Menagerie Card Help

Figured I would split this into a separate thread from the Menagerie Art Thread for a pair of reasons:

  1. This topic sort of took over that thread.
  2. And this is about talking about it apart from the artwork itself.

Current issue I’m running into is that some of my flavor text is getting a bit long. As you can probably see from the two pictures below, any more than four lines in the flavor text box is a bit too tiny for easy reading.

So, I figured I would post some of the flavor text that is currently running over that length and see what folks think would help shorten that up. I am also open to completely changing the topic of the text, though I would hope that the picture still fits since I don’t want to have to do new artwork.

Some technicals. I’m seeing around 180 characters fit into four lines, give or take based on large words. Also, the quote boxes can be a combination of descriptive text and dialogue, written as prose. No “Concord: Saying stuff.” format like we have on the Incorrect Quotes thread.

Obviously some are bigger offenders than others, so a couple of the five liners might survive as is, but those six liners definitely need to go.

Anyway, here’s the ones that are giving me issues right now.

The Mighty Milestone
Eric had long felt like the Milestone management didn’t appreciate what he did for the team. He had been the Mighty Milestone, beloved mascot of the Halcyon Milestones for over a decade, but did they care? did they notice him? Well, after tonight, they wouldn’t be able not to notice him anymore. (298 char)

Buzz and Marsha
“Good evening Halcyon, it is Marsha-” “And Buzz!” “and We’ve got a barn burner tonight, as the Halcyon Milestones are set to take on the Emerald City Astronauts-” Marsha trailed off in her rundown of the game as she saw a figure wrapped in shadows walk out onto the court. (273 char)

Foul, Free Throw
“You-” Ghostheart started to say, but the head referee blew her whistle and drowned out the necromancer. “Who do-” {WHISTLE} “Who do you think-” {WHISTLE} “WHOdoyouthinkyouaretomockme!?” {WHISTLE} (200 char)

Ghost of Davis McDuffie
“Thank you for all your help, Mr. McDuffie,” Armiger said as the two shook hands. “No problem, kid,” McDuffie replied with a huge smile, “I’m just happy to know that folks still remember me even though I’m gone.” (212 char)

Looking Ugly Out There
“Ugly indeed, Buzz. We’ve got a pack of free-roaming specters heading towards the bleachers and it is a race to make it to the exits for our fans.” “Free-roaming specters? I didn’t know you knew so much about ghosts, Marsha.” “Well I didn’t Buzz, until I turned to tonight’s sponsors…” (287 char)

Play of the Game
“While I’ve never called a big supers fight like this before,” Buzz explained, "I feel like our hometown hero Mercury has this one in the bag. With reflexes like those, who could even touch the Halcyon’s Silver Son? (216 char)

Sprinkler System
Charade skidded for a moment before her feet finally slipped and she hit the floor. “Why would you do that?” Charade shouted. “I thought running water got rid of spirits!” Concord shouted back. “Conjurations,” Ghost Girl yelled. “We’ve been over the distinction.” (264 char)

Teamwork Breakdown
“Welcome back folks and if your just joining us, the Menagerie seem to have broken out into an argument following an accident involving the sprinkler systems. Buzz, what are your thoughts?” “Well Marsha, this team is going to have to get their heads into the game if they want to walk away with the W tonight.” (311 char)

Had more free time tonight than I thought, so I was able to knock these out. All of them fit within four lines of text, which I was surprised I was able to get.

The Mighty Milestone
Modified shirt cannon loaded? Check.
Milestone costume reinforced with armored plating? Check.
Ready for Mayhem? Double check. (126 char)

Buzz and Marsha
“Good evening Halcyon, this is Marsha-” “And Buzz!” “and we’re getting ready as the Halcyon Milestones are-” The commentators fell silent as a shadowy figure appeared on the court. (180 char)

Foul, Free Throw!
Ghostheart started to say something, but one of the head referee blew her whistle and approached the necromancer. “Off the court!” “I do not recognize your author-” {whistle} (174 char)

Ghost of Davis McDuffie
“Thank you for all your help,” Armiger said as the two shook hands. McDuffie smiled warmly, “No problem, kid. I’m just happy to know that folks still remember me even though I’m gone.” (184 char)

Looking Ugly Out There
“Ugly indeed, Buzz. Specters are now heading for the crowd and it is a race for the exits. If our fans at home happen to be bothered by spirits, I would turn to tonight’s sponsor…” (182 char)

Play of the Game
“Let’s watch that big kick again, Buzz.” “I feel like our hometown hero Mercury has this one in the bag. With reflexes like his, who could even touch the Halcyon’s Silver Son?” (176 char)

Sprinkler System
Concord eyed the pipes high above the court. He was sure running water did something to ghosts. Or was that something else? Moments later, he was certain it was not ghosts. (172 char)

Teamwork Breakdown
“Welcome back, sports fans! On my own while Buzz barricades the door. During the break, an argument has broken out on the court following an incident with the sprinklers.” (171 char)


I just started working on replies when I saw yours. Here’s what I’ve got :smiley:

“You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? Because I’m the only Milestone here.” (or)
“They laughed at me in the front office. Pretty soon, nobody will be laughing.”

“Buzz, we’ve got a barn burner tonight. The Milestones take on the Emerald City Astronauts–” “Marsha, who’s that coming onto the court?”

“You-” {WHISTLE} “You dare-” {WHISTLE} “You dare mock-” {WHISTLE} “STOP THAT!”

“Glad to help, kid. Means a lot that you all remember me, even after I’m off the court for good.”


I really liked the ones for the Milestone, Free Throw, and the Ghost of Dwayne MacDuffie, so I incorporated those into what I had. Thanks Bill!

The full set, in case anyone wants to see the final versions.


Since I managed to finish up that last set of cards, I figured I would also share my current project: Ghostheart’s villain deck.

Unlike the environment cards, these are in the same style as our Incorrect Quotes dialogue, followed by a reference to which comic issue the quote came from. I don’t have an exact length figured out for these, but I tend not to have more than two people talking.

This is less about shortening things down as much as ensuring we have a broad range of folks talking, everything makes sense given who is talking, and making sure the quote and the art match up in a way that makes sense (even if they come from different “comics”).

The Wretched
Artwork: Corrupted versions of Ghost Girl’s spirit friends.
Link: Charlotte, are those-
Ghost Girl: Nononononono, please no…
@ The Menagerie Annual #4

The Tormented
Artwork: A less ridiculous version of the Toilet Paper Man.
Ghostheart: A spirit is such a fragile thing. A poke, a prod, a bit of torment, and there’s no end to the horrors it can inflict.
@ the Menagerie #8

The Haunted
Artwork: A zombified version of Charlotte.
Ghost Girl: You turned my dead body into a zombie?!
Ghostheart: You seemed to have no more use for it after your Apotheosis.
@ The Menagerie Annual #4

The Possessed
Artwork: Ghostheart’s armored ghost wrapping itself around Mercury.
Mercury: Uh, guys? A little help?
@ the Menagerie #7

The Stricken
Artwork: A large ghost leading a troop of smaller spirits against Armiger. Quote is probably a bit off for Skinner so that could definitely use some punching up. The importance of the mask was just the first thing that came to mind, it has nothing to do with anything, other than being something I liked when I drew the picture.
Skinner: Alright squire, for now I recommend that if you ever see a ghost wearing a mask, you run.
@ The Irregulators #12

The Phantasmal
Artwork: A faceless version of Alycia assaulting a shook Jason Quill. Because we always need more Alycias.
Not-Alycia: Why didn’t you tell them?! You could have stopped them!
@ the Menagerie Annual #4

The Gatekeeper
Artwork: A giant demonic hand grabbing Telekinetian (basically a reference to Floormasters from the Legend of Zelda series). The quote is just the most obvious thing that came to mind.
Telekinetian: Giant hand! Giant hand has got me!
@ The Irregulators #13

Artwork: Ghostheart flinging blades of energy at the Menagerie while bleeding some sickly, wrong colored blood. If anything fit into Ghostheart’s desperation move set, blood magic seemed like.
Ghostheart: Fall! Fall, unworthy usurpers of my destiny!
@ The Menagerie Annual #4

Perdition’s Gate
Artwork: A hellish iron gate rising out of flame with evils peering out from behind its doors.
Ghostheart: No- No, you did not defeat Pandemonium, only I can save the world! You are deceiving me, And I will prove it! Shatter, veil between worlds!
@ The Menagerie Annual #4

Seize Power
Artwork: Ghostheart with the Staff of the Magus.
Ghostheart: The Agate Staff… The source of your Apotheosis. Let us see what other horrors it can unleash.
@ The Menagerie Annual #4

Curse of Three
Artwork: Torn here between Ghostheart causing the Q-Disc to crash in The Menagerie #7 or them interacting with the Irregulators more. Regardless, creepy magic stuff.
Ghostheart: The sign of their coming shall be three and three and three. Pandemonium, the devourer!

Don’t Touch Me!
Artwork: One of the Menagerie closing in on Ghostheart while they slink back. In the background, a ghost is forming behind whoever is attacking Ghostheart.
Ghostheart: You are all tainted! They will follow the scent, and then you will be meat for the beast!
@ The Menagerie #7

Toll the Dead
Artwork: Ghostheart at Charlotte’s grave, raising her dead body as a zombie.
Ghostheart: Rise, discarded vessel. Your damned spirit may have forsaken you, but I never shall.
@ The Menagerie Annual #4

Call of the Necromancer
Artwork: Ghostheart absorbing some of the local spirits from Oakland Cemetery. The quote is just a full reference to Ghost Girl’s Call of the General speech.
Ghostheart Sullied dead, your mistress has abandoned you! Come, your new master has need of you…
@ The Menagerie Annual #4

Drain Essence
Artwork: Not 100% certain on this one, except I’m thinking that it should probably involved the Irregulators and show Ghostheart draining someone’s lifeforce to recover. Recommendations welcome here.


So let’s talk about a particular aspect of hero cards: the Incapacitated side.

Rarely seen for long in any game of Sentinels (due to one player rarely getting knocked out early without other players following shortly behind) but they tend to be very impactful images showing the heroes dealing with lose and failure.

Currently, two of the Menagerie has incapacitated artwork: Ghost Girl and Concord.

That leaves Charade, Mercury, and Radiance (and later Jason and the Newmen). Anyone have thoughts on what those particular hero’s incapacitation artworks might be? Since the character cards tend to be interpreted as “repurposed comic covers” they can be quite artsy and symbolic (in fact, one of the actual Sentinels incap artworks plays homage to that iconic Scarlet Witch cover to the first issue of House of M).

For Mercury, I was thinking about that cage his future-self was trapped in and forced to continually move, but I also wanted to save that for a “future Mercury” variant (much like Ghost Girl’s Magus variant).


Following her typical motifs in the cards, the image I’d imagine for Radiance is her on the ground, costume basically gone except for the dark undersuit, with the remnants of glitchy holograms filling the air around her. Optionally a ring of broken drones around her. If you wanted to get extra fancy, rubble on the ground around her forming the shape of broken wings.


Riffing here off the excellent Concord one, the thought I keep coming back to for Charade is on the emotional side, and what comes from that is being broken down with guilt / remorse. Note quite sure how to present that graphically … from a comic book cover perspective, here are a few images that come to mind.


I don’t recall how much backstory has been established for her in the card deck, so if that’s getting too complex to fit in understandably, then just being in the hospital in traction (as a nat adventuring in a super-powered world) might work, too. :slight_smile:


Amazing inspiration folks, I appreciate it.

I assure you Alycia and her connection to Achilles is front and center with her cards, as it should be. In fact I’m using shots of Talia al Ghul from some Batman cartoons as inspiration for at least composition for some of her artwork (imagine this but with a tattered painting of Achilles and a more sullen Alycia in the foreground, that sort of stuff).

Which reminds me, I better work out what Achilles looks like. A caricature of a caricature is probably a bad idea, especially with source of inspiration of Achilles.


He’s a classic Heel
There’s a prominent Chin

More seriously, setting aside the racist caricatures from the character’s lineage, you could take inspiration from real Chinese figures from history. Cao Cao feels like a natural fit.

This was my first draft. 50 internet points to anyone who can identify my three sources of reference (two for the face, one for the outfit).

To be completely honest, I was doing a villain monologue in my head while sketching this to make sure I what I was drawing fit the narration I was doing in my head. Something like:

“A thousand men have attempted to kill me in a hundred different ways. I don’t tell you this out of any sort of vanity. I tell you this so that you aware that any plan, any contingency you and who you work for has already been uncovered, overcome, and left broken in my wake. Now let us speak like human beings instead of beasts with particularly sharp rocks.”

If I couldn’t imagine who I was drawing saying that, I wasn’t doing it right.

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I got some Sensei from Young Justice vibes, but that may have just been coincidental (scared, bald old man)

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Nope, never seen that character before but wow those character designs share a lot of elements. But that probably just goes with what I’m going to assume is similar character tropes and details.


Maybe a bit of Lee Van Cleef (The Master) in there? Some (non-Joel Grey) Chiun?
image image

I also flashed on Sensei, Ra’s al-Ghul’s lieutenant over the League of Assassins, though this art might make him look a bit less like Uncle Iroh.

I’m perfectly happy with revising his imagery, btw. Heck, in the novelization, I make him Russian.


Oh, and I do love this.

There is a bit of similarity in the Talia/Alycia things, though quite a bit of difference, too. If nothing else, the super-criminal genius father and his raised-to-be-an-assassin daughter who (occasionally/ultimately) rebels against him resonates.


Added thought on Achilles: Source material aside, I never figured out the green jacket with blue cravat (or sometimes reverse that) that Zin wore. I always figured lab garb (at least a lab coat) or engineer / mechanic clothing when doing work on machines and bots and the like.

Outside of that, and for more official pronouncements / photos / portraits, something that falls between fatigues and a jumpsuit (but red, not olive drab or khaki). A simple, working-class cut so as not to look like a potentate, but distinctive enough to fit with his ego.


So a few ideas around disabling Mercury (which @fragolakat is very welcome to pooh-pooh) …

  • Paralyzed / discouraged / disheartened by family drama.
  • The classic bane of speedsters: dizziness / disorientation attack.
  • Or a time attack - running at 500 mph isn’t any good if your hours are 1000 times as long as the rest of the world’s.

… or, y’know …

… or, heck (and this would work for anyone) the “ultimate sacrifice” disablement / incapacitation.

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Paralyzed / discouraged / disheartened by family drama.
The classic bane of speedsters: dizziness / disorientation attack.
Or a time attack - running at 500 mph isn’t any good if your hours are 1000 times as long as the rest of the world’s.

My favorite version of this has always been Flash goes too fast and can’t slow down, so he is stuck in a world of completely still people. (Example from Only a Dream from the Justice League series). No idea how you would communicate the situation in a single drawing, but was reminded of it from @Dave 's examples.


I dunno if this would work on a card, but having Harry sitting in “The Thinker” pose, while the rest of the world was depicted as stone statues, might work?

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Harry standing, a bit dynamically, as if in mid-motion, in the midst of other people (maybe red-shifted?), head pivoting, panicky look on his face. “Moving Too Fast” … the trick is how to make them look static and him in motion when they are all static images on a page.

Variant: “Lost in the Speed Dimension” – (“It might take a while to get back”)

Variant: “Too Fast, Too Far” – Standing at an intersection, talking with a police officer, pointing in different directions. Best if it looks identifiably foreign (Tokyo landmarks, for example, or Singapore, or the Pyramids, etc.) (Or, heck, space/dimensional aliens, but still with the cop-pointing-at-a-map motif)