“I love this world. But there’s something missing.” By now, the current crop of DC Comics fans should be well acquainted with these words. They’re the words of a hero whose return to the DC Universe has brought back life, optimism, and legacy to it. His name is Wally West, and he is the fastest man alive… … …aaannd he’s wearing some pretty awesome new threads. ^_^
With the end of The New 52 this past June (happy birthday to me, btw, lol), a new era has begun in DC Comics. While it continues telling the story of the universe established at the end of Flashpoint, it’s nonetheless balanced things out to be more similar to how it was prior to the reboot, as well as set up the groundwork for some big stories in the future. It’s also helped to establish exactly how and why the characters and their stories are different from how they once were. This is DC Rebirth.
DC Rebirth officially started with DC Universe Rebirth #1. However, the seeds of what would become Rebirth were planted almost exactly one year beforehand during DC Convergence. In that story, several pre-Flashpoint worlds were reintroduced, and the events that led to the collapse of the original Multiverse were undone, causing it to become infinite in size once again (though with the currently established Multiverse at the center). In the year that followed, several stories followed up on those events. In particular, we learned that the pre-Flashpoint Clark Kent, his wife Lois, and their new son Jon had all someone been transported to the current Earth 0, AKA Prime Earth. Furthermore, as a result of events in Justice League and his main books, the New 52 Superman found himself dying and, before the end came, asked his pre-Flashpoint counterpart to continue protecting the Earth in his stead. This brings us to today, where Clark is Superman once again, and his son Jon is the new Superboy…and there’s another Clark Kent who has no powers who may or may not be the New 52 Superman, I’m honestly not sure what that’s all about. We’re supposed to get an explanation in March, though.
Another thing that happened in the year between Convergence and Rebirth was the return of the Titans. Basically, it was retconned that the original Titans team really DID exist (although how is anyone’s guess when one considers the backstory of the New 52 Donna Troy, and that’s ALL I’m going to say about that, lol), but that they all lost their memories of ever having been a team. After a while, they finally all came back together, minus one individual who they knew was missing but couldn’t pin a face or a name to. Luckily, as it turned out, they wouldn’t have to wait long.
Anyway, those were all big parts of the Rebirth, but the official era didn’t actually kick off until DC Universe Rebirth #1. In it, we see the pre-Flashpoint Wally West has apparently been trapped in the Speed Force, is regressed in age by a few years, and is back in his Kid Flash costume. Also, it turns out that he and the New 52 Wally West are cousins. Might seem like a bit of a stretch, but I have both a brother and a half brother named Randy, so I can tell you from past experience, it ain’t impossible…though it IS confusing. But more of a big deal is the fact that nobody remembers him. He keeps trying to remove himself from the Speed Force by making contact with people he knew, but without that connection, he keeps falling back. Even Linda Park doesn’t remember him. Finally, he appears to Barry Allen, ready to disappear, but at the last possible moment, Barry remembers him and pulls him back into the world. After five years, Wally West has returned.
Wally gives some exposition, and between it and stuff we can make guess work at, we learn that someone has literally taken away 10 years of history. At this exact moment, we don’t know how, why, or which 10 years exactly were the ones taken. We don’t even know if they were 10 full years or just bits of time here and there that added up to 10 years. But here’s what we do know: The New 52 DC Universe is essentially the same universe that existed prior to Flashpoint, just with those 10 years taken away. That’s the biggest contributing factor as to why this universe is so different. Because, without certain key moments that occurred during those 10 years, relationships were either changed or outright erased, characters were de-aged, and several other contributing factors occurred to completely mess with peoples’ lives, who they were, and what they meant to the universe at large.
Now, with that said, you might ask “But Jyger, wasn’t the reason the DC Universe was changed was because of Barry’s traveling through time and Pandora’s merging elements of the Wildstorm and Vertigo universes with it?”, to which I reply “Yes, that WAS the reason given”… … …Ugh, okay, let’s TRY and unravel this, shall we? So, first off, let’s assume for the moment that this isn’t just a blatant retcon (although, let’s be honest, it probably is). If I had to make a guess at what happened, it’s that someone took advantage of Barry’s breaking the time barrier and used that opportunity, when history itself was vulnerable, to remove 10 years. Pandora, seeing what had happened, decided to strengthen the now weakened universe by fusing it with the Wildstorm and Vertigo universes. That, I THINK, is what has happened here: That, while having some cosmetic differences and whatnot, the New 52 Universe wouldn’t have been AS different as it has been without the loss of that decade worth of history. Oh, and speaking of Pandora, during the events of DC Universe Rebirth #1, she was apparently fried…in a very familiar fashion, but I’ll get to that in a moment. Also, because of certain other events going on in some of the newer stories, I have my doubts that she’s really gone.
Anyway, other stuff happened in DC Universe Rebirth #1 that has started to balance things out to be more like the previous continuity. For starters, Aquaman proposed to Mera, so we can finally put it to rest as to the nature of their relationship. Green Arrow and Black Canary met up during an investigation into New 52 Supes’ death and were left with a feeling like something was missing from their lives, which is being explored in the current Green Arrow book where the two are finally tag-teaming against criminals and dating again, except without the baggage of some of the shittier things Ollie did while they were involved in the previous continuity. And characters like Ryan Choi, Jackson Hyde, Ted Kord, Johnny Thunder, and Saturn Girl were given their appropriate reintroduction to the universe (okay, technically, we’d seen Ted beforehand, but now he’s working with Jaime as he should be).
In the midst of all of that, though, we found ourselves with hints of what was to come. Batman was seen investigating the revelation that there are apparently three Jokers…and yeah, not sure what to make of that, other than the fact that, with the Silver Age Joker supposedly coming back as his own character, we’ll at least have a Joker who is FUN again. Superman was visited by a figure known as Mr. Oz, who we’ve actually seen in the Superman books of the New 52 before, and who gave some rather cryptic remarks regarding the nature of both Supermen’s existence. Like the new Clark, we’re supposed to get some more info on Oz in March, and we’ve even seen him in the newer Detective Comics issues as well. Damian Wayne, the current Robin, turned 13, hinting toward his future alignment with the Teen Titans. Doctor Fate (Kent Nelson) let Ted Kord know that the Scarab is actually magic…because, for some reason, we’ve now gone backwards through retcons. Seriously, I don’t get why they switched BACK to the Scarab being magical in nature, other than as a means to involve Doctor Fate, and with the Justice Society apparently coming back soon, it’s not really necessary. We learned for absolute certain that New 52 Wally West is a speedster, and pre-Flashpoint Wally gave his blessing for him to be the new Kid Flash, which I’m actually fine with. Now that we’ve established the two as completely separate characters, New Wally is free to be his own character. And we found out that Jessica Cruz, the newest Green Lantern of Space Sector 2814 will be having to work directly with Simon Baz, AKA the one Green Lantern who carries a gun.
However, all of that paled in comparison to the big reveal. After being brought back from the Speed Force by Barry, Wally told him everything he knew about the current situation and how he felt this wasn’t completely Barry’s fault. In the end, though, he couldn’t place a face or a name to whoever was responsible for taking away time. However, it seems he may have left a clue nonetheless, as Batman investigated where Wally had originally appeared in the Batcave, and found something embedded in the stone wall: A single smiley face button with a drop of blood smeared across it. And so, the story ended with the image of a watch on Mars, along with the following familiar dialogue…
“I did the right thing, didn’t I? It all worked out in the end.”
“In the end? Nothing ends, Adrian. Nothing ever ends.”
…Yup, turns out the culprit is none other than Doctor Manhattan. How and why is still unknown. Hell, for all we know, Jon didn’t even do so intentionally. However, considering the all-too-familiar method by which Pandora was killed (as well as Owlman and Metron at the end of Darkseid War, and yes I AM still planning to do a full review of that someday), chances are he’s very much doing this blatantly. But regardless, we do have a reason for Doctor Manhattan’s inclusion from a meta standpoint: Simply put, there are a LOT of writers out there who look at a book like Watchmen and think that the reason it was great was because it was dark and dire, so they try to copy that approach, not understanding that dark stories don’t automatically equal something good. As far as I can tell, between what’s being presented and what Geoff Johns has said in interviews since the release of the comic, Doctor Manhattan is basically being cast as just that: Someone who doesn’t understand that the way his dark story is being written doesn’t work. Of course, no one bothers to mention that Geoff Johns himself has done this in the past, whether he realizes it or not, but he still has a good enough idea as to how things are supposed to work and how characters are supposed to behave that I trust him with this. How exactly that gels with what happened at the end of Watchmen is yet to be seen, but between his involvement and the dialogue at the end of the book, I think we might just know who exactly “Mr. Oz” really is, who has since abducted both Doomsday and Tim Drake for reasons that are currently a mystery. Personally, I’m kind of expecting to see this resolve in some big DC Rebirth vs Watchmen event. How that’ll play out, and just to what degree will its existence piss off Alan Moore, is still a mystery, but it’s still likely to happen nonetheless. Hopefully, they take their time building to it.
So, at this point, you’re probably thinking “Well, that all sounds well and good, but if that’s the case, then why in the hell has it taken you this long to discuss Rebirth?”. And…yeah, I fully admit that I kind of procrastinated at that. However, in the end, I’m kinda glad I did. Why? Because it gave me something POSITIVE to talk about at the end of the year, and as I alluded to the other day, there hasn’t really been a lot positive to discuss regarding 2016. And while Rebirth hasn’t been perfect, and there are still some issues from the previous era left to iron out, it’s most definitely been an improvement, and I’d likely consider it the best thing to happen in comics this entire year. I’ll probably go more into detail as to some of the ups and downs of Rebirth once it’s a year old…at which point, I’ll be 32 years old…God, I’m ancient. But, for now, stuff like seeing the Titans and the Birds of Prey back together, the pre-Flashpoint Superman training his son, Dick Grayson being Nightwing again, Barry teaming with the new Kid Flash, and Wonder Woman being written by Greg Rucka again (who is fixing EVERYTHING that went wrong with her in the New 52, btw) are all major pluses. Oh yeah, and they’re also hinting at the return of the Blue Lanterns, THANK GOD. You have NO idea how hard it’s been to keep optimistic about a comic book universe that seems to actively hate hope, and to see it on its way back is such a relief.
But for me, the biggest point about why Rebirth works and The New 52 didn’t is because the characters FEEL like themselves again. It’s not just the situations and circumstances, it’s WHO THEY ARE. How they act, how they respond to different situations, and so on. Everything just kind of fits again, but without excluding any of the things about The New 52 that worked. Because this isn’t about pretending The New 52 never happened. This is about putting the DC Universe back on the right path, one that isn’t devoid of hope and fun, nor forgets the lessons learned from the mistakes of yesterday. Really, the only thing about the previous era that’s been undone is the vast majority of what happened to Wonder Woman. And even then, it’s not like those events never happened, it’s more damage control for her origins and the Amazons, and it all unfolds in a way that makes sense and helps make things feel like they’re supposed to be. It’s not just that Lois and Clark are back together. It’s that Lois and Clark FEEL like Lois Lane and Clark Kent. And I hope that, in continuing with DC Rebirth, the writers and higher-ups of DC Comics remember that point and continue to learn from their past mistakes.
But hey, that’s all just my opinion. What do you think of DC Rebirth? What have some of your favourite or least favourite titles been? Lemme know in the comments, as well as how you hope to see things unfold from here, and we’ll check back in June with how Rebirth has been upon turning one year old. Ja né, and Happy New Year!
No, really, I don’t regularly do this, but this is kinda relevant to something I’ve been talking about for a while now. I’ve made it clear that I’m not exactly a fan of what Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher have done with Black Canary in Batgirl, and hearing that she’s apparently going to be part of a rock band in her new solo book doesn’t really do much to endear me either. However, I will say that, in just a few panels of the preview for the next issue of Batgirl, they at least got CLOSER to what I want out of the character. How much closer? Well, you be the judge.
For months, Batgirl’s been hounded by an unseen threat claiming to be the “real” Batgirl…and the truth of her enemy’s identity will shock her to her very core!
You may have noticed that, despite proclaiming my liking of the current Batgirl title, I haven’t really been actively reviewing it much. Well, that’s ‘cuz…well, there’s not much else to say other than what I’ve already said. I like the art, I like the direction they’re going, I like the use of Babs’ photographic memory, and I like that, while Alysia isn’t a main character anymore, she IS still around from time to time. Overall, it’s a good book…….However, as I was reading Batgirl #37 today (because the weather was uber nasty yesterday and I just didn’t want any of that), I realized the one thing about the book that’s been bothering me a lot: Black Canary.
Look, I didn’t read Birds of Prey. I felt it to be a very underwhelming title, especially in comparison to how it used to be. However, I AM aware that at the end of the series (which I assume takes place after the end of Gail Simone’s last issue of Batgirl), the team breaks up following a falling-out between Babs and Dinah. Cut to this story, where Barbara lets Dinah live with her and her room-mate after Di loses everything she owns in a fire…that turns out to have been caused by Babs. Ever since then, Dinah has slowly but surely been becoming more and more of a bitch with every issue, to the point where she was having fun at Babs’ expense in this one and refused to come help her when she was potentially in trouble (although to be fair, even she didn’t find the image of Batgirl in a wheelchair amusing in the slightest). Look, there’s being angry at a friend, and then there’s being hatefully spiteful and, frankly, not at all like the heroine I know Black Canary to be. Frankly, the Black Canary I know, regardless of what was going on between her and Batgirl, would have at least gone to help her.
I really hope that Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher read this and are hopefully not planning to stretch this out much farther, because if they do, it’s gonna make this book hard to enjoy. Like I said, I enjoy every other aspect of this Batgirl title, despite it being polarizing to many others. But this whole thing with Dinah has just gotten completely out of control, and needs to end, FAST.
Anyway, lemme know what you think, what your own thoughts on the book are, and hopefully, this little issue solves itself soon. Ja né!
So, one of my fanfics, Infinite DC – Birds of Prey: Dark has recently hit 13 chapters with 38,360 words, making it currently the longest story I have written on Fanfiction.net. Also, what started off as a group of four superheroines has now expanded into a team of seven, with several characters appearing in supporting roles from time to time, and with a somewhat steady rogues gallery. So, I thought I’d take a moment to give a brief glimpse at the cast of characters that form the team in my story, in the chronological order they appeared in. Keep in mind, the bios on the characters are strictly based on how they are in the fic itself, though they do take large inspiration from various comic book, cartoon, video game, and movie counterparts they may have. So, let’s begin with…
Bio: Dinah Laurel Lance, a second generation superheroine, as well as the second individual to take up the codename Black Canary after her mother. Originally Green Arrow‘s fiancée, they broke up before the wedding due to Green Arrow’s overall lack of commitment to their relationship, though she does still care for him as a friend. She has a long friendly rivalry with Huntress, as the two have apparently had to save one another on numerous occasions. She also was room-mates with Barbara Gordon when they went to college. After meeting Raven and letting her stay at her apartment, Dinah become something of a big sister to the half-demon, though this can sometimes lead to her becoming overprotective of her. She’s generally very confident in her team-mates, giving Madame Shazam an almost immediate vote of confidence, and is often seen as the glue that holds the team together, giving support and encouragement wherever possible.
Powers/Abilities/Tools: Black Canary is strong martial artist, having been trained by Wildcat in the art of self-defence and possesses above average strength for a woman of her size and age. She generally wields a sansetsukon, a three-piece staff, which has been modified to conceal a pair of sickles in its opposite ends, which she can use for slashing monsters, weapons, structures, or for stabbing into walls to slow her decent. She owns a motorcycle that she uses on her nightly patrols, and is generally very protective of. In fact, one thing you do NOT want to do to Dinah is in any way, shape, or form bring harm to her bike. When all else fails, Black Canary can let loose the Canary Cry, a powerful sonic screech that can shatter glass, knock back opponents, tear up concrete, and enhance explosives set off by her team-mates.
Weaknesses: The Canary Cry can sometimes be difficult to control, which has led to property damage on her part. Also, she cannot achieve it if she has any sort of lung or throat ailments. However, Black Canary’s biggest problem is that she can at times be a bit too impulsive, preferring to use her natural instincts in combat over advanced planning, and becoming too protective of her bike, her equipment, and her friends. She’s been shown to be highly susceptible to the Sons of Trigon’s sin amplification powers, particularly Jared’s ability to induce and encourage feelings of anger and aggression.
Bio: Rachel Roth is a half human, half demon child of Trigon the Terrible. At some point, her general distaste and guilt over her father’s tyrannical rule over the Under-Realms and his attempt to take over Earth led Raven to betray him and her brothers, the Sons of Trigon, in an effort to stop their plans to rule the world of her people. As a girl in her very late teens, Raven can at times be sarcastic and moody, and often-times finds herself lacking confidence and can even at times become depressed and self-loathing. However, this was later revealed to also be because of an imbalance in her human and demon DNA resulting in her being born a hermaphrodite, as well as a massive amount of guilt she felt over watching silently as her father took over the Under-Realms. She has begun to feel a bit better about herself, though, thanks to a recent meeting with the heroine Virtue.
Powers/Abilities/Tools: Raven possesses powerful telekinesis with which she can levitate herself around as she likes, or lift heavy objects or throw enemies around, as she prefers not to become physically violent. She also can project energy fields of black light in the form of force fields and a raven familiar. Her familiar is used to keep her costume in a pocket dimension, as well as carry herself and groups of people across long distances, able to phase through solid matter to get to where she’s headed. Raven also has the ability to heal some wounds, and can tap into her more demonic side to gain access to pyrokinesis and the ability to harness and warp the element of pride within a person.
Weaknesses: All of Raven’s powers have the same drawback: Raven must be able to keep a clear head and focus on the task at hand. To overcome this obstacle, she can use the chant developed by the monks of Azarath, “Azarath, Metrion, Zinthos”, to help her concentrate, thus improving the potency of her powers. Her more demonic powers, however, have added drawbacks, as they can put a harsh drain on her stamina, as well as temporarily change her skin and eyes to reflect those of her father’s.
Bio: Helena Bertinelli is a member of what was once of the wealthiest Mafia families in Gotham City‘s history. After watching her parents murdered before her eyes when she was 8 years old by Omerta the Silencer, Helena dedicated her life to obtaining vengeance on those responsible. Upon reaching adulthood and gaining her family’s fortune, she became the Huntress, a masked vigilante, and set out looking for Omerta. This crusade eventually got the attention of Batman, who tried to help her channel her rage, but when Omerta appeared again in Gotham, she nearly lost control and would’ve put an arrow between his eyes if Batman wasn’t there. Realising her mistake, she’s tried to make amends and become a better crime fighter as a result. She has a friendly rivalry with Black Canary, as the two have had to rescue each other on several occasions, and she also has a love/hate relationship with Batwoman, starting off as resentment for the Dark Knightess, but eventually becoming more friendly teasing, at times even flirtatiously so.
Powers/Abilities/Tools: Huntress is highly acrobatic and adaptable, able to befuddle opponents with her flips, tricks, and improvisation. Even large groups of enemies have trouble dealing with her. Her main weapon is a crossbow, which comes complete with a number of trick arrows with interchangeable arrowheads, each granting said arrow a different function. The number and versatility of these has been boosted exponentially since teaming with Batwoman, who, much to her chagrin, has an even larger inheritance to work with and a natural knack for building gadgets. She also likes to ride in the side-car of Batwoman’s motorcycle, which comes complete with a mount for her crossbow, and an ejection seat for getting the drop on criminals.
Weaknesses: While Huntress values the help of her team-mates, she often forgets that she’s part of a team and works on her own, which can get her into trouble. As a result, she’s had to be saved by her friends several times. Also, while her crossbow and trick arrows are a huge help in the field, if she loses her crossbow or runs out of ammo, her overall level of help in the field drops, as she doesn’t carry much else and her martial arts skills, while impressive, pale in comparison to those of Black Canary’s.
Bio: Katherine Kane is the daughter of Colonel Jacob Kane, and as such grew up an army brat. However, her childhood and adolescence was an often-times tragic one. When she was 12 years old, her mother was murdered by a group of gunmen. When she joined the military academy herself, despite being the top of her class, she was forced to leave when she refused to break the academy’s own code and lie after being found to be involved in a lesbian affair with her room-mate. Moving back to Gotham City, she found her father engaged to a wealthy socialite and that her home-town was brimming with corruption and mayhem. Inspired by the actions of Batman, Kate decided to put her inheritance to good use, becoming the Dark Knightess, Batwoman. Despite their similarities, she often-times butts heads with Batman, which was why they were both all too eager for her to take on a mission that took her far away from Gotham. Upon meeting Barbara Gordon, Batwoman was initially envious and resentful of her skills as Oracle, but upon learning of her past as Batgirl and getting a stern talking-to, she instead began a close partnership with her predecessor. While initially annoyed by the antics of her team-mates, Batwoman has since mellowed out, even occasionally joining in the fun when it suits her. She also possesses something of a love/hate relationship with Huntress, which started off as resentment from the Violet Marksman, but eventually became more akin to friendly, even flirtatious, teasing between the two.
Powers/Abilities/Tools: Batwoman carries a large number of Batarangs, which come in several types, like standard throwing star, explosive, and concussion. She also possesses throwing discs that enlarge into protective domes, bolas, a comm link in her cowl to her base, ‘The Attic’, a remote connection to her computer, and the trademark Batclaw grapple gun. She even wears a wig rigged to a device in her cowl that sends a minor shock to anyone that tries to pull on it, thinking it’s her real hair. Her preferred tool in the field, however, it the Remote Claw, a claw that grapples onto a target, then fires a second claw on a line to a second target before the line retracts. She also has a red motorcycle based off of Batman’s, which has a side-car for Huntress. Beyond all of this, Batwoman is also a skilled martial artist, is well versed with military protocol and terminology, has impressive detective skills second only to Batman, and is easily the most strategic of the team, often-times making her the de facto field leader.
Weaknesses: Although Batwoman’s gadgets are impressive, they are rarely able to inflict much lasting damage to the Sons of Trigon. Also, much like Huntress, as impressive as her martial arts skills are, they simply don’t compare to those of Black Canary’s. She’s also somewhat obsessed with proving the existence of a group called the Secret Society, which has sadly led to many a dead-end. Beyond these, however, her only other weaknesses are her limitations as a human being with no superpowers, but her drive and determination are usually enough to overcome these.
Bio: Barbara Gordon, daughter of Gotham City Police Commissioner James Gordon. Initially seeing the system in Gotham as being broken, with police officers and politicians corrupt and turning a blind eye to illegal activity, Barbara became inspired by Batman’s crusade against crime. Using her already impressive deductive reasoning, athleticism, and computer hacking skills, she took up the mantle of Batgirl for a time, until she decided to focus on her college life, where she met and roomed with Dinah Laurel Lance. However, her plans to eventually go back to crime fighting were ended when she was shot in the spine by The Joker as a message to her father. Now left in a wheelchair, presumably for the rest of her life, Babs was left thinking she would never enter a crime-fighting career again, until she refocused on her hacking skills to become Oracle, assisting superheroes from behind the scenes. She eventually opted to join Dinah and her team, the Birds of Prey, as their tech support, information gatherer, and an extra set of eyes and ears for them all, keeping them connected at all times. She naturally gets along best with Dinah, as the two are best friends, though they can occasionally bicker like an old married couple. Initially, Batwoman was envious and resentful of Barbara, but after learning her whole story, she instead decided to become Babs’ legs in the field, leading to a close partnership between the two.
Powers/Abilities/Tools: Oracle is quite possibly the greatest computer hacker on Earth. Anonymous phone calls, hacking security cameras, gaining private information, and erasing all evidence of herself that she leaves behind is mere child’s play for her. She’s also quite possibly the only person to know every single known superhero’s secret identity, though has no problem keeping such information to herself. Despite losing the use of her legs, Barbara is still a skilled marksman with a Batarang, has trained with an array of mêlée weapons, and while she can’t kick a person’s ass, she has no problems punching their teeth in.
Weaknesses: Sadly, Oracle’s most obvious weakness is the inability to use her legs, having been restricted to a wheelchair. This means that, while she could handle run-of-the-mill goons, the chances of her surviving a direct encounter with some of the more dangerous criminals and supervillains are slim. However, considering that she rarely if ever is physically anywhere near danger, has a team of superheroines at her beck and call, and even knows how to get ahold of Batman for help, this is rarely an issue.
Bio: Marie Hikari is the 13-year-old Asian-French-Canadian daughter of a Quebec man and a Japanese woman. Sadly, her mother died in a plane crash when Marie was only 11, and her father soon turned to a life of bank heists to support his daughter. Upon his arrest, Marie found herself homeless. All of that changed, however, when she was summoned to the Rock of Eternity by Billy Batson, also known as Shazam. Billy, having been a member of the JSA, had gone into hiding following the passing of a Superhero Registration Act. However, seeing that the act was over, but needing to stay with the Rock of Eternity, he instead underwent the same process as he was put through years ago, and selected a child who was innocent, pure of heart, and had a natural desire to help people. He thus chose Marie, who became Madame Shazam. Lacking any kind of direction in how best to use her powers, though, Marie was pointed in the direction of the Birds of Prey, joining the team as both a trainee and as the sheer muscle of their group, being the World’s Mightiest Mortal. Despite her lack of experience, she was given a vote of confidence by Black Canary, and the rest of the team quickly accepted her.
Powers/Abilities/Tools: Marie can call out the word “Shazam!” to summon a lightning bolt from the sky, which will transform her into her Madame Shazam or back into Marie. When she becomes Madame Shazam, she becomes a grown woman, is immediately granted her costume, and gains the Wisdom of Solomon, the Strength of Hercules, the Stamina of Atlas, the Power of Zeus, the Courage of Achilles, and the Speed of Mercury. Beyond the obvious points of all of these gifts, she can fly, turn into electricity that can phase through solid objects, and can call down thunderbolts to blast enemies.
Weaknesses: As Marie is still new to being a superheroine, she lacks control over her powers, specifically holding back the full extent of her strength and speed. This makes her fighting mobsters a frightful idea, as she could inadvertently kill one if she’s not careful. Also, despite having access to the Wisdom of Solomon, she can at times still act like childish, and can be caught off-guard do to her naïvety and inexperience. Lastly, if for any reason she’s unable to speak the word “Shazam!”, she’s left helpless in the body of a 13-year-old girl with no formal training in self-defence.
Bio: Zinda Blake was the first woman to join becoming an honorary member of the Blackhawks, a team of ace pilots, in World War II. Despite their rule of not allowing women in combat, she was able to earn the moniker of Lady Blackhawk, and was believed to only be a poster girl for the team, while actually being one of the finest fighter pilots on the team. The Blackhawks often-times went into combat alongside members of the JSA during the war, and for several years after. However, after an accident in the 50’s where the team battled a time-travelling criminal named Warp, destroying the device he used to open temporal rifts, Zinda was pulled through time, winding up approximately 60 years in the future to find herself as the last Blackhawk, and one of their former training facilities now occupied by the Birds of Prey. After a rocky first meeting with the group, she decided to join the team, adding her piloting skills, quick wit, impressive marksmanship, and other talents to the team. She does have her issues fitting in at times, though, given how much society has changed in 60 years, but her team-mates know she always means well and is just having trouble adapting. Otherwise, she’s a good friend to them all, and likes to trade jokes with Black Canary and Huntress.
Powers/Abilities/Tools: Lady Blackhawk can pilot just about anything that flies, having studied how every single aircraft built up until the 50’s worked, even those forgotten or specifically neglected by history. Anything she can’t pilot, she will figure out in remarkable time. She’s also an impressive marksman, carrying a pair of pistols as her side-arms, but she knows how to use them as non-lethal weapons, seeing as she knows how superheroes generally detest killing, herself only every having had to do so when there were no other options. Aside from that, she’s an expert negotiator and interrogator, and is not above using some of her feminine qualities to distract men.
Weaknesses: Since Zinda doesn’t generally carry much into battle, aside from her pistols, she lacks versatility in the field. While she does basic hand-to-hand combat training, it wasn’t really mandatory learning for a team of pilots, so her fighting skills aren’t the greatest. Finally, the most obvious problem for her is adapting to modern technology. While she can fly just about anything with wings, things like the internet, certain gadgets and tools, and other such devices will more often than not blow her mind.
And there you go, the seven members of the Birds of Prey: Dark. Lemme know in the comments what you think of the team, if there are any other characters you would like to see appear as supporting characters, antagonists, etc., and next time we’ll take a look at some of those that have appeared up until now. Ja né!
- Time For A Little (More) Gail Simone Appreciation (venusfrommars.wordpress.com)
- What’s In A Codename 2: The DC Ladies (womenwriteaboutcomics.com)
- ‘Arrow’: Emily Bett Rickards On Olicity, Black Canary, And “Birds of Prey”? (splashpage.mtv.com)
- ‘Birds of Prey’ 25: Black Canary defends her dojo in Zero Year (herocomplex.latimes.com)
- The Black Canary Sings! Arrow’s Caity Lotz Teases the League of Assassins’ Debut, Sara’s “Dark” Past and More (eonline.com)
- A Comic Fan Searches For A New Hero: Part 14, Black Canary (politicaljesus.com)
- Silly Acronyms – Schooled (Young Justice) Review (youngheroteams.wordpress.com)
- Marvel Maven (faroffseas.wordpress.com)
- TV Review: Arrow, “Crucible” (S2,E4) – I React to the 3 Major New Storylines (weminoredinfilm.com)
- Zero Year Event: Birds of Prey 25 (comicbooked.com)
Only four women can protect Platinum Flats from mobsters, supervillains, secret organizations, and paranormal/supernatural threats. They are Black Canary, Huntress, Batwoman, and Raven: the Birds of Prey!
- Are The Birds Of Prey Set For An Appearance On Arrow Season 2? (themarysue.com)
- Arrow News – Could Birds of Prey make an Appearance? (wasahiro.wordpress.com)
- Are You Ready For Batman to Come to Fox? (cabletv.com)
- DC Despatches: Constantine, Arrow, Wonder Woman (geeksyndicate.co.uk)
- Marc Guggenheim Hints At Plans For The BIRDS OF PREY And SUICIDE SQUAD On ARROW (comicbookmovie.com)
- Our First Look at Black Canary in Arrow (themarysue.com)
So, I’ve once again decided to do a fanfiction based on an idea I posted in How Would I Rebuild The DC Universe From Scratch. This one, however, will be a bit longer with no real planned ending, much like a comic book series. So, with that in mind, my next fanfiction will be…
Yep, instead of a story about one of DC’s leading ladies, I’ve decided to do a story that involves just about ALL of them. While it’ll focus primarily on a team of four of them, you’ll see a LOT of them cameo and rotate in and out as the plot requires them. Speaking of which, the plot will centre around a mixture of Birds of Prey, Justice League Dark, and Raven from Teen Titans. I decided to set the story in Platinum Flats instead of Gotham City, even though three of the four main characters are most commonly seen in Gotham, since it was home to the Birds for a time before the New 52, and I wanted them kept separate from Batman’s operations so they can tell their own story. For now, though, let’s take a look at the four main members of the Birds of Prey: Dark…
Daughter of the original Black Canary, Dinah Lance is an asskicker the likes of which even Batman wouldn’t want to square off against. With her impressive martial arts skills and steel shattering Canary Cry, she protects Platinum Flats from criminals, only to find one day during a routine chase with some criminals that she may have found herself in a situation where she needs a little help. Oh, and before you ask, NO, I am not planning to involve Green Arrow, at least not in person.
An expert marksman trying to suppress the desire for vengeance against the Mafia, the Huntress has often been seen as a close friend/occasional rival to Black Canary. As such, when Dinah runs into more trouble than she can handle alone, Helena is more than happy to jump in and help with a friendly jab or two ready. Also, while I said before that I’d make her a mixture of the two Huntresses, her and Helena Wayne, I’ve kinda heard the argument against that, and I get that it’s not a good idea. If I’m gonna be writing Helena Bertinelli, she has to be Helena Bertinelli.
A former army brat and heiress to one of the wealthiest families in Gotham City, Batwoman was inspired by Batman to become a super-heroine. I decided to have DC’s première lesbian super-heroine move from Gotham to set up shop on the west coast, which ultimately leads to her running into Black Canary and Co. and funding the team. Otherwise, she’s also investigating the ties between various mob bosses and criminals, uncovering conspiracies, and seeking the members of the Secret Society. So, she’s kinda pulling double duty, doing The Question’s job, minus the insane amounts of paranoia. lol
The daughter of a demon from another dimension, Raven escaped to Earth to get away from her dark, oppressive father, Trigon the Terrible. As a result, Trigon sent her brothers to bring her back and kill anyone that get in their way, intentional or otherwise, thus setting the stage for the first arc of the story. Personality wise, she’d act like she does in the comics, but also with some traces of her dry sarcasm from the Teen Titans animated series, just for fun.
As I said, the team will be a mixture of Birds of Prey and Justice League Dark, hence the name of the fic, ‘Birds of Prey: Dark’. Basically, they’re a group of superheroines battling mobsters, secret organizations, and the more dangerous paranormal/supernatural foes in the DC Universe. Recurring villains will include Trigon and his sons, as Raven will be a full-time member, but expect plenty other well-known demonic, mystical, or extra-terrestrial bad guys to appear.
As for other heroines involved, like I said, expect plenty to make appearances. Obviously, since it’s the Birds of Prey, I gotta have Barbara Gordon show up at some point, and I guess Lady Blackhawk would have to be a must at some point too. Hawk and Dove would probably be neat, and I KNOW Zatanna and Madame Xanadu would be awesome to get involved. So yeah, plenty to work with. As for the male heroes of the DC Universe, while I intend to keep the team’s path separate from Batman, hence the move to the west coast, expect him to cameo or at least be referenced to. And again, I don’t plan to have Green Arrow show up, but I suppose Black Canary talking about him from time to time is alright.
What do you guys think? Are you cool with this plot? Who would you like to see show up? Vote below, or leave a comment saying who you would like to see show up, and with any luck, Birds of Prey: Dark will be coming sooner than later. Ja né!
- Is ‘Gotham Central’ the Next DC Comics TV Show After The Flash? (screenrant.com)
- Arrow Season 2: More DC Lore Characters Announced (geeksyndicate.co.uk)
- Why Not The Female Superhero Movie? by Chris Derrick – Sympathy For The Devil #41 | @MDWorld (mdwp.malibulist.com)
- NOOB REVIEW: Birds of Prey: The Death of Oracle (capelesscrusader.org)
- DC’s shared universe? (justpressplay13.wordpress.com)
- Villain Month Guide: Part 1 – Batman (retcon-punch.com)
- Will Wonder Woman Appear in ‘Batman vs. Superman’? (screenrant.com)
- Sept. 18, 2013 (offthepanelcomicreview.wordpress.com)
- David Goyer Bringing DC’s ‘Constantine’ to NBC (slashfilm.com)
- Before Batfleck: A History of Batman’s Best and Worst Incarnations (wired.com)