DFC Preview: Dark Ranger, Club of Heroes


Welcome back.  I hope you’ve been enjoying the DFC previews so far.  Today, we’re wrapping up the Gotham Knights before moving onto one of the few new teams in the set.

Before I start talking about the card, I’ll ramble on a little bit about how the Gotham Knights got included in Final Crisis. 

(Feel free to skip ahead.  I’m going to ramble a lot.)

When we decided to follow up DC Universe, a Final Crisis set seemed like a natural fit.  We really wanted to refeature the New Gods and it seemed like they would be prominently featured in Final Crisis.  We also wanted to refeature the Shadowpact (which we did) and at the time it seemed like the Reign in Hell storyline was going to tie into Final Crisis more closely than it actually did.

As it turns out, Final Crisis turned out to be a really difficult story to get a handle on.  After each issue or tie-in, we re-evaluated what we were doing.  Does Legion of Three Worlds have anything to do with the main story?  Where’s the New Gods?  Gosh, the Checkmate seems to be awful important…

Since the New Gods were more or less no shows in Final Crisis, we were left with a bit of a problem.  First, we had a hole in our roster.  And second, we didn’t really have a recognizable “good guy” team.  At one point or another, I think we debated the merits of just about every “good guy” affiliation in DC Comics before settling on a Gotham Knights refeature.

Eventually, the Batman RIP storyline did dovetail with Final Crisis.  In some ways, it was more connected to the main story than a lot of the tie-in mini-series that wore the FC banner.  But ultimately, there was something more than that.

Both stories were written by Grant Morrison.  And they both had that Morrison feel.  If you go back to DCU, a lot of the source material for that set was based on comic books written by Geoff Johns.  If DCU was the Johns set, DFC would be the Morrison set.  (You may even see a nod or two to some of Morrison’s other works in the set.)

When we decided to refeature Gotham Knights, we all agreed that they needed to have a new spin on them.  In the GK previews to date, you’ve seen how we represented Batman’s ultimate preparation with the Charge keyword.  But we weren’t done yet.

We kept reaching back deeper and deeper into Morrison’s Batman.  And the Gotham Knights kept expanding.  If you read Morrison’s Batman, you know he was planting the seeds of RIP (and Final Crisis) from his first issue.  So we gradually grew to include just about the whole run.

One of the most fascinating parts of Morrison’s run on Batman was the Club of Heroes.  The two-part story seemed like filler material at first.  But in reality, Morrison was setting the stage for his Club of Villains.

But before I get ahead of myself, let’s take a look at the Club of Heroes.  The Club (also called the Batmen of All Nations) consisted of a bunch of Batman-inspired heroes from around the globe.  In Watchmen style, the club disbanded and went on to mostly undignified ends.  But every now and then, the club gets back together again.

And that’s excatly what the Club of Heroes wants to do in this set.  Here’s alook at what you’ll get as a pay-off for assembling the Club:

Dark Ranger

Kind of speaks for himself, right?  Free stuns.  Not too shabby.  Is he hard to pull off?  Somewhat.  But the Club will have tricks that make it easier to assemble the whole gang (Think Secret Six without the alternate win condition.) 

Also, if you need a little help, there’s always the Captain.

I hope you enjoyed this look at a mini-team/strategy within our Gotham Knights refeature.  Come back tomorrow when things get really weird.

(But in a good, Morrison kind of way.)


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