Monday, April 18, 2011

Pitching Forgotten Characters – Viceroy

Here we have an article that’s a little different. It’s a pitch for a forgotten character as written by one of our TWC readers, Peter DiSilvio. There had been a discussion a while ago where he and I charged each other with pitching tales for some lesser known characters and Peter has schooled me by dropping the following document in my lap.

This pitch lets you know everything you ever wanted to know about Viceroy (even if you’ve never heard of him or wanted to know anything about him) and Peter then carves out what would be a mammoth run. This pitch is long but it features so many character moments and quality action set pieces that you'll be won over. You must hit the jump to see how Peter makes Viceroy a character you would actually want to read about.

Peter DiSilvio is a long time The Weekly Crisis reader. You can reach him on Twitter on @peterfdisilvio He emailed this pitch to me. I thank him for this. You can do the same. Anytime.

Viceroy
Roland ‘Roy’ Patinkin

Powers/Equipment

• Power suit: grants the wearer enhanced reflexes and strength
• Energy Sword: sword that crackles with energy
O.W.L.: A super intelligent robot, shaped like an owl that serves as Viceroy’s assistant and sidekick. He can fly access information at incredible speeds, and fire lasers from his eyes.

Background

Viceroy shows up in the pages of Superman #192, the same issue in which Cir-El (the other, other Supergirl) was introduced. Along with his robotic sidekick, O.W.L., Viceroy stopped an unnamed thug who was running through Park Wood, Metropolis.

Through a quick interview by Jack Ryder of the Metropolis Daily Star we learn the Viceroy is the son of another hero of the same name who was killed by the nuclear power super villain, Radion. Radion is introduced at the beginning of the same issue when Cir-El defeated him by throwing him into a nuclear reactor. As Viceroy leaves the crowd, he tells O.W.L. he thinks they bought it, his story about his father and his quest to avenge him, and O.W.L., the classic robot foil says no purchase occurred. We get a one-off comment about needing to give his mechanized chum some humor and he’s off panel.

The next, and final, time we see Viceroy is in the very next issue. Radion has escaped the reactor and Viceroy, after being goaded on by a crowd, decides to go confront him. When he arrives the now stronger Radion has just dispatched Cir-El and gloats he is going to give Viceroy a beat down even worse than he did his father. Viceroy draws what appears to be an energy sword and charges the ‘ruffian’. A quick snap later and a limp Viceroy is thrown to the ground. The final reference we get to the fallen hero is on the last page where we learn he is being looked after at Metropolis Euston Hospital and that O.W.L. is circling the building.

Pitch

The first page of the first issue would feature Green Arrow and Viceroy fighting the Key in Star City. Green Arrow, firing at 3 different Key Robots at once, would shout “Will you get the hell out of here?!?!?” with Viceroy responding back “I’m just trying to help!” while awkwardly wielding his energy sword.

The series, which would be humorous, would follow Viceroy on a nationwide, and eventually worldwide, tour. He is traveling from city to city, trying to meet different big league heroes, to learn how to be a superhero. I picture him as a mix between Inigo Montoya of “The Princess Bride” and early Booster Gold. By that I mean Inigo’s smart mouth and attitude and Booster’s desire to be a famous revered hero (the fact that they are both glory seekers with robotic sidekicks doesn’t hurt either).

Over the course of the series, Viceroy would struggle with his resentment of his father for having gotten himself killed and not being there, his desire to surpass his father as a hero, and his desire to be remembered, the latter in direct response to how quickly the public forgot him after he was injured.

Theme

The theme of the overall series would be Viceroy slowly coming to grips with his father’s decision to try to be a hero and his own desire to, at first, outshine him and, with time, to honor him.

Series Outline

• Year None

o Viceroy travels to Star City to meet Green Arrow, the only hero whose identity he knows and that he thinks he can find.
o Viceroy helps Green Arrow in his fight with the Key but causes more problems than he solves including having the Key steal his energy sword and use it against Green Arrow.
o Green Arrow reclaims the sword and uses it to defeat the Key. Viceroy takes note that Arrow uses his sword better than he does.
o When Green Arrow dismisses him, he attributes it not to his own lack of talent but to Green Arrow having become bitter after years of being a hero. Viceroy decides to seek out heroes who have not yet become jaded by their experience.

• Titanic Beat Down

o Disheartened by Green Arrow, Viceroy goes to Titans Tower where he figures the heroes will be less jaded.
o He sneaks to the island where the Titans, fresh off a fight with the latest threat, give him a quick beating before he even has a chance to defend himself.
o Before waking up in the tower infirmary, Viceroy has a dream about limbo with Merryman and a shadowy figure standing in the back. Merryman says “I can’t believe they are giving you a chance… I mean, c’mon! Viceroy?”
o Viceroy shares a moment with each member of the team about their motivations and realizes his goal, of becoming a great hero just to surpass his father, may not be the best motivation.
o Deciding he needs to be mentored like the members of the Titans he decides to head to Gotham to try to get a job and training with Batman Inc.

• Like Motherboard, Like Circuit

o A one shot featuring O.W.L. as he visits his ‘father’: Skeets! Apparently O.W.L. was assembled using components from the various times Skeet’s has been damaged in public.
o They don’t get along but have to come together to defeat the newest incarnation of the Robot Renegades and prevent them from getting access to Rip Hunter’s lab.
o When the fight is over O.W.L. says he has to go meet Viceroy in Gotham. In the issue, we see the two flying off into the sunset together with Skeets saying “Before you go, let me tell you about your Grandfather”. Here we would see a picture in the clouds, very Mufasa-Lion-King-ish of one of Mr. Terrific’s T-sphere

• Gotham or Bust

o Viceroy arrives in Gotham and heads out into the night to find one of the many vigilantes who protect the city.
o He runs into Batman and Robin and tries to help them solve a double murder case
o During the course of their adventure we get such gems as Damian saying “Surely I can kill him if only to save him further embarrassment”
o While Viceroy does manage to use a batarang to defeat the killer the dynamic duo still tell him he has no place trying to be a superhero.
o Undaunted, Viceroy breaks into Bruce Wayne’s office to ask for a position in Batman Inc. Instead of Bruce Wayne he finds Batman (Bruce).
o Bruce yells at him and tells him he has no place being a hero and that he is endangering his life and the life of everyone else he encounters. Finally Batman tells him he will contact the Justice League and no one will train the Viceroy. It’s time for him to pack it in.
o Viceroy sits atop a building thinking about how he’s failed and he’ll never be a real hero, he’ll never surpass his father. Just then, Batgirl (Stephanie Brown) shows up and tells him that, if he wants to be a real hero, she can help.
o Viceroy asks why she would help him when he is such a screw up and, thinking back on how everyone tried to stop her from being Spoiler, that if someone wants to help people they should have a chance to do it.

• Daddy Issues

o The issue begins with Merryman saying, ostensibly to Viceroy yet looking at the reader, “He screws this up and none of us will get a chance”. Another voice responds “He won’t, he is going to get us out of here.” At this point, Viceroy wakes up on a plane.
o Now awake, Viceroy is reflecting back on the day his mother told him that his father had been a superhero, had gotten himself killed, and that is why he was not around when Viceroy was a boy.
o Viceroy is bitter towards his father for not having been around and for not even being a great hero in the first place.
o We learn that, when his mother died, he inherited his father’s suit, sword, and a prototype robot that his father had been working on.
o We also get a flash back where Viceroy recalls Batgirl, at the end of the last issue, to go to a small town in Tibet and seek out the man named Richard Dragon.
o Epilogue
 Footage plays on the TV of Viceroy, Batman, and Robin fighting together in the last arc.
 An irate Radion steps from the shadows and is obviously pissed.

• How to Train With A Dragon

o Viceroy is wandering around in the snow, having been told by a local monk, that Richard Dragon is somewhere on the mountain. O.W.L. is circling but cannot seem to find any sign of any people.
o Convinced he has been tricked, Viceroy finds refuge in a mountain cave. Here he is attacked by a man, eventually revealed to be Richard Dragon, and he is forced to defend himself. Highlights include him using his sword in ways which he saw Green Arrow use it and throw a batarang like he did when in Gotham. Dragon, interested, stops fighting and takes him to Nanda Parbat.
o Dragon works with Viceroy briefly and says he shows promise. Dragon talks about how the desire to do well can allow one the ability to do well. Viceroy dismisses this because, were it true, his father would have been a better hero. Dragon tells him that being remembered or having a long career does not necessarily mean a hero is successful.
o Dragon says that Viceroy must go but, before he does, he wants him to spar with another of his students. Viceroy is angry because he feels he is only getting started but Dragon says that he must continue on the rest of his journey.
o The ‘other student’ is revealed to be Connor Hawke.

• Green Again

o The issue begins with an explanation that, after confronting his father for being so selfish, Green Arrow Connor Hawke traveled to Nada Parbat to find the inner peace he lost during the last several years.
o Through a training session we see the parallels between Viceroy and Green Arrow’s bitterness towards their fathers; for not being there, for being selfish and not taking responsibility for their sons, and for being superheroes.
o The contrasts between the two; Ollie choosing to abandon Connor while Viceroys father was forced to not be there by dying, Ollie failing as a hero by giving up on his morals and killing while Viceroys father failed as a hero by not surviving, and Ollie never being there for Connor while Viceroy has a single memory of playing catch with his dad, flashes through Viceroy’s head.
o During the sudden realization that his father wasn’t awful, Connor knocks him out.
o In a dream like state, Merryman appears to Viceroy. He explains what limbo is and that he doesn’t belong there. Viceroy asks where the person Merryman had been talking to is and Merryman responds “Oh, your Dad? People remember him now. He’s out of here. A heaven montage most likely. Unfortunately that’s not for you. You have a date in Metropolis.” At which point Viceroy has a sudden flash of Radion and wakes up.

• Home Again

o The issue begins with Viceroy standing atop the Daily Planet globe with O.W.L. circling over head. He thinks about everything he’s done, everywhere he’s been, and how that, if this is the end, he’s happy he had a chance to make a difference. A sudden explosion steals attention and O.W.L. flies him toward it.
o Radion is rampaging on the street complaining that he has never been respected and the other thing that has ever given him any credit was that he killed two heroes. No way he is letting one of them come back and take that from him.
o Viceroy arrives and the two engage in a brutal fight. During the battle we see Viceroy exhibit some of the sword skills he saw Green Arrow use, some moves he picked up from Richard Dragon, and uses his roi-arangs; gifts from Richard Dragon, to hold his own against Radion.
o He takes a beating, gets pretty messed up, and O.W.L. loses a wing but, in the end, he defeats Radion. As he stands over him and he is rushed by reporters, Superman arrives and says “Viceroy right? I’ve heard a lot about you. Great job” and we get a picture of Superman shaking his hand.

To Be Continued?

• Possible follows ups could include
o Viceroy goes and gets his own city and messes up badly.
o Viceroy tries to form a super team and it goes badly.

Conclusion

What do you think of this mammoth pitch to resurrect Viceroy as his own hero? I am awed by the level of detail Peter goes to in this pitch but also the steps of his narrative feel well progressed and meaningful. What do you think, you might not like Viceroy, I certainly don’t even know who he is, but I like how this pitch lays the story out. Leave your comments down below, and maybe suggest other characters you’d like to see get this treatment. Maybe you could even submit the pitch to me via email.


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26 comments:

Space Jawa said...

Heh. I don't know for sure whether I'd ever actually read a series like this, but I do have to at least say I think the pitch looks well put together.

Lee said...

I think this is pretty interesting and very detailed. It would make Viceroy a deep and fun character. But, he still needs a rogues gallery of some sort if this is to be an on-going. Radion is not enough. Especially if Radion gets beat the first time he shows up in the series. Perhaps some where early in this series Viceroy show up to help someone like Green Arrow apprehend Radion, and Radion get away because of bungling interference of Viceroy. Other than that minor suggestion, I like this concept.

Anonymous said...

Why do you guys never do reviews anymore?

twobitspecialist said...

^Typical anonymous comment, hijacking columns with the same dumb complaint.

Also, nb4 twobit hates anonymous comments.

Ryan K Lindsay said...

@Lee - great point. Really great point. Viceroy does need his own little gallery of bad guy stooges. I'm whip Peter into getting onto this, stat! But seriously, great suggestion.

@Anon 3 - You'll see just two days ago I reviewed JIM #622. Kirk reviewed Fear Itself #1 not long before that. Ah...then it gets a bit thin, I guess. Sorry.

When you ask 'you guys' do you mean me and Peter? Because we've never done reviews together (ba-bum-cha) but if you mean the site then there's a few reasons. Kirk has been off with personal reasons, he's not up to a weekly review schedule just yet. Ryan S is busy commanding fleets of artists to do his bidding, it is apparently a time consuming gig. And me, well, I write 3 reviews a week for CBR and have a few other things going on in my life, promotions, babies, other writing. I would love to do a weekly review column but just don't have the time for it. We surely hope to get more reviews out to you folks soon.

Hope that answers your question.

catherine said...

Wow weekly crisis team , great job moderating . all the person did was ask an inocent question and then you approve a commentators message spesifically calling the person dumb.

And twobit you are very hippocritical about " hijacking columns as your comment is clearly trying to instigate an arguement that will railroad this topic. You dont need to approve this comment weekly team but it seems low that you would allow commentators to belittle people like that

peace

Kerry said...

Sorry it was only a question . I didn't mean to be rude, sorry if I did. Well any way love your work ryan

Ryan K Lindsay said...

@Kerry - Don't be sorry. You asked a question, I answered it. There was no snark involved in my answer, I promise. I figured you guys come here for the weekly review round ups and they've been scarce to invisible lately, but there has been a reason for it. Figured we could tell it to you. Man, don't ever be sorry for asking a question, you were in your grounds and that's fine. Cheers! :)

@Catherine - I agree.

twobitspecialist said...

@Catherine - There's always e-mail and Twitter.

Catherine said...

And why should I put out my personal details for a simple question. I'm not going to respond to you anymore as it hit me how moronic it is to get at someone for asking questions off topic when you are trying to start an argument derailing the column even when when the writer is agreeing with the people you believe are hurting his discussion.

twobitspecialist said...

@Catherine - Sigh. Not yours. Look at the section at the bottom.

"Connect with the Weekly Crisis

Send a Tweet...

Contact us via E-mail"

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