Sunday, June 26, 2016

Team Ideas: Victorian Avengers

Well, after playing a fair amount of Empire of the Dead at club, the question of Victorian Superheroes reared its ugly head again. Just to reiterate, I'm not against the concept of Superheroes in a Victorian/Gothic Horror/VSF setting, but I do, however, have several issues with the execution: 
1. I am an avid reader of both Victorian Literature and (surprise surprise) Superhero Comics, so when I see them combined, I like it to be with sensitivity for the tropes and traditions of each. 
2. Most people get lazy with the idea. "Wouldn't it be cool to have Steampunk Batman?" Yeah? But all you did was put Batman on your Victorian table, nothing really changed, he's still the same character playing in the same way. We may as well have kept playing normal Batman games. If you're going to do it, go the whole way. 
3. How is this different to what we normally do? If we're playing SuperSystem, how is the game changed by being in Victorian London? The terrain has changed, but do we really need a new set of minis to use it? Supers gaming can happen anywhere; time travel is just as good an excuse as a new era to break out the cobblestones. 
4. I have to make a new era's worth of heroes? I already have Modern Age, Silver Age and French Revolution Supers under development (plus plans for Future/Cyberpunk), now I have to do Victorian age as well? Ok, maybe, I'm a bit tempted... very tempted... 

The Avenging Sons 
Unlike the League of Justice, not every extraordinary individual in the world is looked kindly upon. Often ostracised from civilised society, these "freaks and monsters" have nonetheless taken it upon themselves to use their extraordinary abilities to defend the innocent and battle evil. Though they began individually, a team formed on a day unlike any other and they battled a threat over which no hero could triumph alone. That day were born The Avenging Sons!

Son of Frankenstein's Monster (The Vision) 
The living-dead abomination created by Victor Frankenstein escaped into the Arctic after its creator's death, spawning speculation and myth about a "Reanimated Empire" poised to invade Europe from the North. These fears are well-founded, as The Monster has been busy trying to replicate its "father's" work. The greatest success, so far, is The Monster's "Son", his "Vision of the Future". Sent to spy on humanity, this Vision has instead embraced it, becoming one of its most stalwart defenders.
Miniature: Rebel Minis have a couple of "Franken Gangers" that would make an ideal "perfected" Frankenstien's Monster.

The Elephant Man (Beast)
Many who have met the unfortunate fellow known as "The Elephant Man" make the assumption that he is naught but a simpleton, taken in as they are by his grotesque visage; how mistaken a person can be. The Elephant man is not only possessed of a fine intelligence, a gregarious and loquacious manner, but is also an accomplished scholar, athlete and combatant. To feed his growing thirst for adventure, The Elephant Man has taken to disguising his face and abounding at night, aiding those he can and punishing the evildoers he encounters. If the public knew the truth behind this nocturnal "Beast", many a monocle would be lost due to shocked dismay.
Miniature: West Wind do a slightly comical "Freak" with a hidden face that is currently the best approximation out there. 
Richard Sharpe (Captain America) 
Once thought lost overboard and drowned during the battle of Trafalgar, the great British Hero, Richard Sharpe, was, in fact, preserved by the ice-cold water and lost for decades. Close to the dawn of the new century, a whaling ship recovered the legend and, once he was thawed, the Ministry of Intelligence put him to work fighting enemies of the empire. Sharpe has taken to the "world of the future" (as he calls it) with trepidation, but has proven repeatedly that there is no task he cannot accomplish or inspire those he leads to accomplish, in the Queen's name! 
Miniature: Any era-appropriate British Rifleman will do, but there are plenty of "Sharpe" figures available. 

Lady Hyde (She-Hulk) 
Not all of Doctor Henry Jekyll's ill-fated chemical formula was destroyed when he burned down his laboratory, unbeknown to the good doctor, his cleaning lady, the mousey and overlooked Jennifer, had taken a bottle for herself, dreaming of revenge against a world that had slighted her. The formula had an unexpected affect on the female form, granting Jennifer increased size, power and confidence. In her transformed state, Jennifer had lost her desire for revenge, but not her taste for adventure; deciding to live the kind of life she had only dreamed of when reading stolen "Boys' Own"
Miniature: Plenty of scope for cool ideas here, but I'd consider one of the Warmachine "Staxis" character minis for the right combination of flesh, monstrosity and size, just paint her green. 

Clint "Hawkeye" Bumppo (Hawkeye) 
Orphaned of a Mohawk mother and white trapper father, Clint Bumppo, called "Hawkeye" by his mother's family, led a nomadic existence growing up, honing his skills as an archer and tracker. Feeling out of place among the full-blooded Mohawk, Clint left to find his fortune, eventually joining Buffalo Bill's Wild West show and traveling to Europe. 
Miniature: Any late-period "Old West" Native would suit with a blonde head of hair and portable arsenel. These Black Scorpion ones have the right look. 

Well, there you go. Now get out there and start saving London!  

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