The rumo[u]rs are making the rounds regarding Jim Zub’s Skullkickers #17, available tomorrow in fine comic shops everywhere; actually, I’m not sure you can call it a “rumo[u]r”, when you come right out and say it in the solicitation:
Somebody DIES! Or, everyone DIES! There’s lots of DYING! Oh man, it’s some kind of DEATH-fest goin’ around. It’s all epic and brutal and a major character DIES so you better order a ho-jillion copies. No, seriously, someone DIES. Big DEADING in the house. Also: The end of our incredible third story arc. Sweet.
I would have put some emphasis in there, but I think it’s pretty apparent that the takeaway is “major character dies”. Now this being comics, death is a temporary condition, the result of an imaginary story or retconned immediately so that you can have drama but still put things back the way they were. But not if you name is Zub, Sparky. There’s a for-real shocking conclusion, a cliffhanger, and a stack of questions that amount to How the hell is he going to keep the story going for another three arcs after that? Do not doubt the Zub, he will find a way.
*** FLASH TRAFFIC SCRAMBLE MODE: ENGAGED ***
*** SECURE CHANNEL OBTAINED ***
*** DECODING ***
Strange reports are coming from Sacramento, where the local Arts & Business Council have implemented an incubator-type program for area creatives — the community benefits from the arts, and the participating artists and nonprofits get help building up their programs and businesses. Artists, designers, musicians, theaters and more are participating, but it appears that the entire program may be nothing but a front for more sinister purposes.
Signals intelligence has intercepted a photo that the analysis division has tentatively identified as known rogue operative Eben Burgoon; Burgoon is thought to be using the incubator (codename: Flywheel) as cover for unknown purposes. Best guess is that “Flywheel” refers to a revolutionary energy-generation system that Burgoon is suspected of stealing, and the “incubator” refers to plans to threaten the greater Sacramento area with excess heat until they give into his demands.
Memorize the briefing dossier and be prepared to infiltrate the Burgoon organization and bring it down from the inside. Burgoon is thought to be utilizing iPad developer Emanata as a patsy, stealing computing resources in the guise of a “digital comics app”. Burgoon is likely to strike on or about 7 September, given its significance as the fifth anniversary of the start of his activities; it is likely that Burgoon’s latest covert propaganda drop will also be released at approximately the same time.
I don’t need to tell you, this is a no-win situation if Burgoon is not stopped with extreme prejudice. Suit up for your mission, and godspeed.
*** MESSAGE ENDS ***
*** INITIATE CLEANSWEEP ***