I Call on Ye, Creative Comic Book Fans
I am working on a creative project – a serial in 25-50 parts – that will debut here at Ordinary Times probably some time later this year. While I have a good idea for most of the central characters and such, I could use some help with some of the expanded universe stuff. The ultimate goal is to create the dynamics of a rich superhero universe. Every now and again, I stumble on some creative block for character names or I want an outside opinion for some reason or another. I plan to draw heavily on superheroes that exist in the public domain, most of which were created before our copyright laws became so insane. But some of them have names that I cannot use (like Daredevil) or whose name I strongly dislike (like Red Rube).
The first such problem is that while I have a lot of characters and names for individual heroes, there are very few for team names. Which are kind of important, because the various teams are a building block of the whole thing. So throw at me the best superhero team names you’re willing to let me use. Almost all of the stories involve American heroes (the legalities of superheroism make operating across national borders difficult), though most of the teams are actually regional. There are basically two tiers of teams, a A-List and a B-List so to speak (the protagonist of the story straddles the two). So regional elements to names are quite welcome, though so are things that purport to be national (even if they really aren’t). Really, you can completely ignore the regions if that doesn’t help at all. I just put it there if it gives you any ideas.
The regions break down as according to the above maps. States in black are complicated. Multiple A-Teams or B-Teams claim New York, Maryland, Florida, New Jersey, and Missouri, and no team is allowed to operate in Wisconsin or Montana. States in white are uncontested among the B-Teams. Lighter shades mean that they don’t actually have any heroes that operate there, but claim it in their jurisdiction anyway. There is a C-Team that operates on the west coast (Washington, Oregon, and California), a C-Team in Alaska, and a C-Team in Hawaii. The west coast one may get mentioned, but the other two won’t.
I think I may already have names for the midwestern A-Team (violet) and the mountain western B-Team (blue), so those probably aren’t the ones to start with.
(Update/clarification: There are four A-Teams and six B-Teams. The lighter variants are a part of the darker variant’s terrain. So, for instance, New Mexico is considered Texas A-team’s footprint, they just don’t have any members there. But if something big happens, it’ll be on Texas A-Team and Colorado B-Team to deal with it. The same applies to the northeast, which is tied to the midwest for its A-Team. Unfortunately, the colors here aren’t always easy to tell apart. With the exception of New England, though, all extra-terrain is adjacent to the team’s presence. The midwestern A-Team actually has someone in New York, it’s just that New York is black because the South-Atlantic team also has someone there, which is why it’s contested. /update)
I will be looking for some art work to attach to this thing. If you are someone with art talent, and the interest and ability to draw people in and out of costumes, let me know. No sequential art would be necessary. I’ll be writing more on this later.
The Basic Story:
Though this story involves a superhero universe, it’s not really a superhero story. I mean, it doesn’t tell the heroic tales of big fights of good and evil (or good and good, for that matter). It tells the story of a recently-retired hero reflecting back on his long career (dating back to the 50’s), his interactions over the years, what it was like to be a hero, what it’s like to not be a hero anymore. It’ll try to walk a fine line between being for comic book fans and for being people who aren’t comic book fans. Mostly, I want it to be about remembering a life no longer lived, and coming to terms with the fact that it’s over.