Trek Advent: Day 4

Today’s Trek Advent, the first two-part episode from The Next Generation that did not begin and/or end a season. Massive expectations for this episode, which brought Leonard Nimoy back to televised Star Trek. He was rock solid, as ever, in his portrayal of Spock and a we witnessed a shattering performance by Mark Lenard, in his final appearance as Sarek.
 
Day 4: “Unification”

A variety of Trek

We have a bit to share today.

The Star Trek fan community mourns today as we learn of the passing of long-time Trek script writer and story editor Dorothy “D.C.” Fontana. A memorial badge can be seen here, and for those who are interested there is a round variant suitable for temporary use as a social media avatar, which can be found on the PlanetRise Creative Twitter account.

Tuesday is TrekTuesday around here, so we share the latest installment of #StarfleetDivisions52. December has five Tuesdays so we begin a new 5-part set of The Oversight Branch. This week we have the Alpha Quadrant Oversight Division.

And finally, we’re a few days late in presenting the 2019 Star Trek Advent Calendar. Twitter/Facebook have already started, so we’re just catching up here. (We’ll get on top of daily releases here too.) The Advent calendar will present a cover image every day for each two-part/feature-length episode from The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, with a couple bonuses thrown in to fill the rest of the calendar.

Transmetropolitan Movie Poster

Put together another fake movie poster as part of my continuing efforts to be ready to capitalize on any potential adaptation/reboot that may come along. This time I based it on my favorite comic book series, the brilliant Transmetropolitan by Warren Ellis, with art by Darick Robertson. Back when it was published in the late 90s to early 2000s I would have put Sir Patrick Stewart in the poster as the main character, knowing he was a legit fan of the comic. But seeing as how he has aged out of the role, I pulled an X-Men and replaced him with James McAvoy.

For any fans of the comic; who would you cast in the remaining roles? The poster credits include Margot Robbie (who I intended to be Channon Yarrow) but what about Yelena Rossini? Mitchell Royce? The Beast? The Smiler? Sound off, folks!

Transmet

Savage Dragon Movie Poster

The latest fake movie poster trades on my personal nostalgia. As a teenager in the 90’s and a geek, I was hit hard by the explosion of Image Comics onto the scene. I couldn’t afford to collect all their comics, but when I was able to regularly buy a few titles, Erik Larsen’s The Savage Dragon was almost always one of them. I spotted it on my bookshelf the other day and wondered who could play the character nowadays. Since I’m fairly certain that Dwayne Johnson has reached the limit of how large human shoulders can become, he was the logical choice.

SavageDragon

Starfleet Divisions – 11/19/19

Every week, on Trek Tuesday, PlanetRise Creative is presenting a Starfleet combadge for a division that doesn’t exist, but probably should. This time around we have the second of five in a subset for Foreign Relations; the Borg Collective Relations Division badge.

The badges that have already been publicly shared are available to view on the Star Trek Images page.*RELBorg

Fresh, New Content

To any visitors, new and old, the website has been updated and slightly modified. We now have three separate pages for images; one for fake movie posters, one for Star Trek themed images, and one for the remaining miscellaneous artwork. A page for writings has also been added, with a selection of short stories, funny lists, and other nonsense. I’m not sure if it’s any good, but it’s there.

As for the various image pages, a hefty amount of artwork has been added to them, most of which was previously posted on Twitter. An effort will be made to update these pages regularly when artwork is posted to Twitter, rather than dropping a year’s worth of art on here all at once.

Finally, the PlanetRise Twitter account and PlanetRise Facebook Group are now visible in the sidebar, so feel free to check them out if you don’t already.

7 MYTHOLOGICAL FIGURES WHO HAD WORSE DAYS THAN YOU

Whether you’re talking about Gods, Demigods, Nymphs, Titans, or even just Humans, figures of ancient mythology often found themselves in some unpleasant situations.  And we’re not talking about situations like sitting on the toilet too long and having your legs go numb, or walking through someone else’s fart-cloud.  These are some next-level bad days, the likes of which you don’t find outside of the nightmares that Satan has inside your own nightmares.  Some of these mythological figures brought the poopnado upon themselves, and others were just unlucky enough to be in the wrong realm at the wrong period of legendary history.

PERSEPHONE: CONFINED TO HELL BY FRUIT

Persephone was the Greek Goddess of Vegetation, and daughter of Demeter, Goddess of the Harvest.  This Mother-Daughter team saw to it that plants and vegetation grew where and when it was supposed to.  Persephone was remarkably beautiful, which doesn’t really surprise any of us, since we can assume the Greek Pantheon had no concept of “fugly.”  She had the misfortune of catching the eye of Hades, Lord of the Underworld.  Rather than sending a box of chocolates or standing outside Mount Olympus holding a boombox over his head, he did what most Greek Gods did in those days, and simply kidnapped the fuck out of her.

Just as creepy and no standing out here waiting?  Where's my duct tape?

Just as creepy and no standing out here waiting? Where’s my duct tape?

Demeter soon learned that her daughter had disappeared and, rather than neglect her kid to play Facebook games or, y’know, make sure food on Earth continued growing, she carried torches and searched the whole fucking planet for Persephone.  Eventually the humans on Earth complained so much about starving to death, and the other Gods complained so much about Demeter’s constant whining, the King of the Gods, Zeus, stepped in to rescue his niece, who also happened to be his daughter. (Get over it.  It seriously happens all the time in Greek Myth.)  Zeus gave Hermes a break from being the FTD logo and sent him to retrieve Persephone from the Underworld, and the clutches of her captor/Uncle, Hades.

"Nice one, bro.  Keep it in the family by keeping it "in" the family.  Am I right?"

“Nice one, bro. Keep it in the family by keeping it “in” the family. Am I right?”

THE BADNESS Before Hades allowed his captive niece and love interest to leave, he offered her a pomegranate…like you do.  Persephone ate six pomegranate seeds, because when the Lord of the Underworld and owner of a three-headed dog kidnaps you to Hell with every intent of raping the everything out of you offers you food, you eat first and ask questions not fucking soon enough.   According to the Laws of the Underworld she could not entirely leave, as pomegranate was considered to be the fruit of the dead.  She was allowed to return to Earth for a portion of the year, which is the Greek Myth origin of Spring.  She spends the winter months in the Underworld with her Uncle/Husband as Queen of the Underworld, where we must assume the Underbed is as cold as the weather up here.

HEPHAESTUS:  ADDING INSULT AND INFIDELITY TO INJURY

So Zeus is pretty badass, what with all the Thunderbolts he tends to toss out like death-spewing candy at a Slaughter Day Parade.  Ever wonder where he got those wonderful toys?  You can thank Hephaestus, the Greek God of Blacksmiths for these.  He bangs them out like electrified license plates made of kill.  But that doesn’t mean Zeus treats him all sweet and fatherly, even though he is Hephaestus’ father.  Once, when Zeus and Hera were having an argument, Hephaestus stepped in to settle them down before any Domestic Deity Disturbance could take place.  Unfortunately, he took his mother’s side, and Zeus was forced to admit that he was wrong, and make Hera some breakfast in bed.

I'm SO gonna be in the doghouse for this one.

I’m SO gonna be in the doghouse for this one.

Just kidding!  Zeus totally picked up Hephaestus by the ankle and threw him off Mount Olympus.  Clear off the goddamn mountain.  Hephaestus was in free fall for an ENTIRE DAY before he landed.  The fall crippled his leg forever, but he was eventually allowed to return to Mount Olympus, probably to avoid a visit from God-Child Protective Services.  He was also allowed to marry Aphrodite, the Goddess of love, beauty and sexual rapture.  That makes up for the whole “hurled off a mountain by Daddy” right?  Not so much, because… THE BADNESS Aphrodite was a total slut.  Disappointed in being the shimmering, beautiful “Uptown Girl” to Hephaestus’ sooty, blue-collar Backstreet Guy, she decided to “spread her gospel” to pretty much anyone that came along, because revenge is a dish best served with orgasms.  She cheated on her husband with Dionysos, Hermes, Nerites, and, most famously, Ares the God of War.  Once, Hephaestus managed to catch Ares in the act of charging Aphrodite’s battlefield, and chained them both to the bed they were sharing, allowing the assembly of the Gods to glare at them disapprovingly.

"Zeus...are...are you masturbating?"

“Zeus…are…are you masturbating?”

When Poseidon convinced Hephaestus to release them, saying that Ares would be severely punished for this transgression, Aphrodite was so grateful to the ruler of the oceans that she allowed him to “part her Red Sea” because learning lessons is for squares.

ATLAS:  GODS ARE SORE WINNERS

Atlas was the son of the Titan Iapetus and, alongside his brother Menoetius, fought on the side of the Titans against the Olympians during the Titanomachy, the war in which way too many hard-to-pronounce words entered this sentence.  Put simply, the Titans were the Gods before Zeus and his Pantheon Gang kicked them out and took their place.  Atlas was one of these Titans, and his team lost.  Y’know what?  That’s fine.  You can’t win every time.  But instead of being sportsmanlike and letting the losers stagger off the battlefield like big fat losers who love losing, Zeus had to rub a little more loser salt in the wound.

Here, buy a new face. Yours has my poop all over it.

Here, buy a new face. Yours has my poop all over it.

THE BADNESS As punishment for having the audacity to defend his home and family from being overthrown, Atlas was sentenced by Zeus to hold up the Vault of Heaven on his shoulders.  Do you know what the Vault of Heaven is?  It’s the sky.  The entire sky.  That may seem easy, as the sky is nothing but air.  But remember; in Myth Days the rules were different.  The Sun was pulled by a chariot, Gods were born by being puked up by other Gods, and the sky was heavy as fuck.  Try carrying a basket of wet laundry on your shoulders all day.  Now pretend the basket is the sky, and a day lasts until the end of time.  Atlas thought he found a loophole after convincing Hercules to hold the sky while he got some apples for him, planning to run off and leave Hercules screwed, because Atlas is apparently a dick.  But Hercules tricked him into resuming his task, because he’s a bigger dick.  According to the ancient poet Ovid, Atlas became the actual Atlas Mountains in Africa when Perseus showed him the decapitated head of Medusa, turning Atlas to stone.

"Yeah.....this sure beats breathing."

“Yeah…..this sure beats breathing.”

HERCULES:  PUNISHED FOR HIS FATHER’S CRIMES

So, if you remember how much trouble Zeus had resisting the urge to embed himself in every orifice he laid eyes on, you won’t be surprised that Hercules was a Demigod, born of Zeus and a human woman who is probably still sitting by the phone waiting for “Rockstar of Olympus” to show up on the Caller ID.   Hercules had a destiny grander than Kanye’s rejected plan to marry Kim Kardashian at the Palace of Versailles, but Zeus’s wife, Hera, resented Hercules, probably due to his being a walking, talking, perfectly sculpted example of her husband’s tendency to dip his Thunderbolt in…well, pretty much anyone.  While he was still a baby, Hera tried to have him killed by sending two giant snakes into his crib, but Hercules strangled them to death before presumably filling his diaper, belching, and going back to sleep.

"I guess I should've sent Casey Anthony instead."

“I guess I should’ve sent Casey Anthony instead.”

THE BADNESS Hera wasn’t about to let a few dead snakes stand in the way of her plan to drop a staggeringly large mountain of revenge-powered shit onto Hercules’ head.  Eventually Hercules married Megara (yes, the girl from the animated movie. Stay on topic.) and they had two children together.  Hera chose that time to send Lyssa, the spirit of mad rage, frenzy, and rabies upon the hero which drove him temporarily insane.  In a fit of madness not unlike those caused by dying in Call of Duty, he straight up slaughtered his wife and children.  When he came to his senses and realized what he had done, he embarked upon the famous Twelve Labors to atone for his actions.

And possibly join the Justice League.

And possibly join the Justice League.

PROMETHEUS:  WORST TIME TO HAVE A HEALING FACTOR

Brother to Atlas, the Titan Prometheus did not fight in the Titanomachy.  Let’s go ahead and assume it’s because he was a wimpy little girly-titan.  Let’s also go ahead and assume this was not written by someone who has never been in a fistfight before.  Cool?  Cool.  Shortly after the first humans were created, Prometheus called upon Zeus and beseeched him to grant humans the gift of fire, because even in the time of ancient myth, some people could tell that grilling was going to be freaking huge someday.  Zeus refused the request, and thus relegated humanity to a life devoid of s’mores and Burning Man forever.  Until the day when Prometheus took it upon himself to smuggle fire from Olympus and deliver it to humanity, knowing we would do great and wonderful things with it.

Or......y'know, we could do this instead.

Or……y’know, we could do this instead.

THE BADNESS After the whole Titan-God-War-Battle-Bitch-Kerfuffle, Zeus had been pretty generous with Prometheus.  After all, he had stayed out of the fighting and refused to pick sides.  But once Zeus’ plans for “nothing but cold sandwiches for all time” were thwarted by Prometheus the Pyro-Pilferer, shit was about to get, as they say in Greek Myth, Realicus.  Zeus commanded that Prometheus be chained to a rock upon Mount Caucasus, where an eagle would chew out his liver all day.  During the night his liver would go all Wolverine and grow itself back, only to be eaten again the next day.  You have almost certainly heard this story before, but have you ever really thought about how that must have been?  Let’s try an experiment; pinch yourself in the side.  Hard.  Use your nails, pansy!  Really get in there and pinch the hell out of that love handle.  Hurts, right?  Now imagine doing that all day, every day, for twelve generations.  On top of that, you no longer have an organ to make bile with.

You never realize what you have until you lose it.

You never realize what you have until you lose it.

TANTALUS: SERVED HIS SON FOR DINNER, GOT SERVED

As a Greek King, and fourth person on this list to be fathered by Zeus, the God of Riding Bareback, Tantalus considered himself to be so clever that he could outwit the Gods themselves.  So much so, he once took a page from your cheapskate Mother-in-Law who fills her purse with shrimp at the buffet, and stole nectar and ambrosia while dining with the Pantheon on Mount Olympus.   In time he made a play for the Douche Crown and invited the assembly of the Gods to dine at his own home, where he secretly murdered his own son and made him into a stew, intending to trick the Gods into eating human flesh.

A ruse later perfected by Hormel.

A ruse later perfected by Hormel.

THE BADNESS Nearly all the Olympians deduced his plan and refrained from eating.  However Demeter was so distracted by the kidnapping of her daughter Persephone, as mentioned earlier, that she ate some of the son-stew.  We still don’t know why she took time out from searching for her child to attend a dinner party, but Perezia Hiltonus heard that Tantalus stocks a killer wine cellar.  In reprisal, Zeus not only killed Tantalus, but commanded that he spend the whole of his afterlife in the Underworld, standing waist-deep in water, with fruit hanging over his head.  Each time Tantalus attempted to drink, the water level would drop below his reach, and every time he attempted to reach the fruit, the branches would pull away from his grasp, which is where the word “tantalizing” comes from.  Tantalus spent all of eternity with the appetite equivalent of blue-balls.

"It's like this, but with hungry!"

“It’s like this, but with hungry!”

HERCULES AGAIN: GOT BURNED BY A WOMAN

After completing his Twelve Labors, Hercules eventually remarried, because it worked so well for him the first time.  When he and his wife, Deianira, came upon a river, the centaur Nessus offered to help her across, because apparently Hercules is still a dick (see Atlas.)  However, Nessus attempted to rape Deianira, and Hercules shot him with a poisoned arrow.

Back off, Nessus. Greek myth is no place for that type of beha...oh, wait.

Back off, Nessus. Greek myth is no place for that type of beha…oh, wait.

Before dying, Nessus told Deianira to gather some of his blood, as applying it to Hercules clothing would prevent his love for her from fading.  Author’s Note: putting someone else’s blood on your spouse’s clothing does not make them horny.  Just trust me on this one. THE BADNESS Some time later, when Deianira feared that Hercules affections were straying from her, and forgot that she had breasts which could be shown off at any time, she soaked his shirt in the Centaur-blood love potion.  Hercules, too busy killing rapists and cleaning dirty stables to notice the stains on his shirt, got dressed before telling his wife to go do wife stuff.  But Nessus had deceived Deianira (blows your mind, right?) and his poisoned blood actually burned Hercules so severely that, no kidding, he chose to KILL HIMSELF ON A BURNING FUCKING PYRE rather than endure the pain.

It must have been an inverted version of this.

It must have been an inverted version of this.

But I suppose all was not tragedy, as the fire burned away all the lame, mortal parts of Hercules, leaving behind only the immortal aspects he inherited from his father, Zeus.  Now that he was fully a God, Hercules was welcomed to Mount Olympus and married Hebe, the Goddess of Youth and Hercules’ half-sister, leaving Deianira a lonely widow, living with the knowledge that she kinda killed her husband a little bit.

What if…? The Last Starfighter sequel books.

After putting together those Quantum Leap book covers, I revived an old sequel idea I had about 5 years ago for the classic (back off, haters) sci-fi film The Last Starfighter. Again, if the story was adapted to books rather than film, what might the covers look like? Well, I’ve been watching Star Trek Discovery and The Flash lately, among other shows, so I borrowed Doug Jones and Tom Cavanaugh (more accurately their faces) to create these paperback covers.