DC Comics: A God Complex

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to my new project,

A God Complex

.

As a personal tribute to DC's many classic 'elseworlds' stories, A God Complex serves as the DC Universe as I see fit. Inspired by the wonderful works of such stories as

Kingdom Come

, I hope than my view of such classic characters can entertain you as much as I have done so thinking tirelessly about it. This list, as with many others, is essentially nothing more than what I would like to see within the DC Universe, and how I would like to see it. This is not to say that this is but another angry fanboy rant about what I think DC are doing wrong, but rather a showcase of what I would do with these characters if given the chance. Personally, I see no problem with the way in which DC are running their universe (any more so than any other companies are, anyway), but I see no other way than making this list to get my voice heard.

WHAT WILL I WRITE ABOUT?

I will only write about the characters that I change the most, as a lot of DC's established history will remain the same in my version. As such, I will not attempt to write about all the major characters for which I see nothing to contribute to or change about the status quo of. This is based on the assumption that the reader understands the basic concepts behind the foundations of the DC Universe (as in the backstories of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, etc). It is worth noting that a few characters that I would reinvent may not have, nor be entirely related to the subject of the attached page, but I have nonetheless tried to find the most relevant one to the subject in question.

Anyway, without further ado, I shall begin my list...

CONTENTS

The list shall be broken down into the following sections:

PAGE ONE

(1 - 8)

Global Guardians

(9 - 20)

Superman

(21 - 34)

Justice Society / Earth-2

(35 - 42)

Mystery in Space

(43 - 46)

Doom Patrol

(47 - 50)

Champions of Angor / Earth-8

PAGE TWO

(1 - 2)

Kamandi

List items

  • In my version of the DC Universe, Olympian will be based on Earth-11, but is brought to the main universe (Earth-0) to join the Global Guardians. For those that do not know what Earth-11 is, it is essentially a world in which all the main heroes (and villains) have reversed genders.

    There will be a few major changes to the character; this version will be Wonder Woman's male counterpart, and is thus a symbol of chauvinism and anti-feminism. On Earth-11, after the uprising of Superwoman (surprisingly, a female Superman), a new form of feminism, super-feminism, has formed. Zeus and Hera are displeased by this sexual inequality, as men are seen to far more inferior to women are as women used to be. Zeus reveals to the world that the Amazons of Themyscira were created if men were to take over the world, and would be released from their island to bring balance to sexual inequality. The new revelation of super-feminism, however, has defeated their purpose, and should be removed to make space for a new, better, race. As such, the Olympian was created to destroy the Amazons, and to bring peace to 'Woman's world'.

    It took a while to gain respect from the world, but he was soon accepted into this version of the Justice League. The morality of his acts were widely questioned, and such he was imprisoned on Themyscira after killing Maxine Lord (even though he claimed that it was the only way to stop her). Most people saw this act as an abuse of his masculine power, and he was soon declared a social pariah. After discovering that most people thought him to be a villain, he later finds his place in Earth-0 as an international hero after helping the Global Guardians (who had accidentally been stranded on this world due to an attack by Angle Man).

  • Possible alter-ego for the Olympian (along with Wonder Boy, Argonaut or Hercules).

    Although the Olympian is based on this character, my version had more in common with the Olympian (as in costume, name and personality), and this page had little relevant information.

  • After failing to obey orders in Vietnam, Nathaniel Adam is offered redemption through commitment to a governmental program: Project Atom. This is an experimental procedure, in that his body will be merged with an alien metal, thus granting him powers that will help the US Government. However controversial an endeavour that this project was, it was nonetheless fulfilled successfully... almost. This project granted him too much power, thus throwing him 28 years into the future. When he reemerges in a more modern world, he finds that his job is no longer necessary due to the uprising of Superman in the time that he was gone. Now finding himself in a world that doesn't need him, he manages to find work in covet missions for private companies. This first mission is the attempted destruction of Markovia (later revealed to be for Baron Bedlam), using the Suicide Squad to fight against the nationwide riots (in response to the revealing of Geo-Force's plans). This results in the pursuit of extreme violence to control the nation, thus coming into conflict with the Global Guardians. After nearly killing them in their attempt to fight back, he stops to realise what he is actually doing, eventually befriending the team in the process of showing compassion.

  • After seeing the creation of Captain Atom as a living weapon for the US Government, the UN decided to form a society of super-powered beings from around the world (specifically, in Europe).

    This team would consist of: Icemaiden, Geo-Force, Beefeater, Olympian, Rising Sun, Dr. Light, Rocket Red, Hurricane (Firestorm) and Godiva.

    Although their stories are episodic, and have varied villains from week to week, their primary rogues gallery consists of: Captain Nazi, Ubermensch (and his group, Axis America), Superwoman (Earth-11), Captain Atom (before becoming an ally), Citizen Steel, Major Force and Manchester Black.

  • Geo-Force was created in response to the formation of the Global Guardians. Markovia saw that their status as a country was threatened by the efforts of Baron Bedlam and his teaming with the Suicide Squad. In order to elevate their international status (specifically in the UN), they attempted to become the first country ruled by a superhero, and the result was Geo-Force. This decision was highly polarised - some people saw it as a great opportunity in human development, whilst other people highlighted the ethical issues created by the use of his powers to gain political respect, and regarding who deserves this power. Thankfully, the Global Guardians saw his side of the argument, and offered him a place in their roster to help solve his political issues.

  • Brainiac probably has among the greatest of changes, in that he is a good-natured robot (in his view), but has fallen to corruption after discovering Superman's god-like status on Earth. As a rough outline, his story is as follows: Jor-El, one of Krypton’s most experienced scientists, visits the slums of Colu. The primary residents of Colu, the Coluans, are a race of highly intelligent green skinned aliens that are infamously known throughout the galaxy for their advanced bioengineering and robotics.

    However, their heightened intelligence has lead to a series of worldwide wars due differences in opinions and various subsequent social issues, such as overpopulation (hence why many Coluans are forced into slums). Jor-El comes to Colu to purchase Brainiac, an unofficial prototype of a protective android, hoping that it could help him on his journey to Krypton’s largely unexplored Arctic Circle. When he gets to the infamous North Pole, he discovers a radioactive substance (Kryptonite) in Krypton’s core, a substance that could threaten the stability of the planet. Fearing that the parliament of Kandor would not listen to him, he programmed Brainiac to record any data he received and to protect any planets that faced destruction. His primary function, however, is to protect any Kryptonians, in the hope that he'd find and gather any survivors. This would ultimately lead to his confrontation with Superman, whom he sees as a threat to Earth. In his twisted calculations, he fears that humanity will grow to depend on Superman, and that there will be a threat that even he can’t stop (Doomsday) - leaving the world devastated.

    Nonetheless, he meets with the United Nations of Krypton. Unbeknownst to him, Brainiac is preserving Kandor by shrinking and bottling it whilst Jor-El talks.

    Jor-El shares his discoveries, and proposes that they migrate to Earth – the nearest planet with a similar atmosphere. The bonus of the Yellow Sun, as theorized by Jor-El, would grant them with powers that could be used to protect other planets. However, only a select few would be able to migrate given the limited technology.

    As expected, the parliaments are skeptical to believe Jor-El. They do not accept the premise that migrating a few people at the cost of thousands of other lives was the better thing to do, as Krypton was governed by the theory that everyone is equal and that they should all be treated the same.

    As a result, he agrees with his wife, Lara, to send his newborn son, Kal-El, to Earth, hoping to preserve his genetic ancestry and in the hope that he could use his powers to prevent his new home from facing a similar fate.

    Thirty years later, after enslaving many planets (with the intentions of saving them from growing corrupt), Brainiac comes across Earth. He sees Superman, and fears that his powers are risking his own life, as his primary function is to protect him at all costs

  • In my version of the DCU, a lot of Superman's story is based on the coming of Ultraman, and the birth of the Supermen (aka. The Supermen of the Multiverse). A lot of his previous history still applies to this version of the character, other than that he meets Superman before he forms the Crime Syndicate of America.

  • This version of the character has little changes to his (original) backstory, and is rather an extension of what we already know. Albert Michaels, one of the leading scientists in the world, is working for STAR Labs' private sector, SKULL (which specialises in atomic research). Their primary project, Excalibur (see Cyborg Superman), involves researching how technology could protect against radiation. In the project, four astronauts will be sent through a controlled cloud of radioactive dust to see whether technology could fully prevent their death. After Clark Kent and Lois Lane file a public report of the morality of their research, and how astronauts' lives could be lost in their experiment, STAR Labs cuts their funding due to the pubic outcry against the continuation of the program. This catches the eye of Lex Luthor, who believes that there is good behind their research, and thus provides private funding to SKULL, with the deal that they work for him. When Excalibur goes ahead, Lex Luthor secretly ensures that it will fail, but that all the test subjects will survive. This goes to plan, with the bonus of providing the team with superpowers, and he thusly uses their hatred of Superman (for not saving them) against him. Albert Michaels, who sees that his obsession with physics has resulted in an international disaster, comes to regret his actions. This version has no powers, other than the use of advanced technology and an extensive knowledge of science, and resembles Robert Oppenheimer in his fear of his own power.

  • For a more detailed summary of how he got his powers, see Albert Michaels.

    After returning to earth, he found that his and his team's bodies were imbued with a special form of radioactive poisoning, but each in a different way. One team member found that the atoms of his body were positively charged, and thus burst into radioactive flames (forgive the science behind it), whilst another found that he was negatively charged, and thus attracted the mud and stones from the ground - trapping his body in a thick coffin of debris. Hanks wife, Terri, found that her body was fading into an alternate dimension, whilst Hank had little to no negative effect... at first. Over the period of a few years, as his wife gradually phased into a different universe entirely, he discovered that the effect on his body was just slower than the other astronauts'. His genetic makeup, although radioactive, had a much longer half-life, and he would eventually rot away from the inside if he took no action. Reluctantly, he looks towards Lex Luthor for help, who enhances his body with technology that can slow the spreading of his radioactive mutation down. He then dons the name, 'The Cyborg' (the name that was used before he was called Cyborg Superman), and continues to help Lex Luthor fight Superman.

  • This version of Silver Banshee is Terri Henshaw, who found herself fading into an alternate dimension after passing through a concentrated radioactive dust cloud and receiving a genetic mutation. In this world (that she calls the 'Otherworld'), she discovers that Superman had never existed, and that no one had, therefore, ever died at his hands. She gained popularity in this world by spreading the prophecy of a Superman that choses not to use his powers, gaining a celebrity status in the process. Using the trust that she has gained from this world, she opens up a portal into Earth-0 (using the technology that the people of the world have 'sacrificed' in her name), transferring everyone that were convinced that the Superman of Earth-0 is a force of evil and should be killed. Adopting the name of 'Silver Banshee' (from a folk tale of an Irish woman that was rejected from her tribe for having natural superpowers), Terri was reunited with her husband, and they tried to take down Superman together. Whilst I understand that this version has little in common with the previous Silver Banshee, I only gave this character this name in reference to her (fairly) significant place in Superman's history. I see no other way of including this name (as I don't see how her magic-based abilities could relate to this universe), and I have thusly chosen to give it to a character that makes more sense (to me, anyway).

  • (real name of the above)

  • Garrett Sandford, although still possessing the ability to travel to the Dream Dimension, has had been changed a lot in my version. Originally a psychologist that specialises in looking at people's dreams to find information about their personally, Garrett is approached by Wesley Dodds, after he fears that his dreams are becoming too realistic (to the extent that he is almost predicting future events), and they engage in a conversation about the influence and power of imagination. This conversation sparks the idea of Project Sandman, which, not unlike Dom Cobb (from Inception), he uses this to access the mysterious Dream Dimension (where all thoughts and ideas are captured), and does so to explore the minds of his subjects and to discover any crimes before they happen. This version, I fear, will be considered a rip-off of Inception, and there are no doubt influences in it, but I'd prefer to consider it to be a tribute to Christopher Nolan, for both helping the Superhero movie industry, and being generally epic. Regarding how this works, Garrett Sandford's mind enters the dream dimension via a machine that he attaches to his brain when sleeping, which provides complete control of his dreams. He can explore the 'Dream world' (which is essentially the normal world, but warped depending on how other people perceive it), using other people's thoughts, memories and senses to interact. Each person's perceptions of the world acts like a CCTV camera, and he can move around the world via controlled access to their thoughts.

  • Film Freak is a character that I've always liked the idea of, but have always thought that he had never had the chance to prove his potential epicness. In terms of Batman villains, he stands as nothing more than an average insane criminal, whose obsession with films is greater than his respect for humanity. In that respect, my version has little changes to this, except his role as a Sandman villain instead of a Batman villain. Much of my Sandman's history will revolve around the mystery of his identity and uncanny ability to predict the future, and Film Freak will thus be obsessed with this serial-type detective/pulp hero. Having spent much of his life watching films and film serials, specifically the adventures of Clayface and Atomic Skull (get the references?), a young Burt Weston found an inner obsession with the concept of a pulp hero - a mysterious vigilante that works in the shadows of both the night and the media, only to help an undeserving society. A recent series of reports regarding the introduction of a law to help contain superheroes and uncover their identities angers him, and he thusly sets out on a crime spree to attract the attention of Sandman, resulting in a finale in a cinema. He does this because he fears how society is growing to depend on their pursuit of uncovering the untold truth behind the masks, and how it is more recently impossible to just accept a simple act of altruism, unlike the message of the original pulp heroes. The world, in his eyes, is working itself up in a convoluted social trap in it's allure to detail and over-complication of a simple ideal. In the age of the birth of cinema and in the concept of a hero, it was possible for people to not only accept, but to embrace those who chose to do good to society, whereas the people today, even the heroes that they follow, are struggling to break free from their collective high expectations that have been inherited from the media, most specifically through films, comics and television. He cannot overcome this 'disease' that has emerged through film industry, and he decides to hand himself in to the police, in reference to the many stories where the heroes 'always win', despite his belief that his moral code is greater than that of Sandman. It is Sandman's proposed victory that attracts the attention of the (newly formed) Justice Society of America, but Wesley Dodds reflects on this encounter as he is forced to question whether the commercialism of his superheroic career is the best way to go, much like Film Freak did when he realised that he was the villain of another person's life.

  • City wide rioting and crime sprees lead to the uprising of criminals that tried to take out the police force, resulting in the death of Jim Corrigan. God saw him as a man with an incomplete life, and so granted him the abilities of 'The Spectre', a legacy of Superheroes that was formed to keep order in the world and punish criminals (later revealed to date to Biblical times).

    Gaining a reputation of being both a man of fear and power, his presence soon became the subject of human right debates. In my story, the character would act as more of a modern Jesus-type character, and his relationship with other people would replicate various people's views and opinions about religion in general.

    The main difference between my version and the original is that Jim Corrigan only becomes the Spectre when necessary - this provides an interesting human moral side to the character that I thought was missing. However, as the story progresses, the time given to him to be human slowly reduces as the collective crime rate exponentially grows. When not the Spectre, he is forced into exile to hide his true identity. After a major disagreement with Mr. Terrific, he leaves the Justice Society - a decision that lead to the downfall of the Justice Society and the uprising of Eclipso.

  • This version of Eclipso is essentially the embodiment of negative emotions, but specifically of fear, anger, and general corruption. He does have the ability to indirectly possess beings, but only through bending and focusing their emotions towards his will. After he is done with someone, they return to a normal state, but often with severe amnesia (depending on the victim, they may not remember everything from a few weeks to whole decades). A few years in from the Spectre's first appearance, it is revealed that Eclipso, an anti-hero and ecoterrorist has been waiting on the moon for the Spectre's return for thousands of years. In the beginning, God created Eclipso as the original Spectre, using the balance of his power and the innocence of a chosen human being to commit any necessary acts of altruism, and to initially terra-from the world to his will. Although he requires a human conscious to ensure that his powers do not take over him, It does not take long before he started to use the powers granted to him to rule in fear, but also to inspire the human obsession with reaching to the moon and beyond; to break free from human limitations and to 'touch the face of God', as he is angered by the fact that he is restricted by the limitations humanity. After this, he realised that he were to be banished to the moon as a result of his immoral actions, and to be forced to watch the Earth grow in his corruption for eternity. This is seen to be worse that death, for through death, he could never know how much he damaged the world. He later admits that he inspired humans to reach into space in order to grant him a way of getting down, hearing of the Spectre from his shadowed perch on the moon. He envied the respect he was getting, and thus used Starman (see below) as vessel for his return, using manipulative corruption to control him. On Earth, he formed an army of like minded ecoterrorists that think the Earth should be preserved and that celebrities and superhumans are only doing damage to an already broken world, thus turning them against the Spectre and the Justice Society in the process.

    Spending 40 days and 40 nights, he traveled around the world to find the Spectre so he could take him down, and ultimately, defeat the Justice Society, as he fears that they are the only force that could stand between him and his reign of corruption. To his pleasant surprise, he learns that the Spectre has been forced into exile after a disagreement with his teammates, and has not been seen for a few years.

    The demonstration of his near omniscience provides the thought that men of power ruled only by fear. Although the Justice Society initially deny this, they are forced to reconsider the question after they reflect on their morally ambiguous acts of 'altruism' and remember how they originally became who they were; focusing on the Spectre's origin. They come to the realisation that all criminals want is the best for everyone (regardless of how twisted they consider 'the best' to be), and that heroes are the truly evil ones; they are driven only by the obsession to stop criminals and to do so using the fear that comes from their power.

    This only adds to the downfall of the Justice Society, and Eclipso uses their anger and corruption to gain control of them, using their power to form the world to his will.

  • Mr. Terrific, as with many of my characters, will have little changes, but greater emphasis on various personality traits. In this case, he will be a massive atheist. Even though I personally try to keep clear of anti-religious debates, this character will be a summary of all that I despise about religious critics; although he is quick to judge religion, he is far from being in the position to do so justifiably. This will result in an interesting relationship with the Spectre, whose very existence forces Mr. Terrific to change his view. Being an intelligent and stubborn man, Mr. Terrific choses to fear the Spectre instead, despite him being the post powerful and valuable entity in the Justice Society roster. It is his arrogance that causes the Spectre to leave the team, as the Spectre does not wish to save people that aren't willing to be saved. As Mr. Terrific is a man that should be grateful towards him, but is not, and is so vocal about his (lack of) opinions, the Spectre can only assume the world isn't ready for him, and thus departs from the earthly realm. It is this departure that makes the world realise how a God is needed in the world, even if not wanted.

  • This series would ideally work in a similar way to DCU Presents, but focusing on sci-fi characters. It is worth noting that the upcoming title, Threshold, may be featuring similar characters, but I would nonetheless like to see this title in action. Characters like Adam Strange, although not originating in the original Mystery in Space, have yet to make a proper appearance in the DCnU.

    Many of these more obscure characters, such as Adam Strange, seem to be a little lost underneath the weight of DC’s more prominent characters, and thus it is the intention of this title to give sci-fi specific characters a chance to shine.

    After WWII, most of DC’s characters seemed to decrease significantly in popularity, only to be reinvented with a sci-fi undertone in the 50s. I hope that ‘Mystery in Space’ can pay homage to DC’s silver age, which primarily consisted of these heroes. The title could, in a similar fashion to DCUP, showcase a different story every few issues. The following are a selection of my ideas:

    Adam Strange (see 33 - 34), Warworld (see 39), Warlord (see 38), Space Cabbie (see 37), Challengers of the Unknown (see 35), Ultra-Man (see 36) and Kamandi (see 50 - 51).

  • Although originally a minor character, my version of Alva Xar is (one of) Adam Strange's arch-nemesises.

  • Challengers of the Unknown, other than having the best team name of existence, are epic.

    Okay, I understand that people may find it hard to associate with the madness of the 1950s, but this team is one that deserves a title purely for the banality of their ludicrous stories.

    The Fantastic Four, as you may or may not be aware, are based on characters in Challengers of the Unknown (and the lesser known, Sea Devils), who went on to become one of the many teams that established Marvel as a competitor in the industry.

    The last thing that I’d want is for this title to be considered to be a rip off of the Fantastic Four (as it will essentially be a parody of a pastiche of itself), but I feel that this title could be used as DC’s response to the success of FF by taking hints from the highest and lowest points of FF’s history.

    If I were in control of ‘Challengers of the Unknown’, I would ignore the attempt to reintroduce them in DCUP. I know that the whole point of the DCUP was to reintroduce lesser-known characters, but I don’t think that it did any justice to the characters by what I’ve heard. Honestly, I haven’t read COTU in DCUP, but I was put off by the previews and reviews that I saw. Given the complexity of COTU’s previous stories, I’m sure that there could be a way around this.

    Anyway, I would make this title as a story about the moral effects of a team’s crazy adventures. In a similar fashion to Prometheus (regardless of what you thought about it, I enjoyed it), the team could face horrific aliens and adventures, but the story will focus on how this impacts their dynamics as a team.

  • When doing general research, I found an abundant supply of sci-fi heroes, but a disturbingly little amount of whom that had appeared (properly) in comics for over 30 - 50 years, cameos aside. One of these is Gary Concord, the Ultra-Man! For those of you that don't know who he is (I assume, nearly all of you), he essentially had the same backstory as Buck Rogers (or at least, the original story); a man is accidentally frozen in time, and awakens centuries later, only to find that the world is ruled by an evil dictator. This concept, although having appeared numerous times throughout all mediums, is a character archetype that has yet to make a modern impact. It is thus my choice to use Ultra-Man as an example of what can be achieved by using such a type of character. Little would be changed to this character, other than that my version would emphasise his lack of place in a new society, and his disappointment with the world - Imagine you live at the summit of the Space Race; the height of human achievements so far, only to be pulled from that social paradise and put in a world where space discovery has lead to humanity's greatest downfall. Gary meant little to the world that he loved, but is now forced to become save the world that he does not deserve.

  • The Champions of Angor, much like the Squadron Supreme at Marvel, are a pastiche of the rival company's strongest characters. In this case, they are essentially DC's Avengers.

  • The Meta Militia are the government's Superheroic Control Sector (although they have little in common, they have a similar status to Marvel's SHIELD), that later merge with the Champions of Angor to combat Lord Havok and his Extremists.

  • This is one of the ideas that I am most uncertain about the direction of which they should take it in. Part of me believes that this should be kept on an alternate universe with the same history as before the New 52, but another thinks that this title would work well as a spin off of Rotworld.

    Hear me out – Although I like the concept of Kamandi, and believe that it works well as a parody of Planet of the Apes, I also think that the idea that all animals in the world could be affected by an infected water supply is a little too unrealistic (even within the context of comics). I would keep the concept of a great disaster in an alternate universe, but make it such that the Red has substantially grown in the time following the disaster. This could be as a result of the Red triumphing over the lack of humans to kill their avatars.

    I understand that many people may be upset by this change, but given that Animal Man is among the top of the company’s best selling titles, I believe that this change may be necessary to ensure that Kamandi is seen in the DCnU, whilst also providing a fresh take on a classic character. A significant part of this version of the character’s history will also explore his relationship with Tommy Tomorrow, an astronaut that finds himself stranded on this alternate Earth, only to later discover that he and Kamandi are the same person, but from the two extreme outcomes – one where he was granted everything, and the other where he has nothing.

  • (see above)