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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 10:07:57 pm 
Mmm, I was drooling over Cooshie tonight.
Mmm, I was drooling over Cooshie tonight.
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I decided last week to do a reread of Matt Kindt's X-O run. I'm through issue #9 at this point. As I've been reading, I'm taking some simple notes. It's not meant as a summary of the events, just a list of oddities, observations, names, things that I'd forgotten and general plot turning points.

It wasn't done with this post in mind, so don't expect an issue by issue recap. And things I may have forgotten and noted may be things you didn't forget. I post them merely to perhaps rejuvenate some memories and/or questions.

X-O Notes:

Kindts' Run

1) Pre-order notes tease about a spaceship sketch that Kindt knows the answer to.

Also teases about a panel shot of the palace: "there is a crashed XXXX that the palace is built on and around. There should be XXXX specific symbols on the crashed ship"

We have never seen Schon's "tail". Not even in the Larosa character design we see in issue #2

2) Aric kills the genetically designed Cadmiums that do the space fleet navigation and targeting.

4) Last panel, first mention of Aric's child. (Shanhara told Schon?)

5) Opens with Aric shocked and denying existence of a child. / Cadmium president killed. / Monolith appears / Aric tells Shanhara she's lying about child, she responds "Am I?"

6) Opens, we see that "palace" symbol again (looks like ax head pointing up), the Monolith was "looking for something" then we see the symbol / Last page, we see the symbol and the monolith in the same panel.

7) First mention of "palace artifact" the "Monomen" want. Azurians made deal to give up artifact, then welshed. Artifact IS the Azure emperor's palace with symbol atop? Spiro is Monomen leader.

8) Emperor shielded by a sphere like we see the bounty hunters employ later. Monomen get their artifact, a stone at the top of the palace citadel. Aric is new emperor.

9) Kindt's liner notes say that the Easter Egg planted in the first issue (the panel with the palace) still hasn't been revealed. / Planet is at full war, everything gone wrong. / Bruto is called upon by ?? to contact The Processors. (so that name is not new, as was used in the latest issue). Is that Juneday with Bruto as he hails them?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:45:13 pm 
Mmm, I was drooling over Cooshie tonight.
Mmm, I was drooling over Cooshie tonight.
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10) I'd forgotten how cool the character designs for the bounty hunters(Processor) are. / destroy planet to free Hesnid, Rawn considers him his only family / "Kill what it loves first" to defeat an enemy

Crain's painted issues are outstanding.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 9:57:03 pm 
Mmm, I was drooling over Cooshie tonight.
Mmm, I was drooling over Cooshie tonight.
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11) Analogy: Opens with Aric trying to seal a fissure of cracked land by boring down into the planet; he is literally attempting to repair the planet. / I like Bodenheim's strong line artwork / Now the Processors have BAZ-L's head / They stole the emperor's shield to trap Aric / I'd forgotten that Aric's crew, including Schon, were in on bringing in the bounty hunters

Yikes, I can't believe I didn't remember that last bit.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:43:45 pm 
Mmm, I was drooling over Cooshie tonight.
Mmm, I was drooling over Cooshie tonight.
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12) Bat is killed (absorbed?) into the armor when he tries it on / Aric surprises and interrupts a meeting of his crew. / The Processors show up and wound him (also kill(?) Wynn and Ironside). As he's coming around, we see a panel of him hugging a small, young boy. / He calls for Shanhara, he refers to her as his Good Skin. He dons the armor and powers up for a little payback in the next issue.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:49:10 pm 
Mmm, I was drooling over Cooshie tonight.
Mmm, I was drooling over Cooshie tonight.
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13) Opens with a full page of Aric, Saana and young son. Later page shows child has leukemia possibly from proximity to the armor. / Aric battles the Processors, at one point the armor is ordered to encase Hesnid (Rawn's best friend). Rawn immediately surrenders. Aric did to Rawn ("threaten or kill they thing your enemy loves") what Rawn tried to do to Aric with Schon. Later page we see child is buried and Saana orders Aric to leave / Wynn and Ironside are healed, the planet is achieving peaceful cooperation / Aric leaves Gorin and gives Schon the ring made from the armor.

I recall most of this except the ring part. So that's how we see Schon returning in armor in the most recent issue. Rereads help!


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:32:52 pm 
Clinkin' bottles with Aram
Clinkin' bottles with Aram
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So I guess the tail is just the armor not her actual never before seen tail?

Can Shanhara just create other armors now?

I also thought it was a pretty flimsy premise that they would just jump to the conclusion that the child's leukemia was caused by the armor, if that was the case why didn't Saana get leukemia?

I don't know, I read your summary and I remember most of it but it still seems like a mess to me especially when you view it as a continuation of Venditti's run.

For me it was too deconstructionist, instead of building on the previous work it just kind of threw it all away. We had to wait more than a year to see the bridge between the previous story and this one and when it finally happened it wasn't very satisfying. The worst part was after all that we got a 4 month flashback to Roman times story which was a total momentum killer.

I am eagerly anticipating the end of this run and hopeful the new writer can fix this character, right now he's damaged IMO.

Nobody wants a mopey XO.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:00:20 pm 
Mmm, I was drooling over Cooshie tonight.
Mmm, I was drooling over Cooshie tonight.
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hawkeyeps wrote:
So I guess the tail is just the armor not her actual never before seen tail?

Can Shanhara just create other armors now?

I also thought it was a pretty flimsy premise that they would just jump to the conclusion that the child's leukemia was caused by the armor, if that was the case why didn't Saana get leukemia?

I don't know, I read your summary and I remember most of it but it still seems like a mess to me especially when you view it as a continuation of Venditti's run.

For me it was too deconstructionist, instead of building on the previous work it just kind of threw it all away.


Yeah, I don't know what's up with the tail thing. She mentioned it in an early panel of issue #1 (it is somehow involved in sex) but then we saw images of her later on from behind and she clearly has no tail. Unless it's a retractable part of her anatomy or something.

As for Shanhara generating additional armors I guess we'll find out. Not sure how I feel about that. The pod procreation aspect from VH1 was cool, it kept the armor as a rare and elite item.

As for the child, I didn't like that as a plot device. His first born son as a throwaway plot device to leave Earth? That seems like it should have been more monumental in the title. Perhaps the fact that Aric can't recall it means something more. I can't really decide if we see him remembering it by the end of the issue.

No doubt that Kindt reset the character for his run on the book. He wanted to show the progression of Aric up through the ranks without the armor making every situation a fait accompli. He wanted us to see the man's mettle without the benefit of the armor at every turn. But there's plenty of dialogue between him and Shanhara talking about how they are now wedded, in a way.

Thanks for chiming in; I was hoping it would generate some discussion. As you can see, once I started posting here my notes got a little more descriptive about the events of each issue.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 2:44:51 pm 
Clinkin' bottles with Aram
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jmatt wrote:
hawkeyeps wrote:
So I guess the tail is just the armor not her actual never before seen tail?

Can Shanhara just create other armors now?

I also thought it was a pretty flimsy premise that they would just jump to the conclusion that the child's leukemia was caused by the armor, if that was the case why didn't Saana get leukemia?

I don't know, I read your summary and I remember most of it but it still seems like a mess to me especially when you view it as a continuation of Venditti's run.

For me it was too deconstructionist, instead of building on the previous work it just kind of threw it all away.


Yeah, I don't know what's up with the tail thing. She mentioned it in an early panel of issue #1 (it is somehow involved in sex) but then we saw images of her later on from behind and she clearly has no tail. Unless it's a retractable part of her anatomy or something.

As for Shanhara generating additional armors I guess we'll find out. Not sure how I feel about that. The pod procreation aspect from VH1 was cool, it kept the armor as a rare and elite item.

As for the child, I didn't like that as a plot device. His first born son as a throwaway plot device to leave Earth? That seems like it should have been more monumental in the title. Perhaps the fact that Aric can't recall it means something more. I can't really decide if we see him remembering it by the end of the issue.

No doubt that Kindt reset the character for his run on the book. He wanted to show the progression of Aric up through the ranks without the armor making every situation a fait accompli. He wanted us to see the man's mettle without the benefit of the armor at every turn. But there's plenty of dialogue between him and Shanhara talking about how they are now wedded, in a way.

Thanks for chiming in; I was hoping it would generate some discussion. As you can see, once I started posting here my notes got a little more descriptive about the events of each issue.


:high-five:


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:05:02 pm 
Mmm, I was drooling over Cooshie tonight.
Mmm, I was drooling over Cooshie tonight.
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14) Aric bickering with Shanhara, receives message from Livewire ("only two people could transmit that far"), flashbacks to son's illness and a childhood visit to Rome / Slingshots around collapsing star, we get the "black" panel as armor puts him to sleep (hibernation?) / Comes to, flashback panel with young Aric looking skyward in amazement / As he dives with whales, we see the mystery panel, are those sentient cities? What? / According to headstone, son's name was Aric II / Saana now has son with Volo / What is that second to last panel? Memory of Gorin would be appropriate for the moment but it doesn't really look like it.

If you can, go grab this issue and flip through it. There were some mysterious panels in it and other oddities. The artwork, as it has been throughout this run, is terrific.

1) Who's the only other person who could transmit a message that far? Pete? Harada? Ax?

2) I think that the flashback panels involving his son are memories, not just there for the reader's benefit. But why did he have no memory of it on Gorin? But I'm not entirely sure since it is Shanhara that cleanses the armor's radiation upon arrival on Earth.

3) Side note - He's been gone from Earth for 18 months.

4) What's up with the panel of young Aric in Rome looking skyward? Who is the child he sees being taken from a trash heap?

5) I know we talked about back then, but what is that panel of an object hurtling through space past those technical looking orbs?


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:03:28 pm 
Mmm, I was drooling over Cooshie tonight.
Mmm, I was drooling over Cooshie tonight.
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15) Opens with Aric floating above Earth "Let me, for one moment, think...", he has returned from Gorin and that story continues in HW2. I think this is Kindt's way of overtly signaling an interlude in present continuity. / Shanhara recounts the story of Sabbas, a slave with visions of the future who escapes his captors / Gafti's brother Batwin is taken hostage by Romans / Aric and Gafti go after him without Alaric's permission / They run into Huns and Gafti falls into a river, Aric charges / The narrative continues with is what I would say is an apt summary of Aric's tale "...of the known world divided by fear of the unknown... of cultures intent on each other's destruction... and a boy, not yet a man... searching for a solution".

That last point would certainly seem to summarize the relationship between the Romans and the Visigoths, the tribes of Gorin, the Visigoths returned to modern Earth and our present day societies.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:46:09 am 
Just jumpin' through time arcs, that's all.
Just jumpin' through time arcs, that's all.
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Favorite character: X-O
Favorite title: X-O
Favorite writer: V-Ditti & Dysart
Favorite artist: Larosa
So jmatt does it read better second time around and as a more continuous read?

I definitely think Kindt has brought some great concepts to the Valiant U in this run, perhaps he hasn’t always stuck the landing with them though. Hopefully many concepts and characters will be mined by future writers and we’ll appreciate this run more.

I didn’t like the dead child thing or the Volo thing, I thought they were low points of the run.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 9:21:34 pm 
Mmm, I was drooling over Cooshie tonight.
Mmm, I was drooling over Cooshie tonight.
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Dallow Spicer1 wrote:
So jmatt does it read better second time around and as a more continuous read?


Without question. Better the second time because I've already digested it once and this is more of a "refined observation of the work" rather than "the initial read", which is affected by things other than what's between the covers.

For instance, when this first came out I (we) took it to be some 'filler arc' while HW2 unfolded... and that cast the reading experience in a different light, especially since HW2 was in some ways disappointing and DMG had recently taken over. Those developments kinda rubbed off on this. So I had kind of a "yeah, whatever, another Aric flashback story" attitude toward it.

This time I am unencumbered by that, and can appreciate it all the more.

And better as a continuous read for obvious reasons; I haven't forgotten some of the content from prior / recent issues.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 9:22:24 pm 
Mmm, I was drooling over Cooshie tonight.
Mmm, I was drooling over Cooshie tonight.
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16) Interesting start, Shanhara is recounting as she did last issue. Sabbas meets and is trying to help a famed writer and poet who has a story he needs to finish. In it, a king with a golden crown travels to a far off land and meets a blue woman and falls in love. But he has to return home, where war is imminent, but he gives her a ring before leaving. Alone, she is sad. "The ring is a promise. If she ever needs help... if she ever seeks to find the king again... this will be proof of their bond. She has only to find the king and present him with it." She starts off to seek the king and meets an old man who steals the ring and throws her out into the wilderness, alone.

Sabbas says he had visions of this same story and is destined to meet the king. He says he knows how it ends: The ring is enchanted and curses the man who stole it; then it returns itself to the woman. / So, this is the tale of Aric and Schon. I suppose we'll find out who the 'old man' is and see the rest of these events in an upcoming issue.

Kal (the poet) gives Sabbas an enchanted map on which are marked the most holy locations in the known world.

Rest of the story: Aric escapes Huns, stumbles into Romans who have joined forces with the Visigoths to drive off the Huns. Aric is saved. In Venice, Aric gets into a brawl and as the issue ends we see Sabbas appear.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:42:13 pm 
Mmm, I was drooling over Cooshie tonight.
Mmm, I was drooling over Cooshie tonight.
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17) Shanhara continues to narrate. We get Sabbas' tale of how he came to be in Venice. / He and Aric make their way to Rome and part ways. They get in trouble and are rejoined in prison, sentenced to fight against a foe in an arena. / There's a few occurences of Sabba's sabotaging straps, cinches, buckles to get his way (possible theme for the character, of sorts?) / Shanhara ends the issue with a line about Aric's past predicting his future.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 11:48:59 am 
Rockin' out in Torquehalla
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I'm enjoying this, and I think I need to do the same.

My one question from #13, did they ever specifically state that his son got cancer from the radiation from Shanhara? From what I remember, it was just his wife that blamed the suit, which would fall in line with their principle beliefs from back in their time, whatever you don't know/don't trust usually causes the misfortune that you have. Saana only blames the armor because she truly doesn't understand it. Since Saana is around the armor quite often as well, if Shanhara did kick off some form of radiation, wouldn't she be at risk of cancer as well?

This was my take, some kids get sick. They get cancer and die, and that really sucks. For many current families, it tears them apart. Men and women divorce over the death of their child, it's pretty common. With that in mind, what would happen to a couple who don't understand what cancer is, or what Leukemia really is, or what might cause it, or that sometimes children just get sick with no cause.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:47:44 pm 
Mmm, I was drooling over Cooshie tonight.
Mmm, I was drooling over Cooshie tonight.
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18) The coliseum is flooded, the pair are to do combat against sailing vessels. They win and escape to the countryside in search of Batwin. / They find him and Batwin refuses to return, he likes Roman living. / Shanhara continues to narrate (and pontificate). / She tells Aric his modern day Visigohs have adoped the culure, much as Batwin did the Romans / Somehow, we see Sabbas in the present, turning tarot cards for Capshaw; she's asking what to do now that the Love Boat is destroyed and psiots are on he loose (I assume this refers to HW). Sabbas warns that things are about to get very weird.

Nitpick: The destruction of the thirty+ foot sailing vessels in the coliseum is absurdly, physically impossible. He strings a rope between their masts and climbs out into the middle. We are to believe his weight is enough to overturn both vessels, sending them crashing into each other.


Last edited by jmatt on Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:02:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:57:12 pm 
Mmm, I was drooling over Cooshie tonight.
Mmm, I was drooling over Cooshie tonight.
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TheeBaldMoose wrote:
I'm enjoying this, and I think I need to do the same.


Thanks! It's making me want to go back and flesh out my notes on the first ten issues... just for completeness.

TheeBaldMoose wrote:
My one question from #13, did they ever specifically state that his son got cancer from the radiation from Shanhara? From what I remember, it was just his wife that blamed the suit, which would fall in line with their principle beliefs from back in their time, whatever you don't know/don't trust usually causes the misfortune that you have. Saana only blames the armor because she truly doesn't understand it. Since Saana is around the armor quite often as well, if Shanhara did kick off some form of radiation, wouldn't she be at risk of cancer as well?


There are doctors involved who state that they can't be sure what the cause is. "Aric, I'm sorry. It was just a theory. The constant proximity to low-level radiation could be a factor. But without testing there really is no way to know."

Saana, however, is quite convinced and blames the armor.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 4:40:58 pm 
Is it Dee-no or Die-no? Dunno.
Is it Dee-no or Die-no? Dunno.
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jmatt wrote:
18) The coliseum is flooded, the pair are to do combat against sailing vessels. They win and escape to the countryside in search of Batwin. / They find him and Batwin refuses to return, he likes Roman living. / Shanhara continues to narrate (and pontificate). / She tells Aric his modern day Visigohs have adoped the culure, much as Batwin did the Romans / Somehow, we see Sabbas in the present, turning tarot cards for Capshaw; she's asking what to do now that the Love Boat is destroyed and psiots are on he loose (I assume this refers to HW). Sabbas warns that things are about to get very weird.

Nitpick: The destruction of the thirty+ foot sailing vessels in the coliseum is absurdly, physically impossible. He strings a rope between their masts and climbs out into the middle. We are to believe his weight is enough to overturn both vessels, sending them crashing into each other.


I thought the whole coliseum battle was absurd. Even for comic books. For a while I hoped they'd do a whole arc in Aric's past but this really did disappoint me and barely told a coherent story, IMO. Kindt had the opportunity to tie Sabbas into Divinity but didn't. Not sure what his real purpose is or if we'll ever find out, like so much of his X-O run, he creates lots of characters and ideas but then they go nowhere with little payoff or follow up.

I appreciate reading your highlights.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 9:51:54 pm 
Mmm, I was drooling over Cooshie tonight.
Mmm, I was drooling over Cooshie tonight.
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19) The Loveboat is a smoldering wreck (destroyed in HW2), Capshaw's being chewed out / She's ordered to take Aric and investigate an anomoly in Australia. / Capshaw checks off the "Lesbian" box in her character profile, which offically makes her "more interesting" / In Australia, they encounter Atom-13's ship, Aric enters / Atom's looking for "a lost princess" / Aric is waylaid by the Brother's of the Bomb as Capshaw ascends.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:24:11 pm 
Mmm, I was drooling over Cooshie tonight.
Mmm, I was drooling over Cooshie tonight.
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kinggirlfriend wrote:
... and barely told a coherent story, IMO.


I felt the same way on my first read with 30-day interludes. But it's more coherent read back to back.

kinggirlfriend wrote:
Kindt had the opportunity to tie Sabbas into Divinity but didn't.


In general or were you expecting something specific? Like, why Divinity? He could have tied him into any of the Anni-Padda brothers. (And I thought we were actually gonna see that when Sabbas is talking about how he met a poet / storyteller... I though it was gonna be Aram until we met Kal)

kinggirlfriend wrote:
Not sure what his real purpose is or if we'll ever find out, like so much of his X-O run, he creates lots of characters and ideas but then they go nowhere with little payoff or follow up.


He does leave loose ends at times, I agree. But the possibly the biggest, ever, may be all the hubbub about the Easter Egg he laid early on in this run. There was much talk about the hidden symbol or importance of the Azurian palace in that one panel. In the liner notes he talks about how readers will see its importance 16 to 18 issues later and how this will demonstrate "how the creative team had it all planned out so far in advance" (paraphased) and "it's going to blow everyone away" (direct quote).

Here we are and not blown away. :? I mean, if you're gonna throw that out there and then not follow up on it at all... what are we to make of that? I can only assume the DMG takeover forced them to change direction. Mind you, I have not been reading the liner notes since then, so perhaps it was addressed.

At the time, I assumed it was gonna tie into Psi-Lords. They were all differently colored in VH1 and here we are with Cadmiums (red), Azures (blue) and the Burnt (gray?).... they all encounter the Monomen (as in monochrome) so I figured we were gonna see their origin or backstory. But nothing. The Easter Egg turned out to be a goose egg: zero.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:15:24 pm 
Is it Dee-no or Die-no? Dunno.
Is it Dee-no or Die-no? Dunno.
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I just figured he was Divinity because he looked like Divinity and told a story that spanned time and space. I guess it's like the War Mother/Monger thing. They look eerily similar and share a similar name yet have nothing to do with each other? They should connect the dots or create something that better stands on it's own. IMO, of course.

The Azurian palace supposedly having a connection to Psi-Lords is doubly frustrating because we would never have given it a second thought if they didn't go out of their way to point to it and tell us to expect something. The best stories don't need that kind of hype or hand holding. Just like HW2 with it's endless "this will change everything" bs. You know what wasn't hyped up? Harbinger Perfect Day. It just told an amazing story. It wasn't interested in playing gotcha or resting on easter eggs (ugh I hate that term, I want to read a story not play a game).


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:41:01 pm 
Mmm, I was drooling over Cooshie tonight.
Mmm, I was drooling over Cooshie tonight.
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kinggirlfriend wrote:
You know what wasn't hyped up? Harbinger Perfect Day. It just told an amazing story.


QFT. That was an amazing arc.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 9:50:46 pm 
Mmm, I was drooling over Cooshie tonight.
Mmm, I was drooling over Cooshie tonight.
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20) Atom-13 tells his tale: raised as a slave to simulcrum, he rises up, the robots are destroyed and he meets Tagg (now known as The Sky Goddess), the love of his life / He has Magnus like abilities and Aric is stymied since Atom can thwart Shanhara / Capshaw arrives, there is a detente and they agree to help Atom retrieve Tagg and a weapon from David Camp (The Cartographer) / Capshaw stays behind in their vessel as they meet Camp in New Eden / Fighting words are exchanged, Tagg is there / Meanwhile, the Galactic Police arrive and confront Capshaw and the Brothers of the Bomb in their ship


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:02:27 pm 
Mmm, I was drooling over Cooshie tonight.
Mmm, I was drooling over Cooshie tonight.
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21) Big battle between Aric, Atom, Tagg and animal-ish foes conjured up by the Cartographer (David Camp) while Camp communes with the Cosmos via his 'weapon' (one of the staves usually weilded by the Brothers of the Bomb) / Meanwhile the Cops (from the Unknown) take control of Atom's ship which apparently has a missing power core / The Cops speak as if editors: 'resistance will be met with editorial strike-through' -- this is notable since books are a big theme in Divinity / Cops are there to retrieve Atom and crew who left the Unknown without authority; Cops fear they are contaminating 'outside realities' / Capshaw has hidden the core, she's left behind as the others go after Atom and Camp / Cops arrive, declare all under arrest, Camp opens a cosmic portal and a meteor strikes the site, big boom / Note: It's odd that the Cops fear the 'contamination' of Earth but are willing to leave Atom's ship behind and return everyone in their vessel


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:53:14 pm 
Mmm, I was drooling over Cooshie tonight.
Mmm, I was drooling over Cooshie tonight.
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Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2012 2:41:10 pm
Posts: 10697
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA!
22) Opens with a ridiculous shot: Aric holding up this meteorite from crushing his comrades *without* his helmet. To say nothing of the columnar explosion was saw at the close of last issue. / Atom and the Cops (now called Titan Patrol) blow it up, they are free / The groups rumble again, just as Aric is about to kill Camp, Capshaw orders him to stop because the media is watching (really?!) / TP loads up the characters from the Unknown and depart, Capshaw has stolen Atom's craft / We see Capshaw and Sabbas, who apparently foretold how this would go / Camp and crew in Unknown detention camp, says he's right where he wants to be / Capshaw now heads BOB, which replaces the Loveboat / Something is inbound to Italy, where Aric is


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