Sunday, December 21, 2014 • Morning Edition • "We Wipe Last. Not Before."

Your Top Modern Characters part 76

Written by Chris Mitchell on Monday, April 06 2009 and posted in Features
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Top List
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Fables, X-folks, A Dark Horse sidekick, and a Valiant character. Not in that order.

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115. Fantomex (32 points) fantomex.jpg

First appeared in: 2002

I remember on the X-Folks list when he appeared everyone kept saying "oh man, how did I forget Fantomex" and all that. Well, some of you voted for him this time around. And I predict some of you will bitch that he is on the list again. Did you think he wouldn't? I mean, it’s a Morrison characters, and a cool lookin’ one at that.

Fantomex is one of the more recent creations of the Weapon Plus program. Fantomex was born and artificially evolved in The World, an artificial world made for creating super-soldiers using Sentinel technology. He has gone by the alias of Jean-Phillipe, and he was designated the name “Charlie Cluster-7 in The World. It is important to note that Fantomex has a history of misleading others, although his intentions are not always obvious. As with his early history, he claims many things about his powers that are not necessarily substantiated by evidence. Fantomex has exhibited a variety of mental powers, one of which is having the ability to enter himself into a state of "auto-hypnosis", effectively putting his body on auto-pilot in order to perform surgery and other delicate tasks on himself. He exhibited this ability once by inducing this state in order to remove several bullets from his body. He exhibits a form of telepathy he refers to as "misdirection", which allows him to create realistic and immersive illusions on a variety of scales.

 


xo.jpg114. X-O Manowar (32 points)

Year first appeared: 1992

"A barbarian out-of-time, in a living suit of symbiotic flying armor. Really, do I need to say more?"

What do you get when you cross Conan with Iron Man? You get X-O Manowar. Another title from Valiant that I really liked. It was fun. Some of the Joe Q covers were really, really good too. Valiant comics need to make a comic back. Someone told me to wait till September, but I heard the ones that are being released are new updated versions of the characters that do not look like anything that was previously released. Which sucks.

Aric of Dacia was a man in a barbarian society, which was at war with the Romans. While he was away from his village one day, Aric was abducted by a malevolent race of spider-like aliens known as the Spider-Aliens, a race, which controlled a vast star empire. Aric was to be a food source for the Spider-Aliens and was imprisoned with many other humans who were doomed to the same fate. Aric encountered one man known as "Map-Maker" who showed Aric a way of escape via the Spider-Aliens' most powerful weapon, the X-O Manowar armor, a sentient suit of armor which could decimate legions of its user's enemies. The path to the armor was carved into Aric's hand.

When the Spider Aliens returned to Earth, Aric's prison was disrupted by an attack from a being known as Solar. Aric quickly made his way to the X-O armor and bonded with it, quickly escaping the ship. Upon returning to Earth, Aric learns that thousands of years have passed since his abduction, although it has merely seemed like months to him. This was due to the fact that the Aliens were using a relativistic propulsion drive; while the inhabitants of the ship were moving at incredible speeds, time passed more slowly for them.

Aric quickly discovered that the Spider-Aliens had established a powerful beachhead on Earth through the company known as Orb. Aric destroyed the aliens in charge of the company and, using the suit's inherent technological abilities, hacked the computers to show that one Aric Dacia now was the owner and CEO of Orb.

The suit Aric wears grants him many abilities, including Super-Strength, Flight, energy projection, telekinetic abilities and heightened senses and is controlled via a ring emblazoned with an X inside an O. The suit eventually was destroyed, but was replaced with another, more advanced and non-sentient X-O suit. Aric was torn from the first by a massive attack against him, but what was left of the armor bonded to him and released its sentience in order for Aric to survive. The second suit, as stated above, has no true sentience of its own.

 


franky.jpg113. Franky (32 points)

Year first appeared: 2003

"The Goon is the bigger tougher guy in the duo true but Franky's the crazier one. Franky is a degenerate, a borderline psychotic and a slightly stupid person. That said he is a damn good friend and in a fight he's incredibly handy with his adept use of a switchblade and trademark knife to the eye technique!"

After killing Labrazio, the Goon met Franky, a cowardly kid who was continually picked on by bullies. They became fast friends after the Goon beat up a kid who tormented him. The Goon involved Franky in his criminal business, setting out to burn down a barbershop, which refused to pay protection to "Labrazio". During the arson attempt, zombies attacked them. Franky, not believing he could, killed one in self-defense, at which time he underwent a change in personality, adopting a haughty "tough-guy" persona similar to the Goon's, and taking up the position of the Goon's right-hand man. Franky normally wears brown pants with suspenders, a white shirt, and a brown fedora on his bald head. Franky is unusual in that his eyes are drawn without pupils, or "blunked out", carrying on the fine tradition founded in great newspaper comic strip characters like Little Orphan Annie. Franky is nowhere near the Goon's level in combat prowess, but he has proven himself useful many times, if nothing else than to watch the Goon's back and act as another set of hands. His signature move is the "knife to the eye".

I really need to pick up The Goon.

 


snowwhite.jpg112. Snow White (32 points)

Year first appeared: 2002

"Every character is Fables is cool, but the book wouldn't be what it is without Snow and her husband."

Snow White has always been a tougher customer than her name implied. She tricked her husband Prince Charming into teaching her how to fence in order to exact revenge on the seven dwarves who had imprisoned her. Sadly, her marriage to Charming was short lived as she discovered his infidelity with her sister Rose Red. What happened to Snow in the intervening years between her divorce and the invasion of the Adversary is unknown. It is known that after the Adversary invaded she was sent as an emissary to the land of Arabian Fables to enlist their aid. Sadly, she was unsuccessful. As things became worse for the European Fables Snow and Rose found themselves traveling together. Taking refuge in an abandoned house, they discovered a living skeleton in the oven. As the skeleton slowly retook shape it told its story, revealing itself to be Frau Totenkinder, the bad witch of many legends. Snow was immediately distrustful and disdainful, but Rose continued to treat the old woman kindly.

Somehow, Snow and Rose were separated from the Totenkinder and ended up being captured. The chain gang they were part of encountered the Bigby Wolf, the Big Bad Wolf. He freed them and led them to one of the gates to the mundane world. Years later, Snow along with Feathertop the scarecrow was sent to find Bigby to convince him to join the rest of the European Fables in moving to the New World to create a town of Fables far away from prying Mundane eyes. Because he was attracted to Snow, Bigby agreed and let himself be cut with a lycanthropy stained knife so that he could shape shift into human form.

After settling in Fable Town outside New Amsterdam, Snow worked in the Fable government, working her way up to Deputy Mayor under King Cole as the city of New York grew up around them. (Indeed, as the series begins Snow is the go-to-gal, while Cole is more of a beloved figurehead.) While investigating Rose Red’s supposed murder, Bigby confessed his feeling for Snow, but she rebuffed him. After Rose Red had been revealed alive and sentenced with community service in the secluded community of non-human fables called “The Farm”, Snow and Rose reconcile while Snow tapped reserves of bravery and ingenuity in fighting off an armed rebellion led by Goldilocks. She even survived a rifle shot to the head, revealing the theory that the more popular a Fable is in legend, the more alive they are in the minds of the mundane humans, the more immortal they are.

Because Goldilocks had been discovered hiding at Bluebeard’s, Bluebeard put Bigby and Snow under a spell and sent them deep into the Cascade Mountains where Goldilocks could assassinate them quietly. They escaped the assassination attempt while growing closer and Snow said she was willing to give a relationship with Bigby a try. Those good intentions were quickly sidelined when Snow discovered she was pregnant, for which she blamed Bigby despite the fact that both them were entranced and neither remembered anything. Both being professionals of exceptional longstanding, working together was easy but Snow remained distant.

As Bigby went to investigate the sudden appearance of Red Riding Hood in Fable Town, Snow found herself the general of a defending army as a horde of wooden soldiers attacked. While doing well at first, the battle was turning badly when Bigby returned in wolf form and destroyed the army using his “huff & puff”. She and Bigby reconciled briefly. Soon after the battle she gave birth to seven children, only one of which was fully human. Five of the others being more wolf-like and one of which was an invisible zephyr that took her months to discover. Because her children could not pass for human, Snow moved to the Farm to raise them with her sister Rose while Beauty took over as Deputy Mayor. Because of his record as the Big Bad Wolf, Bigby was not allowed on the Farm. Angered that Snow would not leave to raise the children with him in the wilderness and not willing to work under the newly elected Mayor Prince Charming (Snow's ex-husband), Bigby disappeared. Because their zephyr child had accidentally killed a few people trying to feed itself, Snow sent the child to Bigby to care for it lest it be hunted down and killed in the Fable community.

Snow and Rose raised “The Cubs” quietly on the Farm along with help from Bigby’s father, Mr. North or The North Wind, but she kept in close touch with the happenings in Fabletown. In return for succeeding in a highly dangerous mission against the Adversary, Mayor Prince Charming gave Bigby a portion of the Farm as his own. Snow and Bigby were married and now live and raise all seven of their children in Wolf Valley.

 

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