Monday, April 25, 2005

LaserAvenger in Color!

Originally uploaded by waffyjon.
OK, like I said, this drawing was done by Jan Duursema at the 1986 San Diego Comic-Con. Well, tonight I happened to pull it out, and scanned it into the computer, and decided to color a copy of it in PhotoShop!

LaserAvenger is (c) 2005 by me, Jon B. Knutson... just to get the legalities aside!

Samuel Blake was raised as an orphan... his mother died in childbirth, and his father died before he was born. Since neither of his parents had any family, Sam was made a ward of the state of Washington. For some reason, he was never adopted as a baby or as a toddler... instead, he was shifted from foster family to foster family until his early teens, by which time he was a bitter boy who trusted no one. He spent his teenage years in an orphanage in Tacoma, Washington, attending public schools.

But it was while he was living in the orphanage that Sam met the man who, in many ways, could be considered his real father, a social worker who took a special interest in Sam. Sam was the oldest child in the orphanage, and this social worker (who would've adopted Sam had he not been single, and thus ineligible to do so) impressed upon Sam that as the oldest, he had a responsibility to set a good example for the other children. This social worker (I'm sorry, I don't remember his name) helped Sam develop hobbies and interests, and discovered Sam's natural ability for playing football.

Sam matured rapidly under this tutlage, making a complete turnaround from the bitter child he once was. As much as Sam looked up to the social worker, the other children in the orphanage looked up to him. Sam's football skills in high school earned him a scholarship to Washington University in Seattle, where he initially thought he'd earn a degree in social work.

On his 18th birthday, he received a life insurance settlement from the death of his mother, which had been held in trust until then, which would have allowed him to attend college even without the scholarship, and which he used to rent an apartment off-campus to avoid the distractions that dormitory life often provided (although this didn't stop him from having a social life). He also purchased a used car.

With the money, he also received a mysterious box that was discovered in his mother's possessions... an ornate wooden box that, when Sam opened it, contained two leather wrist bands embedded with a series of large circular jewels. Sam went to various sources to try to identify what the jewels were, but nobody could identify them. He decided to pursue a minor in geology in college in an attempt to learn more about these jewels.

Come October of his first year in college, Sam was invited to a costume party for Halloween night, and he fashioned a "spacey-looking" costume for it, and decided to wear the wristbands with it for effect. But Sam would not make the party.

A telephone call told Sam that the social worker who he felt made him the person he was today had been attacked, and was in serious condition in a hospital in Tacoma. Not bothering to change clothes, Sam threw a trenchcoat on over his costume, putting the mask in the coat pocket, and drove to Tacoma as fast as he could get there.

When he got to the hospital, the social worker was barely hanging on. He told Sam that a local gang was trying to sell drugs to the children in the orphanage until he interfered, and this same gang attacked him as he was leaving the orphanage for his home. Sam barely got enough details about who had done this when the social worker died.

Sam knew the police were on the case, but he felt compelled to find the gang who murdered the man he'd come to think of as a father himself. He ran back to his car, not noticing that the wristbands he wore were beginning to glow.

Sam drove like a madman around the city, looking for the gang, when he saw one who matched the descriptions given him. He immediately hit the brakes, stopping his car and leaping out of it... and took off into the air, the glow from his wristbands enveloping his body.

Sam was admittedly freaked out about this happening, but immediately realized that he had better chance with this newfound ability to capture the gang, and followed the person he spotted from the air until he could find the rest of the gang, learning how to fly as he went.

The gang member entered an abandoned building, and Sam landed nearby, approaching silently. He overheard the gang talking inside, laughing over the beating they'd given his friend and mentor. Sam's rage mounted... and his wristbands began glowing even brighter... until his rage exploded in a burst of pure lasers from his hands, opening a hole in the side of the building.

Sam didn't even question it... but took advantage of the surprise to attack the gang members. They were only surprised for a few moments, however, and several of them drew guns from their coats and began shooting at him. Instinctively, Sam somehow created a glowing force field around him that destroyed the bullets before they could harm him. Not wanting to take a chance on killing any of the gang members, Sam used his fists to take the gang out before the police, alerted by the flashing lights, arrived on the scene. Sam quickly put his mask on before the police arrived, hoping that the gang members wouldn't have had a good look at his face. He explained to the officers who these gang members where, and what they had done. He then began to fly away, when one of the policemen asked him who he was.

His response? "Call me... the LaserAvenger."

Sam didn't appear as LaserAvenger for a time after that, wanting to learn more about his powers. He also changed his major to physics, planning to specialize in the physics of light.

Through experimentation, Sam learned that the jewels on his wristbands somehow absorbed all forms of light, storing the energy for his use. While wearing these wristbands, Sam gained what he referred to as "photokinesis," or the ability to manipulate light. Among the specific abilities he discovered he had were:

The ability to fire lasers from his hands, controlling the intensity and size of the beams... if he held his hands in fists while firing these energy beams, the lasers would be a large, concentrated force... but if he spread his fingers, each finger would generate its own laser beam, of lesser intensity.

The ability to fly, which Sam theorized was by riding photons.

The ability to generate a force field of concentrated photons.

The ability to turn invisible, by warping light around him.

The ability to generate realistic holograms.

The ability to record visual information, which could be played back (without sound, natch) later in the form of a hologram. Unfortunately, this ability is inadmissable in court, because it could be argued that he was creating the playback himself.

The ability to generate blinding bursts of light.

LaserAvenger was the first of the modern super-heroes to pop up in the Seattle/Puget Sound area of Washington, and he feels a responsibility to set a good example for his fellow heroes, as well. He will not kill unless that is the only way to prevent innocents from becoming injured or killed... and then only as a last resort.

He's also the most publically-available of the super-heroes of the Seattle area, making contacts within the police force as well as the local media, and making regular appearances for charitable events. He also makes a point of visiting orphanages in the entire Puget Sound area, as well as visiting hospitals' children's wards.

Because of his demonstrated honesty and honor, his actions are rarely called into question by the police or the media. He recognizes this, and uses his fame and recognition to help promote causes he believes in, although he stays away from politics.

When the first modern-day superhero team was formed in the Seattle area, LaserAvenger was the natural leader of the group.

As he continues his crimefighting, LaserAvenger develops other abilities, although he still does not know where these wristbands came from, or exactly how they work.


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