The Letters Page: Episode 40
Our first episode with a special guest, invited or otherwise! Show Notes:
Run Time: 109:14
Our long awaited Episode 40 is here, and wow is it a strange one!
We'd like to apologize right now for being so mean to Guise in this episode. He took us by surprise. We don't deal with being surprised by wise-cracking shapeshifters in our recording space very gracefully, apparently.
We take our time with the Overview segment this time, as we've got a bunch of stories to tell that don't really come out in the card game other than in little hints here and there. Also, we cover quite a few stories in the more in-depth, line-by-line way. No spoilers as to what we're talking about here, though! Gotta find out by listening! Anyway, as a result, we don't get to the Questions segment until a few minutes past an hour into the episode. Whew!
Lots of good questions! From lots of great people!
We get called out about not being good at counting pool balls in a question just before 71 minutes in. Yup, we goofed.
Then back to more story-related questions! Of which there are many! Also, lots of "how the heck does Guise do [blank]" questions. Fair, fair.
A minute or two before the 90 minute mark, we get a question about the Celestial Tribunal and their view of Guise and The Scholar. It's one of my favorite little glimpses of Guise from an outside perspective. Just throwing that out there.
At just past the 103 minute mark, we close the Question section with a short but very good letter, and then jump into the future section, in which Guise takes the wheel for a brief moment and essentially goes off-roading. We get it back on track pretty quick, though. Mixed metaphors, galore!
Thanks so much for listening! We've got a hefty Editor's Note this coming Thursday, and then we'll be recording the Wager Master episode on Friday, so get your Wager Master questions in now!
- Mr. King, a freelance photographer who sold photos to various tabloids (primarily, but not exclusively, The Megalopolis Examiner), was a side character introduced in the '70s. He was kind of a scumbag - think a stereotypical paparazzo - and had a tendency to show up and get in the way at the worst times, endangering himself and others. He also referred to himself as "The King of Capes" for his status as a photographer of superheroes. Nobody else called him this. He didn't even get a first name, Joseph, until the late '80s, and it wasn't long after that before things got shaken up for him.
- Around the time of a Freedom Five event involving Wager Master (who'd been around for a long time as a "weird, cosmic, nonsense threat") there was a new book published by Sentinel Comics - The Best Book. This opens with a day-in-the-life story involving Joseph King. He leaves his apartment and is heading down to the corner store to buy a lottery ticket. Boring! [Wait, what? Oh great. He's here too guys. Wonderful.] Whatever, Mr. Types-a-lot. Nobody's paying you for your opinions. [Nobody's paying me for any of this. Just feel lucky that I'm not skipping this one.] Anyway, while he's walking a piano drops from where some movers were trying to wrangle it into a third floor apartment with a crane and lands on him.
- Now, this happens to be the same area where events in the recent Freedom Five issue were happening (and it's meant to be recognizable), and there's some leftover purple pulp (Improbability Particles that make up Wager Master, apparently) that combines with the remains of Mr. King who bursts forth from the wreckage as this purple shape-shifter guy. He's also wound up with some screws loose as he also operates under the delusion that he's a character in a comic book (and a card game, and a video game, etc.), often behaving as if he's interacting with an audience that isn't there.
- The Best Book #1 goes on to insert this guy into famous back issues - having him fantasize about showing up in various other characters' backstories. The Freedom Five, Dark Watch, Prime Wardens - you name it, he's been there the whole time as an important part of these stories. Prove that he wasn't. See, here's this iconic panel of the Wraith with her grappling hook, and who's right there with her? This guy. It's is kind of the anti-Southwest Sentinels - while that book was disconnected from the rest of the comics continuity to be its own little pocket of narrative, TBB rewarded readers who are paying attention to everything since the book, and Guise himself, is full of references to all things Sentinel Comics. This fantasy culminates in his imagining of his home life, surrounded by piles of money with a butler and other signs of luxury. The rest of the 6-issue limited series is him making a nuisance of himself. He's a super-powered person, but he's not really a hero or villain at this point. He's just there making a mess in kind of an aimless manner.
- The first powered person he encounters, in a story spanning issues 2 and 3, is Cueball (a teach-based villain with a billiards theme as mentioned in the Nemeses Interlude). At the time, there's an in-setting toy on the market that has an impressive amount of processing power in it - "Best Friend Bobby" can do facial recognition as well as reading expressions to gauge emotions (letting it greet you by name and, say, ask why you're sad if you're frowning). Cueball recognizes these processes as actually very useful for what he wants his suit to do (particularly, it could do some preprocessing for the HUD in his mask to make it easier to use by prioritizing what info is displayed). So, his plan is to head on down to the toy store and steal a whole shipment of these things. Guise needs friends, though, and so wants one of these Best Friend Bobby toys to make himself feel better. Since these are this year's hot toy that everybody wants, though, he heads to the store to camp out (tent, sleeping bag, tv, thermoses of hot cocoa and cold cocoa, etc.) to make sure that he can get one first thing when they open. Cueball manages to trip the alarm while robbing the place, which wakes Guise who wants to make sure that nobody steals the toy he's trying to buy. Guise rushes in, sees this guy with a weird white globe head trying to steal the dolls, and they fight. Said fight results in the destruction of not only all the Best Friend Bobby dolls, but of the entire toy store, which subsequently burns to the ground. Given that this was a major store for the big roll-out of the new toy, the parent company lost a lot of money due to the destroyed inventory and they eventually went out of business. By the time the cops arrive, Cueball had escaped, but Guise is still there saying that he'd stopped the crook. You're welcome.
- At the very end of TBB #3, he's visited by... Oh, this is my favorite part. Everybody shut up and listen. Wager Master who shows up in his apartment. This is still hot on the heels of the Freedom Five story where they've just defeated him, at which point he shows up over here in The Best Book. He wants to be roommates and miracles up some additional rooms that Guise's apartment didn't have a moment ago to move into. Guise accepts this. The next issue just kind of goes about his normal life (apparently still selling photos to tabloids) with Wager Master just kind of there in the apartment when he gets home. No big deal, although he's kind of a slob (despite it taking literally no effort for him to not be a slob). These little peccadilloes eventually culminate in issue #5 with the ultimate roommate fight (the last straw being that WM is, once again, not using a coaster - despite having his food, the remote control, and other things levitating - even his feet are propped up on nothing).
- Guise storms out, buys some purple paint at the local hardware store, and proceeds to divide the apartment into his half and Wager Master's half by painting a big stripe down the middle. After this is all well established and agreed upon, WM points out that Guise's camera is on his side and so starts using it, wasting film on inane photos. Guise retaliates by going to the circuit box on his side and shutting off the power to the whole apartment. Wager Master uses his cosmic power to move the line of paint enough to annex about 2/3 of the apartment to reach the box and restore the power. Guise goes to bed, but has a plan. He'll be dead before he crosses the line, but he hires some movers to move everything in the apartment to his side of the line. Wager Master is mad and so uses his power to flip everything in the apartment - completely reversing the floorplan and everything in it except for Guise and himself. Of course, since the line of paint had been moved from its halfway position, Wager Master has changed things so that he is now standing on the wrong side of it and he promptly disappears once Guise points it out since he's broken the deal. Having the full apartment to himself again, he goes to see what's actually in Wager Master's old room. It's about half full of empty pizza boxes and the rest is just stacks and stacks of $20 bills (I guess he's got to pay for the pizzas somehow - why he didn't just conjure up money as needed instead of doing a hoard all in one go, or the pizzas themselves, is anybody's guess).
- We're now about to the end of issue #6 and Guise is having an existential crisis of how will he maintain readership. He has an idea, and readers turn to the last page with him in full ninja/pirate/zombie-in-space mode while displaying a bunch of merch. "This'll do it!"
- So, that's the end of The Best Book, but not of Guise. We see him again in Vengeance (mostly as a cameo as he's still not really a "hero" at this point). Argentium is about to give the heroes the slip, but Guise is there and, wanting to recreate a famous movie scene, he blasts the villain with a fire extinguisher. This actually works and he manages to freeze Argentium and capture him - something nobody's managed to do before.
- Now we get to the story of Grover Greene. *snore* Grover is the brother of one Caleb Greene, long-time partner of Doctor Medico of the Southwest Sentinels - so while none of this has any effect on the Southwest Sentinels book, which remains its own little thing, Guise is getting connected to their story whether they want it or not. Grover's kind of a long-haired hippy type, he lives out on a parcel of land and grows food. He's also a frequent protester, mostly against agribusiness stuff and "chemicals" on crops. At one protest like this, he gets up in a security guard's face and subsequently gets shoved back and falls into a puddle which is full of pesticides runoff that he inadvertently swallows. The chemicals in there wind up making him sick and he gets a little green around the gills.
- Unfortunately, one chemical also in the puddle was Isoflux Alpha. So, we've got a hippy-type guy, who's good at growing things, is angry at big agribusiness, and is sick from being exposed to pesticides at the moment that he becomes an Omega. While he was overzealous and, at worst, somewhat misguided before, his transformation kind of takes a downward spiral as he develops his powers. Plus, becoming actually green (with orange hair) as opposed to just looking a little sick probably didn't help. He's actually kind of part plant at this point (photosynthesizing - getting stronger if he's been getting plenty of sun and water), but he can also exert control over plants as they grow (not like "command the trees to seize his foes" kind of control, but he can alter their properties so that, say, a fruit's development is altered to the point where it's a pretty decent chemical explosive).
- His whole parcel of land is devoted to his new crop of weaponized plants (emitting dangerous gasses, explosives, things suitable for use as knives, I think they said something about laser plants in there). When are we getting back to me? [Soon.] He loads up his cart and heads off to the big city for the farmers market and a limited series known as The Banana Game.
- Guise heads off to the farmer's market for some of the good bananas. He slept in, unfortunately, and by the time he gets there all the good bananas have already sold out. He proceeds to whine like a little kid about not getting what he wanted and is approached by this kind of shady guy (despite having his hat brim pulled down it's still apparent that he's got green skin) who offers his bananas. Guise is all over this and wants to buy all of them, but the guy tries to upsell him on the eggplants too. Eventually Guise gets fed up with this and just shoves a wad of cash at the guy saying he'll buy everything to get the guy to shut up. He then carts his load of produce back home (the same apartment complex as back in The Best Book, but the neighborhood has gone downhill - he even comments in an internal monologue that there's only like 47 people in the whole block now). He gets back into his apartment and gets comfortable, ready to savor his first banana. He takes a bite, which causes it to explode. This sets off a chain reaction of all of the rest of the stuff he bought and this causes the whole building to go up. Guise emerges from the rubble a short while later.
- We next see him riding the monorail bothering other people who are just trying to get on with their days with his ranting about bananas. While he's been going on about bananas this whole comic, it's kind of apparent to readers that he's going on about bananas (and continues to do so for the rest of the story) so that he's not going on about other things. He gets back to the farmer's market and asks around about the green guy, after some confusion he's finds out that he's left already, but is told where Mr. Greene lives. The Green Grosser was all ready for a bunch of heroes to show up and he had a whole big monologue ready to go about how the city and all of the things necessary for its existence was a plague on the natural world, blah blah blah. The only "hero" to show up is Guise because Grover didn't do a sufficient job in spreading his produce around to get more attention - blowing up Guise's one run-down and depopulated building, while a terrible tragedy, was localized enough to not pull in a lot of heroes given all the other stuff that goes on in the city on a daily basis.
- Anyway, Guise is still ranting about the bananas and they fight (complete with all of the gas plants and laser plants and everything else that Grover's got set up). The Green Grosser has been preparing for a fight with whole teams of heroes and is at the top of his game (having been making sure to get plenty of sun and water ahead of time) and is generally really letting Guise have it (and although he's losing he's still going on about all of the plans he had for the bananas and is continuously throwing more of the exploding bananas here there and everywhere during the fight). Eventually, Guise is cornered (there's a bunch of apples with fangs or something, I dunno) but manages to get in one really solid punch to Greene's jaw, knocking him down. This lets Guise really let him have it over all of the 47 different things he was going to do with the bananas. Greene finally asks if this is really just about the bananas. Guise says "What do you think?" before throwing one last banana at him. Pan out to an aerial view where we see that all of the banana explosions have, themselves, been to outline the shape of a big banana, while the last one sets off a big chain reaction in the middle, taking out the whole farm. "Well, time to go apartment hunting."
- While his primary appearances are the two big stories of his own, he's still been showing up in cameos throughout this time (not just in Vengeance).
- His next major story is in Guise's Biggest Book Ever Christmas Spectacular (while other "Giant Size" books were typically 100 pages, this one was explicitly made to be 104 pages). It was an ad-free book and was a charity fundraiser ($1 of each sale went to a charity that rhymes with "Shmoys for Shmots"). All those add-free pages were necessary due to just how many villains he had to fight. Yeah, I've still got the scars to prove it. See? [Nonono! Keep your pants on please, I believe you.]
- This is billed as "Guise is on a journey to discover the true meaning of Christmas" and so, naturally, opens with a villain (Cueball with his helmet painted like an Easter egg) in a helicopter that's transporting a 500-pound chocolate rabbit. "If you don't find the 15 eggs located in this office building I'll drop this chocolate bunny on the city. If you succeed, you'll get a sweet surprise instead. Muahahaha!" Unity shows up and makes some rabbots to help, but Guise runs off into the building to what Cueball said all on his own. He finds the eggs - there's a splash page when he finds the last one with a banner above him "Lesson Learned" which is, apparently "Be the Fastest and Best". The "sweet surprise" is that when he gets all the eggs in one place, they hatch and release a sweet smelling knockout gas that renders him unconscious.
- He wakes up tied to a giant firework rocket in Legacy Park that's aimed for Freedom Tower. Argentium is there... Ha! What a joke! [I'd suggest that the "joke" is on whomever is tied to the rocket.] Anyway, Argentium is there in an Uncle Sam outfit about to set it off with a sparkler. Legacy arrives and frees Guise, suggesting that if they work quick they can redirect the rocket somewhere harmless. Guise, instead, just figures if they set it off right here that's just as good and so collects all of the other fireworks nearby and uses them to explode the rocket in situ Oooo, look at Mr. Fancypants with his Latin. Non possum te audiunt. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure. [Look, man, there are plenty of Latin phrases that have made their way into normal English parlance. My use of them should not be a surprise to anybody who reads these summaries by this point.] As he sets off all of the fireworks (a big red, white, and blue display coinciding with a bald eagle flying overhead) Guise has earned another "Lesson Learned" banner, this time "There's nothing that can't be solved with more bombs." Then everything explodes around him, knocking him out.
- Next up, he awakes in a chair in front of an impressively laden banquet table full of the full assortment of Thanksgiving-type foods, but they seem a little off. That's to be expected considering that across the table from him sits the Green Grosser (in a stereotypical Pilgrim outfit). He gestures to the food and says "Would you look at all of these delicious... Bombs!" [not the best villain line there, but whatever]. Guise looks around and sees that the Scholar is next to him (this was designed to be one hell of a salable book with all of the fan-favorite character cameos, but this is notable as it's the first time the two of them met He's my hero! [Great, now we're doing this in the parenthetical parts too. Wonderful.]). Scholar suggests that they get their friends to help with the situation - spreading the danger out among everybody. Guise says, "Nope, I'll just eat it." and proceeds to eat everything. As he sits there, belly distended and his belt undone [wait, when did he start wearing a belt?] he has another "Lesson Learned" - "Just eat all the food." Then there's the inevitable explosion contained in his gut and he passes out.
- He wakes up in the middle of a party. Swing music, people drinking martinis, and all of the villains in their various holiday-themed outfits, including the one behind all of this - Wager Master as Baby New Year (he's just going to skip right over Christmas). Unity, Legacy, and Scholar are all tied up to a pylon with a very large bomb slowly dropping down toward them. Guise remembers that he's trying to learn the true meaning of Christmas here. He changes into the Santa Guise look and says that we can't skip Christmas, he's got all of these gifts for everybody! He throws the eggs, fireworks, and explosive food items at the villains, flinging them away. He then goes over to save the other heroes and together they disarm it. They're all proud of him for learning the true lesson of generosity. "Yes, I did learn that. So where's my stuff?" The End.
- By this point, he's pretty popular and gets his own ongoing title. Finally! [Yes, yes, we're all super happy for you.] He's still not really a "hero" - I mean, he's doing heroic things I guess, but it's a really more about his antics. That is, until the Scholar gets brought in. [Can you do any better now that we're dealing with text instead of speech?] I think so. *ahem* /'skalɚ/ [Wow... How did... I don't know what I was expecting, but I probably should have guessed something weird.] As mentioned last week, Scholar gets added to Guise's book, which adds a lot of attention to the title as Scholar takes him on a journey of personal growth.
- Their duo shows up in a number of events. They're involved in the Bloodsworn Colosseum, an event with the young La Capitan, and the Deadline event (particularly notable as a "teaching" moment as Scholar is focused not so much on punching, but on mitigating the trouble in other ways to protect people). Guise continues to be unfocused and all over the place, but there are moments of clarity when things actually seem to be getting through to him, complete with some moments of self-sacrifice and maturity. We're also moving into the Scholar of the Infinite period, so go back to last week's episode for more on that. In short, at this point Scholar can use ley lines to sense what's going on in more distant places than he should be able to. In this case, it prompts him to go to Dok'Thorath.
- They arrive there and encounter Nixious the Chosen, scion of OblivAeon. By this point the two of them are a pretty good team. While Guise is still really unfocused in general, their dynamic has settled down so that they work off of each other rather effectively (or at least Scholar has gotten good at "aiming" Guise at the problem). They do well enough against Nixious that he winds up calling on OblivAeon for aid, and he answers in person. This was mentioned last week as well - OblivAeon picks up Guise and crushes him (destabilizing his body to the point where he's getting all melty) and Scholar is losing cohesion as well. With both heroes obviously dying, OblivAeon leaves once again. However, Scholar then uses the last of his energy to force the Philosopher's Stone into Guise's body to restabilize him at the cost of his own being.
- Guise absorbs the power of the Stone and the last remnants of the Scholar. [The guys talk about him glowing bright as the sun and going through a "magical girl transformation" but I've lost my ability here to tell when they're joking - if I had to guess I'd assume that the glowing happened, but maybe not so much the rest of it.] [Note from the future: Nope, they weren't joking, one of the Mission Deck cards shows that literally is in fact what happened.] His power has reached a peak here - he's not only got his own transformation powers, but aspects of the Scholar's transmutation powers with elements under his control and the power to fly and whatnot. He's just insanely All it cost him was his friend. He was like the father that I never had... other than like my actual father, Frank, who was also like a father, but not like John.
- Are you going to be able to stop Guise from joining you while you talk about him? Clearly not. [Yeah, seriously.]
- He seems to be aware of the rules of SotM, does he know that he's in a card game (and that it ends with OblivAeon)? How about other Sentinels products? This podcast? Is he listening right now? Yeah. Yes. At least he thinks that he's aware of it.
- He breaks the 4th wall and seems to know that he's not just in comics but in a card game, does he know things that his creators in the publishing universe don't? Does he know about us, you, Trevor? His awareness is media-related. That is, when he's in a comic he knows he's in a comic, a game when he's in a game, etc. They do their best to shield Trevor from him, though.
- He's kind of unique in the game in that he's got a lot of Ongoing cards, but they are all very short-lived, only lasting until the start of his next turn; is this indicative of his publishing history (like, does that represent him making multiple attempts to go big that failed)? Yeah, pretty much. His books were mostly intended to be limited series and even his presence in other books was kind of a love-him-or-hate-him situation.
- Is there a specific story behind Fanatic's "Final Dive" card and the "Meet thy maker" flavor text? This was asked for the Fanatic episode, and it's something that they've answered before, but the guy on "Final Dive" is the same guy that Ambuscade is holding over the building ledge on the Megalopolis card "Hostage Situation". That guy is Joe King. As for the "meet thy maker" threat, that was a genuine threat. This was in the Joe's an annoying distraction phase of his story and Fanatic was fed up with him (this is a good example of why Fanatic shouldn't be involved in street-level problems). Legacy has to catch him to save him. Joe becomes somewhat more likeable as Guise (and eventually much more likeable).
- In the Nemesis Interlude you mentioned that Cueball's suit had 12 powers corresponding to the 12 balls in pool, but pool has 15 balls not counting the cueball itself, so what gives? Are the other three useless? Does Guise tease him about miscounting? This was another mistake by Christopher and Adam - it's not even that they got it wrong when designing the character, it's just a misstatement in the podcast. Guise is even gracious enough to not make fun of them.
- If every card in the game is meant to represent panels from actual comics, then what about the Guise cards that has him interacting with game elements (like hitting Wager Master with the keyword bar on "Look What I Found")? That art is art for the card game. Guise is an exception to the general rule given his contextual knowledge of what media he's appearing in.
- When did he learn to tame sharks? He didn't "tame" the shark, he's just riding it.
- What's his favorite holiday (Halloween since it gives him an actual excuse to pretend to be other heroes)? Christmas. He watched soooo many holiday specials growing up and this informed his journey to find the True Meaning of Christmas in his own special.
- Why did Adam choose that particular color scheme for him? They needed to be very specific and intentional in choosing his color scheme since we never get to see his actual face and they're going to be doing so many weird things with his shape that he can't be too dark to make out details nor so bright that he's annoying to look at. There was also the matter that he'd designed Wager Master first and pulled colors from that existing design (and both characters' "clothing" is actually part of them).
- When he breaks the 4th wall (like in "Look What I Found"), what do other characters actually see? He's able to make stuff out of himself. Sometimes he's stealing stuff from other people, but other things are made out of his own form, so if he were to, say, grab a sound effect balloon and hit somebody with it, as far as other characters are concerned, that balloon is just part of his body that he's shaped that way.
- What do other characters think of his 4th-wall shenanigans? Scholar (and others) are right to not trust him given that he's obviously crazy due to his traumatic death experience when he got mixed with this cosmic Wager Master material. For all of Wager Master's weirdness, he's got a solid mind and given his ability to traverse realities he knows that Guise is crazy to believe this whole "I'm in a comic book" thing.
- Assuming Santa Guise appears in a comic, what does his power represent ("Thokk!" in a box doesn't make much sense)? How about Completionist Guise? Both variants are in the comics (but are also contextual to the card game and so work differently depending on where you're seeing him). Santa Guise is dealing with him giving gifts to people (in that specific case giving the villains their explosives and whatnot back), but thematically he's able to reach into his bag and pull out, say, some of Wraith's equipment ("Did you steal that?" "Maybe!"). Completionist Guise, in the comics, had to do with him wanting to be part of every story as opposed to the game's "collecting all the variants."
- How did he become Santa? He wasn't "taking over" for a Santa figure or anything - it was just him in a goofy Santa outfit for that situation (although he might show up in that getup again from time to time).
- Will we ever see Guise's real face (or if the mask is his real face now, what he used to look like)? The mask is Guise's real face (and we saw Joe King's face on Final Dive). If he were to change his face's shape to look like he used to, it would still be the same color scheme.
- Who's the kid on the Santa Guise foil art/Uh, Yeah, I'm That Guy? Just unlucky or does Guise seek him out since he's such a big Legacy fan? He is somebody that Guise keeps "saving". He thought that the hero over there was Legacy and ran over to get an autograph and when he was disappointed to find out otherwise Guise pretended to be him - and then for a while really wanted to be the best hero for that kid. He'd often show up and try to look heroic in that kid's vicinity to steal the kid's adulation. Eventually this fancy passes and things just move on, until Christmas when he decides to be Santa for that kid (who is still not buying his disguises). He's probably more exasperated with Guise than we are.
- Given his comedic/4th-wall breaking character it's notable that he appears to be involved in several high-profile events in the comics publishing history; is that impression accurate or is his involvement generally in his own spin-off issue around the events rather than being in the main book? Do the readers ever feel that he's appearing too much? He probably doesn't show up too much - he's there sparingly, although there are a significant number of readers who really dislike him and any amount is too much. He starts showing up more towards the end of the Multiverse era, but this is offset by him being a somewhat more tempered character by then.
- On "Paragon of Virtue" from the Celestial Tribunal deck, we get a rare in-game glimpse of the Scholar/Guise team-up and the Adjudicator asks if this is the best humanity has to offer - which of the two is it and why? It's Guise. For whatever reason, the Tribunal has decided that he's the best that Humanity has to offer. This is very late in the storyline (it's showing them fighting on Dok'Thorath during the OblivAeon/Nixious fight there) and by this point the Tribunal has been messed with by Chokepoint and the main mind of it is now the scion Sanction, but this part is still looking at what's going on elsewhere and that's who it's scoping out.
- Are any of the heroes aware of his previous life? Scholar figures it out (but keeps quiet, as he's wont to do), but probably not many others. Wager Master knows that he's involved in his creation, but that doesn't mean he knows who the guy was.
- How long can Guise maintain a form and how much power can he copy? He doesn't really try to maintain any forms for long - he'll change to make a gag and then reverts. He could probably hold a form indefinitely if he wanted to, but he lacks the focus necessary. Somebody like Tachyon with his power set would be terrifying. He's limited by his own lack of dedication.
- How do they choose which emblem to put on his chest? With great effort. The first batch of them were super easy to come up with. The middle portion took more thought since every time he shows up it needs to be different but still be relevant to what's going on. The last batch was excruciating because of how limited the options had become, sometimes necessitating long conversations between them just on what the chest emblem should be for a card. In the comics, this is also true for every panel (which, thankfully, Adam doesn't need to actually think of), but they could cheat a bit (so if it's a face in one panel, the next one could have it winking or something). They flow a bit more rather than being completely different each panel.
- Does Completionist Guise get the million dollars for his collection? No, they're not worth nearly that much (have you ever tried to actually sell old comics in a comics shop?).
- What's in the satchel on "Where Did I Leave That?"? Nothing, it's still part of his body that he "conjured" for this one gag. He's just making the joke that if he had a pool cue that he could easily dispatch Cueball.
- How does the Scholar handle Guise not taking him seriously? With patience. He knew what he was signing up for by taking him on in this way.
- After the Philosopher's Stone is plunged into his body, does Guise (or other heroes) still remember the Scholar? Yes, this isn't the same kind of event that turned Charles Clarke into the Scholar in the first place.
- What effect does that have on Guise's demeanor? It's sobering. He's definitely more grounded afterwards. More in the Future Section.
- That's enough of this sitting quietly stuff. What's your favorite thing about me? When he's not here. When he sits quietly in the corner and doesn't say anything.
- How do I deal with all of Akash-y's roots taking over my yard? Seriously, it's hard to meet the housing association's rules for lawns with these things everywhere. My garden is horrible (ok, that's probably because I haven't touched it, ever, maybe I was supposed to plant something). Anyway, how should I be dealing with these roots? What does everybody else do about them? My beach chair just won't stay flat. This isn't the gardening podcast. Since the tree is providing life-giving energy to the grid, most people are happy to have any surface-level roots present. HOA fines suck, though. Sorry about that.
- What did you guys have for lunch last Tuesday? A: Pesto. C: leftover chicken pad thai.
- Why did you wait so long to get to my episode? If we did yours earlier we'd have lost all of our listeners.
- Was this universe created by some weird amalgamation of forbidden love between you too? Should I expect to run into Night Talon in the next issue? Sure, it was born out of that thing you said. It's not even forbidden. It was actually probably an equal part of love and hate - or maybe cooperation and animosity would be a better way to say it. Or maybe also their love and hate of comics and the stuff that happens in them.
- I'm sure that you expect me to ask more questions about me, but I know everything about me already so let's do this in a quiz instead. Everybody knows I'm the best hero and everybody else is just jealous, but did I ever team up with any villains instead? You had a villainous roommate for a while, but other than the extended period with the Scholar you didn't really team up with any heroes for any length of time either.
- Who's my man-crush and who's my foxy lady? What's up, Princess Cool? Don't hit on the listeners, please. Man-crush is definitely Legacy. Being that he was a tabloid photographer, he's likely fixated on the Wraith (since she's so elusive).
- When Unity tried to make a Guise-bot, was the awesomeness created by there being two of me what caused OblivAeon? Unity would never try to make a Guise-bot. She makes the Freedom Five bots because she likes them, but she doesn't like him (although she'll tolerate him if he's around). For his part, he pesters her incessantly about making a Guise-bot. They're closer to peers than anybody else that she makes a bot of.
- Next time you see Guise, tell him this: [You listening?] Mm-hmm Guise, the Scholar died to save you. Don't waste your new life. Got it?
- Tactics - he never really ever came back to Earth from his experiences on Dok'Thorath. His power went through the roof and he took part in a bunch of space battles, but his power levels never, err, leveled-off and his cosmic awareness keeps going and he's just disconnected from events back here. It's not really clear where this is going to wind up. He's also continued to get even more ridiculous and that's not showing any signs of stopping either.
- RPG - He's not on that "increasingly ridiculous" path, and he's definitely more grounded here. In this reality he uses his connection to the ley lines to send his form back to Earth and he participates in the final battle with OblivAeon. His awareness of the world through the ley lines sobers him up a bit and he "comes down" from that initial surge of power. He's still got ramped-up transformation/transmutation powers (he can copy colors and materials now so it's not always blatantly obvious that it's just Guise twisted into whatever shape), and he's still a bit silly, but he's definitely a Hero now, which is new for him.
Bye everybody! [Leave already!]