Mar 9 2013
Warren Ellis says:So here’s the deal:
Me: Spectreman is the very first superhero I got to meet, perhaps with Gredinzer. I’m an old fan.
Jun 6 2012
Si Spurrier says: THE SUB-MARINER
We’re going to do something a bit different here. Rather than taking an idea or golden-age character and reinventing them as a Modern! Day! Super! Hero!, we’re going to take an ages-old superhero, throw away 90% of the background, and get Conceptual. This is important, pay attention:
You will not be redesigning Namor The Sub-mariner. Namor the Sub-mariner is an extant Marvel property and, hahaha, jiggering about with those isn’t what we do here, is it? No sir it is not. No no no. No, what you’ll be doing is taking a couple of notable niblets from his Origin Story – niblets which frankly aren’t even unique to him – and evolving them upwards into a Brand New Character. Which is a brilliant and inventive process which totally respects and pays homage to the original character, yes indeed, and won’t get us shot in the digital face by a C&D order. FUN.
For what it’s worth: Namor the Sub-Mariner is a fictional comic book character in the Marvel Comics universe, and one of the first superheroes, debuting in Spring 1939. The character was created by writer-artist Bill Everett for Funnies Inc. The child of a human sea captain and of a princess of the mythical undersea kingdom of Atlantis, Namor possesses the super-strength and aquatic abilities of the “Homo mermanus” race, as well as the mutant ability of flight, along with other superhuman powers. Now forget you read that. Most of it, anyway. For the purposes of this challenge, there are just 18 words we’re interested in:
“The child of a human sea captain and of a princess of the mythical undersea kingdom of Atlantis.”
That’s your mission, my swampy loves. Make me believe that the character I’m looking at is half human, and half… other. Really and genuinely Of The Ocean. A briny being of bubbly brilliance, a nautical numpty, and similar alliterative bumsoup. Truly, a “mer/man”. Or maid, if you like. Or slut. Or spinster. Whatever.
Forget the Crime Fighting. Forget the spandex shtick. Definitely forget the brachycepahlic forehead and fruity ankle wings, which – as awesome as they may be – don’t shriek “oceanic life” to me.
Build me a mythical marvel.
Me: Sorry, don’t have mythical marvel in stock. Got this, though:
And it got me an entry at Bleeding Cool
Jun 6 2012
Si Spurrier, new master at Whitechapel, says:THE RULES: INSTRUCTIONS: JUDGE DREDD
All righty then. Doesn’t come much better than this.
We’ve had our clowns, we’ve had our jungle-protecting sorcerers, we’ve had our gun-wielding primates. I think we can all agree it’s about time we sunk our teeth into some good old fashioned head-breaking uberviolent zero-tolerance epic future cop action, yes? With the kind permission of the splendid droids over at 2000AD, you’re about to get the chance to re-imagine the most iconic chin in British comics history. Here’s what we know: Dredd is an American law enforcement officer in Mega City One: a violent city of the future where uniformed Judges combine the powers of police, judge, jury and executioner. Dredd and his fellow Judges are empowered to arrest, sentence and even execute criminals on the spot. He was created by writer John Wagner and artist Carlos Ezquerra. Those of us who know and love the character could happily add to that with days’ worth of affectionate waffle. We’d mention that the common interpretation of Dredd as a fascist is a horrible oversimplification, and for a character nicknamed “old stoney face” he’s in fact remarkably complex. We’d mumble about the gigapolis he inhabits – Mega City One – being a gloriously over-the-top cipher of the real-world, whose gibbering denizens are so thoroughly buzzed on the insanities of the Future that they need brutal and unsympathetic law enforcement to prevent Colony Collapse. We’d meander endlessly through our smugness regarding the genius of a character able to make readers root for him – even empathize with him – despite his stated belief that democracy is the worst thing that could happen to his town.
And then there’s the uniform.
Let’s keep the rest. Let’s drokk about with the look. Your mission is simple: You’re designing a character capable of upholding the law in a city-sized lunatic asylum. He or she is going to be wading in violence 24/7. He or she needs to be mobile, armed, flexible. He or she needs to represent the judicial system which created them, with whatever symbols seem most appropriate. In a world of frothing pants-on-head crazystomm, He or she is the law.
And, folks: WE CANNOT SEE HIS/HER FULL FACE. Trying to de-helmet Dredd is a bannable offence, in this fan’s opinion
Me: The judges are a team. I thought at the beginning that the question of hiding the face and their relationship to humanity poses questions: what if they’re AI? Or Robots? Too much Robocop? Alrighty then.
Mar 11 2012
Warren Ellis says: “From Jess Nevins, another very short one that should be fun. It’s not immediately clear, so let me state up front: Gerry Carlyle is a woman.
Carlyle, Gerry. Gerry Carlyle was created by Arthur K. Barnes and appeared in a series of stories in Thrilling Wonder Stories from 1937-1946, several of which were collected in Interplanetary Hunter (1956). Gerry Carlyle is the beautiful and fabulous galactic big game hunter, a sort of Frank Buck Rogers, who works for the London Interplanetary Zoo, capturing dangerous alien beasts on far distant and often dangerous alien worlds, and bringing the BEMs back to the Zoo. In this Gerry is assisted by her bold and rather clever sidekick Tommy Strike, with whom Gerry has a love/hate relationship.
So the key writing was to have fun with the Future, and the various alien species.