A young girl crashes on a dystopian island city in an escape pod. She’s found and taken in by a group of rebels. The girl doesn’t remember who she is or where she came from. Their only lead is the fact that the escape pod belongs to the militia. Hoping to shed light on her past the girl joins the rebels, who in turn believe she may hold the key to liberating the citizens from their militia oppressors.
Little Girl, Major Player
Like many writers, the writers of Eclipse too base many of its narratives on events in real life that in some way impacted them. In a way, the comic is a highly romanticized version of events that actually came to pass. The same can be said for its cast of characters. For Eclipse writer Maahes Jones no one had a greater impact than his daughter, not only for obvious reasons but also because she had the misfortune of having to show the people around her that there is truth to the old adage that was doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Her wit, tomboy antics and love for superheroes were all factored in. Ultimately the titular Spidermonkey was the character that felt most natural and the first Akashaverse superhero was born.
When the character was created there was little going on in terms of outlining new stories for Eclipse so there was never any serious writing involving the character. Her likeness would however catch the attention of many and we were overwhelmed by people’s positive reactions to it. We realized that not only did Spidermonkey have what it takes to be a major player in the Akashaverse, but that we had to do something with the character. But we wanted to do something special, something different. Something other than (just) another comic book title. Spidermonkey went on to become the first and only character to break the no spin-offs rule that we had implemented for Eclipse and the character was granted its own title.
It’s Crimefighting Time
What’s interesting about Spidermonkey is that even after two decades of populating the Akashaverse, she’s the only one to truly ever evolve into a masked crime fighter. Eclipse is by no means a superhero story. Furthermore, the writers have always opted for sources of antagonism and plot motivators to drive the narrative, which resulted in a formula in which each of its chapters has its own protagonists. That formula in turn has resulted in an enormous roster of characters, none of which really fit the superhero bill. One could argue though that superheroes had a big hand in putting comic books on the map in the first place so to have one of our own feels right in terms of continuing that legacy. But it runs deeper than just that legacy. Another thing that makes Spidermonkey great as a thematic element is the idea of the totems on which most, if not all superhero stories are based. The idea that an ideal can be more powerful than a man not only suits the story of Spidermonkey perfectly within the Akashavesre, but also within the adverse expiriences on which the story is based, bringing an almost real life superhero quality to the character’s totem. Crisis, as they say, is an opportunity to make one’s life extraordinary!
Subverting The Tropes
When it comes to susceptibility to tropes, superheroes are an even bigger nightmare than mythologies. Luckily Spidermonkey has pretty much the entire Akashaverse to serve as a back story and that helps. But there’s still many tropes to work around and that’s taking up a lot of time. Nonetheless the writers are confident they can work to ultimately provide a counter-intuitive superhero origin story that will not only set itself apart from the vast competition but also from the rest of the Akahsaverse.
Establishing The Legend
Numerous members of our collective have been playing around with what we like to call The Legend Of The Spidermonkey, which essentially boils down to leaving Spidermonkeys everywhere we go! Spidermonkey has since gone to appear on urban art pieces, contemporary art pieces, street art, drop art and posters in youth hostels. But Spidermonkey has also made appearances on PlayStation Network, most notably on DC Universe Online where in recent times she’s become somewhat revered among fellow moba-fighters, as well as on Little Big Planet where we published playable levels based on her story.
Extensive exposure of the character's likeness has contributed considerably to her popularity and we will continue to do this in the future. Be sure to check out Legend Of The Spidermonkey on Starship Eiffeltower for some of these extracurricular appearances.