Avenger-ize Everything Part 1: DC

I like mash ups. More than a simple meeting of concepts (Ghost Trek! It’s like Ghostbusters meets Star Trek!) mash ups combine characters, settings, even universes, and can lead to lots of fun ideas which highlight what makes the originals work so well separately. Comics are a medium that is especially great for this since alternate universes and What if? scenarios are already baked in (What if Venom was the disabled war veteran Flash Thompson? What if Gwen Stacy was Spider-man? What if Superman was a dirty commie? etc.). See the DC/Marvel Amalgam universe for some good and not so good examples of this.

We all saw the Avengers Infinity War trailer. I’ve got Avengers on the mind. So much so that I’m seeing them everywhere. So in the spirit of comics, I will ask: What if the Justice League was the Avengers?

Colonel Rock: A veteran of WWII, Sergeant Franklin John Rock was the only surviving member of the legendary Easy Company. An old story goes that he lost his eye when the last shot of the war was fired. No one’s ever asked him if the story is true. He later joined A.R.G.U.S. and quickly rose up the ranks performing many high risk intelligence operations in Europe, Southeast Asia and the U.S. Now the head of A.R.G.U.S., Col. Rock has begun a new program; the Avengers Initiative, which will usher in a new age of security for the United States and the world.

Superman: When the Armed Forces came to Smallville, Kansas looking for recruits, mild mannered Clark Kent was the first in line to volunteer. Due to his weak and badly adapted alien physiology, Clark barely passed the physical. His burning desire to enlist and his scrawny physique put him on the short list for a highly secretive program meant to create super soldiers. Energized by the yellow sun based radiation of Dr. Charles McNider’s patented Super Vita Rays, Clark Kent’s Kryptonian body emerged from the test chamber completely transformed. A Super man was born! Exhibiting super strength, speed and nigh invulnerability, Clark led the Allies to victory time and again on the front lines supported by his pal and brother in arms, war journalist James “Jimmy” Olsen. Then on one tragic mission, the Superman of America sacrificed himself so that his squad could live. Thought lost forever, the Man of Steel was recently dug up from the ice and revived by agents of A.R.G.U.S. Col. Rock recruited the long lost Superman to be the leader of the fledgling Avengers. Clark set up his Fortress of Solitude on the spot on the ice where he was found and returns there whenever he needs a respite from the strangeness of the future he’s woken up in. Once proclaimed the Man of Tomorrow, Superman is now a man out of time; lost, alone, and afraid of what is to come.

Bruce Wayne: Billionaire, Playboy, Industrialist, Bruce Wayne is THE leading security consultant/collaborator with A.R.G.U.S. who use a great many Wayne Tech products in their fight against evil. Driven by the death of his parents to right the wrongs of the world, Bruce spent a majority of his youth traveling the world and learning the ins and outs of the criminal mind, turning himself into something of a Renaissance man in the process. Since his return to Gotham, Bruce has turned his floundering company around from an aging industrial enterprise into the number one law enforcement technology supplier on Earth. He also developed a highly sophisticated personal protection suit of armor worn by his body guard, codenamed the Batman. But Batman has a secret, for little does everyone know that underneath the armor is none other than Bruce Wayne himself!

The Atom: Though his life long passion was ants, Dr. Ryan Choi studied many small and microscopic life forms, hoping to learn their secrets. When his mentor Ray Palmer passed away, Dr. Choi continued his work in shrinking technology until one day he cracked the mystery of dwarf star matter and perfected the shrinking belt Dr. Palmer had labored for years to develop. That’s when Col. Rock entered the picture. He revealed that Dr. Palmer had been working on the shrinking belt as part of his Avengers Initiative. Since Dr. Choi had finished the belt, he had a place on the team. From that day forward, he became the Mighty Atom! Little did he know, that Col. Rock wasn’t telling him the whole truth about Dr. Palmer’s work and true purpose on the team…

Aquaman: The King of Atlantis, the seas, and the highest regent beneath the gods. Born Arthur Curry, the being who would later be known as codename Aquaman first discovered his heritage after his fishing boat capsized in the stormy waves of the North Atlantic. All the men in his crew died but he miraculously survived, only to be rescued by long range Atlantean scouts. After learning the ways of his people and living in the fabled city for many years, Arthur Curry fought a war of succession and banished the usurper king Ocean Master before ascending the throne himself. Now with the Cold War heating back up and the surface dwellers getting more uppity by the minute, King Arthur returns to the surface to parlay with the leaders of Earth.

Wonder Woman: A diplomat from the paradise island of Themyscira and daughter of the Amazon Queen. To the Amazons, though, diplomacy is just a polite word for espionage of which they are masters and their many exploits in Man’s world often come across as urban myth and legend. A master of martial combat and military strategy, and a disguise artist like no other, Diana of the Amazons can disappear in a crowd and quick change like nobody’s business. There are rumors that an Amazon warrior fought alongside the Allies in Germany, including one famous battle next to the Superman of America and Captain Wayne of the Hell Bat Brigade. A warrior that very much resembled a young Diana.

Green Arrow: Despite coming from wealth, young Oliver Queen couldn’t bear to rest on the name or family fortune. He had to make something of himself. He joined the military and later the SAS before being attached to the legendary Blackhawks squadron. Trained in many killing arts, Queen showed an aptitude for archery which he would later adopt as part of his “Superhero cover”. Later becoming a liaison and full fledged task force member of A.R.G.U.S., Queen operated as one of their top agents next to Agent Diana Prince for years before Col. Rock realized Queen’s potential as an Avenger.

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Crash Test, Dummy

Previously

 

“Rise and shine.”

Juan stirred to consciousness. His head ached on account of someone clubbing him from behind and his wrists hurt from the rope tying them down.

“What? Where am I?” he asked. He looked around. He appeared to be inside a darkened warehouse or perhaps an underground bunker, it was hard to tell. It was dark but the sound traveled in here. Echoey. A woman was sitting next to him, chair reversed, arms crossed, casually leaning on the back support.

“Well, you and your boys wanted to see what was in here so badly, so here you are,” she said. She was dressed in tactical gear. A lot of straps and pouches. And guns. So many guns.

“What do you want? What do you want from me?” Juan asked.

“We told you to stay away from Brighton. You didn’t listen. Well look around. Was it worth it?” she asked.

“I don’t know. I don’t know what’s going on. Why am I here?” Juan asked, testing his restraints. The rope cut into his skin. There was no slipping out of it.

“I wanted to ask you a few things, Mr. Gutierrez. First of all, are you a lieutenant in the gang known as Rico’s boys?” she asked.

“What are you a cop? You a… a Fed or something? Isn’t this illegal?” Juan asked, his voice cracking from fear and dusty air.

“Would you be more cooperative if I said no?” she asked.

“I ain’t telling you shit, girl. I ain’t a talker.”

“You’ve never had to test that assertion, have you? We’ll find out if you’re a talker or not. Surprisingly, it doesn’t take long. Even if you’ve been trained to resist torture.”

Juan realized there were others here. Three others, from what he could see. They stood just beyond the border of the single light bulb that lit him from above. The panic building in his chest welled up and he let out a whimper.

“Hey hey come on. What the fuck is all this? Who are you people?”

“Who’s asking? You never did answer my question. Are you one of Rico’s boys?” she asked.

“I… I’ve got the lavender tux and luchador mask. What do you think?” he asked. She nodded, satisfied by his answer. “Why do you care about this place so much?”

“I asked first,” she said.

“We care because you care. It’s obvious this place means something to you. What more do you want to know?” Juan asked. The woman leaned closer.

“We want to know what you’ve heard. Rumors. Speculation. Wild guesses. Anything. Does anybody in the criminal underworld really know what this place is? Or what’s underneath it?”

“I don’t know. I just know that this place is way more important than we thought so we came to check it out. My boys… what did you do with my men?” Juan asked.

“Don’t worry. You’ll see them soon.” She got up from her chair and walked a circle around him. “This was the proving grounds for Brighton National Labs before they moved to their new location up north. Everything they ever made got tested here. They’ve got furnaces for heat testing, pressure rooms for stress tests, variable weight presses for structural integrity and strength tests and many other things. This particular device you’re strapped to, for example, is meant to test all kinds of impact armor, kinetic dampeners, and full body shells.”

That’s when Juan noticed that his chair was sitting on a track that led straight to a concrete wall. He’d seen enough crash test videos to know what that meant.

“Oh god, let me go! Please!”

“Normally they would have taken everything out of here and disposed of it properly, but they’ve fallen on hard times. Not enough money to do anything but abandon the place. They even left the generators. All I have to do is flip a switch,” she said, flipping a switch on a nearby control panel, “and everything comes alive.”

The lights turned on row by row with a click. Panels on the wall lit up. The chair Juan was sitting in started humming. He might have peed himself just a little because of it.

“Okay, listen, everybody has a theory about what’s in here. Everything from totally normal shit like boxes and cleaning supplies to the wildest shit you ever heard.”

“I’m listening,” she said.

“We only just figured out that Brighton Labs used to own this joint. The oldest guys in the gang even remember when the place was open, but nobody really knows what’s here I swear.”

She turned a knob on the control panel and the chair’s humming grew louder.

“You’re a real chatterbox, you know that? You’ve got a way with words and a cadence I’d like to hear in an audiobook or something. Too bad you chose this life instead.”

“Whoa hey what are you doing? What’s happening?” Juan asked.

“What do you think? It’s a crash test, dummy.”

The magnets on the track reversed and shot the chair forward, pushing Juan’s organs toward his back. 2.3 seconds later, Juan was abstract art painting the concrete wall at the track’s end.

“Test Failed!” Theo said in his best computer voice impression. He chuckled to himself, snorted, then coughed when he saw no one else was laughing.

“We didn’t get much out of him, Lydia” said Rio, sounding disappointed as always. Lydia turned the rail chair off and blew a stray hair out of her face.

“He confirmed what we already suspected,” she replied. “The mobs and gangs don’t have a clue what we got here. Otherwise they would have stormed this place and taken it.”

“As long as we keep this looking like a meaningless turf war, they won’t,” said Rio.

“I’m hungry. Anyone up for spaghetti?” Cynthia said, pointing at the Juan exhibit.

“Dude, that’s… I’m gonna hurl,” said Theo. Cynthia cackled.

“What’s our next move?” asked Rio.

“Well, we can keep screwing around here,” said Lydia. “Or we can go out and bust some more heads to make sure the message gets through that no one comes here.”

“It’s a fine line we’re walking. We have to tread carefully or we risk bringing the heat down on us,” said Rio. Lydia nodded in agreement but she didn’t like it. She wanted heads to bust.

“Isn’t pledge week still happening in Tanglewood? We could head over there and check it out,” said Cynthia.

“About that,” Theo interrupted. He spun his laptop around to show the others. “There are cops everywhere.”

“Holy shit. Who fucked up and brought the sea of blue down on their dumbasses?” Rio asked.

“That’s just it. It wasn’t one of our guys,” said Theo, almost excitedly. “Team Terrence had an unwanted guest. You have to see this.”

The others gathered around and watched the drone’s infrared footage as one heat signature took down a half dozen other heat signatures in mere seconds.

“That what I think it is?” Rio asked.

“If you’re thinking Mask, then yes. Caught him doing a quick change before speeding away on a bike,” said Theo.

“You got eyes on him now?” Rio asked.

“You bet I do,” Theo replied.

“Sounds worth checking out,” Rio said. He grabbed a 12 gauge shotgun and an ammo box. “Load up. We got a Mask to put down.”