Day 113 of a Year of Drawing 2014. Work in Progress: Breakdowns finished on my second Iron Kingdoms strip. Next up, pencils! #yearofdrawing #ironkingdoms
Day 112 of a Year of Drawing 2014. Work in Progress: Breakdowns started on my second Iron Kingdoms strip. #yearofdrawing #ironkingdoms
Day 111 of a Year of Drawing 2014, Take Two. Finished my Iron Kingdoms strip (now with fixed eyes). #yearofdrawing #ironkingdoms
Day 110 of a Year of Drawing 2014. Work in Progress: Finished colouring my Iron Kingdoms strip. Next up is lettering. #yearofdrawing #ironkingdoms
Day 109 of a Year of Drawing 2014. Work in Progress: Colouring started on my Iron Kingdoms strip. #yearofdrawing #ironkingdoms
Day 108 of a Year of Drawing 2014 Part Two. Work in Progress: Inked my Iron Kingdoms strip. #yearofdrawing #ironkingdoms
Day 108 of a Year of Drawing 2014. Work in Progress: Pencils finished on an Iron Kingdoms strip. #yearofdrawing #ironkingdoms
Howdy All and Happy Friday!
Last week, I made a pitch for a timeless take on the Shadow.
This week, I will complete my reworking of a trio of Pulp legends with my pitch for a series featuring the Avenger. As with last week, instead of presenting this as a summary of the “pilot” issue/episode (as I did with Doc Savage), I will be presenting this pitch in broader strokes.
But, before turning to the pitch, let us take another look at the essential elements of original Man of Steel, the Avenger!
The Essential Avenger
Three weeks ago, I described the essential nature of the Avenger, as a well-travelled rich man transformed by the sudden murder of his family into a master of disguise who, with the help of other men and women similarly affected by crime, pursues a global war on crime with a ferocity that nearly masks his secret death wish.
So, assuming that this is the benchmark against which to measure my take, so let’s get to the pitch itself.
An Avenging Logline
The “elevator pitch” for this series is as follows:
A wealthy industrialist and futurist has his life forever shattered by the sudden loss of his family to a violent criminal attack. His life is spared by the use of an experimental drug, but it leaves him both physically and emotionally transformed. With the help of a group of similarly traumatized professionals, he dedicates his life and fortune to fighting the criminal forces responsible for their losses, while trying to uncover who in his company was responsible for the death of his family.
The Series Set-Up:
My take on the contemporary Avenger series introduces our protagonist, Richard Henry Benson, as a man who has everything. After spending his twenties in pursuit adventure and successful business ventures, he has married and is travelling with his wife and two young children on a private jet bound for a Caribbean vacation destination.
Tragically, a bomb smuggled on board detonates and sends the jet plummeting to towards the ocean. Benson, following the instructions earlier provided by a stewardess, puts on an experimental breathing mask before moving to put the same on his wife and kids. Sadly, a further explosion sends him out the gaping hole in the side of the plane. As he falls to Earth, he sees the plane consumed in a ball of fire before he plunges into the ocean.
Benson awakens in a hospital, where he is told that his body was found in the ocean and, as a result of his days of exposure to the exotic gas (which was designed to stabilize individuals who suffer catastrophic injuries, such as those who are involved in plane crashes), he has completely recovered from the injuries he sustained in the crash. His doctors advise him that, in fact, his body appears to be in peak physical condition and the only reason he is in a hospital bed is because of a medically-induced paralysis. Unfortunately, either as a result of the trauma or the gas, his body has lost all pigmentation, leaving him with chalk white skin and hair, and light grey eyes.
Benson is also told that law enforcement has no idea who may have smuggled the bomb onto his plane.
In the weeks that follow, Benson’s sorrow and skin condition leads him to abandon nearly all social contact (including his business obligations). Eventually, a psychiatrist sent by the company convinces him to try an online forum for grief support (due to his notoriety, he refuses to attend group counselling in person).
While resistant at first, Benson agrees to look at the grief forum and, though his initial use of the forum is not helpful to him, he finds a forum entitled “Justice Inc.”, where a group of people likewise affected by crime are trying to solve the crimes that robbed them of their loved ones. This brings him together with the group of people who will support him in his future adventures.
Benson’s involvement with the other contributors to the “Justice Inc.” forum may have remained at the amateur detective stage, but a further attempt on his life in the form of another bomb convinces him that more meaningful action is required, particularly when the evidence points to the attempt having been made by someone in his own company.
In the coming weeks, Benson uses his company (and its subsidiaries) to hire the key members of his forum with the promise of better work and pay, and a chance to avenge the deaths of their loved ones (hence, the Avenger).
At the same time, Benson throws himself back into his company where he hopes to uncover the person or persons responsible for his family’s death and, to mask his distinctive pigmentation (or lack thereof), Benson makes use of the exotic products developed by a cosmetics company he owns (also helpful for disguises).
This becomes the structure of the ongoing series, with Benson (as the Avenger) using his abilities, fortune, and the advanced technologies developed by his companies to wage a war of vengeance on crime, while slowly uncovering the plot within his own company.
Along the way, many of his allies will find closure as the Avenger uncovers those responsible for the deaths of their loved ones. However, as it becomes more and more apparent to his colleagues that Benson approaches his war on crime with what appears to be a death wish, some will leave him, once they find their own peace.
The Classic Made Timeless?
So, that brings me to the end of my pitch for a contemporary take on the Avenger, and also to the end of my series updating these Pulp legends.
Next week, I will wrap up my look at Doc Savage, the Shadow, and the Avenger with a comparison of the three and offer some thoughts on how they might interact (perhaps in some sort of cross-over in response to a world-threatening event?).
Until then, I have some drawing to do.
Kevin B. Madison
#yearofdrawing #comics #comicbook #comicstrip #pulps #pulp #docsavage #theshadow #theavenger