|Comic Strip Info|
|Released:||August 12, 2012|
|Number of pages:||43|
|Artist:||Heather "makani" Campbell|
I am your brother. And I sent the letters proposing this truce. Which, I might add, it took you literally thirty seconds to turn into an idiotic crime against nature. Congratulations.
— Gray Mann
Blood Brothers is a comic released August 12, 2012. It reveals the brothers Redmond and Blutarch Mann have tried to put aside their differences for want of a suitable heir when the mysterious arrival of their long-lost brother, Gray Mann, interrupts their plans. It also delves deeper into the beginnings of the Mann family.
Access to this comic was given in a system-wide message after 8 items were crafted together following this crafting recipe.
Blood Brothers opens in the near future inside the renowned Alamo, relocated to a cliff near Teufort, New Mexico, and let out for rent. The brothers, Redmond and Blutarch Mann, are inside attempting to put aside their differences in light of the fact that neither of them have an heir. Still kept alive by their life-extending machines, they discuss their dim prospects. After dismissing their caretakers, Blutarch proposes a truce in order that they may make one of them pregnant to produce an heir. They both agree that it is a wonderful idea and congratulate each other on suggesting the meeting via a tear-stained letter only to find that neither of them had sent one.
They are interrupted by the sounds of their caretakers being stabbed and a curious voice matter-of-factly stating, "Gentlemen."
It is Gray Mann, their long-lost brother. He is just as old as the two brothers, but has an advanced, mobile version of a Life Extender Machine embedded in his spine. He reveals that he had sent the letters proposing the truce and berates the two brothers for being so idiotic as not to recognize it.
Redmond and Blutarch fail to recognize their brother as it has been a long time since they last saw him. They attempt to enlist his help to build a pregnancy machine.
The comic then flashes back to 1822 in the stately hall of Mann Manor. A young Zepheniah Mann and his associate, Barnabas Hale, are discussing strategy while his wife Bette undergoes childbirth in another room. The midwife, Patience Meriweather, informs Zepheniah that his wife has died while giving birth to three sons - Redmond, Blutarch, and Gray. Barnabas is distraught while Zepheniah is indifferent.
The babies are healthy with Redmond and Blutarch starting their life-long hatred of each other. However, the third baby, Gray, is underweight, but precocious; he can talk. Suddenly, the Scourge of London, the Eagle attacks, crashing through a window and kidnapping baby Gray.
The comic returns to the present, with Gray revealing that while still in the womb he had learned to speak (by listening to their mother) and derived a new form of algebra to pass the time. He remarks bitterly that their father had never accepted him as he was born physically weak. He was raised instead by the eagle, growing stronger and eventually eating her and her children before crawling back to civilization.
He quietly watched in the background, building his own fortune and empire while Redmond and Blutarch squandered the father's fortune. Fed up with the brothers' pointless bickering he plotted against them and (upon revealing this) kills them in cold blood. The comic closes with Gray holding the blood-stained knife and gazing out at the horizon towards Mann Co.
|Barely-Melted Capacitor||+||Item With a Custom Name||+||Strange Weapon||+||Frying Pan (Black)||+||Item (Painted)||+||Crate||+||Hat of Vintage Quality||+||Item (Level 37)||=||Blood Brothers|
Context: The Comic was released on Day 3 of the Mann vs. Machine ARG immediately preceding the Day 1 announcement of the Mann vs. Machine Update. Literally, this is the eve of the Robot War.
- Page 2:
- The Comic opens with the Alamo as a fictional character narrating the issue's introduction.
- The portrayed building represents only the iconic chapel of the Alamo Mission in San Antonio; in 1835 the mission was a fortress compound.
- "Ala-minions" and "fort fiends" imply a fan-base for the fictional character, with the latter term also alluding to the fans of the Team Fortress franchise. Before cable TV and video games, "playing fort" was popular and the Battle of the Alamo was a U.S. national legend.
- The achievements released in the next year's Halloween event, a continuation of this Comic's Storyline, are called "Bereavements".
- With the brothers inside the Alamo about to discuss radical medical experimentation, a particular dove flies about. Blood-splattered white doves are generally recognized as Archimedes, subtly associating the scene with the Medic. (See The Naked and the Dead, page 247.)
- Page 3:
- "Badlands, New Mexico" Later shown to be Teufort, specifically.
- "Sometime in the future" Presuming the narrator's present time is 1968, give or take, this would be 1971, one year before the end of the Robot War in the first half of 1972.
- Page 6:
- Blutarch and Redmond each have a later-model, mobile Life Extender Machine, demonstrating the existence of other Life Extender Machines beyond Radigan Conager's original three.
- Page 7
- Is superfluous uterus a congenital condition? Blutarch and Redmond discuss male pregnancy.
- Page 12
- Sounds of the Engineers being stabbed to death.
- Page 14:
- "Young man! Are you mechanically inclined?" Gray Mann is indeed "mechanically inclined", revealing a wearable Life Extender Machine generations more advanced than Radigan's original three machines, two of which Redmond and Blutarch were still using just a few years before this story.
- This is the first depiction of any involvement of Australium in the direct operation of a Life Extender Machine.
- Page 42:
- Gray Mann is clearly holding a Bowie knife, as seen on the cover.
- Page 43:
- Saxton Hale wins the "fiction rights" to the Alamo.
Legacy: The Alamo continues as minor element of the Team Fortress 2 Storyline; available again for rent the following October and becoming a Teufort tourist attraction.
- The cover features a Bowie knife, a famous American fighting knife designed by Jim Bowie, commander of the volunteer defenders at the Battle of the Alamo.
- Page 17:
- Whether or not the map the men are looking is meant to represent the Badlands, 1822 is the year that the Santa Fe Trail was opened for trade from the United States' Missouri frontier to the Badlands.
- Page 23:
- Abduction of precocious infants or youth by a bird is a motif found in ancient myths worldwide. Some myths with elements of Gray Mann's story:
- Zeus in eagle form abducted Ganymede.
- The second of 13 Illuminator/Savior myths listed in the Apocalypse of Adam, reads "And a bird came, took the child who was born, and brought him onto a high mountain. And he was nourished by the bird of heaven."
- Legendary Iranian king Zāl, so named because he came into the world with white (gray) hair like that of an old man, was rejected at birth by his father and was carried by the great bird Simurgh to her mountaintop nest where she raised him as one of her brood.
- Page 43:
- The Alamo vs. Hercules cover actually portrays the iconic death of the blinded Samson, the lion-fighting, building-wrecking Hebrew version of Hercules.
- Saxton Hale is shown holding the TF2 card deck from Poker Night at the Inventory.
The in-game alert that appeared along with this sound, which was first heard in Half-Life 2: Episode Two during the final battle if Striders got too close to the White Forest base.
- Preceded in the Storyline by:
- Followed by:
- Ring of Fired (Team Fortress Comics #1)
- Grave Matters
- Blood Brothers on the TF2 Official Website.
- Blood Brothers and A Fate Worse Than Chess textless pages