Stolen Pixels #198:
Breen Fortress, Part 4

By Shamus
on May 28, 2010
Filed under:
Column

In which I make good on my promise that this time… SOMEONE WILL DIE!!!!

No retcons. No time travel. No plot reset. No finding out it was all a dream. I’m not one of those wuss writers that will kill and revive later after a fan outcry. In my story, death is permanent.

Slight spoiler below:

An alternate joke I was toying with was to have Metro die, and then another Metro immediately walk on screen to carry the previous one away, thus introducing the idea that (as in the game) there is always an infinite number of identical Metrocops standing just off-screen, waiting for their moment to walk in and die. But I was worried that would upset the power balance between Breen and Metro. It would lead to jokes where Breen just kills Metro at will, but that would make Metro a bit too much of a victim. It could be done, but it would be a lot harder than what I did here, which was a pretty standard fake-out threat like comics have been using for decades. This felt a little more “right”.

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From the Archives:

  1. somebodys_kid says:

    I must say, the After Curfew comics are my favorite recurring cast of characters. Keep up the good work.

  2. Galad says:

    “I’m not one of those wuss writers that will kill and revive later after a fan outcry”

    To be fair, it’s hard to have a fan base over a side crew that has featured a total of one panel out of nearly 200 comics :D

    • monkeyboy says:

      What! I’m a total fan of Unit 4267-P and the after-curfew band! Why I even have Entertainment Sequence j57-2 as my ringtone.

      Someone has dismissed something I like on the internet…it is time to unleash hell. Galad, in my next 4267-P fan fic you will be a stupid person who dies stupidly, while the band laughs at you for being stupid.

      As an aside, the link goes to the comments page and not the comic.

  3. Factoid says:

    I had a pretty good sense that neither Metro nor Breen would die, but I was sort of expecting that the TF2 announcer lady might kick it. Nice left turn with exploding the band.

  4. Deoxy says:

    I don’t know – “OMG, they killed Kenny” is pretty funny, despite being done every episode. Metro dying regularly could have been pretty funny, too, if done right.

    ESPECIALLY in light of the way video games have an infinite number of identical copies of disposable mooks.

    But it probably would a bit more difficult to get right, and it would have been a bit of a change to your style.

  5. Tizzy says:

    Devious and (to me) unexpected. Well played, Sir.

  6. SteveDJ says:

    I’m not familiar with the game(s) this is based on, but I’m still loving the series! …and love the side comment about “…the 1 frame we shared together…”

    P.S. Your link is wrong – taking you to the forum, not the strip itself. :-)

  7. Pickly says:

    Well played, sir, well played. :)

    I hadn’t remembered that there even was a band shown in a comic.

  8. Jarenth says:

    Shamus, you are truly a man of your word.

  9. Felblood says:

    Honestly, I really expected it to be metro.

    Isn’t the whole point in faceless goons that you can kill them off any time, because they’re replaceable?

    So instead, you killed off a bunch of different faceless goons, so I guess you get double points for doing the joke I expected in a way I totally failed to see coming, and two others besides.

  10. Sheer_Falacy says:

    I actually figured it’d be the audience.

  11. rayen says:

    kinda expected the annoucer to die. I wan’t sure how but thats what i expected. Anyway since she’s in the control room make her the crazy director person that the late night shows always have. conan had the always way to big smile guy. jay had the… uhhhh… some…one… yeah go with that.

    also suggestion no credit to me maybe you’ve already thought of it. new band = GlaDOS. we aleady know she’s a great singer.

  12. Maldeus says:

    I was expecting the strip to go to the penultimate panel with Breen and Metro having decided not to kill one another. Then, in the final panel, we’d cut away to the RED sniper killing the BLU medic, or something.

  13. Gndwyn says:

    I love how killing the band is really only funny because you promised NEXT ISSUE SOMEONE DIES! Nice metajoke. (Although the bit about the gun being the bomb was also amusing. My favorite joke in the whole sequence is how the huge crate just had one little gun in it.)

    • Deoxy says:

      My favorite joke in the whole sequence is how the huge crate just had one little gun in it.

      Same. That was both hilarious and a great little dig at games (almost all of them, really).

  14. Blackbird71 says:

    Nice surprise twist, Shamus… my money was on a faceless camera man biting the dust, but the band? Now that’s edgy and unexpected!

  15. Neil Gaiman did a pretty good “Keep killing someone” thing with Cain and Abel in Sandman.

    Metro’s pretty smart. Sorta.

  16. Greg from St Paul says:

    We should have a contest to name the new band. I suggest Duncan Idaho.

  17. Volatar says:

    The link to the comic is actually to the escapist forum thread on the comic by the way Shamus.

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