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Nevermore II
Charles Arthur Pratten is the second Nevermore, sidekick to the third Raven. A fan of all iterations of the Raven, the teenaged Charlie spent years investigating and compiling data and finally deduced the identity of the third Raven. Tracking him down to Summers Manor, Charlie presented himself to the Raven. Through trial and error, the Raven eventually accepted him as his sidekick, and Charles officially succeeded him as the second Nevermore.

 

History

The Raven legacy stretches back to the Silver Age, when Duncan Summers first put on the mask and cowl and became the Raven. A member of the Freedom League and an accomplished hero in his own right, the Raven fought against threats such as the Red Death, the Conqueror Worm, Alister Usher and many more. Crippled in his final battle against his archenemy Doctor Sin, the Raven finally had to retire. Since then, the Raven legacy has lived on. After the return of Doctor Sin and the death of her mother, Duncan's daughter Callie Summers took up the mantle as Raven II. Fighting against Omega in the 1992 invasion, Callie and Duncan relocated to Freedom City in the years that followed. While Duncan started the Claremotn Academy, Callie continued on as Raven II. For a time, she recruited Ashley Tran as her first sidekick, the Copycat. The duo eventually parted ways. As Callie started to feel her age and the wear and tear of the life of a super hero, she was approached by Aleksander Garen Nakani, a young man she had once rescued. He had figured out her identity, and came with a proposition: To train him to become the next Raven. Soon after, he debuted as Nevermore, the Raven's new sidekick. He would spend years training before finally taking on the mantle of Raven III, an identity he holds to this day. The history of the Raven family is a tale of a heroic tradition, one that continues to grow.

 

But Aleksander was not the only one to figure out the identity of the Ravens. One sunny day in the summer 2019, a young man knocked on the door to the Summers Manor, presented himself as Charlie Arthur Pratten, and told him that he knew that Aleksander was the Raven.

 

Born in 2004, Charles Arthur Pratten was a bright you boy. Raised by loving parents, taught the joys of computers and detective work by his grandfather, the young Charlie was a fan of the Ravens from the time he understood what they were. For years, he would compile data and information about sightings, battles, investigations and any snippet of information he could get his hands on. Nevermore debuted when Charlie was 10 years old, and he realized that if someone else could become the Raven's sidekick, then why couldn't he? When Raven III debuted two years later, Charlie was quick to realize that he was the former Nevermore. To the twelve year old Charlie, that just meant that the position as Nevermore had opened up, and he was galvanized in his efforts. He had spent years redoubling his efforts to discover the Raven's identity, to prove that he had what it took to become his sidekick. He worked out, particularly in acrobatics and gymnastics, he visited scenes where the Raven had fought or been seen, he collected and analyzed the data, and finally, he figured it all out.

 

Aleksander saw history repeating itself, but unlike Aleksander, who had wanted to become the Raven, Charlie wanted to become Nevermore. Despite not agreeing with Charlie's plans, Aleksander hired Charlie to help out at the Summers Estate and the Rookery. A short while later, he graduated to becoming Alek's man in the chair, providing support from the Rookery. It didn't last long before Charlie grew dissatisfied, and would often getting into trouble trying to fight crime with whatever equipment he could borrow from the Rookery. He did surprisingly well, but it was as much luck as skill. Alek finally agreed to train Charlie as his sidekick. At the very least, it would mean he could try to channel Charlie's skills into something useful, and that he would be able to keep an eye on the kid.

 

It took 9 months of intense training before Alek would let Charlie out on patrol as Nevermore II, debuting in March 2020. Plans were made that he would attend Claremont Academy in the semester starting in the fall, using the false identity of Charles Gordon Pym, to make sure that no one knew the true identity of a member of the Raven family.

 

As his skills and enthusiasm only continuers to grow, Charlie has fully embraced the role as Nevermore II. He is a sidekick, a hero-in-training and, if he puts in the work, perhaps a future world's greatest detective.

 

Costume and Appearance

As Nevermore II, Charlie's costume is as finely engineered as his mentor's, with a multitude of hidden features that one would not suspect from first glance. While the costume has multiple layers underneath, the outer layer appears a seamless black full-body suit, with only a few colors breaking the black. He wears heavy silver gauntlets over his arms for protection, and a silver utility belt with a stylized N on his belt buckle. Two lines in a shiny teal runs from under his arm to under his chest, then down to his belt. The soles of his boots, which are seamlessly connected to the rest of the body suit, is in the same shiny teal. He wears a logo of a raven with spread out wings in the same shiny teal on his chest, as a logo. Charlie wears a full, smooth cowl that only leaves his mouth free. His eyes are covered by what is normally white lenses, which shift to faint green when he activates the built-in night vision. A black cape with dark blue inner side connects directly to the shoulders of the costume.

 

As himself, Charlie tends dress in dress shirts and pants in darker colors, often wearing use ties in lighter colors or with different pattens in a contract. In his alternate identity as Charles Gordon Pym, he generally wears jeans and t-shirts in an effort to stand out, generally tending away from dark color. 

 

Skills, Tactics & Equipment
Charlie posses no superhuman abilities, or even peak human abilities, ilke his mentor. On the other hand, Charlie is smart, particularly in the fields of computing, detective work and tactics. He has taken to all three fields with surprising ease, quickly learning from the experiences that the Raven family has offered. His analytical and deductive abilities were honed through years of work investigating, cataloging and analyzing data related to the Ravens, until he finally discovered their true identities. Naturally agile, Charlie has honed his acrobatic talents through intensive training. He has received extensive combat training from the Raven family, and while he is still learning, he is a far more accomplished fighter than one would at first suspect, though he prefers to keep his distance.

 

Tactically, Charlie prefers distraction and misdirection to direct confrontations. He will use his agility, stealth and gadgets to stay out of the enemy's way while distracting them with his suite of gadgets, setting them up for further attacks from himself or his allies. He will provoke and taunt his enemies, try to figure out their weaknesses and where and how to strike. When he works with Raven III, he will often work as a decoy to let his mentor attack, letting him take the lead. Working by himself or with others of equal experience level, Charlie tends to fall into a leadership role, whether he wants to or not.

 

Charlie's Nevermore II costume is an ultra modern piece of crime fighting technology. Nano-weaved from a number of high resistance materials, it effectively protects him from any type sharp objects, while the armor plating handles most general types of damage a foe could wish to inflict. The thermal underlayer helps support him in heat or cold, while the night vision lenses lets him see in the dark. A heads up display aids Charlie with information such as the time and GPS, while his built in headset allows him to communicate at a distance of 5 miles. For traversal, the suit boast a grappling gun built into the gauntlets and grapple claws, as well as an electro-reactive glider cape, which lets Charlie soar across the sky.

 

Charlie's utility belt contain a large number of tools, useful for both combat and infiltration. While he tends to keep his distance from most foes, the belt contains a collapsible staff for use in melee combat. While Charlie is not nearly as skilled in the use of the staff as he is with his other equipment, it can hit harder than his ravenrangs, weapons that have been used by three generations of Ravens. In addition to the standard ravenrangs, Charlie also has access to a number of stun ravenrangs, which emit an electrical shock upon contact with their target. Due to a combination of higher costs and having used the stun ravenrangs for pranks, Charlie is only allowed to bring five at a time. Further offensive tools in Charlie's utility belt includes tripwires and snare lines, which can be used to entangle his foes, or be set up as traps. The high quality of the tools make them difficult to break, allowing Charlie to effectively immobilize a foe, in theory at least. To distract his foes, Charlie utilizes darkness bombs, small grenades that create localized areas of extreme darkness. The playback device, one of his favorite tools, let's him play any recorded sounded through remote control, be it movement or voices, letting him draw attention away from himself. Charlie has even figured out how to use the playback devices offensively, by throwing them at a target and playing extremely loud noises. These noisemakers are even powerful enough to deafen a target. The last piece of Charlie's standard equipment are small remote controlled drones, which transmits images of their recordings directly to Charlie's HUD, aiding him in infiltration and information gathering. The drones are shaped like small dark ravens, small enough to fit in the palm of a hand.

 

Charlie's greatest weakness is his inexperience. While he has received extensive training from Alek, he has spent little time in the field, especially against super powered adversaries.

 

Allies

  • Martin Pratten: Charlie's father, an accountant born in 1980. They have a close and happy relationship.
  • Lily Pratten: Charlie's mother, born 1979. A lawyer that specializes in helping people in need that can't afford a lawyer. While she is usually busy, she still has a close relationship with Charlie.
  • Thomas Pratten: Charlie's paternal grandfather, born 1940. A retired software developer, he sparked Charlie's interest in computers and investigative work. Usually jovial, and much smarter than he pretends to be.
  • Josh Andrews: Friend from gymnastics. Charlie and Josh used to clash, but grew closer since then. Their relationship has detoriated somewhat since Charlie became Nevermore II.
  • Julie Jones: Friend from school, a fellow computer geek. Probably Charlie's closest friend, though most of their interactions have happened online since Charlie became Nevermore II.
  • Aleksander "Alek" Garen Nakani / Raven III: Charlie's mentor, the former Nevermore I. While Charlie respects Alek, he is not above breaking some of the rules set out for him by his mentor, or doing things just to mess with him, such as hitting on the time displaced Madame Raven. While Charlie sometimes gets on Alek's nerves, Alek knows that he can trust him when needed.
  • Calliope “Callie” Sen / Madame Raven: A time displaced teenage version of Callie Summers, the second Raven. Charlie likes her and is overjoyed to not be the only teenage member of the Raven family.
  • Ashley Tran / Watchdog / Copycat: Alek's predecessor as Raven II's sidekick. Charlie has spent little time with her, knowing her more by reputation. He feels that she dismisses him a bit as the new kid.
  • Calliope “Callie” Summers / Raven II: Alek's predecessor as the Raven. While their interaction has been few and far between, Charlie still idolizes Callie as one of his big heroes.
  • Duncan Summers / Raven I: Charlie has yet to meet the first Raven, but would love to do so one day.

 

Enemies

While Charlie has not been active as Nevermore for long enough to gain any personal enemies, his affilation with the Raven Family makes him a target for any of their enemies, such as the House of Usher, Dr. Sin, the Conqueror Worm and many others. Given his personality and nature, he is sure to gain enemies of his own, if they can see him as more than just the Raven's sidekick.

 

The Raven Family

As a member of the Raven family, Charlie has access to Summers Manor, the Rookery and their tools and vehicles, at least to the degree that Alek allows. At the same time, he is able to draw on the knowledge and aid of other members of the Raven family if necessary, giving him far greater resources than most other heroes at his age.

Still, he is very much the little brother of the Raven family, with much more limited access than most of the group.

 

Timeline

2004

  • Charles Arthur Pratten is born in Freedom City.

2014

  • With the debut of Nevermore, Charlie decides that he can one day become the Raven's sidekick too.

2016

  • As Nevermore graduates and debuts as Raven III, Charlie notices the similarities between the two and renews his investigation into the Raven family. Since no one is Nevermore, he resolves that he can become the new Nevermore. Charlie spends the next three years aligning clues, visiting crime scenes and analyzing data until he is finally sure of the Raven's identity.

2019

Summer

  • Charlie arrives at the Summers Manor, where he confronts Alek with his discovery that he is Raven III, and that he wants to join him. After some persuation, Alek relents, agreeing that Charlie can be his "man in the chair".
  • Charlie spends 3 months as the man in the chair, often getting into trouble by trying to fight crime on his own. Finally, Alek relents and agrees to train him to be the second Nevermore, so he can at least keep him out of trouble and make sure he doesn't get hurt.

2020 

Winter

  • In March, Charlie makes his public debut as Nevermore II.

Spring

Summer

  • Charlie enrolls at Claremont Academy.

 

 

Design Notes

Raven's Batman needed a Robin. Raven III had been Nevermore before taking on his current identity, which gave me the perfect heroic identity. As a character, I combined traits of Dick Grayson and Tim Drake, with personality traits, abilities and skills from both. Despite appearances, Nevermore II is not supposed to be a cowl: He is not supposed to be grim or brutal, leaning more heavily on the Dick Grayson side of the character in that way. 

As Raven III's sidekick, Nevermore II's build is designed to compliment his mentor's. Where Raven III is more about direct combat, Nevermore II will distract and confuse his enemies, setting up his mentor to take down his enemies. Development wise, I'm planning on having him develop skills and feats that allows him to take on a leadership role as he starts working with other teenage super heroes at Claremont Academy, forcing him to step out of Raven III's shadow in fights. He will probably be a great hero and leader one day, but he's not there yet. Right now, he's too cocky and too inexperienced.

I wanted to have a theme of history repeating, but with a twist: Like Alek before him, Charlie discovered the Raven's identity through hard work and investigation. Unlike Alek, he didn't seek to replace the Raven, but to help him. Like Alek, Charlie will attend Claremont, but while Alek stayed mostly to himself, Charlie will get heavily involved with other students. I have no plans of him ever assuming the Raven identity, though he might graduate from the Nevermore identity at one point, or just make it his own entirely.

I also wanted to avoid the tragic backstory: Charlie is not driven to be a hero by trauma, he's driven to be a hero to help others, and, in part at least, to challenge himself. Even if he isn't really aware of it, he is a thrillseeker.

Name wise, the middle name Arthur and middle and last names of Charlie's alternate identity combines to Arthur Gordon Pym, the name of the protagonist of Poe's The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket. The last name Pratten means Trickster, a fitting choice for Charlie's personality. The name Charles was picked as a mirror to Calliope usually going by Callie, and to stick to the emerging trend of Raven family members having first names starting with either A (Ashley, Alek) or C (Callie, Charlie).




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