Or… “My Multiverse Vs. Theirs: Aspirations and Goals”
I grew up loving comic books and their characters.
From watching the 1960’s Spider-Man cartoons and grooving to that swinging theme song, to eagerly awaiting the next Marvel or DC movie based on one of their characters. Add to that my affinity for science fiction, fantasy, animation, history, mythology and various other fields and genres, I consider myself a fairly well-rounded geek. Probably not hard-core, but I definitely embrace geekdom.
All of this has led me to writing. Creating my own characters, stories and worlds, inspired by those that came before me. But one part of my writing always seem to come back to one place, the Infinatum.
In short, the Infinatum is my comic book universe. For nearly twenty years, I’ve populated it with my own creations. The ones that have existed, in one form or another, for those years have become well-known to me. Other, more recent creations, have benefited from my growing experience as a writer. They are more well-defined and well-rounded in their initial creation than many of the my first characters when I first created them.
As much of a fan as I am of Marvel, DC and other indie comic book characters, creating clones of them is pretty pointless. One must define his own creations from others. I believe I’ve done this with the Infinatum. What follows is a definition or outline of the Infinatum and how it differs from all the rest.
The majority of popular comic books characters, those who have become a part of the regular pop culture lexicon, have been around since before World War II. In the world they inhabit, the general population have become accustomed to the existence of these costumed characters. What I want to do with the Infinatum is to start from the beginning. But instead of meeting these characters back in the 1930’s, we do it in the 21st Century.
The existence of super-powered beings, aliens, monsters and giant robots for over seventy years would make the people of the 21st century indifferent towards a team of heroes battling it out in a major city. There would be fear and concern, but in the end, it wouldn’t be anything they haven’t seen before, either live or on YouTube. In a modern society of camera phones, Tweets and tabloid/ reality TV, seeing these powerful beings would be akin to seeing a celebrity with a cape. In short, our society would become desensitized.
I want to bring back the sense of wonder, confusion and fear within the normal population. The world of the Infinatum has been very much like ours, until the Black Wave Event (BWE). Once everything changes, how would people, organizations and Government react to the revelation that such beings exist? But the Infinatum doesn’t just look at the world from the general population’s point of view. It will also be from the people who are directly affected by this, humans and irregulars.
That is another thing the Infinatum has that many other comic book-related stories don’t, the irregulars. They aren’t a new step in human evolution, or enhanced humans, they are a completely different species. Although they were animals, they have been genetically altered to be animal/human, bipedal hybrids. They are still animals, with all the instincts and skills from their previous forms. Add to that the capacity for complex thoughts and emotions. While some may embrace their new existence, others revolt against what they have become. Besides being a metaphor for racism, it has the potential to be taken to a whole different level. Instead of racism, perhaps “species-ism”. Add to this humans exhibiting powers as a result from the same process that created irregulars, as well as the BWE. These humans are lumped in with irregulars. How would a human being be affected by this? How would the world’s population deal with such beings? If irregulars aren’t human, do they have rights? Do human irregulars have rights? Would there be pro and anti-irregular groups? From basic civil rights to living a normal life, these are just a few of the many questions and topics that add needed realism to the stories and characters in a world that is vast and fantastic.
A common theme throughout the Infinatum is what defines a hero. Many of the popular comic book characters deal with this, but since most are ingrained into the core audience and culture, that questioning their role is almost moot. I wouldn’t classify my characters as “heroes”. They are beings trying to deal with their own situation as best they can. Like many people, some want to do good with the skills they have. But true heroes just don’t wake up and become so. They are forged over time, from loss, experience and selfless courage. Many of my characters want nothing to do with being a hero, while others seek it out, not truly knowing it’s true meaning. Like many good comic book, TV series, books, or movies, the characters are defined by who they are, regardless of the skills or powers they have. Many of the best in their respective mediums seem to follow this belief and the Infinatum will be no different. I believe their powers should almost be secondary to the character, how they develop, and exist in their world. It is these paths that greats stories and strong characters will come from.
Being a comic book-styled world, there are a few things in the Infinatum that differ from others of their genre.
In the Infinatum, “Costumes” is a four-letter-word. I prefer “uniform”. But for this world, the whole concept of spandex-wearing super beings doesn’t work for me. That’s not to say there will be no characters with flashy uniforms. All it means is that the uniform will be based on either it’s functionality or a reflection of the character’s origin (military, alternate dimension, government agent, etc.).
The aspect that separates the Infinatum from all other comic books/ super fiction is that death is the end. This is a point I can’t stress enough. So many comic book characters have had significant deaths that were powerful and poignant, only to be brought back to either boost sales or for shock value. Not in the Infinatum. When a character dies, they are dead! D-E-A-D, dead! As a writer, this adds a serious amount of gravitas to any situation where a character is near death or killed. Knowing that they will never come back makes their death that more important and realistic.
The true stars of the Infinatum are the characters. The Regulators, DEVils, The ASI, Wolf Eyes, Kin, Seven and many more, have been around, in one form or another, for nearly twenty years. As I added new characters, I added more depth to the earlier creations. At last count there were nearly two hundred characters, most of which have detailed descriptions and histories. Regardless of age, one thing they all share is a realistic existence within their expansive world, all of which is reflected in who they are. Each group or character has had a different path that has led them to this point. Their view of the world, their history, and personality all affect each character differently, even if their goals are the same. It is these differences that can make for some serious disagreements and clashes, even for those in the same group.
The Infinatum has much to offer. A diverse cast of characters, each with a distinctive voice and path. A vast, ever-expanding multiverse where virtually any story idea, character, or world can be created and folded into it. My hope is that readers will identify with this world and its characters, and share their experiences with others. Because that is the hope of all people who create. To share. To connect. To take people on a fun, frightening adventure with exciting, likeable characters.
Infinatum, Black Wave Event, BWE, The Regulators, DEVils, The ASI, Wolf Eyes, Kin, Seven Copyrighted © 2001 – 2011 Mark James MacKinnon. Any use of these characters, without permission, is strictly prohibited. Any similarities to individuals, living or dead, is purely coincidental.