Sunday, September 07, 2014

The Daily Planet

I've been inspired by Superman lately.  As more and more of DC Entertainment's movie plans become public, it's clear they're going to build a universe of cinematic heroes around Superman.  

The character has been struggling to find a new resonant characterization in the DCU's new continuity,   but in only a few issues, Geoff Johns has, as is his speciality, returned to the character to its roots in a way that still feels fresh and comes as a natural outgrowth of previous story elements.  

I also watched some of the Fleischer Superman cartoons,  which are still astonishing today in their beautiful technique and their efficient storytelling; hard to imagine the impact their had on their contemporary public.

In fact, I was inspired to make the following two Heroclix maps for him.

The Daily Planet Newsroom

Lovely balconies; such a sunny place, Metropolis.

The Daily Planet Rooftop

Statistically speaking, it's still the safest way to travel.

If you'll look carefully, you see that the two maps are correlated.  You can play by themselves, or you play them together at the same time, with the Rooftop being "above" the Newsroom. You can even have Clark change to Superman in a storeroom and fly out the window to appear on the map above!

Other innovations in these two maps are doors (which block line of fire but not movement) and flying terrain, which only flyers can occupy and which allows them to ignore the elevation of other characters.  Flying figures, however, are not required for playing on either map; but without them there will be a merry chase around that giant globe, I'll wager.

"Two-tier" map combos like the Daily Planet Newsroom/Rooftop are my new schtick in map-making,  facilitated by the fact that I have a two-tied glass coffee table that's PERFECT for playing them on.

What other vertically stacked maps could I do this way? What do you think of:

  • Wayne Manor/the Batcave?
  • Commercial Street/Sewer Below?
  • Innocent looking shop below/villain's lair above?
  • Spooky house/ second floor?
  • Church graveyard/catacombs?
  • A boat on the ocean/the sea floor beneath it?
  • The jungle floor/ the treetops above?
  • STAR labs public area below/ private labs above?
  • Wayne Tower lobby/executive suite?
  • Lexcorp lobby/executive suite?
  • Antique shop/ mystical lair?
  • Something independent, such as the Phantom Zone, the Fifth Dimension, or the Mirror World, that could be laid "over" any map?
  • Something I"m not thinking of that you will...?


Anonymous said...

I haven't been bowled over by Johns's "Superman" yet, but he does have a feel for the character, and that's more than Lobdell ever did. (Lobdell's opinion was that Superman was the most broken and wounded person on earth, trying to cope with his brokenness. Jesus, DC, what were you thinking?)

Lovely work on your map as always! Does the Fortress of Solitude benefit from this treatment?

I really like "Commercial street / sewer below", or perhaps the research lab from "Captain America: First Avenger". Punch a hole in the ceiling above the Vita-Ray Generator and you end up in Mrs Greenbaum's candy shop.

CobraMisfit said...

We are playing these maps, if for no other reason than to watch Booster Gold and Prof Zoom have an epic slap fight around the Daily Planet globe....

Scipio said...

With old timey pie-ano music playing in the background.

Bryan L said...

Hmm. JLA satellite (heck, you could put many levels there), Titans Tower (rooftop and upper part of the T?), Lazarus pit (cave entrance and pit area below), any JLI embassy (reception area and offices), Aquacave, Arrowcave.

Of course, you could do the JL Detroit compound (Dale Gunn's bedroom with video surveillance suite above).

Randy Jackson said...

A multi-level Arkham Asylum comes to mind.

Chad Walters said...

Ocean (perhaps with island) above, Atlantis below

Redforce said...

You could also revisit some of your older 'split-level' maps, like the three-level sky map you did a while back.

Arion said...

I really like the maps. Now I feel like playing Heroclix. Keep up the good work.

American Hawkman said...

Towers and Downside of Thanagar.