Thursday, April 3, 2008



One of my earliest regular posts here at ...nurgh... involved what became my submission in Shadowline's super-heroine creation contest for writers, The Otherwoman. Today, I was at Newsarama looking for "Secret Invasion" spoilers when I spotted a follow-up article, listing the descriptions supplied by the five finalists. Voting closes on the 10th, and takes place here. I won't be voting myself, as I avoid message boards for the most part these days, and I honestly wouldn't read any of the comics spun out of these submissions. Sour grapes much? Let's see...

"1. Challenger
Makaela owns a garage on the east side of town that earns her a meager living. One night while she’s closing up, a car crashes into the lamppost right in front of her shop. Mak watches as a vigilante escapes, leaving his car behind…a 1974 Dodge Challenger! She pushes the vehicle into her garage and starts tinkering with the mechanical miracle. Within, she discovers a briefcase, and inside is a vial filled with a strange liquid and a note which reads: This is my last dose, Dr. Carroll. Use it wisely. On a devilish whim, she drinks the liquid and loses consciousness. Embarrassed at her own stupidity when she awakens, Mak takes out her frustration on the Challenger. She reaches for a monkeywrench and tries to smash the engine…and the Challenger hums to life! Just then, goons break into the garage; they want the Challenger, and more importantly, the briefcase. Using her monkeywrench, Mak battles the goons and makes her escape in the Challenger. The only way she’s going to get some answers is to track down the mysterious Dr. Carroll, and hope he can explain what the liquid has done to her and why she now has ability to fix anything…by smashing it!?"

Lots of details there, something my own submission lacked. I'm not into cars, so strike one. Neither are most girls, nor are many named "Mak," so we can pretty much map out the cliche tomboy personality from here (with an alien heritage?,) so strike two. People drinking mysterious fluids from out of a test tube found in an abandoned jalopy on a whim? That's where I checked out completely. Not my book.

"2. Hope
For the last six years, Tiffany LaVelle has been secretly moonlighting as a masked super-heroine called Hope. However, the delicate separation of her life as a devoted wife and mother versus her exploits as a super-heroine become irreversibly intertwined when she is unexpectedly forced to openly use her superpowers – sans costume – during a terrible car accident that threatens the life of her husband and their eight-year-old daughter. With her secret suddenly exposed, her husband now in a coma and her daughter taken from her by Child Protective Services, Tiffany now finds herself in a struggle to regain custody of her daughter. She must also defend herself and her actions as a super-heroine to prove in the eyes of the public that she's fit to regain and maintain custody of her child, despite having an identity that will place them both in constant danger."

Easily the submission with the most potential, even if it does sound like "Donna Troy-Long: The Series," aside from the unusual amount of public hate tossed her way. Maybe her last name should have been "Vick-Hilton?"

"3. I Hate Galaxy Girl
Gifted with the ability to control the four classical elements, Renée Tempête moves to Clement Harbor to compete in the next Galaxy Girl pageant. When she applies for the position with local superhero guild "The Fellowship of Freedom," they reject her for not being pretty enough. Instead, they give the title to a buxom blonde who possesses no actual powers. Now, as rogue super-heroine "The Tempest," Renée has two missions: 1) Defend Clement Harbor from the forces of evil. 2) Take revenge on the Fellowship of Freedom and the inept Galaxy Girl!"

This one seems the closest to delivering on the editor's stated desire for a companion/contrast book for their semi-popular "Bomb Queen" title. High concept, in a terribly familiar fashion.
Execution would be all important, and it helps this was also the submission most in line with the announced artist Franchesco's prior work.

"4. I’ll Fly Away
College-student Jessica Hopkins lives a normal life, until the day she discovers she can fly. At first she keeps her gift a secret, until faced with a fire where she must reveal her power, or stand by and let people die. She makes the only choice she can, and the world discovers her ability. Now she is faced with all the trials of being an instant public celebrity (“The World's First REAL Super-Heroine!”), and the government begins to get involved and people even start to worship her! The power of flight hardly qualifies her to save the world; nevertheless she changes the world completely. Some people start believing that just about anything might be possible. Given this power, she must now find a way to keep her feet on solid ground and still make a life for herself. Through it all, her best friend Chloe Munroe will be the one person to stick by her. Narrated through Jessica’s journal, we get an in-depth look into this young girl’s mind as she struggles with the moments of awe and terror her new life brings."

Umm, catty I know, but not even the paragraph was well written here. Like, OMG, the MySpace blog hair-ron walks amongst us. ROFL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"5. Incredible Journey!
Journey Dominguez was a normal teenage girl with big dreams living in a world full of superheroes. All she ever wanted was to be one of them. Everything changes one day when she finds a strange necklace on the street. She puts it on only to find out that she cannot take it off, and that it gives her the ability to summon a temporary superpower for whatever situation she’s in. There’s only one catch; every time she uses a power, she is really stealing it from one of the Superheroes, leaving them permanently powerless and the world increasingly defenseless. All Journey Dominguez ever wanted to be was a super hero. Now, she must convince the world she is not a super villain!"

Oh! Pun-ished! I hate that kind of nameplay like a testicle graze. Better still, the entry reads like a Champions™ RPG campaign. Catastrophic range vulnerabilty! Must roll a "9" or higher to overcome!

Just so's ya'll cn rip me to shreds in retaliation...

"0. The Otherwoman"

Obviously an overlong entry and in need of rewriting to match the "Previews" catalog summaries above, but even I were the only one, I'd have read my book. Still might, as I just ordered more reference material and had the idea bulb go off today for a massive expansion of the Otherwoman concept. Her day will come...

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