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Thank you, MD!

And yes, Aldrius... I will post links here as they come out. It will also be available on your podcatcher of choice.

Greg Bishansky - [<--- Voices From the Eyrie]

Greg - That's super, super exciting!!! I can't wait for this. Think you might post episodes here as they come out?
Alex (Aldrius)

Agreed! I've gotten a chance to preview a bit of the podcast ahead of time (thanks Greg!) and can vouch that it's a lot of fun.

Even over 25 years later, the Wise Man still finds a way to be able to say new things about the show.

Masterdramon - [kmc12009 at mymail dot pomona dot edu]
"I don't think anyone is born knowing the reason why they're here. It's just something you have to find as you go along." - Tohru Honda

GXB> Let me also add to the congratz pot, from what little I've heard, Voices from the Eyrie sounds like it'll be a blast
Look at my face, child! It has furnished for me a lonely life in which none would have me as a man. So then let me be a god!

Congratulations, that sounds really cool!
Karrin Blue

Congratulations, Bishansky!
Todd Jensen

I don't come around here as much as I'd like. But...

I am a huge geek... but I am a huge geek lucky enough to have some amazing people in my life who make being a huge geek so worthwhile. On September 24th, we are launching a brand new podcast... Jennifer L. Anderson (Happy Birthday, Jen!) and I will be hosting. We will also be joined on a regular basis by the co-creator of "Gargoyles", the Supervising Producer of the series and a dear friend to both of us, Mr. Greg Weisman!

It will be a monthly podcast. On episode one, the three of us will be joined by early conceptual artist (he did the early designs of Goliath, Elisa Maza, and Demona!), Greg Guler, who would go on to be the lead character designer for the second season. In our second episode we'll be joined by Series Producer, and Greg Weisman's partner on the series, Frank Paur! Beyond that, who knows, but we're just getting started! We might already have, at the very least, a surprise cameo.

"Voices From the Eyrie - A Gargoyles Podcast" launches on September 24th! We'll be hosted by the Spidey-dude.com: Home of the Spidey-Dude Radio Network! And you can follow us on Twitter @FromEyrie

Greg Bishansky - [<--- Voices From the Eyrie]

I was watching a documentary on rabbits and hares on PBS last evening, and part of it dealt with a small town in Canada that was overwhelmed with rabbits (what the townspeople were most concerned about wasn't the rabbits themselves, but predators like cougars, coyotes, and bears, showing up in town to eat the rabbits). The town's name was Canmore. Presumably it was originally founded by Scottish settlers; I certainly found it startling that there's a town by that name out there.

(The documentary - which I'd memories of seeing before - had many other interesting features, including some very large rabbits at Stratford in England - with the shocker, after seeing one of those rabbits next to a human to get a sense of its size; it was about as big as a medium-sized dog - that it wasn't full-grown yet.)

Todd Jensen

Hi Emma - I don't know if that got through the queue or not, I'm not finding it on a quick search? But Greg's general stance is that he stands by all the episodes - and really, even if he does have regrets about certain things, it's not likely he'd say so here. Most showrunners don't do that sort of thing until a project is ended, unless it's something well in the past.

Also, this isn't the ask queue! This is a comment room where Greg only shows up on occasion (like to make jokes about subtitles). The real ask queue will open up on October 16, just in time for FanDome! I've been saving my questions in a note document for a few weeks now for just that day.

And, while it's great you enjoyed Buffy, I think Whedon was joking with that one. Buffy was based on Kitty, but our Shadowcat would only be her mother in a figurative sense at most. But it is fun to know that X-Men's repaid the homage!

Karrin Blue

Hm, the thing is I think these characters are, in general, a reflection of their time. Brother Eye, for instance, came about in the middle of the War on Terror, and reflects a lot of what was in the cultural sphere about espionage, the Patriot Act, etc. And what kind of plots happened can say a lot either about how society viewed women, young people, minorities, etc, or at least how a given author viewed them. But for that same reason, I don't think we necessarily have to keep all those plot choices in play. Quite aside from how they're wildly at odds with each other, superheroes as representations of our time should move with those times. They can be a useful way to examine the past when that's the point of a story - that's the entire premise of Other Side of the DC Universe - but authors writing them to reflect on the present day should be able to do that too without being mired down. And I think it's rather pointless to expect every new author to be beholden to Frank Miller's sexism or Brad Meltzer's issues with sexual assault, or any of the many other authors who were flawed people whose flaws appeared in their works. Why should their choices get to be the ones that everyone else has to abide by, instead of getting to work out what Batman or Superman or Wonder Woman mean to them?

And, in the end, I have to say I don't feel a great incentive to work harder to make this all fit together when my prize at the end is giving free brainspace to some complete stranger's issues. Since we all have to end up choosing what these modern myths mean to us, I'd rather stick with the Batman who talks Naomi through a panic attack and laughs at a little boy's joke so some kids from Metropolis' cancer center can finish the Watchtower scavenger hunt.

Also - to jump topics entirely - this week the Jessica Cruz: Unearthed graphic novel came out! It's very well written, and the art is gorgeous - this abstract, water-color-y style. It's beautiful, and (fittingly for a Green Lantern comic!) it uses its color coding to reflect emotions expertly. The story is about Jessica, in this version a Dreamer from an undocumented family, and a few weeks in her life as a high school student in a city becoming increasingly frightening for her community as a hard-line anti-immigrant candidate for mayor starts gaining ground. And, rather than using the Oan rings and power batteries, it's drawing far more on Mesoamerican culture and Aztec mythology - which is something I always love in elseworlds stories. Taking these familiar symbols and making a new context for them, and all. All in all, highly recommended!

Karrin Blue

ahm, i don't know if you saw my comment asking if you guys think you failed in Outsiders, but sorry if you thought i was rude. it wasn't my intention. sorry :(


1) thoughts on kitty pryde?
2) who is your favorite character in marvel and dc?
3) what was the most fun job you've ever done?
4) favorite team in marvel/dc.

OH, almost forgot to say that i saw your love for buffy and decided to watch the show. it's very good. thanks. did you know kitty pryde was the mother of buffy, according to joss whedon himself? and in x-men evolution, they made a reference to buffy using kitty. very cool fun fact.

a) sorry for being annoying.
b) sorry for any english mistake

emma - [allukarepresentantelgbt at gmail dot com]
business as usual

Thanks Todd, always appreciated.

Unfortunately, I feel that writers ignoring it or DC just sweeping it under the rug just encourages this continuing trend with the not-so-good Dark Knight. Tom King's recent run ended controversially with something along the same lines. So much so that it had a very obvious rewrite in to try and placate the backlash, a sort of, "No Batman didn't punch Tim Drake full on in the face because he's sore about Catwoman leaving him at the altar. He was making a secret communication!"

I know DC addressing Bat's less than stellar history with his sidekicks is never going to happen, but at the very least they could try to make him more well-adjusted person.

When you return to your unobservable but empirically determined dimension of origin--tell them CARL SAGAN sent you.

Thanks for the latest review, Matthew.
Todd Jensen

And enough pennies drop you could fill one of those UNICEF Halloween boxes.

Ugh, Jace. Well, I'm glad Grey Griffin had fun chewing the scenery for that monologue, but wow is she awful. I'm half-expecting next season, when we got to Markovia, there'll just be a basement full of kids she's kidnapped and chipped into playing happy families with her.

Slade and Tara's relationship, and how the abuse is written, is actually one of my favorite things they did this season. And yes, that's partly because the bar was so low, but it's also just a good portrayal of a very bad relationship. Just that it starts out with Slade kicking Tara right in a PTSD trigger says so much. And IMO she stays in that mindset for the rest of the episode, with no chance to ground and re-center herself, and that's probably no small part of why she makes that phone call at the end.

I have to say, there's been so much stuff in comics that's contradictory and weird over the years - including what you're talking about - that I don't think anyone could reasonably consider it all canon. Certainly there's no consistency between all the writers over the years. Like the idea of him being abusive to his wards - half the writers ignore that, half the time the DC universe in general ignores that, so I'm more than happy to ignore that altogether. Especially when things have been retconned and rebooted time and again, and frankly a lot of it has been left in the past. I enjoyed the Other Side of the DC Universe comics too, but I have to say I'm very glad it was about pointing out what happened in the comics originally - and that a lot of what's in it is no longer considered 'canonical' behavior from heroes.

This is also why I tend to prefer the animated series like YJ - in comics, tone, continuity, and such vary wildly by which writers are playing in the sandbox. In a show, you have a consistent creative team. And that means you can have characters mess up, or be in unhelpful mindsets, without risking it being all the next writer remembers about them and makes the center of their character.

And I think that's not giving a lot of credit to Barbara. For one thing, I think she actually did think about what Garfield said - and given how the season ends, I think it's not fair to say she's just talking to Bats to say 'I tried.' She tried, and, clearly, she succeeded. In the end, Batman did listen, and apologize, and make it explicitly clear that he did wrong and he is trusting Jeff to do better and do better with the people who trust him. Barbara taking Batman aside to be honest with him, both as a co-conspirator and as someone who spent the last few years of her life learning to look to him, actually got through to him, and that more than anything - and that she felt comfortable telling this calmly and straightforwardly to his face without a shred of fear - is what makes me think he really just did get lost in his own head about this, and didn't do it as an intentional scheme or intimidate anyone into it. And I think it's interesting to have him, in essence, have as a flaw an unawareness of how much sway he has over the others - thinking that, of course the younger kids agreed because of his logical arguments, there's no way it'd just be because he's Batman. Overestimating how independent they've become, in a way.

Also, Greg, I know that's very probably a joke, but I am now trying to figure out what Markovian worldbuilding would have them swearing on caprids.

Karrin Blue

I thought he was saying "God" with a heavy accent.
Wait, why should I trust your word? You can't even get the name right!

Lol, thanks for the visit Greg!

When you return to your unobservable but empirically determined dimension of origin--tell them CARL SAGAN sent you.

Sorry. Brion.
Greg Weisman

Brian NEVER says, "Mother of God!" It's "Mother of Goat!" Every single time.
Greg Weisman

"Love is trust. Batman is incapable of trust. Batman is incapable of understanding love. Not between any two people."
-The Other History of the DC Universe, "Thunder"

And we've hit the Wham Episode of the season; watched "Antisocial Pathologies" today which covers the truth coming to light about the Anti-Light, Halo's importance to Granny, the extent of Tara's abuse and the true nature of Doctor Helga Jace. If the last episode's reveal that her mentor was Ultra-Humanite didn't convince you of her hidden agenda then her forced confession certainly here almost certainly did. When I first saw this episode I referred to Jace as a Doctor Frankenstein with a Mom Complex, on rewatching this season I found that there was some more layers to her, and none of them good. One thing that stood out to me is just how mercenary her feelings are when it comes to her work and to those she has transformed into metas, she holds no loyalty to the Light (if she even knows anything about them beyond what Ultra-Humanite has told her). Her only loyalty to Bedlam was dependent on allowing her to do her meta-human work and the moment they took away her "daughter" was the moment she started plotting against them. Interestingly, she's not overly concerned whether her "children" used their powers for good or evil, only that they had them; and so her only loyalty was to her twisted idea of "family." I noted the hypocrisy also present in her character as well, despite her love of "family" and wanting to grow it through her experiments, she has absolutely no problem warping innocent children into monstrosities like what happened to Ana and Otto and sending them off to die. She also has little concern over those who aren't her "children", explaining her disdain towards Halo (and ignoring her "son's" own affection), when the truth is that she and Bedlam really did help create Violet, albeit in a roundabout way. I find it darkly appropriate that much like Frankenstein being undone by his own creation, that the same would happen to Dr, Jace, now bound to the Anti-Life Equation by the very person she created, molded and gaslighted.

Which brings us to the relationship between Slade and Tara, and I think we can all agree that cutting out the sexual relationship they had in the comics was the best thing for them to do. Seriously, in this day an age there's no way that thing would fly (Wolfman should've known better back then too). So instead the show focuses more on the abusive upbringing and just how he manipulated her into trusting only him. The way it's done is well...really uncomfortable, for starters there's the brutal training he puts her through, and every hit she takes or mistake she makes is compounded with verbal abuse. Telling her how weak she is and it's her own fault for being kidnapped in the first place. And the gaslighting, good God the gaslighting. How he "saved" her from Bedlam. Lying to her that neither her parents or her brother actually cared about her when the truth is their parents paid for fighting against what happened to her with their lives and finding her has been Brion's main motivation. Really, at the age she was taken and the circumstances about her kidnapping and experimentation, they really were trying to shape her when she was at her most vulnerable point both mentally and emotionally and you can see that during her and Deathstroke's "sparring" session. Any sign of weakness or not performing to his standards is met with severe discipline and abuse, but violent escalation and brutality is met with approval, and twisted measure of paternal affection. All of this really shows how Slade has specifically made her dependent on him, and why it doesn't take much for her to turn on the heroes once the truth comes out, because they've unknowingly brought truth to the well-crafted lie he created.

And that brings us to the Anti-Light, or Batman Incorporated under a different title. So, I should preface this by stating that I'm approaching this through a biased lens. And that is: the older I've gotten, the less I like Batman as a character. And I've started to dislike him for a number of reasons: for starters writers have for some reason decided that his trauma is a character positive, that his obsessiveness and paranoia is a good thing so circumstances are written to depict him in the right. That a privileged, billionaire superhero who's always being depicted as being in the right isn't exactly the best message for people these days especially if his crusade against crime is constantly shown as never actually improving the lives of the people of Gotham. Because then it becomes less about "making sure no child goes through what he went through" and more like controlling the crime element in a way that's comfortable for him. But the thing that bothers me the most of all, is the writer's general unwillingness to have Batman just grow up, to have him stuck in this antisocial, brooding attitude. Looking back, there's a serious problem when Batman was the most well-adjusted was during the era Zebra Suits and rainbow-themed Bat Cowls. Though it heavily depends on the writer, at his worst Batman has become a paranoid, entitled, narcissistic unapologetic, control freak with a bad case of a holier-than-thou attitude who's downright abusive to his wards and those who serve under him. And yes, I do mean abusive when you look at his training of Stephanie Brown, how he treated Jeff's daughter Anissa, how he treated Dick after Jason's death etc. Even convincing Dick to pretend to play dead so he could infiltrate Spyral was filled with abuse apologisms.

Now that isn't fully the case with YJ's Batman who was tough and bit authoritative, but also fair and showed some genuine affection (though in a less obvious sort of way). It contrasted well with Superman who was a bit more standoffish in the first season; but here that's seems to have been reversed. The quiet but attentive man from season 1 has been replaced with a cold figure obsessed with "the mission", and while he isn't abusive to the degree that he is in the comics, but a lot of his choices here come off as pretty thoughtless and heartless. Jeff was going through a traumatic experience and made it especially clear that he not only wanted out of the hero game but nothing to do with Batman's cabal. But what happens? He's manipulated into joining Nightwing's group and keep him in the fold. And with Tim? We haven't seen it, but he might very well be his legal guardian here which means his decision to have Robin leave his friends on the Team and potentially breakup with his girlfriend can be read as emotional manipulation. I wrote back in "Darkest" that Dick had spent so much time commanding the troops that he had forgotten the perspective of those he commands not being in the know. Well if Dick had forgotten then Bruce straight up chose to ignore that, he chose to ignore that people thoughts and agendas independent of his own. That heroes used to the open democracy of the League don't like the idea of someone else setting himself up as being above the others. That people who reacted badly to being lied and manipulated to really aren't going to like going through that again. And still Bruce remains unapologetic about it, lamenting that others can't see the "big picture" while conveniently ignoring that he's the one who determines who sees the big picture and who doesn't. You know, in Spectacular Spider-Man Norman Osborn is introduced as being completely unapologetic in his actions and encouraging others to do the same. I don't think it's any coincidence that Bruce at his worst echoes a lot of the same characteristics.

Barbara voices her concerns to Bruce about the Anti-Light being mostly staffed with people used to deferring to him, but voicing those concerns to only really shows how messed up the situation with them is and how that's colored their perspective of the situation. As nice as it for her to say that, saying it to a guy truly dead set in his ways isn't going to change anything, more like giving herself a case of, "Well I tried." This can be seen in her confrontation with Garfield; yes, their both working to dismantle Luthor's public image but she refuses to acknowledge the damage that can be done if the truth of those propped up missions ever came to light. Those victories have been tainted by the Anti-Light's interference and if the public knew about it, it would be the Outsiders who took the backlash, not them. Dick, even when close to death's door still refuses to give an apology, just has his father figure has done. M'gann and Conner's relationship has had another wrench thrown into it because because this kind of backdoor politics went over so well last time. And Kaldur, even with the guilt that's been building up over the last few episodes and may be the closest to actually wanting to make things right...He still starts things off with a "We're sorry you feel this way" comment which is in no way an admission of wrongdoing, he's simply in too deep to actually make amends. This kind of secret keeping just harms others in ways that can't and shouldn't be easily fixed and creates more damage than it fixes, as we'll see by the finale. One thing I really want to see in season 4? Some actual damage within the League and hero community at what's been done here.

Some Final Thoughts: I often wonder about what had to be cut in season 2, I like to think that this episode contains a lot of elements of what would've happened in the aftermath of the Team and the League learning the truth about Kaldur's "defection" and Artemis' "death". Speaking of which, it's kind of a missed opportunity to not have her reaction to all of this. My own head canon is that she would be a bit shocked and angry about learning the truth, but also considering her role in last season's conspiracy withholds making personal judgments. The scene with Slade training Tara is almost completely lifted from the comics. We get to see some of the inner workings of the Light and I like that they operate on a Gentleman's Agreement case when individual members make personal claims. This is also the episode where we really get to see Vandal at perhaps his most vulnerable, having to surrender Halo to the forces of Apokolips for Darkseid's favor, losing his composure when he learns that they have the Anti-Life Equation. The League and the Team may be the thing that's troubled him the most in his 50,000 year life, but this might be the moment when he's scared the most. You can just tell he's thinking that in the future, no one but loyalists to Earth get to hold a seat at the Light's table.

Acting MVP: This is another one of those episodes where EVERYONE brings their A Game. But I have to give attention to Fred Tatasciore for his chilling portrayal of child abuse, Grey for her unnerving monologue as Dr. Jace and Khary Payton for the sheer anger and heartbreak Jefferson goes through this episode.

DC Profiles: Doctor Helga Jace is a critical character to not only Geo-Force but the Outsiders as a whole. A Markovian doctor and geneticist, she assisted Brion in acquiring his powers and allied with the Outsiders, helping them repel a Soviet invasion as led by the Bedlam Syndicate. While allied to them for a while, she later allied herself with the Manhunters and used a mind control device on Metamorpho to capture the other Outsiders, meeting her end when Looker used that same device to turn Metamorpho against her.

Favorite Lines:

Tara: I am not soft. I didn't report on Violet or Victor because they're both developing situations. I'm still gathering intel.
Deathstroke: [scoffing] I can't tell if you're trying to fool me or yourself. And I can't decide which is worse. You think those "heroes" are harmless. Goody-two shoes types who care about you. You've clearly forgotten how much Brion cared when he invited you to London, then went clubbing while you were being abducted. How much your parents cared when they did next to nothing to track you down afterwards. How much Jace cared when she dunked you into Bedlam's Tar. You think your new friends are any better? The moment they decide you're out of line, the moment they fear they can't control you, they'll slap an inhibitor collar or a control chip on your neck. Look, kid, [he removes his mask] have I ever been anything but straight with you? Tough, sure. For your own good. But straight.

Brion: Mother of God! This Infinity Incorporated is poaching on the Outsiders' turf!
Garfield: [munching on pancakes] Mmm. Oh, take it as a compliment. We inspired them. They wanna inspire others. Mmm.
Violet: And that's a good thing, right?
Brion: [chuckles] Always looking on the bright side. I need that. Frankly, I'd be lost without it. Without you. Not in a pancake mood?
Violet: It is difficult to enjoy pancakes when my powers can do nothing to pull Dick back from death's door.
Garfield: Didn't you just say she always looked on the bright side?

Dr. Jace: It's a shame it takes something like this to bring everyone together.
Jefferson: [watching the private meeting of Bruce, Tim, Barbara, M'gann and Kaldur] Yeah. A shame.
[He flashes back to to Batman's resignation of the Legaue, of his questioning of working with the League during the meta human depot raid, him declining to join up with Batman Inc., of the Bat-Drone saving them during the confrontation at Granny's home. And suddenly, the pieces click]
Jefferson: Son of a...YOU WERE ALL WORKING TOGETHER! Mr. "I Don't Join Teams" Grayson takes me on a rogue mission to Granny's house, where we're rescued by the co-chair of the Justice League and a Bat-Family drone! [Conner looks over to this and glares in familiarity]
Barbara: That's on me.
Kaldur: I can explain.
Jefferson: Oh, I'm sure it is. And I'm sure you can. But it doesn't stop there. [realizing] Or start there, for that matter. That joint op busting meta-traffickers around the world? Dick explained it all so logically. It was intel M'gann provided to us, to the Team, and to the League. But, of course, it was really the six of you coordinating. [by this point everyone else in the Hub are now watching] Just how long have you been coordinating? When I quit the Justice League and wouldn't join Batman Inc.? Did Dick recruit me for Markovia just to keep me in the fold? Holy...When the League split, Batman didn't blindside Aquaman! You both planned it in advance! Created that dog and pony show to lie to every one of your fellow Leaguers! [Tara looks on and is shocked and angry at this] And why? So you could break the law with impunity WHILE DRAGGING ME INTO IT?!
Kaldur: It is not as bad as...as you make it sound.
Jefferson: Oh, no, I'm guessing it's worse. Everything's a lie! Badass Kaldur getting his bad ass kicked in Brooklin, Maine? That was just to make the Outsiders look good, wasn't it?!
Garfield: No!
Brion: That's not what happened!
[Above, Dr. Jace places a control chip on Tara who gasps and falls into a trance, unseen to everyone else]
Jefferson: Not bad enough you manipulate me...you had to manipulate these idealistic kids!
Dr. Jace: Be silent, my child, and follow me.

[In a flashback, Deathstroke is "training" Tara, who has been knocked down and sporting a nasty cut near her eye]
Deathstroke: No wonder you were kidnapped. Even with your powers, you can't seem to take care of yourself. Look, kid, I got you away from your abductors, which is something your family and country couldn't do. [He smacks her in the head with the tip of bo staff for emphasis] But we both need to make sure no one can ever hurt you like that again. [Hitting her with every word] SO TRY HARDER!
[Infuriated, Tara throws her staff away and summons up her powers. And a huge chunk of earth is lifted up and thrown at Slade, which he barely avoids]
Deathstroke: We were using bo staffs!
[realizing this, Tara gasps and hides herself. Waiting for Slade's next blow, instead he lifts her head up to meet him]
Deathstroke: But in this world it doesn't pay to fight fair. I'm glad you've learned that. [relived, Tara hugs tight to Deathstroke who hugs her back] I'm so proud of you, Tara.

Jeferson: You're not even sorry!
Kaldur: We are sorry we have made you feel this way.
Jefferson: That's not an apology!
Bruce: I am not going to apologize for putting the mission first.
Jefferson: What good is the mission if we lose ourselves trying to fulfill it?!

Dr. Jace: What... What is this?
Gretchen: This is an X-Pit. We're safe within the Cube, which protects us from the effects of the Pit's Ghost Dimension. Said effects are somewhat deleterious to mind, spirit, and body. In my proper role as matron of my master's Orphanage, I hone his young warriors, and often use X-Pits for discipline, correction, and to prepare a subject's brain for reprogramming. It's quite effective...[chuckles] In the short term. But only because my children fear the consequences of returning to the Pit. My, uh, dirty little secret is that the process is flawed and impermanent. Free will has not been truly eliminated. But after seeing a Motherbox trapped inside this organic form, I formulated a theory...
[Gretchen shoves Violet outside the safety of the cube and they began screaming and thrashing from the pain, eventually the healing aura activates but does nothing to alleviate the torture]
Gretchen: There. Do you see? It's a reflex. She can't help herself. She's activated her healing aura, but it doesn't seem to help. Overlord, do your readings confirm my suspicions? [Overlord blares in an affirmative tone] Yes. The Ghost Dimension has repolarized the power emanating from the Motherbox's human flesh.
Ultra-Humanite: Meaning what?
Gretchen: Meaning she's the key to solving the Anti-Life Equation!

Bruce: I wish Jeff understood. We were trying to protect him. We were trying to protect them all.
Barbara: I know. But... but what if we were wrong? Would you want to be protected that way?
Bruce: I wouldn't need to be.
Barbara: Well, maybe they don't either
Bruce: Maybe. But even the debate brings the mission to a grinding halt.
Barbara: So you just decide for everyone? Wow, that's not patronizing at all.
Bruce: Barbara, you know I didn't decide this alone. The seven of us agreed. We had to fight fire with fire.
Barbara: It's true. And I'm not absolving myself. But have you noticed your little Illuminati society is made up entirely of former protégés? Protégés accustomed to following your orders without question.
Bruce: Diana-
Barbara: Is out in space where she only learns of our activities as a fait accompli.
Bruce: The mission-
Barbara: Whose mission, Bruce? The mission or your mission?

Dr. Jace: What is this "Anti-Life Equation"?
Gretchen: [chuckles] I'd have thought that obvious. Life minus free will equals Anti-Life, but the formula must be tested.
[Jace realizes too late what that means and she's shoved into the X-Pit, her screams of pain cause Violet to reflexively heal her, chanting the same purification mantra and Jace ceases her screaming, entering a trance]
Ultra-Humanite: What just happened?!
Gretchen: [delighted] Another proof. Clearly, Mother Box is still connected to the Source of all Life, but without the unfortunate technological safeguards Metron built into all non-organic Mother and Father Boxes.
Ultra-Humanite: So Halo's organics make her the key to this "Anti-Life Equation"?
Gretchen: [now estatic] With her connection to the Source of Life repolarized? I believe it does! The Ghost Dimension plus Halo equals Anti-Life. But one final test remains. Do you have truths you wish to share with your children, Doctor?
Dr, Jace: [straining] No. I...
Gretchen: Don't be modest, dear. Spill your secrets.
Dr. Jace: I... I only wanted to protect meine kinder. For Tara and Brion are mine. My creations. After Bedlam abducted the princess and brought her to my lab, I destroyed the old Tara, drowned her. What emerged was not the Markovs' human daughter. No. Tara was reborn as a meta-human. A meta-human I had brought into this world. She was now my daughter. But when Baron Bedlam stole my girl away from me, I swore revenge upon him, but needed to forge a new weapon to get it. Brion is such a sweet boy at heart, that manipulating him was child's play. I planted seeds, subtly leading him to beg to become a meta. When he had second thoughts...I took the difficult decision out of his hands...and brought my son into this world. But the Markovs were hardly my only subjects.

There was also Gabrielle. After the King and Queen's assassination, DeLamb wanted any potential witnesses removed. Gabrielle was sent to me, but she tested negative for the meta-gene. She was useless! Bedlam's thug wanted to shoot her, right there in my lab. But that would've made a mess. So I put her to sleep with an overdose of morphine. It was a lovely surprise to learn you had survived to become a meta-human. I reasoned your genetic test had produced a false negative and that the morphine activated your meta-gene. I believed with all my heart that Gabrielle had been reborn as my daughter, Violet. Just as Brion had been reborn as my son. But how was I to stay near you both, let alone find Tara? So I seduced Jeff, used him to reunite with my children. But, after learning the truth about Gabrielle and the spirit of the Mother Box within her, I began to suspect Violet might not be my child, my creation at all. To be certain, I tested Violet's hair follicles and discovered my initial diagnosis was correct. Gabrielle never had the meta-gene. The girl was some kind of sick joke, a corpse revivified by an alien machine. And worse, this thing was dating my son. I had to separate them! So lied, telling her she was dying. Even convincing her not to burden her friends with her illness. Anything to keep her dependent on me and drive a wedge between this pretender and my boy. But I knew this subterfuge couldn't last. And now that I was reunited with my children, I was impatient to create more. I contacted Ultra-Humanite, and in exchange for delivering this Mother Box-Girl up to him, he agreed to arrange our exit and set us up somewhere I could continue my work, increasing the size of our family. I'm sorry about the control chips. But I couldn't take the chance of losing you again. In time, I'm sure they'll no longer be necessary.

Brion: We have to rescue Violet!
Tara: But we don't know where she is.
Jefferson: This can't be true.
Tara: I am sorry, but it is. If my control chip hadn't malfunctioned, Brion and I would never have escaped.
Jefferson: Helga-
Tara: Jace betrayed you. Betrayed us all.
Jefferson: I gotta get out of here.
[Jeff gets up to leave, Kalur decides for one last plea]
Kaldur: Jefferson-
Jefferson: DON'T FOLLOW ME!

Gretchen: Here she is, as promised. The missing variable in the Anti-Life Equation. You'll find her a very well-behaved child.
Granny Goodness: Just as I prefer.

Tara: You were right about the heroes. They betray each other at every turn. They cannot be trusted. So, what do you need me to do?

When you return to your unobservable but empirically determined dimension of origin--tell them CARL SAGAN sent you.

I'd wondered whether it was a problem with the site, or just my computer. It's a bit of a relief, in a way, to discover that it was a site glitch which is now over.
Todd Jensen


Something I wanted to mention last week before the security codes got messed up - I read the new Whistle graphic novel by E. Lockhart, and it's delightful! It's about a teenage activist, Willow Zimmerman, in the Down River neighborhood of Gotham. I don't want to spoil anything, but I absolutely loved it and I need at least 3 sequel novels. Willow is a great protagonist, and her power/responsibility struggle feels complex, and - well, this sounds like fainter praise than I mean, but it avoids a lot of very common pitfalls in teenage hero coming of age stories and I really appreciate how it did so.

Karrin Blue

Are we good?
I think we might be good.

Matthew - [mattdogh at aol dot com]
When you return to your unobservable but empirically determined dimension of origin--tell them CARL SAGAN sent you.

Testing to see if the security codes work yet
Karrin Blue