HA Characters

HEROES: Astral and Sparkle
shastab24 at 12:24AM, Oct. 5, 2010
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I haven't been on these boards in a while and thought I'd update on my characters: considering how Acrobat was put in Heroes Unite, I will take that sort of tack: my characters do exist in this universe and Split and Protean go to a superhero high school, but it is best to not really mention the name, just to be safe. And you can use the characters in any capacity for the stories, but I will say that I know Split's power can be frightening and might be difficult to implement fully. She's really a scared little girl, though, and still coming into her own as a confident person.

As well, I have new characters to introduce:

Sparkle
Real name: Diamond June (formerly Greg Weston)
Gender: Female (though she is male biologically)
Ethnicity: Caucasian, mostly German and Russian
Place of birth: Missouri
Orientation: Straight (attracted to men)
Age: 21
Height: 6'9“ in normal state
Weight: 300 lbs in normal state
Powers: Much like the Hulk, Sparkle has strength, size, toughness, and density that increases with strong emotions, often rage. In her base state, she is quite strong, as well.
Limitations: Intelligence generally decreases when she bulks up, and her normal IQ would place her in a slower learning program. Also, when her strength increases, though her height will increase, it is not always enough and it is harder for her bulk to move and so she decreases in speed. As well, she is quite vulnerable to mental attacks.
Physical appearance/personality: Diamond truly does try to look feminine and likes being girly, but she has the physique of a linebacker. In other words, despite her best efforts, she will always look like a man in a dress. She likes wearing pink and is often quite happy around people, but prone to fluctuating emotions, and does not take it well when insulted–often running away crying but could hit someone if they persist.
History: Born in the Bible belt, Diamond found it difficult to be herself. Her naturally large physique clashed with her identity and, after years of ridicule for being feminine yet looking so masculine, she ran to California (on foot). Sheltering herself in a more tolerant Humboldt County, she lives in Arcata without any ties to her family and considers Astral, whom she met there, to be her true brother. She has done her share of super-heroics,taking the name Sparkle because she wanted ”some part of me to sparkle all the time".

Edited to add: I've decided that she doesn't wear shoes anymore, in part because the ones I gave her don't match her outfit, and also because I think it works more with her barefoot. Therefore, disregard the shoes in the picture above. As well, when she uses her power, I thought it good for her to have pink sparkles around her.

Astral
Real name: Colton White (formerly Mary White)
Gender: Male (though he is female biologically)
Ethnicity: Caucasian
Place of birth: Arcata, CA
Orientation: Straight (attracted to women)
Age: 24
Height: 5'4“ (6'0” in astral state)
Weight: 120 lbs (200 lbs in astral state)
Powers: Astral is like a Captain Marvel and Negative Man cross. He can project his astral form into the physical plane. This form has the powers of flight, super strength and super speed.
Limitations: When he is in his astral form, Colton is susceptible to attacks to his physical body. If his body is killed, his astral form will also be destroyed. As well, the astral form is incredibly susceptible to psychic attacks, being a psychic construct in itself.
Physical appearance/personality: Colton can't help but look feminine and has built up a confrontational attitude towards anybody that brings this up. He often wears bulky clothing to try and hide his feminine physique, but this hardly ever works. However, his astral form is the picture of masculinity, with barrel chest and stubble. He seems more confident and relaxed in this form.
History: Colton has lived in Arcata his whole life and knows how fortunate he is to be in a more accepting place than other parts of the US, but found himself wishing he could be more masculine from a young age. He did not know of a burgeoning psychic power and so was surprised when he first projected his astral form, which took the guise of who he most wanted to be. Since then, he worked ard at physical manifestation and never cared to explore the more mental aspects of his powers. He gravitated towards heroics after reading omic books and quickly established a name for himself in Humboldt County and some of the surrounding areas. At one time he met Sparkle and has offered support as the other's extended family, helping Sparkle to use her gifts for the greater good, and helping teach her about the world.

Two characters there that are analogous to Marvel and DC characters, but hopefully more of their own characters, as well. I have no comics even written for them yet, but have been developing them and decided that they need to be in this universe. What's great is no counterparts are used this time–these characters are completely new for Heroes Alliance and any comics written for them will be done in this universe (unlike my other characters).
last edited on Feb. 11, 2014 11:46PM
Abt_Nihil at 3:58AM, Oct. 5, 2010
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Sparkle reminds me a bit of Liev Schreiber's character in Taking Woodstock ^_^

Just to be clear: In your mind, these characters are not primarily about gender issues - they just happen to look feminine despite being male or masculine despite being female? (I guess many people would say - Sparkle doesn't just look masculine, he/she IS (physically/biologically) a man “dressing up as a female” (or, being female “only” psychologically). To me, it doesn't matter so much what he/she is, but rather, what he/she would like to be treated as.) If I saw these characters in a story, I'd just like to see them treated as regular people, and not as excuses for gender debate. It's very easy to unintentionally insult people here. (And you're obviously aware of that, since you're talking about the way different locales in the US differ in their acceptance in your character descriptions.) What do you think about that?
last edited on Feb. 11, 2014 11:47PM
shastab24 at 12:47PM, Oct. 5, 2010
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I created the characters when realizing the dearth of non-passable transgender characters there are out there, at least ones that are not used for comic relief. I figure gender can be a major or subsidiary issue with them. It would be interesting to see how people handle them. I do hope to write for them in the future myself, but need to focus on other characters at the moment.

In short, I understand perfectly where you're coming from and was hoping for an attitude like that. These two characters are just people, but too often media displays people like them as caricatures and it's nice to bring them back to being seen as just people.

And I have not seen Taking Woodstock. Maybe I should.
last edited on Feb. 11, 2014 11:48PM
Abt_Nihil at 5:37PM, Oct. 5, 2010
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I loved Taking Woodstock. It seemed very slow at first, but 30 minutes into it, I was absolutely captivated.

And good to know we've got similar attitudes regarding these characters. As I was reading your descriptions, I was thinking about how I would write these myself. And I thought: HA is not a place for building characters (at least, so far it hasn't been), but rather, it needs strong characters who will shine even if they're only given a few panels' space. (That said, I would like to see HA develop a broader cross-over concept - adding chapters which concentrate on less characters, examining dynamics between different heroes. For me, that's the next stage in the comic's evolution.)
last edited on Feb. 11, 2014 11:48PM
Abt_Nihil at 4:50AM, Oct. 6, 2010
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shastab24
I understand that sort of an attitude towards Heroes Alliance, and I would have started a comic based on the characters, if at least to set them up, but I'm finding it rather difficult to find artists who have free time. Currently I'm pushing my comic surrounding Split and Protean to get drawn–taking the tack that each artist need only do a page–and am finding it difficult enough than to add in stories of other characters. But it could be possible that Sparkle and Astral would be like Shell in Heroes Unite: they start as just other characters in the story and get their own comic later which explains them in detail.
Well, I do have that same problem with Bombshell. Her comic is terribly slow-moving, and she didn't have one until HU #1, in which she already appeared. However, I believe that a major aspect of HU/HA is the cross-over aspect, which requires established characters. I know that it's unrealistic to expect that for every character; I just feel established characters have to be balanced with “exclusive” characters. Otherwise, HA will become just another superhero comic with a large cast, rather than an exciting place for characters to meet.

Don't take this as a comment on your own characters - it's just something I felt needs to be clear, especially in this thread. However, I've also stressed several times that pretty much anybody can just go ahead and write any story that somehow fits into HA, provided they organize the whole thing (finding artists!) themselves. Getting artists can be extremely hard (see Relik!), but I'd also like HA to be a forum where writers can find artists more easily.

And lastly, in my opinion, this thread should also be a resource for writers, offering characters they can use. In my case, I often find I have an idea for a story, but it doesn't clearly determine who's in it. So when I'm working on HA, I will look at the characters which have been submitted, and see who fits into it best. That way, it doesn't matter whether it's an established character or one who's fairly new.

shastab24
For instance: I think Sparkle might be infatuated with Brad Stone, and Astral might trip over himself around Bombshell (but what straight man wouldn't?).
Hah! Somehow, I see Bombshell dealing better with that than Brad :P
last edited on Feb. 11, 2014 11:48PM

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