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An idea

I've an idea for an experiment.

You see, I love superhero comics. And yet, most of them are terrible. I gave up on ever being able to make good comics myself a long time ago, but I still get Ideas.

Inspired by Project Rooftop, my idea is this - give me an idea for a superhero, and I'll try to come up with a costume design. Anyone who wants to is welcome to join in and upstage me with their own design, too, of course.

My rough idea is that I want superhero outfits that are heroic, and, well, superhero outfits, and yet, are practical and realistic to an extent. No gravity women fighting crime in high heels and spandex without so much as a sports bra (especially with the inevitable comic book large breasts). Real bodies - Cyclops is often referred to as "Slim Summers", but most artists have him drawn nearly as muscley as Colossus. Don't get me started on how Magneto keeps those pulsating pectorals in his 70s.

So, give me ideas for a hero. Let's start with a woman, since women tend to end up badly in comics, and don't always get the most reasonable outfits, even if the writer tries.

Name? Powers? Origin story? There's no reason to put the character in the DC or Marvel universe. Throw me ideas!

And hey, if this works out, maybe I'll have more ammunition for my November microfics.


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 15th, 2008 02:49 am (UTC)
Wow. That bit with Sooraya is horrendous.

I shall give this some thought.
Sep. 15th, 2008 10:52 am (UTC)
my nickel (250% better than two cents!)
Yes, the body-hugging burqa is... yeah.

Superheroine idea, eh? A super-empowered person of the female persuasion... well, for starters, super-strength (make her a skilled mechanic, too... just had an image of grease-spotted girl helping the skinny guy repair his car that's broken down -- and then a plane on approach to the runaway is losing control! Only seconds to shed her everyday disguise... or not even, she has to run and catch the plane and suddenly gets more media attention than she wants....

Anyway. You don't even need too many super-powers. Nigh-invulnerable with super strength is an excellent, tried-and-true set-up. Just make the character interesting instead of focussing on gimmicky powers.
Sep. 15th, 2008 11:00 am (UTC)
I've had this idea for awhile and done nothing with it.

Cockroach Girl. Her power is to summon up fleets of rats and cockroaches to fight gentrification in her neighbourhood. Her day job is working for a soup kitchen. Don't know what she looks like, but she'd have small boobs and wear baggy clothes.
Sep. 15th, 2008 12:26 pm (UTC)
Blue Streak
"McPhail, James J."

"Yes, sir!"

The recruitment officer slowly looked JJ up and down, but didn't bother meeting his eyes. His expression said that he didn't like what he saw. JJ was used to that – in his short life, nearly everyone he met thought that his skin was too dark. And most everyone else thought it wasn't dark enough. But for once he let himself hope. Something about the set of the man's jaw suggested that he rarely liked anything he saw. Maybe he wouldn't discriminate particularly.

"Do you know why you're here? Mister McPhail." He made the 'mister' sound like a cuss word.

"Yes, sir! Ah want to join the army."

"Do you." That up-and-down look again.

"Yes, sir!"

The officer opened a plain folder on the otherwise immaculate desk. He paged slowly through the all-too familiar forms within as he spoke, "Looks like you also wanted to join the Navy, the Marine Corps and the National Guard."

"Not really, sir. But the army wouldn't take me the first time."

He flipped back through the short pile, comparing the forms, and spoke without looking up. "Nobody's going to take you. You can lie about your age all you want. So why are you back here?"

"I want to serve my country to the best of my abilities, sir!"

"Uh huh." He picked up a piece of lined paper that JJ didn't remember filling out, and rapped it with a fingernail. "You're talking about these 'super-powers' aren't you? You must have made some sort of impression on the desk sergeant to get this far," he closed the folder with a precise snap and finally met his eyes. "I am not so easily impressed."

JJ couldn't think of anything to say to that, so he didn't say anything.

"So what exactly can you do with these so-called 'super-powers'?"

"Ah turn blue, and ah run really fast."

"You turn blue."


There came a long pause.

"Well, then, go ahead."

"You want ah should turn blue?"

"That's right." Another look. "It can only help."

Well, that's what he was here for after all. "Yes, sir."

JJ sped himself up, watching with largely unfaded wonder as the color drained out of everything. The bare bulb in the ceiling began to let out a shrill whine that dropped quickly in pitch before settling down to a barely audible throb every few heartbeats. He remembered Pa's basement lectures about alternating current and electrical frequencies.

JJ stood there for a long time, thinking. He would probably have to stay in once place for quite a while, subjectively, in order to be clearly visible. No reason not to get comfortable.

Moving as carefully as he could, he hopped gently off the floor and drifted upwards, stopping himself on an exposed ceiling support. He stretched out in mid-air, enjoying the light-headed feeling that he had found so frightening only a few weeks before. He was still pretty keyed up, but the air formed a perfect cushion as he very, very slowly fell towards the ground. The throbbing light was actually kind of peaceful. It didn't take him all that long to sack out.

Sometime later, he woke up and stretched. Some slightly awkward flailing got him to a point where he could see the floor, still a few inches below him. The recruiting officer's expression had just begun to change; his eyes were a little wider, his mouth opening on what was probably the beginning of a curse. He had already risen slightly off his seat – good reflexes.

JJ carefully put his feet underneath him, exerting the barest pressure on the floorboards. He bent his knees slightly in preparation, then slowed himself back down. The floor vibrated and creaked in protest, like he'd punched a dismount, but he hardly felt any pressure at all in his legs. Looked like he was beginning to get the hang of it.


Sep. 15th, 2008 12:26 pm (UTC)

"—ofabitch!" The recruitment officer stood up fast enough to slam his wheeled chair into the wall, his face rapidly turning beet red. "Christ, boy, what the hell was that?"

"Didn't ah turn blue?"

"Blue?! Fuck yeah it was blue. The whole goddamn room lit up!" The sarcasm was completely gone, the man's face slack with astonishment. JJ tried not to enjoy it too much.

"That's just what happens when ah stay put. People say they can hardly see me when ah run."

That wasn't strictly true. A brisk walk seemed to do the trick. JJ had avoided any actual running since he had accidentally destroyed the paved running track during the national track and field trials. They told him that everyone's hearing had eventually returned. More or less.

"Uh. Uh. Ah should – I mean I should – um. You stay here, I'm going to – I'm going to go –" The man left the room at considerably more than a brisk walk.

After the first five minutes, JJ went and sat down behind the desk. It was the only chair in the room. His nap had left him too well-rested to doze, so he contented himself with just putting his feet up. Waiting was one thing his speed couldn't help with.

"Shoulda brought a book."

JJ didn't own a watch, and there was no clock in the very spartan office. He knew because he had time to go through every item in the room, including the locked cabinets. Even without speeding up. Twice. He found nothing of interest, not even an army manual. He'd read all of his father's many times, but knew they were all long out of date.

His feet back on the desk, he was seriously contemplating another (real-time) nap when the door finally began to open.

The red-faced recruitment officer held it open for a third man, someone JJ had never seen before. The officer took in the rapidly spinning chair and then the prospective recruit on the other side of the room, but forebade to comment.

The new guy didn't look military. He looked like a banker. He shot the cuffs on his expensive suit and offered a well-manicured hand.

"Mr. McPhail. I'd like to apologize for your trouble. Let me get right to the point. The truth is, none of the armed forces can legally recruit you at your current age. However, there may be other options for an individual with your...talents. Would you be willing to submit to a few simple tests? My organization has a secure facility nearby."

JJ looked from one man to another. It occurred to him that the recruitment officer wasn't just flustered, he was actually pretty badly sunburned. There was a sharp white line beginning behind his ear. Weird.

He took the offered hand and shook it firmly. "Ah reckon ah could do that. What did you say your name was?"

The man smiled, at least with the lower half of his face. "I didn't. If you could just follow me."

The nameless man scooped up JJ's file and left without a backward look, the recruitment officer hurrying to get the door again. JJ nodded at him in passing.

"Thanks for being so patient with me, sir. Ah'd appreciate it next time if you wouldn't cuss so much, though. And you really oughtta put something on that burn afore it blisters."

The line behind the soldier's ears became noticeably less distinct.

To his credit, the swearing didn't start until they were almost out of the building. But he was going hard and strong as JJ reached the exit.

A real blue streak.

Sep. 15th, 2008 03:00 pm (UTC)
Oh, sorry. JJ's male. And that's from lovecraftienne's 1940's campaign...

You could ask Corbet for Jinx, although she already has a pretty specific design...

Sep. 15th, 2008 11:56 pm (UTC)
Sep. 15th, 2008 01:59 pm (UTC)
How timely!
I just decided that for Hallowe'en this year, I'm inventing my very own superheroine alter-ego. That way 1) I don't have to worry about versimiltude in the costume, 2) I don't have to worry about catching pneumonia in the costume, and 3) I can be a cooler, much more fitting kind of superheroine than the ones in the comics.
Sep. 15th, 2008 02:17 pm (UTC)
I read the first issue with Sooraya in it and I'm fairly certain her burqa was NOT skin tight.
Sep. 15th, 2008 02:31 pm (UTC)
Yeah, but just because they get is right sometimes doesn't mean it's always right. Also, it's still not actually a burqa.
Sep. 15th, 2008 04:19 pm (UTC)
I'm a Superhero nut so I'll give my two cents.
I remeber when I read both issues of Green Lantern that featured Refrigerator girls, and I was like WTF both times, the second time though it turned out to just be a taunt, it wasn't really Kyle's mom in the fridge.

I like the girls in Runaways, Gertrude being my favourite, and I kinda like heros along this line, kinda like the TV show Heroes. Where the people have powers but no costumes or nicknames.

But lately of course with Heroes and Runaways its a bit overplayed.
So I'm thinking we have a normal late teens girl who inherits her mother's power, her mother being one of those tradional spandex and big boobed superheroines. But she's reluctant to take on the mantle and she doesn't have her mother's endowments, so she goes around in comfortable clothes, maybe a mask, kind of like Jack Knight does when he takes on the Starman role.
Mostly I'm thinking a size 14 or 16 Wonder Woman.
Sep. 15th, 2008 06:14 pm (UTC)
Being not so knowledgable about this topic, but still hating the current norm for women superheroes, I will only say, I like the concept of Cybersix.
I'm now thinking about this so maybe I'll share what comes out of the brain after its fermented a bit.
Sep. 15th, 2008 11:57 pm (UTC)
Oh, that's tickling my brain... CyberSix was a cartoon superheroine -- young girl? Am I right?
Sep. 16th, 2008 01:14 am (UTC)
younger - her alter-ego was as a male detective. Her superhero costume has a cape and a big hat.
Sep. 17th, 2008 02:44 pm (UTC)
Cybersix kicked le ass.
Sep. 21st, 2008 03:37 am (UTC)
Meant to reply to this earlier, forgot. I made up some characters, jeez, must be nearly ten years ago, for a story I planned to write in something approximately Marvel-verse (because I like their characters better than DC but I can't quite get past headdesking over the bad, bad science--not that I had a particularly advanced understanding of biology when I came up with these guys, but whatever). Anyway, I can't remember any of their real names, but there were three young "mutants", high school or undergrad age; one guy called Kindred, who I would have to describe retroactively as very, very emo, who was kind of an empath/mimic: his brain would sync up with other people nearby and he'd start to think, talk, and move like them, be able to anticipate their actions, and in the case of mutants use their powers, but also to some degree share their motivations, and it really depresses him because he feels like he has no personality of his own (this has been more or less done, on both emo and ability counts, in the character of Peter on Heroes--though I've only seen the first half of the first season); there was a girl who could speed up cellular processes in organisms she touched--both positive things like healing and making plants grow and negative things like metastasis of cancerous growths, and because she hasn't got the hang of it this can screw up people around her by accident, and she can't use it on herself; and the third one I don't remember except that his power had something to do with detaching and reattaching parts of his body? There was also a villain whose phenotype changed to resemble organisms whose blood he'd recently ingested--so he eats things like rattlesnakes for the venom or other characteristics, but also needs to regularly drink human blood in order to "pass" as human in public, and tries to eat mutants for their powers. Anyway, I'm not doing anything with them so if anything there is interesting you're welcome to it.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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