SlushPile Challenge

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Challenge: Image


The Challenge: Take an Image title from the ninties and make it a readable comic. Fear the ninties overkill!

Mike's Pitch: Bloodpool: Yellowknife

The year is 2107 and Korea's borders reach from the western tip of the Great Wall in what was once China to the egde of Great Slave Lake in Canada's Northwest Territories. Abandoning nuclear power and turning it's collective might to the field of genetic engineering, Korea owned the second half of the 21st century, single handedly forcing Rand-McNally to redraw the globe. Seoul is the largest city on earth, with a population edging towards 45 million.

In the border city of Yellowknife, Canada, five teenagers are doing everything they can to live "off the grid", eschueing cell phones, GPS, and RFID tags, avoiding all technology. Genetically engineered refuse, Jack, Sally, Kim, Johnny and Li were grown in Seoul's Bloodpool to be soliders in the Korean army but tossed out with the rest of the garbage when they failed quality control testing. Superpowers that were supposed to develop on their 13th birthdays never manifested.

On one side is a Korean Empire seeking to bury any evidence that it's clone army is imperfect. On the other is a collective United Nations that would like nothing more than to dissect these anomolies and find out what kept their powers from kicking in.

No powers. No technology. Just 5 teenagers trying to make a home and doing whatever it takes to avoid attracting attention.

ISSUE 1, PAGE 1, SPLASH. EXTERIOR, CITY STREET. WALKING OUT OF A COFFEE HOUSE ARE JOHNNY AND KIM, BOTH 16. THEY'RE BUNDLED UP FOR THE WEATHER IN WINTER COATS AND MIRRORED SUNGLASSES. KIM HAS MAORI-STYLE FACIAL TATTOOS AND SHE'S TALLER THAN JOHNNY BY ALMOST A HEAD, BUT RAIL THIN. JOHNNY CARRIES HIMSELF WITH A SWAGGER.

KIM: SALLY WANTED A PIZZA.

JOHNNY: SHE ALWAYS WANTS A PIZZA. TELL YOU WHAT, IF SHE MANAGED TO CLEAN THE LOFT AND DRAG HERSELF OUT OF THE HOUSE AND FIND REPLACEMENT DUMMY RFID TAGS THAT ARE CODED TO LAST LONGER THAN A MONTH... IF SHE DID THAT THEN I'LL BUY HER A PIZZA. I'M SICK OF BEING THE ONLY ONE WITH A JOB.



Bob's Pitch: Cyberforce



For years the world had thought Cyberforce to be the not-so secret group of mutants with cybernetic enhancements who fight the evil of mega-corps. Now meet the true men and women of Cyberforce, and learn what drives the nations most dedicated band of special ops soldiers. The people with the robot arms are just the front for the true organization. Gripping. Real. Cyberforce.

Pitch: We start off with a meeting of the last group of characters from Cyberforce. Typical Image type characters. Robot arms. Oversized guns. Bad attitudes. In front of them is a giant screen like you see in any comic book, bad movie or episode of the superfriends. We see a General, face obscured in shadows, telling Cyberforce that their enemies in the Cyberdata corporation are raiding components for a new generation of soldiers. With plenty of posing the Cyberforce team is in action.

Cut to the General. He's in front of a camera. We're in a metal trailer, just like any used on construction sites or in the field for our troops. Maps and office supplies litter the place. He throws off General hat coat and puts on the hat of a Lt. Col. His Real name is COL. MURPHY KANE. In the trailer is SGT. GIBSON, African American and member of the Marines.

SGT. GIBSON: Think they bought it?

COL. KANE: They always do.

we pull back to see COL. KANE briefing his team on the operation. No big guns. No sci-fi. These are real soldiers, in the real world, with the toughest damn job in the world. They're the elite force under command of SOCOM tasked with reigning in people with special abilities. The world has changed a great deal in 15 years. People with unusual abilities have been discovered. The mutation is caused by an a series of genes known as the "adaptive gene". This genetic line allows people to survive new environmental factors, by changing their genetic code. The mutations have a down side. They create a chemical imbalance inside the brain, leaving those affected as extremely powerful but with serious mental problems. 15 years ago an executive order was signed creating Cyberforce, charged with the task of reigning in these individuals through deception, incarceration or, if necessary, termination.

The concept: It's GI Joe meets "Punisher kills the Marvel universe" without the toy tie in. No Ninjas. No hot redheads with crossbows. Real soldiers in a destructive deconstructionist romp through the Image universe, with the ultimate message that everything Image published was probably not what really happened.

Issue 1: We meet the real Cyberforce team and watch them in operation as they evacuate an abandoned warehouse and sic two teams of Image characters against each other. We learn that as long as they fight each other in a comic book like fashion, it keeps them from being a destabilizing force in society. We also see what happens when one of the Image characters "walks off the reservation" and Cyberforce has no choice but to terminate them.

Issue 2: Cyberforce learns that "advanced" arms (oversized guns, etc etc) that normally are less effective than conventional firearms are suddenly increasing in functionality. The homebrew guns seem to be originating from a factory in Africa. Cyberforce seems in special forces units to shut down the factory. This introduces the first group of bad guys, a company called "Executive Decision" (based on Executive Outcomes, the company that supplies African nations with mercenaries in exchange for mining rights). Executive Decision has started to hire powered individuals, and wants to put a stop to American interference. Cyberforce discovers that Zimbabwe is hiring Executive Decision to force landowners off their farms.

Issue 3: Showdown in Zimbabwe. A member of the Cyberforce team is captured by Zimbabwe forces. Can Cyberforce rescue their teamember without causing an international incident?

The series will have a bit of Tom Clancy, a bit of Larry Hama, a bit of Garth Ennis. It switches in tones from stories about special forces, to stories about killing Image characters that represent the worst of the nineties. We see how silly some of the weapons Image characters carry really are, and how the military could really handle people with odd powers.



Winner: Bob



Bob's thoughts: This was hard since neither of us had ever read an issue of these comics and we had to work off Wiki entries. Still, it wouldn't be a challenge without some obstacles. I win this because of two reasons. First, I acknowledge that the previous continuity happned, it just wasn't what people thought. Next, I capture some of the spirit of the comic, while still mocking the excess. Mike's comic would still be pretty damn cool to read.

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