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Welcome to Brainstorm's Corner, a monthly springboard showcase. A springboard, basically a one-page prose summary of a comic book story, is the format used for submitting stories to companies such as DC Comics. In one page, a writer must describe the plot while also trying to make it as intriguing as possible. It's quite a challenge!

Brainstorm's Corner gives YOU, the reader, the chance to critique the story before a writer sends it off to every editor at DC. So let Fanzing know…would you pay to read this? If not, why not?

Primal Force
proposal and artwork by Kurt Belcher

The pendulum swung -- tingling with power.
Jack O'Lantern

A young hero in Belfast caught the first flash and knell, although his pendulum was in a small house nearly forty miles distant. He immediately knew that he was needed, grew a cage of ivy around his feral nemesis, the Dogman, and flew away for home.

In a tent on an icy plain in northern Greenland, a flash from a similar pendulum had its keeper digging deep into the bottom of his travel bag searching for it. Although he knew any call from this quarter was by definition urgent, he ignored the bell softly tinkling in his mind and tucked the pendulum back into his bag. 'Later,' thinks Red Tornado Black Condor, ' -- a few days more and I can answer.'

A shell of a man that never existed twitched to life in an extraordinary cave in Happy Harbor, Rhode Island. His pendulum called from within, directing him to his purpose. The young ones would not return for some time…a great wind arose and carried him away.

In an evil house in Hong Kong, the pendulum around its wearer's neck tingled with life. The Claw told him to silence it, and he listened. He had more important things to do than go back to those losers again. Still, in the back of his mind, protected from the prying senses of the Claw, he made a promise that he would answer the call when the opportunity arose.
Will Power

A tall dark-skinned man suddenly reached inside his shirt to feel the power emanating from his pendulum. For the moment, the search for his father would have to be abandoned -- he seated himself at one of the Golem computers in the Keystone City Library and transmitted himself across a modem line to New York City. It would be some time before he would return, and find just how close his objective was.

In the City, a clay man born and reborn again, waited for help to arrive … praying to an unknown Creator that they would hear and respond.

PRIMAL FORCE is meant to explore the darkened corners of the DC Universe -- although there was another PRIMAL FORCE series before, I don't think they achieved this aim very well. The group was too much like a superhero team, and there was too little supernatural events taking place. With a supernatural group, stories should be told that genuinely scare the reader -- another point at which the original series failed miserably.
Dr. Mist

The group called the Brotherhood of the Ley will inhabit the Mystery Mansion of the deceased hero of the universal Crisis, Mark Merlin, a.k.a. Prince Ra-Man. After their first meeting place is destroyed and tainted, the will to the Mansion is discovered in the possession of the group's deceased leader, Dr. Mist. The Mansion will be kept in good order by the group's housekeeper Wotan, formerly a Golden Age villain. Also living in the Mansion is a number of other supernatural characters, some classic, others never-before-seen.
Blue Devil

In the course of the many tales told about the Leymen, new members will take the oath of the Prime Ley, while others will resign for various reasons. There will never be more than a manageable number in the group at a time, both in terms of cases they investigate, and in terms of being written. Red Tornado will feel that his place is no longer with the group, but as an advisor to the youthful team of heroes called Young Justice. Although there will be no outright replacement for him, another member will fill the spot left empty by his absence -- and Tornado WILL return to help the team from time to time. Another being that does not actually join the Leymen, but will be there as a kind of advisor, is the ex-Atom villain, ex-Swamp Thing villain, and ex-New Guardians member called Jason Woodrue (a.k.a. Floronic Man, Floro, Wood-Rue). Last seen nearly destroyed, and tending to his regrowth at the end of the SWAMP THING series, Woodrue is brought to the Mystery Mansion by a mysterious figure and left there -- soon spawning diminutive, twisted versions of himself.

Villains will range from demonic threats like the Demons Three, summoned by a misguided sorcerer -- to the return of Amethyst's nemesis Dark Opal, as the president of a large corporation. Although there has rarely been interaction between the regular DC Universe and Vertigo since the split between the two, I would like there to be interaction -- with appearances from a lot of established DC magical characters. Including everyone from Arion, through to Doctor Occult, the Phantom Stranger, John Constantine, the Parliament of Trees and many other Vertigo-oriented characters.

Most of the stories will involve the Leymen members directly, including cases that they take and such. There will also be 'ghost stories', historical bits and pieces, dream-tales, imaginary stories, etc. told in the course of the series. Each of them gives crucial insight into the personalities and pasts of characters that work with and within the Leymen.

So, what did you think ? Was it good? Was it lousy? Splunge? Would you fork over anywhere from $2 and up to read it? Should DC hire this person immediately and you'll burn your collection (or at least Brother Power The Geek) if it doesn't happen?

Perhaps you would like to hold up your naked ideas for over 1500 people to see? If so, first check out DC's submission guidelines (available here thanks to Jon Karl Franklin Haynes).

All Characters are ™ DC Comics
This proposal is © 1998 Kurt Belcher.