Official Angel Armor thread

Discussion of the Lightbringer comic, the Lightbringer universe (includes Angel Armor books), comics in general (webcomics or printed), superheroes, philosophy, and general chat between members.

Official Angel Armor thread

Postby Linkara on Mon Feb 19, 2007 1:49 pm

Well, the (few) of you who have downloaded the e-book or have read the books, what are your thoughts? Looking forward to the crossover? Wondering who the hell some of these people are? Think these books just plain suck (like three reviewers at Barnesandnoble.com seem to think. ^_~)?
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Postby Sun tzu on Tue Feb 20, 2007 8:43 am

I finished reading it yesterday night. It's actually a pretty good page-turner, and I really liked how it meshed with Lightbringer.
However, it brought to my attention something...Namely, I think your main weakness is in how you write villains. I mean, they're interesting, but at the same time, when I read about what they do, say and think, I often go "who the heck thinks like that"?
This was true in Lightbringer too. Remember General Werre? I just can't quite grasp the thought process of someone who, for years and years, engages in the scummiest criminal activities and donates the profits to charity. Similarly, I have some trouble believing Thesia's quick change in goals and objectives (Attila doesn't wake up one day and says "Hey, all this conquering and stuff hasn't made me happy. I quit."). As for the Darkbringer, while he's more credible than the former two, he also seems a bit unusual - I mean, for a common mugger, he sure showed some surprising amount of initiative and long-term thinking the second time he met Varek. An average thug would have just run away from the psycho who killed his buddy, so, he must have been some rare kind of "smart criminal" to begin with...
Despite the criticism, though, I generally liked it. The characters get a bit preachy at time, but if I can stand Ayn Rand...
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Postby Linkara on Tue Feb 20, 2007 9:41 am

A problem I often face is having a credible motivation for villains. In the case of Myrrha (the woman at the end of the book), she's just a deranged, power-hungry psychopath, which we see in the other books. Varek is a religious fanatic whose God and entire way of life was killed by Louis in the first book. The Darkbringer just had the street smarts to see an opportunity presenting itself to him, and as shown in Issue 6, he believed he communed with the Darkness during his transformation and was shown something else to fight for rather than his own survival.

A recurring theme I have with the villains are people who believe they can use evil or do morally questionable things to improve society in some fashion. In the case of General Werres, I tried to draw inspiration from Al Capone, who was considered in his time by some among the public as a great humanitarian during the Great Depression despite the fact that he was a gangster who got money through drugs, extortion, and prostitution.

I am happy to report that in "Legacy of Chains" and "Masks," we'll see villains who have some different motivations - revenge and just for the fun of it, respectively. ^_~

Thesia's a harder nut to crack. Both Thesia and Varek were characters in my short-lived Angel Armor RPG I made using RPGMaker 2000 who have carried over into the books because I liked the characters. In the case of Thesia, she really was a psycho at first, but then she got kinda dead, slashed across the face and chest. The sudden death triggered the epiphany for her to change her ways before something else happened as we saw in the book.

Still, thanks for reading!
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Postby Wandering Observer on Wed Feb 21, 2007 12:06 am

The book sounds exiting; I should really take a look into it. Your writing improved considerably from your first book to your second on many different levels, so I really should see where you stand now.
I will agree with Sun Tsu that your villains can be a bit weak at times, but that can always be improved upon. Personally, I spend almost as much time thinking about my villians as heroes. I like to think about the transition to a life of evil, what happened to them or what kind of monsterous awakening they had. (Since my characters often resemble myself, this can be a very interesting thought process.) Villains are wonderfully fun characters to write about, simply because it allows you to speculate and understand evil a bit more. And besides, rounder villians are unquestionably better than flat ones. When your villians are people just like you and me, it makes the villian much more attractive to an audience, so much more tragic when they meet their ends. There is real power in that kind of writing. Not to mention that when your villians are fueled by solid philosophy and reasoning, your logic must become far more potent to bring it down and allow it to be seen as wrong.

Besides, what's really scarier, an insane madman or a cold, unfeeling genius who "knows" he's right, will not see reason, will stop at nothing to witness your last breath?

I look foreward to reading your 3rd and 4th books, so long as I can find a way to obtain them without the use of a credit card. (Now those things are the true faces of evil... :) )
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Postby Linkara on Wed Feb 21, 2007 9:24 am

Well, the advantage of the fourth book (until Monday, anyway) is that you just have to give some form of number to it so it has records of charging 0, so if you have a friend who has one, have them obtain it for you. ^_~
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Postby Wandering Observer on Wed Feb 21, 2007 12:54 pm

'tis a good idea; I'll look into it.
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Postby Linkara on Mon Feb 26, 2007 10:37 pm

So, anyone figure out the deeper theme within the book? ^_~
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Postby Sun tzu on Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:39 am

Linkara wrote:So, anyone figure out the deeper theme within the book? ^_~


...To what extent the ends justify the means?
Darkbringer and Varek try to use the darkest evil toward what they believe is a noble purpose, the protagonist's relatives are shocked to discover he killed enemy soldiers in a war...
A bit like the way in the comic, General Werre destroys hundreds if not thousands of lives to keep a large city running, while the protagonist abandons his non-violent principles to fight crime (which I thought made it kinda ironic when he quickly followed with a "no compromise" line).
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Postby Linkara on Tue Feb 27, 2007 8:09 am

Nope! But the revelation to Louis' family that he had killed people in the previous books contributes to the idea later that he has to change his methods in order to defeat Varek, so you caught one of the sub-themes. ^_~
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