Late the other night (really late), I was watching an old documentary on Stock, Aiken, and Waterman. They’re the guys who produced Rick Astley’s and Kylie Minogue’s hits of the late 80’s. I don’t remember how I fell into this rabbit hole. Again, it was super-late. So, here I am watching this nonsense and then I see a clip from (John Landis’) Michael Jackson’s Thirller. I finally lay down in bed and throw the “Thriller” video on. After it’s finished, before I turn over into Sleepytown, I see the autoplay reads “Bad” is up next. Ugh. It had been a minute since I saw young-Wesley Snipes push around the “King of Pop.” My drowsy eyes endured the music video up until “Joe College” transforms into, well, The King of Pop—flanked by his “Deus Ex Machina” homeboys.
I woke up and grabbed my laptop.
Why has Michael effin’ Jackson never starred in his own on-going comic book? He was a comic book fan. Hell, Stan Lee offered MJ a chance to partner-up and purchase then-fledgling Marvel Comics. Captain Eo surely had its own book, but that was a one-shot. Maybe the main issue was over the theme or mood of the book. Panels of MJ dancing might not translate well in a comic… but why not? If he was dance-fighting? Like in the Moonwalker video game? With the right angle, how could this story not be worth a read? These guys are pretty rad.
Weeks back, I posted a blog regarding a speculative adventure with one of my favorite comic book teams, the X-Men. This particular entry you’re currently zipping through is more of an express, world-building exercise featuring MJ and the cast of characters from the “Bad” music video… as well as a few other creations and familiar faces. Let’s get started then, shall we?
B.A.D.: You Know It! You Know! (You Know!)
B.A.D.: Battle Attack Dancewarriors – Defenders of Old Big City from the treachery of villainy.
Shuh’mon (Hugh) Novitt (Team Leader)
Codename: The King
Abilities: “Moves” on a Cosmic level of power
Once dance-fought his way into another dimension. Dance-fought his way out. Can boogie beyond the capabilities of anything in the universes. Known for throwing disses in the midst of combat. (Hugh Novitt’s theme music.) Owns The Fedora Lounge, a nightclub in the Capone borough of Old Big City. Main-man of the city. You know him. You know it. You know it. Chum on-uh.
Codename: The Backpack
Abilities: Terrestrial Teleportation, low-level Sorcerery.
Teleports the entire squad by way of the Dangerous Dimension—an alternate reality where the human mind is incapable of withstanding the dimension’s atmospheric psychic energies. Able to phase through most objects. Stores all of The King’s weaponry in a magic backpack which only he can access. Anthropophobic—he can’t go anywhere without Hugh Novitt (See: above-uh, chum on-ah), whom Hooter saved, and then escaped out of the Dangerous Dimension years ago. His experience in the dimension caused severe mental trauma, which explains his disorder.
Abilities: Super-agility, Probability Manipulation
The most athletic guy on the block. ‘Thelics bets a lot; so, basically this streetwise tough-guy abuses his ability to control the outcome of events. Always sporting fresh duds and killer “Glowglitter” enhancement packs. Star player of Old Big City’s underground Stickball league, where B.A.D. fields a team. They’re okay. Dancers don’t usually translate to Stickball. Tino keeps them above .500.
Oh wait, I didn’t mention Glowglitter—a synthetic form of what we humans call “glitter” which enhances the abilities of B.A.D. It was first developed by Dr. Barahptat Daboodop, whom B.A.D. now refers to as their sworn enemy, Pharaoh Nogo. He attempted to sell the “enhancement supplement” on the black market. The King upended Nogo and locked him up in the clink before the drug, I mean, enhancement supplement was distributed. (Or was it?)
Codename: The Top
Abilities: Divine Body Control, Sonic Vision
Unable to be knocked off-balance. Always lands on his feet (or head). Master of several street-level martial arts. Blind in both eyes. Years ago, Nogo, then Daboodop, impanted new eyes inside of Gil’s actual eyes. This was odd. Why not take out the old eyes and put in new ones? This is the greatest super-advanced scientist of another place and time, is it not? (Nogo is that, by the by.) Anyway, the new eyes inside the old ones have sonic enhancers. Then again, I wonder if Gil would rather hear in sonar that see in sonar? Wait, can you “hear in sonar?” I may have just discovered something. So, yeah, this is Gil the Top. He can hear with his eyes and ears
Soup Kristly and Poncho Kazimitzu
Codename: Good & Plenty
Abilities: Hive mind, Telepathy, Telekinesis
They share brains, finish each other’s sentences at an annoying frequency, and melt your mind. Not much is known about Soup and Poncho beyond that. They just show up. The rest of B.A.D. thinks they’re weird (aside from one or two members). The King welcomes them. But they’re still weird. Not in a, “those guys look like they commit crimes on the side” way. More like in a “those guys are looking at me like I’m not who I say I am and it’s creepy. Why are you two always sneaking around in the background getting down, fighting-style?” way. Why does The King and co. put up with this tandem? Because they’re arguably two of the strongest “hit-makers.” As in, making punches. With their minds. That counts.
Codename: The Curtain
Abilities: Master Analyst, Persuasion
Runs the numbers; controls B.A.D.’s assets. The King’s childhood best friend. Set up B.A.D.’s front—PYC’s, a cookie shop in the Blackerwhite borough of Old Big City. They sell the best cookies on the planet. A few members of the team prefer their Glowglitter sprinkled on top of Snickerdoodles. Tavares calls them “Glowglitterdoodles.” He’s a smart guy, just not extremely creative on the titling front. He did come up with “The Curtain.” So, there’s a little redemption.
The drummer of Tesla
Codename: The Drummer of Tesla
Abilities: Technopathy – Mechanokinesis
Rock star by day. Rock star by night. Builder of anything by midnight. TDT builds all of B.A.D.’s vehicles and weaponry. The King’s a big Tesla fan. Once the boss realized TDT was able to build literally anything out of anything, The King finalized the acquisition of TDT’s services. Soon after joining the unit, TDT built their subbasement compound underneath PYC’s. He and The King want to start a super-group of rock. TDT wanted to call their speculative band Shalamar. The King let TDT down easy with the bad news. They’ve since thought to name the band more organically.
Codename: The Acrobat
Abilities: Super-acrobatics, Hair Empowerment
Carny. Stylist. Louis’s biology naturally takes to Glowglitter better than the rest of the team. An acrobat in the Ol’ Old Big City Circus. Hair grows at will—from anywhere—and gains durability. (Example: chest hair as durable as Kevlar.) Only way to “cut” his hair is to burn his hair. On the streets, it’s know that Louis smells like burnt ass. Hangs occasionally with Good & Plenty.
Codename: The Ice-Cold Crusher
Abilities: low-level Weather Manipulation, Cold Touch
Controls weather within a limited radius. “Freezes” his skin making his exterior more dense and tough, like an iceberg. Enemies often risk frostbite if contact is made when D-Watt’s skin is in freeze-mode. He’s moody, though. Don’t expect many sunny days on the blocks across the Blugangsta borough of Old Big City.
Codename: The Tonka
Abilities: Invulnerability, Gravity Manipulation
B.A.D.’s tank. Appears to move at near supersonic speed when pop, lock, and rushing enemies. In actuality, The Tonka can “fall” toward them by controlling the direction of gravity around him. The Glowglitter takes to Samuel almost as naturally as it does to The Acrobat. His active gym-life increases his invulnerability. Samuel is a personal trainer and “Jam-ersizing” instructor at Gym In To Me—located in the Bubbles borough of Old Big City. You can see The Tonka occasionally attending Saturday morning’s “Boobs N’ Break’fus” at Dirty Diana’s on the south side. Good & Plenty are also valued guests of this establishment. Again, they’re weird.
Codename: The Show-Gun
Abilities: Tactile Telekinesis, Genetically Enhanced Agility
Genetically bred by Pharaoh Nogo as part of Nogo’s alpha-stage experiments. Merely invincible. A force field protects The Show-Gun from severe physical damage and enhances his already enhanced enhancements. Commutes by way of flight at a supersonic level. Uses field to act like sunglasses, shielding his outward appearance. Runs a self-defense dojo out of Gym In To Me. Often Tonka’s transport. Often outside in the cold on Saturday mornings waiting for his homie Tonka to finish his business at “Boobs N’ Break’fus.” It’s a happening.
OTHER NOTABLE CHARACTERS
Dr. Barahptat Daboodop
Codename: Pharaoh Nogo
Abilities: Super Intelligence, Chemical Manipulation
Once the mentor of The King and his B.A.D. compatriots. A harrowing trip to the Dangerous Dimension left the mind of then Dr. Daboodop in ruins. The persona of “Pharaoh Nogo” was born when The Supreme Leader’s forces took over the southernmost point of Old Big City, detached the land mass of South Capone and transformed it into the island now known as Eo City. Fearing that B.A.D. stood zero chance of stopping the invasion, Nogo took on the, “if you can’t beat ‘em…” approach. Never once since working under the guidance of The Supreme Leader has Nogo stood face-to-face with the entity. Nogo now controls the criminal and scientific activity of mainland Old Big City, sworn to destroy B.A.D., the monster Nogo created.
“The Supreme Leader”
Codename: Supreme Leader
Emerging from the Dangerous Dimension, The Supreme Leader and her horde of loyal mercenaries took over southern Old Big City and literally took the chunk of rock as their own. Those of the Dangerous Dimension can tell you of The Supreme Leader’s terror. Unfortunately, humans and even “Dancewarriors” don’t last very long in that plane of reality. Once thing we do know is that she wants to rest of Old Big City to house his realm from the “other side”—a “core” at the center of two universes.
The Lost Children
Abilities: Mind Control, Telepathy, Impenetrable Psionic Shield
A chorus of The Supreme Leader’s synthetic children literally shelved inside of The Supreme Leader’s Throne Room within her main headquarters on Eo City. The Lost Children consider The Supreme Leader to be their “mother,” often referring her as such. Much like obedient children, they carry out any orders under the guidance of their mother.
The Super Black Ninja
Abilities: Invisibility, Adoptive Muscle Memory
Exiled from their homeland in The Orient. Invades Blugangsta while B.A.D. is preoccupied with the discovery of Eo City. Honorable at any cost.
Codename: The Unbreakable
Abilities: Aside from the powers the Super Black Ninja already possess, The Unbreakable is the master-defender of the clan. Unmatched in combat due to latent magical shield prophesized never to have reached full potential.
An orphan who once knew a young, Louis Lochart a.k.a. The Acrobat, before he joined the circus. Joined the clan after conning her way through her teens before reaching The Orient. Joined the ranks, endured the torture, and became a Super Black Ninja. Adopted by the clan itself. Her masters are her father figures.
Abilities: Divine Power Bestowal
The Super Black Ninja. Grants the special abilities to those who survive the torturous training to become part of the clan. All but Billie Jean. She is the prophesized Unbreakable. One comes every 100 years. Once thought he held the latent magic needed to become the master-defender. Still feels he would make a better Unbreakable. Jealous of how powerful his adopted daughter, Billie Jean, is becoming. Wants to overtake Blugangsta, cordon it off and by way of magic and culture, and cultivate the small island into a new kingdom for his exiled people.
This comic essentially writes itself. Establish B.A.D. cleaning up the bad guy interlopers sent by Pharaoh Nogo. They find out that The Supreme Leader is planning to take over the rest of Old Big City. Who is the Supreme Leader? What has become of Eo City? B.A.D. thought Nogo was problem, now this “Supreme Leader?” Fortunately, Bobby Hooter a.k.a. The Backpack, is familiar with The Supreme Leader’s presence in the Dangerous Dimension. He knows the only thing The Supreme Leader brings to Old Big City is doom and uncertainty. The King trusts Hooter and orders The Curtain and others to prepare B.A.D.’s business endeavors for war. B.A.D.’s philanthropy now switches gears to “strategery.”
As I’m writing this paragraph, it’s been nearly 24 hours since I thought of this idea. I’m currently outlining eight volumes of stories that began as ridiculousness, but has now turned into a brief obsession. I think there may be some mileage here. Once I finish the eighth volume’s outline, I’ll put it down and see if my brain stays in this world. If it does so, that’s usually when I know I need to finish what I started. Would love to hear your thoughts, readers.
Until next time.
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