StarFall: Silver Arrow #4: "The Difference Made"

Andrew Perron pwerdna at
Mon Dec 13 13:58:33 PST 2010

On Dec 12, 6:55 pm, Phantasm <phantom_belc... at> wrote:

> #4: The Difference Made

Various comments on this one, much less sewn-together than my review
of the first three.

>    Me?  I can control time.  Well, not really.  What I really do is
> affect how others *perceive* the flow of time.  I can't make it seem
> as though it's flowing backwards, but I can make it seem as though
> it's speeding up or slowing down.

A nicely low-level power that still has untold potential for

> Fran can open gates to anywhere up
> to ten miles away.  So, mainly using her gates, we made our way to
> L.A.

This is kind of a vague description; if I didn't know from previous
issues that she was a teleporter, I'd think that her power was
unlocking doors. (Hey, it'd fit with her brother's power level.)

>    When we made love that night, I knew things were different between
> us.  Somehow, I *knew* that other guy was responsible, and that he was
> Silver Arrow.  I swore then to kill him.  He would not come between me
> and my sister.
>    I never got the chance.  The next morning, I woke up in a jail
> cell, and some uniform read me my rights.  Fran was tehre, too - and
> making a statement to another officer about the heist and the guard
> I'd stabbed.
>    "Goodbye, Frank," was all she said to me, as she was led off to
> another cell.  At our trials, she testified against me.  She even went
> so far as to say that I had *made* her do things she'd readily agreed
> to.  I got twenty years... and all she got was probation.  Somehow,
> Silver Arrow had turned her against me.  For that, he will die.

Interestingly ambiguous.  Is this all part of his crazy fixation, or
is Doorway darker than she first seems?  Yet I think the ambiguity
would be heightened if you'd defined her character a bit more in her
previous appearances.

>    I just have to make one phone call, and you'll fall right into the
> trap I've laid.  I know Sun Li won't approve of my new identity - she
> doesn't like the capes and cloaks that have appeared the last few
> years - but she'll forgive me once I... once I kill you.
>    Thank you, Hugh, for letting me discover my *true* self.

Hmmmm.  This doesn't quite work.  Oh, it certainly explains *how* Jade
made the slide over to the dark side - but not *why*.  Why does she
want to stay in the underworld? (And it definitely seems to be because
she wants to, not because she has to.) I get that she's put on a
persona, and has progressively become emotionally deadened by the
effort of maintaining it - but Becoming the Mask isn't the same thing
as "discover[ing] my *true* self" and taking up a post as the hero's
archnemesis.  That said, it doesn't feel like an unrealistic change -
just one that skipped a step or two.

> I do that to keep my enemies from
> targeting those I love.  My friends and family know who I am and what
> I do.

Ah, this is a welcome clarification.  And it makes sense; it always
seemed to me that keeping such secrets from those closest to you is
more trouble than it's worth, and they can act as your Secret Keepers
in turn.

> Dad rags on me a lot, but I get the feeling that he's envious
> of not being able to join me.  This is just the thing he would have
> done if given the opportunity back in college.  

Also a good character point!

> Still, there's
> something different in the world since the Quake.  What would have had
> people sending for the men in white coats is now considered
> commonplace, even acceptable.

I like this.  I'm not even sure why.

>    Is there escalation?  Perhaps.  One of the gangs, a local outfit
> called the River Cats, has been getting more supers of their own
> signing on.  

So Gatos del Rio was the "right" name, then?

Overall, a good attempt to get into the characters' heads.

Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, ziptrap!

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