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Author Topic: Cobalt Blue - Super Hero with a V&V Connection
dan2448
Cosmic Superhero
Posts: 1522
Post Cobalt Blue - Super Hero with a V&V Connection
on: April 8, 2018, 17:47

I'm always intrigued by published super hero characters with any sort of V&V connection, however tangential. This weekend, on ebay I stumbled upon this vintage promotional poster for a character called Cobalt Blue. (Link below.) The poster itself is about 30 years old. But the character is now 40 years old.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/COBALT-BLUE-Gustovich-1986-Pied-Piper-Press-Comics-16-x-24-promo-poster/382416072641?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649

What caught my eye initially was that the artwork on the poster was collaborative effort among Mike Gustovich, Bill Willingham, and Jeff Dee.

The character name and image stirred some memories. I dove into a closet with my childhood comic book collection and found that I actually had all (as far as I know) of the handful of comic books ever published that included Cobalt Blue.

The character first came to my attention as a back-up feature in some of the very earliest "Justice Machine" comic books published about 35 years ago by Noble Comics, which i bought later as back issues. Issue 4 (1982) reprinted in color Cobalt Blue's first (B&W) appearance in Power Comics #2 from 1977, in addition to a few further pages continuing the story with art by Bill Reinhold, whose work first came to my attention in a V&V supplement published a few years later (and then "Badger" comic books in the mid-1980s). Justice Machine #5 (1983) continued the story yet further, with pencils by Bill Reinhold and inks by handful of people, including pages inked by Bob Layton and others by Jeff Dee.

In this incarnation, Cobalt Blue is from a future Orwellian dystopia in the year 2577. He is an "elite enforcement officer" of the Orwellian world government called The Empire. He is hunting a renegade scientist who has rebelled against the Empire. It turns out that this renegade scientist was Cobalt Blue's original creator. "Having unlocked the secrets of selective genetics, the Empire's scientists engineered your creation from little more than a handful of super chromosomes. Released from this unnatural womb, your ravenous mind was nourished by direct computer input - electronic impulses at once educated and insured your continuing loyalty. Physically and mentally conditioned , you stepped forth to assume the uniform and rank of a Centurion! Stamped with the insignia of the Empire, who now owned your body and soul - Deprived of your humanity, denied even the dignity of a human name... You are a machine of the state, Cobalt Blue, and instrument of death, brainwashed into unquestioning subservience..."

Pretty great stuff, I remember thinking 30 years ago. I also liked his sleek uniform design.

Originally, his powers derived from his suit, which itself was powered by a, "radioactive cobalt energy source in your uniform." But then, as the renegade scientist escapes into a time machine, Cobalt Blue follows him and there he is transformed by some sort of ill-defined mystical/cosmic energy, and then made even more powerful. During this time he undergoes a "cosmic transformation... flesh melds with universal matter, momentarily tapping the vast and hidden reservoirs of cosmic power." This results in, "undetermined anomalies in basic molecular structure resultant in extreme augmentation of physical strength" as well as, "life systems drawing direct energy-input from undetermined external power source" and, "development of analogous organ body in proximity to optic nerve... composition suggests energy projection mechanism, i.e. organic laser," and lastly, "severe disruption of initial psychological programming."

Cobalt Blue then follows the renegade scientist back to modern day Detroit.

There his adventures ended for several years until the proposed publication of a Cobalt Blue graphic novel by Pied Piper, which this poster was promoting. But it was never published by them, instead being published in 1990 as a 2-issue comic book series. I still have them in my collection. The story re-boots Cobalt Blue as an alien from a race that had inhabited Earth since before man, locked in mortal combat with other aliens, with Wild West humans caught in the middle as they battle in giant Robotech-like battleoids. The reboot was mis-guided and lame, I thought. I really liked the original Cobalt Blue, and still do. But that poster art is cool.

Might anyone be willing to propose how one would stat up the original Cobalt Blue for "Mighty Protectors"?

bkadams
Cosmic Superhero
Posts: 593
Post Re: Cobalt Blue - Super Hero with a V&V Connection
on: April 9, 2018, 10:38

How about this?

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1i7bafUyHRD5OZo6BfMtX108jEFTfsSiES2ugXC5UK6o/edit?usp=sharing

dan2448
Cosmic Superhero
Posts: 1522
Post Re: Cobalt Blue - Super Hero with a V&V Connection
on: April 10, 2018, 10:19

Fantastic!

Two follow-up questions:

1. Is Absorption of the same type of energy (i.e. laser, in this case) as the character's primary method of attack a suggested/standard/prudent way to construct MP characters generally?

2. Flight. The addition of this power raises a question that came to my mind when I first saw this Pied Piper promo poster: Does Cobalt Blue fly? And can he fly/live in the vacuum of space like Green Lantern? I didn't remember that. And when, last weekend, I flipped through my old Cobalt Blue comic books, I didn't see evidence of either. Since this Piped Piper poster (1986?) was promoting a graphic novel that reconceived/rebooted the character as the last member of an alien race who had lived on Earth for millennia, it made me wonder whether these were powers that would've revelealed themselves had that reboot been a commercial success. Or maybe it was just a really cool visual for a promo poster?

Thanks again so much for drafting this character sheet! Awesome!

bkadams
Cosmic Superhero
Posts: 593
Post Re: Cobalt Blue - Super Hero with a V&V Connection
on: April 10, 2018, 12:08

Quote from dan2448 on April 10, 2018, 10:19
Fantastic!

Two follow-up questions:

1. Is Absorption of the same type of energy (i.e. laser, in this case) as the character's primary method of attack a suggested/standard/prudent way to construct MP characters generally?

2. Flight. The addition of this power raises a question that came to my mind when I first saw this Pied Piper promo poster: Does Cobalt Blue fly? And can he fly/live in the vacuum of space like Green Lantern? I didn't remember that. And when, last weekend, I flipped through my old Cobalt Blue comic books, I didn't see evidence of either. Since this Piped Piper poster (1986?) was promoting a graphic novel that reconceived/rebooted the character as the last member of an alien race who had lived on Earth for millennia, it made me wonder whether these were powers that would've revelealed themselves had that reboot been a commercial success. Or maybe it was just a really cool visual for a promo poster?

Thanks again so much for drafting this character sheet! Awesome!

1. Nah. I just gave it to him because in the description of his abilities it seemed like something he might possess.
2. As you guessed, I gave him Flight because of the poster. If you ditch Flight you could replace it with something else... say Armor. If you keep Flight, you could ditch Absorption and give him enough Adaptation to survive in space.

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