The GeeksverseRevisioning Visionaries

Revisioning Visionaries
Published on Sunday, March 11, 2012 by

Transformers is hitting the big screen again and again, pushing new products, toys, and merchandise alike. G.I. Joe hits  theaters again this summer. Since the marketing powers that be seem to be mining the 80s for concepts, how about a revision of Visionaries?

Visionaires: Knights of the Magical Light is a property from Hasbro, an action figure line in 1987, an animated series from Sunbow Productions, and a comic property from  Star Comics/Marvel Comics. In short, this is the typical 80s property.  It had the trio-fecta of toys, comics, and cartoons.

The story is set on Prysmos, a world where science has ended and magic has returned. Two groups seek out the wizard Merklynn in order to gain the power to change the world.  One group, the Spectral Knights, want to save the world from ruin.  The second group, the Darkling Lords, want to rule the ruined planet.  Merklynn provides gifts but with the caution that great power brings responsibility and that they will either save or destroy the planet. Instead of working together, the two groups kindle a grudge.

Most of the groups are given staffs of power, but all of the people present are given a gift of some sort. It takes a  little time for the true nature of the gifts to manifest. Using the new magic of the age, the two sets of knights can call upon animal totems. The action figures, and the comic and show designs, place holograms on their chest and staffs.

The show never renewed for a second season. Toys were planned but not produced for a second year into 1988.

The short run might keep this property from returning to the toy aisles and air waves. The limited articulation, gimmick toys are remembered fondly by many, but not feverishly by anyone. Unfortunately, the short run and limited last production is the reason why this brand needs to be revived.  Revamped toys and stories have room for improvement but would still prove distinct on the shelves.

Visonaires brings together science and technology. This property leaned heavier on magic than mechanisms, but magic does allow the machinery to work selectively. Like He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, magic and machinery allows for worlds of possibility in the Prysmos Universe.

Recently, I re-read Visionaries #2-4. These comics came out from Star Comics and Marvel Comics respectively. The second issue is mostly a fight. It mentions the powers and shows off a few, but essentially, every character is involved in a mesh up that is hard to follow. The characters are indistinct and mash together. The third comic reveals that the characters without staffs have power over machinery. It is a straight forward toy sales pitch. The 4th issue is where the series started to become interesting.  The fourth issue pairs up unlikely allies, a Starknight and a Darklord, on the same quest gone wrong. That is the issue that shows what this property could become if it had time to grow.

Visionaries has a King Arthur vibe that needed to be capitalized on. Mort d’ Arthur meets toy aisles could make a great property.  As Transformers, Ghost Busters, G.I. Joe, and other brands of y childhood return, someone needs to revision Visionaries.

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