SlushPile Challenge

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Challenge: Save a bad character


The Challenge: Take the dumbest character ever created. Reinvent him or her for a new era.

Bob's Pitch: Vibe: Good Vibrations.

Vibe. Former member of the Justice League. Break-dancer. Urban Stereotype. A hero who died a death unmourned.

After the events of Crisis, Vibe returned from the dead like many heroes and villains. Unlike others, such as Jason Todd, nobody really noticed. During the crisis, Vibe attempted to find his place in the hero community without success. Gypsy and Vixen were happy to see him, but as a big time hero his days were over.

The series takes place a year later. With no prospects, and his family scattered, Vibe needed a fresh start. He moves to San Antonio where his cousin lives, and tries to find a job in the normal world. Not an easy task when your resume only includes dressing in primary colors and hanging out with the Martian Manhunter. Taking a low level office job, it's not too long before he feels the draw of adventuring...a task made harder when you're trying to hold down a steady job.

Vibe is immediately drawn into a side of the DC universe seldom seen. He finds himself involved in Chicano gangs, corrupt border officials, and a community that isn't looking for a hero.

What could be cool about it: There aren't many heroes of color out there, and vibe (because he was such a bad stereotype) would be great to set a new standard for diversity. His character motivation is classic...a man back from the dead who wants to do good because he's been given a second chance. His problems are relatable to the reader. He has trouble paying rent. His boss knows he used to be a super hero, but can't let his employee run off every day that a giant robot attacks.

Sample scene:

INTERIOR: JOB RECRUITERS OFFICE

RECRUITER: So on your resume it says you were a....super hero?

VIBE: Yes. I was a member of the Justice League for a year.

RECRUITER: I notice you don't have a letter of recommendation from Superman on here.

VIBE: He wasn't there at the time. Aquaman was our leader.

RECRUITER: Ah. The fish man. Is there a number I can call to verify your employment?

VIBE: Well, they moved. I was with them in Detroit. Then they went to a base on the moon. I think that got bowed up. I don't know where they are now.

You got your light moments of a guy whose early career was a joke, and something poignant in the story of someone fighting for a second chance. Classic American tale.

No breakdancing.



Mike's Pitch: Anthony Ludgate, Doc Druid



"Sometimes it's best to be forgotten."

The heroes of the Marvel universe are being organized into an army for the 21st century. Forgotten though are the nightmares of the previous age. Hidden evil sleeps under the earth, inside the hearts of men and beyond the far side of the moon. The demons and aliens of the Silver Age, long thought vanquished, are slowly returning. As their power grows so does their influence.

Anthony Ludgate, former Avenger, has been forgotten by this new century. Once a powerful telepath and magician, his powers have faded, grown unreliable. But only he can sense the trouble that's rising. Only he can see the invisible monsters around us. Ludgate has only his creaky magics and the scavenged technology of a forgotten era with which to battle this growing danger.

The series follows Doctor Druid as he wanders the earth combating Marvel's crazy Silver Age monsters, starting with the ones from pre-Spider-Man "Amazing Fantasy". Think Kolchak vs. The Badoon.

Sample:

NEXT PAGE, SINGLE PANEL SPLASH. A SUBURBAN SUPERMARKET PARKING LOT. SHOPPERS HEAD TO THEIR CARS OR INTO THE STORE, THE PICTURE OF NORMALCY. EXCEPT FOR IN THE FOREGROUND WHERE DOC DRUID STANDS IN STREET CLOTHES, WAVING HIS ARMS WILDLY. DOMINATING THE PANEL IS THE FORTY FOOT MENACE OF TIM BOO BA. NOTE: TIM BOO BA (AMAZING FANTASY #9) SHOULD BE DRAWN ONLY AS AN OUTLINED COLOR EFFECT, SO THAT THE READER CAN INFER THAT ONLY THE DOC CAN SEE HIM.

DOC DRUID: "EVERYONE! GET OUT OF THE WAY!"

NEXT PAGE, PANEL 1. MOTHER PUSHING HER SON IN A CART.

SON: "MOMMY, WHAT THAT MAN YELLING ABOUT?"

MOM: "DON'T LOOK AT HIM SON."

PANEL 2. CLOSE ON TIM BOO BA'S LAUGHING VISAGE.

TIM BOO BA: "ONLY YOU CAN SEE ME, DOCTOR. THE CATTLE WILL NEVER REALIZE THAT IT WAS I, TIM BOO BA, WHO SENT THEM TO THEIR MAKERS!"

PANEL 3. THE DOC'S HANDS ARE RAISED, DRAWING ARCANE SIGILS IN THE AIR.

DOC DRUID: "NOT WHILE I STAND, DEVIL!"

PANEL 4. CLOSE ON TIM BOO BA AGAIN.

TIM BOO BA: "HA! HA! HA! YOUR MAGICKS HAVE NO POWER, OLD FOOL."

NEXT PAGE, PANEL 1. DOC HOLDS UP A GAS CAN. HIS OTHER HAND IS HOLDING A ZIPPO.

DOC DRUID: "BURN."

PANEL 2. HE SPARKS THE LIGHTER.

PANEL 3. CLOSE ON THE LIGHTER AS IT SOARS THOUGH THE AIR.

PANEL 4. DOC DRUID WALKING AWAY FROM THE BURNING INVISIBLE MONSTER.



The winner: Mike



Bob's thoughts: If reading Mike's pitch you don't want to run out and buy that comic, then perhaps reading comics isn't something you should be doing. I want to read that series in a bad way. My take was too common. Simple deconstruction without adding anything new to the vocabulary.


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