From the moment young Elvis Eleon was first sat down in front of a television set showing a Godzilla movie and told by his parents to be quiet ("Shaddap!") and watch ("Stay there!"), he knew that Kaiju and entertainment would both play a major role in his life.
Finishing high school, E. set out on his own to look for a place to hang his hat and maybe - just maybe - find his place in the world. He found what he was seeking in Monsterzeroville. It was a haven of like-minded goofs and pop culturephiles. In time, he joined the Monsterzeroville Amateur Dramatic Society (aka MADS) and appeared in over 50 productions. He proved himself to be one of the craziest members by taking parts on countless occasions that had been vacated at the last minute. Thanks to his "saving" so many shows, Elvis quickly gained the nickname "Dramaranger".
After a while, he began to feel he was in a bit of a rut. Sure, he felt like a big Kaiju on a small island but he wondered if there might be something more to life out there. His musings were answered when audition notices went out for a brand new big budget TV show - ROOSTVILLE: THE SOAP OPERA. That decided it for Elvis so he pulled up stakes and moved to Roostville for a shot at the big time.
Unfortunately, he hadn't counted on the massive swarms of other actors who had come from all over the Kaiju Nations, looking for their shot at fame and fortune as well. He was clearly outnumbered and out gunned by the competition. Still, he wasn't giving up that easily.
E. managed to corner the General Manager of the Roostville Cable & Telephone company by posing as a stapler repairman and begged for a job on the show. The GM, feeling in a particularly vindictive mood that day (as this was the ninth stupid actor to pull this very same stunt), he decided to put him to work.
"Fine. Our head camera operator had to go home sick and we're broadcasting live today since someone spilled Jolt Cola on the videotape. You go take his place."
Before E. could finish explaining, "But, that isn't whaaaaaa...", he was whisked off to the studio and plunked down behind one of the cameras and a headset thrust in his hands.
Having precious little time to get used to the controls, the show went live and E. used every trick in the book from every movie and TV show he remembered seeing (and then some) to survive this "baptism by fire". Whatever he did had worked - all too well. E.'s natural talent with the camera had shone through and he was asked to stay on as a cameraman. Having no other real prospects at the time, he reluctantly accepted the job.
Although E. wasn't crazy about it, he worked as hard as he could at it and quickly rose up the ranks, actually becoming Chief Camera Operator in a very short time. His natural instincts combined with his job title conferred a new nickname on him - "Cam", short for "Cameraman", a name that has stuck with him ever since. This was a double irony as his name now sounded like "Chameleon", something all good actors wish to prove themselves to be. His position had him frantically working for shows all over the network's schedule, including the news broadcasts.
During one regularly scheduled newscast, Roostville was rocked by yet another of its many Kaiju attacks but this one was slightly different from the usual. The lesser known robotic creation, Yak Wat Chaeng from Thailand was duking it out with Dr. Who's prototype version of Mechnikong (with the "good" Doctor driving it from inside the robot ape's head with a steering wheel!). Both were causing huge collateral damage to anything and everything in their immediate area.
The TV station itself was rocked by the great battle, panicking everyone, including the staff reporters. Cam saw this as an opportunity and grabbed a mini-cam to take some footage of the fight. His reasoning was simple: "If I get stomped and survive, I can get workman's comp out of this deal and if I don't survive, at least I don't have to come in to work again!"
Cam stupidl..., er, bravely got as close as he could to the chaos and shot some first class footage, escaping not only unscathed but with a prime time news story (once the deactivated robots and similarly deactivated Dr. Who were hauled away). He was the talk of the station for getting footage of these heretofore unknown giant monsters. This notoriety gave Cam an unusual idea and he went to talk to the station manager about it, outlining a plan for a television show based on tracking obscure giant monsters. His experience and reports coming into the news room indicated there were many such unknown creatures all over the world. Of course, Cam would be in front of the cameras, as the star of the show, capitalizing on his recent popular report. The show had RATINGS written all over it!
Unfortunately, the GM didn't see it that way and responded with gales of laughter. Not only didn't they have the resources to send him on these adventures, but with ROOSTVILLE: THE SOAP OPERA being the number one show in this particular part of the world, they didn't have to rely on an unknown commodity (namely, Cam) to get ratings. He was told to "leave the Kaiju zoology to the experts and stick to camera work." That was the last straw for Cam. He was tired of getting lemons and being told to make lemonade. If no one here would listen to his ideas, he'd go where someone would.
Later that day, he decided to stop by the Museum of Monsters where his luck was about to change, thanks to a chance meeting with Enshohma, already famous for his detailed reports on the world of giant monsters. Enshohma had seen Cam's report on the massive robots' brawl and was summarily impressed. They got to talking and eventually, the subject of Cam's TV show idea came up. As fate would have it, Enshohma was at the Museum to talk about some extra funding for his fledgling Institute of Obscure Kaiju whose purpose would be to catalogue and research many of the more unknown creatures in Kaijudom. Unlike the GM at the station, Ensh was sure that someone with Cam's skills (and slight insanity) would be perfect to go on Kaiju 'safaris' after these obscure monsters, especially given his interest in the subject. He asked him to take a position at the Institute and Cam gladly jumped on board.
The two became fast friends and ably assisted by a third team member, obscure Kaijuologist Yongary, they soon became the backbone of the Institute. Their many travels to find unknown Kaiju and their subsequent reports became one of the most talked about things in Roostville. Enshohma's Kaiju connections, Cam's ability to scour through the most boring research materials without falling asleep (a skill honed through working on the Roostville news programs) and Yongary's organizational skills made them an unbeatable combination.
People in high places were beginning to take notice of them and when Sheriff Varan was forming the League of Un-Ordinary Gentlethings in April 2014, the trio of adventurers were immediately asked to join. They accepted and were part of several famous 'missions', including one involving the Kaiju Irys and some cultists getting hold of Necromancer: The Book of the Damned Dead. It may have been JUST ANOTHER DAY IN THE ROOST! but the Sheriff realized their skills could be extremely useful on the woefully understaffed Mod Squad. Enshohma and Cam happily signed on (actually, Cam's reaction was said to be, "A second income? Woo-hoo! That DVD boxed set of BLACK SCORPION episodes at Best Buy is mine! All mine!"). Unfortunately, Yongary declined, preferring to head up the day-to-day operations at the Institute and be available if a new obscure Kaiju mission came up suddenly. Cam's joy, however, proved to be short lived.
On one of his first dispatches as a Mod, Cam ran afoul of Sheriff Varan who was seriously depressed at the time. The rookie was shot in the throat for his efforts. As most everyone else was out investigating the demonic menace that was influencing the town and Enshohma and Yongary were away on a Kaiju search in China, Cam recovered from his wounds in the hospital alone. As he lay there watching his prized BLACK SCORPION and some old KNIGHT RIDER episodes (along with several Sentai films Ensh and Yongary had sent from China), Cam pondered his fate. He felt somewhat powerless, especially since he was one of the few beings in Roostville without a 'power up' form or extra powers of any kind; truly ironic for a 'Chameleon'.
As he rewatched the KNIGHT RIDER pilot and saw David Hasselhoff's Michael Knight character get himself shot and come back as a hero, a life-changing thought came to Cam. When he heard the series' famous tagline, "One man can make a difference," his epiphany was complete. Cam faced the world with new determination, spurred on by the shining example of The 'Hoff.
Upon healing, Cam took the first obscure Kaiju search he could find to make sure he was 100% and to give him some rest and relaxation at the same time. A report had come in about the reappearance of the Kypgyu Kidoumaru, a.k.a. The Ogre of Mount Oe, so Cam took off for Japan by himself. At Mount Oe, he found a cave in the mountain that he thought might be the beast's lair and went inside. Unfortunately, he hadn't counted on two things:
- The 'Ogre' wasn't in the cave but outside it.
- The cave itself wasn't very sturdy as the beast's arrival had caused massive tremors with the stomping of its hooves.
Cam was bounced around inside like a pinball while the entrance collapsed. As he frantically reached for a side wall to support himself, he fell through the collapsing rock and into an ancient secret chamber. Shaken, but not stirred, Cam saw torches burning on the walls so he knew there was air here and more than likely, a way out. In front of him on an altar were five small metal 'boxes', each holding a gem. They had ancient symbols scrolled on them and looked both old and futuristic at the same time. Cam went to investigate further but was cut off by a residual shock wave which brought the chamber's roof down. Fortunately, none of the rocks squashed Cam but they did obliterate the altar, burying the 'ancient boxes'. A dusty Cam crawled forward toward a small hint of something metallic shining through the rubble. One of the 'boxes' had escaped the cave-in. He picked it from the debris and brushed it off. Suddenly, a light filled the chamber and a bald looking alien being appeared in a stream of blue energy.
"Greetings, traveler," the strange being said. "I am Zoltar and you have obviously faced great peril to get here." Cam stood there stunned as Zoltar explained the 'box' he was holding was a magic talisman, one that would give the person holding it one wish. They had been placed in the cave eons ago, waiting for the proper time and place to be activated. Zoltar was their 'keeper'.
"I can sense by your spirit that you are good. Indeed, you work to protect others," Zoltar said. "You would be a wise steward for the power of this remaining talisman." He paused and looked Cam in the eyes. "What is it that you would wish for?" Cam finally shook himself out of his 'you've got to be kidding me' mode and held up the talisman. Ever since that day in the hospital, Cam had had only one driving thought. He now put it into words.
"To make a difference."
Light and power shot from the talisman and reached deep inside Cam's mind and soul. He felt the energy surge inside him as if a switch had been turned on and a door unlocked. The power was bonding to him. When the energy surge subsided, Cam stood there, clad in a gold and black Sentai style armor with a helmet and chest shield. There was a mask of Comedy over his right shoulder and a mask of Tragedy on his left. A symbol that was one half of each was on his chest plate. A blaster gun and an energy sword were holstered on his belt and he held a long staff with a mask on either end. It seemed the talisman had delved not only into Cam's recent memories of all the Sentai films Enshohma and Yongary had sent him but also back to his older memories of Monsterzeroville, as well as granting his great desire.
"I guess I really earned the name of Dramaranger after all," Cam said with a mixture of shock and delight. Zoltar told him he could call on the talisman's power to 'morph' into Dramaranger (and call on Zoltar himself for guidance as well) at any time. He then showed him the way out of the chamber and back to the outside world. Zoltar disappeared with these parting words:
"You and the power are one. The heart of darkness will never be able to shut out the star of light. Remember that."
Cam decided not to tell anyone just yet about his newfound powers, at least until he had the chance to test out his limits. It would also make it easier for him to operate with these new resources and use them for good.
He would soon get the chance to test his mettle after surviving the disappearance and subsequent reappearance of Roostville itself as his Dramaranger abilities would come in handy to help the Mods catch an evil serial killer, one with an M.O. eerily similar to Cam's new secret identity. One thing was certain: It was a brand new role for Cam and it was show time!