Sydney leveraging possibly one of the most common tropes in sci-fi and fantasy writing – If the hero doesn’t know who one or more of their parents are, it’s bound to be a plot device. Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Luke Skywalker, Peter Quill, Raven (of Azarath), Jupiter… Ascending… I could google her last name but I don’t care and you guys know who I’m talking about.

The usual exception to this rule is Disney movies. Not Pixar or Marvel ones, Disney Princess movies. Belle, Ariel, Jasmine, and Pocahontas all have dead mothers, Cinderella and Snow White are orphans (so are the Frozen sisters, but they knew their parents). Tiana (of the Princess and the Frog) has a dead dad, but he lived long enough for her to know him. The rest have both parents living but that’s a weird track record for a company that makes family movies. I know most of those movies are based on fairy tales so you can kind of blame the source material but it’s not like they don’t make changes to the stories and characters, so maybe Walt had a boner for dead moms.

This page was supposed to start with a panel of Sydney and the recruits looking down from the cheap seats at Max, Arianna and Zeph on stage wondering what was taking so long and then Harem tells her that “hurry up and wait” is the real motto of the military, but there wasn’t space so just imagine that exchange happened as a way of subtlety poking fun at my own pacing.

This was an interesting page to draw in that it has nearly every major member of the the team that’s been introduced so far, Arc-SWAT, LIGHT, and SPARQ, and a few that haven’t. The notable exception being the General, who I guess is in DC today.

I tried googling Xtapolapocetl, as well as Ixtapalapacetl, Xtapolapacoatl and some other variants, and I came across one of those situations where google utterly fails, which is I found a jillion twitter, facebook and other social media references to the names, but nearly nothing substantial that wasn’t just a reference to the Simpsons episode where it first entered the public consciousness. One search gave me a spartan reference to a Mayan god, but I couldn’t tell if the article was retrofitting the Simpsons reference into an existing pantheon, so while it may be relatively trivial for someone to dig up some real information about the guy, I’m going with the idea that Varia is in the same boat as me, which is the 10 minutes she spent googling it were inconclusive. (If you’re unfamiliar with the reference, here’s a wiki link. I admit it’s kind of obscure considering it was in the episode for all of 20 seconds, plus a few “hey this thing is still in the basement” cameos in a half dozen other episodes, but for some reason I still remember the name 20 years later.)

Here’s the link to the new comments highlighter for chrome, and the GitHub link which you can use to install on FireFox via Greasemonkey.