Thursday, February 22, 2018 • Midnight Edition • "At least we're not Bleeding Cool!"

Your Top Teens part 24

Written by Chris Mitchell on Wednesday, October 07 2009 and posted in Features

Three more random characters for you...


119. Veronica Lodge (21 points)

veronica.jpg"The fact that she makes "Archie's Choice" a choice to begin with is reason enough. Betty's such the go-to obvious pick. "Oh, girl next door." Borrrring. Ronnie keeps you guessing."

Sometimes called "Ron" or "Ronnie", Veronica Lodge is, at her worst, spoiled, stuck-up, and rude, and when she isn't, she's most willing to help her friends out using her money or other means. Her father, Hiram Lodge, is a millionaire, which she takes full advantage of, often making extremely unrealistic purchases (e.g.: a whole department stores' clothing stock). Her relationship with her mother is simple in the way that both women like shopping and the latest fashions. However, she and her father often argue about her buying habits. Hiram Lodge also disapproves of Archie, who is sometimes very clumsy and tend to destroy a lot of his priceless antiques whenever he comes around to Veronica's house. Ron lives in a mansion that never looks the same in two issues, and is sometimes seen owning a poodle, or a cat, or in some cases, both.

Veronica is sometimes said to be the most beautiful girl in her hometown of Riverdale, earning her the attention and affection of both nice Archie Andrews and sneaky Reggie Mantle, thus resulting in many stories centered around their rivalry for her. Archie usually wins her heart, although sometimes Veronica will purposely date Reggie to make Archie jealous. It is stated in some issues that Veronica thinks she could "do better" than Archie, but since her sometimes best friend Betty Cooper is always waiting to catch him on the rebound, she continues to date him.

Her relationship with Betty, who is almost her opposite, can be quite complicated. Betty is the athletic, kind, generous girl-next-door type, who gets straight-As in Riverdale High School, which both girls attend. At times Veronica will become jealous of her best friend's smarts, while Betty, in turn, is jealous that Archie likes Veronica better. However, the two girls prove their friendship time and again against robbers, bullies, and other obstacles. Sometimes Veronica will lend a hand with Betty's many charities, or give her expensive clothes that she hadn't worn yet.

In an alternate universe, Veronica Lodge is a super heroine (although it is not clear what her motivation was) called Miss Vanity. She first gained her superpowers due to a stress-related situation. Her only known power is a super scream which is able to shatter glasses, windows and machineries. She discovers this after finding out that her bank account had only 1 cent thanks to a super criminal's evil plot.

118. Hawk (21 points - 1 first place slot)

hawk.jpgHank Hall and his brother Don were as opposite as brothers could be. Hank was brash and aggressive, with a talent for athletics. He lorded this over his brother, whose talents were more intellectual. Although they could often be each other's most ardent adversaries, Hank and Don were extremely close and Hank was very protective of his younger brother.

By his teens, Hank grew to be fiercely proud of America's role in world events, and firmly believed in the policy of dealing with Communist regimes from a position of strength. Irwin Hall, a prominent superior court judge, often lectured his sons on seeing both sides of an issue, not just making judgments from their respective conservative (Hank) and liberal (Don) views. He tried to make them realize that justice requires balance, not single-mindedness.

During Hank's senior year in high school Hank and Don were visiting Judge Hall at work when an assassination attempt was made on their father. Hank and Don followed the would-be assassin to a warehouse hideout. Climbing inside to eavesdrop, Hank and Don became locked in a room where they listened helplessly to the mob's plans to kill their father, they wished they had some sort of power to save him. Their plea was answered by a mysterious mingling of voices who offered them superpowers if they each would just "say the word."

The voices belonged to T'Charr, a Lord of Chaos, and Terataya, a Lord of Order. Even though the forces of Order and Chaos were eternal enemies, these two Lords had fallen in love. They wanted to prove to their fellow Lords the benefit of Order and Chaos' working together in balance and found two likely candidates for this; purpose in Hank and Don Hall, creating Hawk and Dove.

Hank was named Hawk to reflect his aggressive personality. Whenever danger was present, he could say "Hawk" and trigger the magical change into Hawk. Once the danger was gone, Hawk quickly reverted to Hank. Hawk's clothing appeared out of nowhere and spread quickly across his body, completely replacing whatever Hank was wearing. This costume could not be removed on low-magic worlds like Earth and actually hid the fact that Hawk, as a conduit for pure chaotic energy, wasn't completely human.

Hawk soon made himself known in Washington, D.C. first by saving his father (with Dove's help), then by numerous other deeds. Hawk was often feared or distrusted, but even his critics saw the good he was doing for the city. Hawk and Dove joined the Teen Titans for a short time, but soon went to reserve status in order to devote more time to protecting their "home turf."

Soon after this Monarch stuff happened, and well, I really do not wish to talk about such shit.

117. Aqualad/Tempest (22 points)

aqualad.jpg"I think all of the original Teen Titans are better characters now than they were at inception. I love Dick, Donna, Roy and Wally too, but the former Aqualad has always been the underused, underrated underdog of the original team. Doesn't hurt that his current look/powers are awesome."

The Idylists were a group of pacifists living in self-exile from Atlantis in the Hidden Valley for over 4,000 years. They knew no violence; Peace and serenity were their way of life. King Thar came into power and ruled from Shayeris, the Idylist capital city. Thar had inherited much of his ancestor's mythic power, and practiced sorcery alongside his brother, Slizzath. The history of Atlantis is fraught with a recurring theme: brother against brother. King Thar was no exception.

Thar's brother Slizzath thought the power should be his and resented his brother taking it from him. Slizzath was denied his birthright because he dabbled in the black arts by practicing necromancy – the evocation of the dead. He was banished from the Hidden Valley but returned 20 years later with an army of undead soldiers. Fearing his brother's attack, Thar assembled an armory of weapons, specifically designed to stop Slizzath. The Idylists, however, thought Thar was going insane. The peace-loving people revolted, killing their once-beloved king. Fearing the monarchy was tainted by foul violence, the Idylists banished his now-pregnant wife, Berra, who found her way to Atlantis and gave birth to a son - who she named Garth.
Before Thar died, he was able to use his magic to trap Slizzath in an other-dimensional prison. It was, however, an imperfect imprisonment. Slizzath would be able to manipulate particular spells as a means of escape. Such a spell was Garth's birthright ritual - which he would one day perform to seal his mystical powers. Upon giving birth to Garth, Berra gazed upon his purple eyes - the Idylist mark of power. At that moment, her son's destiny seemed clear: Garth would one day perform the very spell that would free Slizzath. Feeling she had no other choice, Berra left her son to die.

Eventually, Garth met and rescued Aquaman and became his sidekick, Aqualad. Together they shared many adventures. Once Aquaman married his lady love, Mera, and had his own son, adventuring with Aqualad became less important to him, leaving Garth feeling unsure of his role in his mentor's life. Eventually he ventured to the surface where he met other teen heroes, Garth became one of the founding members of the Teen Titans. Still shunned by many Poseidonians despite his heroics on their behalf, Aqualad was sent away to be schooled in Scotland, at a school on the shores of Loch Ness. Soon, life for Garth became increasingly difficult, both at home and away. Mera was kidnapped, forcing the Aqua-duo to go in search of her, during which time Garth's left arm was nearly severed by an attacker. While he mended in the hospital, a plot against the Crown developed and Aqualad was forced to escape, finding that he was being deliberately over-medicated to keep him from thwarting the usurpers.

While on a quest to assist Aquaman, Garth was kidnapped and forced to fight a giant sea beast to the death, surviving just long enough for Aquaman to defeat the monster. Little did Garth know that, before long, he would be forced to defend himself in a life or death struggle against his mentor over the survival of the infant Arthur Jr. Betrayed and abandoned by Aquaman, Garth stayed in the Hidden Valley to search for links to his identity, eventually finding out he was the lost prince of the Idyllists, though it would be several more years before he learned the truth about his father's murder and his mother's complicity in his exile at the hands of the Poseidonians.

Also as a teenager, Garth met and fell in love with Aquagirl, the impetuous and feisty Atlantean ward of Aquaman's predecessor, King Juvor. They dated for years, aiding Aquaman as defenders of the undersea realms, until Tula's tragic death at the hands of Chemo during the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Grief-stricken, Garth left Atlantis, rejoined the Teen Titans on a number of occasions, and saw his relationship with Aquaman become violent and strained.
As a result of his grief and repeated telepathic abuse by Mento, among other factors, Aqualad lost his ability to control marine life. While he later regained this power during the Millennium event, it came with the condition that his commands must now be phrased as requests to the creatures to perform desired actions, although the animals apparently need little persuasion.

Garth nearly joined the list of casualties during the Titans story arc "Titans Hunt," an all-out attempt to wipe out the former teen sidekicks and their allies. While trying to free the ascending Golden Eagle from the clutches of a member of the Wildebeest Society, Aqualad fell from a great height, his body mangled and his bones shattered on the rocks of a sea wall below. Rescued by the (then) reformed Steve Dayton and Deathstroke, Garth was confined to a tank and left to be cared for by STAR Labs physicians, who found that they could do little for him due to his Atlantean physiology. After he nearly died twice, the Titans called for Aquaman, who took Garth to the Idyllists in the hopes that their metaphysical cures might save him. While at the edge of death, Garth saw Tula and begged to join her in the Great Beyond, but was instead revived by Tusky the walrus. Angered that Arthur had yet again abandoned him and, worse, with people he thought hated him, he came to blows with Aquaman and Garth severed his ties to his mentor.


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