So, to conclude...

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So, to conclude...

Postby Sun tzu on Mon Apr 28, 2008 7:34 am

Figured I'd give some thoughts on the latest storyline.
Obviously the art has improved, but I'd like to focus on the writing.
I believe this was the best-written story so far. The tensions between Lightbringer and the FBI; chief Crane's conflict; most of all, Hanna becoming a true superheroine; all of that helped a lot.
I believe that the biggest weakness of this arc was the villains. Hardly a surprise - IMO, the villains were the biggest flaw of Lightbringer's writing since the first issue. At least this time they got credible motivation, so there's progress.
(And if you're wondering what my issue with those villains is...Well, breakdown:
Power Glove: Wait, so suddenly there's supertech in this world? And instead of being patented and used by corporations to make billions of dollars, it's used by a mercenary to act like a supervillain? I usually expect more genre-savviness from this comic.
Lacey...I'm sorry, but I can't take her seriously as a supervilainess. We're talking about a child with a knife.
Bruiser...Eh, not as bad as Lacey. At least he's an adult with useful experience.
Firedemon: Eh, he hasn't really shown any personality, so I guess I can't complain about that. I am a bit miffed that a superhero who makes "no killing" a central tenet didn't have any objection to destroying Firedemon, when he had no way of knowing if he was sentient or not.
Legato Sin: Worst offender. I'm sorry, but I can't read that origin story with a straight face.
Lady howdoyouspellthat: Eh, no major complaint there.
The Darkbringer: Not sure how he got the resources and connections to pull all of this off (or escape from prison without alerting anyone)...but there's still the matter that I don't quite get his philosophy.)

Huh. Ended up expounding a lot more about what I disliked than what I liked, when mostly I wanted to say "good job. Keep it up". Oh well. :P
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Re: So, to conclude...

Postby Linkara on Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:50 pm

sun tzu wrote:Figured I'd give some thoughts on the latest storyline.
Obviously the art has improved, but I'd like to focus on the writing.
I believe this was the best-written story so far. The tensions between Lightbringer and the FBI; chief Crane's conflict; most of all, Hanna becoming a true superheroine; all of that helped a lot.


Thanks!

I believe that the biggest weakness of this arc was the villains. Hardly a surprise - IMO, the villains were the biggest flaw of Lightbringer's writing since the first issue. At least this time they got credible motivation, so there's progress.
(And if you're wondering what my issue with those villains is...Well, breakdown:
Power Glove: Wait, so suddenly there's supertech in this world? And instead of being patented and used by corporations to make billions of dollars, it's used by a mercenary to act like a supervillain? I usually expect more genre-savviness from this comic.


Fair enough, and his backstory was never addressed in the comic, though it's always possible he'll be making a return later on. McFuzzhead didn't have much of a backstory beyond the mercenary angle and the gloves themselves, so I fleshed it out a bit on my own. Essentially, Power Glove was a rich tech-inventor, one of the higher-ranking employees of the IMD corporation (you know that symbol that sometimes appears on headsets and tech? That's them. They're also the guys who run one of the Seven Towers). While he was rich and highly intelligent, he was generally bored with life and none of the usual playboy thrills would get him excited. As such, after inventing the gravity-nulling gloves, instead of turning them in, he decided to give it a shot making money a different way - the mercenary life. With his life on the line and having new situations before him (anything from bodyguard work to assassination), he's enjoying himself more than ever. The outfit is an idea he had while on a job in Japan - the cape adds a new difficulty for him to overcome since it can get in the way and it gives him a dramatic appearance with which people can be terrified of or laugh at him through underestimation. He is, though, really pissed that the girl in purple stole his tech.

Lacey...I'm sorry, but I can't take her seriously as a supervilainess. We're talking about a child with a knife.


Understandable, though she can throw knives fairly well. After all, she cut Lightbringer's leg and tossed a knife with enough power to embed itself in a wall at Darkbringer.

Bruiser...Eh, not as bad as Lacey. At least he's an adult with useful experience.


Definitely more the vigilante type; though he's more of a foil for Crane than Lightbringer considering their shared history.

Firedemon: Eh, he hasn't really shown any personality, so I guess I can't complain about that. I am a bit miffed that a superhero who makes "no killing" a central tenet didn't have any objection to destroying Firedemon, when he had no way of knowing if he was sentient or not.


In fairness, Lightbringer isn't the one who killed him, and even then Hannah had no idea that three little pellets filled with fire extinguisher foam would kill it. Though I will say that Firedemon isn't truly alive since it has no capacity for free will. It will do as commanded until it's commanded to do something else. It has limited intelligence, but only enough for it to follow orders.

Legato Sin: Worst offender. I'm sorry, but I can't read that origin story with a straight face.


Really? I suppose so, though would it have been better if I had gone with Vinnie D's original origin for her with just robotic hands instead of the claws?

Lady howdoyouspellthat: Eh, no major complaint there.


Well, good!

The Darkbringer: Not sure how he got the resources and connections to pull all of this off (or escape from prison without alerting anyone)...but there's still the matter that I don't quite get his philosophy.)


Check back in Issue 9. There's a scene where the Code Poet is checking her daily messages and the thing she sees is that a prisoner escaped and she's horrified by who it is. While Darkbringer orchestrated some things from prison (contacting Power Glove and the others, for instance), he left the prison in order to actually be there. Furthermore, while the Code Poet was called to testify in court, she mentioned there was another reason she came to Pharos City and Lightbringer interrupted her before she could say what it was. The file she's holding is Darkbringer's - she had come to warn him that he'd escaped. I deliberately set it up, though, to make it look like she was talking about Lady Analemma, but at no point did she say that Lady Analemma was ever in their custody.

As for his philosophy, I'll try to reiterate it once again in the story, but I recommend looking back at Issue 6. However, some simplified statements about how it works:

-Might IS Right, i.e. the strongest are the morally and philosophically superior. The Darkness is (or in this case WAS) the strongest being, therefore it was superior.
-Good and Evil are diametric opposites, but because of that they cancel each other out. In order for one side to gain any ground against the other, they must adopt some of the styles of the other. Essentially Ends justify the means.
-Supposedly, the Darkness shields its agents (Dark Knights, Dark Sorcerers, etc.) from any moral culpability for doing any act one might consider "evil."
-Those who would consider themselves champions of light are deceivers and hypocrites. The Darkness is honest about making moral compromises.
-Happiness is a delusion, leading to more negative feelings like lust, greed, jealousy, etc. This one doesn't apply to the Darkbringer as much because he had no formal training by the Darkness when he was recruited. As such, his emotions aren't suppressed.

Does that help?

Huh. Ended up expounding a lot more about what I disliked than what I liked, when mostly I wanted to say "good job. Keep it up". Oh well. :P


Thanks! ^_^ Keep reading!
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Re: So, to conclude...

Postby Wandering Observer on Mon Apr 28, 2008 8:39 pm

I believe I asked you once, Lewis, if you felt you could make each of these villains round and well fleshed out within three issues. Now that you have completed the issues, do you feel you were successful?

You have some wonderful story that you've detailed in response to sun tzu. In the future I'd like to see more of that inside the story, and less of it explained elsewhere. It makes it harder for readers to follow it who read the comic long after it is posted.

As for villains, I have a few more things for you that have been jammed up in my creative processes for some time. When they do become unjammed, I hope you'll find them helpful.

As I said before, you're improving at a greater rate than I first expected. Keep it up. I'm reading Lightbringer for different reasons than I once did. And I can assure you that such is a very good thing.
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Re: So, to conclude...

Postby Sun tzu on Mon Apr 28, 2008 9:43 pm

Fair enough, and his backstory was never addressed in the comic, though it's always possible he'll be making a return later on. McFuzzhead didn't have much of a backstory beyond the mercenary angle and the gloves themselves, so I fleshed it out a bit on my own. Essentially, Power Glove was a rich tech-inventor, one of the higher-ranking employees of the IMD corporation (you know that symbol that sometimes appears on headsets and tech? That's them. They're also the guys who run one of the Seven Towers). While he was rich and highly intelligent, he was generally bored with life and none of the usual playboy thrills would get him excited. As such, after inventing the gravity-nulling gloves, instead of turning them in, he decided to give it a shot making money a different way - the mercenary life. With his life on the line and having new situations before him (anything from bodyguard work to assassination), he's enjoying himself more than ever. The outfit is an idea he had while on a job in Japan - the cape adds a new difficulty for him to overcome since it can get in the way and it gives him a dramatic appearance with which people can be terrified of or laugh at him through underestimation. He is, though, really pissed that the girl in purple stole his tech.

Huh. So, when he says "I'm doing it for the money", he's BSing?

In fairness, Lightbringer isn't the one who killed him, and even then Hannah had no idea that three little pellets filled with fire extinguisher foam would kill it. Though I will say that Firedemon isn't truly alive since it has no capacity for free will. It will do as commanded until it's commanded to do something else. It has limited intelligence, but only enough for it to follow orders.

Yeah, but none of the good guys knew that.

Really? I suppose so, though would it have been better if I had gone with Vinnie D's original origin for her with just robotic hands instead of the claws?

Nope. The "celebrity pianist gets abducted by gangsters who replace her hands with extremely advanced robotic prosthesis, and becomes a supervilainess" would make me wince regardless of the shape of the prosthesis.

Check back in Issue 9. There's a scene where the Code Poet is checking her daily messages and the thing she sees is that a prisoner escaped and she's horrified by who it is. While Darkbringer orchestrated some things from prison (contacting Power Glove and the others, for instance), he left the prison in order to actually be there. Furthermore, while the Code Poet was called to testify in court, she mentioned there was another reason she came to Pharos City and Lightbringer interrupted her before she could say what it was. The file she's holding is Darkbringer's - she had come to warn him that he'd escaped. I deliberately set it up, though, to make it look like she was talking about Lady Analemma, but at no point did she say that Lady Analemma was ever in their custody.

Ooooh.

Does that help?

A bit. Still feels kinda forced, though.

Thanks! ^_^ Keep reading!

Oh, I will.
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Re: So, to conclude...

Postby Linkara on Tue Apr 29, 2008 8:09 am

Wandering Observer wrote:I believe I asked you once, Lewis, if you felt you could make each of these villains round and well fleshed out within three issues. Now that you have completed the issues, do you feel you were successful?

You have some wonderful story that you've detailed in response to sun tzu. In the future I'd like to see more of that inside the story, and less of it explained elsewhere. It makes it harder for readers to follow it who read the comic long after it is posted.

As for villains, I have a few more things for you that have been jammed up in my creative processes for some time. When they do become unjammed, I hope you'll find them helpful.

As I said before, you're improving at a greater rate than I first expected. Keep it up. I'm reading Lightbringer for different reasons than I once did. And I can assure you that such is a very good thing.

Well, thanks! Was I successful? Yes and no. It probably would've helped to develop each character for another Issue, especially since we didn't see Werres at all in the third part. Some characters had more development than others, at least. Yeah, I probably should've added that backstory into one of the sub-posts.

Huh. So, when he says "I'm doing it for the money", he's BSing?

Yes and no. He still needs money to support his activities and he doesn't want people to know he'd be perfectly willing to do jobs for free if only for the thrills. At the very least, it might make his clients reduce their payment prices.

Yeah, but none of the good guys knew that.

True that, but like I said - accidental death and as far as they know, it never exhibited any signs of intelligence beyond some kind of animal monster, so they're not exactly losing sleep over it. You do raise a good point, though.

Nope. The "celebrity pianist gets abducted by gangsters who replace her hands with extremely advanced robotic prosthesis, and becomes a supervilainess" would make me wince regardless of the shape of the prosthesis.

Fair enough.
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Re: So, to conclude...

Postby VinnieD on Tue Apr 29, 2008 11:33 pm

I agree that maybe showing the individual origins of the villains would have fleshed out their characters. I believe if you search out the create a villain contest thread from last year on the comicgen main forums you can see more about the origins of these characters and the original concepts that birthed them.

I can't speak for the others but to help Legato make a bit more sense I can provide some insight as to motivation. More importantly the concept of her origin wasn't really that she was abducted for the purpose of using her as a trained assassin, but rather she was a by product of the assassination of her parents, and was simply taken in by that organization to use as one more disposable killer. She probably would have ended up a prostitute if not for the injuries that also identified her character being the lack of normal human hands. The prosthetics were really more meant to be blunt instruments barely capable of basic movement even with intense concentration, and with little control, so they're not all that advanced at all.

Furthermore she was likely just one of many such projects, most of which likely ended up dead or in prison long before. Somehow she has a knack for murder. Though the original concept had her also being raised in this situation for almost a decade.

Still the idea was rough and I think Linkara grasped the Edward Scissorhands concept behind the character, essentially a longing to be complete.

I did use some of the same ideas in creating a different character for my own webcomic AntiBunny, though the character who resulted traded some flaws for others, and came out much different, the bad guy behind her is much the same rat bastard as was behind the Legato Concept (Malphas).

I do hope we'll see more of the villains though, so their stories could get some individual time. Given the timing of the comic I know the trial needed to come first, but if LB ever became something with multiple publications it would have been cool to see LB having earlier encounters with each villain before their teamup allowing them to be his sort of sinister six.

And totally off topic.

I was kind of hoping to see how LB would have dealt with Thrillseeker. More a massive annoyance than a villain, but sometimes those are fun since it can try a hero much more to deal with someone who has no intention of beating him but has only come in with the goal of making himself a nuisance.
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