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Fans get a chance to pitch their original ideas with one winner becoming a streaming series on DC Universe.

COURTESY PHOTO - DC Universe teamed up with Ideas United for fans to have a chance to pitch their original ideas with one of them becoming an original streaming series. Tigard resident Elora Powell is one of three finalists in the contest.

It's a bird! It's a plane!

Well, it's actually Tigard resident Elora Powell, soaring to new heights as one of the top three finalists in DC Comics latest fan-based contest, DCYou Unscripted.

The contest is part of DC's digital subscription service, called DC Universe. It allows fans a chance to pitch their original, non-narrative, unscripted ideas — with one winner ultimately becoming an original streaming series on DCU.

"I feel like it still hasn't settled in — to some extent," Powell said of being chosen as a finalist. "It was just validating to know that I am good at this. … My ideas are good, and this external-source, big-name thing validated it, which isn't necessary, but it was nice."

Originally born and raised in Sherwood, Powell is excited to represent the area. She remembers watching animated TV shows such as "Justice League" and "Teen Titans" growing up.

But there was one superhero that caught her attention the most: Batman's sidekick, Robin.

"He was my buddy," said Powell. "It was just fun to see a kid out there doing stuff and fighting crime and being a superhero."

Powell said she drew fanfiction comics as a child, but she didn't realize her love for superheroes would one day translate into something bigger.

In January, Powell pitched a show to DCU executives about superhero fans traveling to comic book stores in local neighborhoods to highlight how the shops provide inclusive and fun communities for fans in real life.

Why this idea?

"When I was at school in Chicago, I found out I was queer when I was at Bible college (and) found that I was asexual," she recalled. "That was not the most supportive environment to find that out in. The comic book stores … became a safe haven where I could express my personhood and everything I enjoyed."

Powell went on to graduate from the Moody Bible Institute, holding a degree in communications with an emphasis in writing.

COURTESY PHOTO - Tigard resident Elora Powell is one of three finalists for DC Comics latest fan-based contest, DCYou Unscripted. Powell is originally from Sherwood and is excited to represent the area.

After reading countless textbooks in college, comic books were a way for her to escape, she said.

Powell then felt it was only right to try out for the DC contest after seeing it on Instagram.

"I just thought, 'I want to be more involved with the comic world and the comic industry, and that's where I want my writing to go,'" Powell said.

She added, "I was already doing National Novel Writing Month and had a bunch of projects going on." But she decided to give the contest a go anyway.

DC said it received more than 1,100 submissions. From them all, Powell was announced as one of the top three finalists late last month.

Each of the three pitches will receive a pilot order, to be produced by and air on DC Universe. One will receive a full series order.

Powell has no idea how well her pilot, which will begin production in March, will fare against the others.

"Even if it doesn't happen, honestly, there'll be a pilot that I was part of making out there so people can see," Powell said. "I think that's always going to be something I can have on my resume and I can have to be proud of."

Along with winning over $5,000 for making it this far in the contest, Powell will also receive an associate producer credit in the pilot and work alongside the crew to bring the show to life.

COURTESY PHOTO - DC Comics latest fan-based contest, DCYou Unscripted is part of DCs digital subscription service called DC Universe.

This opportunity has given her more confidence in her work, she said.

"I actually can do this," said Powell. "I can submit stories and have people not just throw them away as a joke. I have proof to back that up now in my mind."

Powell is also grateful for DC Universe executives for allowing fans to be apart of the creative process.

"It's empowering to a lot of fans to think, 'This is something that I like and enjoy, but it's not something in the clouds. It's something that I can be involved in,'" said Powell.

The winner of DCYou Unscripted will be announced later this year.

DC Universe is available on Amazon tablets, Android and Apple TV. For more information, visit dcuniverse.com.


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