From the previous page:
Then came the writing part. I was particularly proud of the serious foundations I had laid down. Lets just say I worked really hard on the copy.
Above you see one version of the text, faxed to Kevin West for his perusal, and also one faxed to Mike Gallagher so that he can see all the work I was so proud of . . .
Remember that this was 1994. This is before the Marvel Comics editors and creators were connected by e-mail and before comic book publishing went digital. Type had to be printed out and pasted on to the board. My wife Arlene and I had been running out our own type for the Punisher Armory for a couple of years and we also output and pasted down the type for the Icarus call outs. But we didn't have the equipment to clearly print out the small type the copy text required. So I printed out the copy for Marvel Comics editor Craig Anderson to show the Bullpen and I copied the text on to a diskette so that some poor devil of a typesetter wouldn't have to re-key the whole thing. With a smile on my lips and a song in my heart, I traveled in to Marvel to deliver the art and copy.
Craig and Lyn (Marvel Comics Assistant Editor, Lynair Brust), accepted my pages with the reverent silence they deserved. Craig looked on with either that face that says, your words are golden to me, man or a prolonged Duuuuuuuuuhhhhhh . . . We all agreed that the Bullpen would output the high-resolution type and paste it down to the board. Then I gave that stolid, chipper little smile that says, I just handed in a job well done. Yep. I skipped down the hall, almost singing. The high is that intense; yes.
Three months later, I saw the printed book and it looked like this:
I thought, Finally comic book madness has claimed me. I look but I do not see. Where is my super special hard-work text? Of course its there, I must have just developed hysterical blindness is all . . . How could this have happened?
When I next got into the office and asked what had happened, Craig gave me one of those, Gosh I tried, looks and flapped his hands in a helpless fashion. Something about not being able to find the copy or having the time to do it (I was on time for a change). Something else about how these things will happen in a monthly. Craig then gave me what was intended to be an, Aw, shucks, sort of half-smile. The sort of self-forgiving smile one sees on politicians and car dealers. I sputtered but mostly recall backing out of the room. I crawled off in a daze; its for times like that that I wish I were a drinking man. I would have crawled into a bottle.
With the usual helplessness that any freelancer lives under, I could only suggest a fix and faxed this in:
But this too, no doubt, slid off the teetering pile of offal on Craigs desk and joined the fetid, greasy pile of junk on the floor . . . Many years later, the sting is still fresh. The disappointment still sharp.
For now, I can only right this wrong by running the text that should have appeared all those years ago. Here then, are the specifications and descriptions of The Guardians of the Galaxys universe-spanning ship, Icarus!
Icarus, the Icarus Class space-going vessel, is a highly advanced universe exploration and development craft, wholly owned and operated by the Guardians of the Galaxy. Icarus was designed to generate good will towards the Earth among the far reaches of the universe by being equipped with vast and extensive capabilities that can respond to any exigency, good or bad; dire or joyous.
Armament: Numerous offensive capabilities, including: megajoule- range electron pulse canon main gun; lasing anti-proton beam array forward battery; steerable positron beam gun forward battery; pop-up fusion canon forward battery; various ship-to-ship and ship- to-planet torpedoes, missiles and bombs. [Note; conventional systems are infinitely re-configurable via molecular reconstitutor device.] Defensive capabilities include a self-sealing hull which is made of molecularly-aligned carbon-60 with interfaced energy conductors for re-directing incoming energies including weapons fire; projecting force fields, primarily designed for detritus deflection during flight, is a combination of pulsed gravito-electromagnetic fields which are shaped into patterns that push objects as well as directed energy beams (weapons) aside.
Powerplant: Icarus is powered by a confined singularity (collapsed black hole) which is made to orbit around a synthetic plasma bubble. 9.8 x lO15 joules are available; energy is drawn off and conditioned as needed. Secondary, tertiary and emergency power supplies are fission, astable graviton and solar, respectively.
Propulsion Systems: Icarus is equipped with several modes of motility. The primary interstellar-galactic system is a space/time disorientation device which changes the nature of the vacuum continuum directly ahead of the vessel allowing the ship to pass through higher levels of Reimannian Space. This results in near instantaneous transportation from point to point — with limits imposed by gravity well proximity. In-solar-system, sub-light speed motility is accomplished via pulsed graviton wave drives and fusion engines; 15g acceleration is possible.
Capabilities: Icarus makes use of 31st Century all-energy technology, while still using traditional equipment and technologies. This is to bring familiarity to visiting species who might be technologically challenged. All-energy technology allows for the storage of any object in digital form and reconstitute via the molecular reconstitutor device which can manipulate individual atoms. This atomic-resolution manipulation allows for reconfiguration of the ships structure as well.