shadow of the batman

AU where the League of Shadows rule the world. Bruce isn’t Batman but his Rogue gallery is still around. Except Harley. She didn’t get assigned to Joker and go crazy

It goes like this.

-Ra had managed to rule from the start (Vandal Savage and his ancientness isnt around)

-He still has his children

-Bruce parents still die

-Talia still gets married off to Bruce because WE is the richest company with LexCorp coming in close second but Talia refused to marry the bald man.

-They find out that Bruce got some good qualities so Ra keeps the thought to himself about Bruce being his successor

-Bruce makes Talia happy so she asks her dad to cut back on the killing of those that try to turn from the way of the league

-Ra is actually a wonderful father and respects Talia wishes so they pull back on it

-Bruce still takes in Dick

-Two Face ends up shooting Dick but he doesn’t succeed in killing him

-Talia sees Dick somewhat like a son so it takes everything to not kill Two Face

-Talia starts training Dick “Its for his own protection Beloved. And it helps with all of that energy he has”

-Then Talia takes in Jason

-Joker beats him and the League of Shadows make it just in time to keep him from dying

-Talia’s nerves are frayed (also Jason is the favorite so Ra and Nyssa nerves are frayed. They want the clown dead)

-He starts training “He nearly died, Beloved! I will not lose my son! You’re the one who always said that you need to find a way for him to let out all his anger”

-Talia ends up pregnant

-The Drakes and Waynes are good friends so when Jack and Janet die, Bruce takes Tim in

-Psychogical Trauma by Joker. They hire the best psychologist… Harleen Quinzel. She’s one of the best and to help kids that need help, she shows play games and Tim learns tricks. It helps him focus

-Talia starts training Tim when Harley said a way to help him was to give him something to concentrate on “And Beloved, just look at him. He needs a little muscle mass”

-Somehow Tim gets his hands on a computer and it was over from there. Training and hacking became his friends and he slowly got his mind back

-Damian is born

-Cass accidentally killed her dad in an all out sparring match in front of the Al Ghuls (Talia, Ra, Nyssa, and Baby Damian). Shiva doesnt want her so Talia and Bruce take her.

-Bruce and Talia begin helping her learn to talk, read, and write. Though Talia encourages her to keep training. “If you can one day beat me, Cassandra, then I’ll buy you and Jason that library you two are always asking for.”

-Steph mom died when she was little and she lives with her dad. She ends up going to a park where all of them at an accidentally hits Tim in the face with a rock. She apologizes furiously when she sees Talia and then tells Talia about how her dad was trying to commit crimes and Talia takes him down

-Steph gets taken in on joint decision

-Bruce doesnt want her to train but the kids decide otherwise. Talia agress afterwards. “Timothy’s face was bruised for weeks after she hit him with rock, Beloved. She needs to learn to control that strength. It’d be nice to give her a way to feel in control of her own life after her father took so much.”

-Alfred is happy to have all of these people in the family

-Damian starts training. Mainly because he didnt want to be left out and that was the only reason Bruce agreed

-Dick and Babs have an on and off relationship and they were “on” when Joker shot her

-Talia is reaching the end of her rope of patience

-Black Mask kidnaps Steph and nearly beats her to death and she manages to get saved before she died

-Talia’s left eye is twitching from anger

-And then Bruce and Alfred die. The Manor blown up after Bane attacked Bruce. Bruce was at home recovering and had asked Talia to take the kids out. And she did so reluctantly.

-No one knows who exactly bomb the manor, but with Alfred and Bruce dead? Talia and all of the kids snap.

-Joker, Two Face, Captain Boomerang, Cluemaster, Bane? All dead.

-All of the criminals that did major offenses and were sitting in cells. All “mysteriously” died overnight

-And then Ra ended up getting killed by Deathstroke.

-In this universe, Ra was grandfather figure next to Alfred. He praised them on excelling and unlike Alfred, who spoiled with food and comfort, Ra spoiled with the finest of everything. Dick wanted a pet elephant? Here you go, Richard. Jason wanted to some more books to read and wanted to learn another language? Here’s the finest books in Arabian.

-If Deathstroke thought he couldn’t die, then Talia and Nyssa showed him. And the kids stood around to block off exits and fight off whatever reinforcements Slade had

-Talia and Nyssa took over the League and to establish a firm rule. Each of the children became the heirs and all took a place across the world to establish their ruling.

-Damian stayed in the middle east with his mother since he was the Blood heir and had Al Ghul blood.

-Stephanie went to Africa while Cass went to Japan and China

-Tim went to San Francisco and built up Drake Industries.

-Jason traveled around. He sometimes stayed near the various Islands around the world or ventured towards England whenever he caught himself thinking of Alfred. If he settled for a long time, then he went to Gotham and ran WE with Dick.

-Barbara went to Star City and met up with another “computer specialist” there. They ended up being the technological voices for the League of Shadows.

-Dick went to New York and sometimes Bludhaven. It depended on the mood.

-Once when Dick visited Gotham, he was attacked by a dude in an owl mask. He had been saved by Jason who had the manor rebuilt and they were living in there where Jason took base after he stumbled across a cave under the manor.

-The two did some research and found out about the Court of Owls. They were a rebel group to the League of Shadows, but they didn’t just want to take the League done. They wanted to replace them.

-They call on Talia and Nyssa and told them about what they found and what they learned.

-All of their siblings converge in and with reinforcements from the League, wiped the Court down to the ground. Dick took control of the Court because Jason claimed that it was his birthright.

-The other heroes (Superman, Flash, etc) tried to take down the LoS but they were like roaches. The more you tried to take down and the more kept popping up and with Dick’s Owls Robins. The “Justice League” ended up being taken down.

-Research was done to find weaknesses or to find ways to get them to see the way of the League

-Themyscira was an ally. Man’s World was no longer plagued by wars and senseless killing? And Strong Women in charge? Sign them up! Sometimes they had disagreements. Different beliefs, you know. It wasn’t perfect.

-And with the lazarus pits? They ruled with an iron fist until either Dick, Jason, or Tim did a space adventure and one of them came back with something that granted immortality.

-They ruled forever and anyone that got in their way was taken down brutally.

Internal Conflict:  Five Conflicting Traits of a Likable Hero.

1.  Flaws and Virtues 

I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but characters without flaws are boring.  This does not, as many unfortunate souls take it to mean, imply that good, kind, or benevolent characters are boring:  it just means that without any weaknesses for you to poke at, they tend to be bland-faced wish fulfillment on the part of the author, with a tendency to just sit there without contributing much to the plot.

For any character to be successful, they need to have a proportionate amount of flaws and virtues.

Let’s take a look at Stranger Things, for example, which is practically a smorgasbord of flawed, lovable sweethearts.

We have Joyce Byers, who is strung out and unstable, yet tirelessly works to save her son, even when all conventional logic says he’s dead;  We have Officer Hopper, who is drunken and occasionally callous, yet ultimately is responsible for saving the boy’s life;  We have Jonathan, who is introspective and loving, but occasionally a bit of a creeper, and Nancy, who is outwardly shallow but proves herself to be a strong and determined character.  Even Steve, who would conventionally be the popular jerk who gets his comeuppance, isn’t beyond redemption.

And of course, we have my beloved Eleven, who’s possibly the closest thing Stranger Things has to a “quintessential” heroine.  She’s the show’s most powerful character, as well as one of the most courageous.  However, she is also the show’s largest source of conflict, as it was her powers that released the Demogorgon to begin with.  

Would Eleven be a better character if this had never happened?  Would Stranger Things be a better show?  No, because if this had never happened, Stranger Things wouldn’t even be a show.  Or if it was, it would just be about a bunch of cute kids sitting around and playing Dungeons and Dragons in a relatively peaceful town.

A character’s flaws and mistakes are intended to drive the plotline, and if they didn’t have them, there probably wouldn’t even be a plot.

So don’t be a mouth-breather:  give your good, kind characters some difficult qualities, and give your villains a few sympathetic ones.  Your work will thank you for it.

2.  Charisma and Vulnerability

Supernatural has its flaws, but likable leads are not one of them.  Fans will go to the grave defending their favorite character, consuming and producing more character-driven, fan-created content than most other TV shows’ followings put together.

So how do we inspire this kind of devotion with our own characters?  Well, for starters, let’s take a look at one of Supernatural’s most quintessentially well-liked characters:  Dean Winchester.

From the get-go, we see that Dean has charisma:  he’s confident, cocky, attractive, and skilled at what he does.  But these qualities could just as easily make him annoying and obnoxious if they weren’t counterbalanced with an equal dose of emotional vulnerability. 

As the show progresses, we see that Dean cares deeply about the people around him, particularly his younger brother, to the point of sacrificing himself so that he can live.  He goes through long periods of physical and psychological anguish for his benefit (though by all means, don’t feel obligated to send your main character to Hell for forty years), and the aftermath is depicted in painful detail.

Moreover, in spite of his outward bravado, we learn he doesn’t particularly like himself, doesn’t consider himself worthy of happiness or a fulfilling life, and of course, we have the Single Man Tear™.

So yeah, make your characters beautiful, cocky, sex gods.  Give them swagger.  Just, y’know.  Hurt them in equal measure.  Torture them.  Give them insecurities.  Make them cry.  

Just whatever you do, let them be openly bisexual.  Subtext is so last season.

3.  Goals For the Future and Regrets From the Past

Let’s take a look at Shadow Moon from American Gods.  (For now, I’ll have to be relegate myself to examples from the book, because I haven’t had the chance to watch the amazing looking TV show.) 

Right off the bat, we learn that Shadow has done three years in prison for a crime he may or may not have actually committed.  (We learn later that he actually did commit the crime, but that it was only in response to being wronged by the true perpetrators.)  

He’s still suffering the consequences of his actions when we meet him, and arguably, for the most of the book:  because he’s in prison, his wife has an affair (I still maintain that Laura could have resisted the temptation to be adulterous if she felt like it, but that’s not the issue here) and is killed while mid-coital with his best friend.

Shadow is haunted by this for the rest of the book, to the point at which it bothers him more than the supernatural happenings surrounding him.  

Even before that, the more we learn about Shadow’s past, the more we learn about the challenges he faced:  he was bullied as a child, considered to be “just a big, dumb guy” as an adult, and is still wrongfully pursued for crimes he was only circumstantially involved in.

But these difficulties make the reader empathize with Shadow, and care about what happens to him.  We root for Shadow as he tags along with the mysterious and alternatively peckish and charismatic Wednesday, and as he continuously pursues a means to permanently bring Laura back to life.

He has past traumas, present challenges, and at least one goal that propels him towards the future.  It also helps that he’s three-dimensional, well-written, and as of now, portrayed by an incredibly attractive actor.

Of course (SPOILER ALERT), Shadow never does succeed in fully resurrecting Laura, ultimately allowing her to rest instead, but that doesn’t make the resolution any less satisfying.  

Which leads to my next example…       

4.  Failure and Success 

You remember in Zootopia, when Judy Hopps decides she wants to be cop and her family and town immediately and unanimously endorse her efforts?  Or hey, do you remember Harry Potter’s idyllic childhood with his kindhearted, adoptive family?  Oh!  Or in the X-Files, when Agent Mulder presents overwhelming evidence of extraterrestrial life in the first episode and is immediately given a promotion?  No?

Yeah, me neither.  And there’s a reason for this:  ff your hero gets what they want the entire time, it will be a boring, two-dimensional fantasy that no one will want to read.  

A good story is not about the character getting what they want.  A good story is about the character’s efforts and their journey.  The destination they reach could be something far removed from what they originally thought they wanted, and could be no less (if not more so) satisfying because of it.

Let’s look at Toy Story 3, for example:  throughout the entire movie, Woody’s goal is to get his friends back to their longtime owner, Andy, so that they can accompany him to college.  He fails miserably.  None of his friends believe that Andy was trying to put them in the attic, insisting that his intent was to throw them away.  He is briefly separated from them as he is usurped by a cute little girl and his friends are left at a tyrannical daycare center, but with time and effort, they’re reunited, Woody is proven right, and things seem to be back on track.

Do his efforts pay off?  Yes – just not in the way he expected them to.  At the end of the movie, a college-bound Andy gives the toys away to a new owner who will play with them more than he will, and they say goodbye.  Is the payoff bittersweet?  Undoubtedly.  It made me cry like a little bitch in front of my young siblings.  But it’s also undoubtedly satisfying.      

So let your characters struggle.  Let them fail.  And let them not always get what they want, so long as they get what they need.  

5.  Loving and Being Loved by Others

Take a look back at this list, and all the characters on it:  a gaggle of small town kids and flawed adults, demon-busting underwear models, an ex-con and his dead wife, and a bunch of sentient toys.  What do they have in common?  Aside from the fact that they’re all well-loved heroes of their own stories, not much.

But one common element they all share is they all have people they care about, and in turn, have people who care about them.  

This allows readers and viewers to empathize with them possibly more than any of the other qualities I’ve listed thus far, as none of it means anything without the simple demonstration of human connection.

Let’s take a look at everyone’s favorite caped crusader, for example:  Batman in the cartoons and the comics is an easy to love character, whereas in the most recent movies (excluding the splendid Lego Batman Movie), not so much. 

Why is this?  In all adaptions, he’s the same mentally unstable, traumatized genius in a bat suit.  In all adaptions, he demonstrates all the qualities I listed before this:  he has flaws and virtues, charisma and vulnerability, regrets from the past and goals for the future, and usually proportionate amounts of failure and success.  

What makes the animated and comic book version so much more attractive than his big screen counterpart is the fact that he does one thing right that all live action adaptions is that he has connections and emotional dependencies on other people.  

He’s unabashed in caring for Alfred, Batgirl, and all the Robins, and yes, he extends compassion and sympathy to the villains as well, helping Harley Quinn to ultimately escape a toxic and abusive relationship, consoling Baby Doll, and staying with a child psychic with godlike powers until she died.

Cartoon Batman is not afraid to care about others.  He has a support network of people who care about him, and that’s his greatest strength.  The DC CU’s ever darker, grittier, and more isolated borderline sociopath is failing because he lacks these things.  

 And it’s also one of the reasons that the Lego Batman Movie remains so awesome.


God willing, I will be publishing fresh writing tips every week, so be sure to follow my blog and stay tuned for future advice and observations! 

Dick Grayson is a Goddamn Dork™ ACTUAL CANONS

1. The discowing suit. I mean, really?

2. Canonically was responsible for naming the batarangs, the Batmobile, and probably every other bat- thing in the cave.

3. Continued to defend those choices, even as Batman. “That’s a stupid name.” “You mean *awesome*.”

4. Little kid tries to punch him (as a cop!) and he responded by saying, “you’re throwing a punch wrong. Here, hit me again, like this”

5. Built an entire secret room in his apartment for vigilante purposes, still leaves his Nightwing suit in a heap on the ground next to his bed where Goddamn anyone can see it

6. Puts his fingers up by his head so that thugs who see his shadow will think he’s Batman

7. When deciding what to call his new a batarang equipment, unironically decided to call them “wing-dings”

8. Is honestly flattered when supervillains compliment his butt

9. “That would make them nunjas.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME GRAYSON THEY’RE POINTING GUNS AT YOU IS NOW *REALLY* THE BEST TIME TO PUN

10. Does not bother to park the Batwing or even bring it low, flings himself out of it from 1,000 feet up because *aesthetic*

I’ve just got this BNHA idea that after they graduate they all get into the hero business; Iida does his brother’s name proud: Bakugou actually calms down a little: Shouto is able to prove he’s so much more than his father’s son.

Meanwhile Deku is well on the way to becoming the next top hero and the new Symbol of Peace ( the public is relieved: the criminals are shitting themselves, especially after Deku “accidentally” reveals in an interview that he’s reached about 50% so far ).

But one day, Deku’s facing a villain with a tricky quirk- maybe they’ve taken hostages, maybe they can absorb the power of his attacks. Anyway, Deku’s desperately trying to think of a way to beat this guy, when-

-a ball of paper hits the villain in the head. Everybody, Deku, the villain, the bystanders, see this guy jump the blockade and yell “Hey, asshole!” 

The villain snarls, and roars back “You little-” and stops with a very familiar blank look on their face. Deku starts grinning as the newcomer pulls off a false nose and takes off a wig, then opens his jacket to reveal a hero costume.

And the public lose their collective shit at the realisation that they’re seeing the Hero with a Thousand Faces, who goes undercover and uses his brainwashing quirk to take down the villains from within. And as he tells the villain “Sleep”, the crowd goes wild for the sight of Shinso Hitoshi, the hero called The Word.

(Shinso gets on great with Deku: he jokes it’s like pairing a sledgehammer and a scalpel. Deku’s one of the few people who never hesitates to answer Shinso- when he asked, Deku just grinned and said “Well, I know I can trust a fellow hero!”)