Saturday, April 7, 2012

Setting Expeditions: The Hero Universe, Part III -- Musketeers, Pirates, and Revolutions

Carrying on my journey through the mega-setting of the Hero Universe, here's the next segment!

Termed the Early Modern Period, this era ranges from 1500 to 1800, an age familiar to heroic literature fans -- a time of swordplay, gunpowder, and dazzling heroics to gritty life-and-death showdowns.

Swashbuckling Hero (1500 to 1650)

Also known as “Age of Reason Hero” this is the era of the Three Musketeers, and of exploration of the rest of the world by Europeans. By this time magic has largely faded away, especially in “civilized” areas, and is rarely encountered by anyone.

Try the Captain Alatriste novels for a gritty and textured world
of Spanish swashbuckling adventure!
Note: One of the axioms mentioned early on in the document, which I've skipped over, is the rationalization of the ebb and rise of magic and superheroics as a sort of rise and fall of 'the background magic level in the universe'. As word choice and objective correlatives go, it is not my own preference, but I understood the rationale's essence. I myself would posit a different approach, will retaining the core premise.

Pirate Hero (1650 to 1750)
Not DC's Captain Blood, nor the movie,
nor the novel. A newer comic series.

The era of Blackbeard, Captain Kidd, Treasure Island, and maritime deviltry on the Spanish Main. Pirates and privateers aplenty can be set in this era, and -- despite the loss of magic in 'civilized eras' much of that magic can be place in the mysterious seas of the world and certainly in mystical and mythical places in pirate lore -- ala Pirates of the Carribean.


Note: There's a lot of pirate source material to draw on for adventures here, particularly given the popularity of recent film franchises mentioned above.

In addition, DC Comics itself had a fair amount of pirate action in its older incarnations (like Captain Blood and Jon Valor, the Black Pirate), and recently had a pirate Batman when he was a timelost mythic figure in one of Grant Morrison's storytelling escapades.

Revolutionary Hero (1770 to 1799)

The time of America in the era of the Revolutionary War. Unlike a lot of other settings and comic book universes, the Hero Universe establishes this as the era of the very earliest “masked adventurers” ever seen in America. It is also the era of the Exploration of the Americas, the French Revolution and, later, Napoleon.

Black Mask, the Hero Universe's first
masked adventurer in the Americas, and
founder of a long heroic dynasty.

Note: this is also an era that is rich with mysticism, natural philosophy, secret societies, and encounters with the various Native American tribes and their own myths and views of the world. Again, DC Comics had a number of comics characters set in this era, and regularly have modern heroes thrown back in time to encounter them.

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