Sunday, March 18, 2018 • Evening Edition • "Good enough for government work!"

Your Top Marvel Heroes part 4

Written by Chris Mitchell on Monday, April 12 2010 and posted in Features
A bunch of misfits for ya.


211. Hiroim/Lockheed/Thunderstrike (4 points)

Hiroim was born one of the Shadow People of the planet Sakaar and did not know who his parents were. They had been two Saka priest sworn to celibacy, having obviously violated their vows. They disappeared after he was born, and he was embraced by the priesthood despite his illegitimate heritage. Because he did not know where he had come from, he began to wonder. This wonder led to what would become his shame. As a priest, he endeavored to be like the Sakaarson, who was to be the fabled savior of planet Sakaar. But due to his mysterious origins, he began to believe that the Sakaarson could be him. He pledged himself to all the vows of the priesthood and endured the trials with the best of them. But the day came when an elder looked into his eyes and saw the truth of the hubris. Realizing how he had just failed, Hiroim unthinkingly lashed out and knocked the elder down. For this, he was expelled from the priesthood and hence forth known as Hiroim the Shamed.

After this, he wandered among his people and dedicated himself to learn their martial ways. His failure in the priesthood did not shake him from his teachings, and he would continue to offer spiritual guidance to those who needed it. Soon, the Spike War began. He became the commander of an army of Shadow warriors from various tribes, leading them successfully in battle and saving a great many lives.

Despite Hiroim's excellent strategies and tactics, the Spikes simply could not be stopped. He soon discovered that the Shadow Elders had entered into a treaty with the Father Emperor of the Imperials to fend off the Spikes, and as part of the treaty, the Father Emperor was entitled to having a Warbound Shadow. To be warbound was to be bound by a sacred oath of loyalty. Hiroim was chosen to be this Warbound Shadow, whether he wanted it or not. He guarded the Father Emperor through the rest of the Spike War and beyond.

Soon after the Spike War ended, a very specific and secretive task was asked of Hiroim by the Father Emperor. One more threat to Sakaar's peaceful existence remained, and he wanted Hiroim to eliminate it. What the Father Emperor spoke of was his own son, Angmo II. Hiroim snuck into the city and located the helpless boy, who was said to be a pampered and arrogant child that would surely bring ruin to the empire should he ever take the throne. Despite this, Hiroim found he could not murder a defenseless boy. He did not carry out his duty and therefore broke his sacred warbound oath. Not only was he no longer welcome among his own people, he was a criminal to the empire.

For the next twenty years, he wanders the deserts alone as a hunted man.

Eventually, Hiroim was captured by the Imperials, and his punishment was to fight as a gladiator in the Great Arena. But first he was sent to the Maw, the training arena. He spent his days in silence and prayer when he was not being forced to fight for his life with an obedience disk branded to his chest. This was where he met the stone man Korg, the Brood No-Name, Miek the Unhived, the senator's daughter Elloe, her protector Lavin Skee and the monster from Earth the Hulk. They survived their vicious trials as a group, and Hiroim soon began to break his silence among them. It was Hiroim, over the slain body of Lavin Skee, to declare the oath that they would all be Warbound in Skee's honor.

Along with his fellow Warbound, Hiroim fought the enslaved Silver Surfer in the Great Arena as the final match required to see them earn their freedom. He thought the Surfer had been painted silver as a form of mockery to resemble the legendary Sakaarson, but Hulk informed him otherwise. After the match, the Red King demanded that they show their loyalty to him by executing Elloe. Hiroim tried to refuse on the grounds that they were all warbound to her through Lavin Skee, and killing her would be a violation. His plea fell on the deaf ears of Caiera the Oldstrong, who pointed out that he could not claim the warbound oath when he was a shamed exile from their people.

It was the Silver Surfer who solved the dilemma. He fried the obedience disks enslaving everyone in the Great Arena, which included Hiroim and the Warbound. They rescued Elloe and made their escape, now free men and fugitives.

The Hulk's party of fugitives grew into an army, and Hiroim was their chief strategist for he knew the ways of war. He brought Hulk to the Shadow Elders so that they could see Hulk was the Sakaarson they had been waiting for and pledge allegiance. But the Shadow Elders rejected the Hulk and his rage. That did not matter. Hulk took their great stone ship and used it attack the Red King's forces, pushing the way to the crown city. Hiroim was there to see the Red King defeated, and he supported the Hulk taking the throne.

Only a few days after Hulk became king, the Crown City was destroyed in a warp core explosion that devastated Sakaar. Caiera the Oldstrong and the Shadow Elders were killed, and Hiroim found himself as a recipient of some of the Oldpower, this become Hiroim the Oldstrong. In the face of this enormous tragedy, he almost gave up and allowed himself to be consumed by the lava. It was Korg who snapped him out of it. They would find the Hulk and join him in his crusade of vengeance against those who seemed to be responsible for the destruction.

On the way to Earth to make the Illuminati pay, Hiroim helped Hulk properly channeled his rage before it became too out of control and threatened even his Warbound. Hiroim spoke with Hulk about who they would be facing and began devising a strategy against them. He decided they would first attack Black Bolt, the most dangerous of the Illuminati. Parading Black Bolt's defeated form for all to see would get them a good psychological advantage against the rest. With his knowledge of the magic of the Shadow People, Hiroim was also instrumental against Dr. Strange. However, in battle with an overpowered and enraged Dr. Strange, he lost his left arm.

Hiroim understood that the Hulk was perhaps taking vengeance too far but supported it completely as the Hulk's Warbound. If they were to all be damned, then so be it. Those responsible for the deaths on Sakaar would still be made to pay.

They discovered that Miek was responsible for the destruction of Crown City and not the Illuminati. Being betrayed by one of his fellow Warbound shook Hiroim's faith. Following the Hulk's blind fury had been a mistake, and they had all taken out their rage on those who were innocent of blame. Hiroim willingly surrendered himself to S.H.I.E.L.D. and harshly questioned Elloe about whether she was in on Miek's betrayal. When she confessed that she was not, he felt shamed all over again.

lockheed.pngLockheed first met the young mutant, Kitty Pryde, during a battle between the X-Men and an alien race known as The Brood. There he helped save Kitty from the Brood, by chasing them away with a burst of flame. Kitty wondered if he could talk, but before she could find out, an explosion rocked the both of them. As Kitty ran out of the cave she was stuck in and back to the rest of the X-Men, she found that Lockheed had disappeared.

But unbeknownst to Kitty, Lockheed secretly stowed away with the X-Men back to Earth, appearing later at the X-mansion. At first, his reappearance surprised her, but then she was excited that she was able to find him again. He later helped her battle some Sidri aliens that had invaded mansion. When he went with Kitty to meet Professor Xavier, Xavier found out that he couldn't probe Lockheed's brain with his telepathy and he agreed that Lockheed could stay with her at the X-mansion. Kitty named him Lockheed after the X-Men's XR-71 Lockheed Blackbird jet and the two of them became inseparable, forming an empathic bond with each other.

Later on, Lockheed encountered a green dragon named Puff on the planet Battleworld, whom he later became friends with. But as the X-Men unknowingly brought Puff back to Earth, she grew to gigantic size and terrorized the city of Tokyo. Lockheed helped to defuse the situation, and Puff disappeared in a massive energy discharge

When Kitty went to the United Kingdom to join the team Excalibur as a founding member, Lockheed went too. Lockheed would venture off on his own from time to time, but always returned to Kitty eventually.

And one time, Lockheed helped defend Kitty from Dr. Doom, where he got severely injured. After he underwent surgery, his astral form was aboard a spaceship that carried the collective transient souls of his space-faring alien race, The Flock. There he was placed on trial for not only abandoning his people but also his bride on their wedding day. But as Lockheed was defending his reasons for leaving, the pilot of the ship fell asleep, so Lockheed regained control of the ship, saving the people's souls from dissipating. The court still found him guilty, but instead of putting him to death, they banned him from returning to the Flock.

During the Secret Wars, Lockheed fought with Colossus but disappeared after the first battle. He reappeared with another dragon, just in time to fly into the teleporter Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic) had built, causing it to spark and create numerous anomalies.

When the alien known as Ord first made his presence known, Lockheed was instrumental in stopping him the first time he confronted the X-Men by breathing fire in his face. Lockheed then learned that Puff had reappeared on Earth and was being held captive by the Path of Destiny cult. With the help of Lockheed, they helped save her from the cult.

Later the X-Men were taken by the Agency S.W.O.R.D. to the planet Breakworld to oppose their intended destruction of Earth. This was the first time that the X-Men learned that Lockheed had been working as mole for S.W.O.R.D. the whole time. He was recruited by the espionage agency that works on extraterrestrial matters to report on the X-Men's activities in exchange for S.W.O.R.D.'s help in resolving pressing home world issues. In this Kitty later sacrificed herself to save Earth.

Lockheed then openly leaves the X-Men and joins S.W.O.R.D. in space. Still grieving over Kitty, Lockheed drinks heavily to help with the pain. Lockheed has also taken on a much tougher attitude, not hesitating when to attack others violently. This new attitude has also given him an edge in battle, easily overpowering and defeating armed S.W.O.R.D. officers who were trying to arrest him. Eventually it is revealed by Abigail Brand that Kitty is still alive within the bullet but they can't get her out yet. Lockheed then approaches Unit for help but then changes his mind and flies off as the price for helping Kitty involves freeing Unit from his prison

After Lockheed had lost Kitty after she had sacrificed herself, the lonely dragon was encountered by Lockjaw and Throg, who recruited him to the team they were forming to help recover the Infinity Gems. Lockheed agreed to do so and went with them on many journeys. He was instrumental in finding the second of the Infinity Gems, using the gem he was holding to transport them through time in the Savage Lands, where they encountered Devil Dinosaur. Lockheed told how his people, (the Flock), had encountered Devil Dinosaur before he had become intelligent and before the dinosaurs became extinct, explaining he was as savage as he was. He then helped to distract Devil Dinosaur (saving Ms. Lion from becoming dinner to Devil Dinosaur as well) as Lockjaw and Ms. Lion recovered the gem. Afterwards, he followed them as they teleported to sea, unsuccessfully trying to prevent them from plunging into the ocean. They later got swallowed by Gigianto, where they found more of the Infinity Gems. He then helped the Pet Avengers as they battled Thanos, to whom most of them were easily defeated, including Lockheed. After Lockjaw came back to them victorious over Thanos, a telepathic link was formed between the Pet Avengers before they parted ways.

Eric Masterson was a humble architect who stumbled upon a fight between Thor and the Mongoose, who was using a new high tech laser which had proven dangerous even to Thor. When Mongoose stood over Thor and was about to deliver the killing blow, Eric grabbed Thor's hammer, Mjolnir, without thinking and charged at Mongoose. Unimpressed, Mongoose proceeded to blast Eric, nearly killing him. However, the distraction allowed Thor to recover and defeat Mongoose.

Feeling guilty for what happened to Eric, especially since he had shown such courage, Thor begged Odin to save Eric's life. Odin instead merged the two together, similar to how Thor was bonded with Donald Blake. Later, when Loki attacked and Thor killed him, Odin banished Thor as punishment, leaving Eric whole again, but with Mjolnir and the powers of Thor. Eric began a long quest to find Thor and bring him back, even traveling to Mephisto's realm, where he saw a bag with a glowing image of Thor on it before he was brought back from Mephisto's realm by Doctor Strange.

Eventually, Eric discovered that Thor was not banished to Mephisto's realm, but inside his own mind. He also learned that Loki had manipulated Odin into banishing Thor, and when the truth came out, Odin restored both Thor and Loki to their own bodies. Finally free, Thor decided to remain in Asgard, but allowed Eric to keep Mjolnir and be Earth's protector. However, when the Enchantress manipulated Eric into attacking Thor over Sif, Thor defeated Eric and took back Mjolnir, but since it was not Eric's fault, he asked Odin to create a weapon for Eric. Thus the enchanted mace, Thunderstrike, was created.

Eric took Thunderstrike back to Earth and continued to act as Thor, but when he was soundly thrashed by Bloodaxe because Thunderstrike bestowed on him lesser strength and powers than Mjolnir, he decided to change his name and costume to prevent Thor's reputation from being tarnished. As he was confronted by police after his first outing with his new identity, he responded to being called Thor with, "No. He's the other guy. My name" when he couldn't think of anything better.

210. Roland Deschain (4 points)

rolanddeschain.jpgRoland Deschain who one day would become the fateful and cold Gunslinger was 14 years old when he took his test for manhood confronting his teacher Cort, two years younger than his father Steven had done himself. This all a plan from the evil wizard Marten Broadcloack. By seducing Roland's mother and provoking his anger he hoped the boy to fail and go West, to exile, were all boys who could not prove themselves were send to. But Roland passed the test only by sacrificing his loyal hawk David, one the many sacrifices he’s made. And as the young Gunslinger took his first guns (not the serious monster he would take in the future) he went down to Gilead's lower town and slept with a cheap prostitute those completing his manhood. That was when his father came to him and told him he had "forgotten his face and by forgetting one's father face, he dishonor him." But his father advise him not to confront Marten not now that he is young.

We learn that the sneaky Marten Broadcloak is trying to get rid of Roland because he has seen the future and Roland’s destiny stands in the Dark Tower and he wanted to get rid of the naive young Gunslinger because he could cause a terrible rip in his plans and his Master. That’s why Marten wanted all this to end with a young Roland but he orchestrated the entire future of this powerful man instead. In a not too far future Marten would run for his life from the Gunslinger in what is know as the Gunslinger first Book. We learn that Marten is part of the quasi-immortal wizard that is capable of manifesting each side of him with different forms, names and mission as Walter of the All-World or as we know him today, Randal Flagg.

Upon his first mission as a Gunslinger Roland travels to the town of Hambry, as a diplomat but he is not that sort of person. While in Hambry Roland slowly falls in love with Susan Delgado, who has already been selected as the wife of the mayor for his current wife is unable to bear him a child. In the heat of the moment Roland sleeps with Susan impregnating her and leaving to fight John Farsons gang the Big Coffin Hunters, one of the members of the gang Eldred Jonas himself an exiled Gunslinger. During the fight Susan is killed by the town people for breaking the oath to the Mayor and becoming a witch. Roland witness her death as the burning stake through one of Maerlyn's grapefruit, this one being pink a very special one. From this mystic object he can see his future, his destiny, his tower, the Dark Tower. In that moment Roland dies as a boy and was reborn as a hunter, a machine without a heart to go back the Gunslinger.


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