HubrisRanger's forum posts

#1 Posted by HubrisRanger (173 posts) - - Show Bio

Their not showing the character in the worst way possible. They're paying homage to the character's most traumatic and defining experience etc. That's like saying showing Jason Todd blown up and beaten the crap out of in a cover is the worst possible way of showing the character on a cover despite that moment being a pivotal event in his career: his death.

Except for instead of showing her overcoming or facing her trauma, is JUST shows the trauma. The narrative of defense that it was out of the trauma that she grew stronger is maybe worthwhile, but this picture JUST shows her in a state of horror, panic, terror. There's not hope there, just the moment of actual fear.

Worth noting, they have not released the art of the Red Hood/Arsenal #1 Joker variant. What do you wanna bet it's just a picture of teenaged Jason Todd beat to a bloody pulp? I wouldn't hold my breathe.

#2 Posted by HubrisRanger (173 posts) - - Show Bio

@blade_r said:

. Although I am a little disappointed at whoever made the call to listen to the whiners and pull it to begin with.

Oh you mean the artist who drew it?

#3 Posted by HubrisRanger (173 posts) - - Show Bio

To play the other side of this argument, I will offer my reasons for why I think it was a GOOD choice to pull the variant cover:

-It wasn't reflective of the tone of the book itself. I won't comment on it as a piece of art (I personally find it chilling and more than a little off-putting), but covers typically reflect the style of the book they're appearing on. It fails in that regard.
-It depicted Barbara as a scared, helpless victim rather than some who has recovered from trauma. Check out this variant someone made to show how easy it would be to empower Barbara in this situation just a minuscule amount.
-Is re-establishing Killing Joke as the definitive Barbara Gordon story the most original idea? I recognize that it allowed her character to grow in the moment, but it was largely out of a sense of saving the character in ancillary books like Suicide Squad. People refused to let her go, but what happened to her in Killing Joke is little more than bait for Batman and Gordon to up the stakes; it is a piece of fridging in an otherwise wonderful story.
-A vast majority of people who are defending the cover also make a point to say they aren't reading the book now but were planning on buying that cover; as said above, the fact that the tone of that cover (grim, threatening and unnerving) compared to the book itself (light, empowering, energetic) speaks volumes to me about a culture of violence that should be examined.
-The argument that having the same cover with Bane/Batman or Superman/Doomsday doesn't hold water for me for the simple fact that neither of those have the aspect of sexual violence.
-The argument that by protesting the variant you are trying to whitewash the existence of domestic violence also doesn't hold water for me. You can acknowledge and respond to domestic violence in ways other than selling a variant cover that features a woman being victimized.

#4 Edited by HubrisRanger (173 posts) - - Show Bio

The craziest thing about all of this to me is that the Harley Quinn variant cover for Batgirl #39 is also a reference to Killing Joke (the fact that the most referenced Barbara Gordon storyline is the one where she is quite literally turned into little more than a victim for plot purposes will be put aside for now), and there was minimal controversy around that cover:

Do you see the difference? Here, Batgirl is not being shown as a scared, helpless victim but rather turning the tables of a familiar image, one where likely horrific events are happening on the other side, into one where she is victorious. It is triumphant, fun and empowering. It also happens to fit the tone (and color palette) of the material inside. It still references Killing Joke, and in my estimation is far more clever and intelligent use of the source material than the grim variant that was originally advertised for issue 41.

#5 Posted by HubrisRanger (173 posts) - - Show Bio

@wildvine: I will attempt to keep length in mind for future wtories. Certainly will help the speed of posting.

And the only potential curse word I see in my quick rescan is the one that rhymes with trap. If that qualifies as a curse serious enough to edit, I can, but I feel like that is pretty mild.

#6 Posted by HubrisRanger (173 posts) - - Show Bio

I suspect it would also help if I broke it up with images, as I see a lot of people posting stories of comparable length but with those to help break it up.

#7 Edited by HubrisRanger (173 posts) - - Show Bio

This story is set in the Ultimate Amalgam Universe, which you can read more about here.

***

"You’re getting all of this, right?" Selina LeBeau hushed softly into her invisible mouthpiece. The microphone was attached to the side of the hood of her jet black catsuit, sensitive enough to pick up her whisper clearly without giving away her location. This proved vitally important as she creeped along the rafters of the Roosevelt Hotel, looking down at the historic grand ballroom, the tails of her long coat spilling down slightly. Tall Romanesque columns were scattered across the room, marble and gold the decor. It was a bit gaudy, but it had stood for generations and thus prestigious. The ballroom was nearly empty save for a trio of thugs in cheap suits at a table near the center of the room, playing cards and generally keeping their chatter to a minimum. Selina had received a tip that their colorful employer was rumored to have rented out the ballroom for a private meeting.

And if her sources were accurate, Selina had a very important question to ask their boss, which was precisely why she was lurking there in the first place.

“Still establishing an uplink now with all your systems,” a very cranky voice sighed into Selina’s right ear, punctuated by a long draw of coffee. “Honestly, Sel, if you would just let me update your equipment with some chips with up-to-date LTE technology, we wouldn’t have this little routine every time. In fact, I have a few other updates that would really streamline the whole-”

“Hush Kitty, here he comes,” Selina said as the door of the ballrooms burst open. A steady stream of more goons, nearly three dozen, poured into the room, before their boss marched in behind. Waylon Conners, esteemed biologist turned ruthless criminal after one too many genetic experiments performed on himself. His massive frame had swollen out to become a eight foot tall lizard-human hybrid, and as seemed to always be the case in ‘Nawlens, the transformation had warped his brain towards the violent and criminal. He had started to establish a serious gang in the area, muscling his way to the top by effort of sheer force of will. Those that crossed him or his hired guns had a nasty habit of being fished out of the port by the Coast Guard, more often than not missing major limbs. Soon enough, people got the message: Conners wasn't to be taken lightly. It was how he had earned the nickname Killer Lizard. Taking on the legendary Thieves Legion, the oldest organized crime syndicate in the city, was just Killer Lizards latest show of power. One that had not gone unnoticed.

Unfortunately for Conners, Selina wasn't the type to scare off easily.

“You do realize they can’t hear me, right?” said a bemused Kitty.

“No, but I can, and you’re a horrible distraction hun, so shh,” Selina quipped back. That was enough to get the woman on the other end of the private short-wave line to fall silent after a brief snort. Katherine “Kitty” Gordon was very good at creating lovely toys and hacking into seemingly secure computer servers, but when it came to assisting a stake out? The hacker better known as “Logos” left a lot to be desired.

The meeting far below began to establish itself in earnest. As the massive crime boss made himself comfortable, his reptilian gaze glancing around the room at the collection of mooks, a nervous lieutenant stepped forward and offered a small smile.

“I hope you have good news for me, Teroux,” the massive beast-man growled. His forked tongue flashed as he spoke, his local creole accent weighing down every word.

“Don't you worry about it boss,” the crook said evenly. “But I am happy to report that we scooped that big score out from beneath the Thieves Legion.” A cheer rose from the rest of the crooks, quickly killed with a loud, menacing growl from Conners throat.

Selina grimaced at the mention of the haul. Mysterious diamonds, known as the Heart of the Eclipse, had found their way into Orleans over the past few months and the Thieves Legion had been able to confirm the location of a newly arrived haul. The actual material that formed the black diamonds were unknown, but whoever was smuggling them in clearly was willing to pay top dollar to keep them very quiet. It was near impossible to keep any contraband coming in or out of the city without the Legion at least knowing about; the fact that Conner's gang learned about this too left a bad taste in Selina's mouth, as well as the way that diamonds had disappeared since. If Conners had connections that were cutting him in on the action, he was a more serious threat to the Legion than she liked to admit.

“And did you boys shake off the Card Cat?” Conners finally asked, his voice still a low growling drawl. The question raised a nervous round of speculation from the crowd gathered. Selina grinned as she heard

“Sounds like my cue, you got that uplink working yet?” Selina asked as she got to her feet, adjusting the bright red goggles that covered her eyes.

“One more second, annnnd...we’re good to go. But...holy crap, is that who I think it is?” Kitty asked, sudden nervousness clear in her tone.

“In the scaly flesh,” Selina said before stepping out of her perch and quickly falling. As she fell, she pulled out her weapon of choice: a collapsible bow-staff that she held firmly at her side. Her descent didn’t go unnoticed, as several members of the gang looked up when they heard a slight creak from the rafters, only to see a familiar black-clad figure fall towards them. Those unlucky enough to be near her when she landed were quickly taken care of: first the one that broke her fall, followed by the two nearby thugs that received a swift strike of her staff to the temple. Even as a fourth attempted to pull a gun, a chair was caught by the momentum of a bo-strike and hurtled towards the offending party. The flurry of action shocked most who witnessed. Just how Selina liked it, as she flashed a wide grin at the man of the hour.

“Hey there, Killer Lizard. Guess you could say my ears were burning up, so thought I’d drop by. Sorry to break up your little party, but I take it personally when people steal what is rightfully mine to steal.”

Killer Lizard didn’t say a word, instead giving a loud snarl and raising his fist high in the air before slamming it down onto the table between him and the infamous thief among thieves. “GET ‘ER!”

The next few moments were an explosion of action, as various gang members rushed at the unwelcome intruder. Most were smart enough to not fire off their heat; those that did so learned why that wasn't wise as they ended up tagging their own fellow gang members in the crossfire

"You ever considered not jumping into giant fights?" Kitty asked into Selina's ear.

"Hey, if I wanted to play it safe, I would find a new line of work," Selina responded defensively while clearing the room, jumping from thug to thug to whap them forcefully against their temple. “Maybe art dealing. Oooo, or a pet store!”

"Sadly, I think we both know you're too addicted to actually give this up," Kitty countered, taking an audible sip of her coffee. "Two goons behind you, bee tee dubs," she added. The thermo-visual display that was wired in Selina’s suit allowed Kitty to get a fuller vision of what surrounded the famed thief. One of the many high-tech tools that she had developed for New Orleans’ most infamous vigilante.

"Merci," Selina said as she swung her bow behind her, perfectly timing the strike to take down two more goons. "Anything else of note?"

"Nothing major," Kitty said nonchalantly. "Oh, other than your big bad lizardman getting way. Again, no biggie."

Selina whipped her head around in time to discover that Killer Lizard indeed had begun rushing towards the main doorway of the building. She frowned, realizing that only he would be sure to have the information she needed. These mooks were clearly uninformed by design; the more a man knows, the more dangerous he is. But the ballroom was too vast for her to make it across in time to stop him, especially with the handful of thugs left. She would have to go to her last resort.

She would have to use the cards.

She could hardly remember when she started using the cards. She had memories of learning sleight of hand tricks from her adoptive father, her adolescence spent with the easy con of 3-card-monty and rudimentary card tricks. And when her mutant ability to charge objects first manifested, it wasn't hard to figure out what she would use more often than not.

She flicked her wrist, the motorized card dispenser in the sleeve of her trenchcoat shooting out a brand new four of hearts. In a matter of seconds, the once benign playing card became a live grenade as it was charged and tossed across the room, the newly formed kinetic energy propelling it further than her toss would have by itself.

Once the card hit the far wall of the ballroom, it almost immediately exploded, causing the century old wall to crumble and block the chosen path of the Killer Lizard. Selina flicked her wrist and charged up another card, holding at the ready as the reptilian mobster glared at her.

"You got a lotta nerve coming here," he snapped at her.

"Oh please," Selina groaned. "You asked for it the moment you crossed paths with the Legion. You thought I wouldn't notice you suddenly hitting a big score and not try to put you back in your place? Not even trying to pay your dues, in this town? I know you're still new at this, but you can't be that thick-headed."

Conners grew more agitated, snapping his jaws as his tail waved menacingly behind him slowly. He clearly wanted to retaliate but for the moment was kept at bay with the threat of the charged card. "So what now, you want the diamonds? Well sorry, but they're already off to..."

"Wow, you really are that thick," Selina interrupted with a chiding edge to her voice. "I may have lost the score, but that's business too. If we wanted what you took, you better believe that we would already have it." She grinned while Lizard tried his most menacing growl, merely holding up her card to cause him to fall silent again. "There will be other shipments of the diamond, but right now I need to know who I can trust." She slowly started to make her way towards Conners, the card still held as a bargaining chip. "So go ahead and tell me who coughed up on the diamonds, and we'll be done here."

Killer Lizard slowly blinked his large dark yellow eyes, looking genuinely surprised. "You mean...you didn't know?" he says, his long mouth curling into a sinister snarl of a grin before he threw his head back for a hearty laugh. "Oh that is too good. Betrayed by your own boy toy and don't even realize it."

Selina's own confident smile faded as she hears those words. "What are you talking about?" she asked flatly, the swaggering confidence in her voice dulled.

Conners laugh roared even louder, the sound a disgusting croaking chortle. "You really don't know? Wow, so rich. Okay cher, try this one on for size: I got my information from none other than the Red Rogue."

***

As Gregory Stevens came to, the first thing he noticed was the mangy-looking rat crawling across his leg. Startled, he attempted to kick it away only to discover his feet had been bound to a chair. The force of his attempt to kick was enough to shoo the rat away, running off into darkness of the shadows. Only then did Stevens take in his surroundings: one of the warehouses holding ancient, abandoned Mardi Gras floats. Giant clown heads towered over him, the paper mache skin peeling off. He started to crane his neck around, his arms also bound to the chair as he quickly felt himself start to panic.

“Hello? Who is there?” he shouted, unable to slip out of his bounds easily. “Listen, I don’t know who you think I am, but I am just a dock worker, no one special.”

“Oh don’t say that,” a Southern-tinged calls out from behind, followed by heavy footsteps. Soon enough a man stepped into Stevens’ field of view, dressed in black and red leather motorcycle leathers. His hair was stark black, save for a strip of white down the center of his hair. His eyes were covered by a simple red mask, but Steven didn’t imagine he’d recognize him even if he wasn’t wearing it.

“What? No. I-I really don’t know anything. Honest,” Stevens tried to argue, stopping his struggling. As he looked on, her noticed the sidearm that seemed to be hanging at the man’s side. “You gotta belive me. I ain’t go no money, or--or anything.”

The masked man simply sighed, rubbing his forehead with one hand as he reached into a pocket with his free hand. “Now you’re just lying to me. How are we supposed to become friends?” he said, his pocketed hand re-emerging with a cell phone in hand. Stevens’ cell phone. A few swipes later, and he sees a screen filled with his bank account information. And the sizeable deposit recently made to it. “Now I’m no expert, but in my experience? Someone who is working menial jobs don’t typically make deposits with that many zeroes. Unless they’re hiding something. So I guess the question is, what exactly are you hiding?”

Steven sputtered in disbelief for several seconds, his eyes constantly flickering to the gun that the man had holstered to his side. He muttered something before speaking more loudly, “I’m sorry, but they told me if I told anyone what I knew, they’d kill me. I...I can’t…”

The man actually smiled at that, putting the cell phone away to one side before bending down. “Of course you can’t,” he says evenly before reaching over to remove one of his gloves. “I just wanted to give you a chance to tell me yourself, because honestly? I really don’t like this part.”

Before Stevens could protest further, the man in red reached out with a bare hand and pressed it to his cheek. And in that moment his eyes grew wide, and everything seemed to fade. Visibly, audible, everything became softer, brighter, as if the world was going out of focus. He tried to speak, but couldn’t, the sensation similar to being trapped underwater. Eventually his eyes rolled backwards and he passed out, his body going limp in his chair.

As soon as Stevens passed out, the man in red pulled his hand back, stumbling several steps backwards as his mind rushed with new information. As always it was a jumble, hard to parse out what was recent and relevant. He wasn’t lying; he honestly hated doing this, sucking the information literally out of someone’s head into his own. But he also knew it was often the most direct way to get the truth, and in his business the truth was a valuable commodity.

Closing his eyes and controlling his breathing, the new flood of memories eventually sorted themselves out. Absorbed from the simple touch to Stevens’ face, he had to separate out which memories were new, foreign, not his own and search for context. It was sometimes easier than others, but eventually a narrative formed itself before him. And a terrible secret.

Opening his eyes again, the man was off in a shot, pulling his black gloves back on as he moved. Part of him thought about warning Selina, but he knew that road led to complications.

With Selina LeBeau, things always seemed to get complicated. Fast. And right now, the Red Rogue needed to keep things closer to the vest.

TO BE CONTINUED...

#8 Posted by HubrisRanger (173 posts) - - Show Bio

Hey everybody!

So there have been a couple stabs at trying to make a shared Amalgam faniverses before, some of which got more traction than others. And I figured if there can be a multiverse of DC and Marvel to pull from, why not try explore a multiverse of different combinations again? So here we go, a new NEW Amalgam with the overarching name of Ultimate Amalgam Universe (or UAU). I'll be running this group, so post below if you want to call any combination of characters for a story you have imagined. Also going to post the first "issue" of the first UAU series, Card Cat, as soon as I post this.

"What are Amalgam Comics?"

For folks who had the common sense to not get into mid-1990s American superhero comics, Amalgam Comics was a fictional publisher of a universe shared by DC and Marvel that featured characters that were combinations of two or more characters from the two publishers. For example, Superman and Captain America were combined to create the new character, Super-Soldier. They published 24 comics in total, with a wide range of actual quality therein. For the most part, it was all just a silly idea that some of us have great affection for.

Here are a few simple rules:

1. No ACTUAL Amalgam characters should be used. Part of the idea is to come with your own original combinations, not to tell the continuing stories of Dark Claw and Spider-Boy.

2. Feel free to use ideas from the two previous CV groups. This is partially because certain combinations just make sense (I especially like the idea/name of Thunder Woman), and also to give people to run with concepts they saw or were writing in one of the previous groups. However...

3. There is no canon (yet). Neither of the other two CV Amalgam groups or the original Amalgam comics are considered to be canonical in the UAU. So even if you do decide to use Thunder Woman, previous stories or characters from those stories are considered abandoned and need not affect or inform your writing. As stories are published, they will be considered part of the new UAU canon, unless otherwise vetoed by a majority of the writers in this group. (That will be a process I'll decide upon once it becomes an issue, which I am hoping it won't be.)

4. Each DC and Marvel character can only be used once. I am going to keep a running list below of every DC and Marvel character currently claimed as part of an Amalgam. For this reason, the moment you conceptualize a character you want to use, please first check to see if they the DC and Marvel components are unclaimed. If they are open, then post in here about who you would like to claim, operating on a first come, first serve basis. You have to have pitched and claimed a series before you can claim a character. If necessary, we may create a Wikia to keep information straight.

5. Inform me when new stories have been posted so I can link them here. This can either be as part of this thread, in a PM or otherwise.

6. Have fun. As with all fan writing, the point is to enjoy yourself, engage with the material in a unique way and create something you'd like to read. Stressing out about it is not allowed.

7. Please claim only one title every two week please. That way we keep from someone claiming five books at all once and then not being able to do four of them. If you do a series for two weeks and feel like you can take on a second one (or third or fourth), then come back and post a claim in here. Until then,

Active Series

Card Cat by HubrisRanger

Finished Series

None

Character List
Marvel
Gambit/Remy LeBeau

Jean-Luc LeBeau

The Lizard/Curt Connors

Rogue

Shadowcat/Kitty Pryde

DC
Catwoman/Selina Kyle

Killer Croc/Waylon Jones

Oracle/Barbara Gordon

Ra's Al Ghul

Red Hood/Jason Todd

Of course if you have any questions please feel free to ask them. I will try to keep an eye on this thread and be as prompt as I can be.

#9 Posted by HubrisRanger (173 posts) - - Show Bio

@rainja said:

@hubrisranger: The Old Fans are going to demand there old universe back and DC is giving them ammo to do it. They will want current books to go along with the New 52. I think DC opened up a can of worms. At the end of this somebody looses.Will it be the new 52 crowd or will it be the Pre-52 crowd. We will see. Peace

Or one side gets short reminders of the stories they remember, a love letter to yesteryear, as well as the ongoing direction of the brand today. I don't think that by bringing these characters back for a limited engagement they're rubbing anyone's noses in it. They're just celebrating the past of DC, while (in some ways literally) moving into the future. The idea that New 52 is going to revert any time soon feel far-fetched to me, especially when everything that DC does seems to be a "sign" that they're going to return to New Earth. Quite honestly, continuity and characters is far secondary to good books; if/when DC puts out comics that people want to read in broad quantities, people will read it, even if it isn't EXACTLY the form and shape of the comics they grew up reading.

#10 Posted by HubrisRanger (173 posts) - - Show Bio

@rainja: I can appreciate your concern, but with this slate of titles, I am more convinced this is indeed a bit of a nostalgia act rather than any serious attempt to realign or bring back past concepts. These characters and storylines are all mid-90s versions, with Kingdom Come being the most prominent 90s alternate reality. So we have a slate of 90s books and 2000s books, with I'm sure 80s and 70s takes to come in the next few weeks.

Which both is a nice filler idea for the move DC is making these months and also gives them the out to say "Everything was/is still canon, it's just awash in the multiverse." None of this will likely upset the New 52; it just a clever way to visit the previous versions, give little odes and then move on with business as usual.

It definitely caters to the old guard more than new readers, but it is a two month goof off where people can wax nostalgic about the Matrix Supergirl. No harm no foul really, and if these titles aren't to your liking, they are imminently skippable.