This month marks the arrival of the 5th annual 30 Characters Challenge, the excellent event run by ComixTribe publisher Tyler James, where participants have to create a new comic character for every day of the whole month of November. I participated in the first year, successfully completing the challenge with 30 badly-drawn characters of my own, but haven’t done it again since. I won’t be participating this year either, but thought it might be fun to spend each day writing up a little showcase to celebrate a new comic character who showed up in comic pages for the first time this year. Comics are one of the most highly inventive mediums around, and this has been a particularly strong year for pumping out exciting new stories packed with compelling new characters. Let’s take a look at some of my favourites.
12. BOSS SNAKE
Yesterday I featured Doc Unknown, the star of the self-titled miniseries from writer Fabian Rangel Jr and artist Ryan Cody. Today, I take a look at the first of numerous interesting foes that Doc Unknown has faced thus far. Boss Snake doesn’t really fit into the larger narrative of that first 4-issue run, and really could have just been cast as a generic gangster bad guy. But instead, Ryan Cody’s distinctive design makes Boss Snake instantly intriguing. I’ve always thought Killer Croc was a cool Batman villain, but he doesn’t live up to his full potential because he’s always just presented as a mindless thug. But here we have someone who captures that potent imagery of Croc, but is matched up with agency and authority to make him a more rounded, formidable foe.
And then Fabian Rangel Jr slips in a backstory and just a touch of tragedy to give Boss Snake nuance, and make him a villain that lingers in the memory long after his role in the story is done. So memorable was this apparent single-use character that interest in him was enough to spawn a spinoff graphic novel, Boss Snake: Cold Blood, Cold Streets, which was very quickly funded on Kickstarter and ended up far exceeded its goal. That’s due for release soon, and I for one am eager to read it!