Friday, May 13, 2011
Return of the Defenders: The Mystic Order
Braband/ Disharoon Defenders of the Order Mystic
I sent my Defenders fan friend Joe some rough ideas for re-vamping one of his favorite comics, complete with the obscure Devil-Slayer as the enigmatic team leader and Sif, fresh from the new THOR movie. I gave him my list of characters and some ideas, and quickly he shot back a plot for the fresh start.
When I saw how the after effects of the Illuminati/ Hulk struggle might spell the end of the traditional Defenders, even as Nighthawk tries to reassemble a team, I recognized plenty of big guns to kick off at least the first issue, where we assemble Nighthawk and Hellcat before Devil-Slayer arrives needing help (possibly testing them to see that they are who they say). He may at this point bring in Sif, as well. I told Joe:
“Your plot to assemble the non-team is perfect. I'll contribute what I can, but the first story seems like your show!” (I do have a villainous cat’s paw in mind from my own creations, but basically the Six Fingered-Hand are organizing one of many factions of demons and evil doers---but why?
Then, here's what I want to do with the second one: "Kid Fears," where whatever Defenders we've assembled fall into a trap, a test, by Vera Gemini, where they resume their childhood identities and their worst fears and confusion. (For Patsy, it's actually about vampires: she notes she wasn't a very anger or bitter or fearful person and didn't know those emotions until Buzz Baxter and Damian. She wins the day largely because her chlldhood was kick butt and she was fearless!)
The general idea: We brainstorm on the whole thing and try to do what's coolest for the strip. Issue One is yours, and feel free to toss in Vera's monster unleashed, the Harvester of Eyes, if you need a marauder, but I suggest you begin the influence, if not actual appearance, of the Six Fingered Hand.
Two, "Kid Fears," feel free to hop in co-plotting, but I want to take whatever team you've assembled in ONE and throw them into their childhood terrors. I like existential crisis as a useful metaphor for accessing the "battle demons" idea, because, really, the point of "demons" is misunderstood, they could be turned into anything, really, and that's where I want to wrap up our first trade. They are like an encounter group in therapy---not that I know about professional therapy so much, but you get the idea!
So, in three, you take the gang to Hell. At this point, they realize several factions are vying for power in this gambit, it's like they're the ball in the occult villains playoffs! So, 6 Finger, Vera, and this corner of Hell that puts us back in touch with Daiman's legacy, these are all in the mix, while at least two more work behind the scenes, unless Dormammu's involved, too, but anyway...we don't have to wait until 3 to bring in S.O.S. but he should defintely be there by now. Then, we get a scene telling us some Asgardian sorcerers are in the mix, too, setting up Sif and our next issue in Rutland, VT, with Hela present.
In four why not give Skourge a cameo (I miss Kurse, that was a cool engine of destruction with an unlikely turn, during Unca Walt's run of THOR), if not the good ol' Enchantress? The Earthly pawns involved are the resurgent Undying Ones, which doubtlessly sets up the anticipation of Valkyrie, and while I'd like to show her, I think a fresh character with recognition would be a suitable new Defender----nothing against Val, she was my favorite under Gerber. But the Undying Ones minions are smashed between the monsters and Agents of Fortune of Vera Gemini , and whoever you have to represent Six Fingered Hand.
I'd like to do something with the Headmen, but they only succeed when they have confusion and surprise on their side, as they are not a fighting group, safe for the capable Ruby Thursday. i really want to save them for the next storyarc or better, the third one after or so, as though we "forgot" then pit them against the Serpent society across the backdrop of the whole world!
In five, why wait, you reminded me you can have the Avengers/ Defenders clash in a single issue! I WANT to do the seven part epic thing one day, but I thought, "what if I just had a six issue pitch?"
So, Cap, and whoever else you like, Joe. Bang, Pow, Zok! We might include a brand new Nebulon with a new self-delusional mission. We should throw in a few off the wall self-help philosophies, indeed, Nebulon started the Celestial Mind Control Movement in #34-38 and the Annual back in '75, '76., and the occasional pop reference,
issue six---unless we only do one part, but why rush? Let this be the issue where the heroes fight the actual bad guys---I want to wind up a nice web of plot threads, resolving only the bare minimum necessary, so as not to simply discard this storytelling engine designed here by us, but really wrap it up while leaving a good start to seven or #1 as they say these days as often as possible.