Monday, December 22, 2014 • Evening Edition • "If you loved Hotel Rwanda, you'll love The Outhouse."

Your Top Marvel Heroes part 35

Written by Chris Mitchell on Tuesday, April 27 2010 and posted in Features

Love all three of these guys.

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143. Shang-Chi/Fixer (19 points)

Shang-Chi
shangchi.jpgOn the day of his birth he was given the name Shang-Chi. As he grew in an ancient Chinese secret society he was given advanced training in the martial arts. Exceeding the expectations of his teachers (but not his father), Shang-Chi became a master of the Wushu fighting styles (Kung Fu being a dominant part of the style).

Honed to perfection, Shang-Chi lived to serve and honor his father, whom he believed to be a great and just man. In reality the father was the sinister Dr. Fu Manchu, a man hell bent on global conquest.

Shang-Chi served his father loyally and one day was given a special assignment. He was to seek out and kill Dr. Petrie, an enemy of his father's. Shang-Chi sought him out an in doing so he met Sir Denis Nayland who revealed his father's evil to him. Horrified at his life he exclaimed the following...

"Call me Shang-Chi, as my father did when he raised me and molded my mind and my body in the vacuum of his Honan, China retreat. I learned many things from my father: That my name means 'The Rising and Advancing of a Spirit', that my body could be forged into a living weapon through the discipline of Kung Fu, and that it might be used for the murder of a man called Dr. Petrie. Since then I have learned that my father is Dr. Fu Manchu, the most insidiously evil man on Earth...and that to honor him would bring nothing but dishonor to the spirit of my name."

Shang-Chi then went to work for Neyland as an MI-6 special agent and true to word he worked to stop his father's numerous operations.

Along the way he encountered many other heroes: Spider-Man, the Thing, the Man-Thing, Iron Fist, White Tiger, Jack of Hearts amongst others. His enemies (besides his father) were many: Midnight, Shadow-Stalker, Fah Lo Suee (his half-sister), Razor Fist and Shockwave. He also found love in the arms of Leiko Wu.

After years of battle, Shang-Chi saw his father die thus ending his mission. Shang-Chi retired and took up a simple life as a fisherman. After a number of years, he was called back to service to rescue Leiko Wu who had been taken captive by terrorists. Rescuing her he was poisoned and only cured using a potion devised by his father.

Cured and active again, Shang-Chi joined the Heroes for Hire where he made some lasting friendships and some not quite as long. His teammate Humbug had decided to capture his friends and new lover Tarantula. Humbug tortured them and in response, Shang-Chi broke his neck. Convinced he was now nothing but a soulless killer, Shang-Chi became lost.

He faced more deception from people he thought he trusted when he battled the Welsh Dragon. Wanting to restore his inner peace, Shang-Chi has taken to tutoring a young protégée named Killraven.


Fixer
fixer.jpg"Always been my favourite T-Bolt."

Paul Norbert Ebersol was clearly a genius from a very young age. At the age of three he disassembled, repaired and reassembled an alarm clock, at ten he built an electric car and by the age of thirteen he built a robotic arm from spare parts. Since school wasn't challenging enough he dropped out and moved around quite a bit eventually turning his technical genius to committing high tech crimes. To this end he took the name Fixer for himself and began working with Marvin Flumm a former SHIELD telepath who went by the name Mentallo. The Fixer was part of Baron Helmut Zemo's Masters of Evil and he was instrumental in their takeover of Avengers Mansion though he was more interested in getting closer to the criminal Yellowjacket aka Rita DeMara, the other genius in the group.

When Helmut Zemo hatched his plan to replace the missing Avengers and Fantastic Four with former Masters of Evil Fixer was the man he turned to rebrand them as new heroes. Fixer brought Erik Josten back to Earth to become Atlas, built the sonic harness for Songbird, the MACH-1 armor for the former Beetle, a morphing tech-pac for himself as Techno and all the other technology for the team. Early in their career his body was killed and his mind was transferred to his tech-pac making him more of a shape shifting robot which he enjoyed immensely. When Baron Zemo hatched his plan to take over the world Techno was the one to remain loyal to him for quite some time, through several plans until Zemo no longer needed him and he returned to the Thunderbolts. Infiltrating the Thunderbolts new base he knocked out their new technical expert Ogre and took his place on the team.

When Scourge was ordered to kill the Thunderbolts he began with Jolt, but Techno had plans for her and recovered her body starting a process that would eventually return her to life. After Baron Zemo himself was killed Techno was the next target of the assassin and despite his seeming immortality his robotic body was overwhelmed and he perished. However he had planned for every eventuality and created a failsafe for himself and Zemo, should either of them be killed they would be placed in another living body. Ebersol awoke in his lab at Zemo's castle to find it full of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, they offered him a place on a team of Redeemers to take down the Thunderbolts and uncover a large scale plot. His tech-pac was now responsible for keeping his body alive and SHIELD had the control codes to the tech-pac so they could kill him at any moment. It was at this point in his career that he took the name Fixer again.

Fixer stayed with the Redeemers as they took over the Thunderbolts name and headquarters though his arrogance put the whole team in danger by trying to find Ogre and discover his secrets. The Ogre had been safeguarding a dangerous mutant who could threaten all life on Earth, and Fixer's interruptions accidentally freed Humus Sapien from his stasis. Immediately after dealing with Humus Sapien the new team had to deal with the return of Graviton which brought Songbird, MACH-3 and Moonstone back to the team. In defeating Graviton most of the team was shifted to Counter-Earth located on the far side of the sun. Baron Zemo who had been controlling the Redeemers leader Citizen V was somehow downloaded into the Fixer's tech-pac during the battle and now he ordered Fixer to find a new body for himself or he'd sever Fixer's nervous system. Fixer downloaded Zemo into his Counter-Earth counterpart and they reunited with the Thunderbolts to save Counter-Earth and become heroes.

When the Thunderbolts managed to return to their Earth Fixer helped restore Atlas' growth powers and left the team yet again. He has since been working with the Commission of Superhuman Activities during the Civil War and Secret Invasion.


142. Dane Whitman. The Black Knight (19 points)

blackknight.jpgA long time ago there was a place called Camelot. In the court of King Arthur there was a noble knight dubbed Sir Percy of Scandia who was a mighty knight clad in black (and hence nicknamed the Black Knight). Percy was murdered by Mordred, but so great was the blood that ran in the Knight's veins that his offspring would continue to service the common good as Black Knights throughout the years and centuries.

It was only a decade ago that the next in the lineage would take up the mantle. That man, Nathan Garrett, however wasn't a noble man. This Black Knight was a super-villain who would often battle Iron Man and even the Avengers as a member of the Masters of Evil.

Mortally injured in one battle with Iron Man, Garrett found his way home and called for his nephew to come urgently. Dane Whitman found his nephew at deaths door. Garrett confessed his sins to Whitman and begged him to take the mantle of the Black Knight and redeem it's good name. Dane agreed and after Garrett died, he found the tools of his uncle's trade and made the most of it. Armor, a special sword and lance and even winged horses were now Whitman's.

It was pretty much the first time he went flying atop his Pegasus Aragorn, Whitman was mistaken for his uncle by the Avengers who battled him. Realizing their mistake they offered Whitman their friendship. Shortly after this Whitman used his ‘legacy' to join the reformed Masters of Evil in order to spy on them. Successful in aiding the Avengers with this, he was awarded a partial membership. He didn't take them up on the offer as he moved to England to claim yet another inheritance: The Castle Garrett. Within it's halls, Whitman encountered the spectre of the first Black Knight, Sir Percy. Percy gave Whitman the powerful Ebony Blade which became the mainstay of Whitman's arsenal.

After a team-up with Dr. Strange, Whitman adventured with the Avengers against Kang. At the climax of the battle, Kang was given the power to kill all Avengers which he then began to do. As the team neared death unable to defend themselves, Whitman went into action. Never having accepted full membership kept him free from the attack. He defeats Kang and as reward the Avengers made him a full member.

His membership is short lived as he re-meets Dr. Strange and becomes a Defender early in that group's history. A run in with the Enchantress left Whitman turned to stone. A form he would stay in for quite some time.

While his body remained frozen, his spirit was sent back hundreds of years to the 12th Century. He would possess the body of his ancestor Sir Eobar Garrington and have many adventures. From here Whitman would jump from the 1100's to the modern day many times but in Eobar's body until he was finally restored into his own unstoned body.

Reunited with the Avengers, Whitman again joined their ranks just in time for the siege of Avengers Mansion with a new incarnation of the Masters of Evil. It's at this time that Whitman's Ebony Blade begins to show it's curse attributes: where every drop of blood the sword taste, it's owner grows insane. And that's exactly where Whitman was heading until the intervention of Sir Percy possessing the sword and breaking it's hold on Whitman. Freed, he put away the Ebony Blade and vowed to never use it again. The blade would eventually fall into other hands and with the curse made real again, it's new owner' became the monster called Bloodwraith.

Whitman soon became the defacto leader of the Avengers and he even became romantic at first with his fellow Avenger Sersi and then Crystal. He never really got to explore because when he attempted to help Sersi instability (caused by an alternate version of Whitman) he was again plunged back to the 12th Century. After a time he made his back to the present time but not his own Earth. On this alternate Earth he joined a hero group called Ultraforce until Sersi found him and again, he ends up in the 12th Century, before finally getting back to the right time and Earth.

Once home he is dubbed the new Pendragon and given an assortment of new armors and weapons.

He spends some time with the short-lived Heroes for Hire and occasionally with the Avengers before he‘s again visited by Sir Percy who the origin of the Ebony Blade and it's curse and the need to destroy it for good. Whitman finds the blade (but he doesn't know it's a fake one created by Dracula).

Whitman joins the New Excalibur and MI-13, falls in love with a girl named Faiza and eventually is given the real Ebony Blade back.

What happens next has yet to be revealed.



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