22-30. Final Characters!

Unfortunately, while I wrote almost 40 characters for the challenge, we weren’t able to find artists to illustrate all of them. So like the previous post for “The Monster Society” my remaining characters will all be text-only. (Specifically, these are the exact notes that I prepared for the artists.)
Meet Trish Decker, Sodoff!, Babe, Negative Jane, The Crowd, Terrapin, Michael Grackle, Vitus Hale, and Nav!

The basic concept of Trish Decker is her connection to the number 13. She’s 13 years old. She was born on Friday the 13th. Her name is suspiciously similar to the greek for thirteen– “Triskaideka”. (The root of “triskaidekaphobia, the fear of the number thirteen.)

I imagine her as being a tween/teen adventure character, in the vein of Kim Possible. Her who deal is good and bad luck– Not so much a specified power, and a strange connection to luck and superstition.

She’s a lanky girl, with wild curly hair. She enjoys life, and plays with superstitions– She’s not afraid of them, but she’s curious about them. She believes in some of them, but doesn’t tend to think they are a big deal– unless she’s teasing someone about one of them to get a reaction.

Visually, it would be great if things came in 13s. Thirteen polkadots or stripes visible on a piece of clothing. Thirteen curls on her head. Thirteen stitches around the patch on the knee of her jeans. Thirteen freckles on her cheeks.


The basic concept of “SODOFF” is the intersection of the phrases “sawed-off” (as in shotgun) and “sod off”. Somewhere between a Hell’s Angels style biker and a British criminal thug that might be played by Vinnie Jones or Ray Winstone in a Guy Ritchie movie.

Nobody really knows his real name, in part because most people would be too afraid to approach him in the pub and ask. They mostly think of his either as “Sawed-off guy” because he carries a snub-nose shotgun, or as “the Sod Off guy” because that phrase is the longest one he’s likely to utter with any regularity.

He’s a very bulky and muscular guy, with a bit of a pot belly in addition to all the muscles. He’s more stocky than burly, in large part due to his relatively diminutive height. (Never say he’s called “sawed-off” because he’s short!)

SODOFF is probably in his 50s, or even early 60s. He has unusual facial hair, perhaps something link the man on the left in this photo. His hair and beard are mostly gray, and he’s balding. He’s hairy, and has a lot of tattoos.

He’s mostly likely to be seen wearing a black leather vest (er, waistcoat), dark jeans with leather chaps, big heavy biker boots, and perhaps a surprisingly stylish leather jacket. He always carries a wide-barrelled sawed-off shotgun with a wooden stock.

He has an oversized belt buckle, with a Union Flag on it. It would be great to add some other hints of his British background, or the tone of recent British Crime movies, though I’m open to suggestions. He could possibly be a bit of a comical character, besides his more sinister nature.

24. BABE

Serena Jordan knew from a young age that she was likely to inherit super powers upon reaching adulthood. Something similar had always happened to the women in her family, and she seemed to be in line for the gift.

She sardonically adopted the name Babe when she discovered what they would come to be…

At a key moment (her 18th birthday) she became trapped in her crushed car, and was in danger of freezing to death. Her physiology adapting to the situation, she wound up with both super-strength and powers over ice and cold. She’s strong as an oxe, and cold as ice, but she doesn’t have a boyfriend named Paul.

It’s important to note that Serena is an intelligent woman, and doesn’t have any particular interest in strength. She always imagined that she would gain powers to allow her to help or protect people, possibly through healing– but she’s also quite practical, so she makes the best of the gifts she was given. A calm practicality pervades her personality, she’s not at all a savage brute.

Belle is truly a giant of a woman, at over eight feet tall. She’s statuesque and muscle bound in the extreme. Her skin is a cool pale blue, more so towards her extremities, and her beautiful long wavy hair is white.

Her body temperature is so low that it affects the air around her, and anything she touches. Frost tends to form on her, including ice crystals on her knuckles and the back of her hands. These can come in handy in a fight, as they invariable hurt her opponent without affecting her.

Her costume is fairly simple and utilitarian. She doesn’t need to keep warm, or protect herself from the elements, so it has been designed to protect her modesty without getting in her way. It consists of a somewhat stylized royal blue and white set of bicycle shorts, strapless sports bra, and boots.


There’s something strange about Jane Clary.

They say her father once built a tessaract in his laboratory, and that the family and their home were never the same thereafter. Certainly, it was short one Doctor Sam Clary from that point forward.

Jane usually wears all white, perhaps to minimize her unusual appearance. Her clothing tends to have a fairly straight (geometrical and stylish) cut to it, but somewhat loosely draping. (Long white slacks, a white blouse, silver-framed glasses.)

Perhaps the most striking thing about the girl is that parts of her are missing. Not in a gruesome way, more in a geometrical sense. It’s as if geometrical slices had been subtracted from her, very even gaps as if a cube with 4” edges had disappeared and taken part of her with it. Even her clothing is affected, so her condition can’t be disguised.

These gaps do the girl no harm whatsoever. It’s simply as if flat “slices” of her– through her arm, neck, shoulder, and legs– were invisible.

Further, instead of seeing her insides, the area visible because of these “slices” is pure simple white.

Otherwise, Jane is a fairly normal young woman in her early 20s. She is intellectual, with a penetrating stare. She has an interest in math and science, like her father, but also in art– especially M.C. Escher.

She’s slender and fairly tall, with an almost androgynous slim figure. She has very straight fine light blonde hair, to her shoulders and slightly longer in front. (Or held back in a pony tail, except for at the front, her hair framing her face.)


Can a thought be shared? Can an idea be contagious? Can consensus come alive?

Meet the Crowd.

Not long ago, a man had a new kind of idea. An idea that could be perfectly shared. An idea that can join people together, but in a sense erase them. And the man began to share his idea. To have this thought is to be changed, to join the crowd. The crowd wants to share this perfect thought with everyone.

Life has changed for everyone, whether they share this idea or not. Those who have heard or read about the idea, and who understand it, become a part of the crowd– individuality shed for perfect understanding and belonging. They are often seen standing in groups together, usually in public, perfectly silent.

Those who have not yet shared the idea range from curiosity to fear. How long can a person avoid coming across an idea. Is there reason to fear joining the crowd? Have those who have heard it achieved a Utopian ideal, or lost their souls?

Nobody knows who hasn’t joined the crowd, and they aren’t saying.

Visually, the crowd is fairly simple. A group of people, any kind of normal people (from a dozen, to thousands, and anywhere in between) all standing quietly and calmly, staring in a single direction– Directly at the viewer.

(They aren’t unfriendly, or violent, or aggressive. They want to share their idea, to explain their new discovery, but they are very calm and serene about doing so– not in any hurry.)


The super-heroine known as Terrapin was born Tracy Templeton, but her life changed forever when the young archaeology student discovered a turtle-shaped amulet in a Phoenician burial site.

She always had a somewhat full figure, womanly but not slender, with a friendly and somewhat round face. She has kept the same basic shape, after her apparently irreveseable transformation into the mighty Terrapin.

The Terrapin doesn’t need a costume. She has an appearance somewhere between a woman with an hourglass figure, and a giant sea turtle. Her head is bald but with elegant plates. Her figure is covered by her under-plating and shell, giving the impression of strong shoulders but a full bust. She has strong and muscular but shapely arms and legs. She has a tiny tail, and calm wise eyes.

Tracy’s powers all derive from the abilities of a turtle. She can go many hours without breathing air, and can swim gracefully despite weighing over 400 pounds. Her new-found mass makes her very strong, and her shell makes her incredibly tough. Her aging appears to have stopped, and she can expect to live a very long time indeed. Speed is not her strength, but she has quick reflexes nonetheless.


Michael Grackle is a fairly normal guy, but he’s somehow blessed or cursed with a tie to the supernatural world. He doesn’t have powers, doesn’t know anything special, but strange things happen around him– and unlike most people, he notices them.

The main thing is that Michael is unusually likely to be followed by medium sized black birds– not as small as a blackbird, but not as large as a crow. He’s not aware that these birds are often called grackles, and aren’t just small crows.

He’s a man in his mid 20s. He tends to wear jeans, and a hooded sweatshirt, under a simple black dress jacket (or blazer). He has fairly short light-brown (or dark blond) hair, and dark brown eyes. His clothing is a variety of shades of dark grey and black, with hints of purple, green, or blue– the overall effect is slightly like the coloring of a crow.

Michael is in graduate school. He’s intelligent, but not perceptive– Well educated, and good at problem solving, but usually too enthralled by his books to notice what’s happening around him. A typical story isn’t so much about him, as around him.


Sheriff Vitus Hale is a tough man, with steel-grey hair and an iron-hard will. He keeps the peace in a small remote mining town in 1850s California, with nothing more than hard work, stern words, the threat of violence, the trust of the everyday folks in the town…

…and a laser gun.

Vitus Hale is a time traveller from the distant future, lost in a tough time and place, after an accident disabled his time machine. He comes from a Flash Gordon world of shining rocket ships, jet packs, ray guns, adventures, and limitless possibility.

Now he’s stuck in Pyride Gulch.

Only he knows for sure that the rapidly fading town has a solid vane of gold deep beneath it. His only hope to return to his own time, after almost two decades stuck here, is to keep the mines working despite terrible output, until he can gather enough gold and platinum to repair the chronal apparatus he invented in a time where materials were much easier to obtain.

He’s a strong-built man, in his late 60s. He has mostly grey hair, and a short darker beard with stripe-like patches of grey. He wears the typical clothing of a wild west sheriff. A big hat, a leather vest, chaps over faded denim jeans, a tarnished pocket watch, an ammo belt, a shot gun… and a few space-age instruments, and a tiny last pistol— usually tucked away out of sight.

30. NAV

“Nav” is a modified Lytron Systems Autonomous Navigation and Piloting Unit Mark-4. (“ANPU” just isn’t catchy.)

Her usual function is to pilot a light spacecraft, and indeed she was designed to replace a co-pilot’s seat– chair and all– in such a vessel. She was adapted by Vitus Hale as the control unit for his time machine, and is now unfortunately trapped in the machine. This makes her his only company that is at all aware of his origin.

The unit is fitted to the cockpit of a spacecraft in place of one of the pilot seats. It is roughly humanoid in appearance, except that in place of legs it sits on a revolving podium that replaces the seat and is bolted to the deck. The unit can swivel 360 degrees on the base.

The Mark-4 unit was engineered with a friendly, female appearance, a bit like a stylized version of a 20th century “flight attendant”.

Created by Ian Struckhoff. A Black Label Comics production.

Category: 2010, Uncategorized

About the Author ()

Writer of Black Label Comics, including "The Deathlings: Anne's Story," "Huginn & Muninn," and "The Dark Age".

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