
- What about other famous literary (public domain) vampires like Carmilla or Varney? They don’t think that Dracula shows up with any other people like this - he’s claiming to be The Guy. Both Elizabeth Bathory and Vlad Tepes were real people while Carmilla and Varney were not and so lose some credibility there when compared to the main contenders. They can imagine that there’s some name-dropped Carmilla mentioned as being in the Court of Blood, but that’s as far as such a reference would go. You probably get that level of mention at all for “pop-culture vampires” in the pages of Sentinel Comics.
- If Guise fights a younger version of Dracula, would he be called Draculad? [insert Statler and Waldorf laughing here]
- Weaponized puns aside, how likely is Guise to use the following in his fight against the Draculas? Huh… they didn’t do a lot of puns in this issue. Let’s say that there were a few as he quips during the fights. He’s not really that much of a punster, though. He talks a lot and tries, but he’s not clever (depending on the writer) - that’s part of the joke. The question itself is a little flawed as well. Guise isn’t really an “item guy”. He’s not likely to bring anything in most cases. Additionally, he’s following a thread so he can get back to sleep in this specific story. He’s not “gearing up to go fight some vampires”. We do probably get a running joke throughout where Guise specifically refers to them as “Draculas” rather than “vampires”.
- Does Guise have blood? If not, is he mostly immune to Blood Magic and most vampire attacks? It depends on how you define “blood”. If you specifically mean the red fluid that most of us use for that purpose, then probably not. If you mean “the liquid inside of you that makes you live” he does have that. He’s kind of all that. If you did an MRI of Guise he’d probably just be a uniform blob throughout. Or… while they think of him as basically just being made of “putty” and that while he has orifices, he’s basically just subconsciously making them himself (and he usually gets their placement right). As such, an MRI might show internal organs and bones and stuff, but they’re all just made of the same putty stuff and aren’t “right” as they’re just Guise’s assumptions of what his insides are supposed to be like. Like, if you take a rudimentary anatomy textbook and find a diagram of all of the internal organs and stuff that’s what his MRI looks like. If you were to cut him open there wouldn’t be any of the usual “mess” of blood and other wet stuff. He operates on cartoon logic after being empowered by the god of cartoons, basically.
- How popular was Guise in the Metaverse? He first shows up in the mid ’80s and then gets a limited series and another ongoing in the 2010s, but when did he reach the level of popularity that would warrant such attention? Memes. So, The Best Book was the limited series that introduced him (which was the “roommates with Wager Master” story). Now, if you’re not the type to want “funny” in your comic books, Guise isn’t for you, but otherwise The Best Book was pretty solid and landed with a fair number of readers. In the ’80s and ’90s he’s around, but very much a “sometimes food” kind of character. He wasn’t the type to intrude into otherwise serious stories (or on the occasions when he did he was toned down a bit). Like, he was around for Vengeance and was humorous, but not as wacky as we typically think of him now. y the late ’90s he’s starting to show up in order to make fun of the ’90s (what with the XTREEEME! stuff and whatnot). It’s in the ’00s that he “finds his voice” in the slapstick nonsense and people start liking him for the meme - and we’re just going to steer hard into the jokes at this point.
- How much of a character was Joseph King before his untimely end under a piano? He was around - The Best Book #1 was the first appearance of Guise, but not of Joseph King (EE had him in Fanatic’s final dive and they think one other art [we were told that he was in Megalopolis’s “Hostage Situation” with Ambuscade threatening to drop him off a rooftop]).
- Was he a common nuisance for the heroes or just one of a number of paparazzi that plagued the heroes? Was he particularly good at countering heroes’ attempt to avoid them? Joseph King was a throw-away paparazzo who showed up now and again. We wouldn’t have even gotten his full name prior to him becoming Guise (because his full name is part of the joke), but probably would have gotten either “Joe” or that he was “Mr. King” or something prior to that. It was when it was decided to make him Guise that they made his name Joe King and it may have come up in that interim period leading up to Guise. There was a nuisance paparazzi story that showed how much of a problem they are that featured this Joe guy. He was not a major character. They workshop a first appearance for Joe in Freedom Five where he has some out-of-context “compromising” photos of the heroes. They decide to have this happening in the story that also introduced Degenerate in FF #382 in February ’82.
- How do public heroes like Legacy, Bunker, or Maia Montgomery deal with paparazzi (Tachyon probably doesn’t have problems since she’s faster than cameras - although it’s fun to imagine a scenario where AZ “accidentally” freezes somebody’s camera)? That AZ thing probably happens in that first appearance of Joe just mentioned. Maia Montgomery probably has to deal with photographers occasionally, but she’s a business magnate not a celebrity. Sure, she makes public appearances now and again, but it’s not like she’s a big draw for them. No paparazzi has ever managed to get a good picture of the Wraith. Bunker and Legacy are fairly comfortable speaking to the press. The press has likely been a regular part of stories since the ’60s - both in terms of just covering the exciting events the heroes are involved in (possibly getting in the way/needing to be saved in the process) and in an antagonistic “why didn’t you save [x]?” kind of hounding behavior after something went wrong. It also depends on the city given that Megalopolis is usually much “friendlier” than Rook City. A notable thing about the story with Joe is that in that era the people of Megalopolis have a positive opinion of the Freedom Five in particular, but he’s making money by going negative about them.
- What happened in the immediate aftermath of Sk8blayd’s death? You mentioned the Wraith tracking down and defeating RazorRacer, but was she avenging her fallen comrade in heroing or was she “just” stopping a criminal? Did she even know who Sk8Blayd was? She knew who he was and knew that he’d been killed, but wasn’t hunting down the killer as a specific act of “vengeance” or anything. He killed a lot of people and she’s stopping him on that basis, not Sk8Blayd in particular.
- Did anyone in the comics even really notice his death? It wasn’t the kind of thing that was quickly swept under the rug, never to be mentioned again. Neither was it the sort of thing that gets a retrospective funeral issue or anything like Mr. Fixer got. In the following issue we may have got a few pages for a funeral or something before moving on. Somebody had been writing Sk8Blayde semi-regularly and was self-important enough to at least give him that much of a funeral before moving on. Within a few more years he wouldn’t really come up again, though.
- What was the name of the series where Sk8Blayd was first introduced? First appearance was Rook City Renegades #69 in May ’89.
- Did Sk8Blayde ever get a chance to get into the flip-cover trend in comics? Is he kick-flipping on the cover? Yes and yes. Flip covers were a gimmick, but they were just a different way of presenting a back up story (i.e. instead of just having the book transition from the main story to the back up, it would be printed with a different cover image on the back of the book, but upside-down, so you’d read the back up story holding the book the other way up). A Sk8Blayd back up story definitely happens - that’s kind of his jam.
- What was Sk8Blayd’s most significant crossover? It’s almost definitely a story with the Wraith. He’s in “her” city and she’s one of the top characters in all of Sentinel Comics.
- What was the team that Sk8Blayd was definitely going to be a part of going to be called? Who else was a member? This is not canon, but it’s fun to play through the thought experiment. In this era the team is him, Expatriette, and Parse and you get a name like “the Bloodletters” or something (although not that because that’s already the name of a character). You could also do a bunch of other similarly extremified sports-themed people called the X Games or whatever (like, Grind is probably a member). The BMX Bandit is right there as an option.
- What was the name of of Sk8Blayd’s #0 origin story and what happened in it? In Sorceror Magazine there was probably a pull-out #0 origin story for him that’s of questionable canonicity (but it was made by the creator of Sk8Blayd but only co-published by Sentinel Comics).
- Did he ever kill somebody with a sword attached to his skate-blade? They think it’s more likely that other blades extend from the sides rather than him mounting the sword to it.
- How about a gun attached to it? They don’t think the skate-blade shoots. He has guns, but the vehicle doesn’t.
- Did he ever kill an obviously-savable innocent while claiming that “There’s no other way…”? Kill, no. Let die, probably.
- Did he have angst over the death of random innocents that he has no way to save? Oh yeah. Every subsequent appearance after that incident would have him lamenting that he “let them die”.
- Did he ever attack another hero/get attacked by another hero? Yes and yes.
- Did he ever claim that what he did was for the greater good? Yes.
- Did he ever see that he’s only perpetuating the cycle of violence in his city? Yeah, he probably says that exact line at some point.
- Did you realize that his real name has the initials OC? Strangely enough, he’s not their OC, but Darrell’s. They also don’t think that OC for “original character” was really a term this early. They associate that more with ’00s or later fanfiction circles.
- Do we get a Sk8Blayd cameo during OblivAeon as an alt-reality version of himself as an excuse (possibly from the Extremeverse)? There has to be at least some art of him at some point during OblivAeon (but that still likely qualifies as a street-cred name-drop as mentioned in the Sk8Blayd episode) because everyone is there during OblivAeon. It doesn’t really matter which universe’s version we get, but he’s there somewhere.
- Does RazorRacer become a regular jobber or another street-cred level villain? Does he ever face off with Setback in what is either the edgiest or silliest battle possible? He’s a jobber and probably does face off with Setback at some point and it winds up silly. He’s a good jobber in that you use them when you need basically any villain who’s not involved in another story at the time and he’s never in another story.
- Did any writers ever try to pair Sk8Blayd up with Expatriette romantically? They don’t think so. The writer who created Sk8Blayd is probably forbidden by the Editorial staff to have them sleep together and he gets around this by having Expatriette in a story with him and there’s a ton of sexual tension, but then he ultimately turns her down because he has to dedicate himself to crime fighting. The audacity.
- We know that spirits can be pulled from their resting place and put into a vessel they do not want to be in (see: Mr. Fixer and Spite) - how much can you mess with the relationship between spirit and vessel? Could a werewolf ghost take over a human body? Would the werewolf spirit turn the human into a werewolf? Man, are there werewolf ghosts? They don’t think that lycanthropy is an affliction that would be retained by the spirit. Or, Christopher thinks it might, but Adam thinks that “werewolf” is a modification of “human” and that the spirit is just the spirit of the human. Like, Legacy as a ghost wouldn’t retain “Legacy powers”, he would just have ghost powers. Now, ghosts could probably look like a werewolf if they wanted (and it’s even likely for cases like Apex due to his outlook on things), but that doesn’t make them have werewolf powers. They also get into the weeds a bit about what being a “normal ghost” entails. Those are probably just the “manifest and shake (incorporeal) chains at people” level. A poltergeist that has the ability to move physical objects around is something more and a ghost that can straight-up possess a person is more than that. There aren’t a lot of hard and fast rules about what ghosts are. We could get into things like how strength of will or specific circumstances affect things, but trying to define this stuff too concretely is not recommended. What they can answer about “how ghosts work” is largely down to “what we’ve seen ghosts do”.
- Since Darkstrife and Painstake share a soul, if somebody were to infect one of them with some kind of soul curse/poison/something would it spread to the other? Do curses that affect the soul like lycanthropy or vampirism transmit between them? Some kind of soul-curse poison would affect Darkstrife quickly at any point in their story and by the end of the Multiverse it would affect either of them. Early on in the story it would only slowly affect Painstake unless she closed herself off from the soul (she could still use her demon powers, but she’d be affected more whenever she drew on the soul). As for vampirism and lycanthropy… they think that lycanthropy is purely a thing that affects your body and so soul-related shenanigans aren’t affected. Vampirism, if anything, removes the soul and replaces it with vampirism (plus doing body things). It’s messier.
- Muerto is a ghost who can go into robotics/electronics… [They break in here - pretty much any ghost can “go into” those - what sets Muerto apart is his ability to control them once in there as a kind of very-specific poltergeist kind of way.] does that mean he could go into Omnitron-X and “share a soul” like Darkstrife and Painstake? Would it be closer to Dark Watch Mr. Fixer’s deal? Omnitron-X doesn’t have a soul (or does he!?!). They think that Muerto wouldn’t be “sharing” the chassis with Omnitron-X - he’s just be in control of it. Omnitron-X would still be there and aware - it’d be analogous to mind control where the person is still in there, but somebody else is in control of their actions.
- Christopher feels strongly about one thing and wonders about another: strongly is that the words “Guise Fights the Draculas” should be on the cover. Agreement there. How about, before that, we have the words “Because an 8-year-old in Arizona demanded it…” Adam agrees there too, although adjusting the age and/or state may come in depending on space requirements.
- [This is a reference to a thing that they remember from their youth, previously mentioned back in the Shear Force episode of the podcast, where Wizard magazine displayed a cover from Dracula vs. Zorro in their price guide section at some point. In this era of Wizard they took to adding joke text to some of those featured covers and this was one that they’ve remembered ever since. I have tried, dear reader, to find this image. Unfortunately, the scans of Wizard available in the Internet Archive are sparse and even when they exist the price guide section is often skipped by the person scanning the magazine. However, if anybody is in the vicinity of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and has some time to kill, their library claims to have nearly a full run of the magazine in their Special Collections department. I’ve been told that it’s in the pricing guide section of the book and was likely in the late ’90s or early ’00s - a dedicated person could probably find it in a few hours of looking.]
- What to depict? Guise vs. Draculas obviously. Like, whatever wacky Draculas you want (maybe not the Count given the reveal late in the issue). Adam suggests maybe specifically lampooning some classic Dracula cover or poster to get one more gag in.