Friday, January 27, 2017

Flashback Friday - Muttants

Today we're looking at the villains of the Hurricanines cartoon - the Muttants.  Led by Max Malice, the Muttants all take their appearance from wild dogs, as opposed to the Hurricanines' more pet-friendly designs.  Why do they all look like different dog breeds even though they were mutated by the same dog mascot?  Who the hell knows.

I had a lot of fun creating the bad guys and building each of them to fit various villain clichés.  You've got the idiot (Gobber), the wild card (Howler), the loner (Fangrow), and the no nonsense leader (Sgt. Snarl). 

Image via
I really like how the logo turned out and I'm glad to say the colors are just the way I like them. It kinda reminds me of the Maximal logo from Beast Wars with the fangs, but I'm glad it has its own look.  I didn't even realize they had similar colors when I was creating the Muttant logo.  It only now dawns on me that while I based the Hurricanines name off the Thundercats, that both cartoons have almost the same villain group name. 

Without further ado, I give you the second half of the Hurricanines production bible, starting with the villains:
The Muttants
                The portion of the Hurricanines that split with Major Malice during the botched theft of the formula took the name of the Muttants.  These characters all have problems – they do not work as a team, they are too eager to fight, and they despise what has happened to them.  Malice is only able to keep them in check he is unable to make them act like the team he once led.  Though they are not happy with what they’ve become, they have no problem operating within view of the general public, and have no qualms harming them either.
Major Max Malice
Dog – None in human form, but as silver wolf in his werewolf form.
Role/Specialty – Commander
Personality – The original leader of the Hurricanines and mentor to Lt Barksmore.  He’s a tactical genius, cold and calculating.  He’s calm with his troops, even in the face of incompetence. He doesn’t lose his anger often because when he does, he becomes a werewolf that he has trouble keeping in control.  Does not routinely fight directly with the Hurricanines, but is brought in as back-up to fight and allow for the Muttants to escape.  When he’s in werewolf form, he goes by Max Malice the Menacing.
Uniform/Weapon – Wears a formal uniform, blue with red trim and a service cap.  When he’s a werewolf, he rips out of his uniform and wears a black leotard but the hat stays on. When he shifts back, he always has the uniform on afterward, never show him wearing shredded clothes.  Carries a pistol in human form, like an old german pistol.
Sgt Snarl
Dog – Wolf, primarily gray and black
Role/Specialty – Informal leader of Malice’s troops.
Personality – He’s all about fighting and wants nothing more to beat up the Hurricanines, especially his rival, Barksmore.  He’s very aggressive to his troops, always pushing them to fight harder, and calls them out on their stupidity or cowardice.
Uniform/Weapon – Wears a helmet (with holes for his ears), a black tanktop, and cargo pants tucked into his boots.  He carried a large pistol.  His camo is urban colored.
Corporal Fangrow
Dog – Dingo, light brown
Role/Specialty – Scout
Personality – The loner, doesn’t get along with the rest of the Muttants.  He always wants to work on his own.  Not the most convinced of the cause, but doesn’t want to get on Malice’s bad side.  He’s the most relaxed of the group, but also the best at his job.
Uniform/Weapon – Desert camo shirt open with sleeves rolled up and no undershirt.  Carries a sniper rifle (often uses binoculars instead though).
Dog – Jackal, brown and black
Role/Specialty – Muscle
He’s the jerk.  He starts fights with everyone and is the only one to openly question Malice.  He only sticks around because he’s been promised to return to normal.  Likes to pick on Howler and Gobber.
Uniform/Weapon – Wears a leather jacket and jeans.  Carries a shotgun.
Dog – Hyena
Role/Specialty – None
Personality – Gobber is extremely stupid.  He doesn’t know what’s going on all the time and is constantly messing up everything.  Everyone wonders what he’s doing there.  He’s the only one that usually can get Malice mad enough to change besides the Hurricanines.
Uniform/Weapon - Wears a white t-shirt with a Hawaiian shirt over it, blue and black cargo shorts and boots.  Carries a machine gun.
Private Howler
Dog – Coyote
Role/Specialty – Heavy Weapons
Personality – The jokester of the group, always playing pranks on her fellow Muttants, ones that are potentially dangerous.  She’s always flirting with Fangrow and getting angry that he does not reciprocate.  She gets along best with Gobber, who is completely afraid of her.
Uniform/Weapon – Wears a red tank top and red/black camo pants.  Carries a bazooka, but is more likely to hit someone with it than to shoot it.
                The Hurricanines base is the mobile laboratory called the Dog House.  Though the primary focus of the base is the scientific work going on inside, make no mistake that the base is a formidable facility.  The base is mobile by ways of four large treads, much like the platform for the space shuttle.  On top of the main platform are one large silo (which stores a launching missile) and two mounted tank turrets, one on the front and one on the back.  There is a cockpit on the front under the turret for the driver.  The cockpit can be removed from the playset, taking the front turret with it.  Though the playset can fold open in the center, the cartoon will not show that feature.  The scale of the base in the show does not need to match the playset, and other rooms in the headquarters can be made up without having a match on the playset.
                Though the Muttant operations are held at varied locations, the Muttants do have a primary headquarters, called the Pound.  It’s much smaller than the Dog House and looks closer to a troop transport.  There is the main room of the vehicle which opens at the top to brandish two missile launchers (with spring-loaded missiles), a cockpit for a driver (does not separate), and a launching ATV from the back.  The Pound is usually reserved for a quick escape at the end of the episode.
Episode Premises
  1. Malice has Corporal Long’s sister kidnapped in an abandoned hospital, but she turns out to be very manipulative and is able to turn Fangrow to her side.  As the Hurricanines race to find her, making their way through baby-traps the whole way, Fangrow is secretly helping her escape.
  2. As the Hurricanines enjoy swimming on a summer day without any attacks, Malice uses an Ice Ray to freeze them all except Punchet, who doesn’t know how to swim.  He needs to use his wits to help free his teammates and stop the Muttants from getting inside, all while facing his fear of swimming.
  3. The Muttants rob a museum, and though he’s reluctant, Barksmore sends Punchet and the Bulge to investigate.  Turns out the robbery was a fake and both of them are captured.  As the Muttants all attack the Dog House, Punchet and the Bulge need to get over their differences to escape.
  4. After a fight with Malice about a failed attack, Sgt Snarl decides to leave the Muttants.  He goes to the Hurricanines with plans for an attack Malice will pull and they beat him back with his help.  Germina’s glad to have them since they were friends, but Long isn’t so trusting.  When he reveals he’s still working for Malice and traps them all, it’s up to Long to free them.
  5. Using a mind-control device, Malice takes command of an entire city and sends them after the Dog House.  Germina and Barksmore split the team to hold off the hypnotized civilians while trying to find the device to destroy it.
  6. Gobber and Howler, tired of getting yelled at by Malice and Snarl, join forces with another group of mercenaries that want the Dog House.  They stole a Tornado Machine before they left and the new enemies have overloaded it, threatening the whole Earth.  The rest of the Muttants need to join forces with the Hurricanines to save the world.
  7. It’s Christmas time!  Punchett’s having trouble figuring out if he should give the necklace he found to Long of Fluffy. Unbeknownst to him, the necklace has an explosive compound that Malice hid inside it.  When it takes out security and hurts all the Hurricanines, Malice’s goodwill is tested by the Ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future, as he must decide wither to help the Hurricanines or not.
  8. Malice contracts a cold that makes his werewolf form uncontrollable.  The Muttants go to the Dog House and surrender, as long as they help cure his changes.  The scientists are able to create a cure for them, but when Malice attacks, he bites Barksmore, who turns into a werewolf himself.  The cure is almost lost, but Barksmore is able to control his new form enough to use it himself and Malice.
  9. After a fight with Punchet about how old he is, the Bulge decides to retire.  The Hurricanines try to convince him to stick around, but he heads home.  The Muttants summon the spirit of the sphinx that locks down the Dog House.  Only the Bulge’s wisdom is able to solve the riddle and free his friends.
  10. Sgt Snarl challenges Barksmore to a fight – if Snarl wins, the Dog House is theirs, if Barksmore wins, the Muttants will all give themselves up to their custody.  Germina, torn between her friendships with both of them, doesn’t know who to root for.  Long doesn’t trust them and finds out the Snarl getting ready to wrestle with Barksmore is a robot.
  11. The Hurricanines capture Fangrow while he’s spy on them and decides to return the trick by disguising Barksmore as Fangrow and going back to Malice.  Only Howler can tell there’s something wrong with Fangrow, but instead of turning Barksmore in, she releases him if he can promise Fangrow will go on a date with her.
  12. The Muttants find a cure for the formula that changed them into dogmen and use it to return to a normal life.  When Punchet leaves the Hurricanines to get the cure, he’s captured and finds out it was mirage.  With Punchet held hostage, the rest of the Hurricanines must get him back.

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