What’d you do with 2020? I spent every day grinding through Indelible, Inc. #6, which wasn’t originally a grind until I got into the third month or so of trying to organize the century-long spell that binds its villainous conspiracy. Along the way, I did an immense amount of reading into the history of, among other things, gnosticism, organized crime, and the Golden Age. I made a massive spreadsheet of characters who may or may not be in the public domain, and came across Micro-Face. Mr. Face, I noted, had all the powers of a smartphone with a bluetooth speaker, but I suppose that’s enough to defeat 1940s gangsters, all of whom were weird little guys what talked like dis, see?
Anyway, I started saving up these public domain possibles for a podcast idea, and noted to myself that unlike a lot of his contemporaries, there was no updating Micro-Face in a world where everyone’s already recording and being recorded, and even the quietest hamlet has at least one douchebag tooling around with his stereo blasting the worst music imaginable. But since he had somewhat similar powers to Scanner, our original creation from just a few years before we all carried glass supercomputers in our pocket, I did swap him into a flashback where a Golden Age version of Scanner had previously lived. Seemed like our storyline’s antagonist would always have a spy on hand. (And only later, upon reading a biography of one inspiration for him, did I find out how true that Scanner’s presence would ring.)
Seredipitously, and also just to prove me wrong, I visited LinkedIn to see my old friend and colleague Alex Segura had just written a Micro-Face redesign for NPR! And doing a cool job of it, too, sealing his invitation to this podcast idea once it comes to fruition. The odds are odd, I tell you.
Although not as odd as the truly bizarre Twilight, who debuted alongside Micro-Face in Clue Comics #1. Twilight’s an ex-detective turned Marine, assigned to be an undercover bodyguard to the “Slovic” minister, only to meet an escaped parrot squawking about a plot to murder the same. The parrot brings him a fortune card, so Twilight dons a…lion(?) costume, looking for all the world like the first furry.
And still the issue’s weirdest character is Boy King and his pet stone giant. Hillman was on some weird plane even while its heroes fought the usual mobsters and fifth columnists.
Just stay away from Checker, who also debuted in that issue, Alex. I’ve got big plans for him.