Monday, March 19, 2018 • Morning Edition • "At least we're not!"

Your Top DC Heroes part 38

Written by Chris Mitchell on Wednesday, January 20 2010 and posted in Features
Almost at the Top 50.


79. Snow White (32 points)

snowwhite.jpg"Mrs. Bigby Wolf and a master strategist? Yeah, she's on the list!"

Snow White has always been a tougher customer than her name implied. She tricked her husband Prince Charming into teaching her how to fence in order to exact revenge on the seven dwarves who had imprisoned her. Sadly, her marriage to Charming was short lived as she discovered his infidelity with her sister Rose Red. What happened to Snow in the intervening years between her divorce and the invasion of the Adversary is unknown. It is known that after the Adversary invaded she was sent as an emissary to the land of Arabian Fables to enlist their aid. Sadly, she was unsuccessful. As things became worse for the European Fables Snow and Rose found themselves traveling together. Taking refuge in an abandoned house, they discovered a living skeleton in the oven. As the skeleton slowly retook shape it told its story, revealing itself to be Frau Totenkinder, the bad witch of many legends. Snow was immediately distrustful and disdainful, but Rose continued to treat the old woman kindly.

Somehow, Snow and Rose were separated from Totenkinder and ended up being captured. The chain gang they were part of encountered Bigby Wolf, the Big Bad Wolf. He freed them and led them to one of the gates to the Mundane world. Years later, Snow along with Feathertop the scarecrow was sent to find Bigby to convince him to join the rest of the European Fables in moving to the New World to create a town of Fables far away from prying Mundane eyes. Because he was attracted to Snow, Bigby agreed and let himself be cut with a lycanthropy stained knife so that he could shape shift into human form.

After settling in Fable Town outside New Amsterdam, Snow worked in the Fable government, working her way up to Deputy Mayor under King Cole as the city of New York grew up around them. (Indeed, as the series begins Snow is the go-to-gal, while Cole is more of a beloved figurehead.) While investigating Rose Red’s supposed murder, Bigby confessed his feeling for Snow, but she rebuffed him. After Rose Red had been revealed alive and sentenced with community service in the secluded community of non-human fables called “The Farm”, Snow and Rose reconcile while Snow tapped reserves of bravery and ingenuity in fighting off an armed rebellion led by Goldilocks. She even survived a rifle shot to the head, revealing the theory that the more popular a Fable is in legend, the more alive they are in the minds of the mundane humans, the more immortal they are.

Because Goldilocks had been discovered hiding at Bluebeard’s, Bluebeard put Bigby and Snow under a spell and sent them deep into the Cascade Mountains where Goldilocks could assassinate them quietly. They escaped the assassination attempt while growing closer and Snow said she was willing to give a relationship with Bigby a try. Those good intentions were quickly sidelined when Snow discovered she was pregnant, for which she blamed Bigby despite the fact that both them were entranced and neither remembered anything. Both being professionals of exceptional longstanding, working together was easy but Snow remained distant.

As Bigby went to investigate the sudden appearance of Red Riding Hood in Fable Town, Snow found herself the general of a defending army as a horde of wooden soldiers attacked. While doing well at first, the battle was turning badly when Bigby returned in wolf form and destroyed the army using his “huff & puff”. She and Bigby reconciled briefly. Soon after the battle she gave birth to seven children, only one of which was fully human. Five of the others being more wolf-like and one of which was an invisible zephyr that took her months to discover. Because her children could not pass for human, Snow moved to the Farm to raise them with her sister Rose while Beauty took over as Deputy Mayor. Because of his record as the Big Bad Wolf, Bigby was not allowed on the Farm. Angered that Snow would not leave to raise the children with him in the wilderness and not willing to work under the newly elected Mayor Prince Charming (Snow's ex-husband), Bigby disappeared. Because their zephyr child had accidentally killed a few people trying to feed itself, Snow sent the child to Bigby to care for it lest it be hunted down and killed in the Fable community.

Snow and Rose raised “The Cubs” quietly on the Farm along with help from Bigby’s father, Mr. North or The North Wind, but she kept in close touch with the happenings in Fabletown. In return for succeeding in a highly dangerous mission against the Adversary, Mayor Prince Charming gave Bigby a portion of the Farm as his own. Snow and Bigby were married and now live and raise all seven of their children in Wolf Valley.

78. Dream (33 points - 2 first place slots)

dream.jpg"Of all the properties DC owns, there is no greater hero than Dream of the Endless. Tragically flawed until the very end, Morpheus makes one of the greatest sacrifices since Spock in Star Trek 2, and while, most heroes can say they have done battle with a devil, only Morpheus has entered Hell and spoke with THE devil on multiple occasions."

Given his near infinite lifespan, the background of Dream is sparsely known. What is known is that at one point he fell in love with the queen of an African tribe, but despite her feelings for him, she rejected him on the grounds it was not for humans to love his kind and he condemned her to hell for it. In ancient Greece he was married to the muse Calliope and they gave birth to Orpheus, the minstrel of legend. He gave guidance to Augustus Caesar. He made a deal with William Shakespeare that in return for two plays, he would give Shakespeare the gift of creativity to create works that would last through time. In return, Shakespeare wrote Midsummer Night’s Dream (which was performed for the Faerie) and the Tempest (which was the story Dream could not write about himself. “I am the Prince of Stories, Will, but I have no story of my own. Nor shall I ever.”). He met the immortal Robert (Hob) Gadling once every hundred years for a friendly drink. He sent the agent Johanna Constantine into Post-Revolutionary France to rescue the head of his son, Orpheus. He made a bet with his sisters Desire and Despair over who was the most powerful by fighting over a man’s destiny, turning Joshua Edward Norton into Emperor Norton I, winning the bet and earning Desire’s enmity. At one point he was handed the key to Hell by Lucifer himself, but after hearing many petitioners he eventually handed the key back to two angels.

When Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series began, Dream had been inadvertently captured by the magician Roderick Burgess, who was trying to capture Dream’s older sister Death in order to ransom her freedom for power and immortality. When Dream was offered this same deal he refused and instead waited patiently for his chance for escape and revenge. When Roderick Burgess died of old age (cursing Dream's stubbornness to the end), his son Alexander continued to keep Dream locked up. After 70 years of imprisonment within Burgess' magic circle, one of the guards nearby Dream’s magical cell fell asleep and Dream escaped into the guard’s dreams.

After exacting his revenge on Alex Burgess by condemning him to endless waking, Dream slowly made his way back to his home in the center of the Dreaming, finding it dilapidated and nearly destroyed. It took a while to rebuild his domain, reclaim his lost tools and corral all the dreams and nightmares that had run rampant in both the dream realm and the real world in his absence.

A pair of these dreams were Brute and Glob, who had resurrected the golden era Sandman superhero and trapped him and his living pregnant wife Hippolyta Hall (the Fury) in the dreams of an abused foster-child Jed who was kept locked in a basement. Dream banished the dead “Sandman”, freed Jed and told Hall that the child she was carrying had lived long in dreams and that one day Dream himself would come for him. Shortly after the child’s birth Dream visited him and named the child Daniel.

At another point Dream joined his sister Delirium on a quest for “The Prodigal,” the one Endless that had abandoned his realm and his responsibilities: Destruction. This quest eventually led them back to Dream’s son Orpheus who had existed for thousands of years as just a head. In return for the information of Destruction’s whereabouts, Dream agreed to kill his son, releasing him from his long imprisonment. Because he has shed family blood, he had set in motion catastrophic events. He sent Loki and Puck, two legendary figures who had been hiding in the Dreaming, to fetch Daniel and bring him to Dream’s castle. In doing so, they put Daniel on a fire, burning away his mortality.

Hippolyta Hall went insane and with the help of the witch Thessaly, another extremely long lived human, went on a search for him. She encountered instead “The Kindly Ones”, the vengeful aspect of the three Fates (otherwise known as the Furies or the Hecatae), and joined them. Instead of fighting them off, Dream left himself open to attack and his sister Death came for him.

At the moment of his death Daniel became the new Dream. He maintains all of the previous incarnation's power and knowledge, but with a slightly different personae. When the wake and funeral are held, one of Morpheus’ servants, Abel, explains that it is not so much a person they are mourning, “but a point of view”.

77. Tempest (34 points)

tempest.jpg"The recent issue of Titans focusing on him made me remember how much I loved this guy during the PAD era of Aquaman. His story really has been a full-circle, full of drama, sorrow, and all of the other things that make for a well rounded and believable character. I was sorry to see him axed so quickly in Blackest Night, and will be pretty damn pissed if he isn't returned to some sort of prominence after it's all over."

"My love for the original Teen Titans continues."

"The Jimenez mini-series always gets me a little misty."

The Idylists were a group of pacifists living in self-exile from Atlantis in the Hidden Valley for over 4,000 years. They knew no violence; Peace and serenity were their way of life. King Thar came into power and ruled from Shayeris, the Idylist capital city. Thar had inherited much of his ancestor's mythic power, and practiced sorcery alongside his brother, Slizzath. The history of Atlantis is fraught with a recurring theme: brother against brother. King Thar was no exception.

Thar's brother Slizzath thought the power should be his and resented his brother taking it from him. Slizzath was denied his birthright because he dabbled in the black arts by practicing necromancy – the evocation of the dead. He was banished from the Hidden Valley but returned 20 years later with an army of undead soldiers. Fearing his brother's attack, Thar assembled an armory of weapons, specifically designed to stop Slizzath. The Idylists, however, thought Thar was going insane. The peace-loving people revolted, killing their once-beloved king. Fearing the monarchy was tainted by foul violence, the Idylists banished his now-pregnant wife, Berra, who found her way to Atlantis and gave birth to a son - who she named Garth.

Before Thar died, he was able to use his magics to trap Slizzath in an other-dimensional prison. It was, however, an imperfect imprisonment. Slizzath would be able to manipulate particular spells as a means of escape. Such a spell was Garth's birthright ritual - which he would one day perform to seal his mystical powers. Upon giving birth to Garth, Berra gazed upon his purple eyes - the Idylist mark of power. At that moment, her son's destiny seemed clear: Garth would one day perform the very spell that would free Slizzath. Feeling she had no other choice, Berra left her son to die

Eventually, Garth met and rescued Aquaman and became his sidekick, Aqualad. Together they shared many adventures. Once Aquaman married his lady love, Mera, and had his own son, adventuring with Aqualad became less important to him, leaving Garth feeling unsure of his role in his mentor's life. Eventually he ventured to the surface where he met other teen hero’s, Garth became one of the founding members of the Teen Titans. Still shunned by many Poseidonians despite his heroics on their behalf, Aqualad was sent away to be schooled in Scotland, at a school on the shores of Loch Ness. Soon, life for Garth became increasingly difficult, both at home and away. Mera was kidnapped, forcing the Aqua-duo to go in search of her, during which time Garth's left arm was nearly severed by an attacker. While he mended in the hospital, a plot against the Crown developed and Aqualad was forced to escape, finding that he was being deliberately over-medicated to keep him from thwarting the usurpers.

While on a quest to assist Aquaman, Garth was kidnapped and forced to fight a giant sea beast to the death, surviving just long enough for Aquaman to defeat the monster. Little did Garth know that, before long, he would be forced to defend himself in a life or death struggle against his mentor over the survival of the infant Arthur Jr .Betrayed and abandoned by Aquaman, Garth stayed in the Hidden Valley to search for links to his identity, eventually finding out he was the lost prince of the Idyllists, though it would be several more years before he learned the truth about his father's murder and his mother's complicity in his exile at the hands of the Poseidonians.

Also as a teenager, Garth met and fell in love with Aquagirl, the impetuous and feisty Atlantean ward of Aquaman's predecessor, King Juvor. They dated for years, aiding Aquaman as defenders of the undersea realms, until Tula's tragic death at the hands of Chemo during the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Grief-stricken, Garth left Atlantis, rejoined the Teen Titans on a number of occasions, and saw his relationship with Aquaman become violent and strained.

As a result of his grief and repeated telepathic abuse by Mento, among other factors, Aqualad lost his ability to control marine life. While he later regained this power during the Millennium event, it came with the condition that his commands must now be phrased as requests to the creatures to perform desired actions, although the animals apparently need little persuasion.

Garth nearly joined the list of casualties during the Titans story arc "Titans Hunt," an all-out attempt to wipe out the former teen sidekicks and their allies. While trying to free the ascending Golden Eagle from the clutches of a member of the Wildebeest Society, Aqualad fell from a great height, his body mangled and his bones shattered on the rocks of a sea wall below. Rescued by the (then) reformed Steve Dayton and Deathstroke, Garth was confined to a tank and left to be cared for by STAR Labs physicians, who found that they could do little for him due to his Atlantean physiology. After he nearly died twice, the Titans called for Aquaman, who took Garth to the Idyllists in the hopes that their metaphysical cures might save him. While at the edge of death, Garth saw Tula and begged to join her in the Great Beyond, but was instead revived by Tusky the walrus. Angered that Arthur had yet again abandoned him and, worse, with people he thought hated him, he came to blows with Aquaman and Garth severed his ties to his mentor.

Garth and Aquaman rekindled their friendship and began to team up more regularly. As the Aqua-allies tried to stave off an alien invasion, Garth was whisked away by Aquaman's father, Atlan, a mage who existed in another dimension. Atlan told Garth his destiny was to become a powerful mage as well. Atlan trained Garth in his dimension, and taught him how to greatly augment his powers. Garth studied with Atlan for a couple of years, although only a couple of months passed in Aquaman's world. Thus, Garth returned a short time after his disappearance (yet aged a couple of years) with new powers, including the ability to control the temperature of water and fire mystical power blasts from his eyes. Garth was also given a new purpose by Atlan, who told him his destiny was to protect all who live in the ocean.
Upon his return, Garth encountered his uncle - Slizzath - who had transformed himself into a demonic sea creature through dark magic. Slizzath sought to escape his mystical imprisonment using Garth as a conduit. Slizzath created a mystical a doppelganger of Tula, who was created to trap Garth and siphon his new powers. Garth saw through the plan and was able to defeat Slizzath, and once and for all maintain a sense of closure about Tula's death. Garth also adopted a new identity as Tempest.

During this time, Garth also discovered his mother Berra was still alive, and living with a group of Idyllists. This forced Garth to confront his feelings of abandonment by his mother, and mother and son began to take tentative steps toward rebuilding their relationship.

Shortly after this, Garth began a relationship with Dolphin, who was once romantically involved with Aquaman. Initially, Garth and Dolphin concealed their relationship from Aquaman, unsure of what his reaction would be. Eventually, Aquaman learned of their relationship and gave them his blessing.

The Titans later gathered together to save their former member, Victor Stone, from alien influence. The original five Titans - including Tempest - decided to re-form the team with five additional recruits.

Dolphin later discovered she was pregnant. Garth was happy at the news and proposed marriage. Garth and Dolphin were married in a traditional Atlantean ceremony with friends and family in attendance. Dolphin has since given birth to a son. Dolphin and Tempest's first child was named Cerdian by Aquaman as a gesture to the surface-country Cerdia, which had recently fallen under Atlantean control.

As Garth's obligations to the Titans increased, he seemed to have trouble balancing his family life with his dedication to the team. Dolphin rectified the situation by moving into the Titans Tower with Cerdian. But soon after, the Titans Tower was destroyed by enemy forces. To put a further strain on the situation, Tempest was almost killed by an addictive drug from a Chemical World. After these events, Dolphin insisted Garth retire from the Titans - and Garth reluctantly complied.

Garth moved his family to New Atlantis, where he was greeted with suspicion from the new rulers and placed under house arrest. Leaving his wife and small child behind, Tempest used his wizardry to escape Atlantis and sought Aquaman for help. Eventually, the sorcerers' rule was overturned and Atlantis was restored. Before its citizens could celebrate, Atlantis was attacked by the Spectre, who was driven mad when he lost his human host. As Spectre razed Atlantis to the ground, Tempest and several Atlantean mystics unsuccessfully tried to combat him. With Atlantis destroyed, only Tempests' tattered costumed was found - leaving his fate in question. Garth was found however his wife and remain missing.

One year later reveals that Tempest will try to help Arthur recover the Trident of Poseidon. Tempest was found by Cal Durham and the people of Sub Diego, amnesiac and unable to process water into oxygen, with a post-hypnotic suggestion warning Arthur and Orin on the upcoming fight with their nemesis, Issitoq the Narwal. For the time being, he seems to have lost the ability to process water and any mystical abilities. He later regained his abilities to full power. Later Garth encounters Black Manta, who belittles him yet spares his life as a nod to the cripple he has become. As Manta attempts to murder Arthur and Cal Durham, Garth destroys the Mantamen's ion cannon and thwarts Manta's plans. Deeply depressed about his physical condition and fearing the fates of Dolphin and Cerdian, Garth is introduced to a sorceress named Leah who leads him to a spacecraft she'd used to transport herself from a mystical city where the young mage might find the answer to his troubles. He then boards the ship and leaves in search of his family.


Help spread the word, loyal readers! Share this story on social media:

Comment without an Outhouse Account using Facebook

We get it. You don't feel like signing up for an Outhouse account, even though it's FREE and EASY! That's okay. You can comment with your Facebook account below and we'll take care of adding it to the stream above. But you really should consider getting a full Outhouse account, which will allow you to quote posts, choose an avatar and sig, and comment on our forums too. If that sounds good to you, sign up for an Outhouse account by clicking here.

Note: while you are welcome to speak your mind freely on any topic, we do ask that you keep discussion civil between each other. Nasty personal attacks against other commenters is strongly discouraged. Thanks!
Help spread the word, loyal readers! Share this story on social media:

The Outhouse is not responsible for any butthurt incurred by reading this website. All original content copyright the author. Banner by Ali Jaffery - he's available for commission!