Monday, May 3, 2010

My World : Elektroid


Mad scientist Dr. Sandor Varkoff had the best plan of his life. He had created an electronic android - an "Elektroid", in his terminology - that was powered by its own mini-generator. He would send his Elektroid to disrupt the set of a movie being produced by one of Paul Mann's corporations and demand a sizable sum of money to prevent further such attacks. Yes, this was his best plan ever. We told you he was "mad,", didn't we?

Unfortunately for Dr. Varkoff, his plan hit a series of snags :

1) Paul Mann and Shelly Ericson were visiting the set the day Elektroid arrived. That meant the robot's rampage was challenged by the might of Captain Satellite and his more-than-capable partner.

2) Elektroid had a design flaw that caused it to short-circuit. This did not disable it, but instead allowed the machine to discharge excess power from its generator via its computer brain. This development would have been advantageous if not for...

3) The short-circuit and subsequent power bursts irreparably altered Elektroid's computer brain. When the robot cornered film starlet Kimber Rachelle, it did not attack her as ordered. It instead realized it was being used for evil purposes and permanently broke its original programming.

Captain Satellite and Elektroid joined forces to locate Dr. Varkoff's secluded lab and fended off the mad scientist's last ditch efforts to stop them with prototypes hastily converted into Elektroids nos. 2-5. But when the case was over, there was yet another snag. Elektroid had developed free will, and he was still around - faulty artificial brain and all.

Captain Satellite's solution was to introduce Elektroid to the Invincible Alliance and recommend the electronic man as his replacement on the roster. Although Blue Behemoth grumbled a little that Cap was using the IA to "babysit" the robot, the entire membership welcome Elektroid with open arms. In time, Elektroid was accepted by the public due to his association with the respected Alliance.

Today, Elektroid, nicknamed "The Robot With The Exploding Brain!" by the hyperbolic press, continues to seek his place in a world never meant for something - someONE - like him. He has kept in touch with Kimber Rachelle since their first encounter, and though both deny being more than "just friends", there are those who wonder.

I have always had a soft spot for robot heroes, so it naturally follows that I have created a bunch of them. Elektroid (or "Electroid" as I sometimes spelled it) came about in junior high/high school, and was actually my top character for a brief period of time. He first appears as a "brand-new type of hero" alongside my elementary school characters, then eventually replaced them as the centerpiece of my hero adventures. His daydream potential was far more limited than the refurbished Captain Satellite, though, so Elektroid's reign was short-lived before the emphasis shifted to Cap.

The period of time when Elektroid rose and fell was a curious one in my maturation process. No longer was it enough for the bad guys to be caught and arrested; instead, they had to be shot, stabbed, burned, fried, and occasionally blown to pieces. I outgrew the penchant for gratuitous violence, but those drawings are a startling window to peer through today. Elektroid was no less ruthless in his pursuit of justice than any of my other heroes, and his capacity to hurl lightning bolts out of his head got plenty of use.

In reclaiming Elektroid as part of the Captain Satellite world proper, I've toned down any excessive tendencies he once displayed. That just doesn't interest me anymore. Instead, I've finally given him some background, and the potential to grow a little as a character.

I cannot place any specific influences that led to Elektroid, other than the many robot heroes I'd seen in comics growing up. The current look of his exposed computer brain, however, is definitely inspired by the Japanese hero Kikaida. I'd never even heard of Kikaida when I created Elektroid, but they are definitely of the same mold.

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