Friday, November 30, 2012

Who is 'Redorik's' Justin Henderson?

Pedro Maia's 'Redorik' cover
For the last few weeks the Crystal Fractals team has been hard at work campaigning to finish Redorik through Indiegogo. It's a book we're really passionate about and we would love to have the opportunity to finish it soon.

But the question you're likely all asking is, what is a Redorik? Who is Justin Henderson? And why is he going crazy on the cover? Well, to answer those questions, here's the little bit we can disclose about Justin Henderson/Redorik and his immediate world.

Justin is a rather normal young man, with rather normal experiences. He's a high school senior at the fictional Laurier High School, and is a member of the school's swim and diving team. His birthday is January 3rd, his best friend's name is Al, and he has a crush on a girl named Jessica Summers. The three of them have been friends since they were kids, almost as long as Justin has been bullied by the school's resident jerk, Mark. His life takes a turn towards the positively weird though once he begins to have a recurring nightmare narrated by a dark, creepy voice that calls out his name as he leaps from a diving board straight into an empty pool. If the nightmares weren't bad enough, he's begun to hear the same voice in his thoughts while he's awake; almost influencing him or goading him to act a certain way like an evil Jiminy Cricket. This is Justin's life in a nutshell, and it takes a dramatic turn in the first issue when he accepts Al's offer to take a job from his uncle. It's at that meeting where, ironically enough, all of Justin's child-like clowning around comes to an end.

While the first issue touches on all of these points, we've yet to really reveal the true scope of what his story is about. What we've shown you so far is really just the cake minus the icing, decorations and candles. It's only in the later issues where he begins to develop his powers, which in addition to his natural physical gifts of being extremely agile and a gifted swimmer, includes the ability to teleport between shadowy areas, an ability to read emotions and the ability to read people's surface thoughts. So think Nightcrawler meets Emma Frost, with the physical gifts of Daredevil and Namor (sort of). While we still can't reveal too much about him for the sake of our continuing stories, all of these gifts play a role in his growth as a hero. What's doubly interesting is that his mental gifts help him fight against the subconscious urgings from the "Jiminy Creepy Voice." It creates a constant ethical seesaw battle in the series, where Justin constantly will fight to be the hero he knows he should be, while fighting against the darkness growing inside him. 

Where this all takes him is yet to be told, but I feel Howard Wong, the series writer, put it best:

'Redorik' scribe Howard Wong
"When you take the typical superhero, they are shown as these “indestructible” people. Be it physically or emotionally. Deep down there is a lot happening behind the mask, but they use all of it to be the hero. For Justin, you first see him as a typical teen doing dumb things to impress a girl, but what he thinks is himself convincing him that he’s doing the right thing, is anything but. If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust? It was this part of the character, the part where you justify the choices you make and the intentions of those choices, that interested me the most. Think of Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, Punisher, etc. They justify their reasoning and actions, perhaps under the guise of being a hero. We’ll be seeing first hand, this aspect through Justin becoming what he thinks is a superhero. What if the inner workings that gave someone the courage to face the impossible are tainted? That’s what I think makes Justin an interesting character." (Read the entire Q&A here)

That's about all I can say about the book for now, although I can offer one small hint at what's going on with Redorik and how Justin Henderson is connected to "The Crossing" event where everything went wrong for Dr. Twilight. Are you ready?

CFU #0, p. 6: "The Crossing" goes unwell.
Redorik, p.5: Justin exhibits his powers
 See any similarities? :)

While we've been coy about what happened during Crystal Fractal Universe #0 and where all of the other characters wound up in the timestream, Justin Henderson has a clear tie to the event and how our greater story plays out. We really hope to have the completed story in your hands someday. That's all for now though, chat next week! And don't forget to check out our Indiegogo campaign page if you'd like to contribute to finishing the project!


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