Variance and Virtue
An original comic book idea.
As told on the set of Comic Playground with Frank Caliendo. Episode 6
Set in a dystopian future where society is divided into supporters of an overlord government and an equally political agenda driven resistance. Variance, a female Mexican-American superhero with powers of time-travel, flight, and super strength champions decency and respect over any of the principals of the resistance movement and the government, but she is losing her memory and with it her ability to grasp the reality around her. Until losing her memory, her greatest strength even above her enhanced abilities, was being able to discern what was right, just, and decent. Now, as she is losing her mind, she can no longer see through the propaganda of each side of the great conflict. She is rendered useless.
She still has glimpses of the past. In order to piece her life back together and to right herself, she travels through time to the glimpses. In the glimpses she is a child carrying out missions her father sends her on to help save the world. When she realizes she is well outside of her normal life’s timeline and that the positive things he sent her to do had increasingly horrible outcomes, she figures out this is not her real father. This man stole her from her original timeline to change the past and cause the dystopian future in which she believes she belongs.
The first twist, the terrible present day is actually her doing. She finds that her true given name was Virtue in her original timeline. Her original timeline is a seemingly much better place, but even there, she will eventually find out that the utopian society she has created using her powers uses her just as much as her captor to promote their needs and to protect their way of life. After seeing both of these timelines, her new goal is to set right all of the things she and her kidnapper changed and to try to find a truer reality, one that she hasn’t affected at all with her powers. During all of this, she will be jumping back and forth through time and battling herself as a child who believes that she is saving the world with her father who has dubbed her Variance.
The social relevance will be that in the beginning she is used as a pawn for both side’s political agendas, much the same way our current border issue has been used on both sides of the political spectrum while human beings get lost in the shuffle and treated inhumanely. It’s a little girl who is taken and used for her powers to make the world a certain way, but in her actual life, in her initial reality, people were happy to use her to secure way of life that they were accustomed to. In the prose which will come from both her adult and child perspectives, I’d like it to be clear that she loses her faith in humanity as she initially tries to promote her original Utopian reality against the polar opposite agenda her kidnapper uses her to promote in the past, while her child form loses her faith in doing what she thinks is right. Both of these character developments lead her to her decision to separate herself from changing the world at all. She just wants to get back to her family and enjoy her life, whatever that actually is without her powers.