Category Archives: The Prodigious Files
Cosmic Knight is an… interesting hybridization of two rather disparate characters. In his original incarnation I envisioned him as the Prodigious version of DC Comics’ Starman complete with storied legacy and his “cosmic lance” taking the place of the Gravity/Cosmic Rod. However, the later incarnations would utilize powered armor in their crusade against evil (as hackneyed as it sounds), which effectively bring them closer to Marvel’s Iron Man in that respect. With a the added tweak of transforming the Prodigious world into an amalgamation of several dozen parallel Earths, why not scrap the initial concept and build from the ground up? What makes the stellar sentinel particularly important to the overall series is that his grandchildren are central to story so his “dynasty” deserves a detailed history.
Every superhero universe needs god-like aliens who take an interest in Earth or the human race in my estimation. The DC Universe has the New Gods (who are more like living abstract ideas if my reading of Grant Morrison’s Final Crisis is accurate, but I digress), Marvel has the Celestials, Doctor Who has the Time Lords, and so forth. I am also borrowing a little from the Metroid series by making the alien gods of Prodigious avian-themed like the Chozo, hence their name: the Avessi. They are roughly humanoid in shape, bipedal with opposable thumbs and fingers to physically manipulate objects, and feathers cover the majority of their bodies with a crest on the back of their head like a blue jay. Their closest terrestrial counterparts in terms of appearance and genetics are the family corvidae, though a race similar to the accipitridae family (eagles and hawks) existed as well. In terms of intelligence, the Avessi were the most advanced race in the Local Group and developed psionic abilities such as telepathy, telekinesis, and teleportation. However, as their physical abilities diminished as their mental abilities increased and became reliant on them for mobility and communication. Most of their technology operates on a mental interface rather than keys, switches, or dials. This interface is incompatible with most species, except for baseline humans and ultrahumans though the interface requires a disciplined mind to operate it properly.
Their home world remains unknown because their civilization lasted for billions of years–long enough for the parent star to enter its red giant phase. The last known “nest world” was Qwyll, which the minotaur-like Khrunn decimated and stripped clean approximately one-hundred thousand years ago. Ninety-five percent of the Avessi population died in the raids but a small group took refuge in the Sol System where they fully terraformed Venus and partially terraformed Mars (as well as the Galilean moons of Jupiter and Titan.) The Avessi have had contact with early humans and even conducted experiments that resulted in the premature appearance of homo sapiens ultra.
Welcome to what I hope is the first in series of posts on a superhero project that I have worked on for over a decade. It has gone by two other names while I worked on it, The Baldur Saga and Platinum Dawn, but I ultimately chose Prodigious as a tribute to both Marvel and Awesome comics. For those unfamiliar with the latter, Awesome Comics was an imprint founded by Rob Liefeld renowned largely for Alan Moore’s run on Supreme, a pastiche that celebrated Superman’s history rather than deconstruct it. I grew up reading my mother’s old issues of Action and Adventure Comics, Superman, Superboy, and her Gold Key comics like Magnus, Robot Fighter so I had an appreciation for DC Comics’ Silver Age and see Alan Moore’s Supreme one of the most underrated works of the late nineties. Granted, the stories of Mort Weisinger’s era are silly and crude by contemporary standards but they had a whimsical charm and sense of wonder. Many mainstays of the Superman mythos like Supergirl, Bizzaro, the Bottle City of Kandor come from that era and echo on into the twenty-first century. Anything seemed possible and a certain optimism flowed from the titles. One of the things I wanted to accomplish with Prodigious is keep that wonder and optimism but retain some modern sensibilities without the cynicism and carnage.
There is both Golden and Silver Age of Superheroes with various parallel characters. There is–or rather, was a Superman counterpart (whose fate I will address in later posts), Batman and Wonder Woman counterparts who are supporting characters in the Welcome to Apex Falls series (more on that later as well), counterparts to the Justice League/Avengers, Fantastic Four, and even the Authority. However, they are not the main focus of the Prodigious universe. It became clear to me that many of the characters were–well, too generic to be interesting on their own so I rebuilt the universe from the ground up.