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Your Top DC Heroes part 47

Written by Chris Mitchell on Monday, January 25 2010 and posted in Features
Welcome to the Top 50, everyone. This is where pretty much all the A and B listers show up, all the main folks in the DCU. And because of that, this is where all the butthurt takes place, because your favorite character may not have made the Top 25 or even the Top 10. So, sit back and get your eye roll smiley ready because the internet just may break in half this week, because by Friday I will be taking you to the 11th position and the Top 10 just may shock you.


50. Alan Scott (60 points)

alanscott.jpg"Quite simply, he's the true Patriarch of the DC Universe."

Hundreds and hundreds of years ago, a mystical green meteor fell down to Earth after wandering the cosmos for millennia, pulsing with strange life. It fell in ancient China, after merging with the essence of an ancient Green Lantern named Yalan Gur. A mystic named Chang heard a voice inside the meteor prophesizing that it would act three times, once to bring death, once to bring life, and once to bring power. Chang carved it into a lamp, but other men in his village feared him and the meteor and tried to murder him. The mob was about to succeed, but green flames blasted from the lamp and killed them. After many years, it was taken to America and given to Billings, an insane patient of Arkham Asylum. Billings was fond of metalworking, and he remade the Chinese style lamp into an ornate railroad lantern. Light burst from the lantern and he was sane, completing the first two prophecies.

As it turned out, the power within the lantern was actually the Starheart, the gathered magical forces of the Earth-1 universe, bound together by the Guardians of the Universe upon their decision to rid the stars of magic to pave the way for science to prevail. It was hidden in the heart of a star before becoming a sentient being. After many more years, the lantern got on a train with young railroad engineer Alan Scott on it. Scott picked up the lantern and held it. Then, as the train was passing over a bridge, it was revealed that Dekker, a business rival, had placed explosives on said bridge. The train derailed, and everyone except Scott died. As he awoke in the wreckage, the lantern told him-carve a ring from the base of the metal and allow it to touch its light. When he did, the ring was filled with the power of the Starheart. He was told that the ring was powered by his will and belief. Alan Scott left, punished Dekker, and became Green Lantern.

Scott was a founding member of the Justice Society of America. Although, like Jay Garrick, he was old, the magics of the defeated foe of the JSA, Ian Karkull, kept him young and healthy even well into what should have been his older years. He fought evil in the JSA for many years. Scott had a sidekick named Doiby Dickles, and his base was in Gotham City. When not fighting crime, he worked for the Gotham Broadcasting Company, a company he eventually came to control. He actually became chairman of the JSA for a short time before giving the position to Hawkman. Suddenly, he and the rest of the JSA were transported to another dimension, fighting Ragnarok for eternity as not to destroy the universe. However, the JSA came back after a few years.

Scott retired after a battle with Extant, where he was physically aged to where he would be without the ring. But then, for a time, Scott's body was merged with the Starheart, meaning he no longer required a ring and was, again, rejuvenated. He took the name Sentinel and helped found a new Justice Society of America. But since, he was physically altered so he appeared older (he felt the apparent youth was alienating him from his older wife Molly), but still wore the ring solely by choice. Alan Scott continues fighting crime in the Justice Society as the Green Lantern. He returned to action in Gotham once, when an infamous "made of wood" copycat chain of murders occurred in Gotham City. He worked alongside Batman, and together, in the process of finding the killer, they fought the Irish mob. They found the killer, and it was revealed that he was the original killer's nobody grandson, inspired by the mark his grandfather left on Gotham .They took him down, but Scott felt responsible for both killers' psychotic actions, as in his heyday, he accidentally destroyed the original killer's shop, partially triggering his hatred of society.

Another odd adventure he shared with Batman and his old friend Ted Knight came when he was requested to help with saving an innocent incarnation of Solomon Grundy amicably called Solly, one that had saved civilians and Jack Knight himself from a massive blast. He was sent into the behemoth's mind and fought several Grundy incarnations until Ted himself entered the fray and helped Solly rest in peace, albeit setting the stage for Grundy's next resurrection. During this mission, he also confronted a mad bomber targeting Opal City buildings along with Jack and the O'Dares, and was unexpectedly saved by his old archenemy and Opal City lover, the Shade.

During the Underworld Unleashed event, he was forced to come to terms with what his prolonged youth meant: his own wife, Molly Mayne, the Harlequin, sold her soul to rejuvenate herself and be closer physically with Scott. A force of superheroes gathered to reach Hell and free her soul, but in the process he fought his old foe Braidbriar Thorn, who used his wood weakness to force the Suicide Wood trees to crucify him; while he could have broken the branches, Scott refused to do so, as it would mean inflicting upon the souls inhabiting the trees the equivalent pain of ripping their arms off. This action calmed and exorcised the souls, and Scott was left free to combat Thorn and release his wife's soul. Shortly after this, he was aged to his true age, allowing him to spend more time in peace with his wife.

He was also for a brief time White King of the secret organization Checkmate. Tasked with having China lift its veto of the organization before a United Nations committee, Scott found a secret Chinese installation working in the development of meta-humans. Within, his cunning allowed him to smoke out a Kobra traitor and deliver him into the authorities. He then stated to the Chinese functionaries the installation would remain a secret as long as China lifted its ban on Checkmate. The Chinese reluctantly complied, but the U.S. government, annoyed at losing a chance of humiliating China at a global level, forced him to leave Checkmate, only giving him the chance to pick his successor. He immediately chose the second Mister Terrific and returned to the JSA position.

He was later re-incorporated into the JSA and was one of the great heroes who resisted Darkseid's control of Earth during the Final Crisis, and helped form an army to combat the growing threat in the days before catastrophe struck by invoking Article X, a law passed by Franklin D. Roosevelt allowing for the drafting of superheroes. During the Gog crisis the JSA suffered, he stood with the old guard, disbelieving the godling's promises and ultimately facing his wrath by being forced to witness his daughter's dancing corpse, summoned by Gog to torment him.

49. Wildfire (62 points)

wildfire.jpgSee, I kinda fucked up this one. I totally forgot Wildfire was a LOSHer, so I have to write it myself. When I scanned my final list and highlighted all the Legion members for Amoebas to write, I just looked for the words: Lad, Boy, Girl, and 5. Oh, and Dawnstar. Who would've thought they had a Legion member with an ACTUAL name that doesn't sound retarded? Not me, that’s who. So, I am going to try to channel my inner Amoebas and do this like Brutus.

In the future...

Wildfire was originally named Drake Burroughs, a student of astrophysics. While observing an experiment involving (depending on the account), anti-matter or anti-energy, Burroughs was exposed to a massive charge of energy that completely destroyed his body. Somehow, his consciousness survived; how this was possible was never explained, though in post-Crisis terms, he would probably be described as a meta-human. Whatever the mechanism, Burroughs found himself transformed into a being of pure anti-energy. His energy began to dissipate swiftly. Fortunately, the professor in charge of the experiment had on hand a containment suit that, as the name implied, could be used to keep Drake's anti-energy from dispersing. Once confined to a specific area, Drake's energy form stabilized and became self-regenerating. He again possessed a semblance of humanoid form; however, he had no mouth, eyes, nose, or ears, but rather a blank metallic faceplate, and lacked the senses of taste and smell. Drake also had vast super-powers, comparable in scale though not specific expression to those of a Kryptonian or Daxamite. His powers included super-strength, near-invulnerability, flight at FTL speeds, X-ray vision, the ability to create simple, pseudo-solid energy constructs like a Green Lantern (though not nearly as elaborate), the ability to absorb outside energy sources, and the ability to change size from giant to homunculus to normal. Most potent of his abilities was the power to fire extremely potent energy bursts. He was reluctant to use that ability because of accident in which he nearly killed his former girlfriend.

Calling himself E.R.G. 1 (Energy Reaction Generator 1), Drake decided to petition for membership in the Legion, thinking his litany of powers would guarantee his admittance. To his surprise, he was turned down because all the abilities he demonstrated were duplicates of those of Mon-El, Colossal Boy, or Shrinking Violet; he had not demonstrated his energy blasting or manipulation abilities because he was afraid he could not control them safely (at this time, the Legion's bylaws required that each member possess at least one super-power no other active member did.) Anxious to prove his abilities, he followed several Legionnaires on a mission to a planet called Regulus One. On this mission, Colossal Boy was nearly killed by an out-of-control agricultural device, and none of the other Legionnaires had the power to save him. E.R.G.-1 destroyed the machine, but because he was so inexperienced in the use of his blasting power, he accidentally expelled his entire energy form from his containment suit. Because his energy form was invisible, the Legionnaires assumed he had been killed in saving Colossal Boy, assuming that he had not demonstrated his energy powers earlier because they could only be used once. However, E.R.G. 1 was alive. By now, his energy form was stable enough so that he could survive without his suit, though he could neither take humanoid form nor communicate with anyone. He followed the Legionnaires back to Earth, where they put his containment suit on display. After various plot contrivances, he managed to regain the suit and, in the usual heroic fashion, save the Legion from another menace. He was then admitted to the team and adopted the name Wildfire.

Over time, Wildfire lost many of his powers. This was partly because of the trauma of the explosive exit from his containment suit; in addition, his original containment suit was eventually destroyed, and subsequent copies were not as versatile (evidently the blueprints from the original had been lost or the materials used to construct it were not available). His later suits were also not nearly as durable, and it was easier to cause him to be expelled from it (usually by opening the faceplate). Even so, he always retained his flight, energy absorption, blasting, and strength powers, and was commonly considered among the four most powerful Legionnaires (along with Superboy, Mon-El, and Ultra Boy). Initially, Wildfire and Mon-El were rivals and actually fought over the position; Wildfire acquitted himself well in that battle, establishing that his raw power was comparable to a Kryptonian's. As leader, Wildfire got mixed reviews. Though he was decisive and a gifted tactician, his poor people skills swiftly alienated many of his fellow members (though not, ironically, Superboy; at the conclusion of a particularly rough crisis, he told his one-time rival that he had become "one hell of a leader"). He led the Legion ably through the Earthwar and Omega crisis but was defeated for reelection by Lightning Lad. Shortly after becoming leader, Wildfire recruited a young Amerindian mutant, Dawnstar. He soon became enamored with her, but for years theirs was a love-hate relationship. It was clear to their teammates and the readers that they were extremely fond of each other, if not actively in love, but Dawnstar would not admit to her feelings. Wildfire, in return, was often passive-aggressive in his treatment of her. It was eventually revealed that Dawnstar did reciprocate his feelings; however, she feared that she would never know physical love since Wildfire did not possess a physical body.

48. Hawkwoman (63 points)

hawkwoman.jpg"The fiery redheaded Thanagarian police officer as written so amazingly by Tim Truman and John Ostrander remains one of my all-time favorite heroines. I would have (and still would) pick up an ongoing starring her any day! While Kendra Saunders is tolerable, and has had some good stories, she doesn't hold a candle to Shay."

The Silver Age Hawkwoman was Shayera Hol, a law enforcement officer from the planet Thanagar and wife of Katar Hol, the Silver Age Hawkman. She was a member of the Justice League.

She was born on Thanagar, which had a scientifically advanced civilization in which crime was virtually unknown. As an adolescent, Shayera joined the Thanagarian police force and was assigned to assist the force's most decorated officer, Katar Hol, in capturing the Rainbow Robbers. At first, Katar was furious at being assigned an inexperienced young woman as a partner, but he nevertheless became strongly attracted to her.

Together, they captured the Rainbow Robbers in their stronghold found behind a waterfall; while on the case, Shayera saved Katar's life and the two fell deeply in love. A few weeks later, Katar proposed to Shayera in front of the same waterfall. She accepted and they were married. Ten years later, the couple was sent to Earth in pursuit of the criminal Byth Rok. Upon reaching Earth, they were befriended by Midway City police commissioner George Emmett, who established cover identities for them as Carter and Shiera Hall. After capturing Byth and bringing him back to their planet, Katar and Shayera chose to return to study Earth's crime fighting methods, and they fought against evil as the superheroes Hawkman and Hawkgirl. Shayera renamed herself Hawkwoman in the early 1980s.

As Hawkwoman, Shayera eventually joined her husband as a member of the Justice League. She was the first League member admitted as part of the League's vote to lift its prior twelve-member limitation,. which had effectively prevented the admission of more women to its ranks. Her membership set precedent for the admission of Zatanna as the League's fifteenth member.

As Shiera, she first worked as Carter's secretary, but later became co-director of the Midway City Museum. She has a sort of rivalry with the museum naturalist Mavis Trent, who has her eyes on both Hawkman and Carter Hall.

Later, Thanagar had established itself as a military dictatorship bent on conquering other planets. Hawkman and Hawkwoman thwarted Thanagarian plans to invade Earth, destroying their own starship in the process. Hawkman and Hawkwoman remain on Earth, regarded as traitors by everyone on Thanagar. She helped her husband come to terms with the deaths they caused during the battle.

Following the events of DC's miniseries, Crisis on Infinite Earths, the histories of Earth-One and Earth-Two are merged together. As a result, both Golden Age and Silver Age versions of Hawkman and Hawkgirl/Hawkwoman live on the same Earth. Initially, the Silver Age Hawkman and Hawkwoman were kept in continuity unchanged. They took Superman to Krypton (now a gas planet), briefly joined Justice League International, teamed-up with Atom, and helped Animal Man defuse a Thanagarian bomb during Invasion. However, DC reversed this decision and rebooted Hawkman continuity after the success of the 1989 Hawkworld miniseries. Originally, Hawkworld retold the origins of Silver Age Hawkman and Hawkwoman. After becoming a success, DC Comics launched a Hawkworld ongoing series set in the present resulting in a complete reboot of Hawkman continuity. By doing so, several continuity errors regarding Hawkman and Hawkwoman's Justice League appearances needed to be fixed.

Shayera Thal II is the illegitimate daughter of Shayera Thal I and Andar Pul, Thanagar's Administrator of Protection and close friend of Shayera I's father Thal Provis. Andar Pul had seduced the then 13-year-old Shayera I and her pregnancy became a political scandal that threatened to put her father's political activities to a hold. As a result, Shayera II was abandoned in Downside by her mother shortly after her birth.

When she was ten, she first met Wingman ensign Katar Hol during his first mission to the Thanagarian ghettos. Her mother was killed in a terrorist bombing.

When Shayera lost her Downside guardian as a result of a police action she was sent to an orphanage in the High Towers. Here she was found and adopted by Thal Provis, whose grief over the loss of his own daughter, had led him to find and reclaim his granddaughter. She was unaware Provis was really her grandfather until much later.

As a young woman, Shayera became a Wingmen and eventually meets Katar Hol again. She helped him stop Byth's drug smuggling.

In the early 1990s, Thanagarian policemen partners Katar Hol and Shayera Thal arrived on Earth (following an attempted Thanagarian invasion of Earth) with the mission to capture the Thanagarian shape shifting criminal Byth. They were part of a force which used the hawk as their symbol, and also had a winged, gravity-defying harness. Together they fought crime on Earth and corruption on Thanagar for some time, eventually falling in love and deciding to remain on Earth and build a life there rather than return to their home world. Then came the events of Zero Hour where Katar was merged with Carter and Shiera Hall in a new Hawkman version, which was then possessed by a creature from the red known as the Hawk Avatar. Fundamentally changed, he swore off his relationship with Shayera, and she retired from superhero work to become a cop in Detroit. The "new" Hawkman adventured for a brief time before going insane and being banished into limbo.

Shortly after that, Kendra Saunders became the new Hawkgirl, and Carter Hall, the original Hawkman, was resurrected. Shayera met them during her final battle against Byth when the three Hawks, aided by Animal Man, defeated the Thanagarian criminal for good.

In the Rann-Thanagar War miniseries, Shayera Thal reappeared as a reinstated soldier of the Thanagarian Army, last seen fighting with the invasion force of Polara. She considered reborn Hawkman Carter Hall and Hawkgirl Kendra Saunders friends of Thanagar, but grew angry with their ally Adam Strange blaming Rannian science for the destruction of her birth world. Despite this, she reluctantly served alongside him as a comrade-in-arms during the war.

In Rann-Thanagar War #5, Shayera was betrayed and murdered by Tamaranean Queen Komand'r. Her body was sent on a trajectory into Thanagar's sun, Polaris, the heroes' resting place in Thanagarian tradition.


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