Wednesday, April 25, 2018 • Morning Edition • "For when life fails you."

Your Top Modern Characters part 23

Written by Chris Mitchell on Tuesday, March 17 2009 and posted in Features
Top List

Random characters from all over the place


252. Four Characters (8 points each)

keikurono.jpgKei Kurono

Year first appeared: 2000

Gantz a Japanese manga and anime series written and illustrated by Hiroya Oku. Gantz tells the story of a teenager named Kei Kurono who dies in a train accident and becomes part of a semi-posthumous "game" in which he and several other recently deceased people are forced to hunt down and kill aliens. The missions they embark upon are often dangerous. Many die on each mission, but others replace him or her in the same manner as Kei Kurono's appearance.

A pair of high school students, Kei Kurono and Masaru Kato, are seemingly run over by a subway train, after saving the life of a homeless drunk who had fallen onto the tracks. Following their untimely deaths, Kei and Masaru find themselves transported—alive and well—along with a number of people who have also just died, to the interior of an unfurnished Tokyo condominium from which the Tokyo Tower may be seen—and none of them are able to leave. At one end of the room is a featureless black sphere known as "Gantz". By way of green text that appears on the surface of the sphere, Gantz informs those present that their lives have ended. The following words appear on the black sphere's surface: "Your lives have ended. What you do with your new lives is entirely up to me. That's the theory, anyway." (The ADV translations have it as "Your lives are over, you bastards. What you do with your new lives is entirely up to me. So there you have it.")

Without explaining anything to them, the Gantz sphere opens up to reveal a bald man on life support in the center, and three racks that offer various items for them to use. Information on the Gantz Targets appear on the surface of the sphere, shortly before the Gantz Team are transported to the location of the mission, where they are expected to kill aliens.

The series regularly introduces new characters. Most of them are killed off almost as quickly as they appear, though at times a stable cast of veterans forms.

The hunters cannot return from their mission until all enemies have been killed, or the time limit has run out. If the mission is successful, each individual is awarded points for the aliens they have killed. They are then allowed to leave, and live their lives as they see fit, Gantz summoning them back again when its time for the next mission. The only way to stop having to participate in the missions is to earn one hundred points, and choose the option to be freed.


Kate Bishop

Year first appeared: 2005


Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

The daughter of a rich publishing magnate, Kate Bishop was never comfortable with her wealth and like her mother donated time and money to those in need. After her mother was killed, Bishop became even more active in charity - leading her to travel alone late through Central Park, which gave opportunity to a rapist. Receiving the best therapy that money could buy and dedicating herself to intense physical training she determined to never be a victim again.

Bishop first encountered the Young Avengers when they thwarted a group of gunmen holding the guests of her sister's wedding hostage. Bishop herself even played a minor role in helping the heroes and was lauded by the media for her efforts. Cassie Lang, the daughter of the second Ant-Man, later contacted Bishop and the two young women tracked the new team to their hideout in the recently demolished Avengers Mansion.

Scavenging costumes and weaponry from the mansion, Bishop obtained equipment formerly used by past Avengers: Hawkeye, Mockingbird and the Swordsman. Although she was forced to surrender the equipment when the team of youths was forced to retire by the current members of the Avengers, Bishop was undeterred and used her wealth to have new equipment manufactured. Appropriating an empty warehouse of her father's - Bishop reformed the team of young heroes and eventually assumed the identity of the former bowman Hawkeye.


Juston Seyfert

Year first appeared: 2003

Never heard of this comic, now have I heard of the Tsunami line they produced. And this was written by our baby-eating friend, Sean McKeever.

Sentinel is the story of Juston Seyfert, a normal human teenager tormented by the seniors at Antigo High School in Wisconsin. He is dirt poor and lives in his father's junkyard with his little brother named Chris; their mother walked out years ago. Being poor, Juston must find his own fun, and spends the days playing in the salvage yard. He finds the remains of a giant robot programmed to exterminate mutants: a Sentinel. Rebuilding and reprogramming the Sentinel, Juston attempts to give himself a better life while avoiding the government agents that are quickly following his trail. After the CSA discovers his big secret, Juston decides to run away and use the Sentinel's DNA Detection skills in looking for his long-lost mother, but the government sends a new Sentinel after the two.


Courtney Crumrin

Year first appeared: 2002

Courtney Crumrin, a young girl who is an outcast at school and ignored by her parents. When her parents move in with her Uncle Aloysius she discovers she can do magic.

The series is ongoing and consisted of 12 comics compiled into three books entitled Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things, Courtney Crumrin and the Coven of Mystics, and Courtney Crumrin in the Twilight Kingdom. Two shorter books entitled Courtney Crumrin and the Fire-Thief's Tale and Courtney Crumrin & the Prince of Nowhere followed. They pick up from the end of book 12 where Courtney is invited to join her uncle on a trip to Prague.

During the summer of 2005, Naifeh released a one-shot entitled Courtney Crumrin Tales, which focused on Courtney's Uncle Aloysius as a young man. A short color prelude has also appeared in Oni Press Color Special 2002.



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