C H A R A C T E R C O N C E P T:
"When you’re as good as I am?
My vision of Baal is a god trying to find himself in this new Earth. He hails from an alternate version of Earth where he’s one of a Pantheon of gods. In this (also modern-day) Earth, select gods from every religion are reincarnated every 90 years. They are loved. They are feared. They are hated. Though his body was born human, once Valentine Campbell had his Ascension, his body and soul was irreparably melded and shifted to a being of divine energy and power. A god.
However, there was a caveat to his home Earth. Each pantheon of gods only exists for a maximum of around 2 to 3 years. After that, the incarnation of that god ceases to exist. Baal was at peace with that. It was part of the cycle. What wasn’t
part of the cycle, however, was The Great Darkness. A formless mass of, well, divine darkness. It held sentience and pursued his Pantheon back on his Earth.
Even with the might of Gods, there was only so much they could do. It came to the inevitable battle it always does in these epics. He was the oldest of the incarnated gods, a warrior. Of course he soldiered up first. Maybe it was Inana, missing him. Or even Persephone. Playing though his mind, their memories blurring his judgment.
But he held the vanguard. The Norn swore she’d finally developed something, along with Woden. Something to hold it off, but it was untested. It didn’t matter. Baal took the device from her. He took a pill blessed by Dionysus, pressed it under his tongue. Baal sank the hooks of the octagonal device over his left chest. No better time to try it.
Of course it didn’t work. Of course his power overloaded the device. It exploded. There were three things Baal could remember before sucking sensation of Nothing took him over:
The sizzle of well-done flesh. The Mass of Darkness cooling the flames on his legs, like ice slush on a fevered body. And a prickle under his tongue, light shooting from his mouth and enveloping his body.
And then he was here. In this
Earth. No oblivion, no Great Darkness. He’s retained all of the benefits of his world, and as far as he can tell, none of the consequences. Being a god, Baal doesn’t lose track of time. His goodlihood and life had been down to days when he faced The Great Darkness. It’s been 3 weeks since then, and he’s fine. Now, he’s trying to find a place in this world. Or an escape. He hasn’t deemed whether this Earth is worthy of his presence, especially considering now he doesn’t have that cumbersome 2 year expiration looming over him.
This Earth might be good for him, while he figures out how to return. There’s no Ananke. No Persephone. Sakhmet. Fucking Baphomet. No memory of Inanna. There’s something new about this Earth. So many memories to make. So many new people to worship him.
Baal is looking to be worshiped like he was on his Earth. That is his primary focus.
C H A R A C T E R M O T I V A T I O N S & G O A L S:
I like the idea of exploring a character that rightfully has the mentality of a god. In his world he is a god. I think he carries more legitimacy to godliness than say, Thor. But past that, I like the idea of a god who’s going through the human trials of being accepted by society as well as the human trials of grieving over the loss of a loved one and how does a god cope with that? I’d ultimately like for Baal to fall in love with this Earth and even potentially desire to protect its denizens because of how they worship him in a hero capacity.
C H A R A C T E R N O T E S: (WIP)
Baal is arrogant, aggressive and minces no words about it. It doesn't come from a place of malice, simply from the knowledge of being a god. Knowing he's the best.
Issue 1.01 – Building Churches in the Wild
The Everglades, Florida:
In Baal’s defense, he’d only raised an eyebrow when asked the first time. The doe-eyed young woman behind the hotel counter appeared winded, while other resort staff bustled around the marbled lobby. It was busy, she was flustered. She was forgiven for her mistake.
These thoughts beguiled him, buzzing a smile on his lips, as he took in his current surroundings once more. Around 300 meters of cleared swampish area. Mixture of mudded sinkholes and tufts of grass and dirt. Discarded portions of rusted cars litter the area, half embedded in the ground. A modest shack, complete with sagging porch roof and dull wood. The metal roof splashed with rust of a large shed sat just beyond the shack. Immediately surrounding him, 8 men with various guns trained on him. Grime mixed with their faces. Their hair was matted with sweat and dirt. They reeked of bayou and sweat. Each set of eyes stayed focused on Baal; grimaces chiseled into their faces. No matter. Whether eyes watched him or not, the outcome would be the same. But he could enjoy the performance leading up to his debut.
Squeaking back and forth on the shack’s front porch by the shift of his weight, was the source of Baal’s amusement: a mortal doing an apt job of entertaining him. The mortal paced and stroked the bush of his beard. The creak of his footsteps on the sagging porch mixed with the continuous chorus of cicadas in heat. He prattled on, something about power. Making archaic points that Baal taught his worshippers a millennia ago.
“…y’see, when you got power like this,” The mortal continued, gesturing to the clearing and men surrounding Baal, “land to keep, men followin’ yer word n’ such. Well, ya can’t let certain things slide.”
He was looking at Baal now. The wiry mass of overused muscle, wrapped in sagging skin the color of a newborn babe. This man spoke to Baal of power like a child spoke of philosophy he’s learned that day in school. It was adorable. Endearing, really. Baal didn’t hide his smile. Maybe this trip wouldn’t be so unamusing after all. “Power and respect,” this sagging-man said, “they go hand n’ hand. You get what I mean? How do I keep the respect of my Bayou Boys if I let your disrespect pass unchecked?”
The second time, the restaurant host might have been injured. A small myriad of sparks had tumbled down Baal’s arm. Even reached his clenched fist. That doddling fool was audacious in his slack-jawed gaze. And Baal—still relented, extending a patience to the thin-lipped pissant for which he was not known nor worshiped for. It was something Inanna would want him to do.
Baal glanced skyward. Pressed his hands together in front of him, looking up at the cloudless sky. Not yet. He met the man’s gaze again and said nothing.
“Not one for pleading, is you?” The man asked, leaning on his rifle. Baal stifled a snort. Pleading? What use did he
have for that? “Guess I can respect that,” the man continued, “Y’all ain’t never been the regretful type.”
The mortal was entertaining Baal less. His actions were traipsing from entertaining into being a chore for Baal to sit through. He had an appointment to keep and unfortunately, the flow of time was one area he did not preside over.
“Now I ain’t gonna ask why you came here. Don’t much really care. Gotta give it to you though, walking through that marsh and road, slick dressed as you are. You had a mission, didntja, boy?”
The smirk on Baal’s face flatlined. His brows knitted together.
“Y’hurt my son. Broke that arm clean with intent, now. That’s my blood, and I damn sure can’t let that pass. You fuck with a powerful man, you bound to get fucked yourself.”
Baal rolled his eyes. The novelty of the ape had long since expired. He focused on the metal shed, trying to discern inside.
look at me when I’m addressing you!” The man shouted, making a quick gesture. The 8 men surrounding Baal raised their weapons. “Clearly, you don’t understand who I am. I run these glades. Every bubble that damn swamp pushes forth, I know. Ain’t a damn drug deal, arms trade, dead spouse or dead whore that goes down here that I don’t know about.” He shouldered his rifle now. “Ain’t a single marshal in the area who’ll find or look fer ya, not if I say so. You better take note. I rule this area.”
The dull sound of an overhead plane brought Baal’s eyes to the powder blue of the sky again. Not yet.
The man raised his gun, firing two shots in the air. Two birds struck the ground. The man roared. “I’m the Bayou King.” He pointed a finger at Baal. “So now, before you die, I wanna know: who the fuck are you?”
But this third time, Baal would—well, put simply: he could only be so lenient before his judgment requires a searing swiftness. Baal didn’t announce himself.
So, Baal didn’t blame the stick of Florida humidity, bringing the scent of hot moisture and the subtle sweetness of decay. Nor the ruin brought to his Italian loafers. The audacity of this Bayou King
, though grating, didn’t hold the blame of ultimately fueling his actions. He blamed himself and his leniency. These mortals had to be taught—and the first lesson was always the hardest.
“Well?” the Bayou King asked. A series of clicks and metal jingles fill the air. All the weapons cocked in succession. “Who the fuck
are you to anger the Bayou King?”
Baal looked at this Bayou King
Electricity bubbled over his eyes, crackling over the edges.
Before the mortal to his left could grip the gun tighter, Baal’s grip had found the man's throat. Sparks played on Baal’s fingertips, lifting the small hairs around the other man’s neck. With a release and flex of his hand, Baal shot the man through the air. The overgrown hood of a car caught him and the muffled sound of cracking glass followed. Baal turned his gaze toward the false king.
“I’ll give you one moment to lower that toy.” The sparks now danced up his arms, creating small tears in his suit jacket. “But I’m hoping you don’t take it.”
“Supers and mutants don’t scare me none!” The Bayou King’s men had taken a step back, guns still trained. “These bullets drill through concrete. Ain’t no prayer can save you. Ya dead now, boy. Any last words?”
Baal looked up, “Finally.” His shoulders dropped and hands splayed, “All the planes are gone.”
7 bolts came down simultaneously. Striking each man, the bolts arced to Baal and the god pulled the mortals in to him—all before the speed of sound delivered crackling of the bolts. With a flick, he propelled them away. A boom of thunder rumbled as their bodies struck discarded metal pieces and weak cries softened the air.
Baal turned his head toward the Bayou King in time for two bullets to be stopped by his electrical field, their metal still red-hot, spinning in the air. The Bayou King lifted his gun again, only to be thrown off balance. The firearm pulled from his grip, sailing through the air to Baal’s outstretched hand. Baal was upon him now. The Bayou King raised his hand to stop the god. Baal grabbed it, hoisting the man into the air.
“You were amusing, at first. You should know when your jester-like skills have reached their apex. Though, that Bayou King line will always make me chuckle.” Baal ran a jolt through the man’s arm, evoking a weak cry. His vocal cords stuttered from electrical interference.
“Now, Mr. Bayou King. I’ve a question for you:” Baal flung the man from the porch onto a clearing of grass. “What’s a king to a god?”
Before he could stand, four pillars of electrical energy erupted from the ground, bathing the entire clearing in a purifying light. The man was hunched in the crater aftermath.
Baal shrugged. “Simply a servant whose forgotten his place.”
He pointed a finger at the false king. An arc of lightning found its way between the man’s eyes, and he slumped over in the dirt. Lesson learned.
“Now,” Baal asked aloud, “where the hell is my car?”