Monday, January 29, 2007

Birth of the Marauder

I read comics and loved them as a kid and I was fortunate enough to make a pass through the comics universe as a writer, never DC or Marvel but I did have titles published by Malibu and Caliber, a couple of the major minors.

Looking back on Marauder, the third comic book miniseries I wrote, there are some things I'd do differently today, but as Cliff notes, hmmmm I'm sure he's never heard that before, as Cliff writes in his blog a story is written by who you are now not who you're going to be as a writer.

Anyway, today I'd try to delve deeper into characters, I believe.

The no spandex rule
is the closest I came to writing a super hero comic. It was originally slated for Caliber but an overabundance of properties there shifted it to Silverline, the lable created by Roland Mann, my comics editor and packager and also creator/author of the wowfully--I made that word up-- successful Cat and Mouse series for Malibu.

Roland didn't want to do another spandex-clad protagonist, so Kirk Connell aka the title character did not have a uniform. He had an equipment-laden suit because he was first a thief.

He was not just an everyday robber, though. He was part of an ancient thieves guild devoted to recovering things for their rightful owners, though their ranks were becoming progressively corrupt. I'd read books and stories with orders of assassins but never of theives with their own codes, systems and councils that stretched from the Middle Ages.

The dramatic jewel heist that kicked things off is an action scene of which I've always been proud.

The idea started when I was a kid. A local jewelry store brought in a huge uncut diamond, eighth argest in the world I think. They displayed it in a glass case with a rattlesnake. The snake was more hype than protection, I'm sure, because it just lay there in the case as snakes in captivity and cold air are wont to do.

That snake became a host of king cobras in Marauder, an obstacle Kirk and Lumley had to overcome to grab the objective jewel in the opening panel.

As they worked to procure it with finesse, the supervillain's minions crashed the power with excessive firepower, dispersing cobras and blasting Kirk's mentor as he dangled helplessly from a rapelling rope.

Kirk managed to snatch a snake and finish one of the attackers, but the worst of the bad guy's escaped, prompting him to break with the guild in order to pursue them.

Having been a member of a street gang called the Marauders before Lumley rescued him, Kirk took that name for his new base of operation, a small ship which allowed him to skirt around to different locales.

I wound up writing a spec screenplay based on the comic. It had a different, more science fiction oriented plot but I kept the snake scene as the opener. I think it would have been a blast on celluloid


Kate S said...

Wow, Sidney--now I want to read those!

Sidney said...

Glad it sounds exciting. Thanks, Kate

Charles Gramlich said...

Kate, I enjoyed the Marauder comics tremendously.

Sidney said...

Thanks to you too Charles. And everyone, remember "Cold in the Light."

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