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Podcast – NP71: Misunderstanding Revenge

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Domon’s unstoppable new move: Cheating!

Welcome to Nostalgia Pilots! This week, Jurd, Spence, Hugh and Jason consider Mobile Fighter G Gundam Episode Eight, Old Grudge – Revenge of the Space Police.

In tonight’s episode, Rain just wants to take a day off, Domon is bad at judging the size of explosions, and Neo-Canadian fighter Andrew Graham has a weirdly normal name. Plus, Argo’s spaceship has classic Arcadia vibes, and the upholstery in the Shining Gundam is ruined.

Promo: Flash Pulp

This podcast originally appeared at NostalgiaPilots.com on Sunday, August 29, 2021.

Everyday Drabbles #548: The First Tree

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For the first few decades, nothing much grew on Mars. They’d gotten the atmosphere right, tinging the sky a pale shade of blue. And they seeded the dirt with helpful bacteria and nutrients. But for a long time, the planet remained habitable but barren.
Until one engineer finally figured out the secret, modifying a single seed to grow in the rocky soil.
News of his breakthrough spread quickly, and colonists came from all across the planet to see a living tree.
He had to erect a bubble around the plant. Not to protect it from the environment, but the humans.

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Everyday Drabbles #547: The Prestige

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“And for my next trick, I’ll need my lovely assistant to turn around.” The magician grinned lasciviously, and the audience ate it up.
Morgan’s plastic smile didn’t waver. She always hated this part of the act, but he insisted on performing it. The audience jeered as her partner prepared to pull a dove from the back of her dress.
She waited until his fingers, clammy despite the hot stage lights, brushed her back before she flicked the palmed switch. The hidden compartment opened, revealing not one but two dozen irate birds.
It was time he knew what real magic was.

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Everyday Drabbles #546: Night Shadow

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The figure crouched on the railing of the tenement balcony, snow swirling around its ragged cloak. It was tall, thin, and ghostly pale. The gaslight danced in its glassy eyes.
Inside the apartment, the child watched it fearfully.
The figure reached into a pocket and produced a pair of oranges, setting them on the windowsill. It put a finger to its bloodless lips.
Rumors said a hero defended the tenements, standing up to the greedy landlords and corrupt politicians. They said he wore a ghastly costume to hide his identity.
The figure leaped into the snowy night and was gone.

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Everyday Drabbles #545: The Phoenix

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Scholars used to believe that the phoenix was a unique immortal. They thought that a single scarlet plumed bird ignited itself, only to become a hatchling in a nest of ashes.
The male phoenix will indeed immolate himself. This act both incubates the eggs and fights off or kills any nearby predators.
But the female phoenix doesn’t burn. She buries herself in the earth and survives the firestorm, raising the chicks by herself, and often flying miles to find food and water for them.
Her feathers are dull, and her work is not spectacular. But she rises all the same.

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Everyday Drabbles #544: Dragon Attack

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The dragon circled overhead, burning everything with its fiery breath. Black wings cut through rising flame and smoke in the night sky. The villagers scrambled to escape, screaming in terror.
The four heroes panted as they raced towards the town. The beast had slipped their trap. But rather than attack the party, it led them on a miles-long chase through the snow. The village had hired them to exterminate the monster on its doorstep, but surely the dragon wasn’t intelligent enough to understand that.
The dragon rose higher into the air and waited to see how heroic they really were.

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Hugh Likes Comics: Cable Reloaded

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Cable Reloaded #1
Written by Al Ewing
Drawn by Bob Quinn
Colored by Java Tartaglia
Lettered by VC’s Joe Sabino
Design by Tom Muller
Published by Marvel Comics

The Skinny: Maybe the real Time-Traveling Cyborg Super Soldier was Friendship all along.

Cable has never been one of my favorite Marvel characters. In a lot of ways, the cybernetic super-soldier from the future represents a lot of the problems that crept into 90’s Marvel Comics. His backstory is a complicated mess, his design is unpleasant, and his plots center around the hyper-masculine dourness that dominated the comics industry at the time. In short, I think he’s just not a lot of fun.
 Cable recently returned to his status quo after he was murdered and replaced by a teenage version of himself because Comics and this solo one-shot integrates him back into the Marvel Universe. Since I didn’t read Teen Cable’s solo series, I would’ve given this issue a pass if it weren’t written by one of my favorite writers, Al Ewing. I’m glad I didn’t skip it because it turns out, this is a great single issue.
Cable Reloaded is also a tie-in to Al’s Last Annihilation storyline going on right now in Guardians of the Galaxy and S.W.O.R.D. Fortunately, you don’t need to know much about either book to be brought up to speed. Cable’s new mission is to infiltrate the infamous Breakworld, previously seen in Astonishing X-Men. But again, that’s not anything you need to know because this is actually a comic about Cable reestablishing his connections and friendships after being gone. Because he’s a time traveler, it’s been a lifetime for him since he’s been in this era, but only a month in everyone else’s time, including the reader.
Cable gets a few nice moments with Cannonball and Boom-Boom, his mentees from when he was leading X-Force, as well as with the staff of S.W.O.R.D, where his younger self was working as Security Chief. 
We also see a fair bit of Cable’s internal monologue throughout the issue, and it is an interesting peek into the thoughts of a normally taciturn and laconic character. One of the fun things you can do with a character like Cable in the context of a crossover is to use him to build up the importance of an event or put over another character. There’s a fun scene in which Cable meets Guardian of the Galaxy Rocket, and is awed by meeting such a famous and brilliant historical tactician. Rocket is clearly one of Ewing’s favorite characters, but it’s still a nice scene.
Bob Quinn’s art is also very good in this issue. He evokes a 90’s aesthetic without falling into the failings of the era, and he is a steady hand at making complex action easily understandable. The issue’s page layouts have a particularly nice flow to them. java Tartaglia’s colors are warm and glossy, also evoking Cable’s origins while remaining easy on the eyes.
I picked up this issue not knowing what to expect, but I’m glad that I did. Cable Reloaded #1 is a self-aware and oddly sweet return to form for the character, and I wouldn’t mind seeing more of this creative time and this character in the future. Cable is a character of excess in a lot of ways, but this issue hits all its points without overindulging. If you’re at all curious about Cable, S.W.O.R.D., or The Last Annihilation, do yourself a favor and pick this issue up from Comixology or your Local Comic Shop.

Everyday Drabbles #543: Harbor Pilot

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From a distance, the planet had seemed like the perfect place to resettle Humanity. But when the generation ships got closer, a process that took hundreds of years, they found a planet wracked by magnetic storms in the upper atmosphere. There was one last obstacle between them and their promised land, but the fleet had become good at navigating them.
Sometime later, he strapped on his gear and loaded his gravity board into the launch catapult. The storm below was a bad one. But he was the best Reentry Pilot in the fleet, and he would guide his people home.

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Everyday Drabbles #542: The Job Offer

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After putting it off as long as possible, Lion finally told his friends about the job offer.
The girl was supportive. “How exciting! But you know you can always return home, right?” Lion nodded.
“It sounds like a big responsibility. Do you think you can handle it?” Scarecrow said, unthinking as usual.
“Far away, too. You ready to strike out on your own?” Asked Tin Man heartlessly.
They walked down the golden road for a while in silence. “Of course I’m scared, but it’s a great opportunity,” Lion said. “I think this C. S. Lewis guy is really going places.”

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Everyday Drabbles #541: Rooftop

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They didn’t live in a penthouse. They couldn’t afford a flying car. But he did have a key to the roof.
She hung back in the stairwell doorway and watched as he stepped out onto the parking platform. Her eyes were drawn to the fifty-story gulf below as though she expected the steel pad to give way at any moment. He held out his hand. She took it.
The city stretched out before them, an orchestra of twenty million people playing a symphony of urban life just for them.
And as the moon rose above the distant hills, they danced.

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