One of the biggest problems I had in writing this issue/this series, was in unifying the rules and stakes of time travel/multiverse hopping. I wanted this to be as accurate to our modern understanding of multiverse theory as possible. Partly out of a desire by me to explore what these concepts mean to me (i.e. what value does my life have if there are infinite versions of me) and partly because having a set of defined (and non-contradictory) rules grounds this storytelling universe with a much-needed sense of realism. There have to be rules, and even if I don't explicitly list them to you, my writing must follow them.
All that being the case, a number of problems arose in this issue that tied my script into one hell of a Gordian knot that I needed to untangle.
Some of the basic problems that came to a head in this issue were:
- This is a multiverse in which time travel and multiverse hopping are possible (through magic and not technology)
- Our villain can look into the past, future, and sideways realities of our universe
- The Book of Seams is important for defeating our villain, but has remained inside the burnt remains of the Church of Flickering Ascension for decades
- If the book is important, and our villain has known where it is for all this time, why has he not obtained or destroyed it in this time?
- If time travel is possible, why not just go back in time and kill baby Rupert?
Honestly, I could list out another 500 problems that time-travel caused for me, but those 5 were the crux of fixing issue 4. Ultimately, I came to the realization that the only thing keeping our villain from the Book of Seams would have to have been fear. It had to be something unknowable and uncontrollable to him, so much so that he felt his plans were safer off leaving the book buried and alone.
In regards to killing a younger version of our villain, I took the Bioshock Infinite (and I suppose Loki as well)approach to these conundrums - if there is a multiverse and you travel back in time to kill someone, you're just killing one version of them, but there are still an infinite number of that person out there, doing evil and messing with the timeline. So Rosie understands that she needs to do more than time assassinate someone. In her own words, she needs to "pull that Rot out of the river upstream, so it can't keep flowing down onto us."
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