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Your Top Modern Characters part 82

Written by Chris Mitchell on Tuesday, April 07 2009 and posted in Features
Top List
A few first place picks in this grouping.



94. Casanova Quinn (36 points - 2 first place slots)

Year first appeared; 2006

"If you love Fraction, you need to read this. No lie."

"Fucking trippy."

Meet Casanova Quinn: scoundrel, thief and international man of leisure. The death of his twin sister ignites a cosmic blackmail scheme that forces Cass into the mind-bending life of a super-secret agent. Realities smash together, setting father against son, Us vs. Them and launching this slipstream sci-fi espionage epic! That’s what the very first solicit said for this comic. Matt Fraction has created a melange of far-out espionage and science fiction tropes that manages to be both reminiscent of what has come before and still fresh and original. The plot, which is intricate and exceedingly bizarre, centers on one Casanova Quinn a badass super thief not unlike Diabolik.

I understand that Matt Fraction wants to release a total of seven Casanova collections, naming each one after the seven deadly sins: Luxuria (lust), Gula (gluttony), Avaritia (greed), Acedia (sloth), Ira (wrath), Invidia (envy), and Superbia (pride).

Way to go, you managed to find a way for me to spend even MORE money, people.


theray.jpg93. The Ray (37 points)

Year first appeared; 1992

"The Ray remains such an interesting characters with an amazing set of powers. The mini-series and following series were beautifully written *and* beautifully drawn. The Ray deserves more time in the spotlight on one of the big titles (JLA or JSA), not relegated to some bush league squad like the Freedom Fighters."

Raymond Terrill is told by his father that exposure to direct sunlight will kill him. Privately tutored in his window-darkened home, he is dubbed "Night Boy" by the media. At the age of eighteen, Ray learns the truth at his father's deathbed. His father tells Raymond that he was a superhero called The Ray. His powers were light based and he tells Raymond that he has the same powers. His father tells him that as a child he would have been unable to control such power, and thus had to be kept in darkness.

Confused Raymond does not know what to do with his new powers. Until his father shows up very much alive and in his Ray costume. His father looks much younger and it is then that Raymond finds out that the man he thought was his father was really his uncle Thomas Terrill. His father is named Langford Terrill and he is really the original Ray.

His relationship with his father Langford is strained. Several times Raymond discovers the extent of his father's manipulative streak. Langford's deceptions are well intentioned but cause Raymond much grief. This gets even worse when Raymond finds out he has a very young half brother Joshua with similar powers.

Raymond's career as a superhero is a long line of short-term group affiliations. He joined the Justice League of America for a short time and even had a short romance with Black Canary. He is then asked to join the ranks of the Justice League Task Force, led the J'onn J'onzz. After they disband Raymond keeps a Justice League reserve-member status. Then Raymond joins Young Justice but soon leaves them as well. Now Ray is a member of the Freedom Fighters. After he joins the Freedom Fighters they were ambushed and soundly trounced by the Secret Society. At behest of Alexander Luthor, Psycho Pirate takes part in the assault on the Freedom Fighters. Later wearing a new costume, Ray encounters and defeats Stan Silver who has taken the name "Ray" for himself.

 Ray has shown great power but his naivety keeps him from fulfilling his full potential. During the Final Night saga Ray participates in making a secondary sun in order to try and fool the Sun-Eater.


teenvision.gif92. The Vision (37 points)

Year first appeared: 2006

I really miss the original.

A synthesis of two exceptional beings, the heroic young android Vision is evolving into a unique entity in his own right. His origins begin with the previous Vision, a sentient android and mainstay of the Avengers superhero team. The senior Vision eventually died in action, wrecked by his own insane ex-wife, the Scarlet Witch, and the Avengers placed his remains in storage in hopes of someday reactivating him. Meanwhile, a 16-year-old incarnation of 31st Century-born time traveler Kang the Conqueror from the alternate world Earth-6311 arrived in present-day mainstream reality, a fugitive from his own future self. Having met his time-traveling adult self and learned he was fated to become the monstrous villain Kang the Conqueror, young Nathaniel had fled into the past in the hopes that Kang’s longtime enemies, the Avengers, could help him escape his evil destiny; however, he had arrived in the present day during a period when the Avengers were disbanded. Seeking information, young Nathaniel found the Vision's remains and downloaded the android's programming, operating system and data files into a suit of neuro-kinetic armor he had obtained from Kang. These files included the "Avengers Fail-safe Program," a plan secretly developed by the late Vision to identify a new generation of potential Avengers recruits in the event of the team's destruction. Using these files, young Nathaniel recruited several Avengers-connected super-youths with whom he formed a new team as the Young Avengers, including the armored Nathaniel as Iron Lad.

Nathaniel's adult counterpart Kang eventually caught up with him, clashing with the Young Avengers, detective Jessica Jones and Avengers veterans Iron Man and Captain America to determine young Nathaniel's fate, and Kang died in the battle. Ultimately realizing that he had to fulfill his destiny as Kang or risk doing catastrophic damage to all reality, young Nathaniel returned to his native time period; however, he left behind his neuro-kinetic armor, which retained replicated impressions of Nathaniel's brain patterns, emotions and memories. Developing a physical form and powers adapted from the late Vision's programming, the armor became an independent sentient being as the new Vision first activated during the battle with Kang. The regrouped senior Avengers tested and analyzed this new Vision for some time, reluctant to place him on active duty too soon, and the restless android eventually decided to join the Young Avengers instead. He has served capably with the team since then, though a romantic affection for teammate Stature inherited from Iron Lad has led to an unrequited crush on the Vision's part. And now with Stature is a member of Pym's version of the Mighty Avengers.


mitchellhundred.jpg91. Mitchell Hundred (37 points - 1 first place slot)

year first appeared: 2004

"I love this book."

Before becoming a superhero and mayor, Hundred was a civil engineer. His colleagues say that he knows more about the Brooklyn Bridge than anyone else alive. He was raised by a highly political single mother; this, and his being a keen reader of DC Comics, inspired his life choices. There is an "is he or isn't he" aspect to his sexuality; on several occasions, characters ask him directly if he is gay, and Hundred does not directly reply in the affirmative or the negative.

As the result of an explosion from a suspected alien device at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge, Hundred is left permanently scarred (he has markings on the left side of his face and body reminiscent of a circuit board or electrodes); and develops the ability to communicate with and command mechanical devices. This includes anything from guns, to cell phones, to cars (but not, as Hundred discovered, a device as simple as a bow-and-arrow). At times they will not necessarily obey him, and even have the ability to lie to him. The reason for these abilities is unrevealed.

As the Great Machine, Mitchell Hundred utilizes many devices he designed after his accident. He wears a rocket backpack that allows him to fly, and uses ray guns and taser gloves as weapons. He has entrusted Kremlin and Rick Bradbury with possession of machines, which disrupt his powers. He built them based on a dream (along with some of his crime-fighting weapons), and expects them to be used as a contingency measure in case he ever goes mad with power. In the end of the "Smoke Smoke" arc, Hundred is seen smoking pot in order to drown out the constant stream of noise from the machines.

Hundred is visually based on a real-life friend of Tony Harris. In fact most of the panels in the comic are storyboarded using posed photographs of various stand-ins for the characters.



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