As part of the course we had to create our own superhero and a previous post provides some details about Bion, my transhuman superhero from an alternative dimension. I had developed an idea for Bion's look in Second Life and was thankfully able to call upon a great friend of mine who raised the whole project to a higher level.
This is a friend of mine called Sera Bellic. In Second Life she is a designer and builder and she took the idea of creating superhero artwork and really made something special.
Set out below are some of the sections from my class project with the course along with some artwork created for it. Sera took on the guise of Bion's super villain, the malevolent sorceress Agorna. We had great fun working on it together and I am really grateful to her for all her help. In particular, we set the battle between Bion and Agorna in one of the Sera's amazing sims, this being a land of ruin and wreckage - quite suitable for us!
Please check out Sera's youtube channel for more about her wonderfully creative work. Please click on the images below for a closer look.
|comic strip created by Sera!|
AND NOW, WITHOUT FURTHER ADO, ON WITH THE PROJECT!
What issue does your super hero contend with?
The increasing power of computer technology and its role in our lives, for good or bad. Bion is a person from an alternative world where supercomputers have become far more powerful than humanity but the tensions between this and our society are more complex and difficult than in her world. In our world there are issues about privacy and security, fraud and crime. More broadly, will the increasing power of artificially intelligent technology make humans irrelevant or vulnerable? For example, increasingly intelligent software may put many people out of work. Artificially intelligent drones and other weapons of war may start taking decisions about killing human combatants. If computer systems became more intelligent than humanity, might that mean the human race is no longer the most powerful collection of beings on our planet?
Bion comes from a parallel dimension that saw enormous increases in computer technology from the sixties onwards. This included highly powerful artificial intelligence, genetic engineering and cybernetic implants. Bion is a transhuman, that is an ascended human with amazing powers as a result of her culture’s goal of self improvement. During a scientific experiment in quantum energy, she phased into our universe and has no means of returning!
A relevant article here is :
Description of Primary Superpowers:
Bion’s body is highly engineered and has bionic implants that increase her power. She is superstrong, able to lift the weight of a car over her head. She can run at up to 100mph. Her skin is tough enough to withstand a direct stab with a knife. She can live without food or drink for around a week.
Description of Secondary Superpowers
Bion is constantly connected to the internet through her internal implant in her brain. Her link is ultra high fast and the firmware in her brain has greater processing power than any modern day computer in our world. She does not need to be physically linked as her link is wireless but has a range of around five metres. Her processing power is sufficient to hack any modern computer system.
Bizzare appearance – at seven foot tall and with a wiry, hard muscular body, Bion stands out. She is generally bald and this doesn’t help either. Her skin tone is an odd colour, its golden hue is not like any race. Her features have a beautiful, serene look like a goddess which would get her noticed anyway.
Bion is totally unfamiliar to our world’s cultures and a lot of the time this makes her seem rather naïve. Initially she found the concept of lying difficult to understand but is now able to model this behaviour to some degree.
|Transference to our dimension from her homeworld|
Bion’s goals are to help those around her improve their lives with the ultimate aim of doing whatever she can to improve the world for everyone’s benefit. She seeks to promote rationality, peace and joyful living as positive values and is determined to take practical action to achieve these goals.
As part of her story, we see the increase in computer technology affecting the lives of those around her. She comes from a post-human, post-singularity culture whereas our culture is far behind hers. One of the themes will be the effect of increasing technological sophistication on our world and its inhabitants. What happens to those left behind and marginalised? What about the problems of privacy, fraud, manipulation and abuse of power? In contrast to her own situation, she often finds herself sympathising with those who found themselves vulnerable to an increasingly technocratic elite.
In addition, her rational and effectively stoic philosophy and outlook put her greatly at odds with the often irrational elements of our culture, including discrimination of all types, religious, cultural and national prejudices of all kinds. She cannot turn away from conflict caused by these elements of our world culture and this brings her into opposition to some powerful elements of society. As with the technological issues referred to above, this however does lead to her being allied to and ultimately sympathising with other irrational groups in our society when they are victim of prejudice or discrimination.
AGORNA - Bion's super villain
|Agorna - sorceress of destruction|
Agorna is the living embodiment of the ancient Celtic war goddess Agrona, reborn in our age. She has been summoned by the most evil, destructive spirits of the Earth to fight for vengeance for the damage that humanity has wrought to the life of our world. She has mystical powers of magic, drawn from the energies of nature.
Originally a micro-biologist named Serah Bellwick, she learned through her studies the enormous damage being done to the natural world by humanity’s industries and devices. Always passionate, at one point she allowed her natural concern grow into untold anger and rage. The slumbering spirit of Agrona, ancient British goddess of war, came across her seething soul and used it as a conduit to be reborn into the material world. Now, reborn as the dread sorceress Agorna, she uses her thaumaturgic power to wreak vengeance on humanity for the never ending pollution and poison we curse our beautiful world with. Her spells draw on darkness, ice and death as elemental sources of power.
Bion has often fought Agorna, the sorceress and counts Agorna as her nemesis. Bion can be at a complete loss in dealing with this totally irrational, anti-science super-villain and her technological powers are sorely matched by her nemesis’ mystical and magical powers. These confrontations have been building up as part of Agorna’s frenzied plan to destroy Bion. Agorna has called a swarm of magical orbs from the underworld which have destroyed large sections of Solent City. Thousands have been killed in this diabolical plan as Agorna moves through the city, laying waste to everything she sees. The remaining populace has panicked and fled and her spellbinding power is far too much for the police and army to contend with. Only Bion, Solent City’s superhero, can possibly save them!
Realising that her only option now is to fight to stop Agorna’s further rampage, Bion flies as fast as she can into a direct confrontation with her nemesis in the hope that this might distract her long enough to give more of the citizenry a chance to flee danger. Yet, Agorna is ever ready for battle and immediately lunges at Bion, knocking her off balance before her computer aided senses have time to react. Agorna casts a darkness spell around her which negates Bion’s searing energy blast.
Whilst she suffers greatly in their struggle thanks to the nearness in the bodily combat, Bion’s nano-technology has been analysing Agorna’s magic. Her super advanced computer assisted systems conclude that her magic is really drawing from dark energy, the mysterious force that makes up most of the universe but is utterly undetectable using normal 21st century technology.
As they fight, nanites (microscopically sized robotic agents) from Bion’s energy aura reconfigure themselves to be able to penetrate Agorna’s dark energy magic until they weaken her sufficiently to pin her against a fallen metallic sign on a church. The nanites form a magnetic shell around Agorna, effectively crucifying her on the sign and leaving her helpless to Bion’s renewed solar energy blasts. With her magical warding spell cancelled by the nanites, Agorna is vulnerable to these attacks. The quantized solar energy drives Agorna’s magical aura back into the underworld and she is vanquished!
Will Agorna return? (cue cackling, evil laughter coming from an unknown dimension...)