Sunday, April 22, 2018 • Morning Edition • "At least we're not CBR!"

Your Top DC Heroes part 14

Written by Chris Mitchell on Friday, January 08 2010 and posted in Features
A bunch here for ya...


149. Captain Comet (14 points)

captaincomet.jpg"This guy made a great comeback in Mystery in Space and has great potential outside the usual Super-hero clichés."

In 1931, John and Martha Blake gave birth to a son named Adam. Moments after his birth, a comet streaked across the Midwestern sky. John jokingly commented that the comet represented a sign of good fortune, but had little foreknowledge of how truthful his statement would come to be. Although the Blakes were unaware of it at the time, the comet had emitted low-level waves of radiation, which triggered mutagenic cell growth in Adam Blake's body. As such, Adam began to develop incredible mental attributes.

By the time he was four-years-old, Adam demonstrated acute powers of observation. On one occasion he mentally located his mother's missing wedding band beneath a pile of discarded wood.

By the time he was eight, Adam's intelligence developed even further – he possessed a photographic memory and was able to memorize and comprehend all of the information that he had read from an entire volume of an encyclopedia.

His mental skills continued to sharpen well into his teenage years, and he developed expert talents in nearly everything he attempted. He could perform a Mozart concerto on a clarinet without ever having picked up the instrument before.

Adam's physical prowess did not begin to develop until his college years, however. Although his body's development matured at a slower rate than his mind, he excelled in nearly every athletic event, notably football. He was virtually indestructible, and his superhuman stamina prevented him from ever tiring. At this time, Adam’s mental acuity evolved even further. He began to demonstrate mild telepathic and telekinetic capabilities and once used these powers to save the life of a fellow college student named Betty.

148. The Shade (14 points)

shade.jpg"What? Him a hero?! Well if you think about it right now with Starman (Jack Knight) retired, Stargirl not habiting Opal City, and Ralph Dibney dead. Guess whose the top hero now in the city? Yep old Shade here. Plus we've seen him protect his city during IC and currently helping the heroes in JUSTICE. The man just loves his beloved city. He will protect it to the bitter end and if anyone dares messing with it. Well, the Shade here will show you that there are some things worse than death.

Though I'm curious if I'm the only fellow who actually knows this fact or will anyone else whose a fan of Robinson's Starman remember this fact or will they just vote for Jack?"

In the early 1990s, he became involved with the Mist's plot to eliminate the Knight family for good. Playing the part of the Mist's ally, he gained valuable information. Annoyed with the crime wave in Opal City, as well as seeing potential in Ted Knight's (Starman I) remaining living son, Jack, Shade helped Jack and the police-family the O'Dares bring the Mist to justice. Swift quickly forged a friendship of sorts with Starman, giving him his journals to read. He later aided in the defeat of a man by the name of Merritt, who traveled city-by-city with a poster that sucked people into Hell. Swift by then learned that Matt O'Dare was his Scalphunter reborn, and went into the poster after O'Dare. In Hell, Shade was ironically seen wearing an all-white ensemble. When asked by Matt O'Dare if he was all right, Shade replied, "No. Look how I've be made to dress. I truly am in Hell."

Despite his amoral personality, Shade agreed he would have given up his soul to free countless innocents who had been taken by the poster. With this agreement, as well as those of Jack Knight (Starman VII) and Matt O'Dare, all were freed, having 'defeated' the demon of that level of Hell. He also met Neron, and completely and utterly rejected the demon's offer of power, citing he was already immortal and had everything he needed (Showcase '95 #12). He also insulted Neron in the process, something that would come back to haunt him. Shade also was seen briefly visiting the funeral of the original Chronos, David Clinton, and later gave a card for Jack Knight's shop, Knight's Past, to one of Clinton's ex-wives (Chronos #6).

Swift helped Matt O'Dare clear his name, aided Starman (Jack Knight) in his quest to the Stars, and helped end the Ludlow-rivalry with one remaining branch of the family (The Shade #4). Upon his return to Opal City after that, he stopped a madman attempting to level the city. Others at this time had no powers (the Genesis storyline), but he still very much had his powers.

While Starman had left Opal and gone to space for a series of adventures, Shade began exhibiting violent tendencies. Culp was growing more powerful inside of him. Over the years, Culp had slowly been making plans to destroy Opal City and kill Swift, whenever Swift had lost control of his consciousness. When Opal was attacked by multitudes of villains and criminals (the Grand Guignol storyline), Culp was able to make his move, exiting Swift's body and taking all of their shadow essence with him.

A new Ludlow, the Spider II, was going to kill the then powerless Swift, but Matt O'Dare intervened in time, freeing his friend. From there, he joined Starman in stopping Culp. Shade was lucky. He had created a Dark Fey by the name of Smudge, injecting the finer points of his personality within it. Smudge sacrificed himself for his master, enabling Swift to regain his shadow from Culp. He fought his longtime enemy. Swift was victorious and gained Culp's shadow then. Moments away from killing Culp, the Mist beat him to it, revealing he had been given his sanity back by Neron. Neron had aided many of Starman's old enemies in an attempt to strike Opal City because of Shade's rejection.

However, the forces of good won out in Opal City. In Ted Knight's final moments, the first Starman told Shade to help his son guard Opal City and mentioned that he saw a hero in Shade. Shortly after, Shade said goodbye to his friend Matt O'Dare, who swore he would return (and likely has as most recent (and slightly insane) Starman in JSA).

Jack Knight soon moved on from the life of a hero and left Shade and others to guard Opal City. Shade was rather disappointed with Jack's choice to give the Star Rod to Courtney Whitmore. Later, he met Stargirl and Billy Batson (Shazam!) in the Shadowlands, helping them both return to the regular world (JSA #47-4. However, he did not aid in the fight against Obsidian and his allies, despite his experience and powers obviously would have immensely helped the JSA.

Shade was hired by Green Arrow just in case he had died, to gather all proof of his secret identity. However, Shade didn't feel like going to the funeral once Arrow had "died", and also hired Catman to take care of the procuring. He personally refused to involve himself in taking anything from the Flash museum or JLA as well, emphasizing the JLA.

During the Infinite Crisis, Shade was seen grudgingly saving Opal City's citizens from bizarre disasters that the Crisis has caused (JSA #81). He claimed he was saving the architecture, and not the citizens. During the disasters in the city, Stargirl's father died. Shade briefly visited her and told her of the news.

In the fallout of the Crisis, many strange magical oddities occurred. One happened to Shade; when he was enjoying a late night supper in Madrid, Spain, he was interrupted by a very-deadish Lord Trockworth, the occultist he had killed a century before. Shade put a swift end to the zombie (Brave New World #1). He recently reappeared in the 3rd issue of Justice League: Cry for Justice, meeting with Bobo Bennetti and Charity O'Dare about Prometheus' plot against the world. In the 4th issue, he appeared again, this time appearing without warning in the home of Jay Garrick. After shrugging off Jay's shock, Shade discussed his worry for Opal city and America. He offered answers for Jay's questions regarding recent events and then asked for a coffee - black of course

147. Icon (15 points)

icon.jpg"He had the best series that Milestone published in the 90s."

In 1839, an alien star liner malfunctioned and exploded; a jettisoned life-pod crashed in the middle of a cotton field in the American South. The alien, Arnus, used the life-pod's equipment to mimic the first life form that discovered him, a slave woman named Miriam. Therefore, it happened that Miriam found inside a baby boy with his mother's eyes. In the present, the alien is still with us. He did not age visibly beyond adulthood; to disguise this fact, he periodically assumed the identity of his own son. By the late 20th century, he was posing as Augustus Freeman IV, the great-grandson of his original human identity.

Augustus Freeman IV portrays a very intelligent, somewhat stiff kind of person. Due to his upper-class job as a "big time" lawyer and proper way of speaking, Augustus is often criticized as being a "sell out" or "white washed". He usually prefers to do everything by the book instead of acting on instinct. During the majority of his series, he mostly fought plain street criminals and those who gained powers from Dakota's Big Bang.

Still marooned, Augustus waits for Earth's technology to catch up to his life-pod. Secretly possessing superpowers that belie his human appearance, he has always performed quiet acts of charity. However, one night, his house is broken into, and Augustus uses his powers for the first time in decades, an action that Raquel Ervin witnessed. Raquel is an idealistic teenage girl who was born in Paris Island, the poorest, most gang-ridden neighborhood in Dakota. Her prospects seemed bleak until a chance encounter with Augustus Freeman IV. After seeing him use his powers, Raquel persuaded Augustus to become a superhero named Icon, with herself as his sidekick, Rocket.


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