Upcoming DC Nation Shorts – August 2012 by Jerry Whitworth
As viewers eagerly await the return of Young Justice: Invasion and the premier of Beware the Batman to DC Nation, a programming block on Cartoon Network dedicated to DC Comics content, almost every Saturday new shorts premier exploring the vast expanse of the DC Universe. Some of the most recent offerings being Sword of the Atom and Bat Man of Shanghai, lets look at some of the shorts previewed to premier soon.
AMETHYST, PRINCESS OF GEMWORLD
Created by Dan Mishkin, Gary Cohn, and Ernie Colón premiering in 1983, Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld tells the story of Amy Winston, a thirteen-year old girl who learns she’s the daughter of the royal family of the House of Amethyst, ruling house of the magical realm Gemworld. Her parents murdered and her life endangered by the vile Dark Opal, Princess Amethyst is whisked away to Earth for her safety only to be found years later by the villain. Returning to her home, Amy learns her bloodline is of the strongest magic in Gemworld and transforms into the powerful Amethyst, wielding her great powers to depose Dark Opal and return peace to her kingdom. While in recent years several bids have been made to return to the series, it was announced in June 2012 to return in the pages of Sword of Sorcery written by Christy Marx (of Jem fame) and drawn by Aaron Lopresti. Brianne Drouhard (Teen Titans, Transformers: Animated) directs the series of shorts of Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld for DC Nation with animation by David Production (Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2, Black Butler). Based on initial animation previewed, it appears the shorts will combine elements of the source comic and integrate it with the Mahou Shoujo (Magical Girl) genre of manga/anime depicting Amethyst and her winged unicorn, Dark Opal, and Prince Topaz (looking like Scare Glow from Masters of the Universe at first).
BARNYARD JUSTICE LEAGUE
Created by Roy Thomas and Scott Shaw! for their series Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew!, the Just’a Lotta Animals is an anthropomorphic version of the Justice League of America set on an Earth parallel to that of Captain Carrot. While little of this concept seems to have translated to a Justice League of animals depicted in previews of DC Nation, it bears mentioning. Initially, viewers are introduced to these characters in a singular shot during the very first preview of DC Nation depicting Superman as a duck, Batman as a mosquito, Wonder Woman as a mouse, Flash as a fish, Green Lantern as a cat, Martian Manhunter as a vulture, Robin as an egg, Cyborg as a flea, B’Wana Beast as a bear, Lex Luthor as a hairless monkey, Sinestro as a hippo, and Brainiac as a bull. However, the most latest preview depicts Superman as a manatee, Flash as a fish (perhaps mudskipper), Green Lantern as a boar, Captain Marvel as a pig, Robin as an egg, Darkseid as a duck, Captain Cold as a shark, Sinestro as a hippo, and Lex Luthor as a tiger (with a structure behind him reminiscent of the Hall of Doom).
Premiering around the same time as the X-Men, the Doom Patrol is a team of misunderstood heroes who survived near-death experiences thanks to the brilliant, wheel-chair bound Dr. Niles Caulder (aka “the Chief”). Appearing as freaks and feared by the public, Robotman, Negative Man, and Elasti-Girl nonetheless battle the likes of the Brotherhood of Evil (a villainous group lead by Caulder’s rival and nemesis the Brain) and various odd menaces like Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man and Mister 103. In the preview, they’re depicted battling Monsieur Mallah piloting a giant robot on Liberty Island.
SHADE THE CHANGING MAN
The creation of Steve Ditko (famous for creating Captain Atom, the Question, and the Creeper and co-creating Spider-Man and Dr. Strange), Shade, the Changing Man depicts Rac Shade, secret agent for the world government of Meta-Zone, who is framed for treason and sentenced to death. Transported to the Zero-Zone, a dimension between Meta and Earth, in a freak accident, Shade dons the dangerous Miraco-Vest (or, M-Vest) which alters his appearance based on the emotions of those who gaze upon him (often, as something terrifying when responding to fear) while providing him a force field and flight. Journeying to Earth to seek out evidence of his wrongful conviction, he is hunted by his former lover Mellu Loron who seeks his death for revenge for crippling her family. The while, Shade must deal with the Crime Council who seek to conquer Meta-Zone. Shade has been reinvented several times, most recently for the event Flashpoint as the hero leads the Secret Seven. The appearance of the Shade depicted follows this version and little else is given away.
THUNDER AND LIGHTNING
Created in 1977 by Tony Isabella and Trevor Von Eeden, Black Lightning was Isabella’s attempt to create an African-American hero who was intelligent, virtuous, and didn’t devolve into stereotypical ethnic speech and mannerisms afflicting various other African-American characters in comics. A former gold-medal Olympic athlete and high school teacher in Metropolis operating out of the dangerous Suicide Slum neighborhood, Jefferson Pierce learns of a drug dealer operating out of the school and, unwilling to let the flawed justice system take care of the situation, becomes the heroic Black Lightning to stop the criminal (taking the name as a point of pride and a symbol for the largely African-American population of the area). A local tailor and inventor provides Pierce a costume and belt that allows him to blast electricity from his hands, Black Lightning becomes the nemesis of the 100, the local gang involved in the drug trade, and its leader Tobias Whale. Years later, writers would retcon Pierce to have two daughters who developed super powers and became the heroines Thunder and Lightning. The former able to control her density (becoming harder and heavier than any substance on Earth) and the latter transforming into a being of electricity that shorts out any electronics or electrical systems near her, Thunder would join the Outsiders (a team her father helped found) and Lightning joined the Justice Society of America (her appearance reminiscent of Jonni Thunder’s Mzzttexxal/Thunderbolt form). The preview depicts Black Lightning battling the Masters of Disaster and Volcano Man in separate encounters.
To see the preview: http://comiccon.thewb.com/2012/dc-nation-at-comic-con/
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