Dial H for Hire

Adventure 484 is an important issue for a couple of reasons. First, it features a George Perez cover, as will the next two. And of course, he's found a way to draw each of the readers' creations on that cover. Second, and more importantly, the comic features the first appearance of the Master, a behind-the-scenes mastermind whose true identity will not be revealed until the end of Chris and Vicki's strip. Mysterious! Please, keep the spoilers to yourself if you know the answer. There are noobs in the room.

Case 30: Adventure Comics #484
Dial Holders: Chris and Vicki
Dial Type: Watch and Pendant Dials
Dialing: Probably the writer's hyperbole, but one of Vicki's transformations is accompanied not just by a flash of bright light, but the crash of cosmic thunder as well!
Name: Waspman (two different "a" sounds makes this clumsy name)
Created by: Ziggy Czyzycki, Age 18, from Winnipeg, Manitoba
Costume: All in green (not a very waspy color), Waspman has antennae, red composite eyes, a black wasp head on his chest with a nasty nose stinger, a stylish belt, yellow diaphanous wings, and a fur-like green stripe running along the arms from which red darts shoot out.
Powers: Waspman can fly and maneuver at incredible speeds, and using a delivery system not unlike Spider-Man's web shooters, fires knock-out darts he calls his "stings".
Sighted: In Fairfax, Waspman captures Manelli, a cop killer, preventing the Bounty Hunter from killing him.
Possibilities: The insect hero is a classic concept, but Waspman isn't the best manifestation of it. The way he shoots his stings is so Spider-Man, maybe his role in the DCU is as an analog of the famous Marvel hero, which might score him an appearance or two.
Integration Quotient: 10% (the design is just off enough to exclude him from consideration)
Name: Weather Witch (a little alliteration makes it cute more than villainous, but there later WAS a villain with that name in Libra's League)
Created by: Donald Ewing, Age 15, from Dayton, OH
Costume: This long-legged redhead wears a pale yellow costume with a plunging neckline in a lightning bolt shape, with long white boots and gloves in a fiery pattern, and a yellow domino mask. Not sure it's the best representation of her powers.
Powers: The Weather Witch can create localized weather extremes, like storms, tornadoes and body-freezing coldsnaps. She can fly.
Sighted: In Fairfax, stopping the Bounty Hunter from killing a criminal called Manelli.
Possibilities: Weather Wizard might have a sister who isn't such a baddie.
Integration Quotient: 10% (the name's been taken, and that costume is a deal breaker)
Name: Vibro, the Quake-Master (the first part is an Iron Man villain, the second a lame DC villain)
Created by: Tom Young, Age 12, from Northport, MI
Costume: A purple body suit with a thin, wave-like belt and similar trim on powder blue gloves and boots. The mask is interesting, made up of blue and white angular stripes, but ultimately makes him look like a heavy. I can't stop thinking about the Masters of Disaster's Shakedown, for some reason.
Powers: Vibro can fire waves of vibration as an offensive beam, or to slow himself down when falling.
Sighted: In Fairfax, defeated the Bounty Hunter, and accidentally set off a machine that created Mr. Negative.
Possibilities: I'd use Vibro as a legacy-spawning hero, related to both Vibe and Quakemaster. The latter's stepfather, and the former's grandfather or something. Too much like fanwank? How can it be fanwank if those characters don't have fans (the Absorbascon's Scipio excepted)?
Integration Quotient: 10% (yeah, vibrator heroes never hit the big time)
Name: Emerald Tiger (nonsense, but it works somehow)
Created by: James Devlin, Age 20, from Santa Ana, CA
Costume: A blond masked girl with green tank top, choker, shorts, long gloves and boots. Her yellow belt has the letters E and T combined in a logo, and she wears a yellow holster holding a golden gun, and a yellow knife at her boot.
Powers: The Emerald Tiger channels raw animal power that gives her superspeed rivaling that of the Flash. She wears a gun and knife, but Vicki doesn't use them.
Sighted: In Fairfax, helped defeat the Bounty Hunter.
Possibilities: Emerald, not Jade, but nonetheless, there seems to be a kind if Asian flavor to the character (yes, despite being a blond). The weapons mark her as a superspy, and I could see her working India and Indochina for Checkmate or one of DC's multitude of secret organizations. Maybe with Richard Dragon in tow?
Integration Quotient: 40% (the weapons make her more functional in a modern comics world... sadly)
Name: Rainbeaux, Mistress of Color (just awful)
Created by: Robert P. Lasco, Age 20, from New York, NY
Costume: Rainbeaux has short black hair, a white legless leotard with a red swishy "R" and a huge rainbow on it, and stylish go-go boots.
Powers: Rainbeaux has color-coded powers reminiscent of Halo's. Her orange beam gives her gravity control powers that allow her to fly or do telekinetic trick; red is heat; green is air (wind rays). Presumably, she has at least 4 other beam types.
Sighted: In and around Fairfax, helped save the people under Mr. Negative's power, and cure the villain of his condition.
Possibilities: Well, the way she spells her name would seem to indicate she's Cajun. But do I really want her to guest star in Swamp Thing's book?
Integration Quotient: 1% (and that's because she's got an interesting ethnicity; otherwise, we really don't need another Halo... we don't even need the Halo we have)
Name: Steadfast (unusual and interesting)
Created by: Richard Hango, Age 25, from Clifton, NJ
Costume: A simple red and purplish blue costume with a standard cowl. Pretty boring.
Powers: Steadfast can "immobilize atoms, solidify gas, stop anything even as it moves", which could be either boring and limited, or open to science-driven ingenuity. Those powers also allow him to fly.
Sighted: In and around Fairfax, helped save the people under Mr. Negative's power, and cure the villain of his condition.
Possibilities: If this were the Marvel Universe, I'd push his colors to black and yellow and call him an early X-Men recruit. Sadly, that's not possible. Instead, he might work as a "science hero" working out of Central City with powers pretty opposite to the Flash's. They don't mean to clash, it just happens.
Integration Quotient: 10% (intriguing powers may prove too limited, but the costume is dull in the extreme)

Bonus Supervillains

Name: The Bounty Hunter (just a little bit generic, but straight and descriptive)
Created by: Joseph Beaulier (no info listed)
Costume: A blue, red and yellow piece of pure gaudy, the Bounty Hunter has a cool, vaguely Bat-Family visor, but some ridiculous ear pieces that go both up and down, and curl front and back. As if to draw attention away from these ears/tusks, he's placed some big yellow diamonds on his nipples. His arms are bare, which defeats the purpose of wearing armor. A red gun holster completes the look.
Powers: The Bounty Hunter has no powers, but he's a skillful tracker and assassin. He is armed with a sniper rifle/machinegun combo that can't possibly fit in his holster (so he must have a back-up pistol) and drives a black van.
Sighted: A mob hitman who poses as a bounty hunter who somehow always brings his man in dead, the Bounty Hunter tried to kill a gangster called Manelli a few times for a mystery man called the Master. He was stopped each time and eventually apprehended by Fairfax's resident heroes.
Possibilities: Hitmen can be made to work for any number of criminal organizations and bosses. The Bounty Hunter has a fun twist - he poses as one of the good guys - but once the secret's out, there's nowhere to go with it. And that costume, ugh!
Integration Quotient: 20% (limited unless his secret never got out, so a limited engagement it would have to be)
Name: The Pupil (I JUST GOT THE PUN! Groan)
Created by: Bruce Smith, Age 19, from Monmouth, OR
Costume: Pupil is a giant floating eyeball with a blue iris and a red graduation hat. Bizarre!
Powers: Pupil appears to be a machine intelligence able to get "computer fixes" on targets, and transmitting information to and from its (the) Master. Its pupil can act as a viewscreen. It has auto-destruct capability.
Sighted: In Fairfax, assisting the Bounty Hunter until he was captured, at which point it destroyed itself rather than give its Master up.
Possibilities: Almost too cute to be a villain, I'd love to see a story where he goes out with the Emerald Empress' Eye. Or could he have a connection to Brother Eye? Maybe a kid reprogrammed an eye connected to either, Sentinel-style. Perhaps as a superhero HQ majordomo? Might have fit the All-New Atom's version of Ivy University.
Integration Quotient: 45% (gives me a lot of ideas, but it needs a writer who doesn't take him/herself too seriously)
Name: Mr. Negative (Marvel's since taken the name and run with it)
Created by: Rudolph M. Minger from Hollywood, CA
Costume: Just a bum with an eerie glow about him. I like it. It makes a change from the usual generic leotards.
Powers: Mr. Negative's mere presence infects people around him with an "enervating ennui" that causes them to see their lives in the worst possible light and attempt to commit suicide. Usually in droves, like lemmings.
Sighted: Living on the impoverished South Side of Fairfax, Mr. Negative was a homeless man who was zapped by an unknown machine accidentally during a fight between the city's heroes an the Bounty Hunter. He caused everyone at Fairfax General Hospital to attempt suicide by jumping off a cliff, including Chris King. He was eventually cured of the "ionic radiation" that gave him his powers.
Possibilities: Well, if Marvel won't sue, there's the potential for his powers to manifest again, either treating him as a force of nature, or giving him more control over them.
Integration Quotient: 70% (several - hopefully more subtle - stories could be told with such a character, though he's perhaps better in small doses)

So that's the whole issue! Next time, lots of villains or they wouldn't be called the Evil Eight!

13 comments:

snell said...

Oh, I'd go higher than 1% on Rainbeaux. Her "color-coded" powers fit right in with the modern Geoff Johnsian Green Lantern. He already did a similar "makeover" on Color Kid's powers, but he's in the future (and as a "Substitute Legionnaire" he'll never be taken seriously). Make her a uber-Lantern, the one born to unite the various Corps, and...

Siskoid said...

I SAY THEE NAY!!!

Anonymous said...

"Waspman (two different 'a' sounds makes this clumsy name)"

"Created by: Ziggy Czyzycki"

Yeah, that would explain the clumsy name.

Siskoid said...

LOL!

De said...

At last, The Pupil!

Siskoid said...

Words never before spoken, I'm pretty sure.

summary said...

It doesn't sound so bad if you say it as a Jewish surname, Waspmin

Martin Gray said...

I wonder if Rainbeaux has an ultra macho brother, Rambeau?

And I'd make her bow-legged.

'Rudolf Minger'? How unfortunate.

Rich Hango is a chum of mine, he still has his prize!

Siskoid said...

That's awesome! I go back and forth between hoping for and dreading the day one of these creators finds the blog and whatever I said about their character design.

Martin Gray said...

I probably should have read the entry before sending it to Rich. Oops.

Siskoid said...

I don't think I'm particularly mean to Steadfast. It's fine.

Anonymous said...

I guess I have to weigh in at this point. As I told Martin, I didn't put a lot of thought into Steadfast's outfit. I modelled it after Captain Canuck's and colored it red and brown. (DC brought in the Spidey colors & changed his power radiation from black to yellow.) I was more concerned with his powers which I thought and still think are fairly original. Slowing or freezing the motion of atoms allowed him to walk on frozen atoms of air (not fly,) erect an impenetrate barrier of atoms for invunerability, change gases to liquid to solids, etc. I didn't allow him to speed up atoms because that would have made him too powerful. Someday I may use him again, though I guess I have to change his name.

I should point out that Rainbeaux preceded Halo and her creator deserved a little credit there.

And while I thought Waspman was a Fly ripoff, that was due to his color scheme which might have been DC-imposed.

-Rich Hango

Siskoid said...

His powers are the most intriguing thing, Rich! So call it a success. It's also interesting to see how certain things change one they're on the page from the original design.

Yes, Rainbeaux came before Halo, which only makes Halo worse ;).

Thanks for chiming in!

 

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