Friday, May 24, 2019

Hellbat


Hellbat

Hellbat (ヘルバット Herubatto), also known as Jigoku Kōmori (地獄コウモリ), is the top lieutenant in Third World's Japan Branch Dai San Sekai (第三世界). His origins are unknown, though he is apparently not one of the creatures cooked up in Dai San Sekai's laboratories. There is speculation he may be an alien, and could possibly even be a renegade connected to the mysterious group known as the Sun Men (サンメン). This might explain the Sun Men getting involved in the battle against Dai San Sekai by granting Atsushi Anzai (安西敦士 Anzai Atsushi) the powers to become the superhero Red Taiyo (レッド太陽 Reddo Taiyo).

Contrary to appearances, Hellbat is not a vampire. Though his fangs are absolutely authentic and not just for show, he has no need to drink blood to survive. Similarly, Hellbat has demonstrated none of the supernatural abilities or weaknesses commonly associated with vampirism. His powers seem to only be super strength, flight, and nocturnal vision, with a limited degree of imperviousness to injury thrown in for good measure. Hellbat can often be found lurking in the shadows, but this is strictly a matter of preference rather than out of necessity. He can operate just fine during the day, but feels he does his best (or is that worst?) work under a cloak of darkness.

The most famous case involving Hellbat was the time Dai San Sekai unleashed a horde of artificially-created "hellbats" (bright red and fiery hot) under his command. While Hellbat engaged Red Taiyo in a fierce duel, the Science Brigade (科学旅団 Kagaku Ryodan) obliterated his winged underlings with their giant Sparkolight Lens (スパーコライトレンズ) after photographer Kenta Chiba (千羽健太 Chiba Kenta) inadvertently uncovered the hellbats' vulnerability to high-intensity light. Red Taiyo vanquished Hellbat in their showdown, but the monstrous malefactor slipped away to fight another day.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Kenta Chiba


Kenta Chiba

Kenta Chiba (千羽健太 Chiba Kenta) is a freelance photographer based in Japan. He's not exactly what you would call successful. Why? Well, to be honest, he's a bit of a bumbling buffoon. No matter how good he might be with a camera, that little problem has adversely affected his career advancement.

By virtue of being in the right place at the right time, Kenta Chiba has often been an eyewitness to fights between superhero Red Taiyo (レッド太陽 Reddo Taiyo) and monsters from the evil organization Dai San Sekai (第三世界; "Third World"). Chiba's pictures of these incidents have fetched him a tidy profit for the first time in his life. So naturally, he is motivated to tail Red Taiyo in the hopes of getting more valuable shots...oh, and assisting the hero, of course! Chiba sometimes even manages to be helpful, and the patient Red Taiyo considers him more of a friend than a nuisance.

In his shadowing of Red Taiyo, Kenta Chiba has also crossed paths many times with the Science Brigade (科学旅団 Kagaku Ryodan). Brigade commander Captain Makoto Yamada (山田誠隊長 Yamada Makoto Taichō) thinks Chiba is an idiot and not even a useful one, but tolerates him because his daughter Miharu Yamada (山田美晴 Yamada Miharu) has a soft spot for "Kenta-san." Chiba did assist the Brigade against Hellbat (ヘルバット Herubatto) when he accidentally discovered the villain's underling hellbats were vulnerable to high-intensity light. That's a point in his favor.

It is still unclear whether Kenta Chiba will be a hindrance or an asset in Red Taiyo's crusade against Dai San Sekai. When he's not out chasing heroes and monsters (and sometimes when he is), Chiba can be found snacking on assorted goodies purchased from street vendors. He is especially fond of corn on the cob.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

The Science Brigade


The Science Brigade

In response to the rise of the Third World division Dai San Sekai (第三世界; "Third World") in their country, the Japanese government has established the Science Brigade (科学旅団 Kagaku Ryodan) as a countermeasure. The Science Brigade is an elite task force of top-flight specialists from a wide range of fields. Their mission is to investigate and, if necessary, take decisive action in cases involving "unorthodox" incidents - especially those connected to Dai San Sekai.

Due to their shared goals of smashing Dai San Sekai, the Science Brigade often finds itself crossing paths with the superhero Red Taiyo (レッド太陽 Reddo Taiyo). They have assisted each other for the common good, but there is an understandable rivalry between the team and the hero. There are also doubts among segments of the Brigade about Red Taiyo's intentions. Obviously, the Science Brigade is unaware of Red Taiyo's true identity or his origin as the chosen champion of the mysterious Sun Men (サンメン). All they know is that it was pretty coincidental he showed up to fight Dai San Sekai just as it appeared, wasn't it?

Though the Science Brigade is a relatively new agency, it already has a large number of operatives scattered throughout Japan. As a result, not every member participates on every case. However, there is an "inner circle" which has a hand in most Brigade business. It is composed of the following members:
  • Captain Makoto Yamada (山田誠隊長 Yamada Makoto Taichō) - Captain Makoto Yamada is the gruff, no-nonsense commander of the Science Brigade. A veteran of dealing with the unusual both at home and abroad, he is absolutely dedicated to both his duty and his daughter Miharu. His admiration for Red Taiyo is the main reason the hero hasn't found himself targeted by some Brigade members.
  • Miharu Yamada (山田美晴 Yamada Miharu) - Miharu Yamada is the communications director of Science Brigade headquarters, though she sometimes agitates her way into field work, too. She is the daughter of Captain Makoto Yamada and his late wife, and the Captain is quite protective of his only child. Miharu shares an attraction with college astronomy lecturer Atsushi Anzai (安西敦士 Anzai Atsushi), little suspecting he is secretly Red Taiyo.
  • Dr. Saburo Mikami (見上佐武郎博士 Mikami Saburō Hakase) - Dr. Saburo Mikami is the Science Brigade's special consultant and seems to have a vast body of knowledge across multiple disciplines. He is also a quiet, withdrawn man haunted by a dark past. The only clues he offers to his difficult history are the cybernetic right hand and deep facial scar that dominate his appearance.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Third World Japan Branch


Third World Japan Branch

In a bid to expand their influence throughout Asia, Third World has founded a Japan Branch called Dai San Sekai (第三世界; "Third World"). Unlike other divisions of Third World, Dai San Sekai has its own distinct identity separate from the rest of the organization. Its henchmen, known as Dai Sannin (第三人; "Third Men"), wear uniforms unique in the Third World hierarchy. They are, however, just as effective as any other Third World agent.

Dai San Sekai's stock-in-trade is the creation of non-living monsters designated Sekai Kaibutsu (世界怪物; "World Monsters"). These Sekai Kaibutsu are key components of most Dai San Sekai schemes. They are churned out with such regularity that no one even bothered to pursue the Sekai Kaibutsu named the Burger-Meister (バーガーマイスター; Bāgāmaisutā) when he fled to America. Unfortunately for Dai San Sekai, no Sekai Kaibutsu would ever be mistaken for a genius.

No one is quite sure who is in charge of Dai San Sekai, even within the group itself. Ostensibly the commander is Dai San Leader (第三リーダー; Dai San Rīdā), but the catch is that no one has ever actually seen him. He communicates with his subordinates via remote voice transmission from an undisclosed location. There are rumors Dai San Sekai is controlled by extraterrestrial interests, which might explain Dai San Leader's elusiveness even among his own lackeys.

The rise of Dai San Sekai has not gone unnoticed outside of Japan. Both Captain Satellite and C.H.I.E.F. are monitoring the situation closely, but have chosen to leave the battle in the hands of homegrown heroes Red Taiyo (レッド太陽 Reddo Taiyo) and the Science Brigade (科学旅団 Kagaku Ryodan) unless their assistance is requested. Interestingly, the main office of Third World is also watching Dai San Sekai warily. There is a fear among Third World's ranks that their very independent subsidiary will break away and establish itself as a dangerous rival.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Red Taiyo


Red Taiyo

Red Taiyo (レッド太陽 Reddo Taiyo) is secretly Atsushi Anzai (安西敦士 Anzai Atsushi), an associate lecturer of astronomy at Japan’s Jonan University (城南大学 Jōnan Daigaku). Returning home late one night, Anzai's motorcycle disappeared into a burst of light. He found himself in another dimension and was greeted by three mysterious beings who introduced themselves as the Sun Men (サンメン). The Sun Men, emissaries of the peaceful Planet G (プラネットG), bestowed upon Atsushi Anzai both a henshin (変身; "transformation") belt and a mission: fight for his homeland and the entire world against a force of darkness on the horizon.

Restored to the normal plane of existence, Anzai took his newfound purpose to heart and created the identity of Red Taiyo (“Red Sun”) with his henshin belt. He uses the innate powers of the belt to transmute his standard bike into a sleek machine dubbed Solarflare (ソーラーフレア). Red Taiyo utilizes Solarflare and his enhanced strength, reflexes, and agility to fulfill his promise to the Sun Men. He is unsure why he was chosen by his extraterrestrial benefactors, but Red Taiyo is determined not to fail.

The "force of darkness" predicted by the benevolent Sun Men soon became apparent when a newly-formed Japan branch of the subversive organization Third World emerged. Dubbed Dai San Sekai (第三世界; "Third World"), this group has an apparent army of monsters at their disposal. Fortunately, Dai San Sekai has so far been as effective as their Western counterparts. Also similar to the main office, no one is quite sure who is in charge. Though a few of their lieutenants have opposed Red Taiyo, the brains of the operation has proven to be nebulous.

The Japanese government, not content to entrust their country's safety to the untested Red Taiyo or outside forces like C.H.I.E.F. and American superheroes, has recently formed an elite task force to combat Dai San Sekai and other paranormal threats. Designated the Science Brigade (科学旅団 Kagaku Ryodan), this task force commanded by Captain Makoto Yamada (山田誠隊長 Yamada Makoto Taichō) is comprised of highly-qualified specialists in a wide range of fields. The Science Brigade has assisted Red Taiyo in battling Dai San Sekai, but there is an understandable rivalry between them and the hero. Complicating matters somewhat is the mutual attraction between Atsushi Anzai and Science Brigade member (and the Captain's daughter) Miharu Yamada (山田美晴 Yamada Miharu).

Red Taiyo is trailed in his ongoing crusade against Dai San Sekai by Kenta Chiba (千羽健太 Chiba Kenta), a bumbling freelance photographer. Chiba does his best to be helpful, and sometimes even succeeds. Whether he will prove to be a hindrance or an asset in Red Taiyo’s mission has yet to be determined.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Off Topic: Golden Age Hawkgirl


The Golden Age/Earth-Two Hawkgirl (Shiera Sanders).

Art by SeanRM. December 2011.

Character © DC Entertainment, Inc./DC Comics, Inc.

Friday, May 17, 2019

The Human Owl


The Human Owl

The legend began in 1940, on the Parallel Earth where Thunder Man had reappeared to the world the year prior. A cult of masked men styling themselves the Parliament of Owls was hunting down and killing known criminals on the streets. Private investigator Abel Wyler, falling for the pleas of a young woman whose older brother had worked as a bookie before being gunned down by the Parliament, was on the trail of the group when he confronted one of its members and subdued him after a vicious fistfight. Stealing his opponent's owl mask, Abel Wyler infiltrated the Parliament of Owls and brought an end to their reign of terror from within their very ranks.

At the conclusion of the case, Abel Wyler was musing over his newfound owl mask. Though they had gone entirely too far, there was something to be said about the Parliament of Owls' methods in pursuing justice. What if...what if he continued to wear the mask in a crusade against crime? He could trade on the Parliament's deadly reputation while using non-lethal means to catch those wrongdoers who were just out of reach of the law. On that day, the Human Owl was born.

Of course, there was the small matter of the Human Owl being wanted for murder due to his co-opting of the guise worn by the Parliament of Owls. Those charges were finally dropped when Abel Wyler took Inspector Leon Adwell into his confidence and explained his origin in detail. From that day forward, the Human Owl was a valuable and trusted ally of the police.

Over the ensuing decades, the mantle of the Human owl has been passed down from one generation of Wylers to the next. The current Human Owl is Phineas Wyler III, and to say he didn't see that coming is quite the understatement. He literally had no idea his father Phineas Wyler Jr. even was the Human Owl until relatively recently! Phineas Jr. had kept the secret hidden because he had no confidence in his artist son's ability to carry on the tradition and was holding out hope of finding a worthier successor. That unfortunately didn't happen before Phineas Wyler Jr. came down with a fatal case of the croup. His deathbed confession to Phineas Wyler III ensured that the Human Owl will fight another day. The question is, just how effective can he be if his own father couldn't believe in him?