March 24th, 2017

Today’s strip is the first in a series of spin-off comic strips based on one of my favorite game franchises, XCOM.  In this case it will be a parody of the newer XCOM franchise, specifically the events and story around XCOM 2.  I will be interspersing these in between the regular Nerd By Northwest strips whenever the whim strikes or the creative juices lean in that direction.


For those who haven’t played the new games, the first XCOM puts you in the position of Commander of XCOM, an international organization created to defend against an alien incursion.  In the game you’re in charge of directing military squads in combat, researching new and alien technologies, and growing your organization into a global force to be reckoned with.  XCOM 2, on the other hand, takes an interesting twist by assuming that humanity and XCOM in the first game actually LOSES, with the aliens subsequently creating a Big-Brother dystopian police state and the remnants of XCOM fleeing to the wilderness and becoming part of the human resistance effort. 


Many who’ve played both the old and new XCOM games cite the immersive aspect of the game, as you grow attached to your soldiers throughout the game; reveling when you score a major win and advance your soldiers’ levels and skills, and grieving when you lose that same squad of seasoned veterans you’ve spent hours of game time building up from scratch (particularly painful if you change the soldiers’ names to people you know).  XCOM 2 was no different, and being inspired by XCOM fan fiction from the likes of the Fear the Boot podcast, my friend Doctor X, and many others, I thought there was ripe opportunity for a parody.  Not just a parody of the gameplay, but also of the regular day-to-day life on the XCOM team; you know, those times when they’re NOT blowing up aliens and causing extensive property damage.

In this series, the character Ash is in the position of Commander here, and the other Nerd By Northwest main characters… Dan, Cam, Jen, and Pete… will soon be making their appearances as well.  Many thanks to Firaxis Games for bringing new life to the XCOM franchise, and I hope they and you all enjoy these strips as much as I enjoyed creating them.  Now without further ado, I bring you Nerd By Northwest’s “XCOM-ic”…