The Letters Page: Editor's Note 49
We got a live one here!
Run Time: 1:06:39
We had fun and a good deal of audience interaction with this one! Always a good time. Here's the upcoming schedule:
- Tuesday, November 2nd: Episode #193 - Writers' Room: Disparation: Oni Mr. Fixer
- Tuesday, November 9th: Episode #194 - Writers' Room: A Mr. Jitters story
- Tuesday, November 16th: Episode #195 - Creative Process: Underworlds — hells, demon dimensions, and more!
- Tuesday, November 23rd: Editor’s Note #50
- Tuesday, November 30th: Episode #196 - Writers' Room: Haunted Fanatic
In this Editor's Note, we talk about a bunch of things, including:
- A birthday
- And more!
Join us next time for a Disparation episode about Mr. Fixer and something something Oni something?!
- What wound up happening to some of the powerful items that feature in the OblivAeon Mission deck; specifically Wraith’s hair dryer, the Infinity Cannon, Lifeline’s Bloodstone, and the Atlantean Conduit? The Infinity Cannon got repurposed/adapted/rebuilt into the basis of the Riot Cannon in the RPG-era Bunker suit. The hair dryer was destroyed in the process of using it. It’s a long-standing joke in Sentinel Comics. A long time back somebody included a gag panel where the Wraith had a hair dryer. Then it got shown here and there over the years as a running gag, often just as a background detail (but there was that whole Realm of Discord thing too). Then, during OblivAeon somebody had an idea to have this running gag turn out to be this powerful weapon (which is actually exactly what they did in the game too - it was just a joke until they had the idea here in the Mission deck). The Atlantean Conduit will have a role in the upcoming xxtz’Hulissh adventure material. The Bloodstone they think got destroyed: Hermetic made it, Lifeline took it and used it for Blood Magic stuff, and it got broken in the process. Hermetic could make another if he were in any condition to do much of anything.
- [Letter regarding OblivAeon vs. NightMist “kill count” that approaches things by discussing different cardinalities of infinity; “countable” vs. “uncountable” infinities and how the latter is a larger infinity than the former, the letter does its best, but I would suggest this Veritasium YouTube video for a demonstration on the topic. The gist is that given that NightMist’s Becoming the Gate is a pretty good example of a “countable” infinity, if the number of people killed by destroying entire realities could be shown to be an “uncountable infinity” that would put OblivAeon ahead.] This actually makes sense to Adam. He just lacks the terminology to describe his understanding of the concepts (like, he still doesn’t get “how the math works” to let infinities be of different “sizes”, but just having a way to describe it and knowing that it can be this way is helpful).
- [Another letter that starts off trying to say that between “the set of positive whole numbers”, “the set of negative whole numbers”, and “the set of integers”, they’re all infinite but the latter is “larger” because it contains the other two sets - this is spurious because they’re all “countable” infinities (look at the video I posted above, you can easily come up with a “room order” to include the integers in the hotel where the room numbers are just the positives). This is approaching the problem from a faulty starting point, but if we accept the idea of different sized infinities we can at least get on with things:]
- Is the number of “NightMists” across all realities a “smaller infinity” than the infinite beings that exist in any given reality multiplied by the number of realities that OblivAeon manages to destroy? They think that the number of “NightMists” is countable and while the number of “people” in a given universe has to be a countable infinity, by destroying a good number, but still a finite number, of realities it gets up into “uncountable” [I’m not sure their logic holds up - the hotel can handle any number of countable infinities that you choose to add, but whatever.]
- Is this answer even knowable by anybody lesser than Singular Entities? Singular Entities might know it, but not in ways that we understand the word “know”.
- If the two Wager Masters ever met, how long would it take the two of them to destroy the entire Multiverse in the process of trying to one-up each other? The thing is, Wager Master(s) need an audience. They’d certainly mess things up and potentially destroy a lot of things, but they’re not going to destroy everything. They’re more likely to each choose a “player” for a mutual game than to mess with each other directly in such a way as to destroy everything - just being left with another version of himself isn’t fun.
- Could the “sandwich bag” protect Universe 1 from such a Multiversal destruction event? They don’t think so. The Multiverse is everything and so destroying it would take Universe 1 along with it, despite the bubble around it. Guise can see (for various asterisked definitions of “can” and “see”) into other realities of the Multiverse and that includes the metaverse and our reality. There aren’t “multiple multiverses” where Guise could see into one set and not another such that destroying one set wouldn’t affect the other. Another tidbit to clarify something here is that the only thing “outside” the Multiverse is Ur-Space, which is a big ol’ nothing and only Singular Entities even really have a firm grasp of what that “outside the multiverse” even means.
- Have you already established an in-universe term for people like Arataki who came to Universe 1 from other realities to fight OblivAeon, but are now stuck there? Could this term also be used to apply to people like Visionary and K.N.Y.F.E. who are also originally from alternate realities, although who have been around longer? They probably should, but they don’t have anything yet. You want something that reads as “multiversal refugee”. Something like “nomad” or “wanderer” doesn’t fit because they aren’t wandering, but also stuff like “exile” or “outcast” are wrong because they weren’t kicked out of a place, but are just stuck where they are now. “Stranded” or other cast-away type of words (although maybe without the nautical theme) might be the best angle to approach it, although “stranded” in particular is something you’d use as a categorical: “the Stranded” referring to all of them rather than being a noun that could be used for an individual (although “The Stranded” does make for a good story title). Maybe “Strand” as it ties into both that idea and “strands” gives an additional connotation of threads/fabric which is interesting for reality metaphor reasons. Maybe try that now as a tentative idea, but they’ll discuss it more off-the-air to see if they can find something better.
- [There’s a joke letter relayed here. Somebody filled in the letter submission form as with the name field listed as “Progeny”, the subject as “OblivAeon”, the pronouns as “It”, and the actual letter portion left blank. Progeny is here and wants to talk/ask about OblivAeon, but, y’know, Progeny doesn’t actually speak so that’s the end of it.]
- Is there a Singular Entity of Math? No, but there’s probably one of Logic and that would cover “math” as a concept.
- Given all of the “Stranded” discussion, is there a group of such people working to break through the “sandwich bag” so that they can get home? Yeah, both individuals and people banding together to work on it. Good luck to all of them.
- Do humans even know about the sandwich bag? No. That’s a good point - the goal is to get home. They don’t know exactly why they can’t and/or what they would need to overcome to do so.
- Would the Pied Piper have been a Virtuoso of the Void and/or a Blood Mage? They think not a Virtuoso but is a Blood Mage who’s using the medium of music to perform that magic. While all Virtuosos use music to do their thing, they’re not the only magicians who use music.
- In a recent episode there was a question of whether there were any post-OblivAeon comic title briefs that you hadn’t told us yet - you did all 20 at that time, but there were some redactions for The Paradigms, are you willing to tell us the whole thing now? Ah, no. Those redactions are just for the members, but they’re not willing to tell us everybody yet. “A new team of heroes, led by some familiar fan-favorite faces! The Paradigms are a team of tech-oriented heroes, all working for RevoCorp (now under a new CEO with bold ideas about the future). RevoCorp’s management of the hero team gives them a lot of advantages: slick costumes, corporate sponsorship, access to the latest tech - but it comes with a lot of red tape, too.” [That’s what we’ve been told before.] “[Blank, blank, blank, and blank] work together well but when they team up with a new [blank] hero things start to get complicated.” So, we now know for sure that they’re a 5-hero team, one of whom is a new addition. They’ll throw us a bone and tell us that the first two blanks are Unity and Benchmark (which isn’t a surprise - chat brings up that we also know that Parse is involved, which they confirm). That’s as much as they’ll do now. One of the remaining characters needs a bunch of story stuff relayed to get to the “team” stuff and the other needs to even be established (as they’re a “brand new character”). [Fun chat joke that we’re being trolled and that one of these people is Blank, the Inversiverse version of Equity - that’s fun, but not what’s going on).
- How did Soothsayer Carmichael react to the whole “Death of Anthony Drake” story? We don’t really see him in the immediate fallout of Argent Adept’s death. He does prove pivotal shortly after that when they’re trying to bring AA back - he encounters the “new” Virtuosos and knows that for all the problems he had with the last guy, these kids aren’t up to snuff and so they need to get AA back.
- Is Inversiverse Baron Blade (heroic Luminary, Ivana Ramonat) still in the main continuity after OblivAeon? She’s not in Universe 1. Sorry to disappoint you shippers out there.
- Why can’t the Lowsley brothers be happy? They were pretty happy before they got powers and had a good brotherly relationship. Then one of them was driven cosmically mad by a dread entity. It’s hard to get past that. They end better than that given Infinitor’s redemption arc.
- Captain Cosmic doesn’t come off as terribly heroic often does he (in that he has a tendency towards being duped, dragged into a plot unwillingly, or otherwise acting as a hero more out of obligation than because it’s what he wants to do)? Can he never catch a break? Can we get a more heroic story for him? That could be a whole writer’s room just to get that specific thing nailed down. He has a bunch of heroic stories, but the ones that you bring up regarding him getting duped or dragged into things are kind of the major, character-defining ones. He’s out there doing his best, he’s a bit too earnest, and Galactra really knows how to play him.
- Given what we know of their back story, it seems like Nigel might have been the more naturally heroic of them (given his chosen profession and the fact that he throws himself in front of energies that might hit his little brother) - is living up to his brother’s example why Hugh feels the obligation to do this hero thing? Given a choice, would he have preferred to pretend that this “space rock” thing never happened? He wouldn’t have pretended that it didn’t happen, but they do think that you’re onto something here regarding his motivations. Like, he’s got plans for his life, but now he’s got this other thing he needs to do and it’s not until the big character-driven stuff involving the return of the Prime Wardens that he comes to terms with “this is my life now”. Nigel’s story is very intentional on their part - this heroic guy who can’t help but become villainous. Hugh’s not a hero. He’s a good guy and wants to make the world a better place, but he’s not heroically-minded like his brother was before the madness.
- Why did Nigel take more of the hit from the OblivAeon shard in the first place? The power went into them pretty evenly, but Nigel just got more of the “personality” influence. That comes down to the fact that after they’re knocked out, Hugh’s just a guy and Nigel is the guy. Even subconsciously he’s protecting his brother, and so he takes the brunt of it. If there had only been one of them there, they’d have become a full-on Scion of OblivAeon.
- Wait, wait, wait… In Editor’s Note 48 you said that the Prime Warden ages were Haka > Tempest > Captain Cosmic > Fanatic > Argent Adept, but in the Fanatic Supporting Cast episode, the amount that Maria Josefina ages over the course of Fanatic’s story seems longer than the stated 30 years for Captain Cosmic in his bio, so which is it? Yeah, you’re right that there’s weirdness going on here. Fanatic has definitely been around for longer, but due to Host weirdness appears to be much younger than she is. We see Helena introduced and then her story kind of fast forwards through a lot of her life to get to “now” during which time Maria Josefina grows old. Hugh was around 30 at the time he got powers, but by the end of the Multiverse era he’s in his early-to-mid 40s. So, over the course of their existences (with her being introduced a few years after him in publication terms) he gains about a decade and a half while she gains something like 40 years of life experience, but only “ages” a few years. This does swap CC and Fanatic in the age ordering, though. Good catch.
- To possibly sidestep any potential electoral irregularities (or even the appearance of them), could we have a topic submission of “author’s choice” to just explicitly mark out a time when we want to let you pick what to talk about (with The History of Sentinel Comics looming on the horizon I imagine that there’s probably something that you would like to iron out)? You could submit that topic, but the main thing they want in that process is to hear what the audience is interested in. They have so many suggestions that come in and/or in the current backlog, that if they want to tell a particular type of story, they can pull out a legitimate user suggestion for voting. Sometimes they lightly campaign for a given topic, but that’s not vote tampering. They’ll be honest, there’s a story that they’ve kind of wanted to tell for a while and have put forward a few topic suggestions that would lead to it, but it just doesn’t get voted for. Some day it’ll happen. It doesn’t affect the wider Multiverse or anything - it’s just a story they’re jazzed to tell. They realize that for a few reasons they tend to get a lot of team stories and that leaves some of the more solo heroes out a lot of the time. However, they’ve also been doing a lot of Dark Watch content lately which has actually been useful due to the fact that the DE expansion featuring them is the current project.
- In the Daybreak Halloween issue there was a question of who would be the person handing out apples for trick or treaters - the answer is obvious: Green Grosser! Yup, nailed it.
- Does Anthony confide in Carmichael his reasons for sacrificing himself? Yeah, he would talk about this Bal'Taranerach thing and why his sacrifice was necessary and how him being brought back should concern everybody. If AA is serious about a thing and explains himself fully like this, Carmichael will take him at his word that it’s a big deal. He likely thinks of Bal’Taranerach as a more immediate threat than most of the other heroes.
- Would you consider Ra the age of Dr. Blake Washington Jr. or the age of the immortal spirit of Ra? The character Ra would be Dr. Washington’s age if we were, like, listing ages for character bios or something. The question of who between Ra and Fanatic is older gets really weird, though, given the “timeless immortal spirits inhabiting mortal bodies” thing. It’s either undefined or you just use the ages that are actually definable (the ages of the mortal bodies). Christopher admits that he’ll often include both stats for Ra stuff - like just separate the Washington and Ra stats with a slash.
- Did you ever explain where Choke got exposed to Isoflux Alpha? Yes. She was given a bath in a metal sink as an infant and there was some in that water.
- Chat suggests that it should just be mandatory that there be a shipping episode in February. They will say now that there will be one up for voting for that month. Another option for February will be the Tachyon/Dana wedding episode.
- We know that Ansel G. Moreau does his own stunts, but does that extend to car/driving stunts as that’s a significantly different skill set? If so, is he as good at them as he is at the more standard fare stunts? Yes. He does all of his own stunts. He’s the equivalent of how Tom Cruise keeps doing these elaborate stunts for Mission: Impossible films. Likewise, Ansel was in a western at one point and put in the time to learn to do all the horse riding and other western tricks like using a lasso. It’s fun how good you can get at so many different disciplines if you just need to train for stunts like this.
- How does Soothsayer Carmichael feel about villains who use magic? What would he think if he got non-magical powers (say, becoming an Omega or gaining an OblivAeon shard)? He isn’t necessarily a “hero”, but it’s not like he wants people to be doing evil things generally. He might not be able to stop himself appreciating the skill of something done well, but that’s a far cry from endorsing that it was done at all. It’s not just a result of pedantry (although he’s definitely pedantic about this stuff) - a good guy doing magic wrong can be dangerous and that’s bad. If he got non-magical power of some sort, he’d approach the use of that power through the lens of what he knows of magic.
- What’s Ansel’s least favorite stunt in his own body of work? The one that scarred his face!