Sweet Christ on a stick, we received a great collection of entries for our first EFJI Design A Mutant contest. This was an extraordinarily difficult decision. So much so that we couldn’t decide on a single winner. So we’re picking two. There are also several other entries we liked a whole, whole lot and may try to find a use for down the road. In those cases, we’ll contact the person who submitted and offer them the full prize, along with the other winners.
Criteria: We were looking for interesting designs that were the best possible fit for our story world. Ultimately, that’s what led us to our two winners. Both are mutants that would fit seamlessly into the EFJI-verse. Without further adieu…
Shadow Stalker by Jazhua Vanboven
“It lives in the bowels of the asylum. This mutation has caused him to be partially blind. He still has excellent night vision. His skin is dry and coarse because during the day he lives beneath floors and dirt. To feed, all he must do is simply reach up from the decrepit earth and snatch his victim whole, pulling them into the earth where they suffocate slowly.
His weakness: sunlight.”
Shadow Stalker fits the EFJI story beautifully and will make a fine addition to the mutant horde.Look for Shadow Stalker to make his first appearance in Episode 4 of Escape From Jesus Island. Congrats, Jazhua!
Abaddon by Eddey Gallegos
This one is a little tricky (and a big part of the reason it took so long to nail down our winners). Eddey’s entry is a great fit for a bit later on in our story, but revealing what he submitted would constitute a spoiler. So we’ll just say that Eddey’s submission is fantastic and we’ll get our first glimpse of Abaddon at the very end of Act One (Episode 8).
Unholy Thing by JoJo Picone
We loved the creativity behind this entry from one of our hardest working young fans. You can (and should!) check out Jojo’s comic Sons of God here.
Cymothea by Alysa Avery
“I wanted to draw a mutant that would creep (me) out, so I went with a theme that literally gives me the shivers: parasites. This lovely creature’s name is Cymothea.”
We loved this entry a whole lot, but ultimately decided it was a bit too out there for this stage of the story. We may be in touch later on in the series, Alysa. This is a great design.
Darwin by Kevin Cuffe
Darwin is another entry we really liked and may revisit a bit later in the story.
They say all life began in the ocean. Scientists took the DNA of Christ and mixed with DNA from the sea, creating the abomination that is Darwin. As they are on an island, what better way to keep the island secure than with a semi-cannibalistic ( Jesus made many fish out of a few and was a “fisher of men” ) water-breathing monstrosity?
Damien immediately saw the value in keeping such a valuable mutant in his army. Escape by sea? Not likely, plus all those folks with a fish with legs on their car, they were right too! Creationism or Evolution? Students shouldn’t have to choose and neither should EFJI fans, give them both with DARWIN!
What sets this mutant apart is the fact that it’s Jesus mutated with various forms of aquatic life.
I’m imagining Tentacles for hair, jellyfish stingers for a beard slightly scaled silver skin, blank shark-like eyes and rows of teeth (they could be creepy like an Angler fish with a severe underbite or huge like a shark). These would be used to brutally masticate prey. Several designs could work for hands from webbed with slight claws to one hand having a Claw. Angled protrusions for fins at the elbows and on his heels. Legs should be functional for both land and water.
The mutations serve the following functions:
Beard like stinger appendages paralyze prey (jellyfish mutation)
Octopi “hair” tentacles hold victim in place so that those vicious teeth rend flesh from bone.
Starfish-like regeneration, appendages and limbs regenerate but torso does not.
Ink secretion like an octopus (mutation useful in water only) this helps him confuse prey/ allows him to get in there in to get a grip on them.
Gills for water breathing.
Some design notes:
I always wanted to say brutally masticate, thank you for the opportunity!
Maybe a stingray stinger appendage or a dorsal fin like a swordfish.
I was thinking give him a net (playing on the Jesus recruiting Peter tale) and a harpoon, this guy needs to be up close to really do his worst, these tools allow him to do that.
The backstory on the harpoon and net is that he secured them from a whaling vessel that strayed too close to the island.”
Thanks for the great entry, Kevin!
Santa by Armistead Owen
“Say hello to Santa! or St. Nick or Nikki, or whatever works. Not much in powers except really fat with a nasty-looking white, pus-filled tumor of a chin that sorta resembles a beard. He also has an extra third eye growing out oh his head that can tell if you are naughty or nice. And if you are naughty, Santa will eat ya.”
If we ever do a Christmas one-shot, I could definitely see this critter making an appearance. We may be in touch, Owen.
Muscle & Brain by Ninna Hellman
We can always count on Ninna for kickass submissions to our contest and this time was no different. Introducing Muscle & Brain.
“Something went wrong with this clone. Its spine continued to grow out of the back, like a tail, and measures about 1.5 meter long with a skull at the other end, growing another mutant, which I call The Brain. The Brain only has a skull, two little arms and a long spine that is fused with Muscle’s spine.
It is the Brain that is doing all the thinking, and the Muscle does all that the Brain is saying to him.
The Muscle can’t think by himself. But he can remember.
During the mutation Muscle lost one of his muscular arms, too bad…
The Brain is all evil and always thinks dark thoughts.
The Muscle wants to be good, but don’t know how to be that, because he cannot think.
In his face you can see that he is scared, always scared of what the Brain says and demands.
If the Muscle should kill the Brain, the whole mutant dies. And that is what the Brain is reminding the Muscle of all the time. The Brain doesn’t think that Muscle can remember, but he can, and that is Muscle’s secret.”
Baby-face John (by 10-year-old Ella Draper)
Thanks for the great entry, Ella!
“His mutations include a worm for a mouth which he uses to feel his way around, for he is blind. The growth serum did not reach his head as the worm blocked its progress up his body. So he has an overlarge baby head and a normal-sized adult body.
He cannot speak with his mouth but has the ability to telepathically communicate with the other failed clones. Yeshua keeps him as he thinks he is cute (in an evil way) and keeps him as a son/pet for his own amusement and to freak people out (a bit like a freakish bodyguard).”
Unnamed Brando Blob by Nicolas Genovese
This one cracks me right the hell up. Thanks, Nic!
“Basically it is an obese man’s upper half with a twisted slug-like lower half made of knotted feet and legs. Some could be bulging and breaking through the raggedy leftover clothing, and its creation was similar to that of a bonsai shrub as the fetus with many stitched on legs grew the doctors would rewire the legs together in a knotted formation so they would grow all together like a rope but messier.
So this “bonsai rope” of legs and feet makes up the waist down and there would be metal ring-like clasps with bolts about thigh-length down and calf-length down holding them tightly together. It moves like an awkward snake. The upper half would be a fat lumpy-looking humanoid body with two extra (useless) arms stitched to the sides. However these arms are in the straight jacket that he is wearing, so it looks like his arms are in the sleeves when in fact the useable arms are waiting crossed behind his back with two blades for his next victim. The face would have a similar look like Marlon Brando, sly look, squinty eyes and a pronounced chin.
Crown of Thorns mutant by Robert (Greywolf) Webber Chipman
“A crown of thorns he did wear for all to see, this King of the Jews…
Thorns you see, now a shroud, this Son of godless men… what a prick…
When created, this mutation had some of the cell structure from the crown of thorns mixed into his DNA… his crown of thorns sits upon his head and tendrils grow down and throughout his body like roots… long, wicked curved thorns protruding throughout his body, unnaturally long arms, branchlike vines ending in long fingers tipped with curved thorns for fingernails. Thorns for teeth.”
A very clever, nightmarish design. Great entry, Robert!
Michelangelo by Bryan Sinagra (one of the faces of Pariah)
And we close with this kickass entry, submitted as a story. We may very well find a way for a version of this effect to be used in the comic. We’ll be in touch if we decide to go that way, Bryan. What a cool, crazy design and backstory. We loved this one.
When ReGen started making headway in their program, they were a bit overzealous in keeping subjects alive with the hopes that problems with the subjects would work themselves out.
For example, Subject #1496 showed promise, until he required dialysis machines to filter his kidneys as well as one for his heart. Laying face down it was easier to monitor the tubes that protruded from his upper and lower back. He wheezed a laboring breath in concordance with the machine.
Their faith waned in Subject #1496 when the wheezing stopped. Well, all breathing ceased. A nurse was instructed to pull the plug. The nurse turned off the machine, but not before she noticed the arms that hung off the sides the gurney. Well, not the arms, but more the hands. They had contorted into elongated fingers with clear claws. She looked a little closer, the claws had some sort of fluid in them. Her shuttering at the grotesque features brought her back to the task at hand. The machine was off, now it was time to remove the tubes. She pulled back the sheet and gasped. The skin of Subject #1496 had fused and grew around the tubes. She tapped it and when there was no reaction she grasped the tube in her hand and pulled.
A groan escaped Subject #1496 and a wheezing words escaped his mouth. “Don’t….do…that. Do…not.” He then slowly rose from the gurney. “Why?” He whispered. “Why do you… wake me… from… my slumber…”
The nurse was horror stricken as she looked on, #1496’s face contorted with protruding glass-like fangs as his mouth opened wider than humanly possible. “I!..I!.I!.I.I.Please! Please! They! They sent me in! I didn’t!”
Without any warning, he lunged forward grabbing the nurse’s waist with his hands and plunging his fingers through her uniform and flesh. She let out a startled scream which quickly became a gurgle when his face shot forward sinking his fangs in to her neck and collarbone. Blood ran up into his fingertips, fingers and could be seen running through the veins of his arms. He drank deeply.
A few seconds within, his back twitched. The tubes ripped away from the machine and started to whip around the room like mad snakes. Blood, the nurses blood, spewed and sprayed out of the tubes painting the wall behind him in gore. She faded away, watching her blood spray all over the room.
A few levels down in the bowels of Regen, Yeshua’s eyes widened as his senses picked up the birth of one of his disciples. “Michelangelo has awoken…”