Wednesday, May 23, 2018 • Morning Edition • "Comics: we give a crap!"

Your Top DC Heroes part 51

Written by Chris Mitchell on Tuesday, January 26 2010 and posted in Features
Two guys and a gal, but I am pretty sure the gal can beat the dudes in an arm wrestling match.


38. Big Barda (91 points)

bigbarda.jpg"The Busty former Leader of the Femme Fatales. She's got Sass and isn't afraid to speak her mind. She really is the great for the gals and the guys. I may have shed a tear or two at her death."

Around 250 years ago, on the hellish planet known as Apokolips, Big Breeda gave birth to a daughter named Barda. The child was taken from her mother at a young age to be trained as a warrior for Darkseid's army. She was sent to Granny Goodness's Home for Orphaned Youth, where she grew to be both a beautiful young woman and a devastating fighter. Pleased with Barda's battle prowess, Granny Goodness selected her to become the leader of the Female Furies.

It was during Barda's association with the Furies that she encountered Scott Free . A rebel leader on Apokolips named Himon had been gathering children for special training. One of these children was Auralie, who fell under Barda's jurisdiction. The Furies went looking for Auralie and found her with Scott. The meeting between the future couple was brief and antagonistic. Himon's group was soon discovered and their members brutally punished. Barda and Scott were both called in to witness the punishment. Horrified at the situation, Scott decided to leave Apokolips. Barda, who regretted what had happened to Auralie, decided to help him. He managed to make it safely to Earth, but she elected to remain behind on Apokolips.

Eventually, Barda decided to leave Apokolips as well. She traveled to Earth to find Scott, who had recently become Mr. Miracle. Since Scott was under attack by Doctor Bedlam when she arrived, she quickly became acquainted with Oberon, Mr. Miracle's manager. The attraction between Barda and Scott built as they spent more time together, culminating in their marriage at the end of Jack Kirby's run on the series.

After the wedding the couple briefly returned to New Genesis, but later settled on Earth with the intention of giving up both superheroing and show business and living a normal life. But despite their best efforts, this goal eluded them again and again. They were frequently bombarded with strange visitors, from Highfather to Doctor Bedlam to Blue Beetle and Booster Gold. Barda was arrested over trouble concerning animal rights groups, which turned out to be part of a secret plot implemented by Darkseid. During her time in jail Scott was supposedly killed, though in fact it turned out that merely a robot version of him was destroyed.

The two eventually decided to move to New York City, a decision which pleased Oberon. He was less pleased by Scott's decision to stop being Mr. Miracle and train Shilo Norman to take his place. While living in the city, Barda became a professional female wrestler, with her stunning looks and fighting prowess soon sparking a fad known as "Bardamania." When she discovered that wrestling competitions were staged, she formed a team of fellow wrestlers and decided to train them to become the New Female Furies. Soon after, Big Breeda revealed to Barda that she was her mother.

Barda enjoyed life on Earth and took genuine delight in being a housewife and homemaker. However, she was still inherently a warrior of the New Gods and naive to many Earth customs. She often went about her household chores dressed in her battle armor, and usually managed to botch even simple meal preparation whenever she tried to cook. Scott was highly tolerant of her efforts and learned not to criticize her shortcomings as a housewife, lest he suffer her wrath.

Despite her determination to be a happy homemaker, Barda's warrior instincts meant that she would still readily take up her weapons if called upon to fight. She frequently assisted the Justice League International after Scott joined the team, and later joined the team herself.

Barda's first mission with the JLI involved an attempted rescue of her husband, who was kidnapped and taken back to Apokolips. She was partnered with J'onn, G'nort, and Rocket Red, a colorful but bumbling trio whom she quickly grew impatient with. When the galactic assassin Lobo was hired to kill them, she dispatched him with her Mega-Rod, accidentally transporting him to Earth. The group managed to successfully rescue Mr. Miracle, though they had to call in the rest of the Justice League International for help.

Barda then befriended her JLI teammate Fire, who at the time was having difficulties using her flame-based powers. Barda offered to train Fire in order to help her reach her full potential. During their first training session, Barda's car and the powerful Mega-Rod that she had left within were stolen. Barda, Scott, Fire, and the Huntress combined their efforts to retrieve the weapon, which would be devastatingly dangerous in the wrong hands. Fortunately they were successful, and it was revealed that the Mega-Rod corrupted bearers with a weak mind and took control over them.

Barda left Earth with Scott after their time with the Justice League and resided briefly on New Genesis. But they soon returned to Earth and took up residence in the Justice League Refuge. At this time, Barda left Scott because she felt that he had no consideration for her feelings. She went off to spar with Wonder Woman on Themyscira, before deciding to give Scott another chance and returning to him. They both moved back to New Genesis after became it combined with Apokolips.

Later, Barda left New Genesis with Orion in order to join the Justice League of America. They were the agents representing New Genesis for the JLA's battle with Mageddon and left the group after the villain was defeated.

Scott and Barda then moved to the suburbs of Connecticut, where they were living when Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman sought Barda's help to rescue Supergirl from Apokolips.

Barda's time as a Birds of Prey member ended with her shocking death at the hands of the mysterious God-Killer. Her body was discovered by her husband Scott in their own kitchen, where she had just returned from grocery shopping. Many other New Gods also were killed during the events leading up to Final Crisis, including Knockout and even Mister Miracle himself. Barda's killer was later revealed to be the Infinity Man. In the last issue of Final Crisis, Barda was seen standing alongside fellow New Gods Lightray and Highfather in front of a reincarnated New Genesis, clearly indicating that Barda's death had not been permanent.

37. John Stewart (93 points)

johnstewart.jpg"He may not be the best GL, but I find him the most interesting."

I gave the GL's over to my buddy King Impulse, so I will let him take this one. Take it way, lil'buddy:

John Stewart was chosen to replace Guy Gardner as Hal Jordan’s back-up on Earth when Gardner was seriously injured. At first, Jordan (You know, the guy that punched his C.O in the face, twice? The guy that’s constantly telling the Guardians of the Universe to STFU? The guy who stood there in front of Superman and said the JLA was ineffective? That guy) was shocked at John Stewart’s anti-authoritarian streak, but when John’s apparent dereliction of duty ended up exposing a racist politician, Jordan conceded that Stewart was a good choice for the Corps.

John then had several solo adventures, and filled in on the Justice League whenever he was needed, eventually, he met Katma-Tui, the Green Lantern of Korugar, and they married. The marriage was short lived though, when due to machinations of Sinestro, Katma was murdered by an insane Star Sapphire and John was falsely accused of killing Carol Ferris, the Star Sapphire’s human host. John was imprisoned in South Nambia on more false charges, but was helped to escape by Hal Jordan, where his ring was restored to him.

John suffered his greatest loss when his arrogance led to the destruction of the planet Xanshi, killing millions. Although he eventually got over his mistake and it led to some significant character growth, he’s recently started pussing out over it again because Geoff Johns doesn’t know what else to do with him.

John spent a short time as the first non-Oan Guardian on the Mosaic World, and was reunited with Katma-Tui, until Hal Jordan, like a giant dick, went and paralyzed John because Jordan is totally a super villain, and John’s loss of his new powers meant the loss of Katma as well. Dick move there Hal, total dick move.

After a brief stint with the Controller-led Darkstars, and briefly going back to architecting (BTW, I fully expected spell-check to tell me ‘architecting’ isn’t a word, but apparently it is. Who knew?) John was given a new Green Lantern ring by the greatest Lantern ever, Kyle Rayner and has been active ever since.

What’s next for John Stewart? I’d say read Blackest Night to find out, but I don’t want to be seen advocating that sort of thing.

36. Mon-El (96 points)

monel.jpg"My first three choices all have something in common – they are the characters who stood out in the first comics I bought. Mon-El became an instant favorite for me when I first bought Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes #324 (and one other comic – more on that later) at a little convenience store in a small town in the middle of Iowa. I took those comics, a 16 ounce Coke (in a glass bottle) and rode my bike over to the park and read them over and over again. I’ll never understand why some people say that the Legion is too complex, because in my 9 year old mind it was the most amazing thing I had ever seen. The science fiction, the alien races, the heroism...simply amazing. Mon-El led his friends (Shadow Lass, Phantom Girl and Ultra Boy) against Ontirr and the Dark Circle. I had no idea who they were, but dammit that didn’t stop me from enjoying it!

Over the next several years of fandom Mon-El remained my favorite Legionnaire, and continues to this day. This past year has been a joy for me seeing a childhood favorite finally get his due in the pages of some of DC’s biggest comics."

The last of the Legion characters is here, well, that is if you do not count the One Point Club characters. I really didn't know anything bout him (much like any of the LOSHers on this list) but I have grown to enjoy this character in the Supes books recently. It will be interesting to see what they do with him. Oh, and his new outfit is gawdly awful. On that note, here is Amoebas:

In the Past…

Out of the billions of people who live on the Planet Daxam, Lar Gand is one of the very few who has a curiosity about the stars and what lay there. His home world is brimming with xenophobia and is so extreme that attempting to leave the planet is considered a crime.

Lar doesn’t care, and in a forgotten space ship last used centuries ago, Lar takes off for the stars. The ship however was preprogrammed for Earth (its last voyage) and after a sunspot storm disabled the ship it crashed in Smallville, Kansas. Lar developed temporary amnesia as a result.

As a result of being on Earth, Lar quickly develops super powers. He can fly, is super-strong, invulnerable and super-fast. After an encounter with a young Clark Kent occurs, Clark suspects that this stranger might be a Kryptonian like him and gives him the name Mon-El. In order to test his Kryptonian theory, Clark exposed him to a piece of kryptonite (actually it was just a chunk of lead painted green). Mon-El reels and falls sick to the floor. The shock to his system returns his memory and he tells Clark his story as well as the truth of how lethal lead (the painted green rock) is to the people of Daxam. Mon-El is dying and there simply is no cure. In order to save him, Clark imprisons Mon-El into the Phantom Zone where his wraith-like body isn’t affected by the poison. Clark promises to find a cure for Mon-El.

In the Present…

Clark Kent is now Superman and has visited Mon-El numerous times over the years but he has yet to find a cure. One day the Phantom Zone began to mysteriously disappear and with time running out, Superman had two options: Leave Mon-El in the Zone to die or release him and let him die on Earth. He and Mon-El agree on the latter and Mon-El re-enters reality to take his final breaths.

Just then a cure miraculously appears and Mon-El makes a full recovery. Mon-El takes his time readjusting to reality when Superman announces he is going to temporarily leave Earth for a time so that he can live with the Kryptonian peoples rescued from Brainiac. Superman asks Mon-El to cover for him in his absence. Mon-El agrees and is given training and a new identity for living on Earth (Jonathan Kent, a distant cousin of Clark’s). While Mon speaks English fluently his accent is 100% Daxamite, this is explained away his telling people he from London. ‘Jonathan’ is given a position with the Science Police and he quickly rises through the ranks.

Replacing Superman is no easy job and Mon-El has a number of set backs. He is also caught up in General Lane’s war against New Krypton and Mon is branded an enemy by Lane. Mon-El is later captured and declared dead. In fact he was just imprisoned and Lane lied to the media. In time Mon-El escapes and returns to Metropolis as its hero. He renews his promise to Superman to protect the city and takes on the extra job of reminding people that it is Superman who is the hero (something General Lane and his anti-Krypton campaign doesn’t like).

How well Mon’s mission succeeds will be told in the days ahead.

In the near Future…

Some day not that far away Mon-El’s lead poisoning cure will stop working. He will be forced to return the Phantom Zone (which also will return). Mon-El will be waiting a very long time for a cure.

In the Future…

One Thousand years from now, a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes called Brainiac 5 will develop a permanent cure for Mon-El’s lead poisoning and at long last he will again be free to walk and fly about the Earth and the stars. Mon-El accepts membership into the Legion and even though he is 1,000 years removed from his time he adjust quickly to his new home.

He eventually is elected leader of the Legion, finds his true love with his teammate Shadow Lass and continues to be one of the Legions most powerful members.

At some point in the future, Mon-El’s cure is sent back to the 21st Century to miraculously show up in the nick of time.


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