Monday, June 18, 2018 • Midnight Edition • "Tom Brennan's worst nightmare."

Your Top Modern Characters part 100

Written by Chris Mitchell on Friday, April 17 2009 and posted in Features
Top List
We are now into the 20's. I am pretty friggin' excited.




32. Spoiler (88 points - 3 first place slots) spoiler.jpg

Year first appeared: 1993

"in the darkness of the Batman verse I'll tell you the tale of the lone light that shines within it. That of one Stephanie Brown. True that wasn't the case originally when Tim also shared that honor as well, but DC decided to change that. The only sadness in her story is that her father is the super villain Cluemaster. That's about it. She chose to pursue this lifestyle of crime fighting. Not for any reason but to help the helpless and bring her father to justice. And no matter how many times Batman or Robin himself have told her to quit, she continues to go on.

Why? Because the city could need another protector. Whether Tim wants to admit it or not she is the light in the darkness he's currently being run through she is helping him along. Same goes with her relationship with the current Batgirl as well. She brings out the fun in both Tim and Cass. You always know there's going to be something funny going to happen when she's paired with them. It's one of the things you hope the current DC would remember, but doesn't alas."

The daughter of the recently released criminal Author Brown aka Cluemaster, Stephanie Brown overheard her father planning his next crime spree and decided to do something about it. Leaving clues for Batman and Robin, Brown plotted to spoil her father's criminal plans. When Cluemaster was apprehended, Brown decided that not only did she enjoy the life of a crime fighter, but the company of Robin.

Despite the hardships Brown has had to endure, due to her criminal father, her mother's addictions and an unplanned pregnancy by her former boyfriend she perseveres and continues a pursuit for justice as the Spoiler.

During one of Robin’s battle with a hitman, Stephanie was badly injured in the process and Tim took full responsibility for letting that happen to Stephanie. She became depressed and questioned himself, eventually Stephanie would snap Tim out of his condition. After Tim’s father found out he was Robin, Tim was forced to quit. Stephanie then created her own Robin suit and snuck into the Batcave. She asked Batman to let her be the new Robin, which Batman accepts, and puts her trough intense and rigorous training. Once she finished her training, she began patrolling with Batman.

Stephanie disobeyed an order of Batman's and was fired as Robin and Spoiler. Stephanie decided to steal one of Batman’s plans that would deal with the entire Gotham criminal underworld at once in order to prove that she is a hero. Since the plan also involved Matches Malone, which is another one of Bruce’s alter ego in order to infiltrate the criminal underworld, Stephanie caused a disaster and triggered a citywide gang war. While this was all happening, Stephanie was kidnapped by the Black Mask and tortured for information on Batman. Stephanie was able to escape and barely made it to a hospital. She eventually died because of too many serious wounds, Batman stayed by her side until her death, comforting her by telling her she was the real Robin. Later it was revealed that Dr. Leslie Thompkins had the ability to save Stephanie’s life but refused to do so, she did this to send a warning to all of Gotham’s youth that vigilantism will lead to death.

In Gotham Underground there is a girl who is spying on Robin, dressed up as Spoiler. She later confronts Robin and teams up with him alongside a new vigilante named Violet. After a few team ups he tells her she can't dress up as the Spoiler anymore but she takes off her mask to reveal that she is actually Stephanie Brown. Stephanie tells him that she never died and Leslie Thompkins faked her death, switching the body with a woman who overdosed. She was in Africa the whole time with Leslie doing volunteer work until an attack from a local witch hunting tribe on the camp forced her to confront her feelings and return to Gotham. She told her mother, with the help of Tim, that she was alive. Stephanie attends high school with Tim and is his partner against crime.


31. Cable (89 points - 2 first place slots)

Year first appeared: 1990


"Ditto what PUCK said. They found a way to make this character work and he has become an important part of the Marvel Universe."

"Off of the strength of the run by Robinson, Casey, Green, Landronn and others. What does a time traveling hero from a post apocalyptic future look like? This guy. With lots of pockets. Lots and lots of pockets."

Born of Scott Summers aka Cyclops and Madeline Pryor aka Goblin Queen, Nathan Summers was intended to be a superhuman tool by the villainous Mr. Sinister. As an infant Summers was infected with a deadly techno-organic virus. His father was offered a choice: let his son die or allow him to be taken 2000 years into the future by Askani in hopes of finding a cure. It's in that bleak future that Summers' life began, becoming a soldier, leader and time-traveler.

After living for decades in the future, Summers returned to his origin time with the goal of stopping the mega-maniacal Apocalypse. Employing his military expertise, telekinetic powers, and incredible technology Summers fights to prevent the dark future he lived through from ever occurring - as Cable.

Timesliding back to the 20th century following a fallout with the Six Pack, Cable assumed leadership of the New Mutants and along with the mutant Domino, who he also had relationship with, reformed them into the team known as X-Force. Cable believed in following Professor X's dream of harmony between humans and mutants but their perspectives as to how that dream would be realized differed. Cable believed that Xavier's methods were too soft during hard times and the dream required a much more aggressive approach.

For a time, Cable had nearly limitless control over his powers, however he knew the toll wielding such energy would have on his body, so he tried to make a difference while he still could. He wanted to give people a taste of what peace could be like. He used his powers to pull the sunken pieces of his space station Providence out of the ocean and rebuilt it as a flying sanctuary, inviting some of the world's greatest minds and anyone else looking to start anew. In a series of interviews with his friend Irene Merryweather, he revealed that: He spent four days re-routing the waterways to flood half the Sahara. He spent two days removing every logger in the Amazon. He soothed the pain of every single person on Earth suffering from disease. Stopped the white blood cell count deterioration in AIDS patients, attempted to straighten the leaning tower of Pisa. He stopped a daily average of fourteen individual terrorist attacks, eleven hundred attempted murders and seven thousand car accidents.

As he was so powerful, governments, S.H.I.E.L.D. and the X-Men all worried that he had become drunk with power, and in a way they were just. The X-Men ran over seventy Danger Room simulations trying to find a way to defeat Cable, and came up being terribly defeated every time. S.H.I.E.L.D. planned on finding a way to deactivate Providence's anti-gravity generators, which wouldn't have worked anyway because Cable was holding the floating city using only his mind. Cable gave all governments 48-hour notice that they need to disarm or he would throw all their weapons into the sun. The Six Pack were dispatched to take down Cable, but were easily defeated, most of them chose to side with Cable. The X-Men along with Deadpool attempted an assault on Cable and also were defeated, with Deadpool ambushing Bishop and Wolverine and joining Cable's side again.

Eventually Silver Surfer got into the picture and battled Cable. Surfer was concerned that Cable's passion would consume him, and lead him to destroy the world. While fighting, Cable rebuilt all the damage to the city that ensued during their battle while simultaneously keeping Providence afloat. Cable managed to shatter the Surfer's board, but was defeated by the alien nonetheless. Cable had Deadpool use a teleporter matrix to lobotomize him so he couldn't use his higher brain functions, like telepathy, but not before Cable safely lowered Providence into the South Pacific. Cable went into hiding, barely able to keep himself alive. While he was in hiding, an additional twelve thousand people sought refuge at Providence.

After the events of Messiah Complex, Cable and the last baby mutant have traveled through into an alternate future for the safety of the baby. They were followed by Bishop who is hell bent on killing the baby because he believes that she is the cause of the mutants being tortured in his reality. After an altercation with Bishop, Cable and the baby take refuge in the house of a waitress named Sophie.

As Cable heals his wounds and tends to the baby he is visited by an old friend; Sam "Cannonball" Guthrie. It was found out that Cannonball is the last remaining X-Man in that reality and was able to find Cable and the baby mutant by using Cerebra. After figuring out that Bishop was on the way Cannonball stayed behind so that Cable, the baby mutant and Sophie could make their escape. After a battle with Bishop, Cannonball seemed to have the upper hand. Before he could deliver a final blow, Bishop used the technology from his arm to rip out Cannonballs heart and left him dead on the ground.

Elsewhere, Sophie tried to convince Cable to continue to run away saying that he was a good man. Cable's response to her plea was "I'm tired of running". Cable then destroyed Cerebra at the remains of the X-Mansion in Westchester so that Bishop can't use it against him. Cable then goes into the armory and equips himself, and Sophie. He then puts the baby into a metal holster to keep it from harm, boards the blackbird and finds Bishop. Cable tells Lucas that he should not have followed him, but Bishop ignores it and steps forward and starts to shoot but steps on a mine. Bishop then uses a car to hit Cable. Bishop is about to kill Cable and the baby when Cable realizes that he can jump to the future and jumps escaping death.


30. Stargirl (91 points - 3 first place slots)

Year first appeared: 1999

"Another character that can be fun and interesting as we watch her grow up with a much older group of heroes."

"A character I sorta feel like I've grown up with (even though she's aged much better than I have)."

"I give Johns some grief, mainly b/c I think at the end of the day he's taken a lot more away from the DCU than he's given back, but Courtney Whitmore is the shining (pun intended) exception; cute, smart, spunky, wholesome, and yet still interesting to an era of readers who seem to demand angst and anti-heroism to be "kewl"; Courtney is my kind of superhero, and one of the shining stars (pun intended again) of the JSA book for the last decade."

Courtney Whitmore is Stargirl. Courtney was born to a couple that broke up when she was only just a little kid. She remembers her mother not coming home until late and the last time she saw her father. Courtney would not be taken by the man that her mother brought home named Pat. Courtney may not have liked Pat but her mother did and they got married. Courtney was at the wedding and when she went through his stuff she found the Cosmic Belt. She became Stars. Pat would make a mech suit to follow her around and thus Stars and Stripes were formed.

Courtney did not become Stargirl until after Jack Knight gave her his Star Rod. At the end of the Stars and Stripes series Courtney jumps ahead of Pat’s mech and declares herself Stargirl. This leads us to the first appearances of the JSA. Courtney plays an important role then she did in most series. For a time she was with Captain Marvel but when Jay pressured him about being 25 and her 16 Captain Marvel choose to stop seeing Courtney rather then telling Jay the truth about his identity. Courtney would then go on to be a hidden crush of Jakeem Thunder. Courtney’s biggest love interest has been Al Rothstein or Atom Smasher. Courtney was heartbroken when Atom Smasher joined Black Reign. She didn’t trust him after that but teamed up with him to stop Per Detagon from destroying the past JSA in the Past and Present storyline, which also resulted in her family being killed. This fact was however changed and they are still alive. The next major storyline was Black Vengeance when to save Khandaq Albert sacrifices himself to Spectre. Stargirl cries about this, but the death is short lived, Black Adam saves Albert before the JSA carries him away. Albert is sent to a year in Belle Reve prison and Courtney says. ”I’ll Wait for him” Courtney then goes and attempts to help the original Liberty Belle who seemed to have lost control of her powers. Stargirl does help and later on Shade appears to tell her that her Father has died, she cries into Pat’s shoulders not sure why she cares. The Gentleman Ghost storyline showed Courtney learning how to drive and she couldn’t be harmed by the Ghost because she was pure aka virgin

With the Ghost Storyline done we moved into 52 when she didn’t’ appear until with the help of Atom Smasher the JSA went to save Black Adam. When they did that Black Adam goes on his rampage and it leads us to World War Three. Stargirl was one of the attackers though she was not heavily damaged she didn’t really do anything.

The new series of JSA has Stargirl as more of little kid. Stargirl quickly befriends Maxine Hunkel aka Cyclone. Stargirl has yet to interact with Albert after World War Three and they are on two different sides of the world. Atom Smasher is looking for Teth-Adam and Courtney has lately been seen battling Superboy Prime. Courtney rejoins the new roster of the Justice Society, currently composed of legacy heroes, representing both Starman's and the Star-Spangled Kid legacy, albeit no longer with S.T.R.I.P.E. assistance.

Now a seasoned hero and accomplished and well-known fighter despite her young age, she forges a bond with her young teammate Cyclone, eager and over-impulsive granddaughter of the first Red Tornado. The two bond over witnessing the death of Mister America, a superhero who had literally dropped into the first JSA meeting. Courtney suggests Cyclone create a new superhero costume and name. She resumes again her role of mentorship for the youngest heroes by helping Jefferson Pierce's daughter, Jennifer, into coping with her imperfect grasp over her powers and her isolation, and later expressing her doubts about Gog to Damage.

Around this time, a future version of Courtney is seen in Teen Titans #53 along with Lex Luthor and his future Titans. Her role is minimal. She is, however, wearing Jack Knight's goggles and jacket--the closest she has ever come to Jack's vision of "Starwoman" at the end of his series. In JSofA #23 Courtney is present (and apparently involved in voting) for discussions on how to move the JSA forward after the Gog debacle (and who to retain or remove from the team), she defends some of the heroes who sided with Gog. Later she is present when the JSA meet a de-powered Billy Batson who she is finally able to persuade to reveal his secret ID to the others.


29. Midnighter (93 - 3 first place slots)

Year first appeared: 1998


"Another great gay superhero. I loved his short-lived solo series. And miss the Authority in general. A badass gay Batman, who is married, a father, and one half of a political power couple."

Warren Ellis created and introduced the character in 1998, soon after his appointment as writer on the Stormwatch title. Stormwatch volume 2, issue 4, introduced Midnighter and Apollo as former Stormwatch agents from a secret "black ops" team known only to the first Weatherman, Henry Bendix. In the first issue of the arc, collected in trade paperback as A Finer World, Christine Trelane had cracked the files of the recently deposed Bendix and discovered Apollo and Midnighter's existence. The new Weatherman, Jackson King, intercepted them on a mission to seize weapons made in the "Nevada Garden", a bioengineering facility created by the first Engineer. Flashback sequences showed Midnighter and Apollo, the sole survivors of their seven-member team's sinister first mission, escaping Bendix and going rogue to spend five years fighting crime on the streets of America. Midnighter and Apollo initially resisted their capture, believing Stormwatch still to be under Bendix's command; on learning of his death they ended their opposition and accepted a mission from King to destroy the Nevada Garden. To repay their assistance Trelane granted Midnighter and Apollo new civilian identities and lives away from Stormwatch. This story arc introduced Midnighter's trademark enhancements, his super powered healing and ability to anticipate an opponent's moves so quickly as to win any fight, as the product of bioengineering commissioned by Bendix.

In 1999 Warren Ellis concluded his run on Stormwatch with the Final Orbit storyline, which saw the team destroyed. Midnighter was one of several Stormwatch characters Ellis retained for his new Wildstorm title, The Authority. In it, Midnighter (along with Apollo) was recruited by Jenny Sparks for a new team, The Authority, under her leadership. The new series picked up themes Ellis had explored in Stormwatch, including the political potential of a team more powerful than world governments and the United Nations.

A formidable fighter with a sardonic attitude, Midnighter epitomized the new team's commitment to fighting for a finer world, including against vested interests and world governments. Midnighter and Apollo's relationship, though hinted in previous issues, was revealed in The Authority #8. Midnighter was the architect of the team's first significant victory, the defeat of autocratic dictator Kaizen Gamorra, which he achieved by dropping the 50-mile-long Carrier on to Gamorra's island base.

During the Transfer of Power storyline, Midnighter was the only Authority member to evade capture when the US government had the team attacked and replaced with manipulable substitutes. Presumed dead, Midnighter had in fact escaped the Carrier with baby Jenny Quantum. He returned to overthrow the puppet team and rescue Apollo from imprisonment and abuse at the hands of their replacements. Shortly thereafter Midnighter and Apollo were married and adopted Jenny.

Midnighter had a central role in Ed Brubaker and Dustin Nguyen's Revolution maxi-series. A visitation, apparently from a future Apollo, convinced Midnighter that he was on the path to becoming a malign dictator. To avoid this fate Midnighter quit the team, precipitating its break-up, and returned to life fighting solo on the streets. Raised alone by Apollo, Jenny exploited her powers to age herself to young adulthood and reformed the Authority. Having convinced Midnighter to rejoin the team Jenny discovered a dimension-hopping Henry Bendix was manipulating him, hitherto assumed dead. Midnighter fought for Bendix before the Engineer was able to break the mind-control; Midnighter then killed Bendix by ripping out his spine.




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