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Since in my AU, Lois Lane is the middle-aged editor of the Daily Planet (it's on a twenty year sliding timeframe) and is "Admiral Kirking" the desk she's riding. The focus is still on her being a badass journo, but more about how she's become more mature, even-handed, and impartial than she used to be. The storyline I was thinking of was her getting some shade to throw at Lex Luthor, but after examining the evidence carefully deciding that it's inconclusive and she won't embarrass the Planet by presenting a story she can't stand behind.

(That makes me wonder, are there are second-or-third-generation DC characters who would fit as go-getting young reporters in a future-y Daily Planet? I just realized I'm not at all familiar with what the current "young" generation of superheroes do. Peter Parker is a photographer, Tony Stark is an inventor... what would Tim Drake or Cassie Sandsmark do in their secret identities?)

By the way, all this "Jim Olsen" mockery is reminding me, was there a reason Jimmy showed up as the "voice of reason" in Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Strikes Again? Was that actually the start of a trend of trying to elevate Jimmy Olsen (because God forbid a male character not be on equal standing with his female equivalent, or holy shit inferior to her TOTAL PHOTONIC REVERSAL) or did Lois Lane show up at some point to be a badass? I will take any answer that does not require me to reread DKSA.

Power Girl

Mar. 7th, 2012 05:26 pm
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So here is my revised origin for Power Girl. I talked earlier about how the Fourth World is the New Gods and before that there were three worlds, with the Greek and Egyptian gods who are today represented by Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel. What if the Third World were Earth-2, with the Presence, Zauriel, and the Spectre? There, white-temples Superman and Noel Neill Lois Lane had a daughter, Karen, who would later be part of the "Super Sons" with the future Batman we know as Damian Wayne. But their universe was destroyed, so a teenage Karen was placed outside of reality in a life capsule, much like Kal-El was saved from Krypton's destruction, Alexander Luthor and co were saved from Crisis on Infinite Earths, and so on. She eventually makes it to "modern-day" Earth, where she's startled to encounter young versions of her "family," along with a twelve-year-old version of her best friend who thinks girls are icky and cats are awesome. Scenarios!

A. Lois and Karen hang out, with Lois insisting "I'm a fun mom!" at least once.

B. Superboy learning that he's related to Power Girl. He is next seen deleting several files from his laptop.

C. Heartwarming Clark/Karen/Kara scenes of familiness.

ETA: As for the blonde hair, a wig Karen wears to disguise her identity. She is really a brunette like her parents.

ETA2: In this scenario, the boob window is purely Karen showing what she's got, which Lois would totally do if she had the rack for it.


Salute the flag, Smallville.
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There's an old NPR episode in which John Hodgkins talks about how, when he's trying to get to sleep, he lays in bed and thinks about how he'd rewrite Star Wars: Episode 1. I have a similar thing, just with the DC universe.

Okay, I'm trying not to change this character too much, but here's my pitch. Zatanna's father was a famous magician, yadda yadda died recently. She followed in his footsteps, becoming a classical stage magician (hence the fishnets), while her younger brother Zachary Zatara became a somewhat annoying Criss Angel style street magician. Think David Tennant in Fright Night, for those of you who don't follow the scintillating world of stage magic. There's some obvious sibling rivalry there, but when Zatanna finds out that her father died investigating real magic, she brings Zachary along to find out what's what.

Their search leads them to a dying Dr. Fate, who needs to pass on the Helm of Nabu. Zatanna claims it, as does Zachary, and in their struggle they accidentally both get zapped, to use the technical term. Dr. Fate, who is supposed to be a neutral arbitrator between order and chaos, ends up divided, with Zatanna getting the power of the Lords of Order and Zachary getting the power of... the other guys.

Of course, Zatanna has always been pretty structured--try to escape a straitjacket underwater without a level head--and she easily adapts to her new power by turning her old nonsense backward magic words routine into an actual means of control. Zachary, not so much. Like every mentor in every action movie warned, if he doesn't control the magic, it controls him, so though he means well, trying to parlay his new power into becoming the greatest magician ever ends up unleashing a demon or three. After roping them up with Zatanna's help, he consents to join the Teen Titans, where Raven can try to teach him some measure of control.

Of course, it takes both of them to form a full-on yellow undies Dr. Fate, but that really only becomes a thing in the most dire situations--which is, naturally, the worst circumstances for Zatanna and Zachary to have to get along. When they meet, for the most part, Zachary is spiteful about being reduced to a "sidekick" and his career being ruined, with Zatanna trying in the manner of big sisters everywhere to pull him along and not bludgeon him to death with anything.

Also, Zachary might be gay for Red Devil. Don't say I never gave you nothing, fangirls.
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Sometimes there's a bit of fanon that I actually wish someone would run with. I would genuinely buy a Batgirl Mystery Club title. Hey, here's another band of misfits Scott Free could run into that could be considered a stealth pilot: Riddle Me This Detective Agency.

Basically, a Renee Montoya/Edward Nygma buddy comedy.

Yes.

Renee Montoya: In this AU, Vic Sage never got cancer, so Renee kept riding her suspension into a downward spiral. One night, in a drunken rage, she took a shot at Jim Corrigan, Crispus Allen's killer. The sad part is, she hit. She was cop enough to cover her tracks, but people read between the lines. That was the end of her career in the GCPD. So now Renee's what you might jokingly call a functional alcoholic, working in a detective agency with a joke of an ex-supervillain. Dealing with the guilt of something she won't even admit she was wrong about.

Eddie Nygma: Eddie always fancied that he'd end up a folk hero. After all, his crimes were meticulously crafted so that he never fired a shot. In a fight with a psychopath who dressed up as a bat, how could anyone side against the man in a smart green suit? But slowly and surely, Eddie's become a has-been. The death of Batman was the last straw. His neurosis now says that the only way Eddie can "defeat" Batman now is to be a better crimefighter than he ever was. So he's burnt his old tights once and for all (in their backyard, to Renee's disgust. "Is that polyester?") and gone straight.

Rolling off his Neil Gaiman story, Eddie's an analog man in a digital world. Just like in fandom, Eddie is seen as a bit of a joke, which we'll play for sympathy. As he complains, the Joker gets hot psychiatrists falling in love with him. All Eddie got was a kiss from Poison Ivy once, and he was in the hospital for three weeks. He actually collects and geeks out over the giant typewriters and such of Old Gotham, storing them in the warehouse where the detective agency is located (leading to some interesting scenery as they discuss cases). And Eddie's actually trying to get help for his riddling compulsion (here played for a bit of drama; we'll go into exactly why he has this fixation with proving he's the smartest and it ain't pretty) and as he continues to get treatment from Dr. Quinn, there's always the possibility that he will be cured and go back to a life of crime.

Our heroes: They're basically a Sherlock/Watson duo, with Eddie being capable of Sherlock-scanning just about everything. Only it's not a case of the great detective and his bumbling sidekick. Eddie can't fight worth a damn (which is why he keeps a taser in his walking stick; shh), Renee has a right hook that can knock you into next week. Eddie knows super-crime, but Renee knows gangbangers and Mob types. Renee can turn on the charm and intimidation to interrogate someone, while all Eddie can do is make snide accusations. Eddie is book-smart, Renee is street-smart. And ironically, as an ex-con, Eddie is on the straight and narrow, while Renee is as self-destructive and irresponsible as they come. These two need each other, not that they'd admit it under pain of death.

The support: Harvey Bullock, Renee's old partner, still slips them a case now and then. The fact that he actually approves of Corrigan's killing is a real test for Renee; he means well, but he's an enabler. Two-Face hates the Riddler on general principle, but loves Renee, so he's their go-between with Red Hood's faction. Kate Kane, naturally, acts on behalf of Team Grayson in both her civilian and superhero identities. Only Renee doesn't know she's Batwoman, so we get the classic secret identity problems as seen from the other side. All those sudden exits and half-baked excuses... it's no wonder Renee would get the idea that Kate is cheating on her. It's when she tells Eddie to get the lowdown on her that shenanigans ensue.

Margo (formerly Query, of Echo and Query, Riddler's henchgirls) owns the warehouse that Eddie's office space is located in. She's letting them stay as a favor to Eddie, who she's always had a soft spot for (Eddie was so shy around the girls that they thought they were his faghags; they much preferred that over working with the Penguin, who couldn't keep his flippers to themselves). She's, you know, the landlord.

Finally, Magpie (here, her replica "shinies" are less lethal and more annoying) is trying to make a name for herself as a supervillain, and decided the best way to do that is to become the "Catwoman" to some hero's Batman. There's decidedly little interest, but she eventually falls in with Eddie, who has decided that the best way to be "Batman" is to have a "Catwoman." Naturally, no one cares.

Eddie: Don't you disapprove? I'm being tempted by a dangerous supervillain!

Renee: I am trying to play Words With Friends. Shoo.

Eddie: Answer's 'fluorescence'.

In keeping with the lampoon of Bat-canon, Magpie tends to wear a variety of ridiculously revealing costumes which inevitably prove ill-suited to doing much of anything. So, basically, she's the anti-Emma Frost.

The case: In addition to the usual PI craziness, there's an overarching story. A serial killer is stalking the city... and he's calling himself the Riddler. Taking a page from Arkham City Riddler and the fanon Nolanized Riddler, this Scorpio wannabe is playing for keeps. Naturally, Eddie is scandalized that someone is tarnishing his good name, and also killing people Saw-style for watching reality TV. But in the end, will Renee believe him when he says he's innocent or will she turn him in to get back on the force?

Straight-up, this isn't a series about being Gotham's Dark Knight, or any sort of super-ninja uber-detective sex god. It's about the other guys, the little guys. The people who, at the end of the day, aren't drowning in man-pain while posing on gargoyles; they're clocking out, going home, and popping an Advil.

Tl;dr smartly-dressed ex-criminal genius in green teams with tough-as-nails lesbian ex-cop in a tanktop. Awesome ensues.
seriousfic: (Femslash)
Yes, these two are getting their own article. Thinking about what to do with Poison Ivy, it occurred to me that motivation decay has not been kind to her. Yeah, sure, she's an ecoterrorist and in lesbians with Harley Quinn, but what more? What are her specific goals? How does she set out to achieve those goals? And why is she in love with Harley anyway (because animators on children's cartoon shows are perverts is not an answer. Although it is true).

You just have to look at some of Ivy's recent appearances to see how she's been mishandled. In Batman & Robin, her goal is to create a new ice age, which will somehow be good for plants (remember, this isn't Freeze's idea, she actually kills Mr. Freeze's wife to drive him towards this. Also, she wants to have sex with Mr. Freeze? Also, she just started out creating carnivorous plants? I know picking on B&R is like fish, meet barrel, but Christ, what a mess). And in an issue of Batman by the otherwise-great Paul Dini, it turned out she was torturing people to death just for the lulz. No, really, that was the explanation.

(Non-comics fans, to recap, there's a school of thought in superhero comics that creating "better villains" is a process of taking a sympathetic or complicated villain character and turning them into a Complete Monster. That this doesn't make for better villains is so patently obvious you'd think anyone who is paid to put words in front of each other for a living would learn that on day one. Just by watching the superhero movies of 2011 you can pick this up: Red Skull is a fine villain, and Hugo Weaving has fun with the character, but as written, he's just much less interesting than Loki. With Loki as the Big Bad in the Avengers, you want to see the movie just to find out how Loki's character evolves. Red Skull might be more out-and-out evil, but that just means you're less interested in the character; the only direction for his personality to go is doing more and more fucked-up shit. Of course, since most comic writers these days specialize in coming up with more and more fucked-up shit, we get supervillains whose entire gimmick is either graphic torture or rape.)

Let's think this through: I see Poison Ivy as someone who is sane and rational (her dynamic with Harley doesn't really work otherwise), she's just operating on a different system of morality from the rest of humanity. Just like most Americans would be offended at the thought of eating a dog, but your average Korean would see nothing wrong with it, Ivy sees the destruction of plant life as an incredible offense. To her, what she does is no more criminal than someone in the underground railroad helping freed slaves, even if it is against the "law" (so writing her as torturing innocent people to death makes as much sense as said slave-freer going around hitting kids, because both things are breaking the law).

But again, ecoterrorist. What does that mean? Your average terrorist attacks the populace to try and cow the political system, and to gain new recruits for the cause. For Ivy, there are no other recruits--she's pretty much the only half-plant person out there. And if her goal is to wipe out humanity so that plants can flourish, no amount of terrorism is going to accomplish that. "Cripes, we'd better all commit suicide, otherwise Ivy will kill us!" Maybe instead her goal could be to stop humanity's industralization in its tracks, reducing the population to a more sustainable level that can live in harmony with nature (to distinguish her from Ra's Al Ghul, she isn't such a psycho about it; she'd be willing to use her powers to create super-crops that could feed the current population if they'd just stop breeding and polluting everywhere).

So that's a sympathetic, even Tolkienesque motivation; how's she going about accomplishing it? Well, the niche of "Gotham City femme fatale" is empty--Catwoman is a gritty urban vigilante who only hits on Batman and Harley Quinn couldn't seduce a paper bag. So why not give Ivy back that characterization instead of turning her into giant-attacking-vine lady? She'll seduce a Fortune 500 CEO to get him alone, then use pheromones or threats to get him to stop some ecological action she objects to (this would explain why she chooses to fight for nature in Gotham instead of going down to Brazil to attack rainforest-mulchers head on; the shotcallers live in places like Gotham). Depending on the severity of the offense, she may kill the guy, leave him with some body horror fungus, or just leave him with a hangover and a warning.

Then we have Harley Quinn. Harley is best kept simple instead of gumming up the works with a new origin to keep track of. She likes Joker, and things go downhill from there. Then, during one of the downs in her relationship with Mistah J, she meets Ivy at a museum heist (Ivy was there to steal some fossilized seeds or something). They teamed up, and the resulting crime spree humanized Ivy. She saw humans as more than just "mammalian Dutch Elm" and started going on simple heists instead of plotting environmental attacks (of course, she donated her cut to environmental groups).

Then, we divulge from canon. A Darkseid attack results in an even worse No Man's Land. Joker is killed by Red Hood. Bereft of him, Harley actually works through her issues and goes sane. Long months of being h/c'ed by Ivy pay off and Ivy, who has taken over Gotham Park, strikes a deal with the rest of wartorn Gotham. Clean drinking water, fresh fruit and vegetables, in exchange for all industrial emissions meeting her standards and her followers going unmolested (this includes amnesty for herself and Harley). The deal takes; Gotham is too bad off to say no and Dick Grayson is much less of a hardliner than Bruce.

Harley actually reverses their old dynamic; by human standards, she’s saner than Ivy, valuing human life and talking Ivy down from some hotheaded moments. But she’s still crazy enough to end up running what’s left of Arkham Asylum (who else would want to take over Arkham Asylum in the middle of an even worse Gotham?). The fact is, before the disaster, the only people willing to work at Arkham were either too incompetent to go elsewhere or too ambitious for their own good. Harley is actually halfway competent, and manages to cure some of the more willing patients (the Ventriloquist, et al).

But the fact is, Harley did some nasty things under the Joker’s control. Even if Ivy managed to curb some of her homicidal tendencies (not out of much concern for innocent civilians, but because she felt sorry for Harley and didn’t want her to get a murder rap when she was caught), Harley still has a bit of a body count. The courts rightfully found her not guilty by reason of insanity, but it’s still enough for a post-breakdown Jason Todd to have her on his hitlist.

What he doesn’t know is that Ivy has an insurance policy. A single fungus has grown for miles under Gotham (this happens in the real world; it was in an episode of the X-Files). She meant it as a nuclear option; if the Gothamites go back on their word, she reveals the fungus, and while Batman is dealing with it (he’d have no warning to deal with it beforehand, hence her keeping it secret; so embarrassing to try to use your doomsday device and find out the red wire was snipped), she’d have time to make a getaway. But now that Harley’s in a hospital, Ivy has a new deal for Dick. “Bring me the Red Hood or Gotham burns.”
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Two-Face, as a character, gets an inconsistent treatment. Everyone loves the pathos of his origin, but how it translates into ongoing villainy isn't so hot. You could get away with "I was scarred, so I'm going from Lawful Good to Chaotic Evil!" in the old days, but nowadays you need something more subtle. Unfortunately, it's hard to come up with something more subtle, so the best stories about Two-Face tend to deal with his scarring, which is the reason why he's been scarred, cured, and rescarred about fifty times. I think his latest "plastic surgery restoration" is going to look like Mickey Rourke circa The Wrestler.

Now, don't get me wrong, the "commits crimes based around the number two" is a fun gimmick, but it works best as a throwback. It's just too odd to go from "I lost my wife! My career! My face!" to "A museum exhibit on two dollar bills? Yes! That is how I should express my angst!" So, what's a better use for a character all about duality?

Vigilante. As awful as Jeph Loeb was and is, the idea of Two-Face as an anti-hero makes sense. Harvey Dent believes in the system, why shouldn't Two-Face believe in taking the law into your own hands? There's even a great subtext to give the character: what is justice about? Rehabilitation or punishment? Harvey believes in rehabilitation. If the coin comes up heads, he's going to get that meth addict who just gunned down a convenience store clerk into a nice treatment program; after all, he's a victim of society. But if it comes up tails, Two-Face is blowing the sucker away. He is Harvey's suppressed urges, after all, and what would a good attorney want more than to deliver justice to crooks the law can't touch?

Now, not to get too fan-wanky, but I thought up a good way for this to fit into that Fourth World AU I'm always going on about, where Batman is dead, Dick Grayson leads the no-kill vigilantes, and Jason leads a gang of executioners. This Two-Face is exactly the kind of heroic sociopath Jason would love to have in his corner. Only when his coin comes up heads, Harvey Dent puts in a call to Dick with a little sensitive information.

Who better than Two-Face to play both sides?
seriousfic: (www.Oracle.AAAAAAANGST)
So basically, I think everyone on the planet, with the exception of Geoff Johns, wants Cass back, if not as Batgirl, then as a 'Nightwinged' Batgirl. And aside from the small percentage of fans who hate Steph Brown for making not every panel about Tim Drake automatically about the epic love story of Tim and Kon, most people want a Steph and Cass team-up book. So, here's my pitch.

The Setting

Tempest City, a sunny island resort/media mecca off the coast of Gotham. ("Gotham, Bludhaven, Tempest, who names these things?") It's basically L.A., but on an island. Still noir, but in more of a Veronica Mars/L.A. Confidential way than the Greg Rucka-y Gotham. But don't worry, when the sun sets, it's just as crime-ridden and sleazy as Gotham ever was. A la Miami, the city also has a sizable Cuban population, allowing for more stories.

The Batgirls

For the record, Stephanie Brown, Cass Cain, and Charlie Gage-Radcliffe. Codenames: Spoiler, Black Bat, and Misfit. Basically, superheroes in training. Just because they're badasses, doesn't mean teenage girls should be going against the Joker. Same deal with Robin, only he has Batman watching his back. The Batgirls have each other. They all wear the same style of costume, your basic Babsgirl outfit, but they've all modified theirs. They're still recognizably the same clothes (like the X-Men movie costumes), but Steph has eggplant coloring, Cass has her ninja touches, and Charlie has a T-shirt and skirt on over her spandex.

Functionally, they're interns. They patrol Tempest, but they often go on "field trips" to Gotham or whatever exotic locale Barbara needs them in. CSI: Gotham. They go where Oracle can't, collect evidence, get witness statements (in disguise), and so on. At least, that's the plan. Things rarely go according to plan. Gotham's a big city, full of mob wars, supervillains, and occult ceremonies. Someone has to look out for the little guy, solve the small crimes before they pave the way for big crimes. That's the Batgirls' job.

By the way, the name? No one can agree on it. Steph calls them the Batgirl Mystery Team. Charlie calls them the Batgirls' Club (everyone else groans). Cass calls them the Birds of Prey.

Dramatically, they're family. Cass is the eldest sister, super-serious, dedicated entirely to the mission. Steph is the middle sister, able to run interference between the id and superego. And Charlie is the annoying little sister. Because for just about any trio, you need the Kirk, the Spock, and the McCoy. Leader, serious one, and silly one. So the Batgirls would be akin to Josie and the Pussycats, Charlie's Angels, or Glee's Unholy Trinity. If it works, don't knock it.

Business-wise, they all bring something different to the table. Cass can kick the ass of pretty much anyone, but she's not yet much for detective work. Steph can hold her own in a fight and figure out the plot to any given episode of Law & Order: SVU. And Charlie is comedically useless when it comes to fisticuffs, but she's actually something of a genius ditz when it comes to mysteries.

The Players

Oracle – Our girls' mysterious mentor. The Charlie to their Angels, Barbara isn't yet ready to trust them with a face-to-face meeting, so she's set the girls up in a swank beachfront property in Tempest, where they're literally at arm's distance. So, you know, they'll work on that. She's the team's dad, balanced out by…

Black Canary – Field leader, the Cyclops to Oracle's Professor X. Only sleeping together, which, let's face it, no one wants to see Cyclops and Xavier do (he'd be cheating on Magneto!). She's the team mom, meeting them face to face, backing them up, and dispensing emotional wisdom.

Zinda – Pilot and the official Batgirl Mystery Team cool aunt. Unlike the Birds of Prey, she'd pretty much stay in the plane reading trashy paperbacks. This is the Batgirls' show, after all.

Flamebird – Bette Kane, superhero socialite. Megan Fox in a cape. She used to be a vigilante—maybe—but she used her splashy entrance to break into Tempest City show business (it's the Vancouver of the DC universe) and now stars in her own series on the CW. She still considers herself a superhero, and her publicity means that a lot of useful information finds its way to her, so she acts as "Huggy Bear" for the Batgirls. Cass and Steph greet her with derision. Charlie is her biggest fan.

Ted Kord – I always liked the idea of Barda on the BOP with Scott as the Q to her very loud James Bond, but since that won't work in this setting, Ted Kord! He's the hardware to Oracle's software, able to fix up Zinda's aircraft and the Batgirls' gadgets, as well as give them whatever sleuthing tools they need. The team's big brother. He watches out for them, even if they don't like the idea. Most likely to criticize what Charlie's wearing. ("You don't see Supergirl dressing like that!" "Supergirl wears a belly shirt and a miniskirt!" "Not in this continuity!")

Shipping

I'll pause here to digress: In fanfic, slash is all well and good, but for actual ends-up-in-someone's-hands writing, you don't want everyone to be a lesbian. It gets a bit self-indulgent, plus people would wonder where all the gay men are, and "I don't want to write about Superman and Batman canoodling" won't cut it if Supergirl and Batgirl are flirting up a storm (even though they hardly know each other… seriously, do people really ship that?). So the aim here, personally at least, would be for at least ten percent of superheroes, men and women, to be queer. So while Babs and Dinah are totally married, Cass and Steph are just good friends. That just makes sense dramatically speaking—if Cass and Steph got together, they'd be the perfect couple, but if Steph's in love with Tim, you get the drama of a romance between an ovary-possessing teen girl and a borderline asexual dude. And while Steph would be understanding and reassuring entering into a relationship with Cass, Cass doesn't have the same guarantee with literally anyone else. So you pair her up with, say, Jaime Reyes, there's automatic conflict and tension.

And yeah, I do have a few thoughts on male heroes who would work as gay or bisexual, but this post is running long as is.

The Comic

Basically, a lighter, fluffier Batman comic. It's still Gotham, but things don't tend to end with orphans getting their throats slit, so much as parties! On the beach! In becoming, yet reasonable, swimsuits! (Why would you buy a transparent bikini, Kory, what's the damn point?) Think Nancy Drew Goes To Gotham City. In fact, if I had my druthers, the comics would be mocked up to resemble those classic old Nancy Drew covers, at least once.


Just throw Mr. Miracle in there somewhere.

Okay, Fourth World: The idea is that Scott basically stumbles into a young adult series for girls, getting the rare chance to play straight man. He's completely baffled by two sorority girls and one kinda creepy ninja running around making references to "The Case of the Missing Candle!" And since the Batgirls are a globe-trotting adventure team, he could cross paths with them as the plot demands, always taken aback by the new progress in the teenage girl soap opera. ("Wait, I thought you and Tim were together?" "No! I hate him!")

Then the "Batgirl Mystery Team" issues sell so well that even DC Comics sits up and takes notice, and Gail Simone is put in charge of a spin-off aimed at teenage girls. The winner? Everyone.
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First off, Wonder Woman. She's the big kahuna. She's a character who I think gets lost in the shuffle a lot between Batman and Superman, hence them both being dead here and her taking center stage. No ifs, ands, or buts about it… Wonder Woman is the strongest there is. When she comes in, shit is getting done.

Now, I confess, I don't have a story arc in mind for Diana the way I would for Wally or Dick… there isn't the same "Wonder Woman family" to play off of (although, naturally, it would be fun for Scott to end up on Paradise Island, being completely oblivious to being the only man on an island of beautiful women, and get hung up on the fact that PEOPLE ARE RIDING KANGAROOS). But Wonder Woman should show up in any story when all hell is breaking loose. I've got a picture here of Knockout, someone with Barda-level strength, coming to Earth and partying like a madwoman, with all the law-breaking that entails. Diana comes by to talk her down. Knockout being Knockout and Diana being Diana, Knockout hits on her and Diana replies "I prefer my lovers sober."

Crap. Past the radar.

Then, after a hard-fought battle, Knockout is put away. That's the kind of thing Diana should be doing. She's so powerful, so wise, and so serene that she's almost a deus ex machina.

I'd also like there to be a bit of a rivalry between President Luthor and Diana, because they're the only ones who can play at each others' level. Diana is technically allied with the military, with Etta Candy and Steve Trevor as her "handlers," so Diana is in some ways shielded from the corruption that goes with all things Luthor, but the enemy of my enemy is my frenemy makes for a very uneasy alliance.

Basically, Diana is Captain America working for a worse version of Nixon.

Moving down the line, I love what George Perez did in not making Wonder Woman just another superhero, but sort of an embodiment of pagan religion and goddess worship and all sorts of mythology. With that in mind, why not do the Mother, Maiden, Crone thing, but as part of a lineage? So it could go Hera > Hippolyta > Diana. Crone, mother, maiden. But then continue the pattern. Hippolyta > Diana > Donna works the same way, as does Diana > Donna > Cassie. The point is that the chain never ends; they're always tied into something bigger than themselves.

Now, I'm the first to admit, I don't really get Donna Troy. I know she's the mother figure of the Teen Titans, but she hasn't been with them in forever. She's in lesbians with Kory, that's kinda cool, but it's hard to tell where her place really is in the DC universe, which is maybe why she keeps getting shuffled into nonsense positions like gathering up heroes in Infinite Crisis to do nothing, or being a fake Wonder Woman for five minutes, or spending time with Jason Todd.

What might be interesting to do is have her as a homage to Diana's I-Ching period. Donna's an intelligence officer, sorta the brains to Diana's brawn in terms of military operations. Donna, someone who's been in Man's World for most of her life, ferrets out targets that Diana, an outsider, couldn't get to, then Diana, along with her people (insert Artemis here) brings the heat.

You could even partner Donna with Roy Harper, since he's been a government agent too. It also occurs to me that in a lot of popular female-audience work, you have a female lead in a love triangle with two guys. Twilight, Hunger Games, The Vampire Diaries, and so on. And since it's very hard to do a romance plot with Diana (especially since Diana is too smart to get into any real soap opera shenanigans), here's where that energy goes.

Roy is the bad boy (recovering drug addict! Shoots people with arrows!) with the heart of gold (raising an adorable kid by himself). And Green Lantern Kyle Rayner is Donna's "official" boyfriend, the sweet artist type. So Donna's leaning this way, she's leaning that way, she's getting advice from Kory… a little something for the ladies, and the kind of relationship drama that could be used to contrast whatever state Scott/Barda is in (eyes on the prize).

Also, could we come up with a better name than Troia? We already have a Wonder Woman and a Wonder Girl, so maybe Wonder Lady? Lady of Wonders? Yeah, that'd work.

Cassie, her character's been hit hard by "strong female characters are bitchy," so I'd regress her all the way to Young Justice. She's crushing on Superboy, he kinda doesn't know she exists (understandable, him being a teenage boy, her having no breasts, and every woman he meets being, well, the kind of woman you find in comic books). Beyond that, pair her up with Supergirl (Cassie's still friends with Secret and Cissie, but they're out of the hero game). Supergirl's the perfect, popular one and Cassie's the awkward, nerdy one. Plus, there could be a lot of fun to be had with Cassie secretly being in love with Supergirl's "brother" Kon.

(To borrow a joke from 30 Minutes Or Less, "So, respectfully, you want to fuck my brother? Is that it? My clone brother!? Which is basically like fucking me! Respectfully! With your vagina!")

And, to continue the triple-goddess theme, we have Diana in a stable relationship(s) (hey, who says she can't date Artemis and Io at the same time, on the down low?), Donna in the middle of a relationship (is it ending? Is it cementing?), and Cassie at the beginning of a relationship.
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So I talked before about the idea of Starfire being a Green Lantern, the public defender of Gotham, while in a relationship with Dick Grayson and supposedly hunting the vigilante Nightwing.

Now seems like a good time to revisit that. To expand a little, it's going to really easy to portray these characters sexually, but in a way that isn't demeaning or exploitative. Dick Grayson has an ass you can bounce a Batarang off, Koriand'r has the body of Lady Death and the personality of Olivia Wilde.


You just never know when a gif of Olivia Wilde dancing will come in handy.

Spend a page on Nightwing and Starfire (Star Lantern? Green Fire?) taking a moment out of their nightly patrols for a midnight rendezvous on a lonely rooftop, it's going to be sexier than a whole comic of Kory spilling out of a bikini and being a Vivid Video nymphomaniac.

Buuut... there should be more to the character than sex. For starters, you could always bring Mar'i Grayson into things. Kory getting pregnant would suddenly put the pressure cooker on all the natural Gotham City tensions, and encourage people to start looking for an endgame. Think the current Sons of Anarchy storyline with Jax trying to get out of SAM CRO. Maybe Dick could start to seriously think of making overtures to Jason, even if it does compromise his morals. Although my idea of "rebooting" Catwoman is to have her as a single mother, raising Helen Kyle (no points for guessing who the father is) with some help from Holly, so that might be too many babies in the mix.

And hey, as long as we're making Kory a slut, DC Comics, why not do it in an ethical, positive way?

Read more... )
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Going back to my idea for a Fourth World-centric DC universe, the Flash. I don't know anyone who doesn't like the Flash's Rogues. The idea of a loose confederation of villains with a sense of honor and rivalry with the hero makes the Flash stand out. My idea is simple, take the Rogues and make them co-protagonists--the clearest parallel would be the Sons of Anarchy, but with the Flash as Unser. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, shame on you.)

The set-up: Barry Allen has just died (and stayed dead!). Wally, still just a sidekick, is suddenly bumped up into the big chair. Young, inexperienced, and a bit of a dick, he makes a devil's deal with the Rogues. They run the organized crime in Keystone City -- "victimless" stuff like prostitution, gambling, and drugs (as long as they don't sell to kids) -- with each of the Rogues running a different crime. Captain Cold can run prostitution, a comic book Al Swearington. In exchange, they keep things on an even keel and help the Flash keep out the real 'bad guys' like the Mafia and LexCorp.

It'd be a little like a supervillain Mob movie, but with fan-favorites like the Trickster and the Pied Piper as the viewpoint characters instead of Ray Liotta and Al Pacino. Note that this is a reconstruction; the Flash's actions aren't treated as smart or pragmatic, but foolish and near-sighted, and it's only be recommitting himself to fighting evil that he can become a true hero.

See, Mirror Master runs drugs, and getting high on his own supply leads to some questionable choices. When Scott Free comes into town, sticking his head in the sand a la Wally by "just" being a costumed performer, he stumbles across some heavy-duty shit and, noir style, sets out to find what's going on. When he gets the full story, the Rogues try to silence him, but the Flash steps in and it's High Noon time. Wally's bringing in the Mirror Master, and anyone who tries to protect him (here, Piper and Trickster pull a quick fade). The Rogues are brought to justice, with a little help from a learned-a-valuable-lesson Scott, and we end on a restored Keystone City and a revitalized Flash.
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So tumblr user thecapedraccoon wrote an AU of Scott and Barda as foster kids, and when I saw the pitch, I couldn't help writing a story go with it. Her post is here, but I cover a lot of the details in the story. Enjoy.

Read more... )
seriousfic: (Barda is not the world's best cook)



Of course, that's the only similarity between Big Barda and Quinn Fabray. One was raised in an oppressive environment, where she was taught to suppress her emotions and focus on perfection regardless of the cost. Then she was trained by a freakish harridan, proving so skilled that she ended up leading an elite all-girl team. But then she met an eccentric outsider. They became close friends and eventually much more, leading to her exile from the life she'd known.

But enough about Quinn and Rachel. They're not even canon.


Remember when 'non-canon' meant you had to willfully misinterpret the source material?
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Like, some people would want to write a book where Batman teams up with Wolverine and they totally jack up robot Hitler and his Nazi dominatrices? Or a Teen Titans book where nobody actually fights crime, but they go to high school and Tim and Kon are lovers but then Tim has gay panic and Kon has to win him back and for some reason all their clothes are a size too small?

I'm not judging you, change a few of those names to Milla Jovovich and Ali Larter, I'd read it. Either the robot Hitler one or the one in high school. Or both.

Anyway, this is mine.

The Premise: There came a day when the Fourth World died… and the Fifth World was born.

The New Gods have been reborn, knowing nothing of their old lives. And like all who are ignorant of their history, they've been doomed to repeat it. Scott Free is once more traded to Apokolips to buy peace for New Genesis. He grows up the one dissenting voice in the cult of Darkseid, catching the eye of the elite Big Barda, for whom catching Scott becomes a matter of course. We can assume the First, Second, and Third World died the same way… in endless war.

Then something happens that skews the cycle off its course. Darkseid's forces have been assembling the Anti-Life Equator integer by integer, each of his Generals receiving one part of the whole. Barda has tracked the final piece to a small monastery on a distant world, where a sect has devoted their entire lineage to imprisoning it. Their powerful magic ensures that only the pure of heart can enter their monastery. Barda knows someone like that.

She makes a deal with Scott, still bruised and battered from his last escape attempt. The same skills that let him break out of so many places make him ideal for breaking in. If he gets her the integer, she'll give him his freedom. For some reason, Scott believes her…

Scott is able to get inside and pass all the trials, proving himself worthy of claiming the ultimate power. Barda is ecstatic. When Scott gives her the integer, she'll become a full-fledged General in Darkseid's service—it's all she's ever dreamed of.

But at the last minute, Scott pauses. He can't go through with it. Can't help Darkseid take over the galaxy, can't corrupt Barda. He takes the integer within himself and flees to Earth. There, he searches for a way to destroy the integer, forever saving the universe from Darkseid. But Barda is hot on his heels, determined to drag him back to Apokolips and rip the integer from him. It's something New Genesis refuses to risk, and Orion and his men seek to kill Scott—putting Barda in the position of both captor and protector, assuming she ever catches up with him.

But underneath all the subterfuge, there's a mythology that the Anti-Life Equator lets Scott glimpse. All this, the war between order and chaos, it's happened before. And if Scott can resist the temptation of his newfound power, he might be able to stop it from ever happening again.

Tl;dr. )

Gotham City: A House Divided )
seriousfic: (Barda is not the world's best cook)
I'm going to spaz at you for a little, don't worry, just wait for the cut.

The Fourth World is one of those comic "mini-verses" I really love. Gotham City is fun and all, but it's not like "dark and dreary" makes it unique in canon. Whereas with New Genesis and Apokolips, there's a sense of… innocence. It's not completely "lol superheroes" like Marvel Adventures, there's an edge there, but there's also a lot of whimsy. It's like Doctor Who, or Star Wars. Even when the stakes are high, there's always someone who looks like Han Solo saying "relax, kid, it's only a comic book" (obscure!).

It's exactly that quality that makes me doubt there should even be another New Gods comic book. The magic realism of it is very hard to do, and very easy to spot when it's done wrong. As tempting as it is to finally follow through on Kirby's promise of a final confrontation between Orion and Darkseid, there are only two ways to take the characters: Trying to replicate the inventiveness of Kirby's work, with its rapid-fire parade of ideas, which always tend to suffer in comparison (Club Dark Side, anyone?) or simply going back over Kirby's creations, which is a little disheartening (remember the sumo wrestler Kirby created? Let's bring him back!). I'd actually prefer if the New Gods stayed locked in a not-so-cold war, since it's a status quo that makes for so many great stories just using Darkseid as a Superman baddie and the cats from New Genesis as ensemble members.

But that got me thinking. If anyone were to ever do a New Gods movie, it would be one of two ways… as the villains in a Superman/Justice League movie or as a movie in their own right. But how would you ever pull off a space opera like that? It doesn't exactly follow the "down-rent realism/black leather costume" ethos of most superhero movies. If you tried to do a Christopher Nolan take on the Fourth World, it would bomb like Enola Gay. Fans would be displeased that none of Kirby's crazy inventiveness made it to the screen, while general audiences would be pissed that they're expected to take a place called "Apokolips" seriously.

So who could make Kirby work on the big screen? Then it came to me. Terry Gilliam.

Read more... )
seriousfic: (Barda is not the world's best cook)
Prompt: Mister Miracle / Big Barda

Sex within a loving relationship. Not fluffy, no hearts and flowers, maybe a little rough, but there should be an element of mutual trust/liking.

It would also be nice if Barda could be a little dominant, but that's not a strict requirement.


Barda likes it big. )
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No, don't skip this, plebeians who have not yet experienced the awe and majesty of Legend of the Seeker. There will be Barda. And lesbians. Oh, yes, I thought you'd be sticking around.

So I'm sure many who've watched LotS have wondered "Where does Terry Goodkind get his ideas?" As have those who've read the books, although they're more like "Jesus Christ." But the question remains. Ideas. Terry Goodkind's. Where do they come from?



Besides that!

For instance, in LotS, the evil Darken Rahl commands a force of bisexual dominatrix assassin women, one of whom turns good. Coincidentally, in DC comics, the evil Darkseid commands a force of (occasionally) bisexual dominatrix (occasionally--Lashina FTW) assassin women, one of whom turns good.

Could it be that the Female Furies and the Mord'Sith are the same? Let's examine some compelling and sexy photographic evidence.

Not safe for work or non-awesome. )
seriousfic: (Barda is not the world's best cook)
Trying for something a little different here. Instead of smut, a domestic-y look at how Scott/Barda/Diana would probably work in canon. Good evening for Diana = wine, sparring, and sex y/y? Written for [livejournal.com profile] dcx3's Ladies Choice Challenge. It's for threesomes involving at least two women, in case anyone on my f-list happens to be interested in that.

Title: One Moment Between Three People
Fandom: DC comics
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 3,206
Characters/Pairings: Scott/Barda/Diana
Summary: Diana just happened to be in Barda and Scott’s neighborhood while she was flying her invisible jet.

She dug up a bottle of wine that a vineyard had given her for saving their fields from Despero. They’d been more excited by the photo op than saddened over the damage. She hadn’t had time to get drunk, and hadn’t had anyone to do it with, but at the back of her mind it seemed ungracious to not enjoy the wine. This seemed an elegant solution to that. )
seriousfic: (Barda is not the world's best cook)
On Scans_Daily, I recently opined that the best part of DC's 90s "look! look! we have girl characters!" mini-crossover was that Scott Free was turned into a parrot, both because it fits into his innate love of freedom (even though it was probably just a parrot because it went with his costume's color scheme) and because it paved the way for Barda the Pirate.

DID I LIE, F-LIST? NO, I DID NOT.

A kind soul by the name of [livejournal.com profile] gargoylekitty illustrated this scene. The results were both classical and provocative, I think you will find.



By plank, she means Mega-Rod.

And now, as inventor of the concept of Barda the Pirate (BlackBarda?), I feel the need to invent for her a backstory.

Lady Barda: Oh Scott, beloved husband, I have washed my hair and accidentally, yet strategically, ripped my nightgown during fencing duels with the ladies. Are you prepared for marital bliss?

Lord Scott: A witch doctor turned me into a parrot.

Lady Barda: NOT. ON.

Since she didn't trust the British Navy to rescue her beloved from parrotness (they're no Spanish Armada, after all), Barda turned pirate to find a cure for Scott and because it's fun. Truly, no woman before in the annals of history has gone through so much to get laid FOR LOVE.

ETA: Speaking of S_D, it's not a party until Gail Simone shows up. So glad I didn't say anything bad about her...
seriousfic: (Barda is not the world's best cook)
Barda wasn’t the most beautiful girl in the universe. She walked like a tank, hips swinging only as much as they needed to for her to take her next bold stride. Her fingernails were cut short, never lacquered, often with bits of dried blood under them. Her stare wasn’t so much ‘come-hither’ as ‘go far, far away’. Her skin was rough, her smile was cruel, her hair was matte black dull, and when it came to conversation, she was great at giving orders.

Some days, Barda wondered what it would be like to be even in the running. Maybe Scott would appreciate it. But mostly, she was happy being Barda.

***

Scott was very physical on Earth, even more than Earth was. No one saluted on Earth. They shook hands and high-fived and slapped each other on the shoulder. But Scott even moreso than most. When Barda sat down, winded from battling a Parademon legion, Scott’s fingers were at her neck, massaging out the tension. When her face was burnt from a heat-blast, his hands were there with soothing wet clothes. And when her hair came loose and was in her face, he brushed it away.

Of course, on Apokolips, there was no touching. There was always armor in the way, and even if you did touch skin, it would only be to smear the oil and grime on it. Flesh against flesh was a memory of something that had never happened. But Scott had looked at her like he wanted to touch her. Not the crude leering of the generals, but with a slightly sad appreciation of her, like he was watching a sunset.

It was while looking at a Magog-class destroyer that she finally touched back. It was raining destruction down on an Earth city and any minute now their back-up would arrive and they would attack it as a team, and Barda knew she could take it even without the Justice League, but if she couldn’t

Her hand was around Scott’s hand. It was so small, yet there was such strength in the way he returned her squeeze. His skin was soft, fingers long and slender, palm dry. When she looked at him, he was smiling.

“We could die,” she said brusquely.

“We could live,” he replied. “Either way, I’m holding hands with the most beautiful girl in the universe.”

***

The best part of not being the most beautiful girl in the universe was that Scott thought she was.

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