Super Sunday: Raid Force Zero

Raid Force Zero

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.

Thunder Thrower

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

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.

Super Sunday: Marv Thinker and Captain Fire

Marv Thinker, The World’s Dumbest Mentalist

A plane crashed into a mysterious jungle leaving only one survivor, an infant child. Discovered by members of a hidden tribe, the infant was taken to their secret hidden city. This tribe had secret mental powers. As the boy grew, he learned telepathy, telekinesis, and all the sorts of mental arts that the tribe possessed. Eventually, though, the boy became an adult and, in keeping with the traditions of the tribe, had to find himself. In his unique case, this meant Marv had to leave the village and learn about the outside world. In the outside world, Marv has powers that make him peerless, but he is also a freaking idiot.

Marv Thinker grew up without any kind of schooling outside training his mental powers, and he also has no familiarity with societal mores. This oblivious but powerful young man wound up in a crime-ridden American city and soon found himself in trouble with the mob (though he barely realized it). It was only the intervention of Marcy DaCosta, a private investigator who happened upon the scene. Marcy, whose business was failing, saw a chance, with Marv, to have a gimmick: a mind-reading detective would be sure to make money. So began the Marv Thinker: Mentalist Detective Agency, where Marv is a sort of front man, and Marcy does all the actual work.

Marv Thinker is one of the few ideas I’m using for a Super Sunday sketch for which I have a lot of desire to actually write. Like Noblewoman, I have actual ideas for this character and would love to get a chance to do them someday.

Captain Fire

Captain Fire is the second in command of Raid Force Zero, the superhero team who live in a terrible dystopian society and fight a hard fight to improve things. With fire-casting abilities and a military background, Captain Fire is a formidable warrior devoted to saving the world. She is also capable of teleportation by fire, meaning that she can step into a flame in one part of the world and exit a flame elsewhere. She can’t take the team with her, but it is useful for occasional covert operations.

There isn’t much to say about Captain Fire, really. I like the idea of such a generic, non-gendered superhero name being used by a woman (a couple of the Captain Marvels was a woman, though that did not last), and she’s also wearing a heckuva lot more layers than superhero ladies generally get to wear. That stuff is well and good and important, but mostly I wanted to flesh out Raid Force Zero a little bit more.

Super Sunday: The Beam

I have not read the Flash of Two Worlds story, but I know the basics. There’s two universes and there’s a Flash in each of them. They meet up and hang out. Probably punch some dudes. Good times. What I like about this concept is that this isn’t a mirror universe where the guy meets an alternate version of himself, but instead it’s two separate guys (Barry Allen and Jay Garrick) who both have the Flash identity in their respective worlds. I thought that was neat.

I said when I started this whole Super Sunday thing, I said I could come up with enough characters to populate four superhero universes. Well, let’s get that particular claim some backup. Here’s a superhero called the Beam from each of those four universes. To avoid the “Which universe gets to be Earth-1” argument, the Beams have taken to using a naming scheme that is based on the primary colors of their costumes. That’s how we get:

The Beam of Earth Green

Frank Goldsmith was a district attorney who discovered a magical gem. It turns out that this “Beam Gem” gave him the power to fly so fast that he appears as a bright green streak. He affixed the gem into a helmet and became the Beam, champion of justice and right.

This guy is the oldest of the Beams. He’s been doing it for decades and isn’t slowing down (You see?). I’m going for something of a Golden Age Beam feel with him (though he’s not a WWII hero or anything literal like that), but I picture the gem being green, as is his shirt, but he’s just got brown pants. And he probably carries a pistol most days.

The Beam of Earth White

Terry Tork was an astronaut who got caught in a space storm and was bombarded with space-warp energies. Consequently, Terry gained the ability to defy gravity and move so fast that he is just a white streak. He became a superstar space hero, but he got cocky and he hired an agent to help him make more money off of his superhuman status. Sadly, the agent was secretly a spy for an enemy nation and he used the Beam as part of a plan to sabotage a space station and several of Terry’s colleagues were killed. Now humbled and repentant, the Beam serves humanity instead of himself.

This would be the Silver Age-inspired Beam. The costume, I figure, is white with red highlights (his boots, gloves, emblem, etc). The tragic origin is especially typical of Silver Age Marvel styles, as is the alliterative name.

The Beam of Earth Red

Rick Delroy Lewis was a soldier in the British Army who was chosen to take part in a secret experiment. The army scientists injected hundreds of young men with nanotechnology. There were some successes, many failures, and there was the Beam. With the same powers as the ones above, the Beam was used for a variety of covert ops, but he is now a free agent.

This is the bad alternate universe, somewhat like the world of DC’s Crime Syndicate. Luckily I had already created a pretty crappy universe when I made Lex Techno, so it looks like that’s Universe Red. The Beam is a member of Lex Techno’s team. He’s got a mysterious past with the covert ops and all that. His costume is pure red except those black stripes.

The Beam of Earth Orange

Erika Daniels was a typical college student. Her father, however, was a world-renowned scientist. There was a quantum physics experiment, her father died, she got powers, her father’s partner turns out to have been behind the accident and becomes a supervillain and she fought him and he died. She continued her superhero career as the Beam. She is then recruited to the Megacavalry, the primary hero team on this Earth.

This is just a basic modern-superhero-movie-style origin story (except Hollywood, sadly, basically never goes with a female protagonist). In the current generation of movies there is always a villain in some way tied to the hero’s origin to make things personal, and the villain almost always dies. The recruitment to the Megacavalry would be the after-the-credits moment. Any part of the costume that isn’t shaded black is meant to be orange.

So there’s four heroes, each for a different universe. And that is without even factoring the Hover Head universe into this. And I don’t think I’m halfway through this year of superhero making either.

Super Sunday: Stegosauress and Lex Techno

There’s not really any thematic link between the two heroes I’m giving you this week, but here they are:


Stegosauress has the spine, tail, and thagomizer of a stegosaurus. There’s not much else that one needs to know, but I suppose I’ll come up with some more anyway.

Following her origin, she had Stegosaurus powers and became Stegosauress. Now she fights crime with her Stegosaurus powers. I don’t know what more I could possibly say!

This is a character created name first, that’s for sure. And I admit, the particular bad naming joke could work with any dinosaur ending with -saurus (Tyrannosauress, Brachiosauress, anything), but I’m not doing that. Stegosauruses are the best and I see no reason to diversify.

Lex Techno

Lex Techno lives in a world where the bad guys are winning, and the heroes have to be tough just to survive. Superhuman dictators have conquered the world and divided it among themselves. Wars rage between them causing destruction and pollution on a scale the world has never seen. Slavery, genocide, and viral warfare are all over the place like they’re going out of style. Comfortable shoes cost way too much. It’s basically a world you don’t want to live in.

But Lex Techno lives there. And he’s trying to make the place workable. Lex Techno is a cyborg, more than 50% technology, and he’s been fighting his entire life. The leader of a proactive squad of violent super-soldiers called Raid Force Zero. The group performs hit-and-run attacks on the villainous despots and try to make a difference as best they can. With all necessary brutality.

The 90s have a reputation in comics as being a time when stupid violent stories starring stupid violent guys with big guns and shoulder pads. First of all, the 90s were the decade when I got into comics, so I know very well that that is an oversimplification that is just wrong. There was no point during the 90s when there wasn’t something good being done. Sure, I admit that for a couple of years that bleak kind of hero was the dominant trend, but you can’t write off the whole decade.

But Lex Techno is not a rejection of those 90s Anti-Heroes, he’s an embracing of them, because simply being a 90s-style character is not inherently bad. The cyborg soldiers and killer vigilantes of that era are as much a part of superhero mythology that we should accept that and deal with it. So, with Ol’ Lex here, I’d try to explore what kind of heroism you’d expect to find in the bleakest of circumstances.