Saturday, August 27, 2011
Chronicles of the Crime King:Weekend Edition 1
Foreword by Matt D
When talking about Vic's Crime King stuff, a logical starting point would be contrasting Despicable Me or Megamind. It's the tale of a villain, his motivations, and his competition with his peers and the world around him, not unlike last years' movies. The thing is... I know for a fact that Vic hasn't seen them. What about Venture Bros then? That's something he's gone on record as having enjoyed. There are certainly elements of that sort of self-awareness and humor to Crime King's tale. It's not quite comprable, however. Crime King fits into the Horse Power world. He's more fleshed out and slightly more earnest than a villain from that genre of storytelling might be, but he still fits more definitively than the Mighty Monarch might. All that said, he's not Cobra Commander either.
If I won't use any of those to compare, then what? I think that this is the first element of the Horse Power universe, and Vic's fictional works as of yet, where the primary source, as much as there is a primary source, is comics. It'd be easy to say that due to the inclusion of public domain characters such as the Green Lama or the sheer pulp nature of the Crime King, but I think there's something else. These tales serve as something of a prologue to Horse Power. It shows what the world was like before the introduction of the Horse Buckles and the Necronoids, a world that perhaps surprisingly, wasn't mundane in the least. It feels like the Saturday Morning and Sentai elements are overlaid upon this fully formulated comic book world.
One source for Horse Power is obviously Gi Joe. The creative history of the people who designed most of the Gi Joe concepts was primarily in superhero comics. The Crime King stories, with their fleshed out villain protagonist, serves as more than a prologue to the beginning of Horse Power. It works quite well as an actualization of this creative shift between the Liberty Corps world and what will become the Horse Power Universe.
Art Abrams was an electrician. As a child he was a prodigy. He was tested as having a 700 IQ in the 6th grade. The world should of been his oyster. But a drunken mother and schizophrenic father guaranteed the Ivy League was not in his future. Instead he coasted thru high school and became an electrician. One day in 1975, Art quit his job. His parents died in a tragic accident. Mother drowned when she went swimming drunk and father drowned trying to save her.
Art decided he wanted to be a criminal. Not some run of the mill thief or killer. He wanted to have style and finesse. His brilliance with electronics allowed him to create various gadgets. Whether it be an electric net ball, exo arms, clamp foam or the jet belt. He could make more than one fortune selling these inventions. But he does not do this for money. He does it for fame and recognition.
Which he was achieving at first. He was in all the papers and magazines as the Tech Baron. A name given to him by the media. He was not using a name yet.
Then one day as he was stealing the Moaning Viper statue from the Philadelphia museum of art. He encountered a man in a green cloak. He recognized him as the Green Lama. Art had assumed people like Lama and the Black Terror were tabloid creations. Or greatly exaggerated at the very least.
Art threw his electric net ball only to see it stop short of the Lama's face and bounce back and hit Art. It smarted something fierce but he thought that could happen and wore a insulated body suit. He tore the net off of him using his exo arms. He shot the clamp foam at Green Lama. Lama simply levitated above it.
Art Abrams knew it was time to flee. But his exit was blocked by a green flame. When he woke up he was in a jail cell. He bided his time and once he had gathered the proper supplies escaped. He used a bowl of stew, a clock radio and a pen to make a time displacement device. It gave him a five minute window to escape. When he crawled out of the sewer he saw something that would change everything.