608 | Speaking of Excelsior

608 | Speaking of Excelsior

November 11, 2012 | 11:13 pm, by Pascalle Lepas

Reona lays it all out for you.

You know, for like, what, the past year or so I’ve had Gunner and Excelsior as the background on the site HOPING someone would be all “HEY, I GET IT!” But no one did! Or at least no one said anything where I could see it. TELL ME.

Oh well. It’s time to change it up anyway. I’ll get on that.

SPEAKING OF THINGS ONE SHOULD GET ON: Our Volume 3 Kickstarter is happening! Please help if you can! If you were/are planning on getting the books at some point, now is your chance. We’ve got some great deals on bundled books (the 3 artist edition book pack is like a crazy good deal, you guys!). And, if you just were planning on getting volume 3 when it comes out, preordering it here would really help us out. Like, so much! So, please pledge if you can!

Thanks so much for reading, and being the best Zaplings. I promise things are about to get AMAZING in the comic. Tell your friends! I’m so excited about it.


  • Anonymous

    And the pieces start filling in..

  • that gunner is looking for Excelsior? Or is there something more that I’m missing? Excelsior was Efrem’s ship, the Aquarian ship was Zap’s, and did Gunner have his own ship at one time? Am I reading too much into this now? Darn it Calle, now you dun confused me.

  • bob grey

    hmm, as far as i understand it, the background is as follows:

    Humanity was kind of wiped out and spread into all the world (and are since called “the lost ones”) with at least part of them being psychic (maybe the reason earth was destroyed, survivors got super powers??)

    Gunner and Zap worked together for a long time and Zap built the crazy space-ships and their A.I.s and somehow realized Gunner has a more than unpleasant wish to kill al humans (or make them follow him). Zap manages to hide one ship with the aquarians and gives another to Efrem to retrieve it later as the Zap we know.

    The A.I.s have the ability to scan for all kinds of species but Gunner is left with a bad one (he shows it to Naveed) which can only scan a few meters.

    The aquarians ship and Excelsior can scan way further and would be useful for Gunner. (Excelsior could track Zap until he was crowned)

    Maybe Excelsior belonged to Gunner before and he lost it somehow to the rebels, but i doubt it. What i think however is that the memory stick holds information about Gunner (previous encounters, also probably the master plan), which is why Excelsior did not recognize Gunner when he was picked up earlier.

    Oh and I am pretty sure Efrem is in with Zap but got his mind wiped so Gunner could not access the plan (and Efrem is not that much at risk to get killed in a rage)

    please extend/correct/refine as you wish :D

  • well i am glad to see that she’s finally doing some critical assessment. feels like momentum might be building up! whee!

  • well the Lost Ones have been depicted as having some kind of language that seems to be distinct from what humans use.
    There hasn’t been much background info given on them, so I’m wondering why you think the Lost Ones and humans are one in the same?

    i had a totally different perception that the Lost Ones were a civilization distinct from humans and that they were somehow wiped out in a disaster that may or may not have been caused by the humans (like an attack or something).

    given that Gunner hints or suggests, and also seems to view, himself as distinct from humans, would lead me to think that Gunner, who is a Lost One, is not actually human.

    also, i’m wondering what led you believe that humanity was nearly wiped out…i don’t recall anything in the comic suggesting that humanity had been gravely threatened in the past.

    if anything, it seems like humans have been a very serious threat to other races in terms of blowing up entire planets or what have you.

    there hasn’t been much concrete info on the Lost Ones, so i feel like they’re still kind of an unresolved mystery.

    oh, and if Excelsior once belonged to Gunner, why doesn’t he appear to recognize it?

  • Well, I mean I can extend/correct/ refine what you said but I think that might ruin the mystery. I can tell you the Lost Ones and the humans are not the same species, though.

  • D.H.

    Who was Zap again?

  • Some dude or guy

  • I thought it was like a plant or something?

  • Venture

    He was that guy that got shot in the back a couple years ago. He has since recovered, with a new outlook on life. Now he’s rehearsing for the lead in The Man In the Iron Mask.

  • Psionicost

    This all means that having the Excelsior grounded at rebel hq is a bad idea. It needs to be mobile or the GF is going to come storming in and take it by force, then Gunner will simply manipulate the GF to take it for his own twisted ends.

  • Gillsing

    If Reona has figured out that Excelsior has some kind of connection to Gunner, they might be able to have Excelsior track Gunner. Or they might decide to get Gunner’s attention by using Excelsior as bait.

  • What? Why would the GEF want Excelsior?

  • Neithan Diniem

    Excelsior can probably locate the Lost Ones.

  • Of course she can! That is her primary objective: http://www.zapcomic.com/2011/08/545-excelsiors-mission/

    I just don’t get why Psionicost thinks the GEF would care?

  • eek! baiting Gunner would be like baiting a really scary monster that’s just as likely to eat you as it is the bait. if i was Reona i would not try to bait Gunner, but that’s probably because i’m not terribly gutsy.

  • Marduk


    I think i need to re-read this comic. I’m kindasorta rusty in the continuity. Will be fun, and it’s muchly needed if i’m to keep up.

  • yeah, i’m wondering what Pascalle is wondering as well. does the GEF even know that Gunner is a Lost One? and do we know that the GEF have any interest in the Lost Ones?

  • Pascalle, what were we supposed to get about Gunner and Excelsior? i thought it was obvious that if Gunner was aware that Excelsior was the sister to the ship he sought, he’d be after Excelsior as well. it seemed to me that it would merely be a matter of time before Gunner gained this information.

  • I think you got it. A lot of people never put together that Gunner wanted Daedelus > Daedelus and Excelsior are the same > Gunner would want Excelsior.

  • safyrejet

    I’m gonna have to admit I have not put any pieces together yet, and I don’t really want to. I’m just along for the ride and loving it. I don’t usually try to figure things out in stories until it’s spelled out for me. I think that’s half the fun, staying curious and clueless until that “DUN-Dun Duuun” moment. I know how good the story was then depending on how shocking that “DUN-Dun Duuun” moment was. The high-bar on my shock scale was set by the Sixth Sense–Totally did not see that coming. At. All. I’ll have to let you know how you guys measure up when this is all concluded.

  • I’m with you i thought all they cared about was blowing s*** up and then decimating the remains and shredding the debris and feeding whats left into a mass converter for the energy to do it again…. Or was that Daleks (nah Daleks would just skip right to the mass conversion)

  • oh. yeah. that jumped out at me immediately…but now that i think about i’m not sure what clued me into these connections. i’d have to go back and reread and see where it was that i realized that Excelsior and Daedelus were sister ships and thus while Gunner lost Daedelus he could possible still pursue Excelsior. i didn’t think to say anything about it because it seemed really obvious to me…

  • Zap? Gunner? Excelsior? Man, it’s so hard to follow the plot when there’s a pretty Stickle in the way.

  • Anonymous

    Oh, I got it… Was just not spoiling it for others, Pascalle…

  • Anonymous

    I think Efrem was entrusted the ship by Zap- and they’re really both Zap’s to begin with.

  • I’m on-Board for the kickstarter. Can’t wait to get all three pdf editions so I can look at them on my new Kindle fire HD!*

    (*shameless plug)

  • What a great way to have Zap! with you, totally ad free, wherever you go!*

    *un-shameless plug

  • Anonymous

    I thought this was kind of obvious…right? Daedelus and Excelscior are obviously sister ships…what with the incredibly similar looking holograms. I’m speculating that Efreem pulled the plug on Excelscior’s hologram and ordered her to keep her mouth shut about it because Zap asked him too, because Zap knew that he would eventually end up on the ship and Gunner would soon follow. If Excelscior’s hologram was active at the time Gunner would have immediately figured out that she was another ship capable of detecting the Lost Ones and captured the ship then a there. I’m guessing that though Efreem is technically working for Gunner, he’s actually helping out Zap by going around behind Gunner’s back. I don’t think Efreem is half as much a bad guy as he wants us to believe he is, and I think most the stuff that has happened so far was in one way or another set-up by, or predicted by, Zap. Again, a lot of this is my speculation.

  • Anonymous

    the guy in the lava lamp with the hose up his waste disposal port.

  • Anonymous

    Earth was never destroyed. GEF HQ is in New York.

  • psst. I’m finally getting your store order in the mail tomorrow morning! Thank you so much for being super patient while I got through all the AE orders! I threw in a few freebies to make up for the delay, hopefully!

  • Ramification

    I don’t get it…what is it that we were supposed to get?
    We already knew way long back that Zap concealed the uber psychic AI ships he created away from Gunner. And that Efrem disabled Excelsior so that Gunner won’t be able to sense it.
    And that Gunner was gunning out for Excelsior.

    So…what’s the thing about the website background that we were supposed to yell about?

  • bob grey

    ok, now with a little more time i checked most i said with comments here and the archive… seems i was wrong about quite a few things :-S

    @Chris_L : i never meant to trick you into giving any hints, i meant others with as little knowledge as me ;-)

    It seems i had forgotten the first pages, humanity takes over everything ;-) and so i had mistaken #422 http://www.zapcomic.com/2005/04/20090504/ , the approach of Daniel Kauwe makes more sense:
    the lost ones were attacked in (#422 panel 1) “the takeover” http://www.zapcomic.com/2010/03/the-lost-ones/ and Zap and Gunner were getting their revenge (#422 panel 2) after that Zap probably realized he likes building ships more than killing humans and got a new hobby

    oh and i stumbled over the art page “the blue lady”, where there are 3 orbs over excelsior:
    blue – efrems color
    green – zaps color
    yellow – gunners color
    it would make sense that these are the A.I.s that exist.
    Excelsior – talks blue
    Daedelus – talked pink, destroyed in aquaria
    Andromeda – talks green, kind of not really working

    another thing: efrem told excelsior to stay hidden and not to talk about it. And he is obviously not brain-washed:#566 http://www.zapcomic.com/2012/01/566-what-are-you-doing-in-here-efrem-my-friend/ he wants zap to finally carry out his plan!

  • A refreshing archive binge is well worth it. I’m still working on finishing up my latest trawl.


  • safyrejet

    awesome sauce! thanks for the heads up. I await my Zap goodies with great eagerness. It’ll be like early Christmas. :D

  • Sleel

    Can’t really blow things up and then decimate the remains. Decimate is a very specific word that is almost ALWAYS used wrong. It means 1/10th of something was destroyed. No more, no less. Yet people always use it as if it means total destruction. It does not. Is what the prefix ‘deci’ means. 1/10th. If you destroy half of something then you decimated it 5 times over. Everywhere you go from webcomments to news casts, people use the word completely wrong..

  • yay for super specific facts!

    isn’t decimate from the Roman practice of administering punishment to the troops by killing off 1/10 or whatever of the troops?

  • I think you maybe need to look up the definition(s) of decimate. Words have more than one meaning and that’s okay!


  • this is probably a language issue analogous to the use of adverbs to describe a static state of being or an expectation (like :”hopefully, he’ll come” or “thankfully, that was not the case”

    technically speaking the use of decimate might be very circumscribed, but the colloquial use has probably expanded the applicability.

  • i used decimate because one needs remains to shred and feed into a mass converter if i used exterminate or terminate there wouldn’t be anything left to convert into energy.

  • Except in signal processing, where decimation means taking every Nth sample and tossing the rest (which is basically the reverse of historical decimation) …

  • Crestlinger

    Oh and by the way….

  • Speedy Marsh

    Gunner wants Exselsior, but every week he tries to get her, there’s a comic in the way. When Zap! ends, there will no longer be a new comic in the way, and he’ll get her. Therefore, you and Chris can never end the comic or you’ll be giving Excelsior to Gunner. Then Gunner will use Excelsior to kill all humans, including my family.

    Don’t help Gunner kill my family, stop Gunner by continuing to publish Zap!

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