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Your Top Teens part 43

Written by Chris Mitchell on Thursday, October 15 2009 and posted in Features

Even closer to the Top 50...

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57. Kamandi (49 points)

kamandi.jpgSomewhere in an alternative future, Earth was in great danger of a war that would lead to the destruction of the entire human population. The Global Peace Agency transformed office worker Buddy Blank into the superhero OMAC who fought various threats to world peace. But the agency was destroyed by its enemies and Omac failed to prevent what is known as the Great Disaster.

This disaster may have been natural, but it was linked to a mysterious energy source called the vortex. It could have been that a nuclear war brought about the Great Disaster, for radiation was clearly involved. However, by the time of Kamandi, these levels of radiation had fallen to that of safety. The disaster involved worldwide devastation from earthquakes and fires. Human civilization collapsed and within two generations, virtually all of humanity had digressed to an animalistic state.

Before the Great Disaster however, Dr Michael Grant had developed a mutagenetic chemical called cortexin. Many of his research animals were exposed to cortexin in the course of the Great Disaster. The chemical greatly increased their intelligence, and also seemed responsible for giving them the power of speech, the ability to walk upright, and opposable thumbs.

The animals' descendents inherited these genetic changes, and as a result (within two human generations), talking animals-, including Lions, tigers, gorillas, leopards, rats, dogs and dolphins - dominated the earth.

Having long ago lost his OMAC powers, Buddy Blank lived out the years after the great disaster in a bunker in the New York area. There he raised his grandson Kamandi - named after the bunker itself, "Command D," using a micro film to teach him about past civilization. Finally Buddy Blank was killed by humanoid wolves, and the teenage Kamandi set out on his long wanderings through much of the Earth after the Disaster.

In his travels, Kamandi made various friends, including Ben Boxer and his friends Steve and Renzi, who were three survivors of the scientific community, the scientist dog Doctor Canus, and the young girl Spirit. Kamandi, Ben and Canus did not wish to conquer the animals but to restore humanity to a civilized state so that human beings could live as equals with intelligent animals.

As a result of the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Kamandi's timeline is no longer one of Earth's alternate futures. The boy of the future who would have been called Kamandi will instead grow up to be space adventurer Tommy Tomorrow


56. Scatterbrain (50 points - 3 first place slots)

scatterbrain.jpgWow. Three first place votes.

Gage Reinhart was the fifth of Captain Dynamo’s children Warner contacted. Gage is a 17-year-old Eastbridge, Texas high school football star who led his division in tackles for the entire season, and is the darling of both his female schoolmates and college scouts. It was right after Gage was practicing on the football field that Maddie Warner introduced herself. She informed him that he was the biological son of Captain Dynamo. Through some coercion, Maddie was able to convince Gage to meet up with four other siblings in the similar predicament. They all met for the first time in the secret base of Captain Dynamo, located in Tower City. It was during this meeting that Maddie irradiated them all, unlocking their super powers. Maddie explained that Tower City needed heroes now that Captain Dynamo had died. The five siblings banded together as Dynamo 5.

He is a popular, arrogant jock who never gave a damn about what anyone thought - until he can literally hear those thoughts. And he may not like what he hears. Scatterbrain’s name may also be a reference to his obtuseness or absentmindedness, as he made a pass at Scrap during their first meeting, requiring her to remind him that they were half-siblings. Gathering all five of the children together, Warner exposed them to the same unidentified radiation that gave Captain Dynamo his powers forty years earlier, unlocking their powers. Gage inherited his father’s telepathy. Gage takes the codename Scatterbrain, and works to protect Tower City with his newly discovered brothers and sisters.

Scatterbrain is often instrumental in the team's confrontations with its adversaries. One month after gaining his abilities, Scatterbrain and his siblings fought the paramilitary organization known as The Veil. Although he and the team acquitted themselves well against that foe, Visionary was kidnapped during the fracas, and brought to The Veil’s base. It fell upon Scatterbrain to use his telepathy to track Visionary via his brainwave pattern, which led to Visionary’s rescue. Scatterbrain was subsequently crucial to the team's victories against Voltage and a thief using the Jessup-Poole Strong-Suit.

Despite his telepathy's usefulness, however, Gage has laments the adverse side-effects that his powers and his involvement in the team has had on his life. His inability to fully control his telepathy, his tendency to pick up the thoughts of others that he finds hurtful, and the manner in which new aspects of it may suddenly evolve unexpectedly, have been a source of irritation to him, often causing him to long for a more empowering ability like his sister Olivia's flight. The difficulty in finding time for both his high school career and his super heroics leads to some sleeplessness and tension between him and Maddie Warner. Gage also comes to blows with his brother Spencer over him engaging in a romantic embrace with a schoolmate of Gage's while Spencer was impersonating Gage when Gage was in a coma. Spencer was given this mission by Maddie Warner in order to quell suspicion on the part of Gage's family, who are unaware of his life as a superhero, but Gage saw this act as an invasion of privacy on Spencer's part, though Spencer wonders if it is motivated by racism because the girl in question was black. Spencer apologizes to Gage, and confesses that, having grown up in foster homes, and having never had a real family or popularity in school, his experience with Gage's family opened his eyes to what he had missed all his life, and got carried away. Sympathetic to Spencer's feelings, Gage forgave him. Gage has learned that his brother, Visionary, was a virgin and has made it his mission to change that.


55. X-23 (51 points)

x23.jpgX-23 was the direct result of 22 failed attempts of a top secret program designed to clone the original Weapon X. Doctor Martin Sutter, who had hoped to create another mutant capable of surviving the intense adamantium bonding process, eventually hired the renowned mutant geneticist Doctor Sarah Kinney. Although she initially wanted to create a female clone of Wolverine due to the damaged Y chromosome of the genetic sample they had acquired, her request was denied, as Doctor Zander Rice, Sutters protégé, still desired the original mutant. Finally, Kinney was given permission to use two of Wolverine's X chromosomes to create a female clone, however, as a punishment for her insistence, Rice was forced to act as the surrogate mother of the embryo and for nine months, her every move was monitored until she finally gave birth to "X-23".

Raised in captivity and officially labeled as X-23, the mutant was rigorously trained to be the perfect weapon. Although Kinney tried her best to help her surrogate daughter retain some of her humanity, her efforts were futile, for at the age of seven, X-23 was exposed to extreme levels of radiation in order to accelerate the onset of her mutant genes. Next, Rice had her claws forcibly removed and coated with adamantium before they were painfully put back in place. While continuing her training, Rice created a "trigger scent" that would cause X-23 to enter into a berserker rage that would send her on a murderous rampage once her heightened senses picked up the smell. In order to make sure the "trigger scent" worked, Rice used it on her Sensei because he was nice to her.

After knowing what a successful killing machine they had created, Rice sent X-23 on numerous assassination missions, selling her talents to the highest bidder and leaving her emotionally stunted in the process. Ultimately, the power hungry Rice sought to gain full control over the project and had X-23 kill Doctor Sutter and his family. Later, Doctor Kinney's niece, Megan, is abducted by a serial killer, causing her to secretly send X-23 to rescue Megan. When Kinney discovers numerous incubation pods containing more female clones, she has X-23 perform one last mission; kill Doctor Rice and destroy the other clones. Unfortunately, Rice managed to plant X-23's trigger sent on Doctor Kinney, forcing the mutant to savagely murder her mother. While dying, Kinney refers to X-23 as Laura before giving her a letter containing information on Wolverine, Charles Xavier, and the X-men.

While on the run, X-23 locates Dr. Kinney's sister, Debbie, and her daughter Megan, who she had secretly rescued earlier. Although she seemed to eventually learn to accept them as her family, Laura's peace was interrupted when Debbie's boyfriend turned out to be an agent for X-23's creators. He informs Laura's old field handler, Kimura, of her whereabouts, causing the abusive woman to lead a number agents in a mission to recapture X-23. After escaping to safety, Laura sends Megan and Debbie away where they will not be bothered before she tracks down Wolverine at the Xavier Institute. When she finally confronts the man she was designed to kill, she immediately attacks him and seems to actually gain the upper hand. However Wolverine reveals he already knew of her existence thanks to a detailed note from her mother. Unfortunately their talk is interrupted when X-23 is captured by Captain America and taken into Shield custody due to her involvement in a number of brutal murders. Here she reveals her past and how she came to be a living weapon to her interrogators, Matt Murdock and Captain America. Although the blind lawyer is sympathetic to Laura's predicament, Captain America is still unsure of her innocence, although he eventually sets her free, so that she is not used as a weapon for a second time by S.H.I.E.L.D.

Before returning to Xavier's Institute, X-23 returns to New York City where she was taken in by a pimp named Zebra Daddy. Here she worked as a prostitute and began to cut herself with her own claws whenever she was in a precarious situation. Confused, and choosing to remain mute, Laura was unable to free herself from this lifestyle until she befriended fellow mutant Kiden Nixon, who had the ability to freeze time when in danger. After escaping from Zebra Daddy, X-23 kills him in order to save her friends

After taking a job as a waitress at a club in the district of Mutant Town, Laura protects Jade Parisi, daughter of a mob boss, by killing a gang of thugs who were harassing the young woman. Unfortunately this implicates Wolverine in the murders, forcing the X-Men to investigate. After helping the X-Men to resolve the situation, Laura returns with Wolverine to the Xavier Institute. With little in the way of appropriate social skills, Laura had a difficult time adjusting to life with the X-Men. Initially she was over protective of her new found guardian, Wolverine, going so far as to attack their teammate Bishop during a training session.

After helping Spider Man, Iron Man, and the Black Widow to save a young mutant from danger, X-23 tracks Wolverine while he investigates the Canadian Rockies. After being ambushed evolved by Suarians from the Savage Land, Laura works with Psylocke, who quickly befriends her, and Ka-Zar, in taking back the Savage Land while freeing Storm from the Saurians in the process.


54. Miss Martian (53 points)

missmartian.jpg"Innocence. That is the quality above all else that make's M'gann so darn endearing. In the four years she's appeared since OYL she's become a great member of the Teen Titans bringing amusing chuckles no matter what's going on ("Where's the button for hugging?" or trying to eat a soda can).

In light of all the darkness usually happening in the Titans' universe M'gann and Kid/Red Devil try to bring the light onto the team with their antics. Would it kill DC just to give us a one shot or mini of her?"

The mysterious Miss Martian joined the Teen Titans during the team's hectic year immediately following Infinite Crisis. The origin story she told was that her parents sent her in a rocket to the Vega System during the Green Martians' civil war with the White Martians, and she had come to Earth after hearing another Green Martian was here. Like almost all members during this time period, she did not remain with the team for very long. She was still learning about human culture and about elements like humor, once leading her to hit her roommate Ravager in the face with a pie. Her telepathy made her very sensitive to the feelings of others, and after Ravager drove her to tears, she left the team.

When the Teen Titans finally stabilized, the group began a global search for Raven and a possible traitor among the Teen Titans who had joined in the past year. M'gann was found in Sydney, Australia. She had gone there because the landscape reminded her so much of Mars. She told the Titans that she had seen Raven recently. The other girl wanted her to use her telepathy to scan the minds of various other Titans to locate the traitor, but that was against the rules she imposed on herself. She refused again when the Titans asked. Hearing the bad thoughts of other Titans only served to hurt her feelings in the past. She did at least send them on their way to tracking down Raven by telling them the identity of the next Titan Raven tracked down, Bombshell.

After the Teen Titans moved on, M'gann reconsidered her refusal to help them with her telepathy. She began scanning minds of Titans around the world, eventually pinpointing who the traitor was. She rushed to catch up to the team, because it was Bombshell who she determined was the traitor. However, Bombshell was able to turn the tables on M'gann and expose the truth about her origins. She was really a White Martian posing as a green one. Bombshell attacked her and the other Titans backed up Bombshell before M'gann could have her say. This distraction allowed Bombshell to get the drop on the Titans, and M'gann earned the team's trust by saving them from Bombshell's soldiers.

Very soon after rejoining the Teen Titans, the team was abducted by Deathstroke's Titans East. M'gann was personally held captive by Sungirl and Inertia, two teenage villains from the future. She was told that in their time Martians would be slaves because of a terrible crime committed by one specific Martian. That Martian was allegedly M'gann, and she would be Sungirl's slave in the future. M'gann later defeated Sungirl when the Teen Titans had freed themselves and the two teams clashed.

Miss Martian soon then received another ominous sign of her own future when the Titans of Tomorrow appeared in the present day. M'gann was confronted by her own future self, and this future M'gann had embraced her White Martian heritage. These Titans of Tomorrow were trying to influence the past and pave the way for their future, so M'gann was tormented by her future self to embrace who she really was. Future M'gann went too far, trying to use her telepathy to force M'gann to understand. M'gann shifted into her White Martian form, lashing out and taking off her future self's head.

This was not the end of things for M'gann and her possible future. Afterward, she was haunted by her future self. Something left of her was living inside of M'gann and grew increasingly worse. It developed almost like a multiple personality and sometimes took control as M'gann would black out. After some time with this, M'gann left the Teen Titans to find a way of dealing with this on her own.

Having briefly been abducted by the Dark Side Club and witness to what was done to other teenaged heroes in its gladiator arena, M'gann resolved to go back and save all those she could. The problem was that she was known to those who ran the Dark Side Club. She would not be taken in as deep as she needed to go when they knew their mind control techniques would not work on her. To get around this, she created a new identity and dove very deep into it. She became the new Star Spangled Kid.

As the Star Spangled Kid, she and some other Teen Titans were ambushed abducted by the Terror Titans. She maintained her cover even as the Dark Side Club began its attempted brainwashing of her, so no one realize that this male Star Spangled Kid was in fact the female Miss Martian. She fought in the tournament, testing and chipping away at the brainwashing down on the other heroes. Watching her fight, Ravager realized who the Star Spangled Kid was but said nothing to expose her.

Winning the tournament, M'gann was eventually able to free all of the enslaved teen heroes and lead a revolt against the organizers of the Dark Side Club and the Clock King. She exposed who she truly was after being called out on it by Ravager and led all of the super powered teenagers back to Titans Tower where they could recover. Feeling better after her success against the Dark Side Club, M'gann seemed to be back to her normal self. She rejoined the Teen Titans and became part of its new lineup along with two of the teen superheroes she rescued, Aquagirl and Static.


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