Sunday, December 28, 2014 • Evening Edition • "Memorial to dead childhoods."

Your Top Modern Characters part 70

Written by Chris Mitchell on Thursday, April 02 2009 and posted in Features
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Top List
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Three very cool characters. At least I think so.

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135. Harry Dresden (28 points) harrydresden.jpg

Year first appeared: 2008

"I love these novels. Harry is easily my favorite new literary character. The only reason he's so far down my list is cause there's only been the one miniseries in Comics. "

Yes, he’s been around long before 2008 but that’s when the Dabel Brothers released their graphic novel on this cool dude. Have any of you seen the movie The Prestige? Well, Harry here is on the same bill as Alfred Borden in the movie. Anywho.

Harry is a wizard, who works as a private investigator of sorts in Chicago (he's in the phone book, the only listing under "Wizards"), dealing with paranormal crimes and consulting for the Chicago Police Department. He is named after three different stage magicians — Harry Houdini, Harry Blackstone, Sr., and David Copperfield. This name was given to him by his father, Malcolm Dresden, a stage magician himself, who raised Harry while still performing his magic show all across the country. The stories are told from Harry's point of view in a hardboiled style.

Harry is considered a magical "thug," lacking fine control of his power, but is one of the strongest living wizards in terms of pure magical strength, as well as factors surrounding the timing of his birth. He originally favored fire and wind spells in battle, but has since evolved towards fire and force, and in Small Favor used electricity when Mab deprived him of the use of fire, and he is an expert at tracking spells (which he uses in his investigations) along with summoning and entrapment spells to speak to faeries and other supernatural sources of information. Due to his lack of finer control, Harry often must rely on magical items to help focus and channel his magical energy. Harry has also been known to carry around many firearms such as a .38 revolver, a .357 and most recently a .44 revolver and a sawed-off shotgun for those times when 'magic just doesn't cut it'.

Harry's traditional arsenal includes a duster (first a canvas model, later replaced with a leather duster received as a gift) enchanted with protective magics, a rune staff, a 'blasting rod' (a wooden stick used to channel his fire magic), a shield bracelet (which Dresden has upgraded significantly throughout the series), a silver ring (used to channel blasts of kinetic energy) which has grown from merely one to several on both hands over the course of the series, and his mother's silver pentacle amulet.

Harry also benefits from having a large number of contacts and acquaintances within the different groups of the magical community. Whereas most traditional and hidebound wizards refuse to have dealings with other magical beings, Harry has gained a great deal of respect and infamy that often allows him to pursue other options normally not available to wizards. Of particular relevance is the fact that Harry has met and has some level of interaction with all the Queens of the Summer and Winter Courts of Faerie.

Harry's mother, Margaret Gwendolyn LeFay, was a wizard herself, although Harry knew little of her prior to book six. He has since learned that he is not her only child. He has a half brother named Thomas. Harry was raised by his father, a stage illusionist until the age of six, when his father died of a brain aneurysm. He spent some years as a ward of the state before being adopted at ten (shortly after manifesting his magical powers) by Justin DuMorne, a former Warden of the White Council who turned renegade and dark mage. Justin later tried to enthrall Harry as his slave, but Harry fought back and in the process killed Justin. Harry was then entrusted to the care of Ebenezar McCoy, who mentored Harry and helped keep him out of trouble, until Harry was old enough to support himself.

 


mariahill.jpg134. Maria Hill (28 points)

Year first appeared: 2005

"Bitchy, interesting and fun to read."

"The former head of S.H.I.E.L.D. An efficient leader who is also a snarky uncompromising bitch. She refused to nuke the Avengers when they had the chance, and refused to back down during the Secret Invasion by the Skrulls. She also mocked Osborne when being fired from her position. This woman has balls."

Maria Hill was elected into the Directorate position by the President after Nick Fury went AWOL at the end of Secret Wars. Though there were others more suited for the position, Maria was chosen for not being a “Fury Loyalist”.

She has very little respect in the Super-human community for many reasons, such as trying to prohibit the Avengers reforming, and blackmailing Wonder Man to work for S.H.I.E.L.D. She is adamantly in support of the Super-human Registration Act, nearly forcing Captain America into the Resistance. Maria's allegiances lie more towards the United States, than to the international community as S.H.I.E.L.D. is supposed to. As the 50 State Initiative was set in motion, Maria passed the mantle of leadership to Tony Stark, realizing she was not the right person for the job.

When the Secret Invasion began, the Helicarrier was disabled by the Skrull invaders and crashes at the Bermuda Triangle. It is soon stabilized, performing as a regular seaworthy ship. With Stark out of contact, Maria Hill was left in charge of the situation. She and a team of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents encounter the Skrull replacement of Edwin Jarvis on the storm-tossed deck of the carrier. The Skrull tells her the Skrulls had caused her to be made Director and her job was to publicly surrender on behalf of humanity. When Maria does not back down, many more S.H.I.E.L.D. agents reveal themselves as Skrulls. Continuing to appear stubborn and short of falling to their wishes, she begins to show amusement at the situation, explaining to the Skrulls before all of this happened, a special man won over her respect and showed her some "very cool robots" to use for her own tactical maneuvers, just to be sure there was no "cop-outs" at hand. The Skrulls, ignorant to her sarcasm and clues, soon execute her, the Jarvis-Skrull doing the honors mid-sentence of her declaring, "When I'm done here I'm going to make a t-shirt that says-". After being shot to the floor, however, Hill reveals that she was using a Life Model Decoy. As the Skrulls inspect the body and begin to realize the deception, the last words of the LMD mutter, "It'll say: Nick Fury was right." She then activates the helicarrier's self-destruct system, apparently killing all the Skrull infiltrators on board, escaping via jet pack.

 


nighthawk.jpg133. Nighthawk (28 points)

Year first appeared: 2003

"Awesome character, Batman taken to the extreme...simply a magnificent bastard. His short conversation with Blur was one of my top moment in comics."

Nighthawk is the alter ego of Kyle Richmond, a wealthy African-American who decides to fight crime in Chicago after witnessing his parents' being gunned down by racists as a child. Years later, Richmond uses his father's investments to build a successful corporation, and, with its resources, begins acting as a vigilante who hunts criminals who prey on African-Americans. As Nighthawk, Richmond tracks a super-human serial killer called Michael Redstone, who has been killing prostitutes. After an initial encounter in which Nighthawk is almost killed, he is aided by fellow heroes the Blur and later Hyperion to apprehend Redstone.

Soon after this Nighthawk travels to Chicago, where there is an epidemic of drug addict deaths - due to a poisoned supply of drugs - that reaches 3,800. Discovering it is the work of a serial killer called Whiteface, Nighthawk tracks him down, but unfortunately not before the killer murders the mayor's wife and child, which in turn drives the Mayor to suicide. After a brief confrontation, Nighthawk executes Whiteface. As a result, Nighthawk saves the life of an orphaned baby.

Nighthawk's partnering with Hyperion and the Blur becomes instrumental in the formation of the Squadron Supreme. Although asked to join by the Blur, Nighthawk refuses. The Squadron Supreme are also oblivious to the fact that the US government are aware of Nighthawk, and that he has no powers. At one point two agents are dispatched to monitor Nighthawk, but both are defeated and left in an unknown location. When Redstone later escapes prison and engages Hyperion in a very public battle, Nighthawk decides to join the Blur and aid Hyperion for the final confrontation with Redstone.

Nighthawk has also participated in a mission with Hyperion in Darfur, Africa, and the scene of the Squadron Supreme's first mission. Nighthawk comes into conflict with Hyperion when he shows Hyperion he is being used as a weapon to correct the geo-political climate of the region.

 

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