Godspeed, You Red and Black Emperor

31 December, 2006 at 7:03 pm (city of heroes)

One last post about City of Heroes.

The character creation matrix is amazing. I have yet to see a hero in the game that looks like another hero unless deliberately designed to be so (usually indicated by very similar names). And while it is indubitably easy to create a character based upon one’s favourite comic character, I have discovered an alternate aspect that has been wonderfully fulfilling.

As a kid, my siblings and I were constantly writing comic books. Few of these comics made it to the drawn page, as we each contributed to the writing and the art, and comic jams can be tough to coordinate. I have file folders with old pagers of partially-completed drawings with unformed spaces left for the contributions and cast of a one or two of the trio. And we had populated this world with a complex dramatis personae of heroes, anti-heroes, villains, and rogues all created from drawing sessions and backyard play, and a world of Lego figurines that had been customized to match.

The games we played and the scenarios we built with these figures were great fun, but it was a disappointment that they never fully transitioned into print form. We were better at crafting the rough equivalent of The Handbook to the Marvel Universe for our creations, filling out details and diagrams and histories and origins, than we were at disciplining ourselves to the task of writing and drawing a complete story.

from L to R: Lego Speed-Skate, drawing of Godspeed, Augenblich avatar

Which had been part of why City of Heroes has been so marvelous. I have been gradually rebuilding some of the cadre of characters that I invented when I was ten and eleven. From Lego to superheroic childhood drawings to fully-rendered three-dee action avatars. From “Speed-Skate” to “Godspeed” to “Augenblich“. It feels great. I only wish I could get my siblings to team with me, and it would really be the next generation of what we created all those many years ago.

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