Flare and the Champions

Champions (Miniseries) #3-5
Champions Vol. 2, #7, 10-12
Flare Vol. 1, #1-3
Flare, First Edition #5

Hermes isn't happyIn the mid-eighties, a series of comics were produced that were based on characters taken from the Champions superhero roleplaying game. The initial 6-issue mini-series was published by Eclipse, but later the issues were published under the banner of Hero Comics. A number of spinoffs were created (almost exclusively devoted to the female characters), including the popular Flare comic. Initially, these started off as fairly standard four-color heroic comics, but they quickly started to take on a more adult theme, generally to the detriment of the books.

A TG element appeared throughout these books with some regularity, generally focusing on Flare's shape-shifting brother Philip. Other subplots involved Doctor Arcane taking over the body of the villainess Dark Malice, or the god Hermes being resurrected into the body of the heroine Icicle.

Champions Mini-Series

The initial six-issue mini-series contained two major TG subplots. In the first, Doctor Arcane possesses the body of the villainess Dark Malice to unravel a mystery involving three dark gemstones. The second subplot involved the leader of the organization Demon (who was later revealed to be Flare's brother Philip), as he used his shapeshifting abilities to infiltrate the team as Doctor Arcane's granddaughter, Donna Hannah.

  1. Doctor Arcane enters Dark Malice's body
  2. A touch of amnesia to make things more interesting
  3. Icestar gets a little grabby
  4. Doctor Arcane doesn't appreciate Icestar's roaming hands as much
  5. Close escape
  6. He'll wear his own clothes...except for the heels (he likes those <grin>)
  7. The Demon Master reveals his plan
  8. "Donna" introduces herself
  9. Warm welcome from Rose
  10. Doctor Arcane gets a little bitchy
  11. Notice that only one of the three women on this page is really a woman...
  12. Doctor Arcane re-enters Dark Malice's body
  13. Aftermath of the battle with Dark Malice...secrets are revealed
  14. The Demon Master was doing better as a woman

Flare and her brother

In the Flare series, we get a little back story on Flare and her shape-shifting brother Philip, who would later go on to become the Demon Master. While still receiving training with their brother and sister, Flare forces Philip to become a girl. To get back at her, Philip later shape shifts into her again to have a romantic tryst with one of the guards, thus getting her in trouble with their teachers. Flare doesn't take long in figuring out Philip's little deception, however.

  1. Big sisters can be such a pain
  2. First time for everything
  3. A little romantic encounter (Hint: that's not Flare)
  4. Okay, kids...kiss and make up. Okay, that's enough...
  5. Philip enjoys being a woman

In another back story, Philip uses a native girl to demonstrate a new trick with his shapeshifting powers.

  1. Out for a stroll
  2. Philip describes his powers
  3. Taking in a little local color
  4. Making some improvements
  5. Finishing the experiment
  6. Philip gives his "gift" to Fala
  7. Some people just can't accept gifts gracefully
  8. Philip's incestual tendencies showing again

The gods reborn--Hermes as Icicle

Dark Malice returns, and is revealed to be the Greek goddess Persephone. To recreate the gods of Olympus, she uses the Champions' bodies as vessels for the spirits of the gods. Hermes is brought back as the heroine Icicle, much to his displeasure.

  1. Persephone puts the "her" into Hermes
  2. Hermes isn't happy...but "Hermia" is a cute name...
  3. Hermes is reluctant to remain a female
  4. Not even a dance by Aphrodite gets Hermes' attention anymore
  5. Girl talk with the goddess of love

Marksman as Rose (Almost)

Honorable mention goes to this short sequence from the Champions series where the villainous robot Mechanon captures the Marksman and threatens to put him into a robot duplicate of Rose. Unfortunately for us, he gets saved at the last minute. Curse those interfering heroes! <grin>

  1. Veiled threats of femininity to come
  2. Marksman is kind of slow on the uptake

The Flying Fox

The Champions comics haven't been published in a few years, but a new bit of material has recently surfaced on the Heroic Publishing website. One of the recurring villains in the series was Foxbat, a costumed loon with a history of annoying the Champions. Apparently the creator of Foxbat has other designs on the character, so Heroic Publishing has decided to have him become "The Flying Fox," instead. Ordinarily this wouldn't be too interesting, but the Flying Fox is actually a part-time super-heroine--the character switches genders between a villainous male and a heroic female.

Right now, the Heroic Publishing site has a page devoted to the Flying Fox, and tells the origin of "her" character. There aren't any pictures of her yet, although there is a contest for submitting entries. There are however a few text pages describing her origin as a heroine, as well as the "untold stories" that set up the transformation, and a few of her early adventures. There is also an e-mail form where you can indicate your support for the character, and vote to say if you want to see the Flying Fox as male, female, or switching between the two.

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