Monday, October 18, 2010

My World : King Zaur

King Zaur is the emperor of the Reptile People, a race of humanoid dinosaurs that dwells in a mysterious kingdom referred to as "the Hidden Empire". While the gateways to this realm are scattered all over the globe, the Hidden Empire itself actually occupies an otherdimensional plane where physical laws operate somewhat differently.

King Zaur first appeared on Earth with designs for conquest in 1967, and he was bested by Ultimate American II (Joe Truman). This led to a series of showdowns between the two opponents from the late 1960s through the duration of the 1970s. Finally, this rivalry culminated in a titanic battle in Antarctica in 1981 that ended when King Zaur was trapped in an iceberg off the coast of the continent.

However, King Zaur measures his lifespan in millions of years, so decades are of little consequence to him. He broke free from his frozen tomb recently, and subsequently butted heads with the Invincible Alliance. This was further complicated by the fact that King Zaur believes the IA's leader is his old foe, little realizing that it is actually Ultimate American III (Dean Truman).

The Alliance turned back the challenge of King Zaur after a hard fight, but the wily dinosaur man slipped away. Now our heroes must prepare for his return, and the one person who could give them advice on how to defeat the villain is missing in action.

It is not always obvious, but there is a significant toy influence on the Captain Satellite cast. You see, I am not a toy collector, but I understand toy collecting. I love to admire vintage toys, and I look to them for inspiration. It's a similar process to my childhood habit of using my imagination to recast my toys into original characters.

So if you find something inherently appealing about my heroes and villains, it's because one part of me looks at their creation as designing a line of action figures that I would have wanted to buy. That's one of the visual hooks I use for all of my characters.

What does this have to do with King Zaur? King Zaur is my most blatant example of using toys for inspiration, and I do so unapologetically. I have altered details to give him more originality, but both his name and his design owe a large debt to toys. Which toys? I'll let any junior detectives in the audience figure that out.

Conceptually, King Zaur is a villain who allows me to play with several different themes, including dinosaurs. I introduced him in the Ultimate American Chronology, even though I had created him prior to writing it. I wanted to establish that there were super villains that existed prior to the debut of my current generation of heroes, and a dinosaur man was a good candidate for an "old" villain that could still be vital in modern times.

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