January 16, 2013 at 6:28 pm #17453
Thanks! I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for Marian as well. I like the idea of her continuously floating, as if as a member of the Imperial Family, the ground isn’t worthy of her touch.
Anyways, another re-design for today. This time the Imperial Preceptor of Nothingam
Backstory and previous incarnation:
Once an ambitious young general, moving up swiftly in the ranks of the Majestor’s army, until a disastrous military campaign which cost the empire a key battle in the Expansive Wars. The young man held strong political clout, so he could not be severely reprimanded, so the Majestor instead promoted him… assigning him as the Imperial Preceptor of the Outer Colonies, a sector of space sparsely populated, affectionately dubbed: Nothingam, for in truth there was nothing there. Humiliated, the Preceptor schemed in the shadows, forging alliances, making plans until… The Majestor departed to the Interdimensional Crusades. The Preceptor took advantage of the monarch’s absence and formed his own force of loyal followers with which to usurp the throne. He besieged the Crystal Citadel and sequestered the Majestrix Marian within. She is a ruler in name only, now, as the Preceptor has declared himself her direct liason, orders coming from him being the equivalent of her unquestionable command. In his initial campaign he laid waste to loyalist colonies and sympathetic parties, annihilating the Brotherhood of the Breach, and one specific agricultural colony from which came the hero of our story.. Rauben HÃ¼d. The Preceptor annihilated the peaceful farming community simply for the political outspokenness of the HÃ¼d patriarch, Rauben’s father. When next the Preceptor would encounter young Rauben, it was as the leader of a clandestine rebel organization. They had been attacking the Imperial trade routes and appropriating goods and resources to be distributed to the Outworlds. The Preceptor’s army personally escorted the next shipment to the Imperial Throneworld, but were set upon by Rauben’s allies. It was in this skirmish when an over-emboldened Preceptor would make a fatal mistake, trying to follow Rauben’s retreat into the vast Sherwood Asteroid Belt. His craft was struck down and an explosion left him exposed to the vacuum of space. His army rescued him… but the damage was done. The Preceptor was forced to graft mechanical limbs and organs to repair his damaged body… he became more machine than man, ever bent on revenge.
Edit: I decided in my initial illustration that our Preceptor’s flesh and blood hand was entirely too big. Proportion fail! Revision!January 19, 2013 at 1:08 pm #17611
Last two FNF2 redesigns:
First up is Diminutive Zh’an! My take on Little John.
Backstory and previous incarnation:
Zh’an was an exile from a planet beyond the boundaries of the Empire, a brilliant geneticist from an alien race with limited shapeshifting abilities. Every member of his race has the ability to augment their physical forms and increase their strength and size, but only to limited degrees. Zh’an performed illegal modifications to his own genetic structure, taking these abilities to their utmost genetic potential. He can shift into a vastly larger and more powerful form, with immense strength, but a bestial and ferocious mind. His first transformation led to a bloody and vicious rampage before the authorities of his homeworld finally apprehended him and classified him an exile. As an exile he was sentenced to cryo-sleep and jettisoned into space on single-person voyager pod. He was ultimately discovered by the Imperial Preceptor’s army and put into a labor camp with other outworlders. Eventually he was rescued by Rauben HÃ¼d and offered his services as a science officer, keeping his altered form a secret…. for now.
And the star of the show… Rauben HÃ¼d
The leader of the Loyalist Rebellion of Sherwood, Rauben lived a simple life, the son of the preceptor of an agricultural province outside the asteroid belt’s borders. Until the Imperial Preceptor of Nothingam made his bid for the throne and began to eradicate any and all dissidents. Rauben’s father was among those, and Rauben was barely able to escape as his home was destroyed along with his family. He honed his skills as a warrior among a group of smugglers and outlaws who made their living flitting between asteroids and stealing from travelers. Rauben soon found himself leading this group, and repurposed them as freedom fighters, guerilla warriors loyal to the Majestor and vowing to free the people from the tyranny of the Usurper of Nothingam. His skill with a Plasma ARC weapon is unparalleled.January 25, 2013 at 5:15 pm #18012
Time for something different
This is a team I’ve been thinking about for a bit. I wanted to do an LGBT themed superhero group exploring the different identities and expressions of the community. To that end I’ve developed a team composed of individuals representing one of the letters on the full LGBTIQQA acronym. Spectrum!
For those unfamiliar with the acronym it breaks down as such:
L-Lesbian (pretty self explanatory)
G- Gay (also pretty self explanatory)
B- Bisexual (again… self explanatory)
T- Transgender, somebody whose gender does not correspond to the biological body they are born with and either seeks to transition physically into the appropriate gender or merely adopt an outward appearance as such
I- Intersex, this is an individual born with physical characteristics that are both male and female (colloquially known as hermaphrodites, but the term is both inaccurate and frowned upon), usually reassigned at birth to whichever sex they most resemble.
Q- Queer, this is a reclaimed term was once used pejoratively, but is now a blanket term to include anybody along the LGBT spectrum and simply connotes any sexual or gender identity that is not 100% heterosexual
Q- Questioning, a term used to cover people unsure of their orientation/gender/identity, who aren’t comfortable with committing to any of the aforementioned labels
A- Ally, a heterosexual person who does not identify as a member the community, but supports LGBT rights and people all the same
The set up for this story is that two retired superheroes who were active during the ’60s and ’70s witness an event that grants a group of young people radical superhuman abilities. The pair decide to come out of retirement and guide the youths in the use of their abilities as responsible members of the superhero community, while facing unique challenges and combating stereotypes along the way. For now I’ll pass on the first four members of the acronym: L, G, B, and T.
Rosemary Marsden was an archaeology student, deep in the closet and terrified that her colleagues would find out her secret. During her senior expedition in Northern China, she unwittingly exposed a buried alien artifact that 5th century sorcerers had sealed away. The alien radiation combined with the ancient magic and embedded her consciousness into the natural biosphere of the earth. She found herself with the ability to manipulate the four classical elements: Water, Fire, Earth, and Air to any degrees as long as the existing material was close enough to her person. She dropped out of school and became a freedom fighter, a radical environmentalist and feminist, no longer ashamed of who she was. She joined with others like her and served on a team with The Bear, until retiring after the ’70s after a particularly distasteful encounter with an invading alien force. Rosemary continued on as a public speaker until the events leading up to Spectrum’s formation, once again assuming the mantle of Elementa!
G- The Bear
Harold Ubovic was a political activist in the early ’60s who found himself stranded after a single-engine plane trip with his future partner went awry and crash landed in the Alaskan wilderness. With his partner having sustained severe injuries, and the climate threatening to claim their lives, Harold beseeched a higher power for help. He was answered by the great Kodiak of the North, the ursine spirit of the wilderness. It granted him the ability to assume the form of the mighty Spirit Bear, and enhanced his natural body to superhuman levels. With this strength Harold carried his partner to safety and went on to an illustrious crime-fighting career as The Bear! He has the ability to transform himself into a massive bear-form with superhuman strength. This form is also resistant to magic-based attacks. Even in his human form Harold retains enhanced smell and hearing, as well as a regenerative healing factor that slows his aging. He was retired until he witnessed the creation of Spectrum, deciding to re-dedicate himself to the good fight and guide the team alongside his former teammate.
Leslie Cho was an organizer at the LGBT Youth Rally where the incident occurred. She was always comfortable with who she was, occupying two different worlds so to speak. Not everybody in her life accepted her, but her family did, and that was all that mattered to her. She was caught up in its blast and was granted superhuman abilities along with five other youths. Leslie was altered to exist in a state of dimensional flux, constantly inhabiting and moving through imperceptible neighboring dimensions. As Meta, she usually uses this ability to turn her body intangible, able to walk through solid matter with ease; but focused applications of her ability allows her to unhinge herself from our dimension in other ways: disconnecting from gravity to allow her to float or leap great distances, occupying a different visual wavelength to become invisible, or even unhinging herself from space-time and teleporting (though she has very little skill in this ability). Meta can extend the effect to others, but it is incredibly taxing on her mind and body.
Cody Cavanaugh was born to a southern Mississippi Baptist family, a bouncing baby girl although truthfully he never felt comfortable with his body. Something was always missing. Always wrong. His parents assumed it was just a tomboy phase, but when Cody chopped off all of his hair and tore up any dress his mother bought for him, they knew it was something serious. They sent him to re-education camps, beat him, exorcised him; but Cody persevered. A sympathetic lawyer uncle drew up the papers for his emancipation and truth be told Cody’s family was glad to be rid of him. Cody began working with a LGBT youth shelter, hoping other kids like himself wouldn’t have to go through what he did, and was handing out fliers at the rally when it all went down. Cody’s skeletal musculature and nervous systems were greatly enhanced. He enjoys elevated strength, agility, reflexes, stamina, as well as peak human senses with his vision and hearing being specially acute. Cody can amplify his abilities to incredible superhuman levels, by using a unique function in his enhanced brain that converts the testosterone in his body into a form of superhuman adrenaline. Doing so burns up his testosterone levels and undoes the hormone therapy Cody undergoes to maintain his male physique, so he rarely uses his abilities to their full extent.
*The badge icon present on all the character designs was created separately, a while back when Jeff had his logo design contest on the blog. For the sake of not having to recreate the 15+ layer insignia on the entire team I simply resized it and pasted it over the design using a photo-editing program.
**Meta is a little bit of a cheat. I created the top half of her body and the lower half of her body separately in hero machine, then altered the opacity of her lower half (because you can’t alter the alpha levels of groups of items in heromachine without the lower levels showing through) and paster her top half over it.January 25, 2013 at 6:02 pm #18015
Great characters and concepts! On your character Meta, you can achieve the same effect that you wanted with the program by taking a separate shape or energy effect item and raising it to the forefront. Then with all colors selected to white, lower the Alphas to the desired look you are looking for. It will create the “foggy” effect you are looking for. Hope this helps.
Cheers!January 25, 2013 at 7:50 pm #18017
I like them. Always good to see LGBT characters. I have a number of them in my universe but I never considered the possibility of making them into a group. Nice workJanuary 25, 2013 at 9:39 pm #18020
That team is an awesome idea! Can’t wait for the rest!
A small tip: Regarding making parts with several layers transparent, you could have simply taken any item, placed it over the lower body, and set it to 50 % of the colour of the background. I learned that from Cknap, I believe.January 26, 2013 at 2:11 am #18025
Nice! I really like the idea and all the characters have very solid designs.January 26, 2013 at 5:54 pm #18064
Thanks for the kind words, everybody! Regarding Meta, I hadn’t thought of that masking effect but thanks AMS and Weilyn! I’ll keep it in mind for next time
The reason I cobbled her together that way is that I wanted her to be actually transparent for group shots, so the background characters/scenery would be visible through her transparent parts as opposed to just having the foggy effect for her individual image. Like so:
Two more characters for the team, I and Q (of LGBTIQQA)
Stonewall- *note- since Lex is both male and female, I use the third person pronoun of singular ‘they’.
Lex was born to immigrants in New England, their mother of Southeast Asian origin and their father a Pacific Islander, as an intersex child, with an ambiguous anatomy. His father tried to push for surgical reassignment, but Lex’s mother did not want her child to have such a traumatic and invasive procedure done. She did not feel comfortable making that choice for Lex, something made her feel that the child was special. This put a strain on their marriage and Lex’s father soon left behind his family. Lex’s mother raised them as both male/female, making them conscious of intersexuality as a positive trait. Lex appreciated their mother’s efforts, but they chose to fade into the background, to go unnoticed at school for fear of backlash. Of the Spectrum team members, Lex’s mutation was the most physical. They were given a durable, yet pliable, leathery red skin, covered in interlocking scales. This skin was found to be superhumanly resilient, bulletproof even. It has the unique property of absorbing the force of impacts against it, further reducing any harm that could come to Lex. They remain quiet and reserved, but they have come to appreciate Spectrum as a family, and will do anything to protect their comrades.
Xuan Gabriel was a child raised by powerful women, his mother and her sisters from MichoacÃ¡n. He grew up to appreciate masculinity, as well as the power of the feminine. Although Xuan Gabriel identified as male, he was unafraid of pushing the envelope when it came to gender stereotypes, earning him the ire of the men in his community. After he was hospitalized by a group of young men, as he walked home late from a night out. Xuan Gabriel’s mother sent him to America to live with his Grandmother, hoping he would be safe there. He enjoyed a newfound freedom with which to express himself and further explored his identity as a queer person of color. Truth be told, Xuan was looking for a hookup when he attended the rally, but was caught up in something far more complicated… He is granted the power to project intense thermal energy from his hands, ionizing the air into a unique form of plasma that he can shape as long-range bursts or explosive orbs.
January 27, 2013 at 7:51 pm #18145
The last two members, representing the Question and Ally constituents of the community.
TJ didn’t have an easy childhood, his family moved throughout much of his early life, the result of his father’s work in the Baptist ministry, shifting between congregations and going where he was needed. TJ grew up in a religious household, but enjoyed the sense of spirituality, and the bonding time he had with his family. It wasn’t until unfamiliar feelings began to stir within him that TJ started to become withdrawn… He had always liked girls, or at least he thought he did. He hadn’t had a girlfriend yet, but he was just shy… wasn’t he? He’d started to… notice some of his guy friends in ways that didn’t seem appropriate. TJ was just incredibly confused. He had gone to the rally in secret, urged by his old friend Leslie, just to see what this was all about, to see if he could find answers to his questions. Being caught up in the incident that empowered Spectrum brought undo attention to TJ’s dilemma, although his family remained supportive. He would go through this journey with his newfound friends, to find himself. TJ’s abilities are mysterious in nature and haven’t really settled… He emits a unique form of energy from his eyes that envelops and alters his body in mysterious ways. These alters are temporary and can range from height multiplication or super-speed, to spontaneous combustion or astral projection. More powerful alters tend to burn out quicker than others.
Heather Martinez grew up the daughter of philosophers and artists. Her parents were open-minded and taught her not to judge those around her. From an early age she befriended a young neighbor boy, Tyler. They were inseparable all through school. It wasn’t until high school that Heather realized her friend was suffering in silence. Tyler confided in her after his 16th birthday. She was the first person he came out to. She was slightly disappointed, having nursed a slight crush on him due to their closeness, but was happy for him to be himself. The rest of their high school class didn’t take too well to him.. Tyler was bullied relentlessly. Heather tried to speak up for him, but she feared damaging her own reputation. Eventually the harassment took it’s toll on Tyler and his parents found him hanging from the roof of his bedroom. Heather vowed that she would no longer remain quiet. She started an online movement, known as “Speak Out”. She was at the rally to discuss and promote anti-bullying programs, but was caught up in the incident that created Spectrum. It gave her the ability to project diffuse energy force-shields. Heather can control the permeability of these fields, able to allow ambient material to pass through them or making them airtight to the point of blocking out light.
January 28, 2013 at 3:24 am #18165
Safezone’s name and power fit really well with definition of an Ally. Well done!January 28, 2013 at 10:45 am #18191
Ops, sorry. I didn’t notice that I was giving the exact same advice as AMS.
Pretty damn cool team. I’m a fan.January 28, 2013 at 4:44 pm #18215
Thanks I’m kind of happy with how they turned out. Currently concepting villains for them to face… I’m thinking maybe an extremist military cell of gay rights activists (sort of the Brotherhood of Mutants as opposed to the X-men) who bomb conversion therapy centers or assassinate political figures. Maybe a religious organization that’s a front for a fascist cult, that sequesters runaway LGBT youth and turns them into mindless drones. We’ll see what sticks.
For now though. Group shot!January 29, 2013 at 8:18 am #18244
they look amazing!good stuff!January 29, 2013 at 9:48 am #18246
Great group shot.January 29, 2013 at 11:20 am #18251
Fantastic group shot, and a very cool team!
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