Comics and Graphic Novels as Inspiration

I know I mentioned comics as inspiration in a discussion on here before, but the more I thought about it I decided the subject merited more focus. I guess because I work 45 hours a week + in a comic/gaming store thinking about comics is an occupational hazard. 

I keep thinking of comics, graphic novels, and comic characters which could easily be tweaked for a Numenera adventure or NPC. Here are a few that came to mind:

Blackmark - The post apocalyptic series by the late Gil Kane. Done in various books and back up stories and finally collected a few years ago by Fantagraphics Books.

It very much keeps to the science seen as magic concept and focuses on a hero, Blackmark, born of a barren woman, impregnated by scientific means. Blackmark was born with the ancient secrets of preholocaust knowledge already hidden in his mind.

The story tells of his rise from slave to king, and is filled with strange mutant creatures, various warlords, and a main threat know as the Mind Demons of Psi-Keep.

High Evolutionary - Mentally unstable and obsessed with genetic manipulation, sometimes helpful and sometimes a threat, the High Evolutionary really lends himself to use in the game. Make him a rogue AI from a previous world, still trying to carry on genetic research and manipulations. He becomes a great source for weird creatures and threats, or possibly even help to a party in need of genetic information, manipulations, or even repair.

MODOK - Mobile Organism Designed Only for Killing, not sure a lot more needs to be said. Big giant head, hyper intelligent with psionic powers, but lacking in creativity and anger management. Give him a long hidden underground complex, a hatred/jealousy of more normal humans, and let the fun ensue.

Fantastic Four 251-255 - During John Byrne's run on the book, he did an arc where the Fantastic Four take off for the Negative Zone not because they are super heroes, but because they are explorers.

Great ideas ripe for use in this run include a city evolving toward sentience, a race who has been in their generational spaceship so long they can no longer survive outside it, and an alien disguising himself as a god, to find subject to use for mental power for his ship to return to space. 

Probably a lot more ideas from Fantastic Four are available, but the best ones will come from writers who realize they are explores more than they are heroes.

Anyone else have any ideas/suggestions/input?

Comments

  • Dial H for Hero: its pretty much Numenera all over; a strange artefact that only works for the same way once, creates weird and powerful effects. Hints of dimensional and chronological travel, unexplainable powers coming from a technological base which may as well be magic. A person thrust into a new life of danger by a device they don't understand.
  • Prophet by Brandon Graham

    Here is the amazon description : 

    "On distant future Earth, changed by time and alien influence, John Prophet awakens from cryosleep. His mission: to climb the the towers of Thauili Van and restart the Earth empire. But, news of the Empire's return brings old foes and allies out of the recesses of the vast cosmos."

    And like numenera, this comic has a lot of weird things and a big Moebius inspiration. There is also old things from the past used in a unexpected ways.

    Here is a description of some of these things by Brandon Graham :

    ""In the first issue, Prophet has to blend into an alien city and find his contract to get orders. The city is in a living spaceship that died after it landed and is slowly rotting. The aliens that live in it are a fermentation-based caste society. In the second issue, in order to cross a desert, Prophet joins an alien caravan where each of these giant alien beasts feeds off the waste of the creature in front of it until eventually the waste becomes a refined product that they go around selling. Prophet gets mixed up in an assassination plot of the caravans leader."
  • I bought the first Prophet trade because it looked to have similarities to Numenera. I thoroughly enjoyed it and am considering picking up the second trade soon. It very much captures the weirdness factor I wanted, but was also an enjoyable read. Thanks for mentioning it.
  • Lin Carter's Gondwane series has some Numanera-ish items.  For example, there was a mobile city, basically a huge mining robot/AI that wanted people to live on it.  There's more, but it's been a while since I read them
  • While I have no comic recommendations, I would like to suggest two anime movies (as comic and anime are so closely related, I hope that counts):

    Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind:

    This is a movie about a world, where extremely hostile plants have taken over earth and humankind have to defend against them. While the technology-based theme of the setting is more steam than sienc-fantasy, it is still so full of inspiration, it is simply awesome.

    Castle in the Sky:

    This is also a steamworld where a few people (good and bad, of course) try to find the castle in the sky wehere they hope to find the remnants of a far advanced civilisation. This movie is a very example of the core idea of Numenera because a lot of the technology seen here has the look of magic to the characters in the movie.

  • Actually "Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind" was a beautiful (trillogy?) of graphic novels in the 90's. It was the first example of that genre I plunked down my teenage dollars and mind was subsequently blown. Should be able to find it still, I wish I had my original copies they had great production value.




    Joern Kiselev said:
    While I have no comic recommendations, I would like to suggest two anime movies (as comic and anime are so closely related, I hope that counts):

    Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind:

    This is a movie about a world, where extremely hostile plants have taken over earth and humankind have to defend against them. While the technology-based theme of the setting is more steam than sienc-fantasy, it is still so full of inspiration, it is simply awesome.

    Castle in the Sky:

    This is also a steamworld where a few people (good and bad, of course) try to find the castle in the sky wehere they hope to find the remnants of a far advanced civilisation. This movie is a very example of the core idea of Numenera because a lot of the technology seen here has the look of magic to the characters in the movie.



  • I think the current run in New Avengers is perfect for a campaign.
    In short the Illuminati are gathering extremely powerfull weapons to destroy earths from parallel universe to collide with ours.
  • From a purely visual standpoint I thought that The Adventures of 'Cyclops and Phoenix' is a pretty good example of how the world would look like.
  • Almost anything from the old DC Wildstorm imprint; Planetary, Authority, or Stormwatch in particular have great Numenera ideas. Shiftships and the Bleed also tie in nicely with The Strange.
  • Frezzato's "Keepers of the Maser", from the pages of Heavy Metal. Numenera lost colony and an oddball recursion for The Strange all in one.

    Oddly, since it is technically high fantasy, the Elric prequel series of graphic novellas from Michael Moorcock and Walt Simonsen, "The Making of a Sorcerer".

    The first section of Glass & Oeming's "Mouse Templar" could be recast for Numenera easily.
  • Monte himself has referred to Moebius on multiple occasions:
    https://www.google.com/search?name=f&hl=en&q=moebius+graphic+novels&gws_rd=ncr,ssl

    For me the Storm graphic novels by Don Lawrence are a great inspiration:
    https://www.google.com/search?name=f&hl=en&q=storm+don+lawrence&gws_rd=ncr,ssl
  • I'm mildly offended that nobody has mentioned Brian K Vaughn's Saga yet: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saga_(comic_book)

    It's literally about high magic vs high science and taking both to as weird a place as possible while still relating to everyday life.
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