Thursday, February 5, 2015

"Out For Vengeance" and the Golden Age Hero Part I: Inspiration


Out For Vengeance started out with the vision of creating my own vigilante character. Vengeance’s origins dated back to my teenage years, but unlike a character like Lightweight, he was never really developed past a simple vigilante character. I did design a universe of characters around him, but most were little more than names and a few notes.

The new novella came together when I started to brainstorm a tale built around the massive legacy of comic book style heroes. With seventy years of history behind them, many comic characters have as interesting as real world history as they do a fictional one. With that in mind, I crafted a not-quite unique concept: what if I melded the real world timeline with a massive back story of a long term comic character?

I say not quite unique because at least one creator hit on the idea. John Byrne created the excellent Superman & Batman: Generations series in the late 90s. He followed it up with two more limited series, all of which I highly recommend. But the format of those series limited them to showing snippets of the characters’ extended history. I wanted to really dig into what it would mean for a vigilante to live a ninety year career.

The first major problem was building a starting point for the series. I could have just covered his history year by year, but I wanted more of a narrative to Vengeance’s life than just a linear series of adventures. As I developed the series, it made sense to wipe the character’s mind as the story begins. This revelation helped unlock much of the back story, including the major revelation that ends Out For Vengeance.

In the end, I hoped I crafted an interesting narrative in the twelve chapters I’ve written so far while also exploring the past of an unique new character. A unique new character built on the background of others, but that is a topic for another post.

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