In a world where evil is winning, superheroes need to be rougher and meaner if they want to make a difference. That is exactly why Lex Techno, had to create Raid Force Zero, a team of supersoldiers intent on destroying evil once and for all. We’ve already met Captain Fire and Earth-Red’s local Beam, but who else makes up the worlds violent saviors?
With Lex Techno, I tried to make the point that 90s Comics were underrated and that their elements undeservingly shunned. With that premise in mind, I am fleshing out this team with some characters that feel to me like they’d fit into those team books that were so common back then (even though I admit I haven’t read them and my artistic skills are even worse than those maligned artists of that decade). Here goes:
Kalpa is an elite alien soldier who originally came to Earth as an invader. Hundreds of such soldiers, modified by alien science to appear human, were sent to Earth, but when they arrived, they found a world torn asunder by supervillains, vampires, and many other threats much worse than mere alien soldiers. Many of his ilk were killed, and Kalpa learned to hate the violence he had been trained to revel in. So now he plans to bring peace to his new home the only way he knows how: through violence.
There were an awful lot of characters in the 90s who had names that were just single words that didn’t really have anything to do with them. Thanks to the Internet, I found the term from Hindu and Buddhist cosmology Kalpa which means a very long time. It works because his human form is meant to appear Indian. Otherwise, it has nothing to do with him, since his powers are all about guns and forcefields.
Trained to kill by the deadliest assassins in the world, and possessing vaguely defined energy powers, Bladestrike is a perfect killing machine. She was part of a squad formed by a shadowy government cabal to take out threats from other nations. On one mission, the threat was too much and Bladestrike and her teammates were killed. Bladestrike, though, didn’t stay killed. Revived by her employers, she was told they would patch her up and get her back into the field as the new leader of the squad. But as soon as she was strong enough, Bladestrike went AWOL. During the time when she was declared dead, she had seen something that she had not told her bosses. She realized she had to change her life around, and Raid Force Zero took her in and are giving her the chance to make those changes.
Scantily clad ninja ladies are, perhaps, the most childish way comics tried to prove they were for adults. But as I think I’ve said before, scantily-clad women aren’t a bad thing in themselves, as long as it isn’t a requirement of all women in the stories, and also that there is more to the characters than just their scant claddedness. Hopefully, I could succeed at meeting my own standards here.
When Carlton Curtis gained the power to create sonic explosions, he decided to use them to clean up the crime in his neighborhood. For years it seemed like he was doing well, but as time went on he gathered more and more enemies, supervillains who seemed to exist just to torment him. The job became too difficult for one man, so when the chance to join Raid Force One came along, it seemed like the best option.
I am picturing Thunder Thrower as a more classic superhero who was revamped into the 90s style. He started off as a symbol of hope and wonder, but then became a bitter and violent anti-hero because the former is too hard to maintain in a world like this. His loved ones were probably all killed off by villains to raise the stakes of his adventures. Note that he does not have electrical powers, he has sonic powers. But maybe he can also fly for no adequately explained reason.
The Crunch is actually a sentient magnetic field created by an evil mad scientist, whom the Crunch soon killed. To form a corporeal body, the Crunch gathers up hunks of scrap metal and compacts it into a super-dense form, including when necessary a magnetically-powered railgun. The Crunch considers humanity lesser beings, and was perfectly willing to kill indiscriminately until Lex Techno brought that to and end by beating the Crunch in a fight. Impressed with Lex’s skills, the Crunch is now willing to serve as a member of Raid Force One.
It may have been my imagination, but it seemed like all the terrible 90s hero teams had a Ben Grimm ripoff. Whether or not that’s true, I felt like I should get one. With his powers, he’d be able to get comically larger every time he showed up. He’d also fill the role of the Boisterous Warrior of the team, reveling in showing off and finding new challenges.