Monday, June 13, 2011

Merrie Medley Cult Secwet Tweeties

Move over, Blue Oyster Cult! It's cartoon time!

Merrie Medley Cult
Secwet Tweeties

Career of Evil__Wile E. Coyote
Subhuman__ Tweetie Bird
Dominance Submission___Porky Pig
ME-262 __Daffy Duck
"Ah, say, ah say what ya got there, dummy? A worm?"
side two

Cagey Cretins__Foghorn Leghorn
Harvester of Eyes___Elmer Fudd
Flamin' Telepaths___Bugs Bunny
Astronomy_____Marvin the Martian

So that's our take on the classic BOC sister recommended Godzilla sing "Godzilla" too, which led to a hearty gale of laughs...

I've been listening to a lot of terrific old rock songs as I ponder hooks, riffs, and melodic runs for our new music. Last night I opened up my favorite Blue Oyster Cult album again while drawing...funny thoughts come to you at 3 am, let me tell ya...

Saturday, June 11, 2011

"Inside baseball" of plot to Mystic Order Of Defenders #1 (Marvel)

Here's a rough synopsis with notes for the Braband/ Disharoon concept of Mystic Order Of Defenders.

Yesterday's post introduces Devil-Slayer's powers and mission, depicting the gangs, receiving deadly guns from an ATF U.S. official on a stormy Mexican night.

The cold open continues the narrative with Devil-Slayer. He’s teleporting in and senses he is not the only stalker of these hallways (soon identified as a sanitarium). He throws on a white doctor's coat, and makes a phone call to the police concerning a tip he got through his volunteer clinic, and suggests the location where he has just fought the gun-smugglers.

Possibly, we also introduce Vera Gemini’s twin, Marie, a recovering patient. Joe has the notion of a sighting causing Eric Simon Payne to doubt who he has under lock and key at his sanitarium, after all, that is, which twin, and we’ll ponder this for the next draft. An attack meant to terrorize the patients of Payne’s medical facility in the night could be very exciting, indeed. Still, like Payne as depicted here, I’ve yet to uncover the reason for said adversary, and identity (a new Gargoyle, created by Avarish, is one possibility; more on him later, along with an explanation of how Avarish operates).

Next, we depict Kyle Richmond, now in his thirties and much more involved with Richmond Enterprises presently, as he’s learned from experience that here his watchful eye will do good, as no corporation benefits from blind eyes turned to corruption, and the research has sparked a renewed interest in science for Kyle, admitted meathead as a student. The nostalgia of wishing to see his Defenders friends again is sparked by catching a few minutes of a new reality show, American Teen Dream, spotlighting the contestants standing before famous model Patsy Walker, herself.
So: Kyle’s salvaged life force centers his distinct nostalgia for the strange existence of the Defenders. How appropriate to begin the Mystic Order stories with Kyle; that is where this first arc ends, too, the thoughts of Kyle Richmond.

I am considering depicting 81-year-old Isaac Christian and his new life in, say, Tijuana---an opening or, most likely, the third scene---and the youngsters who come get him for help when they hear someone in the family’s going to try to kill an unwanted boyfriend, because he is such a cruel and bad seed and he has Melinda’s devotion, against the wishes of most everyone, despite his money. Isaac would do anything to keep a regrettable thing from happening here, so he retreats to his room, and shares his great secret with the curtained darkness.

I think with great concentration, Isaac can slowly exchange forms and become Gargoyle again. The Gargoyle form, of course, was originally created for him so he might serve as a supernatural pawn of a demon called Avarish who promised to save his town. The aged mayor, scion of a hundred fifty years of Christians in Christianboro, regretted his choice, and, trapped in this body, joined the Defenders upon their first battle.

Here, we discover the old man, who is apparently now human, can resume the Gargoyle form, through a deliberate, slow act of will. It’s a scary sequence, but very fun.
The scenes where Kyle and Patsy reminisce, I believe I can write, based on Defenders history, especially Hulk, Doc, and Val.

In the fourth scene, where he’s treating Patsy walker to a shared vacation with brief business visit, I believe he’s sharing with Patsy what his brain separation reality was like, how it’s come back to him of late, and how it’s made him really appreciate the things around him in this temporal existence. I do believe this set up will raise the reader’s expectations of a romance, but I don’t feel committed to that conclusion, at least, not in any straight line to that, if at all. Daiman’s still waiting off stage, and there’s some history there, about which I wonder...seems so very dark there in the middle, with Patsy’s suicide. Is that why I’m sorta leaving it to Joe to figure out?

I wonder if Beast should cameo in this first story? He is Patsy’s old friend from his Brand days. Patsy’s a cable television personality on a smash modeling competition program...well, I’m not sure if it’s best as a smash or a quick flash...but some vacation time is welcome, and Patsy and Kyle are both single at this point, I think.

I wonder how much of the past can be dealt with sans laborious exposition, but rather, in a conversation of personal nostalgia and insight?

Then, we show Joe’s scenario with Hulk, Dr. Strange and the Submariner)
where Kyle attempts to reform the non-team and ends up with a non-team, indeed. That’s about five acts, there.

A split scene: we pick up with the two Defenders introduced earlier, D-S in action, and Isaac in his human form. Now, we get an interlude of the Gargoyle transforming and going into action, and Eric Simon Payne busy with the sanitarium. This is where we get a bit of his history and his present mission.

In the seventh scene, Gargoyle creeps up on an occult meeting and finds Avarrish at his schemes again, taking advantage of the struggling township or neighborhood. A doppleganger, more powerful, attacks Gargoyle.

Meanwhile, Kyle’s visit to Richmond Mexico intersects with a security breach, so Nighthawk and Hellcat go into action, but one shadow cloak teleport later, poof goes the aGent of Fortune. But why was he there? He goes after mystical items. Is there one here? Is it belonging to a renegade demon in disguise, who’s infiltrated the company, as the disguised demons did before the first attempted Xenogenesis?

This would be the ninth scene, pouring straight out of the battle begun before the scene at Richmond. Gargoyle barely survives, and then nearly gets killed again, this time by Devil-Slayer. However, D-S reads him telepathically and concludes he’s there for another devil altogether, the one tied to the town. He believes this cult is possibly a sign of his old confederates under Vera Gemini, but it’s actually the work of the Six Fingered Hand, which Gargoyle determines in an interesting way. His form, after all, was originally one of their creations. Yikes, huh? They are both pretty monstrous heroes. Still, heroes, they are, and here we skip exposition in favor of sending Devil Slayer on the trail of Kyle and Patsy. His appearance leads to his mistaken identity, but this skirmish ends quickly, with Gargoyle’s appearance. This force of four is now on the trail of the larger organization of towns given over to Avarish.

The doppleganger Gargoyle fights the aGent of Fortune, who’s added a defense gadget stolen from Richmond E’s secret disguised demon? What else was he doing there? The earlier and only appearance of an Agent of Fortune, in Defenders 58-60, opened with a daring raid of the Sanctum Sanctorum.

I don’t think this is anywhere near that level right now, as I have a hard time seeing an advanced finished product being made in Mexico, and I’m aware of that. It’s rarely clear to me what his company does besides manufacture his wings and their cannons and that great mask of his, as demonstrated around Defenders #80. It’s disguised as technology, but it’s really a mystical weapon. Further, it comes out there’s indeed two factions, represented by these heavies, and shortly, more.

So, the new gargoyle and the aGent of Fortune square off. The middle of their fight is disrupted, itself, by the arrival of four Defenders. How this ends? Likely with the faux Gargoyle finished and the Agent getting away, but it’s possible Devil-Slayer will get the gadget and add it to his own shadow cloak.
Last scene. They teleport back to his sanitarium, and here they affirm their agreement to reform the Defenders and uncover this Secret Demon War. Were this a movie, hopefully we could tie this up in forty minutes, possibly minus much concentration of things that work very well in context of the comics, but might be dealt with in just a few minutes onscreen. Lots of action!
That’s a plot for the first issue.

Friday, June 10, 2011

cold open: Devil-Slayer, in Mystic Order Of Defenders

Action cold opening, first.

Here we introduce: Devil Slayer, the gangs, and their terrible secret. With this scenario, we telescope all elements necessary to connect the audience with this brand new, unknown character.

Tijuana, B.C.

two poor boys, dark hair, eyes, skin, one a head taller than the other, play soccer in a muddy lot outside in moonlight beside warehouse. The smaller boy turns his back to kick the ball up on his heel,

then tries a bicycle kick pass.

The kick sends the ball over the other boy’s head, but the bicycle-kicking boy vanishes, for no reason we can see;

his playmate chases the ball, and dribbles it back towards where his friend should be---where is he?

A man appears, spreads his cape in the silhouette, and the boy hears “don’t be afraid” in his head. He sees a grim pair of brown eyes,
the cloak folds over them both, whipping with a life of its own,
and the boy suddenly appears four blocks away, beside his startled friend.

They watch in wonder as a man in a purple body suit says “Vamos a casa!” spins his orange cloak around himself,
and in an instant, it whips, twists into the thin air---vanishing!

“Rafael! Rafael!”cries the tallest one, pulling vigorously on the smaller one’s sleeve, who says "El Diablo..."

Devil-Slayer steps out of his cloak from the shadows of a warehouse, where eight men gather around several crates, opened to reveal machine gun parts.

As he watches them closely, thoughts from their heads sound off in his mind; he hears plans, names, cities, times---that these guns were laundered by the American Tabacco and Firearms agency, betrayed by one of the men standing before the rest.

“His mind...too opaque to read clearly” thinks Devil-Slayer.

Suddenly (in extreme close up) he thinks, “sixth sense!”
and pictures an image, as though through infra-red, for a flash: an enormous man, hefting a massive crate above his head.

Devil-Slayer rolls out of the way, and directly where he had crouched comes a shattering wooden crate.

He senses the sound calls the attention of the gangsters in his direction. Now he draws his cloak about himself, to again vanish...

...reappearing behind the vigilant gangsters. Without a sound, he spins and kicks one in the head, drops,

---and from his cloak, he suddenly possesses a jo ( a four foot wooden pole), which he uses with two hands to whack one gangster in the head,

then drill its flat point into his face.

Before the armed thug nearest him (bald, with a tear drop tattoo on his eyelid, a two inch scar on his cheek) can open fire,

the shadow cloak, as though alive, envelopes the gun, which then vanishes. This, the thugs cannot believe.

Now the one he does not believe is human draws a pistol; Devil Slayer rolls to bring himself close to this false official, grabs his arm as though he is about to smash him, but with the other hand pulls the closest gangster, freshly disarmed, forward.

With a tug of his cape, they vanish along with him, leaving the other five standing there, dumbfounded.

One of them attempts to flee, but one of his fellows, a goateed biker in denim, shoots him in the leg.

As that man cries out, the biker tells them, in Spanish, to fan out.

On another plane of existence, the displaced men float a few yards from Devil-Slayer.

They pass through seemingly solid floating stones, without gravity, while Devil-Slayer, a tall, physically-fit man (possibly resembling Michael Fassbender) clad in deep purple, shadow cloak wafting without gravity, walks towards them upside down across an orange beam of energy that makes a curving path.

Perpendicular lines create a yellow grid as far as the eye can see, across a navy blue atmosphere, sporadically populated with geometric shapes, tiny monsters on asteroids, and an eye of Horus type of thing floating beneath them, watching dispassionately, eternally on. Devil-Slayer speaks.

Now you are outside of human existence as you know it, he says. If you ever want to return, you will cooperate...and you will tell the rest that Devil Slayer is coming...”

He pulls the khaki-clad man with the pistol towards him with his mind. “Reveal to me...”

The “man” takes on a hideous face, reptilian, red, scaly, full of malevolence. “Curse you.”

The other gangster is terrified, praying for all of the saints to save him, quietly.
With his cloak, Devil-Slayer pulls him through the gravity-free void, turns him upside down, and says, “on your neck. Where did you get this six-fingered tattoo?”

> stammers the gangster. “Never mind, I see it in your mind,” says Devil-Slayer, telepathically. The gangster notices now his lips do not move as his voice comes through in both English and Spanish. “You are betrayed. This is no American official providing your gang with guns. It is an inhuman monster, working together with others of his kind to help you destroy yourselves. The power behind your enforcers is as dark as you ever dreamt.”

The shadow-cloak enfolds them all, growing to surreal size, then they are back in the warehouse, in the rafters. “Digalo,” says Devil-Slayer to the tattooed gangster.

The seemingly-caucasian man in khakis attempts to flee. Below them, the gangster who was shot squirms to his feet, bleeding. He lofts his AK-47 machine gun in an effort to finish off Devil-Slayer.

Devil-Slayer grins, reaches into his cloak, and aims a Tek-9 machine gun. “Guns come cheap,” he says. “Is this how you want to end your life?”

Suddenly, the enormous man from before, now with small horns grown through his scalp, comes rushing into Devil-Slayer, who opens fire at close range.

The tackle carries Devil-Slayer through one of the support studs,
before he is dumped unceremoniously amidst smashed boxes.

The giant’s temples begin to pulse, as though he is transforming horribly; he picks up another crate, to break as many of his foes’ bones as possible.

“Well, screw you, too,” Devil-Slayer says, while gesturing with out-stretched hand.

The crate breaks open, flooding the demon’s face with wholesale screws and washers.

Now Devil-Slayer reaches into his cape and produces a six-foot pike.

He slams the blade directly into the demon’s face with a bellow,

then leaps into the staggering body while blocking a blow with the handle.

He then smashes its blade into his head twice more in the darkness;
the head rolls along the floor.

A helicopter sound above grabs his attention; “the roof,” he thinks, heaving, sweating. Its searchlight is the only illumination, pale.

Upon the roof, Devil-Slayer’s cape unfurls, and he crouches dramatically, making out the form of his fleeing enemy as he climbs onto a lowered rope ladder.

“I remember when I won this dagger,” DS thinks. “The demon I fought had found purchase within my hidden fear that, however many demons I destroy, I will never know peace, this war, never know an end. I have learned these battles begin and end with the soul, my soul, and the souls of man, who disguise the nature of this life in lies too kind.”

He flips the dagger like a missile towards the rising enemy.

We see his eyes, narrow. The dagger climbs impossibly higher, lifted by the force of his mind...

guided inexorably between the eyes of the mortally-clad demon.

Stunned by his predicament, the disbelieving demon reverts to his true form,

as he falls to the roof from forty feet above. The helicopter drifts away into the night.
(Voice over)

“By this dagger, I found in my heart the belief...the hope...the knowing...someday, this war must end. But first, its battlefield, hidden in the world we know, must be the innocents who walk blindly through.”

(End scene) (Devil-Slayer will teleport to the next location and reveal his human identity, as a sanitarium doctor in Mexico, in the next scene.)

Here we introduce: Devil Slayer, the gangs, and their terrible secret. With this scenario, we telescope all elements necessary to connect the audience with this brand new, unknown character. Refine this into a sequence. Write it all clearly as instructions to the artist.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Setting the stage for the Mystic Order of Defenders

So, Joe responded to my last post. Watch as the Mystic Order Of Defenders is revealed!!! (We've been plotting our own return of the Defenders for Marvel; you can follow along in previous entries here at this blog, which also flesh out who everyone listed is)

My take on things -

1) Nighthawk's intentions in reforming the team
I think nostalgia would be one of the driving forces. The Defenders were his friends and Kyle was arguably the heart of the team. As for not just turning over any information on the Six-Fingered Hand right over to the Avengers and letting them handle it - I think there might be a bit of pride going on there. Iron Man refused his offer to reform the Defenders once and put him together with a decidedly non-Defenders team in "the Last Defenders". I think out of anyone, Kyle would be one to reflect on the "non-Team" and realize that these people weren't just a loose group of super-heroes - they were his friends and it is time for a reunion of sorts.

Another reason for Nighthawk to eschew the Avengers - being an American-backed superteam, the Avengers could provoke an international incident on the other side of the border. The Defenders (the ones that aren't currently Avengers that is) are independent and can do whatever they want without involving the government.

Finally, perhaps Kyle and Patsy are just going to Mexico for a vacation in Cabo (Kyle's treat) and wierdness just follows them. When things get too big for them, they call in the others. I love starting a story from mundane origins and making them sprial out of control.

2) D-S has a propensity to carry the Vera Gemini part of the plot line.Gargoyle's origin tied directly into the Six Fingered Hand, who punished Isaac with that form. His knowledge is not quite the same extent as D-S's; Payne uses his knowledge of the organization to discover its resurgence.
I don't have the issue where they fight V.G., but, Kyle and Patsy could (at the least) recognize the name if they didn't encounter her before.
I believe that the Gargoyle would recognize the "feel" of the Six-Fingered Hand's demonic powers if he encountered them.
Devil-Slayer probably isn't quite as active killing demons as he might have in the past, focusing on his work at the sanitorium and developing his own goetic powers. However, if he found out the Harvesters or Vera Gemini's twin is out there (perhaps casting doubt in his mind, allowing the real Vera to escape), he'd get back in the thick of things with little hesitation.

3) Inserting a doppleganger into the Defenders line-up
Interesting thought. It might work if it's done well in the beginning when everyone is coming together. A faux-Valkyrie might be cool, but "less might be more" in the grand scheme of things. Having it happen without reason or just because wouldn't fly by me.

4) I knew a retiree who lived in TJ just to save money, and that's a possibility for bringing Isaac into the picture.
That is brilliant! I love the idea that Issac Christians is acting old person should in his own way. I'm not sure he'd want to mope around in Christiansboro... or if even Christiansboro even fared very well during the US economic downturn. Perhaps it is even a ghost-town by now and Isaac has no place to go since the Six-Fingered Hand was defeated (yet another sub-plot)! Retiring on a meager salary could easily keep him out of the way in the first issue and just as easily help usher in the borderland plotline. It could also help show what people have been doing in the time after the Defenders.

5) What if a Harvester of Eyes cult agent of death or fortune disguises as Devil-Slayer?
I could see them using the same costume motif, but probably different colors. In a black and white video, they'd look awfully similar. I wouldn't mind seeing a Devil-Slayer vs. Devil-Slayer-Slayer battle where both are fighting with the full extent of their powers against each other amid two warring armies of summoned inner-demons.

As a plot point, if the Harvester of Eyes really does indeed harvest eyeballs (the eyes are the windows to the soul...), that would be enough to warrant Payne's attention enough to bring him out of seclusion (the last I heard on the Marvel site, he's helping mental patients at some sanitarium). OR... perhaps they take the fight to Devil-Slayer by attempting to assassinate him at the Sanitarium? Having trained Payne to be an assassin, it would make perfect sense for them to find someone else who is more willing to fill his shoes.

Perhaps there are other functions of the cult that were not fleshed out in the original story...

6) I do think it's safe to say Daiman Hellstrom is depicted as already on this case by the first story. But what if his father's not behind the Six Fingered Hand? Maybe....Dormammu?
I dunno... I like the idea of the Six-Fingered Hand as a main villain, not the puppet of a larger threat. It means that they're not just goons to be slapped around on the journey to "The Big Bad". If Daiman is already on the case, then there needs to be some good reason it that draws him in - that's just good storytelling. If he's not on the case, then his skills as Marvel's pre-eminent exorcist make him a reason for the Defenders to actively track down the Son of Satan and bring him into the fold once more.

7) cameos by Doom, Mordo, even Dr. Druid or another magic user, refusing alliances, would tie it into the MU.
I could see Brother Voodoo being a natural to take over the spot of Dr. Strange on the team. Perhaps in time he would be receptive of the offer, but just as easily he could refuse. I don't know if Nighthawk would offer membership to anyone staunchly on the side of evil/selfishness, but he would definitely try to sway someone who is on the fence - as I saw him do with Constrictor a few years back.

8) a subplot like Devil-Slayer trying to talk a young man out of joining a most satanic gang faction would give us a shorter story that could be resolved, if you like, a small victory or defeat along the way.
Perhaps. We do have a lot going on here and we're still working on the main story. We'd have to see how the chips are falling to see where it works in there.

9) I want to start up a subplot about human trafficking. I know the Defenders don't really fight regular crooks, but I'm sure we can run with that idea AND provide, say, a villain called the Coyote who provides the muscle for that effort.
I think that there would be a disproportionately large number of super-criminals south of the border that could prove to be difficult. Perhaps the Defenders would find themselves at a disadvantage and be forced to withdraw after taking down a few. Or they could get caught between the law and the criminals.

Clea - I wouldn't mind having her back on special occasions. Reading over those old Defenders comics though, the romantic fawning over Dr. Strange was a bit saccharine.

Sif - I don't know about bringing her on. For some odd reason, it doesn't feel right to me just substituting one Asgardian warrior chick with another Asgardian warrior chick. They're a bit too similar in composition on the surface. I like the idea of bringing in new blood though. There probably are a few unused really cool mystic female characters who might have brushed with the Defenders in the past. Finding them is a difficult proposition though... Maybe the forgotten Avengers semi-villan "Elf Queen" who kicked the Avengers' asses and disappeared after one issue into obscurity?

Anyway...back to work. Have fun.

And my reply:

1) Someone wrote me a brilliant reply today that stated nostalgia is the great driving force in his life, and one that comes most naturally.

2) They did meet her and they'd know the name if it comes up in their investigation. The Harvester of Eyes cult name is one of those that would ring a bell over time! Agreed on Gargoyle. This is a new touch on D-S; there's his chance to help someone ordinary, too. Not too much screen time, just enough to establish a face and name for some of those suffering in the midst.

3) Oh, yeah, the doppleganger is there to learn what the Defenders know and hand them over to Vera Gemini at some critical junction.

4)Think we're in complete agreement!

5) This will just be a matter of logistics, but lots of good grist for the mill.

6) Particularly because (spoiler!) the Hand were revealed as agents of Satan, I think a hint of the Hand would send them to his door.

I don't mind a bit if the 6fh makes their own Bachmann-like run for demonic leadership! I was surprised by what JM did with them in #99 and am referring back to that with this supposition, if you haven't made it back to that story yet.

7) Since we are so character-rich, I was just thinking of these cameos as evidence that 6fh and Vera Gemini are trying to recruit/ manipulate/ neutralize existing magicians. They may not even have space to do much here! But if we find one of them onscreen for more than a couple of minutes, hey, they were meant to be there.

8) Think I've covered this now; just wanted to establish, "that's funny, the gangs are getting into a lot of Satanism as always, but ...NO!!! Not them!! I thought their power was broken!" sort of thing.

9) mm-hmm. And sometimes the police are on the side of the gangs, to top it all off. I wonder
what existing villains we have down there? The trafficking thing is a particular crime of choice I want to discuss "coyotes" are the men who handle that business, often transferring their "clients" to places for sex trade and worse.

Hope you are enjoying our exchange, this peek behind the curtain of Creative endeavors.

Excuse the geek out of me: X-Men: First Class review, spoiler free,excitement

Sponsored by Integr8d Soul Productions, featuring DNA: The Mountain, drawn with crisp, clear story telling by Lue Lyron and the Marc Kane, with scenes and ideas you won't find anywhere else in entertainment!! The comic for those who don't read comics! Black and White, $3 plus shipping each.
Available from C Lue Disharoon
542 6th Ave.
San Diego, CA 92101 Ad from 1977.

First, i just LOVED X-Men: First Class. My friend Josh felt like it was one of the best action flicks he's ever seen, from effects to characterization. I can't explain why it seemed to slow down just as they hit the act with the climactic action, but I suspect it's me and my tendency not to sit through more than an hour of anything anymore, unless it's something I'm actively making, myself.

We got off to a great start; I felt like Xavier calling his mutants together as I checked to see who on this side of town would like to share the movie experience. With six of us set to converge, and Ed's enthusiasm pushing me to make it to the next, earliest show possible, we found each other in line, along with our friend DJ, a fine young comicbook artist in her own right. With so many of us good guys together, I remarked, some super villain was bound to attack the theater. That's how those things happen, y'know!

Kevin Bacon is the movie's secret weapon; it tends to flatten a character, to become extremely good or evil, but along with his cruelty, his Sebastian Shaw had depth. The leads were superb, the motivations mostly set up by the story itself, making certain pieces inevitable, if excruciating.

The first hour carefully, lovingly sets up the development of Charles Xavier, Eric Lensherr/ Magneto, and Mystique (with whom they created a sympathetic character with a strong support role at the heart of many characters). Characters originally created for action gained, over the years, a lot of drama fans relate to each of them, and that drama was convincingly portrayed. Mystique is particularly moving and central to the story in a greater way than any previous appearances; it is as much her story as it is the origin of Professor X and Magneto.

The direction? Riveting. The Cuban Missile Criss historical setting, to me, is classic Marvel incorporation of the real world. The mini-skirts are a few years early here, but they're nicely worn.

James McAvoy (Charles), Michael Fassbender (Erik Lehnsherr), Kevin Bacon (Sebastian Shaw/Dr. Schmidt), Rose Byrne (Moira MacTaggert), January Jones (Emma Frost), Oliver Platt (MIB), Jennifer Lawrence (Raven/Mystique), Nicholas Hoult (Hank/Beast), Zoe Kravitz (Angel Salvadore/Wings), Jason Flemyng (Azazel), Lucas Till (Alex Summers/Havok), Caleb Landry Jones (Cassidy/Banshee), Alex Gonzalez (Janos Questad/Riptide) and Edi Gathegi (Darwin Armondo).

Our group really loved it, although my director friend has a real beef with altering things from the comics, as if to say, "your comic books are stupid, we're erasing your memories!" His point is that, if these characters are so great, the original stories in which they appeared are what made them great. Why not reproduce that story, then? He asked me to consider it from the point of view as though they were telling me one of my childhood memories, like, "you went fishing when you were ten," has no substance, no influence, no existence. His point has to do with Hollywood erasing our culture, only to reap financial recompense while further burying the original idea. This is the experience for a lot of people.

He is right that we have yet to get a comic book adaptation that faithfully stays completely like its source, though he cited Watchmen and Sin City as being very close. He considers it very unflattering to the original source and creators, and self-loathing of fans to accept it.

I just don't happen to fall into that camp. I want a helluva story. I got it. The debate's an internet staple, isn't it? But one or two like that's all I need to read, really. I was asked to think about, what if it were my own material in question? But if the changes open a new facet that still rings true to the character, I would not mind; it would be a matter of whether or not true inspiration was at the nexus of the change, to fill out the characters as people, and to confront the constraints of time that come with film versus serialized stories over months and years.

Thing is, X-Men wouldn't even be the pop culture juggernaut it is today without a re-interpretation. This movie is more of a tribute to writer Chris Claremont, who took over the revamped title started somewhat haphazardly by comics greats Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and later cancelled due to low sales. He was the one who created the back story tying Charles and Eric together. In 1976, he was the one who shed most of the original team characters and used new ones created by Wein and Cockrum---Colossus, Storm, Nightcrawler, and, oh yes, Wolverine, and Wolverine, and Wolverine.

I'm sure both of those moves were considered violations of comics purity by some at the time, yet without his changes? No X-Men as we know them. Furthermore, he didn't care so much for Wolverine, until his work got re-interpreted by his new co-artist, John Byrne, whose sympathy for the misunderstood Canadian runt hero led him to proudly involve and personalize him along the way. No one person had the right answer; in fact, each time X-Men has evolved, it involved the dissolution of some previous approach. Of all movies open to re-interpretation for the sake of stories, none have a history suited better than the Uncanny X-Men.

I hope my friend gets a shot at doing a faithful interpretation some day; it will start with something original he writes and films, himself. I don't doubt he would be just as tempted to give it his own spin in some way, through cinematography, direction, even characterization. I do know it's a discussion outside the interests of most movie goers, and it's probably much more boring than a recitation of the stunning scenes each friend favored, when you're just walking out of the theater. I don't think a creative person can avoid it at some point, though!

I actually think television, with its weekly serial, episodic format, is more ideal for adapting serial material like comicbooks. We can all agree, they are marketing to, and cannot have a blockbuster without, people with shorter attention spans than the fan faithful. As a format, each one, movies, comics and television, are different, and can each be used in unique ways.

I do like to see the original material considered, and sometimes, the original interpretation's too sweet to improve. I just don't think X-men #1 and #160 (the basis for most of this plot, from 1963 and 1981, if you didn't know) are necessary to reproduce verbatim. So maybe the chance to faithfully cinematically reproduce the Adams/ Thomas issues verbatim's now gone with the introduction of Havok, the original lost Summers brother (yes, introduced right before that team came on, but part of the Living Monolith section that overlaps with the Sentinels arc, the first completely belonging to Adams and Thomas). Was the discovery of a super-powered mutant brother of Cyclops, one never before mentioned but now freshly kidnapped, the element that 'made' the story? Alex as a Summers brother is, of course, an early retcon, itself.

Someone will find a comic book story to adapt exactly as it was made, and I can think of a pair of Frank Miller movies with that rep, yes. But before Frank Miller could be declared the saint of preservation, I bring up The Spirit. That's the nature of creative people: make something new! To the extent that has to do with nervous producers mucking with things, of course my friend has a point. But I pointed out that even the comics themselves are susceptible to retroactive change and editorial interference (Claremont's team-up of Xavier and Magneto in the first place for the former, Shooter's re-write of the Phoenix plans for the latter).

What matters is this: have they been as faithful to characterization as possible, if not duplicating the bio? And the much larger point: is it a terrific story that will help more people understand why the characters earned that place in the hearts of the fans?

It's true that these characters are chosen for their ability to generate spectacle; in this case, the drama that comes with them is served well. The truth is, i fell in love with the comic book stories, but I was drawn in by the spectacle. No problem with that. How much change is actually necessary? That's a debate True Believers will have so long as we remember the stories we loved in the years before most people had any clue what an X-Man is.Myebook - D'n'A  Comics #1 - click here to open my ebook First: DNA Comics #1 is ONLINE!!!

Listen, I'm still figuring out, but meanwhile, you can do what Jason did. In Jason's case, he sent us $9 at

C. Lue Disharoon
542 6th Ave.
San Diego, CA 92101

which was really cool as it covers shipping and handling, at $1.25 each! The issue itself, DNA #1, retails for $3.25.

Meanwhile, our remaining t-shirts are available at Convention Special Price, for $12 each or 2 for $20, plus $3.00 for shipping & handling.

You can do the same over PayPal, at !!!

If you want any of these images on a shirt, write me at or on Facebook. Some designs will need to be made from scratch so it will be a couple of weeks. We will have painted renderings of some images, not the photos themselves, and new ones besides. Also look for Princess Sexy Jenn in Not Another Comic Book; she's very excited about becoming a comicbook character, and she's not alone.

AND!! You can use the button provided; the $15 will cover your postage.

D'n'A t-shirt #1


D'n'A t-shirt Puzzle pieces (girl and boy)

Here's some of our new t-shirt design ideas. Which one do you like? there's more to come.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

So if we created Mystic Order Of Defenders #1...

On my sister blog Be chill, Cease ill, I've already begun spinning my own inspiration out of this brainstorm. This morning I came back to my game with Joe, as presented in several posts prior to this. We have a Demon Secret War; we have on one side Vera Gemini, half-demon priestess of the Cult of the Harvester of Eyes and mistress of the Agents of Fortune, and on the other, the Six Fingered Hand, a gathering of lesser demons who energize human pawns (Joe's idea: de-powered mutants!). In the midst of it all, we re-assemble Marvel's Non-Team, that patchwork, shifting collection of friends, acquaintances, and fellow adventurers who form when Earth's in dire need: The Dynamic Defenders.

I've said before Joe gave us a credible reason we have this alternative Defenders team, based out of Hulk's anger at the events in World War Hulk by Marvel five years ago. Let's dig

1) Nighthawk's intentions in reforming the team
a) As millionaire Kyle Richmond, Nighthawk wants to do something to help out humanity in civilian guise, and in the process of creating this new, er, initiative,
Kyle has a gut feeling he wants his best friends beside him again. Patsy knows the best places in NYC for pizza!

b) if he doesn't try to do it or can't find some of them at that point, let's say he tries to initiate some humanitarian aid...or
tries to design a Richmond Enterprises take on security gear for the Mexican government...and uncovers something so horrible, he
needs help! In this direction, though, it's hard to believe the originals can't bury their hatchet to investigate a real threat. At any rate, they can't know or Doc Strange would get ON it!

2) Devil Slayer (former assassin, mercenary, Harvester of Eyes Cultist, now healer/ devil slayer) has a propensity to carry the Vera Gemini part of the plot line. Gargoyle's origin tied directly into the Six Fingered Hand, who punished Isaac with that form. His knowledge is not quite the same extent as D-S's; Payne uses his knowledge of the organization to discover its resurgence.

3) (possibly issue two, but set-up can begin!)
Inserting a doppleganger into the Defenders line-up would be a good strategy for one if not both of the sides of demons. Set aside I originally proposed Sif as a fresher character (and Deathlok, for that matter). Now here is a twisted chance to seemingly bring in Valkyrie if you really want her, one that does not profess to remember that great friendship from before after returning to Odin's service. I have no problem with the real deal showing up, down the line. Hellcat's watchful eye and sweethearted meddling unmask the faux Val after two or three episodes together. Of course, then they are only in more trouble. It should appear to cost, whoever finds out, their very life.

4) I knew a retiree who lived in TJ just to save money, and that's a possibility for bringing Isaac into the picture. If you know more of what he's coming from besides retiring from the Initiative Training Program, feel free. What if Devil Slayer fights a Gargoyle look-a-like? Is this necessary to free the real one? Does he, for that matter, pick a fight with the real one, and why? What if say Patsy or Kyle are manipulated somewhat at the beginning of this phase to trust the Gargoyle and not the Devil Slayer?

5) What if a Harvester of Eyes cult agent of death or fortune disguises as Devil-Slayer? So what if Devil Slayer, always a bit suspect upon inspection, appears to be the villain? Even the similar shadow cloaks might create that misunderstanding. Stopping Devil-Slayer, or investigating him, might even be why Kyle needs the Defenders, if not something more compelling. I'm just not sure if it's best if this happens, or D-S simply seeks them out for this Mystic Order formation. Maybe both!

6) I do think it's safe to say Daiman Hellstrom is depicted as already on this case by the first story. But what if his father's not behind the Six Fingered Hand this time? Maybe....Dormammu?

7) cameos by Doom, Mordo, even Dr. Druid or another magic user, refusing alliances, would tie it into the MU. There's one called Tiburon I liked from Lee/ Ditko; his appearance is an avatar of Earth moving in the direction of decay and destruction. It's in Essentials Vol. 1. Doom, Mordo et. al would not care for a Secret Demon War without their guidance, but perhaps they can use it for their own gain.

8) a subplot like Devil-Slayer trying to talk a young man out of joining a most satanic gang faction would give us a shorter story that could be resolved, if you like, a small victory or defeat along the way.

9) Kyle's humanitarian efforts, even those to build a new factory and produce jobs, would clash directly with Vera's confederation of gangs. I want to start up a subplot about human trafficking. I know the Defenders don't really fight regular crooks, but I'm sure we can run with that idea AND provide, say, a villain called the Coyote who provides the muscle for that effort.

So now, I just wonder where Patsy picks up, and what do we do on the way to her uneasy side-by-side relationship with Daiman? Regardless of what's gone before, we can get it where you want it. I figured you started from memories of the old storylines, nostalgically, but might have an Englehartian way of taking what's gone on before and working with it.

Have a great weekend! Be chill, Cease ill

I swear I have this urge to throw in the Lizard Men from MTU #111 and even practiced the magic words on the way home from the grocery store (can you say, "Ka Nama Ka La Ja Rama"?), but two hellish factions will probably be enough, unless you have an idea!