I know it’s been awhile since my last post, but I have not forgotten!
Meet Jack Napier, well known inner-city comic. A true “American” mixed with enough races that no real ethnic title will do him justice. Since childhood, his hair was always big and curly and red, dawning him the nickname “Joker” from a young age. Always being skinny, he could not stand up for himself when picked on, so he had to use his whit. Unfortunately this only led to more beatings. Having no one his size to pick on, he would let out his frustration on anyone, or thing, smaller than him. After enough time outs, spankings, and suspensions, Jack understood that he had to stop his torment on others, so he coped with frustrations through humor. He was always the class clown, and was eventually picked on less because of his “winning” personality. Jack eventually dropped out of college to pursue a life in stand up comedy, which worked out enough for him to make money to live, but not enough to make him famous. With his life of being the underdog and being too smart for many in his circle of influence, he grew cynical of society, government, and suspicious of people in general, giving him a foundation from which to base most of his routines.
His charm, intelligence, and exotic, handsome looks made him a man to be desired of many women, giving him the pick of the litter, every time. Eventually, Jack found someone who made him want to quit the game, so he did and they were wed. Jack became well known enough that some big names in the comedy club business started looking his way and offering him full time jobs, and he eventually accepted the best offer, the Yak in Gotham City. The move was one of the best things to happen to both Jack and his wife, they were excited at what future they had there.
When Jack’s wife got pregnant, he really had to stop and think if their current position was suited for their future child, so he made some options for himself. Finish college, go to a tech school, pursue acting, or take comedy to the next level. He decided to try and get some wider recognition with his stand up by targeting popular figures and attempting to go viral on Youtube, and it worked. The amount of people that watch his videos doubled the amount of people making a point of seeing him in Gotham. He did what he had to from there, get more ridiculous and invasive about more people. In the midst of this plan for fame, Jack was diagnosed with the skin altering disease vitiligo. It started out mild, and mostly in areas under clothing. Eventually splotches of white skin appeared on his face and neck, but this did not stop him, in fact he used it to his advantaged and carried forward.
Jack got a nationwide tour and had a winning routine planned and ready to go. The first night revealed his main target, Gotham Mayor candidate Harvey Dent. The problem for Mr. Dent was that the jokes he was making were based on true scandals that had already surfaced and even some that Jack himself had researched, from some of his conspiracy theory contacts. Normally such “here-say” wouldn’t catch anyone’s attention, but Jack was getting pretty big by this point and was openly mocking Dent and airing out his dirty laundry. This was something Dent could not allow, so he sent some men out to shake Jack.
He was kidnapped and blind folded. When the mask was taken off of his head, he found himself in a room with a few big guys, he knew exactly what was going on. They told him to change his routine, or there will be hell to pay. Jack laughs in their face, and mockingly tells them to do their worst, cracking jokes the entire time. Eventually they start beating Jack, in the face, in the side, knocking him over in his chair. After a good 3 minutes, they take a break, and sit Jack back up. He’s not speaking, he’s almost crying in pain. The lead thug chuckles, “No more jokes, funny boy? That’s what I thought. I don’t want to leave you on such sour note, though. How about this? Let’s put a smile on your face!” With that he pulls out a knife and cuts his face from the corners of his mouth up to his ears on both sides.
The take the screaming and bleeding comedian to the local hospital and throw him out of the car on to the side walk in front of the ER. Eventually word was sent to his wife where he was, and she rushed over to find Jack in terrible shape, with his face almost completely bandaged. After 3 days he was allowed to go home, the tour being cancelled. When his stitches on his face were revealed, Jack could tell his wife was bothered by his appearance, but he kept silent. After a few days he noticed she was becoming more and more closed off to him.
One night, on their way back from the hospital for a check up, Jack brings up the issue, and she starts to deny it. It eventually grows into a full blown fight and the truth came out. She was disgusted by Jack now, and she didn’t want her child to grow up with a monster for a Daddy. This shut Jack up, cut him deep. Just as she turned her head in shame, their car got t-boned by a large pick-up truck not paying attention to the stop sign. Jack’s car rolls twice before landing back on it’s wheels. He stammers out of the car, trying to grasp what just happened, he’s met by the pick-up driver who was in shock, but not hurt at all. Jack ignores him and realizes his wife was with him and darts to the passenger side. She was killed on impact. The driver was hysterical, yelling, crying, apologizing. Jack slumps down and sits leaning against his wrecked car. He drops his head while the driver carries on, unsure what to do and completely remorseful. Jack starts laughing, slowly and deeply, then stands up, head down, laughter building. He then speaks up, as if he just had an epiphany, explaining that life is 100% random and unfair. There’s nothing you can do to control what will happen at any given moment, but rather just live for what you have, and do whatever you want. He’s explaining this while laughing, in between chuckles. He then puts his hands on the drivers shoulders, looks him in the eyes and says, “And today, you killed my wife and unborn child, accidentally, but killed none-the-less. You were lucky enough to come out unscratched from the accident, but unlucky that I didn’t!” And with a screech of laughter he knees the driver in the stomach, grabs his head, and smashes it on a piece of broken car, killing him instantly.
This is the moment when Jack Napier starts his campaign to liberate society from the crippling organization that is democracy by revealing to all peoples that the attempt to organize the randomness of life is not only impossible, but it is also allows for the destruction of the very freedom that America lives and dies for.
Barbara Gordon was raised in a standard American family; Mom, Dad, Brother. James Gordon, her father, works as commissioner at Gotham PD. Working as a police officer most of his career, and especially after time spent in Gotham, did not want any of his children do be apart of that system as he spends most of his time fighting evil in the system as well as out. Barbara is the oldest, and a Daddy’s Girl through and through. He trained her in basic self defense, shooting, and enrolled her in a few martial arts classes along with gymnastics. Growing up Barb would be more of a tom-girl, but always knew she could out do most women if she really wanted to.
She spent her free time reading mystery novels, researching government news, conspiracy theories, and anything else having to do with the fight for good. With her interests go spy, cop, mystery, and investigative shows and movies. With her father’s strong push to stay out of the law system, she enrolled in college with a degree in psychology, although unsure how to use it, let alone what she really wanted to do in the future.
Rumors of a Batman had been spreading since she was in high school; mostly reports on news stations retold by kids, even retold mockingly by her father. It wasn’t until images of a new vigilante, the Robin, surfaced that she knew a Batman had to exist as well. Being wary of the dangerous night streets of Gotham, Barbara searched wearing a bullet proof vest, a mask, a cap, and toting self-defense/non-lethal weapons, Barbara decided to hit the streets in search of these mysterious fighters. Her enthusiasm and interest in the Batman legends were so obvious that she received the nickname “Batgirl”, and decided to keep it after finding Batarangs in alleys and learning how to use them. She even painted the symbol on her vest, to show affiliation with the myth, keeping possible muggers at bay.
She manages to see the Robin in action, but, watching from afar, saw that he was not alone. After he finished apprehending the criminals, he stopped and looked in her direction, letting her know that he was hip to her game. Eventually she did make contact with Robin, and even played an “Oracle” role for him a few times, feeding him information in the midst of battle. Due to the dangerous nature of the job, and the necessity of discretion, a meeting with the Batman would not be until much later, after proving her usefulness in the tracking of up and coming villain. She never does get fully accepted into the “Bat” family, however.
As we left off, Bruce Wayne had accepted the role as Gotham’s Batman to help fight evil and crime, unfortunately illegally. While investigating a well known, yet mysterious, businessman and millionaire Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot, Bruce finds that the “Penguin’s” operations aren’t centralized in Gotham. This forced him to go to Las Vegas for some paparazzi time to cover his Batman investigations. Enter Richard Grayson.
Born into a family of entertainers, Dick has learned many skills (acrobatics, break dancing, music, drawing and painting), developed many talents (singing, rapping, dancing), and has seen the better part of the world. Due to his fondness as a baby to the song “Rocking Robin”, a family nickname was born. Robin’s parents, the Flying Graysons, were highly talented performers with no real specialty other than managing and producing others. In order for Mr. and Mrs. Grayson to start their own traveling show, money was needed, and, unfortunately, borrowed from the Italian Mafia after greatly impressing a member at a show in Venice, Italy. By the time Robin was 10, and well a part of their show, a new Don rose to power who did not have the same fondness and respect for the Graysons. After being refused an illegal “favor”, an accidental stage explosion and fire killed a great number of the cast and workers, including Robin’s parents.
When sent to an orphanage in Southern California, Dick decided that no one will call him by Robin again, and continued practicing the arts he was taught. When brought into a good foster home, he continued to expand his repertoire with martial arts. By 13 it was clear that Dick was going to be a large, athletic man, and he set his sights on joining a new Vegas action/stunt show, Electric. With full support of his foster family, Dick was able to join the show as a permanent cast member by 14. Unbeknownst to Dick, Electric was owned by the Penguin and used to control a large portion of the drug and high-class prostitution in the city.
Bruce spent his days casino hopping down the Vegas strip, living it up for the cameras while following leads on his Penguin investigation. At night he would “club hop” for an hour or so, but then disappear so that he can roam and explore as the Batman. Upon narrowing his search down to Electric, as Bruce he used his power to go back stage and “hang” with the cast, Dick being one of them. Interested in dismantling illegal organizations, Dick had no shame in revealing to Bruce what he found strange about how the show was run.
When Batman infiltrates the show’s production building, he find’s Dick there, thinking he was apart of the crime, but didn’t realize he was doing work on his own. They end up fighting together, and used Dick to expose the crimes Electric was apart of. The next day, once the closing of Electric was made public, Bruce offers Dick a better life and future as his foster parent.
During the first year of Dick’s stay with Bruce, he started to notice his odd way of life, and some “inconsistencies” with his public persona versus his demeanor at home. When he was starting to catch on to his Batman nightlife, he decided to follow in his own make-shift costume. While following Bruce, he saw his target group of criminals. Due to his stature, Dick jumped right into the middle of the fight, keeping all attention on him. Bruce took advantage of the criminal’s distraction and worked from the shadows, picking them off with much more ease. After the fight, Dick looks to the shadows and reveals who he is and that he know’s Bruce’s secret.
Instead of trying to keep hardheaded Dick from fighting with him, he decides to allow his addition to the team. Because Batman is more of a myth and legend than fact, they used Dick as the spotlight crime fighter. He wears read and uses the name Robin. Finding the name Robin to not be quite as intimidating as Batman, he later changes his name to Nightwing, and eventually changes his suit colors to black and red. Dick is 16 by the time he starts fighting with Bruce.
In light of the DC comics redesigns, and the new Spider-Man introduced in the Marvel universe, I have
been pondering my own revisitations of superheros. I start today with the Batman. I wanted to take all superheros and reinvent them in today’s society as far style, race, meaning, and purpose go, keeping in mind their socio-economic status.
Bruce Wayne is the son of Thomas and Martha Wayne. Thomas was born in America, but his father moved to Gotham as a young business man from China, looking to solidify business with America. Being raised with the importance of his Chinese culture and heritage, he made sure that he raised Bruce with the knowledge and history of his Chinese background without separating him from his American one as well. After the Waynes were killed in front of him as a boy, Alfred continued his duties given to him by Mr. and Mrs. Wayne of protecting and raising young Bruce, as well as serving the boy in his best interest. Alfred kept Bruce in his various lessons; fencing, music, his various martial arts practices, and other things that rich kids do.
As a teenager Bruce decided to use his inherited money to pursue a life of vigilante crime fighting. He came up with a suit made especially for stealth. With his money, he was able to have body armor made light enough to allow flexibility, but strong enough to stop bullets. He’ll wear a helmut for protection, with a reflective exterior. The features of the inside of the helmut allow for night vision, built in heat sensor, voice changing technologies, even the ability to make phone calls and mute audio output.
The suit will have some advanced technology as well, for instance the gloves will also serve as electronic keys to vehicles, grappling hook, and other gadgets. There would also be enough electricity generated in the fingers to use as a “stun gun” on people as needed as well as use of magnetism for bullet reflection and disarming enemies.
The amount of gadgets the Batman carries will be limited to the space made in his utility belt, making better use of his surroundings. He recognizes that he is human and will be very careful with that humanity by using stealth and non-fatal weapons; smoke bombs, blinding flashes, etc.
This is the Batman I will base the rest of the characters on. Stay tuned for more designs and more characters.