I just finally completed all episodes of Chapter 1 and now a print version is coming up. I’ll be launching it at the upcoming Summer Komikon this April 13, I had the fortunate opportunity of sharing a table to a fellow creator Nino Mejia a co-admin of our Facebook Group Webkom that is a community of web comic artists.
Yes, we’re webcomic artists but we also have the desire to have our works released in print, after all as Stan Lee once said:
Anyway, I’ve also finished writing and laying out the artwork for Chapter 2 and the first episode is already out by this time of writing. I’d like to list down some frequently asked questions about RaveForce as a whole and will do my best to answer and explain.
If you haven’t read RaveForce yet, I recommend you do so now otherwise there will be some spoilers ahead.
Where and When is RaveForce set?
The story of RaveForce takes place in the not-so-distant future in the Philippines, mostly in Metro Manila. If we can be more specific, the year is 2025 so that makes the “10 Years Ago” flashback scenes happen during 2015.
Who are the main characters of RaveForce?
Gino Chua/James Wolfe a.k.a. Wolfe – a former CIDG officer that was dying of cancer until he was transformed into a Homo Lazarus – a man-made species of human that is essentially a disease-free clone but retaining all the memories and consciousness of the original individual. With his cancer gone with no chance of ever having a relapse, he woke up essentially a new and healthier person with his body age 15 years younger than when he “died”. The only catch – having retained all his memories means he still remembers the bad ones and the ones he try to forget still bother him.
Victor Chua a.k.a. Boss Vic – Gino’s twin brother and the smarter of the two. He’s a successful businessman and scientist and founder/CEO of CyboGamma Technologies or CG Tech – a multinational company specializing on genetic research and cybernetics. His most successful achievement is Project Lazarus which transforms humans into a new species called Homo Lazarus and is intended to save people from illnesses and disability to give them a second chance in life.
Irene Velasco a.k.a. DJ Irene Heart a.k.a. Hearts – a model-turned DJ that was saved from prostitution when she was a teenager. Irene disappeared after performing at a music festival and ended up as part of a terrorist group. She was later found dead and was brought back to life as a Homo Lazarus. Once a shy but sweet yet naive teenager, tragic events made her become more feisty, strong-willed, confident with a rebellious attitude. Hearts was born with special abilities she is oblivious of and these were enhanced when she was resurrected – one of these is the ability to talk to people in dreams as well as manipulate the emotions of people. She’s unaware of these abilities and she will soon learn how to control it.
Limuel Roxas a.k.a. Slim – Victor and Gino’s cousin who is a few months older and the only closest relative they have. He’s also a CIDG officer working as Gino’s partner who then later works for Victor as part of his private National Security agency called CyboGamma Securities of CG Sec. Limuel has good investigative skills, mostly working on undercover missions until he was paired with his cousin. He is mostly a laid-back and low-profile type of guy, preferring to be at the background and “smelling the flowers” and got no plans of stepping in the spotlight soon.
Alyssa Delos Santos – Gino’s ex-girlfriend who is also a housemate of Irene and her sister. A freelance model who moonlights as a “walker” – a modern, colloquial term for prostitute. Desperately in need of money to pay rent, she was forced to go back to prostitution and this time brought along Irene. Her conscience would get the best of her and she saves Irene from getting raped, however as they try to escape she would be shot dead. It was later discovered that her remains disappeared at the morgue after an initial autopsy.
Janet Velasco a.k.a. Fyra – Gino’s best friend and Irene’s older sister who was secretly working for Victor as a hired assassin to protect CG Tech’s business interests. She was sent as a backup for Gino and Limuel during a dangerous mission to hunt a notorious pedophile. The pedophile would turn out to be Alyssa’s client and had a lustful interest on Irene who was just 13 years old back then. As Janet became aware of this, she got blinded by rage and fatally shoots Alyssa before she saves Gino and Limuel from getting attacked by the pedophile who suddenly turned into a monster. Janet is a karate black-belter and underwent military training. CG Tech equipped her with a special suit that allows her to jump at great heights and be virtually invisible – helping her to appear and disappear without notice. It is also revealed that Janet admits to have unrequited feelings for Gino, being best friends and it is still unknown if she really harbors contempt towards Alyssa, despite being a good friend to her and Irene.
Katherine Bernardo a.k.a. Party Kat – an 18 year old orphan adopted by her grand-aunt. She works as a member of a female dance group that performs mostly at night clubs and is the youngest among her group, however she would be kidnapped and will be transformed with cat-like features and abilities.
What is a “Homo Lazarus” and why is it a focal point in the story?
Well RaveForce tackles the subject of transhumanism – which is the belief or theory that the human race can evolve beyond its current physical and mental limitations, especially by means of science and technology. Basically Boss Vic was able to create a technology that allows a human to be cloned and have that person’s memories, consciousness and personality – collectively known as the “soul” to be restored.
It is also explained that a simple clone is just a physical copy but would not have the same personality as the original – similar to identical twins having different personalities despite looking the same. This is why two of the main characters are twin brothers.
The technology Boss Vic has created however isn’t safe when it falls to the wrong hands, this is why he limited to the use of the technology to his brother, Janet and Irene who got fatally ill, paralyzed and killed respectively. His intention for this is to protect and save lives like give the sick and dying as well as the disabled to get another chance to live life normally. Additionally, murder victims can be brought back from the dead and may help solve the crimes committed to them. He is aware that the public is not ready for this and will be met with protest especially the Church – and being set in the Philippines which is a predominantly Catholic country, there’s an uphill battle already.
How are the cloned bodies made?
The cloned bodies are made from a sophisticated process of DNA extraction and this is aided with the help of femtotechnology, which allows a complete reproduction of a person’s DNA down to a sub atomic level. Boss Vic has learned that a human’s “soul” gets stored deep within a person’s DNA much like data in a computer gets stored to its hard or solid-state drive. Simple cloning won’t be able to do this as it’s mostly carbon-copying on a physical level. Boss Vic’s process is similar to having a new computer and restoring a backup data from a previous installation.
The extracted DNA will be modified and and enhanced to remove any would-be cause of illnesses and disabilities. So a person who was born blind can finally see when he is resurrected as a Homo Lazarus. Gino was dying from cancer before he was transformed, and if he opted for conventional treatment, there is still a risk of relapse. The Homo Lazarus procedure eliminates the process.
From this extracted and enhanced DNA an embryo can finally be produced and is placed inside a womb like chamber where it grows at an enormously fast rate but will only reach a maximum growth equivalent to a 25-year old adult within two – three hours. This explains why Gino is re-born as a younger version of himself despite having all the memories of his older self. So if a person wishes to go back being a teenager, he or she can do so.
To help restore the memories and the “soul” entirely, a special, self-aware and self-learning A.I. program called MeReA (Memory Recovery Assistant) was designed to help the person remember everything about himself/herself. The acronym’s namesake also means “companion” in old Hebrew, where the program accompanies the person in restoring all of the memories while undergoing transformation.
When the technology was first developed, the whole transformation process took 10 years before the person was re-born. This is why Gino, being the first to undergo such, had to be “asleep” for 10 years. The process would be improved drastically over time until succeeding transformations took only 2 days. This is why Janet who was paralyzed from an accident during Gino’s 8th year of “sleep” got re-born first, so when it comes to re-birth it is actually Janet who is the first Homo Lazarus.
Who are the villains in RaveForce?
As of this writing, Chapter 1 has been finished so is the first episode of Chapter 2. The only villain that has been introduced so far is Kurt Flinthart – a notorious pedophile and leader of a child porn syndicate. His wife is a C.E.O. of Ascend Technologies (A-tech) – a multinational I.T. company that had business ties with Boss Vic’s CG Tech. This relationship with one of the world’s most wanted criminals has bothered Boss Vic a lot to a point that he needs to sever his business ties and distance himself from the said company. It has been revealed that Kurt Flinthart had the ability to turn to a monster-like creature when he discovered that he was being invaded. Unfortunately for him, his brains were blown out in an encounter with CIDG officials Gino and Limuel out on a mission to apprehend him. In the said encounter, he easily overwhelmed the two then-cops but a backup sent by Victor in the form of Fyra took care of business and neutralized Kurt.
How Kurt was able to turn into this creature is still a question waiting for an answer. I guess we will see more of the bad guys in the upcoming episodes of Chapter 2 including a badass femme-fatale “Diamonds”
That’s about it for now. As always the information I provided here will be updated in the future as soon as we get to know more about the story, premise and the characters of RaveForce.