To see my three previous proposals for DC’s own Fantastic Four, click here, here and here.
This post was inspired by this post over at MGK. The crux of MGK’s post was that Firestorm is too powerful and too stupid (when Ronnie Raymond is in charge) and has too any lame villains to be great.
Of course, because of this post the fact that I like Firestorm is well known. Also, let me make it crystal clear to everyone that I like Firestorm the way he is (except for the puffy sleeves), but this is just a proposal…
Anyhoo, I didn’t agree with the Firestorm is “too powerful and too stupid” bit and as creative person, I thought to myself: “Self, Firestorm is not too powerful and is not too dumb, but what if…”
So, here’s the team. The first pick is…you guessed it…
However, this isn’t the normal Firestorm familiar to fans. This is one is slightly different – a third at most. After teaming up with the JSA to fight Dr. Alchemy and a JSA big evil, ol’ flamehead is accidently (?) merged with Michael Holt a.k.a. Mr. Terrific. This new Firestorm now also possesses Terrific’s power of being invisible to technology as well as having Terrific’s intelligence (when he’s in the driver’s seat which is pretty often). Unbeknownst to the new Firestorm, the merger (and combined power set) has some dangerous consequences by putting him in the crosshairs of a new enemy that may be unstoppable): A Superior Artificial Intelligence (SAI) from a far-future possible post-technological-singularity timeline.
Okay, what’s a SAI? Well, nobody knows for sure, there are a gazillion different interpretations/definitions and the truth is I haven’t kept up with these debates in some years. Anyway, this is comic book writing and not Hard Science Fiction writing. In other words we can make a lot of crap up as we go along.
· SAI will be more intelligent than any human being (think of it as an unfathomable mass of computing power or intelligence);
· SAI will be extremely unpredictable (to us, because we’re only human);
· SAI might be able to upload every human consciousness and if “friendly” it might invite us to this big upload – like being friended or poked on Facebook;
· SAI might be able to improve our intelligence after uploaded (if it so chose);
· SAI will be able to self-replicate (specifically build a better version of itself to replace itself);
· SAI might be able manipulate physical space on a large (e.g. terraform the earth on a molecular level)
· SAI will be uncontainable once it is “born.”
There is one big requirement (at least in my funny book story), the technological singularity must first occur. This is the point where our technological development reaches the point where a SAI can be created or simply develops from the critical mass of technological advancement.
So what is it about the NEW Firestorm that has this uber-powerful intelligence / techno-god so spooked? Is the SAI more scared of Firestorm with Terrific’s IQ or of Firestorm with Terrific’s power or all of the above? There may be some solid theoretical clues earlier in this post…Anyway, the SAI sends a probe (or portion of itself) to the present to go after Firestorm and 3 other heroes.
Funny thing about probes sent by SAIs, if they re-unite in future they might be speaking totally different languages, because they would develop exponentially in different ways…
The other members of the team:
2] Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes)
I solidly believe that the Jaime Reyes Blue Beetle would be best served on a four member team. I’m still a Ted Kord fan, but Jaime really fits this story since The Reach’s objective will prevent the post-singularity SAI from occurring (being born / created). Yeah, this story is kind of a reverse Terminator story in a way…
Maybe it’s the fact that Hawk represents Chaos or it maybe it’s the Extant time-travelling stuff, but for some reason the SAI really hates Hawk. Maybe it just finds Hawk obnoxious...
4] Green Lantern Raker Qarrigat
Ha! You thought I was going to say Dove, right? Where Hawk goes, Dove cannot be far behind or vice versa. Well, Dove is part of this story but NOT part of the team, because Dove represents Order and the SAI has identified Dove as a potential collaborator (say what?!).
Anyhoo...Raker Qarrigat – Green Lantern of Apokalips – is also another target of the SAI. Remember, the SAI can cut through many foggy logic swamps to come to the most elegant of conclusions.
The biggest threat to any earth-based SAI developing is the prior development of an alien SAI. The assumption is that another SAI would be hostile toward other SAIs or On-the-verge-of-SAI civilizations. Surveying the universe (and other dimensions), Apokalips is a prime candidate for the development of a rival SAI but for one little impediment: Darkseid and the gang. While Darkseid is in power an Apokaliptian SAI will not be allowed to develop for the simple reason that heads cannot bow when part of a SAI and there can be no Great Darkseid when SAI of Apokalips encompasses everything and everyone. There will be no hunger dogs.
The SAI has identified Raker Qarrigat as the biggest threat to Darkseid’s rule. So, it follows remove Raker, remove the possibility of a rival (probably more advanced) SAI that could come along to destroy Earth’s SAI.
The name game:
So, what do I call this team? Any Ideas?