Sunday, April 22, 2018 • Midnight Edition • "*the sound you hear when PAC-MAN dies*"

Your Top Modern Characters part 108

Written by Chris Mitchell on Thursday, April 23 2009 and posted in Features
Top List
Next batch of Top 10ers. Who made the Final 3? Who did not? Find out here.   WARNING TO RDRSFN82!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

unless you want to be majorly spoiled on the events of Starman, DO NOT read the write-up of Jack Knight.   Thank chap for that part!





6. Jack Knight (314 points - 9 first place slots)

Year first appeared: 1994

"The absolute best of the best. James Robinson created a masterpiece with this character and this book. Jack is what a real hero would be if he lived in the real world."

"The best DC character created in the 90's. Better than Kyle better than Connor and better than Superboy boy. Jack is the stuff."

"Was the freshest thing about DC in the 90's. Jack made superheroes cool again."

"Star of the best superhero comic of the 90s, one of the most unlikely superheroes in DC history, and one of the most "real" characters ever seen in either of the big 2's history; Jack Knight was everything we didn't know a superhero could be and still be "super" and "heroic"."

I really really, really, really need to read this. Really badly. I mean really.

Jack Knight is the second son of Ted Knight and Adele Doris Drew. His mother died when he was young and he grew distant from his father and brother David as a result. Jack began to develop a love for antiques while David became more fascinated with their father’s super heroics. Years later, Jack runs his very own antiques shop in Opal City while David picks up the mantle of Starman.

However, Kyle, the son of Ted’s old enemy the Mist, soon kills David. The Mist sets off a crime wave that nearly kills Jack and Ted, prompting Ted to supply Jack with an old cosmic staff he designed. With this new weapon, Jack manages to kill Kyle. Jack then rescues a group of sideshow freaks from an Incubus. Among them is an alien by the name of Mikaal Tomas, who previously used the name Starman in the seventies. At first catatonic, Mikaal eventually starts talking again and becomes close friends with Jack.

Jack is captured by Kyle’s sister Nash, which leads to her drugging and raping him. Jack escapes and months later learns through a letter from Nash that she has given birth to Jack’s son, named Kyle Theodore (after both of their fathers). Jack met and fell in love with a woman named Sadie Falk. After they develop a relationship Sadie tells Jack that her real name is Jayne Sadie Payton, and she seduced Jack to try and convince him to find her brother Will, who was the fifth Starman. Will was apparently killed years before but Sadie believes that he is in outer space somewhere.

Jack agrees to find Will, and manages to acquire a rocket ship, which sends he and Mikaal into space. After a long adventure in space, Jack finds Will alive, and soon discovers that he has merged with Prince Gavyn, the sixth Starman, also assumed dead. After Jack helps Gavyn reclaim his throne, he and Mikaal return home with the help of Adam Strange, with Will deciding to stay behind.

They return to find Opal under attack by a new enemy named Culp. Culp soon blocks off the entire city with a magic spell with the intention of blowing the city up. However Jack, with the help of old and new allies, manages to foil Culps plan. Celebrations are cut short by the arrival of the original Mist, who returns seeking revenge for his son's death. He kills his own daughter Nash, who dies giving Jack his son. The Mist almost succeeds in killing Jack and others, but Ted shows up and saves them, sacrificing his own life in the process.

Jack learns that Sadie has decided his career as a hero is too dangerous, and that she is pregnant, so she makes the decision to move away to San Francisco. After Jack travels back in time to 1951, and solves the mystery of that year’s Starman, he decides to retire and gives his cosmic rod to Courtney Whitmore, who then calls herself Stargirl. Jack then takes his son and leaves Opal to be with Sadie, who eventually gives birth to a daughter.

Every year, Jack (and sometimes Mikaal) would have a vision of David from beyond the grave. It is not known whether this occurs while Jack is dreaming, but David visited Mikaal once while he was conscience but losing oxygen (as he was in deep space) so it might not depend on that. David explains in one of the final issues of the series that he, along with all the other deceased citizens of Opal, are stuck in a sort of purgatory due to Jon Valor’s curse. This, along with the magical abilities of Kent Nelson, a deceased friend of Ted, allows David to visit Jack once a year. On some occasions, David is not alone, as he has given Jack the opportunity to talk with deceased Justice Society members, as well as their mother, and Ted after he had passed.


5. Morpheus/Dream (322 points - 11 first place slots)

Year first appeared: 1989

"Anyone that can be labeled the king of dreams just can't be messed with."

"The character who defined a genre. Neil Gaiman's greatest creation, and emblematic of the finest run of comics ever produced."

Like his siblings, Dream is neither a living being, nor a god. He is the anthropomorphic personification of dreams or dreaming itself. When the first thing in the universe dreamt, he was born. As long as something in the universe dreams, he will exist. He appears as whoever is viewing him expects him to appear: a Martian sees him as a disembodied energy being, a cat sees him as a cat, humans see him as human and so on.

Given his near infinite lifespan, the background of Dream is sparsely known. What is known is that at one point he fell in love with the queen of an African tribe, but despite her feelings for him, she rejected him on the grounds it was not for humans to love his kind and he condemned her to hell for it. In ancient Greece he was married to the muse Calliope and they gave birth to Orpheus, the minstrel of legend. (Calliope would later call on Dream to free her from imprisonment.) He gave guidance to Augustus Caesar. He made a deal with William Shakespeare that in return for two plays, he would give Shakespeare the gift of creativity to create works that would last through time. In return, Shakespeare wrote Midsummer Night’s Dream (which was performed for the Faire) and the Tempest (which was the story Dream could not write about himself. “I am the Prince of Stories, Will, but I have no story of my own. Nor shall I ever.”). He met the immortal Robert (Hob) Gadling once every hundred years for a friendly drink. He sent the agent Johanna Constantine into Post-Revolutionary France to rescue the head of his son, Orpheus. He made a bet with his sisters Desire and Despair over who was the most powerful by fighting over a man’s destiny, turning Joshua Edward Norton into Emperor Norton I, winning the bet and earning Desire’s enmity. At one point he was handed the key to Hell by Lucifer himself, but after hearing many petitioners he eventually handed the key back to two angels.

When Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series began, Dream had been inadvertently captured by the magician Roderick Burgess, who was trying to capture Dream’s older sister Death in order to ransom her freedom for power and immortality. When Dream was offered this same deal he refused and instead waited patiently for his chance for escape and revenge. When Roderick Burgess died of old age (cursing Dream's stubbornness to the end), his son Alexander continued to keep Dream locked up. After 70 years of imprisonment within Burgess' magic circle, one of the guards nearby Dream’s magical cell fell asleep and Dream escaped into the guard’s dreams.

After exacting his revenge on Alex Burgess by condemning him to endless waking, Dream slowly made his way back to his home in the center of the Dreaming, finding it dilapidated and nearly destroyed. It took a while to rebuild his domain, reclaim his lost tools and corral all the dreams and nightmares that had run rampant in the both the dream realm and the real world in his absence.

A pair of these dreams were Brute and Glob, who had resurrected the golden era Sandman superhero and trapped him and his living pregnant wife Hippolyta Hall (the Fury) in the dreams of an abused foster-child Jed who was kept locked in a basement. Dream banished the dead “Sandman”, freed Jed and told Hall that the child she was carrying had lived long in dreams and that one-day Dream himself would come for him. Shortly after the child’s birth Dream visited him and named the child Daniel.

At another point Dream joined his sister Delirium on a quest for “The Prodigal,” the one Endless that had abandoned his realm and his responsibilities: Destruction. This quest eventually led them back to Dream’s son Orpheus who had existed for thousands of years as just a head. In return for the information of Destruction’s whereabouts, Dream agreed to kill his son, releasing him from his long imprisonment. Because he has shed family blood, he had set in motion catastrophic events. He sent Loki and Puck, two legendary figures who had been hiding in the Dreaming, to fetch Daniel and bring him to Dream’s castle. In doing so, they put Daniel on a fire, burning away his mortality.

Hippolyta Hall went insane and with the help of the witch Thessaly, another extremely long lived human, went on a search for him. She encountered instead “The Kindly Ones”, the vengeful aspect of the three Fates (otherwise known as the Furies or the Hecatae), and joined them. Instead of fighting them off, Dream left himself open to attack and his sister Death came for him.

At the moment of his death Daniel became the new Dream. He maintains all of the previous incarnation's power and knowledge, but with a slightly different personae. When the wake and funeral are held, one of Morpheus’ servants, Abel, explains that it is not so much a person they are mourning, “but a point of view”.


4. Deadpool (356 points - 9 first place slots)

Year first appeared: 1991

"He's the merc with the mouth and easily my favourite character."

"Ahhh, the Merc with a Mouth...another character who from his inception had NO business becoming as good or as fully-rounded as he did, thanks ENTIRELY to guys (and gals) named Nicieza, Simone, and most notably Kelly; what was once a bad mish-mash/knockoff of Spider-Man mixed with Deathstroke became a character with surprising depth and pathos, and a truly "Marvel" hero/anti-hero."

"He's simply nuts."

"Originally created by Rob Liefeld he was just a lame rip-off of Deathstroke. Like Cable he just needed the right writers to give him life. He then became a giant parody of the times he was created in and allowed fans and writers alike to laugh at themselves and the comics they love. I mean really who can hate Deadpool he's like Wolverine and Spider-Man combined."

"I can't go on enough about the merc with a mouth. I love everything about this guy. Costume, jokes, abilities, even his complextion is great."

The Liefeld character that could, I am so proud of you Wade. This is payback for the Top Marvel Villains List where you didn't even make the Top 50. Seriously, you people voted him into the 57th slot. Buncha idiots you all are. But here he is in his Top 10 glory. Well done Wade, well done indeed.

Shrouded in stolen identities and clandestine secrets. Hero? Villain? Sociopath? Deadpool makes his own rules and plays nobody's game. A gun for hire, Wade Wilson led a relatively content life accepting dangerous missions for profit, until the day he was diagnosed with cancer. Leaving the woman he loved, Wade accepted an offer of salvation from Canada's Weapon X Project. Wilson received an experimental treatment, which gave him an artificial healing factor much like Wolverine's. The process cured his cancer, but left him horribly disfigured. His appearance became so mangled that he slipped into the darkest pit of his soul, becoming the Merc-With-A-Mouth known as Deadpool.

Deadpool has an accelerated healing factor which allows him to recover from virtually any injury in moments, he can also re-grow severed limbs. His healing factor renders him basically immune to all poisons, drugs, and diseases. His other physical abilities are enhanced as a result of his healing factor. His strength, stamina, agility, and reflexes are significantly greater than even the finest human athlete, and he has a high level of tolerance for pain. His healing factor is mentally driven to an extent. It can work at greater speeds when he's excited or angry, but will work slower than normal when sad or depressed. However, his healing factor is constantly regenerating the cells in his body even if there's nothing to heal, causing his mangled appearance and mental instability. This also makes him immune to telepathic invasion.

Deadpool is an expert in both armed and unarmed combat. Though he greatly favors swords and bladed weapons, he has an almost impeccable aim. He's also fluent in multiple languages, most notably Japanese and German. Aside from guns and swords, Deadpool used a holographic image inducer to disguise himself for a long time. He has also employed personal teleportation devices in one form or another. His first one was semi-reliable and was stored on his belt, the second one he used was Cable's own body-slide technology. He's now currently using Weasel's Penetrator.

Thanos has also granted Deadpool immortality in order to keep him separated from Death, whom is in love with Deadpool, as Thanos is obsessed with her. He later rejoined the Weapon-X program for a short time, they fixed his healing factor, making him look normal and allowed him to become stronger each time he healed. Although he lost the fixed healing factor after he left, he retained the two-ton strength boost that he gained.



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