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  1. #1
    duke's casettetape lemonpeace's Avatar
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    Question What's the deal with: Metahumans

    So I've been working on a Duke Thomas wiki for a while and I just finished the first draft of his Metahuman page. So I wanted to discuss Metahumans with you guys, compare notes to make sure I have my information straight.

    here's what I have so far:

    • Metahumans are a significant portion of Earth's population who are born with a genetic variant commonly referred to as the "metagene". the metagene typically lays dormant until an instance of extraordinary physical and emotional stress activates it, causing a "spontaneous chromosomal combustion" as the metagene takes the source of the bio-stress – be it chemical, cosmic, or whatever – and turns the potential catastrophe into a catalyst for "genetic change". This genetic change manifesting as metahuman abilities.
    • Some people posses metahuman abilities from birth despite having seemingly normal parent, suggesting the metagene can skip generations and activate spontaneously without any prior manifestation in the ancestry. One well-known example is Dinah Laurel Lance, the second Black Canary. Laurel was born with a metagene, her infamous ultrasonic scream known as the Canary Cry, despite neither parent possessing any metahuman abilities.
    • Dark Nights: Metal revealed that (in-universe) the term "meta"-human originated from a rudimentary hospital program that was used to flag Nth metal toxicity found in a person's bloodstream, similar to iron or zinc; “meta” being shorthand for the "metal" it detected. This natural "metal toxicity" believed to be the "genetic variant" that changes an individual's DNA and results in the metagene, metahumans and their various heightened abilities and powers.
    • The lineage of metahumans and their origins can be traced by this Nth Metal connection, dating all the way back to three tribes from the earliest known era of humanity; the Bird Tribe, the Wolf Tribe, and the Bear Tribe.
    • When The Totality crashed to earth and introduced the various forms of Heavy Metal and other mysterious forces into the world, The Bear tribe and Vandar Adg of the Wolf Tribe were the first ones to encounter the Totality. They were all mutated by the radiation of the Totality, granting them immortality and making them the world’s earliest iteration of Metahumans.
    • There was believed to be roughly 1.3 million metahumans on Earth in modern day, 99.5% of which are considered "nuisance-level" (such as kids who can bend spoons with their mind and the old lady "who keeps hitting at Powerball"). The other 0.5% are what Checkmate and the O.M.A.C.s consider Alpha- and Beta-level threats. For reference, Superman and Wonder Woman were categorized as Alpha-level, while Metamorpho was considered a Beta and the Ratcatcher is considered a Gamma-level. However, since the destruction of the Source Wall, the number of Alpha and Beta level metahumans, as well as the general metahuman population, were sharply increased by the new cosmic radiations affecting the universe.


    "Metahuman" as a term is used relatively loosely. it's usually used to refer to any human-like being with extraordinary powers and abilities be they a result of science, magic, alien origins, mutation, divinity, proficiency or technology. while the "metagene-metahuman" concept holds true in some form or another across DC's different continuities, DC does not use the metagene concept as a hard editorial rule and few writers explicitly reference the metagene when explaining a character's origin.

    Aliens such as Superman and the Martian Manhunter, divine beings like Wonder Woman, and even separate human-like species such as Atlanteans have all been referred to as or mistaken for metahumans.

    • Immortals: Immortals are metahumans who have the capacity to live nigh-indefinitely. There is a long standing network of Immortal beings by various means (magic, ancient artifacts, metahuman powers, etc.) and within this community of immortals there are factions of different metahuman immortals whose roots stem from the five original members of Bear Tribe. The immortals of the Bear Tribe can share their immortality with the metahumans they recruit to their individual "Houses". The Metahumans that are made immortal by the Bear siblings inherit their longevity but do not receive their invulnerability.
    • Force Users: Force users, such as speedsters, are metahumans with a metagene that makes them attuned to one of the four aspects of the Forever Force; The Speed Force, Still Force, Sage Force, and the Strength Force. These genes can influence those who posses them even when dormant, such as those with the ‘speedster’ metagene being drawn to long, flat regions; which is why so many are in the Midwest. Force attune family lines with similar metagenes are also drawn to each other. The Allens and Wests are two such families, producing powerful and significant Speed Force avatars.
    • Homo Magi: Not all humans get there powers from standard metahuman genetic process, some humans have a different type of variant that gives them the capacity to inherently utilize magic. These particular humans seem to be part of a branch in the evolutionary tree called ''Homo Magi". The "Homo Magi" can mate and breed with normal humans and typically have no distinct qualities other than magic use.
    • Aliens: Many aliens who reside on Earth have powers and abilities that are often mistaken for metahuman abilities. While many of these abilities are a result of their species' natural evolution, metas may not be strictly limited to humanity either. There have been instances in a variety of alien races of a section of their population rapidly adapting and evolving on a genetic level beyond what should be possible. Most notably, the planet Maltus was home to a subsect of lifeforms who possessed "micro-colonies", cells that help creatures that possess them to evolve and maintain an advantage over any threat in their ecosystem; very similar to the metahuman phenomenon on earth.


    Control and Countermeasures

    It is possible for individuals skilled in science and biology to manipulate, dampen or modify the activities of the metagene. The Dominators were able to devise a Gene Bomb that would accelerate metagene activity to the point of cellular and physical instabilities. Checkmate was able to created an anti-metagene virus that had the opposite effects of the Gene Bomb, curbing and shutting down the metagene and stripping the metahumans of their powers for an unspecified amount of time.
    • Prison: Metahuman criminals have to be incarcerated in specialized metahuman prisons, which are outfitted with provisions to hold criminals with metahuman abilities and even have mystical dampeners to contain the magic-based powers of the Homo magi. Prisoners in these facility are tagged with nanobyte tracers injected into their bloodstream and outfitted with power-dampening collars that allow them to be located wherever they are.
    • The OMAC Project: OMACs are living machines, cyborgs created from human bodies that have been transformed by a virus in order to assassinate any and all beings with superpowers; specifically Metahumans. The virus is derived from Brainiac-13's nanotechnology, which had been acquired by the U.S. Department of Defense and Lexcorp, and was then secretly introduced into general vaccine supplies.
    • Brother MK I/Brother Eye: OMACs are controlled by the Brother MK I satellite. Brother MK I was created by Batman and programmed by Pseudopersons Inc. scientist, and partner of Wayne Industries, Buddy Blank. Its sole purpose was to gather data on all metahumans, both villain and hero. Batman had grown distrustful of metahumans after discovering that the Justice League altered his memories following an altercation with Doctor Light in Identity Crisis. Maxwell Lord subverted the original mission of the Brother MK I satellite by inculcating a fear and suspicion of all metahumans. Alexander Luthor Jr. later gave the satellite sentience as part of his plans.

      When Maxwell Lord was killed by Wonder Woman, Brother MK I, rechristening itself Brother Eye and initiated the "KingIsDead" protocol. Specifically designed to be used in the event of Lord's death, it ordered all of the OMACs (all 1,373,462 of them) to attack and kill all metahumans on Earth and destroy Checkmate. A group superhero effort stopped the attack, using an EMP blast as well as a "Shut Down" command given by Sasha Bordeaux. While this drastically reduced the number of OMACs, remnants of OMAC technology is still out there.
    Last edited by lemonpeace; 10-14-2021 at 12:09 AM.
    SIGNAL (Duke Thomas) is DC's secret shonen protagonist! his fandom wikia
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  2. #2
    Astonishing Member vasir12's Avatar
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    I didn't know they pinned Nth metal as the origin of the metagene. I wonder if future writers will use that.

    This was a good write up. I knew metahumans aren't as narratively developed as mutants, but it seems there's some build up.

  3. #3
    Extraordinary Member Robotman's Avatar
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    That's a very thorough entry!

    I like the meta gene because it goes hand in hand with the classic superhero origin story. The reason why someone gets powers when they're in a "tragic lab accident" instead of just dying or being horribly injured. The body hyper adapts in order to survive the trauma. In the Marvel universe I think characters like Hulk, The Fantastic 4, and Spider-Man would have the meta gene.

    It has also been suggest that the meta gene will turn earth into a realm of gods and bring about the 5th World.


  4. #4
    Extraordinary Member Phoenixx9's Avatar
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    Interestingly enough, Captain Comet has been referred to as a mutant (but not metahuman) in comic.
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  5. #5
    Astonishing Member Korath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vasir12 View Post
    I didn't know they pinned Nth metal as the origin of the metagene. I wonder if future writers will use that.

    This was a good write up. I knew metahumans aren't as narratively developed as mutants, but it seems there's some build up.
    I actually likes that, because it allows for more flexibility in term of one's origin both inside and outside the DCu proper. Also, I kind of like the idea that peoples in the DCU are simply too confused by all those powered peoples and generally dump them into the general "those peoples who got powers".

    Also, some peoples do try to create metahumans (like Ra's al'Ghul program which created various children by mixing his DNA with others and ended creating most notably The Silencer, a metahuman when he himself has never displayed any meta-abilities, saves perhaps his attunment to the Lazarus Pits).

  6. #6
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    Captain Comet was called a mutant when he first appeared in the 1950s, well before Marvel got their hands all over the term. So he might be grandfathered in. But D.C. came up with metahuman, because they could trademark that and it wasn't something that Marvel was using.
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  7. #7
    Extraordinary Member Phoenixx9's Avatar
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    I also like the uniqueness of CC being a mutant, outside of the metahuman tab, and it fits because it is his 'reverse evolutionary throwback of a man of the future" while metahuman can be for a number of other reasons.
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  8. #8
    Leftbrownie Alpha's Avatar
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    The godwave was also used as an explanation for metahumans at one point.

  9. #9
    duke's casettetape lemonpeace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha View Post
    The godwave was also used as an explanation for metahumans at one point.
    that actually ties into a theory I have about the specifics of how metas get their power that I didn't wanna including in the write up. Nth Metal is derived from Element X/10th Metal, which comes from the source and has source energy. I always interpreted the godwave as a aspect of the source by way of the God Sphere. I think what the metagene does is turn people into conduits for whichever fundamental force or sphere of existence in the DC Multiverse that's best suited to deal with whichever stresser that triggers it's activation. Speedsters channel the speed force, animal powers via the red, homo magi and magical metahuman via the sphere of the gods/godwave, etc. your power is dependent on your genetic affinity and/or the circumstances that activate your metagene.
    Last edited by lemonpeace; 01-17-2021 at 05:22 PM.
    SIGNAL (Duke Thomas) is DC's secret shonen protagonist! his fandom wikia
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    "power does not corrupt, power always reveals."

  10. #10
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    The original Brain Wave was a mutant, though never called that back in the 1940s comics.

  11. #11
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    not all DC Universes automatically make any humans with Superpowers or the ability to uses literal Magic different species from us
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  12. #12
    duke's casettetape lemonpeace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Masonicon View Post
    not all DC Universes automatically make any humans with Superpowers or the ability to uses literal Magic different species from us
    they're not a different species, they're sub-sects of the same species. also, these are mostly in regard to humans in the (former) primary DC universe. I'm sure there are worlds in the Multiverse that may exist outside the metahuman power system but, based on Dark Nights: Metal, Invasion! and other stories, this is the general rule for why most people have a natural disposition for certain superpowers. mind you, this isn't to say only metahumans have powers, people have found plenty of ways to get powers through other means (i.e. Gotham Girl), this is just the general rule of thumb for humans with natural inclination for developing superhuman powers.

    as for magic, that one is pretty cut and dry since the Homo Magi concept has more or less been a rule for a while, even before they gave it an official label. it's how they would explain why characters like Batman or Lex Luthor aren't sorcerers; they just "had no affinity for magic". that idea of not having an affinity for magic eventually led to defining who does have the "affinity", which led to the label of "Homo Magi" being introduced. however, due to magic being...well magic, there are plenty of ways to get around to using magic even if you're not a Homo Magi via artifacts, certain rituals, possession by a magical being, etc.
    Last edited by lemonpeace; 06-14-2021 at 01:30 PM.
    SIGNAL (Duke Thomas) is DC's secret shonen protagonist! his fandom wikia
    I support militant Professor X
    • Manga: One Piece, My Hero, Mashle, Solo Leveling, Jujutsu Kaisen, GoH, Black Clover
    • DC: Black Manta, Static, Icon & Rocket, Hardware, Gotham: Urban Legends, Mr Miracle: Source of Freedom
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    • Anticipated titles: Naomi s2, I Am Batman, Aquaman: Becoming
    "power does not corrupt, power always reveals."

  13. #13
    Incredible Member Incognito's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lemonpeace View Post
    they're not a direct species, they're sub-sects of the same species. also, these are most in regard to humans the (former) primary DC universe. I'm sure there are worlds in the Multiverse that may exist outside the meta power system, but based on DK: Metal, Invasion! and other stories, this is the general rule for why most people have a natural disposition for certain superpowers. mind you, this isn't to say only metahumans have powers, people have found plenty of ways to get powers through other means (i.e. Gotham Girl), this is just the general rule of thumb for humans with natural affinity for developing superhuman powers.

    as for magic, that one is pretty cut and dry since the Homo Magi concept has more or less been a rule for a while, even before they gave it an official label. it's how they'd explain why characters like Batman or Lex Luthor aren't sorcerers, they just "had no affinity for magic" which eventually led to defining who does have that "affinity" which let to the label of "Homo Magi". however, due to magic being...well magic, there are plenty of ways to get around to using magic even if you're not a Homo Magi via artifacts, possession by a magical being, etc.
    I had this theory that all Homo Magi are born connected to one of the eight sphere of the Gods which resides in the soul that allows them to channel that energy, and as such, have certain powers and abilities based on their respective source similar to the arcanum in The Dragon Prince show on Netflix. For example, Zatanna's 'Arcanum' is connected to the Heaven sphere because she uses logomancy and Heaven is all about living music (vibrations, words, etc.).
    Last edited by Incognito; 02-25-2021 at 07:37 AM.

  14. #14
    duke's casettetape lemonpeace's Avatar
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    So we just learned that Duke, who is a metahuman, goes on to also become a powerful mage in Future State. This makes me wonder: could this count toward evidence that homo-magi are just metahumans who's powers are magic? it would track, meta powers ultimately trace back to The Source, same as magic. Duke and his father both seem to be attuned to 8th metal, which is native to the Godsphere; which is canonically the source of magic in the multiverse.

    my theory is, maybe Metas are what you get when the metal in your blood is Nth metal and Homo-magi/mages/magicians are what you get when it's 8th metal.
    SIGNAL (Duke Thomas) is DC's secret shonen protagonist! his fandom wikia
    I support militant Professor X
    • Manga: One Piece, My Hero, Mashle, Solo Leveling, Jujutsu Kaisen, GoH, Black Clover
    • DC: Black Manta, Static, Icon & Rocket, Hardware, Gotham: Urban Legends, Mr Miracle: Source of Freedom
    • Marvel: Immortal Hulk, X-books
    • Anticipated titles: Naomi s2, I Am Batman, Aquaman: Becoming
    "power does not corrupt, power always reveals."

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenixx9 View Post
    Interestingly enough, Captain Comet has been referred to as a mutant (but not metahuman) in comic.
    I don't think he is a metahuman as defined in lemonpeace's post. There was no event that triggered the metagene. He was just born that way.

    And, of course, there was no metagene in 1951 when he was created.
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