Wait, what happened to issues 3-7? Sadly, they are lost to the sands of time. I lost them back in the mid 90's, and never got around to updating and replacing them like I did with issue #1. I couldn't tell you what transpired within them; I may have formally introduced my brothers to the Morff, although I doubt I actually did. They probably were nonsense, like what you're about to read. If the next few issues are any indication, it's probably for the best that the missing volumes are gone. Prepare yourself for the darkest chapter of SITM artistically...
I'm sorry. I really am. I don't want to look at this either. Yes, for several of the earliest issues, I scribbled on lined notebook paper. So begins the 'notebook paper, pencil, and crayon' period of SITM. In case you have trouble seeing it, that is the 'Seth symbol' in bubble-form. See the light shine mark? That means it's a bubble.
|Double-sided for Her Pleasure|
Are you ready for Bubble Trouble?
We begin in medias res, with Seth dodging(?) away from a new adversary of some kind. I really hope I keep the splash pages to a minimum.
"Wow! Your wierd!" (sic) says Seth in surprise and alarm. The bubble-entity helpfully replies with a reminder that he is not solid. We're off to a great start with 2 spelling/grammatical errors.
And yes, the double-sided specter haunts these issues as well, truly making the notebook paper era the nadir of these comics by a large margin.
Bubble Man goes into a villainous monologue, apropos of nothing. I respond with sarcasm, apparently breaking the 4th wall. You have to understand that this was the 90's, and attitude (or 'tude) was mandatory in a protagonist. I had probably only recently discovered sarcasm myself, and gleefully inserted it where I believed it was appropriate. A snide remark to the audience disparaging my bubble-foe seemed apt.
The origin of Bubble Man is an example of double-plagiarism. Not only is Bubble Man a boss from Mega Man 2, but the design of *my* Bubble Man was ripped off from the Sega Genesis game Vectorman, of which I was a huge fan. Composing a character out of spheres was easy to draw, and I thought it looked 'hella dope.' Thus Bubble Man emerged from my half-original imagination.
The video game Vectorman came out in 1995, which makes this issue of SITM at least that old. I didn't own Vectorman until some time after that, but I do recall renting it from a video store. The nostalgia is so rich and thick, I could spread it on a cronut.
|Action! Danger! Bubbles!|
Instead of fighting Bubble Man, I decide to leave for some reason. I run toward the exit, which appears to be a pair of glass doors. I guess I was fighting Bubble Man in a department store or something. However, Bubble Man fires a green bubble from his hand, which traps me inside. Oh no!
I can't be certain, but the mechanics of this 'entrapment bubble' remind me of the Martian ray gun from the Sega Genesis game Zombies Ate My Neighbors. Starting to see a pattern? Basically, I would play a video game on my Genesis, fall in love with it, and inevitably ape it in my crappy comic books. Mimicry is the sincerest form of flattery, or so I've been told.
Trapped inside the bubble, I produce a... thing. This somehow turns my body into clay, which prompts an awful pun. "It's clay time" indeed.
The little remote-control thing pops up several times throughout SITM. I'm not sure where it came from, or if I ever bothered to explain its origin. It's a remote control that can transform the composition of my body. In this instance, it turns me into clay. I may or may not have stolen this from the Batman cartoon villain Clayface. God damn he was horrifying.
Dat transform sequence though!
Using my clay... powers, I turn my arm into a sharp point and pop my bubble prison. Bubble Man's bubble is 'poped.' (sic)
I like to imagine the Pope reading this and his hat flies off his head in outrage.
The lined paper and previous page bleed through make this page hard to make out. Using my clay needle-arm, I pop Bubble Man's legs (and feet). Bubble Man is understandably upset by this.
His vague plans foiled, Bubble Man bounces upwards, breaking through the ceiling and shouting that he'll be back. I end the issue by repeating the same lame pun I made two pages earlier, with the same spelling mistake, no less.
I'm puzzled by Bubble Man. Despite his threat, he never does return. Even though he's made out of bubbles, he can smash through the roof of wherever I was fighting him by the power of his bouncing upper torso alone. Despite this seeming resiliency, I was still able to amputate him with a clay needle arm.
Did Bubble Man work for Dark One? Or was he seeking world conquest on his own? How exactly was I interfering with his plans? It seems I had just stumbled into him at a Macy's or something. Remember, I'm fighting to save the UNIVERSE, so Bubble Man might have been an avatar of Yog-Sothoth or something.
There. That's canon now. Bubble Man = The Lurker at the Threshold. Half-Life 3 CONFIRMED.