27 Aug 2015

Crossover - Chapter 1 - Commentary

Crossover has begun!  Welcome to the commentary for the first chapter.  Please read the chapter before continuing.

There's the Nasty people know and love.  The story starts off with action and a cluster F-bomb.  There was a purpose here, along with the other scenes in the opening.  Characters needed a proper introduction, showing who they are and what they can do.  I wasn't going to assume readers would know who everyone was.  If Prototype Alpha and Youth Brigade had existed, there'd be people who would prefer those titles over Subject 13.  Thus, the short scenes.

Nasty's scene sums her up.  She doesn't stay down, she doesn't quit a fight, and she has a temper.  Hazard picked the wrong restaurant to hold up.  Nasty wasn't in costume for the fight, either, which should have been mentioned.  It's a superhero setting; costumes exist.  Nasty's dialogue will step back the swearing.  She just has issues when upset.

Crossover is, technically, the first appearance of the Youth Brigade.  I'd been trying to work out a first issue for them for some time, but nothing ever came together.  The roster shown in Crossover came after several attempts to put the team together.  The only character who was a constant was Pixie.  Kid Inscrutable came about after realizing the team needed a leader.  Flashbulb is an older character idea reworked to be a teen sidekick and has light-based powers, but not lasers.   Damage Magnet came about after seeing certain characters in gaming consistently getting hit and can cause ranged attacks to hit him instead of the original target.  Mystery Dude is, according to my notes, psychic, and has very little else known about him.

With Pixie, I wanted to show her off a bit, demonstrate she's a team player, and isn't as foul-mouthed as Nasty.  Her core powers are shrinking to 1/6 scale, winged flight when fully shrunk, and her pixie dust, which puts targets to sleep.  Pixie's powers can give her problems; she couldn't be heard over the car's engines, for one.  She did get her man, though.  It's safe to assume that the rest of the Brigade got the other bank robbers.

Prototype Alpha is the Canadian contingent of the Crossover.  Alpha is different from both Pixie and Nasty; two people are the hero.  Keith is the genius who created the Powered BIKINI, which stands for Bilateral Independent Kinetic Induction of Natural Ions.  Yes, that did take some thought to create that backronym.  The BIKINI was designed to be worn under clothes, though Keith is still working on reducing the size to be less obvious.  Meredith is the woman in the powered armour.  It was her idea to do the field testing of the prototype and she enjoys being out there in it.  Instead of an action scene, Keith and Meredith get a design scene, to show who they are.  The BIKINI will be getting some action later.

The interstitials in the chapter came about from wanting some sort of seamless segue between scenes.  The scenes also solidified the main plot and let me introduce the villains.  It isn't coincidence that the villains have names that are variations of the heroes'.  Nasty's proper name is Natasha, though few people call her that.  Vicki and Tori are nicknames of Victoria.  Alpha and Omega are the start and end of the Greek alphabet.  Here's hoping that these smaller scenes provided enough of a hook for readers.

Crossover is a bland title, but it pulls together the main ideas of the story.  First, it is a crossover, a story featuring characters from different titles coming together.  It's a comic book mainstay.  A character from Title A appears in Title B as part of B's storyline.  With Marvel, Spider-Man was used to show that a comic was part of the continuity and to try to bring his readers on board the new title long enough to get new fans.  Wolverine also filled this role.  /Crossover/ would be bringing three titles together if two of them weren't vaporware.  Second, Natasha and her people will be crossing over from another dimension to hatch their nefarious scheme.  Yes, mirror universes are cliché these days, as are evil twins, but I do have a twist to the idea.

Finally, while Crossover was originally written as a book instead of a serial, I have adapted the Next Week segments that I used with Unruly.  This time around, instead of just dialogue, I'm taking longer pieces.  Is this preferable?  Or would you prefer just dialogue?

Tomorrow, Crossover Chapter 2.
Also tomorrow, over at Psycho Drive-In, a technical hiatus due to hardware problems.
Saturday, over at Seventh Sanctum, what happened to cheesy movies?.
Also Saturday, check out Comics Bulletin for comics-related reposts of Lost in Translation.

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