Countdown to End of Fourever: Cool Guys Don’t Look at Implosions.

Truth be told, I wouldn't want to look either.  It's not like you wouldn't hear all the asteroids being vaporized.

Truth be told, I wouldn’t want to look either. It’s not like you wouldn’t hear all the asteroids being vaporized.

The Negative Zone, as a setting, is great. You can breathe and survive in space without a helmet, you get to it through a Distortion Area, and there are all sorts of crazy “Explosion Areas” where the transfer of anti matter to matter, and vice versa is imprecise. As a result, it just explodes, constantly. For some reason, asteroids and other space rubble come toward the Explosion Areas, much like students gathering around something bad happening.

It is an unexpectedly perfect metaphor.

The day of this post, one of our key “Big Kid” teachers is absent, as a result of being very sick. Sometimes, the intent is to haul yourself into school despite being under the weather, but for most of us that motivation is long since diminished, or totally gone. The history teacher downstairs is also under the weather, and the less said about the new math teacher at the end of the hall downstairs, the better.

The basic estimation is that there will be chaos. A gradual implosion based less on individual actions, than on the basic physics of the negative Zone that we seem to work in. Our hero’s gear in the image is based on the add-ons that came with the Iron Man 2: Negative zone Armor upgrade. It’s unclear why Iron man would ever go to the Negative Zone, really…but apparently, there’s an action figure of this. I trimmed down some of the add-ons for this image, mainly because I didn’t have the figure in front of me, and the add-ons are modular. That’s a neat idea….you can sort of load up more, or load up less.

You will note that she has a life line attached to the belt of her gear. I think that might represent some kind of lifeline to the normal world, metaphorically. It did strike me that you wouldn’t hang around an exploding anti-matter duplicate of the Earth without one, though.

A not about her jeans. The last time I did color (Jem and the Holograms) and this time, the jeans have come out much brighter….and with a texture more like stretch pants. I don’t like it all that much, mostly because I dislike stretch pants. It dawned on me that this has happened (twice) because I stopped shading in black at the edges and wrinkles, which makes a big texture difference. The things you learn. Let’s have a look at the uncolored pencils, shall we?

The finished pencils, as I left school on Friday.  In the pencil form, they are more like jeans.  More black shading, 'natch!

The finished pencils, as I left school on Friday. In the pencil form, they are more like jeans. More black shading, ‘natch!

I also like the idea that she no longer has whole Iron Man Suits to load up for bear in…presumably because we have seen a lot of them break. The Negative Zone stuff is clearly piecemeal, like all of the educational materials and technology that I’m being provided these days. With testing just a week away, and the testing completely dependent on tech that has been demonstrated to not function well for that purpose, I’m almost envious of the protagonist. At least her chest plate, belt, and boots were designed to be used in the Negative Zone.

I’m going to be asked to have my students use a multimedia entertainment display device to take a standardized achievement test. The one thing was not designed to be used for the other.

Oh…and to my knowledge, there will be no metaphorical lifeline.

I’m ahead of myself though…to get to that problem, we need to work through this week’s problems. Lack of staff presence, some staff having “checked out” because they won’t be back…student discipline issues out of control, and state mandated preparatory lessons before the test. That’s enough on my proverbial dance card so that the tech issues are quite succinctly somebody else’s problem, and next week’s issues.

Since you have to figure that the Negative Zone Armor is powered by an Arc Reactor, it seemed like the time to stop being lazy, and color the art I did of the protagonist stealing an Arc Reactor right out of Tony’s chest. See, in comics, we would call that a “callback to continuity.” Oooh. Technical terms.

Kind of speaks for itself.

Kind of speaks for itself.

Oddly, the whole color palate wound up more blue than I had wanted, even in the background. It worked out well though, since Arc Reactors have been shown to generate a bright blue light. It would stand to reason that the light would add a bluish context to the environment.

I powered up my own Arc Reactor jewelry this weekend, feeling like the end of the year might need the added functionality. On Friday, with it’s weak remaining power, I actually used the faint light it cast to illuminate the library media equipment, which was in total darkness due to the absence of the librarian. You see, she has the only key to activate the library lights. Darkness is fine for movie screenings, not so great when you are searching for a USB port in the dark.

Where was she? Oh…covering classes and tasks for staff that weren’t present, of course.

That’s where the lead art of the day came, with Pony Torch seeming upset. When implosions like that happen, you can’t bother to look at it. You have to look in the direction of your lifeline, out of the Negative Zone, and not look back.

Two more days until the last Fantastic Four issue. That Countdown is almost over…although sadly, I will be looking back at that particular implosion.

Next Issue: Let’s Not Forget Robots…

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