Marissa shows how she can be all stealthy and stuff.

Naturally, after a deadly disaster like the one portrayed on the previous pages, there’s going to be an investigation, even though the radio transmissions would have made it pretty clear what lead to the crash. Fortunately, two things are distracting the investigators right now. They are 1: Marissa’s legs, and 2: Other parts of Marissa. Okay, three things: the two just mentioned, and 3: A teleporting vigilante who managed to help rescue a bunch of people and then vanished without a trace.

Little do they know that he’s sitting right over there. In the badass sports car. That the smokin’ hot redhead is getting into.

Okay, so he’s kind of busted up right now, but still. Freakin’ heroes have all the luck.

More below!



Passing Unnoticed


It will no doubt astonish you to learn (no, it won’t) that I have, on occasion, needed to go places where I wasn’t supposed to go and do things that I wasn’t supposed to do. It’s usually never as dramatic as having to dress as an insurgent for the purposes of Army training (although I’ve had to do that as well.) No, as anyone who has ever tried to make low-budget movies has learned, you often have to do a lot of what they call “guerilla filmmaking.” This is a cool way of saying “sneaking around with a camera.”

Sometimes you’re not even shooting any footage; you just want to go somewhere to see if it is worth doing a movie in that location. You can try the legit route, but that takes forever and unless the person responsible smells big bucks in their near future, they will simply refuse. And then if you sneak in anyway and are caught, you are in real trouble.

So generally it’s easier to sneak in first, and if the place looks promising, you can worry about doing the legit route if you really want to.

Places that spring to mind are skyscraper rooftops, railroad tunnels, and city storm drains. And of course the non-public areas of Los Angeles City Hall, where Max-The-Artist and I managed to get a bunch of reference photos for this episode under the guise of being “lost.”

I’ve been in the tunnels and storm drains as well. It helps a lot that my car contains my safety gear, including a hard hat, an orange safety vest, and a set of brown Nomex coveralls. Put those on, and I can walk into all sorts of off-limits areas without being challenged. It’s like having a cloak of invisibility.

But even better than being invisible is being an attractive woman. During the 9-11 disaster, our whole family was in Barcelona, Spain. The airport was filled with desperate Americans trying to get home. Some had been sleeping on the floor. My wife, who is an attractive blonde, smiled and chatted with a number of harassed-looking airport officials and somehow, within an hour or so, we — me, her, and the boys — found ourselves practically the sole occupants of a jet being flown back to the U.S. for servicing. I’m sure that many of the people sleeping on the floor of the airport would have been glad to be with us, but they were not being represented by attractive blondes with winsome smiles.

It’s a good thing our hero is not currently driving a truck, or Marissa might not have limited herself to the contents of the drawer. If she’d amped up the smile and turned on the charm, she probably could have asked the other investigators to carry the entire desk out for her.

And they would have done it, too.

— Bob out

Artist’s Notes:  We always used to cringe when Mom would go up to people and chat and pester and ask naïve questions.  It was kind of embarrassing to travel with her; she would be that annoying stranger talking your ear off during long flight.  It still happens and it’s still embarrassing, but she really saved our butts getting us home that day after 9-11.  Dad’s not exaggerating- the airport in Spain was FILLED with Americans basically living in the food courts and people everywhere were crying and fighting.   It was scary, and I’m sure my Dad and I were resigned to our fate- we were last in a very long line of people waiting to get home.  

But Mom, in her eternal naïveté, had no such designs- what’s the harm in just going up to the ticket counter, and asking, politely, if there were any available flights back to the US that we could hop on?  I remember commenting that it was a stupid idea, after all, just look around, why would people be sleeping on their luggage if there were flights available?  She ignored us as usual and disappeared for a spell.  15 minutes later, she came back and whispered “dont talk, just follow me.” An hour later we were boarding a very suspiciously empty airplane bound for Newark, if I recall.  To this day I’m convinced that we were on some sort of secret VIP plane.  There were no other families on board, just a handful of quiet, well dressed individuals, and plenty of room to stretch out.   It was a nice flight, and after a little wait at a very empty airport stateside, we grabbed a connecting flight back to LA.  

Since then, we don’t roll our eyes at Mom anymore 🙂  -Max