For those who have a problem with DD on this team, I've got a deal for you--before the next round I will prove how well he works on this team by writing two awesome scenes for him. (In space!) First a scene with him teaching Vance martial arts and going all Stick on him. And a scene with him fighting in zero-G for the first time.
I ended up combining my two ideas for Daredevil-does-his-thing-IN-SPACE! scenes into one. Here you go:
FIRST-PERSON NARRATION BOXES SHOW VANCE'S THOUGHTS WHILE WE SEE HIM DOING COMBAT TRAINING AGAINST ASSORTED ROBOTIC DRONES IN A "DANGER ROOM" LIKE TRAINING ROOM. HE IS SHOWING GREATER ACROBATIC AND SHIELD-SLINGING SKILL THAN NORMALLY ASSOCIATED WITH HIM, BUT NOT USING HIS PSYCHOKINETIC POWER AT ALL.
My name is Vance Astro. The good news is--strapped on to my right arm is the legendary shield of Captain America. The bad news?--I am not worthy of it.
When I heard the rumors and clues that put me on the trail of the shield, it had been missing for centuries. I thought that it would be like a quest, like finding Excalibur or something--except that Captain America's legend is at least double that of King Arthur. He saved the universe a dozen times with just his wits and his incomparable fighting skill and his amazing shield and his indomitable will. When the Red Skull had the power of the Cosmic Cube, Captain America defeated him. When Dr. Doom had stolen the power of the Beyonder, Captain America defeated him. I've done an amazing thing or two, defeated a few impressive baddies, but how can I--how could anybody--live up to that?
I was always a big superhero fan as a kid growing up in the 20th Century, and when I ended up in the 31st Century via suspended animation and saw how their legends survived a millenium, I was all the more awed by them. My favorites were always Captain America and Ben Grimm, the Thing. Daredevil always seemed like such a dark figure--not my kind of thing, really. But now that this Surge has thrown us together--me, and my legends, and legends from other dimensions I've never heard of--lost together on the far side of space and time, and they're all looking to me for leadership... I told Ben about how I felt about being unworthy of the shield and asked for his advice...
SWITCH TO ROUNDED-CORNER PANELS TO INDICATE FLASHBACK, SWITCH SCENE TO ELSEWHERE ON THE ODYSSEUS III, BEN AND VANCE ARE TALKING...
...come on, how's any man supposed to live up to that?
Kid... I mean, Vance... I never met nor heard of nobody who specialized in one simple weapon, and used it as effectively as Captain America does his shield. Nobody 'cept f'r one guy--and that's Daredevil with his billy-club. And even if Captain America hisself wuz here, he wouldn't be able to do more for ya than DD can--the way he fights with that shield comes as natchrel ta him as breathin', he can't explain it. If you don't ask hornhead ta help ya with this, yer a damn fool, he's just the man fr the job.
An' once ya get ta know him, he's not so intimidating as he seems.
BACK TO SQUARE-CORNER PANELS AND FIRST-PERSON NARRATION, AND VANCE TRAINING WITH SHIELD IN TRAINING ROOM...
Easy for him to say. But I was surprised to find out that he's right. With the devil-suit he wears and his tendency to go around beating up thugs, you'd think that he was a guy who was trying to be intimidating--like that Bat Man we met during the Crisis. Now there's a guy who seems to spend every waking moment thinking of new and better ways to intimidate and strike fear into the hearts of evil-doers. Even though none of the people from our dimension had ever heard of him before, (except for the Hulk for some reason) we were all instantly impressed by his whole... mystique. Daredevil has almost as much mystique himself, but there's a big difference--in his case, it isn't self-conscious or self-constructed at all. Not even a little. He seems a little surprised any time he's reminded that people think of him that way. He doesn't wear a red devil suit because he's a scary red devil-man who wants to be frightening. He wears it because he's a daredevil--emphasis on the "dare" part.
He seems a lot like that Bat Man guy superficially, but when you get to know him better, he seems a lot more like... I don't know, more than anything he reminds me of the test pilots I knew when I was in the Air Force. They call him "the Man Without Fear" and it's one of those things that you expect to be hyperbole, until you meet the guy and it turns out to be understatement. Most brave people feel fear when there's danger--they face it, they deal with it, they do what needs to be done; that's what courage is. And then there are the death-wish headcases--the ones who don't fear danger because they don't care if they live or die. Daredevil isn't like either--he wants to live all right, but he enjoys danger too damn much to avoid it. Quite the contrary, he courts it with childlike glee. You may call it adrenaline addiction--he just calls it fun.
"FLASHBACK" PANELS, DAREDEVIL TALKING HEAD.
That "Man Without Fear" stuff is hogwash. I'm scared of plenty of things--danger just doesn't happen to be among them, that's all.
PRESENT. STILL VANCE TRAINING.
Whatever that means. What is a man who isn't afraid of danger afraid of? I think maybe I don't want to know.
So Daredevil agreed to train me. This training seems to consist primarily of Daredevil doing his best to murder me while I desperately try to stay alive. Except when he's running me through complex drills to improve my skills on getting the shield to ricochet off of multiple moving objects and then return to me. I used to use my psychokinetic blasts to manipulate the shield to ricochet the way I wanted it to. Daredevil calls this a "crutch," a crutch he's been quite happy to kick out from under me. And his idea of a ricochet drill has an uncomfortable resemblance to a death trap.
FLASHBACK, ALSO OCCURRING IN TRAINING ROOM, VANCE FACED WITH COMPLICATED, DIFFICULT, AND DEADLY-LOOKING TASK REQUIRING RICOCHETING SHIELD. DD LOOKING ON IMPASSIVELY.
I... Sensei, I can't.
You can. You will. Or... you'll die.
PRESENT, VANCE TRAINING.
As a man he reminds me of the test pilots I used to know, but as a teacher he takes me even further back--more than anything he reminds me of my drill instructor in Basic. Except multiplied by about a million. And that's not a comparison I make lightly--I still have Basic Training nightmares.
FLASHBACK, TRAINING ROOM. DAREDEVIL AND ASTRO "SPARRING." "SPARRING" SHOULD LOOK AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE LIKE A FIGHT TO THE DEATH. DAREDEVIL IS SMILING AND HAVING A GRAND TIME. ASTRO IS PANTING, EXHAUSTED, AND BEDRAGGLED.
This whole taking on a student thing is working out much better than I expected--it's a blast! I should have done this years ago.
No. it's just... normally I have to hold back in a fight, (unless it's Bullseye, and that's still no fun, 'cause he takes it out on innocent bystanders if he's losing. Damn sore loser.) But normally I hold back, because I don't want to really hurt anybody--not even a thug. But you... you asked for this.
And here I always thought Stick was just a sadistic bastard.
PRESENT, VANCE TRAINING.
He says that training me just brings out his old sensei ("Stick") in him, like they say that people often unconsciously act like their own parents with their kids. (Note to self: never have kids.)
Daredevil figures that in return for all of this attempted homicide, I owe him something, and has me working out with him on stuff that's specific to ship-board hand-to-hand combat--zero-G fighting and the like.
FLASHBACK, TRAINING ROOM. DAREDEVIL AND VANCE ARE SPARRING IN ZERO-G. ROOM IS FILLED WITH OBSTACLES, GYMNASTIC EQUIPMENT, AND ATTACKING DRONES THEY HAVE TO FIGHT OFF WHILE FIGHTING EACH OTHER.
If I'm supposed to be the team's hand-to-hand expert, I need to be prepared for any eventuality.
Don't worry, it's not far-fetched at all. One of the most common things the bad guys will try to turn the tables in a boarding situation is to knock out artificial gravity, presuming that they will be more at home in a zero-G environment than you are.
PRESENT, VANCE TRAINING.
For the record, any advantage I had from years and years of zero-G experience lasted about five minutes. The man's just a natural at anything that combines fighting with acrobatics--zero-G just adds an interesting new dimension for him. I've realized that I'll never really catch up with someone like Daredevil. I fight because fighting is part of my duty. He fights because he's a fighter and it's what he loves.
I talked to Ben again about my all-new and different insecurities:
FLASHBACK, TALKING HEAD BEN GRIMM.
Vance, quitcher worryin'. It ain't just fighters what makes the world go 'round. We need y'r more intellectual types like you, too. If ol' winghead were right here he'd say just the same.