Youre avatar set the mood perfectly.
Care for a superhero game with lots of action and politics at once?
finally finished this monster of an application!
i'll have it posted soon, after i proof-read c:
also, hound, have you read bkv's runaways, by any chance?
i must have done something really bad in a past life
The Singular Universe
Character you wish to portray:
Helena Rosa Bertinelli – Huntress.
Hero, villain, or walking the line?:
Doing whatever it takes to get what she wants; Helena can be described as an Anti-Hero, perhaps even Chaotic Neutral. She, to an extent, is selfish and relentless and has a disregard for authority – so, in short, she teeters somewhere between walking the line and being a villain.
Powers and physical attributes:
Though it’s unknown if Helena possesses an extra gene that would grant her the title of Homo Superior, her physical capabilities and special skillset are admirable and an act to contend with. A mistress of manipulation, she can silver-tongue her way into – or out of – most situations and has no qualms against lying to get what she wants. She will do whatever it takes to accomplish something that benefits her, and although being able to cheat the system and anyone who she deems weaker than her (whether it be mentally, physically, or emotionally) seems like enough to get her by in the hell that is Gotham City, Helena’s talents do not stop there and they seem to accumulate as she grows and learns the code of the streets.
Having been exposed to a violent lifestyle since she was young, using weapons is somewhat of a second nature to her. Utilizing firearms is simple – Helena’s aim is up to par when it comes to pistols, though assault rifles and shotguns are a bit difficult, solely because of their size and power. She also has two small, compact crossbows mounted onto gauntlets around cuffs on her forearms, which are easy for her to aim and shoot without too much effort or careful sighting. In close combat situations, and when her opponent won’t go down with kicks and punches, Helena relies on a police-issued baton that can cause a great deal of damage when wielded with the right amount of force.
On top of this, her stamina is top notch and she is at peak human condition. Helena keeps herself healthy by exercising regularly and closely watching her diet, granting her an athletic physique and litheness. Her arms are clearly lined with muscle, along with her legs, and her core is flat and strong. When a child, she was enrolled in many martial arts classes, but she isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty when it comes to an altercation. When her adrenaline begins to course through her veins, any previous knowledge on formal technique flees her mind completely and she relies on instinct – dirty punches and kicks and taking advantage of pressure points. Not necessarily a formidable combatant depending on who she’s engaging with, Helena can hold her own and is definitely skilled.
Furthermore, Helena is bilingual and can speak Italian and English flawlessly. Other crafts include stealth – probably available to her because of her dark wardrobe and surefootedness – and the ability to drive very well while under high stress situations, especially on a motorbike.
Helena is street smart, tough, and audacious, yet is able to be inconspicuous when need be. More often than not she is able to maintain a calm, yet incredibly stern and rather intimidating, disposition and get through most facets without letting her emotions best her. Her talents also enable her ability to thrive around the degenerates she surrounds herself with and it’s safe to say that all in all, she is extremely capable of holding her own (though she doesn’t totally detest the concept of security in numbers) and, to a certain extent, is a force to be reckoned with.
Origin and backstory (as you see it):
The Bertinelli’s were a powerhouse of the underground – masters of racketeering, gun running, and drug pushing. They were respected, large, and close to unstoppable, made popular among crime syndicates due to their size and the iron fist they seemed to have when it came to certain services offered by a mob. Like most organizations, they had a reputation – they were aggressive, they were determined, and they had gathered their fair share of enemies, but who would be stupid enough to take them out or attempt to challenge their business? Franco was a genius when it came to what he did. He was methodical, meticulous, and menacing, and he wasn’t the type to take competition lightly. Because of this, he allowed affiliates and would handle anyone who attempted to advertise on his turf accordingly, and he could get away with it. He was rich, and in Gotham, money was everything – if a person’s bank account was lush they were untouchable and above the law, it was common knowledge, almost a universal truth. His “corporation” had been around for years – slowly growing and gaining influence – and his wife was a well-known lawyer who was quite vocal within Gotham politics and government, someone would be a complete and utter fool to step to him.
Then again, the saying of there’s one in every crowd never failed to prove itself, but Franco never thought that he would be betrayed by his own.
It was the cliché story of treason and murder of the king who was thirsty for more. Like Julius Caesar struck down by his peers, Franco was riddled with bullets by his men while he slept soundly in his bed, three conspirators against the crown that were once classified as Lieutenants and Button Men. They were smart about it – planning had taken a good couple of months, probably close to a year, and not only had they eliminated Franco from the picture – his Capo Bastone was murdered, along with his wife and financial advisor. This allowed the lower ranks to move up and gain power – taking total control over Franco’s assets and they kept ties with any affiliates that had never been truly loyal to the man in the first place. These low-ranking members flourished – since they had been on the streets for a majority of their career they could accomplish their goals in a quick manner, and finding a new financial advisor wasn’t an issue. Corruption ran deep within Franco’s syndicate, and the three men – Ric, Santos, and Abele – were the ones ballsy (or perhaps the proper term was stupid) enough to make the move that would allow them to gain control and rid of Franco, who was not against taxing and oppressing his crew for the sake of bloating his bank account.
Helena was twenty-three when her parents had been executed. She was out of state for college, studying Kinesiology and Exercise Science at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia with a dream to become a personal trainer. Before she moved away from Gotham in hopes to better her future and make money that didn’t have blood on it, Helena lived a relatively easy life. The daughter to the mob, she was born and raised with a diamond-encrusted silver spoon in her mouth and being the only child to Franco and Maria, she was spoiled to the point of perpetual rottenness. Anything she had ever wanted was given to her without hesitation, and her parents would go out of their way to ensure their daughter’s happiness. This caused her to be arrogant and stubborn – two traits that she had never grown out of, and that she would probably never grow out of.
Though she was protected and viewed as a gift from God by her family, Helena hadn’t been shielded from the horrors of the world. Doing such a thing in Gotham was virtually impossible, and Helena wasn’t half as stupid as she allowed people to think she was. She understood what her father did for a living – she had seen it in mob movies, she had heard about it on the news. Faces of his men who were deemed expendable and stupid enough to get caught were frequently featured on local television – whether it be a wanted notice or a mug shot – and she recognized them all from Franco’s large dinners that he orchestrated once a month to discuss finances and allies. Violence was a way of life – Franco, though she adored her father, was a cold, strict man and her mother was his brutal counterpart. She had heard him threaten, she had been on the receiving end of Maria’s back-hand whenever she gave her an unjustified attitude, and she had eavesdropped on many conversations that happened in his office whenever the doors were closed. Helena wasn’t bothered by this – she assumed it was normal – and Franco, when compared to some of the scum festering on the streets, was a saint.
Truthfully, a majority of Helena’s life was rather boring and uneventful – the most excitement she received were on Thursday nights, when her mother would chauffeur her to the studio across the city that taught her discipline (at least, attempted to teach her) and various forms of self-defense. This knowledge got her in trouble as she approached high school, and it wasn’t rare for Helena to pick fights just to prove that she could, in fact, hold her own. Luckily, after much maturing and an extra dash of cockiness that allowed her to realize that yes, she was damn good at nearly everything she did (in her opinion, of course), but no, she didn’t have to prove it to every single person that attempted to knock her down, Helena delicately controlled the temper that each woman her age possessed within her, and realized that being so incredibly hot-headed a majority of the time was pointless.
Because of this, she did rather well in college – though she had her fair-share of confrontation and a handful of peers that didn’t like her for whatever reason, she focused on her studies and brushed it off. Her father was Franco Bertinelli, for Christ’s sake. A man more powerful within his city than most public officials, and if that didn’t grant her justification for her obvious superiority complex, she didn’t know what would. Helena had always been proud – it was in her blood to be conceited – but she didn’t realize just how much her family mattered until she discovered that her mother, father, and the man she considered to be an uncle, had been brutally murdered by three people that were once thought of as family.
Wesley had been the one to take the hike down to Arlington to break the news. Though he had Italian lineage, his blood was mixed with German and this made him unable to be formally made into Franco’s syndicate. This didn’t mean that he wasn’t loyal, and since his rank was below that of a ground soldier, his life was spared when Santos, Ric, and Abele decided to execute their boss. Franco had given him more than he could return, and because of this, he was forever grateful. Before he had met the man, he was counting cards and selling pills in alley ways as a means to pay the rent, but luckily, before he could get killed, he was scooped up and placed into a situation that ensured him a steady (albeit rather low) income and a job. He was thirty-two when his boss had been offed, but he wasn’t the only one who was enraged and severely disappointed by the conduct of his coworkers. While a divide fell between members who approved of the murder and those who did not, Wesley found himself obligated to inform Helena of the events, and while both sides of the fray were carefully planning their next move and trying to figure out how to resolve the issues and raise the iron curtain, he got in contact with her by manipulating advisors of the school to release information about where to find her.
His words had devastated Helena, but that was to be expected. She was never one to let her emotions best her, but as soon as Wesley had done his duty, she was unable to control it and collapsed into the man’s chest and sobbed until her throat was dry and her eyes stung. When the pain was over, it was replaced with rage, and she demanded to know why, who, and how. Unable to keep secrets from the daughter of the man who had given him such a generous opportunity, Wesley told her every single detail he knew, and attempted to console her by telling her of the red line that had been drawn between the syndicate. None of it helped, and Helena found herself angrier than before.
Too preoccupied to focus on her studies, Helena left Marymount without talking to her academic advisor or dean, and returned to Gotham city with Wesley and a vendetta. The only Bertinelli left to the family name, she knew what she had to do, and that was find the men who were responsible for murdering her father and mother, test the loyalties of anyone left, and meet the small group that Wesley had mentioned in her dorm room in Arlington. It was incredibly surreal for her – like she had been sucked into a television while watching a gritty mafia flick – but to ensure that the legacy of the Bertinelli’s didn’t become bastardized and eventually forgotten, she did what had to be done.
After deeming Wesley (who was surprisingly ruthless and domineering) her “Sergeant of Arms”, Helena granted him permission to send Ric, Santos, and Abele to Hell and began systematically picking off anyone left that were stupid enough to stand by their loyalties and take a bullet in the name of their fallen leaders. This process took weeks to do – especially if they were going to be quiet and not raise any alarms – but with Gotham so backwards, getting caught had never been one of Helena’s worries. She had a handful of men that knew how to dodge attention, and because of this, any blood shed was quickly cleaned up and she could easily trust them to handle any issue accordingly and do it silently. After it had been resolved, Helena took back what was rightfully hers: Her father’s assets, but decided that anyone who stayed connected to the syndicate after Franco’s death were also conspirators and therefore she cut ties and, if necessary, used lethal force to do so.
Currently, Helena is attempting to rise up from the ashes. Though she has good backing and enough crime in Gotham to help her thrive, keeping a “mob” under control is a difficult task and she has much work to do. She is actively searching for groups – whether they are big or small – to form an alliance with and she is working diligently to get Franco’s guns and drugs back on the streets to bring in more profit. However, not every issue has been resolved and since Franco’s reach extended quite far, there’s many, many more people she has to sift through before she can determine that she is, in fact, secure and that no one will threaten her livelihood or completely exterminate the Bertinelli’s altogether. She is, without a doubt, a common thug with a group of two-bit gangsters trying to develop herself into something more, and she will be damned if something hinders her ability to do so.
Why have you chosen this character?:
I absolutely adore Helena, and she is easily my favorite DC lady (not including Dinah, Kate Kane, Renee, or Komand’r). I think her lineage and background is so interesting and complex and dynamic – and I’m still sore over the fact that she, basically, never existed according to the New 52. I’m a Huntress fangirl, I can’t deny it.
What do you believe you can bring to the RPG?:
Writing-wise? Who knows? That’s not for me to judge. I don’t believe myself to be an absolute gift to God when it comes to this thing, but I can’t necessarily say that I’m the worst. However, I very much could be, and that’s cool, at least I’m sucking at something I enjoy! Regardless, I believe I meet the criteria of “advanced” and can fit in very well.
As far as the character is concerned – I believe Helena’s current position can offer a lot of conflict to this universe, especially when factoring in her father’s previous means of making a living. She’s impulsive, abrasive, and fearless – Helena is going to step on toes when it comes to getting what she wants and she’s not going to give a damn. Tension is always great, and I wholeheartedly think that she can easily be a very decent antagonist if it’s necessary, needed, and wanted.
Provide a sample post as the character you wish to portray, three paragraphs or more and with at least one line of dialogue:
Everyone had told her not to do this – that she was going to get herself hurt and that it was, frankly, an asinine idea – but she hadn’t listened to them, and she was certain that she didn’t care. Helena allowed Wesley to deal with the three men that initiated the problem, but she wanted the last one left to be hers, as if writing him off would be almost therapeutic and help her find solace after the months of discord that she had experienced due to the loss of her parents. She knew, for a fact, that if she wanted to eradicate the unfathomable anger she had lingering in the pit of her stomach, that continuously threatened to show its face and force who to succumb to it, she had to do this, and she had to do it alone. Of course, this didn’t sit well with Wesley, or Dario, or Nico, or the other men that Helena opened up her house to and decided to trust and keep around, but she didn’t expect anything less. It was in their nature – being men involved in the underground – to view women as old ladies, not enforcers, not ring-leaders. Though authority nearly oozed off of Helena’s skin, it would take them quite some time to get used to the fact that they were beneath her – but they were respectful as possible – this, however, did not stop them from disagreeing with what she wanted to do.
The topic had been brought up at dinner. Her childhood home was large and immaculate, containing a few living corridors that were open for her cani if they didn’t have, or couldn’t afford, a roof over their heads. She was generous to them – and more than thankful to have them around – but it didn’t grant them any leniency with her, and it was made clear, very early on, that she was just as rigid and demanding as Franco. This was even more obvious as they all sat in the dining room, shifting uncomfortably in their chairs due to the fact that she was frustrated and, frankly, it was damn awkward being in such a place without hearing Franco’s voice or thanking Maria for refilling their wine glasses. Everyone was certain that sensation would never fade, but Helena wasn’t helping lighten the ambience at all. She had, in her inadvertent way, asked if anyone knew who was left, and since no one wised up to what her intentions were until it was too late, Vince had answered her without any hesitation, telling Helena that there was only one man left – Romy – who had recently gone under the radar and was probably under protection of another crime syndicate. Before anyone could tell him to shut up, he informed her of where his apartment was, and Helena was smirking as she took a sip of red wine.
This started the argument. Wesley was a good contrast against Helena – he was older, wiser, had been on the streets for quite some time. Though she could be just as level-headed as he, she gave that impression usually to spite people, whereas it was his true disposition. His tone had been flat the entire time as he tried to explain why she shouldn’t do what it was she wanted to do, and even though she began to grow red in the face, he didn’t allow his palms to sweat, and everyone else stayed relatively quiet, only putting in their two cents when the time called for it. It was a heated debate, there was no doubt about it, and even though Helena had ultimately given in and let the towel slip out of her firm grasp, they all had a feeling that she was going to go about it anyway – and they were right.
It was two o’ clock in the morning when she left the house. Anthony, Cross, and Loren – three of the men living with her since they were virtually homeless – had long since clocked out for the night, and this left Helena to her own devices with total privacy. Since she had rightfully taken the master suite that had once belonged to Maria and Franco (and had been remolded due to bullet holes and blood stains), Helena had access to her father’s gun safes and had spent a great deal of time cleaning a M1911 that probably hadn’t been fired in quite a while. She was quiet about what she was doing and had locked the bedroom door, making sure to only use the lamps that decorated the bedside tables and the one in the closet so it appeared as if she was sleeping or, perhaps, reading a book before she drifted off into slumber. She had always been sneaky (being such a nosey child who eavesdropped on her father often, she had to be), shady behavior wasn’t beneath her, but this was something she felt obligated to do, and Helena didn’t want anyone taking this opportunity away from her, especially since Wesley insisted he would handle it as soon as possible. This was her thing, and by God, she was going to make it happen.
Once preparing her weapon of choice had been completed, her wardrobe was in order. Since she was young, Helena had always been drawn to blacks and purples – her mother had constantly told her the hues looked good against her dark hair, tan skin, and blue eyes – and so she never steered far away from the colors. Because of this, something that would help her blend into the night would be easy for her to find behind the doors of her armoire. Helena knew, especially if she was going to be up close and personal with a man who was probably much stronger and meaner than she, that flexibility was the most important thing to keep in mind, and that loose clothing would get her into trouble. She could easily use her body as a weapon, but then again, her body could easily be used against her and for precautionary measures, Helena decided it was best if she put her otherwise long, straight hair into a tight bun and took the jewelry out of her ears.
Clad in tight, black pants (that she mainly wore whenever she attended the gym), a dark amethyst tank hidden beneath a track jacket that she had zipped all the way up to her chin – which matched the shade of her pants – and her golden rosary tucked into the neckline of her coat, Helena determined that she was as ready as she would ever be, and after lacing up her combat-style boots and snatching a pair of leather gloves (they were in the top drawer of her father’s dresser and fit around her hands quite nicely), she, virtually silently, snuck out of her room and avoided popping the magazine into her pistol until she was out of the house so the click wouldn’t echo and jolt her roommates awake. Once she made it outside, Helena stood on the steps that outlined her front door and found herself with a slight amount of confliction, but it wasn’t about what she was prepping to do.
No, Helena was hell bent on finding a way to get there. She had vehicles, of course, two of them – a Lincoln and a Buick that were left to her (like everything else, since she was an only child and the rest of her family had been long dead) – but she could easily walk to Romy’s apartment and public transportation wasn’t out of the question, either. She continued to contemplate this as she finally pushed the clip into the M1911 and slid it into the hem of her pants, making sure to cover the exposed butt with her track jacket. Helena decided that her safest bet was to take one of her own cars. She wouldn’t have to rely on catching a bus or a subway nor would she have to jump from alley to alley to get home and to dodge law enforcement – if the police of Gotham could be called that. Once she settled with her idea, she didn’t hesitate any longer to leave, and made sure that she didn’t turn her headlights on until she was off of her property.
Soon enough, and since traffic – though still prevalent – had slightly dwindled down due to the early hour of the night, she found herself standing in front of Romy’s apartment door, but she didn’t bother to knock. He hadn’t latched the chain and his deadbolt wasn’t locked, which was his first mistake, and since Helena didn’t care about making noise, and since the complex was rundown and most likely full of degenerates like the man she was looking for, Helena swiveled her body to the left and lifted her foot into the air, sending the sole of her boot directly into the knob and forcing it to open with nothing more than unadulterated anger and adrenaline caused by the sweet smell of revenge and overwhelming sense of danger fueling her strength. Romy was still awake as she shouldered the door open and kicked it shut, sitting on his couch and looking up at her in awe with his wide, red, puffy eyes.
The small living foyer stunk of marijuana and liquor and Helena had to bite her tongue to prevent herself from gagging, but as soon as she adjusted to her surroundings, Romy had lifted himself up from his rundown, dirty furniture and lunged at her, his forearm pressing into her throat as he pinned her against the wall. They stared at each other in a passive-aggressive impasse, Helena’s eyes were narrowed and her lips were firmly pressed together into a frown as she clawed – the best she could with gloves on – at his skin to make him let go. Romy was equally as infuriated and slightly belligerent due to his drunkenness, but there was still a hint of shock written vaguely all over his countenance. Since Helena couldn’t, he decided to speak first.
“You are making a huge mistake, bambina, coming into my home like this,” the tip of his nose was touching hers, and if Helena could extend her neck, she would have bit him, or sent her forehead crashing into his face. Unfortunately, it would have to wait, and he continued to run his mouth, “your father would be very disappointed in you – acting as impulsively as you are now,” Romy wasn’t a moron; he knew why she was there. He had heard of Wesley and the rest of Franco’s loyal cani executing the ones that had so eagerly betrayed him, and he knew his time was near. It was inevitable. However, he hadn’t expected Helena to be the one to dish it out, and it was, honestly, amusing. “But then again, maybe that’s where you learned it from. He never thought things through – just as you are doing now. He never saw the long term, you know? See, you got here, and you probably had it in your head that you were going to kill me – but how were you going to do it, Helena? You didn’t figure that part out – didn’t factor in that I’ve been on the streets longer than you’ve been alive – that I’ve been shot at and stabbed and beaten – I know how to work my way out of this, how to avoid it. Now, your father, on the other hand – well, he wasn’t as smart as I am. Seems as if you’re just as stupid, too. You really are the last of the Bertinelli’s.”
Helena knew he was trying to get a rise out of her – the tone in his voice and the smirk on his face made it noticeable. The unfortunate thing was the sad fact that it worked, it made her skin turn hot and red and her brows were tightly pinched together. Without thinking, she sent her knee up and forward, connecting with the most sensitive part of his entire body. This caused him to take a step back and let out a deep, gravely yell, and allowed her to take in a deep breath and quickly regain herself. While in his compromised position, she kicked him once more, aiming for his abdomen and making him stumble backward. “That’s enough,” Helena spoke through gritted teeth and she approached the man with her hands guarding her face. For the time being, she could ignore the pain in her lower back caused by the pistol digging into her flesh, and she could disregard to soreness of her throat. She had a job to do, and she wasn’t going to let anything stop her. “You’ve already done enough damage to my family, you’ve already disrespected them to the extreme – there’s no need to continue to speak about it, bastardo, so shut up.”
He finally managed to straighten his back out, but it was clear he was in pain as he clutched his stomach and wobbled on his feet. She had taken him completely off guard – Helena had the upper hand – and it wasn’t a good thing. His head was so far in the clouds that he was having difficulty concentrating, especially with aches playing tricks on his nerves and piercing through his muscles. Helena was strong and a heavy hitter, he hadn’t been expecting it. Defending himself was proving to be a task, but before he could think of a strategy to put his luck back on top, Helena had reached forward and grabbed him by the back of the head, forcing his nose down onto her knee. This warranted another yelp of pain, but it wasn’t enough to get Helena to stop.
“You are right, Romy,” her hands slid down to his cheeks, the middle and index fingers on both hands slipping behind his ears, pressing into the hollow behind his jaw and forcing him to stand up again, “I am just like my father.” Helena let go of him, pulling her arm into her chest and using her shoulder to propel her elbow into the side of his face, “I am resilient,” she sent him backward with a left hook to his chin. “I am valiant,” blood had started to moisten the sleeves of her jacket and drip onto the floor. She kept throwing blows his way – slowly pushing him towards the opposite side of the room. She had total control, and this absolutely terrified Romy, even more so given his stoned state of mind and because of the copious amount of alcohol he had guzzled earlier. “And I am much more brutal than you could have ever imagined,” Helena needed one more blow – one more punch or kick or elbow to get him on the floor – and she did just that. Her right fist collided with his temple and caused him to spin on his feet – he blacked out for a few seconds and his dizziness got the best of him, causing him to fall onto the ground, looking up at the woman with a blank expression simply because he was too proud to show fear.
“I am also a survivor,” she placed one foot on his chest and pushed most of her weight onto him so he would have to struggle to get up, “because I am a Bertinelli, and it’s what we know how to do best,” she wanted to kick him – she wanted to make her foot completely flat and slam it into his face – but it was too inhuman, and so she controlled herself, and instead continued to push and push until she was sure his sternum was going to collapse. “My father was hunted by men like you, by people that wanted to push him off of his throne, and before he was deceived, he realized that in order to continue to survive, he had to become the hunter,” Helena reached behind her and retrieved her pistol, pulling back the hammer and aiming the iron sights at the tip of the barrel directly in between Romy’s eyebrows. “I’ll be damned if I allow any ignorant buffoon like yourself hunt me, and so I must become the huntress.”
The sound of a bullet leaving its pistol and entering flesh reverberated off of the walls and rang throughout the building. Blood poured out from the center of Romy’s head and the exit wound, and by morning it would probably seep through the cracks of the floorboard into the apartment below. Helena was gone once she had fired on him – fleeing through his window and down the fire escape. She had no reason to linger; she had done what was necessary. The last of the Bertinelli’s had taken one more monster off of the streets, and her purpose, for the time being, had been fully served.
i must have done something really bad in a past life
Jesus. You weren't kidding. Well, from what I can tell, you're obviously committed and focused and have a strong idea in mind.
Below The Bible Belt: A Southern-Fried Podcast
"“Already today I hit you twice. Once I knocked the wind out of you, once I knocked the consciousness out of you. Here you are back the third time. You call that smart?”"
byrd, i told you it was long! the final product was 5k words, plus some! but oh my gosh thank you so much. i really was not expecting to be approved so quickly and wow, i am so surprised and thrilled and i really do appreciate it! i'll have something posted in the IC thread tomorrow - that app totally drained my writing abilities for the day. and again, thank you!
bruce, hey there! the gothamites are my favorites (basically the dc equivalent of my x-babies), i just couldn't resist c: but the same goes for you! i'm sure helena and bats running into each other will be quite the experience if it ever happens, it'd definitely be interesting to play out, to say the least.
i must have done something really bad in a past life
I'm waiting on the missing 4 trades of Ex Machina (I got the whole lot for Christmas but they were missing 4 trades in stock) which come in next week, and everything I've read across the board from BKV has been fantastic. Even things with characters I generally wouldn't read like his Doctor Strange stuff.
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And I don't think anyone will be demanding an immediate post after that... MB would be spent for 2-3 months after that kind of creative output...
I like the Runaways. The death of Alex Wilder depresses me.
Care for a superhero game with lots of action and politics at once?