DC Nation is a Dreamwidth (formerly LiveJournal based collaborative roleplaying community) based play-by-blog game set in the pre-reboot DC Universe, ignoring most of DC canon from Infinite Crisis onwards, but allows things in players like, like there being two Blue Beetles and keeping Superboy and Kid Flash alive.
Players apply for characters and come up with plots to act out. It can be considered one big ongoing Fanfic, which has been running since May 2004 and continues to be written by dozens of people. Before April 2008, Nation's canon was the same as another LJ community, JLA Watchtower. (See below for details.)
Unlike many LiveJournal/Dreamwidth role-plays, Nation more or less sticks with a consistent storyline. Many of the same events that happened in "Standard" DC will happen in Nationverse...but in a different fashion - sometimes subtle, and sometimes wildly diverging. The Green Lantern arcs up until Blackest Night tend to pretty much follow the comics with few alterations. Titans story arcs are more notorious for their divergences. Since Blackest Night, however, the community has had little interest in developing further storylines from the comics, particularly from nu52 because of an obvious difference in vision, direction and now canon
There is currently a sister community for Marvel characters, Marvel_Universe, as well as other community-based games run by the same troupe.
Not to be confused with a Cartoon Network block featuring DC animated series and shorts.
- Alternate Continuity: Nationverse is actually rather proud of the fact they've had a running canon since May 2004 without a Crisis or reboot. That willingness to stick to their canon was the reason Nationverse split from JLA Watchtower. Watchtower, at the time, planned a reboot or Crisis storyline. Those who founded Nation disagreed with the idea, wanting to expand on the canon the game already established.
- With the news of DC Comics' Reboot, the game's continuity is even more alternate. While not all players are hostile towards the reboot, most are more than a little steamed at the parent company about now. A common saying among players of the game is "Nation is my Canon." This has been updated recently by some of the truly pissed off as "Nation is my ONLY canon."
- Amicable Exes : Nightwing and Starfire are the definition of this Trope for this universe, realizing that while what they had when they were young was great, too much has happened to want to return to it. They're still very close, and trust each other completely. Other broken-up-but-still-friends heroes include Merlynne and Caleb, Wally West and Jesse Quick, and Cyborg and Flamebird.
- Ascended Fanboy: Nationverse is full of them. The best examples are the Original Characters Shift (a teen from another Hypertime where the Nationverse heroes are just comic book characters) and Eidolon (for whom fanboyism is his main skill).
- Badass Normal: Many of the characters including most members of the Bat and Arrow families.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Several of the heroes are sweet, polite, gentle, and in some cases downright adorable. But press the wrong buttons and watch out. Notable among them are Superman, the third Blue Beetle, Ice, and Kid Devil. He's yet to be pushed far enough yet, but it's generally agreed that Eidolon will be one to beware as well.
- Miss Martian and Shift, a very cute couple of normally sweet and happy teen heroes, were out on a date when Blackest Night hit. When Shift's zombie grandfather almost killed him, Miss Martian morphed into her giant, scary white martian form and tore the zombie to little pieces. When the zombie grandpa got better moments later, Shift snapped and stranded him in a dead alternate Hypertime after beating him up at superspeed. He thought to himself (in his normal fragmented manner), after the blur of his own movements, "Tastes terrible. Zombies taste like old Slim Jims. Makes sense. Need mouthwash after this." The nice one bit off a chunk of his undead grandfather.
- Another one from Blackest Night: DC Nation is the Shapeshifter Showdown. Aurora is usually as Granola Girl as you can get while still being a costumed heroine. But when she faced the Black Lantern version of Gar? Well, she doesn't bother resisting the beast within. She breaks out the claws, teeth, and cobra venom between the ring and his greater experience, Gar still manages to kill her anyway.
- Bi the Way: Several characters. (And several of the players)
- Calling the Old Man Out : Averted in a touching way after Connor Hawke discovered the papers proving Ollie knew about him.
- Cape Busters: No Gods, No Capes, No Masters are a political organization that wants to outright ban on superhero activity in DC Nation. Other activist organizations and civil libertarians are also shown in Nationverse to be uneasy about costumed vigilantes, and talk radio stations are usually VERY savagely critical of the "capes." At least one celebrity doctor has made a small fortune doing armchair psychoanalysis of active heroes & villains, making utterly no distinction between them. Lex Luthor and Marcia Long (yes, former wife of Terry) used their political career to make life more difficult for the metahuman community.
- Character Blog - some, but not all, of the players keep "auxiliary" material and commentary on their character blogs. The plot-essential stuff is still on the main board, but the character journals flesh out some aspects of the plot.
- C-List Fodder: Inverted. Many "C-list" characters in the standard DCU are major players here, including the Dibnys, the Teen Titans (who had to be split into three teams), and even the JSA. By contrast, it has been harder in Nationverse to assemble Justice League plotlines.
- Did Not Do the Research : Averted. While the players are not perfect in their canon knowledge, they do actively work on learning what needs to be learned. Players tend to have collections to lend out, expertise to offer or are willing to learn it. The core player base includes librarians, English teachers and those trained in theater. Generally, they're willing to help you find answers and with the process of finding your charater's voice and keeping it clear. There's not a lot of excuses you can use for not doing homework with that much help available.
- Forceful Kiss: During Blackest Night, Cyborg snapped Starfire out of Unstoppable Rage brought on by a Red Lantern ring. Her reaction was to stop fighting, plant one of these on him, and fly back into battle. Then again, we are talking about Starfire...
- Granola Girl: Fauna. She was raised an Actual Pacifist on a hippie commune.
- Happily Married and Battle Couple: Several examples. The Dibnys aren't dead here (Sue was, but she recovered when Faust decided to get cute and resurrect her in a bid to trap the Spectre). Other married couples are Oracle and Nightwing, Troia and Arsenal, and Tempest and Tula (after Dolphin was revealed to be a construct). Subverted in that Starfire married an OC and is widowed - again.
- Yes, there are Babies Ever After -- and there's a spin-off game, DC_Legacies, with several of the kids growing up into yet another generation of heroes. Canonical "kids" like Lian Harper, Ceridian, Offspring, and even Nightstar (though she is an adult, and came from a dying varient of the Kingdom universe) are present, as are Original Character additions like Allanah Dibny, Henry Jordan, Luum Simon Anders, and Sandra Grayson.
- Heroic BSOD: Happens twice in one day following Blackest Night to two members of the Bat-Clan after learning of those who died and didn't come back.
- Heroic Spirit: With all the superheroes, this trope is all over. The character Eidolon seems to run on nothing but this trope and sheer fanboyism.
- Jumped At the Call: Many of the younger heroes.
- Those who didn't jump at the call, like Green Shield and Merlynne are Resigned to the Call
- Eidolon didn't just jump, he was begging for the call and leaping into danger before it even came.
- Lampshade Hanging: Elements of genuine Silver Age silliness or over the top Darker and Edgier material is mocked or shown as an undesirable outcome. Arguably, elements of their own canon are occasionally lampshaded as well.
- Little Miss Badass: Oh, Gods....Lian Harper is very much alive, thanks. She has been receiving training since at least eight years old at the hands of her father, stepmother (Donna Troy), a cadre of superpowered "aunties and uncles" from various superheroing teams, and has been receiving additional training on the sly from Lady Shiva. This is possibly the scariest little girl in existence.
- Livejournal Roleplay - this was one of many role-playing games on LJ. It should be noted, however, DCN's player base is a troupe which runs, or has connections to, several more games in various locations like Scribbld, Insane Journal and now Dreamwidth, the troupe's new permanent home.
- Loads and Loads of Roles - Varies. Some players only take one or two roles. The record-holder (one of the admins) has 13.
- Most Fanfic Writers Are Girls: Averted. About half the players/writers are male.
- The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: An unfortunate side-effect of Fauna's abilities. The more she taxes her Voluntary Shapeshifting, the more feral she becomes. Push it hard enough and she goes into an Unstoppable Rage where there is no human reasoning going on. Needless to say, this is one of the reasons the local Granola Girl is still kinda spooked by her abilities (she will never call them powers).
- Multiverse - completely dismisses "52" in favor of Hypertime. Word of God explanation is that Starfire's late husband, stranded between world after escaping death in his "own" timeline, literally "broke" the timeline when he chose to settle in Nationverse. Hypertime is also involved in several plots, including the existence of Nightstar (retrieved from the imploded Kingdom Come universe by Raven as an odd "apology"), and an ongoing feud between the founding Titans and Dark Angel. One of the Original Characters is powered by it, even.
- Naked First Impression: Gar "Changeling" Logan and Aurora "Fauna" Andersen. During the Olympics plotline, Hades had been forcing all the Titans to compete naked. Fauna hid in the audience and jumped in during the ending battle. Unlike Gar, her clothing doesn't keep up when she shapeshifts. The pair of them met in the middle of a zombie-filled battlefield without a stitch on them. Neither party minded the state of undress, either. They've been dating since.
- Eucatastrophe: Ra's al Ghul's Plague. Millions are dying, the rookie member of Clan Arrow has to give CPR to Superman. The father and son Green Arrows have collapsed from exhaustion and the effects of the plague. Even the goddamn Batman is left mortally wounded. But when a last-minute solution is found by a dozen heroes, it roars back in a Crowning Moment of Awesome.
- Later, Vandal Savage altered this plague so that it would help boost the meta-gene among the population offering him a greater food supply. He was caught and the plague arrested, but, so what? He now has a great selection for dinner.
- Original Character: At least a dozen. Heroic, villains, and several in-between. Examples include a blind street kid who pickpockets a Green Lantern Ring, a crazy Hypertime elemental, a superhero fanboy with photographic memory taken in by Batman, and an Atlantean duke (and brother to Tula) who tried to usurp power from Tempest, sending Atlantis into civil war and ending with Tempest in exile.
- Power Born of Madness: The crazy but lovable Shift swings between this and the Eeyore depending on whether or not his pills have worn off yet. If he's on his pills, he's more of a Cloud Cuckoo Lander hero, and if they've worn off, everything is trying to kill him (or at least that's what he says). Of course, he might just be trying to comprehend every single probability at once with a brain that cannot handle the knowledge. So the powers cause insanity, and then the insanity fuels the powers...
- The Power of Acting: Hugo Anders. Justified as he was an alternate-universe version of Hugo Weaving (long story). Armed only with this, a set of Brass Balls, and maybe a Desert Eagle, he willingly married into the Titans and acted as support staff until Blackfire got the drop on him.
- Refuge in Audacity: Travis Grey, a blind street kid turned Green Lantern runs on this Trope. In his first appearance, he steals Hal Jordan's wallet and ring, then uses the ring to start mopping up his hellish urban neighborhood. When Hal and Guy show up to get the ring back, the kid dares them to take it! (Hal's less than thrilled. Guy struggles not to fall over laughing.) Justified as he has a form of brain damage that makes him unable to process certain emotions (like fear) normally.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gar got an epic one in against a resurrected Terra. The Gar-mun at the time had just read Judas Contract and was itching to nail Terra to the wall. Terra proved herself Too Dumb to Live by pushing all of Gar's BerserkButtons in the process. (Do not try to off Gar's current girlfriend, then follow up by making fun of the way Doom Patrol died).
I ditched my lying, deceptive user of a power hungry lunatic, and found someone the complete opposite to share my life with! (laughs) And you were so pathetic, after getting out of your slavery in Hell with a sliver of honor, to fall right back to where you DIED. A worthless shell, used to bribe assassins with, among others no doubt, to con with, and scheme with. And now you tried to con yourself a life. With your ex no less. As a martyr to the Titans yourself, back from the dead honorably, when you really died crushing yourself by accident in the murderous rage you created from your insanity. You're pathetic Markov....See, that's your main trouble. You hate the truth Tara. You love lies. Lies are your best friend. You can shape lies. You can't shape truth. You can adjust lies by adding more lies. Adding a lie to a truth just makes it look worse. And you know what you'll end up dying with Tara? You and your lies. What a life that was. From nothing to something to nothing again. Hope you like this path, because on this planet, on the road you're on, you're pretty much screwed. Here lies Lying Manipulator. Died alone.
- Retcon: Sometimes used to restore characters so that a player can add them to the game, and sometimes done with existing characters in order to adapt DC plotlines to Nation. Several of the players are very well versed in comics history, and research help is available. They've seen it done badly, so Nationverse internal history uses it seldomly.
- A recent exception is condensing the game time involved. Years 1-2 are now year one. Year 3 is year two. Year 4-5 is three. 5-6 is now year four. Currently, it is Game Year 5; 8th year of the troupe's running.
- Shapeshifter Showdown : The fight beteen Fauna and Menagerie (Gar Logan) in Blackest Night is ugly.
- Sharing a Body : Tula and Garth were doing this (in his body) for a while. The Titans had recovered a Empty Shell clone of Tula (Aquagirl I), and one of Tempest's spells misfired (or succeeded in a odd way), causing her and Tempest to be...sharing quarters. It led to some tense moments as well as some Power Perversion Potential (After all, Garth was divorced, Tula was willing, and the pair never stopped loving one another). Aphrodite thought the situation was cute, and intervened to put Tula into a body of her own so the two lovebirds could get it on properly.
- Shout-Out: Plenty to old comics. The character of Hugo provided a lot more to Lord of the Rings and The Matrix (Black Lantern Hugo is practically an undead Agent Smith). The plotline of "J" had several generous ones to Tron, including a "soundtrack" of Journey tunes.
- Silver Age and Bronze Age: several of the admins and players mine these eras in all of their cracktastic glory. There's also a great fondness for the Wolfman-Perez Titans run.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: trends more to the idealistic end, but still keeps things like Luthor getting elected president. Includes a strong Cape Busters movement. The game's tone is closer to Bronze Age than anything else. White and Grey Morality and Black and White Morality are used, as many original villains like Duke Kostan and Pharras are motivated (at least initially) by understandable, if not somewhat noble, goals.
- Snark Knight: Tara "Green Shield" Strong. She's faster with the snark than with a bow, and can't even manage to pray without sarcasm. Then again, if your three hero mentors were in a Love Triangle, you'd probably be plenty snarky, too.
Green Shield (in her Character Blog): "Hi, Mom. Hi Dad. How's Cape May? Fine? Guess what? I just helped save the world up here. Yeah, all in a days work. Me? Noooo...not at Star U, Mom. I got something rare that was eating my nerves and muscles up - something terminal. No...Mom...Mom...MOM...I'm fine, really. I injected myself with a ton and a half of chemicals and I'm fine. No, I'm not on drugs but I can stop bullets with my abs. Interesting side effect of it all. No. Cyndi's right. I'm not with her. I've been staying with a lady who wears fishnets to work, a Buddhist, an AIDS patient, and a LIBERAL! Cool huh? Mom, you're NOT dying of a heart attack yet? Wait'll meet my boyfriend. No. He's not a med student. He's 17 and living at a bar with a redneck Green Lantern...but he has no fear, Ma, trust me. No, I haven't been to confession yet, but there's an angel up here on the satellite that says I don't need to...Did I mention the kung fu guy I'm going to be getting my med degree from who calls himself Mid-Night?"
- Spin-Off: DC Nation was originally comprised of players from the LiveJournal community JLA Watchtower, and from May of 2004 to April of 2008 (roughly) the continuity of both places is the same. Starting in January of 2008, there was an incident which caused a disruption to the com. Soon after, Watchtower proposed a "Crisis" style story incident that would reset the continuity. Some who wanted to keep the game's storyline chose to form DC Nation where the old continuity would continue.
- Stripperiffic: More than a few of the female superheroes and villains.
- This trope also applies to the first male Star Sapphire, Terry Berg. His default costume is just as skimpy and revealing as that of the female members of the Corps. He's since dubbed the Star Sapphires the 'Clothing Optional Corps' because of it.
- Superhero: Obviously
- Take That: Unpopular elements of Modern Age and Dark Age DC used for target practice, or Retcon fodder.
- An ongoing game which fixes plot holes, allows characters to evolve and still keeps mostly true to the character's history while maintaining 7 years of consistent canon through several different authors could easily be taken in the face of DC's Reboot as one, epic level "take that."
- One of the Titans plots involving the Titans being placed into dying hypertime-worlds specifically taunts the storyline "Rise of Arsenal."
- Team Chef: Several. Ma Hunkel is a retired heroine who does the cooking and cleaning at the JSA. Joan Garrick backs her up on big jobs. The Titans get Fauna, who catered two Titan weddings and would much rather be in a kitchen than superheroing. Clan Arrow and the Outsiders have Green Shield, who got interested in chemistry watching her grandma cook.
- Team Mom : Sue Dibny is this for the superhero community. It helps when you're the JLA's political liason officer, used to take the Titans out for ice cream after report cards, and manage the betting odds at Warrior's Bar. Nationverse-Sue is someone even Batman isn't going to cross.
- A Threesome Is Hot : Hal Jordan walked in while Arisia and Zinda were... "fooling around". The ladies told him to quit staring and join in.
- Tenchi Solution Played for comedy in DC Nation's Heaven or Las Vegas [dead link]. The Zamaraons attempt to figure out what makes the Green Lanterns of Earth tick and refine the process behind the Star Sapphire rings. To do this, they take the Earth-based lanterns, and put them in a theme-park version of Las Vegas. While most of the Lanterns wake up in the surreal "test environment" with the woman they're currently dating, Hal wakes up in bed with Carol Ferris, Arisia, "Cowgirl Jill," and Zinda "Lady Blackhawk" Blake -- ALL AT ONCE.
- Uptight Loves Wild : The Titans seem to live for this one:
- Garth (Tempest) and Tula (Aquagirl/Halcyon), with Tula being the Wild One. Hell, they fit this so well, the trope could be named for them.
- Donna (Troia) and Roy (Arsenal), with Roy being a notorious reformed bad boy.
- Vic (Cyborg) and Kory (Starfire) look like they have potential for this.
- While a milder version of this, since everyone is less uptight than Raven, her and the former chick-magnet, man-about-town Joseph Wilson (Jericho) could be argued to fit this trope, too.
- Her former in-game boyfriend, Zachery Zatara, was also a free-wheeling sort.
- The former relationship of Wally and Jesse had elements of this, with Jesse learning to relax from the more fast-talking and free-wheeling Wally.
- Mari (Nightstar) and Grant (Damage), anyone compared to a Tamaranian is going to seem uptight, but this was an especially touching affair since Grant was recovering from childhood sex abuse.
- Gar (Menagerie/Changeling/Beast Boy) and his OC hippie girlfriend, Aurora (Fauna). He's the wild and crazy one...most of the time.
- Rose Wilson (who has not gone all Ravager) and Bart (Kid Flash), with Rose being the uptight one.
- Hank-Hawk and Dawn-Dove always had elements of this, but Nation is having fun cranking it Up to Eleven.
- Speaking of Hawks, Holly has her eye on the reformed, but extremely uptight Interia (Thad Thawn).
- Wipe the Floor with You : Tula vs. Dolphin in a particularly ugly throwdown when the pair finally meet on an even field of battle. Tula had been a ghost hovering over Garth's shoulder for years watching Dolphin use and abuse her still-living ex-lover. Since I Want My Beloved to Be Happy utterly failed she had some pent-up rage to take out on Dolphin's person.
- Word of Dante: The folks at Nation love their comics, but got frustrated with the constant Darker and Edgier portrayals and storylines that left little room for humor or True Companions-building. One of the admins explicitly states she wants the board to be a refuge for other, frustrated fans.
- Yiddish as a Second Language: Sue Dibny, and usually only if she is really ticked off.