Armageddon 2020

Armageddon 2020

Armageddon 2020

by Shen and Stormcrow

Icon for GrayIcon for Hunter
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Crit level: No preference


Icon for KleppIcon for MaIcon for KuboIcon for MillerIcon for Chica ChicanaIcon for Talon
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Crit level: No preference
tags: chica chicana, gray, hunter, kazue l. burns, klepp, kubo, kurt, luz, ma, Miller, talon




Critiques & Comments
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Fluffsamasprime
Artist
44 comments
# 25   Posted: Sep 19 2020, 04:13 PM
Plenty of people have gone over the critics and I don\'t have much to add there, but I would like to mention my favorite parts.
Spoiler: Defenders • show
[/Oh man, there were quite a few parts that I loved, the biggest one being Klepp skinning Grays tattoos off! Holy crap was that a shocker! I thought for sure someone would show up and stop it before he would finish the deed! Also the kaiju battle was fantastic!!]

Spoiler: Threat • show
[/Oh man, I think the whole thing with Chica all gung ho to save the day and help Klepp was wonderful! Seeing that ending with Chica sitting with all the treasure after Gray tossed the bag into... acid? Fire? What ever it was. The deaths got me and I loved them!]

Hellis
Artist
240 comments
# 24   Posted: Sep 19 2020, 02:23 PM
I'm doing Defenders first, becouse I ended up writing A LOT. Such great work needed a lot of thought. I preface this with the fact that I am still in awe of your efforts and your sheer talent and skill. And you should be absurdly proud of your work. But, I have some thoughts.
Spoiler: Defenders • show

Writing:

Its been said by others, but the first act take on chronological order didn’t do it for me. There is something to be said for, and I appreciate you taking a stab at it, doing nonlinear storytelling. When done right, it is a boon. However, you have to be too careful when you cut back and forth, and that’s where I feel you guys missed the mark a bit. When you do a jump, I think you have to preface the jump with an ending panel that feels like it’s about to transition into something. I know you guys wanted it to be like with a movie in that regard and if that’s the case there are a bunch of neat tricks to keep people from getting yanked out of the flow of the story that you would have done well to study. I’m gonna mention one common one, that I saw in comics as well: Have an object that is focused upon before the transition. A panel where the thing, it can be a face, a coffee mug, a tapestry. anything really. Then on the next page, have that same object, or something very similar to it as the focus on the next panel. One jump that comes to mind, is the one that jumps to Ma doing the brief. That could have been smoothly done if the focus was on Ma’s head, then a mirror panel showing the same head in a different setting on the next page.


Once we are clear of the 1st act though? It comes into its own in a big way. The action is solid, a lto of the dialogue is good, a lot of emotions are drawn out and laid bare. IT flows really good from 2nd to Ending. The beats are good. Like, really damn good at times. They way you pace, and the way your dialogue is rich but never in the way, its something I strive to achieve and seeing it being so well handles honestly has me wondering why many mainstream comics fail so hard at it.


However. I am gonna have to address the Elephant(s) in the room. You guys did Hunter dirty. I mean, REAL dirty. Compared to everyone else, Hunter is written as a shallow, jealous person without any of the warmth and kindness that runs as a red thread throughout all his comics. You seem you were entirely focused on cool set pieces fighting him and engineering a reason that he and Gray would be apart and not working together for Millar to have one time. As a result, You guys wrote him out more as a generic villain foil towards your superhero team. Their entire lead up was a despairing Hunter being pushed along by Gray and his love for her.

 And it should be mentioned that  Gray was also written out of character a bit, albeit not as badly as Hunter. You laser focus on her apparent obsession with Miller, making it less about the two threats and more about Miller. Thematically, Miller is interesting. But the focus gets repetitive, and it takes it out of the Threat. And when Hunter and Miller meet, there is a page that is basicly just Miller insulting and having what feels like a dick measuring contest between the two, further giving of a strange OOC feeling for Hunter that never shown to be like that. If I am supposed to care about Millers final fate, your expression for him from the point forward was not conveying it. He is often shown smiling in a cruel and arrogant way when dealing with Hunter.  He is secure and he looks like he takes pleasure when he literally weaponizes the memories of Gray cheating on Hunter. That is not in any way, a sympathetic potrayal. Again, if the thematic approach for Miller was to reflect a sickly obssession, yes, good. But its been clarified that was not the case. Miller is not heroic, he driven by his own interestes in Gray (Putting the city at risk doing so.) He has a history, that is made a point by the way he uses said history to attack Hunter, of using his powers to continue an affair with Gray. Again, its not making him seem any more sympathetic.

So when the ending comes, thematically, it would be fitting if it was portrayed as the rightful price of Miller’s past. But its meant to be a sympathetic blow to the reader? Not buying it.

Outside of the Hunter/Gray/Miller dynamic. The writing is solid for the most part. My favorite part was Kubo and Luz dialogue. IT was it flowed so well and Luz was written as such a colorful addition to Kubos parts. But as Cy said, some of the writing outside the trio felt like it had no real direction or proper payoff.  My two favorites shone when you gave them time (Chica and Klepp) but they felt like a side story without proper connection. Chica at least, got her payoff, but Klepp felt like they were going somewhere, then at the end, it’s back to square one? It feels like a cheap ending for that particular thread.  Talons story felt the least developed and I really feel like you guys put to much time into Miller that ended up stealing the time to develop Talons role in the whole thing. And honestly, this sucks becouse as a Necromancer, they should have been front and center for Hunters ire. Its epressed very clearly in the run up. Yet… You chose not to work on this angle, what felt at all. It’s a massive lost opportunity. 120 pages is enough space to have that confrontation in a proper light.


Art: Honestly. I have very little crits for the artside of things. Your monster design? 10+. YOur surroundings? Amazing. Expressions are very emotive and strong. The color is great. The Fightscenes are so good.  The only part that is a little rough is one or two style switches, but that comes with 6 people owrking on thing and everyone having pencils in it. I dont really mind it and i didnt notice it on the re-reads.  Radji? Your grasp of sound effects is prolly the best on the site in my eyes. Fucking teach me, you french lovable bastard.


That was a bit of text. I want to reiterate that i am in absolute gobsmacked awe at this behemoth of work, and i want it in a paperback.

TheCydork
Artist
272 comments
# 23   Posted: Sep 17 2020, 12:17 AM
Okay *cracks knuckles* Defenders, here we go. This took me hours to write, I hope you appreciate it ahah.

Spoiler: Defenders • show

So from the get go, these pages were clearly designed to generate as much hype as possible because from page one I was like !! HYPE!! Super excited despite the long page count. I love that you opened with a man speared on a spike, a direct nod to Hunter’s shrike form, and even used his colour scheme. Which on its own is cool enough, but damn the gold/black combo make for a dramatic and gorgeous beginning. The architecture was fantastic, I’m so glad you all decided to set a good chunk of this in and around a cathedral. Tbh, when it panned up on Gray and Hunter in the first few pages I was hit with Hunchback of Notre Dame vibes. It had such a great presence, and its interior with the stained glass windows was lovely too. I also LOVED the title pages for each act. The symbols were so stylish, I love the little story they told as they changed through each act and the foreshadowing they provided that I only realised upon rereading, like Klepp’s hand reaching for Gray’s tattoos!

Since Badger and Corn are the concept artists, I’m guessing we have you two to thank for the sick demon designs? Because goddamn, I enjoyed the demons. There were so many unique designs, I applaud you for putting care into them instead of going the easy route of horned, forked tail humans, even though most of them only appear for a few panels! They added greatly to my enjoyment (special shout-out to the eyeless toothy demon that escorts Miller and the elephant skull demon in the graveyard). Also I love the feathered dinosaurs, god bless.

I had no issue following the story and it honestly surprised me to hear that was a problem for a few other people. Some of the cuts were strange, but I was never confused and I quite liked the non-linear structure. I also liked that it wasn’t non-stop action/drama and there were moments of respite, like Chica making a “meat muppet” out of a demon’s severed head, and Talon’s sweet but awkward interactions with the ghosts and Amber. And the Ma twist in Act 1, I LOVED that. I knew something was up since things were going so easily, but the fact that it was Ma betraying them still surprised me! The explanation of him and Miller being psychically incompatible was a very interesting take as well, and totally made sense. I’m glad it had further payoff later on in the story aside from just a handy reason Miller couldn’t see the betrayal coming. Gray getting her tattoos cut out also shook me, really didn’t see that coming.

Moving on to the other two Acts. Like I said earlier, I love that Miller and Ma’s incompatibility came into play later - when their blood and sauce mix, enabling them to communicate (and I’m guessing the reason for his severed ties to the hive mind too?) It was so unexpected, that Miller was effectively trapped but kept alive in this weird soupy mindscape, and it played nicely into the whole fatedead thing too (I saw that Meredith). The idea of using animals to attack Gray’s demons was also cool, although I do wonder how Talon is controlling them if they don’t have souls. Finally, Chica’s moment of pulling Gray’s heart out was so fucking badass, loved that.

Overall, I was super impressed by how cohesive and coherent this was. I haven’t fully read past Armas, but what I’ve seen was very clearly divided into different artists and came off a bit disjointed. The art here all came together well aside from a handful of pages, as did the story. It blows my mind that this was put together by 6 different people. I also love how every character (bar one, we’ll get to that) had very clear and different agendas. Watching them each try to get their own way and inevitably clashing made for some really juicy chaos and story.

And now for the crits.

Something I noticed is that while I found the art for your side similarly amazing... nothing stuck with me after reading it. I can’t bring to mind any particular panel or page that truly wowed me. Meanwhile, I was thinking about the mind invasion scene with Ma and the jellyfish ending for hours after reading the Threat’s side. This isn’t to say the art is less good, not at all - the quality was consistently great and I enjoyed each page as it came. I think it’s because there were no particularly creative shots; the camera moved enough to keep the comic from being static and that’s about it, the lighting was pretty standard throughout, many scenes felt like I’d seen them before elsewhere, etc.

Story-wise, like I said, this was pretty solid and very good for a collaborative story with a large cast, but I feel like part of Gray and Hunter’s characters was sacrificed for spectacle. I really couldn’t see Gray so willingly and gleefully ripping the power from her beloved, and attacking him when he tried to stop her. It was very dramatic, and provided cool imagery, but just wasn’t believable to me. Hunter’s anger towards Gray for cheating, too, surprised me, especially in contrast to his acceptance and forgiveness in the Threat’s side. Not to mention Gray’s militant protectiveness over Miller and outburst towards Hunter at even suggesting the “corpse” be moved. I also don’t understand how she could steal Hunter’s power and leave him unconscious on the floor, but he still has enough power to fight and transform? And he still has his half of the gem What did she take from him then? After waking up, he didn’t seem any weaker than he was before, in fact he seemed stronger.

There was something else that I didn’t notice initially, probably because the Threat’s side did it too, but seeing as this half is longer and has a more complex storyline I think it’s more of a problem - this very much felt like a Miller comic. The story is framed through him - it starts with him being brought to the cathedral, then we have some inner monologue, he’s the one to assemble everyone, even when he’s “dead” his corpse and sister play significant roles in the story, his twisted relationship with Gray is ultimately what brings BOTH threats down - his presence unravels Gray, and by taunting Hunter, showing him the memories of being with Gray, he is stunned long enough to kill. Miller is the only one who has internal monologue, the only one who narrates part of the story, and the only one to really talk with either threat besides Ma. The others.. well tbh, Hunter and Gray kinda use stock phrases at them before attacking and then they fight (Talon, Kubo and Klepp) or get captured (Chica). There’s nothing wrong with having a focus character - it’s hard to give everyone exactly equal time in an ensemble cast - or having a narrator character, but having a disproportionate amount of the key events happen because of him, when he isn’t even a mastermind who did it /intentionally/ like Ma, on top of all this definitely tips the story towards him in the meta sense. I also understand he has a history with Gray, and that definitely SHOULD be utilised, but the way it was done feels like he’s more important than the other Defenders.

On a related note, at first I liked that Chica was the one to kill Gray. It was a very dramatic and surprising moment, and it does make sense for the story as she is the only one who has been directly hurt by Gray. However, it feels cheap after all the time we spent on Miller. People in the chat expressed confusion over why Chica had the most at stake, because although she did voice her reasons, there was hardly any lingering on them. It was a few brief mentions of a life for a life, and I think she was shown Jowee during her torture? But seeing as that single panel was all glitchy and in Spanish, I couldn’t tell. I would have liked to see Chica deal with that pain more, maybe even a flashback of her comforting Jowee after the loss. Just something more, seeing as she commits one of the most important acts in the comic.

Other Defenders could have done with just more too. Kubo gets a decent amount of screentime along with Ma, but Klepp and Chica have barely any speaking lines, and I have no idea about Talon’s motivations to join the group. He just kinda goes “okay” and follows along. Miller is the one rounding them up, Kubo is selfless and wants to save the city, Chica wants revenge, Klepp wants to collect Gray, Ma... it’s complicated but I get his goals. Why is Talon there? What does he want, or what obligation does he feel to these people? Or is it just a selfish desire to stay alive? No explanation is given. Going back to the beginning of the para, all of the Defenders do have little private moments - Chica’s torture, Talon’s talk with the dead, Klepp injecting himself - and I appreciate that very much. But the moments for these characters feel so quick and rushed over compared to the multiple scenes of Kubo helping people out or chatting to Luz, Ma’s monologuing and of course the many scenes that focused on Miller, Hunter and Gray. The former characters have like a page or two at best and then the story marches forward.

Some more nitpicky stuff: while the wordiness didn’t bother me the first read, I definitely noticed on the second. The Threat side had pages with a lot of words, but due to the horizontal format, they were more spread out and didn’t give the same effect. Page 20 for instance, that’s a LOT of words crammed into one page. Sometimes, the reading order wasn’t clear due to a vertically split panel. It happened a couple of times, for example on page 34, the last four panels. For western style comics, the eye naturally wants to go left before it goes down, so I read Chica being hit and THEN her saying Kubo would not approve. Also for the most part your styles flowed together pretty well, but some switches, like between page 23 and 24, were jarring. Having said that, there were 6 of you and it’s honestly amazing how well you worked together, so this really isn’t a big issue for me. Finally, the scene on page 86 was funny instead of dramatic to me because of Miller’s clunky dialogue, “Let me tell you it.” Try saying it aloud, it sounds very awkward. “Let me tell you,” or “let me tell you about it” would have been better.


Whew, done. I just want to say again, congratulations to both sides! This was such a massive undertaking with excellent results, you should all be proud of yourselves. I thoroughly enjoyed both comics. Also, my mum who doesn’t read Void comics saw a page over my shoulder, and now she wants to read both of them. So if that doesn’t say something idk what will.

Rivana
Artist
165 comments
# 22   Posted: Sep 16 2020, 07:37 AM
Wow what an epic journey on both sides. You really outdid yourselves and all deserve a pat on the back. Major kudos all around!

THREATS:
Spoiler: show

Gorgeous art and visuals all around! Shen and Crow - You two make a really great team and I really hope this is not the last time we see a collaboration between you two. The colors are so vibrant, the monsters, the textures. Yeah I can gush on this all day. Don't be surprised if I go back and pore over the pages again. It's just THAT GOOD.

The story while good on its own feels to me fell flat in depicting the other Defenders outside of Miller. I understand that Hunter-Gray-Miller have more of a history/drama together but the other Defenders just felt a bit left out to me for some reason and not really integrated well with the overall plot. They appeared as  more of an inconvenience that needed to be rid off to the side so we can get to the resolution of the conflict between Hunter/Gray/Miller.  I also felt that Lilyfeather had more spotlight than Talon in that one scene and Miller leaving so suddenly to give her the flute just felt a bit forced. I got the feeling that it was put there so that Miller can conveniently leave the beach area.

But like I said, AMAZING ART, compelling story. But the other Defenders did not get the spotlight they deserved. It is almost like a (BEYOND AMAZING, mind you) BB/Collab between Miller/Gray/Hunter.  As much as I'd LOVE to see this story unfold, there were 5 other main characters  in this year's Arma that I feel were left out. As given the title of Defenders, I was expecting them to actually team up and try to save the world against Gray and Hunter but their appearances were all fragmented and they were depicted as glorified victims of Gray and  Hunter instead.

With that said, I truly think both of you produced a stellar comic that will be one of the best that was ever produced here in Void!
 


DEFENDERS
Spoiler: show

I am probably one of the few who did not get confused by the jump between flashbacks and present time as I read along and I understand how that could be a point given by others against you. Some parts got a bit  too wordy for me and I have to echo that Kubo's death and resurrection just felt like it was just another Tuesday for him. (Is it? lol)

The entire comic played like a movie while I was reading it. Not many comics (if any at all) had given me this type of experience and I was simply BLOWN AWAY.  Your styles also merged that I wasn't able to tell the difference in the change of artists as I read through unless I really pay attention to the art specifically. The immersion is so seamless I am still in awe on how you're able to pull this off.

Each character has the spotlight and I highly commend you for this. You guys have the upperhand understandably being a 6 person team but  still, it was impressively handled and exceeded my expectations. Each of them have their own issues to overcome, resolve and got some personal/unique life changing events coming out of the story. I LOVE THAT.

Ma, betraying the team took me by surprise and I LOVE surprises because this doesn't happen to me often when I watch or read fictional media. I have the tendency to try to predict how the plot will go and you guys sure did throw me off with that one (Probably helped that I did not know much about Ma aside from his battle vs Cynthia too lol)

I got mixed feelings about the ending but I love the surprise factor of Chica literally ripping Gray's heart out. Again, I am a sucker for surprises.

It is a shame Gray did not get to finish her last words and Hunter died angry. But IRL not all dying people will get that chance at resolution - esp in this case where Gray and Hunter were literally trying to destroy the world despite their 'best intentions'. It's not always a happy ending with a proper closure and I appreciate the bitter reality that this moment brought me.


Final thoughts - AMAZING!! Lives up to the hype and MORE. I almost feel bad for the next threat/defender team trying to top this. You set the bar really high.

Congratulations Shen, Crow, Pyras, Kubo, Camel, Radji, Badger and Corn. I'd buy you all a drink for a toast  if I could!!

TheCydork
Artist
272 comments
# 21   Posted: Sep 15 2020, 11:47 PM
Both sides, just, damn. DAMN. Thoroughly enjoyed both comics. I promised myself I’d finish my battle before commenting, but I literally kept thinking about Arma to the point of distraction. So here I am, another few hours spent on a ponderous re-read, dropping a chonky comment XD

Spoiler: Threat • show

First off, the art was amazing. I really don’t know what you guys mean when you say it was half coloured bc aside from the one page with a totally white background and another that looked a tad flat, everything looked fully rendered to me. The colour palettes were choice, shout out especially to the red and green graveyard scenes, the dull gold of Klepp’s backpack and the divine white and gold of the end scenes!

The symbolic imagery throughout the comic was just outstanding and done really well imo. There’s so many sequences I love, like the Lily and Talon’s deaths, Ma invading Gray’s mind, the golden threads on pages 40-44, and the jellyfish at the end! Damn!! To go more specific, on page 16 when Hunter just strides off, wings flowing behind him, and he offers a gold cross to Talon in silhouette... chef’s kiss. The sketchy figures in Gray’s mind fading into shards of glass? Chef’s kiss. Honestly all the golden thread pages, but especially page 42 with Miller and Hunter swirling around Gray, and page 44 with that golden light - CHEF’S KISS. And the ending. Holy fuck the ending. Holy SHIT. BIG FUCKING CHEF’S KISS.

Also! Just a mention of some smaller moments I liked: the shot on page 36 of Gray’s back is just great, full of emotion even though we can’t see her face. I like the side by side panels of similarly posed Hunter and Miller on page 37 too.

And with that, it’s time for crits. I’ll start off with a teeny nitpick before deep diving - the art was pretty damn excellent, but one panel stuck out to me as off amongst everything else - the kiss on page 4. Their lips bulge out in an unnatural way, especially Hunter’s, and with the shading it either looked like his lips were on his chin or floating a little aways from his face.

And now for the deep dive. I definitely agree with Footini in that I can find little fault with the art, but the story felt all over the place to me.

CHARACTERS
The connection between the Defenders feels tenuous at best, and makes no sense at worse. From the minute the first ones were introduced, I found myself going “wait, what?”. Why would Chica and Ma pair up, what connection do they have, what reason does she have to listen to him? Why do they just take Klepp along, who to them is just a rando they hit with their car? Talon asks Hunter for help immediately after trying to kill him. Hunter watches Kubo transform, but neither he nor Gray comment on it until several pages later. The delay from Hunter and total lack of reaction from Gray to this demon fox felt strange, especially because Gray immediately starts talking about Miller after she succeeds at pulling the collar off. I also agree that several of the Defenders didn’t have much of a presence.

CONNECTING SCENES
Idk what else to call this section, my bad, but my biggest issue with this comic was how disconnected the scenes felt. For example, on page 7, Ma and co are in the city, having just hit Klepp with the car. On the next page they are already at the beach to greet Miller... and Klepp is still on the hood of the car. It makes it feel as though they’ve teleported, because I find it hard to believe they drove all that way with Klepp still plastered to the hood. Meanwhile, on page 8, the beach appears empty except for those four, but at the end of the page Kubo appears out of nowhere to yell at Klepp. It was very jarring and way too convenient for Kubo to have spotted and identified Klepp from a considerable distance away, and run up to him, all within the space of a few sentences. Pages 14 and 15, I genuinely have no idea what happened. Lily had her flute, is controlling the dead, and then the flute disappears and she gets killed. Where did it go? Why did the dead attack?

Even though your side was told in chronological order and the Defenders’ jumped back and forth, I actually had a far easier time following the events in their half. The jumps between characters and events felt random in this comic, whereas with the Defenders, it felt more clear. For example, they mention Kubo at the end of page 9, then cut to Kubo on the following page.

GENERAL STORYTELLING
The impact of the ending was slightly lessened for me as pretty early on in the comic, Hunter tells Gray she needs to stay alive, and she agrees. A similar exchange happens later on. She’s already shown that she thinks she’s alive, in a throwaway moment. Hunter’s death hit me, but Gray’s admittance did not. Her change of heart also felt too quick for me - I know a hugely impactful thing has happened to her, but the turnaround still felt a bit too immediate. I think even a few panels of her contemplating the Reaper necklace would have helped.

I do have to say though, even if story clarity was off, the clarity in terms of character was VERY good. Though I know OF all of the characters involved in Arma, I’ve only really kept up with Talon. I’ve read any comics that have come out during my time on Void, but didn’t go through character archives before reading this, yet I knew exactly what each character was about and wasn’t confused by the ending. Hell, aside from the prologue, I’d read zero Hunter comics, but his powers and relationship with Gray were very clear to me. And the ending still punched me in the gut even though I hadn’t followed their journey ;;; Gray saying she’ll follow him, damn.


Comment for the defender’s side will be posted later today or tomorrow!

Footini
Artist
54 comments
# 20   Posted: Sep 15 2020, 09:39 PM
Okay so after about 2 months of hype we're here at the big show.


Threat side:  I got to say that the artwork here is immaculate throughout.  Between Shen's colors, Crow's linework, and down to the creative compositions on the horizontal scrolling pages or the 'mindscape', you two were firing on all cylinders and delivered the best looking comic i've seen from both of you.  The pages near the end with all the gold leaf was a treat to see for sure.  

The story however kind of felt rushed.  This side works better, structurally, than the other with everything starting in the middle of the action and just kept going full speed until the end.  But with the exception of Miller, and kinda Ma, most of the defenders were kind of there just to get killed off.  Talon definitely got the shaft here; he showed up and died off pretty quickly.  If you had told me Lily was the defender instead I would have bought that since she has about as much importance as Talon.  It wasn't until the final confrontation with Miller, Hunter, and Gray where the story really got to where it needed to go.  You two tied up their stories together really well and gave the killer couple as well as the vektran a very satisfying emotional conclusion to their shared journey.


Defender side:  Honestly, I was kind of underwhelmed with this side.  Art wise it felt uneven.  Some pages looked alright while others had wonky anatomy, with characters looking off model, and some pages with characters looking stiff and unemotional.  With the exception of Camel's pages, both color and pencils, and Kubo's, pencils and inks, not much of the artwork here really blew me away the way the threat's side did.  Though the action scenes, mostly the miller vs ma teleport gun battle and monster fights, had interesting and dynamic choreography which i *think* was Pyras's pencils.  

The story here was a pretty decent superhero team up comic which really felt like a fun 'avengers' style adventure.  Structurally, the first act has a lot of issues; it jumps back and forth through time, it has tons of dialogue, and ultimately it feels uneven and a slog to get through.  The non-linear storytelling here didn't really pay off for me and mostly just served to throw off the pacing even more if it was told chronologically.  The comic gets better in the second and third acts where things go back to a more traditional style of pacing and keeps its momentum until the end.  Again, this really kind of felt like the Miller vs Gray/Hunter story.  While you did have cool moments and arcs for each character that did a good job of incorporating the various stories of each main player, it kind of felt that many of them were just kind of there just cause.  Ma had an interesting arc playing both sides and did make for an interesting twisty plot that kept it from getting dull.  The other four members, however, really just seemed to be running around without much to do in relation to Gray and Hunter other than just needing to stop them for the sake of it.  Which with Miller being the one member with a previous meaningful connection to Gray made sense.  Despite the rough first third this was an entertaining action comic that gave a great sendoff to two legacy void characters and made for some hopeful setups for each defender for the future.

Good job from both teams.  See you next armageddon.


(Okay now that it's been like a week I think my opinions on the comics have changed a bit)

I'm starting to come around to liking the defender's side more.  Mostly with how much thought was put into the design of the environments, costumes, and monsters.  Even if there's not a bunch of fancy layouts going on like in the threat side the designs really enchance the story and give the comic much more character than i noticed before.  Gray's cathedral was a standout here with how it's deterioration mirrored Gray's mental state throughout the comic.  I still think the first act has problems with structure but there's more meat to the defender's story than I previously thought.
Also considering this comic was made in six weeks some of my problems with the artwork are lessened.  120 pages at this quality is no easy feat.  
To me, while the Threat side has these really intense emotional beats toward the end and has some POWERHOUSE artwork the defender side is likely going to age better with it being a stronger narrative and tying into the overall void "canon" more strongly

Stormcrow
Artist
68 comments
# 19   Posted: Sep 15 2020, 02:23 PM
OH GOOD, THERE IS A WAY TO DO A SPOILER.

To the defenders: man, that was so much fuckin' fun to read. You guys were really hand-selected as some of the best of the best when it comes to this site (and frankly in general), and I was so happy and honored when you chose to sign up and then sacrifice six weeks of your lives to this crazy battle. Thank you so much for all the time and work that you put into drawing Hunter and Gray and the end of their story on Void. I loved the sheer scope and ambition of your story, that many pages had the potential to be a slog but you really did an amazing job writing an ongoing drama from many disparate parts that turned out super engaging. You guys did everything, from a small personal scale to literal kaiju fights (I KNEW IT WOULD HAPPEN, PYRAS) and it was an absolute treat to read.
While of course I'm sad to see Hunter and Gray ripped apart and to see them die hurting and hurt by one another, it's Armageddon and we always knew both the battle and their relationship would end in tragedy. It was a brutal end for their stories and I can absolutely respect that (AND GRUMPILY MAKE COPE-FIXFIC OFF IN MY CORNER IM TAKING MY TOYS AND GOING HOME U GUYS), so it all works out in the end. Thanks for sending them off in such a spectacular way, seeing a full cross-section of the kind of people who cross paths in Void rise up and protect their city felt really good and not so secretly, was what I (and Hunter) both wanted to see despite it all.

Regarding our side, and the process of the comic: working with Shen was as much fun as last time when we fought together for Lovechild, and the past six weeks have been some of the most grueling but also rewarding of my life. I am not a fast artist (my tally was over 500 hours sunk into this) so the idea of taking on a project of this scope was really daunting and the biggest single undertaking of my life thus far when it comes to art. In the end, it was a pleasure and privilege to have such a consistently amazing partner and I had the time of my life. I hope you all enjoy the end result as much as I enjoyed making it.

And finally, regarding Hunter:
Spoiler: show
 The Reaper canonically has no afterlife; they burn out all they have in service to their god, and there's nothing left for whatever comes next for a mortal soul. I knew going into this that win or lose, it was an annihilation match for Hunter and the end of his time on Void. Part of me regrets that, and the battles that I'd always kind of planned but never got a chance to actually make happen, but there was no way that either I or he would let Gray go into a deathmatch without him by her side.  When Shen told me last December on the way home from a Christmas party that she got selected as threat and did I want to be partners, I knew this was the only way it was gonna be.
Page 42, what I consider the peak page of Hunter's mindscape, is his swan song to Void and all its people (specifically those who had touched his or Gray's life in a major way, and his past opponents as well as those I'd wanted or planned to fight and never gotten the chance to). It was the most emotional page of the comic and meant to be the truth and heart of the tangle that he and Gray and Miller had become, and I wanted it to show interconnectedness. Everyone is more than what they are and a sum of their world and histories and the people whose lives they've touched and made a part of them, and it parallels my feelings about this site and the way that it brings people together to make something collaborative that's more than themselves and their own personal dramas. I'm sure that I'll stay on the site and make new characters, but for my first and dearest character... thank you for the ride, and it's time for him to go.
Thank you so much to you all for caring enough to watch his story come to an end.

Bobo
Web Dev
947 comments
# 18   Posted: Sep 15 2020, 02:15 PM
Spoiler: shencrow • show
WOW YOU GUYS! This was SO GOOD!!! I have pretty much nothing but praise for your comic; I only have a couple nitpicks really. But first, I gotta list all the things that really stood out to me:

I love that you included not just the defenders on the cover, but also other characters who have played a meaningful role in the lives of the characters involved! I'm also living for this refined southern gentleman accent Ma has. Also, the way you portrayed his mind powers is really cool. I love the way it breaks out of a paneling structure, imitating the way thoughts tend to drift from one to another and blend together in our brains.

I love the sheer number of cameos and references you included; it really makes the threat of Arma feel that much bigger, because it's not just the defenders who die if they lose, but all of us. I also love how you capitalized on Gray's relationship with Miller and how he regrets letting her get away with helping Bayou and Bog previously. I love that you took the time to search for the real Klepp, even if ultimately the whole search was meaningless for them. It kind of just highlighted the despair of people being unable to stop Gray and Hunter.

T also find Gray and Hunter's arguments intriguing; it really shows how manipulative and unstable Gray is, and how Hunter is fighting a losing battle by trying to do his job while also protecting and working with her. You can see how he's been blinded by love, and it's messed with his ability to reason. He even lets himself die because of it. And as much as he's making a mistake, I appreciate that he's accepted all of her sins, including her infidelity. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing among all of Hunter's other mistakes, but it's a different kind of experience compared to what you usually see happening.

And of course, I love that ultimately Gray admitted that she knew she was alive. Her mind was really laid bare in this comic, and it felt like she finally let go of all of her lying to herself. Who knows if that'll stick, but it's still really cool to see it all come together in this comic.

There were a few spots where I felt a bit confused in terms of why people were doing things, but not really anything outside of the usual mild confusion I get when reading comics with lots of characters in them. My only real confusion came from the ending; I'm not clear on how Gray became a reaper. It clearly has something to do with the amulet, and maybe that's something that's come up in past comics that I'm just forgetting, but it threw me off. Her apparent shift into peace and realizing her mistakes is mysterious as well, but in a good way. It makes me want to see more of her ;-;

In the end, all I can really say is that you guys made a SPECTACULAR comic that is visually stunning, takes full advantage of character relationships and cameos to make everything feel real and grounded, and took some really cool risks with visual storytelling that absolutely paid off. I can't legally take sides on this battle, but I'm rooting for you ;)

Spoiler: defenders • show
God, this comic was a work of art! It felt like watching a full-length movie, complete with twists, infighting, desperate last-minute plans, and reaching from the brink of defeat to obtain victory. The visuals were stunning throughout, and you guys did an amazing job of meshing your styles together to the point that I barely noticed when different people took over the comic. A lot of this is sort of my live reaction, but I'll give my overall impressions at the end.

idk why, but it took me a while to realize that we were hopping back and forth in time between the final confrontation and all the work leading up to it. It might have been easier if you had employed different color schemes for flashbacks, but any sort of indicator that a certain page was part of a flashback would have been helpful. Once I understood what was happening, I loved how you structured this comic! Showing each new character show up or participate and then jumping back to them getting involved in the group effort to stop Gray and Hunter was really cool, and it did a lot to explain how all of these people ended up working together when a lot of them have never met each other.

The way you portrayed Ma's "speech" was awesome. It communicated both the ridiculousness of his existence as fucking SOUP and the fact that he speaks telepathically.

"This is finally over" on page 26. Page count: 120. I'm suspicious.

OKAY PLOT TWIST. Now things are getting interesting! I'm not sure how I feel about Ma sort of stealing the spotlight from the Arma threat, but I'm still only a fraction of the way through this comic, so I'll reserve my judgment. (Update: nope, the threats get plenty of time to shine)

Big OH SHIT to page 39. That's some graphic stuff right there, and I love how Klepp's recent BB really set us up to understand why he's suddenly going to such great lengths. I feel so gross just thinking about it though *shudder*

God Klepp is so fucking badass you guys, I can't even express how great he is. It's about time we saw him make use of all that shit he's been hoarding all this time.

I love how you both brought every character's previous stories into this comic, and furthered everyone's story into the next chapter. Everyone is different because of this event is a solid and tangible sense. I can't say piloting Deus was completely a surprise, but it was still fun to see it happen. I love this relationship between Luz and Kubo that is somewhere between parasitic and symbiotic in a way. I love how high the stakes were throughout, with everyone working towards their own personal goals. Chica ripping out Gray's heart just as Miller saved her from killing herself was a beautifully tragic moment, and gave her a powerful closure to her plotline in this comic. I'm not sure if I like how insecure/unstable Hunter seemed to be in this comic, although it makes sense that he'd be upset over Gray's obsession with Miller. I love that both comics used that relationship, but to very different ends.

I could go on in detail about every single plot point and it wouldn't be enough haha. I loved this whole thing, and would be hard pressed to point to any comic on VOID that's better. It really feels like everyone was able to bring out their characters' potential, and I hope you all had as much fun writing and drawing this comic as I did reading it! I know you all worked hard (probably too hard tbh), and you've earned all the positivity and HOPEFULLY SOME REST TIME.


Now everybody's gotta figure out how to deal with everything being different XD

Astrodile
Global Moderator
124 comments
# 17   Posted: Sep 15 2020, 12:55 PM
HI I WILL COPY/PASTE MY FEELINGS HERE LATER alot of this i already talked to py about, but im echoing here so that they dont get lost in the sauce

OK SO THIS IS FOR THE DEFENDERS SIDE SPECIFICALLY-- and let me preface this by saying that you all did a wonderful job. these visuals, these colors, these characters, are stellar. i enjoyed this comic through and through, and most of all-- im very proud of you all for doing as much as you did. good words, good vibes, this team dynamic when first elected was very curious because this team was about as ragtag as they get, but you all seriously made it work out and i cant be anymore happy about that.

in the spoilers, i focus on the writing for each character— and most of these i had already discussed with pyras as soon as i finished reading. i would love to hear the thoughts of the other teammates as well! I WILL BE UPDATING THIS AS I GO, I DONT TRUST MYSELF WIT BBCODE

Spoiler: "the general • show

In terms of characters with most importance, it felt like
1. Miller
2. Ma
3. Talon
4. Kubo
5. Klepp
6. Chica


Spoiler: "about chica...." • show
I was a bit bummed that while chica really got the happy ending she deserved, there was no actual closure given in regards to the trauma of torture. When it became a "the gangs all here!" Moment with the old docks coming in, i was hoping that shed have a moment with jowee, but there wasnt one. It makes me question why the old docks gang also just appeared so conveniently at chicas physical worst, but not mentally worst
Especially considering that the final moments of her torture, her motivations for being there, circulate around jowee and her deceased child. It felt like chica had some guilt there, and that guilt wasnt approached


Spoiler: "about klepp..." • show
No lie, i wish klepp had some more interactions with the group. He was, even with all the action done, just sorta...there, and there to be chicas antithesis in a way that didnt necessarily provide anymore depth to his character. Im surprised that in his sparing moments alone with his backpack, there was no dialogue from that backpack to reinforce that klepps descent to madness isnt singlehandedly performed by klepp himself.


Spoiler: "about kubo..." • show
FIRST OFF. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR FEATURING LUZ AS MUCH AS YOU DID-- IM SO FUCKING TOUCHED AND YOU LEGIT DIDNT HAVE TO BUT YOU DID AND I APPRECIATED IT VERY MUCH!!!
I think kubo was written out pretty well, hes clearly playing the role of hero here with how he conducts himself, but i guess it doesnt come without its questions.
The sequence of kubo dying- and his return- as visually dope as it was, in terms of writing doesnt carry its weight. The revival just sortaa happensss and kubos not shaken up about it one way or another. Not even the addition of a new collar is explained, or really touched upon besides "i dont need that old thing no more". All of the other characters received their falling out in one way or another, but kubos 'death' seemed seriously inconsequential. I couldnt even help but question how luz remained in his body when kubo let loose and lost himself in his sauce- there could have been potential in playing out their dynamic more dangerously/"im gonna try to take the reigns on this wild guy" on that part
NOTE: when i made this second paragraph and sent it to py, he pointed out how he figured kubos 'fall' to be when he had his falling out with chica. recognizing this, and recognizing who kubo is as a character, this crit may come down to pure bias on my part-- since kubos character clearly plays out as self-sacrificing, being self-introspective about how actions affect HIM probably doesnt make sense. he's a character who is only introspective when its for the sake of OTHERS, and that is very clear with his final interactions with chica. take that second paragraph as you will, but i can also entirely understand if you ignore it.


Spoiler: "about talon..." • show
Talon was great. I rlly aint got nothing to say about him. This arma comic got me hooked and charmed by his character more then ever, and i think its because talon pushes himself to action rather then remaining innactive until someone forces him to join along, as previous comics have shown. Im seriously in love with talons ending the most. Like if miller wasnt number 1, it wouldve been talon for me. I really enjoyed going through the pulls of arma with him being our emotional narrator, because hes more grounded to an emotional reality of "what do i do", his hesitance to his own ideas, then everyone else who is gung ho on what they should do.
Talons timidness and development on that throughout is fucking stellar, and his ending note is no loud proclamation too of how hes improved, it seems accurate to his character that his ending in arma would round out so satisfactorily quiet, but prepared and more determined then ever


Spoiler: "About ma...." • show
i have mixed feelings. What he did, his actions in act 1? Fantastic, loved it, even with knowing what would happen i thoroughly enjoyed the very early twist and what elements were preciously implied to its enactment. His role solidly seem to just be as an antithesis to miller, he didnt hold weight on his own when acting with others that arent miller. He also suffered from not really interacting with the rest of the cast more, so that the betrayal would feel more personal to the characters and the readers who are invested in the other characters. And his ending just sorta fell flat for me on that regard too, i think hes the one character to NOT have elements from his previous comics used at all in this comic. Klepps obsessive nature acclimated, luz and kubos relationship, talons death touch and the mention of his curse at the end, Miller being Miller, they all had elements within their archives used in some degree in this comic-- Ma is without any of that, which is why the ending for him fell flat for me since it just reads as more "oh buildup to things that may never be responded to," since alot of ma's previous comics depend on leadup to some big reveal that we as an audience have yet to be provided— and its been years.
Including cin at the end only makes me go "wait cin is his right hand woman, where the heck was she throughout this comic? Why is she only here Now?"


Spoiler: "About miller..." • show
to be added!



Energy
Artist
132 comments
# 16   Posted: Sep 15 2020, 09:35 AM
beautiful... simply beautiful...

Hellis
Artist
240 comments
# 15   Posted: Sep 15 2020, 08:47 AM
I am, floored. Both sides did an amazing job. I wont drop my vote and crits down just yet. This is honestly far to much content and nuance and detail to evaluate in a day. I'mma let this one stew. You guys are powerhouses, and each and everyone of you deserve a career doing this for a living, my god.

TheCydork
Artist
272 comments
# 14   Posted: Sep 15 2020, 07:21 AM
I MAY NOT COMMENT PROPERLY TILL LATER BC I AM IN BATTLE BUT I WILL READ NOW *eyes emoji* congrats everyone for getting through this!! You’re all amazing!

PyrasTerran
Global Moderator
1449 comments
# 13   Posted: Sep 15 2020, 12:24 AM
NOTE: Plz excuse if you see a confusion about how long Miller's been dead; it's been 3 years, and any other number you see is a typo

Shen
Artist
1320 comments
# 12   Posted: Sep 14 2020, 11:44 PM
There are some decisions we had to make based on time constraints and i hope yall understand we couldnt get all the way through everything we wanted and still finish with any measure of quality. nonetheless, thank you all very much for this opportunity, for liking our characters, for reading our story, for everything~

PyrasTerran
Global Moderator
1449 comments
# 11   Posted: Sep 14 2020, 09:54 PM
UPLOADED

We hope you enjoy this journey

yarnwitch
Artist
302 comments
# 10   Posted: Aug 14 2020, 05:08 PM
Well Heck and Eternal Darnation, This is gonna be quite the ride!

JCee
Artist
381 comments
# 9   Posted: Aug 3 2020, 10:53 PM
CAN'T WAIT CAN'T WAIT
THIS IS GONNA BE AWESOME

kubo
Artist
102 comments
# 8   Posted: Aug 3 2020, 10:40 PM
We need more Hell puns! Come on! Put more fuel on the fire!

Kozispoon
Global Moderator
1111 comments
# 7   Posted: Aug 3 2020, 10:30 PM
I still can't believe its here. I'M SO EXCITED FOR YOU GUYSSSS

Camel
Artist
97 comments
# 6   Posted: Aug 3 2020, 09:54 PM
THIS IS IT

OberGoat
Artist
45 comments
# 5   Posted: Aug 3 2020, 03:34 PM
Give 'em hell guys!

TheCydork
Artist
272 comments
# 4   Posted: Aug 3 2020, 02:24 PM
YES YES YES YES!!

Shen
Artist
1320 comments
# 3   Posted: Aug 3 2020, 11:32 AM
Good luck, defenders! ...you'll need it >=D

Stormcrow
Artist
68 comments
# 2   Posted: Aug 3 2020, 08:33 AM
IM SO READY

Good luck everyone! I'm beyond excited, here's to all of us coming through this sane and making something beautiful!

G0ttam
Artist
4 comments
# 1   Posted: Aug 3 2020, 08:28 AM
first

Comic Details -

 
Type: Armageddon
Drawing Time: 6 weeks
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