As I mentioned in the Prodigal Old Man thread, I’ve been having trouble writing stories lately. At least long ones; I find it hard to recall facts, forcing me to constantly check my notes, and I get tired quickly. I still haven’t talked with my doctor about this (my appointment is this Monday) thought I suspect it might be depression from my family problems.
In any case, I still feel the NEED to write. I decided, hey, maybe I can at least write something if I just let the ideas flow and limit myself to short spurts at a time, with no deadline… work my way back up from there. Hence this article.
I’ve always loved the idea of a group of heroes with members from various countries. This is an old idea, of course, you can find it in various comics and cartoons. And yet, I’ve never been completely satisfied by any version. Something’s always missing, I’m not sure what. It may be a realistic use of World Politics, or an proper presentation of the cultures involved… so I decided, hey, let’s give this some thought, maybe even come up with my own team of characters. And what better place to discuss this than an international forum like RPGC?
Let’s start with the logistics:
An international team of heroes- one that operates on all (or most) of the World, needs some kind of permission to cross international borders. The only way that would happen is if the countries involved gave their authorization. So, such a team must be backed up by the United Nations. Of course, those governments might want something in return. I suspect they would carefully choose who represents them, so that they have their countries (or at least the country’s government) agendas in mind first. I. E., the American and Russian heroes might really be CIA and KGB agents. This would be a source of conflict. Of course, being heroes, they eventually put their differences aside and work together (in any story I write they would, at least ) defying specific orders they were given. This of course would not sit well with their governments. There’s quite a bit of potential for story conflict there.
Conflicting with the political aspect would be the cultural one. There would of course be heroes who want to form such a team to protect the World, and maybe foster cultural exchange in the process. Both visions can work together, with the team organized for political purposes but the heroes interpreting things their own way.
Then there’s the membership. Ideally, you’d want a hero from each country in the team. But that would result in a group of over a hundred characters… it would be best if the stories focused only on a small team, and the rest were visited in individual stories. Perhaps even having a team with a rotating membership, so that everyone gets to join at least once. I still haven’t figured out who the main heroes should be, or how they would be rotated, however.
Other logistic problems: Where would the heroes be based? The United Nations building? But that would make it a target for villains (more so, I mean.) Perhaps an island in international waters… or a mobile base, like a battleship? And what would their headquarters be like? (If it’s a ship, that would be solved.) And how would they get around? Would they have their own, advanced vehicles? Or would it be better to split them into smaller teams based near trouble spots around the World? (That would help with the membership problem.)
Then there’s the heroes themselves. On the one hand, I want to make each representative of their home cultures, but on the other, I don’t want them reduced to collections of clichés like so many typical international heroes are. (Check out Marvel’s Irish Heroine, Shamrock: She’s red-haired, green-eyed, wears a green costume, has “good luck” powers, and is even connected to the IRA! I’m surprised she doesn’t Riverdance. ) The trick is, I think, developing the character as a person separately from his or her nationality and powers. The Hindu hero, for example, might be a movie actress on her free time. Hey, we’re living in the 21st Century already, you know. On the other hand, a little cultural flavor doesn’t hurt, especially if it’s realistic- most people from other countries do speak with accents, for example. I’m obviously going to need to do a lot of research on the countries involved for this…
The characters’ powers are also important. I considered having all the superhumans of this world have the same origin -a mutant virus, for example- but then decided that it would be more interesting to have various sources, according to each country’s culture; for example, the American Hero might be given his powers by an experiment, while the African hero might be a shaman. Also, having a variety of powers would not only make it more interesting, but would give good reasons to use particular characters. “Oh no, the Russian hero has been brainwashed! We need a telepath! Somebody call the Hindu guy!”
That’s all for now, I feel tired already… but I managed to spit quite a few words as usual, eh? Anyway, I’m not sure where I’m going with this, I might start my own fanfiction series, or just discuss things in this thread. We’ll see. Of course, any suggestion would be welcome.