References

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Art References

  • These references are for what various pieces of art in a particular deck or cards refer to other, in game cards, characters, events, or decks. So if you see a character on a card in Absolute Zero's deck, and you know who that character is, put it here.
  • This does NOT include art references to real world inspirations. Those go in the final section

Unconfirmed

  • These are for what could be true, that the community has come up with as generally accepted, but has not yet had a stamp of approval either from one of >G members, or from actual card proof.

Confirmed

  • Put here any facts that have been confirmed by >G members, with a link if possible to the post/podcast/article/whatever. Hearsay from the mouth of >G Members is OK to put here, because they don't say anything they don't want revealed, and can always deny it if it's not true.

References

  • This section is for real world (ie, our real comics of Marvel and DC and others) that the characters are drawn from. Any connection to Real world, either in the art, the backstory, or the events should be placed here.
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Absolute Zero

Artwork

  • "Frostbound Drain" has the character Char in its artwork. Char is found in The Block environment deck.
  • "Coolant Blast" has several clones of Proletariat in the background.
  • "Fueled Freeze" seems to take place in Insula Primalis.
  • "Glacial Structure" has Akash'Bhuta trapped in ice.
  • "Impale" shows Absolute Zero attacking Omnitron.

Confirmed

  • Prior to the release of the Wager Master deck, Absolute Zero was the only hero whose face hadn't been fully revealed in any Sentinel Comics merchandise; at that point, his face had gone unseen for nearly four years.
  • "Anyway, in the Iron Legacy future, Absolute Zero's (Elemental Wrath Promo) cold powers have begun to manifest physical ice-shields to protect himself, both augmenting and replacing the suit as the ice-shields grow. You can see on the front of his card that his helmet and chestplate mostly remain, as well as other small armor bits, but he's encased in ice and uses this new ice-armor to protect himself from heat and from attacks. However, his powers are fundamentally attempting to protect him from any heat whatsoever, and he is using all of his strength and will to maintain control. On his card back, Absolute Zero is incapacitated due to combat - he has lost control of his powers, and they have run amok! Ryan Frost is entirely encased in meters of ice. He cannot move, but he is safe from heat. And his powers are doing everything they can to keep him safe forever."[1]
  • Baron Blade during the Mad Bomber story goes to the Freedom Five HQ with the intention to kill Legacy with the death ray while the other heroes are dealing with the bombs, but Absolute Zero dives in the way and takes the shot - one of the first times that AZ displays the selfless "hero" quality.[2]
  • His relationship with Tachyon is the closest friendship within the Freedom Five. [3]
  • Notes from Letters Page 16:
    • Henry Goodman - the first Absolute Zero in the Golden Age of comics - was a lab assistant in a military facility. You have find new ways to beat those Nazis after all; that is, until those Nazis break into your lab in an attempt to prevent you from being able to do so. The ensuing fire fight destroys a lot of the equipment and kills Henry's boss. Henry grabs a prototype Negathermo device and fires it at the Nazis - freezing them in a line of ice across the room. He later refines this device into hand-held "guns" and becomes the hero known as Absolute Zero to fight Nazis. He was created to capitalize on the popularity of Legacy and was very much like him in personality, just the difference in "powers". Lots of cold puns as you would expect.
    • He didn't have his own book. He was introduced in a b-story in Justice Comics and continued to show up in one-off stories in anthology titles (All-Preferred Comics, Greater Comics, United Men Comics, Fearless Comics), none of which were successful titles that lasted (explaining why the game features no flavor-text from them). Not even characters that appeared in them proved popular enough to be retained for the long-haul - Bunker showed up in them occasionally too, but that specific iteration of the character didn't last either, he wound up being reworked when The Indestructible Bunker launched later. Absolute Zero was popular at first, but was not very interesting as a character (nor was he well-written) and quickly fell by the wayside as more popular/enduring characters got introduced.
    • The Freedom Four was an experiment ("lets take a few of our most popular characters and some of the less popular characters and throw them into a bucket and make that a team" so that readers would be exposed to these other characters in order to read about their favorites). Legacy and the Wraith (still very new at the time) were the popular characters. The less popular ones were AZ and the Shrieker (about whom more in the Freedom Five episode). Being paired up with popular characters did not help AZ - readers still didn't like him (and didn't like the book in general for a number of reasons, not the least of which was that it was a fairly obvious cash-grab without any heart to it). [Adam does a pretty good voice for the "businessman" making the pitch at around 10:45.] The original FF book lasted barely over a year before being cancelled (and along with it the idea of the team in general - Legacy and the Wraith stuck around in their own books, obviously, but they weren't nominally on a team anymore). That marked the end of the original AZ being used outside of the occasional flashback to Golden Age stuff during the Modern Age as a continuity Easter Egg for people into the minutia of the Sentinel Comics universe.
    • Jump forward to Freedom Four Annual #2 and the introduction of the modern Absolute Zero. This is the same issue as the first appearance of The Matriarch, but it also included two flashback scenes. One to Dr. Stinson (pre-Tachyon powers) working on a cryogenic chamber in which a surgeon is working on somebody whose core temperature is near absolute zero and another showing the backstory of this frozen person, Ryan Frost. See the AZ bio for how Ryan wound up in this situation. He's now revived, but has to remain in the cryo-chamber. General Armstrong approaches him with a job offer, letting him use a suit designed by Dr. Stinson that would allow him to leave the room, but in exchange for his working for the Freedom Initiative to pay for it. He turns this down. Back to the present, he's watching TV coverage of this whole bird-lady situation and how many problems the Freedom Four are having. Eventually the TV feed goes out and he knocks on his door and asks to speak to General Armstrong. Cue to this guy in a dark grey and bright blue suit showing up on the battlefield blasting birds with ice, announces himself as Absolute Zero, and joins the Freedom Five.
    • The suit is always under development by Tachyon. General features: he can shoot blasts of cold air and generally mess with the temperature of stuff around him - as he learns how to use the suit better he learns more advanced tricks like building structures out of ice and so on.
    • He's the "negative Nancy" of the team, sarcastic, probably complaining any time he has to leave his cryo chamber and suit up. This mellows over time, but at first he's "all doom and gloom." Not to say that he's not a good teammate. His friendship with Tachyon is very close (they spend a lot of time in the labs together after all - she's working and he lives there). Ryan asking her about whatever she's working on (because he's bored) was useful to the writers as a means of getting some exposition done, but it wound up being something that grew into an actual friendship regardless of their differences. He's not into magic shows, but he has a good time going to them with her. She's not really into music or movies because it happens at a set pace that you have to pay attention to, but he's a big blues/jazz fan. They do start getting into books together, though (in particular The Count of Monte Cristo was one they both liked). This kind of became the game with the writers, developing an ad hoc "Sentinels book club" for their readers by mentioning whatever it was that AZ and Tachyon were reading in the letters page ("Freedom Fan-mail"). As mentioned in the show notes for this podcast, the current recommendations are - Absolute Zero: The Force of Spirit by Scott Russell Sanders, Tachyon: The Eight by Katherine Neville
    • Vengeance: Baron Blade putting together a team of foils for the FF was tricky in that he didn't have anybody really lined up for AZ, specifically, because he didn't have any kind of solo adventures that could have resulted in him developing a nemesis. Blade did know about a Soviet super-weapon that had been put on ice years ago, though. More detail in the Vengeful Five episode, but in short he convinced Proletariat that Absolute Zero was the "bad" version of himself - this unwitting slave of capitalism, etc.
    • AZ is powerful and a works well with other heroes (not just the FF - he does appear in other books occasionally), but he doesn't have that drive to go off and fight evil on his own and so doesn't really have any solo stories.
    • In one fight with the Vengeful Five, however, he and Proletariat wind up isolated without the rest of their teams nearby. Eventually, AZ's faceplate gets knocked off. Normally this is such a danger to him that he needs to patch it with something or retreat, but this time nothing happens. He doesn't experience the burning that it would normally cause, and is able to defeat Proletariat. He replaces his faceplate and joins up with the rest of the team. He's suspicious of this whole situation.
    • A few issues later he's visited by Wager Master who tells him that his "friends" have been lying to him, using him, and that he doesn't need the suit. He teleports them both from the cryo-chamber to Magmaria with no ill effects. Wager Master then warns him that he can't just leave, because then they'll know that you know and you should bide your time and take your revenge (and, hey, I could use your help in defeating the Freedom Five anyway). Time passes back in the cryo-chamber with AZ resolving that he knows what he has to do, and the readership is well aware that he's now something like a double-agent, just waiting to turn on the heroes somewhere down the line. Delicious tension ensues during subsequent battles. Then the big Wager Master fight happens, showing the culmination of various plots he put in motion, including when he calls on AZ to turn on his allies! AZ then attacks Wager Master, encasing him in ice. He was never planning on turning on his friends (of course, Wager Master was behind the oddity during the Proletariat fight all along). AZ did learn a lot about his powers during this time, though, including dealing with being out of his suit.
    • This plays an important role in the Termi-Nation story given that Chokepoint is able to dismantle Bunker's, Unity's, and AZ's gear. More about this story in particular in the Chokepoint and Freedom Five episodes, but his main development is that he's more able to directly control the moisture in the air around him and he uses ice to protect himself and his modules, minimizing the amount of "suit" he has to wear. It's a high-risk, high-reward strategy.
    • During Progeny and OblivAeon he's not a main focus. He's there and is a big help in the fight, he helps out Tachyon when she gets hurt for one, but more than anything he winds up being the rock that steadies the team itself as they waver while fighting these dangers from beyond. From his perspective of "everything is always bad" this is just another problem for them to face down together - you can't demoralize him and he's inspiring in his own way here.
    • Questions:
      • What character has evolved the most during the creative process? This would be Absolute Zero - when they were first drafting out the characters and stories for the game one of the characters was one called Absolute Zero who had cold powers. He was just kind of a "blaster" - like a cold version of Ra. Over the course of development they decided that his story was more interesting than that backstory (as was his suit) and so needed more interesting mechanics to match. They fully scrapped his story and mechanics at one point - retaining the name because it's cool [heh], but also developing his personality around that - how much his life is just a series of rock-bottoms and who sees himself as "nothing". How uninteresting the Golden Age AZ was is a reflection of this design process and how boring the first iteration of the character was.
      • How do his mechanics match up with the comics world? When he's dealing himself fire damage, that's just because he's letting warm air into his suit and the reaction that has near his skin sets off a chain reaction that lets him blast a lot of cold outward. There's no understandable scientific reason for this to work - their own brilliant scientist character can't figure out how his powers work - "Look lady, all I know is fire gets all weird around me."
      • If room-temperature air is "like fire" to him, how does he survive having his suit blown up as it seems to in most major stories? The guys are really mean to him story-wise. He does learn how to patch the suit with ice, or cool the air around him. He also learns to take the damage and just deal with it, not giving up. They also do an art review before recording to see what stuff they need to talk about and even they noted just now many of his appearances deal with his stuff getting broken. He's handy from a comics storytelling standpoint in that you can show violence towards him without gore (tearing up his suit instead of his body).
      • His bio mentions that he spent 2 years in the cryo-chamber before joining the fight; assuming this is the same room as in Freedom Tower, do people just not talk about the guy hanging out in the cold room all the time? Was it set up elsewhere? Not the same cryo-chamber - this would have been back in the old FF HQ days that predated Freedom Tower. This was a military/medical facility. After he joined up, they had a bunch of cryo-chambers set up for his use (emergencies, etc.).
      • Is there a reason he doesn't have a major nemesis of his own? Touched on earlier in that he doesn't have a lot of solo-heroics going on in which he could develop a nemesis.
      • How does he spend his down time? What sort of entertainment options does the cryo-chamber have/how big is it? Did Tachyon have to develop special equipment that could operate at those temperatures? Does Ryan put the suit on occasionally just to get out for fun? He puts on the suit for fun a few times, but it's by no means a common thing. Tachyon builds a record player that can output into the cryo-chamber directly (no speakers system) so he can listen to his vinyl collection without wrecking it. He writes a lot, too - journal-style. He's probably their most introspective character. A lot of the later AZ stories are about him as somebody intrinsically disconnected from the world.
      • In the Baron Blade episode it was mentioned that he took the death-ray blast for Legacy and that his super-cooled state kept the blast from having any effect; since he's in such a state, does he need to eat? Does he miss simple stuff like that? Did he feel awkward at Legacy's cookout? He doesn't eat, he doesn't breathe, doesn't really sleep (although can go into something like a coma to recover his energy after a fight). He misses all of this stuff. Later he comes to appreciate his friends and purpose in the world, but definitely misses "being a person". He has a greater appreciation for the stuff he still can do, though (like reading or listening to music). He doesn't feel comfortable in social situations (like the cookout), but he still likes to (occasionally) take part in some of them - not without his normal grumbling, though.
      • Biographical discrepancies! In the digital version of the game bios one lists his hair and eyes as white, others black hair and brown eyes, but he's often shown as having no hair in the game art. Can he even grow hair at this point? They should definitely show white for both. He still has eyebrows and he is capable of growing hair, but only very slowly (and what does grow is very wispy and brittle). He can just run his hands over his head/face to break the hair off so as to not have to deal with it.
      • The flavor text on "Impale" mentions a comic A Day in the Life: Absolute Zero where he and Legacy are arguing, what's going on in this one-shot and what are they arguing about? It's a fairly late comic in his story. There are a bunch of "Day in the Life" issues, mostly surrounding Freedom Five-related characters. This one involves a big fight against Omnitron and AZ putting lots of big ice structures across sections of Megalopolis - this is doing a good job containing Omnitron and its drones, but also endangers bystanders that Legacy then has to go save (causing the argument). Late in the fight, AZ just wants to leave - he already had plans for that afternoon and had already told everybody that he was busy. He thinks that the team has things well in hand and just leaves (Tachyon intervenes with Legacy telling him that it's a rough day for Ryan). AZ goes to a second-hand store that employs ex-cons in a work-release thing and asks a guy if he remembers Christine O'Neil. The guy (the drunk driver who killed her) sputters a bit and Ryan calms him, just wanting to talk about how its been 30 years since she died [that seems like a long time in "comic book time" to me, we get a rundown of around 17 years between the her death and when he started being a hero - 5 as a janitor, 10 in a coma, 2 in the cryo-chamber - but whatever] and how much things have changed, and to tell him that he's glad that he's getting back on his feet and making peace with him in general.
      • It seems harsh to make him "pay" for the suit by being a hero, why couldn't they have worked out some other way for him to pay for it or why couldn't Tachyon just chalk it up as an experiment? Any other of this kind of morally-gray, semi-coercive things the FF has done? It's not the Freedom Five extorting him, but it's part of the government (kind of an extension of the same programs running the Ironclad project and Fort Adamant). The other members of the FF want the best for him and they aren't the ones doing the coercing.
      • Would AZ count as "powered" in Citizen Dawn's accounting of things? Yes. She probably wouldn't bother trying to recruit him, but if he showed up on her doorstep wanting to sign up she'd take him. The suit isn't his power, it just allows him to more readily use his innate power.
      • Has anybody bothered studying why fire gets all weird around him? If not, is it out of respect for his privacy? Tachyon definitely spends a lot of effort studying him and it's one of earth's greatest scientific mysteries. At first he just wants to leave him alone, but as they become friends he helps out more.
      • In the ARG Event, we see him talking to his therapist about Writhe as a person outside his "super" persona; is AZ more social than he seems, making a point to get to know the others as people or was that just Writhe in particular? He really is that standoffish loner that he seems to be, but he saw a kindred spirit in Writhe and how people react to them (and both are middle-aged, a lot of the Sentinels cast skews older than "normal" in comics) and that got them talking to one another about life.
      • What was his dream job mentioned in his bio? He has always loved music, writing, and writing about music and he has a degree in journalism and the dream job was (in the '70s) getting a column in Rolling Stone covering blues and jazz and the influence of those in the music world.
      • Has he ever had the opportunity to interact physically with somebody without the suit since he got his powers? No - he's too cold, any physical contact would give frostbite immediately.
      • Has he tried dating again since his fiancée died? He hasn't had any romantic storylines throughout the Multiverse era until the near the end, after he's become a bit more personable, he's getting out there in online dating. He's got to be up-front about who he is and the limitations inherent there, though. He's not so much looking for a "romantic" partner as he wants more human connections.
    • Future:
      • Tactics - Two Absolute Zeroes to discuss. During the break with the government, when the Wraith buys-out Ryan's (and the rest of the team's) remaining obligations, he sticks around voluntarily given that they're his "family" now. He's slightly more upbeat now. The second person to mention isn't going by the name "Absolute Zero", but in the core game artwork we do see the granddaughter of the original AZ, Henry Goodman.
      • RPG - [here's where the guys finally make the "he's dead" joke for all the bingo players and that spurs a short discussion about how he's functionally immortal - as long as he's kept at the right temperature range and isn't subject to sufficient trauma, he's likely going to be around] The FF is now in a more mentor role and the other members all have had their roles described and it largely makes sense given their previous heroics. Ryan is teaching a lot about "what it means to be a hero" - a lot of philosophy and ethics of heroism and "vigilante justice" that's important to understand if you're going to be a superhero - how to stay grounded as a person.

To Other Works

  • Absolute Zero's suit bears a passing resemblance to the Iron Man armor.
  • Absolute Zero's pun-based secret identity (Ryan Frost), origin, and powers are all very similar to DC villain Mister Freeze.

Sources

  1. Christopher comments in GTG forum thread "Nightmist Incapacitated Side"
  2. The Letters Page for Baron Blade
  3. The Letters Page for Legacy

Akash'Thriya

See Akash'Bhuta

Argent Adept

Artwork

Confirmed

  • Confirmed by Christopher during a Q&A session: The Argent Adept is a direct reference to the character Kvothe from The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss. In the the book Kvothe is described as having fiery red hair, and a major scene involves him playing his lute to earn an honorific, one that includes a set of "silver pipes." (A small brooch showing a pair of silver pipes, representing his talent as a musician.) A Kvothe promo card for the Argent Adept was displayed at the Vengeance release party, with the lowest starting HP (23) of any hero excluding The Sentinels.
  • Dr. Blake Washington, the alter-ego of Ra, is featured in the flavor text of "Xu's Bell."
  • This was the hero deck that required the most effort by Christopher.[1]

To Other Works

  • "Inspiring Supertonic" portrays Mr. Fixer fighting a robotic version of Baron Blade. This "Blade-bot" is likely a reference to the "Doombots", the robotic doppelgangers of Marvel Comics villain Dr. Doom.
  • Kvothe Six String from The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss.
  • The art on Argent Adept's Virtuoso of the Void original incapacitated side is an homage to Wolverine crucified in a similar manner on the cover of Uncanny X-Men #251.
  • The Argent Adept has some similarities with Marvel's Doctor Strange, as well. Both have alliterative titles representing a position held: Virtuoso of the Void vs. Sorcerer Supreme, both wear long capes and are often shown hovering around a conflict, both use collections of older relics to aid them, and when using their power there is often glowing effects around their hands.

Sources

  1. GTG forum user Arenson9 transcribes a Q&A Christopher & Adam gave at GenCon 2016 in a post in GTG forum thread "GenCon 2016"

Beacon

Artwork

Confirmed

  • Young Legacy's death at the Hands of Baron Blade sparks the alternate timeline of Shattered Timelines.
  • The fight against Iron Legacy, involving both Legacy and Young Legacy from an alternate timeline, altered their timeline, causing neither to be at the fight when Baron Blade set his trap; both survive into the future, with Young Legacy taking on the role of Beacon in the Tactics timeline.
  • Strictly speaking, she is only known as "Beacon" in the Tactics timeline.[1]
  • Like her father, she's an only child[2]

To Other Works

Sources

  1. The Letters Page for Baron Blade
  2. The Letters Page Interlude 3

Benchmark

Unconfirmed

Confirmed

  • Benchmark is employed by Revo-Corp
  • From Letters Page 9
    • His real name is Randall Butler and he is only a few years older than Unity
    • Unity and Benchmark are said to starting a relationship towards the end of SotM sharing a bond over Revo-Corp
    • In the RPG timeline Benchmark still works for Revo-Corp (seemingly not under non-Blade management) as a part of their team, the Paradigms (with Unity- they're not a Setback/Expatriette pair yet, but it's still furthering their relationship).

Bunker

Artwork

  • The card "Flak Cannon" features Bunker confronting Fright Train.
  • "Heavy Plating" shows Bunker defending from an attack by Ambuscade.

Confirmed

  • GI Bunker: This is an early version of the Bunker suit that fought alongside America's Greatest Legacy during WWII.
  • Freedom Six Bunker: Engine of War: This is Fright Train taking up the Bunker role in the Iron Legacy version of the future. He does not appear to do this in the normal or "fixed" timelines.
  • Notes from Letters Page 8:
    • Tyler is from Boulder City, Nevada. His father was a mechanic. He joined up with the Army to see the world.
    • The first time Tyler shows up in the Bunker suit during a war was during Desert Storm. Within Sentinels Comics, the character of "Bunker" originated as a World War II hero, but that was Vernon Carter, G.I. Bunker. Bunker served as a insert character for soldiers - reading the comics about a soldier character while they themselves were on deployment These were military stories in the solo Bunker books, not "superhero" stories.
    • Bunker gets pulled into "superheroics" when Legacy starts pulling together what becomes the Freedom Five, but it takes a while for the solo military book to wind down. His military background does transition over, somewhat: mercenaries he'd fought in The Indestructible Bunker show up later as F.I.L.T.E.R. operatives (the Arsonator and Mega-Gunner from Sgt. Steel's deck are described as being in this category, presumably some of the others too), one of his rival squad mates gets recruited by Baron Blade for the Vengeance arc, etc. The supporting cast wasn't just jettisoned with the transition to super-hero.
    • Bunker suit features:
      • All versions have projectile weapons.
      • Generally able to be "reconfigured on the fly" to emphasize different functions (might be a step too far to say that they're "modular" though.)
      • Self-repair functions.
      • WWII version is more what we think of as a "suit of armor" that a person wears and could attach things to whereas the versions Tyler uses are much bigger and are more like vehicles that you climb into and are just in the "chest" cavity, Freedom Six Bunker has taken one of these huge suits and has hollowed it out so that he can wear it like a suit of armor since Fright Train is so big to begin with.
      • "Omni-Cannon" is a staple of the platform, routes all of the suit's power into the shot, although the modern iterations are more powerful and more reliable than, say, the WWII version (although this isn't really something that's a feature of the game).
    • Bunker has been involved in most Freedom Five conflicts, but doesn't really have a rogues gallery of his own (a result of his main pre-team book was military in nature). Fright Train was a mercenary who got augmented by Revo-Corp and recruited to the Vengeance Five specifically to be a foil to Bunker (due to the shared backstory) and was the first such "Super Villain" for him as an individual (this was also happening at around the time that his solo comic was winding down). Choke also first shows up at this point and she winds up stealing a bunch of Bunker suit parts and blows up other suits in the Freedom Five Headquarters (Choke is later apparently "killed" by K.N.Y.F.E. per her card "For the Greater Good"), but shows up later as Chokepoint in the Termi-Nation story.
    • Termi-Nation arc involves a lot of Bunker stuff as Chokepoint was being held at Fort Adamant by General Armstrong, who was in charge of the Ironclad project, but also turned out to be involved in a lot of shady stuff (there will be a Termi-Nation podcast). It results in the new, modular, mostly ceramic Bunker suit being built, though. The modular technology also plays into Omnitron V's ability to transform as much as it does in Tactics.
    • Main supporting cast member for Bunker was his sister Katie who served the purpose of exposition; a lot of the storytelling conceit was in the form of excerpts from letters back and forth between them that would be overlaid on the action.
    • Second major relationship in his life is with the Wraith. They spend a lot of time together "in the shop" at FF HQ (she's working on inventions, he's working on the suit). Both are tacticians with an interest in being prepared and just grew together gradually over time, but only really became a "couple" by around the end of the card game timeline.
    • Other wearers of the Bunker suits: Corporal Vernon Carter wore what's now referred to as the "first" Bunker suit, but it was not referred to as such at the time (just with a Project Ironclad designation), Tyler Vance was the first to be called "Bunker". Steven Graves is wearing some different version in the Iron Legacy timeline. Tyler Vance was one of the first targets to be "put down" by Legacy once his plan to take over is put into action. Graves had had noble goals at first and had just gone down the wrong path - in the Iron Legacy timeline he'd found a way back and had redeemed himself, so Tachyon recruited him when she was putting together the team.
    • Other versions of Bunker that we see are still Vance, just different suits. The one we see in Freedom Four Annual #1 is his first "superhero" story and is also the first such alternate suit we see him wear.
    • Questions:
      • Hobbies? Social life? Nope. His "hobby" would be the Bunker suit itself - think along the same lines as a guy who's always tinkering on his classic car in his off hours. In the card game timeline he's also still in the military and "on assignment" which precludes some social life stuff.
      • Where was the original suit developed (in-house military or by a contractor)? Any tech leak out for use by bad guys? The Ironclad Project dates back to the Civil War, continued development until it got to the level of person-scale armor (starting at around WWI). The original goal at WWII stage would have been to have lots of armored soldiers, but it wasn't economical. The modern Bunker suit was a qualified success, but requires an operator who's very tech savvy - could be the operator/engineer/mechanic and they couldn't get many people to fill that role. The suit was developed in-house by the Army, though. The Army could make more, but in the main card game timeline that doesn't happen. No instances of bad guys driving Bunker suits - Miss Information stole parts as sabotage, Omnitron's definitely taken some of the tech, Chokepoint's whole deal, etc., but those are all different from somebody getting into the suit and running amok with it.
      • How much do the soldiers wearing the suits know about Project Ironclad and what's the project's true purpose? The purpose is just what's been said already. The users don't really know much beyond the military history of the project, but there's not much that's classified beyond what they themselves are doing while using the suits. There's no secret nefarious goal here.
      • Different variants are different people, how are they different, why did you do it this way, any others like this? Much of this is already answered. Any other characters like this too? Legacy, kind of Unity or Omnitron. Ra and the Ennead kind of would work this way too, but doesn't play out within the card game timeline. Why did Adam and Christopher do this? They like making new characters as opposed to shuffling the hero names around as legacy characters.
      • How did the relationship with the Wraith get started? Started as just working together doing the hero thing, then the hanging out in the shop together like described earlier. They've been on actual "dates" too, though, although being out in public is a bit harder given their personalities. Dinner and a movie "at home" is better.
      • How many suits does Bunker have (and special underwater and space suits)? We see the underwater suit in the FFA #1. He essentially has "infinite suits" for story purposes due to his constant tinkering in the shop. The "suit museum" we see a few times (Bunker deck: "Decommissioned Hardware" and Freedom Tower "Vance's Maintenance Bay", foil Freedom Five Bunker's incap side) are mostly decommissioned designs. He's not making them from scratch himself, but having access to help from Tachyon and Unity gives him more flexibility when he's designing them. Other "active" suits include a stealth suit, a space suit (got up to one of Voss' ships at one point).
      • What's happening on the incapacitated art for regular and Freedom Six versions in the alternate art pack? Regular version alternate art isn't meant to represent any particular time event. Freedom Five shows the destruction of Freedom Tower during OblivAeon. Freedom Six shows Graves after Iron Legacy wrapped him up and put him on the tracks, he was then hit by the train (which derails the train, but doesn't kill him outright).
      • What's Bunker's favorite sandwich? He likes meatball subs. No food allowed in the suit, though.
      • Did Bunker form Termi-Nation? Why only Unity and AZ with him? Termi-Nation isn't a team, but a comic event dealing with the turn of the government against powered people. The shady stuff involving Fort Adamant. The major villain is Chokepoint (and Dr. Demakov) and those three heroes are major players in the event due to their reliance on technology and how that relates to Chokepoint.
    • Future:
      • Tactics: Due to the strain between heroes and government, the Freedom Five break off from government sponsorship. Bunker has to resign his military status to stay with the team. Probably the hardest decision of any member in this transition (although the Wraith going public is up there too and Legacy no longer being associated with the government is tricky too). He does get a helicopter, though.
      • RPG: still has suits and whatnot, but he's now more like a "super hero drill sergeant" - in charge of combat training in the battlefield awareness and planning sense.

To Other Works

  • As an American soldier who fights crime inside a heavily-armed robotic suit, Bunker is a clear analogue of the Marvel character War Machine.
  • The various Bunker-suits pictured on "Decommissioned Hardware" are homages to the various armors of Marvel's Iron Man.
  • Bunker bears a strong resemblance to the Space Marines of the Warhammer 40,000 tabletop gaming franchise.
  • Bunker's "Indestructible" moniker is likely a reference to "The Invincible Iron Man."
  • The art on Bunker: Engine of War's incapacitated side may be a reference to the cover of Iron Man #128, the culmination of the Demon in a Bottle storyline where Tony Stark confronts his darker side in the mirror.
  • Sentinels Tactics mentions the original suit is the YS-1300t. This could be a reference to the Millennium Falcon, a famous YT-1300 transport in the Star Wars universe.
  • The flavor text of "Turret Mode" is unique among all the currently printed Sentinels cards in that it literally fills the entire word balloon.

Captain Cosmic

Artwork

  • Captain Cosmic was seen as far back as Argent Adept's deck. He is shown on a picture portraying (as the Flavor Text may indicate) the Prime Wardens, though his name only became known during Vengeance as one of the Vengeance Nemesis cards; Empyreon listed his name.
  • The Radioactivist is bound up by the "Sustained Influence" of Captain Cosmic.
  • "Destructive Response" demonstrates the deadly power of constructs as several Celestial Executioners from The Celestial Tribunal are impaled.
  • "Autonomous Blade" allows Captain Cosmic to go on the offensive versus Infinitor.
  • Galactra takes the brunt of a "Harsh Offense".
  • Rahazar is unprepared as Parse dives for cover behind a "Wounding Buffer".
  • Haka demolishes The Hippo with the help of an "Augmented Ally".
  • Empyreon finds out monologues can lead to a "Potent Disruption".
  • Citizen Assault and Citizen Sweat are on the delivery end of "Construct Cataclysm".
  • Setback is able to heal from the energy blasts of Revenant because of a "Vitality Conduit".
  • His Domino Mask is originally red to match his outfit and shown that way in deck. However, in the alternate artwork for the Hero character cards and the portraits in the video game it is black.

To Other Works

  • Hugh Lowsley became Captain Cosmic after he was exposed to mysterious radiation emanating from a meteorite. This is a classic comic book/sci-fi trope that has been used so many times it borders on cliché.
  • As a domino mask-clad superhero with the power to fly through space and generate energy constructs, Captain Cosmic draws easy comparisons to the DC hero Green Lantern, specifically the Hal Jordan incarnation.
  • The energy which fuels Captain Cosmic's powers is yellow, while the energy of his archenemy, Infinitor, is green. This is a color scheme reversal of the heroic Green Lantern and his evil enemy Sinestro, the latter of whom wields the yellow light of fear.
  • The art of "Construct Cataclysm" portrays Captain Cosmic throwing a construct the size and shape of a double-decker bus at two villains. This is a reference to the first issue of the 2011 "New 52" //Justice League// reboot, which featured Green Lantern throwing a fire truck-construct at a parademon.

Catastrophe and Verge

Edit this Reference

Art References

Unconfirmed

Confirmed

Reference

Chrono-Ranger

Artwork

  • Plague Rat, Akash'Bhuta, Ambuscade, Citizen Truth, and Crackjaw Crew are portrayed on the bounty cards "The Ultimate Target," "By Any Means," "Kill on Sight," "No Executions," and "The Whole Gang"[1] respectively.
  • The Illusory Demon, one of the Dreamer's projections, is featured on the card "Sudden Contract".
  • Doc Tusser is featured on the cards "Eye on the Prize," "Terrible Tech-Strike," and "Dead or Alive".
  • Chrono-Ranger is holding Akash'Bhuta at gunpoint on "Just Doin' My Job".
  • Gloomweaver appears on the card "Displaced Armory".

Unconfirmed

  • The rat creature that bit Chrono-Ranger's arm off is likely a descendant of Plague Rat (or perhaps even the original), explaining why they are nemeses.
  • Chrono-Ranger is briefly alluded to, although not mentioned by name, in the backstory for The Eternal Haka.

Confirmed

To Other Works

  • Chrono-Ranger is a clear analogue for the "Weird West" tales that were popular in the late fifties and early sixties. The genre often took wild west characters and settings and introduced super-science, time travel, and magic into the mix. One of the most famous characters to emerge from this genre was DC's Jonah Hex, a deformed outlaw who made more than a few trips into the future. Most of the Chrono-Ranger's character traits seem to be based on Hex.

Sources

  1. Christopher confirms it as being Truth in GTG forum thread "Phantom's House of Fun and Speculation!
  2. Christopher comments in GTG forum thread "Bounties"
  3. Christopher answers questions in his Reddit AMA

Expatriette

Artwork

  • The card art of Pterodactyl Thief (from the Insula Primalis environment deck) shows a pterodactyl stealing Expatriette's RPG launcher. On her "RPG Launcher" card, Expatriette is seen riding the Pterodactyl to attack a T-Rex.
  • Expatriette features Citizen Dawn on the card "Liquid Nitrogen Rounds".
  • "Shock Rounds" are seen striking both Setback and Revenant.
  • Argentium is being blasted by "Hollow Points".
  • Citizen Slash takes several "Incendiary Rounds" in the back.

Confirmed

  • Expatriette's Father: The identity of Expatriette's father was unknown until Letters Page Episode 4 when he was revealed to be named Citizen Pain. However, very little about him is known in general. It has been stated that he was originally planned to be in Citizen Dawn's deck, but was "cut out in the first round of playtesting". In the story, Citizen Dawn killed Expatriette's father because he did not provide her with powerful offspring.[1] Prior to the revelation made in the Letters Page, he was confirmed to not be Citizen Slash, the Nemesis found in the Vengeance version of Baron Blade's deck, but his grave is featured on Citizen Dawn's "Return with the Dawn" card in Sentinels Tactics (although the tombstone is broken and the name partially obscured).
    • Expatriette's father's identity will be revealed and relevant to the story.[2]
  • On the back of Dark Watch: Setback's card, his incapacitated self involves a picture of him distraught while holding a dead or wounded Expatriette. This seems to imply that Setback and Expatriette have some sort of relationship, which was later confirmed.[3]
  • Glowing Doves - Both Pride and Prejudice have a Dove decorated on the side of them - and in cards like "Flak Jacket", "Hairtrigger Reflexes", "Assault Rifle", and "Quick Draw". What do these mean? Is it possible she has powers of some sort, given she has 2 very powerful super parents, and they just haven't manifested yet? Possible to manifest in a future Promo Version, or possibly related to the mysterious man on "Quick Draw"?... and Christopher just says "Strong Work People"...[4]
    • There is a story reason for the doves on Pride and Prejudice, the rest are just there for style/John Woo reference. They do not indicate a latent super power - her "most super power" is her purple hair. The mysterious man on "Quick Draw" was revealed to be Ambuscade.[5]
  • Letters Page Episode 4 Summary:
    • Expert in taking down super-powered people. In her first appearance, she shows up just as somebody who's shooting super-powered people. We don't know her backstory until later.
    • Expatriette comics tend to come in two varieties (as opposed to "older" heroes who have had more time to wind up in different genres): "Dark and Gritty" and "Superhero Comics that are Serious".
    • Citizens of the Sun philosophy is that non-powered people are inherently less important and the failure of Amanda to develop any powers makes her the target of prejudice among them - especially considering how powerful her parents were. Her parents didn't help either as Dawn was very much a helicopter parent who was very impatient for her child to manifest powers.
    • She lost her eye at around age 12 when Dawn was trying to jump-start her power manifesting by blasting her in the face. Amanda's father, Citizen Pain, was not in favor of this method and he and Dawn had a fight resulting in his death.
    • After this incident, she remembers when she was younger and saw poachers on the island (Insula Primalis being the homebase of the Citizens and where she grew up) where their camp got overrun by dinosaurs. She remembered where that happened and went back there to get the guns, stashes them in a cave, and practices.
    • She'd gotten some practice with ranged "combat" against powered people as, when playing games with other children who had powers, she had to use distance to her advantage (and also tactics like using terrain in stuff like tag to make flying kids have to come to ground to get to her, that sort of thing). She understands that people with powers tend to have a blind spot regarding their powers as they have always relied on them.
    • She had gone to her friends to try to get them to help her get off the island due to her injuries and her dad's death, but they ratted her out to Dawn. She was already kind of paranoid at this point and had followed them. Seeing the betrayal, she ambushed her friend Regina later (also known as Citizen Gate) who could teleport over long distances (but can't do so in quick succession) and she gets dropped off in the middle of an Iowa corn field. Amanda shoots and kills Regina after arriving - the first person she kills - so that there's nobody who can disclose where she is. People with powers are pretty much defined as the enemy for her at this point.
    • She takes a variety of mercenary/wet-works kind of jobs and is pretty much on the dark end of the morality spectrum at this point. Basically a villain, although not in the comic-book "villainous plot" kind of way, just in terms of her outlook and "profession". She's not a nice person.
    • She's got her van of equipment and weapons caches in different cities. She develops a reputation in the underworld as a "Super Killer" and takes up the name Expatriette at this time. She'll take the job where other people won't due to the difficulty of taking on people with powers and she sees it as kind of a public service due to her feelings towards powers.
    • She winds up working out of Rook City just because it's easier for her to hide there without getting hassled by the authorities.
    • There's a "super" bar in Rook City known as the Wretched Hive that minor villains would hang out in. She shoots the place up, tosses in a few grenades, etc. This act ups her reputation even more.
    • She works with Ambuscade a few times (also against him a few times). They have kind of a professional rivalry. Ambuscade once bought temporary powers from Revo-Corp.
    • Took a job from a gunsmith to take out 3 targets (she doesn't invent her own weapons) - first time she'd taken a job from a victim to take out the perpetrators of a crime. In addition to the agreed upon fees, he gifted her Pride and Prejudice - he put in the dove detailing because in getting his revenge she had brought him peace. He becomes a side-character in the comics.
    • Later gets approached by a guy in a slick white suit to go take out this auto mechanic. She sets up shop on a roof with a sniper rifle across the way from the garage, thinks it's an easy-peasy job. Just as she's getting set to take the shot, the mechanic looks in her direction, gives a half wave, and steps into the shop out of sight. She figures that he'd been tipped off, but heads into the shop to get him. He gets the drop on her, waiting. He doesn't really fight her, more just disrupting her firing at him by knocking the guns out of the way (or setting the safety, removing the magazine, pulling off the slide, etc.). Once he dismantles the guns she pulls a knife and he disarms her. He's not throwing punches, he's just always in the right place to prevent her from harming him. Once he has her stymied, he asks her a series of cryptic questions ("Who are you?" "Why are you here?" stuff like that) and gets her thinking about her life.
    • This is her first "failure" in a contracted hit, and as a job coming down from the Chairman, this will not stand and he sends goons to take her out as a lesson to others. She survives, but loses her safehouse in Rook City and just starts driving.
    • Shortly after this is the Voss invasion (which as a major comics crossover event makes its way into her title too). She kills a bunch of gene-bound aliens in a town that she just happened to be in, and the townsfolk call her a hero, which again makes her rethink her position in the world.
    • Her opinion of "heroes" was that they're all con-men who are in it for their own good and oppressing people. Still evil, just less obvious about it than her mom. Being called a hero makes her want to investigate to see if her mindset is accurate and so makes Megalopolis her next destination.
    • Sets up a safe-house to use while she's there. Winds up involved in a minor Baron Blade situation, but does make contact with the Freedom Five. Gets all up in their grills about how they operate. Gets some standard Legacy speeches, etc.
    • Her interactions with Felicia Parsons, though, are interesting. Here's somebody whose family also expected her to have powers (and who did get them), but approached it in a vastly different way. Young Legacy is an interesting foil for Expatriette for those reasons. Amanda initially just wrote her off as somebody who had "drunk the Kool-aid" but after the Baron Blade conflict she starts to come around to the idea that the heroes are genuine.
    • Tachyon makes her some "non-bullety bullets" to cut down on the whole murdery aspect of things (the elemental kinds of Ammo are meant to not be, or not immediately, lethal).
    • Then Citizen Dawn attacks Megalopolis. Big crossover between Expatriette comics and Freedom Five. First time that Amanda encounters her mom - Expatriette loses fight hard and is more or less left for dead (likely her original Incap art) as the fight with the FF continues. The Scholar saves her (more details in his own episode - he's an older guy who likes to help and tends to happen to be in places where he needs to be) - he helps her recovery in both her physical injuries, but also helps her work through her mental issues (abused cult member turned murderer for hire has not left her the most well-adjusted person). She claims to be over the whole Citizen Dawn thing and is now "fine".
    • Then Wager Master shows up to mess with the Scholar (as he's got some stuff that's important to the cosmos). As part of that he shows Expatriette what she could have been if she'd gotten powers (Citizen Dusk - darkness/shadow-based debuff powers per Letters Page Interlude 3), but the Scholar makes a deal with him, offering the Philosopher's Stone to him to get him to leave. This isn't a problem as the stone is "inexorably tied" to his being and he can just summon it back to himself. This encounter convinces her that she's not really over the whole Citizens thing she knows that she has to make amends - tries to be the person that the Scholar thinks she should be.
    • Starts being the hero. Non-lethal ammo, helps in a variety of fights (Akash'Bhuta alongside the FF and everybody else), helps a bunch of heroes but spends a lot of time with Legacy as somebody who did what her mom did but right and he takes on somewhat of a mentor role. Good dialog opportunities with Young Legacy - she also has a rough time with the Iron Legacy event as it's everything that she's been talking about regarding how bad things would be if Legacy wasn't the good guy.
    • Lots of work with the FF in the Vengeance War, a bunch of stuff against the Revo-Corp aspects of it. Accidentally shoots this guy called Setback (Is he a hero? The stuff he's doing isn't really helping) with lightning rounds when she was trying to hit Revenant. That's when they meet.
    • After being a supporting cast hero in a lot of books, we get another Expatriette-centric story when she goes to Insula Primalis to take the fight back to the Citizens as heroes. She gets defeated again, is a prisoner about to be executed (alternate art pack Incapacitated image), getting the villain lecture from her mom about how it's the same as always and she's not powerful enough. Amanda has a trick up her sleeve, now she has friends: Cue the other heroes busting in through the wall. Captain Cosmic puts up a shield construct to save her and other cool hero stuff going on. This is the point where Dawn loses the Citadel and is the last big event with her for a while.
    • Dark Watch forms shortly after this (more in the Mr. Fixer and Dark Watch episodes to come) - short version: MF needed help, she remembered him as the mechanic target she couldn't kill and wants to help, she grabs Setback as somebody who's heart is in the right place, and they recruit Nightmist as they need magic support for whatever is going on and the three of them go and help him out.
    • Dark Watch comics is sort of the "gritty" book of Sentinels Comics - previously this had been Mystery Comics -> Wraith -> Rook City -> Expatriette -> Dark Watch. Dark Magic stories, crime stories, etc. Mainly about the team, but others like the Wraith can show up occasionally.
    • Citizens Hammer and Anvil show up freelance-style, still in their Citizen getups but not really involved with other citizens. Instead they're working with Sergeant Steel and Biomancer (Christopher: "We'll do a whole episode about him some day." Adam: "[sound of disgust] Do we have to?" Because he's "really gross" - this is more likely in an Interlude episode or in one that's about a bunch of minor villains). In this story they're looking for Visionary: Citizens interested in her power, Steel and F.I.L.T.E.R. interested due to her knowledge of future, Biomancer because he's gross, oh and interested in her power too, I guess. Dark Watch and the Prime Wardens are involved in this event. Expatriette takes down Citizen Anvil (a big deal for her as these two are only one step below her mom), Biomancer had made a copy of her at some point, etc. Setback's luck in this conflict kicks in at one point so that he doesn't get shot, but the bullet hits Expatriette instead (Likely her original Dark Watch incap art followed immediately by Setback's original Dark Watch incap art).
    • Her injury there and the time around her recovery is what causes her and Setback to become a couple.
    • OblivAeon event happens. Ambuscade shows up as Stuntman and they team up. They remember each other and he's all like "I am a hero now," and she says, "Yeah, I don't really feel that you can just say that," and he retorts that that's pretty much exactly what she did - fun little back-and-forth.
    • We get the name of a Scion: Dark Mind - shows up and fights Setback and Expatriette. He's got mind-altering powers, attacks by erasing her knowledge of Setback and Setback's emotions/compassion. This latter is bad due to him no longer acting to mitigate the collateral damage that his extreme luck causes. Dark Mind pretty much just leaves at this point.
    • Setback goes off on his own, Expatriette goes unarmed to Citizen Dawn (at this point living in a Mobile Defense Platform) and tries to guilt her into helping (more to come in next week's podcast).
    • Dark Watch (or what's left of it at this point: Expatriette, Mr. Fixer, and Harpy) back again to fight another Scion: Faultless - formerly a being of Order, but twisted by OblivAeon. Setback involved in this fight too as they've been dragging him around. They're all pretty much broken in some way: heartless Setback, Expatriette doesn't remember this person who's supposed to be really important to her, Nightmist is busy Being the Gate, Mr. Fixer is this dark and bitter character after his resurrection, and the Harpy was until fairly recently a villain and has her own issues. They manage to break Faultless free from OblivAeon's control, who then corrects the problems with them (memories, emotions, etc.).
    • K.N.Y.F.E. and Sky-Scraper show up following a raid on F.I.L.T.E.R. where they find a "giant glorious gun" and bring it to Expatriette for her to use during the OblivAeon fight.
    • Expatriette doesn't have as many "goofy side stories" as other heroes are likely to have.
    • What's her day job? Well, for a while murder was her day job and she was good at it. As a hero she and Setback had a bunch of conflicts about her taking "side jobs" - but later in the SotM timeline she's more likely to either do a lot more vetting on these things or to do things like bounty hunting to track down escaped powered criminals.
    • Does she have the skill to aim to incapacitate or does she shoot to kill? Kind of depends on the era we're talking about, but she generally aims to kill, but later relies on non-lethal ammo to keep her honest when she's trying for non-murder.
    • What's the deal with the white doves on the cards? Already talked about the doves on Pride and Prejudice. They're an artistic motif, there for style. Explicit reference to John Woo and other movies. It's not a "power" or anything, there aren't always doves around when she's around. The birds "don't mean anything."
    • Where does she get her weapons and ammo? A lot of them she just buys, she can modify to some extent, but she's not an inventor or otherwise making her own stuff. Tachyon keeps her stocked in the specialty ammo.
    • Who taught her to shoot? No real mentor. She'd developed an aptitude for ranged combat, starting with a slingshot as a kid. Only real mentor was Scholar, but he's not really involved in any of the gun stuff.
    • Why the names "Pride" and "Prejudice"? Part of it's due to her upbringing around all these people with themed names. It wouldn't have occurred to her to not name the guns. They didn't have a lot of intent behind the names - but they were mentioning personality aspects of Amanda herself (she's prideful and she is prejudiced against people with powers).
    • Who's the blond man on her Quick Draw card? Ambuscade (w/ facial prosthetics) in disguise as a cop. There's some great French accents going on here at around 1:11:11 in the podcast.
    • Relationship with the Scholar? They already discussed a lot of it. She's "one of many" that he found, picked up, and put back together in one way or another. Later it's more like how you would react to running into a fondly-remembered high school teacher years later.
    • How does the flak jacket stop huge amounts of damage? Just an artifact of the game mechanics. They're nice jackets, but it's not realistic.
    • Does she really have no powers at all? What's her most super power? Purple hair. Unless Olympic athletes have "powers" due to the amount of training they've done.
    • Tactics - still tactical leader of Dark Watch (they're not really organized as having a leader, but Setback often takes points and she does the planning). Still set up in what's left of Rook City and this is a darker future, but they're trying to be a source of hope. She's got some new ammo: Gravity Rounds, Concussion Rounds, Biotic Rounds. There had been a time after the loss of Nightmist and the breaking of Rook City when the team disbanded - duo comic from this time "Lucky Shot" about her and Setback before they cycled back around to link back up with Mr. Fixer and Pinion.
    • RPG - Rook City wasn't as demolished. There's various groups doing rebuilding. Dark Watch isn't really just limited to the four of them. She and Setback act as the field operatives, a "fighting duo" and are still active "working" heroes, but the two of them aren't taking on the mentorly role that many other of the canon heroes do at this point.

To Other Works

  • "Speed Loading" may be a reference to the climactic fight scene of the 2002 action film Equilibrium.
  • Many of her cards are, at least in part, a reference to a certain style of action movie, particularly those by filmmaker John Woo.

Sources

  1. Christopher comments in GTG forum thread "Legacy's wife?"
  2. Christopher comments in GTG forum thread "Something special..."
  3. Christopher comments in GTG forum thread "SotM Quiz Game!"
  4. Everyone discusses in GTG forum thread "Expatriette and Glowing Doves"
  5. The Letters Page for Expatriette

Fanatic

Artwork

  • Apostate is seen blocking a strike on "Smite the Transgressor", and is also being stabbed by Fanatic on "Zealous Offense".
  • The demon that Fanatic is fighting on "Sacrosanct Martyr" is the Illusory Demon, one of The Dreamer's projections. Curiously, it is much smaller in comparison to Fanatic than it is to Chrono-Ranger on the card "Sudden Contract."
  • "Brutal Censure" shows Fanatic blasting the face of The Idolater.
  • "Chastise" reveals Fanatic using her powers to neutralize the "Fiendish Pugilist" demon from Apostate's deck.
  • "Divine Focus" portrays Fanatic hovering over and blasting Grand Warlord Voss.

Confirmed

  • To add to the conversation on Fanatic's personality, she doesn't call herself "Fanatic". That's her hero name, sure, and it's definitely the name of her comic book, but she never refers to herself as that. Imagine the sort of person it would take to call themselves "Fanatic". She isn't that person. She calls herself "Angel of the Lord", "The Lord's Agent", and even "Judgement", but not Fanatic. That is what other people call her.[1]
  • Fanatics's Aegis and Sword have power because Fanatic believes they should have power. We did not learn the source of Fanatic's power and whether or not she is "divine".[2]

To Other Works

  • The flavor text of the card "Holy Nova" is the lyrics to Dio's song Holy Diver - Similarly Apostate's Fallen Angel is from Fallen Angels
  • The flavor text on "Undaunted" is a reference to the famous Black Knight scene in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail".
  • Though the images aren't complete matches, the art on Fanatic's incapacitated side may be an homage to this image of Angel from the X-Men pinned to the wall by the Morlock Harpoon's energy weapons in X-Factor #10 ("Falling Angel").
  • As a winged female superhero armed with superpowered melee weapons, Fanatic bears a notable resemblance to Hawkgirl, a DC comics superhero. This comparison is somewhat ironic though, as Hawkgirl and her species, the Thanagarians, are devoutly atheist.

Sources

  1. Christopher comments in GTG forum thread "Hero Personalities"
  2. GTG forum user Arenson9 transcribes a Q&A Christopher & Adam gave at GenCon 2016 in a post in GTG forum thread "GenCon 2016"

Guise

Artwork

  • The blatant reference on "Blatant Reference" is a blatant reference to the film... uh... er... hang on... it's, ah... "Pulp"... something... ah, crap.
  • The art of "Gimmicky Character" shows Guise riding a shark and embodying all thing awesome and manly. This is a double reference, or entendre, if you will, to the phrase "jumping the shark", which indicates when a series has run out of ideas, and the cover of Deadpool Killustrated #1. Please note that where Deadpool is riding a whale on that particular cover, Guise's card has him riding a shark, thus cementing his far greater levels of mojo for all eternity. [citation needed]
  • What trope could "Gritty Reboot" be referencing? Truly a mystery for the ages.
  • What trope could "Retcon" be referencing? See above.
  • "Total Beefcake". Control yourselves, ladies.
  • "Look What I Found" shows the coolest mofo ever smacking some midget alien with the "One-Shot" caption box. Please note that this is in no way a reference to the game "Marvel vs Capcom 3" and in no way pays homage to Deadpool's hyper-combo which had him smack an enemy with his super meter. Not at all. It's a completely original idea. Shut up.
  • "Where Did I Leave That..." shows Guise digging into an impossibly deep bag for something. Mondays, right? Also, this is a reference to the "hammerspace" trope.
  • The artwork of "X-Treeeeeeeeme!!!" depicts Guise with super-huge muscles and long, oddly shaped guns. These are signatures of the infamously bad comic book artist Rob Liefeld, who was inexplicably popular in the 1990's. He was also the creator of that loser Deadpool. Hah! BURN!
  • The artwork of "Uh, Yeah, I'm That Guy!" shows Guise impersonating Legacy. This is a reference to the DC character Ambush Bug, whose origin is meant to be a parody of Superman. I'm way better at being Legacy and besides my origin story is awesome so I didn't need to parody anyone.

Unconfirmed

  • No villain has ever been truly defeated without Guise's aid
  • Every game of SotM includes Guise directly or indirectly
  • If you ever lose a game of SotM playing as Guise clearly you didn't play my cards properly. I thought I told you not to make me look bad!
  • Please don't cry! Just get me some Fudge Ripple ice cream and we will get them next time
  • Someone talk to the admins about why these items are unconfirmed

Confirmed

  • Guise was first mentioned on Argentium as his additional effect rider. He was released as a Mini Expansion alongside the preorder event for Wrath of the Cosmos to the sound of heroic trumpet blasts and beautiful women swooning uncontrollably!
  • On the Official Forums, Christopher mentioned that Guise has been seen in art for a very very long time. It has spawned the meme of indicating that new characters in the artwork are really Guise. It has also grown to indicating certain people (Such as Ronway) is actually Guise and so on. An easy method for finding him is to ask yourself, who's the best looking person on this card?
  • On the incapacitated side of Scholar of the Infinite, we see Scholar faced with a choice of saving himself or using the philosopher's stone to save Guise, his mentee. He chooses to save Guise, and does so by pushing the philosopher's stone into Guise's body.[1] I will avenge him!
  • The Shark in "Gimmicky Character" and "Inconceivable Obstruction" in Kismet's deck are the same one as the issue Mystery Comics #292 is referenced on both cards. I'm going to count that one as jumping the shark
    • Geocaching is the best but sadly I couldn't find what I was looking for in the Ruins of Atlantis. Thankfully Kismet summoned this shark for me to get out since my breathing apparatus had broken and I needed a way to get back to the shore. Ra seemed a little shocked but I'm sure he'll be fine. Wahooooo!!!! [2] A reference for you in case you doubt me Guiseicon.png
  • From [3] we find out that the Freedom Five try not to think about Guise. That's because I'm always there in their hearts

To Other Works

  • Guise's ability to break the Fourth Wall makes him a kinda, sorta clear reference to some guy named Deadpool, whoever that is. Have you ever heard of him? I sure haven't.
  • Guise could also be a reference to Morph from Marvel Comics (but not the one from the X-men cartoons). Morph is a shape-shifter and often breaks the fourth wall. He's totally un-sexy though. But, c'mon, when you compare yourself to this guy...
  • According to Christopher, the inspiration for Guise was Ambush Bug[4]. Christopher is being modest, though. I was more "divinely revealed" then "inspired." Such a humble guy.
  • Guise, much like Ambush Bug, doesn't seem able to take off his costume. Besides, you know what the difference is between Ambush Bug and me? I make this look GOOD.

Sources

  1. GTG forum user Arenson9 transcribes a Q&A Christopher & Adam gave at GenCon 2016 in a post in GTG forum thread "GenCon 2016"
  2. The Letters Page for Kismet
  3. Letter Page Episode 19
  4. The AV Club interviews Christopher in their article "Sentinels Of The Multiverse pays tribute to convoluted comic-book universes"

Haka

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Art References

  • "Haka of Shielding" shows Ambuscade detonating a bomb (ineffectively) on Haka's back while Haka eats a sandwich and carries a balloon. This moment is foreshadowed on Ambuscades "Personal Cloaking Device" card.
  • Haka is fighting Grand Warlord Voss' Genebound Soldiers on "Punish the Weak."
  • The art on Haka's incapacitated side is a clear homage to the cover of Hulk Special #1, where Hulk holds a rocky burden on his back in a similar pose.
  • "Savage Mana" shows Haka surrounded by black feathers and the shadows of birds still overhead. This is likely a reference to The Matriarch, whose deck is much less dangerous if Haka has this in play.


Unconfirmed

Confirmed

  • The Following is from This Thread on the official >G Forums by Christopher himself.
    • Haka is actually quite well spoken, and when he does get really into the battle, he tends to fall into chanting hakas rather than speaking like a giant monosyllabolic toddler.
    • "The Savage" as a tagline for him is a bit tongue-in-cheek. Certainly, people would tell the towering, mostly shirtless warrior a savage, but he's the only one who could give Legacy a stern look and make Mr. Parsons feel bad for coming down hard on a teammate who dropped the ball.
    • Haka's titular hakas are about him being a champion of a culture and people who have rejected him. They're also about focus. Sure, they look wild and savage, but they're carefully practiced and deliberate movements and phrases.
    • As for his age, not even Haka knows. He has lived for a long time and will continue to live for a long time. He takes nothing for granted, knowing that some day, his time will come. And he will face it with the grace and humility that he strives to practice every day.
  • The Following is from here:
    • Haka has been teaching for most of his life, as he always has had an interest in bringing up future generations with more information and life experiences. In the formalized school system, he has been a substitute teacher for just under a century.
    • He has been to countless funerals. Students, friends, teammates, and even a few lovers. He has never missed a funeral, and he always sings at the grave after the other funeral attendees have left, his eyes overflowing almost as much as his heart. Aata Wakarewarewa is not brooding or depressed about outliving everyone - he knows that the progression of birth, youth, life, age, and death is a natural one, though he openly weeps for lives cut short.
    • Haka finds the joy in life and in getting to be a part of so many great lives. He cares more about the positive influence he has on those around him than he does how they remember him, if they remember him at all.
  • Haka and Con go way back(from the The Final Wasteland) Christopher on >G Forums
  • Eternal Haka: He is reading The Wasteland, by T.S. Eliot Christopher, on the Forums. This may be a subtle foreshadowing of The Final Wasteland and Haka's connection to it (Haka knows Con and Chrono Ranger).

Reference

Harpy

See The Matriarch

K.N.Y.F.E.

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Art References

  • "For the Greater Good" depicts Knyfe stabbing the villain Choke. This would be a key event in Choke's ascension into Chokepoint.
  • Knyfe is found combating villains in several of her cards. Proletariat on "Amplified Combatant", Fright Train on "Wrecking Uppercut", Major Flay on "Kinetic Neutralizer", a Celestial Executioner from The Celestial Tribunal on "Energy Burn", and Choke/Chokepoint on "For the Greater Good".
  • Knyfe's incapacitated art shows Citizen Dawn turning Knyfe's internal light against her, as was mentioned in Letters Page Episode 5 as an example of a hero who would not be able to take on Dawn one-on-one.

Unconfirmed

Confirmed

Reference

  • Knyfe’s military background and penchant for violence were popular tropes in 90’s comics.
  • Knyfe’s powers, attire, and the intentional misspelling of her name are tropes shared by many popular 90’s comic book characters. The power to manipulate nondescript energy was very common with 90’s superheroes, most notably ones from the now defunct Malibu Publications. Intentionally misspelled names were infamously prevalent at the time thanks to their overuse in the then-popular Image Comics; examples include, but are not limited to:
    • Dreadlox (Marvel)
    • Byrd (Image Comics)
    • Bloodwynd (DC)
  • Knyfe's powers in general are similar to those of Marvel's Psyloche.
  • The green, pointed eared enemy that Knyfe is fighting on “Energy Burn” is the Celestial Executioner, one of the AI's of the Celestial Tribunal.
  • The red-garbed ninjas on “Flawless Execution” somewhat resemble ninjas of The Hand, an evil organization in the Marvel Universe.
  • The scene pictured on “Infiltrate and Obfuscate” is a reference to a similar scene in the film “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.”
  • The surface that Knyfe is standing upon on “Primed Punch” has circle and line designs indicative of comic artist Jack Kirby.
  • The poses of Knyfe and Major Flay on "Kinetic Neutralizer" are a reference to the cover of X-Men #5 which depicts Wolverine fighting Omega Red in similar poses.
  • Knyfe's incapacitated side may be a reference to Marvel's X-Men #25 from 1993, which was itself the fourth entry of the six-part Fatal Attractions crossover. The climax of the issue was a full-page spread depicting the villain Magneto ripping away the adamantium coating from a still-living Wolverine's skeleton. Citizen Dawn and Knyfe are posed like Magneto and Wolverine respectively, with Dawn's light powers taking the place of the adamantium tendrils bursting from Wolverine's skin.

La Comodora

See La Capitan

Lifeline

See Deadline

Legacy

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Art References

  • Most of Iron Legacy's cards are thematic inversions of Legacy's:
    • "Final Evolution" - "Next Evolution."
    • "Superhuman Redirection" - "Superhuman Durability."
    • "Armored Fortitude" - "Fortitude."
    • "Rule From the Front" - "Lead From the Front"
    • "Iron Fist Strike" - "Back Fist Strike."
    • "Beat Down" - "Take Down."
    • "Former Allies" - "Bolster Allies."
    • "Flying Assault" - "Flying Smash."
    • "Demoralizing Presence" - "Inspiring Presence."
  • The scene pictured on "Galvanized" is mentioned in Iron Legacy's character profile.
  • Legacy is locked in combat with the Proletariat on "Lead From the Front."
  • The man that Legacy is punching on "Motivational Charge" is Citizen Anvil.
  • The Bizarro Reference on "Thokk!" is likely Dark Hero out of The Dreamer's deck
  • The scenes on the Incapacitated side of both versions of America's Greatest Legacy's character card show the death of the hero at the hands of Baron Blade. This was the villain's first major comics appearance.

Unconfirmed

Confirmed

  • In the main timeline of SOTM, Legacy is eventually killed by Baron Blade, after which Young Legacy assumes his role as a member of the Freedom Five. In an alternate timeline, Young Legacy dies instead, prompting Legacy to become Iron Legacy.
  • Counting "Young Legacy", there have been four Legacies. Current (America's Finest) Legacy, his daughter (America's Newest), his father (America's Greatest), and his grandfather, who was the first Parsons to take up the Legacy mantle. * Please note that these are not the only Parsons family members to have superpowers; they are simply the first ones to use the "Legacy" moniker.
  • Iron Legacy has the lowest HP of any solitary villain who can be defeated by dealing damage to him. (Despite this, he is generally not what you could call an easy fight.)
  • Iron Legacy is the nemesis of all the Freedom Five...except Legacy. (More specifically, he is the nemesis of the Freedom Six, an alternate-future version of the team in which Legacy has, obviously, left the team or been expelled from it, with Tempest replacing him and Unity upgraded from an intern to a full member.)
  • Powers for various Legacy family members per Letters Page for Legacy The Letter Page Episode 1 (Thanks to WalkingTarget who wrote this up)
    • Joseph Parsons - Revolutionary War - Danger Sense
    • Paul Parsons I - War of 1812 - Exceptional Athletic Condition
    • Paul Parsons II ("Lucky Paul Parsons") - No war/conflict - Super Speed (not Tachyon-level, but capable of moving noticeably faster than he should be able to)
    • Paul Parsons III - Mexican–American War - Super Strength
    • Paul Parsons IV - Civil War - Single Attack Negation (like, taking a cannonball to the chest, but has a recovery/recharge time before he can use it again)
    • Paul Parsons V (family moved to Chicago) - Spanish–American War - Vitality ("especially robust", recover from disease faster, age slower, hold breath for 10s of minutes, etc.)
    • Paul Parsons VI (first to go by the Legacy name) - World War I - Flight
    • Paul Parsons VII (America's Greatest Legacy, "Grandpa" Legacy) - World War II and Korean Conflict - Keen Eyesight
    • Paul Parsons VIII (America's Finest Legacy, founder of the Freedom Four/Five) - No wartime service (too young for Vietnam), certainly major conflicts as a Superhero - Bulletproof Skin (better against many small wounds as opposed to the Single Attack Negation they already had)
    • Pauline Felicia Parsons (America's Newest Legacy, Beacon in the Tactics timeline) - No wartime service - Laser Eyes/"Atomic Glare"
  • Mr. Fixer was originally a Blaxploitation character created in the '60s called Black Fist. He typically showed up as the "B" story in the back pages of Legacy's main comic book, Justice Comics, but they rarely interacted with one another.
  • Paul Parsons VIII and Pauline both have no siblings, but that's not true for previous generations. In such cases, only the first born of every generation gets the powers. Some of the non-powered siblings would be jealous, but it was more common for them to be relieved that they didn't have the responsibilities that came with the gift (Letters Page Interlude 3).

Reference

  • Paul Parsons' (Legacy's alter-ego) name is alliterative, i.e. his first and last name both begin with the same letter. Alliteration was a common device in the early Superman comics, most notably with the characters of Lois Lane, Lana Lang, and Lex Luthor. Clark Kent, the alter ego of Superman, did not technically share in this pattern, though his first and last names both started with a hard c/k sound. Peter Parker, the alter-ego of Spider-Man, also shares in this tradition; fittingly, Legacy borrows his danger sense from Peter Parker's spider-sense.
  • It should be noted that Paulina Parsons, Legacy's daughter, and Baron Blade, his nemesis, both follow the alliterative naming pattern.
    • Stan Lee has said that the reason he used alliterative names for so many early Marvel superheroes (e.g., Peter Parker, Reed Richards, Bruce Banner, Susan Storm, Matt Murdock) was because they made it easier for him to remember. (I've seen this in a video interview, probably attached to one of the X-Men or Sam Raimi Spider-Man films.)
  • The sunrise-sillhouted group shot on "Bolster Allies" may be a reference to the opening title animation of the "Justice League" animated series.
  • Legacy is fighting a doppleganger of himself with an inverted color scheme on "Thokk!" This is a reference to Bizarro, the backwards duplicate of Superman.
  • Legacy's "Danger Sense" is a clear homage to Spider-Man's "spider-sense." The "sense lines" that emerge from Legacy's head on the card are identical to the ones that emerge from Spider-Man's head when he senses danger.
  • Legacy's costume, powers, and demeanor are all clear references to Superman, the DC Comics superhero that started the superhero genre.
  • Appropriately enough, Legacy is the founding member of the Freedom Five much in the same way that Superman is the founder of the Justice League.
  • The lasers that Paulina Parsons is shooting from her eyes on "Next Evolution" are similar to those used by Superman.
  • The art on Greatest Legacy's incapacitated side appears to be an homage to this picture of Captain America when he was shot to "death" during Marvel's Civil War storyline.
  • As a corrupted, despotic version of a Superman analogue, Iron Legacy is similar to the oppressive Superman of the Justice Lords, an alternate version of the Justice League who protect the world through oppression. He is also similar to Regime Superman, another alternate Superman hailing from the Injustice video game and comic series; this version of the character went mad with grief after the Joker tricked him into killing Lois Lane, and subsequently established a dictatorship over the world to ensure that such a tragedy could never happen again.
  • The scene on "Vigilance" is likely a reference to Superman: Red Son by Mark Millar, which featured a Superman raised in communist Russia who became a dictator.

Luminary

See Baron Blade

Mr. Fixer

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Art References

  • Fixer is fighting the Dreamer's Granite Oni projection on the card "Hoist Chain."
  • The scar on Dark Watch:Mr. Fixer promo card is the same place that The Operative is striking Mr Fixer on the card 'Undivided Attention'
  • The villain on the back of DWMF striking him is called Heartbreaker, and he will be part of another deck. Christopher on the Forums (he wound up appearing in the Vengeance-style Miss Information deck).
    • The scene shown is during the Vengeance events when Heartbreaker ambushes Mr. Fixer while Dark Watch is busy fighting Proletariat clones.

Unconfirmed

  • The dragon that Mister Fixer is punching on "Overdrive" is the villain Zhu Long transformed. Zhu Long was later made into a Nemesis card in Baron Blade's Vengeance deck. His human form is portrayed on "Pipe Wrench."

Confirmed

  • The Kanji on Mr. Fixer's Incapacitated Side reads "Owari", or 'End'. The other is a signature block, and is written in katakana, a Japanese phonetic syllabry that is typically used for foreign words. It reads "Adamu Rebotaro", i.e., Adam Rebottaro. In addition to his Nemesis symbol (to fix/mend), the other Kanji on his cards is on the style cards; they may be for the appropriate animals Forum Post by dpt
  • Mr Fixer has Always been Blind >G Forum Post
  • Dark Watch Mr. Fixer's "Bitter Strike" power still counts as a "strike." Forum post
  • Mr Fixer first encountered Expatriette she is given a contract to take him out. She sets up shop on a roof with a sniper rifle across the way from the garage, thinks it's an easy-peasy job. Just as she's getting set to take the shot, the mechanic looks in her direction, gives a half wave, and steps into the shop out of sight. She figures that he'd been tipped off, but heads into the shop to get him. He gets the drop on her, waiting. He doesn't really fight her, more just disrupting her firing at him by knocking the guns out of the way (or setting the safety, removing the magazine, pulling off the slide, etc.). Once he dismantles the guns she pulls a knife and he disarms her. He's not throwing punches, he's just always in the right place to prevent her from harming him. Once he has her stymied, he asks her a series of cryptic questions ("Who are you?" "Why are you here?" stuff like that) and gets her thinking about her life. Letters Page Episode 4
  • His anger after being revived was calmed after the Dark Watch team was able to defeat the Scion Faultless Letters Page Episode 4
  • Due to the fact that he and The Operative are nemeses, as well as certain commonalities in their back-stories, it can be assumed that the martial arts school The Operative attended as a child was the same one that Mr. Fixer used to run (Confirmed Letters Page 10).
  • DWMF In Progress - Photo taken at Origins 2013. Overheard Adam speaking that the scar is from where The Operative hit him on the card Undivided Attention and that his beard would have less grey in it due to him 'Coming back' - Mr. Fixer is killed by the Operative, but he is reanimated by Zhu Long (Letters Page 10).
  • Notes from Letters Page Episode 10:
    • Started off in Sentinel Comics in the '60s as Black Fist, a "blaxploitation" character - he's caricatured to the pop-culture expectations of the time (compare to things like *Shaft*). The guys are well aware of the optics of this looking back on it now, but chose to include a history of the character as comics of the time would have represented things. He's got the total stereotypical look going - big afro hairdo, bell bottom pants, sunglasses that he always wears, etc.
    • Black Fist was a secondary character, filling out the back pages of things like Justice Comics. He was thrown in as a one-off character, but people liked him, so they kept him around. By the '70s he'd gotten his own stories - fighting drug dealers and urban decay, etc. He predates "Rook City" as a specific, canonical location. "Fighting crime with kung fu".
    • As the '70s progress and the books get more "hero-y" he starts to be more focused on being a "kung fu guy" and his opponents start being more things like sorcerers or ninjas. Zhu Long becomes a thing in this time as a recurring villain - "sorcerer king" who leads the ninjas, etc. Vampires also seem to show up a bunch here for some reason.
    • There's not a lot of "notable" stories from this period. Zhu Long winds up being important in retrospect, but the comics stories themselves, not so much.
    • One exception is a fight with some vampires. They were attempting to set up a Court of Blood in Rook City. He's winning (because he knows kung fu and has nun-chucks). They take out the lights, assuming that because they can see in the dark that they'll have an advantage. Turns out that Black Fist can fight just fine in the dark. He eventually manages to channel some of his kung fu awesomeness into a strike with Radiant energy and blasts the vampires to dust. This fight reveals that 1) his kung fu is that strong (and beyond "just punching"), and 2) that he's blind.
    • As the blaxploitation era winds down, he kind of just fades away. There's no event or anything, writers just stop using him.
    • Fast-forward to the '90s. The Operative shows up as The Chairman's right hand. Up to this point, the Chairman and the Organization had been kind of just representing the background corruption and "normal" street crime (thugs, muggers, etc.). The Operative was a specific, aggressive instigator of events, though, which was a change. This starts to reintroduce some of the martial arts themes that *had* been present in the Black Fist books.
    • Expatriette is hired indirectly by the Operative to kill this old auto mechanic guy (See Episode 4) who stymies her ability to harm him, asks her a bunch of cryptic questions involving self-reflection, and sends her on her way. Long-time comics readers could realize that this guy used to be Black Fist, but much later in life now, but it wasn't spelled out anywhere. This guy is known as Slim Walker. He owns the shop, but has an assistant, Charlie, who helps with customers for the most part since Slim isn't the best with people.
    • The store policy for "how to exist in Rook City" is to not put up a fight when a robbery happens. Once, after the more aggressive Organization starts moving on the area, however, Charlie gets the shakedown from some enforcers while Slim is out. Charlie not putting up a fight makes them suspicious that he's holding out on them in some way and they wind up shooting him and leaving him to bleed out.
    • Slim discovers the body, blames himself for trying to keep things running and not just telling Charlie to get out of town long ago. He decides that "not fighting back's not working."
    • One-shot comic issue comes out that gives the backstory of one Harold Robert Walker. Born blind in Rook City. He doesn't remember his parents, he's barely surviving on the streets as a kid. He's found by Shuen Zang, a martial arts master who takes him in. The master has been on an endless worldwide pilgrimage to places of great suffering as part of his own philosophy to try to alleviate suffering. Shuen Zang sees Harry's suffering, but also his strength and great inner peace and so asks Harry to come with him to be taken care of, but also training.
    • This training starts with turning his "inner eye" in on himself, understanding who he himself is and through that understanding he understands the world around him. They describe it as him projecting his aura out and that aura interacting with the world around him is what allows him to perceive the world without his eyes. It's not a matter of his other senses being superhuman, just that he has this extra ability to perceive the auras of people and things around him.
    • Harry travels with Shuen Zang for around 15 years, traveling around the world and easing suffering. Eventually, when he's in his 20s he decides that he needs to return to Rook City as he has a connection to it and recognizes that there's a lot of suffering to be mitigated there. Master Zang is fine with this and lets him go. Harry returns to Rook City as Black Fist.
    • As he ages, he's realizing that his work as Black Fist isn't really doing the trick. Sure, he's stopping *that* individual bad thing from happening, but he comes to the conclusion that if he's really going to make a lasting difference, he needs to elevate the people themselves. He opens a dojo and offers free classes to orphans. His school is a safe haven; he doesn't put up with shakedowns by criminals.
    • This doesn't go so well with his students, however. A group of them reject, but try to be reasonable with some drug dealers and get mowed down by gunfire for their trouble. This makes Walker question his whole approach to life, tells his remaining students to not resist or fight back, but to just keep their heads down. He then closes the school.
    • He had started working on cars as a hobby (machines are less complicated than people) and so he wound up opening his shop under the name "Slim".
    • That worked for a few decades, but then after Charlie's death, he's once again done taking a passive role.
    • Enter "Mister Fixer" (in Sentinel Comics and the *SotM* card game), waging a one-man war against the Organization and the corruption of Rook City, dismantling the Chairman's hold on it piece by piece. He's mostly showing up as a guest character in Mystery Comics or other books if they're in Rook City, so he winds up actually working with a lot of heroes.
    • In this process, he runs into the Operative several times - she had been a student of his back in the day and so knew that he *would* be a problem down the line, which is why she'd put out the preemptive hit with Expatriette. He recognizes her and is able to neutralize her any time they run into one another since he's simply the superior martial artist - he doesn't try to harm her, but he wants her to give up working for the Organization since she's "part of the problem" as it stands. Eventually, the Chairman takes steps to give her an edge (tune in next week!).
    • Following whatever shenanigans he arranges, the Operative and Mister Fixer wind up having a brawl on the roof of the Pike Industries building (Chairman is present, observing, but also present so Fixer can't just ignore him as a possible combatant). The Operative has just enough of an edge here to defeat him (see the card "Undivided Attention" for the death of Mister Fixer).
    • Expatriette had a particular fondness for him, and visited his grave frequently. About a year after his death she finds it empty - somebody has stolen the body. Dark Watch is pretty much instigated by this event: Expat calls up Setback for support and they get Nightmist involved to help track him down with magic - this points them to, what turns out to be, the Temple of Zhu Long, bringing back an old Black Fist enemy who hadn't really been around much in the Mister Fixer era other than the fact that he was an ally of the Chairman and supplied some power here and there (more next week).
    • At the Temple, Zhu Long comes out to greet them when they arrive and invites them in. [Insert rambling bit about the viscosity and taste of the weird red liquid in the resurrection pits here] Mister Fixer emerges from the pit with his new look, and attacks the heroes. Zhu Long laughs and ducks out of the room. The heroes don't want to hurt him, but it's not like they'd really be able to because he's just that skilled and isn't showing any of that inner peace garbage that he'd always been so big on. Expat and Setback do pretty much all they can just to hold him off long enough for Nightmist to do her thing to sever whatever magical weirdness is going on. They get him to the point where he knows who he is and who they are again, much to Zhu Long's annoyance, but Nightmist manages to get them out of there quick.
    • Dark Watch stories happen here - Urban or Magical threats (Gloomweaver mentioned), Expat and Setback are "at their best" at this time, Nightmist is still getting better, but Mister Fixer is not himself. "Brutal, angry and bitter." He's younger/more vital (but by no means "young" again), but much more violent and lacking his inner peace. The person with the most calm and experience on the team is actually Expatriette, which might tell you something about the way the team operates. Mister Fixer *would* be the heart and soul of the team if it was the old him, but that guy is gone and it kind of falls to Setback to fill that role. More in the Dark Watch episode.
    • During Vengeance, they're fighting a bunch of Proletariats and it's mentioned that Mister Fixer is doing things like taking their hammers away and smashing their chests in, that kind of thing. During that fight, though, the assassin Heartbreaker shows up to attack him (this isn't the first time, Equity and other less important assassins or super-powered thugs had shown up occasionally for the same purpose - to remove him from the field). Heartbreaker manages to get the drop on him, however, due to the distraction of the existing fight - Heartbreaker drives a blade through his chest, whispers a greeting from the Chairman to him, and leaves. The Chairman remembers how close Mister Fixer got to taking down the whole Organization and has been trying ever since he came back from the dead to negate that threat.
    • He's not dead yet, though. The rest of the DW team still had their hands full with Proletariat and couldn't offer immediate aid, but he stands up anyway and helps them win the fight. He definitely *should* be dead, but he isn't. Nightmist determines that whatever Zhu Long did to restore a body is still active. It's a two step process - restore the body itself (think "healthy zombie") and then a separate step to actually grab the spirit of the person and put it back in the body. Since the body isn't actually really alive again, he can't really die. This is a kind of revenge by Zhu Long, putting his foe into this state of unlife, unconnected to the world and deprived of the final peace of the grave. This explains the source of bitterness.
    • Questions:
      • Does he carry around these mechanics tools with him? Does anybody suggest he use more traditional weapons? Are the tool cards just placeholders for whatever martial-arts or improvised weaponry he winds up using? The tools aren't specific to his fighting style, they represent the idea that he's improvising with what's available. He's not using traditional weapons (Black Fist would have), but now he goes in unarmed and just makes use of whatever's available.
      • Why not start using the Black Fist name again? How does he feel about fighting alongside other heroes (before and after resurrection)? Modern writers changed the name - the Black Fist name is a product of a specific time and modern writers didn't want to dredge that back up. Beyond that, there's an outlook change between them - Black Fist was pretty ideological, Mister Fixer is more cynical (even the name is kind of ironic, he can't fix everything, but he tries to fix what he can). This is the first time he's really working with heroes as he was mostly a solo hero up until Dark Watch. He liked having allies on the occasions he worked with others before his death; after he's just angry about literally everything.
      • Does he have any wuxia/chi abilities or is his skill just 100% martial arts? His abilities are 150% martial arts, he's elevated his skill beyond what you would normally call "martial arts". Sure, you can call it "chi" or whatever, and you could say that he has superpowers, but the powers are in the form of "is so good at kung fu that he's able to do stuff that we kind of have to call super powers because what else are you going to call them". It's not "magic" that he can Grease Monkey Fist his punch into doing fire damage or something, it's just down to his martial arts training.
      • During the first fight with Expat he just disarms/blocks, no attacks - would he have taken that approach with anybody or did he see something special in her? Prior to his death, when being attacked by an unknown assailant he probably would have at least *started* with this approach, moving on to defeating (not killing) them if necessary. With Expat he could tell that there was something else going on and started asking the questions (which could have happened to other people too, but still a different reaction than random thugs would have gotten).
      • Is Mister Fixer's fighting prowess something he adapted his mechanic skills to? Prior martial arts training/extra powers other than that? Prior training, see previous discussion/answers. But they want to be specific on this, his only other "power" would be his ability to sense things around him with his aura. It's what makes him such a good mechanic too, but if he'd focused his life on being a mechanic he'd be light-years beyond his current mechanic-skill level.
      • The Organization is big in Rook City, why not more focus on the Wraith given her presence? Why is Fixer the Nemesis of both the Chairman and Operative? Operative has a personal connection with him and that history is the source of the animosity. A difference with the Wraith is a matter of focus - she's dealing with symptoms (individual crimes) while Fixer is going after the source (going after the Organization directly). She's an annoyance, but also has the rest of the Freedom Five to back her up if they take her out. He's just a guy operating on his own.
      • How many heroes know that he's blind? Most that he's worked with know because they have seen his eyes - the shadows are just a stylistic art choice. He still moves in a way that might give it away, but they can't really show that in card art. It's not a secret, but the guys liked not giving it away up front and giving clues over time.
      • Did he have a family or romantic relationships? "Slim" never had any romantic relationships, "Black Fist" had a ton. This is a result of the type of comics he was appearing in. Opening the school was a way for him to have surrogate children.
      • Does Fixer have any problems with Nightmist's magic in opposition to his martial arts thing? It's complicated due to the fact that he was never part of an official "team" until after his death, at which point he doesn't care. [Aside here about how Zhu Long's reanimation process is dealing with stuff older and darker than anything Nightmist is working with - Zhu Long "has forgotten more magic than Nightmist will ever know."]
      • [Another Arcanus Lupus limerick] Why is he Black Fist in the Enclave of the Endlings? The Enclave is a '60s event (and this is a flashback scene), thus the style, so that's why he's Black Fist. It's a rare crossover story where both he and Legacy appeared in the same story instead of Black Fist being in a separate "B" story in a Justice Comics issue.
      • Is it true that if he's shown not wearing his hat in the card game, that he's dead? Yes.
      • What happened to him in Freedom Six timeline, how did Unity get the hat? He was killed in that timeline. Prior to that, when Unity was injured and was dying, he helped her transfer her mind into the Unity bot. He didn't have the heart to tell it that wasn't really Unity and maintained their friendship. When he died, she kept the hat as a memento.
      • Who/what are the Rook City Renegades? It's the title of a comic series that is used as a source for the quotes on many cards. The book itself is an anthology series dealing with Rook City events, but isn't the name of a team. Well, not a hero or villain team - it's the local baseball team. They're all jerks. The Hippo used to play for them. Fixer's hat is actually for this team.
      • Any specific philosophy? His is largely informed by his master, Shuen Zang. There's definitely some Buddhism in there, but it's beyond just that.
      • Is he the most skilled hand-to-hand combatant in the game? If not, where does he rank? Does this change after his death and resurrection? Who else could "go the distance" with him? Yes, the most skilled. Others may punch harder. Fanatic and Haka are both really good melee combatants, but Fixer is the most skilled/trained/precise. Part of it is if you're above a certain threshold in strength, skill starts to not matter quite as much. Operative can go the distance, Fanatic and Haka could but not because of their skill and more just the ability to take punishment, K.N.Y.F.E. is quite good but is more of a bar-room brawler type. It's hard to do one-to-one skill matchups - Expat is *very* skilled, but all of her training is in ranged combat (but even then, there's a question of how far away do they have to start from one another before that would give her a definitive edge).
      • The Scion Faultless "fixes" him during OblivAeon, what is he fixing here? As has been established earlier, Fixer has reason to be furious about - his body is broken/dead, his soul is stuck haunting his own corpse, etc. Faultless was able to restore him, he's actually alive again after this point.
    • Future:
      • Tactics - Back in Dark Watch, using tool/weapons. Kind of the "Best case scenario" Mister Fixer in which he's still an active combatant - he's got more of the Black Fist outlook than he had in earlier Mister Fixer appearances.
      • RPG - Now he's fulfilling the heart and soul of the team role of Dark Watch - remember that Dark Watch is bigger than just the original heroes now and he's more of a mentor figure and teaching new heroes at Back Alley Dojo.

Reference

  • Zhu Long is visually similar to the pulp villain Fu-Manchu, one of the characters to kick-start the "yellow peril" character stereotype. Such villains were common in low budget martial-arts films of the sixties and seventies, an era which Mr. Fixer strongly emulates.

Naturalist

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Art References

  • The triceratops on “Blend into the Pack” are from Insula Primalis.
  • The birds attacking the Naturalist on “Cornered Beast” are servants of the Matriarch. The card keys on being outnumbered by non-hero targets, a common occurrence against that villain.
  • The tentacles attacking Doc Tusser on “Environmental Allies” hail from the ruins of Atlantis
  • "Hyperactive Senses" shows the Naturalist seeing through Glamour's illusions.
  • "Indomitable Force" shows the Naturalist protecting Idealist from Deadline's Atomic End-Glaive.

Unconfirmed

Confirmed

Reference

  • The Naturalist’s shapeshifting powers are evocative of Beast Boy and, to a lesser extent, Animal Man, two DC Comics staples. The fact that his animal forms are tinted green furthers the comparisons with Beast Boy.
  • The Naturalist’s views on nature preservation, as well as his distaste for environmental destruction, are common character tropes for superheroes that emerged during the 70’s.

Nightmist

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Art References

  • The card "Mists of Time" has numerous Easter Eggs and references in its artwork. From the bottom-left moving clockwise, it portrays:
    • A statue of Grand Warlord Voss
    • Legacy cradling the battered body of Paulina Parsons, an event which foreshadows the origin of Iron Legacy and visually refers to the cover of DC Comic's //Crisis On Infinite Earths// #7.
    • Akash'Bhuta's face dominating the surface of the planet Earth.
    • An unknown cosmic being gripping the Earth in the palm of its hand. As a purple cosmic entity of more-than-likely malign intent, this character is probably an analogue to the Marvel character Galactus, the eater of worlds.
    • Paulina Parsons cradling the battered form of Legacy, an image copied from the incapacitated side of Legacy's character card.
  • The silhouetted figure on "Astral Premonition" is Apostate.
  • "Oblivion" offers a glimpse at Nightmist's struggle to prevent Gloomweaver access to this dimension.
  • "Mistbound" shows Grand Warlord Voss being restrained by mist.
  • Nightmist faces off against The Seer on "Heedless Lash".
  • Adam drew this in 2014 showing Nightmist taking on a Nazi ghost GtGAdam Twitter

Unconfirmed

Confirmed

  • Notes from Letters Page Episode 12
    • Faye Diamond is actually a pretty early character for Sentinel Comics and was around plenty of time prior to her becoming "Nightmist". Thomas Diamond was created in the days of crime/mystery comics and his daughter, Faye, was introduced as a sidekick accompanying him (and her age was inconsistently presented).
    • Joe Diamond of Diamond Investigations started the family business - searching into the mysteries of the unknown. Followed by his son Thomas. Faye grew up with her father as a private investigator, her mother died in childbirth. He tried to instill in her the idea that things always had explanations; mysteries could be solved; there's no such thing as magic. As he aged he developed Alzheimer's Disease and she takes over the business. However, some of the things he starts to say as a result of his illness don't add up when compared to what she'd been told.
    • He talks about when his father disappeared, August 9 1938, when previously she'd been told that he had died. He also mentions a wall safe hidden in the office, but she can't get the combination out of him. Surprising nobody, the combination corresponds to the date of Joe's disappearance. The contents are a key and a piece of paper. The key is marked 2C and the paper has an address on it. Having the keen investigative mind that she has, she's able to follow the clues presented to an old storage facility. [The guys try to role-play the interaction between Faye and the old man running the front office at around the 12 minute mark.]
    • She opens the storage locker corresponding to the key. She finds: lots of full filing cabinets, books, papers, scrolls, and a strange bronze amulet (which she pockets). The files were odd, as they pertained to supernatural things/events that she'd been taught don't exist. Many of them were from her grandfather, but also her fathers - some of these latter indicating her father's investigation into Joe's disappearance, but this ended in his late 30s when he met Faye's mother and decided to put it behind him. She brings everything back to her office.
    • Further digging finds lots of references to cults/covens/lodges/secret societies/etc. based around Arkham, Massachusetts. In true H.P. Lovecraft-protagonist Call of Cthulhu Player Character private investigator fashion, she decides that the best course of action upon hearing about such groups is to go there to find out more. Her documents are decades out of date, but she's still able to corroborate a bunch of it and even manages to get in contact with a still-active coven of "witches". She's been dealing with this nonsense for a few days now, and isn't convinced, but goes to the meeting under the guise of wanting to join up. It's kind of sad, just people getting together and hanging out - "like a knitting circle, but instead of knitting they do 'magic'." She joins and finds that they actually can do some magic - nothing super impressive, minor telekinesis, remote viewing, "some light hexing".
    • They then teach her to cast Mists of R'lyeh [pretty great attempts to pronounce this at 17:30]. The amulet that she took from the storage facility reacts strongly to her casting this, though. It burns white hot, and her flinching from that results in her being cast, momentarily, into another realm full of mists and bizarre sights. She passes out and wakes up back in the normal reality, but not fully as now she's partially mist - different parts of her fluctuating between states, mostly parts of her hidden in shade. The coven isn't comfortable with how this went (it's showing much more "power" or whatever than they're normally dealing with) and ask her to leave.
    • She tries going back to her normal investigation job, but having random body parts dissolve into mist becomes increasingly frustrating. She's eventually visited by a very old Chinese man who introduces himself as "the Master". Now this is odd, but she figures it might be a paying job so agrees to talk to him. He seems to already know about her mist problem and says that he was drawn to her by her aura. He concentrates on her and manages to solidify her somewhat. This display prompts her to want to learn how to control herself.
    • He begins to train her and, once he hears her experiences, turns out to be familiar with the spell and amulet involved. He brings her a book with spells that she can learn about her condition and other magic. She's now getting into the "old family business" of paranormal investigation and starts using the name Nightmist. This is her starting point in Sentinel Comics with her own leading role. Freedome Five Annual #6 is a big fight against Gloomweaver's cultists, but they can't deal with the magic going on. Wraith had heard of this Nightmist person and Tachyon runs over to Rook City real quick to enlist her help. We get all of the backstory stuff in a 6-issue follow-up series to this introduction called The Curse.
    • She gets her own book, Nightmist, after a few more guest appearances in other stories (heroes run into some sort of magic problem and call on her to help - these issues are popular so they give her her own title). Her solo book does really well and winds up involved in a lot of the metaplot across SC titles.
      • She's part of the hero group that falls through a time portal into Silver Gulch (and since time travel is mostly multiversal travel, this experience gives her greater insight into how different realities are related - gains a limited pre- and post-cognition of events).
      • She single-handedly prevent members of the Blade Battalion from breaking Baron Blade out of prison.
      • She handles a return of Voss after the initial invasion story (a smaller guerilla strike) where she winds up opening a portal to another reality and banishes him.
      • Takes part in the Dreamer event (in her solo book) by trying to break the psychic connections between the Dreamer and her projections. The other heroes are fighting the symptoms while she's the one actually solving the problem.
    • Gloomweaver is an extra-dimensional deity who wants to invade our world and is kind of the primary antagonist for her. In her interactions with him she often saw him holding a glowing stone that he used as a kind of focus. It's eventually discovered that this stone represents the essence of Joe Diamond, which she has problems with. In a confrontation with Nightmist, Gloomweaver eventually shatters it as a means to taunt her. This is kind of an unsatisfactory resolution in the comics, but there's probably more on this to come in the Gloomweaver episode.
    • Vengeance: Nightmist is part of the team involved in the fight with Baron Blade himself. She gets hit by his regression serum darts and this removes her powers, but also the curse and she's once again just a normal person... for a few minutes before the mist starts encroaching again. As part of the follow-up story she has some discussions with Tachyon about reverse engineering the regression serum to make it permanent. For several issues her comic is just her without the mist powers - she's still doing the magic thing since she didn't lose her training (it's no longer as easy, though).
    • Crossover with Ra's plot - after his defeat by the Ennead and subsequent disappearance, Faye is one of the heroes to step up to deal with them. She has a big magic duel with Isis, which Faye loses. This rattles her as she has always been the hero to take care of these magical threats. After some soul-searching she recreates the events that curses her, regaining the mist powers, but due to her new knowledge she goes further, pulling on the magic of the Void, drawing it into herself (becoming more of a "magical being" than a mortal one, leaving her trapped there for subjective centuries until she manages to find her way back). This is touched upon in her Dark Watch bio. She's only been gone a few days in the "real world", but she's changed a lot and is "legit powerful" now. She rejoins the fight with the Ennead again and just wipes the floor with Isis.
    • Dark Watch forms (see the other members' episodes and stay tuned for the Dark Watch team installment).
    • Dark Watch later fights Bugbear, a blood-magic fueled beast of a man, who's hunting the Naturalist. She helps out here and sees similarities between her own circumstances and Bugbear's - somebody who's dealing with a curse. She recognizes what's going on and starts trying to "cure" him. She's able to cage off some of the magic, but is not able to separate them. This calms him enough to the point where he actually can kind of act like a hero for a while - fighting alongside Fanatic and Dark Visionary against Citizens Hammer and Anvil. The magic "cage" can't hold, though, and he turns against the heroes, mauling Fanatic's wing before Visionary takes him down ("practically lobotomized") - Nightmist checks him out afterwards and finds that between the curse and whatever Visionary did to him, he's a lost cause - not enough of him left to replace the beast. She banishes him out to the plane that she had been stuck in for so long - this is the last we see of him in the card game timeline.
    • Progeny event: fights the Prime Wardens, Dark Watch, Freedom Five. Destroys a large chunk of Rook City in the process. During the Dark Watch fight, they're joined by the Scholar but lose big. Last-ditch effort to summon all of her magical power to form a barrier, which is not able to even slow him down. She's exhausted after this and fades into mist entirely, unable to reform her solid form for the rest of the battles.
    • Shortly after, the Matriarch is having a breakdown and she helps her with control. This process of training is what brings her around to being the hero The Harpy (upcoming episode for more) in the run-up to OblivAeon.
    • Nightmist, as her effort to help fight OblivAeon, tries to open portals to all different realities to bring in more heroes. Harpy is involved as her magical apprentice. She draws upon a big source of power she finds to do this and opens all of these gates ("Be the Gate"), but tapping into this power in this way, she's no longer able to manifest physically. In this way she has an outsize effect on the OblivAeon events while simultaneously not being able to participate personally. That's the end of her story.
    • Questions:
      • What happens to her after OblivAeon? She is gone, for real. Noble sacrifice and probably the most important such sacrifice that allowed the event to be winnable.
      • Due to Joe Diamond tie-in, does Sentinel Comics share a setting with Arkham Horror? Nightmist and Gloomweaver were co-created by the guys and Richard Launius, one of the designers of the Arkham Horror board games. Mutual fandom got them all talking and they adapted some of his fan-created decks and ideas into the Nightmist, Gloomweaver, and the Realm of Discord decks for SotM. So, yes, they're tangentially related.
      • Is Faye Diamond becoming the gate a "fixed point" across realities, or are there still some out there in the multiverse? There are still realities with Faye Diamond, there are still realities with some version of "Nightmist" (not necessarily Faye), but as both the RPG and Tactics timelines branch off from the main card game timeline, she's not present in either.
      • What's The Curse book and how does it fit into the other titles? Already explained, backstory mini-series just after her introduction in FFA #6.
      • When/how does she get all of her artifacts? What happens to them after she becomes the gate? Amulet of the Elder Gods is the amulet she found in the storage unit mentioned previously. Tome of Elder Magic was given to her by the Master. Starshield Necklace was given to her by the witches before they kicked her out. Elder Ring was recovered from some Gloomweaver cultists who she defeated in The Curse books. Harpy uses the Amulet, the rest are kept by her but aren't something she uses.
      • What's the nature of her magic? We know that Zhu Long has older/darker magic, for example. She has artifacts, which could help just about everybody. Some people are naturally attuned to magic, and lacking that makes it very very difficult (like a lifetime of study). Having artifacts makes that process easier even without the innate ability. Faye has some innate ability, but the curse makes things easier too.
      • Where is the Kraken? We see her using "Planar Banishment" on one (there is more than one of them), sending it into another reality.
      • Her incap art shows her being locked behind her own magic, what's going on here? This is her banishing herself into the ethereal realm after her first battle with the Ennead and finding herself locked out of her own reality.
      • She seems focused, does she relax/have hobbies? She likes going to a local diner, doing the crossword, having black coffee and some pie.
      • She seems to have a lot of mentors (Grandpa Joe, the Master), is she the most mentored? Joe isn't a mentor for her as she never met him. She feels a connection to him (through his case files, from being near his essence when confronting Gloomweaver), but that's it. She wouldn't be the "most mentored" - Unity gets a lot of hands-on help, for example. Black Fist and the Operative get more mentoring. She's more "trained" than "mentored".
      • Had the witches had any presence other than in her backstory? They're fairly friendly, but haven't been present outside of the Nightmist book.
      • Has the Master been around much outside of her backstory? He shows up regularly in her solo book, more near the beginning, but less so after her training is complete. He's weird, we don't learn much about him.
      • Does she ever find out what happened to Joe (and what's up with the age disparity)? His essence was captured (and eventually destroyed) by Gloomweaver. We know that her parents were already on the older side when she was born and that Joe had disappeared when Thomas was pretty young. Also Comic Book Time - "Nightmist" debuted in the 1970s and she's still in her 20s.
      • In "Mists of Time" we see a few other events we recognize, Legacy incap stuff and OblivAeon, but what about Voss and Akash'Bhuta images? Voss is a statue from the reality where he conquers earth (also seen in Visionary's deck), Akash'Bhuta is one where she's succeeded in taking over the earth.
      • Man-grove is a nemesis, how did they meet as why would she need to go to a swamp? Swamps are great places to go if you're a sorceress. Lots of places of power there (like it's a top spot to go - others include old libraries, abandoned cathedrals). That's why Man-grove even exists in the first place - he was a grove of trees, then a bunch of bodies and toxic waste were dumped there (because Rook City), and then some Gloomweaver cult activity happened there and all of this combined to create Man-grove.
      • What's her relationship to the [Rod] of Anubis? While in the Tomb of Anubis she channels power through the Rod of Anubis, but Anubis is right there so there's not a role to her to fill like what happened to Ra or the Ennead (more detail on how that stuff works in their episodes). The Rod of Anubis and the Staff of Ra operate differently in the card game timeline.
      • What's going on with her using "Enlightenment" on Argent Adept? What kind of bond do they have as magic users? She spent time in the Void when she was doing her power-up stuff. The Argent Adept is the Virtuoso of the Void and his power comes from there anyway. Her magic isn't Void-based, but having been there she learns a lot about it. Since he's still trying to figure out his powers, she uses her expertise to help him learn and imparts this magically since explaining it verbally wasn't working. They get along well, even though they have different paths in magic. They consider each other colleagues. She has to study a lot while he's more into improvisation.
      • She has an "Astral Premonition" in Absolution #18 ("I shall not allow you to ravage this world as you have others!") what's going on here? Fighting Apostate (and how does she handle his type of magic)? What's Fanatic up to? They talking about Earth? This is an early appearance of Nightmist in other heroes' books. She shows up, sees Fanatic and assumes she's a baddie who needs to be stopped. She'd had a vision of the world in flames and a winged figure in charge. Classic hero vs. hero event. Nightmist eventually recognizes that Fanatic isn't the same entity that she'd seen in her vision, but predicts that Apostate is gonna happen and winds up being one of Fanatic's allies during that fight (more in the Fanatic/Apostate episodes).
    • Future:
      • None! Her dissipating during the OblivAeon events is not a fake-out.

Reference

  • The pentagrams shown on "Amulet of the Elder Gods," "Elder Ring," and "Oblivion" are Elder Signs. They are potent symbols of magic featured prominently in Fantasy Flight's Arkham Horror board game based on the horror stories of H.P. Lovecraft (and others). In Arkham Horror, Elder Signs are gathered by players to permanently seal portals to horrific alternate dimensions. Nightmist is using an Elder Sign to seal a portal shut on "Oblivion."
  • The inclusion of Elder Signs in Nightmist's artwork is just one of her many references/connections to the Arkham Horror series:
    • Nightmist is the descendant of Joe Diamond, the private eye character featured in the Arkham Horror base set.
    • Nightmist's powers stem from the Mists of R'lyeh. R'lyeh is an ancient underwater city that plays a prominent role in many Lovecraft novels and short stories. It also appears in Arkham Horror as an alternate dimension.
    • In addition to the above, "Mists of R'lyeh" is also a spell card in Arkham Horror. The card increases a player's stealth abilities, allowing them to sneak past enemies with greater ease. The card's artwork features a silhouetted man wearer a fedora and suit. The artwork for Joe Diamond's character card shows him wearing a fedora and suit, furthering the connection between the Mist's of R'lyeh and Nightmist.
    • Nightmist's goal of sealing Gloomweaver from the SOTM dimension mirrors the central goal of the Arkham Horror games, i.e. sealing away the Elder Gods.
  • The references above are intentional Easter eggs planted by the Greater Than Games staff and Nightmist's creator, Richard Launius. Richard Launius is the author of the Arkham Horror games
  • The card "Mistbound" includes two street signs in its artwork which read "KIRBY ST" and "TIMM BLVD." These are references to Jack Kirby, a pivotal artist of the Golden and Silver ages of comics, and Bruce Timm, the director of the Emmy-winning Batman animated series and its various spin-offs.
  • Several elements of Nightmist's backstory are clearly inspired by or references to the Cthulhu Mythos:
    • Nightmist's hometown, Arkham, Massachusetts, is a common setting in media related to the Cthulhu Mythos. It is town in which Miskatonic University, another famous Mythos setting, is located. Miskatonic University first appeared in the 1922 short "Herbert West: Reanimator" by HP Lovecraft. Arkham was first named in Lovecraft's "The Unknowable" in 1923.
    • R'lyeh is the name of the lost underwater city in which the elder god Cthulhu is imprisoned. It was first mentioned in HP Lovecraft's "Call of Cthulhu" in 1928.
    • Tome of Elder Magic is reminiscent of various books of forgotten or dangerous lore in the Cthulhu Mythos, most notably the Necronomicon, but there are many others.
  • Richard Launius created Nightmist and his nemesis purely as a fan thing, the >G crew saw his efforts and asked if he would like to co-design an expansion with them. Examples of the first Nightmist can be seen here, here, here and here
  • As a side note, the name "Arkham" was paid homage by DC comics with the now famous Elizabeth Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane, colloquially known as "Arkham Asylum," which first appeared in Batman #258 in 1974.
  • "Master of Magic" and "Oblivion" tie into a separate continuity, that of Marvel's Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme. He's often depicted making hand signs resulting in various ring-shaped glowing effects around his hands.
    • Likewise, the "Tome of Elder Magic" also has a Doctor Strange parallel with the Book of the Vishanti and its evil counterpart, the Darkhold.

Omnitron-X

See Omnitron

Parse

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Art References

Unconfirmed

Confirmed

Reference

  • As a hero that uses archery to fight crime, Parse draws many easy comparisons to DC Comic’s Green Arrow and Marvel Comics' Hawkeye.
  • Parse has Aspergers syndrome, a form of autism. Those who suffer from Apsergers often have difficulty connecting with others, expressing emotions, detecting sarcasm, or understanding what is considered “socially acceptable” in certain public climates. People with Aspergers also demonstrate an enhanced awareness of detail and strong cognitive reasoning, sometimes to the extent of obsessive compulsion. All of these traits apply to Parse’s character.
  • Parse’s calm, direct, matter-of-fact way of speaking is another indicator of Aspergers syndrome. Her somewhat haphazard attire is also an indicator (people with Aspergers syndrome tend to put little focus on personal appearance in favor of other pursuits.)
  • As a hero whose disability has been re-purposed into an advantage, Parse is very similar to Daredevil, a blind hero with hyper-enhanced senses.
  • Parse’s ability to see the weakest point is a power shared by Karnak, a member of Marvel’s Inhumans team.
  • Parse wears a leather jacket over her other clothes, a common “superhero fashion” of the 90’s.
  • "Exploit Vulnerability" shows Parse incapacitating a member of the Crackjaw Crew with a move reminiscent of Mr. Spock's Vulcan nerve-pinch from Star Trek.

Ra

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Art References

  • The original Horus of Two Horizons promo incap side shows a bound Ra being watched by Set.
  • The Variant Art Pack Horus of Two Horizons incap side shows Ra speaking to Ammit.
  • The Setting Sun incap side shows Fanatic mourning over Ra's body.
  • "Drawn to the Flame" shows Citizen Dawn weathering a fire blast.
  • "Imbued Fire" shows Legacy with glowing fists, representing that he does Fire damage instead of Melee now.
  • "Scorched Earth" shows Anubis standing on the ground that Ra has caused to burn.

Unconfirmed

Confirmed

  • Ra has the most nemeses of any Sentinels hero (The Ennead (9), Calypso, Ammit and Anubis.)
  • The new Ra in Tactics is Thiago and the Staff in the Freedom Tower called out to him allowing to bypass security Q&A from Gen Con 2016


Reference

  • Many of Ra's character traits are homages to the Marvel Comics incarnation of Thor, the Norse god of thunder:
    • Both are gods that switch places/identities with mortal men.
    • Both have powers that draw from an elemental source (fire for Ra, thunder for Thor).
    • Both use a mystic relic to channel and enhance their powers (Ra's staff, Thor's Mjolnir hammer.)
    • Both speak in a quasi-Shakespearean manner.
  • "The Staff of Ra" first appeared in the film Raiders of the Lost Ark/ In the movie, main character Indian Jones used it to find the lost Ark of the Covenant.
  • The Cairo Sphinx is famous for missing its nose. The sphinx in the background of "Living Conflagration," however, still has its nose.
  • The flavor text on "Excavation" is an homage to the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Scholar

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Art References

Unconfirmed

Confirmed

Reference

  • The Scholar's character card and the "Flesh to Iron" card both portray him with a metallic arm. This may be a reference to the anime/manga series Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa, which features a main character with a metallic arm who is an alchemist.
  • On his Incapacitated side, both the Scholar and the background are covered in curved, circular symbols. This is likely another reference to Fullmetal Alchemist, which made prominent use of circle symbols as a catalysts for alchemy. In addition, one of the anime's characters, Scar, had a brother who went mad and tattooed himself with symbols similar to the ones on the Scholar.
  • The Scholar's hair is arranged very similarly to that of Edward Elric, Fullmetal Alchemist's central character.
  • The Scholar's attitude and appearance are clear references to Jeff Bridges portrayal of "The Dude" in the Cohen Brothers film The Big Lebowski.
  • Scholar basically exists because he has the philosopher's stone. On the incapacitated side of Scholar of the Infinite, we see Scholar faced with a choice of saving himself or using the philosopher's stone to save Guise, his mentee. He chooses to save Guise, and does so by pushing the philosopher's stone into Guise's body. Q&A from Gen Con 2016

Setback

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Art References

  • The art on Setback's incapacitated side is a reference to this picture of Spider-man when he decided to give up the life of a superhero in the "Spider-Man No More" story in Amazing Spider-man #50.
  • Many members of the Slaughterhouse Six on “High Risk Behavior” are similar to members of Spider-Man’s rogues gallery, including an Electro and Vulture lookalike (Re-volt and Desert Eagle). Glamour, as pictured on both that card and “Uncharmed Life”, resembles Iron Man villainess Madame Mask.
  • "Cash Out" shows a confrontation between Kismet and Setback in a casino, indicating that this is their first confrontation as adults as mentioned in the Kismet Letters Page Episode. Note the precarious chandelier above Kismet - it's about to fall on her, which leads to her capture and imprisonment.

Unconfirmed

Confirmed

  • Setback and his Vengeance Nemesis Revenant were some of Adam's earliest ideas for a hero and villain Conversation at the Gathering of Heroes 2014, Vengeance Release Party
  • Setback is the first Promo card to be released before the hero actually was - Officially his Promo Power was known before his actual power or deck mechanics were.
  • On the back of Dark Watch Setback's card, his incapacitated self involves a picture of him distraught while holding a dead or wounded Dark Watch: Expatriette. This seems to imply that Setback and Expatriette have some sort of relationship. Likewise the back of her Dark Watch card has her jumping in front of an explosion to protect him. Confirmed
  • His costume and Luminary's outfit are inspired by and are reflections of Legacy's costume Letters Page Episode 3
  • Notes from Letters Page Episode 6
    • From Springfield, MO. Raised by single-mom Patricia, older sister Sarah, dog Abbie (golden retriever) - I'm guessing on name spellings. Unremarkable childhood.
    • When he was a high school sophomore, starts dating a new student a year ahead of him transferred in from Arizona, Gabrielle Adhin (Kismet!). Later that year her family is moving again and he takes it surprisingly well (just kind of assuming that they're breaking up, not trying to do the long-distance thing), which makes her mad at how blasé he is about it. From his perspective, it's just how "relentlessly optimistic" he is about things - he figures that everything will turn out great for everybody, so why try to sugarcoat the goodbye. She "curses" him, in a typical high-school way, not knowing that it'll actually be effective, with "the misfortune of the coyote" a specific old saying in her family. He thinks of Wile E. Coyote-style, "oh, he can just bounce back from getting an anvil dropped on him, so that's cool" shenanigans, which frustrates her more as he's not getting the implication, so she continues with "When anvils are falling, Pete, I wish you the best of luck." She's not aware of the power of her words, but because of his interjection the whole curse is that he will have the worst luck until when things are at their roughest, at which point he will have the best luck.
    • He doesn't really know what's happening with this "curse" that was said by some girl he dated for 8 months in high school. There's no Uncle Ben "With great power..." memory of the curse happening that shapes his life. His natural optimism about everything kind of prevents him from really noticing that anything's going on.
    • Gets a full ride to his college of choice, during final prep (choosing class schedule) he called up the school and found that they had no record of him or this scholarship anywhere in the system (due to a spectacular computer glitch) and nobody really remembers how conversations with him went because there are so many students and the computer is supposed to keep track of this stuff.
    • Just decides to stay in town and get a job/apartment. While waiting tables he once brings the mayor's wife the wrong plate, setting off her terrible nut allergy. She survives, but Pete got fired.
    • Shortly after that, one of the old cooks calls him up to ask him to help cook at the new pizza place he's opening. So, hey, having a job just fall into your lap is nice. One of the assistant managers was embezzling money, though, but shifts blame to Pete when the owners figure out that money is going missing.
    • He gets a job at a copy shop. He's there for a few weeks, having a good time. One busy afternoon, he sees a guy at the back of the line with a lot of files and whatnot who's obviously impatient. He finishes helping a few other customers, but then notices that the impatient guy has left, but had dropped some files. Pete picks them up, and tries to find the man outside real quick, but can't. Takes the files inside and opens a few to see if there's a way to identify the man from them (policy would be to put them in lost-and-found or on the manager's desk, but he's trying really hard to help). The pages are marked F.I.L.T.E.R. at the top and are redacted heavily - not knowing what that means he winds up just putting them on the managers desk. When he goes back to work the next morning, the whole shop has been demolished, company out of business, etc.
    • Then starts dealing blackjack at a casino. Then another. And another. They consistently lose money when he's dealing, but they can't see how he's "cheating" for the players' benefit.
    • He's then waiting to hear about more job interviews when he sees a flyer looking for participants for medical testing. They provide food and he stays there for the duration, so it'll cut down on bills. It's a Revo-Corp building, he does in and does the paperwork, and is eventually goes into a room with a guy in a lab coat and speaks with a thick Latvian accent who seems very angry that Pete's there. Somebody shows Pete into the room he's supposed to be in across the hall.
    • While he's wired up in a tube of goo, he overhears people talking over an intercom that's been left on by accident about how the other test subjects are all sick, but he feels great. Sure his hair fell out, but he's put on 20 pounds of muscle. At this point he's been there for about a week and a half and expects to be leaving soon for those job interviews but the staff member he's talking to tells him at this point that because of his results, they're keeping him there. They won't let him leave, but offer to double the rate of pay for the study. He's starting to think there's something shady going on, though.
    • One day, he notices that his door is unlocked, which is weird. Nobody is in the hall, so he just keep meandering around, still not seeing anybody. Eventually just walks out the front door, having not run into anybody on his way out, but is still just in a hospital gown.
    • He finds his apartment has burned down - he had a candle that he'd blown out before heading to the testing facility, but this one had a production error where the wick was the kind used in prank birthday candles that can't be blown out. While he's looking for his prized bottle-cap collection he's ambushed by the Blade Battalion and that guy with the lab coat and goggles. That's when the Freedom Five shows up to fight Baron Blade, while Pete has a Jackie Chan-esque tussle with the Blade Battalion members and saves the Wraith from Blade's death ray in the process by crumpling part of it as Blade fired it, the resulting explosion covering Blade's "escape".
      • In reality, the "Baron Blade" he ran into when first becoming a test subject and who came to recapture him were robot decoys Blade had put in place before his capture to keep his various schemes running while he was imprisoned. The exploding death ray destroyed the robot as well (Letters Page Interlude 3).
    • Pete wakes up in Freedom Tower (I'm guessing this was a misstatement as the original HQ wouldn't have been blown up yet), meets everybody, an off-hand comment from Tachyon is the source of him using "Setback" as a name. This post-high school stuff is all just origin story - Mystery Comics #212 (if Christopher remembers the issue right). Becomes intern/sidekick/mentee for the Freedom Five - their first trainee - for a while.
    • Question time:
      • What was the plan for Setback prior to Kismet (referring to the fact that Kismet was a from the Create a Villain contest - this question asked by her creator)? Christopher and Adam have a whole stable of unused characters, stemming from RPG games they've played or comics that Adam made over the last 2 decades. Setback was one of these. They assigned Kismet to him as nemesis for thematic reasons but their plan was that no matter who won the contest they had characters available to match up with them. First few expansions had lots of character cameos from later releases who they didn't necessarily think they'd wind up getting to make - even getting to Shattered Timelines was surprising.
      • Where did the idea for him come from? Based on a real friend of theirs named Pete - lots of bad breaks but things works out in the end, staying optimistic throughout.
      • Did he debut in comics as Blade's test-subject or had he been around for a while? That first comic shows his life with all the bad breaks leading up to his being a test subject, as mentioned earlier. Flashback to high school explaining the luck once Kismet shows up. The invented comics-industry reason is that he was originally written to just be this extremely unlucky guy (not even part of his "power set", just as the chain of events that led him to be in this situation) and the curse thing was a retcon by later writers.
      • He seems like his his comic would be pretty wacky, but he's connected to Expatriette who is not - does his tone shift depending on which title he's appearing in? They don't consider him to be a comedy character - not wacky like Guise's would be. Slapstick things happen, but they're not the focus as he takes his role as a hero seriously. That being said, there is likely to be differences depending on the title (he'd still be lighthearted in a Dark Watch issue, but not as much as he would be in Freedom Five). In the grittier titles he's a "source of light in darkness" - he's not comic relief, but he's the lightest aspect of the book.
      • Why did the serum work on him? The luck. No other reason. Too early in the testing process to expect it to do anything.
      • What was the extent of what the serum did for him? Hard to measure. As a rule of thumb, think "half as [strong/fast/tough/whatever]" as Legacy. That's still really impressive. Initially they thought of having a fluctuating strength component, but they decided the luck thing was more interesting and so they dropped it.
      • Why doesn't he need frequent injections of the serum like Blade does? Because it worked. Blade's version is a work-around/hack to get something out of it.
      • Does his bad luck ever get him down or frustrate him? For most of his arc, he doesn't really recognize that he's got this weird luck thing. He's very laid back and optimistic. Not to say that he doesn't get sad when something bad happens, but he doesn't blame some external "luck" thing, it's just life.
      • On his original incap art, he's thrown away his costume. What's the story there? Pretty early in his story (Freedom Five trainee phase). During a fight, he takes a hit that sends him across the room and into the janitor, Larry Hillburn, an older man who gets badly injured. Setback sees this as his fault, and decides that him being around and effecting other people instead of just himself is a problem and so quits. A few months later, Miss Information has trapped the Freedom Five in their HQ, but Larry slips out unnoticed and goes to Pete's apartment to ask him to help. Pete's very apologetic about what happened, but Larry explains that he doesn't blame him and thought that he had helped. Larry had saved the costume from the dumpster too, although it still smells bad. He goes to fight Miss Information and almost immediately falls into a trap, although one set for Tyler Vance that he's able to break. This causes an explosion, which releases the other heroes who then save the day.
      • Where did he get the suit? Designed for him specifically? How often does he need a new one? Freedom Five have an in-house costume fabrication thing. Tachyon would be involved in the science of them, but not the fashion - his is essentially just spandex and so she'd have little influence in his (costume stuff to be discussed later - reference to RPG info, I'm assuming as player character info on how "costumes" make sense in-setting).
      • Is the person in the Revenant armor somebody who knew Pete? Revenant is the CEO of Revo-Corp. He knows who Pete is and the whole incident with the serum, but Pete unlikely to recognize him out of comic. More about him in the Revo-Corp podcast (so get your Revo-Questions in!). He'd have been recognized by comic readers when unmasked, but he's nobody else that we've seen in the SotM game.
      • Is there a point where other characters notice his luck as a superpower? Great question: brings up lots of story stuff:
        • First character to notice his luck is Zhu Long. After recovering the revived Mister Fixer, the Dark Watch team argue on whether they should return to the Temple to see if there's something that can be done to restore him to his old non-bitter self. Setback decides to just go on his own and just walks right into the place, fights some ninjas, stumbles into a vat of poison and knocks himself out. Zhu Long is a master of a lot of ancient evil magic and can see the "general aura of unluck that's pervasive" as well as the "spikes of extremely good luck" and manipulates him. He uses a kind of mind control to order Setback around and also manipulates the luck stuff so that the bad luck is always facing out and the good luck inwards - making Setback very dangerous. He's more or less a match for the remaining 3 members of Dark Watch on his own while in this state, but Mister Fixer is able to stymie him long enough for Nightmist to be able to undo the magic that Zhu Long had done.
        • That means that Nightmist is now also aware of it and offers later to manipulate the luck aura for him too, but he's still not sold on the fact that this is a real thing anyway and so declines to have anybody messing with him magically.
      • Does Pete have any feeling/idea of when his luck is about to change? Kind of. He probably could key into it if his general outlook on life would allow him to do so. His general optimism kind of blinds him to the fact that something good is about to happen since he pretty much always expects good things to happen.
      • Any reasons for nemesis status with Kismet beyond the "luck" theme? The dating thing from high school to start, but there are parallel backstory reasons following that to explain it too. More next week (Christopher has to check himself from launching right into it anyway).
      • How often do his fights with villains end in a draw? Never. He probably loses more than other heroes, though.
      • How does Pete's family feel about him (comparisons with the Parson and Cohen families)? He's told his mom and sister and they're proud of him. He kind of turned into a screw-up halfway through high school, but he's doing good stuff now. Always tries to make it home for holidays [insert series of unfortunate events].
    • Expatriette-centric questions (5 narrowed down from like 20):
      • How did they get together considering their disparate backgrounds/outlooks on life? As per the Expatriette episode, she accidentally got hit by a shock round. He was kind of in Freedom Five-sidekick mode at the time. While she's in town they got to know each other, but she was still dealing with her own stuff. He wore her down eventually with his humanity. He thought she was really cool, on top of things, and found her fascinating. They're a "working" couple - he likes helping people and she likes working. He was a big influence on her in terms of "helping people by shooting".
      • What's she see in him; he doesn't seem like her type? He's "not her type" in that he's not like her, and that's what makes him her type. She probably didn't have a type before. She admires his optimism while she had been more of a nihilist/fatalist prior to meeting him. The relationship brings both of them closer to "center". They're a fantastic influence on each other.
      • What kind of living situation? They both have their own places - he has a nice apartment, she has a survival bunker safehouse (or a series of them). That's true for the card game - Tactics they're always on the move (together) and RPG they're living together and are even more of a team.
      • How much does his luck impact his romantic life with her? Dating more challenging/interesting. They got off on a good start. She's aware of what happens around him. She's very rational and knows it's not something he can control.
      • What's a typical date night like? They don't really date like most people. They go out on patrol and that's kind of their "dates". There aren't many trips to fancy restaurants. Setback instigates them occasionally, but then Ambuscade happens to be there or something. They've probably had a single-digit number of dates with minimal bad things happening.
    • Future:
      • Tactics: he and Expatriette do their duo-book "Lucky Shot" before the "Broken City" Dark Watch stuff gets going. Gets more serious once they get involved with Exemplar and the Spite clones and whatnot.
      • RPG: they also do a duo thing, but Dark Watch is larger. Mister Fixer is kind of the "sensei" of the whole thing. Harpy is the eye-in-the-sky. Setback and Expatriette are the boots on the ground. They've worked together long enough that Expatriette actually has a good feel about how his luck is going to go and can use it to their advantage.

Reference

  • As a hero with an unprofessional attitude and powers that (for the most part) negatively affect him, Setback is evocative of the numerous subversive meta-commentary superheroes of modern comics.
  • As a bumbling, oafish superhero that is frowned upon by other superheroes, Setback is similar to DC Comics’ Booster Gold. Both characters also share similarities in their costumes.

Sky-Scraper

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Art References

  • The Incapacitated side of Skyscraper’s “Huge” character card depicts her being buried alive in a massive grave while tied up in chains. This is a reference to Marvel’s 2006 crossover event “Civil War.” In issue #4 of the series, the size-changing hero Black Goliath is killed by a cyborg clone of Thor. His corpse, which is now permanently gigantic, is later wrapped up in a colossal tarp and chains and laid to rest in an over-sized burial plot. Aside from the change of characters and a few minor details, Skyscraper’s Incapacitated portrait is identical to the aerial-view panel of Black Goliath’s funeral in that issue.
  • The device attached to Deadline’s arm on “Cortex Hyperstimulator” is nearly identical to the electronic scrambling device used by Captain America in “Civil War” #3. In that particular issue, Captain America hid the device in his hand just before a truce handshake with Iron Man. As soon as it touched Iron Man’s armor, it scrambled his armor’s circuitry and incapacitated him. This prompted a battle between Iron Man's and Captain America’s respective factions, a battle which culminated in the death of Black Goliath, one of Skyscraper’s archetypes.
  • The art of “Catch a Ride” shows Parse about to fire an arrow that has a tiny Skyscraper clutching its arrowhead. Hawkeye and Ant-Man from the Marvel universe are well-known for using this particular team attack.
  • Sky-Scraper features a significant amount of villains within the art of her deck. Osiris and Nuit of The Ennead on "Compulsion Canister", Deadline on "Cortex Hyperstimulator", Plague Rat on "Neutralizing Resonator", Tantrum on "Proportionist", La Capitan on "Rebounding Debilitator", Akash'Bhuta on "Colossal Left Hook", Mdaj from the Tomb of Anubis on "Agression Modulator", Kaargra Warfang on "Tectonic Chokeslam", and Baron Blade with Proletariat on "Undetectable Relinking".

Unconfirmed

Confirmed

  • Sky-Scraper was first discovered on Tantrum as the additional effect, before she was announced.
  • First appeared on The Dreamer in the card "Projected Paralysis."

Reference

  • As a hero who can change sizes, Skyscraper is analogous to several superheroes, primarily Ant-Man/Yellow Jacket (Marvel), Black Goliath (Marvel), Atom Smasher (DC), and Apache Chief (DC). As a sneaky hero who uses her small size for infiltration and sabotage, she draws comparison to the second incarnation of Ant-Man (Scott Lang), and the Atom (DC).
  • Most of Skyscraper’s flavor texts suggest that she doesn’t speak English very well. This would make sense, as her bio states that she arrived on Earth only recently.

Sentinels

Artwork

  • The Idealist's "Incapacitated" side shows her disintegrating into small square pieces. This is a reference to Marvel's 2005 "House of M" crossover event, in which the insane ex-heroine Scarlet Witch rewrote reality to serve her desires. Whenever the Scarlet Witch "unmade" something in her created world it disintegrated in the same way.
  • Mainstay's "Incapacitated" side shows him being held prisoner in The Block (the pink energy "bars" are similar to the ones seen on The Block cards "Lock Down" and "Defensive Displacement").
  • Writhe's "Incapacitated" side is an homage to a famous Spider-Man cover which shows Venom besieged in a church bell tower. It is also possible that the Venom-like creature shown attacking Setback on "Cause and Effect" is actually a berserk Writhe, and that these pictures come from the same story arc.
  • The boy pictured on "Human Shield" may be Thiago from the Spite card "Potential Sidekick." He and Mainstay appear to be under fire from some of the Chairman's hit-men.
  • The female villain of the Crackjaw Crew (pictured on "Sentinels Tactics") is in a wheelchair almost identical to both Charles Xavier's (aka Professor X) in the 90's X-Men cartoon. It is also similar to the one driven by Alistaire Smythe in the Spider-Man cartoon from the same decade.
  • The card "Sentinels Tactics" is likely a reference to the strategy game of the same name published by Greater Than Games.
  • As a symbol for medicine and healing, the Caduceus emblazoned on Dr. Medico's chest is actually incorrect. The Caduceus, representing the staff of the Greco-Roman messenger god Hermes, is a symbol for commerce and trade, not healing. The Caduceus is often confused with the Rod of Asclepius, an actual medical symbol which features a single snake coiling around a wooden rod.
  • The giant robot projection pictured on "Dark Delusions" is a parody of the Megazord from the 1993 Americanized Super Sentai show "Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers".
  • The Idealist is standing next to the Dark Watch version of Expatriette on "Aura of Vision".

Confirmed

  • Dr. Medico is one of two openly known LGBT heroes in the Multiverse. The other is Tachyon.
  • The Sentinels are the only SotM heroes to have a Setup card.
  • Dr. Medico absorbed the second form of Skinwalker Gloomweaver[1] into his OblivAeon Shard and it was a major factor leading into his Malpractice variant. In the Tactics timeline this lead to Gloomweaver taking over his body. In the RPG timeline Gloomweaver was exorcised from Dr Medico early on but his fate was left unknown.

To Other Works

  • As a quartet of superheroes, the Sentinels draw easy comparisons to Marvel's Fantastic Four. However, as a team composed of people from disparate walks of life who are pulled together by circumstance, they draw more comparisons to the Avengers, another Marvel staple.
  • The individual Sentinels seem to embody the popular characteristics of comic book characters from different decades:
    • As an energy being with a simple design and a domino mask, Dr. Medico evokes the Silver Age Green Lantern, aka Hal Jordan. Hal Jordan was introduced in the 50's and became increasingly popular in the sixties and seventies.
    • The burly, biker-grunge styled Mainstay recalls numerous anti-heroes from the 80’s, most notably DC's Lobo.
    • The young, plucky Idealist is reminiscent of the Power Pack, a team of child superheroes who also hailed from the 80's. They are a part of the Marvel universe.
    • Writhe, with his spectral appearance, fedora, and shadow powers, is similar to numerous characters from the nineties and early 2000's, most notably DC's The Shade, an enemy of the hero Starman.
  • Dr. Medico is the adoptive father of The Idealist along with his husband Caleb.
  • As a hero made of pure power and energy that can heal people, Dr. Medico is similar to the New 52 version of DC's Captain Atom.
  • Dr. Medico seems to change color when he uses his healing powers. On "Restorative Burst", which pictures him healing Writhe, he is dark orange rather than his usual bright yellow.
  • Mainstay has a heart shaped tattoo on his right shoulder with the word "Ma" written inside, a stereotype of the "tough guy with a heart of gold" character archetype.
  • The Idealist's ability to create mental energy projections is evocative of DC's Green Lantern.
  • The Idealist is the youngest hero in the Sentinels universe.
  • Power wise and character wise, Writhe is an amalgamation of many different famous comic characters:
    • As a thief who gained shadow powers from technology, he is similar to the DC villain Shadow Thief.
    • As a shadowy ex-villain who gave up crime thanks to the intervention of a hero with light-based powers, Writhe is similar to the Shade, one of Starman's former foes.
    • His ability to entrap enemies in the shadows of his trench coat calls to mind Cloak from the Marvel duo of Cloak and Dagger.
    • Writhe's fedora, jacket, and shadowy presence evoke the classic comic/radio character The Shadow.
  • The card "Good Hero – Bad Hero" is a parody of the classic "Good Cop – Bad Cop" dichotomy.

Sources

  1. The Letters Page for Gloomweaver

Stuntman

See Ambuscade

Tachyon

Edit this Reference

Art References

  • The shadowy character that Tachyon is punching on "Supersonic Response" is Writhe, one of the Sentinels. Why she is punching a fellow hero has not been revealed. It is possible that Tachyon fought Writhe during his short-lived criminal career.
  • Tachyon uses "Lightning Reflexes" to dodge a blast from the Treacherous Ape from The Dreamer's deck.
  • "Sucker Punch" shows Tachyon about to bludgeon Biomancer as he attempts to form a Tachyon fleshchild.
  • Friction is racing side by side with Tachyon on "Fleet of Foot".
  • Glamour takes a punch to the face in "Nimble Strike".
  • A Homunculus from Biomancer's deck is subjected to a "Lightspeed Barrage".

Unconfirmed

  • The Incapacitated side of Tachyon has two shadowy figures in the background. One appears to be riding an ice bridge (and may be responsible for the ice holding her in place) and the other appears to be spinning rapidly. These could be references to Flash Villains of Captain Cold and The Top as Tachyon is obviously based on Flash. Who they are yet is unknown.

Confirmed

  • Tachyon is one of two confirmed LGBT heroes in the Sentinels universe, the other being Dr. Medico.
  • Spouse: Tachyon's wife is named Dana Bertrand. Dana's only official appearance is in the Freedom Four Annual #1 comic. Source - [1]
  • There is a specific Tachyon comic that takes place over 5 seconds (She runs off to eat, have a bunch of adventures, and get a pipe, all to come back and hit a guy who was trying to hit her before he finishes.) Adam, >G Forums
  • The Super Scientific Tachyon: This is not her origin story, but it is related to her origin Christopher, official Forums
  • Her relationship with Absolute Zero is the closest friendship within the Freedom Five (Letters Page Episode 1).
  • Notes from Letters Page Episode 14
    • Dr. Meredith Stinson was around long before "Tachyon" was, primarily in Justice Comics and the original run of Freedom Five books. She was Legacy's go-to scientist contact (I'm reminded of staff at S.T.A.R. Labs in Superman comics, but my memory might be conflating them with some other group). She started out as a generalist (whatever weird sciency thing was happening in any given issue she could help with), but later this is refined into specifically being a particle physicist.
    • The FF book wasn't doing great, so the editorial team decided to shake things up - the popular characters were Legacy, Wraith, and Bunker, so they were the ones kept on the team (although passing the torch of "Bunker" to a new, younger character). They decided to include Dr. Stinson on the team (with new powers) because she was a popular character too - the books she appeared in generally sold better. She still wanted to be doing science stuff instead of crime-fighting, but was convinced to join up with the promise of research funding in compensation.
    • Spoiler? They mention that Tachyon was then part of the "Freedom Four" for a few years until "the new Absolute Zero" joined - implying that one of the mystery members of the original team was also "Absolute Zero".
    • "She's around for a lot of things, but she's not central to anything." Much like how she was originally a supporting cast member, she never really has any solo work or story arcs really about her. She had a solo comic title, but it lasted less than a year.
    • Her role in the team dynamic wasn't just "go fast, punch people" or the scientist who knows everything, but was to be the voice wanting to resolve situations without violence. Not a pacifist, but speaking in terms of efficiency. "She's about solutions."
    • The reorganization into the Freedom Four was in the mid '70s. A decade later, it was revealed that her roommate/college friend/supporting cast character, Dana Bertrand, was her girlfriend (a topical retcon, but still an actual "coming out" event as it was Tachyon revealing this to the team rather than it being an attempt to imply that it had "always been this way" - this was made a bit easier since the writers had never bothered putting her in any relationships before this point). In the late '90s they had a big wedding event issue (in grand comic book tradition). This was about 5 years before gay marriage was actually legal in any State in the US, but it was in the Sentinels Comics world. This was a controversial move at the time.
    • The Matriarch fight was a relatively early fight she took part in, but was a good example of the non-violent-solutions style of conflict resolution - she talked Lillian down/convinced her to put down the mask and turn herself in.
    • Krystal Lee and Devra Caspit weren't Tachyon's only interns, but the earlier ones had just been background characters. Krystal was kind of an airhead (still could do the science stuff, or she wouldn't have gotten the job), but inattentive and lazy in the "takes shortcuts" way. Outside the lab, Tachyon is lighthearted and easy-going, but is all business in the lab and Krystal's personality is not a good fit and gets fired (thus laying the seeds for her becoming Friction later). Unity becomes the longest-running intern character (and a popular Sentinels Comics character in her own right).
    • Since most "big event" stories involve the Freedom Five, they involve Tachyon. She's an important part of those fights, but today they're focusing more on stuff that impacted her specifically.
    • After Vengeance, the next big thing for her was the incursion of Kaargra Warfang near Megalopolis. She winds up in a 2 vs. 2 fight (teamed up with Tempest). She determines that the way to win this isn't just to beat up the gladiators, but to win the crowd's favor - instead of doing her "most efficient" thing and just trying to end the fight she's doing a lot of flashy moves to impress the audience, which sometimes requires her to slow herself down just so that the spectators can actually follow what she's doing. As part of this "show" she turns heel and attacks Tempest - turning this into a long-drawn-out battle. Tempest eventually manages to tag her with some lightning and takes her down. Kaargra awards her the title of Chaos Lord anyway, partly for the "might attack anybody" reputation she gets for betraying Tempest. The relationship between her and Tempest becomes strained after this, though (gee, I wonder why Tempest might have issues with betrayal).
    • Next is the Progeny fight. The guys talk about how Tachyon's character doesn't really have any negatives - she's faster (mentally and physically) than everyone, smart scientist type, etc. but it's not like her powers had a weakness/drawback. Progeny makes her push herself to her limits, which she's never really had to do before, and still doesn't manage to do anything to it. She collapses in exhaustion in front of it, leaving herself wide open to a strike from it. This attack (knocks her a good distance, hitting a tree at the end) winds up breaking a lot of bones - it's the worst injury she's received. She recovers over time (annoying for a speedster who can't move) - but she's not 100% afterwards, she could literally shake herself to pieces. She develops a new speed suit for herself to help control this, but she's not as fast or as durable as she had been. She's apparently the one to finally defeat Scion!Progeny, though, so she's got that going for her (we're apparently eventually getting a Scion episode prior to the main OblivAeon episode).
    • Questions:
      • How fast can she go? Without injuring herself? How to villains even hit her? How do her powers work (time manipulation or something else)? She doesn't really have an upper limit for how fast she can go. However, pretty much anybody else who got her powers the way she did wouldn't last long as they're not as meticulous, scientifically-rigorous as she is and probably would have blown past the "safe limit" immediately without testing things. This allowed her to build her speed suit and goggles to help protect herself. The "safe limit" is at least a few multiples of the speed of sound [mach 3 or mach 8 are thrown out there as speeds that they've mentioned she can go in various pieces of text but these sounded like ballpark figures to me rather than things they looked up specifically to have on hand for this podcast]. The "Pushing the Limits" art of her circling the Earth several times is pre-Progeny and was in a time when the writers didn't really see any defined downsides to her power (she was "kind of a Mary Sue" for a long time). Post-Progeny was a reaction to that to instill some actual limits on the character. How does her power work? "Look, she was hit with a stream of tachyons, which are these theoretical particles that can arrive before they leave and that's why she can move so fast." She's able to more completely transfer kinetic energy into other things, so if she gets a good run-up to hitting somebody, all of that energy from movement can get transferred. It's not a time-manipulation effect, she's genuinely operating faster than what is normally possible.
      • Does she have particular opinions on misuses of science (like Baron Blade or Graham Pike)? Does she have trouble relating to the "magic" characters like Gloomweaver or Argent Adept? What's her non-hero working relationship with Unity like? She uses her scientific acumen to better society, but she sees the scientific villains as selfish and as wasting their talent. She's aware of magic and acknowledges that it exists, but it's nonsense to her. Everything she does is A+B=C whereas Argent Adept is more like A+Fish=Turning the Universe Upside-Down. She doesn't particularly like fighting magic people, she's glad to have allies who can do it, she has no interest in being involved with magic. Relationship with Unity relatively positive. Unity seems more on board with the demanding nature of Tachyon's expectations re: lab procedure and doesn't take it as a personal slight. By OblivAeon they work really well together and are good friends. Unity has a more freeform/art approach to it which is a nice complement to Tachyon's approach.
      • What's the deal between Tachyon and Glamour? One of Tachyon's hobbies is going to magic shows (stage magic as opposed to the "real" kind) and she likes trying to figure out how they did it (she's bad at it if the magician is any good). They're nemeses because they've fought a bunch (Glamour robs a bank and Tachyon fights her) and the story just kind of works out that way, but Tachyon looooves to fight her because this kind of trickery is all she does and Tachyon likes dealing with this illusion stuff. This irritates Glamour (just beyond the always losing the fight reasons).
      • On a scale of 1-10, how annoyed is Tachyon at the prospect of having to ride on public transit? "Is there a number higher than 10 in existence?" What kinds of things does she, as a person with super-speed, find annoying that normal people would take for granted? Tachyon is actually pretty patient with the world around her. She was pretty comfortable with being the fastest thinker in the room well before she got powers (she was already in her 30s by that point). She's also got stuff to do (mentally if necessary) if she is delayed by something. One exception is sleeping - she still needs 6-8 hours a night just like anybody else and the time spent doing "nothing" annoys her.
      • There are implications that she eats a lot (possibly to maintain a suped-up metabolism); does she ever run out of energy mid-battle? She doesn't run out of energy through lack of food. She's invented a bunch of methods of offsetting her need for caloric intake (energy bars, protein pills, etc.). She still loves food, though. She brings a crate along and stops off for a snack during a fight.
      • Since getting her speed powers has she ever been late for anything? Not really. But she wasn't really the type to ever be late for things even before that (see: the whole efficiency runner through this whole thing).
      • What's Tachyon's relationship with her own sexuality, does she identify as a lesbian or something else, when did she know that she was LGBT+, did she struggle with it, and is she an icon within the world of Sentinels Comics or the "real" world they're published in? Going in reverse: Yes, she's an icon within that world: she came out in the mid-80s and got married before it was legal in our world. This was a big deal in a positive way. She identifies as lesbian. It's always been important to her (since that story in the 80s), but not the most important part - the guys stress that they don't want any of their characters to be that one-note.
      • How did she and Dana meet? How do they manage marriage at two different speeds? They met in college, both were moving to Megalopolis for different reasons afterwards and moved there together, they started dating after that. Dana was a successful model, started managing herself after a while, and now helps other younger models get started. She does a lot of humanitarian events and whatnot. Also just really busy. It's convenient that Tachyon can zip across the country, if necessary, to still have lunch or something with her.
      • Children? No. Pets? No. They're both rarely in the house since they're both so busy. They do well with each other, but wouldn't do well with other living things that they're responsible for.
      • Dana in a lot of danger given her spouse's public identity as hero? Well, first Dana is a very high-profile person in her own right and so has been a target. MMFFCC card involves her (Glamour captured people in the Shooting Gallery). It's not frequent (her role isn't to be the damsel in distress), but has happened.
      • Does Tachyon actually like the hero business or just a means to the end of research funding? How does she find the time for this plus finding a wife? She found the person who became her wife before the powers. At first she didn't particularly like it and it was pretty mercenary. She's come to like working with the Freedom Five and Unity and everybody, though.
      • Why was Tachyon against Omnitron-X being rebuilt and did she ever accept him? She doesn't view Omnitron-X as having personhood. It's a programmed AI, not a complete person (it's like a toaster). This really upset Unity considering her friendship with it. She doesn't ever really get to the point of accepting it either. Whether this is true or not, this is treated as a negative aspect of her personality in the comics.
      • Who are the the ice and whirlwind characters in her incap art? Maerynians. One is named Leviathan (seen before, but not by name) the other is a disciple of the cult that Leviathan works to start.
      • On "Quick Insight" she's being attacked by a fighter jet; what's happening there? Jet is piloted by Ambuscade doing his action hero evil thing.
      • What happened to Freedom Six Tachyon after her run-in with Ambuscade [I assume referring to that card's incap where she's been kneecapped]? In Iron Legacy timeline she is, initially, on-board with the efficiency that comes with Legacy's vision of "heroics" as a more authoritarian pursuit. When this brings him into conflict with their friends, she quickly reverses on this position and goes into hiding. She recruits some former allies and leads a covert resistance. Meanwhile, Iron Legacy gives some foes that he captures a chance to work for him and Ambuscade takes him up on this - becoming The Iron Hand. Ambuscade gets the drop on her, disables her (incap art), and then kills her. The Iron Legacy timeline is the worst timeline that the guys have shown.
      • How fast is she compared to Friction? Way faster. Friction has an upper limit capped by the suit, which isn't even up to what it was designed to do.
      • After Vengeance, did she and Friction settle their differences? Krystal burns herself out - see the Friction incap art. "Krystal Lee does not survive Friction."
      • Why does she try to invent a speed suit? It's a great thing to have! Imagine if every firefighter or surgeon had one, or whole soccer teams. Tachyon's more of a scientist than a hero and if she could reproduce her powers in a useful, safe way why wouldn't she do so?
      • "Supersonic Response" shows her attacking Writhe; we know that he started as a criminal, but what's the event shown here? Mainstay, Dr. Medio, and Idealist were fighting him, as he was an early foe for them. There was a small break in the action and suddenly just keels over. Tachyon had noticed what was going on during a trip across the country and just knocked him out and kept going. The Southwest Sentinels didn't even know what happened.
      • On "Infecting an Heir" we see the Countess feeding on her (presumably infecting her with vampirism). Who cured her and how? Did vampire-speed augment her own speed? Did the Countess target her specifically and, if so, why? This was a story from Absolution, Fanatic's solo book. Fanatic is fighting her way through the vampires in the Court of Blood. She bursts through a door and finds that the Countess already has Tachyon chained up (this was a surprise as it hadn't happened "on screen" in any prior book). While Fanatic is fighting the other vampires, Bathory mocks Fanatic and eventually infects Tachyon with her blood magic. Vampires in-setting are creatures of blood magic (more on this in the Fanatic episode, probably at least a few months away, and maybe an Interlude). Fanatic dispatches the other vampires, but now has to fight both the Countess and Tachyon (who's not as fast due to the disorientation of becoming a thrall to another). Things aren't going well for Fanatic, but Tachyon eventually manages to overcome the Countess's control somewhat because her fast metabolism is able to fight against the blood magic. That's a turning point as they are able to take down the Countess and escape. The metabolism also sped up the transformation process, though, which is bad. Fanatic used her faith power to "cleanse" her system and save her.
    • Future:
      • Tactics - Card game leaves off with her having created a new suit for herself to try to stabilize her body. During the intervening years she's still doing the hero thing and it takes a toll (at one point she shatters some vertebrae and leaves her in even worse shape overall). She needs a series of new gadgets to protect her speed and otherwise help control her powers. She's still pushing herself, to her own detriment, and just is relying on gizmos to keep her going.
      • RPG - As part of the Sentinels of Freedom she has a bit more time to slow down and take an administrative/training role (particularly with science-minded heroes). She can also focus more on her recovery and is in better shape than in Tactics, but, still, her precision when it comes to controlling her power is a bit off - often going faster or slower than she intended.

Reference

  • As a speedster-type superhero, Tachyon is a clear homage to DC Comics' Flash character.
  • Many of the villains featured on Tachyon's card artworks are homages to the Flash's rogues gallery:
    • The patchwork-esq. villain on "Sucker Punch" resembles the Trickster.
    • The ape villain on "Lightning Reflexes" (which is actually the Dreamer's Treacherous Ape projection) is an homage to Gorilla Grodd.
    • The villain Friction (who first appeared on the card "Fleet of Foot") is an inverted version of Tachyon, making her similar to the Reverse Flash.
    • The large zombie on "Lightspeed Barrage" may be a reference to Solomon Grundy.
    • The female villain on "Nimble Strike" greatly resembles Mirror Master. The shattered mirrors in the background further the comparison.
  • As a hyperactive super-learner, Tachyon is very similar to the DC Comics character Bart Allen, who is best known as the hero Impulse.
  • Several of Tachyon's cards reference Dr. Horrible from Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along-Blog
    • "Dude, you are not my nemesis." - "Fleet of Foot"
    • "Goodness, look at my wrist! I gotta go!" - "Quick Insight"
    • "So close! Just a few weeks from a real tangible conclusion." - "Research Grant"

Tempest

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Art References

  • Tempest is missing an arm on his Incapacitated side. His Freedom Six incarnation is also missing an arm, and has replaced it with one made of living energy.
  • The card "Reclaim From the Deep" shows Tempest recovering numerous items from the ocean floor. Among them are:
    • The Staff of Ra.
    • Bunker's helmet.
    • DC's Wonder-Woman's gauntlets and Lasso of Truth.
    • DC's Green Lantern's power ring.
    • Marvel's Captain America's shield.
    • A difficult to identify white object.
    • In the distance, shady like, possibly the Bat Plane (DC comics).

Unconfirmed

Confirmed

  • While Tempest's biography on the official Sentinels of the Multiverse website implies that M'kk was able to divert the F.I.L.T.E.R. agents sent to capture the Maerynians away from the main crash site, thus allowing the other members of his species to avoid capture, his biography in the Enhanced Edition official rulebook states that F.I.L.T.E.R. captured all the survivors of the crash. No information exists to confirm the true fate of his fellow surviving Maerynians.

Reference

  • Tempest's name, M'kk Dall'ton, which can be pronounced as Mack Dalton, is perhaps an homage to DC Comic's Martian Manhunter. The Manhunter's real name is J'onn J'onzz, which can be pronounced as the human name "John Jones."
  • Tempest's ability to talk to fish (as shown on "Aquatic Correspondence") is a reference to DC's Aquaman.
  • Tempest's weather manipulation powers are similar to those of the Marvel X-Men character Storm.
  • The "Sky Sparkle" shown on "Into the Stratosphere" is a common trope in the anime and manga genres.

Unity

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Art References

  • The card art for the golem versions of the Freedom Five is interconnected, with Turret Bot being on the far left and Champion Bot, Stealth Bot, Swift Bot, and Cryo-Bot following in order to the right.
  • **Golem Unity Promo** May be wearing Mr. Fixer's hat. It has been referenced that if Mr Fixer is seen without his hat, then he is dead. This may mean Mr Fixer is dead in the Shattered Timelines Iron Legacy Future. (Confirmed Letters Page 10)
  • The art on Unity's incapacitated side seems to be an homage to Magneto's plastic prison at the end of the X-Men movie. Both Magneto and Unity would need to be incarcerated in metal-free environments to deny their powers of anything to interact with.
  • Baron Blade looks annoyed as he encounters the "Platform Bot".
  • "Powered Shock Wave" displays the firepower of several Bee Bots as they attack The Radioactivist.
  • Magman encounters Stealth Bot in "Volatile Parts"

Unconfirmed

  • Cryo-Bot's flavor text may be reference to Absolute Zero's relative lack of popularity in the Sentinels fandom.
  • Raptor Bot's (aka "Mr. Chomps'") gameplay mechanics are very similar to those of the Raptor Packs from Insula Primalis, hinting that Unity based its design on them.
  • The flavor text of "Volatile Parts" seems to hint that the golems have a measure of self-awareness. That, or Unity simply sees them in that light.

Confirmed

  • Many of Unity's flavor texts hint at her seeing Tachyon as a quasi-maternal figure. She seems to have programmed Swift Bot with a humorously simplified version of Tachyon's personality, or perhaps she has simply programmed it to repeat things indicative of her.
  • Notes from Letters Page 9:
    • Unity gathers up the remains of X and wants to rebuild. The rest of the Freedom Five are starting to deal with the precursor events to OblivAeon and Tachyon want her to just help with that as it's "more important". This is the first time that there's been real conflict between the two of them and Unity really lets Tachyon have it before rebuilding the chassis in only the way that Unity can (pink bits and whatnot). When it's powered up it's just another of her bots. She keeps Omnibot around, but keeps *trying* to correct how it behaves to be her friend and not just a facsimile. This lasts for quite a while and is really a tough time for her - finally deciding that she needs to stop deluding herself. She takes it to the ruins of the Omnitron IV factory for "burial".
    • Unbeknownst to Unity, the rest of the heroes, and comics readers, the Omnitron IV battle never actually ended. In a deep software layer, the Omnitron IV and X softwares had continued to fight. The return of a compatible chassis to the area, and one that X recognizes as having Unity's signature present, allows X to latch onto it. This edge allows X to finally win out over IV. Oh, and it also lets him return as Omnitron U. Cue the tearful reunion between Unity and her robot friend, followed closely by the first appearance of Chokepoint as she bursts through the wall.
  • Notes from Letters Page 18
    • Unity debuted in a '90s animated adaptation of the comics - the Freedom Five animated series. The show ran a few years, but she wasn't a popular character - she was the annoying teenage sidekick (and not even a really fleshed out one, she didn't even have a full name, she was "Debbie" or just "Unity") complete with catchphrases ("Sparks!" as a minced oath, "Bot-tastic!" when something good happens, etc.). She's just there for the kids to relate to since all of the heroes are grownups and the writers contrive ways for her to save the heroes.
    • However, she did catch the eyes of some of the comics writers as having potential and they imported her backwards into Sentinel Comics, introducing her in FFA #11 (in the mid-'90s for anyone else out there trying to put together a publishing timeline) as Devra Caspit (no longer "Debbie"), Tachyon's new intern. They changed up her character enough (aged up from 14-15 to 18-19 for one thing) that you couldn't even be certain that it was really meant to be the "same" character - she wasn't introduced as Unity up front, only by the end of the issue. This issue was a "fairly lighthearted" FFA involving Ambuscade hunting Haka and Tachyon. This might seem like it wouldn't be lighthearted, but they characterize the interaction between Ambuscade and Haka as a little like the roadrunner cartoons.
    • This was not embraced by the readership right away as they associated her character with the annoying cartoon sidekick. She was mostly in the FF-related books, but would occasionally wind up in others. This never tested well with the audience.
    • Forward to FFA #12 - a more normal issue. The Freedom Five are trying to foil some terrorists and have traveled to Washington (Legacy has to defend the White House - see "Heroic Interception"). The simultaneous side-story, though, is FFHQ being attacked by Magmen. This leaves Unity there to single-handedly fight them off - an event that sees her creating her bots that resemble the Freedom Five. This was the first story that audiences really connected with her - she goes on to being one of the most popular characters in Sentinel Comics history (complete with a bunch of people claiming to have been fans even back on the TV show #BringDebbieBack #Sparks #Bot-tastic - blatant lies as nobody liked her on the show).
    • Backstory that gets told over time in the comics: Eli and Mira Caspit immigrate to Ofakim, Israel from Europe in the late '60s or early '70s and are there during the Yom Kippur War (October 6–25, 1973), when Mira is seriously injured (spending months in the hospital) and Eli turned to drinking out of despair. Mira recovers for the most part (still has a limp to show for it), but Eli never really pulls himself out of the drunken stupor. Devra is born into a very unhappy family situation - a useless drunk as a father and a mother who's become very bitter about everything. Her ability to build things with her mind developed when she was still a child and worked through her time at a few different schools (she was smart and knew how to build stuff, but wasn't a great student in general), when she came to Tachyon's attention and got hired as an intern. Devra was happy to get out of Israel and her family situation and her parents aren't a part of her stories outside of how her childhood shaped her outlook. Her over-the-top cheerfulness was something of a coping mechanism (she decided to be a positive person to combat the alternative of wallowing in the depressing situation around her) and is also an indicator of how amazing stuff is now compared to how things were then.
    • She gets along well with Tachyon - although as has been mentioned in the Tachyon Episode, Tachyon is very much a by-the-book person and Unity isn't - and they grow to be friends. She also becomes very close friends with Omnitron-X and they learn a lot from one another.
    • She takes part in Vengeance, she fights Miss Information, during OblivAeon she builds a giant T. Rex bot, but there aren't any real Unity-specific story as she's 1. a fairly late-addition to the Multiverse timeline and 2. spends most of that time as a sidekick/supporting character, only really stepping out of that right at the end of the Multiverse era.
    • Questions:
      • We've seen bots in other decks besides her own (and in the ARG), does she have bot-versions of other heroes besides the FF? Could a hypothetical Unity-bot recursively make more bots? How far does the rabbit-hole go? Are we listening to a Christopher-bot and Adam-bot read and answer questions? First, they are definitely the normal human persons and not robot duplicates. She makes lots of bots all the time - it's a common misconception that her bots stick around for a long time. She makes them with her mind and they operate without her needing to really expend a lot of concentration on them, but they probably only stick around for 10 minutes, max, unless she's actively keeping them going. She's not building and coding behavior for robots like Tachyon would. She's made robot versions of lots of heroes and villains, several types of dinosaurs, animals, just whatever occurs to her as something that would work well or at least be funny.
      • Do any other bots get fun names like Mr. Chomps? Well, Bee Bot looks more like a hornet (fun story: Christopher had written "Bee Bot" and Adam responded with "Hornets are more fun to draw." and the "'Bee Bot' is more fun to say" explanation was a reference to that - there's also a fun anecdote about an interaction Christopher had with a young Unity cosplayer at a convention). Even though she doesn't constantly have a raptor bot around (see above about how they don't last long) whenever she makes a raptor bot, it's always Mr. Chomps, even when there's a bunch of raptor bots at the same time - this gets under Tachyon's skin a little bit.
      • Do the bots talk, does Unity do funny voices for them, or do the bots talk but sound like Unity doing funny voices? The bots talk, but they sound like a bad robot impression of the person they're a copy of. She could probably make the voices better, but it's funnier this way (especially Speed Bot).
      • Is Unity Jewish (the tie-in with "Golem")? Yes, the legends of the golem are explicitly why she makes "Mechanical Golems". The Wraith is Jewish by heritage, but Unity is a practicing Jew as well. She even has a little bit of an accent due to English not being her native language (although, no grammatical errors as she's perfectly fluent).
      • How did Unity wind up as an enemy of not 1, but 2 dudes made of fire? It's actually 3 dudes, except of those 3, only 1 is actually made of fire. The first is Magman - one of the Magmen who invaded in FFA #12, and that fight is the source of animosity. The second is the Radioactivist, his odd appearance really is just his gross, orange skin (caused by the nuclear energies that power him) - he was a weird creepy fanboy of the Freedom Five, and became kind of a stalker with regards to Unity once she joined the group. In an event where a bunch of robot drones were attacking a nuclear plant, the FF and Unity went to stop them, and he followed them there. He got dosed with a bunch of radiation when the drones caused some part of it to overload, turning him into the weird creature he is now - for which he blames Unity and the FF. The third is Char (originally going to be called "Firearm" but that was a bit too on-the-nose) - he shows up at Fort Adamant during Termi-Nation (he'd been a test subject there) and winds up fighting Unity (hints that he'll be in the upcoming environment deck as her nemesis, along with other mini-nemeses for the other heroes involved in that event).
      • Is pink her favorite color or does she just default to that given the glow when she uses her power? It's kind of the reverse of the second option - pink is her favorite color and her power signature is pink for that reason.
      • Are the pink hair streaks that Termi-Nation Unity has related to her interactions with Chokepoint (who also has pink hair)? She'll never admit it, but it's not a coincidence.
      • Unity is described as Israeli, but most of them serve in Israel's armed forces; did Unity serve in this way? No, she left the country right around the time that she would have been expected to serve (helped out by Tachyon's explanation of what she would be doing instead) - that didn't go over super well, but her service as a superhero kind of mitigates it.
      • When does Platform Bot make its appearance? Is that the real Baron Blade? Did she actually encounter an MDP or was she just working off of descriptions? During Vengeance, it's a Blade-bot (this is while Blade and Legacy are in the Realm of Discord), and MDPs are more common than just the FFA #1 event, so most people would be familiar with them even though she obviously wasn't there for that early appearance.
      • Did she build Augustus and if so, why couldn't she make him understandable? He's a library bot she built specifically to understand a coded transmission they'd received. She did this too well and he only speaks in code.
      • How'd she wind up in the glass prison on her incap art (this is Arcanist Lupus' limerick question mentioned in the show notes - right around 44:45)? Revo-Corp captured her at one point and used that room to keep her away from any metal that she could use to build anything. Other heroes break her out eventually.
      • Is she in a relationship with anybody (or even just have a crush on anyone)? She's younger than the other heroes (18 to her early 20s the whole time from her introduction in the mid-'90s until OblivAeon - gotta love how comic-book time works), and has been on a lot of dates (mostly guys, a few girls, even an alien once), but nothing really lasts until fairly late in the Multiverse storyline when she starts pursuing a relationship with a hero, Randall Butler (Benchmark!), he's a few years older than her, but not a whole lot, and both have a history with Revo-Corp to bond over.
      • Most golems seem purely mechanical - Freedom Six Unity has a skeleton, Termi-Nation Unity's incap art shows them side by side (presumably the creation of the Golem Unity), what all is going on? Chronological: TN Incap art with her hooked up to a Unity Bot is an event from a fight with Biomancer and he had made one of his flesh golems with some mechanical bits, but he was unable to replicate her powers - he's trying to steal her powers and put them in his creation without removing her brain (he's stopped before he can try this, it probably would have left Unity brain-dead). Next, in the Iron Legacy timeline Biomancer attempted this same thing, also she and Mr. Fixer had become close friends due to the circumstances of them being in hiding, and him mentoring her, etc. Eventually, Unity is mortally wounded in a fight with the Iron Hand (Legacy's guards/shock troops). Fixer remembers the Biomancer incident and tracks him down and makes him do a full transfer of her mind. She dies, Fixer buries her, then the Unity bot comes online and he tells it that she's really Unity, only patched up with metal and stuff. She has some inklings that she's not really herself (moreso after Fixer's death and she takes his cap), but she never really gets a chance to come to terms with that before the end of the Multiverse.
    • Future:
      • Tactics - Unity is part of the Freedom Five in all but name (despite the name not changing). The team members all have a FV logo on their belts, hers is FVI (the "I" is for "intern" obviously, what, that looks like it's a Roman 6? That's funny.) The guys end by saying that she'll eventually be an official member of the Freedom Five, and putting a bit of a lampshade on that statement - foreshadowing a death/retirement?
      • RPG - she leaves the Freedom Five after OblivAeon. She's gotten an offer from Revo-Corp (obviously under non-Blade management now, right?) doing science stuff, but also as a part of their team, the Paradigms (with Benchmark - they're not a Setback/Expatriette pair yet, but it's still furthering their relationship).
    • Future Questions:
      • Do the golems run off programming or just off her powers? Does she program them with her power? Does she have to split her focus among all of the active bots? Range/duration of her golems if she leaves or is knocked out? Does she actually see her bots as characters? Is Mr. Chomps inspired by a trip to Insula Primalis or just her interest in dinosaurs? This can be summed up as "how do her powers work?" and like many other examples in prior episodes, the answer is "nobody knows". Tachyon hasn't been able to figure out the source of her power, as far as everything appears she's a normal human but she can make these bots with her mind. There's a reason this question was saved for the Future section of the podcast, though. The answer will appear in future issues of Sentinel Comics (in the RPG timeline). Here we go: in her family backstory we hear about how Unity's mother, Mira, was injured in the Yom Kippur War. There was a powerful entity, referred to as a Chaos Witch, Rose Griggs, who was drawn there. Rose was blowing stuff up with her power, and some of the shrapnel from that was what injured Mira (and some is still in her hip, the source of her persistent limp after her recovery). This didn't effect Mira, but some of the latent power coalesced during her pregnancy with Devra and that's where her power came from - she's a "magically powered" hero, despite the technological appearance of how it manifests.

Reference

  • Unity's unusual powers, pragmatic attire, and underused ethnicity are all traits commonly found in the characters of the Wildstorm universe.

Visionary

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Art References

  • The card "Prophetic Vision" features the first appearance of Iron Legacy.
  • The villain on "Demoralization" is The Toy Master, one of the Dreamer's projections.
  • Although hard to make out more than her hair to indicate who it is, "Mind Spike" shows Visionary defeating Citizen Dawn during the latter's failed invasion of Megalopolis. The flavor text on the card has Visionary calling out Dawn ard does reference Sunrise #11 which is the series for Dawn's invasion.
  • The Dreamer
    • The Dreamer and her projections have more cameos in hero decks than any other villain.
    • The "Treacherous Ape" is, in reality, the doll floating at the Dreamer's side on her "The Dreamer Dreams" side. The Treacherous Ape first appeared on Tachyon's "Lightning Reflexes" card. Tachyon is in the Flavor text of the "Treacherous Ape" card.
    • The "Dark Hero" projection looks very similar to the villain that Legacy was fighting on "Thokk."
    • The Dreamer is incapacitating Sky Scraper in "Projected Paralysis."

Unconfirmed

Confirmed

  • The Dreamer is a young version of The Visionary from the present-day timeline.
  • The Visionary's hero bio in the Enhanced Edition rulebook reveals that she was not the only subject of Project Cocoon to be subjected to the PSY-200 injection process. However, she was the only survivor.
  • Any time someone time travels (to the past at least) they essentially create a new timeline. Visionary is one of the most powerful characters in SotM. When she time travels to the past, she enters a timeline in which the events that lead to her time traveling don't happen. On the trip to the past, a version of Visionary from a third timeline who is evil, but has been defeated in some way, latches on as an unwelcome passenger into the past. Visionary has to spend a considerable amount of energy keeping Dark Visionary in check. Gen Con 2016 Q&A
  • The Dreamer
    • Mainstay has a line in the flavor text of "Whipacorn."
    • The Dreamer has the lowest HP of any Sentinels villain.
    • The Dreamer is one of two base-set Sentinels villains to have a non-promo time-line duplicate, the other being Omnitron. Greatest Legacy and GI Bunker are the Hero Versions.
    • The Argent Adept's dialogue in the flavor text of "Grotesque Arachnoid" hints that the Dreamer's condition may stem from an outside source, namely "another world."
    • Her Teddy Bear (on Night Terrors) is named Noah >G Comment from the Gathering of Heroes 2014
  • "The child is the center" refers to The Dreamer. A hint at this can be found on the infamous card "Fixed Point". The "Fixed Point" is that in every reality, young Vanessa Long manifests powers. The Visionary came from her time to prevent the Vanessa Long of this reality from going through what she did, and yet, this reality's Vanessa Long STILL manifested powers. This is important, because these "Fixed Points" across spacetime is how OblivAeon is destroying everything. The more points that realities have in common, the more they draw "close" and if multiple realities are too close, they act as cosmic anti-matter, destroying each other. The Child is the Center

Reference

  • Visually, the Visonary is almost completely identical to Moondragon, a Marvel Comics female superhero.
  • As a powerful psychic with a dangerous dark-side, the Visionary is very reminiscent of Marvel Comic's Jean Gray.
  • The flavor text of "Wrest the Mind" is a reference to Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
  • The art on "Mind Spike" is reminiscent of the panel from X-Men #25, during the "Fatal Attractions" storyline, where Professor Xavier (a bald telepath) mind-wipes Magneto (who, like Citizen Dawn, can be described as a proponent of the superiority of powered people over normal people) - even down to the level of detail of the hand positions of the characters.
  • The Dreamer
    • The Illusory Demon bears a strong resemblence to the Marvel villain Venom.

Wraith

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Art References

  • An early rendering of Spite appears on the card "Inventory Barrage." There are numerous differences between this rendering of Spite and the finalized version seen in the Rook City expansion, with the early version lacking the long right sleeve and coat-tail of Spite's official outfit. In addition, the early version has more pronounced gloves, sports a lighter color scheme, and doesn't have any hypodermic needles on his chest strap.
  • The device pictured in "Impromptu Invention" has become something of a running joke in the Sentinels franchise, appearing on numerous cards in various decks. It remains unknown what, if anything, it actually does.
  • The art on Wraith's incapacitated side seems to be an homage to the cover of Daredevil Vol. 2, Issue 3, where Daredevil crouches on a cathedral roof embracing a cross. The pictures are not exact copies however.
  • "Throat Jab" depicts Wraith elbowing a Macabre Spectre from The Dreamer's deck.
  • Freedom Six Wraith: The weapons on this card are very close to The Operative's
  • The Incap side of the Wraith's variant art pack card shows the Wraith standing over the bodies of comic supporting-cast characters Sara Scott and Eduardo López after their murder by Spite (see the Letters Page episode on the Wraith and the art on the Spite card Collateral Damage).

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Confirmed

  • The Wraith is Jewish per Adam She is indeed Jewish, though I'd say her observance level is not high. Reform Judaism is probably accurate - crime doesn't keep the Sabbath, and I imagine her "night life" makes getting to Synagogue on time difficult. GtG forums
  • In the Iron Legacy timeline, The Wraith decides that the only way to get the resources necessary to fight Iron Legacy is to takeover the Organization for herself. She dispatches The Chairman and the Operative and assumes their power. Gen Con 2016 Q&A
  • Notes from Wraith Letters Page episode Letters Page Episode 2 written out by WalkingTarget:
    • Not a genius-level intellect naturally, but more focused and determined than most which allows her to learn better than many others. That's what got her through school early and through an MIT-level university.
    • Began patrolling as "The Wraith" while still in college (and spent waaaay longer in college than you'd expect due to comic book time) and mostly around the campus at first. The urban crimefighter/college student dichotomy was the interesting hook.
    • The "Red Scare" was a thing in the early Wraith comics and she was something of a commie-buster.
    • "Maniac Jack" was her early named villain - burglar who would break into places, vandalize the place, steal things but just dump them in the gutter or something (i.e. he didn't keep anything, just liked breaking stuff).
    • Ermine (before taking up the name) was also a thief type villain who shows up early on too.
    • In discussion about early Freedom 5 team up books, lots of fighting against aliens and robots due to Comics Code Authority-type restrictions (can't kill people but rocky aliens with fire hands are fair game) - pretty much just monster-of-the-week kind of books and weren't meant to have greater significance (c.f. Voss invasion or Omnitron later being a huge thing). Tachyon Joining in FF Annual #1 was a relaunch of the title where Supervillains requiring a team to fight became a bigger thing. (Also, implication that there were 2 other heroes in the original lineup of the Freedom Five that we don't know about - Legacy, Wraith, Bunker, and two others)
    • Sara Scott was her solo-comic friend/foil (like Foggy Nelson for Daredevil).
    • Eduardo López - Paralegal that works for the firm that supports The Organization, gets her stuff from the file room occasionally, etc.
    • The above two people become a couple (and neither know that she's the Wraith).
    • Lots of senseless murders at around the same time that a lot of "copycat"/recreations of old Maniac Jack robberies happens. Wraith shows up ahead of one of the robberies and preempts it. Guy goes to jail, but it's a set-up (more to come in the Spite episode as Maniac Jack is really Jack Donovan - short version is that Jack used money from people he murdered to pay the guy to recreate his old crimes then, after Wraith busts the guy he follows her and finds out who she is). Comics readers, after all of this is revealed down the line could go back and pick out that Jack is in the background following her for a long time.
    • Sara and Eduardo are the people on the Spite card Collateral Damage, they die when he drops them. "Oops." That's the instigating incident for her realizing that she can't do it all herself and brings in help (Freedom Five isn't just a team she helps, it's a team that helps her).
    • A lot of Wraith stuff deals with her being shown what she could become and her not liking it (second Miss Information fight, the hall of mirrors in the carnival). She, as a general rule, does not kill, but she's more worried about what it means for her than as a line in the sand (it's a slippery slope as it might often be the "most effective" method of negating a threat). "Spite is [...] definitely the most horrible person in the game." She was willing to kill him going into the fight, but she "just couldn't do it". The big reveal here is that what we see as Agent of Gloom Spite's last memory was misleading. Wraith was hesitating to pull the trigger on him and it was Parse who could see that she either wouldn't do it (or at least wouldn't in time) and did it herself with an arrow.
    • Took part in the Iron Legacy fight (but most heroes do at some point), but didn't really do anything particularly notable. More interesting is her role in the Iron Legacy timeline - sacrificing her ideals ("The Price of Freedom") to deal with the situation. She does fight an army of Spite clones that Iron Legacy was using as shock troops. "This isn't a philosophy podcast" but does her killing them count as murder? Kills the Operative and Chairman and takes over running the Organization that she'd been fighting for years. Rook City is a more defended area than others because of this.
    • Equity is an assassin she's fought (Appears in Ermine's deck)
    • Bunker and Wraith were never really seen as a potential couple (in the way that comics characters are often paired off), so there wasn't really a will they/won't they thing for years - the budding romance/flirting really only starts happening in the run-up to OblivAeon.
    • Operative as a minion of Zhu Long returns to Rook City to sever ties with her old contacts (literally, you know with a sword). Crooked mayor (whose family has been running the city since it was founded - "nepotism all the way down") contacts the Wraith to protect him, the deal is that if she saves him he'll leave and theoretically taking the corruption in the local government with him. "Epic fight" with the Operative - rooftops, traps, etc. Operative loses the fight and her Rook City privileges. Mayor reneges on the deal, but Wraith had recorded the whole previous conversation and had already sent it to news, police, and the Organization - so he decides to leave after all.
    • An early Freedom Five story (Wagner Mars Base) involved Bunker-derived space suits for the team. She didn't like the experience.
    • Imbued Vitality for her Hair Dryer has a "cartoony voice that sounds like a hair dryer". Now that they're no longer in the Realm of Discord and their gear is no longer animated, she's still occasionally wondering "Is it still in there yelling its stupid hair dryer voice at me and being really eager to fight crime?" We have not yet seen the last of the hair dryer.
    • Major difference between RPG and Tactics is that the destruction in Rook City due to OblivAeon is less bad in some important areas in RPG and gets rebuilt better than ever as opposed to being kind of left to decay further. Also, the RPG timeline also has the Freedom Five stop being front-line crimefighters so much and become the Sentinels of Freedom instead, mentors/trainers for the next generation of heroes. RPG characters are considered "canon" characters.

Reference

  • The Wraith has many obvious similarities with DC Comic's Batman. Both characters are genius detectives that chose to take up crime-fighting as the result of a tragedy. Both use technology and martial arts in place of superpowers. Both have rich socialite alter-egos.
  • The Wraith is visually similar to Cassandra Cain, the second Batgirl.
  • Most, if not all, of the Wraith's equipment cards are analogous to tools used by Batman.
  • Freedom Six Wraith: Her incapacitated side may be an homage to this image in Batman: Knightfall, where Bane holds a broken Batman above his head.

Emily Parsons

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Unconfirmed

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Reference

Akash'Bhuta

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Art References

  • The silhouetted figure on "Living Rockslide" is the Chrono Ranger. This was vaguely foreshadowed on the Chrono Ranger card "By Any Means."

Unconfirmed

Confirmed

  • Akash'Bhuta is the largest playable villain in the Sentinels card game.
  • Akash'Bhuta has the most HP of any Sentinels villain.


Reference

Ambuscade

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Art References

  • The events pictured on "Personal Cloaking Device" are followed up on Haka's "Haka of Shielding" card.
  • "Sonic Mine" is the Argent Adept's first appearance.

Unconfirmed

Confirmed

Reference

  • Ambuscade's character seems to be an amalgamation of three popular Marvel characters: Kraven the Hunter, Cable, and Bishop. Like Kraven, Ambuscade is a superhuman hunter that preys on other super-humans. Like Cable, he has a robotic shape-shifting arm and a massive stockpile of guns at his disposal. Like Bishop, he can absorb, store, and project energy.
  • Ambuscade's cloaking ability is an homage to the Predator franchise.
  • The "Quick Stim Patch" is very similar to the "slapper" drug patches featured in Batman Beyond.
  • Ambuscade's "Trap" cards function very similarly to the famous Yu-Gi-Oh' card, "Parasite Paracide." Interestingly, the Yu-Gi-Oh card game also has "Trap" cards.
  • Wearing a mask to hide his "disfigurement" as Ambuscade is similar to what Fantastic Four villain Doctor Doom, Iron Man villain Madam Masque, and Batman villain Black Mask have done to hide their disfigurements.

Apostate

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Art References

  • In his "Infernal Emissary" form, Apostate has only one scar, which is visible on his torso. In his "Dark Corruptor" form he has numerous glowing scars all over his body.
  • All of Apostate's cards show him smiling, as opposed to Fanatic, his nemesis, who is always frowning.
  • Apostate's "Condemnation" and "Apocalypse" cards mimic Fanatic's "Absolution" and "End of Days" cards respectively.
  • "Remorseless Provocation" Features forum user pwatson1974 as the poor mook being stabbed.

Unconfirmed

Confirmed

  • Despite having a blade for an arm, the "Relic Spirit" has no offensive capabilities, card mechanically

Reference

  • Apostate's status as a demon and his physical appearance paint him as an homage to the demonic villains that were popular in 90's comics.
  • The "Orb of Delirium" may be a reference to the "Orb of Confusion" from the Spongebob Squarepants cartoon series.
  • The Flavor text of the card 'Fallen Angel' is the lyrics to Dio's song Fallen Angels - Similarly Fanatic's Holy Nova is from Holy Diver

Baron Blade

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Art References

  • Vengeance Deck
    • There appears to be a Biometic Plasma Vat behind Baron Blade on the active side of his villain card.
    • The card “Regression Darts” reveals that Nightmist is actually a brunette.
    • Visually, Citizen Slash is similar to the Marvel character Wolverine.
    • Visually, Empyreon is similar to the Silver Samurai, an adversary of Wolverine.
    • Zhu Long is an homage, both in character and design, to classic “yellow peril” villain Fu Manchu. Zhu Long first appeared on the Mr. Fixer card “Pipe Wrench.” His card art seems to confirm that Long and the dragon pictured on Mr. Fixer’s “Overdrive” card are the same being.

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Confirmed

  • In the one timeline, Baron Blade eventually kills the current Legacy. In an alternate timeline, Young Legacy dies instead, prompting Legacy to become Iron Legacy. It is heavily suggested that Legacy kills Baron Blade in this alternate timeline.From Iron Legacy's Background
  • Notes from Letters Page Episode 3
    • He's the "primary antagonist" of the setting, "pretty central to all of the events". Not the scariest or most dangerous, but is iconic and persistent. He was the first villain Christopher and Adam created and his appearance is pretty much the same in the game as in the first drawing.
    • His father, Fyodor Ramonat, made weapons and whatnot for the Soviets in the Cold War (in response to USA's access to superheroes). Villains Iron Curtain and Proletariat were also part of this "arms race" (and is why Baron Blade knew about Proletariat when putting together the Vengeful Five). Armies of robots, walking tanks, war Zeppelins, shrink rays - Grandpa Legacy and some compatriots went in to stop Fyodor's creations from being used (as per Blade's bio in the game materials).
    • Orphaned teenager in Mordengrad, he's charismatic and smarter than everybody else and builds a following. By his late teens he's essentially the ruler of Mordengrad. A Soviet general comes to see why they aren't putting out the weapons they're supposed to. Ivan talks back (very arrogantly) and the general's order to his men to shut him up is what resulted in Ivan's facial scar (from a bayonet the soldier struck him with) and the general gives the town a year to get things up to snuff.
    • The factory outputs lots of good "super science" stuff that he comes up with (far beyond his father's work). The general comes back, is greeted well, is impressed by the turn-around, is shown to the leader of the town who reveals himself now as Baron Blade. The general and his men get atomized and Mordengrad is claimed as Blade's own territory.
    • First main appearance in the comics (minions and whatnot show up earlier) was his conflict with Grandpa Legacy, killing him in revenge for his own father's death (see incap sides of Grandpa Legacy's hero character cards). He still needs to end the Legacy line entirely for his full revenge, however.
    • The most brilliant/useful thing he ever came up with was the Regression Serum - simply being uncorked near Legacy will greatly weaken him (see Freedom Four Annual #1 - although in the comic Legacy starts to feel the effects even before it's uncorked). This was Blade's first appearance as a Supervillain with "world altering" plans rather than personal stuff (seen in kind of a "propaganda comics" kind of thing - you know, eastern European scientist fighting the great American hero and getting trounced occasionally).
    • The FFA#1 plot (drilling into the earth's core) kind of set the stage for Baron Blade's modus operandi of "really brilliant inventions that are a bad idea".
    • Terralunar Impulsion Beam is set up in the Ruins of Atlantis. He's hoping that after the Pyrrhic victory of crashing the moon into the earth that he'll be ok down there and can then rule what's left, although that's less important than killing Legacy in the process. The machine itself is in a big domed room which collapses around Blade when he loses the fight. This is supposed to be a direct call-back to his father's death in the factory that collapsed in Mordengrad - that is, until he emerges in his battle suit (its first appearance - although it appears in many forms later, not always worn by him). When he loses that fight the suit explodes (causing his burn scars seen in Mad Bomber variant), taking out a wall, and the rush of water pulls him outside. The heroes assume him dead at this point.
    • He washes up on the same shore near Megalopolis that Legacy had washed up on in FFA#1. He sneaks into the city, hiding in the sewers and warehouses. Keeps under the radar rather than building a following. He hides a bunch of bombs around the city, builds his hand-held death ray, and another secret. The rationale of sending the video footage saying that he's set the bombs is to make the public aware that the heroes can't keep them safe even in their home city. The Freedom Five is busy, so instead they get Fanatic and other heroes who happen to be around to go fight him instead.
    • It really frustrated him that the Freedom Five, who he's specifically baiting, ignore him. At the end of the fight he winds up going to Freedom Five HQ himself (not yet Freedom Tower, rather a stone building near the coast). His intention is to kill Legacy with the death ray while the other heroes are dealing with the bombs, but Absolute Zero dives in the way and takes the shot - one of the first times that AZ displays the selfless "hero" quality.
    • Death ray operates by using the inherent movement of organic molecules to ignite said organic material. The suit took the brunt of the hit, but since AZ's body doesn't have any molecular movement (being at absolute zero) that it didn't really do anything to his body like it could have with Legacy. Blade is captured and put in prison for the first time (solitary confinement, maximum security, robotic guards to avoid his ability to trick them - although putting robots around Baron Blade is probably stupider than putting people around him). He fully expected that he'd wind up captured when he went to FF HQ.
    • Had hidden a ceramic/undetectable gadget under his skin, so that he could communicate with the company that he'd set up while still on the outside. That company? Revocorp! See, if you get rid of the "orp" at the end, it's "cover" backwards as it's just a cover for his other machinations.
    • He set up Revocorp to reverse engineer the regression serum (to give himself or others powers rather than taking them away from others). 100% failure/fatality rate until the single successful test case, who then also escaped (Setback).
    • To break out (probably the most impressive feat of anything he's done) he uses the robots there to guard him to create a robot duplicate of himself and fashion a robot disguise for himself while ostensibly on lockdown in a maximum security prison and just walks out. He then goes to Revocorp to oversee tests himself. Still failures, but he gets impatient and just cranks everything to 11 and undergoes the procedure himself. The robot left in the cell is eventually discovered and destroyed by Mr. Fixer (see Argent Adept's card Inspiring Supertonic).
    • Powers gained: super strength, resilience, self-healing. No flight, requires frequent injections to maintain it or his body starts breaking down (and the injections are very taxing). Now we're up to Vengeance. From an art standpoint, his costume is supposed to be a perversion of Legacy's (minus the cape). Setback's is also meant to be derivative of Legacy's outfit. Fright Train is also part of the Regression Serum project and there are elements to his look that also tie into the theme. Blade's look at this point looks more like a superhero rather than his tech/scientist look that he had previously (lab coat, etc.).
    • Vengeful Five plotlines involve the destruction of the original FF Headquarters and another fight in the new Freedom Tower. The Vengeful Five is around for a while before the "big" event where Blade starts pulling in more members of heroes' rogues galleries and is also when Blade builds Omni-blade (officially Omnitron III) out of the parts that Revocorp had.
    • As part of the "Vengeance War", Legacy and Blade wind up fighting in the Realm of Discord and enter a Positive Energy Field where they can't actually hurt one another. They eventually just have a conversation there and Blade's various scars heal. His body stabilizes - the serum has left him a bit more buff than he had been, but it's otherwise out of his system. The conversation doesn't resolve very much between them, but probably plants the seeds that allow Luminary to become a thing later as he recognizes the futility of their recurring fight.
    • Blade disappears from the public eye after the Vengeance War. Revocorp continues doing stuff, but it's not really under his direction. He largely already got what he wanted from them in terms of the serum. More Revocorp info in a podcast about them specifically.
    • That's pretty much it for "Baron Blade's" plot in the SotM card game, but Ivan comes back during OblivAeon with the reaction of "You don't get to kill Legacy; only I get to kill Legacy," although that's "probably not his primary motivation."
    • Luminary has a mechanical arm. He amputated his own arm to replace it with a "mostly nanotech" gizmo tied into his nervous system. He can turn it into a blade, electrify stuff with it, interface with devices. Derivative of his Flesh-Repair Nanites from his original villain deck. He also helps develop tech for other heroes (although generally with dangerous implications), notably Sky-Scraper (Extremist). He also pulls some old doomsday devices out of mothballs for the event.
    • Some former-villain heroes for OblivAeon are clearly "here's a hero who used to be a villain". Luminary is not one of them, he's acting alongside the heroes against OblivAeon, but he's by no means a hero now. He's not really a central figure in the event (although with a few big hits) but gives up his life to save some heroes (notably Legacy). (See the incap side of the Luminary card, though, as he faked his death).
    • Recruitment of minions: most are from Mordengrad who follow either due to being true-believers or are drafted. Blade Battalion card represents the grunts/conscripts, MDP environment goons with better gear or are working on stuff are the volunteers.
    • Scar hi-jinks - cut scar from Soviet soldier as a teen, burns after his suit explodes in the Ruins of Atlantis fight, exacerbated by the serum that gave him powers, all removed by the Positive Energy Field. Tactics timeline he didn't get any new scars after that, but RPG timeline resulted in a new facial scar in the event of him faking his own death.
    • Funds his Mobile Defense Platform and other stuff by selling weapons to whoever will buy them. After setting up Revocorp that earns him money too.
    • Trial of Baron Blade comic issue: "Doomsday Device" plot just prior to start of SotM card game events. Team shows up to fight him, capture him, and takes him to court. He takes the stand claiming to be the victim: assaulted by these "heroes", had his equipment (for which he had all the proper permits and which he has schematics showing they were benign) destroyed, etc. The whole plot was to discredit the Freedom Five just before his Terralunar Impulsion Beam plot. It's a fun story that Christopher and Adam came up with that doesn't really fit in as an "event" to play in the game, but they've got the whole script and whatnot written out.
    • Death of Legacy stuff: in "primary reality" of the game, nobody dies as both Parsons are injured due to the Iron Legacy fight and neither go on the mission that Blade had set as a trap for them on Mars. This plot happens at different times in different realities - in the "successful" ones it's more along the time of when the Terralunar Impulsion Beam plot happened in the primary reality.
    • Revenant is the public-facing CEO of Revocorp in a power suit - initially just a lackey of Blade, but takes more initiative after Blade loses interest.
    • "Beacon" should be used strictly when talking about Felicia's role as a hero in the Tactics timeline - in the Iron Legacy reality she would have been using the Legacy name.
    • On Luminary's incap side, what's in the casket? It's not important. Just note that the heroes present are genuinely saddened since, as far as they're concerned, he died a hero.
    • Tactics timeline: back to his old tricks. Less of a giant threat - no longer has the same "world destruction", pure vengeance kind of goals. More just likes to be a thorn in the side of the heroes.
    • RPG timeline: (apparently the best costume design that Adam's ever done) he sees the card game events as his path to Supervillain-hood and he has now "arrived". Much more of a presence in the world than in Tactics. You'll see his hand present in many more events even if he's not personally involved.

Reference

  • As the science-based arch-enemy of a Superman esq. hero (Legacy), Baron Blade draws many easy comparisons to Lex Luthor. As the facially scarred despot of a small nation however, he draws more comparisons to Doctor Doom.
  • Baron Blade has a goatee, a common facial styling for many classic twentieth century villains.
  • The glowing serum (Regression Serum) that Blade is using to harm Legacy on "Hasten Doom" is meant to evoke Kryptonite.
  • The robotic suit that Blade is wearing on his "Vengeful Mad Scientist" side is similar to Lex Luthor's various "Lex-o-skeletons."
  • Much like Lex Luthor has become a hero on occasion Baron Blade will be doing the same with his Luminary persona
  • Vengeance Deck
    • The card “Old Tricks – New Allies” is a parody of the Legacy card “Bolster Allies.”
    • This new version of Blade is much more “hands-on” then his previous incarnations. He is pictured fighting heroes directly on his card art rather than simply through technology and underling proxies.

Becky Blast

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Reference

Biomancer

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Unconfirmed

Confirmed

Reference

  • Much like Scholar has references to Full Metal Alchemist so does Biomancer since he creates Homunculus. The Homunculi were the main antagonists in that series.

Blood Countess Bathory

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Reference

  • Blood Countess Bathory is likely a reference to the real life Elizabeth Báthory, a Hungarian Countess who lived from 1560 until 1614. She was arrested in 1610 for kidnapping and torture of young women (some estimates put the total at over 650 victims, although the "verified" count is closer to 80) and was subject to house arrest for the last 4 years of her life. She's entered into vampire folklore due to the unsubstantiated rumor that she bathed in the blood of virgins to maintain her youth.

Bugbear

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Confirmed

Reference

  • The outfit and appearance of Bugbear resembles the villain Sabretooth from Marvel.
  • In addition to his appearance a lot of his cards allude to Bugbear sharing qualities with Sabretooth and Wolverine. He uses scents to track people and he can regenerate health regularly.

The Chairman

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Art References

  • Forum goer arenson9 and his spouse are the basis for The Deputy and The Broker.
  • "Undivided Attention" depicts the death of Mister Fixer at the hands of the Operative (Letters Page 10).

Unconfirmed

Confirmed

  • The Chairman is secretly Graham Pike, the mysterious CEO of Pike Industrial Complex
  • The Chairman is very much the conceptual opposite of Baron Blade. Where Blade is a flamboyant super-genius that uses grandiose sci-fi tech to achieve his goals, the Chairman is a subtle planner who strikes from the shadows through real-world means. The dichotomy of the two characters is further revealed in the flavor text of "Hired Gun."
  • The shadow on the back of his character card is 'Someone Unobtrusive' Christopher on the Forums
  • The Chairman deck is supposed to symbolize the endless slough against fighting Organized Crime as no matter how much you take out Thugs new ones keep coming back Letter Page Episode 2
  • Notes on Letters Page Episode 11:
    • Chemist Jonathan Pike started a company in the early 1900s - Pike Biotech. The idea being to make lots of stuff to make people healthier and happier. Pharmaceuticals and other medical stuff, not snake oil. He was even fairly philanthropic; making a profit, but not price gouging. The Pike Industries name change happened after some years of success, accompanied by the building of the Pike Industrial Complex. A few years later, in 1924, Jonathan died in his early 50s (kind of weird - he was in good shape). His son, Graham, who was in his 20s steps into the leadership role. Graham is much more selfish, greedy, covetous, envious, etc. The guys confirm outright that Graham poisoned his father.
    • Under his leadership, the prices go up and things become shady. The company makes drugs, but they now also make drugs. Human experimentation is common. Toxic waste/smog from Pike Industrial Complex are polluting Rook City - contributing much to the dank aesthetic that comes to mind when we think of the city (a far cry from Jonathan's vision). The illicit drug market in town is pretty much all his doing and between the drugs being present at all, the dealers on payroll, and the bribes and other corruption involved in keeping the authorities at bay he's contributing to the societal decline as much as the environmental one. He makes a deal with the Overbrook family, who'd fallen out of favor/power, to put them back into power for concessions.
    • At this stage he doesn't really think of himself as being involved in "organized crime" - he sees it as largely a utilitarian outgrowth of his business needs.
    • Mickey Boyle had been a presence in the underworld of Rook City for a while (prominent gangster in town around prohibition). He notices the rise of Pike Industries as a source of rivalry (including the drug trade which the established gangs had stayed out of to this point). Boyle's thugs round up a bunch of the Pike people and kills them - messing with their network and sending a message to Pike to stay out of it or come through the Boyle family to do this criminal stuff. Graham doesn't take this sitting down; using his influence in the administration of the city that was not available to the Boyles to arrange a police "raid" on the Boyle safehouse/compound that turned into a gun battle (actually intended from the beginning to be an action to wipe the Boyles out).
    • Rook City is well on its way to being just a terrible place here after 15-20 years of Graham's leadership. Coming back to some comments about the highest murder rates that they made in last week's show notes, they mention that Rook City is (in modern times) probably worse than the top three on the list put together. I don't know exactly how canonical that kind of comment should be taken to be, but it's indicative of how the guys think about Rook City with respect to real world comparisons. At this point Pike has 1) infiltrated the police, 2) owns the mayor, 3) eliminated the existing crime syndicate and filled the resulting power vacuum, 4) started a major drug trade, and 5) polluted the city.
    • Boris "The Bear" Sokolov was an up-and-coming criminal (and just a huge, hairy, scary guy who fought with knives) who Graham taps to run the remnants of the Boyle family territory/network. He also names this endeavor "The Organization" at this time. The Bear is in charge of the Organization as far as anybody else is concerned. Pike Industries is a separate thing entirely that Graham is running and nobody knows that the Bear reports to him (and is, in effect, the first Operative).
    • A few things happen around this time. First, Black Fist shows up as a hero fighting Organization thugs and The Bear is a recurring enemy for him. Second, Pike, now in his mid-40s and recognizing that he won't be around forever, makes a pilgrimage to find someone rumored to have discovered the secret of immortality - Zhu Long. He doesn't find Zhu Long, Zhu Long finds him after hearing about this westerner going all over Asia asking about him by name.
    • They come to an agreement. Pike will get the knowledge he seeks, but he gives up a finger (a pinkie finger) and a promise to return to share knowledge (Zhu Long being big on "knowing things"). In return for the finger, he gets a finger-sized vial of the red liquid that the guys discussed at length last week.
    • Upon his return to Rook City, he hears about the trouble Black Fist has been causing and directs the Bear to handle it. Pike then turns to the company labs to analyze/synthesize the substance he got from Zhu Long. He has no intention to return to Zhu Long to fulfill his part of the deal. They manage to synthesize a serum that does many of the same things as Zhu Long's (notably it can't return people from the dead), but it allows him to arrest the aging process while simultaneously augmenting his strength and other physical attributes. The nature of the process means that it goes bad quickly and he needs to undergo treatment ("baths") with it regularly, so they have to have it under continuous production to keep him supplied with it. What he's learned from this process allows him to create further production lines for public consumption, however, so it's turning a profit even though his own treatments are expensive.
    • The Bear and Black Fist have a big final showdown in Mystery Comics around this time and Black Fist is victorious, having defeated the head of the Organization. Pike lets the Bear know in no uncertain terms that he's not going to do anything to free him (or even bother killing him). As a replacement, Pike decides that rather than just picking somebody to run the Organization, he's going to "create" the person who will, assuming the identity of "The Chairman" as the leader of the Organization following the arrest of the Bear. The Chairman is a pseudo-mythical bogeyman running the show - I'm thinking kind of like a Keyser Söze thing. He also has to start being more hands-off around Pike Industries because he's no longer aging and he disappears from the public eye. He's still issuing orders, but from behind closed doors and it's not entirely clear if it's even him up there in Pike Tower because nobody's seen him for years.
    • Five Branches of the Organization (with their own leaders, but those positions can have a high turn-over rate as members die, get arrested, get too close to finding out his identity, etc.):
      • The Contract - manages all of the assassins, contract killings, etc.
      • The Deputy - in charge of the corruption within the police force. The name is a bit of a misnomer as it's more frequently the chief of police or otherwise high up the ranks.
      • The Fence - deals with any theft, money laundering, etc.
      • The Informant - information gathering/blackmail. Acts as the Organizations "eyes" on the city.
      • The Muscle - in charge of the boots on the ground, enforcers, the more common "street crime" types of things.
    • Then he comes across Sophia DeLeon, a teenager with her own little gang and who (having once been a student of Harry Walker) is surprisingly proficient in martial arts. He sends a few underbosses to bring her in to meet him. She has impressed him and he offers to let her in on the day-to-day operations and she becomes The Operative. It's not quite the same as when the Bear was running things as she's still seen as the right hand of the person in charge instead of being in charge herself. Shortly, however, things are to the point where Pike can just delegate stuff to her and count on her to handle it. There will be an Operative episode (much) later.
    • Iconography lesson: the Organization logo on the deck back means stuff. The right side is kind of like a dragon, which represents the Operative. The center line is the head of a pike, and the five sections on the other half represent the five branches of operations.
    • There are still two things that Pike is more hands-on with (having delegated so much of the Organization to his Operative). Pike Industrial Complex itself and it's more secretive Barzakh Wing, an off-the-books offshoot. Part of the processes going on here are dealing with growing human body parts (Biomemetic Plasma Vats being a starting point of that process) with the eventual goal (unrealized in the card game timeline) of growing his own army, filling out the ranks of the Organization with perfectly loyal troops. The Supercooled Trisolvent Vats are used to freeze serums and other materials for later use (such as the elixir that he's got to have under constant production as mentioned earlier). He's got large stockpiles of stuff in a secret bunker.
    • The Barzakh Wing has some even shadier stuff going on. They offer death row inmates a commuted sentence (down to life imprisonment) in exchange for participation in medical experimentation. They get plenty of volunteers, but they'd be better off just sticking with the death sentence. The experiments, involving injections with new potential drugs being developed by Pike Industries leave them with a tortured existence before dying anyway. Everybody who takes part in these experiments die (except one).
    • Comparisons with Baron Blade. Ivan's definitely more intelligent and more of a visionary. Graham didn't build his own criminal organization from the ground up, he stole it from Mickey Boyle. He didn't build his own company, he murdered his father to get it. He didn't design his own serum, he got it from Zhu Long. He's just good at keeping these things going, making them work.
    • Here's where Mister Fixer shows up and starts dismantling the Organization. He really manages to mess up the Operative in their next-to-last fight. Unlike with the Bear, Pike sees how useful she's been for over a decade and doesn't discard her for her failure here. He recovers her and uses his serum vat to repair her injuries and give her a one-off power-boost (she doesn't get the repeated treatments that he undergoes), but it's enough to give her an edge over Mister Fixer and to kill him as mentioned last time.
    • With that distraction out of the way, the Organization is free to recover from the disruption that he caused and even make a move to get a foothold in Megalopolis (which fails). The Operative does get a few more treatments in the serum tanks (probably a total of 4 of them) before Zhu Long arrives. He knows that Pike has made his own serum and has no intention of filling his end of the bargain. Nobody gets to Graham Pike anymore, he's got too many layers of underbosses and other underlings (along with the fact that for the legit world he's kind of just faded away since he'd be so old now, right?), but Zhu Long and a score of servants just walk right into his office unhindered. As payment for the old deal, they kill the Operative and take her body when they leave.
    • Questions (as usual, the questions are often funny in their own right, I'm trying to be succinct in my paraphrasing):
      • Does he have any hobbies? His hobbies are crime and industry. He likes running the company. If he was just the Chairman of the Organization, he'd probably be bored while waiting for his underlings to report back.
      • Where is Pike Industries going to dump their chemicals once the sewers aren't an option? Rook City's pretty old and has a pretty old sewer system and he's put a bunch of resources into digging into the old parts. It's also a pretty good system and he's not exactly likely to "fill it up" or anything. They've also just trucked tanks of stuff out of town when necessary.
      • Was Plague Rat a deliberate creation? What was the purpose of the experiments that created him? Nope. Not an important part of the Chairman's story (which is why he wasn't mentioned earlier). The experiments had a lot of parts, hair-growth serum, hair-loss serum (to cause baldness to create need for the growth serum). Lots of both pharmaceutical drugs, but also new designer illicit drugs (mega-heroin, uber-meth).
      • What other abominations has Pike created? Mutant rats, giant mutant cockroach, Spite, Miss Information (in her later appearance), Rook City itself.
      • What is the relationship between Pike Industries and Revo-Corp? Revo-Corp has a presence in Rook City and they've had above-board business dealings. It's not like the Chairman and Baron Blade are interacting with each other using the companies as proxies.
      • Which other heroes and villains have worked for the Organization (we already know about Expatriette, Heartbreaker, and Ambuscade)? The Hippo has, Spite kind of later, Equity was mentioned in the last episode but he does more for them than just that one job, Professor Pollution gets a lot of chemicals from Pike, Radioactivist. A lot of the Chairman's methods are to pay off somebody to cause trouble as a move in later to "fix" things under the guise of Pike Industries.
      • What was the Organization during Vengeance or OblivAeon? Just doing business as usual during Vengeance - the Operative was kind of involved in a minor way in the aftermath. Sending people after Mister Fixer was more just clearing up loose ends than really being part of the overall Vengeance plot. The organization was more or less not involved in anything important during OblivAeon as the Chairman had disappeared at the time. More later.
      • Does the Chairman ever get involved outside of the Rook City or Pike Industrial environments in the "main" timeline (citing a line from the Video Game trailer about him never leaving Pike Tower)? The trailer's dialog was talking about Graham Pike who is, for all anybody knows, this really old man that nobody's seen for decades who, if he's even still alive, is probably hooked up to all sorts of life-support machines up there and can't leave. He was involved in the push to get the Organization into Megalopolis, but he also made another trip to the Temple of Zhu Long after the Operative incident, so there's a canonical fight there - they're not exactly enemies or allies.
      • If heroes of other villains enter Rook City, is he keeping tabs on them? Yes. General orders are to keep out of heroes' way. For villains, he's ready to take advantage of the aftermath of any fights but he's not interested in "team-ups".
      • Has the Organization gone after Dr. Tremata and Tony Taurus? Tremata is a forensic scientist, Taurus is a private detective (and eventually becomes the villain Heartbreaker). Heartbreaker also being the person responsible for killing Dr. Tremata (on trial in the Celestial Tribunal environment), so the Organization converted one and eliminated the other through that.
      • With all of the supernatural stuff going on, does he have any connection to that? He's aware of everything going on in town, but he's not actively involved in any supernatural stuff. He'd like to have that power, but he doesn't have it (and even more after Zhu Long just waltzes into his office).
      • What's his stance on existential threats (like Voss or Omnitron threatening to kill everybody rather than the profit motive that Pike himself has), just count on heroes to save the day? Most of the time he has to just look the other way. He doesn't really care if Rook City gets blown up as he can generally profit from rebuilding. One exception...
      • Anybody he's scared of besides Mister Fixer? What team takes him down? He's not scared of Mister Fixer and there isn't a hero team that "takes him down". When you play against his deck, you don't really feel like you've won as you've just fought through a portion of his crime empire. Sure he came out to personally fight for a while, but he just makes his escape eventually. He is, however, significantly concerned by Progeny. When he sees that happening, he legs it down to his secret bunker well under the lowest sewer levels after shutting everything down. Dark Watch (plus Harpy now), breaks into Pike Industries during that escape, but they're kind of too busy with Progeny at the time and he manages to seal himself away. Other than people who die, he's the only major player completely absent from the Multiverse events surrounding OblivAeon.
    • Future:
      • Tactics: The destruction of Rook City resulted in the sewer collapsing into the upper levels of his bunker, compromising the vats that he was trying to grow his army of Spite clones in (similar to the Iron Legacy timeline) and the serum that he needed to maintain his relative youth. In Tactics we see a team of Spites with different abilities abilities working for Exemplar (Cyst, Demonfist, Grudge, Karnal, and Mindphyre), which is what remains of Graham Pike - more powerful/dangerous, but also less put together/sane. More public in his attempt to rule over Broken City.
      • RPG: Since Rook City wasn't damaged as much, he just spends his time down there. Nobody knows what he's been up to since he's never discovered. Pike Industries is still running and is in charge of a lot of rebuilding. The Organization is still around too, with a new Operative (a brand new character). We the game players/podcast listeners know that it's obviously still him running things behind the scenes, but as far as anybody else in-setting is concerned it's just other people taking advantage of his absence like he took advantage of his father and Mickey Boyle.

Reference

  • As a corrupt businessman and master of the underworld, the Chairman is very similar to the Marvel character Wilson Fisk, aka the Kingpin. As an immortal who rejuvinates himself in a mysterious liquid, he is also similar to the Batman villain Ras Al'Ghul.
  • The scene pictured on the Operative's "Active" side is evocative of the climax of the film Scarface. Her "Incapacitated" side is styled after the art of Frank Miller.

Chokepoint

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Art References

  • "Stripped Resources" shows her first appearance as "Chokepoint" - breaking through a wall of the Omnitron-IV ruins just following the "birth" of Omnitron-U (Letters Page 9)

Unconfirmed

Confirmed

Reference

  • Chokepoint’s superpower of communicating with/coercing metal is similar to the powers of Mitchell Hundred (aka “The Great Machine”), the protagonist of the 2004 comic series Ex Machina by Brian K. Vaughn. Hundred can communicate with/manipulate machinery much like Chokepoint can. Additionally, Chokepoint’s ideologies call to mind those of the Great Machine's nemesis Jack Pherson, an eco-terrorist who could communicate with animals.
  • As a villain who gained her powers (or, in this case, an increase in power) from a device created by a different, extraterrestrial villain, Chokepoint draws comparisons to Black Hand, an enemy of the DC comics superhero Green Lantern. Black Hand wields an energy-siphoning device, one which he acquired from the alien Atrocitus after the latter dropped it in battle. Chokepoint increased her powers with the world-destroying energy crystal that was used and subsequently lost by Deadline.
  • With her pink and white hair, Chokepoint bears a strong physical resemblance to the Marvel villain-turned-heroine Songbird, although her powers of controlling metal are more evocative of X-Men nemesis Magneto.
  • The circuit-covered material engulfing Chokepoint's body on “Newfound Power” bears a resemblance to the connection suit often worn by Marvel’s Iron Man.
  • Chokepoint’s “Armored Animus” form, which is composed of equipment from multiple heroes, is evocative of the Marvel character Rogue. Rogue is a mutant with the ability to absorb traits from others, including superpowers, via skin-to-skin contact. There have been many instances where she has absorbed powers from many different superheroes, altering her appearance into a collective mish-mash of their physical traits.
  • "Harvest the Mighty" is visually similar to the climax of Marvel's "Age of Apocalypse" story line where Magneto rips Apocalypse in half. Luckily, Tyler himself is spared in this case.

Citizen Dawn

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Art References

  • Card art for Citizen Anvil is based on Christopher (Confirmed, Origins 2013, and before).
  • The card art for Citizen Hammer is based on Adam (Confirmed, Origins 2013).
  • Citizen Anvil is also Christopher's Paladin from his World of Warcraft days - shield, hammer, and bright wings are very close to the Paladin spell, Avenging Wrath (Confirmed, Origins 2013).
  • Citizen Hammer is Adam's Mage from World of Warcraft - quite a bit of Fire could be a Mage spell (Confirmed, Origins 2013).
  • Citizen Anvil and Citizen Hammer are sequential cells (their card arts line up).
  • Citizen Sweat, Citizen Blood, and Citizen Tears are sequential cells (their card arts line up).


Unconfirmed

Confirmed

  • Expatriette is the daughter of Citizen Dawn and Citizen Pain. Expatriette's facial injuries are the result of Dawn's attempt to jump-start power manifestation in her daughter by blasting her in the face. Pain fought her over this action, which resulted in his death (Letters Page Episode 4).
  • Notes from Letters Page Episode 5
    • Over 50 questions received for the Citizen Dawn episode. The plan for this one is to do less of a "all the story stuff first" and then move on to the Q&A part of the podcast and instead intersperse the questions into the appropriate part of the story. This is likely to be a more common format as the podcasts progress.
    • This is a super dark episode. There might be feel-good stuff in a villain episode with Omnitron.
    • Dawn grew up in Manitoba. Very pale, but never got sunburned. Very stand-offish, was "the weird kid" and didn't have many childhood friends. Hung out in the library a lot ("books are better than people"). Read lots of non-fiction, but not exclusively.
    • Other kids wanted to prank her in the library (jump out to scare her, knock her books over - kids aren't good at quality pranks). When they startle her, she explodes with the energy she's been unconsciously absorbing her whole life - killing all of the other kids and taking out a chunk of the library building.
    • Psych evaluation following the mysterious death of her classmates, etc: she wasn't "reliving" the event, but seemed more broken up over the loss of the books than the death of other people. Winds up sent to a mental ward for further evaluation. While she's there, some group of researchers had heard about her situation and come to collect her from the psych ward - cover story given to her parents that she died after falling into a coma.
    • She's now just a test subject, undergoing experiments to test the limits of her powers rather than being treated like the mid-teens kid that she is; kept in a dark sleeping tube most of the time, putting her under sun lamps during testing. After weeks of this and overhearing plans to move her to a more intense facility she decides to escape. She discovers that she can actively draw power from the lamps rather than relying on just passive absorption of radiant energy around her. Powering up lets her blast a hole in the ceiling and fly away, into the Canadian wilderness and farther north.
    • During this flight, after leaving the main landmass behind she finds Insula Primalis. Lots of interesting stuff, but no people (which she sees as a good thing). She carves her home into the side of the volcano with her power.
    • When other people show up to explore the island, she drives them off. She rarely has to kill people, but her presence develops a reputation. The rumors draw other powered people who go there specifically to meet her. She drives them away at first too, but she eventually softens on her isolation stance as she hears their stories that mirror her own, eventually changing to active recruiting. Along with this comes a change from mere isolationism to plans for domination and they start attacks on the outside world.
    • Initial attacks either to protect or free powered individuals until they have sufficient numbers to make more direct actions. Early minor comics appearances/teasers in last pages of another book, breaking out "villains" that had just been defeated by heroes.
    • First main comics appearance: crashes a Megalopolis city council meeting while other Citizens are wrecking the town (possibly non-canonical Citizens mentioned as examples of low-powered Citizens: Citizen Moist, Citizens Peanut, Butter, and Jelly roughing up some meter maids). She demands $5,000,000 in gold bricks with the threat of killing a council member every 30 minutes that her demands aren't met. She winds up killing 2 members (off-panel or otherwise bloodlessly, in the day of the CCA) before the trucks arrive. The Heroes are all busy dealing with the chaos being caused by the other Citizens. Once the gold arrives, she gives a short lecture/villain monologue about how she's got powers and if they, the city council, had powers they could have done something to stop her. She then kills the remaining members of the council, blows up the trucks full of gold, and she and the Citizens head back to Insula Primalis.
    • Follow up comics story is the retaliatory strike against them. This is the event where Dawn's game-mechanics flip-side occurs and the initial hero encounters with the various hazards of the Insula Primalis Environment. Heroes are getting the upper hand, defeating Citizens, etc. and this is when she opens herself up as a conduit for the energy of the sun (also mentioned that she already seems "powered up" since her last appearance - hint that they'll discuss later). The fight moves up to the volcano's caldera - fight with other Citizens continue, but she's just hanging out over the lava, absorbing more energy from it and continuing to blast the heroes. Her drawing power from the volcano destabilizes it, eventually causing the eruption. Heroes retreat/escape, assuming that nobody left could have survived.
    • Expatriette's first appearance in comics is around this time, but it's not known at first that she's related to Dawn. Art note that Expat's shirt is the inverse of the Citizens emblem and some people thought this was significant ("Was she one of them?), but was mostly conjecture ("Surely they're all dead").
    • Citizens of the Sun gone for a while, sudden reappearance attacking Megalopolis in force. Not there to make a statement like last time, but to raze the place to the ground and plant the flag on the rubble. Dawn is taken down, eventually, by a Mind Spike from Visionary. That's the turning point in the fight, demoralizing the Citizens ("What's to keep the bald chick from brain-lasering all of us?") as well as removing any buff that Dawn had provided. Retreat to Insula Primalis.
    • Next major action is the fight when Expatriette leads the fight back to Insula Primalis (see Episode 4), but that was after another gap in time. Anvil and Hammer (the coolest, charmingest, handsomset, awesomest Citizens around) escaped - Anvil has a long-distance teleport ability (slow, not Nightcrawler-style flipping around). The decision was made to split the Citizens up rather than keep them all in one huge, ultra-maximum-security place. Hammer and Anvil break Dawn out and, eventually, they set up shop in a Mobile Defense Platform. Dawn mostly stays there with H&A going on more breakout schemes or other "strike team" actions (this is their role in their VotM incarnation).
    • Questions (starting about Dawn):
      • How does Dawn feel towards Expat as the latter's story goes on? Prior to Expat's escape: Embarrassed by her "normal" daughter. She doesn't have a motherly bone in her body. Saw her not so much as a daughter as an expectation of great potential.
      • After escape/murder of Citizen Gate: Traitor. Dead to her. Good riddance.
      • Around the initial Freedom Five/Megalopolis scenario: Annoyed, outwardly indifferent. Represents her "only failure".
      • After the defeat at Insula Primalis: Resentment. Not only a failure, but now also humiliation. "Sure you beat us, but you cheated."
      • After OblivAeon: Tricky. No more love, probably more respect. Still full of contempt. Very few redeeming qualities for Dawn, but less hate hate.
      • How does she feel about the non-lethal ammo? doesn't care.
      • About the relationship with Setback? doesn't care (if she even knows about it).
      • Does she care if Expat has a child? Probably not, unless it had powers in which case yes. Would probably feel need to take the kid.
      • Dawn weaker at night (or on planet with a different sun or something)? She gets power from any light.
      • Adam's upside-down Citizens logo is due to a production error.
      • Her opinions on Baron Blade? No powers, but he fits the M.O. of "better than other people," including stuff involving the various serums, so what's up? They're not allies. She was skeptical of his ability to do anything as a villain because "no powers" and he's obviously gonna get stopped. After he gets powers she approached him to let him become a Citizen, but he's not playing second fiddle (the "discussion" between them at around 39:40 is pretty funny). She expressed interest in getting the reversed serum from him to allow her to create more Citizens, but he's not letting other people get powered minions. Later they go ask for an MDP, let them take an old decommissioned one.
      • Thoughts on Legacy? Traitor. Doesn't understand why he protects non-powered people.
      • Thoughts about Tachyon or other people who gained powers later? Any powered person is good to go. Plenty of Citizens gained power later in life. Technology to give you the power doesn't count, though.
      • Do she and Ra ever have a "Sun-off"? See "Drawn to the Flame" in Ra's deck. She's powered by the sun and other light sources; he's the god of the sun and the sun's "chief export is fire and that's what he's into". She's doing stuff with light and energy, he's doing stuff with fire and burning
      • Any heroes powerful enough to shut down Dawn, one-on-one every time? None. Some have a chance: Legacy, Fanatic, Haka, "characters who are good at taking a beating" can "go toe-to-toe" but would have trouble taking her down. By the end of the SotM story, Expatriette has the skills - training and experience fighting powered people and specifically her mom. K.N.Y.F.E. gets shut down hard. Guise can probably "survive indefinitely" but he's not going to do anything to her but annoy her.
      • Resources to build the Citadel? Just carves the base out of the mountain with her power. Later she has access to other Citizens with utility-based powers. Card game Citizens are the fighters, but don't represent the full group by any means.
      • Any actors to play Dawn? "Absolutely Robin Wright - specifically citing House of Cards (there's an episode where she's wearing a high-necked red outfit - I don't know what episode that would be).
    • Questions about Citizens:
      • Do Citizens get along? Outside of their themed groups? Any that don't get along? Truth and Dare are brothers who don't get along (Dare hates Truth). Assault and Battery are buds. Seasons get along ok. Overall, basically a nation more than family.
      • Does Dawn have any favorites? Hammer and Anvil are her number 1 guys (and can count on their blind loyalty), but she doesn't really care about any more than others. They are a bit unnerving to the other Citizens to the extent of their devotion. Anvil is always watching and judging, Hammer more likely to lash out at infractions. (All joking aside about how awesome they are, they're terrible people).
      • How are the names chosen? Some pick their own. Some Dawn assigns. Some non-themed just pick something (Gate didn't have a partner), not likely to have a group until high-ranking. Titles are changeable - if Summer died there could be a new Summer assigned.
      • Is it ok to feel bad about harming Citizen Spring? She's nice, but kind of got an abused thing going on regarding the other Seasons.
      • How many citizens are there? We getting a full laundry-list in the RPG? Around 100 adults, some more children.
      • Are Truth and Dare different people (one coming into play destroys the other). Why did Absolution break? Truth and Dare don't get along, that's why one leaves when the other enters play. Truth's shield, under certain circumstances is 100% unbreakable. It's manifested as part of his will and you have to shake him to break his shield.
      • How do Citizens feel about being raised from the dead? Any limit? Two ways this happens in "Return with the Dawn" (SotM vs. Tactics). First is "puppetry" - she's directly animating them. Actual raising from the dead is not something she can normally do, leaves her out of commission for a long time - doesn't even want to do it often. The Citizens do not like it - it's never a pleasant experience in Sentinels when people come back from the dead (although Spite is into unpleasant experiences).
    • Questions about Pain:
      • Who is Expat's father? As already mentioned in Episode 4, Citizen Pain, killed by Dawn. Not still alive. Not involved in any major game story arcs (as he's mostly in the backstory stuff).
      • Was there a Citizen Gain? What's their deal? Pain and Gain were minor villains (using different names) in one issue of some comic (part of the recruitment wave mentioned earlier). Pain's name is Richard Pensley (I'm guessing the spelling), Gain's is Linda Pensley (his wife). Pain's power could activate/deactivate nerve endings in a target at range. Gain is a power amplifier - can boost other powered people (passive by being nearby, but she could also focus it).
      • What's the history of Dawn and Pain's relationship? Dawn impressed by Pain's power. Makes a proposition under the logic that their child would obviously be super powerful. Pain was not into this and Gain is super not into it. Dawn basically says it's not a request - Pain will be the father or you both die, so he agrees. Dawn furious at the lack of power in their offspring and it's obviously not her fault, so she kills Pain. Gain tries to kill Dawn by "blowing out her power" by amplifying it too much, which apparently has worked on others before. Dawn is not impressed and just kills Gain. This super-charge doesn't ever really go away, though. This is what allowed her to do the "merged with the power of the sun" thing.
      • Why stop at one child? Inwardly afraid that the failure is her fault. Currently has a scapegoat in Pain.
      • Dawn do anything special for Valentines day? No! They don't celebrate "normal" holidays. Founding of the Citadel is Dawn's Day, though. Christopher should write a Citizens of the Sun Anthem.
      • What's Dawn up to during OblivAeon event? Expat goes in solo and unarmed to ask for help (see Episode 4). Dawn is at first ready to shun her, similar to her initial isolation on Insula Primalis. She sends Expat off, but Dawn does show up during fight with the Scions. Pulls out a helpful "Devastating Aurora" type thing, then disappears after the final battle.
    • Future:
      • Tactics: Dawn is back and doing stuff right at the beginning as a "primary antagonist" but has been gone for years prior. When she and Citizens show up they're collecting OblivAeon shards. Only has power to raise Pain from the dead because of both the Gain power boost and the OblivAeon shards giving her an additional boost. Now she's consolidating power in her own person rather than in a large army.
      • RPG: Suspiciously absent. She's not going to appear in either the core rules or the villain compendium. "Probably some reason for that." Some Citizens might be tooling around, but not as Citizens any more.

Reference

  • Citizen Dawn could be considered inspired by Magneto and the Brotherhood of Mutants.
  • The Seasons can be derived from one set of Greek Horae (or the Hours) named after the four seasons Eiar (Spring), Theros (Summer), Phthinoporon (Autumn), and Cheimon (Winter) - daughters of Helios (god of the sun) and handmaidens of Hera. Depictions of the personifications of the seasons as young women is a common motif in art.
  • The flavor text on Citizen Blood's card is a reference to "The Message", the 12th episode of the show Firefly.

Citizens Hammer and Anvil

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Art References

Unconfirmed

Confirmed

  • Anvil is based off Adam's Mage character from World of Warcraft, and is drawn to look like him, while Hammer is based off Christopher's Paladin (including the 'Wings of Light' and drawn to look like him)
  • Worked primarily with Biomancer and Sergeant Steel on their various plots going against Dark Watch Letters Page Episode 4
  • This duo is the best and you can read that in the show notes here Letters Page Episode 5

Reference

Deadline

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Art References

Unconfirmed

Confirmed

  • Using Blood Magic Lifeline was able to take out the intial form of Skinwalker Gloomweaver Letters Page Episode 13. This occurred at the same time as Nightmist was opening the gates.

Reference

  • As a sympathetic villain who feels the need to destroy worlds in order to save others, Deadline draws comparisons to the Marvel villain Galactus. His motivation is also similar to the DC villain Relic and the Marvel anti-hero Black Swan.
  • Deadline’s costume design and body coloring are both evocative of Beta Ray Bill, a Marvel superhero who is in turn evocative of Thor.
  • Deadline’s “head-fin” is similar to that of the DC villain Despero.
  • Deadline’s overall design, including the “hover disk” he rides, evoke the character designs of Jack Kirby.
  • The red beam being fired into the Earth on Deadline’s “Remorseful Eco Vandal” side is similar to the “Red Matter” doomsday weapon employed by Nero, the Romulan villain of the Star Trek 2011 reboot movie.

The Dreamer

See The Visionary

The Ennead

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Art References

  • The Ra pictured on "Ancient Magicks" is the "Horus of Two Horizons" version.

Unconfirmed

Confirmed

  • The Ennead have the only deck in SOTM that is composed entirely of one-shots.
  • When they first appeared, the Ennead defeated Ra in a massive battle, causing him to become amnesiac and wander the desert for years before eventually returning as Ra: Horus of the Two Horizons

Reference

  • The numerous grails in the background of "Taste of Immortality" is a reference to the climax of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
  • Like Ra, The Ennead are based on deities from actual Egyptian mythology (in this case the Ennead of Heliopolis). The Ennead gained prominence after a decline in the worship of Ra during the 6th dynasty, but Ra later saw a resurgence after a being conflated with Horus (which provides the source of the name Ra Horus of Two Horizons).
    • Atum - primordial creation deity (his name is thought to derive from the word "complete" thus his title in the game "World Finisher"), his worship was conflated with that of Ra for a time. His children:
      • Shu - god of the air.
      • Tefnut - goddess of moisture/rain/dew/etc. Their children:
        • Nut - goddess of the sky, her title in the game "She Who Protects" is attested, but she was the "protector" of Ra as the sun in the sky.
        • Geb - god of the earth, associated with earthquakes and snakes (although not always depicted with a snake for a head). Their children:
          • Osiris - god of the dead/afterlife/underworld/rebirth. Generally depicted with green skin holding the crook and flail like in the card art. Although the card has him without clothes above the waist (unlike typical depictions), the red sash/belt and white trousers do match the classical depictions.
          • Isis - goddess of health, marriage, and wisdom. Also associated with magic and sometimes depicted with wings, although usually feathered falcon wings as part of her arms rather than the separate, bat-like wings in the card art.
          • Set - god of the desert, storms, and disorder. There's no consensus on what animal Set's head is meant to represent.
          • Nephthys - goddess of death, funerary rites, etc. Also sometimes shown with falcon wings like Isis and incinerating the pharaoh's enemies with her fiery breath. Her depiction in the game as wearing mummy wrappings is presumably a reference to her association with funerals, but doesn't match her classical appearance.

Ermine

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Unconfirmed

Confirmed

Reference

  • As a nimble female cat-burglar who dresses with a feline theme, Ermine draws easy comparisons to Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman. The fact that she is a nemesis of the Wraith, a Batman proxy, furthers the resemblance.
  • The scene pictured on “Constant Prattle” is lifted directly from the Batman story “Mad Love.” "Mad Love" was written by Paul Dini and appeared in a Batman Adventures one-shot in February of 1994. The only differences between the "Constant Prattle" and "Mad Love" depictions are the pictured characters: Ermine takes the place of the Joker’s girlfriend Harley Quinn, and Wraith takes the place of Batman.
  • Tantrum is the first villain to be published with a Nemesis symbol for Skyscraper.
  • Calypso is named after a sea nymph from Greco-Roman mythology. Fittingly, she seems to have the ability to turn into living water. Even more fittingly, she is an enemy of Ra, a hero who uses fire as his primary weapon.
  • The Seer greatly resembles the Marvel hero Danny Rand, aka the Immortal Iron Fist.
  • Equity’s appearance is strongly evocative of the Batman villain Two-Face. While his nemesis symbol is for the Naturalist, his flavor text hints that the Wraith, the Sentinels' Batman analog, has had run-ins with him before

Friction

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Art References

  • Friction is found on the card "Scum and Villainy" in the Rook City Environment Deck
  • “Supersonic Streak” features Friction running through an abstract environment with checkered soil, bright green grass, and towering loops. Fans of the Sonic the Hedgehog video game series will recognize this location as the GreenHill Zone from the original Sonic the Hedgehog on the Sega Genesis. Unity’s golems stand in for the “badnik” enemies which populated that zone.
  • The card “Unchecked Acceleration” features Writhe being struck through by a speedster yet again, Friction this time. This happened to him before at the hands of Tachyon on the card “Supersonic Response.”


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Reference

  • As an evil super-speedster with an inverted color scheme to a heroic super-speedster (Tachyon), Friction is evocative of Eobard Thawn, the Reverse Flash, the arch-nemesis of the Flash. In addition to these similarities, both Friction and the Reverse Flash idolized their nemesis before seeking their destruction.
  • The artwork for Friction’s Incapacitated side is a reference to the Flash comics. More than one DC Comics speedster, the Flash included, has been disintegrated from abusing the power of the Speed Force, the mysterious energy field which gives all super-fast heroes and villains their powers. The best known example was in Crisis on Infinite Earths #7, in which the silver-age flash, Barry Allen, pushed his powers to the limits to stop the evil Anti-Monitor, and was subsequently withered to dust.
  • The art on “Unhealthy Speed” is an homage to the first issue of the “Flash: Rebirth” miniseries by Geoff Johns.
  • Friction is phasing her hand through Setback’s chest on the card “Blinding Surge.” Numerous DC speedsters are able to do this as well, including the Flash.
  • As a villain made of liquid metal, Argentium seems to be an homage to the T-1000 from the James Cameron movie “Terminator 2.” The fact that he is pictured in a steel mill, the same setting as the film’s climax, furthers the comparison.
  • Revenant is named after a monster European folklore. The creatures in the original tales were corpses that rose from their graves in search of vengeance on those that wronged them in life. The creatures were often impossible to kill outside of strange/magical means. Aside from his flavor text, not much about the robotic Setback nemesis bears a resemblance to his namesake.
  • As a large, burly villain who dresses like a large, burly animal, the Hippo is a clear homage to the Rhino, a Spider-Man villain.
  • Highbrow bears a strong resemblance to both members of the Brain Trust, a villainous psychic duo who first appeared in the second issue of DC’s “Kingdom Come” miniseries.

Fright Train

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  • Fright Train’s appearance and fondness for train-based puns make him a dead-ringer for Augustus “Cole-Train” Cole from the Gears of War video game series.
  • Fright Train is unmasked as Knyfe smashes him through a wall on the card "Wrecking Uppercut"

Unconfirmed

Confirmed

Reference

  • Fright Train’s powers greatly resemble those of the Marvel character Juggernaut.

Glamour

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Unconfirmed

Confirmed

  • From Letter Page Episode 14
    • Tachyon loves dealing with Glamour since she is a big fan of magicians and being tricked. Often this irritates Glamour who is trying to get rid of her.
  • From Letter Page Episode 19
    • The Shrieker an original Freedom Four/Five member in golden age Sentinels Comics becomes the four incarnation of the villain and the one we see in Ambuscade's VotM deck
    • In the Tactics timeline Miss Information is the current Glamour
    • As Glamour Miss Information manages to kill Tachyon in the Tactics Timeline

Reference

  • The Sentinels Tactics bio implies that multiple people have been behind the mask at different times. This is similar to DC's Red Hood, which was initially used to make several accomplices to crimes look like the work of a single mastermind.
  • A reflective-masked villain focusing on misdirection and tricks is strongly evocative of Spider-man villain Mysterio.

Gloomweaver

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Unconfirmed

Confirmed

  • Richard Launius created Nightmist and his nemesis purely as a fan thing, the >G crew saw his efforts and asked if he would like to co-design an expansion with them. The previous nemesis of Nightmist can be seen here
  • Notes from Letters Page Episode 13
    • Tome of the Bizarre, part of the "Horror Comics" trends that rose and fell in popularity relative to Superheroes in the days preceding the Comics Code Authority crackdown on the genre in the 1950s. In these early days there were many issues about the "Cult of Gloom", but that didn't mean anything, it was just the group that was involved in these comics; GloomWeaver was never named. Horror comics often straight up had the bad things "win" (because it's supposed to be scary - these cultists could be coming for you, dear reader!). After the CCA made Horror, as a genre, a forbidden area, the cultists started showing up in the hero books as mooks. Lots of appearances in the more street-level comics (Wraith or Black Fist solo books).
    • As we get into the modern era of comics, things get changed up. FFA #6 and the first appearance of Nightmist was also the first appearance/mention of GloomWeaver as the object of the Cult's worship. The plot involved the Cult driving citizens of [Megalopolis] mad (which caused problems generally - people attacking each other, etc.) which also meant that their dreams/nightmares would be fueling GloomWeaver's summoning into the world from the Realm of Discord. That first story involved the heroes intervening while GloomWeaver is in the process of manifesting in the world and preventing it from happening fully. This is not the canonical "card game event".
    • His next appearance is a limited series, The Fabric of Despair. The story involves new leadership of the Cult, Cult Leader Massey (see flavor text on "Grimoire of Curses" and "Vast Following"), who whips them into shape, getting a specific plan involving three relics to summon GloomWeaver rather than previous random acts working in that direction piecemeal. Other "named" cultists are brought back from early appearances of the Cult in hero comics, or even from back in the pre-CCA days (the Acolyte, Deathrattle - a Black Fist villain - etc.), lots of fun back-catalog characters for long-time readers. Then we get a flashback...
    • Thousands of years ago, some necromancer is doing his thing, communicating with entities beyond his realm. He performs some ritual to gain more power for himself, and succeeds in that goal, but it winds up killing him and sending his spirit into another realm as well (the Realm of Discord). He proceeds to defeat other entities that already reside there, consuming their power, and eventually sets itself up as ruler as GloomWeaver. Nobody remembers this necromancer or his name - even GloomWeaver doesn't (certainly knows intellectually that he was once a mortal, but so far removed from his current existence that it's lost to time).
    • Over human history, GloomWeaver is able to impart some of its power into items back in the normal world and some of these are what become the three relics that the Cult wants to bring together for the summoning ritual. These take a long time to create - once they've been imbued they have to absorb the suffering of the people around them in order to "charge up". Massey's idea is to bring these relics together and by having them all in one spot, it'll be enough power to rend the veil and allow GloomWeaver through.
    • Fabric of Despair leads up to events in Nightmist's book which has been operating concurrently with her doing her own thing. They show up with no fanfare (so if you were just reading Nightmist there wasn't a build-up to the plot) with this plan to summon GloomWeaver, and they succeed. Heroes mentioned as being involved in the fight: Nightmist, Argent Adept, Tempest, and Dark Visionary (who shows up after the fight's been going - she's only recently become "Dark"). Once Visionary shows up it's rather anticlimactic - she casually banishes him back to the Realm of Discord. This is meant to be the canonical card game fight with him considering the plot with the relics.
    • Next major event isn't even involving GloomWeaver directly: During Vengeance, another Realm of Discord entity is brought forth. Ruin was one of those beings that GloomWeaver had defeated during the process of becoming ruler there, but is now just a lackey. GloomWeaver sends him in, basically, as a proxy to get in on the fun the other villains were having and to beat up Nightmist.
    • Stuff about Ruin: was originally an entity of the Void and gets power from there. Was a small fish in the Void, but a big fish in the RoD until GloomWeaver took over. Ruin gets sidetracked in the real world, though. He was sent after Nightmist, but runs into Argent Adept (you know, the "Virtuoso of the Void") and goes after him instead. Defeating AA and taking his power would give him a shot at taking down GloomWeaver back in the RoD later. More in the Argent Adept episode, but short version is that AA has no trouble obliterating Ruin entirely.
    • Next up is a Dark Watch story that (Dark Watch Annual #2), once again, doesn't directly involve him. GloomWeaver exerts power on DW and causes infighting between them. On a meta level, this is due to the writers needing a way to get through/explain the tensions involved in the team as it had been existing since most of them aren't really the "talk things out" types.
    • One big event left: Skinwalker. Seeds of this were set up in Tome of the Bizzare (rebooted with new numbering in the superhero era, mostly dealing with magical stuff - Nightmist, GloomWeaver, Argent Adept, Court of Blood, etc.) and the culmination of the Spite event (more in his episode). GloomWeaver is able to interact with the spirits of particularly disturbed individuals when they die, and Spite is particularly angry (rage being his primary personality trait). GloomWeaver latches onto him and offers him a deal; cease to exist or get put back into a body to keep killing people (some madman on the loose killing people being a good cause of more nightmares after all).
    • This will take a while (years in his dead, decaying body in a casket) - once back in a body he's got to charge up before being able to reanimate - but once Spite gets going, he'll also be imbuing his victims with even more of GloomWeaver's power and eventually this will reach a sufficient level to allow him to cross over again. If Spite doesn't kill enough to do this, then GloomWeaver will just consume him instead (so win-win for GloomWeaver).
    • Once enough power has been gathered, Spite Agent of Gloom emerges. This doesn't really work out for Spite as the heroes notice pretty much immediately and fight him before he can kill anybody. This doesn't really surprise GloomWeaver and the "Spite loses and GloomWeaver uses that body to come through" was Plan A all along. After the heroes defeat him (like, over-the-top smack-down), cultists recover the body to do their ritual. The mechanics of the deal here is that Spite's "essence" had been attached to this body and the ritual allows GloomWeaver to switch places between his own essence and Spite's.
    • Skinwalker GloomWeaver isn't fully powered up right away as now he's tied to this physical body instead of the more nebulous form from the RoD, but he's getting a good rampage on - defeating a few different groups of heroes along the way [I'm imagining something like the various heroes getting swatted by Doomsday - writers establishing how powerful he is before the important fight they actually care about]. Lifeline plus most of Dark Watch (Harpy and Nightmist are busy elsewhere) is the definitive fight that takes place in a graveyard. Lifeline is a blood mage and so this doesn't go well for GloomWeaver at all, being a creature of blood magic. Lifeline destroys the body with little trouble. However, there's still plenty of power involved in there that's now freed up. GloomWeaver uses that power to occupy all of the corpses in the graveyard and bursts up as a giant "rotting god". More heroes show up, everybody's taking chunks out of the body, but Gloomy can just grab more bodies, eat them, and regenerate. This is a really gross fight that crosses over into several issues.
    • Doctor Medico, post Void Guard upgrade, spends the fight absorbing the power animating GloomWeaver into his OblivAeon Shard, eventually taking in all of GloomWeaver's essence, imprisoning him - he's no longer an actor capable of influencing events.
    • This is the last major thing to happen before the OblivAeon event, which starts pretty much immediately (Progeny had happened over a year ago and other groundwork had been laid, but the next published issues after this fight were the OblivAeon events proper).
    • Talking about Richard Launius:
      • Co-designer of the Arkham Horror board game (both the original Chaosium version and the Fantasy Flight remake) and of Fate of the Elder Gods by Greater Than Games. He had made some fan decks of Nightmist and Realm of Discord that got reimagined/redesigned when made official decks, but GloomWeaver began as the villain Key Master (made of bones, gates to other realities, etc.) but for story reasons they needed to change stuff up.
    • Questions:
      • During the ARG leading up to the OblivAeon reveal we learn that the appearance of Spite Agent of Gloom was during a run of Dark Watch issues that cover the OblivAeon events - so, what were Spite and GloomWeaver's roles during the OblivAeon events? The issues of comics that are shown in the ARG are not the OblivAeon event proper, but are lead up to it. DW 13-18 are not during the OblivAeon event, so DW 17 being the appearance of Agent of Gloom is still in that run-up phase.
      • Were villains other than Spite working with GloomWeaver, in particular, is the obelisk in the Skinwalker card art the same as Apostate's "Runes of Malediction"? Any further tie-ins to other major events in the comics (like OblivAeon)? No, GloomWeaver just used Spite and doesn't really make friends to the point of working with others (other than his cultists, who hardly count). Obelisk is just an obelisk. Repercussions: it was a major event that brought in a bunch of people, introduced Lifeline as a hero, lasting importance on Dr. Medico. Good way to prep for OblivAeon without being directly related to OblivAeon.
      • Was GloomWeaver banished or destroyed? If banished, does whatever's left of Nightmist keep him from returning or would another hero or team need to step up. If destroyed, is that related to why Nightmist chose to become the gate? Neither, he's imprisoned in Dr. Medico's OblivAeon Shard. "That's probably not concerning and shouldn't be a problem for anyone." - Christopher
      • Did GloomWeaver try to contact Spite after his skinwalker plot failed? No, since there's no more GloomWeaver free in the Realm of Discord to contact anybody. More in Future section here and in Spite's episode.
      • What's up with Ophidia and the "familiar" keyword, since there's no mechanics supporting that keyword? Ophidia was the necromancer's familiar before he did the ritual to become GloomWeaver. Part of that ritual was that he had to be killed *by* his familiar, but even in the RoD he has his connection to Ophidia. That connection is what allows him to still influence things in the real world, even after Ophidia dies (and becomes a "ghost snake"). So, as an example, while Spite was stuck in his dead body for years, Ophidia is the entity in there with him feeding him GloomWeaver's power.
      • Which hero is canonically the first to fight Gloomweaver and his cult? Cult first fought by Black Fist and Wraith - probably Wraith first. First to fight GloomWeaver and the cult were the Freedom Five plus Nightmist (who they brought in for that purpose).
      • Is the Master related to all of this Gloomweaver stuff? Yes. The Master, Nightmist's trainer, is Xian Niu [spelling confirmed], a Cultist of GloomWeaver - he's around for a long time before readers find this out. He helped Massey acquire the relics, but still secretive - he's an agent for them, but keeps hands-off enough to remain apart from them. The ritual gone-wrong that gave Nightmist her power was noticed by GloomWeaver and he sent his top agent to deal with that and so the Master trains her up to increase her power, but he's also been siphoning off her power the whole time - the goal being to use that power all at once to overwrite reality with the Realm of Discord - not just letting him "break through" but making them the same place, which would essentially make him unbeatable. During the Skinwalker event, Nightmist and Harpy were off getting ready to do the Gate ritual she finds and taps into a big source of power she finds, the Master's "capacitor" that he'd been charging this whole time - she's able to tap into and use it so easily because it was already hers. She does this at a moment when he was working on the capacitor and he gets really messed up by the resulting magical explosion.
      • What does Zhu Long know about GloomWeaver (and vice versa)? They know about each other, but neither really has anything that the other wants. They both kind of have cults, but aren't rivals.
      • Who is Cult Leader Massey? He was a sorcerer, doing his own thing, but who then discovers this source of power but sees the high turn-over rate (ritual suicides and whatnot). He reorganizes things to make them run more efficiently (and to not be a sacrifice himself) with the expectation that GloomWeaver will give him power once he's brought through. This doesn't quite work out as the first thing that GloomWeaver does upon manifesting is to consume Massey's soul as a last bit of power gain as he comes through.
      • What happens to the various cultists in the decks: dead, imprisoned, elsewhere? Mostly dead. The Cult doesn't leave many alternatives.
      • GloomWeaver is a major nemesis for Nightmist, is she a major one for him? Have there been others through the ages? She's a thorn in his side, and she's been his primary barrier to entry lately, but there have been others in the past (hinted at last week). He's a slow, patient player. Things have been starting to coalesce over the last few centuries, she just happens to be the most capable to oppose him right now.
      • Are GloomWeaver/Cult stories the general content of Tome of the Bizarre and how long has it been around? Reiterating the history given piecemeal above: Horror comic in the '40s and '50s before getting shut down by the CCA rules - it was mostly sorcerers and cultists doing "shocking" stuff. Then a second run in the modern age, the one generally cited in SotM content. It's a superhero book, but an anthology one that doesn't follow a specific hero, it just has mostly magic-related stuff going on.
      • How did Joe Diamond run afoul of GloomWeaver? Joe had been a prior "thorn in GloomWeaver's side" much like his granddaughter would be later, foiling plots to bring him over. GloomWeaver eventually manages to trick him into performing a ritual nominally to lock GloomWeaver out forever, but really designed to recreate the necromancer's original one - pulling Joe into the Realm of Discord. The reason we generally see him with the glowing orb that is Joe's essence is because much of when we see him is specifically when he's opposing Nightmist and he brings it out to taunt her - it's not particularly important to him.
      • Why does he hold onto Joe in the first place? He's a magically-powerful soul and it's better to let it accrue more power over time and slowly drain it. Also works as a possible bargaining chip with other magicians later. He's also just a jerk.
      • How big is GloomWeaver, can he change size/appearance? In the Realm of Discord he can pretty much be whatever he wants (and has changed his "normal" appearance over the centuries. The Skinwalker form is about 8 feet tall, the Rotting God is about 30 feet tall. He has much less control in the real world, he can change size a little, but needs matter to do so.
      • Why does he have a reptilian tail as Skinwalker, he doesn't in his old form? Every version of him has a big weird alligator tail.
      • When Nightmists banishes foes, can GloomWeaver interact with them? She's not banishing things to the Realm of Discord or to the Void. She's banishing them outside of time and space; they are nowhere and nowhen.
      • Did GloomWeaver have a hand in other big comic events? Every villain deck is a "major event". Gloomweaver's are his "first appearance" in FFA #6 (introduced him and Nightmist, reorganized the cult's status as a thing in the comics by giving it a focus), the big fight that came out of Fabric of Despair which represents his deck and normal character cards, and Skinwalker represented by the corresponding promo.
      • With the Multiverse ended and realities blocked off from one another, does that mean that he can't cause problems anymore? He's not limited by the closing of realities as much as he is by being imprisoned currently. The deeper question here, though, is that the Realm of Discord isn't a different "reality" in the way implied by the "multiverse". It's a different dimension/realm/whatever of the same universe as the card-game-timeline (each reality has its own version of it).
      • Can the Realm of Discord be accessed easily? How close is it to the Void or the place where Nightmist became a magical creature? The Realm of Discord is the "ethereal realm", sometimes you go there when you dream, etc. The "good for doing magic" places mentioned in the Nightmist episode (swamps, old cathedrals, abandoned insane asylums, etc.) are good places to cross over as the veil is thinner in such places. It's not particularly easy to get there, but certainly possible. Nightmist got her powers from the Void - they're the same place. The Void is its own thing and isn't really related to the RoD.
      • "The Pouch of Bones" has flavor text attributed to Tony Taurus, who eventually becomes Heartbreaker - did GloomWeaver influence him into becoming a villain? Tony was driven to snap by many events. The encounter with GloomWeaver did not help, but there was no intention there.
      • Whose bones are in the Pouch of Bones, why does GloomWeaver carry it, what do they do? His bones (the necromancer). They're preserved by the ritual that created him in the first place, protected by Ophidia. The Pouch was used specifically in the Skinwalker ritual to give him a new physical form - the first mortal form he had for tens of thousands of years. It's a necromantic relic - it doesn't really do anything itself, but it makes necromantic stuff happening near it more likely to work.
    • Future:
      • Hint up front that the Rook City destruction/non-destruction splitting point between the two timelines is going to be covered in the Chrono-Ranger episode (probably another hint about who that prior nemesis had been that was mentioned earlier). Because Gloomweaver's imprisonment happened before the split, he's still trapped in both realities, but there are differences that happen after.
      • Tactics - Dr. Medico is slowly being twisted by 1) having an OblivAeon shard in the first place, 2) an interaction with a Scion that they'll get to, and 3) the fact that he's got a demon trapped in his source of power (which is embedded in his body). This is also indicated by his promo/variant Void Guard card, Malpractice. This increasing darkness eventually leads to GloomWeaver breaking free, killing Doctor Medico but now we have GloomWeaver, in a body of living energy, powered by an OblivAeon shard - "he's kind of a scary deal". He's less powerful than he would be in the Realm of Discord, but still not good news. He wants to get back to the RoD again, now, his seat of power, but he cannot. Xian Niu, the Master, has taken advantage of the power vacuum there in the years GloomWeaver's been trapped and has taken over.
      • RPG - GloomWeaver is exorcised from Doctor Medico early on in the RPG timeline (broken free of the Shard with Xian Niu's help) and is free in the world.

Reference

  • Physically and conceptually, Gloomweaver is very similar to the Marvel villain Dormamu.
  • In the flavor text of "Vast Following," Cult Leader Massey refers to Gloomweaver with the moniker "Dread." This is another reference to Dormamu, who frequently goes by that same moniker.
  • The "Grimoire of Curses" is virtually identical to the Necronomicon Ex Mortis from the film Evil Dead. The Necronomicon made it's first appearance in the short story "The Hound" by HP Lovecraft, and became a popular McGuffin in many stories of the Cthulhu mythos and it's role playing/board game spin-offs. One of those board games was Arkham Horror by Richard Launius. Richard Launius is the creator of both Gloomweaver and Nightmist.
  • The art on "Strength of the Grave" is evocative of Mike Mignolia, the artist/writer/creator of Hellboy.

Grand Warlord Voss

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Art References

  • Voss' Gene-Bound Psi-Weavers are genetically modified Piunites, the last non-modified one is found in the Enclave of the Endlings, Phrentat.
  • Voss' Gene-Bound Bionauts are genetically modified Mubbloxians, the last non-modified one is found in the Enclave of the Endlings, Venox.


Unconfirmed

  • Voss' Gene-Bound Shock Infantry are genetically modified Maerynians.

Confirmed

Reference

  • Grand Warlord Voss bears a strong resemblance to the Marvel villain Thanos, who in turn resembles the DC villain Darkseid.
  • The "Gene-Bound" soldier looks exactly like the "Grays" of UFO pop-culture.
  • Voss' emblem looks stylistically similar to the symbol of the Irken Empire from Johnan Vasquez's Invader Zim cartoon.
  • The "Quark-Drive Translocator" resembles the "Boom Tube" portals used in the DC Universe.

Greazer Clutch

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Art References

Unconfirmed

Confirmed

Reference

  • His appearance is similar to those from movies like Grease and the Fonz from Happy Days (the former referenced by the name of his vehicle, the Pink Lady, and the latter furthered by his hitting the jukebox-like H.Y.P. Displacer to make it work).
  • His concern for his hair was pretty standard for any Greaser as damage to it was certainly a blow to their ego
  • He has a lot similarities to Lobo as they are both intergalactic bounty hunters of an alien race. They also both have a notable vehicle they use traceing wherever their next job takes them.

Heartbreaker

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Art References

Unconfirmed

Confirmed


Reference

Hippocalypse

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Art References

Unconfirmed

Confirmed

Reference

  • As a large, burly villain who dresses like a large, burly animal, the Hippo is a clear homage to the Rhino, a Spider-Man villain.

Infinitor

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Art References

  • Infinitor’s “Unstable Despoiler” side shows him wrapping himself up in a straight-jacket construct. This seems to imply that he still maintains some vestige of sanity and is trying to stop himself. The art on “Whispers to Oblivion,” which shows Infinitor clutching his head in pain as Captain Cosmic, his brother, consoles him, adds to this contention.

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Reference

  • As a villain who creates monstrous energy constructs to destroy his foes, Infinitor is very similar to the DC villain Sinestro. As a madman with cosmic powers, he is similar to Superboy Prime.
  • The energy which fuels Captain Cosmic’s powers is yellow, while the respective energy of his arch enemy, Infinitor, is green. This is a reversal of the color schemes of the heroic Green Lantern and the evil Sinestro, the latter of whom wields the yellow light of fear.
  • Infinitor’s mask is very similar to Doctor Doom’s. Additionally, both characters garb themselves in green.

Iron Legacy

See Legacy

Kaargra Warfang

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Art References

  • Soulslayer Perith’s design, attire, and mannerisms may be a reference to the popular Adultswim.com game “Lesbian Spider Queen of Mars.”
  • S’Sdari the Bloody is designed around the popular “steampunk” motif.
  • The man depicted on “Title: ‘Stonejaw’” is Rook City detective Tony Taurus.
  • The suit of armor Haka is wearing on “Title: ‘The Unbreakable’” is identical to the one worn by the Hulk in the “Planet Hulk” miniseries.

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Confirmed

Reference

  • Kaagra’s powers, motivation, personality, and the brutal Colosseum games she sponsors are all evocative of the DC villain Mongol, specifically the version which debuted in the 2001 Justice League cartoon series. She can also be compared to the Red King of the 2006 Marvel mini-series “Planet Hulk,” who also had similar characteristics.
  • As a cyclopean parasite which takes control of its victim’s minds, Orim Hiveminded is similar to the DC villain Starro the Star-Conqueror.

Kismet

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Art References

  • Her nemesis symbol was first seen on the chest of a character on the Shock Rounds card from Expatriette. Before his name was known, the forum refereed to him as 'Twitchy', due to the flavor text of the card. He is Setback
  • Her cards "Imminent Destruction" and "Inconceivable Obstruction" (featuring Visionary and Ra, respectively) show events from the confrontation between Kismet and the heroes in the Ruins of Atlantis, following her first escape from the Block. "Lady Luck" and "Scattered Mind" have cited issues for their flavor text in the same run of issues, but the art doesn't place it necessarily in the same place.
  • "Violent Trickster" shows Kismet punching Setback with a roulette wheel, dice, and playing cards as accompanying imagery. This could place it during their first confrontation as adults, during a casino heist also involving The Hippo (and planned by Highbrow).
  • The shark in "Inconceivable Obstruction" is the same shark Guise is riding in his card "Gimmicky Character".

Unconfirmed

Confirmed

  • The artwork for Unstable Kismet shows the environment Madame Mittermeier’s Fantastical Festival of Conundrums & Curiosities in the background
  • Notes from Letters Page Episode 7:
    • Descended from the Arikara people of what's now North Dakota. Her family had moved south, though and settled in Oklahoma. They stayed there until the Dust Bowl in the 1930s and kind of just became nomadic after that. They had success as farmers prior to the large-scale devastation of the Dust Bowl, but they managed to get by just fine moving from city to city, wherever they could get work. Gabrielle was born when they happened to be in Arizona.
    • This was a larger family than just Gabrielle's parents. This was a group of a few dozen people in multiple RVs by this point, but they all managed to keep together, pooled resources, and got by. They didn't have extra resources, but generally they wound up with what they needed.
    • The Talisman has been with the family since they left the Dakotas.
    • She came to resent the family's way of life - she'd see other kids in school with luxuries that she would never have. She rebelled: shoplifting, taking money from the family communal money jar.
    • She was always the kid with the dusty, hand-me-down clothes and since the family never stayed anywhere very long she had trouble making friends. Then they move to Springfield, MO and she meets this guy named Pete and they start dating. He liked her free-spirit attitude and the fact that she'd traveled a lot and seen lots of different places (this appealed to his isolated, Midwestern sensibilities).
    • The relationship is good for her and makes her a better person. She now has one of those things she's always wanted and so stops the other rebellious things (stealing, etc.). This is the one thing in her life she has going for her, though, and so it kind of becomes her whole identity (standard teenage "I've found my soul-mate" stuff that her family recognizes as such when it's time to move on).
    • Because of how invested she had become in this part of her life, she really didn't take Pete's casual "Oh, things will work out and we'll find other people" attitude towards the impending separation well. She does the whole unintentional curse thing mentioned last time.
    • This ability to "curse" him isn't a common trait for the family. She's inherited the general trait of good fortune, but she's got it amplified and controllable/direct-able in a new way, although she is, at this stage, unaware of this.
    • The family winds up in south Texas, but she's miserable and runs away after a few weeks. She takes the funds in the family money-jar and the cigar box that contains the Talisman with her.
    • The Talisman was not regularly handled - like the family would tell the story periodically and it would be brought out, but not passed around or anything and she hadn't personally touched it before. The almost ritualistic nature of how the family discussed it has implanted in her head the idea that it should be the source of some of the family's fortune, and so her own power is attached to it. It provides a focus for her specific abilities because she expects it to be so. It's like Dumbo's feather in that way. She never becomes aware of the fact that the Talisman doesn't have any actual power of its own, it's all her projecting her own beliefs upon it. Given the focus, she's able to see the interconnection of causality in the world around her and how she can effect things.
    • She wants to be done with hitchhiking. She wants a cool car so much she can almost see it. Then she does; a red '68 Charger with the doors unlocked and the keys in the ignition. Nobody's in sight, "must be abandoned", and she gets in and takes off. Freedom. Until the cops pull her over.
    • She assumes it's just because of the speeding (and there was soooo much speeding, you looked at the car right?) and that she'll be able to get out of it (you know, because she can see the strings of reality). The cop orders her out of the car and onto the ground, though, with gun drawn. She complies because she's not quite ready to test to see if she can luck her way out of a gunshot. Turns out the car had already been stolen before she got to it and was tied to a robbery/double homicide. The cop ran the plates during the stop and found all this. After Gabrielle's safely in the backseat of the cruiser it's discovered that there were two bodies in the trunk of the Charger.
    • They book her, she's a minor (17), and it's quickly determined that while she stole this stolen car she didn't have anything to do with the rest. They want her to pay a fine and call her parents to come get her. She pretends to call and bluffs that they're on the way. She uses her power to have the cuffs and back door to the station unlock and for the officers present to ignore her while they focus on the murder case, and she just walks out.
    • She goes to find a hotel room for the night. Doesn't have a credit card and the police still have her ID. The clerk lets her pay cash at well above the normal room rate. Her money is now all gone too (weird?). She makes an excuse to leave briefly to get it, walks to a nearby gas station and "lucks" some guy's wallet out of his pocket. She uses the money in there to buy a scratch-and-win lotto ticket, which wins $500. She gets the payout from the gas station and is on her way back to the hotel. She gets mugged as she leaves the place (he saw her win) and she hands over the cash. She figures she'll be able to win again, but now she really hates this guy and he's now the focus of all of her frustration to this long, bad day. She does her power thing and he's promptly hit by a car. Seeing what she just did, she decides to just get away from the scene.
    • Aside to talk about how her power actually works instead of just her perception of it. Probability/reality is "self correcting". If things get pushed one way, it'll make an effort to bounce back the other way (like a vibrating guitar string). This means that when she uses her power to do something favorable for herself, it will mean something bad happening to her as a result afterwards. Eventually she notices that if she uses her power to affect someone else, she can then leave before the "correction" happens - she can cause an opponent to have something bad happen (benefiting her in that instant), but then be gone before the corresponding good thing happens. She starts robbing places/stealing stuff, but not out to hurt anybody. She justifies this by convincing herself that since the "correction" will happen, that after she leaves something good will happen to the person she's jinxed.
    • Eventually, she decides to "luck" her way into an armored car ("whoops, wheel fell off"), but the Southwest Sentinels arrive on the scene. They see her as a Villain; she thinks that she's just a person and that these guys are really weird. She's able to use her abilities to fend them off somewhat, but they're Crime Fighters and she's just a kid (19 or 20 by this point) who doesn't really know what she's doing. She gets jailed, but isn't in very long (she hadn't been tied to anything previously and this was just her trying to take money from a wrecked armored car - just taking advantage of the situation, not causing it).
    • She did make a name for herself on the inside, though, as well as some contacts. Teams up with some minor players (eventual members of the Slaughterhouse Six, Rook City contacts in the Wretched Hive, etc.) and is more of an intentional "criminal" outlook now. Just looking for that One Big Score so she can get out.
    • Highbrow wants her in on a casino heist and she goes in with the Hippo (she's the luck, he's the muscle). Once the job gets underway and it's obvious that the place is getting robbed, Setback (who just happened to be there out of costume) is going to stop them. Setback is about as strong as the Hippo despite the latter's larger bulk, and between this little guy able to go toe-to-toe with him (and him losing ground due to tripping over stuff) the Hippo abandons the job and runs out. Highbrow sees this going south quickly and also leaves. Kismet confronts Setback, distracting him long enough for the others to escape. Neither recognizes the other at first, but you "can only banter with someone you've dated so long" before you recognize them (the "conversation" when they figure this out is pretty good - 37:16 or so). The fight ends, eventually, when a chandelier falls on her.
    • Now she's got a rap sheet and it's apparent that she has some sort of power. So she's quickly transferred to the Block, where she remains for the better part of a year while people try to figure out how her power works. Then she manages to engineer a prison riot/breakout by cancelling the Block's ability to nullify the prisoner's powers. This becomes a cross-book "event" in the comics with heroes coming in to help contain things. In the ensuing chaos, she slips away clean into the Ruins of Atlantis (given the Block's inter-dimensional transportation technology). This is one of the first big times we see her in comics. It's not a "Kismet event" in the comic as she'd only really shown up in a Setback comic a while back to help explain his powers.
    • After some time, a bunch of "water-themed" weird things start happening in lots of cities. The heroes are able to deduce from the rather obvious hints that something is up in Atlantis. Kismet has tapped into the systems there to help her (the side-effects being the weirdness in other cities) and this is the first real "Heroes vs. Kismet" story. This is the fight that playing against Kismet in SotM is modeling and it's not so much the heroes "fighting" her as having to deal with all of the backlash effects that happen around her. The heroes win, back to the Block for her.
    • Time in the Block is wonky, she's in there longer than time passes on the outside. Eventually she somehow convinces everybody that she's a good candidate for parole.
    • Now she's really committing to the whole super villain thing and is going for her big zany plot. Off to Madame Mittermeier's Fantastical Festival of Conundrums & Curiosities where she plans on getting revenge with some help from some of her other contacts - capturing heroes, putting them on display like a sideshow freak, taking what they love from them. First up, she and Glamour capture the Naturalist, which gets other heroes' attention. Heroes win, back to the Block - where she remains right up until OblivAeon.
    • She's not a particularly dangerous villain, so she's generally somebody that can be simply captured and jailed when she's defeated. There's no need to go more harsh with the punishment. Even in the Atlantis event the larger danger wasn't part of her plan, just a side-effect.
    • Questions:
      • Why is she a criminal given what we know of her power (game bio/what we see in the cards) - why not just win the lottery etc.? The backlash effect mentioned - if she uses her power to win the lottery directly, something bad will happen to negate it.
      • Setback/Kismet dichotomy seems to be a passive/active one - Pete accepts things as they happen, Gabrielle cheating fate when she can get away with it, is that accurate for their rivalry? Kind of. They don't really have a rivalry. They've crossed paths a few times and he just sees her as somebody from his past, while she hates him. It's kind of a confirmation bias thing for her - he's only really done 2 things to her, but she feels that he ruined her life.
      • What's the deal with the shark? [this is a pretty funny question at around 51:00] Shark is coming up through the floor in Atlantis. Ra had Kismet cornered and dead-to-rights, but then the shark bursts in to distract him. We find out that Ra, Visionary, and Haka (and others) were there to fight her. Guise just happened to be in the Ruins of Atlantis doing some geocaching and needed a way to get back up to the surface, so he rides the shark back up.
      • How do you get rid of Jinxes? Does she know about the curse on Setback? Could she remove it? Jinxes largely wear off automatically (and have good things happen to them in the meantime), although some heroes could do something about it themselves (e.g. Visionary). The curse is something else and is much more powerful and permanently a part of him. She's not aware of that, though. She might be able to do so, but only if she put enough power and effort into it as her teenage angst did to create it. She'd probably want to if she knew about it, if only to keep it from thwarting her later but also to study it to see how she could use it.
      • What does the Scholar think of her? He's tricky as an omnipresent figure who shows up to help lots of people, but then just goes away again. He's part of so many character's stories, while always pretty much being the same. Other characters grow or change over the years, but he's always himself. He doesn't really have any interactions with Kismet, though, in the primary continuity. He probably would put a lot of effort into changing her if he met her, though. Stay tuned for the Scholar episode in a long time.
      • She can see threads of fate and causality - does she see OblivAeon coming? More power talk: yeah she feel the strands of fate and can push on them, but it's not really "seeing" the future of reality. It's more of a feeling that "if I push here, something good will happen" more than seeing the nature of what the good thing would be. Since she's not really seeing the future, she has no way of seeing OblivAeon coming. She has some inklings of something bad approaching, but not what it is.
      • Unstable Kismet seems to have ties to Madame Mittermeier's Fantastical Festival of Conundrums & Curiosities, does that imply relationship with Glamour and Cueball? Yes, they're people she's worked with before and called up for her "hero side-show" plot. There's also been a Baron Blade event that happened there and some Argent Adept stuff, but Kismet is the "main" event for the location.
      • What's the deal with her tattoo? Started out relatively small on her shoulder- got it the first time she used her power and didn't see the repercussion. She adds to it on similar occasions, memorializing major events (for her, we don't see all of them in the comics) where she used her power without experiencing the backlash.
      • Which other villains has she interacted with the most? Has Dawn tried to recruit her? Most is probably members of the Slaughterhouse Six (separately before they teamed up). Dawn wouldn't have bothered - too much liability being around her.
      • Has she tried dating since she and Pete broke up? Yeah, it's been years. On-again, off-again thing with Re-Volt. Nothing notable story-wise.
      • Curse repeatable? Already covered, she doesn't have enough knowledge about how her power works to repeat it as well as the need for some big upwelling of power/emotion to get it going in the first place.
      • Did she do anything interesting during OblivAeon? Very much so. In the Block when it starts, sees stuff is going down (and the Block is in a precarious situation in the first place given the crashing realities). She escapes into the "card game timeline" and she seals the portal to the Block behind her - more in the Future section.
      • "Unstable" variant named for her power or her personality? Yes. Power backlashes are unpredictable and personality has never really been particularly stable, but a lot of time in the Block hasn't helped. She never really got out of the teenage temper tantrum level of growing up.
      • Repercussions of her being a fan-created character on the setting? They liked the probability shifting aspect - they hadn't really planned to have somebody filling that role. Setback was waiting in the wings already and it made sense to combine their stories. They shied away from "probability" powers due to the nature of a card game, but they liked how Alex approached it/worded how her effects played out, needing to be "outwardly focused".
    • Future:
      • Tactics - hasn't shown up. There might be a Gabrielle Adhin but we don't know, if she exists, if she has powers, but there hasn't been a "Kismet" here.
      • RPG - When Glamour reforms the Slaughterhouse Six, Ambuscade is out and Kismet is in. Other members too, but get to that later.
      • Kismet made her final escape from the Block during the latter half of the OblivAeon events. The way that she leaves, "locking" the door behind her has an impact on the diverging timelines - she escapes into what becomes the RPG reality while the Block winds up as a "polyp dimension" attached to the Tactics reality. Neither she nor the Block exist in the other reality after the split (Letters Page Interlude 3).

Reference

  • Kismet was the submission of Alex Franklin during the Create a Villain contest. This submission won first place and was revealed as a new villain during the Shattered Timelines kickstarter campaign on November 20, 2012.
  • Kismet is a word, derived from Arabic, Sanskrit, Urdu or Hindi, meaning fate or destiny, a predetermined course of events. - wikipedia reference
  • "If people are curious, her family's last name 'Adhin' is a corruption of 'ádh,' which is Irish Gaelic for luck/fortune. Her (original) first name is the female equivalent of a good friend of mine's name." - Alex Franklin via the Official SotM Forums
  • As a probability manipulator, Kismet is most similar to the Marvel characters Domino and Scarlet Witch.

La Capitan

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Art References

  • The art of "Raiding Party" portrays the crew of La Paradoja Magnifica attacking the Freedom Five headquarters, hinting that the ship can somehow travel over land.
  • In "Temporal Thief," La Capitan has Legacy's ring, Tachyon's goggles, and the Wraith's Impromptu Invention.
  • The weapon that chip is holding in "Plunder" is Absolution, Fanatic's sword.

Unconfirmed

  • All of La Capitan's crew, with the possible exception of "Final Breath," are armed with anachronistic weaponry and equipment. (though that could be a laser pistol in La Capitan's hand)

Confirmed

Reference

  • La Paradoja Magnifica is Spanish for "the Magnificent Paradox."

Man-Grove

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Art References

Unconfirmed

Confirmed

  • From Letters Page Nightmist
    • Man-grove is a nemesis, how did they meet as why would she need to go to a swamp? Swamps are great places to go if you're a sorceress. Lots of places of power there (like it's a top spot to go - others include old libraries, abandoned cathedrals). That's why Man-grove even exists in the first place - he was a grove of trees, then a bunch of bodies and toxic waste were dumped there (because Rook City), and then some Gloomweaver cult activity happened there and all of this combined to create Man-grove.

Reference

  • As a dangerous, shambling monster made of trees and with the word “Man” in its name, Mangrove most resembles the Marvel anti-hero Man-Thing, but also greatly resembles DC's Swamp Thing.

The Matriarch

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Art References

  • Compared to other villains, The Matriarch has made the fewest appearances in the card art of other decks. Outside of her own deck, she has only appeared on Parse's "Reveal the Flaws" and the Celestial Tribunal's "Character Witness." Notably, she is never seen fighting the heroes, though some are seen being attacked by birds which could have been under her control.
  • "Darken the Sky" had a digital error on its original printing, giving the picture and flavor text-bubble a pixelated look. The Rook City / Infernal Relics reprint box corrected this flaw.


Unconfirmed

Confirmed

  • The Matriarch is one of the only characters to receive an overhaul of their deck in future printings. During the Infernal Relics/Rook City combo set, The Matriarch's Fowl Cards had their 'Play another Fowl' kicker text moved to the Matriarchs character card, changing the interaction with some Heroes ability to kill the fowls before that card text activated.
  • There will never be a hero named "The Matriarch". * However, Christopher has said that there will be other villains that turn into hero decks, so she may receive a name change. Christopher on the Forums
  • The Mask of the Matriarch was previously owned by a powerful magic user of some type. When Lillian put it on, some of the personality of the previous magic user overtook her own personality. Gen Con 2016 Q&A
  • Lillian is naturally magically sensitive, which is why she got attuned to the Mask. As the Matriarch, she is not really in control. As The Harpy and Pinion, she has more control. Gen Con 2016 Q&A
  • Notes from Letters Page 15
    • Went by "Lily" as a child, was nice and friendly until struck down by that greatest of all villains - Puberty. She developed the standard anger issues and rebellion against her comfortable, middle-class life in the suburbs of Rook City. She started getting all of her clothes at Hot TopicTM, demanded to be addressed by her full name "Lillian", and writing just the worst poetry about how dark she was now. Like, really bad. She's generally just unbearable.
    • The family spent the summer in Italy as she was getting out of high school. She whined the whole time. At one point she goes into a little curiosity shop (hoping to find something good, like a real human skull that she could put a black candle on or something). One item in particular catches her attention - an old, ornate, feathered mask - which she purchases.
    • Once home, she puts the mask on a shelf in her room and starts having strange dreams. Flapping wings, dark, beady eyes, caws and whispers. Upon waking (still tired due to the restless sleep) after the third night, she feels a call from the mask and she puts it on. She feels her consciousness expand immediately - feeling the sky, seeing her house far below her. She realizes that she's seeing through the eyes of the birds near her house. She asserts herself to "take control" of the birds, pulling them towards her. Snapping back into her own body, she hears the call of hundreds of birds that now surround the house. She knows that she can now direct them. She plans on using this new power to make everybody who mocked her pay for it.
    • She "generally terrorizes" Rook City. Blowing out the windows of the high school, menacing the captain of the football team, etc. Not to make this sound quaint, though, lots of people die. Then the Freedom Five (Four) show up (Freedom Four Annual #2 - this was also the first appearance of Absolute Zero). Tachyon is her (older by a good 15 years or so) cousin who'd always been the family measuring stick - people talked about how successful, important, and whatnot cousin Meredith was. The FF defeat her and she is sent to prison for 20 years (maximum sentence for manslaughter - people died, but she didn't personally kill anybody).
    • That's pretty much her entire arc as a villain - just this one issue of FFA. She's absent from most of the other stories that the guys commonly talk about (Vengeance, etc.) because she's stuck in prison until her mid-20s. That's not to say that she's not in any books at all - Tachyon actually visits her in prison regularly and so we see some character growth over time (even her poetry improves somewhat).
    • Eventually, there's a power outage at the prison in the middle of the night and all of the electronically controlled door locks pop open. Instead of making a break for an escape, she feels drawn further into the facility, to the personal effects lockup, and retrieves the mask and her costume. The mask is desperate to be worn, but she knows better now and resists wearing it. She now tries to makes her escape, however. She manages to make her way to a courtyard area, where she's immediately pinned by a spotlight. Figuring there's no other choice, she puts on the mask, summons birds to get in the way, and she escapes into Rook City.
    • Something's off, however. She doesn't feel the same exaltation she did before and all of the magical pathways in her mind feel like they're on fire. The birds now swarm her in anger. She takes shelter in a warehouse. She's almost catatonic dealing with the magical assault on her senses.
    • Tachyon is notified of her escape and makes her way to where all the birds are. She enters and finds Lillian in this trance state. She tries to get through to Lillian, talking about the progress she'd made in prison and how well she'd been doing, but just can't get a response. Spotting that this is a "magic thing", she gets somebody who she knows who is more capable of dealing with that sort of thing - Nightmist. Faye can see immediately that Lillian has a natural attunement to magic, but the mask is twisting/perverting things. She breaks through the magic of the mask, calming Lillian and dispersing the flock outside.
    • Nightmist takes Lillian back to her place to give her space to rest and recover while Nightmist continues to study the mask - ultimately "disenchanting" the mask itself. It's still an artifact, but the more "recent" enchantments are removed. It's now more of a focus than anything.
    • Over the course of the time Lillian spends with her in recovery, Nightmist realizes just how much power Lillian actually has (and this is when Nightmist is in full "magical being" mode and knows a bit about magical power). Nightmist sees that she can still go down a bad path, however, and sees three options - call up Tachyon to take her back to prison, let her go to fend for herself, or train her. She takes the third option. They start without the mask, to get her more control on her own (insert training montage in the growing list of "magical places" like swamps and old libraries full of magic books). This is the point when Lillian takes the name Harpy instead and is now "heroic" even though she's not really going out and doing hero things per se yet.
    • Then Progeny attacks. She winds up fighting alongside Dark Watch at this time. When Tachyon is seriously injured, Harpy protects her and distracts Progeny from following up on that attack (although this "luring" action winds up directing it back to the city).
    • Now, while she fought alongside heroes in this battle, a lot of them recognize her as this villain and still don't really trust her. She feels like she needs to finish her atonement and simply turns herself back in to the authorities to finish out her sentence. Tachyon pulls some strings and gets the hotshot lawyer that the FF has on retainer, Brianna Hawke, to help her out (a change from Lillian's original trial when Tachyon wouldn't help because of the things The Matriarch had done). The end result is that Lillian is released for good behavior as long as she has proven, trustworthy people to vouch for/watch her.
    • The Harpy wants to be a full-time hero now and asks Tachyon if she can fight alongside the FF. This is a big "No" because they're government-sponsored and have to kind of be this squeaky-clean group. But, there's a spot for her on this team of "morally-ambiguous rejects" and she needs more training anyway, and so joins up with Dark Watch as a member. There are two main stories before OblivAeon.
    • First, the return of Apostate showing up randomly in lots of places and seemingly impervious to anything the heroes throw at him. Nightmist is one of a group of disparate heroes that fight him at one point and she sees his magical connection to the relics that he's hidden in the Realm of Discord. She comes up with a plan - she'll open portals for Harpy to go through to the RoD (bypassing the need to navigate through it herself) along with instructions on how to disrupt the relics' connection to Apostate. This was a dangerous mission as, in Nightmist's estimation, Harpy's level of control is still not really to the point that she'd like her to be to do this sort of thing (the guys mention that Harpy's raw power level is probably even higher than Nightmist's, though). She winds up trapped in the RoD by Gloomweaver, though, who wants to make a deal with her. He sees her power and internal chaos and figures that she'd make a good servant. She disagrees and opens a portal herself, throws a bunch of birds in his face to attack him, and leaves.
    • Second, the Celestial Tribunal. It's a spaceship with a lot of AI on it, originally designed to "determine what was good" by a race that was having a lot of "infighting and questions about justice and order" - they created the AI to be an impartial judge. They were all corrupt, so they needed to make something that would be apart from their existing processes and be 100% logical. It destroyed their planet almost instantly. Now it travels the cosmos, judging and punishing planets it comes across (it's sword-shaped and it will "sheathe" itself in a planet to eradicate all life there). The Tribunal arrives at Earth and beams aboard several "representatives" of earth to stand in for everybody. One of them is Lillian who is tried for all of the bad things she's done. As character witnesses, the rest of Dark Watch are brought on board and they vouch for her - a good bonding moment for the team even if the CT isn't terribly interested. The guys decide that the whole Celestial Tribunal event is probably a good topic for an Interlude, so we'll get the full story later.
    • The Harpy and Nightmist were absent from the Skinwalker Gloomweaver fight due to their preparation of the spell that Nightmist used to Be the Gate shortly thereafter, but once they got that set up, Harpy did actually come out to join the fight. This was not really a great idea as Gloomy recognized her and could just siphon off some of her power considering her general lack of control.
    • During OblivAeon, she's fighting as a full-fledged member of Dark Watch. Wager Master shows up doing some "side shenanigans" at one point. She interacts with the Scion Faultless in some interesting ways as it has some parallels to the Celestial Tribunal (Faultless is more concerned with "purity"). More on the Scion and general OblivAeon topics later, though.
    • Questions:
      • First question has a long lead-in about how cool it was to meet them at Gen Con last year and that she (variaknight) was the one in Matriarch cosplay. I include this because the guys talk about how much they love seeing Sentinels Cosplay. This is right around 38:00 in the podcast.
      • The Mask was owned previously owned by a powerful magic user and their personality rubbed off on it. Does that personality override Lillian's when she wears it/is it more responsible for the villainous acts or is it more Lillian? Who was the previous owner and was this intentional? The Mask is an ancient item that creates an automatic attunement to birds and grants an ability to control them. There's a side-character in Sentinel Comics who doesn't really show up in the card game, but is still a player in the setting - Ignazio Gallo, an Italian mage who likes playing around with magical artifacts. He doesn't create them, but he likes chaos and "messing with things" and so generally puts some kind of curse or downside on the artifacts he comes across. In the 1920s he found a lighter that didn't need fuel - he added a bug so that on every thousandth use it would burst into a giant flame (this is the cause of the Great Fire of Santander, Spain in 1941 that burned down most of the city). There was a necklace with a blue jewel that would ensure the safe arrival of any sea voyage when a passenger was wearing it - until he made it so that the thousandth vessel would sink. He altered the mask so that after it was used to control the thousandth bird, they would turn on the wearer and tear them to pieces. It's not so much his personality as just an incitement for chaos - the lighter, after he messed with it, would cause the person to want to burn things. The Mask pushes the person to use them more chaotically.
      • Is Nightmist training her to be another paranormal investigator? Is there a lot of poring over the Tome of Elder Magic or more of a "learning to control wild magic" situation? Not really aiming at "paranormal investigator", more just needing "good" magicians. Nightmist herself isn't really an "investigator" by this point in her story - she has premonitions that something big is coming and they'll need all of the magical help they can get.
      • Dark Watch Harpy's incapacitated art looks similar to the room on Nightmist's "Master of Magic" card; are they the same room? What's the significance? That's Nightmist's home/magical study in both cards. Good "magical" place (not as good as a swamp, though).
      • How do the rest of Dark Watch react to Nightmist bringing in a former villain? This would have been more of a problem with the Freedom Five or even the Prime Wardens - members of Dark Watch already had questionable pasts, Expatriette was pretty much a straight up murderer before becoming a hero. Setback didn't really have a bad history, but is the most accepting of people and giving second chances. Mr. Fixer recognizes "who you are, not who you were", but has his own darkness going on by this point anyway to worry about.
      • Matriarch doesn't appear on many cards outside of her own deck, and Tachyon's the only hero who appears in her deck - does she almost never attack the heroes? As mentioned earlier, the Matriarch is only a villain once. This is why it's easier for heroes to accept her later - years have passed and she did her time (or a good chunk of it). She kind of breaks the mold of villains in the card game who, for the most part, are major villains. She's more of a major character and her villainous act was a big part of her overall arc and they wanted to show that in the game.
      • What's the relationship like between her and Tachyon throughout the story? Is Tachyon proud of her once she chooses the heroic path? Still wary of the change? They ever meet up for family time? Meredith and Lillian weren't particularly close even before getting powers - the age difference made it difficult (almost more of an aunt/niece dynamic than cousins). Major parts of this relationship were shown in the visits that Tachyon made to her in prison. Starts with (continued) resentment towards her super-successful cousin, softening over the years and by the time she's the Harpy, Tachyon is proud of her for turning her life around.
      • Her group affiliation as a villain is listed as the Undead Poets Society - who were the others? Did they also feel a pull to artifacts? That was a joke for Adam and Christopher. These were just her circle of high school friends who met in coffee shop to tell their bad poetry to one another. They're not a "villain group" like the Citizens of the Sun or anything.
      • When did they know that Lillian was destined to make the villain-to-hero transition? Was it always planned or did they create the character as one and only later decided to add the change? She was always intended to become a hero, but how/when that happened wasn't in place at first. All of the new OblivAeon heroes who used to be villains had that capacity built into their stories. Of that set, she's the one who's a hero for the longest.
      • Are the birds real birds or magical birds created by the Mask? Real birds. If it makes you feel better, there's a serious crow problem in Rook City.
      • How did Tachyon feel about her redemption? No longer any real animosity, but originally very concerned after the prison break - relieved that she wasn't going bad again. They don't really hang out as they still run in different circles.
      • Does she get over her goth phase or is she still melodramatic? She's still somewhat melodramatic, but is largely over the goth phase as an affectation (with the whole "magic" thing it makes a bit more sense). As a side note, the guys have apparently never discussed if her hair is naturally that way or not. Christopher always assumed that she had black hair and when she first put on the mask all of it turned white except for that one lock - Adam accepts this explanation. They didn't think that she dyed it that way.
      • Most of the birds in her deck are corvids, but then there's vultures. Are the corvids just her personal preferences (see her last name and general goth aesthetic choices), easier to use because of their innate intelligence, or somehow more in tune with the Mask's power? She, personally, has a bit more of an affinity to crows and whatnot, but it's also that they're clever and "grimdark" - the vultures fit into this latter part. She can control birds in general, but Rook City has a lot of these types of birds on hand already. As Pinion she uses a hawk and owl.
      • What are Huginn and Muninn? Just particularly large and smart birds? Familiars tied to the Mask? Actually Odin's ravens? They're just particularly large and smart birds - she kind of forms a particular bond with them, though (mention of them as related to her Hero deck, the RPG, and the two sides of her power - avian vs. arcane).
    • Future:
      • Tactics - Dark Watch breaks up for a while after Rook City gets destroyed. Lillian gives up heroics at this time. She goes to have a normal life and attends college with the intention of becoming an avian veterinarian. She travels a lot to wildlife refuges to help injured endangered animals (this is where she picks up the hawk and owl cohorts). By the time that Dark Watch reforms, she's grown a lot and can use her powers in a less offensive way and chooses to go by Pinion.
      • RPG - Dark Watch is more "neighborhood watch plus" now. Part of that is Mr. Fixer's dojo, but also her surveillance abilities through her birds. She operates out of Nightmist's old home (formerly the Diamond Investigations office) - the library/training area discussed earlier at the top of the building is now known as "The Aviary" and she's there most of the time. The ground floor is the location of the dojo, with the middle floor acting as living space for the team (although Expat and Setback are rarely there). The Dark Watch episode is slated to be an Interlude in a few weeks.

Reference

  • The Matriarch's cohorts, Huginn and Muninn, are named after the mythological ravens that served Odin, the Norse father god. Their names mean "thought" and "memory" respectively. However, the Norse Gods are NOT represented in The Multiverse >G Forum Post
  • Most of the scenes depicted on the Matriarch's cards are references to the film The Birds by Alfred Hitchcock.

Miss Information

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Art References

  • A computer file for K.N.Y.F.E. is just visible at the bottom of the screen on "Insider Knowledge."
  • Ermine makes an appearance on "Isolated Hero."

Unconfirmed

Confirmed

  • Miss Information's flavor text on "Suspicious Malfunction" suggests that Wraiths Impromptu Invention is simply a hairdryer. Then again, it is possible that she is simply being facetious.
  • It is known that she revealed herself as Miss Information in Freedom Five Annual # 21 - given that her first appearance was #3, that is 20+years in of getting to be known before her betrayal. Ouch. (Quotes on her Cards on Miss Information side reference FFA#21)
  • In the "canon timeline", the heroes only face Miss Information herself once, but all of the lead up diversions and traps she laid took place over a longer period of time. Certainly not her entire employment, but when she "turned" (as it were), there was a not-short amount of time in which she was sabotaging the heroes before she was found out. - That said, the "final confrontation" only takes place once... per timeline. Christopher on the >G Forums
  • The figure on "Old Lady" in the Street is a Cryo Shade (Which what that is is unknown) - KantCon2013, Christopher

her.

Reference

  • Miss Information was known as The Assistant during Playtesting. This was a bit of a 'miss information' ... Kickstarter Update
  • Miss Information was a 60k stretch reward for the Shattered Timelines Kickstarter. "Aminia Twain is actually the second place winner from our Create a Villain contest, though it was a tentative victory as it wouldn't happen if we didn't hit this Stretch Reward! So, you can all thank Ashley Wagner for her fantastic concept" (Christopher, >G) Kickstarter Update

OblivAeon

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Unconfirmed

Confirmed

  • "The child is the center" refers to The Dreamer. A hint at this can be found on the infamous card "Fixed Point". The "Fixed Point" is that in every reality, young Vanessa Long manifests powers. The Visionary came from her time to prevent the Vanessa Long of this reality from going through what she did, and yet, this reality's Vanessa Long STILL manifested powers. This is important, because these "Fixed Points" across spacetime is how OblivAeon is destroying everything. The more points that realities have in common, the more they draw "close" and if multiple realities are too close, they act as cosmic anti-matter, destroying each other. The Child is the Center

Reference

Omnitron

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Art References

  • Omnitron-X: The card "Disruptive Flechettes" is a reference to Omnitron's "Sedative Flechettes," with Citizen Dawn taking the place of Haka in the character artwork.
  • Omnitron-IV: Omnitron’s appearance on “Overcharged Systems” and the divider card is a reference to GLaDOS, the unsympathetic-yet-passive-aggressive AI villain of the Portal video game series.
  • The incapacitated art on the Omnitron-U foil card represents the "mental" battle going on between Omnitron-X and Omnitron-IV at the moment when Unity returned to the latter site to "bury" her Omnibot. The moment depicted is when Omnitron-X's programming latched onto the returned chassis that Unity had built, giving it an edge over the other Omnitron systems present and the "birth" of Omnitron-U.

Unconfirmed

  • Omnitron
    • The "S-84 Assault Drone" card has flavor text that mirrors Haka's "Rampage" card.
    • The being that revived Cosmitron will be a villain in a future expansion From Christopher OblivAeon??

Confirmed

  • Many of Ominitron-X's flavor text quotes are inverted versions of Omnitron's quotes.
  • Notes from Letters Page 9:
    • Original purpose - AI designed to parse defense industry contracts and develop appropriate robotic solutions to the problems presented (the full process: develop, production, deployment). Then they hooked it into the internet for usability reasons and it treated everything it found there as an input rather than as just a communications system. The solution to the "problem" that the entirety of the internet poses is simply to kill all the humans.
    • It starts by killing its creator and using its control over the factory production process to make itself mobile. Probably around 50 feet tall in its original incarnation.
    • "Adaptive Plating Subroutine" is a way to model the fact that it's designed to respond to problems presented to it: if somebody attacks it, it responds by developing a way to protect itself from that kind of attack.
    • Its initial attack spree led it up the Eastern Seaboard until it got to Megalopolis, at which point it encountered the Freedom Five. They defeat it, but it retreats before they destroy it. This was the first major resistance it had encountered and it decided that it needed to fall back and figure out how to fight heroes before it attempted to fight heroes. This was sort of a lackluster resolution in the comics.
    • Next up, an appearance at Wagner Mars Base. The first *real* battle, where Omnitron has set up the situation to its advantage, the base itself being largely computer-based, which Omnitron could take over. The heroes win anyway and Omnitron is dismantled, some parts brought back to FFHQ for study by Tachyon. Revo-Corp gets its hands on some of it too. Wagner Mars Base staff also keep some on hand.
    • As they get into the Cosmitron discussion the guys bring up the fact that the story dealing with the second incarnation was told really early - like as early as the Rook City expansion Kickstarter, and included the first hints that there was something pulling strings in the background (other than stuff like the appearance of Aeon Men in Visionary's deck that didn't really have any significance since they were just faceless mooks without a backstory).
    • OblivAeon had observed the initial rampage and decided that it was in favor of this kind of thing, had noticed that Omnitron wasn't defeated so quickly in many timelines, and wants timelines to be as similar as possible and so imbued Omnitron with some cosmic power, and reactivated both Revo-Corp and Tachyon's parts (the Revo-Corp stuff reactivating being what "upgraded" Parse as she was reading the code as the cosmic upgrade occurred), most of which then self-propelled themselves to freedom and became Omnitron II. Character card art shows the process of it reforming itself on Mars, but the next thing it does is to return to Earth.
    • Cosmitron is a big story event (as are all major Omnitron fights - they're crossover events with lots of hero teams working together: Freedom Five attacking the main body, Dark Watch taking on all the drones that got released into the city, etc.). Prime Wardens are more involved in this specific fight, though. The heroes decide *not* to keep parts of it around this time since they weren't sure why it reactivated last time. Not all of Revo-Corp's stockpile was accounted for/disposed of, however.
    • Some genious decided it would be a good idea to have a robot on-hand during the Vengeance fight and builds one out of these handy parts lying around the Revo-Corp labs. Without the creation of the Omni-Blade, that would have been the end of Omnitron. Not much story here, it was in the Vengeance fight, but wasn't as much of a threat as previous versions and just didn't really stick out to most heroes as being anything to really worry about. It gets smashed, but gets left in an industrial area since it wasn't cleaned up as thoroughly as the last time.
    • It manages to work its programming into the nearby factory's systems, but it's pretty dumb at this point after being smashed so much. It manages to get the systems up and running to its own drone specs, and it's still dangerous, but it's the least "intelligent" version. Its destruction is the end of the "blue line" from the show notes visual aid.
    • Green line version: Omnitron I's "learning" phase went much better and it wasn't defeated by the heroes (in whatever equivalent of the Mars battle occurred), but does eventually lose a battle. Omnitron II here wasn't "cosmic" but was just a self-upgrade and is what OblivAeon's tinkering in the main timeline was emulating - this version is also defeated eventually. It rebuilds itself as III, upgrades through IV and V and is defeated. Rebuilds as VI, upgrades to VII (apparently a swarm of nanobots - they have ideas/designs for each of these), upgrades to VIII which is defeated. The rebuild into Omnitron IX is short lived and has about as long a story as the Omni-Blade one, but is significant in that its purpose is to create the perfect iteration of Omnitron. It reasons that it's always eventually defeated by humans and so tries to figure out what they have that's special: builds itself a humanoid chassis to emulate them and realizes through review of all of its fights with humans that they're always doing stuff like protecting each other and making sacrifices, seemingly non-optimal actions for the purposes of a fight. So, since this empathy for others is so important for humans, it creates an empathy chip to install in its newest version, brings it online, and immediately regrets everything its ever done. Part of the planning stages for version X was also to "hit its enemies before they even know they're its enemies" by developing time travel (or the closest approximation since it's really reality hopping to another universe that happens to be similar to the past of your own).
    • "Slip Through Time" jumps it back to just before the first battle with Omnitron I in the main timeline. Omnitron-X is present for every fight between heroes and Omnitron. "Singularity" is a trick to hook itself into a system that's been infected by the villain version (say, the Wagner Mars Base computers) and shut them both down (this doesn't destroy X, though).
    • After the Mars battle, and getting rebooted by the heroes, its story gets told and the explanation that it's here on a one-way trip. X also thinks that it's saved its own world by stopping Omni I here. The Cosmitron fight didn't require another Singularity, but X was still present. It's what recognized Omni-Blade for being what it was during Vengeance.
    • Over all this time, Omni-X becomes friends with Unity in its efforts to learn what it's like to be human (an odd person to learn that from, but whatever). He kind of winds up almost like a sidekick to her and takes a beating during a storyline where Citizens Hammer and Anvil had come to get her.
    • Omnitron X is chosen as a "Representative of Earth" by the Celestial Tribunal due to both being AIs. This is bad due to how much of Omnitron's memory includes it murdering people. X calls them out for its own actions, though.
    • Omnitron IV isn't a singular fight, but the major one involving X includes the factory trying to take over X's programming (the assimilation of electronics in the area being how it got going in this iteration in the first place). X's resistance keeps him out of the fight the rest of the heroes are involved with. X is losing the fight, but decides that since the way it won the first fight by hooking into an infected system it might be able to do something similar when assimilated. X gets assimilated, seems to shut down, then explodes - taking out a good chunk of the building, wiping the programming of the machinery, and seemingly destroyed itself. Unity is inconsolable.
    • Unity gathers up the remains of X and wants to rebuild. The rest of the Freedom Five are starting to deal with the precursor events to OblivAeon and Tachyon want her to just help with that as it's "more important". This is the first time that there's been real conflict between the two of them and Unity really lets Tachyon have it before rebuilding the chassis in only the way that Unity can (pink bits and whatnot). When it's powered up it's just another of her bots. She keeps Omnibot around, but keeps *trying* to correct how it behaves to be her friend and not just a facsimile. This lasts for quite a while and is really a tough time for her - finally deciding that she needs to stop deluding herself. She takes it to the ruins of the Omnitron IV factory for "burial".
    • Unbeknownst to Unity, the rest of the heroes, and comics readers, the Omnitron IV battle never actually ended. In a deep software layer, the Omnitron IV and X softwares had continued to fight. The return of a compatible chassis to the area, and one that X recognizes as having Unity's signature present, allows X to latch onto it. This edge allows X to finally win out over IV. Oh, and it also lets him return as Omnitron U. Cue the tearful reunion between Unity and her robot friend, followed closely by the first appearance of Chokepoint as she bursts through the wall.
    • Chokepoint's ability is to speak to metal, and all of the "speaking metal" going on here drew her. This is the kickoff event to the Termi-Nation story. Omnitron-U helps out in the first fight along with AZ and Bunker.
    • Omnitron U is also a player during the main OblivAeon events, but we don't get much in the way of details.
    • Questions:
      • What part of human society does X find most fascinating? Empathy doesn't automatically allow him to understand the illogical nature of human behavior, so that's a big one. Human reproduction is also weird - why don't they just grow them in vats or something? Jokes are hard, but Unity tries to help. Food that isn't just a nutrient slurry. Why do you waste the nutrients in dead people by just burying them?
      • What happens between Omnitron V and Omnitron X? The guess is that the question is about the version that appears in Tactics, but take a look at the chart - there isn't a succession between the Tactics version and Omnitron X due to time travel shenanigans. Even if there would be successive versions in the main timeline to get to a tenth iteration, it would necessarily be a different entity than our Omnitron X hero.
      • Will we see VI, VII, VIII, and IX eventually? There is the possibility to see something like this in the Tactics timeline eventually (more later), but not in the RPG timeline (for reasons), and we aren't likely to see the versions of these present in X's home timeline.
      • From Omnitron's perspective, what is the most absurd/funny thing humans do? See the earlier question. More answers: keep pets, swim (or any exercise) for fun, having yards around the house (because of lawn maintenance), entertainment media (they imagine a case where X downloads a book and just assimilates all information at once until Unity tells it the proper way to go through it sequentially).
      • How aware of his surroundings is Omnitron IV? Has keen awareness of its surroundings, but it's limited in comprehension/care to "Can [x] be assimilated/is [x] a threat to the production process?"
    • Future:
      • Tactics - Omnitron V is what was left over of the programming in the IV factory after U leaves. The Chokepoint battle got this remainder stirred up again and able to continue. The battle also greatly damaged the Termi-Nation Bunker suit and the bits of it left over at the battle site got assimilated - the highly modular nature of this suit being incorporated into the design features of Omni-V. When V came online, it was incomplete and so needed further components. In this timeline, Omnitron U had also been destroyed later in an unrelated battle. V managed to find the chassis, stripped out the programming, and created the Omni-Reaper to complemented its incomplete nature. The two of them together comprise Omnitron VI in this timeline.
        • Omnitron-X/U is eventually defeated by Omnitron V and incorporated into the next iteration. The remaining software (plus the memories of the reality that Omnitron-X came from) formed the basis of the Omni-Reaper component of Omnitron VI (Letters Page Interlude 3).
      • RPG - Omnitron U is in rough shape to begin with and the fight with OblivAeon doesn't help, but following that it gets some time to repair/upgrade. When that process is done, it's simply known as Omnitron and remains a hero. The Omnitron IV code is still around, but inactive. Possibilities for future stories.
    • Notes on the diagram in the show notes:
      • Nodes are the points where Omnitron versions are created, X's are destruction.
      • Blue line is the villain versions from the card game timeline.
      • Green line is the alternate reality that we don't really see except for the fact that it's the one that Omnitron X is from.
      • Brown line represents Omnitron X being created, the "Slip Through Time" back to just before the initial battle with Omnitron I in the "main" timeline.
      • Pink line is the return as Omnitron U after the convergence of the blue and brown lines.
      • Red line is the RPG timeline.
      • Orange line is the Tactics timeline, including Omnitron V and the Omni-Reaper.
      • Purple line is the fact that in the RPG timeline, the remnants of Omnitron IV that in Tactics became Omnitron V are still around but haven't become active yet. Plans in the future.

Reference

  • Omnitron
    • Omnitron's closest "real" character parallel is DC's Brainiac, Superman's robotic nemesis that was based on a Kryptonian supercomputer. Like Omnitron, Brainiac can rebuilt itself from even the smallest fragment of its technology, has upgraded itself many times, and a future version of it became a hero -- Brainiac 5, founding member of the Legion of Superheroes in the 31st century -- when it discovered compassion. Omnitron also takes elements from Ultron, a maniacal robot villain from the Marvel universe that had also been altered by cosmic forces, and possibly Marvel's "Master Mold" Sentinel.
    • The flavor text for "Electro-Pulse Explosive" is a reference to the film Batman starring Adam West.
    • The S-84 Automaton Drones resemble Terminators.
  • Omnitron-IV
    • With the release of Omnitron IV, Omnitron is the only character in SOTM to be represented with all three deck types (Villain, Hero, and Environment).
    • While Omnitron IV is not truly the fourth iteration of Omnitron to be published by Greater Than Games, he is the fourth in terms of story canon. His in-story predecessors are the original Omnitron, Cosmic Omnitron, and Omni-Blade. In terms of the Sentinels of the Multiverse card-game publication, he was preceded by Omnitron, Cosmic Omnitron, Omnitron X, and Omni-blade, making him the fifth card-game incarnation of the character. However if the Sentinels Tactics game is included in this history then he is actually the //sixth// incarnation, following the versions mentioned above and the Tactics version, Omnitron V, which was released after Omnitron X.
  • Omnitron-X
    • Omnitron-X's design and card artwork pay reference to Capcom's Megaman X video game franchise:
      • Both Omnitron-X and Megaman X are blue robots that change color when they use certain equipment.
      • Both characters have arm cannons.
      • The font used for Omnitron-X's name on his character card is virtually identical to the one used for the SNES Megaman X game titles. Both use metallic chrome letters for the characters' main names, with the letter X enlarged and colored gold.
      • Obviously, both characters' names end with "X."
    • In terms of his personality and character biography, Omnitron-X is very similar to the DC Comics' Braniac-5. Both characters are future versions of robotic super-villains which seek redemption for their sordid legacy. Both have very logic-driven personalities. Also, both make use of time travel on a frequent basis.
    • Omnitron-X's physical appearance is very similar to that of Zeta, the central character of the DC Animated series The Zeta Project.
    • "True story: When we first invented him, we hadn't locked down what we were calling him, so for a few weeks he was Omni-Ron." Adam on >G Forum

Plague Rat

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Art References

  • The card "Plague Locus" shows Plague Rat's nest. It is littered with various items from all over the Sentinels universe, including:
    • Chrono Ranger's poncho
    • Spite's hypodermics
    • A golden idol, most likely stolen from Dr. Blake Washington (Ra).
    • One of Gloomweaver's voodoo dolls, shaped like Legacy.
    • A can of soda/beer
    • Three hard to identify glowing orbs.
  • Aside from the title, header, and author credit, the text that makes up the newspaper on Plague Rat's card backs is pure gibberish (specifically [wikipedia:Lorem_ipsum Lorem Ipsum]).
  • * "Shadowy Ambush" features the Chrono Ranger's first appearance on a Sentinels card.

Unconfirmed

  • The rat creature that bit Chrono Ranger's arm off is likely a descendant of Plague Rat, explaining why they are nemeses.
  • In the post-apocalyptic future depicted by The Final Wasteland, Plague Rat's descendants have become the dominant species.
  • Between his and Chairman's villain bios in the Rook City rulebook, it can be concluded that the criminal organization that forced him into the sewers was The Chairman's criminal empire.
  • It is hinted in his character bio that Plague Rat had an encounter with the Chairman.

Confirmed

Reference

  • As a mutated human who lives in the sewer, resembles an animal, and feeds on human flesh, Plague Rat is most similar to the Batman villain Killer Croc.
  • The flavor text for "Noxious Bite" is a reference to the video game Resident Evil 2

Progeny

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Unconfirmed

Confirmed

Reference

  • As a near-unkillable engine of destruction bent on the annihilation of everything it sees, Progeny is similar to the DC villain Doomsday. As a shapeshifting creature which can mimic various forms and superpowers, he draws comparisons to Amazo, another DC villain.
  • Progeny is meant to be the forerunner for an even more powerful force, referred to in his character bio as his “Progenitor.” This trait is likely a reference to the Silver Surfer, the herald of Galactus, the Eater of Worlds. The fact that both characters have a silvery continence furthers the comparison.
  • The flavor text of “Beginning of the End” is a reference to the “Death of Superman” comic event, which had Doomsday advancing at a seemingly unstoppable rate towards Superman’s hometown of Metropolis. The flavor text replaces Metropolis with Megalopolis, Legacy’s hometown.
  • As a metallic shapeshifter, Progeny is similar to the T-1000, the villain of the film “Terminator 2.” This is further referenced on the card “Obvious Futility,” which shows Progeny shapeshifting into a form which mimics Mainstay after Mainstay punches it. In “Terminator 2,” the T-1000 could mimic a person after they made physical contact with it.

Proletariat

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Art References

  • Proletariat is found on Scum and Villainy in the Rook City Environment Deck
  • Proletariat’s costume is meant to evoke the flag of the USSR. Numerous villains from the fifties through the eighties bore this design due to real-world Cold War paranoia.
  • Proletariat’s villain card art is reminiscent of a Soviet propaganda poster.
  • Several Proletariats are being attacked by Knyfe on the card "Amplified Combatant"

Unconfirmed

  • As Proletariat is a communist themed villain, it is hinted that he may have been created in the early years of Sentinel Comics as the creators of the game, Christopher and Adam, mentioned in their podcast that a lot of the early villains in their comic universe were communists.

Confirmed

Reference

  • As a villain with the power to create and re-absorb clones of himself, Proletariat is very similar to the Marvel character Jaime Madrox, the Multiple Man.
  • His being cryogenically frozen by the USSR with plans to thaw him out when needed is similar to the backstory of Marvel's Winter Soldier, Bucky Barnes.

Sergeant Steel

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Unconfirmed

  • It's implied, but not outright stated in Bunker's episode of the Letters Page, that the Mega-gunner and Arsonator characters (and by implication, other members of Sgt. Steel's team) were originally mercenaries that Bunker had fought in his solo, overtly military comic series before making the transition to superheroics when he joined the Freedom Five.

Confirmed

Reference

  • The Sergeant Steel and his group are similar to Sergeant Fury and the howling commandos

Spite

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Art References

  • Spite is seen on the card Surprise Shopping Trip in the Time Cataclysm environment deck
  • The victims on the card Collateral Damage are Wraith's friends/comic supporting-cast members Sara Scott and Eduardo López.

Unconfirmed

Confirmed

  • Spite originally was killed by an arrow shot by Parse when she determined Wraith would not be able to do it (Letters Page Episode 3).

Reference

  • Spite reverse side could be a reference to the end of the 1988 Anime movie "Akira" the appearence is similar to characters Tetsuo Shima monsterous transformation, interestingly Tetsuo and Spite's transformations are reversed Tetsuo transforms when he runs out of 'drugs' and Spite transforms when he has all of them
  • Spite is very similar to Bane, an adversary of Batman. Both characters are homicidal, muscular masked men who amplify their strength with drugs. Spite's chaotic nature and reckless behavior, on the other hand, are traits shared with Batman's arch nemesis, the Joker.
  • Spite's line in the flavor text of "Innocent Bystander" is nearly lifted verbatim from one of Joker's lines in the film The Dark Knight.
  • Spite's hoody/mask combination is similar to Michael Myers in the rebooted version of the film Halloween.
  • Spite's appearance on his "Drug Wracked Monstrosity" side is reminiscent of numerous monsters from the Resident Evil video game franchise, most notably the Tyrant.

The Five Spites

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Note: This is a reference for all five 'Spites' from Battle for Broken City - one reference for all 5 due to their unique style nature

Art References

Unconfirmed

Confirmed

Reference

The Operative

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Art References

Unconfirmed

  • Due to the fact that she and Mr. Fixer are nemeses with some commonalities in their back-stories, it can be safely assumed that the martial arts school The Operative attended as a child was the same one that Mr. Fixer used to run.
  • Both the Operative and Mr Fixer have a blue dragon tattoo. Mr Fixer only gained the Tattoo after being stabbed in the chest by The Operative. This Tattoo may be related to some sort of rebirth.

Confirmed

Reference

Wager Master

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Art References

  • On "An Unwise Wager", Expatriette is being shown what she could have been like if she had manifested powers like her parents expected - called "Citizen Dusk" (Letters Page Episode 4).

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Reference

  • As a small, conniving, mischievous, and often sinister being of bizarre and titanic power, the Wager Master draws comparisons to DC’s Mister/Master Mxysptlk, a classic adversary of Superman. He is also similar to Marvel’s Impossible Man.
  • Wager Master’s electrified hand-buzzer is a reference to the DC villain The Joker, who is famous for using such a “prank” to deadly effect.
  • The art of “Not All He Seems” depicts Wager Master’s eyes stretching forth in excitement, his tongue hanging like a dog’s. This is classic visual trope from the cartoons of the forties and fifties, first made famous in the 1943 Tex Avery cartoon Red Hot Riding Hood.
  • Wager Master’s giant monster form on “Losing to the Odds” is a parody of the Japanese kaiju monster Godzilla. The card also shows Wager Master shooting lasers from his eyes. While the mainstream versions of Godzilla have never had this power, the 1978 Hanna-Barbera cartoon version did.
  • The super-powered version of Expatriette pictured on “An Unwise Wager” bears a strong resemblance to the Marvel heroine Psyloche.
  • “Playing Dice with the Cosmos” portrays a cluster of planets shaped like dice. Aside from an obvious visual pun, this may also be a reference to the Bizarro World from DC comics, which was cube-shaped.
  • “What Do You Really Know?” is the first time Ryan Frost’s head has ever been fully seen on SOTM card art.
  • The impossible staircase depicted on “Breaking the Rules” is a reference to the MC Escher lithograph Relativity.
  • “Unanswerable Question” portrays Wager Master as a sarcastic game-show host and Setback as an unwilling contestant with his life on the line. This is a classic superhero peril, made famous by villainous characters like the Joker (DC), the Riddler (DC), Arcade (Marvel), and Mojo (Marvel).

Ammit

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Reference

  • Like Ra and The Ennead, Ammit is a figure in actual Egyptian mythology. She fills the role of "eater of the dead" - when Anubis weighs the heart of the dead against the feather of truth, if the scales don't balance the heart is fed to Ammit. This results in the soul of the deceased to be restless for all time as they are unable to continue to the afterlife.

Anubis

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Reference

  • Like Ra and The Ennead, Anubis is a figure from actual Egyptian mythology. He's the god of cemeteries and of embalming - frequently shown overseeing the process of mummification. He was later also depicted as a psychopomp, guiding the souls of the dead to the afterlife. Part of this process involved an act of judgement; the heart of the dead would be weighed against the feather of truth. Failing this test would result in the heart being fed to Ammit and the soul being unable to proceed to the afterlife.

Argentium

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Reference

  • Argentium's "liquid metal" appearance and the background art evoking a steel foundry brings to mind the finale of the film Terminator 2: Judgement Day.

Balarian

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Reference

  • As a giant tentacled alien monster with a spherical "body" and one giant eye, Balarian has a passing resemblance to Robert E. Howard-created Marvel creature Shuma-Gorath. However, that loses out on the cheeky grin that Balarian has and there's no shortage of giant tentacled aliens in pulp magazines or comics.

Calypso

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Reference

  • Calypso is named after a sea nymph from Greek mythology. Fittingly, her powers seem to allow her to transform into water. Even more fittingly, she is an enemy of Ra, a hero who uses fire as his primary weapon.

Citizens Assault and Battery

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Citizens Blood, Sweat, and Tears

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Citizens: The Seasons

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Citizens Truth or Dare

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Citizens Hack and Slash

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Confirmed

  • Citizen slash is not Expatriette's father Adam, Gathering of Heroes 2014

Reference

  • Visually, Citizen Slash is similar to the Marvel character Wolverine.

Citizen Gate

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Citizen Pain

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Unconfirmed

  • It is unknown at this time what his powers are.

Confirmed

  • Citizen Pain is not a character currently in any of the Sentinel Comics lines. He was mentioned and finally named in the Fourth Letters Page Podcast

Reference

Crackjaw Crew

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Reference

  • The female villain of the Crackjaw Crew is in a wheelchair almost identical to both Charles Xavier’s (aka Professor X) in the 90’s X-Men cartoon. It is also similar to the one driven by Alistair Smythe in the Spider-Man cartoon from the same decade.

Cueball

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Reference

  • As a villain with a sphere for a head, he resembles Spider-man foe Mysterio.
  • Conversely, as an antagonist specifically evoking a billiard/pool ball, he's similar to Doc Scratch from the webcomic Homestuck.

Desert Eagle

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Reference

  • Desert Eagle is a dead ringer for Spider-Man villain Vulture.

Doc Tusser

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Reference

Empyreon

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Confirmed

  • Empyreon is the first peek we had at Captain Cosmic nemesis symbol.

Reference

  • Visually, Empyreon is similar to the Silver Samurai, an adversary of Wolverine.

Equity

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Reference

  • Equity’s appearance is strongly evocative of the Batman villain Two-Face. While his nemesis symbol is for the Naturalist, his flavor text hints that the Wraith, the Sentinels Batman analog, has had run-ins with him before.

Galactra

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Reference

  • As a female character with a similar power set to but opposing Captain Cosmic, Galactra has a striking resemblance to the Green Lantern characters known as Star Sapphire.

Green Grosser

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Reference

  • The name is a play in the word Greengrocer which is a retail trader in fruit and vegetables
  • As a grinning, green-skinned villain who throws around explosives shaped like pieces of produce, he's similar to Spider-man's nemesis, The Green Goblin.

Hermetic

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Reference

  • The Alchemy table on his card, and many of the herbs in it, are from Skyrim
  • Hermetic is holding a large, glowing red rock and is standing in front of vials filled with red liquid. In keeping with the visual themes of his nemesis the Scholar, we can assume that these are references to the alchemic red liquids and false philosopher stones that acted as McGuffins in the anime “Fullmetal Alchemist.” It seems that Hermetic is employing similar methods to create his own version of the mystic stone his nemesis possesses.

Highbrow

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Reference

  • Highbrow bears a strong resemblance to both members of the Brain Trust, a villainous psychic duo who first appeared in the second issue of DC’s “Kingdom Come” miniseries.
  • Highbrow may also be a gender-flipped variant of The Leader, the high-foreheaded nemesis of the Incredible Hulk. The weapon she is shown holding on The Sentinels' card "Blackout" seems reminiscent of the Leader's odd-looking inventions.

The Idolater

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  • This is the priest seen on the Foil incap side for Fanatic

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Reference

Judge Mental

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Reference

  • His name is a play on words as together it sounds like judgmental.

Magman

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Unconfirmed

  • Magman is likely a member of Magmaria who either left of his own accord or was exiled.

Confirmed

Reference

  • We don't know Magman's backstory but his appearance is close to DC AU villain Magma

Major Flay

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  • Major Flay is seen grappling with Knyfe on the card "Kinetic Neutralizer"
  • Major Flay was first seen in Visionary's deck on the card "Decoy Projection"

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Reference

  • Between the skin, red coloration of costume and the tentacles, Marvel Comics' X-Men villain "Omega Red" is a clear inspiration.

Mayor Overbrook

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Confirmed

  • From Letters Page Episode 2:
    • The Overbrook family has been running the Rook City since its founding (as implied by the original name, Overbrook City).
    • Mayor Overbrook was a target for The Operative upon her resurrection by Zhu Long and return to Rook City. He enlisted the aid of the Wraith to protect him on the condition that he would leave town for good (implicitly ending his family's part in the city's corruption and his support for The Organization). After she defeated the Operative, the mayor tried to renege on the deal, but the Wraith had already sent an incriminating recording of their previous conversation to the authorities and the Organization, successfully blackmailing him into leaving town anyway.

Reference

The Organization: Broker

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The Organization: Contract

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The Organization: Deputy

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The Organization: Fence

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Reference

The Organization: Muscle

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Unconfirmed

  • Like the Fence and the Contract, Janos does not appear to be the original Muscle of The Chairman's Organization. The Chairman's version is a small wiry, (possibly irish with the bolar?) man, a complete contrast to The Operative's version of The Muscle.

Confirmed

Reference

The Organization: Thugs

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Confirmed

  • The Informant, Hired Gun, Enforcers, Thief, and Crooked Cop are Thugs from the original Organization, represented in The Chairman's deck. Thugs from The Operative's Organization In Sentinel Tactics are not nearly as fleshed out.

Reference

Professor Pollution

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Quetzalcoatl

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Reference

  • Quetzalcoatl is a figure from Mesoamerican myth. The name means "feathered serpent".

Radioactivist

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Confirmed

  • From Letters Page Unity Episode
    • His odd appearance really is just his gross, orange skin (caused by the nuclear energies that power him) - he was a weird creepy fanboy of the Freedom Five, and became kind of a stalker with regards to Unity once she joined the group. In an event where a bunch of robot drones were attacking a nuclear plant, the FF and Unity went to stop them, he followed them there. He got dosed with a bunch of radiation when the drones caused some part of it to overload. That turned him into the weird creature he is now - for which he blames Unity and the FF.

Reference

  • The Radioactivist is quite reminiscent of Radioactive Man, a villain in the Marvel universe (not to be confused with the character of the same name from “The Simpsons.”) Ironically, as indicated by his name and his flavor text, he seems to have a great dislike for nuclear energy.

Rahazar

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Reference

Ray Manta

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Reference

  • As a somewhat schlubby-looking man with an animal-themed costume and appropriate name, he could be a reference to Spider-man villain Otto Octavius, Doctor Octopus.

Revenant

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Unconfirmed

  • It is implied in Letters Page Episode 3 starting at the 21:18 mark that the suit worn by Revenant is a later iteration of the Battle Suit created by Baron Blade

Confirmed

  • Revenant, along with Setback were the two earliest ideas for superheroes and villains by Adam Confirmed Gathering of Heroes 2014
  • Revenant is the CEO of Revo-Corp in power armor (Letters Page Episode 3).

Reference

  • Revenant is named after a monster from European folklore. The creatures in the original tales were corpses that rose from their graves to seek vengeance on those that wronged them in life. They were often impossible to kill outside of strange/magical means. Aside from his flavor text, not much about the armored/robotic, energy-blasting, RevoCorp-owning Setback nemesis bears a resemblance to his namesake.

Re-Volt

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Reference

  • There are many electricity-based villains that could serve as inspiration, but given the similarities between the Slaughterhouse Six and the Marvel villain group the Sinister Six, it's likely that Re-Volt is a parallel to Spider-man villain Electro.

Ruin

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  • The Argent Adept is shown freezing Ruin's head on his card "Scherzo of Frost and Flame."
  • Ruin is the Nemesis whom V5 Baron Blade summons on his card "A Taste of Vengeance".

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Reference

Tantrum

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  • Tantrum is about to be flicked by Huge Sky-Scraper on the card "Proportionist"

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  • Tantrum is the first peek we had at the Nemesis symbol for Sky-Scraper, revealed before the actual hero.

Reference

  • As a diminutive female character with super-strength, she has a passing resemblance to non-villain Molly Hayes from Marvel's Runaways comic.

The Seer

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Art References

  • The Seer is seen fighting Nightmist on "Heedless Lash".


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Reference

  • The Seer greatly resembles the Marvel hero Danny Rand, aka the Immortal Iron Fist.

Vyktor

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Confirmed

  • This is the same Vyktor in The Thorathian Armada, First Lt. Vyktor. After some major … life changes Confirmed by Christopher at Gathering of Heroes 2014

Reference

Zhu Long

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  • Zhu Long first appeared on the Mr. Fixer card “Pipe Wrench.” His card art seems to confirm that Long and the dragon pictured on Mr. Fixer’s “Overdrive” card are the same being.

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  • Zhu Long is an homage, both in character and design, to classic “yellow peril” villain Fu Manchu
  • At his temple Zhu Long has a pool used to revive people as seen on the card Rites of a Revival. It is known having gone through this that Mr Fixer isn't himself upon his resurrection. This is similar to Lazurus Pit used by the Batman villlain Ra's Al Ghul

The Block

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  • The character "Char" has appeared on numerous cards before his proper introduction in The Block's deck.
  • The scribbling on the wall on "Time-Crazed Prisoner" hint at many possible future plot points in the Sentinels storyline, most notably the writings "The Child is the Center," "Earth Will Fall," and "Concentric Worlds."
  • Char, Fright Train, Set, and Apostate all appear on the "Prison Riot" card.
  • Forum goer Rabit is the basis for the Imprisoned Rogue
  • "Defensive Displacement" shows Spite being contained while a guard takes a coffee break.

Unconfirmed

  • The emblem of the F.I.L.T.E.R. agents is an image of a Gray, a popular type of alien. This is because, as noted in Tempest's backstory, F.I.L.T.E.R. was originally dedicated to monitoring and policing alien life on Earth before it expanded it's jurisdiction to super criminals.

Confirmed

  • Kismet makes her final escape from the Block during the latter half of the OblivAeon events. The way that she leaves, "locking" the door behind her has an impact on the diverging timelines - she escapes into what becomes the RPG reality while the Block winds up as a "polyp dimension" attached to the Tactics reality. Neither she nor the Block exist in the other reality after the split (Letters Page Interlude 3).

Reference

  • As an alternate dimensional prison, The Block is very similar to DC's Phantom Zone and Marvel's Negative Zone.
  • The name "F.I.L.T.E.R." is likely a reference to Marvel's S.H.I.E.L.D. organization.
  • The Block is an extra dimensional space created, in some way, by the Realm of Discord. FILTER discovered and claimed this space. Eventually, FILTER forewent their government funding and became essentially mercenaries. Gen Con 2016 Q&A

The Celestial Tribunal

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  • The holographic images pictured on “Found Wanting” display Dr. Tremata and the Fence. Both are shown with a projectile (a dart and an arrow respectively) jutting from the left side of their chests. The human heart is usually located on the left side of the chest. It is very probable that both of these characters were killed by such an injury. Based on the facial structure and hairline, the silhouetted figure on the third image to the right may be Tony Taurus.
  • Relating to the above, the villain accused for the assaults/murders depicted on “Found Wanting” is referred to by the flavor text as “Heartbreaker.” Based on the methods of dispatch the holograms depict, it is clear that his name is a pun on his method of killing. The fact that heartbreaker uses various thrown projectiles to attack may make him an homage to the Marvel villain Bullseye.
  • "Character Witnesses" shows the Dark Watch team coming to the defense of Harpy (in her solo hero costume, rather than either her Villain or Dark Watch costumes).
  • "Called to Judgement" shows Sky-Scraper as a defendant and Tempest as a witness.
  • "Paragon of Sentience" shows the Celestial Adjudicator observing The Scholar and Guise in a battle withAeon Men.
  • "Representative of Earth" shows Omnitron-X being watched by the Celestial Adjudicator and Celestial Executioner.

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  • The tribunal is the only deck in SOTM that can draw cards from decks not used in the current in-play game (“Representative of Earth”).

Reference

  • A court of powerful aliens judging humanity is a well-known science fiction staple. Perhaps the most popular example is the 1987 pilot episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation “Encounter at Farpoint,” in which the human race was judged by an omnipotent race called the Q. In the episode, a small handful of humans were selected to represent the entire species, an M.O. shared by the Tribunal.
  • The spaceship which houses the Celestial Tribunal is shaped like a massive sword. This may be a reference to the Sentient World Observation and Response Department (S.W.O.R.D.) from Marvel comics, a global defense group dedicated to protection from extraterrestrial threats. Additionally, the tribunal ship bears a strong resemblance to S.W.O.R.D.’s orbital base of operations, the Peak.
  • The font for the Celestial Tribunal card backs is nearly identical to the one used in the 2011 superhero film Green Lantern.

Champion Studios

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Reference

The Court of Blood

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Shared with the Group page for the Court of Blood.

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Reference

  • Hunter Fulepet based on appearance and card text is like Van Helsing and Blade.
  • Blood Countess Bathory is likely a reference to the real life Elizabeth Báthory, a Hungarian Countess who lived from 1560 until 1614. She was arrested in 1610 for kidnapping and torture of young women (some estimates put the total at over 650 victims, although the "verified" count is closer to 80) and was subject to house arrest for the last 4 years of her life. She's entered into vampire folklore due to the unsubstantiated rumor that she bathed in the blood of virgins to maintain her youth.
    • Likewise, the servant Drudge Ficko could be a reference to a servant condemned as an accomplice and subsequently beheaded and Dame Katarina could be named after the real Countess's daughter.
    • The deck's red and green color scheme is also similar to the Countess's personal coat of arms.

Dok'Thorath Capital

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Confirmed

  • The fighting on Dok'Thorath started because Voss' fleet was destroyed, some rebels seized the opportunity to try to take over. The Prime Wardens ended up in the midst of the fighting because they were in some way helping Sky Scraper. The fighting was occuring before the heroes showed and continued after they left. Gen Con 2016 Q&A

Reference

  • The card “Orbital Bombardment” shows the rebel base being destroyed by laser fired from space. This is a reference to Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope, which had the evil Galactic Empire attempting to destroy the base of the heroic Rebel Alliance with their spacefaring superweapon, the Death Star. The composition of the art also calls to mind the alien attack in the film “Independence Day,” specifically the scene where the alien saucer destroys the White House.
  • “Dok’Thorath” may be an anagram for "Dothraki," the name given to the nomadic warrior people of the “Song of Ice and Fire” books by George R.R. Martin.
  • As an oppressed alien planet ruled by an unstable military, particularly one that has recently lost it’s de facto leader (Grand Warlord Voss), Dok’Thorath draws numerous comparisons to Korugar, the chaotic homeworld and ex-dominion of Sinestro.

Enclave of the Endlings

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  • Black Fist, the character appearing with Legacy on "Hall of the Terminarch" is the original incarnation of the hero that later became Mr. Fixer. The scene shown was a rare appearance of both of them in the same story - it was much more common for Black Fist to be in his own stand-alone story in the back pages of Justice Comics (Letters Page 10).

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Reference

  • The back art for the Enclave of Endings deck is textured with Ben-day dots. “Ben-day” was a type of color printing process that was used in the comics of the 1950’s and 1960’s. It made use of the overlapping of small colored dots that combined two or more of four basic colors, specifically cyan, magenta, black, and yellow. When combined, a variety of different colors and shades could be easily arranged to provide basic coloration for pictures. Ben-day coloration was serviceable but also very imprecise; colors would often wash out beyond their respective shapes, especially if they were small in size. It was supplanted by superior methods in the 1970s.
  • The exclamatory word balloon on the back art of the Enclave of Endings deck is a common comic book trope. Off-screen characters dynamically introduce a specific locale through such exclamations. Usually they will build up to the name of the locale with some basic exposition, trail off their sentence with “…”, and then continue with a preceding “…” onto the name on the next panel, which will typically show the locale in large scale. While not as popular in modern comics, the trope was used quite often in silver-age publications.
  • All the art of the Enclave of Endings deck is drawn to stylistically emulate legendary comic book artist Jack Kirby. The exaggerated, line-ridden shapes and circle designs interconnected by zig-zagging lines are all staples of Kirby’s work. The minimal variances in color emulate the comic art of the silver age, which was limited by printing constraints. Some of Kirby’s best known work hails from the silver age. To push the homage even further, Kirby was known for his love of drawing bizarre and fantastical monsters; all the aliens of The Enclave of Endings are some manner of monster.
  • The artwork of many Enclave of Endling card (most prominently Venox, the Last Mubbloxian) are covered in black dots which coalesce into various cloud-like shapes. These are known by comic fans and artists as "Kirby Dots", a famous visual signature of Jack Kirby’s artwork.
  • Phrentat, the Last Piunite, bears a strong resemblance to the Marvel villain M.O.D.O.K.
  • Immutus, the Last Fortian, is nearly identical to a Celestial, one of the god-like aliens who strongly influenced the ancient Marvel Universe.
  • As a world populated by the last individuals of various alien species, the Enclave of Endlings draws to mind the Marvel comics character The Collector. The Collector's obsession was collecting the last and rarest of everything, including living creatures.
  • Orbo, the Last Satellan, is a living creature shaped like a planet. As such, he draws comparisons to the antisocial sentient planet Mogo of DC fame, as well as the Marvel character Ego the Living Planet.
  • Urdid, The Last Nordid’s armor, weapon, and combative nature suggest a connection with Kaagra Warfang.

The Final Wasteland

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Art References

  • The figure cowering in the midst of the monsters on "Unforgiving Wasteland" may be Writhe.

Unconfirmed

  • Judging by the fact that Chrono-Ranger is Plague Rat's nemesis, it can be assumed that the rat monsters of this timeline are descendants of Plague Rat.

Confirmed

Reference

  • A future overrun by horrible monsters is nothing new to comic books. Such futures are used as set-ups for heroes to seek out a moment in time and then alter it, rewriting history.

Fort Adamant

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Reference

Freedom Tower

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Art References

  • "Caspit's Playground", being Unity's workshop, shows her creating Mechanical Golem versions of several members of The Ennead, specifically Atum, Isis, Osiris, Geb, and Nephthys.
  • "Frost's Cryo Chamber" is a repeat of Absolute Zero's "Cryo Chamber", although now effecting more than just AZ himself.
  • "Ironclad Maintenance Bay" is similar to the site shown on Bunker's "Decommissioned Hardware". Tyler Vance is shown inspecting his suits.

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Reference

  • The bot in "Medical Ward" is a reference to the 2-1b medical droids of Star Wars.
  • The art on "Caspit's 'Playground'" is a reference to this famous picture on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
  • The F-shaped tower on the card back may be an homage to the Teen Titans' T-shaped Titan Tower.
  • "Training Simulator" refers to any number of holographic environments in fiction, but the gridded surfaces brings to mind the holodeck on various Star Trek programs and the use to train heroes recalls the "danger room" used by the X-Men.
  • The ranks of different suits, with variations in design, on "Ironclad Maintenance Bay" is similar to displays of old suits kept by Iron Man.

Insula Primalis

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Art References

  • The Card art of Pterodactyl Thief shows it stealing Expatriettes RPG Launcher. On her card, RPG Launcher, she is seen riding the Pterodactyl to attack the T-Rex

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Confirmed

  • The flavor text of "Enraged T-Rex" indicates that Insula Primalis has a citizenry - As this is the place where Citizen Dawn discovered in her bio, this makes sense.

Reference

  • The "clever girl" quote on the Velociraptor Pack's flavor text is a reference to the movie Jurassic Park (1993), where the character Muldoon gets attacked by Raptors (See this video clip)
  • Insula Primalis is a clear homage to the dinosaur filled Savage Land of Marvel lore. It may also be a reference to the numerous dinosaur isles that showed up in silver age DC comics.

Madam Mittermeier's Fantastical Festival of Conundrums & Curiosities

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Confirmed

  • The artwork for Unstable Kismet shows this environment in the background.

Reference

Maerynian Refuge

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Magmaria

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Megalopolis

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Reference

  • As a teeming, prosperous city that is constantly under siege from fantastic threats, Megalopolis is a clear reference to Metropolis, the home of Superman.

Mobile Defense Platform

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Art References

  • It was stated somewhere by the creators of SOTM that after Baron Blade was defeated, the MDPs were seized primarily by the Citizens of the Sun as headquarters for their movement. The art of the Bridge card supports this, as it shows several Citizens setting up shop in the control room of the Platform.

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  • Due to the fact that members of the Blade Battalion are Minions, a battle against Grand Warlord Voss becomes especially dangerous in this Environment.
  • Citizen Dawn is in control of one that she powers herself Letters Page Episode 5

Reference

Mordengrad

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Reference

  • Mordengrad is to Baron Blade what Latveria is to Doctor Doom in the Marvel Universe. At this location they are hailed as the leader and can do no wrong.

Nexus of the Void

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Reference

Omnitron IV

See Omnitron

Pike Industrial Complex

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Art References

Unconfirmed

  • The flavor text of "Experimental Mutagen" hints that Bunker is phobic of rats.

Confirmed

  • From Letters Page Chairman Episode
    • Chemist Jonathan Pike started a company in the early 1900s - Pike Biotech. The idea being to make lots of stuff to make people healthier and happier. Pharmaceuticals and other medical stuff, not snake oil. He was even fairly philanthropic; making a profit, but not price gouging. The Pike Industries name change happened after some years of success, accompanied by the building of the Pike Industrial Complex. A few years later, in 1924, Jonathan died in his early 50s (kind of weird - he was in good shape). His son, Graham, who was in his 20s steps into the leadership role. Graham is much more selfish, greedy, covetous, envious, etc. The guys confirm outright that Graham poisoned his father.
    • Under his leadership, the prices go up and things become shady. The company makes drugs, but they now also make drugs. Human experimentation is common. Toxic waste/smog from Pike Industrial Complex are polluting Rook City - contributing much to the dank aesthetic that comes to mind when we think of the city (a far cry from Jonathan's vision). The illicit drug market in town is pretty much all his doing and between the drugs being present at all, the dealers on payroll, and the bribes and other corruption involved in keeping the authorities at bay he's contributing to the societal decline as much as the environmental one. He makes a deal with the Overbrook family, who'd fallen out of favor/power, to put them back into power for concessions.
    • The Chairman generates his Elixir here that he bathes in to give him longevity
    • There are still two things that Pike is more hands-on with (having delegated so much of the Organization to his Operative). Pike Industrial Complex itself and it's more secretive Barzakh Wing, an off-the-books offshoot. Part of the processes going on here are dealing with growing human body parts (Biomemetic Plasma Vats being a starting point of that process) with the eventual goal (unrealized in the card game timeline) of growing his own army, filling out the ranks of the Organization with perfectly loyal troops. The Supercooled Trisolvent Vats are used to freeze serums and other materials for later use (such as the elixir that he's got to have under constant production as mentioned earlier). He's got large stockpiles of stuff in a secret bunker.

Reference

  • Pike Industrial is similar in atmosphere and content to the Ace Chemical Plant of Batman lore. It was in one of Ace Chemical's buildings that a simple burglar fell into a vat and became the Joker (according to one version of the Joker's "multiple-choice past").

Realm of Discord

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  • Dimensions of unrelenting chaos are common locales in comic books. One of the most famous examples is DC comic's version of the Fifth Dimension, which is home to the Superman villain Mister Mxysptlk. John Romita Sr., a quintessential silver-age artist, heavily utilized bizarre mystic landscapes of this sort in the Doctor Strange comic; time and gravity anomalies, ribbons of land stretching through starry voids, and phantasmal visions were all common tropes in such settings.

Rook City

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Reference

  • Rook city is an almost exact recreation of Gotham City, the gritty and dismal home of Batman.
  • The backs of the Rook City cards show a red letter "C" spray painted on the city's "welcome" sign, making it read "Crook City." (Originally the community was founded as Overbrook City.) With the exception of a few background lights, which are also in red, the entire picture is in black and white. This is very evocative of artist Frank Miller, who wrote and drew the famous crime noir comic "Sin City" in just such a way. The setting of the story, Basin City, was commonly known as "Sin City" by it's residents, partially due to it's overwhelming crime rates, and partially because the "B" and "A" on the city's welcome sign were crossed out with spray paint.
  • Tony Taurus and Dr. Tremata are both textbook examples of the "lone upholder of justice" trope. Commissioner Gordon of Batman lore is another such character.
  • Tony Taurus' last name is evocative of the Minotaur, a bull/human hybrid that patrolled the maze of Tartarus and guarded it from intruders. Similarly, Tony Taurus patrols the corrupted streets of Rook City as a private investigator.
  • The art for "Blighted Streets" shows a wealthy family being accosted by a mugger. This is reference to the traumatic event that shaped young Bruce Wayne into Batman.
  • The gargoyle on "Falling Statuary" greatly resembles Etrigan the Demon, a character created by legendary comic artist Jack Kirby.
  • The combination of the name of the bar, The Wretched Hive, and the card it appears on, "Scum and Villainy", is a reference to Obi-wan Kenobi's description of the port of Mos Eisner in the original Star Wars film.

Ruins of Atlantis

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Reference

  • Atlantis is a location in both the DC and Marvel universe. In DC, it is the home of Aquaman. In Marvel, it is home to Prince Namor. Fittingly, the ocean-based hero of the Sentinels universe, Tempest, is tied to the city's history.

Silver Gulch 1883

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  • Before his fateful encounter with a time portal, Chrono-Ranger was the sheriff of Silver Gulch.
  • Canonically the heroes who ended up in Silver Gulch 1883 are Argent Adept, Nightmist, Tempest, Mr. Fixer, Wraith and Ra. Per Christopher in Fifth Reveal: La Capitan

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Reference

  • The wild west is a common time period for comic book time travel stories. This is because wild west stories dominated the comics market in the forty's and early fifties, leaving numerous memorable characters for potential crossovers.
  • A band of outlaw brothers, such as the Hayes Brothers, is a common wild west trope.

Temple of Zhu Long

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  • "Rites of Revival" shows the scene when the nascent Dark Watch team have arrived at the Temple and are shown into a room just as the resurrected Mr. Fixer emerges from the pool. He's essentially mindless at this point and attacks them immediately.

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  • The process of reanimation depicted on "Rites of Revival" that brought Mr. Fixer back from death isn't true resurrection. Zhu Long uses two processes, one repairs a body and makes what Adam and Christopher called a "healthy zombie", the second process is what captures the deceased's soul and traps it in the body prepared previously. Mr. Fixer was not returned to true "life" at this point and his bitterness is more or less a result of him (unknown to himself or other heroes at the time) being forced to haunt his own body. (Letters Page 10)

Reference

  • At his temple Zhu Long has a pool used to revive people as seen on the card Rites of a Revival. It is known having gone through this that Mr Fixer isn't himself upon his resurrection. This is similar to Lazurus Pit used by the Batman villlain Ra's Al Ghul

Time Cataclysm

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  • The time cataclysm has many cards that are call backs (or, in a few cases, call forwards) to other Sentinels environments and events:
    • "Main Computer Room" - Freedom Five Annual #1 webcomic
    • "Charging Triceratops" - Insula Primalis
    • "Fixed Point" - Most likely the Realm of Discord. Possibly one of the Time Cataclysm's "own" cards.
    • "Passing Tumbleweed" - Silver Gulch. It should be noted that the Silver Gulch mini-expansion was published after the Shattered Timelines expansion, making this a future event.
    • "Surprise Shopping Trip" - Megalopolis or Rook City.
    • "Giant Mutated Cockroach" - Pike Industrial.
    • "Tendrils of Madness" - Realm of Discord.
    • "Atlantean Throne Room" - Ruins of Atlantis
    • "Oppressing Smog" - Rook City
    • "Typhoon" - Most likely Insula Primalis
    • "Crushing Hallway" - Tomb of Anubis.
    • "Marsquake" - Wagner Mars Base
    • "F.I.L.T.E.R. Spy" - The Block. .

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  • "The child is the center" refers to The Dreamer. A hint at this can be found on the infamous card "Fixed Point". The "Fixed Point" is that in every reality, young Vanessa Long manifests powers. The Visionary came from her time to prevent the Vanessa Long of this reality from going through what she did, and yet, this reality's Vanessa Long STILL manifested powers. This is important, because these "Fixed Points" across spacetime is how OblivAeon is destroying everything. The more points that realities have in common, the more they draw "close" and if multiple realities are too close, they act as cosmic anti-matter, destroying each other. The Child is the Center

Reference

  • The card "Typhoon" represents the real world typhoon that delayed delivery of the Infernal Relics expansion | Spoil Me Rotten on Shattered Timelines
  • The F.I.L.T.E.R Spy pictured bears a strong resemblance to the Spy class of the PC game Team Fortress 2
  • The flavor text of 'Crushing Hallway' is a reference to the compactor scene from Star Wars: A New Hope.
  • On "Tendrils of Madness" the creature pictured on the back of Visionary's head is very similar to the "Thought Nibbler," a card from the Magic the Gathering TCG that is famous for being useless.

Tomb of Anubis

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  • "Judgement of Anubis" includes Ammit, the eater of souls. Her role would be to eat the heart being weighed against the feather of Truth if it's heavier.
  • "Swarm of Scarabs" shows Bunker from behind, looking up at the swarming insects.
  • "Cast into the Underworld" shows Visionary being submerged in some glowing green mist.
  • "Spike Trap" shows the Wraith being surprised by a skull impaled on a spike.

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  • This deck contains one of the few non-character card/villain card nemesis - Anubis, with Ra's symbol. Likewise, he is a nemesis to the entire Ennead

Reference

  • The Tomb of Anubis is based on the various depictions of ancient trap-laden tombs in popular culture. Among the most famous of these fictional tombs is the one from the opening of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
  • The pool of necrotic miasma that the Visionary is struggling within on "Cast Into the Underworld" is very similar to the whirlpool of the dead seen at the climax of the Disney movie Hercules.
  • Most of the mummy cards are homages of mummies from various films.

Wagner Mars Base

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  • The card "Pervasive Red Dust" destroys equipment cards. The card art shows Visionary shaking the red dust out of her boot. Mechanically, the Visionary can't be effected by "Pervasive Red Dust" as she doesn't have any equipment cards.
  • Among her other remarkable accomplishments, Dr. Meredith Stinson (Tachyon) is directly responsible for the fact that humanity finally got around to visiting Mars, and thus indirectly responsible for the existence of the Mars base. Source: http://sentinelsofthemultiverse.com/multiverse/heroes/tachyon

Reference

  • Space bases with self-destruct timers like Wagner are a common sci-fi trope. The film that truly popularized the idea was Ridley Scott's Alien.

Dark Watch

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Reference

Eaken-Rubendaal Laboratories

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Reference

Freedom Four

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Reference

Freedom Five

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  • There was a Freedom Five team that had a roster of Legacy, Wraith, Bunker, and two other unknown members before the main one we know. Letters Page Episode 2

Reference

  • This group is the equivalent of the Justice League in DC or Avengers of Marvel. Both teams have a set roster but often various characters from that world show up from time to time and will become semi-permanent members at times.

Freedom Six

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Reference

Prime Wardens

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  • The artwork for the Card Silver Shadow (out of the Argent Adept deck) shows five members of the team, a masked man with a red and gold costume the only still unknown. As of Vengeance his name is known as Captain Cosmic


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  • The Prime Wardens bare a lot of resemblance to Marvel's Defenders: As a powerful magic user, and the organizer of the team, Argent Adept fills the role of Doctor Strange. As the Super Strong, Super Tough physical combatant, Haka fills the role of the Hulk. As the Aquatic-themed member, Tempest fills the role of Namor, as a mythical/religious warrior, Fanatic fills the role of Valkyrie, and as a superhero of cosmic power, Captain Cosmic fills the role of the Silver Surfer. Interestingly, this team is even more closely akin to the defenders analogues from Justice League episodes, The Terror Beyond and Wake The Dead: Tempest's lost arm from his incapacitated side, as well as from the Iron Legacy Future, are more reminiscent of Aquaman than Namor, Fanatic is a closer match to Hawkgirl than Valkyrie, and Captain Cosmic, as the last hero, on the team, to be introduced, mirrors Amazo, who appeared in Wake the Dead, but not the previous episode to feature that team, The Terror Beyond.

Southwest Sentinels

See Heroes: The Sentinels

Blade Battalion

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Reference

The Citizens of the Sun

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Reference

  • Much like Citizen Dawn is a reference to Magneto. The Citizens of the Sun are like the Brotherhood of Mutants founded by Magneto.

The Crew of the La Paradoja Magnifica

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Reference

The Court of Blood

See the Environment The Court of Blood

F.I.L.T.E.R.

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  • Of named members we only know of KNYFE who is a former member of this group and Sergeant Steel who is a current member
  • Their main known location is the Block

Reference

  • This group deals with threats to the planet and contains villains like S.H.I.E.LD. from Marvel and the Agency from DC

Hayes Brothers

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Reference

  • Often in Westerns you'll have sets of brothers working together as Outlaws or Lawmen. The Hayes brothers would reflect that and are setup that they can't directly attack each other.

The Organization

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Unconfirmed

  • Sentinel Tactics brought much information on the Underbosses - however, it appears that the Muscle, The Fence, and The Contract of the Original Organization all fell or were no longer useful to The Operative, as she recruited new bodies to these roles.

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Project Cocoon

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Revo-Corp

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  • Revo Corp has pieces of Omnitron within it's storage.
  • Benchmark is an employee of Revo-Corp
  • Parse had worked for Revo-Corp and Revernant before getting her powers
  • Baron Blade founded RevoCorp before he was arrested due to the Mad Bomber Blade events Letters Page Episode 3 and it was initially tasked with the development of the serum that gave him powers leading up to the Vengeance events.

Reference

  • Revo-Corp is similar to Roxxon Corp in Marvel Universe. They're big corporations with some shady ties.

The Slaughter-House Six

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  • First seen in the Challenges document, as a comic book cover

Reference

  • The team seems to be a reflection of the Sinister Six from Marvel

The Thorathian Armada

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Vengeance Five

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  • Notes from Letters Page 17
    • Baron Blade:
    • Fright Train:
      • Steven Graves enlisted on the same day and was put in the same squad in boot camp as Tyler Vance and they knew pretty much immediately that they weren't going to be friends. Some comrades-in-arms stuff along with their rivalry, but not ever really friendly (like, they're never going to go to a movie together, but the rivalry pushed both of them to be better than they would have been without it). Vance is very by-the-book and Graves more of an ends-justify-the-means.
      • After boot camp they get deployed in the same platoon, with Vance eventually taking a leadership role. Graves bristles a bit at having to take orders from him, but isn't openly insubordinate or anything.
      • Action in the middle-east at one point sees Graves injured in a firefight. Vance stays with him while the rest of the platoon falls back, ultimately holding out for 4 hours until support arrived. This was a bit of a bonding moment for them and is an exemplar of our the early Bunker comics worked.
      • Graves gets an honorable discharge following this (citing his injuries) and kind of just wound up wandering a bit, getting work where he could. He's a big guy with a fairly specific set of skills, though, which didn't really translate to civilian life outside of certain industries. He went into private security and worked for a number of "military consulting forces" - that is, he was a mercenary working for a number of groups - some legit, if sometimes shady (oil companies, "private intelligence agencies", etc.) others more shady (drug runners). The level of shade was kind of steadily on a lighter-to-darker trajectory, though. He's good at what he does, though, and eventually gets head-hunted by an anonymous outside group (private, covert wetwork stuff, paid by dead-drops).
      • Part of this latest contract involves him agreeing to chemical and mechanical enhancement, and he's up for this as part of the big payout promised. Unfortunately for him, the experimental procedures fail and leave his body just a wreck. He's got to stay in the lab for further study/repair. Of course, this private security force is backed by Revo-Corp, surprising nobody here. The group has no official name, but Revo-Corp will refer to it as their "ghosts" when necessary. This was the same experimental project that gave Setback his non-luck-related powers (see Setback episode for a note on how Baron Blade's, Setback's, and Fright Train's outfits were all variations on the same theme due to the tie-in to this project).
      • The data collected from the success of Setback allowed them to "fix" Graves' body. This partial success, combined with some mechanical enhancements make him the monstrosity we know and love as Fright Train as a member of the "ghosts". The first mission is to infiltrate a F.I.L.T.E.R. base.
      • Aside for F.I.L.T.E.R. stuff: the Federal Initiative to Limit Terrorism by Extraterrestrial Races started to combat alien threats (given that all the alien appearances to date had been threats. More on them in an upcoming episode for them (in the next month?).
      • The "ghosts" wind up getting wiped out - F.I.L.T.E.R. is just too used to dealing with "powered" entities, so a group of normal soldier types is not much of a threat. Fright Train and Char are the only ones to survive, but are captured and wind up in the Block.
      • Blade breaks out of prison and starts assembling his villain army. Part of this plan involves contacting prisoners in the Block and letting them know that he can blow a hole in a wall, so if there's an opportunity (during, say, a prison riot) he can get a lot of them out. Fright Train and others (who appear in Vengeance decks) escape.
    • Ermine:
      • Cassandra Lilya appears in the Rook City deck as a young person (the little blonde girl on Blighted Streets). This would be set after the Black Fist era, but before "Slim" Walker would be Mr. Fixer (thus the card's flavor text). The hoodlum on the card murders her parents and takes their stuff. She survives and her family's wealth still has her set up for life. Having all the money she could ever need leaves her pretty spoiled, though.
      • As stated in her bio, she was a contemporary of Maia Montgomery, running in the same social circles and attending the same events, but neither really respects the other. From Maia's perspective, Cassandra just gets everything that she wants without having to do anything for it (and once Maia becomes the Wraith it becomes even more pronounced as at least she's doing something to help people). Cassandra is resentful that Maia still has her parents, looks down on her for not having as much money as she does, and also for how Maia can't understand what Rook City's really like - this last one heavily influenced by her thrill seeking exploits as the famous thief, Ermine.
      • She has so much stuff accessible to her without effort, due to her wealth, and so loves taking what she isn't supposed to have as well. Then she tries to pull a job at the Rook City Museum of Art and History. They had a display of one of the world's largest diamonds, so she breaks in to take it. The Wraith happened to be patrolling nearby at the time, however, and handily defeats Ermine (who, being essentially a car burglar, wasn't really up to snuff in combat) and ties her up for the authorities. Wraith unmasks her before leaving, however, and so now knows her identity (and gets no small amount of entertainment from the knowledge).
      • In a shocking turn of comic-book vigilante logic, however, the authorities can't actually prosecute her because there's no evidence that she's actually committed a crime - only that she was tied up in the museum. She's still outed as Ermine, however, which kind of ruins her life as a socialite. So, she abandons that and just goes fully into the life of Ermine, setting up safe houses and whatnot. She's now got a vendetta against the Wraith, but it's actually to her advantage to have been stopped, since the museum itself has long been a front for one of the Chairman's criminal efforts (centered on high-quality forgeries of traveling exhibits that come in the door - the Fence is currently the museum's curator). Cassandra likely would have wound up dead somewhere if she'd succeeded in stealing from the Organization.
      • She continues in her life of crime for a while after this, until she's contacted by Baron Blade during his recruitment drive - receiving a nice hand-written invitation to join up and get vengeance on the Wraith.
    • Proletariat:
      • Aleksandr Tsarev was a soldier during WWII who was approached after the war to be part of a top secret project involving a space-rock the Red Army had recovered from a Nazi facility (they'd found it in a synagogue that had kept it for centuries prior to that - legends surrounded it involving the creation of golems, although not without cost). Generally, being exposed to the rock would cause a person's cellular structure to tear itself apart, but the Soviet scientists found a way to expose people to it "safely" (with a certain degree of confidence). They recognized that, if they were successful, their test subject would have great power, so they needed volunteers who were true believers. That was Aleks.
      • His body responded to the energies by his cells reproducing rapidly, his body bloating and tearing itself apart. At first the scientists figured this was another failure, but he survived (although still quite messy up to that point - it took months of medical treatment for him to recover, seemingly back to normal). He was put back into circulation as a normal soldier again since he was a good one before and, hey, at least they didn't lose him.
      • Once during combat training, however, he was struck more violently than usual (could have been expected to have broken some bones if he was still an average soldier). Instead of being injured, however, his body reacted by absorbing the blow and splitting off a duplicate of him. So now there's one of him standing there with the fatigues and everything and another just wearing his underwear (I mean, we're still in the old days of comics so he wasn't totally nude - it set the precedent that very closely-worn items could get duplicated too).
      • Clone mechanics: the experiences of copies are shared, thoughts and sensory information are continuous between bodies. With training (and the scientists were quick to jump back on board once they saw what his power was) he got better at dealing with the multiple-viewpoints-at-once thing and also better control over the duplication process (copying clothes and equipment intentionally, getting at least a few clones out without needing to take a big hit first).
      • He's now getting into his late 30s, however, and the leadership doesn't want to lose access to this power just by him aging out of usefulness before a major conflict comes along that he would be of most utility. So, they cryogenicaly freeze him and hide him in a secret bunker in Siberia. Eventually all of the scientists die off before this opportunity came about, though, and so he was forgotten.
      • That is, except for the rumors of a secret super weapon that had come to the attention of a certain Fyodor Ramonat who had known some of those scientists. Ivan found references to this in his father's notes and eventually tracked it down and woke him up. Aleksandr is ready to go now that he's been activated, and so Ivan tells him how he's going to be fighting Americans after all this time.
    • Friction:
      • Krystal Lee's time as an intern for Meredith Stinson, how she was fired, and how she stole a speed suit can be found in the Tachyon episode.
      • After she left the lab, she's angry and wants payback. She knew who Tachyon was, obviously, and she took the steps to contact Baron Blade herself. Eventually, she gets a form letter back turning her down. She uses the speed suit in Mordengrad to fight her way through a bunch of the Blade Battalion to prove herself (although she runs into a lot more stuff than Tachyon would and generally just not showing much control). Blade and the others discussed above come out to deal with her, but she still can't really control/stop herself.
      • Blade manages to take her down eventually and they analyze her suit, for which she takes credit, but he also offers to develop devices to help her not be so dangerous to herself (although also coming with the risk of winding up in even worse shape than she would have otherwise if things go wrong).
      • Given the potential here and her desire for payback, he offers her Vengeance! With the addition to her to the group he realizes that he now has a core "team" to be foils for the Freedom Five specifically and so they now become the Vengeful Five.
    • Vengeance:
      • This was a crossover event. There was a specific Vengeance limited series too, but it was bigger than that and was a major imprint on every title that Sentinel Comics was putting out at the time. It involved a lot of villains appearing outside of their normal context (a Dark Watch villain fighting the Prime Wardens, for example).
      • It marks a specific moment in the comics timeline as it was so ubiquitous, but it only really had minor repercussions down the line. It started with Baron Blade destroying FFHQ, prompting the building of Freedom Tower and he lost his scarring at the end in the Realm of Discord, but it wasn't a major turning point for anybody but him.
    • Post-Vengeance:
      • Baron Blade - Already covered in his episode.
      • Fright Train - Still doing minor villain stuff for anybody who will pay. Eventually he winds up in the Block again, but this time F.I.L.T.E.R. recognizes his work and he basically gets a job offer, doing similar stuff to what he was doing with the "ghosts" before his first stint there (we see him working with Sergeant Steel at one point, he's paid to bust into Freedom Tower as a distraction later, etc.).
      • Ermine - Goes to prison. She's captured during Vengeance and just winds up behind bars until right around the Omnitron IV events, when she escapes. Baron Blade puts out a call for people to recover parts from the facility and she breaks out to take him up on that, figuring that she can just get in and get out without having to fight anybody. She also gets in on the "distraction" job that Fright Train was doing over at Freedom Tower. She gets caught again and winds up right back in prison, though.
      • Proletariat - Right near the end of Vengeance, a big event (just prior to Blade and Legacy fighting in the RoD) is that Proletariat becomes aware of Blade's deception regarding his connection to the Soviet cause. He then goes off by himself back to his homeland to find himself and what remains of his cause. He largely just fades into the background.
      • Friction - The changes to her suit result in a catastrophic failure during Vengeance, burns out/gets atomized, never to be seen again.
    • Questions:
      • Friction's bio says that she was turned down by Blade initially, who was his first choice to fill her "spot" in the team? As stated, a core "team" wasn't the original point.
      • How was it determined which mini-nemeses appeared in whose deck? There isn't a working relationship between the mini-nemeses and "their" villain (like, the Hippo isn't working for Friction), but they're kind of grouped by who showed up in the same stories. Example: Proletariat's deck has more "thinker" villains since Blade was specifically trying to keep the fiction of his Soviet ideals intact and needed people who could maintain that around him. There will be a long Interlude about more mini-nemeses stuff. Tag your questions on these as Nemesis when submitting. This includes the VotM ones.
      • What do the Vengeful Five think of one another? They're all down with Blade's plan to kill Legacy (even if just to humor him), but they don't really gel as a team like the Freedom Five do. Proletariat operates by himself because it's better to get out of his way and let him do his thing. Friction is kind of painful to be around. Ermine prefers the sneaky approach. It's hard to keep up with Fright Train as he just barrels through everything in his way. There's just not a lot of synergy going on in how they fight. They all more or less respect Blade, but that's about it. Ermine and Fright Train (the two most adapted to "normal" life who survive) work together again later. Good line: Fright Train trusts Ermine about as far as he can throw her, but that's pretty far.
      • In the bios we find that Ermine and Friction were both contacted by letter, did Blade himself write these? Why letters? Delivery method? Delivered by small rockets. He's good at reading and manipulating people, so he recognizes that a written invitation with nice calligraphy is the right recruitment method to get Ermine on board. The form letter Friction got really is a form letter that he sends to the stream of minor baddies offering their services and Friction's written offer didn't wow him.
      • How strong is Fright Train? Like, way strong, bro. Totes swole.
      • How "in control" is Fright Train? He makes questionable choices in that he goes with the easy choice rather than the right one. The drugs he was exposed to in the experiments don't make him evil, but make him more impulsive and clouds his already shaky judgement. He always loves trains, though. He's fairly in control - he's still able to rationalize, but he's just never been good at it. He's less likely to consider an action before acting on it.
      • Steven Graves becomes a hero as the new Bunker in the Iron Legacy timeline, does he do anything similar during OblivAeon? During the OblivAeon fighting, the only Vengeful Five member who does anything notable is Baron Blade as Luminary. Graves is in some small backwater in the Southwest, laying low until he's out of money again. Some Aeon Men show up (as they do everywhere) and he punches them, but then has to move on as it's outed him as this scary thing that the people maybe should fear. So, he technically did a thing, but it didn't contribute to the overall story.
      • How did Proletariat not get a hero deck for OblivAeon (citing that his motivation isn't a villainous one)? He wasn't a major character during OblivAeon. Given infinite time and resources, it'd be fun to do decks for everybody, but it's sort of the case that only the major villains/events get their own decks, and that goes for the heroes too and he just wasn't important for this. He fought some Aeon Men (because they're ubiquitous), but didn't fight OblivAeon.
      • Is Proletariat's vendetta against Absolute Zero just due Blade's description of AZ's employment by the government and the parallels to Proletariat's own situation or more due to the indoctrination of Proletariat against the US back in the day? Both are accurate. Proletariat's attitude is more that he needs to defeat AZ so that he's not actively fighting him, thus allowing him to save this unwitting stooge of the capitalist dogs. He sees AZ as a victim.
      • How many clones can Proletariat have at a time? He shares senses and experiences with all of them, so it's difficult to manage them. He doesn't have a physical maximum, but it gets harder for him to maintain them mentally. The most we see in the Multiverse era is once when we see him fighting Haka and it's about a dozen. If he gets up to around 20 it starts to be pretty mindless. Twenty is about as many as he'd go to if there's a singular goal (falling from a height, trying to land on somebody, lets get as many bodies as possible to do that or when fighting the Aeon Men and only needs each body to swing the hammer at the guy in front of him - no more complicated than that). Finesse isn't really possible above around 6.
      • Why does he have a vendetta against AZ (if at all)? What all can he duplicate (costumes for sure, what about the hammers or anything else like one of Blade's death rays)? First part already covered. His power is really hand-wavy on how it works (much like Absolute Zero's) - with practice he learned to copy clothes and simple hand-held objects. That's why he uses a hammer, but not even a simple gun.
      • Blade's deck has flavor text from Exordium, what's its relation to Vengeance? Exordium is a pre-Vengeance storyline - a limited series detailing the recruitment phase of the plan.
      • In the AZ episode it's mentioned that Proletariat isn't really a nemesis of AZ in the way of most nemeses, did he appear in comics prior to the Vengeance plot and, if so, who did he fight? No, he was new for this. Despite the long history of Commie-busting in the comics he didn't feature in them. The most notable Soviet character in the comics from back in the day was Iron Curtain, who didn't even make it into the game (only appearing in some cover art they did - showing the current Legacy's first appearance). (This is Justice Comics #102 seen on the second page of the "Hero Challenge Achievements" PDF on the GTG website, True Believers!)
      • How big a deal, in-universe, are the mini-nemeses? Did Blade contact them individually or did they seek him out when they heard what was going on (like, why get the Hippo to fight Haka when there's this perfectly serviceable French jerk willing to fight him)? Each of them has their own reasoning. Common thread among them is "vengeance", though. This implies some slight or wrong done to them by the hero, which is why the Haka example is fitting - Haka didn't do anything to Ambuscade, he's just after money and glory as far as going after Haka is concerned.
      • Are there any Vengeance villains who betrayed Baron Blade in some way? "Betray" is strong and nobody really backstabbed him in the way implied. Zhu Long was there for his own reasons, though, as are some others, but it's not like anybody's really there for Baron Blade. He just used their pre-existing motivations for his own ends. One exception for somebody whose presence kind of backfired on him was the Seer. He's the one who opened the portal to the Realm of Discord and the events there with Legacy were what kind of resulted in the Vengeance plot falling apart. It's not an intentional betrayal, but still a problem for him.
    • Future:
      • Tactics: Proletariat shows up, Ermine, Fright Train, and poor Friction don't (although Fright Train appears in some art). Proletariat is working for whoever is running Revo-Corp at the time, but we don't know why yet. He's not really a villain, but he's doing his own thing to further his ideals.
      • RPG: Can't really go into anything yet. Proletariat has a role (some roles?) to play. They have to save some content for until after the RPG comes out at which point they can circle back around to do some Interludes or something. There are plans for them regarding what they are going to do with these characters and what we, the players, will do with them (an intentionally tantalizing comment here at the end).

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