Posts Tagged ‘character spotlight’

Jean-Paul Beaubier aka NorthstarCharacter Spotlight: Jean-Paul Beaubier aka Northstar

Jean-Paul was the last addition to the team. I had already decided that I wasn’t going with the original line up or any of the newer teams because I had specific ideas where I wanted certain characters to be. Yet, I knew the team needed one more member in the core team, it just wasn’t feeling right as is.

So I got to thinking about my villains and who would be a good thwart for Quicksilver and I thought to myself ‘another speed mutant’. I looked at a list of those with speed and Northstar jumped out at me as a character with a great background who would work perfectly into the universe I was creating.

Coming from Canada and Department H, I have a plethora of possibilities, story wise, to draw from. His sister, Jeanne-Marie, sets up my ideas for Dissociative Identity Disorder. Jean-Paul himself is a perfect analogue for Mutants and current equality parallels. He’s also a bit of a jerk which nicely rounds out all the personalities.

Unfortunately, due to the realistic take I’m doing, I had to nix his ability to fly. But he can still run really fast, has endurance and invulnerability. This still makes him pretty formable.

Series Biography:
Growing up in Quebec with his twin sister Jeanne-Marie, Jean-Paul was kicked out of the house at 18 when he came out to his parents that he was homosexual. Not sure where to go, he joined the Canadian Armed Forces along with his sister Jeanne-Marie who also left their parents as a form of protest. Their mutant abilities were easily discovered and the siblings were then moved up into elite training and became some of Department H’s finest soldiers.

When Jean-Paul realized that his sister was being pushed too hard and being mistreated by those who only saw Jeanne-Marie as a weapon to use against other mutants, he took her and fled South, ending up at Xavier’s. Seeking refugee, Xavier welcomed the twins, giving Jean-Paul a job as a teacher at the school.

There is much Jean-Paul left behind in Canada but he blames himself for his sister’s current dissociative state and will do anything he has to in order to help her.

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Character Spotlight: Robert “Bobby” Drake aka Iceman

Robert "Bobby" Drake aka Iceman

Robert “Bobby” Drake aka Iceman

Iceman is one of the original X-Men and I debated for a moment using him. He makes a great foil to Pyro (or Pyro makes a great foil to him?) in the whole Ice vs Fire thing. This was used in the movies and it worked, mostly, but I got annoyed at how forced it felt since they basically re-wrote Pyro to fit. That’s when I realized that I was balking on Iceman because of how much I like Pyro which is totally not fair.

The character of Bobby is that of a prankster (though he’s grown up a lot over the past few years) and he’s the one with the most sense of humor and now I realize I would have been an idiot not to include him. He brings a lightness and fun to the series that I would have found sorely lacking. Yes, this does mean that Bobby gets to be the butt of some classic slapstick, but at the same time he’s the heart of the team. He’s the one who inadvertently holds everything together.

This is how I’m running with Bobby’s characterization. He’s a bit younger than everyone else, very much still a ‘kid’ without actually being a kid, but at the same time, there is a maturity in him just waiting to come of age. He’s the jokester who when he has his moments… he has his moments.

Series Biography:
Bobby grew up in Long Island, the visual aspect of his mutation manifesting a little later than usual. Your typical class clown, his world is turned upside down as his own family doesn’t seem to know what to do with him and just dump him off with Xavier.

The first mutant he met was Scott and the two have become best friends. He’s extremely hopeless, relationship wise, most of the women within dating range at the School thinking of him more as a brother than anything else.

Still earning his degrees, Bobby is a certified Accountant and performs this job for the school. If you are going to buy anything class related, make sure you always save the receipt. If you don’t, you’ll probably find yourself the victim of his latest prank.

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Character Spotlight: Jean Grey

Jean Grey is one of those characters that you love or you love to hate. Whether it’s wishing that she stepped up and was as awesome as she could be, or maybe you just want her to stop dying, everyone has a pretty opinionated opinion of her.

She is a strong character, being a telepath and a telekinetic means she can pretty much do whatever the heck she wants. In my realistic-ish universe, most powers, such as cryokinesis, terrakinesis, basically anything with kinesis at the end, is just a type of locked telekinesis. Meaning that anything Magneto, Iceman, Pyro, etc, can do, she can do, if she puts her mind to it.

That is dangerous ‘over power’ territory which is arguably why in the comics the Phoenix turned into the Dark Phoenix and it all went downhill from there. They had to reign her in somehow? Well, that’s a theory anyway.

In the movies, they decided that instead of Phoenix being an alien-like entity, they simply gave Jean a split personality ala Jeanne-Marie aka Aurora from the comics. I think this was a good move to replace the Phoenix’s cosmic origins with something more realistic. Whether or not they meant to rip off Jeanne-Marie, I don’t know, but I like the concept.

This is why in my universe there is MIDID, Mutation Induced Dissociative Identity Disorder. It’s a very real disorder to worry about as we will see from Aurora in the first season and something which holds Jean back. It’s not that she has MIDID, but she knows she could easily suffer from it, if she pushes herself too fast and too hard. So Jean is only limited by herself. This keeps her within a reasonable power threshold while adding some character traits and development tools for me to use.

As for Jean Grey not having a nickname, I couldn’t exactly use Marvel Girl in a realistic universe especially as Marvel still exists in this world. I can’t use Phoenix because she’s not Phoenix. I decided to simply not give her a mutant name because not everyone out there has a nickname nor wants one. It also allows for a mixture of character styles which keeps things interesting.

Series Biography:
Jean Grey grew up in upstate New York the daughter of a wealthy and influential lawyer who has served on several State and Congressional Councils as well as on the boards of Fortune 500 companies. She was Xavier’s first student when the first part of her mutation, telepathy, manifested at a rather young age. A few years later, her telekinesis manifests during an attack on herself, the Professor, and Scott.

Even though she is teaching and helping at Xavier’s, she’s studying to get her PhD in Genetics to better understand how mutations work and how to help her fellow mutants.

Jean has two potential suitors, Scott Summers and Warren Worthington III. Her best friend is Betsy Braddock, also a telepath, and she thinks of Kitty and Jubilee as younger sisters.

Currently Jean is the biology, natural sciences, and social science teacher at Xavier’s School for Higher Learning.

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Scott Summers aka Cyclops

Scott Summers aka Cyclops

Scott Summers aka Cyclops

Concept Stage:

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a big fan of the X-Men leader, mostly because he seems to get the short end of the stick whenever the writers decide that they want to do something different in the storylines. I’m not totally convinced that he’s really supposed to be as bad as he is in the comic, what with the ‘dumping his wife and son for a girlfriend whom he later cheats on anyway and oh he kinda looses it when the mutants start to become extinct’.

Actually, that last part kinda makes sense considering how much he’s been put through over the years, something was bound to make him snap.

Regardless, as much as I don’t care for a character, I still want to do right by them and Scott is no exception. He’s billed as the leader of the X-Men, the stalwart boy scout, and that’s what I’ve created in X-Men: The (fan fic) Series. A man who earns the alt nickname ‘the Boy Scout’, but at the same time is not the ultimate stick in the mud either.

How do I do this? By making him a true leader. He’s the one who everyone turns too when they know that things are going wrong. He’s the one who takes on the responsibilities for creating the team, it’s his idea even. He’s the one who comes up with the plan of action in a situation. He’s the character willing to make the tough and sometimes unpopular decisions because they are the right thing to do, and not because the Professor or anyone else told him to.

Also, one storyline from the comics and movie I’m going to do away with is the Scott/Jean/Logan triangle. Part of the reason is that it was done to death in the movies (literally), but mostly because I don’t want Scott’s role as leader being defined by that relationship. When he butts heads with Logan it will be because these are two fundamentally different people who look at the world from skewed perspectives. I don’t want their conflict basically watered down to a “stay away from my woman” trope as it so often is.

In the end, Scott will be the leader because, as Jean will put it, “you got [the role as leader] because you’re the right man for the job.”

And of course the best leaders are often reluctant.

Character Background:

Scott has a closely traditional origin of being from Hawaii then after having lost his family in a plane crash he moves to Alaska to live with his grandparents. He finds his way to Xavier’s as a teenager where he grows up with Jean Grey and Warren Worthington III. Of course he has a little thing for Jean but never really thought he had a chance, not that Warren got much farther himself.

In an effort to cure himself of a fear of flying due to the incident which killed his family, Scott took flying lessons once he was old enough and is now a licensed pilot with his own personal plane.

After graduation he did a couple of years of college while helping out at Xavier’s seeing as the school has grown vastly in the past few years, picking up the likes of Robert “Iceman” Drake who becomes his best friend.

Currently Scott is Xavier’s math teacher, Algebra, Calculus, Trigonometry, etc.

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