Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Updates Mania!

So just got back from another art meeting for "Zenith Comics Presents: Public Enemies Volume 1" and we are now up to colour and cover discussions. So that's awesome!

Gonna go with an exclusive distribution via and their POD service as well I think.

Look for a June release at this point.

Also recorded the first edition of the Earth Alpha Podcast on Sunday, wherein I interviewed Jeff Dee (of Living Legends/Villains & Vigilantes fame). Should have that all edited and up for download next week if all goes according to plan.

And last but not least, been looking for a way to export this blog to my webpage and it isn't going well. This means I may move the blog over there to a WordPress based blog and only post update links here moving forward.

We shall see.

Otherwise, things are looking good, spring has sprung (despite 4 inches of snow yesterday that is all but gone today) and the Zenith Universe is in full swing.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

John's Notes - The Sentinels - Session 6

Session Notes - Sentinels Session 6 - April 10th, 2010

Renzo - Kenji/Galvanos
Robin - 0G
Mike - Max Plastic
Anthony - Monolith
John - Bronco

So about Prince Zorin, Sword of the Valek Empire...

0G has been at NASA for three weeks, tracking the arrival of Valek's pod. He tries with his powers to stop it, fails and passes out. Wakes up, radios in, and heads to Cap City to see where it's landed in town.

The rest of the team, meanwhile, has piled into the Blue Jay. The Angel is strangely absent.

Radio tells us Vanguard is already on scene, getting their asses handed to them. Gal gets launched in first. Zorin takes the hit without moving out of the way, and swipes a glancing blow at Gal as he goes by.

Lady A and Max Plastic enter the fray, with little success. The fray goes into full effect with the Sentinels. The heroes have trouble landing solid hits, the villain doesn't do much better. Bronco scores first noticeable hit. Gal takes first damage on the team. 0G moves Gal out of the way from Zorin, just in time to be cleaved in half, he instead is only cleaved _mostly_ in half. Lady A is paralyzed by grief over the loss of a teammate, and mentally shuts down. Zorin takes this chance to run Lady A through with his sword. Max Plastic takes the hit for her and gets knocked out of the way and out.

Bronco pounds, Monolith pounds, 0G drops the pod on the blue skinned mofo. Zorin bursts out of the debris with his sword. Lady A scores a big hit, and Monolith takes Zorin's follow up to Lady A instead of her. Monolith gets dropped. 0G immobilizes Zorin, Bronco takes a free shot. Lady A takes him all the way out with her free shot follow up.

EAGLE arrives, Zorin rises, and relents to superior fighters. 0G directs him to leave. Ok, but he'll kill any one of us whom ever leave this planet. Detente, cleanup, and head back home with Gal's half-busted chassis.

0G tells the team he was at SpaceLab tracking Zorin. A mild team meeting ensues. Lady A continually defers to 0G. Kenji goes to check on the Gal wreck.

Later the night 0G gets a call from Nightstar, the last Guardian. She invites herself over to talk Guardians. She offers the team name to us, then leaves 0G to think about it.

0G finds a drunken Lady A first. Gets her to bed with Bronco's help. Calls Max back to base for a meeting. Max says no, and continues to try to have a life. He goes to the repair bay. He's ignored for a while by Kenji and Monolith, then they talk, and the assembled team goes for ice cream.

Over ice cream 0G lays out the Guardians thing. We'll pass is consensus. 0G calls Nightstar back and decliner the offer.

A couple days pass... Tori flips out about the Guardians thing. 0G retorts with something snotty. She takes him to task for his professionalism.

Comic reader cut to Tori in a hot tub with Garth Sterling drinking champagne.

Cut back to her still giving 0G shit.

Kenji receives an invite to Stirling Tower. Goes to 0G for advice first.

0G gives no meaningful advice, while making it appear to be full of wisdom.

Kenji then crosses paths with a freshly showered Lady A. They establish he's not hitting on her. He solicits her advice. She suggests we go public with our HQ location. Kenji's not down with that. Still no meaningful advice about the whole Stirling thing.

Cut to 0G at a PR tree dedication. Mid-sentence he's attacked by the tree he's dedicating. Then a big stone guy emerges from the ground, kidnaps 0G and retreats with the team leader.

Meanwhile, at Stirling Tower, Kenji is met by Rachel MacPhearson, Garth's assistant. She pushes Kenji's wheelchair into the rain forest office of Garth Stirling, and parks him in front of a massive obsidian desk. She leaves him alone to ponder the surroundings.

Garth arrives. They discuss the impressive desk. He springs the Gal secret thing. Then sows the seeds of dissent in Kenji's mind. Garth monologues about the nature of genius. His in particular, but Kenji's, too. He declares he's fired Vanguard for losing a fight to Zorin. He wants to bankroll the Sentinels. Then he introduces Kenji to Eve, his pet AI. He'll give Eve to Kenji if the Sentinels take the Guardians name and throw in with him.

Meanwhile, Bronco's at the rasslin, and he's met in his dressing room by a girl who calls herself Little Dove. She's had visions of Doom for 0G. Bronco checks in with 0G, fails, and calls Monolith instead. Bronco heads to 0G's last location with Little Dove, to find EAGLE still cleaning up the park mess. He hears of the abduction from a 3 Pips and A Bar ranked EAGLE dude. Bronco informs Monolith, who rallies the team. Kenji bails on Garth on good terms, after having been shown the plans for Galvanna on the way out. Then Garth offers the kid a ride home in his helicopter. Max also cuts his day short to join the team, missing another opportunity to have a part of a normal life. And why didn't Tori know anything about all this...?

Meanwhile 0G wakes up 'elsewhere.' With a green-haired woman in front of him. 0G thinks she should be blonde as his faculties slowly come back to him. It's one of the co-pilots from his shuttle crash who was thought to be dead. Captain Sarah Carpenter is now calling herself Flora. The big rock guy was Lieutenant Jack McMichaels, now he's Obselisk. And they have powers. 0G asks about Col. Richards, the mission commander, he's called Uranium, now. They dialogue. Seems the three of them aren't happy with the results of the power lottery. So they'll turn 0G into a villain. As he begins a protest, Brain Flexx astralls enters the room. He monologues about his ability to do that. Cut back to the park, where we have just heard that 0G is attacking Washington, DC.

The team has rallied at the park. Eve calls up Keni. He zones out a moment. She offers to pilot the shuttle. If she can have the password. After a moment's pause, Kenji gives Garth's computer access to his. He makes her promise to be quiet about the whole giving-away-passwords thing. Eve so promises. They rocket to DC to stop their team leader from killing the nation's leader. And then Eve turns Kenji's Gal perspective into interactive VR, with Kenji's further permission to Garth's computer. We arrive to see 0G fighting Team Justice, and taking them down effectively. Gal is first on the scene, and first back out ofthe scene. 0G tries to take down the Blue Jay, and succeeds handily. Bronco dives out, protecting Little Dove from the crash. Max embubbles Lady A and Monolith in plasticy goodness and bounces through the shattering windshield as they crash. Max is dazed, but all are alive to fight their powerful team leader. Lady A connects with a hit right away, followed up by Bronco ground pounding him further back from the White House. MP gets up and goes looking for a nullifier among all the EAGLE debris. Monolith grows and pounds at 0G, knocking him down. Max gets grass-grappled on his search for nullifiers. 0G gets up from his knockdown and immobilizes the area. A big hand grabs Gal and smashes him big time. Bronco moves in on 0G, gets repelled. Monolith grabs 0G, gets relelled - into Bronco. Goes back for more. Grabs and throws the leader a ways away from the White House. 0G decides to flatten the building. And incoming Starbird alters that plan as she attacks him, then restrains the falling 0G in a cosmic claw. This shift in balance causes Obelisk to abandon his fight with Gal and retreat.

Introductions are made with the russian Starbird. Little Dove identifies her as another aspect of her 0G vision. Eve informs Kenji she's got a file on the Starbird. She seems to be the other half of the accident that gave Gyro his superpowers. She was the Russian MiG pilot he had the incident with. We head back, Lady A stays behind. Starbird is nice enough to use her powers to carry the busted Blue Jay back to base. Eve relays a bunch of info though Gal to the team, but asks Gal not to mention her: "I'm sorry to make you lie to your friends, but they wouldn't understand our friendship..."

We get back. 0G first wakes in a private conversation with Van Jove/Brain Flexx. He talks about the Monolith visit that 0G didn't know about. And the whole killing-The-Angel-Soon thing, too. He, Van Jove, has a plan, and it's a goodie, but 0G can't be allowed to remember this conversation... yet. He snaps his fingers and 0G wakes up for real this time on the couch. He spots Starbird and remembers the Uranium, Flora & Obelisk (UFO) attack but nothing else. His understanding is that Flora used hallucinogenic and suggestive plant pollen to brainwash him. He feels this is reasonable. He also remembers Starbird from the hospital he was at after he survived his shuttle crash and got his powers.

Lady A saunters in in the middle of this revalation and reveals EAGLE is with her, and they want to arrest 0G for the attack. He'll go without a fight.

As 0G is being lead away in cuffs, the issue comes to a close.


Zenith Comics Presents: The Victory Squad

The Victory Squad is most famous for being the American team of Major Victory, Lady America and their respective sidekicks Kid Victory and Spangle. While it is true that the focus of this team was these costumed super-patriots, many people do not realize that there was also a team of highly trained soldiers from almost every branch of the US Army that were also part of the Victory Squad.

To understand the Victory Squad we must look at their origins, then their run as the most effective Allied unit and their eventual demise at the raid on Castle Fear.

When the Victory Program was first launched, most in the military saw it as a waste of resources. While they saw the potential devastation of Germany's super man, Die Übermann, many didn't believe he was as powerful as the news reels had made him out to be.

The idea of American super soldiers at a cost of millions of dollars to develop to them was a waste of millions that could be spent on gear and training infantry men to do the same job.

When Doctor Phineas Titansky (come Doc Titan) was able to not only produce results by testing his super power granting Infinity Serum on himself but also producing four other super soldiers, a lot of opinions changed.

When the four were deployed to the European theatre in 1942 they fell under the command of Allied Commander, Major General James E. Chaney. It was no secret that Chaney was not at all interested in having them in the theatre and equally felt the costumed soldiers were nothing more than a morale booster. As such he confined them to USO Camp Shows and only in England, far from the front.

The shows they appeared at were a great success and their displays of physical ability thrilled the soldiers, but they had been reduced to little more than show ponies. It is even reported that Lady America and Spangle would do song & dance routines to the cat calls of the soldiers in attendance. This use of the super soldiers infuriated Doctor Titansky, who beseeched President Roosevelt to force General Chaney to use the super soldiers as actual soldiers, but the President refused, citing his absolute trust in the General’s decisions. All that changed on December 24th, 1942.

At a Christmas Eve USO show at the ETOUSA HQ in London, with the new Commanding General, European Theater of Operations, General Eisenhower in attendance, Die Übermann and a whole team of Axis supers called the Super Axis (Actually they were known to the Nazis as Die Blitzkriegers or the Lightning Warriors, but it was translated into English by the Allies as the Super Axis, which is also how it appeared in the comic exploits being published about the Victory Squad back home). The Nazis attacked in force, along with a full squad of reanimated undead Nazi paratroopers. Their mission was to kill the all the Allied commanders in one fell swoop. Unfortunately for them the Victory Squad was performing at that show.

What resulted was an epic battle where the four American supers soldiers were not only able to save the Allied Commanders, but also drive off the Nazi villains. History tells us that General Eisenhower was so impressed by what he saw that he changed his mind on the Victory Squad that very night and they would go on to legend.

What most don’t know is that there were a dozen American soldiers involved managed to secure weapons from undead paratroopers and use them to harass the Nazi villains as well. Of the twelve quick thinking soldiers, only two survived; Corporal Jack Jenkins and Sergeant Hank “Hurricane” McShane (A baseball legend who played for the Capitol City Blue Sox). No fool, and perhaps seeing the need for a support team backing the costume soldiers, General Eisenhower assigned these two men to the Victory Squad and ordered that ten more volunteers be found to join them to bring their numbers back to twelve, in honour of the ten men who had died at the USO show fighting back.

At first many of these men felt they were being asked to “volunteer” for either a soft detail or babysitting. Many jokes were made at their expense by other soldiers, but after their first foray into occupied France left half of them dead, they started to see it as an elite unit. It should be pointed out that the “volunteer” part was no more voluntary than the draft was. Many found themselves “volunteering” for the duty. For many new volunteers the idea of working with Lady America and Spangle was an insult. The vets of the team knew differently as they had witnessed first hand Lady A’s ferocity and her dedication to Victory Squad. It was not unheard of for a new squad volunteers’ gripes about “working with a dame” to be met by veteran members of the squad standing up for her and telling the tales of how she had saved their lives on more than one occasion.

A sidenote about Lady America showed her tenacity and drive to be taken seriously as a soldier. In May 1942, Lady America requested better uniforms for her and Spangle, as it seemed too many soldiers were looking up her skirt during battles. She also asked that the four costumed soldiers be given sidearms as well. The request was refused by Eisenhower’s office, so Lady America and Spangle marched into his office, whipped off their skirts, threw them on his desk and announced that they would battle Hitler with their with undergarments visible from that day forward. Her request was reconsidered and approved the next day.

For the duration of the war Sergeant McShane and Corporal Jenkins managed to survive the longest, being the only members of the original Victory Squad, other than the costumed heroes, to be part of the last battle. It is rumoured, though never proven, that there was an attempt to make a recruitment news reel featuring the two that was scrapped due to Jenkins inability to not swear ever other word and McShane’s lack of acting ability making him seem wooden and unappealing.

The ultimate fate of the Victory Squad would be a tragic, yet heroic one. Volunteering to lead a raid on Castle Fear, the base of operations for the Super Axis, then entire team would be wiped out in the resulting battle (except for Lady America) that achieved its mission of removing the Nazi supers as a battle force. This act assured that the Allied troops descending on Berlin in 1945 were not impeded by the Super Axis.

In 1979 Lady America petitioned to have a monument raised in honor of the Victory Squad, though the petition was defeated in Congress due to costs, a sad end to a story of the incredible heroism of normal soldiers alongside the greatest super soldiers in American history.

Monday, April 12, 2010 Purchased!

Hey there,

School continues, relearning French and all that. On a business note I purchased tonight and set up hosting. The page is not yet active and I am debating transferring my blog there, but not sure if I can. Anyone know anything about Blogspot and hosting it on your own domain? Or so I have to go with a Wordpress one?

More news to come as development continues.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Not Dead, Just Busy

Hey there,

A quick note to say I am not dead, I am just back in school (studying French) and have been busy busy.

The art for Public Enemies is coming along nicely and I will be getting the writing going next week probably.

Look for a June or July release.


Friday, April 2, 2010

John's Notes - The Sentinels - Session 5

Session Notes - Sentinels Session 5 - March 27, 2010

Pat - The Angel
Renzo - Galvanos/Kenji
Mike - Max Plastic
Anthony - Monolith
John - Bronco

So Bronco and Garrison square off. The fight goes wildly back and forth. Bronco didn't think Garrison was that tough. The fight ends in a draw after an extended stalemate, ultimately leaning on Garrison for the win.

Then Van Jove calls the house. Monolith answers and is invited to chit chat with Brain Flexx.

The Angel wants to go, too. Mono is fine with that. Off to Bell Isle they go, and boy, is Van Jove pissed that The Angel is there. He leaves and Monolith and Van Jove have a sit down. Van Jove goes on for a while about how much he's gonna screw The Angel for the whole punching out Trauma's heart thing. They discuss the recent luck of the Sentinels and the NZG event. Van Jove plants seeds of dissent involving Doc Titan. He then proceeds to talk more shit about The Angel. Then he suggests the NZG might not have been real at all. He then demands to be returned to his cell, as he's done talking. Monolith catches up to the Angel and relays the litany of threats and they rehash vital points of the conversation with Van Jove. The whole anti-matter things is discussed again.

Meanwhile... Max Plastic, on patrol, is grabbed by Il Duce, the super Italian. He literally ties Max up around some poles in the shape of a wrestling ring and uses Max's communicator to contact the team. He calls Bronco out and waits. The team heads downtown. As soon as they arrive a fray beings. Bronco takes Il Duce, the rest go to crowd control and disperse. Monolith gets taken out by Il Duce while doing crowd control. Gal unties Max while Duce's distracted beating up Monolith. Lady A scores with a justified cheap shot. The painfully long fight ends when Galvanos super-seizure eyes' the cocky Italian. Takes half the team out as well. EAGLE is called, we go home.

Lady A, upon arrival, gives Kenji a bunch of shit over homework and such.

So the news media seems pretty cool with us. Tori calls in to let us know about insurance issues. And she wants to access some of Kenji's money to deal with this kind of stuff. We'll think on that. Team discusses. Kenji will giver her some cash, but keep her on a short leash.

Monolith and Lady A have a heart to heart in 0G's office. She doesn't want any leadership responsibility, and reveals a chunk of her origin and her 50 year old ghosts.
Monolith then goes to find Kenji. Mono convinces the kid to wait for 0G to make any firm financial decisions.

Meanwhile, The Angel is on patrol. He meets Katana Dan in an alley. And a woman behind him - Lady Steel. And Night Raven, with all his bad repute, lands in a flourish. The Capitol City Irregulars are offering The Angel a place on their team. He'll give it some thought.

Next morning Max is a guest on Cap City AM tv. It's a bush whacking - they place the 'Sentinels Are A Menace' angle. He tries to hold his own, fails, leaves.

Lady A continues the Kenji slave driving. "Do you want to go to public school...?" Kenji replies in sotto voce: "Might be better than here..." Lady A then continues to rag on Tori, who leaves.

Garrison talks a lot of shit to Max about the heroes he idolizes, and reveals his history, as well.
The doorbell rings. Monolith answers. It's Gyro. He wants to talk to him and Bronco in private. He wants them to join Vanguard. He leaves his card and departs. Bronco and Monolith discuss not spending too much time thinking about the offer.

The Angel sees a bullshit statement in the news that didn't come from us and calls a team meeting. That's followed up by a live statement from Tori, digging us further in the hole.

So how do we un-fuck outselves...? Kenji plays some of the messages flooding in to the HQ. Most are surprisingly favourable, in an anti-heroic kinda way. Tori arrives, smugly proud. She defends her move and leaves the team to discuss.

We chat, and bring her back in. We're happy. Surprised, but happy. She asks us for autonomy or she walks. We agree to keep her, in a display of democratic abstention.

Garrison and Max have another chat after the meeting. He thinks we should turf Tori and go our own way, let being a hero play out properly. He's here to help form and train a team - not publicity.

Max and Lady A have a tete-a-tete of their own. Lady A reiterates her disdain for Tori.
Max continues his tour and meets Monolith in 0G's office. They discuss worries and tendencies and have a nice Hallmark moment.

The brief period of calm is once again shattered by a kaboom. We rally to see what's going on.
A big pod has landed in the city. A blue-skinned dude gets out and starts screaming in an alien language. He hooks up a translator. He kinda challenges the team, kinda. He's Prince Zorin, and he wants to fight.