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Your Top Modern Characters part 65

Written by Chris Mitchell on Tuesday, March 31 2009 and posted in Features
Top List
More and more and more characters...



spike.jpg152. Spike (26 points)

Year first appeared: 2001

"Screw Cassidy from Preacher, the best modern vampire wasn't him, it was Spike. The dude's done a ton more than him. Raised Japanese Samurai demons, faced Dracula himself throughout the ages, fought the minions of hell, lorded over the Playboy mansion, and even was turned into a puppet while avoiding official cannons. And I haven't even begun to talk about the actual stuff he's done in a series. Spike's done it all in the short amount of time and is one of the few vampires without a soul to have actual emotion. But still he gave us a hellva good time when he was evil for a lot of the seasons on Buffy and Angel. Plus he's killed two Slayers a deed still never topped."

Spike first comic appearance was in First Night, a series-within-a-series, took place in issues 6-8 of Angel: After the Fall. Spike's First Night story was contained in issue #6. After LA is sent to Hell by Wolfram and Heart, Spike decides he is going to just stick to himself until he finds Fred lying on the ground. While unsure of why she is no longer Illyria, he changes his mind and decides he is comfortable with having Fred at his side. When they are attacked by a group of demons though, Fred turns back into Illyria, and Spike realizes just how much Illyria and Fred are going to need his help.

The four issue mini-series Spike: After the Fall picks up right after the end of Spike's First Night story. Spike and Illyria watch over a group of citizens. Illyria keeps turning back into Fred, and Spike is forced to keep turning her back into Illyria to protect her. Spike questions whether he may have feelings for Fred, and the group of women that Spike is with during Angel: After the Fall make their first chronological appearance. The issue opens with Spike meeting the dragon: while Spike considers ways of killing it, the dragon communicates that Spike should mount it. Once together, the dragon takes Spike to Wolfram and Hart, where a figure whom Spike does not recognize is suspended inside an energy field, writhing in pain.

Meanwhile, the civilians are at the mercy of the group of women. Spike encounters one, commandeers her truck, and finds the hostages, then tries to run down their leader of the group of female demons. She throws Fred in front of the truck, and Fred reverts to Illyria on impact. Illyria and Spike begin to melee the demon women, but their leader uses life-draining magic to turn the hostages into zombies and knock out Spike and Illyria. Spike awakens chained in a dark room filled with his zombified wards, and the demon leader tells him she is keeping him alive for his connections. Non, the head of the female demons attempts to bargain with a Gunn to return Spike to him.

Her power is revealed to be control of humans. Gunn beats her down and lets her go leading her to decide to kill Spike and all the humans with him. Non attempts to behead Illyria, but the ax shatters on contact. Illyria breaks free and starts killing all the female demons. Non prepares to kill the last human hostage before Connor appears and stops her. Connor, Spike, and Illyria continue their battle with Non. In the midst of the battle, Non attempts to feed on Connor, whom she realizes is not human, and on whom she cannot feed. After discovering that Non's Sadecki demon controls her flock of females, Spike tells Illyria to finish it off. During her confrontation with the demon, she again starts reverting between Fred and Illyria, but finally is able to gather herself and kill the demon.

Realizing his plan worked, Spike goes mano y mano with Non. After taking a beating from Spike, Non uses the last human hostage that the gang saved to gain some energy back. Illyria realizes this and kills the human, allowing Spike to finish off Non. Spike then becomes Lord of Beverly Hills, and tells the other lords to keep out. Later, Spike and Connor meet up and begin their crusade of saving the remaining humans in Los Angeles.


hawkgirl.jpg151. Hawkgirl/Kendra (26 points)

Year first appeared: 1999

Hawkgirl is a reincarnation of the ancient Egyptian Chay-Ara. Hawkgirl and Hawkman's relationship was a reincarnation cycle that happened throughout time (finding love and dying together). Carter Hall cheated the cycle and ended up with her previous incarnation dead. So now Shayera Hall doesn't know about the reincarnations of her past lives and her love with Hawkman is over. But after being exposed to the anti-gravity Nth metal from Thanagar they were imprinted with memories of the distant planet's people.

Hawkgirl is super strong, she has enough strength to lift a car and fly with it. Hawkgirl can perform a sonic scream that can damage and/or destroy living tissue and do some damage to non-living objects as well. Hawkgirl cannot fly under her own power and needs a belt made out of the Nth metal. This allows her to fly without the wings. She has the inorganic wings so she can maneuver much better through the air. Hawkgirl uses a mace that has an electric core. With her mace, Hawkgirl can bash up concrete and even leave dents in thick steel. The mace can be charged up with its core into a super powered strike. This electric power attack can shatter solid steel into pieces. Her mace also has some unique abilities to which it can't be affected by magic and cannot affect anything magic.


quantam-woody.jpg150. Quantum and Woody (26 points)

Year first appeared: 1996

"Corny heroes of Valiant"

"From the onset, Doc suggested we reverse the likely roles, making the black guy the straight man and the white guy the irreverent funnyman. What I wanted to do was play with themes of race and political correctness, coloring outside of the lines and enjoying the freedom of not being at DC or Marvel. We both wanted the book to have heart. And to have lots of action."

"I think a lot of the humor in the first issue came about as a result of my having to write it in a New York hotel room while my laptop (and later Acclaim's loaner laptop) kept dying. I wrote issue #1 out of sequence because, well, first issues are boring. Here's the heroes. Here's their origin. Here's the villain. Yawn. So I mixed it up, moving things around in sequence and separating them with titles, like a blackout sketch comedy (or the Frasier TV show, for you younger kiddies). The humor was a mean-spirited irreverence in the vein of David Letterman and Howard Stern."

OK, those last two quotes are from Christopher Priest, the author of the book. But I needed something.

Quantum and Woody is an award-winning comic book created by Christopher Priest and Mark Bright, and published by Valiant Comics between 1996 and 1999. The tag line for the comic book was "the world's worst super-hero team," Quantum and Woody starred Eric "Quantum" Henderson and Woodrow "Woody" Van Chelton.

The series gained a dedicated fan base online, aided by Priest's participation on USENET, but was canceled for sales reasons in mid-1998; the last issue was #17.

In 1999, Valiant resumed publishing the series. As a marketing promotion, instead of continuing where the series left off with #18, they released issue #32, as that was the issue that would have been released that month if the series had never been canceled. The next month, Valiant resumed regular numbering with #18. Four months later, Acclaim Entertainment shut down its comic book publishing division in anticipation of a bankruptcy filing after suffering heavy losses from its video game division; Quantum and Woody was canceled for a second time with #21.

Quantum and Woody drew from many influences. The general feel of the comic book was that of a comedic take on the Lethal Weapon paradigm mixed with regular forays into heavy drama. Quantum and Woody were childhood friends who lost touch with one another as they entered their teenage years. Re-united after the deaths of their fathers in a helicopter crash, the two gain super powers that require them to touch their "control bands" together once every 24 hours or risk having their bodies dissipate into energy.




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