Sunday, May 26, 2013


Not every Quantum hero is from the good old US of A.  Some of them are from the other side of the Pond.  Great Britain is the home, for example, of the most mysterious of heroes, Hero X.  In time the British government will put together its own team of costumed super-champions, whom the media will dub "Her Majesty's Heroes".  They will officially be called the Battle Line, and they will rightly be considered every bit as powerful as the Wonders, the American team that will include the World Champion, Draco Rex, the Satellite, and the Bearcat.  We'll meet Hero X and all of the Battle Line as we go along.  For the moment, however, we direct our attention to another battling Brit.

Physics student Eric Quill, a native of Woking, outside of London, is called THE POINT.  He is my own personal take on the archetype of the "shrinking hero".  The Point has the power to reduce his volume--i.e. shrink in size--until he is about as big as a .38-calibre bullet.  The analogy to a bullet is especially apt since when he reaches that size, the tendency of electrons to repel each other does something equally remarkable.  It sets up a powerful energy flux in his body that the Point can utilize to make himself shoot through the air like a projectile.  His mass remains the same and the energy flux gives him an invulnerability power as a side effect, which enables young Eric to punch his way through walls, doors, ceilings, objects, and--in the most potentially dangerous effect of his power--other people.  This, as you can imagine, is why when Eric's xenosome-given power manifests, he isn't eager to share the news.  In fact he spends a great deal of time by himself, practicing his powers until he is absolutely sure he can use them safely without the risk of "bulleting" himself through innocent persons!  When he first acquires his powers, his isolation probably costs him a girlfriend (he's another of the straight ones), but it's necessary.

I imagine us first encountering the Point in an Environauts story in which the Nauts travel to England to investigate a strange cosmic phenomenon and wind up battling native English arch-villain Graeme Grimstead.  I see the Point being drawn into this battle and teaming up with Earth's greatest adventurers to help them against their greatest foe.  I also see Eric winning a research grant from Vega Enterprises and deciding to come to California to work on whatever super-project he has in mind.  Once he's in LA he meets up with the Champ and his sidekick, the All-Star (you'll be meeting him in some future post), as well as Draco, the Satellite, and Giantess (a heroine to whom I also have not yet introduced you) in a dire super-emergency to be announced, and the lot of them decide to stay together and form a new team; this, then, is the origin of the Wonders.  The Point and Giantess become a couple in the bargain.  (And yes, there will absolutely have to be a storyline in which the Wonders meet, battle, and team up with the Battle Line; that simply must happen at some time.  It's too irresistible.)

As for Eric's background:  As noted above, our young lad grows up in Woking, England, which happens to be one of the initial settings of one of my favorite stories, The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells, and which happens to have a statue of a Martian tripod commemorating that classic novel.  Eric, as a little boy, is captivated by the statue and becomes a huge Wells fan.  Learning that some of the things in Wells's stories have gone from science fiction to science fact (laser weapons, tank warfare, nuclear fission, atomic weapons, and at least the theories of time travel) spurs him towards science as a profession.  Otherwise I thought it would be intriguing to make Eric a "regular, everyday guy"--not someone common, classless, unrefined, and uncultured, but rather someone who, except for his chosen life's work and the "super" life for which destiny chooses him, would be just a regular bloke who likes to watch football and have a pint at the pub.  He'd be a character who would participate in super-hero life while standing a bit "outside" of it and reflecting and remarking on it from the perspective of someone closer to the average man.  The inspiration for the idea actually comes from a song--the British pop hit "Our House" by Madness.  It describes an English family and home life that are perfectly ordinary in every respect, but very special to the parents and children who belong to it.  Eric is one particular line in the song:  "Brother's got a date to keep; he can't hang around"--just a regular, middle-class young Englishman who lucks into a life that's far more than "regular".  And that is the point of The Point.

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