Valiant, an Ultimate, and an Image team.
180. Dr. Mirage (22 points)
Year first appeared: 1993
Hwen and Carmen Mirage are parapsychologists who investigate paranormal activity and supernatural mystery. They are hired to investigate two corpses whose vital signs are reading normal. While performing tests, the bodies, which turn out to be charged with necromantic energy, come to life and attack Hwen and Carmen. During the fight they reveal the name Master Darque, a necromantic sorcerer (powered by death energy). This was the first real paranormal experience for Hwen and Carmen, and Hwen sets out to find Darque.
After tracing the necromantic activities of Master Darque to Ladakh, Tibet, Hwen confronts Darque, who immediately absorbs Hwen's life force in order to add it to his own. However, just as the Darque Power released by Hwen's death is at its peak, Carmen's love for her husband anchors him to this reality.
In the seconds where Darque is shaken from Hwen's escape from death, Carmen and Hwen escape the temple and headed home. During the escape, when undead priests who had been sent by Darque attacked them, Hwen discovers that he could control energy. Carmen also assists in the battle with her expertise as a martial artist. As it turns out, since Mirage is too powerful and Darque can use Hwen for his own purpose, an uneasy truce between Darque and Hwen is established.
Hwen realizes he has become a being of pure energy, that is, a "positively-charged" being of necromantic power. Their marriage is put under incredible strain as the couple struggle to return to their normal life. Their largest problem is their inability to touch each other. This is resolved over time; due to practice, Hwen slowly gains the ability to affect every day objects. The two also continue investigating various necromantic-powered entities, such as a sacred bull that two factions are fighting over. Over time, Hwen manages to gain control over his powers, enough to fool others into believing he is normal and even changing the look of his clothing.
179. Ultimate Hank Pym (22 points)
Year first appeared: 2002
Our first Ultimate character, we have four more to go. Which other Ultimate versions you think are on the list? Can you guess them? I betcha can, but I thought I just bought that out there for ya to chat about.
In the Ultimate Marvel continuity, Henry "Hank" Pym is a brilliant but mentally fragile scientist who takes Prozac and is married to Janet Pym, a molecular biologist; unlike the main continuity Pym, whose abusive behavior erupted once during a nervous breakdown and never again, this Pym has periodically abused Janet for years. Pym is chosen to work on the "Super Soldier Project" for S.H.I.E.L.D. under Nick Fury. He gains his powers after experimenting on the blood of his wife, who is a mutant, and as the superhero "Giant-Man" is able to shrink to the size of an ant and grow to a maximum height of 60 feet. Well, actually 59 feet (18 m) and 11 inches. 60 feet being the point where the human body cannot support its own mass.
He was kicked off the team when he physically abused Jan and put her in the hospital. He continued to do work for S.H.I.E.L.D. for some time until he helped Banner escape execution. For a time he was a member of the super-human team called the Defenders. The other members turned out to be frauds. Hank would later join the Liberators, after their defeat however, Pym claims that he infiltrated the group in order to expose the traitor in the Ultimates, but he is put in jail. He eventually returns to the Ultimates in the identity of Yellowjacket. Hank Pym in the Ultimate Universe, can grow to almost sixty feet in height, can shrink to the size of an insect, and can communicate with ants with a cybernetic helmet.
178. Dynamo 5 (22 points)
Year first appeared: 2007
Captain Dynamo was the respected hero of Tower City. He was well loved as he protected the city with his super strength, flight, x-ray and eye beams, shape shifting, and telepathy. Sadly, a day came when Captain Dynamo was killed. His widow, Maddie, discovered his little black book and discovered that he had fathered five children with five different women behind her back, using his shape shifting powers. Although feeling betrayed, she realized the children had the same DNA as their father, got them together, and exposed them to the same radiation giving them powers. Scrap, the goth film-maker acquired her father’s strength, over-achiever Slingshot has her father’s speed and flight, school geek Visionary gained his father’s beams, womanizer Myriad received his father’s shape shifting abilities and Scatterbrain, the popular jock received telepathy although he’d much rather have x-ray vision for… obvious reasons. Together they are Dynamo 5 and have to learn to work together as a team and as family, whether they like it or not.
Faerber explained that his inspiration for the series came from a conversation he had with editor Andy Helfer, in which he was asked what made the Teen Titans unique. When Faerber opined that the Titans were like a family, Helfer pointed out that all superhero teams could be described thus as well. From this Faerber decided to create a team that was a family in the literal biological sense, but did not act like it. Faerber also indicated, perhaps half-jokingly that he was also influenced by unresolved issues stemming from his parents’ divorce.
The focus of the series alternates back and forth between the private lives of each of the five-team members, who maintain their separate lives in their home cities across North America, including their respective supporting casts, and their adventures as costumed superheroes.
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