8FOLD/ACRA: Jolt City # 21, "Promise and Terror!" FOOTNOTES

Tom Russell joltcity at gmail.com
Sat Mar 15 08:29:17 PDT 2014

////////////// TOM RUSSELL'S
    ////  //////  /// //////  ////// /// ////// \  //
// ////  //  //  ///   //    ///    ///   //     \//# 21
//////  //////  ///// //    ////// ///   //      //NOTES

Part 1.

[1] Doctor Marita Costello, the inventor of the Vibra-Jacket, appeared
in JOLT CITY # 5-7, in which she conspired with the Trapper and Samson
Snapp in an attempt to murder her husband. Dr. Fay was her assistant
at that time.

[2] Dr. Fay's Nobel win for inventing an actual perpetual motion
machine is mentioned in JOURNEY INTO # 8. That story takes place in
2010, and her prize was awarded the year before.

[3] Derek worked doing landscaping for Proctor Products in the summer
of 2007, in JOLT CITY # 16. He was fired in the same issue after he
attacked coworker Cooper Dilge. He previously worked as a drug dealer
in the employ of Samson Snapp, until the Green Knight rescued him from
the Crooked Man in JOLT CITY # 2. He worked undercover as an informant
for Dani Handler, ultimately culminating in Snapp's arrest in JOLT
CITY # 11 for treason, among other charges.

[4] Pam left Martin sometime before JOLT CITY # 20, as alluded to in
that issue. Dani turned down Martin's marriage proposal and announced
her intention to move in with her sister in Atlanta in the same issue.

[5] Martin was remanded to custody at Earbox Super-Security Prison in
JOLT CITY # 10. After brutally and single-handedly taking down several
black capes, he was classified as the prison's most dangerous man. He
eventually orchestrated a prison break for himself, Gallery, Whistler,
and the Chemist in JOLT CITY # 10-11. It was revealed in JOLT CITY #
20 that Pocket Vito, the three-inch tall mafioso who was presumed
dead, also escaped, hidden by Whistler. When Gallery was returned to
custody following the events in our last installment, he revealed to
ADA Tad Dmowski that Vito is still alive in an attempt to knock some
years off of his sentence. Dmowski asked the Green Knight to try and
confirm that Vito is alive and at-large.

[6] Knockout Mouse apprehended the Fiddleback, and first appeared, in
our last issue. Before she did, however, Fiddleback damaged her face
with his necrotic crackle, and her teleporting Wrinkle Belt

[7] Anders Ray Cradle III, son of the original Green Knight. When we
first met him in the pages of the GREEN KNIGHT miniseries, he suffered
from alexithymia-- the inability to recognize emotion in the self.
Anders doubted the sincerity and/or existence of his own emotions as
his father was dying of cancer in late 2005, and I thought there was
something very sad in that. It wasn't until towards the end that he
discovered that his father was the Green Knight, that Martin Rock was
in many ways his "real" son, and that his mother Riana, who had died
in 2004, had an affair with Martin. The revelation that his father had
left everything to Martin drove him to blackmail Martin into
renouncing the will. "You had my parents, Mr. Rock. At least let me
have their things!"

Now, I didn't agree with what Anders did-- certainly, it'd be easier
for Martin to do his thing with a two billion dollar fortune at his
disposal-- but I understood it. I didn't "like" Anders, but I felt
more than a little sympathy for him. I had hoped that I had presented
him and his psychology in such a way as to engender some measure of
pity and understanding. But this must be one of those cases where I
severely dropped the ball, because I've yet to hear of anyone who
feels even a lick of anything for Anders besides hatred and disgust.

Shortly after his confrontation with Martin in the GREEN KNIGHT
ANNUAL, Anders is kidnapped by Melvin Tightly. Tightly, a demented
psychologist, had learned the original Green Knight's secret identity
from Riana, who had disclosed it in anger while dying of cancer.
Tightly tortured Anders for the better part of a week before the
second Green Knight rescued him.

This experience made Anders extremely wary of the four-colour world.
This was only exacerbated by further supervillain attempts to kidnap
him, by Hobbyhorse (in JOLT CITY # 12) and the Balloonist (JOLT CITY #
18). While being abducted by the latter, he shot and killed the
villain. Charges were not brought against him.

By JOLT CITY # 19, Anders had become quite paranoid and reclusive,
using his fortune to construct elaborate security devices and never
leaving his mansion. His father's business, which he had taken over,
was already suffering when the Little League of Doom-- adolescents
with "Doc-Class" or Superman-like powers-- begun sabotaging Cradle
Industries at the direction of his chief competitor, J. Donald
Proctor. Martin suggested that Anders's life might be in danger;
Anders didn't take it well.

That's the last we've seen of him, and the last I think we will see of
him. It's likely that the disaster-level property destruction of JOLT
CITY # 19 served as kind of a last straw, both for Anders and for the
shareholders of Cradle Industries. They're moving out, which gives
Proctor room to expand.

Even as I don't agree with his recent actions, I still understand
them, and I still feel a little sorry for him. And, I think, I'm still
the only one, which shows my limitations as a writer. I've written
other characters who suffered from alexithymia, the most recent of
which is Lask in the pages of ORPHANS OF MARS; let's hope I'm more
successful advocating on her behalf than I did for Anders.

[8] Derek is referring to the events of JOLT CITY # 20, in which the
Gorgon got hold of the Black Note (a sonic frequency that caused the
human brain to explode) and intended to flood the Internet with it in
a massive viral campaign. When discussing the matter with Green
Knight, the second Darkhorse, and the Architect, he came up with a way
to neutralize the threat. This was implemented by the Architect, who
also took the lion's share of the credit.

Part 2.

[1] "With those kids" is a reference to the Little League of Doom,
which began their criminal career performing industrial sabotage for
Proctor before becoming utterly depraved and murderous. "Canton" is
Carlos Canton, mayoral candidate, who has received considerable
backing from Proctor.

[2] November 2008, which saw the election of Barack Obama to the
Presidency in both our universe and the Eightfold universe. The
implication is that they expect deep cuts in military spending when
the new administration takes over.

[3] This particular reference to "after November" is to Canton's
expected election. As alluded to earlier in this scene, Canton,
Proctor, and Vito are allies.

[4] Trinity Tran, who works part-time in the Four-Colour Liaison's
Office; she replaced Derek after he was fired by Lacey Trimmer. Her
younger brother stole Blue Boxer's action bag, and she returned it.
The reader can infer from her introduction in JOLT CITY # 18 that
Derek was/is mildly smitten with her:

"Just before noon (lunch), a woman strolls in with Blue Boxer's
action-bag over her shoulder.  She's not quite thirty, not quite five
feet tall, and not quite gamine.  Her thick black hair is drawn from
her high forehead into a ponytail that sashays in a counter-rhythm
with her hips.  She walks like she owns the place, like she's been
here before: absolutely fearless, absolutely direct, absolutely

[5] Barbara was first (and last) seen in JOLT CITY # 18. Something of
a superhero fan/groupie, she nervously offered Blue Boxer oral sex. He
refused at first, but returned the next day and took her up on the
offer. She regretted it the instant the act was done, and it got very

[6] For those keeping score, that means Derek's identity is known to
Martin, Roy, Anders, Pam, Dani, Dr. Fay, and Trinity Tran. Martin's
secret identity is known to Derek, Roy, Anders, Pam, Dani, and
Gallery, though it is possible that Dr. Fay knows Martin's identity
after Derek referred to the Green Knight as "Martin" in JOLT CITY #

[7] Tad Dmowski is the ADA for Jolt City. White Ant is a supervillain
who was part of the Earbox break-out in JOLT CITY # 19. He had a
chance to escape, and intended to use his freedom to make up for his
past misdeeds, when he happened upon Gray Glaive about to kill the
Green Knight. He saved Martin's life, and the delay resulted in his
capture by Darkhorse. Later, FCL Lacey Trimmer explained that she
would have difficulty staving off anticipated political pressure to
implement Chicago's Fitzwalter Rule, which would outlaw non-powered
heroes like Green Knight and Blue Boxer. Martin then suggested giving
the (somewhat) super-powered White Ant a chance to reform.

[8] As noted in JOLT CITY # 18, Tran is going to medical school.

[9] Phil Whaley, the original Darkhorse. His career ended when he lost
his speedster powers, but not his slowed-down perception, in battle
with Gregory Dingham in SPEAK! #7. He recovered and became George W.
Bush's Secretary of Four-Colour Affairs. Though it extends past this
story, which takes place in 2008, he continued to serve in that
capacity under Barack Obama, as seen in JOURNEY INTO #15, where he met
the future third Darkhorse, Dani's niece Melody Mapp (now occasionally
appearing, plug-plug, in Eightfold's monthly anthology series MIGHTY

[10] Joshua Berg, also known as "Fish". The sole member of the Little
League of Doom (JOLT CITY # 19) who did not participate in the group's
heinous crimes but also could do nothing to stop them. Ironically,
he's the one that is responsible for Martin's missing hand. He was
paralyzed when the group lost their powers, and the other boys named
him as ringleader and mastermind to protect the real culprit, Jack. As
revealed in the denouncement of that issue, the trial which Dmowski is
preparing to prosecute will commence after "Martin Rock is no longer
the Green Knight" and will return a guilty verdict.

[11] Blake Foster, the District Attorney. Also up for re-election in
November, but it seems he's having an easier time of it than Mayor

[12] This is a little technical, and because all of the characters
present would know exactly what they were talking about, it didn't
feel natural to have Dmowski explain it all in detail. So, the
explanation is here: the DSCC is the Designation and Sentence
Computation Center in Grand Prairie, Texas, which is part of the
Federal Bureau of Prisons. One of the DSCC's duties is calculating
"good time": that is, time off for good behavior. The standard rate is
54 days for every full year served, meaning a well-behaved inmate
serves 87.1% of their actual sentence. The DSCC can also award
additional good time at their discretion.

[13] As mentioned in an earlier note, the Fitzwalter Rule is a law in
some jurisdictions, such as Chicagoland, that outlaws non-powered
costumed heroes. After the disaster in JOLT CITY # 19, there is
mounting pressure to implement the rule in Jolt City.

[14] "The mask with no name", Martin's costumed non-identity between
1995 and 2005. As described in GREEN KNIGHT # 1, "A shadow. A sliver.
A whisper... [a] dark lurking thing." Living in abandoned supervillain
hideouts, Martin waged a brutally violent war on organized crime in
the slums, and four times broke the original Green Knight's cardinal
rule against taking a human life. Shrouded in mystery, some mobsters
doubted he existed, others swore to have seen him with their own eyes.
Accounts were confused and contradictory, but many feared him. The
mask with no name disappeared when Martin became the second Green
Knight and recommitted himself to his mentor's daylight methods.

[15] That's not a typo; the reference is to Ray Cradle, the original
Green Knight, who was fond of puns in earlier days. Martin has
embraced some of Ray's methods while distancing himself from others,
and he's gone back-and-forth on quite a few of them.

When I chose the name Roy for Martin's confidante, I did so
deliberately because of its similarity to Ray; the occasional
conflation of the two in the narration here, and a few other times in
the series, is an intended effect.

[16] The hordes of Apelantis launched an ill-fated and ill-considered
invasion of the surface world, beginning with Jolt City, in JOLT CITY
# 11. They were assisted in this by Samson Snapp, who had
mass-produced the Costello Vibra-Jackets. Snapp expected to take over
some portion of the United States as his own personal domain.

As I believe I touched on in that issue, the Apelantians themselves
were not especially bright and so they may not have realized what a
bad idea it is to invade the United States by beginning in the Midwest
(Washington would have been a better starting place). Snapp however
had shown himself to be at least clever enough to render himself an
"untouchable" druglord, and should have known better. He likely would
have remained untouchable, despite Martin's best efforts, if he hadn't
branched out into making the jackets, hiring a death-trap assassin,
conquering and enslaving the population of the parallel Snail-Earth,
and threw in his lot with a frequently inept invasion force.

I didn't really touch on this in-story as the first eleven issues were
largely told exclusively from Martin's point of view; we only got to
know what Martin knew. But my explanation for Snapp's increasingly
deranged behavior is basically that one thing lead to another. He did
a thing that was a little dumb and risky, and then something that was
dumber and riskier, until he was full-blown outlandish supervillain
material, wondering at how he got into this mess.

[17] A Bible joke; Perea being the region in which John the Baptist
performed his baptisms (more specifically, Betharaba, or Bethany
beyond the Jordan), presumably including the baptism of Christ, which
is of course what Roy is alluding to. Peoria, Illinois is a town used
in the United States as a shorthand for mainstream tastes, e.g., "Will
it play in Peoria?"

Part 3.

[1] "The clock is wrong" is a reference to Derek's realization in our
last issue that the prison breakout was only a feint.

[2] The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department.

[3] Yes, that's one of Ress's beam pistols from ORPHANS OF MARS.

[4] Derek filled in for Martin while Martin was in Earbox.

More information about the racc mailing list