Wednesday, January 23, 2019 • Morning Edition • "Voted best hair in high school."

Your Top DC Heroes part 50

Written by Chris Mitchell on Tuesday, January 26 2010 and posted in Features
We are now into the dirty thirties, ladies and gents. I don't think you are ready for this jelly..


41. Captain Atom (85 points)

captainatom.jpg"Yet another character DC fucked over"

At Charlton Comics, Scientist Allen Adam was working on an experimental rocket, which launched with him trapped inside. The rocket exploded and the good scientist disappeared. However he gained superpowers, and didn't disappear, later reforming his body on Earth. He wore a red and yellow costume which shielded people from the radiation he gave off and his hair would turn white when he'd power up to his alias. Later he would replace the yellow and red for a more liquefied metal look.

Captain Atom was first published in a series of short stories in the anthology series, titled "Space Adventures #33-40 (March 1960-June 1961) and # 42 (October 1961). He’d have the series eventually renamed after himself and he would find himself facing odd villains and teaming up with other heroes, such as the famous "Blue Beetle.” By 1967 Charlton's Captain Atom was canceled after issue #89. He would later appear in 1982 in a series called Charlton Bullseye in which he wore his initial outfit. Before DC bought off the Charlton characters he last appeared in 1983 which teamed him up with most of the other symbolic Charlton heroes. These characters would be bought by DC appearing in " Crisis on Infinite Earths" as these characters would appear as people from Earth 4 of the multiverse whilst characters like Superman and Batman would derive from Earth 1. The last time the Charlton Captain Atom would ever appear would be in "DC Comics presents: #90" being teamed up with Firestorm and Superman. After this event this characters would be rebooted to fit the rebooted fictional universe.

In 1986, Captain Atom was launched in the post crisis DCU with a new costume and a new solo series, written by Cory Bates, that ran for more than 50 issues. The story begins back in Vietnam-War era 1960's. Captain Nathaniel Christopher Adam of The United States Air Force is accused of a crime he didn’t commit while overseas. Given the option of execution or to take place in an unusual experiment. Should he survive, he would receive a presidential pardon. Obviously Nate chose the latter, and participated in a project called “Project Atom.” Placed in a chamber with an alien alloy which it would be tested for its durability by exploding a nuclear device over it. There was little chance of survival, and when the test occurred, Nathanial Adam left behind his wife and his child with a world he knew, as it sent him into the future over 20 years. When he arrived in the future, the alien alloy had bonded with Nate, causing him to have a sleek silvery skin and with it bizarre extraordinary powers. After being a little disgruntled, he discovered his wife had remarried, and throughout the early stories of his ongoing, The newly dubbed “Captain Atom” dealt with learning about his powers while serving under the government and General Eiling, the man who married his wife. He did this to clear his name. “A man out of his place” Captain Atom had to adjust to life of the 1980’s and after some stints with Firestorm and Plastique, among others, it was his battle with Major Force, where Captain Atom decided not to serve under Eiling anymore. Captain Atom would later marry the Canadian terrorist Plastique, though they would find themselves divorced by 1999, Captain Atom would eventually find himself serving with the Justice League.

In 2003, in one of the more embarrassing moments of the characters run, he was paired off in the comical mini-series, “ Formerly Known as the Justice League” where he played the straight man. Around this time, the writers developed an inner struggle between his roles as super hero and government agent.

Later, in “Superman/Batman: Public Enemies" President Luthor noticed a kryptonite comet heading to Earth, placed a price on the Man of Steel’s head and ordered Captain Atom to lead a group to capture the Man of Steel. After finding out what would happen, should the comet hit Earth, Captain Atom took a ship and blew up the comet. The impact, along with the absorption of the kryptonite, caused Captain Atom to Quantum Leap, sending him to The Wildstorm Universe.

Finding himself in The WSU, he was immediately confronted by the Superman-esque character, Mr. Majestic. After fending him off would ask himself the same questions “Why Am I gold?” and “How can I get home?” throughout the series finding it impossible to leave. Being confronted by Majestic again, by the Wildcats, and by The Authority holding his own fairly well. By the end of the series Captain Atom was sent home.

Then came the Age of Monarch....


40. Miss Martian (87 points)

missmartian.jpg"So so so so cute, and powerful to boot."

"Even with Teen Titans stuck in the hole it is now, M'gann is the lone crowning sunshine poking through from it. Utterly endearing as the newbie to this new world she's such an adorable character. Part of me wishes DC would do some one shot involving her, but then again given how horribly DC treats their female characters maybe it's for the best."

The mysterious Miss Martian joined the Teen Titans during the team's hectic year immediately following Infinite Crisis. The origin story she told was that her parents sent her in a rocket to the Vega System during the Green Martians' civil war with the White Martians, and she had come to Earth after hearing another Green Martian was here. Like almost all members during this time period, she did not remain with the team for very long. She was still learning about human culture and about elements like humor, once leading her to hit her roommate Ravager in the face with a pie. Her telepathy made her very sensitive to the feelings of others, and after Ravager drove her to tears, she left the team.

When the Teen Titans finally stabilized, the group began a global search for Raven and a possible traitor among the Teen Titans who had joined in the past year. M'gann was found in Sydney, Australia. She had gone there because the landscape reminded her so much of Mars. She told the Titans that she had seen Raven recently. The other girl wanted her to use her telepathy to scan the minds of various other Titans to locate the traitor, but that was against the rules she imposed on herself. She refused again when the Titans asked. Hearing the bad thoughts of other Titans only served to hurt her feelings in the past. She did at least send them on their way to tracking down Raven by telling them the identity of the next Titan Raven tracked down, Bombshell.

After the Teen Titans moved on, M'gann reconsidered her refusal to help them with her telepathy. She began scanning minds of Titans around the world, eventually pinpointing who the traitor was. She rushed to catch up to the team, because it was Bombshell who she determined was the traitor. However, Bombshell was able to turn the tables on M'gann and expose the truth about her origins. She was really a White Martian posing as a green one. Bombshell attacked her and the other Titans backed up Bombshell before M'gann could have her say. This distraction allowed Bombshell to get the drop on the Titans, and M'gann earned the team's trust by saving them from Bombshell's soldiers.

Very soon after rejoining the Teen Titans, the team was abducted by Deathstroke's Titans East. M'gann was personally held captive by Sungirl and Inertia, two teenage villains from the future. She was told that in their time Martians would be slaves because of a terrible crime committed by one specific Martian. That Martian was allegedly M'gann, and she would be Sungirl's slave in the future. M'gann later defeated Sungirl when the Teen Titans had freed themselves and the two teams clashed.

Miss Martian soon then received another ominous sign of her own future when the Titans of Tomorrow appeared in the present day. M'gann was confronted by her own future self, and this future M'gann had embraced her White Martian heritage. These Titans of Tomorrow were trying to influence the past and pave the way for their future, so M'gann was tormented by her future self to embrace who she really was. Future M'gann went too far, trying to use her telepathy to force M'gann to understand. M'gann shifted into her White Martian form, lashing out and taking off her future self's head.

This was not the end of things for M'gann and her possible future. Afterward, she was haunted by her future self. Something left of her was living inside of M'gann and grew increasingly worse. It developed almost like a multiple personality and sometimes took control as M'gann would black out. After some time with this, M'gann left the Teen Titans to find a way of dealing with this on her own. After a long term of sabbatical away from the team, M'gann returned to the Teen Titans.

Having briefly been abducted by the Dark Side Club and witness to what was done to other teenaged heroes in its gladiator arena, M'gann resolved to go back and save all those she could. The problem was that she was known to those who ran the Dark Side Club. She would not be taken in as deep as she needed to go when they knew their mind control techniques would not work on her. To get around this, she created a new identity and dove very deep into it. She became the new Star Spangled Kid.

As the Star Spangled Kid, she and some other Teen Titans were ambushed abducted by the Terror Titans. She maintained her cover even as the Dark Side Club began its attempted brainwashing of her, so no one realize that this male Star Spangled Kid was in fact the female Miss Martian. She fought in the tournament, testing and chipping away at the brainwashing down on the other heroes. Watching her fight, Ravager realized who the Star Spangled Kid was but said nothing to expose her.

Winning the tournament, M'gann was eventually able to free all of the enslaved teen heroes and lead a revolt against the organizers of the Dark Side Club and the Clock King. She exposed who she truly was after being called out on it by Ravager and led all of the super powered teenagers back to Titans Tower where they could recover.

Feeling better after her success against the Dark Side Club, M'gann seemed to be back to her normal self. She rejoined the Teen Titans and became part of its new lineup along with two of the teen superheroes she rescued, Aquagirl and Static.

M'gann has been going through a rough patch recently as she has suffered the death of close friend and Titans teammate Eddie Bloomberg. And during the team's battle with the Wyld, Miss Martian was taken down first due to a possible connection she shares with the empathic creature. Ever since this battle, M’gann seems to be intrigued by the strange creature.

39. Boy Blue (89 points)

boyblue1.jpg"Fables is my favorite comic from DC. Homelands remains my favorite arc, and Blue is a big reason for that. Blue is a stand up guy with a tragic past who once waited too long to ask a girl out (boy have I been there), but my favorite part of his character is that after all he's been through, he really just wants to live the simple life, go to work in the business office, play his horn, hang with his friends. His death is one of a handful in all of comics to get me on an emotional level, and for that he deserves a place on this list."

"Started the series as completely bland background character and became the focus for the war. As a character, he's had one of the best story arcs I've ever read."

"I'll never forget the day when I was reading Fables and thought about how bad ass Boy Blue was with the Vorpal Blade and Witching Cloak. Homelands was one of my favorite stories ever."

Before coming to Fabletown, Boy Blue was an active fighter against the Adversary. He joined the fight during the time of Napoleon Bonaparte (whose campaigns Blue thinks were caused by some sort of "sympathetic magic" from the Fable worlds). This was at the tail end of the Adversary's campaign against the European fables, with most of them having either escaped to the mundane world, been enslaved or killed.

Blue fought with Colonel Bearskin's Free Company, eventually becoming the colonel's aide-de-camp. He survived "Boxen, Ruby Lake, Oakcourt, and the hellish rout at Hollyfield", among others. His last battle was a defense of the castle guarding the last portal to the mundane world. A ragtag force, including Robin Hood and his Merrie Men, were to hold the fort while a single ship took as many people as possible to the new world.

The day before the battle, a woman who claimed to be Red Riding Hood rode into the fort nearly dead from arrow wounds. She and Blue quickly became infatuated with each other, to the extent that she suggested that Friar Tuck should marry them so that Blue would have a seat on the last ship. Citing his duty, he refused. Arriving for battle in the morning, he learned his new orders: he would observe the battle from a high parapet and, at the appropriate time, would use a powerful item known as the Witching Cloak to teleport himself to the ship. Fabletown needed to know what had happened, Bearskin told him, and he wanted Blue and Riding Hood to be together. Unfortunately, when Blue arrived on the ship, he discovered that Riding Hood was not there. Not wanting to live without him, she had given up her spot and stayed behind.

Boy Blue serves as Snow White's office gopher and clerk. His monkey Bufkin is Fabletown's librarian. Blue is one of Fabletown's most skilled musicians; he takes his horn with him everywhere. He will occasionally try to get gigs in Harlem jazz and blues clubs, but is always told that he is too young, too white or "too hayseed". His roommate is Pinocchio; the two of them, along with Flycatcher are best friends. Blue seems to live a typical "nerdy" lifestyle, avidly reading comic books and playing board games. He wears Chuck Taylor All-Stars.

Blue's life changed after Red Riding Hood suddenly appeared in Fabletown, claiming to have recently escaped the Adversary. She was initially angry at Blue, claiming that he had abandoned her to the Adversary's forces. However, she soon sought him out and said she was sorry and wanted to resume their relationship. After a sexual encounter, he realized that she was not the Riding Hood he remembered (it transpired that she was Baba Yaga using Red's form as a mystical disguise). Along with three wooden soldiers, she interrogated him under severe torture for several days, breaking all his fingers, before having the soldiers deliver him, along with a message from the Adversary, to the Woodlands business office.

Against Snow's objections, Blue had Dr. Swineheart patch him up and bind the Vorpal Sword to his hand so that he could fight in the Battle of Fabletown where he was injured by gunfire. Dr. Swineheart continued to rehabilitate him, doing so good a job that Blue was able to play his horn again.

With the election of Prince Charming as mayor, Blue resigned from the government. One night, he abruptly left for the Homelands, taking the Vorpal Sword, the Witching Cloak and Pinocchio's body. Using the full capabilities of the Witching Cloak (it provided impregnable armor; could not be burnt, stretched or ripped; and allowed a large degree of shape-shifting), Blue cut a swath of destruction across the Homelands. He killed thousands of soldiers, killed and impersonated multiple governors (always ordering his underlings to lower tax rates), slew a dragon through cleverness and guile, and defeated the three knights of the Rus. The knights were magically connected to Baba Yaga; the fact that their decapitated heads kept talking alerted Blue to the fact that she was still alive and a prisoner of Fabletown.

During the Emperor's bimonthly public address, Blue impersonated a peasant sweeping in front of the throne. This got him close enough to decapitate the Emperor. But before he could escape, the Snow Queen encased him in a block of ice. He woke up without any of his magical equipment, imprisoned in Geppetto's cabin and soon (in exchange for Pinocchio's body) learned the full story behind the Empire's rise. Geppetto also promised to bring him Riding Hood, but this brought a nasty shock: the version Blue had known at the castle had been another copy of the original, who had no idea who he was. A heartbroken Blue called the Witching Cloak to him and slew Geppetto's guards, before he made his escape back to Fabletown (along with Riding Hood).

Unbeknownst to the Fabletown community (which thought Blue had stolen its valuable magical devices), Blue had been on a mission from Prince Charming. In addition to its other properties, the Witching Cloak had infinite storage space. Blue emptied every library in the Homelands, bringing Fabletown hundreds of volumes of intelligence. Unfortunately, this could not be made public, so Blue had to stand trial. He was sentenced to two years of hard labor at the Farm, Fabletown's upstate annex for non-human looking Fables. Rose Red, the Farm's administrator, considered him a hero, and thus defined "hard labor" in very loose, general terms. Blue was last seen leading the construction of Bigby's house in Wolf Valley and serving as Bigby's best man when he married Snow. There has been hints in recent issues that Blue and Rose Red are getting romantically attached to each other.


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