The Combined DCU-Marvel Universe thread

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Re: The Combined DCU-Marvel Universe thread

Post by Phrozen » Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:23 pm

Much better that invading aliens run into a rather benevolent figure like Supes then someone who enjoys fighting like Hercules or well Black Adam.

A really ticked off Thor can also be pretty bloodthirsty.

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Re: The Combined DCU-Marvel Universe thread

Post by Bladewind » Mon Nov 21, 2011 5:55 pm

Bizarro could potentially be brought in/ used successfully without the backwards grammar.

1) The Byrne Man of Steel "imperfect clone." It could't speak and wasn't necessarily Supes' opposite. Being imperfect, it has incomplete memories and a lack of Supes' control...

2) The other was from Justice League: The Nail. The Liberator Series Androids. These were presented by Luthor as a response to the "meta human threat" but were in fact Bizarro clones.

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Re: The Combined DCU-Marvel Universe thread

Post by Libra » Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:07 pm

True enough Bladewind, on both counts, and I would like to note that I regard 'Bizarro' as more of a description than a name (which can be applied to failed clones and the creation of a mischevious Cosmic Imp's powers with equal accuracy) - however my preferred take on Bizarro #1 is as a more talktive creature entirely, since in my mind's eye Solomon Grundy has something of a lock on the 'Tall, Dark and Creepy' hulking monster (albeit more Zombie-Frankenstein than Bruce Banner!).

I'm also fond of the idea that the more tragic Bizarro's situation is the more cheerful he acts - because that's how Bizarro Logic WORKS (or fails to!) and without that old pale-and-gruesome is just another Frankenstein in a cape!

I will note that I haven't quite figured out my take on the origin of Bizarro #1 yet, though if it comes down to it, I rather like the 'Duplication Ray' explanation, since it has more of a classic sci-fi feel to it, which I happen to think suits Superman's Rogues Gallery down to the ground - also it just occurred to me that the 'Through a Mirror, Darkly' nature of the Smallville origin of the creature might also work out quite well (although I'm not keen on what I hear of the show's characterisation).

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Re: The Combined DCU-Marvel Universe thread

Post by Libra » Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:14 pm

Much better that invading aliens run into a rather benevolent figure like Supes then someone who enjoys fighting like Hercules or well Black Adam.
Tell that to the Khunds - honestly, I think that most Alien Invaders go after Big Blue specifically because he WON'T kill them. For some foolish reason they tend to think this technical pacifism gives them a decisive edge over a being who can, you know, wrestle a WARRIOR ARCHANGEL to a standstill.

There are plenty of reasons Metropolis is at the bleeding edge of technological innovation and one of them is all the cool swag that any number of abortive Alien Invasions have had to leave behind as they flee ...
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Re: The Combined DCU-Marvel Universe thread

Post by Daibhid C » Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:48 am

Libra wrote: (In all honestly I DO think that Bizarro should be used sparingly, if only because that speech of his is can become grating, but there may honestly be an interesting character hook which might be tapped by a storyteller - How do you define yourself if all you have to go on is the Cosmic Certainty that you are Superman's opposite? After all "Superman's Opposite" is a theme which encompass anything from the sublimely silly to the tragically surreal to the just plain horrifying).
One of my favourite Bizarro moments manages to be all three at once: Kidnapping Jonathan Kent to act as his Jor-El hologram.

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Re: The Combined DCU-Marvel Universe thread

Post by Libra » Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:28 pm

I must admit that Escape from Bizarro World may very well be my favourite Bizarro story - in fact I'm quite fond of Mr. John's work with Superman (or at least all the collections of it that I've been able to read so far). :D
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Re: The Combined DCU-Marvel Universe thread

Post by Voltron64 » Wed Nov 23, 2011 6:56 pm

Indeed it was awesome to see Jonathan Kent gain Flying Brick powers and beat the tar out of Bizzaro-Doomsday.

Also, I imagine two things about Pa Kent in the Combined DCMU.

1. He wasn't killed during that Braniac incident.
2. During Planet Krypton, he walked right up to General Sam Lane and gave his opinion on how the man was acting (not to mention gave a him fierce right hook.)
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Re: The Combined DCU-Marvel Universe thread

Post by Libra » Sat Nov 26, 2011 1:47 pm

While I can't object to the latter, in view of how the Sam Lane is presented as a character in that arc, I'm actually not against the idea of the death of Pa Kent in principle (so long as it has been made clear that The Kents were both around for the start of Superman's career), since it shows the setting progressing rather than becoming trapped like a fly in amber and Clark's grieving (respectfully and well-handled) allows a writer to show just how HUMAN Superman really is and just how important the Kents were to his growth into the great hero that he is.

Without Ma and Pa Kent, Superman wouldn't be half the man (never mind the superhero) he is today. I think that it is important to emphasise that in many ways they're more important to making Clark Kent Superman than Jor-El or Lara can ever be - but it is also important to show the Kents as HUMAN (albeit representatives of much that is best about Humanity) rather than perfect or angelic beings.
I would also like to note that my own version of Sam Lane does not represent the genocidal monomaniac seen in that particular incident AT ALL - instead he's a career army officer of only moderate talent, but possessed of a dedication to the US Army and the United States so absolute that it very nearly crippled his relationship with his daughters (although it didn't QUITE cost him his marriage, which still remains a somewhat complicated affair).

He'd have lived out his career as a major, no matter how much seniority he might ever have acquired, had it not been for the fact that the debut of Superman scared the United States government green (not unreasonably, it must be said, since they had yet to become aware of the fact that he was out for Justice, Social and Legal, rather than revolution or worse yet naked conquest), to the point that the US Army promoted Sam Lane to deal with the Man of Steel more or less because it hoped that Superman's connection with Lane's daughter might persuade him to at least HESITATE before reducing his command to a smear, should the mood take him.

Lane, ridiculously out of his depth, refused to panic but wasn't exactly inclined to show his best side to the young man he initially regarded as a Rogue Superpower in Human Form, especially given that this young cuckoo was putting the moves on his daughter - it didn't help that Lex Luthor was able to manipulate the newly-minted colonel's well-hidden fear and uncertainty to his own ends.

In the end, I tend to think Sam Lane should grow into the living embodiment of those elements of the US Government and Army (to an extent those of the rest of Western Civilisation as well) who have learned to trust the Superman as they have gotten to know him, but still entertain mostly-reasonable doubts and reservations concerning him.

Let me put it this way: WE know that Superman is no more likely than Pope John-Paul II to cry havoc and let slip the Dogs of War, but they can't be (since they lack out Omniscient access to his inner workings): given that it is their duty to protect the population if Superman or those like him run amok they can therefore afford to take very little for granted.

For this reason, Sam Lane's attitude to Superman should, I think, be reasonable but cautious and not always (if ever) friendly - well, that and Sam Lane approves of young Kent, therefore approving not at all of Superman continuing to hang around his happily married daughter.

It should also be noted that if Superman EVER tried taking advantage of Lois Lane's friendship in ANY fashion, Sam Lane will cold-cock Lex Luthor, hi-jack his latest Superman Revenge Suit and show that bald megalomaniac how to dispense pain on the Man of Steel in the Proper Military Manner.
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Supervillains Reborn - The Atomic Skull!

Post by Libra » Sat Nov 26, 2011 2:40 pm

When Albert Jospeh Martin Michaels was born, he was swiftly gifted with an abundance of forenames and not long thereafter diagnosed with a strange, never-before-seen disorder of the nervous system: a strange affliction that effectively short-circuited the electrical impulses in his brain at random and painful intervals, intervals during which Albert Joseph was all too frequently afflicted with incredibly strong seizures which made him a danger to all those around him and increasingly to himself, a degenerative condition made worse by the fact that it was deemed incurable by any existing technique known to Science or Medicine.

Unwilling to surrender all of his Hope for a cure without a struggle, Albert Michaels resolved that he would personally fill the gap in current Scientific Knowledge which had been revealed to him by the attending doctors and which now threatened to consume his hopes for a full and productive life. Working himself to the point of exhaustion and beyond during his dogged progress from high school to college to University, Albert found himself growing ever more desperate as his condition worsened and as he began to reach the limits of his finances despite all his best efforts.

A proud PhD in the first percentile of his class, but unemployed and facing an economic black hole where jobs were at a premium and employers willing to take on a graduate with an unprecedented, potentially dangerous condition as anything but a carefully-secured research subject were even less common.

In truth Albert might have languished in an increasingly-painful (and possibly lethal) obscurity for the slowly dwindling remainder of his life had it not been for one of his old room-mates (now a budding actor in Hollywood) proving himself a better friend than even Albert had ever known him to be, by persuading the equally-young and promising director of his latest cinematic project to hire Albert as a scientific advisor.

With a creativity fired by Albert's theories and the tragedy of his unique condition for incentive for additional inspiration, admittedly filtered through the pulp sensibilities of a gleeful throwback to the National Film serials of yester-year (not to mention the mostly-fictional character of 'Joe Martin'), the cast and crew of The Atomic Skull captured sufficient cinematic lightning in a bottle to attract both the plaudits of the less snooty variety of film critic and - more importantly - the attention of STAR Labs (then a burgeoning collective of research scientists), which happily accepted the application of Albert Michaels not long after the release of the film (which sank without a trace at the box office but went on to become a cult classic).

Rising to the position of scientist-administrator, Albert Michaels proved himself to be brilliant, but (somewhat unsurprisingly) obsessed with curing his condition to the point of appearing just a tad unfriendly; one of the few jokes he permitted himself at this time was that he would forever "owe my life to The Atomic Skull and worship him accordingly for all Eternity."

The collection of props, trivia or other memorabilia associated with what turned out to be a series of films became a rare and comforting distraction from the pressures of his quest for a cure and the over-hanging threat of what would happen to him (and those about him) if he failed to find one.

But in the end he DID find the cure he'd sought for so long - a device which, once implanted in his head would regulate the very same erratic electrical impulses that had exerted such a domineering influence on his life and career. After the long and dangerous procedure required to implant it in his brain, Albert Michaels was finally freed from the tyrannical dysfunction of his own body and had somehow gained metahuman powers into the bargain.

Suddenly transformed from a near-paralytic to a superhuman being seething with terrifyingly powerful energy, when he paused to reflect on his new state of being Albert Michaels could barely recognise himself, at times even questioning his career as a humourless scientist, a mould his obsessive focus on curing the disease which afflicted with ever-increasing severity had all but forced him into adopting.

Sometimes he honestly wondered if he would be better remaking that old pattern of his life to suit the renewed and novel nature of his being - more suited, perhaps, to the old movie serials he still loved with all his heart than to sober scientific study which ruled his head.

He was still questioning these newly-revealed facets of his identity when all those questions were rendered moot by the attack that so very nearly killed him, despite his newfound powers.

When the man who had been Albert Michaels awoke from a coma, he found himself surrounded by compassionate medical personnel arrayed alongside concerned co-workers, who very gently informed him of what had happened - including the fact that he no longer had a face. They went on to inform him that the device which had preserved his life, against both the crude battering of the thugs who had attacked him and the more subtle depredations of the dysfunctional energies which had wracked his body for so long, had begun to malfunction and had rendered his flesh invisible.

Head filled with a confused jumble of memories both mundane and fantastic, body seething with immense power, The Atomic Skull swiftly reached the entirely logical conclusion that these admittedly rather nice people were quite obviously trying to fool him into forefeiting his True, Criminal Genius in a misguided effort to preserve the corrupt status quo from that same Criminal Genius, as well the Crusade to build a Utopia founded on SCIENCE and the Conquest of ALL THE WORLD.

Luckily for STAR Labs, the now all-too-real Atomic Skull turned out to be one of those 'genially-eccentric' Mad Scientist Villains, rather than a representative of the more gruesome 'homicidally infuriated' school of thought all too prevalent in Villainous Scientists; when he broke out of those premises he inflicted property damage kept to a relative minimum (so frightening, rather than catastrophic), instead of massive casualties.

Confronted by a world where he was purportedly nothing more than a fictional character, The Atomic Skull rolled with the punches - after all, surely the Government was smart enough to remove all memory of him from the minds of the populace to ensure the success of their little effort to transform him into one of those solid citizens whose existance had always struck him as a Fate Worse than ... well, actually he supposed it was better than most, but he still didn't have to like it! - in the end literally, since the only way he could build up his reputation in the Underworld once more was to become a fighter in the Underground Metabrawl circuit.

That got the job done, even if such a brutish interlude was hardly worthy of the career of The Atomic Skull (and therefore best carefully forgotten); finally earning enough attention from the right people and sufficient funds The Atomic Skull swiftly recreated (in reality just plain created) SKULL, the network of loyal henchmen who would be so pivotal in his plan to Subjugate the Underworld - and then Conquer every other one!

On an even more serious note The Atomic Skull is a villain who bridges the two, highly disparate Underworlds of Metropolis - the upper crust of Cosmic Imps, Twisted Doubles and Outrageously Rich Corporate Executives with a sideline in incredibly Vindictive Mad Science, all of whom stand at least a snowball's chance in Hell of taking Big Blue down face-to-face (The Atomic Skull sits somewhere in the middle of this end of the scale, since with some technological assistance he can certainly HURT Superman, he remains unable to blast him into oblivion) and the lower levels, comprised mostly of organisations like Intergang which can wield considerable power in the World, but are obliged to keep their Metropolis operations on the down-low - until Superman is obliged to leave town for longer than an hour and designs kept secret for years at a time are brought to bear by planners who strive to bring them to fruition during the generally-brief absences of the Man of Steel.

The Atomic Skull and SKULL combined in fact represents a fairly rare beast in the covert urban jungle of the Metropolis Underworld, a Villain able to go toe-to-toe with Superman actually preferring to act as The Leader of an undergound agency, preferring to save his own considerable powers for surgical strikes against his rival Villains, while otherwise guiding his minions in the conquest of the - at least until he devises a device capable of amplifying his powers to the point where victory over Superman is CERTAIN, rather than entirely possible (if unlikely).

In truth at this point in time The Atomic Skull is more interested in taking over the criminal underworld and using it as the source of the additional Power which will drive his conquest of The World - while this may sound pretty tame by Metropolis standards, it becomes a lot less so when one realises that The Atomic Skulls entire methodology is based around taking crazy schemes straight out of the Pulps and actually making them WORK.

The Atomic Skull can generally best be described as a Villain who was Genre Savvy enough to notice that, given the nature of the Universe he lives in, a lot of what we'd call Insane Schemes are actually quite possible, given sufficient devotion and incredible attention to detail: in truth The Atomic Skull takes being a Pulp Mastermind so seriously (Especially the crazy bits) that he would appear quite deadpan even if he didn't have a skull for a face - also to the point where the apparently-lunatic often becomes something almost practical.

Which still doesn't stop them from SOUNDING absolutely barking mad when anyone but he himself describes them.

To cut a long story short, his present right-hand woman and live-in hostess is a panther artificially evolved into a near-Human form: Together they work to arrange absolutely lovely Last Meals for their enemies AND Conquer The World!

'Nuff said.
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Re: The Combined DCU-Marvel Universe thread

Post by Phrozen » Sat Nov 26, 2011 6:26 pm

Its better then the current Atomic Skull.

It also reminds of this.

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Re: The Combined DCU-Marvel Universe thread

Post by Daibhid C » Sun Nov 27, 2011 11:07 am

Nice combo of two very different characters who happen to share a name.

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Re: The Combined DCU-Marvel Universe thread

Post by Libra » Sun Nov 27, 2011 11:29 am

Thank you for the kind words gentle fellows! :D

I must admit that when I run into characters that have seldom been focussed upon, but which have somehow developed multiple incarnations nevertheless, I find it is often helpful to work out some means of combining them to see if by doing so one can add depth or complexity via the resulting amalgam.

Heaven knows what I'll do when I work my way up the list to someone like the Prankster -
Oh wait, he's actually a fairly easy one: Make him a celebrity who bases the entirety of his fame on humiliating others live on Television and can't be bothered to STOP even when these humiliations drive the weaker-willed into psychological conditions uncomfortable to the point of suicidal despair, partly out of spite based on the early unappreciated years of his 'genius' and partly because he has all the empathy one might expect of a '
celebrity career-obsessed to the point where he takes RELISH in progressing up the ladder by rigging the rungs to explode when anyone else tried to put his foot on them.

Then, with this EXTREMELY deserving target firmly in your sights, let loose some Silver Age Superman Trickery and watch The Prankster SQUIRM!
Perhaps I should consider some other suitable example from some lesser-known Rogues Gallery - perhaps I should go on bended knee to our favourite Princess from Paradise Island? (Hmmm ... now there's a challenge for another day).
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Re: The Combined DCU-Marvel Universe thread

Post by Libra » Wed Nov 30, 2011 3:19 pm

Here's a surreal thought that recently occurred to me - Bruce Wayne's public persona should basically be Adam West's Batman without a mask: A slightly-camp crusader with a highly distinctive speech pattern, good-natured manner, along with a knack for taking himself EXTREMELY seriously (especially when no-one else does, since he's in on the joke) and finding himself in truly surreal situations.

Yes, this means Bruce Wayne is a special deputy of the GCPD - he has also danced THE BATUSI in full view of God and Youtube, which means that every single soul who has seen that particular video will never, EVER be able to take the idea that Bruce Wayne is Batman at all seriously.

Even Ra's al-Ghul and Hugo Strange wondered how they managed to deduce that 'The Gotham Goliath' was actually Batman after seeing that one ...
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Re: Supervillains Reborn - Bizarro!

Post by Libra » Wed Nov 30, 2011 3:39 pm

Here's something to remember about Bizarro - at this point in time he might think back-to-front but he's not necessarily backward. While he certainly isn't Clark's intellectual equal, this is more because Bizarro tends to absent-mindedly coast through life, secure in his invulnerability and therefore generally disiniclined to question his present situation (especially the foundations of his psychology: "Me am Not Superman" and "You must say the opposite of what you mean to get your meaning across"), except on those sadly-frequent occasions when someone is able to manipulate him by playing on his deep, sometimes desperate desire for friendship.

This was not always the case.

You see as a very-nearly-failed copy of Superman created by a duplication ray and very definitely created flawed due to the fact that the device was calibrated for HUMAN (well, Superhuman) biology, rather than Kryptonian physiology educating the creature on the truth's of his existence during whatever time remained to him was not high on LexCorps list of priorities - in fact, given that his life was predicted to prove a short one, Lex Luthor effectively decided that the best use to which he could be put was as a theraputic punching bag (which would not defray the expense of the creature's creation, but WOULD put him in a more philosophical state of mind about the whole business).

Lex proceeded to give his creation a Superman costume, just enough information about Superman to give the creature the idea that it WAS The Man of Steel (whoever that was) and then an unexpected lease on life when the radiation of the Kryptonite he'd taken steps to protect himself with interacted in some peculiar fashion with the semi-crystalline physiology of the creature* and a name, with his response to this unexpected development "Bizarre ... oh!"
*which had been what foredoomed the Copy to beinf regarded as a failure and doomed him to a pitifully short life in the first place.
At this point in his history, Bizarro was an ignorant, silent creature but he could still parrot what others said and begin to form an understanding of the World in which he found himself, however strange - not to mention breathe fire, freeze you with his eyes and tear you to pieces with his bare hands.

Had it not been for the fact that his conviction that he was NOT SUPERMAN only formed after the Man of Steel himself was in position to gently talk the creature down from his first peak of frustration with the World* it's quite possible that a deeply personal tragedy for this creature (when he realised that he was NOT Superman after all and never could be, despite his best efforts and practice) might have turned into a Disaster of Biblical proportions for Metropolis.
*caused primarily by his apparent inability to save the mega-miniature of Metropolis he'd taken some troubles to assemble and only slightly ameliorated by the fact he was actually pretty good at saving Lucy Lane from the perils he'd got her into as part of this training process - having mistaken her for Lois when he saved her life and decided that this made her his Girlfriend.

Lucy was surprisingly understanding the first couple of times he popped in to see her after that, but at some point she decided she'd had enough and joined the US Army to (a) Get some twenty-four/seven protection (b) some helpful training in self-defence (c) a little closer to her Dad.

Bizarro still hasn't quite got the message, but has at least metaphorically received warnings via E-Mail that his letter is in the post.
Since this somewhat tragic first meeting, Bizarro has made good his lack of education (to some degree ar least) through, amongst other expedients, spending an entire year just watching Television, which probably explains a great deal of his strange ideas about the World and the quite frankly bizarre behaviour that ensues.

Well, that and the fact that Bizarro brings to the business of defining oneself as the opposite of Superman an incredible literal-mindedness ('Superman up in Sky, Bizarro down under ground!") and a surprising lack of Malice - while he's caused more than his fair share of damage in tantrums inspired by sheer frustration with the World's refusal to behave in a logical (i.e. Bizarro-logical) fashion and those short, terrible intervals after he realises the loneliness of his existence, but before Superman reminds him that he is NOT alone.

There's a reason Bizarro merely resents Superman (in the matter of any little brother who will never quite match Big Brother's achievements and will therefore act in a fashion as contrarian as humanly possible), rather than hates him with the Fury of a Ten-Thousand Year Tempest - Superman cares.

It should also be noted that Villains in need of Superhuman muscle LOVE Bizarro for his loneliness because he's prepared to Love them for being friendly and not inclined to distress those he loves by asking foolish questions like "Is this legal/sensible/possible" for fear of losing his new friends - it should be noted, however, that while Bizarro doesn't ask questions he DOES change his opinions from time-to-time and he has a memory like an elephant for grudges (as Lois Lane puts it, "If you think he can't tell Right from Wrong, try wronging him and see what happens - just not in any built-up or densely populated areas").
Last edited by Libra on Sun Dec 04, 2011 3:25 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: The Combined DCU-Marvel Universe thread

Post by Voltron64 » Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:26 pm

Libra wrote:Here's a surreal thought that recently occurred to me - Bruce Wayne's public persona should basically be Adam West's Batman without a mask: A slightly-camp crusader with a highly distinctive speech pattern, good-natured manner, along with a knack for taking himself EXTREMELY seriously (especially when no-one else does, since he's in on the joke) and finding himself in truly surreal situations.

Yes, this means Bruce Wayne is a special deputy of the GCPD - he has also danced THE BATUSI in full view of God and Youtube, which means that every single soul who has seen that particular video will never, EVER be able to take the idea that Bruce Wayne is Batman at all seriously.

Even Ra's al-Ghul and Hugo Strange wondered how they managed to deduce that 'The Gotham Goliath' was actually Batman after seeing that one ...
I absolutely love that idea...

...old chum. :wink:
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