1. When I was writing that first line of text there, I instinctively lapsed into Stan Lee mode, like I do every time I’m trying to write some kind of hype, and had to force myself to leave out the “True-Believers” and “Face Front” and “Pilgrims.” What I’m saying is, let’s take a moment to acknowledge the many ways that Stan Lee changed all our lives. Here’s an article I enjoyed that grapples with Stan’s complicated legacy.

2. So Jason has become the Ultimage. We’ve been headed to this point for a long time . . . the Ultimage was first mentioned on page 214, when Bart “Daredevil” Hill said that the Professor had helped battle the Ultimage. We saw a flashback to when Bart got recruited to fight the Ultimage on page 231, then saw a bunch of super-heroes fighting the Ultimage (in silhouette) on page 232.

3. In case you don’t remember, Zarko the Great told Bart, “A mad sorcerer known as the Ultimage has taken control of the castle. He plans to use it as a staging ground for his conquest of a hundred worlds.” So, obviously, that’s where we’re headed. The change in color scheme at the bottom of the page signals that we’re moving into the final, darker phase of the story. 4. When I imagine the gathered heroes battling the Ultimage, my imaginings are usually inspired by George Perez’s cover to Crisis on Infinite Earths #12:

It’s not just me–have you read that comic Black Hammer? It’s a fresh, modern take on super-hero comics, right, but the writer, Jeff Lemire, is the same age as me so he has the same touchstones. The big battle with “Anti-God” in the heroes’ backstory is absolutely based on this same comic. (Side-note, I always loved the way that Earth-2 Superman (the Superman in the middle of the cover) is hitting the Anti-Monitor, but eventually it occurred to me–it looks like he’s ricocheting off, right? So that does that mean he flew at the Anti-Monitor feet-first? Wouldn’t that look weird? Think it over, and let me know your opinion.)

5. I mentioned at the time that I had a lot of trouble figuring out the details of this section of the story, starting on page 248.  I knew that Jason ended up with the powers of a god, and that a.) the process of getting those powers had to be something I could cover in a few pages, and b.) it couldn’t be so easy that it seems like other people would have done it first. So I needed him to figure out something that allowed him, through a series of steps, to acquire cosmic power. To review, he figured out that Mefford’s Medallion was actually the Amulet of Othyg-Zoag, from another world, and that he could use it to open the Vault of Varlo, which got him Sigismundo’s Cloak, which he could use to defeat Skelman the Sorcerer and take his spellbook, and then with the cloak and the spellbook he could draw on the raw energies of the dimensional junction itself. That works for me, at least, hopefully it does for you as well.

6. When I was plotting this series of steps, I couldn’t help but be inspired by Thanos Quest, the two-issue mini-series by Jim Starlin and Ron Lim that Marvel published back in 1990. This is the story where Thanos acquires all of the Infinity Gems and becomes all-powerful. What’s amazing is that it happens so fast–it takes about an issue and a half–and yet it’s satisfying, because he outsmarts all his opponents in fun and interesting ways. I’ve reread this story recently, and it still works for me.

7. Jim Starlin’s still writing Thanos stories. I just read the new one this last week, in between writing about his Adam Warlock last time and Thanos Quest this time. Starlin on the brain, apparently. I might write a longer blog post about Starlin’s cosmic Marvel work sometime, but for now I just want to mention that, as he keeps writing these stories, it gets increasingly easy for Thanos to become omnipotent. Apparently the universe is just filled with plot devices that, with mild effort, you can use to turn yourself into God. After reading the latest one, I thought, man, I shouldn’t have stressed so much trying to come up with a way for Jason to become the Ultimage.

8. I am aware that this story is called “Brianna’s Story,” and that the last few pages have focused mostly on her boyfriend. I don’t want to sideline Brianna in her own story, but like I said, I felt like Jason becoming a cosmic super-villain warranted a few pages of explanation. Don’t worry, once they take over the castle on the next page, we’re switching our focus back to Brianna where it belongs.

9. I’m also aware that the two inspirational comics I mentioned above are from 1986 and 1990 and I am, in short, a dinosaur. We’re serializing The Electric Team online but it’s not exactly a web comic–I write for the individual print issue more than I do for the weekly episode, and I’m not really in touch with web comics culture. Our goal is to be an all-ages comic, so I think it’s fair to ask, if you want to reach today’s youth, should you really be looking back to comic books by Jim Starlin and Marv Wolfman and Frank Miller and the rest? There are so many dynamic young creators out there who grew up with web comics and anime and modern media, who aren’t influenced by moldy old Marvel and DC super-hero comics, and they’re the future. Sam Albert and Abigail Connor, for instance, the other two thirds of our creative team, bring a more current perspective to the Electric Team, and I’m sure they’re both going to go on to do great solo projects some day. For now, though, I appreciate that they let me indulge my old man’s ways, paying tribute to the comics of my youth.

10. I’ve mentioned before that Brianna and Jason Occult predate the other characters in the Electric Team. Now the truth can be revealed! Before we got the toys that inspired the Electric Team, Abi and I played with another group of toys that we called the Super Team. Jason Occult and Brianna were villains who fought the Super Team. But if that’s true, how did Brianna end up joining the Electric Team? Keep reading, pilgrim!