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Boreal Force by Femmes-Fatales Boreal Force by Femmes-Fatales
Back in October of 2016, I started posting a series of profiles for characters that were part of a superhero project I called Boreal Force. It took me a very long time to actually complete this piece as I put off drawing the supporting characters and villains due to a lack of enthusiasm for the heroes.

Premise

Boreal Force is a paramilitary strike team created as a joint operation between all of Canada's branches of military and intelligence. Each member is enhanced through a combination of science and magic, then given their own unique vehicle. Think: Beast King GoLion, Gundam or Super Sentai. 

A lot of inspiration for the mythological elements come from First Nations folklore, especially Ojibwe stories. For instance, a couple of the villains are creatures from Ojibwe folklore and each of the heroes carries a magical totem with them that helps them channel their animal abilities. It's also worth noting that two of the characters (Canis and Ursus) are First Nations.

Characters

There are five members of Boreal Force, each one coming from a different part of military/intelligence. Canis (in red) is the leader and the others on the team consist of Ursus (second-in-command), Gavia (the scout, brains), Rangifer (the heart of the group), and Castor (the newbie). They are overseen by Director Rani Singh, with additional assistance by team psychiatrist Doctor Satomi Nakamura.

The primary villains I created for the onset are Alvar Krol (the Big Bad), Eira (a witiko), and Ciar (an underwater panther).

For more information about the primary characters, you can view their profiles below.

Canis: fav.me/damqzop
Ursus: fav.me/danikdy
Rangifer: fav.me/daoe2po
Castor: fav.me/dap270r
Gavia: fav.me/daqjuwo

Shout Outs

I do want to take this time to say that this team was influenced by my watchers as a result of a poll I hosted a while back. I'd asked them to rank iconic Canadian animals and Boreal Force was thus inspired by the results. I want to give a shout out to those of you that had voted on the poll. Specifically, I'd like to thank GDupons, Godzilla713, bjv016, Jose-Ramiro, kingziggy, Steelpoodle, Gold-Reaper, m4gichat, SargimusPrime, Jovan2013, DanFalcon, K-Jounin, Biruka, Thoth23 and ParisNJones.

As always, I love hearing from you all so please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section. If you all would like to see more of my original characters, please let me know.

Enjoy! :)
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:iconjose-ramiro:
Jose-Ramiro Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Again, they look wonderful.
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:iconfemmes-fatales:
Femmes-Fatales Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks!
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:iconjose-ramiro:
Jose-Ramiro Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
YW
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:iconfemmes-fatales:
Femmes-Fatales Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Out of curiosity (and fairness since I bug everyone with these questions about my original works), which characters here are you favourites? And which one(s) do you relate the most to? (Latter may be harder to answer if you haven't read the profiles)
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:iconjose-ramiro:
Jose-Ramiro Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Probably Rangifer and Gavia, but all the characters are very good.

I don't think I really relate to any of them on a personal level, actually.
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:iconfemmes-fatales:
Femmes-Fatales Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
What is it about those characters that you like best?

Oh no! Well, that's certainly not good. If you can't relate to any of them, odds are others don't as well. That could account for why the Boreal Force characters performed more poorly than my other two original character groups. It's always my goal when creating characters to make them relatable, which is why I ask people who they relate to, so it's a creative failure on my part if you and others can't relate to any of these characters.
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:iconjose-ramiro:
Jose-Ramiro Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I like their background info and character designs.

I still like them. I mean, I like Batman, and I definitely don't relate to Bruce Wayne on a personal level.
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:iconfemmes-fatales:
Femmes-Fatales Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
As I said, my goal is always to try and make relatable characters. So, if I wasn't able to do that here then I didn't accomplish my goal.
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(1 Reply)
:icondanfalcon:
DanFalcon Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
It's great to see Boreal Force again. The shot with the whole team is pretty damn fantastic I must say. I also absolutely adore the design of the Director. I wouldn't want to get on her bad side ever.

But the villains... Oh my dear those villains are fantastic. Especially Eira. Just such a phenomenally threatening and creepy design, while at the same time all kinds of kick ass!
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:iconfemmes-fatales:
Femmes-Fatales Featured By Owner Edited Apr 18, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! I really appreciate the kind words regarding my original characters here! It's great that Director Singh left such an impression on you. Honestly, I really should have written more about them but my general feeling is people aren't checking for my original work so it's probably a waste of my time to invest into writing profiles for the supporting characters (after all, my Nightcrawler profile redesign nearly nabbed just over 40 favourites over the course of three days and this one hasn't even hit 20). But I digress.

Villains are definitely not my strong suit and drawing creepy ones is similarly not something I'm good at. I guess my style just isn't good for that. However, I'm still flattered by your assessment of them here. 

My questions, as always, come back to the all-important who are your favourite characters here? And which ones would you relate to the most?
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:icondanfalcon:
DanFalcon Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Favourite characters? Easily Ursus and Eira. Ursus mostly for how much I love his backstory, as well as my own personal love for Polar Bears. Eira because I love Supernatural creatures and characters. Wendigos (or in this case, Witikos) are just so delightfully creepy and interesting to me, so I instantly love her (I also used to live near Kenora, which has the distinction of being the "Wendigo Capital of the World!").

As for who I relate with most, that would be Gavia. I mean, aside from also being bisexual, I can entirely empathize and relate to having issues regarding body image and appearance. That dominated a lot of my adolescence and it is pretty much still around, so I can really relate to her in that regard.
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:iconfemmes-fatales:
Femmes-Fatales Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Wendigo Capital? Wow! I didn't know such a thing existed! Any particular reason why Kenora holds that distinction?

I haven't explored body image issues before with my characters (at least insofar as how I've presented them to others), so I hope that I'm able to tackle the subject in an organic, relatable way. Admittedly, I probably should have designed her to be a little heavier. I'm not yet practiced and skilled enough in the way of drawing different body types, so it's really something I have to work on.
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:icondanfalcon:
DanFalcon Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
They hold that distinction for the history of local tribes that speak of the Wendigo, as well as the fact that wendigo encounters and sightings are said to take place around Kenora still to this day.

They are tackled in a relatable and tasteful way from what you've done. I've seen other people try and do this type of thing and it ends up coming off as a little distasteful and insulting, but the way you handled it here was well done. I will admit that it probably would have been better if she was a little heavier but otherwise she still works well.
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:iconfemmes-fatales:
Femmes-Fatales Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
That's really cool! You know, it's surprising that the wendigo hasn't been more of a fixture in supernatural fiction. It's certainly more terrifying than vampires, werewolves, and zombies. At least in my opinion.

If I draw Gavia again, I'll likely reflect that in the art. I think I didn't go as far as I could have due to the fact that she's a superhero who has gone through rigorous training.
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:icondanfalcon:
DanFalcon Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
There are honestly so many international monsters that would make for such great supernatural fiction. Like, can we get a novel about the Wendigo already? Or the Yuki-Ona? Or literally anything other than our favourite beaten undead horses?

Well if you do draw her her again, I'll certainly be interested to see the updates. 
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:iconfemmes-fatales:
Femmes-Fatales Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
In a way, I think it's partly a good thing that they haven't been exploited yet in that it could be seen as cultural appropriation if done incorrectly. I'd love for a First Nations filmmaker be given the chance to make a wendigo horror film (with Cree, Ojibwe, and Algonquin actors). Japanese filmmakers have made films featuring the various supernatural baddies in their folklore, but were Americans to do it I'd prefer for them to be set in Japan with Japanese actors (preferably).

Like, why do white actors always have to be featured in American-produced Japan-set films? Look at all the movies made about Aokigahara. Forest of the Living Dead, Grave Halloween, The Sea of Trees, and The Forest basically excluded Japanese people from the lead roles (The Sea of Trees could be an exception since Ken Watanabe was in it, but Matthew McConaughey was the star).
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(1 Reply)
:iconbjv016:
bjv016 Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2017  Student Digital Artist
It is so awesome to see you finally bring back Boreal Force! I like you're original characters, so I'll gladly respond to them all. They look great together and getting to see their support characters (two women of color, just what I expected/hoped for) and villains. I like the villains, such interesting looks, even with the less vibrant colors. 🙂
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:iconfemmes-fatales:
Femmes-Fatales Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! I really appreciate the continued support of my original creations. It means a lot.

As I like to do with people who comment on my original works, I've got to ask which members of Boreal Force are your favourites? Which ones do you relate most to? And why?
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:iconbjv016:
bjv016 Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2017  Student Digital Artist
I'm hard pressed to decide who I like best. It's easy to empathize with them thanks to their sympathetic backstories...but design wise I like Ursula, Gavia, and Rangifer a bit more than Canis and Castor. But I still like them too. As for the villains, I like them all. Alvar has a cool look, Ciar looks threatening but dignified, and Eira is suitably strange for a supernatural creature of her kind. Director Singh and Dr. Nakamura are also good in my eyes; they blend in well but are still their own thing.
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:iconfemmes-fatales:
Femmes-Fatales Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
The sympathetic backstories, as you call them, were birthed out of my insecurities regarding what I felt were vague backstories for my Olympian Squadron team. If anything, I wanted these characters to feel especially real and more relatable. Which is, of course, why I ask which you're able to relate to.

What is it about Ursus, Gavia, and Rangifer's designs that help them stand out from Canis and Castor's for you?
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:iconbjv016:
bjv016 Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2017  Student Digital Artist
And they do. They come across as deep to me. Canis' fight against his depression speaks to me. I have LGBT friends, so I like seeing Ursus find purpose after his family rejects him for something so natural for him. I empathize with Rangifer's knowledge about social issues and a desire to do something about it. I've struggled with low self-esteem for a significant part of my life, which makes me feel like I have something in common with Castor, who is making steps to appreciate himself more, which I've improved on myself and have benefited due to it. And that included feeling uncomfortable with my body, not to the extent of Gavia...but I did have a taste of what like when I was a kid. Plus, I also tended to be the smart one...I was at a higher reading level than most of my peers, which made me feel insecure. 
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:iconfemmes-fatales:
Femmes-Fatales Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow! Honestly, I really appreciate reading what you said here as I'd been feeling very insecure about these characters. Reading about the way in which you're able to relate to them and relate them to people you know is encouraging as my goal with my characters is for them to be relatable to others. On top of that, I doubly appreciate how specific you were as it helps orient me towards what aspects are worth focusing on.
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:iconsteelpoodle:
Steelpoodle Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
Very good, though I would like some profiles on the support characters and the villains please.
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:iconfemmes-fatales:
Femmes-Fatales Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks! What did you want to know about them?
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:iconsteelpoodle:
Steelpoodle Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
What are their motivations? Are they trying to conquer the world? Return the land to the days before Europeans came?
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:iconfemmes-fatales:
Femmes-Fatales Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Are you familiar with my Guardians of Borealis concept? And with the folkloric creatures included here?
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:iconsteelpoodle:
Steelpoodle Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
I'm not terribly familiar with your Guardians of Borealis concept. That said, I do have some idea about the myths behind some of the monsters.
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:iconfemmes-fatales:
Femmes-Fatales Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
With my Guardians of Borealis concept, it was a play on the Pandora's Box wherein imprisoned demons (from First Nations folklore) are released and the GoB must vanquish them. I decided to shift that over to Boreal Force and have that be the origin of the villains. Their goal, for the most part, is anarchy and survival. These spirits have been locked away for thousands of years, so there's plenty for them to do.

The motivations behind the villains also rests in the folklore behind them (for Eira it's the witiko myth and for Ciar it's the underwater panther myth). Alvar is more of a mystery. She's the one pulling the strings and who has released the demons, but she's fairly secretive about what she really wants from Eira and Ciar beyond the havoc they cause.

Anything else you're curious about?

Also, I also forgot to ask - which characters are you favourites? Which ones are the ones you relate to the most?
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:iconsteelpoodle:
Steelpoodle Featured By Owner Edited Apr 18, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
Nothing at the moment, you answered all my questions.

My favorites are Canis, who is a badass wolf, and Gavia, whose personality reminds me of one of my cousins.
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:iconfemmes-fatales:
Femmes-Fatales Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Excellent! Please feel free to let me know if you have any other questions or suggestions regarding any of my original characters. Feedback is always welcome.

Oh cool! I hope she reminds you of her (?) in a good way. :)
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