8FOLD: Daylighters # 1, "Pursued By A Bear"

Drew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Tue May 28 00:57:50 PDT 2019

On 5/28/2019 12:47 AM, Tom Russell wrote:
> On Monday, May 27, 2019 at 11:40:53 PM UTC-4, Drew Perron wrote:
>> Hokay, time to read Daylighters! I'm only six months late on this one, whee! X3
> ...

Look, the only way I'm managing to catch up without freaking out is to be 
absolutely chill about how behind I am. >#>

>>> Came out of that - how long ago,
>>> Mouse?"
>>>      "Week ago?" says Knockout Mouse.
>>>      "A week ago," says Shimmer. "No belt, still have the powers. Go fig."
>> NICE. I expected this to be a dramatic onscreen reveal, but it works really well
>> as this casual drop. (...and if it's a dramatic onscreen reveal in something
>> else, maybe I've forgotten X3)
> In the Darkhorse mini. It was kinda casual there though too.

Rad. <3 <3 <3

>> THAT'S SO AMAZING! What a good combo!
> That's very kind, thanks.

Always compliment the cool parts, that way you get more. :>

 > Team-up moves and action sequences are one of the appeals of doing a superhero
 > team book. It's one thing I really don't get to do with something like
 > Mancers, which doesn't properly have superheroes or action in that sense.

Truth. <3 I... *looks at my body of work, strokes my chin* At this point I have 
no idea if I'm good at that or not! <3

>> Hmmmm. Thoughts on bad luck that maybe the story will bring up so I'll hold 'em
>> for now~
> Did the story bring them up? Interested as always to hear your musings.

Let's see... Oh, it was something like... for it to keep counting as "bad luck", 
it seems like it would have a certain cutoff. Klutz's powers aren't going to 
kill him, it seems like, and in fact, they seem like they might actually 
preserve his ability to exist and do things so he can keep having bad luck.

>>> If I had his powers, you know what I'd do with them?"
>>>      Featherweight shakes his head.
>>>      "Nothing," says Bethany. "I wouldn't put myself in situations where
>>> I'm going to risk hurting people. I wouldn't be around other people at
>>> all."
>> Oh, sweetie. You should probably have some therapy. Like... people don't need to
>> be useful to be worthy of living, and that includes you.
> I think from her point of view it's more like, "hey, whether you mean to or not, 
> you're causing harm, so you shouldn't be doing that". In a way, Jonah's situation 
> is kinda like a Typhoid Mary situation (actual person Mary Mallon, not the Daredevil
> character) -- and I'm not sure if there's an easy answer there.  So it's not so much
> that he needs to be "useful", or that Bethany would even see him that way, but that
> he needs to not put other people at risk of serious injury and death.

Right, and...

In the context of this mission, Jonah's been brought in as an *asset*, *for* 
these powers. Bringing in Jonah's larger situation and the problems he causes 
there - while ignoring, also, the fact that he *couldn't* cloister himself, due 
to, as he mentioned, needing to work to live - is Bethany consciously dragging 
the focus over to the Typhoid Mary situation; the conflict of Jonah's effect on 
other people vs. his right to exist as a person. And taking the "I wouldn't be 
around other people at all" stance is basically Bethany saying that Jonah's 
utilitarian value to other people is more important than his value as a person, 
in the grander scheme of things.

And bringing up the conflict inherent to Jonah's larger life in the middle of 
the mission, as a response to the simple fact that Jonah's been brought in and 
is participating in a way that's inconvenient in the moment but handy in the 
larger scheme of things, suggests to me that this conflict, the need to be 
useful and valuable to other people in order to *have* value as a person, was 
already weighing heavily on Bethany's mind.

And that's probably for the reasons you mention below, due to what she sees as 
her failures during The Last Story, and other "bad things happening on her 
watch"; if you fail to stop bad things from happening, you're not worthwhile, 
and clearly, Jonah is failing to stop bad things from happening just by how he 
lives his life. Her own big failures are being projected onto his small 
failures, and that's why she should go to therapy and examine how she's beating 
herself up over those failures, and devaluing herself, and by proxy, others.

...or at least, that's how I read it. >#>

Sorry if that's a bit of a Wall of Text, this is just, kind of, how I look at 
and think about the words and actions of characters while reading a story. X3 
It's more intuitive than the step-by-step way I'm explaining it here, but this 
is what it looks like when I make the effort to put it into words other people 
can understand. >#>

 > That said, Bethany probably needs therapy for other reasons that I'm not going
 > to spoil for you yet.

Oh, I believe it. @. at v

 > Kate is more sympathetic toward Jonah, and is also the one who tells Bethany
 > that she can't blame herself for what the bad guys do. And it's not like Kate
 > hasn't been through her share of terrible superhero drama - she's been running
 > around in tights since the very first-ever Eightfold story, was severely
 > abused as a child, was one of those Spider-Man type "superhero the cops are
 > always trying to arrest or kill" for a long while, disappeared into
 > nothingness for months on end (and quite recently!).

She is so cool and brave and I've wanted to hug her since the first Doctor 
Metronome story.

 > But I think Bethany probably internalizes things more - broods on things -
 > while Kate externalizes. Probably because since that very first-ever Eightfold
 > story, she's been stuck as de facto parent for her two younger siblings, and
 > that is where she's had to put all of her energy.

Ooooh, yeah, that makes sense.

 > She's kinda come out on the other side of that dark night of the soul, more or
 > less, and has a generally sunnier and more forgiving outlook than Bethany does
 > right now.

Which absolutely makes sense. :> And I'm happy for her!

 >  As you know, I'm very wary of knee-jerk cynicism and grimdark. But I do want
 > my characters to be human. Good people, mostly, but with foibles and blind
 > spots, and bouts of doubt and darkness. Kate's able to extend a lot of
 > sympathy toward Jonah that Bethany can't, and yet Kate couldn't/can't really
 > extend that to Cal.

Definitely. <3 And that makes sense, because Cal's failures are Kate's 
responsibility - or that's how she saw it, at least, in that parental role, even 
after Cal became able to take their own agency and their own responsibility.

>>>      Jonah's perpetually irritated hang-dog expression disappears almost
>>> immediately. His eyes go wide and bright, and he smiles, no, he grins,
>>> big and open-mouthed and full of teeth and joy, a rictus,
>>> uncontrollable, almost manic smile.
>> oh my goodness Jonah. X3 <3
 > I'm happy for him, too. I'm actually a sucker for this sort of thing - it's
 > kinda sorta similar to what happens to the Human Zeppelin and Cal Morgan, in
 > that they were kind of miserable and then something Genre happens that makes
 > them better and happier people.

Yessssss. :D :D :D I love that trope so much!! And you do it so much and it 
makes me happy!!!

>> He's a Good Boy.
> We'll see more of him, though not in this arc.

Excellent. <3

>>> "My name is Pam Bierce." [4]
>> ...
>> ...
>> *!!!*
>> OH MY GOD TOM. :D :D :D
 > I have been sitting on this reveal for such a very long time, and all the
 > while I've been looking forward specifically to your reaction. :-)

Heeheeheehee :D :D :D I mean you know I loved Pam and *dang* like. Giving her 
powers and having her go down this fascinating psychological hole, this is an 
Extremely Good Take and I am Bouncing :D <3

Drew "I need to stop redrafting the explanation of my therapy comment, post this 
and go to bed" Perron

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