Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I, Crimsonstreak Commentary: Chapter 9

Chapter 9

The Comet Accelerator (Yes, That’s Really What He Calls It)

Author’s Notes

  • The title of Chapter 9 continues to show Crimsonstreak’s bemusement with the Crusading Comet’s naming conventions.

  • Try as he may, Crimsonstreak just isn’t that intimidating. He’s not a night stalker like Batman or Daredevil. So when he tries to look angry, it tends not to work very well. He thinks he looks intimidating, but he doesn’t. Again, he reminds us, “I am Adam West.”

  • In previous commentary, I mentioned that Crimsonstreak is meant to be a Midwestern superhero. His father has no love for either of the coasts, and established the New World Common Wealth’s headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana. The idea that Indiana’s capital city would be the center of anything is an absurdity in and of itself.

  • “Let’s just say it’s a little out of your league,” Warren says. He’s going after Crimsonstreak yet again and is in control of this tech-centric scene.

  • “A few years ago, we couldn’t even get a Super Bowl” is actually anachronistic in this context. The city was awarded Super Bowl XLVI in 2008. The action in the book takes place in 2010, thus Chris would’ve been in prison when Indy was announced as a Super Bowl host. It’s possible he could’ve caught a mention of it on the TV at Clermont. It’s also very likely the Super Bowl announcement was never made thanks to the Kiltech Incursion, the death of the president, and Chaos’ rise to power. I kept the reference because I was proud Indy hosted a Super Bowl in real life. Now that the city survived (and earned raves for its host duties), I’m even prouder. It’s a hat tip to the Circle City.

  • Morty and Warren mention a few things during the discussion about escaping New Chaos City. Energy seems to be scarce. I never directly state it in the book, the truth is that the New World Common Wealth government is using much of the world’s resources for its own purposes, leaving Joe Everyman out in the cold. Despite Chris’ supposition that his father appointed a bunch of tree huggers, the NWCW has no environmentally-conscious motives.

  • In early drafts of the book, the Crusading Comet simply had a Dell. I started the book in 2007, when Dell was at the peak of its power. During final edits, we decided to turn it into Alienware customized by the Comet.

  • The Comet Accelerator is the Comet’s attempt to solve a fundamental problem of non-superpowered heroes. Batman can’t be everywhere at once (not even Superman can), but the Comet wanted a way to quickly transport himself to a crime scene. He planned to build Comet Accelerator locations all around the city, but the power drain and operational logistics made it nearly impossible. The idea, however, speaks to the pragmatism of the hero.

  • Morty and Warren discuss the biggest shortcoming of the Accelerator, which is basically that only one person can go through. Otherwise, the power drain is too much for the system to bear. This is all junk science explained away with a wink-wink, nudge-nudge. It does, however, provide extra tension regarding how the characters will escape when Enforcers come stormtroopering through the Sanctum Cometus.

  • “CARDIAC: Because “workout room” simply isn’t enough.” Another Comet acronym. As I mentioned earlier in the commentary, I had a lot of fun with these.

  • ”There is that shortcut from the lounge to the conservatory” refers to the board game “Clue.” It’s always been a family favorite, so I thought I’d throw in a reference.

  • Warren’s face reminds Crimsonstreak of the kids he saved from Nuclear Ned in the flashback. It’s just a little reminder that Warren still has a sense of youthfulness to him.

  • It’s ironic that Chris, clearly the least technologically inclined of the trio, has the idea to put all three of our heroes through the Comet Accelerator. It’s a risky maneuver, to be sure, but there’s no way a 17-year-old kid, a butler, and a super-speedster can fight their way through several squads of Enforcers. It’s the only way out, and even Morty reluctantly accepts that.

  • Did anyone really expect Morty to simply surrender? Chris should be ashamed of himself for even considering it! Of course the wily old butler has another great escape; he’s the consummate superhero assistant. We also see during the escape that Chris gets a little extra “juice” and manages to push back the Enforcers to buy the heroes enough time to escape.

  • As Chapter 9 concludes, our heroes spiral into the unknown of the Comet Accelerator.