I may want to write a fan fiction with the funny Justice League characters–Booster Gold, Plastic Man, and Green Arrow, as well as funny anti-heroes–Harley Quinn, Jason Todd, Terry McGinnis, and others. Does anyone REALLY know these characters well enough to help out with characterization?
Anyone know anything?
Sure, I can help you out.
Booster Gold is oblivious to his own ego. Never make him too self aware. He’s always the butt of his own joke, inadvertently setting himself up for failure, with occasional surprising moments of heroism — which he should NEVER be rewarded for.
Plastic Man is sometimes written like DC’s Deadpool. This is a mistake. The best example of how to write Plastic Man is probably in Batman: The Brave and the Bold. He’s a criminal trying his best to reform, but it can be hard sometimes, especially when temptation is thrown right in his way. Works best with sight gags, so be careful using him in straight prose.
Gail Simone’s 6 issue plastic man run was great
Green Arrow can be pretty quippy, but he’s also very politically motivated. A real old school liberal who’s trying his best to adapt to the new, but it can be a difficult transition at times. Painfully aware of how billionaires are the problem while he himself is one, and hates to be reminded of it.
Harley Quinn is also sometimes called DC’s Deadpool… this too is a mistake. In her own series, she’s more like DC’s Bugs Bunny. She is definitely self aware, and will set up her enemies to make fools of themselves whenever possible. Highly motivated to protect animals in danger. There is definitely a deeply tragic side to her but I doubt that’s where you want to go.
Some of the best Harley comedy comes from the fact that she used to be a psychiatrist. Don’t be afraid to use her to analyze the other characters.
Jason Todd’s sense of humor is very sarcastic, extremely dark, and often self-deprecating. Will make cracks about the Bat-Family just as easy as their villains. He can be a complicated character to write because he’s trying very hard to walk the line between hero and villain, doing the things Batman can’t and often trying to change the underworld from within. I recommend reading Red Hood: Lost Days and the 2016 and on Rebirth run of Red Hood and the Outlaws to get more familiar with the character. Also Under the Red Hood, of course.
There’s a very, very simple trick to writing Terry McGinnis: “What if Batman was Spider-Man?” Keep that in mind and you’re golden.
HCQ is spot-on down the line. Here’s some extra thoughts:
-Booster Gold is funniest when playing off of Skeets, because Skeets is 100% serious about being Booster’s sidekick/promoter. Skeets should keep a straight face (or nearest flying one-eyed robot equivalent) about every weird thing that happens with Booster.
-Green Arrow means well, but has a nasty habit of causing huge problems for everyone around him. This is usually played for drama, but there are some comedic possibilities there too. As far as his usual snark goes, he’s very blunt and outspoken about the problems he sees around him. Principled to a fault, basically, and that means he can have a habit of raising a fuss at inappropriate times. Also, he makes chili and it’s brutally spicy. In-universe opinions vary on whether it’s actually good.
-Harley Quinn is not funny, and I don’t mean that as an insult (though I wouldn’t disagree with such an insult either). It’s an actual plot point even in her earliest appearances that her jokes are not very good. Humor for the character tends to be derived from her odd and theoretically endearing behavior, not any intentional gags. That’s what sets her apart from the Joker.
Some other comedic characters you might consider using: Guy Gardner, Ambush Bug, Impulse, Larfleeze.
Some comedic series that are worth reading: The 1987 Justice League series (it changed its title a couple times but it’s listed as “Justice League of America (1987)” on DCU), its spinoff Justice League Europe, and the original Young Justice comic.