MAGELLAN by Grace Crowley
The GREAT LEAP FORWARD
Suggested for Mature Readers
Class of 2014 Above: Montana-Rose; Jemima; Fabian; Jenna; Louis; Hugh; Sioni; Anka; Chang; Mudge; Jesus; Chiq; Gregor; Gifford; Gabby; Rochelle; Nadine; Maya; Joe; Fatima; Billy; Charima; Lyta. Right: Kaycee Jones
MAGELLAN Part 2: The Great Leap Forward Webcomics are unusual beasts. Once their creator’s initial enthusiasm wanes, or the pressures of so-called “real life” divert their priorities, many webcomics “die” after a mere twenty pages or so. Not that independent, self-published comics don’t suffer a similar fate - it’s just that the internet makes the demise of the webcomic a bit more public, its “most current” page stuck at the one last updated many months, sometimes years, ago. So it was with great surprise that I managed to finish and upload the 60 pages of Magellan’s first chapter Wannabe. When I had previously attempted to self-publish, most of my comics never reached completion. The requirement to have a story finished before printing it was always a disincentive, whereas the immediacy of the online environment pushes me to work diligently to meet arbitrary self-imposed deadlines. Get the page finished, get it online and (hopefully) get some feedback from the people around the world who return on the nominated update day to read the next instalment. And so it goes, page after page, week after week, month after month until, miracle of miracles, the story is finished. Except, in the case of Wannabe, the story of Magellan wasn’t really finished, it was just getting started! Wannabe was all about setting the scene, looking at the characters and the institutions and history that comprised the broader Magellan universe. While I was, and remain, very happy with what Wannabe accomplished I admit it was a little light on the action one normally associates with the superhero genre. That changed with this second offering, The Great Leap Forward. Magellan had been online for a few months, updating twice a week, when I received an offer from editor T Campbell to join the line-up of Graphic Smash - a portal for “action webcomics”. To be asked was quite an honour. Although GraphicSmash.com is long since gone, it was, at the time, considered a bastion of webcomic quality. A big problem I perceived in being asked to join an action themed collective however was the general lack of action to be found in the pages of Magellan - and, while there was no editorial pressure to do so, I wrote Leap with an eye towards upping the quality and quota of the action. All of this
is a long winded way of saying that Magellan was profoundly shaped by the experiencing of joining Graphic Smash - and for that I am very grateful as it forced me to attempt writing tighter and stronger stories. The Great Leap Forward picks up not long after Wannabe leaves off; Kaycee Jones has now been at the Magellan Justice Academy for only a few weeks and her initial training has been going well. Mostly. This story focuses on an exercise known as The Gauntlet which is regarded as a baptism of fire for all new recruits and, having no powers, Kaycee is feeling a fair bit of pressure to prove herself to her fellow cadets and the assembled faculty, academic council, and assorted superheroes. In the meantime she needs to sort out personal relationships and cultural differences. It’s certainly an opportunity to delve further into some of the characters introduced in Wannabe. A number of other plotlines bubble along in the background, most noticeably the investigation into the stolen artefact which was started by Aussie superheroine Go!Anna in the previous storyline. If the variety and number of characters gets a bit overwhelming you are welcome to head over to magellanverse.com/cast which might help to set things straight (be warned, it may contain some spoilers). I’d like to thank T Campbell, Joey Manly and Reinder Dijkhuis for their support in helping me to take Magellan to this exciting new level. Please enjoy The Great Leap Forward! Grace Crowley May 2012
Magellan: The Great Leap Forward - first published May 2012 This edition (electronic) - September 2020 This comic contains pages of the webcomic Magellan originally serialised between January 1 2005 and January 13 2006 at magellanverse.com Concept, story, art and layout design: Grace Crowley Copyright: All material in this publication is copyright © 2004-2012 xmung/Grace Crowley. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission - except in the case of reprints in the context of reviews. More info: post: xmung, PO Box W73 Westfield, Parramatta NSW 2150, Australia email: firstname.lastname@example.org | web: magellanverse.com facebook: facebook.com/magellanverse | twitter: twitter.com/_xmung Nitty gritty: Names, characters, places, and incidents featured in this comic are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictionally. Any resemblance to actual persons (living, dead or superhuman), events, institutions, or locales without satiric intent, is coincidental. ii
This graphic was used as an “alternative cover” on GraphicSmash.com when the storyline shifted from the Academy to Go!Anna’s adventures. 68
Go!Anna: DAZE 69
Go!Anna: Daze Following her rather dramatic rescue by Epoch midway through the preceding chapter Go!Anna (aka Annie Summers) drops out of the story. This was mainly driven by pacing considerations - the cadets were about to begin their exercise and I wanted that roller-coaster ride to play out without any cutting between plot points. Also, in real time terms she wouldn’t have returned back to Sydney soon enough for this story to fit within the narrative. And so, here we have Daze - a short story that picks up Go!Anna’s investigations into the mystery of the artefact stolen near the start of Magellan: Wannabe. This story builds on a number of threads started over the previous two chapters. In particular, it develops not only Go!’s character but also her world and various relationships with the people in her life. We get to see some of the spark which must have once existed between her and Wombat-Man (aka Luke McDonald) in better days and also establishes a concept alluded to in the Magellan History piece found in Book 1 - namely the local Australian super team, Oz Magellan. For such a short story Daze manages to introduce a number of new characters from the nefarious Baxter Gang (who were responsible for putting Wombat-Man in his wheelchair... and whose semblance with a certain other fantastic foursome should be obvious), to Bugle the comic reading sewer dwelling mutant, Oz Magellan’s flying powerhouse Captain Victoria and the somewhat unpleasant Master Drake. Numerous other, more familiar faces make a return appearance including Zelda the psychic, detectives Bates and Arsino, and Brelvis among others. This story is set only a week or so after the conclusion of The Great Leap Forward and was originally serialised between August 27, 2005 and January 13, 2006. Events from Daze feed directly into the third Magellan book Bad Karma.
to be continued...!! 111
1 Volume 2: The Great Leap Forward
Volume 1: Wannabe
WORST FIELD TRIP EVER 4
3 Volume 3: Bad Karma
Volume 4: Worst Field Trip Ever
The story continues... MagellanVerse.com There are over four hundred more pages of Magellan stories available online!
Buying the Stairway Heaven
The Things That Matter
Redux: or, Whatever Happened to Gola Beh?
Hanging About: Kaycee Jones, Charisma Epoch and the Magellan statue. Some random art originally intended as a possible cover for Book 1 Wannabe. 114
What the interwebs & readers are saying about Magellan
When your classmates have kickass superpowers and you don’t, fitting in at Magellan Justice Academy isn’t going to be easy... just the kind of challenge Kaycee Jones is looking for!
“Magellan defies the conventions of traditional superhero-ism, and actually tries to make sense scientifically. Crowley has really worked things out in the background, and the characters are believably portrayed. Flawed. With quirks and habits. Human despite their inhumaness, you know?.” LonelyPanel.com
Where old, current and future heroes from around the world mix with creatures and aliens not of this world or dimension; where magic, science and the supernatural are all in a day’s study - the Academy is a legacy of the long dead superhero Magellan and all the cadets have massive expectations to live up to.
“AAAAH! It’s so exiting! I can’t wait to see what happens! Who’s going to win? Will Charisma get to Kaycee? And Fatima is awesome! I can’t wait to learn more about the characters, and see where this is all heading to. Plus Councilor Joffe seems to have some kind of dark secret!” Llyriel
The Great Leap Forward is the second in a series of Magellan stories. The Gauntlet is a baptism of fire for all first year cadets, but Kaycee is feeling extra pressure to prove herself and succeed. Meanwhile Australian superheroine Go!Anna is on the trail of a mysterious stolen artefact.
“I love ensemble pieces... I love seeing teammates grow together, learn together and get closer. Magellan gave me all of that. It’s a very rich world, with a ‘gathering of the new generation’ vibe going on and wonderful nods to the old heroes and a broader universe.” ofcolour.blogspot.com.au
Written and drawn by Australian cartoonist Grace Crowley and originally serialised online, Magellan has been delighting thousands of readers around the world since 2004.
“Magellan keeps reminding me, not of X-Men or Legion, but the great old Tom Corbett Space Cadet stories, and the Showcase series where Tommy Tomorrow was a cadet. (This is high praise, by the way. It means you’ve transcended your genre.).” Leo