Superman Through the Ages! Forum

Superman Through the Ages! => Artist's Showcase! => Topic started by: Bill 9000 on March 10, 2006, 06:31:54 PM

Title: The Crusader Legacy
Post by: Bill 9000 on March 10, 2006, 06:31:54 PM
I've been posting this little project that I've been working on over at Superbuddies, and I've been getting a lot of feedback on it. This was basically inspired by Superman & Batman: Generations as well as the concept of the legacy superhero in general. So I thought I'd try posting my work here to see what the discriminating membership of STTA think of it. I'll start off with the patriarch of the entire line: The Golden Age Crusader.


Real Name: Jim Moore
Occupation: Radio Journalist
Citizenship: United States of America
Home Base: Century City, USA
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 220 lbs.
Eyes: Hazel
Hair: Brown

Jim Moore was an intrepid foreign correspondent for the Intercontinental News Service, covering a wide variety of world events across the globe far from his home town of Century City. His journalistic work focused especially on keeping an eye on the rising Third Reich in Germany. Learning of Adolph Hitler's obsessive searches for occult objects, Jim accompanied a British archaeological team to Egypt in 1934 to search for a particular lost temple devoted to Ra (the primordial sun god of Egyptian mythology). The expedition was attacked by Nazi forces who also sought the temple's location and murdered most of the British team. However, Jim was saved when the desert ground he was standing on was broken open by Nazi explosives. Tumbling into a hidden ancient cavern, Jim came to rest before an ornate statue of Ra seated on a fabulous throne with his right hand held out. Jim noticed a symbol carved into the palm of Ra's outstretched hand: a star contained within a circle. As Jim touched the symbol, it flared to life with a brilliant flash of energy. When the light dissipated, he discovered the symbol had been transferred to his own right hand in a tattoo-like form, granting him super-strength, limited invulnerability, the power of flight and the ability to generate any kind of electromagnetic energy for various effects. Realizing he now had the means to contribute more to opposing the Nazis than just reporting the facts, Jim took a cue from the many "mystery men" appearing in comic strips and books of the time, and created the costumed identity of The Crusader. Using his position as a radio journalist to learn of situations involving Nazi activity, the Crusader became the implacable foe of the Third Reich and eventually became a rallying symbol for Allied forces throughout World War II. Later, he battled evil throughout the 1940s in Century City and abroad, gaining global fame as the greatest hero of the Golden Age. In time, Jim wed Sarah Madison (alias the heroine Miss Mercury) and fathered a son, Scott, which launched the most celebrated superhero legacy in history.

Title: Re: The Crusader Legacy
Post by: dto on March 11, 2006, 03:00:29 AM
Welcome back, Bill 9000!  We missed you here.

As for the Crusader, you really captured the "look" of the Golden Age comics.  I liked the sepia background of the USS Shenandoah over New York City -- nice period touch.  Although perhaps you should have the feet droop downward if he's actually levitating in mid-air.  

You have to provide us with more details on your project, Bill 9000.  Are you creating a whole series of "classic" heroes, and for what purpose?

Again, good to see you posting here once more.

Title: Re: The Crusader Legacy
Post by: Bill 9000 on March 11, 2006, 06:44:46 AM
Thanks, dto. It's good to be back. A bit of an explanation for the background. It's not meant as an actual environment that the character is inhabiting at the moment. It's more meast to illustrate the period in which he/she lives, much like the background concepts of the early Who's Who entries. And you're right ... that is indeed the USS Shenandoah in the background. Although she was destroyed in 1925, the classic look of the rigid airships ... or dirigibles, if you prefer ... have always captured the spirit of the 1930s, and this was the best shot I could find of such an airship over the Big Apple (after which Century City will largely be modeled).

As stated, this is going to be a generational work, ranging from 1916 to (and I'm not joking) 11,984. So far, 16 generations will be covered. I decided to start off in the year 1934 because that was really the year when the concept of the comic strip superhero was starting to develop with characters like Flash Gordon and Mandrake the Magician (even though the first real superhero didn't appear until Superman came on the scene in 1938). Now ... what's the purpose of all this? It's very simple. When all of the ideas are fleshed out, I intend to start publishing this as a series of on-line graphic novels that people can read and enjoy.

More to come, so stay tuned ...

Title: Re: The Crusader Legacy
Post by: Super Monkey on March 11, 2006, 10:42:03 AM
Looks great! Can't wait to see more :s:

Title: Re: The Crusader Legacy
Post by: dto on March 11, 2006, 12:35:06 PM
Pretty good, Bill 9000 -- sorta in the Astro City mode?  Sounds fascinating.

I like "Century City", though there's an actual Century City in West Los Angeles (built on the site of the old 20th Century Fox backlot).  

While New York City is the archtypical "superhero town", I'm seriously examining Frank Lloyd Wright's "Broadacre City".  That has a certain suburban utopia feel that plays well with the Golden Age/ early Silver Age.  For a definitely more "Sci-Fi" twist, in the late 1950s-early '60s I could give sprawling Broadacre City a "civic center" by planting Wright's other famous "dream project", the 528-story Illinois Tower, aka "The Mile-High Skyscraper".  Wouldn't THAT make for an impressive superhero (or supervillian) headquarters?   :wink:

Title: The Crusader Legacy (1952: The Atomic Age)
Post by: Bill 9000 on March 11, 2006, 11:42:29 PM
Well, I was originally going to call the Crusader's home town Metro City. But then I did some research and I found out that Metro City is the home town of ... get this ... Inspector Gadget!! So I changed it to Century City. And now, to continue with the Crusader legacy, here's Jim Moore's immediate successor ... the Atomic Age Crusader.


Real Name: Carl Moore
Occupation: Air Force Test Pilot
Citizenship: United States of America
Home Base: Century City, USA
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 217 lbs.
Eyes: Hazel
Hair: Blond

Because of the tremendous physical punishment he had to endure during his career as the Golden Age Crusader (which included lingering radiation sickness suffered while containing a runaway nuclear bomb detonation at Frenchman Flats, Nevada in 1951), Jim Moore decided to retire from his role as the protector of Century City. In addition, Jim and his fellow heroes were beginning to feel the pressure of negative public opinion concerning superheroes. This proverbial fire was being fueled by eminent psychologist Dr. Alexander Lord and his public allegations that the superhero concept was corrupting America's youth. Lord's statements led the United States government to issue an executive order forcing all superheroes to either reveal their identities, or retire from public activity altogether. Like Jim, most of the country's superheroes who operated during the 1930s and 1940s faded into private life. A year later, however, Jim's older brother Carl Moore (a decorated World War II veteran turned test pilot) vehemently opposed the anti-superhero outcry and the government's stance on superheroes, citing all the good they accomplished for the nation and the world. This, coupled with Century City's skyrocketing crime rate because of the superhero ban, drove Carl to ask his brother to allow him to take up the mantle of the Crusader. Reluctantly ... and against the protests of Carl's wife Irene (although his son Tom approved) ... Jim exerted all of his will and, in a flash of light, created a duplicate of the star-symbol of Ra on Carl's own hand. However, instead of gaining the same powers that his brother had, Carl was surprised to learn that he acquired the ability to generate and project vast amounts of heat and light (although he did gain the ability to fly). Carl garbed himself in a brightly-coloured uniform to project as positive an image as possible, and adopted a rigid code of behavior to make himself appear more "wholesome" to the public. He then embarked on a distinguished career as the Atomic Age Crusader that lasted throughout the remainder of the 1950s.

Title: Re: The Crusader Legacy
Post by: dto on March 12, 2006, 02:11:55 AM
Very nice historical lore.  I see your world also had a "superhero witchhunt" in the 1950s, though your Dr. Lord reminds me more of our old friend Dr. Fredric Wertham than Senator Joe McCarthy.   :wink:

And I like the idea of a Crusader family dynasty -- reminds me of the three generations of The Atom in the DC Tangent Universe.  Keep this up!   :D

Title: The Crusader Legacy (1960: The Silver Age)
Post by: Bill 9000 on March 12, 2006, 03:18:22 PM
Thanks for the compliments, Dto. And once again, you're right. Dr. Alexander Lord is based on the real-life Dr. Fredric Wertham who put forth his ludicrous claims that superheroes were a corrupting influence on young people. I didn't want to duplicate the McCarthyism element than led to the disbanding of the JSA, but I also wanted my universe to reflect the period in comic book history where superhero popularity all but ceased to exist. Fortunately ... or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it ... history provided me with another avenue to use.

Now, here's the third installment in the series ... The Silver Age Crusader.


Real Name: Tom Moore
Occupation: Police Officer
Citizenship: United States of America
Home Base: Century City, USA
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 238 lbs.
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Red

Although he served capably in the role of the Crusader, Carl Moore was becoming too old to bear the incredible physical and mental hardships of being a superhero. Because Scott Moore (the son of Jim Moore, the original Crusader) was much too young, Jim suggested Carl's son, 30-year-old Tom Moore (a Korean War veteran and an officer of the Century City Police Department) as the most capable candidate for this enormous responsibility. Although Tom was more than willing to assume the role, his family protested strongly, citing that he was already putting his life on the line regularly as a police officer. However, when Century City came under attack by the giant war robots of an invading alien race, Carl went into action as the Crusader in order to stop them. Although the Crusader fought valiantly, he was fatally wounded by the invaders' super-powerful weapons. When Tom rushed to his dying father's side, Carl reflexively placed his right palm ... which bore the star-symbol of Ra ... on his son's shoulder. The mark flared with blinding energy and transferred itself from Carl to Tom, thereby literally and symbolically passing on the role of the Crusader to the fallen superhero's son. Mysteriously, though, Tom's powers differed significantly from those of either his father or his uncle. Although Tom had super-strength and the ability to fly (like his uncle), he possessed an even greater strength level than Jim's. Additionally, Tom was nearly impervious to physical harm, super-swift, had superhumanly acute senses, and could see in all electromagnetic wavelengths. The symbol even garbed Tom in a costume that was almost completely dissimilar to his father's. Mastering his new super-powers (as well as his intense grief over his father's death) well enough to repulse the alien threat and save Century City, Tom set forth to carry on the fight against crime and injustice as the Silver Age Crusader. And it was not long before the third Crusader garnered acclaim worthy of his two predecessors for his bravery and dedication to truth and justice for the next 15 years.

Title: Re: The Crusader Legacy
Post by: MatterEaterLad on March 12, 2006, 05:25:09 PM
Ya know, no matter what universe you are in, its hard to get through the Silver Age of planetary devlopment without those dang giant war robots showing up... 8)

Nice project here!

Title: Re: The Crusader Legacy
Post by: Super Monkey on March 12, 2006, 05:40:37 PM
I like the 1st two better.

The Sliver Age guy looks more like an 1980's action figure design than a true Sliver Age superhero to me.

Title: Re: The Crusader Legacy
Post by: MatterEaterLad on March 12, 2006, 07:00:29 PM
Maybe I agree a little, the bare arms, lack of a cape, eyeshield kind of reminds me of Marvel in the 70s, elements of Wolverine and Cyclops maybe...but, I still like the backstory...

Title: Re: The Crusader Legacy
Post by: Super Monkey on March 12, 2006, 07:57:13 PM
The eyeshield, belt and logo are very late 70's early 80's looking rather than 1960's. The story is good however.

Title: The Crusader Legacy (1975: The Bronze Age)
Post by: Bill 9000 on March 12, 2006, 11:29:40 PM
Hmm ... this is really interesting. When I designed the look of the Silver Age Crusader, I originally used Henry Pym's first Goliath identity and Wonder Man's first costume as inspiration ... with a little bit of Adam Strange thrown in for good measure.

Thanks for your comments, folks. They're proving to be very valuable. Now let's continue, shall we? Fast-forwarding to the year 1975, here's the Bronze Age Crusader.


Real Name: Scott Moore
Occupation: Artist (Paint/Canvas)
Citizenship: United States of America
Home Base: Century City, USA
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 176 lbs.
Eyes: White
Hair: Black

24-year-old Scott Moore is the son of Jim Moore (the Golden Age Crusader) and Sarah Madison Moore, who was the Golden Age super-heroine called Miss Mercury. Scott was born a mutant with the star-symbol of Ra as a birthmark on his left shoulder, but manifested powers that were completely dissimilar to those possessed by either of his parents. This was the first time the symbol was passed on through heredity rather than a conscious act of will. Scott had latent telepathic and telekinetic abilities, but was also born with an unusual purple skin colour and no visible pupils or irises in his eyes. As he grew up, Scott was frequently the victim of prejudice because of both his appearance and his stance as a conscientious objector concerning the Vietnam conflict. This was made worse when he accidentally lashed out at a group of bullies with a telepathic mind-bolt ... placing them in comas for three days ... when they refused to desist in bombarding him with racist insults. Scott spent most of his time trying to shun a world that shunned him by immersing himself in Century City's decadent club scene with his fellow outcasts. Scott's life came to a crossroads when he was forced to take action to save his cousin Tom (the Silver Age Crusader) after he was captured by his nuclear-charged arch-enemy Radium. Desperate to rescue the Crusader, Scott's heightened stress level caused his star-symbol birthmark to flare to life and unlock his full mutant powers. Freeing Tom from captivity, Scott and his cousin teamed up to capture their enemy. Later, Tom explained to Scott that this was his last case as the Crusader, and he wished to devote more time to his family. Thus, he (and Scott's father) asked the young man to assume the mantle of the Crusader, knowing that Scott had the nobility to do so. Reluctantly, Scott agreed and became the Bronze Age Crusader, serving admirably in that capacity from 1975 throughout most of the 1980s. The role also bolstered Scott's self-confidence in private life, and he enjoyed a successful career as a paint and canvas artist.

Title: Re: The Crusader Legacy
Post by: nightwing on March 13, 2006, 09:59:13 AM
Great stuff, Bill 9000! Welcome back to the boards!

I really dig the original Crusader costume; that crazy mix of colors makes him almost as colorblind as Alan Scott!  :D The origin is cool, too; a nice mix of Clark Kent, Indiana Jones and Kent Nelson.

Odd to see a "second generation" hero actually older than his predecessor, but the costume's pretty cool, if a bit like a "negative" image of the Simpson's "Radioactive Man."

I see the Hank Pym influence in the SA Crusader, but with that fin on his head and the two-tone tunic he reminds me more of the GA Atom in his later costume.  Those specs and the general vibe also put me in the mind of Marvel's 50's hero, 3-D Man.

The Bronze Age version is fun!  He looks like he was designed by Dave Cockrum for the Legion!

Great stuff!  You should be doing the Batman cartoon instead of the hacks they've got doing it now!

Title: Re: The Crusader Legacy
Post by: Bill 9000 on March 13, 2006, 10:55:15 AM
Quote from: "nightwing"
The Bronze Age version is fun!  He looks like he was designed by Dave Cockrum for the Legion!

Heh! Would ya believe "designed by Dave Cockrum for the X-Men"? :lol: The biggest influence on the Bronze Age Crusader's look was the costumes of the "New X-Men" from the late 70s early 80s ... which were also designed by Dave Cockrum.

Thanks for your comments, Nightwing ... and it feels good to be back in the saddle again. More to come!!

Title: The Crusader Legacy (1987: The Iron Age)
Post by: Bill 9000 on March 14, 2006, 08:34:14 PM
And now to the year 1987, where we meet the Iron Age Crusader.


Real Name: Kristine Moore
Occupation: Photojournalist
Citizenship: United States of America
Home Base: Century City, USA
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 140 lbs.
Eyes: Red (originally Green)
Hair: Red

Kristine Moore is the daughter of Tom Moore (the Silver Age Crusader) and Alicia Chase Moore, managing editor of the Moore Media Group's Pulse Magazine. She is also one of a set of twins along with her brother Christopher. Both children were born as mutants with the star-symbol of Ra as birthmarks on their skin, much like their uncle Scott. Kristine and Chris shared between them control of the four elements of nature, with Kristine commanding air and water while Chris had control over earth and fire. When the twins' super-powers fully surfaced during puberty, their father began training them in the proper use of their abilities. Eventually, their parents allowed them to become superheroes in their own right. Both Kristine and her brother wore costumes patterned after their father's and even called themselves the Crusader Twins. Kristine's uniform was blue in colour and she took the name Crusader-Blue, while Chris wore a red uniform and took the moniker Crusader-Red. After high school, Krsitine attended Claremont University while working for Pulse Magazine in pursuit of her love of photography. Chris did not attend university, enlisting in the United States Army instead. It was during this time that Kristine lost track of her brother, and he was eventually listed as missing in action. Over the next few years, Kristine concentrated more on her career rather than being a superhero, even after her uncle retired as the Crusader following the 1986 incident at Kirby Memorial Hospital. However, Chris amazingly turned up alive a year later under the alias the Dark Crusader. Chris engaged her sister in combat with the intention of killing her and claiming the Crusader mantle for himself. Although her father was on hand to help her, Kristine insisted on facing her brother alone. The battle virtually killed both siblings, but Chris' injuries proved fatal. In repentance, he embraced his sister one last time and, with a surge of coruscating energy, transferred his super-powers to her. With Chris' power added to her own, Kristine became the Iron Age Crusader in her brother's memory.

Title: Re: The Crusader Legacy
Post by: nightwing on March 14, 2006, 08:42:28 PM
Perfect Iron Age gimmick; give the name to a female character!  :lol:

Gotta love the "Perez meets Jurgens" costume design, too.  "Claremont University"..."Kirby Memorial Hospital"...too much!  :D

Title: Re: The Crusader Legacy
Post by: Super Monkey on March 14, 2006, 09:41:14 PM
The Bronze Age Crusader looks very 1970's.

The Iron Age Crusader better be happy she wasn't created in the 1990's, or she would be wearing a whole lot less and had to get implants  ;)

Title: Re: The Crusader Legacy
Post by: Bill 9000 on March 14, 2006, 10:10:55 PM
Don't worry, SM ... everything on her is real.  :wink:

Title: Re: The Crusader Legacy
Post by: dto on March 15, 2006, 02:27:53 AM
Bill 9000, this is somewhat scary -- before you uploaded the Iron Age Crusader I was thinking a female Crusader was DUE.  However, you were a generation ahead of my prediction -- I thought the present-day Crusader would be a somewhat-undernourished teenager with a bare-midriff top, similar to DC's Stargirl, Wonder Girl and Supergirl.  (But please DON'T follow this sterotype!)   :wink:

Christine's costume is very sharp, and I love how you incorporated all the classic comic book themes into her history -- super-twins, "Red" and "Blue" versions, brother gone bad, etc.  Keep it up!

Title: Re: The Crusader Legacy
Post by: Bill 9000 on March 15, 2006, 10:18:03 AM
Not to worry, Dto ... no bare midriffs. :wink:

Not until the late 33rd century, at least.  :twisted:

Title: The Crusader Legacy (1995: The Dark Age)
Post by: Bill 9000 on March 15, 2006, 06:43:12 PM
And now on to the grim and gritty year 1995 for an encounter with the Dark Age Crusader.


Real Name: Jared Moore
Occupation: Vigilante
Citizenship: United States of America
Home Base: Century City, USA
Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 250 lbs.
Eyes: White
Hair: Dark Brown

In 1988, geneticists employed by Dr. Alexander Lord (the psychologist responsible for the mass retirement of American superheroes in 1951) obtained a cell sample of Jim Moore (the Golden Age Crusader). Humiliated over having been proven wrong about his stance on superheroes, Lord financed the creation of a clone of Jim as part of an intricate revenge plot. Over the next five years, Lord's scientists meticulously guided the clone's development, instilling in him a vicious killer instinct that focused on the Moore family. This was achieved by implanting false memories into the clone's mind to make him believe he was Jared Moore, an illegitimate son of Jim Moore who was shunned by his father. However, although Jared exhibited superhuman strength, speed and agility, he had none of Jim Moore's powers over electromagnetic energy. To compensate for this, Lord had Jared rigorously trained in various combat arts, including aikido, kung fu, and traditional boxing. In addition, he was instructed in the use of an extremely diverse array of weaponry, from swords and daggers to the most sophisticated firearms. Lord had Jared released on the public as a vigilante called Bloodfire, planning to have his violent methods of dealing with criminals draw both Kristine Moore (the fifth Crusader) and Scott Moore (the fourth Crusader) into a confrontation with Jared so he could kill them. After a protracted and violent battle with his "relatives", Scott managed to use his telepathic powers to reveal to his foe that his memories were false. Feeling extreme remorse for his actions, Jared abandoned his Bloodfire identity and (at the suggestion of Jim Moore, who "adopted" Jared and thought being a hero would benefit the troubled clone) became the Dark Age Crusader. Upon receiving the star-symbol of Ra from Scott, Jared gained the ability to generate a form of "dark energy" that he could psionically shape into any form he could imagine. More extreme in his methods than his predecessors, Jared Moore took the legend of the Crusader into the 21st century.