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I mentioned, a few comment files ago, that I'm planning on doing some cosplay. If you're wondering what character I'm going to be dressing up as... have you ever heard of Brother Power?

Back in the late 60s, DC wanted to court the hippie demographic, so they created what they hoped would be their first hippie superhero character and gave him his own title. Brother Power the Geek was a dressmaker's dummy that was animated by a strike of lightning and imbued with superhuman strength and intelligence, yet retaining the boneless durability of a wire armature covered in cloth. He was found and nurtured and dressed by a group of hippies, who imprinted this tabula rasa with their "love is the answer, maaan" ideology. The idea was that this wandering philosopher type would walk the earth and observe it from his outsider's perspective, solving problems in nonviolent, unconventional ways.

Unfortunately, DC neither respected nor understood the hippie subculture they were trying to court, and after just two issues, Ronald Reagan (not yet president), in an accidentally prescient plotline, launched Brother Power into space. That was the end of the Brother Power comic.

Other writers and artists have attempted to weave Brother Power back into DC canon, but aside from minor cameos or alternate universes, these stories always fell into one of two writer traps - either "this character is magic, so I can pull whatever crazy bullshit I want" or "this character is innocent (and therefore, I assume, naive), so it's gonna be really evocative when I kick the shit out of him".

I'd dearly love to write my own title for Brother Power, return him to his original intended role - a wandering philosopher, someone who is more than capable of beating down the people around him, but who chooses - chooses consistently - to find nonviolent, unconventional solutions to problems. I'd probably pair him with a human to act as his snarky, streetwise Watson, perhaps a transgender teenage runaway ("Hey, it's cool, man. I call myself "Brother" and I don't have a penis either.")

I highly doubt DC would give me the rights to write a Brother Power title, though. Or, if they did, they'd insist on cramming in superheroes and supervillains from the rest of the DC universe, and requiring a certain amount of standard superheroic combat, and tying Brother Power into universe-spanning cosmic bullshit events. Guess I'll have to stick to cosplay.

(Tuesday afternoon, INT: EB and JH's living room)

JH: So is there really a need for an anonymous vigilante for animal rights?
MH: There are, right now, at least three pets I can think of off the top of my head that I would happily liberate from their owners, provided that I could do so safely, with no fear of reprisal, and I knew the animals wouldn't just be found by authorities and returned.
JH: So why don't you?
MH: Because I don't believe I could do so safely, I do fear reprisal, et cetera. That's the difference between a superhero in a comic book and a crazy person who wears a mask and kidnaps a pitweiler in reality - an understanding of consequences.
EB: Well, that and the ink blasts from your belly button, ability to talk to crickets...
MH: Not even. Plenty of superfolk don't have real powers. I strap on some Kevlar and carry a homemade taser, that's as good as a low-grade superpower, in terms of beating down bad guys.
MH: Although, of course, hopefully I wouldn't have to beat down anyone. Ideally, I'd be seducing them instead, an ability which, I assure you, I am also super at.
JH: Boinking animal abusers and then running away with their dogs.
MH: Essentially.
EB: Yyyeah, somehow I don't think they're gonna let you on the Justice League with that schtick.