At last we arrive at the final round of Friday Night Fights 3, where your challenge was to create a team of five like-costumed individuals. The last member of the group to be presented for your entertainment is the Brick, that heavy-hitting, damage-taking slab of beef without which anyone would be lost.
And the last two standing in this "Carouse in the Brickhouse" are legends of the HeroMachine creators' community, DiCicatriz (who came in second last year overall) and Martian Blue. These two have delivered consistently great images for years, and this competition is no different. It's been great fun seeing what they have come up with, and it's with pleasure I present their final face-off:
For this round, I thought it would be wise to present each Finalist's entire team so you could see how they all fit together.
DiCicatriz' Rivet of "Quintessence"
Quintessence, a group of adventurers and investigators assembled by a genius inventor. Together they delve into the secret corners of the universe, drawn to the fantastic and the unknown. They protect the world from forces beyond its comprehension, unearthing ancient entities and fighting extradimensional invaders to keep humanity safe.
A security guard at Flux's main scientific compound, Victor Lowry was involved in a terrible accident during an attempted excursion into a nascent dimension with wildly different physical laws and strange sentient energy forms. The initial breach of the dimensional barrier was off target and opened in close proximity to an extra-dimensional star. Tendrils of sentient radiation reached through the barrier. Flux tried his best to contain the spill, but the scientist operating the dimensional projector was too close to the breach. He would have been caught in the radiation wave, had Victor not pushed him out of the way. Victor was instead caught up in the strange energy, his body altered dramatically as it coursed through him. When the breach was finally sealed Victor's body had shifted into a malleable golden alloy, composed of an exotic super dense element from the neighboring dimension. He took the name Rivet, feeling nothing of his former self. This form granted him vast superhuman strength and invulnerability at the expense of any physical sensation. His only sense of feeling comes as a side effect from the nature of his new body's elemental composition. The element he is composed of absorbs kinetic energy which in turn kickstarts a chemical reaction in his brain, akin to an adrenaline rush. Rivet has become somewhat of a danger junkie due to this aspect of his abilities, often rushing purposefully into grave danger in order to feed this rush.
Team Leader, an unparalleled inventor, technological genius and founder of Quintessence, as well as a number of facilities devoted to scientific research. He initially relied on an advanced weapon system attached to an external interface for his superheroics, but intellectual curiosity led him to fuse experimental biotechnology to his body; going so far as to replace pieces of his brain. His weapons systems are now a living extension of his own physiology. They react to the impulses of his nervous system and can adapt and reconfigure themselves against any environment. He exists in a constant state of biomechanical evolution, adopting the codename Flux.
Martial Artist: Synapse
A mysterious figure unearthed during one of Flux's archaeological expeditions, Synapse was empowered by the science of an ancient civilization to be the guardian of its people. They were unable to release him from his hibernation chamber during the cataclysm that destroyed them and he spent millennia in suspended
animation. Unearthed in contemporary society, Synapse joined Flux as his protector, hoping to make up for his failure so many centuries ago. Synapse has the ability to read and manipulate biological nervous systems, able to disrupt them on physical contact. He also possesses an inhuman tolerance to pain, able to numb the pain centers in his brain. Synapse requires very little sustenance or sleep, going weeks without food or water and months without sleep with seemingly no ill effects. He is a tireless protector and an unstoppable warrior.
Energy Blaster: Specs
Ted Osman headed the department of extradimensional exploration at Flux's resident research facility and operated the dimensional projector on the very first attempted dimensional breach into a dimension whose physical laws and properties differed wildly from our own. The gateway was off target and a massive star composed of sentient energy lifeforms threatened to spill out and consume our own reality. Ted was saved from exposure to a radiation lifeform by a security guard on the scene, but made the mistake of staring directly into the dimensional breach as Flux sealed it shut. The light of the alien star, composed of viral photons, entered his eyes and began a chain reaction in his brain, converting it into an immensely powerful energy reactor. Flux was able to temporarily contain the energy discharge (after it took out one of the reinforced walls) while he developed a more permanent solution. Ted had to have an energy diffuser surgically attached to his face, coupled to an exhaust system he carries on his back. This leeches off the constant energy output through his eyes, filters it, and releases it in an inert imperceptible form (sometimes visible as soft radiating waves). Ted can use his harness offensively by disabling the filter system, and releasing destructive bursts of energy from his goggles. Flux makes it a point to provide constant repair and upgrade to the apparatus, as an uncontrolled energy discharge has the capacity to annihilate everything in Ted's line of vision. He took his codename from the apparatus itself (the Self Protective Energy Containment System); calling himself Specs.
A mysterious woman rescued from a mental institution by Flux. She claims to be the youngest of five sisters, all of them tortured and killed by a father who feared their psychic potential. As they were killed they sequestered themselves within her mind, obliterating their father when he finally turned his attention to her. As their physical bodies were gone, the siblings now reside within their surviving sister. Asylum claims to have no psychic abilities of her own, the manifestation of which she credits to her sisters. They emerge from her as astral projections, protecting their sister with telekinetic constructs and devastating telepathic assaults
Martian Blue's Maverick of "Midnight Mavericks"
“From The Ashes” (the origin of Maverick)
- A name in standing amidst legends of old and new alike, “Maverick”, a name in constant struggle with the man behind the mask. A semi-professional athlete during his college years, he was an all too typical student except for one overbearing obsession. Exchanging his friendship and through it status with a chemist’s research into steroids, the man who would come to be known as “Maverick” was soon perma-banned from professional sports. In a paranoid fit of rage, he ransacked the chemist’s lab, destroying everything in sight, until he recognized a vial, one which he had been numerously warned of its’ potent danger. “…I have nothing…”, he swallowed the deadly concoction, immediately falling to the floor, his muscles convulsing with unbearable pain, his veins erupting as the blood roared vigorously through them… darkness… silence… peace. Cold nipping at his jaw, he awoke in a dim light alley. Pushing himself from the ground, water dripped from his face into a puddle below, fuzzy headed he stared as the water settled into an image, one he recognized as himself, instantly his memories rushed back in such force he thought his head would explode. In an effort to contain, gripping his head, he jarred to his feet falling back between a dumpster and its’ adjoining wall. A second later and the pain was gone, he looked at the damage he had caused to both the dumpster and wall, then at his hands in disbelief. Unbeknownst to him he had been being watched by a man dressed all in black from a parked car across the street (Who was this man? Where did these strange powers come from? What role did the deadly chemical play? Only time will tell!). A few months later he was found by the government, he’d been routinely canvassing the streets for crime, and thus offered a position on a new team, “The Midknighters”. Years passed, the team disbanded, and longing for a seemingly passed life lost him, he now works as a physical therapist for the “Craven Common Health Hospital” by day, dawning the guise of “Maverick” by night to lead his team, “The Midnight Mavericks” against the cities enemies, those who dare classify themselves as criminals.
- Maverick/Brick – Team Role: Leader / Powers: Super Strength, Invulnerability, Enhanced Healing Factor
“A Twins Bond” (the origin of Gadget)
- While her twin brother, “Cog”, was off playing superhero, “Gadget” was at home being raised by their single father. Without a motherly influence, she acted and dressed more like a boy, fighting and cursing all the time. Though she showed no interest in electronics as her brother had, she was in fact fascinated by cars, always underfoot in her father’s garage. By the age of 13 she was already as knowledgeable as a world class mechanic. Soon after “The Midknighters” were disbanded, and “Cog” returned home to an ailing father who died shortly thereafter. Leaving his two children the garage, now their home, after his illness not allowing him to work caused the loss of their house to the bank. It was their father’s hope the garage would keep the two close, “…your all you have in this whole world, each other and this garage …”. Not willing to lose her brother as well, she jumped into aid “Cog” in his research to build a mechanical suit to prolong his dwindling life. “Cog” is now completely bed ridden, leaving his sister and current “Midnight Mavericks” team member “Gadget” to finish their work while keeping up the garage, the face of their secret underground HQ. Though the suit is a sign of hope, it is not a permanent solution (One Wonders could “Gadget”(s) blood hold the key to her brothers cure? If so, who could help to find such a solution?). “Gadget”(s) pet robotic squirrel, the last thing given her by “Cog” before becoming bedridden, serves as a telepathically controlled, an electronic head band is required, miniature body for “Cog” allowing him to aid his sister, and the team in mundane tasks.
- Gadget/Gadgeteer – Team Role: Automotive Expert / Abilities: Genuise Intelligence
Martial Artist: Specter
“Flashback of A Fool” (the origin of Specter)
- *Screech* tires peel out. Struggling to focus his eyes, he turns his head to the left, coming to rest against the rain soaked pavement, his partner lie dead, a bullet wound through the chest, the last image he would ever see through his own eyes; “Specter”(s) memory running rampant as he crossed the rooftop quickly and silently, as if walking on the very air; “…Sir? Officer… …You’re lucky to be alive… …were shot in the head… …We managed to remove the bullet…”; Peering through an open window, he takes notice of a drug deal directly below him. Holding his right hand up to his ear com, “…We’ve got em’…”; Feeling sorry for himself, he had all but given up refusing to even get up from his hospital bed, until he was involuntarily dumped into the floor. He came up swing all over the place, “…Stand still you son of a…”, shortly after he tired out and collapsed. “…Now are you ready to quite feeling sorry for yourself?...”, a voice asked, “…I can help you, if you’re willing to let me…”; “…Hold position Specter…”. “…I’ve got you this time, you bas…”, he said with contempt as he recognized the man below; A young boy came running around the corner, sliding as he met the curb, an officer right behind him, “…Stop him…”, he yelled to his fellow officer talking up a woman. The officer barely turned to face the boy, just letting him go on by, before turning back to the woman, “…Not my problem…”. Later on that same day, during a routine traffic stop for a broken taillight, two officers are shot, one dead and the other critically wounded, by the very same boy, now driving a stolen car; “Specter” leaps through the window, his shadow engulfs the man below; “…Now that you can manage without your eyes, and now know a handicap can be overcome, and trained to an advantage, I know someone who can give you new eyes, “…meet my friend “Cog”…”.
- Specter/Martial Artist – Team Role: Infiltration & Stealth / Abilities: Acute Hearing, Advanced Training including Hand to Hand, Weapons, and Stealth, Enable/Disable Robotic Eyes with numerous modes including Night Vision, Infared, Camera Projection, etc.
Energy Projector: Gale
“It’s A Family Thing” (the origin of Gale)
- Growing up knowing her older brother in name only, the former multi-pageant queen received an unhealthy amount of her parents’ attention, blaming themselves for their son’s unexplained disappearance. The siren destined to be called “Gale” grew from childhood into womanhood with a nasty case of self entitlement, her saving grace being her naturally gentle turn. The manifestation of her powers where made clear to her and family when she came home from high school upset, she had not been nominated for prom queen. She stormed in the house, stomped up the steps, slammed her bedroom door, threw herself onto the bed, and let out a blood curdling, ear ringing scream, followed by a tornado destroying almost 1/4th of Kansas. Afraid their daughter might be possessed the family called in preachers, and through hear say and a few no-name papers, the story received minor news coverage. Deeming herself “…a freak…” to dangerous to live among “…normal people…” she wrote a letter to her parents, laid it on her pillow, and slipped out of the house in the middle of the night. While walking along the road she was picked up by a man dressed all in black. *Ring, Ring* “Hello?” “Your sister’s in a motel on VT-289, room 7” “Who is this?” *Click*. A few hours later there was a knock at the door, and when the girl opened it there stood her brother, “Maverick”. Since becoming known as “Gale” a couple of the other “Midnight Mavericks” team members have attributed a second meaning to the name, bundling her seeming mood swings and the wind’s almost instant intensity changes. Since joining the team her civilian cover, provided by her brother, is as a nurse at the “Craven Common Health Hospital”.
- Gale/Energy Projector – Team Role: Versatile Role / Powers: Wind Manipulation
“A Dream of Midnight” (the origin of Nightmare)
- “The Midnight Mavericks” newest face and definitely in contention for most powerful, “Nightmare”, has the ability of mental projection. (Nightmare is powerful as is, growing stronger every day, but if he can work past his mental block he could be one of the most powerful superheroes ever with his powers range. He can project anything he can imagine, but has a special affinity for animals and thus chooses them most of the time from a brute force such as a T-Rex, to an flying escape such as a giant bird, and beyond.) An enigma in his own right, seemingly normal, his powers didn’t materialize until he intervened in the rape of a young women, getting beaten within inches of his life, and left for dead only after the woman was overheard calling the police. Once in the hospital the woman visits regularly every day for a time, but her visits grow further apart as he shows no sign of waking from his coma, until she stops coming entirely. Meanwhile his tending nurse finds a tender spot in her heart for him, first solely out of pity for the simple fact no one came to visit, “…how can no one care about him at all?…”, but soon she finds she has unexplainably come to love him. Her and her brother takes up paying his hospital bill to keep him from being discarded like an old piece of meat. “…I had a dream about you…”, the nurse turns to face the young man, her face a mixture of surprise and happiness, “…Well, welcome back. You’ll have to tell me all about it…” (Hmmm, Could his powers have been in work while his body wasn’t? Could he have mentally projected himself into the nurse’s dreams? Could her seemingly unexplained love have actually blossomed within a series of dreams?) While in physical therapy, unintentionally straining his brain to support his body, revealing his powers he has a blinding flash of something attacking him and collapses. Leaving out the part about his powers, the therapist has a doctor run some tests on him, “…His memory is completely intact, except for the incident. His mind is trying to bypass the traumatic experience, but when he reaches a certain level of brain activity the connection is in fact partially made giving the memory light, but because it is only partial, it can’t be establish as a full memory, making it seem as if something is attacking him. I’d suggest a physiologist, but have to admit, I’ve never seen anything like it?…” When introduced into the team, “Gadget” took an instant liking to him, creating animosity between her and the more reserved “Gale”.
- Nightmare/Mentalist – Team Role: Versatile / Powers: Mental Projection
Team: Midnight Mavericks
“What’s in a name?”
- A secondary, non-government incarnation of a world renowned government special tasks force, “The Midknighters”. To retain association between former members, “Maverick” and “Cog”, and the aforementioned now debunked team, while avoiding confusion with the latter’s predecessor, “The New Midknighters”, still headed by former team leader “Midnight-Man”, though altering its’ spelling by dropping the k, the two decided to keep with the original name of “Midknighters”. To further the avoidance of confusion as well as solidify his leadership role within the new team, as some thought should have been the case with the original and thus would have avoided the teams looming downfall, “Maverick”(s) name was placed alongside “Midnighters”. Although the first few official names included both, “Maverick” and “Midnighters” with the altered spelling the team was still incorrectly associated with the official government owned, “The New Midknighters”, simply because both teams were commonly referred to in short as “The Midknighters” by the public. “Gale” suggested the error lay not with the name, but it’s positioning, “…because “Midnighters” is the last word in the name, it’s the most relevant, where as “Maverick” just serves as a support. Simple answer, just flip them…”. The flip brought immediate media attention to a new team on the rise, “The Midnight Mavericks” or in short “The Mavericks”.
-Failed Aliases include “Maverick’s Midnighters”, “Maverick & The Midnighters”
“…“The Midnight Mavericks” is a new team of vigilantes, sweeping our city streets with purpose; Purpose of removing the blot that is crime, Purpose of making our streets once again safe, Purpose of returning the city back to you, her loving, law abiding citizens, Purpose of restoring “Craven City” to her former glory…”, “…Headed by an experienced leader, “Maverick”, leads his “Midnighters” against the very essence of criminal behavior…”, “…Experience! Beauty! Brains! Grace! Power! This team has it all…”, “…Hiring out all the big name baddies, “the Crime Lord” will never get the upperhand…”, “…We can finally look toward a new dawn over our dark city…”
Cog (Bio Only)
“Member on Back Order” (the origin of Cog)
- Billed as one of the smartest people on the planet, “Cog”, a gadgeteer by trade, would become the go to guy for all of “The Midknighters” tech needs. Before joining he baffled even the government’s “non-existent” scientific branches after demonstrating technological advances priorly thought impossible, but left them utterly dumbfounded when they realized he was but a boy. Often jokingly accused of being part machine, not long after being recruited he was diagnosed with a rare but extremely deadly disease, which coincidentally later lead to this becoming true as a joint effort between himself and his twin sister, “Gadget”, to prolong his life. “Cog” co-owns a garage, solely operated by “Gadget” at present due to his disease, serving as the public face of “The Midnight Mavericks” secret HQ.
- Cog/Gadgeteer – Team Role: Tech Expert & 2nd Command / Abilities: Genius Intelligence
Good luck to both of you! This looks like it’s going to be a really close round. I can’t wait to see who’ll come out on top.
One look at DiCicatriz’s team and I’m like “Whoa! Cool!” I really hope I can do stuff like that someday…for now I’ll just vote for it 🙂
Martian Blue, not that your team isn’t amazing (cause it is, no question) but I just prefer DiCicatriz’s images. Sorry. No hard feelings? 🙂
Good luck to you.
First of all really gratulate for the finalist.
And the second. So this a little bit hard to wrote it, but i really sorry guys i can’t vote any of this picture. Nothing any personally, i simple can’t choose wich picture i like. So i make a draw decision in myself and i can’t vote. You make good work in all the contest, but i think this isn’t your best work.
MartianBlue – Great team looking, complete stories, but me this picture is a little bit simple, and without a good idea.
DiCicatriz – Great picture, good coloring, cool idea, but i really can’t see any team relations.
So this pictures in my eyes make a brotherly draw.
I know very hard to make a good brick character. I personally suffer a lot for my brick char.
@Kaylin88100 no hard feelings, DiCicatriz is a master machinest without question, and to have made it this far competing against so many great creators is an honour. Thanks for thinking of me though 🙂
@Tarkabarka thanks anyways friend, I’ll admit my personal favorites of my own team where the girls, probably Gadget, then Gale
@DiCicatriz, great story overall, and the bullet effect running across Rivet is a very cool ideal and nicely executed. Good luck friend
@MartianBlue: Yeah, I really like Gale. The main reason I didn’t vote for you is Maverick who I actually felt was one of your weakest images, Gale being the strongest 🙂
This was a great competition. Everyone should be proud of their work. I’m going to go with @DiCicatriz but I have to admit that @Tarkabarka is right. There doesn’t seem to be any identifying team features to the members. Yes, they all have various shadings and colorings that are similar, but they are not exactly the same. The images are awesome, @DiCicatriz, but you needed team unity, as well. Still, the shading and coloring is just awesome. I can’t believe you were able to make Asylum and her sisters look like that! Keep it coming!
@Martian Blue, I have to say that most of your characters were awesome, but a couple have been plain. I’m not crazy about Maverick, but I am absolutely in love with Gadget, Gale, and Nightmare. Gadget looks like she’s ready to get to work on her motor in the shop, Gale looks like wind in motion, and I love Nightmare’s projected dinosaur (have I mentioned how much I love dinosaurs?). Anyways, as always, you have more imagination and put more hilarity into your work than anyone else. Great job!
Of course, I have to say that everyone’s work is just great. @Kaylin, I still have to say that your characters are some of my favorites. You took what would be normally a straight-forward concept and put some imagination and style to it. I love that you went with a woodsy-elemental feel to your team and even pulled off making them something other than human! Fantastic!
Thanks everybody! It really means a lot to me that i made it this far and everybody’s kind words really put me in a good mood before work today 😀
@Kaylin- thanks! I’m glad people can get a kick out of my images.
@MartianBlue- Thanks! Praise coming from you mean a lot. I’ve always e enjoyed your work and your team is awesome! I think Gale remains my favorite 🙂
I guess I conceptualized my team more along the lines of something like Planetary or the Authority, a group of outrageous individuals brought together by uncontrollable circumstances and working for a common goal. For me their looks reflect their individual circumstances and personalities which is why I tied them together with the color pallet and the glowing or metallic elements. They are wildly different people working together despite those differences 🙂
Awesome job to both of you. Congrats.
Martian Blue, even if you lose this one, you might be a shoe-in next year if the pattern holds. Seems like the previous runner-up ends up taking it the following year (Imp – Runner-up FNF1, Winner FNF2; DiCicatriz – Runner-up FNF2, Winner FNF3? We’ll see, but early buzz says yes).
For those of you who are having a hard time seeing the team relationship in DiCicatriz’s team, I would encourage you to take note of the color scheme. While there is a lack of consistent uniform devices (chest insignia, style of boot/glove/cape, whatever), it’s the overall color palate that binds them all together. Very subtle, exceptionally well executed. Great job, DiCi.