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Thread: Jab's Builds!

  1. #14961
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    Re: Scatterbrain

    Quote Originally Posted by Shock View Post
    The look on his face implies it's not just synapses that are firing
    *pfft*! Perversion in a CLAREMONT comic? NEVER.

  2. #14962
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    Kickers, Inc.




    They were going to have a vehicle called the Ultramobile that could travel all-terrain and it was much more broad adventure, à lá the Challengers of the Unknown. As things started to form, there was more information about what the New Universe was going to be trickling down from [editor-in-chief Jim] Shooter. We found out Shooter was pushing this idea that the books would be ultra-realistic. Tom wanted to do very tongue-in-cheek, seat-of-your-pants adventures. The characters were going to be off-season football players, but he was seeing something much broader. When Tom saw that Shooter wanted things more grounded in realism, he tried to take the strip back. But Jim wanted a sports book. Tom tried to tell him it wasn’t a sports book, but Shooter told Tom, ‘Trust me, it’ll be great. I want it for New Universe.'
    -Tom DeFalco


    KICKERS, INC.
    JACK "MR. MAGNIFICENT" MAGNICONTE
    Created By:
    Tom DeFalco & Ron Frenz
    First Appearance: Kickers, Inc. #1 (Nov. 1986)
    Role: Goofy-Ass Hero
    PL 8 (102)
    STRENGTH
    5 STAMINA 8 AGILITY 5
    FIGHTING 8 DEXTERITY 4
    INTELLIGENCE 2 AWARENESS 3 PRESENCE 3

    Skills:
    Acrobatics 3 (+8)
    Athletics 9 (+14)
    Deception 3 (+6)
    Expertise (Football Player- Quarterback) 6 (+10) -- Uses Dex
    Insight 2 (+5)
    Intimidation 2 (+5)
    Perception 3 (+6)

    Advantages:
    Great Endurance, Move-By Action

    Powers:
    "Supreme Physical Specimen"
    Power-Lifting 1 (3,200 lbs.) [1]
    Speed 3 (16 mph) [3]
    Leaping 1 (15 feet) [1]

    Offense:
    Unarmed +8 (+5 Damage, DC 20)
    Initiative +5

    Defenses:
    Dodge +8 (DC 18), Parry +8 (DC 18), Toughness +8, Fortitude +8, Will +5

    Complications:
    Relationship (Darlene- Wife)

    Total: Abilities: 76 / Skills: 28--14 / Advantages: 2 / Powers: 5 / Defenses: 5 (102)

    -This book was supposed to be called Mr. Magnificent and the Team Supreme, a goofy-ass broad adventure series set in a Challengers of the Unknown vein. But when they discovered that this whole "New Universe" thing was going to be more realistic in tone, they rapidly changed everything around to fit... poorly. The book was riddled with even MORE creative difficulties than the rest of the line, as DeFalco was doing only half the writing within three issues (he says he was already bored with the project by then), and by the sixth issue both the creators (who'd go on to do Thor together) had left the book. It was cancelled after twelve issues, though the main character, Jack Magniconte, would appear in other NU books.

    -Jack gained powers in the White Event, but quit the "New York Smashers" football team (WORLD OUTSIDE YOUR FRONT DOOR, SHOOTER!) because football no longer held any challenge for him. His brother, who'd thought HE'D given Jack superpowers, was killed by loan sharks for failing to pay his debts (his "Superpower Device" obviously didn't work- 'twas the White Event, not his machine, that empowered Jack). Jack decided to form Kickers, Inc. as a do-gooder organization, but a CIA agent began blackmailing him to shut it down. After Pittsburgh was destroyed, Jack joined the army and became The All-American.

    -Jack's teammates were Thomas "Suicide" Smythe, Beauford "Brick Wall" Wohl, and Dallas "Dasher" Corbin- all former teammates of his. The Wall is naturally a VERY large black man (with a business & finance-based education). Suicide has some contacts in his past who are less than on the up-and-up, but ultimately rejects the Uzi they gave him for one mission. Dasher is the young & immature one, focusing on fashion & fame over boring stuff like "education". His businesswoman wife Darlene was the "team aide" character.

  3. #14963
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    Re: Frankenstein's Monster

    Quote Originally Posted by Jabroniville View Post




    FRANKENSTEIN'S MONSTER (aka Frankenstein, Adam)
    Created By:
    Mary Shelly (original), Stan Lee & Joe Maneely (Atlas), Stan Lee & John Buscema (Marvel)
    First Appearance: Frankenstein/The Modern Prometheus (1818- original), Menace #7 (Sept. 1953- Atlas), Silver Surfer #7 (Aug. 1969- Marvel)
    Role: The Classic Monster Story, Innocent Victim
    Group Affiliations: The Legion of the Unliving, The First Line, The Fearsome Four, The Howling Commandos
    PL 9 (81)
    STRENGTH
    8 STAMINA 8 AGILITY 0
    FIGHTING 8 DEXTERITY 0
    INTELLIGENCE -1 AWARENESS -1 PRESENCE -2

    Skills:
    Close Combat (Unarmed) 2 (+10)
    Intimidation 10 (+8)
    Perception 4 (+3)

    Advantages:
    Chokehold, Diehard, Extraordinary Effort, Fast Grab, Great Endurance, Improved Critical (Unarmed), Improved Grab, Improved Hold, Power Attack, Startle

    Powers:
    Regeneration 4 [4]

    Offense:
    Unarmed +10 (+8 Damage, DC 23)
    Initiative +0

    Defenses:
    Dodge +8 (DC 18), Parry +10 (DC 20), Toughness +8, Fortitude +10, Will +6

    Complications:
    Phobia ("Fire BAD!!")- The Monster suffers from an irrational fear of fire.
    Involuntary Transformation (Suspended Animation)- The Monster will go into a state of suspended animation if placed in an extremely cold environment.

    Total: Abilities: 40 / Skills: 16--8 / Advantages: 10 / Powers: 4 / Defenses: 19 (81)

    -Naturally, a Public Domain creature like Frankenstein's Monster show up in regular comic books (there's nobody to pay for the idea! And the artist's descendents don't try to bring you to court!), and in this case, it sorta happened on a few occasions. He appeared in a 1950s Atlas Comics horror book (it was a HUGE genre back then, before Dr. Wertham killed it with The Seduction of the Innocent), and again in a Silver Surfer story, but appeared for SERIOUS in the 1970s, when Marvel tried the Horror Books in earnest. Initially taking place back in the 19th Century, the Monster was brought into modern times so that he could cross over with the other characters of the Marvel Universe (this was something the writers hated). Roy Thomas later pointed out that after a strong start, sales quickly dropped off, and it ran out of steam after eighteen issues. The creature has appeared a handful of times since then, though mostly in one-offs (I've certainly never read one of them).

    -He shares an origin with his literary predecessor- a monster built from corpses by Victor Frankenstein. Unable to fit in with humanity, he kills several people and escapes to the arctic, where his creator dies. The creature is thought-dead... but Marvel brings him out of suspended animation in the 1890s, where he encounters Victor's descendent Vincent, who dies fighting him. Going into suspended animation again, the creature then revives in modern times- here, he is aided by VICTORIA Frankenstein. Here, he became a bit of a superhero, teaming up with the likes of Spider-Man & Iron Man, and fighting bad guys like the Dreadknight and Dracula himself. He also became an ally of Ulysses Bloodstone on several missions.

    -He really doesn't appear much between the mid-70s and the past decade, where he's seen helping out Ulysses's daughter Elsa (though he's just called "Adam", it's pretty clear who it's supposed to be), then a clone of his joined S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Paranormal Containment Unit in another failed series, The Howling Commandos. He joined the Fearsome Four during Fear Itself, alongside Howard the Duck, Nighthawk & She-Hulk, stopping the Man-Thing's rampage. Having properly flogged the Giant-Sized Man-Thing, he is next seen attacking the Hellfire Club, after realizing that Victor Frankenstein's descendant lives on in the Club (who has created a large army of Monsters). Naturally, there is a SPECTACULAR amount of stuff online over just how much of this "counts", is the real Monster, or is just a clone (he appears on the First Line in The Lost Generation, for example, but isn't named).

    -Frankenstein's Monster is a pretty simple PL 9 build- a super-strong grappler with little in the way of skills or non-fighting capabilities.
    A lot of these Frankenstein's Monster write-ups have him with a Stamina rating, which strikes me as weird...isn't he technically undead or something?

  4. #14964
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    Re: Jab's Builds!

    Technically, he's an animated corpse- whether or not he counts as a zombie is dependent on the continuity. There's no reason that his bits and pieces aren't working right- part of the deal with the experiment was whether or not the good Doctor could create LIFE, not raise the undead. In the original novel, Dr. Frankenstein kills the "Bride" because he fears he'll create a race of monsters- implying they can breed. And if the Monster can sleep or require food, then it's also probably a living creature.

  5. #14965
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    Re: Jab's Builds!

    The Monster also appeared in the original X-Men in the 1960's...

  6. #14966
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    Re: Kickers, Inc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jabroniville View Post
    Tom tried to tell him it wasn’t a sports book, but Shooter told Tom, ‘Trust me, it’ll be great.'
    -Tom DeFalco

    Jim Shooter was quoting Donald Trump even in the 80s, it seems.

  7. #14967
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    DP7




    D.P.7:
    -Created by Mark Gruenwald & Paul Ryan, this was one of the more well-thought-of New Universe books, largely because Gru was famously way-into figuring out how superheroes would operate if it was real. So you had a lot of "little things" kicking around in his books- the Avengers had a full-time support staff (because OBVIOUSLY you need someone manning the controls, or a real pilot, or a guy to do day-to-day operations), villains actually have to think up their complicated plots, etc. With this book, he included "little things" like the team speedster needing to eat constantly to maintain his super-fast metabolism, for instance.

    -The book was the only NU title to maintain a stable creative team in its first year. Gruenwald also made sure that the team seemed different from other superheroes, by creating a giant list of Superhero Types (jesus he and I are truly one and the same) and creating characters that differed from them in every category. However, fans criticized numerous aspects of it, such as the first year taking place over much less time than the other books (one month was supposed to equal one month in real time, even though this is ridiculous for a 22-page comic), or the way the book made multiple branching plotlines instead of having a central theme. At least fans enjoyed the characters- Gru worked hard at making them interesting, as did Ryan. D.P.7 was canceled with the rest of the New Universe after 19 issues.

    -The titular seven are a band of escapees from a Generic Evil Lab, where they've all gained superpowers. They're called the "Displaced Paranormals" after they flee (upon discovering that their "caretakers" wish to turn them into an army). Eventually some are recaptured, and a fight breaks out. Later, the heads of the Clinic are gone, and the thing descends into warbands and anarchy. When the NU is concentrated further, most of the males join the army as part of the mandatory "Paranormals Join the Army" plan the government had. As the New Universe ends, most of the characters have moved on- some are living incognito in New York City.

  8. #14968
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    Re: The New U

    Quote Originally Posted by Jabroniville View Post


    THE NEW UNIVERSE:

    -Few things in in this completely and utterly define the term "Colossal F*cking Failure". Napoleon's invasion of Russia. HITLER's invasion of Russia. The Nu52. The Matrix sequels. And... The New Universe.

    -Jim Shooter, fresh off a string of successes as Editor-In-Chief at Marvel Comics (despite pissing off numerous creators, many of whom quit and swore vengeance; another went and co-created The New Teen Titans), had decided that his master-stroke would be a brand NEW imprint of comics over at Marvel- a series of books set in "The World Outside Your Window", containing brand-new characters who were "outside" of the usual superhero templates, didn't live in a world of established, incomprehensible continuity, and were in general more realistic and "normal". So naturally, one of them was about a team of football players-turned-superheroes.

    -Shooter basically pushed through the creation of something he called The New Universe, as a "celebration" of the 25th anniversay of the birth of the Marvel Universe (Fantastic Four #1). All of the characters in it gained their powers through something called "The White Event", linking everything to a shared origin, and the heroes were usually more normal people that other characters. Shooter explicitly wanted things to be realistic, so there were no Gods, no super-tech- none of that. In short, it was a comic book universe with everything INTERESTING stripped out of it. Michael Higgins, a major editor of the line, ended up looking like a colossal dope for bragging about removing things like "speed lines" from the books, as if "helpful clues that stuff is moving about in the scene" is some kind of mind-crushingly huge change. Never mind that artists eventually ignored this idiotic demand and started using speed lines ANYWAYS.

    -Shooter privately called the thing "The Shooter-Verse", which his detractors took as the ultimate sign of hubris. Never mind that suddenly creating a ton of new books at ONCE was not only going to dull the impact of any one of them (something DC clearly failed to learn), but actually create competition for Marvel Comics itself! Humorously enough, Shooter's FIRST idea was to apparently create something identical to what Marvel's "Ultimate" line ended up being- Marvel's heroes, updated with modern-day settings & origins (this was rejected by corporate for "dulling down the mainstream books"). Archie Goodwin was put in charge of three books, Tom DeFalco one, and Mark Gruenwald another. Shooter would create Star Brand, a book about a normal man given extraordinary Cosmic Powers. All of the books were meant to be linked to the "White Event"- naturally, 3 of the 8 books had no such thing.

    -But Shooter was in charge, and so his idea was pushed through (see DiDio, Dan; 52, New). And it was an unmitigated DISASTER. Numerous creators at Marvel insisted upon how much they hated the idea. Other problems: Marvel's parent company wanted to cut costs, and so the line's budget was slashed and was left with writers and artists that were either new, or couldn't find work elsewhere.

    -90% of the work was half-assed, regardless. Kickers, Inc. lost both of its creators after six issues, and several of the books were axed by the end of the line's first year. Mark Gruenwald got some attention for his "realistic super-team" DP7 (he'd later use his penchant for "what would heroes be like in the real world?" stuff to Captain America and The Avengers), but most of the books were awful.

    -Also, in a weird, clumsy bit of editing, the New Universe contains characters named John Tensen, Jenny Swensen, and Keith Remsen. These aren't minor characters- these are the main characters of three of the line's eight books!

    -By the end of the first year, 50% of the line (Kickers, Inc., Spitfire, Merc & Nightmask) had been cancelled. Ultimately, the line's failure would also help bring down Shooter HIMSELF! With Shooter's unpopularity at an all-time high (despite sales being high for the NON-New Universe books), Marvel's owners felt that this undermined their confidence in the company, and he was out as EIC, leaving DeFalco, Gruenwald & John Byrne in charge of the line. Bitter writers would even savage Shooter HIMSELF in their stories- at one point, Byrne (who hated Shooter more than anybody else alive) had Shooter's own "Self-Insert", the main character of Star Brand, blow up the city of Pittsburgh... Shooter's own hometown! The origin of the main character of Justice was Retconned into being a hallucinatory image, to remove the fantastical origin.

    -Before long, the whole thing was cancelled- the remaining four books actually maintained pretty decent sales, but it was felt that the creators were better used on more important books in the line, as Marvel had entered its most profitable period in history (The Great Comics Boom was underway)- a four-issue Limited Series would wrap up the entire story. "Marvel, it seemed, had merely created a line to compete with itself" says one Comic History Book. Gruenwald would use it a bit in his Quasar series (his secretary/girlfriend Kayla Ballatine gained the Star Brand and moved to that Earth), but it still never interested anybody. Marvel's otherwise-great Exiles series had a very boring arc take place there as well- as a person who'd only read a single NU book before, this utterly failed to make me care about any of the new characters I was seeing- it was more or less like "Hey, here's this one character. He's a thing."

    -There was a minor attempt at bringing it back with newuniversal, a mini-series by Warren Ellis & Salvador Larocca. And despite that great talent working on the books, nary a single shit was given- it was done in eight issues total, and has never been mentioned again (Ellis said that he lost some story files on his computer, making the project basically dead- even GOD hated the New Universe!). Jon Hickman used several concepts (Star Brand, Nightmask, The White Event) in his magnum opus run on Avengers, but it suffered from... being in Jon Hickman's mangum opus run on Avengers. In short, the characters were given SO LITTLE FOCUS that no fans gave a crap about them (I don't even know what Nightmask's POWERS were!), 900 things happened per issue, not a single thing made any goddamn sense (Hickman's major problem as a writer was clarity), and in short, nothing mattered. And so, despite more time separating us from the New Universe than separated the New Universe from the MARVEL Universe, the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man and the Avengers mean thousands of times more to the industry than this little brainfart ever did.

    Note: I will fight anyone who claims I need to read any New Universe books . It's not going to happen. I'm not going to search out trades. And I'm certainly not going to dig through back-issue bins. This is your only warning- you can say you LIKED it, but me buying it? NNNYYUOOPE. There's only a marginally-better chance of that than me suddenly reading CrossGen .

    But you should all listen to my recommendations for Wicked, Hamilton, Frozen and Jem. That's different.

    The Books:
    DP7- a band of "paranormals" on the run from an evil medical facility.
    Kickers, Inc.- Football players turned superheroes. In the "realistic" line.
    Justice- a bad-ass anti-hero alien. In the "realistic" line.
    Mark Hazzard: Merc- a grim mercenary.
    Nightmask- a counselor who can enter people's dreams to help them with their trauma.
    Psi-Force- basically the exact same idea as DP7, but these guys can "Captain Planet" a being called The Psi-Hawk into existense.
    Spitfire & The Troubleshooters- a school Professor steals a Powersuit along with five pranksters.
    Star Brand- A Shooter-written title featuring an ordinary guy turned Cosmic Superheavyweight.
    616 (Or whatever it's called now) versions of some New Universe characters, with slightly different names have recently appeared in the Ultimates title, they're NSA agents assigned to secretly monitor the team.

  9. #14969
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    Re: Jab's Builds!

    I like the New Universe builds but think that the comparison to when Valiant launched with basically the same damn characters a few years later needs to be brought up.Granted it was all Shooter all over again and the guy really stopped having an original idea around that time.
    Live fast. Love hard. Die with your mask on.

  10. #14970
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    Re: Jab's Builds!

    Jim Shooter started off as a comic book prodigy, writing scripts for the Legion of Super-Heroes title when he was still a teenager (DC didn't even realize Shooter was too young to be held to a contract); but after joining the ranks of Marvel's executives and becoming EiC, he basically stopped writing at any serious level for years. And when he finally took up that again for a major series (the original Secret Wars), it showed and showed HARD. He hadn't kept current at all in terms of writing techniques, his characters were just a handful of traits without any real complexity (which was a big step up for Silver Age DC characters, but it was now the 1980s/early 1990s), dialogue was hokey, and plot ideas that used to be daring had been superceded long ago (Mark Gruenwald was far better at "realistic" superheroes and villains than Shooter's New-U ever approached). Some talents can step away and come back strong-others struggle mightily after a long layoff from their crafts-Shooter fell into the latter group.

    In fairness, his later efforts at Valiant (and even the couple of other minor companies he started afterward) were far superior-but when Valiant failed due to a few critical business/marketing mistakes, he never got another chance at any high level. And unfortunately his legacy is mostly going to be a fairly sour one with comics creators and fans owing to his final tenure with Marvel. Especially because better regarded voices in the community still actively badmouth him whenever they get the chance.

    All my best.

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