Thursday, May 24, 2018 • Morning Edition • "Sometimes true. Always authentic."

Your Top DC Heroes part 49

Written by Chris Mitchell on Monday, January 25 2010 and posted in Features
Three more characters for ya...


44. Starfire (76 points)

starfire.jpgShe did a little better than her appearance on the Top Teen List, like 75 points better to be exact.

Koriand'r is the second of three children born to the royal family of Tamaran. Her elder sister Komand'r (later known as Blackfire) was deemed unworthy of ascension to the throne because she lacked the ability to fly and the subjects of Tamaran hated her for not being a worthy princess. So Koriand'r was given all of Komand'r's privileges, honors, and dignity, eventually becoming the first princess of Tamaran in 100 years. Both sisters were sent to train with the Warlords of Okaara and it was here that the bitter Komand'r tried to take revenge on her sister by killing her. Komand'r failed and was expelled by the Warlords. Komand'r joined the enemies of Tamaran known as the Citadel, and quickly rose through their ranks. After she had gained considerable power with the Citadel she betrayed Tamaran to the Citadel.

The Citadel used the information the treacherous Komand'r gave them to successfully invade Tamaran. Defeated, King Myand'r turned his daughter, Koriand'r, over to them in return for peace. Koriand'r would never be allowed to return to Tamaran or the Citadel would destroy the planet. She endured six years of horrific torture and servitude to her sister who had become a high ranking warrior of the Citadel. Koriand'r was raped by members of the Citadel that were under the command of Komand'r. In retaliation, Koriand'r killed the rapists, but was sentenced to death. Komand'r was to have her executed but before this could occur both sisters were captured by the Psions, who were a race of sadistic scientists. Hereafter the sisters became the helpless subjects of cruel experiments. These experiments consisted of the Psions using the Tamaraneans' natural ability of constantly absorbing solar energy and trying to see how much energy they could hold within their bodies before they would explode from the excess energy. Koriand’r's signature "starbolts" were a result of these experiments. She eventually escaped by using her new-found starbolts and freed her sister. When Komand'r was freed she struck down Koriand'r with the starbolts that she too had developed. Because Komand'r had been exposed to the experimental energy longer than Koriand'r, her starbolts were stronger (and she also gained the ability to fly), enabling her to strike down her own sister and escape. Koriand'r was recaptured, but later escaped by seducing one of the guards and fled using one of Psions’ own vessels. She arrived on Earth were she first met the young superhero team known as the Teen Titans.

Earth was completely alien to the Tamaranean princess, but she was able to learn English by kissing Robin (Dick Grayson), which ignited a romance between the two of them. This relationship would eventually help Grayson grow as a person and help him carve out his own identity away from his mentor, Batman. Koriand'r took the code name Starfire and joined the Titans, fighting alongside them on many missions as well as serving as a mentor to newer members. After the destruction of Tamaran by the Sun-Eater, which killed her parents and most of her people, Starfire realized that Earth was now her true home. During her period of grief, she decided to live on Themyscira with the Amazons.

Starfire is attractive even by superhero standards, which along with her no-nonsense attitude and Tamaranean's joy-seeking culture has led her into a number of romances. She has been married twice, both times to Tamaranean men: once to the prince Karras to seal a peace treaty, and once to General Phy'zzon out of duty. Both men later died in battle. She once nearly married Dick Grayson, despite anti-alien sentiment on Earth at the time. But their wedding was interrupted by their Titans teammate Raven, who had once again gone evil. Raven murdered the priest before he could finish the ceremony. Because their relationship was already unstable, both Kory and Dick decided it best that their relationship come to a close. Although it is apparent that they still hold a torch for each other whenever they see one another.

43. Kilowog (83 points)

kilowog.jpg"He's a pink Hippopotamus headed alien drill sergeant. If that's not awesome then what is?"

Kilowog is the premier Green Lantern trainer. Kilowog is the sole survivor of his race. His analog is the carnivorous Arkillo, Sinestro Corps soldier of Space Sector-674. Kilowog was a genetic scientist on his home planet of Bolivax Vik. He was recruited by the Guardians of the Universe to become a member of the Green Lantern Corps. For a brief period, he lived in Soviet Russia, where he helped create the Rocket Red Brigade. As instructor for the corps, Kilowog trained Earth Lantern Hal Jordan. When Hal Jordan went on a rampage, after Coast City was destroyed by Mongul and the Cyborg Superman, Kilowog was killed along with many other Lanterns. While the Corps was disbanded, the Brotherhood of the Cold Flame formed. This group included Green Lantern Boodikka, now an Alpha Lantern. The Botherhood changed Kilowog's soul into the Dark Lantern. He has since been restored to his normal self. Although his home world was destroyed, Kilowog adopted Earth as his home for a time. More recently, Green Lantern Kyle Rayner helped restore the entire Corps to life, using the power of Ion. Now, once again, Kilowog is trainer and drill sergeant to new recruits on Oa.

In the Cartoon Network cartoon, Duck Dodgers, Dodgers goes to collect his dry cleaning but receives a Green Lantern costume along with a ring instead of his space uniform; the costume either belonged to Hal Jordan or Kyle Rayner because a brown haired man went to collect the GL costume. Later in the episode, Dodgers goes to Oa and meets Kilowog, they start off well but dodgers ends up showing himself to be a total idiot and causes Kilowog to be captured by Sinestro along with other Green Lanterns. In the end Dodger saves them in some dumb luck heroic manner and Hal or Kyle get their costume and ring back.

42. Firestorm (84 points - 1 first place slot)

firestorm.jpg"Has the power to defeat any Green Lantern or Superman or pretty much anyone in the DC, and does it all with puffy sleeves."

The first Firestorm was an amalgam of two people - high school student Ronnie Raymond and university professor Martin Stein.

Raymond joined an anti-nuclear activist group as a student, but tried to stop them when their protests turned violent. The group wanted to blow up an experimental nuclear power facility that had been designed by Stein. They wired the place to explode, knocked Stein unconscious, and tied up Raymond, thus leaving them both to die.

The explosion that followed fused them into one being, with Ronnie in control of the body and Stein acting as a kind of phantom spirit alongside him (usually portrayed as a disembodied head). They adopted the name Firestorm, and used their ability to rearrange the atomic structure of matter to create a costume. Firestorm was all set to be a hero, and a powerful one at that.

When Raymond and Stein split, however, problems emerged. Stein couldn't remember his time as Firestorm, and could not trigger the hero's manifestation. When his time as Firestorm ended, Stein would often find himself in a strange place or situation, with no memory of how he got there. He turned to alcohol and was bent on self-destruction.

Raymond, on the other hand, was trying to balance the life of a student with that of being a super-hero. He would often find himself battling a rogues gallery of strange villains, often while trying desperately to hide his double identity.

It was not until Raymond and Stein actually met each other that they were able to come to grips with who they were. Firestorm became a popular hero, and a member of several incarnations of the Justice League of America.

After a few years, however, Professor Stein was diagnosed with malignant cancer. The realization that his death would also be the death of Firestorm led the hero to try to leave a legacy, in the form of forcing the nuclear powers of the world to give up their arsenals. This flagrant opposition to American and Soviet leadership led the two superpowers to try and bring him down. To do so, the Soviets sent their own Nuclear Man, an experimental soldier code-named Phozar, to bring him down. The resulting battle resulted in a massive nuclear explosion and the birth of a new, tripartite Firestorm.

This Firestorm was made from the physical forms of Raymond and Phozar (whose real name was Mikhail Arkadin), but was controlled by the disembodied and amnesiac mind of Martin Stein. Not knowing who he was, or anything about the world he was in, the new Firestorm was a dangerous force in the world. Fortunately, this incarnation was short-lived. Firestorm was revealed to be the potential Fire Elemental, and gained yet another form. This new form was composed of the combination of Ronnie and Mikhail, but had its own mind. Stein's mind was returned to his comatose form and regained consciousness.

The elemental Firestorm also struggled to find his place in the world, consulting other elementals, such as Swamp Thing, Naiad and Red Tornado to find out what he was supposed to be doing. His quest was cut short, however, by the appearance of the Apokolyptian villain, Brimstone.

During the battle, the technoseed that powered Brimstone was hurled into the sun, where it threatened to cause a chain reaction that would set off a supernova. In order to stop it, Firestorm would have to leave Earth, but as an elemental, he was bound to the planet. Martin Stein found a solution - he piloted a high-altitude jet into low Earth orbit with the assistance of Firestorm, flying as high as he could. Once that point was reached, Stein triggered an explosion that resulted in the destruction and re-formation of Firestorm. Mikhail and Ronnie were returned to themselves, and Stein became the sole possessor of Firestorm's powers.

He dove into the sun and destroyed the technoseed, creating a wormhole that flung him into the far reaches of the universe.

Ronnie Raymond did not escape unscathed. He soon discovered that he had leukemia, and underwent treatment for it. During these treatments, the Firestorm powers reasserted themselves, giving Raymond another chance to be a hero. But he was a sick hero, and it took the combined efforts of the Justice League and the surprising return of the elemental Firestorm to restore his health.

Raymond continued to act as Firestorm from that point, until his death during Identity Crisis. He was impaled on the Shining Knight's sword by The Shadow Thief, and exploded.


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