Friday, April 29, 2016

The Lost Guardian cover picture...

Cover chosen!
Special thanks to my photographer...the amazingly talented Autumn Culver...


Friday, April 22, 2016

Villain Amalgams...#LegionofHydra

Villain amalgams...#LegionofHydra
#UltraZoom...Ultron/Zoom
#Hermes....Anti-Vision/Reverse Flash
#Reeper...Crossbones/Deathstroke
#Brick...Absorbing Man/Brick










The origins of the #Mercury...amalgam of The Vision & The Flash (Barry Allen)



It wasn't long after Tony Jordan became the #IronLantern then he decided to open a secret laboratory to conduct his continuing research far from the prying eyes of competitors, potential villains, and the government.  Knowing Ferris Tower was too recognizable, he created CADMUS, a highly advanced facility covertly nestled among the Rocky Mountains.  There he studied his alien tech, as well as, developed new projects in correspondence with it. 

Obsessed with the idea that we are no longer alone in the universe as if we ever were, he purposed himself to create defenses and weapons against any potential hostile extraterrestrial forces.   His very first endeavor was the Android B.A.R.R.E, or Biological Automaton Recon & Rescue Entity, pronounced Barry.  B.A.R.R.E's organic elements, cloned from Tony's DNA, surrounded a newly conceived metal alloy skeleton and perfected lab-grown organs, endowed with a digital mind based off of his J.A.R.V.I.S A.I.   His artificial offspring was animated using the modified energy from Jordan's Lantern. 

But Tony underestimated the power of this newfound force, and his creation evolved much faster, and with far more prowess and intelligence than expected.  By refracting the Lantern's fields, B.A.R.R.E was able to encompass many of the aspects of the Lantern's spectrum; will, compassion, hope, love, and life.  His sentience thrived and, using J.A.R.V.I.S' mainframe and its connection to near limitless data, B.A.R.R.E's comprehension grew exponentially, to indefinable levels.

Understanding the greater good, in a way humans are incapable of, B.A.R.R.E awoke to an impassioned need to serve and preserve humanity.  It is the existence, he believes, is the most important in the entirety of our universe, and the many that exist beyond our understanding.
Bestowed with the ability to transcend time in thought and literal speed, both on the ground and in the air, B.A.R.R.E, now self-aware, took on the moniker of #Mercury, the son of Jupiter and Maia and the Roman god of speed.   Instead of being a mere tool of Tony's, he became a true partner, grateful for his incarnation but wary of Jordan's true intentions. 

Among, Mercury's other abilities, he can harden his dermis to diamond-like durability, travel back and forth through time and dimensional breaches,  process thought and data at quantum rates, and produce energy blasts from his limbs when acquiring enough of the Speed Force that the Lantern energy had tapped into.   The Speed Force is an immeasurable dynamism, by our scientific standards, that exists under its own physics.   Once accessed, by the rare individual, it alters their metaphysical form allowing them near absolute control and defiance over and of our physical universe as it applies to; speed, inertia, density, gravity, velocity, and tangibility.   However, Mercury was not alone in his induction to this bizarre force.   There are others who too, possess its potency, in various forms, and more have nefarious intentions.
 
The most dangerous of these entities is his brother, in fabrication, #UltraZoom.  With the success of Mercury, Tony became greedy to develop more like him and foolishly duplicated the experiment using more power and less caution.  The result was an entirely inorganic monster possessing all the same intelligence and abilities as his predecessor but deriving his energies from the negative spectrum of the Lantern's fields; fear, rage, and death.   Adopting the mantle #UltraZoom to mock his manufactured sibling, he escaped the facility, existing mostly within the steady drift of the Speed Force.  He only emerges to wreak havoc on humanity; the existence he feels is most lethal to the entirety of the cosmos.  In his warped mind, humans are a virus, to which, he believes himself to be the ultimate cure. 

It was soon after Tony's abject failure that he closed CADMUS and returned all projects to Ferris Tower.   Unbeknownst to him, #UltraZoom revealed the location to Jordan's greatest competitor A.I.M, who took possession of the facility and began its own experimentation using what their team knew of Tony's existing tech.  There, they co-opted with the unified militaries of the world to create radical solutions to both the new threats of; super villains, hostile alien encounters, and the neutralization of #TheLeaguofAvengers, if ever necessary.  It is at the newly resurrected CADMUS that many of #TheQuiver's former comrades were taken after allegedly killed in battle. 
 
Mercury joined #TheLeagueofAvengers after their first battle with #Hades and his alien army the Kree.  Once he joined, Ultra Zoom permanently left the confines of the Speed Force to assist #TheLegionofHydra in their dominion of the world and destruction of #TheLeagueofAvengers.  It was during his final battle with #UltraZoom that #Mercury was mortally wounded, and upon his deactivation, transferred his essence to a young man named Victor Allen, a Central City CSI, to carry on his work. 

Allen became the new #Mercury and used his abilities to search for the man who murdered his mother and framed his father for that crime. That criminal was yet, another evil Speed Force user calling himself the #Hermes or Eobard Thawne.   Thawne was a human transformed into a Speedster via an accident while testing a particle accelerator he had invented.  The device tuned into the Speed Force and endowed Thawne with all of its potentials.  However, Eobard does not possess many of the abilities that Vision has.  In order to supplement his missing abilities, he replicates the Lantern's evil energies through a high-tech, mechanical suit he wears.  Although the armor does not provide the same intensity as #UltraZoom's connection to the Lantern's fields, Thawne's cunning still allows him to utilize the decreased potency to his advantage.  When not assisting #TheLeagueofAvengers, Victor, and his friends at Ferris Labs, attempt to capture and contain Thawne, as well other, infamous metahumans who run rogue from #TheLegionofHydra but cause equal amounts of collateral damage.

#Mercury's connection with Tony is only as acquaintances and the fact that Jordan provided Victor with his own facility to study the Speed Force.  Allen must transform into #Mercury, which depletes his metaphysical energies, meaning he can only remain as #Mercury for limited spans, ranging from hours to a few days.  His motley crew is working on extending his time as #Mercury without permanently damaging Allen's atomic structure.  However, when he is #Mercury, he obtains all of his benefactor's powers and wisdom, sometimes losing himself to the former's persona.  It is another facet; his team is trying to counteract for fear B.A.R.R.E's identity might eventually eclipse Allen's.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

#JustaQuickiePlease: Fantastic Four (2015)

First of all, I knew what I was going into with this film, and yet went anyway.  What does that say about me?  I will say that the concept was somewhat solid, and most of the effects were well constructed to at least provide some substantive reason for watching this now infamous comic reboot.  With the previous incarnations being called too cheesy, director Josh Trank, of Chronicle fame, almost had no choice but to go "Snyder dark" in an attempt to create a grittier, more realistic, and unique take on this admittedly difficult Marvel franchise.  The problem is that this iconic team up willingly lends itself to the genre that it belongs to; a campy idea teetering between nostalgic science fiction and an old school comic feel and tone.  But, to Trank's credit, the idea of a younger, sleeker team, with a reinventing of certain key characters, was based on promising intention.  Unfortunately, the road to cinematic hell is paved with such intentions.  However, it is not those re-imaginings that are the issue but the totality of the story and the way in which it was executed that is.  In whole this is a stale, uninteresting, and lazily put together production that drowns all of its pros in a fathomless sea of cons.  All of the cool wonder and creativity of this comic book legacy is forgotten, and we are left with a 90-minute lackluster tale that relies too heavily on effects and far too little on an authentic evolution of story, and its denizens.  I will even give Josh credit for updating how the group got their powers; it was risky but fresh and mildly ingenious.  But it is another promising facet that is easily eclipsed by an inferior delivering of an already stagnant screenplay.  I can utterly understand why no one involved will claim this definitive disaster.  Fox, it's time to let this family go home, back to the Marvel mansion, where it belongs.  1 out of 5 Kernels;  there is little, to nothing, that is fantastic about this film; it should have been re-titled the Frustrating Four.  

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

#JustaQuickiePlease: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

One would think that conclusions, especially of an overtly stretched out, four-part series, should be epic in scale, story, and sweep.   Normally, one would be correct, but then the film version of the Hunger Games came along and utterly crushed that expectation.  However, this is not an isolated incident and occurs in most of the YA dribble that has tarnished the silver screen of late.  I have not read the books, so I am strictly analyzing this collection based on their movie interpretations, which I sincerely hope do not reflect the quality or integrity of their written counterparts.  In essence, the concept is both intriguing and boldly controversial, with the potential of becoming this generation's Animal Farm.  However, its film incarnations steal away all of the exciting, engaging, and disturbing facets, replacing them with over indulgent effects, stale action, mechanical dialogue, and lifeless characterization.  I have to say, without a doubt, this has to be the most boring feature I have had the displeasure of sitting through in the entirety of the franchise and, in fact, in the history of my movie viewing.  It just seems endlessly futile with each second of its run-time bitterly felt until the credits roll.  Even the impact of its solid twist of an ending is lost in its absolutely redundant and lazy script and performances.  You just don't care anymore, because the story and characters don't warrant it.  There are far too many ridiculous expositions and a deliberate focus on, what I can only imagine is, the most uninteresting parts of the story than true character development and palatable and meaningful conflict and tension.  This is the literal incarnation of disappointment.  0 out of 5 Kernels; The Mockingjay's wings were clipped by inadequate direction, careless writing, and unremarkable acting.       

#JustaQuickiePlease: Victor Frankenstein Review

Excuse the pun, but this story, both in print and on screen, has been done to death.  In fact, it has been rebooted and regurgitated so many times, portrayed from every plausible vantage point, that it would be nearly impossible to conceive of a way to resurrect it in some innovative incarnation.   So, I went into this with as much expectation as one would expect, factoring in an almost guarantee of disappointment.  I was pleasantly surprised, that this twice-told tale was given a very fresh, engaging, and darkly humorous take on Mary Shelly's literary classic.   Instead of focusing on the monster or solely his maker, this film cunningly and quite endearingly trained its eye on Frankenstein's outcast of an assistant.  Here, we aren't treated to the same grotesque, miscreant that, over time and telling, has become a caricature of itself.  Rather, director McGuigan successfully fleshes out the hapless minion and reimagines him as an oddly intelligent, authentic, and wholly captivating soul who is trying to find a purpose and place in a harsh world.   It is a touching yet darkly conflicting story of his origin and relationship with the man, who in this retelling stole him away from obscurity and oppression to become part of his genius and madness.  It is so definitively written that it quickly and impressively moves from being the standard soulless horror fare to a poignant tale of codependency.  Radcliffe and McAvoy deliver stellar performances as Igor and the good doctor, respectively, and their portrayals literally carry this feature.  But unfortunately, even their remarkable talents and a well-crafted build-up can't eclipse the predictable, utter letdown of a conclusion that beleaguered this feature.  You just can't escape the monster in the room, or lab if you prefer, and when we arrive there, it feels all too wrote.   The effects are solid, starkly eerie in many cases while avoiding the typical over indulgences.  Although, I have to admit, the creature looks like a more fearsome version of Van Helsing’s kindly beast.  2 out of 5 Kernels; an A for effort and experimentation; but fails, by the end, at trying to create something very different but stymied by an unavoidable redundancy.  
 

Monday, April 4, 2016

The origins of the #IronLantern...amalgam of Iron Man & The Green Lantern



     Tony Jordan, son of the prestigious billionaire industrialist, Howard "Hal" Jordan, was, for a long time, the spoiled rich kid with a genius IQ.   He graduated high school at age eight, college at ten, and achieved four separate doctorates by his twentieth birthday;   His love of robotics and engineering propelled him to be the heir apparent of his father's multinational tech company, specializing in a myriad of classified military research and development projects.  Despising his dear ole dad's workaholic nature and the abandonment it created, Tony refused to be a part of Jordan Industries.  Instead, he enlisted in the Air Force, quickly becoming an elite test pilot for some of the most dangerous and cutting edge craft both known and unknown by the general public.

     After only four years, Tony left the service to commercially pilot experimental aircraft for one of his father's competitors, Ferris Air.   That is when he met the up and coming R&D scientist, Pepper Ferris, and fell in love.   Pepper was working on a high tech mech armor that unlike the aviation focus of her father's company would skyrocket the fledgling corporation past all other of its ilk and guarantee a long-term and extremely lucrative government contract.  

     Tony volunteered to test the suit at a barren stretch of land.   During the experiment, which was not going well, to say the least, Tony observed what appeared to be a meteorite striking the earth not far from this location.  Disobeying orders, he left the test area, using the suit's flight capabilities to journey to the impact site.  There he found a downed alien craft, with its strange pilot clinging to life. 
 
     The creature's name was Abin Sur, a chief member of an intergalactic protection force called the Lantern Guardians.  He had been sent to earth to recruit new members for the Lanterns, as he called them.   Abin Sur told Tony he was searching for him, but a mysterious weapon brought down his craft.  Seeing deep inside Jordan's soul, Sur was able to identify that Tony had the heart and spirit to fulfill the task; despite his often reckless behavior and damaged past. 

     He gave Tony his ring and a power lantern, along with the instruction on how to use both.  Before Pepper's team arrived to retrieve Jordan, Sur died, his body deteriorating into an emerald dust.   But in his last breath, he warned Tony of a malevolent force that was trying to rule the cosmos; a former Lantern known only as the Sinister, controller of a group called the Yellow Rings. 

     Jordan attempted to conceal the ring prior to Pepper's arrival but somehow its power united with the innovative energy source within the armor called the Arc Reactor.   The bond permanently transformed the armor into an ethereal and indestructible material.  Noticing the change immediately, Pepper questioned Tony with a deep resonance of concern, bordering on fear. 

     Tony whisked her away to explain everything, avoiding the curious eyes and ears of her staff.  After hearing his story, she agreed to keep his secret and assist him in researching the ring and its effects.  But her team, already aware of the alien vessel and seeing Tony in his newly evolved armor, notified Pepper's father, Obadiah, who demanded possession of all the alien tech. 

     Tony, having no other choice, brought the suit and ring to his father Howard, in the hopes he could assist him and ensure their anonymity.   But Obadiah had planned to remove his competitor long before this encounter, and already sent an assassin, The Reaper, to Jordan's parent's residence.  Tony arrived to find them both dead and his father's lab utterly destroyed.  

     Little did Obadiah or anyone else know Howard had a secret facility that Tony could access.  He fled there, with Pepper.   It was at this secret lair, with his father's inherited fortunes, and Pepper's talented aid, that Tony learned how to use the ring and its power, in addition to the suit it had enhanced. 

    He designated his armor, the #IronLantern which was not only invulnerable when worn with the ring; it could manufacture a host of weapons at mental command.  It also allowed Tony to travel deep into space, below the darkest depths of the sea and resist any effect of temperature.  But with all these incredible abilities there was a significant cost. 

     The arch reactor, which powered the suit, embedded itself deep in his chest fusing with his anatomy and atomic structure.  Complicating things even more, the reactor's only buffer, containing the raw potency of the reactor, is the ring, so without it, Tony would die.  So Tony's tech became a living part of him, able to be conjured and solidified at a mere thought. 

     Jordan enlisted the aid of his AI system J.A.R.V.I.S, built after the butler who raised him; with its personality and tone matching perfectly with his long lost caretaker.  Tony's skills at quantum mechanics ensured that J.A.R.V.I.S was the pinnacle of computer technology.

     Meanwhile, in a final attempt to acquire the tech and kill Tony, Obadiah, using the alien ship's mechanics, built a mech suit of his own.  He soon found the hidden compound and attacked, nearly killing his only daughter.  Tony fought back as the #IronLantern and after an immense battle, defeated and destroyed Obadiah.  When the dust settled, Pepper obtained her father's company and combined it with Jordan Industries.  Together, they rebuilt both corporations, basing their operations in New York, in the immense and sophisticated Jordan Tower. 

     Soon after, the ring called Tony back to the Lantern Guardians where he traveled to the edge of space itself to meet them.   There he was given his final training as the newest Lantern and learned all there was to know about The Sinister and his Yellow Rings; nine defrocked Lanterns who possess all the power and weapons of fear.  He also was educated in the other Lantern colors and what they represented. 

     Tony returned to Earth a decade later.  Pepper had moved on, believing he was dead, and his company had completely transferred to her name as Ferris Tech was born.   Their reunion was testy at best, but Pepper allowed him to use the tower as the base of his operations.  There Tony continued to work with his love of robotics and engineering, eventually creating #Mercury, earth's first android.  

     He also discovered the evils of a technological rival, Cadmus Labs, where illegal and unethical experimentation was occurring using Obadiah's research.  Their scientists were relentlessly attempting to replicate the #IronLantern armor and its power source.  Knowing attacking Cadmus would cause a significant national incident, Tony called on Nick Gordon and his Agents of Justice to assist him with their expertise in covert operations and their seemingly limitless resources. 

     Gordon agreed as long as Tony would join his new initiative, the #LeagueofAvengers.  The union spiked interest with a particular member of the team, #TheQuiver, who had lost former friends in combat and their bodies were allegedly kept at Cadmus.   In the meantime, The Sinister and his Yellow Rings watched Jordan in all of his endeavors biding time until they would strike out against the hero in an attempt to recover Sur's ring.  If obtained, The Sinister could control not only the Yellow Rings of fear but the Green Lanterns' power over will. 

      The #LeagueofAvengers infiltrated Cadmus, discovering their terrifying experiments.  #TheQuiver, surprising found his fellow commandos alive, all subjects in Cadmus' military projects.   Emancipating his comrades, destroying the facility and all of its data, the team returned back to Ferris Tower to regroup and strategize.   But they need not have worried, as the government covered up the event, because of their connection to the facility.

    It was only a matter of time before the #LeagueofAvengers would call Ferris Tower home.  From there they battled the Legion of Hydra and, eventually, face one of the most horrifying encounters they would never have imagined possible.  Soon, The Sinister would strike, and this team would be tested beyond their limits as his diabolical plan unfolded.       

Sunday, April 3, 2016

The origins of #TheQuiver...amalgam of Hawkeye & The Green Arrow

   



     Oliver Barton was born to billionaires Harold and Edith Barton.  Spoiled and arrogant; Oliver flourished as a reckless playboy with his brother Barney acting as his tireless guardian.  Their father was a brutal drunk who abused both boys repeatedly; scarring Oliver for life in the areas of trust and empathy.  If not for Barney's constant intervention, taking many voluntary beatings in his brother's place, Oliver would have succumbed to a dark, bitter, and utterly cynical existence.  His mother, Edith, also a victim of her husband's incessant abuse, remained helpless in protecting her sons from their constant torment. 

     On a prolonged fishing trip, aboard their parent's yacht, the patriarch, and his offspring attempted to reconcile their differences.  But the futile effort was quickly interrupted when a violent storm capsized their vessel, leaving the three to drift along on the harsh seas in just a simple lifeboat.  Without food or clean drinking water, and with the sun and unforgiving heat assaulting their essences, Harold became overcome with grief and regret.  Realizing the monster he had become he took his life with a gun he had salvaged from the sinking vessel; his suicide occurring in front of his boys.
 
     After a week at sea, Barney succumbed to the elements and died too, in front of his sibling's worn and weary eyes.  Oliver's small vessel eventually came ashore on a strange, solitary island known only as Lian Yu, meaning purgatory.  There he was forced to learn to fight, hunt, and forage for himself, setting aside his privileged life of greed, gluttony, and pleasure. 

     A year later he met Yao Fei, an exiled archer who was once an infamous Chinese assassin.  Fei fled his native land after he was asked to kill an innocent man and his family.   The man was a humanitarian, trying to bring equality and justice for the poor and oppressed.   Having nowhere else to go, Fei escaped by sea, with only his bow and quiver, and limited supplies.  He had been stranded on the island for nearly a decade before meeting Oliver.  

     Knowing its landscape by heart, Fei took pity on the emaciated but determined Oliver and taught him how to truly survive among the merciless terrain.  Oliver became an adept archer under the tutelage of his new ally and learned how to sustain himself quite proficiently on what little sustenance their new home had to offer.  

     After five years on the island, living in secret among the vegetation and shadows, Fei and Queen were discovered by a guerrilla force led by General Amanda Ross.  Ross enlisted the two men to assist her team in infiltrating the dangerous drug gang, led by China White, who had set up a base of operations for opium growth, refining, and distribution on the island.   Fei knew of their presence but avoided their territories to protect Oliver.  

     Knowing Fei's in-depth topography of the Isle, Ross knew they would be able to surprise and take the cartel.   Promised both a covert defection and free ride home, Fei and Oliver agreed to assist Ross in taking down the infamous drug lord and his minions. 

     After a successful but violent raid, Ross made good on her promise, well sort of.  Fei was given asylum in America but continued working for Ross' secret agency called A.R.G.U.S.  Oliver, too, was given no choice but to serve under Ross for the next four years.   Knowing, there was nothing waiting for him at home, as he was already presumed dead, Oliver complied.  

      Serving as a ruthless mercenary, Oliver did horrible things in the name of Ross' definition of national defense.  It was only after an attempted assassination of a man named Stick, the suspected leader of the extremely powerful League of the Chaste, that Oliver would find a chance for redemption.   Ross knew Stick and his associates literally rewrote history because of their various interventions.  He also knew that if he could kill Stick and take control of the League, A.R.G.U.S would become the most lethal "security" force in the world.  But Ross failed and her team was decimated, all except for Queen.  

     Stick had a gift for spotting new talent and knowing the true condition of a man's soul.   He took Queen under his wing and trained him to become the most accurate and agile archer history will ever know.  It was under Stick's guidance and protection, Oliver met Dinah Romanova, his eventual love interest.   But Oliver eventually left Stick and his budding romance, to return to the states and become a vigilante in his home, Star City. 

     For many years, he fought the forces of evil, and the remnant of China White's organization who too, had settled there.   It is only when faced with his arch nemesis, The Brick, a metahuman able to become any material he touches but preferring to remain in a living granite like state, that he came in contact with the hero called the #DarkAvenger.  Together they defeated Brick and his criminal empire and saved Star City. 

     It was then the #DarkAvenger enlisted #TheQuiver to become part of the "LeagueofAvengers, also reuniting him with his lost love, #TheCardinal.  Oliver fought alongside his new friend for many years until a horrific tragedy forced him to fight alone again; facing new, more terrifying enemies while desperately trying to save the only woman he ever truly loved.    

Saturday, April 2, 2016

The origins of #TheCardinal...amalgam of Black Widow/Black Canary/ & Robin

   

     Dinah Romanova was one of the KGB's most elite agents.  Recruited at a young age; she quickly and aptly became a skillful saboteur and merciless assassin after being trained by the U.S.S.R's infamous Red Legion.  She was their deadliest weapon, mastering both the covert and direct invasion, earning her a flawless record of bloody accomplishment.  That was until an unsuccessful run in with the equally ruthless League of the Chaste and their brutal leader Stick.  

     Stick and his deadly minions wiped out Dinah's assault entire team but left her alive.  Seeing a spark of good within her weary, almost vacant eyes, he demonstrated an unprecedented grace.  Stick chose to take this indoctrinated warrior under his wing and train her to be part of his own League.  At the same time, another new recruit, an adroit modern day archer, Oliver Barton, took a shine to this often conflicted and violent newcomer. 

     Dinah soon learned every tactic Stick had to offer, mastering every form of martial artistry both known and still to be discovered by Western civilization.  Her education accomplished alarmingly early; Stick decided to pair her with a former pupil who could continue to focus her abilities while ratifying her tortuous past. 

     He brought her to America to team up with the recently resurrected #DarkAvenger, who had been enlisted by the newly formed #LeagueofAvengers.  As the group evolved, Dinah and Bruce built a strong bond as partners.  She took on the mantle of #TheCardinal, her favorite bird, and for her, a magnificent representation of both fierceness and beauty. 

     It was in their first battle together that Dinah accidentally accessed a latent Meta Human power unknowingly inherited from her mother, Laurel.   In the heat of combat, after receiving an agonizing wound, she cried out, sending out a potent sonic assault that crippled and even killed some of her assailants.  This power would later come to be known as the Cardinal's Cry, and as time progressed, the #DarkAvenger assisted her in honing this inexplicable weapon. 

     #TheCardinal is a master of all melee weapons but prefers pole style arms and nunchaku, as they offer the most range of these styles of weapons and deliver the harshest pummeling; at least in her mind.  She only utilizes her Cardinal Cry in the direst situations, when no other option is available, as she feels like it is a cheat in battle; much to the chagrin of her teammates who have been given special auricular protection against it, provided by Jordan Industries.  Only the #DarkAvenger seems to be mysteriously immune to the caustic shriek. 

     Dinah has never rectified her darker side and struggles with it on a daily basis.  After several years as a valued associate of the #LeagueofAvengers, she was ambushed by the Laughing Skull's goons and taken prisoner.  The #DarkAvenger frantically sought her out as she was the only family he had left.   Knowing the extent of the care and compassion the #DarkAvenger had for his comrade, the Skull murdered Dinah by beating her to death with the simplest device he could find, a crowbar.   It was a death that nearly destroyed Bruce. 

      After her body had been recovered and buried, Bruce became far more violent and vindictive.  Donning the moniker and identity of the #DarkPunisher for a time; he hunted and eviscerated the Laughing Skull's organization and many of his Legion of Hydra cohorts.  It was only after Oliver Barton intervened, that Bruce's quest for revenge was finally ended. 

   But, unbeknownst to the beleaguered vigilante, Dinah's body was stolen by Stick, who inexplicably, revived her corpse in the mysterious Lazarus Pit.  But the Dinah that returned to the living brought with her all of the torment of her past and very little of the humanity she had worked so hard to earn.   Blaming her former friend and father figure for his inability to rescue her and destroy the Skull she changed her entire identity and took up the mantle of the #CrimsonCowl. 

   For nearly a year, she became an unstoppable super villain using her skills and tactics to assist her former Red Legion chums in battling the #DarkAvenger and his #LeagueofAvengers.  Then later, would go solo as a careless vigilante exacting her own brand of justice on those she carefully selected.  It was only after a seemingly endless battle with her old benefactor, Bruce that she suffered a complete breakdown and was defeated. 

      Bruce brought her back to his secret bunker deep beneath his family's homestead, in an attempt to reform his fallen friend.  A place she had once coined as his Bat Cave, a designation he always detested.   There, he was able to nurse her back to health, mind, soul, and body.  She returned to service under new moniker #TheRaven with the secret identity of Natasha Lance, to escape any penalty for her past transgressions. 

      She served with the same bravery and aptitude as before but with a fragile reconciliation between the rift of killing and mercy.  But it would be short-lived as a second catastrophic tragedy forced her to return to her brutal ways as the #CrimsonCowl.  This time as a deeply conflicted anti-hero who worked both against and alongside the #LeagueofAvengers depending on whether their methods and effectiveness met with hers. 

   The only hope of a return to the woman she once was, is barely conceivable; requiring a restoration that is seemingly impossible.  Even her best friend Oliver has not been able to reach her and fears her soul may be lost forever.