In light of Drew Wood’s recent trip out to SOE Austin, and just because I really like comics, I felt like writing this week’s list all about the mentors of DC Universe Online. So far it seems that both the villain and hero sides will have three mentors to choose from that alter the storyline for your character, the rewards, where you begin your life as a hero, and so on. For the heroes we have Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. Each represents a different type of hero. Batman is for the tech-oriented, Superman is for the innately gifted or “meta”, and Wonder Woman is for those heroes who gain power from magic.
So while it’s fairly pointless right now, knowing that the game’s going to ship with these three choices, there’s no harm in wishfully typing out some other heroic icons from the DC Universe that I’d like to shadow as a lowly hero sometime down the road. And hey, these guys are already in the game as NPCs, so it could happen! Here’s my list of most wanted heroic mentors. There are so many more with great possibilities, like Booster Gold for instance, but I’ll keep it to five. Read up and be sure to share your own thoughts. To those of you who aren’t comic nerds, I’m sorry for geeking out on you this week. This is purely an opinion piece and I hope you’ll be sure to share your own hopes for future mentors here as well.
The Scarlet Speedster, Barry Allen (easily the best incarnation of Flash), may seem to onlookers to be merely a really, really fast guy. Sure he does a good Jesus impersonation when he runs on water, but what else is he good for right? But we’re talking about a guy whose speed and reflexes are so fast and so acute that they basically defy the laws of physics. Imagine being so fast that and agile that you can dodge just about anything and out maneuver anyone. Superman’s not really so super if he can’t land a punch on you. Perhaps he’s best known as sort of comic relief in the JLA or Teen Titans, but there’s a lot to love about the police scientist who is always chronically late and deliberately slow until he was bathed in electrically charged chemicals. Plus to me, he’s always been sort of the underdog of the JLA and DC Universe, even more so than that tuna fisherman with scaly tights. Yeah, I’d like to see a lot of story focusing on Flash and his lesser-known rogues such as Mirror Master and Intertia. But maybe that’s just me.
4.) Etrigan the Demon
Screw MacFarlane’s Spawn, Etrigan the Demon is the original hellish hero. I’ve always had a soft spot for this guy since I first saw him in my old Action Comics. He’s never really been a star player in the DC Universe, but he’s got such a cool back story, and could fit right into the Magic category of heroes. If you’re not familiar with the guy, all you really need to know is that a man named Jason Blood who has a pretty wicked job as an occult investigator and advisor. He has limited precognition and telepathy, and is also an expert in swordsmanship on top of a host of other magical knowledge. He’s no slouch. But when he stumbled upon a poem in Merlin’s (yes, that Merlin) crypt, he unknowingly links himself with the demon and the two must work together. It’s pretty heavy stuff involving Morganne Ley Faye, the control of Hell itself, and the dynamic of Jason trying to control Etrigan and keep him from purely evil acts is pretty classic Anti-Hero stuff. Wonder Woman’s cool and all, but I’d mentor Jason Blood and Etrigan over her any day.
3.) Captain Marvel
I know that he’s kind of cheesy (The Big Red Cheese is his adopted pet-name after all), but Captain Marvel does two things for me: he reminds me of that time during my youth when all I wanted was to be a superhero and he also has pretty much the coolest catch phrase in all of comics… next to The Tick. I know that Captain and Supes are often seen fighting (usually in reference to the two’s lengthy court battles during the early years), but Captain Marvel’s basically a kid who is granted incredible powers and uses them for good. Sure, sometimes he gets it wrong and nearly destroys the world, but for the most part Billy Batson is the luckiest kid on earth. I’m also prone to think that there’s plenty of good old fashioned “magic” to be worked with his storyline and Black Adam, but maybe that’s just me. He’s a lesser cast member of the Universe for sure, but Captain Marvel’s always been interesting to me.
2.) Martian Manhunter
J’onn J’onzz would fit extremely well into the “meta” category of mentors. The Martian Manhunter’s been around since the 50s and while he’s never quite hit the “big time” like the other established heroes you’ll get a chance at working with, there’s a lot to love about the green guy who even Superman considers to be the most powerful being on the face of the Earth. That’s pretty high praise, even from the Boy Scout in Blue Tights. The guy can even become intangible and pass through solid objects. I wonder why sort of actual gameplay mechanics that would serve, aside from making traveling really easy, but it’s worth noting that J’onn’s powers are so immense that even Superman himself stands in awe. Just don’t light a match near the guy (unless you’re a villain), because it’s become quite apparent over his fifty-plus years that Martian’s and fire don’t mix. Though now, while I may be mistaken, the weakness to fire is pretty much limited to flames created through magical or psychic means. I’m kind of getting off track here… let’s just leave it at the fact that Martian Manhunter is really cool with ties to the intergalactic part of DC’s Universe and I’d love to tag alongside him.
1.) Green Lantern
I know I’ve already recounted the reasons that the Green Lantern and his powers aren’t being put into the game at launch. And I suspect that me including Hal Jordan (or whoever) on this list is less about wishful thinking and more about a matter of time. Next week I plan on doing a List about potential additions to the Villains’ mentors… can you guess who I’ll be putting as number one there? Sure the GL Corps don’t always get things right, and sure they’ve often messed things up for the entire universe… but they’re just… so… awesome. I may wind up being completely off base, but I’m calling it now: DC Universe expansion next summer with a heavy focus on the Lanterns and Hal Jordan as a new mentor choice. If it doesn’t happen, I’ll just go back to wishing for J’onn J’onzz.