New Vote Incentive! And it’s worth a look!



Even as the Kairos time-bubble vanishes (along with Sophie) our hero tackles the kid out of harm’s way, taking the bullet hit himself. Fortunately, the new graphene-laminate gel armor stops the slug, though it hurts. Technically, the gel armor spreads the impact pretty well, but we’re going to assume Countdown’s gel layer is damn thin by choice, to permit better speed and mobility. (That’s a protective stance in Panel 3, by the way, not a chokehold.)

Also, the graphene laminate takes a certain amount of damage. We wanted a hard shell for fighting purposes (it will become clearer why once the armor is weaponized) and while we could have had the bullets just flatten and fall off without leaving a mark, that has the major tactical drawback of “not looking cool.” So fragments of the laminating polycarbonate resin shatter off with bullet impacts.

We also got a nice mention on the Awesome Comics Podcast! Thanks, guys!

And more below!




Real-Life Superpowers


After the discussion last week of people personally experiencing the time-dilation “Kairos Effect,” I thought I’d bring up a few more “real superpowers.” Back when I was working on X-Men Evolution we had an episode or two dealing with mutants that were basically worthless. Honestly, you’d think there would be more of these. As I recall, one kid could produce a small amount of slime from his hands (essentially a rather disgusting stigmata, I suppose) and another had butterfly wings that were not strong enough to fly with; they just looked pretty. Even as such, the Marvel mutations are really pretty big leaps; they certainly smack less of natural selection and more of “intelligent design.” Or at least Stan Lee.

In real life, the “superpowers” are often useless and/or running gags. I remember hearing a girl on the radio who could be told any word and she would instantly rattle back all the letters in that word, arranged in alphabetical order. You could say “shadow” and she would fire back “A-D-H-O-S-W” without hesitation. (A Google search shows a number of people can do this; I guess it is a mental quirk that is rare but not unheard of.) But while cool to witness, it is essentially useless; even in old-school secretarial work there wouldn’t be any use for that ability that I can think of.

When my sister Eve was a toddler, she would routinely go outside in the Spring and hold up her hand and butterflies would come down and land in her palm. It was amazing to watch. It was before the age of video, but we have any number of still photos. My father (a scientist) tried to explain that her skin reflected UV light in the same manner as flower petals, but to me that still qualifies as a superpower. She went on to work with animals and still has an terrific rapport with them, so it may have been a superpower yet.

But far more common in our family are the “funny” superpowers. For instance, my wife’s superpower is to always know when I am on the toilet and insist, at any time of the day or night, that she needs to use the bathroom immediately. If I wait until she is out of the house and then sit on the toilet, she will phone me. It has become known as “Sharon’s Superpower.”

My friend Frank rarely calls me, but whenever he does, it is always at the most inconvenient time possible. If I am standing precariously on a ladder or wiring up some sort of effects charge (or both) and the phone in my pocket rings, I don’t even have to check the Caller ID. It’ll be Frank. Given the fact that it generally causes me to step back and take a second look at what I’m doing, he may or may not be my guardian angel.

My mother’s superpower is to always, always, have her name spelled wrong on important documents. Contracts, deeds, book covers; they never get her name right. Her name is Martha, but she gets “Mabel” or “Margaret” or “Mary” or some other name not her own. She once co-authored a book with my father and the cover listed her as “Margaret.” She protested to the publisher, who felt she was making a big deal out of nothing. They also got her name wrong on Wikipedia, which upset her so much I had a friend with editing privileges go in and correct it for her. But it continues to happen. Because superpowarz.

As for me, I don’t have any superpowers that I know of, except perhaps for the ability to somehow injure myself doing small household chores. Or purchase lottery tickets that not only fail to win, but don’t even manage to get a single number right. But I’m waiting. Always waiting. I’d go up on the roof and try to fly, but I know what would happen. I’d be balanced on the edge, ready to jump, and the phone in my pocket would ring.

It would be Frank.

— Bob out