The Letters Page: Editor's Note 25
It's time for the Letters Page Listeners' Choice Awards nominations announcement!
Run Time: 1:35:30
We have a special guest for this episode, and he makes the show even better!
We spend the first portion of this recording discussing the recently announced awards. Once you've listened to all of that - including the most excellent question nominations - it's time to vote on your favorites! Check out the voting form here.
After that, we SHOULD get to the schedule, but we're a week behind on that, so go to the Letters Page Patreon and vote on what episodes will start off 2019. So much voting! (The schedule for January 2019 will be announced in next week's episode.)
And then, after all of those things, we finally get to your questions with the help of our special guest! We start in on the questions at just after the 44 minute mark.
Only one episode left this year, folks! Join us next week for some holiday cheer!
- Iron Legacy
- Baron Blade, Luminary
- Iron Curtain
- A few alt-reality Akashes
- Apostate, Seraph
- Nigel Lowsley
- Voss and Inversi-Voss
- Fanatic, Hellion
- Citizen Dawn
- Blood Countess Bathory
- Absolute Zero, Red Menace
- Legacy, Everyman
- Mr. Fixer
- Argent Adept
- Funniest Episode [they give a full list of what people nominated, I am only listing the “official” nominees for voting purposes - I also apologize to anybody whose name/handle is misspelled in the Question nominations]:
- Episode 77 - Shipping: Love in the Multiverse (they are choosing to lump the nominations for Editors Note 21 follow-up into this).
- Episode 72 - Xtremeverse
- Episode 78 - Greatest Legacy Radio Play
- Episode 80 - The Incoming Storm: Mist Storm to Prime War
- Extrasode 6 - Adam and Christopher Destroy the World
- Worst Episode:
- Best Audio Production
- Best Storytelling
- Funniest Question
- Editors Note 21 (Shipping follow-up) - Ansel G. Moreau asking about K.N.Y.F.E. and Ambuscade.
- Episode 84 (OblivAeon part 2) - Angry Taxpayer about OblivAeon needing to get a job.
- Episode 77 (Shipping) - Princess Cool just asking all the questions
- Editor’s Note 21 (Shipping follow-up) - TakeWalker asking about Hugh Lowsley: “Space Dad”
- Episode 57 (Iron Legacy) - Cult of Gloom ending with “He was smiling when he killed your daughter.”
- Episode 92 (Perestroika) - Princess Cool asking about who thought Mecha-Stalin was a good idea and what his deal is.
- Episode 75 (Dark Watch #1-6) - Cult of Gloom on why Zhu Long didn’t have an “off switch” for Mr. Fixer.
- Episode 82 (Scions) - Cult of Gloom not being happy with Nixious and the OblivAeon cult stepping on his toes.
- Episode 82 (Scions) - Cantrip saying that cults suck and taunting Cult of Gloom.
- Saddest Questions (lots of nominations, but all of them were for these 2 options)
- Best Fan Theory Question
- Honorable mention to the Episode 82 (Scions) and the rapid-fire of everybody’s “Is Voss a Scion?” question.
- Episode 82 (Scions) - Elemental Fugue with the long, detailed, completely accurate version of the “Voss is a Scion” explanation that spelled it all out.
- Episode 84 (OblivAeon part 2) - Face on Toast presenting a wonderful nonsense scenario where La Comodora is/becomes OblivAeon via a stable time loop.
- Editors Note 23 (OblivAeon follow-up) - Tireless Dynamo correctly lays out the split between the MCU and Mist Storm Universe.
- Most Revealing Question (i.e. questions that prompted them to reveal the most)
- Episode 77 (Shipping) - Princess Cool just asking all the questions.
- Editors Note 23 (OblivAeon follow-up) - Tireless Dynamo correctly lays out the split between the MCU and Mist Storm Universe.
- Episode 50 (Sky-Scraper) - Gearhead Goof asking about her appearance on her tiny Incap art and on Greazer’s “Living Paycheck” that led to the reveal that power-dampeners are a thing.
- Editors Note 23 (OblivAeon follow-up) - John DuBois asking about Wager Master leading to the reveal of there being 2 of him post-OblivAeon.
- Episode 71 (Super Power Sources) - Nova Kid Stacy asking about the Host.
- Episode 81 (Multiverse Recap) - Brian Jewett asking about a random Justice Comics issue.
- Episode 59 (Tempest) - Dan Sullen asking about Maerynian biology.
- Will the awards have a nickname like “The Oscars” [Rather than Academy (of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) Awards]? They spitball the idea a bit, but they’re going to defer actually answering until the award winners are announced.
- When talking about Freedom Six Wraith’s anniversary incap art, we were told that Operative and Equity were in the background, but didn’t she kill the Operative in this timeline? Is this a new Operative (like Ermine or something)? She definitely killed the Operative - the one we see here is a new one, not Sophia DeLeon, but it’s not really gone into. There’s just no room in the comics we see involving the Iron Legacy timeline to explain the structure of the Organization now, only that Wraith is running it.
- Were there any episodes/questions that you were expecting to get nominated that were not? Not really. The closest here were that there were nominations for things like the Guise Episode or the Road Warriors story that were in 2017 and therefore disqualified. Christopher had hoped for more Question nominations in general, but they recognize that they kind of blindsided us with that and that it’s not the easiest to go back and find them after the fact [and these notes don’t really help as I am paraphrasing rather than transcribing the questions and only occasionally noted the author and/or timestamped them when I thought a letter was particularly entertaining]. Maybe the 2 live creating-things episodes.
- Will they add different categories next year or can we count on just these same eight? They’re going to be sticking to just these.
- Honorary award for WalkingTarget for transcribing the episodes [well, summarizing them]? Definitely. Let’s write that down. [Aw, shucks.]
- Wait, Mecha-Stalin is canon (I thought Adam made him up as a joke)? Yup! It can be both things!
- How was Joseph Stalin himself portrayed in Sentinel Comics in the WWII and post-war eras? He was a world figure at the time and wasn’t portrayed as a Villain. By the time the Silver Age rolls around in the ’50s or so the comics also kind of take on an anti-Communist propaganda angle.
- What happens to all of the staff involved in the Mecha-Stalin project? Are any of them still around? Their stories are lost to history as far as anyone knows.
- Was Baron Blade aware of the Mecha-Stalin project? What is their relationship going to be like in the future? He was not aware. Time will have to tell on the latter.
- What percent of Mecha-Stalin’s body/mind is electronic/digital? Most of his body is metal, like 98% (his face is the only flesh and his brain is only partly organic at this point as it’s interconnected with like diodes and stuff). Is it even “real” brain matter? Who knows!
- What’s Perestroika’s support network/funding method? Their “man-power” starts out as just themselves, but they grow a stable of followers as they go. “Funding” is largely from them stealing things, taking over/reclaiming decommissioned facilities. Their movement is a very populist one and so they pick up support through that.
- How many goons/workers can we expect to run into during our adventures? Can’t go into that right now, sorry.
- Are they more likely to be hired thugs or true believers? More likely true believers, but also hired goons. We’ll see.
- Can we expect big announcement-style bomb threat plots from them or more mystery, investigation-heavy plots? Usually more the latter, but what kinds of stories do you want to tell?
- [Ansel G. Moreau letter about 58 minutes in] Why no comparison between Ansel and Marxman’s shooting abilities? It’s not much of a comparison. Ansel isn’t that great a shot - he’s more of a quantity over quality guy as befits an action hero guy.
- [Continued] Has the new Iron Curtain always been in her metallic form or is this a recent change (say, since puberty)? She wasn’t born as metal, but she started changing piecemeal before she was 10 and by the time she was in her mid-teens she was fully transformed.
- [Continued] Does she need food (or water, or air, or sleep, or to look at a fine physical specimen of a man who does all his own stunts - who am I kidding? Everybody needs that last one as a universal truth)? She can go without air. She needs to produce energy - we see her eat and drink, but the details of how she extracts energy from it is left a question. It’s certainly a different process than the usual one. She seems to be immune to toxins.
- Inductor vs. Iron Curtain: which metal lady wins? In a straight locked-in-a-room fight, Iron Curtain easily. Inductor gets a little durability boost from being metal, but doesn’t have super strength to go with it. If neither of them had powers, Iron Curtain would win as well. Inductor is not nearly the toe-to-toe threat that Iron Curtain is, especially if she hasn’t had prep time to set up the spells that make her dangerous. Another thing is that they think of Inductor as having metal skin rather than Iron Curtain who is made of metal.
- What would happen if, in the RPG Starter Kit scenario involving Proletariat [Justice Comics #740], the heroes prevent the disaster, but do not destroy the OblivAeon Shard? The way that the Shard had been manipulated by [someone] means that it interferes with Proletariat’s powers. If somebody were to somehow isolate the Shard or further alter it, that could make it stop messing with him to the point where he could pull himself together. If your heroes just left it there, it’s possible that somebody else (maybe another member of Perestoika) could have come in later to do one of those things or destroy it.
- What would happen if an OblivAeon shard was stored on a military satellite (like the one Bunker uses for his up-link)? It would just be on a satellite. They only really have effects on living beings. Maybe somebody out in space could sense that it was there and tears the satellite up in order to take it for themselves.
- Proletariat has the best name/power combination I have ever heard of in superhero fiction; can lightning strike twice? What power would go with somebody called Bourgeoisie? That’s got a very middle-class vibe, but not “working class” which is more what “proletariat” gets at. More the “means of production” thing. Honestly, building somebody with the Wraith’s backstory (minus the coma tragedy angle) with Unity’s powerset (maybe making gadgets rather than robots, so more like Captain Cosmic’s end result).
- Would Mecha-Stalin be a big enough threat to have a solo Villain Deck or would the Perestoika team have a Team/Vengeance-style Deck? If he was in the card game he would warrant a full deck with the rest of the team in there as high-HP targets. There’d be a bunch of Proletariats that would scale to do less damage the more of them there are in play. Iron Curtain would be a bruiser who’d lock you down so you have to fight her. Marxman is good at avoiding damage, but if you ignore him he does high damage.
- Could you use Proletariat as Minions in a scene rather than a Villain (thus getting around the manpower question from earlier)? Well, his Villain sheet lets him make copies that are all him at reduced efficacy, but he does have a limit to that so he can’t be everywhere. Other Minions get around that limitation.
- What happened to Mecha-Stalin and the others in Vertex? Proletariat never discovered/activated Mecha-Stalin so he’s not around and so the other two never got “activated”.
- Are there plans for Chokepoint to encounter/interact with Iron Curtain? What would that look like? That’s an interesting question (somebody who claims to be able to speak to metal encountering somebody made of living metal), but Chokepoint’s kind of not around and she’s not likely to show up again [they said in that cagey “this is definitely something that will come up again” tone of voice, fooling nobody].
- Is the good Akash from the Inversiverse the same one from the Be the Gate image? No (they mentioned what the BtG one is like briefly in Episode 94).
- In the original Inversiverse episode it was mentioned that the only good Virtuoso [or equivalent] was Franz Vogel who helped Akash out - what happened in their story? That’s a story from the backstory of the universe - that there was this Earth spirit that the Virtuosos fought and only one decided to work with her instead. He saved her from a plot of the other Virtuosos in his time, but he died in the process and she was at least weakened.
- [Postscripts on Liz C.’s letter the last 2 questions were from:] Seraph is cool, vaguely-Catholic Paladin types are my jam. Now that we’ve had 2 stories with heroic/sane Nigel Lowsley, I’m curious if we’ll ever see what he looks like sans-mask.
- Did Inversi-Voss meet “our” Voss during OblivAeon? No. Inversi-Voss is a philosopher and non-combatant. He wouldn’t have crossed over through a Mist Portal. Rainek Kel’Voss on the other hand is really busy during OblivAeon and we know pretty much everything he does. If they did fight somehow, Inversi-Voss would die pretty much immediately because, again, he’s not a fighter.
- In the Apostate Episode you said that Seraph was inhabited by a Host spirit of Order and Hellion by one of Chaos, this is at odds with the more recent story - did you change your minds or are these explanations compatible somehow? The Inversiverse stories didn’t go into the explanation of what they were, but that’s what they are. Most times if you see an “angel” or “demon” it’s likely explanation is the Host.
- What is the Telenovela-verse like? What are characters like Biomancer, Citizen Dawn, Blood Countess Bathory, Guise, Scholar, or Ansel G. Moreau? Did the creators recognize the goldmine they’d found and actually produce a Sentinels telenovela? They really appreciate your enthusiasm about this and agree that it’s the best. Sadly, the universe was only created in the comics in order to show up and be immediately destroyed. The writers wanted you to be able to understand the universe and have a strong connection to it immediately just so that it’d crush your dreams just as quickly when OblivAeon shows up to erase it. There just isn’t enough material about it to discuss the questions you ask.
- Can you tell us more about Red Menace (the fiery, Soviet Absolute Zero analogue on the Everyman card)? Is he from the same universe as Everyman? How did he get powers? Yeah, they’re from the same universe. They talked about him briefly in Episode 83 when they revealed that Everyman is that universe’s Paul Parsons [Red Menace - an old Disparation character. Raya Adonov, a Soviet sleeper agent in the US under the cover name Ryan Frost. He has these heat-based power and wore a suit.] He wasn’t a really well fleshed out character, just one that they could throw in there and people would understand his deal.
- Could Fanatic’s body be affected by necromancy? It depends on what you can do with necromancy in general in that setting (everybody has dead skin cells forming their epidermis, for example). It’s a gross avenue of discussion. The Host spirit that reanimated her is keeping the body alive. This is contrasted with Mr. Fixer who is a ghost possessing it’s own zombie and either of those aspects of his being would probably be vulnerable to necromancy.
- Follow up: is “The Host” named such because generally angels are referred to as being part of the “heavenly host”? Yeah, that’s intentional.
- Are there villains who would die or give up their plots for something? Like, would Baron Blade sacrifice himself to save Mordengrad? Would Kismet, Proletariat, or Matriarch give up fighting in order to protect certain people? Would Spite forgo killing one person if it would let him kill more later? Baron Blade would not do that - to his mind he is Mordengrad and so him dying would defeat the purpose. He would put himself on the line for it, but if somebody showed up and gave him an ultimatum (“Die now or I’ll destroy Mordengrad!”) he’d decline because he would then fight to prevent it. Spite’s not dumb and would definitely let somebody go if doing so would let him kill more people down the line. He’s pragmatic. Matriarch - kind of given that’s pretty much her story with her redemption as a hero, but during her one villainous turn she wasn’t really in control and so couldn’t have done so at the time. Kismet and Proletariat aren’t “killers” - sure, people have died because of their actions and they’d kill if it proved necessary, but it’s not like that’s the goal (like Voss, Omnitron, Spite, and yes, when she’s in full-on Matriarch-mode, the Matriarch).
- Would Baron Blade die if it meant he got to kill Legacy? If it meant ending the Parsons line, yes. I mean, he had a whole villainous plot involving crashing the moon into the Earth while he was on it (I mean, he thought he could engineer his own survival of that plan, but still, if he couldn’t but he and Legacy were both dead that’s a fair trade in his opinion).
- You’ve mentioned the whole “Death of Anthony Drake” event a few times, but what was the cause there? That sounds like an idea to submit for an episode all on its own. There’s enough there regarding his death, the break-up of the Prime Wardens, finding a new Virtuoso, etc. to be worth it.
- Lacking the urgent presence of OblivAeon, would Ivan attack Ivana on sight? Probably not on sight - he’s not really the type to attack anybody immediatly. He’d be curious and would investigate what her deal was first (and given the timing he’d likely try to play that whole “I’m a hero too!” angle to get information out of her).
- Does Mecha-Stalin celebrate his birthday on December 18? Is there also a Mecha-Archduke-Ferdinand kicking around somewhere that shares this birthday? As far as Mecha-Stalin thinks about birthdays at all, he would consider his birthday to be Dec. 18 since that was Stalin’s birthday. There is no Mecha-Archduke-Ferdinand… yet… Feel free to go construct one!
- Does Arataki have a favorite pie? Yeah, probably, but they haven’t discussed it.
- [The intro of the brithday question prompts the traditional singing of multiple songs simultaneously - this happens at around 1:30:48.]