The Letters Page: Episode 84
The end of the end... or is it?
Run Time: 2:14:02
We get right down to the brassiest of tacks! And it's a good thing, too - there's plenty to talk about, still!
We get to your questions about an hour and 27 minutes in.
Thank you all for listening through the end of the Multiverse! Catch you next month for the very episodes for which you voted!
- La Comodora
- The Freedom Five
- Argent Adept
- Captain Cosmic
- Nixious the Chosen
- Rainek Kel'Voss
- Dr. Medico
- Borr the Unstable
- Mr. Fixer
- Young Legacy
- Absolute Zero
- Wager Master
- Dark Mind
- Aeon Girl
- When they left off, OblivAeon had just blown up Megalopolis after having a good-sized chunk of moon dropped on him by Luminary. We come back with a series of shots from heroes' perspectives on the devastation - buildings (those that are still standing) wrecked, civilian casualties, billowing smoke/dust that settles to reveal the towering form of OblivAeon, seemingly just fine after all that and actually looking a bit smug in a "And stay down, insects, while I do my job" kind of way.
- As things settle a bit more, we see another figure. Akash'Thriya drives her hand into the ground, pouring her power into the ground to grow a tree, only a small sapling at first, but then it explodes into a massive thing that takes up several city blocks and towers over the city (taller than any building had been prior to the destruction). As it grows, little bioluminescent spores start falling from it, healing anybody they fall on. The root system spreads through the city, moving pieces of buildings back into their old configurations. Nothing is back exactly how they were before the explosion, but it's all better off than it was after. The tree is kind of the first indication of "oh, maybe everything isn't ruined". The heroes stand with resolve. This isn't over.
- Of course, OblivAeon just plans on destroying this tree thing. What's it to him? As he turns to do so we get panels cutting back and forth between him and a ship rushing through the timestream [how do you effectively depict great speed when you're outside time and space?] with La Comodora standing at the prow, clothes ruffling in the wind, checking a map, looks off to the side to create a time portal that is quickly left behind, and with a "¡Vamanos!" she finally creates a portal to Megalopolis just in front of OblivAeon. La Paradoja Magnifica crashes into his chest at full speed, shattering his form and releasing a huge explosion of chronal energy. This is a bigger hit than anything we've seen anybody do so far, even more than the strike from Ra and the others that finally broke the shield.
- The heroes cheer. We see the map that La Comodora was holding drift down and Chrono-Ranger is the one to pick it up. "Reckon that ol' bat is still out there somewhere. Somewhen." Maybe there's some indication on the map to give him that idea. Maybe he's just hopeful.
- Luminary teleports back to Mordengrad with the Freedom Five, whom we haven't seen since the destruction of Freedom Tower, in a series of "medical pods". Luminary is kind of monologing at the heroes (who knows if they're able to hear him?) about how triumphantly things have turned out and how great he is, etc. He does this even as a "hero". They come over a hill to see the city and instead of its usual red/purple color scheme it's got this black/green thing going on. Sanction was kind of just left here early on in the last episode and she's taken control of the place. The medical pods aren't ready yet, but he's got no choice but to wake the heroes up to help him out.
- The Freedom Five are roughed up, but at least back in fighting shape, so the 6 of them head in to take on the various walking tanks and other devices that Sanction is controlling now. They call in some other tech-minded heroes for additional help (Parse, Omnitron-U, Benchmark, and Unity). They retake Baron Blade/Luminary/the glorious leader's main base and operate from there. Sanction is isolated in an automated factory/warehouse, but not yet defeated - that's where the backup the FF called in are sent. The resulting fight between the "tech team" and Sanction is the first time we see the latter take its executioner form.
- During the ensuing fight against the various robot drones, lasers, etc. and the highly dangerous/nigh-impervious Sanction, Sanction eventually gets the drop on Omnitron-U - attacking from behind and pinning it to the ground. Oh, hey, this is an opportunity for our favorite AI buddy. Omnitron interfaces with the robotic form of Sanction and provides a way for Parse (in her Fugue State form with her brain-interface headband on) to Hack the Gibson. She understands what it, computers should interface with other computers after all (like Parse), not people. She reaches in and over/rewrites all of the Celestial Tribunal code that runs the thing. In doing so, she's got to really get into the mindset of this thing and is more "computer" than she's ever been. This whole process more or less takes Parse and Omnitron-U out of the fight, though.
- Luminary, as thanks to the Freedom Five for their help in retaking Mordengrad, also gives them their new costumes. If you look at the outfits on the Freedom Five variant cards, there's a lot of red and black in the color scheme (and the FV logo doens't have blue on it). We get another monologue from Luminary about how much good they can do and how it would benefit the world to have powerful people (or a person) to take control of things, etc. Most of them thing this is a good speech, but Legacy's not buying it.
- Back in Megalopolis, Akash'Thriya is dying (leafy parts wilting and turning brown, etc.) - she'd put so much of her power into the tree that she's not going to last long. Argent Adept and Naturalist step in to help, though, and get her to the Nexus of the Void (which she's always avoided returning to) as they're pretty sure they can figure out a way to restore her here. Before they can work that out, however, they're attacked by Voidsoul. While everybody was distracted, Voidsoul finally had the opportunity to come feast. This is the oldest nemesis relationship in the Multiverse [I get to say it again! GRUDGE MATCH!]. Luckily for Akash'Thriya, this exact thing is more natural to her than anything she's done in the last few hundred million years. She opens herself to the Nexus and draws power from it, once again becoming a Spirit of the Void (see: her variant character card). She is able to drive off Voidsoul in short order - he's not destroyed, but she is back to her true self in the seat of her power and is pretty dominant in this fight (and AA and Naturalist are helping).
- As Voidsoul escapes we see the final form of OblivAeon for the first time, seeing this as a prime opportunity to take the fight to his enemies. If they're going to hole up in a place of power and send one of his remaining Scions packing, he'll just destroy that place of power to deny it to the heroes. This is the smallest form he takes (they also mention that it's the most powerful), only a few times taller than the heroes, and he's made of this weird crystalline stuff and is packed full of energy with tendrils coming off of him. He's also visibly angry rather than his standard haughty lack of emotion.
- With the destruction of the Nexus, the three heroes have 2 options: be destroyed along with it or enter the Void itself. Akash'Thriya makes an executive decision and drags them through (AA knows how bad an idea this is, but what choice does he have?). They make it through, and pop back out into the world in the Ravenwood suburb of Rook City. Akash'Thriya is fine, but the other two are in really rough shape after the trip (AA slightly better as he can more effectively ward himself, but they're both out of the fight proper from this point on). Akash'Thriya is at her most heroic at this stage - after all her "finding her way in the world" stuff in the tree-person form, this is where she's finally found herself. She makes sure the other two are stable and then heads off to help elsewhere. Unfortunately, she also knows that with the destruction of the Nexus, she doesn't have long to act.
- Meanwhile, over on Plavu'Col, Tempest and Visionary are still fighting with Empyreon. Even with the other Maerynians unleashing the border hurricane on the island to try to help the fight, he's just too powerful (and is becoming more so as other Scions are defeated and he draws more power from OblivAeon). That's when help arrives from elsewhere, however. Captain Cosmic (in his "Requital" form - fully bonded with the power of Infinitor) flies in, grabs Empyreon under the shoulders and drags him into space, were we eventually see this massive explosion. That's the last we see of either of them in the event.
- Tempest has to stay behind to help his people - they're even looking at evacuation as it's entirely possible that even if OblivAeon is defeated that Earth may be doomed and so they want to be elsewhere. Visionary leaves him to that (and understands his reasons) and goes to rejoin the fight.
- Back in Megalopolis, when OblivAeon left after being rammed by La Comodora, he left behind our old pal Nixious to protect the last remaining OblivAeon Engine (the rest having been destroyed) which has built up an absurdly large amount of energy by this time. Sky-Scraper goes to tear it down when she's attacked by Nixious in all of his flailing tentacle creepiness. When she's this big, she's not able to effectively deal with the type of foe that Nixious presents. Fanatic (one of the first heroes back on her feet after the tree was grown) jumps in to help. She's got that terrible black sword that La Comodora gave her and is still rather upset about the whole Ra thing and just lets Nixious have it. As she wounds Nixious with the sword it drinks in the malice and hate within the Scion. At around that time another hero who'se recovered shows up and attacks Nixious in a way that's just as bad for him, but in a different way. Stuntman shows up with a flamethrower and just sets Nixious on fire.
- We get a good bit here at about 29 minutes in comparing Fanatic, this magical, winged, more-than-a-person being full of vengeance and sorrow was about the first hero back in the fight and is wielding a magical sword that's all sorts of bad news. Followed closely by Stuntman. Who's just a guy, but one who won't stay down and happens to have a flamethrower. Neat juxtaposition. In any event, this is too much for Nixious, who runs away again.
- Without Nixious giving her problems, Sky-Scraper takes the opportunity to grow to the biggest she's ever been. Just absurdly large. She approaches the OblivAeon Engine, wraps her arms around its base and lifts it up. Rather than smashing it or something that we'd expect, she uses the flipside of her power set and shrinks, shrinking it along with her - all the way down to subatomic sizes. After she gets down to about cellular-level the comic actually jumps back out to a normal view rather than sticking with her perspective, though, at which point there's a huge explosion that levels… a city block rather than, say, the planet due to how far down Sky-Scraper was able to shrink it. We don't see Sky-Scraper after this, unsurprisingly.
- Nixious goes off to get help from that shadowy figure that we've seen OblivAeon talking to a few times. Then we get a panel from Nixious' perspective and finally see who it is - Rainek Kel'Voss (surprising nobody here, but most of the readership at the time). Voss says that coming to him for help was good, but he wants to know how Nixious knew where to find him. Nixious, the perfect sycophant, keeps tabs on everybody to help the master. "That's good. You've served your master well, right up until your end." At which point Voss just obliterates Nixious with an energy blast. Voss then nonchalantly goes back to whatever it was he was working on before the interruption. The panel pulls back to show that he's… in a movie lot? Oh, and an OblivAeon Engine (at about 40 feet tall it's the smallest one we've seen thus far). Further pull-back and we see that he's in Champion Studios, or at least a few blocks of it within an energy shield amidst the rubble left after the explosion destroyed San Alonso. Voss has used the destruction as a way to cover his tracks as he set up his little base here (they acknowledge here that they have received questions along the lines of "If San Alonso was the first thing destroyed in the event, why is Champion Studios an Environment in the game?" - this is why, because Voss protected the studio itself). So, now we know who the shadowy figure was, where he's been setting up shop, and that nobody else (even the other non-Nixious Scions) likely know where he is. While it's not outright said, everybody reading now puts it together that Voss was Tim Cosing.
- Onto some side-stories in some of the other books - Voidsoul, having fled the Nexus of the Void, comes across Writhe. Writhe's shadow cloak is directly tied to/draws its power from the entity that Voidsoul is (which has been mentioned before, if not necessarily in such plain terms) - Writhe doesn't know this, but Voidsoul does. Writhe's also got that OblivAeon Shard now, which kind of makes Writhe a kind of "bridge" between Voidsoul and OblivAeon and Voidsoul is envious of this connection and resents Writhe his position as this intermediary. So, Voidsoul attacks and starts tearing the shadow cloak from his body (which is terribly painful due to how it's bonded to him at a molecular level). Dr. Medico and Idealist arrive on the scene and drive Voidsoul off, though. As that's happening and while Writhe recovers/is in the process of having the shadow cloak re-bond to him, Writhe draws on the OblivAeon Shard instead and actually draws Voidsoul into himself. Medico and Idealist are concerned about this happening and ask him if he's ok. There's a beat as he looks at them, then he just opens a portal like we've seen Scions do (rather than stuff like mist gates or Writhe's own shadow-teleport thing) and leaves.
- Another - Chrono-Ranger had gotten info from the FF a while ago about what Nixious was looking for down in the Ruins of Atlantis. He figures that somebody should probably follow up on this treasure hunt, but that's not really in his wheelhouse, so he finds AA and Naturalist. As beat up as they are, they can help with this job. AA knows about the place from the time the Prime Wardens has their base there and figures they can even use some of the magical stuff there to speed their recovery. Once they arrive, they search for and find this ancient bronze rod, just thrumming with arcane power. AA and Naturalist hang back to rest and generally watch the place to make sure nobody else tries anything. Chrono-Ranger leaves, but as he does so we see the Ruins shaking, like an earthquake is happening.
- Another - Dr. Medico, Mainstay, and Stuntman are fighting Borr the Unstable at Mexico City. Stuntman is out for blood after what Borr did to his hometown of Saint-Tropez and is losing it a bit (more in terms of composure than control - even when enraged like this he's capable). As this is going on Medico gets a call from Idealist who thinks she has a clue where Writhe went. Medico wants to leave, but Mainstay is staying to help his friend Ansel ("You've got this. I believe in you, but he needs me more"). Medico is confused (and a little hurt) by this refusal by his friend Jackson, but he takes off, leaving them to fight Borr, which they do. Mainstay's going toe-to-toe with him while Stuntman's doing his usual tricks. They eventually get Borr off-balance enough that he loses control of the power buildup inside of him to the point where he's about to explode. At the end he knocks Mainstay down and Stuntman gets between them, shielding Mainstay. He slaps a patch on his shoulder ("This is my last one of these.") - this is related to the actual powers he had as a villain. The powers he got from his dealings with RevoCorp were a form of energy absorption - after the initial surgery he had to get them in the first place, he had these patches as a kind of "booster" to keep them active and he's been keeping one all this time. As Borr explodes, Stuntman absorbs the energy, reducing its destruction to the point where both he and Mainstay at least survive it. This was more energy than Stuntman was able to actually absorb safely though and kind of "explodes from the inside" and is really messed up with burns (but alive). Mainstay is hurt, but had a much better time of it. He gets up, sees Stuntman still standing who gets off one last quip before collapsing. Mainstay picks him up to go get help.
- Back to Writhe - he's being drawn to OblivAeon's power and so arrives at the biggest source of that he can find. This happens to be the last remaining OblivAeon Engine in the middle of the ruins of San Alonso. He encounters Voss, but he's also got some Scion power levels himself after absorbing Voidsoul and succeeds in binding Voss with his shadow cloak. They have a chat, Voss tries to convince him that he should join the winning side (it's a really vague, bet-hedging conversation and you're not sure if he means OblivAeon's side or Voss's side). Writhe is more or less mindless at this stage though and is just seeking power to consume (e.g. from the Engine) and so Voss can't really get through to him. When Voss realizes this he just tears himself free and pounds Writhe unconscious. When Writhe is knocked out, Voidsoul (absorbed but not destroyed) is able to escape and he takes all of his power with him when he high-tails it out of there - leaving Writhe with his OblivAeon shard, but not his shadow energy.
- Freedom Five return to Megalopolis (in their new outfits) and get caught up on what all has been going on in their absence. They're also aware of the branching timeline after Rook City and between what Chrono-Ranger, La Comodora, and OblivAeon himself have said they know the plan and how OblivAeon seeks to achieve it. This knowledge also comes with the fact that this reality is the linchpin and if OblivAeon manages to destroy it, that's the ballgame. Because the Rook City split was so recent, they also know that there's another reality that's already very similar to this one. All OblivAeon needs to do is destroy Rook City, so they begin the plans for how to defend it.
- Transition to Rook City where OblivAeon is already attacking. This is the big all-hands-on-deck last stand for the heroes that has been discussed in the past where all of the cameos for things like the Animated versions and all of the Disparation characters show up. "Our" heroes already on the scene: Fanatic, K.N.Y.F.E., Benchmark, Chrono-Ranger, Dr. Medico, Idealist, Setback, Expatriette, Mr. Fixer, Harpy, Visionary, and Unity. As far as the game materials go - a lot of the character and item Mission rewards show up here. So, they're fighting the smaller, but still enormously-powerful OblivAeon - he's winning the fight but not the war (in that he's not actually making much in the way of progress in terms of city destruction, but the heroes themselves aren't slowing him down individually). We get a lot of neat, unconventional team-ups between characters too as they're all scrambling to not so much beat this thing (that's kind of given up on), but to defend yourself, protect one another, heal the fallen, and just get back in there [this sounds like it would have been fun for writers to get to come up with power interactions that they never got to feature elsewhere]. If this thing had a battle cry it would be "Everyone, let's not die!"
- On a long enough timeline, that's not sustainable, though. Eventually we get to a point where OblivAeon's standing in the middle of a wrecked block ringed with the forms of defeated heroes and holding up one familiar one (the heroic Luminary from the Inversiverse). "Is this the best that reality has to offer?" He's answered from above "Not quite, Mister!" which turns out to be America's Greatest Legacy who drops from a portal and clocks OblivAeon a good one right in the jaw. He's also wearing a harness with a tether still running up into the portal - this is the time portal that we saw La Comodora open up off to one side as she was rushing to crash into OblivAeon earlier. We get some more quality '40s Legacy dialogue as the FF, Luminary, and Young Legacy all show up (which gets us the cool image of the three generations of Legacies facing off against OblivAeon). This launches into a really cool fight between the Parsons family and OblivAeon. There are some good close-ups of this fight occasionally, but it's mainly happening in the background as the other heroes do what they need to do.
- What that is involves Harpy who's got the Atlantean artifact that Chrono-Ranger brought back. She starts creating a magic ring around the fight, trying to position it to keep her, the FF, Luminary, the Legacies, and OblivAeon in it, but all of the fallen heroes outside of it. After some brief discussion of what she's doing (in real vague terms - "are you ready?" kinds of things), the rest of the heroes wade into the fight. The goal is to keep OblivAeon distracted from what Harpy is up to.
- As the other heroes join the fight, the Legacies get a bit of a breather and can talk a bit - Felicia never had a chance to meet her grandfather and the chronal tether on him is starting to show signs that he's got to head back. Even more quality cheese from the elder Legacy to his son and granddaughter before he's drawn back up through the portal.
- So, the most dangerous thing for OblivAeon here is Young Legacy as she's 1) a Legacy and 2) can actually keep out at range with her powerful laser eyes. So, he's on the watch for this and eventually manages to see one blast coming and does some of his cosmic nonsense to catch it and redirect it back at her - while this isn't going to really harm her, it is enough to blast her back, bouncing through the rubble and finally crashing into a building, well outside of the magic circle. Before she can shake things off and get back inside the circle, Harpy finishes whatever it was she was doing and the ring of energy pulses once before it and everyone inside of it disappears, leaving Felicia behind.
- Then everybody who blinked out reappears on Insula Primalis. OblivAeon calls them fools as now there's not anybody in Rook City to prevent him from destroying it and he teleports away, or he tries to. He simply reappears right where he was on Insula Primalis. As long as Harpy keeps the ritual active, we're all locked in here and he can't go anywhere. Then the island begins to rumble as Akash'Thriya forms up beneath OblivAeon's feet. Much like an early Akash'Bhuta story where she took over the island, Akash'Thriya turns the island against OblivAeon now (including the dinosaurs!). We also get some quality Freedom Five teamwork here, but OblivAeon correctly determines that Akash'Thriya is the main problem at the moment. He rushes her and grabs her head (calls her a fool etc. - she counters that he underestimates humanity, she should know as she's done that a lot in her time). She then releases her control over her form and there's a big explosion of Void energy. While normally this wouldn't be an insurmountable problem for OblivAeon, this is also the kind of opening that Luminary has been waiting for - turning his arm into a blade and stabbing OblivAeon right through the chest.
- Unfortunately, this doesn't actually seem to bother OblivAeon too much and he backhands Luminary across the battlefield, leaving him crumpled at the base of a cliff. "Oh, [chuckle] you think that's it?" One button-press later and we have an orbital death laser blasting OblivAeon, who manages to catch the beam overhead with one hand as the ground starts to buckle beneath him and energy starts arcing from the hole in his chest. So, while he's being kept busy with that Luminary smirks and punches a few more buttons opening a few more of his portals to teleport in two more things - an OblivAeon engine and Rainek Kel'Voss. When OblivAeon sees this we see him shocked for the first time as he realizes what's going on. OblivAeon: "You?" Voss: "Me." He activates the Engine and the energy arcing out of the hole in OblivAeon's chest is drawn into the Engine. Color drains from OblivAeon's body, the crystal becoming more like more mundane stone. As the last of the power is drawn away, the orbital death laser is no longer being held back and it obliterates the remaining form of OblivAeon and drives a hole deep into the island.
- So, the heroes are justifiably astonished at what they've just seen (not least of which because they haven't seen Voss in ages). Finally the heroes finally clue into his status as Tim Cosing but regarding his working with Luminary we get: "What? You thought I only gave clues to you heroes? Hubris." He activates the Engine and begins absorbing the energy into himself. Voss begins to grow in size, which snaps Legacy out of it and attacks. Luminary pulls another trick, though, and attacks again with some kind of electrical attack which causes the costume that he provided to Legacy to constrict, bringing him to his knees.
- Voss has the full power of OblivAeon, he's burst through the Scion outfit he had and it even looks like his skin cracking as his body is struggling to contain the power within him. Here's where we get the handshake between him and Luminary on his "Triple Cross" card and they teleport away.
- Here's where we change perspective. We're viewing Earth in a bubble from outside reality. Various giant cosmic silhouettes are observing (various Singular Entities - you know where this is going if you've listened to the Prime War stuff). There's some dialogue going on (it's not clear who's saying what, but it's also not that important): "OblivAeon is no more." "But the power is still there." "We can this one being with the power. He is not like us." Then the view zooms in again to Megalopolis where Voss and Luminary are. Voss looks up to the sky, clearly hearing/seeing the speakers. He reaches up and in the next panel he closes his fist. Back up in the view from Ur-Space the bubble showing Earth pops, leaving nothing there. Voss has cut this reality off from them. This is apparently not a good thing. One of the Entities says "How could he know what he has done?"
- Ok, so back with Voss and Luminary we have the latter ask "Stargazing?" "I've seen enough of the stars for now, and they will now see much less of me." F.I.L.T.E.R. agents swarm in because while they didn't know what OblivAeon was, this guy is definitely an alien and so they are trying to take him into custody or whatever. Voss is happy with this, though. He was worried that he would have to go out and assemble an army himself. He reaches out to the nearest agent and gene-binds the person with a touch, forcing him into a gruesome transformation. He turns to the others who were looking on in horror and waves a hand and does the same to the rest of them.
- Heroes start to arrive:
- Young Legacy (after she was left behind at Rook City she returned to Megalopolis to help out there however she could) is still pretty fresh and was part of the last big Voss invasion story and so remembers him (meaning she can also recognize that he's got some extra OblivAeon power going on now).
- Then a shaft of light from the heavens appears with an angelic choir vocalizing as none other than Guise descends in the beam - he's now mostly yellow with purple highlights and he's got the various energy bands around him. He tells Voss that he doesn't know how big of a mistake he's made. We get to learn a bit more about what's going on with him here - he merged with the Philosopher's Stone, but we learn here that Guise's 4th-wall-breaking stuff was due to the presence of the Multiverse. Voss cutting this reality off from the Multiverse is what he'd warned OblivAeon not to do as the means of stopping the Mist Gate trick that NightMist had done - if OblivAeon had cut off this reality then it would have prevented the destruction of all realities trick he was trying to pull off. Voss wants it this way, though. He wants reality to not have all of this other cosmic nonsense from outside happening and to be a big fish in a small pond, as it were. An unintended side effect is that now Guise isn't able to 4th wall break anymore - and a Guise who's able to focus is terrifying. We also get told here that Guise's shape-shifting abilities aren't simply that (i.e. a malleable body), but a minor form of reality manipulation. Now he's supercharged with the Philosopher's Stone (something so powerful that even Wager Master had wanted it) and now "Guise is OP, pls nerf".
- So, Young Legacy and Guise are attacked by these Gene-Bound Humans (you can think about each of them having been empowered by an OblivAeon Shard as a benchmark for what their deal is - their energy weapons have also been incorporated into their new bodies).
- Oh, there is a third hero still around too, though. She's been hiding, however. Sky-Scraper is there, but still very tiny (the explanation given is that she was so small she was able to shelter "between the molecules of the explosion" [like a shockwave in air isn't as dangerous if the air molecules just rush past you, I guess]). She's been trying to grow bigger again, but it's taking a long time considering just how far down she had gone. She's back up to somewhere in the mm-cm range. She tries to use this by getting into Voss's nervous system and somehow use all this power he's contained against him. Voss is too cosmically-aware now, though, and is able to grab her (insert description of a panel where he's grinning as he holds her between thumb and finger, preparing to squish her). "What's this? A tiny little race-traitor?"
- While he's thus distracted, Felicia and Guise break through the Gene-Bound and attack, but Voss just holds out a hand and blasts them both into the dirt. Voss is just even more absurdly powerful than ever and basically every hit from here on out it going to be huge.
- He turns his attention back to Sky-Scraper, but as he does so the sky darkens and thunder rolls as a downpour begins. Voss looks up at Tempest riding a bolt of lightning down to meet him - holding his Atlantean sword in one hand and some kind of crystalline spear thing in the other (an OblivAeon Shard twice Tempest's height). Tempest charges and swings his sword, taking Voss's hand (the one holding Sky-Scraper) off at the wrist.
- Voss calmly regrows his hand. "Well, look who's here." and they clash. It. Is. Awesome. [Say it with me now: GRUDGE MATCH!] The fight goes on for a while and Voss takes some damage from the sword, but as before his wounds just close and he eventually is able to grab Tempest's sword arm and crush the bones. As the sword falls from Tempest's hand, Voss catches it and hits the Shard with it, destroying both. Tempest, who'd been drawing heavily on the Shard for power but had also been overdoing things with his own natural abilities is now left too drained to fight.
- Voss taunts Tempest some more as he prepares to kill him, but this is when Luminary puts the triple in "Triple Cross". He'd been hanging back this whole time, but what Luminary does best is wait for his moment, which he sees when Voss is focused on his old foe. He reconfigures his arm once again, revealing some kind of energy-drain device and strikes, attempting to hit Voss in the neck. Voss is ready for this ("cosmically aware" remember) - "I wondered when the Baron would come out and play." and sends his own power through the device, exploding the prosthetic and sending shrapnel though Luminary's body and across his face, once again scarring him.
- Tempest forgotten for the moment, Voss taunts Luminary further. "You fool. I was ready for that." To which Luminary responds, "You were never ready for me." He presses one more button on his belt and the Freedom Five, looking none the worse for wear, appear surrounding Voss. So, The Freedom Five against Voss for the final showdown. The heroes have an added bonus - the suits that Luminary made for them are actually along the same lines as the bracers he made for Sky-Scraper - augmenting their powers beyond their normal limits. Callback here to when Tachyon thought that pushing Sky-Scraper's limits was too risky with Luminary responding along the lines of "desperate times require desperate measures" as a hint of this happening.
- Luminary's mostly out of the fight due to his injuries, but does at least try to rush and tackle Voss from behind. This doesn't work out well for him personally (once again, cosmic awareness - plus he never had the blind spot that OblivAeon had that he could never be betrayed, or that a betrayal would actually be a problem) as Voss drives his elbow back and impales Luminary on his bone spur. This doesn't prevent Luminary from actually succeeding in his attack - he manages to inject something into Voss's neck.
- So, Voss drops to his knees briefly as that takes effect. Then Legacy gets in a really good punch, keeping him off balance for another moment. As Voss stands, Tachyon activates a device and Voss finds himself irresistibly drawn to the trunk of the giant tree. She then calls out for everybody to focus fire as they have to get him to the tree. Then we get some flashbacks.
- Tachyon and Luminary talking about pulling the moon into Freedom Tower (art from "Brilliant Inventor"), then he flips over the whiteboard and explains that that's when Voss will steal OblivAeon's power and then he will steal it from Voss. Tachyon's unsure about that last bit, but they get down to business on the devices necessary here and on developing a backup plan (Tachyon being all about redundancies for the redundancies, as opposed to Luminary who assumes his plans work, how could they not?).
- Luminary and Tachyon talking on the sidelines on Insula Primalis as Akash'Thriya is keeping OblivAeon occupied. That's when Luminary admits that his plan isn't going to work and it's a good thing they have a backup plan.
- Back to the fight - the heroes are slowly but surely driving Voss back towards the tree (aided by the device on the tree that is pulling on him due to the nanites that Luminary injected into him). Some neat creative teamwork Freedom Five action where the whole group is focused on this one goal. Bunker blasts Voss in the chest with the Omnicannon, Absolute Zero makes the ground icy so Voss can't fight the pull as easily, Tachyon spins her arms in such a way to create a strong wind to push him back on the ice, Wraith uses some more magnetic tether things to augment the attraction to the tree, and Legacy finally just rushes in, crackling with the energy that his Luminary-designed suit adds to him, and hits Voss one last blow, finally knocking him back against the tree. Voss does manage to grab hold of Legacy in that moment, though, crushing him with a bear hug and blasting him with the energy within himself.
- Voss taunts him with a line like "What did you hope to accomplish, little hero?" Wraith calls for Legacy to get clear, but Legacy responds to "Just do it!" Tachyon fires this metal disk against Legacy that then releases some metal cabling that wraps around him and Voss, binding them both to the tree. They both cry out as the setup here starts drawing the power out of them and into the tree. The Freedom Five look on, distraught that this is the sacrifice they had to make to defeat Voss. Then Harpy, forgotten until now, runs forward and reaches between the cables, crying out herself with the pain of it. Once she gets her hand on Legacy she chants some magical words before she collapses and he disappears. The cables pick up the slack against Voss and his power continues to drain into the tree, visibly taking up the energy and growing even more. With the last of her strength, Harpy draws another magic circle on the ground and Legacy pops back into existence (we find out he was in the Realm of Discord for a couple of weeks - a lot of the trouble with moving in and out of the RoD is managing the weird time dilation effects involved, but she didn't have time to put in any of that stuff this time).
- Legacy staggers over to Luminary. The latter says "I guess you got what you wanted." "I never wanted this. Still, despite your best efforts, you're a true hero." "Well, you know what they say. ‘Aim for the moon.'" and he dies.
- Here in the real world, comics companies doing big, line-wide crossover events like this is generally an effort to clean up continuity and/or to boost sales; is that what's going on here? Why end the Multiverse? The impetus was less "end the Multiverse" and more to boost sales (the non-comics parts of the properties were doing really well and they wanted to bring readers in with a big crossover event - if fans of other media pick up a book, it's tied into all of this other stuff too and they want to capitalize on that) and to clean up all of the alternate-reality/time-travel stuff. While Disparation was a popular book, it sometimes seems like every story they tell is a Disparation story - the history of Sentinel Comics is very complicated because of all of this nonsense and serves as a barrier for new readers. So, OblivAeon is what they came up with rather than a reboot or retcon - they kept the characters and history, but stripped things down moving forward so that you didn't need to be reading every book to keep track of what was going on or have the 70+ years of comics history in your head to make sense of things.
- Did OblivAeon have any mini/limited series associated with it or was it just within the pages of the established titles? There were two 6-issue series that were important. Scion Strike kicked the event off before OblivAeon himself shows up at which point there's a 6-issue OblivAeon title. This did still cross over into every other title, though. You could, in theory, just read the OblivAeon book and make sense of it, but you wouldn't get as much as you would reading all of the other titles too.
- In the Champion Studios environment deck we see OblivAeon!Voss, but he should only have gotten those powers at the end of the event and San Alonso was blown up at the beginning, what's the deal? We only learned in this episode that Voss had protected Champion Studios as his base of operations. There was a side story in one title after he took OblivAeon's power where he returned there before heading to Megalopolis. This wasn't important enough an event for them to mention it in the overview, but good catch!
- Thematically, what would OblivAeon destroying the Realm of Discord or Time Cataclysm environments in a game represent? The RoD you could imagine as somebody opening a path to it in the hope that it would help in the fight against him and OblivAeon just destroys the connection. For Time Cataclysm, as it's not so much a place as a bunch of disparate places and times, they could come up with a hand-wavy explanation, but it's probably easier to just think about it as OblivAeon destroying other realities.
- While the conceit is that every game of SotM is happening in some reality, what about games of OblivAeon? Is it once for all timelines or what? Are all games of OblivAeon still happening somewhere? While the story of OblivAeon happens in "Universe 1" (the main continuity of the comics), it does happen in other realities as well at the same "time" (remembering that realities aren't all lined up with one another). The OblivAeon fight is a singular fight as he's a Singular Entity, and parts of any given game against him are true, they're all just parts of that one big fight across realities. The canonical end to the fight is when Voss takes his power and then the heroes defeat Voss, but parts of whatever game you play could be seen as happening elsewhere prior to that.
- How many of the Mission cards are events from the books, which heroes go on which missions, and are any of them failed? Some have been touched on - all of the Mission cards are ones that we see happen in the comics and are successful. It's not like there's a dispatcher sending heroes on missions, these are just events that occurred in the comics that helped the heroes out in some way. Only a few of them are even specifically a hero deciding to go off to do something (notably Haka). For some of them there's just a Mist Portal that opens and a hero steps through to join the fight, but they wanted you to have to work for that a bit in the game, so the "mission" aspect of it is more actions that were taken that could result in the help showing up later. "Mission" is a game term, not a comics one.
- What is the Atlantean Conduit? It's a magical focus that Harpy uses to greatly increase her abilities. It's one of one of the many magic/science things that the Atlanteans had and surely removing many such things from the Ruins of Atlantis couldn't have any kind of negative effect later.
- How much sentience does Omni-Unity have? Did she try to assimilate Universe 1 once she was there? She is part of the Omni-world where Omnitron has taken over everything and, because everything there is already Omnitron, isn't really a hero or villain. Once she's in the main reality, she definitely has the impulse to take over, but there's the important first step of defeating OblivAeon so that the reality is still there to assimilate afterwards.
- Does El Mejor Legado have different powers from the Legacy we know or is the main difference just his ethnicity? He has pretty much the same powers, or at least he operates much like our Legacy. Due to how each generation's new power is prompted by the previous one's life experiences there are obviously going to be some differences due to the different histories, but added all up he heroes much like our Legacy does.
- When OblivAeon is in his final form (barring Voss shenanigans) he looks to have an organic-ish body in there, is the suit something he constructed or something inherent to his being? The fact that he can have bits broken off implies the former but Aeon Men seem similar, but when they're damaged they just have energy inside, so what's the deal? Are OblivAeon Shards made from the "suit" or are any part of him that's knocked off Shards? Any parts that falls off isn't necessarily a Shard - a large hit that breaks off a significantly-sized part can generate Shards, but small chips will dissipate rather quickly. He doesn't have a "suit" - the body we see is him, not clothing or other similar thing. The physical form, however, is something that he created for himself in order to have this fight in the first place. This makes him physically potent, but also creates a vulnerability (although not one that the heroes could really capitalize on - if Voss hadn't shown up with the OblivAeon Engine, the Orbital Death Laser strike wouldn't have been enough to destroy him, not really; you need to actively draw the energy out of his form in order to defeat him).
- So, since OblivAeon was the reason that timelines were shattered and reality-hopping/time travel were possible and his destruction puts and end to those activities it seems like OblivAeon is intrinsically connected to reality. Does this mean that his destruction will have ramifications later on (reality unraveling and traced back to this cause or something)? Any other Singular Entities connected to reality like this? Singular Entities can be destroyed (he's not even the first) and it's not like destroying one will cause the thing they're tied to to end, it just creates something like a power vacuum and might through things out of balance as a result. The ramifications of OblivAeon's destruction is purely good. However, we get to something here that they have to walk back as the real reasons for something was tied to Voss's actions, and his presence here was a secret. The closing off of the Multiverse for the main continuity happens after OblivAeon is defeated, but not because his defeat "heals" the shattered timelines, but because Voss uses OblivAeon's power to specifically cut Universe 1 off from the rest of the Multiverse. That's why the Mist Storm Universe could still have some minor time-travel effects and Prime War is even possible in the first place, but it's also why characters from Universe 1 can't be pulled into the Prime War plot. There are some future problems that stem from this action, but we'll have to wait to find out what those are.
- We know that La Capitan starts her "career" when the ship that would become La Paradoja Magnifica fell through a rift in time, however, was the rift caused when OblivAeon shattered the timelines or was it, say, a backlash from the explosion when La Comodora crashes it into OblivAeon (thus creating a paradox in its own existence)? They love this theory. It's impossible for it to have been intended that way in the continuity of how things were written in the comics, and neither was that the intent when Christopher and Adam made it up, but nobody can tell you that this is true or not true.
- After OblivAeon we know that La Comodora is stuck outside of time and space, because the destruction of OblivAeon is a fixed point (as a Singular Entity he can only be defeated once) and she's the only main-continuity character stuck outside reality at this point, does this put her in a good position to become a Singular Entity herself? They are not going to talk about La Comodora post-OblivAeon at this time. Provided they have the opportunity to keep making things they may do so eventually. They want to, but it won't be any time terribly soon.
- La Comodora knows how to destroy a timeline, she's stuck outside time and space with all the… time… to contemplate what she's done and goes insane, if she can become a Singular Entity, does she eventually decide to destroy all realities and become OblivAeon in the first place, shattering the timelines and creating the possibility for her to become La Capitan in the first place (thus making the paradox even more complicated and complete)? This is delightful. None of this is true, but it's just great. Normally this sort of completely-off-base letter wouldn't make it to air, but this is just too great to not acknowledge.
- So, if the big battle had cameos from all the other realities we'd become familiar with over the decades, what did they come up with to depict the Legacy Radio Play universe? How about other less-well-loved iterations (live action movies, '90s animated universe, etc.)? While they try to represent everything, they had to specifically dial back on just how many Legacies got shown. The Radio Play version would have been tough to do in this way already ("America's Greatest Legacy with a cape" is kind of obscure even for people who would know what to look for). They did include the version of the Wraith from the '60s TV show (they had to make enough alterations to the costume to make it work for TV that it was recognizable and they even drew her as a kind of caricature of the actress).
- Just how powerful is Voss if he was able to break off 6 OblivAeon Shards all at once on his own? Are those the "main" 6 Shards that we already know about - the 4 from Void Guard and the 2 from the Cosmic brothers? He is extremely powerful and very capable. Because he's one of the core decks (and therefore people are pretty used to defeating him) people underestimate him - you're not so much fighting against him, but against his army. Sure, you fight him (on his flip-side), but winning a game against him is foiling the invasion and driving him off, not putting him down personally. Captain Cosmic and Infinitor were powered by the same one - the 6th is the one that powered Proletariat.
- Besides the clues left for the heroes, what else did Voss do to undermine OblivAeon? Did OblivAeon ever suspect the betrayal? If OblivAeon had suspected anything, he didn't care because he didn't think that a betrayal could possibly actually hinder his plan. The main thing Voss did other than the clues to the heroes was the use of an OblivAeon Engine for his own purposes.
- My interpretation of events leads me to think that three characters were most important for defeating OblivAeon: Voss for his betrayal and actually dealing the final blow, La Comodora for her behind the scenes time/reality shenanigans over a period of years, and Wellspring for the creation of the Legacy line of heroes - would OblivAeon have been successful if any of these three hadn't been involved? No - the heroes would have failed without any one of those three. Or Luminary (who's only slightly overshadowed by Wellspring here, honestly). Well spotted on the importance of the Legacies, though - not just in terms of their own direct actions in the fight, but their status in terms of "paving the way" for other heroes.
- Was Wellspring's action specifically to counter OblivAeon? Wellspring is primarily motivated by Progress and the Parsons family exemplifies that perfectly well. There was some "Maybe somebody should do something about that OblivAeon guy…" rationale to it as well, though.
- Are there other known Singular Entities opposed to OblivAeon? They mentioned the "help" that Wager Master provided. Faultless helped out once he regained himself. Beyond that, the Singular Entities we saw spying on events after Voss' usurpation are what we know of - since all Singular Entities are roughly as powerful as one another and OblivAeon was more powerful due to his unique history none of them wanted to combat him directly. It does seem a bit weird for these "gods" to be pinning their hopes on mortals, but there we are.
- What creates the biggest, prettiest, coolest, most bad-ass explosions in this whole event? La Comodora ramming the ship into OblivAeon, causing this miles-high chronal explosion. The combination of physical and time damage was part of why it could do anything to him.
- Were any realities destroyed by OblivAeon before the main event took place? Yes, several.
- Given detail on "Maria Helena's Plot", why is the date of when the Chairman took over Pike Industries important for OblivAeon? What's the corruption being spread? It's not important to OblivAeon, but to general time shenanigans that La Comodora is up to. The corruption that spread is Rook City as we know it.
- What action did OblivAeon take that shattered the timelines? "Shattering the timelines" is sort of an abstract/poetic way to describe his actions to bring timelines closer to one another and altering/sending stuff into different realities, similar to his general mutual-annihilation technique. One specific action near the beginning of that process was empowering Cosmic Omnitron [because in other realities Omnitron wasn't defeated so quickly/easily, per previous statements, so setting it to rampage again would bring reality closer to some of those other realities].
- Did OblivAeon ever encounter Wager Master and have to deal with one of his bets? They've certainly met, but OblivAeon has no time for his nonsense. That's a big part of why WM does what he does during the event - OblivAeon won't play with him.
- After OblivAeon, does Sentinel Comics ever do a comic about what hypothetical stuff OblivAeon would get up to if he had won? There's a one-page joke story as a back-up piece in a Disparation title - just a black page.
- [Quality Angry Taxpayer rant at about an hour and 56 minutes in about this "illegal alien" coming in and tearing stuff up/not contributing] What did the average normal citizen do to help combat OblivAeon? The books are very focused on the heroes fighting, but we do get a few moments of "civilians" doing stuff. For example, Wraith's parents trying to get those kids to safety - her dad in particular cracking Nixious across the face with a baseball bat is probably the best "regular Joe getting his licks in" moment. Given that the main story is in a 6-issue limited series, there's just not a lot of room for this sort of side action. We get some brief things right at the beginning to establish how the event is impacting the normal people, but from then on it's mostly just focused on the heroes.
- What was the general feeling in the world immediately following the defeat of OblivAeon, especially in the most-affected areas (joy? horror?)? Any notable reactions from heroes that had later repercussions (for good or ill)? A lot of what they've talked about in the last few episodes' Overviews already goes into the repercussions that the events had - Akash'Thriya creating the big tree in Megalopolis, Argent Adept and Naturalist tearing through the Void, etc. As for the average person, there's worldwide mourning due to all of the devastation. You know what? This is a good segue to…
- Lots of mourning, but also a great sense of hope - the world is aware of what was at stake there and how close they came to the end, but here they still are. Not to say that there aren't areas that will be forever changed as a result. There are some specific follow-up stuff in the comics:
- There's a flashback bit to show what happens to the one Scion left without resolution - Voidsoul (Dark Mind fled, but that was a more definitive defeat). Voidsoul had gone out into space and ran into Guise, who's still working through his grief at the whole "I would have died if it weren't for the sacrifice of the guy who most believed in me" thing. Voidsoul starts feeding into this, whispering to him how it's "all his fault" and whatnot - pushing on those terrible feelings. However, Guise has more going on now and also gets a Scholar voice in his head pushing back on that. Guise stands, reaches into the place where Voidsoul is hiding, pulls him out, and tears him to shreds. This is what preceded/prompted Guise's appearance back in Megalopolis.
- Slamara is shown to have not accompanied the Enclave of the Endlings - she stayed behind like Lifeline did. We last saw Lifeline out of commission after his Bloodstone-fueled blast against OblivAeon and Slamara is the one to bring him back around. She talks about how she believes in the heroism of the people here in the world like he does. It also turns out that Slamara has feelings for Lifeline and partly stayed on his account. Additionally, she's the one to convince him to give up all of this power he's accumulated and works him through the process of releasing it as what turns into Aeon Girl.
- Writhe (if we should even still call him that as he no longer has the shadow cloak) still has his Cosmic Inventor stuff/OblivAeon Shard to work with and he's trying to make a replacement for the cloak. He comes up with a variety of inky black stuff, but nothing works the same. We get a bit between him and Absolute Zero where Ryan is trying to convince him to just let it go. This isn't terribly successful. Later the rest of Void Guard come and determine that they need to figure out what's going on with them and it's probably safer for them to do so out in space rather than here on Earth. They also want to see if they can find Captain Cosmic while they're at it.
- Maia Montgomery talking with her mom about her guilt about her father's death (it was her idea for them to come to Megalopolis, etc.). Her mom counters with just how proud her dad had been when he found out that she was the Wraith and that she likely inspired his last heroic actions to protect others. He would not have blamed her for anything.
- K.N.Y.F.E. and Sky-Scraper (it's been mentioned that they go out and have adventures in space before, but the guys have been cagey about it): it's because of Voss. Post-OblivAeon, Voss has been drained of the power and captured. Tempest is given the decision for what to do with him. He takes some time and ultimately decides that he should stand trial. He and Sky-Scraper (who've finally started to get closer to one another) talk about it a bunch and decide to take him back to Dok'Thorath (where the civil war has finally turned against the military) and have him stand trial for war crimes against his own people and against all of reality. K.N.Y.F.E. is all about this "space cop" stuff that F.I.L.T.E.R. isn't doing for her anymore and Sky-Scraper has been a Thorathian freedom fighter for forever, so they're the team picked to transport him.
- Finally, we have the funeral of Ivan Ramonat. Everybody's teary-eyed. Legacy gives a speech about how he died a hero. It's not like he managed to fake his own death or anything.