Three more characters, and I think they are all pretty damn interesting...
Year first appeared:
Oooh, a Rucka character. And sounds pretty damn cool actually. It was inspired by the British television series The Sandbaggers (1978-1980), which was created and primarily written by Ian Mackintosh. Mackintosh is heavily praised in an essay by Rucka in Issue #1 of Queen & Country.
The first series began in March 2001 and ran for 32 issues, finishing in August 2007.
Three Queen & Country: Declassified spin-off mini-series have also been published, the first two written by Rucka and the third by Antony Johnston under Rucka's supervision. They deal specifically with the past missions of various characters. Events of the first Declassified miniseries in particular influence what happens in later issues of the main series; it is best read before "Operation Stormfront".
The series is centered on Tara Chace, an operative of the Special Operations Section of SIS, colloquially known as the Minders. It attempts to portray the bureaucracy and politics which the agents deal with realistically, as well as including the dangerous missions typical of the spy genre.
Other recurring characters in the series alongside Tara Chace include Director of Operations Paul Crocker, Deputy Chief of Service Donald Weldon, Chief of Service Frances Barclay (known colloquially as "C"), Mission Control Officer and Main Communications Officer Alexis and former Head of Special Section Tom Wallace.
Year first appeared: 1992
Oh Valiant, I remember when Wizard magazine would whore out and pimp all your titles like they were being paid to or something. It was quite funny, but hey, they had a good title and plenty of fans out there I guess. Anywho, one of the few Valiant titles on this list here is Sting from Harbinger.
Harbinger is a comic book series about a group of teenage super-powered outcasts known as Harbingers created by fan fav. Jim Shooter. Peter Stanchek aka Sting (the dude in the red shirt standing in the car...which is a little dangers even though you DO have powers, Peter). Sting is a psionic of extraordinary power and potential. Once a student of Toyo Harada, he decided to break away when Harada arranged the murder of Pete's best friend. Together with Kris, Zephyr, Flamingo and Torque, Sting tries to thwart the plans of Harada and his Harbinger Foundation.
Year first appeared: 1998
I think Gon is the dude in the green shirt, but do not quote me on that.
Twelve years prior to the start of the story, a legendary Hunter named Ging Freecss leaves his infant son, Gon Freecss, with his cousin Mito (sister-in-law in the anime) on Whale Island. Gon, raised believing his parents were dead, finds out from Ging's apprentice, Kite, that his father is still alive. As such, Gon leaves his home to follow in his father's footsteps as a Hunter by taking the Hunter Exam. Prior to the Hunter Exam, Gon meets and befriends three of the other applicants, Kurapika, Killua Zoldyck, and Leorio. After the exam, Kurapika departs to find work and Leorio leaves to attend medical school. Gon and Killua decide to gain combat experience by training at the Heavens Arena, a 251-story building where over 4,000 fighters compete daily in fighting tournaments. There, they meet the kung-fu master, Wing, who teaches them about Nen--a chi-like life energy that can be used to manifest superhuman powers.
The third story arc reunites the main characters for the world's largest auction in a sprawling metropolis called Yorknew City (Yorkshin City in the original Japanese version). Gon, Killua, and Leorio try different methods to make enough money to buy Greed Island, a video game that could help Gon find his father. This story arc introduces the Phantom Troupe, a group of thieves who, among many other crimes, slaughtered all the other members of Kurapika's clan. Kurapika crosses paths with them while working as a bodyguard. Finally Gon and Killua's find the Greed Island, the seemingly-magical video game that sucks players within. The goal of the game is to collect a number of set cards, although almost everything in the game, from food to money, can be turned into cards. Inside Greed Island Gon and Killua are joined by Biscuit Krueger, a master and experienced teacher of Nen who trains them. As part of their reward, they are allowed to take three cards to be used in the real world. Using the card 'Accompany', Gon and Killua travel to a player under the username 'Ngig' ('Nigg' in the original Japanese version), who they believe to be Ging. However, it ends up bringing them to Kite instead.
Gon and Killua meet up with Kite, the Hunter who told Gon about Ging and Hunters in the very first chapter. As they investigate a giant insect limb, they discover it came from a man-sized chimera ant, an insect that eats other insects and animals, and then gives birth to children that inherit the characteristics of all the different insects and animals it has eaten. The queen chimera ant that lost the limb happens to wash up on the shore of an island nation called the NGL (Neo Green Life) inhabited by a neo-luddite culture. She quickly develops a taste for humans after given the opportunity to eat them. The Chimera Ants proceed to wipe most of the population out and spawn hundreds of offspring before Gon, Killua, and Kite arrive. The queen dies due to the King ripping himself out of her womb too early. The King and Royal Guard Ants pull a "coup d'etat" on the nearby Republic of East Gorteau and from there begin the process of "selecting" humans that have the capability to gain Nen powers. This causes many deaths as only a small amount of humans are able to gain Nen powers. As warrior Ants from the old hive rejoin the King, the Hunters mobilize quickly to stop the massacre.