Saturday, May 26, 2018 • Morning Edition • "In this issue: an Outhouser will DIE!"

Your Top DC Heroes part 23

Written by Chris Mitchell on Wednesday, January 13 2010 and posted in Features
Oh, did I mention we are all out of ties? YAY!


126. Kal-L (20 points)

e2-superman.jpg"The original and still the best. I honestly enjoyed him in CoIE; I felt his pain and loved everything. His relationship with his Lois is just beautiful."

Before Krypton's destruction Jor-L rocketed his only son Kal-L to a primitive planet called Earth. Kal-L was discovered by a Kansas farm couple, John and Martha Kent, who after officially adopting the boy raised the alien as their son Clark. As Clark matured he gradually exhibited incredible powers derived from his exposure to the yellow solar radiation of Earth's sun. With the moral guidance of his adopted parents and the inherited strength of his earth-bound Kryptonian biology, Clark became the world’s first superhero, Superman.

When The Golden Age of Comics ended, much of DC Comics ceased to exist and when the time came for The Silver Age relaunch Kal-L and everyone else from The Golden Age era of DC Comics was abandoned along with their legendary stories so that DC could retcon all of their characters in order to modernize them as well as start from scratch. However, when DC introduced the concept of a Multiverse, they established all of The Golden Age stories as having happened in a parallel universe called Earth-Two while The Silver Age stories would be established as having happened on Earth-One that way those legendary tales from the bygone Golden Age could never be abandoned again.

There was a problem however, due to the fact that DC had continued publishing Superman stories starting from The Golden Age with Action Comics #1 all the way to the beginning of The Silver Age without any interruption a continuity error arose which established Superman as having been a member of The Justice Society of America (which only existed on Earth-Two at the time) while also being a member of The Justice League of America (The Silver Age reboot of The JSA which at the time only existed on Earth-One.)

DC would rectify this mistake by establishing that there were two versions of Superman. Kal-L was established as having existed on Earth-Two and a few minor changes were made to both Kal-L and his Earth-One counterpart in order to distinguish the two Supermen from one another. These changes included Superman having been born with the name Kal-L (rather than Kal-El, which would go to Earth-One's Superman) and having stayed with John and Mary Kent, his "S-Shield" Symbol was also adjusted to differentiate it from Earth-One's Superman and to top it all off he was given gray hair at the temples in order to make him look older than his Earth-One counterpart.

With these errors resolved and establishing the existence of a fully-realized Multiverse, DC Comics was able to continue writing the adventures of Kal-L without disrupting the new Mainstream Continuity. During The Bronze Age of Comics Kal-L eventually revealed his true identity to his one true love, Lois Lane following his involvement in World War Two (despite the fact that the stories were published during The Bronze Age they were set during the 1950's in order to keep the flow of time on Earth-Two a naturally progressive one) and the two got married. From there DC centered Kal-L's stories around his and Lois' early life as a married couple as well as showing Kal-L becoming more confident in his abilities, thus resulting in his ascension to Metropolis' one and only protector.

As his confidence grew more and more Kal-L eventually began expanding his horizons and grew from just being the protector of just Metropolis to being a protector of Earth itself. It was also revealed that Kal-L had been a founding member of The Justice Society of America but was given Honorary Member Status as he hardly ever participated in their adventures. Kal-L also built a secret citadel in the mountains near Metropolis that was somewhat similar to The Fortress of Solitude on Earth-One. One major turning point in Kal-L's life was the discovery of more living Kryptonians.

The first encounter being with three brothers named U-Ban, Kizo and Mala who had once been a part of The Kryptonian Science Council until they attempted to conquer the planet which resulted in them being placed in suspended animation and being exiled from Krypton. Mala would go on to create a counterfeit Earth which is where Bizarro would emerge from in the future. The second encountered revolved around the discovery of Kal-L's cousin Kara (who would one day become Power Girl) who had arrived on Earth-Two decades after Kal-L did and had been educated by her ship through a virtual reality simulation.

In 1985, DC Comics began to realize that there were way too many alternate versions of Earth and it's heroes which was naturally causing great confusion amongst fans, so they decided to destroy The Multiverse in a series that would redefine the word "retcon" forever. A being of immeasurable power called The Anti-Monitor, who had come from a realm called The Anti-Matter Universe, began a genocidal sojourn across the Multiverse in an insane quest to make his Universe the only Universe so that he could truly become the Ruler over all of Creation.

He destroyed almost every single Universe (including Earth-Two, Earth-Three, and Earth-Prime) save for five alternate worlds (including Earth-One) that were merged into a single universe called New Earth. Kal-L essentially ceased to be, in this new timeline all of his adventures still occurred however it was not Kal-L who went on them, the new timeline had replaced him with someone else. However he had not been completely erased from existence, rather Kal-L had survived the destruction of his reality and ended up at the Dawn of Time along with a large handful of other survivors from various alternate realities.

Like all of the survivors Kal-L had retained all memories of Earth-Two and was devastated to learn that everything he knew and loved was gone, erased from History just like that including his beloved wife Lois, and to add insult to injury Kal-L learned that The Anti-Monitor who was responsible for all of the pain and suffering he and the other survivors of the lost worlds still posed a great threat to the survival of New Earth.

Kal-L would come to join forces with Alexander Luthor of Earth-Three and Superboy-Prime who he met just prior to when The First Crisis began during the fight against The Anti-Monitor and together they destroyed him (with Kal-L being the one to deliver the killing blow) and saved what was left of Creation from total annihilation. In the end however their victory felt bittersweet, while all of the other survivors from various worlds ended up being integrated into the new timeline, Kal-L, Alexander and Superboy-Prime were forced to remain separated on the outside.

Kal-L and Superboy-Prime quickly fell to despair but Alexander soon revealed that he not only had secured a new home for them in what he called "The Paradise Dimension" but had also saved Kal-L's wife, the Lois Lane of Earth-Two, shortly before it was erased from existence. Together Kal-L, Lois, Superboy-Prime and Alexander Luthor crossed through the threshold to their new home.

Then along came Infinite Crisis, and DC went downhill from there...

125. John Constantine (20 points)

johnconstantine.jpg"Guy fights Demons while being a smart ass. How cool is that. Also, it really really sucks to be this guy sometimes."

John Constantine is the star of the comic book Hellblazer. The character was originally created by Alan Moore, John Totleben and Steve Bissette, though the real creator of the Constantine we know was writer Jamie Delano, who was the first to write about Constantine in a real world environment, with the groundbreaking Hellblazer title. The comic has been running under the name Hellblazer since 1987 and its debut story ‘Original Sins’. A trade paperback (TPB) collecting the first nine issues of Hellblazer, and the ‘Original Sins’ storyline was released in 1992.

The series has now been running for twenty years and is still in print, the character John Constantine has also made a variety of appearances in other comics as a regular character or cameo appearance. He has been seen at various events in the DC Universe, as well as others such as Green Lantern #81 where he was spotted at the Funeral of Hal Jordan.

John Constantine is by no means a hero, he may fight the good fight in his own way, but this is mainly due to the lifestyle of magic and danger that he lives. Despite living in England for most of his childhood, Constantine has moved around the world on several occasions, following occult and mysticism throughout the world.

The character is one of the very few comic characters that have actually aged with real time, Constantine is normally shown wearing a dark brown trench coat with shirt and tie, his dress sense hasn’t changed from the start of the series where his first appearance is leaving a taxi after the flight back to England (Before this his whereabouts are unknown). During the first series he is shown wearing a dark blue or black suit including the suit jacket (which is often missing in later issues) with a white shirt and tie, his hair is short and often slicked back and pale blond in color

Constantine is a chain smoker and has been from the very start of his characters introduction, his brand of choice is Silk Cut, though he has been seen smoking Marlboro or Camel’s from time to time, presumably when out of the country or when Silk Cut are unavailable. Despite being a chain smoker himself, Constantine does not take any other drugs, and once called his friend a “Dirty lowlife bastard” when he found a needle with a nondescript drug in.

Constantine’s obsession with the occult started from a young age, his first notable occult dealings were in the 70’s, when he became actively open with the occult circles in London, England.

124. Robotman (21 points)

robotman.jpg"Cliff Steele, the tragic hero that is the heart of the Doom Patrol."

When a fierce race car crash destroyed Cliff Steele's human body, his still-living brain was transplanted into a robotic body by Niles Caulder. Dubbed Robotman, he used his new mechanical strength and toughness to fight evil as a member of the Doom Patrol. While other members of the team were presumed dead in an explosion that threatened to claim a small fishing village, Robotman's damaged body washed ashore and was rebuilt by genius scientist Will Magnus. Since then, the tough-as-nails Robotman has been a lynch-pin through various new incarnations of the Doom Patrol.

Through years of shared tragedy, Robotman remained close with Beast Boy and has assisted the Titans on several missions, including the rescue of Mento from Madame Rouge and the final defeat of Brother Blood. During the Blackest Night, Robotman and Negative-Man are attacked by a Black Lantern Negative Woman and Cliff’s own corpse, which has also been revived by a Black Power Ring as a member of the Black Lantern Corps.

Another character who is great in Golden Age.

Buy Golden Age.


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