Just Imagine J.A. Phillips Creating Superman

So, I asked a little while ago what everyone reading my blog would do if it were left up to them to create the DC Universe and its characters… … …Then I had someone ask me what I’d do if I were tasked with creating Squirrel Girl. However, rather than poke fun, I’ll just say this: Squirrel Girl? Best kept exactly as she is. I would never want to tweak or rework Squirrel Girl in the slightest from what she is right now. She’s AWESOME. lol

Anyway, but I figured, if I’m gonna do these, I might as well start from the beginning. So, with that said, I want you all to read along and Just Imagine J.A. Phillips Creating Superman. Oh, and just so you know, I’m gonna type this up more or less like it’s one of those database wikis for DC and Marvel (which you should go check out, btw).


History

Born on the planet Krypton mere days before its destruction, Kal-L and his family found themselves fleeing the planet before it exploded. However, their ship soon entered a hidden wormhole that led to the Sol System, during which the ship was rocked and slammed horribly by the energy ripples throughout the wormhole. While the ship managed to make it through to the other side, even surviving the crash landing to Earth in Nova Scotia, and the force field projected around Kal’s bed stayed up the whole way, his parents were less lucky. They survived just long enough for farmers John and Martha Kent to find the ship, requesting in their dying breaths to watch over young Kal.

As Kal, now adopted under the name of Clark Kent, grew older, he developed a love of mysteries and a desire to uncover the truths hidden in the world, leading him to wanting to become a journalist. However, nothing could prepare him for what he discovered in his teenage years, as he found himself facing his greatest mystery of all: “What am I?” He found himself growing faster and stronger everyday, as well as his sight and hearing reaching further and his mind processing information faster. Finally, this led to him uncovering the truth of his alien heritage, and of his ability to become superhuman by absorbing solar rays.

From that point on, Clark chose to operate in secret as a protector of the innocent, keeping out of the public eye all the way until he turned 27. By then, though, the world had changed. A brilliant man named Gerard Shugel, whose mind had been warped through years of isolation in the cold north and dealing with paralysis, learned of the existence of someone with superhuman abilities and sought to draw him out with massive disturbances to take his body for himself. Deciding he could no longer keep himself hidden, Clark made himself known to mankind as Superman, the Man of Tomorrow, defeating Shugel and putting an end to his plot, though he would now find himself the target of many others who mistrusted him or wanted his powers for themselves.

Powers

Kryptonian Physiology/Solar Absorption: While appearing human, Superman’s cellular structure is actually far denser, more resilient, and more biologically effective than standard human tissue. It can also absorb solar radiation to grant him powers far beyond that of ordinary humans. The exact levels and limits of Superman’s powers differ depending on how much energy he’s absorbed and if he’s in direct sunlight, but according to Shugel’s personal analysis, he can at any given time pull in 140 gigawatts of solar energy while on Earth.

Bioluminescence: Superman’s body emits a golden glow of energy when drawing on his solar energy. The more power power he uses, the brighter the illumination becomes, essentially making him a miniature sun in terms of how bright he is.

Superhuman Strength: While his exact limits are unknown even to him, depending on how much solar energy he has stored in his body, Superman can lift anything from a car to a cargo plane. He can also crush steel with his bare hands, and has enough throwing power to toss an object roughly his own size and weight clear out of Earth’s atmosphere.

Invulnerability: Superman’s durable enough to take gunfire and walk it off without so much as a scratch no matter where it hits him. Ordinary knives cannot cut him, and while bigger and deadlier weapons can knock him around, he’ll ultimately be able to shake off the impact.

Superhuman Leap: Using his strength, Superman can leap extremely far heights and distances. At best, he’s been able to leap 800 metres, just short of the world’s tallest man-made structure, the Burj Khalifa.

Superhuman Speed: While not the fastest runner on Earth, the Man of Tomorrow is nonetheless faster than any non-empowered human being when staying on the ground, and can even outpace some land vehicles. His reflexes are also well-tuned enough to allow him to dodge gunfire.

Flight: While at first only able to leap over tall buildings, Superman soon found himself able to propel himself even further by channeling the planet’s electromagnetic field with his own to defy gravity. Without being hindered by gravity, he’s able to fly at hypersonic speeds, clocking in at over 3300 km/s.

Superhuman Senses: Superman has the ability to see and hear across vast distances, and while this gave him trouble as a child, he eventually overcame it to the point of being able to pinpoint specific sounds while blocking out others and seeing down to microscopic levels and across the entire EM spectrum.

Healing Factor/Longevity: Superman can regenerate damage done to him near-instantly when he’s in direct exposure to sunlight. As such, it’s believed that, no matter how horrendous the wound, if his body is kept intact and exposed to the sun’s rays, he is essentially immortal. The only way to permanently kill him is to keep him out of the sun and/or completely destroy his body at the cellular level.

Super Flare: Superman’s most powerful ability. It allows him to expel mass amounts of solar energy at once, either as blinding flashes of light or destructive blasts of energy. However, the more energy he uses, the more the Super Flare will drain him, leaving him weak and vulnerable until he’s able to recover his strength.

Weaknesses

Solar Energy Dependency: While Superman gains his powers from the infinite light of the sun, the amount of energy he takes in at any given time on Earth has limits, and many of his powers (the Super Flare in particular) drains the amount he has stored inside of his cells. As such, if he’s kept out of sunlight and doesn’t have a constant supply of solar energy, his powers will eventually fade, leaving him with the same base weaknesses as an ordinary human. Also, anyone with powers comparable to his own, however few they may be, have the potential to outlast his solar reserves, provided they keep him from obtaining any more.

Vulnerability to Magic: Because magic can override solar radiation and electromagnetic fields, Superman lacks any sort of protection against magical attacks or enchanted weapons.


 

What’s Different About Him?

Basically, I decided to keep a lot of his back-story the same, with a few tweaks here and there. I decided to go with the original variation of his Kryptonian name, Kal-L, while also making it so that his parents were along for the ride to Earth but died when they arrived, as to avoid the plot hole of why they chose not to go with him. I also made him Canadian growing up because he was created by a Canadian artist, and had him grow up in Nova Scotia to reference the supposed Shag Harbour UFO sighting, and because there’s over 600 farms in King’s County alone. Also, Clark figuring out the truth of his alien heritage on his own helps set up his later deductive and investigative reasoning.

As for his powers, I wanted to put a bigger emphasis on his powers coming from the sun, and having him be a solar-based hero. I thought the idea of him being able to glow like a small sun was a cool idea, plus it restores that idea of him being this shining figure to inspire others. The Super Flare is no longer just a massive solar bomb going off, but a power he can use in a variety of ways. And as for his base abilities, I decided to scale back a bit, having him start off much like he did originally: Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

I decided to change up the suit a bit, with the original concept being Electric Red Superman with a cape. I went from there to coming up with a look a bit closer to his usual attire, but with a red and white colour-scheme to reflect his Canadian heritage. Reason being, Superman’s character and personality should always be seen first and foremost as the product of his upbringing, not of where he was born. His powers are the result of his alien heritage, but he is who he is because of how he was raised on Earth.


 

So, I suppose overall, my version of Superman is more or less the same hero, just with a few tweaks. Really, though, I think that does a lot to show why the character works so well and doesn’t require a darker revamp. But hey, leave a comment below letting me know if you disagree, what you’d do with the character, and so on. I’ll probably do Batman the next time we talk about how I’d create the DC Universe. Next time, though, it’s time for the 600th blog post here on Jyger’s Rant, and I think I’ll take that opportunity to talk about something I don’t usually talk abou-

…Looks like somebody is soooooooooo nasty. Kawoom!

Did Goku Get The Last Laugh Against Superman After All, And Does That Even Matter?

…………………………………………………………………………………………

I.

Am.

A.

NERD!!! lol

So, I was doing research on Superman in the DC Comics Database, when I found some rather interesting information that somewhat contradicts something that was said during the analysis of Superman and Goku during DEATH BATTLE. As many fans know, Superman and Goku have fought not once but twice in DEATH BATTLE, with Superman coming out the victor. However, based on this information I’ve found, and applying it to information and logic I already have, I’ve come to the following discovery: Even though Superman won both fights, he’s still going to DIE!

According to an issue of The Question Vol. 2, Lex Luthor discovered that, despite what Ben and Chad said, Superman IS vulnerable to ki (or chi as it was called there, but based on what I’ve found online, they’re exactly the same thing). As such, Luthor tried to weaponise ki against Superman to kill him. Now, the weapon ultimately failed, but considering said weapon was built by the guy Superman beats every Tuesday, it’s easy to assume that a man-made construct would fail to do the job, whereas a person who uses ki on a level similar to how Superman uses solar energy could succeed in killing him. As such, you really have to ask yourself the question: How did Superman walk through a blast of enough ki to blow up a planet like it was a strong breeze?

At first, I couldn’t come up with an answer, and it looked like the analysis for DEATH BATTLE had made a severe oversight. However, then I remembered their first encounter, wherein towards the end, Superman was knocked into the sun by Goku, who failed to understand Superman’s connection to it, and thus only managed to make him stronger. That’s when the answer came to me: All-Star Superman. In it, Superman had absorbed enough solar energy that, when he was blasted with a Kryptonite laser, its usual effect on him did absolutely nothing. Now, I know we’re already dealing in fictional minerals and men that can absorb and weaponise solar radiation, but try to bear with me as we apply that logic to his weakness to ki. That means that Superman’s little break in the sun could’ve conceivably granted him enough energy to plough straight through all of Goku’s ki. Plus, considering that energy he absorbed in All-Star Superman never left him by the time the story was over, it’s easy to assume he still had it in the rematch at SGC 2015. So, all’s well and good, right?

As was also established in All-Star Superman, high enough levels of solar radiation can be deadly even to Superman. As such, if we assume that my theory is correct in how Superman defeated Goku, it therefore stands to reason that his cells are now in a state of overload and he is going to die. So, yeah, DBZ fanboys can let themselves feel at least a little good that, in the end, Goku may have gotten the last laugh…y’know, except for the part where Goku’s character would never take pleasure in that sort of thing, so doing so kinda misses the whole point.

And while we’re on the subject, there’s one other thing I’ve been meaning to get off my chest: Even if a future transformation of Goku’s made him as strong as Superman, he still wouldn’t be able to beat him in a fight. How do I know this? It’s called MATH. As we’ve established, DEATH BATTLE takes their opponents not from a random point in their history, but at their maximum potential, and Superman’s maximum is INFINITY. As such, if Goku reached that same level, he still couldn’t win, because then they would both equal infinity. Infinity does not beat infinity. Infinity equals infinity, it cancels infinity, and infinity subtracted by infinity is zero. The best Goku can ever hope for is a draw. And let’s say, for the sake of argument, that Goku eventually gained a transformation powered by magic or Kryptonite (the latter of which will never happen for obvious reasons). The likelihood of Goku defeating Superman with such a form isn’t that great, because of the following:

  1. Superman could still overcharge his cells like I suggested earlier to defeat Goku at the cost of his own life.
  2. Goku generally prefers to beat opponents with his own abilities, admitting once to disliking using Super Saiyan God’s powers because he needed outside help to get it (though he kinda came to peace with it when his body was able to naturally re-absorb the energy when the transformation wore off). That’s probably the reason he doesn’t use the Power Pole anymore, and why he never uses the Spirit Bomb except against enemies capable of and/or planning to destroy the planet.

So, yes, within the context of the universe in which the Superman vs Goku battles took place, Superman is likely going to die from his battles with Goku, and some fans can choose to take that as a victory. I personally do not, and for the record I’m a fan of both characters, but I won’t judge any of you if you choose to do so, provided you do one other thing: QUIT YER BITCHIN’!!! It’s a frigging internet show made by fans for fans that is doing the best it can with over seven decades of fictional information to comb through, which seemingly continues to get more and more absurd every time something is added. It would be EASY to make a mistake somewhere. And, even if they’re right, I agree that, if I had a Goku who could reach the same kind of power as Superman, I probably wouldn’t want him. If the movie Man of Steel has taught me anything with how they tried to take the dark tones of the Batman movies and transplant them into Superman, it’s that one element of a character that works really well for them does not equal the same level of success when given to another. Goku’s character and what he stands for would completely fall the fuck apart if he were as powerful as Superman, because he’s all about aspiring to be better and breaking new limitations, and then he would have NOTHING LEFT. His story would be OVER. And, what it comes down to is, I don’t really want his story to be over. I think that’s part of the reason why I actually find myself liking this new series coming out, because it lets me continue to see what happens to these characters, their stories, and their histories…Although hopefully, this time around, a few less characters in Dragon Ball will find themselves getting screwed over. lol

But hey, that’s just my own thoughts on the matter. Leave your own in the comments section below, call me a nerd for looking all of this up, whatever, and hopefully we can all put this frigging argument to rest for a while. Ja né!

Ms. Marvel #17 Preview

It’s the team-up the Kamala Korps and the Carol Corps have been waiting 16 issues for, and it’s finally here: Ms. Marvel teams with Captain Marvel in Ms. Marvel #17!

  • The team-up to end all team-ups has finally arrived! Carol “Captain Marvel” Danvers and Kamala “Ms. Marvel” Khan face the end of the world HEAD ON in this epic issue!

http://www.comicbookresources.com/comic-previews/ms-marvel-17-marvel-comics-2015

Batgirl #42 and Batgirl Annual #3 Previews

Double the Batgirl, double the fun! Here are the previews for Batgirl #42 and Batgirl Annual #3!

  • Batgirl can barely hold her own in combat against the new Batman… so what happens when Livewire joins the fight with the intention of taking them both out?

http://www.craveonline.ca/comics/previews/881999-exclusive-preview-batgirl-42

  • On her latest mission, Batgirl finds herself mixing it up with Helena Bertinelli of Spyral…but who is the mysterious Spyral agent who seems to be one step ahead of her at every turn without ever showing his face? She’s determined to crack this mystery – but Grayson is just as determined not to get caught! Plus: Batgirl visits Gotham Academy – and there are plenty of surprises in store for her!

http://www.avclub.com/article/exclusive-dc-preview-batgirl-annual-3-brings-grays-222906

Power Rangers Guardians of Gaia Season 2 Preview

Yup, it’s finally time. I’ve decided to begin work on ‘Season 2′ of my PR fanfic, Guardians of Gaia. As such, here’s an early preview of the first chapter of Season 2, entitled ‘Always A Ranger’. :)


 

Within a few minutes, the team were walking along a sidewalk that ran alongside one of the main roads in the city. And yet, as even Patrick could tell, there didn’t seem to be a single person in the streets today, be it on foot or in cars. On top of that, a lot of the buildings seemed to have their blinds let down, and in some cases, they were even boarded over.
“…Okay, this is creeping me out,” Layla admitted. “What happened here?”
“I dunno, maybe the zombie apocalypse happened while we were gone?” Madilyn suggested. “Or the city had to be evacuated because of some natural disaster?”
“What kind of disaster doesn’t leave a so much as a scratch in its wake?” Nikki pointed out, as sure enough, there wasn’t the slightest sign of damage to the city anywhere.
“Maybe everyone was bamf’d out?” Drayden guessed, causing Dirk to look at him like he’d grown a second head. “…What?”
“A Nightcrawler reference?” Dirk asked. “You had a massive brooding phase as a kid, didn’t you?”
“Kinda,” Drayden acknowledged with a shrug. “To be honest, being the Guardian of Darkness shouldn’t have been a surprise in the long run.”
Nikki rolled her eyes before looking over to Patrick, who had to be guided along the sidewalk by Madilyn. “How are you holding up?”
“Not so great,” Patrick replied. “Without my wind sense, I’m completely blind.”
“Didn’t you train with blindfolds before that, though?” Mad inquired.
“Yeah, for fighting with a sword,” Pat answered. “Not so much with just walking down the street.”
“Actually, we’re on a sidewalk,” Madilyn corrected him, causing him to groan slightly. “And anyway, for once, I’m just glad that we’re not having to-“
Before Madilyn could finish her sentence, though, the team heard a loud gurgling echo through the streets. Within moments, a series of familiar-looking shadowy figures emerged from the shadows of the buildings and the cracks of the sidewalks, forming a pack of at least thirty red-eyed monstrosities that readied their claws threateningly before the team.
“…fight,” Madilyn finished, looking depressed.
“Blots?!” Dirk demanded as the team formed up. “On Earth?! How?!”
“We’ll figure it out later!” Nikki yelled, pulling her crystal free of its chain. “It’s Morphin Time!
Patrick, Layla, Dirk, and Drayden all nodded, pulling their own crystals free as the five set them in their respective Morphers, all while Madilyn stood off to the side. “Guardians of Gaia, AWAKEN!” the five called, their Morphers aimed at the Blots as they shot out rainbow coloured blasts…only for them to fizzle out before they made contact.
“…Oh, that’s not good,” Madilyn observed.
“Our connection’s too weak!” Layla realized. “We can’t morph!”
“Then we’ll just have to take ’em the old fashioned way!” Nikki insisted as the Blots charged them. “Let’s go!”
With that, the six rushed the charging Blots, immediately taking on smaller groups each. Nikki found herself dropkicking one Blot square in the chest before springing off and catching two more in the eyes with her heels, causing them both to evaporate. Landing on her front, she spun her legs around, tripping up another pair of Blots before getting back to her feet. She then threw a leaping roundhouse that took out yet another Blot, then followed this up by blasting the three she’d knocked down with her Morpher.
“Well, at least THIS still works a little!” Layla noted, weaving between Blots and blasting them down to the ground. “How are you holding up, sis?!”
“Oh, just peachy!” Madilyn yelled, ducking slashes and kicking Blots down wherever possible, blasting them in the eyes when she got the chance. “I really, REALLY miss my daggers right now!”
Patrick chose to ignore this, trying his best to focus his senses on the Blots. Just barely managing to catch one’s wrist as it tried to slash him, he swung his feet up, catching another Blot in the face, and proceeded to kick from one Blot to the next and to the next before he landed and tossed the one he was holding over his shoulder. Just as it started to get back up, though, another Blot was body slammed down onto it by Dirk, who then charged at another and caught it shoulder-first in the gut. He then picked it up in a fireman’s carry, spinning it around.
“Patrick, up high!” Dirk yelled, tossing the Blot off his shoulders. Patrick nodded, springing up and catching the Blot across the eyes with his shin. The two then stood back to back as more Blots started to swarm them, emptying out of nearby alleyways. “So, you wanna take the couple dozen on the left?”
Before Patrick could retort, a primal yell from Drayden rang out as he ran in, cleaving Blots down with the Dragon Buster. “C’mon! We gotta bring these guys down!”
“They just keep coming!” Layla called, just before getting caught in the gut by a Blot’s elbow and backhanded to the ground.
“SIS!” Madilyn yelled, charging and tackling the Blot down, only to get clobbered in the back by two more.
“We’ve gotta regroup!” Nikki shouted, kicking down another Blot. “Everybody! Let’s-“
Just as Nikki was about to order a retreat, however, a single figure in black jeans and a tank-top leaped in, kicking a Blot with so much force that it tumbled into six more before coming to a stop in the middle of the road. Nikki blinked in shock at the newcomer: An Asian man in his late-30s, staring down the Blots with a determination the likes of which she’d never seen. The Blots quickly started to group up, preparing to fight him.
“Whoever you are, you better get outta here!” Nikki advised. “There’s too many!”
The man simply smirked, reaching into his pocket as he muttered “Not for long.” To Nikki’s amazement, the man pulled out a very familiar-looking silver and red buckler with a gold coin in the centre, emblazoned with the image of a mastodon. Before the Blots could advance, he thrust it forward and yelled “It’s Morphin Time! Mastodon!” A burst of energy ripped out from the device, coating his body in a black and white costume before placing itself on a white belt, a black helmet appearing over the man’s head.
“…The Black Ranger,” Nikki whispered in awe. “The original.”
“Actually, I’m the second, but who’s counting, right?” Adam Park, the Black Mighty Morphin Ranger, snarked.

 

If you haven’t guessed, the opening chapters of Guardians of Gaia will be a team-up with veteran Rangers as the team tries to make their way back to Gaia. And yes, I do have the ulterior motive of basically redoing Once A Ranger while fixing everything I felt went wrong with it. lol Anyway, be sure to check it out once it’s been posted, and until then, check out the new logo made by Bilico86, or click the link below it to check out Season 1 and get caught up or refresh your memory. Ja né!

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10041621/1/Power-Rangers-Guardians-of-Gaia-Season-1

My Must-Haves If A Killing Joke Movie Happens

So, I’ve heard that, apparently, DC is planning to do an animated movie of The Killing Joke. For those unfamiliar, that’s where Barbara Gordon got her spine shot by Joker, causing her to become wheelchair-bound. It’s also where Troy Baker got a lot of his material for his voiceover work in Arkham Origins. lol But I digress; if DC is honestly going to do this movie, there’s a couple of things I’m gonna have to ask that they do in order for me to be okay with them doing this movie (it’s extremely dark and a bit on the loathed side by feminists).

First and foremost, they’re going to HAVE to end the movie with an epilogue showing Babs becoming Oracle. We need to see her resolve in the face of what happened to her, that she refused to let Joker make her a victim or an object with which to taunt her father and try to drive him insane. And, to be blunt, that’s exactly what Alan Moore did with her. He was given the okay by Len Wein to, and I quote, “cripple the bitch”, a move that even Moore admits they should’ve “reined him in on”. Furthermore, not only was she shot, but she was also stripped down naked and had photos taken of her (which I’m also gonna have to insist is removed from the movie). For the purposes of the original story, Barbara Gordon was little more than a prop and a victim and was written as such by Alan Moore, and with all due respect to the Eisner Award Winner, a success I could never hope to have, that was WRONG. And frankly, the part involving her being sexually abused (which, yes, for any who doubt it, that DOES qualify) didn’t even need to be in the story. Everything else, the analysis of what makes the Joker who he is, why he does what he does, and if everyone is really just one bad day away from snapping, all of it could’ve been done without that crucial element.

Now, you may ask, “But isn’t Babs’ spine getting shot a disservice to the character as well? Why aren’t you insisting that be removed?” Well, you’re right, it was a disservice to the character when it was done. However, in the fallout from the story, after it was decided to be made canon (because, and I’ll admit to not being 100% sure of this, I don’t believe the book was originally intended to be so), Kim Yale and John Ostrander decided to take what happened and develop Barbara into a whole new kind of character, one that could be a hero to readers with physical disabilities. And thus, Oracle was born. So, while The Killing Joke did do this horrible thing to Babs, it’s also part of her development into something bigger and better…at least, until the New 52 came in and said that she had a surgery to fix her spine, and thus robbing the people her story spoke to of their hero, although we DID get to see her again during Convergence. As such, as horrible as it is, you really can’t remove that from her story. But, that’s only if you also get to see how she rises from that horrible deed. She needs to be able to show that she won’t just be a Woman in a Refrigerator.

… … …Oh yeah, and I’m also gonna need Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy voicing Joker and Batman. I’m sorry, but if you grew up in the 90’s, those two ARE those characters. They are the voices you immediately think of when it comes to those characters. When you read their dialogue in comics and you don’t hear their voices…frankly, and I’m sorry to say this, you’re doing it wrong. Mark Hamill is Joker, and Kevin Conroy is Batman. End of story.

Anyway, those are my must-haves for The Killing Joke, should the movie be made. Is there anything you think should be added? Do you even believe DC SHOULD be making this movie, or should they instead try to do a whole new story that analyses the same themes without the sickening imagery? Let me know in the comments, and we’ll see what happens from here. Ja né!

Jyger’s Journeys Through Dungeons and Dragons – The Dark Pyramid of Sorcerer’s Isle

So, for a long time, I talked about wanting to get into Dungeons & Dragons. Well, late last year, I finally managed to do just that. My local comic shop, Heroes’ Beacon, had a guy coming in to set up D&D games for beginners (5th Edition, btw), so I joined up and have been playing ever since. And I wanna take a minute to thank Noah Antwiler, AKA The Spoony One, for inspiring me to get into D&D with his show, Counter Monkey. And I know, he hears that a lot, and wonders why that is, when a lot of his stories are of disastrously bad games or events in games… … …Well, after playing D&D for the better part of a year, I can tell you, that happens a lot. XD

Speaking of Counter Monkey, though, I’ve been contemplating the idea of blogging about some of these insanely bizarre, stupid, and even occasionally badass moments that I’ve been present for, and after asking the gang if they’d be okay with that, it was just a matter of deciding which one to go with…Luckily, I didn’t have to wait long, because my God, one of the weirdest freaking things I’ve ever been present to in a game happened over the course of the past few nights that we’ve played. It’s called the Dark Pyramid of Sorcerer’s Isle, and if you haven’t played that adventure and don’t want to be spoiled, stop reading RIGHT NOW.

…Okay, so our party had to travel from the town of Phlan to a place called Sorcerer’s Isle, where there was a pyramid. Apparently, there were these mutations happening to anything near the island, and the range away from the island that it was happening within was getting larger. So, we had to take a boat… … …Now, as someone who watches Counter Monkey, one lesson I’ve learned when it comes to D&D is to never get on the boat. Sure enough, we’re on that boat, and while we managed to make it pretty far, within visual range of our destination (by which time, we’d seen some weird shit, like trees that essentially seemed to be growing upside down), we were attacked by giant squids. I just pointed to each and every person at the table and yelled “I told you, I told you, I told you, and I ESPECIALLY told you!” Oh, and not just giant squids, but giant squids that, when they died, exploded into swarms of piranha. Luckily, we have a druid in our party that could likewise turn into a giant squid and helped to even the odds a bit. In fact, he got one of the enemy squids restrained to the point where our tiefling paladin, who is usually the silver-tongued goofball of the team, ran a spear straight through all of its tentacles at once, which left it SUPER easy prey. Suffice to say, though, the boat was pretty badly damaged, and the captain almost died. Fortunate for him, my character’s bonds says that he will not leave others to die, so I saved his ass from falling in the water where the swarms of man-eating piranha were waiting for him.

So, we leave the boat and get to land, and right from the get-go, as soon as we’re in the pyramid, bodies everywhere just past the entrance. If I’d known what was waiting for us in that pyramid, I wouldn’t have been nearly as scared to get on the boat. In fact, if anything, I would’ve wanted to stay with the boat while everyone else went in. Ghosts, re-arranging passageways leading us in circles, dead bodies, spider webs, lizard men, giant frog monsters, clouds of poisonous gas, it was one death trap after the next in that Goddamn pyramid. I won’t go over the whole thing (technically, I can’t, because I had to miss one night we were there), but suffice to say, it was weird…though nothing could prepare me for what was waiting at the end.

After taking down a small pack of giant mutant frog monsters, we made it to a chamber where there was, as near as our wizard could figure, a tear in the fabric of reality leading to a realm of pure chaos. And flowing from said tear? Rainbow-coloured chemicals of chaos that mutated anyone and anything they came in contact with in a randomized way. Apparently, that was also the cause of everything weird going on in the pyramid. So, okay, we found the chamber that was the source of the problem, so we could shut it down, right? Well…see, like I said, our paladin is a bit of a goof off. And, unfortunately, he was not the only person who decided to experiment with these chemicals. So, whereas a sane party would go ahead and dispel magic on the runes keeping the rip open, ours decided to experiment with the chemicals a bit. Now, I personally called it quits with experimenting with it when I dipped my short sword into it and got back a sword made of bubble gum. Unfortunately, our sorcerer, who is insane, decided to literally jump, tuck, and roll straight through the stuff, inadvertently drinking some of it on his way. Within a few seconds, his toes sprouted new eyes, and within a few minutes, he was a giant mass of nothing but eyes, meaning he was technically brain dead for a few minutes, as he HAD NO BRAIN. Other mutations included a lizard woman having a wing, our monk having her legs transformed into one made of crystal and one coated in feathers, our paladin having his arm turned to steam, his other hand being turned into an egg, and his tail straight up disappearing, our druid being turned into some kind of blue horned monstrosity, and our orc barbarian having his legs replaced with THE SUN, which somehow didn’t melt us. I am convinced that somewhere, on some plane of existence, H. P. Lovecraft was looking down on us and the bizarre mutants we were becoming and going “What the fuck?!” I never wanna go anywhere near anything that is remotely associated with the realm of chaos ever again after that bullshit.

Anyway, that’s all for the first story I wanted to share with everyone. Lemme know if you’d like to hear more, or if you’ve got a funny story of your own in D&D. Ja né!

Just Imagine YOU Creating The DC Universe (Comments Requested)

So, this month on Atop The Fourth Wall, Linkara is reviewing issues of Just Imagine Stan Lee, wherein the man himself, Stan Lee, gave his own takes on legendary figures in the DC Universe. Specifically, Linkara will be checking out Lee’s takes on Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and The Flash. Now, he’s already looked at Superman and Batman, and thus far, we’ve got a miss and a hit respectively. Still, even the miss had good ideas, albeit not executed that well, and while Superman came off as a jerk…well, a lot of Stan Lee characters come off as jerks initially, but then develop into better people (or don’t, in the case of Reed Richards and a few members of the X-Men).

Anyway, the point is, looking these over, it’s actually interesting to think of what these characters would be like if they were first put to paper by different people. Sure, we’ve all done alternate universe takes of characters (I’ve done several, actually), but they ultimately wind up bearing resemblance to their mainstream counterparts. What Stan did, though, as far as I can tell, was take the bare bones concepts of the characters (Superman being an immigrant from outer space, Batman being a crime fighter in a batsuit, etc.) from when they were first conceived and went his own way with them. Although, while I say that this isn’t meant to just be another Elseworlds version of them, the map shown in Grant Morrison’s The Multiversity reveals that the characters of Just Imagine are the heroes of Earth 6 of the current Multiverse, but it’s still a radically different take on the characters. So, with that in mind, I wanna ask everyone reading this to just imagine if YOU created the DC Universe. What if YOU were given these simple descriptions of heroes and the ideas behind them, and how would you develop them? No preconceived notions of the characters beyond those concepts, no previously used continuity, just those short descriptions, and maybe some concept art to go by and their civilian names (optional). For now, let’s go with probably the five most iconic of all DC heroes, who started in the Golden Age and are still going strong today: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, and Green Lantern.

Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Superman, and Batman

  • Superman: An immigrant from outer space with powers beyond human beings now having to live among humans.
  • Batman: A wealthy man who is secretly a crime fighter wearing a dark, bat-like costume to scare criminals.
  • Wonder Woman: A princess and emissary of a race of warrior women who wears bullet proof bracers.
  • The Flash: A person (not necessarily a man, since many Flashes have been female) imbued with the power of superspeed.
  • Green Lantern: A person (again, not necessarily a man) with a ring powered by a lantern that can conjure green constructs of anything the wearer can imagine.

And that’s all there is to it. Lemme know what you’d do with any of these heroes based on those basic concepts, or if there are any others you’d like to see added to this list. Ja né!

How To Drop The Ball In Comics: Val-Zod

There are characters who can sound AMAZING on paper, and maybe even be so, but, when placed into just the absolutely wrong situation, can fail epically. Welcome to the next installment of How To Drop The Ball In Comics, where I look at what I believe to be a legitimately GOOD idea in comics, why I felt that it was, and how it failed to live up to the hype. And following in the tradition of the first one I did, let’s look back to the rebooted universe of Earth 2 as we check out at Val-Zod, AKA the new Superman of the new Earth 2.

Who Is He?: Created by Tom Taylor, Nicolla Scott, and Robson Rocha for Earth 2 #19 in 2014, Val-Zod is presumably the son of General Zod in the rebooted universe of Earth 2 in the New 52. As I mentioned before, in this version of events, Earth 2’s Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman died saving the world from Darkseid. However, after one of Darkseid’s agents, Brutaal, was revealed to be Superman back from the dead and under his control (actually, it later turned out to be a Bizarro-esque clone, and that the real one was kept locked away to have more clones created from him), the heroes of the world found themselves in a desperate struggle to save the world from its greatest hero. Luckily, as it turned out, they had a trump card hidden among them, kept under lock and key by Terry Sloan: Val-Zod, one of the last surviving Kryptonians. While he was initially agoraphobic and wished not to fight, he eventually came to grips with his fears and concerns, becoming the new Superman.

How Did He Have Potential?: Well, while he’s not the first example of this, it’s nonetheless cool to see the Man of Steel also be a man of colour. Granted, I don’t know how that works with an alien species, but then again, this a race that looks just like us anyway. If we can accept that, it’s not TOO much of a stretch to think they have different skin colours among them as well. But really, the thing that I love about Val-Zod as a character is the fact that he’s a pacifist. Growing up, he was under the belief that violence was senseless, and learning the value of mind over body, he has chosen not to fight. So, for those wondering, no, there will be no “I AM A MAN!” punches coming from him. But don’t you dare think of him as a wuss. Instead, he takes all that strength that his Kryptonian body has, all the amazing abilities of Superman, and uses them specifically for the purpose of helping and defending people. He will not fight back, but as shown through his eventual confrontation with Brutaal, he doesn’t need to. Just standing up to Brutaal when he was threatening others was enough, as the act of trying to punch Val to death instead caused the clone of Kal-El’s body to break down. As he himself put it, “I won’t kill Kal-El…but I need to fix what he has broken.” In short, he is everything that one can and should be: Strong not just in body, but in mind and conviction, unwilling to let bad things happen to good people, and able to inspire others to be better themselves. In many ways, it’s hard not to consider him the legitimate successor to Superman’s legacy… … …however

How Did It Drop The Ball?: The problem is that, while I concede that Val-Zod is a legitimate successor to Kal-El, there is another who is every bit as legitimate as him, who has been around for much longer, and in the original Earth 2 history was Superman’s successor on the Justice Society of America. That person is Kara Zor-El, AKA Power Girl. And again, as I’ve brought up before, when Kara returned to Earth 2, she was immediately set up to be nothing more than just another member of the Super family, Val-Zod’s love interest, and most degrading of all, had a Superman logo placed on her costume. For those who don’t know, in one of her earliest appearances, Power Girl was given a logo for her costume, but crushed it because it was blatantly a Superman logo (except with a P instead of an S), and she didn’t want to be seen as just being Superman’s cousin. She wanted to be her own woman, not in any way ashamed of her heritage, but looking to carve out her own legacy as she carried on in Superman’s place. And what’s REALLY sad about that is that, with the current Earth 2 stories centering around the idea of them inhabiting a new version of Earth 2 to replace the one destroyed by Darkseid (long and AWFUL story), there’s more than enough room for both Kara and Val to co-exist as successors to Kal-El without taking away the other’s credibility, if the story was well written. The problem is, it’s NOT well written, because Daniel H. Wilson doesn’t understand how the character works and has taken away her agency. But on top of all of that, when you get down to it, Val himself isn’t really doing much of anything to be a big deal either, as most of the attention in the Earth 2 books goes to, you guessed it, BATMAN. And it’s not even a worthy nor legitimate successor to Batman, but that’s a rant for another day. The point is, whatever momentum Val had as a character seems to have completely come to a halt, and the way that he, Kara, and really everybody in the Earth 2 books have been handled just goes a long way to show why they’re just not any good, despite the mass amount of potential that they had.

...You can't see me, but I'm facepalming REALLY hard at this dialogue...-_-

…You can’t see me, but I’m face-palming REALLY hard at this fucking stupid dialogue…-_-

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got to say about all of this. If you wanna know more about how the Earth 2 books are continuing to fail miserably, be sure to check out Lapses In Logic over at http://www.helenawaynehuntress.com/. Ja né!

Elaboration On The Green Man + A Talk About Autism

So, something I haven’t talked about on the blog up until now was a one-shot Batman fanfic I wrote last month called The Green Man. If you wanna read it, click the link below to do so now, because I’m gonna be spoiling the ending a bit for you if you haven’t. I should warn, though, that this fic is rated M due to coarse language and mature subject matter.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11329339/1/The-Green-Man

…Okay, so for those that didn’t read, here’s the gist of the story: It takes place on the pre-Flashpoint New Earth, though after the events of Convergence. Basically, rolling with the idea that all the old worlds were restored as part of an infinitely spanning Multiverse with the New 52 Multiverse at the centre of it (or at least that’s how I understand things work now, I could be wrong). A body turns up in a diner that leads Batman and Proxy to learn the horrible story of a man who is a high-functioning autistic (or as I kept referring to it as, ‘low-level’, because I guess I just considered it the same thing while writing, and if it isn’t, then I apologize). It’s a sad story, but at the end, I left a small glimmer of hope, which the reader can take to mean whatever they want it to. I’m not exactly planning on doing anything further with the story.

So, for the benefit of those that didn’t read the story or the Author’s Notes at the end (because I always like to add those), I need to elaborate and come clean about something, in case I haven’t made it clear already: I have Asperger’s syndrome. This basically means that I am, more or less by technicality, considered autistic. Like the Green Man in my story, I am high-functioning, but just being considered autistic is enough to make it hard for me to get a job. Add in the fact that I only have a GED and not an actual high school diploma, or any kind of college or university degrees, and…well, you kinda get a good idea of what my life is like. In short, I’m a 30-year-old man still living at home, blogging about comic books and other forms of escapist fiction. Not that there’s anything wrong with blogging about escapist fiction, because if there was, I wouldn’t have done so for the past going-on-600-articles, just that I’d like to have a job and a place of my own on top of that.

Regardless, I should make it clear that The Green Man is NOT based off of my own personal experiences, but rather is a cautionary tale of what could happen to someone like this someday. Not to say we’re all a step away from being a Green Man, just that it COULD happen. To be perfectly honest, it’s almost my nightmare scenario of what my life could someday turn out to be like, or could have if certain points of my life had happened differently. I’m always worrying about stuff like what could happen if I find that I’m unable to support myself when the time comes that I simply cannot live with Mom and Dad anymore, which will inevitably happen if for no other reason than the simple fact that no one lives forever. And the truth is, for all of our progress, there are still people in the world who believe things like autism are some kind of a disease that either needs to be cured or needs to be prevented from being genetically passed on any further. Being labelled as autistic, some employers will simply outright reject a person just for that and then give whatever excuse they need for doing so that helps them sleep at night. There are people out there right now who have never met me, but upon learning that I’m autistic, would want to deny me the right to have children and carry on my family line and legacy to avoid the risk of creating additional children with autism, even though it’s a known fact that people without any kind of disability, handicap, or hindrance have had children that did, meaning removing me from the equation does NOTHING.

But there IS hope, people. I really and truly believe that, in spite of my fears and concerns, and what I know about the world as it is right now. In truth, the reason that the very end of the story may seem tacked on is because…well, it was. I wasn’t originally going to add it, and even when I thought of it, I was still on the fence about it. Ultimately, though, I added it because I want everyone that reads to know that there is hope for every person with any kind of mental or physical issue. It’s not something that needs to be cured. Rather, it needs to be accepted by those that don’t have them, and overcome by each and every person that does. Obviously, I don’t mean that people who can’t walk should be able to, or people born without ears should be able to hear naturally, but that having these issues neither controls their lives nor defines them. Not to mention, some of these hindrances come packaged with some advantages. Personally speaking, I’ve been told that there are benefits to Asperger’s. Many have increased levels of creativity, and can display intense interests in otherwise difficult to grasp concepts. I know I do. In fact, if you look on Wikipedia about Asperger’s, there’s a picture of a kid who is DEEPLY fascinated by molecular structure. Some of us have been known to have a hyper-sensitivity to taste. For example, I can taste traces of mint on a piece of chocolate with no mint in it, just because it was laying in a box of chocolates next to a piece that DID have mint in it… … …And yes, I oftentimes wonder if there is a way to use this power to fight crime. What would my alias be then? The Tongue? lol

With that said, I will say this: Facilities like the one I described in this work of fiction DO exist. There are places where people with varying levels of physical and mental disabilities, handicaps, and disorders can go to get job training, and there are still employers that will turn them down in spite of this. And I know this because I went to one for eight years, and upon leaving to seek real employment elsewhere, I have since come up with nothing. Mind you, a large part of this is my fault. I want to someday be a writer, but that requires a better education with a degree of some sort. Unfortunately, I can’t get a job in writing because I don’t have the money to go back to school, I can’t get the money without a job, and I can’t get a decent paying job without more job experience or, you guessed it, a better education. At this point, I think my only option would be fast food, and you’ll forgive me if I don’t want to be 30, living at home, and have my job be defined as “Would you like a hot apple pie with that?”. And I’m not saying anyone who falls under that category is a loser or anything like that, it’s just not what I want to do, and yes, that is entirely my own problem. Despite that, though, we as a species still need to be more accepting and willing to give people a chance to show that they can do anything the normal (whatever that means) person can do. We are, all of us, human beings, and every single human being needs to be given a chance at some point or another. And if you still can’t figure out what it was that finally inspired me to talk about all of this…well, just take a quick glance at some of the major headlines in the news for the past year or so. It’s true, we’re making great strides in some areas when it comes to accepting people who are different and granting them the same rights and privileges as anyone else, but we could still do so much better in others. And on a personal note, when the #1 group that most people think of in the world that are supposed to be supporting people with autism are the very same people who think of autism as a disease, that’s a huge problem.

Anyway, that’s my thoughts on the matter, based on my own personal experiences, and the experiences of those I’ve encountered and bore witness to over the years. And I’m sorry that I never brought this up before and that it’s all coming out in one big rant, but…well, for starters, it’s called Jyger’s Rant for a reason, and the other thing is that, for a long time, I didn’t know that I was the right person to talk about it, or that I had enough relevant things to say about it that anyone would care about. If that’s still true, then I apologize for wasting your time, but a lot has changed since I first started this blog, and I feel a bit more comfortable and confident talking about stuff that really matters to me, so I hope you took the time to read this. And hey, if you did read the fanfic, be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section either below this article or on Fanfiction.net. Ja né!

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