In the first issue of Aquaman's New 52 relaunch he stops the hijacking of an armoured car. By skewering said speeding armour car on his trident and flipping it over his head. So exactly how strong is Aquaman when he is not in water?
First off: the mass of your average armoured car is 55 000 lbs, or roughly 27 tons, or 24 948 kg. There were three grown men in the vehicle as well, so let's say they each weigh 190 lbs, or 86 kg. 86 X 3 is 258 kg. We do not know the contents of the armoured car, so for our purposes here we will not include their mass. All we know for sure is that whatever they were stealing had significant value, otherwise it would not be worth the trouble of three men with AK-47s taking it, and it would not be worth having two police cars, one of which had SWAT officers in it, chasing them. Total mass we are using here is: 25206 kg.
The car was already being chased down by police, so we can presume that it was travelling pretty fast. High speed pursuit within city limits? Let's say they were travelling at around 80 miles per hour, or 36 meters per second. Alright, now we have our basic variables for simple physics!
F = MA, or Force = Mass X Acceleration. We know the mass of the vehicle is at least 25206. We're being conservative and saying that the van was travelling at 36 meters per second when it met Aquaman. That means that when it met him it hit with a force of 907 416 Newtons.
Now we apply Newton's 3rd Law to this mess, which states what happens when two objects collide. In laymen's terms, if an elephant steps on a banana both experience the same force, but the banana is the one that gets squashed because it has a greater elastic quality.
When this armoured car struck a stationary Aquaman with 907 416 N of force, he braced for impact, skewered it on his trident, and tossed it over his head. It then skidded twenty feet on its roof before coming to a stop.
Now we need to figure out how much force it would require for Aquaman to lever the armoured car over his head.
According to the DC wiki Aquaman is 6'1. Using rough estimates, a friend and I have determined that Aquaman's trident is roughly 5'11, or 1.8 meters. The centre tine of the trident appears to be roughly 2 feet, so the haft of the weapon is roughly 4 feet. In the scene where he levers the truck over his head his hands appear roughly 3.5 feet apart, or 1 meter.
Unfortunately, my knowledge of Calculus is lacking, so this is as far as I can take this equation. If there is anyone out there with the know-how to continue then I encourage you to do so. Let's see if we can figure this out.
Salt water and fish were the trademark scents of the Rio Caribe docks. The bright colours of the town were muted by the night, though they were never quite extinguished. Tourists came to have a good time, and locals worked hard so that they could play hard. Fishers and processing plants were their bread and butter; no one really paid it much mind if a ship was putting in after dusk.
Two dozen men disembarked from the cramped vessel. Half of them began busying themselves securing the ship and moving large crates down the gang plank and into the waiting maw of a warehouse; the other half all wore heavy fishing ponchos and lolled about, smoking cigarettes or cracking jokes. One of two kept looking around warily; they were new. The others had all done this before. They knew this part of the port would be empty except for the occasional vagrant or drunk. The only thing they had to fear was already in the warehouse.
Or so they thought.
A hulking figure pulled himself onto the deck of the ship from the water. It moved with grace and silence that did not match it's size. Most of the men had made their way indoors with only a few stragglers tidying up the ship or finishing their smoke. The shadowy figure approached the nearest one from behind. It reached for the other man's throat and squeezed for a few seconds. There was a short struggle, before he went limp. The figure moved to the next man and incapacitated him in the same fashion. The final two were on the dock, talking in hushed tones. The shadowy figure deftly hopped up onto the ship's railing and leaped across at the two men, it's massive hands coming down on either of their heads and drove them into heavy wood with a dull thud. That was the easy part.
Inside the warehouse, by the light of a few modest halogen lamps most of the men had begun a game of poker. the assault weapons that had been concealed under their ponchos now lay in plain sight, but still close at hand in case the need rose. One man was in the process of dealing when the sound of glass shattering came from above. Everyone looked up and their faces drained of colour. Amid the cascade of broken glass was a man whose name they all knew.
<"Bane."> The giant of a man landed cleanly on the poke table, causing it to collapse. He seemed not to notice. Even through the luchador mask, every man present could see the rage on his face. The one who had been dealing recovered from his shock first. <"Shoot him, idiots!"> Every one of the fishermen went for their guns. Before they had time to raise their barrels, Bane had lifted the man who spoke over his head and with casual effort hurled him into the others. He sent five men tumbling over in a heap. He rolled out of the line of fire of a few others, then charged head long at the nearest one. Bane's fist struck his face with skull-shattering force and the man went numb. Before the man even hit the ground, Bane had seized him by an arm and a leg and swung him into the next closest three. He sprinted left and ducked behind a box as more bullets whizzed by. A few moments of fire, then silence. Bane called out to them in Spanish.
<"You who can still walk: throw down your guns and leave, or I will break you." There was a general murmur of discussion, then the sound of weapons being dropped and footsteps moving to the door. None of them needed this job so badly.
When he was sure he was alone, Bane moved from his cover towards the boxes that the men had brought in. With his bare hands he cracked the heavy wood and dug through it until he found what he had feared would be here: venom. But it was different. Cut with something new. He had heard rumours for weeks of this new drug, but this was the first time he had seen it. So far he had only seen the side effects. His eyes bulged with rage as he suppressed a growl. His brain was working furiously. He had traced their origin in Venezuela to this port. But where were they coming from? He was so deep in thought that he didn't notice the behemoth standing behind him.
"You not one of Joker's men..." He whipped around just quick enough to catch sight of a slack-jawed, pasty face before a fist bigger than his head slammed into his sternum. The force of the blow sent him rocketing back, clean through the wall of the warehouse and into the water of the bay. His vision began to darken as the salt water consumed him.
It wasn't unusual to see the Bat-signal lighting up the Gotham city sky. Commissioner Jim Gordon made no secret of his ties to Batman, and the city had long ago learned to accept their partnership. It was for the best. To the city at large the Bat-signal was a beacon of hope. Something to remind all of the good people that there was a guardian out there protecting them from the shadows. But for Batman, seeing the signal lit up tonight raised a red flag. Jim Gordon was the only man who used it.
But Jim Gordon wasn't in Gotham on that night. No, for the first week in years Gordon was on vacation. His wife had forced him into it. She said it was about time for him to actually see his family. That was all well and good, but it didn't explain the seven foot tall man standing in the shadows on the roof of Gordon's precinct.
Batman leaped down from a rooftop across the street and glided to a few feet from the Bat-signal. With his cowl draped around him he glanced to the hulking figure.
"Bane." The masked man stepped out from the shadows and for a moment Batman's muscles tensed, ready for action. It only took him a moment to realize that his old enemy wasn't here for a fight, though. "Broken sternum and three cracked ribs."
"Four." Bane grunted in response.
"I take it the Commissioner is unharmed." Bane's eyes narrowed.
"You think I have so little honour?"
"I think you're in no condition for a fight." Bane grunted again and leaned back against a vent.
"I need your help." Batman observed Bane silently as he spoke. This was an unexpected turn of events. "There's a new brand of venom ravaging Venezuela. It's coming from Gotham." Bane reached for a pouch on his belt and extracted a vial. He tossed it to Batman, then continued as the detective examined it. "It's more powerful than it used to be, and it's as addicting as crack. It burns the user's bodies out the more they use it."
"It's a point of honour. Why do you want my help then?" Bane was silent. With one hand he removed his mask, exposing the beaten and bruised face beneath it.
"This is about more than my honour, Wayne." Batman's lip twitched at the mention of his name."There are innocent lives at stake. And you are responsible for it."
"What?" Batman grimaced.
"The Joker is responsible for the drug." Neither man spoke. Distant sirens and the bark of a stray dog broke the silence. Batman nodded.
"I'll find you tomorrow night." Bane returned his gesture and closed his eyes, breathing out a sigh of relief. When he opened his eyes Batman was gone.
Two blocks away a light glinted off the lens of a sniper rifle. The two men had been watched. A white skull was emblazoned on the armoured chest of the observer. "Batman working with a criminal? Musta misjudged him..." Frank Castle began to disassemble his rifle. This warranted further investigation.
Frank Castle had seldom left New York since his family was taken from him. Sure, he had visited Japan, Singapore, Russia... But that had been for business. And now business had taken him to Gotham City. He had never been before, but it felt oddly familiar. He half expected to see some jackass in red tights prancing around. Apparently Gotham had their own 'hero.' Some guy obsessed with bats or something; the Batman. Every arm he he had broken told Castle that Batman had the same kind of code as Murdock. No killing. It was no wonder the city was such a mess.
That was why Castle found it so strange to see this holier than thou hero type talking to a known criminal. Maybe the Batman wasn't as clean as he had thought.
The Punisher pulled the collar of his trench coat up to shield his neck from the chill air. He had found a few dozen small time dealers just from wandering the backstreets. They had all told him the same thing before he put a bullet between their eyes: they didn't know who their supplier was. They had been contacted anonymously and picked up their stock from random drops. They were texted an address and a time. No face. He kept their phones all the same.
Frank turned off the main road down an alley. Someone had been following him. He wasn't sure for how long. At least since his last target. You don't fight Daredevil without learning how to tell when a cape was following you. Whoever it was wouldn't make a move in the streetlights. Wait for the sound of air rushing around a body.
There it was. Frank reached into his jacket, reached for his Glock. He whipped around and aimed up at the source of the sound. A shot rang out, but something knocked the gun from his hand. Something lighted down in front of him, and in a flash a foot shot up and struck his jaw. Frank fell back. As he hit the pavement he pulled his combat knife from his thigh holster. His attacker leaped on top of him and held a blade to his neck.
"You are a long way from home. The Punisher, isn't it?" A ten year old in a domino mask had just knocked him on his ass. The Batman's sidekick. Frank pointed his knife between the kid's legs.
"Unless you want to become the girl wonder, you'll get offa me." Robin smirked and hopped off, never taking his eyes off of Frank. He held some kind of throwing blade in his hand.
"What are you doing in my city?"
"Last I heard it wasn't your city." Frank grimaced down at Robin and started forward to retrieve his gun. "Stay outta my way."
"You're going to need my help to find the source of the venom." Robin's words caused him to pause. The kid's voice oozed condescension. He loved this. "That is why you're here, isn't it? You aren't the first person to come here to shut it down. You'll need to know the city if you want to find the Joker, and I know the city." There was silence.
"I don't operate the way your Bat does."
"I know. That's why I'm coming to you." Frank eyed the boy up and down. Despite his youth, he had the bearing of a killer. The Punisher holstered his gun and started back towards the street. Robin smirked and slunk back into the shadows. The hunt was on.
In many ways, men of science are the same of the priests and shamans of the old world. They have all devoted their lives to understanding the universe in one manner or another. Many become lost in the dogma and begin preaching theory as fact; they come to believe that they hold the one true answer. And when they are proven wrong, their faith is shaken. Jonathon McLeod believed more strongly than most that what he was doing was for the good of the world.
He was wrong.
McLeod was a scientist, but he also had a good head for business. He saw that if science was to make any truly great discoveries, then researchers would need the funding and the facilities to explore their fields of study. He brought his think tank idea before several world governments and NGOs. Some expressed interest. None followed through. He sunk years of his life into that project, and after a while groups wrote him off based entirely on his poor track record at winning over sponsors. None of them could see that with more superhuman beings appearing every day, humanity would need some kind of response. They all thought it was too risky, that it would raise too many eyebrows. McLeod began to come unhinged; he began to grow distant from his wife and daughter, and more and more of his friends and colleagues tired to dissuade him before he lost everything.
As the days turned to weeks, he and his wife, Amy, fought more frequently. The neighbours called the police three times, and child services had threatened to take little Jennifer if things continued to escalate. One rainy June night things went off worse than usual, and Amy took their daughter and left to stay with her parents. On that night, while he sat in the dark, halfway down a bottle of Glenborough to try and forget about how far he had fallen, his phone rang. Not the home phone, or the blackberry he used for the office. It was the cell phone he had bought specifically for potential investors. He swayed across the room and fumbled in the pocket of his blazer for it. He answered it. The voice on the other end was deep and brusque, with a slight accent. Whoever it was did not mince words.
"It has come to my employer's attention that you seek financial backing for a special project. She has reviewed the dossier containing the details and wishes to give you her full support. As I am speaking to you, our lawyers are drawing up a contract. It will be delivered to you at precisely six o'clock tomorrow morning."
"You will have three days to examine said contract. We will expect your concise response at the end of this period of time. Good evening, Mister McLeod." There was the click of a receiver being hung up, and that was that.
Three rapid knocks on the door of his apartment roused Jon from his drunken haze. His head felt like it had repeatedly struck pavement. He searched for a clock. Shit, that had to be them. It wasn't a dream. It actually happened. Empty bottle of scotch still clutched in his hand, he faltered his way across the room, trying carefully to pick his way around the numerous stacks of books and magazines and failing spectacularly. Three more knocks, these sounding angrier than the last set. He reached the door and threw it open. The light of the morning blinded him, but he could make out the figure of a man before him. The man was tall with broad shoulders, but the glare of the sun hid the details of his face. The man handed Jon a brown paper envelope, then turned on his heel and and started off without a word.
The envelope contained the contract that the man on the phone had mentioned. It looked entirely legitimate. Jon reached for his blackberry and dialed his wife's number without looking at the keyboard. He raised it to his ear as he continued pouring over the contract.
"Hello? Amy? Please don't hang up! I want to- I need to apologize." Saga Industries would provide unlimited fiscal resources for the McLeod Think Tank. He could hand pick the candidates, all of whom would be given private work areas. Anything they needed for research would be given to them within two weeks. "I've been too tied up in this think tank project. I should have been a better husband, and- and a better father to Jennifer. But- Please hunny, I have amazing news. Yes but- Yes. I've found a sponsor. The think tank, it's going to happen." Saga Industries will be allowed to claim a patent on whichever of the projects that they desire, at which point the residents of the think tank must relinquish all claim over their intellectual properties. "Wait, what? You're pregnant?"
You see, Jon and Amy really did love each other. Sure they fought, but more often than not they made up from those fights in a very intimate fashion. Jon trusted that the baby was his, and it helped bring the two of them closer together. McLeod signed the contract, with an amendment made that travel expenses would be put up for both him and his family to meet the potential recruits all over the world.
Months passed, and the three traveled out to meet dozens of candidates; the brightest of MIT, former Soviet scientists whose time had passed with the Cold War, and child prodigies whose parents couldn't possibly grasp what they were capable of. If Jonathon saw drive and desire to do good that he sought, he offered all of them a chance to come into the fold. Some turned him down. Others couldn't pass him up.
The McLeod Think Tank officially opened one year from the night of that phone call. The speed with which the institute was erected drew the attention of people all over the world; it wasn't long before the building itself had become a tourist attraction. McLeod's mysterious patron didn't waste any time in capitalizing on the attention, quickly turning the surface of the compound into a cross between science discovery centre and a theme park.
This kept the tourists occupied and away from the real work that was taking place. Two dozen men and women dedicating their lives to what they love. The compound provided everything they might need. The McLeods even moved in too when baby Alex was born.
For the first year everything was fine. Then the executives of Saga industries did their first inspection to see how work was progressing. Several of the projects caught their eye. Overnight, those projects disappeared. The researchers attached to them resolved to get to the bottom of the thefts. Another night passed, and they also disappeared. Jon personally went to the Saga executives for answers, but all they would give him was the contract he had signed two years prior. He knew they had the right to take the projects, and no one in the compound actually knew what had happened to the people who had had their work taken. Worst of all, anyone who had signed a contract with Saga Industries was legally obligated to continue their work for the next five years. Jonathon couldn't leave. As he made his way back to his family's quarters, Jon decided that the least he could do was get his family out of the Think Tank. Amy and the children couldn't be legally held there; if they could make it off company property, they could live free. Amy was one of the strongest people he knew. She could survive, and she could give their children a future. But she would never willingly leave him if she knew that he couldn't follow. It would be a terrible, no-win situation for her.
Part of her would always hate him for what he did that night.
The next morning Amy woke up in a Washington Bus terminal. It was still early and relatively deserted. In the corner, a man in a raggedy jacket lay curled up on a bench, a silver flask clutched loosely in his hand. The whole place smelled lightly of urine. Something stirred in her lap and she looked down to see Jenny’s head rested there. The girl was still asleep. Next to her was a stroller that baby Alex was safely strapped in to. There was a note attached to the blanket that he was swaddled in.
You have brought me more joy than any other person on this planet. I the times when I considered giving up entirely you kept me going. But now everything I have worked for has gone wrong. I can’t leave the Think Tank, but I was able to get you and the kids out. I know you will raise them well. Please forget about me.
Tears soaked into the note as she crumpled it and shoved it in the pocket of her PJs. That man was the biggest jackass she knew. She loved him. Amy and Jon had always been careful with their money. They had savings that were separate from their main bank account, and as far as she knew no one else was aware of it. She dabbed the sleeve of her shirt at her eyes and gently woke her daughter.
“Jenny, sweetie, wake up. We’re going somewhere knew.” The little girl began to stir. She sat up and rubbed the sleep from her eyes as she looked around.
“Where are we going? Is daddy coming?” Amy’s throat tightened, but she forced her voice to remain even.
“Daddy isn’t coming. He has to stay at work. It’s just you, me, and Alex.”
“Jenny.” Amy took a knee and firmly took the girl’s shoulders in her hands. Her voice was still calm, but she couldn’t hide the tears at the edge of her eyes. “I need you to be a big girl now and help me take care of your brother. Daddy had to stay at work to take care of us.” Jenny nodded slowly.
“Will we see him soon?” Amy turned away, using every ounce of willpower she had to force herself to keep her composure. When she spoke again her voice had brightened.
“Why don’t you help me push Alex? We’ll find the two of you some breakfast, and then we’ll go visit Grandma and Grandpa for a while. How does that sound?” The little girl nodded slowly, though the look in her eyes showed that she understood what subject change really meant. She was a smart girl. And she was resilient. She would survive losing her father. Alex was young enough that he wouldn’t be able to remember Jon very well, so it would be easier for him to grow up without a father. At least, that’s what Amy thought to herself as she and Jenny walked the stroller towards the nearest Diner. He could grow up with no memory of their time in the Think Tank, and Jonathon McLeod’s brain-child would never hurt him.
Alex McLeod fell to his knees. His chest felt like it was on fire, and his already keen senses were being overwhelmed by the input of the world around him; the boys in jerseys around him turned into bright smears of blue or green. It felt like his bones were being broken and mended over and over again, each time taking on a different, warped shape. Muscles and sinew began to expand to fit the new frame and he could taste blood. His own blood? He couldn't tell.
All of a sudden the pain ceased. His body was fine, and he was completely naked standing in a forest glade. A woman in white stood before him and smiled as if in response to the dumbfounded expression on his face.
"Hi! My name is Luna Matris, but you can just call me Luna. It's very nice to meet you Alex." He shifted awkwardly in an attempt to cover himself from the pretty girl.
"How... How do you know-"
"I know your name because you're one of the Moon Born now. I know all about you. Well, sort of." Luna bit her lower lip and clasped her hands behind her back. She rocked back and forth on her feet, as if she was embarrassed to admit something. "You're not really a Moon Born. And I don't know everything. So... I guess I lied to you just now." Alex's cheeks flushed red in anger.
"Would you please just tell me what that means? Where am I? What happened to the basketball game?" Luna jumped in realization. She moved towards him and put her hands on his cheeks so that she was looking him dead in the eye.
"You are a werewolf." Silence for a moment.
"Are... Are you kidding?"
"No, I'm not kidding! That's why I wanted to look you in the eye, so that maybe you would believe me. Because you have to believe me and go back to your body right now!" Alex stepped back and looked down at himself.
"I'm... Not in my body?"
"No! Every time a lycanthrope- sorry, werewolf- has their first change, the human part of them comes here, to the source of the new part of them. If the person is strong enough to remember this meeting when they go back then they may be able to cope with the changes and retake control of their body. But you... You're weird." Alex shot her an indignant look.
"Oh, calm down. I meant... You're unlike anybody else I've seen come here, and there have been a lot. You're a werewolf, I know that. But you're... I feel a stronger connection to you than I have to anyone mortal since the dawn of time. You're significant to me in some way that even I don't understand. The problem is..."
"I don't know what is going to happen when you go back to your body." Silence again. Alex sat down on the grass and buried his head in his hands.
"I... How did this even happen? I've only even seen a wolf at the Zoo!" Luna guffawed.
"Sorry... Everyone nowadays thinks that is the way it works. It's just really silly." Her face hardened as she stepped towards him and offered him her hand. "I'm sorry, but you need to go back. The change usually doesn't happen around so many people..." Alex's eyes snapped open. He had been in the middle of a basket ball game.
"Send me back now." Luna nodded.
"Take my hand." As his fingers met hers the forest glade dissolved away; the last thing he saw was Luna's smile.
He was kneeling over his mother. One of his hands was wrapped through her hair, and she held a handgun pointed at his chest. A look of shock was etched upon her face. When did he get so tired? Alex blacked out.
Alex became dimly aware that he was in the seat of a car, and moving faster than could have been legal. He could smell someone next to him, hear their heartbeat. The lingering scent of tobacco hung around him. He opened his eyes. The tattered uniform that had barely clung to him when he returned to his body had been replaced with a t-shirt and jeans, and a light jacket was draped around his shoulders. His mother was driving, a cigarette clutched firmly in her teeth.
"Since when do you smoke?..."His voice cracked. His vocal cords felt raw, like someone had scraped them with sandpaper. She started and her head whipped to look at him for a moment before returning to the road. Her eyes looked wild.
"Whu- Oh. I haven't since before Jenny was born. Alex..."
"I know what happened. At least, I think I do... Did it..."
"Three. At least a dozen more were in critical condition when I carried you out of there. No one saw you change back, but you can bet someone was filming the game." Alex cocked an eye at her.
"You seem to be handling all this very well." She glanced at him again and let out a sigh.
"I've been worried that Jon did something to you when you were a baby."
"...Your father." The car turned down a back alley, and for a time neither of them spoke. Neither of them knew what to say. "There are a lot of things I should have told you-"
"You don't say! You told me that you had no idea who my father was! You told me-"
"I know what I told you, dammit! Just shut up and listen, and try to keep calm. Your father founded the McLeod Think Tank, and for all I know he's still there now. You spent the first two years of your life in the facilities underneath that place. Then one day things started going sideways, and the next thing I know I wake up with you and your sister in some bus station a hundred miles away." She paused to let him take everything in.
"What did he do to me?"
"I don't know. But Saga, the people who funded that place, have been tracking us ever since. That's why my friends from the force are always over at our place. I asked them to stay close, to keep you and your sister safe while I was on my beat." Silence. The police cruiser began to slow, and Amy pulled over to the side of the dirt road. "You need to get out and run."
"There's a duffle bag in the trunk with some supplies. I've had it ready for years in case of something like this..."
"Where am I going?"
"I don't know, and I don't want to know. The only way I can keep you safe is if I don't know where you are. I'll cover your trail from here, but the rest is on you." She looked him in the eye, and her stern facade faded. "Alex, sweetie... I love you. If I could go with you I would, but I can't do anything to help you with this. I know you. And I know you'll be able to survive on your own. You were a much better student than your sister was at survival training." Alex's throat began to tighten, and he could feel tears at the edge of his eyes.
"Mom..." Her eyes hardened again.
"Go." He met her gaze for a second longer, then nodded and undid his seat belt. He went to the trunk to retrieve the supply bag and slung it over his shoulder, then took off at a steady jog to the East, towards the forests at the base of the Appalachians. He didn't look back. She didn't either.
Alex is a Moon Born, more commonly known as Lycanthrope or werewolf. His Lycanthropy has the same source as most of his kind, but he is different in a few key ways:
Alex does not possess the traditional weakness to silver.
Alex can manifest aspects of his beast form while still remaining human (growing claws, enhanced senses, increasing physical abilities, etc.)
Alex has very little control over his beast form.
While in his human form, Alex still possesses enhanced strength (sufficient to lift/press 4 tons), superhuman speed and agility, wolf-like senses, and a healing factor that is tied, more or less, to his will to live. That is not to say that he cannot be hurt or killed, just that he will heal from relatively minor injuries as long as he has the desire to continue. His body is also much more durable than a normal person, with his bones and tissue having become more dense after his first change. In addition, Alex's stamina is great enough that he is capable of performing particularly strenuous acts for days on end before needing rest.
After one of these extended periods of strenuous activity, and after a particularly long period in his beast form without feeding, Alex requires a much greater amount of food for his body to continue functioning at peak condition.
While in his werewolf form, all of Alex's physical abilities are magnified to greater levels. Alex has very little control over his Lycan form at the best of times. While he can change at will if he so desires, the change can also be triggered by a burst of passionate emotion. When this happens he automatically enters a berserk rage and cannot be easily shaken from it.
In both forms Alex has a very strong connection to the spirit world, particularly to the Luna Matris, the spirit of the moon and the source of all Lycans. Alex has yet to test the depths of this connection.
Hello again everyone. I know I haven't been particularly active for a while, but there is at least one more thing I need to do here.
To begin with, I would like to formally apologize to the staff and moderators of Comic Vine. Earlier this year (January, to be precise), I made a blog expressing frustrations that myself and others have had with the site. It was not intended as a personal attack on anyone. I am very sorry if it came off as one. As I said, I was frustrated and some of the things that I wrote were harsher then they needed to be.
Now, I am not so bold as to think that the blog I wrote all those months ago was truly responsible for any positive change. But in the time since then I have been impressed with some the changes that have been made in the style of management. When all four of the sister sites went down, the administrators put a page explaining the situation and even gave a discount to paying members for the time they were losing.
One of the grievances I listed before, namely the lack of a battle forum mod, has been alleviated. I really haven't spent enough time on the site to see if things everywhere have truly improved, but it is nice to see that kind of effort; little things like that give me hope that we actually can be heard.
I know this might make me into a pariah with some of the more extreme elements, but the fact of the matter is that I think the CV Staff are doing a much better job. So, and I say this with absolutely no sarcasm, please keep up the good work.
Name: Diego Delgado Nobody really expected a Western European nation to ever really become a super power in the world again. Rodrigo Delgado proved that they were all mistaken. When his family found oil underneath their house, the sixteen year old shrewdly invested the money from it and within a few months had tripled the original number. In what Time magazine called "the most shocking overnight success story in years", Delgado went national, expanding his business ventures to include first natural gas and coal, and later other, more sustainable forms of energy. Though he came from a poor background, Rodrigo had been instilled with strong morals by his parents, morals that held fast in his business ventures. Before long his reputation had grown enough that he not only had the power to effect massive change, but also the influence to win people over to his cause, no matter what it was. And the causes he chose to support were always noble in the eyes of the people; within three months the influx of drugs from South America that plagued the coast of Spain had been cut down to a trickle thanks to Delgado's public education programs and private security measures along the coast line. A government in most European countries is lucky to maintain power for a few months before it is toppled by a coalition, but this one man was able to effectively control half the continent. It wasn't long until he began expanding his operations into Asia. This is when the real trouble started.
Rain struck the window panes of his office with a dull thrum, causing the glass to vibrate in it's frame. It was another late night for Delgado; a necessary evil as far as he was concerned. Niten Industries was a major player in the global energy market, but their quarterly gross product was astronomical. They must have been off the books. Under most circumstances he would have a team of lawyers and economists doing this research, but anyone who sniffed around Niten Industries too much seemed to drop off the face of the Earth, and he wasn't willing to put those people at risk. Besides that, it would be easier to keep his work quiet if no one else knew about it. In fact, the whole business deal had been kept quiet; no one outside of the board was even aware that the two companies were in talks, and only Rodrigo knew the true purpose of those talks. Still, the time away from his family over the past few weeks had been difficult, to say the least. His wife, Maria, had just given birth to a baby boy. Diego, named for her brother.
He ran his fingers over his tired eyes; it would all be for the greater good. Was it still raining? Yes, the thwap against the window sill was still there. But there's another noise too. A sudden, shattering noise. Water and glass showered over his head. Bullet proof glass.
No one is entirely certain of what happened to Rodrigo Delgado that night, or the rest of his family for that matter. Or at least, the investigations into the matter did not last long and the outcry at the murder of one of the most beloved men in the country went with it.
No one realized that Delgado's son was alive. That the men responsible for slaughtering his family had taken him. That Diego, the son of Rodrigo Delgado, was now a son of the Sacred Order.
More to come...
Hanging fires cast flickering shadows across the walls of the stone room, mingling with the ornately carved symbols that filled the walls to produce grotesquely twisted shapes. He had only been in this room on a few occasions before today, but the one he remembered the most vividly was the first; when his training with the Order had begun. Though he was barely a child at the time, Diego still remembered the words that his master had spoken to him then.
"<The traditions of our order are ancient ones, stemming from a Feud that began long ago. Through what our ancestors learned we have perfected the art of ninjistu; of using the shadows for our purposes. This is not what you will learn, though. You have a different fate, one that requires you to learn the way of the Samurai. It will be difficult, but if you succeed then you will serve the Order well, young one.>"
Looking back now the years seemed to have melted away. Every day of his life from then on was dedicated to training. Those who were injured were deemed unworthy and were shunned from the temple. If they were able to make it back inside after one night then they would be allowed to resume training again, but those that were unable to did not last long on their own. Diego knew from experience that the mountains were unforgiving of mistakes. But unlike some of the less fortunate, he had spent an equal amount of time training his mind as he had training his body; his master had always said that for what he was to do a learned individual would be necessary. But today his time as a student was over. Today, Diego would receive his name.
His master's face was partially obscured by the darkness of the room. He leaned forward slightly, looking down at the young man from the stone platform on which he resided."<It is time now for you to learn the truth of your family.>" He paused for a moment as if gathering his thoughts. Though his curiosity was piqued, Diego knew better than to speak out. "<Your father was a very powerful man, who posed a great threat to the Order. We had no choice but to silence him and any who would attempt to usurp his position. Your life was spared, though. For all of the trouble that he could have caused, the power that your father had at his disposal would surely prove to be an asset to us in the right hands. Your hands.>" Silence filled the room once again, the words that his master had just spoken fading as if into nothingness despite the echo that should have followed. "< You will take your father's place. You will use the power that he possessed in the name of the Sacred Order; in the name of the greater good.>" From out of the darkness, the master drew out a thin, black sword with a slightly curved blade, barely visible in the dim light. "<As this sword will serve as an extension of your arm, you shall serve as an extension of mine. Your name will reflect this honour. From this day forward, the Sacred Order and our enemies shall know you as Espada."
So, I have recently reacquired my laptop and with it the latest version of photoshop. I'm fairly skilled with image manipulation, so if anyone has a picture they want altered in some way, or any kind of request that is related to this, please just drop me a message and I'll see what I can do.
Why is so much effort put into these superfluous "news" articles when the majority of the people with any power don't do anything to actually address any of the real problems on this site? A while ago myself and several associates started a peaceful campaign to have a mod instated especially for the battle forums. It sounds like a simple enough request; the artist show-off forum gets its own mod, and hardly anyone even goes there. It shouldn't be a problem to have someone given the task of patrolling the area where ninety percent of the trolling on this site occurs, right?
We were either ignored or, in one case, attacked. I can understand the fact that the Staff are busy. I mean, they need to think up such interesting reports as "why doesn't the Hulk have a moustache?" That clearly takes precedence over something as silly as the voice of the users. Maybe if we were all paying members our opinions would be more potent, but in the off chance that isn't true we are then paying people to ignore us, and I feel that there is enough of that going on in real world politics that we don't need it here too.
You know those friends that I mentioned? They all finally got fed up with the bullsh!t and moved on to their own greener pastures. That's right, they would rather make their own forum than put up with being ignored by the people in power. Actually, it would be kind to say that being ignored was the extent of it. There was an occasion where one of them was told off by a mod for for creating many well thought out battles. I believe the exact words were "let someone else have a chance." You know, because we need more "Bane vs. Juggernaut" and "How can I hook up with this chick" threads.
This is more than just not getting a mod now. This is the fact that we are never told when an update is on its way, and that we have no say in any new features. Since the last one I haven't been able to access any of my alt accounts, which makes doing anything in the RPG forum that much more difficult. In fact, the only reason I haven't left too is because of one person who is very near and dear to me. It is not because I have any faith left in the people who should, in theory, listen to what we have to say.
Hey guys. So my costume for this year was/is the Crow. It wasn't perfect, but I'm pretty happy with the outcome (especially considering the friend who did my make up has never seen a movie or comic from the franchise). Anyway, here it is.