Victorian Marvel stories?

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ProjectX2

Don't expect me to take you with me when I go to s
YES! I also thought a steam-powered Iron Man would be awesome. I really need to go and type up that Avengers idea.
 

compound

Well-Known Member
YES! I also thought a steam-powered Iron Man would be awesome. I really need to go and type up that Avengers idea.
I never read the first sequel to 1602 -- The New World, I believe it was called, by Greg Pak -- but I understand it featured a kind of primmitive BATTERY-powered Iron Man.

Anyway, just to stimulate everybody's imagination in a semi-related way, has everybody else already seen these Steampunk Star Wars designs?
 

ProjectX2

Don't expect me to take you with me when I go to s
I never read the first sequel to 1602 -- The New World, I believe it was called, by Greg Pak -- but I understand it featured a kind of primmitive BATTERY-powered Iron Man.

Anyway, just to stimulate everybody's imagination in a semi-related way, has everybody else already seen these Steampunk Star Wars designs?
I believe he powered his suit by absorbing electricity from lightning strikes or something like that. I haven't read it in a while, but it was original.
 

Zombipanda

My Boom-Boom's mostly gay
I'd make The Iron Man (it needs a The at the beginning) a massive machine with huge steam-powered engines that requires a full staff of Chinamen to launch.

McCheese said:
I think Daredevil would work well. You wouldn't even have to change much. Lawyer by day, vigilante by night. A devil theme would fit in well in the time period. Hell even Kingpin would translate well. The only trouble would be his chemical induced superpowers, but I'm sure I could find a Victorian angle on that.
There we go.

With Shang-Chi, Kingpin, Daredevil, and characters like that, I'd play up the street gangs angle. Five Corners. Gangs of New York stuff. Is it too late in the era for that?

Blade could be an escaped slave who protects the underground railroads of the south from slavehunters and worse monsters.

The Shield and The Sword would be the American and British branches of a secret intelligence organization that was detailed in a secret treaty preceding the end of the Revolutionary War. General Fury is the American head of the agency, Dum Dum Dugan the British, and Hank Pym is the head research scientist.

Edit: Spring-Heeled Jack is probably a better fit for Daredevil. I'd merge the two myths.
 
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Foolsfolly

Well-Known Member
Iron Man's the clear easy one to fit into that age.

So I wanted to find the toughest one to fit in that age.

My first thought was Hulk, but he fits nicely as a riff on Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyd which is what Hulk is anyway. Just with Gamma bombs.

Blade fits easily as well since you have his mother as a slave that a vampire master fed on and bam through whatever logic you have Blade.

The X-Men are no fun since they're mutants and mutants will alway be "born that way" so it's not hard to just throw them into the story with a different setting.

The Fantastic Four could be messing with alchemy and become the four element. That overused theme in their history. And since we have characters like the Alchemist that if they work, would work better in this time period, I don't think it's a stretch to use alchemy.

So who's the toughest?

I think Spider-Man. No radiation, no genetics. How do you give Pete his spider powers? Well, let me rephrase that.

How do you give him his spider powers without involving that totem crap?

I can go with a Vandal Savage type approach and have an asteroid hit nearby and radiate a spider and have him bit that way, but that brings to mind Venom and all that.

But I just don't know of a good way to have Spidey "downgraded" into that era.
 

Zombipanda

My Boom-Boom's mostly gay
Iron Man's the clear easy one to fit into that age.

So I wanted to find the toughest one to fit in that age.

My first thought was Hulk, but he fits nicely as a riff on Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyd which is what Hulk is anyway. Just with Gamma bombs.

Blade fits easily as well since you have his mother as a slave that a vampire master fed on and bam through whatever logic you have Blade.

The X-Men are no fun since they're mutants and mutants will alway be "born that way" so it's not hard to just throw them into the story with a different setting.

The Fantastic Four could be messing with alchemy and become the four element. That overused theme in their history. And since we have characters like the Alchemist that if they work, would work better in this time period, I don't think it's a stretch to use alchemy.

So who's the toughest?

I think Spider-Man. No radiation, no genetics. How do you give Pete his spider powers? Well, let me rephrase that.

How do you give him his spider powers without involving that totem crap?

I can go with a Vandal Savage type approach and have an asteroid hit nearby and radiate a spider and have him bit that way, but that brings to mind Venom and all that.

But I just don't know of a good way to have Spidey "downgraded" into that era.
Dude. Peter Parker is Pip. He's a poor London kid who's been raised by his aunt and uncle for most of his life. Aunt May's sick, and so Peter works long shifts in a factory. One day, he gets bit by a spider, who's become mutated by the density of the pollution in the factory, giving Peter magnificent powers. Using his powers, he hooks up with a carnival in town, to help the sick May. But the man who runs the carnival treats Peter wrong, and so Peter just sits back and watches as Wilson Fisk (the fat cat who owns the factory Peter works at, along with much of the city) extorts money out of the carnival owner. Shortly thereafter, Peter's Uncle Ben is trampled by Fisk's carriage. Peter decides that with great power comes great responsibility, and decides that it's his responsibility to fight the corruption of men like Wilson Fisk, and to improve living conditions for the poor and the destitute.
 

compound

Well-Known Member
The Fantastic Four could be messing with alchemy and become the four element. That overused theme in their history. And since we have characters like the Alchemist that if they work, would work better in this time period, I don't think it's a stretch to use alchemy.
I posted my suggestion for this, earlier in the thread, in case you missed it:
* From a quiet glen in upstate New York, an intrepid team of four voyagers attempt an early, Jules Verne-esque moon launch, using a primitive cannon-like device. Leading the mission is a nebbish inventor and physicist; he is joined by a schoolteacher (who hopes to bring the great American way to the savage "moon peoples"); her brother, a fiery steam engine driver; and a Russian-Jewish emigre machinist. But things don't turn out the way you expect them to, in this cautionary tale of the perils and wonders of discovery.
I don't know whether I'd duplicate the "four elements" motif, partly because 1602 did that already, and alchemy seems to be a better fit for the Elizabethan era, anyway. I'm not sure whether alchemy had been discredited by the time of the late Industrial Revolution.

One other way to adapt the concept might be to use the idea of "Hippocratic psychology", which still influenced late 20th century medicine, I believe.

Basically, the idea was the four "humors" or "temperaments" ruled a person's nature.

Choleric, influenced by yellow bile --> Johnny
Melancholic, influenced by black bile --> Ben
Sanguine, influenced by blood --> Sue
Phlegmatic, influenced by phlegm --> Reed

Read this, for a more detailed explanation.
 
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Zombipanda

My Boom-Boom's mostly gay
BAM!

The X-Men is a group of mutants who fled Europe for America, hoping to escape the persecution. They found that New Amsterdam was only more terrifying. Eventually, they were saved by an abolitionist and philanthropist (born into a rich family) called Charles Xavier. He's also a mutant, and establishes a school in the heart of uptown New Amsterdam, hoping to train these mutants to control their powers. The school was discovered, and burned. They fled at the start of the Civil War, hoping to avoid persecution in the west. They did in California. Here, they banned together, fending off the attackers. Soon, the other tribes were united, and the mutants and humans intermingled together in a tenuously mixed culture. This union managed to bring mutants from the various tribes together for the first time, as well. Meanwhile, Magnus Lush is a Rebel general. When he was young, his family's wagon trail was attacked by an indian raid. His parents were butchered and he spent a time at the mercy of the unit, until he was finally rescued and returned to his closest family in the South. He eventually joined the military, gained his powers, and shortly thereafter became EXCELLENT as a military man. Raised on ideals of southern aristocracy and noblesse obliege, he considers his mutancy to indicate that he is intended to rule. And so he marches west with his troops and gathers troops, intending to start a Civil War II, by claiming the western lands as a mutant confederacy. He'll just have to steamroll over settlers and injuns to get there.
 

compound

Well-Known Member
BAM!

The X-Men is a group of mutants who fled Europe for America, hoping to escape the persecution. They found that New Amsterdam was only more terrifying. Eventually, they were saved by an abolitionist and philanthropist (born into a rich family) called Charles Xavier. He's also a mutant, and establishes a school in the heart of uptown New Amsterdam, hoping to train these mutants to control their powers. The school was discovered, and burned. They fled at the start of the Civil War, hoping to avoid persecution in the west. They did in California. Here, they banned together, fending off the attackers. Soon, the other tribes were united, and the mutants and humans intermingled together in a tenuously mixed culture. This union managed to bring mutants from the various tribes together for the first time, as well. Meanwhile, Magnus Lush is a Rebel general. When he was young, his family's wagon trail was attacked by an indian raid. His parents were butchered and he spent a time at the mercy of the unit, until he was finally rescued and returned to his closest family in the South. He eventually joined the military, gained his powers, and shortly thereafter became EXCELLENT as a military man. Raised on ideals of southern aristocracy and noblesse obliege, he considers his mutancy to indicate that he is intended to rule. And so he marches west with his troops and gathers troops, intending to start a Civil War II, by claiming the western lands as a mutant confederacy. He'll just have to steamroll over settlers and injuns to get there.
You've got the storytelling fundamentals in place, but your historical facts are messed up:

* the abolition movement began in the 1770s in the US, more or less, culminating much later, in Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865; so that's your general timeframe for Xavier's life, if he identifies as an "abolitionist"

* the American Civil War was 1861-1865; if Magnus Lush intends to start a second Civil War, then your story needs to take place after 1865 but...

* you mentioned New Amsterdam, which became New York waaaaaaay back in November 1674 (almost 200 years before the American Civil War!)

* and what kind of persecution exactly are the European mutants escaping? Who's doing the persecution in the "homelands"?

Incidentally, in case anybody needs to clarify this, the Victorian period refers to the period from approximately 1837 (when Queen Victoria took over the English crown) until her death in 1901. More significantly, perhaps, it involves the social, political, and technological advances brought about by mechanization, steam power, and eventually electricity, as part of the Industrial Revolution. Please keep that in mind, when suggesting ideas.
 

Zombipanda

My Boom-Boom's mostly gay
You've got the storytelling fundamentals in place, but your historical facts are messed up:

* the abolition movement began in the 1770s in the US, more or less, culminating much later, in Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865; so that's your general timeframe for Xavier's life, if he identifies as an "abolitionist"

* the American Civil War was 1861-1865; if Magnus Lush intends to start a second Civil War, then your story needs to take place after 1865 but...

* you mentioned New Amsterdam, which became New York waaaaaaay back in November 1674 (almost 200 years before the American Civil War!)

* and what kind of persecution exactly are the European mutants escaping? Who's doing the persecution in the "homelands"?

Incidentally, in case anybody needs to clarify this, the Victorian period refers to the period from approximately 1837 (when Queen Victoria took over the English crown) until her death in 1901. More significantly, perhaps, it involves the social, political, and technological advances brought about by mechanization, steam power, and eventually electricity, as part of the Industrial Revolution. Please keep that in mind, when suggesting ideas.
Yeah. It's been a minute since I've taken an American history class. I should have known the New Amsterdam thing. As for Civil War II, maybe that was a bad choice of words. Magneto would be trying to secede while the North and South are fighting. He'll take advantage of them being distracted. As for persecution in the homelands.... My guess is that if mutants started showing up in the Victorian, they got the same sort of hostile, negative response from the public they do in modern continuity.
 

Zombipanda

My Boom-Boom's mostly gay
hm.... No one? really? What I like about the Victorian era is that a lot of the pulp literature from that time ended up morphing into or being adapted for the earliest comic books, so, with each story you could explore the literary ancestor of the particular character.

Thor would be told in the style of a Lost World story in the style of Edgar Rice Burroughs or Arthur Conan Doyle, with social influences from Heart of Darkness. He would be a Scandinavian shipmate who is on a vessel transporting diamonds from the African continent. Here, he encounters the horrors of imperialism. His ship is attacked by natives and while escaping, he gets lost in the jungle and finds the hammer of Thor (which could be tied into the local mythology by finding an analogous African myth to Thor). He lifts it, and becomes the god of thunder, to the amazement of the local people. He's revered by a god and ushered into a lost world deep in the heart of the continent, where prehistoric beasts roam, and all manners of magic are real. Thor has to take on the role of guardian, protecting this hidden utopia from invading Europeans, and the monsters that roam the darkness.

Black Panther would be done in the style of pulp jungle fiction like Tarzan and Rima the Jungle Girl. As the prince of the Wakanda tribe, T'Challa sees the tribes around him fall to corruption and greed, becoming slavers and lap-dogs for the Europeans. Hoping to save his people, he sneaks away and ventures into the deep wilderness in the hope of finding a heart-shaped herb which supposedly was the source of a legendary and recurring folk hero called the Black Panther. He succeeds, only to find upon his return that his village is desolate and in disrepair, the victim of roaming slavers. He takes the regalia of the legendary Black Panther and makes a home in the jungle. With his tribe gone, he is forced into solitude. Soon, rumors start spreading of a legendary Ghost Panther, who appears out of nowhere to save people in need and to mercilessly assault and sabotage the surrounding diamond mines.

Marc Spector would be an English soldier and adventurer who finds himself in Egypt. Here, he rapidly becomes involved in a group called the Explorer's Club which investigates archaeological findings throughout Egypt and combats all varieties of mystical threats. He is also privy to murmurs of independence, murmurs he begins to sympathize with. On one of his adventurers, Spector finds a temple to the god Khonsu, who offers him immense power, power which can be used to bring liberty and independence to the people of Egypt. He becomes a nationalist champion (with no secret identity), combating both the English and the ancient god Seth, who seeks to claim the throne of Egypt and usher in an Age of Darkness. His story would be a blend of Victorian adventure stories with the exaggerated journalism of Lowell Thomas. Spector would be a mix between Allen Quartermaine and T.E. Lawrence

I imagine Ghost Rider would be a Confederate soldier who sells his soul to the Devil at the crossroads, and is forced to spend his nights roaming the American countryside as a ghastly demon atop a devil-steed. It would be done in the style of penny dreadfuls, like Varney the Vampire.

I'm not sure quite what to do with Captain America, but I like the idea of having Cap America and the Punisher as brothers on opposite sides of the Civil War.

Notice the recurring theme here? Most of the characters deal with facing the vast social injustices of the time. The Avengers would form as a coalition of heroes who avenge the rights of all men against tyranny.

Iron Man's stories would be modeled after Horatio Alger dime novels.
Spider-Man would be done in the style of Dickensian serial fiction.
X-Men would be in the style of western/frontier fiction.

Edit: Thor would be the personification of Shango, from Yoruba mythology. Shango's a major orisha, god of thunder, who is a symbol against European entrenchment and also wields a double-headed axe. I'd replace Thor's hammer with Shango's axe, and make all of the weird mutations in the area be a residual effect of the axe's power. As wielder of the weapon, it would be hi duty to keep the monstrosities which arise from the axe's power at bay. His primary rival would be a Dutch mercenary who's the spiritual half-brother to Thor. He'd be an analogue to Loki, but also be the manifestation of all trickster gods. One of these would be Mbwe (a loa in voudunista mythology, who appears as a big game hunter, and is the personification of imperialism and genocide), and Babula Aye (the patron of illness and disease).

In a parallel to the first adventure of the 616 universe's Avengers, the first mission of the Victorian Avengers would be to repel a Dutch attack led by Loki and a number of ghoulish monsters, on Thor's African Valhalla. Somewhere down the line, they would have to repel the Kree-Skrull War, which would be an homage to War of the Worlds.
 
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compound

Well-Known Member
BRAVO, my good man!

Clearly, somebody has spent many an hour scouring the depths of the Imperial Idea-Archiving Engine, compiling a formidable assortment of fanciful homages, intended to recapture the wonderous spirit of that bygone era. Jolly good show, ideed, dear putrefying Oriental bear-like creature.

No, seriously, man, you've outdone yourself here. The influence of modern-day revisionists like Alan Moore is obvious, but I think that's quite inevitable, given the subject matter you're dealing with.

I admire the effort you put into considering exactly how these characters can be naturally adapted to a Victorian setting, as well as providing them with appropriate archetypal roles, in a believable way. Other than a few minor instances, it doesn't feel like you've shoe-horned anything, or force-fit it.

I do believe you've got the start of a viable alternate universe here...
 

Zombipanda

My Boom-Boom's mostly gay
BRAVO, my good man!

Clearly, somebody has spent many an hour scouring the depths of the Imperial Idea-Archiving Engine, compiling a formidable assortment of fanciful homages, intended to recapture the wonderous spirit of that bygone era. Jolly good show, ideed, dear putrefying Oriental bear-like creature.

No, seriously, man, you've outdone yourself here. The influence of modern-day revisionists like Alan Moore is obvious, but I think that's quite inevitable, given the subject matter you're dealing with.

I admire the effort you put into considering exactly how these characters can be naturally adapted to a Victorian setting, as well as providing them with appropriate archetypal roles, in a believable way. Other than a few minor instances, it doesn't feel like you've shoe-horned anything, or force-fit it.

I do believe you've got the start of a viable alternate universe here...
Eh. There wasn't much to it. I just scribbled it down after I smoked some.... tobacco. I dig all a lot of that pulpish Victorian Lit, so it was really about just fitting the pieces together.

Although, I really dig your angle on the Fantastic Four. I think it may be the best character fit out of the bunch. Launching to the moon and finding the Inhumans and diving to the floor of the sea to interact with Atlanteans is very Vernse.
 

ourchair

Well-Known Member
Eh. There wasn't much to it. I just scribbled it down after I smoked some.... tobacco. I dig all a lot of that pulpish Victorian Lit, so it was really about just fitting the pieces together.
Tobacco use in producing literature FTW.
 

Zombipanda

My Boom-Boom's mostly gay
dear putrefying Oriental bear-like creature.
Heh. Rotting yellow devil-beast.

compound said:
Other than a few minor instances, it doesn't feel like you've shoe-horned anything, or force-fit it.
just curious... what instances seem forced?


I think it would be a cool idea to have an iteration of The Champions. The team itself wouldn't resemble the mainstream version, but would instead be a group of philosophers, artists, and writers who gather together regularly in England and share strange stories. Each would be patterned off the romantics of the period, with each being attuned to the astrological planets (and would have the glyph to match).

Cloak and Dagger would be Luna and Sol, and would be based off Lord Percy and Mary Shelley.

Doctor Strange would be a weirdo patterned on William Blake.

Bruce Banner would be a pastiche of Frankenstein's monster and Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde.

There has to be a Lord Byron, but I can't think of a character who's a good fit. Gambit, maybe?

Also, the Brothers Grimm could be a cool inspiration (they apparently corresponded with Mary Shelley) but I can't for the life of me think of a brother characters in the Marvel U that would fit.

The idea would be that these characters each personify the virtues of a particular planet. And they meet together at various points to share their adventures. As the timeline progressed, they would start to encounter strange omens and signs which seem to point to a twilight on the horizon. They'd begin coming face to face with Lovecraftian monsters as we descended into the twentieth century. The climax would be World War I as the twilight of the heroes. Just as, united, they're starting to unite the world with equality, this completely bleak and suffocating war comes crashing down, and they have no way to fight it. And that would be the end.

I'd maybe relocate Doctor Doom to have him either have a huge impact on the Weimar Republic or the Bolshevik Revolution. I could see Doom as a manipulator in the Russian aristocracy who secretly helps the bolshevik revolutionaries, and when they topple the throne, he pulls the rug out from beneath them and the Cold War that follows has the United States poised directly against Doctor Doom.
 
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