I think Norman considered going to the human world and thoroughly studied the problems there, or at least wanted to keep it as a backup plan. So when he called Emma out and doubted their acceptance in human world, it wasn't a blind fear, he knew how dealing with the humans can be more difficult than killing the demons. But I think he didn't expect to receive help from the Ratris, he doubted his own survival and, of course, he wasn't updated due to the lack of recent books.
I think saying "Norman was wrong for choosing demon genocide" undermines the weight of this decision. It's not like he was doing it because he wanted to play villain. It was simply the only choice he was left with.
Anon are you... Calling me out for something I've said or, I really can't tell 😂😂
Overall, I widely agree. I joke on genocidal Norman a lot, but I do deeply believe Norman wouldn't have gone for the eradication of demons if he thought there was another way- or better, if he allowed himself to believe there was another way. I think a lot of people tend to forget the factor that Norman thought he had a very little time left to live (less than a year), and was willing to do anything during the time he has left to make sure his family was going to be safe; according to the 5th chapter of the fanbook:
Shirai notes that Norman had a short lifespan and couldn't build the world Emma desired without killing the demons. Norman wanted to ensure a safe world for Emma and everyone. Shirai thinks Norman might've chosen a slightly different method if he wasn't running out of time.
(Thank you so much @1000sunnygo for the translation!!!!!!)
At the end of the day, I truly believe Norman is a genuinely good person at heart; the narrative displays pretty neatly how the act of causing the death of demons was killing him inside, and I do think he would have gone for another way if only he believed he had alternatives. You see, I think a lot of criticism towards Norman in the paradise hideout / royal capital arcs is for his will to kill demons, but maybe that's not totally fair: in the end, he never wanted to do it- he just thought he had no choice.
And I mean, that's the part I think people should focus on? That's Norman's real flaw: closing himself into believing there's no other choice. It's such a big piece of Norman's character!! “I've exactly calculated all the alternatives, and there's no other way”. It's exactly what got him shipped in the first arc, and Shirai made it a point to make the reader understand Norman hasn't changed since then.
Norman's approach is *so* different from Emma's, maybe it's one of the things that tells them apart the most. Where Norman thinks there's no other possible way, Emma builds a new way. Which leads us to Norman's other - and probably biggest - flaw: his inability to ask for help. His whole eradication plan was conceived that way because Norman never thought anyone, besides from him and his fellow Lambda death-sentenced, could have a part in it; let alone his most precious friends Emma and Ray. He wouldn't take Emma and Ray's help into finding an alternative solution to eradication. He wouldn't admit he was in chronic pain and on death row, because he was never willing to cry for help. One of the few firm points through tpn development was having Norman asking for help, because that's such big part of his character!!
And I'm so happy he got to!! I'm so happy he got to grow and learn he doesn't have to carry it all alone, and I think we shouldn't forget about that :)
(part 1 here) (part 2 here)
Gareth, in a feat of truly impressive self-restraint, lasted all the way through their band practise before asking.
The four of them packed into Eddie’s van. Gareth had ultimate dibs on the front seat since he’d known Eddie the longest, despite being in different grades.
“So,” he said, breaking the expectant silence. “Steve Harrington?”
Eddie groaned and let his head thunk against the steering wheel, not even flinching when the horn sounded. “Please don’t.”
“Nah, man. It’s all good,” Jeff soothed as he leaned through the gap between the front seats. “We’ve not got a problem with it, but Harrington? Really? Not exactly your type.”
Eddie laughed humourlessly. “You don’t even know the half of it.”
Gareth turned in his seat to share a loaded look with the two sat in the back as Eddie started the van. They were planning to find out the all of it.
“And you guys just don’t have a problem with it?” Eddie asked once they were well on the road to Loch Nora. “I know you don’t exactly have the best memories of him from school.”
Eddie tapped his fingers against the steering wheel in a rhythm that didn’t even match the tape that was playing quietly. He was nervous and Eddie hated being anything other than completely sure of himself.
“You’re right, we don’t have the best memories of him, but the guy saved your life, Eddie,” Gareth reminded him gently.
It was the worst phone call he’d ever received in his life. He couldn’t imagine getting another one like it. Wayne on the other end, breathing shakily as he told Gareth that Eddie was in the hospital, that he wasn’t waking up but that he was going to be okay and that he thought Eddie would really like it if his best friends, his brothers, were there when he woke up.
It had been hard seeing Eddie like that, small, frail and paler than usual, no rings or battle vest, no Eddie. Steve and Wayne had been sat at his bedside, both just staring into the middle distance, when they had filtered into the room. Gareth remembered so vividly the sinking feeling that he felt at the quiet. Eddie hated the quiet, he was never quiet.
And maybe it had been the wrong thing to do, to interrupt Steve and Wayne in such a way, but Gareth knew Eddie. Wayne, for all he tried, never really understood his nephew and Steve was clearly a new development.
So he started talking. He talked about school, about the assignment he was working on, and he talked about the girl that worked behind the counter of Camelot, and he talked about his mom chewing him out for almost crashing her car. Jeff and Grant, who knew exactly what he was doing, picked up the thread when it sounded like he was running out of steam.
He just couldn’t stand to let Eddie exist like that.
Gareth owed him that much. Gareth owed him everything.
Eddie who had stood on lunch tables and made himself the centre of attention, the target, when Gareth couldn’t fight off the tears after getting an F on his history midterm. Eddie who got them their first paying gig as Corroded Coffin and pushed them all to take their music seriously.
He joked about them being his sheep, but he wasn’t exactly wrong.
“Yeah, man,” Grant doubled down. “We can’t hate him anymore. Without him you wouldn’t be here. And you trust him?”
“With my life,” Eddie confirmed with conviction.
“Then that’s good enough for us. It’s all water under the bridge,” Jeff concluded. “Now turn that fucking music up, I don’t want to cry in the back of your shitty van, Ed.”
Eddie cracked the music up with a blubbery laugh and all four of them yelled along with Ozzy for the rest of the drive.
The door to the Harrington house was opened before they even got out of the car. Steve stood there, excitement buzzing around him.
"Ed," Gareth stopped him with a hand on his arm before Eddie could scamper off. "Do they know about you?"
Eddie shook his head. "Only Buckley."
Gareth nodded once and jumped out of the van. He was still too short to climb out normally, and at seventeen, he didn't have much hope for a late growth spurt to help him out with it.
“You been waiting for us all this time, Stevie?” Eddie teased as he slammed his door shut.
Steve laughed, stepping out the door with bare feet on the porch so he could accept Eddie’s hug. He didn’t have a shirt on, pink scars on full display, and short yellow swim shorts on. It was nothing short of a miracle that Eddie still had the brain cells to flirt.
“We could hear you guys coming all the way up the street.” He explained as Eddie let go of him. “Ozzy?”
“Oh for fuck sake,” Jeff muttered from his place at Gareth’s shoulder. “How is Ed not seeing this?”
“He had to do senior year three times, dude.” Grant fired back from Gareth’s other side, but still not loud enough for Eddie or Steve to hear. “Steve could plant one on him right now and he’d still find a way to make it a just friends thing.”
Steve, having finally managed to pull his focus away from Eddie long enough to see his other guests, waved them over. “Come on in guys.”
Gareth made sure to share with Steve what he hoped past for a friendly, macho and athletic half handshake as he passed him to go through the door.
“Thanks again for having us. You really didn’t have to invite us,” Grant said, using the good manners his father taught him.
Steve clapped him on the shoulder. “No way, man. I’ve been trying to get Teddy to bring you guys over for ages. He talks about you all the time.”
“You talk about us, Ed?” Gareth asked with a shit eating grin.
Eddie pushed at his shoulder, sending Gareth stumbling towards the open french doors. “Yeah and I’ll talk about Tammy Thompson if you don’t shut up.”
Jeff and Gareth snickered together. They knew all about Gareth’s benadryl induced dream about Tammy Thompson because when he told them he was still half high on the same benadryl.
Gareth huffed but didn’t say anything. He didn’t doubt that Eddie would follow through with his threat if pushed.
Out in the garden, it seemed that the party was already in full swing. There were scattered cans, Robin and Nancy were giggling together at something, and s portable stereo playing The Cure.
Steve smiled shyly. “We got started without you.”
His voice seemed to draw the attention of the other four people. They all stopped in the middle of their conversations.
“Whoa, dude,” The guy with long hair that Gareth didn’t recognise said to break the silence. “Your cult looks super culty.”
Gareth froze. Jeff and Grant did too.
But Eddie, determined to always surprise them, just laughed. “Not a cult, my man.” He kicked his shoes off by the door (surprising how little care he paid them since he sulked for a week straight when Jeff accidentally scuffed them) and started making his way over to the sun loungers. “This the legendary Corroded Coffin. Gareth, Jeff and Grant.”
He pointed them out each in turn then shucked off his shirt and started working the intricate handcuff clasp of his belt.
Gareth pretended he didn’t hear the strangled noise that came from Steve’s throat.
“And guys, this is Argyle. You know everyone else.”
Gareth waved politely but awkwardly and it was returned by a chorus of ‘hello’s.
Once Eddie had divested himself of his jeans, the black swim shorts he had forced underneath them sitting starkly against his pale skin, he dipped back in his jeans pocket to pull out two perfectly rolled joints.
“I brought party favours!” He waved them in front of Argyle’s face how he would sometimes play with the stray cats that skulked around Forest Hills.
Grant groaned. “Eddie, you know I can’t afford weed right now.”
Eddie scoffed at him. “These’s ones are on the house, Ad-Grant-age. This is a party after all.”
Steve, somehow having forced himself out of the trace that Eddie’s torso had put him in, was the first to start moving. “You guys can change inside if you want. There’s bedrooms upstairs or the bathroom just past the kitchen. I’ll get some more drinks. Can we switch this tape?”
The rambling did nothing to hide the redness of his cheeks. If anything it just brought more attention to them.
“Your tapes are shit, Steveo,” Robin informed him happily. “But this one is also awful, so yes I will change it just for you.” She ignored Jonathan’s annoyed hey and beckoned Steve to follow her.
Eddie settled on the sun lounger next to Argyle, already having pulled a lighter from somewhere.
Gareth took that as his cue to drag Jeff and Grant inside to change.
Jeff, as soon as they were out of hearing range, asked, “When has Eddie ever given us free weed?”
Gareth shook his head. “I’ve known about this crush for less than a week and I’m already tired of it. We have to do something to get them together.”
Grant narrowed his eyes. “You already have a plan, don’t you?”
He pushed them both towards the bathroom. “Get changed, our work starts today.”
Fake Cryptids, Real Ghosts
Ok, so dp x dc/batfam because this AU has me by the throat but what if it's the fake cryptid batfamily AU who never joined the JL.
Just...imagine it. The Batfamily has been protecting Gotham quietly but fiercely by scaring the daylights out of criminals as creatures that go bump in the night. A bit of stage magic, frightening method acting, contortion, a whole language comprised of chirps, growls, and body language, and the best tech possible and you've got a recipe for striking fear into the hearts of everyone.
They've got shrines on the rooftops, vaguely on the JL radar (Cause really, who's gonna believe that Gotham, one of the worst cities has a demon problem? Constantine? Homeboy took one look at Gotham and went Nope.) and they're protected cause any self respecting Gothamite wouldn't go spilling the beans to Outsiders. The Bats keep them safe. Who would believe them anyways?
Enter half dead, half alive Danny Fenton.
Danny Fenton who has a best friend's named Tucker and Sam who find out about the Gotham Cryptids, and go absolutely ham on research because here lies something,a bunch of someone's who are Other. Maybe they're creepy but they're cool and they're Heroes and they help people.
Sure, at first it was an attempt from Sam and Tucker to help their best friend feel less alone in the face of other, more 'normal' heroes and people out there in the world. Maybe they try to further bury the Bats online cause if anyone understands keeping on the down low, it would be Amity Parker's. For awhile, Danny Fenton, sometimes Phantom is simply happy to know he's not alone.
Then he's outed and his sister who's long since been ecto-contaiminated is put at risk there's nowhere that seems safer. Gotham is a chaotic city, even without the Bats factoring in. After all Gotham has (Demons-Spirits-Creatures?) The Bats already. Who would care if a halfa and his sister hide out there? As long as they're respectful of their territory, it'll be fine right? Besides, they've got to warn the Bats anyways about the GIW and government. They're coming after ghosts, who knows if they'll be next? Spooky things have to look out for each other after all.
Cue shenanigans as Phantom who stops hiding all of his creepier traits as a ghost walks up to the Totally Human but Faking it Batman with really thoughtful gifts for all of their shrines (And one fruitcake), no heartbeat and an earnest plea for a safe haven in their Haunt because the Ancients taught him manners and the importance of respecting another entities territory.
Wait there's no WWII in BSD?? I knew there was a different, additional "Great War" but—
Well... It's hard to say.
I've always been under the impression that something close to WWI happened (bsd's “Great War”), and no WWII was ever mentioned. Yet if we follow that logic, some things don't add up. As shown in chapter 73, the borders in north Europe are the same of the current, post WWII and post cold war with no Denmark for some reason:
which are different compared to the post WWI borders (notice the change in Germany / Poland confines):
Furthermore, the UN canonically exist in the bsd universe, and the UN was created as direct consequence of WWII... I find it really hard to figure wether the organization would exist or not if WWII never happened.
And those are just the two major things, but there's so many other little consequences of WWII and of the cold war that pervade our society (the technological advancement, the deeply roothed capitalistic system, the civil rights standards¹ and more) that as it appears - not paying mind to aesthetic liberties - are more or less the same in the bsd world.
I always linked bsd's “Great War” with WWI: because WWI is typically associated with trench warfare and Yosano's chapters portrayed a trench-based kind of war, because WWI is literally called “Great War”; but maybe I've been misleaded. As I seem to understand, The Great War 大戦 as it's called in the manga is used in both the WWI and WWII Japanese names, 第一次世界大戦 and 第二次世界大戦 respectively. Perhaps, it could then indicate WWI and WWII being one single big war in the bsd universe² (but honestly, then the translation choice of calling it “great war” in the official English edition of the manga is misleading at best, given that's the actual name of one of the most widely known wars in human history).
In the end, I guess it's just that the course of history in the bsd world is fundamentally different than ours, although it surprisingly still lead to a quite similar society with similar laws. The timeline too is different: it took us 70 years after the second world war to reach this level of technology advancement, yet people in the bsd world have more or less our same technology level, with airports, cars, laptops and smartphones³, and it's only been 15 years since the end of The Great War; man, that's for us like if WWII had ended in 2005, most people alive in the bsd war still remember living through it. That's why I'd say it ultimately lacks sense to try and reconduct bsd's Great War to one of our world wars, or question if our wars ever happened, because the history of the bsd world is just different.
¹ Well, maybe not all civil rights standards, taking in the absence of juvenile laws. Maybe the bsd world really lacks the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
² Which by the way is the take of some historians in our world too, WWI and WWII being the same war with a short break in the midst.
³ and to an extent even greater technology, given the advanced cybernetics apparently portrayed in Stormbringer and ai technology of the Eyes of God. Then again, it's an unfair comparison with a world with superpowers...