The following is about the Dozerfleet Comics hero / anti-villain in the Gerosha multiverse. For the Marvel Comics character Samuel Smithers, see Plantman. For the unrelated candy, see Botan Rice Candy. For the unrelated anime character, see here.
Jeral Benjamin Cormier / Botan the Plant-Man is an antihero in the multiple incarnations of The Gerosha Chronicles in Dozerfleet Comics. In spite the similarity of his name to Samuel "Plantman" Smithers in the Marvel universe, Botan was originally intended to be a parody of Sandman. He was portrayed as an anti-villain in Ciem, and more sympathetically the Comprehensive Gerosha universe of Ciem: Vigilante Centipede. He becomes more of a heroic figure in the Cataclysmic Gerosha series Sodality, but his ill temper remains intact. He and his wife Emily are also in the video game pitch Sodality: Battle for Metheel, where he and Extirpon are some of the last members of the Sodality of Gerosha to actually travel to Metheel with help from Desulon. Before that, he plays a small role in defending Sodality HQ after it has been compromised by King Morzhuk's forces.
Powers and weaknesses
Jeral has the ability to generate plant matter of almost any type almost instantly from the ground, and wield what it can do. He has been referred to by some as a plant "demigod" for how effective he is at it. He is also able to use this ability to rapidly regenerate parts of his own body, making him very difficult to kill. He has some shapeshifting ability also, and can disguise himself as a variety of different plants. However, he needs water and sunlight to recharge his ability. He can be trapped in a Marlquaanite prison if isolated from soil and given no real escape, due to how his powers work. A solution of Milthuen Prototype blood and other elements of an antidote will bring him down to normal. While the cure is sought for him in Ciem 3 and Ciem: Condemnation, he never receives it in Sodality.
Jeral is portrayed to be very mistrusting of others, and have a chip on his shoulder. His insecurity derives from the fact that his own parents tried to kill him after his plant powers manifested. Being disowned by them and divorced by his first wife left him extremely bitter. His loneliness seems only abated by Emily arriving in his life. Her gentle demeanor with him and eventual marriage to him seem to provide him an escape.
He is eventually located by Wilbur Brocklyn and encouraged to join Wilbur's "sodality," a precursor to the Sodality of Gerosha. However, Jeral shows reluctance and mistrust at first. He tries for a time to hide himself in Florida as "Derrick of the Dandelions," but this backfires when a woman named Sheryl Stibbs discovers who he really is. The Phaletori's capture of Emily also sets him off, causing him to be ill-tempered. His desire for revenge against them and his yearning to save Emily become driving forces in his life. Even after her rescue, his primary focus becomes revenge on them for ruining his life by turning him into Botan. He also wants to stop them from nurturing True Centhuens and creating an army of them to attack Toklisana with.
Due to his focus being so specific, Jeral rarely works well with anyone but Emily. He is rude and often dismissive of input from other Sodality members, preferring to do things his way. However, he acknowledges that their struggles are as valid as his own. Therefore, he will occasionally pitch in to help them out. He particularly takes interest in Candi and Dolly's quests, as he can relate to their desires for revenge.
Jeral grew up with his parents never thinking too highly of him. Desperate to win their approval, he marries the woman they wanted him to, Gina Treval, and settles down in Viron. However, his parents still end up looking down on him. He decides to try to make the best of his new life, but is then kidnapped by a rogue faction of Phaelites who later call themselves the Phaletori. It is revealed that the Phaletori don't simply want to destroy the Hebbleskin Gang, as do the main faction of Phaelites. Rather, they want to become the new threat that replaces Duke Arfaas and his Meethlite gangsters. They manage to successfully turn him into what other victims of their didn't become successfully: an extremely powerful being capable of manipulating plant life. He became part-plant himself also.
Rejected by family
However, their efforts to restrain him and win him over to their side ultimately failed. He escapes from their facility and heads back home. Gina is appalled by the sight of him, and immediately flees to file for divorce. His own parents try to kill him, forcing him to make a tree pop out of the ground and devour them. The guilt he feels over this drives him into fleeing the Evansville area and seek a place to hide in Florida.
Life in Florida
He tried to hide for a while as a sunflower in the backyard of Sheryl and Tabitha Stibbs, where he befriended young Tabitha under the guise of being "Derrick of the Dandelions." He also tries to get a TV show on a local public access channel. However, Sheryl discovers that the sunflower in her yard is really the mysterious "Botan the Plant-Man" that the papers in Indiana say is to blame for a slew of strange plant life appearing around town. She buys a shotgun and attempts to assassinate Jeral, forcing him to flee to Tampa and leave New Port Richey. However, Sheryl follows him all the way to the TV studio, threatening him even there. He meets an aspiring young scientist named Emily Astair, who wants more than anything to help him defeat the Phaletori. As the Affadidah regime takes over Florida along with much of the rest of the United States, creating "Ameristan," Jeral flees to Toklisana with Emily. They end up married, but their time together is quickly interrupted by the Phaletori abducting Emily. They decide to force her to work for them in enhancing their stock of True Centhuen warriors, something she knows a bit about. They challenge Jeral to come rescue her, believing they can set a trap for him and underestimating how powerful he'd become.
Career in the Sodality
Jeral ends up chasing two different leads in his quest to figure out where Emily is being held, but one of those leads is killed by Musaran. An ambush by other Hebbleskin Gang forces leads to Jeral teaming up with Ciem, the Earwig, and Jackrabbit to escape. He eventually agrees to help out the Sodality, even though is is reluctant to be much of a joiner. He assists them in a few battles, but asks for help in dealing with the Phaletori. They agree to pitch in and deal with the Phaletori when the initial threat of the Hebbleskins is neutralized. Jeral sets off on his own without the Sodality, managing to find and save Emily. However, he returns to help them with defending Houston from Arfaas' raid. He later agrees to join the Sodality officially. The addition of him and Emeraldon to the team, with occasional assistance from the Sapphire King, more-than-ten-fold increases the team's overall power and influence. His intervention also makes it easier for Dolly to give Donte his powers back and for Candi to defeat Musaran, thereby giving Dolly her husband Jeraime back.
As Botan the Plant-Man, he proves essential to the Sodality defeating Captain Aardwulf and Judge Terry Beliah, as well as in the rescue of the Gerosha Legends and their allies. He eventually semi-retires from hero work, agreeing to keep in touch with other Sodality members in case they ever again have to join forces. He does, however, have to defend their HQ when the Sodality and SCALLOP are compromised by the forces of King Morzhuk in the game Sodality: Battle for Metheel.
Botan was originally going to be saved for Ciem 3, but wound up being used for the first webcomic. The Dozerfleet founder was highly inspired after watching Spider-Man 3 in early June of 2007 to create a character that would similarly be tough for the main protagonist to actually fight. Depictions of him ranged from outright villain to antihero at varying points throughout his development. His name, Jeral Cormier, was first determined after he was generated with the Tombstone of Life and Death cheat object in The Sims 2. "Cormier" was in a list of possible last names for Townie Sims, used most notably for the Pleasantview neighborhood Townie Sim Ricky Cormier.
In March of 2007, the Dozerfleet founder gained a copy of The Sims 2: Seasons. He wanted to test out various features in the expansion pack, to see how much it would enhance the world of Ciem beyond merely having up-to-Nightlife installed. The PlantSim feature in Seasons proved to be the most intriguing of all new content added, even though screenshot quality seemed to diminish with the extra burden that the expansion placed on both the laptop's processor and on the integrated video chipset. Botan was quickly worked into the story, as a way to have Candi battle a Plant-Man and test out what the mechanics of Centhuen Prototype vs. Plant-Man might look like. It was explained that both Candi and Jeral worked at the Hazy Eighties Bowling Alley, right up until Jeral loses control of his transformation and becomes Botan permanently. He tries to be a supervillain, but his heart isn't evil enough. Plans existed to have Ciem: Vigilante Centipede retcon the transformation sequence to one of Jeral becoming Botan in the hospital. He'd flee the scene, rather than attack Candi.
His origin story, both for reference purposes for the comic and for wiki coverage's sake, was test-run through inside the game. Memories of his were corrected with SimPE where necessary, to create a quasi-consistent account of his life prior to becoming Botan.
Ciem 3 was set to be partially about the return of Botan into Candi's life. And the setting for that was to use a custom content version of Jeral that did away with the need for Seasons to be installed. This was because the Dozerfleet founder wanted to ensure the best graphic renders possible on his laptop, even though the processor struggled with the game. Seasons was replaced with Open For Business, which added a lot of valuable features while also being less demanding on graphics. When Ciem 2 and Ciem 3 were both canceled in the fall of 2009, Botan's appearance was going to be decided in Wikipedia:The Sims 3 and MakeHuman 3D Alpha Build 6. The latter would be used for commercial purposes, and Botan was to appear on the front cover of Ciem: Condemnation.
For Sodality, Botan's appearance was changed slightly. His trademark outfit of blue jeans, blue shirt, and black leather jacket remained intact. His facial sculpt was altered a tiny bit, however. His hairstyle was also changed, from wild leaves to wild grass, and later to "vine dreadlocks." This later feature changed his ethnic appearance, making him more black than Hispanic, as he'd been previously depicted. Overall, the character's evolution was about making him more sympathetic than his first appearance, and in giving him more depth than his generic first appearance would suggest.
- Jeral's SDCPM file
- The Earwig
- Emily Cormier
- Ciem (webcomic)
- Ciem: Vigilante Centipede
- Sodality of Gerosha
- Sodality (series)
- Sodality 2D concept art collection at DeviantArt
- Scrapped Gerosha ideas gallery at DeviantArt, including Comprehensive Gerosha-accurate depiction of Botan.
- Battle for Metheel art gallery at DeviantArt
Sodalities of Gerosha & Florence