Podcasts/Episode 81

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The Letters Page: Episode 81

Original Source

Primary Topic

The Multiverse

Intro

Let's talk about... EVERYTHING.

Show Notes:

Run Time: 3:03:21

This episode is the most info-dump episode we've ever done, but it's all gotta get out there. We're doing a lot of connecting the dots between stories we've told across all of the episodes leading up to this one. But there's still lots of story to be found here!

We jump right into it, digging in hard to the year by year of Sentinel Comics, since the beginning of the Golden Age.

Not really a lot to say in the show notes that we're not saying in the episode - we go through it all! You're just going to have to listen to find out more!

After 2 grueling hours and 16 arduous minutes of overview, we finally get to your questions.

As promised just after the 2 hour and 49 minute mark: Brian, here's that cover!

We have a brief future segment around the 2 hour and 56 minute mark, and then proceed on to a brief closing, including name reading. This month is just getting started, and it's already heavy stuff!

Thanks for listening!

Characters Mentioned

Summary

Overview

  • They can’t possibly go into detail for every issue of every comic. They’re going to be going decade-by-decade and telling us what major events happened when and in what order. Also: when new titles start, when limited series or one-shot issues come up, when things end, etc. By no means are they going to mention all the comics that the company produced, only the ones that are notable for the stories we’re telling here.
  • [They also mock the idea of us making our own spreadsheets based on this episode and that we shouldn’t do so. Jokes on them; I’ve already got one that I’ve been building this whole time (so I’ll be providing dates even when they don’t, although there are times for things like a few Annuals or limited series and one-shots that I have to approximate).]

1940s

  • May ’40: While the company had been publishing various things prior to this, the Golden Age of Sentinel Comics begins in 1940 with the creation of the first superhero/superhero comic: Justice Comics #1 starring Paul Parsons VII as Legacy.
  • January ’41: Cosmic Tales #1, Ray Talbot as Captain Cosmic.
  • June ’41: JC #14, Corporal Vernon Carter, later retconned to have been part of what became the Ironclad Project and therefore can be considered an early version of Bunker.
  • September ’41: Frontier Tales #1, a Western title (rather than superheroes). This specific title isn’t really relevant to the rest of this episode - it’s mainly notable for introducing Jim Brooks.
  • November ’41: JC #19, Henry Goodman, the original Absolute Zero.
  • December ’41: JC #20, Fyodor Ramonat - “The Blade of Fascism”
  • Not a lot of specific landmarks for a while - just Legacy doing his wartime stuff and Captain Cosmic having his adventures (see the Legacy Supplement and Cosmic Tales episodes for details).
  • August ’43: JC #40, Death of Fyodor Ramonat
  • November ’44: JC #55, first hero team-up with Legacy and Vernon Carter working together (implicitly acknowledging that these characters shared a setting).
  • February ’45: JC #58, Proletariat is a hero in his debut.
  • May ’45: JC #61, Baron Blade, the first “super villain” of Sentinel Comics (up to this point the bad guys had been crime lords, weapons manufacturers, enemy soldiers, etc. - now we’ve got costumed super-villainy).
  • August ’46: Mystery Comics #1, The Scholar.
  • September ’46: JC #77, Paul Parsons VIII.
  • April ’47: JC #84, The Chairman (playing off the zeitgeist of gangsters like Al Capone - we get this “crime lord” type villain, but a notable one who sticks around for the long-term).
  • September ’47: Arcane Tales #1 - it’s a “freak of the week” type book with monsters and whatnot.
  • June ’48: AT #10, Thomas and Faye Diamond.
  • There are some creative shake-ups at Sentinel Comics as new people are brought on-board who have different ideas.
  • September ’48: JC #101, the death of Legacy at the hands of Baron Blade.
  • October ’48: JC #102, Paul Parsons VIII as Legacy (new hero for a new generation) and introduction of Iron Curtain. MC #27, The Wraith (somebody to be something of a contemporary for Legacy, but a different type of hero). AT #14, Haka (a central character for this title to be a point of reference for the weird stories in it). Tome of the Bizarre #1, like AT at first it isn’t a superhero book, but later it becomes one.

1950s

  • May ’50: The Freedom Four #1 - not yet a team-up book. It’s an anthology book with separate stories for each of the four heroes: Legacy, The Wraith, Absolute Zero, and The Shrieker (introduced here).
  • January ’51: JC #129, Black Fist. JC will feature him frequently as the star of the back-up story.
  • December ’51: MC #65, Ermine.
  • April ’52: FF #24, first team-up of the titular heroes for the first Thorathian invasion.
  • August ’52: JC #148, first “official” Bunker suit.
  • November ’52: The Indestructible Bunker #1, Tyler Vance. Despite earlier JC appearance of a Bunker suit, in this first issue (in the Korean War) Vance is still more of a tank driver. These are more “war stories” than “superhero” comics.
  • July ’54: AT #83, Ra (in his original appearance type of “fighting monsters and setting them on fire”).
  • September ’54: MC #98, Maniac Jack.
  • April ’55: FF #60, officially now The Freedom Five with the addition of Haka to the team to aid flagging sales of the title, which works for a time. [retcons earlier statement that issue #63 was this change]
  • June ’55: JC #182, birth of Pauline Felicia Parsons.
  • February ’56: FF #70, Kaargra Warfang and the Bloodsworn Colosseum.
  • July ’57: FF #87, last issue of the original lineup.
  • August ‘57: Freedom Four Annual #1, Tachyon as a powered hero. FF #88, title relaunches as Freedom Four again with the team of Legacy, Wraith, Tachyon, and Bunker. Sentinel Comics’ Silver Age begins.
  • April ’58: FF #96, Proletariat as a villain.
  • August ’58: FFA #2, Ryan Frost as Absolute Zero and The Matriarch introduced, FF becomes Freedom Five again with #100. For the sake of keeping things lined up, this month also sees JC #220 [and MC #145, AT #132].
  • October ’58: FF #102, Omnitron, but not as the giant rampaging robot factory we know and love, but just a robot that they fight that has this name. There being an autonomous robot of any sort was kind of impressive in the ’50s.
  • January ’59: TotB #1, Biomancer. The first volume faded away around the end of the Golden Age [if it ended the same month as the last issue of the original FF lineup, it would have been issue #106]. It’s now more connected to the rest of the shared setting than the prior version had been.
  • August ’59: FFA #3, Aminia Twain and the name “Megalopolis” for the setting city (as well as things like the monorail and the mayor as a recurring supporting cast member). Story involved the team fighting Iron Curtain.

1960s

  • May ’60: TotB vol. 2 #17, Plague Rat.
  • July ’60: JC #243, Wagner Mars Base (part of a trend in looking at space exploration more seriously [Sputnik 1 was launched in ’57 and the selection of the first seven American astronauts was in April ’59], the first Soviet attempt to launch something to Mars happened a few months later “but America got there first in comics”).
  • January ’62: JC #261, Grand Warlord Voss vs. Legacy. FF #141, FF team vs. Thorathians. The first multi-title crossover event.
  • June ’62: MC #191, Tony Taurus as Wraith’s stories start to get more supporting cast members and the city gets more flavor.
  • August ’62: FFA #6, NightMist, GloomWeaver, the Cult of Gloom as a group with distinct goals (rather than their appearance as just a random group of cultists in TotB to this point). FFA has so far really been annual, coming out every year in August since the first one.
  • May/June ’63: FF #157-8, FF tricked by Gene-bound, trip to space, trapped by Voss (story in the Voss episode).
  • April ’64: AT ends at issue #200. Ra had still been this violent character that people didn’t like, so they ended his book. It was marketed as “The Death of Ra”, but it was really Blake Washington just saying enough was enough and resolving to no longer use the Ra persona.
  • May ’64: MC #214, Spite (because if you cancel Ra’s book because he was violent and unlikable, Spite’s the perfect character to introduce the next month). He’s not as bad here as he’d become in the ’80s, but he’s still pretty bad for the day.
  • October ’64: FF #174, Wager Master (in a multi-issue introductory story).
  • December ’64: The Rebirth of Ra One-Shot, the first such comic.
  • January ’65: Arcane Tales vol. 2 #1, a retooled version of the title with Ra headlining again. Pulpy, fun adventures in archaeology rather than just burning monsters all the time. Blake Washington Jr. gets significant screen-time now.
  • April ’65: Stranger in a Strange World #1, Tempest and the Maerynians - more info in the Tempest episode. [Note from the future - based on statements below regarding when issue #30 was published and detail in episode 150 regarding when issue #20 was published, I am assuming at this point that March 1965 was when issue #1 came out, which pushes the dates for #3, 6, 9, and 10 below up a month as well. The crossover with Cosmic Tales #300 still works out, just being in the same month as issue #10 instead.]
  • June ’65: SiaSW #3, Borr the Butcher.
  • September ’65: SiaSW #6, F.I.L.T.E.R. (which had been around in spy books earlier, but this is their introduction into the superhero world).
  • December ’65: SiaSW #9, CT #300 - Tempest/Voss story crosses over between titles. Concludes in SiaSW #10 the following month.
  • March ’66: IB #161, focus changes tone when Bunker goes to Vietnam. The storytelling is a bit disjointed as he’s not presented as being on the Freedom Five and in Vietnam at the same time (like, jumping between the two sets of actions every month or whatever), but both stories are canonical if that makes sense.
  • January ’67: FF #201, Citizen Dawn introduced.
  • February ’67: FF #202, the Dawn story told in her episode where she takes over city hall and whatnot.
  • August ’67: SiaSW #30, final issue [point of order: if April ’65 was issue 1, issue 30 would be in September ’67]
  • September ’67: Citizens Hammer and Anvil introduced - C&A are too busy with their “these guys are the best” shtick to actually say what comic that this was in - this month has JC 329, which could be a correction from the FF #239 listed in their video game bio. [Note from the future: episode 150 clarifies that they appeared this month in FF #209.]
  • April-September ’68: Moonfall #1-6, the first limited series (this is a 6-issue one). This is the Terralunar Impulsion Beam plot modeled by Baron Blade’s original deck.
  • October ’68: CT #335, final issue.
  • June ’69: IB #200, final issue - the “war stories” thing wasn’t going as well in the Vietnam era. Notable that Legacy was the first Legacy to have not fought in the relevant war for his era.

1970s

  • The ’70s represent something of a renaissance for Sentinel Comics as we start to have a crop of good writers who grew up reading the things and choose to go into comics and have ideas for new directions to take things.
  • February ’70, Battle Unending #1, Haka finally gets his own title. At first it’s the familiar “Haka fights things” stories, but it gets into the more nuanced stuff eventually.
  • March ’70, Conflux (meant to be a one-shot) introduces the modern Captain Cosmic and Infinitor, but it serves as a set-up for Cosmic Tales vol. 2 #1 and the ongoing adventures of the new CC (and then Tempest stories as well).
  • September ’70: BU #8, The Hippo (a new character referencing a cartoony, anthropomorphic animal comics character published by Sentinel Comics mentioned in the Live from Gen Con 51 episode).
  • March ’71: Conflux #2, the first one was popular enough to make the title an annual one.
  • September ’71: BU #20, final issue.
  • October ’71: FF #258, Mad Bomber Blade.
  • December ’71: JC #380, last issue (for a while) due to lawsuit with rival comics company - talked about in the Legacy Supplement Issue
  • January ’72: America’s Finest Legacy #1, launched to replace JC in the meantime. First book to have a title referring specifically to Legacy.
  • April ’72: TotB vol. 2 #160, Haka becomes lead character for the title (although it remains an anthology book).
  • October ’72: FF #270, Glamour, who will become more important as time goes on. The writer liked the Shrieker and thought the character had been shortchanged, so he brought her back.
  • There’s a new writer hired who is extremely prolific and creates a lot of new stuff - I’ll call him [X].
  • December ’72-April ’73: Toll of Destiny #1-5 limited series, [X] creates Anthony Drake/Argent Adept.
  • April ’73: AT vol. 2 #100, final issue of this Ra-centric book. The replacement of JC by AFL created the realization that people would respond well to character-titled books.
  • May ’73: Virtuoso of the Void #1 to replace the ToD limited series. Ra: God of the Sun #1 replaces AT. “At the same time” [said just after the Ra book launch discussion, so I assume it goes here] we get The Curse #1-5 limited Series, [X] creates The Master, Xian Niu and an expanded NightMist’s backstory. Issue #5 was the first appearance of Man-Grove. NightMist becomes a headliner over in TotB after this as well.
  • October ’73-February ’74: The Fabric of Despair #1-5 limited series, [X] does the reinvention of the Cult of Gloom and GloomWeaver to complement his treatment of NightMist that he just finished, Cult Leader Massey and Ophidia.
  • March-July ’74: Vagabond’s Tale #1-5 limited series, [X] does likewise with The Scholar.
  • April ’74: VotV #12, Akash'Bhuta.
  • June ’74: FF #290, Fright Train (while Steven Graves had been around in IB for a while prior to this).
  • September ’74: MC #338, Fanatic.
  • May ’75: Fanatic #1, she gets her own title as the break-out character of the era.
  • June ’75: Fanatic #2, the Idolater.
  • In the early-300s of FF [#300 was April ’75 for reference], we get kind of a slow-burn presaging the return of Omnitron. We get stuff like little drone robots, odd programming causing problems, and whatnot. This leads to…
  • April ’76: FF #312, first appearance of Super Scientific Tachyon who’s been studying all of this stuff. This leads directly to Singularity #1 this same month, kicking off the event that Omnitron’s original deck models - this limited series runs 8 issues.
  • July ’76: Legacy’s Independence Day Spectacular one-shot (released on July 4 [a Sunday rather than the traditional Wednesday for new comics]).
  • October ’76: Singularity #7, Omnitron-X appears (and then disappears once Omnitron is defeated [presumably in the next issue as the Electro Pulse Explosive card quotes the FF issue that came out in November]). First significant time-travel story.
  • December ’76-May ’77: FF #320-5, Grand Warlord Voss is back, this is where we get his backstory and info on the Thorathian armada and everything. This story and the one in the ’80s both kind of are what the card game is modeling. Tamar is introduced in FF #321 with Vyktor in #322. Some crossovers with MC in this time as well. Story culminates in the revelation of the first Gene-Bound Maerynian.
  • May ’77: Fanatic #25, Apostate
  • October ’77: Fanatic #30, end of this first Apostate arc with Fanatic returning as her Redeemer version. First major costume change for a hero.
  • The FFA title had kind of stopped being literally annual after #6 in ’62. We get FFA #7 in here somewhere, though, which is a Freedom Four Annual as it’s a flashback story with Tachyon telling AZ about an early adventure for the team. The writers are trying to flesh out the characters as people a bit more and this is kind of trying to draw AZ out of his misanthropy a bit.
  • August ’79: TotB #248, Bugbear introduced and fights Haka. They’re both big burly dudes who heal easily, so they make good opponents for one another.

1980s

  • March ’80: Conflux #11, the final such annual of this title.
  • People had been expressing displeasure in the direction that MC had been going (for example, while the ’70s introduced “Rook City” as a concept and fleshed out a lot of how the city would be depicted, it also introduced seemingly out-of-place stuff like Fanatic). As a result:
  • April ’80: MC #405 is the last issue of the first run of the title. Fanatic #60, final issue.
  • May ’80: MC vol. 2 #1-2, starts it up again as a twice-a-month title. From here we get the convention of one issue a month will be about the Wraith and the other will be about assorted other Rook City stories. TotB #257, Haka stops being the lead and it becomes an anthology-style thing again. FFA #8 is a Spite story. Absolution #1 launches to replace Fanatic (the main point of doing so is to move the focus from the smiting/judgement aspect of the character to having more focus on the character’s faith following her transition to the Redeemer aspect after the Apostate thing).
  • That’s a lot of shakeups; here’s a rundown of everything being published as of May ’80: CT vol. 2 #123, RGotS #85, MC vol. 2 #1-2 (now twice-a-month), FF #361, FFA #8 (occasional, but ongoing), TotB vol. 2 #257, AFL #101, VotV #85, Absolution #1,
  • September ’80: RGotS #89, the “bad version” of the Ennead story.
  • March ’81: MC vol. 2 #21, Expatriette introduced as this “hero killer” character (part of a trend of dark/gritty stories in this period across the board). She goes for like a year in MC as a main feature without really getting a backstory.
  • July ’82: Emigrant’s Song #1. This limited series tells Expat’s backstory as told in her and Citizen Dawn’s episodes.
  • August ’83: Prelude of the Soulless one-shot, a retcon to tie together the characters of Maniac Jack and Spite, this is where the character of Spite gets really bad.
  • September ’83: Rook City Renegades #1, the non-Wraith MC issues had been introducing a lot of other Rook City characters (minor heroes/villains, anti-heroes, etc.), many of whom had gotten some traction with the readership. RCR was started as a variety book to just kind of dwell on Rook City and all of the awfulness going on there. While the Chairman had been around for a long time, here is where we start to see the Organization developed in a form we’d recognize.
  • September ’83-May[?] ’84 Abomination of Desolation limited series #1, Spite doing terrible things (involving him getting the drugs to augment himself more than just murdering people). This story crosses over into both MC and RCR and is full of violence (this story is where he kills Sara Scott and Eduardo López [the “Oops” quote is from RCR #6 in February]).
  • April ’84: FF #408, Cosmic Omnitron, a short story, just the one issue to set up Parse’s backstory next month and to get the idea out there that hey, there’s this weird cosmic stuff going on out there somewhere.
  • May ’84: MC vol. 2 #97-8, Parse introduced early in the month as this person who’s dangerous to heroes and villains. In MC #98 she shows up in the Wraith/Spite conflict and kills Spite.
  • July ’84: AFL #151, Pauline Felicia Parsons saves her school and gains her powers [in an earlier episode it’s also mentioned that here’s where she decides to go by Felicia instead of Pauline].
  • March ’85: The Best Book limited series #1, Guise. Joseph King has been around for a while Ha! What a Joke! [wait, what? oh no…], but now he shows up here and gets powers.
  • May ’85: TBB #3, Cueball.
  • The first three issues of Hero in the Arena happen around here (“a couple of months” after TBB started), introduces Sky-Scraper, the character eventually known as Greazer Clutch, the modern understanding of how the Colosseum operates (think “pro wrestling” rather than “Roman gladiators”) gets set up here, good times.
  • June ’85: FF #422, The Visionary. FFA #9 continues story, time travel stuff. In retrospect, this is kind of the beginning of what becomes known as the Shattering of the Timelines. NightMist #1, she finally gets her own book (and this is where we get those “writers doing cool and interesting stuff with her” thing that her episode talked about).
  • July-December ’85: New Memories #1-6 limited series with Visionary arriving, making sense of the world she finds herself in, and that something weird is going on with the timelines.
  • August September ’85-July ’87: A Day in the Life, an every-other-month title for a while that tells a more mundane story for a new character each issue. In order: Legacy, Wraith, Bunker, Tachyon, Absolute Zero, Haka, Ra, NightMist, Tempest, Argent Adept, Fanatic, Expatriette. [They said that the first was in August ’85 and the last in July ’87, but the timeline doesn’t work for that: for it to work out properly it was September ’85 to start, or June ’87 to end, or there was a missed month in there somewhere. Note from the future: later episodes imply that the start month is September.] Expat’s issue is the first real “humanizing” story for her.
  • November ’85: AFL #167, first appearance of Young Legacy in costume (not even a big story for her, it’s just kind of a coda to a normal Legacy story where she’s home alone just having put on the costume to look at herself in the mirror with a “Someday…”).
  • December ’85: VotV #152, final issue (AA defeated by Akash’Bhuta). Absolution #68, final issue.
  • January ’86: Mother Earth one-shot. Prime Wardens #1 (note that Fanatic is still Redeemer-mode at this time, everybody else in their “standard” costumes). First PW arc is the big Akash’Bhuta story that culminates in…
  • June ’86: MC vol. 2 #145, introduction of Mr. Fixer (already fighting Zhu Long and general crime in Rook City). Mister Fixer one-shot that tells his backstory. [The math doesn’t work for this - they say in a minute that the twice-a-month publishing ends in December of this year with #159 and 160, which tracks with the start date of vol. 2, but this means that #145 would have to have been in May instead of June.] [Note from the future: Episode 150 reiterates that the introduction of Mr. Fixer was, in fact, in May rather than June.]
  • July ’86: FFA #10, The all-hands fight against Akash’Bhuta that her deck models and is the most ambitious cross-over event to date, first (completely unexplained) appearance of Chrono-Ranger. [The Prime Wardens episode said that FFA #10 was the same month as PW #6 which would have been in June, I can see this working in that PW #6 was late in the month and FFA #10 was early in the following one.]
  • December ’86: MC vol. 2 #159-160 are the last twice-a-week issues.
  • December ’86-February ’87: FF #440-#442 and AFL #180-182, Voss “Invasion Day” story, Legacy out of commission for a while, Felicia steps up as Young Legacy until he recovers and they fight side-by-side. JC #381 marks the return of the title in February as part of the story. This arc sets up the dynamic of the Parsons family for the next few decades of publication with the understanding that Paul isn’t going to be doing this forever and Felicia will have to find her place as a hero.
  • April ’87: Disparation #1, it starts as a quarterly title - the first issue, coming out shortly after the resolution of the Voss invasion is about a world where Voss won. See episode 62 for more about the title in general.
  • November ’87: Mind Over Matter #1, Visionary gets her own book.
  • February ’88: TotB vol. 2 #350, final issue of this volume.
  • March ’88: The Time Cataclysm one-shot. A bunch of time travel stuff, introduces The Final Wasteland and tells more of Chrono-Ranger’s story as well as introducing CON and what’s going on with Haka here.
  • April ’88: TotB vol. 3 #1 relaunches it. The Savage Haka #1 (an intentionally ironic name) gives him a solo title again, this issue also introduces Ambuscade. With Haka in this and over in PW, they wanted to revitalize TotB by relaunching it.
  • August ’88: The Trial of Baron Blade one-shot, [discussed briefly in Episode 3] Baron Blade baits the heroes into attacking him by setting up a “doomsday device” that doesn’t do anything, they put him on trial, and he’s exonerated (the plan to get the public to lose faith in the heroes).
  • September ’88: AFL #201, first appearance of Iron Legacy. Visionary had been talking about the Legacy of her timeline who was this harsh guy. Then Iron Legacy shows up who’s worse.
  • October ’88: The Fall of Legacy one-shot that tells the story of Iron Legacy. Introduces the idea of a reality numbering system to keep track of things (which hasn’t been mentioned to us up to this point).
  • December ’88: NightMist #43, GloomWeaver fight that included Visionary had been going on. This is where Vis had gone into the telekinetic cocoon and emerged as Dark Visionary, casually banishing GW back to the Realm of Discord after he’d almost made it across. This coincides with MOM #14 - so over a year’s worth of Visionary’s book was setup for her to become this more sinister character.
  • April ’89: Out of Time limited series #1, K.N.Y.F.E. as that persona.
  • May ’89: MC vol. 2 #189, Operative introduced (well, the one in the game, Boris “The Bear” Sokolov had been the previous operative as mentioned in episode 11).
  • July ’89: OoT #4, Sergeant Steel.
  • October ’89: Greazer #1, gives this character who we’d see in various Kaargra stories a name and his own story/title. See episode 51.
  • November-December ’89: Double-Tap (very) limited series #1-2, just these two issues about Expat. Since Emigrant’s Song they’d stepped back from her a bit - just having her show up in major events like the Akash’Bhuta or Voss Invasion stories. She’s “kind of a hero” now and so is having trouble with that “hero killer” identity.

1990s

  • January ’90: Built in a Day #1, the culmination of all of the Organization stuff (we see all of the Underbosses we know and loathe).
  • March ’90: TotB vol. 3 #24, Naturalist.
  • April ’90: Draw! one-shot with Chrono-Ranger that gets readers a bit more up to speed on his shtick (CON sending him on bounty missions through time, etc.).
  • May ’90: The Final Legacy limited series #1, Even more Iron Legacy stuff.
  • June ’90: FFA #11, Unity and Slaughter-House Six introduced. NightMist #61, Grand Warlord Voss attempts to return, banished by NightMist and that’s the end of Grand Warlord Voss.
  • July-December ’90: Nightmare World limited series #1-6, The Dreamer as an explanation for a lot of other weird things that had cropped up over time - retconned to be her projections.
  • September ’90: One Man Army one-shot, retcon to establish that the war that Tyler Vance fought in was Desert Storm rather than Korea [note: Iraq’s invasion/occupation of Kuwait began in early August ’90 in the real world, although it took some time for the international response to this, militarily]. Most of what we think about of Bunker’s backstory comes from this version of events.
  • October ’90: Under Cover limited series #1 that has Sky-Scraper and K.N.Y.F.E. infiltrating F.I.L.T.E.R. with the Paige helping Portja realize the advantages of her ability to become tiny.
  • December ’90: Freedom Six one-shot as culmination of Iron Legacy story and the heroes in that setting set against him.
  • January ’91: The Day in the Life returns for a Unity issue.
  • February ’91: Terminal Ballistics #1, Expat’s solo title (for now).
  • April ’91: MC vol. 2 #212, Setback! Science and Progress one-shot, Krystal Lee (later to become Friction - she does steal the gear at the end, also were Dark Visionary kills a bunch of scientists as told in episode 31). MOM #42, Dark Vis completely takes over (up to here she could be the good Vis with some dark tendencies as she fought her other self, but here’s where the bad one is fully in control).
  • June ’91: FFA #12, FF in Washington DC while Unity has to fight off Magmarians on her own. First appearance of her Freedom Five bots and this is the issue that finally started to get readers to warm up to her.
  • August ’91: FF #496, another Unity-focus story with intro of Radioactivist. Exordium limited series #1 starts bringing together “minor villains” (by this we mean in the grand scheme of things - some started in things like RCR or whatnot and for their specific hero nemesis they might be significant recurring characters, but they’re not big “event” villains that would require a team-up to handle).
  • October ’91: JC #431, Revenant.
  • December ’91: Vengeful Five one-shot, the team forms and blows up FFHQ.
  • December ’91-May ’92: Vengeance limited series #1-6, all the heroes fight all the villains. This is such a big thing that it actually kind of results in fewer new titles/limited series coming out.
  • October ’92: MOM #60, final issue.
  • April ’93: Disparation #25, final issue.
  • January ’94 (ca.): A major crossover event across most titles about Kaargra Warfang bringing the Colosseum to Earth. Point of reference given is FF #525 from this month. This is the event that starts the poorly-written Tempest stuff that eventually results in the Tempersonation retcon.
  • February ’94: RCR #126, Tony Taurus in the Colosseum, on the path to becoming Heartbreaker.
  • January-June ’95: The Ice-Man Cometh limited series #1-6, a “soft-pilot” for an AZ solo book, it doesn’t take off. Lightspeed limited series #1-6, the same thing for Tachyon. [The date here isn’t specified, I arrived here based on the specific information given for the start of The War of Heliopolis and working backwards through Baptism by Fire. It’s possible that the “next month” for the latter means it started the same month as issue #2 of these books, but as these two don’t catch on, it’s a minor point to move these 5 months later.]
  • March ’95: TB #50, final issue, Setback and Expat kiss.
  • May-June ’95: FF #541-2, Ennead start showing up again.
  • June-December ’95: Baptism by Fire limited series #1-6, about Ra and Fanatic. [“The next month” just after they finished talking about the AZ and Tachyon books, pegged to the specific information given for The War of Heliopolis.]
  • January ’96: The War of Heliopolis limited series #1 coincides with RGotS #273 and is a complete do-over of the Ennead story. This is when Atum destroys a city. [They probably misspeak and say that BbF #5 is where Ra’s Horus of Two Horizons look shows up, but his video game bio (and other stuff they say in here) makes me believe it’s really WoH #5.] WoH runs 6 issues.
  • April ’96: Ra, Horus of Two Horizons one-shot, wraps up the story, coinciding with the issue mentioned above where he gains that look. [Christopher would make fun of my spreadsheeting here, and I know I’ve done some guesswork about the recent entry dates, but with WoH #1 pegged specifically to RGotS #273 that puts them in January based on prior publication dates given for the latter title. This means that April coincides with issue #4, not issue #5 of WoH and so either the RGotS issue number given is wrong (“Sun’s Fury”, the Ennead card that shows Atum destroying the city specifies issue #289, so that isn’t helping any) or this mention of April is.]
  • February ’96: Greazer #77, final issue.
  • March ’96: NightMist #130, she returns from the Void in her new variation.
  • September ’96: CT #319, Deadline in the Enclave being grumpy and looking at Earth and planning.
  • October ’96-March ’97: Transmission of Honor limited series #1-6, Mr. Fixer putting the screws to the Organization, but he gets stabbed at the end.
  • April-September ’97: Engine Block Blues #1-6, follows up ToH to contextualize Fixer’s life and death. Issue #6 coincides with FFA #15 and MC #289 and these, EBB, and ToH are generally in the collected trades together.
  • October-December ’97: MC #290-2, Kismet intro and story crosses over into…
  • November ’97-May ’98: Run of Luck limited series #1-7. Side note: they’d kind of finally decided that limited series were 6-issue things, where they’d been really inconsistent to this point. However, they decided that lucky number 7 was a thing they couldn’t pass up. [The specific months here are based on episode 75's mention of the dates - it fits in with Kismet being introduced the month prior to #1 of this title.]
  • September ’98: NightMist #160, final issue. NightMist does not appear in comics again for like a year.
  • October ’98: Night’s Plutonian Shore one-shot, retells/modernizing the Matriarch’s story (kind of like One-Man Army did for Bunker) in preparation of bringing the character back for her Harpy arc soon.
  • July-December ’99: Dark Watch #1-6 gone over in-depth in episode 75.
  • August ’99: FF #592, Slaughter-house Six show up - first appearance of the Glamour-illusion Ambuscade. Hinted over time, but it wasn’t known to the readers for quite a while.
  • November ’99-April ’00: FF #595-600, Sunrise limited weekly series #1-16, The “Sunrise” arc; covered in-depth in episode 70.

2000s

  • Unspecified dates sometime near the end of ’99 into early ’00: FFA #16 is in here somewhere and involves Visionary. Into the Sunset one-shot for when Chrono-Ranger was after Citizen Truth. Dark Watch Annual becomes a thing.
  • January ’00: Dark Watch #7, Harpy (see "Odd Allies" cover from the ARG).
  • April ’00: RCR #200, final issue.
  • November ’00: FF #607, another Akash’Bhuta story.
  • February ’01: FF #610, hinting at more time shenanigans (not really planned, but presaging La Capitan) - the barbecue photo changing, Mt. Rushmore faces, etc.
  • August ’01: F.I.L.T.E.R. limited series where Sergeant Steel is brought back and tasked with putting together his team to go after K.N.Y.F.E.
  • November ’01: “Fall of the Prime Wardens: Prelude”, crossover event begins in Prime Wardens #191, Cosmic Tales #381, and Savage Haka #164. This event also results in the relaunch of Fanatic and Virtuoso of the Void for second volumes starting over at #1. At this time CT goes back to the Tempest/Captain Cosmic shared book format so all Prime Wardens have non-team-up titles they appear in. This and the “Fall of the Prime Wardens” arc leads to…
  • August ’02: Prime Wardens #200, final issue.
  • September ’02: Disparation vol. 2 #1, with a Prime Wardens story exploring what if they didn’t break up the team.
  • December ’02-May ’03: The Last Hunt limited series #1-6, Chrono-Ranger hunting Plague Rat.
  • March ’04: MC #367, Apostate story (crosses over with Fanatic title - if it started vol. 2 in November ’01 to be the same month as the beginning of the “Fall of the Prime Wardens” story, then this month would be #29). [Note from the future! Episode 157 discusses this period and says that February's issue of Fanatic was the end of the Host story and they put an epilogue issue in the #29 slot. This implies that they simply had the month that the Host stuff started wrong when talking about it here.]
  • June ’04: FF #650, first appearance of La Capitan herself. Story in FF goes on for a few months.
  • June ’04 (ca.): La Paradoja Magnifica one-shot and Tides of Time limited series happen around here [but other than FF #650 it’s not especially clear if things are all in the same month]. Citizens Imperative one-shot, covers where Dawn is post-Sunrise and has her sending Hammer and Anvil out for their duo mission. This crosses over with Fanatic #32 which would be June ’04 given the above assumption from the March entry - this is also the first appearance of the Idolater with his burnt face. [Note from the future! Episode 146 establishes that Citizens Imperative was in May, but also retcons that Idolater can't just now show up with his face burned - that would have happened in the late '70s or early '80s and he's too useful of a villain to have gone unseen for 20+ years.]
  • January ’05: FF #657, Miss Information makes her first on-page appearance.
  • February ’05: FFA #21, Miss Info story continued. Administrative Assassin begins around here.
  • Unspecified date between FFA #21 and #22: Master Dragon one-shot with Operative and Zhu Long.
  • February ’06: FFA #22, the year of Miss Information trouble finally resolved with Parse taking her down.
  • July ’06: RGotS #399, final issue (kind of). This is because after the War of Heliopolis story, where do you go with Ra? They decide to go back to the old Arcane Tales book as a more “variety” book about lots of different magic stuff with Ra still around, but not always being about him. As such, they decide combine the old AT numbering with this title. AT had ended at issue #100, which means next month we have…
  • August ’06: AT #500 (prior AT ended at #100, RGotS ended at #399, so here we are - with the rebranding they also include a note on the cover that this is where #400 of RGotS would be).
  • September ’06: End Game #1, big Wager Master crossover story begins.
  • February ’07: FFA #23, end of End Game crossover. [Date approximate - assuming a 6-issue EG limited series with FFA the same month as issue 6. This is one year after FFA #22, so some symmetry there.]
  • March ’07: MC vol. 2 #403, Plague Rat under RevoCorp control (as in his VotM deck).
  • November ’07: FF #691, crossover with A Murder Most Fowl one-shot - Matriarch framed by Biomancer (while Harpy is still pupil of NightMist - this is also a precursor to more Biomancer shenanigans.
  • July ’08: “Vengeance: Returned” story begins - a bait-and-switch Biomancer story where he’s replacing a bunch of villains and a bunch of heroes. Tempest revealed to be the Tempersonation since the big Colosseum story back in ’94. This was an attempt to replicate the success of the Vengeance story without it being a total rehash. Ultimately, it did not do as well. [July specified in the Gen Con 2018 episode.]
  • October ’08: Cosmic Concurrence begins as an every-other-month title. K.N.Y.F.E. doing stuff out in space, and other general space stuff, but it starts with a modern retelling of the Cosmic Omnitron story (adding the element of an intention behind its creation that the original story in the ’80s lacked). [October start date worked out from backtracking from #29 which was given a date below.]
  • November ’08: Disparation #75 begins the trend of having Inversiverse back-up stories every issue.
  • January ’09: VotV vol. 2 #87, Akash’Thriya.
  • October ’09: TotB vol. 3 #259, final issue.
  • December ’09: TotB vol. 4 #1 relaunching/refocusing yet again.
  • December ’09-May ’10: Temporal Targets limited series #1-6, Chrono-Ranger with Ambuscade on Mars, etc.

2010s

  • February-October ’10: VotV vol. 2 #100-8, “Death of Anthony Drake” - see episode 60 for details on that. They then try to introduce new potential Virtuosos for the next 8 issues but it just doesn’t work, so they cancel the title.
  • December ’10: VotV vol. 3 #1, they bring Anthony back.
  • March ’11: Southwest Sentinels #1, first appearances of Dr. Medico, Mainstay, Idealist (with Writhe in issue #2), and the VotM version of La Capitan. Major retcon in timeline of what they’ve told us in the past re: them being a ’90s team, but most of the story detail in episode 35 stands [can’t be there for Vengeance obviously], just shifted in publication timeline to here.
  • May ‘11: CT vol. 2 #495, Fanatic vol. 2 #115, SH #278, VotV vol. 3 #6 - “The Search for Tempest” crossover event across the former-Prime Wardens’ individual books.
  • May-October ’11: The Banana Game limited series #1-6, Guise vs. Green Grosser. Kind of takes Guise from “goofball” to “goofball with some gravitas”.
  • July ’11: PW vol. 2 #1, the Prime Wardens are back!
  • August ’11: GTG attends Gen Con as exhibitors and sells the first edition of SotM.
  • November ’11: Time and Time Again #1 - return of Omnitron-X, he’s popped up here and there in the decades since Singularity, but hasn’t been a main feature/recurring character. He’s sticking around this time and has his own title.
  • December ’11: JC #679, Parsons family Christmas before Felicia leaves for college. DW #150, final issue. It’s just not really the right era for Dark Watch-type stories anymore.
  • January ’12: The Guise Book #1, his last limited series did well, so they give him an ongoing title. RevoCorp Presents #1, Benchmark. PW #7, an Infinitor story starts - he’d largely been a solo-foe for CC to this point, so bringing him into the team book is a sign of things to come.
  • March ’12: FFA #27, the “Vengeance Revisited” issue that brings back the Vengeful Five again, finally resulting in Friction’s death.
  • July ’12: MC vol. 2 #467, Bugbear devours Calypso, sets him up as a scary villain.
  • August ’12: JC #687, Felicia leaves for college. For the next year the title has back-up stories about her there.
  • September ’12-February ’13: Rumble in the Jungle limited series #1-6 with him after Naturalist.
  • September ’12: TotB vol. 4 #34, Spite Agent of Gloom
  • October ’12: Lone Gun one-shot, La Comodora finds Chrono-Ranger and brings him along for further adventure. Disparation #122 last to have the regular Inversiverse backup feature.
  • November ’12: Disparation #123, beginning of the La Comodora/CR era of the title where she’s out there doing stuff and investigating some kind of impending doom rather than the book just being about random realities. People reading this title start to get a feeling that something huge is about to go down while people who don’t read it are oblivious and think those other people are crazy.
  • December ’12: FF #752, Deadline event begins, major crossover.
  • March ’13: FFA #28, exception to the ongoing Deadline crossover, this one is another Iron Legacy story, updating it once again.
  • April-June ’13: HitA #4-6, coming back around from the ’80s, we “finish” off the series.
  • April ’13-March ’14: The Deadliest Game limited series #1-12, a villain point-of-view book. Kind of the sort of thing that would show up in the Vertex line in For Profit. It starts out seeming like it’s an Ambuscade book, but then turns into a Slaughterhouse Six focused book and is where we finally learn that Glamour’s been faking Ambuscade’s presence.
  • June ’13: Cosmic Concurrence #29, Chokepoint. Starts crossover over in Southwest Sentinels.
  • July ’13: A Day in the Life Captain Cosmic, he and Infinitor actually having something of a “brothers” moment. MC vol. 2 #479, NightMist banishes Bugbear outside of reality. America’s Greatest Legacy #499, flashback tale about Paul Parsons VII.
  • August ’13: JC #699, last of Felicia’s back-up stories. America’s Newest Legacy #500, Felicia’s solo title. Cosmic Concurrence #30, Heroic Infinitor story.
  • September ’13: Thorathian War one-shot. The Prime Wardens book starts being fairly Dok'Thorath-focused in this time.
  • October ’13: MC #482, Stuntman!
  • November ’13-April ’14: Terminus limited series #1-6, Omnitron-X finding out a bunch of stuff, fights Aeon Men, and is destroyed at the end. It sounds like this is the jumping-off point for the Termi-Nation story with Chokepoint, Unity, Bunker, and AZ in Omnitron-IV.
  • November ’13: FF #763, Progeny appears. Story goes on for several issues.
  • December ’13: Guise’s Biggest Book Ever Christmas Spectacular one-shot.
  • February ’14: Southwest Sentinels #36, final issue.
  • March ’14: FFA #29, big Progeny fight in Megalopolis.
  • April ’14: JC #707, Legacy, Tachyon, and Wraith discuss an item of power they’ve found (which later would be identified as an OblivAeon shard) - first time being very overt that something big is going on here.
  • June-November ’14: PW vol. 2 #36-41, the “first appearance” of Progeny in Algeria and the team fights it.
  • September ’14: Time Flies limited series #1-6, Chrono-Ranger on his anti-young-La Capitan mission. FF #773, Omnitron-U [the ARG cover that revealed Omni-U was #783, so either that wasn’t meant to be its first appearance, this is a mistake, or this is a retcon - the timing works out better for #773 relative to the timeline of events, though].
  • October ’14: TotB vol. 4 #59, Scholar of the Infinite.
  • November ’14: FF #775, first named sighting of OblivAeon.
  • December ’14-May ’15: Dark Carnival limited series #1-6.
  • January ’15: TotB vol. 4 #62, Trickster Kismet (tied into the DC limited). DW vol. 2 #1 relaunch. VotV vol. 3 #50, flashback with Naturalist and Deadline which sets up…
  • February ’15: Cosmic Redemption one-shot that sets up Lifeline and what’s going on with the Enclave moving forward.
  • March-August ’15: Deepest Space limited series #1-6, catches everybody up with what various heroes have been up to out in space, such as revealing Void Guard - members also start cropping up in PW issues one at a time and the Void Guard title starts up. Reality Defaced limited series #1-6 with the VotM version of Miss Information.
  • May ’15: Cosmic Contest happens.
  • October ’15: TotB vol. 4 #71, Lifeline at the Court of Blood makes a deal with Blood Countess Bathory. Road Warriors one-shot.
  • May-June ’16: DW vol. 2 #17-18, End of Spite Agent of Gloom story threads and Skinwalker Gloomweaver.
  • There are a few other limited series in near the end of this timeline to wrap up some threads before OblivAeon and there are more events that follow this point, but those will wait for the upcoming Scions and OblivAeon episodes. 2016 as a whole is pretty much the “year of OblivAeon” in Sentinel Comics.

Questions

  • Given all that we know about the Multiverse within the context of the story, when did the Multiverse and inter-reality travel become a thing in the publication timeline? It wasn’t baked in from the beginning of Sentinel Comics as nobody thought of it. There were early time-travel or other dimension stories and whatnot as you’d expect, but they weren’t really governed by any particular rules or plan. When the Shattering of the Timelines happened in the ’80s, it was explicitly supposed to be what allows this stuff and (very conveniently) because it’s breaking time itself there’s an explanation for prior such events as the shattering effects extend both forward and backward.
  • How does time-travel from times after the OblivAeon event back to before it work? The timelines are not lined up in sync with one another so one reality can be earlier or later in their discrete timeline of events relative to another’s. Also, due to the shattering going forward and backward, some of those breaks might have extended farther into the future than OblivAeon’s defeat. La Comodora comments on this - she has been farther into the future than this point in earlier (from her subjective experience) trips, but now there’s this wall in the timestream that she can’t move beyond and this clues her in that something big is happening.
  • Since there is only one The Block, is it somehow related to OblivAeon or a Singular Entity? It is a singular place, but it’s not a Singular Entity. There may even be more places that operate in similar ways to the Block - it is just the only such place that is important to the story of Sentinel Comics. It’s more necessary for it to have a connection to Ur-Space than to a Singular Entity.
  • Both Legacy and Greatest Legacy have their bio state their first appearance as JC #1 - were they both present in that issue? Is there a flashback involved? They’ve noticed that several First Appearances aren’t listed properly and they only really started catching them as they put together their timeline spreadsheet. For this one in particular, the first time a character called “Legacy” appeared was in JC #1, so that’s what they meant at the time, but they realized later that this isn’t what they should have done as it’s not clear enough to the fans. Since then they have told us the “correct” first appearances for Paul VIII (both as a person, #77, and as the hero Legacy, #102).
  • Wraith is presented as having been a college student and CEO of her family’s company; given the timeline of when these events would have been happening in the publishing meta-verse, was the fact that she was a woman a big deal? She was the first female superhero and so her showing up when she did and doing what she does was a big deal. However, the story elements of her being the CEO of her company weren’t introduced until later. The SotM game is kind of looking at the state of the comics from the perspective of the ’90s through the ’10s, and from that perspective it seems like she’s always been the CEO, but her parents stepping down and her taking over was an event when it happened prior to that (which they ballpark as being in the late ’70s to early ’80s - partly as the build-up of her before the “reset” back down to street-level stuff).
  • Do the Freedom Five hang out at their headquarters in costume or do they have casual clothes? Does Wraith keep her face covered anyway? Yes to the casual wear, but with some caveats. It’s rare to see Legacy not in costume, but it happens. Super Scientific Tachyon is practically in casual wear (and she gets a lot of lab-coat time). Wraith’s bandages take time to put on, so she’s more likely to keep them on rather than change back and forth a lot. Bunker wears fatigues out of habit (we see him in his tank top and army pants in a number of art pieces). Everybody on the team (and Aminia Twain) knows who the others are anyway, so it’s not a big deal. Part of Aminia’s job is to help compartmentalize some of that info from other staff members (say, the janitorial staff). Her knowledge of where they are at any given point to facilitate that work is a big part of why her villainous turn works.
  • What other genres of comics exist in the publishing meta-verse besides Superhero? As a specific example, was there something similar to Archie? They’ve talked about some of them before [westerns, horror, true crime, teen romance, anthropomorphic animals - see this year’s Gen Con episode for a list of titles] and the one most like Archie was probably Stylin’ Shirley which they’ve mentioned many times. That’s primarily historical information, though. In the modern day, Sentinel Comics is pretty exclusively superhero books.
  • We’ve heard about the legal battle between Sentinel Comics and rival Justice Comics that resulted in the temporary cancellation of the former’s Justice Comics title until the situation was resolved by SC buying out JC - did this acquisition bring along any interesting/notable IP beyond the name rights? They like this question a lot and want to acknowledge it, but they aren’t going to answer it here. More information on this type of thing will show up in the History of Sentinel Comics book they’re working on. They say “they’re working on”, but they’ve actually gotten a few actual comics historians in to do a lot of legwork on it (they also helped with their general timeline project).
  • Are there any characters who had a notable role in the history of Sentinel Comics, but for one reason or another never made it into any card art (like the Shrieker)? What major fights did they take part in? What happened to them? Yes, there are heroes/villains/other characters - dozens exist that just haven’t had a place in a game. If they’re really notable in any way they will eventually see light in stuff like the History book or other products like the RPG. They could probably fill an episode with this kind of thing, but it’d be really disjointed and not likely to be interesting as a whole - if you have a specific desire, get really specific in your Patreon topic suggestions (e.g. “Wraith villains” or “Naturalist supporting cast”).
  • Any Environment that had more conflicts happen there than others? Megalopolis>Wagner Mars Base and Insula Primalis>Ruins of Atlantis>>>most of the rest (Rook City is around a lot, but they don’t bump it up into the core-set realm explicitly)>Final Wasteland>Silver Gulch>Time Cataclysm (if you can count that as a specific Environment - or maybe it’s the most common one, huh?). Discounting Time Cataclysm, Silver Gulch is the one you see the least often.
  • Any plot hooks created in the Golden Age that were still unresolved by the end of the Multiverse? No, because the Golden Age didn’t often have plot hooks that weren’t resolved in the issue they were introduced in. Elements take from Golden Age books for later use were later writers looking back on it and revisiting things, not because they were unresolved but just because they could use them as jumping-off points for further stories. Even the Silver Age was mostly stories contained within a few issues of a title, not ongoing plots (the Moonfall limited series in the mid-’60s was a big deal).
  • If writers hadn’t been told to wrap things up for OblivAeon, what stories were likely to have been told next? Skinwalker GloomWeaver was definitely set to be a much bigger story. They don’t want to delve too much into this sort of “cutting room floor” stuff as it’s still prime material that can be repurposed in later products. This matches how they envision the meta-verse too, though - stories that were cut short could be used instead as teasers for things to come later.
  • In the world of Sentinel Comics, given that powered individuals have been around for centuries/millennia, does that affect what, say, schoolchildren are taught, like are there lessons on what to do if you suddenly gain superpowers? Are there special schools for powered kids? There aren’t specialized schools that are officially recognized as where you should go. There are certainly shadowy groups that might kidnap kids with powers to “educate” them. Confounding factors are that there are such a small number of people with powers out of the population and this number is much higher now than it was a century ago - there’s just not much infrastructure in place to account for them. Frankly, up until OblivAeon it was possible for large numbers of people to not really care/think about powered people being around (or even if they weren’t something like urban legends or whatnot). Virtuosos of the Void weren’t known by the public (except maybe very locally as a “medicine man” or whatnot).
  • Given the art we’ve seen that spans decades of publishing, how has the art style remained so consistent? Because it’s all just Adam. They’ve mentioned a few times that they want to do a “definitive edition” of SotM eventually where Adam will be able to go over all of the art again to bring the level of polish/experience he’s done for the most recent expansions (and make the corrections to art/issue numbers that have become apparent as they’ve done timeline work) at which point he’d also pay more attention to details like what era each panel is from and modify his art style accordingly. He’s done this sort of thing in the past too [Expat’s “Reload” in a Sin City style, GloomWeaver’s “Strength of the Grave” in Hellboy style, etc.]. As mentioned in a prior episode, Legacy’s “Danger Sense” will need to have Greatest Legacy on it instead given the issue being referenced, for example.
  • So, Fanatic is Christian, and Ra has his own thing going on, but are any other characters religious and does this add any bonding/conflict? “Religion in the Multiverse” sounds like a good episode topic to suggest. There have been a few mentions of things here and there.
  • What were the earliest and latest events that you thought took place in the ’90s? The Sentinels being around was the latest. Spite’s death or the introduction of Visionary are two guesses. Vengeance, War of Heliopolis, and the Naturalist are their most spot-on ’90s placements. Things that surprise them now are how late Visionary actually did show up (considering that both Guise and Sky-Scraper pre-date her) and how very short her time was before she became Dark Visionary.
  • Did the expansions tell stories that happened roughly in the order they came out, or were they divided purely along thematic lines (gritty urban, magic, time-travel, space)? More the theme thing. The Prime Wardens (so including Argent Adept from Infernal Relics and Captain Cosmic from Wrath of the Cosmos) are a very ’70s-feeling team which would have predated the ’80s Rook City content. The core game has a lot of ’60s and ’70s-vibe characters, so doing the ’80s-feeling Dark Watch-adjacent stuff as the first expansion feels right for the game. Think about the theme of the expansions moving forward chronologically more than the events depicted in them being in that order, specifically.
  • Picking something at random, what happened in Justice Comics #144? That’s the April ’52 issue, see the show notes for the cover art. The Malicious Mr. Malice holds the president hostage and tells Legacy that he has to destroy these famous landmarks/monuments (beginning with the Lincoln memorial) or else he’ll kill the president and Legacy actually does it, going around the city wrecking stuff. As Mr. Malice watches the destruction on TV from the oval office, Legacy breaks through the wall to capture him. How can he be in two places at once? Easy, he went to the local TV station and had them rig up a bunch of sets for him to break while they recorded him. This is intentionally meant to be a play on the fact that there were Legacy TV shows at the time.
  • If the OblivAeon event was a response to the comics becoming too complicated over the decades and needing an event to prompt a paring-back/simplification, how does that gel with the fact that it’s followed up by the RPG timeline (and therefore the addition of all of the new [player] characters)? Isn’t the Mist Storm Universe actually closer to that scaled-back goal, although not one to have come out until years later? The problem being addressed wasn’t one of “number of heroes/books” but rather how confusing the setting itself was - if you hadn’t been reading comics for 30 years already, it was really hard to jump on and make sense of things (and with the success of things like the Animated Universe, there are plenty of people who might want to do so that are put off by how convoluted everything is). Now the setting itself is more streamlined. They also start putting out annual digest issues for every book - a summary of the last year’s events in that title as an aid for new readers to get caught up to speed. This sort of new-customer-friendly strategy is yet another difference from the Vertex line which was throwing people in the deep end to catch on or not.

Future

  • OblivAeon - the next three episodes are about that.
  • Sentinel Comics Universe - the RPG and the Sentinels of Freedom video game.
  • Mist Storm Universe/Vertex line of comics - see last episode. After Prime War, this line exists as part of the Sentinel Comics Universe in terms of the two Disparation titles, but it’s a part of the universe that “doesn’t touch” the rest of it.