Tuesday, March 20, 2018 • Afternoon Edition • "The CBR of comic book journalism."

Your Top Marvel Heroes part 49

Written by Chris Mitchell on Monday, May 03 2010 and posted in Features
Sorry, don't make the too 100 today, but tomorrow you will. {nomultithumb}

106. Starfox (27 points)

starfox.jpgTwenty-seven people wanted him in the OPC.

No word of a lie.

50,000 years ago, Alars, a member of the Eternals of Earth, a cosmic-powered sub-species of humanity, departed Earth after his brother Zuras became the Eternals' leader. Alars journeyed to Titan, a moon of Saturn, where a band of exiled Eternal settlers had slaughtered each other in war. Alars married the only survivor, a young woman named Sui-San, and they transformed Titan into a paradise. Alars ruled the Eternals of Titan as Mentor and created ISAAC, a computer which serviced all of Titan's technological needs.

The youngest son of Mentor and Sui-San, Eros had the natural ability to excite pleasure in others, but his power had no effect upon his mutant older brother, Thanos, who worshiped the cosmic embodiment of Death and led an army against Titan. During this assault, Thanos killed and dissected Sui-San, trying to learn why he was born different. While his brother was captivated by Death, Eros loved life, and began visiting other systems for adventure and romance. Eros even visited Earth at least once, and was remembered in Earth's legends. He had many lovers, but his only steady relationship was with the prostitute Heather Delight. Eros later helped Heather escape more than one possessive master, including Dark Roger and Axel the Rescorlan. While she was the property of Pro-Boscis the Procurer, Heather kept Eros from saving her because she didn't want his face damaged; she instead manipulated Pip the Troll into saving her.

In recent times, Thanos conquered Titan with another army, slaughtering most of the Titans until Mentor and Eros were the only remaining resistance. Thanos, now seeking the Cosmic Cube, brought Rick Jones to Titan to learn its location. Rick was freed by Mentor, Eros and the Kree warrior Captain Marvel, who had been bonded to Rick; together, they battled Thanos' armies and drove off his lieutenant on Titan, the Super-Skrull. Mar-Vell ultimately bested Thanos by seemingly destroying the Cosmic Cube, and Mentor and Eros were able to rebuild Titan. Mar-Vell became a close friend of the Titans after his help.

Thanos, however, had secretly left behind a programming virus compelling ISAAC to act on his behalf. Creating lieutenants for itself, ISAAC took the Titans captive. One lieutenant, Elysius, was attracted to Eros, but she later shifted her affections to Mar-Vell and changed sides when he came to Titan to oppose ISAAC. Mar-Vell ultimately drove Thanos' programming from ISAAC, saving Titan. Mar-Vell soon succumbed to cancer, spending his last days on Titan. Eros was devastated by the loss, and remained close to Elysius in the days that followed. Elysius eventually had ISAAC help her create a son from Mar-Vell's DNA; she named the child Genis. He was raised to believe that Eros was his father, and Eros helped maintain the facade until Genis' accelerated coming of age.

Longing for new adventures, Eros visited Earth again and encountered the Avengers battling the Plantman. Eros asked to join their team and was accepted as an Avenger-in-training; but the Avengers were reluctant to present a man named "Eros" to the public so the Wasp rechristened him "Starfox." Eros was chagrined to meet fellow trainee Captain Marvel ( Monica Rambeau), and he looked down on her, still stung by the death of Mar-Vell. Starfox learned teamwork and responsibility amongst the Avengers, but still found time to engage in several romantic liaisons, including a one-night stand with his teammate She-Hulk. The team also valued Starfox for his scientific knowledge as he was serving on a roster devoid of the Avengers' usual scientific geniuses. After many of the Avengers were taken to Battleworld to serve in the Beyonder's " Secret Wars," the Vision became the Avengers' chairman and promoted Starfox to full membership to fill out the roster. Starfox retained his standing when the other Avengers returned. 
One evening, Starfox invited himself and the Wasp to a party in Soho which was held by Sersi, a member of Earth's Eternals. When Sersi was brought to the Eternals' city of Olympia to participate in a gathering of all Eternals, Starfox was brought along. In Olympia, he fascinated his Earth-bound cousins with the story of how Alars had founded Titan. Starfox participated in the Eternals' Ritual of the Uni-Mind, merging with them into a single psionic entity; but when the villain Maelstrom tried to siphon the Uni-Mind's power for himself, and the Vision and Scarlet Witch freed the Eternals from the Uni-Mind. Starfox managed to incapacitate Maelstrom with his pleasure powers, which he revealed to the Avengers for the first time. Maelstrom caused his own death by having his servant Deathurge kill him so that he could live anew in another cloned body. The Avengers subsequently thwarted Maelstrom's next plot to halt the Earth's rotation. After seeing Captain Marvel's courage in that battle, Starfox finally accepted her use of his friend's name, apologizing to her for the way he had slighted her.

The Avengers became embroiled in a civil war amongst the Skrulls, during which the pirate Nebula seized Thanos' starship Sanctuary II and used it to command a Skrullian fleet to destroy the planet Xandar. When Starfox confronted Nebula, she claimed that Thanos was her grandfather. Before Eros could learn more, Nebula was teleported away by the Beyonder, who had misunderstood the wish of the Xandarian survivor Firelord that Nebula be cast out of the galaxy. Starfox was determined to learn if Nebula's story was true, quit the Avengers to hunt her alongside Firelord. The pair were attacked by Super-Nova, another survivor of Xandar who incorrectly believed Nebula to be one of the Avengers, and Starfox was badly injured, but he soon recuperated and resumed his pursuit of Nebula. He finally caught up to her and helped the Avengers thwart her attempt to harness the Infinity Union, a device of the Stranger's which could grant her cosmic power.

Soon afterward, Thanos obtained the Infinity Gauntlet (which housed the six Infinity Gems) and used it to offer the universe to Death. Thanos took Starfox hostage during the crisis so that his brother could witness his actions, but Thanos allowed himself to be beaten, not truly desiring victory in the end. Starfox continued to serve as an occasional Avenger, participating in the Avengers' mission to the Shi'ar Empire during the Kree-Shi'ar War, as well as joining the Avengers against Morgan Le Fay when she mastered the power of the Twilight Sword.

In the aftermath of that battle, Starfox befriended his fellow Avenger Tigra, and she set off into space with him to visit Deneb-VII. Tigra soon became bored of Deneb-VII, but the duo found new excitement when the universe was threatened by the Infinites, cosmic beings from another universe who had no regard for the lives of lesser beings. Starfox and Tigra teamed with Jack of Hearts, Quasar, Thor, Photon and Moondragon to face the Infinites. Starfox helped appeal to the Infinites through Eternity, the embodiment of space, and one of the Infinites ultimately chose to sacrifice itself to repair some of the damage they had done. Later, Starfox led a small army of Eternals in attacking Thanos (or possibly one of the "clones" known as the Thanosi) during his quest for the Celestial Messiah, but they were soundly defeated and Eros was cast into outer space, beaten senseless.

Starfox later confronted the time-traveler Thanatos, a version of Rick Jones from another reality intent on gathering items of power. Thanatos struck Starfox in the neck with the Spear of Destiny, causing a wound which could not be healed, then threatened to kill him unless he brought Rick Jones (now bonded to Genis) to him. Starfox was forced to comply, but Rick and Genis were able to defeat Thanatos in the end, reversing his actions. After Genis' power of cosmic awareness drove him insane, Starfox joined with Elysius, Mentor and the other Titans in opposing him; they were ultimately able to help Genis regain his sanity.

105. Hellstorm, The Son of Satan (27 points)

hellstorm.jpgIn the Marvel Universe, Hell is not a single place, but a blanket term for any one of many similar dimensional realms characterized by the common existence of evil demonic beings, and where the physical laws tend much more towards magical, rather than scientific, principles. The origins, structure, and laws of these realms are known to few but the demons themselves. As lies and deception are their stock and trade, they can in no way be trusted in their accounting. Through unknown processes, the souls of dead mortals with some frequency become manifest here after death; sometimes as the result of an agreement during life with one of the demonic beings, sometimes presumably because the soul's wicked actions in life have imbued it with a resonance in accord with these realms, and occasionally for even more unusual reasons.

The ancient demonic beings that come to dominate any one of these realms are singular entities of god-like power, though this power is greatly diminished outside their home realm, and is clearly drawn from their lordship of it in some fashion. Some appear so bound to their home-dimension that they are unable to leave it all, and each would appear to require some manner of occult conditions to be met before they could enter a dimension like that of Earth with even a fraction of their full power. For reasons unknown, at least some of these beings appear to enhance their power by the existence of the souls of the dead trapped in their realm; and sometimes also through the devotion of mortal beings who are still alive. This fact provides such evil entities with a strong incentive to maintain at least some influence over the mortal realm. Over the course of relatively recent human history several of these demon lords have found it useful to claim the mantle of the Judeo-Christian Satan. Moreover, such powerful demon lords as Mephisto, Satannish, Lucifer, Thog, etc. have seen fit to merge in some fashion as a single entity, Satan, for mysterious purposes.

One such demon lord, calling himself Satan, Marduk Kurios, seduced and sired a son with a woman named Victoria Hellstrom. The Hellstrom line were a family of dark satanic bent for generations, and sold Victoria to the Chapel of Dresden. This twisted cult sought to dominate mankind by the creation of a half-demonic child who would eventually lead the Chapel of Dresden to mastery of the Earth. To this end Victoria's womb was tattooed with occult symbols which were to draw Satan to her. The demon lord, Satan, married her in pursuit of his own diabolical ends, and the two produced a child, Daimon Hellstrom.

Daimon appeared to live a fairly normal early life to outward appearances, though in place of baby formula he was raised on human blood. When Daimon was three years old, his mother, Victoria, gave birth to his sister, Satana. During Daimon and Satana's childhoods, Daimon tended to grow close to his human mother and Satana to her demonic father, as Satana was more drawn to her father's unholy teachings. Throughout his childhood, Daimon never knew of his dark heritage, instead believing that Satan was merely a child's story. A short while after Daimon's thirteenth birthday, his mother was driven mad by the mere sight of her husband's true visage. After Victoria was placed into an insane asylum, Daimon and Satana were separated, the brother being raised in an orphanage, while the sister descended to the infernal realm of her father. While visiting her in the asylum, Daimon had thrust upon him an ankh by his mother, who tells him only it can protect him from his father. Shortly thereafter Hellstrom joined the seminary in a monastery, with the intention of entering the priesthood. When his mother died, Daimon inherited his family's mansion. Within it's walls, he discovered his mother's diary, wherein he learned the truth of his origin. Soon afterward, Satan contacted Daimon, offering him a place to rule by his side, as well as a near limitless source of power and eternal life.

After much soul-searching, Daimon set aside the ankh and decided to stand against his father. Accessing a gateway to Hell within the mansion, Hellstrom confronted Satan, and despite being impossibly over matched, managed to escape by stealing his father's Netheraneum trident and a chariot pulled by three demonic horses. The trident was an incredibly potent magical artifact, imbuing the Son of Satan with power leached from his father's realm, and with it he sealed the gate of Hell with melted Netheraneum.

Thereafter, Daimon was afflicted with the manifestation each night of his "Darksoul", an infernal aspect to his spiritual make-up which was the source of much of his power, and which manifested as an inverted pentagram on his chest or could cause him to take on a more demonic appearance. Apparently, the ankh given to him by his mother could mediate the effects of his father's heritage, as he struggled against his own dark nature. In the process of achieving self-knowledge, Daimon's studies led him to become an accomplished demonologist, occultist, and exorcist. After several more battles with his father and his agent Baphomet, Hellstrom merged fully with his Darksoul and came into full understanding and possession of his formidable power.

Eventually, the Son of Satan joined the Defenders, fighting such foes as the demonic sorcerer Asmodeus, the Sons Of The Serpent, and Nebulon. Amidst a prolonged battle against a league of powerful demonic entities known as the Six Fingered Hand, Daimon Hellstrom was instrumental in freeing Hellcat and Gargoyle from the domination of their demonic masters, and they too joined the Defenders. To prevent the Six Fingered Hand from merging the dimensions of Hell and Earth, the Son of Satan was forced to agree to return to Hell to study under his father there, though he later returned to Earth and was once again a mainstay of the Defenders for some time.

At some point Daimon began calling himself Hellstorm, fighting alongside the Defenders and other heroes, until he fell victim to the machinations of the Miracle Man, who managed to wrest from him his Darksoul and place it into the Hellfire Serpent. Daimon was largely disempowered by this act, and after marrying Patsy Walker (aka Hellcat), the two became paranormal investigators. Meanwhile, his Darksoul was used to empower another demon/human hybrid - Mikal Dragonmegas - in another infernal power struggle. It soon became apparent that Hellstrom would die without the Darksoul, causing Hellcat to summon Satan to Daimon's aid. Though the Darksoul was restored to Hellstorm, Hellcat was temporarily driven mad by seeing Daimon's true spiritual aspect, reminiscent of the fate of Daimon's mother.

Even before becoming a Lord of Hell, Hellstorm possessed a vast degree and array of mystical powers, drawn from his half-demonic heritage, his Darksoul, and the Netheranium trident stolen from his father. He is only slightly stronger and more durable than normal, but can use mystic energy to augment this greatly. He commands both earthly fire and soul fire, which can be used as a force blast and to harm an entity's spirit. He uses the trident to channel this energy, as well as to blast it behind him to enable him to fly. He has an impressive variety of spell-like powers. By inter-dimensional travel through Hell, he can affect teleportation of himself and others. He has shown an impressive though seldom used power over time; at least once traveling into ancient history, and on another occasion manipulating temporal flow to manifest sunlight when battling a vampire. He can also sense occult energies, heal himself and others, and ‘tear' thoughts from the minds of others.

Since becoming a Lord of Hell, he is conceivably as powerful in his own realm as such beings as Mephisto, Satannish, or Thog.

104. Mockingbird (27 points)

mockingbird.pngBarbara "Bobbi" Morse had psychic powers. Using them she saw a great doom approaching that only Ka-Zar could stop (if he could). She pursued him across the globe and eventually found him in the Savage Land. Losing her brunette hair (and her psychic powers - if they ever existed) she's revealed to be a scientist assigned to the rediscovery of the Secret Solder Serum in the Florida Everglades (the same project that will lead to Ted Sallis becoming the Man-Thing). Bobbi's fiancé turns out to be an agent of A.I.M. but it's okay because Bobbi is revealed to be an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.. The fiancée is killed by the Man-Thing and Bobbi becomes Ka-Zar's love interest and sidekick for a while.

Eventually, Ka-Zar decides he likes redheads and Bobbi is sent packing. She takes up the super-hero identity of the Huntress but soon drops that because the lawyers at DC would kick her very fine ass. This leads her to become Mockingbird!

Her first outing is during her investigation into some wrong doings by her own organization. With Spider-Man and Nick Fury's help, they uncover some deep secrets (where she ends up getting badly injured). After half a year in hospital, she goes right back into action gong after the criminal Crossfire. During this she runs into Hawkeye and the two team up to put Crossfire away. The duo hit it off so well that they decided on a whim to elope and they were married.

Shortly after this, Hawkeye is asked to lead a west coast branch of the Avengers. With wife in hand they are the foundation of the West Coast Avengers. She serves the team admirably.

Over the course of the next few years, the first strains in her marriage begin to show. They are put to the test when, during an adventure in the past of the wild west, Bobbi is brainwashed into falling in love with a character called the Phantom Rider. Under his spell the two have sex. Upon breaking the brainwashing, Bobbi realizes she was effectively raped. Later, the Rider is clinging to a cliff side about to fall. Bobbi has the chance to save him but she does nothing. The Rider falls and dies. The rape aside, her husband Hawkeye, someone who despises the thought of killing, speaks his unhappiness to her of her actions. She leaves him and the Avengers (they divorce later).

She returns to announce that she accidentally betrayed the team to fake SHIELD agents who were after the destruction of the Vision. She arrived too late for the synthizoid, but not too late for her and Hawkeye to attempt reconciliation. The two leave the team to hang out in Detroit to train some new heroes.

They make their way back to LA and the Avengers soon enough. She is kidnapped and brainnapped by Ultron for a short time. Soon after this she is abducted by the Skrulls who hold her prisoner for years (all the while a fake Mockingbird is on Earth). The fake is eventually killed by Mephisto.

Mockingbird later appears as a dead member of the Legion of the Unliving (apparently the Skrull was so good at mimicking Bobbi that she stayed Mockingbird even after she died).

Anyway - the real Bobbi lands back on Earth with other heroes who were abducted and she and Hawkeye soon take up their real reconciliation as the Mr. & Mrs. Smith of the Marvel Universe.


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