"Power Without Knowledge...": President Haig and the Era of Bad Feelings

Just for fun: What's a better name for the Gestaltgeist iteration of the Cosmintern?

  • Cosmicist Interstellar (Cosminstel)

  • Cosmicist Intersidereal (Cosminside)

  • Keep it the same! They're still nations even if they're on another planet!

Results are only viewable after voting.
Media Matters: Plus Ultra
The release of the X-Men '97 trailer inspired me to do this little number 😂

While the 1985 Marvel acquisition of DC was relatively clean from a business standpoint, a simple buyout followed by a rebrand, actually reconciling the properties involved would prove a more daunting task. Even having the Crisis on Infinite Earths and Secret Wars events lead into the 1986 Amalgam event and then decohere into separate characters operating in a single world, getting everyone where they needed to be, so to speak, there was still the matter of reconciling two vast and often convoluted settings and character stables. Aside from fan and writer jurisdictional questions about SHIELD, the Avengers and the Justice League, there was also the particular standout that Mongul was inspired by Thanos who was in turn inspired by Darkseid, with all three now coexisting!

Several Ultra writers would spend the following decade attempting to stitch everything together, but it was the streamlining of this drawn out process through the Ultra Animated Universe that would really help stick the landing during Ultra Comics' brief time as the hyperpower of the comics world, introducing the new canon in a digestible way to new generations of potential readers. Running for over a decade, the UAU consisted of a series of animated shows linked through crossovers and overarching plot elements. In release order, they were:
  • Batman: The Animated Series (1992-95)
  • X-Men: The Animated Series (1992-97)
  • Spider-Man: The Animated Series (1994-1999)
  • Superman: The Animated Series (1997-2000)
  • Ultra 2099 (1999-2000)
  • Static Shock (2000-04)
  • Justice League (2001-03)
  • Avengers Assemble (2004-05)
By tying DC's Project Cadmus to Mister Sinister, Ultra writers and the UAU were able to gradually create a throughline for the universe*, linking the experiments to create Superboy and Galatea** to the Clone Saga unfolding concurrently in the Spider-Man properties and tying the group to the experiments or "accidents" that empowered Captain America and Static among others*** and responsible for the adamantium bonded to Wolverine's bones. Seemingly unconnected events in the earlier animated series were gradually revealed to relate to Cadmus in a years-long mytharc, culminating in a sort of "twilight of the superheroes" bringing the disparate plot threads together in Avengers Assemble.

The UAU would also introduce the definitive Teen Titans roster for the Millennial generation, made up of power couple Superboy and Jubilee along with Static, Iron Lad, Robin and Starfire, with Spider-Man acting as a mentor to the younger generation. The team would prove the centerpiece of a reboot of the setting in the form of the 2010 Teen Titans series, sharing the expansive world of the Ultra Comics universe with a new generation of fans and priming the pump for a long-delayed live-action Ultra Cinematic Universe to reboot all the one and done films of the preceding two decades and better compete with the Image box office behemoth on the silver screen.

*Basically take Weapon Plus on steroids and have Sinister as the man behind the man.

**Yes I'm keeping both, Galatea was cool. Also Superboy's telekinesis is the result of adding an X-gene, so he's a Kryptonian-mutant hybrid clone. Since Sinister sampled it from Jean Grey he fills the role of Nate Grey in the broader Ultra universe, more or less, though he's ironically not nearly so OP.

***I despise recent Sinister clone Doctor Stasis, but the backstory that he's at least indirectly related to Weapon Plus, the gamma experiments that made the Hulk and the spider that bit Peter Parker is functionally transferred to Sinister here. All told Cadmus has a hand in a lot of hero and villain origin stories.
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And yes, of course the Summers family tree is as convoluted as usual, aside from Cable and Rachel running around in the present (on-and-off in Cable's case) Ruby's there too, so the "step-children" have plenty to bond over 😂 There's also an analogue to Hyperstorm with a bit of Hope Summers mixed in, though instead of the future maybe-baby of Rachel and Franklin Richards she's Conner and Jubilee's. Unlike her dad she is actually OP, with full Kryptonian powers, much stronger mind reading, full telekinesis and the ability to generate nuclear explosions even when she's not a Phoenix host. Also aside from the standout example of Cadmus there's some other canon welding, with Hydra an outgrowth of the League of Shadows (itself descended from Clan Akkaba) and the New Gods exist outside of the main universe but come about in the future after an apocalyptic war on Asgard as Kirby originally intended.
Something that just occurred to me: given the state of the modern world and the fact that the ARC has generational constitutional conventions where every member of the continental government is present I'll definitely have to include language in my Basic Law about the contingency of a decapitation strike, though Karnak is so well fortified and the event itself so meticulously screened it would probably take something like a direct high yield nuclear strike or a rod from god to take everybody out at once 🤔
Had some recent thoughts about the development of ecological fiction and its influence on and crosspollination-with Regressive thought so that one will likely be next! In the meantime any setting questions? Work has been busy but I'll try to update soon.
Homo ludens
Have a random thing that struck my fancy!

Have an "ethnicity" (technically a clade) for the Separate Spheres media franchise in my Power Without Knowledge TL. Despite the fact that it's fiction in-universe it's still aspirational, so there are political/social factions actually trying to manifest it into lived reality, hence why I'm counting it as relevant here.

Name: Homo ludens (scientific), "humanity" (colloquial)
Language: Gestaltisch (lingua franca), High Human (administrative)*, too various to count
Religion: Too various to count.
Ancestry: Homo sapiens sapiens (primary), various posthuman hominids, various near human hominids (genetically reconstructed), cetaceans, primates, cephalopods, avians, non-terragen species, other.
History: In accordance with the historical process of Geist first outlined in The Cosmicist Manifesto, "old" humanity (Homo sapiens sapiens) began spreading beyond the bonds of the cradle world as the Cosmicist International transitioned from the Zeitgeist revolutionary stage to the Weltgeist stage of global government and nearspace colonization. The transition to the Gestaltgeist stage came with the technical achievement of the first of the generation ships and the social transformation into the Grand Nation of the Human Gestalt**. The discovery of FTL travel eventually enabled the true realization of the GNHG through the reconnection of colonies, an expansion of the terraforming frontier, and the eventual uplift and incorporation of truly alien species.

*Gestaltich is the eventual culmination of Antarctic Standard English attempting to absorb rules and loanwords from an interstellar diaspora (and several species without conventional vocal cords). Needless to say it's an obscene mess for any normal diaspora citizen to try and learn but to move up the ranks they manage somehow. High Human is a variant of Ithkuil used either by the posthuman enforcers of the GNHG or by the historians or monument builders recording human history for future aliens to appreciate post-collapse.

**Take the Cosmicist International of my TL and add a layer, with each fully incorporated solar system selecting a representative council that (combined with the others) forms the main legislative body of the GNHG (enabled by some form of FTL communication and under the guidance of an AI actively shaped by the human communications infrastructure). The symbol of the GNHG is a sigil with the N and H combined and one of the G's rotated to create an overall rotated symmetry, all contained within a Struggle symbol.

More language facts: Gestaltisch (and to a lesser extent High Human) is actually one of the end goals of the Maximalist Fraction, expanding on the relatively limited Xenofemenist Fraction's goals to add extra genders to ACE and the Novuteran Fraction's weird obsession with þ. Aside from having thirty-something letters and a veritable rainbow of grammatical genders, Gestaltisch in its ideal form would also have two distinct methods of writing: first would be a standard latin-derived phonetic alphabet and second a sigil-based logographic writing system fostered by the increased efficiency of inputting it aided by computer programs. The latter would be incredibly difficult to actually create but it's slightly streamlined by a standardized set of rules regarding how words are transformed into logograms, including not only limits on how letters can be reshaped and what positions they can have in the final design of a given word but also such standard practice as the uniform removal of vowels from the words in question before transition.
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I've had another flurry of general media fun facts, none of which are meaty enough for a full entry, so after I finally get a free moment for the ecological/regressive/mycological fiction post I'll do a general bullet-pointed one with my random asides, then I suppose it's only fair I do the 2016 election 😂
Just a little teaser to wet your beaks but for the longest time I couldn't figure out exactly how I wanted the middle action of 2016 to go— suffice to say I knew how it started and how it would end but some aspects of the actual election eluded me. I've been inspired by a recent reread of @ChangeofPace's delightful To Heaven but with a Political Party TL, so that should tell you something. Though we both know this version will end in a far less uplifting way 😉
Future posts checklist New
I'm threadmarking this one so I actually remember to do them all but I wanted to consolidate a few disparate lists of ideas for posts so I don't let any fall through the cracks:
  • The Regressive impact on ecofiction
  • Random oneshot media ideas
  • 2016 election
  • Martha Washington
  • Anton and Hob/satanic panic, I'll probably link this one to an homage to the style popular in the Cosmintern called Huxley and Blair
  • Ultima Antarctica Press/the evolution of the ARC publishing ecosystem from underground revolutionary publishers to established institutions
  • Something on the 2018 midterms and the start of the Shatter
  • More flags
  • Updated ARC/world maps
I'll update as new things occur to me since life has taken a downward turn and I can't be expected to remember every stray thought popping into my head in this troubling time 😅
Also forgot to mention that the SLP Alternate Antarcticas anthology is moving forward and my story was selected! I'm excited! While it won't be the thrust of the narrative a much more escalated version of the Falklands War is playing out in the background and my short story protagonist goes on to lay the foundations for Zoranism!
Give Me Liberty?
Yep, it'll fill the niche for the Watchmen series and that canceled Civil show they were going to put out in 2016 but got cold feet over. I made a thread ages ago about how it would be a good choice for a live action adaptation and decided to dust off the idea.
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