Thursday, May 24, 2018 • Morning Edition • "Who invited Spektre?"

Your Top Marvel Heroes part 34

Written by Chris Mitchell on Monday, April 26 2010 and posted in Features

Yet another tie...


145. Doc Samson/Kick-Ass (19 points)

Doc Samson
docsamson.jpgLeonard Samson was originally Bruce Banner's psychiatrist; when he found that a device used to drain gamma rays from the Hulk retained some energy, he exposed himself and became a green-haired super-being. Feeling overconfident, he began romancing Banner's girlfriend Betty Ross, prompting Banner to re-expose himself and become the Hulk once again. The two fought, but in recent years Samson has become Banner's friend and confidant, as well as his therapist. Doc Samson also works as a psychiatrist specializing in other superheroes' problems. Samson took part in the Civil War of the Superheroes and was Pro-Registration which put him against the greats like Captain America.

When a troubled Skrull took control of an orbiting satellite and threatened to unleash its hidden nukes upon the earth Nick Fury of SHIELD called upon Doc Samson to talk the alien down. As Samson was discussing the Skrulls problems he was interrupted by a hack in the system by his God Daughter Tina Punnett who also wanted the Doctors help in searching for his old friends and her parents, Wolf and Flora Punnett. After making sure that the Skrull ends up in the custody of SHIELD operatives Samson meets with Tina to find out where they have gone missing.

After learning of Tina's parent's connection to a long dead singer and deducting that magic might be involved Samson decided to consult with another Doctor, Steven Strange master of the mystic arts. Upon arrival to the Sanctum Sanctorum Samson and Tina are greeted by Jack Holyoak, Doctor Strange's temporary apprentice in Wong's absence. As Holyoak tried to wake Strange from a trance to greet his guests he inadvertently turned his master into a frog in the same manor Loki once did to Thor. After a short disturbance Strange was restored with a kiss from Tina and after having what appeared to be sharp words with Holyoak Doctor Strange offered him to accompany Samson and Tina in his place. After Samson calls in a favor and gets an airlift from a SHIELD transport ship the three arrive at the Joshua Tree National Monument and begin there investigation along with Officer Nighthorse. As Leonard starts to search for clues Nighthorse tells him the tale of a Shaman called Cold Winter and his rivalry with a man called Whistle Pig who both lived that very place many years ago, there final battle resulting in it's legacy as a haunted area. Before Samson can learn anymore Holyoak manages to induce the spirit of man the Punnetts have become obsessed with, the singer Cam Larson. After learning that it was the ghost of Cam behind the Punnetts disappearance with the aid of a friend in the form of a living Totem before Samson can act unleashes the Totem at the group resulting in Samson being injured the group being captured. After regaining consciousness Samson uses his skills as a psychotherapist to get though to Cam who's only goal is to free himself from the bond that the Punnett's created holding his sprit to this world and after telling the Punnetts that it is within everyone's best interest to free Cam they agree however The Totem, which contains the spirit of Whistle Pig is terrified at loosing his only friend and attempts to stop Cam's ascension but Leonard intervenes at the last moment. Before they depart Holyoak asks if he may stay with Samson who will return home with Whistle Pig to complete his rehabilitation to which he agrees and also offers Tina to come along to.

Sometime later while training in his gym Samson is called to deal with the Robot-X that has started to go on a rampage after Holyoak accidentally restarted it while it was undergoing de-programming by Tina. With one well placed and powerful punch Leonard is able to cripple the robot before it can do any major damage to his home.

Shortly after Leonard was scheduled to talk with an old friend from Gamma Base: Sam Larouqette only to discover that he had left having found his utopia in New Orgonon, sensing something is amiss Leonard and the team decide to visit New Orgonon. Upon arrival Whistle Pig is uncontrollably drawn towards the main barn and only Samson can restrain him, it is here that they see Sam. As Leonard starts to question Sam's reasons for leaving Gamma Base, Doctor Schenellagister, the leader of the settlement steps in and offers Samson and his friends to dinner later that evening. While at the table Schenellagister begins to explain the history of the settlement, much to the disdain of Holyoak whose comments do not go unnoticed as suddenly Samson grabs hold of his young friend and begins to choke him in mid air. As Tina try's to stop Leonard she calls for Whistle Pig whose mere appearance is able to interfere with the mind control over Samson who had become almost zombie like due to some kind of psychic power. As Tina, Holyoak and Whistle Pig flee to form a plan, Leonard becomes part of Schenellagister's ‘Orgone Army' which he has assembled to take over the world. His plans are short lived however as Tina and Holyoak return and after a short battle against Schenellagister and his secret weapon everyone is freed from the Physic hold and Samson apprehend Schenellagister.

After the codenamed operative Scorpion goes rogue aboard a SHIELD Helicarrier agent Derek Khanara calls in Doc Samson to question her. There initial meeting goes frostily and Scorpion refuses to give little away until the name of the man she is accused of shooting comes up. As the name of Nagayoshi caused such a reaction Leonard and Khanara are convinced he is something to do with her recent attack. Setting up Scorpion to reveal her true intentions they see to it that she is set loose aboard the Helicarrier and it soon becomes clear what her intentions really were. As a fight ensues in the hanger bay one of the real culprit's attempts to make an escape in a flying car Samson leaps after him, tearing the roof off the car and flying it back to the ship to be rounded up with the rest of the men Khanara and Scorpion round up, proving her innocence

She-Hulk cuts her ties with Samson after learning he had a part in the Hulk's exile with the Illuminati consisting of Dr. Strange, Iron Man, Namor, Black Bolt, Mr. Fantastic, and Prof. Xavier. Samson is among the many heroes to fall to the Hulk during his rampage to seize New York City. After the fight between Sentry and Hulk it is revealed that Samson has been working closely with the government and able to make reports to the new President of the United States.

It is revealed that Samson and Gen. Ross are on the same team that led to the creation of the Red Hulk. He is set to keep his identity a secret and knocked out Rick Jones, now known as A-Bomb, who apparently knows Red Hulk's secret. Samson ends up betraying Red Hulk and allies himself with the new Red She-Hulk. It is revealed there was a drawback to siphoning the Hulk's psionic gamma energy all those years ago. Like the Hulk, Samson has been dealing with various personalities: Leonard the Psychiatrist, Good Samson, and Bad Samson. It doesn't help that M.O.D.O.K. has apparently brainwashed Samson as well. Bad Samson holds a therapy session with Leonard to show that he was apparently after Bruce's life wanting his power as the Hulk and love of Betty. There is also a repressed rage about not getting attention like Mr. Fantastic and Tony Stark who are both world renown geniuses while Samson is still just mediocre. Bad Samson ends the session by killing Leonard with Good Samson appearing powerless to do anything about it. Bad Samson believed that Leonard was the reason he kept failing in all he strove to accomplished like beating the Hulk.

kickass.jpgDave Lizewski led a typical high school life. He wasn't popular or a geek or class clown. He was just another average student at his high school. Nothing special about him really...just a kid who fantasized about becoming a real life superhero. Certain things stood in the way of his ambition though, like not having the confidence to talk to a girl he liked, nor the strength to defend himself in a fight. His mother died of an aneurysm when he was fourteen and he lived with his dad, who was still having problems coping with her death. As an escape, Dave played with video games, himself, and read a lot of comic books. He became so obsessed with super heroics that he decided that was the career he wanted for himself, even though superheroes didn't really exist in the world for good reason.

One night he decided to put on a costume. He spent the first few weeks walking around on rooftops getting used to the costume and enjoying the thrill of wearing it underneath his clothes. He spent time working out in his high school gym during lunch and also ate high protein foods to try and pack on lean muscle all the while trying to come up with a name.

One day he decided to go into action. Seeing some kids spray painting a wall, he felt this was his time. Gaining courage from wearing a mask and costume, he approached and insulted the three kids. After an exchanging of words, a fight began with a costumed Dave throwing the first attack that came in the form of a improvised miniature bat. He used bottles as well as his own weapon to fight off the thugs but their numbers (three) overwhelmed him. Things didn't go so well as Dave ended up getting stabbed by the first man that he attacked upon arriving on the scene.

The thugs rushed off and Dave struggled to walk home. Crossing the road, he ends up getting hit by a car and became a victim of a hit and run as the ones responsible fled the area. He was left with two broken legs and a crushed spine yet in his horrendous state he was able to take off his costume and hide it before the paramedics arrived.

After months of counseling and therapy, Dave burned most of his comic books and promised himself to never partake in heroics ever again. A promise he immediately broke.

Donning his costume once again, he roams the streets only to find a man getting mugged by three "Puerto Ricans". This time Dave was armed with not one but two of the improvised mini-bats which he kept strapped to his back. In an act of bravery or stupidity he decided to take on the three men. The fight instantly became bloody and again Dave became overwhelmed by the number of attackers. This time though, he was able to fight himself out of the beating reaching a point where the Puerto Ricans left saying that he was "f***ing nuts". The crowd, that had gathered to watch the battle, cheered Dave on, while a young man takes out his cell phone and records the fight, putting it on Youtube for all to see. Dave becomes a local celebrity and his costumed persona finally has a name, given to him by the masses: Kick-Ass.

In his regular life, he gains confidence and even gets the courage to talk to the hottest girl in school and she reciprocates. By now Dave is on cloud nine only to be brought down by his best friend Toddy Haynes when he tells him that everyone thinks he is gay because he was found naked when he first donned the costume. Being the opportunist, Dave played the role of the supposed "gay best friend" just so he could be close to the girl that he had a crush on. He also received a can of mace from his father who showed concern from all of Dave's new cuts and bruises

As Kick-Ass he sets up a MySpace page to come into contact with victims or people who need his assistance. On his first mission he went to a hotel building looking to deal with a man named Eddie Lomas. The call came from Eddie's ex-girlfriend saying that he was making crank calls to her and she asked Kick-Ass to go have a little "talk" with him. After a few condescending jokes about Dave's costume made by Eddie and his crew, a fight breaks out between Kick-ass and Lomas's posse. He used the can of mace that his father gave him on Eddie but was quickly stuck from behind. It looked evident that Kick-Ass was about to be severely beaten again when suddenly a mysterious young girl in costume carrying a pair of katana swords appears. She uses the sword first on Eddie, driving it through his back. Then she uses it on one of the crew members, cutting half of his head off. With two men now dead, she makes an open challenge to the rest of the people in the room as she began to pull out a second katana sword.

Unlike Dave, the young girl was well trained and ruthless in her form of justice. He watched as she one by one killed the people in the room thinking "she handled those knives like a f***ing surgeon". When it was over she assured him that they were on the same side and took off so that cops would not find her at the scene. Kick-Ass followed only to see her go to a large costumed man. Through their interaction, Kick-Ass found out that the girl's name was Hit-Girl and the man was known as Big Daddy. As they fled, Kick-Ass was impressed at how they carried themselves and the tactics they used and called them "the real deal".

The murder of the people in the Lomas house made Dave extremely uneasy. Thinking that it could all be pinned back to him, he vowed to never again put on the costume again in fear of going to jail. His meeting with Hit-Girl and Big Daddy left him wondering and he began to search the internet, where he had become popular but could find nothing on them. After a conversation with Eddie Lomas' ex-girlfriend, Dave feels more comfortable about his name staying clear but still is convinced that he will never become Kick-Ass again.

For a few weeks Dave had laid low, not doing any type of vigilante hero work but that was all it took for him to be replaced. In that time span a new hero had emerged and in Dave's eyes had become an attention-whore. After checking out some forums Dave decided that for a few nights it was time to hit the streets again donning the costume one more time as Kick-Ass but found that the city was calmer then ever. Dave then found himself once again playing the gay best friend role with his long time crush Katie Deauxma. She could sense that something was not right and after thinking quickly his response to her in an attempt to cover his true feeling were that he was afraid to tell his father about the gay stuff. After some soothing words by Katie, Dave reiterated the fact that he was not a homosexual by concealing the fact that he had an erection as she laid her head on his chest to comfort him. After news reports that gave the new hero that called himself The Red Mist credit for Kick-Ass's accomplishments, Dave had had enough. By using MySpace which was dubbed the twenty-first century version of the Bat-Signal, Kick-Ass arranged a meeting with The Red Mist to get some answers. To Kick-Ass' surprise when they met The Red Mist claimed to be his biggest fan.

After a small talk Red Mist asked Kick-Ass to do a team-up for the night and introduced him to the Mist Mobile. The two seemed to hit it off and became good friends while they patrolled the city. When the night seemed to be winding down they ran into something that neither of them expected, a burning down building. At first glance, The Red Mist was reluctant to go in but after some persuasion by Kick-Ass they both ran into the building looking for a woman's baby that was named Charlie. The whole time Red Mist complained saying that Kick-Ass was nuts and when they finally found the "baby" it turned out to be a cat. The fire had then became too overwhelming and the building came down on them but they were rescued by the firefighters that had shown up later.

When the two left the scene they were received as heroes making such an impact that they brought people to tears. When Dave returned home he jumped on the web and noticed that he had regained his "rockstar" status. Little did he know that Hit-Girl and Big Daddy were in his room. After getting his attention they showed that they were not impressed with what he had done. But wanted to see how he would do against the mob.

While Big-Daddy held him down, the pair of vigilantes offered Kick-Ass a chance to team up with them. They were going after the mob's "Boss of Bosses" and needed the help of Kick-Ass and The Red Mist. At first Big-Daddy opposed but after speaking to his daughter Hit-Girl he agreed that a team-up needed to be done. After releasing his grip on him, Big-Daddy orders Hit-Girl to tell Kick-Ass their origin. She begins to speak and reveals that Big-Daddy is her father and a former police officer that "couldn't be paid off". Also she said that the mob killed his wife, her mother and that is why they were on a quest for revenge. At first Dave was reluctant claiming that he did not want to kill but was left with no choice when Big-Daddy blackmailed him say that if he and The Red Mist did not work with them he would leak his identity on the internet. Dave eventually tells Katie Deuxma he isn't gay, and was using it as an excuse to be close to her. She says some choice words to him and basically tells him to get lost. 
By this point Dave was changed. The things that mattered to him before seemed irrelevant. It was becoming harder for him to relate to non "superheroes". He soon met up with The Red Mist to decide on what they would do. Red Mist seemed reluctant but after a conversation with Kick-Ass decided to meet at Big-Daddy's hideout. The two then parted and Dave had a rush of adrenaline that he said came from second-hand contact from The Red Mist's weed . He went to Katie Deauxma's house and shouted at her window "I've been Kick-Ass all along and I'm not gay" but as soon as she opened the window he cowered and ran away. Later he meets up with Red Mist again this time heading to the hideout of Big-Daddy and Hit-Girl. They make their way inside to find Big-Daddy severely beaten up and Hit-Girl crying by his side. Big-Daddy notices Kick-Ass at the door and asks for his help but before he could act, The Red Mist pulls a gun and points it to the back of Dave's head showing his allegiance to the mob. Dave is beaten, Big Daddy is gunned down and Hitgirl is wounded, but Dave refuses to talk. Hitgirl returns and kills some of the mobsters.

The two vigilantes strategize an assault on Genovese, and Hitgirl manages to kill him. Dave beats Red Mist into submission and leaves him defeated. Afterwards, Dave helps Hitgirl return to normal, going home to her mother and her stepfather. He discovers his father has got his sex life back on track, and instead of being shocked, he is happy for him. His life is no better, as he is texted an embarrassing picture of Katie Deuxma having sex with her new boyfriend. Confused, he reverts back to his old ways and relieves himself whilst looking at the image.

144, Major Victory (19 points)

majorvictory.jpgVance Astrovik was obsessed with space, so much so that he legally changed his last name to Astro. Becoming an astronaut and volunteering for the first long-term interstellar space mission, he was put in suspended animation and sent to the nearest star system, Alpha Centauri. On arrival, he found that humanity had beaten him there, and that the main planet had been settled by humans for centuries. He also found that his metabolism had been damaged by a thousand years in stasis and he could no longer remove his life-support suit. Dazed by the shock of these discoveries, he insisted on carrying out his now-useless mission, and wandered into the wilderness to catalog Centaurian life. When the alien Badoon attacked this world, they wiped out both the human colonists and all but one of the native Centaurians, Yondu. It was at this time that Astro discovered that he could release "brain-blasts" of destructive telekinetic power. Astro and Yondu would become members of the freedom fighters known as the Guardians of the Galaxy, and eventually led a rebellion that drove the Badoon from both the Solar and Centauri systems.

Later, Astro was cured of his need for the life suit, and gained possession of the shield of Captain America. He changed his costume and name to reflect his new freedom as Major Victory.

Though very enthusiastic, Vance sometimes makes rash decisions. A valiant leader who wants nothing else put peace, he does not always see eye to eye with his fellow Guardians. Vance is very hard on himself, and still suffers lingering psychological damage from his time in suspended animation. He once quit the Guardians for a short while, (Guardians of the Galaxy / issue #30), due to a disagreement over their mission's morals. Vance has a deep love of Aleta, another member of the Guardians. When he quit, his main reason for re-joining the Guardians was the fact that he didn't want to endanger her.

Vance has become a seasoned and inspiring leader. He is a skilled combatant and expert pilot. He has the ability to project telekinetic blasts of force; unlike his 616 counterpart Justice, he lacks any skill or subtlety in the use of this power. When the Guardians travel back in time to retrieve Speedball actually a time anomaly, they end up fighting the New Warriors, before their fight could conclude Speedball rebooted time and the New Warriors fought Omni-Sphinx (the combination of the male and female Sphinx) however it seems like Vance was lost in time and recently appear in the 616 timeline in an ice block and free by our time Guardians of the Galaxy.

Vance found that he had no memory of his past nor how he came to be in the block of Ice. The Guardians escorted them back to their base where they then had Mantis begin working with him to help him regain his memory. During one of these sessions, a new threat arrived in the form of Starhawk. The two were drawn into battle, though Vance didn't understand why he was after him.

The team was soon drawn into the Skrull's Secret Invasion. The team suffered divided loyalties because of the Skrull infiltration of the Knowhere base. Though in the end they were present with Cosmo's blessing. When it came to light that Starlord had used Mantis to make the team more compatible, the team broke apart. When Rocket Raccoon puts the team back together, Major Victory was among them.

Vance power increase as he was suspended in animation while the computer woke him up once in a while for a regular routine it was not enough for him and his powers took a different road, developing into furious telekinetic blast. He can use his power in maximum to move them away from him, slam them again a wall or even manipulate Cap's shield into any direction.

When Black Bolt detonated a weapon known as the Terrigen Bomb during the War of Kings, it created a massive fissure in reality that was spreading rapidly. Adam Warlock was able to stop the expansion of the Fault, but to do so he overlapped time with an unused future, the future in which he became the Magus.

Although the universe had been saved, the Guardians faced a new threat in the Magus. While battling with Adam's evil side, Major Victory's containment suit was breached when the Magus threw his own shield at him. Major Victory was one of many casualties to the Magus, including Mantis, Cosmo, Gamora and Phyla.


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