8.26.2014

Dead Ringers

So I had another idea for a story.

Happens a lot in my line of 'work.'

Anyway, I wanted to create a group of villains that would be ... I suppose bespoke is the best term. Some baddie grabs a group of nefarious types, powers them up specifically with the skills needed to counter the Victory Knights, then cuts them loose on our good guys. So this is as far as I've got to designing.

I'm placing our good guy images next to their villainous 'mirror' so you can get a sense of how they match up.

The biggest thing was that I didn't want to do the opposite of our good guys. My guys' powers aren't really suited to that. Jack Bandit has a bulletproof suit and half a dozen guns. And a hand grenade. What's the opposite of that? So I didn't go that way. Instead I created 'black mirrors' of all the good guys, dark reflections that are kind of coming from the same perspective but with an eeeeeevil twist. It's sort of like the Jedi and the Sith: they both use The Force, but in different ways and for different results and man, those Sith guys all look way cooler, don't they?

I mentioned my favorite Knight, Jack Bandit, previously, so we'll start with his 'mirror,' Jesse Hell. There's two things to understand about why I went the way I did with this guy. First, he had to have a lot of style. Jack's got style and his reflection needs to be stylish as well. Second, I fucking hate most rockabilly types. They're usually assholes with too many tattoos, they play at some ridiculous posturing and they get some gorgeous girls. I kicked around quite a few ideas for Jack's opposite before internalizing a bit and asking my id what would really grate on my nerves. The answer: a rockabilly greaser that Lana Lash would probably have the hots for.

So it made drawing him kind of tough. I had to put aside that chip on my shoulder to make sure I still did the character justice and got a cool design. Jesse Hell is invulnerable himself, instead of wearing a suit like Jack, and as a result he can be more of a hand-to-hand guy, getting in close to Jack and really delivering some damage.

What an asshole.

Next up is Miss Fortune, the anti-Dani Danger. Another tough one, she went through a lot of sketches and designs before I settled on this look. Dani is a very carefully precise woman, very ordered out of necessity, and her reflection is that order and drive to perfection taken to a domineering level. I then gave her a flexible electro epee, a fencing foil, that would work well in battling Dani's ricochet boomerangs. Miss Fortune also manipulates bad karma to counter Dani's good luck, essentially nullifying the one powered trick Dani has up her sleeve.

Then we have Blackout, Silvershade's mirror. I wanted him big and bulky, line a linebacker, and I think that worked out well. He's got some body armor to get him past Silvershade's guns, but most important is that he is batshit crazy. When Silvershade drops a canister of terror gas, Blackout runs in and starts snorting it. If Silvershade is someone trying to do right and bring balance out of chaos, then Blackout is the frothing lunatic in the corner looking to get high and cause damage to everything around him. Wack-a-doo.

Finally there's Sabra Sting, the doppleganger for Lana Lash. She's got taser glovers and some other tricks, including wall-crawling and agility. And she knows Jack's gonna be hot for her because she's wearing very little clothes, which is gonna drive Lana nuts.

Y'know, Jack and Lana really would be a good couple if they weren't both so damn self-destructive.

Anyway, Sabra's really gonna give Lana a run for her money. The more I write the Knights the more I enjoy delving into the little nooks and crannies of their personalities. I really enjoy getting those moments when the characters 'speak for themselves' and tell me what they want to say or do, and Lana is really starting to shape up into someone special. I've got a very personal story lined up for her when I get around to everyone's origins and I can almost guarantee that hers will make you cry, just a little bit and only for a minute, but cry you will indeed.

Or at least get a little misty.

Coming soon are the other 'mirrors' for the Knights and their extended crime fighting circle. Corset's mirror is Cobalt Corsair, a pirate, and her sidekick Blue Bowman will be targeted by Deadeye, a sniper. Yellow Jacket and Fetish are going up against Silver Bullet and Kink, respectively. Fetish is another gal who's got a great background story and Kink is a connection to that. Furious is going up against a guy named Edge -- that may change -- a massive body builder-type who's resistant to the trembling hand of rage. And we'll see the return of Crucible when his counter shows up, the Inquisitor. Ever heard of the Spanish Inqusition? Condense that all into one woman.

Those last folks have been sketched up some, played with, kicked around a bit, but nothing's come to fruition yet. I'm not even really ready to post the sketches just yet. I know Edge looks like an accountant with muscles like Schwarzenegger and a baseball bat, and I have some good ideas for Kink now, but the rest ... Art is hard sometimes, folks. Rewarding when it works, pure joy when it flows, but total frustration when it jams up.

So, yeah ... there's all that.

S.