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Fan Fic / Cranes

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In one world, one we're more familiar with, Jonathan Crane has died. What essentially amounts to a cosmic filing problem leads to the former supervillain being offered a deal: He can be reborn into the world and become a hero, or he can die.

Well, it was considerate of the Powers That Be to make the choice simple, in any case.

He accepts, and in another time and another place, Johnny Crane is taken in by his previously unknown great uncle on his mother's side: one Alfred Pennyworth. In another time and another place, Johnny Crane moonlights as a vigilante known as Scarecrow on the streets of Gotham, and the team known as Young Justice is a very different group. (Somehow, though, everything important has stayed exactly the same.)


As the story goes on, events have steadily gone off the rails in an increasingly spectacular fashion. (Oh god.)

Can be found here on the Young Justice Anon Meme. Has a character sheet that is under construction... and is very useful in keeping track of who is who, what is where, and what's decided to change.

This work contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: There's a whole section devoted to Artemis reading a pamphlet about abusive relationships, and discovering that Sportsmaster fits every single section.
    • Later, Carrie Kelly and Stephanie Brown find the same pamphlet, and run away after their parents also qualify.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Klarion
  • Adaptational Villainy: Greta Hayes is Harm, while William Hayes becomes Secret after his death.
  • Adaptation Distillation
  • Adult Fear: For Cheshire and Dubbliex, your children will be put into what amounts into slavery because you are forced to give them up.
    • For Amadeus Arkham, a serial killer targets, rapes and murders your family while you were gone
  • Affirmative Action Girl: Straight at first because the author thought there wasn't enough women in canon Young Justice. Then inverted with Secret because she added too many women and started tip the gender balance.
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  • Alternate History: Cranes takes place in a DC where superheroes and supervillians through out history shaped the world with various effects.
  • Amazon Brigade: subverted as the Birds of Prey are mostly women, but added Scarecrow, Aqualad and Red Arrow to their ranks.
  • Anachronic Order: The Interludes can be the past or future, while the story does follow a linear order
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Tangent appears to be this for Wally.
  • Asshole Victim
  • Author Appeal: Continuity Porn and World Building are some of the author's favorite tropes and a recurring element of Cranes. Tropes Are Not Bad is in full effect here.
  • Badass Family: The Batfamily, as per canon. We've got Bruce, Johnny, Dick, Jason, and Maureen, with others such as Stephanie Brown, Carrie Kelly, Cassandra Cain, Tim Drake, Damian Kyle, Damian Wayne, Terry and Matt McGinnis joining in the near future, and the author has implied that there are still more to come.
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  • Beneath the Mask: The author takes great pains to make the characters more than what they might have first seemed to be.
  • Berserk Button: Don't hurt Robin in front of Scarecrow. Just... don't.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Scarecrow. Cheshire too, actually.
  • Blunt Metaphors Trauma: Icicle Jr. ended up making one when asked about the Light.
    Icicle Jr.: "N-no, but I heard Shakespeare didn't write the Great Gatsby until he was almost ninety!"
    Artemis:"...Cameron, almost every word in that sentence was wrong."
  • Body Horror: Blockbuster and Scarebeast
  • Boxing Lessons For Scarecrow and Kid Flash: Scarecrow learns how to be a detective from Batman, and Kid Flash learns free running and kung-fu moves after Robin breaks Kid Flash's collarbones to show him that just running and tackling doesn't work.
  • Brainless Beauty: Perdita's mother, Sophia was one.
  • Cannot Talk to Permafrost: Johnny all the way. Permafrost suffers from it as well. One of the Damian's seems to be going this way in Interlude 6.
  • Cast Herd: the cast is divided between city and team.
    • Gotham: Bat Clan, the Stray Cats, Independents, the Rogues Gallery
    • Fawcett City: the Zatara Clan
    • Star City: Arrow Clan, Birds of Prey
    • Atlantis
    • Metropolis
    • Themyscera
    • Dervish
  • Children Forced to Kill
  • Child Soldier: M'gann.
  • Christmas Episode: Interlude 3
  • The City Narrows: Scarecrow and Permafrost patrol the Gotham Narrows, Suicide Slum of Metropolis is also mentioned and faced a clean-up after an article from Clark Kent was put out.
  • Composite Character: Played with Artemis, who is still Artemis Crock but is also Dana Tan from Batman Beyond
  • Conscription: Atlantis has it 12-14 aged population join the Atlantian Armed Forces; Kaldur was tested early.
  • Covert Group with Mundane Front: Heroic example, the Birds of Prey disguise themselves as roller-derby/cheerleading squad. Apparently their front is so good, they're internationally famous.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Queen Perdita.
  • Cut the Birds of Prey A Check: Their front as gained them international fame.
  • Dating Catwoman: Artemis and Icicle Jr. Up to Eleven when Icicle Jr. asks if they should get married.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Prevalent to explain this universe's characters' backstories, examples include Scarecrow, Artemis, Miss Martian, Captain Marvel and CADMUS.
  • Dead Guy Junior
  • Deadly Decadent Court: Dervish has one.
  • Death by Adaptation: Billy Hayes and Count Vertigo
  • Doom It Yourself: When the Boys, Kaldur and Roy have to rebuild their roof
  • Disappeared Dad: easier to count who didn't disappear so far: Barry Allen, Rudolph West and Bruce Wayne
  • Driven to Suicide: Mark's brother, and Count Vertigo
  • The Dreaded: In author's words, Batman and Robin scare criminals, Scarecrow scares everyone
  • Everyone Is Related:
  • Everyone Went to School Together: Kid Flash, Pied Piper and the Trickster all go the same high school. Kaldur, Johnny and Roy go to the same college.
  • Fantastic Racism: the discrimination against meta-humans varies from city to city. Star City is pretty liberal while in Gotham, a meta is called "Deader-Than" for Batman's very famous and public hatred of meta-humans.
  • Gender Flip: Secret and Harm are flipped roles.
  • Genius Loci: Most of the cities are implied to be this, Dervish is the most prominent.
    • Kismet
  • Give Him a Normal Life: Subverted. Cheshire gave Jason away in an effort to evoke this trope, but CADMUS found him and took him. She was more successful with Lian, if leaving her with her vigilante aunt is normal
  • Good Is Not Soft: Johnny is a very nice person, doesn't mean Scarecrow is any more merciful. Artemis and M'gann have shades of this as well.
  • Guile Heroine:Artemis, who at the age of ten made and followed a two-year plan to escape her father's clutches. M'gann, who lied about who she is inside her own head, on a planet of Telepaths, since she was Six.
  • Hangover Sensitivity: In the Christmas Episode, Robin suffered this after drinking some of the boys' "Holiday Cheer".
  • Happily Adopted: Johnny with Alfred.
  • An Ice Person: Permafrost and Icicle Jr. It's even a plot point as in canon all the ice-themed criminals are committing crimes all over the country on one Fourth of July.
  • Ill Child: Billy Batson and Queen Perdita and Ace
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Klarion's father as Klarion found out when he found the missing his breakfast.
  • Irony: Wally had Sparks, the world's fastest turtle.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: When the world was separated into adults and underage, Roy and Kaldur were having sex. Roy disappears before finishing Kaldur and Kaldur is promptly angry.
  • Literal Metaphor: Played partially straight: it was raining cats and dog in Fawcett city, that part is the metaphor. It was also raining frogs, toads and goldfish, this is literal. (Magic screws up the weather patterns in Fawcett.)
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: A character list was need to keep track of them.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Jason, Cheshire's your mother, Lian's your twin sister, and Artemis is your aunt.
  • The Maze: Star City and Gotham's streets are this because the architects had a feud and made the streets the opposite direction of each other. It makes getting lost a near-certainty, and telling who is from where a breeze. Magic seems to be involved as well.
  • Missing Mom: So pervasive it's easier to count who does have their mother: Kaldur, The Tornado Twins and Wally West.
  • Mundane Luxury: Played with; while Themyscera is not usual, it is mundane to Donna and luxurious to Cassie.
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: Scarecrow has a sense for when his little brother, Robin, is in danger.
  • Name's the Same: There are two Wonder Girls, and also two Damians
  • Noodle Incident: We don't know how, but Scarecrow was responsible for Queen Bee losing her liver.
    • We get a bit more details later... but the specifics still aren't there.
  • Omake: All the Interludes count. Word of God says that each Interlude, while not necessarily in chronological order, is canon to the story.
  • One Degree of Separation: Johnny Cranes is the nephew of Alfred Pennyworth, who is the butler of Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson. Dick Grayson knows Mr. Skeevers from Haley's Circus, who is Maureen Conners/Permafrost's father. Johnny Crane is friends with Kaldur and Roy Harper, who was cloned from the original Roy Harper who impregnated Cheshire, Jade Nguyen, who birthed Lian Tan and Jason Wayne and Artemis Crock, who is Cheshire's sister and is Huntress's sidekick, who runs the Birds of Prey in Platinum Flats, which has Scarecrow, Aqualad and Red Arrow as members.
    • Billy Batson, who knows Uncle Dudley Zatara, who is brother of John Zatara and is Zatanna's uncle.
  • One Steve Limit: averted there are two Wonder Girls, two Cassandras, and two Damian Waynes.
  • Open Secret: The Rogues know Kid Flash's identity and vice-versa. Both sides chose not to disillusion each other.
  • Orphanage of Fear: We don't see much of it, but that's what Scarecrow escapes from in the beginning.
  • Parental Substitute: Along with canon, Huntress is this to Artemis.
  • Percussive Maintenance: Subverted for laughs by Kaldur and Johnny.
    Johnny: Kaldur, if it doesn’t turn on, you have to check that it’s plugged in, and that it’s turned on. Shocking it, while cathartic, is Not. Helpful.
    Kaldur:… I will keep that in mind.
  • Politically Motivated Teacher: Roy and Johnny bond over making a successful rebuttal against anti-meta/super hero college professor. The teacher had them both arrested in retaliation and they bonded in campus jail.
  • Poke the Poodle: Artemis views Icicle Jr.'s brand of villainy as this, since in her words, "he's bad at being bad."
  • Polyamory: As Interlude 2 reveals, Terry McGinnis/Artemis Crock (who is also Dana Tan)/Cameron Mahkent is canon.
  • Power of Love: Subverted by Kid Flash and Artemis
  • Promoted to Parent: Jade Nguyen, the Stray Cats, Artemis
  • Rape as Drama: Poor Inara.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Oh my goodness, yes.
  • Reality Ensues: Robin gets knocked on the head, it gives him a concussion.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: The heroes' gender balance was becoming unequal so the author switched Harm and Secret's roles to equal things out
  • Resignations Not Accepted: You can't just leave the League of Shadows as Artemis, Damian, Cassandra Cain and Jason by proxy discover
  • Rotating Protagonist: after the limelight strayed from Scarecrow, the series evolved to having everyone getting their own character arc.
  • The Runaway: Johnny, Artemis and the Black Cats are the Abused Runaway variant.
  • Shown Their Work
  • Shout-Out: The Tick, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Sailor Moon, Xena: Warrior Princess, Conan the Barbarian, Discworld, The Wizard of Oz, ...
    • The author drops some trope names as well.
  • The Stations of the Canon: Played with in the events of Young Justice do happen, the circumstances and consequences are different.
  • Super Breeding Program: Both Roys are implied to be part of CADMUS's long-term programs, as well as their families.
  • The Talk: Bruce gives the Boys the talk in one of the interludes. The Boys are traumatized, Bruce is embarrassed and Alfred is smug.
    • Though it is implied that Bruce is doing this on purpose.
  • Tap on the Head: Subverted with Robin.
  • Teen Pregnancy: Cheshire with the original Speedy. She birthed two children: Lian Harper and Jason Todd.
    • Selina Kyle with Bruce Wayne when they were both 19.
  • Twice Shy: Scarecrow and Permafrost, so very much.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting
  • Tyke-Bomb
  • Unto Us a Son and Daughter Are Born: Cheshire's children: Lian Tan and Jason Todd.
  • Upbringing Makes the Hero: Played straight with Johnny Crane and Robin subverted with Artemis and Billy Batson.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Perdita's mom was implied to be one.
  • World Building: Details the history of the cities, superheroes, organizations and mythology of this DC universe.
  • World of Action Girls
Dorothy: "Weren't you frightened?"
Wizard of Oz: "Frightened? Child, you're talking to a man who's laughed in the face of death, sneered at doom, and chuckled at catastrophe... I was petrified." -The Wizard of Oz

Example of: