November 26, 2013 at 6:37 pm #33813
These are awesome! BTW: I’m going to work an Amy Atom cameo in the upcoming chapter of Zero Level.November 26, 2013 at 10:16 pm #33818
Cool! I’m flattered! Looking forward to reading it! Gotta be totally upfront; the finished product here won’t be 100% Hero Machine. I use a freebie editor, myPhotoEdit, for cropping and filtering and Comic Life, a page editor, for the layouts and additional filters.November 27, 2013 at 5:29 am #33824
How DOES someone make smoke gummy?November 27, 2013 at 8:47 am #33831
I would suggest that since it’s an after-effect of a shrink ray, that it would be gummy because it SHOULD take up a thousand times as much space. –You know– it’s smoke, but it’s gummy because it’s so dense that it acts a little bit like a solid.November 27, 2013 at 10:48 am #33837
That’s a good idea, Herr D. Or, because O.A.B is a tech genius, who makes all of his own weapons and defensive apparatus, the “gummy smoke” could be something of his own design, like he found a way to combine a smoke bomb with say, insulating foam, or a similar substance. As the smoke spreads to obscure vision, the foam also spreads and slows one progress.November 27, 2013 at 4:54 pm #33852
THat’s exactly what I was thinking – something that spreads yet becomes an instant barrier. I figured Amy wouldn’t know that, so I left it out from her point of view.November 27, 2013 at 9:21 pm #33858
Wow! What a challenge illustrating this story! I’m getting to play around with perspectives and size ratios more than I’ve done before. I hope I keep it all consistent as well as true to your story, Nate, and as interesting to look at as you made it interesting to read.December 4, 2013 at 6:20 am #34078
Nate, you gave me a great story to work with! I want to try and finish the art by the end of this week.December 4, 2013 at 3:02 pm #34108
Good – by then I should have another one done.December 4, 2013 at 10:41 pm #34119
OK. Amy’s origin story took 14 pages. I’m estimating this to be at least 20, of which I finished 9. To be honest, it would take me a lot longer if I didn’t have the Comic Life page editor and did this all 100% HM3. I’m done for the night, but I’m going to try to keep the weekend deadline I set for myself. STILL haven’t really gotten much done on the Atomic Adam origin/Sibling Rivalry story. No more teasers; next art shown will be the complete finished product.December 6, 2013 at 8:30 pm #34226
I have 15 pages and I’m just about half way done! Looks like I estimated low; this might be closer 30 pages than the 20 I originally thought. I know i’m not going to finish this weekend, so I will give up a few teasers of panels and pages..December 7, 2013 at 8:44 am #34253
Have to do more experimenting with the cover. Not sure if it’s the colors or the fonts but the main and subtitle don’t look that easy to read. Opinions welcome. Also noticed a word ballon I forgot to delete on the second teaser page.December 8, 2013 at 12:22 pm #34305
I seriously underestimated how much it would take to finish this, so i’m breaking into 2 parts. Between the work involved in doing the art and the difficulty of trying to work when my internet connection keeps dropping, this is taking way longer than anticipated. I want to do as much fresh art as possible and not have to recycle so much. Here’s part one of The Nate’s Amy Atom alternate Earth story.December 9, 2013 at 8:58 pm #34385
OK, I got another one. The art is a little different due to the setting, but I think this may fit the multiverse concept.December 9, 2013 at 9:11 pm #34386â€˜Neath the Atomic Skiesâ€œNo matter who you may be, there is always someone who is a little worst because he thinks he is a little betterâ€ â€“ Sergio Aragones
The One-Armed Bounty Hunter flicked a match on his metal stump. â€œYou sure about using mutants to track mutants?â€
â€œMy girls are the best north of the Glowing Glass Desert,â€ said Ms. X, â€œand if you want to go through Crater Country, mutants are all youâ€™re gonna get.â€
The One-Armed Bounty Hunter lit his cigarette. â€œMy granddaddy says before the bombs fell, Crater Country was full of amber fields of grain. â€˜Course, back then, if a fella incited a riot in Dodge Cityâ€™s mutant ghetto, like Adam Atomyk did, thereâ€™d be lots of policemen to take him out. These days, thereâ€™s whoeverâ€™s willing to hunt for a bounty.â€
â€œItâ€™s the only way to make a living.â€
The One-Armed Bounty Hunter took a deep drag. â€œWhy does that little girl you brought look so much like Adam?â€
â€œAmy is his twin sister, but I can vouch for her character.â€
â€œYou better. The leaders of Dodge City wanted to boost its population by inviting selected persona non grata to live among them. Mutants there can do anything they want, providing they donâ€™t get uppity. They had a few peaceful years before Adam ruined everything by showing no regard for human life.â€
â€œHeâ€™s out of the city. Why did they post a â€˜Dead or Aliveâ€™ bounty on his head?â€
â€œBecause he took twenty-two mutants with him, and we get a bonus for every head we bring back whether itâ€™s attached to a body or not. Thereâ€™s no way a band of savages led by one little mutie bastard canâ€™t be trouble.â€
â€œIâ€™d thank you to watch your language around the rest of the Sage Soul Patrol. Basher might forget weâ€™re working together if you say â€˜mutieâ€™ around her.â€
The One-Armed Bounty Hunter dropped his cigarette on the cracked and warped asphalt road and stomped it out. â€œIf we bring Adam back, Iâ€™ll consider your team a credit to mutant-kind. But they ought to know not to let the sun set on them on any other town around here. So tell me, Ms. X, whyâ€™s a normal human like you hanging out with genetic misfits like them?â€
Before Ms. X could reply Amy said, â€œI found their tracks. Theyâ€™re heading southeast, towards the Burning Fields.â€
â€œGuess itâ€™s easier for short people to see things on the ground,â€ said the One-Armed Bounty Hunter.
â€œLetâ€™s get this over with,â€ said Ms. X. â€œBasher, Sister Star-Spangled, and Libertina, mount up.â€
Amy jumped on Ms. Xâ€™s cybernetic steed. With the sunset at their backs, the team rode into the encroaching starless night.
â€œI canâ€™t imagine them going as far as the Burning Fields,â€ said Libertina, who lit the way with her flame-thrower torch. â€œThatâ€™s nothing but towers of flames from what were oil fields before the bombs came.â€
â€œPlenty of places to hide in the craters,â€ said Sister Star-Spangled, who kept pace with the horses despite being on foot. â€œThe land used to be so flat people called it the Great Plains. Canâ€™t imagine why they dropped so many bombs here. â€˜Course, it makes even less sense that they dropped bombs in whatâ€™s now the Glowing Glass Desert. Bombing a desert seems outright pointless.â€
â€œWho dropped the bombs?â€ asked Basher. â€œEveryone I ask gives me a different answer.â€
â€œWhoever it was,â€ said Libertina, â€œwe got them worse. At least I hope we did.â€
â€œThat doesnâ€™t make me feel better,â€ said Amy. â€œI donâ€™t like to think there can be a worse place in the world than this.â€
â€œThis country was a beautiful place before the war,â€ said the One-Armed Bounty Hunter. â€œMy granddaddy said back then there were cities, lots of food for everyone, music everywhere, and best of all only humans.â€
Basher grumbled. â€œExcuse us for being born mutants.â€
â€œMutants are all right as long as they stay in their place.â€
â€œSure,â€ said Libertina. â€œWe can clean your houses, but we canâ€™t live in the house next door.â€
â€œIâ€™ll treat you like a human if you act like one.â€
â€œWe canâ€™t change your mind,â€ said Sister Star-Spangled, â€œbut you canâ€™t change our DNA.â€
The argument got more heated as they rode over the broken trail of asphalt marked with rusty signs that bore the number â€œ70â€ in chipped paint over rust. For hours they followed Amyâ€™s lead between the lifeless landscape marked by giant craters, some miles wide, where small towns and farms once stood. Sickly sheaves of wheat stuck out from soil made black and gray from a layer of ash and fallout.
After a few hours Amy rolled off of Ms. Xâ€™s horse. â€œThe trailâ€™s taking a sharp turn. Looks like they went into that cluster of craters.â€
The One-Armed Bounty Hunter unslung his carbine. â€œReckon there are a thousand ways they can ambush us in there. Whoâ€™s going to scout it out?â€
Amy patted her boot. â€œIâ€™ll go. My brother wonâ€™t kill me on sight.â€
The posse hunkered down as Amy made her way through the shadows. The smell of smoke and burning meat got stronger as she went deeper into the broken earth.
She ducked behind a boulder framed by flickering shadows. On the other side she heard low whispering voices, metal clanking together, and a babyâ€™s cry.
Her eyes glowed orange as she cautiously peeked around the stone and instantly adjusted to the ambient light from the cooking fires.
This was no band of runaways, this was a colony. There were women and children among the armed bandits, all of them mutants complete with tumors, extra or missing body parts, and ragged clothes. Other than a few rusty rifles and pole-arms made from old farm tools, they were practically unarmed.
Amy saw a short man with a green mohawk on the other side of the camp. She hadnâ€™t seen Adam for years, but she recognized her brother instantly. With skill born from years of survival in the badlands, Amy made her way from one piece of cover to the next without arousing suspicion until she was almost within throwing distance.
Amy tried to get next to him with a quick quiet sprint. She made it a few steps before the ground gave away beneath her. Her fingers barely managed to catch the edge of the pit, and if she wasnâ€™t a midget her dangling feet wouldâ€™ve hit the sharpened spikes along the bottom.
Bells rang from wires pulled when the pitâ€™s roof collapsed. Adam was the first to reach the pit and grab the flailing wrist.
By the yellow light in his glowing eyes, he recognized the face. â€œAmy?â€
Amy swung her leg. Her heel caught a rut in the pitâ€™s wall and gave her leverage as Adam pulled her up.
Adam didnâ€™t look happy. â€œWhat are you doing here?â€
â€œThere are people from Dodge City looking for you,â€ said Amy. â€œThey say you killed some people.â€
Other mutants surrounded them.
â€œWhat do you want me to say, Amy? That I didnâ€™t?â€
Amy stood face-to-face with Adam. â€œWhy do you have no respect for human lives?â€
â€œBecause humans have no respect for ours.â€
Outside the crater, the One-Armed Bounty Hunter checked his watch. â€œYour girlâ€™s been gone for a long time.â€
Ms. X loaded her rifle. â€œGuess itâ€™s time we get her out.â€
Basher brandished her mace. Libertina checked the fuel connection for her flamethrower. Sister Star-Spangled loaded her Uzi.
Due to the distraction Amy unwittingly made, no mutants were watching the entrance to the crater. Ms. X led the Sage Soul Patrol and the One-Armed Bounty Hunter close enough for them to get a view of the whole camp.
â€œYou said there were only twenty-two escapees,â€ said Libertina.
â€œThatâ€™s all the bounty from Dodge City is for,â€ said the One-Armed Bandit. â€œBut over in New Wichita, they pay for each mutant head you bring back. So what Iâ€™m thinking is we kill all but twenty-two, and then decapitate all we kill. Survivors go to Dodge City, heads go north, we all get enough money to survive the winter in luxury.â€
â€œDoes it matter that the ones we kill may be the ones that escaped?â€ asked Basher.
â€œOr that the ones we bring back may not be escapees?â€ asked Sister Star-Spangled.
â€œI donâ€™t recon theyâ€™ll care. I sure donâ€™t. No offense, but yâ€™all look alike.â€
Basher growled. â€œIâ€™ve had enough. No bounty is worth your abuse.â€
Before any of the Sage Soul Patrol could stop him, the One-Armed Bounty Hunter cocked his carbine and shot her and Sister Star-Spangled in the stomach.
On the other side of the camp, Amy said, â€œDonâ€™t you see? This is why humans hate mutants.â€
â€œWe got our reasons to hate the humans,â€ said Adam. â€œDodge City was no sanctuary.â€
â€œItâ€™s true,â€ said a nearby mutant. â€œThey enslaved us.â€
â€œWe did the dirtiest jobs for almost no pay,â€ said another, â€œso we got the hell out of Dodge.â€
â€œThe last straw was when they killed one of us,â€ said a third. â€œThat boy did nothing wrong, but they beat him to death in the streets for not bowing to a town councilman.â€
â€œI couldnâ€™t take that,â€ said Adam. â€œWonâ€™t bow. Donâ€™t know how.â€
Gunshots echoed through the crater. The mutants screamed and took cover.
Amy, Adam, and a few warriors ran towards the flashing gun barrels.
â€œDid you bring them?â€ asked Adam.
â€œTheyâ€™re after the bounty posted on you.â€
â€œYou sold out your own brother? And your own kind?â€
â€œDidnâ€™t know what happened,â€ said Amy. â€œSometimes justice is blind. Other times, we canâ€™t see it.â€
Amy and Adam took cover. Amy drew her revolver. Adam loaded a small crossbow.
Amyâ€™s eyes glowed orange. â€œThey arenâ€™t shooting at us. Whatâ€™s going on?â€
With the aid of her enhanced vision Amy saw the One-Armed Bounty Hunter behind a boulder. Ms. X was behind another and shot at him. Basher and Star-Spangled Sister lay in the middle, their blood shining in the faint light, as Libertina stalked around the side with her flame-thrower torch ready for a blast.
The One-Armed Bounty Hunter threw a flash grenade that simultaneously blinded Amy, Ms. X and Libertina. By pure luck Adam had his head behind a sheet of metal during the explosion, so he saw the One-Armed Bounty Hunter moving into a better position with no trouble.
â€œI know that guy,â€ said Adam. â€œHe chased me into Dodge City.
Adam dashed up the crater so quickly he was within punching distance before the One-Armed Hunter knew it. He landed a solid punch that made the bounty hunter fall over backwards and drop the carbine.
Libertina blinked until her vision came back. She saw the man who earned the ire of the Sage Soul Patrol wrestling with the murderer they were sent to apprehend dead-or-alive.
She pointed her flame-thrower torch at both of them and pulled the trigger.
Amy screamed as she ran across the field but the flames were much faster. She plunged into them and tackled her brother. They tumbled down the crater, smoke coming from their hair and clothes.
After they stopped rolling Amy patted her brotherâ€™s mohawk until the fire went out. There wasnâ€™t much left of his hair but a smoldering stub. â€œAre you okay?â€
Adam pushed her off of him. â€œGet the hell off me. I wouldnâ€™t have these blisters if you didnâ€™t lead him here.â€
â€œBut at least now heâ€™s â€¦â€ Amy turned. All that was left of the One-Armed Bounty Hunter was a pile of ashes.
Libertina kicked the pile. â€œThis ainâ€™t right. No bones, no cooked flesh. He shed his duster and slipped away.â€
Ms. X said, â€œLet him go. We need to take care of Basher and Star-Spandled Sister.â€
Basher pushed herself up. â€œIâ€™m fine. What my toughened skin didnâ€™t stop, my healing factor is fixing.â€
Star-Spangled Sister tried to get up but failed. â€œI survived worse â€¦ just canâ€™t remember when.â€
Ms. X looked around. â€œThat greedy bastard will be back. As long as thereâ€™s a bounty on mutants, theyâ€™ll be hunted.â€
â€œOh please,â€ said Adam. â€œYou donâ€™t care about us. Get lost.â€
â€œYou need to move this colony to a safer place, somewhere further from humans and easier to defend,â€ Ms. X said. â€œThe Sage Soul Posse will help.â€
â€œNo, we need to get revenge on the humans,â€ said Adam. â€œWe need to raid Dodge City so theyâ€™ll be too hurt to come after us.â€
Several mutant warriors grabbed their weapons and got behind Adam. The rest, mainly the women and children, got behind Ms. X.
Amy stood in the middle. She looked at the mutant women and children. â€œI want to fight the evil, but if we sacrifice the future then we have nothing to fight for.â€ She looked at Adam. â€œRevenge will only hurt more people.â€
â€œAnd forgiveness will show we can be hurt.â€ Adam turned to his supporters. â€œLetâ€™s move.â€
The two groups split and went opposite directions across the broken earth beneath the atomic skies.
The One-Armed Bounty Hunter
Amy and Adam Atomyk
The Sage Soul Patrol
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