There’s a lot of talk to be had about whether or not heroes should have them but what does a sidekick actually mean? Are sidekicks always the same? Are they irresponsible, or do they give you access to a new dimension of storytelling? And is Clay Talen’s sidekick, or vice versa?
We reminisce about the game City of Heroes, which has been shuttered now for five years, today (2017/12/01). It gets sad. We get testimonials from others.
There’s a fundamental power to the mask in superhero comics, and we decide to talk about them. We talk about masks that work well across different media, complaints about how masks are sometimes handled, and at some point conclude that Blade is a cop.
With all our talk about setting elements we figure it was high time we sat down and talked about the setting itself and how it interacted with characters. Why it being modern matters, what it can say, how it can change and how reflecting reality isn’t as important as feeling reality. There’s also some talk about France, and a surprise Comboman appearance. Now we’re having some technical problems lately, in part because one of us had to evacuate to avoid a Hurricane, so there will be some pop and it’s a bit uneven on sound. Very sorry about that!
This time, it’s a bit of a crossover episode; we talk about teams that bring together larger groups of characters, and in turn, some of those smaller characters with things going on. Then, to demonstrate that we’re not too proud to write fanfiction, we talk about our lineups for the Avengers and the Justice League!
Superheroes step in where the authorities aren’t doing their jobs, but what are those authorities? How do characters represent them, or interact with them?
THE HORRORS OF THE VASTNESS IN ALL PLACES! Clay and Talen, winding down October Spooktacular, talk about the horror in vastness; as a pair of former religious fundamentalists, they have their own grappling to do with the pulp horror that underpins comic book superheroes, and why Necron, Unicron and Galactus aren’t… quite… the same thing.
Where there are monsters, there are monster hunters, those who look into the abyss and stand on the precipice and patrol the border and whatever liminal metaphor you want. We talk about doing them well and the ways to identify the archetype, and also, talk about Blade.
IT CAME FROM BEYOND OUR UNDERSTANDINGS! Clay and Talen discuss a term they’ve used in the past, the _Science Monster_, a type of character that represents fears and anxieties about science, and how you can use these characters as lenses to look back on older stories, times and places, and see what really mattered to people. Also, Sandman and some bonus radioactive crocodiles.
Talen finally vents his spleen about how mad he is about all those characters who want to insist that they don’t need to be superheroes to be superheroes. Don’t worry, there’s plenty where that came from. We talk about unpowered humans and how they frame superhero stories.