Tuesday, May 22, 2018 • Morning Edition • "Guest-starring Wolverine's cold, dead corpse!"

Your Top DC Heroes part 61

Written by Chris Mitchell on Friday, January 29 2010 and posted in Features
The final three who didn't make the cut of the Big 10. All members of the JLI.


13. Captain Marvel (233 points - 6 first place slots)

captainmarvel.jpg"The guy is just as Strong as Superman and can do some real damage to him. The Power of Shazam series is great (It featured the wizard looking like George Carlin for gosh sakes) Holey Moley is he just a great character in all ways he is written from JLI to Johnny DC. You got to love him."

"Superman + Magic + Tawky Tawny = Nuff said."

I really like this character, like a lot. And like most characters in the DC Universe I really have no clue what the hell they were thinking when they handled him. It truly boggles my mind. How so many characters were mishandled that appeared on this list. Anywho, I love the JLU episode where he appeared and boxed it out with Supes. Truly awesome. Anywho, take it away K.I.

There’s not much you need to know about Captain Marvel’s history really, because DC have never really done anything significant with him, but you probably already know that no-one in the DCU has as much untapped potential as The Big Red Cheese.

When Billy Batson speaks the name of the wizard SHAZAM, he gains the powers of the legendary gods and heroes Solomon, Hercules, Achilles, Zeus, Atlas and Mercury and the appearance of Captain Marvel. Whereas Cap has been displayed as a separate person and as Billy in a grown body on different occasions, I believe the accepted belief is that it’s Billy in an adult’s body, which is what it should be. Captain Marvel and the SHAZAM mythos are about wish-fulfillment. When Billy says the word, he becomes the big, strong man he wishes he could be, Captain Marvel has even been said to strike more than a passing resemblance to Billy’s late father which shouldn’t be a surprise. To children, their fathers are supermen, so Billy Batson’s image of a hero is basically an idealized version of his father.

Captain Marvel became a DC character when DC bought all of the Fawcett characters, and while many efforts were made to revive the Shazam franchise, it never caught on, eventually being relegated to a back-up strip in Adventure Comics and eventually, all that was published were reprints of the Fawcett until the Crisis of Infinite Earths where Captain Marvel and the Fawcett world of Earth-S were folded into regular DC continuity where he appeared in the post-Crisis event Legends, and as a member of the Giffen, DeMatteis and Maguire Justice League. He eventually got his own ongoing ‘The Power of SHAZAM spinning out of Jerry Ordway’s 1994 graphic novel of the same name. Power of SHAZAM set Cap’s official DCU origin and reintroduced all of the classic Captain Marvel tropes from Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel Jr, to Black Adam and Dr. Sivana. The series last until 1999.

The Marvel family’s story continued in Geoff Johns’ JSA where Cap joined briefly to keep an eye on a newly heroic Black Adam. From then on, Captain Marvel became mainly a supporting character in Black Adam’s ongoing story throughout several DC Comics until Infinite Crisis when during the Day of Vengeance miniseries where the Spectre killed the wizard Shazam and Billy took on the role of wizard and keeper of the Rock of Eternity. Billy was recently depowered in Geoff Johns’ fairly awful last arc of Justice Society of America along with his sister Mary. They are currently searching for the resurrected wizard in order to regain their powers.

12. Guy Gardner (249 points - 7 first place slots)

guygardner.jpg"Ever since I started reading GL Corps he's just gotten better and better."

"The one true GL and you gotta love him for it."

"Beware his power. He started off as a hypothetical Green Lantern instead of Hal Jordan and he would have been if Hal hadn't been that smidgen closer to the ring than him. I'm glad he got more face time in GLC, also it should be noted that the partnership of Guy and Kyle is brilliant they are the best of the Green and Green."

"Toughest GL there ever was and a wicked sense of fashion to boot."

"The most obnoxious of the Green Lanterns, and you gotta love him for it."

"The ONE. TRUE. LANTERN!!! Yeah, I’m a JLI apologist and Guy is my guy. He is really the first person in comics I ever encountered who was a hero…and a jerk! Crisis on Infinite Earths, GLC, JLI…I loved each and every appearance by the gruff, rude ring slinger.

Guy Gardner broke the mold for me in superhero comics. He showed me that they didn’t all have to be upright, square-jawed, tried and true (boring) characters with interchangeable personalities. Guy lit it up, and while you hated him you still wanted his date with Ice to go well. While he pissed you off you knew that he’d have your back in a fight. In recent years Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi have effectively “matured” the character of Guy Gardner, making him less of a caricature while maintaining the irreverent nature that keeps so many of us GL fans squarely in the corner of Team Guy."

All these quotes? Fact

His origin is SO awesome, that I am going to start it at Super Buddies? Cool? Cool.

Several years after the cancellation of the Warrior series, Gardner appeared in several DC titles with his Vuldarian abilities, but only in guest spots. Finally, in April of 2005, Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, and Kevin Maguire reunited to write the sequel to their hit miniseries " Formerly Known As the Justice League". The arc took place in JLA: Classified, and was entitled "I Can't Believe It's not the Justice League". The Superbuddies, reunited members of the Justice League International finally move into their new base of operations: a strip mall in Queens, New York. However, on moving day, they discover who's going to be working next door: Guy Gardner! Guy is opening a bar called "The Dark Side" with reformed super-villain Dick Hertz, aka Blackguard. The Superbuddies are none-too-pleased to find that their former and presumed unstable teammate is going to be their neighbor, and make it quite clear to him. Guy doesn't help himself when he fondles Mary Marvel, and is almost killed for it. He apologizes later on, admitting that it was inappropriate. The team is surprised, but forgive him. Mostly.

Later on in the arc, several things happened that caused quite a bit of confusion regarding Guy Gardner's own continuity. When Booster Gold inadvertently sends half of the team to Hell when messing with some of Doctor Fate's belongings, Power Girl comes in to assist Maxwell Lord and Sue Dibny in getting them back. Guy Gardner stops by, and tells them to let him have a whirl at it. Power Girl mentions his Vuldarian abilities, asking "weren't you dying, or mutated, or something?" Guy's response is "I got better." No other explanation is given for the absence of his shape-shifting powers. He grabs the artifact in question, and ends up sending himself and Power Girl to Hell as well. It was apparently intentional, with Guy saying that the best way to rescue somebody is to find them first. However, much to the surprise of readers everywhere, Guy revealed that he still had his Yellow Power Ring. Power Girl asks him about it, and he says that he'll never be without it again. While in Hell, Guy and Fire discover their deceased teammate Ice. They both try and get her out with them, but when Fire makes the mistake of looking back at her on their way out of the fiery pits, Ice thanked them for everything, and disappeared forever, leaving Guy and Beatriz shattered.

Eventually, they find the team, and after entering yet another parallel dimension, they are rescued by a particularly angry Doctor Fate. The arc ended, and the Superbuddies were apparently disbanded.

When this story arc was released, it was made apparent that Guy's stint in Hell with the Superbuddies had been shunted from continuity. Here, Guy still runs his bar Warriors, and has his Vuldarian powers.

Throughout the years while Guy was absent from the Green Lantern Corps, much changed. Hal Jordan had redeemed himself from evil by reignite the sun, and became the new Spectre. After the Guardians and the Green Lanterns had been all but obliterated years earlier, Kyle Rayner became the last Lantern in the Universe. He spent much time with the JLA, but eventually left when he realized what his duty as a Lantern truly entailed. His responsibility was to every designated Sector of the Universe. All 3,600 of them. And when he gained the power of Ion, he revived the Guardians of the Universe on Oa. Sometime later, in Sector 2999, Kyle learned something about an ancient creature. It was called Parallax.

On Earth, things were changing. Sue Dibny had been murdered, shaking the world of superheroes everywhere. Old friends learned of their distrust for each other, and big things were brewing across the globe. Hal Jordan began conflicting the spirit of the Spectre within him, and started acting irrationally. When Guy and John Stewart tried watching a baseball game with him, the people around them began confessing their sins. The Spectre was breaking his will. And within the Spectre, the will of Parallax was corrupting. Hal disappeared, and began dispatching violent justice on criminals elsewhere. Green Arrow became suspicious, and took Hal's old ring out of storage. Guy and John went back to Warriors, and while having a drink, Gardner's abilities suddenly caused him to erupt in a glorious flash of energy. The bar exploded, and Guy was dying. Elsewhere, Carol Ferris visited the ruins of the old hangars in Coast City. Suddenly, everything there was restored to perfection, and various pieces of the City appeared out of nowhere, most notably Hal Jordan's old apartment building.

John brought Guy to the JLA Watchtower, where the Martian Manhunter, Mr. Terrific, Doctor Mid-Nite looked him over. It appeared that when he exploded, his Vuldarian DNA was being rejected by his Human DNA. In essence, he was becoming completely human again. As he recovered, events began to unfold that would change the Universe forever.

Kyle Rayner crash landed in a ship from the center of the sun, bearing with him the body of Hal Jordan. Two teenagers found him, and he told them to tell everybody that "Parallax is coming." Back in Coast City, Hal Jordan appeared before Carol Ferris, but he seemed distraught. The two began reminiscing about the old days at the Air Force base. However, the JLA had noticed the sudden reappearance of Coast City, and went to investigate, leaving J'onn, Mid-Nite, Green Arrow, Mr. Terrific and Guy on the Watchtower. When the JLA touched down in Coast City, John suddenly started acting differently. He blasted the League, and even took down Superman. Suddenly, something began to happen to Hal Jordan. The Spectre tried to retreat, but Parallax held it and Hal there. Back on the Watchtower, the ring that Ollie had gotten earlier split in two, and one made its way for Guy as he lay on his med-bay bed. J'onn, reading his thoughts, detected three things: Confidence, arrogance, and fear.

Guy stood up, and said, "You know what they say, J'onny Boy?" His ring flashed brilliantly. "Beware my power." Garbed in his old uniform, Guy blasted down to Earth.

Kyle, recovering from his crash, tried as hard as could not to use his ring to heal himself. Then, Kilowog landed before him, Power Ring in tow. He was acting the same way Guy and John were, and for some reason, he tried to get Kyle to use his ring, which Kyle refused. Kilowog went for Hal's body, but suddenly Ganthet appeared before them. He told Kilowog to cease his actions, but the Lantern wanted a fight. Fortunately, he fell quickly under Ganthet's power. The Guardian teleported Kyle and the coffin to the Watchtower, where Kyle found an unconscious Martian Manhunter, Dr. Mid-Nite, and Mr. Terrific. However, Ollie was still awake. He explained what happened with Guy, and Kyle explained what's been going on:

Hal Jordan was never "Parallax" at all. Eons ago, a yellow demon comprised entirely of Fear rampaged throughout the Universe. Its name was Parallax. The Guardians of the Universe eventually captured it, and imprisoned it inside the Central Power Battery. Because of this, Lanterns could only be beings without fear, so that Parallax could not infect their minds. This caused what Green Lanterns commonly referred to as "the Yellow Impurity". It made it so that Power Rings couldn't affect the color Yellow. The Guardians went so long without dealing with the demon that they eventually simply forgot about it. However, when Hal Jordan's home town of Coast City was destroyed, his mind began to slip. Parallax got a grip on him. Eventually he possessed him, and escaped when Hal entered the Battery years ago. Now, Parallax was possessing the power of the Spectre, and infecting Lanterns from the inside out through their rings. The threat of Parallax was even greater than before. It turns out that Sinestro has been working with the demon, and he attacks Ollie and Kyle in the Watchtower.

On Earth, Guy and John try to attack Ganthet under the influence of the demon, but Ganthet frees them. Kilowog wakes up as well, and the four of them converge on Parallax, who is using Spectre's power. He scoffs at them, but when the JLA, Teen Titans, and JSA all arrive as backup; Parallax realizes that he may have a fight. Hal Jordan's spirit is suddenly freed from the Spectre and the Yellow demon, but as he heads toward "the light", Ganthet pulls him back to the Watchtower, and to his body. Hal wakes up, and is a Green Lantern once more. He defeats Sinestro with Kyle's help, and the two finally shake hands.

They head back down to Earth, and join Guy and the other Lanterns in the battle with Parallax. The demon possesses Ganthet, but the gathering of Lanterns finally manage to teleport it back into the Central Power Battery, and Guy Gardner had played a central role in its capture. With this, the Guardians gather in the main Citadel on Oa, and declare that recruiting will now begin for the new Corps.

11. Ted Kord (251 points - 6 first place slots)

tedkord.jpg"I like the mix of Batman and Spider-Man that I see in him while still managing to be his own unique character."

"A great character with more depth then credited with."

"Gotta love the Blue. How can you not?"

"Another pointless death. How many times have I said this on my list?"

Growing up, Ted was extraordinarily bright. He was good at science, business, and everything else he tried. He considered joining his father's business, Kord Omniversal Research and Development, Inc, of Chicago, but overall, he had no real direction.

When Ted's uncle made an attempt to take over the world, Ted set out to stop him, recruiting the help of his archeology teacher Dan Garrett - the first Blue Beetle, who could call on superhuman powers from an ancient scarab he had found in Bialya. In the course of the adventure, Dan was fatally wounded and asked Ted to carry on the legacy of the Blue Beetle, passing the scarab onto him. However, Ted couldn't get the scarab to work for him, and eventually set it aside, electing to go ahead without it.

Ted trained himself to his physical peak, constructed an aerial vehicle affectionately nicknamed the "Bug", made himself a Blue Beetle costume, and set out to establish his own identity as a superhero, using his wit, agility, and a large number of gadgets to stop evildoers.

After Ted's father lost his wife, he neglected Kord Omniversal, letting it become a shell of its former self. Ted revitalized the company, building it up until it became one of the top R&D companies in the USA, rivaling S.T.A.R. Labs.

During the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Ted was recruited by the Monitor to help fight the Anti-Monitor's shadow-demons. Ted discovered that Dan's scarab was able to utterly destroy the shadow-demons, but was sent back when the Monitor found the scarab couldn't be used as he wished. Ted kept fighting in the Crisis, but lost hold of the scarab in the turmoil, and couldn't find it in the aftermath.

The scarab resurfaced some time after the Crisis, apparently having resurrected Dan Garrett and sent him on a crazed rampage. When Ted confronted Dan and the scarab, the scarab spoke to him, telling Ted it wanted him as its new host, and offering him the use of its powers. Ted refused, and helped Dan break the scarab's control over him, shattering the scarab's physical form and letting Dan die a final death, leaving Ted to grieve for his mentor one final time.

Ted's father eventually recovered enough to take back Kord Omniversal, but the company was devastated by Carapax, one of Ted's villains. Ted left to make his name in the superhero business.

Ted joined the Justice League as it was being reformed in the wake of Operation Humiliation, and often served as the pilot for the League's many vehicles. As part of the JLI, Ted met and befriended Booster Gold. The two had their differences, but served together for many years and had a bond that went beyond their wisecracks and buffoonery.

Ted's mouth and sense of humor often got him into trouble with other members of the League, especially the women. Behind his jokes was a sincerity of heart, the knowledge of his responsibility as the Blue Beetle, and a desire to make the world safer for all.

Following his time on the League, Ted reasserted control of his business from his father, eventually making Kord Omniversal a subsidiary of Wayne Enterprises. He retired from super-heroics for a short time but occasionally helped the Birds of Prey with funding and technology, becoming friends with members of the team. While working with the Birds, Ted discovered that he had a heart condition, limiting the amount of exertion he could manage without endangering his health.

During Identity Crisis Ted led a team in search of Heatwave, one of the initial suspects in the murder of Sue Dibny. Soon afterwards, he came into possession of Dan Garrett's scarab, which Hawkman had rediscovered in a Middle Eastern pyramid, untouched. However, the scarab was inert, as it had been when Ted had first received it from Dan, and did not respond to him.

A little while later, a shipment of Kryptonite was stolen from one of Kord Omniversal's warehouses. Ted's various friends and allies looked into it for a while, but soon returned to their own lives. If that hadn't been enough, Ted was then set upon by a gang of the Madmen.

With Booster's help, Ted set out to investigate the Kryptonite theft. In so doing, he unwittingly ran up against the shadows of the impending Infinite Crisis. During the course of his investigations, he lost the scarab to the wizard Shazam, saw Booster blasted by a bolt of energy from Brother Eye, which landed Booster in hospital, and witnessed the beginning of the Rann-Thanagar War. However, Ted found that no-one else, apart from Wonder Woman, seemed willing or able to hear what he'd discovered about the theft, leaving him to go it alone.

On the trail of his last remaining lead - a bug placed on him by the Madmen - Ted tracked the signal from the bug to Checkmate headquarters in Switzerland, where he discovered a series of files that held the identities, strengths and weakness' of all of Earth's heroes. There, he confronted the mastermind behind Checkmate - its Black King, and Ted's one-time friend, Maxwell Lord, who planned to kill Earth's metahumans using Brother Eye and the OMACs, making the planet safe for humanity. Seizing his opportunity when Checkmate's files were unexpectedly deleted, Ted made a break for it - but was brutally beaten by an OMAC and locked up. After being offered a chance to change sides by Max, he told Max to "rot in hell" and was shot and killed by his former ally. 
The Blue Beetle of the 27th century, sensing a massive temporal disruption caused by Ted's death, traveled back in time to save Ted, recruiting Dan, Jaime, and Booster to assist him. Together, they succeeded, managing to rescue Ted from Checkmate before Max could kill him. To preserve the timeline, however, no-one in the present could know Ted was alive. However, this led to the creation of a timeline where Ted's death had not alerted any of his former allies, and instead Maxwell Lord had managed to activate the O.M.A.C. Project in its entirety, effortlessly subjugating the populace of New Earth. To erase the altered timeline, Kord fought his way back to the Time Sphere, which he programmed to send him to his death with Lord. However, a figure has since then reappeared, holding several pieces of Blue Beetle paraphernalia, prowling around a K.O.R.D. Industries warehouse. In spite of not having been positively identified yet, the figure has been declared to be Ted Kord.


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