Docula is not shitting you. If you crack wise during his monologue he will pop your peeper.
This page, one of the final pages of Pitch Black Day was the cause of an interesting fight. I wanted Doc to spout off personal stuff about Joe, hinting at his origin. When I originally wrote the scene I wanted Doc to say stuff that would be deemed “unforgivable” and I thought that dropping a hint at Joe’s mysterious past was a way into that. Matt and Dan thought otherwise though, and for a good reason. There is so much going on already in Pitch Black Day, that throwing in something that we couldn’t possibly get to for what amounts to maybe years isn’t the right thing to do at the end of a story that (We think) has a very satisfying ending. Its true, in all of our previous stories we’ve left a trail a breadcrumbs to our larger universe, but ultimately it was decided to do that in a different way at the end of this story. You’ll see.
The split between larger universe and single story is one that cuts deep between the writing team. I always, every time will side with building up the larger universe while Matt and for the most part Dan will side with the importance of keeping a tight single story. Up until this point we’ve focused almost entirely on the story we’re telling, and only in the very final moments (the part in Beaufort where the Captain wonders if THEY detected the particle signature, or the part in Cajun Caper where we learn that the Captain fought for the South) did we give any thought to the bigger picture. I find this frustrating, especially since we tell our stories at such a glacial pace.
Pitch Black Day represents a couple things. It is a darkening of the tone of the DAREDEVILS (not that it can’t undarken later), and it is a transition from the single stories to the larger universe. The things that will take place and that have already taken place in this story will forever affect every story that comes after it. There will be things you read in future episodes that will (hopefully) make you flip back to Pitch Black Day and say “Whoa, they had this all planned out.” We do. For the most part.
Speaking about this large universe is something I want to do so badly, but it just isn’t time yet. Instead I’ll talk about the larger universe we created within the Pitch Black Day story itself.
Talk about going big, right? There are so many large and small things in this story that add to the big picture. For instance – SISX was created as a way of getting Abigail aboard the sub. We knew she was British, so we needed her to be a part of their system of doing things. She is our James Bond fill-in, so it made sense to make the part of the system she is a part of the same as James Bond. If you were wondering, yes, making her a part of MI10 (X) instead of MI6 was our little nod to the X Files. After we discovered that Dracula was our big bad, we went on to include the Dracula prose as a way of expanding the universe by co-opting a preestablished one. Now everything that happened in that story also happened in ours, and we were able to expand that and bring in the Holmwood saga.
To add depth to the universe we had created so far, we gave life to and took life from Abigail’s adopted mom (after we did the same to her real mom). This was one of the best parts of the backmatter for me. Spending thoughtful time humanizing her was rewarding as a storyteller. Inventing a person from thin air and getting someone to give a shit about them is a pretty cool feeling.
Here at the end of the story, we’re going to back to our breadcrumb tricks (you’ll see), but we have a couple new tricks up our sleeve as well. NEXT WEEK we find out the source of the agonized scream, and we settle a lot of things in the same graceful gesture. There are only a few more pages left DAREDEVILERS, and they all count. Also there is an Epilogue.
That’s the Lunch for 5/25
To the Future,