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Monday, March 05, 2007

Something I'd Like To See...

Okay, I've been having fun debating in this thread here, and somehow got inspired. I don't think Jarodrussell's ideas are really compatible with the Oan-Corps setting (especially after decades of system-defining continuity), but they did inspire me to think about what I'd really like to see in the DCU.

I want a virtual sub-reality. I figure with all the alien and advanced tech running around the DCU, there's a distinct lack of, well, cyberpunk potential. I mean, with the processing power that has to be available in the DCU, there'd be massive possibilities for virtual reality.

We've seen how complex artificial intelligence can get in the DCU, there's basically limitless potential. There could be entire civilizations living entirely in the computer matrix, translated into concepts understandable by human beings. Any sort of story would be possible.

This would be a universe in which twenty-first century Earth programming knowledge really would be able to crack the fabric of reality. Characters like Barbara Gordon or Mr. Terrific would be particularly formidable in this setting, easily the equivalent of a Green Lantern in the "real world", and as I'd posted before, the Thinker would be loads of fun to explore.

It'd be a fun way to explore different sides of the characters, exposed to very different situations. Heck! There's no reason Barbara couldn't return to her Batgirl identity while adventuring in the virtual reality while maintaining her Oracle identity in the "real world" (Also allowing room for Cassandra to stay Batgirl as well) and EVERYONE could be happy. (That's not even getting into the possibilities inherent in virtual simulacra of dead characters. I know it's not a case, but I think a Batcave-AI version of Steph could be a pretty neat memorial.)

Since the setting isn't bogged down with decades of previous continuity, the rules and systems are wide open for development, while guest star and crossover potential from the "real world" DCU would be pretty limitless. I think it'd be a lot of fun!


  • At March 05, 2007 5:22 AM, Blogger Flidget Jerome said…

    I would love to see this, especially as a seperate imprint along the lines of Vertigo. Part of the DCU but not mixing much with the main continuity.

  • At March 05, 2007 5:24 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    *nod* Too much mixing would probably get a little much. But still, the occasional Barbara-as-Batgirl crossover would be a lot of fun I'd reckon. :-)

  • At March 05, 2007 7:51 AM, Blogger Unknown said…

    I think that it could be very neat. I think though it would work best as a single title rather than an imprint. Here's the story that popped into my head as I was thinking about your article...

    The Thinker is lonely in his virtual world and so decides to bring along some company. He infects people at random with a nano virus that puts them in a coma and pulls them into his virtual reality version of the DCU. The JLA and JSA work together to discover why people are suddenly dropping unconscious. They find out and manage to replicate the nano virus to enter the Thinkers world. Once there they discover that not only have the people inside already dealt with their abductor but that they don't want to be taken back to reality. Finally they agree that the people are free to stay but they choose one of their own, (honestly I'd prefer someone other than Barbara just because it seems such a cliched and obvious choice)to act as intermediary to make sure that everything stays more less alright in the virtual world. From there the series would take off. A big part of it would involve usage of flashbacks to show us who these people had been in the so called real world, especially to contrast who they are in the virtual one. It would be a great way to play with issues of identity. Three examples that pop into my head, The Joker was really a ten year old child, and is neither insane or evil, but rather is acting without any kind of societal boundaries. Lex Luthor is a housewife and mother who gave up her aspirations to help support a husband who is neither aware nor grateful for her sacrifice. Superman is a stereotypical redneck racist asshole, who adopted that persona to hide the fact that he's gay and has had an unrequited crush on an openly gay black man that he grew up with. But now feels that in becoming the emobodiment of decency and justice he is freed from the sins of his past, not realizing that his scars run deeper than even he realizes.

    Anyway, I think if the right writer and artist got a hold of it, the project could definitely be fun.



    (Where's the love? It's atGeek Love)

  • At March 05, 2007 12:21 PM, Blogger Zaratustra said…

    DC One Million had some cyberpunk stuff, including Superman jumping around a virtual reality and going all confused.

  • At March 05, 2007 1:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Check out Legends of the Dark Knight 180-181, Babs in Batgirl.

    As far as programmers as GLs, I thought Rebirth showed pretty well how all the different personality types effected how constructs were made. I'd guess a programmer would have bit of code floating about in a "Matrixish" fashion.


  • At March 05, 2007 1:22 PM, Blogger Unknown said…

    You've never seen my posts about The Blue, Uploading, or Parallelism have you? There's an insane amount of "cyberpunk potential" within the DCU.

  • At March 05, 2007 7:41 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    crimson: Heh, that's pretty cool. All my good ideas have already been done.

    andrew: Thank you for your contribution, however, I specifically meant this post to mean something I'd like to see in the DCU. Fanfic, while cool, =/= the DCU.

  • At March 05, 2007 8:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It's definitely an intriguing idea, and your point about the massive technological ability of the DCU is well taken.

    That said, I've never really liked how western comics handled cyberpunk. It's probably just a personal preference issue, but we just don't seem to have the same sense of style that I see applied to this sort of thing in manga.

    You could probably argue that Oracle is already somewhat of a cyberpunk character (or could be, with the tinest retooling of her character focus). Dunno. As usual, you have a point, but I just can't see TPTB listening to you. You make too much sense. :p

    Also you aren't a drooling manchild, so why would they bother with you? (/doomgloomdefeatist 'tude about superhero comics).

  • At March 05, 2007 9:01 PM, Blogger Rob S. said…

    I've never had any enthusiasm for cyberpunk (someone going into the computer/VR world is the definition of "jump the shark" in my book), so the idea doesn't stoke me much. But I imagine if done well it could attract some other readers to the DCU.

  • At March 05, 2007 10:21 PM, Blogger Aero! said…

    I endorse this fully. It brings back warm memories of wee little me reading the ridiculous but awesome-in-its-way Ghost Rider 2099.


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