ASH: ASH #100 - Starslayers: Introduction

Dave Van Domelen dvandom at
Thu Aug 6 12:12:31 PDT 2009

     The cover is a gatefold triptych, with the center panel being the
regular front cover.
     The central panel is almost entirely an angry red-orange fading to
darker red around the edges, a swollen photonic shell around the Sun.  In the
very middle of it is a silhouetted figure of a man with long hair, arms
outstretched and grasping.  It's unclear if he's facing towards or away from
the viewer.
     The left-hand panel (back cover) has the Sun-shell impinging on it.
Coming out of the light are translucent humanoid figures in orange, white and
blue, as well as a faint ripple in human shape.  To the far left are Solar
Max, Peregryn, Essay and Geode, in a defensive stance.
     The right-hand panel (gatefold) also has the Sun-shell overlapping it,
and a number of figures in WWII Japanese military uniforms charging out of
it, led by a glowing golden sphere.  To the right side are figures that are
visual blends of ASH members and Freedom Alliance members: Meteor/Johnny
Angel, Green Knight/Centurion, Fury/Red Widow, Breaker/Lady Lawful, Scorch/
Gauntlet and a three-way blend of Contact/Minuteman/Corporal Red.  Unlike
the heroes in the left panel, they're charging into battle, with Contact
carrying a flag that is a 48-star U.S. flag mixed with the North American
Combine flag.

     URLs: (work in

    //||  //^^\\  ||   ||   .|.   COHERENT COMICS UNINCORPORATED PRESENTS
   // ||  \\      ||   ||  --X---------------------------------------------
  //======================= '|`        ACADEMY OF SUPER-HEROES #100
 //   ||      \\  ||   ||            Rising Sun Part 4 - Starslayers
//    ||  \\__//  ||   ||          Copyright 2009 by Dave Van Domelen


CODENAME       REAL NAME                POWERS                   ASSIGNMENT
--------       ---------                ------                   ----------
Solar Max      Jonathan Zachary         Spacetime Control        REAL WORLD
                 "JakZak" Taylor
Johnny Angel   Sarah Grant-Taylor       Teleportation            VIRTUAL
Gauntlet       Scott Handleman          Self-powered armor       VIRTUAL
Centurion      Salvatore Napier         None                     VIRTUAL
Red Widow      Arin Kelsey              None                     VIRTUAL
Minuteman      Aaron Zander             Enhanced human           VIRTUAL
Corporal Red   "Paul Mahler"            Enhanced human           VIRTUAL
Lady Lawful    Christina Li             Super-strength           VIRTUAL
Essay          Sara Ana Henderson       Gadgeteer                INTERFACE
Peregryn       Howard Henderson Jr.     Elemental Mage           INTERFACE
Beacon         George Sylvester         Living Light             INTERFACE
Geode          Unknown                  Living Crystal           REAL WORLD
Lightfoot      Tom Dodson               Velocity Control         INTERFACE


     Back in the old days of the LNH and Superguy, technological limitations
meant that posts couldn't be over a certain size.  They'd simply be rejected
by the servers of a portion of the reader base and get lost.  As a result,
larger issues/episodes would often get broken up into chunks if there was a
thematic reason to not simply turn them into multiple issues or episodes.
Perhaps the most extreme example would be Adjusted League Unimpeachable #100,
which was posted in seventeen parts.
     Nowadays, of course, even the relatively archaic Usenet and listserver
systems used as a legacy by fiction groups like rec.arts.comics.creative can
handle the load of something like ALU #100.  But sometimes it's still a good
idea to split up a large post, which is what's happening here.  This
introduction, three chapters, and then an epilogue with all the end notes
tacked onto it.
     The first reason I'm doing it this way is simply nostalgia.  This is my
first "real" #100, in which the title remained the same for all hundred
issues.  Dvandom Force #100 was really the 64th issue, having been renamed
from Constellation after I wrote the book's star out in #36.  And I feel like
honoring some of the old traditions and techniques by posting the rather
large hundredth issue of ASH in multiple chapters.
     The second is that, improved as it may be over the mid 1990s, Usenet is
still a fairly low-tech reading option.  Barring user-end add-ons or simply
bypassing Usenet for webpage posting, it's just not that convenient to deal
with a single very large document.  In a paper copy, you can use a bookmark
or a sticky note.  On a webpage, anchor links can be inserted.  A PDF can be
generated with chapter break tabs.  And so forth.  But it's all one chunk as
far as default Usenet posting is concerned.  Hence, by posting an otherwise
daunting Big Event Issue in chapters, I make things easier on the handful of
people still reading via Usenet...of course, since total readership is
probably just a double handful, it's an audience well worth keeping in mind.
     Of course, even if I were going to post it all in one piece, I'd
definitely have composed it in smaller chunks, if only so I don't have to
page down so much to find where I left off!

     Speaking of tradition, another superhero net.fic tradition is that a
series ends at #100.  If the story continues, it does so in a new title with
a new #1.  Dvandom Force #100 was the end, and while I picked up some of the
characters in a way with Exarchs, DF100 really did mark the end of my
involvement in that particular strand.
     Will ASH #100 be the end of the title?  Of the characters?  Of the world
itself?  I launched ASH by positing the near-destruction of Earth, and I did
promise death on a planetary scale in the "next issue" blurb at the end of
#99, so I guess you'll just have to keep reading to see....


                    TO BE CONTINUED IN CHAPTER ONE!


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