I grew up reading comics, but I hated the old General Motors (Buick, Chevy, Oldsmobile, etc.) versions of characters; Batman, Superman, Wonderwoman, X-Men, and other characters. They were all the same thing over and over again and their stories were predictable.
Early on I gravitated towards alternate comics that held my attention; Power Man, Rom the Spaceknight, Hulk, Iron Fist, Swamp Thing, Silver Surfer, and even DareDevil. They represented the realness of people, community and what being a hero was all about.
All these dudes were not about huge money, gadgets, incredible tech or unimaginable superpowers (well Silver Surfer is another story entirely).
They took care of a place or a community and they were citizens of their area. Now Batman took care of Gotham, but there was no way that I could relate to a dude.
Then there was Flash, who was fast and could run and do all these things while running. Just was so far fetched it just did not resonate. First, it struck me that Flash was again a white guy. Why in the hell would you do this? That is like saying Native Alaskans would be better at the hunting Gazelles and African animals than the Native Africans that lived there. Uggg..! I get it, if you make the vehicle, you can drive it the way you want and sell it to whomever you want. I get it.
So…I am going to make my own vehicle and drive it and sell it the way that I want.
But, one of the biggest things that bothered me was there were very few super heros that resembled me and my community of being Black, and being in and around Brown People.
Power Man was one of the few Black guys (yes there was Black Panther). Iron Fist who you would think would be Asian was a white guy. But, he hung out in the inner city with Power Man, so I could relate with him with the whole Heroes for Hire concept.
Even further, there was the same skill set for heros. It became super redundant and the same recurring theme in all the comics. There was brute force powers, mystical powers, alien and superintelligence. In addition, there were very few heroes that were not white guys, not rich, not business owners, not entrepreneurs, or some type of doctor, lawyer or financier adventurist.
If you really want to take a deeper look into some of the ’70s and 80’s philosophies, you could see how a lot of what the characters resembled what our education and social system valued and deemed as successful, sexy, handsome and powerful back then.
It was the American Dream, Leave it to Beaver, the Brady Bunch, Archie, Laurence Welk kind of thinking in my eyes and I hated it.
Their version of a hero was out of my reach due it only looked like white males who had power, money and or some exclusive technology. As a young Black kid that was not me, I could not relate.
MOVING TO THE DARK SIDE
So, I gravitated from their version of a traditional hero to other characters that were not perfect, but they were a hell of a lot easier to connect with than the GM Models (no I do not like GM cars. Used to like the Cadillac Brand, but they are so far behind that it is just dumb as to why they have taken this long to move away from Ma and Pa Smith).
Swamp Thing, was the craziest character that I read about back then. This guy (yes a white guy) died and became part of the swamp and had amazing powers due to the swamp.
Then there was Power Man and Iron Fist. Urban guys who took care of the community.
Then there was ROM the Space Knight. The dude was an alien guy in a suit and traveled through space and time. I could get with this.
Then DareDevil. The dude was blind and had made martial arts skills.
The Hulk was just cool to read about a dude that had serious anger problems and had a clinical DSM-III disorder that he used to his strength.
Finally, there was the Silver Surfer who could do anything and had the Power Cosmic. He could travel faster than any super being, could scan your weakness, adjust the environment to work against you, did not need food, water or bathroom breaks, and had powers that were off the charts. BADASS!
These characters were huge in my foundation. They were some of the cornerstones of what I believe was cool and what should be in a comic.
ROBOTECH – Oh, then there was Robotech and that whole thing got me so twisted up that I would twitch and giggle when it came on. I never missed a Damn episode when I was in 5th grade and I must have watched that thing two or three times. But, that level of creativity changed me.
So, when I made the SN Brand and the Judgment Comic, my original thoughts resonated around a character that was not the normal perception of America. He was smart but his smarts did not impact his great powers. Almost nothing he had or would become or be equated to his greatness from his previous life, economic or socio-economic condition. The only thing that I would say migrated over from his original self was his love for his kids and his immense focus on their safety and desires for them to be happy and successful based off of their definitions of success.
This was sort of me throwing my real-life desires for my kids into the story. My story as I mentioned was not the picture-perfect story. So, I made sure that even though I was in a crappy marriage, I made a promise that I would make sure my kids were able to know success and happiness even though I did not have it. It was my goal that they never venture down the emotional and relationship struggles that I encountered.
The SN Brand of Hero that I am defining is not laced with traditional super-powers in the sense of brute force, technological skills, gadgetry or powers from an alien ring or craft. He would have skills and powers that came from a higher being and would be based on how he communicated with this higher being at first. So, yes they are off the charts and they make no sense to the human world.
Yea, you could say a Shazam or some other character resembles this, but I tried to stay clear of a lot of that type of character presentation.
In my world, we play with the spiritual side of the planet and we deal with how God would provide a human or extraterrestrial beings greatness and significant powers to carry out insane missions while in His service.
The Judgment character is pretty heavy in spiritual power and Biblical references. Some of his powers are directly from what specific books in the Bible.
An example is The Full Armor of God in Ephesians 6:10. If you read this verse, in any version or translation, it talks about how you have to figuratively put on specific garments and gear in order to do battle with rulers, authorities, and powers. That example is not an example of one type of force, but different levels of power or progressions of evil that you have to deal with. In this case, they are levels of bosses that you have to battle in order to be successful.
This specific focus on defending against something talks highly of the power and influence that the forces of evil have upon this world.
We all know the climate in 2019 with the issues of people shooting random people and causing significant chaos. We know what they tell us about the world stage and how the struggles for freedom and land where they can be free of violence is so crucial that people will do amazing things to get this peace.
To me, these forces of good and bad are around us at all times. They, directly and indirectly, influence our world to either take us down to another realm of pain, misery or provide us with a glimpse of freedom and peace with immense sacrifice.
So, to wrap it up, the SN Brand of Comics is different with its first title, Judgment, because it is a focused comic on the fourth dimension or the spiritual realms all around us and how they impact our lives on the daily.
In a nutshell, we made our first comic series that deals with the spiritual realms, good and bad and our focus is on how we see these battles and forces of good and evil do their work within our natural realms and the spiritual ones as well.