Friday, April 14, 2006

No, The Other Superman

Been reading a few DC comics lately (Starman had a very sad ending, I thought), and it reminded me of an old writing exercise I set myself in my early twenties. Never going to be of any use, since DC generally doesn't look kindly on writers who suggest they start an alternate-universe imprint with their flagship characters, so...

The idea was, every so often DC continuity gets utterly messy. That's because they decided to work under the idea that all their stories are part of the same continuity, the same fictional universe, the same history. This wasn't always the case. Back in the 50s, they just made new versions of them and went with those versions, and left it for later decades and more continuity-minded writers to explain how it all "fit together". So you wanted a new Green Lantern? Sure. Totally different man, different origin, just took the "power ring" idea and went with it. Wasn't until the 90s that they explained how Alan Scott fit in with all that.

So, with that in mind, I thought: What if I did the same thing? What would my starting premises be for a New DC Universe, if I didn't have to explain how it fit into the old? So, here are the concepts I came up with...and the caveat, which is that technically Batman and Superman should be the same Batman and Superman they've always been. They're too iconic to mess with. But I did anyway. Oops.

Superman: A self-made billionaire, athlete and adventurer, Jason Clark is the perfect human being in every way. He's the epitome of human ability in every field, and that's come with only one cost: He bores easily. As such, he's always on the look-out for strange and unusual challenges that test his abilities to their limit.

Batman: Latest in a line of mystic protectors whose roots come from the Native Americans, Brian Oake has it in him to summon the totemic spirit of a bat to aid him in his never-ending battle to keep the world safe from the Chaos Demons that constantly seek a way into our universe.

Wonder Woman: Laura Burke, formerly of the FBI, has gotten a new government job. She's the government's latest Wonder Woman, the official super-hero of the United States of America. Truth to be told, the job's supposed to be nothing more than public relations, staged appearances, and good press. But Laura didn't sign up for a fake super-hero job, and she's finding some very real super-villains.

The Flash: Anna Martinez thought she was an ordinary librarian until the day she was struck by lightning. That day, she learned that she had always been unusual, a human capacitor with the ability to store and discharge electrical energy. Now, she's decided that she has to use her abilities for good.

Green Lantern: Alec King was an ordinary beat cop until the day the starship crashed into his city. It was a ship filled with dangerous specimens, and one of them escaped onto him--a parasite with the ability to form and manipulate energy constructs. Now, he and the parasite are reliant on each other for survival, but there's a catch. Every time he forces the parasite to use its powers, it gains a little more control over him.

Manhunter: Lisa Duval is a professional bounty hunter who specializes in the criminals that even the cops can't catch. She's got an arsenal of cutting-edge technology, contacts in every city in the world, and most importantly, the instinct of a hunter.

Aquaman: Contact with a mysterious life-form in the Marianas Trench turned marine biologist Eric Saunders into a being made of "living water". Now, he has to find a way to turn himself back into a human being.

And last but not least, the Justice Department of America: Authorized by the government to form a strike team to deal with threats to the nation's security, Wonder Woman deputizes six of America's leading super-heroes to form the Justice Department.

Of course, the fun part would come twenty years down the line, when someone tried to tie it all in to the regular DCU...


Kareem E. Philling said...

Way better than the originals. Continuity sucks. It's a comic book for Pete's sake! True, back in the golden age comics were for kids and a lot of characters were thrown at the wall to see what stuck by fly-by-night publishers. Did you ever see the original sketch of Batman where he looks like the golden age green lantern with funky batwings? Yeesh. Your "Hulk 2" story is good too. Too bad Hollywood is run by idiots- you'd have to add a sexy bimbo, the producer's wife and have a happy ending.

Anonymous said...

You know, they did this back in '97 - Tangent Comics.