(Art by Thunder Prime)

Rush is a character I've been working on for almost a decade. He's designed to be my running commentary on superhero comics and pretty much the rest of pop culture, and a showcase of as many ideas about the genre as I can generate.

The Premise: The son of a prominent scientist in a world filled with superheroes, Mark Joyner was injected with a faulty superhuman serum by malicious agents desperate for a lever against his father. His life was saved by his father's antidote, and he gained superhuman speed, strength, senses (all triggered by an adrenaline rush) in the process. With a burning desire to use his newfound powers, Mark joined the ranks of Skyline City's superhero community as Rush -- with his father's very reluctant blessing.

The World: Rush's adventures take place primarily in Skyline City, a modern metropolis built from the rubble of two neighboring cities in the aftermath of an invasion by the Ix'Alzio, a race of alien warriors who ravaged Earth for a year back in the late '80s. The rebuilding period that followed the invasion cemented the popularity of superheroes, who were until then a questionable quantity. They helped the world governments adapt the salvaged alien technology to human tech, which resulted in a smooth-running, utopian society . . . for five, maybe ten minutes. Then, the need for superheroes grew as society struggled with its newfound advances and failed spectacularly. Superhumans of all kinds were created over the next decade-and-a-half, and in keeping with the good-and-evil balance, not all of them were heroes.

But in a world where heroes are embraced as saviors, commercialization inevitably follows. Secret identities are protected by law, codenames are copyrighted and trademarked, corporations keep heroes supplied with the latest gear, heroes have the option of pulling in salaries for what they do, and superhumans past their prime make their living appearing in long distance commercials. In other words, superhumans are just much a part of capitalism as everything else.

A comic cover I made for the version of Rush I play in the City of Heroes PC game.

The Characters



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