The Letters Page: Episode 79
Let's pause on talking about fake comic book and talk about fake cartoons instead!
Run Time: 2:18:13
We covered Phase One of the Sentinel Comics Animated Universe in Episode 64 - now we're back to talk about Phase Two, but there's way too much to cover in a single episode if we're going to keep going into the contents of EVERY episode... and we want to keep going into all that! Thus, this episode is JUST about Season Two of the Freedom Five animated show. We will do a Part 2 episode when you fine folks on the Patreon vote on it, which I imagine will happen shortly!
We get right into all of that, right off the bat, and then about five minutes in, we dig into the first episode of the season!
Around the 1 hour and 43 minute mark, we get to your questions!
At about 2 hours and 10 minutes in, we go to the future section, in which we talk about the future of the Sentinel Comics Animated Universe (mainly the rest of Phase 2). Then, in the wrap-up, we talk about some important Future of the Letters Page business. You'll just have to listen to find out!
For those of your on our Patreon, voting just went live for the September Extrasode. Go let your voice be heard!
Tune in Thursday for an Extrasode about our recent Sentinel Comics RPG Live streams!
- Absolute Zero
- Dr. Demikahv
- Mr. Fixer
- Pauline Parsons
- The Seer
- Captain Cosmic
- Argent Adept
- La Capitan
- Baron Blade
- Iron Legacy
- Wager Master
- Iron Curtain
- Grand Warlord Voss
- Greazer Clutch
- Sergeant Steel
- Becky Blast
- Fright Train
- Ray Manta
- Desert Eagle
- The Hippo
- Due to the time required to go through the second phase of the SCAU, they're only going to be covering season 2 of the Freedom Five show with the rest of the pieces of phase 2 in a separate episode if voted for.
- Phase 2 covers the fall '09/spring '10 television season and 2 movies.
- Like last time, these are standard 22-minute (30 with commercials) episodes.
Episode 2.1 - "Rampage" - 9/22/09
- We start with a woman working in a lab taking samples and doing other lab stuff. One set of tasks involves taking samples from and injecting things into some lizards. Apparently these things can grow when exposed to electricity, which is odd.
- Cut to Megalopolis, some time later. Seems to be a normal day until a giant lizard monster comes up out of the ocean and attacks the city; knocking over buildings, chomping on power lines, you know the drill. Every time it bites into power lines it grows a bit. The Freedom Five show up in short order to deal with this threat.
- This is definitely an episode to ground the audience in the setting again as the heroes are calling out to each other by full names and commenting on how they should use their powers to handle the situation. Gotta re-establish who everybody is and what's their deal.
- They can't seem to really hurt the thing, but they're at least enough of an annoyance to drive it back into the ocean. Tachyon does some Science! to determine where this thing came from and track it back to the lab from the opening where they meet the woman in charge - the researcher from the beginning, Doctor Demikahv. She thinks the heroes are there because of her call to the police to report her stolen lizard (she's not observant to notice that if somebody had broken in to steal it, the pieces of the glass tank it was in or the wall of the facility would be on the inside rather than the outside).
- The heroes ask her about the lizard and she goes into her work with these things to try to tease out various useful traits. Definitely nothing sinister going on here. The end result of this conversation is that in order to capture/defeat this thing they'll have to find a way to siphon power off of it, which should reverse the growth process. They return to Freedom Tower [note brought up during episode 3 - Freedom Tower was under construction as of the end of Phase 1, so in the intervening time it was completed and the team moved in] to prepare for the next time the lizard shows up. Which it eventually does at the power plant, which is a problem for obvious reasons.
- Teamwork! Absolute Zero does his freezing thing to slow it down. Legacy and Bunker go in to fight it/divert it (Adhesive Foam Grenades coming in handy). Wraith gets in close to place the little diode devices they prepared earlier on the lizard - these allow Tachyon to run around the thing and draw the power out of the thing, shrinking the lizard the more she runs around it.
- Eventually the lizard is back down to it's normal size and Tachyon is just brimming with this power, which she diverts back into the power plant (because that's how electricity works - this is intentional, letting the audience know that they're doing fun, cool stuff and you shouldn't take it too seriously).
- Coda (a bunch of episodes will have these): a figure sitting in a prison. The light comes on and you see it's Baron Blade sitting there with Legacy at the door of the room, here to talk again. Blade doesn't see the point in him coming again - nothing's going to change. The implication here is that Legacy comes to the prison to talk to Blade occasionally, trying to talk him around and to give up his Evil ways.
Episode 2.2 - "Training Day" - 9/29/09
- First appearance of Unity in this iteration of the FF series (having, of course, been an original character from the previous show (in the late-'80s/early-'90s that got imported back into the comics). This version of her is something of an amalgam of her comics and original animated forms - she is set to be somewhere in the 14-15 years old range (young, but it's not really spelled out exactly).
- This episode is mostly from her perspective, seeing her as the FF intern and observing their day-to-day as she's there to learn and assist them. She's good with robots and has these powers, but she's supposed to keep herself out of any danger that shows up.
- Then (inevitably) some danger shows up. Fifteen big, 12-feet-tall hulking figures start wrecking up the city. Each has a distinct color scheme going on and has a big spherical head with a number written on it. Unity is supposed to stay in Freedom Tower and keep an eye on things as they go off to deal with it. This is super boring and she starts using the cameras to look at other stuff instead of just focusing on the bad guys. This is when she sees - he's normal size, though, but is making those evil, scheming fingers before ducking into an alley.
- She tries to alert the team to this guy's presence, but they bark at her to not fool around and generally brush off her intel. Fine, she'll do it herself.
- She heads to where she saw the guy an sneaks into the warehouse that's there. Of course, this is Cueball. As this is going on the heroes outside are fighting with the largest of these minions (the 8 ball, naturally) along with some others, and it's become apparent that these are robots of some sort. Unity fights Cueball who's controlling these others. She defeats him and then takes over the robots herself and reprograms them to help repair the city.
- This confuses the heroes as one minute they were fighting these guys, but then they suddenly stop fighting back and start repairing the damage they just caused. That is, until Unity comes out to say what she had done. Good job!
Episode 2.3 - "Transmission of Honor" - 10/6/09
- Rook City. We start in medias res with Wraith in a running fight with the Operative across the rooftops of the city. At one point the Operative gets the drop on the Wraith by throwing a poison dart behind her as she'd jumped off a roof, assuming (correctly) that the Wraith would be right behind her. This incapacitates the Wraith and we see her fall to the ground and pass out just as a shadowy figure looms over her.
- Cut to Freedom Tower - the door is kicked open and the Wraith is brought in slung over the shoulder of Mr. Fixer (the first time we see his animated version - same general look, though, with the martial-arts shirt and the cap slung low over his eyes) who tells them that she needs help.
- He knows that she's been poisoned, and he knows which kinds the Operative uses, but the problem is that this is a large list and he's not sure which one this is. Tachyon wants whatever information he has, which he offers - he's got a ratty old backpack with him that he opens to reveal a bunch of old scrolls of parchment (and they're about weird herbalism stuff, which isn't really Tachyon's strong suit). Another wrinkle: giving the wrong antidote will probably kill her too, so they've only got one shot at this. Fixer's plan is to leave them here to get started on what they can while he goes off to find out which poison it was and he'll call them when he's got it.
- For whatever reason, Tachyon and AZ are the only ones at the tower (book club meeting!), and AZ accompanies Mr. Fixer back to Rook City to help. This has the handy benefit of having Mr. Fixer have somebody to whom he can explain his backstory and history with the Operative (which is an abbreviated form of the comic version - she was older as his student than she was in the comics, her drive for violence was at odds with his philosophy, and her betrayal was what led to his quitting as an instructor).
- They encounter the Organization (which seems to have a lot of ninjas at their disposal) and fight their way through them and eventually to the Operative herself. In that fight she pins AZ to a wall with a knife (his suit is leaking coolant everywhere), but he manages to at least freeze her to the ground. Fixer manages to take her supply of poisons and whatnot and determines which one is missing ("Is this the one you used on the Wraith?" "I'm not telling you!" "I'll take that as a 'yes'."). He knows her very well and she's not a great liar (plus the whole "see better blind" thing that lets him tune into other clues - although his blindness isn't directly addressed in the episode, it's still part of the character) so with that he raises a fist and brings it down... on the ice that was holding her in place. She uses the opportunity to get out of there. AZ wonders why he didn't take her down when he had the chance, but that wasn't the job he was here to do. He calls in the poison so that Wraith can be saved.
Episode 2.4 - "Tech Trauma" - 10/13/09
- We open in a meeting in Freedom Tower's command center where the heroes are going over important hero stuff, but Unity is texting (so disrespectful!) and gets called out on it ("You're addicted to that thing!" or similar).
- Meanwhile, people in the city are starting to act chaotically and violently. We get to see things from the villain's perspective - Highbrow (introduced as a concept during the Head Doctor story in Episode 1.20, but only now shown as a villain) is using the signals from the cell phones that people are carrying to affect their brains and control them. Mostly this is in the form of causing general mayhem, but that's to cover the targeted behavior of a few, who are directed to bring her specific pieces of technology (or drop them in at specific places where others will pick them up to bring to her, etc.) so that she can build her mind-control doomsday device.
- Unity, the cell phone addict, gets mind controlled and brings some important pieces from Freedom Tower for her (side note: the hot mobile game in 2010 in the animated universe is apparently Furious Fowl although they also mention Jungle Jog). Tachyon asks what Unity's doing and she responds something like "y'know, teen stuff" which doesn't convince Tachyon or the Wraith for very long and so they follow her to Highbrow's lair.
- Highbrow is currently kind of suspended from a bunch of wires leading into her head and hands as she's interfacing with the devices she's working with and is in something like a trance when the heroes arrive. Tachyon and Wraith figure that this is the mastermind behind all of the chaos and go about breaking the machines. Eventually Highbrow starts controlling the devices in the room to attack them.
- The heroes eventually sever the connection between Highbrow and the machine and she starts to wake up. She asks how long it's been and the heroes initially say she's bluffing as she was obviously in charge of all of this stuff, but she insists that it wasn't her. She gets carted off to jail regardless.
- Coda: in that same room where the confrontation happened, we see one of the computer screens flicker on, displaying a red eye/lens [previously seen in episode 1.3 and the movie's post-credits scene]. A robotic voice says "Valuable biometric data gathered. Analysis of Freedom Five 62% complete."
Episode 2.5 - "Take Your Daughter to Work Day" - 10/20/09
- Legacy brings his daughter Pauline to work. She's also in that awkward teenage category as Unity and is not yet "Young Legacy" or anything. She gets a tour of Freedom Tower and meeting her dad's coworkers and everything and is having a great time. Then she excuses herself to use the restroom.
- At that moment Ambuscade (another first animated series appearance) bursts through a window, disabling AZ with some kind of device, uses a net to immobilize Tyler Vance to keep him from getting to the Bunker suit, sets a gravity mine to hold Tachyon in place, sprays something in the Wraith's direction to blind her, and releases a canister of some kind of gas at Legacy. In a matter of seconds the entire Freedom Five is helpless. This is by far the most effective that Ambuscade has ever managed to be, so good job. He catches Legacy over his shoulder to carry him, and then jumps back out the window.
- Pauline returns from the restroom to see the broken window, her father missing, and the other heroes disabled. Wraith manages to croak out that a masked man broke in and kidnapped Legacy. Pauline runs back to her father's "office" where he has his closet of (several identical) costumes and she starts putting on one of the (comically large on her) spares - she winds up just using the shirt and a belt, turning it into something like a dress given that it's long enough on its own to come down to her knees (she's at least got on leggings already).
- She flies out in pursuit of Ambuscade and they have a fight in an abandoned factory (where he's already set up traps). He doesn't know who she is, but since she seems to have Legacy's power set he mocks her with the fact that he's ready for everything he could do. Her dad doesn't have laser eyes, though, which she uses to blast off his metal arm and defeats him. The team recovers and the day is saved.
Episode 2.6 - "Horror Show" - 10/27/09
- The Halloween episode. It features weird creepy monsters/creatures causing a wave of terror all over the city.
- The Freedom Five go out to fight the creatures, but they're all illusions (being projected from some devices). There are sound effects to go with everything too, but a lot of it just seems off somehow. Wraith does eventually find the source of the signal operating these things, deep underground. Before the monorail got built, the city had an extensive subway system, now disused, and it's coming from down there somewhere.
- This is a Glamour story. She's got the red/orange/gold outfit and mirrored face mask [sounds more like the For Profit version than the one from the team Ambuscade deck].
- The heroes go down to face whoever it is who's running things, but they start being faced by their own great fears (so whoever this is, she knows them pretty well) - AZ faces a wall of fire, Tyler Vance has to watch as his friends die while he's helpless to prevent it, etc. Eventually Legacy comes face to face with... himself, oh it's in that mirrored mask. He punches it. It cracks, revealing some red hair and the eye of the woman beneath looking very angry at him.
- They don't actually manage to capture her this time (she makes some comment about them being stuck dealing with their fears and she's learned a lot about them today, yadda yadda, before making her escape), but at least they stop the terrorizing of the populace above.
Episode 2.7 - "God of the Sun" - 11/3/09
- In the first season, Ra was introduced as a foe of sorts. The team helped Fanatic fight this guy and save Dr. Blake Washington Jr. from this powerful alter ego. We did see brief cameos later (like in the Wager Master episode) where he was Ra again.
- This episode starts with Blake Washington just out making a bank transaction. While he's checking his balance or whatever the door is kicked in and a group of heavily armed bank robbers come in, with one shooting a machine gun into the air.
- He takes cover with other bank customers under a table and starts having a conversation with himself (which does nothing to make the others feel better about their situation). It's like he's bargaining with somebody - something like needing the other person to come help, but he can't do things his way and it's not a permanent situation. We're going to work together here and then back to business as usual.
- He stands, says "Let's do this" as fire blazes up around him. When it subsides, he's now Ra, God of the Sun! Alarmed, the robbers shoot at him, but the bullets melt before they hit him [of course, having the same mass of high-velocity lead heading for you would still be pretty unpleasant, molten or no]. Some pretty good hamming it up done by Christopher at around 44 minutes in. Ra does manage to show some restraint in not just straight up murdering these bozos, but handily solves the problem and leaves so that people don't have any more opportunity to notice who he really is once he changes back (which he does in a nearby alley). The Freedom Five show up around that time and round up the criminals.
- Cut to: some time later the Freedom Five are locked in battle with Atum, another Egyptian solar deity (he's got the scarabs and whatnot we'd associate with his comics/game appearances). He's still got the "burning stuff" thing going on, but while Ra uses gouts of flame directly, Atum's deal seems more like heat rays that will light things on fire. The team wins and captures him. Well done everybody. We cut to the situation in Freedom Tower with Atum in a cell - it's got a forcefield where the bars of a mundane cell would be, but Atum just blows up the wall and escapes.
- Dr. Washington comes to the tower to talk to the heroes with a bunch of scholarly materials. He introduces himself, noting that they helped him in the past, but acknowledging that they may not remember him. He's an expert Egyptologist and has some specific knowledge about this Atum guy that might be helpful - the Staff of Ra gave him his power, Atum's come from his scarabs, and there are at least 9 of these other relics like these out there. He's been trying to track them down, but at least this one has fallen into the wrong hands.
- The team fights Atum again, but now Ra is there and have some egotistical banter about who the real god of the sun is. Ra eventually manages to separate Atum from his scarab and he reverts to Roderick Ward, who is quickly captured. Ra leaves, taking the scarab with him.
Episode 2.8 - "Nothing to Fear" - 11/10/09
- The Seer shows up and is casually wandering around Freedom Tower. The Wraith turns a corner and you'd think she'd see him, but no - instead she's just confronting her own insecurities and paranoia. The Seer's shtick is to find and bring out your darkest emotions/the things you're most afraid or ashamed of about yourself (as opposed to the Glamour encounter which was more about external fears). What this means is that instead of seeing him, she suddenly had the feeling that she really needed to go and double check all of the stuff she's got monitoring the rest of the team because they're surely just waiting for her to let her guard down.
- He runs into the others too. AZ is confronted with his loneliness. Tachyon's arrogance (faster and better than others at things so she's inherently a better person). Legacy's got some rage going on deep within about people who do wrong and hurt others - normally Legacy has nothing really approaching a "temper", but this is in there somewhere. Bunker feels inferiority - while the Wraith doesn't have any superpowers either, even without her gadgets, she's still scarily competent, where he's just a guy who drives a person-shaped tank.
- Once he's got everybody pretty well shut down, the Seer puts out a broadcast that the Freedom Five is out of commission, so open season for whoever wants to take advantage of the situation.
- Outside of the tower this crack in reality surrounded by green and purple energies opens. NightMist pulls herself free of the Realm of Discord and quickly reaches behind her to seal the gate again. She's been trapped there since the end of episode 14 of the first season.
- She goes to the tower, which seems to have been magically sealed somehow, but she just mists around the obstructions and enters. She's quickly confronted by Tyler Vance who's going into full-on Die Hard "We've got to crawl through the air ducts to get to him. We have to avoid Legacy and Tachyon and they're super dangerous." mode. Legacy is in a rage and Tachyon is out to best anybody she sees as a challenge. NightMist would brute-force this situation, but Bunker's taking the tactical route to get to the Seer who's set up shop in the offices high above to get a good view of the world burning.
- The plan works out with NightMist distracting the other heroes while Tyler sneaks in and gets the drop on the Seer. The villain can't believe that Tyler is functional, he should be terrified. That's the trick, though. Tyler is scared every day, but he sucks it up and just does his job regardless. With Seer knocked out, NightMist manages to snap everybody else out of it.
Episode 2.9 - "Cosmic Tales, Part 1" - 11/17/09
- Way out in space, we see a green and black-clad man with a metal mask destroy a planet with a beam of green energy.
- On Mars, the heroes are helping construct the Wagner Mars Base - humanity's continuing progress to the stars. Then this guy shows up here, to drive humanity back. The heroes manage to drive him off, though ("You've not heard the last of me! [evil laugh]").
- Then another guy shows up, this one in Red and Gold - it's Captain Cosmic, last seen in the Bloodsworn Colosseum episode last season. He's trying to track down his brother, and he followed his energy signature here and then on to Earth. "Have you guys seen him?" [Awkward silence]
Episode 2.10 - "Cosmic Tales, Part 2" - 11/24/09
- Infinitor is attacking San Alonso (he plans on using the fault line under the city as a weak point-of-attack to destroy the planet. The Freedom Five and Captain Cosmic arrive to see that some other heroes have already stepped up to fight him: Argent Adept, Fanatic, Haka, and Tempest.
- With all ten of these heroes against him, Infinitor is driven off again. The non-FF heroes comment on how well they worked together.
Episode 2.11 - "The Tides of Time" - 12/1/09
- La Capitan shows up and it's a standard "heroes have to fight her without their gear" story (as "standard" as a story can be when a time-traveling pirate shows up at least). Setback is here for this one too and proves integral to the heroes' victory as he somehow tricks La Capitan into thinking she needs to go back and steal their stuff earlier and so they wind up fighting a younger version of her. They manage to defeat this version soundly enough that she winds up thinking that it's not worth it to attack them, and so retroactively returning their gear. Time travel is complicated.
- Coda: Legacy goes to see Baron Blade again. Blade is more cruel in his comments than usual and Legacy loses his temper, slamming Blade against a wall with a threat about "killing him before he'll let him get out."
Episode 2.12 - "Iron Law, Part 1" - 12/8/09
- A time portal opens and a cowboy-looking guy with a futuristic gun, a metal arm, and a glowing badge steps through. He taps his badge and asks for direction to find "the varmint". CON tells him some coordinates and he sets off.
- We get some "day in the life" style vignettes of the Freedom Five intercut with Chrono-Ranger making his way through the city and eventually to the prison where Baron Blade is kept. The most notable of these is the one where Legacy's talking to his daughter about her one day being a hero in her own right and the family history, which hadn't been covered in the show to this point.
- Chrono-Ranger subdues the guards on the way into the prison with some time-manipulation tech and he works his way to Blade's cell. Jim isn't who Blade was expecting to see, but Jim simply says "I sentence you to death, partner."
Episode 2.13 - "Iron Law, Part 2" - 12/15/09
- This episode starts in some other future. Baron Blade (one with different facial scars than we're used to) is in battle with a bunch of heroes, but when he's confronted by Pauline Parsons (a few years older than we've seen her so far) he kills her by stabbing her with a laser blade. Then Legacy comes through the door and sees what's happened. He howls with rage and charges Blade, but the scene cuts before we actually see what happens.
- Montage of things like news headlines and establishing shots of buildings changing as the tyranny of Iron Legacy starts. Some people still oppose him, among these is Texas Ranger Jim Brooks. When he stands up to Iron Legacy, calling him out as not upholding justice and the law, but fear and tyranny, Legacy just rips off his arm, kills his compatriots and leaves him to die.
- He's rescued by the Visionary, who takes him back to a base with some other heroes who are fighting the good fight here (we see some Freedom Six members, but not all of them). Tachyon and Unity help fix him up with a robotic arm, and include some A.I. to help run it (and provide some intel) because they can't actually interface it with his nervous system.
- The plan is to have him go back to kill Baron Blade before he kills Legacy's daughter. The gear they give him also includes a device to bring him back as, if they're successful, the future will have changed and his reality will be gone, but it'll be like how Visionary went through time herself and wound up in a similar, but different reality [or something like this, it's hard to follow what they mean here]. Visionary then opens the portal and sends him through.
- Back in the "present" the Freedom Five were alerted to the problem at the prison and have arrived. Jim's trying to explain what needs to be done and they're trying to talk him out of it - that there's another way to handle it. Then another time portal opens and Iron Legacy emerges. "You cannot hope to escape justice."
Episode 2.14 - "Iron Law, Part 3" - 1/5/10
- Iron Legacy vs. the Freedom Five and Chrono-Ranger. It's intercut with scenes of IL taking on the heroes in the future as well and things go about as well for them as they do for the team in the present, which is poorly. We see him holding up a pretty-wrecked Visionary with him making her send him through time as well.
- At some point in here, CR decides that the easiest thing for him to do is to just kill Baron Blade as planned, but the fight has damaged the cell and the Baron has escaped. Jim follows, catching up to him just as Legacy does as well (giving another "justice vs. murder" speech). Then Iron Legacy catches up to them as well and we have the biggest slugfest of the show to this point between Legacy and Iron Legacy. The latter is ultimately victorious, and just as he's about to kill Blade himself Pauline shows up.
- The presence of his daughter here, alive, stops Iron Legacy in his tracks, dropping him to his knees in shock. While he's distracted, she takes in the situation, recognizes that this guy isn't her father and blasts him with her eye-beams. This knocks him back into Chrono-Ranger who wraps his metal arm around him, tips his hat ("Ma'am"), and then activates the badge to blip them both out of existence. Baron blade is recaptured.
- Coda: Jim returns to the future, but it's different than he remembers. "I guess it worked" (whatever "it" was - Iron Legacy isn't with him and we don't know exactly what's happened in the meantime). The city is bright and shining and everything seems great. In fact, there's a parade going on so he heads over to check out what the festivities are. It's in celebration of the glorious global leader - Baron Blade. Oops.
Episode 2.15 - "The Best Episode Ever" - 1/12/10
- It's the Guise episode. Has his standard origin story involving the Wager Master battle and falling piano. As soon as Joseph King becomes Guise he stops behaving like a character in a story and starts addressing the audience and animator (interacting with him via pencil and whatnot).
- Guise joins the fight against Wager Master and the heroes win. At the end, we get a freeze frame ending and Guise starts addressing the audience again about how now that's out of the way the show can go on to just be about him from now on and it'll be great. Then the animator's pencil comes in again and draws some tape over his mouth, muffling him. Despite him saying the show will be about him now, we don't see him again this season.
Episode 2.16 - "The Ruins of Atlantis" - 1/19/10
- The Cult of Gloom is working in the Ruins to summon Gloomweaver again (in the show, the Ruins of Atlantis are actually acting as a seal on the Realm of Discord). In the process, they accidentally let through a Balarian - they quickly banish it out of the Ruins to keep it out of their way.
- Balarian winds up attacking Athens and the heroes come to fight it. When they do enough damage to it, it's banished entirely and retreats to its home place of existence, and the most direct way back there is through the portal it came through, so the heroes are able to trace the energy signature back to its source, where they find the Ruins.
- Some exploration, finding all of these interesting techno-magic things around, and eventually the Cult. There's a fight (one cultist takes control of the Kraken to attack the heroes), but the cult is eventually driven off before the place floods. The heroes get a glimpse of Gloomweaver's eye looking through the closing portal, along with what look to be some strange relics that were also getting drawn through to this side.
- Coda: we see one of the escaping cultists managed to retain a copy of The Fabric of Despair.
Episode 2.17 - "Red Star" - 1/26/10
- Proletariat visits the Freedom Five - he needs their help. One of Legacy's old foes, Iron Curtain, is going to blow up the decommissioned Yakutsk nuclear plant. The heroes figure this could be a trick, but can't risk it and so accompany him. When they arrive it turns out to be a trap, but one for Proletariat as well - he wasn't in on the plan, Iron Curtain counted on him going to the heroes. He captures them all and sets the reactor to overload.
- Proletariat manages to get free. He sets some clones to freeing the heroes and sends another to shut down the reactor, this one is visibly weakened as he's subjected to the radiation.
- Once free, the heroes fight and defeat Iron Curtain and the city is saved.
- Coda: Proletariat is mournfully reabsorbing his clones after the fight. When he gets to the irradiated one, he's still able to absorb it, but he cries out in pain as ripples of energy run through him.
Episode 2.18 - "Aid to the Stars" - 2/2/10
- A alien (like a blue crystalline person) from the planet Vdronix appears in Megalopolis. Word of the Freedom Five has reached his planet and they need help. The Celestial Tribunal is going to judge and destroy the planet as it does all that it comes to. The heroes agree and they're teleported to Vdronix.
- There's a lot of fighting with robots, at first on the ground and then on the sword/ship of the Celestial Tribunal itself. Eventually they do enough damage that the ship retreats from the planet, with the heroes still aboard.
- This starts a multi-episode arc of the Freedom Five in Space! - up to this point the show had been fairly episodic, with little in the way of continuity between episodes beyond the stories that happened to be told over a few episodes. This is somewhat in response to criticism along those lines.
Episode 2.19 - "Orbital Oppression" - 2/9/10
- The heroes are still on the Celestial Tribunal, and don't know where it's headed, but they have spotted a nearby inhabited moon that they decide to teleport over to instead. Turns out that the moon is a slave-based mining operation run by Rahazar. The heroes are captured, fitted with power-dampening collars and are conscripted to work as well.
- They wind up starting a revolt and, along with some other slaves (including a rather tall one, a head taller than Legacy, named Portja) manage to escape. They want to return to Earth, but nobody knows where that is, but Portja might have some contacts back on her home planet that could help.
- Coda: the Adjudicator on the Celestial Tribunal is at a helm and is looking at a chart of the Milky Way galaxy.
Episode 2.20 - "Thorathian War, Part 1" - 2/16/10
- They arrive at Dok'Thorath. They've managed to get the collars off and Portja is explaining the political situation (and insurgent war between some rebels and the armies led by one Grand Warlord Voss). She'd been working with the rebels and, when she was caught, she was sent to the mines as a slave. They meed up with Portja's rebel friends, and one of their tech people thinks the Quantum Drive Translocator that the military uses to transport troops could theoretically get them home.
- At that moment, the base is raided by some military forces led by Lieutenant Vyktor. He recognizes Portja and makes a comment about how he should have killed her last time. The presence of the Freedom Five manages to drive them back, but not before Portja is captured.
Episode 2.21 - "Thorathian War, Part 2" - 2/23/10
- The Freedom Five and some rebels are infiltrating a military base to save Portja. We also learn the blue/red differences between Thorathians (which is the same as in the comics) and how important Portja is to them, not just in that her powers are useful but because having a few powered Thorathians on their side gives some legitimacy to their efforts. They find and release Portja, who grows to several times her normal size and starts fighting the military - this should be enough of a distraction to get them to the QDT to get home.
- As they're trying to get it figured out, Vyktor enters and pushes a button, causing the equipment to explode. The fighting continues and eventually they make it to some ships and the heroes escape (the rebels recognizing that while they could use the help, if they're going to escape, now is the time to do so).
Episode 2.22 - "Stellar Piracy" - 3/2/10
- Kind of a filler episode. As they're flying towards Earth they get hailed by another ship that's trying to act like some official port authority and demand that they're allowed to board the ship. When they do so it turns out to be Greazer and some space pirate cronies. Greazer is not pleased to see the heroes again, figuring that it should have just been some regular Thorathian troops who would have been easier pickings. There's a fight, Greazer loses and he and his crew are left in a disabled ship.
Episode 2.23 - "Impounded" - 3/9/10
- As they approach Earth, they are stopped by F.I.L.T.E.R. who say they can't bring this sort of tech back to Earth. They meet Sergeant Steel and Paige Huntly, jerk space-cops. Basically they make some excuse to impound the ship and hold onto the heroes for now. Alone, Steel mentions to Huntly that they need to do something to get rid of these heroes as they'll be getting in their way - vent them out an airlock or something. Paige objects, but Steel repeats that those are the orders.
- She radios back to F.I.L.T.E.R. HQ for confirmation and is in the middle of hearing that they hadn't authorized any such action when the comms are cut and Steel comes in with a line about knowing that she wouldn't follow orders and locks her up too. He sends the rest of the team to take out the heroes (we met them in episode 1.21, they're Becky Blast, Adhesivist, Radioactivist, and Equity). The Freedom Five fight back, Wraith manages to get the drop on Sergeant Steel himself, breaking the helmet he's wearing. When that's broken he starts acting like he doesn't know what's going on and appears to be a few weeks out of date.
- F.I.L.T.E.R. personnel show up, lock up Steel, free the heroes and Paige, but do wind up impounding the ship as that really would be disruptive tech, but let them head to Earth. Paige will be keeping an eye on things as something weird is happening.
- Coda: they return to Freedom Tower to find... themselves there, although acting very "stereotypical" for themselves. Then a very harried Unity comes in relieved that the heroes are back and she orders the robots to go do something else. She'd made replacements to try to keep things running, but things have gotten bad in their absence.
Episode 2.24 - "Wish You Were Here" - 3/16/10
- This is a series of vignettes about what's been going on in the meantime. It's sort of a fun madcap story about Young Legacy and Unity (and the latter's robots with Unity trying to cover for their shortcomings in terms of replacing the real heroes). It ranges from stopping regular crime to dealing with Kismet, a big heist featuring Ermine and Fright Train, another Glamour encounter, etc.
- Coda: Baron Blade's cell. Very similar to the first Coda with a figure coming to see him. This time the cell door opens. Blade says "Enjoy your stay" and walks out, replaced by a Baron Blade duplicate.
Episode 2.25 - "Revenants" - 3/23/10
- Ambuscade has put together a team called the Slaughterhouse Six (Ray Manta, Desert Eagle, and the Hippo [with the tech upgrades we saw in the movie] along with newcomers Re-Volt and Argentium). They're doing a smash-and-grab job from a RevoCorp factory to get more upgrades. There's a long sequence of them fighting with RevoCorp security, which includes Revenant drones (humanoid robots except that instead of a face, their heads are just big green lights). Ray Manta eventually takes control of these drones.
- Then the Freedom Five arrives and starts fighting everybody - the Slaughterhouse Six and this seemingly endless army of drones. Keep in mind that earlier in the season Ambuscade took out the whole team on his own, but the element of surprise helped there a lot. The heroes eventually prevail and this time they manage to capture all of the villains. RevoCorp is very grateful for the heroes' assistance.
- Coda: a group of broken/shut down Revenant drones are shown. One turns on, looks up at the camera, then it's headlight flicks off and then back on red.
Episode 2.26 - "Judgement Day" - 3/30/10
- The Celestial Tribunal arrives at Earth and Executioner bots start rounding up "defendants". The Adjudicator bot finds the Freedom Five and greets them. They may choose how the planet will be judged, each individual can be tried on their own or they can send one representative of Earth to stand for the whole planet. It's clear that either of these is just going to result in everybody getting killed regardless.
- Legacy is the obvious choice, great, that should be no problem as he's the best guy ever. No, the heroes don't get to pick the representative. The Tribunal chooses Ryan Frost.
- Big courtroom scene with AZ giving a dramatic speech about the people of Earth and the heroism of its people (intercut with bits from prior episode of this show, the movie, and the other shows that have been going on at the same time) and their capacity for good and compassion. It's a major character moment for AZ, not just as a big speech from somebody who doesn't talk a lot, but from somebody who's basically been shown as a misanthrope to some extent. The Celestial Tribunal winds up suspending judgement, but they'll be watching.
- [Starts at around 1:44:20 - it's from Ansel G. Moreau with Adam doing a fun French accent] How did Ambuscade sound in the show? Surely not a cartoonishly bad French accent, right? His accent was very cartoonish. He was also in a few episodes acting very competent, though, so surely that counts for something.
- What are some Easter Eggs in the animation for the die-hard fans out there? Lots of background gags (characters you might recognize). Basically the whole Guise episode was this. Then there's Paige Huntly's appearance where she's not K.N.Y.F.E. (or at least isn't identified as such). A lot of the episode titles are references. Then of course there's the red blinking eye, but there's arguably a difference between Easter Eggs and teasing/foreshadowing. There are some particular ones to call out: the first episode of this season has a power plant that's branded as Conteh Energy, in the third the alley that Wraith collapses in has some graffiti of a well-known red mask, and in the La Capitan episode, the portals that she and her crew come through show glimpses of different time periods which include locations one might recognize, but also characters like the Golden Age Legacy and Captain Cosmic.
- What minor detail changes caused uproar in the fandom? The biggest was the change to Chrono-Ranger. Iron Legacy's story was very truncated as well, as it would have to be (they could spend a whole season on it, but it'd be too dark). Another likely candidate would be Ambuscade casually taking out the Freedom Five (pretty good version of the kind of rant it would be from Christopher at about 1:53:10). The one Christopher agrees with the most but which was necessary was Portja's - in the comics she's a very "fun" character and that personality was lost in the translation while keeping the rebel backstory and she winds up very serious. There's just not enough time to establish her personality.
- [Letter from Todd Lito at 1:55:28, complete with old time radio effects] Does this show cross the divide between generations? Kids and young adults watch it, some people into their 30s or 40s might watch it, then viewership quickly falls off. It's aimed at the 18-34 demographic, but there's a big enough younger viewership to drag the primary range down to something like 12-24. When this is a show that the whole family is gathering to watch, it's probably a younger family. There are shows in this phase that have a tighter demographic range as they cut out the lower end of the age range, but more on that in a bit.
- Are you likely to ever publish anything having to deal with the animated universe? Ok, so in theory C&A could make comics as that's something the two of them could probably manage. Could they make an animated show? Not likely (it would be even more work). There are people who are faster than Adam at animation but it's still time consuming. If some serious production thing (not some fly-by-night operation) came to them wanting to make this happen, they would be up for it, though.
- Last time we talked about the animated series, it was teased that in Phase 2 we'd be getting Prime Wardens and Dark Watch shows as well - how did the animation team keep up with 3 concurrent shows? Was the animation style consistent between them? There's some style continuity, but there were different animation studios working on each show (or even multiple studios working on different episodes of a single show, this is common even in real life). With computer assisted animation these days it's also easier to stay on-model for characters. The Prime Wardens and Freedom Five shows were kept fairly similar in animation style, while Dark Watch was grittier.
- Besides the movies, how much cross-over is there between the series? A bit - there's more in the PW and DW shows, but the FF show had mostly just a few cameos here and there. The movies are the main event for crossovers as that was largely the point.
- After Phase 2 are there any major Villains that haven't been seen yet? If so, were there further plans to introduce them? Yes and yes.
- Did Phase 2 introduce characters that were then imported back into the comics? Doctor Demikahv was introduced up top as the lizard researcher who was definitely not up to anything shady.
- How well did the shows and movies do, commercially? The movies did better than the show, but the all did well. Once the movies started coming out you'd even get theaters doing marathons of the show. It's also worth pointing out that animated shows like this aren't judged based on their viewership ratings, but on their toy sales, which were great. Sentinel Comics are a huge cultural touchstone in the publishing meta-verse and the toys that accompanied this project were the best-quality ones that had ever been produced for these characters. It was a Big Deal. They also timed releases well so that new characters would hit the toy shelves around the time they were introduced in the shows.
- Were people getting overwhelmed by the amount of content to watch with three concurrent shows? There's less to keep up with than there is with some examples of real life, so it's manageable (maximum of three 22-minute episodes a week during the brief period where all three are airing at once). And not every show was even aimed at everybody The least watched was Dark Watch which was also the most "real" and violent, so they might pick up a market segment that the others wouldn't while losing out on the kids. If you can't watch them all, though, they're also all built to be self-contained enough that you don't have to watch everything to make sense of it.
- Do any of the heroes (team members or not) ever get a solo show? Time will tell on that.
- Were there any decisions that caused continuity problems with the other shows (like a Villain appearing in one after having already been dealt with in another)? No, they were pretty tight on continuity. There was one exception - one early PW episode (early 2010) has the Freedom Five show up to help, but that was during their off-world adventures. This was partly explained later by Unity's Freedom Bots.
- Were there any crossovers with animated shows outside of Sentinel Comics properties? Yes, but not of this series. The Lazer Ryderz cartoon crossed over with stuff in the '80s and there were definitely things like this in the '60s, but this show was very much designed to be their own thing. The one exception was that there were some advertisements in this time period that featured the characters, but it was more them interacting with the "real world" and [the products](https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DeliciousFruitPies) rather than with other animation properties.
- Are there any famous crossovers n other media, like with a popular video game company's roster of characters? How about video games in general? The most notable was a fighting game made by Sai-Pro (a Japanese company) that did a lot of different genres. They got a bunch of their characters and Sentinels characters together and designed fighting levels based on locations from both company's properties. This game was Sai-Pro Sentinels Smash and was a big arcade hit and had a whole line of titles. They even got some of the voice actors from the cartoons to voice the Sentinels characters too (and the characters were closer to the animated versions than to the comics, although there were alternate skins that would be closer to the comics appearances). Sai-Pro had long been the one to make licensed Sentinel Comics games as well.
- Future as in the rest of Phase 2 in the podcast: they had meant to do the whole of Phase 2 here, but it's been over two hours just to do the second season of Freedom Five, so they want to do another episode for the other two shows (13 episodes each) and the two movies (around May and July of 2010 - the first more of a Prime Wardens thing and the second the Freedom Five), so please vote for that topic Patreon members!
- Future as in Phase 3: at least 4 shows and at least 2 movies, but they still need to iron all of that out. At least one show in this phase has 2 whole seasons in this phase. Just a ton of stuff, so this would be at least another 3 or 4 podcasts. So if they wind up doing Phase 3 here, it's unlikely to be as in-depth, episode by episode.
- September is finally OblivAeon month. First a multiverse recap episode, then Scions, then two OblivAeon episodes. The first should be spoiler-free, but not the rest if you haven't gotten your OblivAeon set yet and want to check it out first.