And Now for Something...Completely Different

It is my day off, after all. Mostly. I'm headed back to Scranton early to

teach acrobalance

to the unsuspecting students of ETC's Griffin Conservatory.

Friend Patrick

had a recent post directing me


, where I promptly played with creating my own comicbook character's cover. The result:


It's awfully silly stuff, and apparently part of an advertising scheme (


is an advertising agency) but for what exactly is not as immediately apparent. Naturally I took it far more seriously than was intended, trying once again to realize what a real-life vigilante crime fighter might look like, assuming he had even a passing familiarity with superhero tropes. This website put me in mind of

Hero Machine

, a wonderful little bit of Flash that

Friend Younce

introduced me to years ago. Hero Machine gives you many more options, including the possibility of actually naming your imaginary figure (the Amazing Kicking Black Belt not being my idea). And so, of course, I almost-immediately had to head that-a-way and see how my vigilante would turn out if he could, I don't know,

disguise his identity somehow!

The result:


Kind looking fella', isn't he?

Obviously my trope for a "superhero" is based on Batman: No powers, all determination. What I've been thinking about lately is that a real "superhero" would be most interesting for his (or her) need to be anonymous. Apart from the legal ramifications, of course, what would compel someone to endanger themselves regularly and anonymously? There must be a deeper psychological reason, in addition to the pragmatic. Comicbooks have tackled this before, of course, but never to my satisfaction.

So what we have here is a mid-level-income superhero, with a priority for fighting street crime, but not killing anyone. His weapons would have to be compact and largely non-lethal, and he'd need ranged ones as well as something for in-fighting. The shuriken is actually a compromise; when I was thinking about it, I realized darts would be the best weapon for such a vigilante. Blown or tossed, a dart with some kind of drug would be the most efficient tool in such a one's arsenal. The rest of Hero Machine's provisions were pretty great for my purposes. He'd need agility, but would certainly be armored, so sectional plates are best. Paratrooper boots, with ankle support but rubber soles, are the best footwear any vigilante could need. He could use leather pants, but his top would need something that breathes and flexes more, and of course good, tight-fitting gloves. Some little things I particularly appreciate -- equipped at his sides

but not his front or back

as this would impede brawling; he's a little jacked up, as one would be if one took to the violent neighborhoods nightly; he's in dark greys, imminently more practical for hiding in shadows. Hero Machine only failed me in the kind of mask I wanted for him. To cover his brow and eyes, I had to cover his ears too, and this is something no one in their right mind would do (sorry, Bats).

This was a fun way to spend a day off. I'm going to post the code for this guy below. Simply go to Hero Machine and select "Load," paste it in, and you can mod him up. Or make your own. Whatever you do, share it in the comments somehow.