In addition to Maria, Kyunda and Yasmeen who had been seen in previous strips, all the other new cadets are introduced:
- Svetlana Yeltsin: dna+; insect control; Russia
- Lee Wu: Mystic Energy Fields; the next Chinese Lantern; China
- ...and all the rest! Full names, powers and deets pending!
Like the others so far, both Svetlana and Lee had brief cameos on page 6.29. Yasmeen has previously been seen using a small part of her witchiness in One Upmanship. Maria's power is somewhat Dazzler-esque inspired, except she's not reliant on converting sound to light (is that something Dazzler did? She had a disco themed origin, so I seem to remember something like that). Maria has also had a small role in the main comic... it can be said she is not a fan of Olga's!
I quite like the concept of Kyunda's power, it's like Multiple-Man, Triplicate Girl, and the like - with the exception his duplicates halve in size and mass everytime he divides. Likewise he can have some duplicates at different sizes. How small he can get and how many duplicates he can create is a matter of conjecture. And what happens if some of them go missing or are killed?? We don't want to find out!
Svetlana's insect control power might seem a little "Aquaman-can-talk-to-the-fish", but that's where the similarity ends - I'm not sure if it's been done in a comic before (no doubt it has) but to me it seems nicely original. I, er, fished around a bit to come up with her power... I really wanted something that wasn't run of the mill. Like most of these strips, the "narrative" is driven by the need to have a gag at the end and the idea of Brelvis and Ornuk running away in terror gave rise to the idea for her power. All the other demonstrations of ability have shown the lack of control the young cadets have, but Svetlana appears to have a handle on things!
As for Lee, his power is a legacy - the Chinese Lantern is spotted in the History and in places throughout Bad Karma . I've always intended to bring another Chinese Lantern back into the mix (mainly because the idea is so cool - derivative and yet original!) however I had considered a girl for the role... but since I needed to find a power for Lee (given his aforementioned cameo) I decided to give him the opportunity to prove himself.
By the time I reached the last panel I had effectively touched on all cadets seen in that page 6.29 cameo... but what of he others?! There are over 20 cadets in each year - as we've seen in Kaycee's year. I decided I didn't want to go through the powers for each and everyone of them, and besides up until this panel I had no idea who they were or what they looked like. But now we all do! As for what they can do... for some it may seem apparent from the illustration but I guess it will have to wait for another time before we meet the rest of the freshers! Many of them appear in the main comic at some point during the Lock(e)down storyline.
A number of the cadets from this year have also subsequently featured or cameoed in The Olaf Mystery - a follow up short story!