To twist an icon

When I finally put together my own comic-book universe, I plan on offering a complete package. I’ll be giving them a universe that’s already finished. Sure, it will evolve as needed, but all the groundwork will be there.
In that package will be a group of characters who will serve as the universe’s icons.
When you think about it, most comic-book universes have certain icons — characters like Superman, Batman, the Hulk and Captain America. Most comic book universes have some version of these characters. Marvel has its own version of Superman, DC has its own version of the Hulk. You may not recognize them right away, but they’re there.
In my opinion, these character types help a comic-book reader get their bearings. They let the reader put things in context. They recognize the character type and “get” the idea so that the writer and artist can let the story progress rather than dwell on the character himself.
Part of my plan is to provide near-replicas of all the important comic-book icons. Now don’t worry, they will each have their own twist. Something  will makes them just different enough for readers to say,
“Hey, that’s kind of neat. I wonder where he’ll go with that.”
So what kind of characters am I talking about?
Well, at right, you see my version of Tarzan. Tarzan, as you know, is a noble defender of the wilds of Africa. My character, whom I’ve dubbed Kukamonga, is pretty much the same … with a twist.
Kukamonga is a defender of the jungle who channels the powers of animals. The only problem is that he has to kill the animal first and wear their skin. Sometimes, he wears it as a cape. Sometimes it’s a loin cloth. Or he carves its bones into a charm. Eventually, he drains the power from the totem and has to go kill again. He always has to go out and get more power.
As his skills get tested to the limit and his patience wears thin, Kukamonga will begin to wonder: “What happens if I kill a super-powered human?”
“Kukamonga?” I can hear you ask. Yeah, it’s a goofy name, but I kind of like it. People remember goofy names.


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