Monday, May 28, 2018 • Midnight Edition • "Cyclops was right."

Your Top Teens part 47

Written by Chris Mitchell on Tuesday, October 20 2009 and posted in Features

Back to batches of three. My days of being nice are over...


39. Wondergirl (74 points)

wondergirl.jpg"Everything after YJ was turgid fanwankery, but until then quite a decent stab at an awkward young superhero - even the John Byrne stuff was quite good."

For most of her adolescent life, Cassie Sandsmark was a normal teenage girl. She lived alone with her mother Helena, a respected archaeologist. Her father was absent for her entire childhood, to the point that Cassie wasn't even aware who he was.

Helena Sandsmark had begun working with Wonder Woman through a kind of happenstance, but the heroine made a quick impression on Cassie. When Wonder Woman found herself dangerously close to defeat at the hands of a clone of Doomsday, Cassie borrowed some of WW's unused equipment (notably the Sandals of Hermes and the Gauntlet of Atlas). After helping defeat the villain, Cassie continued to use he artifacts to occasionally assist the Amazonian Princess.

Later on, Cassie was able to steal a moment of Olympian god Zeus' time, which she used to request actual super powers. Zeus was impressed enough by the child's willpower and courage to grant her request. The powers came with a loophole, however: Helena has the ability to cancel Cassie's ability whenever she wishes. Thus far, Helena has allowed her daughter to continue unabated, only rarely using this ability.

Cassie soon accepted the title of Wonder Girl, and trained with Artemis, Donna Troy, and even Wonder Woman herself. She became especially close to Troy, whom she had idolized as a child (a fact that is evident by the choice of wig for her original Wonder Girl costume). It was Donna who gave Cassie the original Wonder Girl costume, a symbolic passing of the torch.

While assisting the Amazonians whenever the opportunity arose, Cassie found herself wandering deeper into the world of superheroes. After being assaulted by the villain Harm, Cassie found herself recruited by Robin, Superboy, and Bart Allen, a group of teenage heroes known as Young Justice. Along with Arrowette, Secret, and Empress, Wonder Girl represented the second wave of Young Justice members, creating an honest team out of what was originally three sidekicks goofing off and fighting crime as an afterthought.

During her tenure with Young Justice, Wonder Girl grew into a full-fledged superhero. She took over leadership of the team when Robin stepped down from the post, all while cultivating a crush on Superboy and close friendship with Secret and Arrowette. It was during this period that Cassie's secret identity was revealed to the public when she was forced to defend her high school against an attack by Wonder Woman's nemesis the Silver Swan who thought that she should be Wonder Girl.

Just as Wonder Girl began settling into her leadership role, the Teen Titans and Young Justice were offered sponsorship by a mysterious corporation called Optitron. While mulling over the pitch, both teams were assaulted by Indigo, a misunderstood android who unwittingly activated a homicidal Superman robot. Donna Troy was killed in the ensuing battle, an incident that left the heroes shattered. Depressed and guilt-ridden over the death of her friend and idol, Cassie contemplated retiring from super heroics.

Instead, she found herself persuaded to join a new incarnation of the Teen Titans, reformed from the ashes of Donna's death by Cyborg, Beast Boy, and Starfire. Wonder Girl fought alongside former Young Justice teammates Superboy, Robin, and Impulse (now going by Kid Flash), as well a de-aged Raven and new recruit Speedy. The new team came up against a litany of threats from the original incarnations past, fending off assaults by Deathstroke, Brother Blood, The Fearsome Five, and Dr. Light. She also found herself constantly confronted by the Olympian Ares, who gave her the lasso she currently uses.

While a member of the Titans, Cassie surmised the true identity of her father. After assisting Wonder Woman in defeating Hades and restoring order to the Olympian Pantheon, Cassie was granted one wish which she used to force the revelation of her true parentage -- Zeus himself. Zeus and Helena Sandsmark had a dalliance while Zeus was disguised as a human, resulting in the now half-Olympian Cassie.

Cassie also finally began dating Conner Kent, the then current Superboy. They enjoyed a comparatively normal courtship until Lex Luthor activated long-latent mind control of Conner, resulting in Superboy brutally attacking the combined forces of the Teen Titans and the Outsiders. It was Cassie who eventually returned Superboy to sanity, but the incident resulted in his leaving the Titans, and thusly his relationship with Wonder Girl.

Wonder Girl continued to fight alongside the Titans, including venturing to the planet of New Cronus to save the life of Donna Troy, until the Infinite Crisis hit. When the Olympian gods left Earth following an attack by Maxwell Lord's OMACs, Cassie found herself without her power source. She reluctantly accepted half of Ares' godly abilities, a gift from the war god in exchange for Cassie accepting him as her brother.

38. Alex Wilder (77 points)

alexwilder.jpg"He was on my top modern characters list, so I couldn't well leave him off this list. My favorite Runaway and the last one I would have pegged as the mole. When he turned on the team, I was shocked. Great character and a great story arc for him from start to finish."

Alex was the original person who stumbled upon the secret passageway that uncovered the double identities of their parents as the super villain group The Pride and subsequently led to the formation of The Runaways. Under his guidance and leadership, the ragtag group of teenage superhero wannabes managed to thwart practically everything that their parents threw their way including the interference of local law enforcement, as well as a small group of vampires they stumbled upon as they were holding up the local Circle A. Alex was also the only member of the group who did not adopt a superhero moniker stating that he would rather fight to redeem his family name than hide under the guise of a pseudonym. Although Alex did not have any super powers or technological devices, he was an incredibly gifted tactician, which was recognized by his father and by his internet friends who accused him of being older than he actually was because of his intelligence.

Later on, it was revealed that Alex was working as a mole for The Pride of his own volition. Alex’s identity as the mole was not known, even to The Pride, until he decided to reveal himself and his true intentions. He developed feelings for and begun a shaky romance with Nico Minoru early on that was tested time and time again. After he betrayed his friends, Alex offered Nico the chance to join him and their parents, but was rejected. Their relationship officially ended in Alex's death at the hands of the Giborrim. It was later revealed that Nico tried to revive Alex by using the Staff of One, but failed.

Alex is probably the only member of The Runaways who did not have any overt powers. While Chase had his Fistigons, and Gert had Old Lace, Alex's only real ability was his natural talent for leadership and his intelligence as he has managed to lead the group and keep them together against enemies who were out of their league. At the time of his betrayal, it was his intelligence that allowed him control; over Nico's Staff of One, Chase's Fistigons and Old Lace.

37. Rose Wilson (79 points - 3 first place slot)

rosewilson.jpgA few years after his divorce from Adeline Kane, Slade Wilson - the mercenary known as Deathstroke, The Terminator - took a search-and-rescue mission under contract. Slade met Lillian "Sweet-Lilli" Worth, an Oriental clan princess whose life fell in ruins after her kingdom was destroyed by a war in the Far East. It was Slade's mission to bring Lilli from war-torn Cambodia to Thailand, where she would have relative freedom.

The mission was successful; during the journey, Slade and Lillian became lovers as well. Slade and Lillian remained in contact, embarking an on/off love affair whenever their paths crossed. During one of their trysts, Slade impregnated Lillian, who later gave birth to Rose Worth. Lillian kept Rose a secret from Slade, rationalizing it was in the child's best interest to do so.

Lillian eventually settled outside New York City, where she established a brothel and lived in luxury. Despite the environment, Rose was raised with other children her age and was schooled by private tutors. She not only received a happy childhood, but was also taught how to defend herself.

When Slade was injured and on the lam from the law, Lillian took him in and nursed his wounds. It was at this time that Wintergreen met 14-year-old Rose Worth and suspected Slade was her father.

The Madison family adopted Rose and she enjoys a short period of a normal life until a new man assuming the identity of the Ravager (who was later revealed to be Slade's half-brother, Wade DeFarge) was hunting down Slade's friends and loved ones, killing his informant Maurice, and his tech supplier, Squirrel. Ravager abducted Rose Worth when he discovered her connection to Slade. As Ravager tortured Rose, he also revealed to her that Slade Wilson was her father. Meanwhile, Wintergreen and Lillian launched a rescue attempt. Eventually, Lillian and Wintergreen reached their quarry in the snow-covered wilderness in the Adirondack Mountains. To save her daughter, Lillian attempted to run over Ravager in a Jeep – but her Jeep careened off a cliff and exploded. Lillian was presumed dead, but her body was never recovered. Wintergreen and Rose were able to elude Ravager and escaped.

Rose wakes to find herself in Deathstroke's lair where he offers to train her. She accepts to find her first task is to kill Wade DeFarge. She does without mercy and takes his name, Ravager. Little does she know that Slade has drugged her with the same serum that gives him his powers. Also unknown to Rose is that her father had hired Wade DeFarge to kill her adoptive family in an attempt to draw her closer. Slade thought it would be best if Rose had nothing to do with him, since he felt he brought about the death of both his sons. Fearing he would not be a good father, he left Rose primarily in the care of Wintergreen, who was prepared to adopt the girl. Slade, however, had already made arrangements with Sarge Steel to place her in protective custody with the Titans. Sarge Steel - who oversaw the group during this stage - saw potential in the young girl, although he also found her to be prone to violence and a bit unstable.

During her brief time on the team, Rose befriended some of the younger members of the team. During a training exercise with Damage, Rose was injured and almost fell into a coma. As Damage brought her to the hospital, her meta-gene powers kicked in. Rose had an extensive precognitive vision where she saw her father's future. She appeared as an astral form, witnessing her Deathstroke's future unfold – a future where he was caught in a never-ending drudge match with Hawkman. During this jaunt, Rose was able to project her astral form and inhabit the body of someone in the future, similar to her brother Jericho's ability. Before Rose could explore these abilities further, she recovered at the hospital – thus ending her dream vision.

Still reeling over the death of her mother, Rose became sullen and somewhat reckless. Fellow Titan Donna Troy tried to reach out to her, but Rose rejected her. Fellow Titan Impulse developed a crush on Rose but she was oblivious to his affections. Rose was not a Titan for very long; she eventually left the team to embark on her own. It is believed she stayed with her mother's friend.

Rose Wilson later aided the Titans again during the Technis Imperative conflict, which involved the Justice League as well as all Titans, past and present. The two teams eventually worked together to save the earth and former Titans teammate, Victor Stone (Cyborg).

When the Titans later threw a surprise party for Donna Troy, Rose Wilson was in attendance. Roy Harper offered Rose a job as nanny to his daughter Lian. She accepted and served as Lian's nanny for a time.

Since that time, Rose has broken free of her father's control with some help from Nightwing. After the serum ran its course, Rose returned to sanity and was granted membership in the Teen Titans at the request of Nightwing. Once a dangerous and unstable adversary, it may be some time before all her teammates fully trust her. While Rose initially clashed with Wonder Girl, she also found a trusted friend in new member, Kid Devil.

After Raven successfully brought back Jericho by using one of Brother Blood's resurrection rituals, he was cleansed of any evil influence. At this time, Jericho rejoined the Teen Titan and met his sister, Rose, for the first time.

Rose got to show where her loyalties stood when the Titans Tower got breached by the Terror Titans. The villainous team was sent by their leader The Clock King to retrieve the Titans but Ravager would not go down with out a fight. Showing a great display of heart and fighting ability Ravager was able to hold them long enough for Wendy and Marvin to escape the Tower before it blew up. It was believed that Ravager was dead when the rest of the Titans arrived back at the tower but Robin was able to figure out a way that she could have escaped. Still unsure the Titans went to meet the Clock King and I was shown that Ravager, with a destroyed costume was following behind them in the shadows proving that she still lived. Clock King, while they were fighting, offered her a spot on his team but she abruptly declined his offer.


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