Brother Nature

I don’t have many ideas for this character, it’s pretty much just a name and a vague idea that I’ve had in mind for decades, which I just finally decided that I wanted to see  illustrated.

Seriously, I came up with this idea sometime in the early 90’s, when I was still a teenager. One of my favorite comic-book series’ as a kid was DC’s INFINITY INC. The premise of which is that these heroes were all mostly the children or protegees of older superheroes who were members of THE JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA, they weren’t the first “second generation” superhero team, I believe that that distinction goes to THE INFERIOR FIVE, but they were the first to be taken seriously, and I just really loved the concept.

So one day I thought about creating my own second generation superhero team. I think several factors influenced my creative thinking at the time. In 1992, Rob Liefeld launched Image Comics with the first issue of YOUNGBLOOD. A conceit of the series there were actually two Youngblood teams, a “Home Team” who dealt with threats in America and an “Away Team” which dealt with threats in foreign countries. And each issue was to be a “flip book” with half of the issue telling a story of the Home Team and half the issue telling a story of the Away Team, with both the front and back cover of the book being an original “front cover” for each story. So you’d have one cover for the Home Team and read that story and then when it ends you’d flip the book over and now the “back” cover is the front cover for the Away Team and you can read that story.

It seemed like a clever and unique idea at the time, but for some reason Rob quickly decided to dispense with it and by the 2nd issue of Youngblood it was just a standard comic with one full-length story per issue (although he continued to use the flip-book format for short stories that previewed new upcoming titles for the rest of the miniseries).

Anyway, one day I came up with an idea for an inter-generational series about two superhero teams. There was SUPERTROOP, a group formed in the 1970’s, and POWERTROOP, who were their children who decided to also become superheroes and form their own team in the then-present 1990’s. I imagined the comic-book being published in the same flip-book style with each issue telling one Supertroop tale set in the past and one Powertroop tale set in the present.  I don’t think I ever even wrote anything down, it’s just an idea that I would occasionally think about and work out in my head while daydreaming at school or work.

For the most part, that’s all I remember of this concept. I don’t even recall most of the superheroes that I created for the two teams, although I know I filled them. The main one I remember is Brother Nature from Supertroop. It was mainly just a name (an obvious riff on “Mother Nature”), and the idea that he would be a Black man and have a green afro.  So I never came up with a secret ID, background, or power-set (I figure it’s the standard flight/speed/strength/invulnerability combo, maybe with some wind-control & lightning bolts thrown in).

I explained the visual I had in mind to Celina Hernandez and she came up with the above image. Looks great. I asked her to give the image a bit of an “animated” feel, as I kind of thing this character would work best as a cartoon, or maybe a series of animated shorts meant to teach views about climate change, and the preservation of the environment. I view him a sort of a Johnny Bravo-ish over-the-top character, who stops people from littering and such, always with some high-minded lecture about taking care of the planet.