Y’know, in comics, when you’re setting up line-ups of different titles to try and sell to your customers, say as part of a reboot or relaunch or whatever, it’s a good idea to keep it varied. After all, you never know when something different might stick with someone. But, at the same time, there are certain books that have a certain name value to them that need to be kept in, no matter what you’re doing. DC Comics, in particular, seems to have several of these high name value books. But which ones are the ones that I feel are the ones that MUST be kept in, regardless of what they’re doing? What books, no matter what kind of universal reboot or retooling or new direction, do I feel are the titles that should be kept around? Well, strap yourselves in, because I’m about to go over them now. These are the 12 essential DC titles I feel should be a part of every line-up. So, let’s start with an obvious one…
If for no other reason, Action Comics needs to be kept around for DC’s entire life-span because it’s the book that started this whole incredible ride. And because it’s been around for so long, it can provide for great anniversary moments. Hell, at this moment in time, we are coming up super close to a legitimate Action Comics #1000, and it’s frigging awesome. I would keep Action Comics running from now until the end of time if I could, and I would NEVER attempt to renumber it ever again.
Same deal as Action Comics. Detective Comics has been a major staple of DC (right down to the frigging name), and is likewise creeping up on 1000 issues. This needs to keep running for as long as DC Comics does. Maybe even longer, if say someone like Marvel or whoever bought out DC and kept their characters and stories going.
They are the three pillars of DC Comics. Let’s just be clear about that. No matter how big anyone else gets, and there are plenty of big freaking names, these are the ones that best define DC: Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. You do not have DC Comics if you don’t have these three characters, and they MUST have their own solo titles. Admittedly, though, Action Comics and Detective Comics of the modern day are pretty much just Superman and Batman books respectively, but at least said books also feature plenty of their supporting casts. Hell, for a time, Detective Comics primarily starred Batwoman. But yeah, these three HAVE to be around.
Okay, I know what I just said about the Trinity, but if there was anyone else in DC that I can’t imagine the books existing without, it’s The Flash. This is probably because of the fact that he’s been central to so many major events that revolve around the Multiverse and the central continuity of the stories. Think about that: Any time there has ever been a major shake up, Barry or another Flash was in the middle of it. As such, Flash is very much a central part of DC’s legacy, and needs to continue to be as much moving forward.
It’s the A-List group of superheroes within this universe. There is no shared universe of any sort without the Justice League. And I don’t care what you call them, be it the Justice League, Justice League of America, JLA, Justice League International, or Justice League United, there MUST be a Justice League of some sort no matter what is going on. That said, there are maybe two other teams that need just as much focus…
With so many great superheroines in the DC Universe, it’s hard to imagine there ever being a time when the Birds of Prey didn’t exist. I mean, I know there was, but I can’t imagine how or why. It’s bizarre. That said, one thing that the Birds of Prey books need to stop doing is introducing whole new male characters that no one cares about. Specifically, Condor from the New 52 version and the new Oracle in the Rebirth version. It’s infuriating. lol I would also probably use this book as a means of getting the Gotham City Sirens (Catwoman, Harley Quinn, and Poison Ivy) involved in major storylines if they didn’t have their own books. I mean, I would probably make sure they did have their own book, but again, I’m going specifically for the bare essentials here.
Again, with so many younger heroes, there simply MUST be a Teen Titans (or just Titans) book at all times. Even if you rebooted back to square one, to where Dick Grayson is Robin and so on, there are still plenty of options to go with. You still have Kid Flash, Aqualad, Raven, Cyborg, Beast Boy, Starfire, so many younger heroes that would be welcome in a Titans book.
Granted, this hasn’t always been the case, but Green Lantern, more than any other hero, helps to unite the events on Earth with the events throughout the universe in DC. So many cosmic heroes and villains that are brought into what goes on with Earth via connections to the Green Lantern Corps. I don’t even care which one you use (I personally prefer John Stewart, but whatever), but there MUST be a Green Lantern with their own book at some point. Hell, there are so many, each with their own unique stories, you could give the vast majority their own books.
Of all of the characters who have rotated in and out of the Justice League, Aquaman is one of the few that has stuck around the longest. For all the jokes people STILL sling at this guy, none of which are warranted, he remains one of DC Comics’ signature characters. And dammit, he needs to remain as such forever. He’s earned it.
So, that leaves us with #12. And, I’ll admit, this is the hardest one to decide, because whoever gets in, that means everyone else is left out as being one of the essentials, which I feel is a slight against all of them. No matter how I spin it, I’m purposely leaving out each one of the above characters who aren’t chosen as #12 as being one of the most important characters with the most important stories. And it doesn’t help that my own personal bias affects this, too. And yes, my personal bias makes me want to say Gotham City Sirens or a Stephanie Brown book. But, in the end, I have to choose what I feel would be the most important to DC’s line-up and its legacy. So, with that in mind, and I KNOW I’m gonna piss someone off with this, here is my pick for #12…
I think that one thing that’s been universally agreed upon in terms of what was lost with the New 52 was the DC Universe’s legacy. Not just where it’s headed, but where it came from as well. Both the legacy heroes who came before and are yet to come. No matter what kind of reboot or reset that happens, it’s important, for the sake of those that continue to keep up with DC, to have something that speaks to its legacy. And no team better represents DC’s legacy, where it’s been, and where it’s going, than the Justice Society. And it can be either a book set on an alternate Earth, or a book about a team that existed back in the days of the Golden Age of comics, but there MUST be a Justice Society. Ironically, at this time, Earth 2: Society has finished its run, and a Justice Society book is still in the works. Hopefully, though, DC doesn’t leave us waiting for too much longer with the latter.
And, just to be clear, if I was running DC Comics, I would of COURSE have books like Poison Ivy, Batgirl, Martian Manhunter, Gotham City Sirens, Green Arrow, Supergirl, and Secret Six going at the same time as the other twelve I’ve mentioned. They’re all important characters and stories to me. But this isn’t just about me. And besides, with the choices I gave, there’s still plenty of room to involve all of those characters and more. And, like I said at the beginning, it’s good to throw other, varied options around for the reader to pick up and see if they like it. Give different heroes and stories a chance to shine. But, at the end of the day, these are the twelve that I think NEED to survive above all others from now until whenever this crazy age of comic books comes to an end.
… … …BUT, I’m sure you all have your own picks and selections, so feel free to leave them in the comments below. Ja né!
…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.
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 né!
DC Comics recently announced the event that is clearly intended to be the Crisis On Infinite Earths anniversary event, and it’s not exactly what I was expecting, but I’ll nonetheless take it. The event is referred to as Convergence, and it follows up on plot hooks going back as far as Justice League International’s finale, and heavily involves recent revelations from Superman Doomed and Future’s End. Long story short, Brainiac (or rather A Brainiac) has been bottling people and cities from various worlds across different universes in the Multiverse. In fact, some of these universes don’t even exist anymore, meaning that this version of Brainiac managed to survive the Multiversal reboot of The New 52, as did the people he’s captured.
According to what I’ve read up on, the current New 52 books will be taking a two month break in April and May (so I guess I’ll be saving a bit more money than usual, lol), which explains why all the current arcs in the storylines are ending at the same time. During this break, there’ll be a weekly series for Convergence, as well as a number of two-part miniseries that’ll cover different worlds involved in Convergence. Basically, seeing what these characters have been up to since the last time we saw them, and probably tying into the greater events of Convergence. And since I’m seeing worlds based on the last year or two of the pre-Flashpoint New Earth, the pre-Flashpoint Earth 2, Superman Red Son, Kingdom Come, and several others, I would imagine there’ll at least be SOME comics in this event that’ll catch my attention.
So, a common theory among fans right now is that, following Convergence, the current reality of The New 52 will be adjusted to include a number of characters and concepts from past continuities. Others are suggesting that this is the end of The New 52, and the restoration of the previous continuity. Honestly, I’m hoping for the former, since there has actually been some great stuff in The New 52 that I would hate to see wiped away. Plus, if that happened, what the hell would’ve been the point of the past 3+ years? It would’ve just been a complete waste of our time. With that said, there’s plenty of the previous continuity that I would like to see integrated into the current one, and plenty of BAD stuff we’ve seen in The New 52 I would like to see done away with. So, with that said, here’s a list of changes I’d like to see after Convergence is over, be it returning characters and concepts, or the end of current ones…
This is actually something that is possibly being teased for before Convergence, if I’m correct, that is. Basically, I took notice of the fact that solicits for Superman #38 promised a new costume for the Man of Steel, and that his pelvic area was hidden or otherwise obscured on the cover of every book he was on that month. My theory is that he’s either returning to the old tights, or his current costume is being adjusted to resemble it and its colour scheme. Honestly, either one works for me.
Now, there ARE a ton of heroes on Earth 2, but they aren’t really so much a team. Bringing back the Justice Society would be a huge benefit to the Earth 2 books. But beyond bringing back the JSA, I would also bring back some of its members, like Jade, Wildcat, Doctor Mid-Nite, Liberty Belle, possibly even the Kingdom Come Superman, and so on. That said, I think I would wanna keep the newer costumes for those that have been around in The New 52. No offense to the original designers, but I just think the newer costumes look a bit better.
I’m sorry, but the romance between Superman and Wonder Woman needs to end. Like, NOW. This was doomed to fail from the beginning, and I think reader response has proven that it did. It really says it all when even Man of Steel knew well enough to have Clark and Lois together. I don’t even care if they’re married or not, I just wanna see them back together. That said, wouldn’t necessarily have to cancel Superman/Wonder Woman, just make it about them teaming up to fight supervillains instead of ‘the fauxmance’. Speaking of Wonder Woman, though…
Seriously, we need the old Wonder Woman back. Badly. Beyond the obvious, having her be the compassionate diplomat once again, her back-story and the history of the Amazons needs a change from the current New 52 version. What bothers me most about the changes to her back-story isn’t so much the fact that I mind her being the daughter of Zeus. That much I can live with. Rather, it’s Hippolyta bending over backwards for Zeus (or was it forwards? I honestly can’t remember), and the HORRIBLE changes to the Amazons, making them pirates and rapists. That, above all else, needs to be undone. If you wanna keep Diana as a demigod, fine, but fixing the situation with the Amazons is a must, and the circumstances surrounding the tryst of Zeus and Hippolyta need to be changed to make her look better. Finally, just a cosmetic note, I think I’d want the silver on the Wonder Woman costume made gold again. Gold just looks better on Diana than silver, to be honest.
Beyond some of the more obvious heroes to bring back (Blue Beetle, Donna Troy, Plastic Man, Renee Montoya, Cassandra Cain, Elongated Man, the Blue Lantern Corps), one that I would like to see make a comeback is Proxy, AKA Wendy Harris. Seeing as how Babs is currently Batgirl, and I actually rather like what they’re doing with her nowadays, bringing Proxy back to fill her role as Oracle would seem like the best option. The loss of Oracle, as someone who helped to coordinate the various heroes on Earth, has been significant, and is still being felt nowadays.
I cannot frakking believe I forgot to mention this before, but bringing back the Birds of Prey would be amazing after this, and here’s why: In the final issue of Gail Simone’s run on Batgirl, we learn that Babs has the means by which to get ahold of pretty much EVERY SINGLE SUPERHEROINE ON EARTH. That means she could conceivably form a team out of ANY of these women. You wanna see a team-up of Strix and Katana? Catwoman and Batwoman? Zatanna and Raven? Misfit and Vengeance Moth? Starfire and Bleez? Any and all of these are now possible. Heck, she’s also in touch with Helena Wayne, so she could conceivably call in help from Earth 2 superheroines like Power Girl, Red Tornado, and Aquawoman someday. The Birds could actually succeed the Justice League as the greatest assortment of heroes on Earth at that point. People, just TRY and tell me you would not read a book like that. 😀
Anyway, that’s all for now. Leave a comment below on stuff you’d like to see change following Convergence, and we’ll see if we get any of these wishes. Ja né!
Spider-Gwen Announced – THANK YOU, MARVEL! :’D + News On Upcoming Wonder Woman Books + The Difference Between Marvel & DC
No, your eyes do NOT deceive you, Marvel has in fact listened to the fans and decided to give the Gwen Stacy Spider-Woman her own book. Apparently, it’ll be launching in February, under the name Spider-Gwen. Now, the name of the book is a little weird, but I’m guessing it’s because they already have a Spider-Woman book coming out, and unless they name it ‘Gwen Stacy: The Insert-Cool-Sounding-Adjective-Here Spider-Woman’, it’s gonna confuse people (actually, I think that would be the most awesomely hilarious name for a book EVER). So, I don’t mind the name.
What’s hilarious about this is that this news broke at the same time as myself and a group of my friends on Twitter were ranting about a cover advertised for an upcoming Wonder Woman book, as drawn by David Finch, where she looks…well, look.
…Yeah, pretty dumb, huh? And really shows why the Finchs are probably people that shouldn’t be doing Wonder Woman, because they don’t get the character. Although, on the flip side, check out the cover for the upcoming Wonder Woman ’77 book, drawn by Nicola Scott.
Pretty frakking epic. Really shows the difference between DC and Marvel. DC has these AMAZING digital first books that people love, and they take ZERO advantage of them, instead pushing the bleak as all heck New 52 books. Marvel sees that something sells well, they go “Hey, we’ve got a new product that sells great! So, let’s roll with it!” And maybe it won’t do as well as they hope, but the point is they’re giving it a try. They’re giving Silk a shot too. So we’ll have, on the Marvel side of things, female led books like Storm, Captain Marvel, Silk, Spider-Gwen, Spider-Woman, Ms. Marvel, Adjectiveless X-Men, Squirrel Girl (…no, seriously, it’s happening, lol), and so many more. In DC’s main line, their female led books are Supergirl (has been kind of a confusing mess lately), Batgirl (new team doing the book does awesome work in my opinion, but I’ve noticed that reaction to the new book is pretty divisive online), Gotham Academy (looks cool, but not my cup of tea), Harley Quinn (ruined Poison Ivy in the New 52, has an upcoming drug-scented book), Batwoman (was forced out of getting married and turned into a vampire anti-hero), and Wonder Woman (see above image, and the God awful relationship with Superman). Meanwhile, they have a HUGE roster of women they could push in their books! Aside from the ones I mentioned already, they have Raven, Wonder Girl, Troia, Stargirl, Spoiler, Bluebird, Poison Ivy, Mera, Aquawoman, Jesse Quick, Jade, Huntress, Power Girl, Fury, Equinox, the list goes on and on! And yeah, some of them are in books currently, but they’re hardly marketed by DC. They don’t know how to market their products, unless said product is involved with Batman, and they don’t know how to get people pumped for new stuff.
But anyway, I just wanna thank Marvel Comics, Jason Latour, Robbi Rodriguez, and everyone else involved in Spider-Gwen for bringing this to us. Lemme know your own thoughts on this upcoming book, and we’ll see how awesome this gets when it hits in February. Ja né!
So, the days of DC/Marvel crossovers kinda feels LONG past, where we’ll likely never see them again, save for one company buying out the other, or someone obtaining the rights to both. But, if the two companies ever DID manage a crossover, there are some characters I would LOVE to see team up. Now, because we’ve already seen some characters interact before, I’m gonna try to keep this list devoted to ones that never have before, but I might let one slip that either I didn’t know about or just wanted to see so badly that it overrode that. And, me being me, expect a lot of superheroines. lol So, let’s not waste any time and get the obvious one outta the way…
Yeah, zero surprises with this one, huh? And yes, I HAVE seen the fan-art of Gwen with Batgirl, don’t worry, we’ll get to HER in a sec. For now, I just feel from a personality, fighting style, and equipment standpoint, these two are probably a tighter match. Hell, their costumes are even really similar, and they’re both blondes. The only major thing throwing off their combo is that only Gwen has superpowers, but as seen when she teamed up with other superheroes, that doesn’t do much, if anything, to hold Steph back.
Really, I think THIS is where Babs is best suited: With the Birds of Prey, teamed with The Most Fabulous Fighting Team Of All, the Fearless Defenders. My God, the awesomeness of this team-up would be AMAZING, but more than seeing them kicking ass and taking names, I would love to just see them doing some post-battle chillaxing at someone’s pad or something. Also, while they aren’t in the picture, of course I’d want Huntress in there on the Birds side of things, and Dani Moonstar and Elsa Bloodstone with the Defenders.
Okay, I know for a fact these two have met, but I don’t know if they’ve ever actually teamed up. That said, I have an AMAZING idea for why they would team up: Basically, Superman and Hulk have to go and save Sakaar, which has been taken over by Brainiac…I’ll leave ya with that thought. 😄 Now, this next one is another team-up of teams, but the second isn’t really so much a “team” as…well, you’ll see.
Why these five heroes with the Teen Titans? Well, because they’re all simultaneously younger heroes and successors to previous heroes, which is what the original Teen Titans were made up of. Granted, one of them is from the Ultimate Universe. Still, I just think it would make a nice team-up of the younger heroes from both worlds in this crazy world that’s seemingly out to get them.
I don’t know if this team-up has ever happened before or not, but if it hasn’t, it NEEDS TO. lol Seriously, the leading ladies of DC and Marvel. I would thoroughly enjoy watching these two interact, not to mention kick the asses of anyone foolish enough to try to take them on. Hell, I would FAR sooner read a book about these two teamed up than frigging Superman and Wonder Woman, which focuses primarily on their relationship that I have no idea why it’s still going on, if for no other reason than we’ve clearly established it is leading to bad stuff happening.
So, that’s my list of team-ups. Who would YOU like to see in a DC/Marvel crossover? Lemme know in the comments below, and I shall see ya’ll next time. Ja né!
I’m Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaack! :D Teen Titans #2 Review – What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice, and Light-Hearted Heroes?
…So, yeah, it’s been a while since I posted something new, huh? I mean, I’ve been reblogging stories I’ve found online, but I haven’t written anything new on here for a while. Suffice to say, this year hasn’t exactly been the greatest, and on top of that, there’s some stuff that I’m afraid I’d talk a bit too much about with an open mic to say whatever I wanted that I’m not really ready to talk about yet. But looking back recently, I realized how much I missed this, so here I am. Won’t be doing much right away, but for now, I will be posting my comic reviews that I’ve been posting on Comic Vine as of late, starting with the newest one I’ve posted for Teen Titans #2. So, while it’s been a while since I did this, I DO believe it is Wednesday, and I did go to a comic book shop, so let’s take a look at…
I won’t be talking about EVERY comic I bought this week, just the one(s) that I have something to say about and feel like giving a review of. With that said, let’s take a look at Teen Titans #2.
Okay, so yer probably wondering about the title? Well, it’s for a couple of things. First off, something I failed to mention with the review of Teen Titans #1, Manchester Black is in this book as an antagonist. If you don’t know who that is, either watch Superman vs The Elite, or read the book it’s based on, What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice, and the American Way?. The other is in regards to the two Titans featured most prominently in this issue: Bunker and Beast Boy, or Plan B as I’m calling their duo from now on. And right away, I gotta address something kinda controversial: The change in Bunker’s attitude. As much as I HATE to give Scott Lobdell a positive, one of the things I really liked about his run on Teen Titans was the character Bunker and how he was written, being a gay Latino teen who was the light-hearted optimist of the group in spite of some issues in his life and some of the insane shit they went through. Here, he’s written with a bit more of an edge…though I THINK I get the reason why.
In the original run of the Teen Titans in the New 52, Beast Boy was neither on the team nor a very light-hearted character. In fact, his usually green fur was changed to red. Basically, he had almost zero resemblance to the original. So, to compensate for that, the character of Bunker was made the optimist who cracked jokes on occasion and kept things from getting too frosty…with varying levels of success, mind you, but he tried. However, with Beast Boy getting put back on the team (and turned green again at some point that I still have yet to learn when it happened), I think Will Pfeifer wanted to make him the optimistic goof off and have Bunker’s character changed to confront certain homophobic viewpoints that still exist in society today. At least, that’s what I think is going on. And if so, I DO understand it. Still, it kinda bugs me to see Bunker acting this way.
One thing that hasn’t changed about Bunker, though, is his sense of heroism. As soon as he and Beast Boy find out there’s a fire at STAR Labs, all it takes is a look and they jump into action. Even the danger of the fire setting off a blast that could destroy Manhattan doesn’t stop Bunker, nor does the appearance of Ladytron. Once again, Titans save the day, and I could never complain much about a book where the good guys save the day and everybody lives. Well, with the exception of a survivor from the bus incident from last issue that gets killed off by mysterious circumstances while Red Robin was trying to get info from him. My guess? Black.
As for the other Titans, as I mentioned, Red Robin was trying to learn more about who was behind the little Speed recreation from Teen Titans #1. Raven decided to go to a concert by some band named Dark Mistress, which’ll apparently be important next issue. And just as a side note, even as someone who hates the new Teen Titans Go! show, if Rachel is the owner of the pony poster back at the Titans’ pad, that’s frigging hilarious. As for Wonder Girl…she may or may not be encouraging teenage girls to dress up as Wonder Girl copycats and beat up thugs with baseball bats. It’s a little unclear.
So yeah, other than changes to Bunker, not really anything to pick on with this comic. Not really much else to say that’s good about it, but again, heroes jump into action and save the day, everybody lives. Nothing too remarkable, but nothing that I consider all that terrible either. And considering a certain other comic that came out this week that I am NOT talking about, at least not on here, it could be a lot worse…Oh, and I love the selfie cover for this issue. There’s just something about Raven photo-bombing that I find too cute for words (have I mentioned she’s my favourite Titan? lol).
So yeah, that’s my review for today. If you wanna see my other reviews on Comic Vine, click here, and I will see you next week. 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!
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