22 May 2013

Subject 13 #19 - Commentary

As always, please read the issue before continuing.

Catching up...

Something I don't remember reading in the comic, and this doesn't mean it hasn't happened, just that I haven't seen it, is the formal introduction of a sidekick by a public hero.  The American Eagle isn't a dark and brooding hero who skulks by night.  "Stop, evil-doer!" just doesn't lend itself to someone striking fear into the criminal populace.  Instead, the American Eagle has a foundation, complete with a public relations department.  Getting a new Peregrine counts as major news, at least for Rochester.  Thus, the press conference.  Eagle has a team of people supporting him, making it easier to liase with local authorities.

Backstage, Nasty gets to deal with the hassle of a costume.  A gaudy costume; costumes are to superheroes and supervillains what uniforms are to police, security, and the military - recognition.  Even if the viewer doesn't recognize the costume, he or she recognizes the significance of wearing the costume.  Naturally, with superheroes, most costumes are skin tight.  That's where Nasty has a problem; she doesn't like how her body looks.  The costume isn't skin tight, though; it is padded to offer armour and to disguise Nasty's figure.  Eagle's people know what a secret identity needs to be protected.

The press conference goes, possibly far quicker than a typical one.  (Mind, I live in Ottawa, where press conferences are a way of life for many people.  Your mileage may vary.)  While the questions are, mostly, simple ones, Nasty shows a lack of experience in answering them.  If I can get Crossover published, you'll see a difference between this issue, where Nasty's a rookie, and her performance at a con, after she's gained some experience.  And there is always that one person who has to ask a gotcha question.  The reporter does have a point; sidekicks aren't prestigious and many supers, at least in the S13-verse, start as a solo hero.  Eagle did stand up for the Peregrine, pointing out the history of the costume.

The issue winds itself up with Nasty getting a new motorcycle.  I think I'd been watching the third and fourth season of ReBoot, with AndrAIa enjoying motorcycles a bit much at the time.*  The motorcycle almost wound up being based on a BMW frame, then I realized that the American Eagle would get an American motorcycle, and Harley-Davidson is a better known name over Indian.  Narratively, Nasty received the motorcycle to try to balance her out more.  Several versions of Champions recommended that superhero player characters have a mix of offense, defense, and movement; Nasty has offense only.  The motorcycle and the padded costume make up for the deficiencies.

Finally, again, Nasty has a reaction on the elevator.  Yes, there is a reason.  No, I'm not giving it out right now.  What do you think?  Speculate in the comments.

Later this week, commentary for Issue 20.
Friday, Nasty starts her investigation to find Cinder and Ember.
Saturday, at Fan To Pro, part V of my four part series on adapting games.
Coming, rebooting science fiction, more NaNo 2013 prep work, and more!

* "What is it with you and motorcycles?"

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