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Author Topic: The Crusader Legacy  (Read 9965 times)
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Bill 9000
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« on: March 10, 2006, 11:31:54 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.
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dto
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« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2006, 08:00:29 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.
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DTO
Bill 9000
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« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2006, 11:44:46 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 ...
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« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2006, 03:42:03 PM »

Looks great! Can't wait to see more S!
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dto
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« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2006, 05:35:06 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:
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Bill 9000
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« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2006, 04:42:29 AM »

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.
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dto
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« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2006, 07:11:55 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!   Cheesy
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DTO
Bill 9000
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« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2006, 08:18:22 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.
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