Ultimate Doc Samson and War Machine

Gamma Man

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I think it would be a good idea to create an Ultimate Doc Samson. I mean, there is many directions you could take him in.

A- A psycologist to Bruce Banner {Overplayed, yet still interesting}

B- A scientist for S.H.I.E.L.D. working on something top secret. Possibly taking Pym's place.

C- Being a super hero

So, anyone else think an Ultimate Doc would be a good thing?

Also, Ultimate War Machine. I think they should put him as a back up for Stark, Stark getting sick, War Machine taking over, Stark okay, War Machine steps down, gets disgruntled, and could easily become an Ultimates enemy if played right. Anyone else think so?

(Note- Keep Bendis away. He'll just make them mutants or raving lunitacs and take away there whole purpose like he did with Omega Red and Gladiator.)
 

Lynx

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Doc Samson, no. I think he's way too contrived of a character and honestly is not very interesting.

War Machine, yes. Rhodes tested out the Iron Tech, Rhodes still works for Stark (According to USM) and it wouldn't be a stretch that either he or he and Stark would make a War Machine armor.
 

ProjectX2

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I think instead of Millar creating that Brankin guy in The Ultimates as a tribute to his friend, it should have been a Doctor Samson.
 

Seldes Katne

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As usual, various characters can be interesting depending on their background, their purpose in the story, and who's writing the whole thing. I personally think Samson is much more interesting as a psychiatrist/psychologist than as a superhero, and I'd be perfectly happy to see him in a role similar to Hawkeye's -- someone with no superpowers, but good enough at what he does to play in the big leagues.

I'd place him as either a SHIELD employee, or as a private practitioner (on call with SHIELD, perhaps) who is specializing in "super-human psychology", which might include both mutant and other forms of meta-humanity, and how their mental make-up differs from "baseline humans". If he worked for SHIELD, he would have had access to Bruce Banner during Banner's incarceration, as well as to everyone else on the SHIELD payroll who qualifies as super-human.

Dan Slott wrote a Doc Samson mini-series that used Samson's skills to profile and track down a gamma-powered murderer, and I thought that was a pretty good use of the character as well. (Apparently Slott was unhappy with the way the mini turned out, due to "editorial interference" that required him to write in several guest characters that really didn't belong in the story, but I thought the basic idea was good and that Slott did a commendable job on what he wrote.)
 

Zombipanda

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How does gammaman know about Doc Samson?

Either way, I think that's a sick idea. That could be an interesting ultimization.
 

ourchair

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I personally think Samson is much more interesting as a psychiatrist/psychologist than as a superhero, and I'd be perfectly happy to see him in a role similar to Hawkeye's -- someone with no superpowers, but good enough at what he does to play in the big leagues [...] I'd place him as either a SHIELD employee, or as a private practitioner (on call with SHIELD, perhaps) who is specializing in "super-human psychology", which might include both mutant and other forms of meta-humanity, and how their mental make-up differs from "baseline humans". If he worked for SHIELD, he would have had access to Bruce Banner during Banner's incarceration, as well as to everyone else on the SHIELD payroll who qualifies as super-human.
Beat me to it.

I think it would be absolutely boring for Samson to just be another researcher like Pym, or another superhuman operative, SHIELD-affiliated or otherwise.

Also, speaking as a soon-to-be-graduating psychology major, the concept of 'superhuman psychology' is fundamentally interesting even if it hasn't really been fully defined. Senior members of the site are already aware that I like to prattle on about this, but the whole concept of Ultimate to me is about giving superhumanity CONTEXT, and psychology would be an interesting aspect.

I suspect some might roll their eyes and think that applying psychology to the superpowered is a bland idea that doesn't exactly fire the imagination. After all, there're a lot of pop pundit pieces about psychoanalyzing comic books out there that just read like comprehending the mythic and the Freudian aspects of superhero stories.

But I think the concept is genuinely intriguing when you look at it the way Bendis (yes, Bendis) examined it in his earlier Marvel work when he speaks of 'that fourth-dimensional world of superpowers' that characters like Ben Urich struggle to understand. If you think long and hard about it, having a radar sense or being able to read minds isn't anything like being the tallest guy in your village... it's about having a level of consciousness that no ordinary human can possibly fathom... and I think that's where the starting point of writing about superhuman psychology should begin.
 

Seldes Katne

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Beat me to it.
Well, that might just be a bona fide first. :D

I suspect some might roll their eyes and think that applying psychology to the superpowered is a bland idea that doesn't exactly fire the imagination. After all, there're a lot of pop pundit pieces about psychoanalyzing comic books out there that just read like comprehending the mythic and the Freudian aspects of superhero stories.

But I think the concept is genuinely intriguing when you look at it the way Bendis (yes, Bendis) examined it in his earlier Marvel work when he speaks of 'that fourth-dimensional world of superpowers' that characters like Ben Urich struggle to understand. If you think long and hard about it, having a radar sense or being able to read minds isn't anything like being the tallest guy in your village... it's about having a level of consciousness that no ordinary human can possibly fathom... and I think that's where the starting point of writing about superhuman psychology should begin.
Well, if Ben Urich has the same background in psychology that I do, I can see why he'd be struggling. :wink: I took the basic introductory course in college in the early 1980s, so probably a lot of my knowledge on the subject is seriously outdated by now.

Just a side comment here: Two of my favorite themes in science fiction are the exploration of "what is human", and the attempts to create truly alien characters, that don't think or act or even perceive reality the same way humans do. One book I recommend for exploring meta-human/human interaction is Greg Bear's Darwin's Radio, and its sequel Darwin's Children, which are sort of a more realistic "X-Men" scenerio without the superheroes and tights. You need to be able to plow through some pretty heavy scientific theory and terminology, but the story underneath all that really does examine how the children who represent the next step in human evolution are so different from their parents and the rest of us that in some ways the two groups can't communicate at all. (There was another science fiction book I read years ago, the title of which I unfortunately can't remember, that talked about children and teens with strange abilities who had to invent their own words, slang, and "culture" to describe shared experiences that the older members of humanity could barely understand.)

Back on topic (finally): I've been doing some preliminary research into possible psychology backgrounds for Samson, and have come up with some ideas I'd like some feedback on:

Keeping much of his early life intact from his regular Marvel counterpart, Samson would have grown up in or near Tulsa, Oklahoma, possibly attending Oklahoma State University, which apparently has a good school of psychology. He might have started out with a liberal arts or general science major, then decided to move into psychology. Samson would then have transferred to somewhere in New York, perhaps New York University, for graduate work.

I'm not sure what background he would end up with in this field. NYU offers a PhD program in Cognition and Perception, which deals with the way people understand and interpret their surroundings (I think?). The NYU Psych department also offers a Social Neuroscience curriculum, which deals with the biology of the brain and behavior. Either of those would be useful for studying and comparing human and meta-human behavior.

In regular Marvel, Samson has spent time as a private practitioner, a college professor, and a military consultant. (And, if you read Bruce Jones' run on the Hulk, as a gun-runner and weapons expert, but I'm kind of staying away from that.) I'm not sure how much time college professors get to spend on actual research. (When I was in school, some of them seemed to spend more time researching than teaching, but that was 20 years ago.) As a SHIELD employee, Samson would have access to cutting-edge and futuristic technology and advanced information sources; I'm not sure how much of that he'd have as a teacher or private practitioner. (As a teacher, perhaps a lot.) Would making him a member of a non-SHIELD hospital staff be reasonable?

In the Paul di Filippo mini-series, there are also suggestions that Samson has an interest in anthropolgy, particularly Native American/First Nations culture, which I'd like to retain, just because I know a little about that field myself. I've found references to the idea that Samson was in some senses patterned after Doc Savage. (Pulp novel hero from the 1930s and 1940s. Does anyone else on the site know who I'm talking about here? I read a bunch of Doc Savage stories in high school and college, and people thought I was nuts....) Keeping this characteristic in the Ultimate Universe would allow Samson to get out of New York and find/study meta-humans in other cultures or remote parts of the globe. (Heck, pair him up with Sam Wilson and turn 'em loose. :D )
 

darkspider

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I've always thought Warmachine coulde be the 'next' ironman. Instead of it being a suit, it is a full functioning battle mech, used as the heavy guns for Stark. Rhodes could be at the controls of it, from a safe location. They could turn the story into someone stealing it and using it against the ultimates. I dunno though, because this idea sounds alot like what Bendis might do and screw it up, but if the right writer is on it, then they could make it pretty awesome
 

Zombipanda

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Well, that might just be a bona fide first. :D

Well, if Ben Urich has the same background in psychology that I do, I can see why he'd be struggling. :wink: I took the basic introductory course in college in the early 1980s, so probably a lot of my knowledge on the subject is seriously outdated by now.

Just a side comment here: Two of my favorite themes in science fiction are the exploration of "what is human", and the attempts to create truly alien characters, that don't think or act or even perceive reality the same way humans do. One book I recommend for exploring meta-human/human interaction is Greg Bear's Darwin's Radio, and its sequel Darwin's Children, which are sort of a more realistic "X-Men" scenerio without the superheroes and tights. You need to be able to plow through some pretty heavy scientific theory and terminology, but the story underneath all that really does examine how the children who represent the next step in human evolution are so different from their parents and the rest of us that in some ways the two groups can't communicate at all. (There was another science fiction book I read years ago, the title of which I unfortunately can't remember, that talked about children and teens with strange abilities who had to invent their own words, slang, and "culture" to describe shared experiences that the older members of humanity could barely understand.)

Back on topic (finally): I've been doing some preliminary research into possible psychology backgrounds for Samson, and have come up with some ideas I'd like some feedback on:

Keeping much of his early life intact from his regular Marvel counterpart, Samson would have grown up in or near Tulsa, Oklahoma, possibly attending Oklahoma State University, which apparently has a good school of psychology. He might have started out with a liberal arts or general science major, then decided to move into psychology. Samson would then have transferred to somewhere in New York, perhaps New York University, for graduate work.

I'm not sure what background he would end up with in this field. NYU offers a PhD program in Cognition and Perception, which deals with the way people understand and interpret their surroundings (I think?). The NYU Psych department also offers a Social Neuroscience curriculum, which deals with the biology of the brain and behavior. Either of those would be useful for studying and comparing human and meta-human behavior.

In regular Marvel, Samson has spent time as a private practitioner, a college professor, and a military consultant. (And, if you read Bruce Jones' run on the Hulk, as a gun-runner and weapons expert, but I'm kind of staying away from that.) I'm not sure how much time college professors get to spend on actual research. (When I was in school, some of them seemed to spend more time researching than teaching, but that was 20 years ago.) As a SHIELD employee, Samson would have access to cutting-edge and futuristic technology and advanced information sources; I'm not sure how much of that he'd have as a teacher or private practitioner. (As a teacher, perhaps a lot.) Would making him a member of a non-SHIELD hospital staff be reasonable?

In the Paul di Filippo mini-series, there are also suggestions that Samson has an interest in anthropolgy, particularly Native American/First Nations culture, which I'd like to retain, just because I know a little about that field myself. I've found references to the idea that Samson was in some senses patterned after Doc Savage. (Pulp novel hero from the 1930s and 1940s. Does anyone else on the site know who I'm talking about here? I read a bunch of Doc Savage stories in high school and college, and people thought I was nuts....) Keeping this characteristic in the Ultimate Universe would allow Samson to get out of New York and find/study meta-humans in other cultures or remote parts of the globe. (Heck, pair him up with Sam Wilson and turn 'em loose. :D )

Please marry me.

I know exactly who Doc Savage is. I love those old stories. Hell, that kind of cheese-pulp influenced my writing as much as anything, and Doc Savage is the king of pulp adventure.

Hell, playing off that angle, he could work well as the centerpiece in building a neo-pulp/noir segment of the Ultimate Universe. There was just a guy on the Daily Show who used to be a practicing veterinarian, but is now supporting his family by becoming a professional mountain climber. Build up a shady background for Sampson as a researcher for SHIELD. Hell, give him a connection to the Banner experiments and you tie him back in to the 616 interpretation of the character. Make his current self as a college professor who moonlights as an adventurer, and give him Sam Wilson as an on-again-off-again partner. Give them allies in Misty Knight and Ultimate Heroes-For-Hire, operating as muscle and private dicks out of New York. Doctor Strange would be a good fit as a supporting character too, as a mystical consultant. And you'd have a hard time NOT sliding Man-Thing in there while you're at it.

Damn. That would be cool.
 
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Seldes Katne

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Please marry me.
Oooo, my third marriage proposal ever. Maybe I'm not as hopeless a prospect as I thought. :wink: (I'm suspect, however, that unless you're over 35, I'm probably a little too old for you. But I'm still flattered you'd ask.)

'hem. Moving on....

I know exactly who Doc Savage is. I love those old stories. Hell, that kind of cheese-pulp influenced my writing as much as anything, and Doc Savage is the king of pulp adventure.
I haven't managed to read all, what was it, 181 (?) of the published Doc Savage novels, but I've probably read at least half of them. When my Creative Writing professor in college found out that that was one of my favorite genres to read, I think he despaired of ever teaching me anything about writing.

I don't know if you've ever seen it, but while doing some research, I found this black and white sketch of Doc Savage and Doc Samson arm-wrestling. Herbe Trimpe is listed as the artist. The art, along with various other commentary on comic books and other popular media, appears on this blog.

Hell, playing off that angle, he could work well as the centerpiece in building a neo-pulp/noir segment of the Ultimate Universe. There was just a guy on the Daily Show who used to be a practicing veterinarian, but is now supporting his family by becoming a professional mountain climber. Build up a shady background for Sampson as a researcher for SHIELD. Hell, give him a connection to the Banner experiments and you tie him back in to the 616 interpretation of the character. Make his current self as a college professor who moonlights as an adventurer, and give him Sam Wilson as an on-again-off-again partner. Give them allies in Misty Knight and Ultimate Heroes-For-Hire, operating as muscle and private dicks out of New York. Doctor Strange would be a good fit as a supporting character too, as a mystical consultant. And you'd have a hard time NOT sliding Man-Thing in there while you're at it.

Damn. That would be cool.
:shock: Now there's an angle I hadn't considered -- but it would fit in with the piece I'm attempting that spins off from the Morbius arc of USM, where Ben Urich goes in search of a genuine vampire, and we find that not only do they really exist, but why and how. At the moment, I'm dragging Damien Hellstrom into it (he's been revealed as a SHIELD operative, and his 616 counterpart apparently plays a large role in the supernatural community), so there's another possible ally connected with both SHIELD and the "fringe" elements of society.

One question I have is how Samson would have gotten out of SHIELD and into a professorship. Tony Stark makes the comment in the Silver Sable arc of USM that he thought working for SHIELD was a lifetime contract, and General Fury replies that "it's not easy" to get out of it. On the other hand, Sam Wilson is "on retainer" for SHIELD, but seems more or less independent. Would it be possible for Samson to also be semi-independent, or to work on SHIELD-related business while also teaching?
 

The Overlord

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Perhaps Ultimate Doc Samson could be in charge of Ultimate Ravencroft, an institution devoted the psychological study of super human inidividuals, trying to answer what motivates people to temper with their gene, how are metahumans different and similar to regular humans psycholgical and what is the best form of psychological treatment for metahumans, etc.
 

Zombipanda

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Oooo, my third marriage proposal ever. Maybe I'm not as hopeless a prospect as I thought. (I'm suspect, however, that unless you're over 35, I'm probably a little too old for you. But I'm still flattered you'd ask.)

Hah. Oldest girl I've dated was just pushing thirty, but she was damn fine. I'm still a spring chicken and all. damn shame, that.

Selddes Katne said:
I haven't managed to read all, what was it, 181 (?) of the published Doc Savage novels, but I've probably read at least half of them. When my Creative Writing professor in college found out that that was one of my favorite genres to read, I think he despaired of ever teaching me anything about writing.

I was lucky to have a pretty progressive writing teacher who understood the role of pop and pulp culture in modern writing. But don't be too worried about it. Writing classes are pretty much a crock.

Seldes Katne said:
I don't know if you've ever seen it, but while doing some research, I found this black and white sketch of Doc Savage and Doc Samson arm-wrestling. Herbe Trimpe is listed as the artist. The art, along with various other commentary on comic books and other popular media, appears on this blog.

I'll have to check that out.

Seldes Katne said:
:shock: Now there's an angle I hadn't considered -- but it would fit in with the piece I'm attempting that spins off from the Morbius arc of USM, where Ben Urich goes in search of a genuine vampire, and we find that not only do they really exist, but why and how.

Interesting. When we were talking about Ultimizing Ulysses Bloodstone, I was thinking of having Elsa Bloodstone as a monster hunter who took over Kraven's old show (because really, with the ratings, I couldn't see a network not renewing that show), now hunting all sorts of urban myths and monsters, with Doc Strange as a supernatural consultant. And the two of them, off camera, have a sort of clubhouse alliance with Morbius, Blade, and Moon Knight called the Darkstalkers where they trade information and give each other the occassional help. An exploration of vampirism in the UU would be interesting and it really would open the doors wide for the adventure characters of the 616 to really shine in the Ultimate Universe. A rotating cast of adventure/pulp/noir/horror characters could make for a pretty cool UU book.

Seldes Katne said:
At the moment, I'm dragging Damien Hellstrom into it (he's been revealed as a SHIELD operative, and his 616 counterpart apparently plays a large role in the supernatural community), so there's another possible ally connected with both SHIELD and the "fringe" elements of society.

not familiar with that character....

Seldes Katne said:
One question I have is how Samson would have gotten out of SHIELD and into a professorship. Tony Stark makes the comment in the Silver Sable arc of USM that he thought working for SHIELD was a lifetime contract, and General Fury replies that "it's not easy" to get out of it. On the other hand, Sam Wilson is "on retainer" for SHIELD, but seems more or less independent. Would it be possible for Samson to also be semi-independent, or to work on SHIELD-related business while also teaching?

hm... I'd really tear up his contract with SHIELD, and maybe have some bad blood between him and the agency. It would be hard to get out of contract, but that's exactly why it would make an interesting story. I'd really push the limits of plausibility when it comes to Sampson's expertise. Make him a doctor of psychology who's also a whiz-kid in biochemistry, and a devoted interest in ethnology and archaeology. Give him knowledge of multiple languages. All those old school pulp heroes were geniuses in multiple fields and I'd really like to channel that angle of the character. For his mutation, I'd just have the radiation put him esssentially in peak physical and mental condition.

Have him be the doctor who ran all the psychological profiling for incoming SHIELD agents and for criminals SHIELD might be facing. Have him be the psychologist who was overseeing the experiments Banner was performing on. I'd get rid of the "lab accident" and instead make it so Sampson willing tests on himself, believing he understands what went wrong with the exposure Banner was treated with. Hell, having him coming out of that experiment smelling like roses would create some serious tension between him and Hulk if he does get drafted back into service.

I'd say, something happens between him and SHIELD and by the skin of his teeth he manages to slip by, picking up a position as adjunct professor at NYU while he goes on wild globe-trotting adventures.

Overlord said:
Perhaps Ultimate Doc Samson could be in charge of Ultimate Ravencroft, an institution devoted the psychological study of super human inidividuals, trying to answer what motivates people to temper with their gene, how are metahumans different and similar to regular humans psycholgical and what is the best form of psychological treatment for metahumans, etc.

That could be cool as long as it didn't end up as a throwaway mutation.
 
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Seldes Katne

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Perhaps Ultimate Doc Samson could be in charge of Ultimate Ravencroft, an institution devoted the psychological study of super human inidividuals, trying to answer what motivates people to temper with their gene, how are metahumans different and similar to regular humans psycholgical and what is the best form of psychological treatment for metahumans, etc.
For some strange reason, I always thought Ravencroft was over in the DC universe. (And then after you mentioned it, I did my librarian thing and looked it up in the database at Marvel.com. Really do learn something new every day on this job. :D ) Would it be plausible for Samson to be one of the founders of Ravencroft in the UU? The rise of meta-humans in the Ultimate Universe seems to be a very recent development, within just the last generation or two. After Samson leaves SHIELD, starting an institution like this might be a logical step at some point down the road.

Hah. Oldest girl I've dated was just pushing thirty, but she was damn fine. I'm still a spring chicken and all. damn shame, that.
Ah, well, I passed forty a while back, so I think anything more than conversation might be outside everyone's comfort zone. But the conversation itself is good and always welcome.


I was lucky to have a pretty progressive writing teacher who understood the role of pop and pulp culture in modern writing. But don't be too worried about it. Writing classes are pretty much a crock.
I've taught a writing class, so I've got a slightly different take on this. However, the biggest problem with my class in college was that the teacher was big on realistic fiction, and here I was reading sci-fi and fantasy literature. Granted, certain elements of writing are common to all forms of fiction, but the differences made it really difficult for the teacher and I to relate to each other's interests.

Interesting. When we were talking about Ultimizing Ulysses Bloodstone, I was thinking of having Elsa Bloodstone as a monster hunter who took over Kraven's old show (because really, with the ratings, I couldn't see a network not renewing that show), now hunting all sorts of urban myths and monsters, with Doc Strange as a supernatural consultant. And the two of them, off camera, have a sort of clubhouse alliance with Morbius, Blade, and Moon Knight called the Darkstalkers where they trade information and give each other the occassional help. An exploration of vampirism in the UU would be interesting and it really would open the doors wide for the adventure characters of the 616 to really shine in the Ultimate Universe. A rotating cast of adventure/pulp/noir/horror characters could make for a pretty cool UU book.
I have a more science fiction version of vampirism's origin kind of worked out (briefly, vampires as geneticially engineered humans, with recombinant DNA from various other animals allowing them to change forms and do other odd things), meant as predators for "regular" humans by an alien race that wanted Earth without humanity cluttering up the place. The "disease" basically remakes the subject, retains human-level intelligence, but destroys the humanity behind it (if that makes sense).

Morbius, for whatever reason, had some sort of physical makeup that caused him to change to vampire form, but retain his humanity, and also to synthesize an antidote that is passed through saliva (or something. Haven't quite worked all the details out yet). Presumably the present-day vampires are a remnant of this human-eradication program, which suggests that someone managed to stop the aliens (perhaps there's more to the story of Dracula than appears in Stoker's book), or that the experiment otherwise failed.

[N]ot familiar with that character....
Oh, sorry. Damien [Hellstrom -- I'm guessing he's going by the same last name, although it's never used], a.k.a. Son of Satan, showed up as a member of the Defenders in Ultimates2 Issue 6, and then again in the Ultimates annual, apparently as a SHIELD "plant" and part of the Super Soldier initiative. (I'm wondering what his abilities are, if any -- possibly something that mimics all the supernatural abilities he supposedly has in regular Marvel. I'm not familiar with Daimon Hellstrom in 616 Marvel, but the UU is something of a clean slate, so....)

hm... I'd really tear up his contract with SHIELD, and maybe have some bad blood between him and the agency. It would be hard to get out of contract, but that's exactly why it would make an interesting story.
This I'll have to mull over for a while and see if I can come up with something that would really put him on the outs with SHIELD, without him just be conveniently made to "disappear" or something.

Have him be the doctor who ran all the psychological profiling for incoming SHIELD agents and for criminals SHIELD might be facing. Have him be the psychologist who was overseeing the experiments Banner was performing on. I'd get rid of the "lab accident" and instead make it so Sampson willing tests on himself, believing he understands what went wrong with the exposure Banner was treated with. Hell, having him coming out of that experiment smelling like roses would create some serious tension between him and Hulk if he does get drafted back into service.
I've always had issues with scientists who test unknown techniques or injections on themselves. (On the other hand, there are plenty of real-life examples of that happening, so it's not unheard-of, just, in my opinion, kind of stupid.) I was going to avoid the whole "superhero" thing anyway and just leave Samson as a really smart but basically regular guy, but I could be persuaded otherwise.

I'd really push the limits of plausibility when it comes to Sampson's expertise. Make him a doctor of psychology who's also a whiz-kid in biochemistry, and a devoted interest in ethnology and archaeology. Give him knowledge of multiple languages. All those old school pulp heroes were geniuses in multiple fields and I'd really like to channel that angle of the character. For his mutation, I'd just have the radiation put him esssentially in peak physical and mental condition.
Perhaps some of that could be attributed to "the mutation", although it would make more sense to me if Samson had the super-smarts before he did the self-experimentation.

Having Samson interested in all of the sciences you mention makes some sense -- there is a biochemical side to why people think and act the way they do, so a relationship already exists between those two fields. Also, archaeology and enthnology would be useful in comparing behaviors across cultures, and in tracing possible racial changes in behavior over time. For example: at one time I found a source that suggested that humanity was once telepathic, and for some reason lost or completely suppressed that ability, for whatever reason. I can't remember where or when I read that, but if evidence existed that humanity could communicate mentally at some point existed, it could shed light on some meta-human behavior in the present day.

I'd say, something happens between him and SHIELD and by the skin of his teeth he manages to slip by, picking up a position as adjunct professor at NYU while he goes on wild globe-trotting adventures.
As I recall, the reason Doc Savage could get away with that sort of thing was that he and most of his buddies were independently wealthy. Indiana Jones has a university expense account. Samson's ability to globe-trot might be an offshoot of being in charge of (or hired by) Ravencroft, which would also give him the excuse to get out there and track down interesting individuals for study and/or interview. (Or perhaps Ravencroft is affiliated with SHIELD in some way, and this "falling out" is just a feint of some sort.) Have to give that some thought.

[previews post] Good grief -- this post is almost as bad as the six-page essay I wrote up on Thor's possible origins. :roll: I'm running off at the cursor again....
 

The Overlord

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For some strange reason, I always thought Ravencroft was over in the DC universe. (And then after you mentioned it, I did my librarian thing and looked it up in the database at Marvel.com. Really do learn something new every day on this job. :D ) Would it be plausible for Samson to be one of the founders of Ravencroft in the UU? The rise of meta-humans in the Ultimate Universe seems to be a very recent development, within just the last generation or two. After Samson leaves SHIELD, starting an institution like this might be a logical step at some point down the road.

You are thinking of Arkham Asylum, that was in DC. Its no surprise you confused the two, Ravencroft was more of an Arkham rip off then anything else and hasn't been used in years in 616 MU, because of that.

Ultimate Ravencroft would be more of a think tank rather than just being an a asylum (though it could function as that as well) where Doc Samson leads various psychological experts in studying matters of super human psychology. It would make sense that Samson would be one of the founders of Ravencroft though.

With the destruction of the Trisk, Ravencroft could be used to house geniunely insane meta human criminals (like Mr. Sinister and Hobgoblin) in order to try and cure their mental illness, make them productive members of society and study ways to dissaude others from tempering with their genes.

Yopu can also have other staff members for him to interact with, ultimate versions of other psychologists, like Dr. Ashley Kafka and Dr. Bart Hamilton.

http://www.geocities.com/spidey_villains/goblin3/goblin3.html

http://www.spiderfan.org/characters/dr_kafka.html

Kafka would be the number two person at ravencroft, perhaps even a love interest for Samson and would be very supportive of his work and sharing his ideals on many issues. Dr. Bart Hamilton would be a different story, he thinks Samson is wimp and wants to take a heavier hand with the inmates. Samson wants to fire Bart Hamilton, but the government won't let him, because many agree with Hamilton's ideas. Hamilton and Samson get into arguements all the time. there also evidence that Hamilton may be corrupt, planning getting genetic samples from the inmates so he can discover the secrets of their powers and sell them to the highest bidder.
 
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Zombipanda

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For some strange reason, I always thought Ravencroft was over in the DC universe. (And then after you mentioned it, I did my librarian thing and looked it up in the database at Marvel.com. Really do learn something new every day on this job. :D ) Would it be plausible for Samson to be one of the founders of Ravencroft in the UU? The rise of meta-humans in the Ultimate Universe seems to be a very recent development, within just the last generation or two. After Samson leaves SHIELD, starting an institution like this might be a logical step at some point down the road.

There are a couple of possibilities. Ravencroft seems to be a lot like DC's Arkham. If the government reevaluates SHIELD and decides they have too much power after the events of Ultimates 3, it would make sense for them to build a new facility to hold the villains who used to be detained in the Triskelion. Or, Samson could have been working as a retainer for SHIELD in return for getting the funding to start an institute. Or, his involvement with SHIELD could be that he was in charge of the psychological screenings inside the Triskelion, but his primary purpose was establishing Ravencroft as one of their facilities. His expeditions and all that could be funded by the endowment for Ravencroft, under the banner of studying a connection between ethnology and mutation.

Seldes Katne said:
Ah, well, I passed forty a while back, so I think anything more than conversation might be outside everyone's comfort zone. But the conversation itself is good and always welcome.

I'll still pine over you. Really. Promise.

Seldes Katne said:
I've taught a writing class, so I've got a slightly different take on this. However, the biggest problem with my class in college was that the teacher was big on realistic fiction, and here I was reading sci-fi and fantasy literature. Granted, certain elements of writing are common to all forms of fiction, but the differences made it really difficult for the teacher and I to relate to each other's interests.

True that. But then you have brilliant writers like Thomas Pynchon and Vonnegut who manage to mix those genres into really deep, literary fiction.

Seldes Katne said:
I have a more science fiction version of vampirism's origin kind of worked out (briefly, vampires as geneticially engineered humans, with recombinant DNA from various other animals allowing them to change forms and do other odd things), meant as predators for "regular" humans by an alien race that wanted Earth without humanity cluttering up the place. The "disease" basically remakes the subject, retains human-level intelligence, but destroys the humanity behind it (if that makes sense).

Interesting idea, but not exactly my copy of tea. I'd steer clear of the heavy sci-fi stuff and really give vampires more of a mystic origin, maybe even leaving it ambiguous. The last thing I want to see is Spider-Man facing alien vampires.

Seldes Katne said:
Oh, sorry. Damien [Hellstrom -- I'm guessing he's going by the same last name, although it's never used], a.k.a. Son of Satan, showed up as a member of the Defenders in Ultimates2 Issue 6, and then again in the Ultimates annual, apparently as a SHIELD "plant" and part of the Super Soldier initiative. (I'm wondering what his abilities are, if any -- possibly something that mimics all the supernatural abilities he supposedly has in regular Marvel. I'm not familiar with Daimon Hellstrom in 616 Marvel, but the UU is something of a clean slate, so....)

Oh yeah. I am vaguely familiar with the 616 version and I remember the character popping up in the UU. As I understand, he's the ACTUAL son of the devil in the 616. :D Could be interesting to have Satan's Son working as a covert operative for SHIELD.

Seldes Katne said:
This I'll have to mull over for a while and see if I can come up with something that would really put him on the outs with SHIELD, without him just be conveniently made to "disappear" or something.

Either he's SHIELD freelance, some other government agency snatched him up, or Ravencroft is SHIELD funded.

Seldes Katne said:
I've always had issues with scientists who test unknown techniques or injections on themselves. (On the other hand, there are plenty of real-life examples of that happening, so it's not unheard-of, just, in my opinion, kind of stupid.) I was going to avoid the whole "superhero" thing anyway and just leave Samson as a really smart but basically regular guy, but I could be persuaded otherwise.

I don't want him as a superhero either. I want him as a pulp hero. And the whole "I'm so confident in my theory I'm going to test it out on myself" just jives real well with me to how those early pulp heroes are characterized. The radiation exposure would just be a means to explain exactly how he manages to be so grossly adept in so many fields.

Seldes Katne said:
Perhaps some of that could be attributed to "the mutation", although it would make more sense to me if Samson had the super-smarts before he did the self-experimentation.

I agree. He should be a human in great condition both mentally and physically before the mutation. I'm thinking the gamma exposure does something to his brain to open up new pathways of thought, but I'm not exactly sure how.

Seldes Katne said:
Having Samson interested in all of the sciences you mention makes some sense -- there is a biochemical side to why people think and act the way they do, so a relationship already exists between those two fields. Also, archaeology and enthnology would be useful in comparing behaviors across cultures, and in tracing possible racial changes in behavior over time. For example: at one time I found a source that suggested that humanity was once telepathic, and for some reason lost or completely suppressed that ability, for whatever reason. I can't remember where or when I read that, but if evidence existed that humanity could communicate mentally at some point existed, it could shed light on some meta-human behavior in the present day.

Exactly. I was thinking along those lines too.

Seldes Katne said:
As I recall, the reason Doc Savage could get away with that sort of thing was that he and most of his buddies were independently wealthy. Indiana Jones has a university expense account. Samson's ability to globe-trot might be an offshoot of being in charge of (or hired by) Ravencroft, which would also give him the excuse to get out there and track down interesting individuals for study and/or interview. (Or perhaps Ravencroft is affiliated with SHIELD in some way, and this "falling out" is just a feint of some sort.) Have to give that some thought.

Yeah. Because not only are they scientists and adventurers. They're adept businessmen too. Gotta love all those old characters. I'd say Ravencroft is funded by SHIELD, meaning he has to use some intelligence in convincing them to fund his particular adventures.

Overlord said:
What the heck does Ravencroft have to do with " throwaway mutations"? Ravencroft would just be institution devoted to the psychological study of superhumans. It would be an ultimate version of this place:

Typo on my part. I meant to say "throwaway ultimization". I'd hate to have the dude relegated to just a background position or a few panels here and there.
 

The Overlord

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There are a couple of possibilities. Ravencroft seems to be a lot like DC's Arkham. If the government reevaluates SHIELD and decides they have too much power after the events of Ultimates 3, it would make sense for them to build a new facility to hold the villains who used to be detained in the Triskelion. Or, Samson could have been working as a retainer for SHIELD in return for getting the funding to start an institute. Or, his involvement with SHIELD could be that he was in charge of the psychological screenings inside the Triskelion, but his primary purpose was establishing Ravencroft as one of their facilities. His expeditions and all that could be funded by the endowment for Ravencroft, under the banner of studying a connection between ethnology and mutation.


Typo on my part. I meant to say "throwaway ultimization". I'd hate to have the dude relegated to just a background position or a few panels here and there.

Did you see my post up above that explains that deals with same the characters and storylines you can have with Ravencroft? There is tons of potenial for Samson as just a regular psych expert at Ravencroft, therew would no reason for it be a "throw away" ultimatization.
 

Zombipanda

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Did you see my post up above that explains that deals with same the characters and storylines you can have with Ravencroft? There is tons of potenial for Samson as just a regular psych expert at Ravencroft, therew would no reason for it be a "throw away" ultimatization.

*nod* I saw it, and I think it's an interesting spin on the character. But I feel like no matter what book you integrated him into, he'd end up as a small supporting character. Not that that's a bad thing, it's just that I don't see a way to integrate Ravencroft in a way that would either stand on its own or have enough of a role in an existing book in a way that would really push the plot forward.

I don't see enough action for it to work as a stand-alone book, and I don't see the interactions of the Ravencroft employees having a strong enough hook for existing books so that they can be used as major and recurring characters.

To shift gears, War Machine.

I'd make him an actual war machine. James Rhodes is working at Stark Industries either as a research scientist with military background or a security force. He defects, with blueprints for one of Stark's scrapped Iron Man models, and ends up operating it as a a one-man destruction unit for either the CIA or military to use in wars abroad. I'd move away from the typical Iron Man costume and make him essentially a big-*** bipedal tank.
 

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