So what is WCL, or WEAPON Combat League?

You may have seen my posts here and there (on my DeviantART or Instagram or somewhere else) mentioning something called WCL, or WEAPON Combat League, and maybe you’re not as familiar with my work as say, the folks who I’ve known for a decade or more through deviantART. You might have found yourself asking, “Just what IS WEAPON Combat League?”

WEAPON Combat League is a concept I originally came up with in 2003. The easiest way to describe it is “Mega Man meets King of Fighters”. It started out as a fighting game idea, but I wanted to make a fighting game that had a story that was actually worth reading. I may have gone a bit overboard (I wrote two novels and half of a third telling the story of the concept; you can find links to the first two on the Products page–but since I realized WCL is a story best told visually, I’ve decided not to put too much emphasis on the prose novels).

The story centers on the titular WEAPON, or War-Equipped Armor for Protection, Offense and Navigation (acronym subject to change) and the people who use it. It takes place in a futuristic universe not unlike Earth, in a fictional city called Terradin, the most advanced civilization in the world. The setting (but not necessarily the technology) is inspired by the settings of movies such as Appleseed (and its sequel Ex Machina), Ghost in the Shell and Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.

The WEAPON starts out as a tool of the Defense Force (Terradin’s military and law enforcement unit), but a few years before the start of the story, everything there is to know about WEAPONs is released to the public and soon the devices flood the black market. The WEAPON can be customized much the way software can be programmed, but in this science fiction fantasy universe, the customizations can be used to give the suits unique powers, far more radical what the Defense Force had ever produced.

Faust Raven a.k.a. Ruin, captain of the Reaper Team

The suits are illegal for civilian usage, but this doesn’t stop people from doing what they want. Before long, black market enthusiasts, underground fight circuits, and of course, criminals start spawning all over Terradin. The Defense Force can barely keep up with all the WEAPON-related crimes.

Soon it becomes apparent that if something doesn’t change, Terradin will face civil war. So General Patricia James, the supreme commander of the Defense Force, comes up with a new plan: instead of fighting the custom WEAPON-wielding civilians, embrace them.

The Defense Force starts a legal, sanctioned competition featuring the best of the best WEAPON wielders. Promising them fame and fortune, General James hopes to encourage them to do positive things with their WEAPONs instead of criminal acts and property damage.

These are designs from 2012-2013--I'll be updating many of them.
These are designs from 2012-2013–I’ll be updating many of them.

Twenty-four warriors are chosen and divided into eight teams; each competitor with their own motivations and their own unique, customized WEAPON. A tournament is structured and the battles begin. The WEAPON Combat League is born.

But not everyone in the military–or government–agrees with the idea. Some want war. Others want martial law. Some just want to take control of all WEAPON wielders and either force them to serve the greater good of Terradin, or be crushed under its heel.

A story of epic battles, of rivalry, of love and loss, of haves versus have-nots and a vast conspiracy tying both the military and the government to a dark secret thought buried in the past–this is what WEAPON Combat League is.

I’m giving WEAPON Combat League one strong, solid push starting now. I have resumed working on the comic I’d been planning since the concept’s inception, and I am now well into the second chapter. I intend to post the comic on Patreon, starting once I’ve built up a substantial buffer of content. So far, my momentum is high and I’m doing well.

WEAPON Combat League, Book One, Chapter 2, Page 1

Any questions? Concerns? Feedback? Feel free to contact me!

Quinn Royce Fan Art! 

Quinn Royce, codename Saber, is the flagship character of WEAPON Combat League, my epic sci fi/fantasy competition drama.

Here he is expertly rendered by Gary Pope (https://hulkdaddyg.deviantart.com) with a new look. Quinn’s standard look shows him with cornrows but here Gary depicted the antihero with a bald look that works really well for him. 

Visit Gary’s gallery for much more super heroic style art, including his own super strong original character Gilead!

About Ghost in the Shell…

Just my opinions here…

I’m silent about ScarJo playing the Major in the GITS movie. I haven’t seen the movie. And to be perfectly honest, I do not believe the movie would have done well even if it did have an Asian-American lead (which is all the more reason it should have, honestly, but I never saw the Major as an Asian woman–an Asian name, yes, Motoko Kusanagi is very, very Japanese, but the appearance could be anyone because prosthetic/cyborg bodies, and ScarJo’s look nailed it.) But why would it have bombed? Tell me, how many non-anime fans in America are familiar with Ghost in the Shell? I’ll wait. I don’t think it’s that many, percentage wise. I just don’t know if there’s a huge crossover between anime fans and American cinema-goers.

GITS is popular. GITS is big. But GITS is not Marvel/DC Comics big. It’s not anything Studio Ghibli big. It’s not even Dragon Ball Z big.
They did a big budget live action remake of an anime movie that came out before HD was even a thing (which itself is not exactly on the tips of the tongues of general audiences. Heck, I’m a big GITS fan and my own wife has no idea what it is). Half the potential audience is divided on whether ScarJo should have played her, many are too old to care (Speed Racer also had this problem to a much larger degree) and the other half has no idea what it is. The audience for live action movies is far different than the closet anime fan who subscribes to Crunchyroll and goes to all the free websites to watch anime they can’t find there.

There was nothing about this film that said ‘success’. That it was going to be critically panned was all but guaranteed just because of the whitewashing–which I am not at all diminishing. Again, the movie might have been better served with an Asian lead, but it wouldn’t have made the movie any more successful commercially, because honestly, Ghost in the Shell is…kind of obscure compared to other properties. Maybe the movie was an attempt to change that (worked great for many American comic characters) but…oh well. And then you throw in a plot that may have worked fine in animation but needed too many changes for a movie studio to deem it acceptable for the U.S….

When a movie like this comes out, my mindset is “It’ll probably do great on DVD/Netflix.” Scott Pilgrim bombed in theaters too, but I think it was a good flick, and now it’s known as a ‘cult classic’. GITS is probably a perfectly fine, well-made movie too. Thing is, even with ScarJo at a role that would have perhaps been better served with an Asian lead, I want comic/cartoon/anime movies (and shows like Iron Fist) to do well. Someone will spin it and say women can’t headline an action film (ScarJo has done it a few times with Lucy, GITS, her role in The Island and her prominent role in the various Marvel films, so that’s certainly not it) and someone else will say ‘we’re not greenlighting anymore anime properties (or properties with women leads) because they don’t sell tickets’.

There’s a bigger picture here than whitewashing, and I think that makes an easy culprit to blame. Whitewashing is the norm in this country, and white people are the majority. They didn’t choose not to go see GITS because ScarJo was playing the Major. Many, I’m sure, chose not to go see it because they weren’t interested.

I’m still glad the movie exists.

Stratos Guardian

A long time coming, here’s my latest girl for the book.

strato-guardian-lo

She was a fun one. The name popped in my head because I had a bit of nostalgia thinking about one of my all-time favorite video games while working on this one, The Guardian Legend on NES.

Why hasn’t anyone HD-remade that game yet? It would be awesome to see the return of the female android space warrior that can transform into a jet plane…and maybe it could be a black girl…?

Hmm…