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Your Top Marvel Heroes part 10

Written by Chris Mitchell on Wednesday, April 14 2010 and posted in Features
We broke the 200's. I know, you are giddy.


199. Jack of Hearts/Warpath (8 points)

Jack of Hearts
jackofhearts.jpgYou know that old Marvel RPG? My buddy always used this character. Always. He was pretty powerful, actually. Anywho...

Jack Hart was the son of Philip Hart, a brilliant scientist who developed a revolutionary, extremely efficient liquid fuel called Zero Fluid. A humanoid alien woman of the Contraxian race was dispatched to try to discover an energy source to resuscitate the dwindling nuclear processes of the Contraxian sun. Learning of Hart's experiments, the alien assumed a totally human form to keep Hart under surveillance. Hart and the alien eventually met, married, and produced a son they named Jack. The alien woman, "Marie," died in a car accident when the boy was a child. Neither her husband nor child ever learned of her extraterrestrial origin.

When Jack was a teenager, Philip Hart perfected his Zero Fluid and decided to donate the fuel to all the free countries of the world. Hart was then contacted by agents of the criminal Corporation who wanted to market the Zero Fluid. Refusing to deal with them, Philip Hart was murdered by Corporation agents before the eyes of his son.

Managing to escape, Jack Hart took refuge in his father's basement laboratory Corporation agents broke in minutes later, and their laser-cannon sheared through the laboratory door, striking the vat of Zero Fluid. Doused by the powerful, corrosive fuel, Hart underwent a mutagenic change and began to glow. With an uncontrollable burst of energy generated by his entire body, Hart killed his father's murderers. Vowing vengeance on the entire Corporation, Hart fashioned a costume for himself, plundering his father's collection of armament. The armor somehow interacted with the final stage of mutation and provided a moderator that contained and controlled the release of his body's energy.

Calling himself Jack of Hearts as a tribute to his father's passion for playing cards, he embarked on a mission of vengeance. Initially his quest for vengeance on the Corporation was blind and intolerant, leading him into conflict with such innocents as the Sons of the Tiger and the Hulk. Later he aided Iron Man in freeing Stark International from takeover by Mordecai Midas, and was taken under Iron Man's tutelage for a brief time. When his energy powers began to increase uncontrollably, he placed himself into S.H.I.E.L.D. custody. There he met a former classmate of his, Marcy Kane, who was also actually a Contraxian. She revealed to him his mother's extraterrestrial origin and convinced him to accompany her back to Contraxia to try to save their sun.

On Contraxia, a cult calling themselves the Survivalists captured Jack of Hearts to force him to do what he was intending to do anyway. He was flown in a starship to Contraxia's sun and there vaporized the craft before sending the energies of his body into the sun. In some as yet unknown manner, he apparently restored the vast quantities of hydrogen necessary to sustain the nuclear reactions of the sun, and added an undisclosed number of years to the sun's life. Then, still radiating great energy, he returned to Contraxia, his vast heat melting the polar icecaps, in order to say farewell to his girlfriend and to lecture the Contraxians about morality. He then flew off into outer space, realizing that he could no longer live among organic beings with his vast energies emanating out of control.

Under unrevealed circumstances, Jack of Hearts was captured by the enigmatic alien, the Stranger, and placed on his planet for study. Jack of Hearts was inadvertently freed by the Avenger Quasar, who had traveled to the Stranger's world for his own purposes. Joining other refugees of Earth, Jack of Hearts returned to their native planet, only to be mind-controlled by another refugee, the Presence, into fighting Quasar. His armor was breached in the fight, and Jack appeared to have exploded in a burst of Zero energy.

Actually, Jack was rescued and healed by Moondragon, in her bid to gain an ally to prove herself as a worthy consort for Quasar. Jack proved overzealous as a mentally-influenced agent of Moondragon, who soon abandoned her designs on Quasar anyway, and Jack was released from her control.

Jack sequestered himself in the abandoned Hart residence, but found his condition rapidly deteriorating, as his energies again threatened to go out of control. Returning to space, Jack sought out the alien Silver Surfer for help. The Surfer led Jack to an alien armor-wielder named Torval, who created a new and better energy-regulating armor for him. Jack remained with Surfer for a short time, and both teamed up with other cosmic heroes when they encountered the mega-powerful entity known as the Tyrant. Instead of capture, Jack released his energy from his suit and was able to free the heroes from Tyrant's energy siphoning machine. The battle left Jack of Hearts severely weakened, and he was nursed back to health by fellow adventurer Ganymede, whereupon the two became lovers.

Ganymede was the last member of a sisterhood dedicated to the opposition of Tyrant. She refused to engage in physical intimacy, which was not an option for the armor-bound Jack. Jack expressed his love for her and even fantasized about having a body and being together with her. Together they traveled to the home world of the Spinsterhood to determine if any of Ganymede's sisters remained alive. All those in their stasis chambers were deceased. They were then ambushed by Thanos and Terrax.

Thanos was able to defeat Jack with little effort and they kidnapped Ganymede. Jack regained his strength and went to Titan seeking aid. Upon arrival, he was able to gain the assistance of Legacy. They traveled to find Ganymede which led to Tyrant's Fortress. It was here that Jack learned Ganymede was now working with Thanos to defeat Tyrant, which made Jack question what type of person she was. She was also at one point willing to abandon an injured Jack rather than let her enemy escape.

Eventually, Ganymede grew fond of Jack and their romance blossomed. This all changed when Jakar reincarnated her sister Persephone. Shamed, Ganymede joined with her fellow Spinster and reinstated her vows as a member of the Spinsterhood. She therefore could not be with Jack. Jack sought out Tyrant in an attempt to destroy him before Ganymede could reach him. He soon learned that Tyrant had been destroyed by the Silver Surfer.

Jack joined with the Surfer to find Ganymede and eventually they came across Jakar. Jack wanted to take his anguish out on Jakar for returning Persephone to life, but the Surfer would not permit it. Jakar was defeated, but allowed to live. Jack continued his search for Ganymede and told the Surfer to stay out of his life.

While journeying through space, Jack of Hearts happened upon agents of the cosmic beings known as the Infinites, an encounter which left him nearly dead. The incident also alerted members of the Avengers, including Moondragon. The Avengers rescued Jack and Moondragon helped restore his armor to his original design with several sophisticated upgrades. Jack and a team of Avengers confronted the Infinites directly, convincing the beings of the danger they posed to the universe. Afterwards, Jack remained alongside the group to confront a galactic federation's decree that Earth should become a penal colony for the universe's known criminals, and he helped expose the alien Kree as masterminds of the plot. Returning to Earth, he helped the Avengers round up the remaining criminals and also helped the Avengers set up new security and analytical tactics to become a more effective team.

Jack remained with the Avengers for several missions, including those against the time-traveling Kang when he nearly succeeded in conquering the Earth. During this time, the Avengers extended membership to Jack in gratitude for his efforts, and he readily accepted. The Avengers also developed a new strain of neutro-mist that allowed Jack to exist safely outside his armor for short periods of time.

Jack appeared to give his life while assisting the Avengers, leaving into space so as to not harm Earth with his explosion of Zero energy. However, his body was apparently reanimated by the Scarlet Witch. 'Jack' returned to the mansion and abruptly exploded, killing Scott Lang and damaging the Mansion grounds.

warpath.jpgTold ya he didn't do much better then his older bro. I like him. And X-Force (both the current and the Liefeld/Fabe days). Good times. Good times. I will start this write up from his X-Men joining and such...

After picking up Darwin to come on a mission, the team head to find an old Shi'ar base located inside of an inactive volcano, as they need a Shi'ar ship to head through space to find Vulcan. There, Polaris, Havok, Warpath and Nightcrawler head to the access tunnels. As they open the door they find several robots inside, and Havok is about to dispatch of them quickly with his power, but Warpath refuses to let him have all the fun and begins attacking. Havok goes to shoot another, but Warpath gets in the way again. Warpath asks can't he shoot, and he does, just missing Warpath. The team enters the lifeless volcano, and goes deep into the Shi'ar base. Inside, they are attacked by humans that have been experimented on, who have orders to protect the place. After Polaris and then Havok are injured, Warpath spots the three attackers up above, displaying his ability of acute senses. He, Nightcrawler and Marvel Girl rush into battle, and Warpath is quickly knocked over by one of the monsters. He stands up, and begins to fight. After finding out that the creatures want to die, Warpath breaks the neck of the first and then stabs the next through the head. Xavier, after they've found the ship, informs Warpath that X-Men don't kill, and Warpath just tells him that he was putting some people out of their misery.

After getting into space, the team is stuck because Vulcan destroyed the gates that allow them to move faster through space, so they have to travel to the outer rims to get to the other gates. They stop to fuel up, and while Nightcrawler, Darwin, Polaris and Havok head off to find supplies, Warpath stays with Marvel Girl and the Professor in the main area. "Ray" (as Warpath calls her) then gets a headache and begins to kneel, and then it's revealed that the workers of the station are War Skrulls. Warpath quickly pulls Marvel Girl underneath a swipe of the War Skrulls blades and alerts the Professor. Warpath engages in battle, strangling the one Skrull while on his back, while convincing Marvel Girl to do something as she's not just a telepath. The many Skrulls begin to overpower Warpath, but luckily, while looking for the chip that was giving Marvel Girl a bad headache, Polaris knocked the Skrulls out, leaving Warpath to be dropped on the floor. He then tells her that he had them, and she points to one that's still conscious, and he boots it.

After returning to their ship with two Shi'ar workers who weren't killed by the Skrulls, Warpath sits in the main deck with Nightcrawler, claiming "Space travel is boring". Nightcrawler swiftly replies, asking if he's joking, but he says that they haven't seen anything but supernovas and asteroid belts for weeks. He then jokingly states that if he wasn't training Darwin, he would of chucked himself out of an airlock by now. As they continue to talk, he replies to Nightcrawler's previous comment, telling him he might get the chance to stare into space for weeks as they're still far away from Shi'ar space. He then says his senses are going crazy, and he can't even remember what grass smells like, and that he needs to put his feet on some earth. Nightcrawler suggests that Marvel Girl could do it telepathically, but he says that doesn't work for him. He later meets Darwin for a sparring session, but Darwin doesn't want to, and Warpath tells him that's fine just don't mope around, and they carry on to talk and are then passed by the Shi'ar from the fuel station, claiming that they are going to get supplies. Suddenly there's a security alert, and something is entering the docking bay. Warpath tells Darwin to follow the Shi'ar people, while he goes and sees who's come on board, pulling his knives out ready for combat. He passes Nightcrawler, Havok and Polaris who come with him to the docking bay to see what's happening, and they find Korvus (although they do not know his name then) and Warpath comments on his sword. Korvus says that he needs the girl who's been "touched by the Phoenix" and that he'll do what he has to in order to get her. Warpath yet again quickly engages in battle, telling him to do what he has to. He hits the swords with his knives, but is then quickly dispatched, exhaling what appears to be blue energy from the sword.

The team are sitting in the main deck, with Korvus there too (Professor X has been kidnapped by the Shi'ar and Darwin hung on to the end of their space craft). Warpath tells Nightcrawler that he's talking now, and asks why are they listening to the guy who attacked them, and says that he can't be the only one with "trust issues". Korvus then provokes him by saying if he wanted to kill him, he would have, and that's when Warpath is about to fight him but the two are stopped by Havok. Havok tells him that they have to focus on getting the Professor and Darwin back, and since Marvel Girl trusts Korvus that's good enough for him, and Warpath is quiet. After Korvus tells the group they can make their own jump, he, Warpath and Nightcrawler head to fix the engines. As Warpath sits, he asks Korvus if his dad was a mechanic for the empire, and Korvus tells him about how he learned while he was a slave. Warpath then gets up and yawns, saying he's no longer needed as all the heavy lifting has been done, and he and Nightcrawler leave the room. The two talk, and Warpath says that he gets a weird sense off of Korvus, but tells Nightcrawler that he trusts him with the engines because he doesn't seem suicidal.

As the star gate is put in to test, it's a rough ride, and Warpath (talking telepathically) asks Havok from the main deck what's going on, and Havok tells him to be ready to send the message when they come out (to the Starjammers). After teleporting, Nightcrawler is about to check on the four down in the engine room, when Warpath tells him to wait as someone has replied to their message. On board the Starjammers ship, and Nightcrawler and Warpath are walking with Hepzibah and Corsair, who explains that Marvel Girl, Polaris, Havok and Korvus are drained, but they’re fine. Warpath tells them to tell him and Nightcrawler what's going on, as it looks like they’re getting ready for war. Corsair explains about the coup, and Warpath asks what the plan is. Hepzibah tells him bluntly that they're going "to blow little birdies right out of the stars", and Warpath questions if they have enough firepower to do that. When Corsair explains the battle plan, and Hepzibah comments on the plan, he replies with "I like your style, cat lady". With the Starjammers, the group attack the ship where Lilandra is being held captive, and while the distraction team battles, Warpath scouts ahead with Nightcrawler on their way to get Lilandra. He and Nightcrawler then take down a bunch of guards, Warpath slamming two guards head together.

On a screen in the X-Men's ship, Warpath with Hepzibah and Lilandra watch as Vulcan and Deathbird get married. Nightcrawler joins them, and the group prepare to jump as the Starjammers just have. As Vulcan and Deathbird seal their love with a kiss, the rebellion attack, and the group are teleported into battle. He makes his way with Hepzibah and Raza through the crowd of guards, quickly dispatching them. As they continue the battle and after Darwin and the Professor are thrown into the M'Kraan Crystal, Warpath shouts that they should get to Lilandra, as the other two are lost. As Vulcan declares himself as the new emperor of the Shi'ar Imperium, Warpath watches with the others, holding a guard up with his one hand, preparing to punch him with the other.

After Vulcan kills Corsair and Havok battles him, Hepzibah is about to jump in. Warpath leaps and pulls her out of the way, telling her not to be an idiot and that she cannot take him. Back on the X-Ship, Warpath explains that when Hepzibah is done raiding the weapons locker, she doesn't want to be waiting around, as she has blood on her mind. Darwin, Professor X, Hepzibah, Nightcrawler and Warpath are then locked on the ship by Lilandra, Warpath explaining that she's trying to save the Professor. The jump engines begin and the group are sent back to Earth. The ride becomes rocky, and Warpath asks what's happening, Hepzibah tells him that they're going through Earth's atmosphere. Quickly after the crash, Nightcrawler teleports them all out, and the X-Ship (or X-Bug) then explodes. Hepzibah says that she's stuck on Earth, but Warpath replies that the Starjammers will be back for her.

198. Shaman/Jack Monroe (8 points)

Woohooo!! The first of many Alpha Flight members to make the list, that’s right we have a ton here. All of the original team that debuted in the old X-Men issue, and some that debuted in the first ish of Alpha Flight as well as newer members like Talisman and Vindicator. Some obviously did better then others, but it shows me you all have good taste. Well, some of you.

Dr. Michael Twoyoungmen was a skilled surgeon who had rejected his grandfather's urgings to learn the mystical teachings that ran in the family. When Twoyoungmen's wife died, his daughter Elizabeth grew angry and blamed him for the loss. She left home, causing Twoyoungmen to roam the wilderness alone. There, he was visited by the spirit of his grandfather, who taught him the mystic arts.

Twoyoungmen assisted in the delivery of the young goddess who would become known as Snowbird. When Snowbird was asked to join the newly formed Alpha Flight, Twoyoungmen joined as well, to keep an eye on Snowbird and ensure she wasn't exploited. He took the name Shaman.

His daughter, Elizabeth, eventually reconciled with him and drew the magical Talisman out of Shaman's mystical pouch. This led to her joining the team under the name Talisman as well.

Shaman has served with multiple incarnations of Alpha Flight, both as Shaman and occasionally taking up his daughter's mantle as Talisman, and has subsequently trained the young Earth-Mover to be his replacement on the team.

Jack Monroe
jackmonroe.jpgSo should have gotten double digit points. Fuck you. All of you.

Take it away, Amoe.

The dark side of the 1950's. McCarthyism runs rampant as the Red Menace scare seeps in the culture of America. Ruskies hide in out closets, Commie Pinko's lurk under our beds. Who will protect the United States of America in this perilous time? The answer is obvious – Captain America!

Sadly, Captain America died in the closing days of the European conflict, so a secret society within the US government decides to create a new Cap (and you can't have a Cap without a Bucky, so they'll make one of those too).

Jack Monroe was just a typical kid in school. His favorite teacher and he often talked for hours on end (with the teacher instilling his politics onto the child). As it happens these two were chosen to protect America and they underwent many tests and indoctrination into an ultraconservative mindset. One day, they were given a formula to drink, one that they were told was exactly like the one the real Captain had taken a decade earlier. It work instantly as the two had their bodies chemically perfected to superhuman levels. Unknown to all though was that the formula is only half of the process Steve Rogers went through. These two, the new Captain America and Bucky were never exposed to Vita-Rays. This would end up costing them dearly.

The two embarked on a stellar career fighting commies and crooks, but over time they grew more and more brutish and hardlined in their politics. They were now mentally unstable (something the Vita-Rays would have offset if they were used). Embarrassed and trying to protect their skins, the secret society that made these two, captured them and put them in suspended animation.

They woke up decades later – hell-bent to continue their campaign against Communism and anything that they decided was un-American. This brought them into conflict with the real Captain America (who obviously didn't die in WWII). Defeated, the two were put back on ice.

But they woke. Fake Cap was further brainwashed into a bad guy while fake Bucky tagged along. Ultimately, Fake Cap shot fake Bucky (he then went on to kill himself). Fake Bucky was really shot (the gun had blanks) but he was now cured of his aggressiveness.

Being lost in a new age, the real Captain America befriended him and gave him the Nomad identity (that he had used years earlier).

The two became partners and Jack quickly assimilated to modern times. Cap and Nomad went their own paths a while later (still running into each to tag team some on some bad guys).

Monroe, on his own, becomes isolated from others and more gruff. He drops the costume but still calls himself Nomad.

Henry Gyrich captures Jack and forces him to become the new Scourge of the Underworld. He is freed by the Thunderbolts (who's sensational leader at the time was the universally loved marksman Hawkeye).

The formula that kept Monroe at peak performance started to break down. He was unable to save himself from being murdered by the very person he originally replaced – the original Bucky.


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