Category Archives: Just Imagine J.A. Phillips Creating The DC Universe

Just Imagine J.A. Phillips Creating Batman + ‘I Am The Night’ by Miracle of Sound

Hey guys! It’s my 601st blog post!!!… … …Yeah, okay, so I kinda loaned out my 600th to my proofreader. lol But hey, now that we’re back to our regularly scheduled Jyger’s Rant, let’s talk more about how I’d create certain DC characters. So, once again, I ask you to read along and Just Imagine J.A. Phillips Creating Batman.


History

The son of a brilliant American physician, Thomas Wayne, and his wife, Chinese immigrant Ming, Bruce Wayne lived life in Chinatown, Gotham City, with few friends at a young age. This was due to being born with a condition that granted him hypersensitivity to sound and projected images in his mind based off said sounds, similar to echolocation, and eyesight resembling night vision. However, after being picked from his class in 4th grade for a play to portray a bat, his mother told him of how, in China, bats are often seen as symbols of good luck, and that he should embrace that. As such, he seemingly began to maintain control of his unique ability…until the play’s opening night, wherein after the show was over, the Waynes took a shortcut to their home through Park Avenue, which ended in the deaths of Thomas and Ming by a mugger. In a rage, Bruce beat the mugger into unconsciousness, but the shock of nearly killing him and the deaths of his parents caused him to repress most of his memories, only knowing of his parents and what happened to them through what his extended family told him, and lacking control of his senses once again.

Growing up with a desire to solve the mystery of his parents’ murder, as well as a need to keep such events from happening to any other child, Bruce secretly began working with a private investigator named John Jones, all the while under the guise of a masked vigilante called Robin. However, shortly after graduation from high school, Jones and Robin found themselves on a case that set them against a man named Arthur Brown, a former game show host that had been driven mad after his show was cancelled due to the death of one of the contestants. Brown, now known as the Cluemaster, held the network executives hostage on the set of his show, which he converted into an elaborate death trap. While Jones and Robin freed the hostages, Brown completely snapped and tried to kill Robin, only for John to take the shot.

With his mentor dead, Bruce’s memories finally returned to him. Remembering his mother’s words, he regained control of his echolocation and night vision, and from the tattered remains of his costume, he created a new, more terrifying garb, playing off of the superstitious fears of men by having it resemble a bat. As the Batman, he avenged his mentor’s murder, but knew that he wasn’t ready to be Gotham City’s protector. As such, he traveled overseas to learn all he could about criminology, psychology, and the fears of men, before returning to Gotham at age 25. While the city has grown darker in his 7 year absence, though, he is now fully prepared to retake it from criminals with the assistance of his uncle, Jin, and his father’s old friend, billionaire scientist Lucius Fox. Thieves, thugs, crime lords, and super villains shall all be united in fear of the shadow of the Batman.

Powers

Echolocation: Batman’s mind projects mental images of his surroundings by way of sound waves vibrating around him. As such, he essentially has omnipresent detection of the area around him, stretching out as far as he can hear.

Night Vision: The Dark Knight’s eyesight, while being a bit sensitive in daylight, works exceedingly well in the dark. No one can evade or escape his sight in the darkness.

Abilities

Martial Artist: Having been trained in kung fu, judo, ninjutsu, and Muay Thai kickboxing, Bruce has combined all of his skills with his unique senses and equipment into his own combat style, the Shadow of the Bat, which focuses on quickly taking down opponents with precision strikes and utilizing darkness and other methods of obscuring himself.

Above-Average Conditioning: Through his travels, Bruce Wayne has trained his body into that of a near-Olympic-level athlete. He can run faster, lift heavier, and push himself harder than the average human being.

Investigation: Having been trained by John Jones, one of the absolute finest detectives in the world, and later majoring in criminology with a minor in psychology, Batman has taken up his mentor’s mantle. He understands the criminal mind better than most, and can reason and deduce his way out of nearly any situation presented to him.

Interrogation: While the bat is seen in China as a symbol of good luck, many of European decent look upon it with superstitious fear. Knowing this, Batman has utilized his skills and knowledge of the criminal mind to make himself appear supernatural to some, and can easily bring the truth out of thugs by appealing to their fear.

Equipment

Utility Belt: While he initially wore a smaller belt filled with smoke pellets and shurikens, meeting the Cluemaster and watching his gadgetry in action inspired Batman to make a somewhat bigger belt with more multi-purpose tools. Among these tools are the Batclaw magnetic grapple gun, a taser, a mask that seals over his cowl to provide oxygen underwater or in gas, and the Batarangs, which can be used as short range melee weapons or can be thrown with enough precision that they return to the thrower.

Sonic Emitters: Batman’s cowl is equipped with specialized sonic wave emitters that create a high-pitched sound only few can hear, which further complements his echolocation. He also keeps a special emitter hidden in his boot that is designed to summon bats hiding in the caves under his uncle’s home.

Batsuit: While his original costume used as both Batman and Robin provided only light armour, specifically via a bullet-proof vest around his chest, Batman later upgraded to a more durable costume, providing improved protection over his whole body (though still best at the chest), and a memory-cloth para-cape used for gliding.

Weaknesses

Hypersensitivity to Sound and Light: Although Bruce has mostly mastered his unique senses, it is nonetheless possible to catch him off-guard with particularly high-pitched sounds or blinding lights. While he does have emergency shut-outs set up in his cowl to protect him if such happens, it still can leave him vulnerable to attack.

Basic Human Weaknesses: For all of his abilities, inhuman senses, and uncanny tools, Bruce Wayne is still a human being. As such, he bleeds just like any other human being, and can be killed the same as well.


What’s Different About Him?

Quite a lot, actually. First off, Bruce isn’t a billionaire playboy, Lucius is the one with the money, but would be the one secretly funding him as Batman (kinda like what Bruce ‘admitted’ to doing with Batman Incorporated). Second, while he’s still human, he nonetheless has abilities uncommon to the average human that make him more like a literal bat-man. And I know that tosses a wrench in the idea of him being an ordinary human pushing himself to be able to stand alongside superhumans, but he still has his human weaknesses. And, frankly, while this gives him special abilities, it also gives him hindrances he has to overcome. Though, beyond that, he’s pretty much the same Batman we’ve known and loved throughout the years, only now he’s half-Chinese.

Regarding the idea of him starting off as Robin and working for a detective, I actually got the idea from the first Batman books I ever got: The Untold Legend of the Batman. It’s not the first time I’ve fallen back on ideas presented there, either. What can I say? It left an impact on me. Of course, the detective in that story wasn’t named John Jones, though that name should sound familiar to DC Comics fans. Do I have an idea beyond that? Well… … …let’s just leave it alone for now. lol His uncle, Jin, would more or less take the place of Alfred, being his sort of surrogate father and keeping him grounded.

Finally, I decided to go with a brown bat for the costume as opposed to Batman’s usual colour scheme of black, blue, and grey (with the occasional yellow and red tossed in for funsies). As such, between that and his unique senses, once can actually see this as the odd pseudo-hybrid of Batman and Man-Bat.

Anyway, I think that’s all for Batman. Lemme know what you think of my version of the Dark Knight, and who I should give my own take on the next time I do this… … …Also, just because I can’t think of any other way to knowingly and blatantly promote this, press play on the video below to listen to ‘I Am The Night’ by Miracle of Sound. I listened to it a lot while working on this. Ja né!

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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!