Setting A/N: Superhero AU of the DC variety, or at least a variation on a Superhero AU that was of the DC variety (read: DC canon doesn’t really play much of a role in this story, apart from powers possibly still coming from the characters being metahumans, but minor canon details from Arrow and The Flash played a role in the non-university students version of this AU, so the label has stuck). Blaze, Captain Charisma, and the rest of their teammates are all in their early twenties or close to it (not that anyone knows in the heroes’ case, thanks to the disguise technology embedded in their costumes. Their secret identities are kept in part due to the assumption that they’re at least ten years older). The team was begun in high school (or rather, in sixth form college, seeing as this is set in the UK), and took a year or two to get noticed (while training, taking on small crimes, and learning how to work together) and then become popular. Blaze and the Captain are the only ones out in public as superheroes; the existence of a team behind them is growing fairly obvious, but no team members have been introduced to the public.
The team consists of Jack Harkness, John Hart, Jenny (the Doctor’s daughter), Luke Smith (Sarah Jane’s son), Toshiko Sato, and Owen Harper. Rose and the Doctor are Jenny’s parents; Martha is a family friend. The team are officially interns/employees of Jenny and Luke’s attempt to start (with the Doctor’s support and funding) a branch of the business that’s likely mostly based on the R&D efforts of Luke and Tosh. Between various talents, powers, technology, familial trust, early consultation with PR, and a certain amount of luck, the team has both worked and become reasonably successful. Officially, none of the team’s family members know about their superheroic activities; unofficially, several of them have probably guessed or are at least suspicious. Jack’s younger brother is still in...either secondary school or sixth form college, depending on their age difference, and resents him for, among other things, having been popular and ‘perfect’ enough to cast a shadow. Jack is not particularly eager for him to find out he’s Captain Charisma.
-Costumes: Captain Charisma wears a navy and black suit of strong, reinforced material, with a pattern somewhat inspired by a military uniform, black combat boots, and a dark domino mask. He also wears fingerless gloves in the same colors as the suit, reinforced at the knuckles. He carries a handgun, as well as a few smaller, more creative weapons and gadgets. Disguise technology lowers his voice, changes the shape of his jawline, darkens his hair, and turns his eyes an unnaturally vibrant blue. All in all, he looks (appropriately) like a classic comic book superhero.
(Fun fact: his first costume, at least in one version of this AU, was exercise clothing and a too-big motorcycle helmet.)
Blaze's costume is very similar. In fact, the basic design is almost exactly the same: the same fabric and near-identical design and armoring, albeit customized to fit his body, theme, and fighting style. The costume is done in red, vibrant in the middle, shading to burgundy at the edges, and fading to black at the cuffs and waist. He also wears black combat boots and a domino mask; his mask is deep red with very dark edges that flare out to follow the line of his cheekbones (and emphasize their sharpness). He openly carries pistols, and possibly a katana or some other blade, as well as some more discreet gadgets. Like the Captain, he uses disguise technology for his face, voice, and hair. Whereas the Captain looks to have stepped out of a comic book (or a movie poster), Blaze appears downright unearthly. His eyes lighten to an uncanny ice blue, his jawline and cheekbones sharpen, and his hair changes from light brown to dark and curls tightly.
-Captain Charisma is a ridiculous name. Jack didn't choose it; he had something else in mind, but made the mistake of being charming before getting a chance to give it out, and thus got stuck with the media's (likely half-joking) choice. There is much ribbing about this. At least it's a good way to annoy villains: the original AU includes a story about the Captain refusing to even look at a villain trying to turn him without the villain using his full call sign every few sentences, and Blaze laughing himself breathless.
-Toshiko was bullied very badly in secondary school; Jack eventually managed to stop it, and insisted she was now his friend and he’d protect her. When the residual effects show up, he’s often the one she calls to calm her down or get her home.
-John is studying some combination of military history, strategy, and tactics (and the history of the latter two). It has a fancier name, which no one uses. Jack is studying anthropology and/or sociology, possibly minoring in music or theatre.
-Ianto Jones and Gwen Cooper will likely show up in the future, but presumably went to different schools. Given this is set in England (London, probably), odds are they both did secondary school and sixth form college in Wales and haven’t left the country yet. I’m sure there’ll be an intersection at some point, though; maybe Jenny and Luke’s business will move to Cardiff, or Ianto will try his luck in London. Who knows?
-John Hart is on the team for a number of reasons: because it’s a mix of canons and times; because he and Jack are a fun duo to write; and because in an earlier version of this AU he and Jack had been on a team together in the future before the team erased Jack’s memories, Jack left and exposed them as much less pure than they’d been presented, and John, angry at being left with no warning or explanation (as Jack hadn’t made much effort to share his suspicions to begin with), declared himself Captain Charisma’s new nemesis. The situation resolved itself to a certain extent with a bit of time and contact between the two (meanwhile, Jack traveled briefly with an alien called the Doctor and got involved with a new, hand-picked team of heroes in the past), but Blaze remained the morally grey villain Captain Captivating rather than going back to being a hero who was rather bad at always setting a good example. With the shift to this university-superheroes-with-a-team AU, he stuck around and got tempered by being younger and surrounded by far better influences. He’s certainly a hero with a wild streak and some struggles, but he’s not close to his worst yet. Maybe this will change when he’s older, though without the Time Agency equivalent involved in his and Jack’s lives, who knows?
-What the team members bring to the table (powers, abilities, resources):
Jenny: money, fighting training (primarily martial arts, self-defense, possibly shooting); minor healing factor.
Luke: super-intelligence, which likely also translates into plans, tactics, situational analysis, and different types of useful ideas.
Tosh: tech genius, possibly with related powers.
Owen: healing powers and worried snarking.
Jack: good fighter (partially through training by Jenny), healing factor, eventually found to be able to come back from the dead.
John: good fighter, extra bone density (bit more durable than average), resistant to smoke and possibly fire as well to a certain extent.
Disclaimer: all characters originally created, written, and portrayed by, well, a large number of different people working for the BBC in connection with the BBC-owned shows Doctor Who, Torchwood, and The Sarah Jane Adventures. Some setting ideas taken from DC comics/CW superhero shows (primarily Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow), though it’s less prevalent in this story. What I’ve done is write this story and develop the general situation and events (often by adapting canonical backstories/events to fit or translating them into the AU), the latter of which Iximaz helped with (minus the few changes for this particular story). Very, very, very loosely inspired by Copperbadge’s “The Justice League Of Cardiff Is A Stupid Name” ( https://archiveofourown.org/works/908153 ), mostly the ending A/N which may have combined with the CW shows to spark the AU idea to begin with. The name “Captain Charisma” may possibly have come from black.k.kat’s “Pragmatic Villainy vs Captain Superhero: A Study” ( https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8801249/1/ ), insofar as there’s a chance I saw the summary and A/N (i.e., the bits before the cut on Livejournal) before this AU came about. Pretty much everything else is different in both cases, though, bar Jack wearing a domino mask (which is a pretty common superhero costume choice anyway). Still, credit where it’s due, and both stories are amusing reads. Do mind the ratings, although if you can watch Torchwood, you can read both.
Story is currently unbetaed; if you spot anything that looks a bit odd, feel free to let me know.
And that is more than enough introduction, I hope. On to the story!