Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Mystery Men Comics #5 -pt. 1

This is a deceptively simple-looking page of The Green Mask, that takes some explanation for Hideouts & Hoodlums.

Where is The Green Mask going? He's just walking down the street from the house where a murder has occurred, in broad daylight, in full costume. I presume he has a vehicle parked somewhere in the vicinity and did not leave it too close to the scene of the crime to draw attention.

Until now, I'd never seen the term "prowl car" for squad car. It seems the prowl car is just a random encounter, especially since the police don't know about the murder yet.

If Green Mask is a mysteryman, then I can't explain how he manages to trip two opponents in the same turn, especially since one of them is armed (so GM shouldn't get the "two attacks vs. unarmed opponent" bonus). Unless, he's burning a stunt slot (this is 2nd ed. talk) to give himself a chance to attack twice, which is a precedent I'll need to consider for my upcoming campaign.  Of course, if he was a superhero instead, he could easily be using Multi-Attack.

Green Mask has no qualms with stealing cars from the police.

I get that Green Mask confronts, but doesn't stop, Janette because he doesn't have enough evidence yet -- even after searching her room (which I assume he did while waiting for her).

But, bear in mind, a cruise ship to Africa is going to take about a week -- that's at least two weeks Green Mask plans to be away from home and crimefighting, all because he has such respect for due process that he won't keep a suspect from leaving the country. Don't expect this from your players.

The consequences of Green Mask's inaction -- and blatant racism -- can be seen here, when native assassins are mowed down with sub-machine gun fire because Green Mask let things escalate to this point, but he only intervenes when white lives are at imminent risk.

The shot in the back cliche is given two twists here -- one, it's a poison arrow instead of a bullet, and two, Green Mask didn't need information from Janette before she was killed from behind.

The entry for natives should maybe mention something about a chance of using poisoned weapons...

Here is a nice bit of continuity that is very much Hideouts & Hoodlums -- Green Mask kept a villain's weapon for himself and uses it, despite the fact that it doesn't fit the theme or motif of his character. He hasn't changed his name to The Paralyzer; he's just the Green Mask, with an extra weapon.

It is implied that the paralyzing raygun can hit multiple targets and lasts for hours (which would be true even if in turns, if the time switches to rest turns).

This installment of Rex Dexter talks about 5,000 miles as if it was a big distance -- but if this ship was traveling at light speed, it would cross 5,000 miles in 1/37 of a second. Interstellar ships must travel in a solar system at something more like Mach 10.

Cosmic storms sound pretty bad...

Other planets don't have to follow natural laws -- hence, you can have worlds where time flows differently, like this one.

The machine apparently protects people from unnatural aging, with a permanent duration.

The alien mad scientist (who looks suspiciously like Marvel's Loki in the future) seems to be a superhero buffed with Super-Tough Skin, but is actual a robot (perhaps buffed by the same power, though).

While it would be a fun project to try and stat these monsters from just one panel, given the context of the story it seems these are just imaginatively designed large robots.

The sliding panel is a secret door. The Hero's roll to discover a secret door can be to find a mechanism to open one, or it can be to find the secret door at all; the Hero should not have to roll twice for both.

There's no reason for a robot to need to drink oil this often. It could be something about the unnatural flow of time on this world, or it could be a glitch in the robot's programming that makes it think it needs oil this much. Either way, it's good to give a villain a weakness clever players can exploit.

(Scans courtesy of Digital Comic Museum)

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