583 – The Captain is Not as Alone as He Thinks

Discussion (35) ¬

  1. Cowbell

    All I can think of is: “I am the night!”.

    • Silly Zealot
      Silly Zealot

      More like “I am the moustache!”

      • Jerden

        I am the Cash!

        • Brock Heasley
          Brock Heasley

          “I’m Batman!”

          Wait, I just ruined it.

  2. Professor Harmless

    Time skips aren’t really anything knew within the sequential art medium. The scale can vary, from a few hours, to a few centuries.
    The only problem that can creep up is when they’re used as a way to retcon prior events, or fundamentally change the story you’re telling in such a way that the characters become caricatures of what the “mainstream” (whatever that really is) thinks they should be.

    Have you skipped over something that can’t be integrated as something implied, or used as the “noodle incident” trope? If there was nothing truly necessary in the time you’ve skipped, you’re story has lost nothing, and gained momentum.

    If you’ve changed everything just to cash in on what you think might be popular and sell well, congratulations, you’ve just become part of the New 52.

    • Brock Heasley
      Brock Heasley

      Since I abhor the New 52, I’m just gonna pray that’s not what I’ve done. I had no illusions that a time skip was a novel thing.

      Important stuff did happen in the missing year, but nothing that can’t be sussed out from what’s happening and will happen. In fact, there’s really just one incident that’s key to understanding the missing year and that’s The Battle of Fresno. You’ve already heard hints about it, and more hints are coming and eventually you’ll get a full picture of the event–but it might not be because Marc and I have out-and-out painted it for you.

      Does One Year Later pass muster? Perhaps it’s too early to tell.

    • billydaking

      Actually, “timeshifts” or “flash forwards” are an old literary device that has been used for decades, if not centuries. Richard Adams’ Shardik (1974) is a good example of using one effectively.

      And by “necessary”, I’m assuming the Prof. is talking about anything backstory- or character-wise that isn’t essential to understanding the point the story and characters suddenly appear in. The device is typically used as a tool of contrast; taking what we know of a character by a certain point, jumping ahead of the story, and placing that character, with development in between, in a much changed situation, now having to confront his or her decisions from the past. What you miss in a flash forward is the process, showing the experiences between point A and point D, but many times, that process isn’t essential to the story.

      There will always be questions of how or why someone wound up in a certain position or state, and I think today’s readers tend to demand more explanation, which is why so many stories, films, and novels are filled with ultimately trivial exposition. Personally, I prefer stories that shake me up or make me an active reader rather than a passive one. I don’t like being fed, so I’m digging the new direction of this story. So far, things are connecting.

      • Brock Heasley
        Brock Heasley

        I’m like you, billydaking. I like actively engaging a story and figuring things out on my own. It’s why Mad Men is my current favorite show–it doesn’t spoon feed at all and about a month of unseen events occurs between episodes. Pretty terrific.

  3. John Scobie

    Aw yiss. Good to see the Money Man again.

    • Brock Heasley
      Brock Heasley

      His ‘stache makes us all feel a little better inside.

  4. gnrrrg

    Cap is never going to get any rest if people keep coming to see him.

    • Brock Heasley
      Brock Heasley

      Haha. That genuinely made me laugh. You’re so right.

  5. Si Civa
    Si Civa

    I think I’ve figured out all this symbolism going on here. Captain Spectular has a Y chromosome!

    • Brock Heasley
      Brock Heasley


  6. Jerden

    I actually like the time skip. We’ve missed the details of how Zurida and Dark Maiden took over, how the resistance was formed, ect, but I’m guessing that they’re either unimportant, or we’ll be able to work them out from the events “now”.
    Done badly, time skips can be annoying.
    Done well, they allow us to focus on the action and important events.
    I’m enjoying it, so I think that this one’s been done well.

    • Brock Heasley
      Brock Heasley

      Thanks for responding to the question, Jerden. If you’re enjoying it, then I call it as successful for you. I did the time jump because I really felt like the results of the events of the next year were more interesting than the events themselves. I think that will become more clear as the story shifts into a higher gear post-SF 600, but I’m glad you’re enjoying it now.

  7. Jerden

    I’m starting to doubt the Money Man’s claim to be without powers. He can get into anywhere, survived his own death – how is that possible without powers – unless he’s hired people that can, or has enough money to buy the technology to do so.

    • Brock Heasley
      Brock Heasley

      There’s a reason for all of that, and it will all become more clear not too long from now.

      • Jerden

        He’s a hallucination!
        He bribed reality!
        He bribed the author!
        He IS the author!

        Alright, I’m all out of wacky theories. Anyone else want to try, before it gets revealed?

        • King G
          King G


          “Merely a symptom…dark disease…wasting away…universe.”

          Sounds a lot like the “To Thine Own Self” storyline of gpf comics:
          There are multiple somethings or someones so far beyond the characters we see right now; so deeply embedded behind every scene, that we can’t really perceive it directly–Brock simply won’t let us see it directly(yet; maybe at a later point), because it’d spoil the fun of the charade. AmIright, brother Brock?

          My logic:
          Money Man(MM) died at the hand of Soviet Sam(SS).
          BUT…..Prior to the appearance of Mega Matt, it looked like MM and SS were about to reach a deal. (“How close to the beach?”)
          If this deal failed, MM was still fully aware of his inability to handle SS in a physical fight(note how he drops his fists and asks “How much?” upon SS telling him what he was capable of doing to his skeletal system).
          AND SS had already demonstrated a willingness to just give a speech to and then walk away from, MM, rather than engaging in combat(“Just like a capitalist….Now get out of my way”).

          Mega Matt would never have been there to help SS lose his cool and lash out at MM, were it not for that time-witch-woman trying to pin down a Swifty-in-motion, and drag him backwards through time. Now though, that wouldn’t have happened ordinarily, except…..
          The time-witch-woman(along with the black-man-voodoo-mage) had been hired by Jerry….Specifically for the purpose of getting all the fogeys’ younger selves(which she screwed up on with Swifty–perhaps not entirely by accident) moved through time…Specifically so that Jerry could tell YOUNGER JERRY, that he would at a later point in his life hire that same time-witch-woman and the black-man-voodoo-mage, for the express purpose of being able to summon his younger self and tell him he was to later hire that same time-witch-woman and the black-man-voodoo-mage…..

          And does anybody else see where I’m going with this line of thought? Someone or something which hasn’t been seen in the comic yet, must have had contact with the Jerry/Klein/ThirdMan that we have seen, and gave him the phone numbers of time-witch and black-man-mage. Without time-witch and black-man, young Jerry would never be made aware of the fact, he needs to go through college in geriatric studies so he can later go on to found Valhalla.

          As a result….Almost every single event that time-travelling Swifty has visited, should not have played out in the way that it did. Why? Because time-travelling Swifty only exists as a result of time-meddling Jerry.
          Each of those events had a small impact; a small change upon the theoretical(at the time of the change) future. This destroyed the future(or for us, the present) that, some might say, “should” be, because to them, what “should be”, is what *would* be, without the time-travelling-mess.

          IN FACT, I will bet dollars to donuts, that Money Man would tell us how another thing which “shouldn’t be”, is Swifty’s deep-seated dislike of Jerry.

          • Brock Heasley
            Brock Heasley

            This is amazing. And so thorough. Every SF fan who’s interested in the details of what’s going on should read this. Hope you saw the shout-out in the subsequent strip.

  8. Dierna

    Oh hai there Money Man. Nice to see you again… Don’t think the good captain there will be able to help you tho. He’s a bit tied up at the moment.

    • Brock Heasley
      Brock Heasley

      Okay, the best part of your comment is that you used a The Room reference. That’s a big milestone for SF.

  9. Andrew

    Excellent, the return of Money Man! As to the time skip, it was a surprise, but then I couldn’t help but smile. I’ve been reading SF for quite some time now and the main reason I”m such a fan is your writing. I’ve said before that I think you’re writing is superior to most comics, either books or web. I could rhapsodize at length (and have) about your characterization. The element of mystery you always incorporate continually keeps things fresh. You not only keep your readers guessing, but actually give us clues to try and figure it out on our own. Then out of nowhere you hit us with one of your Heasleyian plot twists. As a long time reader I have faith in your talent and skill as a writer. So when you skipped ahead a year my reaction was, “I can’t wait to see what comes next because I know it’s going to be good.”

    • Brock Heasley
      Brock Heasley

      I don’t even know what to do with praise that effusive. Thanks for believing in the story and our ability to tell it, Andrew. Thanks for the faith.

  10. JE Draft

    I did not like the time shift. Frankly, my first reaction was that it was manipulative and a kind of storytelling short-cut to get to good bits that the author wants to tell without going through the steps of actually building it in order. I am sure part of this was just a visceral reaction to what appeared to be a brick wall behind the cartoon doorway of built-up expectations.

    That said, it’s not hard to adjust to this as what it essentially is – a sequel to the tragedy of the previous story. This is, in my eyes, not the same story now, as all the characters seem to have changed their roles and relationships so dramatically as to be virtually a different universe than the one we started in.

    • Brock Heasley
      Brock Heasley

      That’s an interesting take on this, and one I happen to agree with. I very much saw this as the logical sequel to the events at the end of the previous chapter. Things were looking pretty dire–cut to one year later and they actually are.

      So, your first reaction was negative. Does that mean you do feel better about it now? You comment seems to indicate that’s the case.

      • JE Draft

        I still don’t *like* it in the sense that I am enthusiastic about it and welcome it as a direction. The strip has morphed completely from its satirical beginnings into the kind of superhero story that it was originally a pastiche of. It’s really not the same thing at all – as I said, it’s a different universe. I thought that there was a great deal of value and entertainment in the original concept, and a kind of fun commentary on the whole genre. That was what originally attracted me to the series.

        But I do understand how stories grow in the telling, and how characters begin to write themselves. Ultimately, you are the artist and we either love or hate what you’re doing – but you’re the one who does it.

        • Jerden

          Well, that’s Cerberus syndrome. A plot eventually creeps in.

          • JE Draft

            Sweet Jeebus, don’t let him become didactic, preachy and completely un-funny like Sim did.

            • Brock Heasley
              Brock Heasley

              I have not read a lot of Cerebus, but I don’t know about its more satirical beginnings. SF started as a lark for me and when it turned into something more I had to make it into something that would hold my interest. That’s the comic we have today. I know that’s not what everyone wants (my own wife loved the early SF strips and doesn’t even bother with it now), but that’s okay.

              Personally, unless you’re Stephen Colbert, I don’t think satire wears well over the long run. This change was probably inevitable whether I wanted it to happen or not.

  11. Scollege

    The FOur-Fingered Man!

    • Brock Heasley
      Brock Heasley


  12. CartoonistWill

    I gave my opinion under the last comic strip, but I’ll keep reading. I am VERY interested in the Money Man development…

    • Brock Heasley
      Brock Heasley

      Your opinion got all this started, so I appreciate it. Honest, thoughtful opinions are always welcome.

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