Thursday, December 18, 2014 • Afternoon Edition • "30 charges and no convictions."

Your Top Modern Characters part 102

Written by Chris Mitchell on Friday, April 17 2009 and posted in Features
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Top List
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Here we go, the Top 25. This should be interesting. I am too tired to ramble about anything else, so lets just do this.

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25. Saint of Killers (109 points - 2 first place slots) saintofkillers.jpg

Year first appeared: 1995

"Come on, he’s the ultimate badass, he's got total invulnerabilty, perfect aim, unlimited bullets, he’s every badass gunfighter cliche wrapped into one man, and he killed God and The Devil. If he were in a video game he'd be on godmode."

The Saint of Killers is the Patron Saint of Slaughter and Assassination. He is the subject of his own four-issue miniseries, Preacher: Saint of Killers, which was later collected in Preacher Vol. 4: Ancient History. He is originally a soldier serving in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War; both respected and feared for being absolutely merciless on the battlefield, his bloodlust verging on that of a berserker frenzy. After the war, he makes his living in the American West by collecting Native scalps and bounty hunting, until rescuing a young woman. She manages to break through to his gentler side, and the two fall in love and had a daughter. When his wife and child fell ill, he attempts to fetch a doctor, but is delayed by a gang of outlaws, which results in his family's death. He subsequently slaughters much of the gang, kills an innocent hostage, and runs out of bullets before killing the leader, which leads to his death.

Death takes him, and, because of the innocent life he took, his soul is consigned to perdition. His own hatred causes Hell to literally freeze over (much to the Devil's wrath), which forces the Angel of Death to allow him to return to Earth under the condition that he takes up his role of collecting souls of those who die by violence. The man is then dubbed the Saint of Killers by the Devil while the Angel of Death fashions his sword into two guns. The Saint returns to Earth after killing the Devil for insulting him, leaving the fate of Hell unknown. He kills the rest of the bandits and purges the town of Ratwater simply due to his nature, and rests at a tomb on Boot Hill while his spirit gathers souls that die by violence. He is awakened once Genesis merges with Custer, and begins to pursue him. He eventually learns that he has no one commanding him, God having left heaven, though he continues to hunt Custer because he was scorned. He spares Custer after he learns that God killed his family to arrange his position, and now seeks to kill God. The two join forces, and after Custer lets himself be killed to kill Genesis, God returns to Heaven, where the Saint has slaughtered all of the angels. Despite God's attempts to intimidate the Saint with His wrath and then offering to restore his family to life, the Saint guns Him down. With no one left to kill anymore, the Saint sits upon God's Throne and returns to sleep forever.

The Saint of Killers is completely impervious to harm. Bullets bounce off him, a direct hit from a tank doesn't affect him, being underneath a collapsing mountain simply means digging himself out, and being hit in the chest with a nuclear missile causes no damage to him or his clothes. He can easily knock away tanks with a simple kick and he can be hit by a speeding truck without flinching. He is an expert marksman able to draw his guns at superhuman speeds. He possesses a pair of Walker Colt revolvers fashioned from the Angel of Death's sword. They possess unlimited ammunition, never jamming or needing to be reloaded. They always hit their mark, even piercing modern tank armor to reach the intended target, and always inflict fatal injuries or death regardless of circumstance or nature of the victim (including angels and demons). Even God and the Devil are not immune to the bullets, considering that the Saint has killed them both (the only being ever to have survived being shot by the Saint was Cassidy, but Garth Ennis later admitted that he was still working out the character of the Saint at that point and was a technical mistake). Anyone holding one of the guns can see the spirits of the many people that the Saint has personally killed.

 

scarletspider.jpg
24. Scarlet Spider (112 points - 3 first palce slots)

Year first appeared: 1995

"Probably the biggest famous/infamous hero of the 90s. I always see the Clone Saga as a big missed opportunity for Marvel for wanting the single Spidey. They had it in Ben. Plus he filled that missing best bud role Harry once occupied for Pete as well. And hey he gave several new inventions to the Spidey verse that I wish we’d see again. Spidey stingers and of course.. IMPACT WEBBING!! Sure he was kinda horrible when it came to fashion sense (really Ben a blue hoodie with a spider symbol?). But Ben pulled it off. It's a damn shame he had to be sacrificed in the end. A sad waste of a great character."

"Weather you loved or hated him you had to admit he is probably one of the most well known and probably most remembered modern characters no matter how much Marvel wants to sweep him under the rug. Despite what problems the Clone Saga had Ben was a great character with a ton of potential that never got utilized. They pretty much took what made Peter Parker into a great character and built upon it with his exile backstory I loved the tech he created and most of that stuff was better and made more sense then the junk Tony put in that godawful red and gold suit. I also miss the rivalry of him and Kaine. I hope Marvel will one day get there heads out of the asses and bring back this awesome character."

The clone of Peter Parker, who would later become Ben Reilly, was the 2nd successful clone created by The Jackal. The Jackal's first Spider-Man clone turned out deformed and was later dubbed "Kaine". The 1st successful clone was a clone of Gwen Stacy. The Jackal kidnapped Spider-Man, when Spider-Man awoke in Shea Stadium, he found himself next to his clone and both are dressed in the Spider-Man costume. The two fought briefly before deciding to team up to save the Gwen clone. The Spider-Man clone seemed to have died while trying to save Gwen, and fearful of questions rising about a dead Peter Parker body, Spider-Man threw the "dead" clone into the smokestacks.

The clone was if fact, not dead and climbed out of the smokestack. He named himself Ben Reilly (Ben after his uncle's first name, and Reilly after his aunt's maiden name) and left New York deeply depressed. Ben was hit by influenza and met Seward Trainer (who was being black mailed by the Green Goblin to keep on eye on him). Trainer helped Ben back up on his feet and find a job, all while Kaine was hunting Ben believing Ben to be the real Peter Parker and hates his "brother" for it.

Three years passed and Reilly has been working in Salt Lake City as a research and teaching assistant, thanks largely to Trainer's references. Reilly met Janine Godbe who at first did not want to be involved with Reilly, but later reveals that her name is actually Elizabeth Tyne and she is a child abuse victim, killed her abusive father, changed her name and ran away to escape her crime. Reilly accepted her and even trusted her enough to reveal to Tyne that Reilly was actually a clone of Spider-Man, Tyne also accepted Reilly for who he is.

When Kaine killed a corrupt policewoman named Louise Kennedy, the Police believed that Reilly was the murderer because Kaine has the exact same fingerprints. Reilly and Tyne were on the run together for a year until Kaine forced her to leave Reilly, dropping a dead clone of her off a bridge to make Reilly think she had died.

Two years later, Reilly received news that Aunt May had a stroke and was ill, he returned to New York. While trying to visit Aunt May he runs into Peter Parker, who was not happy to see that his clone was still alive. The two exchange blows, but Spider-Man would later be captured by Judas Traveller. Reilly would come to save Peter and the two team up to defeat Traveller.

Reilly would eventually don the Spider-Man mantle when he finds a sweater with the spider symbol on it, combined with that and an extra pair of spandex, Ben Reily went out and the newspapers began to dub him "The Scarlet Spider". Scarlet Spider fights various enemies during his time protecting New York such as Venom, Carolyn Trainer (Lady Octopus) and Alistair Smythe.

When Seward Trainer revealed to the Parkers and Ben Reilly that Ben was in fact the original one, Peter became extremely depressed and moody. Peter would eventually ask Ben to take over as Spider-Man for New York while Peter and Mary Jane move to Portland to try and raise their baby in a normal life.

As Ben is now the only Spider-Man, he fights various villains, both new and old. He dons a new costume when guy named Joe Wade, who is infected with nanobots that are programmed to look like Scarlet Spider and destroy the real ones name. New costume looks more like the original costume but with bigger spider-symbol on it. In the Web of Carnage storyline, the Carnage symbiote escapes from Ravencroft in search of a stronger host. It eventually found and merged with Ben Reilly to become Spider-Carnage and he was forced to try and kill Peter Parker and other innocent people. With the help of Dr. Ashley Kafka and John Jameson, they were able to remove the Carnage symbiote.

Ben became then involved with a girl named Jessica Carradine, who was the daughter of the burglar that killed Uncle Ben. When she discovered that Ben was Spider-Man, it became a problem because Jessica believed that Uncle Ben was the one with the gun (who accidentally shot himself in the stomach) and that Spider-Man had killed her father to keep the truth from surfacing. Jessica went as far as almost mailing a picture of Ben in the Spider-Man costume to the Daily Bugle. But she had a change of heart when she saw Spider-Man save many innocent lives.


It soon became clear that Ben's life was involved in a conspiracy when a skeleton of a Spider-Man clone was found in the same smokestack that he had once occupied, Seward Trainer disappeared, and Ben has his bank account frozen and his apartment's possessions stolen before finally the Grind (the place where he works) was burnt down and Ben was framed for arson. The Hobgoblin reveals that he is the man behind everything but it was later that the original Green Goblin, Norman Osborn, reveals that he is the true mastermind.

Ben eventually dies . Right before he died, Ben tells Peter that, "clone or not, Peter is now Spider-Man and would have to carry on for Ben. When Ben died, his body decomposed rapidly, revealing Seward Trainer's hypothesis about clones to be true that when a clone dies, the body decomposes. Peter then says "Rest easy... brother".

 


fonebone.jpg23. Fone Bone (114 points - 3 first place slots)

Year first appeared: 1991

"A Kindergarten sketch come to life, few characters are as pure or essential and even fewer are icons of an age that can change the landscape of a medium and industry."

Bone, along with his cousins find themselves in The Valley, trying to stay alive after being run out of town due to another of Phoney Bone's dodgy business plans, building an orphanage on top of a hazardous waste landfill. The three cousins end up being separated by a plague of locusts. Fone, unaware that he is being followed and protected by a large red dragon, finds himself stuck due to winter.

Eventually Fone meets up with Thorn, a young girl, who Bone immediately falls in love with. Thorn takes Fone to meet her grandmother, who breeds and trains cattle to race in the nearby town of Barrelhaven. Phoney eventually stumbles across Gran'ma and is reunited with Fone at Gran'ma's farm. We discover that evil elements are searching for Phoney but at this point are not told why. Phoney whilst arguing with everyone earns that a big cow race is due and manages to find his way into Barrelhaven.

He discovers Smiley Bone working at the local tavern and hatches a plan to fleece the locals out of their hard earned dairy products through a betting sting on the upcoming race. After Gran'ma’s farm is attacked by the evil rat creatures looking for Phoney Bone, Fone, Thorn and Gran'ma head into the town. At this time all the cousins are reunited and happy times return for the three Bones, or do they?

So glad he made it into the Top 25. This makes me really happy.

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