Filing Cabinet of the Damned

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Taking the Challenge

Scipio of the Absorbascon has presented a contest of sorts. He calls it “the Morrison Challenge:”

You have replaced Grant Morrison as the person in charge of revitalized underused characters in the DCU. You need to come up with a pitch for how to reintroduce "insert character name here" as an interesting and enriching part of the DCU.

Today's Morrison Challenge to you is : The Ani-Men of RepliTech.


I ask you: could I ignore this thrown gauntlet?

Of course not.

The Harveyized Version of the Ani-Men

RepliTech, a company only two years removed from the edge of collapse, has amazed the business world by its recent successes in the fields of agri-business, genetic engineering, and medicine. CEO Rex Rogan has led the company back to the forefront even as he has fallen out of the public eye.

Ah, but how?

Rogan and a select few of his friends have applied RepliTech’s latest development to themselves.

These foolish men had long romanticized the dangers of business. They imagined the rules of commerce as identical to the laws of the jungle: kill or be killed, hunter and prey. The Board of Directors of RepliTech employed a new tool to make themselves the greatest hunters of them all: genetic manipulation.

Rogan has mutated himself into a half-man, half-lion. His friends turned themselves into other “ani-men.” All of them are now predators, all cruel hunters.

Rogan, now calling himself “Maximus Rex,” sits upon a blood-stained throne in a chamber decorated with the remains of his kills, both of business and of flesh. He uses his new “powers of influence” to motivate intractable employees. Rogan’s ani-men intimidate and, if necessary, assassinate business rivals. Scientists who might be of use are “persuaded” to join them by midnight visits from the Board of Directors of RepliTech. Important investors have already felt these “persuasions.”

Yet these horrors do not begin to describe the true danger of the ani-men.

Deep inside RepliTech’s headquarters lurks the secret behind the secret…

RepliTech’s remarkable advances in gene splicing are not the work of human scientists. Rather they are the product of Science Detachment 23A of the Psion Empire. Allying themselves with the self-deluded buffoon Rogan, the Psions gained a safe haven on the planet Earth and all the laboratory equipment they would need. After making minor modifications to RepliTech’s Board to satisfy the humans' childish lust for power and blood, Detachment 23A began their true mission: performing experiements on humans to determine the key to forcibly re-arranging superhuman biology back into normal human forms.

Their research is finished. They have found the answer.

The alien scientists are now completing work on a device that will be able to blanket the planet with a focused wave-pattern of gene-altering radiation. They have dubbed this weapon the Silence Engine.

Upon the completion of the Engine, Detachment 23A will transmit a message to an area of space near Pluto.

There, a fleet of Psion Deathbringer-class dreadnoughts waits. General Kialk of the Psion Empire, architect of this daring plan, has promised a swift victory. He sits in the flagship Firetalon, confident in the strategem and preparing for the day when he will drink deep from an ocean of human blood.

The fleet will arrive just as the scientists ignite the Silence Engine!

All superhuman activity on the planet will cease in seconds!

The hated planet's super-powered protectors will be unable to defend their world! Earth will shatter beneath the fleet’s bombardment!

The Psion Empire will have its revenge!

MUH-HA-HA-HA-HAAAA!!!

Ah, villainy.

The heroes opposing the RepliTech and Psion plans?

A few possibilities leap to mind.

Batman. There’d be the detective work to track down the ani-men, the ties to high finance, the fact that Batman’s in every damn story.

Green Arrow, the fightin’ leftist. He opposes corporate fat cats. This time his targets actually are fat cats. Irony!

Adam Strange. Alien invasion? Detective work? Action? Adventure? Yep, that’s Strange’s standard bill-of-fare.

The Titans. The Psions were bad guys in the Titans’ old days. (Maybe they still are—I haven’t read ‘em since the mid-eighties.)

The Martian Manhunter. Because he’s awesome and needs the work.

Should the plan advance, any of the above characters could call on the JLA for a big alien invasion mamma-jamma fight.

(Yes, there are holes in the plan. Aliens such as Superman and the Martian Manhunter wouldn’t be affected. Weapon-based heroes such as Green Lantern would still be active. The plan expects the battle fleet to take care of them. Foolish Psions.)

4 Comments:

  • If you're looking for criticism (if you're not, forget it, just don't read this) I would say boil it down to one sentence and one hook. Right now it seems to be "bio-engineered assasins accidentally cause an alien invasion," after which the ani-men seem to disapeer. They don't really seem important to the alien invasion concept, and why waste an idea as goofy as people evil rich people who turn themselves into half animals if all they really do is provide materials to the real villains?

    Then again, this isn't a complete story you're making, it's a concept for other stories...but I think it could use some work. I dunno.

    Isaac.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:47 PM  

  • I'm always open to criticism, Issac. Even of the "u suck, jerky" variety. Which I then mock

    Yeah, the Ani-Men idea needs some work. Including the Psions is evidence of me flailing for ideas. I tried not to hammer too hard on the "corporate predator becomes actual predator" idea, since it felt cliche.

    Thus I used another cliche entirely, the "clueless quislings of alien invasion" bit. Oops.

    I'm not a fan of the "boil it down to a single sentence" approach, since it ends up over-valuing "high concepts." Then again, when dealing with silly-ass superhero comics, I don't know that it's possible ot over-value a high concept.

    If I come up with an improved version, I'll post it soon. Dang it, there has to be a better story.

    I plan on "Harveyizing" more characters and situations over the next few weeks, stretch the creative muscles in preparation for NaNoWriMo. I'd appreciate any feedback you folks in internet-land provide.

    Though if you don't have much to offer beyond "u suck, jerky," I won't appreciate it much.

    By Blogger Harvey Jerkwater, at 4:53 PM  

  • RE: Green Arrow - that's coincidence, not irony.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:43 AM  

  • By Blogger dfadf, at 7:39 PM  

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