8FOLD: Daylighters # 2 (Annotations)

Tom Russell joltcity at gmail.com
Sat Nov 24 18:27:22 PST 2018

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              |___/     |___/  ANNOTATIONS

      # 2 - DUNGEON CRAWL

[1] FEVER splice virus

Melody gives us the "short version" two paragraphs hence, but you can
read the long version of this in MIGHTY MEDLEY # 16. As alluded to
briefly in Melody's recap, this indicated that FEVER was, and possibly
is, working in cahoots with the Pulse Collective.

[2] Dani and Martin

Dani is Danielle Handler, a member like Pam of JOLT CITY's supporting
cast. Dani is also the aunt of our current Darkhorse, Melody Mapp.
Dani's death was alluded to in several of the MIGHTY MEDLEY Darkhorse
stories, as well as the DARKHORSE miniseries.

Martin is Martin Rock, the second Green Knight and Derek's mentor, who
was romantically involved both with Dani and Pam. Martin travelled
with Derek into the past during the events of JOLT CITY # 22-23. They
were present in an infinite number of alternate pasts, meeting an
infinite number of untimely ends. One version of Derek returned to the
present day, and he witnessed that version of Martin die in a heroic
last stand. It's presumed that no versions of Martin returned.

This isn't precisely true; at the conclusion of JOLT CITY # 23, one
version of Martin was reunited with Dani, and they presumably were
together until her death from cancer five years later.

I've gone on the record that this Martin will not return in any future
stories, having given him a proper and romantic (if bittersweet)
ending. The great part about running your own superhero universe is
that you can actually enforce these sorts of edicts, and send your
heroes off into the sunset for good.

[3] the woman with the umbrella

I know what you're thinking: hey, didn't Rainshade lose her umbrella
in MANCERS # 8? Some timeline disambiguation might be helpful here.

The first issue of DAYLIGHTERS took place, as noted in its first
sentence, on the "last day of twenty-fourteen". Early on in that
story, Ghedi ports away to pick up Lobsterman for a mission in Japan -
and so, the beginning of this second issue is happening simultaneously
with the first. By the time we get to this scene with Pam, it's some
time after the first issue, but still on the same day - December 31,
2014. (And, in fact, most of the current arc takes place on the same

Maile confronts the circle about her memory wipe and abduction in
MANCERS # 8 "on the last day of December" - so that scene takes place
on December 31, 2014.

It is followed by two Rainshade scenes - the murder of Lydia Black,
and the resurrection of David Collins. These aren't date-stamped, but
can be presumed to be taking place at some point after the Maile
scene. This could be hours, could be days. So Rainshade's appearances
in MANCERS # 8 take place after her appearance here. So, this scene
takes place before she gives her umbrella - in reality, the ancient
Martian sword Thirteen - to David Collins.

[4] vibrating through solid matter

This is something which has been mentioned before, but only in the
context of being underwater (see the Darkhorse MIGHTY MEDLEY stories,
gathered together in the MIGHTY MELODIES collection). She doesn't seem
to ever worry about this when she's on the surface and phasing through
walls and such. I'm not going to say that her concern isn't valid - if
she does snap back while phased through something, it would indeed
kill her - but her specific anxiety probably has more to do with being
underwater than anything to do with the nature of her powers.

[5] puppet implants

Here it might help to remind the reader of two important bits of
established continuity.

The first is that in the Eightfold Universe, supervillains are almost
always subject to mandatory life sentences regardless of the crime of
which they are convicted. It's meant to deter the emergence of new
supervillains. This being a superhero universe, it really hasn't done
that, and as a result there have been folks and organizations pushing
for something less draconian for a long time.

The implicit idea with this work-release program is that villains who
show a willingness to reform and assist the Daylighters (risking their
lives in the process) might eventually have their sentences reduced.

The puppet implant that keeps them from escaping or turning heel while
on the job is, as mentioned in-story, created by Cradle Tech using
FEVER technology. What our heroes don't know, of course, is that
Cradle Tech (whether in whole or in part) *is* the terrorist
organization FEVER, and their CEO Anders Cradle is the malevolent
nihilist Caracalla. So as you can imagine, it was quite easy for
Cradle Tech to "reverse-engineer" their own technology.

[6] true in your case

As alluded to in Pam's scene, Derek's career as a costumed adventurer
was spectacularly accident-prone, and he was something of a
laughingstock in the superhero community. He's much better regarded in
his capacity as an administrator, organizer, and manager - but not
universally so. There are still heroes, even within the Daylighters
(and this probably includes Melody), who don't respect Derek because
he's not capable of, or competent when, doing the actual field work.

Melody's general dislike of Derek probably also stems from personal
factors. As much as his move away from active field work has been
about realizing he's better at working behind the scenes, and helping
others be at their best, as we've seen in other stories, he still
badly craves acknowledgement and applause for his accomplishments,
which rubs someone like Melody very much the wrong way. Derek
historically has also sometimes had trouble with boundaries in his
interactions with women - a function I think both of unquestioned
toxic cultural norms and the poor example of his mentor - to the point
where one of the Darkhorse MIGHTY MEDLEY stories mentioned that Derek
was a bit of a creep. (I do think he's started to question his
behavior and to improve on it.)

More than that, however, I think the biggest reason why Melody doesn't
particularly like Derek is the loved one they have in common - her
aunt Dani. Partially this is grief and partially it's because there's
this weird guy she doesn't know who is inserting himself into her
aunt's life as she's dying of cancer - his presence felt intrusive,
like a violation.

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