Saturday, July 31, 2021

Starbolts #542: The Best Hope for the Future


    This week, a hero makes his final sacrifice as Pegasus seeks to save his son even at the cost of his own program. This makes Pegasus what he sought to be all his life--human. In the next comic, father and son will definitely meet. I'm sure Norad will learn a few things from him. I'm not sure if this death or the one at the hands of Terra Nova was more heroic. When he died the first time, he was bringing vital information back to the Agents and that allowed them to find and save Crystal. Now he's here saving his son's program from alien nanobots. Either way, he's still a hero and he definitely made his mark amongst his friends.

    I thought it was a nice touch getting every single surviving Agent of S.T.A.R. grouped together even if it was a holographic call for a number of them. I thought it was cool seeing the Agents together. I know Yeena was present. She and Sirak were new recruits when Pegasus died. I've made the timeline reflect that. The Starbolts were in action a year before his death. So, Sirak and Yeena became members of the Agents around the same time as M'anta, Shrall and Aquita. Make sense? If only Firaxil could convince Dendra and Nisson to join. Hmm...Maybe someday they well.

    As for the Starbolts themselves, you can tell they have a knack for eavesdropping. I think it's pretty clear who was talking in the caption boxes! Every Starbolt was there. We just didn't see them all. There are a lot of them! Now they are waiting news on their friend, Norad. Will he be saved? We'll find out next time!

See ya then!

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Starbolts #541: The Fallen Agent



    Looks like Pegasus was the one who locked our heroes in the mausoleum! It turns out that the android is still technically alive. He's just confined to the room because of the virus Terra Nova injected him with all those years ago and he's basically a sentient hologram now. We'll see how long that lasts!

    This week we also learn quite a few things. The first thing we learned was how Pegasus knew about Crystal shortly before she was rescued. She was also referred to as "Ahyoka" a number of times. My best guess is that the android knew what Stan and Andrea were going to call their twin girls. Next week he'll be calling Sara "Carter" for sure. I should probably say Pegasus knew something was in Kentucky worth investigating. Either way, he paved the way for the rescue of Crystal, Sara and by extension Firaxil. His death most likely occurred within the first year of the Starbolts' existence. We'll learn about that next week, too.

    Speaking of next week that's going to be quite the reunion. The Agents meet the "ghost" of their fallen comrade just before he sacrifices himself for the greater good. It's a shame that Charlotte isn't able to be there. I reckon Charlotte and Pegasus were pretty close as they played chess together and talked about humanity. It's a safe bet that he did not take her death well. You can see what happened in Starbolts #469!

    We also learned that Phil Smith investigated Kentucky. He went to Bowling Green, found Crystal and reported it to the boss. This then allowed for Marcus and Mateo to find and rescue her and Firaxil. I figured that bit of a plot needed to be elaborated on. So now more of her story makes logical sense!

   It should be noted that the "she" Pegasus talked about in the last panel was Charlotte. Charlotte was very much involved with the children of the Agents as she retired shortly after Kevin was born. Those two were pretty close and I'd hate to say it but I think her husband was jealous of the connection she had with the android. He couldn't deal with that.

We're definitely learning so much about the Agents this year! Stay tuned for more!

See ya next time!

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Starbolts #540: Science Girls



    One day Crystal will be "Science Girl". She's got an aptitude for engineering. She just needs to apply herself a bit more and show more confidence in her work. Perhaps her "science girl" skills would be useful in the predicament she, Marcus, Smith and Holly now find themselves. I wouldn't want to be stuck in a mausoleum for an android!

    I think a bit of a background on Pegasus is in order. Pegasus was an Agent of S.T.A.R. like Stan, Andrea and even Phil. Like Norad, he was an android and was a prominent member of the team. Pegasus was unfortunately destroyed by Terra Nova and his remains were brought back to the Department of Metahuman affairs for study. Some of his parts were used in the construction of the android Starbolt we know as Norad. The rest is indeed history.

    Though, it should be noted that Phillip Smith aka Bullseye was once very good friends with Kevin's mother, Charlotte as they were both on the team. Charlotte passed away as seen in Starbolts #469: The Call

    The elder Agents getting the spotlight is the theme of this year. We've gotten nuggets of backstory for several of them and more are on the way. It's always a good idea to learn more about the legends of the past before we move forward. The Agents may be Earth's mightiest heroes. But, they are people with deep backstories!

   Tune in next time as we delve into the background of Norad's "father", Pegasus!

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Starbolts #539: Even Androids Can Cry



    Well, that's one android down and another to go. Now the team has to save Norad from the nanobots. Sadly, they've taken quite a bit of a heel turn. They want a new body and are willing to torture Norad and boot out who they call "an aberration". I'm not sure they can be reasoned with. Time will tell.

    As far as Crystal goes, she clearly has huge motivation in saving Holly. Like her, Crystal was also a victim of Terra Nova. It's a topic we've discussed many times in the comic. She wasn't about to let Holly fade away into the night because of what TN did to her. Sara and Crystal will discuss her actions next time. I'm pretty sure she'll be understanding. This situation proves that while Crystal does have some smarts, she's more her mom than anything else. She wouldn't be a great scientist. But, she is an amazing Lady Liberty.

    Anyway, at least the emergency transfer was a complete success. Now Team Science has to figure out a way to save Norad AND give the contentious nanobots what they want in a timely manner. They have been getting rather pushy....

See ya next time!

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Starbolts #538: The Logic of Attachments



    This week's comic puts the focus solely on Norad as we figure out what makes him tick. He's clearly becoming more human all the time as his brainwave patterns are based on his co-creator, Kevin Stanton's. As such, he might have Kevin's mannerisms when it comes to love. Love didn't come easy for our boy genius in the beginning. Now he's with Angela and is all the better for it. In Norad's case, the android has a lot more to contend with. He's not sure if his feelings are real or not. He's unsure about a lot of things. They'll be worked on, I am sure.

    Now we come to Syntax. It's clear to me that residual bits of Holly Demers still exists within the Syntax program. They're reasserting themselves as evidenced by that kiss. Holly is acting on what she considers to be instinct. When she kissed him, she didn't know she was once human and now she does know. It remains to be seen what this means for her going forward. Syntax is proving to have a positive effect on Norad, I think. He's learning a lot about emotions and in turn she is learning what it is to be human through his eyes. She is definitely an ideal companion for Norad!

    And now we have the Nanobots. Sigh. These little guys are certainly making life hard for our friend Norad, aren't they? Well, they're definitely testing Norad. What answers could they be seeking? What do they want with Norad? We'll find out soon enough. 

   See ya next time!

Oh and it should be noted that Syntax is looking up Holly's life and everything about showgirls in that panel. She's trying to sort through it all. Poor Syntax. Don't worry. It'll get better! 

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Starbolts #537: The Ghost in the Machine



    Well, it looks like Syntax really is an actual "ghost in the machine". She was killed by Terra Nova and put into a metal form. Terra Nova likely picked her for Sven's experiment because she would be easily missed regardless of how attractive the young woman was. If you're in Vegas, what's one missing showgirl among thousands? That was Sven's philosophy. Don't ask me why Tom is smiling holding her unconscious body. That was clearly taken before the procedure.

    Either way, it looks like Sara and the rest of the Starbolts are fixing yet another of Terra Nova's leftover mistakes. I think I've lost count of how many nefarious plans the Starbolts have fixed since the fall of that terrorist organization. 

    So, what happens now? Well, Syntax is going to be uploaded into a new body. Norad, too. From there, Syntax is probably going to have to save Norad. After saving him and the nanobots, the future is unclear. Will she stay with the Starbolts? Will she leave and return to Las Vegas? That last one is extremely doubtful!

    I did talk to my co-writer, Sam about how Terra Nova seems to take in attractive women and turn them into weapons and do all sorts of experiments on them. We both figured it is a coincidence. Or it could be that Terra Nova likes to create femme fatales for their sick games. At least they are gone and now the Starbolts have to clean up what they left behind. Who knows what other loose threads Terra Nova has left hanging around? It's hard to say. They have so many secrets! More are bound to be revealed, soon!

 See ya next time!

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Starbolts #536: Nanobots with Nothing to Lose



    Well, it looks like the nanobots that inhabit Norad are no longer passive and docile. I suppose it makes sense that they are desperate now that they're facing their own extinction. Since their deaths are inevitable, they will do whatever it takes to get the Starbolts to listen. What do they want? Will they release Norad and Syntax?

    Speaking of Syntax, we've now got a glimpse into who she really is. Or was. Her name was Holly Demers and she was once a Las Vegas showgirl. Terra Nova seems to have a thing for women don't they? Sara, Crystal, Shenra and now Syntax have all been part of some sick experiments. Don't worry. Guys have been subjected to experiments, too. They were an equal opportunity terrorist organization after all. 

    Here's how I see Syntax's creation. Holly was a showgirl and she was taken out by Terra Nova after they found that no one would miss her. They took her mental engrams, personality and everything and put it into a metal shell. I'll explore this in detail next week as she is going to  have a heart-to-heart talk with Sara about her Terra Nova origins.

    Back to the Nanobots. Why didn't they just TELL Norad what was going on? Surely he'd have listened. Here's hoping for the best for the nanobots. They sure aren't making live easy for our android friends. Will Norad and Syntax get new bodies? If so, what happens to the Nanobots? Tune in and find out!

See ya next time!