Thursday, January 13, 2011

Playing Favorites excerpts, pt 02

Every Tuesday and Thursday, I post excerpts from my best-selling at not-selling super blog, Playing Favorites.

The Midnighter and Jenny Sparks are both from The Authority, specifically, the first run of the series written first by Warren Ellis, then later by Mark Millar. Jenny Sparks was a cranky, British chain-smoker who also happened to be the Spirit of the 20th Century, which enabled her to manipulate electricity, live to be around 100 (give or take), and save the world a dozen or so times. The Midnighter is gritty cyborg Batman, if gritty cyborg Batman realized that criminals are more scared of the implied sodomy of a BDSM theme than bats. He also saves the world.

Booster Gold is a washed-up football player from the future who traveled to the present to seek fame and fortune as a superhero with technology and information from the future. He’s often teamed up with the Blue Beetle because they form a wacky hijinks plus reluctant pushover dynamic that you’d probably recognize from House/Wilson and Deadpool/Cable.

Damian Wayne is the vat-born offspring or Bruce Wayne and Talia Al-Ghul. He’s a bit of a dick, but as someone who grew up in the care of The League of Assassins, he’s pretty handy in a fight. He’s still getting the hang of the ‘hero’ part of superheroics.

Katie Kane is
the current Batwoman. Katie Kane is a former US Military Academy cadet whose life of self-destruction was halted when she saw Batman looming over her. She used her stepmother’s fortune to become something greater, and truer to herself.

Steve Rogers is Captain America. Ultimate Captain America is often a representative of perceptions of US militarism. He ignores the more compassionate, main stream portrayals of Captain America and tends to die from gunshot wounds a lot less (though he still comes back from the dead at about the same rate).

Cloud 9 was a cadet from The Initiative, an effort by the government to register and train superheroes to use their powers responsibly. Able to create clouds that she and others can fly on, Cloud 9 went from an awkward, idealistic young woman to a veteran superhero over the course of Dan Slott’s run on the book.

Batman. One time, around the time that Superman was getting married, Bruce Wayne went to Southeast Asia to investigate rumors of a drug cartel. He was captured, but managed to get the cartel leader chick to fly him to America because he promised to marry her. On final approach, he kung-fu-ed everyone on the flight, landed the plane, and still had time to fret over his marriage to Clark. No, wait. That was Lois Lane. On their honeymoon, Clark was conveniently unpowered (what can I say, it was a Tuesday.) so when they got abducted by yet more drug dealers, drug dealers with their own submarine no less, it was Lois who went sub-Under Siege on their asses and recovered Clark. It was like a World’s Finest story arc with less X-Ray vision (okay, the same X-Ray vision, but fewer batarangs [my memory is fuzzy, but there may have LL-erangs]). That is the Lois I’m talking about.

Black Panther. If you don’t know who Black Panther is, he is usually the King and Champion of Wakanda, the technologically advanced hidden country in Africa, who took a tribal herb to give him superhuman agility, strength, reflexes, etc., and fights crime with magic, technology, and intelligence. Why would a king and entire arm of a country’s national defense fight crime? Because comics.

Side note: 4 females, 2 centenarians(depending on Captain America’s age), 2 minors, 1 super minor (Booster Gold’s age is technically negative), 2 homosexuals, and 2 non-US citizens. This is one hell of a balanced ticket, folks.

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