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Your Top Modern Characters part 105

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Just two characters this batch, but they are two damn good characters...

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15. Elijah Snow (178 points - 3 first place slots)

Year first appeared: 1999

"The Ghost of the 20th century. This is the biggest player in fiction of the last 100 years. He's been everywhere, has connections to everyone and reminds me a lot of Clint Eastwood. I can't wait for a conclusion to his story but I'll be sad to see it go."

"It’s a strange world, lets keep it that way."

I never read this, should I? Yes? No?

His exact place of birth is unknown, but it was most likely somewhere in the southern United States. All that is known of his youth is that he was obsessed with the Unknown and the Mysterious. By the time he was nineteen, he was already traveling around the world in search of various myths and legends. In the castle of a resurrectionist (possibly Victor Frankenstein), Snow found a map of the world - a map of the world's secrets, made by a conspiracy of powerful men.

Snow traced the map to England, and to the leader of the conspiracy, Sherlock Holmes. Holmes and his cohorts - the Baron, an invisible man, Dracula and others - considered themselves to be an intellectual elite, holding back from the world those ideas and discoveries for which the world was not ready. Snow decided to change all that.

He killed Dracula with his power of "heat subtraction," and then became Holmes' student. He demanded to know everything that Holmes and his conspiracy knew, so that he could use it to change the world for the better. Snow studied with Holmes until the detective's death in 1925. It was then that Elijah Snow began his search for the strange in earnest, and began writing a guide to chronicle his findings.

To fulfill his belief that the strange nature of the world was what made it all the more wonderful, The Planetary Guide was published every year as a kind of map to the incredible places of the world. Hidden African kingdoms, mysterious portals in Australia, science-fiction submarines, robot assassins and much, much more.

Like the other Century Babies, Snow ceased to age somewhere in his thirties. His apparent immortality spurred him to protect the world that he had explored, and he formed The Planetary Organization. Planetary opened branches all over the world, with a staff that is presumed to number in the thousands. The heart of the group, however, is the field team - a three-member team that, by the 1990s, consisted of Jakita Wagner, Ambrose Chase and The Drummer.

As the century drew to a close, Planetary came into direct conflict with a group called The Four, whose activities were in direct conflict with those of Planetary. The Four wanted to suppress the possible emergence of meta-humans and super-science on Earth in preparation for an alien invasion in the 21st century, and Planetary endangered that mission.

The leader of The Four, Randall Dowling, captured Snow and forced him to submit to a series of blocks on his memory. In return, the rest of the Planetary field team would not be killed. Snow agreed, with the command that his field team was not, under any circumstances, to try and find him again. Dowling altered Snow's memory and set him free to make his way however he might.

Snow's second-in-command, Jakita Wagner, attempted to lead the remaining field team against The Four, with limited success. When one mission ended in the death of Ambrose Chase, she decided that it was time to disobey orders and look for Elijah Snow.

She found him in a diner in a rural part of the United States, with no memory of her or of Planetary. She "recruited" him into the group, ostensibly as the new third member of the field team. He accompanied her and The Drummer on several missions, learning about the organization. Wagner's true goal, however, was to remind him of who he was so that he could fight The Four.

In his search for the missing pieces of his life, Snow met with super-spy John Stone, who was able to prod Elijah's mind carefully enough to bring Dowling's memory blocks down. With his memory restored, Elijah Snow began a systematic attack against The Four, sabotaging their work and uncovering their secrets. He discovered that they were working with an extra dimensional army, which was planning to occupy Earth in the early days of the 21st century. He organized the Planetary team to capture or kill the agents of The Four, ending in the deaths of two of them. The other two have been incapacitated, and Snow is presumably now able to continue the work he started nearly a century ago.

 

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14. Harley Quinn (187 points - 6 first place slots)

Year first appeared: 1999

"There was just something to Harley in the classic Batman animated TV series that made her so damn lovable. Her crazy yet cute and sometimes sexy personality was a welcome addition to the already great cast of Villains in the Bat books."

"Just a fun character that has a lot of potential with or without the Joker or Ivy."

"This girl is fascinating. She falls in love with someone like the Joker. Can out smart him, and even Batman. She’s loyal to a fault. She’s the villain sidekick. She steals the show. With her humor, brains, and heart. I wish we would see more of her and I hope she is in next Batman film."

"Testament to Dini's genius. And if you don't understand why read Mad Love."

"Face it, Harl, this stinks - yer a certified nutso wanted by the law in over a dozen states - and hopelessly in love with a murderous, psychopathic clown."

Another character I expected to be in the Top 10. Does she deserve to be there? I believe so, but again, I am happy with a Top 15 placement. She is just a fucking awesome character.

Harley Quinn was originally created for the Batman: The Animated Series, who became so popular that DC decided to bring her over to the DCU. Harley is much more psychotic than the animated series version. Harley’s origin was adapted from the Batman: The Animated Series episode entitled “Mad Love.” The story starts off with Harleen Quinzel working as an intern in Arkham Asylum. She discovered the Joker and quickly became fascinated with his insane motives. She voluntarily asked for a chance to analyze him. During one of their sessions the Joker tells her about his tragic past and how his father abused him. She gained sympathy for him and quickly fell in love with him. She helped the Joker escape and was caught by her superior, they revoked her license and put her in a cell at Arkham. She was able to escape Arkham when an earthquake hit, she soon joined up with the Joker and helped him in his crimes.

Ever since the beginning of her relationship with the Joker, Harley has played a very submissive role. She's often used and abused by the Joker to the point where her life has been threatened in several occasions. Yet she remains faithful to her man and stands by him when things go wrong. Their relationship is the strangest any comic’s characters have encountered, for the Joker is a man who isn’t likely to show an emotion such as love, yet in a few occasions he has felt jealous when Harley leaves him for Ivy or in the “Harley Quinn” series she leaves him for a cop, driving the clown crazy. He has also shared with her emotions such as sadness as he morns for the supposedly dead Batman. This was in Batman: The Animated Series episode “The Man Who Killed Batman”.

Eventually the Joker began to truly care for Harley and decided to kill her instead. He drugged her and took her to a rocket ship. Before he launched Harley he told her that she had reminded him of past memories and about feelings for someone he cares about. He ended by saying “And I HATE having those feelings!” He launched her and laughed while it flew away

Harley visits the Joker in Arkham as his speech therapist while he's receiving electroshock therapy and surgery after surviving a point-blank gunshot to the head at close range. The Joker decides to revamp himself and kill all his links to his past and be reborn in a baptism of blood, with the usual exclusion of Batman. He tricks Harley into believing that he will off Batman at midnight, after she kills all of his former henchmen, leaving behind patterned clues for Batman to follow. When Batman shows up, it's revealed that the Joker had intended to kill Harley the whole time, and make Batman watch, but he saves her just before the Joker can slit her throat. The Joker and Batman tangle while the Joker delivers his usual "Why I can't kill the Bat" lines, when suddenly Harley shoots him in the shoulder and says "You gotta stop ignoring me, Mistah Jay." When she joins the Amazonian Women's Help Center, she tells the Riddler that she and the Joker are history.

After a brief run with the Secret Six, Harley decided to call it quits, and joined the Metropolis branch of the Athenian Women's Shelter, which is secretly a training facility for future members of Granny Goodness's Female Furies. There she met up with Holly Robinson, former stand-in for Catwoman. The two have become friends, and working under-cover for Queen Hippolyta, who is trying to discover the truth about the false Athena who is training "Amazons" on Themyscira.

On Apokolips, after Mary Marvel frees the imprisoned Gods that later grant her power, Harley demands that she and Holly get something too for everything they've done. Thalia is amused by Harley's feistiness and grants her a small portion of the cunning of Thalia, the Muse of Comedy, seemingly appropriate because of Harley's past. Harley Quinn’s costume is slightly more Greek like and she also gained a nice new hammer to go with her new super human abilities. While returning to Earth, Harley's powers vanish.

 

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