Make It So: DC – The Manga Universe
Make it So: DC The Manga Universe by Matt Eldridge and Jerry Whitworth
In 2000, Marvel Comics produced a manga-version of its universe called the Marvel Mangaverse. Featuring the work of various artists including Ben Dunn, founder of Antarctic Press and creator of Ninja High School and Warrior Nun Areala (manga-inspired American comics), the imprint would last for two years with a brief return some time later. However, the relationship between American and Japanese comics existed for some time before this. Osamu Tezuka, referred by Japanese as the god or godfather of manga, was inspired for his field and style by American animation thanks to characters like Felix the Cat and Betty Boop. Other mangaka, or comic creators, would be similarly inspired including Akira Toriyama (who applied several homages to Superman in his works like Dr. Slump and Dragon Ball Z), Katsuhiko Nishijima and Kazumi Shirasaka (who paid homage to Superman, Wonder Woman, and Iron Man in their work Project A-Ko), and Kazuyoshi Katayama and Keiichi Sato (whose work The Big O was inspired by Batman: The Animated Series).
Adaptations of American comics would also make it to Japan including Batman by Jiro Kuwata (during the Batman television craze in 1966 from the co-creator of 8 Man; Kuwata would also adapt the tokusatsu series Moonlight Mask, some cross between the Lone Ranger and Batman, to manga), Toei’s Spider-Man (a tokusatsu television series that was the first to feature a hero piloting a giant robot) and Dracula: Sovereign of the Damned (based on Tomb of Dracula), Kodansha manga adaptations of Spider-Man, the Hulk, and the X-Men, Yamanaka Akira’s Spider-Man J, and Madhouse’s adaptations of Iron Man, Wolverine, X-Men, and Blade. Stan Lee would also create an original story for animation studio Bones in Heroman. US companies would also adapt Japanese material to comics including Marvel’s Godzilla and Shogun Warriors, Comico’s Robotech series, and various adaptations of Power Rangers. While Marvel would have its Mangaverse, DC Comics would dip its toe in a similar way with Ame-Comi Girls based on its anime-influenced toyline revolving around scantily clad female versions of their characters, several gender-swapped towards this end. However, a DC Comics-based manga universe could go significantly farther.
On a walk through the countryside, elderly Josuke Suchīruman, last disciple of the Suchīruman school of martial arts, discovered an infant battling wolves at the base of a mountain. Rushing to the child’s aid, he discovered the babe hurling the animals like toys at each other. Taking the child home, he tended to him while inquiring of any missing children in the area finding no such circumstance. Believing the child to be some deity sent from the heavens, he raised the boy as his own son, naming him Kenta and passing down his family’s secrets of fighting. Kenta’s strength, speed, endurance, and vitality far exceeded any man the elder had ever faced. Sadly, Josuke’s age would catch up with him and he would relate to Kenta the circumstances of their first meeting before his passing. Kenta would go to that mountain and climb it, discovering some strange craft that had seemingly crashed into it. Therein, some neural interface transferred Kenta’s origins to him.
Survivor of an alien race that lived on the planet Krypton, Kenta’s people were world conquerors whose enhanced abilities allowed them to crush most opponents. Their reign would come to an end when they brought war to the utopian New Genesis who unleashed the dread destroyer Darkseid upon the Kryptonians. The last remnant of New Genesis’ past evil, Darkseid obliterated the Kryptonians across every world they occupied until reaching Krypton itself. Using alien technology, Kenta’s people created the monstrous Doomsday to battle Darkseid. The battle between the two would inevitably result in the destruction of Krypton. Before its end, though, Jorel sent his only son Kalel to a planet slated for conquest. That child was Kenta.
The secrets of his past revealed and no reason to remain where he had spent his life to this point, Kenta traveled the world where he battled monsters like the giant ape Titano, the pink Parasite-Man, the mischievous imp Mxyzptlk-sama, and his magical doppelganger Bizaro. Along the way, he would gain the admiration of world-renowned, blonde American reporter Lois Lane and her sidekick Jimmy Olsen who followed Kenta, sharing his feats with the world dubbing him Choujin Kenta. When Lane enticed Kenta to travel to New York City, he ran afoul of the villainous mad scientist Lufur, his cyborg bodyguard Metalo, the super-computer Brainiac, henchmen Terra-Man and Toy-Man, and his cybernetic army. After many battles, Kenta would triumph after defeating Lufur’s greatest creation, the giant robot Ginga Kyojin. Kenta’s legend would not only spread across the world, but across time, drawing travelers from the future like Fatal Force Five and Starfinger to come to the present to battle him. Kenta’s greatest challenge was yet to come when he learned he was not the final Kryptonian.
The disruptions in space time on Earth wore thin the barriers that separate realities. This phenomenon allowed the Kryptonian army to escape their self-imposed prison in the Zone of Space-Time (where they avoided the destruction of Krypton). Led by Zod Shogun, the army lays claim to Earth spreading destruction. When Kenta tries to stop the advancement, while he can hold his own against most of Zod’s guards, Zod’s elite were far above his abilities. When Kenta refused Zod’s offer to join them, he was sent to the Zone of Space-Time himself. Therein, Kenta discovers the elderly Kwekzul, who will likely die should he leave the Zone and owed a blood debt to Kenta’s father. While Zod entertained himself with Earth, Kenta learned how to utilize his powers best while learning his native arts and forming a new fighting system. Kwekzul finished their training with the Phantom Wave, the technique that sends someone to the Zone, before Kenta returned to Earth and returned the planet to normal. Sadly, the situation created even worse problems.
With so many Kryptonians in one place, the creature Doomsday was drawn to the Earth. Seeking the remnants of its creators, Doomsday sowed destruction across the planet drawing Kenta into conflict again (and his presence on Earth again drawing ruin to it). Kenta would defeat Doomsday but at the cost of his own life. In the afterlife, Kenta quelled a coup d’état by the angel Asmodel and won a tournament between the host of Heaven and the pits of Hell earning the right to return to life. However, he would be tasked with bringing down the so-called New Gods, spawn of dread Darkseid. This conflict would bring Kenta to battle across Apokolips, New Genesis, and Earth, the latter where the hero would destroy Darkseid for all time. Following the defeat of the universe’s gravest threat, Kenta settled down with Lois in the home he shared with Josuke as a boy where the couple raise their daughter Kara.
Brilliant scientist Thomas Wayne moved to Japan with his family to join partner Hugo Strange in developing technology that can ensure world peace. However, Strange was secretly selling their research before being uncovered by Wayne and ousted as his partner. Strange’s partners, the Sunakage, dispatched their top assassin Joker to steal Wayne’s research, destroy his lab, and kill Wayne. Attending a showing of the latest Kyodaiman film with his wife and son at a theater downtown, Joker slays husband and wife but leaves the child alive. Bruce, the son, swore revenge against the killer clown and devoted his life to tracking the murderer down, studying martial arts, detective techniques, and the latest innovations in technology. Despite years of searching, the youth couldn’t so much as uncover a hint of the killer’s identity. Everything changed one fateful night in his father’s study.
While pondering if he should give up his quest, Wayne’s butler Alfred accidentally activated a secret door in the household’s longcase clock. Following it, Wayne and Alfred uncover Thomas’ secret lab where everything was revealed. Also, Thomas had finished his work days before his demise resulting in an experimental combat suit and flying vehicle. Disguised as an ornate belt buckle, under the command “henshin,” a suit of thin, but strong, armor adorns the body. Enhancing physical attributes, providing an arsenal of weapons, offering the capability to hide in shadows, and produce retractable wings for gliding, the suit would change the landscape of combat. What more, the suit was linked to the experimental aircraft able to remote summon and pilot it. The craft was equipped with a detachable motorcycle that links into the craft giving its pilot versatility. The flying vehicle itself travels at mach 11 despite its small size, is virtually invisible to radar, and is equipped with a wide arsenal of weaponry. Taking the name Batman and dubbing the vehicle the Batwing, Wayne took to Tokyo seeking out Dr. Strange.
Strange, adapting the technology to create enhanced assassins, used the back alleys of Tokyo to test out their capabilities with murders blamed on wild animals and vehicular accidents. Tokyo’s Batman would take down Killer Croc, Clay-Face, Superbat, Killer Moth, Copperhead, and the Terrible Trio before the hero reached Strange and forced him to reveal everything he knew about the Sunakage. Formed and lead by Akuma no Atama thousands of years ago in a bid to conquer the world, the Sunakage is composed of the world’s deadliest assassins, chief among them the mysterious Joker. The Batman would attract dozens of the organization’s agents, notably the Penguin, Professor Gorilla, Nikao, Riddler, Torikabuto, Mister Freeze, Kakashi, Go Go the Magician, Kamen Black, Doctor Faceless, Hotaru, Deadshot, Lord Death Man, and Catman before attracting the Joker back to Tokyo. During this time, Batman would gain two companions in Robin and Catwoman. The former was schoolgirl Juki Kurihama, whose parents died at the hands of Nikao and was adopted by Bruce Wayne becoming his partner Robin. Catwoman was an American assassin for Sunakage named Selina Kyle who decided to align with the Batman following the hero uncovering the organization was responsible for the deaths of Catwoman’s parents.
The Joker turned Tokyo into his own private chess board, using the lives of its people as game pieces to bring out the Batman and exhaust him. After days of challenges, the Joker appeared to slay Batman but instead severely wounded Robin. Batman defeated Joker, choosing to hand him over to the authorities rather than exact vengeance on him. The while, Akuma no Atama had surmised the Batman’s identity and kidnapped Alfred turning him into a monster called the Outsider. Batman would save his friend but Atama took the opportunity to free his comrades and had Strange create a monstrous clone of Batman called Hametsu. Further, Atama unveiled a line of giant mecha for his operatives while Strange could turn his monster men into giants. The measure unlocked a protocol Thomas left for his son for his own giant mecha Batman dubbed the Batmobiru and used it to battle the new threat. Atama and daughter Talia would become directly involved in the battle against the Batman while the mysterious Nightwing, empowered by the same tech as the Batman, becomes involved in the fight against the villain (though, saving innocents appears less of a priority than battling Atama to him). Meanwhile, new student Daiki Guhin transfers to Juki’s school bearing a terrible secret and connection to Thomas Wayne.
When high school student Saito Takura went on summer vacation, the last thing he expected was to be sucked into a whirlpool in the ocean. Transported to the magical land of the Amazons, Saito is the first male to ever step onto its sands. When found by its inhabitants, Saito would’ve been slain on the spot if not for the intervention of their princess Diana. Bringing him to her mother Hippolyta, it was decided he would marry an Amazon making him an honorary member of their community and exempt from their laws. His bride would be selected through a series of contests of skill, strength, and wisdom, though the queen and princesses would be exempt. Secretly wishing to leave the island, Diana disguises herself and enters the competition. Being victorious, Diana reveals herself and is given the title of the Amazon’s Wonder Woman bestowing a new status and access to the magical Amazon elite armory (which she can access from anywhere with a thought). Saito, blissfully unaware of the circumstances due to not understanding the language, is taken by Diana back to Japan as husband and wife.
In Japan, Diana moves in with a very confused Saito and his parents and sister Kasumi as the princess struggles to learn a foreign language and adjust to different societal norms (like regularly wearing clothes and using modern conveniences like televisions, trains, computers, and vending machines). Enrolling at Saito’s school as a foreign exchange student, students are confused at the pair’s relationship (especially Saito’s best friend and resident tomboy Etsumi Kandi). Diana quickly becomes a target at the school for her beauty and athletic ability, drawing the ire of the all-female gang the Cheetahs, class president (and witch) Kiruke, karate club president Dorisu Zul, and tech genius (and pervert) Engo Saiko. Saito’s life becomes even more complicated when over time Diana’s sister Donna, teacher Artemis, and aunt Nubia (with occasional visits from mother Hippolyta) come to live with them. However, their arrival is timely when the god of war Ares begins trying to invade the Earth.
When Kiruke summoned the demon Houkai, it caused a rift at the high school that Ares could exploit sending his monsters, soldiers, and children through. Their emergence became a threat not only to Diana and her Amazons but others students at the school that had become antagonists to the new student. As war comes to Japan and attacks occurring with more frequency and ferocity, the relationship between Saito and Diana evolves as the pair begin to care for each other. In fact, as they begin to let down their walls and let themselves become more intimate, Diana discovers a new strength she never had before. Relying on Artemis and Nubia when Ares’ forces started invading, Diana quickly starts to outshine them coming to their rescue. When brute force fails, Ares himself comes to Japan and disguises himself as the high school’s long absent principal. In this role, he subverts Diana’s enemy classmates to his cause, has his son Giman join the school as a student to be a rival to Saito for Diana, and begins turning Saito’s sister Kasumi into his own weapon against the couple. Though, his carefully laid plans are endangered by the appearance of rival Hades and his demon brood.
In the beginning, there was chaos. From this chaos, two beings were given form. One was Nekron, the other had no name but came to be called the Entity. Nekron dreamed of an existence devoid of all life as the Entity sought to create life. The latter, to further this end, created seven beings: The Butcher, Ophidian, Parallax, Ion, Adara, Proselyte, and the Predator. These beings helped seal Nekron away for he is death itself and cannot be slain. The universe was given form and the Guardians, the first race spawned by the beings, became its caretakers. Life persisted for time untold, but Nekron waited growing stronger and stronger as that time passed. The day would come when Nekron’s influence would bleed into our world. In Mega City, William Hand is transformed into the Black Hand, agent of Nekron, who transformed others into his followers Evil Star, Gold-Face, Major Disaster, and Ub’x. Creating henchmen the Thunderers and the monster Solomon Grundy, they are sent to destroy the city. Ganthet, the Guardian assigned to Earth, assembled seven youths to combat the threat.
Soccer star Asama Tohei, gossip girl Benika Ohime, delinquent brawler Akemi Takamichi, average student Fumiho Juba, otaku Kyoya Kunpachi, artist Munta Hamada, and fashionista Kurumi Himiko were each given a ring of a different color, power, and control of a giant mecha. For Asama, it was the red ring of the flame bull, Benika the orange ring of the desert snake, Akemi the yellow ring of the electric grasshopper, Fumiho the green ring of the air flying fish, Kyoya the blue ring of water dragon, Munta the indigo ring of the metal squid, and Kurumi the purple ring of the vine mantis. By summoning a lantern to each of their colors, saying ‘Lantern Change’ and pointing their rings to the lanterns, the schoolmates transform into the super powered Lantern Corps. Before the teens could question the circumstances of their teaming, they’re thrust into combat with Grundy. With a bit of a learning curve, they’re able to overcome the Thunderers but are beaten back by the undead behemoth. Receiving a telepathic message from Ganthet, they’re able to summon their weapons: Asama’s blazing hammer, Benika’s quake whip, Akemi’s thunder knuckles, Fumiho’s gale fans, Kyoya’s hydro cannon, Munta’s razor yo-yo, and Kurumi’s intertwining kusarigama. After dealing significant damage to Grundy, they combine their weapons and destroy him. Returning back to Ganthet, he informs the youths their unique personalities and vicinity made them prime candidates for ring bearers but their secret desire for justice he knew made them Lanterns.
Black Hand’s next attack would bring the monstrous caveman Vandal Savage to attack the city and despite the Lanterns destroying him, Hand used the power of Nekron to restore Savage to life and grow him to gigantic height. The Lanterns would then summon their giant mecha and battle the caveman but Savage proved too much for their vehicles. On command from Ganthet, the Lanterns transformed and combined their mecha to form Lantern Robo which was able to destroy Savage. A similar process would be repeatedly frequently with more monsters like Gambler, Sportsmaster, Icicle, Invisible Destroyer, Puppeteer, Brainchild, Sonar, Polaris, Tattoo Monster, Shark, and Myrwhydden as well as the loss of Major Disaster. Black Hand would finally change his tactics when using anti-matter, he creates the Negalanterns in Atrocitus Red, Larfleeze Orange, Sinestro Yellow, Malvolio Green, Khaji Ro Blue, Munk Indigo, and Fatality Purple as well as his personal agent Shade Black to overpower the Lanterns. Hand’s plan would bear fruit as his counterfeits easily trounced the Lanterns who were forced to retreat. When the Negalanterns attacked again, Ganthet was forced to enlist another Lantern by empowering Asama’s rival from another school (and Fumiho’s crush) Hikari Tsuchida with the white ring of the garuda of light and the halo staff. The Lanterns destroyed their doppelgangers and after Hand respawned them as giants, Lantern Robo and the Garuda of Light destroyed them again.
Black Hand and his underlings returned to their prior modus operandi producing monsters like Low, Tekik, Slushh, Romat-Ru, Enkafos, Kryb, Bedovian, Despotellis, Lyssa Drak, Ranx, Karu-Sil, Arkillo, Glomulus, Veon, Vice, Fury-Roku, Skallox, Ratchet, Zilius Zox, Dex-Starr, and Bleez but all fell against the Lanterns as Hand also lost Evil Star. However, Hand’s attacks managed to generate enough death, destruction, and damage to bring Nekron to Mega City while the Lanterns felled Gold-Face. When the personification of death returned, all of his forces returned back to life. Together through many battles, the Lanterns are now not only strong enough to destroy those previous challenges but also the Black Hand. However, their strength was woefully inadequate to face Nekron. Calling upon the power of the Entity and the seven beings, the Lanterns defeated Nekron and reformed him to work in harmony with the Entity. Those transformed by Nekron are returned to life and cleansed of his influence. No longer needed, the Lanterns return their rings to Ganthet but promise to return should the need ever arise.
In the city of Tokyo, there’s a hundred stories on each street corner every day. Of all the major metropolises on Earth, Tokyo is by far the most populated for its space. As such, the difference between who are friends, foes, or complete strangers can be decided by what corner you choose to walk down or which train you happen to catch. When childhood friends Baari Arun and Iria Nishi meet by chance one day on a train, they reconnect and decide to hang out. Baari is on the fast track on a science scholarship to a major university while Iria dreams of writing professionally someday. As the pair began to go out together, their friends join them forming a tight-knit group. For Baari, it’s schoolmates the oversized Chunk, American prankster James Jesse, and average student Fiona Kumonosu (who has a crush on Baari) and for Iria musician Heita Rasu, bookworm Patti Sugimoto, and hulking Solovar (and, occasionally, Iria’s little brother Waki).
As this group of friends form, Tokyo continues to see a rise in delinquent gang activity. Several of the more notorious gangs include the Cold Killers, Heat Hotties, Mirror Men, Thunder, Pipers, Tricksters, Kunoichi, and the Gorillas. As new gangs continue to sprout up and territories evolve, the big gangs form an alliance called Rogue Network (save the Gorillas who choose to operate without affiliation). When Iria speaks out against a Cold Killer in Golden Glider, she makes herself a target of the entire gang. One night while out with Patti, the group takes Iria leaving her friend to contact the others to try and figure out what to do. They manage to track her down at the Killers’ headquarters but are woefully inadequate to take on the gang. Fortunately, they don’t have to when Inazuma appears. Believed to be a folk legend, the red clad figure makes short work of the Killers and Glider using incredible speed. Seen before on a horse, in a red sports car, and on a red sports bike, Inazuma absorbed his motorcycle he emerged upon and formed skates on his feet to match Glider’s preferred mode of transportation in their battle. Following her defeat, Glider’s brother Captain Cold (leader of the Cold Killers) makes his appearance. Able to manifest wind and ice, Cold almost proves too much for Inazuma until the scarlet hero uses friction created by his speed to knock his enemy off balance and defeat him. The entire event recorded by a hidden Mirror Man, Inazuma becomes a target of the Rogue Network.
As time passes, Baari, Iria, and their friends are pulled into battles with the gangs in the Rogue Network (and other gangs like the Magicians and Alchemists who want to improve their rep), each time being saved by the mysterious Inazuma. Over time, it’s revealed James Jesse founded the Tricksters years ago with his cousin Axel before abandoning them, Solovar’s brother Grodd founded the Gorillas, and Heita was the leader of the Pipers (which turned out to not even be a group of delinquents originally but young people joined together for protection from the gangs). Along the way, it’s also revealed Baari is in fact Inazuma, that as a young man he saved the life of a spirit that repaid him with the power of speed by forming vehicles infused with the forces of lightning. Baari had used the powers for a time as a courier for Thunder (though they were unaware he was Inazuma) when his parents couldn’t afford his tuition until one day he learned a classmate nearly committed suicide high on the drug Velocity 9 produced by Thunder. After that he retired until Iria was in danger. Unfortunately, Baari’s activities as Inazuma drew some attention even more dangerous than the gangs.
The spirit Baari saved was an outcast by its people, hunted by them for abandoning them. Inazuma drew the attention of one of these combative spirits who took the name Zoom, assuming human form and battling Baari as a yellow-version of Inazuma’s appearance. Baari’s friends managed to help him escape Zoom but he knew should he ever use his powers again, it would draw the attention of that malevolent spirit. The gangs, with no one to stop them, begin to make life in Tokyo worse than before Inazuma first battled them while Rogue Network began tracking the movements of Zoom (believing him to be Inazuma in a different color scheme). After a battle between Zoom and Mirror Master (leader of the Mirror Men and the only gang leader yet to face Inazuma), the two find themselves to be nearly evenly matched. Since Inazuma is its target, Zoom decides to abandon the battle leaving Master to speculate the being to not be Inazuma or even his ally. Later, Waki finds Zoom in his spirit form to be injured and nurses him back to health. Mirror Master, wishing to hunt down Inazuma and destroy him, organizes the gangs into taking over all the schools in Tokyo (convinced his enemy must be a student and likely classmate of Iria or Baari). The gamble pays off when Inazuma reemerges and begins freeing the schools.
As Inazuma first appeared at Baari’s school, Master went to Iria’s school to wait for him, holding her and her friends hostage (after defeating Heita and Solovar). As predicted, Inazuma appeared and the two fought. Their battle, however, would be interrupted by the appearance of Zoom who went after his foe. When the spirit was preparing to kill his target, a familiar voice yelled for him to stop. Waki, afraid for his sister, came to the school and arrived in time to see the battle between the two speedsters. Waki explained Inazuma was his friend and begged for Zoom to spare him. When Zoom agreed, Master mercilessly murdered him while he was distracted. As Master prepared to kill Inazuma, Zoom passed his power onto to Waki turning him into Inazuma za Kiddo. Together, Baari and Waki defeated Master and saved the school. In the aftermath, all the gang members involved were taken into custody and incarcerated in a newly built prison made to hold the superpowered members of the gangs. Life seemed like it would finally become normal again but such was not the case.
Two spirit empowered humans in the public eye for all the world to see ran afoul of spirits around the world who live in the shadows, hidden from humanity. When these spirits began emerging in Tokyo to seek out Baari and Waki, the spirit who empowered the former appeared. Calling himself Quicksilver and taking human form, he informs the duo of what is happening and begins training them in how to explore their abilities. Meanwhile, the leader of the spirit clan Quicksilver and Zoom belonged to arrives in Tokyo. Taking human form, he calls himself Black Flash and his elite guard Cobalt Blue as they stalk the speedsters. Quicksilver, not without friends, summons help to empower some of Baari’s friends as the group must join together to combat Black Flash and his army of spirits before they destroy Tokyo and eliminate them all. Will Baari, Waki, and Quicksilver be able to defeat Black Flash and his Cobalt Blue and can their friends adjust to their new abilities to stop the other dangers threatening Tokyo?
Scientist Silas Stone would discover the Source, a form of energy that could revolutionize technology on the planet Mars. However, Stone was forced to apply his discovery first to a powerful android developed by the military (who funded his research) to replace its deteriorating cyborg forces. Tragedy would darken Stone’s greatest triumph when he lost his son Victor in a car accident. Unwilling to let his sole child leave him, Silas transferred Victor’s mind and memories into the android (grafting skin-like plastics to its exterior) and allowing his boy to believe he was simply hurt in the collision. Sadly, Victor would consistently uncover the truth leaving Silas to delete those memories leading to the discovery until finally Silas deactivated the android and abandoned the robot to a junk freighter to Earth. On the journey to Earth, the android would be badly damaged, including to his data banks. Reaching the planet (wracked by its last world war that led to the settlement on Mars), the android was found by the kindly Doc Magnus who rebuilt him as best he could. Dubbed Cyber, the android lost his memories as Victor but retained his capacity to feel emotion and employ his powerful armament (including pseudo-martial arts). Operating as a bounty hunter and professional athlete in Moopsball in Suicide Slums, Cyber searches for any remnants of his past. The while, Cyber befriends the Metal Men (other androids saved by Magnus that make up a Moopsball team) and street urchin Ron Evers.
On Mars, Silas produced an army of Source-empowered androids that underwent some strange metamorphosis over time, believed due to the Source, in developing sentience and free will. The military tried to combat this new threat to little effect, only a handful of cyborgs surviving the conflict. These survivors were dubbed the Remnants and accompanied Silas and surviving Martians to Earth, abandoning Mars to the machines. Silas and the Remnants ended up at the floating city of Argo, hovering miles above Suicide Slums, and home base of Project M which was a secret military program to develop better cyborgs and a means to replace them with superior soldiers (like mutants, androids, and human-beast hybrids). Silas, completely unaware he was in fact a member of this clandestine alliance all along, was forced to work with Project M in a means to retake Mars and topple the robot army. Project M is operated by the mysterious Mister Orr, a man without morals or principles that secretly planned to use the combined research to produce a force allowing him to conquer Mars for himself. The upcoming Machine War offers Orr the opportunity to bring his designs to fruition, but first he requires a power that trumps what both sides of the conflict presently control. Orr believes that missing piece can be found in Cyber.
Already leading a hectic life, Cyber found his world turned upside down as more dangerous bounties came his way and teams within Moopsball seemed to target him. In reality experiments Orr gave freedom for service, Cyber repeatedly overcame his opposition. Orr lured Cyber and the Metal Men to Argo as part of the Moopsball Championships where Cyber publicly battled more of Orr’s creations where his victory led the people there to dub him Cyberboy, the city’s hero. Ron Evers, who accompanied the Metal Men to Argo, was kidnapped by Equus, Orr’s personal operative and ultimate experiment. Cyberboy would battle Equus in order to save his friend only for Evers to sadly die in the battle. The experience awoke something in Cyber who transferred his friend’s consciousness into a fallen android. Saving his life in a sense, Evers wasn’t superpowered like Cyber and secretly resented his friend for trapping him in the body of a robot. Observing and analyzing Cyber, Orr surmised the android to formerly be human and empowered by the Source. Orr would then develop a prototype he dubbed Cybergirl and used her to try and replace Cyber in the public’s eye as the city’s heroine.
Programmed to be Cyberboy’s rival, Cybergirl tried to outdo Cyber in every effort he made to protect people but their rivalry evolved into a friendship despite Cybergirl’s antagonistic programming (the while, Ron instantly was attracted to the female android). Silas, hard at work trying to develop new technologies to retake Mars, would eventually catch a glimpse of the media coverage of Cyber. Confused and horrified at the ghost of his son haunting him, Silas began to use his influence to try and exile Cyber back to Suicide Slums citing the condition on Mars of Source-empowered robots that tried to wipe out humanity. The people of Argo would begin to doubt the motives of the Cyber duo and Cyberboy, the Metal Men, and Ron willingly returned to the planet surface (Cybergirl would remain under her master Mister Orr but would sneak away to Suicide Slums to visit her friends as Ron became jealous of her relationship with Cyber). As the Cyber duo spent more time together, their memories began returning in pieces as Cyber recalled aspects of his life on Mars as a human and Cybergirl remembered she was a cyborg living on the streets of Argo City named Sarah. Now going by Vic and Sarah, the pair’s developing lives together would be shocked when a Martian android invasion fleet assaulted Argo City.
Using a transport Sarah hijacked from Project M, Vic, Ron, Doc Magnus, and the Metal Men joined her in defending Argo. The Martian androids, targeting Project M and specifically their “father” Silas Stone, battled the Remnants who put up an admirable fight against the attackers following upgrades by Silas but ultimately could not protect the scientist. Vic would arrive and, seeing his dying father, regained all of his memories. Where Silas thought Cyber would hate him for all the harm he caused, Vic instead forgave his father. In their final moments together, Silas told his son how much he loved him and gave him a nanite injection that would enhance his abilities. The Remnants, saddened to have come so far and yet fell short, touched Magnus’ heart who used Silas’ lab to fuse them with his Metal Men using Source energy. Observing Silas’ final moments, Sarah recalled her own death as Orr kidnapped her and turned her against her will into Cybergirl. The threat over, Sarah went after Orr who escaped with the help of Equus.
Convinced to go to Mars and stop the Source-empowered android armies, Vic, Sarah, and the Metal Men prepare to use a space faring vessel from Project M as Ron ran away, angry at his weakness and the burgeoning romance between Vic and Sarah. Soon after, the heroes arrived on Mars but were surprised at what they found. A new society had emerged as “lower class” androids (those programmed for janitorial, mechanical repair, etc) were treated as slaves and were forced to live in fear and under the control of military-grade androids. When Vic saved one such lowly android by military droids, he and his friends were accepted by the lower class as their savior and helped him reach Machine City, capital of the so-called Machine Empire who pushed for terraforming Mars into Warworld, a mobile warship to conquer the cosmos starting with Earth. Ruled by Computo, Silas’ original laboratory given sentience and building a body using his technology, and his generals Queen Gold Mekanique (with her subordinates the monstrous Chemo and the Gas Gang) and Rocket Red (with his subordinates the Missile Men), Vic and his friends had to defeat Computo’s elite soldiers before reaching the empire’s three leaders. A mysterious humanoid android would assist along this journey but would disappear as quickly as he appeared.
In the final battle, the Metal Men stood alone against the Machine Empire’s army as Cybergirl fought Mekanique, the mysterious stranger with Rocket Red, and Cyberboy against Computo. Ultimately victorious, the stranger revealed himself to be Cybershadow before injecting the fallen body of Computo with an apparatus similar to what Silas used on Cyber before his death. Computo returned to life, this time controlled by Mister Orr who earlier came upon Cyber’s friend Ron Evers, promising him power for his loyalty. Merging Ron and a badly damaged Equus using Source energy, Orr digitized himself using Silas’ nanites and sent the newly born Cybershadow to Mars to inject him into a fallen Computo to complete his plans of conquering Mars and acquiring the power of a god. Cyberboy and Cybershadow battled as Cybergirl and the Metal Men fought in vain against Computorr (Orr’s new name). When it appeared Cybergirl was about to be slain by Computorr, Cybershadow abandoned his fight to save her. Rewriting his programming as being subservient to Orr, Cybershadow joined his friends in defeating Computorr and saving Mars and humanity. As the leaders of a new age for mankind, humanity returned to Mars and coexisted with the remaining Source-empowered androids as equals as Vic and Sarah acted as advisers and Ron lead the Metal Men towards a new police force (employing many of the poor creatures produced from Orr’s experiments). Doc Magnus headed up a new Project M that sought to gain advances to benefit life rather than improve upon war.
For further reading: http://comicartcommunity.com/2012/04/make-it-so-dc-vs-sj-heroes/
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