“Stage Two Start”
Writers: Chad Bowers and Chris Sims
Artist: Ghostwriter X
Peter, Alvin, Amy and the mysterious man-bun who is named Terry are heading to California. They have to get through the TSA but arrive safely in L.A. The first stop is the headquarters of Conjure Software and a meeting with Conrad Juros. The receptionist can’t get them a meeting until Peter tells him they are there to see the Dark Arcade. Well that works and Mr. Juros greets them all smiles. He shows the Dark Arcade which has all the failed video games from the eighties. The one they are most interested in is Airworld.
Juros leaves Peter alone as the others leave. Juros tells them that the game was never finished and impossible to win. Peter comes out a few minutes later looking dejected and the group leaves. Later Juros discovers Peter won the game. Terry gave Peter a copy of the Airworld comic which had all the clues and Peter easily won. So Juros gets his corporate board together and they don sinister robes. For the sword has chosen its champion and Peter Case must die.
Well this series just keeps getting weirder and weirder. It has plenty of humor like Peter joking about milking his condition for a best case scenario of six months. Or Terry who has a bandolier of burner phones and his response that he doesn’t want the dark sinister forces to monitor him gets a special TSA body search. There is a certain surreal feel to this story. The evil wizard who masquerades as a friendly video game designer. The stuffy board members who can change into evil cultist types. You still wonder if everything is real or just a figment of the characters crazy imagination. Quite an engaging story.