Thursday, February 12, 2015

"Out For Vengeance" and the Golden Age Hero Part II: History

Vengeance’s original incarnation in my teenage years was simply a dark vigilante with a group of other heroes around him. But when I realized I wanted to do much more with the character and build a legacy for him in Out For Vengeance, it dawned on me that I didn’t need to design everything from whole cloth.

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The Black Terror is a character synonymous with public domain Golden Age heroes. Bob Benton used a mysterious pharmaceutical combination to give himself super-powers. He used those powers to fight crime alongside his young sidekick. He honestly felt like Superman with Batman’s origins and allies. He initialy seemed too powerful though. I wanted a street level vigilante.

Of course, in all the research I did for Living Legends: Old Soldiers, I knew a lot of other vigilantes existed. And one of those characters offered another alternative.

The Black Fury is a far less known Golden Age character. He wore a costume very similar to Black Terror’s, but the Fury didn’t have any powers. He also didn’t have the same depth of back story or cast. I could develop that though, so the Fury became my starting point.

I hated the name though, so Vengeance stuck around. I explained the Fury name away easily as I started to build the history of the character.

Then it dawned on me that I could actually fit the Black Terror mythos into our hero’s backstory as well. Readers of the first novella know how I integrated Mike and the Terror’s powers. I don’t want to give that away here, but it was a clever way to add the Terror’s legacy into Vengeance’s cohesive history. It’s also only the starting point.

The next book will have a few appearances by Golden Age Black Terror villains. It will also delve into the deeper tragedy of the last twenty years of Vengeance’s life.

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