Monday, December 22, 2014 • Morning Edition • "Hope you survive the experience!"

Your Top Marvel Heroes part 33

Written by Chris Mitchell on Monday, April 26 2010 and posted in Features
Another tie in this group {nomultithumb}



147. Black Cat (18 points)

blackcat.jpgFelicia Hardy is an only child and was born to Walter and Lydia Hardy. They were a wealthy family living in Queens, New York. Her father was a "travel salesman" and would go away on many business trips, leaving her mother to raise Felicia mainly by herself. However, her father would constantly encourage her to be the best at what she does. However, her mother was not satisfied with "her best" and always pushed Felicia to win first place. Felicia would find interest in extracurricular activities such as cheer leading and gymnastics. When Felicia was thirteen years old, one day during cheer leading practice her mother informs her that her father had died in a plane crash over the Andes Mountains in South America. However, Felicia would eventually discover that her father was an infamous cat burglar in the newspapers, which allowed her to piece together the reason for her father's "business trips." One day, when Felicia was mugged, she learned of the excitement that comes in her father's career. She decides to learn self defense and enrolls in a martial arts class. There, she is trained by Miyagi Kanryo in the art of Okinawa Goju Ryu. Felicia also takes the time to learn how to pick locks and crack open safes.

As a freshman at Empire State University, she was date raped by her boyfriend, Ryan. Horrified and angered that he had stolen her life, and even though she knew the consequences, she decided that she was going to murder him. Felicia decided to set her studies aside and underwent rigorous trainings, learning other different styles of fighting and after several months, was ready. She set out to find him, but he died in a car crash while he was drunk. She was angry that she could not fulfill her desire to kill him, so she decided to follow her father's footsteps. Felicia then decided to make a costume and steals many valuable items. Felicia then decided to don the "Black Cat" identity because of a few reasons, cats have nine lives and land on their feet, crossing a black cat is bad luck, she is a cat burglar, she has a pet black cat named Onyx, and her father was the Black Cat.

Felicia soon learns that her father was dying and was determined to not let his lasting moments be in a jail cell. She decided to break her father out of prison, but with careful planning at first. She breaks into the police station in order to gain information on criminals that will work for hire. Felicia would quickly cross paths with Spider-Man and she is forced to fend him off, succeeding and escaped from Spider-Man. As she was breaking her father out of prison she crosses paths with Spider-Man again, however Felicia was prepared this time. Even though Felicia had hatred towards men since her date rape incident, she felt she had a special bond with Spider-Man. She had set up a trap near Spider-Man, which caused an explosion allowing Felicia and her father to escape. This was one of many tricks Felicia would use to force opponents to believe that she emits bad luck. She takes her father home to her mother and revealed that the Black Cat was his own daughter. Her father attempts to persuade her not to make the same mistake as he did and follow him down a dark path. Felicia ignores it and leaves him and her mother alone. Meanwhile, Spider-Man discovers that Felicia Hardy is the Black Cat when he goes through Walter Hardy's profile. Spider-Man would meet up with the Black Cat outside her home. The two begin fighting as Felicia does not want to end up in jail. Their battle ensues across the rooftops until they both slip off. However, Spider-Man was able to grab on to the ledge and hold on to Felicia. However, she slips and falls to what appeared to Spider-Man, to be her death. Felicia had become depressed after nearly dying, her father's death, and that she believed no one would recognize her skills except Spider-Man. Felicia continued her criminal career and became one of the most notorious Cat Burglars in the city. However, her real plan was to force Spider-Man to come after her. Spider-Man had placed a Spider-Tracer on her that she could not remove.

Knowing that she could never lose him with the tracer on her, she decided to lure him to a room that showed her obsession of Spider-Man with clippings of newspaper pictures of him covering the entire wall. Spider-Man decided to take Felicia to the Mitchell State Hospital and checked her in for a six month stay. Since Felicia was not really insane and was only pretending in order to avoid jail time for her crimes. She easily breaks out of the institution and continues her career as a Cat Burglar. Felicia moves into an apartment of her own and hid under a new alias as Felicia Harmon. She would also disguise herself with a curly black wig. Felicia went straight to work and stole an original Ehrenreich painting easily. However, she would quickly discover that she was beginning to become bored with her current lifestyle as she gains no fame and must always hide in the shadows. She begins thinking about Spider-Man again and realizes how much she misses the excitement of being around him. Felicia decides to hire a sky writer and had him write a message in the sky to gain Spider-Man's attention. The message told Spider-Man to meet her at their "first date," to which he receives and heads straight for the place. The Black Cat begins to flirt with Spider-Man and explains to him that she wants to quit her criminal career and help him fight crime. She continues to explain the reason for breaking her father out of jail and tries to rationalize that the people she stole from were the ones who stole the item first, or that they have enough money to buy a new one.

She then confesses that she would do anything just so the two of them could have a relationship together. Afterwards, she leaves him along with the painting that she stole with a note, saying that if he accepts her offer to meet her at the costume party the next night. When Spider-Man arrives to meet up with Black Cat, she reveals to him that meeting her there was so she could prove that she could aid him in fighting crime. Spider-Man and the Black Cat was forced to fight a massive amount of the criminal underworld. However, Spider-Man and Black Cat would come out on top, and Spider-Man began to believe that she was serious in becoming good. Later, Felicia decides to steal a statue from a show room despite Spider-Man's disapproval.

The owner discovers who the two really are and forced Spider-Man and Black Cat to fight. Spider-Man was shot in the leg, but he was able to beat the enemies up. Felicia had made her getaway during the crossfire, but Spider-Man chased her down to the docks, where he webs her entire body. She tells Spider-Man that she'd rather die then go to jail and forces herself into the water. Spider-Man was still wounded and was unable to locate her whereabouts. Just afterwards, Captain DeWolff came to give her amnesty for her past crimes, but was too late.

Felicia later creates her own private investigations business called Cat's Eye Private Investigations. The P.I. office specializes in body guarding, background checks, bounty hunting, and installing burglarproof security systems. She is also residing in Los Angeles, California. Felicia gets a call from her friend Meg who was panicking that her friend Tracia had not checked in for a while. Felicia agrees to return to New York to investigate her disappearance and was also hoping to see Spider-Man again. It has been five years since the two of them were in a romantic relationship, and Felicia was torturing herself over the fact that she was too spoiled back then, and it cost her a relationship with Spider-Man. She found a link between Tracia and a movie star named Hunter Todd, so she decided to head over to the Soho Grand Hotel where he was staying at. Felicia sees a person creeping around the window and she decides to attack it. It turns out to be Spider-Man.

After the two recover, Felicia asks for Tracia Lane while Spider-Man asks for a teenage boy who died named Donald Phillips. Todd's reaction assured the two that he knew the answers. Suddenly, Todd begins to overdose on Heroine, and the same happens to the woman he was with. Someone begins talking through the phone, to which Spider-Man answers. It was Mr. Brownstone, and he tells him that he is giving them an overdose and hangs up. The two of them argue for a bit on the rooftop, then they decide to go patrol the city until they see smoke from a building. They engage against the villain and defeats her easily. Afterwards they were thanked by Garrison Klum, and Spider-Man believes that man is Mr. Brownstone. Felicia and Spider-Man decides to ask the girl they just arrested who hired her to kill the guy, she eventually gives in when Spider-Man annoyed her too much. When they arrived to the house of the person who hired the hit, they discovered him and his wife chopped to bits, but the baby was allowed to live. Both of them decided to scare Mr. Brownstone, but that was all Spider-Man had planned. He said there was not enough evidence to catch him, and it angered Felicia. They get into a heated argument and then a fight. Felicia was able to web Spider-Man to the floor and she went after Brownstone herself.

Felicia sneaks into Brownstone's place and tries to kill him, but he was not in his bed. He was behind her, but he didn't pose a threat. He distracted Black Cat by talking to her while he heated up some Heroine. After he was done, he teleported the Heroine into Felicia causing her to overdose on Heroine. Felicia was now helpless and in Brownstone's hands. Brownstone was attempting to rape her. However, Brownstone was killed before he could rape her and Felicia is charged with murdering Brownstone. Meanwhile, Spider-Man teams up with Daredevil to break Felicia out of jail. When they arrive, they discovered Francis Klum ( Garrison's brother) holding Felicia, he makes Daredevil and Spider-Man fight each other and teleports out of Ryker's. It is revealed that Francis was the one who killed Garrison, and while he was teleporting Felicia, he told her about the times his brother sexual harassed him. He tells her that he saved her because he was sick of what Garrison was doing. Felicia wants to get help for Francis, but he is scared that he will get the death penalty. However, she assures him that he is not to worry because he is sick. She tells Francis about the time she was raped, and what she went through afterwards.

Spider-Man and Daredevil arrive to the bridge that they were talking at, and sees flashes of Gwen and tries to prevent the same from happening to Felicia. Spider-Man was hurt when Francis teleported Felicia's mask into his neck, then picks up a gun and points it at Felicia for betraying him. Spider-Man webs the gun, but he falls off the bridge and Spider-Man could not catch him, but Francis teleports mid-air and disappears. The next day, Peter and Felicia takes a walk in the park and she was ready to tell him what had happened to her during college. Felicia would later team up with Spider-Man and Puma to battle against Stegron. Stegron was planning to de-evolve the entire population of New York City. Eventually the three of them would be successful in defeating Stegron. Shortly after, Puma and Black Cat began a romantic relationship. While they were in bed together, it was noticeable that Felicia may have some feelings for Peter still. When Peter revealed to the world that he was Spider-Man, it greatly disappointed Felicia because she believed that they shared a "sexy" bond as she was one of the few who knew his true identity.


146. Banshee/Clea (18 points)

Banshee
banshee.jpg"He's the hip dad a lot of people would want. He's played several roles in his time between reformed villain and laid back hero, but what really hooked me was his time with Generation X. He played the concerned father figure and mentor so well. He tried and sometimes succeeded in playing wisened war vet/teacher for the new generation of mutants (most of whom he rescued during the Phalanx attack). He was the perfect foil for Emma Frost as a practical down to earth guy more comfortable having a beer while watching tv than ritzy party life. I'd rather have that in my heroes. Kinda makes him the everyday man's Obi-Wan."

"May he rest in peace. Until he comes back."

Sean Cassidy was a young rich mutant with undiscovered powers. His parents died, leaving him and his cousin Black Tom Cassidy with a huge fortune and the castle they had grown up in, called Cassidy Keep, although as Sean was the rightful heir, he gained all of it. The castle was a strange place, where leprechauns lived under the protection of the Cassidy Family. Both Sean and Black Tom were mutants; Sean's power was a sonic scream.

Sean got a job with Interpol whilst he was still a young man. After visiting a concert in Northern Ireland, Sean missed the last train home and had to hitch a ride. He was picked up by a corrupt policeman, who thought he was scouting for the IRA and intended to arrest him. He was saved by a young woman on a bike named Maeve Rourke. At one point in their journey back to Cassidy Keep Maeve's bike got damaged, and Sean flew her the rest of the way. Maeve wasn't scared by his mutant powers at all. When he got back home, he introduced her to Black Tom. Both men were smitten by her.

Eventually Sean won Maeve's heart. Even though he loved her too, Black Tom agreed to be Sean's best man at the wedding, since he wanted to have the best happen to Maeve. Shortly after the marriage, Sean went away on a mission for months, and while he was gone, Maeve discovered she was pregnant and gave birth to their daughter, Theresa Cassidy. Maeve died soon after from a bomb, so Tom had to take care of Theresa. Sean returned and was devastated, and was livid at Tom for not taking care of Maeve. Sean knocked him into a chasm that broke his leg before Tom could tell him about his daughter. Tom was vengeful, promising to get revenge on Sean and never tell him about his daughter.

After Maeve was killed, Tom buried himself in his work, although didn't tell anyone about his powers. On one of his earliest missions, Sean had to guard a weapons specialist named Patrick Lipton whilst he took his new weapon to Rome. On the way there, the train was attacked by the terrorist group HYDRA. Lipton and Sean got out of the train and attempted to clear the tracks so the train could move again. Before they could, Sean was shot by a HYDRA agent, causing him to accidentally let loose a sonic scream as he fell. Lipton knew that he couldn't let HYDRA know about Sean's sonic scream, so killed the HYDRA agents who had seen it and offered his services to HYDRA in return for Sean's life.

Another of Sean's missions with Interpol involved catching a serial killer. Unfortunately his superiors didn't believe there really was a serial killer, and Sean had to go rogue to find and catch the killer. Whilst Sean searched for the killer, he was aided by a mysterious man who was afraid of a genetic war. The mysterious man told Sean that the killer would be found at Cassidy Keep. Years later, Sean would meet this mysterious man again, only this time he would be calling himself Magneto. Sean was joined at Cassidy Keep by Inspector Magrite Deveraux, who believed him now about the killer. The killer was a Russian called Arkady, who wished to be killed so that he could stop being the Russian government's pet mutant. Sean refused, so Arkady infected Magrite Deveraux with his death spore virus to give him motivation. Sean emptied his gun on Arkady, who he believed was sent to prison. Unfortunately, he was put in a special ops program that turned him into Omega Red.

At some time, Sean was working with the New York Police Department. One evening, Sean and his partner noticed Harry Leland enter a party, where they found Emma Frost also attending. Emma was accosted by some men, and Sean ignored his orders and ran to join the fray. Sean and his partners found the men dead. The trail led to the sewers, where Dark Beast had taken Emma, needing her help. Sean assumed that Emma was in danger, and attacked Dark Beast. Emma telepathically stopped Beast from attacking back and wiped everyone's memories of the incident. Sean managed to get evidence on Black Tom's illegal activities shortly after this, and sent him to prison. Sean still didn't know about Teresa, who was at boarding school at the time.

Sean's last Interpol mission was a rather delicate one. Sean and his partner Daniel Peyer had to infiltrate the mansion of a gangster named Almadovar and retrieve information from him. The operation had been prepared for years. Right after Sean used his sonic powers to deactivate the security systems, Almadovar found him. He would have shot him if the mercenary Deadpool hadn't appeared and shot Almadovar, who had a price on his head. Even though Sean was saved, the mission was now blown, since they needed Almadovar alive. After this operation, Sean quit Interpol, and went freelance.

Factor Three, a villain team, discovered him and their leader, Changeling invited him to join. Sean was horrified and refused, but Factor Three tricked him and set explosives next to his head. He was forced to do their bidding, or they would detonate the explosives. After working for them for a long time, Sean ran into the X-Men on a mission in New York. Professor X easily disarmed the bombs and Sean, codenamed Banshee, helped the X-Men stop Factor Three. Banshee was kidnapped by the Sentinels a few months later, and the X-Men saved him again. Professor X asked him to join the X-Men when the original team was captured by the living island known as Krakoa, who wanted to feast on them. Banshee, Sunfire, Nightcrawler, Colossus, Storm, Thunderbird, and Wolverine all managed to stop Krakoa and save the original X-Men. These seven (minus Sunfire, who quit) formed a new team of X-Men after the original team left (with the exception of Cyclops, who stayed on as team leader). Banshee was reluctant at first, as he was much older than the rest of the X-Men, but Professor X managed to convince him to stay.

Over the next few weeks, Banshee became a well-like member of the group, as well as something of a back-up leader for if Cyclops or Professor X were not around. Soon Xavier's old colleague Moira MacTaggert joined the X-Men as their housekeeper. Banshee fell in love with Moira, and the two grew close quite quickly. After a few adventures with the team, Banshee received a letter from his lawyer, explaining that he had inherited Cassidy Keep fully for himself. The rest of the X-Men and Banshee went there for a holiday, not realizing that it was a trap set up by Black Tom Cassidy and Juggernaut. The two had been given exotic weaponry by a villain known as Erik the Red. Black Tom and Juggernaut's plan was to capture Xavier, which they attempted by torturing the X-Men until he arrived. The X-Men wouldn't have won if it wasn't for Storm, who overcame her claustrophobia and saved them. The two groups fought on the battlements of the castle, until Black Tom fell down to the sea, followed by Juggernaut, who didn't want to lose his only friend.

Months later, Banshee and the X-Men were stranded in Japan after making their way there from the Savage Land. Whilst all they wanted was Sunfire's help to get back to the US, they had to fight a terrorist named Moses Magnum. Moses Magnum was threatening to trigger earthquakes that would destroy Japan if he wasn't given control of it. The X-Men snuck into his base, but Magnum defeated most of them then went to trigger his earthquakes. Banshee worked out that the earthquake would be triggered by an intense beam of energy, and that he could stop it with a wall of sound. Banshee managed this feat, but as a result his vocal cords were damaged and he lost his powers. He stayed with the group for a while, until the group traveled to Muir Island to combat the threat of Proteus, Moira MacTaggart's deadly mutant son. After the battle, Sean decided that he'd stay with Moira, since without powers he was no good to the X-Men. He didn't cut off his ties completely though; Banshee helped the X-Men when Arcade's partner Miss Locke kidnapped several of the X-Men's friends, using the skills he had developed as an Interpol agent to make up for his lost powers.

During the X-Men mini-series, Deadly Genesis, Banshee was contacted on Muir Island by Beast, asking if Moira had any old files that might have given them and idea about where Charles Xavier had disappeared too. He finds nothing, but as their conversation is about to end, Banshee sees a figure through the window, and runs out, believing it to be Moira.
He follows "Moira", and she leads him to a cabin where she opens the door, and then she fades into thin air. Banshee enters the cabin, where a computer is switched on. He pulls a CD out from the shelf marked "Charles Xavier's Notes: Important". He plays the tape, and for an unknown reason at the time, we see Moira bad mouth and curse about Charles Xavier.

Banshee then catches a plane to America, and on the plane, he speaks to Nightcrawler who's at the mansion, and explains that he doesn't know what it means (talking about the CD). Vulcan is listening in on their conversation from the Blackbird, and Nightcrawler and Wolverine leave the mansion to go and pick Banshee up.

Banshee gets his luggage from the over-head compartment, and just as he's about to leave the flying plane (presumably he was going to fly out of it to Nightcrawler and Wolverine who are waiting for him just outside the airport). Someone behind him then spots a jet, and Banshee notices that it's the Blackbird and can see that it's going to hit them. He quickly takes off his over-clothes to reveal he has his suit on underneath, and opens a door on the plane that's facing the Blackbird.

He jumps out of the moving plane and tries to use a sonic scream on the Blackbird to stop it, but because his voice is still damaged, he is unable too. and the two planes collide. Banshee smashed through the window screen of the Blackbird.

His body was later buried at the Institute next to Sway and Petra. His grave reads: Sean Cassidy, Banshee, and Beloved Comrade.


Clea
clea.jpgClea possesses formidable abilities for manipulating mystical forces for various purposes, due to her training by Dr. Strange and her Faltine descent. At this point, Clea is Sorceress Supreme of the Dark Dimension, and her power equals that of Umar at Umar's peak. Clea finally achieved this high level of power in her battle with Umar that led to Clea's becoming ruler of the Dark Dimension. At that point, the "flames of regency," that by Dormammu's spell appears about the head of the ruler of the Dark Dimension, surrounded Clea's head. The flames, which do not harm Clea, will remain about her head as long as she is ruler. It is believed that the flames themselves may have increased Clea's power. Whenever Dormammu has been deposed and Umar succeeded him, the flames appeared about her head , and her power increased.

Presumably Clea generates great mystical energy within her own body as Dormammu and Umar do, and can draw upon it. It remains to be seen what Clea can do with her newly increased power. While she was a student of Dr. Strange and removed from the Dark Dimension, her magic, like his seemed to be derived from three major sources: personal power of the soul/mind/body (such as mesmerize and thought casting), power gained by tapping the ambient magical energy of the universe she inhabits and employing it for special effects (such as illusion-casting and energy projection), and finally, powers gained through the tapping of mystical energy from other dimensions by invoking entities of objects of power existing in those dimensions. The latter means of power is usually gained by the recitation of spells, either ritualized ones found in various mystical text or original spells invoking extra-dimensional assistance.

The full range of Clea's mystical abilities have yet to be seen. However, it has been theorized the Clea, at least potentially, can now perform any magical feat that her mentor Dr. Strange or her mother Umar can. Clea's abilities are, however, limited by her amount of training and experience. It is known that Clea can form and hurl magical energy bolts with a high degree of potency and skill. She can use local magical energy for the conjuration of at least physical objects or for unusual luminescent effects. She has an extensive knowledge of sorcerers spells and incantations which were taught her by Dr. Strange and which invoke the names and aspects of various extra-dimensional power sources for very specific effects without taxing her own personal abilities.

As the daughter of Umar, a member of the extra-dimensional race Faltine race, Clea has a body whose density is somewhat greater than that of an Earth human. As a result, she weighs more than an Earth woman of the same height and build would.

The rate at which Clea ages is unknown. Her father has aged very slowly over the centuries, and her mother has apparently not aged at all over this same amount of time. It has been speculated that Clea is thousands of years old; however, physically, she remains a young woman.



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