This post forms part of my blog series on story ideas:
Mere men is an idea I have for a comic book series. I have always been a fan of Batman since childhood, being especially drawn by the fact that he had no super powers. Somehow I find it easier to associate with normal human comic book characters, and I enjoy the thrilling idea of it “being possible” to take up the cape and cowl and become a vigilante. Hence this story idea was born for a comic book series based on “mere men“, who end up being vigilantes, fighting crime.
The island city of Sanctuary is overrun with crime, drugs and gangs. The government and police force are comfortably sustained by the cut that they get from the crime-lords to turn a blind eye, and the people of the city are mostly left to their own devices. In this time of darkness, a vigilante started making the headlines, appearing on crime scenes, protecting would-be victims and beating up the aggressors. The new vigilante, known as “Paladin”, soon slips into the uncomfortable spot of anti hero, being loved by the people of the city, but hated by those who rule it.
When Jack was a child of seven years old, a mugging attempt on him was foiled by the Paladin one night on his way home. Ever since that night, he always idolized his hero and followed all news and rumor concerning the Paladin. Thirteen years later, while studying computer science at college, Jack receives a mysterious letter claiming to be from the Paladin. Finding it impossible to resist the temptation of finding out more about his hero, Jack follows the directions as stipulated in the letter. One mysterious message leads to the next, and Jack finds himself inside the secret hideout of the one and only Paladin, a place that the police had desperately sought for but always failed to uncover.
In the hideout, Jack finds a video recording addressed to him, and he plays it. His hero appears on screen, dressed in his vigilante clothes, hiding his identity. In the video, the Paladin addresses Jack directly, seemingly knowing almost everything about him. Finally, the masked figure on the screen explains that he is probably dead, because the things that lead Jack to the hideout was set in place as a fallback in case the vigilante was to die.
The Paladin explains to Jack that he had been chosen to succeed his hero and don the mantle of Paladin. The city was still crime ridden and still needed a Paladin to guard over it. In the video, the Paladin continues to explain that he recorded an entire library of information on everything that he had learned so far. This library was to be a guide for the new young Paladin, teaching him the ways of fighting, stealth, espionage and psychological stability needed to bear the burden of the mask.
After a time of consideration, Jack decides to take up the mantle, and embarks on a journey as Paladin in training, his only companion being a dead mentor, kept alive only in his memoirs and documentation prepared for Jack.
The rest of the story follows Jack as he strives to become the next Paladin. His journey of discovery leads him to many truths: Who sustained the vigilante operation financially? Where did the wealth of information on the criminals and their operations come from? Who made the weapons and gear that the Paladin used. And the biggest question of all still loomed, who was the Paladin?
That’s it, hope you find the concept as intriguing as I do. Hopefully this will one day be made a reality. But if it doesn’t, I could always just nerd out more on it in other forms of creative expression :)