Thursday, June 21, 2018 • Midnight Edition • "Newsarama 2: Outhouse Boogaloo."

Your Top Marvel Heroes part 42

Written by Chris Mitchell on Thursday, April 29 2010 and posted in Features
Oh. Did I mention that from this point on there is no more ties? {nomultithumb}

127. Darwin (22 points)

darwin.jpgArmando Muñoz manifested his ability of reactive evolution soon after birth and because of it his mother despised him. He was found by some scientists who experimented on the boy, making his existence known to the public. Moira MacTaggert then took him in as one of her own, and he became a member of the "Missing X-Men" alongside Sway, Petra and Kid Vulcan.

Their mission was to save the original X-Men from Krakoa. Unfortunately, and his teammates Sway and Petra did not manage to survive. So Darwin absorbed them and in their dying efforts Kid Vulcan was saved. But Darwin would not die there and instead he converted himself into energy and fused himself with Kid Vulcan, in a sense giving the entire team a single body. After Vulcan is found many years later he confronted the X-Men. Marvel Girl sensed that Darwin still resided within Gabriel so she used her telepathic powers to draw him out, which injured Vulcan in the process. The X-Men saw in this their chance of defeating him, but Vulcan was still stronger than they thought and he managed to escape. The crisis past, Beast noticed that Darwin's remains were still alive, and were starting to restore his body. One week passed and at the Institute's lab, the Professor and Beast both watched how Darwin's body restored itself, using nothing but pure energy.

Once fully restored, he was then chosen by Professor X when he led a team to go stop Vulcan from destroying the Shi'ar Empire. When the Professor was captured by agents of the Shi'ar, Darwin secretly jumped on the ship with intent to rescue Professor X. He succeeded only to be recaptured and this rescue attempt failed. Darwin then reluctantly accepted Vulcan's offer to be the Best Man at his wedding.

Darwin (who was completely against the union) attended the wedding, in shackles. Darwin then learned that Professor X was trapped in the M'Kraan Crystal by Vulcan. Darwin feared for his mentor's safety and followed Charles into the depths, eventually succeeding in rescuing him.

Sometime later and back on Earth, the Hulk was responsible for an attack on the Xavier Institute. During his battle with the Hulk, he manifested the ability to absorb gamma radiation but found the Hulk had more then he could siphon off. With this, his body involuntarily decided the best way to defeat the Hulk was to stay away from him and he was teleported out of the battle, and was thought missing for a time.

Darwin has recently returned in the Messiah CompleX storyline fighting alongside the X-Men against various teams also seeking the mutant child.

Sometime after Messiah Complex, Darwin goes in search of Professor Xavier because he wants to help him. He encounters Longshot, who tries to lead him to the Professor by using his powers. Longshot, however is unsure if his powers have been working correctly and tests them out on a group of people which turn on Darwin and attack. After a brief fight, Darwin manages to get away and the crowd turn on Longshot. Afterward, Longshot meets back up with Darwin and they are attacked by Jazinda and She-Hulk who are trailing after Longshot, who is really a Skrull named Nogor . Darwin also develops a crush on Monet.

Meanwhile, Darwin's father hires X-Factor Investigations to help him find Darwin, supposedly because he feels bad for walking out on him and his mother when he was younger.

After Darwin is reunited with his father, he is betrayed by him and sold out to by operatives of an organization known as the Karma Project, who are experimenting on living human beings. He is eventually saved and recruited by X-Factor.

When the villain Cortex takes control of Monet, it is Darwin who bravely fights her off. He also begins to develop feelings for Monet in the process. When Madrox leaves Detroit to restart X-Factor Investigations, Darwin stays under the employment of Terry. A month later though, Terry would shut down the office and Arman along with everyone else would return to New York

126. Tigra (22 points)

tigra.jpgGreer Grant was a University of Chicago sophomore when she met rookie policeman Bill Nelson, with whom she fell in love and subsequently married. Greer dropped out of college, at Bill's insistence. When Bill was killed in an off-duty shooting, Greer was left on her own. When she tried to find a job, the only positions she was offered were typists or clerks. One day, she ran into her old physics professor, Dr. Joanne Tumolo. She remembered her old pupil and hired Greer as her lab assistant. Greer also returned to college.

After several months, Dr. Tumolo revealed she'd been working on a private project to allow women to achieve their full mental and physical potential, despite the handicaps that society placed on them. She wanted Greer to be the first subject.

Due to lack of funds, Dr. Tumolo had made an arrangement with an eccentric named Malcolm Donalbain. Donalbain was a fanatic about physical conditioning. He had agreed to sponsor the research. However, he overrode Dr. Tumolo's choice and insisted his protégé, Shirlee Bryant, be their "first lovely guinea pig." The doctor wanted to cancel the experiment, but Greer persuaded her to secretly test on her as well as Shirlee. Both women emerged from the treatments with superhuman physical and mental abilities. Donalbain planned to use those powers for his own purposes. He told Shirlee she was to be the first of hundreds of enhanced women who would work in his clubs. Using the clubs as a front, Donalbain's force would seize control of the country. He gave her a uniform to wear, a yellow catsuit with blue claws, gloves, and sash. Shirlee balked at donning a cat-eared cowl, but Donalbain told her that it mechanically enhanced her hearing and night vision. Reassured, she finished off the outfit with a studded blue collar. The will-nullifier forced her to obey Donalbain, much to his satisfaction. He ordered Shirlee to demonstrate her new athletic abilities, but she fell to her death. Donalbain had his henchmen dynamite Dr. Tumolo's lab to eliminate any incriminating evidence. The doctor was critically injured in the explosion. Greer donned one of The Cat uniforms to put an end to Donalbain's plans.

Greer continued her adventures, defeating the Owl, Commander Kraken, Man-Bull. And the Man-Killer, who she took down with the help of Spider-Man. One day she came home to interrupt a kidnapping attempt on the convalescing Dr. Tumolo by Hydra agents. Greer was shot with an "alpha radiation" pistol while driving off the agents. Dr. Tumolo offered her to save her life, but that meant turning Greer into one of the Cat People. She replied "Life is precious to me, in any form". They used a mystic ritual that bound the soul of one of the Cat People to her. The reborn Tigra abandoned both her previous identities as Greer and The Cat.

The costume used by Greer as The Cat was later found and used by Hellcat.

After the ritual that turned Greer into the Tigra, Hydra found their location and attacked them, though she was able to escape. She met the Werewolf By Night on the beach and together they fought Hydra's soldiers, but to no avail. She soon was captured, and the Werewolf was left unconscious on the beach. But the wolf didn't want to be separated from Tigra, for he felt something for her when he first saw her. As soon as he came to, he followed some Hydra men to their base and rescued Tigra from a cage. Again they fought together against the soldiers. The battle was won when Dr. Tumolo released a powerful strain of the Black Plague, which the Cat People made certain to seal off in the cave with the doomed Hydra soldiers. The Werewolf ran away in confusion when Tigra turned back into human form. At first she could change her form with a cat's-head amulet, but she lost that ability, and the amulet only cast an illusion of her being human.
She fought Kraven The Hunter for the first time when she rescued a doctor from his lair. Soon after that she managed to track down the Rat Pack; she found herself against Super-Skrull, who was disguised as the Rat Pack's leader. Teaming up with Red Wolf she followed them. In the final battle, Super-Skrull tried to use the Soul Catcher to capture Tigra's soul, but the artifact chose Super-Skrull himself as a target, and he was trapped in there.

Next she met with the Thing, when she broke into the Fantastic Four building, to get help to defeat the Cougar who had Null-Bands and planned to take over the world with them. Later, Tigra brought the Soul Catcher to the Fantastic Four for safe keeping. When she found out that the Fantastic Four had been captured by the Frightful Four, she went to their rescue, but got herself captured, too. Various circumstances allowed them to escape and the Frightful Four were defeated. Tigra stayed there awhile, competing with Thundra for the Thing's affection, but Ben loved Alicia Masters and rejected them both. Once while having a steak with the Thing they happened on a Metalloid, who was carrying a bank vault and they went and stopped it together. When the Brute, who was the counter-earth Mr. Fantastic, threw Invisible Woman out of the window: Tigra, Thundra and the Impossible Man saved her. They then returned to the building and battled the Blastaar that came from the Negative Zone. When the time came to clean up all the damage, Tigra along with Thundra left the Fantastic Four building.

After her adventures with Fantastic Four, she was captured by Kraven the Hunter, who used a high-tech collar to make her his slave. Kraven planned on entertaining himself with a death-fight between Tigra and Spider-Man. Spider-Man saw the collar and released Tigra from its influence, and together they beat Kraven. Her first meeting with Tabur was when Dr. Tumolo sacrificed herself to warn others of his actions. Tabur planned to take over the world and lead the Cat People. He had a weapon that turned humans back to apes and animals to their prehistoric forms. The Cat People revealed themselves to the world that day and thwarted his plans. Tigra battled with Tabur, got hold of the weapon and used it on him, turning Tabur back into a house cat

When Moondragon got all the possible recruits together for a new group of Avengers, Tigra was chosen as one of them. Moondragon pitted them against one-another, Angel was chosen as Tigra‘s opponent. After the whole mess, Tigra even got chosen for the new team. Her first battle as an Avenger was against Elfqueen, but it ended quickly when they realized why she was lashing out. Her next confrontation with Avengers was Ghost Rider, who too lashed out to the world, much like Elfqueen and their own team member Hank Pym. When battling him, she was blasted with hellfire and was frightened after that. She even froze during the battle. In the end, Ghost Rider was talked out of fighting by Angel.

One day when she was only Avenger present at the mansion, she helped X-Men to fight Deathbird and her Brood allies. When the Molecule Man reformed himself, and built a gigantic dome over half of Western Jersey, the Avengers went to stop him. It took the whole team and the Silver Surfer to make a hole in the dome just big enough for flexible Tigra to fit through. Taking a chance, she went ahead to scout; however, she was soon caught by the Molecule Man. She then started to talk to him to gain his trust and stall until the other team members arrived. When they did, Molecule Man quickly disarmed them and captured them. He offered to spare Tigra if she would say that she liked him. Tigra, wanting to live, uttered the lie. With the other Avengers and the Silver Surfer seemingly killed, the Molecule Man made Tigra his pet. Tigra tried to kill the Molecule Man while he slept, but was not able to go through with it. She was reunited with the other Avengers, who had survived thanks to the cosmic power of the Silver Surfer, and battle with the Molecule Man ensued. Molecule Man was beaten, and while the men discussed what to do with him, Tigra managed to talk the Molecule Man out of being a villain. After that adventure, Tigra felt that she wasn't much of a hero and decided to quit the Avengers.

125. Gladiator (22 points)

gladiator.jpgPrior to Kallark becoming the Preator of the Imperial Guard known as Gladiator who had been trained under the tutelage of Deathbird, Lilandra's evil sister, he was a promising young cadet warrior of a proud bloodline back on his home planet Strontia. A powerful race that values nothing above honor and duty who have sworn their loyalty to the Shi'ar throne having been saved by the then Emperor from the Wraith Plague.

He was part of an elite group of young males and females of his race who under went a series of Trials in a contest which would allow them to have their psionic-fueled abilities be enhanced to Gladiator levels. The Elders of these Strontian's would inform the 10 cadets who where elevated to Gladiator level that the Emperor of the Shi'ar T'Korr was looking for new members for his Elite Imperial Guards and only one of them could take the position. T'Korr gave them a final test a mission to see if their professed loyalty was indeed without question by ordering them to return to their home and slay their Council Elders. Kallark however proves the only one to be able to adhere to the command of the Majestor no matter what, even if he doesn't agree with the order given and does his duty. Defeating his fellow Gladiator's when they falter in their mission, fight his own people and kills the Elders who raised him, leaving Strontia to destroy a Shi'ar Starcracker that was pointed at the Strontian sun which would have been activated and destroy their sun had Kallark not completed the mission. He returns to Emperor T'Korr who then makes him the leader of the new Imperial Guards known as Gladiator.

Serving under Emperor Vulcan for the Imperial Guard of the Shi'ar empire, Gladiator led the assault against the Inhumans. As Crystal of the Inhuman Royal Family was about to marry Ronan the Accuser in order to unite the Inhumans with the Kree, they were attacked by Gladiator and the Imperial Guard. Gladiator took on Black Bolt and was able to defeat him with some help from White Noise. The Guard also captured Princess Lilandra who was with the Kree and Inhumans. Ronan also fell as he tried to help Crystal but was double teamed and taken out. Gladiator said that they have made their statement, and the Imperial Guard left. As they left, Medusa shouted that the Shi'ar would pay for what they have done, with their blood.

After having captured Lilandra, Gladiator and the Imperial Guard faced of against the new batch of Nova Centurions. The centurions were quickly defeated when his cousin, Xenith, showed up. She informed him that the Emperor ordered him to return to present Lilandra to him. Gladiator quickly left, clearly showing his dislike for his cousin and her presence.

Gladiator shows more internal conflict and walks a fine line in doing his duty for the Emperor he personally dislikes while still protecting Lilandra from the Emperor's wrath. Later, when the Starjammers accompanied by the a faction of the Guardians of the Galaxy attacked his ship to extract Lilandra he was taken out of the fight by Rocket Raccoon aided by Marvel Girl until he saw through their trick. He quickly defeats the rest of their team and captures Lilandra before she can escape. She pleads with him again, asking him to serve for the good of the Shi'ar, rather than to serve whatever madman was on the throne. Another Imperial Guard interjects her plea and demands that Gladiator does as the Emperor ordered and kill Lilandra and the others.

Kallark apparently makes his choice and turns on the Guard and the Shi'ar, killing Smasher in the process. Kallark commits himself to helping Lilandra regain her throne by escorting her and the Starjammers back to the Shi'ar throne world. When he is referred to as Preator by councilor D'Bek, he states that he can no longer claim that title, having sided with Lilandra over the one who currently sits on the throne. D'Bek is quick to assure Kallark that the title will soon be his again.

Kallark proves to be fiercely protective of the Lilandra while she makes her bid to reclaim her Imperial throne. When Lilandra's bid reaches a critical state, with riots from sympathizers of Lilandra fight against Vulcan loyalists, he defends Lilandra when the Shi'ar Death Commandos attack Lilandra as she tries to consolidate her power by appearing before the temple. He takes down several members, but realizes to late that they were mere distractions. He turns to find that Lilandra received a fatal shot from a hidden assassin, and cradles her seemingly dead body in his arm and grieves.

He attacks Darkhawk when the assassin is spotted by Rachel, not knowing that he was possessed by one of the Raptors at the time he attacked Lilandra, determined to make him pay for his hand in her death. However, just as Kallark is ready to deliver the killing blow, having grabbed Darkhawk by the throat, they are bombarded from above and Darkhawk escapes.

Kallark turns his grief to pure rage as he tears his aggressors apart limb from limb. When he turns on the Secret Order and the Araki Sequence, one of the most oldest and noblest lines of the Shi'ar genetic lines, Araki is protected by Black Cloak, one of the most powerful members of the Death Commandos. Underestimating Black Cloak in his rage, the Death Commando gets the upper hand on him, dealing him a terrible injury. But before Black Cloak can capitalize on Kallark's vulnerability, he is killed by Rachel Grey in retribution for the murder of her entire family on Earth.

Kallark doesn't rest or hesitate, as he goes after Chancellor Araki and kills him without mercy.

Kallark, still in a fit of depression and melancholy at the useless death around him, and still grieving over the loss of Lilandra, picks up the Imperial Scepter and walks out of the temple in a daze. The city, and most of the throne world, is still in the throes of tearing itself apart as Kallark numbly stares at the madness resulting from Lilandra's death. The people then notice Kallark carrying the scepter, and turn to him, pleading for guidance, and calling him Majestor.


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