Sunday, June 24, 2018 • Afternoon Edition • "Where keepin' it real goes wrong."

Your Top Modern Characters part 7

Written by Chris Mitchell on Friday, March 13 2009 and posted in Features
Top List
A few characters here from all over the place, are they good? One of them is according to a certain poster. I think he referred all of the people who didn't have this character on the list a "moron" so that would be all of you.



267. Three Characters (3 points each)

Baki the Grappler

Year first appeared: 1991

Manga. I never read much, or any actually. Not a fan, but it appears there are quite a few of manga fans out there. The dude that had this character on his list was pretty much ALL manga and made it hella difficult I tell ya.

Baki the Grappler or Grappler Baki is a manga and anime series by Keisuke Itagaki. It was originally serialized in the Weekly Shōnen Champion from 1991 to 1999, lasting 42 collected volumes. It was followed by two sequel series, New Grappler Baki.

The 24 episode anime aired in Japan between January 8, 2001 and June 25, 2001. A second 24 episode series called Grappler Baki Maximum Tournament was released on 22 July 2001. The story revolves around Baki Hanma and his quest to proclaim himself as the strongest grappler in the world, thus taking the title from his father. Baki also fights to gain the trust of his overly psychotic mother.


John Henry

johnhenry.jpgYear first appeared: 2004

"A black man who watched his family be murdered by the KKK and took on the role of vigilante. He carries a big fucking hammer and wears a noose around his neck. He's turned in by a child who shouts out "The Nigger's in here!" in one of the most heartbreaking moments in any book I've read. He's then killed and the report of his death inspires the heroes around the world. "

John Wilson was a Korean War veteran who fought with distinction, before returning home to take a young bride in Lucille, who then gave birth to their daughter Loretta. Wilson supported his family working at local machine shop in a Knoxville, Tennessee, until the night of March 17th, 1957. Wilson’s wife and child were killed when members of the Ku Klux Klan, for reasons unknown beyond the obvious, set his home ablaze. Wilson himself was lynched from a nearby tree and left for dead. Wilson survived, and freeing himself, fled to a cabin where he began formulating a plan for revenge. Forging a pair of oversized sledgehammer’s, Wilson took to wearing a pointed black hood “inspired” by the appearance of Klansman and looking out for their next hate crime against the African-American populace. In stylized garb wearing the noose that failed to end his life on he same night as his family’s, Wilson began a vigilante campaign against violent racists, for which the media dubbed him “John Henry.” Meanwhile, the authorities remained unaware of the connection between Wilson and “Henry,” claiming Wilson himself had murdered his family and fled justice.

For years, “John Henry” continued his personal war against the Klan, appearing frequently and with the typical result being the hospitalization of those he encountered. The crusade caught the public’s attention, leading to an article by famed journalist Vicki Vale and a cover story in Time magazine. His revolutionary fight stoked the hearts of many, including John Jones, the Manhunter from Mars, and a young John Henry Irons, later to be known as Steel. His battle ended in 1959, when a battered “John Henry” staggered to collapse down a back alley while pursued by an angry mob. Falling through a fence, he was found by a young blonde girl. As he removed his hood, Wilson pleaded, “Please, child... help me. Hide me.” The girl looked away from Wilson with her blue eyes and shouted for the Klansman, referring to the fallen hero with a pejorative. Three nights later, the most respected television journalist in America shared John Wilson’s heroic story with the nation, damning the Klan and those who conspired with them as terrorists. He revealed on discovery Wilson was “beaten and humiliated, then hung from a post in town square and burned alive.” Only two photographs of Wilson are known to exist, one of his family in happier times, and the other of the grim vigilante wicked men forced him to become.

Creator Darwyn Cooke explained the origins of the character in the Absolute collection of his work. “Any effort to insinuate the DCU into the real world of the 1950s wouldn’t have been complete without looking at the civil rights issues of the day. The problem was DC catered to white culture, and there were very few black characters to explore this theme.

I finally settled on Steel, and John Henry Irons. Continuity tells us Steel didn’t come along ‘til much later, but I thought that perhaps I could retro-fit a back-story that shows a simpler man in a simpler time donning the mantle of John Henry to fight racism.”


Black Anvil

Year first Appeared: 1993 blackanvil.jpg

Percival Wainright III grew up in an affluent family in South Hampton, Long Island. His mutant powers manifested early. At 8 years of age he was already well below average height and above average width than the other kids and his skin had become near invulnerable and taken a dark blue shade. Percival's good humor and outgoing personality made him the most popular boy in school instead of getting picked on as could be expected.

As he got older, Percival became bored. He had become invulnerable and at age 18, he went out to find meaning in his life. He started using his abilities for extreme experiences like skydiving without a parachute and diving for pirate's treasure in the Atlantic Ocean without gear. When Morgan Stryker needed to gather a team got a rescue operation for CIA in Manigua, Black Anvil was asked to join which he did.

Black Anvil stayed with the team until Stryker disbanded Codename: Strykeforce. In the new Strykeforce, Black Anvil is the only one from the original team except Morgan Stryker.



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