Design Notes- SWAT-Spider (Steven Kessler)

Overview

Steven Kessler was born in Belfast, Ireland into a family of law enforcement. Destined to follow the family tradition and become another Kessler in law enforcement. But his plans began to change after the Fourth Singularity awakened his Inversion powers at the age of 15. With his new powers and new perspective on crime, Steven set out on a slightly different path. Leaving for America and joining SWAT there. Spreading his new brand of Kessler justice to anyone unfortunate enough to run into him. At 35, Steven has been an active vigilante for 20 years. Gaining a wealth of experience as both vigilante and a SWAT Officer. He stands at 5’9 and has a muscular frame. His eyes a deep green and his head covered in short and somewhat unkempt dark ginger hair. Facial stubbles covering his face and hiding several small scars from past battles. His chest and back similarly have visible scars just barely visible, having healed over the years. Having been born and raised in Ireland, he still maintains his accent though his voice is deep. Often being compared to that of a noir protagonist. Although he always appears serious and dour, he’s a surprisingly caring individual. Especially when it comes to his twin sons Gabriel & Michael.

Clothing

Due to the way Guardian Aranea, his Astral Manifestation works, his choice of wardrobe is very important. His powers alter the clothing he wears into his SWAT-Spider costume so wearing the right suit for the right job is a must. When he’s preparing for a serious confrontation, he’ll wear the SWAT Uniform that gave him his namesake. But his most common choice out outfit is nothing at all. Choosing to let Guardian Aranea becoming a skintight costume for maximum mobility and the ability to cling to virtually any surface instead. The suit itself was brown colored with a massive gray “V” shape extending from the forehead, down over the eyes, and to his feet. The eyes being black sphere shapes with two smaller eyes over each, totaling at 6. Indentation on the side of the mouth meant to emulate a spider’s fangs. The dark colors aiding in his stealth advantage while the helmet distorts his voice ever so slightly.

As the Head of Security for RajTEK, Steven commonly wears their uniform. Specifically, a short-sleeved navy blue Suit Top with matching pants, black belt, and black shoes. Under normal circumstances, Steven wears only as much as he needs in the event he needs to quickly get out of his clothes and get into battle. This most often leaves him wearing only a simple sleeveless shirt, grey sweatpants, and either shoes or sandals. Things that will allow him his normal mobility and not alter his SWAT-Spider costume in a hugely noticeable way.

Miscellaneous Notes

SWAT-Spider is actually the first character in Blessed Inversion to not originate from the original plans. In fact, he was referenced in Geist Wars first and was going to have an appearance in the sequel. But with that not getting a sequel anytime in the future, I altered his background and put him into this. Being remade into Gabriel & Michaels father when both were originally set to be orphans. A change that I feel works immensely better. Compared to the other characters, I wanted him to be the veteran. The hero who acted for years in the shadow keeping the streets of Silver Plains safe. Like his Geist Wars concept, he was going to be heavily inspired by noir stories to the point I tried to emulate how they were written. With the story being told almost entirely from his perspective. To offset his dark and dour tone, I also wanted to put a lot of emphasis on his family relationship. Something that drives a lot of his character.

His powers were also one I was excited to show off. Being this universes version of Geist which themselves are a reference to Stands from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, one of my favorite Mangas ever. Between his normal powers and his Astral Manifestation, he definitely has a unique way of performing the feats he does. Something that helps show how skilled he is in being active for 20 years without having a particularly powerful or flashy powerset. Making him a dangerous mix of fast, strong, skilled, and smart.

Final Comments

SWAT-Spider is definitely a treat to write both in and out of costume. It’s interesting getting to write for a more mature and skilled hero over the numerous new to still up-and-coming characters. Any scene I have with him & Gabriel is also one I really enjoy writing. I really wanted their relationship to come out authentically. The same goes for his relationship with Elle, which I really enjoy despite it being not the best relationship. I really wanted to show that while their marriage failed they do both care for each other and their kids and neither is really the bad parent. Which is usually what you see when you have divorced characters, one being super in the wrong. Admittedly, when I first created SWAT-Spider I was concerned about comparisons to Spider-Man to the point of almost never using him. Making his power to an Astral Manifestation and his use of guns and tech being another step to further differentiate the two. I’m glad that I’m using him and that he’s become one of the biggest pillars of the Cursed World.

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