In much of my RGS work, you may notice a recurring theme: X-Men as Star Wars characters; X-Men as horror movie villains; X-Men as Science Ninja Team Gatchaman of Battle of the Planets; X-Men as the Sailor Scouts from Sailor Moon -- I fucking love the X-Men. And I especially love mashing them up with other iconic pop-cultural phenomena.
This project was partially influenced by my fondness of the X-Men's Australian Outback era. During a time and in an industry where female characters were often simply props for male protagonists, writer Chris Claremont was a pioneer who understood that each of his characters needed to have agency and a raison d'être. While the team also consisted of Wolverine, Havok, Colossus and Longshot, the breakout stars for me were Storm, Dazzler, Psylocke and my personal favorite, Rogue. This was the first time the women (with the eventual introduction of Jubilee) outnumbered the men.
Three years earlier, Hasbro Inc., Marvel Productions and Sunbow Productions had introduced me to another female quartet in the form of Jem and the Holograms. What struck me about this group of young women was their sense of empowerment. Jem/Jerrica, Kimber, Aja, Shana and later member Raya solved crimes, thwarted their enemies and saved the day -- all without the aid of men -- and for a truly noble goal: to maintain Starlight House, the foster home they ran. They were early prototypes of the still-nascent girl power movement.
So without further ado: JAZ & THE HARDLIGHT PROJECTIONS!
Jaz (Jem + Dazzler) - Combining the singers of both groups, she practically drew herself.
Beja (Betsy + Aja) - Tomboy, daredevil, action junkie -- a fit for either character.
Orana (Ororo + Shana) - The level-headed voice of wisdom. The diplomat. The one least afraid to forge her own path.
Kimarie (Kimber + Anna Marie) - Red-headed, impulsive, and the youngest member ...
... until Raylee (Raya + Jubilee) joins the band!