61. Supergirl (49 points)
Like the pre-Crisis version, this Kara claims to be the daughter of Superman's uncle Zor-El and his wife Alura. The new Kara is actually older than Superman; she was a teenager when he was a baby. When Krypton exploded, she was sent in a rocket (in suspended animation) to find and look after Superman. However, her rocket got caught in a huge chunk of the planet and she arrived on Earth years after her cousin did. Meanwhile, she was put in suspended animation, so while chronologically born before Kal-El, she is still the age of a teenager. Her arrival is discovered by Batman, who initially doubted that she was really Kryptonian, thinking that it was too much of a coincidence. Not to mention he couldn't understand a thing that she said because she only spoke in Kryptonian. Kara is scared being on an unfamiliar world, and unable to understand English, not knowing about the powers she gets from being on Earth. Batman subdues her using kryptonite and brings her to the batcave to conduct more research on her but she soon awakens attempts to fly off but is prevented from doing so by Superman. Discovered by her cousin she spends a long time at the Fortress of Solitude catching up on all the time she has missed and learning about Earth and its past. She is astonishingly able to learn all of Earth’s languages in just three months. During her stay at the fortress Kara does not get along with Krypto, Superman’s dog which makes Batman suspicious of her.
She become restless and pleads to go out into the world, and Superman finally allows her to as long as she stays under his supervision (no pun intended). He takes her to the Kent Farm were she spends a short time learning to control and hide her powers to appear more human. The Amazons learn of her existence and Wonder Women comes to take Kara back to their island to be properly trained in combat by Wonder Woman and Artemis. Superman is reluctant to let her go, but grudgingly concedes, seeing it would benefit her and she would be safe. Unfortunately she doesn't stay safe. She is captured by Darkseid, and after being brainwashed, attacked her own cousin.
Superman defeats her and returns her to Earth, where he fakes her death so Darkseid will not come looking for her. She then assumes the role of Supergirl. But she feels out of place, not sure where she really belongs. At the start of Kara's career as Supergirl she joins the Justice Society in a fight with Grundy but actually just watches from a distance as she talks to Star Girl who assures her they can handle it. During the battle Power Girl arrives to help the Justice Society but finds herself losing Kara to him much to her surprise which leads Kara to save her. Kara is unable to associate closely with Power Girl because their powers go out of control when they touch each other. Kara has also been feeling out of place because she does not know where she should belong. Because of this she finds most solace with the Amazons on Themyscira. She finds kindred spirits in her other "cousin" Superboy, Wonder Girl, and Starfire.
Supergirl is invited by Starfire to join the Outsiders in which she accepts and develops a heavy crush on Nightwing. Her self-discovery is interrupted when Lex Luthor attacks her and after severely beating her using his newly developed armor using black kryptonite to split her into a good Kara and an evil Kara. The evil Kara states that she was sent to Earth by Zor-El for the sole purpose of killing the infant Kal-El. Zor-El had devised a special crystal that would influence her personality as she traveled to Earth, making her "innocent", thus creating the good side of Kara's personality. However, the good side became dominant. Upon the release of the evil Kara, Lex attempts to persuade her to join him but she refuses and begins to severely beat him causing Lex to flee with the evil Kara in pursuit. The good Kara is awakened later by Starfire and quickly chases after her evil self who she finds is at the Justice League Watch tower. Supergirl prevents her evil form from snapping the Martian Manhunter’s neck and gives the rest of the League time to pull together. This leads the evil Kara to fly back to Earth and Supergirl reveals her location through J’ónn who she hoped read her mind. Supergirl faces off against her evil self in Gotham City and during the battle their clothes are switches leaving Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman unable to tell who the real Kara is. At the climax of the struggle between the two Karas and the Justice League, the good Kara urges Wonder Woman to use her golden lasso of truth to bind the two together and ask: "Who is Kara Zor-El?" The two Karas fuse back into a single good Kara, who decides her past is not important and acknowledges Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman as her foster parents.
60. Steel (51 points)
"When Friedrich Nietzsche, wrote of the Ubermencsh in The Will to Power, he wrote an individual who will overcome! Will themselves to power. Comic fans may do a direct translation and think of Superman, or see will and think of Green Lanterns. However, in both cases they’d be wrong! The mean Dr. John Henry Irons, Steel. He has a PhD. He built himself a super-suit in his basement! He earned his place as a hero! During the Reign of the Supermen, he wasn’t the most powerful, but he kept the moral identity of Superman alive! He wasn’t born strong or rich, or given a magic ring! Dr. Irons worked and made himself the hero that earned his place as number 3 on my list!"
"Give him to Morrison and let him go nuts!"
John Henry Irons is a hero forged from his own making. When Superman saved Irons from a fatal fall off a Metropolis skyscraper, he challenged the construction worker to make his life count for something. A former weapons engineer for the ruthless AmerTek Company, Irons longed to atone for the deaths his designs had caused. For that purpose, he built a suit of exoskeleton armor for himself and assumed the primary alias of Steel. As Steel, he crusaded to dismantle AmerTek's weapons programs, including the destruction of every last production model of the BG-60 "Toastmaster," the deadly assault rifle he had designed. Superman is proud to call Steel his partner. Irons even helped Superman rebuild his Fortress of Solitude and gave it a computer linkage to Irons's headquarters, called “The Steelworks," an abandoned arms factory in Suicide Slums. After the death of Superman by Doomsday, Steel took his place, soaring over Metropolis in high-tech armor and smashing crime with a sledgehammer.
In Superman's absence, or if the Man of Steel needs assistance, Steel often coordinates and leads "Team Superman," a cadre of S-shield-wearing heroes including himself, Supergirl, and Superboy. Steel provided this Super-Squad with stealthy combat-garb meant to protect them from the necrotic touch of Kancer as they aided Superman in battle with General Zod and the armies of Pokolistan.
Irons suffered mortal wounds releasing Doomsday from the JLA Watchtower to battle Imperiex. Superman was unable to turn away the Black Racer, a being that gathers souls and ushers them into the afterlife. This time, however, the Black Racer delivered Irons to Apokolips, where the evil Darkseid restored life to Iron's body. But the cost at which Steel was brought back to life has still not been determined.
John Henry Irons donned his armor once more in the wake of the Battle of Metropolis during Infinite Crisis. Along with most of Earth's united heroes, Steel helped defeat the Secret Society of Super Villains in Superman's city, but has become extremely bitter at life and what he feels is the self-absorbed narcissism of Earth's superhero community. During the cleanup of the disaster, John baits his niece Natasha into an argument when he prevents her from leaving Metropolis in order to join the Teen Titans. John refuses to let her go and orders her to continue collecting all the debris in the city, culminating in him destroying her armor in spite.
He later identifies a recently discovered corpse as that of a Lex Luthor from a parallel universe, namely Alexander Luthor, Jr., exonerating the real Lex Luthor from all of his recent crimes. A week later, at his Steelworks facilities, John Henry appears to be hallucinating due to the effects of an unknown metabolic toxin. Irons' flesh appears to be in the middle of transforming into metal just before the lab explodes.
Three days later, Steel, again wearing his armor, is called in by Doctor Mid-Nite to help him with the wounded heroes returned from space after the Crisis. He uses Pseudocytes to aid in Mal Duncan's recovery. With the help of Kala Avasti from S.T.A.R. Labs, John learns that he was injected with a small dosage of Lex Luthor's new exo-gene therapy, causing his skin to mutate into stainless steel and back again. He returns to Steelworks to find Natasha attempting, and failing, to build a new suit. She then claims he is a hypocrite for accepting Lex's exo-gene treatment, not aware of the truth.
Three days and two nights later, Irons appears, transformed into a man of living steel, (similar to the Marvel character Colossus), at a party held by Lex Luthor. In a rage, he attacks Luthor, demanding to see Natasha and threatening or endangering anyone that gets in his way. However, Natasha herself soon appears to stop John before he kills Luthor. John, still enraged, is then beaten by Natasha single-handedly until he comes to his senses. Realizing that Natasha was right to stop him from killing Luthor, he admits it, but maintains that he is right, too. He then asks Natasha to "give it up, come home". Natasha responds by punching John repeatedly and sending him flying into the Metropolis bay.
He then resurfaces several weeks later, having built a new suit of armor for Natasha, to make up for his behavior toward her. He emotionally breaks down when he realizes that it is too late to make amends. He later returns to active duty, saving lives and discovers from Kala that the exo-gene therapy allows Luthor to take away any powers he has given out. He then shares his suspicions with the Teen Titans and a former test subject who had his powers stripped away.
Investigating the Everyman Project along with Doctor Mid-Nite, Beast Boy, and Kala on Thanksgiving, John discovers that his metal skin is peeling off, realizing that the therapy grants powers only for a limited time before they disappear completely.
In "52" Week 40, after Natasha was captured by Luthor, Irons, in his full armor, leads the Teen Titans, consisting of Raven, Beast Boy, Aquagirl, and Offspring in an open assault on LexCorp. After defeating armed robot guards and Infinity Inc., Irons, with his armor destroyed, engages Luthor in battle. However, Luthor gained similar abilities to Superman and thrashes Irons. Natasha uses Irons' sledgehammer to create an electromagnetic pulse that shuts down Luthor's exo-gene and John Henry defeats him. In 52 Week 47, John Henry and Natasha reestablish Steelworks.
59. Jack Knight (53 points)
"Now we get to one of the best comics series I have ever read. I was already a fan of the Golden Age of DC due to characters such as Hawkman and comics like the All-Star Squadron and Infinity, Inc. James Robinson came along and not only used those characters as a backdrop – it was an absolute celebration of the glory of DC’s history. Jack Knight was a “real” guy in a fantastic world. We got to see him grow as a character throughout his comic which touched on so many unused and underused aspects of the DC Universe. It was a story of Fathers and Sons; of Brothers; of Friends and Lovers; of Heroes and Villains…but more than anything else it was a story about a guy named Jack and his brief, but fantastic life as a hero."
"The best reluctant hero ever written."
"Robinson's Starman is one of the 2 or 3 best superhero series of all time, and its lead certainly deserves a high spot on the list. A thoroughly "everyman" born to a Golden Age hero, Jack rebels against, begrudgingly accepts, and grows into the legacy of heroism that he was born to wear, and we get to go along for the dull ride. As "real" a hero as DC has probably ever published, and cool as the other side of the pillow."
Jack Knight is the second son of Ted Knight and Adele Doris Drew. His mother died when he was young and he grew distant from his father and brother David as a result. Jack began to develop a love for antiques while David became more fascinated with their father’s super heroics. Years later, Jack runs his very own antiques shop in Opal City while David picks up the mantle of Starman.
However, David is soon killed by Kyle, the son of Ted’s old enemy the Mist. The Mist sets off a crime wave that nearly kills Jack and Ted, prompting Ted to supply Jack with an old cosmic staff he designed. With this new weapon, Jack manages to kill Kyle.
Jack then rescues a group of sideshow freaks from an Incubus by the name of Bliss. Among them is an alien by the name of Mikaal Tomas, who previously used the name Starman in the seventies. At first catatonic, Mikaal eventually starts talking again and becomes close friends with Jack.
Jack is captured by Kyle’s sister Nash, which leads to her drugging and raping him. Jack escapes and months later learns through a letter from Nash that she has given birth to Jack’s son, named Kyle Theodore (after both of their fathers).
Jack met and fell in love with a woman named Sadie Falk. After they develop a relationship Sadie tells Jack that her real name is Jayne Sadie Payton, and she seduced Jack to try and convince him to find her brother Will, who was the fifth Starman. Will was apparently killed years before but Sadie believes that he is in outer space somewhere.
Jack agrees to find Will, and manages to acquire a rocket ship, which sends he and Mikaal into space.
After a long adventure in space, Jack finds Will alive, and soon discovers that he has merged with Prince Gavyn, the sixth Starman, also assumed dead. After Jack helps Gavyn reclaim his throne, he and Mikaal return home with the help of Adam Strange, with Will deciding to stay behind.
They return to find Opal under attack by a new enemy named Culp. Culp soon blocks off the entire city with a magic spell with the intention of blowing the city up. However Jack, with the help of old and new allies, manages to foil Culps plan. Celebrations are cut short by the arrival of the original Mist, who returns seeking revenge for his son's death. He kills his own daughter Nash, who dies giving Jack his son. The Mist almost succeeds in killing Jack and others, but Ted shows up and saves them, sacrificing his own life in the process.
Jack learns that Sadie has decided his career as a hero is too dangerous, and that she is pregnant, so she makes the decision to move away to San Francisco. After Jack travels back in time to 1951, and solves the mystery of that year’s Starman, he decides to retire and gives his cosmic rod to Courtney Whitmore, who then calls herself Stargirl. Jack then takes his son and leaves Opal to be with Sadie, who eventually gives birth to a daughter.
58. Timber Wolf (55 points)
"Most badass Legionnaire!!"
Another LOSHer is here, so you know what that means right? AMOEBAS!!
In the Future…
Once upon a time, there was a beautiful woman and her scientist husband. One night they danced and nine months later they had a son who was named Brinn Londo. Brinn grew up being loved by his mommy and experimented on by his daddy. His daddy was obsessed that the people on their planet called Zuun were all going to die unless they became better, stronger and faster and rather than test on his numerous android servants, he used his son as a guinea pig.
One day Brinn’s daddy finally found what he needed and injected his son full of chemicals. Just as Brinn began to feel really good, his daddy died. Brinn was sad and cried.
Just then one of his daddy’s androids called Karth Arn clubbed Brinn and brainwashed him into thinking he was the android Karth and that the android was now the Zuunian Brinn.
Sad that he was an android Brinn, er, I mean Karth ran away from home. He became a lone wolf seeking a home knowing that as android he would never find one.
One day, he met a group called the Legion of Super-Heroes. One of their numbers was a beautiful young woman call Light Lass. He liked her right away but androids weren’t supposed to do that so he was very shy. Soon after this the android who tricked Brinn appeared and after a fight it was revealed that Brinn really was Brinn after all. Happy to be human he was able to start being comfortable around humans again, and Light Lass in particular. He later joined the Legion, took the code name Timber Wolf, fell in love with Light Lass and they lived happily ever after.
But wait – there’s more…
Having a difficult time undoing his brainwashing, Brinn altered his face to appear more feral. He would change back to his regular a while later at Light Lass’ request. Shortly after the face change he began to lose his relationship with Light Lass (getting caught in another woman’s arms had a little to do with that). With his relationship fading he took up his time with friends, something he never really had before (fellow teammate Blok amongst his closest).
Brinn served the Legion with distinction. After the Legion was forced to disband he worked with the underground resistance to the rampant xenophobia that plagued everywhere. Recently the Legion reformed with Brinn in the fold.
His current relationship status with Lightning Lass (as she is now called) is as yet underdetermined.