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Your Top Modern Characters part 31

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We are finally above the 10 point mark...YAY!! Are there still ties? Yes. Are there more reconizable characters? Yes. So sit back and watch the chaos ensue.

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244. Flex Mentello and Josiah X ( 11 points each)

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Flex Mentallo

Year first appeared: 1990

Flex made his first appearance in Doom Patrol #36, where he appeared as a shaggy amnesiac on Danny the Street. When the false Men from N.O.W.H.E.R.E., controlled by one Darren Jones, tried to destroy Danny the Street, the Doom Patrol came in to try and put a stop to it. Seeing them battle was what gave Flex his memory back. His origin story was given in Musclebound.

When Flex was still a "mac" instead of a "man", he was bullied a lot while on the beach. Tired of being scrawny, he was approached by a man with a TV for a head and smoked three cigarinos at a time. He gave Flex a coupon to fill out to get a body building book, "Muscle Mystery for You". The instructions in the book turned Flex into the muscled strongman he is now, and he learned that when he flexed one type of muscle, he could alter reality. As he did, his "Hero Halo" appeared over him, which read "Hero of the Beach". After this, he decided to become a crimefighter and dressed in wrestling boots and leopard-skin trunks.

Flex teamed up with a group of heroes, the Zipper, the Atomic Pile, Dr. 45 and his assistant Romantic Rick, and the Fact. Strangely enough, he hinted, all their adventures revolved around the color green.

In 1956, while judging a swimsuit competition, Flex fell in love with and later married a woman named Dolores Watson. He was then approached by a reporter named Norman Grindstone, who was investigating the disappearance of detective Harry Christmas. Harry was "on to something big", as Norman put it, involving the Pentagon, a rash of 32 mysterious disappearances since 1949, silver sugar tongs, and an Ant Farm. Norman found Harry's conclusion about what was going on, and showed it to Flex. Both were horrified by Harry's discoveries. Soon after, Norman Grindstone was seemingly erased from existence. For two months Flex flexed about every muscle in his body to try and turn the Pentagon into a circle. Dolores left him in this time because he wouldn't stop flexing. He failed, and investigated the Pentagon up close. He was captured, however, by the (real) Men from N.O.W.H.E.R.E. and placed inside the Tearoom of Despair. Once there, he lost his powers and his memory, and was left to wander, homeless and crazy, until he found Danny the Street.

Flex eventually remembered the 32 disappearances; their number, he said, was 5, the number of sides of the Pentagon: "3+2=5 and that is their number. It is the number of anguish". After regaining his memory, he was reunited with Dolores, who returned his costume but then withered away; her parting words were "I love you. They made me." As she said this, the Men from N.O.W.H.E.R.E. suddenly stood in her place. They kidnapped Flex and young psychic Dorothy Spinner, bringing the two to the sub-sub basement of the Pentagon,to power the mechanical monstrosity Flex had discovered all those years ago: The Ant Farm.

While given a tour of the Ant Farm by the demented Major Honey, Flex learned that he was created by a psychic named Wallace Sage inside a comic book Sage created with green ink when he was a child called "My Greenest Adventure". Sage, along with Dorothy, was kidnapped as a means to summon the Telephone Avatar, a being that has enslaved the dead and haunted the telephone system for 50 years. The Doom Patrol soon invaded the Pentagon in an attempt to rescue Flex and Dorothy; in the confusion, Flex freed Wallace, who died within minutes. Upon Wallace's death, Flex regained his powers and successfully transformed the Pentagon into a circle, but he couldn't destroy the Avatar. The Avatar was eventually destroyed by the The Candlemaker, an entity that had been imprisoned within Dorothy's mind.

Flex went on to star in a four-issue miniseries in its own continuity.

 

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Josiah X

Year first appeared: 2003

The son of Isaiah Bradley, with all the abilities that the Super Soldier Serum grants. He joined James Rhodes’ Crew to defend against crime in the inner city

Josiah was abandoned when he was a baby and grew up in a Catholic orphanage. Josiah's powers revealed themselves when he lashed out at one of the orphanage nuns while in his early teens. Believing he had accidentally killed Sister Irenia, he fled. Under the assumed name of Josiah Smith he entered the U.S. Army.

Josiah served several tours, becoming a seasoned and experienced veteran. His unit was made up of primarily black soldiers and were nearly killed on a mission by an inconsiderate and racist officer's order to bomb the area while they were still on patrol. His assault on the heartless officer was rewarded with a court martial. Josiah was sent back to the States to serve out his sentence in a stateside military prison. Blood tests at a secret research facility in proved he was the missing Super-Soldier baby. His surrogate mother was brought in to confirm a genetic match, and she again helped him to escape. She also told him the truth about his past and the real first names of his genetic parents.

It was a long four years later before he could act on this knowledge. He came across a list of African-American individuals abused by the Super-Soldier project, and used it to find his parents' full names and their location.

After meeting his real parents, Josiah left the US and traveled abroad as a mercenary and adventurer; he eventually ended up on the continent of Africa. It was in Africa that Josiah discovered the Islamic faith and decided to use it to find a purpose for his life. Josiah became involved with James Rhodes' clandestine "Crew" after they were tricked into believing he was a criminal. After the usual superhero fight, Josiah joined them in order to seek out those who had not only framed him, but had also turned his neighborhood into a war zone.

When Iron Lad was trying to recruit the next generation of Avengers, Josiah was one of the people he tried recruiting. Since Josiah was gone at the time, his nephew Elijah Bradley went in his place, taking the name Patriot.

 

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