By Rhiannon McCullough of Schwartz Krueuz. www.angeltowns2.com/members/schwarzkreuz/
By Mark Rudolph of City Yarns. www.cityyarns.com
The military life is all Maggie has ever known. Her father and four older brothers, all soldiers, were the main guiding factors in her upbringing; as a result, Maggie is a bit of a tom-boy. She is also an enthusiastic member of the Earth Protection Force. She enlisted as soon as she was old enough (and even lied about her age once to try to get in early). It is unclear whether or not Maggie is a great asset to the organization or a dangerous liability. Her “let me at ‘em” attitude leads her to occasionally disobey orders and put herself at unnecessary risk. She has been in and out of the brig ten times over since she graduated from the Tannu Island academy. There have been times, however, when her initiative has saved the lives of countless EPF soldiers. Thus she regularly gets promoted only to be demoted a few weeks later.
Maggie is currently assigned to the alien known as Silver. The reasoning behind this is, as one of the top brass said: “What, you wanna manage your two loosest cannons? Keep ‘em in the same place, always.”
Silver showed up shortly after the ﬁrst Cadre attack on Earth. Not much is known about him. He claims to be the sole survivor of Monoawari, a planet destroyed by the Cadre. He immediately enlisted in the EPF, which suited government ofﬁcials just ﬁne. The buck was then passed to the EPF commanders to keep an eye on him and evaluate his usefulness in the ﬁght against the Cadre. Silver’s skin is composed of a nearly indestructible alloy. It’s speculated that energy attacks (such as heat or radiation) could harm him, but this has yet to be proven. He can also create powerful force bolts from his right hand. On his left hand he wears what he describes as a “magic glove” that can summon warriors representing each of the chemical elements. Where these warriors come from is unknown at this time. There is a mixed reaction to Silver among the EPF personnel. He is still unfamiliar to Earth customs, and has his own esoteric sense of humor. This can either create friction amongst his comrades, or endear them to him.
Lao is a career soldier. His exemplary service in the EPF has earned him several promotions which he turned down every time. Lao feels his place is moulding troops into his vision of the perfect trooper. He is consumed with this vision of perfection and impatient with others’ lack of such. The severity of his training regimen has earned him the nickname “Lunch Meat Lao”; the older trainees frighten raw recruits with stories where Lao actually turned an uninspired cadet into lunch meat to be served in the mess hall. Though not known for his intuitive thinking, Lao is a valiant and courageous man. His loyalty and perseverence are an inspiration to those under his command. His commanding ofﬁcers are grateful that Lao won’t accept the promotions he deserves - they couldn’t ask for a more dedicated and uncompromising leader on the ground. If Lao tells his men to leap into a ﬁre, you know they’ll do it, either out of respect for him or fear of him.
Volcan is a graduate of one of those space-bartending schools advertised on late-night Telnet. He was drawn in by the promises of fabulous wealth, exotic job locations, and women, women, women. So you can imagine Volcan’s disappointment when he got his ﬁrst job at the interstellar crossroads world of J’gr, a barren world that served as a refueling station for cargo vessels. Bidding his space-bartending farewell, he signed on as the latest member of the Cadre Catastrophe. He knew his race’s native ability to cause volcanic eruptions would secure him a place in their organization, and with any luck, there might be some ladies in the group. Volcan is not remarkably intelligent, but neither is he stupid. If anything he is a study in mediocrity with some dramatic streaks of braggadocio. He is, in Lao’s words, “Like that high-school football star who never amounted to anything else. Absolutely no guts or character.”
SKETCHES SILVER AND THE PERIODIC FORCES IS BASED ON A COMIC JERZY DROZD WROTE IN THE 5TH GRADE. IN THOSE DAYS IT WAS CALLED “SILVER AND THE NATURAL RESOURCES.” THE OVERALL DESIGN OF SILVER AND THE BASIC CONCEPT WAS THE SAME AS THE COMIC YOU’RE NOW READING; SILVER SUMMONED ELEMENT WARRIORS WITH HIS MAGIC GLOVE TO FIGHT EVIL FORCES OUT TO DESTROY THE EARTH. WHEN DROZD AND TURNER TEAMED UP TO DEVELOP THE STORY INTO A NEW COMIC, THEY DECIDED TO APPROACH IT IN THE STYLE OF THE SATURDAY MORNING CARTOON. BOTH ARTISTS ARE FASCINATED BY THE WAY WRITERS WERE ABLE TO FIT SO MUCH ACTION AND CHARACTERIZATION INTO SUCH A SMALL TIME SLOT WEEK AFTER WEEK.
GOGOL WENT THROUGH SEVERAL DESIGN CHANGES BEFORE TURNER CAME UP WITH THE FINAL ONE TO THE LEFT. IT WAS DECIDED THAT MAGGIE NEEDED A CUTE BUT USEFUL SIDEKICK. GOGOL “SCANS” DATA ABOUT THE WORLD AROUND HIM THROUGH SENSORS ON HIS LEGS. HE ACTS AS A KIND OF PALM COMPUTER FOR MAGGIE.
MAGGIE AND LAO ARE ALSO NEW CHARACTERS CREATED FOR SILVER AND THE PERIODIC FORCES. MAGGIE, THE EXUBERANT RULE-BREAKER, WOULD CONSTANTLY INFURIATE HER OLD TASK MASTER, LAO. BUT UNDERNEATH IT ALL, THEY GENUINELY CARE ABOUT EACH OTHER.
BIRGIL AND THE CADRE CATASTROHPE ARE BASED ON THE FAMILIAR IDEA OF THE VILLAINOUS ORGANIZATION SITTING AROUND A TABLE, EACH BRAGGING ABOUT HOW HE OR SHE IS THE BEST. ENTER THE LEADER, THE SCARIEST ONE OF THEM ALL, WHO HAS TO SILENCE THEM SO THEY CAN GET DOWN TO BUSINESS.
WILL THERE BE MORE EPISODES OF SILVER AND THE PERIODIC FORCES? YOU BET--AND YOU CAN READ THEM AT MLATCOMICS.COM. THEY’LL BE RELEASED IN PRINT AS THEY’RE FINISHED.
IF YOU LIKED SILVER AND THE PERIODIC FORCES, YOU’LL LOVE THESE OTHER COMICS! CHECK THEM OUT AT WWW.MLATCOMICS.COM!
© JERZY DROZD, 2005