Three more down, ninety-four to go...
97. Scrap (29 points)
Cleveland native Bridget Flynn was raised by her biological mother and her mother's husband, Bridget's adoptive father, though her father does not know that he is not Bridget's biological father. After graduating from NYU Film School, she moved to Los Angeles, where, now in her early twenties, she works at a Hollywood California movie theater while pursuing her dreams of being a screenwriter
Following the assassination of Captain Dynamo, the much-beloved superhero protector of Tower City, his widow, former government agent posing as a now-retired investigative reporter Maddie Warner, discovered from his personal effects that he had been unfaithful to her countless times. Despite her devastation at this discovery, Warner realized that without a full-time protector, Tower City would be vulnerable to Captain Dynamo’s legion of Super-villain enemies. She used her skills and the information she discovered to track down five people who could be Dynamo’s illegitimate children.
Bridget was the fourth of the five children contacted by Warner, and the oldest. Gathering all five of the children together, Warner exposes them to the same unidentified radiation that gave Captain Dynamo his powers forty years earlier, unlocking their powers. Bridget inherits her father’s super strength and invulnerability. She took the codename Scrap, and works to protect Tower City with her newly discovered brothers and sisters. Warner offers to put Bridget in touch with one of the entertainment reporters from the newspaper where she once worked, but Bridget, who admits that she isn't good at "schmoozing", declines the offer, explaining that she doesn't want special treatment.
Shortly after gaining her powers, Bridget's father paid her an unexpected visit a few days before Father's day. Suspicious of his reasons for the visit, he reluctantly told her that he and her mother had separated because they were no longer in love, which caused much pain for Bridget.
A year after the team is formed, following Warner's descent into a coma, the flooding of the Aquarium, the team's headquarters, and the discovery that Scrap's brother and teammate Myriad is a half-extraterrestrial with an alien appearance, the team falls apart, but Scrap remains in Tower City to protect it, recruiting allies of the team to act as temporary replacements for her siblings, but her siblings eventually reunite with her as teammates. She subsequently decided to move from Los Angeles to Tower City full time.
96. Tesla Strong (29 points)
"Very funny, feisty character and often source of great subplots. Takes no guff from Dad, and dates whoever she wants, which just so happens to be a lava-haired, volcanic prince. You know she’s an Alan Moore Character When: Tesla discovers, thanks to her dad's "time board" that she is one of many Tesla’s across many universes, and in one of them, Tesla happens to be a giant, cyber-Azteck warrior."
I am way too tired to research her, and still sick so I am just using the same thing I used during the Top Modern list. A review on her book:
I really wasn't sure I was going to pick this book up, as the price was a bit steep, and as much as I'm a fan of the character Tesla Strong, I was quick to note Alan Moore was limited to a simple plot assist. However, being the completist fan that I am, I was also quick to notice that this book weighed in at a fairly impressive sixty-four pages, which almost translates into three regular-sized issues, and this made the price tag a little easier to accept. Then I got a look at the creative talent that would be providing the art and the book quickly found its way into my weekly stack of books. Now that I've finished the issue I have to say I'm glad I took a chance on this issue as it's a delightful adventure that is nicely reminiscent of the type of story that made me a comic fan. The Fantastic Four is the book that I'll give credit to for making me into a diehard reader, as while Spider-Man is the book that brought me in, the Fantastic Four is the title that showed me the sheer size of the canvas comics could play out upon. I love the idea of characters jumping from parallel earths, or racing through the time steam, or traveling to other worlds, and this issue makes it clear that Peter Hogan is cut from the same cloth, as this is a delightful romp, that has Tesla encountering a wide variety of parallel worlds, and the writing displays a wonderful sense of imagination.
The book is a lot of fun when Tesla is jumping from world to world, as there's a sense of discovery, and the story has enough room so Tesla is allowed to have some pretty enjoyable encounters on each of the respective worlds. From her visit to a world where the bombs have dropped & cockroaches have infested the surface, to the world of nudists, this issue is littered with ideas that range from exciting to goofy fun. This issue also makes a welcome return visit to the world where animal critters have taken the place of our heroes, and in a fun homage to the Silver Age we have Tesla stumble her way into a rather amusing sitcom style scenario where she meets a counterpart who has adopted a secret identity. From battling giant killer robots, to her visit to a world populated by giants, this book couldn't have been more entertaining during the world-jumping segment of the issue. The problem is that the world-hopping was so much fun that when the book had to settle down and start telling the story the excitement level dipped considerably. Now the idea of a world where heroes & villains have swapped roles is always an interesting idea, and the book manages to have some fun playing with these reversed roles (with Tom's jealous wife providing the primary source of amusement). Still, the real enjoyment in this issue plays out in the opening forty pages, as this is when Peter Hogan appears to be having the most fun.
It's not just the idea that this book has managed to secure such high profile artists, but rather that several of the ones they did manage to get for this project are ones whose work has been pretty hard to find. I mean Michael Golden, Adam Hughes & J. Scott Campbell have largely limited their work to simply covers for the past couple years, and Arthur Adams & Frank Cho aren't exactly the most prolific of artists either. The format of the issue is also nicely set up to take advantage of an artist's style, as Michael Golden is called upon to deliver the devastated ruins of the Earth where the bombs have gone off, while Frank Cho gets to offer up a fun preview of what one can expect to see in his upcoming Shanna miniseries over at Marvel. Claudio Castellini delivered what has to be my favorite section of the issue though, as the art perfectly captured the idea of a world populated by giants, though Adam Hughes' underwater city was also quite impressive. My only real quibble with the art on this book would have to be that Jason Pearson was given such a sizable section of the book, as he's responsible for 20 pages, and of all the artists involved in this issue, his style is the least exciting. Now it does have a dark, edgy look to it that nicely suits the material, but I much rather have seen Tom Mandrake, or Bill Sienkiewicz (first time I got his name right, without looking it up first).
The idea of a hero jumping from one parallel world to the next is hardly a novel concept, but when done right it's certainly on of the more enjoyable, and on this one-shot Peter Hogan strikes all the right notes. The issue reads almost like a how to book on how to deliver an enjoyable comic, as the action moves along at a furious pace, and there's a wealth of fun & novel ideas bouncing around in these pages. It also doesn't hurt that Tesla Strong is a very engaging character who is about as perfect a fit as one could hope for in a story like this, as the character bounces from one situation to the next, and manages to have just as much fun as the reader while doing it. If you're a fan of the DCU before Crisis hit, you could certainly do worse than giving this book a look, as it's almost a loving homage to the idea of parallel Earths, and a couple of the worlds that we're treated to feel like they were ripped right out of that bygone era that DC effectively erased. Plus, with a collection of some of the best artists in the business, this book was an unexpected treat.
95. Magma (29 points)
Magma (Amara Juliana Olivians Aquilla) hails from the fictional country of Nova Roma (New Rome), a colony of the Roman Republic reportedly founded shortly after the death of Julius Caesar in 44 BC. The colony is hidden in the Amazon Rainforests of modern Brazil and was ruled until recently by the immortal witch Selene. Amara is the daughter of Lucius Antonius Aquilla. He was presumably a member of the historical Gens Antonia which claimed descent from Anton, son of Hercules. Growing up in Nova Roma, she has curly blonde hair, she wears a traditional white Roman toga.
Caught up in a deadly power struggle between Selene and her father, Amara disguises herself as a Brazilian Indian, and first encounters the New Mutants. Amara discovers her powers when Selene throws her into a lava pool as a human sacrifice during the violent conflict. Amara re-emerges with super-human powers, demanding vengeance, and she battles Selene. She leaves Nova Roma in the company of the New Mutants, at her father's urging, to the outside world to be taught by Charles Xavier.
After the New Mutants visit Nova Roma, Magma officially enters Xavier's school and joins the New Mutants. She invades the Hellfire Club's New York headquarters to battle Selene. She is fooled into joining a gladiatorial competition run by the insane Shadow King. She partners with Sunspot. Eventually, the efforts of her other friends free her and Sunspot from the cult-like control of the games.
Magma and the New Mutants clashed with Emma Frost and her super-powered teens, the Hellions on multiple occasions. Despite the cruelties displayed by the Hellion Empath, Magma develops an attraction towards him. She recognizes this and is distressed by her feelings.
Magma becomes involved in a revenge scheme against the X-Men by the Asgardian God Loki and the Enchantress. Mistaking the New Mutants for the X-Men, the entire team is kidnapped during their Greek vacation and taken to Asgard. The teleportation spell created by her teammate Magik goes awry when blocked by the Enchantress' own power. Thrown through time and space, Magma ends up in the elven realm. They trick her into eating and drinking, thus making her one of their own, body and mind. She participates in a raid on the Asgardian dwarves, where she is defeated by Cannonball. The dwarves, grateful to Cannonball, restore Magma's mind, but they cannot restore her body. Fortunately this becomes moot when Loki's plan is foiled and the team is sent back home, with all magical alterations reversed.
After a time, there is a revelation of an evil Magma of an alternate future. Shortly after that, Magma recognizes her grandmother, "many times removed" in a statue depicting the ancient lunar deity Selene. The witch Selene approaches her to claim having been both the model for the statue and the ancestor in question. Soon after, Magma leaves the New Mutants and joins the Hellions.
She trains with the Hellions, and returns to South America with Empath. She later reveals to the New Mutants that her father arranged her engagement to a South American prince. She is captured by the High Evolutionary's agents Dr. Stack and Purge, but is rescued by the New Mutants. Some time later, she encounters Hercules, discovering he is one of the gods she worshipped.
It is later apparently revealed that Nova Roma is not Roman, but was created by Selene using mind control on British citizens to recreate Rome, and that Magma's real name is Allison Crestmere. While still under the influence of the "Allison" persona, she briefly resurfaces as a member of the New Hellions.
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