With their recent launch of their Altered States books, Dynamite has created a new vehicle for "Elseworlds" type stories with their library of classic and iconic characters. They started off with Vampirella on another planet, Red Sonja in modern day that then gets turn into the Hyborian world, Doc Savage turned into a primitive savage and The Shadow traveling to another dimension.
Well, as a writer you tell me that you can take an establish character and start over with them, my curiosity gets piqued. So here are five OTHER characters from the Dynamite library that are just begging to have the Altered States treatment… and maybe an idea of what I think they should do.
THE LONE RANGER – He may not have done well in the theater, but The Lone Ranger is a classic and well-loved character but he is rarely taken out of his element. So what if we take him sci-fi… into deeps space as an invading force enters the galaxy and Earth sends out its fleet to stop it only to be annihilated except for a single pilot who crash lands on a moon of Jupiter and is saved by one of the inhabitants… an alien named Tonto. And from there it becomes a story about two one-man ships trying to take out an armada.
THE GREEN HORNET – Another character that didn't fare well at the box office but has a strong following… what is we make him an Admiral in the British Fleet whose ship in destroyed by pirates. So he puts together a new ship and crew, but not of British soldiers… but of other pirates, using their tactics and knowledge to attack other pirate ships. His crew has no idea of his past or his desire to rid the seas of pirates… they just know they are getting plenty of booty. He wears a green mask and only his first mate Kato knows the truth.
JOHN CARTER: WARLORD OF MARS – Okay, now it seems like I'm just picking on the properties with unsuccessful films, but I think I have a good idea here. It's slightly the future and a company has discovered a way to make a portal to Mars. The military is brought in and team is sent through to basically set up a base to start stripping the resources from the planet. John Carter is part of that team and is the first to discover the natives and just what devastation the Humans will cause. He tries to get the company to stop the project but they refuse… so Carter does what he must, he picks up arms with the Barsoom.
JENNIFER BLOOD – A female vigilante is a fun character, but let's take her into the future with cities building up into the sky, cars that fly and crimes that automatically get you the death sentence. There are no cops, no second chance and there are cameras everywhere in the city. Citywatch sees a crime and notifies an eradication officer like Blood to take out the criminal. It's an efficient system of justice until Blood herself is found guilty. Now she must stay alive and find out why she is marked for eradication.
JUNGLE GIRL – The Frank Cho creation could be taken to a very different jungle. Jana wakes up after a fifty-year cryogenic sleep to find the world in ruins. Cities are overgrown with planet life, making it a mix of city and jungle. Most of humanity is either dead or have turned into zombies. Jana must figure out what happened and how to survive before she becomes one of the undead. The unique thing here is it's a post-apocalyptic city/jungle with zombies. You don't get a lot of zombies in the jungle.
That was five ideas using five different established characters all in about an hour. This goes to show just how amazingly viable an idea like this is for creators. Its why so many of the Elseworld stories not only are loved by fans but are occasionally brought back even though DC stopped doing them. Altered States titles are great ways to get a thrilling adventure with a familiar character without having to know anything about them. I bet our readers here could come up with a half dozen of their own in no time. And Dynamite has a very cool library of characters to play with.
In the meanwhile, check out the following Altered States titles (Covers by Billy Tan).