Sunday, April 22, 2018 • Morning Edition • "Thoughtful analysis of important cultural issues."

Your Top Modern Characters: OPC part 2

Written by Chris Mitchell on Tuesday, April 21 2009 and posted in Features
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More lovable one pointers for you to say meh about. They are not the most detailed write-ups, I just wanna get thru them, lol.





Year first appeared: 1992

Not gonna lie, I like him.

Cletus Kasady has a troubled childhood, killing his grandmother by pushing her down a flight of stairs, and torturing his mother's dog who afterwards tries to kill him and is apparently beaten to death by his father, who receives no defense from Kasady during his trial. As an orphan, Kasady is sent to the St. Estes Home for Boys, where his antisocial behavior makes him the target of abuse from both the other orphans and the staff. Kasady vindicates himself by murdering the disciplinarian administrator and burning down the orphanage.

Kasady becomes a serial killer. He is captured and sent to Ryker's Island prison where he shares a cell with Eddie Brock, who had lost his alien symbiote. Brock's symbiote soon returns and bonds with him again, and unwittingly leaves behind the symbiote's offspring (The symbiotes reproduce asexually, once per generation. The children are then of no consequence to the parent. Thusly, the Venom symbiote felt no need to inform Brock of the existence of the new symbiote) which gets into a cut and bonds with Kasady's bloodstream, transforming him into Carnage. He escapes prison, and begins a series of murders, and at the scene of each crime, writes "Carnage Rules" on the walls with his own blood. He is found by Spider-Man, though the hero proves to be no match for Carnage's powers. In desperation, Spider-Man makes a truce with Venom to fight Carnage. Carnage is defeated with sonic weaponry, but the symbiote lives on because he is merged with Kasady's bloodstream. At the time) to become Spider-Carnage, and the Silver Surfer (Creating the insane and vastly powerful Carnage Cosmic). Later, Venom decided to reabsorb the Carnage symbiote "for good." Without the symbiote, Kasady retained the Carnage persona by costuming himself in red paint and continuing his killing sprees (albeit as a powerless human). Soon after, Kasady found an exact replica of the symbiote in The Negative Zone. How this symbiote is an identical copy, or where it came from, has yet to be explained. However, the issues in which Kasady discovered the replica had references to the Spider-Man Unlimited TV series which had been airing at the time and which featured the Carnage symbiote as one of its villains. In this same issue, Spider-Man himself briefly gained the costume the animated version of him from that series wore.

Perhaps the most famous storyline in which Carnage appears is the 1993 Spider-Man event Maximum Carnage. Carnage, and a cadre of psychotic super-villains (consisting of Shriek, Demogoblin, Carrion and Doppelganger) overtook New York, but were driven back by Spider-Man, Venom, the Black Cat, Captain America, Nightwatch, Cloak And Dagger, Deathlok, Morbius and Firestar.

In the 1996 "Web of Carnage" storyline, the Carnage symbiote escapes from the Ravencroft Institute where Cletus Kasady is incarcerated, seeking a stronger host. It takes over Ben Reilly, who had recently replaced Peter Parker as Spider-Man. Reilly has little previous experience with symbiotes, and is unprepared for an enemy that is immune to his spider-sense. Together, they become Spider-Carnage, and the symbiote attempts to force him, both mentally and physically, to kill Peter Parker (then powerless), and other innocent people. Reilly escapes the symbiote's control, barely, with help from Dr. Ashley Kafka and John Jameson, the administrators of Ravencroft.

Carnage starred in the miniseries Venom vs. Carnage, in 2005. The Carnage symbiote spawned a "child" symbiote, which he tried to kill without success a bit. The "child" later bonded with police officer Patrick Mulligan. Carnage felt nothing but hate for the young creature and attempted to kill it, while Venom defended it (oddly enough feeling protective of his "grandchild"). Venom named the new symbiote Toxin. Mulligan has since attempted to steer the symbiote towards heroism instead of murder.

Carnage was one of several super villains trying to escape from The Raft in New Avengers #1-2. However the Sentry flew Carnage outside the Earth's atmosphere and ripped him apart. According to Iron Man's computer Kasady might not have been inside the symbiote so whether Kasady is dead is still a Mystery.



Year first appeared: 1996

Cody Driscoll (Risk) was born and raised in the community of Cosmos, he lived alone with his mother in a horrible trailer park. The reason Cody lived alone with his mother was because his father had died when Cody was just six months old. However Cody's mother wasn't alone, after the death of Cody's father she was married two other times, making Cody's life even harder than what it looks like.

However it was the day he turned sixteen that his life got a lot more complicated, because like the rest of the teenagers that would soon become the Teen Titans of that generation he manifested for the first time his super-powers. The powers he manifested included enhanced strength and speed. Cody Driscoll had always been a troublemaker and someone who didn't respect authority, this would lead Cody to make an attempt to sneak into a facility known as N.O.R.A.D., which was under the government control.

During this "adventure" Cody would be teleported with the rest of the teens that would become the newest Teen Titans and that had also manifested their powers the day they turned sixteen, into a ship of the H'San Natall, a de-aged Ray Palmer (Atom) had been teleported there too, not because his powers were from the same origin, but because he was with Isaiah Crockett (Joto/Hotspot) when he was teleported into the ship.

It was during this time that they also met Prysm, a girl who had been there her entire life. After the mission was a success the teens would decide to stay together as a new superhero team, choosing to become the newest Teen Titans. This team got the funding it needed thanks to Loren Jupiter (Mr. Jupiter) a former ally of the original Teen Titans. Cody would choose the codename Risk as his superhero identity. Soon after creating the team, Prysm would start to have romantic feelings towards Risk, however the relation never happened because Risk was only interested in Argent.

The Teen Titans would meet and battle the villain known as Haze, who was actually the son of Loren Jupiter and sister of Lilith Clay (Omen). During their confrontation Joto (Hotspot) was killed in action, or at least it was thought so. This made the team have a really hard time, Argent in an attempt to keep the team together started a membership drive in an attempt to gather new members, it was then when both Captain Marvel Jr. and Fringe joined the team.

When Infinite Crisis happened the survivors of the multiverse: Kal-L, Lois Lane of Earth-2, Alexander Luthor Jr. and Superboy Prime decided that the heroes of Earth-1 were a corrupted version of the heroes of Earth-2. This lead Superboy Prime to confront Connor Kent (Superboy), which leaded to a battle between the young Kryptonians. It was during this fight that Superboy called reinforcements using his Teen Titans communicator.

The call brought former members of the Teen Titans, along with the current incarnation of the team. The Doom Patrol and the Justice Society of America were brought into the battle too. While being attacked by the heroes Superboy Prime killed Pantha by accident, which lead to him killing more titans. While Superboy Prime didn't kill Risk like other titans between them Bushido and Wildebeest, he would rip Risk's arm using only his great strength. Argent helped Risk to don't die from bleeding using her powers but this attack by Superboy Prime did leave a big change to Risk, both physically and mentally.

When the war between the Sinestro Corps and the Green Lantern Corps reached Earth Superman Prime attacked several heroes between them the Justice League, the Justice Society, the Teen Titans, The Outsiders and others. Risk also made a temporary alliance with the heroes because he wanted to make Superman Prime pay for what he had done to him by taking his arm. However things didn't go as Risk expected and Superman Prime ripped Risk's second arm.


Amadeus Cho

Year first appeared: 2006

When the Hulk and his Warbound attacked Earth, everyone tried to stop him. Cho's plan was different, and he formed a group of Renegades consisting of Cho, Hercules, Angel and Namora to help the Hulk. The Hulk and the Renegades even fought against Thunderbolt Ross and the army. He tried to offer help to the Hulk even saying they should use Angel's money to pay for a safe place; but the Hulk, determined to get revenge, ignored Amadeus’s advice. Amadeus does not give up feeling Hulk is not a monster like most people believe him to be. However, despite his trust in the Hulk, Cho works with Scorpion and S.H.I.E.L.D. in an attempt to free his prisoners. After being poisoned, by Scorpion, Cho and the Renegades fight Hulk to increase his anger so he will heal but no matter what Cho does and no matter how angry he gets him he never hurts him increasing Cho's trust. The Renegades continue to aid Hulk, even when he fights against Doctor Strange possessed by Zom. It was actually Cho who allowed Zom to enter his body and be knocked unconscious, but in the end Hulk was defeated and the Renegades disbanded. However Hercules and Cho remained together.

Cho and Hercules are now partners of sorts, and have spent their summer destroying S.H.I.E.L.D. They are guided by Athena, who tells them to stick together and hopes Cho won't become evil. When Cho's puppy got hurt, he unleashed a virus taking down basically everything S.H.I.E.L.D. had under its control, thanks to help from a drugged Hercules who had been shot by Ares with bullets covered with the blood of the Hydra. Cho stopped the virus after Hercules pleaded with them, and S.H.I.E.L.D. blew their craft up, but luckily they escaped via teleportation.

During the Secret Invasion; Hercules and Cho, like many heroes, do what they can to fight against the Skrulls. Athena tells them that if they are able to kill the gods of the Skrull they may have a chance of bringing them down. To do this, Hercules and Cho form a "God Squad” who set off to bring down the Skrull gods. During their assault they are attacked by Nightmare and freed from his powers by Kirby (who is later eaten by Atum after discovering the dog to be a Skrull). The God Squad fight Kly'Bn and his wife Sl'Gur’t. They lose Atum; but kill the two gods, a winning blow for Earth. After trying to relax with Namora, Cho is taken by amazons who want him to translate an ancient item they want to use to change the world literally.

Cho, along with Hercules, met up with long time Avengers ally Jarvis. Meanwhile, the world was being attacked by a series of strange magical attacks called Chaos cascades. Scarlet Witch used her powers to take them to see Wasp. Cho and Wasp debate for a while on how to best handle the problems and during their talks, Pym downgrades Cho to the 8th smartest person. Scarlet Witch uses her powers once again and takes the group in the middle of danger summoning even more heroes.



Year first appeared: 2005

Almost two decades ago the Scientist Supreme of A.I.M., the renowned Italian biochemist Monica Rappaccini gave birth to a child, which she named Thasanee, that had been biologically engineered to become the ultimate weapon. Placed in the care of two undercover A.I.M. agents, Thasanee Rappaccini's name was changed to Carmilla Black and she was raised as a normal child. It wasn't until her high-school prom, where she was crowned queen, that her toxic powers manifest and she accidentally killed her boyfriend. After that tragedy she fled and went underground for three years.

Three years after fleeing her hometown she returned to settle the affairs of her murdered parents - apparently murdered by A.I.M. to bring her out into the open. In a security deposit box she discovered the first piece of a mystery - a certificate with her real name and place of birth. When A.I.M. attempted to capture Black she fought back. Apprehended by S.H.I.E.L.D., Black was equipped with a gauntlet to control her powers and track her location so that she could lead S.H.I.E.L.D. to the secret location of A.I.M.'s ruling council as the Scorpion.



Year first appeared: 2004

Brian Cruz lived in Puerto Rico with his mother who is openly pro-mutants and supported her son entirely. Tag’s powers first manifested while he was in school. He inadvertently caused everyone around to runaway leaving him alone. Tag was a psionic with a very limited form of mind control. Specifically he could mentally control others to either be compelled or repelled by specific things, particularly a person. Some time after his powers emerged he and his family came to America and he was enrolled at the Xavier Institute. Tag was quickly selected by Emma Frost as one of her advisees and as a result he became a member of the Hellions training squad.

As a part of the Hellions, Tag took part in many school exercises that had pitted each of the squads together, competing to see whose squad would prevail. The Hellions squad was a very tight knit group. They even chose to stay together during the summer time. One such summer began as a result of the Hellions not receiving favorable news from their advisor Emma Frost.

Emma informed the Hellions that the X-Men had been called away on important business matters, which required them to leave immediately. As Emma was on the active roster for the X-Men this would mean that she, too, would be leaving. The reason for Emma informing her Hellions was because this meant that she was not going to be able to attend the "Prize-Giving" ceremony at the Institute. Julian (Hellion), annoyed, and then informs Emma that the Hellions were going to skip the ceremony and start summer break early. The Hellions were going to spend their time off at his parent's house. Emma would give them permission and the squad went off.

When the Hellions arrive at Julian's parent’s house he would go to his parents right away to greet them. The rest of the squad would remain behind in the entry of the house in awe of the size of the mansion. When Julian spoke to his parents he is informed that he had been cut from the will and a conversation continued. Once done, he returns to his squad and was quite angered by his news. Not accepting what his parents told him, he would decide to seek out the will and see exactly what his parents did. While he and the Hellions searched his parent’s office they came upon a parchment inside of the safe. On the parchment was a spell to contact the Kingmaker. Immediately a majority of the Hellions contacted the Kingmaker. Tag willingly went along with the majority but Dust did not want to participate. After some convincing by the other, she would be persuaded into following the rest of her squad. They would contact him and the following day he would arrive. A man would arrive at the mansion and introduce himself to the Hellions as the Kingmaker and stated that he would grant any one wish to each of the Hellions. Each of the squad would tell their wish except for Tag, as he was very hesitant. Finally, after everyone one had told their wish to the Kingmaker, Tag would go up and tell the mysterious man his wish in his ear. The Kingmaker would tell Tag, not repeating the wish aloud, that he, the Kingmaker, could do much better then that.

The following days would see each of the Hellions wishes come true, save Brian's as no one knew what his wish was. Tag would have an active hand in both Hellion and Rockslide's wishes and making them come true. It was then that Tag revealed what his wish was. His wish was to keep his friends after their own wishes came true. Brian was embarrassed and would defend his wish quickly. He stated that he believed that once his fellow Hellion's wishes were granted that would/might stop hanging out and everybody would go their own separate ways. Effectively leaving Brian, alone which was one of his greatest fears and something he refused to face. So the Kingmaker would instead grant his finer control and a power boost on his mutant powers. Which he used to grant Hellion and Rockslide's wishes. Kingmaker basically gave Tag the ability to make his teammates happy and thus would create a need for him and in turn keeps the team together. Tag was also to be trained as the future Kingmaker. This would all be reversed though once the Hellions decide that the price was too steep. With the help of Emma Frost, the Hellions were able to free themselves of the Kingmaker and the price that he would have made them pay.

Tag was de-powered after M-Day. After he and several mutants (Dryad, DJ, Rubbermaid and Network) who also lost their powers said goodbye to their friends and were leaving Xavier's school on a bus. Unfortunately the bus was destroyed by a missile launched by William Stryker’s Purifiers. Tag and forty-two others students were killed. Nightcrawler, a devout Catholic member of the X-Men who had at one time been a priest, delivered the eulogy at Tag's funeral, which was held on the school grounds. A cross can be seen on Tag's casket, distinguishing it from most of the other caskets for the slain students.



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