And thus Veles pronounces his most horrible curse on 84.
Actually– yeah, I see your point.
I dunno, sounds like a Fae Curse to me.
Only the most foolish, powerful, or ignorant will mess with 84 now that’s she’s been claimed by a Trickster God who beat most of the rest of Earth’s heroes without any effort.
is she really worthy a worthy opponent for Veles?
after all she turned over an important plot device of unknown power to her foe simply because he asked her for it.
Which means she has the potential to amuse him in one way or another…
Fair dues, he took it from her. And, y’know, he’s a god. Her ability to do anything he doesn’t want is limited, at best. Doing what he asks while he’s still polite enough *to* ask is about the best thing she can do. Veles would respect that, indeed honor her for it, even if the adult population chooses to disagree.
so in other words not a worthy ‘opponent’ for a god such as Vales since she lacks the capacity to challenge a him in any meaningful way.
that was exactly the point I was making.
and while she did save the city in doing so gave someone willing to destroy a city even more power, what matters that one city was saved today if doing so dooms the planet tomorrow?
84 is the worst super hero.
She doesn’t need to compete on his level to be worthy sport. She wasn’t fighting him at all in this last contest (beyond his time limit), but he still was tolerably amused by the event.
it was my understanding that finding a worthy opponent to take the place of his missing godly counterpart and so fulfill his need to engage in some sort of yearly contest was the entire point.
sure he’s pleased now but I wonder how long before he realizes 84 is just going to give him whatever he wants simply because he asked nicely for it as she did here rather than offering any sort of challenge to him effectively letting him win so he goes away.
I wonder if his anger will be sated by annihilating only the city?
When did Veles ever threaten to destroy the city? All he threatened to do was make it his personal temple and pleasure palace. The reporter talked about them all being “subject to Veles’ rule” because he thought 84 came back empty-handed. Nothing at all about destruction.
Uh, VELES chooses who is worthy of Veles’ choice. Who was the one who actually won the challenge? More importantly, the one who did it fair and square, and by the rules? Who spoke to him with respect and grace, as appropriate for a young lady of her age, maturity, and social upbringing? Who has the greatest potential (of those assembled) to become Something More, perhaps with the guidance and tutelage of interested parties?
Or are you saying “She’s just a kid, and only a FISS”?
considering the numbers and quality of the people she has beaten. give her a few years to get her growth and she could definitely take on even old Atlas. Atlas who was the hero might have her on straight up power but she beats Atlas on savvy
Yeah, Koschei has all kinds of karma coming his way. Almost wish we could watch.
Well, the way Veles stated it, it sounds rather like he’ll make Koschei his servant rather than make him suffer.
I’m pretty sure he wants to torment Koschei — if not through pain, at least through massive irritation and frustration, and sometimes those are even worse than pain.
If Koschei is anything like the fictional version, he deserves everything he gets and more.
I wonder if the other inhabitants trapped in the Egg now are free and will show up later to aid 84 as a thank you when facing challenges that she cannot surmount without their help.
…I wonder if anybody on the FISS team knows a good agent. Oh, well, 84 knows Moonshadow, who knows the Revenant, who MUST know one.
Why would 84 need to know an agent. Considering the entire city just saw what happened, by morning she will have offers from several dozen agencies as well as hundreds of interview requests. What she’s going to need is a secretary to go through the messages to find a decent agent to go through the interview requests.
The need for an agent is to ensure you get the good deals. To put it into prospective… We have black skull villain with Revent as an “agent” and he know owns a successful business without the need for crime.
An bad agent could end up being a mind control villain, evil school henchman/woman, One of the other heroes who DID a BAD JOB instead of a good one.
It’s like saying you need a lawyer. Sure you can get one easily… it’s just getting a useful one that won’t be more trouble than the problem itself that is the trick.
Exactly. She needs a GOOD agent.
Nice lampshading on the needle in an egg in a duck in a hare in a chest ridiculousness. Kudos to the commenters who figured out that’s what the prize was. And yes, 84 needs a good agent – if an agent can’t make something off of the champion of earth title that was just bestowed then they aren’t worth the title of agent. Now, will Julie take the advice of Baba Yaga in that vein? The fact that was probably displayed as well indicates that she should take the advice – otherwise the disappointment of the other FISSs will be much greater.
I have to wonder if the needle in an egg in a duck in a hare in a chest thing is a hidden recipe. A hard boiled egg is stuffed into a duck which is stuffed into a hare, placed into a chest full of herbs & spices, buried on an island to be cooked in an Earth Oven.
Revenant probably IS an agent in one of his alternative identities.
Darn! You beat me to it! I was going to say, “Know an agent? Revenant probably is an agent, in one of his identities.”
Now 84 has been proclaimed, on global TV/Internet, as the champion of the Earth. I wonder how the superhero community is going to be reacting to a ‘mere’ FISS getting that position over everyone else. If she’s not careful, she may be asked to be the new Atlas.
Well bear in mind that even while most FISS’s were taken for granted, Atlas wasn’t. Some manage to distinguish themselves from the crowd.
Atlas was a genuine alien though.
Atlas also has the benefit of being the first in the door with his powerset. He garnered mainstream attention and comes complete with a Socially Acceptable Tragic Backstory(TM).
Everyone else who came after would be “Like Atlas, but less interesting.”
Might just be me, but it feels like they’d take just as much issue with her still being in elementary school. Seems like a blow to the ego to have the chosen champion be someone who’s not old enough to legally drive rather than someone who’s been in the field for years.
Well, in a world where nigh omnipotent gods can still be children, I’m not sure their definitions of such things would quite match up with ours.
Sure, she’s young, but she’s both highly intelligent, observant, and powerful in her own right.
Remember the kid who tormented his parents through mind control? Super-powered kids can be *scary.*
Sooo worth the wait to see this!
Now on to something else in a few pages.
Well, remember who the last champion of earth was. Atlas, also a FISS, so either people don’t really care about a lowly FISS getting the title (again) or they’re smart enough to keep it under their mask.
Now, the title going to a kid instead of an established hero, especially one who’s already been stirring up the proles… I mean FISSs… that might be a different matter.
Atlas wasn’t considered a fiss even though he had the powers. I think it was because he was an alien.
Remember what Firebrand said “You need a gimmick,” Atlas wasn’t just another FISS, he was the last of an alien race sent to Earth as a protector or some other “Superman” theme…
So, what are they going to do about it? She’s a FISS… the relevant part here being invulnerability. And while her enemies can probably find some way of negating *her* powers, she has a lot of friends and followers who are also invulnerable (and super-strong, etc) and don’t share the same weaknesses. And that’s not counting her new best friend Veles…
Is there anyone stupid enough to pick a grudge against someone backed by some of the world’s most powerful and un-killable individuals? Well, probably… but it’s not likely to go well for them.
Actually ALL FISS have the same vulnerability, to Argonite the artificial material created by the government as their ‘just in case Atlas starts doing things we don’t want him doing’ insurance. Plus Revenant has that knock-out gas formulated specifically to work on FISS (he texted the formula to Moonshadow to help the Resistance out after all).
I am reminded of a friend of mine, known for tormenting his foes in LARPs. I have often quoted his philosophy as ‘But if I kill you, then you aren’t FUN anymore!’
If only the Batwriters would remember that about the Joker
Why do I have this strange notion that this Koschei was a bit more clever then we’ve been lead to believe? And what would the proper Slavic word be for what we call the “eye” of a needle? Might it also translate to something else even more interesting?
Time to find time to do some researching.
I believe a few previous comments indicated that the word translates to the ‘ear’ of the needle.
Well, in the myth Koschei did indeed keep his death in a needle in an egg in a duck in a hare in a chest buried at the foot of a tree on a magical island that only existed for a short time every few years. He felt that that was enough protection, so when a hero set out on a quest and actually found the needle, well, that was it for Koschei.
Now, myth-Koschei was also a horrible, heartless, person who did nothing but abuse his immortality to let himself rule over others. But while he couldn’t be killed, he wasn’t particularly powerful as folklore figures go. It’s deeply unlikely he’d have been a match for Veles even if his needle had remained hidden. This Koschei seems to be a much stronger wizard, but he’s still unlikely to be on-par with a god.
That was quite the threat from Veles.
Don’t misplace this one, or I’ll choose one of you to do the job of entertaining me whenever I’m bored.
And he didn’t even get 84 a ring, or seek her father’s permission, first.
I imagine in a few years, Veles will have a considerable come-uppance of his own.
The wheels grind the gods exceedingly fine.
I get the feeling if she gets a ring it will be charged from a Power Lantern. Even Emerald Gauntlet Jr. will notice.
everyone [almost everyone] is talking about the story, and I agree, damn fine tale spinning Aaron. what people are failing [for the most part] to mention is the stellar art here today, above even Aarons usual high standards.
My question is, how is the staff of PS 238 going to respond upon finding out one of their students is now The Champion Of The earth, as proclaimed by Veles? A position once held by Atlas himself? Not to mention the whole team sub-quest from the start of the whole chapter…
They’ll adapt by noting the fact as interesting, and continue to teach Julie. After all, being identified by a god as a champion isn’t particularly interesting, given that they have an actual goddess as a student.
Both 84 and Julie have a lot of learning and growing up to do (in effect they are two people, each will have to learn different things as time goes by).
Hopefully, Veles gives her enough time to mature so as to become the opponent that Veles will have to contest with.
I find it quite ironic that Veles does not consider any of the staff of either school worthy of becoming his opponent.
You have to actually be at the venue to play the game
*points at Evil Lord Zog*
What he said.
84 was there, her teachers weren’t. She stepped up to the proverbial plate (okay she was kind of shoved in that direction and managed to catch the bat thrown at her before it hit her in the head) and she performed admirably and legitimately won the day. In front of millions of witnesses. Veles chose her as the apparent leader of her “team” (the other FISSes were already clearly deferring to her) and she proved herself better than the other “leaders” WITHOUT ever resorting to the “dumb brute strength” that at least some other metahumans see as the defining characteristic of any FISS. Phlogiston and Firedrake showed that they’re both cool, and I’m pretty sure Neuronet and Conjurer are already in damage control mode.
84 wins, clean, fair, and square.
Damage Control? I think Neuronet is probably trying to hide from Phlogiston right now. He has bigger problems than a loss of reputation.
“Sigh… TRY not to let it interfere with your homework. And tell him he can’t come by during school hours! We have rules about that kind of thing!”
Yip. That’s the way everything is treated at the school.
The bigger problem is that she’s just been confirmed as the leader of her group, and all the kids are already jealous of her for even having a group. The whole reason she’s out here is because she couldn’t hang out with her PS238 friends.
He he he, this reminds me of a different use for Koschei the Deathless…Monster Hunter Alpha…it’s hinted that he was Rasputin among other things.
If my hypothesis that the Revenant is Koshchei is correct, that forms a basis for a prediction that the next storyline will involve the Revenant calling on Tyler and Cecil for aid in doing some very weird tasks (“For reasons I am reluctant to explain, I need to vandalize the moon with the words ‘Pelmun is a louse!'”). And possibly they will delegate some tasks to others, including perhaps 84.
I read the comments on prior pages about how Koshchei in at least some of the stories is a real nasty piece of work, but in his own universe, Aaron is free to make the character more neutral — or genuinely reformed.
That is extremely unlikely, as it would undermine the basic principle of the Revenant as a character.
Also, it was confirmed by Lyle, who knows these kinds of things, that Revenant was capable of dying when fighting Doctor Irons.
Or maybe that was they would all die… I read that a while ago.
Anyway, I stand by my first point.
If you can track that down, I would appreciate it — I just reread that storyline (and a few of the ones that followed) in the archives, and didn’t notice it.
Besides my notations on Revenant’s lack of powers (can you see my post there? I sometimes wonder if comments “awaiting moderation” are visible to others), I also have a copy of Michael Stackpole story where the Revenant first appears, “Peer Review”.
Revenant is as supernatural as his namesake as much as Batman actually has bat-powers (at least in his main, central incarnation). In short, Revenant is the in-universe analogue/expy of Batman in the PS238 setting. He doesn’t have superpowers, but is really rich (“I sometimes think access to cash is the greatest superpower of all.” – 03232009; “They bypassed a number of orbital defense platforms without a scratch, which is a bit disappointing given how much I paid for them.” – 08062010), and is incredibly astute, skilled, and trained. The only difference is that he doesn’t have Batman’s emotional baggage.
In this discussion, the point is that the Revenant is an ordinary guy who’s a superhero through other means.
As for his superheroic symbol/sigil/emblem, I’m not too sure why that exactly. I’ll have to reread his Michael Stackpole story to see if his fanhood of the Alan Parsons Project is part of Stackpole’s concept or if it’s Aaron’s contribution to the character; I’d say it’s 90% likely to be the latter.
1) A post in moderation is by definition only visible to the one who posted it, and to the moderator.
2) I may not have been clear, but even in my earlier post, I wasn’t thinking that the Revenant secretly had superpowers, but that he secretly had “cannot be killed” as some sort of destiny-timeline thing; that no matter how dangerous the situation, either luck or his own skill or some combination thereof would intervene to prevent him from being actually killed (even though he can be badly injured). I note that some commenters have noted that besides being undying, Koshchei does not seem to have had that much in the way of powers either.
3) I’m pretty sure that the Alan Parsons Project fandom is fairly recent for the Revenant. I managed to track down “Peer Review”, and I did not notice any mention of music of any sort — nor of the Revenant’s logo being a modified Eye of Horus, so that looks like another personal touch by the artist.
I’m not actually sure that the universe of “Peer Review” is the same as that of PS238, so the Revenants in each universe can have their unique modifications and tweaks by whichever writer comes up with them. Going by Matthew Davis’ comment (2015-08-24, 2:55 am), I sincerely doubt that Stackpole originally intended the Revenant to have been some other vigilante previously, and I see no reason that Aaron is required to abide by Stackpole’s retcon.
Koshchei was able to separate his soul from his body and place it in a needle, which was placed in an egg, which was in a duck, which was in a hare, which was also in a chest. That requires magic to do, where magic-users in the PS238-verse count as super-powered, as we see in Vashti Imperia’s origin story.
Furthermore, we have time references thanks to Rastov and the Baba Yaga. Rastov hasn’t been in the outside world in hundreds of years. The Baba Yaga has realized it’s currently a new heroic age. Immortality or a lifespan running hundreds of years goes way beyond “cannot be killed because of destiny without making you a metahuman”.
The only way the Revenant could be Koschei at this point would be for Revenant to be a metahuman himself simply because Koschei is indeed a metahuman given who he is and what he’s done. The Revenant is an unpowered costumed vigilante and not a Russian folklore lich, despite the name and his reputation.
@Messenger (comment from 2015-08-25, 3:41 am):
I have some . . . backfill, I guess, regarding your points about Koshchei-as-Revenent having magical powers (and being immortal). I have two scenarios in mind:
1) Koshchei-as-Revenant may have started out as a powerful magic-user, but the placing of his soul in the needle also nullified those powers. He may be immortal from the destiny-effects of separating out his soul, but he no longer has any powers to wield.
2) Somewhat more convoluted — I had the idea that Koshchei-as-Revenant never had magical powers; that every magical spell he wanted done, including and especially the removal of his soul and placing it in the needle as a destiny-timeline-immortality timey-wimey . . . thing, was done by other magic users whom he had paid huge sums of money, and/or manipulated, and/or befriended, and/or . . .whatever. Etc.
I like the second scenario better, since it does seem more like the Revenant we know now, with his comment about huge amounts of ready cash being the best superpower, or words to that effect.
1. “Not having a soul” in itself makes you “not normal”, which the Revenant- detective vigilantism aside- definitely is.
2. 2015-03-02: Rastov himself watched Koschei cast the spell that bound Rastov to his guard post in the egg.
TBH, that you have to support your “Koschei = Revenant” theory by adding more and more complicated explanations to in-universe evidence against it- all of which don’t improve the concepts and narrative and of the PS238-verse but just makes it more and more convoluted and senseless- is pretty indicative of how unlikely your theory is. 😐 Sorry, but you’re really stretching it at this point.
@Messenger (comment from 2015-08-28, 4:14 am):
1) I disagree that the Revenant — who is repeatedly shown to be at far extremes in wealth, physical condition, mental abilities (as in, able to consistently divide his attention to have calm and cogent conversations while embroiled in close combat with multiple opponents), and luck — is properly described as normal. Nor, for that matter, am I aware of the Revenant actually being described anywhere as normal — he’s only said to have no superpowers.
We have no idea (yet) what someone whose soul is/was stored in the eye of a needle might appear as, in the PS238 metahuman universe.
2) Good point about Rastov seeing Koshchei cast a spell. Maybe Rastov mistook the wizard as being Koshchei, and the wizard didn’t bother to correct him? Or this took place before Koshchei put his soul in the needle?
I absolutely agree that my ideas are convoluted and complicated, but I disagree that they are senseless. In my defense, Aaron has repeatedly shown that he thinks that convoluted and complicated is fun — for example, the Zodon time-travel storyline.
You’d also have to ask Mike Stackpole about that. The Revenant is his character, and appears here with his permission. He was described as “no superpowers” when Aaron introduced him, back in the day.
(and I’m not sure I like the new captcha)
As to the captcha I’ll take simple math over random matching games or screwily distorted text any day. If you haven’t mastered third grade arithmetic then you should spend your time educating yourself to the level of an eight year old before sharing your opinions with the world.
(A fitting response if ever there was one.)
I chose the original captcha based on how hard it was for spammers to bypass it. It cut our spam problem down nearly 99%. When it developed problems, I had to find a new one. The new one was highly recommended, and has kept our spam problem down to very manageable levels. Mostly I now just have to approve new commentators instead of toss out spam.
Occasionally one slips past the captcha, but moderation usually catches those.
It”s him! the web bending site manager who helps make this possible.
Silliness aside, I think we should all take the time to thank Drew for his tireless efforts in making this all happen. 😀
Seconded! I’ve managed about a half-dozen websites myself over the years, so I appreciate the work needed to keep something like this running smoothly (mine were all less complex, and I still had more hiccups, so I bow to my superior).
Also, as a long-time math geek who in high school would drive an hour on Saturday to take a two-hour math test for fun, I like the new captcha
Serious question: Is “cannot be killed” actually a superpower? Especially if it isn’t something like invulnerability (the Revenant is badly hurt in his fight with Dr. Irons), but more of a weird destiny-timeline thing?
I’m not sure how much Mr. Stackpole has invested in a character that he invented 20 years ago and only seems to have used the one time in his own fiction.
Eh, that just gets you into semantic arguments over what constitutes “powers”, and since most superhero settings are totally incoherent as to where powers come from or how they work, I don’t see the question as being useful. Certainly, if a character has some inescapable destiny that ensures they survive to fulfill it, then it’s something that can benefit them the same way that powers like invulnerability would. But the question of whether that’s an actual superpower sounds like something for philosophers to argue over…
Philosophers, and/or comics fans. I imagine there’ll be a huge brouhaha if my hunch is correct.
Look, I just think making the Revenant an Alan Parsons Project fan, and then putting an Alan Parsons Project poster inside the heart of Koshchei’s Egg, can at least plausibly be interpreted as Aaron setting up something connecting the Revenant with Koshchei. As I wrote the last time I brought it up (page for 2015-07-15, on 2015-07-20, 3:50 am), that connection could still exist but I still could be wrong about the two characters being the same.
I really think the Eye of Horus symbol is just there simply to be an eye among many to confuse people looking for Koshchei’s soul. It’s not even the same symbol the Revenant uses (based on the Eye but reshaped to be more of an R). With this logic, it’s just as likely that the next issue will have Doctor Who/Peter Capaldi, a trip back to Las Vegas (snake eyes), or featuring the CBS network. Or maybe a trip to ancient Egypt since we’re talking about the Eye of Horus.
OwlMirror: For reasons discussed earlier, I have a hard time thinking that anything in the shack at the end was actually there. If they had been Russian speakers, I think there would have been a bunch of ears.
There are many contemporary symbols in the egg, and we know the egg has been around for a decent amount of time, given what happened in the second trial. It seems more likely that the shack contained whatever the person looking for The Eye thought they were looking for.
Hence the symbol is connected more through Julie. She must’ve at least seen the Eye of Horus before.
@Messenger (comment from 2015-08-25, 4:00 am)
The Alan Parsons Project CD and poster may have the Eye of Horus on them, but it’s not the Eye itself that caused me to offer my hypothesis, but because they are images from the same band, which could at least possibly imply fandom.
@trlkly (comment from 2015-08-26, 3:15 am):
And yet, I see the modern stuff in the egg as being a possible sign that Koshchei/Revenant is using the Egg as a storage space.
I’ll say this, though: if the next storyline to feature or mention Revenant doesn’t reference anything about weird tasks that he has to perform (or perhaps has been performing), I’ll consider that a huge and probably fatal blow against my hypothesis.
You know… the idea that everything else in the room was created on the spot to confuse 84 might explain why Baba Yaga was so deliberately unhelpful when saying that the ‘eye’ ‘had no other name’.
If Baba Yaga had told her it was the eye of a needle, 84 might have entered the room and found thousands of needles to search through. By not telling her, Baba Yaga made the vagueness of the confusion magic work in Julie’s favour by making it produce other things.
Or a haystack!
I like how the idea solves the problem of Baba Yaga’s behavior even though it causes severe problems for my hypothesis.
Although . . . Assuming the room contains reflections of what is in the searchers’ minds, it would have cost Baba Yaga nothing to have been more straightforward and have said “If I tell you, that would make it harder to find.”
Shared fandom- even if it’s the case which I find possible but unlikely- isn’t indicative of your theory. You might as well make the case that Corey Feldman and I are the same person simply because we both like Michael Jackson’s music (we’re NOT).
I know your response below your last comment to me was for trikly, but in order to use the Egg as a storage space (besides the hiding place of a soul) means Koschei has to be a magic-user even to the current date in order to access the inside of the Egg. Being able to hide away his soul on its own makes him “not normal”, but so would having magic to enter and leave the egg, which would invalidate your second theory in our other conversation.
You can’t say that he has someone else cast the spell necessary to enter the egg for him- if he had to have someone do that, that other mage would thus have the power to enter the Egg and retrieve his soul, the very purpose for his hiding it away in the first place.
Honestly, I think the amount of support and convolution your theory has currently is gone past the point of any acceptable absurdity. :-/
@Messenger (comment from 2015-08-28, 4:23 am):
It’s not just the shared fandom, but the point that the fandom is (to me) unusual. I’ve heard of the Alan Parsons Project before, but they are not, so far as I know, so popular that being a fan of them who recommends them to others and/or puts up posters of their CDs is common. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.
Incidentally, I found an earlier mention of Kent Allard/the Revenant being a fan of the APP (or actually, using “Sirius” as a defense against psychic probing): The page in the archive for 12062010 (when Tyler is getting flashes of Principal Cranston’s presidency and downfall).
I disagree that Koshchei-as-Revenant has to be a magic user to access the Egg: Using a portal does not mean being a magic user oneself, as we saw during the PS238/Nodwick crossover storyline. The portal could have been originally made by a magic user who was a trustworthy friend of Koshchei or been made by Koshchei-as-Revenant himself before he gave up his powers.
I reread the pages (09122011 and following) where Kent Allard offers Cecil the CD, and it seemed to me that he wasn’t entirely sure that Cecil would say that he wasn’t an “alien”. Also, on the page following, the beings of order and chaos mention that the “one in disguise” would bear watching, which makes me wonder if that’s supposed to be a hint that they see something unusual in him despite him having no superpowers.
I realize these are vague ideas and more convoluted and complicated reasoning, but like I said, it’s just a hypothesis which can be falsified by Aaron not showing any followup with the Revenant having anything to do with the tasks that Veles will set Koshchei to perform. Or by Aaron just flat-out saying “nope”, of course.
Oh, and one more (admittedly vague) point: Kent Allard finishes talking to psychic President Cranston; Cranston looks away for a second, then looks up to see that Allard has vanished.
Maybe it doesn’t mean anything, but.
Actually, if you read between the lines Coyote in _In Hero Years, I’m Dead_ becomes the Revenant at the end.
Sorry, I meant “Perun”, not “Pelmun”. The idea being that it would strike Veles as funny to taunt his old sparring partner, even if it didn’t motivate Perun to return to this world.
Let’s see. The egg can fit in the duck (but a female one, not the male pictured); the hare can fit in the box, but a duck does not fit in a rabbit. I have seen a duck fit in a fox, but that was kind of hard on the duck.
Well, I imagine all of them could fit inside each other in the same way five heroes fit inside the egg.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
*EMAIL — Get a Gravatar
eight − 1 =
Notify me of follow-up comments by email.
Notify me of new posts by email.
©2006-2015 PS238 by Aaron Williams | Powered by WordPress with ComicPress
| Subscribe: RSS
| Back to Top ↑
Bad Behavior has blocked 7159 access attempts in the last 7 days.