Last week, I submitted the following as an entry in a Hero Biography contest. The prize is custom hero artwork, and ten winning entries were selected from the 80+ entries. The ten winners were announced this morning, and I was very pleased to be among them.
Max Barstow was once the star of Paragon City Gladiator™, a popular television series featuring tests of strength, stamina and athletic prowess. Max’s on-screen persona, Maxx Damage™, was immensely popular and the network plastered his image and trademark battle cry (“Let’s do some damage!”) on everything from t-shirts to lunch boxes and bumper stickers. Max even did the voice for the animated Gladiator series (based not on the original show, but on the Wonder Comics licensed comic book series of the same name).
Then David Gimbal, a former contestant on Gladiator, sued the network. The ensuing investigation revealed that Max was a mutant; the network distanced itself from their golden boy, settled the lawsuit and canceled the show. Gimbal then sicced his lawyers on Max.
Despite hiring Fenton Withers, a very competent attorney, Max was unable to build an adequate defense and ultimately lost the suit. He was ordered to pay exorbitant damages to David Gimbal that drained his bank accounts.
Max was broke, ostracized due to bad press, and out of work. In his despair, he made several bad judgment calls, including breaking and entering the home of PCTV network head, H. H. Gottlieb. Arrested for breaking and entering, destroying private property and disorderly conduct, Max again found himself in court. Fenton Withers was able to keep Max out of jail… but not for long.
Convinced that he would never catch a break again, Max turned to a life of crime. Unfortunately, he was not an adept criminal, though his bumbled attempts at larceny were enough that even Fenton Withers couldn’t prevent the former television star’s incarceration.
Withers refused to give up on Max, and learned of an experimental rehabilitation program aimed at turning superhuman criminals into heroes to help combat Paragon City’s rampant gang activity. Max agreed to enroll in the program and was released under strict probation.
Max initially used his old Gladiator alias, Maxx Damage™, but soon found himself the defendant in a trademark infringement lawsuit. The network legally owned the name and would not allow Max to use it unless he paid them stiff licensing fees. Unable to afford the fees, Max chose to re-dub himself Cardelion, a name he hopes will one day be as well known as Maxx Damage™ once was.
Max continues to harbor a great deal of resentment toward H. H. Gottlieb, former Gladiator co-star Robert “Rocket Bob” Pritchard, and Randall Tremaine, the head of Wonder Comics. When not pummeling gang members, he is required to attend bi-weekly sessions with a court-appointed anger management therapist. Though the sessions appear to be only marginally effective, Max Barstow finds that he is most at peace dispensing brutal justice on the streets of Paragon City.Maxx Damage and Paragon City Gladiator are registered trademarks of Paragon City Television (PCTV) and its parent corporation, Transparent Media, Inc. All rights reserved.
The bio is a combination of the original bio blurb I wrote when I created the character and a short story I was writing this spring. I managed to tweak the storyline a bit to construct (I hope) a little more cohesive timeline than I’d originally created, then fleshed out a few of the details that will make writing a full-blown short story a little easier.
I’ve seen a couple samples of the artist’s work, and it’s definitely very slick. I’m sure I’ll be posting the artwork here once it is finished.