Posts Tagged ‘DC Comics’

Wonder Woman: The Key Stone (Movie Pitch)

April 27, 2022

(This is a sequel to a proposed Wonder Woman 2 that can be found here which makes this Wonder Woman 3)

It’s 1977, almost 40 years after Diana made a commitment to protect Man’s World with the assistance of ARGUS. To occupy her time she has decided to take jobs as an expert in authenticating and restoring ancient artifacts. This is a way to keep ahead of dangerous magical artifacts making their way into the wrong hands and instead kept safe while being used to educate people about the ancient world. It also allows her to travel the world with ARGUS.

Gateway City

Diana Prince leaves her apartment to walk to work with happy purpose. As she walks to work she sees the good in humanity and the life of the city. Suddenly, she senses something is amiss. An armored car is traveling at unsafe speeds through traffic and it is out of control. Diana ducks into an alley and Wonder Woman jumps and runs ahead of the truck, using her lasso and strength to clear the way and save people from harm. She lands on the roof of the armored car and opens a back door and slips inside. She is immediately attacked by some sort of snarling cat person. Wonder Woman knocks the cat person out of the back of the truck. As the truck hits a curb and starts to flip, she is able to toss the driver and guards to safety.

As she recovers from the crash, she looks to see a giant eye peeking through the back of the truck. She is startled when a large woman’s voice asks if she can hand over the artifact as the truck is lifted into the air. Diana spots a large lock box bolted to the truck’s floor and replies in the negative. Diana leaps from the truck and finds that it is being held by a woman several stories high. Diana lunges at the woman but is swatted away. The woman seems to hear something and complains about ‘standing down’. She drops the truck and starts running with Diana giving chase. Diana tries to follow but somehow loses the large woman around a corner. Diana calls ARGUS agent Paula von Gunther who starts to look into the two women.

Credit Sequence: Newspaper articles and photos pass by of Wonder Woman saving the day

Diana Prince shows up at the museum and apologizes for being late. She is quickly summoned into a meeting with the museum’s director. When she arrives, the director is in conversation with Maxwell Lord. He starts to introduce himself and Diana responds that she knows who he is, a shady businessman. Lord scoffs at that and wants to get back to business. He wants to check the status of the artifact that was supposed to be transported that day. He donated to bring it all the way from Metropolis and wants to make sure it is safe. The Director relates that the transport was attacked but thankfully Wonder Woman prevented its theft or damage but Diana needs to examine it as soon as it arrives within the hour. Lord proposes transporting the artifact to his building as it is more secure but the Director does not think that is appropriate although the offer is appreciated.

In Maxwell Lord’s office, he is yelling at somebody for failing him and how he needs that artifact. It is revealed that he is yelling at the large woman (Giganta) and a Dr. Minerva. Dr. Minerva is angry at being talked down to and transforms into Cheetah through the use of an artifact. She is the cat woman from earlier. A young woman (Troia) appears and says that Lord should have just sent her. Lord reminds all three that they owe him. He saved Minerva’s career, saved Giganta’s life, and literally created Troia. He wants the three to break into the museum and get him the artifact. He is through playing games, it is time for results.

In Diana’s lab, she studies the artifact with the newly arrived Paula looking over her shoulder. It is the Key Stone, a potentially powerful item that can unlock magical power. Diana is even more curious why Lord was so focused on this artifact. What does he have planned? They discuss what should be done about the artifact. They agree that Maxwell Lord should be kept from it. They also worry that the thieves that attacked earlier could easily strike again. Diana researches the Key Stone more and sees that it is at the height of its power later that night due to the alignment of the planets.

The buzzer sounds but it is pretty late for visitors. Doctor Minerva talks her way into Diana’s study, claiming to be Maxwell Lord’s expert there to protect his investment in the museum. As they talk about the artifact, Paula scans Dr. Minerva and reveals that Dr. Barbara Minerva moved from artifact study to artifact theft and was presumed disgraced and barred from the profession as a plea deal. Minerva transforms into Cheetah and starts fighting Diana. Diana gets the upper hand but Troia appears out of nowhere and sucker punches Diana. Cheetah and Paula fight, Troia and Diana fight. The artifact is passed back forth between the four. Troia is a match for Diana’s strength and speed, unnerving Diana. The two villains escape with the artifact after Troia collapses part of the ceiling on Paula. After a beat, Diana gives chase but is punched through the open door by Giganta.

At Lord’s building, he congratulates his henchwomen on getting the artifact but still snarkily insults them. He and Dr. Minerva start to prepare the ceremony. It is explained that he plans to unlock his magical potential by siphoning power from Mount Olympus. Bored and frustrated, Troia and Giganta break into one of Lord’s labs. Giganta tells the story of the magical artifact that saved her life and gave her the ability to change her size. Troia discovers that Lord had her created while studying a woman who looks like Wonder Woman. What does this mean? Are she and Wonder Woman related somehow?

Wonder Woman and Paula break into the lobby of Lord’s building where Giganta, Cheetah, and Troia are waiting for them. Wonder Woman tries to give them a speech about how they do not have to fight and that Lord is using them. Cheetah and Giganta agree but point out they are getting paid, Troia hesitates. The fight begins and both sides dig in. Paula sets off a flashbang which allows it to be two on two. Paula tangles with Cheetah while Wonder Woman fights Troia. Eventually, Paula locks Cheetah in an office.

Wonder Woman fights Troia and Troia questions what Diana is. Diana reveals her proud Amazon heritage and her oath to protect humanity from monsters and the worst of itself. Troia can use her powers for good. Troia rejects that and tearfully attacks and Wonder Woman eventually puts Troia through a wall, knowing the girl can take the punishment.

Wonder Woman returns to the lobby to fight Giganta and finds that Giganta has cornered Paula. Paula distracts an enraged Giganta and Wonder Woman eventually throws a statue of Lord to knock her out, finally getting payback for all of the giant’s sucker punches.

An enraged Troia charges into the lobby and Wonder Woman is ready for her. Troia has comparable strength, speed, and agility but Diana has been doing this a lot longer. This time Diana knows just what the young girl will do and she takes her out in graceful Amazon style. She then subdues the young girl by bending a pipe around her. This time, she should stay down.

Wonder Woman and Paula rush to face off against Maxwell Lord. Lord explains that he has siphoned power from Mount Olympus itself. He has extensively studied the Gods and their workings on Earth including the Amazons. He observed Wonder Woman in the press and put two and two together. Now he will have power surpassing hers. Diana tells him that was an unfortunate choice. She is the Godslayer and stealing her father’s power won’t help Lord. The two of them clash with Paula struggling to find a way to reverse the process. Diana powers up and finally puts the beat down on Maxwell Lord just in time for Paula to reverse the process.

Diana visits Troia in ARGUS holding. She notes that as strong as Troia is, she could have broken the pipe and gotten away. Something in Troia wanted to get caught. She assures Troia that Lord and his henchwomen are going to prison. They will never touch Troia again. Diana is there to give Troia a second chance. Troia may have all of Diana’s abilities, but she has none of the training. Diana offers to teach her. Troia accepts.

New Characters:
Troia – Shahadi Wright Joseph, Jada Harris, Brooklynn Prince
Cheetah – Damaris Lewis, Morena Baccarin, Stana Katic
Giganta – Bella Thorne, Bella Heathcote, Dreama Walker
Maxwell Lord – Michael Madsen, Simon Baker, Damian Lewis

Possible Directors: Ava Duvernay, David Leitch, Alexandra La Roche

Qurac Mission – A DCEU Suicide Squad Story

April 20, 2022

Lyle Bolton slammed the door shut and slumped down as he leaned against the wall. This had been somebody’s apartment at some point but it was half-destroyed. The Quracan Civil War had gotten beyond intense. Usually, nobody cared about this sand trap except for a few terrorist attacks on Metropolis back in the day. The only reason the US Government cared now was that the civil war was threatening oil reserves. The direct involvement of US Armed Forces could have ignited another World War so, as usual, they had come crawling to Amanda Waller.

Waller was the queen of the black ops and, although it wasn’t pretty, she had taken credit for organizing teams that had eliminated the threats of The Enchantress and Starro. She had quickly formed a new version of Task Force X (aka The Suicide Squad) to confront this new threat. With Rick Flag dead, she had pardoned Bolton for his crimes in Gotham as Lock-Up. She had made him a black ops agent of the government and put him in charge of the expendable inmates chosen for the third incarnation of Task Force X. Bolton had tried to tamp down the word “suicide” but things had gotten grim.

“You’re in charge, Bolton,” Giganta said. “What are we supposed to do? I can get big but I can’t really get bulletproof. If I hadn’t pulled Grundy out of the fight, he would have gotten himself blown apart.”

“Grundy come back,” Solomon Grundy said. “Always come back.”

“Quiet, Grundy,” Giganta said but not too harshly. The thing didn’t really have a mind to speak of and so it was a thing to be pitied.

“She has a point, Bolton,” Bronze Tiger said. He had his arms folded but was always ready as the very picture of martial arts discipline. It also made him more imposing but he was up against a woman who could grow to 250 feet and a ten-foot-tall undead monster so he was already third place.

“Let the coach talk,” Sportsmaster said. “Or I’ll put you in the penalty box.” Sportsmaster was the opposite of Bronze Tiger, slumped in a beat-up old armchair and completely relaxed. His mask betrayed nothing of his true emotions but his body language spoke volumes of his cocky yet crafty mind. Bolton absolutely loathed the man and it seemed most of the group agreed.

“There would need to be two of you,” Bronze Tiger said. “Where did your wife get off to anyway?”

Sportsmaster tensed at that but then thought better of it. “Cheshire is on mission,” he said. “Don’t you worry about that.”

“Can we get back to the point of what we’re supposed to do now?” Giganta asked. 

“Absolutely,” Bolton said. “This is just a minor setback. Just a bit of gunfire. We’ll call in for intelligence and move on from there.”

He pulled out the satellite communicator and hit the button.

“Come in Waller,” Bolton said. “Bolton calling.”

There was a tense silence. “Waller here,” Amanda Waller said with a voice devoid of patience. “Is mission accomplished? I’m showing the team in an apartment complex.”

“Mission specs were incorrect,” Bolton said. “A regiment of insurgents is between us and the targets. Film Freak and Stirk are dead. Cheshire and Copperhead are MIA.  Can’t dismantle your BS insurgent government if we can’t get to it, ma’am.”

“Let me have a look at this,” Waller said. “No, not there, near the team. Damn, I actually miss Economos. Yes, I’m showing a regiment. The mission is still a go. Find some way to complete it. Cheshire and Copperhead are still showing vital signs if that helps.”

“I’m open to ideas,” Bolton said. 

There was a clanging sound in the ceiling.

“What was that sound?” Waller asked.

“Something is in the vents,” Sportsmaster said.

“Or someone,” Giganta said.

“Grundy attack?” Grundy asked.

“Hold Grundy,” Bolton said.

The grate on a vent flew off and the colorful form of Harley Quinn burst into the room.

“Ta-dah!” she shouted with a big grin on her face.

Waller sighed. “Don’t tell me,” she said.

“Harley Quinn?” Bolton asked. “What the hell are you doing here? How did you get here?”

Harley shrugged. “I didn’t have anything else going on,” she said. “I figured I could stop the end of the world again. I go where I’m needed.”

“You were not needed,” Waller said. “We hadn’t even recaptured you yet. Damn it! You didn’t bring the Joker with you, did you?”

“I’m done with that creep for good,” Harley said. “You didn’t get the memo?”

“There actually was a memo on that, Ms. Quinzel,” Waller said. “You blew up a chemical plant.”

“I did!” Harley said. “Thanks for noticing. Now, I have an idea how to get past those guys out there.”

“Permission to tie her up?” Bolton asked.

“Very rude, Mr. Lock-Up,” Harley said. “I remember you.”

“Permission denied,” Waller said. “As much as I hate to admit it, her plans actually work. Let’s hear her out. Things can’t get any worse.”

“Hey!” Harley said. “Don’t underestimate me.”

Movie Pitch – Wonder Woman and The Four Horsewomen

February 12, 2022

(This is a movie I wrote to replace Wonder Woman 1984 in my headcanon)

It is 1939, over twenty years after Diana slew Ares and helped thwart and apprehend Doctor Poison. After attending the funeral of Steve Trevor and believing that her mission was over, she bid farewell to the human world and traveled back to Themyscira. Her return was bittersweet but she was happy to be among family again. After some time it became clear that Diana’s place in Themysciran society had shifted. Her killing of a god and the reveal of her true parentage both made her a celebrity and also caused people to be nervous around her. Few wanted to spar, conversations sometimes died when she entered the room. Even her old mentor/aunt Antiope and her friends Artemis and Phillipus treat her differently. Restless, she leaves the island again to wander the world.

Diana travels the world, learning more about the human world. This time, her travels extend beyond just Europe and she learns so much more. She travels simply, backpacking with her gear and lasso tucked away. When needed, she leaps into action to save the day but never sticks around. After Steve, she is not quite ready to be part of a team again. She also does not want to be worshipped like her godly predecessors. She visits old friends, Sameer, Charlie, and Chief. She briefly visits a reformed Doctor Maru who has spent her days developing medical technology under government supervision. Diana is horrified but not surprised that another World War seems to be in the wind even after the death of Ares.

Etta Candy reaches out to Diana and summons her to the War Department as a favor to Steve and his old military ties. Etta has become a small business owner, using her defiant and strong personality to make it in man’s world. Britain is calling on her to once again fight, this time against the Axis of Evil. The Allies want her to lead a force to Castle von Gunther to investigate what the Nazis are doing with a group of kidnapped scientists. Diana refuses help as she doesn’t want anybody to get hurt and she remembers how Ares disguised himself as Sir Patrick. She will go alone and make her own decisions on the matter.

Diana travels to the Castle and sneaks in. She discovers that German noblewoman Paula Von Gunther is conducting experiments on German citizens to create empowered soldiers. Diana goes to free the scientists and discovers she has been mistaken. Not all of the scientists are captives, and their chief scientist Baron Blitzkrieg is the one really in charge. He and his Four Horsewomen (including Paula) quickly overwhelm Diana with their superpowers. They take her alive and plan to study her to aid their experiments. During captivity, Paula visits Diana to try and turn her to their cause but Diana has more of an effect on Paula. Paula reveals that she and the other Horsewomen were kidnapped and forced to cooperate with Blitzkrieg’s experiments.

Antiope, Artemis, and Phillipus of the Amazons show up to rescue Diana, freeing her and bringing the fight to Baron Blitzkrieg and his small army. Diana, Artemis, and Calliope fight through the castle, making quick work of the Nazi thugs. They then face off against the Four Horsewomen in a brutal and chaotic battle. After a bit, Paula seems hesitant and throws down her arms. The battle continues without her and, in the end, Paula saves Diana by attacking Devastation and officially changing sides. The three Amazons and Paula then face off with Baron Blitzkrieg who has supercharged himself.

After the battle, Diana leaves the kidnapped scientists, collaborators, and the unrepentant remaining Horsewomen to the Allies to sort out. She and the Amazons decide to take Paula back to Themyscira to train her powers. Paula happily declares that Blitzkrieg had been right about one thing, Diana is a real “wunder”. Diana makes peace with her fellow Amazons and they tell her that her place is in Man’s world now and not because she no longer belongs in Themyscira but because she has a calling that they understand. Diana feels a bit more hopeful and resolves to help the Allies against the Nazi menace. In furtherance of that, she meets with Charlie, Chief, and Sameer and agrees to sign on as a founding member of their new organization called ARGUS.

Casting:

Already cast:
Antiope – Robin Wright
Hippolyta – Connie Nielsen
Phillipus – Ann Ogbomo
Artemis – Ann Wolfe
Etta Candy – Lucy Davis
Chief – Eugene Brave Rock
Charlie – Ewen Bremner
Sameer – Saïd Taghmaoui
Dr. Maru/Dr. Poison – Elena Anaya
Diana Prince/Wonder Woman – I can’t recast her, can I?

New Characters:
Paula Von Gunther/Warmaster – Formerly a young socialite, taken over by the Nazis and changed into a weapon of war and leader of the Horsewomen – Emily Osment, Olivia Ross, Sasha Pieterse
Devastation – The oldest member of the Horsewomen who fights with an almost feral style – Renae Moneymaker, Zoe Bell, Heather Bonomo
Armageddon – The largest member of the Horsewomen, a hot-headed and aggressive powerhouse – Demi Bennett, Kayla Rossi,
Genocide – The youngest member of the Horsewomen, sardonic and heavily disfigured from the experiments – Monica Beadnell, Heidi Moneymaker, Kriana Stanton
Baron Blitzkrieg – An unhinged and inhuman monster who is undyingly loyal to the Third Reich. He has been gifted Castle Von Gunther but results are expected. – Jason Isaacs, Thomas Kretschmann, August Diehl

Possible Directors: Julius Avery, Gareth Edwards, Babak Najafi, Duncan Jones

The Jester Rises – A Harley Quinn Elseworlds Story

April 12, 2021

Harleen Quinzel was fuming as she walked through the streets. She had never been rejected so harshly and so abruptly. She had gotten through school with flying colors and gotten her license to practice but she was too young to start her own practice and nobody was hiring. She had been desperate so she applied and was then hired by Arkham Asylum to be a staff psychiatrist. It was pretty rough. Some patients were nice but a lot of them were creepy or violent and totally obsessed with Batman. The work was definitely interesting but not very rewarding. Most of the patients had no interest in their treatment.

One inmate had started to draw her attention. She heard so many rumors and whispers about him that she could not help but be curious. He was a frequent guest in Arkham and he was back yet again. When she was assigned to do a series of interviews with him, she had gotten nauseous with fear. She swallowed it all down, put on her best professional demeanor and then stepped in to try therapy with The Joker.

Much to her surprise, it was not as bad as she expected. She knew Joker was playing with her but he was charismatic and interesting and engaged in her questions even if he rarely gave a straight answer. She even caught herself laughing at some of his sick jokes. She started looking forward to their sessions and made excuses to visit him more often. She started thinking about him at home, on the way to work, on the way home to work, and then all the time.

She finally broke down and turned off the security cameras and confessed her love to Joker. She told him that she could help him escape and that they could be together on the outside. He told her no. He told her that he was not interested in a groupie and that there was no way that she would understand his genius. He ratted her out to the administration and Harley had been summarily fired and sent home. She had never been so angry. She had been a fool.

If Joker was not going to be her partner, then she would beat him at his own game. She tested out her own clown makeup and had sewn her own costume. She borrowed some engineering books from the library to create her own gadgets. Not returning those books would be her first crime. Joker had made her feel like a fool so that is what she would be. Gotham would learn to fear The Jester. That would really piss him off. She had to figure out how to get on the news as fast as possible.

She briefly considered tracking down Catwoman for a team-up. She thought that another woman might be sympathetic to her plight and Catwoman was a total pro. Still, she was too stealthy for the splash that Harleen wanted to make. She thought of Poison Ivy but she knew her file and knew that she was more of an ecoterrorist which had no overlap with the Jester’s goals. Maybe sometime in the future. She seemed really smart and cool.

She also considered knocking on Aaron Helzinger’s door. The big guy, also known as Amygdala, would be an absolute powerhouse to team up with. She had built a rapport with him while treating him in the Asylum. However, he was completely unstable and tended to go on rage-filled rampages so he was not very dependable. Also, she would feel pretty guilty about recruiting him. She had adjusted his medication and returned him to enough normalcy to be released to a halfway house to see if he could be released outright. There was no need to bother the big lug.

That left her on her own until she had enough street cred to bring on henchmen. She was pretty sure that was how it worked. She geared up, carefully applied her makeup, and grabbed her gear. She broke into a car and drove it toward Gotham’s First National Bank. She gunned the car to top speed and drove it up the stone steps and through the front façade of the building. She climbed out of the car and shot the first guard with her boxing glove gun. She slapped the other guard with a hand buzzer that knocked him out.

Somebody in the crowd yelled out. “Who are you!?”

Harleen gave her best smile, eyes wide, posing for pictures. “You can call me The Jester.”

Media Update 1/7/21

January 7, 2021

Wonder Woman 1984

I really liked Wonder Woman. Even though it was a bit of a flawed movie, it was still fun. DC received a lot of criticism for their movies being dark so I think they over corrected with this movie. I really wanted to like this movie but it felt like it had absolutely nothing to do with the first movie. This is not necessarily a bad thing but the movie also had very little internal logic in it either. Gal Gadot is once again Wonder Woman/Diana Prince who is personable and charming yet has had no friends for about 65 years. Chris Pine has an unnecessary return as Steve Trevor. He’s fine but why? Kristen Wiig was miscast as an “ugly duckling” character when she is not even Hollywood ugly and she did her usual mugging and running her mouth. Pedro Pascal plays the villain as basically the love child of Nathan Fillion and Kyle MacLachlan. Nothing makes sense within the movie, the pacing is off, and the tone is weird. There are a lot of good parts to this movie but they just did not fit it together well. I do not recommend this movie. Watch Birds of Prey again instead.

Stargirl

I fell in love with the Justice Society of America comics and absolutely loved the revival in 1999 which showed more of a merging of the older JSA with a new generation. Those books popularized Courtney Whitmore being passed the torch from Starman and the Star-Spangled Kid. This show is an adaptation of that story. Brec Bassinger is great as Courtney, a girl kind of lost in life who finds superheroics and a purpose to carry her through. Luke Wilson plays her stepfather, a link to the past and an all-around good guy. Courtney’s mom and her stepbrother (played by Amy Smart and Trae Romano) are great comic relief. There is an ensemble cast which is just starting to play a role three episodes in. The show has a great throwback feel to it while still being modern. It helps to bridge the feel of the old days and the new generation. The chemistry between Wilson and Bassinger is so good as well. I definitely recommend this show.

Titans

I have read every incarnation of the Teen Titans and I will continue to watch any adaptation of them. This show seemed to be kind of an adaptation of when the original Teen Titans reformed in their adult years mixed with an origin story. The show follows Robin (Dick Grayson), Starfire, Beast Boy, Raven, Hawk, Dove, and more. I am only three episodes in but the show has a manageably dark tone with a fun cast. Brenton Thwaites is a great Dick Grayson, a little dark but with a good heart much like the early Nightwing days. Teagan Croft plays a sarcastic yet vulnerable Raven who feels like the heart of the show. Anna Diop plays Starfire, more of the badass she was in the comics than the carefree spirit in other adaptations. Minka Kelly and Alan Ritchson play Dove and Hawk, a pair of hardened superheroes. I like how the story is turning and twisting and slowly weaving together so far and I look forward to three whole seasons of it. I recommend this show as well.

Music of the Week:

MF DOOM – One Beer

Public Service Broadcasting – Spitfire

Carpenter Brut – Beware the Beast

Billie Eilish – Therefore I Am

Mashup of the Week

DJ Cummerbund – Play That Funky Music Rammstein

Weekly Update:
This week’s theme is “A Heroic New Year”
I watched more Watcher videos
I watched a lot of Twitch and YouTube
I started watching AGDQ 2020
I watched more Marvel Agents of Shield Season 7
I watched more Doctor Who Season 12
I watched When a Stranger Calls Back (Rifftrax Version)
I watched Hillbillys in a Haunted House (Rifftrax Version)

Victory Garden – A Justice Society of America Story

April 25, 2020

Courtney Whitmore was pouting just a little bit on the rooftop of the headquarters of the Justice Society of America. She was tired of being inside and completely restless. She wanted to be out with her friends or even on patrol. She and her stepfather, Pat Dugan, had just finished a patrol when the Stay at home order was announced. There was a deadly virus and the short term solution was to shelter in place and wait it out. Courtney had wanted to at least go home but Pat had insisted that the responsible thing to do was stay at headquarters in case they had already been exposed during their patrol.

Besides, they might be needed if the emergency got worse. There were others also at headquarters. Doctor Mid-Nite was locked in his lab and communicating with leading medical scientists and doctors from around the world. Mr. Terrific, Power Girl, and Wildcat were also present and accounted for. The Marvel Family was sticking around but they were immune to the virus as long as they stayed in their superpowered forms. It had been weeks since they had gone out in costume.

In the meantime, Courtney was hanging out as Pat tended a small but growing garden. The sun was shining and it was good weather for it. However, Courtney looked restless.

“We should go on patrol,” Courtney said. “There could be danger out there. How would we know?”

“We have a computer attached to police scanners and news feeds,” Pat said. “If we’re needed, we’ll be there. It’s safer to stay here.”

“Your STRIPES armor probably keeps the virus out,” Courtney said. “You’d be perfectly safe.”

“Maybe,” Pat said, grunting as he dug another hole. “But it’s actually pretty peaceful out there. Even the criminals are scared of this thing. Why are you pushing this so hard, Courtney?”

“I just need to be Stargirl,” Courtney said, wrapping her arms around herself.

“Why do you think that is?” Pat asked.

“I don’t know,” Courtney said, looking away.

“Maybe because being superheroes has become normal for us?” Pat asked. “Maybe you think it will feel normal to put on the costume again?”

“Maybe,” Courtney said. “Is that bad?”

Pat stopped what he was doing and looked up at her, having to shade his eyes a bit. “Not at all,” he said. “Being Stargirl and STRIPES is important to the world and it’s important to us. It brought us closer at a time where we were still figuring out how to be family.”

Courtney thought about that shared history. She had been pissed when Pat had married her mother. A resentful and sullen Courtney had chosen to act out instead of make peace. She discovered Sylvester Pemberton’s old Star-Spangled Kid costume and had run around town to piss off Pat. Pat had been Pemberton’s sidekick Stripey back during World War 2. Circumstances caused by time travel had ended with Pat being much younger than he should have been in the present day. Pat had eventually designed and donned the STRIPES armor to accompany his stepdaughter as she fought crime. Eventually, Courtney saw Pat as a mentor instead of an obstacle. Courtney earned the respect of her stepfather but also her peers when she accepted Ted Knight’s old cosmic rod.

“Yeah,” Courtney said. “That’s true.”

“But this is what’s important right now,” Pat said.

“Why?” Courtney asked. “Why are we even doing this? It’s not like we need the vegetables, the grocery stores are still open.”

“Because this is a little thing we can do in case things get worse,” Pat said. “If these vegetables grow that leaves more in the stores for other people. Back when I was running around with your predecessor, we called these ‘victory gardens’. People did them to help the war effort.”

“Stopping the Nazis, huh?” Courtney asked.

“Yeah,” Pat said. “That was the idea. I trust Doctor Mid-Nite and the gang to find a cure but if this helps just a little bit, it’s something I can do. We can’t patrol but we also can’t just watch television and work out all the time. Some sunshine and a little hard work could help us stay sane.”

Courtney sighed. “Hand me a shovel,” she said. “I’ll help you out.”

Girls’ Night -A Harley Quinn Story

April 8, 2020

“You’re not going straight, are you?” Ivy asked. She was tending to a couple different venus flytraps but she was paying attention to the conversation. Mostly.

Harley Quinn laughed. “You know that I’ve never been anywhere close to straight,” she said and then she shrugged. “I’m not going all goody-two-shoes, Red, I’m just talking about kicking a little ass.”

“Criminal ass,” Ivy noted with a slight smile. “You’re talking about busting criminals. A lot of the people you worked alongside previously.”

“That was with Mr. J,” Harley said and then corrected herself. “Joker. I’m done with that, it always ended in tears.”

“It always ended in Batman,” Ivy said. “He would abandon you and then Batman or Robin or Batgirl or whoever would catch you. Batman always wins.”

“Exactly,” Harley said. “I don’t want to fight Batman anymore. I just want to do my thing.”

“What is your thing?” Ivy asked, turning toward Harley. “You don’t want to fight Batman and you don’t want to be with Joker anymore. Wait, that’s still the case right?”

“Oh Hell yes,” Harley said. “I’m done with him forever.”

“Because the only reason I allowed you to stay here was that you promised,” Ivy said sternly.

“Geez Red,” Harley said. “I’m done. I’m here with you now. I also don’t just ‘stay here’. I pay rent.” She said the last with a slight pout.

“Sometimes,” Ivy said with a smile.

“That’s going to change,” Harley said defensively. “I’m changing.”

The truth was, Harley had already changed a lot. She still had a lot of the chemicals that had ‘created’ her flowing through her veins. However, it seemed like some of the mania in her head had cleared thanks to the correct balance of medications. Ivy had helped to cultivate the correct treatment with consultation from Bane of all people. When Harley had finally broken with Joker, Ivy had taken her on a trip out of the country. That meant that Harley finally got some sun and stopped using facepaint. She had started to shake up her style now that she was not trying to please anybody but herself. She had abandoned her trademark pigtails and had gone with a sidecut instead. She died her hair multicolored and wore whatever she pleased. She was happier.

“Is that why you bought the armor?” Ivy asked. She gestured over at Ivy’s new acquisition which had been meticulously designed.

“It’s hardly even armor,” Harley said dismissively. “It’s just the chest piece and some leg plating. I can’t do all my flippy stuff if I’m weighed down too much but this stuff is bulletproof in case things go to crap.”

“Are you expecting that things will ‘go to crap’?” Ivy asked. “I don’t want you hurt out there.”

“These streets are rough out there, Red,” Harley said. “But it’s just in case. Everything is going to be fine.”

“Is it?” Ivy asked. “You still haven’t exactly explained your plan here.”

“Well,” Harley said. “I don’t really have anything against criminals. A lot of people get left behind and they gotta survive the best they can. What I don’t like are people like Joker, like Black Mask, like Scarecrow. The dangerous assholes. The killers. What I wanna do is take them out. While we’re at it, we might as well take their money. Maybe Batman will be grateful we’re helping him do his job.”

“I doubt it,” Ivy said. “but it is a fairly noble plan.”

“So are you in?” Harley asked. “Do you want to join the team?”

“Team?” Ivy asked. “Harley, you know I love you but I’m done fighting. I’m a scientist again now and I just want to develop things that are going to save the world with ecology, not violence. I’m just Ivy now, no poison. I’ll always support you, though.”

“That’s alright, Ivy,” Harley said and leaned in to kiss her. They shared a sweet but passionate kiss. “Like I said, I’m putting together a team for this. You can party with us anytime but you don’t hafta. I understand.”

“Good,” Ivy said. “I’ll always be here when you come home.”

“You’re so sweet, Red,” Harley said.

There was a sound in the living room and Harley spun around, she just suddenly had her oversized pistol in her hand by instinct. She pointed it at the door that led into the living room.

“Who’s there!?” Harley yelled out. “Show yourself.”

Catwoman walked into the room with her hands up and a confused look on her face. “It’s me, Catwoman,” she said. “You invited me here to talk over your proposal.”

“Oh yeah!” Harley said with a smile, setting her gun aside. “Welcome! Can I get you something to drink? Saucer of milk?” It was hard to tell if Harley was serious or just joking. Catwoman just decided to brush the comment aside.

“Cute,” Catwoman said. “I’m good.” She looked around, taking the place in with mild interest. There was nothing really to steal so it was kind of boring.

“Harley!” Ivy hissed. “You invited somebody to our apartment?”

“Yep,” she said. “I needed an out of the way place.”

“Without my permission?” Ivy asked.

“Oooh,” Harley groaned. “Sorry about that, Red. I wasn’t thinking about that, I was just so excited!”

“I know,” Ivy said. “I know how excited you get.”

“Maybe we should meet somewhere else?” Catwoman asked. “I know a few places that would work.”

The doorbell rang.

From around a corner, the porcelain-white mask of Anarky appeared. “Hey, is this the right place?” he asked. “Oh and Renee Montoya is at the front door.”

Ivy looked at Harley helplessly and Harley gave her an apologetic look. “Yeah,” she said. “We should go. Let’s go. Sorry, babe, see you later!” Catwoman slipped out of the apartment while Harley dragged Anarky out through the front door, past a confused Renee Montoya and Grace Choi. Ivy sighed and went back to work.

Brooke Wayne – A DC Comics Elseworlds Story

April 2, 2020

Brooke Wayne would be the first to admit that she had not had the happiest life. Her therapist, Dr. Crane, would confirm that. Everybody knew her story. Her parents had been murdered in front of her outside of a theater in downtown Gotham. She had undergone significant trauma but all of her friends had not taken her seriously. Poor little rich girl. She had disappeared suddenly one day and left her trust behind. That was the part of the story that the public did not know. What came after had been a secret. She traveled the world and trained her body and mind to fight crime. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

When she returned to Gotham, she took up the life of a costumed vigilante. She styled her costume after a bat, a creature she had encountered in deepest Africa. She had looked to battle the criminal element but she ended up in a war with the Gotham City Police Department. Supervillains began to appear in Gotham. Brooke felt like she was losing more ground than she was gaining. Finally, she explained her double life to her therapist, Dr. Tabitha Crane. It was at this point that Dr. Crane revealed that her ex-husband was the supervillain known as The Scarecrow. Together, Brooke and Tabitha put together a plan.

Brooke contacted the GCPD and worked out a deal. The Bat would disappear, here reign of terror would evaporate like shadows in sunlight. In return, she proposed setting up a special task force directly under Commissioner James Gordon. Additionally, Brooke would donate part of her vast family fortune to the police force for better technology and resources. She was already starting numerous social welfare programs to help heal a city broken by crime and corruption. She had other people running those. People more qualified to determine where that money should go. She was bored, she wanted to channel her anger in a more positive way.

Amazingly, Commissioner Gordon had conferred with the Mayor and had agreed. Brooke was sent to the police academy to learn protocol and pay her dues. She was sent along with several other vigilantes who were offered a similar deal. Now, Wayne had been on the force for years and she was really good at it. She was working things out with her therapist and the squad was having real success cleaning up the city. Things were looking up with crime and corruption on the decline. This left Brooke’s squad to tackle the real threats, the real dangers to the community.

“Good morning, Captain Wayne,” Olivia said. “How are we doing today?”

“Your Royal Highness,” Brooke said. “So nice that you could grace us with your presence.”

“Queen by name and Queen by reputation,” Olivia said. “Thank you for continuing to get the good word out there.” She set her gear bag down and hung up her bow. She had a special dispensation to carry a compound bow instead of a rifle. She had crusaded as the Green Arrow, inspired by The Bat. Brooke had eventually used that reputation to convince Olivia to partner with Brooke to fund the new GCPD squad.

“Whatever Queen,” Brooke said with a laugh. “You’re late. We’re joining everybody in the briefing room after I stop by to see the new tech from Holt.”

“I’ve got all the tech I need right here,” Olivia said and patted her bow. “What’s on the docket today? Spill.”

“You could just wait until the briefing,” Brooke said. “Sage, Dodds, Grant, and Tyler are already in there.”

“You have never been fun,” Olivia said. “Not once.”

Brooke sighed. “Fine,” she said. “We’re following a lead. Harley contacted me last night with some juicy stuff.”

“That whackjob?” Olivia asked. “I don’t trust her.”

“She’s given us good intel before,” Brooke said. “You have to learn to trust people, Queen. I can give you the number of my therapist.”

“Don’t get me started,” Olivia said. “She used to date the Joker.”

“I used to date Catwoman,” Brooke said. “Nobody’s perfect. She’s reformed. Well, she’s mostly reformed now that she’s with Ivy.”

“Well,” Olivia said. “I do believe in redemption. I guess you do too.”

“I’m starting to,” Brooke said. “One night at a time.”

(DC Comics was suggested by my friend Liz on Twitter)

Media Update 2/22/18

February 22, 2018


Black Panther

When my friend texted me saying that they had gotten our group tickets for a Friday showing of Black Panther, I was excited all week to see it. I had heard such good things not only from critics but also from celebrities whose tastes are aligned with mine who got to see it early. Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther was one of the best parts of Captain America: Civil War. The intelligence and emotion of the character were just as important of all the cool flippy stuff he did in battles. His movie is an even deeper dive into the character and his world and it also confronts a lot of social issues that always need confronting. It explores a lot of themes that include but are not limited to the black experience in the United States, the black experience in Africa, imperialism, isolationism, and foreign aid. There are also more intimate themes of family, doing what is right, honoring your past while looking to the future, dealing with the sins of the past, and so on. Boseman was even better than he was in Civil War. He was joined by the powerhouse team of Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright and Angela Bassett as possibly the strongest female characters I have seen on film. I am talking physical, emotional, and mental strengths by the way. It was awesome to see Daniel Kaluuya again and he gave a great raw, vulnerable performance. Michael B. Jordan earned his place as one the best Marvel villains so far if not the best. Andy Serkis was really fun (and not mo-capped!) and it is always nice to see Martin Freeman. The movie is nonstop enjoyment and I definitely recommend it.


Black Lightning

I was inspired to check out this show after coming home all jazzed from seeing Black Panther. I had heard good things and I love the relatively recent trend of good DC Comics shows. This show is more similar to Black Panther or Luke Cage than it is to the Arrowverse. The show is an adaptation of DC Comics’ first African-American superhero. Jefferson Pierce is a school principal by day and a superhero by night. The show explores a lot of what it means to be Black in an urban setting with all of the traps laid in the paths of America’s Black youth. Within the first few episodes, the show introduces a lot of great characters from the comic books. There are even Outsiders references as a nod to Black Lightning’s association with Batman and his daughter’s association with future iterations of the team. While the superhero stuff is compelling, watching Pierce and his family try to navigate personal relationships is just as interesting. I cannot remember another television show that attempts to capture the experiences of a school principal, at least not with the strong community connections Pierce has. Every character so far is deep and nobody is completely good or evil. I definitely recommend this one as it is just getting started and it is self-contained for now.


Sleight

I was not sure what to expect with this movie but I did know that it shared a producer with Get Out. Of course, producers are facilitators, not artists themselves. I knew that it was kind of heralded as a new kind of superhero movie. What it ended up being was much more than that. It definitely feels like a superhero origin story in certain ways. It has science fiction/science fantasy elements but it is really about a kid who has to take care of his little sister after their parents die. It felt a little bit like a Miles Morales/Peter Parker story because of that. The kid gets caught up in a bad scene and has to figure it out. Aside from the fantasy elements, the movie really felt like a great story about surviving as a young black man on the streets of Los Angeles. There are drug dealers, cops, and gangsters all around. Jacob Latimore plays the main character and he just obviously has a good heart and I found myself really rooting for him. Dule Hill plays the villain of the movie which was really cool because I have never seen him play a bad guy before that I can remember. I really liked the movie as it was and I would not be mad if this ‘superhero origin story’ was just a one shot. However, if they could come up with a good sequel I would be hungry for that as well. I definitely recommend it.

Music of the Week:
George Clinton – Atomic Dog

Kendrick Lamar, SZA – All The Stars

Migos – Stir Fry

Future – You Da Baddest ft. Nicki Minaj

Sam Cooke – A Change Is Gonna Come

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Black Superheroes”
– I watched more of Happy! Season 1
– I watched more of Criminal Minds Season 11
– I watched more of Peaky Blinders Season 1
– I watched more of Mad Men Season 1
– I watched more of The Librarians Season 4
– I watched GT Live, Critical Role, Game Grumps, and KittyKat Gaming

Media Update 7/6/17

July 6, 2017


Wonder Woman (2017)

I had been wary about seeing this movie because of the horrible job that DC Comics has been doing with their movies as opposed to what Marvel is doing right now. I am not a fan of the darker, edgier tone combined with muted colors and muted acting. Believe it or not, Suicide Squad was actually a step in the right direction. So I hemmed and hawed but heard fantastic reviews not only from Rotten Tomatoes but from independent voices I follow on the Internet. So this past July 4th weekend, I stepped into a theater on a whim and sat down and caught an afternoon showing. I am very pleased that I did. Wonder Woman was never really a hero that I connected with. I connected more with Wonder Girl. Still, it was an iconic character who finally got a live-action movie beyond the pilot for the TV show. Gal Godot was great. I have only seen her in Fast and Furious movies but she poured everything into this role and really embodied a Wonder Woman I felt I could finally connect with. Chris Pine played Steve Trevor with just the right tone. There were laughs, sad moments and plenty of action. It also had a lot to say about gender roles, forgiveness and accepting the flaws in a person and hoping their strengths ultimately win out. I wholeheartedly recommend it but I will probably not be seeing Justice League (at least, that is what I say right now).


Glow

I think it has been well-documented how much I love pro-wrestling so predicting that I would watch this Netflix show would have been a no-brainer. Throw in that I already knew that the show starred Alison Brie and had cameos of some of my favorite wrestlers and I was eagerly awaiting the premiere date. The show is really great and it captures the feel of a fledgling pro-wrestling promotion trying to get off the ground. It also charts a whole lot of actresses who know nothing about the business, learning the art of pro-wrestling. This is great for the viewer who does not know this stuff because they learn along with the cast. For the pro-wrestling fans, there are great cameos from John Morrison, Joey Ryan, Lauren James, The Addiction and more. We watch these ladies train to put on a show while dealing with their personal issues in a very real way. There are also debates on the show between style and substance and also simple story and complex motivation which mirror several different periods in pro-wrestling. All in all this show pays tribute to the real ladies of the first seasons of GLOW and what it must have taken to get to where they could try and elevate women’s pro-wrestling to its place in the mainstream. I definitely recommend it and if you are not a pro-wrestling fan I think you can still get a lot out of it.


Blood Drive

I love a little bit of grindhouse and this show has grindhouse in spades. In post-apocalyptic 1999, oil prices have skyrocketed and resources are scarce due to a cataclysmic event. Society has become brutal as the cities struggle to remain civilized while psychopaths and mutants roam the countryside. Behind it all there is a bigger conspiracy to unravel. In the middle of it all, a determined woman is forced to pair with a cop on a deadly race across the country in a car fueled by blood instead of gas. The show is full of insane characters, brutal violence, and twisted humor. Each episode so far focuses on a new setting and the two main characters trying to escape danger and make it to the next finish line. If they reach the finish line last, they are dead so they must escape cannibals, monsters and the other racers to get there in time. I have only seen a few episodes but so far even the most horrific characters are really amusing. I definitely recommend this if you are a fan of gore and fun action.

Music of the Week:
Stereopony – Hitohira No Hanabira

The Front Bottoms – Funny You Should Ask

Kim Boekbinder – HBIC

Ween – Voodoo Lady

Selena Gomez – Bad Liar

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Women in Combat”
– I started watching Blue Bloods Season 7
– I continued Arrow Season 5
– I continued The Flash Season 3
– I continued Supergirl Season 2
– I continued Agents of Shield Season 3
– I started Little Witch Academia Season 1
– I watched some more Glitter Force


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