So, I’ve been thinking lately about ways DC could keep things interesting in their comics. More often than not, their ideas include reboots or big epic crossover events or stuff like that. And not to say that plan doesn’t work, but I don’t really think it’s necessary all the time. Instead, I had another idea on how to shake things up: Rotate villain rosters a little. Add variety to the different antagonists that show up in the books. Give us some new dream matches of heroes vs villains we either haven’t seen before or don’t see often.
For example, let’s say that some of the villains in Gotham City actually wised up and realized “Hey, this city sucks and Batman is always kicking our asses! Let’s leave this shit-hole!” Like, what if Poison Ivy decided to find her own home away from everyone to continue her research and whatnot, only to accidentally end up on Themyscira and become a recurring character in the Wonder Woman books? Or if Penguin realized he had an opportunity to become the kingpin of crime in Star City and thus became a villain in the Green Arrow books? Or Bane could go to Detroit to test the power of muscle (with illegal strength enhancement, lol) against metal by fighting Cyborg in his book? And none of these would HAVE to be permanent, so those worried that Batman would lose some of his precious and continuously expanding villains roster wouldn’t need to panic.
But hey, Batman’s not the only hero with villains to go around. And maybe everyone could just kinda swap one or two with another. Maybe Parasite could go try to absorb Flash’s connection to the Speed Force or Shazam’s incredible strength. Perhaps the Injustice Gang could try their luck at their enemies’ teenage counterparts, the Titans? Conversely, what if the Justice League had to engage in a battle of wits and strategy against arguably the devil himself, Trigon, to keep him from rising? What if Nightwing was forced into a situation where he’d have to occupy space with the man who killed him, Lex Luthor? Or hell, why not have Deathstroke, a guy with a healing factor, fight Cyborg, an old enemy from pre-Flashpoint and a guy whose body was saved by technology?
Lastly, there’re a few villains that haven’t appeared in a really long time that could be brought back under the right circumstances to fight new heroes. What if Composite Superman returned to fight the Super Sons, Jon and Damian? Perhaps Roxy Rocket could decide to try her luck at becoming a Green Lantern and become a rogue for Jessica Cruz? Or hey, Wally West is back now; how about bringing back Inertia as a rival for him?
Anyway, that’s all I got for now. If you think of any other good ones, lemme know in the comments. 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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- TV Review: Arrow, “Crucible” (S2,E4) – I React to the 3 Major New Storylines (weminoredinfilm.com)
- Zero Year Event: Birds of Prey 25 (comicbooked.com)
Only four women can protect Platinum Flats from mobsters, supervillains, secret organizations, and paranormal/supernatural threats. They are Black Canary, Huntress, Batwoman, and Raven: the Birds of Prey!
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So, I’ve once again decided to do a fanfiction based on an idea I posted in How Would I Rebuild The DC Universe From Scratch. This one, however, will be a bit longer with no real planned ending, much like a comic book series. So, with that in mind, my next fanfiction will be…
Yep, instead of a story about one of DC’s leading ladies, I’ve decided to do a story that involves just about ALL of them. While it’ll focus primarily on a team of four of them, you’ll see a LOT of them cameo and rotate in and out as the plot requires them. Speaking of which, the plot will centre around a mixture of Birds of Prey, Justice League Dark, and Raven from Teen Titans. I decided to set the story in Platinum Flats instead of Gotham City, even though three of the four main characters are most commonly seen in Gotham, since it was home to the Birds for a time before the New 52, and I wanted them kept separate from Batman’s operations so they can tell their own story. For now, though, let’s take a look at the four main members of the Birds of Prey: Dark…
Daughter of the original Black Canary, Dinah Lance is an asskicker the likes of which even Batman wouldn’t want to square off against. With her impressive martial arts skills and steel shattering Canary Cry, she protects Platinum Flats from criminals, only to find one day during a routine chase with some criminals that she may have found herself in a situation where she needs a little help. Oh, and before you ask, NO, I am not planning to involve Green Arrow, at least not in person.
An expert marksman trying to suppress the desire for vengeance against the Mafia, the Huntress has often been seen as a close friend/occasional rival to Black Canary. As such, when Dinah runs into more trouble than she can handle alone, Helena is more than happy to jump in and help with a friendly jab or two ready. Also, while I said before that I’d make her a mixture of the two Huntresses, her and Helena Wayne, I’ve kinda heard the argument against that, and I get that it’s not a good idea. If I’m gonna be writing Helena Bertinelli, she has to be Helena Bertinelli.
A former army brat and heiress to one of the wealthiest families in Gotham City, Batwoman was inspired by Batman to become a super-heroine. I decided to have DC’s première lesbian super-heroine move from Gotham to set up shop on the west coast, which ultimately leads to her running into Black Canary and Co. and funding the team. Otherwise, she’s also investigating the ties between various mob bosses and criminals, uncovering conspiracies, and seeking the members of the Secret Society. So, she’s kinda pulling double duty, doing The Question’s job, minus the insane amounts of paranoia. lol
The daughter of a demon from another dimension, Raven escaped to Earth to get away from her dark, oppressive father, Trigon the Terrible. As a result, Trigon sent her brothers to bring her back and kill anyone that get in their way, intentional or otherwise, thus setting the stage for the first arc of the story. Personality wise, she’d act like she does in the comics, but also with some traces of her dry sarcasm from the Teen Titans animated series, just for fun.
As I said, the team will be a mixture of Birds of Prey and Justice League Dark, hence the name of the fic, ‘Birds of Prey: Dark’. Basically, they’re a group of superheroines battling mobsters, secret organizations, and the more dangerous paranormal/supernatural foes in the DC Universe. Recurring villains will include Trigon and his sons, as Raven will be a full-time member, but expect plenty other well-known demonic, mystical, or extra-terrestrial bad guys to appear.
As for other heroines involved, like I said, expect plenty to make appearances. Obviously, since it’s the Birds of Prey, I gotta have Barbara Gordon show up at some point, and I guess Lady Blackhawk would have to be a must at some point too. Hawk and Dove would probably be neat, and I KNOW Zatanna and Madame Xanadu would be awesome to get involved. So yeah, plenty to work with. As for the male heroes of the DC Universe, while I intend to keep the team’s path separate from Batman, hence the move to the west coast, expect him to cameo or at least be referenced to. And again, I don’t plan to have Green Arrow show up, but I suppose Black Canary talking about him from time to time is alright.
What do you guys think? Are you cool with this plot? Who would you like to see show up? Vote below, or leave a comment saying who you would like to see show up, and with any luck, Birds of Prey: Dark will be coming sooner than later. Ja né!
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- Villain Month Guide: Part 1 – Batman (retcon-punch.com)
- Will Wonder Woman Appear in ‘Batman vs. Superman’? (screenrant.com)
- Sept. 18, 2013 (offthepanelcomicreview.wordpress.com)
- David Goyer Bringing DC’s ‘Constantine’ to NBC (slashfilm.com)
- Before Batfleck: A History of Batman’s Best and Worst Incarnations (wired.com)
So, two things I wanted to talk about. First, I have surpassed 20,000 views on my blog, which is AWESOME. 20,000 views in just a little under 2 years, I feel very good about that, and I’m hoping for 30,000 by Year 3 here. ^_^
Second, I was on Twitter earlier, when I noticed Linkara talking about Raven in the New 52. Now, the last time I saw Raven was in The Phantom Stranger #1 (Spoilers: IT SUCKED) wherein the Phantom Stranger actually DELIVERED Raven to Trigon in a move that royally pissed me off. Now I come to understand that since then, she’s been indoctrinated or whatever and is evil again. Great. Oh, and she’s wearing a new costume too, which apparently people are really pissed off about, though personally, I side more with Lewis in that I’m more irritated by her being evil for the millionth time. But since I know people might be interested and didn’t see the début of her new look in Teen Titans #16, here it is…
…Okay, I will say a couple of things in this costume’s defence. The first is that it’s not really so much a horrible costume so much as it is horrible for Raven and her character, especially when compared to previous costumes she’s worn. The other thing I’ll say is, at least it’s not nearly as bad as a certain other costume change from a certain other heel turn of hers…
… … …Y’know, no matter how many times I look at that, I still slap myself in the forehead and go “What the fuck were they thinking with that?!” But you wanna know what the saddest part of the new costume she’s wearing? She still manages to look more dignified than certain other former Titans…
…I’m Jyger85, and I miss when the Titans were fun. Ja né.