What is this?
The idea is basically to recreate the kind of alternate look’s at the Marvel universe you see in “What If’s” or “The Exiles”. We do this by “drafting” superheroes in turn.
The draft is conducted in snaking order (ABDDCBA,etc.). On the drafter’s turn, they will select a Marvel character with a modified background, for example “You can mess around a fair bit with stuff like this, so Flash Thompson might have been bitten by a radioactive spider, Utopia Isle may be present and Wolverine’s powers might include duplication, to truly explain how he manages to be everywhere. Drafters should feel free to include background information – places, companies, etc. – in their picks to flesh out OM’s Alternate Marvel Universe, but should avoid being too specific about non-draft-pick characters, so as not to tread on the toes of one’s fellow drafters. Draft to consist of seven rounds of “main” character selections, followed by a team name selection round, a villain selection round, and a “wild card” round where drafters fill in holes with a brief description of up to five background/supporting characters. At the end of the draft, a brief plot synopsis of your first planned story arc would be appreciated, though. (Either a paragraph per issue, a big overview, an actual script, whatever) ”
So basically we determine who’s in, randomise who goes first and then get cracking. To make sure things dont drag I think it would probably be best to institute a time limit on draft picks. Once we get going you have a six hour window to make your pick, if you miss your pick you dont loose it the next person just gets to pick first and so on.
The format of the entry is entirely up you, you can break it down as “Origin – Powers/Abilities – Costume”, a simple paragraph or a little bit of fiction.
It would probably be easiest to do as a forum thread, as we may want to hash out world details and such. But we could also do it as a colour coded public google document, an email thread, a wiki page, etc.
I’ve included a sample selecton of entries and team summaries below from various threads I’ve seen:
“Oh man, oh man! Rick’ll be kickin’ himself in the morning! “Oh, look at me! The nuke testing range is too dangerous to drive across!” Ha! I showed him. You sure did.
Oh god this is cool. Look at me! Us. I’m huge! And ripped! Kind of radioactive, but hey, I we always looked good in green.
This is incredible! I’m a hunk! Waaait…I’m gonna need a name. The Incredible Hunk! God damn it Wade, that’s ridiculous. No, wait. It’s missing something. Hunk…hero…That ain’t gonna scare NOOBODY…Hmm…How about…HULK? I like it.
WADE WILSON is … THE INCREDIBLE HULK! The Monster with a Mouth!
[Before you kill me, think: The Hulk is probably only constantly RAARGHSMASH because Banner is hilariously repressed. WW is about as non-repressed as you can BE without being the Joker. Deadhulk/Hulkpool is, of course, powered by his own self-confidence. And mad as a barrel of ferrets. Just not mad.]”
“Congratulations, Director Howlett.”
I thank her, of course. Extend a hand – tense those muscles, extend a hand, I said, just a hand. She takes it like mana and I only have to work a little to fake a smile.
Got to keep up appearances. I’ve been doin’ that almost as long as I’ve been fighting. Or at least, almost as long as these people know I’ve been fighting.
She asks, “Shall we be underway?”
I nod. That gets all eyes on the main windscreen, so I take the moment to lower myself into the chair at the center of the bridge and prop my chin on my head. Let ’em think it looks thoughtful. Let ’em not know it’s ’cause I don’t dare uncoil.
How in the hell did I get HERE?
Two World Wars. Alpha Flight.
I let myself be a hero, again. That’s bad enough, fighting for somebody else. But, damn me, I let myself lead again, let myself remember how Charlemagne and Genghis and Alexander and Nobunaga and Conan led, and how I had, before.
Can’t imagine it’s gonna end well.
The helicarrier shakes around me as it rises over the New York skyline. For one of the very few times in my life, I have to admit, it’s a sight I’ve never seen. What a feeling that is! I take a moment to savor it. I can’t let these kids see how much it hits me, any more than I can let them see… that.
As the helicarrier rises above the tallest buildings, the co-pilot looks over his shoulder and grins at me, gleaming hero-worship grin on his fool face. When he speaks I know why; he’s a Canadian, like I… claim to be.
Chose to be.
The kid says, “Director Howlett, the SHIELD helicarrier is fully operational. We are cleared to leave dock.”
“Take us out,” I say. Let the kid grin. A new experience! Haven’t had that since the nuke. Hell, let me grin. A new experience that ain’t pain. Haven’t had that in nearly as long as I can remember.
“And kid,” I add, “call me Logan.”
The Immortal Wolverine, Director of SHIELD!
I wanted to play up Wolverine’s immortality and how he’s supposedly studied every martial art and strategy under the sun. To play him up as a (somewhat) grittier Captain America – the iconic image is of him cutting off Hitler’s head – and the first “public” modern super. But, his regeneration is something different, and much, much worse, than in 616…
Dr. Stephen Strange was once the ultimate wunderkind. He earned 10 degrees by age 25, including an M.D., Ph.Ds in Quantum Physics and Engineering as well as advanced degrees in Law, History, and Philosophy. Turning from study to experimentation and exploration, Strange has spent the last 15 years traveling this world and beyond. He speaks 15 languages, including two of his own creation and another that will not be invented for four centuries. He is a veteran of three wars, one of which only five people currently living on Earth are aware occurred. He is a challenger of the impossible and the world’s foremost existential surgeon- using science, ancient knowledge gleaned from the relics of lost civilizations, and the judicious application of necessary violence to repair the wounds in reality left by extra-dimensional horrors, hidden cults, and alien menaces.
Here’s an example of a draft summary after all the hero “pick’s” are done:
Tony Stark, “Iron Mage,” the Sorcerer Supreme. Every bit as brilliant as he thinks he is. Is only marginally aware of the way he’s traded in his addiction to alcohol for the rush of magical power. Incorrigible flirt and Lothario who will hit on most every woman – and about half of the men – that cross his path; absolutely terrified of anything resembling a “stable relationship,” however, sabotaging every such possibility. For all his flaws, he still safeguards the dimension from universe-ending threats every day of the week.
En Sabah Nur, “The Moon Knight,” Immortal Meddler. Imagine Batman’s drive combined with Vandal Savage’s longevity. Is overseeing schemes that will not come to fruition for centuries. Has abandoned more good ideas than most people will ever have. Emotionally detached to the point of ridiculousness. Thinks he has normal human relationships and is very, very wrong. Richer than Croesus. Almost never engages in direct combat but when he does he’s a monster.
Ronan “the Advocate,” Alien Champion. Cares deeply about the human race. This does not extend to caring deeply about individual humans, usually, though brave warrior-types earn enough respect for him to care. Is well aware that his prediliction for combat makes him a freak among his native Kree, and is okay with that. His Universal Weapon functions on the same principles as Captain Marvel’s Nega-Bands and all other Kree Champion Weaponry; only the Supreme Intelligence completely understands the principles involved. The Damage Control member with the highest public profile. Came in second place on an episode of Celebrity Wheel of Fortune.
Maya Lopez, “Forge,” Shaman of the Future. Has a hopeless crush on Tony. Guided by the spirits of technology to create new devices, giving her the same hyperinvention powers as 616’s Forge. Has not told anyone about the open material witness warrant still out for her in New York City. Has far more underworld contacts than anyone suspects. Keeps coming up with plans for new and more destructive nukes and refusing to build them; this is irritating to the spirits.
Baron Helmut Zemo, “Fantomex,” Spymaster Supreme. Has no real human relationships but, unlike En Sabah Nur, understands and accepts this. Has no real self-identity anymore, which gives him a surprising innate resistance to psychic manipulation. Is really, seriously, intensely damaged – all the crazy bits of Batman without the mitigating effects of Alfred and the various Robins. Not really a “hero,” per se, but more a villain who’s villainous to other villains. Villainously. Pretty much the best spy on Earth; having no real emotions of his own has made him really good at faking them for the benefit of others.
Ororo Munroe, “Butterfly,” Weather Divinator. Very distant from most of humanity (seeing a trend here?). Mutant power includes not just the ability to manipulate the weather but the ability to process all of the information that can be gleaned from the weather. Has been empowered/upgraded by Gaea to act as a sort of “early warning system” for ecological issues.
Pepper Potts, Human Network Hub. The heart and soul of the group, for all that it’s Tony’s brainchild. Knows just about everything worth knowing, analyzes patterns “liek whoa,” and monitors the vast network of information-gathering apparati that Damage Control has constructed in realtime. The metal bits have put a bit of a crimp on her dating life, though, which is starting to bother the heck out of her. She’s the one that keeps Damage Control from crossing the line, sometimes by massaging the data they get and sometimes by flat-out telling them “no, that’s just morally reprehensible.”
Irene Merryweather, In Over Her Head. Conspiracy theorist reporter girl who stumbled upon a bigger story than even she could have expected. The viewpoint character for the hypothetical book, and the driving force behind the action. Very poorly regarded as a journalist, but much, much more talented than her peers give her credit for.
If you’re interested reply in the comments (or on Facebook, or on Twitter, or by phone, or text, or email, or in person, or by semaphore)
Listening to: The Stone Roses - The Hardest Thing in the World