”I was told once that time is not a stream, but an ocean. An endless horizon of what ifs and what could of beens all created by the choices we make. From my understanding that for every universe created and every time stream established, a variety different futures are created and branch off from one another like a spring and from what I assume, I am possibly from one of those alternate futures. Who am I you may ask? I guess you can say I’m the song unsung, the wish unfulfilled and the harbinger of a future that may or may not come to pass depending on how the events of this world play out and what choices are made as the timestream fluxuates.
I'm guessing you want to know where I came from and "the future" as I know it. I still remember reading long ago the articles left behind in the pages of my father's old Popular Science collection, stories promising floating utopias of peace, prosperity and of course technology unlike anything seen before in human history. I remember the dreams people used to have of flying cars, robotic servants and of course that great big beautiful tomorrow promised to us through the writings of optimistic science fiction writers and scientists. And I guess on some level those dreams came true, where I came from what was once Popular Mechanics fancy has become a reality. But as for the life and times I lived in? Well I wouldn’t go as far as to say it’s that peaceful utopia we were all promised. In fact things are worse than ever as monsters stalked our children at night, murderous criminals ran wild in our streets and everyday a new madman threatened to destroy what the heroes of yesteryear worked so hard to establish before their mysterious disappearance. But when things seemed their darkest and it seemed we were left teetering on the brink of anarchy, a new generation of heroes finally stood up, wishing to carry on the dreams left behind by their predecessors and reclaim that great big beautiful tomorrow we were all promised countless years ago.
I was amongst the first to lead the charge and pave the way for the future heroes, but as to be expected, I didn't start out as hero, in fact, it was the farthest thing from my mind when I first became Dark Crow. At the time, I was just a typical student, trying to survive the trials and tribulations of college. In my freshman year, I got involved with a fellowship with one of my professors, who at the time had this semi-feasible idea about reconstructing the dinosaur genome and possibly even bringing them back from extinction. We had everything we could need to make this project happen, plans, blueprints, a staff of specialists, it the only thing we seemed to be missing was the funding to finish the project. When submitting the proposals though, things didn't go so well. The big name biocompanies dismissed us, the conservation society laughed at us, but after much work and some major blows to our egos, we finally found someone willing to listen, the private investors. At the time we didn’t know their names, where they came from or why they were so eager to invest in our projects, but way we figured as long as their checks cleared, why should it matter? We worked night and day, decoding bird proteins, examining fossilized tissue and although it took a while, but by my junior year, we had made a theoretical reconstruction of the tyrannosaur genome. But before the test tubes even had a chance to cool off, it seemed as if our work was stolen and the most of our files vandalized. A corporate sabotage was the official explanation about what happened to our work, but still I couldn’t help but be suspicious about the whole thing.
It had only been a couple months later when it was reported that the illegal plasmid trade was suddenly booming and that supposedly introduction of a dinosaur plasmid had every dreg in town willing to pay big bucks to transform into a hideous hybrid. And although it was true mortality rate was high in those willing to dole out the creds, they didn’t seem to care about the side effects or the people they hurt on their rampage, as long as they got their sick primeval pleasures. I naturally brought this to the attention of my professor, with hopes he could some how help. But it seemed both he and the police were too busy to care to do anything about the so-called “dino-splicers” and the countless people they butchered. Of course I couldn’t help but feel guilty as I watched our work slaughtering people and threatening to turn our streets into Jurassic Park. Recalling the legends told to me by father, I remembered the heroes of yesteryear and the legacy they left behind. And suddenly I got this crazy idea. What if I tried to become a vigilante? Re-ignite the flames of justice and perhaps bring an end to the splicer trade? Only problem with that was though, I couldn’t fly, bend steel or summon earthquakes and to train now would take years. So I decided to take a shortcut, collecting plasmids, viral cultures and animal DNA, I managed to forge together a series of makeshift plasmids for me to splice myself. And although I knew I was taking a chance, risking both my body and my sanity, way I figured, it was a chance. Splicing was painful to say the least, but by some miracle, I got the desired results I wanted, I was stronger, faster and had the various abilities of the animal kingdom at my disposal and luckily, unlike many who were susceptible to their animal instincts I was in control. And sparing you the details after almost a year of following leads, investigating the old labs and beating splicers to a bloody pulp, I managed to track down our “investors” and brought them to justice…more specifically brought justice to them by leaving them suspended from a street lamp where everyone was sure to see them.
From there you can guess how my career took off, how others followed in my example and how the fighters of the future were born. Which is why I’ll skip ahead to how I wound up here. Since it seemed most of the heroes were not around for at least two decades, it wasn’t like I had a manual to follow. So I had to learn the hard way, that if you chase a time traveling villain, you better damn well have a way back. And thanks to my arrogance, my determination and my impulsive behavior, it seems now that I’m stuck here, over half a century before I’m even born.
Although it’s true your timeline has more than it’s share of similarities with what was written in my history textbooks, there’s also quite a few differences. People, places, names are all hints that I may not be as close to home than I thought. Anyway until the time comes and I find the means to bring myself back to my future, I will be there to influence the pages of history. Taking the alias of the Dark Crow, I am an oracle of things to come and a world that may be. And using my skills, technology and my memories collected in my future, I hope to make the world a better place and to prevent the darker times from which I came from. After all as my history teacher always said, you ether make history or become it.”
Memories: Born in the future and a time beyond this one, Dark Crow has a knowledge of past events and things that may happen depending on how events unfold in this timeline.
Hand to Hand Combat: Trained in the heart of Chicago and by some of his fellow Peacekeepers, Crow has learned to defend himself, with nothing more than his fists and a really bad attitude.
Splicing: Although outlawed after the dangerous side effects were discovered, in private Crow has been experimenting with the gene splicing process and transgenetic transfusions. And although not having totally worked out the dangerous side effects associated with it, he seems to have a pretty good insight into the mechanics of DNA molecule.
Biology: Where he came from, James specialized in biotech and has had plenty of experience in the fields of biology. Able to recognize and understand life, even in it’s strangest of forms. He’s definitely the kind of guy you want to have in the battlefield. After all you never know when you’ll meet that mutagenic virus, face that rampaging beast or need a way to cull the latest botanical uprising.
Flight: Having spliced himself with crow DNA, he now sports a pair of wings that allow him to fly and move in 3 dimensions.
Super Senses: Another skill derived from his splicing, he now possesses the senses of an animal, making him more sensitive to light, sound and smell. And this also goes without saying he has an enhanced healing ability.
Super Strength/Endurance: It’s more or less self explanatory, but basically he has enhanced strength allowing him to pick up objects most mortals couldn’t and he can withstand a lot more stress than your average human being, allowing him to take heavier hits.
Photon Blaster: Crafted and forged from future tech, these gauntlets shoot streams of charged photons enemies at foes. Adjusted to be non lethal and to provide only minor tissue damage, it can be used to attack and repel enemies. (Handblaster)
Information Collection Unit Delta: Crow’s robotic sidekick and guide to the past, he has enough gizmos to make Inspector Gadget jealous. Equipped with a full PDA system, defensive capabilities and encyclopedic knowledge that spans across many fields of study, he’s proven himself many times over to be a worthy companion and warrior. He’s also his official technician and creator of Crow’s impressive arsenal of gadgets. And although a little more erratic than some of his other “brothers”, he is believed to be derived from the same technology
Reproxygen Virus: A genetic plasmid he developed, it temporarily mutates the human genome, allowing blood cells to carry more oxygen. (Defibrillator)
Hallucinogen: Jokingly called “Freddy Krueger in a Can” this device was forged from technology confiscated from a future villain. Able to grant the mind it’s greatest fantasies or worst nightmares in a way that seems real, it’s often used in interrogation and restraint. (Fear Gas)
Shock Box: Used to disable machines, these projectiles release an electromagnetic pulse. (Gauss Grenade)
Future Shock: A grapple line engineered to emit a pulse of electricity, it’s used in the capture and restraint of enemies. (Taser Pull)
Sticky Bomb: An explosive device coated with a powerful polymer, these projectiles have a wide variety of use in the battlefield.
Knockout Gas: A non-lethal gas released from his gauntlets. It’s often used to temporarily paralyze opponents and create a quick getaway. (Asphyxiation Gas)
Biological: Because of the splicing, his body requires a lot more energy to facilitate the DNA transcription process and the plasmids injected into his bloodstream. And if he fails to generate the biological energy necessary between the time of his injection and the time of his transformation, he is prone to dizzy spells, fainting and severe oxygen debt. And because the splicing process is not one natural to the human form, to say the least the transformation into his superhero alter ego is not a smooth one, incredibly painful, it taxes his body in ways thought unimaginable by the average human. And this all goes without saying, splicing is not without it’s side effects and he is prone to some pretty savage thoughts. Also growing up in the pollution and grime of future Staten Island, he was born with severe asthma, meaning if he pushes himself too hard or fails to meet his oxygen requirements, he is prone to more serious symptoms.
Mechanical: With most of his equipment light years beyond anything developed in the modern era, it is not easily repaired or replaced. So when in the field he has to take care of his weaponry, because if he doesn’t it may be a half a century before he can even get the replacement parts to fix it.
Time Fluxes: Although it’s true that Crow’s timeline may not necessarily be the direct outcome of this one, it is connected and depending on what choices are made and how events are effected, his memories, predictions and even he himself are prone to changes made in this timeline. And when it comes to his predictions, it’s up to him to decide how much information about the future he should share. After all for every event prevented or every choice changed, it can have radical repercussions, which tend to act as a double edged sword. They can result for the better or sometimes for the worse.
Word from the Author'Edit
I created Dark Crow as an original hero for DC Universe Online. The original idea for Dark Crow, came from Native American mythology as well as classic superhero stories, such as Batman Beyond.
For those who are not familiar with the symbolism of the crow, once upon a time, Native American tribes all across the US believed that crows were oracles of things to come. Able to see the past, future and everything in between, they were revered and respected by the tribes, for their knowledge, wisdom and advice. And it was always said that crows always flew with one eye in the future and one on the past so that every time they took flight, their path would be straight. Like the crow, Dark Crow and Delta are symbols of things to come, they’re prophets of countless tomorrows and messengers of an entire generation that has yet to be.