Unreleased: Mythic Comics

Hi there! The Metrocop blog has been somewhat dormant since we released not one but two brand-new comics at the start of September, but things are (hopefully) about to change! As I mentioned at the start of the Half-Life: C.A.G.E.D. review last Friday, I’m planning on getting some new types of content going to keep the site lively – perhaps even livelier than ever before! Before that, though, I think it’s time to tie some loose ends.

Alongside The Adventures of Hercule Cubbage, I had a personal skin comic series going in 2015 called Mythic Comics. It’s been well over two years since the second issue and I’ve since stealth-cancelled it (by which I mean, I added a note to the comics’ page stating it was cancelled and didn’t make much of a fuss about it). I had a variety of reasons for doing so, such as the fact that, at the time, I didn’t think it lived up to the standards of quality I wanted – on re-read, I now think it wasn’t as bad as I thought, but still not up to what I was aiming for -, and it was consuming too much of my time. Not to mention, it was another case of planning a series with a lot of ambitions for the story with no regard for how tough it’d be to actually accomplish.

That said, while I imagine it’s mostly forgotten by now, a couple of mentions of it in recent times led me to decide to “pull a Laidlaw” and reveal the whole plan for the series, as well as share some unreleased pages I was working on before I burned out so bad that I went on a two-year hiatus. I’ll start off by giving a notion of what the entire series was meant to be, then explain how the four-part Haunted story arc would have continued, and finally reveal what the comics would ultimately build towards.

Epistle 1: What Mythic Comics was meant to be

The idea for Mythic Comics was essentially to have an ongoing with four- or five-part story arcs that seemed to stand alone, but eventually would come together as one massive story, capped by an event-sized arc involving most, if not all, of the active comic makers and Metrocop members at the time. I don’t recall if that was the inspiration or not, but essentially it was almost like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which started as a bunch of separate stories that were brought together for a massive blockbuster.

Each initial story arc would include my own avatar, Mythos, as well as a guest star or two, with the plan being to shift the deuteragonists around but have a few recur now and then to build their characters. In the first story arc, those deuteragonists were obviously FZE and ESToomere, with a plan already in motion to have a long-time member of the Garry’s Mod comic making community, but who rarely made or appeared comics himself, as the second arc’s guest-star: CJR. The first story arc, as you’ll see below, was also meant to have a bunch of cameos from former members of Phenomena On Break, one of the predecessor sites to Metrocop, and serve as a conclusion to everything that had happened since 2007 up to then. You’ll see what I mean later on.

At the same time, Mythic Comics was trying to do something daring by considering every previous perskin comic canon. That means that every single appearance of these perskins, for the most part, was relevant, and if you back and re-read the first two comics, you’ll see that they actually have footnotes referring readers to other comics (which were already uploaded to Metrocop to make them easier to find). In fact, the series itself originated as a Halloween idea caused by two separate comics released simultaneously, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s move on to the original story arc, Haunted.

Epistle 2: How Haunted would have ended

The first story arc, Haunted, was a ghost story where my personal skin came back from retirement after years away (which was foreshadowing to a big twist later in the series) and explored a haunted mansion alongside FZE and ESToomere. By the point the second issue ended, they still had no idea what was going on and were now being attacked by a possessed suit of armor.

I actually got stuck on issue 3 because it was a pain to pose the armor itself, just the first of many problems that convinced me once and for all that starting comic series without first testing if they could be pulled off was a problem. I did, however, have the entire story arc laid out, though I’m now drawing the details from memory rather than going back for my oh-so-extensive notes. And on a note that most people will find really weird, I had already started posing and editing #4, simply because it was easier and more fun – not to mention that the final page of #4 was the very first page I made for the whole series. Crazy, I know.

But anyway, I digress! In issue 3, the three protagonists would find themselves unable to fight off this suit of armor, and FZE would finally lose the spear in the process once he was thrown towards a wall, get stuck and shimmy out of the spear. As they tried to figure out what to do, a mysterious new character suddenly showed up – a doctor-type (whose model I already had: Dr. Kleiner’s body with his original beta head, a.k.a. the hostage from Counter-Strike: Source with the texture name “cohrt”) who told them to run and led them towards a secret passage.

Said secret passage led to a hidden laboratory beneath the haunted mansion. The new character then introduced himself as Dr. Hector Plasm (yes, that is a pun; no, you may not steal it) and revealed he had been stranded in the mansion for quite some time while researching paranormal activity. He also reveals the true nature of the situation Mythos, FZE and ESToomere are in: the “ghosts” are actually spirits of unreleased or unfinished comics (which is now ironic, actually), which dragged Mythos and ESToomere (with FZE along for the ride, since he was with Mythos) into the mansion, which was actually just a manifestation as well and not a real place.

When ESToomere points out he’s actually not a comic maker, Dr. Plasm explains that these comic spirits are actually being manifested by another restless spirit from their Phenomena On Break days, this time an actual character. He reveals that the epicenter of these apparitions is a crypt in the mansion grounds and tells them they have to defeat it in order for all of them to escape. He then reveals he had been working on tools to contain the ghosts and unveils three Ghostbusters proton pack-style backpack gizmos for them to take.

Mythos, FZE and ESToomere then head off to the crypt, with an action scene where they get to debut their new ghost-busting guns and suck up the ghosts, akin to the old Nintendo game Luigi’s Mansion. At the crypt itself, they find a circular area lit with torches and come face-to-face with the leader of the ghosts:

The spirit of Delirium (of Robot Insurance fame), the former leader of Phenomena On Break.

It turns out that all the abandoned perskins from ages past, which had stopped being used due to the authors drifting away, become restless spirits, and this one in particular had grown resentful and wanted to drag down the few remaining stragglers from the POB days down with him. After those shocking revelations, Delirium then proceeds to fly straight at Mythos, who ignores it completely because, in his experience from Mythic Comics #1, ghosts flying into him did nothing.

Only this time it did something.

Delirium literally disappears into Mythos. FZE and ESToomere ask him if he’s okay and he turns around to face them, revealing some odd-looking eyes and a very uncharacteristic speech. It soon becomes obvious: Delirium has possessed Mythos’ body in order to come back to “life”! And, at the same time, all the other perskins from the POB days rise from the crypt to fight FZE and ESToomere!

Cue the end of issue #3 with that cliffhanger, soon to be followed with #4, which, as I mentioned before, I’d actually started working on early, so I got more to show there than just a barebones description of events. To start off, arguably the greatest comic cover I have ever made, which I’m glad I finally get to show off:

Click to open the full version (1000×1518 pixels) on a new tab.

I had lots of fun doing this fighting game-inspired cover, with Mythos and Delirium up front and a ‘menu selection screen’ with all the perskins involved in the epic finale. On the bottom row, from left to right: Delirium, Gundam_MK2, Arctic Avenger, HeartAttack a.k.a. Althir, SIN2, Blackout62 and The_Burrito, all from a fortunate backup I have of an old Phenomena On Break Perskin Pack.

After the “Previously On” page, the comic opened with the following pages, as Mythos regains consciousness…

Click to open the full version (1000×1518 pixels) on a new tab.
Click to open the full version (1000×1518 pixels) on a new tab.
Click to open the full version (1000×1518 pixels) on a new tab.

That’s a custom map made by the ever-reliable ESToomere, by the way. As the comic states, it was the mental remains of the memory of Mythos and Delirium’s first appearance together way back in 2007, which was also my original perskin’s second appearance ever. This is what I meant by the series tying back all the way to the beginning – Mythic Comics would finally give some closure to the Phenomena On Break era, with a fight between Delirium and Mythos, the two leaders of the group way back when.

While that debacle was going on inside Mythos’ head, his body was still controlled by Delirium. The POB ghosts start closing in on ESToomere and FZE, who fight them off as they wonder how in the hell they’re going to take Delirium out of his newfound body. The mental argument between Mythos and Delirium escalates as the former defends himself for sticking around. Just as things start getting real tense, the lyrics to Nine Inch Nails’ song Only suddenly start appearing, which Mythos lampshades as he can actually hear the song playing.

And then he’s sucker-punched in his mental face by Delirium.

As the song by Delirium’s favorite band (at least in 2007) continues to play, the two astral forms get into a fistfight, and something starts to happen: whenever Mythos gets a good hit on Delirium, his own physical body reacts as if it had been hit the same way. As Mythos starts gaining ground on Delirium in his head, he also starts to regain control over his body, and as the comic proceeds, he eventually gains the upper head and pins Delirium to the astral plane’s ground, right next to the emptiness surrounding the place.

As they exchange some words (unfortunately I don’t recall what it was and I don’t think I ever wrote that script down), Delirium basically states Mythos is nothing without him and POB, to which the latter replies something on the lines of “I’ve already moved on”. And throws a screaming Delirium straight into oblivion.

Immediately, Mythos reawakens in his body, having regained control. The remaining ghosts, which the two others were still fighting off, go absolutely berserk as they and everything around them starts crumbling down – Delirium’s spirit was the only thing keeping them together. Mythos, ESToomere and FZE escape the decaying crypt just as everything begins to fade to white. Dr. Hector Plasm appears, himself fading away, as it turns out he was just a spirit himself as well. He bids them farewell and…

Mythos, FZE and ESToomere wake up on the street, the very same where Mythos found FZE in the first issue. They all exchange some words about all the craziness going on and how it’s finally over, but Mythos recalls how FZE had mentioned an encounter that never happened with him and decides to investigate rather than return to retirement. The trio then say their farewells and go their separate ways. The end…

Or is it?

That’s where the final page, the very first I ever made for the series (although never finished), comes in:

Click to open the full version (1000×1518 pixels) on a new tab.

The first panel is obviously not finished, but the idea was that it was a bunch of surveillance footage of Mythos in various places and situations. The weirder thing, however, is how different each looks in subtle ways, from clothing to facial hair. It’s as if someone – someone familiar – is watching different versions of the same character at the same time…

And that’s where the first story arc of the series, Haunted, ends! The whole thing would turn out to be an epilogue to the POB era of perskin comics which originated in Robot Insurance and culminated in the unfinished POB/CR-O War. In line with the notion that all comics were canon, it also subtly tied back into another comic, Prologue to History, which was itself released after POB disbanded.

Epistle 3: the Mythic Comics Master Plan

So what did it all mean? And where was it headed? I’ll let you in on all the secrets, but first, a little context is needed, not only to understand that ending but also the series as a whole.

The original idea that eventually became Mythic Comics actually came to be in 2014, around the time a comics renaissance started, with a few high-profile comic makers coming back from retirement. Two of those were Near Elite and FZE himself, both of whom had comics that included my perskin. Near’s used a custom reskin I made with facial hair and the current body texture at the time; FZE, however, had to redownload my perskin and only found an incredibly old version, the very original from 2007 (complete with corny Metal Gear patches in the arms). The use of two distinct versions of my perskin at the same time spurred the conspiracy that would run throughout the series, first hinted at in the very first issue.

With that in mind, the second story arc would have seen Mythos believing there is an imposter using his name while he was in retirement, eventually calling in a few favors to help his search. He gets involved with some acquaintances in the Irish Mob and crosses paths with CJR, who’s apparently in with the Mob but eventually turns out to be a mole from a S.H.I.E.L.D.-like special agency, which is also investigating these multiple sightings of Mythos. This arc was basically a condensed version of an old idea for an It’s an Odd Job sequel, including the reappearance of the Colonel Cubbage model from that comic as an Italian Mob capo called Demenza, who would’ve fought Mythos using a rocket launcher as in the original comic.

The third planned story arc would see Mythos apparently finding the imposter, a much older man who turns out to actually be a time-travelling counterpart of himself. To be honest, I don’t fully recall what the rest of the story arc entailed except that it was a Terminator-esque story, but I do remember Mythos eventually figures out he’s not the man behind the sightings and Old Mythos warns him that “the Mythic War” is coming before going back to the future.

That brings us to the aforementioned Mythic War, where everything came to a head and all main characters so far would reunite. The not-so-mysterious man behind the curtain from #4 would be revealed as Looshkin, longtime nemesis of Mythos. However, in a twist, he would turn out to not be the antagonist of the series.

The story would reveal that the Mythos that was seen being killed at the start of Prologue to History, itself a sequel to a Looshkin comic, was just a clone, and the Mythos that was seen releasing Looshkin at the end of that comic was also a clone, a contingency Looshkin had prepared in case he was ever held captive. The real Mythos had gone off grid after the fall of POB and Loosh became obsessed with drawing him out, eventually creating a legion of Mythos clones.

One of said clones, however, turns on him and begins plotting an insurrection with his army of duplicates, forcing the real Mythos, CJR and his agency and everyone else to come together to fight them off. That was the general idea, leading to a Mythos vs. Mythos final fight while everyone else wages war against the Mythic clone army. Looshkin’s surveillance was of the Mythos clones he’d accidentally unleashed, including the ones appearing in Near Elite’s and FZE’s comics, as well as the real Mythos now that the ghosts of the past had drawn him out.

In essence, the ambition of Mythic Comics was to tie together everything that ever happened in a perskin comic I was present on in some way, from my very early comics such as It’s an Odd Job! to Robot Insurance, the massive POB/CR-O War with the clones, later comics such as The Battle of the Union and even the then-current comics by FZE, Near and others. The problem with planning so much and giving so much emphasis to plot, of course, is that the individual issues weren’t all that great, and only I really knew how ambitious I wanted it to be. Plus, it was just too ambitious for its own good, and when it stopped being relevant, it got unceremoniously axed. I can’t say I regret it, but I’m glad to finally get this out there.

Apologies for the massive wall of text punctuated by a couple of pages, I wish summarizing was more my thing but hopefully the length does serve to illustrate the gigantic scope of the series I had planned. At least you still got two decent comics out of it, right?

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed that and we’ll be back soon with more content, so stay tuned! We’ll have more unreleased stuff as well, next time far less verbose and with a lot more, well, comic. See ya and thanks for reading!

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