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Hidden 3 yrs ago 3 yrs ago Post by GreenGrenade
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GreenGrenade Web Slingin'

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B A T M A N
32 Bruce Wayne Hero



“My parents taught me a lesson, lying on this street, shaking in deep shock... dying for no reason at all. They showed me that the world only makes sense when you force it to.

[ ߜ ] A F F I L I A T I O N S
Wayne Enterprises

The League of Shadows (formerly)

[ ߜ ] T A L E N T S
Detective, martial artist, acrobat, driver, computer specialist, etc. He's Batman.

[ ߜ ] O R I G I N
1 9 8 4 - 1 9 9 8 // I N N O C E N C E D I E S

Thomas and Martha Wayne’s second son, Bruce was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, privy to the perks afforded by his father’s corporate giant, Wayne Enterprises. Living on the outskirts of Gotham City in his family’s manor, he was often left alone with his older brother, Thomas Jr., and butler, Alfred Pennyworth, as his parents attended to such things that the lives of wealthy philanthropic socialites demanded of them. While one would think that being raised under such privileged conditions would guarantee that a child grew into little more than a spoilt brat, this was not the case for either of the Wayne brothers. Thomas Sr. and Martha were not your typical members of high society, planting their roots deep within Gotham’s foundations; Thomas, a renowned physician and surgeon, ran a large number of free clinics throughout the city’s most impoverished neighbourhoods, and Martha, having developed a strong social conscience in her youth, fought hard for Gotham’s children through her many charity events, giving the proceeds to any orphanages in need, all while campaigning for the gentrification of neighbourhoods such as the Narrows and East End. With such devotion to their fellow man, Thomas and Martha hoped to instil into their children values that would see them use their affluence to help those who were less fortunate.

Unfortunately, a life in which the two brothers could be raised by their parents was snatched away from them, be it by the cruel hands of fate or simply harsh circumstance, one cold night out at the theatre. Cornered in the place that would become known as Crime Alley, Bruce, age eight, and Tommy, age thirteen, watched as a common criminal shot their parents dead.

Custody of the brothers fell to Alfred, as per Thomas Sr.’s will, the older man struggling to coax the young Waynes of their mournful states; neither their therapist, Leslie Thompkins, or Bruce’s best friend, Thomas Elliot, could get more than a few words out of them. Worried about their increasingly antisocial behaviour, Alfred nonetheless relented, hoping that when Thomas and Martha’s killer was arrested, Bruce and Tommy might find some semblance of closure. And so he waited for the day that he would turn on the television and see the headline, “WAYNE KILLER BROUGHT TO JUSTICE,” but when the months continued to pass without any such news, Alfred all but gave up, fearing that he might lose the boys forever – but then they came to him. Bruce and Thomas knew of Alfred’s past – tales of his achievements while serving in Her Majesty’s Royal Marines and the MI6 were among their favourites – and they wanted him to train them, under the pretence of wanting a productive way to channel their anger, and while this wasn’t entirely untrue, it became clear that, as Alfred began to run out of things to teach them, that they had a larger plan in the works.

As their tutelage moved from Alfred to others, such as the world-famous boxer, Ted Grant, the boys started to drop their guardian hints as to what they were plotting, before telling him outright: they had vowed to avenge their parents’ deaths, and to see that Gotham’s criminal element, who struck so much fear into the hearts of the public, would have something to fear of their own. And so it was that Bruce and Tommy, fourteen and nineteen, left Gotham, marking the beginning of their worldwide trek as they trained under the world’s greatest martial artists, scholars, escape artists and strategists, the public believing that they were taking nothing more than an extensive trip around the world.

2 0 0 6 - 2 0 1 0 // T H E L E A G U E O F S H A D O W S

It was during the final years of Bruce and Tommy’s training that they found themselves in Nanda Parbat, stepping into the secretive world of the League of Shadows. Eight years had passed since they left Gotham, and they had learned a lot; gone were the helpless boys that watched their parents die in front of them – they were different now. They were capable.

They were greeted by the end of a sword as they entered the ancient halls of the League’s temple. To say that it was an organisation shrouded in mystery was an understatement, as its agents proceeded with the utmost caution, unable to believe that Westerners, Americans at that, knew of the League, and not only that, but its whereabouts, too. But after a test of their skills, Ra’s al Ghul, the Demon’s Head himself, deemed the brothers worthy, marking the beginning of their first years of League training – especially impressed when they name dropped one Henri Ducard. During their stay, Bruce and Tommy underwent a rigorous four years of training in the way of the assassin, preparing for their final test before their official induction: their first kill. It was around this time that Bruce developed a friendship with Ra’s’ daughter, Talia, soon spiralling into a fledgling romance that provided him with an anchor for much of his time there.

Four years later, Bruce returned to Gotham, alone.

Alfred welcomed him with open arms, doing the best he could to keep vultures – the most persistent among them, Victoria Vale of Gotham City News – from prying too deep into Bruce’s time away. He was surprised to see the youngest Wayne deflect their questions with expert charm and off-handedness, fitting into the role of the irresponsible playboy as easily as if he’d been raised by the Queens.

While Alfred was glad to see Bruce back home in good health, there was always one question on the tip of his tongue, one he was desperate to find an answer for: where’s Thomas? But no matter how much he wanted to know, Bruce had made it clear that he didn’t want to talk about it. The matter was dropped, and that was that – but Alfred wasn’t stupid. Something had happened between the brothers.

Gotham was not in a good state. Ever since Thomas Sr. and Martha’s deaths, the city had spiralled into chaos. Its officials reeked of corruption, and criminals, emboldened by the Waynes’ passing, expanded their operations well beyond their original scope – Gotham was now in their control. On the throne sat Carmine “the Roman” Falcone, uniting Gotham’s crime families under one banner: that of the Roman Empire. Falcone himself controlled half of the Upper East Side and the Bowery; the Maronis the other half, along with the rest of the Narrows; the Bertinellis seized the Upper West Side and Tricorner, while the Cobblepots had control of the Diamond and City Hall Districts, as well as Old Gotham.

Incensed, Bruce immediately began preparing for his mission, largely leaving his newfound responsibilities in Wayne Enterprises to its deputy CEO, William Earle. Donning a balaclava and tactical gear, he began striking the Empire where it hurt – barely escaping with his life each time. Recalling something Ra’s had taught him and Tommy early on, Bruce went to Lucius Fox, head of WayneTech, a different plan forming in his head. “Theatricality and deception are powerful agents.”

On the 27th of May, 2010, rumours of a bat-like terror shook Gotham’s underworld as the Roman Empire began sustaining crippling blows.

The Batman was born.

2 0 1 0 // Y E A R O N E

Bruce’s mission was underway, but it was far from easy. Falcone had many assets, one of them, Commissioner Loeb; as head of the GCPD, it was guaranteed that a SWAT team would be on Bruce’s trail, trying their hardest not to bring him in, but to shoot him dead. However, not all in Gotham’s law enforcement saw him in a hostile light, one being Lieutenant James Gordon, a veteran on the force for more than a decade. Jim viewed Batman as his only ally against the mob, and in turn, Bruce saw him as a valuable asset; using a modified Klieg searchlight dubbed as the Batsignal, Gordon summoned Batman whenever he had new intel to share, an arrangement that suited them both just fine.

While the GCPD knew of Batman, the rest of Gotham’s citizenry did not. To the public, he was nothing but a myth, an urban legend, fabricated by the police to scare any who might think to break the law. To any criminal who was not Carmine Falcone, Sal Maroni, Franco Bertinelli or Oswald Cobblepot, he wasn’t a man, but rather, a creature – a beast of terrible vengeance raining hell upon Gotham’s underworld. As far as anyone was concerned, Batman didn’t exist… and Bruce planned to keep it that way.

Within the span of months, he had sent shockwaves throughout the Roman Empire. The Bertinellis had retreated to Italy, Cobblepot had all but disappeared, the Maronis were relying on their only drug operation still underway, and Falcone was scrambling to hold it all together.

With his empire collapsing all around him, Falcone looked for someone to blame. Batman was untouchable; a ghost; making him pay was nothing more than a fantasy. Instead, Falcone turned to the one problematic cop not yet on his payroll: Jim Gordon. Hiring an old associate by the name of Ray Salinger, he rested a little easier knowing that Gordon’s family would soon suffer blows as crippling as his own. Not a night after he gave the order, Barbara Gordon, age thirteen, was kidnapped by the serial killer, Birthday Boy – Salinger’s alter ego.

Jim, in a state of panic he’d never been before, knew that he couldn’t help Barbara, not all by himself. Calling for Batman’s help, Bruce hurried to find his ally’s daughter before it was too late, searching for clues in the Gordons’ apartment and delving into Birthday Boy’s old case files. It wasn’t long before he found what he was looking for. Obsessed with his first victim, Amanda Grant, Salinger would take his victims – all young girls – to her former home, an abandoned mansion in the neighbourhood of Coventry. With a place to look, Bruce and Gordon rushed to save Barbara, bursting into the mansion as Salinger held a knife to her throat. After a brief scuffle, Bruce took the serial killer down – and in his anger, went after Falcone one last time.

The Roman Empire fell in the October of that year. To Alfred, it meant hope that Bruce might abandon his crusade – but Bruce had made it clear. He was just getting started.

As the year drew to a close, Bruce faced an even greater challenge than the Roman Empire: the enigma of the Riddler. Holding the Narrows at ransom, he demanded that Batman undertake a series of trials, or otherwise let the downtrodden neighbourhood suffer an explosive death. Playing to the Riddler’s whims, Bruce participated in potentially lethal “games”, all while trying to deduce Riddler’s location and identity, eventually succeeding. Tracking Riddler down to Gotham’s sewers, Bruce found his identity to being one Edward Nashton, former strategist of Wayne Enterprise’s CEO, William Earle. Bringing him in to the GCPD, Jim took credit for Nashton’s apprehension, further cementing Batman’s status as an urban legend.

2 0 1 1 // T H E D A R K K N I G H T

By the beginning of Batman’s second year, Bruce had garnered three more allies: Detective Harvey Bullock of the GCPD’s Major Crimes Unit, and sibling lawyers, Harvey Dent and his sister, Jessica – an old flame of Bruce’s teens. Of the three, Harvey and Jessica were the most useful; their positions as assistant district attorneys meant that more of the scum Bruce brought in remained locked up. Bullock, on the other hand, though helpful with cases not super in nature, frequently questioned Batman’s methods, challenging him on more than one occasion. Their clashing ideologies saw Bruce avoid Bullock more often than not, only going to him if it was absolutely necessary.

Following the fall of Falcone’s empire and the ordeal with the Riddler, Jim had been promoted to captain of the Central Precinct, granting him access to far more information – and power – than before. Even though Commissioner Loeb was still the ever present anchor of corruption within the GCPD, Jim didn’t let that stop him from helping Batman in any way he could; whereas before it had been an uneasy alliance, after Bruce saved Barbara, Jim not only felt indebted to the vigilante, but a great deal of respect.

New Year’s opened with a spectacular display of flames as the mercenary known as Firefly set fire to a number of locations in Gotham’s Narrows, resulting in over a dozen deaths in total. Equipped with a high-tech suit, he was a dangerous new enemy – but in the end, it wasn’t enough to beat the Batman. Analysing the scorched remains of Firefly’s victims, Bruce was able to identify most of them as former employees of Carmine Falcone, tracking down a survivor, who revealed Firefly to be one Garfield Lynns, former enforcer for Sal Maroni. Batman confronted Lynns in City Hall, besting him just as he was about to kill Commissioner Loeb. Agreeing to testify against Loeb with evidence on his corruption and position in the Roman Empire, Lynns was able to get a shortened sentence at Blackgate Penitentiary with thanks to the Dents, much to Bruce’s chagrin.

With Loeb exposed, the GCPD was in need of a new commissioner, finding one in Jim. His administration saw the department’s relations with Batman grow a little easier; no longer was there a vigilante task force out to get him, but rather a willingness to work with him, something which Bruce was grateful for.

Batman found his next challenge in Killer Croc. Investigating a series of disappearances throughout Gotham’s Upper West Side, all of the evidence pointed Bruce towards the sewers. After a brief time spent searching, he found the remains of the missing persons, gathered in a bloody heap in a makeshift settlement amongst Gotham’s urine and excrement. Too far below ground to contact Alfred, Bruce could do nothing but fight when he was attacked by a hulking mass of green scales and sharpened teeth. The man that he would come to know as Waylon Jones, aka Killer Croc, tore through Bruce’s armour with quick and terrible ferocity, his seemingly impossible strength tearing through the Wayne heir’s flesh like scissors through paper. Weakened and bleeding out, Bruce managed to escape with a well-placed smoke pellet, dragging himself to what Alfred had sardonically dubbed the Batmobile, its autopilot driving him back to his headquarters below Wayne Manor. His injuries far beyond what Alfred could repair, Bruce’s loyal guardian came close to revealing the vigilante’s identity so that he might receive care in hospital – but Bruce had another idea in mind. Communicating through Morse code, he requested that Alfred call in a face from the past: Thomas Elliot, Bruce’s former best friend. Following in his father and Thomas Wayne Sr.’s footsteps, Tom had become a renowned surgeon throughout the East Coast, running Elliot Memorial Hospital in memory of his parents in the Bowery. Arriving at Wayne Manor, Tom was confronted by Bruce’s bloody form. Tending to his former best friend, no lie Alfred told could dissuade him. He remembered what the older man had told him all those years ago when he was fourteen, hoping that he could dissuade Bruce and Tommy Jr. from their mission. Thomas knew. Bruce was the Batman.

Despite Tom’s instructions, Bruce was back in action far sooner than he should have been. Donning an upgraded suit courtesy of Lucius Fox, Batman tracked Killer Croc down, besting him in the ensuing fight. The reptilian man was taken to GCPD lockup, before being committed to Arkham Asylum after pleading insanity in court. Seeing the extents to which Bruce was willing to push himself, Tom made it abundantly clear to his estranged friend that he would no longer be relying on Alfred’s medical expertise – but rather, his own. With Tom enlisted as Batman’s personal medic, Bruce continued his crusade. However, the next time he got injured, in what may be perceived as irony, it wasn’t Tom who gave him aid – it was an elusive woman by the name of Selina Kyle.

Someone was killing the heads of Wayne Enterprises’ competition. The ballistics eluded police – there was no way someone could pull off such accurate shots from such a large distance. The evidence didn’t lie, however, and soon William Earle, CEO of Wayne Enterprises, was under investigation for the murder of four high-profile businessmen.

Upon his return to Gotham, Bruce had done his research on Earle. He knew that the man wasn’t an honest businessman, but he’d kept Wayne Enterprises afloat for all these years, and with Bruce’s focus on Batman, that had to be enough. But this investigation opened Bruce’s eyes, and he started to monitor Earle’s activities, soon finding details of a wire transfer to one Floyd Lawton’s bank account – whose M.O. matched that of the GCPD’s mystery sniper, codename, Deadshot. With Bruce’s knowledge of Lawton’s previous four victims, he concluded that the next was Simon Stagg, head of Stagg Industries. He knew that Stagg was currently residing in a penthouse in the Fashion District, and so Batman scouted out the area, searching for Deadshot’s most probable position. It wasn’t long before he found it. Confronting the sharpshooter before he could pull the trigger, Batman and Lawton engaged in a firefight that spanned entire city blocks, making their way to the Fashion District’s less prestigious, yet still lavish, apartment buildings. Deadshot proved to be an extremely skilled marksman, more than living up to his apparent notoriety – a well placed shot wedged itself between the Batsuit’s chestplates, sending Bruce plummeting to a balcony below. Not waiting to see if his adversary was dead, Lawton fled the scene in fear of being found by the GCPD. When Bruce woke up, he was in a beautiful woman’s bed.

But this wasn’t like other times. Ever since his return to Gotham he had carefully put on a show, maintaining the image of an irresponsible billionaire playboy, like so much of the media seemed to want him to. This would understandably lead him to waking up in women’s beds, or them in his, after a night of agonising social activity. But no. This time, the night had consisted of chasing after a hitman – a hitman that managed to shoot Bruce through his armour, that sent him plummeting onto a balcony, knocking him out cold. A hitman that had inadvertently pushed Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle into each other’s lives.

Selina had patched Bruce up. It was temporary at best, and Bruce had to replace the stitches soon after, but she hadn’t done badly – and with her cat curled in a ball by his side, Bruce awoke early the next day, long before the sun would come up. It didn’t take long for him to notice that his cowl was no longer atop his head, and anger soon boiled out – anger that the headstrong Ms. Kyle shut down with seductive ease. Before she could ask what Bruce Wayne was doing running around in a bat costume, he left, intent on finding Deadshot before he could carry out his contract. He’d deal with Selina later.

When Batman found Deadshot next, he once again stopped him short of pulling the trigger. This time, Bruce made sure to keep the fight up close and personal, unwilling to risk another bullet. As the battle reached its peak, they were joined by a third party – a woman dressed in a cat-like costume, calling herself Catwoman – who Bruce quickly identified as Selina. He was surprised to see her prowess in combat, and with their combined skill, it didn’t take long for them to take Lawton down.

With adrenaline rushing through their system, Bruce and Selina shared a night of passion in her apartment. Though Bruce was not willing to admit it, it was the first time he had truly enjoyed such things since his time with Talia in the League of Shadows. So began Batman and Catwoman’s… complicated relationship.

The next day, Bruce made to deal with Earle, intending to leak evidence of his hiring of Deadshot after confronting the CEO as Batman. However, in accessing Earle’s computer, he saw no trace of the documents that had led him to finding out about Earle and Lawton’s business deal; in questioning the businessman, Earle acted dumb, unwilling to divulge any information. Enraged, Batman vowed that he would bring Earle to justice. It was only a matter of time.

The next Bruce saw of Earle, he wasn’t going after him. He was protecting him. A man going by the moniker of Mr. Freeze had taken those in Wayne Tower hostage, literally covering it in ice with technology that Bruce had never seen before. Batman confronted him, and in doing so learned that his real name was Victor Fries, an expert on cryogenics formerly under employment at WayneTech. He had been fired for using company funds for his own private research; research on how to save the life of Nora, his wife, who was dying from a rare heart condition. Searching for a cure, he had placed her in cryostasis using company equipment to prevent her health from deteriorating. Earle found out about this, and in an act of cruelty that Bruce was beginning to know him for, had ordered the funding for Fries’ projects cut and for Nora to be brought out of stasis. Unwilling to see his work undone and his wife dead, Victor struggled against Earle’s security, resulting in his exposure to his own cryogenic coolants. His body chemistry was significantly altered, leaving him only able to survive at sub-zero temperatures. He escaped unseen, taking Nora with him. Now, Fries had returned to take his vengeance on Earle. It took Batman all he had not to let him.

Earle was an evil man. Bruce knew this. He’d hired a contract killer, and a very expensive one, at that, to get rid of competition, and got rid of all evidence the moment he thought that he could get caught. He’d taken an innocent man – yes, he’d been misusing company funds, but for an innocent cause – and all the research, and the hope, that he had gathered, and ruined them without a second thought. Earle was scum, the very definition of the people Bruce had vowed protect Gotham from. But Victor was also in the wrong; he sought vengeance, not justice, and in doing so was putting innocent people in harm’s way. Bruce had no choice. He confronted Fries with words, trying to avoid a physical conflict. He had no wish to fight him. However, Fries’ hatred for Earle proved too strong to reason against, and the situation devolved into a fight, Bruce only narrowly escaping injury. That night, Victor Fries, alias Mr. Freeze, was taken to Arkham Asylum and punished for his crimes. And with no evidence to incriminate Earle with, there was nothing Bruce could do but watch as the current CEO of his father’s company got off scot-free once again.

2 0 1 2 // Y O U T H

The first item on Bruce’s agenda as 2012 came about was the removal of William Earle from his seat as CEO of Wayne Enterprises. The majority of WE’s board was more than cooperative (Earle had rubbed them the wrong way more than once), so Bruce soon informed Earle of his removal from office personally and with great satisfaction, gladly handing the reins over to Lucius Fox, who had by that time been promoted from Batman’s tech guy to a trustworthy member of Bruce’s inner circle, so far consisting of just himself, Alfred, Lucius and Thomas Elliot. Little did he know that this was the year it would grow by two more members.

In February, tragedy struck Haly’s Circus. A travelling act, the circus’ arrival in Gotham was highly anticipated, as it always was in the past. Bruce had taken Vicki Vale, recently made the host of her very own titular television show, on a date there. As far as he could tell, it was going well – a trio of teenage acrobats were wowing the crowd, and Bruce had to admit, their form was admirable – but then a man clad in red with a golden mask appeared, and chaos erupted. People died. Vicki and Bruce were threatened, the man claiming that they were the very thing that was wrong with Gotham; rich people trampling over the disenfranchised. Bruce managed to fend him off – Anarky, he called himself – chalking it off to self defence training when Vicki later asked. In truth, Bruce didn’t need to use even a fraction of his training; “Anarky” was weak and inexperienced, just a kid by the looks of it. By the time the police arrived, it was over. And one of the teenage acrobats, Richard Grayson, was left alone. Orphaned.

Barely a week after what would become known as the Haly’s Circus Massacre, Bruce took Richard in. Feeling guilty that he couldn’t do more when Anarky attacked, and sympathising with Dick’s situation – in doing his research, he discovered that this was the second time the boy’s family had been taken from him – it felt like the only right thing to do. Dick’s transition into Wayne Manor was awkward, the boy still in mourning for his lost loved ones. Bruce’s busy schedule in both Gotham’s streets and Wayne Enterprises’ boardroom (after what transpired with Earle, he was insistent on being more involved with his company) meant that Dick had to spend the majority of his time alone within the manor’s halls, exploring. One night when browsing through one of its expansive, dust-covered libraries, he stumbled upon something a little out of place – a hidden doorway concealed by a bookshelf, controlled by a singular mechanism: the Mark of Zorro, the original 1924 novelisation of the magazine serial. Walking through the dark corridor it revealed, he descended a seemingly endless set of stairs, walking out into the gigantic expanse of the Batcave, bearing witness to one of Bruce and Barbara’s more intense training sessions. With the two’s suits on display for all to see, everything suddenly made so much more sense to Dick. It wasn’t long before Bruce noticed his presence.

It was only after weeks of persistent badgering that Bruce agreed to train Dick, but even then, he only agreed to the basics, making it clear that he would never allow him to don a mask like himself. However, as Dick progressed in his training – his hand-to-hand combat a particular highlight; his skill in acrobatics contributed to a unique, dynamic style all of his own – both his ability and conviction were made abundantly clear, and Bruce finally relented, providing him with the training he truly sought.

Dick Grayson completed basic training in the August of that year. After undergoing what Bruce called “the Gauntlet”, in which he had to evade Batman for an entire night all while fighting whatever crime he saw, he donned a suit made to his own specifications and debuted as the “Boy Wonder” – a nickname courtesy of Alfred – codename, Robin.

Robin’s first run-in with Gotham’s brand of costumed crime would be with a man called Jervis Tetch. A schizophrenic man, Tetch had an unhealthy obsession with the works of Lewis Carroll, coming to believe that he was, in fact, a character from Alice in Wonderland: the Mad Hatter. Formerly under the employment of Horizon Labs, Tetch was a gifted inventor before the deterioration of his mental state, leading to his release from the company. As he slipped further into his delusions, he became obsessed with hats and finding “Alice”, believing her to be “in trouble” and that she “needed his help”. Using mind control technology he had invented after being let go from Horizon Labs, he began luring young, blonde girls to his lair in the Bowery, molesting and then murdering them in a psychotic episode. There had been three missing girls of such description by the time Batman and Robin picked up Tetch’s trail. Confronting him just as he was about to “free Alice” (his latest would-be victim), it was ultimately Robin that subdued Tetch as Bruce freed the captured girl. Jervis was later taken to Arkham Asylum.

In October, Bruce came into contact with the being known as Superman. Ever since the Man of Steel’s debut earlier that summer, along with the likes of the second Flash, Coast City’s Green Lantern and the vigilante dubbed as Spider-Man, Bruce had eyed these superpowered beings with great caution, compiling files within which he analysed their every power, action and aspect of personality, in the case that he ever needed to use such information against them. When he first found himself face-to-face with Metropolis’ resident hero, the man in blue was snooping around Wayne Enterprises, claiming that it was funding the criminal organisation known as Intergang; an accusation so bold and so infuriatingly untrue that the Batman denied it outright. It was impossible, he maintained – the fact that it was his company, and that as such, he should have known, he left out – and demanded that Superman leave. The tension between the two came to a boiling point when the Dark Knight attacked, thinking that he knew everything there was to know about Superman’s powers. However, he had underestimated him, and soon found himself held by the throat, his cowl ripped from his face like it was nothing but paper. And so that night, Superman discovered that not only did the Batman exist, but that his name was Bruce Wayne. After listening to the boy scout’s reasoning, Bruce grudgingly agreed to help him investigate – if what he was saying was true, then it was Bruce’s problem to fix. Following a carefully covered trail, the caped crusaders soon discovered evidence pointing at William Earle, implicating him in involvement with not only Intergang, but many other criminal enterprises as well. Giving Captain Gordon the information he needed to arrest the former CEO of Wayne Enterprises, Batman and Superman’s first team-up came to a close. By that time, Bruce had deduced Superman’s identity, and he watched Clark Kent leave as an ally – and not only that, a friend.

As the year came to a close, Gotham became subject to the biggest computer hack ever performed. Utilising a virus not unlike Stuxnet, the man known as the Calculator used a malicious software of his own design, utilising worms and remote access tools to take control of Gotham’s power grid. With the city at his mercy, he demanded that he be paid hundreds of millions of dollars, or otherwise render the power grid out of order. With a virus of such complexity, Bruce couldn’t hope to write a program to counter it in time; to do so would take weeks, if not months – time he did not have. He sent Barbara out into the streets to mediate the impending riots, focusing on tracking the Calculator down from the Batcave, something that would backfire on him as the criminal traced the hack back to his computer, compromising the lair. Unplugging every device with a possible connection to the internet, he destroyed their circuitry for good measure, before donning the Batsuit to track Calculator down remotely. Writing code from his suit, he located the hacker miles away from the city, confronting him in a small motel. Identifying him as Noah Kuttler, Batman forced him to deactivate the virus and wipe any and all data from his devices, effectively removing any information he might have on the Batcave’s location, and getting rid of any copies of the virus he had used to hack Gotham’s power grid. With Kuttler taken care of, Bruce refitted the Batcave with new computers, reinforcing its cybersecurity measures – all while getting to work on a program that could counter viruses with ten times the scope of the Calculator’s. All the while, Dick continued his training.

2013 - 2014 // C I T Y O F F E A R

Oswald Cobblepot resurfaced as the world transitioned into the new year. After nearly three years in witness protection (agreeing to expose the Falcones and Maronis had seen him demand that he be guarded from what would no doubt have been a vengeful retaliation), he sprung back into the public eye with all charges against him dropped, and a lavish new nightclub to his name. The Iceberg Lounge opened to an enthusiastic crowd, boasting the most profitable opening night of any establishment in the Upper East Side. While people were flocking to the supposedly reformed Cobblepot and his new, “legitimate” business, Bruce was less than convinced that the mob boss had turned over a new leaf. With Barbara in tow, they broke into the Lounge, discovering that Bruce was, in fact, correct. Cobblepot, called “Penguin” behind his back by his underlings due to his... unfortunate appearance, was using his club as a front, still operating in Gotham’s underworld through the bartering of information and the sales of firearms, drugs and stolen goods. This lead to one of their many ensuing clashes over the years, with Cobblepot somehow always evading capture.

Bruce’s paranoia reached an all time high when he heard of CADMUS’s most recent development: synthetic kryptonite. He’d acquired that information through less than legal means, but it was for the greater good. He’d seen what the mineral could do to Superman – such an asset could be the difference between winning and losing if Clark were to ever go rogue. Bruce wasn’t kidding himself; Clark was the most optimistic, inherently good person he knew, perhaps to the point of stupidity. The chances of him ever switching sides were minimal at best. But even so, he had to be prepared for any outcome, any possibility. Who knew where the rest of Clark’s species were? What if they came to Earth, hostile, an unknown number of near-gods trying to retrieve one of their kind? What if it wasn’t Clark that would interest them, but Earth? He had to be prepared. And so, Robin in tow, Batman took a trip to Metropolis. Moving past the CADMUS facility’s security with practiced ease, they stole the amount of synthetic kryptonite Bruce required, escaping into the night. Arriving back at the Batcave, Bruce immediately got to work on his anti-Kryptonian armoury.

In mid-January, 2014, the University of Gotham was held at ransom by a former professor, Dr. Jonathan Crane. Specialising in psychology, Crane had always been fascinated by fear, coming to be fired from his job after performing several experiments on students with what would become known as his trademark fear toxin. Overwhelmed with rage, he returned to the university with murder in his eyes, calling himself the Scarecrow; he was dressed in a fearful costume to accompany his moniker. Flooding the school with his toxin, he caused everyone without a gas mask or the antidote to see, hear and feel their greatest fear, triggering an eruption of chaos unlike any seen before. Under the distraction such a disruption provided, Crane attempted to murder the regents responsible for his termination. Unfortunately for him, Batman and Robin were on the scene. While they managed to subdue Scarecrow without any deaths, it wasn’t before Bruce received a concentrated dose of the fear toxin. As Robin rushed to get him back to the Batcave, Crane was being escorted by GCPD officers to a police cruiser. The last words news teams managed to pick up from him were, “You think this is it? I’m just getting started. Gotham will know me. It will be afraid of me. I’ll make it a city of fear!”

It took two days for Bruce to recover from the effects of the fear toxin. Upon his recuperation, using a sample of the toxin extracted from his blood, he immediately got to work on an antidote – much to Alfred and Tom Elliot’s dismay. After a few nights of silence, Bruce returned to his regular schedule – taking out his frustrations on Gotham’s criminals. He began dating Selina Kyle again a few months later.

2015 // A S I C K J O K E

2015 opened with the kidnapping of three infants. Over the next few months, dozens more were taken from their homes. All evidence the GCPD uncovered pointed towards a human trafficking ring, with Harvey Bullock theorising that the babies were being sold to parents who thought they were simply adopting. However, when investigating, Bruce uncovered evidence that didn’t match Bullock’s hypothesis, and decided to follow the lead himself, keeping the police out of the loop. His search for clues took him all over Gotham, and all the while, more infants were being kidnapped; determined to find them before any harm could come to them, Bruce pushed himself harder than he ever had before, nights blending into days before he lost track of time completely. Eventually he found the location of where the infants were being held, where he believed that they weren’t being sold off to families in the United States, but rather, overseas. What he believed to be good, legitimate detective work led him to an abandoned warehouse in Gotham’s neighbouring city of Blüdhaven. Tipping Jim Gordon off to be ready at the scene, Batman went inside. What he saw would traumatise him for months – years – to come. A large pit, dug into the centre of the warehouse. Inside it, the dismembered bodies of all the kidnapped infants, of every baby taken over the last few months. And at the edge of the pit, the monster behind it all – a man dressed in purple, his skin bleached as white as a ghost, with a shock of green hair… and that smile. The grotesque, red-streaked smile as he laughed, cackling at Bruce’s horror. The Joker, he called himself. He’d been manipulating Batman the entire time, he said – he always had a feeling that he was real, he was simply too crazy a thing not to be – leaving clues and evidence that would point him here, to the warehouse in Blüdhaven, where the punchline awaited him, and oh, was it a good one. Bruce didn’t know how to take it. Rage, pure, unbridled rage, flowed through him, the sudden hatred he felt for the Joker unmatched by any other, not even by the hatred he had for his parents’ killer, whoever he may be. But there was also something else, something he had never felt before during his time as Batman, never induced by his own, natural reactions: fear. Bruce was afraid. And he took that fear, and that hatred, and that rage, the anger he felt for all those innocent lives lost, those lives barely lived, and he let it all out, hitting the Joker harder than he’d ever let himself hit anyone, over and over, until Jim burst into the warehouse and pulled him away. All the while, the sadistic, twisted clown cheered him on. The Joker's face would haunt Bruce's dreams ever since.

Following the Joker’s horrible debut, Bruce became more reclusive than ever. Not Alfred, Tom, Selina, or Dick could get him to open up. He spent weeks in isolation, never leaving the shadows of the Batcave. Eventually, Dick had enough. With his bags packed, he informed Bruce that he would be leaving Gotham for his hometown, Blüdhaven. He wanted to ensure that nothing like what the Joker did would ever happen there again. Bruce didn’t try to convince him to stay.

2016 // I N V A S I O N - P R E S E N T

Just before the new year dawned, Alfred and Selina were able to convince Bruce to seek therapy. Seeking out Leslie Thompkins, his and Tommy Jr.’s psychiatrist since Thomas Sr. and Martha’s murder, he did as they wished, if only because he wanted someone to talk to. It was around this time that he was contacted by a mysterious figure going by “the Message Man”, offering to tip him off on crimes in progress and keep him informed on any developments, be it supercrime or not. After the Joker, although he would never admit it, Bruce had lost confidence in himself. Against his better judgement, he accepted Message Man’s offer, and further still, came to trust him.

On April 1st, Bruce’s worst-case scenario of the Kryptonian race became a reality when Commander Dru-Zod and his army invaded the Earth, intending to shape it into “New Krypton.” It wasn’t long before Kryptonian soldiers, powered by the Sol System’s yellow sun, arrived in Gotham, and Bruce was forced to don the suit he’d had prepared three years prior. With the synthetic substance weakening the Kryptonians, and their cells not fully charged by the sun’s radiation, he was able to hold them off as Gotham slowly shook around him, courtesy of Zod’s World Engines. However, one man was not enough to stop the aliens, and people died as a result. The Kryptonians only fled when their leader was flung into the Phantom Zone by Clark Kent, known to them as Kal-El – the traitor.

Following the invasion, Bruce continued on with life as it had been after Blüdhaven. He was not prepared for what’s to come.

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[ ⚡️ ] T H E O R I G I N A L [ ⚡️ ]





[ ⚡️ ] T H E H E R O [ ⚡️ ]





[ ⚡️ ] T H E L E G E N D [ ⚡️ ]

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C H A R A C T E R C O N C E P T P R O P O S A L



"I wouldn't try that... I'm Invincible."

M A R K U S G R A Y S O N 1 9 9 8 ( 1 9 ) M A L E C H A O T I C G O O D

C O N C E P T A B S T R A C T:

With Mark, I want to write a coming-of-age story. He’s a hero that’s always trying to find his place in the world – hell, the universe – unsure of whether the way he goes about things is the right way, and of whether the burden he brings onto the ones he loves, and society as a whole, is worth all his efforts. Even with Superman’s mentorship, he’s going to struggle with being Invincible; with knowing that his father is a threat, not an ally; and with all of the troubles he’ll be forced to face, and put his family and friends through.

No matter what kind of person Mark turns into, be it a hero or a villain, I just want to tell a good story with a character I love.

N O T E S:

The timeline's pretty underwhelming in terms of writing, but it should give everyone an idea of Mark's background.

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B A T M A N

“My parents taught me a lesson, lying on this street, shaking in deep shock... dying for no reason at all. They showed me that the world only makes sense when you force it to.”

B R U C E W A Y N E 1 9 7 4 ( L A T E T H I R T I E S - M I D F O R T I E S ) M A L E C H A O T I C G O O D

C O N C E P T A B S T R A C T:

This is a version of Batman that I started writing for the third Maximum Comics. Unfortunately I didn’t get very far, but with Absolute I now have an opportunity to finish the story I started to tell.

The main difference between this Batman and any other iteration is that after twelve years of activity in Gotham (our story begins in 2012), he’s still an urban legend as far as the world is concerned. The only ones aware of his existence are the G.C.P.D., Gotham’s “elite” criminal element, Bruce’s closest allies and the Justice League, for whom he’s served as an unofficial liaison of sorts, keeping his name out of it for the sake of protecting his mythical status.

The stories I want to tell test Bruce mentally and physically. The first arc deals with him being thrust into the public eye, destroying the element of mystery and fear that he’s relied on for so long. Beyond that, he’ll be confronted by fears of his own; by family, love, and questions of his purpose.

I just want to try and tell a good Batman story, really.

N O T E S:

B A S I C T I M E L I N E:

◼ 1974 | Bruce Wayne is born four years after his older brother, Thomas Wayne Jr.

◼ 1982 | Thomas Sr. and Martha Wayne are murdered in the place that would come to be called Crime Alley. Bruce and Thomas Jr. watch on in horror. The killer is never caught.

◼ 1988 | Bruce and Tommy Jr. embark on a worldwide trek, training for a time when they’ll avenge their parents’ deaths.

◼ 2000 | Bruce returns to Gotham City alone. Months later, whispers of a bat-like terror shakes the city’s criminal underworld as the Roman Empire sustains crippling blows.

Desperate to blame someone for his empire’s imminent fall, Carmine Falcone turns his anger on James Gordon, the one problematic cop not yet on his payroll. Hiring Ray Salinger, a serial killer known as Birthday Boy, Falcone has Gordon’s daughter, Barbara, kidnapped. Batman tracks her down and rescues her, delivering Barbara into the arms of a grateful ally.

The Roman Empire falls not long after.

◼ 2003 | After witnessing a trapeze act go horribly wrong at Haly’s Circus, Bruce cuts his date with Victoria Vale short in order to comfort a boy that is left an orphan. He adopts Richard Grayson soon afterwards.

◼ 2004 | Dick Grayson debuts as Robin.

Jim Gordon is kidnapped. As Bruce busies himself with finding his ally, his search is cut short by the activation of the Batsignal. Summoning him to the Central Precinct, he is met there by a fifteen year-old Barbara Gordon, her kidnapping – and rescue – still fresh on her mind. Armed with footage of the Dark Knight (no doubt from one of her father’s case files) she demands that Batman help her get Jim back, lest she release it to the media and thus expose him to the public. Disapproving of her blackmail, but admiring her tenacity, Bruce agrees to let her tag along, provided that she did everything he told her to. Barbara and Jim Gordon return home safely that night.

A few nights later, Batman agrees to train Barbara, impressed by her levelheadedness and tenacity.

◼ 2005 | Batgirl debuts, helping Bruce free Robin from the Mad Hatter.

◼ 2008 | Barbara hangs up the cowl, moving onto college. She and Dick resume their relationship despite this.

◼ 2009 | The Justice League is formed in response to A.R.G.U.S.'s Avengers. Batman acts as their liaison, keeping his involvement under wraps in order to protect his mythical status.

◼ 2011 | Gotham suffers a severe earthquake, damaging much of the city and killing thousands. Bruce starts the Wayne Foundation to provide for those who’ve been affected.

This tragedy is soon followed by another, starting with the kidnapping of three infants. Over the next few months, dozens more are taken from their homes. All evidence the G.C.P.D. uncovers point towards a human trafficking ring, with Harvey Bullock theorising that the babies are being sold to parents who think they were simply adopting. However, when investigating, Bruce uncovers evidence that doesn’t match Bullock’s hypothesis, and decides to follow the lead himself, keeping the police out of the loop.

His search for clues takes him all over Gotham, and all the while, more infants are being kidnapped; determined to find them before any harm can come to them, Bruce pushes himself harder than he ever has before, nights blending into days before he loses track of time completely. Eventually he finds the location of where the infants are being held, where he believes that they weren’t being sold off to families in the United States, but rather, overseas. What he believes to be good, legitimate detective work leads him to an abandoned warehouse in Gotham’s neighbouring city of Blüdhaven. Tipping Jim Gordon off to be ready at the scene, Batman goes inside.

What he sees would traumatise him for months – years – to come. A large pit, dug into the centre of the warehouse. Inside it, the dismembered bodies of all the kidnapped infants, of every baby taken over the last few months. And at the edge of the pit, the monster behind it all – a man dressed in purple, his skin bleached as white as a ghost, with a shock of green hair… and that smile. The grotesque, red-streaked smile as he laughed, cackling at Bruce’s horror.

The Joker, he calls himself. He’s been manipulating Batman the entire time, he says – he always had a feeling that he was real, he was simply too crazy a thing not to be – leaving clues and evidence that would point him here, to the warehouse in Blüdhaven, where the punchline awaits him, and oh, is it a good one.

Bruce doesn’t know how to take it. Rage, pure, unbridled rage, flows through him, the sudden hatred he feels for the Joker unmatched by any other, not even by the hatred he had for his parents’ killer, whoever he may be. But there’s also something else, something he had never felt before during his time as Batman, never induced by his own, natural reactions: fear. Bruce is afraid. And he takes that fear, and that hatred, and that rage, the anger he feels for all those innocent lives lost, those lives barely lived, and he let it all out, hitting the Joker harder than he’d ever let himself hit anyone, over and over, until Jim bursts into the warehouse and pulls him away. All the while, the sadistic, twisted clown cheers him on. The Joker's face would haunt Bruce's dreams ever since.

◼ 2012 | Frustrated with the tight leash Bruce keeps on him, coupled with the man’s refusal to deal with the psychological damage that plagues him in a healthy manner, Dick leaves Gotham and Robin behind.

◼ 2013 | Batman encounters a group of thugs attacking a young boy in the Narrows. Taking pity on him, Bruce takes him to the Batcave to patch him up. When the boy wakes up, Bruce discovers that he's been living on the streets by himself. Revealing his identity, the billionaire offers him a place to live. Jason Todd is adopted soon after.

S A M P L E P O S T:

This will also serve as my first post should this be accepted.



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"Oh yeah? How about an arrow up your ass?"


|| N A M E & A L I A S ||


Oliver Jonas "Ollie" Queen

The Emerald Archer... Green Arrow



|| A G E ||


Ollie's 38, but depending on what mood you catch him in he acts anywhere between 5 and 70.



|| A P P E A R A N C E ||


Ollie’s aged well for the most part. Yes, the situations he’s struggled through over his decade-long career as the Green Arrow have summoned a wisp of grey amid his blond hair, and his cohorts love to tell him how his van dyke beard has somehow grown more ridiculous with every passing year, but any other attribute of his would indicate youth not seen in many who’ve experienced what he has. He’s muscular and well-defined, his arms especially impressive after spending so long a time with a bow and arrow. Scars both old and new cover his skin, reminders of the tortures he faced on both Lian Yu and in Star City. Beneath a series of equally gruesome ones on his left pectoral lies the tattoo of a captain of the Solntsevskaya Bratva – nothing but a remnant of less proud times, left behind after his final confrontation with the Russian mob all those years ago.



|| S K I L L S ||


He doesn’t call himself Green Arrow for the fun of it – Oliver’s an archer, and a damn good one at that. There’s a reason why some people call him the best marksman in the world, making even Deadshot jealous; his aim with a bow and arrows (some of them the tricky kind) are unparalleled, and if you give him any other projectiles – and some firearms – it’s likely he’ll use them with just as much accuracy. His five years in purgatory, along with his experiences as Green Arrow, have forged him into a living weapon of peak physical condition; he may not be the greatest martial artist the world has ever known, but he’ll sure give anybody that’s not his wife or Batman (or a few other people he’d rather not acknowledge) a run for their money, his acrobatics adding some flair to his otherwise direct fighting style. The assassin called Shado taught him Japanese in his first year on Lian Yu; her teacher, Natas, taught him Chinese in his second; and his ex-brothers in the Bratva taught him Russian in his fourth. The thing he got really good at during his time in purgatory, though… really good at… was the art of killing.

But he tries not to think about that.



|| B I O G R A P H Y ||


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G R E E N A R R O W

“Why, you speak treason!”
“Fluently.”

L A D Y M A R I A N & R O B I N H O O D



N A M E
Oliver Jonas "Ollie" Queen

A L I A S
Green Arrow

P O W E R S A N D A B I L I T I E S
The Island has transformed Oliver. Put through a gauntlet of violence and death, he’s come out the other side with skills his younger self would never have dreamed of. Oliver’s an archer, and a damn good one at that. The desperation of a life spent surviving has instilled within him a philosophy of never missing, and that’s reflected in his markmanship – when he shoots an arrow, it meets its mark. His years away have seen him become a formidable combatant in peak physical condition; struggles on the Island were quick and brutal, and his style reflects that. Urban and environmental traversal were essential then, and they’re essential now – and his knowledge of Russian and Japanese don’t hurt, either. The thing he got really good at, though… really good at… was the art of killing.

But he tries not to think about that.

O R I G I N A N D B A C K S T O R Y
Oliver Jonas Queen was born to Robert and Moira Queen in Star City, California, in the year of 1990. His family was extremely wealthy, his father the founder and CEO of Queen Industries, a multi-billion dollar conglomerate with a strong foothold in the international technology market. Oliver wanted for naught, his every need provided for him, and then some. His view on life was that it was easy, and one only had to take a look at him to see it: he was lazy, arrogant, and ignorant of the struggles most other people faced. As a young teen, he took a brief interest in archery, and in typical Queen fashion, he was provided with the best instructor money could hire, taught privately at the Queen Family Mansion. This would last all of two years, Oliver’s focus shifting towards other, less disciplined hobbies. Together with his best friend, Tommy Merlyn, he barely scraped through boarding school, and after it was over, all they knew was booze and women. Oliver met Dinah Laurel Lance when they were twenty-two. He was an idiot, and she was unlike any other girl he’d been with before: one with character. Somehow, they started dating.

Sick of his son’s frivolous ways, Robert decided to take Oliver with him on a business trip to Beijing for his twenty-third birthday. Travelling on Robert’s yacht, The Queen’s Gambit, he hoped to talk some sense into Oliver, if not to convince him to get his MBA and take a position in Queen Industries, then to try and get him to try out philanthropy for himself, or, well... anything. Oliver saw this as an opportunity for something else; with their relationship on shaky ground, he invited Dinah along in an attempt to stabilise it, envisioning a romantic few weeks on the water. It was around then that he realised he might finally be taking something seriously. Before any serious talks, Robert gave Oliver his birthday present – Howard Hill’s bow from The Adventures of Robin Hood – in an attempt to remind Oliver of the last time he truly had a passion for something. He would attempt to broach the subject of responsibility tomorrow. But before he could do so, the Gambit was swept in a freak storm, and as it sunk, Oliver watched his father die – left to drift in a lifeboat with Dinah. They arrived at shore days later, stranded in a place they would come to know only as "The Island." Back home, Dinah Lance, and Oliver and Robert Queen were presumed dead, buried in empty coffins.

Five years later, Oliver and Dinah returned home. Much had changed during the time they were gone, and for the next four months, they would try to adjust to civilised life once more, intending to leave the horrors of the Island behind. But life has a funny way of spitting in your face.

W H A T M A K E S T H I S C H A R A C T E R " U L T I M A T E " ?
The biggest differences, I think, are that a) Oliver and Dinah knew each other before they started dabbling in this superhero gig, b) they were on the Island together, and c) neither of them really wants to do anything with their abilities, and would really rather just try to adjust to normal life again. Obviously, this won’t work out for them, and before long we’ll see bad guys shot at with arrows, with their eardrums blown out. It’s just a matter of time.

A thing to note is that this isn’t the Oliver from the comics yet. He’s still dealing with his experience on the Island, and won’t get over them for quite some time. But he’ll eventually move past his damage, and (hopefully) come to take his place among the greats.

S U P P O R T I N G C H A R A C T E R S

S A M P L E P O S T
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E L I J A H S N O W
“You want to know the secret of the world? It’s this:
save it, and it’ll repay you, every second of every day.”

A X E L B R A S S



N A M E
Elijah Snow

A L I A S
He’s been called many things. Cold bastard. Creepy old goat. Most grandiose, though, is Elijah Snow: Spirit of the Cold.

P O W E R S A N D A B I L I T I E S
Spirit of the Cold – Elijah hasn’t aged past his thirties. He controls the cold. He can freeze things. That fluid your brain floats in? It's cerebrospinal ice now. Don't piss him off.

Intelligence – Elijah’s a smart guy, with many (many) years of knowledge to draw from. He’s seen the world, immersed himself in it, and the man that’s come out the other side is one with a dangerous mind.

Wealth – One of the benefits of functional immortality – you have plenty of time to get rich.

O R I G I N A N D B A C K S T O R Y
Elijah Snow was born a long time ago in the American South, when the world was changing and growing stranger. It was clear from the start that he was different, and it didn’t take long for him to become dissatisfied with simple rural life. He was only a teenager when he left home in search of the extraordinary, of things in the world that just didn’t seem to fit, and that’s how he’s spent his days ever since – on a planetary trek, amassing wealth, knowledge, friends and enemies over the long, long years. He’s seen much of what S.H.I.E.L.D. and C.A.D.M.U.S. have tried to hide from the world, and more still of what they can’t even begin to imagine. He is an archaeologist of mysteries, a historian of the uncanny – the spirit of the cold, ghost of the Metahuman Age – and now, with the advent of the Superman, his purpose is ever clearer.

It’s a strange world. He wants to keep it that way.

W H A T M A K E S T H I S C H A R A C T E R " U L T I M A T E " ?
The high-concept, sweeping premise of Planetary, set in a combined Marvel and DC universe where Planetary… isn’t actually a thing. Elijah’s essentially a solo act, with his role as a Century Baby tweaked to fit a 21st Century setting. He has no immensely wealthy organisation to back him on his adventures; he simply has his own deep pockets and resourcefulness, both gained over the course of a very long life. He’ll be interacting with the Ultimate One Universe’s strangest, most spectacular phenomena, uncovering conspiracies and documenting the hidden, emergent history of the world we’re all creating. Elijah’s an old, functionally immortal man, so taken by the wonders of the world that he hasn’t yet realised his true purpose might be to save it.

S U P P O R T I N G C H A R A C T E R S
Jakita Wagner – Badass.

The Drummer – Technopath.

Ambrose Chase – Physics distortionist.

Jenny Sparks – Spirit of technology.

Jack Hawksmoor – God of cities.

Jay Garrick – Former speedster.

John Stone – Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

J'onn J'onzz – Martian.

Nick Fury – Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Amanda Waller – Director of C.A.D.M.U.S.

Henry Bendix – Director of Stormwatch, S.H.I.E.L.D. and C.A.D.M.U.S.’s sister organisation, concerned not with domestic or international security, but rather, protection from the billions of stars that surround the Earth. The public doesn’t know of Stormwatch’s existence.

The Strange, Strange World – The world is a strange, ever-changing place. There are always new things to discover, old things to uncover – and with them come people, new and old. The people listed above are not the only ones Elijah will run into... and this world won’t be the only one he sets foot on.

S A M P L E P O S T
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T H O R
"I desire my death now.
The disir call me home,
Whom Odin hastens onward
From his hall, to take me.
On the high bench, boldly,
Beer I’ll drink with the gods;
Hope of life is lost now —
Laughing I shall die!"

R A G N A R L O D B R O K




N A M E
Thor.

A L I A S
The God of Thunder has gone by many names over the past few millennia. Today, one might know him as Donald Blake.

P O W E R S A N D A B I L I T I E S

O R I G I N A N D B A C K S T O R Y
A millennium ago, the last of the pagan Northmen renounced their beliefs in the Aesir and the Vanir. The death of the great Jotunn, Ymir, was replaced by Genesis; Valhalla and Helheim replaced by Heaven and Hell; the world tree, Yggdrasil, all but discarded; and the many gods and goddesses of Asgard replaced by just one, the Christ-God. But there was a time before, when the Northmen still sailed to conquer new lands, that they would worship the cunning Odin, the mighty Thor, the beautiful Freya and mischievous Loki. Their stories would be passed on from parent to child, warrior to warrior, farmer to farmer – and although the truths in these stories would get lost amid retellings and revisions, there were those who knew them well. Those such as Ragnar Lodbrok, legendary king of the Northmen, and friend to Donar – who, illuminated by hearthfire and as impassioned as in battle, would tell his sons the true stories of the gods.

“Thor is the god of thunder; the son of the All-Father, Odin, and the giantess, Jord. He is the protector of the Aesir, sworn guardian of Asgard, and wielder of the great hammer, Mjolnir. He was born with hair as red as blood and bright as flames, his eyes as blue as lightning; and as he grew from boy to man his body changed into that of a great warrior, his godly strength proving to be greater than both the Aesir’s and the Vanir’s. Long ago, when his youthful energy was more explosive than the thunderous sky, he was gifted with his first weapon by the dwarves of Nidavellir – Jarnbjorn, the battle axe. With it he honed his skills as a warrior, and battled many a jotunn, until he became known as their scourge.

“His home is Bilskirnir, the largest hall in Asgard; his realm, Thrudheim. He shares it with Sif, his wife, the goddess of grain and harvest, and his children: Magni, Modi, Thrud, and his stepson, Ullr. He has travelled deep into Jotunheim, and emerged victorious. He has bested Utgard-Loki, and killed Hrungnir. He blesses us on our raids in faraway lands, and gives us fertile soil so that we may last the harsh winter. With Mjolnir, most powerful weapon in all the Nine Realms, he is fiercer than storms; with us, on Midgard, he is as gentle as the calm breeze on a bright summer’s day. He is Thor. He is our friend. Destined is he to kill the Midgard Serpent, Jormungandr... just as the Serpent is destined to kill him, when Ragnarok comes, destroying everything, and everyone.”

But there is something that not Ragnar, not the Vikings, not even the Gods accounted for. Thor is not in Asgard anymore.

W H A T M A K E S T H I S C H A R A C T E R " U L T I M A T E " ?
This isn't Kirby and Lee's Thor. Asgard isn't a grand, golden metropolis, and its gods aren't extra-dimensional beings. This Thor has a much firmer basis in the original Norse myths, grounding him in what I reckon is a far more epic, personal interpretation of the guy. On top of this, in a twist on the old "exiled god" origin Marvel seems so fond of, this Thor has exiled himself. Why? That's for you to find out.

S U P P O R T I N G C H A R A C T E R S



S A M P L E P O S T
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The Sparks is the defence mechanism.
The Sparks has the authority to take action to restore the balance.
J E N N Y S P A R K S



N A M E
Jennifer Mei Sparks

A L I A S
The Spirit of Technology

P O W E R S A N D A B I L I T I E S
Jenny is the Spirit of Technology. Over one hundred years old, she hasn’t aged a day past twenty. Technology is an extension of her, just as she is an extension of it. Electricity is hers to control. The Internet is her domain. She’s knowledgeable in several martial arts, has experience in covert operations, and can go through a pack of cigarettes in speeds that can only be described as inhuman. Don’t piss her off.

O R I G I N A N D B A C K S T O R Y
Jennifer Sparks was born a long time ago, when the world was changing and growing dangerous. It was clear from the start that she was different, built for a new, posthuman Earth, and she spent much of her life in search of the purpose that came with it. She’s seen many things, been to many places, and now, over one hundred years since she was brought into this world, she may have finally found it. The world has finally caught up with her. Superhumans have risen, no longer in hiding. Change – great change – is on the horizon. In the wake of the Silver Surfer, Jenny knows what she has to do. What she was made to do. But first…

She needs a team.

W H A T M A K E S T H I S C H A R A C T E R " U L T I M A T E " ?
This Jenny lives in a universe where Marvel and DC coexist. The opportunities this presents for both her past and present-day stories are abundant, and I really want to take advantage of that as I go about establishing her place in the Ultimate One Universe. Story-wise, Jenny’s arc this season is pretty simple. She’ll be travelling around the world in search of people like her, who want to make a difference, and make it now. The potential for interaction is huge, and I’m really looking forward to telling the kind of high concept, high stakes story that made me love Jenny’s character in the first place – the story of a grumpy old woman who, in the end, just wants to save the world.

S U P P O R T I N G C H A R A C T E R S
Jack Hawksmoor – God of the Cities.

Angela Spica – Employee at Stark Industries.

Elijah Snow – Spirit of the Cold.

Jakita Wagner – Badass.

The Drummer – Technopath.

The Doctor – Shaman.

John Stone – Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Henry Bendix – Director of Stormwatch, S.H.I.E.L.D. and C.A.D.M.U.S.’s sister organisation, concerned not with domestic or international security, but rather, protection from the billions of stars that surround the Earth. The public doesn’t know of Stormwatch’s existence.

And More – Well? You’ll see.

S A M P L E P O S T
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I’m floating in the stream of reality. It’s cold and uncertain, this river of existence, and it carries me everywhere. Some part of me, present and unphased, knows: I am the apex. Time brushes my skin, tender and warm. It is familiar. Inviting, yet bleak. The colour of life and entropy, swimming between my eyes and through my body; beginning in front of me and inside me, ending nowhere.

Reality falls. The roar is deafening as it crashes, and I know that I should be crushed beneath its weight. And yet…

I am in a house now.

I know this place. The colour of life is gone, but entropy remains, and I can feel its happiness – it is a cancer, and for the first time in my life I wish to take joy away from something. Screams stare at me from the shadows. They look familiar… the voice… its fear, its love…

Mom?

The house falls away, and I am met with reality’s cold embrace once again. The river shifts and cracks, like a wild storm. Lightning and thunder in the causal abyss. Time is bleeding now. I see red – it is youthful and good, my better in every way. I see a woman who loves me; a man who ruined me. I see friendship and enmity, like snakes entwined. I see lost youth. Found wisdom. They join the storm now, and the lightning lashes out in a chorus, and together they say

Barry, wake up



They tell me I’ve been in a coma for two months.

A student found me on the floor of CCU’s chemistry lab, surrounded by shards of hot glass with a smoldering hole in my lab coat. Apparently there were no clouds in the sky, which is weird, on account of the lightning that struck me the local news attributed it to some sort of freak “flash storm”; there for long enough to fry me, but gone in time for the clock on the wall to tick past another second. I was taken to the hospital, where the staff spent most of the next eight weeks just… waiting for me to wake up. I recovered from the lightning strike pretty quickly, I guess there were no burns, no blown eardrums or nerve damage. The only thing wrong with me was that I really liked to sleep.

I have no immediate family none that can come visit me at the hospital, anyway so once Iris found out I was being kept there, she got the orderlies to put her down as my emergency contact. When the doctor gave me the okay to leave, she was there to take me home.

“You missed graduation,” she says, eyes fixed on the road. Her hair’s longer. Past her shoulders now. She looks good.

“Damn it,” I say, “Three years of college in the trash. Guess I have to retake it. Ah, but the tuition…”

She takes her eyes off the road to give me a concerned look. “What will you do?”

“Sell my body. It’s the only logical option.”

“God, you’re so right. Tell me how it goes. I could use some extra money.”

We share a grin.

“How was graduation, anyway?” I ask.

“It was good. Pretty long. I think they sent your diploma to your apartment.”

“Oh, cool.”

My apartment’s a single room hole in Leawood, on the corner of Kanigher and Carmine. It’s in a squat old building, a little run down, but not enough to raise any red flags – just enough to know that yep, this is where a college graduate who got struck by lightning would live. Iris walks me inside and tries the elevator.

“Out of order? Still?”

“It’s like I was never in a coma.”

The walk up the stairs is slow, but nice. Iris catches me up on the past two months – she finally saved up for that new TV she’s had her eye on; she got offered a job at the newspaper she’d been interning at, the Citizen (“Holy – congrats!”); Wally, her nephew, visited from Blue Valley, and came to see me at the hospital.

“Wally visited me?”

“Of course he did. He loves you and your nerd brain,” she says. “…And he wanted to see if he’d get zapped when he touched you.”

I laugh. He’s a good kid.

My apartment’s the same as I left it. A mess. Iris is right though, they did send me my diploma – it’s on the floor by the door, right next to a late rent notice. Mr. Shipp was nice enough to press pause on fees, I guess, at least until he heard that I woke up.

“Beats a hospital room, huh?” says Iris, making herself comfortable on my sofa.

“Yeah. There’s no place like home.”

She sits up a little straighter.

“Do you remember anything? From when it happened?”

“No, nothing. Just that I was doing cleanup at the lab.” I pause to think, scratching the back of my head. “I had these crazy dreams, though. I remember some of them, I think. Floating on the… the river of reality. Something like that.”

She looks amused. “Man, what kind of drugs were they giving you?”

“Oh, the best kind.”

She laughs.

“I missed you, Barry.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah.”

A comfortable silence settles between us. I join her on the sofa, picking up the TV remote from its resting place between two cushions, exactly where I’d left it. The way I see it, I have two months of television to catch up on, and there’s no better time to start than now. I flick it on, and Iris picks a show. We order pizza later, and before we know it the day’s turned into night.

Iris’ head falls gently onto my shoulder, asleep. She looks peaceful. I notice, not for the first time, how beautiful she is. Electricity tingles through my body.

Eventually, I feel the persuasive tug of sleep. Asleep for two months, and already I’m eager to get back to it. Hah.

I can only fight my eyelids for so long. As I let them close, I think strange thoughts – thoughts of time and blood. Lightning and thunder. Wild storms of life and entropy.

They feed into my dreams.
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The Sparks is the defence mechanism.
The Sparks has the authority to take action to restore the balance.
J E N N Y S P A R K S


J E N N I F E R M E I S P A R K S F O R M E R L Y ██████████ L O C A T I O N U N K N O W N
C H A R A C T E R C O N C E P T:

To wake, and know
your heart sinks
dark and heavy,
hardening into stone...

Slowly the sea lifts its waves,
slowly the trees turn red in the gorge,
slowly the fires begin to lap in hell,
slowly the truth dawns...

O L A V H . H A U G E


Jenny Sparks is sick of letting the world pass her by. So many years on this Earth, and what has she actually done? What has she achieved? Nothing. All she has to her name is a past she’s not proud of, the uncertainty of what she is, and the question of what she’s been brought here to do. She spends her days drinking and smoking her annoyingly long life away, doing nothing, achieving nothing. Being nothing. She reckons it’s about time she changed that.

Stryfe was an eye-opener. Watching America’s superheroes rally to defend the innocent made her realise something... they were doing it wrong. They’re disorganised, messy, reactionary. A far cry from the heroes they no doubt wanted to be. The world’s in a precarious place now, and shit could hit the fan at any second. It needs saving. But when the help you’ve got is just going to make things worse, what’s left for you to do?

Well, that’s easy. You’ve got to do it yourself.

Jenny’s new mission is going to thrust her back into a world she’s tried very hard to leave behind. Covert ops, secret intelligence organisations, superheroics, capes and powers and metaphysical superscientific bullshit. To make the world feel right again, she’s looking for a group of like-minded people – and her search is going to lead her right into the middle of the metahuman arms race.

Jenny is a very grumpy, old, powerful woman, and she’s done sitting on the sidelines.

Don’t piss her off.

C H A R A C T E R M O T I V A T I O N S & G O A L S:

Jenny’s spent her whole life (and that’s a lot of life) trying to figure out why she’s been put on this Earth. How is she over a hundred years old, but doesn’t look a day over twenty? How is it that she was born with powers, but doesn’t have a single metahuman gene in her body? How is she not dead yet? And just what the hell is she supposed to do with all these so-called gifts, which have thus far condemned her to a life full of bad decisions and countless disappointments? She still can’t answer most of those questions, but she thinks the last one might finally be in her ballpark. Maybe she’s supposed to save the world.

But to do that, she needs a team.

Through Jenny, I’ll be injecting some new, interesting concepts and characters from Warren Ellis’ Wildstorm catalogue into the Absolute Comics universe. I love these characters, and I’m excited for the chance to tell a story that can have far-reaching consequences not only for them, but for the Absolute universe as a whole.

C H A R A C T E R N O T E S:

Apollo and the Midnighter. Data unavailable.

Battalion, Fahrenheit, Impetus and Winter. Data unavailable.

Henry Bendix. No known records in existence.

Cole Cash and Michael Cray, covert operatives specialising in wetworks.

Nick Fury, director of SHIELD.

Kaizen Gamorra, the dictator of a west Pacific island, indicted by the ICC on multiple counts of crimes against humanity.

Jack Hawksmoor, a powerful superhuman with a fractured mind.

Shen Li-Min. Winged metahuman.

Angela Spica, a gifted engineer and physicist working at Stark Industries’ R&D division.

John Stone, an intelligence operative with many black operations to his name. A former colleague of Jenny’s.

Jeroen Thornedike; the Doctor. Humanity’s shaman.

Miranda Zero, Jenny’s former colleague, an experienced HUMINT operative with an impressive resumé.

S A M P L E P O S T:


P O S T C A T A L O G U E:

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01. Nick, Old Mate
02. God of the Cities
03. Odinsrage
04. Pigtown
05. After Action
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C H A R A C T E R C O N C E P T P R O P O S A L
T H O R
"I desire my death now.
The disir call me home,
Whom Óđin hastens onward
From his hall, to take me.
On the high bench, boldly,
Beer I’ll drink with the gods;
Hope of life is lost now —
Laughing I shall die!"

R A G N A R L O Đ B R Ó K


T H E T H U N D E R E R L O C A T I O N U N K N O W N F O R M E R L Y
O F T H E A E S I R
C H A R A C T E R C O N C E P T:

"I am tired, Heimdall.
All of the half-truths, the lies...
I did not wish to come back here."

T H O R

A millennium ago, the last of the pagan Northmen renounced their beliefs in the Aesir and the Vanir. The death of the great jӧtunn, Ymir, was replaced by Genesis; Valhǫll and Hel replaced by Heaven and Hell; the world tree, Yggdrasil, all but discarded; and the many gods and goddesses of Ásgarđr replaced by just one, the Christ-God. But there was a time before, when the Northmen still sailed to conquer new lands, that they would worship the cunning Óđin, the mighty Thor, the beautiful Freyja and mischievous Loki. Their stories would be passed on from parent to child, warrior to warrior, farmer to farmer – and although the truths in these stories would get lost amid retellings and revisions, there were those who knew them well. Those such as Ragnar Lođbrók, legendary king of the Danes, and friend to Rymr – who, illuminated by hearthfire and as impassioned as in battle, would tell his sons the true stories of the gods.

“Thor is the god of thunder; the son of the All-Father, Óđin, and the jӧtunn woman, Jӧrđ. He is the protector of the Aesir, sworn guardian of Ásgarđr, and wielder of the great hammer, Mjölnir. He was born with hair as red as blood and bright as flames, his eyes as blue as lightning; and as he grew from boy to man his body changed into that of a great warrior, his godly strength proving to be greater than both the Aesir’s and the Vanir’s combined. Long ago, when his youthful energy was more explosive than the thunderous sky, he was gifted with his first weapon by the dwarves of Niđavellir – Járnbjӧrn, the battle axe. With it he honed his skills as a warrior, and battled many a jӧtunn, until he became known as their scourge.

“His home is Bilskirnir, the largest hall in Ásgarđr; his realm, Thruđheimr. He shares it with Sif, his wife, the goddess of grain and harvest, and his children: Magni, Mođi, Thruđr, and his stepson, Ullr. He has travelled deep into Jotunheim, and emerged victorious. He has bested Útgarđa-Loki, and killed Hrungnir. He blesses us on our raids in faraway lands, and gives us fertile soil so that we may last the harsh winter. With Mjölnir, most powerful weapon in all the Nine Realms, he is fiercer than storms; with us, on Miđgarđr, he is good, and gentle, and terrible. He is Thor. He is our friend. Destined is he to kill the Midgard Serpent, Jörmungandr... just as the Serpent is destined to kill him, when Ragnarök comes, destroying everything, and everyone.”

But there is something that not Ragnar, not the Northmen, not even the Gods accounted for. Thor is not in Ásgarđr anymore.


C H A R A C T E R M O T I V A T I O N S & G O A L S:

This isn't Kirby and Lee's Thor. Asgard (rendered as Ásgarđr) isn't a grand, golden metropolis, and its gods aren't extra-dimensional aliens. They are gods. This Thor has a much firmer basis in the original Norse myths, grounding him in what I believe is a far more epic, and at the same time personal interpretation of the Aesir.

Thor has divorced himself from Ásgarđr and the rest of the gods at the start of our story. No one knows where he is. All anyone can say is that he left, leaving behind his family and his people for Miđgarđr, to live among the mortals and that if it were up to him, he’d never come back. Unfortunately for him, Fate has other plans. Thor’s going to find himself drawn back into the mythical world of the Aesir, confronting the demons of their past while preparing for their future. Fate waits for no one, after all, and although it can be delayed, Ragnarök is set in stone.

For the purposes of this concept, the mortal world is unaware of the gods’ existence as far as humanity knows, the Norse, the Greco-Romans, the Egyptians, the Abrahamic God, and the world’s other deities are pure myth and scripture. The only footprints these gods have left on the world lie in their stories, traditions and beliefs. As humanity is going to find out, though... the gods are very real.

And they will all have a part to play.


C H A R A C T E R N O T E S:




S A M P L E P O S T:



P O S T C A T A L O G:

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01. The Man Called Donald Blake





Artwork by Maximilian Jasionowski

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C H A R A C T E R C O N C E P T P R O P O S A L
F R E D D I E M Y E R S


F R E D E R I C K M Y E R S H I G H S C H O O L G R A D U A T E B R I S B A N E , A U S T R A L I A
C H A R A C T E R C O N C E P T:

Let them know who's king.

This is the story of a group of kids who are exposed to a world they don’t belong to, set in the very real, very dark streets of Australia’s Sunshine State. A very different interpretation of Myers, and for all intents and purposes, his origin story.

C H A R A C T E R M O T I V A T I O N S & G O A L S:

Freddie’s an aimless high school graduate who’s wasting his life right out the gate. He hangs out with people who are just as aimless as he is, and is bound to them by a misguided sense of loyalty and blood brotherhood. It’s this bond that gets him involved in some shady shit, and sees him drawn into a world of violent crime that he’ll find very difficult to get out of.

C H A R A C T E R N O T E S:

John “Johno” Allerdyce, fellow dropkick, best mate.

Hugh “Hughie” Dawkins, the most well-adjusted of Freddie’s mates.

Brian “Roo” Hibbs, amateur boxer, best mate.

Marc Reimer, local drug dealer.


Jacquelyn Myers, Fred’s mum. Separated, currently dating Darryl.

Stan Myers, Fred’s dad. Separated.

Darryl, Jacquelyn’s boyfriend.


Inspector William “Bill” Chance, inspector in the Queensland Police Service. Stormy Foster’s partner.

Inspector Jason “Stormy” Foster, inspector in the Queensland Police Service. Bill Chance’s partner.


Miles Warbeck, crime boss based in Surfers Paradise.

Davis Warbeck, Miles’ son. Involved in his father’s organisation.

Heather Warbeck, lifeguard. Miles’ daughter. Affiliated with the Warbeck syndicate by name only.

Grizzly Winchester, a lieutenant of Warbeck’s.

S A M P L E P O S T:


P O S T C A T A L O G:

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01. Chapter
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