24 – Kinsmen by Beausephus

| November 24, 2011 | 0 Comments


DATE OF CREATION:  (Original) 1991

CONCEPT:  In this re-imagining of a character whose only powers is to mimic other people’s powers, the character is two robotic entities, each sharing the same “brain” (so-to-speak) but also having individual sentience. The male version of KINSMEN, is the energy conductor, his proximity to another being with super human abilities allows him/it to absorb a small fraction of that “power”.  The male KINSMEN is also constantly recording movements and images and can process movements, voices, characteristics as well as powers.  The male conductor, however, cannot really “do” anything with this energy/information and so transmits it to the female host for execution.  The female robot is the being that actually uses the borrowed abilities and skills, but can only process and use the information, not absorb it herself/itself.  I’m sure there’s a freudian or psychological aspect to all of this but there’s no deeper psycho-emotional overtones to the dynamic of these two characters since they are, essentially, one brain with two bodies….again probably some deeper psychological overtones there as well…


The first version of KINSMAN was a second string character created to fill a gap in a super team full of extremes.  His power was simply to “borrow” the basic energies of another character’s abilities and use them at a significantly lesser degree.  He looked like a Gambit clone with silver hair… he was not really ever given much more in terms of purpose or backstory.

When digging through the old sketchbooks, this character and the basic notes on his abilities struck a new chord.  Sure, “borrowing” powers is a cool gimmick, but it is a huge deus ex machina with no real limitation or definition.  So what are the rules? 1. proximity.  He has to be near the primary target he intends to “borrow” from.  2.  Since the abilities are not his, he really is just channeling another person’s “energy” so the results he would get with someone’s lazer beam eyes would be foreign to him and thus he would not have practiced skill with the power.  3.  The power is significantly lessened.  If he borrowed Superman’s ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound, Kinsman would probably only make it halfway up the skyscraper.

Now in the quick thumbnail of the abilities it became clear that the whole proximity restriction really limited the effectiveness of the character strategically but also developmentally.  Kinsman would just be another second string character like all of the C-class heroes who came to populate the Perez/Wolfman run on New Teen Titans.  Annoying, secondary characters.

So, how could this character work?  I thought about two characters with a similar power set then thought of Tomax and Xamont from G.I. JOE and that was it.  One character absorbs the powers, the other character sues them.  I also decided to throw in som Taskmaster-like mimicry of physical movements and some Mission: Impossible style vocal and physical impressions.  Also, make them robots with the same basic personality which would lead to some interesting character development and interactions.

Visually the male Kinsmen robot has anime-inspired tech for capturing energy/data, and the female is the more physical entity in a design that I hope, communicates skill as well as brawn.  I wanted to make them both seem alien and not exactly human.  I wanted them to have longer, more slender limbs and necks, and I think that is best depicted in the line and shape of the female’s neck and shoulder.  But I’m knit picking…


Thanks for checking out my stuff.


Category: 2011, Scifi, Superhero

About the Author ()

Teacher, Playwright, Performer & Superhero Enthusiast. My first crayon drawings were of Superman and Captain America. I always wanted to draw comics but never followed that passion beyond some self-published zines and forays into early internet comics. I've worked in various aspects of graphic design and fooled around with a spray can at various stages of my life, keeping my pen busy and full of various inspirations for the doodles in the margins of my notebooks. Inheriting an iPad changed my productivity with the ability to draw, edit, color and post onto the internet via one device in the limited time I have to mess around with my doodles and drawings. My 5-year-old son is my biggest fan and the main reason for my artistic renaissance. He's the reason I'm drawing more often and the person I draw the most for. For the 30 CHARACTERS challenge this year, he is my co-conspirator and collaborator. His excitement and innocent love of superheroes and drawing has kept my inner cynic/critic at bay and we are having a blast this year making up a whole new universe of heroes, robots and monsters for the internet. -updated Oct. 2012

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