Timedrop23’s Characters

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    EDIT: I plan to do a re-work on “Fallen” in the future, so I took down the image. Here for your consideration is her backstory as originally written for the contest:

    The Angel of Foresight wished to see the world through her own eyes, and so made a deal with a demon who promised to restore her vision. The demon branded her with the mark of the dragon, which would pollute her Grace and slowly transform her into a demon. Now able to intervene in the physical world, the angel uses her slowly deteriorating foresight and her half-demon powers to save human souls from her future masters before her own soul fades away.



    I’m really pissed I didn’t get this one in for the Transformations contest in time. Meet Icthya:
    Icthya is an Atlantean scientist experimenting with metamorphic technology, specifically as it relates to prehistoric fish. Unfortunately the technology has not yet been perfected; anyone using a gauntlet will lose their gear and clothing in the transformation (with the exception of the gauntlet, which bonds to the user’s DNA and so remains attached when he/she is in fish form), so they must surface for air or return to Atlantis before reverting to a humanoid form.
    A further danger of the technology is that prolonged periods of transformation cause mutations in gauntlet users that could turn them into Atlantean/icthyosaur hybrids, cause severe mental deterioration, or a complete takeover by the icthyosaur DNA.
    In recent weeks, many of the criminally insane hybrid subjects were set free by an unknown party. Icthya has volunteered to lead a team of gauntlet users in the recapture or destruction of the hybrids, and to bring down the mastermind behind their escape.



    Technically that’s a Mosasaur not an Icthyosaur, Icthyosaurs lived earlier than Mosasaurs and looked more fish-like (-Pedantic Nerd).
    Other than that, great pic.



    Totally get the dino-nerd thing. If I’d continued obsessively reading about dinosaurs past the age of ten I’d have known that, too. Shows what happens when you look up images on wikipedia like I did. :P
    Any tips on developing my style beyond item placement and transparency?




    Perhaps I will think of another character concept before Sunday, but for now my final entry into the Public Domain contest is Elemental Witch Dorothy Gale:
    When a new generation of evil witches began invading the Earth realm, Dorothy Gale was their first target, since she had vanquished their predecessors. The new East and West witches converged their fury on the state of Kansas, devastating the countryside with the mother of all tornadoes. They thought Dorothy and her family had perished in the storm (note that this includes her dog Toto. The dog in the picture is a familiar Dorothy would later conjure with her water magic in the likeness of Toto), but Dorothy survived, banished to the land of Oz. She found that the Emerald City she had briefly called home was also in ruins at the hands of the witches, left vulnerable in the absence of the Wizard, and the good witches of the North and South had been slaughtered by their evil sisters. With revenge on her mind for the deaths of her Earth family and those she called friends in Oz, Dorothy sought the Wizard once more–this time with the purpose of learning the magic of the elements so that she could create her own tornado vortex, return to Kansas, and melt the murderous witches with her new water powers.



    Sheriff Woodward Tynmen was once the voice of law and order in the land of Oz, but with the Emerald City fallen to the witches’ campaign of destruction, Sheriff Tynmen found himself on the run in a barren wasteland, hunted by mechanical flying monkeys the witches had unearthed shortly after Dorothy and the deposed Wizard departed for the Earth realm.
    He was able to hide from them in the forest of Oz, but was soon at the mercy of a bigger threat: when the witches released the flying monkeys, they also unfortunately set loose a giant, axe-weilding robot they hoped would lay waste to the woods and wreak havoc on the Ludite citizens of Oz while they sought revenge against Dorothy.
    Though the flying monkeys continued their pursuit unaffected, Tynmen was somehow able to soothe the lumbering mech and bring it under his control with little more than a thought. With the massive TWM (as the designation on its left arm declared) at his command, Tynmen easily dispatched the monkeys and continued on his way. But his life would soon be complicated when a familiar red-haired girl came crashing down on his head.




    More fun with fire and martial artists as I bring you my interpretation of the Cowardly Lion (the reason for his cowardice is more evident in his back story than the picture), in the person of Shin Lao:
    The Lao are a tribe of men skilled in the martial arts. The first of each generation to reach their eighteenth birthdays are sent through a series of trials to determine which is most fit to earn the title of Shin Lao and receive the enormous power bestowed on all protectors of the Eastern realm of Oz.
    But passing the trials does not automatically mean one is worthy of wielding the power of the Shin Lao. Many who receive the Shin Lao powers are overcome by the beast within, becoming savage lion-men doomed to roam the volcanic lands of the far East until the end of their days.
    But one such savage was different. Like all who fell before him, Shin Lao passed the trials but was deemed an unworthy master of his inner beast and banished to the volcanic fields. Where most gave in to despair and feral nature almost immediately, Shin Lao survived a brutal month in the wastelands to the East, fighting off hordes of rabid lion-men and making an uneasy truce with the lion spirit inside him. Those who survived fights with him would come to fear and respect Shin Lao as their leader, but none would venture outside the volcanic region that had been their home for so long.
    Shin Lao returned home to find his village laid to waste, the population wiped out except for one, a girl named Yong-Xi with a tall tale of winged golden monkeys and mechanical giants called she called the Twim.
    Lao and Yong-Xi set out together in search of the Twims, the tormented rage of a beast clawing to take control of him all the while. Other villages they passed in their quest had suffered the same fate, a lone villager remaining to spread the horror of the Twim and their flying monkey entourage. One even said he had seen a man being chased into the Western Wood by flying monkeys, and could hear the metallic groan of a Twim reverberating through the forest at night.
    So off they went again, setting a course for the Western Wood, Shin Lao dreading a fight with such mythical and mysterious opponents the entire way.
    Mind you, Shin Lao had fought his way through a legion of feral lion-men and come out fairly unscathed, so it was not the prospect of being killed in battle that frightened him. It was that with every slaughtered village they passed, the rage inside him grew harder and harder to suppress, and that when the day for revenge finally came, the anger he felt would boil over and the man who had endured so much to become the Shin Lao of the East (and now, it seemed, the entire realm of Oz) would cease to exist.
    His ability to tame the beast within would be put to the ultimate test when he and Yong-Xi would enter the forest to find a red-haired girl in a blue skirt and a man in a strange green suit of armor, for the two strangers seemed to have a Twim traveling with them.



    Little is known of the girl called Yong-Xi from the days before she was found by the warrior Shin Lao and joined him on his quest for revenge against the Twim. Most villagers claim never to have seen her, but the elders say she was born in the volcanic lands to the east of the village of Lao and simply wandered into camp one day. They speak of Yong-Xi with a reverence usually reserved for the Shin Lao himself, for though she seems to be young, the girl possesses a courage, wisdom, and strength of character that betray her appearance. Those undergoing the trials say they can sense someone or something of great power watching over them on the night before their initiation. But these are rumors and stories told by superstitious men with too much time on their hands. Let’s pick up the real story from where we last left off.
    At the sight of the two strangers and their Twim companion, Shin Lao loses all control and throws himself into battle, clawed hands burning with pent-up fury.
    With little effort, Shin Lao quickly renders the armored stranger unconscious, causing the Twim with him to fall in a useless heap, shaking the earth as it does. Still overcome by the lion spirit within, Shin Lao turns his rage on Dorothy.
    Shin Lao’s flaming fists get so close that Dorothy can feel the hair being scorched from her legs, her vision a glare of yellow and orange, then…nothing. As her vision clears, Dorothy sees an unexpected sight: a girl with dark hair, who looks no older than Dorothy herself, is holding the man-beast at bay with one hand, and seems to possess the same fiery aura that he does.
    Dorothy uses this opportunity to get Sheriff Tynmen to safety, but her curiosity about the girl and her opponent get the better of her, and she returns to watch the fight from as close a vantage point as she can manage.
    There wasn’t much of a fight to follow. Dorothy stood in awe as, with the same quiet strength she displayed earlier, the young warrior put her palm to her opponent’s forehead and snuffed out his aura, sending the man-lion crashing to the ground before her. The girl looked directly at the tree where Dorothy was hiding and bid her to come out. She was terrified of the girl’s power, but knew somehow that no harm would come to her and did as she was told.
    Yong-Xi introduced herself (a name, Dorothy knew from her studies, was a variation on the Chinese word for courage) and apologized for Shin Lao’s actions, offering to heal the Sheriff as a gesture of good faith.
    As she did so, Dorothy related her story, telling how she came to be in Oz and of her first encounter with Tynmen and his “Twim” follower, assuring Yong-Xi (and Shin Lao, when he awoke the next morning) that they had nothing to do with the destruction of the East villages.
    Discovering they had a goal in common, the four continued their journey together, Dorothy and Tynmen taking the lead with the two villagers hand-in-hand behind them, Shin Lao casting untrusting glances at the Twim bringing up the rear as they ventured deeper into the Western Wood, following a smoke trail they had seen in the distance the previous night.



    Kor-Sekra’a is the last of an endangered alien race of phytopaths (those who can communicate with and control plant life). They were the ones responsible for bringing the Twim and their control suit to the land of Oz, and created the technology that would inadvertently unleash the tornado that brought Dorothy Gale to Oz for the first time. Like many who survived encounters with the monkeys and the Twim, Kor-Sekra’a was left without a home when the poppy fields he lived in were razed to the ground by the monkeys’ energy cannons, and sought refuge in the Western Wood.
    A small history lesson: He has lived for thousands of years, but Kor-Sekra’a is mortal. Early inhabitants of Oz viewed Kor-Sekra’a as a god, assuming his phytopathic abilities and advanced technology were works of magic. They erected straw effigies of their adopted god to watch over their crops, calling the stuffed guardians Scarecrows, in their primitive backward speech.
    At some point, Kor-Sekra’a fell into obscurity, as the Ozians’ understanding and dependence on technology grew to replace their respect for nature. They began to use the control suits to deforest the land en masse and strip-mine the emerald-rich soil beneath to erect their city. As the cries of the fallen trees came to be too much for him, Kor-Sekra’a did something that he had never before had the strength to do: he called upon the ground itself to swallow up every last TWM and control suit (but as you know, there is one that wasn’t accounted for, and was later passed by succession to the present Sheriff of Oz), every last piece of technology he could think of that wasn’t necessary to his own immediate survival. The Emerald City would persist, but without technology Oz reverted to a Luddite monarchy, caught in the middle of a war between the extradimensional beings who ruled the four corners of Oz.
    One day a man named Oscar Z. Diggs found his way through an extradimesional portal and landed in the Emerald City, using his knowledge of Earth-realm technology to assert himself as ruler of Oz, preying on the superstitious nature of its citizens but in so doing, the appointed “Wizard of Oz” provided a measure of safety and security to his subjects and united the four corners of Oz against their seemingly magical oppressors until the day Dorothy Gale and her three companions (and her little dog, too) exposed him as a fraud, forcing the Wizard to leave Oz for his own land. But when his balloon once again malfunctioned and Oscar Diggs fell into a chasm in the North, his actions would plunge Oz and the Earth realm into chaos.
    Back in the present day of Oz, Kor-Sekra’a sat to the far edges of the Western Wood, warming himself by the light of a fireglobe (Phytopath technology that provided heat without danger of igniting their bark-like skin). He had just recently trapped a deer and incinerated it to the blackened pile of carbon that would sustain his existence for the next month, the smell of charred venison in the air and a thick, dark column of smoke the only signs of his presence. Kor-Sekra’a knew he would have to move quickly to avoid capture by the monkeys and TWM units that were surely on their way.
    A sudden tug in the back of his mind; the trees of the Western Wood had passed word (or what passes for words when you’re sharing thoughts with a tree) of a fiery battle just east of his position, and of four strangers coming directly towards him with a TWM unit following in their wake.
    Kor-Sekra’a thought back to the trees, telling them to block the strangers’ path long enough for him to escape, but not to retaliate against them in any way. But it didn’t do much good. When he turned to make his escape, Kor-Sekra’a came face-to-face with a girl dressed in the style of the Eastern villages, and fell back in surprise. The girl seemed to radiate heat from an unknown source, which made Kor-Sekra’a reluctant to take her hand when she offered to help him up.
    The rest of the strangers soon joined the girl, Dorothy and Tynmen helping the strange camper to his feet. Upon hearing his tale, including his involvement in the creation of the Twim, Shin Lao growled in anger and moved to attack, but Yong-Xi was able to calm him with a touch and bid Kor-Sekra’a to continue. Dorothy’s eyes brightened at the mention of the tornado portal and asked if he could help her return home. Kor-Sekra’a said he could not, having buried all but the most essential technology hundreds of years ago. But he knew that if he could find his Brain (the central computer that ultimately controls all other Phytopath technology), he could put the TWM units and flying monkeys out of commission and possibly build a tornado machine that would return Dorothy to Kansas, along with anyone else who wished to go with her to defeat the witches.
    With their tales told once again, Dorothy, Tynmen, Shin Lao, Yong-Xi, the TWM, and Kor-Sekra’a (whom Dorothy insisted on calling the Scarecrow for his resemblance to a lost friend from her first visit to Oz) made their way to the Northern Mountains in search of “the Scarecrow’s” lost computer.



    I’m feeling uninspired by the Gale Force series these past few days. I will finish the story at some point and do more images (the Wizard and witches have yet to be re-imagined and I’m pondering a group shot of Dorothy’s troupe). But for now, I’ll get all you Forumites up to speed on what I have entered into this week’s Public Domain Comics challenge.
    I started with the Atom Wizard, a non-powered crimefighting nuclear genius with two previous incarnations to draw upon. The second Atom Wizard had no costume, so I used the first Atom Wizard and the contest’s leading image as my inspiration:
    Atom Wizard III photo Timedrop23-AtomWizardIII_zps5809bfae.png
    As you can see, I paid homage to the original Atom Wizard cover with this one, but I streamlined the costume a bit. Unless you’re Superman, a cape and saggy underwear don’t cut it as a costume anymore (even the Man of Steel got his Super-Diaper modernized out in his latest movie), and the silly oversized blue gloves had to go. So I went with a red torso and carried the blue throughout the rest of his suit for a more ass-kicking-friendly look. The mask and logo persist as requested.

    After running into a perplexing plethora of protagonists with painfully patriotically paletted pantaloons placed upon their persons, I came across the yellow-tinged Flame Girl. Sure, her costume still contained traces of red and blue, but the yellow was something new, and as you know, I have a thing about fire-based superheroes. Flame Girl was the first superheroine I clicked on that didn’t bore me to tears at a glance. But she still needed an upgrade in the kick-ass department, so I did this:
    Flame Girl II photo Timedrop23-FlameGirlII_zps391848aa.png
    I got the idea that maybe the new Flame Girl would be a daredevil motorcyclist (carrying over the Ring of Fire gimmick from the original), and so made her boots and gloves more streamlined and extended the blue piping through the upper body, making her costume double as a motocross racing suit. Having her mask on under the helmet also kind of gives her that “glasses-no-glasses, Clark Kent-Superman” secret identity thing that persists even though it makes no sense.

    Next I submitted Kor-Sekra’a the Alien Scarecrow, whom you may recognize from the previous post. So I won’t repeat myself any further.

    I thought my Clockwork project could use another addition, and when I saw that Icarus was on the list this week, I did a re-work on a character that had been collecting dust on my hard drive for months, coming up with one of my stranger concepts:
    Lady Icarus photo Timedrop23-3OClockLadyIcarus_zps29756702.png
    She has no backstory, but yes, Lady Icarus (codenamed Three O’Clock for the purposes of Clockwork) is a three-eyed angel ballerina in a pink unitard and fake wings. I think watching Black Swan while I was drunk had something to do with it.

    For my next entry, I thought I’d try to do more intensive effects stuff, and I had this idea for a spider-woman (no, not the Julia Carpenter, etc, etc, etc. Marvel Spider-Woman) crawling up the side of a building and stopping to stare in through a plate-glass window:
    Lena Black photo Timedrop23-LenaBlack_zps5a6193c6.png
    Lena Black is the daughter of Lenore Black, who had the power to spin webs from her fingers and transform into a giant spider. Unlike her mother, Lena was born in a state halfway between woman and spider, and has yet to figure a way to transform one way or the other. She survives mostly by keeping to the shadows and feeding on small rodents throughout the city. Her six eyes give her a second sight that lets her see the true nature of people (those of a corrupt nature are usually normal thieves and murderers, but Lena has squared off against her share of demons, werewolves, vampires, etc. in her search for an end to what she believes is a family curse extending back to Ancient Greece). At night, she goes about the city hunting corrupt souls, wearing a belt fashioned from the skulls of her victims as a ward against supernatural evil.

    Note: it’s time to play “Spot the Poe Reference!”

    Finally (unless I get inspired by something else before Sunday morning rolls around), I followed the now-much-hated convention of rebooting through gender-swap (although in this case, the character design was so laugh-inducing it begged to be done).
    Boy King and Giant is one of the goofier-looking Golden Age teams. For one thing, Boy King is a stupid superhero name. For another, it looks like Boy King has the same tailor as Baron Zemo and the Rose…I mean, what kind of parents dress their son in purple chainmail, red gym shorts, and blue leather thigh-high boots? Is this meant to distract the villains into spleen-rupturing fits of laughter while the kid’s pet statue steps on them? What’s with the cumbersome furry cape? Time once again to streamline the character and up the ass-kicking factor.
    Eh, maybe not so much with the streamlining or ass-kicking…you be the judge.
    Golem Queen photo Timedrop23-GolemQueen_zpsa07ef1f5.png
    The streamlining here is in the fact that I combined Boy King and Giant into one character (the Golem Queen), and less so in the costume itself. There’s still the thigh-high boots, the purple top, the regal cape, and the red…um…shorts? I just decided the costume would look better on a female hero, and it does. I know, I’m a sexist pig like any other comic book…um…artist? out there, but who cares?
    As for the ass-kicking, her costume isn’t exactly the battle-ready skin-tight unitard look that’s conducive to hand-to-hand combat, but Golem Queen is actually an intellectual hero learning from the spoils of war. Her costume (she’ll eventually be able to change it to something less unweildy as she develops her powers and finds herself in more hands-on fights) has that Magical Girl Anime feel to it, which is enhanced, I think, by the weapon she carries.
    On with her backstory: Regina Grant was an archaeologist hired by Eldritch Thule, a German historian, to locate a legendary Biblical artifact known to some as the Spear of Destiny. When Thule supplied her with an archaeological team of his choosing and insisted on accompanying Regina on her expedition, she grew suspicious. But as this was potentially a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, she reluctantly agreed to his terms and they began excavating for the Spear.
    Regina was lucky enough to find the Spear of Destiny first, but Thule was close at hand, grabbing the Spear at the same instant as Regina, and the two were locked in a tug of war which she was somehow able to win. She could feel a strange power surging into her body from the artifact in her hands, and brandished the Spear at Thule and anyone else who tried to advance on her.
    Thule revealed himself to be Heinrich Himmler, the presumably deceased former head of Adolf Hitler’s S.S. squad, and current leader of the ancient occultist Thule Society, of which his team of archaeologists were all members.
    He ordered his men to kill Regina Grant and take the Spear by force, and as they drew their guns, Regina closed her eyes and wished she could survive this terrible situation. The Spear of Destiny glowed and the sounds of gunfire were followed almost immediately by gasps of bewilderment as lead ricocheted off of stone.
    With a prayer, Regina Grant had become the Golem Queen, a royal figure with skin as resilient as stone and the strength of ten men.
    Himmler and his Thule Society fled in fear but they would return time and again until either she or they were no longer living.
    As Regina became more skilled with the Spear of Destiny (which could be stored or retrieved from a pocket dimension by uttering the word “Longinus”), she discovered it also gave her the power of flight and could be used to conjure golems from any rocky surface nearby. The Golem Queen currently lives in seclusion somewhere in the Swiss Alps, developing her powers which she mostly uses to rescue people from avalanches without thus far alerting them to her presence.
    However, repeated sightings of the Golem Queen’s stone “subjects” have caused word to spread of mythical rock creatures roaming the countryside, so it is only a matter of time before the Thule Society rears its ugly head once more. And when they do, the Golem Queen will be ready for them.

    Hope you enjoyed this little walk down Public Domain Lane.



    One last entrant for the Public Domain Comics Contest (I was smart enough to do the comment post first this time)…. http://www.heromachine.com/wp-includes/images/smilies/icon_razz.gif
    I noticed three heroes on the list this week that bore more than a passing resemblance to Marvel’s Captain America. So in my upgrade tradition of “Streamline and Kick More Ass,” I combined them as best I could into the patriotically paletted Three-Star General.
    Three-Star General photo Timedrop23-Three-StarGeneral_zps4365fa44.png
    Like TV Cap and Major Triumph, he has a symbol of his name on his forehead, and like Major Triumph and Rusty Ryan, he has three stars on his chest. The sectioning of the costume is mainly Cap-inspired, and (although you can’t really see it through the clone on the left) he has a wrist-mounted shield similar to Major Triumph (remember, TV Cap didn’t use a shield). The main difference is that unlike these World War copycats (and TV Cap as an unpowered city crimefighter), the Three-Star General is a high-tech war hero. I replaced Captain America’s silly ear wings with a dual Bluetooth headset that 3SG uses to coordinate the actions of his two holographic clones, which he projects from the discs embedded in his suit’s elbow pads. The throwing shield has been upgraded to a miniature UAV (or drone, if you prefer) that he can pilot at long distances through a virtual reality haptic rig built into the lining of his suit.
    He is a decorated soldier with a shining history of hands-on field work, but before becoming the Three-Star General, Robert “Bob” Buchanan gained a quiet degree of fame as an ace drone pilot. He did his own drone maintenance, even on the software level, and used his spare time to perfect the tech that would become his Three-Star General costume.



    Woke up this morning (7:36 Pacific Time) to find my Lena Black in the Top Five poll. Guess the extra F/X work paid off. Thanx, JR!
    *Commence with all-day nerding out*
    :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P

    Mmmm. Breakfast….



    Took me long enough, but I made some progress in the Faith Heller story. It’s one page of progress, and a text-only splash page at that, but it’s progress. So to tease you a little bit, here’s what I have of Faith Heller #1 thus far:
    Faith Heller #1 photo Timedrop23-FaithHeller1_zps8720b540.png

    Page 1

    Faith Heller #1 Page 1 photo Timedrop23-FaithHeller1-01_zpsbff75bac.png

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