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Your Top Modern Characters part 87

Written by Chris Mitchell on Friday, April 10 2009 and posted in Features
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Top List
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We have breached the Top 75.

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76. Atom Eve (43 points)

Year first appeared: 2002

"A superhero who used her powers well! Finally. She traveled to Africa to make sure her superpowers could be put to some good use. She is powerful, smart and develops her powers well. My favorite character from Invincible."

Atom Eve was created 19 years ago in an experiment to mutate an unborn child. The scientist in charge was ashamed of what he had done so he traded the child with the dead child of another family. Eve went to live with the Wilkins and they named her Samantha Eve Wilkins. In school she was considered a science prodigy since she already knew everything about any science that anyone could teach. She became a member of the Teen Team and met Invincible, even though her and Mark were in the same Physics class and had the same lunch period. She had a relationship with Rex-Splode that ended when she found out he was cheating on her with another teammate Dupli-Kate. She liked Invincible but wasn't able to tell him before he began dating another girl from their school named Amber. She tried to go on with normal life but it became increasingly harder for her. Eventually unable to stay near him anymore while he was with someone else, she stopped being a superhero and went to Africa where she uses her powers to help people there. Invincible and Amber came out to visit her. During their trip Eve tried to convince Mark that Amber was wrong for him and she tried to start a relationship with him but he was oblivious to her feelings.

Invincible meets a future version of Eve from 15 years and tells him to tell her younger self how he feels so she won't be held back by her feelings. Mark tries to tell Eve that he doesn't have feelings for her but they end up kissing and Mark feels guilty for kissing her behind his girlfriend Amber's back. However after Mark and Amber break up Eve confronts him and he tells her about the future, which upsets her and she, leaves.

Atom Eve has the power to restructure matter with a thought. As long as she knows how something is made up she can change it into something else and since was created with a great understanding of chemistry and the molecular structure of things as well as an innate knowledge of every law of science, her abilities are only limited by her imagination. She can change living and non-living matter, make atoms obey her will, create new atoms and form complex forms of life out of non-living matter, fly, create force-fields and shape energy to make any object she can visualize.

 

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75. Christian Walker (43 points)

Year first appeared: 2000

Walker's origin was explored in the story arc "Forever" in Powers (vol. 1), issues 31 to 37. Initially thought of as a boring, two dimensional character due to his lack of conversation (which has since been put down to a feeling of having had "every discussion before" like an "old man that couldn't be bothered to finish his sentences" in the letters pages of the book) the origin was acclaimed for its originality and filled out some of the questions surrounding Walker, while further raising some more.

It all started at the dawn of man, when two Cro-Magnon men have a disagreement over a woman and start fighting, both surprised and confused to find that they have powers. The fight rages on for days and destroys everything in its path as the first super powered battle, eventually tiring them out. They walk away from each other in a stalemate. One of these first ape-men was Christian Walker.

In the Powers 2008 Annual, it is revealed that Walker and his rival clashed once again, this time as full homo-sapien cave dwellers. Walker, now known as Gor, has retired to a desolate cave where he sat alone for many years, simply evolving. Over time, Gor attracts a tribe, and becomes something like a worshipped chief to his people. When one of Gor's men is killed by a wound not made by teeth or claw, Gor is forced to investigate, following a trail that leads to his old rival. Gor's rival, now calling himself Blood Fist, has invented the world's first stone weapon (a knife made of rock and bone, suggesting he has a tendency to out-pace Walker in evolution) and has used it to violently take over a tribe. Now Blood Fist is preparing to challenge the tribe's "cave god", an enormous bear to which the tribe pays tribute, and claims to be a god himself. Remembering the two's past encounter Gor resolves to end their fight once and for all, and moves quickly into the cave, killing the bear with his bare hands and ripping off its skin. Gor challenges Blood Fist while wearing the bearskin, rejecting his words and claiming that they are both just men. Finally, Gor apparently ends their fight by stealing Blood Fist's weapon and stabbing him through the skull.

Next the story shifts in time thousands of years, following a famous warrior named Gora (as Christian Walker is called here) as he is tracked down by a Princess warrior to fight for her father. His vicious powered enemy Haemon (who was the other early human that he fought before) appears, claims they are demons on earth, slays the Princess warrior and starts another momentous battle. Walking away in exhaustion, Haemon tells Gora to be ready for their next fight.

Shift forward thousands of years more and we see Christian Walker walking up thousands of steps to the Woshu Mountain Temple in Peking, China to see Master Han Xian-Zi, leader of masters and warriors who live and study in the Great Temple. It is this great journey of walking up the steps to the Temple, making his feet "calloused and dead" that gives him the name 'Walker'. He hopes of discovering what makes him so different. He finds dozens similar to him, some immortal, mortal, or reincarnated, but all special and looking for a home. Walker is portrayed as tortured by the deaths of loved ones and not only confused by, but unwanting of the powers he holds. It is discovered that like many Powers, but not all of them, Detective Christian Walker, despite being as old as recorded time, can only remember as far back as a human mind can. He has his first meeting with Zora and the then Chinese version of Retro-Girl, and Supershock, who all would later play a big part in his life. It appears he likes Retro-Girl and most likely sparks up a relationship with her, much to Zora's disappointment. He lived there in peace for 16 years until an ordinary man traveled to the Temple from Peking to ask for help against the invading, deceptive foreigners who had taken many Peking people as slaves and had set off a chain reaction of violence and destruction in his city. The warriors within the Temple are split as whether to help these people so different from them, but Walker, along with Zora, Retro-Girl, Supershock and others decide to help, forming the first known super team.

In homage to golden age superheroes first known as "Mystery Men", the story shifts to 1936 Chicago, where Walker had recently put on a mask to help his wife's brother out against Frank Nitti and the mob. Tracking down Einstein, he hopes to figure out how he does what he does, including an ability to fly. It is revealed parts of his memory do come back to him, but yet he has no idea why he left China or what happened to him in intervening years that include London. Einstein, of course, has no idea of the answers Walker needs and is shocked at his power. Einstein gives Walker one piece of classic superhero advice however. "Never let them know who you really are -- never take the mask off. They'll kill you." Walker travels home to tell his wife that he felt better for the talk, to find his aging wife had been butchered by the man formerly known as Haemon. Clearly having a better memory than Walker, he had tracked him down to fight him once again, as he reveals he has done in many countries, in many eras. Shocked and angry that Walker does not have the same memories of him, Haemon (in this century, later calling himself Wolfe) beats him and leaves, expressing how he wanted to kill Walker when he could remember him and feed off of his hate.

Switching to 1986 and the final chapter of Walker's origin of how he came to be, he is first shown in bed with Zora and Retro-Girl (modern) before being shown with them in costume as Diamond, "the costumed avenger that captured the hearts and minds of a generation". Triphammer (a great playboy inventor who uses his expertise to design suits that give him Powers, much like Iron Man) showed Walker the first Power Drainer, and its distinctive green glow. Walker expresses an interest in making such a power drain permanent to the disgust of Triphammer. Snapping, Diamond/Walker again expresses his anguish at watching his loved ones die time after time. Then their "family" of superheroes including himself, Zora, Retro-Girl and Triphammer confront the greatest villains of their era in a momentous battle, after getting word that Johnny Royale (another character that would haunt the Powers detectives in the future) was attempting to broker an alliance amongst the villains, to counter the latest superhero team.

Wolfe formerly Haemon, Walker's greatest enemy, shows up during the brawl, and decides Walker is now ready for the reiteration of their eternal duel. For the third time, Wolfe and Walker battle it out to exhaustion. Taking the initiative - and realizing that, like every other time, their fights can only end in stalemate - Walker flies Wolfe into Triphammer's building and activates the Power Drainer. Without powers, Walker is physically superior and proceeds to beat Wolfe half to death, while questioning him as to why he has been torturing him across time. Wolfe simply laughs and says he can no longer remember. Infuriated, Walker throws the fragile Wolfe into the Drainer, causing an explosion that leaves both of them stripped of their powers, seemingly forever. Wolfe is taken to prison and even questioned in the "Who Killed Retro-Girl Case?" during the first story arc. Walker waits two years before he introduces himself to a Captain on the police force, whom he had helped out in an as-yet unrevealed way earlier on in his career, and so Walker's new life as a detective begins

The final part of the story, although set just after Deena Pilgrim's first case with Christian Walker (Who Killed Retro Girl), concludes the Walker/Wolfe storyline and so still makes up part of Walker's "origin", seeing as it, in part, makes who Walker is today and concludes the rivalry that shaped him through the ages. It is the modern day and Christian Walker, despite being powerless, has seemingly not aged a day, as he became the very successful detective for Homicide cases involving Powers. Wolfe, having lived under a Drainer for the past twenty years, has evolved past Walker to regain his powers, but is rapidly deteriorating. With his body decaying from the sudden release of his long-dormant powers, he searches for Walker at his apartment. When the two confront each other, Wolfe admits he wasn't sure if he even intended to kill Walker. Disturbed and close to death, Wolfe asks for Walker's forgiveness. Walker refuses to give it to him and shoots him in the head. With his last breath, Wolfe hopes to take the "mighty Gora" out with him, exploding in a huge energy ripple that leaves Walker speechless. The issue and the arc finishes with Walker sitting in silence, clearly gaining no feeling of triumph from the death of his greatest foe.

 

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74. Chamber (43 points)

Year first appeared: 1994

Jonothon Evan Starsmore was invited by Professor Charles Xavier to attend the newly reopened Massachusetts Academy shortly after his mutant powers manifested. His mutant ability manifested itself as a large blast of psionic energy, blowing a hole in his body that stretches from his mouth to his lower torso, costing his then girlfriend the use of her legs.

Arriving in the United States, Starsmore was attacked at the airport by the criminal mutant Emplate, who feeds on the bone marrow of other mutants. He was rescued by the rest of the students who were attending the Massachusetts Academy, the team known as Generation X, which he joined soon afterwards as Chamber.

Shortly after, Chamber convinced the crazed Penance to stop attacking the team, as he could sympathize with her freakish appearance; she came to live with the team.

Emplate captured Chamber with Gayle's help, and then imprisoned both of them. Gayle blamed Jono for ruining her life, but the two managed to get over the pain after the rest of Generation X freed them. Chamber later became romantically involved with Husk, although their relationship was awkward and strained, and was terminated on more than one occasion when Jono self-sabotaged the growing relationship when he realized that he could not offer Husk the normal life he believed she wanted. Although he rebuilt bridges with her later, he soon returned to the same mind-set and the couple never entered a serious relationship, despite the chemistry between them. Their friendship was strained for the rest of the time they spent together.

Jono's greatest victory during the time he was with Generation X was when the mutant serial killer Omega Red attacked Banshee. With their teacher incapacitated, Chamber led the pursuit of the mutant and after the rest of the team was defeated, Chamber's immunity to Omega Red's death spores, as well as some tactical thinking on his part, enabled him to single handedly defeat the killer.

Despite his time at the school, Jono was never able to gain full control of his abilities. Chamber grew even more depressed when he saw that Synch, who could duplicate nearby mutant’s powers, was more proficient with Chamber's own powers than Chamber himself. When the school was outed as harboring mutant students, an anti-mutant group attacked the school. After Synch was killed preventing a bomb from killing nearby human students, the Generation X kids felt that their training was over, and they had to use their powers to help humanity. Chamber was the one student to be offered a place on the X-Men by Charles Xavier, but apparently failed to join the group when expected.

Following the warping of reality by the Scarlet Witch, Jono was one of the many mutants who were depowered when reality was restored. Apparently his powers failed during a mission with Weapon X. It was revealed that Beast was able to save his life after the loss of his powers, but the exact circumstances are unknown. As his lower face, chest, and heart were missing once again, the X-Men left him to be cared for at a hospital on life support.

Jono was moved to a hospital in England, but was abducted by his therapist a few weeks later - his therapist being Frederick Slade, a member of the Clan Akkaba. Under orders of Ozymandias, Jono was afterwards completely healed by the Clan, restoring his body but he took on the pigmentation and appearance of a younger version of Apocalypse. Jono was approached by the UK based superhero team Excalibur to join them, but refused, claiming he just wanted to be left alone. A later scan of Jono's residual energy signature has revealed that his powers have possibly evolved to Omega-level. However, if Chamber has any such abilities, they appear to be latent.

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