Welcome to the eleventh of Black
Hats and White Capes!
And welcome to the new home of Black Hats and White Capes!
and the Butlerverse. Please pardon our dust (and our broken
links), as I am endeavoring to get the entire massive beast off the
ground and back on the web. I'm sure this won't be the permanent
URL address for this, but until I can arrange for my own domain name
and some more bells and whistles, Angelfire is going to serve.
Anyway, to business: as noted
last issue, I've started a massive revamp of the Butlerverse.
I've been working on this game world now for two decades, and that
means its got a bit bloated. I've been going over some of the
"base assumptions" and decided that changes were due. So some
things that were in are now out. Some things I kept out are now
in. Some characters who used to be in one team are now in the
other, and so on and so forth. We're talking thousands of
characters, by the way, so don't worry about me running out of
material just yet.
I started at the top, with the Global
Guardians, the Premiere Hero Team of the Butlerverse. I chose
nine characters, all former player characters, and tweaked and prodded
and rewrote and got them to where I wanted them, and now present them
to you as the new Premiere Hero Team on the planet. "But
Jack... what about the other Guardians? What will happen to the
old PCs you didn't include?" I hear you ask. They'll
show up... but they're going to be in other teams, doing other things.
Wait and see!
When I got done with the Guardians, I
took a look at the NPCs and selected two per Guardian who had some
sort of connection. Some of the connections (like Sigfried and
Achilles, for example) are very clear. Others (like The Jester
and Arachne) are less than obvious. In a couple of cases, the
"connected NPC" turned out to be an entire team of villains.
Anyway, when I selected these villains, I gave them the same revamp
treatment I used on the Guardians, and am including them here.
For extra fun, try matching which villain was chosen for inclusion
because of which hero. I'd love to see your guesses.
Each of the following issues will try to follow the
same pattern. I say "try", because there's no telling what will
and will not happen, to be honest. But it will be interesting,
On a more personal note, what's
happening with the Butler's since we last spoke?
Halloween came and went for the Butler
household, and boy was it a doozy. It started out at Sea World.
I took Jared (my eight year old) out to Sea World's "Halloween
Spooktacular" event, and a grand time was had by all. He got his
face painted up as a sea-dragon (which went well with his costume...
Mu Shu from the Disney movie Mulan), and then went
trick-or-treating at Sea World. Along the way we took the time
out to feed the stingrays, the sharks, and the dolphins, wander
through the Penguin Encounter (though for me, the puffins and murres
are more interesting), checked out the walruses and polar
bears in Wild Arctic, and rode the sky tower. After that, dad
took a rest in the shade while the much more energetic eight year old
climbed across the Pirate Net jungle gym at Shamu's Happy Harbor.
We then went home, where I took
a quick shower and a long nap. Then he got dressed
in his dragon costume, I grabbed the camera, and we headed out.
Now, I haven't taken a kid trick-or-treating in the Orlando area for a
decade or so, and had no idea where to go. But one of my friends
told me that Celebration, Florida (otherwise known as "The Town the
Mouse Built"... it's Disney's idyllic little Leave-It-To-Beaver
paradise) was a great place to take your kids.
Apparently, though, the word has got
out. This was what I imagine trick-or-treating in Manhattan is
like. The streets were crowded with cars, the sidewalks were
crowded with people, and Jared finally turned to me and said "Dad,
there's too many people here. I'm not having any fun". So I ended
up taking him to the local mall, where he "store-tricked", and got
lots of candy that way. But for as long as it lasted, we had
The next day, I took the kids and my
brother out to Busch Gardens in Tampa for a day of roller coasters and
animal fun. Sadly, it seems, my days as a rider of
roller-coasters are over. I climbed off of the Khumba with my
head throbbing and my back screaming, and my brother Nathan (ten years
my younger), grinning like an idiot because he told me I'd regret it.
I don't regret that last ride, but it is my last ride. I used to
be able to do the biggest, fastest, nastiest coasters without
blinking... but while the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak.
And achy. And motion sick, apparently.
The motion-sickness was new. Put
a harsh spin... no pun intended... on the rest of the outing.
But the kids had a good time.
Anyway, a week into November and its
still late Summer (or feels like it) here in Central Florida.
Like a complete and total fool, I made the assumption that since I was
warm, the world would be warm and tried to go into my swimming pool.
Turns out that while the air was indeed warm, the water was like ice.
I couldn't stand it too long, so it looks like swimming is out at the
house until (probably) March. Too bad, too. I like my
pool. And the truly tragic thing is, my neighbors of the week
are loving the pool in the house they are renting. (Did I tell
you I live in a neighborhood full of "vacation rentals", wherein
people from Europe rent a house for a week when they come to Florida
for vacation?) Of course, the people in the house next door are
from Finland, so...
The kids (and my brother) are playing
Brutal Legend (sorry, make that Brütal Lëgend... can't forget the
ulauts), a heavy metal fantasy game that manages to be fun, grotesque,
hilarious and bawdy all at the same time. If you get a chance to
check it out, do so. Its a fun game, and it features the voices
of Jack Black, Tim Curry, Ozzy Osboune, Rob Halford, Lemmy Kilmister,
and Lita Ford, and it has the best soundtrack of any game I've ever
played. (What can I say, I'm an unrepentant metal-head...)
On a quick personal note, I've been
asked out on a date by the restaurant's only Chef de Partie (its a
fancy way of saying "line cook", except the line cooks generally have
absolutely no formal training in cooking, and Chefs de Partie are
actually chefs and not just any old cook... and she's
the only one of the line cooks with training. Anyway, Toi has
asked me out, and I agreed. So we'll see how it goes. Its
been a while since I've dated (thirteen years or so), and I'm not sure
how to work it anymore. But I'm sure I'll work it out.
In this exciting issue of
Black Hats And White Capes!
This Issue's Recipe:
Peanut Brittle-Hot Fudge Sundae Squares
The Butlerverse Development List!
Characters and groups "on deck" to be rewritten and recreated for the
Regular Feature: Who's Who in the
Beautiful and ruthless. She gets what she wants. Always.
Reckless super-powered troublemakers who don't care who they hurt.
Baron Maltus! Former
Ubermenschen-maker for the Third Reich. Now mad scientist for
Bullseye! A ruthless vigilante leading a one-man
crusade against human trafficking.
A group of surprisingly
La Constructeuse! A
misguided soul who will lead the world to her personal vision of
The Diamond Corporation! A technological
research company dedicated to the betterment of humanity.
Global Guardians! Earth's premiere team of
Jester! An obsessive vigilante crime-fighter whose
methods leave a lot to be desired.
A hired assassin who has never missed an assignment.
Criminal mastermind? Misunderstood savior of the world?
goddess of vengeance and punisher of wrongdoers.
Omega! A robot sent from the future to
clean the Earth of the Metahuman Plague.
Magnetically powered thief who is in it for the money.
Ape supremacists striving to overthrow the World of Man.
Prime Movers! A team of super-speed thieves.
Sigfried! Super-powered assassin and mercenary,
with connections to both the Guardians and Lord Doom.
Virus! An artificial being with horrific
plans for humanity.
Winter! Ice-wielding super-thief who
always looks for the bright side of life.