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Blinding flashes of the obivious

 
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TechnoAtheist
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 2:12 pm    Post subject: Blinding flashes of the obivious Reply with quote

When I was putting together the ideas for The Grayhound, one of them was how, exactly, did the various heroes get all of the crap they get. Oh, I know that there's various story lines about Bruce Wayne having tons of free time and skill to build carefully crafted ionic drive systems, but in all honesty, there's a h-e-double-hockeysticks of a lot of crap out there being used by a h-e-double-hockeysticks of a lot of people who don't have those same skill sets.

So I reasoned that guys, like the Grayhound, would get a good deal of their stuff from somewhere else, probably second hand. As an added benefit, I made them horribly embarassing, and thus Annie's was created.

But recent discussions over <a href="http://talkaboutcomics.com/viewtopic.php?p=217477#217477">at Killroy and Tina's</a> got me thinking about it in a different light entirely.

One of the hallmarks of Superheroes are the various super-tech outfits. These have tons and tons of various bits of wizardry that are always being developed or deployed to various minions. These have to be subject to the same pressures that any device ever created have experienced. Oh sure, guys may pay top notch for the first refracting trans-mutato-ray, but once the Koreans get ahold of one, expect the market to be flooded with knock-offs in no time. Yeah, so they only turn your opponents into Rock-Island Reds instead of a nearly endless variety of chicken, but hey, if it costs 25%, who's to argue?

And yeah, the Light'n'Death shoulder mounted plasma array is powerful enough to take out the Empire state, but honestly, who really needs to blow up more than the occasional 14 floor Brownstone walkup? I mean, why pay more for things you really don't need all that often?

That's when it struck me. In a world inhabited by superheroes and supervillains, there HAS to be the eqivalent of a Costco. A place just loaded with cut-rate equipment at fantastic prices, perfect for outfitting armies of minions.

Dammit, I have GOT to find some more time to write...
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Narratio
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The idea has been touched on many times by the mainstream Marvel and DC lines. Particularly in Batman and Daredevil, including specialist weapon makers, tailors who can actually make a spandex costume that doesn't ride in all the wrong places AND make it in colours that won't run when washed with the the whites. Even private engineering shops that can whip up antigrav platforms for bad guys, the profit from which is used to fund thier next NASCAR challenger etc.

h-e-double-hockeysticks I remember a Batman strip from the late 50's involving putting a fake shell over Bruce Waynes sports car while the real Batmobile was being rebuilt (by a race car driver who owed Batman his life) after a major "Oops".

The pen and paper superhero RPG's of the 70's always had such little places. I remember Superhero 2044 having such a shop run by a shape changer's head - the rest of his body had been destroyed... Look, it made perfect sense at the time. Anyway, you caould drop in there and drop down experience points and buy mega-blasters, forceshield units etc, Although I never did the economics of experience points, it made sense at the time.

But there can't be too many of these places, and they can't be too large. Probabley they're now web based warehouses (and you thought they were ALL empty?) with a DHL delivery service. Who else would use all those long term rental storage depots?
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TechnoAtheist
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2005 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, it's always the specialists who are hurt most by cheap foreign imports.

(Well, aside from the heroes that are being targeted by those cheap foreign imports)

and the occasional band of minions that are hurled from their catwalk when said cheap foreign import explodes in a pyrotechnic display.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2005 1:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now Minions are another thing. Marvel ran some stories in the late 80's with a training school for thugs, goons and agents in general. If you've a DeVry school for evil genius, there has to be some sort of community college / vocational training schemes for these guys.

Probably with aptitude tests and remarks on report cards like "Luigi has done very well this year in Thud & Splatter but I feel there is still room for improvement." Or "Bruno, while leading the school's Combat Choreography Team has fallen sadly behind in his Obsequiousness studies. He is showing far too much initiative and occasionally questions the orders of his assigned mastermind. Please come and discuss this with us at the earliest opportunity.”

I wonder what the Parent Teacher Association would look like?
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2005 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that JIM touched on it too. If I recall correctly it had something to do with a Lingere shop and asking to see "Victoria's Secret"

Something like that.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2005 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

However, that being said I'm sure there is LOTS of room to expand on that idea.

Especially if it means more Grayhound.

mmmmm gray-ey goodness...
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2005 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mmmmmmmm GrayyyyyyyHouuuuuuuuund.

Maracas. Next story subject perhaps?
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2005 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, I'll admit that I am adding a little something on this topic into the next chapter, (when I get chances to write it. You'd think that going to vegas would have given me lots of time but nooooooooo "You're not sitting infront of the computer all day and night while we're here, you understand me?")
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2005 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I'll try and finish off the previous storyline before I head into the next one. My editor(my wife, not narratio) refuses to let go of it until she explains to me the errors of my gramatical ways. I'll try and pry a cleaned-up version of it from her fingers this weekend.
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Max
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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Narratio"]
Even private engineering shops that can whip up antigrav platforms for bad guys, the profit from which is used to fund thier next NASCAR challenger etc.
[/quote]

Or chinese transfer students trying to sell faux gizmos in order to (finally) pay off their rent. There would, as these things usually go, be no refund on such sort of device, and there should be a manual with bunch of ill-spelled warnings which (in short) mean that it's useless, except in the rare case it shorts and catches fire.
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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm, they'd probably come with an instruction manual written (like stereo instructions) by somebody whose native language is Swahili, translating from Mandarin into English with the help of an on-line dictionary.

Back at the minions and thugs. Given the huge influx of immigrants, why are all these minions WASP's? Why don't the major villains use all these other nationalities? They'll be cheaper for a start! Although suppose getting a bunch of Nepalese, Polish, Serbian, Botswanian, Indonesian and Uzhbek thugs to work together would have certain logistics problems.
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