Reign of the Rocketmen

We jump right into the action this month.

The show opens with Mr. Cullen, the owner of a large collection of gemstones, talking to Mr. Knox, an auctioneer, about their upcoming sale.  Cullen foreshadowingly plans to invest the proceeds into aeronautics.

Suddenly, Rocketmen attack! The head Rocketman, Lyle Fawcett, threatens the two men with a P3X Neutralizer gun — a weapon that incapacitates, but does not kill, by setting off all the body’s pain sensors at once.  The Rocketmen steal the gems.

Over at the Chronicle, owner August Fenwick greets editor Tim Pearly, as Pearly is yelling for Kit Baxter-Fenwick, his ace reporter and Fenwick’s wife.  Gus has brought Kit lunch.  Pearly wants Kit to investigate the Rocketman story, since every other paper has the same information the Chronicle does, and he wants more, an exclusive. Gus’s labs at Fenwick Industries have taken over the Doc Rocket research, since Wentworth James, the Doc’s alter ego and Gus’s old friend, is busy with the war effort. As a result, Gus happens to have schematics of rocketpacks in his labs. The Fenwicks exchange some tit for tat — expertise for the paper’s evening edition, and eyewitness accounts to  help the scientists.

Fawcett talks to a Mr. Buckley their plans. Fawcett is getting greedy. Buckley wants to lay low like they had originally planned.  This out to foreshadow the episode’s conclusion nicely.

English: red panda

English: red panda (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Flying Squirrel walks in on The Red Panda working on the Red Knights. The robots talk back, a habit they picked up from Squirrel. Squirrel is annoyed that Panda is too busy working on Knights to stop a Rocketmen swarm. Panda notes that the past robberies were complex and precise, but this one was a bank — well done but not as sophisticated as usual, which means they are getting cocky, and thus predictable. Panda reverse-engineered the rocket packs, and combined with Doc Rocket’s tech, he made himself and Squirrel some rocket packs. Squirrel is overjoyed — hers has a missile. Romance isn’t dead.

Commercial break means bathroom and tea break. While I refresh, Greg Taylor promotes Red Panda Adventures Comics,  the Mask of the Red Panda trade and Night of the Red Panda serial.*

Back to the show. Fawcett and his Rocketmen enter their next crime scene, looking for a large emerald.  Buckley discovers that emerald is a baseball, painted up green and sparkly to serve as bait. Buckley is the smart one, isn’t he?  As Fawcett rants, Red Panda makes his entrance. Fawcett tries to zap panda with the P3X, but he instead shoots the hallucinations that Panda likes to emit at villains.  Panda reveals that what he knows about Fawcett: he was a contractor for the U.S. Defense Department. The government rejected his designs for being too impractical.

The Red Knights file in, and the Rocketmen take off. Squirrel and the Knights follow the Rocketmen while Panda goes for Fawcett. The flying squirrel does love her flying, and she doesn’t mind leading the bots, either. She attacks and captures Buckley.

Red Panda finds Fawcett and taunts him a little. Fawcett cares more about proving that his designs work than about the actual loot. Panda points out that, in general, guns are effective because of the fear of death, not the fear of pain. Fawcett shoots panda. Panda fights it off the effects, then takes out Fawcett.

As he packages the villain for trial, Panda advises Fawcett to use his gifts for the peace effort, but Fawcett vows revenge.

Tune in next time!

*As usual, I don’t make anything from these links, although I’d be willing to! I’ll let you know if that changes.


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The Conquering Hero

Before we get to this month’s Red Panda Adventure, Greg Taylor wants us to know that Mask of the Red Panda is now in stores.

English: red panda

English: red panda (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We open with Kit interviewing Andy Parker for the Chronicle, and I’m happy because that means Parker (and hopefully his Rangers) made it home safe from the war. Parker is unhappy because he was rotated home to sell bonds, while men are still on the front risking their lives. When Kit reveals that she’s married to Gus, Parker is shocked but willing to help; when he calls her “Mrs. August Fenwick,” she calls that “a little proprietary for my taste” and I grin and give her a mental high-five. Hyphenated wives unite!

Kit asks Parker if he knows anything about Harry Kelly. I think we all hold our breath for a moment. We know he’s alive! In the Netherlands, and writing his mother! What a relief. And it sounds like maybe Parker knows something.

Red Panda and a few Red Knights meet Parker at night. After dismissing (and then explaining) the Knights, Red Panda and Parker discuss the state of the Agents and whether Parker is re-joining (probably!). And then Parker reveals that Harry’s letters home place him Parker’s own unit — where he most definitely was not!

Add to that a distress call from Mac Tully — who wouldn’t send one out unless the situation were dire — and it looks like the Red Panda is heading back to Europe!

Well, the action is, anyway, as we go to a unit at war talking about a Nazi Plasma Cannon. And here come the Red Panda and the Flying Squirrel!

We break for a commercial for Night of the Red Panda, the upcoming Red Panda comic arc.

Tully, along with Tank Brody, welcomes Panda and Squirrel to the unit, and apologizes for his distress call. He reviews the info from Harry’s letters and confirms that it’s probably fake — if it was real, it would never have made it past the censors. Mac and Tank expect that, given Harry’s background, he’s probably a spy. But in the short terms, Panda and Squirrel are going to help Mac and Tank take out the Nazi ray guns!

But the headquarters is surrounded by magic, because of course it is. The team find a door, Flying Squirrel takes out the guard, and away they go.

The team explores the building, wondering how such a desolate, isolated place could access enough power to operate the weapons, when they stumble upon a shockingly stable rift between their universe and one of pure energy. Magic, science, and alien tech, all in one!

And there’s a broadcast power array, sending the energy to wherever the Nazis need it. As confirmed by a Nazi scientist who confronts Our Heroes.  Red Panda reveals that he broke the great machine, at which point the scientist panics and runs, as do our team.

…And we still don’t know where Harry Kelly is.

Tune in next time!

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