By Assad Quraishi
Something I often use as a way to understand my affiliations and champions better is by comparing them to works already done by other authors. For each affiliation I explored 6 different universes to draw inspiration from. Those universes are:
Do you have characters in mind for Bellum in each of these universes? Let’s see if your thoughts and mine align.
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Okay, let’s talk about each universe and compare the characters. For Bellum, the commonality between all of these characters will be their belief in a greater good and that they know they are the ones to bring about that reality.
Marvel - Magneto
“So… in effect, you swapped 5,000 human lives for one mutant one. That’s regrettable. But when there’s less than 200 mutants on the planet, I can live with that.” – Uncanny X-Men Vol 2 #5
At his core, Magneto believes that mutants are the next evolutionary step for humans. He truly believes that the days of the homosapiens are behind us and we need to make way for the next generation, the “homo superior”. This unwavering faith is what makes him a perfect Bellum champion. He knows, with absolute certainty, what he believes in and everything he does is in servitude to this.
DC - Superman
“I once thought I could protect the world by myself. But I was wrong. Working together, we saved the planet. And I believe that if we stay together, as a team, we would be a force that could truly work for the ideals of peace and justice.” , Superman quotes about justice
Superman – defender of law and order. Everything he does is in the belief of doing the “right thing”, even if it is at a detriment to himself. Even in stories where he becomes evil, like in Injustice or Justice League: Gods and Monsters, Superman is still trying to do what he believes is the right decision to keep everyone protected and safe, even if that means removing their freedom. His unwavering belief that he can bring law and order to the world resonates with that goals of Bellum.
Buffy/Angel - Angel
How many heroes will do whatever it takes to save the world, even if it means giving up everything they have been working towards for 200 years. That is what Angel did in Season 1, Episode 8 - I Will Remember You. He sacrificed he one chance to be human to save the people he loved and to maintain the power he needs to save the world. He is willing to make any sacrifice needed to save the world and this isn’t because there aren’t other warriors, there will always be a slayer. Nor is this because he is forced to do this. Even after he gets his soul and becomes human, he still continues to fight because he believes he is the right person for the job.
Reboot - Matrix
"My Format? I have no Format. I am a Renegade, lost on the Net." -Enzo Matrix
You might think that a character who has no purpose wouldn’t fit in Bellum, however it is the very reason he has lost hope that drives his belief. After the loss of Bob, Enzo stepped up to become the guardian of the Mainframe. However, after his loss to the user and his transformation into a sprite, he began searching through the net believing Bob is still alive. He jumped from city to city, defending the people who he encountered, until he found Bob. He truly believed that the only person who could save Mainframe was Bob and his new format as a sprite was the only way to do it. He took all his sorrow and pain and turned it into a single goal which he sacrificed everything to bring into fruition.
Watchmen - Rorschach
“The world will look up and shout: 'Save us!'. And I'll whisper: 'No.” ― Watchmen movie trailer
Rorschach embodies the moral absolutism, even going as far as having a suit that has swirls of black and white that are always in motion, but never mixing to create grey. There is no middle ground with Rorschach, there is only the right thing and the wrong thing and the people who do the wrong thing need to be punished. This belief in the absence of the grey area resonates in everything he does. Even in the end …
when he realizes the attack on New York was orchestrated by Ozymandias, Rorschach does whatever it takes to stop him. Realizing that Dr. Manhattan was on Ozymandias’s side, Rorschach submits and forces Dr. Manhattan to kill him, otherwise he will tell the world what happened and that would break the utopia that Ozymandias has made.
This willingness to sacrifice himself for his belief is exactly why he is part of Bellum. He would rather die for his belief than live without it.
Doctor Who - Cybermen
Of all the characters we have done so far, this one might seem the most bizarre, especially if you know who the Cybermen are. “The Cybermen are a fictional race of cyborgs”, they are made from the human body, putting a metal encasing over it, and removing the emotion state of the mind. They work in unison across the whole army and they always have one goal, to assimilate all humans. Every time they appear in the show, it is terrible to see how the doctor has to deal with them because he knows underneath the armour, they are humans that don’t deserve to die. But the reason the Cybermen can work so well and be so threatening is because they cannot be persuaded from their belief that the human body is weak and that it needs to be upgraded. Much like Superman or Magneto, they do believe they are doing what is for the greater good - and that is what is truly terrifying about them, they think they are the good guys.
Now let’s talk about what the four Bellum champions believe in so you can see how their Bellum side shines.
Nubia - Being able to see the future, the past, and multiple streams of the present, Nubia is searching for control over her future to bring meaning to the crappy past she had to endure. She believes that there is one path and only one path that can bring her the power she craves. Everything she does is in servitude towards this goal.
Ra’Ha - After being saved by the King moments before her execution, she is a devout follower of the king and the angels that guide him. She truly believes that the king was chosen by the angels to be the saviour of Jaelara and bring peace to all the four cities.
Feng - She believes that the only way to end the war is to fight through it. She has no confidence that peace cannot be obtained through dialogue and politics. The only way to achieve true peace, in her opinion, is by defeating everyone who stands in the way.
Long - After the death of the dragon and phoenix, Long feels a disturbance in the world. The balance that was once cultivated by those two beasts is now off kilter and he believes it is now Feng and his responsibility to unite what has been set asunder.
How are you feeling about Bellum now? Are you able to understand Bellum and our champions a bit better now that you have other examples to compare it to? Let us know in the comments below what you think and if you agree with our choices for characters.
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