Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys

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Name: Danger Days, The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys
Abbreviation(s): Danger Days, The Fabulous Killjoys, Killjoys, DD
Creator: My Chemical Romance
Date(s): 2010-
Medium: Music, Music Videos, Multimedia
Country of Origin: United States
External Links: Na Na Na music video
SING music video
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.
Group portrait of the band in character as the Killjoys; digital fan art by audi-elise-way (2011)

Killjoys or Danger Days verse refers to the canon and fanon universe and works created around the promo and material related to My Chemical Romance's fourth album, released in 2010.

Canon

Much like The Black Parade, Danger Days was a concept album whose songs, videos, merch, promo material etc. told a cohesive and dramatic story. The universe was carried over through costumes and props worn on tour by the band. The story would later be continued in a comic book of the same name written by frontman Gerard Way and Shaun Simon with art by Becky Cloonan.

The story is set in California in 2019 and focuses on the fight between the Killjoys, a group of colourful rebels, and a monochrome megacorporation known as Better Living Industries, or BL/ind, and its minions- Korse, the Draculoids, and S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W.

The main narrative is told in the videos for singles Na Na Na and SING.

Release Timeline

The album was teased through a number of means - the band's website, a number of Twitter accounts - creating a virtual treasure-hunt for fans, hyping up their excitement and whetting their imagination.

The "Art Is The Weapon" teaser/trailer came out Sept 17, 2010[1], sending fans into a frenzy, giving birth to the first Killjoy fics in a matter of days.

The full video was released Oct 14, 2010[2]. The video for SING followed on Nov 18, 2010[3] and the album was released Nov 22, 2010.

For a long time the fans waited for the third Killjoys video which would fix or conclude the events of SING. The video was never shot due to budget issues.

Main Characters

Characters appearing in Killjoyverse canon are:

  • Party Poison (frontman Gerard Way): the leader of the Killjoys.
  • Kobra Kid (bassist Mikey Way)
  • Fun Ghoul (guitarist Frank Iero)
  • Jet Star (guitarist Ray Toro)
  • Dr Death Defying (Mindless Self Indulgence's Steve, Righ'?): The DJ whose radio transmissions go out throughout the Zones.
  • Show Pony (Ricky Rebel): Dr Death Defying's roller-skating assistant.
  • Korse (comic author Grant Morrison): The main villain chasing the Killjoys.
  • The Girl (actress Grace Jeanette): A child who is protected by the Killjoys and coveted by BL Industries.
  • Cherri Cola: A friend of the Killjoys who acts as a friend/mentor to the girl.
  • Val Velocity: The leader of the Ultra Vs and one of the comic's antagonists.
  • Vaya and Vamos: Members of the Ultra Vs, with ambiguous genders and a love for fashion.
  • Phoenix Witch: A mythological figure that guides Killjoys to the afterlife.
  • Blue: A pornodroid that wants to escape Battery City.
  • Red: Blue's girlfriend, an ill pornodroid.
  • Madam Director: The head of BL/ind and Battery City.
  • Draculoids: Battery City's police force.
  • Destroya: A massive android that lies abandoned in the desert.

Official Twitter accounts (now defunct) include:

Note that the Agent Cherri Cola and Tommy Chow Mein accounts strongly differ from the characters portrayed in the comics.

Themes

Themes of the album and narrative include growing up on your own terms, life and death and sacrificing yourself for those you love, breaking the rules, eschewing expectations. In the words of Gerard Way:

"A lot of the elements of the setting are completely metaphorical for the real stuff that's going on in this album," explains Gerard, "which is a struggle of art vs. commerce and filth vs. corporate clean up, and freedom being a dangerous chaotic thing that's very hard to achieve, versus a kind of utopian situation where you're very safe and everything's very easy, but it's also very boring."[4]

Fanon

Fans took the canon elements and ran with them like they were chased by Dracs. They expanded on the universe, building prequels and sequels, integrating other Bandom characters (ex-MCR manager Brian Schechter and ex-member Bob Bryar, Pete Wentz, etc.)

Example of fanon tropes:

  • The Girl's name and identity: fandom often used the name of the actress who played the character (Grace). She is sometimes characterized as being Jet Star's child, perhaps because of their curly hair. See Motorbaby | Grace (Danger Days), the canonical tag for the character on AO3.
  • Party Poison's past in Battery City: Many stories used Gerard Way's own life (interning at a big corporation before leaving it behind to form the band, his history of addiction and getting clean) as inspiration to write Party Poison as a character with a dark past, who maybe used to be a part of BL/Ind.
  • Bob Bryar's absence: the drummer did not feature in any of the videos, having left/been fired at the beginning of 2010. Since the circumstances of his departure were unclear and fans weren't sure who - if anyone - to blame, many fanworks featured explanations as to why he wasn't there, often referring to his death or capture by the verse's villains.
  • Death in the Killjoys verse: there is a wide-spread tendancy to take the canon catchphrase "Killjoys never die" literally and to build stories where death ("getting ghosted" or "dusted") in the Zones is not permanent. This allows fans to fix the death that occur in canon (the SING video, Dr Death Defying's Traffic Report) and to explain away the absence of certain beloved Bandom members in the canon.

Shipping

There were 590 works tagged with the Killjoys fandom tag on AO3 as of May 2015.

However, tagging in Killjoy stories might use Killjoy names or real names to indicate pairings (so that the same story could be tagged Party Poison/Fun Ghoul and/or Frank/Gerard, and indeed often is), and given the prevalence of crossover fics, where Party Poison and Gerard are two distinct characters, it is hard to run exact numbers in terms of pairing popularity.

Still, it can be safely said that the main ships within the Killjoys universe mirror the popular ships within the RPF fandom for the band, with Fun Ghoul/Party Poison as the juggernaut ship.

Example Fanworks

Fanfic

Canon Killjoys fic:

Doppelganger fic:

Killjoy AUs:

Non-MCR Killjoys AUs:

Podfic

Art

Other

Glossaries

Resources

References

  1. Art Is The Weapon trailer
  2. "Na Na Na" Official Music Video
  3. "SING" Official Music Video
  4. Digging Underneath The Mythology: The Danger Days Of My Chemical Romance interview