Monday, January 3, 2011

Justice is Blind

One of my favorite comic series is Kingdom Come.  It deals with the future of the DC Universe and the growing violence of the new heroes compared with the older heroes of the past like Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.  There are a tons of great nods to comics of old and the art is fantastic.  One thing it did though was have a widowed Superman get involved with Wonder Woman at the end of the story.  It was all "off page" but Bruce was able to tell that Wonder Woman was pregnant.  I had often wondered since reading it what would the child of Superman and Wonder Woman be like?  What would she be like if she were raised by Bruce Wayne?  Well last year my normal group got together to make new heroes for a supers game.  One of my fellow players, a fan of the old "Spider-man and his Amazing Friends" cartoon, came up with the son of Firestar and Iceman.  I came up with Astra aka Justice.

The basic idea was to come up with a next generation hero that would be living in Freedom City.  Gotham, Metropolis, Empire City, and all the superhero cities would be there from Marvel, DC and games we had all played in the past.  So it was quite a mash-up.  But we never got to play.  Maybe we will one day.  But in any case here is the introduction to Justice.  I'll have some stats for her soon.

Issue 1, Vol. 1
"Justice is Blind"

When Lois Lane-Kent was murdered not just Metropolis was in shock, but so was the world. Not that anyone was surprised when the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist was targeted for murder, Lois had a way of making enemies, but that Superman, the man who had been a constant at her side since he arrived in Metropolis couldn't save her.

After Lois' funeral Superman met with members of the Justice League and told them that Clark Kent was dead. He would never assume the role of Clark Kent again. He left for the Fortress of Solitude where he spent the next five years in self imposed exile. Over the years various heroes attempted to contact him, even try to go to him. Batman was rebuffed. Steel was sent home with a broken arm. Finally one day Wonder Woman returned from the Fortress saying that Kal-El was leaving Earth, maybe forever.

Nine months later she gave birth to a daughter.

Diana had passed the mantle of Wonder Woman over to her sister Donna, she was now the UN Ambassador of Themyscira. The birth of her daughter made her return home. She named the girl Astra after the Goddess of Justice Dike Astraea, but also for its meaning, from the stars. Astra grew strong, tall and proud like any Amazon. Though it was obvious from the beginning she was not an ordinary Amazon. She was much stronger and faster than her sisters, though unlike them she had difficulty with magical weapons. Even in close proximity to her aunt's Lasso of Truth effected her.

When Astra turned 12 her grandmother Hypolata died in battle. Diana became queen of the Amazons. She decided that her daughter, already finding life among the Amazons difficult, would live among humans to learn their ways. She sent her to the only person she could trust with the thing most precious to her in life. Bruce Wayne.

Bruce accepted Astra Kal-El as she was known and crafted a human name and identity for her, Astra Kent, daughter of the late Clark and Lois Kent. Bruce was a good father and teacher to Astra, teaching her history, civics, law and most importantly justice and the value of a human life. She had received training in various combat styles from the Amazons, but Bruce took it to the next level. He taught her not only to how fight, but how to more effectively use her own powers. Where she excelled though was in her studies of the criminal justice system.

She entered Gotham University as a Justice Studies major with a minor in Ancient History. She graduated and was set to enroll in the prestigious Gotham Center of Legal Studies at GSU to get her degree in law. Bruce even arranged for her to work as an intern with State Attorney General Barbara Gordon. This is when Astra met her destiny.

She had been helping Barbara with a case to put away a known mobster. Carlos "the Shark" Diaz was the leader of Diaz crime cartel in Gotham. To date he had been arrested on hundreds of charges but never had they been able to make any of them stick. Then one night he was in his nightclub when in a fit of bravado he pulled out a chrome .44 and shot randomly into the night. His shot hit and killed a single mother of three coming home from working a double shift at a local drug store. A shift she was not supposed to have been working. The police were all over Carlos in an instant. He had been seen not only by dozens of witnesses, CCTV, his finger-prints were also all over the bullet. When he was let off on yet another technicality, Gotham raged. But Astra knew she had to do more.

She went home and crafted a costume similar to that of her father's and mother's, and with speed born in her Kryptonian blood she went after Carlos. It did not take her long to find his car which she blasted with her heat vision. She tore the car apart with her bare hands to get to Carlos. She grabbed him by the nap of his neck and flew so high ice formed on their skin. She dropped him, only to catch him moments before he hit the ground.

"Please!" the mobster begged. "I'll give you anything you want! Power, money! Please!"

"I want…" Astra began.

"Yes, I'll give it to you!" screamed Carlos.

"I want…I want Juanita Washington's children to have their mother back!" she yelled at him, she pulled him to her face and her eyes began to glow red with heat vision.

"ASTRA!" came a shout. It was Bruce.

"Bruce. I have too. He just keeps getting away. He kills, he murders, he gets kids addicted to drugs. We need justice!" She called back to him, tears in her eyes.

"This is not justice. This is revenge. Do this and you become him." Bruce said quietly.

She looked at the mobster a long time and finally tossing him to the ground, breaking his legs. She took off with such force that the sonic concussion broke windows eight blocks away.

Bruce called the police and returned home.

There he found Astra in the Bat-cave crying.

"I failed you Bruce." She said.

"No. I failed you. I forgot to teach you that the most important lesson is never too loose yourself. Your mother sent you to me not for my skills as a detective, or our past, but for something I still struggle with."

He looked over her costume. It was crude, but it had a certain style and flair.

"Who are you supposed to be?" he finally asked.

She looked up with an ironic half-smile, "Justice".

Bruce went to her cape and tore off a strip that had come loose. He took the strip and fashioned, not a mask, but a blindfold. He tied it around her eyes.

"Justice is blind." He said. "In the courtroom or the streets you must be fair and impartial. Pursue the guilty, protect the innocent and uphold the law."

After that night Astra packed her bags. Bruce didn't tell her she had to go, but he did not stop her either. She wrote a letter to Attorney General Gordon, apologizing for her actions and submitting a letter of resignation. She dropped out of GSU and by morning had already made arrangements to move to Freedom City. She feared she would not get into FCU so late in the term, but letters from the Gotham Attorney General, the US Ambassador to Themyscira, and not to mention a sizable endowment from Wayne Enterprises with a personal letter from Bruce Wayne brought her in as a mid-semester new grad student.

Astra has spent the last few weeks catching up on her Law School courses making up lost time. But it is rumored that a new hero has been spotted in Freedom City. Her blue, red and gold costume is reminiscent of a Greek tunic, or of superheroes that have not been seen in over two decades.

Though the oppressed, the downtrodden and criminals know…Justice has come to Freedom City!

PL: 10 (150 pp)

ABILITIES: STR: 30 (+10) DEX: 12 (+1) CON: 19 (+4) INT: 16 (+3) WIS: 10 (0) CHA: 16 (+3)

SKILLS: Acrobatics 4 (+5), Bluff 2 (+5), Climb (+10), Computers 4 (+7), Concentration 2 (+2), Diplomacy 4 (+7), Disguise (+3), Escape Artist (+1), Gather Info 4 (+7), Handle Animal (+3), Intimidate 2 (+5), Investigate 4 (+7), Civics 6 (+9), History 6 (+9), Notice 4 (+4), Search 4 (+7), Sense Motive 4 (+4), Stealth 2 (+3), Swim (+10)

FEATS: All-out Attack, Attractive (2), Power Attack, Defensive Attack, Connected, Benefit (1)

POWERS: Enhanced Strength [20], Enhanced Constitution [6], Flight [8], Blast (Distracting) [7], *Super Senses [4], Extending Sight, , Acute Hearing, , Extended Hearing, , X-Ray Vision, , Super Strength [2], Protection [6]

COMBAT: Attack 10 [Unarmed +10 (Bruise)] Defense 10 (10 flat-footed) Init 1

SAVES: Toughness 10 (10 flat-footed) Fortitude 9 Reflex 2 Will 5

DRAWBACKS: Vulnerable: Magic (High Freq, Low Severity) -2, Disability (Total) Kryptonite (Low Freq, High Severity) -3

Abilities 43 + Skills 14 (53 ranks) + Feats 7 + Powers 76 + Combat 4 + Saves 11 – Drawbacks -5 = 150 / 150


I figure the blindfold is cooler than a mask. With her X-Ray vision she could easily see through it. Plus she is 6'2", brunette and looks like a super-model, she is going to need something more than glasses to disguise who she is. Plus it is also used as a reminder to her not to use her heat vision, something she almost killed someone with. That Bruce is a thinker.

I liked the idea of Babs being the AG and Astra working for her.

One of the first things I had to figure out was the compelling reasons for Superman not to be in her life (he is gone) and he never knew she was there. Wonder Woman would see it as it being better with Astra living her life away with mortals. Plus as the new Queen of the Amazons she would be busy. Of course if supes ever found out he had a daughter he would be back on Earth as quickly as he could.

I had Donna Troy become the new Wonder Woman when Astra was born, but that is not to say that Cassie Sandmark is not the Wonder Woman now.

I wanted to remove her from Bruce's influence a little more than just she moves to FC. Nearly killing a mobster in revenge would put a big strain on their relationship.

The Bruce here is more of the Batman Beyond Bruce Wayne than the Kingdom Come one.  We initially thought that this would make Terry McGinnis the current active Batman (though that would make this series sometime after 2040 and I don't think we thought of it that far head).

Her costume looks like the statues of "Blind Justice", the Goddess whose name she shares, with elements of her mother's and father's costumes as well. I figure Supes has been out in space (or wherever he was during the whole DC 1,000,000 series) and would not have been around, Wonder Woman is retired so no one has seen the likes of her for a long time.


Havard: said...

Kingdom Come was a pretty good read. I seem to remember Superman having a daughter with Wonderwoman in Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns as well?

Rhonin84 said...

"Lara: the daughter of Superman and Wonder Woman, with the powers of a Kryptonian and the warrior attitude of an Amazon. She has a poor opinion of people less powerful than herself and tries to persuade her father to rise above the "humans" and maybe even take over the world. He himself is torn between this and his adopted parent's view that he should use his powers to help rather than to dominate, but she soon brings him round."

Thanks Wiki!

Ok this is what I have been waiting for as the GM of this game...which might end up being just one player. I'm not sure about the system but I know that I like the character and the history that was put together.

Anonymous said...

Totally and completely confused as to why you've made her vulnerable to magic. I know Superman is sometimes said to be so, but he's not any more vulnerable to magic, then anybody else. It doesn't make any sense.

Pun Isaac said...

Kingdom Come is a favorite of mine. I really like this character concept. I think my favorite touch is the blindfold. It's just brilliant.

Pun Isaac said...

@Anonymous - Superman isn't any more vulnerable to magic than most people, but he also isn't invulnerable to it. They make that distinction in the DC Hero's Handbook in his write up. He loses impervious when faced with magic attacks.

Tim Snider said...

Did you ever read any of the Lady Justice comics by Tekno, created by Neil Gaiman?

Michael S/Chgowiz said...

Neat writeup! I don't normally play supers, but anything about the Kingdom Come universe gets my attention.

Funny enough, I used to read a different Justice when it first came out - but I can never seem to follow comics for too long. I've used variations of the Justice Warrior in characters I've played.

Timothy S. Brannan said...

Greg: That is about what I would expect from Miller. While I grant that we owe him a debt for the modern interpretation of Batman, sometimes (often times) he is far too misanthropic for me.

Though, what Justice is really missing a good nemesis.