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Batgirl #51 Preview

Always awesome seeing Steph be a badass, but I’m still counting the days until we get to see her huck a Gooperang again. ūüėõ Anyway, here’re the preview pages for Batgirl #51.

  • After the events of issue #50, Barbara Gordon is at a crossroads in her life‚ÄĒwill new horizons beckon her away from her home in Burnside?

http://www.craveonline.com/entertainment/981139-exclusive-preview-batgirl-51

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Batgirl #50 Preview

Not gonna lie, kinda bummed these guys aren’t the new Birds of Prey, but whatever, should still be a good book, as should¬†this. Here’s the preview for Batgirl #50.

  • It‚Äôs the explosive conclusion of the epic that changed Barbara Gordon forever! The enemy lurking at the edges of Batgirl‚Äôs life has been revealed, as have the gang of heroes assembled to help her! From this point on, Batgirl doesn‚Äôt walk alone! It‚Äôs an extra-sized celebration of the greatest hero Burnside has ever known, from Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher and Babs Tarr!

http://www.comicbookresources.com/comic-previews/batgirl-50-dc-comics-2016

DC Rebirth Reveal – Some Art And Quick Reactions

…SO, today was kinda nuts.¬†Before I go in-depth on all of the big announcements, since I fully expect more news to come out soon enough, let’s instead take a look at some of the art revealed for the new books and a few quick notes I took for the different titles.

80 PAGES FOR $2.99! HOLY CRAP! XD

80 PAGES FOR $2.99?! That’s some insane dedication to the price drop!

...So wait, several of my favourite Bat Family characters, all part of a team book, and debuting in the same month as my birthday? I feel like this book is especially for me. :D

…So wait, several of my favourite Bat Family characters, all part of a team book, and debuting in the same month as my birthday? I feel like this book is especially for me. ūüėÄ Kinda confused by Clayface’s presence, but whatever.

Supergirl going back to a more classic costume makes sense, especially since we have her show going right now. The only thing that's kinda weird is that we're keeping the story arc where her father is the new Cyborg Superman. It's just...odd.

Supergirl going back to a more classic costume makes sense, especially since we have her show going right now. The only thing that’s kinda weird is that we’re keeping the story arc where her father is the new Cyborg Superman. It’s just…odd.

He’s back in blue! THANK GOD! Also, the reaction to the first story arc’s title, “Better Than Batman” got just the exact reaction I was expecting. XD

Greg Rucka is coming back to Wonder Woman. This is going to be INSANE, and I REALLY can’t wait for Wonder Woman Year One, with art by Nicola Scott. Also, thank God, Wonder Woman’s back in gold. I don’t even care that it’s blatantly copied from the movies, it looks good on her. ūüôā

Lex Luthor as the new Superman of Metropolis. That’s literally all you need to know to realize¬†that’s gonna end badly. Throw in Doomsday, and I’ll be surprised if there’s anything LEFT of Metropolis by the time we hit Action Comics #1000.

Interested to see where this new story takes Batgirl, but I hope it eventually returns her to Burnside. Would hate to see everything that's been going on with her dropped so unceremoniously.

Interested to see where this new story takes Batgirl, but I hope it eventually returns her to Burnside. Would hate to see everything that’s been going on with her dropped so unceremoniously.

So Hal's going back to the Corps, while Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz are having to take over on Earth. Interesting set up, and REALLY glad to see Cruz graduating to Green Lantern. :)

So Hal’s going back to the Corps, while Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz are having to take over on Earth. Interesting set up, and REALLY glad to see Cruz graduating to Green Lantern. ūüôā

DC has a REALLY warped sense of humour, revealing this in the same week that Batman and Superman threw down. lol

DC has a REALLY warped sense of humour, revealing that the sons of Batman and Superman will be teaming up in the same week that Batman and Superman threw down. lol

Bryan Hitch, Tony Daniel, and Fernando Pasarin have got some BIG shoes to fill with Justice League, but I like the team. Also, it seems details on JLA are being kept a secret for now.

Relax, people. It's not THAT All-Star Batman. lol

Relax, people. It’s not THAT All-Star Batman. lol Also, I guess now we know what Snyder’s been up to. That said, gotta admit, I’m a little disappointed to see Ivy relegated back to being simply another rogue for Batman after all the work that’s been done with her as her own character.

Y’know, everybody else is talking about how Damian is on the Titans and how Wally West is still black, and all I can think of is “Thank God, Starfire’s on the Titans and NOT the Outlaws”. ūüėõ

A mostly all-new Outlaws team with characters I don't care much about. So, in other words, Lobdell is being kept away from anything I care about. Good to know. ^_^

A mostly all-new Outlaws team with characters I don’t care much about. So, in other words, Lobdell is being kept away from anything I love. Good to know. ^_^

Whoa, whoa, whoa, lemme see if I understand this correctly: A Titans book where there's only ONE person in red??? :P

Whoa, whoa, whoa, lemme see if I understand this correctly: A Titans book where there’s only ONE person in red??? ūüėõ Also, who is that in green? Can’t be a Lantern, can it?

They really might as well have just said "We're going with the same team as from the movie". I mean, honestly, I don't even really care that they're cross-promoting, so why not just admit it?

They really might as well have just said “We’re going with the same team as from the movie”. I mean, honestly, I don’t even really care that they’re cross-promoting, so why not just admit it?

Oh goodie, David Finch is on Batman. -_-

Oh goodie, David Finch is on Batman. -_- Tom King should prove to be a good choice, though, and I’m interested to see where this goes in the aftermath of Superheavy, especially as it pertains to Duke Thomas.

Interesting set-up with Flash having to mentor not one but SEVERAL new speedsters. Also, I don't care that Wally is still black. I just hope he's FUN again. That's all I've EVER wanted.

Interesting set-up with Flash having to mentor not one but SEVERAL new speedsters. Also, I don’t care that Wally is still black. I just hope he’s FUN again. That’s all I’ve EVER wanted.

I've never been so excited and so confused for a book. So someone is posing as Oracle? Does that mean Oracle is canon again? Also, that's clearly New 52 Helena as Huntress. So does that mean she really WAS Huntress before having to fake her death?

I’ve never been so excited and so confused for a book. So someone is posing as Oracle? Does that mean Oracle is canon again? Also, that’s clearly New 52 Helena as Huntress. So does that mean she really WAS Huntress before having to fake her death?

Anyway, that’s all for now. I’ll go more in depth soon enough, though. Lemme know your own thoughts below, and we’ll see how things pan out from now to May 25th, 2016. Ja n√©!

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 n√©!

Batgirl #40 Review – Meet The New Oracle? (WARNING- SPOILERS)

Yeah, it’s been a while since I did a full review of a comic, but as I mentioned beforehand, Wednesday night is D&D night at Heroes’ Beacon, so I haven’t had much in the way of time. However, because I’m kinda down right now with what I’m assuming is a cold, and had to have my comics delivered to me (thanks, Mom), I had time today. So, let’s look at the end of Stewart and Fletcher’s first arc¬†with Barbara Gordon in Batgirl #40 – Ghost In The Cowl (and yes, that’s most definitely a reference to Ghost In The Shell, complete with similar logo, lol).

So, as we learned last issue, and had further light shed on it in Batgirl’s part of Secret Origins #10, it seems the algorithm Babs made while she was wheelchair bound was designed to identify and predict criminal activity and alert operatives¬†to deal with the situation as a sort of information broker. Babs also included a brain scan of herself to give the program a personality. So basically, a digital Oracle. However, it’s gotten a bit…confused. Seeing Batgirl no longer scaring criminals, being a force of fear, and instead becoming a bit more public, the program instead sees herself as the real Barbara Gordon and Babs as the corrupted version. Worse, using the hooq servers, she’s determined that pretty much everyone going to Black Canary’s concert (yeah, I still can’t get over that, but let’s move on) is a potential target, whether directly involved in criminal behaviour or not, and has decided to take them all out WITH A MILITARY SATELLITE! Of course, Babs ain’t taking that shit, and with help from Dinah and Frankie (her room-mate who just learned of Babs’ secret identity), as well as the GCPD keeping everyone calm, they manage to stop evil data twin Barbara from firing and shut her down. The next morning, Frankie reveals that she managed to save the algorithm and fix it so it won’t kill anyone. She also teases that she gave it a name, and makes it clear that she wants to join team Batgirl. Afterward, we get a quick goodbye from Dinah, who has been signed to a label and might be going on tour, and declares that she no longer has any hard feelings towards Babs, as none of this would’ve happened without her. So, all’s good with the team again………THANK GOD. lol

Now, let’s discuss a couple of things. First, there’s how the Barbara/Dinah situation resolved. Frankly, at this point, I’m just glad they managed to resolve this at all with at least some of either character’s dignity intact and their friendship rekindled. I still think that Di took it way too far at times, but she at least came back for Babs when she most needed her. Also, I’m still on the fence about the direction of the new Black Canary book coming out in June. However, I do take comfort that¬†she actually HAS a solo book now for the first time since 2007, and that it’s at least something different that’ll take us down a new¬†road with the character. So, I’m at least more open to the idea than I was when it was first announced.

As for Frankie becoming the new Oracle, or at least the new Oracle-like character……..I love it. lol Yeah, I’ve been a little disappointed that Alysia got pushed into the background to make room for Frankie, but I’ve come around and learned to like this character as well. And¬†honestly, if we’re going with the idea of someone other than Babs being Oracle, maybe this is exactly who we needed: Someone who is smart, adaptive, and wants to help clean up the streets, but not out of any desire for vengeance or being motivated by a troubled life, but just because she wants to help. And I love the idea that we’re going back to someone who is physically handicapped, but with the twist that she wasn’t put in the wheelchair by a criminal. Hell, she’s not even in the chair yet, it’s just a condition she has that’ll eventually lead to that. And while I don’t really feel her race ever really impacts her character at all, it still adds to the roster of DC characters of varying skins and nationalities. Overall, it’s a good call.

…I love this cover. XD

So, my thoughts on this issue? Great. Not perfect, mind you. It DOES feel like a bit of a mega-happy ending, which could rub people the wrong way, but sometimes, we need those. I no longer have any kind of ill will for this book and its narrative. I know that there are still some that do, though, and that’s fine.¬†Nothing is for everybody, but this book is definitely for me.

‘Infinite DC – Birds of Prey: Dark’ Fanfic Update – Closer Look At The Team (WARNING – SPOILERS)

So, one of my fanfics, Infinite DCBirds 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…

Black Canary

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 fianc√©e, 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.

Raven

Raven

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.

Huntress

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.

Batwoman

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.

Oracle

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 m√™l√©e 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.

Madame Shazam (not actually Mary Batson, though she does wear the same costume)

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 na√Įvety 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.

Lady Blackhawk

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.

The Birds of Prey: Dark

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 n√©!

Taking Requests For DC Team-Up Fics + Last Chance To Vote on Fanfic Universe Name (FEEDBACK REQUESTED)

So, remember a while back when I talked about¬†What I‚Äôd Do Instead of Superman/Wonder¬†Woman? Y’know, the random crossover book? Well, having FINALLY written Will & Hope, I’ve decided that I’m going to start taking requests from people to do crossover team-up fics of various DC superheroes. Basically, you post a request on here or in the comments for my fanfics, listing 2-3 heroes and 2-3 of their villains, and provided I like the idea of the team-up and it works within the canon of my fics, I will give it an honest shot.

Just as examples, you could ask¬†for something like Wonder Woman and Batman taking on Cheetah and Bane, Robin and Raven battling Harley Quinn and one of the Sons of Trigon, Superman and John Stewart fighting Atomic Skull and Atrocitus, whatever. You don’t HAVE to post a plot idea if you don’t want to, but I suppose it could help. One thing I do ask, or rather recommend if you want better odds of me agreeing to do it, is that you list characters that have appeared in my fics thus far, the heroes at least. I’ll probably post a list of characters that have appeared thus far in my Fanfiction.net profile, (which is J.A.Phillips, btw), but for now, here’s a list of heroes and villains that have appeared or been referenced to thus far, more or less in order of appearance.

Heroes: Batman (Bruce Wayne), Robin, Martian Manhunter, Batman (Thomas Wayne), Superman, Supergirl/Power Girl, Cyborg, Wonder Woman, Black Canary (Dinah Laurel Lance), Raven, Huntress, Batwoman, Batgirl/Oracle, Green Arrow, Black Canary (Dinah Drake-Lance), The Flash (Wally West), Green Lantern (John Stewart), The Flash (Jay Garrick), Green Lantern (Hal Jordan)

Villains: Tony Zucco, Copperhead (female version from Arkham Origins), Rupert Thorne, Lew Moxon, Carmine Falcone, Gillian Loeb, Victor Zsasz, Manchester Black, Lex Luthor, Plasmus, Atomic Skull, Magpie, Baud, Dyna-mind, Parasite, Solomon Grundy, Toyman, The Joker, Firebug, The Riddler, The Jokerz, John Corben/Metallo, Nasthalthia Luthor, Bizarro, Jared, Trigon, Omerta the Silencer, Aquarius, Bleez, Atrocitus, Sinestro, Weather Wizard, Volcana, Dex-Starr

All of that aside, I’ve decided that, starting with my upcoming Justice League fanfic, I will be listing all of my fanfiction under a name for my fan-made universe. So, with that said, this is the last opportunity to vote on the name: Either Earth 52, so named for being the reality that doesn’t exist in the comics, or Infinite DC, named after Ultimate Marvel and for being¬†influenced by the events of an infinite number of other¬†comics, TV shows, movies, and so on.

Anyway, if you have a request for a team-up, post it below, and I shall see what I can do for you in the future. Ja né!

Should DC Sell Superhero Adult Novels? (Yes, this is an actual question asking for feedback, JUST HEAR ME OUT lol)

So I’ve made a number of jokes as of late, saying that if DC really wants to tell stories about their heroes hooking up and having sex, they should just drop the pretenses and release adult novels for their heroes. Now, while I was mostly kidding when I said things like that, I started thinking recently…SHOULD they? WOULD that sell well? WOULD it be beneficial to them, and to readers?

Ah, for the good old days when the Bat and the Cat was the most romantic thing EVER.

Now, before anyone calls me a pig for this, hear me out: As we all know, DC is obsessed with the idea of telling a romance story involving Superman and Wonder Woman. Some people like it, and some people (myself included) hate it. So I had a thought: What if instead of constantly bringing that up in the comics, why not just tell that story in an adult novel? Or hey, people got kinda bothered by the stories of Batman and Catwoman having rooftop “meetings” in the early days of the New 52 Catwoman books. Well, if comic book readers dislike that, why present it for them? Why not sell it to an audience that might enjoy that sort of thing? Or heck, Grant Morrison can’t talk about the upcoming Earth 1 Wonder Woman story without mentioning her sex life or making references to sex. If he’s that fixated on it, why is he writing a comic for her? Why not an adult novel?

Be honest, you know some people would read a book about these two.

Basically, my point in a nutshell is that they would be keeping that sort of storytelling that delves into sex and romantic scenarios that not everyone is going to get into in comics in a completely separate genre for people who WOULD enjoy it. Like I said before, despite HEAVY bitching about the Wonder Woman/Superman pairing, there are fans who enjoy reading it. While a lot of fans see overuse of sex in comics as annoying, some probably like it. And hey, it’d be a completely different form of media, so they could do whatever they wanted with whoever they wanted. Some could be in canon with the current comics, and some could be VERY non-canon. Fans wanna see Clark Kent and Lois Lane together again? Easily done! People wanna know more about the relationship between Alan Scott and Sam? Not a problem! Heck, Gail Simone could finally write a story about the Oracle/Black Canary pairing she wanted to do for Birds of Prey.

…C’mon, Gail, you know you wanna. lol

Anyway, vote and/or comment below whether or not you think this would be a good move for DC, and let’s hope someone who works for them is listening. Ja n√©!

Happy Birthday, Gail Simone! ^_^

So, I heard SOMEBODY’S got a birthday today! Hit it, Kougami!

So yeah, it’s Gail Simone‘s birthday, and in spite of my headache and overall lack of sleep making me feel like hell today, I thought I’d come online to talk a little bit about some of the things I’m thankful to her for…

Making Wonder Woman AWESOME Again

Lemme put this in perspective. When Gail Simone was given Wonder Woman, Amazons Attack had just happened a few months ago. Y’know, that book that pretty much tore down Wonder Woman’s mythos and shat all over it? Well, DC kinda realized they royally frakked up there and decided to let Gail Simone fix Wonder Woman. Turns out, that actually was a REALLY good decision. I’ve read The Circle, it is AMAZING, and anyone who loves Wonder Woman should go read it…Although I wish DC would give her Wonder Woman again to try to fix the mess they’ve made of her in the New 52.

Her First Run On Birds of Prey

Okay, here’s a book I have yet to read, and I REALLY need to rectify this someday. I only ever hear great things about her initial run on Birds of Prey, and if gave SO MUCH by just being there. There was supposed to be an episode of JLU that would feature Barbara bringing Huntress and Black Canary together for a mission, which Gail Simone wrote, but sadly, it couldn’t happen due to copyright issues involving Batgirl. Still, we got an episode to feature them together, which led to more down the road. Again, rumours have been circulating that the DCAU is making a comeback in the near future, and I would LOVE to see Gail get another crack at writing a Birds episode.

Making Wonder Woman AWESOME Again…In A Movie! XD

This might just be one of the best DC animated movies ever. It’s gotta be at least in the top 5. While the violence of the 2009 Wonder Woman movie could get a bit excessive, it is still the closest portrayal to the character and the best revamping of her origins I’ve ever seen. Don’t get me wrong, I love the JLU version of Wonder Woman too, but as far as a stand-alone movie that’s just about her, this was amazing. It kinda makes me wonder why live action attempts at portraying the character in the past few years have failed so miserably.

Writing Batgirl in the New 52

Okay, let me make one thing abundantly clear for anybody who doubts this: Making Barbara Gordon Batgirl again, taking her out of the wheelchair, and retconning the existence of her replacements and her time as Oracle was fucking STUPID. PERIOD. If there is anybody that still debates that, it is only for a single reason: Gail Simone is the writer for Batgirl in the New 52. That does not make the concept behind this book any less stupid, people. However, it does speak volumes of Gail Simone’s writing talent. She took this ludicrous concept that went back on DC’s word for YEARS, and she made it WORK. To this day, I still don’t know how she did it. Now, there have been recent issues that had moments that annoyed me, I’ve mentioned them before, and I MIGHT be skipping the next couple of issues as a result. But, overall, Gail’s run on Batgirl has been a HUGE success.

So, there’s the four biggest things I’m thankful to Gail Simone for. I’d add Red Sonja, but her run has only just gotten started, so I gotta wait it out a bit to see if it continues to be so awesome. Also, while The Movement has been an enjoyable read, I wouldn’t put it up there with the rest of these, though I do hope it sticks around. Anyway, be sure to send your own birthday wishes to her on Twitter, and I will see y’all later, ‘cuz I gotta rest my head for a bit. Ja n√©!

Happy Birthday to ME! ^_^ + 10 Favourite DC Superheroes

Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me! lol Okay, I’m not gonna do that the whole post, but I felt like bringing it up. And so, on this day that I turn 28, I decided to do two lists of my favourite superheroes, 10 from DC and 10 from Marvel. Let’s start with DC, since I’m honestly more of a DC guy than Marvel. I will elaborate on which interpretations of each character I prefer.

#1 – Bruce Wayne, AKA Batman

Yeah, be honest, you knew this was coming. In fact, I don’t know a single person who likes superheroes who doesn’t have Batman in their Top 10. I think it’s because there’s so many different interpretations of the character, thus allowing different people of different likes/dislikes to get into the character. Be it the comics, the 90’s cartoon, heck even the 60’s live action series, there’s plenty of interpretations of Batman to go around. Me personally, my favourite interpretations of the character are from Batman: The Animated Series and the Scott Snyder comics, neither of which should surprise anyone. lol

#2 – Clark Kent, AKA Superman

Ahh, the original template for the superhero in the 20th Century. Superman is the physical embodiment of hope, just as Batman is justice and Wonder Woman is truth. His feats are legendary, his abilities are unmatched, and his sheer power is only outdone by his sheer will and the strength of his heart. My favourite takes on the character are probably All-Star Superman and, again, the DCAU, although they perhaps showed him getting slapped around a bit too often there.

Hands down, my favourite super-heroine of all time. Sure, there are plenty who are faster, stronger, more intelligent, or more inventive, but Stephanie Brown is by far the most entertaining to read for her wit, her charm, and her never-say-die attitude. Obviously, my favourite take on the character is from Bryan Q. Miller‘s Batgirl title. But, to be fair, I have to pay homage to the original super-heroine…

#4 – Diana Prince, AKA Wonder Woman

As I said, Superman embodies hope, Batman upholds justice, and Wonder Woman is the spirit of truth. I get the feeling that perhaps one reason a lot of people tend to write poor Diana in such a botched up manner is because she is both the most compassionate super-heroine of all in DC while also the best fighter. However, my favourite interpretation of the character seemed to get the balance just write: Gail Simone‘s take on Wonder Woman.

#5 – Wally West, AKA The Flash

Yeah, I know I keep going on about this, but I seriously miss Wally West. Barry Allen is just not interesting as The Flash. The only comic strip I have ever read that has Barry written in a way that makes him fun to read is JL8, and that’s not even written by anyone in DC…for some bizarre reason. There’s actually a rumour going around that Wally is the new Reverse-Flash, with his memories of the pre-Flashpoint Earth intact and his sanity broken by how much the universe has changed and how his idol is responsible for it all. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I can conceivably see it working, provided it ends with Wally regaining his sanity, possibly even becoming a good guy version of Reverse-Flash. Anyway, my favourite interpretations of Wally are from the Justice League cartoon and The Titans, AKA Linkara’s favourite comic series. lol

#6 – Rachel Roth, AKA Raven

Azarath Metrion ZINTHOS! Yeah, no big surprise here, but my favourite interpretation of Raven is from the Teen Titans cartoon. The version of her from The Titans where she was just a golden ghostly form was pretty awesome too, but c’mon, Raven was awesome there. She was dark, powerful, sarcastic, and honestly could be more fun than Beast Boy most times. And the excellent voice acting of Tara Strong only made her even more awesome.

 

#7 – Tim Drake, AKA Red Robin

Noticing a pattern here: Everyone here is either JLA, Titans, and/or Batman Incorporated. And in Tim Drake’s case, he could easily qualify all three someday. The only other hero besides Batman to have earned the title of ‘Detective’ from Ra’s al Ghul, Tim Drake is my favourite Robin (and no, I don’t care if his time as Robin is retconned or not, even as Red Robin, he still counts toward the group). I can’t really pick out an individual take on the character that I prefer most, but probably one the best stories to involve him is the aforementioned confrontation with Ra’s, especially the crossover stuff with Steph in Batgirl.

#8 – Kara Zor-El, AKA Supergirl

I’ve only recently gotten into Supergirl’s storylines, but honestly, I find her very interesting. I think I might just like her more than Superman. Her stories in the New 52 are higher quality than Supes’ (seriously, I’m at the point where I’m ready to BEG Scott Snyder to write the best damned Superman book he possibly can), her disguise is better than Clark’s, and she’s even potentially stronger than him since her body absorbs yellow sun energy faster.

#9 – Barbara Gordon, AKA Batgirl

Yeah, I brought up my personal favourite Batgirl, but this one deserves a spot in my 10 Favourite DC Heroes as well: Barbara Gordon. Be she the badass super-heroine, Batgirl, or the techno wizard who served as the eyes and ears of the entire Justice League, Oracle, Barbara is straight up awesome. My favourite takes on the character? Well, there’s Gail Simone’s writing, regardless of pre or post Flashpoint, and then her appearances in Bryan Q. Miller’s Batgirl, where she basically served as the old Bruce to Stephanie’s Terry McGinnis.

#10 – Shayera, AKA Hawkgirl

Ahhh, yet another badass woman in DC, Hawkgirl is among the highest ranking of her field. You get in her way, expect to wake up in a hospital bed the next day. And once again, my favourite interpretation of her is from the Justice League cartoon, though I also really like Kendra Saunders in Earth 2. What’s odd about that is that, really, they’re not all that alike at all, possibly the most different of the Earth 2 counterparts.

Anyway, that’s it for my 10 Favourite DC Superheroes. And if yer wondering why Green Lantern isn’t on here, it’s mostly because I couldn’t decide on which one to put on here, be it Alan Scott of Earth 2 or John Stewart from the Justice League cartoon. As such, just consider them tied for #11. Anyway, next time I will check out my 10 favourite heroes from Marvel. Ja n√©!