Sledgehammer subtlety

The Champion Champions

Friday, June 19, 2009 | 09:11 AM | by
Well, it took me nearly all of last night, but I finished reading over all of the submissions for the Champions Beta contest. It wasn't easy, but I've chosen five of my favorites.

Let me start by saying that I wish I had a thousand beta keys to give away. It's clear that a lot of you put a lot of thought and effort into your super heroes and their backgrounds, and it's that kind of devotion and creativity that makes super hero MMOs like Champions really work.

If you didn't win a beta invitation, at least know that I thoroughly enjoyed reading through all of the entries. It was a lot of fun, and I thank you for taking the time to submit your hero for considerations.

And now, I present to you the five winners of the Champions Online Beta Invite contest. All credit copyrights for these submissions belong to their authors.

This entry caught my attention because of its cool concept and attention to detail.

Submitted by Steven Vaughn.

Name: Svetlana Volkov

Alias: Russian Roulette

Classification: Villain

Abilities: Heightened aim and ambidexterity.  Her weapon of choice is to dual wield two gas-seal revolvers.


Svetlana Volkov was barely able to make rent working as a cocktail waitress at Conti, one of St. Petersburg’s largest casinos.  It was a night like any other: a massive headache induced from the loud slot machines and more lousy tips.  That was until the Bravta na peeski (the Russian Mafia) opened fire on some undercover police officers.  Svetlana tried to take cover behind a Roulette table; unfortunately, she was struck in the back of the head from a stray .22 bullet.  By sheer luck the shot was not fatal, but the bullet severed her corpus callosum (the tissue which connects the right and left lobes of the brain). 

Svetlana spent over a year trying to recover from her wound.  In that time her doctors noticed a disturbing trend: her personality had split into two distinct egos named Red and Black.  Since her brain had effectively been cut into two parts, these new personalities operated independently of each other.  Each ego controlled one of Svetlana’s hands, allowing them both to manipulate different objects with great manual dexterity.  Despite this schism in Svetlana’s personality, both Red and Black were dead set on one thing: revenge.

With help from their Uncle Dmitri (a former member of the Spetsnaz and KGB), Red and Black trained in hand-to-hand combat and honed their shooting skills.  Their weapon of choice: the Nagant M1895 Revolver.  With their ruthless nature and boundless charisma, Red and Black gathered a small army of thugs and hoodlums which wrested control of the Conti Casino from the mob.  It was not long until Red and Black’s influence spread across Russia and over the ocean to America.  There they made a name for themselves operating the underground casinos of Millennium City with guile and merciless efficiency.  Both heroes and criminals came to know Red and Black by their favorite game and means of execution: Russian Roulette.

Wesley's take on a 50's radio/tv show really helped his entry stand out. Plus, you don't see a lot of shamanistic super heroes running around.

Submitted by Wesley Ward.

How can you not love a Champion with a name like this?

Submitted by John Rodriguez

Ronnie "Funk" Wilson was the king of the disco. No matter where he went, people loved his style and his dancing. Anyone that saw him would automatically think "Boy that cat's fly. I bet his life is kickin'!"
    The reality of it all couldn't be further from the truth. By night, Ronnie was the toast of the town. During the day, however, he was nothing more than a mail room clerk with a small apartment in a bad part of town. Ronnie struggled to keep himself cheerful in his position but he always felt like there was something more he could. He felt as if he was destined for some greatness he couldn't see.
    Ronnie Wilson's life changed when the sad news of his father passing away came to him in a phone call. As the registered next of kin, Ronnie would have to fly out to his hometown in the American midwest and bury his father. Along with that, he carried the responsibility of cleaning out the house as well.
    During the cleanup, Ronnie discovered a large chest that apparently belonged to his great grandfather. Inside, he found a slew of weird trinkets and jewelry as well as a white, leather coat. When he looked it all over Ronnie was at least happy that he now had some great stuff to wear out to the nightclubs.
    Little did he know, the strange objects held magnificent powers. When Ronnie went back home, he took the chest with him and decided to wear his new stuff out to his favorite place. Sure enough, everyone he knew loved his crazy jewelry and again Ronnie was on top of the world. Disaster struck, however, when a group of armed thugs entered the nightclub and held everyone up for a daring robbery.
    The thugs took particular notice of Ronnie's lavish wares. When they tried to take them off of him, flashes of fire and electricity materialized out of the jewelry and struck the delinquents. The remaining thugs all turned their guns on Ronnie who closed his eyes to await the storm of bullets but found the leather jacket had resisted all of the rounds.
    Ronnie began shaking the trinkets around for another show of fire and lightning but got an even bigger surprise in the form of zombies raising up out of the marble floor of the nightclub and attacking the thugs before returning to the darkness whence they came. Instead of being horrified, the crowd cheered. Ronnie had inadvertently saved the lives of everyone that night.
    From that day forward, Ronnie began realizing he had power. He examined the old chest once more and found hidden pockets with tons of documents in his great grandfather's handwriting. The aged letters and notes described the forgotten arts of necromancy and the arcane and explained that all of the pieces inside of the chest possessed magical abilities that would imbue their wearer with great power if he was deemed worthy. Ronnie's great grandfather had once donned the strange regalia and now it was Ronnie's turn.

    With all of that power he could clean up the injustice that plagued the city and possibly the entire world. Of course, Ronnie Wilson wasn't going to cut it as a name. Considering he was now some form of necromancer wizard thing, Ronnie decided he would try to blend it all together with his love of funk and thus The Retromantic Dr.Funk was born. Clad in his white leather jacket, swanky disco clothes and laden with gold and silver magic jewelry, villains would fear bell bottoms like they never had before. One matter still remained, however...

    Considering he could summon the undead to his aide, he didn't like the fact they looked so terribly creepy. Finding a solution, he used his powers to make them always rise wearing the funkiest clothes ever seen and thus renamed the horrifying zombies to be known as "The Boogey Men".

I was impressed at how many people wrote and recorded songs in such a short time. Liam's Johnny Cash inspired character/tune paints a pretty vivid picture of an anti-hero... literally.

Submitted by Liam Kapel

Shepherd Kane is my hero, but has no powers. Super "Hero" is what the mutants would like you to call them, however like all men, power has gone to their head. They are attempting to make a superior race, and silently stealing people in the night to erase. No man woman or child, or even entire bloodline, is safe.
Shepherd Kane is just a man with some weapons and a belief he is doing God's work. Kane understands that even God makes mistakes, and doesn't mind helping clean up the mess. He dresses in black, with a long black cloak, and a black fedora/cowboy hat to keep the rain out of his eyes, and his cigar smoke in.
I'll let the song speak for the rest. Here's the lyrics.

(Click to hear the song)

"What have you created lord, forsaken once again,

These mutant empowered heroes, Still have the minds of men.

You know well as I what lays beneath a good mans soul

With great power comes corruption, no police force can control


You spawned a race of tyrants, mystical and cruel

Hell bent on their new mission, cleansing our genetic pool.

Mothers weeping for their infants, snatched away if deemed unfit

On behalf of every nation, we won’t put up with this shit.


So I cloak myself in black, with my rifle by my side

And I’ll introduce my partner Jane, a loaded 45

Some call me vigilante, some say hero some insane

My victims call me lots of things but men say Shepherd Kane.


In the dead air of night,  I stalk my tainted prey

I see that bastard Captain TinTooth, hauling kids away

I hunker down and line my shot, the night as my disguise

And I plug that mutant fucker Tin, right between the eyes.


I’ve sacrificed my old life, to bring justice to the land

There's no rainbows gum and lollipops, no, no ones joining hands

We don’t want these super “heroes”, with their muscle in control

The only super thing I’ve got’s an uncorrupted soul."

This entry had me laugh out loud at the visual in the third paragraph. It's a pretty great character concept, and came with some nice artwork.

Submitted by Rachel Furman

The woman Lillian Atomicus is now known as the Heroine; Radiet, and
she is made of many, or... she is now.

As a girl, Lillian showed great affiliation with the magical ebb and
flow through the universe, able to whimsically conjure little
sparkles, change the colors of things on a whim, and generally be a
cute, happy, innocent little girl.

Of course some years later she tried to do something better, stronger,
more meaningful with her powers and inadvertently blew herself to
itty-bitty little pieces~ The burst of arcane prowess rightly
attracted a small collection of rogue magi gathered to the crater made
by the girl and collected as much of her as they could to start
weaving life back into her, stitching her together, supplementing
missing parts with magically crafted organs.

The Magi that found the once-girl essentially created a sentient
zombie and was bound to the corporeal earth via magical means. She was
allowed to search for what she did wrong in her incantation, and a way
to pay those back for her restored life.

Eventually this lead Lillian to Millennium City, where seeing the
others, she decided to don a mask to hide her scarred face, and set
out to seek new knowledge into the magical forces in our universe.

If you won, you'll be receiving an email from me. I've also submitted your information to Cryptic so they can get you your beta invitations. Once in the beta, if it is at all possible to recreate your heroes in the game, take a screenshot and send them to me, I'd love to see them.

And thanks again to everyone who participated!

Shepard Kane

Friday, June 19, 2009 | 09:29 PM | by
Liam, the contest winner who wrote that cool song about his hero, has used his newly acquired beta access to create his song's namesake. Pretty cool.