Tag Archives: ashwednesday

ASH Wednesday: Deep Armageddon

This is part 7 of my weekly series on Dave Van Domelen’s Academy of Super-Heroes universe, a collection of musings, interviews, writerly insights and historical notes about the free super-hero serials (which started on the newsgroup rec.arts.comics.creative back in ’94 and recently released as Omnibus editions.)

Deep Armageddon was the first crossover arc in the Academy of Super-Heroes universe, based on an idea that I had but developed by Dave Van Domelen, with the assistance of Matt Rossi and Marc Singer in their own respective titles.

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ASH Wednesday: Conclave Arise!

This is part 6 of my weekly series on Dave Van Domelen’s Academy of Super-Heroes universe, a collection of musings, interviews, writerly insights and historical notes about the free super-hero serials (which started on the newsgroup rec.arts.comics.creative back in ’94 and recently released as Omnibus editions.)

Conclave of Super-Villains marked my entrance into the ASH Universe, introducing the first true super-villain team in the setting. This Omnibus is a prelude to the first crossover event as well, which I’ll discuss next week. But I’ve asked Wil Alambre to write an introduction to this Omnibus. Wil actually wrote an issue of Time Capsules (much after I wrote these) that took some minor characters in the story I was telling, and told their personal stories in their own point of view. I’ve included his story in the Omnibus. Here are Wil’s thoughts on Conclave Arise!

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ASH Wednesday: Pandora’s Box

This is part 5 of my weekly series on Dave Van Domelen’s Academy of Super-Heroes universe, a collection of musings, interviews, writerly insights and historical notes about the free super-hero serials (which started on the newsgroup rec.arts.comics.creative back in ’94 and recently released as Omnibus editions.)

This week features Dave Van Domelen’s first twelve issues of Academy of Super-Heroes. I’d like to discuss the text comic form in this article.

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ASH Wednesday: Warden Year One

This is part 4 of my weekly series on Dave Van Domelen’s Academy of Super-Heroes universe, a collection of musings, interviews, writerly insights and historical notes about the free super-hero serials (which started on the newsgroup rec.arts.comics.creative back in ’94 and recently released as Omnibus editions.)

Warden: Year One was written by Matt Rossi III, the first title in the ASHiverse that focused on a single hero: Thomas Malfeas (otherwise known as Warden) was born without eyes, but is able to tap into the senses of others, giving him borrowed sight (among other powers). A comparison to Daredevil is inevitable, given that Warden is Matt’s homage to Frank Miller.

In Warden, Matt created a city of much intrigue, a New York City left by the North American Combine to be overrun by gangs with superpowers. His NYC has its own unique menacing air, one that later inspired both Marc Singer and I to have our own go at chaos in the city of shadows (STRAFE: The Slow Burn and The Bonfire, and Warden: Change Is Good).

Inspired by what Matt did in this series, I tried to give a city of my own a unique spin. I was living in Montreal at the time, and so it became my city of choice when I was developing plotlines. I don’t think my attempt was as successful as Matt’s in creating a consistent atmosphere, although we writers did put Montreal through a lot, including an epic battle and uh, misplacing the entire city. I’m more plot-oriented than a crafter of atmosphere, so I do look back at Matt’s writing in Warden to see how he achieved it. (He does it quite brilliantly in Warden: The Annuals).

Next week: ASH Omnibus: Pandora’s Box.

 

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ASH Wednesday: City of Lions

This is part 3 of my weekly series on Dave Van Domelen’s Academy of Super-Heroes universe, a collection of musings, interviews, writerly insights and historical notes about the free super-hero serials (which started on the newsgroup rec.arts.comics.creative back in ’94 and recently released as Omnibus editions.)

This week I focus on S.T.R.A.F.E.: City of Lions. Written by Marc Singer, this arc introduced the less-powerful members of first graduate class as a team. And I love underdogs.

One thing I picked up from Marc’s treatment of his superhero team was that characters didn’t need to have flashy, world-shattering powers to be effective or interesting. In fact, it’s the shortcomings in their powers that provide fodder for writing. Look at his team: a woman with an antigrav aura that bends light; a minor telekinetic who uses it to become an expert marksman; a man who can’t be harmed yet still feels pain; a man whose powers hones his every skill but only within human norms; and a woman who cannot create fire but can control it. Respectable powers, for certain, but their effectiveness is boosted by the creative ways they (or Marc as the writer) used them. Always surprise the reader, but play fair by laying out the limitations. Often, it’s the character’s inability to get out of a sticky situation that leads to a more interesting solution.

One other thing Marc also did in this collection was introduce Triton. I’m sure he meant for Triton to be a throwaway villain, languishing forever in prison…but something about the guy stuck with me, inspired me to feature him prominently in my Conclave of Super-Villains title.

As I said, I love underdogs. More on the genesis of the CSV later.

Next week: Warden: Year One

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ASH Wednesday: Academy

This is part 2 of my weekly series on Dave Van Domelen’s Academy of Super-Heroes universe, a collection of musings, interviews, writerly insights and historical notes about the free super-hero serials (which started on the newsgroup rec.arts.comics.creative back in ’94 and recently released as Omnibus editions.)

Guest post by Dave Van Domelen

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