Halt Evil Doer! 3.0 - Even more Zaziness!

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Libra
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Re: Halt Evil Doer! 3.0 - Even more Zaziness!

Post by Libra » Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:49 am

Grey Crusader, excellent work on the Black-Wing of India! Please be assured that I will be working your characters (or at the very least elements of your characters) into my Black-Wings International write-up. :mrgreen:
Phrozen, my congratulations on your producing another rather interesting character. :)
George Timons, at least in his early career, avoided all of the usual Bat-**** elements. He wasn't a loner, wasn't particularly grim, and didn't plot against his fellow heroes.
I suspect that - having lost his two most beloved loved ones - George COULD be particularly grim, at least at intervals (which I would suggest were a bit more widely spread apart and less habitual than Bruce Wayne's periods of bat-brooding) or when provoked - i.e. just after Blood-Wing's most recent scheme has come to some conclusion.

As a point of contrast (and because I've been contemplating the original Freedom League recently), my take on Duncan Summers is that he was far from being grim (although I suspect he did take a certain glee in pretending to be just that, mostly for the purposes of intimidation), that he went through periods as a loner whenever he'd had enough of the continuous debate and semi-familial bickering indulged in by the first Freedom League during it's glory days, but that he was and remains fundamentally a team player (although he prefers to be alpha male on any team, because he's only Human) and that he only plotted against his team-mates when brewing up some kind of prank to - for instance - take Lady Liberty down a notch or two (usually from 'Hair-Raising Idealist' to 'Iconic Champion of all that is Good and Idealistic').
While he never went to the extremes in the comic, he did become MUCH more suspicious and hostile when the Iron Age started creeping around and it became apparent even Divinos could be mind-controlled on a regular basis.
One suspects that everyone did - except Divinos, who jut got sick of the whole business. One has to wonder if he left Earth in part to remove the threat he presented to that planet when mind-controlled, as much as due to what he was forced to do to General Iblis.
Or what you said. :)
It just goes to show you that our imaginations must have some kind of slightly-psychic connection. 8)
The Black Wings of the World never became a superhero team quite like the Justice League for a number of reasons, most tellingly due to the fact that they really had a much larger loyalty to their cities than the world. There's a reason there's a wide variety of personalities in sucessful teams and everyone in the Black Wings of the world was just too alike.
That would be roughly my take on things as well - although I suspect that The Black-Wings of the World would say that their Trinity of Devotion would be (1) Justice (2) Home (3) The World in roughly that order, if only because they ARE willing to leave their hometowns when the stakes are high enough.

Witness the Christmas without Crime for an example!
It helped that some of the Black Wings also had children. :)
Amusingly they mostly had children by adoption (although at least one member other than Winter Watchman found a lady he could trust enough to make a baby with - a feat more difficult than it sounds, considering the sheer number of Femme Fatales out there, thirsting for the blood of crime-fighters!).
That and some ended up badly. A pity, that.
Yes, poor old Winter Watchman for one and Il Falcone for another - probably for the best that he didn't have to put up with Berlusconi, mind you.
He was FUN and even George liked hanging around him.
There WAS a certain delight to rustling tech from Villains and giving it to the more deserving - probably even more in actually stringing Rob up by his heels when the hooded man got a bit TOO competitive.
It also helps to note that Robin was weirdly prescient about the world financial crisis and determined that the White Collar Criminals actually robbed the common man of a lot more than the muggers. Why go after someone who stole fifty and a purse when you could go after the guys who stole life savings?
Because there's a greater likelyhood that the former will KILL someone before or while making off with his winnings; on the other hand I do understand that you mean that Rob preferred to make his plans against White Collar-types but was doubtless happy to turn his hand to pinning down any muggers he happened to catch in the act while in the course of his Gentleman Rogue routine.
It helps that Robin Hood was trusted by Black Wing I and he was one of the voices against his expulsion. It was one of the few times that he voted against the rest of the group.
A faith that was doubtless rewarded when Sampson and Rob decided to take issue with the Psychotic 7 (and doubtless later still, when the two joined The Patriot faction in opposing the Psychotic Coup: it strikes me as plausible that either or both could have been amongst the first to get wind of what the former Justicars were up to and share it with those of their old friends who didn't think it a Jolly Good idea).
Amusingly, Robyn and the Londoner are quite close and find the very idea of competition between them ridiculous. They might form their own team first!
Only if John Bull II doesn't buffalo them into joining his Home Guardians first!
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Re: Halt Evil Doer! 3.0 - Even more Zaziness!

Post by greycrusader » Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:36 am

I think in real-world terms, the toughest bit about taking down corrupt bankers, financiers, and real estate executives is many of them do NOT necessarily do anything criminal, primarily because (here in the USA at least) they've essentially lobbied (read: bribed) or intimidated government officials into making nearly anything they do LEGAL.

For example, the "collectivized debt obligations" traded by investment firms and mega-banks were rated AAA by bond ratings agencies-the same agencies which were paid by the selfsame firms. Yes, no conflict of interest there, eh? But perfectly legal. Same way with the so-called credit default swaps, essentially insurance against an investment going down in value (one company would buy a CDO from an investment bank or trading firm, then pay a premium to "insure" the investment); this would have been well and good except the amount that the investment banks "guaranteed" was allowed to go up to THIRTY-THREE times the value of any loss-AND they were NOT legally required to actually have the money to pay off the credit default swap!

This was all legal, all sanctioned by both Democratic and Republican administrations. There was really nothing to prosecute after the financial crisis, though it was all clearly wrong and unethical.

There are only a few egregious financial crimes which even the most skilled darknight detective could uncover that would be prosecutable-Madoff-style ponzi schemes, embezzlement, insider trading, outright fraud and the like. Heroes dedicated to taking down amoral financial executives and corrupt officials might have to resort to illegal methods-stealing ill-gotten gains and giving them to charities, blackmailing the guilty parties into making restitution, and so on. Rather like the Leverage television series.

Sorry if that came off as a political rant. I guess I just wish in real life more justice could be done. I know too many people who lost big chunks of their retirement funds or even their jobs (and eventually homes) in my neighborhood. My wife and I have been lucky so far, but others haven't fared as well.

All my best.
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Re: Halt Evil Doer! 3.0 - Even more Zaziness!

Post by Voltron64 » Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:59 am

greycrusader wrote:I think in real-world terms, the toughest bit about taking down corrupt bankers, financiers, and real estate executives is many of them do NOT necessarily do anything criminal, primarily because (here in the USA at least) they've essentially lobbied (read: bribed) or intimidated government officials into making nearly anything they do LEGAL.

For example, the "collectivized debt obligations" traded by investment firms and mega-banks were rated AAA by bond ratings agencies-the same agencies which were paid by the selfsame firms. Yes, no conflict of interest there, eh? But perfectly legal. Same way with the so-called credit default swaps, essentially insurance against an investment going down in value (one company would buy a CDO from an investment bank or trading firm, then pay a premium to "insure" the investment); this would have been well and good except the amount that the investment banks "guaranteed" was allowed to go up to THIRTY-THREE times the value of any loss-AND they were NOT legally required to actually have the money to pay off the credit default swap!

This was all legal, all sanctioned by both Democratic and Republican administrations. There was really nothing to prosecute after the financial crisis, though it was all clearly wrong and unethical.

There are only a few egregious financial crimes which even the most skilled darknight detective could uncover that would be prosecutable-Madoff-style ponzi schemes, embezzlement, insider trading, outright fraud and the like. Heroes dedicated to taking down amoral financial executives and corrupt officials might have to resort to illegal methods-stealing ill-gotten gains and giving them to charities, blackmailing the guilty parties into making restitution, and so on. Rather like the Leverage television series.

Sorry if that came off as a political rant. I guess I just wish in real life more justice could be done. I know too many people who lost big chunks of their retirement funds or even their jobs (and eventually homes) in my neighborhood. My wife and I have been lucky so far, but others haven't fared as well.

All my best.
You know here's something I found on TVTropes that deals with the whole crooked corporate executive deal.
Subverted to a great extent in the Earth-2706 verse. In both the Ultimate Sleepwalker and Ultimate Spider-Woman series, Corrupt Corporate Executives have expressed their hatred of their honest competitors. According to corrupt executives like Norman Osborn, the Honest Corporate Executives (people like Tony Stark, Brian Braddock, Warren Worthington and Marc Spector) are cowards who hare holding the rest of them back. Guys like Stark and Worthington obviously enjoy the wealth and power that comes with their work, but at the end of the day they're really only interested in running their businesses. People like Osborn and Justin Hammer, on the other hand, actively believe that their wealth and power give them the right to lord over the lower classes and do whatever they want to them.
Basically, if my heroes were facing the latter and they went on a villain rant on such, the heroes would probably respond with "It that's the case, just shut up and do your ***deleted*** job for once, Feudalism's been done and dead for a while now you dumbass!" :evil:
Power doesn't corrupt. Power appeals to the corrupt. - Charles Phipps

Certainly it would be a better world if bigotry were rewarded with a straightjacket and a padded cell more often. - Libra

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Re: Halt Evil Doer! 3.0 - Even more Zaziness!

Post by Charles Phipps » Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:45 pm

I think in real-world terms, the toughest bit about taking down corrupt bankers, financiers, and real estate executives is many of them do NOT necessarily do anything criminal, primarily because (here in the USA at least) they've essentially lobbied (read: bribed) or intimidated government officials into making nearly anything they do LEGAL.
Precisely Robin Hood's motivation for the whole thing. Basically during the "Mike Grell" Robin Hood run, Robin Hood specifically targeted the fortunes of the ultra-rich and corrupt. He'd gather evidence on their criminal activities and then determine if there was any way that they could be taken down legitimately. For those with a strong stomach, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo nicely illustrates the "normal" level of illegality you have to do in order to take down these people.

In Robin Hood's case, he freely went to the level of emptying out corrupt banks and using Leverage-like methods to force many of his worst foes to liquidate their assets before making off with it. It helped he was something of a multimillionaire himself.

Bernie Madoff actually only made off with about half of what he did in RL, Robin Hood hitting him with a stun arrow in the forehead.

The money, as Robin Hood's namesake, usually went to the families of victims.

Bizarre Fact: The actual existence of the Raven Foundation and (of all people) the fronts for the House of Serpents actually means America's economy is doing much better. Ditto Russia and Dracula. PHANTOM, however, is a living danger to the economy as its elimination would have huge aftershocks.

Yes, the VAMPIRES and the TERRORISTS are the most honest businessmen after the Tony Stark equivalent (plus other hero millionaires). In Dracula's case, he's learned to think long term (that and he isn't really involved in Dragon industries day-to-day running, merchantilism bores him - he's just very good at picking honorable men.)

Edit:

As you can imagine, Robin Hood's expulsion for thievery was something that remains controversial. Though Divinos and Athena stand by it as do the Steel Commando III. Ashley and Alex are not too terribly fond of the whole thing.

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Re: Halt Evil Doer! 3.0 - Even more Zaziness!

Post by Voltron64 » Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:16 pm

Ah, what better way to defeat and humiliate a crooked executive than to buy out his company and throw him to the wolves? :twisted:
Power doesn't corrupt. Power appeals to the corrupt. - Charles Phipps

Certainly it would be a better world if bigotry were rewarded with a straightjacket and a padded cell more often. - Libra

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Re: Halt Evil Doer! 3.0 - Even more Zaziness!

Post by Charles Phipps » Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:20 pm

Voltron64 wrote:Ah, what better way to defeat and humiliate a crooked executive than to buy out his company and throw him to the wolves? :twisted:
"I sold my company for six hundred million dollars. GAH! WHERE DID THE MONEY GO!?"

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Re: Halt Evil Doer! 3.0 - Even more Zaziness!

Post by Phrozen » Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:17 pm

That would only work if the company were totally privately held. Now, releasing info to the major shareholders works better.

Plus, I would recommend that the reason Robin Hood was let go was that it wasn't that he started going after businesses he thought were unethical rather then doing things illegal. Whether this was true or Robin Hood just had his sensibilities offended is up to debate.

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Re: Halt Evil Doer! 3.0 - Even more Zaziness!

Post by Libra » Sat Jan 07, 2012 3:22 pm

Ah, what better way to defeat and humiliate a crooked executive than to buy out his company and throw him to the wolves? :twisted:
Throwing him to the Wolves dressed up as Little Red Riding Hood?
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Re: Halt Evil Doer! 3.0 - Even more Zaziness!

Post by Charles Phipps » Sat Jan 07, 2012 3:44 pm

Phrozen wrote:That would only work if the company were totally privately held. Now, releasing info to the major shareholders works better.

Plus, I would recommend that the reason Robin Hood was let go was that it wasn't that he started going after businesses he thought were unethical rather then doing things illegal. Whether this was true or Robin Hood just had his sensibilities offended is up to debate.
His schemes were complicated and frankly, didn't always work. Also, as pointed out by greycrusader, he often acted on what was illegal but not liable.

For example, people who poisoned lots of consumers via pollution but denied responsibility.

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Re: Halt Evil Doer! 3.0 - Even more Zaziness!

Post by Phrozen » Sat Jan 07, 2012 4:55 pm

Its actually the opposite. More things a company is held liable for then are illegal. Civil law is much more expansive then criminal. It makes sense because contract law is one of the fundamentals of a modern mostly free economy.

Also, giving stolen money to charities and people actually doesn't help the charities and people. It just makes them criminally liable. One of the hallmarks of being a non-profit is that your books are completely open to the public. There really isn't such a thing as an anonymous donation. So, Robin Hood in that case is doing much more harm then good.

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Re: Halt Evil Doer! 3.0 - Even more Zaziness!

Post by Charles Phipps » Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:05 pm

Phrozen wrote:Its actually the opposite. More things a company is held liable for then are illegal. Civil law is much more expansive then criminal. It makes sense because contract law is one of the fundamentals of a modern mostly free economy.

Also, giving stolen money to charities and people actually doesn't help the charities and people. It just makes them criminally liable. One of the hallmarks of being a non-profit is that your books are completely open to the public. There really isn't such a thing as an anonymous donation. So, Robin Hood in that case is doing much more harm then good.
Oh he managed to pull all of this off without a hitch. For the most part.

One of the oddities of a comic book universe, I suppose.

In the end, many readers wrote in to Amazing! comics for how it was unrealistic, but the Editors said, "If we REALLY talked about how Robin Hood pulled off the money laundering and other stuff he did then we would be criminally liable ourselves."

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Re: Halt Evil Doer! 3.0 - Even more Zaziness!

Post by greycrusader » Sat Jan 07, 2012 6:50 pm

Phrozen wrote:Its actually the opposite. More things a company is held liable for then are illegal. Civil law is much more expansive then criminal. It makes sense because contract law is one of the fundamentals of a modern mostly free economy.

Also, giving stolen money to charities and people actually doesn't help the charities and people. It just makes them criminally liable. One of the hallmarks of being a non-profit is that your books are completely open to the public. There really isn't such a thing as an anonymous donation. So, Robin Hood in that case is doing much more harm then good.
Except suing a company for recompense requires time and money; large corporations have nearly unlimited resources in both regards, so doing so is often arduous for victims of corporate malfeasance, even when the facts are clearly on the side of the plaintiffs. Remember, verdicts and judgements can be appealed for years at a time.

I would also argue monetary damages obtained through civil lawsuits are only truly punitive for corporations if the amount paid out exceeds that saved by the business through the initial fraud, negligence, or disregard of public safety.

Likewise, there are too many acts which should be criminal but are not, due to aggressive lobbying and manipulation of our justice system by big monied interests. And too often the "corporation", a fictious "legal person" is found liable for criminal acts, meaning no executives or upper management types go to prison. Example given: Rick Scott, the current governor of florida (and Lex Luthor look-alike) was CEO of a health care company when acts of medicare fraud were committed (though Scott himself resigned before the investigation was concluded), but NO ONE went to prison-instead the "corporation" was found guilty and fined.

As to Robin Hood moving the monies to charities: I rather imagine his actions found a bit more support among the superhuman and vigilante community than was generally acknowledged; hiding the transfer of assets and creating shell companies likely isn't that difficult for, say, Angel Girl, the Aeon Family, or Ultramind 2.0. I imagine there are/were even villains who didn't like what went down in 2008 with the credit/housing crisis-even bad guys have family, friends, and neighbors who went bust due to the financial machinations of a few.

All my best.
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Re: Halt Evil Doer! 3.0 - Even more Zaziness!

Post by Charles Phipps » Sat Jan 07, 2012 7:00 pm

But yes, in general, Robin Hood used highly illegal means of money-laundering and transferring the literal billions he took to try and do "good" for the world. Frankly, it backfired on him on more than one occasion with the final result being the Foundation for World Harmony, CIA (it still exists), MI5, MI6, PHANTOM, The House of Serpents, *AND* Genesis Island being after him.

The Patriots found out about what he was doing and essentially the massive financial fraud he had performed (the comics originally did it as cat-burglary but the truth was much more complex). In the end, he was pardoned by President Bush and PM Blair for his role in the Psychotic Seven coup but he played games which were really ridiculously high stakes that he didn't really understand.

Edit:

One fact, Phrozen, will probably appreciate was that Robin Hood bankrupted a company he failed MISERABLY at exposing to criminal malfeasance through all of his old ways. How did he do this? By just accidentally getting SOME of the problems out - the government dropped all of its contracts at just the HINT of scandal and it ruined them.

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Re: Halt Evil Doer! 3.0 - Even more Zaziness!

Post by Libra » Sun Jan 08, 2012 12:00 pm

As a note, I'm just putting some finishing touches to my mental picture of Black-Wings International and it's various members (as well as fixing a small mistake in nomenclature - 'il Falcone' should technically be 'il Falcon' if I have the Italian right).

I shall probably start typing up the article tomorrow and do my best to stop wondering if I dare try coming up with some villains for this brooding band of byronic brothers (or their predecessors!) until much, much later or until I take complete leave of my senses.

Whichever comes first. :wink:

Thank you in advance all those kind contributors who have provided character concepts and ideas for the Modern Incarnation of the Costumed Crimefighters Society! - it would have been much, much harder to even conceive of writing any such article without you (which as those of you who've read the 'Day in the Life of George Timmons' which inspired this series of articles will know is actually a Timeless institution, with many incarnations throughout the course of past, present and future!). :D
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Re: Halt Evil Doer! 3.0 - Even more Zaziness!

Post by Charles Phipps » Sun Jan 08, 2012 12:27 pm

Comments 3
Once no more than a Good Man with an almost insanely ambitious plan to safeguard those better able than he to work for the betterment of Italy in the fields of national politics and the Law, as The Falcon Gualtiero could do more than take these good souls under his wing – he could strike back against those that would imperil All Italy!
The Falcon had a good deal more trouble with the law than many of the Black Wings including a Foundation for World Harmony squad with orders to "shoot to kill." Really, his adventures were almost Miller-esque in terms of having to deal with a government quite actively hostile and believing him to be a terrorist.

Ultimately, he managed to survive the worst of the worst and exposed enough corruption that he was
pardoned by a later administration. That and his anti-terrorism work had successfully proven conclusive links between PHANTOM and several super-extremist offshoots as opposed to the KGB.

(Phantom, going for legitimacy, dropped them like a hot potato)

Sadly, being a mostly mortal man, the bullet wounds and broken bones he'd sustained meant he was crippled from superhuman crime fighting by the end of it. He's still a master detective but requires a cane to walk.

He's considering running for politics.
Adopting a codename which would indicate to the corrupt officials and former colleagues exactly who was on the warpath with the skill, drive and ambition to destroy the scheme they had laboured so long and dishonourably to build, The Incorruptible began the hard labour of taking the fight to Corruption, Crime and Injustice as the World's first consulting superhero.

He has yet to stop, although he long ago cleared his name, since crime-fighting as a dandified eccentric is a lot more fun than doing so as a sober bureaucrat.
The Incorruptible is already in his late fifties now so this is getting to be something of a joke, even if he does take the Raven Foundation's longevity treatments regularly. Of course, part of the reason he's still able to continue the business at all is due to the fact that he's surrounded by a large number of extremely french young heroes serving as his legwork and which have included Musketeers and other flashy swashbuckler types.
Sadly, not many beautiful women want to work for him like he'd imagined when he'd created it. Ah, yes, he's married but a man can dream can't he?

The Incorruptible is currently trying to make inroads with France's Muslim superhero, the Faithful Servant II.
Even his codename is very seldom known nowadays, but back in the day his nights were spent discretely inflicting terror, financial losses and Justice on the criminal scum who had snuck their way into power, in the most remote shadows of the Cold War – and doing that superbly well
Honestly, the Cold War wasn't that bad for street crime or urban terrorism due to the fact that Berlin was one of the most supremely well guarded by superheroes without much to do places in the world. Still, there were always things that fell into the cracks.

Sadly, just for pathos, he disappeared and no one knows what happened to him.
Ironically 'Zen Master Raven' would go on to do more good as a zany millionaire playboy than he ever did as a caped vigilante - which is somewhat unsurprising when you learn that his style of crime-fighting mostly involved hilariously opulent donations to charity, astute political manoeuvring, the philanthropic donation of astoundingly futuristic technology to the world, schmoozing opponents into submission and recruiting an army of 'sidekicks' who did a lot of the actual bare-knuckle work.
One amusing thing about Zen Master Raven was the fact that he was able to oppose the Yakuza while remaining on surprisingly good terms with them. Part of this was that he and they both maintained public fronts and observed a bizarre set of rules when dealing with one another which no hero has quite being able to work out. His archnemesis, the Scorpion and his daughter the Scorpion II, often teamed up against the "Black Yakuza" that were related to the Black Hand.

In the end, the Scorpion (returned from death yet again) met his end with Zen Master Raven as the two fell over a waterfall in Holmesian fashion.

Alex, honestly, did like him the best.
Canadian Crime still hasn't quite worked out what hit them, except that it was hairy and the experience was very, very painful. Some swore that they been attacked by a human wolverine, others just cussed a blue streak, but all of them knew that they’d been hit and didn’t much enjoy the experience.
Canadian crime, being what it is, usually requires heroes to commute to do any actual fighting.

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