Friday, April 17, 2009

Color Me Picard

Super Heroes are coming back soon. IN the meantime, I'm praticing my color techniques.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Universe Z History

April 14th, 1912

The cold winds were gliding off the hull of the massive ship. The sky was clear but the moon was hidden from view. Mina leaned on the railing; watching the water dance off the hull. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. The cold air burned her lungs but she enjoyed the sensation. It reminded of her of so many things. “Mina.” Atator said behind her.

The blue haired woman turned to see the majestic form of her father. She departed from the railing, allowing her white cloak to flow in the wind. The Ancient walked up to her father and kissed him on the cheek. “Lovely view, eh?” he beamed.

“It is beautiful father.” Mina smiled, “Thank you for convincing me to come on the maiden voyage of this magnificent ship.”

“You needed an escape.” He said, rubbing her soft hair, “I don’t ever expect you to forget Malick but the pain will lessen in time.”

“I wish . . . .I wish I’d gotten use to it by now.” She sighed, pushing her cloak over her head.

“Loss is something we must always experience. We can’t grow numb to it but we can’t let it affect us either. Because no matter what we do, loss will still find us.”

“Lord Atator!” someone called behind him.

The Superior being turned and smiled at the companions he had met earlier in the voyage. “Ah, there you are, John,” he chuckled, “Enjoy your cigar.”

“Indeed, sir. I’m sad you did not join us.” He replied, shaking his hand.

“I was there when cigars were invented. The allure was lost long ago.” He joked.

“I’m certain there are many fantastic tales you could tell us,” John’s wife Marian cooed toward the Ancient warrior.

“Most of it is in the history books.” Mina giggled, “Everything you would need to know would be right there.”

“Oh, Lady Mina,” John laughed, sending a puff of frozen air into the night sky, “I’m sure there are a few stories you have that might not be in the history books.”

“Truly,” Atator grinned, “Perhaps a walk on the forward deck and we may yet share a tale or two.”

The Ancient walked with the humans up the long corridor toward the forward deck. The massive vessel had been flanked with several chairs, tables and even several long rows of lifeboats. Some patrons of the great ship were out in the cold air; smoking or having drinks. As they walked along they got toward the forward section. Atator then located Jason Stone; one of his trusted men since the arrival of the Sky Lord. The warrior was talking with a thin man in a gray coat; frantically writing down something in a notepad. “Stone.” Atator called to him.

“Yes, sir.” The warrior quickly responded; walking toward him with the thin man in tow.

Atator stood to the side and pointed at the humans who accompanied him. “Stone, I’d like you to meet John Barland Thayer and his wife Marian.” He said.

“It’s a pleasure.” The muscle-tone man smiled, as he shook the businessman’s hand.

“Jason Stone.” John whispered in disbelief, “Never in my life would I have believed I’d meet the man who avenged Wyatt Earp in Tombstone, Arizona.”

“Wyatt was a good man. I was only trying to do right by him.” The immortal bowed.

“Uh . . .uh . . .” the thin man nudged Stone.

“Oh!” the Ancient laughed, “I’m sorry, guys. This is William Stead. He’s a journalist on board for the maiden voyage. He was interviewing me.”

“Atator, it’s my greatest honor to meet you.” The reporter shook his head.

“The honor is mine.” The bearded immortal replied, “How has your journey been thus far?”

“Majestic and now that you are here, a life time’s achievement.” He stammered with childhood glee.

“It’s just a simple question, William.” Stone said, briefly looking out into the massive ocean, “I doubt it would qualify as a lifetimes’ achievement.”

“But that’s where you’re wrong, Mr. Stone. Our readers would be fascinated by the response from people who are God-like.”

“Mr. Stead . . . .” Atator glared at him, and crossed his arms, “I would appreciate it if you would not refer to us in that manner.”

The thin man was taken back by the immortal glaring at him in mild anger. The journalist had forgotten that the Ancients were there when Jesus had begun Christian religion. They followed him and defended him until his crucifixion. They don’t like being referred to as “Gods”. They are just superior human beings. “I’m so sorry, Atator.” The thin man bowed, “Forgive me if I overstepped my bounds.”

“You have. You are forgiven, Mr. Stead but I’m sorry if I’m upset. After all we’ve done for humanity; I would have thought you’d treat us with less worship than the Lord Almighty.”

“Father, it’s still a lovely evening.” Mina interrupted, “Please . . .just let it go and don’t spoil the good moods.”

Atator sighed and bowed. John coughed a bit then pointed at the journalist. “Uh ., Stead, what was the question you wanted to give to the Ancients here?” he said, eager to change the subject.

Stead coughed a bit and then pulled out his notepad. He half didn’t want to answer the question after Atator’s scolding. Stone looked at him, then outward toward the ocean then back at him. Mina blinked; wondering why her friend was constantly glancing out into the black ocean. “Well . . .” he whispered, “I wanting to ask why you were on this ship?”

“That’s it?” Stone chuckled, “that’s your Earth shattering question?”

“Well, allow to rephrase . . . .you are the Ancients. You could have flown from England to New York in less time to board this ship. Yet you are here . . .with us and I have to ask, why humble us with your presence?”

“I think I understand his question.” Mina said, looking at Stone with her soft blue eyes, “Jason? If I may?”

“Oh, by all means.” He grinned.

“Mr. Stead, there is no easy way to say this but . . . .you’re going to die. Eventually. Probably at a ripe old age.” The immortal told him.

“I’d like to hope so, madam.” He agreed.

“Since because you’re going to face the inevitable, everything is beautiful to you. The sunrise, the rainstorm, the taste of a good steak, the feel of satin sheets. But to us, we’ve experienced all those things. Time and time again.”

“Miss Mina, I’ve . . . .never been able to comprehend that.” John said, as he looked at her, “Things we’ve taken for granted . . . .those are common for you. You find it difficult to see the joy in the grand things because . . . .you’ve already experienced something grander.”

“Which is why being on a magnificent ship on her maiden voyage would entice us to board it.” She smiled warmly.

“Yes, things that are . . . unique . . .things that are one of a kind, that’s we . . . Ancients look out . .WHAT THE HELL IS UP WITH THAT ICE BERG??” Jason said, finally fixating his gaze on the ocean.

The group then saw what he had been periodically staring at throughout the conversation. Off the bow of the massive ship was an even bigger iceberg. The giant ice formation was drifting toward them ever so carefree. Atator looked at the obstruction and then back up to the main deck. He looked at the helm with a bit of confusion. “Why aren’t they turning?” he asked.

“It’s going to hit us in a few minutes.” Jason told his friends.

Atator waved to the men up the helm and they were frantically waving back. He could see it in their eyes they spotted the iceberg too late. The bearded immortal turned around. The ship was doing it’s best to veer off. The iceberg was getting closer to the point where they could feel the cold air getting colder because of it. “IT’S GOING TO HIT US!” Marian exclaimed.

Atator then quickly held out his hands. A massive swirl of wind and energy began to erupt from them. The humans by his side sent out a collective round of pants and shouts as the iceberg began to rise. The massive block of ice began to pull itself out of the water and into the air. Atator gritted his teeth as it started to hover too close. Marian screamed as a large chuck of ice destroyed a section of the railing. “JASON!” Atator screamed.

The loyal warrior made a leap into the air and then soared high above them. Atator grunted as the massive block of ice was above them. Mina knew that Jason was about to destroy the ice boulder. The female immortal gently pushed the humans back a little ways. The cold water rained down on the deck from the iceberg hovering above. Jason began to surge the power within him. Then he shoved his hands outward; expelling a massive amount of force from his hands and eyes. The shockwave struck the iceberg and shattered into it a million little ice cubes. The humans screamed down below. Main then waved her hand toward the debris. A transparent light blue barrier appeared above, easily deflecting the ice particles to the side.

Jason then soared down and landed on the deck with ease. He slapped his hands together, as if he was a construction worker who was going home for the day. Stead stared at him in shock. He had always heard of the powers of Superiors. It was another thing to witness it entirely. Atator patted his loyal soldier on the arm; a job well done. Mina turned toward her human companions. “Are you all right?” she asked.

“Yes . . .yes, we’re fine.” Marian laughed hysterically.

“Atator, that was ASTOUNDING!” John screamed in delight.

“It was nothing really. I’m glad we caught it in time.” The immortal then turned toward the captain as he ran toward them, “Captain Smith, perhaps you should inform Mr. Andrews his ship is intact.”

“We got some mining railing damage over there but nothing that can’t be fixed.” Jason pointed out.

“Indeed. Better than a sunken ship, I dare say.”

“Fear not, Captain,” Mina smiled, “On our watch, we could never let a great ship like the Titanic sink”

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Illustration Friday: Talisman

Hero: Dr. Graveyard

Story= Dr. Bob Kensington had been an archelogist his whole life. He was particularly interested in demonology and mystical weapons. On a grave digging expedition to whom he thought was a possible druid mystic, he found a parchment inside the casket; revealing the impossible. He had found the body of the greatst wizard of legend, Merlin. The parchment also reveal to Kensington that inside was the famed TALISMAN OF GALAHAD. The weapon was a gift from Merlin to the knight, which had the ability to banish monsters, demons and other creatures to the far distance realm of Limbo.

Kensington had no choice but to use it, as it seemed the moment he brought the Talisman into light; monsters began to attack him. All he had to do was hold it up and the weapon did the rest. He felt he had a responsibilty to the world to make sure the weapno was used probably, ridding the world of the creature and villains that plague it.

Since his superhero career began in a graveyard, he felt it was appropiate for a superhero.

Bob Kensington became Dr. Graveyard, monster hunter.

Villains: Dead Bang and Moxie

Dead Bang was a hired Superior for the Gratnetti family. For several years he guarded the Don and his son. It was until Don Gratnetti desided to star hiring other Superiors. One of those was the super strong lovely Moxie. The Don took a special liking to her, as did Dead Bang. Most of the affections she gave to Gratnetti were just for show but it was Dead Bang she loved.

When the Don found out about her true feelings, He ordered his remaining Superiors to kill both Dead Bang and Moxie. One brute, Hotwall, felt a long standing freindship with Deadbang. He told him ahead of time what the Don was planning to do. The Superior found the Don in his pool and muderered him; taking Moxie on the run.

The duo have been called the "Bonnie and Clyde" of the Superiors. They don't struggle for world power or even fight super heroes for the hell of it. They enjoy robbing banks and look forward to getting 50 million to retire on.

But it won't be easy with the heroes after them, as well as the son of Don Gratnetti.

Hero: Baten

The mad scientist Dr. Eclipse had been making cyborgs and various monstrosities since the fifties. His last series of walking weapons were the BA series or "Bad Ass". He designed these killing machines to withstand most forms of punishment. He was having difficulty finalizing the cyborg; making it difficult to maintain his configuratio of all known forms of combat, martial arts and every known method to kill someone.

He tried his ninth model, known as BA-9. He sent it on a killing spree in a shopping mall, killing 38 innocent men, women and children. Dr. Eclipse's assitant Emily Costa didn't know he was going to take it that far BA-9 was destroyed by the Justice Lords before Eclipse could ever retrieve it. As he began work on BA-10, Emily programed something into the cyborg that the mad scientist wasn't expecting; Emotions.

When BA-10 was brought online, Eclipse could see he was acting strange. When he told him what he was going to be doing, The cyborg responded by snapping his master's neck. Emily explained the cyborg why she program him to feel regret, remorse and retribution. She told him what the doctor had done and how she regretting not being strong enough to stop him until now. Ba-10 agreed; they had a lot to make up for.

BA-10 began to find all the monstrosities his master had created for other villains, and destroy them, with Emily by his side to keep him functioning. BA-10 became well known in the super hero community and it was Mina's suggestion he create himself a name based up his designation.

From that day forth, he was known as Baten.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Character Profile: The Ancients

The year was 211 BC. Across the world, twenty people were having a special dream. A dream that told them they needed to go to a far away land. They saw a vision of a man with a staff and an intricate cloak. He held out his hand and it was glowing with a white light. They had this vision over and over, telling them where to go. These twenty embarked on their journey. They came from all walks of life. A noble rancher and his daughter from the hills of Scotland. A weakling slave; escaped from his masters in Greece. A violent barbarian from the hills of Russia. A monk from the coast of Japan. A hunter from the plains of Africa. A soldier from the streets of Rome. All across the globe they had come and all had the same dream.

Twenty days and twenty nights past, they arrived on the vast mesa. They didn't know where they were but they knew they were in the right place. Each of the twenty people didn't know each other and yet, they all knew they shared the same dream. With the eruption of lightning, the One they sought after had arrived. Some say he stood six feet tall; others say it was nine feet. He spoke to them in a bellowing voice, saying they were chosen to shape the world into something extraordinary. Most of them were afraid of him. All except one, who spoke to him first. The roaming scottish rancher known as Atator.

He didn't know the name of his all powerful benefactor, so he simply dubbed him "The Sky Lord." He asked them why they chosen. The Sky Lord said because they were the only ones worthy. He even informed Atator that he would be the one that they would follow. The rancher wasn't expecting this. He informed the stranger that he didn't want the power. The Sky Lord replied with saying, that's precisely why he was chosen. He would be the one to temper wisdom and avoid corruption.

The Sky Lord then informed them all that with the power came a price; immortality. For some, it was everything they wished. For others, they weren't inclined to live forever. Atator looked at his young daughter and knew, she would live forever with him. He still refused the power but the Sky Lord decreed that if Atator did not accept the power, no one would. Several of the twenty yelled at him, bullying him and even threatening his daughter to make sure they got their share of power. Three of the twenty defending the little girl immediately. Atator knew at that point he had to take the power. To control the destiny of the world to become. Atator accepted the power and was the first of the Ancients.

Once every one accepted their power, the Sky Lord told them their destinys. Then he disapeared into another thunder clap, never heard from again. Most of the Ancients went back to their corners of the world to fufil their fate decreed by the poweful stranger baring their gifts. Atator felt he had to wait for his destiny to reveal himself. He had to get his daughter home, vowing to be with his son and wife until they would grow old.

The world would begin and history would unfold while the Ancients stood by to either help or hinder.

Character Profile: Atator

Born a simple rancher in the hills of Scotland, Atator was one of twenty to have a dream of meeting a powerful being in a far distance land on a mesa with no rocks or structures. The working man was amazed when his daughter finally had the courage to reveal to him she had the same dream. Atator knew at that moment he had to make the journey and bring his daughter Mina.

Atator and his daughter arrived to meet the Sky Lord; granting him and the 19 others power beyond mortal understandings. Atator spoke to the being, saying he wasn't worthy of the power. The Sky Lord begged to differ. He spoke to Atator of the power, his ability to lead and the fact that he was going to be immortal, as would his daughter. The rancher still refused the power but the Sky Lord threatened that if he didn't want the power; no one would have it. Others threatened his daughter if he didn't get the power, simply because they wanted it. It wasn't the power that scared him; it was the immortality. He had no interest in outliving his family. "My wife? My son?" he asked the Sky Lord.

"I did not summon them. Only you and Mina." the being replied, putting the matter to rest.

"Am I truely worthy, Sky Lord?" Atator asked.

"You would not be here if you were not." the being replied again.

The others called for his head and almost attacked his daugther. Three of the strangers defended him. After being near bullied into the power, Atator took it. The side effect was his eyes became completely white. The Sky Lord noted that he was the only one who had a relation in the group, the power must be past from parent to child. Atator took the power and pushed it into Mina. She was granted the magnificant power and her side effect was her hair turning a soft blue.

After everybody recieved their power, the Sky Lord vanished. Atator threatened the barbarian who would later be known as Red Hand to go back to his village and never see him again. The Psychotic tried to attack him but Atator propelled him back with a massive amount of clear force. Red Hand survived the attack but the remaining group was stunned. Within a few minutes, Atator had done something they could not.

He already mastered his powers.

After the expelling of Red Hand, Atator started to go his own way back to his village. Several of them asked to join him and knowing he would have to lead them, he made them pledge loyalty to both him and his daughter before he would agree. They had sworn.

Of the twenty that were give powers, Nine chose to follow Atator.

Character Profile: Mina Alexa

Most children at the tender age of 11 never expect to be granted power beyond belief. Mina was fortunate that she would have her father to guide her.

She stood with him that day while the Sky Lord handed him the energeric power and Atator gave it to her. Her hair was turned into a soft blue. She enjoyed it and thought it was pretty. Most everybody else who was not there with her that day thought otherwise. She was mauled by a crowd of fearful peasants. Mina then wanted them all to get off of her. When she wished such a thing, a wall of unseen force shot them all back. The peasants knew that day she wasn't a little girl anymore; she was Superior.

Mina saw that she accidentally hurt one of her childhood friends who was attacking her. She rushed over to him and laid on him; crying that she wanted him to be better. Once she wished that, her hands began to glow and his wounds were healed. The people of the village were still fearful of her that day but her childhood friend was the first of many converts to come. He stayed with Mina and learned about the Ancients. Mina was him when old age finally took him. She remembers him fondly to this day.

Mina grew to womanhood as the Sky Lord predicted she would. Even though she would be immortal, she would always look a beautiful 30 years old. Following the guidance of her father, Mina felt it was her destiny to protect and aide mankind. She knew her name "Mina" meant "Love." She adopted her own unique last name of "Alexa", meaning "Man's Protector." She would uphold her personal vow of "love and protect mankind" for years to come.

Mina would leave her mark on history along side her father for many hundreds of years to come. She stood with him against the Roman soldiers as they defended Jesus from persecution to helping St. Patrick return to Ireland to painting with Michealangelo to helping defending Tesla against Edison.

Mina lost her taste for war during WWII when Hilter found the staff of the Sky Lord and removed her father's powers; then killing him. After getting her vengence, the Lords of Justice was disbanded by president Roosevelt. It would be nearly 30 years before Mina would reform a group of Superiors to fight for justice and the freedom of mankind.

Character Profile: Jason Stone

The lowly barbarian known as only as Stone was given the vision of the twenty ancients. He met with all of them that day on the mesa and was given the power by the Sky Lord. He asked what his destiny would be, now that he was given power beyond mortal men. The Sky Lord simply told him, "His destiny was loyalty and his purpose was to serve a cause greater than himself."

When Atator showed that he already knew more about their powers than any of them, Stone realized that was what the Sky Lord. It was his destiny to be loyal to Atator. Stone would then follow him throughout the years with complete loyalty. Before joining him, as did eight others, they swore alliegance to Atator and Mina.

It would be several years before Stone had a conversation with Atator about his name. The wise leader told him it would be prudent to be remembered as something "other than a rock." Stone woudl then adopt the first name of Jason; after a preist he befriended during his time in Rome. Jason's greatest quest when he would take his band of Superiors, known as the Argonauts, and quest after a fabled Golden Fleece.

Jason would become one of Atator's trusted lieutenants in his group called The Lords of Justice. They went on to such famous events as defending the christians against Decius and the gothic invasion of 252 A.D., standing by Charlemagne when he took power in Europe, helped form the first Knights in 912 A.D., and assited many Superior immigrants with helping to build New York City.

Probably his most famous historical moment is the Shoot Out at the OK Corral. Jason and his friend Zack Shock were joined by Doc Holiday and the last surviving Earp brother Morgan to finally bring peace and justice to the town of Tombstone. Jason had to help Holiday and Morgan to avenge the death of their brother Wyatt in Dodge City when he was electrocuted by the super villain Thunderclap.

Jason Stone is still a valued Lieutenant in Mina's Justice Lords. He is one of six Ancients left.