Saturday, December 20, 2014 • Afternoon Edition • "The CBR of comic book journalism."

Your Top Modern Characters part 94

Written by Chris Mitchell on Wednesday, April 15 2009 and posted in Features
Tags:
Top List
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We are here!!! YAY!!

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52. Winter Soldier (54 points) wintersoldier.jpg

Year first appeared: 2005

"WINTER SOLDIER EVEN THOUGH BUCKY IS FROM THE 1940'S THERE WAS NOT WINTERSOLDIER!!! OMG HE IS CYBORG LIKE BUT EVIL AND NOW CAPTAIN AMERICA!!! OH SHIZZLE!!!!"

"I like Bucky as Cap well enough, but him as the Winter Soldier was just awesome. "

"Bucky kicks ass written by Brubaker. And he makes a great Cap IMO."

"More interesting as WS than he ever was as Bucky. Cool visual and history. Bru is a master. "

In April 1945, an experimental Soviet spy-submarine helmed by Comrade Karpov was crossing the English Channel when it intercepted a transmission claiming that Captain America and Bucky had been blown up. Not far from the area, the sub quickly charted the depths and discovered Bucky's tattered body, his left arm completely torn off. Apparently flash-frozen in the waters, the Soviets slowly increased his temperature to thaw out his tissues. After administering electricity, CPR and adrenaline directly into his heart, Bucky was brought back from the dead. While he had no memory of his previous life, Bucky demonstrated a remarkable ability: reflex memories. He knew how to fight, and how to speak four languages, but had no clue how he knew all this.

Fitting him with a cybernetic arm, the Soviets began work on the Winter Soldier Project. They began mental implantation to reprogram his mind to make him loyal to no one but the Soviets. With the codename Winter Soldier, the former Bucky was sent out on spy missions to blend in with his surroundings and assassinate various Cold War power-players. After acting oddly on a few missions, the Soviets decided to store the Winter Soldier away in a suspended state until needed again, keeping his mind from learning the truth.

Recently, after killing a number of subjects including Red Skull and Nomad under the direction of Karpov's protégé, Aleksander Lukin, the Winter Soldier came face to face with Captain America, still not remembering his past at all. After a close battle resulting in Captain America obtaining the all-powerful Cosmic Cube, Cap held the Cube and made one short statement to the Winter Soldier: "Remember who you are." As the memories flooded back to him, the Winter Soldier couldn't take it and destroyed the Cube, vanishing with it.

He found an ally in Nick Fury, another WWII legend who has also gone 'off the map'. Fury has equipped Bucky with the intel and equipment (including an improved cybernetic arm) needed to remain a key player behind the scenes of the Marvel Universe. Confused and angry, still reeling from shock of Steve's death, Bucky looked for a way to strike back. He stole Cap's shield during a transfer between two S.H.I.E.L.D. holding areas, and ambushed the Red Skull, who is currently sharing a mind with Lukin, only to be temporarily taken prisoner.

Steve Rogers left instructions for Tony Stark in a letter written before his death to "save" Bucky and that the mantle of Captain America should go on. After the murder of Steve Rogers, the man who was Captain America, Cap's former partner during World War II, James "Bucky" Barnes, agreed to don the mantle. And even as he struggles with the sins he committed as the Winter Soldier, the Soviet mercenary he was brainwashed into becoming during the Cold War, the new Captain America finds his pasts as both Bucky and the Winter Soldier colliding with his present.

When the Winter Soldier was brought into S.H.I.E.L.D. custody, he managed to escape. His cybernetic arm had been removed and was being examined by S.H.I.E.L.D. scientists. They were surprised at how much of their own design was in place. Either the Russians had a mole in S.H.I.E.L.D. or the Winter Soldier was working for Nick Fury. The arm sent out an electrical shock to one scientist, rose up and knocked out the other two. It then crawled up the wall and into a ventilation shaft to seek out its owner. When the Winter Soldier was free his only goal was to attack Iron Man.

The two fought to a standstill until Stark mentioned the letter from Steve. Bucky wasn't sure that Cap had meant for him to actually become Captain America. Tony said that there's no way Bucky would let anyone else fill those boots and asked if he wanted to be the one to let Steve down. Bucky said he'd do it under two conditions. The first was that his mind was completely probed to ensure there was no trace of brainwashing or failsafe code words left over from when he was under control was the Winter Soldier. The second condition is that he doesn't have to answer to S.H.I.E.L.D. or to Stark, just as Steve didn't. Tony thought about it and agreed. Since becoming Captain America he has stop the Red Skull's plans and saved the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates, winning public applause. He also restarted his relationship with the Black Widow and joined the New Avengers, also giving them a new hideout. James later participates in search for Luke and Jessica's child, Danielle.

One night Bucky was up late talking to Black Widow about what he did as the Winter Soldier, Widow kept telling him that it wasn't his fault, he went out to think but ran into Batroc, they fought but Bucky was defeated, later he and Widow went to the U.N. to find some answers, they find out that the U.N. is covering something up, Bucky then goes to the black-market to find answers, he found out about the U.N. transporting something the next day. The next day Bucky ran into Batroc again trying to steal what ever the U.N. was transporting, they began to fight, then The Man With No Face jumped into the fight, Bucky defeated Batroc, but even with the help from Black Widow The Man With No Face got away with what was left of the Original Human Torch.

 

gravity.jpg
51. Gravity (55 points)

Year first appeared: 2005

From an unknown accident, Greg can now manipulate gravity and decides that he will become a superhero. He enrolled in New York University and started his superhero career there. During his first day, he encountered a fight between Rage and Black Death, a homicidal anarchist made of black energy. Unfortunately, Greg thought that Rage is the villain and let Black Death get away. In his college, he meets his roommate, who has ADHD and a fanatic of superheroes, and Laura Singh, a fellow freshman herself.

One day, while defeating Rhino, he caught the attention of the Daily Bugle. Because of his icon in his costume, which is pattern like an X, people who are reading the newspaper think he is a mutant.

Becoming insecure of his career as a superhero, he meets up with another superhero, the Greenwich Guardian, the self-proclaimed protector of Greenwich Village, and they patrol the city. Disturbed by his new partner's violent nature, Gravity search for Black Death on his own. Because of his relationship with Laura had gotten deeper, Greg decides to quit the super-heroics.

But later, the Greenwich Guardian pressured Greg to help him to defeat Black Death. In doing so, he misses out his date with Laura. She doesn't want to forgive him, his college adviser tells him that his grades are slipping. Greg meets up again with the Greenwich Guardian to trap Black Death. But was trick by the Guardian and revealed himself to be Black Death. He planned on using Gravity's power to destroy Greenwich Village and New York University, but Greg defeated him but escaped. After the fight, Spider-Man came to him and congratulates him for a job well done. Later, in a cafe, Greg meets up with Laura and tells her that he's planning to drop out of college and return home. Laura was disappointed with Greg and gave him a pep talk. After that, he decided to stay for another semester and now more confident on his abilities goes off to stop another super villain, Brushfire. Meanwhile, Black Death is trying to find out the identity of Greg in the NYU website.

After fighting a Brushfire, he was suddenly teleported to another planet. There he was with Spider-Man, Venom, Hank Pym, Wasp, Medusa, Alyosha Kravinoff (Kraven the Hunter), Firebird and The Hood. They were sent there by the Beyonder to battle each other to see who would win. Hank seems to have killed all of them and demands his reward. It was revealed that the Beyonder is actually The Stranger. Little that The Stranger knew that Hank simply shrink the others and after getting them back to normal size, they all fought The Stranger. When Uatu the Watcher revealed himself, The Stranger got intimidated by his presence and left the planet. The planet soon began to crumble, as it was being held by The Stranger's powers. So, Gravity volunteered to be left behind to hold the planet long enough for the others to escape. The strain killed him, and back on earth, all of those he saved mourned for him, even Venom. It has been hinted that Gravity's destiny still awaits for him, as Uatu was there to witness his death, and when a Watcher appear on an event, it means that its a very important event.

Gravity was resurrected and made into the new Protector of the Universe by Epoch since Quasar was dead. Shortly after being reborn, Gravity battles a hungry Galactus, who is trying to feed on Epoch. Gravity exhausts his cosmic awareness by feeding Galactus, and refuses to take the powers back. He then returns to Earth with the Fantastic Four, claiming that he still has his original gravity control powers, and sets off to reunite with his loved ones. When the Fantastic Four, Doctor Strange, and the Silver Surfer are trying to save the universe, Uatu made a deal with Gravity, that he would restore his secret identity if he could use his powers to cut away the bad parts of the universe.

It’s been revealed that Gravity has joined the Initiative and was assigned to the Nevada team, The Heavy Hitters as its leader. The other members of the team are Hardball, Non-Stop and Telemetry. During the Secret Invasion, the Heavy Hitters helped the Skrull Kill Krew in defeating Skrulls posing as Equinox and Thor Girl. Later, Gravity and Komodo tried to get back Hardball away from Hydra, but Hardball chose to be with Hydra because of the betrayal of the two heroes against him. Hardball then became the supreme ruler of Hydra.

 


androidhourman.jpg50. Hourman/Android (56 points - 1 first place slot)

Year first appeared: 1997

Hourman, an android from the 853rd century that was modeled on Rex Tyler's DNA, served with both the Justice League and the Justice Society for a time. He often perceived himself as Rex and also as Rex's descendant. Originally possessing the time-manipulating cosmic artifact known as the Worlogog, he divested himself of most of its power at the suggestion of Snapper Carr and went about learning to be human. After failing to stop Extant from escaping a fight, Hourman quit the JSA and began traveling through the time stream, returning when he received a distress call from the JSA. As noted above, he is currently believed to have been destroyed at the hands of Extant in Rex's place, although the time-traveler Rip Hunter mentioned that his actions would leave him inactive for a relative year, indicating his probable return. The android also, before he died, gave his hourglass to Rex Tyler, who hopes to rebuild him. The android was named Matthew Tyler, or simply Tyler.

Shortly after its construction, Metron appointed Hourman as his heir and entrusted him with the Worlogog. The Worlogog was an ancient artifact containing a map of space/time from Big Bang to End Point in miniature. The Worlogog, in form of a stone, had been lost for centuries on Earth until it was unearthed by a LexCorp requisition team, and was dubbed the Philosopher's Stone. Lex Luthor, not fully understanding the stone, used it to manipulate the alien Jemm with his Injustice Gang against the Justice League of America. The Justice League (notably Batman, Martian Manhunter and Superman) defeated Luthor and as Superman stood ready to destroy the Worlogog, a temporal split was created.

Were Superman to seemingly destroy the stone, the villain Darkseid would be able to conquer and subjugate the Earth. The corrupted Metron of that future traveled back along the timeline to gather a group of Justice Leaguers that would search for the stone, so that it would (unknown to them) fall in the hands of Darkseid.

A timeline in which Superman did not destroy the stone, however, did remain, and to counter the corrupted Metron, Hourman himself also traveled back in time, searching out the Leaguers that were searching for the stone. He was able to convince Green Lantern Kyle Rayner of the terrible future that would follow if they found the stone, and he convinced his teammates Aquaman and The Flash (Wally West) to try and stop Darkseid. The three heroes ended up in the alternate timeline in which Darkseid had won, and with the use of their surviving teammates, were able to travel back along the timeline themselves, and get a telepathic message to the Martian Manhunter, who stopped Superman from destroying the stone.

The Worlogog was handed to the real Metron, who passed it onto Hourman, who thereby outgrew his role as apprentice and became the master of time and Hypertime, while retaining his membership in the Justice Legion.

After the celebrations had finished, Hourman felt inadequate, since he had been used so easily by Solaris as carrier of the Hourman Virus. Deciding that he needed some more personal growth, he traveled back to the 20th century, since there he could truly grow, unlike in the wondrous 853rd century. Thus he arrived at the Justice League Watchtower, where he would serve as a replacement for the Martian Manhunter (who was on a temporary leave of absence). Immediately on his entrance, he made somewhat of a temporal snafu, by asking if he had arrived before or after the invasion of the 5th dimension.

He arrived at the Justice League Watchtower, having signaled ahead that he was coming. He did not truly fit in with the League however, and used his time-vision on multiple occasions to skip over conversations he deemed unnecessary. Eventually, a few members of the League decided to call him on it, and decided that Batman would be best to talk some sense into Hourman.

Although annoyed by their interference, he explained to Hourman the worth of thinking before acting. Hourman took the advice rather literally and used his time-vision to learn the history of the Justice League through Batman's experiences. From those experiences, Hourman decided that the best person to guide him through his personal growth was the former mascot of the League, and normal human, Snapper Carr.

While fighting alongside the Justice League in the war with the 5th Dimension, Hourman met the Justice Society of America, and thanks to the feelings and memories of the original Hourman that he possessed, he felt a kinship to them. When asked by Jay Garrick, he attended the funeral of Wesley Dodds, the original Sandman. Together with the others present, he was dragged into the battle for the future Doctor Fate. At the end of that adventure, he joined the Justice Society.

When Hourman met Rick Tyler, son and heir of the original Hourman, they fought. They would eventually make amends when Amazo, disguised as a future version of Hourman, cures Rick of the disease he had contracted thanks to his Miraclo addiction. After spending some more time with the Society, Hourman left to explore the time stream more, but not before giving Rick two gifts: an hour with his father in the Timepoint before Rex would give his life to fight Extant, as well as an hourglass filled with tachyons.

He recently returned at the behest of the Society when Rick was stranded in the Timepoint, mortally wounded. Rick was saved, although his hour in the Timepoint was up and now either Rick or Rex was going to die facing Extant. Instead, Matthew gave his life and took their place, impersonating Rex with a hologram, leaving them with the hourglass in his chest to allow them to return home. When Rex told Hourman that he was as alive as any of them, despite being an android, Hourman replied that he appreciated that more than Rex could ever know, and asked Rex to give his wife his love before he returned to the battle with Extant. His broken pieces were retrieved by Rex, who is currently trying to rebuild him.

 


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