HCC: High Concept Challenge # 14: Surprisingly Awesome Animal Hero

Tom Russell joltcity at gmail.com
Sat Oct 9 16:39:20 PDT 2010

In 2010, when Stan Lee and Steve Ditko's Spider-Man is one of the most
profitable, recognizable, and ubiquitous of all long-underwear
characters, it's sometimes hard to see what a truly weird idea it was
in 1962.  Supposedly, publisher Martin Goodman gave Lee a list of a
reasons why the public wouldn't be interested in the character-- not
least among them being the fact that spiders are gross, not to mention
easily-dispatched via a well-timed rolled-up newspaper.  But Lee (and
Ditko) saw potential in the character, his powers, and his possible
mystique that Goodman couldn't, and they proved him wrong.  The
challenge, this time around, is to pull of a similar feat.

Start with what would on its face be a terrible choice of an animal
for a hero's powers to emulate-- an angler fish, a chipmunk, a paper
nautilus, whatever, the worst or the silliest thing you can think of--
and show us how awesome and effective that hero and his or her powers
can really be.  If "drawing on all the powers of the mighty koala"
causes the reader to smirk and titter, write the Super Drop Bear story
that'll wipe that smirk right off their face.  Now, two wrinkles to
this challenge:

1. Let's avoid Superfriends-Style Aquamen.  That is, heroes whose
powers are so limited as to only be useful in very specific
situations, or whose powers make them the laughingstock of other
heroes.  Make a character who has the potential to be awesome most of
the time, and show us but one particularly cool example of that
awesomeness; make "awesomeness" the rule, rather than the exception.
2. No origin stories.

Well, ladies and gents, there it is: choose an animal, gives it powers
(or mechanically-reproduced abilities) to your hero, and surprise your
readers with their awesomeness.  The deadline will be November 6th--
four weeks on the dot hopefully avoiding the need for a one-week

And, go!


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