Saturday, March 15, 2014


While we're awaiting the continued Adventures of Lucky Vega, I have a few other things to show you. To start: Here's a brand-new character that I whipped up as a companion for the mightiest warrior in all space and time, Draco Rex. This reptilian rapscallion is called Baslysk, and he is actually a replacement for another character. Therein lies a bit of a story, as always.

Draco Rex was originally conceived--or originally willed himself into existence--as a supporting character for the Environauts. The strength and presence of the character made it clear that Draco would never be content to be anyone's supporting player; he was a star and nothing less. So I undertook to flesh out his background and where he came from, and as I did so one more thing that occurred to me is that as a mythic hero he was going to need a faithful companion. Every great, conquering hero of the mythic type needs a loyal and trusted fellow traveler, someone who always has his back. In the comic books mighty Thor had Balder (who is conspicuously absent from those movies). Orion of The New Gods had his pal Lightray. The TV Hercules went about his legendary journeys with a sidekick named Iolaus. A character to tag along with the deathless Draco seemed like a good idea.
My first notion for Draco's companion was a character I called Loren Python. As personalities go, Python would be most distinctly different from the mighty King of Dragons. He was a wrestler by vocation, with the power to lunge, strike, and pin an opponent with the speed and strength of the snake for whom he's named, and the ability to tap people's nervous systems with a touch, inducing unbearable pain or euphoric pleasure at will. Python preferred to use the "pleasure" side of his powers, and he loved best to use it on...women! In the matriarchal society of Varonia where Draco comes from, Python--who, being a Quantum Comics hero, was excruciatingly beautiful--was every woman's favorite stud, and he loved nothing better than to serve them. He never slept alone and frequented more than one bed in a day. When he wasn't wrestling, or traveling and adventuring with his best mate, Prince Declan Draco, he could be found servicing some maiden or maidens of the realm. Python made Sam Malone look like Sheldon Cooper.
I opted not to use Python eventually, not because he was a bad character--in fact he was a very clever, fun character--and not because he was so egregiously heterosexual, but because he was also too much of a character for a supporting role. He was a lead character in a supporting player's skin, as Draco himself had started out. I decided at length to put Python away and find some other use for him, perhaps try him out as a gay character on his own at some point. Meanwhile, that left Draco without a faithful companion. What to do, what to do?
The answer came from somewhere else in the reptile family. The Basilisk lizard of South America is a relative of the Iguanas. Basilisks have a distinctively look, with prominent, fin-like crests on their heads and backs. They are among the fastest of the reptiles, so fast that they are famous for running across ponds on their hind legs to escape predators. This knack for running on water is said to be why Basilisks are called "Jesus Lizards". Where that actually comes from is that the first time a white man saw a Basilisk do that, he hollered, "JEE-sus!" and the name stuck. I didn't have a super-speed character in the Quantum Comics universe, and modeling one after the Basilisk seemed a wholly unique way to bring one in. So I sat myself down and designed a reptile-inspired speedster with scales and a crest on his back and one of the prettiest costumes I think I've ever come up with, and there he was.

Baslysk, one of the noblest warriors in the realm of Varonia, was honored with a bath in the mutagenic Dragonblood, from which he emerged with dorsal scales and a dorsal crest--and the power to move faster than the eye can follow. He can run across large bodies of water and up and down the sides of buildings. Blink and you'll miss him--but if you're his foe or the enemy of his realm, he won't miss you. He's a messenger and explorer by trade, and a chrononaut (time traveler) at the side of the Prince when called upon. Unlike the pulchritudinous Python, Baslysk is very much a man's man, honoring women as all men under the rule of Queen Tiamat must, but not bedding them. He's for men only. That's the one boundary he doesn't skirt (pardon the expression). If you ever chance to see a green and black blur out of the corner of your eye, relax; that's just the blazing Baslysk en route to perform some deed of bravery like the large-living lizard guy that he is.

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