Yesterday, the challenge was to pick a comics character who’s generally thought of as a joke and infuse some cool. Today’s challenge is to pick out a (some may think) terrible ‘90s Image comic and redeem it. What’s my pick?
Direct from Wikipedia:
"Bloodpool is a fictional group of superheroes and a comic book series created by Rob Liefeld. It was published by Image Comics in 1996 under Liefeld's Extreme Studios. The team's roster includes Rubble, Task, Seoul, Psilence, Wylder, and Fusion. They are the cyborgs and the psychics, the warriors, the channelers, and the alchemists. The kids who have made breaking up into an offensive art. Underage superheroes recruited by the government for the eventual inclusion in the prestigious Youngblood team. They were poked, prodded, trained and enhanced. And when a new administration cut funding, the members of Bloodpool were out on the streets."
Gods, it makes my brain hurt just reading the description.
The year is 2107 and Korea's borders reach from the western tip of the Great Wall in what was once China to the edge of Great Slave Lake in Canada's Northwest Territories. Abandoning nuclear power and turning its collective might to the field of genetic engineering, Korea owned the second half of the 21st century, single handedly forcing Rand-McNally to redraw the globe. Seoul is the largest city on earth, with a population edging towards 45 million.
In the border city of Yellowknife, Canada, five teenagers are doing everything they can to live "off the grid", eschewing cell phones, GPS, and RFID tags, avoiding all technology. Genetically engineered refuse, Jack, Sally, Kim, Johnny and Li were grown in Seoul's Bloodpool to be soldiers in the Korean army but tossed out with the rest of the garbage when they failed quality control testing. Superpowers that were supposed to develop on their 13th birthdays never manifested.
On one side is a Korean Empire seeking to bury any evidence that its clone army is imperfect. On the other is a collective United Nations that would like nothing more than to dissect these anomalies and find out what kept their powers from kicking in.
No powers. No costumes. No technology. Just 5 teenagers trying to make a home and doing whatever it takes to avoid attracting attention. It’s “Runaways” via Bladerunner.
ISSUE 1, PAGE 1, SPLASH. EXTERIOR, CITY STREET IN WINTER. WALKING OUT OF A COFFEE HOUSE ARE JOHNNY AND KIM, BOTH 16. THEY'RE BUNDLED UP FOR THE WEATHER IN WINTER COATS AND MIRRORED SUNGLASSES. KIM HAS MAORI-STYLE FACIAL TATTOOS AND SHE'S TALLER THAN JOHNNY BY ALMOST A HEAD, BUT RAIL THIN. JOHNNY CARRIES HIMSELF WITH A SWAGGER. IN THE BACKGROUND, A PAIR OF MOTORCYCLE COPS FLY OVERHEAD.
CAPTION: YELLOWKNIFE, CANADA. BORDER CITY ON THE EDGE OF THE KOREAN EMPIRE. FIVE TEENAGERS, ORDINARY IN AN EXTRA-ORDINARY WORLD, FIGHT TO KEEP FROM BEING NOTICED.
KIM: SALLY WANTED A PIZZA.
JOHNNY: SHE ALWAYS WANTS A PIZZA. TELL YOU WHAT, IF SHE MANAGED TO CLEAN THE LOFT AND DRAG HERSELF OUT OF THE HOUSE AND FIND REPLACEMENT DUMMY RFID TAGS THAT ARE CODED TO LAST LONGER THAN A MONTH...
JOHNNY: IF SHE DID THAT THEN I'LL BUY HER A PIZZA. I'M SICK OF BEING THE ONLY ONE WITH A JOB.
Success? Failure? It's not as strong as "Doc Druid" lighting invisible monsters on fire, but I think it works.