Tuesday, December 28, 2010

John William Henry Part 1

John Henry was a hammer swinging laborer in the 19th century who could be called the first real "superhero" of modern North America. His first memory was of watching the law pursue his father and his father telling him "Work hard son, be a man, not a thief or scoundrel, learn a skill, be the father I never was," before being dragged off by law men.

John was born a slave in the state of Missouri but John became a free man when his slave master became so afraid of his massive size and power that he released John and all his family. He was only 14 at the time and stood over six feet tall and weighed over 200lbs when the Civil War ended. It was because of his father's complete failure at everything he had done that John dedicated himself to doing right and working hard. He began working first for the C&O Railway company and later worked for C&W Railway in Alabama, which spread his legend as a steel driving man across the country.

In 1887 a very successful mining and manufacturing company named Chemical X Solutions proposed the idea of a 'Steam Hammer Robot' that would replace workers on the rail lines and in the mines. They believed if the Robot could drill steel spikes into the ground for the railroads and maneuver on the tracks, it could be implemented in the mines to drive dynamite deep into the rock and soil. Their plan was to lay track for the Canadian National Railway Line, from the coast of Seattle to Halifax. C&O Railway wanted the contract as well but could not convince the U.S. and Canadian governments to support them; the Steam Hammer Robot was just too impressive.

John had been serving time in prison in Virginia for an assault against a group of white men that would have been considered self-defense if John was not 6'8" and weighed over 300 pounds. Knowing his reputation, the share holders of C&O leased John from the prison under the condition that he would prove superior to the Steam Hammer Robot. John agreed, as long as C&O moved his wife and family nearby. They agreed and John was given a huge, expensive hammer.

In order to break open the rocks that would sometimes fall on the tracks, one man would have to hold a long steel nail while another swung the hammer. The goal was to strike the nail hard enough, in the most sensitive area, so that the rock would break apart. At the very least, a hole could be created to slip in a small stick of dynamite. CN Railway had a representative who worked for Chemical X as a liaison who was present at the competition. Canada and the Southern states were heavily competing for reconstruction jobs following the Civil War. Jim Crodes, the liason from Chemical X, came to see John Henry the night before to see what the real man was like. Jim was also a black man but one who had fought for the South for his own benefit. He had fled to the northern states to escape punishment from his neighbors and the freed slaves who saw him as the worst kind of traitor.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Ama-no-kagaseo: "The Mikaboshi"

The Mikaboshi are cursed wizards, mainly Japanese, who practice dark and evil magic. The first and most powerful of them would retain the title of "Mikaboshi" and rule over the others. They would use the spirits of the dead and the cursed to serve them, building massive armies of Oni in their hellish realms. By controlling the Kimon, or Demon Gate, Mikaboshi could summon their demon servants to Earth where they would plague the people of Japan.

The main power of the Mikaboshi lies in manipulating emotions. Their presence alone can push people to extreme behavior; love turns to hate or jealousy, anger into rage or fear, etc. Their magic is never used blatantly or obviously, except in the cases of direct demon summoning, they much prefer to simply create an environment around them that fosters hate and chaos. The last Mikaboshi was rumored to have died before the 19th century. In Japan a legend has started regarding a new Mikaboshi. The legend says that a powerful wizard used ancient runes and glyphs to harness the almost instantaneous deaths of the people of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. That amount of sudden death-chi immediately transformed the wizard into a Mikaboshi and allowed him to control and access all Kimon. All traces of his runes disappeared although one reporter claimed to have found and photographed the apartment where the spell took place. These photographs are cursed and anyone who has seen them dies. Whether they are killed by the Mikaboshi, his Oni servants, or simply through curse or coincidence remains to be seen.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010

Perseus – The Heroic History of the Canadian Legion Universe

Perseus – The Heroic History of the Canadian Legion Universe

Perseus was one of the most powerful sons that Zeus had fathered. His mother had remained chaste long into adulthood because her father Acrisius the King of the Argos had been told that his grandson would one day slay him. It had been an important prophesy that Acrisius had been told by the Oracle at Delphi herself. Zeus visited her nightly for years in the form of a golden shower, much like a warm bathing light full of sparkling jewels and gold. Zeus would remain invisible within this show of wealth and have his way with the lustful Danae. Eventually to her father’s horror she became pregnant with the son of Zeus. King Acrisius was fearful of how Zeus would react if he were to slay his own child, so he locked Danae and her child into a wooden casket and tossed it into the sea, hoping Zeus would take them in himself.
Danae and Perseus washed up on the shores of an island and were rescued by a kind fisherman. The fisherman’s brother was King of the small island and was named Polydectes. He coveted Danae but she was sworn to the man who had saved her, the fisherman Dictys. Polydectes became so obsessed that young Perseus would have to protect her from his violent advances. Finally King Polydectes came up with a plan to remove Perseus from the island, he too had heard that Perseus would be dangerous to kill.
The King held a banquet and requested each guest bring a horse as tribute. His brother was but a poor fisherman and had no horse to give his older brother, so the King demanded his adopted son Perseus pay his debt instead. Perseus, a brave man-child of 16, offered whatever it would take to make King Polydectes happy. The King told Perseus that he was to bring him the head of the one called ‘Medusa’, a human cursed by Athena whose gaze could turn men to stone. Perseus naively agreed, eager to please and more eager to serve. His mother begged him not to, but when he ignored her pleas, she turned to Athena, the very God who had cursed Medusa. At this point in his life Perseus had begun to change, his skin in particular, perhaps because of the magic his father used to conceive him, began to take on the feel and strength of living bronze.
Medusa was once a very beautiful woman with long gorgeous hair of fiery red, the likes of which had not been seen anywhere across the land. Medusa was a great priestess and served her Goddess well, so well that when Poseidon arrived at her temple, Medusa did all she could to seduce and temper the Sea God’s anger. Athena was embarrassed that one of her priestesses had not only had sex in her temple, on her very altar, but that she had done so well that the story of it quickly passed through the lips of every Olympian. Medusa was in fact telling the story to her two sisters when Athena confronted her, cursing her name. Medusa begged for forgiveness, she even attempted to convince Athena that Poseidon had raped her, but Athena merely laughed. Medusa watched as her red hair fell out, to be replaced by hissing snakes. Her legs fused into a snake-like tail and her skin took on a tough, scaly look. Athena sealed that temple as she left, leaving Medusa inside for as long as her life would last.
Many years had passed since the day Athena cursed Medusa and she was amused to hear the prayers of Danae, asking her to protect her son from the Gorgon. Athena visited Perseus on his boat as he left the island, telling her where to find the weapons required to defeat Medusa. Perseus then began his famous quest to find the Weapons of the Gods. Zeus even passed on his Helm of Invisibility, the very same one he had used to bed Perseus’s mother.
T o ensure no one would rescue Medusa, Athena also changed her two sisters into Gorgons as well. The two sisters were granted immortality so that Athena could be sure they would outlive Medusa and ensure she died within the sealed temple. Perseus took weeks to kill the two sisters, following them through the underground tunnels and tracking their daily activities until he could be sure of when to strike. The reflective nature of his skin and the mirror-like shield allowed him to watch them without being petrified. The two sisters were little more than animals and slumbered deeply but Medusa was wracked with nightmares. She would often toss and turn throughout the night, occasionally letting out a small cry or whimper. Perseus would watch her wake in terror only to cry herself back to sleep again. Unlike her siblings Medusa still retain much of her human looks, she was considerably smaller and weaker than her sisters as well. After the sisters were dead Perseus went to Medusa with the intention of slaying her, even though in his heart he had begun to doubt himself. When he entered her bedroom chamber and saw her in her own mirror, crying at what she had become, her hairbrush in her hand, he remembered his mother. His mother had always been a virgin yet she had given birth to him, making her an outcast to her people and someone of whom people would talk about in whispers. Holding his sword in his hand Perseus remembered what Athena had whispered to him that day on the boat.
“Medusa can be made into a woman, pure and true once more, if she can shed her ego and become wife and servant to a man of honor.” Athena had said. So Perseus confronted Medusa not as her slayer but as her lover and master. No matter what he subjected her to, no matter how much humiliation he put her through her snake-like body could handle the punishment and her pride made her vicious and desperate. Eventually she stopped resisting Perseus’s orders and began to respect him and fear him. This fear and respect soon turned to love and one morning she found her legs had returned to normal. Medusa could have fled then, or attempted to murder Perseus while he slept. Instead she offered herself to him as a lover and slave and at that moment her curse was broken. Although she would still turn into a Gorgon when she became too confident and egotistical, she would eventually shed the Gorgon body like a snake shedding skin when in the loving hands of her husband Perseus. After months of living together as husband and wife, the now 17 year old Perseus began his journey home with the heads of Medusa’s sisters to show as proof he had completed his quest.
After a journey full of danger and peril Perseus encountered Princess Andromeda, who had been left chained to a rock as a sacrifice to the Sea-Gods. Using his wedding gift from Medusa, the flying horse named Pegasus, Perseus was able to fly Andromeda to safety. Although she had been promised to another Perseus saw in her the same chastity and sexuality that he had loved in Medusa. He also felt a great anger toward her people for leaving her to die at the mercy of one Poseidon’s sea monsters. For decades Perseus managed his polygamist relationships while gaining great glory as a hero.
Perseus’s first child was born to Medusa, a giant shape shifter that shared the golden armor of his father named Chrysaor. His second son, Perses, was born to Andromeda. Both of these men would become heroes and leaders ; one to the monsters of the sea and land and the other as ruler of Tiryns. One of his descendants would also gain great fame, the hero known as Hercules. Medusa did discover Perseus’s other wife at some point before he returned to his mother’s island. The tears Medusa wept when she learned the truth turned into poisonous serpents.
When Perseus arrived home, after taking two wives and defeating numerous other monsters, he found his mother beaten and violated. He had become a man and could no longer contain his rage. In anger he struck down King Polydectes and appointed his brother and step-father as the new ruler. King Dictys although a simple fisherman, became a great king with Danae as his queen. In honor of their new King the people held a number of games that lasted many months. Perseus was invited to show off his discus skills in front of a large number of rulers and leaders from across the seas. Whether by accident or with great skill, Perseus missed his target and the discus ricocheted, striking and killing Acrisius and fulfilling the Oracles prophecy. It should be noted that the Oracle of Delphi was also in attendance at the games.
Eventually Andromeda died of old age and Perseus retired to spend his remaining years with his first wife Medusa. His children took over the thrones and his legend grew. It was many centuries later that Athena, while shutting down her temples before going into the Great Torpor, discovered the remains of the couple and realized the truth. There are still descendants of Perseus and Medusa who carry within them the potential to unlock abilities from their parents.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Canadian Legion Story of Achilles

Thetis was the most beautiful of all river Nymphs. Before the waters were polluted, the mystical nature of Earth and the purity of the waters would often spawn living elementals, Thetis was one of these water spirits. Hundreds of travelers who came across her river near the Euphrates would stay and worship her; the river provided for all their needs and was considered the most beautiful river to have ever existed. Eventually two men would come to love and covet Thetis; one was King Peleus who had recently lost his wife Antigone and was deep in despair. The second was Zeus, the most arrogant of the pantheon Gods. It was forbidden for Gods to mate, this law was agreed upon and enforced by all the Gods who existed from the time of Creation until Ragnarok, the end of their existence. Zeus was one of many Gods who would imitate animals or pretend to be another being in order to seduce the women he coveted. Thetis could not be tricked however. Instead, she lured both men to her bed at once and, when Zeus grew bored, allowed King Peleus to stay with her. It is believed that Zeus had heard a rumour from Poseidon that the child of Thetis would one day eclipse his father in power and fame. This is one reason why Poseidon never claimed her and why Zeus stopped pursuing her. King Peleus built a temple on the river bank for the worshippers of Thetis, this would also be the place where they would be married.
Enid, the Goddess of Strife, sought to ruin their wedding by spreading the rumour that Thetis was pregnant with Zeus’s child. Chiron, a centaur and close ally of King Peleus, threw her down the stairs of the temple they had erected for their wedding. She cursed both Chiron and Thetis, leaving them with a golden apple to remind them of what they had done to her. For Achilles this curse manifested itself as the Trojan War but for Chiron it meant the eventual extinction of his entire species. Peleus did not care who the father of the child was, the boy was his to raise and care for. Zeus was not seen again by either King Peleus or his Queen.
Poseidon was the first of the Gods to begin sending gifts to Achilles. The greatest warriors from the sea, the race of people who would one day be known as Porposi, came out of the waters to teach the child to swim, fish and fight. Realizing the possibilities that were opening to her son, Thetis decided to take him to the river Styx. By drowning him in the waters that flowed into the afterlife, Thetis could have made him immortal. Peleus was horrified that his wife would exchange his son’s life for a cursed existence as an undying creature. It is believed that Thetis simply could not accept the mortality of her child when her life as a Nymph would carry on for centuries. As a favour to Peleus Chiron agreed to become Achilles protector.
Submersion in the River Styx did have an effect on Achilles, from that moment he no longer had any fear of death. He had seen something in the waters so horrible, so terrifying, that nothing afterwards could shake his resolve. The anger issues the boy would develop later in life might have been attributed to this experience, but it is more likely that he was simply impulsive and somewhat irrational at times,much like his mother.
In Mycia, on their way to the Trojan War, Achilles found a magical spear. Achilles did not believe it was dangerous and accidentally wounded his friend Telephus. It took many months and numerous adventures before Achilles came to respect the power of that spear; it was only when he used it to heal Telephus’s wounds that he came to respect the Spear of Destiny.
Achilles was a passionate lover of both men and women. On first arriving on the shores of Troy’s neighbour, the first people Achilles encountered was the beautiful Troilus and his sister Polyxena. Achilles was instantly enamoured with both of them, spending the next two weeks seducing and eventually sleeping with both of them in drug fuelled nights of lust. Eventually the ambrosia began to make Achilles hostile and paranoid and he believed Polyxena was seducing her own brother, trying to keep him from Achilles. Troilus defended his sisters’ honour and wound up dead, his head resting on the altar of Apollo. Achilles returned to his men and Polyxena told only her father and brothers of what had happened to their beautiful brother. In exchange for not destroying the temple and scared of what the future might hold, the priests of Apollo turned over Princess Breseis to Achilles. Breseis was chosen specifically because of her submissive personality and her masochist pleasures.
Apollo was angered at the desecration of his temple and arrogance of Agamemnon’s men and demanded a sacrifice. Apollo had planned for Troilus to one day all the lands of Asia Minor, including Troy. Although he knew Achilles was responsible he believed it was beneath him to address a soldier like Achilles directly. Agamamemnon had taken the daughter of a priestess for himself, a woman named Chryseis. If he returned her to her father, Apollo would forgive the looting of his temple. Agamemnon agreed but decided since it was Achilles who was responsible, he would take Princess Breseis for himself. As Apollo expected, Achilles flew into a rage and immediately left the war that had begun against Troy, leaving Agamemnon on his own. As the Trojans became to push the Greeks back, Agamemnon offered Breseis back to Achilles. He also offered his two main generals Ajax and Phoenix, to serve under Achilles directly. Achilles refused and informed Agamemnon that he would sail home in the morning.
As the Trojans pushed the Greeks back to the shore, Achilles male lover Patroclus decided he would take up the Spear of Destiny and lead the Myrmidons into battle. He was angry that Achilles would sacrifice fame and glory in battle for the sake of a Princess. Little did he know that Achilles only swore not to fight for Agamemnon, every night Achilles had prayed to Zeus to lead the Greeks into victory. Patroclus, wearing Achilles armor and carrying the Spear of Destiny, pushed the Trojans back and held the beach but he was slain in battle by Hector. Achilles heard his lovers’ death cry from his ship which had just set out to sea. Achilles rushed into battle naked and slew a thousand men in minutes.
Achilles was so enraged that his onslaught continued for days. At one point the river of Troy was filled with the bodies of the dead. Scamander, a child of a river Nymph and Poseidon, made his home in this river and was tried to drown Achilles to stop his rampage. Scamander was defeated by Achilles and taken into custody by Hephaestus and Hera who had come to watch the war. Eventually Achilles gained the attention of Zeus himself who knew the eventual fate of Troy. The realm of the Gods crossed over with Earth at certain points, creating places that would sometimes exhibit magical properties. Troy was one of those places and Zeus knew it could not be destroyed until the gate between worlds had closed. But Achilles attacked with such fury, driving his men to such outstanding feats of bravery and daring that Zeus wondered if Achilles would challenge fate itself and somehow change what was to come.
Three times the Gods watched as Achilles chased Hector around the walls of Troy. In order to keep Achilles out of Troy, Zeus brought other Gods to defend the walls, including Heimdall, Hermes and Hercules. Athena located one of the Masks of Sin and used it to change her form into that of Troilus. She reminded Hector of how Achilles had decapitated him in the temple of Apollo. Athena then changed into his brother Deiphobus and called him a coward. Hector realized he was being tricked by the Gods and accepted that he could not flee Achilles forever. The Gods transported the two men to the Elysium Fields to battle, while the men of Greece and Troy could watch from Earth. The Elysium Fields was the land that connected the realm of the Gods with the world of men and on occasion it would exist in both worlds. This allowed the Gods to change the outcome of certain battles or perform certain feats of powerful magic. Hector begged Achilles not to defile his body when the battle was over. Achilles merely spit at him, saying that he would tear every strip of flesh from his bones and consume his heart for the pain he had caused and for running from him for so long. Hector responded by saying the arrows of Paris would find Achilles heart for refusing this last request.
Their battle lasted for seven hours. Achilles was wounded first at the elbow but inevitably he ended Hector’s life with a single thrust through his enemies’ neck. A two week truce was called shortly afterward so that the people of Troy could honor their fallen hero. But Achilles refused to return his body and for nine days he dragged it behind his chariot. Eventually King Priam approached Achilles alone in his tent at night with Hermes as his bodyguard and pleaded with Achilles to return his sons corpse. Achilles was drunk and deeply depressed; all the joy of war had gone out of him. There was nothing Priam could offer him that he could not take, now that the end of the war was in sight. Hermes did have something to offer Achilles and the two men spoke privately. Achilles immediately turned over Hector’s body to Priam and the last five days of the peace treaty were used to mourn and bury the corpse.
When the truce ended Achilles was still depressed. Penthesilea the Queen of the Amazons had heard about the man who could not be defeated, in fact by this time the stories of Achilles invulnerability had spread throughout the land. Penthesilea and the Amazons met the Myrmidons as the rose for battle that morning and challenged them to a fight to the death. Penthesilea was one of the most beautiful warrior women that had ever lived and in his depression Achilles could not bring himself to destroy such a beautiful, gifted warrior. It was only when his men began to fall at the hands of the Amazons that Achilles regrouped and killed the Amazonian Queen. As he left the battlefield a notorious Greek warrior Thersites mocked the dead women. Achilles walked past him and struck him with only a single blow to the face, killing him instantly. Antilochus, a close friend to Achilles, took a young Amazonian woman under his wing and began training her as a Myrmidon.
Antilochus was later killed when the armies of Ethiopia came to assist Troy under the command of Memnon. Memnon was the grandson of Gaia, the Earth Goddess and it was said that when Achilles heard Antilochus had fallen, that the very trees themselves reached out to keep him from Memnon. Achilles was once again victorious, severing Memnon’s head and tossing it to his people to bury in their pyramid tombs.
Achilles had lost all lust for battle. There was no one who could harm him, no one was left to even challenge him. Dionysus threw a party for Achilles in Olympus and the Gods themselves praised him. His mother gifted him with his tattoo, made by Dionysus himself, while Zeus brought him a great shield. While in Olympus Achilles met other Gods from other pantheons and discovered the war known as Ragnarok, the War of the Gods against the forces of evil and darkness. Achilles realized he was but a small fish in a small pond and that there was another life waiting for him beyond Troy, one that would be hidden from the eyes of men. Before returning to the world of man Achilles is intrigued by a very strange individual, Ganesh, sitting on a giant lotus plant meditating. Achilles asked him “What are you?” to which Ganesh replied, very calmly, “What are YOU?”.
Achilles removed his sword and told Ganesh that he was a great warrior, as strong and deadly as the blade but with no one left to cut. Ganesh snickered and told Achilles that a sword was but a tool and though Achilles had been a tool for Agammemnon, he was more than that.
“A man is his nature, be it fire, water, air or earth. What is your nature?” Ganesh asked. Achilles pondered this for a while before answering that he believed he was fire. Ganesh nodded and said “Although you seem to burn with ambition, I believe you are not fire, but water. Water can take many shapes, such as this cup, or a river, or the ocean itself. But the water can also rage, in a wave that cannot be stopped, in a river that cannot be diverted. Water requires nothing, nor does it think of what must be done, it simply is. Calm and powerful, that is the water. “ Achilles pondered this for only a moment before Ganesh shrugged and said “But we have just met, what does Ganesh know?”
Achilles thought of these words when he returned to the Trojan War and after only two nights he asked Hermes to take him to King Priam. Kneeling before the King, Achilles offered a peace treaty. Achilles offers to marry Polyxena to replace the loss of Troilus, also replacing Hector as Priam’s son. King Priam agrees and begins to privately plan their wedding, which would put Achilles and his Myrmidons in charge of Troy and stop the war. Paris, a coward and obsessive lover, believed Helen would be sent back to Agamemnon’s General, Menelaus. He also sought revenge for his brother Hector. When Achilles went to meet Polyxena in the garden, Paris hid behind a giant potted plant and waited for his moment. With a poison arrow he had been given by Apollo and with the help of six other assassins Paris shot Achilles. The poison arrow struck Achilles in the heel while his back was turned. The other arrows shot by the assassins struck him in the chest.
Hermes was still present in Troy when Achilles went down, but not without slaying the six assassins. Hermes caught Achilles as he fell, the poison making its way quickly through his system. Hermes was faster and he had previously agreed to take Achilles if he was wounded within the walls of Troy, so with great speed he took the dying Achilles away to the dimension of the Gods. The Greek forces had sent a massive horse to Troy as a wedding gift and Agamemnon’s men hidden inside overtook the city. Dionysus and Thetis were able to heal Achilles wounds but they were frightened Zeus would find out, believing Zeus had become afraid of the warrior. Thetis placed the Shield of Achilles and the Spear of Destiny alongside Patroclus and buried him as if he were her son. No one except Dionysus, Thetis and Hermes knew the truth, the Greeks were too busy sacking Troy. When Achilles was strong enough to walk again he found Ganesh and began to study that which he had ignored while fighting for Greece; philosophy, science, astronomy and medicine. The Spear and Shield of Achilles were separated and over the centuries fell into the hands of different warriors. Eventually both ended up buried in Hitler’s bunker and haven’t been seen since World War 2. Achilles even began to teach, when he discovered the Centaurs had retired to the realm of Ganesh.
During The Great Binding, Achilles was one of the heroes who stood with Thor and blocked the gate between Earth and the God Realm. Abraxas Ro, an Earth Mage, sealed the last remaining passage in the year 1900. This was the first time any of the Gods had seen Achilles since his ‘death’ and their shock, as well as his new found fighting skills, held most of the Greek Pantheon in Olympus.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010

Catman Strikes!

David Drake was born to a wealthy family that unfortunately did not have the intelligence to match their wealth. His parents were killed by local bandits while visiting Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. Left alone David was eventually raised by Gaia, the Goddess of the Earth itself. Gaia was intrigued by a white child and so she blessed him with supernatural abilities just as she had done for a young Indian boy 100 years earlier. That boy went on to become the Jungle King. Like the Jungle King, Drake was given enhanced speed, agility, strength and toughness. However Drake was not raised by various animals in the jungle, he was given to a pride of lions who took care of him until he was 18. The Barbary lion pride was the largest in Africa and so was their king. As the last of a royal line of lions, the pride would fade with the passing of their male leader. When the pride passed away the king passed his essence and that of his 8 pride members on to their human son, David Drake. Drake gained impressive abilities from the lions; superhuman vision, hearing and an incredible sense of smell as well as night vision like that of a predatory cat.

For a while David travelled across Australia with his fiance Terry West. Terry was a conservationist who David met in Africa who convinced him to come to Australia with her. Unfortunately Terry also suffered from pancreatic cancer and their time together was short. After her death David did not know what to do with himself. Eventually he stumbled upon the Dreamtime, an alternate dimension located somewhere in Australia for spiritual travel. This was the same Dreamtime that Lady Devil would visit the same year, a place where the Spirit-God would reveal truth and destiny to certain people whose lives were born for such things. It was soon after that David began wearing the Catman suit and it is his primary mission to protect the remaining species of tigers and lions.

Catman is officially listed as an Omega threat. This means, according to the UN Charter, he has used his powers to commit, cover-up, or assisted in the committing of a crime. What actually happened was a group of wealthy English tourists killed a wild tiger for sport and in return, Catman forced them all to fight in unarmed combat against the tiger's mate. One member of the group managed to survive and petitioned the British government to go after Catman. This means that at some point the Canadian Legion will have to bring him in for questioning and to possibly stand trial.

Catman possesses acute senses that were comparable to those possessed by certain animals. Catman is able to see objects with greater clarity and at much greater distances than an ordinary human. His sight was enhanced to the point that he could see with this same level of clarity in almost complete darkness, just like a nocturnal cat. This may have been in part a result of being able to see into the infrared and ultraviolet portions of the spectrum. His sense of hearing was enhanced in a similar manner, allowing him to hear sounds that humans could not. Catman is also able to use his highly developed sense of smell to track targets by scent. His agility and reflexes were enhanced beyond the human body's natural limits. With an ability to flex, relax, and reflex his musculature at dramatically improved speeds, Catman can pounce much like a real cat.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Why the costume?

So you might be wondering at this point why I chose those elements of the costume what is with the guy cut-off on the bottom there? The bottom half of the image would normally be sent as a separate file from the main "frankensteined" image. It is to show the artist how to give the costume some depth. At this point most artists can easily do spandex but to really make it look like real material you have to go the extra step. So Catman will have tiger stripes that are raised up like the designs of Bianchi's X-Men.
Check out an example here:
Catman's costume will have a zipper directly down the middle, as I explained it to my wife, so we can get a bit of beefcake and he can show off the chest. :)
So body in the picture will be the same, with the black gloves but with tiger stripes that more closely match the mask. I liked Alex Ross's Cat-Man design because it actually looks like a cat.
But one thing I find absolutely ridiculous is the cape. It works for a Bat-Man, but a cat should be smooth, efficient and streamlined. The cape had to go. The mane was something I'd wanted to for a character for a while. Only two characters besides Sabretooth were ever really able to pull off a mane, one was Kraven the Hunter, the other was the Creeper (sort of). Since neither character is around anymore, I figured it would be a nice touch.
Last but not least the knives. This was the last minute impulse, I was originally going to go with a more cat-like dark metal claw hand that could retract the blades like a real cat. But at the last minute I thought why not just use knives? Otherwise he would have looked too much like Sabretooth. Tomorrow I will put up a proper write-up of the characters history.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Catman "Frankenstein" mock-up.

So this is what I will be sending to the artist to turn into the Canadian Legion version of Catman.
Tomorrow I will tell you why I chose the pieces I did choose, as well as the history of the character.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Catman Part 5 - More Artwork

I have files and files full of stuff like this.
More DC/Dynamite and assorted artwork of cat people from the web.
Just wanted to post a copyright notice, Cat-Man is owned by DC Comics, Man-Cat is property of Dynamite Entertainment, all artwork posted so far belongs to the respective owners and is used only to compare the different versions of the characters.

Thanks you.

Catman Part 4

Now here is the difference between those are committed to their craft and the guys who half-ass it.
Even though I stopped working on this by noon yesterday, the ideas for Catman continued to spin through my head all day. People will be talking to me and I am thinking of what type of material a furry Catman could wear.

Yesterday I went through all the characters named Cat-Man to see what other people had done, but today we widen the circle and bring in anything that could possibly be used as my Catman, in each of the pictures I post there is a seed of possibility that could spark the design idea. My main concern right now is those damn shorts. Everyone else has replaced them but I want to find a way to make a cool costume with shorts and I am not sure it can be done.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Catman Part 3 - Other Designs

So DC, AC and Dynamite all have their own version of Cat-Man. Dynamite is calling their Man-Cat which I think is a great idea.

Here is the Australian version of Cat-Man:

And the Canadian version:

Both of these are at least 20-30 years old.
Now the more modern stuff:
Dynamite's Man-Cat

And DC's version, my favorite, Cat-Man.

Catman Part 2

From living with tigers for years, he gained superhuman abilities, such as super-strength, enhanced agility, natural night vision and the legendary "9 lives" of cats. Eventually, David returned to the U.S., where he was horrified by criminals preying on the innocent. To stop this, he became a private investigator; later, he would become an officer in the Army. Assigned to stateside duties, he donned an olive and orange costume with a black cat's-head symbol and became Cat-Man.

Cat-Man proved popular enough to earn his own series in May, 1941. In issue #5(V2#10), Cat-Man encountered Katie Conn, an 11-year-old circus acrobat who fell under the guardianship of her unscrupulous uncle after her parents died in the fire. The uncle forced Katie to steal things for him. Cat-Man intervened on her behalf and made sure her uncle was brought to justice. Since she no longer had a guardian, David adopted Katie. She tried to help him fight crime, sewing a matching red and yellow costume and calling herself the Kitten. At first, David tried to keep her from helping him, but Katie eventually proved herself and the two became partners. As the series continued, Katie matured and David was promoted to the rank of captain.

You might have noticed I am spelling his name Catman as opposed to Cat-Man. That is because there is a Canadian superhero named Catman and simply spelling it differently I homage that less popular Catman from Canada.

So onto the Kitten. So here you have a young boy raised to manhood by an older woman in the jungle, who later finds an 11 year old girl thief who becomes his sidekick.
11 is too young, as a parent I can't ever be convinced to use children as crime-fighters. So let's say she was at least 15-16, a little more mature and capable of dealing with the horrors in the world. However, I really can't get past the Sex Kitten aspects of her name, so let's toss it out and call her Ladycat. More class and style I think. But that doesn't have the same Catman and Kitten ring to it does it? Well lets leave that for another time. . .

Na-na-na-na-nanana! Cat-Man!

The first character of the pair I am revamping here is Catman.
From the Web:

The Merrywether family was traveling through the jungles of Burma when bandits killed the mother, father, and sister. Young David was the only survivor. He was found and raised by a Tigress and gradually gained all the powers of the cat family. When he became an adult, he decided to return to the United States. Upon arriving there, he was appalled to discover that the city was full of crime and evil he found. He decided to fight it, both as a private eye in his civilian identity and as the costumed Cat-Man.

So we start with the origin story and the character. Right off the bat there is some interesting stuff there, but I hate his name. David Merrywether? Right off I am going to change that to David Drake. Drake is shorter, easier and frankly I like the Canadian rapper. "Dave" is not a suitable handle for my Catman. Since all Raven Studio comics are for adults, I will point out the obvious sexual issues at play with this character; raised by a Tigress in the woods? Like a couger/sugar mama? So let's assume a beautiful black female hunter takes him under her paw and makes a man out of him. Not a bad origin, huh? Sure it sucks your parents died, but I am sure with all the hot jungle sex and killing he was able to cope.

So Drake becomes a Catman of the jungle, killing poachers and hunters and criminals alone for years. These would be considered the "dark years", the times where he was not strong or morally guided and made mistakes. Like Bat-Man, Catman needs someone to ride along with him and keep the beast inside under control. Which brings us to Kitten.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I am considering teaching a little writing/creating lesson on Facebook using Public Domain characters without getting sued and making them unique, because a lot of people like these characters but don't know how to use them properly.

Either post comments here or on the blog. Which of these two current DC characters, both of which are in public domain, should I redo?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

So as a little creative lesson I am going to let facebook friends pick which of these characters I will revamp. Both characters are popular at DC right now so this really raises the stakes, don't you think?

Whichever one gets the most votes will get redone, Raven Studio style.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Moses – Moses was the adopted brother of Ramses, the hero who would be known as the Sphinx, Egypt’s greatest hero. After the death of Ramses’ father, he is manipulated by the Gods of Egypt and the temple priests to destroy Moses. Ramses believes that Moses is in fact the Destroyer of Egypt, the one will destroy his great kingdom. Moses went on to free his people and become a great prophet; Ramses went on to become The Sphinx, a superhero of the Middle East and a member of the Lost Legion.

Samson – Samson, unlike the other heroes and Gods of the past, was in fact born with his great might, perhaps some new form of evolution or miraculous mutation. The people of Israel were living in terror of their oppressors, the Philistines. Samson’s mother was a strict disciplinarian and stern Nazirite. She believed Samson was chosen by the angels to free the Israelites from their oppressors. Samson was a great strategist and had a gift with animals. After tearing a lion apart with his bare hands, he swore a pledge to never kill an animal needlessly again. This is how he was able to gather three hundred foxes and, tying torches to their tails, send them out across the fields of the Philistines. After they retaliate by burning his wife and her father, Samson begins to strike them down at every turn, at one point wading through the bodies of the dead waist high.

Eventually Samson is betrayed by Delilah who shaves off his hair while he slept. So strong were his convictions and upbringing that he truly believed the loss of his hair weakened him physically, as this was against the code of the Nazirite. He was quickly captured and his eyes burned out with a hot poker. They locked him in the basement of a temple, tied to a grain wheel. As his hair and beard grew, Samson prays to the God of Israel. For ten years he toiled in the dark basement of the temple. On the tenth year of his capture, his enemies gathered on the roof of the temple to celebrate. Perhaps his eyesight was not lost completely or perhaps God looked down and pitied Samson, but a light appeared in the darkness and illuminated the pillars that supported the temple. With his strength returned and his God’s blessing in his heart, Samson destroyed the temple, pushing over the pillars so that his enemies came crashing down around him. Only when every enemy was crushed did Samson finally collapse beneath the great weight of the temple. The Norse and Greek Gods came together over the ruins and removed Samson from the rubble. Even though he was not of their blood and was a true believer in the God of the Israelites, the Greek and Norse Gods accepted him as one of them and he sleeps beside them to this day.

At this point in history, things became muddled. Our galaxy moved through a low energy field, causing unknown changes on the Earth. The Earth would pass through a high energy field many centuries later at the dawn of the 20th century. The Ancient Gods prepared for a long slumber and a star appeared over Bethlehem. Magic, an ancient energy force that ebbed and flowed like water, was at a high point during these periods, giving man and beast new challenges and forming the basis for new myths and legends. The Sphinx began travelling the world rather than watch Egypt crumble.

Ganesa – As the Greek and Norse Gods grew tired, the Gods of India flourished. Unlike some of the other Gods, the Gods of the Vedas and the children of Brahma created and occupied an alternate dimension that was not tied to Earth in the same way Olympus and Asgard were. Their realm was vast and unreachable to man, their wars did not spill over to the world of their followers. They understood that their power came from the belief people held in them, they did not see the benefit in tormenting humanity the way other pantheons did. Ganesa stands out among these Gods for one reason only; Ganesa was very popular. When disputes erupted between other Gods it was Ganesa who would serve as their go-between. Everyone knows of Ganesa and all respect his judgement. To this day Ganesa still resides in India somewhere.

Monday, April 5, 2010

More History from the world of the Legion

Perseus – Another of Zeus’s offspring, Perseus was different in that his father conceived him while in the form of a shower of gold. Perseus was born with skin as hard as metal, golden brown like a bronze cast. Often an outcast and treated poorly as a child, Perseus eventually faced Medusa. He did not behead her as it was believed, he in fact restored her to her former beauty. During the transformation back to her old self, the snake head was simply shed like old skin. He used this old skin as a weapon to turn his opponents to stone; almost everyone believed it was Medusa’s actual head. Medusa and Perseus had children who also carried aspects of their parents’ curses (snake like skin that was gold and impervious for example). Their children spread far and wide across the globe. Perseus is the only warrior to marry two powerful women of myth, for his marriage to Andromeda was real and loving and eventually founded the Persian Empire through their son Perses. Medusa remained his second, secret wife because she loved him and owed her life to him.

Orpheus – One of the few God-Sons not to rest during the Great Slumber, Orpheus was the son of Apollo and Calliope. Apollo had great power among the Gods. The Roman’s, unlike the Greeks, were afraid of the Gods and used their powerful Magi to bind each of the gods to a planet; Zeus to Jupiter, Ares to Mars, etc. Apollo remained free, for he alone did not frighten the Roman people. His journey to rescue his wife from Hades was one of histories greatest love stories. He was a skilful musician and had a great charm and intelligence. His great honor and moral character grated on the nerves of Dionysus. The two feuded for decades, perhaps centuries, until Dionysus eventually slept alongside the other Gods. Orpheus laid his harp and helmet at the feet of his father Apollo and disappeared into the East. The harp is believed to have fallen into the hands of a strange individual known as The Songsmith, who can transform the emotions into music.

Prometheus – Although thought of as a “Titan”, Prometheus was the first super-human to stand against the Gods. A mere mortal, Prometheus used his uncanny athletic abilities to steal power from Zeus himself, making himself super strong, fast and nearly invincible. Zeus in anger created a race of Amazon’s known as ‘The Pandora’ and sent them to capture Prometheus. Their leader carried a jar containing the worst magical spells Zeus could conjure, had Prometheus not surrendered the jar would have released evil so great it would have ravaged the Earth. After his surrender Prometheus was chained to a rock, his liver eaten daily by a large vulture. He remained there for many years until Hercules freed him from his chains. Prometheus spent his last days in the city of Argos, protecting men from the wrath of the Gods.

Beowulf – Known as War Wolf, he was one of the greatest fighters to have ever lived. His raw strength and power continued to increase throughout his life so that when he died he was as strong as any God. Like Prometheus, Beowulf despised the Gods and their meddling ways. Grendel’s Mother was in fact a descendant of Perseus and Medusa. Grendel’s father was a Titan, possibly Atlas himself. After her sons death Grendel’s mother attacked and killed most of the men in the camp Beowulf was protecting. Beowulf followed her back to her underwater lair and tried to slay her but she was either too powerful for him, or seduced him. Their battle lasted all morning until past noon. Just as Beowulf was about to fall, he spotted a sword in the waters of the cavern; illuminated by the noonday sun coming in through the cave roof. Beowulf removed the head of Grendel’s mother with the sword and then returned it to the waters. The sword was known as Excalibur.