Saturday, June 18, 2016

ANOHotMU #4 In The Rear-View Mirror

Well, there you go. Better than 30 character write-ups later, I've finished going through and statting up an entire issue of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe. Is it one down, 11 more to go? Maybe. I think I might do one of the Updates next, just for a little alphabetical variety (those go from A-Z, potentially). So, savvy readers might realize that I statted up only 30 or so characters, and yet these things are 64 pages long. What gives? Well, as I said at the beginning, I was only statting up entries that gave me starting scores to work off of, and wasn't touching organizations or races. Still, they ARE in there, and deserve some love. So, some starting notes for each.

Elements of Doom
A group of killer robots, each based off of a chemical element. It's a need idea, and decently executed in the comic, but I'd probably only write up two or three of them, with the rest represented by mobs. I just can't care that much about writing up Aluminum as a distinct character from Tin.

Elf With A Gun
These guys got a name drop in my entry on Gargoyle, and they really are that weird. They make no sense. None, whatsoever. I don't know if they need to be statted up so much as serve as a Scene Distinction or complication in a scene, one that can only be dealt with in a very particular way that the players then have to figure out.

Ah, the Eternals. Soooo much Kirby Krackle in this entry, folks. It really is a thing of beauty. The Eternals of note tend to show up in their own entries, so while I kind of wanted to stat them up as a mob, I'm okay with skipping that and going into more detail with individuals as this project leads onward. A lot of 1d12 powers and amped up SFX. And what do you use for a Limit? "Just Too Awesome?"

Oddly, looking through other books, Infinity, Oblivion, Lord Chaos, Master Order and other abstract entities of the Marvel Universe get state blocks but big ol' Eternity doesn't. He's pretty awesomely powerful, though, so I'm spared writing up a giant list of things. For a guy like him, I might almost make him a complication generator - it fits with the tone of his powers better than making him yet another problem you can punch your way through.

I'll be honest, I never really got the big deal over X-Statix, especially Mike Allred's art. I mean, it's distinctive and all, but I just wasn't a big fan. And, honestly, stuff like Euro-Trash is part of the reason why. A German villain made of the Berlin Wall whose name is "Gunter Gross?" Ergh, no thanks. That's not funny and, no, not even "ironically." Still, there are some interesting power sets here that be fun to write up.

Oh, thank goodness these characters didn't have stats or I'd be left trying to write up eight separate characters equal to or superior to the Juggernaut. That is all.

Fathom Five
Ooo, this would've been fun! Aquatic monsters are kind of awesome. Even the pictures show some vehicles, monsters and equipment that would've been kind of fun. Wonder if New Thunderbolts was collected in a graphic novel . . .

Femme Fatales
I don't know if any of these characters showed up in other comics, enough that they might show up in an Update or something, but I hope so. Left to right, we have a female Whiplash, a bruiser-type named Knockout, a feral-type named Bloodlust, and a psi-powered Mindblast, all facing off against a lone Spiderman. I think with a little cleverness, I could probably stat them up on the fly, at least enough to work for an encounter or two.

Folding Circle
Oh, 90's Marvel, you really are crap, aren't you? This is supposed to be this dark and mysterious group of very serious antiheroes, all of them glowering out at us from the page, but they're called The Folding Circle. Seriously, that's the name of an orgami crafts group at your local library, not a fearsome collection of characters. It doesn't help that one of them is named "Smiling Tiger." Ugh. Well, I think at least Night Thrasher and Midnight's Fire show up elsewhere, but I think I'm spared the pain of statting up Silk Fever, Left Hand and Blood Strike.

Force Four
Aw, yeah, a quartet of anthropomorphic horses whose names are literally Pig Latin for the members of the Fantastic Four. That's totally boss. I really hope that I can track down stats for these guys so I can write them up for a special event or something.

Galactic Guardians
This cheap knock-off of the Guardians of the Galaxy, which includes futuristic Ghost Rider with a segmented crotch* is bad, and it should feel bad. Rounding out the group is an aged Wonder Man, B-list Galactus herald Firelord, a mulleted male Phoenix, a Skrull named Replica who wears a pink costume with the alchemical symbol for "female" just so we're sure we know she's a token female, and Martinex, the hero daringly carved from cubic zirconium. Oh my gosh, something cosmic powered smite these earnest folks, like, now.

Basically, this is the alternate universe that answers the question, "What would the Marvel Universe look like if it were written by Robert Zelazny circa the Amber series?" If that doesn't sound like a good idea to you, I'm sorry, we just can't be friends. I think you'd probably just have to adjust some of the powers of existing characters and make them, I dunno, a little more medieval, but this could totally work.

This is a race of peaceful, demure aliens much like the "greys" we all know and love from UFO mythology. They're telepathic, can fly and turn intangible and otherwise look like your standard "peaceful alien" with large, open eyes in a oversized face. I think they'd be fairly easy to write up as a racial template, if I knew more about them.

Goodman, Lieber, Kurtzberg & Holliway
This is my favourite phase of She-Hulk's career. I love the fourth-wall bending nods, the very really issues surrounding the law in a world with superhumans and Jennifer Walters in a three piece skirt-suit. I'd see this place as a setting, with various characters that can be brought in as assets and/or complications and plots involving things like stopping a new incarnation of the Serpent Society without violating their constitutional rights.

* Good luck getting that image out of your head.

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