Comic Book: Just Imagine Stan Lee Creating The DC Universe

In 2001, Stan Lee was asked to re-write the DC Universe from the bottom up. Wait... Batman's the son of a cop? Superman's an Anti-Hero? Robin's a thief? How did all this happen?

Exactly What It Says on the Tin, Just Imagine... was a series started in 2001, when Stan Lee collaborated with DC Comics to reimagine DC's biggest heroes from his own storytelling perspective. Origins are radically changed (as are the causes for their powers) while still keeping to the basic mythologies of the various characters.

The characters were:

Tropes featured in this work include:

  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Superman is blond.
  • Alliterative Name: Everyone - Wayne Williams (Batman), Maria Mendoza (Wonder Woman), Mary Maxwell (The Flash), Leonard Lewis (Green Lantern), Robert Rogers (Captain Marvel), Ramon Raymond (Aquaman), and Joanie Jordan (Catwoman).
  • Anti-Hero:
    • Superman just wants to go home, and he figures he can turn humanity's minds toward space exploration once they're free of the distractions of war and crime.
    • Catwoman is vain and something of a kleptomaniac (much like the original!).
  • Ascended Fangirl: Mary/Flash was a big superhero comic book fan before getting her powers.
  • Cat Girl: Catwoman, natch. She can see in the dark, has cat-like reflexes and the ability to jump really far, and can shoot out really long claws.
  • Badass Normal: Batman, naturally.
  • Beardless Protection Program: Batman got out of prison knowing that Handz would be after him, so he shaved his head bald and turned his goatee into a handlebar mustache.
  • City of Adventure: Not New York, or a DC equivalent. In this universe LA is the superhero capital of the world.
  • Composite Character: Green Lantern in this telling looks like a mixture between Alan Scott (whose powers are based in mysticism) and Hal Jordan (strength of character and enormous courage).
  • Disposable Love Interest: Steve Trevor for Wonder Woman.
  • Disposable Woman: Superman's wife Lyella, and possibly Cathy for Green Lantern.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Flash is female in this 'verse. There are female Flashes in the regular DC 'verse as well (Iris West and Jesse Quick), who may be inspirations for this character.
  • Elemental Powers: Aquaman is made of water. He's basically a heroic version of the Marvel Villain Hydroman.
  • Face-Heel Turn: Robin/Hawkman.
  • Freudian Excuse: Parasite was abused as a child.
  • Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke: This is how Mary/Flash gets her powers. It's also stated that genetic engineering is needed to survive time travel.
  • In Name Only: This trope is a deliberate unifying premise in the series. Unlike Elseworlds, which is a re-imagining of a DC character that usually retains most of the core elements, this series attaches the existing names to completely different characters with different powers, costumes, origins, appearances, and personalities. Usually, the only common element is that they're metahumans in a modern setting.
  • Jumped at the Call: Catwoman is easily the most enthusiastic of the superheroes to fight crime
  • Kid-Appeal Character: Flash, by virtue of being the the character to jump to the call, the optimist and the youngest of the cast.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: When Maria/Wonder Woman learns that her father is Guitez's puppet.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: Superman names himself Clark Kent by seeing the words spelled out on a van and a street sign, respectively.
  • Mayincatec: Maria/Wonder Woman's culture can be summed up as this.
  • Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: On Krypton, all police officers are genetically engineered to be superstrong and durable, except Superman. That's right; on Krypton, Superman was the Team Normal!
  • Prisons Are Gymnasiums: Part of Batman's backstory; after being framed for a crime he didn't commit, the skinny Wayne Williams started exercising strenuously until he had nearly doubled in size. He also spent a lot of time in the prison library, training his mind to match his body.
  • Professor Guinea Pig: Aquaman injects himself with his formula to test if it will help him breathe underwater.
  • Pro Wrestling Is Real: Batman is a massively popular pro wrestler by day, and though the theatrics of wrestling are at the forefront, the "theater" part isn't.
  • Race Lift: Batman's black, Robin's Hispanic and Wonder Woman is Peruvian and gets her powers from Mayincatec mythology.
  • Religion of Evil: The Church of Eternal Empowerment, led by Reverend Darrk. The not-so-good Rev. is basically an Expy of Brother Blood.
  • Shout-Out: An early sketch for Darrk looks like Emperor Palpatine. He also Vader-chokes a subordinate at one point.
    • Each source from the Line-of-Sight Name mentioned above had two names. Salden chose Clark Kent, but another possible combination could be Peter Parker.
  • The Dark Side: The purple side anyway. Reverend Darrk and his cult worship it and use the darkness to their own ends.
  • Weaksauce Weakness:
    • Shazam keeps saying "Shazam" and is Brought Down to Normal each time.
    • Green Lantern is vulnerable to the color purple, which just happens to be the color of the energy he's fighting.
    • Anything Deathstroke touches dies, including himself.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: Handz, the gangster that kicks off Batman's origin story.
  • You Killed My Father: Batman says this to the gangster responsible for his father's death.