30 Day DC Challenge – Day 20: Favorite alternate version of a DC superhero

The Batman Who Laughs

Two words “Jokerized Batman.” You really can’t go wrong with that. If you been following this challenge then you know Batman is my favorite DC superhero and the Joker is my favorite villain, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that I love the “Batman Who Laughs.” Created by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, the Batman Who Laughs hopes to assist Barbatos (a Dark God), in “plunging the entire Multiverse into darkness.” He also wants to kill the Justice League, infect Gotham City with Dark Matter and end all life. He has managed to end life on Earth-22. Before becoming the Batman Who Laugh, he was the Batman of Earth-22. He was kidnapped and drugged by the Joker. The Joker went on to destroy Gotham, kill Jim Gordon (by dissolving him in acid), blew up several Gotham City buildings all while Batman watched.

Enraged, Batman broke free. He brutally beat the Joker and snapped his neck. A “nano-toxin” began to seep out of his mouth, resulting in Batman breathing it in. Even though the Joker managed to get Batman to “break his one rule,” Batman refused to become like him. In the Batcave, Superman tells Batman that one of the Jokerized children tore on of the doctors throats out, Batman laughs. The toxin slowly changes Bruce’s mind, becoming more and more Joker like. He eventually snaps killing the Bat Family with machine guns, then killing the Justice League (except Superman). After destroying most of the world, Batman meets Barbatos. He informs Batman about the “nature of the Dark Multiverse,” and asked him find his counterparts to form the Dark Knights.

When they arrive on Prime Earth, the Batman Who Laughs take over Gotham. He gives several of Batman’s enemies cards made of “Cosmic Metallurgy.” Theses cards allowed the supervillain to alter reality. They use these cards to take over parts of different areas of Gotham. The Batman Who Laughs thinks more like the Joker but with the logical aspects that made Batman so great. Basically Batman with the morals of the Joker. He’s brilliant, sadistic and arrogant. He believes he always can win against his enemies. He has all the training of the Batman from Earth Prime, knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of all the villains and superheros in DC. The Batman Who Laughs combines the two most influential characters in DC, Batman and the Joker, creating one of the most deadly villains in DC comics.

Source: villains.fandom.com

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30 Day DC Challenge – Day 19: Favorite Canon DC Pairing

Black Canary & Green Arrow

Black Canary (Dinah Laurel Lance) was a founding member of the Justice League of America, where she meet Green Arrow (Oliver “Ollie” Queen). Their friendship became romantic and when Arrow quit the League to work in Star City, she joined him. Together the engaged in heroics, defeating Sinestro and helping Speedy with his withdrawal from drug addiction. When Green Arrow accidentally killed a civilian, he abandoned his Green Arrow persona and left Star City. When Black Canary was badly injured and in dire need of a blood transfusion, Ollie was located at an isolated monastery. He was willing to return home only after being told of that Canary’s life was in danger. Later, they setup a flower shop called Sherwood Florist, while continuing to fight crime. About to turn 43, Oliver wanted to marry Black Canary and have children.

However, Dinah decided against it, citing their dangerous life. Black Canary was kidnapped by a drug dealer, tortured and rendered unable to use her “Canary Cry,” and have children. In response, Green Arrow killed the man. They would eventually break up after she caught him kissing their assistant Marianne. However, they would eventually marry. Unfortunately, it didn’t last, as their marriage ended after the end of “Fall of Green Arrow.” Black Canary and Green Arrow personalities are polar opposites. Arrow can be ill-tempered and Black Canary is more reasonable. They even share the same rare blood type. Like many comic book characters they have been subjected to the whims of various writers. Due to rectons, altering their relationship many times. Regardless, their relationship feels real, especially because their both superheroes.

30 Day DC Challenge – Day 18: Hero with the best set of Villains?


This was a contest between the villains of Batman and Superman. To choose which of the class of villains I preferred I wrote a list of the top ten (in my opinion) villains for each of them. Then I compared each villain to another on the other lists. Superman’s villains won by 6-4. My choices are in bold:

  • The Joker /Lex Luther
  • The Riddler /Darkseid
  • Two-Face /Brainiac
  • The Penguin /General Zod
  • Catwoman /Parasite
  • Bane /Bizzaro
  • Mr. Freeze /Toyman
  • Killer Croc /Lobo
  • Scarecrow /Mongul
  • Poison Ivy /Metallo

So won do you think has the best villains, Superman or Batman? Does another DC hero have better ones? Let me know.

30 Day DC Challenge – Day 17: Favorite quote from a DC character

There are far too many different quotes from DC characters to limit to just one, so I’m going to list my favorites. Searching around the internet I stumbled upon an article on the MIT Technology Review. Titled, The Secret Science of Memorable Quotes, several researchers, Cristian Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil from Cornell University, studied what made lines memorable. They studied around “1,000 movies and compared them against other lines of a similar length spoken by the same character at about the same point in the film.” Memorable phrases are shown to “made up of combinations of words that are unlikely to appear in the corpus.” They also tend to use “pronouns, indefinite article a instead of the, and verbs in the past rather present tense. This results in making the phrases “general rather than specific.” It’s a good read, check it out.


So when you find yourself locked onto an unpleasant train of thought, heading for the places in your past where the screaming is unbearable, remember there’s always madness. Madness is the emergency exit.

The Joker

I can speak 17,897 galactic languages an’ I got no idea what yer talkin’ about!

Lobo

I was going to say… that a great many interesting and powerful people have stood exactly where you are right now… and they made the same mistake of taking my empathy for weakness. 

Kal-El (Prime Earth)

Take a good look Bruce. What do you see? You’ve never fought someone with all your training. Your discipline. See it yet? I’m not him in a batsuit. I’m you. You. How you are supposed to be without the codes. Without the rules. Except one. BATMAN. ALWAYS. WINS.

The Batman Who Laughs

30 Day DC Challenge – Day 16: Favorite DC Villain Team

Art by Alex Ross

Legion of Doom

The Legion of Doom is considered the premiere opposition of the Justice League. My first introduction to the Legion of Doom was in the Superfriends series. Superfriends was just a more kid friendly version of the Justice League. The team is often created by Lex Luthor. It generally features villains, Gorilla Grodd, Brainiac, Sinestro, Bizarro, Toyman, Riddler, Scarecrow, Cheetah, Black Manta, Captain Cold, Solomon Grundy and Giganta. Most of the members weren’t used in the Superfriends series, and because it was a kids show the Legion of Doom didn’t do anything too terrible. Even my favorite villain, the Joker has been part of the Legion of Doom. It didn’t end well. In Justice League #13, the Joker gases many of the Legion. He leaves them as laughing lunatics after Lex’s betrayal. He reverses the gas effects, but ends his time with the Legion.

The Legion was updated in the Justice League Unlimited series. The new Legion featured more members. It was more like a “supervillain union” that would aid other villains with criminal activities in exchange of a cut of their profits. This version of the Legion of Doom was lead by Gorilla Grodd, but Lex Luthor started a revolt. He did so because Grodd was plotting to turn humanity into apes. After Lex took over, he use the Legion to gain power for himself. This resulted in another revolt, with several members siding with Luthor and others sided with Grodd. Luthors foolish attempt to resurrect Brainiac, resulted in Darkseid being reborn instead. He repaid them by destroying the Hall of Doom. The Legion joined forces with the Justice League to defeat Darkseid and the Apokoliptain forces. Batman gave them a “five minute head start before the League attempted to capture them,” as payment for their help.

30 Day DC Challenge – Day 15: Which character would you Love to see get Their Own Movie or Show

The Question

Like most of the non-mainstream DC superheroes, I was exposed to The Question in the Justice League Unlimited series. He was created by Steve Ditko and first appeared in 1985. He was later revamped by Dennis O’Neil and Denys Cowan in 1987. He was once again changed by Sean Ryan and Jeremy Roberts. In the Justice League, he first makes an appearance in the episode “Fearful Symmetry.” In that episode, the Question, along with Supergirl and Green Arrow, investigates the odd dreams of Supergirl. The Question doesn’t have any superhuman powers, but he’s highly intelligent.

He wore a Pseudoderm mask, that was bonded to his skin and could change the color of his hair and clothing. He’s characterized in Justice League as a self aware, conspiracy theorist with a sense of humor. In the episode, “Question Authority,” he shows that he’s willing to kill Lex Luther in order to protect Superman’s legacy. In the same episode, he’s proves highly resistant to torture. He’s the inspiration for the more famous Rorschach from the Watchmen series. The Question is an odd character but one that I think worthy of his own series.

Source: Comicvine

30 Day DC Challenge -Day 14: Favorite Animated DC Show

Justice League Unlimited

As I stated previously, most of the superheroes of DC aren’t well known. In Justice League Unlimited (JLU) the size of the league is increased at least by 50. Most of the episodes focused on a small group heroes trying to solve a situation. Heroes like Captain Atom, Green Arrow, The Question and Booster Gold were introduced to a larger audience. I chose JLU over the Batman: Animated Series largely because it expanded my understanding of the DC Universe. A direct sequel to Justice League, JLU debuted on July 31, 2004 and ended May 13, 2006. JLU is well animated, balances humor with action and is generally when written. Some of my favorite episodes:


Episode 03: Kids Stuff

Loosely based on the DC Comic event, JLA: World Without Grown Ups, Morgaine le Fey transforms Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern into children, after her son Mordred uses his magic to send adults to another dimension. Seeing these superheros as children is as fun as you might think.

Episode 07: The Greatest Story Never Told

This introduced me to Booster Gold. As the Justice League battle Mordru, the narrative focuses on Booster as he attempts to close a black hole, when he’s suppose to be doing crowd control. This episode has to be the funnies in the series.

Episode 11: Wake the Dead

Three high school kids use chaos magic to attempt to get revenge on their bullies. Instead they resurrect Solomon Grundy. Without his memories and more powerful, Grundy goes on a rampage. Doctor Fate, Amazo, Aquaman, Superman, Green Lantern and Hawkgirl face-off against him.

Episode 16: The Doomsday Sanction

Superman battles Doomsday, while Batman uncovers a Cadmus conspiracy to destroy the Justice League. It’s should be obvious why this episode was good.

Episode 35: Grudge Match

Roulette uses the women of the Justice League as combatant in her all-female fight called “Glamour Slam.” This episode is one of my favorites largely because we get to see Wonder Woman fight Huntress, Black Canary, Vixen and Hawkgirl. It’s brief, but great.

Episode 39: Destroyer

This is the series finally. The Justice League and the Secret Society team up to fight against an invasion by Darkseid. Lex Luther, Batman and Superman take on Darkseid directly, with Superman finally releasing his full powers.

Source: Wikipedia

30 Day DC Challenge -Day 13: Favorite Animated DC Movie

All Star Superman

I’ve stated that I find Superman to be a dull hero. Early seasons of Smallville focused on when Superman was a teen which I think was when he was (in my opinion) the most interesting. Regardless, some writers have manage to tell interesting Superman stories. Grant Morrison’s All-Star Superman is one such story. I didn’t read the comic, but did watch the animated version. Generally, I watch animated DC movies out of habit. Some are good other aren’t. I didn’t have too much expectation from this movie, but I enjoy it. Released in 2011, All-Star Superman follows Superman after he becomes even more powerful after an encounter with the sun. However, he starts dying due to radiation poisoning. This is suppose to be the final adventure before Superman dies.

Superman engages in a series of challenges similar to the 12 Labors of Hercules. He reveals his secret identity to Lois Lane. At the Fortress of Solitude, a series of robots concoct a serum that give Lois superpowers for a day. He arm wrestles Atlas and Samson, saves Lois from the Ultra-Sphinx. The animated version isn’t exactly like it’s source material, but it’s a pretty good adaptation. When choosing what to adapt, it’s important to choose carefully. What do you put in, what do you leave out and will you change anything. All Star Superman makes many good choices. One of the most memorable parts of the movie was a scene where Superman as Clark Kent, has to save Lex Luther from the Parasite while maintaining his identity.

Despite the fact that I generally find Superman stories uninteresting, this was one time in which I was proving wrong. While accepting his death, Superman became more human. All Star Superman undermined my expectations. It was funny, clever, and generally entertaining. If Superman stories were more often like this one, I think I would like him more. Finally, the animation was well done, it’s not terrible detailed but that’s fine. If you haven’t seen All Star Superman, I highly recommend it.

30 Day DC Challenge -Day 12: Favorite DC Live Action Movie

Tom Welling as Clark Kent

Smallville

Smallville was a television based on Superman. The series focused on Clark Kent (Tom Welling) as he grows up in the fiction town of Smallville, Kansas. The series was meant to explore Clark Kent before he became Superman. The first four seasons focused on Clark and his friends during high school. The series later pivoted to Clark in adulthood, his career at the Daily Planet and his transformation into Superman. Created by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, Smallville was pitched with a “no tights, no flights,” rule. The series was well received. The pilot episode had 8.4 million viewers, the series averaged 4.34 million viewers. When it ended it had set the record for “the longest-running North American science-fiction series by episode count.”

The first few seasons saw Clark develop his iconic powers. Smallville is said to have 3 chapters. The first chapter is considered to be seasons (1-4), focusing on his high school years. Chapter 2, seasons (5-7) sees Clark begin to master his abilities and Lex Luthor begins to turn towards evil. Characters like Brainiac and Bizarro are introduced. The final chapter is known as, ” The Final Trials of Clark Kent.” Doomsday, General Zod and Darkseid are introduced, as are the Justice League. Kryptonite was used as a common plot device. It had a negative effect on humans, resulting in the person mutating or going insane. This resulted in the series having a “freak of the week.” This was mostly used during the first season.

The series also used different colored kryptonite. Green Kryptonite causes Clark to become “physically weak” and can potentially kill him. Red Kryptonite causes him to become a moral and given into his dark impulses. Black Kryptonite splits Clark into two beings himself and a darker Kal-El. With Silver Kryptonite causes him paranoia, Blue Kryptonite removes his abilities and Gold Kryptonite can cause permanent damage or removed his powers all together. Personally, I liked the series up until the fifth one. I lost interest in the series after it started tell more familiar stories from the comics. I preferred the years before Clark Kent was an adult, seeing him become the hero was simple more interesting. Generally, I don’t think of Superman as being an interesting hero, but as a teen he was.

30 Day DC Challenge -Day 11: Favorite DC Live Action Movie

The Dark Knight (2008)

The Dark Knight was a directed, co-produced and co-written by Christopher Nolan. It’s the second installment in Nolan’s Batman trilogy. In the film, Batman, Lieutenant Gordon and DA Harvey Dent attempt to stop organised crime in Gotham. The Joker has teamed up with the Mob in order to cause chaos. Nolan was inspired by the graphic novel The Killing Joke (1988) and limited series The Long Halloween (1996). The movie was very well received. Many film critics considered The Dark Knight to be one of the greatest superhero films of all time. It became the highest grossing film of 2008 with over a billion worldwide. It received 8 Academy Awards nominations, winning Best Sound Editing and Best Supporting Actor (Ledger).

It is this performance by Ledger that made The Dark Knight the best. Generally, acting in superhero movies doesn’t matter that much. Are you believable enough as the superhero your portraying is largely the standard. Ledger’s performance as the Joker was amazing. His physical movements and voice were perfect. Instead of having skin that was the result of chemical bleaching, Ledger’s Joker wore makeup. His Joker had a now trademark Glasgow smile. The makeup appears to have been put on chaotically, which accurately represents the Joker’s mental state. Ledger stated that he had used A Clockwork Orange‘s Alex (Malcolm McDowell) and Sid Vicious as inspiration for the Joker. He also used Alan Moore’s Batman: The Killing Joke and Grant Morrison’s Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth.

In Heath Ledger’s diary he wrote of the Joker, “inside. He’s laughing red and black and red and black till there’s nothing left to laugh. Until, almost tenderly, he turns inside out through his mouth.” If you have read this challenge you know that the Joker is my favorite villain. This performance was masterfully crafted and it shows. If you haven’t seen it I highly recommend it (you can stream it on Netflix), while I think this performance of the Joker is the reason this is the best, the rest of the movie is good.