Episode 240 of the Letters Page: Writers' Room: Cosmic Tales Vol. 2 #412

The prompt here was about the K.N.Y.F.E./Sky-Scraper arc in Cosmic Tales that’s happening simultaneously with the Scholar/Count Barzakh story from episode 233

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I’m sorry, have we ever heard the “Adam and Christopher get arrested story”?

How is this our first mention of Rat With a Gun? I have to imagine they had at least some impact on the world of Sentinel Comics!

Man, I hope it’s spelled Qubit.

I adore that they set this up as a jumping-off point for fan shipping. :slight_smile:

What? Why does Malyce get a Y but not Paynstayk or Darkstryfe? >:[

I’m glad Demoncat asked about Sky-Scraper’s sexuality, because I’ve been wondering that myself. And I’m really glad they settled on questioning as an answer, because that’s super valid – I’ve used it myself! – and I think it’s not an identity that gets a lot of representation despite being in the alphabet soup.

I don’t believe so. Seems like Editors Note fodder for sure

As for Darkstrife I think the only reason it doesn’t have a y is due to a marvel character Stryfe


It’s interesting to me that this story has Sky-Scraper and KNYFE’s foils as sisters. Partially because right when Christopher said that, I realized that is more similar to the kind of relationship between the two that makes sense to me.

It may just be the way Christopher always talks as Sky-Scraper, but there just seems to be a maturity gap there that is odd to me? Despite Sky-Scraper clearly being the responsible one, she can come off as very innocent and a bit… ignorant (in the lacking awareness sense of the word)?

That, and everything the Cult of Gloom said.


Future story title when these two returns is “Life’s A Bit”


I agree that she can come off that way, but I don’t know that it’s a totally accurate perception. She has language trouble and a pretty upbeat attitude, and both of those things can make a person seem childish or ignorant - but she’s definitely neither of those. She’s been a resistance fighter, then an enslaved gladiator, and finally a superhero, so she’s definitely dealt with her share of Mature Themes.

I think the big problems between these two - either in a romance or a friendship - would come from the fact that neither of them seem (to me) to have had all that much experience in long-term relationships with others. I feel like Knyfe is pretty isolated, for all her brief romances, and Sky-Scraper tries really hard to make connections but has problems making them deeper. I think a lot of the other heroes like to have her around, but I don’t know that many of them would say they have a close relationship. And all her trauma can’t help, either.

Personally I definitely ship them, but I can’t say it would be easy!

No, I don’t think it would be a fully accurate perception if she were a real person, however if that is how writers often depict her then it does become fairly accurate.

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Could Rat With a Gun be Corporal the Bunker Hamster?


I like to imagine it’s like original Absolute Zero with a cold gun. “In Animalverse Megalopolis, rat ices up the whole you!”


For those curious - yes, I hate the phrase “bad butt” too.


For the record, I am on the “liking it” side. :slight_smile:

I’m fine if we make it a thing in the X-TREME!!! verse. :boom::boom::boom:Heck yeah, mother heckers!!!:boom::boom::boom:

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At a convention I explained the bad butt trope to voice actor Rob Paulson since 80’s TMNT cartoon Rapheal is a great example. The character is supposed to be a rage filled berserker who almost lost control and hurt Michaelangelo but in the cartoon was just sarcastic and insulted everyone.


It reminds me of the Everything Everywhere All at Once character Waymond, from the kung-fu verse. He has a great speech about how he sees himself as a fighter, and just because he makes the choice to see the bright side of things doesn’t mean that he’s weak, or stupid, or even ignorant. He’s making a choice that he views as necessary and strategic.


Yes, exactly! I don’t know how much of her attitude is ‘natural’ necessarily, but I do think that she’s positive and friendly and a little bit silly on purpose because she knows who she wants to be. I like her so much.

Also I have heard so many good things about EEAAO, I really have to actually sit down and watch it.

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Yeah it’s absolutely that she’s both bad with English and cheerful.

I know this because I often get hit with this offline. I swear to god I am actually pretty easygoing offline usually, and also more obviously awkward with words and straightforward. So I regularly have people think I’m a naive ditz until the topic turns to something serious or that I’m knowledgeable and passionate about. Then people realize I’m not as ditzy as I seem at first.

(To the point where my bestie’s mom initially wondered what he even saw in hanging out with me until we got to have an actual detailed convo about things.)

It’s like her quote on that card where she’s punching Kaargra. Get Sky-Scraper in her element and she will be deadly serious and know what she’s doing.


Yeah, this reminds me of a question that I remember someone asking on an episode quite some time ago. The letter-writer asked about Legacy’s intelligence, and C&A replied that Paul is of average intelligence; he’s simply very hopeful and optimistic, which lots of people interpret as low intellect. Cheerfulness and positivity ≠ ignorance, while seriousness and pessimism ≠ intelligence.

It also seems like Setback is hit with this as well, especially in comparison to Expatriette. Yes, Expat is much more tactically and technically smart, as well as more “worldly,” but I’m fairly certain that C&A have said that Pete is the most socially-adjusted member of Dark Watch.


I remember that, too. He’s definitely that. I got the impression that Nightmist was pretty good socially… until she started becoming less and less human.


I definitely think Setback is a bit different, as he seems to be cheerful despite clearly knowing that bad stuff will continue to happen to him (part of why I like him so much).

Christopher’s impression of Sky-Scraper is part of what gets me. That, and the broken English - which generally isn’t something with real people (me associating it with naivety/child-likeness - my in-laws speak English as their second language and I am very aware that they are incredibly smart people), but for some reason seeing a comic book character talk like that is different.

Lines like: “Calm down, rodent man thing!”, “I need some units of time”, and “It is good to dispose of multiple avian beasts with just one rock” are just such delightful mix-ups, that I can’t help but associate them with a light-hearted and innocent disposition.

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I’d also think that Mr. Fixer was fairly sociable (especially during the Black Fist years), albeit perhaps a bit gruff and blunt, but being dead and constantly raging at existence kinda made that bit a touch harder for him.

I think that that applies to all three of these characters; Sky-Scraper, Setback, and Legacy all know how bad the world is (or in Setback’s case, how much worse it is to him specifically), but they still choose to act optimistically. Granted that Legacy isn’t really as cheerful as the other two, but I think that he still counts for something.

And of course, there are definitely moments when all three of these characters get serious, as others have mentioned above. As for Sky-Scraper’s language and idiomatic troubles, I agree that it can certainly give the impression of a low intellect, but it definitely doesn’t necessitate it. It’s just that we unconscionably associate poor speaking skills with poor intelligence.