Welcome To My Nightmare

Cha Cha Cha Changes! Another musical inspiration brought to you by David Bowie, aka Nikola Tesla from the brilliant film, the Prestige. Let’s explore a “What If…?” or “Elseworlds” type of scenario and completely shuffle the deck (or decks, if you want to do both big comic universes). Imagine, if you will, that you are the Grand Designer of the Universe. You have two sets of tools to work with. One the one hand, you have a bunch of people with names like Parker, Kent, Summers, Wayne, Constantine and — please forgive me for this — Howlett. I know, I know, I hear your collective groans. But hey, I’m the Grand Designer of the Universe, I can FIX that. Bwa ha ha! Now, on the other hand, I have this big stack of superpowers. I got super-everything: strength, speed, stretching, intelligence. I can make someone stick to walls, or I can make someone perfectly duplicate the physical motion of another, or even duplicate themselves entirely. I could make someone who moves things with their mind, or create everything from ice to plants out of their bare hands. So with all these people and all these powers, what would a Grand Designer of a Universe do? He or she would make superheroes, of course! And that is your mission too, if you choose to accept it. You’re the creator on the new line of “What If…We Mix and Match like Elseworlds?”

 

Here’s the deal, I have surgery scheduled for later this week and I won’t be posting next week. Besides, that’s Turkey Day, and everyone should be in a poultry-induced coma watching football — even you blokes across the pond, with your funny soccer-like football and strange predisposition against using your hands. So you’ll have two weeks from today to send me a re-conceived version of DC or Marvel, or both if you like. In fact, if you want, mix ’em up — Peter Parker’s Aunt and Uncle are murdered before his eyes and seeking revenge he becomes The Batman. Science nerd Barbara Gordon gets bit by a radioactive spider an becomes Spider-Woman. DC’s got 52 universes now, but if you want to make your very own 53rd, be my guest. And if any of my readers are feeling up to it and want to send some artwork or photo manipulations, feel free, just remember that picture sizes are limited and I’d prefer anything sent be JPEG format to make my life (and Daron’s if he has to cut stuff down to make it fit) easier. For those just sending written ideas, just tell me which character you’re matching up with which super-powered persona and maybe a brief description of this character’s origin. Have fun, and see everyone in a couple of weeks!
 
Here’s a few of mine to get you started, I might do more while I recuperate. To keep things straight in my head, I’m not going to cross companies. And you don’t have to bother with this if ya don’t want, but I thought I’d note the creative teams I’d like to see for each book.

 

Kal-El is AQUAMAN, by Peter David and Mike Perkins — As the distant planet Krypton explodes, their sole survivor rockets off to Earth. But in his haste, Jor-El made a slight miscalculation and the last son of Krypton, Kal-El, landed in the ocean which covers the majority of the planet. Like a dolphin, Kal must surface occasionally to catch his breath, earning him scorn and ridicule from some of the Atlanteans who have adopted him as their own. But when his powers of flight, speed, strength and heat vision develop, he will become Atlantis’ greatest champion, making a life long enemy of his foster brother, Arthur Curry, the Ocean Master, in the process. 

 

Peter Parker is CAPTAIN AMERICA, by Ed Brubaker and Mike Zeck — Skinny bookworm Parker was your typical 95-pound weakling, but all that changed the day his Uncle Ben died in the World Trade Center bombing. He signed up for the Army, but failed his physical. Luckily, a clandestine project known only to insane Vice President Dick Chaney and the Joint Chiefs gave Parker another chance to serve his country. Injected with an experimental steroid, Parker achieved the peak of human physical conditioning almost overnight. Given a patriotic costume to inspire the troops and improve morale, Captain America was born! Terrorists beware, especially Sergei Kravenoff, the former KGB super-spy turned soldier-of-fortune who has survived several disfiguring attempts on his life. Now known as the Red Skull due to his gaunt features and crimson complexion, his “Sinister Six” terror network is “Democracy’s Most Wanted” the world over.

 
Ted Kord, Lex Luthor, Bruce Wayne and John H. Irons are THE METAL MEN, Joe Casey and Esad Ribic — the biggest technology conglomerate on Earth is controlled by four geniuses who could not stand being among the “idol rich”. Putting their advanced technologies into specialized cybernetic armor, they are the front line of defense against world-level threats. Opposed by the equally brilliant Four Horsemen — Maxwell Lord, Doctor Thaddeus Bodog Sivana (Note: Seriously, look it up! The dude’s name is Bodog!), futurist Michael Carter and the mysterious, seldom seen John Jones and their insidious creations, The Metal Men believe in giving the world the best lives they can at an affordable price.

 
Barbara Gordon is CYBORG, by Gail Simone (naturally!) and Greg Land — Gordon was the only witness in the brutal murder of her parents, both high ranking police. She became vigilante known as the Batwoman. As Batwoman, Gordon functioned as the final option for justice. When the courts failed or some slick lawyer exploited a loophole, Gotham Police Commissioner Harvey Bullock and Mayor Harvey Dent would call upon her services to do what the courts could not. But her career was cut short when local television personality and serial killer Jack Ryder beat her to the punch. After his mistrial, he managed to escape custody and, having deduced her identity, attempted to kill Barbara with a homemade bomb delivered to her door in a jack-in-the-box. The blast gravely injured Gordon but with the help of Dr. Irons of the Metal Men she was saved and cybernetically enhanced. A walking weapon like never before, she hunts the creepy Joker and all of the other street-level super-freaks (apologies to Rick James) that infest her city.

 
Cain Marko, Anthony Stark, Benjamin Grimm, Matthew Murdoch and Daniel Rand are THE X-MEN, by Brian K. Vaughn and Mike Deodato – This band of friends, all rather well off and somewhat aimless, went on a journey of self discovery, all having been members of their college fraternity Alpha Chi Rho. That fraternity’s crest features a prominent ‘X’ symbol and the friends referred to themselves as the “X-Men.” The group was exploring a cave in the high Himalayas when they discovered a secret chamber, a repository of mysterious artifacts. Each person moved to investigate a different artifact and each were transformed. Cain Marko, who’s career path was aimed at archeology, became Dr. Strange upon touching the Book of the Vishanti. Engineer Tony Stark was transformed by the scorching Heart of Shou-Lao artifact into Iron Fist. Ben Grimm, an aeronautics expert and pilot, became the god of thunder, Thor, when he tapped a gnarled piece of wood he found against the cave floor. Matt Murdoch, who had just passed his bar exam, became Cyclops after touching the Gem of Cytorrak projecting destructive beams of crimson energy out of his eyes. He has to wear a protective blindfold to prevent injuring others. Danny Rand, inheritor of the Rand business fortune, also inherited the mantle of the Fist of Khonshu, AKA the Moon Knight, when he touched a statue of the Egyptian deity and was “visited” by the god himself, who granted Rand vastly increased speed, strength, healing abilities, night vision and the ability to see arcane creatures invisible to untrained human eyes. They stand as mankind’s best defense against the supernatural, especially the forces of Mephisto, Nightmare, Dormmammu and The Goblin Queen Jean Grey.

 
Norrin Radd is GALACTUS, by Jim Starlin and Jan Durseema — To save his home planet of Zenn-La, Norrin Radd had to find a way to stop the Quasars, an army of powerful energy wielders led by a pair of hotheaded Earthlings known as John Storm and Roberto da Costa. The Quasars were organized by Ego, the Mad Planet and used Quantum Bands to manipulate comic energy. Fleeing their destructive march, Norrin Radd was given an even stronger weapon, the Infinity Gauntlet, by the Kree/Skrull Supreme Commander Mar-Vell, as well as the title “Galactus,” referring to a mythical Kree hero. Long time enemies, the Kree and the Skrulls formed an alliance to oppose Ego’s quest for power. Using the Gauntlet’s awesome abilities, he gathers his own army from the worlds who support the Kree/Skrull Alliance, including the Shi’ar, Earth and Sakaar and outfitting his troops with Cosmic Cubes. But when the Quasars find a way to use the ancient Celestials as doomsday weapons, and with so many raw cosmic forces in play, Galactus fears for the very fabric of the cosmos. His only hope is to find the one man who posses the means of ending the war — Thanos, whom the Skrulls call the Omega Skrull. He is the guardian of the Ultimate Nullifer and the only entity to ever survive it’s use.
 
I could go on all night. I always did like playing in the sandbox. But one of these days, I’m expected to grow up.
 
Welcome to my nightmare.

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