Let’s Review: Black Hole Bill’s escape!
It’s time for another Let’s Review blog entry, where I look back on pages from our Archive and reflect on the thought process behind them. Today I won’t be talking about one page in particular, but the thought process behind an important scene from STAR POWER & THE SEARCH FOR BLACK HOLE BILL.
This story was going to revolve around Galactic Defense’s attempts to recapture Black Hole Bill, so I needed to have him escape from custody. This was going to be tricky because he needed to outsmart a police force that outnumbered him, but I didn’t want him to look like a badass doing it.
Black Hole Bill was never meant to be a sympathetic character, so I wanted him to achieve his escape without an impressive action scene. In lots of other sci-fi comics, the bad guy would escape by dispatching of “the cannon fodder” guards one by one in a scene that not only makes them look dangerous, but super cool as well. So not only did I want to avoid making Black Hole Bill look awesome, I wanted to keep Galactic Defense from looking incompetent.
Galactic Defense is dangerous to criminals. They have to hide from them. They can’t operate out in the open because there’s a real danger of getting caught for breaking the law. I am sick and tired of the badass villain dispatching guards, officers, and other peacekeepers like they’re helpless novices who have never faced real adversity before. I could have gone that route early on to make STAR POWER a comic about the Millennium Federation needing her help, but we decided to make a competent and noble peacekeeping force instead. This is an optimistic future, not a bleak one.
I think we pulled off the scene rather well. Black Hole Bill got to outwit Galactic Defense without making them look stupid or like cannon fodder. His escape was a distraction so he could make a break for it, not murder everyone in sight. I think it made the bit of violence he indulged in all the more effective because it was focused only on characters we knew.