A Biography Challenge!: Anthem!

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Gladatoria
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A Biography Challenge!: Anthem!

Alright, due to a rampant series of complaints about the originality of Anthem, some of which I share, I propose a challenge!

Build a better bio, a better story! Post your submissions here, I'll chip in too later on! :)

It's Writing Time! :)

*EDIT, Added by Doctor Tyche*

For those who remember, Anthem was originally one of a pair of art pieces made by Black Gold, centered around the unusual armored left arm. Both were patriotic themed, so a generalized history of them being mentor/student developed, with the white male, who gained the nickname American Star during the brainstorming being the mentor to the black female, then nicknamed Second Star (as in second star on the right and straight on till morning). During our development, we wanted to have some form of catastrophic event, so the Atlas Hurricane was developed, and the decision to have a hand-off from mentor to student was made, along with the name change to Anthem. The details have shifted, but that remains the kernel of the story, which you can still find on the old Titan forums if you do a bit of digging.

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Alpha0177
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Do you mind providing a link

Do you mind providing a link to her official bio? I plan to contribute to this idea, I'd just like to write knowing the setting and such. I agree with the originality problem, I'd just rather keep to the major plot points and such.

Gladatoria
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I'll try to locate the link,

I'll try to locate the link, give me a bit! :)

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Redlynne
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As a semi-serious suggestion

As a semi-serious suggestion ... I'd prefer Anthem to be some kind of Sonic Control/Fireworks Brigadier. That would mean as per the chart that Anthem would be an archetype similar to a City of Heroes Dominator. Her sonic control powers would (of course) be John Phillip Sousa based, which should be public domain to pull clips from. Fireworks attack powers would be literally that ... sparklers, streamers, fountains, spinners, mortars, rockets, firecrackers ... anything you'd expect to see at a 4th of July fireworks show (in other words, pyrotechnic explosives). Lots of flash and bang for the visual FX and sound FX people to play with, particularly the distinctive whine and whistle of rockets flying through the air (and bombs bursting in air).

So Anthem would wind up being a "musical controller" with very "flashy" damaging attack powers ... that adds up to being very patriotic (for Americans).

Ditch the whole wannabe sword and shield maiden route. Swords and shields are patriotic for European Powers (particularly of the Roman Legionnaire and Greek Hoplite persuasions) ... but here in the US of A, patriotism is inextricably entwined with ... gunpowder ... as the iconic military weapon of choice ... not swords and shields.

Anthem wouldn't be the type to need a musical instrument (or a backpack filled with fireworks) to manifest these powers, although I could see her using a Conductor's Baton as a focus when manifesting her powers ... which incidentally would look almost exactly like a Magic Wand (although her powers aren't "magic" origin), which I believe is already planned to be a part of the Costume Kit and Powers Animations. Coolest possible origin type for Anthem would be Science, of all things, rather than Mutant (there's far too many mutants in the world) or even Tech.

The "obvious" backstory for her would then be one involving (as usual) a freak mishap accident giving her the superpowers she has ... but in this case the accident occurred during a 4th of July celebratory display (with lots of patriotic music and fireworks going off). That would be the simplest explanation for how she got her powers, and why they manifest (at will) the way they do (so distinctively). Other bits of backstory could then be built up from there.


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This ^^^!

This ^^^!

A very good starting point, IMMOO*

(*In My Marine-Oriented Opinion)

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I'd be likely to skip the

I'd be likely to skip the fireworks and go Sonic/Sonic. Sonic Control/Sonic Defense, with a side-order of Martial Arts. On the other hand, perhaps, instead of 'Control', her set would be Defense/Manipulation? A buff/de-buff/support Defense and a ranged/melee/utility Manipulation.

And despite her patriotism, I would like to draw her Away from 'nationalism', in support of Freedom, as opposed to 'Americanism'. Let's not make a Yankee Doodle from her, but let her represent the song of freedom for Everyone.

Then, add the Armor-Arm, which would give her a couple of 'specials' that are not available to the non-Flagships.

Be Well!
Fireheart

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While I would personally love

While I would personally love a flagship to have support powers (in my case I see a buffer instead of your idea of debuffer) because it would show the game's dedication to not letting DPS be the end/all, something about turning a strong, melee-combat-adept, black woman into a patriotic cheerleader just doesn't sit well with me.

I don't know how much people here know about Massachusetts but people I know are not only the type to yell out insults at each other, they tend to back it up with fists when the time calls for it. Its a long tradition of that independent thought and fighting for that right to be independent.. sure sometimes it makes "Mass-holes" but people there wouldn't have it any other way.

The state can tend to feel very WASP centric with a lower than the national average of most racial minorities.. If the dev's didn't put this dedication to diversity on display I would be worried. I am glad to know that Titan City is much more diverse, but he devs have also said they want even the architecture to represent a real American city.. I know this won't be the "Boston" we know.. but I don't want it to lose all of it's identity either.

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well... just like real Boston

well... just like real Boston.... there's a bit of a difference between Southie and Allston-Brighton.

more to the point, while we do want Anthem to represent Titan City.... as a flagship, she really represents the world as a whole.. and shouldn't be a caricatured Massonian (whether that ends up being a Kennedy, or one of the Boondock Saints)....Just like as a Black Woman, she shouldn't talk like she's "from the streets".

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Redlynne
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Fireheart wrote:
Fireheart wrote:

I'd be likely to skip the fireworks and go Sonic/Sonic. Sonic Control/Sonic Defense, with a side-order of Martial Arts. On the other hand, perhaps, instead of 'Control', her set would be Defense/Manipulation? A buff/de-buff/support Defense and a ranged/melee/utility Manipulation.

I'm not totally wedded to the notion of Sonic Control (in the Controller sense) per se. I could also see doing a Sonic Buff/Debuff powerset instead. The one thing I want to steer away from however is a Sonic/Sonic assemblage of powers, because then you have sound FX stepping on each other everywhere resulting in a sound mess to listen to if both sets of powers are sonic or otherwise "musical" in nature (see: ANTHEM, meaning of word).

Note that switching Anthem from being a Manipulation: Control/Offense: Assault ... Brigadier ... archetype over to a Manipulation: Support/Offense: Assault type would mean that she would instead be ... a Vindicator. In this context, Offense: Assault simply means a mixture of melee and ranged powers, rather than being all melee or all ranged. Why? Sparklers, streamers, fountains, spinners, mortars, rockets, firecrackers ... are a mix of near and far pyrotechnics.

Fireheart wrote:

And despite her patriotism, I would like to draw her Away from 'nationalism', in support of Freedom, as opposed to 'Americanism'. Let's not make a Yankee Doodle from her, but let her represent the song of freedom for Everyone.

This is just one of those things where you can't have a Red, White & Blue character design without invoking flag waving. Plus, the mentor is American Star and the character herself is ANTHEM. You've already got the "patriotic" American thing baked in from inception of the idea. That's why I was angling for a more "celebratory" set of powers and styling, rather than a "cheerleader" set of powers and backstory. But some amount of Yankee Doodle Dandy (in New England!) is pretty much inevitable in a character named ANTHEM who has been mentored by American Star! The key thing though is to not overplay that angle so as to yield a "sappy" Yankee Doodle Cheerleader that people want to see shut up and go away.

Fireheart wrote:

Then, add the Armor-Arm, which would give her a couple of 'specials' that are not available to the non-Flagships.

I'm thinking it would be cool that if the Armor Arm is retained, it would have a couple Tech origin powers built into it, that ... as you say ... would not be available to non-Flagships and are there more for flavor than they are for OMGWTFBBQsauceROFLCOPTER!!1!

JayBezz wrote:

While I would personally love a flagship to have support powers (in my case I see a buffer instead of your idea of debuffer) because it would show the game's dedication to not letting DPS be the end/all

As already mentioned, I have no real objection to switching from a Sonic Control/Fireworks set of powers to a Sonic Support/Fireworks set of powers that are more buff/debuff oriented than they are about control and mezz.

That said, I was originally envisioning a Sonic Control powerset that had more in common with Mind Control than with either Sonic Resonance or Sonic Attack in City of Heroes. That way you could still have a toggle power like Telekinesis that played a loop of Star Spangled Banner (so you get more than just a couple seconds worth of music) that would "hold and repel" hostiles through use of sound pressure (and theme) rather than just sheer telekinetic mind power. A power like Levitate could use a couple bars from The Liberty Bell (specifically the Monty Python cue for the Foot stepping on things) for tossing Foes into the air (dun-ta-dun-ta-dun *DROP*).

I just had an easier time fitting the idea of musical sound FX to Control powers than I did to Support styled buff/debuff powers, that's all.

JayBezz wrote:

something about turning a strong, melee-combat-adept, black woman into a patriotic cheerleader just doesn't sit well with me.

I wasn't thinking about it in those terms, but that's probably why I wanted to go for pyrotechnics in the form of Fireworks (ie. Ranged Damage) rather than go for any sort of smash mouth, bust a move, martial arts. That way, Anthem is a "stand off and bombard" sort of character, rather than a break ('em) dancer who gets into the thick of things.


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Is the creator of Anthem

Is the creator of Anthem still with MWM? Sorry, I went from thinking Anthem talks on the boards was more of our "else worlds", kind of fun discussion to interpret the character to over the last few weeks thinking that now MWM officially revamping the character.

Is this true? I love that we're able to voice our opinions. To be honest I guess I'm in the minority that think (from what I know) the design is just fine. But If MWM is looking for ideas for this character Id love to help.

I just hope this doesn't turn into the community looking at all NPC characters. There are too many different opinions to consider. We don't represent the collective voice for everyone either.

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If I'm honest.... I really

If I'm honest.... I really can't get behind Either Sonic or "Fireworks"

they are both too "on the nose", for my taste, sonic being a far too literal perspective on her name, and fireworks being a far too bombastic and vulgar a vision of fourth of july patriotism.. (not to mention my first thought is Jubilee)

I do like the idea of her being a Defender/styled hero.... A buff/melee set would be cool (I know it won't be around at launch, but Anthem doesn't need to engage in fights at launch)

The idea that, pre-Atlas, Anthem's powers were "only" buff-ish has a lot of built in traction. It makes her a reasonable ally/sidekick of American star, while not having her be his protege.
Then, after his death, she acquires some level of melee martial ability (could be as simple super-strength fisticuffs... or summoning some sort of spear as a standard/flag pole (i.e. the Armor generated a sword for American Star, and a Standard for Anthem.... made into the more tough-looking "spear" for fighting))

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Nova wrote:
Nova wrote:

Is the creator of Anthem still with MWM? Sorry, I went from thinking Anthem talks on the boards was more of our "else worlds", kind of fun discussion to interpret the character to over the last few weeks thinking that now MWM officially revamping the character.
Is this true? I love that we're able to voice our opinions. To be honest I guess I'm in the minority that think (from what I know) the design is just fine. But If MWM is looking for ideas for this character Id love to help.
I just hope this doesn't turn into the community looking at all NPC characters. There are too many different opinions to consider. We don't represent the collective voice for everyone either.

yes, they have not yet finalized (and still working on) the NPCs like Anthem (I think Warcabbit even said something like "who knows if the character is even called Anthem anymore...")

That said, It's unlikely that any brainstorming here will really affect their internal discussions, and they have said on a couple of occations now that they're "full up" on content/art people on the team

......so.....
while the character IS still in flux, this is still just a "shootin' the breeze" type of conversation.

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Appreciate the confirmation

Appreciate the confirmation Ghost, I'll jump in the proverbial sandbox when I get out of work tonight.

Thanks again.

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For now, with the temporary

For now, with the temporary name of "Anthem", the very first thing that comes to my mind is a sonic concept. Either vocal manipulations or Sound wave blaster like the Sonic wave weapons on battleships.

Thoughts?

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I think that's been circling

I think that's been circling around this thread (read previous posts ;))

Personally, I'm not a fan (read previous posts ;))

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In which case I'm fully

In which case I'm fully behind Red's suggestion.

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I'll be bending my brain to

I'll be bending my brain to this over the course of the next few days between work and life. I relish the challenge...

I remember when Star Wars was cool...a long, long time ago...

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Nova wrote:
Nova wrote:

In which case I'm fully behind Red's suggestion.

Bad habit of mine. I'll stop doing it ... one of these days.


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Nah my fault. Should have

Nah my fault. Should have known better to read the entire thread before posting. :). Guess I'm lacking in the common sense department.

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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

Offense: Assault simply means a mixture of melee and ranged powers, rather than being all melee or all ranged.

You're right, 'Assault' is a better model for what I had in mind than 'Manipulation'.

So, we like the Defense=Offense of a Buff/Debuff/Support powerset of the genus Sonic. Anthems are all about inspiring concerted action.

On the Assault side, I'm not convinced on the 'fireworks', partly because of the Jubilee effect, but also because it's the sort of grandstanding 'look-at-me' thing that makes one a Target. No chance of subtlety, if your powers are so flashy.

Oh the other hand, who am I to talk, when my Main is a Inv/EM Tanker... sparkly, flashy, boom-boom, pom-poms-of-doom, ka-me-ha-me-ha, lens-flare-from-the-perfect-teeth, right?

I guess I'd like for Anthem to have the Option of appearing in a supportive role, rather than being the instant center of attention.

As for the 'Control', in a Defense/Assault configuration, I see the Staus/Mez as secondary effects from her base powerset.

Not a sword, but a Baton, a Rod, a Staff, a Standard... S.P.Q.R. and all that.

Be Well!
Fireheart

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I do kind of like the staff

I do kind of like the staff/standard pole idea...

like, the armor can 'summon' or 'create' a tool that's 'true to the spirit' of the wearer. Star got an s-word, cause he was a bit more martial (old guard machismo), but Anthem gets a standard pole....

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I think I have an idea for a

I think I have an idea for a possible backstory for armour / weapon. The armour piece was once part of an entire suit of armour back in medieval Europe and was wielded by a great warrior who was also the leader of this well known adventuring party and after defeating an ancient evil the party's leader paid the ultimate price and his arm piece was the only thing left of him After that the armour piece had been handed down from generation to generation, each used by a great and well known hero and in every generation this armour piece had been upgraded, either by the hero himself or a member of that hero's group with either some piece of technology or by having the piece be enchanted. Maybe it's powers can only be used by those who are worthy. Maybe the piece refits itself to fit onto a worthy person's arm. what do you guys think?

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Hmmm...will have to give this

Hmmm...will have to give this some thought on how I'd do it.

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I'm going to have to ponder

I'm going to have to ponder this a bit.... I'm thinking the armor/sword (or weapon of choice) are forged from a bell of some sort... It ties her to the sonic/music thing, but doesn't define her powerset yet. As in, the powers don't come FROM the items, but the items REPRESENT the power/her beliefs/her persona. Kinda like Captain America's shield.

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If Anthem does have sonic

If Anthem does have sonic powers, perhaps they could relate to the ringing of a bell? Her catchphrase could even be something similar to "Let Freedom Ring".

Random note: She could have been a former singer who developed the ability for a sonic attack

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Ironfighter wrote:
Ironfighter wrote:

Random note: She could have been a former singer who developed the ability for a sonic attack

Or not 'former' at all. My experience is that Singers start early and never really Stop singing. That doesn't mean she needs to maintain a pop-star career. She might have had some early brushes with performance and fame, before 'origin-story' happened.

Be Well!
Fireheart

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Personally, I'm one of those

Personally, I'm one of those people that would rather not see someone who is clearly strong and capable of close-quarters combat being downgraded (my apologies for the use of this word, but I couldn't come up with a better one after a few moments of sitting) into a female character that relies on voice-based sonics or what-have-you. I would in fact venture towards saying that that would be even more typical than what the character currently presents. That is just my opinion, of course.

Still, changing around the background of a character does not necessarily mean that their power-set needs to be changed as well. I think that the purpose of this thread, namely a thought experiment meant to promote a different background from what the character currently has, can be easily done without much change to the character concept itself, which I would personally say is sound on its own. Besides, I think the idea of someone who is more physical and up-front than someone that uses sonics or a similar power is more fitting for the "poster role" that this hero is supposed to represent.

Composition Team

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So, you'd prefer Black Canary

So, you'd prefer Black Canary's 'Martial Arts with a sonic 'special'' set-up, instead? Or even no sonics at all, but a pure butt-kicking, 'inspire them by leading from the front' type of thing?

Be Well!
Fireheart

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honestly, i'd prefer black

honestly, i'd prefer black canary over banshee... but neither strikes me as fantastic.

if we're going for a martial character... I really feel like she needs a different "weapon" (or no weapon at all)
and if we're going for some other sort of super power I don't think it should be quite so "on the nose" as sonic screaming.

Anthem, as an idea, isn't so much about the sing, it's about the reverence...

If I had time to write this bio, I think it would be compelling to consider the idea that the Columbia, Spirit of America that imbues all patriotic heroes, is embodied in American Star, and then Anthem...
basically they become the Avatar of this spirit.

But, just like the country itself, it is built on a duality of ideas and purposes... the right AND the left, so to speak... and as such, it is up to the strength of the individual to control this force of nature within themselves... so that only the best of what it is to be American comes out.

If your not careful, or strong enough, you might end up being more Jingoist than Patriot... twisting the ideals of Liberty to suit an agenda of conquest or dominion...

Essentually, Tyrant-Anthem and Statesman-Anthem are in constant battle INSIDE her... and it's only her strength of character and drive that keeps it all in check.

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Do you ever wonder where the

Humbly submitted for your thoughts. Please forgive the text wall, and be gentle...
____________________________________________________________

Do you ever wonder where the word “Hurricane” comes from? Most people don’t bother. Giant, powerful storm rolls into the area, and no one stops to think about it – it just IS, and it’s happening. It’s big, potent, present in a visceral way and it seems to own the word. In fact, it’s a word so big that it’s actually a title. We name hurricanes to differentiate them from one another, to be able to give proper respect to the specific destructive force that laid waste to our homes and countries as we pick up the pieces, mourn and rebuild, and as we move to help others do the same. We use it the same way we use “King”, “Queen”, “Lady” and “Lord”, and we don’t really even acknowledge it, probably because it’s just the most natural feeling in the world.

The word comes from the name of the Taino Storm God, Juracan. The Spanish conquered them in the Carribean, drove their name and language into obscurity hundreds of years ago, and yet could not deny the name of the seemingly divine power of the storm. And so, the storm god lives on in our world, sometimes gentle, sometimes wrathful, but always, ALWAYS quick to remind us tiny creatures just how miniscule we actually are.

This is what I found myself thinking as I lay on the floor of the lab, listening to the winds smash and tear through glass and metal alike and yet somehow still able to hear the hooting laughter of Cumulus Rex. Appropriate, I suppose, since he was the reason our city was about to become a historical landmark as the site of the worst natural disaster in human history. What had begun as a disconcerting tropical storm had been aggravated by his machines, spun up, enraged, until Hurricane Atlas loomed overhead, hell bent on destroying everything it touched. And all to Rex’s delight; as a scientist, this was his greatest achievement. As a super, this was the greatest power boost he could ever dream of. And as Titan City’s chosen last line of defense, this was our worst nightmare.

I’d seen a couple dozen capes go down in the first few moments after we hit the lab. Fierce, good men and women that put themselves in an impossible situation just to break through the shield winds that surrounded the place. Strongmen like Schutzbar carrying a smaller hero under each arm, slowly pushing his way into the storm to softly set them down on the other side, and going back for others until he just… let go, and was carried away. Or heroes like Terajoule, who voluntarily overloaded himself and detonated at the rim of the wall to disrupt the winds long enough for a phalanx of others to get through. We’d lost more to the troops outside the lab, bullets and weird energy weapons striking down many in the ensuing fray. I remember seeing the lightning arcing from the sky to strike down those that made it close as they ran for the doors, and the looks of grim determination on the faces of the twins calling themselves Castor and Pollux as they wrenched the doors open and held them despite strike after strike as others charged through, never making it themselves.

There were all of eight of us that made it all the way to the lab, but with us we had a great ally: Hope. At the front, as he always was and always had been, was American Star.

I’d fought alongside the Star ever since he saw me stop a store robbery with a shout and a bad attitude. It didn’t hurt that the store was Salem Jewelers, and the robbers were armed with .45 caliber submachine guns; nor did it hurt that the bad attitude was expressed via harsh language. See, with me, harsh language has been a serious threat since I was 16 – it’s backed up by my voice which has been measured as loud as 250 decibels. Rather than intervene himself, he watched me stun the robbers with a High C, disarm them, restrain them with their own gear, and then complete my purchase while the TCPD carted them off. I’d been with him ever since, 5 years at that point, learning how to better use my talents. I was always Harriet to him, no special moniker – he said that you didn’t need to be a symbol to make a difference, just a good person, and so I stayed Harriet Ross while I worked with him, even when people started calling me his “student” and “protégé”.

Now, here we were, trying to save the entire city despite overwhelming odds. And believing we could, all because of him. American Star had a knack for that. Some people claim that his power was all in his vambrace, or in his sword. I never saw it that way. To me, his power was in his actions. Everything he did had purpose, had meaning. He didn’t just fight for the little guy, he made people want to fight for themselves, and that was something that no magical weapon or lab accident could bestow.

It was that quality that had carried us through to here. It was that feeling that kept us moving as the rains buffeted us, and the ozone scorched our noses. And it was the first thing to flee us when the roof collapsed, sending hundreds of tons of rubble plummeting down onto the Star.

Time slowed down; the whole lab had been thrown into complete chaos. I stood up and opened my eyes in the now blinding wind, covering my head from the stones that now flew through the air with deadly abandon, but all I could see was darkness, punctuated by the flash of lightning. And in the second of those flashes, I saw the sword lying inches from an armored outstretched hand, a hand suddenly frail and old-looking despite the shining vambrace on the wrist. A hand that wasn’t moving.

Another rock struck my head, and I fell to my knees, the hope and life drained right from me. I’d been side by side with American Star for years, but he’d been a part of my entire life, all of our lives. The man had been our protector, our icon for more than a century. He’d fought for the entire world, stood up as a model for what was right and good. And now he was gone, and all of our loved ones were going to follow him. Our friends, our brothers and sisters, our parents…

I could hear the sounds of fighting nearby, as though through a dense fog; at least some of the others were still in the fight. Maybe they didn’t know about Star yet, maybe they were defending themselves. Maybe they just didn’t know when to give up… I knelt there, head down, and thought about my little brother, just ready to graduate. And my Mom and Dad, who’d never hurt anyone in their lives. They didn’t deserve this…

“What’s wrong kiddo? Why the long face?”

“Nothing.”

“It doesn’t look like nothing… Did you have a bad day at school?”

“Tina Robinson and her friends were all making fun of me because I’m the only girl in class who got an “A” on the history test. They called me a nerd and a teacher’s pet and a loser.”

“Sweetheart, some people make fun of the things that they don’t understand – it’s the only way they know to keep from being afraid. You did something that they couldn’t do, and it scares them.”

“But why does it scare them? I’m not mean to them! I don’t hurt anyone! I just wanted to do well, and now I wish I’d just failed so I would be like everyone else and not have to feel this way.”

“It scares them because it shows them that they can make mistakes. It scares them because it shows that not everyone makes them. It shows that people aren’t all the same, and that’s something that’s caused trouble for as long as there’ve been people to feel that way.”

Fear. I hated it. It smothered you like a heavy quilt, made it hard to breathe, hard to move, and yet was still somehow warm and almost comfortable. When I was 16 and my power manifested while I practiced for chorus at home, I hid it at first, for fear of being ostracized. Even quit over it. Later, that fear led me to try and keep it to myself so that I could stay safe, out of harm’s way. After all, all I could do was destroy things with this power, right? How could that be used to make a difference?

"But I don’t want to be different! I just want to be like everyone else!”

“I know, honey. But being different is important sometimes; Sometimes being different changes the world. If everyone were all the same, no one would ever learn anything, right?”

“Maybe that would be better. Then everyone would be happier.”

“Oh really? Do you think the world would be a better place if American Star had felt that way? Would we all be happier if he’d decided to just stay quiet, and never try to be any different from anyone else?”

“That’s not the same thing! He’s a hero! He has super powers, and he’s brave, and he stops bad guys from doing bad things! I’m not like that, I’m just a kid!”

American Star. The name echoed through my head in my mother’s voice, somehow drowning out the chaos around me. I was 20 when I stopped that robbery; trying to buy my mom her birthday gift, a tiny little platinum canary pendant. When those men came through that shop door, in my fear my first thought was “Where is American Star? Where are the Paragons? Aren’t they supposed to be here to protect us?” When they demanded all the money and valuables, my fear caused me to look out the window expectantly, waiting for him to swoop in any moment and save the day. But when they broke the glass and took the case jewels, including the pendant, my fear was shouldered aside by something else entirely.

“Everyone starts as a kid, sweetheart. Growing up is about acting like a grownup, not getting bigger. American Star stands out because he’s not just different, he understands that being different isn’t something to hide from. He sees what he can do as a talent, and that he has a responsibility to share that talent with others. He also surrounds himself with other talented people, right? The Paragons? They’re all different too, aren’t they?”

“I guess. But they all work together, so they’re kinda all the same.”

“That’s the thing about talents, Harriet. Everyone’s got a different set. If everyone tried to all be the same, they’d go to waste. But if you have a talent, and you can help others with it, then maybe they can help you with theirs. If you don’t ever try though, you’ll never know.”

Anger is a potent thing. I felt it now, and I felt it then; the rage of feeling powerless and helpless, that feeling deep down that reminds us why we have pointed teeth. These people were doing more than taking what wasn’t theirs: they were stealing the dignity and safety of everyone present, just as Rex was now doing to the entire city. Their actions were robbing everyone in the store of a part of their very humanity, gone forever. In that moment, I hadn’t thought, I just looked at the four of them and let all that anger out at once. They didn’t stand a chance. It was Harriet Ross’s first fight against bad guys, but I would continue to fight my own fears for years to come.

“It just seems too hard – I just want to be normal. I shouldn’t have to work hard AND feel like this to do the right thing.”

“I know, Harriet. It’s not fair. Never is, never has been. The world’s not a very fair place – if it were, the Paragons wouldn’t have anything to do. There’s always someone out there who wants more than they’ve earned, more than what others have. They want to feel different because they think they’re not just special, but more special than others. And they don’t mind hurting people to get there.”

“Like Tina Robinson?”

“I think that’s a little too early to say; I think she and her friends hurt you because it was easier than working hard to be like you. People like the easy way. Just remember, nothing worth doing is ever easy. If you want to change the world, there will always be challenges to overcome.”

American Star taught me that it’s not about being the most capable person to do the job, it’s about getting the job done. Fear was natural, as was anger; the trick was to use them to be productive, not destructive. If you were going to be afraid, use that fear to see how you could make others less so. If you were going to get angry, find the quickest route there and back, and make sure that you come away with more than you went in with. “The secret to helping others isn’t being fearless,” he said, “The secret is in understanding that some things are more important than being afraid.”

I could feel something warm trickling down my forehead and stinging my eyes as the memories swam past, courtesy of a flying shard of glass or metal. This was no store robbery; this was a full blown megalomaniacal super, prepared to destroy everything and anyone that got in his way. The sounds of fighting had grown fainter, and the fury of the storm had only seemed to increase. My mentor was growing cold 50 feet away, and all I could think about was what we would do now that he was gone. Would we survive this? Would I ever see my family again? Were the lives of all those that sacrificed to get this far for nothing?

I began to crawl towards his outstretched arm, hoping wildly that maybe he was just stunned, or perhaps had been knocked unconscious. I got within two or three feet of it before I realized that my hands, already slick with rain, flashed red in the lightning. Blood. Lots of it. I pulled myself to the arm of my old friend, and began to cry. It was too much hurt, too much shock, too much… everything. I wasn’t strong enough for this, not any of it. All these memories… Didn’t they say that life flashes before your eyes just before the end?

“Like what kind of challenges?”

“Come over here for a minute, let me play something for you.”

“Aw Mom, I don’t want to listen to your stuff. I don’t like old music. You know that.”

Music. At one time music had been my life, back before my “gift” appeared, and I had to stop singing. My mother had given me that, taught me how it was the one thing that could cross all language boundaries to make you feel something… greater. I’d lost that feeling, until Star showed up. He brought that feeling back, that deep, resonating quiet power that flows through you and makes you want to rise to your feet and move. For years, his tutelage and leadership had inspired myself and countless others to do the same. Rise up, take a stand. Be strong, that we may all be stronger. I could feel the echo of it in me now, stirring at the memory. I thought about all the lives he’d changed, that we’d changed together, to make the city a better place. And it was gone now, taken by this… monster, for no reason more than an overblown ego.

“This isn’t any old music, honey. It’s a part of a symphony – a kind of music that’s played by dozens of people playing different instruments at different times in different ways. It’s incredibly complicated, and requires the talents of all of these people working in perfect harmony to create one single piece. More than that, it takes someone truly different to compose it in the first place, to lead others into making something as beautiful as… well, this.”

My mom had taught me that music requires teamwork, trust, leadership, but most importantly it first required someone to dream it up. The writer may not be able to play all the parts themselves, but they’re needed to start the process in the first place. American Star had been our composer, the author of the symphony that had been Titan City’s fight to rise above. He had inspired us to play our parts, carried us through the movements, and conducted us til the very end, his shining sword the baton to our orchestra.

In the dark, I reached out and grasped the fallen sword, pulling it closer to me. It felt cold, frigid from the rain and sleet surrounding us, but I held it close none the less. It had been his constant companion for more than a lifetime, a powerful weapon for he that had been so worthy to wield it. He had used it to right wrongs, balance scales, and keep so many safe despite all the challenges that this crazy world could throw at him. I bit my lip and gripped the hilt harder. He deserved better than this. We owed him better.

There was a soft clinking sound, barely audible through the storm and commotion of Cumulus Rex cornering the last of my comrades. The sound of metal on stone, just to my left. The sound of American Star’s vambrace falling free of his trapped arm to the floor. I stared at it for just a moment before I knew what it was.

Some might have said it was an invitation. Others perhaps would have thought of it as a calling. I knew better though. I knew the kind of man American Star was. He was just a normal guy at heart, like everyone else. He just always rose to meet the challenge when one appeared in his path. And that’s what this was. A challenge. A challenge to remember him for who he was, what he was to all of us, and more. To take it a step further, and keep hope alive where there was no guarantee of winning. A challenge to pick up the banner and keep waving it for something bigger than myself. The challenge to always work to do better.

“What was that, Mom?”

“That was a small piece of the Fourth Movement of the 9th Symphony by a man named Ludwig van Beethoven. It’s part of what’s called the ‘Ode to Joy’, and he wrote it despite possibly the most challenging thing a musician could face: when he composed it, he was almost entirely deaf. He didn’t let that stop him though.”

“It’s beautiful, Mom. It made me feel… better. What are the singers saying?”

Since then, I’ve been asked hundreds of times what it felt like when I strapped that vambrace on for the first time, how it felt to pick up the sword. Did it make me stronger as I stood up? Did I stop feeling the flotsam of the storm smashing against me? What did it feel like to take up the mantle of the greatest hero that had ever lived? And I’ve always said the same thing: I don’t know. It didn’t feel any different, because I didn’t feel any different. I just knew what needed doing, and I knew it had to succeed. For all of us who had played their parts, and had given so much. I knew I had to trust that doing the right thing would overcome, and trust that if I fell doing it, someone else would do the same. What I do know is that I stood, turned, and began to run towards the fight, sword held high and singing my tiny little heart out the whole way at the top of my lungs.

I’m told that about two minutes later, the storm abated. I sincerely don’t remember it all – I sorta came to my senses in the rubble, with Cumulus Rex in a heap at my feet, my comrades slowly rising and shaking off the dust and debris, quietly eying myself, my captive, and the wreckage of his machines that surrounded us. Two minutes that ended what could have been the worst disaster in history. I like to think it was two minutes that American Star would have been proud of me for.

I didn’t feel any different, but I knew things wouldn’t ever be the same. American Star was gone, but I wouldn’t let his spirit die with him. He united us, led us to where we are now. Together, we have to forge ahead, to make the world a better place, for his memory, and for all those memories yet to be made.

“It’s a hymn to togetherness, to celebrate the beauty and happiness life can bring all of us. It’s an Anthem for the idea of a world becoming a better place. It calls to us to look to the light and the promise of a better tomorrow. And it’s only a very small piece of a much larger, beautiful work of art, but it’s a piece that matters.”

“You only played about three and a half minutes of it though.”

“Sometimes kiddo, even one minute – the right one minute – can make all the difference in the world.”

Leader of The Earthguard
Exiles from Paragon City, proud scions of Champion

Lethal Lad
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Holy Crap. I finally get a

Holy Crap. I finally get a chance to log on and post and this is the first thing I run across.

Marut, that was perhaps one of the strongest pieces of super-heroic prose I have ever read. Coincidentally, you brought Ode to Joy to mind for me before ever mentioning the piece by name. I really enjoyed more things in this than I can easily list right now. The fact that you used but did not fully define the vambrace powers, didn't fall into an obvious trap of identifying her by some stereotype and so eloquently put into words her own motivation for being a hero. That's a real class act in writing, sir.

Hey, Devs (and everyone else) I hope you see this the way I did. Marut really set the bar high for everyone else. I would be perfectly happy if this was the origin story of our new heroic paragon. Id follow her in a heartbeat.

edit: Ill try to write more, and more eloquently a bit later. Im still picking my jaw up off the floor.

GP
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Marut, that was exceptional!!

Marut, that was exceptional!! I almost felt the rain, wind and debris pelting me.. made the hair stand up on the back of my neck and I can't get Ode to Joy out of my head!! Loved it!!!

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It definitely needs an

It definitely needs an editing pass but otherwise I can't be too critical.

My only real critique, would be the weirdness that Anthem is talking up how great American Star is... but her only memories of growth and character revolve around her mother.. who doesn't even get named.
and that "lesson" occurred when anthem was in her teens.. almost a decade before the present... when she learned the lessons about being different and the value of working together...
so... what exactly was American Star's role in Anthem's life? other than saying "good work, kid, you should join my team!"

Personally, I'd rather be following Anthem's mom, then American Star ;P

but that's a pretty large nit-pick, all things considered.
I'm still not sold on the sonic powers (especially if we're going to keep the armor and sword, as I already feel like the character is too "cluttered")
but the narrative is strong.

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....Fly me to the moon and let me play among the stars...

Marut
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If it helps, the idea was

If it helps, the idea was more that that memory was at age 8 or so, young enough to be just starting to learn about the world as being a little harder than we knew before, but still very sheltered. One of those distant "Why do we fall?" memories, if you will, that everyone's got somewhere deep inside but that isn't always at the fore. The intent was that Mom taught her to think the right way; American Star taught her to take the next step and act that way.

I deliberately steered clear of as many background specifics that impacted things other than her character alone though, because I can't see the story bible. When dealing with a flagship level character background, I felt that a defining moment is a better place to start from and work at fitting the rest to it. It avoids contradictions, implausibilities, and conflicts with unseen forces that shape the story world.

I did however tear this off before bed last night, so there could be a little more meat thrown at it if that needs clairity :)

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GhostHack
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the meat is fine.. if

the meat is fine.. if anything i'd pare it down some...

but I would have NO idea that you were talking about an eight year old, given the chronological markers you provided (we have 16, 20, and 25 set in stone.. and 16 is listed specifically as the age of the "being different" so the connection between the school event and the power event seem to be linked (i.e. happened at a similar time, from a narrative perspective))

I think it would actually muddy the story to give a 4th time frame.

"The intent was that Mom taught her to think the right way; American Star taught her to take the next step and act that way."
I would say, then, unfortunately you didn't succeed. Anthem acts of her own accord, if anything, she defies the logic of American Star's value by her actions (I kept waiting for American star.. then said, no, I have to do this.. like my mother always told me..)

we dont actually see anything of value that American Star does. We are told that he is great, and that he should be admired.. but we never actually see him do anything but lead the forlorn hope.
He might as well be George Washington cutting down the cherry tree... he acts as a moral linchpin; an object lesson in the mythology of society.... but he's not a person (even a heroic one) with literal value to the individual. (like, i would think, a mentor you've worked with for 5 years would be.)
basically, there's nothing in this story that paints the relationship between Anthem and American Star as anything unique or intimate. She might as well be talking about the guy from the saturday morning cartoons.
It's a great touch that she's "just harriet" to him...... but why isn't he "just John" to her?..... the implication throughout is that Anthem is "one among dozens"... there is no true intimacy between these two characters outside of Anthem's personal belief... because American Star remembers her name.

which I KNOW is not what you intended :-/

Granted, none of this is specifically necessary, and the writing is pretty good.
I have no intention of "tearing" the piece down, so I do hope you won't take it as such.

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Excellent! I'm gonna have to

Excellent! I'm gonna have to re-read it in depth, after class.

Be Well!
Fireheart

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I haven't had the time to

I haven't had the time to keep up with development so excuse me if i'm a bit out of the loop.
Anthem is the African American woman with the pony-tail and golden armor, correct? Formally known as American Woman i believe.

First of all, her design is (was?) top notch, try to avoid changing it too much.
Redlynne is very much correct in stating that american "patriotism" is linked to gunpowder, but i also agree that fireworks are way too flashy for what i am perceiving as a more Wonder Woman-esque character.

So i propose that her Arm-Armor come to encompass her entire arm (or at least the outer part of it) and holds a sort of built in pistol. A loud, smokey, beast of a thing, much like an old flintlock. She could use this in conjunction with martial arts. im thinking street justice style, to fit in with the "Heavy Hitter" feeling that the gun would lend to.
The gun would give her a signature move, Maybe a swift uppercut to the gut accompanied with a loud "CRACK" and smoke billowing from the impact, it would be an "Ah snap!" moment as opposed to "oh, she's making sparkles again."
(And of course she could throw in a cool line like "My Bell rings true *bang*" or something like that. Some implication that the gun-blast is the "anthem". Which honestly has some dark/satirical implications.)

I also love the idea that the armor could be made from a bell. Perhaps in this setting the liberty bell was involved in some "super-crime" and a chunk had broken completely off, this was then melted down, infused with stronger material, fitted with the aforementioned flintlock and passed down as a piece of weaponry
The only problem with this is connecting her "powers" directly to colonial America might cause the need to directly link her family history to slavery, which can get kinda icky.

In any case, thats how i perceive the character based off of what little knowledge i have of her.

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Do we have the 'official'

Do we have the 'official' story of the Hurricane listed somewhere please? I'm trying to clean up some details with an idea for Anthem's bio and I want my details to be right. Thanks in advance.

I remember when Star Wars was cool...a long, long time ago...

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as far as we know... it was

as far as we know... it was modified by Cumulus Rex to be a super-storm... red seems to be a common theme.... and it pummeled (and would have destroyed) Titan City, if not for the aid of hundreds of heroes (and potentially, villains) 33 of which died in the struggle.

beyond that, I dont think there IS any other info.

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Ok, this is my contribution.

Ok, this is my contribution. I've written it open enough (I hope) as to not establish too many things in stone. This leaves room for later development.

Anthem

“It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.”
Theodore Roosevelt

Georgia Harris never considered herself a hero. Her grandfather didn’t call himself a hero when he saved his whole squad in Viet Nam. Her father didn’t call himself a hero when he helped rescue a convoy under fire in Desert Storm. They just shrugged and said that they were doing their job. Yes, she was a Marine and yes, she’d lost her arm saving a soldier in Iraq. The word ‘hero’ just seemed bigger than that somehow…something more. But now, with the world ending around her, she finally understood.

The Storm had come as they’d said it would. Titan city had weathered many so most people hunkered down and prepared for the worst. They were not prepared for what happened next. Cumulus Rex, mastermind and master villain, had used his genius to increase the storm in size and power. Now it threatened to destroy the city. Every hero, and most of the villains, had turned out to stop him. Many were now dead or dying, falling from the sky around her. It was American Star, THE American Star, who crashed to earth just a few yards from her.
After being wounded she’d mustered out and returned to Titan City to finish school. Now she was taking shelter with the rest of the students in the lobby of the library, the most solid building on campus. American Star plummeted from the clouds overhead and crashed into the lawn not ten yards from door. Georgia forgot about the wind, the rain, the lightning striking all around and raced from the building. She knelt at his side and saw, miraculously, that he was still alive.

“What can I do to help?” she said as she looked him over. She’d seen soldiers wounded in battle that hadn’t looked this bad.

“Take this…off,” he gestured to the vambrace that covered his arm. She tugged at it and it slid off with remarkable ease.

“What do I do with it?” she asked urgently, hoping that it held some power that would save him.

“Put…it on,” he said weakly. “Help them…”

She stared at the vambrace and felt the hum from somewhere inside it. Then she looked at her arm, the one missing just below the elbow and felt utter despair.

‘I can’t,” she said as tears filled her eyes. She held up the stub of her missing arm to emphasize her point. ‘It won’t work for me.”

“I thought…the same thing,” he said with a crooked smile. “You’ll never know until you try…Marine.”

She followed his eyes to the Marine logo on her shirt and saw something in them that she recognized. He was fading away, drawing the veil as her grandmother would say. She bit her lip to choke back the tears as she slid the vambrace on. She wasn’t prepared for what happened next.

The surge of power was slow to build, not like the crashing wave she’d seen in the movies. She felt a tingle in her arm, the missing one, all the way down to the fingers. A faint glow crept from the armor and spread over her whole body. With it came a flood of strength, of determination, of courage. She stood as it swept over her and she watched her clothing change. Afterwards she guessed that American Star’s own costume somehow influenced how hers looked. Maybe it was years of watching heroes on t.v. and in movies. In the end it didn’t matter, she had knelt down as Georgia Harris and now she stood as Anthem.

Others had emerged from the library but the spectacle had prompted them to keep their distance. She looked at them and picked out two standing in front.

“Cover him up,” she said respectfully. She suddenly realized that she’d pointed with her right arm…the one that had been severed. She stared at her armored ‘hand’, moving the fingers slowly to be sure she wasn’t dreaming, then folded them into a fist.

“Keep watch over him,” she said as she looked skywards. “I have something I need to do.”

“What are you going to do?” one of the young men asked as he covered Star with his jacket.

“My job,” she said firmly. The power surged within her and she shot into the air.

Many of those who saw her later say that Anthem was at the forefront of the battle. Her courage rallied those that were losing heart after American Star fell. Her leadership directed those that followed into the very heart of the storm. Her strength enabled her to hammer through the villain’s protective shield until he too was battered by his own storm. It was a bolt of lightning, his own creation, that dealt the final blow.

Afterwards she accepted the praise heaped upon her, all the while knowing that it was the sacrifices of those that had gone before that had made it all possible. She is often uncomfortable with the title ‘hero’ to this day. Instead she prefers the term ‘symbol’, something to honor and draw courage from, as an Anthem should be.

I remember when Star Wars was cool...a long, long time ago...

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I think that should

I think that should definitely be the origin of how Georgia Harris became Anthem!

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I like that, too, but I

I like that, too, but I thought she was Harriet Ross?

Good mantle-transfer scene. It would be... Interesting to blend this with Marut's tale.

Be Well!
Fireheart

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The name is mutable as is the

The name is mutable as is the arm that is injured (I've seen art done both ways now). The petty details can be changed it's the core story that matters. I thought that the vambrace, being magical, would bestow on the wearer whatever they needed most. In her case, it boosted what she already had, courage and determination, and gave her power, toughness and two good hands. I thought about the sword as well but decided to leave it out since I've never been a fan of it. Besides, at least one other member of the 'flagship team' we've seen sketches of has a sword. Two out of five seems a bit much IMHO.

Thanks for the comments.

I remember when Star Wars was cool...a long, long time ago...

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Okay, if you all don't mind,

Okay, if you all don't mind, I'd like to organize some of these plot-nuggets.

African American Female
Not Poor/Not Rich
Family Tradition of Military Service

Back to the Civil War?
Before?

Smart/Wise and ‘Strong’ Female Relatives/Role-models
Childhood full of Music
Early Teen onset of ‘Powers’
-Insert Crisis-
Denial/Suppression of ‘Powers’
Military Service
Service Injury – Lose (use of?) an Arm
Discharge
G.I. Bill to College
-Some Incident - First Hero Crisis-

Store Robbery?
Depressed/Frustrated/Angry
Simple but effective use of basic ‘Powers’
Handicapped but still kicking butt!
Observed by American Star

Vambrace/Spirit Influence?

Sidekick Internship

Special classes at University?

More serious 'Support Hero' training

Mentoring/Friendship with Am. Star

-Hurricane Atlas – Second Hero Crisis-

Mantle Passing
"Suck it up, Soldier! You are Needed!"
Mantle/Vambrace/Spirit shifts her AT from Support to DPS/Tank

…Profit!

Does that sound like a 'Flagship' origin?

Drum Major's Mace? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Marines_on_parade.jpg

Be Well!
Fireheart

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o.O Special classes at

o.O Special classes at University? You say that and I think "Sidekick class" and then think...noooo!

I don't see why family service needs to go back to the civil war.

Don't see why she has to have lost an arm. Seems like a "Oh she has armor on one arm! She must have lost it!" Really, the lost arm angle seems to be more "Oh hey! Let's add even more! Hey let's also say she has to different colored eyes!"

Could say she was an Annapolis Naval Academy graduate.

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Brand X wrote:
Brand X wrote:

o.O Special classes at University? You say that and I think "Sidekick class" and then think...noooo!
I don't see why family service needs to go back to the civil war.
Don't see why she has to have lost an arm. Seems like a "Oh she has armor on one arm! She must have lost it!" Really, the lost arm angle seems to be more "Oh hey! Let's add even more! Hey let's also say she has to different colored eyes!"
Could say she was an Annapolis Naval Academy graduate.

I don't really think courses meant for supers in a world where supers are common would be that unrealistic. This is a world where a blast of radiation can give someone the ability to benchpress a truck. In a world like that the police or the army might have special units with super powers to deal with certain problems or act as a special unit like SWAT. From there we can assume that schools intended to teach courses necessary to become a part of the police or the army would also have courses for people interested in being a member of said groups. Though I agree a sidekick course would be weird, a sidekick PROGRAM would feel right at home in a world like this. Basically something like an internship program.

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Brand X wrote:
Brand X wrote:

I don't see why family service needs to go back to the civil war.

This is why I chose two generations. It's enough to set a tradition for me. I have three generations of military history in my own family though I myself was unfit to serve.

Quote:

Don't see why she has to have lost an arm. Seems like a "Oh she has armor on one arm! She must have lost it!" Really, the lost arm angle seems to be more "Oh hey! Let's add even more! Hey let's also say she has to different colored eyes!"

Originally I had intended to use the sword as seen in the picture. I didn't like her using it so I was going to have the sword BECOME the vambrace. I don't think the idea that she had lost the arm is common among the player base, I think everyone else thought it simply covered her arm and hand. To me it represented two things: Despair and courage. The scene where she's holding this magical thing and she doesn't think it will work for her is a point of total despair. Like a rope thrown to a drowning person with one arm...they wished they could use it but they can't. She was brave enough to take fire and still save another, demonstrating her willingness to sacrifice herself even without powers.

The other reason was why she left the Marines. I saw her as a soldier, a true leader of others. She was good at that and she liked it so why leave? Because the war was over like her father and grandfather before her? That didn't scan for me. So an injury then. I didn't want to do PTSD because it's been used to death and the last thing I wanted was a flagship hero with a mental disorder.I thought about the vambrace and that clicked for me.

Quote:

Could say she was an Annapolis Naval Academy graduate.

There's no reason this can't still be true. I had originally thought about ROTC anyway. Now she's back in college majoring in Communications because speaking to people, inspiring people, is what she wants to do.

I remember when Star Wars was cool...a long, long time ago...

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It's interesting to see two

It's interesting to see two completely different takes on Anthem.

With Georgia Harris, it seems like her behavior during the storm is highly inconsistent with her backstory. She's a Marine, served in war, lost an arm but is not suffering from PTSD. Even though storm is a super-powered phenomenon, I'm really bothered by the fact that she is described as cowering from it. Someone who cowers from death and disaster and also weeps and cries "I can't" do something with regards to an injury does not match up with a Marine without PTSD. Even with PTSD, (while I'm only familiar with the generalities), I feel that would translate into a heightened awareness where everything can be regarded as a hostile action rather than weeping and generally being helpless.

While it may not be the author's intention, it reads as Georgia, because she is a woman, is fearful and weak and unable to do anything to help until American Star tells her to put the vambrace on. Her courage and strength come from him and the vambrace, not from within. I feel as a Marine, having fought, risked death, Georgia would already have inner strength.

Although it would perhaps be less dramatic and emotional, it would make more sense that Georgia, being a Marine, is running towards the battle, rather than hiding from it. Although she starts out with no super powers, she still goes to see what she can do to help. I would like to see her being more active rather than passive, triaging and carrying American Star to safe cover rather than asking a man who one can barely expect to speak in his condition what she should do as her first reaction to the situation.

If the gender for Georgia was switched, and this was about a man who was a Marine without PTSD, his actions would seem completely incomprehensible. It wouldn't be acceptable for a male Marine to behave that way and there is no reason why it should be acceptable for a female Marine to behave that way.

One picky note - I believe Marines have a very strong aversion to being called a soldier. It may very well be that American Star is not a very knowlegable civilian but being that he's called American Star, it feels a little off putting.

I do like that Georgia, from beginning to end, does not consider herself a hero. That fits her as a Marine. The last sentence fits very well with that idea and completes the circle to her superhero name. Very nice how it ended on that note.

With regards to Harriet Ross, my biggest critique is that I can't tell very well (although I'm guessing) if the flashback is all one memory that progresses as the present day events progress. If so, that's a great symmetry but I feel the flashbacks would need more context clues to convey that. While I do think it might also help to have something more explicit allude to her age in the flashbacks, my guess at Harriet's age was that she was somewhere between the ages of 8 and 12. The whole, my friends are angry with me because I got an A and they didn't issue I think comes up well before one's teens. It is true that the whole "I'm different and want to be normal" complaint does tend to happen more in the teens which is why I got the impression that the flashbacks were multiple flashbacks, not a single one.

I do like the characterization of Harriet. You see how she developed into who she is today from her past experiences. She had a desire to be normal, put off from early childhood memories of being isolated from being different. Especially as a teen, she doesn't want to stand out and seem like a freak. Her ability is just something else that is off about her in her awkward teenage phase that she can't control or appreciate. In a do or die moment in the jewelry store, she has self doubt but her anger allows her to overcome that doubt and act. Being recruited by American Star, in working with him, she has been building up an appreciation and confidence in herself and her powers - as I'm sure he has been working to foster those changes - but she feels that she is nowhere near as powerful and capable as he is because she grew up with the image of him as a superhero. When she realizes he is dead, it is another do or die moment for Harriet. Although she still has self-doubt, she knows she needs to act doing what she can with the abilities that she was born with to help in the fight. She finds strength from within, from her own voice. She wins the battle within herself which then allows her to turn the tide of/win the external battle.

While everyone's experience is different, that story really resonates with me. I would like to think that I, too, with some skills in areas that aren't as highly valued and no skill in the ones that tend to be most valued in our society - confidence in public speaking, leadership skills - that there will be a situation where what I have to contribute will be necessary and that I would find the strength to act when it happens.

The imagery with the Harriet Ross story is very strong, reading it, I can visualize a comic with panels with exactly what was written.

Also, Ode to Joy is precisely what came to my mind when I read it and it was very satisfying to learn (as a music nerd) that my intuition was correct. When reading the passage of Harriet singing, I can hear the strains of the chorus in my head. Nicely done.

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For special classes that are

For special classes that are useful to a Hero, I was thinking along the lines of " Hero Studies 105: 'Great Scott! What Was That?' - The Field Analysis of Extraordinary Effects".

Of course, there really could be "Communications 103H: Quips and Quotes - Heroic Speech In Difficult Situations".

Be Well!
Fireheart

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Well, crap.

Well, crap.

What Lothiriel said. I couldn't say it any better, other than to reiterate that calling a Marine anything other than a Marine isn't exactly cool. Honestly, I'm not comfortable with the flagship hero being aligned to any branch of the military. It would only be off putting to the others (maybe). Any other hero in the mythos would be fine, just, not the Superman of the group.

Also, in the comicsluvrs story, do we get an explanation for her code name? I may have missed it; apologies.

Lastly, I really enjoyed reading both stories, but if we were voting today, Maruts tale would still get my thumbs up.

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(Note: I don't recall the

(Note: I don't recall the real names of these heroes as I write this...soooo...if I guessed wrong...I can always edit that part)

People used to believe in something. I could hear it, feel it, even see it in the eyes of my father, my grandpa and even my great grandpa.

I was the fourth in line, in a family that served their country. They never stopped believing in the country or the people. Me? I wish I could say I didn't know when I stopped believing, but I do.

I joined the Marines because I believed in my country. I believed in the people. I wanted to keep them safe. I left the Marines for the CIA because I believed in my country, I believed in the people and I believed I had more to give.

I wish I could say what I saw helped make me a bigger believer, but it only led me down a road of disillusion. Politics breeds corruption. People in power want to stay in power and are willing to do and say anything to keep it. then there's the masses, becoming blind sheep, who feel entitled to everything. That it should just be handed to them. Listening to the same corrupt people in power who tell them they can give them what they want, all they have to do is give up their freedom and they do it like mindless sheep.

My parents tried to tell me the times were always changing, but there was always hope. They tried to tell me it was people like me who would show them a better tomorrow, but I just couldn't see it. I'd seen to much. Our own government spying on us and the people let it go. Our own government killing it's own when they would try to speak out about it's own corruption.

The last thing I said to them before I went off the grid was I didn't care anymore. I remember them calling out my name. Pleading for me to come back as I drove away.

It's been five years since then. I still haven't called them.

Now I find myself pinned under the man I love. I can't help but look away. He's always been able to tell when my mind was elsewhere. Losing this sparring match was just making it more obvious.

Happy birthday, I hear him say to me, when I look up at him in shock. How did he know? I never told him my real birthdate. Quickly he tells me how I always get this way on this date. How it all seems to hit me harder every time this year. It was just a guess and one I let my training slip and give away.

We both have secrets. Maybe that's why I fell in love with him? Like me, he has a past. Unlike me, he hadn't given up. That's why I still found myself in love with him. Neither one of us pried, allowing the other to slowly open up, though I couldn't help but feel I'd given up more of myself to him than him to me.

When he let me go, I found myself quickly hugging him. Crying. He was a believer and I wanted to believe again. We sat there for what felt like an eternity. I wish I could say I remember the words he spoke, I was just to far gone at that point, lost and in pain, but I do remember how his very words gave me hope.

Then it was broken. The sirens. His cell. It came out of nowhere. Hurricane Atlas. At the time, I saw something in his eyes, but I couldn't place it. Looking back now, I know, he knew...somehow...he knew.

He rushed out the door with a kiss as if it was the last we'd ever share as he told me he loved me. His job as an EMT had called him away.

I stood at the window as it all started to unfold. The hurricane was only getting worse. Heroes of all sorts, costumed and uniformed, helping the scared masses, trying to help keep order as others tried to take advantage of it all.

I don't recall exactly what it was, something inside, it had me leaving the comfort of my home, as I started working my way towards what would become the eye of the storm. As I made my way, I stopped some street thugs who thought they could use this to their advantage and helped others to safety.

Then I got as far as I could. The eye of the storm. So many of the costumed sort both hero and some known villains coming together for one purpose.

I couldn't make out much more, that is until he came skidding along the ground like a rock on a pond. It was American Star! I quickly rushed to his aid. I couldn't believe the injuries I saw on him.

I remember his first words to me, ones that surprised the hell out me. Hey beautiful. It was James! I quickly removed the mask from his face as he laid dying in my arms.

I begged for answers. He told me they'd have to wait, but he did tell me what I now see was something I needed to hear. People want to believe. They want to do the right thing. They just need someone to show them the way. Someone to rally them. Someone to lead them.

With that, his powers oozed off him and onto me, when I was left with nothing but his lifeless body...

...and from there, I think the rest of the origin can be her rallying the supers, taking out the weatherman...etc...etc

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To comicsluvr,

To comicsluvr,

From a Soldier's perspective your fictional biography is in good intentions, the story has heart and I appreciate you trying to give am angle with a Soldier's back ground in mind. By no means I don't want you to think i'm here to destroy your story. Hopefully give you more of an insight based on my experience to make your next revision closer to an audience that will understand.

I have to agree with Lotheriel, "With Georgia Harris, it seems like her behavior during the storm is highly inconsistent with her backstory. She's a Marine, served in war, lost an arm but is not suffering from PTSD. Even though storm is a super-powered phenomenon, I'm really bothered by the fact that she is described as cowering from it. Someone who cowers from death and disaster and also weeps and cries "I can't" do something with regards to an injury does not match up with a Marine without PTSD."

Any service member returning from war with an injury of any kind via missing limb, gun shot wound, or just being in a combat zone have a degree of PTSD. I applaud you by not waning to mention PTSD because, " it's been used to death" however every service member has some degree of PTSD it's the matter of will one can handle it based on what they experienced. I have PTSD but you wouldn't know it if we met. You could probably use the story line of something as simple as being honorably discharged after serving her enlistment.

I do like the angle of her grandfather or father not being considered a hero. Service members such as myself feel awry with the word when it corresponds with your name. We don't consider ourselves heroes for our call of duty is looking over our brothers and sisters as if they are our family members. The same thinking can be said for the people we protect in any country.

Picking a service in a story can be very tricking, you'll be suprised how many people have family and/or friends that serve and you risk alienated your audience. CPT America for instance he began Army but represents the Armed forces as a whole. Through out the years he can be seen with each service fighting alongside them, he doesn't wear any related uniform this present day represent any one particular service. Perhaps just sticking to her code name with a meaning for liberty or freedom. No one service is better than the other, (this coming from an Army guy) they all serve a meaningful purpose.

I have to disagree with the angle of her being wounded then cowering. All service members I have engaged in conversation with who have been wounded one way or another wanted to go back and finish the job. They felt they left their buddies behind and let them down because they had to stay in theatre whereas they were able to come home early. Being an Infantry Soldier in the Army I often wish to go back until every one comes home. Come across a veteran from any generation they will tell you it was the greatest and most horrible time in their lives but it was worth it. Any Veteran will tell you they did for the person to their left and right and wouldn't cower in any circumstance even after servic

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Appreciate your service Steel

Appreciate your service Steel, thank you.

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Thank you very much! By the

Thank you very much! By the way your Avatar rocks!

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I need to read up on the lore

I need to read up on the lore/history of the main characters, but my thoughts are gelling around something like the following:

The Sword/Arm piece are linked. One without the other renders both powerless. They're essentially a matched set. If the pieces are separated by X distance, they both stop functioning until brought back into proximity with each other.

The Arm-piece serves as a shield. This gives American Star offense and defense, both of which are needed to protect.

The sword and armor were crafted by Paul Revere (Titan City is located in New England, right?), and the sword may have the name "Revere" on it, both as a note to who cast them, as well as a reminder of something.

The pieces were forged around the time of the Revolutionary War. They were cast off's from a bell Revere forged (need to read up on that more. Another option is to invoke the Liberty Bell somehow, but that's linked more to PA state history than New England). And because of the time period, the beliefs, the emotional power of the population (and yeah, I know it wasn't as cut and dried as this, I'm taking literary license), the pieces were imbued with emotional energy from the time. The need for protection. The need for hope. The promise of a better future. Yadda yadda yadda.

And this is where I need to know the lore. Because in my mind, she's doing what she can to help without having powers. She may have PTSD as mentioned above, but she's doing what she can. Helping people seek shelter from the storm. Scouting locations to allow as many people as possible to weather the storm. Finding the relics in a cave someplace?

She uses said equipment to help shield people from the debris. There's a scene of squabbling. Infighting. Too many points of view. No one is listening to the new arrival. Out of frustration, she bangs the sword against something and it lets out a peal of one single, glorious note that seems to slowly fade out, getting everyone's attention. She starts directing people. Stepping up to the job of helping. LEADING.

The armor/sword create two ringing, but different notes, when used. I'd call it a chord when the two notes sounded together, but I feel that two notes do not make a chord. ;-) Perhaps at some point, using the shield power, she begins singing. Not a power related thing, just something to calm people. Distract them. Between the musical notes of the relics and her first appearance involving her singing to keep spirits up, she gains the moniker "Anthem."

This probably goes against a whole lot of cannon, but it's where my thoughts are. And given her background, if she does, in fact, have PTSD, it may be that the arm piece/shield is her preferred "weapon" (I'm envisioning a scene where she simply wills the shield around her, takes a running start at a door or something, and just piledrives her way through it) over the sword. She'll use the sword, but it's not what she goes to first.

Any chance to see what the current official bio is?

Beware the MIGHTY FACEPLANT!

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Chords are 2 or more notes

Chords are 2 or more notes played at the same time.

Chords with 2 notes are called dyads, 3 notes triads, 4 notes tetrads, 5 notes pentads, 6 notes hexads

Just so you know ;)

Quote:

1) I reject your reality.... and substitute my own
2) Not to be used when upset... will void warranty
3) Stoke me a clipper i will be back for dinner
4) I have seen more intelligence from an NPC AI in TR beta, than from most MMO players.

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Don't give her PTSD, it's

Don't give her PTSD, it's becoming cliché. Not to mention, one thing that constantly gets brought up is people liked CoH for feeling optimistic and fun, and the flagship character having PTSD put that on a downer.

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I agree. That kind of

I agree. That kind of psychological problem/trauma is likely to go the route of amnesia: put aside until it becomes dramatically appropriate to trot it back out, or if the author feels the audience needs to be beat over the head with it (most likely because the author can't figure out anything better to do that week/month). That's not to say that everything needs to be unicorns and sparkling ponies, but reaching for the psychological equivalent of losing a limb is a bit extreme.

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To chime in with the other

To chime in with the other comments that aren't in favor of PTSD, in addition to it being cliche, I would also personally see it as not really being all that technically necessary, from both a character standpoint and an external standpoint.

Usually, PTSD is used for two things in stories and character building. The first is as a "weakness," as-in the character is a Hero in some situations, and a nervous wreck in others. The other reason that I have seen is for Incredible Moments of Super-Awesome, where their PTSD turns them into some sort of Amazing Murder Machine allowing them to conquer whatever is currently in front of them or what-have-you. My problem with both of these applications is the following: why does PTSD have to be thrown into the equation for either to work?

Characters are people. People have various facets of them that push them to do certain things. Naturally, people are afraid of things. Being a Hero, super or not, means that you have to push your fear to the sidelines in a wide variety of situations, but that doesn't meant that it's still there, and that it can't come out from time to time. In many cases, you're not even expected to be fearless all the time in the real world, which is part of what makes Superheroes all the more extraordinary. What I'm trying to say is that rather than simply slapping PTSD onto the character if you're going for the Weakness portion of what that's used for, just give them Normal Fears and Worries, just like real people have.

As for the second use of the disorder, there are things that people fight for as well. I'm sure that someone would fight harder and reach farther if something was threatening their own people, rather than another's people (and if that's not the case, then they're probably a really good hero). Maybe there are certain things or threats that hit particularly close to home, unlocking some sort of Hidden Drive within the character. Maybe she's enveloped in the pressure of being a Leader, which means that the harder things get, the more she has to rise to the challenge in order to serve not only the people, but her own team and comrades. Traits such as these are more effective and flexible than something such as PTSD, which takes a long time to overcome, whereas fluid and mobile character traits can change and evolve as the story dictates. Yes, you could have a long and interesting character-arc that involves overcoming said PTSD, but when they do, what happens? The thing that has been added to make that character Interesting has just been removed, and there's nothing on-hand to fill it. That's a problem.

Hopefully that's added some worth to this discussion. I know PTSD sounds like an interesting and fun choice at first, but I'm not so sure about that, personally.

EDIT: In addition to this, I've been thinking about the fact that, from a Story standpoint, it would be hard to justify in the eyes of the Public and the Law the repeated deployment of someone with such a stressful disorder in times of crisis. Either they will buckle in front of the challenge ahead, or they'll go violent which may result in unnecessary damage and casualties. From a practical Everyman standpoint, it would also be questionable to put someone in a leader position if they're incapable of thinking clearly in certain situations. You're going to want someone who can keep their head on straight in the middle of things that can decide the fate of the world, after all.

Composition Team

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I have a bit of PTSD from

I have a bit of PTSD from child abuse. Most of the time you would never know it then there be nights I stay awake because something triggered a memory and my fight and flight response going haywire. To include it or not for me is up to how in-depth are we going into her story. If you really think about it it's almost a moot point, like D-Pad said it's something people use to show weakness. OR in the case of Donald Duck unstableness. http://cartoonoveranalyzations.com/2009/02/20/diagnosis-donald-duck-suffers-from-ptsd/ and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yCfWLMVEso However you never get told about it, never confirmed. Donald's PTSD is in the background just there. If a writer is very good hints and signs of PTSD could be added with out stating it's there.

A good example would be her staying up unable to sleep and not wanting to talk about how she lost her arm.

Also I don't like the idea of her not being heroic. Military background aside for a FLAGSHIP character I would prefer her to show Heroic qualities before she gained her powers. That the Person the hero not the gear. Or as one of the episodes of Batman Beyond said "It's the man not the suit."

Besides my Nephew a Marine and hate to see a Marine cower, and SteelDominator thank you for your service!

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Oh, I'm COMPLETELY not sold

Oh, I'm COMPLETELY not sold on PTSD. In fact, I'd prefer Anthem was just someone that rose to the occasion. I only mentioned it because it was mentioned previously and I don't know all the lore/backstory.... I don't know what's cannon and what isn't.

Beware the MIGHTY FACEPLANT!

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RottenLuck wrote:
RottenLuck wrote:

Military background aside for a FLAGSHIP character I would prefer her to show Heroic qualities before she gained her powers. That the Person the hero not the gear.

This can be equally subtle. People needn't have an obvious inner Captain America, that shines through in their everyday life, to become a hero when the situation presents itself. For this Batman Beyond is the best example of which I'm aware. Obtaining super powers could be the person's "what would you do if you knew you couldn't fail" moment, allowing them to grow into the superhero role.

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I really like the stories

I really like the stories here bravo to the authors.

- -

Without putting too fine a point on any one story or plot point, I actually welcome true flaws and realistic human weakness in my heroes. My character, Kontrol, is a complex character but I don't think it diminishes from her readability.

Kontrol is an autistic savant who supercharges her already genius brain with neuroscience. While someone may say "why not be a genius without the autism" my response is "Kontrol is a person, albeit fictional.. and as I want her to be relatable".

Reading what has been given about IFRIT and the other characters.. they are complex. They aren't "heroes" they aren't "villains" they're Titans. The are people who aren't perfect. Choosing to side with IFRIT to save your factory may not be a perfect solution but it is a solution that works for Shannon Wharton. This level of honest, realistic storytelling keeps things interesting without being too adult for younger players.

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I really like the stories

I really like the stories here, bravo to the authors.

- -

Without putting too fine a point on any one story or plot point, I actually welcome true flaws and realistic human weakness in my heroes. My character, Kontrol, is a complex character but I don't think it diminishes from her readability.

Kontrol is an autistic savant who supercharges her already genius brain with neuroscience. While someone may say "why not be a genius without the autism" my response is "Kontrol is a person, albeit fictional.. and as I want her to be relatable".

Reading what has been given about IFRIT and the other characters.. they are complex. They aren't "heroes" they aren't "villains" they're Titans. The are people who aren't perfect. Choosing to side with IFRIT to save your factory may not be a perfect solution but it is a solution that works for Shannon Wharton. This level of honest, realistic storytelling keeps things interesting without being too adult for younger players.

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Yes, and I've been digging,

Yes, and I've been digging, but can't find an official backstory beyond 'American Star fell, after over 100 years of heroing, and Anthem picked up the mantle'.

MWM page links to This Thread, when the issue of Anthem comes up. So, it seems like we really are involved in creating the Flagship.

Be Well!
Fireheart

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What if she was the daughter

What if she was the daughter of a war veteran? Patriotism could run through her family. And inspire her to be all that she can be, help others and all that jazz
To add her war veteran father (or maybe mother) could have been
1) possibly wounded in battle or
2) possibly killed in battle

They could have been wounded/killed when:
1) She was young/a child during their time in war or
2) During Hurricane Atlas as possible casualty or 'citizen assistance' (Being a civilian hero, risking their own life to help others)

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You know, it's possible to be

You know, it's possible to be all patriotic/nationalistic without being militarized. The number of militarized (or drafted) Heroes is probably too numerous to count.

I don't really want to look on Anthem as being a "leader" type of Flagship, so much as a symbol to rally around (with less of a "cheerleader" aspect and more of a "plant the flag" and here we stand type). I'd rather see Anthem as being a Hero who inspires others to do and be better, by her example ... rather than see Anthem as someone who has a biography tilted towards being an ideal for a politician running for office.

It's a subtle but important difference. That's why I was angling for either a Control or Support powerset that used Fireworks for its attacks ... because fireworks are "flashy" and they're closely associated with celebratory moments, rather than because fireworks are incredibly "useful" or otherwise obviously (murderously?) dangerous (like fire, swords and martial arts are). Helps take the DPS Monster out of the equation, allowing other aspects of gameplay to come to the fore. Plus it would be nice to get away from the FISS (flight, invulnerability, speed, strength) combination ... especially for those of us who like Number 84 "Julie" in PS 238.


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Stop trying to make Jubilee

Stop trying to make Jubilee happen. It's never going to happen ~ Regina George

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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

Hero who inspires others...

I heartily agree!

Quote:

... Fireworks for its attacks ... because fireworks are "flashy" and they're closely associated with celebratory moments, rather than because fireworks are incredibly "useful" ...

Okay, but what standard poweset are you going to use for your 'fireworks'? I can't really think of anything that would work, short of a wildly re-built Devices. That's one reason I've been calling for a Sonic Assault for her... Maybe Energy?

And a (Mixed?) Martial Arts pool.

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Fireheart

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Not going to flesh it out..

Not going to flesh it out.. but here it is.

Anthem is Harriet Tubman from an alternate universe. Sent here in the 1840. But without mass communication she wandered this new-found world in Boston up north. She kept her anonymity and remembers always being thanked by the free blacks of the underground railroad but she herself had no actual part in the underground railroad.. that was her doppleganger. Somehow she is frozen in time by one of the first evil metahumans hoping to preserve the rights of the slave labor thinking she's THE Harriet Tubman. She wakes up in 2020 as a 20 year old after being saved by American Star who knows her true identity and who believes in her true ability to lead. As he was dying for some reason or another he saw Harriet and gave her her name and purpose.. he called her Anthem. And because she could never tell people "hey I'm Harriet Tubman" everyone has been calling her Anthem ever since and even tho she was reluctant to try to live up to the legacy of the woman she never was.. She is forging her own path toward freedom.. WITH A BADASS SWORD.. when enemies bleed they are compelled to tell the truth.. That truth Anthem uses rightfully in the courts as a confession.. but little do we know.. when she first heard some of the awful truths from the sword of *INSERT FANTASY LORE SWORD NAME HERE* at fist she cut and beat a man to within an inch of his life. Since then she's learned tho to use her Sword as the greatest weapon of all.. For Truth, For Justice and the American way.

(PS.. the in game lore can just call her Harriet (even tho they always call her Anthem) .. you know.. to avoid any defamation or family lawsuits that may arise from using a true American hero as the basis of lore)

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JayBezz wrote:
JayBezz wrote:

Stop trying to make Jubilee happen. It's never going to happen ~ Regina George

Considering that I wasn't trying to "make Jubilee happen" as you put it, that really isn't a problem for me. For one thing, I know (and knew) that Jubilee "exists" but I didn't know much of anything about her powers, history or character arc in comics simply because I'd never read any of the comics she appeared in.

Furthermore, Jubilee made her powers manifest from her hands ... while I never stated (nor implied) that such would be the case for Anthem. Additionally, Jubilee's powers were depicted as sort of "plasma lights" in the comics that were just balls of energy ("Pafs" as she called them, apparently) ... while my fireworks concept for Anthem expicitly (and repeatedly) called for literal fireworks of the physical pyrotechnic variety, complete with paper and cardboard debris, smoke FX, light and sound. NOT THE SAME.

Just because water gets you wet doesn't mean that everything that gets you wet must be water.

So to be as blunt as possible, JayBezz ... *I* never wanted to make a Jubilee clone ... and the fact that you keep refusing to accept (or even understand) that underlying proposition is your problem, not mine.


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I was joking Red. Sorry it

I was joking Red. Sorry it wasn't personal, it was a joke about how unpopular Jubilee is juxtaposed against the film "Mean Girls".

This is why text based communication sucks

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Fireheart wrote:
Fireheart wrote:

Okay, but what standard poweset are you going to use for your 'fireworks'? I can't really think of anything that would work, short of a wildly re-built Devices. That's one reason I've been calling for a Sonic Assault for her... Maybe Energy?

If we were using the original City of Heroes powersets (which places an artificial limitation on what could be done, but at least gives us a "common language" to talk about this stuff in) as a basis for game mechanical effects as opposed to using them as a basis for animations ... I could see using a mixture of Trick Arrow, Devices, Assault Rifle, Fire Blast and Fire Manipulation. Specifically:

Trick Arrow
Flash Arrow = pyrotechnic rocket blinding flash firework (Ranged Target Location AoE perception debuff)

Devices
Smoke Grenade = pyrotechnic blinding smoke and noise from thrown firecracker string (Ranged Target Location AoE perception debuff, duration lasts as long as firecracker string keeps up the flash banging)
Gun Drone = mobile hovering fireworks launcher platform summoned pet (uses bottle rockets, roman candles and mortars for attacks)

Assault Rifle
Ignite = hurled pyrotechnic firework "spinner fountain" that fills a volume with showering sparks (not impressively damaging, but very impressive looking and sounding! Ranged Target Location AoE)

Fire Blast
Flares = bottle rockets (Ranged Single Target)
Fire Blast = roman candle (hand held?) fired at Foe (Ranged Single Target)
Fire Ball = mortar tube (kicked over) to aim at Foe (Ranged Target AoE)
Rain of Fire = mortar tube fires up, flames and sparks rain gently down (Ranged Target Location AoE)
Blazing Bolt = tube launched shoulder rocket (Ranged Single Target Sniper)

Fire Manipulation
Fire Sword = BIG hand sparklers (plural!) held between fingers showering lots and lots and lots of sparks EVERYWHERE! (Melee Single Target)
Fire Sword Circle = BIG hand sparklers (plural!) held between fingers showering lots and lots and lots of sparks EVERYWHERE (Melee PBAoE)

In other words, done ala carte with a bit of creativity on the animations and FX (both sound and visual), I can come up with a "Fireworks" Powerset just using the Powers that existed in City of Heroes.


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Redlynne
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JayBezz wrote:
JayBezz wrote:

Anthem is Harriet Tubman from an alternate universe. Sent here in the 1840.

Okay, you lost me right there with that setup. Not "lost me" as in "I don't understand" so much as "lost me" as in "I have no interest in reading any further" beyond the first two sentences. That kind of name dropping, in this context, is counter-productive.


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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

Fireheart wrote:
Okay, but what standard poweset are you going to use for your 'fireworks'?
In other words, done ala carte with a bit of creativity on the animations and FX (both sound and visual), I can come up with a "Fireworks" Powerset just using the Powers that existed in City of Heroes.

I applaud your creativity, Redlynne.

So, she summons a barrel of flash and splash and fire-hazard out of hammerspace. Like real fireworks, while dangerous, they are not actually designed to cause damage to enemy-persons. Anyone who trusts their nomex suit is free to ignore them. I'm sorry, but I'm still not sold on this as an effective powerset.

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I won't lie Red, that idea

I won't lie Red, that idea makes me consider Anthem less a flagship and more a joke, unless the setting is supposed to be Looney Toons. Are we going for a Looney Toons vibe with CoT?

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Fireheart wrote:
Fireheart wrote:

So, she summons a barrel of flash and splash and fire-hazard out of hammerspace.

Where did ALL of the weapons in City of Heroes come from?

Hammerspace.

When you weren't holding the Assault Rifle, where was it? Hammerspace.
When you weren't holding a Bow, where was it? Hammerspace.
When you weren't holding your Pistol(s), where was it/were they? Hammerspace.
When you drew an Arrow to use in your Bow, where did it come from? Hammerspace.
When your character THREW a Grenade (by hand), where did it come from? Hammerspace.
When you drew your sword/katana/club/axe/sledgehammer/titan weapon(!), where did it come from? Hammerspace.
Where did all the AMMO used by guns and grenade launchers come from? Hammerspace.
Where did all the Caltrops thrown by the Devices Powerset (and by the Knives of Artemis, especially) come from? Hammerspace.
Where did all the weather effects of the Storm Powerset come from (indoors no less!)? Hammerspace.

I could go on, but I should hope that I've made my point. ALL of the weapons used in City of Heroes came from Hammerspace. So the idea that Hammerspace "as a source of Powers" for weapons being somehow verboten in City of Titans starts begging the question of ... what was the problem again?

Fireheart wrote:

Like real fireworks, while dangerous, they are not actually designed to cause damage to enemy-persons. Anyone who trusts their nomex suit is free to ignore them. I'm sorry, but I'm still not sold on this as an effective powerset.

/em sigh

DAMAGE is a function of game mechanics (and to only a limited degree, concept). Please note that I could level the exact same ... objection ... to Sonic Powers as well (ie. just bring ear plugs). Fire Powers in general ought to be "neutralized" by nomex suits also (shouldn't they?), thereby invalidating any kind of Human Torch styled setup too, right? And WATER is supposed to "hurt me" how?

You asked me HOW a Fireworks Powerset could be done, because you couldn't imagine it. I answered, and now you can imagine it.

Now you're doubting if a Fireworks Powerset could be *effective*, because you can't imagine it. Um ... your problem, not mine.

Brand X wrote:

I won't lie Red, that idea makes me consider Anthem less a flagship and more a joke, unless the setting is supposed to be Looney Toons. Are we going for a Looney Toons vibe with CoT?

/em Unamused Look™

If I said, flat out ... No, we are NOT going for a Looney Toons vibe ... would it help? Would it make a difference? Is your scope for imagination so narrow that Looney Toons is literally all you can think of, because there's no room for anything else?

Would it even help if I pointed out that I'd actually consider the idea of Foes "scoffing" and "mocking" Anthem's Fireworks Powerset in the way that you and Fireheart among others have already done when she's not around could actually be a selling point for the character? Kind of like calling Superman "the blue schoolboy" when he's not right there, in your face. Yeah, her Fireworks aren't going to "knock you into next week" the way that Super Strength (obviously) would ... but then neither do bows and arrows (even when tipped with grenades), particularly when used by Defenders (the weakest damage dealing archetype for damage output).

My point being, I have no problems with a heroic character being "mocked" by their enemies when said hero isn't around ... but then still having their (requisite?) "oh snap!" moment when said hero actually shows up and commences to deliver the Beatdown™ with the very same Powers that were just being belittled.

Indeed, I'd even consider it something to be proud of in the way of character formulation that R-E-S-P-E-C-T is fully granted when facing off against Anthem, in person yet there's still enemy "scoffing" going on when she isn't around behind her back. One of those, "I'm not afraid of that goody goody wuss Statesm-" *BOOM!* Crash! Wall collapses! "Holy crap, it's Statesman!" moments. That sort of ridicule/respect dichotomy could be very interesting to play with from a writing perspective in terms of developing a character who ISN'T "perfect" and who ISN'T someone that everyone should look up to (on their high pedestal) and thus somewhat untouchable. In other words, I have no problems with the idea that Foes of Anthem "might laugh" at her before she engages ... but that once she joins the fight, it is Anthem who will Get The Last Laugh at their expense (if you follow my meaning).

To quote myself (playing as Redlynne) during a Task Force comparing my Scrapper against the performance of a Katana/* Scrapper on the team:

Redlynne wrote:

"My sneakers are doing more damage than your sword!"

"Respect" for a hero's Powerset and abilities doesn't need to be a "constant" and eternally unchanging or undisputed thing. It just needs to happen when it counts ... which usually involves being on the receiving end of them. ^_~


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No. Your weapons in CoH

No. Your weapons in CoH might have come from Hammerspace. My pistols and daggers came from holsters and sheathes. My pistol users reloaded their pistols if they didn't have some other way of shooting without reloading. :p

My RP of my character was never around the idea of game limitations and stupid things like enhancements. My RP went more along the lines of comics. Seriously? Enhancements in RP? Let me just slap in some random genetic material because I'm a mutant :p

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Oh! And I say Looney Toons

Oh! And I say Looney Toons because your idea for Anthem was using real fireworks instead of some energy style blasts that look like fireworks.

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Meh. I'm okay with a

Meh. I'm okay with a fireworks type offensive powerset for anthem, as long as it's not a form of her powers but rather a weapon she is using. I can even get behind her being a guardian archetype rather than an enforcer or a stalwart because it does make her more unique. Maybe we could make her a gadgeteer type of character who uses patriotic themed explosives as her main way of attacking. Maybe we could play on the fact that city of titans is going to let you use non combative ways of dealing with your enemies and problems by making her more of a guile hero http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/GuileHero (warning: tv tropes). Maybe the arm piece gives the user the power of inspiration rather than combat ability or superstrength.

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Unique doesn't make one great

Unique doesn't make one great. No reason to go with some defender/controller AT just so she's OMG EVEN MORE UNIQUE WE'RE SO SPECIAL! :p

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notears wrote:
notears wrote:

...(warning: tv tropes)

Gah! *breathes deeply* Saved by a clip from Blazing Saddles!

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Fireheart

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I'm not saying that unique

I'm not saying that unique means good. I'm saying unique, if used well, can be used to avoid clichés. The only reason I can see for making her a melee toon is that it's common for Flagships to be melee based, which if we are trying to make a flagship that stands out, isn't really that good of a point.

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notears wrote:
notears wrote:

I'm not saying that unique means good. I'm saying unique, if used well, can be used to avoid clichés. The only reason I can see for making her a melee toon is that it's common for Flagships to be melee based, which if we are trying to make a flagship that stands out, isn't really that good of a point.

I don't think being melee or ranged will have any real effect on her being flagship. Looking good, good background, and being a tough character, which if we do go range route, if it's like CoH, not generally consider tough.

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Minus being able to see

Minus being able to see Anthem's current bio - I tried skimming through other replies for clues - I'll just say what the character name brings to my mind. I have no idea if it's suitable or not. Aplogies in advance if not.

She's a distant descendant of sirens with the latent power to manipulate minds with her voice. It seems she has a military background so maybe on the battlefield she and her compatriots are pinned down, surrounded, sure to die. Having given up hope of surviving but proud of their service and sacrifice one begins to sing the Star-Spangled Banner. Another joins in. So does our soon-to-be heroine. After a short time her voice takes on an unearthly tone. Her fellow soldiers fall silent. The sounds of battle fall away as enemy combatants drop their weapons and fall to the ground. Partially enraptured herself she doesn't notice until she stops singing. Shocked but not dumbfounded she steals an enemy vehicle, gets her fellow soldiers into it and drives away at speed.

Leaves military. Learns to control her powers. Investigates ancestry (insert gypsy/whatever pointing her in the right direction here). Blah blah blah. Becomes superhero.

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For those who remember,

For those who remember, Anthem was originally one of a pair of art pieces made by Black Gold, centered around the unusual armored left arm. Both were patriotic themed, so a generalized history of them being mentor/student developed, with the white male, who gained the nickname American Star during the brainstorming being the mentor to the black female, then nicknamed Second Star (as in second star on the right and straight on till morning). During our development, we wanted to have some form of catastrophic event, so the Atlas Hurricane was developed, and the decision to have a hand-off from mentor to student was made, along with the name change to Anthem. The details have shifted, but that remains the kernel of the story, which you can still find on the old Titan forums if you do a bit of digging.

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Doctor Tyche wrote:
Doctor Tyche wrote:

The details have shifted, but that remains the kernel of the story, which you can still find on the old Titan forums if you do a bit of digging.

The titan network or the other set that you had before moving here?

If the latter, only those who have an existing account might be able to see them, because registration is (or at least was) closed to them, so they might be in an area that *was* accessible but no longer is.

Quote:

1) I reject your reality.... and substitute my own
2) Not to be used when upset... will void warranty
3) Stoke me a clipper i will be back for dinner
4) I have seen more intelligence from an NPC AI in TR beta, than from most MMO players.

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Gangrel wrote:
Gangrel wrote:

Doctor Tyche wrote:
The details have shifted, but that remains the kernel of the story, which you can still find on the old Titan forums if you do a bit of digging.

The titan network or the other set that you had before moving here?
If the latter, only those who have an existing account might be able to see them, because registration is (or at least was) closed to them, so they might be in an area that *was* accessible but no longer is.

The Titan Network.

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Doctor Tyche wrote:
Doctor Tyche wrote:

For those who remember, Anthem was originally...

This was helpful, thanks.

Do you have moderator privileges? It might be good to edit this into the original post so newcomers to the thread get the vital info.

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If Gladatoria does not mind,

If Gladatoria does not mind, I'd be more than happy to.

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