Update 43

by David Meadows 3. February 2018 00:39

This week's story is issue 21 of Heroes: SAMURAI. Last issue we glimpsed the Chicago mob boss POWL THE SAMURAI, but this isn't his story -- it's Jerome's, and we finally learn a bit more about the man who claims to be from the 17th-century (but may be just a figment of Paul's imagination... you decide!)

The bio pages are a bit uninspiring this week. I've got a lot of characters (112 at last count) who have only appeared or been names once in the story, and they're hanging around on my character list like loose ends. So I'm going to try to get some of them written up and on the site. I've started with three who I'm reasonably confident will never be seen again (one is dead in the current Heroes story), and you'll find them under RECENTLY ADDED in the sidebar of the Who's Who index page. There isn't a lot of detail on any of them, simply because they were never designed to be detailed characters, they were throwaway names or faces needed for the plot. But I hate loose ends, so they have to get pages.

Hmm, at three a week it's going to take a long time to get through 112 characters. I might have to re-think this...

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Update (week 37)

by David Meadows 12. May 2017 19:15

CAPTION (FRED'S BLOG):

If Huey has problems, they're not our problems. No reason for us to get involved. 

Unless somebody tells Captain Boyscout. 

SARA:

We need to help Huey. I think you should talk to him.

JAMES:

Me? Oh, no—

CAPTION (FRED'S BLOG):

Funny thing about this group. When James decides something, we do it. 

Sara figured this out a while ago and makes sure that what James decides is what she wants. 

 

Yes, it's another chapter in the life of everybody's favourite "we're-not-a-team" group of heroes. Issue 19 is called Huey's Place. Read the issue to find out why.

Elsewhere on the site I've been tidying up the history pages, including new timelines for 1981 and 1996 which introduce (or foreshadow) some new characters and plot lines which won;t mean anything to you......yet!

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Update (week 35)

by David Meadows 28. April 2017 21:08

In the last issue of Heroes, we left Don alone, injured, and surrounded by enemies. Can his young proteges find him in time?

 

Sara still stands looking out over the forest.

SARA: Down there.

JAMES:  That's a ten meter vertical drop. Then the hill gradient is--

JAMES: It's a long way to fall, Sara, that's all I'm saying.

SARA: Don's the best there is.

 

To find out, read issue 18: Found.

Aww, heck. I've given the answer away in the title. (But there's another, more important meaning to the title. You'll find out by the end.)

Also this update: biographies of two Strikeforce supporting characters: Professor Zod and his daughter Carla.

 

 

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Update (week 33)

by David Meadows 7. April 2017 21:40

Remember back in Heroes issue 14 we had a cliffhanger showing Don in trouble?

Well it's time to look in and see how he's getting on [Spoiler: not good] in issue 17, cunningly titled Whatever Happened to Don?

Hey, it's only a squad of shape-shifting, super-human killing machines. Not a problem for Don, right?

Well, all that is so exciting that to calm you down there's a couple of very minor background articles, one on the Stone Circle seen in Strikeforce #14 and one on Casey's Bar seen in Strikeforce #8. Not terribly important places, you might think, but they still need to be documented (and the story will feature both of them again).

No update is scheduled for next week due to other stuff, so come back on the 21st and hopefully I'll have something then.

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Update (week 31)

by David Meadows 17. March 2017 20:51

The HEROES story this week is part two of the story started in A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT, so if you can't remember how that went, go back and read it now. Then you can read this weeks chapter, AFTER THE FALL, when the secret of the crazy people in the haunted house is revealed:

"Years passed. Superheroes were forgotten, relegated to sensationalistic pieces on the late-night kook channels.

But bank robbers are never forgotten. Somewhere, in some dusty FBI file, our crimes waited to catch up with us.

So we hid. In the middle of nowhere. For twenty years.

Perhaps Firebrand was the lucky one.

And the rest of us were still in purgatory."

And James fights another old man!

Close-up on JAMES squatting on top of the branch. He's completely coated in mud.

JAMES: All right. He's starting to tick me off.

 

Two background essays this week, both in the Who's Who department. Marc Carter tidies up a minor character from Heroes #4, while Harry Eastwood is a major (excuse the pun) character from the Strikeforce story.

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Week 29

by David Meadows 20. January 2017 22:33

After dealing with aliens, werewolves, gangsters and smugglers, staying the night in a spooky mansion should be no problem, right?

 

Panel 1

In CHI-YUN's bedroom, she's putting a chair beneath the door handle.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter): Everyone was spooked by Fred's premonition. Even though they're not very reliable.

Panel 2

CHI-YUN lying in bed. The light is off (but we should still be able to make out her features). She's holding the covers up round her chin and her eyes are wide open.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter): Anyway, I wasn't worried.

CHI-YUN (thought): Cat's eyes. Bat's hearing. Rhinoceroseses [sic] hide. Cockroach's poison immunity.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter): I am the most powerful person in the team. Nothing was going to get me.

Panel 3

From outside, in the hall, we see a bedroom door opening and CHI-YUN looking out.

CAPTION (CHI-YUN's letter): Then I got the munchies.

 

What could possibly go wrong? Find out in Heroes issue 15, A Dark and Stormy Night.

It really should have been the Halloween issue, but I couldn't make the timing work.

Elsewhere in this week's update you'll find a mini-biography of Eileen Webster and the start of a timeline for the year 2322.

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Week 27

by David Meadows 6. January 2017 22:49

The new issue of Heroes is a bit different from usual, because the focus is off the main characters. Instead we're looking at what some of the peripheral characters are doing while the main characters just ... hang out and go shopping. It's designed to show that there's a whole living universe surrounding the cast, and events don't just stop because Sara wants to buy a new coat. Everything is connected in the end, of course, and hopefully you'll see the links (or guess the foreshadowing).

The issue is called Meanwhile... , for obvious reasons.

Other new items are a bio of Luey, who you should know from both Strikeforce and Heroes, a timeline of 2348, and a gazetteer entry for the Troll Club

And if you've got any time left after that, I strongly recommend the extensive article on the Krai, who are currently making life difficult for Strikeforce in the Aliens story arc (to be concluded next week).

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We're back!

by David Meadows 5. January 2017 15:10

Coming tomorrow in Heroes #14: the girls go shopping!

 

PAGE FIVE. Five panels.

Panel 1

Daylight. A city. Specifically, the exterior of a shopping mall. If it's not obvious what it is, we can include a sign: "QUEENSTOWN MALL". (Name unimportant -- just something to set the scene.)

CAPTION (voice-over, continuing SPY's thought):

"Where are teenage runaways likely to go?"

VOICE (from inside mall):

This is absolutely perfect!

CAPTION:

Winnipeg, Canada.

Panel 2

Inside the mall. It's a female-clothing store. SARA is wearing a big, sky-blue coat trimmed with white fur -- just the thing for the Canadian winter. (It's fake fur, of course. I know there's no way to convey this point on a comic panel, I just thought I ought to mention it.) She's examining the coat in a full-length mirror. CHI-YUN sits on a nearby chair, looking bored.

SARA:

What do you think, Chi-Yun?

CHI-YUN:

Sara, your power lets you find anything you need. Why does shopping take so long?

Panel 3

SARA turns an exasperated look on CHI-YUN.

SARA:

You just don't get it, do you?

CHI-YUN (softly):

No.

Panel 4

SARA is sorting through a rack of clothing.

SARA:

Just try something on!

CHI-YUN:

I don't need clothes. My skin can look like whatever I want.

Panel 5

SARA holds out a horribly cute pink jacket with flowers or hearts or something.

SARA:

Don't you get cold?

CHI-YUN:

Never.

CHI-YUN:

And I'm never going to wear that.

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Week 25

by David Meadows 25. November 2016 22:09

It's time for a spotlight on Paul Smithsteen. But of course this isn't so much about him as it is about how he sees the rest of the team, so issue 13 of Heroes is aptly called Dr Smithsteen's Casebook

There are a couple of news stories, and as usual you should read these after you read the issues they refer to. Or read them first and get plot spoilers, see if I care.

And a small encyclopaedia article on Troll Dust, which to be honest I should have held back because details about where it comes from and how and why have not yet been revealed in the story.

And finally a who's who page on the amazing Nightflyer. Nightflyer himself contributed most of the details, so you can be sure it's accurate. Although he was possibly making it up as he went along.

Next update will be 2 December, and that might be the last one of the year. Not sure, but check back here and I'll keep you posted.

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Week 23

by David Meadows 11. November 2016 20:07

This week I celebrate two milestones:

First, the site has exceeded 100 pages of content. Only 316 pages on my "to do" list now...

Second, with issue 12, the Heroes story reaches the end of its (arbitrarily decided) first volume, and a thematic turning point: the team's (I use the term loosely) first full adventure without their mentor, Don, and their growing acceptance of their role in the world.

This issue took a long time to write. I was doing fine until the last few pages. There I was, thinking the issue was about Fred, when I suddenly realised it was equally about James. (It's a constant problem with James: he's always pushing himself to the front of anything that's going on.) This stymied me for a while and I spent quite some time rewriting the last few pages to make them say what I wanted them to say. I then needed extra pages to make the ending work (and it still feels a bit rushed). You may have noticed that every issue of Heroes has been 22 pages long. There's no real need for this. It's a traditional length for comic books, but they do vary. And on the Web, I have no real constraints at all. I could use any number of pages I want to make the story work, as I have this month. But I like the discipline of keeping to the 22-page limit, so I'll keep this as a one-time variation.

Here are some stats for this arbitrary volume: 

12 issues
270 "comic" pages (my printed archive runs to 498 pages of text but I'm very generous with white space)
1,262 panels (that's 1,274 pieces of non-art, including covers)
67,073 words

This last figure is interesting: if Heroes was a regular book, it wouldn't even make a short novel. Yet I feel that I've told a lot of story in those words. Which supports my original thesis: a comic-book script is a very good format for a lazy writer.

Elsewhere, there isn't much more to this week's update. The Electron bio page got pushed back to next week, for reasons I can't quite remember (it's written but it's not in this update for some reason). So all you get for for your money is a rather pointless timeline of 2323, and an even more pointless entry on the Museum of Antiquities (honestly, I'm not even sure why I wrote this). 

The most interest new page is probably the history of troll rock -- yes, my universe has its own music genre. How cool is that? Troll rock (and its associated subculture) will crop up fairly often in the story, so it seemed worth talking about it.

Next update will be next Friday, as usual. 

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About this blog

The Heroes Universe is an ongoing work of fiction, conceived and chiefly plotted by David Meadows, with help from a group of friends, over a 30-year period.

I am slowly documenting the Universe on this web site.

This blog is a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of that history.

If you're new here, the series of posts listed below will explain what it's all about. I hope...

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