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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

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Tron: Betrayal (Part 2) "Betrayal" Part 2
Tron: Betrayal
#2
Marvel Comics
Written by Jai Nitz
Plot by Starlight Runner Entertainment
Pencils by Andie Tong
Cover by Salvador Larroca and Frank D'armata

While Flynn is torn between his two worlds, Clu uses the time to gain more power in his mission to create a perfect world.

 

Didja Notice?

 

We know, from seeing that Sam is a little boy and not a baby, that the events in this issue take place a few years after "Betrayal" Part 1. We're never told Sam's age, but it seems to be around 3-4 years old.

On page 1, Flynn's narrative, in regards to the death of his wife, remarks that "Rome fell in a day." This goes back to his narrative comment on the final page of "Betrayal" Part 1, in regards to the birth of his son, that "Rome wasn't built in nine months. But it's amazing what you can build in that time." We're never told the circumstances of his wife's death (though Legacy reveals she died in 1985).

On page 12, Flynn quotes Seneca and says the man was a "Roman philosopher who was exiled, and later he...let's just say it didn't end well." Seneca was an actual Roman philosopher who was ordered by Emperor Nero to commit suicide for his alleged complicity in an attempt to kill him.

On page 24, in the ENCOM building, we see several posters, two of which are just barely legible for the Space Paranoids and Astro Gunner video games.

On page 25, young Sam is seen wearing a Spider-Man t-shirt. Spider-Man comic books are also published by Marvel.

On page 31, Tron appears to be having a drink at the End of Line Club, which will be introduced more properly in Legacy. In the background of panel 2, the club's proprietor, Zuse (later known as Castor) can be seen.

Throughout the "Betrayal" story up to this point, Clu and his men have had the same blue/white glow as Flynn and Tron and other denizens of the new world. But when they appear on page 41, they now have a green glow, perhaps an indication of Clu's deception and rebellion against Flynn's wishes. Throughout the epilogue of the story, Clu and his men have an orange/red glow, similar to the red of the MCP's minions in the original Tron.

The epilogue of the story establishes it as taking place in 1989.

On the first two pages of the epilogue, Flynn appears to be under attack by Clu and his men and is protected by Tron, indicating Clu's maliciousness, even against his own maker, in whose image he was created.

On page 3 of the epilogue, Tron appears to be injured after the battle and takes off on his light cycle. It almost seems like a finale, with the hero not to be seen again, but he does appear in Evolution and Legacy.

During the epilogue, Flynn's narrative reflects that, in the new world, he's seen it all: courage, betrayal, evolution, and the spirit's undying fire. These could be read as references to the canonical timeline of Tron stories thus far: Tron, "Betrayal", Evolution, and Legacy.

Unanswered Questions

What happened to Yori? In "Betrayal" Part 1, we are told that Flynn brought Tron over from the original Electronic World (seen in Tron) to act as security in the new world. But, would Tron have been willing to leave without his lover, Yori? We never see her here though, and Tron does not mention her. Could it be that the Tron seen here is a copy of the original Tron, with memories of Yori, or even the first Electronic World, erased? If so, might the original Tron still be living in the first Electronic World? (In a couple of episodes of Tron: Uprising, armor that looks like Yori's armor in Tron is seen on display in Able's office, but no explanation of why it's there is given.)

If Flynn doesn't like the way Clu is carrying out his function in the new world, couldn't he just rewrite the program? Or erase it? I understand that Flynn now thinks of these programs as living beings, so perhaps eliminating Clu is not a morally appealing option for him, but I would think that with all Flynn has done to/for the two electronic worlds we've seen so far in the Tron universe, doing a little rewrite of a program would not be such a big deal.

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