Ruby Nation

Ruby Nation
Ruby Nation: The Webcomic

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Jeph Loeb Drinking Game

Note: Do not try this at home. This Avengers: X-Sanction preview alone will get you completely plastered.

--When a fight scene erupts for no clear reason other than to have a fight scene, take a shot. (Avengers vs. Lethal Legion)

--When a bunch of heroes or villains are assembled in an "iconic" arrangement, take a shot. (The Avengers are Marvel's Big Five-- Wolverine, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk by way of the Red Hulk-- joined by the Falcon, presumably as a token. The Lethal Legion are veteran Avengers foes Living Laser, Grim Reaper, Whirlwind, and Radioactive Man. The latter of which hasn't been a conventional super-villain in a long time, instead acting as a loyal soldier for China).

--When a character makes a quip with the same amount of wit as a schoolyard taunt, take a shot. (Spider-Man: "Why is there never a jailbreak on nice, pleasant, warm nights in New York?" Wolverine: "Why is it you never shut up?")

--When a character goes into heavy-handed, mopey first-person caption narration, take a shot. (Cable's internal monologue about being a soldier).

--When the conflicts are revealed to be the acts of an ubermensch villain manipulating events with far more capability than they should be able to have, take a shot. (Not seen here, but with Loeb's history of using villains like Hush, Romulus, Ultimate Doctor Doom, The Intelligencia, and others, there's often a mastermind with unconvincingly extreme mastery).

--When a character is brought back to an "iconic" state in a way that defies everything previously established, take a shot. (This series is about bringing Cable back from the dead. Even though his absence wasn't exactly derailing the Marvel Universe.)

Now excuse me as I go into the ER for alcohol poisoning.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Ruby Nation Begins! Stuff You May Have Missed

Well, I've finished the prologue of my new webcomic, 13 pages total. It's complete with a new domain name, at . Similar to its predecessor, chapters will be followed by text pieces, so the next few weeks will see the start of the "Ruby in Therapy" interview series.

I designed the prologue to start the series with a bang, to go with an action sequence so readers immediately want to find out what's happening. If you don't understand the entire story and didn't read Ruby's World,, it'll reveal itself That said, there are some things that aren't immediately apparent from the pages, so I'll offer these useful notes;

1.) The characters wear superhero costumes now-- kind of. Ruby's dressed similarly to usual, but wearing a utility belt with the Ruby Nation Insignia on the buckle, while Jiro has a spy catsuit with a ninja scarf and combat webbing. These are designed more as custom military uniforms than superhero costumes, as I honestly hate spandex-- it's too often used as simply flat colors with no texture, rendering superheroes as nudes in body paint. Here it's more like stylized body armor, adding a bit of self-conscious fashion and accessorizing(since these are teenaged characters, looking cool is important to them, and is one of the few things they have left).

Think the paramilitary superhero look of the Ultimates and Metal Gear Solid, mixed with the individualized bling of Tetsuya Nomura (designer for Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts).

2.) The post-human antagonist her is named Moray. The name comes from the moray eel, a type of serpentine-looking fish with strong jaws and sharp teeth. I absolutely love animal motifs for superhuman characters, especially more obscure animals. Since Moray's ability involves columns of nanofilament bursting from his hands and enveloping/shredding everything they catch, it seems appropriate. As for more about him and his'll have to wait and see.

3.) There will be new characters on Ruby's side, as well. One of the strongest themes of the Ruby Saga is the challenge of maintaining one's ideals in a fallen world, to be optimistic despite all evidence to the contrary. The prologue sets up the inherent fatalism of the world, where there are no options for the characters that don't involve someone dying and someone grieving. This will be further examined in the coming chapters, because while it may be the way things are, is it necessarily the way things have to be?