Sean's Wold Newton, Part 3

By | Friday, October 27, 2006 Leave a Comment
Okay, first off... I really need to think of a new name for this. "Wold Newton" is Farmer's bit in the first place, and in the second place, he calls it that because he ties everything together from an event that occurred in Wold Newton, Yorkshire, England.

In any event, I think I've assembled an interesting team here. I've added to the mix a gentleman by the name of Joaquin Murrieta. (Portrayed here by some guy in a relatively cheesey Halloween costume. I would rather have a shot of Victor Rivers' portrayal of the character from The Mask of Zorro but I couldn't find any decent shots of him.) Murrieta was a sort of Robin Hood type character from Mexico who, like some Mexicans today, saw better opportunities in the United States. Also like some Mexicans today, he couldn't find legal work in the U.S. and he resorted to robbery. The governor of California set up the California Rangers almost expressly to hunt Murietta down, and he was supposedly killed in 1853. However, there was at the time (and to this day) a lot of doubt about whether it was actually Murietta that was killed.

So, why this group? What do they bring to the table that make them interesting as a group?

John Watson -- This is before he met Sherlock Holmes, indeed, before he finished medical school. He's got intelligence, youthful enthusiasm and an interest in adventure. (He would later go on to join the British military.)

Alice Liddell -- Alice was, by most accounts, not a very cheerful person. She took the death of her sister in 1876 very hard, and the deaths of two of her sons during World War I was no less difficult. She brings a practical intelligence (to contrast Watson's book smarts) and a skeptism that should help them more than once. The down side is that she's more of a loner than a team player, so keeping her associated with this group will prove perpetually difficult.

John Henry -- John was a former slave, and thus has a decidedly different outlook on things than the others. He has some level of physical strength and endurance, certainly, but it will be his determination, persistence, and loyalty that are his strongest qualities. (BTW, I've updated his representation here with a picture of boxer Earl Maynard.)

Joaquin Murrieta -- Joaquin is about twenty years older than the others and has some life experience that they don't. He does understand suffering and being trodden on, but not quite to the extent that John Henry does. He's a man of action, certainly, but also one of great heart and character. If he feels the status quo is unfair, he'll fight to change it. Given that John Watson hasn't yet been trained in firearms, Joaquin also serves as the team's gunman. He's also got a cache of money saved up from his earlier adventures in California.

Sun Wukong -- Sun once was a mischevious imp of a character, trying to play tricks on Budda himself! He's learned his lesson and has been humbled considerably in the past few centuries, although that doesn't mean he's no longer above a few light-hearted deceptions amongst his friends! He's left China because of all the internal fighting going on during this time. For the most part, he intends to keep his true identity secret and play the part of a simple -- perhaps somewhat above average intelligence -- monkey. Although the rest of the group don't know it, he's their ace in the hole when their backs are against the wall! He can change shape and size at will, ride the clouds anywhere in the world, and wield a powerful staff that he normally has shrunk and tucked behind his ear. Not to mention that he's immortal! (Long-time readers might recognize, too, that I've been wanting to do something with this character since August.)

I really like that I've got a relatively diverse mix of characters here. Two British, one African-American, one Mexican, and one Chinese. Plus two are wholly fictional characters, one is quite real, and two more are somewhere in between. It should be easy to draw in contemporary parallels with a Mexican looking for work in the U.S. as well as with possible racial tensions and stereotypes all over the place. And, where I was running into problems at first, none of these characters have any copyright issues that I'd have to contend with -- they're all public domain.

I'm getting more excited about this idea. Seriously, if any artists out there want to take a shot at working on something like this, please do not hesitate to let me know!
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