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 Open Source Arch Type Project 2: Armored Hero

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Vagrant

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PostSubject: Open Source Arch Type Project 2: Armored Hero   Sun Jul 04, 2010 1:51 pm

Given how well the Super Archetype thread is going, to the point where Astro-Man is almost completed, I figured I'd start up a new thread for a hero archetype that desperately needs some open-source/public domain characters, the Armored Hero. In the vein of Iron Man, Steel, Doctor Doom and the like, the Armored Hero is a character who has no special abilities beyond perhaps an absurd level of inventive genius, who derives all major physical capabilities from a suit that he/she wears. The only Public Domain representation we have of this is Bozo the Iron Man, and he's a particularly antiquated one.

So yeah, ideas, suggestions? At this point I think it would be best just to brainstorm all sorts of things and go from there. Standard complement of basic abilities would be a degree of super-strength, flight and armored durability, as well as sealed life support systems and of course some form of on-board armaments for fighting evil. As to what this is, whether it's a totally unique suit, or what, that's up for discussion.
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PostSubject: Re: Open Source Arch Type Project 2: Armored Hero   Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:00 pm

So a name for this character has just occurred to me. Damascus, in reference to the legendary Damascus steel, which was used to make weapons of exceeding quality. The method of making Damascus steel is now lost to the ages, but eh connotations with weaponry of legendary quality remains strong. Personally, I think such a name sounds strong and confident.
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Yzz

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PostSubject: Re: Open Source Arch Type Project 2: Armored Hero   Tue Jul 06, 2010 4:06 am

Just tossing this out; Maybe there are suits (I'll explain in a bit) that are salvaged alien tech.

Damascus finds one of them, it registers his brainwaves, now only he can operate it. He will eventually notice that suit is adapting to his preferences; It's running a little faster, becoming quieter, the guns don't automatically go into multi-shot rain-of-death mode, etc. How would you feel about a battlesuit/mecha hybrid? Maybe 15-20 ft. tall?

Going the "mythical/legendary metals as names" route, we could name a rival suit-user Adamantine.

~~Yzz
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PostSubject: Re: Open Source Arch Type Project 2: Armored Hero   Tue Jul 06, 2010 5:39 am

Vagrant, I really like the originality and thought behind the name Damascus, but there is one major problems with it that I can see. As a Christian, the first thing I think of when I hear the word Damascus, is not steel or weapons. It's Saint Paul and the whole "Road to Damascus" thing. So, unless you want this character to be undergoing a Christian spiritual awakening, then the name Damascus has connotations that may be confusing to the many Catholic, Christian and Mormon comic fans out there. Just my two cents.

Adamantine has biblical connotations as well, but at least it is a little more established in comics, so we could use that name for the main hero. We could also recycle some of the names from the Superman Archtype thread such as "Knight" or "Guardian Knight" but I like the originality of a well thought out name like the one you came up with Vagrant. I think you're on the right path...haha...pun intended.

Yzz, your origin sounds a little like the story in Robotech, mixed with a little District 9, but I do like it. I never read the XO Man-O-War comic, but wasn't that an alien weapon as well? They did an XO-Iron Man crossover at one point, and that is the limit of my knowledge of the character.
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PostSubject: Re: Open Source Arch Type Project 2: Armored Hero   Tue Jul 06, 2010 6:02 am

argosail wrote:
Yzz, your origin sounds a little like the story in Robotech, mixed with a little District 9, but I do like it. I never read the XO Man-O-War comic, but wasn't that an alien weapon as well? They did an XO-Iron Man crossover at one point, and that is the limit of my knowledge of the character.

Irony: I've never seen Robotech/Macross (I have heard about it and know the generalities) or District 9.
Kinda like one time I made a micro of a heroine with a green outfit, red hair, and the name "Knockout"...Only to find out that a nearly identical DC char existed.

As for X-O's origin, he's a Visigoth kidnapped by aliens who escapes by stealing a battlesuit. For this, I was thinking more of an abandoned spaceship (devoid of alien remains). Our hero finds the first suit. Later radiation/chemicals/insert-plot-hook-here allow others to track his departure point from the ship.

I'll post a (very very) rough idea of what I was thinking the suit would look like.

~~Yzz
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Vagrant

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PostSubject: Re: Open Source Arch Type Project 2: Armored Hero   Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:10 pm

Well, rather than Damascus, perhaps he can be called Celestrium, which is the name of another type of steel alloy and fits with the space battlesuit idea. I think a Russian origin works well, Russia always struck me as the sort of place that would be ideal for a damaged starship to crash down into, a nice isolated area.
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PostSubject: Re: Open Source Arch Type Project 2: Armored Hero   Wed Jul 07, 2010 10:32 am

So what abilities do we think the suit should bestow on the user? I like the idea of it "evolving" its functions based on the user's preferences and battle style, but I don't think it should start with everything and then shut down functions the user doesn't utilise, unless of course it has a very, very limited operational timeframe initially, which becomes more extended as unused functions go offline, perhaps permanently.

Is the suit biotech? Is it techno-organic? Is it fully mechanical? Does it have a personality or any form of interactive AI?

And of course, the wearer. Do we think he should be a normal, or should he be smart enough to upgrade/unseal functions of the suit?
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PostSubject: Re: Open Source Arch Type Project 2: Armored Hero   Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:41 am

I like the alien origin and the evolving system idea. One thing I would suggest about these open-source archtypes is that if you really are going for an archtype, then you shouldn't deviate too much. In this case, the primary basis for the archtype is Iron Man. With that in mind, I'd say the suit should be mechanical. I think bio-tech would deviate too much. I wouldn't give the suit a personality, but I would make it smart. Something that is considerably smarter than the pilot first believes. Given the Iron Man prototype, I'd also suggest that the pilot is either a fighter pilot or engineer or both..someone who has a bit more skill than an average joe. Realistically, a weapon that advanced would be very dangerous in the hands of someone who had no idea what they were doing. They would probably kill themselves. Maybe the suit was discovered by the government or a corporation, who went out to find someone who could control the thing.

For abilities, flight, super strength, life support and some kind of offensive weapon system should be the base abilities. While the suit may have a variety of weapons, it should have a single primary "signature" weapon such as the repulsor beams. How about blades like Wolverine or Predator? A plasma sword? A rail gun? An electrical aura? A harpoon? Something like that. Something memorable.

I hate to be a naysayer, but I'm not sure about Celestium either. Sounds a little more like a cosmic character than an armored hero. I might go with something a little more tech or grease monkey or steam punk sounding. How about "Clanker?" Sounds a little like something Captain Rex would say on Clone Wars, but the irony is that if the word "Clanker" could not accurately be used to describe technology beyond imagination, then the word must refer to the suit's occupation, rather than a qurik. Meaning, it's built to clank on things. If it's an older suit, maybe you could call it Rust Bucket.

You could also incorporate the word "Mech" into the name as well. Iron, Steel, Machine, Grease, Rust, Tech, Power, Hard, Drive might also be components of the name.

Yzz, just for your reference, the basic story of Robotech/Macross was than an abandoned alien warship crashed on earth, and earth reversed engineered the technology to create a fleet of war mechs, just before the aliens showed up to reclaim their ship. In District 9, the hero finds an alien battlesuit which is about 10-15 feet tall and seems to responds to the hero's thoughts. As battle rages on, he discovers more and more of the suit's impressive array of abilities.
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PostSubject: Re: Open Source Arch Type Project 2: Armored Hero   Wed Jul 07, 2010 12:08 pm

My own personal opinion is that whilst alien it should be entirely mechanical and not possessed of any significant intelligence, since I quite dislike the concept of a sentient suit. Let others add that into their versions if they want, but I suggest keeping it as non-sentient, but with a very streamlined interface system. I'm also sort of against it being much bigger than a regular person because any bigger than that makes it difficult to use the suit indoors.

For a signature weapon, I suggest utility weapons, such as a tractor beam that can be utilised for concussive blasts or pulling things in, short range plasma torch for fine cutting/burning and some kind of 'pulse piston' under each wrist, which drives a blunt rod a short distance beyond the hand with great force for smashing things apart before retracting it, similar to a jackhammer or piledriver or something.

And here's the twist: It's a mining suit. The vessel is a small and unimportant far-space mining vessel that the aliens don't care about. It's simply the fact that the suit is so far beyond human technology that the utility systems can be turned into weapons by an inventive operator. This also explains the super-strength and durability, for surviving cave-ins and digging out rocks and boulders. Also, it's hermetically sealed with life-support for zero-gee mining and prevention of possibly-toxic dust particles getting inhaled.

In fact, this is a not-unfamiliar concept to me, as I've designed other "war vehicles" and "combat mecha" that have been entirely equipped with machinery that could be justified for mining and other manual labour, such as tungsten ripsaws, diamond-edged penetrator drills, magnetic separators and the like that could all be rather deadly in combat.
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PostSubject: Re: Open Source Arch Type Project 2: Armored Hero   Wed Jul 07, 2010 4:36 pm

I like the mining suit angle. I also like the weapons. My favorite thing about them is that they're not specifically weapons. That definitely distinguishes this hero from most other armored heroes, and takes away the tendency to just make this thing another cliche "War Machine" type of armor (the "my gun is bigger than yours" thing never really inspired me). I like it when a character can't just do anything he wants.

Yzz, I agree that in a superhero world it might make more sense for the armor to be roughly human size. I'd still love to see your mech style design. Is there any way you could adapt it to be human size?
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PostSubject: Re: Open Source Arch Type Project 2: Armored Hero   Thu Jul 08, 2010 11:10 am

argosail wrote:
Yzz, I agree that in a superhero world it might make more sense for the armor to be roughly human size. I'd still love to see your mech style design. Is there any way you could adapt it to be human size?

Well judging from my mind's-eye-view, I'd say that the minimum size for my idea to work would be about 9 ft tall, though 10 ft would be alot better. How's that sound size-wise?

~~Yzz
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PostSubject: Re: Open Source Arch Type Project 2: Armored Hero   Thu Jul 08, 2010 11:37 am

Hrm, a thought has occurred. If this is indeed a mining suit then I foresee there being issues with the flight ability. Logically such an ability on a mining suit is completely unnecessary, because at best you'd only need a few low-power maneuvering jets for zero-gee mining that wouldn't lift the bulky suit in regular gravity.

So my proposal is this: Have the flight ability be a human-made modification. Some sort of detachable module that the finder creates/buys/liberates, like a winged jetpack or similar, though with a sufficient dose of comic book technology to explain why it lifts the heavier suit. It could probably be an almost entirely thrust-oriented make, designed to lift and propel the suit, whilst the suit's own internal zero-gee maneuvering jets could be used for fine control in flight. Whatever the case, any flight module would be expensive and complicated, being difficult to maintain, so the pilot may not bother with using it that often.
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PostSubject: Re: Open Source Arch Type Project 2: Armored Hero   Thu Jul 08, 2010 3:45 pm

Yzz, why don't you show us a sketch of what you have in mind and then we can make a group consensus if it seems right for an Iron Man stand in or not. I believe several armored characters, including a few of the Iron Man villain were pretty big. The final armor of the villain in Iron Man 2 looked like it was around 8-10 feet tall, so it might work. I would guess that's how big the Bozo character is.

Vagrant, funny thing, I was thinking the same thing today about the flight capabilities. What if the suit had some kind of anti-gravity field to work in high gravity? But this would still limit his flight speeds to considerably slower than Iron Man's supersonic jets. Perhaps the same guy that found the suit, reveresed engineered a broken alien ship near the site where he found the suit? This assumes that the pilot is a genius, and therefore likely working for some kind of organization.

How about this: brilliant engineer is brought in to reverse engineer the technology from an alien crash site. He soon discovers that one of the aliens is still alive and being held captive. The alien telepathically calls out for help. Engineer can't get to the alien, so he decides to bust him out using the mining suit, which is the only technology which is still operational. The alien has been telepathically helping the engineer give the suit flight capabilities. He springs the alien and the two of them rocket off into the night...fugitives from the law....until his heroism makes him a celebrity.
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PostSubject: Damascus   Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:13 pm

Argosail: Regarding Damascus. I do often associate the name of Damascus with steel. I think Vagrant came up with an excellent name in this regard.

I'm not Catholic but I am Christian, although admittedly my status as one is not the best. That's another story.

However, ANYTHING pertaining to the Bible IS Public Domain. You may already know that.

Not being argumentive but stating my thoughts on it. I think Vagrant should use Damascus. Why not? If nothing else, wouldn't it HELP some people become familiar with the name and the association with Paul?

Liefeld used a Biblical name for one of his characters and now the name escapes me. Ugh. Also, as an example, the name Jericho was used in Teen Titans for a character.

I digress but I think Vagrant came up with a great name, and I prefer Damascus.
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PostSubject: Re: Open Source Arch Type Project 2: Armored Hero   Thu Jul 08, 2010 11:55 pm

PhantomofDoom wrote:
Argosail: Regarding Damascus. I do often associate the name of Damascus with steel. I think Vagrant came up with an excellent name in this regard.

By itself, Damascus sounds cool. But it can cause problems. Argo remembered St. Paul. I (due to alot of OT reading) remembered the Syrian incursions into Israel. Someone with more knowledge of fantasy would remember Damascus Steel. Someone without particular knowledge might just think modern Syria. It's kinda like "Rome" or "London". There are alot of things that could register, but might not.

~~Yzz
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PostSubject: Damascus   Fri Jul 09, 2010 4:00 am

Yzz: I can see the points you and Argosail are making. I don't know, while I am familiar with Damascus and the story, I just think it sounds cool and I "get" where Vagrant is coming from.

That said, he did come up with some great alternatives.

I like all the ideas being floated by everyone.

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PostSubject: Re: Open Source Arch Type Project 2: Armored Hero   Fri Jul 09, 2010 7:49 am

Well, I'm happy to change the name to something else if it's a 50/50 split on whether to keep it or not. Maybe an alternative name, like Sapper Steel or something.
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PostSubject: Re: Open Source Arch Type Project 2: Armored Hero   Fri Jul 09, 2010 11:54 am

Haha...actually Liefeld used a lot of religious or pseudo-religious references in his work. Prophet, Chapel, Bhrama, etc, etc. I think you're thinking of Masada, which was an Israeli fortress and an Israeli "brick" on the Youngblood team. Liefeld used a lot of strange names though. His primary alien races were the "Acurans" and the "Katellans" probably because he drove an Acura, and his company was based on Katella Street here in Orange County.

Little piece of trivia for you there.

I'm not saying Damascus is a bad name at all, I'm just saying it has certain connotations for a lot of people. I'm fairly well educated, and when I hear the name, nothing about Damascus makes me think of steel. Pittsburgh or Detroit would make me think of steel. For me Damascus is an ancient city. But really, it doesn't matter. This character is open source. Every one of us is free to change any part of what is created. This is just about brainstorming and debating what we think works and what doesn't for this archtype. I mean Vagrant no disrespect, his ideas have been extremely good.
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PostSubject: Re: Open Source Arch Type Project 2: Armored Hero   Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:50 pm

Another couple of possible names, based on my suggested Russian origin: Vorkuta. It's a Russian Province, most notably having the abandoned city of Promyshlennyi, as seen here: http://englishrussia.com/index.php/2006/09/05/an-abandoned-city/

A whole abandoned city to play with, where he could perhaps hide out in. May even have once been his home, before the USSR collapsed and the military abandoned it.

Another idea is Naukograd, which basically means "Science City", and there are a number of designated Naukograds throughout Russia, focused primarily on new research and the like. Seems like perhaps the pilot could have been participating in research into the ship at a nearby Naukograd, and adopted the term as his name.
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PostSubject: Re: Open Source Arch Type Project 2: Armored Hero   Sat Jul 10, 2010 1:44 am

Here's my concept:



As for the suit's AI, it doesn't really interact with the pilot, instead responding directly to thoughts.

~~Yzz
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PostSubject: Re: Open Source Arch Type Project 2: Armored Hero   Sun Jul 11, 2010 3:04 pm

Argosail: I now recall the name of the character Liefeld created, it was Gideon, for X-Force and New Mutants. Yes, Liefeld also used Biblical names for Youngblood, but this was the name I was thinking of and got the comics mixed up.

It's "interesting"--as Gideon is an immortal but only if he is decapitated. Not a pleasant topic by any means, fictional or not, but that's just me.

I didn't know that concerning Liefeld and the "Acurans" and the "Katellans". I don't know whether to chuckle or think it's not very imaginative. I am always on the fence with Liefeld, but his creativity has improved over the years. That's another subject....

@Vagrant: Vorkuta sounds like a great name. Rolls off the tongue.

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PostSubject: Re: Open Source Arch Type Project 2: Armored Hero   Sun Jul 11, 2010 4:14 pm

I'm a little torn about the Russian names. I like the meaning of Naukograd a lot, but it's too long and the "-grad" suffix gives away that it's a city. How about just "Nauko" or "Nauko-Man" which I'm guessing means "science." Vorkuta seems kinda random, but man, it really rolls off the tongue and sounds badass. Sounds like something Jabba the Hutt would say when he's pissed.

Yzz, nice job on the design. The pilot in fetal position thing is definitely different than the standard armor hero. It strikes me as very alien (it's similar to the alien attack pods in Robotech). I am imagining the pilot hooking himself with implanted wire jacks (like in Matrix) and immersing himself in goo to literally become the brain of this machine. I would call it "Brain Box" or something like that. To me it seems like a bit of a leap from the common qualities of the arch-type (stop being so imaginative!), but if we didn't use this for the hero, I would still love to see it get used as a villain or ally or something...
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PostSubject: Re: Open Source Arch Type Project 2: Armored Hero   Tue Aug 17, 2010 1:55 am

As a kid (about 10 or 11ish) I created a Iron man styled character called Stealth Bomber (I think misspelled it as Stelf) for my home made comics drawn on typing paper. Man, they were crude but I wish I still had those pages. I have zero plans to revive the character.

He had amore suit that gave him the ability to fly and invisibility. He also several onboard weapons such as bombs (duh) and machine guns. The appearance was a little more military/fighter pilot crossed with ironman and robotech.

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PostSubject: Re: Open Source Arch Type Project 2: Armored Hero   Sun Dec 05, 2010 5:34 am

The robot suit with the human running it with his thoughts is similar to Superman's Kryptonian Battle Suit from the 90's. I liked that design (though not the colors) and I'm glad to see a similar design being used.
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PostSubject: Re: Open Source Arch Type Project 2: Armored Hero   Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:09 am

So, who wants to ressurect this thread and get us back on track toward an Astro-Man-like open source armored hero? I do think we need one! We've got some good starts here...

The mech-like armor is very unique and cool, but I'm not sure if it would make a good substitute for Iron Man or XO or Steel, which is what I think creators would be looking for....

Steve's idea for "Stealth Bomber" sounds interesting and we could flesh that out, but I think that name has got to go...anyone got a good name variation on the term "Stealth"?
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