Tuesday, June 19, 2018 • Evening Edition • "The CBR of comic book journalism."

Your Top Teens part 61

Written by Chris Mitchell on Wednesday, October 28 2009 and posted in Features

Who didn't make the Top 3? Find out here.... {nomultithumb}

5. Conner Kent (364 points - 19 first place slots)

"Teenager by default, but with enough angst to put Peter Parker to shame."

"I never thought this guy would be on my list. It is really a credit to Geoff Johns. I really fell for this guy during his Teen Titans run. When he died the book suffered. He made him a likeable jock."

"I started buying his first solo series simply because I was a Super-family completist in the early '90's, but quickly dropped it because he sucked. After giving the early issues of Johns TT relaunch a try at a friends insistence, I realized he'd come a long way. I was bummed he died because I was just starting to like him, and plan on giving Adventure Comics a shot."

"The strongest teen ever."

"He saved the world! More than enough reason to include him."

"Didn't realize how cool he was till he died in Infinite Crisis. Great to see him back in the new Adventure Comics."

Neato? I am indifferent. Is that a bad thing? I didn't think so.

After the death of Superman at the hands of Doomsday, scientists at Project Cadmus attempted to clone the man of steel, but without success. Detecting the aura around Superman that lends to his invulnerability and flight, they were able to produce a clone from the genetic material of Lex Luthor, empowering it with abilities similar to Superman.

The pseudo-clone was artificially aged to about 15 years and implanted with knowledge and memories that would create an illusion to the public and himself that he was a true clone of Superman. When it was discovered that the director of Project Cadmus intended on using the pseudo-clone for his own purposes, he was assisted in escaping to Metropolis. For a time he believed himself to be Kal-El, and competed for the title of Superman amongst other pretenders. When Superman returned, the pseudo-clone assumed the mantel of Superboy.

Initially it had been thought Kon-El was created only from the genetically engineered human DNA of Cadmus Project director Paul Westfield. Later it was revealed that Superboy had been created from both Superman's and the human DNA. Westfield's DNA, however, had been replaced with that of Lex Luthor, and the developing clone brainwashed so that Luthor could have a sleeper agent among the superhero community. This eventually led to near disaster, as Luthor was able to "unlock" the potential of Kon-El, including his heat vision. This powered Superboy went on to devastate the Teen Titans, injuring all the members including his best friend Robin and girlfriend Wonder Girl. Superboy eventually became free of Luthor's control. Luthor, however, continued to at least claim that he viewed Kon-El as his son. After freeing himself from Luthor's control, Connor stepped down from being a superhero and went to isolate himself on the Kent Farm.

When the events of the Infinite Crisis began to unfold and the heroes of the world being pushed to their limits, instead of coming to help Connor sat at home and watched, still fearful that Luthor might once again take control of him and ashamed at how he felt the Titans viewed him. All these events unfolded before Superboy-Prime, who came to the Kent's doorstep to retake his place as the Superboy of earth. He forced Connor Kent into a fight, demolishing Smallville. Already quickly beaten and clearly out powered, Connor sent a distress signal that was received by current and auxiliary members of the Teen Titans along with their allies in the Justice Society and the Doom Patrol. Despite the death of Pantha and numerous injuries, the Flashes Wally West, Jay Garrick and Bart Allen were able to push Superboy-Prime into another dimension.

Connor was put into a rapid-healing tube to immediately after the fight. When he was healthy enough to rejoin the battle, he made peace with his origin and rekindled his romance with Wonder Girl. Meanwhile, Superboy Prime was able to free himself from the alternate dimension, having been imprisoned for years yet returning just days later. Soon after Connor answered a signal from Nightwing at the Titans Tower. Deaths, injuries and the sheer number of other catastrophes left all other Titans unavailable to respond to the call.

Nightwing and Superboy alone went to Alexander Luthor's base hidden away in Superman's original Fortress of Solitude in Antarctica. At the center of this base was the corpse of the Anti-Monitor, converted into a tower able to tap into the vibrational frequency of any dimension. The tower, imprisoned with members of various Earths alongside Alexander Luthor's own reality altering powers was the source of Alexander's plan to reshape reality. There Superboy and Superboy-Prime had their rematch. Despite still being overpowered, Superboy was able to defeat Superboy Prime, hurling him into the Anti-Monitor tower and single-handedly putting a stop to Alexander Luthor's grand scheme. This valiant effort cost him his life though.

One Year Later there have been attempts by both Wonder Girl and Robin to bring Connor back from the dead, to no avail. Currently there is a statue of him outside of Titans Tower.

Oh, he is alive again.

4. Invincible (409 points - 12 first place slots)

"A great character who has grown in front of the readers eyes... From the premise that drew me in, in the first place of a teen whose Dad was the world’s greatest hero. To a character who has had overcome the hardships of growing up (having to graduate high school girl problems etc) to become an outstanding hero in his own right!"

"I’m not really sure what to say here, but thankfully, he’ll get plenty of votes, so I’m sure someone else will have something to say. I’ll just say that Invincible rules. ‘nuff said."

"The best teen character of the modern era and the best new character of the 00's. Recognize the awesome."

"Really, this one deserves to be in the top 10. Probably the best teenage character created in the last ten years."

"The teen with the most potential"

"How many issues and counting? Obviously something about him. Great Kirkman creation."

"A Realistic Super powered Teenager."

Well done, Mark. Well done, indeed. Seriously, ranking forth on this list is pretty fucking impressive. Give the dude props, folks. DO IT!

Markus Sebastian "Mark" Grayson is a teenage superhero who calls himself Invincible. He was a normal high school senior with a normal part-time job and otherwise normal life, except his father Nolan is the superhero Omni-Man, the most powerful superhero on the planet. At the age of 17, Mark begins to display superpowers, which come from his father being a member of the Viltrumite race, who, according to Nolan, pioneer the galaxy on a mission of benevolence and enlightenment. As Invincible, Mark begins working as a superhero, with his father acting as his mentor, and meeting other heroes. Mark worked occasionally with a superhero team called the Teen Team (consisting of Robot, Rex Splode, Dupli-Kate, and Atom Eve), from there discovering that his physics teacher has been turning his students into human bombs. He stops his teacher with the help of the heroine, Atom Eve. He also foils a plan to make an army of robots, created by the Mauler Twins. Meanwhile Omni-Man is kidnapped by aliens, taken to another dimension, but returns after what seems to be only a few days, but was actually eight months to him.

Invincible goes into space to fight Allen the Alien. After an initially hostile encounter, Mark discovers that Allen has actually been employed to test the strength of superheroes. Allen realizes he is on the wrong planet and leaves. Mark goes to college with his friend William, where he is attacked by a mysterious robot zombie (later revealed to be one of DA Sinclair's 'Reanimen') and in the process, William learns of his secret identity. Mark begins dating his classmate, Amber Bennet and Eve's boyfriend Rex Splode has an affair with Dupli-Kate. Meanwhile, Earth's premier superhero team, The Guardians Of The Globe, are brutally murdered by Omni-Man. Only the de-powered Black Sampson survives. At the funeral, Sampson's butler destroys the graves, jealous that somebody killed the Guardians before he did. Nobody knows that Omni-Man killed the heroes, but an investigation is launched. After the funeral, the Mauler Twins dig up the body of the Immortal.

The Guardians Of The Globe hold auditions for a new team. All of the Teen Team (except Atom Eve) are hired into the new team (led by Robot) by Cecil Steadman, head of the Global Defense Agency. Monster Girl and Shrinking Ray are also hired. Mark and Eve stop a team of criminals called the Lizard League from poisoning the water supply. The Mauler Twins reanimate The Immortal, the leader of the old Guardians, who fights Omni-Man. Invincible arrives to see his father rip the Immortal in half. Omni-Man then explains that the Viltrumites are actually a race of alien invaders, and he was sent to initiate a hostile takeover of Earth. His father describes everyone on the planet as meaningless and insignificant. Mark fights his father and the ensuing battle results in thousands of deaths. Just as Omni-Man is about to kill his son, he flies off into space. After Mark recovers, he is hired by Cecil Steadman as a professional super hero. Eve and Mark's friend William embark on a relationship. Mark's mother is left into a state of shock. Invincible flies into space to find that Allen the Alien has returned, warning him that his father is a Viltrumite. Mark replies that Allen is too late and that he knows and he has turned against his father. Mark says that all that is left is to finish high school.

Angstrom Levy is introduced as a man who has the power to teleport between dimensions. He has a plan to assemble every version of himself from other dimensions in order to absorb all of their knowledge, seemingly to help benefit mankind. He is aided by the Mauler Twins to build the device. Just as the machine starts up, Invincible intervenes to arrest the Mauler Twins. During the ensuing fight, Angstrom, aware that Invincible's life is in peril, removes himself from the machine which causes it to explode. Only one Mauler survives, along with Invincible and Angstrom Levy. Levy, now mad, claims that the process was a success although it left him hideously disfigured. He escapes to another dimension to recuperate.

Later, when meeting his father on another world, Mark learns he has a little paternal half-brother. When a contingent of Viltrumites arrives on the planet, Mark and Nolan fight them. They lose, and Nolan is taken prisoner. As he is taken away Nolan tells Mark to read his books. The Viltrumites who take Nolan give Mark the assignment that his father had, albeit with a 100 year deadline, believing he will fulfill it due to his heritage. Mark brings his half-brother to Earth and Mark's mum agrees to raise him.

While on holiday in Africa with a smitten Eve and Amber, Mark receives a threatening phone call and rushes home to find his mother and half-brother in the clutches of Angstrom Levy. Levy uses his powers to plunge Mark through a series of dangerous alternate realities to try to kill him (it is at this point during the storyline where Invincible is teleported to the Marvel Universe and meets Spider-Man and the New Avengers in Marvel Team-Up #14). Mark is so angry that he brutally assaults Levy as they fall through various dimensions, ending with Levy in massive trauma and Mark distressed, believing himself a murderer.

Stranded in a dimension, Mark is shortly thereafter discovered by a version of the Guardians of the Globe from 15 years in the future. Atom Eve reveals that she always loved him, and tells Mark to let her present-day self know how he feels about her. Mark, now returned to present time, kisses Eve before the Guardians, Eve and Mark embark on a mission to fight more alien life forms, this time Martians under Sequid leadership.

Returning from space Atom Eve confronts Mark about their relationship. Mark is also assaulted by a female Viltrumite, who reminds him that he is to secure the planet. As the Viltrumite returns to her home, she "captures" a deliberately submissive Allen the Alien. His plan is to meet with Nolan. Allen soon crosses paths with Nolan and a bond is formed between them.

After a fight with Doc Seismic and his minions, Mark learns that Cecil Steadman offered D.A Sinclair a job working for the government to create Reanimen soldiers. Mark confronts Cecil at the Pentagon, which predictably ends in a brawl. Mark has to engage the Guardians of the Globe for assistance, as a device planted by Cecil in Mark's ear has Mark at a disadvantage. At the end of the pow-wow, Cecil promises to leave Mark alone, and the Guardians of the Globe suffer some resignations.

Mark begins to train Oliver, whose powers grow at an accelerated rate, granting him power almost on par with Mark's. After Oliver kills the Mauler Twins in a brutal display, Cecil begins to a conversation with Oliver. Invincible intervenes, and reminds Cecil not to bother his family. While Mark tries to convince Oliver of the inherent problems of murder, it is revealed that Mark also somewhat agrees with the violent philosophy of Oliver and their father, Nolan.

Multi-Paul, Dupli-Kate's brother, is freed from prison at this stage by his old boss. Further discussions between Mark and Oliver indicate that Oliver's acquiescence to Mark's requests for more peaceful actions may only be attempts to placate Mark. On Earth Eve finally pushes Mark into consummating their relation, while in space Omni-Man is due for his execution. Allen the Alien initiates a jailbreak that empties the prison, freeing Nolan. Nolan reveals the secret that Viltrumites are near-extinct, with the pure-blooded population reduced to less than fifty individuals.

By now quite insane, Angstrom Levy plans revenge on Mark, the person he blames for his disfigurement. After having spied on Mark for a number of months, Levy initiates his plan to gather evil versions of Mark from other dimensions, and unleash them upon Mark's world. The plan fails, although Rex Splode dies, along with several of the evil Invincible’s. Levy escapes to another dimension and is informed that he is now a prisoner by some of the populace of said dimension. Why he doesn't just teleport away isn't fully explained.

Mark is then meets another Viltrumite improbably called "Conquest". In a surprising twist, the two end up fighting, with the longest battle of the series so far, spanning four issues. Eve is nearly killed and it is revealed that Cecil and D.A Sinclair are attempting to extrapolate the Reanimen concept to the dead Viltrumites from Levy's attack. Eve manages to regenerate herself and aids Mark in defeating Conquest.

It is then revealed that Eve's self-regeneration seems to have damaged her control of her powers - and that Conquest was not killed, but is held prisoner, to be interrogated by Cecil.


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