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Your Top Modern Characters part 106

Written by Chris Mitchell on Monday, April 20 2009 and posted in Features
Top List
The final three before the Top 10. Who made the cut? Who didn't? Will people be pissed? Will people be shocked? Most likely, yes.




13. Bart Allen (199 points - 5 first place slots)

Year first appeared: 1994

"None probably noticed but this was a special highlight of Waid's run. A great tribute to the legacy aspect with such a fun character."

"For being great as Impulse, for being even cooler as Kid Flash (Deathstroke blowing his knee out, and forcing him to grow up, was a great stroke of character-making. Despite his maligned death, this guy was THE symbol of everything great about 90's comics."

"Impulse, Kid Flash, Flash, he's done it all and keeps bouncing back."

I liked Impulse when he was first introduced. He was fun and random and a great addition to the Flash family. And I really liked Young Justice in the beginning, but half way thru something happened and I dunno what it is but Bart just got annoying. Then Johns Teen Titans was introduced and well, he turned the now annoying Impulse into the more annoying Kid Flash. Then, for some stupid reason they turned Kid Flash into the actual Flash. By the end of the series he sorta grew on me a little bit, but then they killed him. But now he is back in the future. Though, he will be back in the present. Remember that kid in the Christmas Story with yellow eyes? He got his ass kicked, maybe that could happen to Bart here.

Bart Allen inherited super-speed from his grandfather Barry Allen's (Flash II) side of the family, but his hyper-accelerated metabolism resulted in an accelerated growth rate. To retard Bart's grown and maintain his sanity, 30th Century scientists placed him in a virtual reality that kept pace with his own pace of time. When it became clear their efforts were not helping, Bart's grandmother Iris West took him to the 20th Century to consult her nephew Wally West. Unlike the 30th Century scientists, West knew from experience the intricacies of super-speed. He forced the young speedster into an extreme burst of speed that shocked his system and normalized his growth rate.

After a life-threatening encounter with the Speed Force, West had Max Mercury become Bart's guardian and trainer. Because of his childhood living in a virtual reality, Bart had no concept of danger and rarely thinks ahead, acting completely on Impulse.

Batman gave Bart the name Impulse as a warning not a compliment. Bart joined the Teen Titans in his early career before going on to be one of the founding member’s of Young Justice along with Robin (Tim Drake) and Superboy. For a time, Impulse came into the possession of a space ship gave to him by a rich man in thanks for saving his castle. The team used the ship to reunite Doiby Dickles with his queen and restore the rightful rule of Myrg. Impulse stayed with Young Justice for a long time becoming best friend with Tim Drake and Superboy.

During his time with Young Justice Bart discovered he had the ability to make speed force duplicates of himself that he can send through the time stream, they could remain in their selected place for a certain amount of time before they had to return to Bart and when they returned they would rebound with Bart and Bart would learn everything his “clones” learned but when one of his duplicates got killed Bart got the trauma from it. Bart would not use the power again.

When Max disappeared, Bart was taken in by Jay Garrick, the golden age Flash, and his wife Joan. Bart would continued his training with Jay and Wally and prove himself as an excellent hero. When Young Justice disbanded, Bart joined a new roster of Titans along with Robin and Superboy.

Shortly after he joined the Titians, Deathstroke shot Bart in the knee. Bart had to use a prosthetic one, while recovering Bart read every book in the San Francisco library, while in the hospital re-invented himself as Kid Flash (although he was still a goof). Once he healed he returned, the prosthetic knee, it did not affect his running. Wally did not approve of Bart taking the mantle of Kid Flash, he thought Bart hadn't earned it but Bart would prove Wally wrong many times over.

After Superboy-Prime attacked Conner Kent in Smallville and injured and killed many Teen Titans, Bart joined with Flashes Wally West and Jay Garrick to stop the rampage of Superboy-Prime by running him at top speed into the Speed Force. Jay reached his limit before entering the Speed Force and Wally turned into energy and vanished, leaving Bart alone with Superboy-Prime. Barry Allen, Johnny Quick and Max Mercury, all of whom had previously been absorbed into the Speed Force, appeared and aided Bart. After taking Superboy-Prime into the Speed Force, Barry told Bart that "Wally is waiting for you". After they disappeared, Jay claimed that the Speed Force was gone

Bart spent four years in an alternate reality's Keystone City, with Max, Barry, Wally, and an alternate version of Jay Garrick. There, Superboy-Prime managed to escape from his prison, and the alternate Jay failed to stop him. All the speedsters rallied together to return to their dimension so they could warn everyone about Superboy-Prime. However, they knew that not even the fastest men alive could get there before the insane Boy of Steel. Barry suggested to Wally that he somehow absorb the entire Speed Force, but cautioned that it might kill him. Bart bravely volunteered, because Wally had his family to think of, and Barry was incapable of it because he was already dead. Wally handed him the ring and Barry gave Bart his Flash suit, which would both help Bart survive his journey.

Bart reappeared in Tokyo wearing his grandfather's costume. He later helped the heroes against the army of escaped super villains in the Battle of Metropolis. Bart then explained to the nearby Wonder Girl that his grandfather's uniform was the only thing that could survive the trip back from where he had been, and that he was the only one there "who could still run". Bart then unleashed his anger against Superboy-Prime for killing Conner Kent, pummeling him at super-speed and forcing Superboy to retreat from the battle. When the crisis was over, Bart explained to Jay that he had spent years in an unknown dimension where he grew older. Bart confirmed that the Speed Force was destroyed and that he had used up the residual speed locked in his body fighting in Metropolis. He gave Barry's costume to Jay and said that Jay was once again the fastest man alive.

After about a year pretending to be powerless, Bart eventually was forced to reveal that the Speed Force has been inside him all along in order to defeat a rogue pseudo-speedster. After a very brief tenure as The Flash, he was attacked by Inertia and the Rogues, who drained him of the Speed Force and beat him to death. Ironically, the Justice League returned Wally West to New Earth at almost the same time, sadly a little too late to help his protégé. Bart is survived by West, his grandmother Iris and girlfriend Valerie.

Keystone city held a funeral for Bart. Jay Carrick, Cyborg, Wonder Girl and one of Bart’s best friends, Robin give eulogies. At the end of his speech, Robin plays a video of Bart just after he became Kid Flash, in the video Bart says no matter what happens he will always be proud of being in the Flash legacy and on how happy being a Titian made him. After the Keystone funeral, the Titians held a small private ceremony of their own, the Titians that were present at it were Robin (who spoke at the ceremony), Wally West, Supergirl, Wonder Girl, Cyborg, Starfire, Ravager, Kid Devil, Beast Boy, Raven and Miss Martian. A gold statue of Bart as Kid Flash was put up next to the Superboy statue.

When the Legion of the 31st Century came back to the past, the Justice League thought that the return of Wally West was the culmination of their efforts, yet it was only a happy side-effect. Using his lightning rod Brainiac 5 was able to capture the essence of Bart Allen. Returning to the future, he found his Legion beset by Superboy Prime and the villains he had assembled to destroy them. After calling forth other Legions to help them from alternate Universes, Brainy prepared to implement the second of his three stages in his Psychological war against Prime.

Gathering all of the Lightning wielders of the 3 Legions in their headquarters he also gathered along with Bart's cousin XS, and Light Lass. He had XS run along the Cosmic Treadmill, and while Light Lass used her power to keep her from becoming a singularity, and had the Lightning Twins hit her with their power. Bart found himself in the 31st Century along with his cousin and the members of the Legion. Taking the Flash Ring offered to him. Dressing himself, Kid Flash launched himself at Superboy Prime, ready to continue the fight. We know after the LO3W series he comes back to the present as seen in Flash: Rebirth #1, and has yellow eyes which will be explained according to Johns.


12. Invincible (208 points - 8 first place slots)

Year first appeared: 2002

"He has a great 21st Century character with the feel of an old time 20th Century comic story. Love this kid, and love this book!"

"Mark is just a great mix of Spider-Man and Superboy. Incredibly powerful but just a normal kid trying to live his life. He's dealt with a lot of crap in his life and is trying to deal with that and it's not easy. But he still tries and it's fun to share that with him."

"I think Invincible is the poster child for creator owned titles. We had to go through a lot of chaff before we got a simple, straight-forward superhero property that didn't involve blades located on someone's body, hell, or camel-toes lovingly brought to color-separated life. If Invincible had been created in the 60s, by Marvel, he could be the Spider-Man of today."

"Just a fun new character."

"The best of Superman and Spider-Man with a modern twist. The juxtaposition of being a part alien unbelievably powerful protector + an awkward teenager coping through school, parents and relationships. I can't say enough great things about this book and its star."

I thought he would be Top 10, but 12 is damn good. I love this book, it’s nothing super-original, but it’s just a damn fun read. Great art, fun characters, all out action and just pure fun stories. If you do not read this book, pick it up.

'Markus Sebastian "Mark" Grayson is a teenage superhero who calls himself Invincible. He was a normal high school senior with a normal part-time job and otherwise normal life, except his father Nolan is the superhero Omni-Man, the most powerful superhero on the planet. At the age of 17, Mark begins to display superpowers, which come from his father being a member of the Viltrumite race, who, according to Nolan, pioneer the galaxy on a mission of benevolence and enlightenment. As Invincible, Mark begins working as a superhero, with his father acting as his mentor, and meeting other heroes. Mark worked occasionally with a superhero team called the Teen Team (consisting of Robot, Rex Plode, Dupli-Kate and Atom Eve), from there discovering that his Physics teacher has been turning his students into human bombs. He stops his teacher with the help of the heroine, Atom Eve. He also foils a plan to make an army of robots, created by the Mauler Twins. Meanwhile Omni-Man is kidnapped by aliens, taken to another dimension, but returns after what seems to be only a few days, but was actually eight months to him.

Invincible goes into space to fight Allen the Alien. After an initially hostile encounter, Mark discovers that Allen has actually been employed to test the strength of superheroes. Allen realizes he is on the wrong planet and leaves. Mark goes to college with his friend William, where he is attacked by a mysterious robot zombie (later revealed to be one of DA Sinclair's 'Reanimen') and in the process, William learns of his secret identity. Mark begins dating his classmate, Amber Bennet and Eve's boyfriend Rex Plode has an affair with Dupli-Kate. Meanwhile, Earth's premier superhero team, The Guardians Of The Globe, are brutally murdered by Omni-Man. Only the de-powered Black Sampson survives. At the funeral, Sampson's butler destroys the graves, jealous that somebody killed the Guardians before he did. Nobody knows that Omni-Man killed the heroes, but an investigation is launched. After the funeral, the Mauler Twins dig up the body of the Immortal.

The Guardians Of The Globe hold auditions for a new team. All of the Teen Team (except Atom Eve) are hired into the new team (led by Robot) by Cecil Steadman, head of the Global Defense Agency. Monster Girl and Shrinking Ray are also hired. Mark and Eve stop a team of criminals called the Lizard League from poisoning the water supply. The Mauler Twins reanimate The Immortal, the leader of the old Guardians, who fights Omni-Man. Invincible arrives to see his father rip the Immortal in half. Omni-Man then explains that the Viltrumites are actually a race of alien invaders, and he was sent to initiate a hostile takeover of Earth. His father describes everyone on the planet as meaningless and insignificant. Mark fights his father and the ensuing battle results in thousands of deaths. Just as Omni-Man is about to kill his son, he flies off into space. After Mark recovers, he is hired by Cecil Steadman as a professional super hero. Eve and Mark's friend William embark on a relationship. Mark's mother is left into a state of shock. Invincible flies into space to find that Allen the Alien has returned, warning him that his father is a Viltrumite. Mark replies that Allen is too late and that he knows and he has turned against his father. Mark says that all that is left is to finish high school.

While Mark works with Cecil to stop various threats, a man named Angstrom Levy, a genius with the power to teleport between dimensions, devises a plot to assemble every version of himself in other dimensions in order to absorb all of their knowledge in order to benefit mankind. He is aided by the Mauler Twins, recurring villains in the series, to build the device. Upon the completion and start of the machine, Invincible intervenes due to Cecil receiving information that the Mauler Twins were operating in the vicinity. During the fight with the Mauler Twins (and every version of the pair from alternate dimensions), Angstrom pleads to not kill Invincible while removing himself from the machine, causing it to explode due to interrupting the process. The Guardians of the Globe rescue Mark from the rubble. Only one Mauler from this dimension survives to discover Angstrom Levy, who claims that the process was a success although it left him hideously disfigured. Before escaping to another dimension for medical treatment, Angstrom vows revenge on Invincible, "the one who interfered" (although Angstrom doesn't remember that the malfunction was his own fault).

Later, when meeting his father on another world, Mark learns he has a little half-brother and that his father has moved on. When a contingent of Viltrumites arrives on the planet, he and Nolan fight them to the best of their abilities. In the aftermath, Nolan is taken prisoner. As he is taken away Nolan tells Mark to read his books. The Viltrumites who take Nolan give Mark the assignment that his father had, believing he will fulfill it due to his heritage. Mark has a deadline of 100 years. Cecil has suggested this could be a trick to lure them into a false sense of security before an impending Viltrumite invasion. Mark brings his half-brother to Earth (at the insistence of the baby's mother), and Mark's mom agrees to raise him.

Mark takes Amber to visit Eve in Africa, who has been using her powers to help the locals while learning more about them. Eve is annoyed by the fact that Mark brings his girlfriend with him as she had been hoping to get closer to him, and even tries to convince Mark that Amber is not right for him, but he remains oblivious to her motives.

The night before they plan to leave, Mark receives a threatening phone call and rushes home to find his mother and half-brother in the clutches of Angstrom Levy. Levy uses his powers to plunge Mark through a series of dangerous alternate realities in the hope of weakening him enough to be able to kill him (it is at this point during the storyline where Invincible is teleported to the Marvel Universe and meets Spider-Man and the New Avengers in Marvel Team-Up #14). By the end of these events and seeing the injuries Angstrom has inflicted on his mother, Mark is so angry that he brutally assaults Levy as they fall through various dimensions, ultimately killing the villain, leaving Mark in shock as he believed him to be stronger, and able to take such punishment.

Stranded in a wasteland, Mark is discovered by a version of the Guardians of the Globe from 15 years in the future who have traveled back in time to rescue him. Atom Eve reveals that she always loved him, and tells Mark to let her present-day self know how he feels about her, so she can have closure. Mark makes the decision to tell Eve he is not romantically interested in her, but upon their next meeting they kiss, and are dispatched to space to battle an incoming Martian invasion fleet before they can resolve what happened between the two of them.

Meanwhile, in Montana, Rex Splode, Dupli-Kate, and Shrinking Ray are dispatched to prevent a nuclear war brought about by the Lizard League. In the ensuing battle, Dupli-Kate is killed, Shrinking Ray is eaten, and Rex Splode has his hand bitten off and is shot in the head.

Returning from space Atom Eve confronts the newly single Mark about their relationship. After learning that Mark has been in contact with a future version of Eve and may have feelings for her, she leaves crying. The next day Mark has lunch with his mother and learns of her new relationship, during lunch they are interrupted by a Viltrumite woman. She again warns Mark (after smashing his face) that he is the appointed agent of Earth and must prepare for the Viltrumite invasion; he respectfully declines.

During this time Allen the Alien is back on his way to the Coalition of Planets after learning of Nolan's books and rebellion against Viltrum, when the Viltrumite ship leaving Earth crosses his path. After a quick fight Allen allows himself to be captured in the hopes that he will be placed in the same prison that Nolan is currently waiting for execution. Allen soon crosses paths with Nolan who is nearing full strength, having recovered from the injuries sustained during his capture.

Back on Earth, whilst it seemed that Mark had rid the world of D.A. Sinclair and his cyborg 'Reanimen' by capturing Sinclair and handing him to the government, Cecil Steadman is later seen offering Sinclair a job working for the government. This soon comes to Mark's attention when he and the majority of the US's superheroes are captured by Doc Seismic, after a super brawl against Seismic's minions. Darkwing arrives to the rescue, bringing with him a battalion of government sanctioned Reanimen. Turning the tide, Seismic is soon defeated, but Mark is outraged that Cecil is working with D.A. Sinclair and has commissioned him to build his Reanimen for the government.

Mark confronts Cecil at the Pentagon, and is led into a bright white room. Mark realizes he has been led into a trap when Cecil reveals an army of these new Reanimen surrounds him. A fight ensues, with Cecil setting the Reanimen on Mark. While Mark is busy fighting, Cecil justifies his actions, stating that he does what is necessary to protect the planet, whatever it takes. Cecil also reveals that the receiver in Mark's ear, formerly used to receive instructions from Cecil, also houses a weapon that disables Marks equilibrium, causing him immense pain. Mark escapes, making it to the Guardians' headquarters. After telling the Guardians of Cecil's true nature, they join Mark in fighting the Reanimen, who have followed, along with Cecil. Eventually Cecil calls off his forces, stating that he and Mark 'are done'. Before Cecil leaves, Mark threatens Cecil, making him into promise to leave his family alone. Back at Mark's home, he and Eve share a kiss.

While Invincible and the former Teen Team members quits the Guardians of the Globe in retaliation, Oliver begins his training as a superhero, taking for himself the name of Kid Omni-Man, acting essentially as Invincible's sidekick (it should be noted that, due to Art Rosembaum giving them new costumes, the general public briefly thinks they are a duo of super powered fans of Invincible, called Invinciboy and Kid Omni-Man). While Invincible attempts to talk Olivier out his new moniker, Oliver refuses, wanting to redeem Omni-Man's name in the eyes of the public.

While Oliver's powers grow at an accelerated rate, granting him in mere days abilities almost on par with Mark's ones, he begins to display the same sociopathic tendencies shown by other members of the Viltrumite race. After killing the Mauler Twins in a carelessly brutal display of his powers, Cecil approaches him, proposing to "clean up his mess" for him, and lauding him as a "very special child". Invincible returns from stopping a missile in space and "reminds" Cecil not to bother his family, he then takes Oliver away to discuss what happened. Oliver shows no remorse whatsoever, claiming his killings to be just retribution, and since humans on Earth are killed or kill on daily basis, he should not be constrained in any way. While Mark tries to convince him on the contrary, Oliver asks if Mark ever has those same thoughts; Mark quietly admits "sometimes".

During a date with Atom Eve, Invincible is able to elaborate his feelings about Oliver, his mother's boyfriend knowing about his secret identity, and how his super heroic background denies him the possibility of a true romance with Eve herself. Pressured by his girlfriend, he tries to have a talk with Oliver and his mother, but barely manages to ground him upon hearing about his mistrust and disgust about the self-centered and selfish human society, and snaps at his mother about her revealing his secret identity.

Invincible tries to spend the rest of his day in a normal fashion: asking Eve out, helping his friend William to move out their former dorm room, and patrolling the city. At the Stronghold Penitentiary he vents his built-up anger over Titan, unwillingly starting a fight that leads to Multi-Paul being freed. The fight is not without consequences for Titan too, since it costs his allies, and pressures him to pick a side with Isotope, the only companion still loyal to him.

Returning home, Invincible meets with Eve, delaying their date but settling up their problems by promising her a day for themselves only, and Oliver, flying in the airspace above their home. Oliver finally agrees to respect and understand humanity, if not for their deeds, because of his brother's faith in them. Invincible and Kid Omniman share a hug, but Angstrom Levy's probes (installed in front of Grayson's home since his first date with Atom Eve) catch a dejected and forced grimace on Oliver's face.

While on Earth Eve finally pushes Mark into consummating their relation, in space Omni-Man is due for his execution. Allen the Alien, kept restrained and supervised because of his inability to be killed by any conventional means and his large invincibility, stages a massive jail-break, and frees him by killing one of his jailers with his massive strength. Impressed by the physical prowess of his new ally, Nolan reveals him the "secret" of the Viltrumite race: Viltrumites are near-extinct, with the pureblooded population reduced to less than fifty individuals.


11. Bigby Wolf (220 points - 8 first place slots)

Year first appeared: 2002

"The absolute best character from Fables. Snow White may be the heart of the book, but Wolf is the soul."

"Bigby is the love child of Wolverine and Humphrey Bogart. A tough as hell creature who will rip your throat out if you mess with him but deep inside he's a true romantic."

"A master tactician and a ferocious Beast. One of the strongest Fables characters, and one who was able to stop the Adversary's wooden soldiers. A caring family man and also ruthless killer if the need arises, he'll do nothing to stop protecting his people. He even serves in WW2 against the Nazis. A great character from a great series."

"He's just cool. He is the backbone of Fables, as far as I'm concerned."

"Truthfully, the genius of Willingham's Fables can be recounted in any number of ways, but one of the simplest is this: he's turned one of fiction's all-time most well-known and despicable villains, the Big Bad Wolf, into one of my favorite heroes in comics. And has made it make complete sense without changing the character really at all. That's damn good writing."

Again, I love this character, and I agree with each and everyone one of those quotes. And I really wanted him in the Top 10. Should he be there? Who am I to say, you voted otherwise. Damn shame. Damn shame indeed. Prepare to bitch, now.

Bigby's father is the North Wind, who once was attracted to a she-wolf named Winter. Transforming into a wolf, the North Wind impregnated her and Winter gave birth to seven children including Bigby. Suddenly bored with this life, the North Wind left for his kingdom and left Winter and his children. Winter was heartbroken and never really recovered. Bigby was born the runt of the litter and was often picked upon by his elder brothers who called him the "Big Bad Wolf" quickly shortening it to "Bigby", but his mother protected him from any bullying.

Her life fading away slowly, Winter told the cubs about their father but Bigby didn't wish to hear about the North Wind, resenting him for leaving his mother. After her death the elder cubs set off in search for their powerful father whilst Bigby stayed behind to stop his mother's corpse from being devoured. He wasn't large enough and Bigby swore that each day he would kill something larger than the day before. Bigby soon began to grow larger and feast on prey until he set his eyes upon the Three little Pigs. Bigby found his father had given him wind-related traits such as his amazingly powerful huffing and puffing. However, when he encountered Red Riding Hood, she the Woodsman bested him, sewing stones into his stomach and tossing him in a river. It was then that Bigby learned he could not drown. After this incident, he swore only to hunt humans, a greater number than the day before, and soon was killing entire towns and armies.

When the Adversary invaded the European Fablelands, Bigby turned his attention on their armies, though he did not work in tandem with any Fable army and was simply guarding his territory. At one point, he freed a chain gang of prisoners containing Snow White and her sister Rose Red, and led them to gate between the Fablelands and the Mundane world only he knew of. It was then Bigby began to feel an attraction to Snow, though he would remain in the Fablelands for many years before crossing over into the Mundane world.

After crossing over for a long while, Bigby roamed the wildness of Eastern Europe until he was tracked down by Snow White and Feathertop and given an offer to move with them to a colony the Fables where creating in the New World, far away from prying Mundane eyes. In order to shape shift into a human (something he would have been able to do had he learned as a child), Bigby was to be cut with a lycanthropy stained knife. Because it was Snow, he allowed himself to be persuaded.

Because of his past, it was many years before the Fables would trust him and he is still not allowed on the property of the community of non-human Fables called "The Farm", but eventually he would earn the trust of the Fable community. As the city of New York grew up around them Bigby would become Fabletown’s sheriff and eventually, it's spymaster, coordinating activities of “the Tourists”, three Fables that travel the world checking on Fables that live outside the community among other duties as required of them, as well as orchestrating secret operations against the Adversary and those that would help him.

After working together closely for many years, Bigby finally confessed his feelings for Snow White. Initially she rejected him but after being put under a spell by Bluebeard and stranded and hunted through the Cascade Mountains by Goldilocks, she told Bigby she would be willing to give it a try. Unfortunately, this budding romance was sidelined shortly thereafter when Snow discovered she was pregnant for which she blamed Bigby, though they had both been under the spell when it happened. Slowly Bigby and Snow became somewhat reconciled, but when Snow gave birth to seven children, only one of who looked human (and one of whom was an unseen zephyr), she and her “cubs” were banished to the Farm where Bigby was not allowed to go. As Prince Charming had just won the Mayorship of Fabletown as well, Bigby left, handing over his office as Sheriff and Spymaster to the Beast.



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