Character Concept: As Yet Untitled.

Nova here with a fresh character concept I'd like some second opinions on. It's been floating around in my head for about three weeks now, but I figured I'd get some opinions on it before I take it any further than the planning stage.

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By NovaCorpsFan - 6/17/2014

It's not unheard of for me to pop on here every now and then with a character idea and seek the advice f my fellow comic book reading peers. Today, I come to you with a very dark idea that sprang into my head on a car journey. I saw a single Magpie (y'know, the crows with the white markings) and that little poem came into my head. Y'know the one:

"One for sorrow
Two for joy
Three for a girl
Four for a boy
Five for silver
Six for gold
Seven for a secret never to be told."

And I quite liked that poem and then I immediately began thinking of ways to base a character off of it. I've got the basic outlines of him, influenced in part by the character Alex de Large of A Clockwork Orange. A psychopathic young man, living two separate lives. One, the traditional life of a man in his early twenties. The other, a life of crime, silent rebellion and theatrics. He'd murder those who crossed him in a very specific way. First cutting the right side of the mouth upwards to form a grin. The left side downwards to form a frown. Then, with both the third and fourth (depending on the victim) he'd stab the genitalia. He'd then stab a silver blade into the right hand and a gold one into the left, before finally removing his mask, revealing his identity to his victim, then cutting out their tongue and leaving them to die.

Of course, he gets caught and ends up in prison, where he's subjected to violent means of rehabilitation. I don't just mean he gets beat up by the guards, it'd be going a lot more violent than that. All the while, he remains as psychopathic as ever.

That's where I hit more or less a dead end. Still, it's enough to peak interest so if you'd like to offer your opinion on it (and remark at how sick-minded I am) feel free to do so in the comments section below!

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RedNTheHood - 6/17/2014, 6:54 PM
That's [frick]ing awesome...
TheAbaryMan369 - 6/17/2014, 7:02 PM
Sounds very good Nova, but as I have always said, seeing something done in front of your own eyes is better than hearing jibber jabber about it (my quote for when I want to avoid spoilers), so seeing a full-out pitch would be great. The idea is there, and if you can expand the story further, I think it could be really epic. I say go for it.
dio - 6/17/2014, 8:23 PM
"One for sorrow
Two for joy
Three for a girl
Four for a boy
Five for silver
Six for gold
Seven for a secret never to be told"

Nova always recites this when he's playing spin the bottle and it lands on me... I will never say a thing you Irish Knuckle-Head.
Doopie - 6/18/2014, 3:14 AM
It sounds pretty cool but I'm a little confused as to the relevance of the "one for sorrow" rhyme to the character...have I missed something? Also, what is the significance of his methodology when killing people? I'm no expert but I thought serial killers have very specific (if twisted) reasoning behind the way they kill people - kind of like a ritual - which is often linked to some early trauma. Perhaps something in this character's childhood involving the rhyme, or even a magpie, could inform his method?

The rehabilitation side of it does sound interesting though, as does the duality of the character's mind. The fact he pulls his mask off is interesting. He could be a reverse superhero of sorts. Lots of room to play around with the tropes of the genre and with the concept of identity in general.
Pasto - 6/18/2014, 5:46 AM

*Dials 911*
cipher - 6/18/2014, 8:02 AM
This is probably going to sound odd to you.. but, the first thing that came to mind when I read the bit about slicing one side of the face into a grin and the other into a frown, was one of those masks they used to wear in a masquerade ball, specifically- the ones that cover the entire face.

I don't know why, but I just had an image of one of those masks.. only thing with one half painted black, and the other half painted white, and maybe with the mouth turned down in a frown on one side and a sort of demented grin on the other. That just popped into my head, and that was before I read the bit where you mentioned the guy removing his mask to reveal himself. I don't know, I mean.. it's pretty random.. but with the whole duality thing you got going on (grin/frown), the black/white mask just came out of nowhere to me.

Have you ever read a story called "The Masque of the Red Death" by Edgar Allan Poe? I don't know how familiar you are with it, but I remember being frightened by it as a child.. I guess it was just the idea of a masquerade ball, where part of the fun was supposed to be guessing who's under the mask, but realising it's better to never know. Anyway, I'm not sure how useful anything I just said might be, but I just figured that it's probably so random that it might give you something to think about for the three seconds it takes to forget about it entirely, haha.

But, yeah.. go for it, man. I think you're on to something here, and you know I'm always looking forward to seeing more from you, bud. Anyway, take it easy, Nova. Always a pleasure.

MrBlackjack - 6/18/2014, 8:03 AM
MrBlackjack - 6/18/2014, 8:04 AM
Interpret that whatever way you want to ;)
PunkRockJesus - 6/18/2014, 10:14 AM
This is a pretty bad ass idea man! My biggest piece of advice, use discretion when posting your ideas/stories on sites without Copyright. You never know, you may see your idea as the inspiration for the next season of True Detective and you never get a nickel haha it's an excellent idea, and in the words of Gandalf: keep it secret, keep it safe ;)
PunkRockJesus - 6/18/2014, 10:25 AM
and @ Doopie, I believe the cuts in the cheeks are for sorrow and joy
Doopie - 6/18/2014, 11:06 AM

Yes I see now, I as just being a little stupid but it makes sense now. thanks. thinking about it more, it is very creepy...
BenjiWest - 6/18/2014, 11:52 AM
Very cool idea thus far Nova. I'm interested to see more of what kind of character arc, this psychopath will have. Revenge against the guards? Redemption against society? Or is he going to be an antagonist to a more traditional hero?
OptionFour - 6/18/2014, 4:38 PM
It just needs more. So far you've got a poem, and some stuff taken from A Clockwork Orange. The overly elaborate murder ritual could be interesting if it was attached to a strong back story, motivations for why he does that (believe it or not, no one - even psychopaths, and sociopaths - do things like that 'just because').

My suggestion at the moment would actually be to turn the story on its head, and to tweak the super obvious A Clockwork Orange reference.
Have the character grow up with some manner of trauma, and commit a crime that is understandable; kills an abusive guardian or something like that. They end up in a psych ward because of it, and that is where they get experimented on, 'rehabilitated' . . . part of that can be poetry that the doctor overseeing the treatment really enjoys, or finds interesting. That's where he sees the Magpie poem. Along with the images of violence he's shown, its one of the many things that gets incorporated into his own persona.

That way the audience has an 'in' with the character - how he was treated as a child makes them sympathetic, and they may even feel jubilant or vindicated when he kills his awful, abusive guardian. When he's sent to a psych ward and left to rot, falling victim to the doctor, he becomes a product of a broken system that discards the members of society it has no immediate use for.

Eventually showing a mask of joy to his doctors (two for joy) he is able to get free, and begin his career as the murderous Magpie. This includes his elaborate murder ritual (something even he believes comes to him naturally at that point, since the events at the hospital are so engrained in him), and perhaps even a mask and costume (incorporating the dramatic mask of both joy and sorrow, as mentioned above), thus making him a real supervillain instead of just another psycho.

Also, this just came to me, but perhaps have his tongue paralyzed in some way while he goes through the brainwashing at the hospital, to explain whey he takes the tongue of the victim, and to make it all a little more horrifying; to give him a feeling of permanently being silenced, and needing to lash out to find his 'voice'.
NovaCorpsFan - 6/20/2014, 6:02 PM
Cheers for all the feedback guys, it is highly appreciated and I will be getting to work on this very soon I hope.

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