Super Sunday: The Fire Queen and Grimface

I continue my sketching villains for the hero I created in Junior High:

Fire Queen

The Fire Queen is Janet Faulker, the matriarch of a powerful family of supervillains. The ability to create and control flames has been in her family family, which has made it easy to make a fortune as arsonists, saboteurs, enforcers and assassins. In time, this family became the top crime family not only in their home country of New Zealand, but throughout much of the Southern Hemisphere. But now, the family has a problem. One of Janet’s daughters, Jessica, has gone against the family. Now calling herself “Combustion” Jessica has become a superhero, fighting not only crime in America, but also against her flame-slinging family back home. Janet does not hate her daughter, she does not want to kill her, but sometimes a mother has to do something she doesn’t want to do, for the good of the rest of her family. Janet can’t let one upstart child ruin all the hard work her parents and grandparents had put into their lives. Janet can’t let one runaway tear down everything that should provide for the other children and grandchildren. Janet has to kill Combustion and as many of her superhero friends as it takes.

I had mentioned the Fire Queen in my childhood notes, but never did a sketch. I basically went with a woman with even more fire than Combustion had. With a goal that simple, I feel I was successful.


Justice-Man was given by an unknown organization, designed to be an ultimate assassin. While he was freed by the good guys and chose a life of crime-fighting, there were other children used as weapons by the unknown organization. When Justice-Man and his allies finally did stop the organization, many of their operatives were in the field and had nowhere to go.

Grimface has no memory of his childhood. As far as he knows, he has always been as he is now. His cyborg enhancements made him an ideal assassin of superhuman targets, but now he is on his own. He has learned enough to blend in. He poses as a homeless man and lives on the streets in plain sight, but where nobody looks. But he always carries a bag with him, in which he keeps a strange mask. When he wants something, he wears the mask, and there are few who can stop him from getting what he wants.

Unlike all the other villains this month, Grimface was not something I dug up in my notes. Sure I have dozens of other Justice-Man villains among those notes that I could easily have thrown in here, but I figure that if my imaginary character has continued having imaginary adventures since my junior high years, he has probably made some new enemies in that time. (Besides, Super Sunday is supposed to be about me creating new things, so next week we get back to that.)

Super Sunday: The Devil Queen from Outer Space and Flood

The Devil Queen from Outer Space

Descending to Earth in a UFO that looks like a ball of flame, the Devil Queen from Outer Space is Queen Malefactra, an archmonarch of evil with a desire to conquer the human race and set up a hell on Earth. With an army of sci-fi devilry (robots made of skeletons, laser pitchforks, etc.), she has the means to do it!

When she’s not actively trying to conquer the world, Malefactra is a temptress looking to make deals. At the cost of your immortal soul, she can use her nano-magic to make your dreams come true, though it always seems to find some way to make sure it also furthers her own cause.

This was just an attempt at designing a character with that sense of fun that I think superhero comics need to embrace. The theatrics of hell symbolism and the grandeur of outer space invaders seem like a perfect fit for superheroes.


Alphonse Gordon was one of the founding members of the Strange Squad. In the 1960s the group was assembled from a group of scientists who had been mutated from experiments. Flood had accidentally transferred his consciousness into a body of water, which he soon learned to control and animate. Though he did the heroism thing with the Strange Squad, it was only for the money, so when someone else offered more money, he happily accepted and left the team. Though, deep down, he admits he seems to have lost out considering that the team has gone on to be an internationally successful organization and he is just a criminal for hire, he takes it in stride and continues working for whoever is willing to pay.

Another very easily drawn character. I would assume that being a living puddle would suck.

Super Sunday: Sorcerox


A life-long coal miner, Karl Jandacek was caught in a mine collapse. Caught in a pocket, his foot pinned under a rock, Karl watched in horror as some sort of liquid seeped into the cave and began to fill what space he had. It looked like he would drown. But he did not.

Instead, as the strange fluid finally submerged the wounded man, it caused a burning sensation. Karl soon lost consciousness.

When he came to, Karl wasn’t Karl anymore. His body had changed. He looked down at his clawed hands and grey skin from new eyes and noticed that he could see things he could not see before, mystical energy fields that permeated everything around him. And he could affect this energy.

The people on the surace assumed Karl Jandacek had died, but instead he wandered further underground to test his powers. When he dug himself out a year later, he was Sorcerox, a sorcerous monster intending to conquer the world.

To serve him, Sorcerox has created two mystical monsters, Fire-And-Wind and Water-And-Rock. Each with the powers of the elementary materials of which they are made. Fire-And-Wind is a flying flame and Water-And-Rock is a flowing torrent with a stone core. While these are beings of rudimentary intelligence, they have developed a sort of personality. Fire-And-Wind is a reckless, impulsive, angry creature. Water-And-Rock is more patient, more calculating, more cunning. Together, these elemental enforcers make a powerful pair, a threat to the heroes that oppose Sorcerox. The primary line of defense against Sorcerox’s villainous invasion is the wizard dog Wizardog, who makes a point of digging up the villain’s schemes and routing them wherever they turn up.

Okay, behind the scenes stuff: Sorcerox was another one of those unnamed sketches that I found among my files and decided to give a name and a story to. He looks more like something I’d been trying to fit into a more generic (and probably terrible) fantasy story, but I figured he could work in the context of a superhero story just fine. To that end, I tried to give him a more standard supervillain origin (a blue collar worker who has an accident and gains powers is Electro, for example). I didn’t quite nail it, but I like how it turned out well enough.

The two elemental monster things I just drew because, once I’d had the idea, they seemed like they’d be easy to draw (and it is easier than drawing people, even if they aren’t too indicative of their nature). I thought that they’d be henchmen for some mad scientist character, but when I sat down today to write some villains up, it all looked like it fit together.

Super Sunday: Karl Franklin and Combustaboy

Karl B. Franklin, esq.

Born into a wealthy family, Karl Franklin had the opportunity to live his life any way he wanted. He wanted to see the world, so he has spent years travelling to exotic locations, studying at the best schools, and meeting interesting people. Naturally, this led to a life of adventuring. He has raided many a dungeon and fought smugglers in many an archaeological dig. To aid in his adventures Karl carries a sword, a gun, a magic amulet, a pipe, and a bag of tricks, but that is not all: over the years he has somehow acquired a pair of horns and a prehensile tail. Some might consider those to be deformations, but since they come in handy, he has no desire to get rid of them. Karl B. Franklin is an adventure-having expert and loves every second of it.

Karl Franklin is based off of an old sketch I had around, but I didn’t have a story for him until just now. I meant for the character to have a form of dwarfism, but I’ve never done the research to know which type (probably achondroplasia, I guess) because there’s not a lot of little person characters going on in comics. I mean, I can name about a dozen, but I’m crazy knowledgeable. I would figure that the most prominent example in comics would be Puck, of Alpha Flight, except from his backstory he is not a natural dwarf, but is the victim of a magic curse. That’s stupid, so Karl Franklin is my own diminutive guy hero who suffers from magic effects, but those two things are not related.


With the ability to burst into flame and fly, little Timmy McIsaac became Combustaboy, the Fiery Teen, to make enough money to pay his way through college. Superheroing is not what Timmy wants to do with his life. To him, this is just a job. His heart isn’t in it and he let’s it show. Still, if you can create fire at will, there’s always going to be someone who is willing to pay you for something, right?

The story I came up with for Combustaboy is just a young superhero, but since I’ve gotta talk about something down here, I’m going to go with teen-aged sidekicks. The concept of teenage heroes is ubiquitous in comics, but for some reason the concept of a kid sidekick has faded away since the olden times. With the exception of Batman and Robin, teen sidekicks are almost never treated seriously anymore. I guess that is because you’d have to be Bruce Wayne-style crazy to recruit children into a war on crime. But still, here’s a stray thought I had on the idea: in the 1940s, a sixteen-year-old was more of an adult than a sixteen-year-old is these days. It was much more common back then for teenagers to drop out of school and take jobs and help support their families. My argument is harmed by the fact that the teen sidekicks in the comics of those days were more likely to act like eleven-year-old than grizzled sixteenagers, but I do think that when you’re telling stories of olden times, it isn’t as absurd for a superhero to have a kid backing him up. I mean, teenagers are sent to fight in real wars and some even lied to get in before they were of age (heck, Calvin Graham was twelve in WWII), so a kid helping out a superhero is not one of the most absurd superhero tropes as far as I’m concerned.

Super Sunday: Justice-Beast and Combustion

Another pair of characters from the supporting cast of Justice-Man, a superhero I created as a child.


In a world where superheroes are common place, criminal groups have to try harder to keep up. One such group made an effort to create its own supersoldiers by experimenting on mercenaries. Some of these mercenaries wound up with useless mutations, some got actual powers, and some died. The one that was once known as Joe Curtis, with his lizard-like appearance and tiny additional hands, did not seem particularly useful to the crime scientist, so he was euthanized and left in a mass grave. That wasn’t the end, however, as other, slow-acting powers would not only keep the Beast alive, but help him to escape into a nearby town. With only scattered memories of his life Curtis was confused and afraid and angry. He attacked people when he encountered them, and that brought Justice-Man to the scene. While preventing the Beast from harming anyone else, Justice-Man noticed signed of intelligence in the monster and reached out. Perhaps because Justice-Man himself had been created by evil interests, the two were able to bond and, after getting the help he needed, the Beast became Justice-Beast and served alongside Justice-Man in opposing crime.

This guy was created when I took a little monster finger puppet (of the sort that turn up on Google for that phrase even today apparently) and stuck it on the head of a G.I. Joe figure. I don’t think I had much of a backstory in mind back then (at least, nothing survived in my notes) so the fact he was once a paramilitary guy is an homage to his action figure origin. What I liked most about Justice-Beast, though, is the idea that Justice-Man didn’t beat him up and toss him into a prison. Justice-Man was the kind of guy who liked to make friends out of enemies and this guy is one of those.


Jessica Faulkner ran away from home when she was a teenager and hasn’t been back since. Jessica Faulkner’s family is a fire-based twisted supervillain group. For several generations the ability to generate and control flame has been passed through this bloodline and, over that time, they have become an extremely successful crime group based out of New Zealand led by the Fire Queen, Jess’s mother. Jess wanted nothing to do with that. She left home and fled to America where she was trained by a retired superhero called Bill Q. Watson. Taking the code-name Combustion, Jess fended off her family and their agents when they first wanted her back, then wanted her dead. Combustion did not only fight her own battles, though. She fought crime and corruption wherever she found it and that was how she became friends with Justice-Man and Justice-Woman. Lifelong friendships were formed and Combustion continues to do as much good as she can to offset the evil done by her family.

Combustion is more of the “big breasts and tight clothes” character type than I generally try to create, but that’s okay. The current state of superhero comics may ignore any idea of female characters that don’t fit into their idea of beauty, but my idealized superhero situation wouldn’t fight that by turning the “pretty people” into the new ignored group. There are pretty people in the world and, while not all superheroes should be them, some should. I should, though, make note of something here: as a kid I created a lot of characters whose hands and forearms would be obscured by fire or energy or whatever. It made them so much easier to draw. Hands suck. Especially fingers. I hate drawing fingers. (I reused this for the Volcano Rabbit as well)