Thursday, November 27, 2014 • Evening Edition • "Because comics!"

Your Top Modern Characters part 24

Written by Chris Mitchell on Wednesday, March 18 2009 and posted in Features
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Top List
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Two villains and a comic series?

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251. Three characters (9 points each)

1963.jpg
1963

Year first appeared: 1993

Ok, someone nominated The Fury (shown in the pic) from this mini series, but I took it upon myself to put the entire mini up on this list because its damn fun reading. 1963 is a six-issue comic book limited series written by Alan Moore, with art by his frequent collaborators Steve Bissette, John Totleben, and Rick Veitch; other contributors included Dave Gibbons, Don Simpson, and Jim Valentino, published by Image Comics.

The six issues hark back to the Silver Age of comics (in particular, the early Marvel Comics), and feature spoof advertisements on the rear covers. Issue one introduced Mystery Incorporated, a Fantastic Four surrogate featuring Crystal Man (based on Mister Fantastic), Neon Queen (based on Invisible Woman), Kid Dynamo (based on Human Torch) and Planet (based on The Thing). Issue two, No-one Escapes the Fury, featured The Fury, based on Spider-Man, as well as Sky Solo, Lady of L.A.S.E.R., a female version of Nick Fury, agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Issue three, an anthology comic called Tales of the Uncanny, featured USA, Ultimate Special Agent based on Captain America, and Hypernaut, who was based on Iron Man, with elements taken from Silver Surfer, Green Lantern and Swamp Thing. Issue four, another anthology comic called Tales From Beyond, introduces readers to N-Man, based on The Incredible Hulk, and Johnny Beyond, a beatnik version of Dr. Strange. Issue five was devoted to Horus, Lord of Light, based on The Mighty Thor. Issue six told the story of the Tomorrow Syndicate, based on the Avengers. This comic brought back Horus, Lord of Light, Hypernaut, N-Man, and USA, and also introduced Infra-Man, based on Henry Pym, and Infra-Girl, based on Janet Van Dyne.

The series has never been finished as originally intended. When first announced, the limited series was supposed to be followed by an 80-page annual, illustrated by Jim Lee, in which the 1963 characters were sent thirty years into "the future", where they met then-contemporary 1993 characters published by Image Comics. Moore intended to make a commentary on how the air of "realism" brought to Marvel Comics in the early 1960s had paved the way for the "mature" and "grim and gritty" American comics of the 1990s. Moore has stated that his own work, Watchmen, is at least partially responsible for this trend.

Unfortunately, Moore was less than halfway through writing the script for the annual when Jim Lee announced that he was taking a yearlong sabbatical from comic book art. Moore put the script aside, and after that year had passed, many things had changed. Rob Liefeld had left Image, which meant that some of his characters could not be used. Jim Lee was swamped with work and unlikely to be able to complete the work. The tide had changed, and superhero comics had begun to get less and less gritty, and Moore states his growing disinterest with writing superheroes. Then when Jim Lee sold his Wildstorm imprint to DC Comics, that put the final nail in the coffin for this hella fun project.

But one of the best parts of this mini were the letter pages, in bitter Moore fashion he described the Marvel Bullpen as the "Sixty-Three Sweatshop", describing his collaborators in the same hyperbolic and alliterative mode Stan Lee used, each was given a Lee-style nickname ("Affable Al," "Sturdy Steve," "Jaunty John," etc.—Veitch has since continued to refer to himself as "Roarin' Rick"). The parody is not entirely affectionate, as the text pieces and fictional letter columns contain pointed inside jokes about the business practices of 1960s comics publishers, with "Affable Al" portrayed as a tyrant who claims credit for his employees' creations. Moore also makes reference to Lee's book Origins of Marvel Comics (and its sequels) when Affable Al recommends that readers hurry out and buy his new book How I Created Everything All By Myself and Why I Am Great.

Not a bitter bone in his body. All the bitterness is in his beard.

 

omegared.jpg
Omega Red

Year first appeared: 1992

One character I am sure you all know, and another who received more points on this list then a previous list he was on. In fact, he has received eight points more then the last time he appeared. Good for you, Omega Red. Maybe next time you will receive double digits!!

Homicidal maniac Arkady Rossovich was tracked by Interpol agent Sean Cassidy (Banshee) and his female partner. The capture resulted in Cassidy's partner losing her life and Rossovich being severely wounded.
Incarcerated, Rossovich was illegally liberated by the Soviet secret service and modified with cybernetic enhancements to control the adverse effects to him of the deadly pheromone he emanates. A team of agents including Wolverine and Sabretooth infiltrated the program to steal the device known as the Carbonadium Synthesizer and kidnap its creator to prevent the creation of the Soviet Union's most deadly super-soldier.

The Carbonadium Synthesizer's creator killed by Sabretooth and the technology to protect him from his own Death Spores stolen, Rossovich was placed in cryogenic stasis until being revived by members of the Ninja clan called the Hand.

Eventually retrieving the Carbonadium Synthesizer Rossovich works as a free agent and assassin known as the deadly Red Omega.

 


hush.jpgHush

Year first appeared: 2003

I just realized something, all three of this characters have one thing in common: Jim Lee. Jim Lee drew Hush, he helped create Omega Red, and he pissed off Alan Moore. Wow. I just realized that now. I am getting slow in my old age.

A childhood friend of Bruce Wayne, Tommy Elliot already had a devious criminal mind. Arranging for his wealthy parents to die in an automobile accident, Elliot's plan to inherit their wealth came to naught when his mother survived with the medical intervention of Dr. Thomas Wayne.

Years later Edward Nigma, better known as the Riddler, sought help curing his cancer from Dr. Elliot, who was now practicing medicine in Philadelphia. Unable to find a cure through conventional means, the Riddler sought out and used a Lazarus Pit, which he learned were used by Rās al Ghūl to prolong his life and cure his wounds. During the healing process Riddler had an apparent moment of clarity and he discovered that only Bruce Wayne could be the Batman.

Returning to the United States, Riddler offered the cure for cancer to Dr. Elliot, whose mother was suffering from the disease as well. Obviously Dr. Elliot did care to cure a woman he attempted to kill years before. Apparently in conversation he conveyed his hatred of the Wayne’s to the Riddler, who knowing Bruce Wayne is Batman offered Elliot a plan for vengeance that would benefit them both.

Recruiting both enemies and allies of the Batman through either rewards and or deceit, Dr. Elliot and the Riddler executed a plan of vengeance to once and all destroy Batman both body and soul, keeping the Dark Knight constantly guessing who was the enigmatic Hush.

 

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