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|Sensational DC Universe|
The Sensational DC Universe is a collection of DC Universe characters redesigned and given a new background by Berrybrick. There are four corners represented by four characters: sci-fi and metahuman adventure with Superman, fantasy and magic with Wonder Woman, street-level crime and "real" people with Batman, and the weird and the wacky which combines elements of each with Martian Manhunter. No, these are nothard and fast categories which are meant to be taken super seriously, so I won't elaborate further than that.
Also, this is a really long page with a lot of text. I won't be offended if you only look at the parts with pictures. Feel free to skip to the bottom to leave a comment!
It's the 1950s. The Daily Planet editor Lee Travis causes a stir when he publishes a special issue raving about an apocalyptic vision he had of "an age of masks, aliens, demigods and the death of a super-man." Travis's top reporter, Perry White Sr., writes off the publication, believing that his boss has gone mad. White's investigation reveals that Travis is a part of a group of masked men known as the Secret Society. Publicly exposed, Travis insists that he and his friends are superhumans and aliens like something out of a comic book, but the courtroom doesn't believe it. The Justice Society is locked away on charges of Communist conspiracy.
Flash forward to present day when all except for the most dedicated conspiracy theorists have forgotten the Justice Society but Travis's vision is beginning to come true. Gotham City criminals insist on being attacked by a bat-like cryptid, stories of an Amazon who fought in World War I turn out to be true, and most startlingly of all, a superpowered but amiable extraterrestrial has been living among humans and catching them when they fall. People turn their eyes to the sky: there are aliens out there, and they must prepare themselves for the threat of invasion by any means necessary. As Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, The Flash, and Green Lantern assemble into the Justice League to fight against criminals and emerging super-villains created by misused technology, some begin to suspect that they aren't the heroes they present themselves as but the start of an alien invasion. Once Flash and Green Lantern disappear in a clash with Amanda Waller, an event which also creates new metahumans the world over, Superman and Wonder Woman agree to disassemble the Justice League and work alongside Waller and the American government while Batman disappears back into the shadows of Gotham.
However, unbeknownst to Waller and the League, the Secret Society is still around, scheming and plotting to prepare Earth for a coming onslaught. It isn't just aliens that the Earth has to worry about but secret civilizations and vengeful demons that are hiding a tier below the surface of what we think is real. A stranded Martian named J'onn senses this: they are the same forces which enslaved his world, and now they are organizing on Earth. With help from The Martian, the Justice League must reunite to protect the Earth through an age of new wonders or fail and see it burn.
Superman The face of the new metahuman population, Superman has been thrust into the identity of world's greatest hero. While many of the heroes and even some villains of the DC Universe look up to him, Kal-El is a human with simple pleasures at heart. But with so much on his shoulders and a secret identity forged to throw off suspicion, it is hard to find the middle ground to lay back and relax when he has the responsibility to protect the good people of Earth and guide them towards a brighter future without domineering over them as a new god.
Lex Luthor Lex was born with nothing. Lex built himself up, rose to the top, and remade Metropolis into the City of Tomorrow. He has written books, he's starred on reality TV, and he makes cakes so devilishly delicious you'd think he stole the recipe from the gods. All this, and people can't even be bothered to spell his last name right. They would rather an alien rule over them and keep them safe than be innovative and see the potential that mankind truly has. But not Lex: he'll reveal Superman for the monster he is if he has to give up everything to do it.
The Flash/Wally West Now an adult, Wally picks up the mantle of his disappeared mentor Barry Allen. With Wally's laid back personality and love for the spotlight, The Flash is faster and more famous than ever before, but the memory of Barry still haunts him. With the world just as confusing and violent as when Barry left it, Wally must face it without his teacher to become a hero worthy of The Flash's legacy and place in the Justice League.
Kid Flash/Wally West Wally West is the son of the Reverse-Flash. Knowing nothing of his father, Wally develops his father's powers as a teenager and is thrilled to become The Flash's sidekick, never bothering to seriously wonder the source of his super speed. He is also a member of the Teen Titans alongside Robin, Donna Troy, Starfire, Cyborg, and Jericho.
Green Lantern/Kyle Rayner: Kyle Rayner has always loved comics and cartoons. He even dreams of working on them himself one day. The only issue is his crippling social anxiety. Mustering all the courage he can to go to Cartoon Con alone in-costume and to get his favorite comic signed by his favorite artist is apparently enough willpower to attract a Green Lantern ring. Kyle can't believe it; he thinks it's a fancy toy mocking him, but soon enough he is whisked away with the new power to create anything he can imagine. He finds his origin ridiculous, but at the same time he's afraid- very afraid of what his new abilities demand of him.
Blue Lantern/Kyle Rayner Through the awesome power of character development, Kyle's adventures with the Justice League and as a Green Lantern have taught him to be (more) confident in expressing himself. And no, it's not a phase (he thinks). Now that the Green Lantern Corps have been destroyed, Kyle is given another chance as the torchbearing Blue Lantern to master the Emotional Spectrum by bringing light to the darkest and most beautiful parts of the universe.
White Lantern/Kyle Rayner Kyle has mastered the Emotional Spectrum, enabling the defeat of Black Hand and the restoration of the Green Lantern Corps. His reward? A new shiny white ring, allowing him to wield the unfractured Power of Life.
Sinestro (Green) Thaal Sinestro just has a funny name. He's actually a pretty decent guy once you get past his pompous attitude. He started his career as Green Lantern of Space Sector 1417 and was eventually promoted to Honor Guard. In all of the Corps, he has had no better friend than the now disappeared Hal Jordan, a man who taught him how emotions can supplement the will and make their rings stronger. When Kyle Rayner becomes the new Green Lantern, Sinestro is the only one who stands by his side. If he can't find Hal Jordan, he will make sure that his successor lives up to the legacy.
Mr. Sinestro Thaal Sinestro has moved to the backwater planet Earth and joined Coast City High as a gym teacher to better keep an eye on the new Green Lantern. In Kyle's remedial gym class, Sinestro pits the other students against him in vicious games of dodge ball and capture the flag to turn Kyle into the space policeman he's been chosen to be. What's worse? He's courting Kyle's mother.
Sinestro (Yellow) If Sinestro's time with the Lanterns of Sector 2814 have taught him anything, it's that the Guardians of the Universe aren't right about everything. They teach the Corps and their worlds to suppress their emotions and temper their power. Sinestro will have no more of their stoicism. He has taken back control of Sector 1417 and is building his own Corps to destroy the Guardians and teach the universe to wield Fear--the most powerful emotion--just as effectively as Hal Jordan and Kyle Rayner have.
John Stewart A former marine, John Stewart lost his arm on a military operation to take out Count Vertigo. Later working as an architect, John was recruited into the Green Lantern Corps when Hal Jordan, Sinestro, and Ganthet convinced the Guardians of the Universe to recruit more human lanterns to deal with growing unrest in Sector 2814. John served with the Justice League on earth as a backup for Kyle Rayner before the Green Lantern Corps was destroyed. Following this, John joined the government organization CADMUS as a Guardian in the Science Police.
Guy Gardner Guy Gardner is a Scottish vigilante called Warrior who was recruited into the Green Lantern Corps to help deal with the threat of the Red Lanterns, as human lanterns proved effective at battling them. When Parallax is unleashed and the Central Power Battery is destroyed, Guy is caught off-world with Kilowog and Ch'p. Together they fight to survive until they are discovered by Kyle Rayner and granted blue power rings.
Supergirl Treated as a spoiled princess on Krypton, Kara Zor-El's father realizes too soon that he should have listened to his brother Jor-El about the planet's impending doom. Showing mercy to her niece, Jor-El's wife gives up her escape pod so that Kara can escape the destruction on the condition that she watch after her cousin Kal-El. When Kara finally arrives on Earth, Kara expects to have to raise her cousin, but she discovers that Kal has grown up into a mature adult while she remained a teenager in cryo-sleep. Gifted with the same powers as Superman, Kara must come to terms with her memories of Krypton and new powers which she isn't yet ready for.
Superboy Created from the DNA of Superman and Lex Luthor to be used against Superman if he ever goes evil, Kon-El is freed by the Teen Titans and given a normal life on the Kent farm in Smallville. Though Jonathan and Martha raise Conner as a second son, it is clear to him that Clark is disturbed by his existence. While Superman and Lex clash over conflicting visions for their "son" Superboy, Conner wants nothing more than to follow in John's footsteps and become a farmer.
The Atom As a child, Ray Palmer was a physics prodigy pushed by his father, who himself never completed college, to excel. Despite graduating from Ivy University at age 14, Ray has not become the renown scientist his family envisioned but is instead a high school science teacher desperately trying to convince his girlfriend Jean to marry him. Jean however refuses to settle down until she can establish her career as a lawyer. While examining a sample of White Dwarf Star matter with his old professor, an explosion triggers Ray's metagene and gives him the power to shrink in size. Initially using his new abilities to help Jean get her career off of the ground, Ray begins fighting crime as The Atom, slowly becoming enveloped in the escapism of heroics and the power to make a big change in the world. The Atom has been involved with Amanda Waller as a science advisor and as a member of the Justice League.
Cyborg An attack on STAR Laps by Mr. Freeze and the Cold Pack left Victor Stone scarred. Using experimental AMAZO technology, Vic's father has successfully saved his life but turned him part-machine.
Starfire Koriand'r is an exiled alien princess purchased from an intergalactic slave trader by the Secret Society. Starfire manages to escape from her holding cell with help from Robin and Cyborg, forming the Teen Titans (later to be joined by Kid Flash, Donna Troy, and Jericho) and revealing to the world at large the existence of aliens.
Jericho Joey Wilson is the youngest son of Slade Wilson and Adeline Kane. His vocal cords were damaged in a violent episode involving his father, but the same incident also triggered his metagene, granting him the power to possess those whom he is able to make eye contact with. As a member of the Teen Titans, Joey defies his mother's wishes by making an effort to stop Deathstroke once and for all.
Blue Beetle/Jaime Reyes Jaime Reyes is a teenager from El Paso who became bonded with the Beetle artifact previously in Ted Kord's possession. As the new Blue Beetle and a member of Young Justice, Jaime is charged with defending El Paso from threats both alien and magical as he and his friends unravel the mysteries of the Beetle's origin.
The Ray The descendent of a WWII-era supervillain, Langford Terrill is a French superhero who can transform his body into a beam of light as The Ray. The Ray is openly gay.
Parasite Ruth Jenson is a LexCorp team supervisor. After receiving powers in the Metahuman Explosion, she becomes a sponge who absorbs the emotions, personality, and abilities of people within her range. To ease the overwhelming discomfort caused by her intense empathy, Ruth is driven mad by attempting to keep everyone around (and therefore herself) happy as she degenerates into the monstrous Parasite. Originally defeated by Superman, Parasite is drafted by Amanda Waller to keep other supervillains in Belle Reve under control by dampening their powers and emotions while causing Ruth intense pain.
Toyman Winshlow Schott is a developer of software and hardware who was once cheated by Kord Industries for his brilliant developments. Using his skills to hack the company and effectively take it over, Schott has become rich and dangerously bored, turning his resources to colorful and convoluted gizmos to toy with Superman and the Justice League.
Black Hand (High School) Will Hand is the fourth son of the Hand family. While Will's older brothers are celebrated members of Alan L. Wellington-Scott High School and the Coast City community, Will is a loner who spends his time making moody artwork, exploring local graveyards, and brooding with his beloved cat Dexter. Kyle attempts to reach out to Will, but when Will discovers that his new friend is the Green Lantern, he is conflicted with jealousy over his new friend's powers and an honest desire to return the kindness shown to him.
Black Hand (Black Lantern) After destroying Solomon Grundy with Kyle's ring, Will has corrupted the Green Ring with the Power of the Grey, transforming him into a cosmic-level vampire with the intention of destroying the universe with an army of zombies.
Solomon Grundy Solomon Grundy is the nursery-rhyme singing zombie, the remains of a prospector left cursed by the Starheart. Now reanimated as the avatar of the Grey, Grundy is disturbed from his rest by the meddling of Will Hand. Going on a rampage and threatening to destroy life on earth and the universe as a whole before his time has come, Grundy is halted when he is befriended by Kyle Rayner.
Wonder Woman Diana is the princess of Paradise Island, molded from clay by the Amazon queen and brought to life by the gods. She is the only Amazon willing to leave the island to confront the god Ares as he wreaked havoc in World War I. Her adventures were adapted as comic books in the second World War, leading the world to believe that Wonder Woman is a popular fictional character. Now that Diana has reemerged and shown the world that she is real, people are excited to see their symbol of childhood, freedom, faith, and equality has been made real. Everyone and their mother has their own idea of what Wonder Woman's mission is and who Diana of the Amazons should be. How can Diana reconcile being so many different things to so many different people?
Aquaman Arthur Kawai is a human-Atlantean hybrid raised on land and treated as an outcast for his webbed fingers and toes. Once he teamed-up with Wonder Woman to defeat the demigod King Shark, and now Arthur is called on again when Martian Manhunter reforms the Justice League to defend the surface from an Atlantean uprising. There he meets the other half of his heritage, but even the Atlanteans do not accept him because he is part human.
Aquaman (Wetshirt) The webbed toes may not be the only reason Arthur gets so many strange looks; quite honestly, he's a bit of a dork when he is hanging out on the beach and telling strangers rousing tales about outrageous adventures he has had with talking dolphins.
Aquaman (Atlantean) Following the defeat of his half-brother Orm, Aquaman has embraced his destiny as heir to the throne of Atlantis by dying his hair bright yellow in the style of his people. However, now that he is king, Arthur's loyalties are divided between Atlantis and the surface, the Justice League and the Society while he still continues to deal with being unaccepted on both land and sea.
Mera A sorceress from the underwater dimension of Xebel, Mera was dispatched to assassinate Orm, the King of Atlantis. Meeting Orm's half-brother Arthur along the way, Mera falls in love with him and forgoes her mission in order to help Arthur bring peace between the surface and the sea.
Captain Thunder Eleven year-old Billy Batson is a foster child who was selected by the wizard Shazam to receive his powers when the Rock of Eternity was breached by Dr. Sivana and Carter Hall. By shouting the wizard's name, Billy is transformed into the adult hero Captain Thunder. As a member of the Sentinels of Magic, Captain Thunder's innocence must come face-to-face with the forces of darkness.
Hawkman Carter Hall is a London socialite museum curator in an unhappy marriage who discovers that he is the latest incarnation in a long line of warriors destined to find the love of his life before being killed. As a pair of magical alien khopesh grant him powers as Hawkman, Carter must find a way to resolve his cultured demeanor with the warrior legacy emerging from within. Hawkman is a member of the Sentinels of Magic in his role as Billy Batson's guardian.
Hawkgirl Kendra Munoz-Saunders is a writer under the pen name Shiera Sanders. Kendra has become a high-risk adventurer, finding that adrenaline gives her vivid dreams which she can turn into stories. Unbeknownst to her, however, Kendra is the latest reincarnation of a murdered Egyptian princess and these visions she sees are her past lives. While exploring an Egyptian tomb, Kendra happens upon a secret chamber which explodes in a flash of light and grafts a pair of bird wings to her back. Elsewhere, the same incident causes Carter Hall to regain memories of his past lives and to begin a life as Hawkman. Kendra is skeptical of what he says, but is determined not to let destiny write her own story, whether that means falling in love with Carter or being murdered again. As Hawkgirl, Kendra is a member of the Justice League.
Donna Troy Donna Troy is a girl of immense strength and stars in her hair who fell from the sky in a blazing inferno. Rescued by Wonder Woman and taken to Paradise Island to master her powers, Donna eventually follows Wonder Woman to Man's World and joins the Teen Titans.
Olympian Olympian is a mysterious superbeing from Greece, claiming to be Hercules returned from Olympus.
Wonder Boy The son of the goddess Harmonia, Dante Byrne is a protégé of Wonder Woman. While his association with a "female" brand has made Dante the subject of jokes and speculations about his personality, he is happy to serve under Wonder Woman and wields a lasso which can calm his enemies.
Blue Devil Daniel Cassidy III belongs to a family of devout Roman Catholics which have been involved in the film industry practically since movies were invented. While his father and grandfather before him are renowned actors, Danny is an action star with an eye for movies with the biggest budgets, most gratuitous fight scenes, largest explosions, and most raging hormones. When Danny's latest movie, a remake of the cult classic Blue Devil starring Basil Karlo, becomes host to the Deadly Devil of Gluttony, Danny finds that his costume (even the CGI'd bits) have melded to his body and he has gained the character's powers. Becoming a walking magnet for the weird and uncanny, Danny finds it hard to resist entirely becoming the Blue Devil. Indeed, he wishes for nothing more than to be able to see his family and go to mass with them again. To this end, joins the Sentinels of Magic to round up the Seven Deadly Devils of Thanagar and to become free of this unholy existence.
Circe Circe and her sister Pasiphae are demigoddess daughters of Apollo. They were found abandoned in the woods and raised by the Amazons as their own. When Pasiphae was seduced by the Cretan king Minos and gave birth to the Minotaur, Hippolyta refused to defy her mother's orders and help Circe rescue her sister. Abandoning the Amazons, Circe has made her home on a hidden island of her own from where she seduces men and reveals them for the animals they are. She has silently been influencing history all this time, spreading false tales of the Amazons and forcing a particular Shakespeare play she disliked to be rewritten. Now that Hippolyta's daughter Diana has left Paradise Island, Circe has amped her mischief up to new heights; she enjoys tormenting the Amazon Princess more than anything else.
Gentleman Ghost Jim Craddock, Jr., is the son of Hawkman and Hawkgirl's 19th century incarnations. Insatiably avaricious, he took control of his dead grandfather's shoe business and turned it into an industrial empire with the additional labor of some happy singing orphans. Since his parents' reincarnation curse extends to any children they have, Jim is trapped as a lost soul unless his parents' reincarnations have a child. Even after death, he continues to do business as the fabled Gentleman Ghost, presenting people with visions of the past, present, and possible futures which will motivate them to pursue success, no matter the cost. In return, the Gentleman Ghost receives offerings; it's all in good business.
Batman Once Batman took to the streets disguised as a monstrous spirit of vengeance. But since The Riddler has proven to the world that the urban legend which keeps criminals awake at night is not a superman or a demon but a very mortal man, Batman has rebranded himself as a more traditional superhero who fights Gotham's new-wave of super crime with intellect and skill rather than power. However, as gimmicky villains and inexperienced vigilantes put the city in more danger than ever before, it may turn out that Batman's isolated and brooding nature are what keep him from becoming the hero that Gotham needs.
Black Canary Dinah Lance is a down to earth and adventurous Irish singer-songwriter who was raised by two everyday heroes: a policeman and a florist. As a girl and into her adulthood, Dinah has trained extensively in martial arts. When she learns that the Queen family, the people responsible for her career as a musician, are involved in a conspiracy, Dinah becomes recruited by Amanda Waller to spy on them. Along the way, Dinah gains an ear-shattering supersonic scream and becomes involved with the Justice League.
Robin/Dick Grayson A circus performer orphaned when a crime boss became messy and desperate, Dick Grayson is adopted by Bruce Wayne. Even after Dick discovers that his guardian is Batman, Bruce remains distant and cold until Dick strikes out as Robin. Batman is initially resistant, but as he realizes that Robin provides the good humor and idealistic vision he needs to overcome in order to fight the terror instilled by the new super villains.
Nightwing Neither one will admit it, but after a pretty nasty argument Batman and Robin have had a falling out. Now Dick has moved to his own city with a new identity to do things his way, and he'll do it with as much help from the Titans as he needs, and Batgirl too, if she is okay with it. Nightwing is determined to make Bludhaven a better place than Gotham ever could be through friendliness and natural charisma in a way that Batman never could. Too bad Bludhaven is just as brooding and stubborn as the Dark Knight.
Batgirl/Barbara Gordon Barbara Gordon is the daughter and second child of Gotham City Police Commissioner Jim Gordon. Smart but fiery and rebellious, Barbara has consistently defied her father's injunctions to leave Gotham, continuing her graduate studies by day and acting as the costume vigilante Batgirl by night. From her "belfry" in the Gotham City Clocktower, Barbara works tirelessly to keep Gotham from falling apart, developing connections between the world's heroes.
Robin/Jason Todd Jason doesn't know what happened to his father. He was an enforcer for some gang, but he never found out who who. When he tries to steal the Batmobile's tires, Jason is taken in by Batman with the intention of teaching him a better way to live as Robin. The result? Jason becomes edgier, angrier, and eventually gets himself killed at the hands of The Joker and Harley Quinn, or so it would seem....
Robin/Tim Drake The third child in a family of four siblings from the suburbs of Gotham City, Tim Drake is a nerdy young teen with an interest in mysteries and conspiracy theories, giving him a special interest in the Batman. After deducing Batman and Nightwing's secret identities and assisting them against Bane, Tim becomes the third Robin. He is a founding member of Young Justice, the junior Justice League, alongside Static, Blue Beetle, Miss Martian, and Raven.
Azrael Jean-Paul Valley is heir to the Azrael mantle, an identity promulgated by an underground religious society dedicated to the teachings of St. Dumas. Armed with the fiery Sword of Sin, it is Azrael's sacred duty to restore order to Gotham City in time for Dumas's second coming.
The Joker Ha. Define the Joker? He doesn't really like labels, you see, unless he's labeling his extensive collection of fake guns or exploding bow-ties. That he likes. He also likes Batman, but not that way you perv. Not in a Harley Quinn way, more in a snake eating its own tail way. Have you ever seen a snake eat its own tail? He won't do it on its own but with a little, er, prodding anything is possible and you too can be laughing your Sss's out.
Harley Quinn Harleen Quinzel is a blogger with a doctorate in psychology and a fascination in the psychology of supervillains while criticizing violent vigilante and pseudo-military organizations which misunderstand and suppress the gifted. She is especially interested in The Joker, promulgating a theory that he is not insane, but rather super-sane. Harleen has appeared on several national television programs, making her a celebrity for her crackpot theories and quirky antics, but amassing her a following nonetheless. Eventually, Harleen announces her engagement to The Joker (who is currently locked in Arkham) on a talk show, explaining to them that she believes their love is the key to making Joker's super-sanity productive, by giving him an opposite to play off of. Around the same time, a harlequin-inspired imitator of The Joker appears in Gotham City. When Batman deduces the clown's identity as Harleen, she is initially unable to believe it. However, once she realizes it is true, she becomes convinced that this is her own super-sanity manifesting. Breaking Joker out of Arkham, she allows him to dump her into a vat of toxins and reinvents herself as his madcap henchwoman Harley Quinn, continuing to suffer under the delusion that The Joker loves her in a series of blogs and web videos.
Harley and Joker have a daughter named Lucy, whom Harley has kept a secret from both Joker and Lucy, sending her off to be raised by Harley's sister.
Two-Face Harvey Dent is a newly married District Attorney, Bruce Wayne's best friend, and ally of Gordon and the Bat-Man when he becomes the first casualty in Penguin's tirade against the Bat-Man and his allies. Now hideously scarred down one side of his face, the fall of Harvey Dent represents the transition of Gotham from a city plagued with petty crime to one threatened by new super villains and reckless vigilantes alike. Now as Two-Face he is the self-proclaimed judge, jury, and executioner on a mission to free Gotham from villain and vigilante to bring the city back into balance.
Catwoman After surviving a plane crash as a girl, Selina can only remember her first name and that she had boarded that plane to escape her father. Given the surname Kyle, Selina spends the last few years of her adolescence in a Gotham City orphanage before taking to the streets, surviving as a thief. After being rescued by the Bat-Man, Selina adopts her own costumed persona of Catwoman in order to protect Gotham City's East End, while funding her vigilante enterprise with stolen riches.
The Riddler Edward Nashton writes crossword puzzles for the Gotham Gazette while also secretly providing Vicki Vale with secret information as the information broker E Nygma. Eventually, Ed learns from Vicki that the Bat-Man is, in fact, just a man. Nygma exposes this, destroying the mythical image that Batman had worked to promote and prompting a wave of imitator vigilantes. Now that he knows what the Bat-Man is, Ed becomes obsessed with learning who he is so that he can win the ultimate game of Guess Who? and prove that he is smarter than whoever is hiding beneath the cowl.
The Scarecrow Reverend Jonathan Crane is the corrupt chaplain of Arkham Asylum. While trapped in the derelict basement beneath the Asylum, Crane sees a vision of the God of Evil who will remake the earth in his image and decides to turn his life around, finding solace in the writings of Saint Dumas. Scarecrow and his followers are out to bring salvation to Gotham by using a drug which creates hellish visions like the one which Crane received. The Scarecrow has come to baptise with terror, but this New God will bring horrors which go beyond fear and through the darkest parts of the entire Emotional Spectrum.
Deathstroke A super soldier from Australia, Slade Wilson is originally a member of the government run organization Checkmate. The secrecy surrounding Slade's work life draws farther away from his family: both of them. When his wife Adeline, herself a government agent, discovers he has been two-timing her and cuts off their relationship, Slade begins accepting military work on the side as the mercenary Deathstroke, disastrously attempting to stay in the good graces of his remaining family.
Hush A childhood playmate of Bruce Wayne, Thomas Elliot Strange and his father fostered a secret jealousy of the Waynes for years, to the point where Tommy engineered an accident to kill his mother. Discovering this, Tommy's father kept his son sedated with drugs through adolescence in order to "correct" him. When Bruce returns to Gotham and attempts to reconnect with Tommy, Tommy remains jealous of Bruce but keeps a friendly front until his father discovers that Bruce is Batman, and his father offers Tommy a chance to become Bruce Wayne. Enthralled, Tommy first becomes the vigilante Hush as he undergoes a physical transformation into someone who closely resembles Bruce, creating his own batsuit once his metamorphosis nears completion.
Hugo Strange A colleague of Thomas Wayne in the medical field, Dr. Hugo Strange has an interest in the relationship between the body and the mind. While Batman originally reached out to Strange as an ally, Strange two-timed Batman for years, secretly serving as a member of the False-Face society and studying the mutagens which transformed Basil Karlo into Clayface in order to create men who are both all muscle and all mind, all with the ultimate intent of replacing Bruce Wayne in the batsuit with his son Tommy.
Martian Manhunter J'onn J'onzz is a refugee from the Martian civil war who was accidentally teleported to Middletown, Colorado in the midst of the chaos. Though kindhearted by nature, J'onn finds his new home lonely without the telepathic field which all Martians communicated by. Yearning for connection, J'onn finds himself imitating dead police detective John Jones by day to prevent the man's family and friends from being heartbroken. At night, he operates from the tourist trap House of Mystery disguised as a friendly ghost who protects the town and does good deeds, bringing the town attention from visitors and mythbusters. However, when the same forces which threatened Mars are revealed on Earth, J'onn comes forth as the cheesy sci-fi inspired Martian Manhunter and reassembles the Justice League to protect his new home.
Ma'alefaa'ak J'amzz J'onzz is the twin brother of J'onn J'onzz, a worshiper of Darkseid who famously betrayed his people in the Martian Civil war, earning him the name Ma'alefaa'ak. Having left Mars to be conquered by Ares, Ma'alefaa'ak has followed his brother to Earth, hoping to destroy J'onn while leaving his new home to burn.
Miss Martian A refugee from the Martian Civil War, M'gann M'orzz was intended to join a Martian colony on Saturn, but instead went to Earth in order to join her uncle J'onn. Enthralled by color and human emotion, M'gann is excited to act as a superhero, basing herself in Japan and joining Young Justice while hiding her identity as a White Martian, who have a bad reputation on Earth.
Beast Boy Raised on a nature reserve in Africa, Garfield Logan was later adopted by Steve Dayton and Rita Farr as part of their patchwork family. While touring Middletown on vacation, each member of their family receives a portion of the Martian Manhunter's powers from the alien machine TOR. Gar gains the Martian's organic shape-shifting powers and green skin tone. Originally serving with his family in the Doom Patrol, Beast Boy later strikes out and joins Young Justice.
Hal Jordan (Green Lantern) A founding member of the original Justice League, Hal Jordan was a former USAF pilot who became the first human member of the Green Lantern Corps in memory. Believed dead in the Metahuman Explosion, Green Lantern and Flash have been launched outside of the universe on a dimension-hopping journey.
Hal Jordan (The Brave and the Bold) After being ejected from his home universe, Hal's Green Lantern Battery activated the Starheart Protocol, transforming it into a homebase for the hero which resembles a ball of energy from the outside, while his Ring became embedded in his chest. Joined by Power Girl and a heroic counterpart of Captain Cold, Hal and Barry travel across the multiverse in a desperate bid to get home.
Barry Allen (The Brave and the Bold) When Flash and Green Lantern were caught in the midst of the Metahuman Explosion, Barry was able to save Hal and himself by running so fast that they broke the multiverse barrier wall. Outside of his home universe, Barry discovers that Speedsters like Wally and himself do not merely connect to the Speed Force, but create it. This allows Barry to retain his powers wherever they travel and to keep their universe-hopping possible, but in some worlds, the "download" causes them to become unstable, or mixes with the universe's rules in unexpected ways.
Power Girl The adopted daughter of a Monitor, Karen Starr was raised in The Bleed, a space between universes. After meeting the universe-displaced Hal Jordan and Barry Allen, Karen joins them on their adventure in order to see the Multiverse, manifesting a new power in each world they visit.
Yeah, this is going to get so ridiculously long I'll need a subpage....
- Design was inspired by this concept art, apparently much more than I thought now that I look at it again. I thought he was wearing a tunic because that design worked for Batman, but maybe I copied more closely than I remembered. :S I really liked the idea of the buttons which evoked overalls. Even if Superman is ultimately wearing a tunic, I tried to stretch that theme a little more with the shaping.
- M2 is inspired a bit more by The Rocketeer, but still follows the basic thrust
- Thrust. Pun unintended.
- Other ideas which were tried on included
stealingborrowing Shazam/Captain Marvel's classic trench spandex-esque design.
- I wanted Superman to look big and strong, sort of like an American folk hero, without making him grossly muscular. My thought process for posterity:
- Supergirl needs to work in this universe
- A blue bodysuit, even with trunks, would sap the fun out of Supergirl and make her look like a Superman clone. She needs to be able to have her skirt.
- If Supergirl is dressing like an American teenager, then it wouldn't make sense for Superman to dress like an alien when she is the one who has actually lived on another planet.
- If Superman and Supergirl's costumes aren't coming from Krypton, then the classic explanation that they were made by Ma Kent is probably the way to go.
- If Ma Kent is making a skin tight costume for her son which shows off his muscles with that much definition and emphasizes his crotch, something is really wrong about that. It puts us into "Suit me up, Uncle Alfred!" territory. Never go there, please. (Unless you don't get the reference. Go look it up; the spam filter won't let me link to YouTube.)
- Then, of all things, Santa Claus came into my head and I thought of how weird it would be for kids to sit on his lap or approach him if he were entirely the same person, except for he dressed like Superman. Approaching Superman should be like approaching Santa Claus. And as I say that, I am totally aware of the whole gamut of reactions kids can have to Santa: for some reason I absolutely love the idea of any of those reactions being played out, from crying when they meet him to "I'm too old to believe in Superman. You're just a guy in a costume," to kids climbing in his arms and telling them who or what they want him to save.
- An alternate ceremonial Krypton variant, for use at public appearances, has been drawn and is just sitting on file. It'll probably be here one day when I can be bothered to apply it, but it's basically the classic costume so I'd rather be making other characters.
- Lex Luthor
- So, this is Lex Luthor, just dressed a little bit more colorfully than usual and with a different skin tone.
- This version of Lex is biracial. I think the idea comes from Superman: The Animated Series where he had a darker skin tone than other white characters, but was still supposed to be Mediterranean. Two-Face had the same thing. Biracial Lex is, as far as I can think, the only character whose skin color is changed in the Sensational Universe without first pulling from something in the character's origin or a non-comics medium where they did receive an explicit race change.
- Wally West
- Designing a better Flash costume than the red spandex with yellow boots is pretty much impossible, but I couldn't resolve myself to just go with that. My thinking is that even if that's what Barry wore, Wally would want to look a little different; to ease the weight on his shoulders by not looking exactly like his mentor. For a long time, the solution was going to be to give him a blue version of the costume, but with Superman, Supergirl, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, Blue Lantern, Nightwing, The Atom, and who knows who else that would just be too much blue. It also takes some of the edge out of Flash's look.
- For the final product I had to go to the real masters of character design for influence: DC Super Hero Girls. Of course, the dark red was swapped for black, the white in the logo was removed, and Flash wears his hood full-time plus some nifty orange lenses, but you get the idea.
- Kid Flash is wearing the sort of thing cross country runners would wear, just with a mask. It is part of this version of Wally's backstory that he ran cross country in school before getting his powers, if you wanted to know. \_O_/ If I were thinking more I probably would have given him some padding like in Young Justice. I'm not averse to revisions, but I think I'll leave him as is for now.
- Flash got a M2 look pretty much only because every other main leaguer got one (except Martian Manhunter--I just tweaked the coloring a bit and posted it in place of the original). I feel this would help show the passage of time. I would like to make him a little more different and considered using the Elf's hairpiece, coloring the ears so they look like lightning bolts in order to give him a little more of a Rebirth-styled look, but that didn't do it for me. We'll see if LEGO ever releases a Kid Flash headpiece that would work....
- Kyle Rayner
Oh man. I'm going to come off sounding even stupider in this subsection than anywhere else. Well, except for maybe Sinestro's.
- That paint splatter on the Blue Lantern version is probably the oldest design concept here aside from Aquaman, but even he is a mixture of the classic and DCEU versions. There are versions of Batman and Wonder Woman which existed before Kyle, but those weren't used. So congrats Kyle on winning some competition or something!
- Anyway, swap the blue colors for green (and I do have that figure, I just didn't upload it here) and that's what Kyle was supposed to look like from the beginning. There are a few small changes, like he was going to have a mask, the piercings weren't constructs, and the beanie was a pretty last minute idea, but then something happened and it makes me feel extremely stupid to talk about.
- So everyone knows that DC has too many Green Lantern characters. There have been between four and six at a time for probably close to twenty years. Of those six, I always knew that I wanted Kyle and John to both play a part in the Sensational Universe. I kept going back and forth on which would be the "main" Lantern and whether Kyle should be Green at all or just go Blue. I seem to have come to the idea (but forgot until I reread my notes) that John was going to be the Lantern until the Corps is destroyed. Kyle, then, would be the last Green Lantern, empowered by the Green from the Swamp Thing mythos like the New 52 Alan Scott, which would tie-in to the White Lantern Power Battery somehow. However, I then had the idea to merge the artistic Kyle with Jessica Cruz, the Lantern who is so anxious she can hardly leave her house. That pretty much threw everything I had out the window and reshaped the entire Green Lantern mythos for this universe. It was a combo that just worked too well for me.
- To be fair, Jessica's origin is a bit darker than I realized. "Too afraid to leave the house" might not give her enough credit. Being the last girl in a horror move which only then turns into a superhero/villain origin story? Ouch. I'd be afraid to go outside too.
- Also, this doesn't mean that Jessica, Guy, and Simon absolutely won't show up here. They probably won't be Green Lanterns, but I'm thinking of the potential Jessica has to be a foil to this version of Kyle, and Guy has had enough other powers/personas that he would be pretty easy to find a place for. Simon is the only one I could see being difficult unless I steal that suggestion I once saw for making him a Yellow Lantern....
- Ahem. On letting Kyle adopt some of Jessica's traits: That turned Kyle into somebody who gets his ring for doing something which is, yeah, a little nerve-wracking, but nowhere on the same level as what John Stewart or people across the developing world would have to endure. And he realizes this, he thinks the ring is mocking him. He isn't excited when it chooses him, he's freaked out at how tight the costume it gives him is (and that the ring seems to have toned his muscles), and now he's got powers that rely on self-expression; he wants to be an artist, but the idea of showing his work in public terrifies him. Heck, he doesn't even need a mask because the ring hides his identity, but he wears one anyway because it makes him more comfortable. A lot of young superhero characters are written as ascended fanboys/girls, and while this Kyle is just as self-aware and genre savvy because he also likes comics and cartoons, he's a little more cynical and perhaps apt to misunderstand exactly what tropes are being applied; it's not that he doesn't want the powers as much as he's afraid to put himself out there and use them, even if it's what he's passionate for. The more I thought of this version of Kyle as a suppressed artist, the more I just sort of fell in love with the character. He should be excited but isn't. It gives him a lot of opportunity to grow and me a lot of opportunity to explore things like fantasy vs reality, individuality, and suppression/expression even once he begins to become braver as Blue Lantern, which really makes me wish I was actually using these characters in a fan fiction. Oh well. Doing that sounds too scary. :0 :P ;)
Anyway, more design-related notes now
- Credit where credit is due, the idea for the piercings comes from this artwork.
- Kyle is sometimes drawn with a darker complexion in comics, but usually he's pretty light skinned. He's 1/4 Mexican in the Post-Crisis Universe If I remember right, but here I'll go ahead and decree half-Latino and half-Irish descent.
- For the Green Lantern look, the origins for the mask and T-shirt are alluded to in the lengthy note above. I would have gone with something like Kyle's mask in the comics (because it's just so terribly weird) but that didn't gel with the character as his personality was emerging, so I went for something simple with big cartoony eyes.
- Ha. Change one character and you have to change them all. I'll totally understand if you question how much respect I have for the Green Lantern mythos. :P
- Hm, receded hairline, reddish skin, tiny mustache... Mr. Sinestro, you're Italian, aren't you?
- I grew up with Kim Possible and Danny Phantom. I recently watched Trollhunters, too, and I guess that influenced me a little more than I thought since Sinestro is now a gym teacher. Basically, once I had the character concept down for Kyle, I had to figure out how the rest of the Green Lantern Corps would react to him. I'm guessing that they would resent him for creating the need for a more intensive selection process and loads more paperwork. Why would they let him keep the ring? Maybe Sinestro, Hal Jordan's BFF, is the only one who would agree to look after Kyle, to try and find out why the power rings seem so attracted to American males the last few years and to find Hal. So he relocates to earth to mentor Kyle and poses as his gym teacher, maybe even starting a bit of a relationship with Ms. Rayner.
- Transferring Hal's archnemesis to Kyle does make me feel a little bit guilty, but other than that little bit Sinestro ticked all of the boxes. I could have created a new character in his place, but since this entire project is about reimagining characters it made much more sense to reinvent Sinestro when the alternative was to leave out such an iconic character entirely. As more villains are posted here, Sinestro probably won't seem like a larger departure than some of them.
- The gym teacher version is wearing blue. When Sinestro isn't in a yellow or green Corps costume, he is usually shown to be wearing blue. I was aware of this as I put the design together, but it was more because blue was the most natural color for offsetting the bright pink skin.
- Kyle's school apparently has Batman for a mascot. I don't think Bruce approves.
- This is pretty close to the classic look so it doesn't need much of an explanation, but I like to overindulge in noting things anyway.
- Thought process about why it's so close to the classic look are up in Superman's notes and down in the precepts below.
- The idea behind the skirt and leggings (the latter of which come from the Supergirl TV series) is that they are the "closest Earth equivalent" to traditional Kryptonian leg wear. Kara doesn't understand right away why Kal doesn't want to wear them too.
- The hair was dulled in color to make Kara seem a little more earthy. That probably sounds silly given who the character is, but the thought was it would make her fit better with the farmer influences Superman and Superboy have.
- Superboy really only has one good costume. This looks less like that and more like one of the bad ones from The New 52 Teen Titans series. How could I justify that? I can't. I was thinking that I wanted Superboy to look like a farm boy, and having known a few in my time, I decided that the undershirt was better than no shirt at all.
- His underwear is up a little to high. Why? Because it's apparently genetic that Superman's undies go on the outside. Good reference, huh? I'm just full of bad ideas.
- No Super-logo because Conner doesn't really consider himself a Super-.
- The Atom
- This was originally going to be less of a superhero-y costume than it is with some heavier armor, less musculature, and a helmet with a visor and glasses instead of a mask and goggles. That just didn't look right to me. At the time, I thought I was falling into super hero costume tropes instead of doing what the character really needed, but now? Well, looking over his bio again, I think I made the right choice. The Atom is a costumed hero. If it were a visor and some armor, he would just be Ray Palmer. Escapism is a major theme for this character, so he really does need a mask.
- Still, this figure might be open to further revision. Even in-universe I don't see why the costumes can't evolve. That said, it is possible that Atom will get a more armored look at some point as an "Origin" variant to reflect what he might have worn when he was first recruited by Cadmus, or even what he might have worn before when he was secretly "bugging" people for Jean.
- The metallic siding was inspired by the The New 52's "Totally not Atom" Ray Palmer. The "A" on the chest comes from the Arrowverse.
- Atom is one of my favorite DC heroes. His bio is relatively unchanged from what I'd expect from a standard version of the character except now he is a high school teacher instead of a college professor with a doctorate. The thought came from developing Kyle's world to invert the high school superhero trope into a high school teacher superhero. It serves to underscore Ray running away from failure, despite having already proven that he can achieve so much, for something simpler (if not easier) where there isn't so much weight on his shoulders; I guess that my interpretation of Ray is really similar to Kyle in a lot of ways, even if their central fears (and therefore would be character arcs) are different.
- I know that teaching high school is not an easy job. And I think that there are things about it Ray would find difficult, but instead of being under the pressure to achieve greatness, compose solid experiments, and come up with brilliant theories about the life, universe, and everything he would be transferring some of that pressure to his students just to succeed in school. He'd still blame himself some when they do fail, but he'd also see it as them not working or thinking as hard as they are capable of when, perhaps, they really aren't capable; he's seeing himself.
- I'm not sure whether the child prodigy pushed too far angle is in the comics or if I made it up, but I do remember daddy issues were there for sure.
- I have notes which begin to develop a whole Rogues Gallery for Atom. I probably won't make most (if any) of them, but it was a good challenge to come up with enemies for a guy called The Atom who can somehow shrink smaller than the thing he's named after.
- I originally didn't want to do gender swaps. Parasite got one because I wasn't sure what to do for his design while still making him look monstrous without going full-on monster so that he could be somewhat sympathetic, per the rebooted character concept.
- I've never known what those white/gray lines on Parasite's body are supposed to be, or even if they are part of his body, because who would dress like that? A stripper, I guess. Parasite wears that because of her identity-wiping empathy; apparently somebody wanted somebody else to wear something like that. Would she dress like that all the time? I doubt it, but in her debut for the reference? Probably.
- Wonder Woman
- I don't think there's much I have to say. This character went through a lot of revisions, but what's here isn't too different from the comics, just with a skirt instead of the usual trunks, blue boots, and a smaller tiara.
- An earlier concept for the costume used the New 52 colorscheme of red, silver, and navy blue with a gold tiara. This version kept the stars on the skirt and included a few on the sides of the torso piece. I actually really like this look and sort of wish I went with it, but I didn't feel like the silver could be adequately explained. I know. Stupid right? I think so too, especially since what I went with is still wearing silver. I might tidy it up later as a variant costume.
- A figure based on the 40s comic book mentioned in the bio should come but I want Minnie Mouse's skirt in LDD first. If I am feeling really
cynicalcreative, there might also be figures based on how that outfit evolved in later eras.
- A strange mixture of DCEU, New 52, and Batman: The Brave and the Bold versions. Outrageous? Maybe, but I'm kind of really happy with him.
- The face itself is a mixture of the heads I have designed for those figures. You can see them here. I did change the expressions (aside from the closed mouth, taken from the New 52 figure), which were directly modeled off of pictures of Jason Momoa. He has a charming smile.
- Some parts of the tattoos are also directly lifted from my DCEU Aquaman figure. Aquaman's skin tone is another Momoa influence.
- The crustacean armor is based on this unused New 52 concept art.
- Necklace is a modified version of Aquaman's DCEU logo; it also appears as his belt buckle, but that's more obvious.
- The wetsuit has the same logo appearing on wetsuits from the City and Minifigures line (see Surfer (Minifigures Series 17), though I think that part of Arthur's design was finalized before that figure was revealed).
- I wanted to try to use Lloyd or Cole's hairpieces from The LEGO Ninjago Movie but they aren't on LDD (at the time of this writing) and you never know when or if there will be another update. Since Aquaman is such an important character, I decided not to wait.
- Large-grin with closed eyes is based on Jason Momoa's smile but takes design cues from Aaron Fox.
- Atlantean torso is a metallic dark orange; I am trying to imitate the copper color found in the Ninjago: Hands of Time sets.
- The flippers are a longer than the webbed toes that I am imagining, but I'd rather use the piece than not represent them at all.
- The idea behind the yellow hair is that Atlanteans dye their hair bright colors to be more visible underwater. This would also explain Mera's bright red hair and lets me do some wacky thing with other Atlantean characters who might appear.
- That said, if you really hate it, feel free to say so. I'm not sure I like how it looks either.
- "Kawai" is a Hawaiian given name meaning "the water." That's really cheesy and an excellent example of why I don't name characters.
- It is not because he is Kawaii. If you think that he happens to be that too, I guess I am honored? Maybe?
- The full beard (especially with its dark blonde streaks) make Arthur look older than he is meant to be; that is, closer in age to Wally and Nightwing than Batman and Superman. Aquaman was one of the first five characters designed (the others being Batman, Kyle Rayner, Wonder Woman, and Wonder Boy in an order I have long forgotten) and was originally clean shaven. He didn't get the beard until I decided against giving one to Hawkman.
- Other changes from the original concept are minor: he gained a few more tattoos, his trunks went from being green and black to black and orange, and his face became much more expressive overall.
- Captain Thunder
- I understand why DC renamed the character Shazam, but it doesn't sound right. Way back in the Golden Age when Captain Marvel was first being developed, he was going to be called Captain Thunder, but Fawcett Comics couldn't trademark the name. Since I don't give a damn about trademarks when I'm doing things like this, I can get my way.
- The Draco Malfoy hairpiece was used over the DCEU Superman hairpiece (which I typically really like on Shazam minifigures) because I felt that Draco's makes him look more like a straightlaced grown-up than the DCEU piece.
- Hawkman's character, like The Atom, takes a very back to basic approach to the character by interpreting him with a conflict between debutante manners and a savage warrior. Like Atom, this is largely because I think that this version of the character has a lot of potential to explore
and also because I am too uncreative to come up with anything better. My contribution here is the "unhappy marriage." Genius. I should write for the CW, or something.
- I've kind of always loved how Hawkman doesn't wear a shirt. I didn't want to do that here because I thought that might make him too savage, but I don't know if the tight leather vest is much better.... This figure (like all of them) is subject to redesign.
- This version of Hawkman is English-Egyptian. I did say Egyptian-American before, but I want to spread the heroes beyond America and at least into Europe a little. English Hawkman, for one reason or another, sort of arose without really thinking about it: probably because I always assumed Carter Hall is named after Howard Carter.
- My intention is for each of the seven Sentinels of Magic to have a vice corresponding to one of the Seven Deadly Sins. Hawkman's is Wrath.
- I originally wanted to use a copper color like the one appearing in the Ninjago Hands of Time sets by adding a metallic version of Dark Orange to LDD's color palette, but in the end I thought it looked too much like Carter's skin tone, so I went with gold instead. The Atlantean Aquaman figure uses this color.
- Caw caw!
- Not much to say. Smile is modeled after Ciara Renée. I also looked at Lara Croft's redesign from a few years ago.
- I'm getting sort of tired of the casual variants. Maybe it's just because I think that the that the jacket seems like a Canary ripoff, but don't be surprised if Hawkgirl gets a new costume sometime....
- The mace has Sandy's globe around it, if you couldn't tell. I've been wanting to do that for a very long time.
- Hawkgirl's wings are a different color from Hawkman's; to be clear, Hawkgirl's are dark gray and Hawkman's are gunmetal. This was unintentional (the result coloring Hawkman impulsively in the moment but pulling Hawkgirl from an old LDD file where both of them had matte wings), but since Hawkman's are made of Nth metal and Hawkgirl's are a sort of magical mutation, this maybe makes some sense. Still, if I were going to go that route, I would have probably colored them more distinctly, but oh well. Quality control issues are the spice of life.
- Blue Devil
- How did such a minor character get here so early? I finished Danny even before Superman. I saw the Faun's hairpiece in LDD and immediately became inspired. Normally Blue Devil is bald, but now the curly blonde hair gives him a good Dionysus/Lucifer-esque look.
- The 2000s version of Blue Devil does wear a t-shirt and jeans. I gave him a tank top, shorts, and flip-flops to go with the Lucifer thing. He's tempting, right? The blue skin and horns aren't a turn-off?
- My intention is for each of the seven Sentinels of Magic members to correspond to one of the Seven Deadly Sins. Blue Devil's is Gluttony, the sin of excess.
- Design is heavily influenced by DC Universe Online, where Circe was depicted as Wonder Woman's nemesis. I think that was the first and only time, but I think that she works a little better than Ares and Cheetah. Ares should be a bigger threat like Brainiac or Ra's Al Ghul and Cheetah doesn't have quite the same storytelling potential, even if she can be a great character when written right.
- I went back and forth on whether or not to give Circe the sausage. If you know what it's referencing, it's pretty dark. Even worse, if you don't get it it might be construed as suggestive. I'd like to counter both of these possibilities with a third, even more likely interpretation: she's a Brickset reader.
- This version of Circe's backstory pulls more from Greek mythology than normal. I don't know if the comics have ever referenced her as the Minotaur's aunt; a detail which connects will with her turning men into animals I think. Being connected to the Amazons is more me giving her a connection to Wonder Woman than anything else, but I would tie it in with Ancient Cretan goddess religion because I'm a nerd like that.
- Speaking of this version being tied closely to the Amazons: that's why she has the bracelets, if you didn't put that together yourself.
- Circe was originally going to have the same hairpiece as Starfire in the same color. The retcons that would call for if I let that happen: crisis averted.
- Gentleman Ghost
- Gentleman Ghost is such a peculiar villain; a really weird idea which at the same time is so fascinating (which goes for some of Hawkman's other rogues; a pretty interesting gallery he has). I wasn't planning on him originally (I haven't planned on very many villains outside of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and The Flash's rogues galleries) but after seeing him in wave three The LEGO Batman Movie leaks, the wheels started to turn.... This version was very influenced by Charles Dickens. Why? I have no idea.
- The prints might be reused for a regular Gentleman Ghost figure later, minus the sideburns. I referenced people dressing as 18th century businessmen rather than Western highwaymen or actual images of Gentleman Ghost (except for the monocle) but it turned out pretty similar anyway.
- On the subject of the 18th century and making Gentleman Ghost Hawkman and Hawkgirl's son, 18th century Hawkman would totally be a Lord Byron wannabe.
- Somebody stole Mr. Gold's cane and killed it. :o
- I'm not sure the bio gets across what an interesting character Gentleman Ghost can possibly be as the specter of Hawkman and Hawkgirl's previous son; that could provide a really unique dynamic, plus his gentlemanly nature would contrast well with the savagery that Hawkman is trying to resist, Jim's ability to create visions of the past and future could work really well with the reincarnation schema the Hawks have, and I reckon that the Crawfords are still around in some capacity; that's good for worldbuilding.
- While keeping his classic logo, colors, and cowl, the details of Batman's costume were more heavily influenced by his derivatives Green Arrow, Batgirl, and Robin.
- You probably can't tell (and I hope you don't look this closely at my figures, because they don't hold up when they are large) but Batman's stubble is dark tan. This version is blond. Why? Well, to immediately justify myself, Batman was going to be blond going by his earliest character design concept by Bob Kane before Bill Finger transformed it into the more iconic Golden Age look. As for the deeper and harder why, because I didn't feel the need to bring back the plain red spandex or the domino mask, it was to give Bruce Wayne an "angel of light" appearance to contrast Batman. This idea comes from the original conception of the Sensational Universe when it was a Wonder Woman story where the Olympian gods were given looks based on various Justice League members. Hades was sort of the exception, in that he was really a pale Bruce Wayne rather than having any Batman motifs. As the Hades concept came out from the Underworld to be used for the Sensational Bruce, it made sense to me to make Bruce lighter so as to retain that contrast between the Underworld and the not-Underworld.
- The background and some of the bios make reference to a more cryptid or monstrous costume Batman wore while he was an urban legend. This might come eventually, but I haven't actually decided what it should look like yet aside from some very broad strokes.
- Workout Bruce Wayne has purple boxing gloves. I wonder what that could be a reference to....
- Black Canary
- This is pretty similar to Canary's classic design. I was originally going to try and work her classic design into a homemade vigilante costume, sort of like something out of Suicide Squad. That design also had blue lipstick; there weren't a lot of great ideas. The thought behind her current look is that this is how Dinah dresses as she performs. Though people know (or will know) that Dinah is a superhero, the work she does is more covert ops. That means that the fishnets are not something that she would normally wear into action, at least by choice, but it is how the public would think of her because it's how she dresses when they do see her, even during Justice League appearances.
- Covert-ops is somewhat more practical, but still stylish because of superhero tropes. What can you do? \_O_/
- The reason for the hair color change between the two variants is a wig. Traditionally, Canary has been black haired and worn a blonde wig or dyed it. A lot of people forget that though.
- Black Canary as a singer comes from the 2015 DCYou branding where she was the frontwoman of a punk band. I was reading that series as I worked on the concept for the Sensational Universe and it sort of bled into Canary. That said, I opted to make her an indie singer-songwriter instead with the idea that it would characterize her as more down-to-earth and personal.
- The idea to make Dinah Irish comes from All Star Batman & Robin: The Boy Wonder, per Soupperson1 reminding me. Though I already wanted to spread the Justice League throughout the world at least a little (even if they all end up in America anyway), this worked for me for a few reasons:
- The Canary Cry might recall the Banshee
- We Americans like our Irish singer-songwriters
- Europe has a much greater sense of history than the United States; my hope is that this would also help make Dinah down-to-earth while contributing to the theme of legacy.
- Dick Grayson/Robin/Nightwing
- Dick Grayson did not get a race change. He has been Romani in the comics for years. All I did was darken his skin.
- Robin gets shorts because as I drew the costume it just came about naturally. He's an acrobat; the black material on his legs and arms must be pretty thin, so it would make sense to have a little more protection over the crotch. Did it have to be green? Probably not, but style, man. You've got to have room for style.
- I tested a Nightwing figure with red accents rather than blue. I didn't like it; it seemed to rough, even if it was basically the same thing. Like Green paint-splat Kyle and silver Wonder Woman, I might eventually post it as a variant.
- Yellow Nightwing was an experiment. I'm not sure if it would "stick" in canon, but I'm starting to get a little more comfortable with mixing things up, though this look clearly does pay homage to his "disco" outfit.
- Jason Todd/Robin
- Jason did get a race change. The story that everybody knows because it ends with Jason's death actually starts with Batman and Robin looking for Jason's mother. One of the possible candidates is Chinese assassin Lady Shiva, so Jason became Chinese-American.
- When Jason first appeared, he had strawberry blond hair. You might be able to see here that his eyebrows are red. It was important to me that the Robins didn't look like clones of each other, but I wanted to pull from the characters' histories to make them look different.
- The Joker
- Like Superman and Batman took cues from their sidekicks, Joker was designed with the idea that he would work well alongside Harley Quinn, should she take a more Suicide Squad-esque casual appearance, though I'm leaning more towards Arkham games with her.
- The suspenders and striped trousers (the latter inspired by the 89 Batman) were pretty much always a part of the design, but the mini-coat came and went between revisions. What I wanted to do was have Joker wear the yellow oval Bat-logo on his chest with some red graffiti around it shaped like lips (ever notice how that classic bat symbol looks like a mouth?) on an ill-fitting neon T-shirt. In the end though, it just didn't seem stylish enough for Joker, so I went with what is here. I still want to use the concept though, so maybe it will show up on Harley or a henchman somewhere.
- The Phantom of the Opera is here- inside your mind.
- Yeah, I really can't justify the Phantom mask too much because I don't perceive him and Two-Face as having much in common, but since this version of Harvey is a vigilante rather than an outright gang leader (though I imagine he still has his henchmen) it made sense for him to have a mask, even if it is terribly ineffective. Because of his split personality, he would only need the mask to cover the "good" side of his face. So, in conclusion, The Phantom of the Opera is here- inside your mind....
- Seriously though, the thought is that the side with the mask is Harvey's cruel, vengeful, unforgiving side while the one which is scarred and crushed is the merciful and graceful.
- The mask was originally going to be half of a Greek theatre styled Comedy mask, but that was mostly lost in the actual drawing.
- Red and black colorscheme comes from me wanting to do something a little different from the black and white split but hopefully still worked seriously enough. I think I had a different concept in mind for the costume than the trench coat (and I think it actually was inspired by Phantom somehow) but I never wrote it down or left myself enough clues to remember, so oh well.
- Another idea was to dress Two-Face more like a traditional superhero with a White Knight motif. He was going to have some sort of armor showing under an opened trench coat but I decided that the White Knight theme really didn't make sense with the theatre mask and the red/black colorscheme, so I just closed the coat and left it to the imagination what's in there.
- And you probably weren't actually thinking about what is inside of the coat until now: watches, kittens, loose change, atomic waste, grandma's cooking.
- The Riddler
- Riddler was originally going to wear a vest and tie, possibly even without the jacket. In the end, I decided that I wanted Joker, Penguin, Riddler, and Two-Face to dress more differently than normal, even if they do manage to be distinct as they all wear suits. Right now I'm thinking that Riddler might ditch the shirt and trousers in favor of wearing spandex underneath his jacket. If that happens, we can consider the current figure to be everyday Edward Nashton.
- The Scarecrow
- Mixture of The New Batman Adventures, Arkham Asylum series, and Injustice 2. I think because the TNBA look is something like a Southern preacher and I thought Harley (and possibly Hugo Strange) covered the Arkham psychologist turned evil, Scarecrow turned into an actual preacher, merging him with Deacon Blackfire. He was going to be wearing a moldy priest collar, but even in my head I couldn't get that to really work with the classic mask, even if I went and made him something of a human ragdoll, possibly throwing Flash-foe Ragdoll into the Scarecrow/Deacon Blackfire/Azrael melting pot, so the jacket opened up and the classic noose came in.
- The open chest was more of a influence from the Arkham and Injustice games, but I'm glad to see Blackfire actually has the same thing in one of the Arkham games since it makes the merge feel more cohesive to me. The bloody tattoo was quickly added to the finished figure when I saw what that version of Blackfire was like.
- Normally I think it's silly when Scarecrow is given straw hair, but I really like the long thin dark strands of the TNBA version. I wish I could have approximated that here.
- The figure was originally going to go with Cad Bane's hat, but I wasn't sure I liked how Bane's hat has sci-fi molding.
- The God of Evil mentioned in Scarecrow's bio is Darkseid.
- Martian Manhunter
- A lot of the head is lifted from LEGO's excellent go at the character. I don't normally like to straight-up copy their designs most of the time, but I really don't think I could do anything that would even come close by myself.
- J'onn's design is influenced heavily by Disney's take on the John Carter mythos. Once I had the face down, I actually didn't reference any pictures of the Martian Manhunter, though it still turned out pretty similar to his comic look because that's just how similar to J'onn the characters in that world dress and I love it.
- And to be clear I was looking at both the John Carter and Dejah Thoris characters. Dejah isn't as naked in that movie as she is classically, but I find it really funny how close a female Martian character who wears almost no clothes is to a male Martian character who wears no clothes. To be fair, Dejah and John weren't dressed too differently in the images I was referencing, more in material than in make, so I don't think it's a double standard (at least not in the Disney movie, based on these pictures).
- Anyway, I didn't want to use the Disney movie for reference, but I had trouble finding John Carter fan art or comic covers which gave me any more inspiration.
- Miss Martian
- An alien redux of the N-POP Girl, basically. :P I was inspired by the YJ's versions love of old American sit-coms and wondered how she might model her identity if she were influenced by anime and J-Pop instead. Aside from the N-POP girl, I took several design cues from Sailor Moon.
Development and precepts
This section is here because I find this sort of thing interesting and just really enjoy the rush of keys beneath my grimy fingers. Well, not grimy, because I sanitize. That's right, kids, I'm the reason bacteria is becoming immune to our vaccines. It's like all the fun of listening to my own voice but making the world a worse place instead of the cringey horror of listening to my own voice.
Ahem. So, back in the day, pretty much as long as I've been making figures, I developed the concept of the DCBU. It was essentially an ambitious domino reality fan fiction which I barely got going but continued to create concepts and storylines for well after it was really dead until I realized how little originality was actually in it. I think I had some okay ideas, but really lost the center. Towards the end of that, I was invited to join a DC Comics story group on Flickr around Christmas 2014. My choice was Wonder Woman so that I could play with some mythological villains and themes. Alas, before I could really pull anything worthwhile together, Wonder Woman was taken, but that was okay. This is actually what the Cretan Bull's needless existence is about. Sort of. The backstory about Hippolyta and the family she had before the Amazons disappeared has sort of spun off into a separate project while the present day Wonder Woman has turned into this, and that's why this is the Sensational DC Universe; after the title which Wonder Woman debuted in, Sensation Comics.
There probably won't ever be much of a story here, aside from the background section and the little biographies. I do have broad ideas of what happens, but currently I'm not motivated to right a Journey into the West level epic about it so I won't be filling in a lot of the empty spaces. This is mostly because I love DC characters and wanted to have some fun by putting my own spin on them, sort of like what the Ultimate Marvel Universe set out to do (but not that dark). What story there is is heavily influenced by The New Frontier, Young Justice, New 52 Aquaman, The Legend of Wonder Woman, the DCAU, the DCEU, and themes of legacy, grace, isolation, and incarnation. You'll sometimes hear it said that DC characters are about gods becoming human; that's what I'm going for. My goal is to work with the characters and mythology in a way that they are mostly true to the source material but are still pushed in new and creative directions.
Here are a some general rules which I use when working with these characters:
- I once heard that if you create a Superman universe with no room for Krypto, you've done something wrong. Though I'd totally love to add Krypto to the collection here, I'm not sure I entirely agree with that. If there is no room for Supergirl and Batgirl though, there totally is a problem. In some versions of the DC Universe even where they exist I'm not sure how well I buy them as more than distaff money-making spinoffs. One of the original tenets of this universe was that Supergirl and Batgirl have to be able to exist and fit in. The result? Superman and Batman started to take on some of the air of their spin-offs. If it weren't for Supergirl, Superman would probably be wearing some boring blue jumpsuit. Ultimately, I think it makes the world more cohesive and lively.
- And there's the word: cohesion. There are a lot of DC characters. While I have a grand list of all the folks I'd like to make and a whole bunch of LDD bases and WIP decals for them, it's better to have a simple and consistent world than one which has macguffins and rules littered around every corner and multiple characters fulfilling the same function. We don't need six Green Lanterns, twelve-thousand mad scientists, and The Riddler, The Cluemster, and The Puzzler do not all need to exist. A composite Riddler will do just fine, even if it means transferring Cluemaster's relationship with Stephanie Brown or dropping it entirely. If Harley Quinn is already an evil Arkham psychologist, could Scarecrow be something else instead? Is there a way I can contain what is most essential about Scarecrow while making him fresh and more unique?
- Diversity is often forced for the sake of looking progressive, but it can also be a good tool for characterization and world-building. It might look like there are a lot of race changes, but there are actually very few. If a character has darker skin than more familiar versions it's usually pulling at something in the character's history. The Golden Age version of Hawkman is a reincarnated Egyptian prince, so here he is English-Egyptian. In the story which killed Jason Todd, one of the candidates for his mother is the Chinese assassin Lady Shiva, so this version of Jason is Chinese. This is not updating the characters. It is emphasizing something left in the wayside or trying something a little different. Even blonde Batman comes from his unused original character concept. Others, such as Aquaman, were race changed in some other version (in his case the DCEU) which is carried over here.
- Which isn't to say that there are no "arbitrary" race changes. This universe has a biracial Lex Luthor, something which hasn't been done in any official version as far as I know. There may be new changes to race (or sexuality!) that aren't pulled from the character's fictional or publication history. When it is done though, it is still only because I think it adds to the character and not because I am aiming to be progressive. I am happy to design characters who look, believe, and behave differently than me, but their experience is not mine to guess at.
- All this said, I'm not totally unfamiliar with Race and Queer Theory so I realize that my precepts are messy and imperfect. But I had to choose a route to go and this seemed like the best direction to me.
- Diversity is not just about skin color (or sexuality!). Batman and Superman don't need to look the same. Not every character has to have the same body type (implied on that flat trapezoidal torso). Different personalities and backgrounds are good.
- New characters are fine by me.
- Legacies are important to all the best versions of the DC Universe. Just as there has to be room for Batgirl and Supergirl, there should be room for the Justice Society and versions of Flash and Green Lantern who aren't Barry Allen and Hal Jordan. Let their legacies grow without being cut-off by the status quo; that isn't to say that there is no room for Barry and Hal, however....
- The Trinity is integral to this version of the DC Universe. There is no trinity without Wonder Woman. Yes, this started with Wonder Woman, but that doesn't mean that she gets special treatment. It just means that her brand and her corner of the world are equally important as Batman and Superman's. Since new characters are fair game and legacies are important, I think that ensues the introduction of a Wonder Boy. (I know, I'm so creative.)
- Which, just a disclaimer because I made one on Race/Queer Theory and now I can't stop it with the disclaimers. That does not mean that Wonder Woman stories have never and should never have science fiction elements. Quite the opposite; she'll even have that here. What it means is the world tied to Wonder Woman's origin, a magical island created by the gods, is just as much a part of the Sensational Universe as an alien being delivered to Earth from a dying planet and a young boy witnessing his parents get killed. One of those things might be realistic and the other might have a strong basis in what's possible in the great wide cosmos (except Fermi Paradox, but y'know) whilst Pagan gods aren't too mainstream of a belief here in the west, but they are integral to the fabric of this fictional world even before...well, chronologically, almost anything, but let's say before Ray Palmer discovered a "scientific" way to shrink matter or The Flash gained super speed because of getting electrocuted while taking a chemical bath.
- Trunks are allowed, but only certain characters get to wear them, either because their culture developed them like neckties or it arose naturally out of their design, typically if they are a more lithe and athletic character like Dick Grayson or Kid Flash. There are reasons to wear undies on the outside; maybe few, but if they are there, go for it.
- Superboy tires to wear his undies on the inside, but he can't do it right. Just something in his genetics I guess. \_O_/
- I think that's everything. I didn't actually write these down before though, so I'm more trying to figure what goes through my head as I design a character....
Feel free to leave any comments or questions or suggestions or...what's that fourth thing? Oh right: criticisms.