Tag Archives: mercer

New Looks for the BlackGuard

01 Dec 15
Jerrod Smith
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Our last update featured some concept art showcasing the looks for the new villains appearing in the next BlackGuard story arc.  Those were cool, but if you know the BlackGuard, they don’t like to be outdone.  So of course the team has a few new looks to show off themselves.

Staples (GOSP)

Jonnie Staples

Sequoia

Sequoia

O.D.A.N.

O.D.A.N.

Eli Mercer

Eli Mercer

Afia Melanin

Afia Melanin

Darius Doome

Darius Doome

Geronimo Jones

Geronimo Jones

Until next time, peace.

Abbey Road

Even More Promo Art!

09 Sep 15
Jerrod Smith
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It’s been a few weeks since the last update but the artwork’s still coming.  Before we get into that though, I just wanted to let everyone know we will be making major changes to the website soon.  The home page of the blog will become the main home page, and the blog will become our main place for news and updates.  The BlackGuard comic will still be on the site, it just won’t be the first thing you see anymore.  We’re also going to separate the comic into issues instead of story arcs when the change happens.

Anyway, we have two more entries in the Famous Fours series, starting with one of the most commonly remade pictures, “Abbey Road”.

Abbey Road

The BlackGuard walk Abbey Road

Also, the front cover of Fantastic Four #1

Fantastic Four

The Blacktastic Four!

Other than that we got some more duo shots, featuring the semi-friendship of Darius Doome and Jonnie Staples…

Doome and Staples

The “buddies” of the BlackGuard

And the only two responsible people in this messed up team, Eli Mercer and Sequoia.

Sequoia and Mercer

The Logic and the Leadership

Observing The BlackGuard Entry 13: Eli Mercer and Sequoia

06 Sep 12
Jerrod Smith
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3 comments

I guess every “family” must have a mother figure and a father figure. This leads me to Eli Mercer and Sequoia.

Naturally, I see these two as the parents of the team because they are the two most responsible and level-headed. It has nothing to do with their relationship with one another. After all, Eli is old enough to be Sequoia’s father (or grandfather).

I imagine Sequoia, like many people her age, learned about Eli (as The BlackFist) through history books, television, and the stories of her parents. As the case tends to be with iconic figures, these tales probably presented Eli as a symbol instead of an actual person. It’s always difficult to accept one’s idol for the person he or she really is. I’m not saying that Sequoia thinks any less of Eli since working with him, just that she has had to learn to accept the real Mercer, flaws and all. It appears she is not only accepting of his shortcomings, but comfortable enough to address them sarcastically to his face. I’m not usually one to make pop culture references, but she has become the Geoffrey to Eli’s Uncle Phil, if you must.

Eli heavily depends on Sequoia to help keep The BlackGuard running, perhaps more than he realizes. You see, Eli is a “big picture” type. He has vision. He knows where his people are, and where they need to go, but he is not a fine details person like Sequoia. If I can use a nautical analogy, Eli is the ship and its captain. Not only is he capable of carrying those dependent on him through turbulent waters, but he also commands the crew and leads them from one destination to another. Sticking with the same analogy, Sequoia is both his map and compass. One cannot navigate without some sense of direction and a knowledge of possible obstacles in the path to one’s destination. Of course, this dependency works in both directions, as a compass and map without a destination or means of transportation are of little use.

Sequoia is a very intelligent, responsible individual with a keen eye for detail, making her an invaluable tool in Eli’s plans for the BlackGuard. However, she depends on him, just as he depends on her. Where Sequoia sees a path littered with puzzles requiring solutions, Eli sees a destination that must be reached no matter what, and that is someone Sequoia needs to follow.

– Dr. Hugo Cranium

Next Entry: Melanin and O.D.A.N.

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Now For Sale


Observing The BlackGuard Entry 10: Eli Mercer And Darius Doome

04 Aug 12
Jerrod Smith
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3 comments

Now, I move to one of the most counter-productive relationships of The BlackGuard: Eli Mercer and Darius Doome.

I call this relationship counter-productive because it seems to go against Eli’s intentions for the team. Eli started The BlackGuard as a means of rehabilitation. Each member of the team is there because they have ‘issues’ that make them liabilities if left unchecked. Since arriving at the base, I’ve witnessed Eli’s attempts to restrict the negative attributes of each member and endorse their positive attributes. But therein lies the problem with Darius.

For every other member of the BlackGuard, the negatives and the positives can be separated. Darius, not so much. His insanity and his genius appear to be one and the same. I honestly believe (and obviously, so does Eli) that if one were to somehow remove Darius’s insanity, he would then become just another average scientist. The same mind that may invent a radioactive toaster one day may very likely hold the key to defeating a dangerous adversary the next.

Of all the members of The BlackGuard, Darius has had the most ‘successful’ career as a super-villain. His methods, though strange at times, are unquestionably effective. Eli is more than aware of this. In a team that is three fourths direct offense, he realizes just how valuable a strategic mind is on the field. Without Darius, the BlackGuard initiative would most definitely fail, and then no one would benefit. This puts Eli in a very conflicted position. In order to ensure that his team is victorious, he must allow, and sometimes even encourage, Doome to be Doome.

What really makes this situation troubling is not only how it affects Darius, but also what it does to Eli. Of course, Darius will continue to be an unstable individual, but I can only imagine the turmoil Eli’s conscience is undergoing. Having to set aside one’s principles in order to achieve necessary results. In this case, I’m actually more concerned with the mental status of Eli.

– Dr. Hugo Cranium

Next Entry: Melanin and Staples

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Read the BlackGuard comic here!

Now For Sale


Observing The BlackGuard Entry 7: Mercer And Staples

09 Jun 12
Jerrod Smith
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6 comments

I’ve allowed myself to get distracted and have been remiss in my entries on the individual relationships of The BlackGuard. Today, I resume the process with an observation of Eli Mercer and Jonnie Staples.

I noticed quickly that any interaction between Eli and Jonnie can become an explosive situation, like introducing fire to gasoline. This has mainly to do with the fact that they have entirely different comfort zones. Whenever they are in the same room, there’s a clash for dominance, as both are trying to transform their surroundings into something which they are accustomed to. Allow me to elaborate.

Eli requires order in everything he does. In fact, amongst The BlackGuard, he is order. He mandates that every member of the team wear black (with the exception of Geronimo, whom it seems Eli does not have as much authority over) to create not only unity, but order. To keep a team as dangerous as The BlackGuard under control, he must maintain a certain amount of decorum, or else he risks turning something initially positive into a disaster, which he has already narrowly avoided a few times in the short time this team has been together.

Jonnie, on the other hand, finds comfort in chaos. In fact, he relishes in it. Not to say that Jonnie is only happy when he has either a gun or sword (or grenade) in his hand, but he does seem bored whenever there’s a lack of unpredictability in a situation. When he finds himself in these predicaments, he feels compelled to create chaos, often to the dismay of Eli.

As long as these two are unable to compromise in their battle of order vs. chaos, there will always be turmoil within the team. On a side note, despite their differences, I get the feeling Jonnie doesn’t see Eli as such a bad guy. And despite the fact Eli seems to care about the well-being of his team, sometimes I feel he just doesn’t like Jonnie.

– Dr. Hugo Cranium

Next Entry: Melanin and Sequoia

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Read the BlackGuard comic here!

Now For Sale


Observing The BlackGuard Entry 4: Mercer And Odan

27 Mar 12
Jerrod Smith
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5 comments

This entry covers the mentor/student relationship that seems to have formed between Odan and Eli Mercer.

Whenever I see Odan and Mercer interact with one another, I think of a “black sitcom”. I could picture Mercer as the once famous professional athlete who returns to his former high school as a no-nonsense coach. Upon returning to the neighborhood that he worked so hard to escape as a youth, he sees that the current generation of students are disturbingly content with the less-than-desirable conditions of their education system. Among these students is the knuckle-headed Odan. Odan is that student who is far from “book smart”, but still has much talent and potential.

In most sitcoms, the relationship between these two would slowly develop from rebellious student and strict teacher to the young protege and his mentor. I don’t quite see things happening that way with these two. If Mercer really were Odan’s high school coach, I get the feeling his highest hopes would be just to get the boy to graduate school and earn a minimum wage job. I’m certain Mercer sees a ton of skill in Odan, but what he does not see is a hero deep down in him (This is the part where Odan would say “pause”). If he can just prevent Odan from becoming a menace to society, then he will consider his job done.

There’s probbly even less respect coming from Odan’s end, though. It’s apparent that the young ninja has issues with authority. I think this may be anger that stems from the absence of his father in his life. Many boys that grow up without a father gravitate towards father figures. Odan does the opposite. He has no interest in gaining Mercer’s approval. The only reason he puts any effort into executing Mercer’s commands is to show everyone he’s as good as he says he is.

You know, the more I discuss the relationship between these two, the more I’m convinced this would make a great TV show…

– Dr. Hugo Cranium

Next Entry: Melanin and Doome

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Now For Sale

Observing The BlackGuard Entry 1: Mercer and Melanin

27 Feb 12
Jerrod Smith
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7 comments

I have begun my sessions with the super(hero?) team, The BlackGuard. They are quite unlike any other group I’ve counseled before. In the short amount of time I have spent amongst them, I’ve noticed a bevy of complex relationships among the members of the group.

In these series of entries, I will be discussing how the teammates see, and interact with, each other. There will be a total of fifteen entries, each covering a different pairing. Without further ado, I’ll begin the first entry with subjects Eli Mercer and Afia Melanin.

What makes the dynamic between Mercer and Melanin so interesting is the fact that, at first glance, one would think they have a lot in common. In a way, I guess they do. Both seem to take a great deal of pride in being of African American decent. Both see that the black race is far from reaching its true potential. Both are dedicated to seeing that the race moves forward. Both agree on the destination. Where they differ is on the path to take.

Mercer feels the best way to help African Americans is by focusing on the problems within the race, eliminating them, and then uplifting his “brothers and sisters”. Melanin, on the other hand, focuses her attention on destroying what she perceives to be the enemy (the white man). I’ll put it this way: If, metaphorically speaking, blacks are at ground level and whites are standing at the top of a latter, above our heads, Mercer works daily to build another ladder for his people to climb so that they can stand on equal ground. Melanin would rather just push the whites’ ladder over, preferably into a pit.

Mercer is well aware of the harm Melanin’s brute strength combined with her radical nature could do to race relations. I’m beginning to think his reason for recruiting her into BlackGuard was less for her rehabilitation and more for the sake of preventing her from bringing about a full-on race war.

Melanin respects Mercer for what he has accomplished in his life, but believes he does not have the conviction to bring about the “revolution” they both seek. She prefers to take the fight to her opponents, which often puts her at odds with her leader, who does not have quite as much confidence in her as she has in herself.

I guess this is a good place to stop for now. Next Entry: O.D.A.N. and Jonnie Staples.

– Dr. Hugo Cranium