Last year, AHOY Comics released the Steel Cage one-shot. An anthology comic featuring three stories, readers were asked to vote in the weeks leading up to San Diego Comic Con for which story was their favorite, with the winner of the fan vote set to receive an ongoing series from the publisher. Steel Cage‘s three stories included Bright Boy by Stuart Moore and Peter Gross; True Identity by Tom Peyer and Alan Robinson; and Noah Zark by Mark Waid and Lanna Souvanny.
However, at the publisher’s SDCC panel, editor-in-chief Peyer revealed that serious irregularities had been discovered, indicating the vote had been tampered with. Peyer promised an investigation into the fraud, saying “this could have been the work of a few quick keystrokes, perpetrated by almost anyone–from the despicable agent of a rogue government to a lonely, misguided teenager.” Today, in their monthly newsletter, AHOY released a statement from Peyer with an update on the investigation. Unfortunately, the perpetrators have not yet been found, and in the absence of an outside body bringing the criminals to justice a crack team of AHOY mercenaries has been assembled to continue the hunt.
Here’s Peyer’s full statement:
UPDATE FROM TOM PEYER, MAY 2020
The first STEEL CAGE spin-off series, PENULTIMAN, formerly named TRUE IDENTITY, is in progress and will launch when conditions permit. That is the good news.
Unfortunately, the news is not all good.
The culprits in the STEEL CAGE election fraud scandal of 2019 have not yet been identified, let alone apprehended. AHOY Comics has received no assurance from relevant authorities that this case is seriously being pursued.
If there is to be justice––and there will be, mark my words, for no less than our democratic way of life is at stake––the duty clearly falls to publisher Hart Seely, myself, and a secret team of specialists we’ve assembled:
Lillian Laserson – Munitions
David Hyde – Archery, knives
Kit Caoagas – Explosives
Deron Bennett – Tactical
Stuart Moore – Ops
Sarah Litt – Scuba
Russell Natherson, Sr. – Codes
Hanna Bahedry – Disguises
Frank Cammuso – Parkour
In a special militarized bus, we have been conducting late-night searches for the troll farm or under-supervised teen responsible for this outrage. So far, no lead has yielded the desired result. We will continue to provide updates as the situation warrants.
I’m tempted to question Peyer’s wisdom in listing the names of the “secret” team of specialists (and also in allowing David Hyde to be in charge of so many sharp objects), but I’ve been wrong to question the man’s methods in the past. After all, I initially questioned the legitimacy of the Steel Cage voting itself, until the ensuing scandal and Peyer’s seriousness in the face of controversy proved me wrong. Perhaps the names listed are a front for the real secret team. Or perhaps the word “secret” means something different here. I don’t know.
But what I do know is this: Tom Peyer is someone who always gets his person, and sooner or later the scoundrels responsible for the disenfranchisement of the honest, hard-working Steel Cage voters will be discovered and punished to the fullest extent of the law.
You can read the Penultiman story from Steel Cage for free right now on Comixology. You can also check out the rest of this month’s AHOY Comics newsletter here — it’s full of behind-the-scenes process art and interviews with AHOY creators.