Friday, April 20, 2018 • Evening Edition • "Putting the yellow back into journalism."

Your Top Modern Characters part 93

Written by Chris Mitchell on Wednesday, April 15 2009 and posted in Features
Top List
SO close to the Top 50, who will make it? Who will not? Dun dun dunnnnn...




56. Jubilee (52 points - 1 first place slot) jubilee.jpg

Year first appeared: 1989

"She's the one character who sums up the family aspect of the X-Men the most, raised in a life of luxury till her parents were murdered, she eventually found a home with the X-Men. She's brave, funny and her powers are very effective. Want an insight into Jubilee, read Uncanny X-Men 303, possibly the greatest X-men story of all time. Prominent in the 90's X-Men show, and starring in Generation X, Jubilee has done enough to put her top of my list."

I still laugh when I think of the Juggernaut Bitch cartoon when he called you a Bret Hart looking motherfucker. Hah. Kills me every time.

The American daughter of Chinese immigrants, Jubilation Lee lived a privileged Beverly Hills lifestyle. Misfortune ensued when Lee's parents lost their fortune and soon lost their lives - resulting in Lee becoming a ward of the state. Fearing that she would be sent to live with relatives in China, Lee escaped from Juvenile Hall and took refuge in a Hollywood mall. Constantly avoiding mall security Lee lived as a petty thief. Not until she was cornered by security did her mutant powers manifest under stress. Escaping once again, security contracted the novice mutant hunters known as the M Squad.

After the events known as Inferno the female members of the X-Men were coincidentally taking some time for themselves with a shopping trip to the mall were Lee was residing. After they defeated the M Squad the X-Men members returned to their Australian base via a teleportation portal - Lee sneaking through without notice. Lee continued her life as an outsider and sneak thief while hiding in a cave nearby the X-Men's secret Australian hideaway. Only after the Reavers attacked and crucified Wolverine did she make her presence known. Rescuing Wolverine she accompanying him on many of his subsequent adventures eventually becoming a full member of the X-Men as the fireworks generating Jubilee.

Jube then did a tour of duty with one of my favorite 90's titles Generation-X. Oh, before I continue damn you all for not voting for Synch. You all suck. After the disbanding of Gen-X, she did some other X-Men work and X-Corps as well. Long story short, she lost her powers in M-Day and from there joined the new, New Warriors as Wondra and serves as their most powerful member. As much as I dislike this character, she really needs to get her powers back. Like for real. I mean Wondra? Really? So, so dumb.


55. War Machine (53 points)

Year first appeared; 1992

Yes, yes, I know. He appeared in 1979, well, Jim did that is. But he became War Machine in 1992. I like him. I have always liked him. I am happy he is in Iron Man 2. I think the armor is badass. And I am glad he is on the list. Do I think he should be in the Top 50? No. I think he is in a good spot. He was on of the more popular characters to come out of Marvel in the 90's so yeah. There ya go.

James "Jim" Rupert Rhodes was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He first met Tony Stark while flying combat missions in Vietnam. Rhodes' helicopter had been shot down by Viet Cong rocket fire, and while trying to get the aircraft airborne again, he encountered Stark in a bulky prototype suit of powered armor. At that moment the Viet Cong attacked, and Stark, in his suit, helped to drive them off. Together, Rhodes and Stark made their way to a nearby enemy base where they stole another helicopter, flying it back to the American lines.

After the end of the Vietnam War, Stark, who had secretly become the superhero named Iron Man, offered Rhodes a job as his personal pilot, and Rhodes soon became one of Stark's closest associates and confidants as well as Stark Industries' chief aviation officer. As a result, he had numerous adventures with his employer where his daring and skills were valuable assets. When Tony relapsed into his alcoholism, James Rhodes took over the Variable Threat Response Battle Suit (War Machine). James Rhodes took up the mantle of Iron Man for some time, and would return to using this suit.

During the Time Wars James Rhodes traveled back to World War II with Sheva Josephs to stop Grinz, a Nazi officer who was receiving advanced technology from the future, Rhodes learned that his own son, Raeder, supplied Grinz. Rhodes killed Grinz to prevent Raeder from being born; the resulting paradox shunted Rhodes and Joseph back to their own time, It was then that James Rhodes lost the War Machine armor and was forced to retire from the superhero business.

It was during a fishing trip, trying to relax, that an alien race came to Rhodey and bonded him with the symbiotic alien suit, known as the Eidolon Warwear. Known as the Eidolon Warwear System, was a gift from unknown aliens who apparently wished to give us a defender for Earth's coming battle with Kang The Conqueror. The black, orange and green battle suit was an organic partner that sensed Rhodey's heroic nature and drew him near so that it could organically bond with him. When Stark died during a battle with Kang The Conqueror, Rhodes rejoined Stark Enterprises to protect his old friend's legacy. To prevent Stark's armor technology from being misused, he used the abilities of the Eidolon Warwear armor to erase all trace of Stark's designs from the Fujikawa systems, but the armor was destroyed in the process. Rhodes gave up his superhero career and started his own salvage company. Upon Stark and the other heroes' return from Counter-Earth, the two renewed their friendship, also dealing with the new War Machine, Parnell Jacobs.

Stark fired Rhodes after War Machine killed two hostage takers on national TV, one in cold-blood. After his dismissal, former War Machine pilot Parnell attacked Rhodes in an attempt to recover the War Machine armor. The two are picked up by Nick Fury and taken to the Helicarrier. It is revealed that Jacobs had sold his stolen War Machine to Hydra for money when he learned his wife was pregnant. S.H.I.E.L.D. was able to recover the armor and was in the process of reverse engineering the Stark technology. Nick Fury planned to field a squad of War Machines commanded by Rhodes.

He would take a break from heroics for a while, Rhodes founded his own marine salvage company, but an extravagant lifestyle and an unscrupulous accountant left him bankrupt. Rhodes had heavily invested in Grace & Tumbalt due to their stated purpose of improving urban ethnic neighborhoods. While investigating the death of his sister Jeanette, he learned the company was corrupt, using their resources to fuel gangs and drugs. He would then form a team of superheroes called "The Crew." The team consisted of The White Tiger, Junta, and Josiah X, the son of the 1940’s super-soldier Isaiah Bradley, the black Captain America. Rhodes used part of a prototype War Machine armor to face off with Triage, the head of the 66 Bridges, and the gang was dispersed by Rhodes and his allies.

After the House of M incident, he would guard the mutants as the commanding officer and head combat instructor for Sentinel Squad O*N*E* and as a key member of the Office of National Emergency, using an Iron Man like armor that took advantage of sentinel technology, he would start controlling one of the large Sentinel suits after Tony Stark designed a "War Machine" model.

He would drop the Sentinel armor and return to his superhero duties once the Initiative went into effect. Jim Rhodes is back in the War Machine Armor for the first time in over four years and is the Field Commander of Camp Hammond and one of the head trainers of new recruits of The Initiative program. It has been recently shown that Rhodes had been severely injured by the Green Scar during the events of World War Hulk and has part of his face covered in cybernetic implants. He is currently working on making a clone but Norman Osborn discovered it.


54. Ravager (54 points)

Year first appeared: 1992

Rose Wilson did not know until she was a teenager that she was the daughter of Slade Wilson the assassin known as Deathstroke. After the girl was kidnapped by Wilson's half-brother Wade DeFarge she was left in the protective custody of the Titans. Leaving the team for a brief period Wilson returned to serve as a nanny for Roy Harper's daughter Liam.

After the Titans disbanded, Wilson found a foster home in Chicago, but it was not to last. Her new family was assassinated by DeFarge - who was secretly hired by Deathstroke to drive his daughter into his waiting arms. The Teen Titans who were tipped to the assassin's assault arrived just in time, but the entire team was rendered unconscious by halothane gas.

When Rose Wilson awoke she was in Deathstroke's lair. Her father offered her a chance for revenge against the Ravager for killing her family to which she refused a gun in favor of a sword - thus killing the old Ravager and she herself becoming the new Ravager.

Rose's powers include limited precognitive abilities which may blossom into much more. She is sometimes able to use her precognitive abilities to 'see' her opponent's next moves, although her visions come and go. Rose is a skilled martial arts expert, with enhanced agility, speed, strength and endurance. She is also very skilled in the use of a bo staff (although her weapon of choice are her two swords).

In one instance, was able to have an extensive precognitive vision where she saw her father's future. During this jaunt, Rose was able to project her astral form and inhabit the body of someone in the future (similar to her brother Jericho's ability). Recently, in Terror Titans #1, Rose had been given an inhaler by Clock King to trigger her precognitive abilities. Therefore, she can now use them pretty much at will. In Terror Titans #2, Rose suggested to Clock King that she could see as far as weeks into the future possibly implying that soon her precognitive skills will develop into even more.


53. The Crow (54 points)

Year first appeared: 1992

Eric was a man in love who lost his fiancée and his life to a gang of rapists in a random act of violence. On their way back from a romantic get-away, Eric's car breaks down on a deserted road. A car full of gang members stops not to help but to take advantage of the couple's misfortune. One of the most striking and powerful scenes in the book is of Eric lying incapacitated on the road struggling to hang on to life only to see his fiancée get raped and killed before his own life is extinguished. He returns to the living world as the Crow, collecting artifacts of his love such as his engagement ring and exacting vengeance on the gang who killed his fiancée.

In the movie Eric Draven (played by Brandon Lee) was the lead guitar player and singer of a band named Hangman's Joke. He and his fiancée Shelly Webster were to be married on Halloween night. The night of Halloween eve (Devil’s night), thugs known as Fun Boy, T-Bird, Skank, and Tin-Tin came to Eric’s apartment to punish Shelly for overhearing too much information, under the orders of the gangster Top Dollar. Eric walked in while they were raping her and tried to save her but got killed in the process when they threw him out of a sixteenth story window. A year later, the Crow brought Eric back to life to make things right.

This movie was made famous because of an immense misfortune. Brandon Lee, son of Kung-Fu master and martial art legend, was interpreting the role of Eric Draven (the Crow) and also was the fight choreographer. In his very short and rising career, this was Brandon’s big break. Little did he know, this was going to be his last role ever! In a scene near the end, the character stands in front of an army of men firing repeatedly at him. One of the prop weapons was faulty. The cap of a blank accidentally got lodged in his spine after penetrating his abdomen. The next day at 1:04 PM, Brandon died. His body was flown to Seattle to be buried beside his father (who also died while filming) in Lake View Cemetery.



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