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The Letters Page: Editor's Note 67
It was a live show! Now it's just dead audio. :C
Run Time: 1:42:59
Warning! This episode is pretty goof-heavy. Lots of goofs. You've been warned.
Here's the upcoming schedule:
- Tuesday, June 6th: Episode #251 - Writers’ Room: Heroic Proletariat
- Tuesday, June 13th: Episode #252 - Writers’ Room: Fanatic & The Organization
- Tuesday, June 20th: Editor’s Note #68
- Tuesday, June 27th: Episode #253 - Writers’ Room: Greazer in La Comodora’s Brig
We answer lots of questions on such a wide variety of topics. It gets wild. Listen and find out!
Join us next week for the last episode of Adam's birth-month: Episode #250 - Writers’ Room: Scavenger Unity!
- When you design a new character, to what level of importance they’re going to have in the greater story? Do you go in knowing roughly how important they’re going to be, or do you explore their story and that informs how important they’re going to be? More the latter, but it varies by character. They have definitely sat down in the past with the express purpose of inventing somebody important (see: the entire core roster back in the day). Other times they expect to be writing up a minor, bit character that winds up growing in the telling (and/or is a hit with the listeners and so gets more and more focus). They honestly don’t do a lot of the “sit down to make somebody important”, but the audience reaction is something that happens in real comics too.
- Has there ever been a power that you wanted a character to have that you just couldn’t get to “work” for the card game (say, teleportation as a major gimmick like with Nightcrawler)? Teleportation really is the main one. They have several characters that can teleport, but nobody for whom it’s the major power like with Nightcrawler. The card game has an Environment in play, but there’s not really a “spacial” quality to how it works. Christopher could probably make it work in the game, but he’s “not really jazzed” about it. Other than that, “part detachment” is one that they haven’t used, but that’s also not really high on their priority list. Adam brings up Headlong in that he’s got a Momentum quality to his speedster nature that’s hard to replicate, but for the same reason as the teleportation thing. Because he’s got not just speed but momentum, he’s moving from place to place and that spacial part of the gimmick is lost. Similarly, Spider-Man’s wall crawling or swinging around the city are things that are hard to abstract into the game. You could certainly flavor things to mention it (like a “swinging kick”), but the movement is not there.
- Is there any connection between the Host and Singular Entities? The Host is powerful, but there’s no intrinsic link between those two concepts.
- Why are there so many eyes everywhere in the Realm of Discord? Do they belong to somebody (the Oracle, GloomWeaver, etc.)? At a meta level it’s because it’s a disturbing visual element to have all over the place. The Realm of Discord should feel off-putting and that’s one way to do so. Thematically, you can also think of it as a bit of an “eyes are the window to the soul” thing. Consider the Portal Fiends for which their eyes are literal gates to some other location. Whose eyes are these and what’s behind them? Where do they lead? Art-wise, Adam brings up a specific example of trypophobia, which is a thing where some people are really creeped out by clusters of small irregular holes. In particular, lotus plant seed heads can look like clusters of eyes and that’s an element of what he’s going for. He also specifically advises against looking trypophobia up. Just don’t do that to yourself.
- Which heroes have killed at least one person (and be as generous with the definition of “person” as you want here)? Which of those feel bad about it? The short answer (as a starting point) is “anybody from the Golden Age probably has”. They’ve been around long enough to have a lot of opportunity, plus pre-CCA superheroes just tended to be more cavalier about that sort of thing. Grandpa Legacy was in a rather big war, as another point to consider. Now, “has the Wraith killed?” gets complicated. If we’re talking about the canonical answer to that question in the modern day, the answer is probably “no”, but if you go back into the Golden Age you’ll find instances where she killed mobsters that just get handwaved. Now, there’s also the related question of “Who is ‘a killer’?” Expatriette is an easy one. Absolute Zero is interesting in that of the Freedom Five he’s the one who would make that hard choice if he saw it as necessary and it’s probably happened a few times. Fanatic has killed people. Argent Adept has not directly. Benchmark hasn’t. Parse and K.N.Y.F.E. both definitely have. Bunker has in his old war comics, but they don’t think he has in the superhero context. Captain Cosmic probably hasn’t killed humans, but has possibly killed alien “people” but it’s tricky - he likely hasn’t killed somebody that the narrative presents as being somebody that he shouldn’t have. Chrono-Ranger would - he doesn’t want to and objects to that being a specific “job”, though. Alpha has and it’s a constant “oh no, I’ve done it again” kind of thing for her. Dr. Medico in his Malpractice phase. Guise hasn’t. Haka killed in his origin story, but Adam thinks he hasn’t since then. Harpy has. Not Idealist. La Comodora depending on how you define “kill” (but also how you define “hero”). Lifeline would. Mainstay would but hasn’t [unsure if the Road Warriors story came to mind here as the story described involved some very likely deaths]. Mr. Fixer really only has this sweet spot in the middle of his story where he doesn’t. Naturalist… probably has in an animal-instinct taking over thing like with Alpha, but generally no. NightMist has (Adam, under his breath: NightMist is one of the most morally ambiguous). Omnitron-X hasn’t very intentionally. Sky-Scraper hasn’t. Ra has. Scholar hasn’t. Setback definitely hasn’t. Tachyon hasn’t - as stated earlier none of the Freedom Five are “killers” and AZ is the one who would make that decision if pushed to it and Bunker hasn’t in his capacity on the team, but would have in the war stories. Unity hasn’t. Tempest has. Visionary has killed and worse. Writhe isn’t a killer but he would kill. Almost all of those would feel bad about it. Parse is the one to be in a situation where she killed somebody and didn’t feel bad about it. K.N.Y.F.E. too - she’s actually probably the hero in the Multiverse era that you probably could apply the “killer” label. Expatriette would and has killed, but she feels bad about it. K.N.Y.F.E. is a trained killer. She’s not amoral, but she’s intentionally worked to be morally flexible.
- Can you agree with or give reasons that I’m wrong to put the following characters on my list of the biggest chumps in Sentinel Comics?
- Biomancer, who I like as a concept but seems to be very unsuccessful at this whole planning-long-term-villainy thing: He’s the weapon that largely exists as a threat rather than one to be used. One can presume that there’s a ton of Biomancer plots going on all the time that are successful and that’s bad, we just don’t know about them. The ones we know about are the ones that the heroes discover and then foil (barring the odd case where he gets one over on the heroes). The scary thing about the Biomancer plots we see usually happen to be big ones where if he were to succeed it would be very bad for everyone. He’s also designed to be inscrutable. There’s really only one really notable Biomancer event in the Multiverse era which was when somebody decided that enough was enough with these 60 or whatever years of hinting at plots, so they actually do the “big thing” with him.
- Haka in terms of why it was so important that La Comodora “made” him for OblivAeon given that he seemed to just help Unity build a big robot and then went on recruiting trips through the mist portals: The mist portal thing is his purpose. He brings the whole Multiverse to the fight. He’s the beating heart of the Multiverse and is the reason everybody else shows up. They’ve probably just done a bad job at pointing out just how important he was to that process. The whole reason they took time out of the very crowded OblivAeon story to show La Comodora creating him was because his role there was so important.
- Wraith in that she moved to Megalopolis for her Freedom Five work - Megalopolis doesn’t need a Wraith, but Rook City does and she leaves, essentially letting it “beat” her: The point is that Rook City isn’t “beatable”, but it can be made more manageable and her activities there make it better than it would be otherwise. Additionally, as far as comics are concerned, she’s one of those characters that tends to be in two places at once. She can be in Rook City in a solo story while “simultaneously” being somewhere else with the team.
- GloomWeaver seems like he’s supposed to be really powerful, but none of his stories really seem to showcase that (he gets a foothold in reality, then Dark Visionary almost casually sends him back, Harpy just throwing birds at him while in his own realm, etc.). Additionally, the Cult of Gloom doesn’t really seem to do a whole lot on top of just what life’s throwing at us generally: Have you considered that the Cult could be behind some of the things that bring you down (say, the American healthcare system)? For real, though, the Cult is probably more successful earlier on, as is GloomWeaver. This is another one of those “If GloomWeaver ever actually succeeds, that’s game over for the rest of us” kinds of villains, though. That’s kind of par for the course for most big villains, though. Voss invades and isn’t stopped? Omnitron exterminates mankind? Baron Blade pulls the Moon into the Earth? That’s just how these things work. You typically only get temporary/minor victories so that the heroes have a chance to regroup and ultimately defeat them.
- Hippo… Actually, scratch that, he’s awesome. Hippo deck please!: Yeah, he’s great. He does exactly what they want him to be doing as a fun jobber.
- Okay, come on. Rambler’s nemesis, Grimm, is a deck now. He is being featured almost as much as Alpha and Darkstrife/Painstake, and he is really awesome. So, will his deck be like a Pouch Beast deck where he summons in demons that owe him? Or will it be more of a situation where he uses environment and villain minions? Well, he is awesome. That’s a great letter, thanks for writing in! They hope that you got exactly what you expected out of them regarding this question.
- If Æternus took over the Realm of Discord, would GloomWeaver be able to get to Earth through Æternus? If Æternus took over, then GW would either have to bow to Æternus or find a new home (or take part in the fight for the throne, but ultimately that’s basically bowing to Æternus as he’d be buying into their shtick instead of doing his own thing). Getting to Earth from Æternus probably wouldn’t be any easier for him from there than his current situation.
- In episode 246 the prompt was “Writers’ Room: Alien Artifact on Insula Primalis” but really we didn’t get any detail about this alien artifact. Turn around one week later in a seemingly unrelated “Creative Process: Fashion Foes” we get the story behind it. It feels like a major disconnect and made it seem like the prompt for episode 246 was a bit of a fake out. There’s no good reason for anyone to see the episode 247 title and think they would get the answer that should’ve partially been in 246. Why did you do this? First, because the Writers’ Room was just about the story on Insula Primalis and in that story it was not explained. Second, because they knew the schedule already. If they didn’t already know that the Fashion Foes episode was the following week and that the alien artifact tied into her story down the line they probably wouldn’t have put off discussing it entirely like they did.
- Onto a note regarding topics for voting, when voting comes up and one of them is an issue number can we get a blurb what that issue is about? Yes, they’ve seen requests for that and they’ll start doing that.
- Since the Block connects to different realities and therefore works as a method for pulling in alternate versions of characters, is the Block used as way of explaining the death of a villain (say, bringing a character back from the dead by just importing another reality’s version, say Spite with his habit of dying a lot but then coming back)? They don’t have any specific stories in mind for having the Block supply the replacement. This is the danger with multiverses - allowing alt-reality versions of a character to replace a dead one totally removes the stakes. You might have the odd case happen, but it’s typically a villain thing or else some big inscrutable thing that’s far removed from “normal” stories. Short answer here is that this isn’t something that happens (with the longer answer having a caveat that there might be specific cases where it can). Spite’s returns are all much more involved and unpleasant than just getting a different version of him from elsewhere. Additionally, F.I.L.T.E.R. is not interested in breaking down the barriers between realities.
- I think I recall in the Fashion Foes episode you said that the Golden age of comics is a blind spot for you both, what are some of the older characters you wish you could figure out for the game but have too much trouble translating them to mechanics (say a Billy Batson/Captain Marvel transformation gimmick)? They would simply not have Billy Batson be part of the game mechanics. The card game doesn’t really have a spot for “can be a child” would really factor in as an advantage. That’s part of the character’s backstory and it might get referenced in card art, or there’s a one-shot where the idea is that he’s turning into a kid to do something clever but then turns back because that’s his “combat mode” which the game assumes to be what’s going on. When they say that the Golden Age is a weak spot for them, they mean that they’re simply not as well-versed in as they are for comics from the Silver Age onward. They just haven’t read as many comics from that era and so have not internalized it as strongly and the tone of those comics is pretty different from the vibe of most of what they’re doing with Sentinel Comics. There might be the occasional reference to Golden Age issues in SotM, but the tone of the game is also Silver Age and later.
- Which is the correct plural: “Wager Masters” or “Wagers Master”? Wagers Master is more fun to day, but the “proper” one is likely Wager Masters (although if you were to use the right one around him, as part of the goof that is his existence he’d probably “correct” you to the funnier one). It’s a moot point anyway since he’s a Singular Entity and there’s only ever one of him, right?
- In the Rambler Foes episode it was mentioned that there is major beef between the Realm of Discord and Æternus. This is a big deal. Right? Does it relate to the fact that both things are weird polyp realms connected to reality, and each universe is only big enough for a single polyp? How long does this conflict go on? Is it relatively contained within the Multiverse era? A late development that continues after OblivAeon? Or a big arc yet unknown to us that completes before OblivAeon? To use your phrasing, universes can have a lot of “polyp realms” so that’s not the issue. Realms fight amongst themselves since they’re all connected to “normal reality” and they all get things from it. That naturally brings them into conflict as they are all “fighting” for resources. That also just means that more aggressive realms like the RoD and Æternus are more likely to have more active conflict. Normal reality is just very “desirable”. There isn’t a big RoD vs. Æternus plot, but it’s just a background detail that’s present over time.
- We know that Frankenstein’s monster exists and is actually Frankenstein himself, but what about the Bride? He’s in search for his bride. Or at least he’s shopping around for components. He wants the perfect bride and that probably means assembling her out of the best parts that he can find.
- How long in publication time is Void Guard and Lifeline’s time together? How often do they appear next to each other? Do they go on many adventures before Oblivaeon, or just enough to establish them? There’s only about a year and a half even available - March 2015 through OblivAeon the next year, but they’re not working together that whole time.
- Did Ambuscade ever hunt Guise, and if so, how Loony Tunes did it get? Yes and very. Probably a Road Runner/Coyote style thing.
- How would you run a hell portal in the Sentinels RPG? Specifically, I already have a major environment planned, but there’s also a hell portal. Is two environments reasonable in the Sentinels RPG or is this more like an Advanced Challenge with a series of challenge boxes and one environment? The latter in most cases, but it depends on the role of the portal in the scene. If the goal is to close the portal, then that’s almost definitely an Advanced Challenge. If the portal can’t really be interacted with and is just spitting out demons to fight or whatever, that might be an Environment. But if that’s the case, what else was the other Environment doing? You might just make the environment “[original location] with a hell portal” and just build it into the existing one rather than it being a second one. They don’t really see a use-case for it being a second environment entirely.
- Speaking of sustainable energy, I thought it was very interesting that the Naturalist and Akash'Thriya foes episode specifically featured something that could be played with released content. Why would you do this? And actually, do you attempt to steer topics and letters to upcoming Definitive Edition content? They do tend to steer things towards DE content since that’s “canonical”. Pre-DE stuff is largely an attempt at canon (and is largely pretty accurate), but DE is much closer.
- How much of Darkstrife and Painstake was planned before their episode? Did you go into the episode with the idea of linked demon twins? Was it completely live (I assume their general concept been planned for a while, so I was just curious)? Hero names, concept of “linked demon twins”, maybe about 60% overall. They had the high concept and just needed to flesh things out with details.
- Today I’m continuing my unofficial string of Wager Master questions, just how many realities can Wager Master not enter due to a badly made wager? More than one, but probably less than a hundred. Quite likely a single-digit number.
- Demiurge’s curse is really cool, but naturally brings up some questions on specifics that may or may not have been handwaved by comics. Can he be touched by air, thus allowing him to breathe, or is he constantly gasping for breath in the same way he is perpetually dehydrated and almost starving? You mentioned that he logically cannot cut his hair or nails. Does the art have them reach a limit for the sake of having a somewhat palatable design, or does he have nasty 3 foot curly nails that would surely painfully break if they could only make contact with a surface? The breathing thing is handwaved a bit. He’s basically in “magical stasis”. You could try to make up something where the “protection” effect has a lower bound on effectiveness and “air” is small enough to get through, and that kind of thing might come up in the “actual” letters page of a comic, but the ultimate answer is “don’t think about it too much”. Regarding hair and nails, there’s going to be a limit for art reasons, but you could also justify them breaking occasionally just because he has poor nutrition and so they’re going to be brittle and the weight of them would be enough even without contact from other things. [Again, I would posit that he can probably touch himself and so could likely at least bite his own nails.]
- He’s not really a fighty character, but how would one fight him? He can’t be punched or struck by projectiles, but perhaps electricity, heat, or magic can effect him? Technically there’s also the question of how he continues to make artifacts, but the answer to that one is definitely “magic”, right? They imagine that “energy” attacks might still work. Correct regarding making things. He can manipulate things by shoving things around. Fighting him also probably becomes something of a puzzle. You can’t hit him, but you can try to shove him around and trap him somewhere. They suggest finding a way to force him into a volcano. Sure, he’s not touching the lava, but if “energy” can hurt him, the heat might be enough on its own to actually kill him.
- In the Darkstrife and Painstake Foes episode you mentioned that Zhu Long was a “big fan” of what Ghost Viper is doing. You also implied that there was a very specific reason for that. Is this a Biomancer “all according to plan!” situation where Zhu Long is just supportive of something that might turn up advantageous for him later and he’s hedging bets, or is Ghost Viper doing something very specific that is directly helpful to Zhu Long’s mysterious goals? The stuff that Ghost Viper is doing is helpful in that he’s drawing hero attention that might otherwise be directed in his direction. He also thinks that the supernatural stuff that he’s doing is good. They are not at cross purposes, so this guy being out there doing this stuff is fine.
- Are there any pulp/adventure characters in the Metaverse that existed before the dawn of Superhero comics, that writers try to bring back every now and then, but never seem to achieve the popularity they once had? And is there any chance of you talking about some of these characters in the future? Yes to both. [Adam brings up that Chrono-Ranger was a popular, non-supers character that made the transition, but from what we’ve been told, Jim Brooks’ origin in Western Comics doesn’t fit this question - he first appeared as a comics character in 1941, after Paul Parsons VII in Justice Comics. The question here refers to pulp magazines that were a precursor to comic books. A real world example of such a character would be The Shadow.]
- Can you confirm the Heroic Proletariat episode is main universe and not Disparation? A Golden Age story in the main universe.
- [Long complicated question involving previously stated timeline details regarding the Baptism by Fire, War of Heliopolis, and Ra: Horus of Two Horizons comics that boils down to “When did these happen/when was the first appearance of Horus of Two Horizons Ra?”] Baptism by Fire runs June-November ’95, War of Heliopolis from December ’95-May ’96, the one-shot was in April ’96, the same month as WoH #5. That was the first appearance of that version of Ra and the associated one-shot was just later in the month.
- Where is Demiurge from/where does he live? How does Rambler defeat a foe who cannot be touched, not even by death? Has anyone tried to “cure” Demiurge, such as Nightmist/Zhu Long? Finally, want is Demiurge’s favorite food? They don’t really want to get into the weeds on Demiurge today. Episode 252 has already been tagged as the follow-up to the Rambler Foes episode, so get some questions in for that one. If there’s interest they could totally see doing a Writers’ Room or other stuff about Demiurge. He is (along with another recent development from the Fashion Foes episode) a character they are kind of excited to develop more.
- Follow up to Demiurge questions above: How does he see? Photons should stay away from him, so in theory he could be invisible, but blind to everything. Or does he detect the vibrations from light/sound swerving to avoid him, and he can interpret that as “sight” and “sound”. Also, does he lack a sense of smell? Uh… yeah… that’s definitely how it works and when you see him it looks weird because it’s actually a magical interpretation of him. They’ll say that he can smell because it’s worse for him if he can smell food that he can’t eat. He can see/smell/hear magically.
- Is Ghost Viper ever dealt with or is he just abandoned narratively once Darkstrife and Painstake leave Japan? He’s not “dealt with” in that he’s killed or anything. He does have a big plot that the heroes stop, but he’s still around doing stuff occasionally. He’s a minor villain that continues to exist.
- Adam, if there were to be a digital version of DE, how would you handle the transparent arts/the idle and action poses for First Appearance variants? That’s a good question. He doesn’t know at this point and it’s something they’ll have to talk to Handelabra about.
- Why are Spite and Ermine on the cover for Mystery Comics vol. 2 #200 if they’re not in the issue? Adam says that most of them aren’t, but Christopher points out that a major point of that issue is that a bunch of minor villains are in it so while some of them aren’t in it, it’s not “most” of them in that category. The point of the art is to show most of Wraith’s iconic rogues gallery. The cover has less to do with what’s actually in the issue than many - just the theme of “Wraith villains”.
- I can make out some of them, but who are all of the villains on that cover? [Rather than going through the order they talk about it in the episode, I’ll just give a list.]
- Top row, left to right: Hangman, Skeleton Key, Char (basically only his Mohawk is visible), Mr. Hideous
- Second row: Operative, the Adhesivist, [random obscured face to fill space], [random obscured, goggled face to fill space].
- Third row: Crossword, Spite
- Fourth row: Ermine, [random old man in glasses to fill space], Chairman, Mayor Overbrook
- Bottom row: The Entertainer (top hat), Labyrinth (ponytail), the leader of the Venom Demons gang (with the little horns - he’s just a guy who did some body modification), the Hippo
- Between Omnitron and things like the Celestial Tribunal that might have soured the general population’s views on robots, how common are general purpose robots in the world of Sentinel Comics? Say, for construction purposes? Slightly more common than in the real world. Technology in Sentinel Comics is always just slightly more advanced than in reality. So imagine whatever Boston Robotics is doing in the real world today and you can imagine that level of stuff was available in Sentinel Comics that were published 15 years ago. For sci-fi reasons, robots also tend towards more humanoid than you actually get in reality.
- In episode 36 you said that La Comodora destroyed the Iron Legacy timeline because OblivAeon was trying to make it diametrically opposed to the main timeline as a means of causing them to destroy one another as opposed to the more usual close-similarity annihilation - if that’s an option, why in the world hasn’t the Inversiverse done that with the main timeline? The Inversiverse is a reality in which all of the people have their morality flipped, but a lot of what happens there then tends to actually play out in ways that are similar to the main reality. Similar stories are told with different cast members, so it can’t hit either the too-similar nor the too-different thresholds.
- We don’t hear a lot about Visionary; is she just a difficult character to tell stories about? Is she not really featured in crossovers? Do the podcast patrons just not like her? She just doesn’t get voted in. We get topic submissions that would involve her, but not super frequently and even when she does other stuff just tends to beat her in the voting. It doesn’t help that there are simply fewer stories with her than there are for, say, Wraith. Or they might get a submission that’s basically “do something with Dark Watch” and a prompt involving a team might let them do a story where only a few members are actually available, but then Alpha’s around too. The team-based submissions have more flexibility in terms of what stories they can tell. Regarding her having fewer stories generally, we already have a lot of her “story” nailed down. The early stuff when she first shows up, her “wrestling with her dark side” period, the Dark Visionary period, and her Unleashed period. There’s room to flesh any of that out more, but the overall arc of the character is there already.
- Are we going to hear more A Day in the Life episodes or do those fall off the radar? They’d have to come up in voting, but note that we already know which ones there are and when they came out. We get twelve of them over a period of two years (every other month from September ’85 through July ’87 - Legacy, Wraith, Bunker, Tachyon, Absolute Zero, Haka, Ra, NightMist, Tempest, Argent Adept, Fanatic, and Expatriette), then Unity in January ’91, Benchmark in July 2012 [Christopher said June, but this was at odds with an earlier time he went through the list and I double checked with him afterwards and it’s July], and Captain Cosmic in July 2013. That’s it for the Multiverse era, so if you’re going to ask for one, those are the options.
- We’ve got a bunch of very intense characters, so can you rank the following characters from most-chill to least-chill: Jansa Vi Dero, Kaargra Warfang, Fanatic, Galactra, Tarogath, Iron Legacy, and Borr the Unstable? Jansa is the most chill. She’s actually very Stoic and has a high chill level. Then we get Tarogath, Borr, and Kaargra in the running for the next spot. With Fanatic, Galactra, and Iron Legacy on the other end. Talking it through a bit: Jansa, Tarogath, Kaargra, Borr, Galactra, Iron Legacy, Fanatic. But that’s purely on the “chill” metric - “intensity” is a different thing, as would be “passion”. You need to choose what you’re measuring carefully.
- The backstory of the Ennead mentions that 13 tomb robbers were part of the team, so what happened to those other 4 members of the group? Did any writer ever try to do anything with them or were they just mummy-chow? The deal here is that the story needed for the group to get whittled down to 9 by the time they got to the central chamber, so mummies or traps took care of the rest. They don’t think anybody ever tried to do more with those characters as they were just casualties to showcase the danger of the shrine and were created to die. That would have been in the bad version of the story. The modern “good” Ennead story probably didn’t even mention them.
- Back in EE, Stuntman’s Dramatic Cliffhanger card art shows him cornered by Char, wearing what appears to be a prison uniform. Is this the Block? If not, where is this? And if so what the heck was Stuntman doing in the Block? It’s not the Block. It’s a Fort Adamant reference, but they might have to do some work to get the Stuntman timeline to work if they want this encounter to happen in DE. The EE story was “Char goes after Stuntman for Fort Adamant reasons”.
- Did they get Barry Windsor-Smith (or the Metaverse equivalent) to come back to do the Benchmark and Captain Cosmic Day-in-the-Life issue covers after such a long gap? Adam doesn’t know offhand and they’ll have to do some research on that. He may have been retired by then. He would have done at least the original run plus the Unity one since it wasn’t too much later.
- Given that you’ve described them as working via eye contact: could a portal fiend transport Mr. Fixer? No.
- Would you be interested in a topic submission for the letters page being “Dealer’s choice”? No. If there’s something they want to do, they have a few ways of putting their thumb on the scales, but it’s still not totally up to them. They’ll mention topics they’d like to have happen. Other times they’ll take an open-ended prompt that the thing they want to do qualifies for.
- I have a question about Demiurge. You see, you describe his desires being at “at arm’s length” but also being very powerful. Hunger might be at arm’s length, but starvation is clutched pretty close. So it seems to me he would have more a constant weak want, or a half desire (or a demi-urge). So my question is, how strong are the constant urges of Demiurge? He’s not debilitated by it. They’re just nagging on the edge of his existence all the time. He does adapt to them after a while, though. People are good at that.
- Apostate hid relics in the Realm of Discord for his plan. Harpy went there and destroyed the relics. Later, Apostate put a lot of his own power into a bunch of relics and hid them in the Realm of Discord. Harpy went there and destroyed the relics. How did Apostate not see that coming? The first time, he put these relics there but those weren’t his relics and Harpy destroying them was less of a directed-at-him thing. The second one was far enough removed in publication history that somebody wanted to do that story again, but do it better and in a more clever way and make it more personal relating to their history. Plus the GloomWeaver bit. It’s similar to the Ennead story where it was told once but then again better after a while. This kind of thing happens a bunch, and there’s usually at least a portion of the readership who may acknowledge that the second go ’round was a better story, but are still annoyed at the reuse of a plot.
- Where do the Fey-Court hang out? Do they have there own realm like demons or are they in a specific place on Earth? The Fey realm is odd compared to most others in that it’s specifically overlaid on Earth. The Realm of Discord and Æternus are (as described earlier) polyps attached to reality as their own thing over there, but the Fey realm is just a veil overlaid on Earth in particular. It’s a lot easier to just wander between the two.
- On the card Full Throttle, Mr. Fixer says “Their eyes beg me for mercy. I grant it with my fist.” But, Mr. Fixer can’t see their eyes. As such, it has been decided that his method of testing foes’ eyes for fear is a Three Stooges eye-poke. Thoughts? Just because he can’t see their eyes, doesn’t mean that he can’t perceive them. He has great powers of perception.
- Does Fashion ever face off against Mister Hideous (he seems like such an obvious foe for her)? They agree! He’s on the list.
- Did you two know that Robert Johnson would become Rambler before the American Folklore episode? Or, did you merge Rambler and Robert Johnson after that episode? They knew already.
- Is one of the less obvious inspirations for Legacy “The Ghost Who Walks” aka The Phantom, who has a similar theme of a family legacy and has a distinction of being one of the earliest costumed and masked heroes? Not specifically. Christopher remembers that when he was writing up the Legacy backstory he was busy not-paying-attention in a class (as, before the game/company happened he’d been working on getting a teaching accreditation) and the Phantom is not something that was on his mind during that process.
- How does the Letters process work? Do you have a large number of mail notifications every day as people submit questions through the web form? There is a Google form that is used for people to submit questions. Christopher turned off notifications because he doesn’t want to be notified when things come in. He wants to just open up the submissions once or twice a week to do them in batches. The form automatically adds things to a spreadsheet for which the cells correspond to the form fields. Christopher sorts things by topic (frequently manually changing the “topic” value - say somebody tagged their question as Deadline, but he’ll mark it to talk about in an upcoming Lifeline episode or a “space stuff” question touches on a specific story for Captain Cosmic or Tempest or whomever that the person asking wouldn’t know about and so he marks them for that character). Additionally, he has one more column in the spreadsheet than what’s included upon submission where he tags them for a specific episode once he knows which one it should go in. Then, the morning before a recording, he’ll go back in, sort through whatever last-minute letters got sent in, and then pull all questions for that recording into a normal word processor document that he and Adam will both use during the recording. He puts the questions in the order he wants (tagged as either C or A for who should read it) and into any categories that are applicable. As a final detail, as he puts things in the document to use for a recording he also moves them from the spreadsheet of submitted questions into a separate one for answered questions (broken out by year).
- How much organization is there in whatever spreadsheet you’re using to keep track of all of this (color coding, multiple sorting columns, etc.)? The letters one has sorting columns and tabs. The Spreadsheet (i.e. the timeline one) uses things like colors (indicating different things to them) and comments, but is all one tab. The colors are very useful in that one as they’re typically scrubbing through the content very quickly and being able to see things at a high-level view is a big help. That one also has companion sheets dealing with first/last appearances, important arcs, etc. There’s a different spreadsheet for post-OblivAeon stuff.