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Black Hats White Capes
Black Hats and White Capes! #11

Welcome Hero!

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, nonetheless.

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 fun.

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

  • Regular Feature:  The Butlerverse Development List!  Characters and groups "on deck" to be rewritten and recreated for the all-new Butlerverse!

  • Regular Feature:  Who's Who in the Butlerverse!

    • Ambrosia!  Beautiful and ruthless.  She gets what she wants.  Always.

    • Anarchy!  Reckless super-powered troublemakers who don't care who they hurt.

    • Baron Maltus!  Former Ubermenschen-maker for the Third Reich.  Now mad scientist for hire.

    • Bullseye!  A ruthless vigilante leading a one-man crusade against human trafficking.

    • The Cheerleaders!  A group of surprisingly effective thieves.

    • La Constructeuse!  A misguided soul who will lead the world to her personal vision of paradise.

    • The Diamond Corporation!  A technological research company dedicated to the betterment of humanity.

    • The Global Guardians!  Earth's premiere team of superheroes!

    • The Jester!  An obsessive vigilante crime-fighter whose methods leave a lot to be desired.

    • Krait!  A hired assassin who has never missed an assignment.

    • Lord Doom!  Criminal mastermind?  Misunderstood savior of the world?  Both?

    • Nemesis!  Greek goddess of vengeance and punisher of wrongdoers.

    • Omega!  A robot sent from the future to clean the Earth of the Metahuman Plague.

    • Polaris!  Magnetically powered thief who is in it for the money.

    • Prime 8!  Ape supremacists striving to overthrow the World of Man.

    • The 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.