Case File 004: Dagger
by CM Towns
The Guard is a YA saga about a group off teenage superpowers and vigilantes who come together to stand against criminal empires. The last story to be completed was entitled Dagger. Here’s the write up.
A series of attacks on US government instillations has George Blackwell seeking help from the Guard. This leads to the team of young heroes going up against the ruthless Daga Cartel-the number one criminal empire in Mexico. The Daga rose from the cartel wars to stake its claim and now they are looking to further expand their powerbase. This means new weapons, new soldiers and more control of the drug trade throughout the Americas. With the cartel having operations not just located in Mexico but also in several states the team is forced split up. Along the way they team with a couple new heroes-the Spider Woman of New Mexico and the worlds only known speedster.
The fourth story, I don’t remember exactly what lead to it. I was speaking with my uncle, who had been assisting by reading the chapters and giving feedback or pointing out mistakes, and I guess we were discussing what had been going on with what he was reading and I was giving a loose idea of future ideas. After that discussion I must have decided I needed another story before I expanded the cast. Something that allowed me to spend more time with my main 7 heroes, I’d say 8 but even though Professor is important I don’t have her in the same room very often. I also used this story to tease the additions and bring in the two newest heroes of Flash-Man and the SpiderWoman of New Mexico April O’Day, who gets a hero name next story.
I had wanted a Muslim character way back. I don’t know why, I guess its just a rarity in superhero comics even though we are now seeing Kamala Khan as Ms. Marvel or Simon Baz as Green Lantern. While I was working on the first three stories I was conceiving possible future team members and somehow I got on the idea of a Muslim hero with super-speed. I’m a sucker for team constructions and the speedster is important to Justice League mythos but also Justice Society and to a lesser extant Avengers. Where Huntsman name is a nod to Transformers, Flash-Mans name is a nod to Megaman more than it is the Flash. I’m not the biggest Megaman fan but he always had cool sounding villains. With April, I took the name from an old Romance Comic I saw the cover of online. I like names and that stuck. Why I made her a spider woman, I don’t know. Why I made her trans was simply to beef up the LGBT+ representation. Half the characters are not exactly defined with Jessie being openly bi but dating a male teammate.
With the Daga cartel I wanted a bad guy that was simple, like the Teiwaz, but were in a position where their elimination would cause problems. A reflection of how the cartel drug wars in Mexico. As terrible as it sounds, there needs to be one main criminal force because if there is not, the fighting for territory causes even more destruction. I don’t know if I made that point well in this. However I like to think I made new baddie Tiro Certero pretty badass.
Check out the story. Next week I’ll start teasing case file 005 and possibly have a start date.