People like that... corporations like that, they have all the money, they have all the power, and they use it to make people like you go away. Right now, you're suffering under an enormous weight. We provide... leverage.
So, if you haven't watched Leverage, you should just put this infopost down and go watch all five seasons of it. Right now. Trust me, it's worth it. I laughed, I cried, it was better than CATS
Not by a TV and/or don't have 58 hours to devote to mainlining an entire series? Okay, I guess that's fair (though, really, the entire show is available on Netflix and it's worth it). I'll sum up with a warning for potential spoilers.
Leverage is a 5 season series about a group of thieves and con artists who act as a modern incarnation of Robin Hood and his merry men. With their diverse (and mostly illegal) skillsets, they target wealthy and powerful businesses, politicians, bankers, etc who have made their fortunes exploiting their power, wealth, and anyone unlucky enough to be dependent upon them. The show ran from 2008-2012 and was heavily influenced by the Great Financial Crisis of 2007-2008 and it shows. Many of the villains of the week were taken from real newspaper headlines and then made to be less horrible because if they were kept true to life, the TV audience wouldn't buy the characterization.
Over five seasons, they go from being five strangers who prefer to work alone to a family that bickers and squabbles and has issues, but ultimately has a foundation of unshakable love and trust. It explores what makes a person 'good' versus what makes them 'bad,' discusses the nature of forgiveness and redemption and whether there are actions that make those options impossible to obtain, and doesn't shy away from darker themes like loss, alcoholism, and racism without ever going becoming 'gritty' or 'edgy.' Five flawed human beings come together to make something so much bigger and better than any one of them could ever hope to be.
Hardison, like vdistinctive and whoisalicewhite, is post-canon. Nate has found peace and Sophie has found herself and they've both decided to retire from the game and go on to something else, leaving Hardison, Parker, and Eliot to continue their work as Leverage, Inc with Parker stepping into Nate's shoes to become the mastermind/leader. As of this post, they've also finally realized that they're all stupidly in love with one another and are now the ot3 they've always been meant to be.
If not this fanvid, I was just gonna post the entire episode of "The Rundown Job"
Basically, if you like found family feels, watching a collection of broken and damaged people come together to be slightly less broken and damaged as they learn to trust and love another, snark, assholes getting what's coming to them, heist and caper flicks, and competence porn, come check out this canon. It's glorious. And if you don't believe me, check out gyzym and Seanan McGuire and see what they have to say about the show (hint: THEY LOVE IT).
Sir, this wink is unfair to everyone.
*He is now 27, not 24 but the LJ cut quote is still true.
*His first name is Alec and I can think of exactly one time it's ever used by somebody. That person is Parker and she's crying and afraid he's going to die, so if you plan to use it, at least one of these three things must be true: you are sleeping with him, you have raised him, or he is in imminent danger of death. Otherwise, call him Hardison, please and thank you.
*He is the team's hacker and electronics guy, which means he's in charge of finding out all the information about their targets, making IDs, scrub data, designing their earbuds, crafting various robots and EMT blasters, hacking electronic locks, disarming bombs, manipulating the stock market to make them ridiculous amounts of money, building a version of the Danger Room...you know, the usual hacker stuff.
*He is very artistic! He is a violin prodigy, capable of playing at professional orchestral levels at fourteen, he can sculpt replicas of famous statues that are good enough to pass visual inspection, was a member of Chicago's Second City, forges beautiful books with only elements that would have been used in the seventeenth century--the list just goes on and on.
*He is also frequently called upon to develop new skills outside the team's purview in just a matter of hours to days. These include: winning a court case while pretending to be a lawyer, the book forging above, and landing a plane. While he was still on the ground.
*Part of this ability comes from him being a certified genius, but mostly--
*--Because he's magic, and I'm not talking about his smile (though an excellent argument could be made for that, too.)
This is me, making that argument. The defense rests.
*Okay, not really magic, exactly, in that Leverage takes place in 'the real world', but the skillsets for any of the crew really starts to strain credulity. For all intents and purposes, Hardison basically has Hacking Magic, wherein he can do anything he wants, so long as the writers could waggle their fingers and say, "It's technoooolooogy, wooo." When it comes to anything electronic or even vaguely technological, he can pretty much "reverse the polarity" and it will do whatever.
*Of course, OOC permission will be sought after and required if Hardison is going to hack anything on-island. And it's certainly feasible to find certain things on the island that he can't hack (Mass Effect tech, the Iron Man suit, etc etc) though he would still, say, get far enough in to be impressive before having to give up. Because, again, Hollywood Hacking Magic.
*For example: he hacked the Pentagon at twelve, started sending himself to the Oscars at fifteen, and skipped his senior prom to hack into the Bank of Iceland to pay off his Nana's medical bills.
*Personality-wise, Hardison is a giant geek and proud of it. He makes numerous references to Doctor Who, Star Trek, Star Wars, World of Warcraft, various comic franchises...He often steals the names on his fake IDs from science fiction franchises, including a Dr. Ralph O'Khan, Agents Tennant and Smith, and Mr. Tom and Mrs. Sarah Jane Baker. Yes, he has seen the new trailer an absurd amount of times; yes, he was moved to tears by it; and yes, he has very strong opinions about what has happened in the franchise. Just ask Parker and Eliot.
*He generally dislikes the outdoors, is allergic to dust and dirt and peanuts, isn't terribly fond of small spaces, and is afraid of heights, especially of getting pushed off of very high buildings, regardless of how much protective gear he's wearing. This makes it all the more ironic that he's with Parker and Eliot and, therefore, gets dragged along to join them on their hobbies.
*After spending over five years as part of the best crew on this side of the Atlantic, he's picked up a few of everyone's skills, but he still oversells the role when he grifts.
*Has gotten much better at fighting than he was at the beginning of the show ("Somebody's gotta fight the injured! Shoot, that's my niche!"), but is still the glass jaw of the team. Still abysmal with firearms, since it's not like he has the desire (or opportunity) to practice.
*Is an Actual, Trufax Care Bear and the most emotionally stable, grounded, and open of the three of them.
*Is charismatic, a deadpan snarker, insufferable genius tendencies, and a slew of other TV tropes that can be found here.
*In general, he's just the best, okay? The very absolute best.
Ex-Heroes by Peter Clines, pre-canon.
To the left and center, we have how Kathy would like to be seen. To the right, we have Kathy as she really is. Dork.
|*Is a rising senior this year. Let's go Class of 2016, woo!|
*Is an overachiever in a big way. She takes tons of extra classes, has a calendar for her upcoming exams, speaks three languages fluently and is picking up a fourth. Look, she's trying to get into Stanford and that takes a lot of effort, especially with all the financial aid she's going to need.
*Is the elder daughter of a pair of first-generation Korean immigrants. Her parents are very strict and accept nothing less than perfection, hence Kathy's aforementioned overachiever status. She also has a younger sister, Sarah, that she's very protective of.
*Was very shy when she first arrived, but has since become a lot more self-confident and outspoken. Part of this is from having friends for the first time in her life. Part of this is from being out from her parents' watchful eyes. Part of this is from being a costumed vigilante in Baltimore most nights. She still blushes pretty easily though.
*Developed super-speed, super-agility, and a kind of weird bounciness her sophomore year. She's about three times faster than a non-powered human (top speed is roughly 90 mph/145 kph), finds it nearly impossible to trip and fall, and, well, bounces. Canonically, she looks like a superball in a closet when she really gets going--perpetually in motion, bouncing from one surface to the next in a blur of color. Her metabolism ramped up, too, so she's constantly eating and often fidgeting now due to the excess of energy
*Obviously, the only thing to do with these powers is to pull on a costume (made first by myownface and then improved by SCIENCE! and notaweenie) and a mask and patrol the streets fighting crime under the superhero name Banzai.
*This is all practice for when she goes home to LA. Koreatown's been all but taken over by the gang the South Seventeens and Kathy has no intentions of letting them keep it.
*Her canonmate, gunslingerpose, is already out there. She's also met several other West Coast superheros now, like The Mighty Dragon and Regenerator.
*When she's not out kicking ass, she's either doing gymnastics, yoga, watching a horrible scifi monster movie, reading comics, or arguing feminism on Tumblr.
*I will never be over her face. No, seriously, it's a major problem for me.
I will find a way to make this gif FH canon.
Karla 'Might As Well Be' Worthington
Black Jewels series by Anne Bishop, mid-canon (in between Heir to the Shadows and Queen of the Darkness, roughly around the time of 'Prince of Ebon Rih')
The various smiles of Karla, Kaeleer's sassiest Queen
*Is the Territory Queen of Glacia, along with her Consort, not_a_parakeet and her Court Healer, trigons_child, who are both in her Court.
*Is raising three children right now, their wards Cora (had_a_birdie, they met back in Agio) and Nyles (glacial_urchin, who they met looking for Cora), and their biological daughter, Kayla. They have no plans on expanding their family anytime soon, but the best laid plots of mice and men...
*Kaeleer moves at double time to Fandom, so even though Karla graduated in 2013, she's been in Glacia for four years now and ruling as Queen for three (there was a messy civil war for the first year). She turned 23 about four months ago and Kayla, born in January, is about six months. There's an Earth-to-Kaeleeran calendar in Karla's journal if you'd ever like to get a general idea of time of year in Glacia.
*In addition to being a Queen, Karla is also a Black Widow and a Healer. She wears the Ebon-gray; unlike her canon counterpart, she descended the full three ranks during her Offering to the Darkness, thank you Fandom. A fairly comprehensive list of her powers and abilities can be found here.
*Is no longer teaching at Fandom (for now at least), her time is pretty taken up with being a Queen and a new mother. As if that's not enough, she's also in the First Circle of the Dark Court, serving Witch, Queen of Ebon Askavi, aka, her best friend from childhood Jaenelle (changeable_eyes).
*Things seem to be stabilizing politically in Glacia these days. This is surely the beginning of a general trend of peace and prosperity that will last for the rest of their lives, right?
*They are roughly two Kaeleeran years (and so, one year IRL) away from the start of Queen of the Darkness which is not at all related to the above statement, rly.
*No, really, everything's just fine and dandy and--OH LOOK IT'S TIME TO TALK ABOUT SOMEONE ELSE! FUNNY THAT!
Oglaf.com, by Trudy Cooper & Doug Bayne, Postcanon (for now at least)
*Navaan is my simple, easy, completely ridiculous character. No changes here, so her original infopost still applies. Also, she's from a static medium, so no gifs either!
*Nuance, @shadowravyn on Twitter, booksomewench on Tumblr, glacial_queen on AIM.
*Lives in MA with two cats, a husband, and various weird friends who sometimes demand she goes out and socialize with them. Also apparently writes in 3rd person now. So that's a thing.
*Is on EST, but with a sleep schedule that is perpetually fucked and so can be most often found in the late afternoons, some evenings, and late at night when everyone else in her timezone is asleep. Mornings are for sleeping, duh.
*Has an in-patient Remicaid treatment that lasts a whole day every four weeks, so for the days immediately before and after she's a little useless, so please bear with her?
*SP is all that is good and right in this world.
*Only bites for funsies and loooooves getting emails or AIM chats out of the blue, so if there's something you want to ask or talk about, please feel free! You're not bothering and she doesn't mind! Really!
*Is now over this 3rd person stuff. It's weird.
And, in closing:
You cannot tell me that's not the face of a man in love.