Alright, for this to work, I’m having to bend some of the rules. The reason, and I pray you guys don’t get too angry at me, is that I’ve actually been mulling something like this for a while, so when this week’s challenge was put forward, I already had a lot of ideas. I decided to go ahead and use my ideas and see what you guys thought.
So without further ado…
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *THE BLAZING WORLDA DC Event
The Yiisareej. Throughout the galaxy and for thousands of years, they have been feared as cosmic boogeymen, blamed for the destruction of thousands of worlds across space. Tales of their savage attacks, their zealous culling of entire populations, and the terrifying machines of war they bring to shatter worlds have long haunted dreams of children on a million different planets, who have starred up into the heavens to see if Yiisaree’math, the great black stone that the Yiisareej call their home is in fact coming for them. And yet, for all of the stories and “eyewitness reports”, there has never been a confirmed encounter with the Yiisareej in over five thousand years – and even that only a passing encounter, the details of which have been lost to time. And so the Yiisareej have become legends and specters of the void, passed along as tales to frighten the young and the gullible.
Above a single planet – Earth – a massive planetoid, charred black from eons of battle and technological augmentation, has emerged, flanked by legions of smaller asteroids and dead comets. And on each of those giant stone-and-ice bodies held together with giant machines and lattices of otherworldly technology are millions of Yiisareej. With no planet to call their own, they comb the galaxies to find promising, young planets to strip bare of all of its resources and, once all possible minerals and energies have been torn from the world, to shatter into fragments, only to use their machines to transform the debris into new vessels to roam the cosmos.
Descending like a ravening horde, the Yiisareej ships of war and their legions of soldiers swept across our planet. To answer their challenge, the protectors of Earth rose up to fight back. But alas even, they were not strong enough to turn the tide. Some, like Wonder Woman and Hawkgirl and The Flash, perished on the front lines, leading the defenders of the world against the vicious invaders. Some, like Hal Jordan and Batman and the Martian Manhunter, sacrificed themselves to buy precious time for the floods of refugees from war-torn landing zones to flee to safety. And then some, like the Man of Steel, died valiantly trying to stop the Yiisareej’s most powerful weapon – one which shatters the very crust of a planet to tear away the precious resources that the alien interlopers so desperately desire – and in the process severely damaging the device.
With so many heroes having fallen and the Green Lantern Corps occupying the Yiisareej fleet, all the while taking extraordinary casualties, the people of Earth are left to wonder where help will arise from to ward off this hellish invasion.
Their answer comes from the survivors of the Battle of Heroes. The children, the relatives, and the students. The wives, the husbands, and the friends. A new generation of heroes must take the places of their predecessors and stop the Yiisareej before the crust-breaker weapon is repaired. But to do that, they will have to break through the armies occupying Earth’s cities, race through the fleet hovering just over Earth’s atmosphere, and lay siege to Yiisaree’math itself.
The Yiisareej have forever changed our world. But in its shadow can rise a new world.
A better world.
A blazing world.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *The Justice League: The Protectors of EarthThe Original TeamThe New TeamSandman (Sandy Hawkins):
As one of the few surviving members of the Justice Society, Sandy Hawkins, normally content to stay well hidden in the shadows or behind the scenes, has suddenly found himself thrust into the veritable limelight – whether he wants it or not. Armed with prophetic dreams and a knack for getting information from unsuspecting subjects, Sand is going to have to pull out all the stops in order to find the access codes that will allow the new Justice League to steal a Yiisareej vessel and make it inside Yiisaree’math.Superwoman (Kara Zor-El):
Once again the Last Kryptonian, Kara has abandoned her Power Girl name for one that reflects the sacrifice of her last living relatives: Superwoman. Racked with sorrow and rage, she will be the frontline against the Yiisareej hordes, her new costume representing not only her loss, but hope.Cassie Sandsmark:
With Diana dead and Donna having disappeared, Cassie steps up to the challenge of taking her friend’s place on the new Justice League. Bringing her own unique brand of youthful energy mixed with helping portions of “street smarts”, she quickly finds herself as the everyman (errr, everywoman
) of her team, the face and voice of the people who are stuck between the embattled heroes and their enemies.Jemm, the Last Son of Saturn:
Having only just returned from Rann and the years of war there, Jemm is dragged kicking and screaming into the new conflict, where his powers are needed to do battle against the Yiisareej. But after seeing not one, but three worlds ravaged by warfare, is there much more that this confirmed pacifist can take before he explodes? And if he does, is there anyone who can stand a chance against him?Scandal Savage:
Alone and without a place to call her own anymore, the former villainess Scandal Savage is brought into the Justice League by Sandy, ostensibly to keep her out of trouble and more importantly, away from those who might find her DNA far too valuable a resource to let go. With Lamentation Blades flying, she fights not only for her life and that of her “team”, but for her freedom and perhaps something more…Blue Beetle III (Jaime Reyes):
With his home and family destroyed by the Yiisareej armies, Jaime Reyes comes to the Justice League as a last refuge from the abysmal world of the invasion. Like the rest of the team, he is wrought with pain over his losses and increasingly consumed by a desire for vengeance; but as the youngest member of the new team, does he have the experience and the levelheadedness to control his emotions as he helps Kara and Sandy aboard the monstrous Yiisaree’math?Hourman (Rick Tyler):
His team almost utterly wiped out and his wife killed before his eyes, Rick Tyler has become a shell of the happy-go-lucky man he once was. Obsessed with slaughtering the Yiisareej and taking increasing amounts of Miraclo to drown out the pain he feels for the loss of Jesse, Hourman may become more of a liability to Cassie and Scandal when the time comes to go toe-to-toe with the Yiisareej First Guard.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *The Outsiders: A Different Sort of HeroThe Original TeamThe New Team Batman II (Terry McGinnis):
Terry McGinnis was a street-wise, wise-cracking pickpocket and small-time crook who, after the annihilation of Gotham City, became a leader of one of the many roving bands of looters who tried to eke out an existence for themselves and their families (in Terry’s case, a sickly younger brother and his mother). But all that changed when, completely by accident, he stumbled into the ruins of the Bat-Cave and found the remains of Batman’s cache. Inside this treasury, he found a prototype powered-suit designed by Bruce Wayne to combat the extraterrestrial threat. Together with his good friend (and go-to hacker) Max Gibson, Terry managed to get the suit into working order and quickly set about to using his new suit (and his new use of the name “Batman”) to ward off other gangs and the relentless Yiisareej raiders. When Rose Wilson-Bloomberg showed up on his doorstep, though, the “bad seed” suddenly found himself with an opportunity to not only keep his family and friends safe from the alien menace, but also a shot at something that he found himself desiring since the moment he put on the cowl: redemption.Ravager (Rose Wilson-Bloomberg):
Rose had never fit in with the Teen Titans for a lot of reason, not the least of which being her penchant for violence. So when the team disbanded after the Battle of Heroes, she and her husband Eddie knew that a new group was going to be needed to safeguard the millions of people who were left defenseless by the attack and to strike at the Yiisareej whenever and wherever possible. To whit, she has travelled around the world to put together her team to do what the Justice League can’t do and what she herself can barely believe she wants to do: save the innocents.Black Alice (Lori Zechlin):
With her world shattered by the Yinsareej invasion, Lori Zechlin practically fell into the arms of Rose and Eddie when they offered her a place in the new Outsiders team. However, her grief over the loss of her father soon begins playing at odds with her magic-based powers and posing a threat to the entire operation. Can she get herself under control before she inadvertently annihilates the only friends she has left?Simon Dark:
Mysterious and not one for small talk, Simon Dark is the only member of the new Outsider not brought aboard by Rose and Eddie; rather, he found them and asked to join. With his own agenda and an undeniable power, Simon walks a thin line with his new teammates between stalwart ally and an unstable variable…Manhunter VI (Kate Spencer):
After months of carrying on her own personal war against the Yisareej and against the ever-increasing dregs of humanity that tried to prey on their fellow survivors, Kate Spencer was the first person sought out by Rose and Eddie after the dissolution of the Teen Titans. A capable fighter as well as possessing a keen analytical mind, Kate makes no apologies for using the team as a means to an end if it means doing more damage to the Yiisareej.Red Devil (Eddie Bloomberg):
On the eve of the Battle of Heroes, Eddie (then known as Kid Devil) persuaded his off-and-on girlfriend Rose Wilson to marry him (since, after all, they were probably not going to live to see the next day). After surviving the horrific encounter, Eddie (now calling himself Red Devil) has joined his surprisingly-dedicated wife in putting together the new Outsiders, content to let her lead and simply provide a strong back and lots of flame breath whenever necessary.Arsenal II (Mia Dearden):
Having gone into hiding after watching her former mentor Green Arrow killed during the Battle of Heroes along with so many of her other friends, Mia Dearden took sanctuary amid the rain forests of Sri Lanka to try and clear her mind and deal with the loss of life that was swirling around her. When Rose and Eddie appear to offer her membership in their new Outsiders, she reluctantly agrees to join and take the new codename Arsenal, promising to do what she can to follow in the footsteps of all of her former friends and protect the people who cannot protect themselves.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *Checkmate: International Strike ForceThe Original TeamThe New TeamTim Drake - Black King:
In the wake of the catastrophic destruction of Gotham City, Tim Drake is approached by a now-paralyzed Amanda Waller, serving as the unofficial Castellan for the essentially-defunct Checkmate organization. With nothing left in Gotham, Tim accepts her offer to serve as the interim Black King alongside his old friend Donna Troy and quickly sets about to running furtive black-ops missions and guerilla warfare against the Yiisareej. But between his emerging cruel streak and his dropping of any nominal ties to his legacy with Batman, is this the same Tim Drake?Donna Troy - Black Queen:
When Amanda Waller offered Donna Troy a spot in the new Checkmate organization with Tim Drake as her partner, Donna Troy accepted the offer, believing this to be a legitimate way to avenge her old friend Diana Prince’s death at the hands of the Yinsareej. But as Tim becomes more and more consumed by his anger, she soon finds herself playing the part of middleman and tempering agent to his increasingly-violent and merciless tactics. Now the rumors of a new Justice League have surfaced and Donna must carefully navigate the waters of a collapsing international political machine and an old friend who has seemingly lost his way to join forces with the only group perhaps strong enough to deal with the invaders once and for all.Gypsy (Cindy Reynolds) - Black Bishop:
Full of surprises as ever, Cindy Reynolds eagerly accepted the offer by Amanda Waller to serve as the new Black Bishop for a revitalized Checkmate. Having honed her precognitive powers in her years apart from the Justice League, she now finds herself with relatively-unlimited resources (relative to a post-apocalyptic world, of course) to apply her unique skills and considerable know-how to keeping her colleagues one step ahead of the Yiisareej.Bloodwynd - Black Knight:
Enigmatic as always, Bloodwynd joins the new Checkmate as the Black Knight, but as always his intentions are his own. Together with the now-Machiavellian Tim Drake, he has begun cutting a wide path through the Yiisareej supply lines and even making surprise attacks on their rear guards, striking unquenchable fear in the process. But how long will it be before his real plans surface? Tasmanian Devil (Hugh Dawkins) - White King:
Enlisted by Waller to serve as Tim Drake’s counterpart, Hugh Dawkins takes on the role of White King with a certain amount of trepidation, ill at ease with being one of the leaders of so illustrious an organization. His unease is soon validated when a supply run is ambushed by Yiisareej troops and pinned down in Israel. Now, Taz is going to need all of his mental faculties in check if he is going to be able to save his team and carry out his mission.Renee Montoya - White Queen:
As the non-powered partner of Tasmanian Devil, Renee Montoya is as uncomfortable with being surrounded by so many metahumans as her colleague is with being in such a high position. But, as Amanda Waller so elegantly explained when she recruited her into the organization, Montoya’s years as a police officer and then as The Question makes her invaluable when it comes to going deep into the underground world of black ops and surgical strikes against the Yiisareej under-belly. With her trademark cynicism and street-smarts, Montoya may be the most “together” member of the new Checkmate… which isn’t saying much.Barbara Gordon - White Bishop:
Ever the survivor, Barbara Gordon was still in the ruined wreckage of her clock tower hideaway, working at her station, when Amanda Waller offered her a new job as the White Bishop. Taking the job, if for no other reason than to keep an eye on her old friend Tim Drake, she quickly establishes herself as the resident “Alpha Bitch” of Checkmate, constantly clashing with (despite her enormous respect for) Renee Montoya over matters of strategy and personnel. But will these clashes keep them from doing their job?Damage (Grant Emerson) - White Knight:
When Amanda Waller found Damage, he was surrounded by hundreds of Yiisareej corpses; impressed, she quickly offered him a place in the new Checkmate as a subordinate to Hugh Dawkins and Renee Montoya. Hiding behind his mask of apathy, Grant has taken on the role of White Knight with gusto and formed a bond with Montoya. But how will the battle-tested Human Bomb handle it when he finds himself leading a team of Checkmate Pawns and pinned down inside an Israeli canyon with legions of Yiisareej soldiers bearing down on them? The answer may just well be explosive.
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I apologize for the length… creative juices flowing and what-not.
Anyway, thoughts? Comments? Questions? Snide remarks?