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  1. #1
    Hellion Simp Rift's Avatar
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    Default Behind the Scenes with Vita Ayala

    Vita posted info about OCs they (and the artists they worked with) they created. Basically, we got some concept art and more background details on the characters, outside of what they previously posted on Twitter.

    (This post would be too long to cover in one post, so I'll go over them in multiple)


    The Ferals (Jamie Rogers, Rosie Rodriguez, Cam Long, Hector Pullman)

    • Jamie Rogers: (16, male, ace): The definition of sunshine, Jamie always has a joke and a smile for his friends. But his laughter hides that he has seen a lot for someone so young. He grew up on a farm in the middle of nowhere USA, where his mutation manifested early. His parents kept him locked up, convinced there would be a way to cure him but too ashamed to let the neighbors see. He escaped and ran away from home when he was twelve, and managed to pass in the human world by shaving his whole body, living with friends for years, before seeing news of the X-Men and the promise of Genosha on TV and making his way there.
    • Rosie Rodriguez: (22, female): Rosie grew up in Mexico City, where she helped her father with his auto repair shop. After graduating school, she was given the chance to attend university in California, and it was there that her mutation manifested. She’s mostly serious, but not mean, and very thoughtful. She likes puzzles and fixing things, though the size of her hands have made smaller work more difficult for her. (Her best friend/mentee is JULIA form the Psychics group – Rosie thinks of her like a little sister.)
    • Cam Long: (19, non-binary, queer): Cam’s parents divorced when they were a baby, and Cam spent most of their early childhood in China with their father, before going to live with their mother in Ireland during elementary school after their father’s death. They are reserved, very academically intelligent, athletic, and a little cruel. They are very judgmental, as well. (Their girlfriend is AURA CHARLES from the Flyers group. She is the only person who can get Cam not to be a jerk.)
    • Hector Pullman: (15, male, gay): Hector is the youngest of 5 siblings (one of which is also a mutant). He is on the autism spectrum, artistically inclined (mostly painting, but also photography), and generally upbeat and enthusiastic. Growing up, he wanted to become a comic book artist (his artistic hero was Dave McKean), and he even after his mutation manifested, he was trying to figure out ways to make it happen without people finding out he was a mutant. He is a class clown type, but he tends to use himself as the butt of the joke (a defense mechanism he learned early).


    Flyers (Gabrielle Diwa & Michael Diwa (twins), Markos Argyros, Jason Jackson, Aura Charles)

    • Gabrielle Diwa/Galura (19, female, lesbian):Think Leonardo from the Ninja Turtles. Elle was born first and takes her duties as older sister very seriously, and that responsibility shaped her whole outlook on life. She is not quick to anger, but she IS slow to trust. The more calculating of the twins. She would make a great military leader, if not for her obvious mutant affiliation. Powers (besides flight): Elle can channel wind gusts (using her winds) and cause mini tornadoes.
    • Michael Diwa (19, male, bisexual): Quick to laugh and to anger, but also quick to forgive. He has always had his big sister to shield him, and thus has been afforded the luxury of being a little more light hearted. He is naturally curious and inquisitive, would have made a great elementary science teacher if he hadn’t manifested such obvious mutant features. Powers (besides flight): Mike can shoot energy beams from his hands.
    • Markos Argyros (17, male): Before his mutation, Markos was a sickly, studious child, very detached from others. He enjoyed stories about monsters and misunderstood men, preferred his books to playing outside. After his abilities and changes manifested, he became healthier and happier, proud in a way that he looked like his favorite characters. He DOES enjoy physical activity now, though still prefers watching and talking about movies and books. (His best friend is JACOB WILLIAMS, from the Kinetics group.)

      Powers (besides flight): mild telepathy (more like he is empathic).
    • Jason Jackson (28, male): Grumpy man, with a chip on his shoulder. Kind of a stereotypical jock. Always very small (height wise) compared to his peers, Jason concentrated on getting super physically strong in order to prove himself. As a result, he is very aggressive and competitive, and known as the muscle wherever he is. Powers (besides flight): a powerful sonic scream!
    • Aura Charles (20, female, queer): Her parents owned a restaurant in New Orleans, and she learned to cook and work hard from an early age. When her mutation kicked in, she was actually seen as beautiful and a gift by her parents, who called her their angel. The neighbors were not as accepting, and for her safety, the family moved across the lake. Dutiful and kind. (Her partner is CAM LONG from the Ferals group – they even each other out.) Powers (besides flight): she also can produce and throw psionic orbs of energy.

  2. #2
    Hellion Simp Rift's Avatar
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    Kinetics (Joshua Engelhard, Monica, Jacob Williams, Christopher O’Leary, Megan Ogawa)

    • Joshua Engelhard (20, male): The only child of a relatively liberal family, Josh grew up believing in the goodness of man and the kindness of strangers. It was quite a shock to him, then, when his mutation manifested and they tried to kill him. He ran into the woods near his home, and spent the next few months living off the grid and sparking rumors of the Jersey Devil being back. He is a kind person by nature, but no longer trusting. He doesn’t smile much anymore.

      Powers: he can manipulate molecules to make them excited or still, essentially making fire and ice, but he has to be touching the object. He can do it to the air, but that is dangerous to him and everything around him. He is also very strong, his horns are like ivory, and his tail is prehensile.

    • Monica (18, non-binary): Monica is from Eugene, Oregon. Their mother worked at the university, and their father sold cars. They had a relatively normal childhood, until their mother died when they were a pre-teen. The trauma of the experience caused their mutant manifestation. Their father kicked them out of the house within hours of it happening, and they were forced to live on the street. They are very shy and gentle, and love to dance.

      (Their girlfriend is LIANA from the PSYCHICS group.)

      Powers: Monica’s arms become super stretchy and hard (think like super hard rubber), and they can charge their arms with electricity. SO basically, their arms become electrified whips!

    • Jacob Williams/Brutha Nature (17, trans boy): Jacob ran away from home long before his mutant powers manifested. He grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, but made his way up north to Chicago by the time he was 14. There he found his long lost (lesbian) aunt, who took him in. He’s a very serious kid, who never really had close friends until his aunt took him in and his powers manifested Around the same time). Since then he has attempted to be less aggro all the time.

      (His best friend is MARKOS ARGYROS, from the Flyers group.)

      Powers: He can control the shape, density, and harness of plants. He can animate plants as well, and can “connect” with them in a way that allows him to experience what they experience, and communicate the way they do. He can make armor out of tree bark that is harder than steel, or cleave a tree with a light touch (he wouldn’t though, he likes plants).

    • Christopher O’Leary (19, male, bisexual): In and out of juvie from an early age, Chris is the picture of a problem child. Aggressive, rude, and angry.
      Powers: He is pyro-kinetic, using his own energy for fuel (so he has to eat A Lot).

    • Megan Ogawa/Kappa (20, female, bisexual): Born and raised in Hawaii, Meg grew up in the water. When her powers manifested, her parents were delighted – it just proved to them that she was a blessing, sent from above. Pretty happy-go-lucky most of the time, she is slow to anger but when she does, she is like the raging flood and she holds a grudge. (There is nothing as soft as water, yet who withstand the raging flood?)

      Powers: She can manipulate water and other fluids to do her bidding, in the same way that Pyro can control fire. She draws the water/fluids from things around (including the air in humid places), and can completely dehydrate something if she wants.


    Psychics (Alec Walsh, Leo Eng, Liana, Julia, Alice Campbell)

    • Alec Walsh (58, male): Alec seems very serious at first, but his humor comes through (dry and sharp) pretty quickly. A father whose children do not want to see him, he takes in a lot of strays. He’s good with his hands (a builder, carpentry and electronics both) and decent in the kitchen.

      Powers: Empathic and telekinetic.

    • Leonara (Leo) Eng (23, trans woman):Leo is fully a genius, and so very baffled by people. She has trouble connecting with people, despite being telepathic, and spends a lot of time trying to find common ground. She loves games and uses them to socialize in a safe and controlled way. She likes go laugh, but her sense of humor often goes over people’s heads. She's a bit of a nervous person, but actively tries to overcome that.

      Powers: Telepathic and telekinetic.

    • Liana (19, female):Lovable and slightly absentminded, Liana is an artist at heart. She grew up in Florida, where she was always the life of the party before she manifested. She managed to get a tattoo gun and make a tidy bit of money. This came in handy because when her powers manifested, she had to beat it out of town. She’s a bit of a foodie, though she is not the best in the kitchen.

      Powers: telekinetic and can shoot bolts of energy from her eyes!

    • Julia: (17, female)

      The darling apple of her parents eye, even though she had two sisters, Julia grew up getting everything she wanted. Her nature is kind and gentle, though, so all that meant was that she had more things to share. When she manifested her powers, she was afraid her parents wouldn’t love her anymore and ran away from home. Rosie found her and took her in.

      (Her best friend and mentor is ROSIE RODRIGUEZ from the Ferals group.)

      Powers: she shoots psionic blasts from her big arm, which also can act as a psionic shield. That arm is also VERY strong, with skin tougher than alligator hide.

    • Alice Campbell (20, non-binary): Alice wanted nothing more than to be a world famous actor when they grew up. They have an encyclopedic knowledge of movies and are a bit of a chameleon in terms of personality.

      Powers: telekinetic and able to project glamours over themselves.
    Last edited by Rift; 10-15-2021 at 10:29 AM.

  3. #3
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    I feel they should focus more on raw quality or pure quantity over this overly elaborate backstory and identity planning for too many characters who are likely never going to gain any promince or role. Or at least likely not under their pen, since it's usualy later writers who tend to expand upon backround characters other writers or artists have created before (often after years of backround appearances).

    With raw quality i mean having a plan to introduce one or two well thought out new characters into roles for a story straight away and have them stick (meaning having a chance to get popular with readers straight away).
    Well thought out in this case meaning appearance, personality, powers or abilities, role in the story they start in and most importantly long term character development.

    It's either bombasticly jumping in through the door and bedazzle viewers in the room with a performances that makes them want to know more, or they come in normaly multiple times and always leave behind a nice impression that viewers want them to come in more and finaly tell them who they.

    Regardless of which way they are introduced, it needs to be brief and snippy. Not overly long winded or loaded down with too many informations that are of no importance (yet).

    With pure quantity meanwhile i mean that it has to stay simple. A design and perhaps a name and powers. That's all that matters for backround characters. If anything of it strikes a cord with viewers it can be expanded upon later.
    No need to waste too much energy on identities and backrounds that don't matter (yet).

  4. #4
    Astonishing Member CGAR's Avatar
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    This is cool and all but this also shows that writers would rather work on new creations instead of focusing on the huge stable of characters that are already available. Look how much time they put into that.

    I admire the fact that they are creating characters for representation but none of these charaters will ever show up. IMO.

    There are a bunch of mutants from the squad days that they could have had added these backstory and traits.

  5. #5
    Mutant Midnighter NewMutant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CGAR View Post
    This is cool and all but this also shows that writers would rather work on new creations instead of focusing on the huge stable of characters that are already available. Look how much time they put into that.

    I admire the fact that they are creating characters for representation but none of these charaters will ever show up. IMO.

    There are a bunch of mutants from the squad days that they could have had added these backstory and traits.
    I tend to agree. The Academy X kids were the last overly populated generation which Marvel then decimates; and most of those characters have been pretty stagnant if they've managed to even appear. I think we need to play more with the unused and casually add in more characters. And honestly new interesting villains would be more beneficial than more students.
    I'm a fighter. I fight for normal people. But I'll never be one. I'm not a hero. Some people can't handle that.

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  6. #6
    Astonishing Member Kingdom X's Avatar
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    Cool breakdown. The best hope for these characters would be to pull 1 from each section (maybe 2 or 3 from kinetics) and spotlight them. Even if there wasn't a laundry list of limbo mutants, that's a ton of mutants to establish with VERY similar abilities (looking at you flyers, ferals, and psychics).

    Quote Originally Posted by NewMutant View Post
    I tend to agree. The Academy X kids were the last overly populated generation which Marvel then decimates; and most of those characters have been pretty stagnant if they've managed to even appear. I think we need to play more with the unused and casually add in more characters. And honestly new interesting villains would be more beneficial than more students.
    That's the biggest concern with introducing swaths of new X-characters. Marvel sees canon fodder. They're safe for now with resurrections, but in 5 years when we need another mutant tragedy these folks will be the first on the chopping block, no matter how much representation they added.
    Last edited by Kingdom X; 10-15-2021 at 12:11 PM.

  7. #7
    Astonishing Member Omega Alpha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grunty View Post
    I feel they should focus more on raw quality or pure quantity over this overly elaborate backstory and identity planning for too many characters who are likely never going to gain any promince or role. Or at least likely not under their pen, since it's usualy later writers who tend to expand upon backround characters other writers or artists have created before (often after years of backround appearances).

    With raw quality i mean having a plan to introduce one or two well thought out new characters into roles for a story straight away and have them stick (meaning having a chance to get popular with readers straight away).
    Well thought out in this case meaning appearance, personality, powers or abilities, role in the story they start in and most importantly long term character development.

    It's either bombasticly jumping in through the door and bedazzle viewers in the room with a performances that makes them want to know more, or they come in normaly multiple times and always leave behind a nice impression that viewers want them to come in more and finaly tell them who they.

    Regardless of which way they are introduced, it needs to be brief and snippy. Not overly long winded or loaded down with too many informations that are of no importance (yet).

    With pure quantity meanwhile i mean that it has to stay simple. A design and perhaps a name and powers. That's all that matters for backround characters. If anything of it strikes a cord with viewers it can be expanded upon later.
    No need to waste too much energy on identities and backrounds that don't matter (yet).

    Quote Originally Posted by CGAR View Post
    This is cool and all but this also shows that writers would rather work on new creations instead of focusing on the huge stable of characters that are already available. Look how much time they put into that.

    I admire the fact that they are creating characters for representation but none of these charaters will ever show up. IMO.

    There are a bunch of mutants from the squad days that they could have had added these backstory and traits.

    All this. If you want more diversity, there's already a ton of older unused and barely used ones that can get a push (see what's happening with Synch, for example).

    Not that you can't create a new character, but there should be a story reason for that.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omega Alpha View Post
    All this. If you want more diversity, there's already a ton of older unused and barely used ones that can get a push (see what's happening with Synch, for example).

    Not that you can't create a new character, but there should be a story reason for that.
    Spitting, make sure the ones we have are being used before making new ones.

  9. #9
    Hellion Simp Rift's Avatar
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    Alec Walsh is my favorite, since he's pretty unique from the others and has a lot of potential. He seems to be the nurturing type and his powers help him understand others, yet his kids want nothing to do with him? Do they dislike him because he's a mutant, or did he say/do something to drive them away?

    Brutha Nature's visually distinct. He has a niche that's not filled by another character, a unique power for mutants, and personality & backstory that can be mined for drama. I could easily see him being part of an teenage ensemble book.

    I also like Hector because he's a little fat cat.

    Other than that, everyone's competing with other mutants who have similar powers or niches, and given how little of them actually get shown in the comics in a meaningful way, you could just as easily give their appearances up to other characters who have been around longer and would benefit from just those quick cameos. Having some of them be supporting characters in an Academy X-like book could be great - they wouldn't overshadow or take up space for other characters, but would still get time and space to develop and form bonds with other characters, all while building on the current lore. It would be pretty cool... as long as Marvel doesn't act like these characters will be the next generation, and won't be abandoned like 98% of teen X-characters the second Marvel wants something new to play with.

  10. #10
    Astonishing Member AppleJ's Avatar
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    Dang. That's a heck of a lot of OCs to launch at once. Totally appreciate the sentiment of trying to diversify the X-Men further, just think it will be hard to get enough fans invested with yet another batch of "new kids". Maybe that's the notion? Throw 20 new characters at the wall and see who sticks?

    I do agree that it does feel like at least some of this work could be done with existing characters that don't have any established backstory or identity yet though. X-Men already has a plethora of underdeveloped characters.

  11. #11
    Hellion Simp Rift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AppleJ View Post
    Dang. That's a heck of a lot of OCs to launch at once. Totally appreciate the sentiment of trying to diversify the X-Men further, just think it will be hard to get enough fans invested with yet another batch of "new kids". Maybe that's the notion? Throw 20 new characters at the wall and see who sticks?

    I do agree that it does feel like at least some of this work could be done with existing characters that don't have any established backstory or identity yet though. X-Men already has a plethora of underdeveloped characters.
    In fairness, a lot of these characters were background characters for a 2019 book. Five of them were for a scene in New Mutants a couple of issues ago. I wouldn't be surprised if most of them were not intended to have stories told in books; this is just stuff made to flesh them out, for fun or if they end up being used later down the line. Thogh there's still the issue of redundancy, so.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by AppleJ View Post
    Dang. That's a heck of a lot of OCs to launch at once. Totally appreciate the sentiment of trying to diversify the X-Men further, just think it will be hard to get enough fans invested with yet another batch of "new kids". Maybe that's the notion? Throw 20 new characters at the wall and see who sticks?

    I do agree that it does feel like at least some of this work could be done with existing characters that don't have any established backstory or identity yet though. X-Men already has a plethora of underdeveloped characters.
    How are the fans going to get invested in those kids when Ayala is not even writing any of this in the comic itself, if you don`t fallow them on twitter or substack you wouldn't even now their names or powers, much less that they are "the definition of sunshine" or " a stereotypical jock"

    Until this is on paper this is all fanfiction. At least the New X-Men had the Academy X Yearbook.

  13. #13
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    Nice character and design work. I'm obviously partial to the Psychics.
    Having said that...
    This seems excessive. Why not save these ideas for creator-owned work and not to be background characters in a 4 issue miniseries set in an alternate universe the creators all knew wouldn't ever be seen again? Aren't there hundreds of background mutants that could have been used as Easter eggs? This seems like a excessive waste of obviously fertile creativity.
    Quote Originally Posted by The General, JLA #38
    'Why?' Just to see the disappointment on your corn-fed, gee-whiz face, Superman. And because a great dark voice on the edge of nothing spoke to me and said you all had to die. There is no 'Why?'

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by nx01a View Post
    Nice character and design work. I'm obviously partial to the Psychics.
    Having said that...
    This seems excessive. Why not save these ideas for creator-owned work and not to be background characters in a 4 issue miniseries set in an alternate universe the creators all knew wouldn't ever be seen again? Aren't there hundreds of background mutants that could have been used as Easter eggs? This seems like a excessive waste of obviously fertile creativity.
    Because the issue especially for creators of color like Vita is getting someone to READ and BUY those books if they do not have a Marvel or DC logo on them. Let alone get them on a comic book shelf.

    It has gotten better as of late but generally it's a very uphill battle.

    While I would have DUG into X-Men lore for guys and gals to use for background scenes-an editor still has to approve that. As we saw with the saga as known as Cassandra Cain at DC-where she was edited out of books where she was nothing more than background like Batwing and Lil Gotham.

    If you got editors that picky a background scene that would have been say Tag, Wind Dancer and Mondo because a scene of new folks that only Vita knows about.


    I would probably suspect WHEN it is decided to split up the folks at Karoa-these are the folks who either stay or head to say New York and MIGHT find their way into a book (ie Miles Morales's book as background at his school or backup stories in a random annual).

  15. #15
    X-Cultist nx01a's Avatar
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    I'm not sure I understand your response.

    Strictly speaking about the Prisoner X characters... Image and Dark Horse and smaller publishers have been doing creator-owned titles for decades, and Age of X-Man was conceptualized well into the Age of GoFundMe and the Age of Patreon. The opportunities existed to save these [never talked about on panel] cool concepts from assured comic book limbo by funneling those concepts into actual on panel representation and exploration.

    As to filling the background... Vita worked out complex backgrounds and personalities and character interactions and power sets for dozens of characters that Vita knew we'd never get to see explored much less mentioned once. It's a waste. Is it really representation if the two people of colour we saw in two separate panels are gay and in love if that's never seen on panel? Better to just put 'dark skinned female with wings' and 'Latinx female with horns' as an artistic prompt in the script then move on to writing motivations for the main characters.

    In short... Doing this much work for zero payoff in the story or for the reader is ridiculous. That creative energy was better spent using these characters in comics where they and their experiences can be front and center.
    Quote Originally Posted by The General, JLA #38
    'Why?' Just to see the disappointment on your corn-fed, gee-whiz face, Superman. And because a great dark voice on the edge of nothing spoke to me and said you all had to die. There is no 'Why?'

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