Wednesday, December 1, 2010

New Creator: fun yields original characters

Integr8dFix: I gave myself a creative exercise: brainstorm more Machine man stories and pitch an arc to his creator Jack Kirby to write and draw, then see what happens!
By the end of this experiment, I'll be able to take all the licensed characters back out of the picture and be left with the original ideas, which can then be fit later to work together, framed by a different story.

Jack Kirby created---wrote, drew and edited---the first nine issues of his late Marvel creation, Machine Man, all published in 1979. He left Marvel for the animation field, in the twilight decade of a long career. After Machine Man #9, cover December, 1978, the co-creator of the Fantastic Four, Captain America, Hulk, Mighty Thor, the original X-Men, and so many classic super villains and the entire genre of romance comics in the ‘50s, never drew the insides of a Marvel Comic magazine again, though he did contribute a few covers.

I gave myself a creative exercise: brainstorm more Machine man stories and pitch an arc to his creator Jack Kirby to write and draw, then see what happens!
By the end of this experiment, I'll be able to take all the licensed characters back out of the picture and be left with the original ideas, which can then be fit later to work together, framed by a different story.

So, let's just say I'm Kirby's co-conspirator for issue #10, someone Jack hand-picked on a hunch or took on a suggestion or met at the grocery store, for all I care. For this run, I've convinced him to go back to some of his classic characters while we still do originals as well.

So, our Machine Man title starts off teamed next with Captain America, two generations of Super Soldier. They face a machine man named X-Tinction that was the grand daddy prototype of the X models before the military built them. X-Tinction became sentient, went insane, and arises like some kind of Sixth Sleeper.
Next: MM needs to face some kind of Dinosaur Man. I am trying to think of a name for something that sounds like it could eat a puny Machine Man like a drum of thanksgiving turkey. Carnivex was where I stopped, and thought, "not terrible! But somethin that eats meat?" It gets a two issue arc.
So, in other words, if it's so much easy to be doing better, then you do it!

So what you thinkie?

Next up: Doc Ock. And the Defenders. Channeling Steve GErber AND Jack Kirby, who I wish could've been doing this run in my place.
Only, with Doctor Strange and Doc Ock both in the picture, guest art by STeve Ditko! And here, introduce future 2020 villainess Sunset Bain, created with Tom DeFalco. I kinda liked Gears Garvin, too, but I would've kept Tracey Warner. Maybe she will be the real primary character; that's what STeve GErber would do if he were writing this issue.

Then Jack's back (or Steve Rude, or Marcus) in time for Magus, and the Eternals. Though Jim Starlin would have to play some part. And then the Eternals meet...Aye Eye?

I think I nailed a look for my outrageous artificial intelligence creation, dubbed "Aye Eye" in honor of Jack Kirby's unique notions of character names. (He was created for the "What if I'd been Jack Kirby's partner?" challenge, to help him create a continuation of his little-known last Marvel series.) I'm sure we can put it atop an awesome mechanoid body. I had a lot of fun being imaginative with these designs!

I won't get into Klaw, the Panther, the FF at Project Pegasus vs. the Squadron Sinister in 19, Magneto and Alpha Flight in 20, Nightmare in 21, X-Tinction in 22, Absorbing Man in 23, Thor, Asgard, and the Leader in 24. And then the villain revealed behind the Magus encounter, maybe even Aye Eye if that wasn't an 'accident, is Kang, who appears in 25 along with the Inhumans.

Then the Controller and the badass Dinosaur Man get into a crossfire in 26, and wow, just imagine what the supporting characters are doing, how Aaron is growing, and all the surprises that grow out of what once was...a flash of vision, made to see intrigues, to no harm of anyone here in the "real world." And he gets to address things like why the Marines need sexual slurs to browbeat their troops, and developing a sense of humor so he doesn't sound so disgusted and preachy all the time. Snark, but also sincerity. All created with Jack Kirby, finally (oops, it's the dream again isn't it?) drawing Cap, Panther, the FF, and more. What does he think is fun when he's not in battle?
WE'd find out!

But is CArnivex, Dinosaur Man, the right name?

haha. Hope you enjoyed.

(I think Jack would like that name.) conscious.

Part Two: What can I do with what I've got here?
Yah!! They lead straight from one rip roaring encounter to its consequences in the next, writing for the trades be damned!
I imagine he always hopes he will get X-Tinction to find peace instead of the madness of war without empathy. But yes, I absolutely couldn't see it not going back to one of those eras of the world: and yet, somehow, all of them.

Now, my one-two:

The Defenders: Valkyrie, Power Man, Iron Fist, working with Machine Man vs. Doctor Octopus and Sunset Bain, who are probably also versus each other, though I'd rather they were attracted to one another or something offbeat... Clea, Doctor Strange, Hulk, Nighthawk round out the appearing Defenders, I just know those first four with those two villains on the scene is a match-up that keeps the good guys on their toes.

And of course, Velveteen. Because isn't Velveteen Lives just precious to death as a title? My job would be to avoid excessive schmaltzery and make it about awareness and the end of logic processes being that peace is the simplest conclusion for everyone to agree upon.

I am going to keep this message, because I enjoyed your reply as much as I enjoyed reciting my notes from the cover of my Multitracker Owner's Manual.

So now you know specific ways Jack Kirby inspired me with that character, to create characters who can easily climb out of their womb in the cosmos and explore the future brains of writers every where. But then, I inspired you, and you inspired me. Awesome!

And I'm going to say it again, you just witnessed me falling completely for the name Carnivex, which just arose from the subconscious, without my intelligence getting in its way. The ultimate cold blooded killer: another distorted image of Machine Man. And boy, the hi=tech cutting edge and
and what about sixteen months later when technology begins to catch up around Machine Man? Even he would have to refit himself so as to remain up to date. What a perfect moment in his career to visit
"the savagest time!" of all! And "the Savagest Time!" will do for a title.

And boy, for you to bring X-Tinction back to make history: that is so very grand, epic, so very Kirby, so very comic books. I DIDN'T know hwere he had vanished to after meeting Cap and Machine Man, but with that suggestion I realize that if he and Carnivex the Dinosaur Man are both back ther in the past, Machine Man is in a lot of trouble!

That was so awesome: As I first brainstormed the contents of the second Imaginary Kirby story, I saw the Dinosaur Man killing dinosaurs, but it was you who had the brainstorm that this sixth sleeper, X-Tinction, absolutely had to go back in time, too.

In fact, he was just an overlooked x-model when I created him a few weeks back. Then I wrote to you and in explaining i realized he must be a predecessor, with a mind like War Games. This would fit in maybe with that "dimensional transfer" ability Machine Man used on Ten-For. But X-Tinction would be loose back there and Machine Man would feel like it is his responsiblity to kibosh him. But X-Tinction was bound to kill whatever was the dominant species, and it's nothing personal against human kind. it's just a war machine thing, you wouldn't understand!

So you helped make an idea (3 Super Soldier generations in battle, rather than Jack leaving Marvel interiors forever) connect so we can keep developing the villain, and now that you've turned him loose in the past with that blurb, well, Jason Powell, you just killed all the dinosaurs, congratulations!

Gee, personally, I'd love it if Jack threw in Captain America, too!

I think I'll replace Machine Man, in my own original material, with Corin, perhaps. Corin is the Artificial Intelligence who achieves sentience and comes to the conclusion that Jesus and other avatars were basically right and the logical thing to do is to love our enemies and love our neighbors as our selves, do unto others, an 'it harm none. I had him evolve from an explorer unit that dives into plate crust deeply to explore volcanos for science, and the A.I. on board just has this epiphany, basically, its Plato's Cave allegory moment. I first imagined him as a futuristic being followed by those hungering to hear his words in the spiritual wrathscape that was once Kolpar, home of the people who evolve into their own star ships. I could just do his origin in these times, lay the lines to tie it together and become part of my novel Tranzmetamorphosis, and then start setting him loose.

But I will say this: those playful ideas, not done at all for money, have yielded stunning possibilities that could create excellent work.

Aside from having a nice idea using existing characters, while brainstorming I came up with a female cast number, the empathic creation who is truly "the living robot" in the two part "Velveteen Lives." here, my imagining has given me three original characters and now I must mention this one, for I have settle upon thinking of her as Vel.

This was a living robot designed for espionage, with great empathy rather than Superman weapons. But her intelligence quotient and enormous feeling led to an enthusiasm for life that led Velveteen to abandon her programming to be manipulative and run away.

She lives beside the sea and takes pictures all day, and draws, and trains her sensors on her surroundings, and grows.

Now, imagine this character meeting Aaron Stack. VEry good stuff! Then throw in Klaw and then Next Issue: the Black Panther. This would 've made a nice 17 and 18 for Jack to draw and write (with a little help from his friends from the future alternative reality, us!).

So, strip away Marvel's property, to reveal: three super villains, one declared combat neutral (it's too painful to hurt anything). They fit nicely into the Marvel universe, but they stand ready to walk free of their molds into their own light.

That cover blurb idea would be declared awesome by thousands of people.
So holy cow, Jason. Let me tell you the truth.

YUou are absolutely right: Carnivex is, in fact, the public executioner in Latin.
It. was. a . blind. guess. at. a . name. I . swear.
Carnivore., play off Aaron's x-51 name, cool futuristic in 1980 X, and vex, to vex the hero, and here I wondered, "if it's a meat eater, it doesn't eat machine men, does it? and can it?" Can you glimpse how child like the reasoning that led to that name? Yes, the dinosaur man kiling dinosaurs image came all at once, and I thought, "hey, Machine Man didn't get to travel in time!" It must be an idea that is actually irresistible as a suggestion! We both had it, so that must be exactly how the story should go!

So, in conclusion: I give you Power Man/ Iron Fist as Defenders with Val and Machine Man: a cool idea I'd like to write for Marvel.

And, most importantly, for Integr8d soul Productions, we emerge with: X-Tinction, Carnivex, Aye Eye, and Velveteen, four original characters free to roam in our our own property.
And my friend Jason helped me by listening and seeing how incredibly cool the imagination really is.
It's like finding a secret formula encoded all around you, bumbling and deciphering in turns.

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