Wednesday, June 20, 2018 • Morning Edition • "We're the god damn Outhousers."

Your Top Marvel Heroes part 58

Written by Chris Mitchell on Thursday, May 06 2010 and posted in Features
Three more that are awesome and yet have nothing in common. {nomultithumb}

79. Gorilla Man (37 points)

gorillaman.jpg"A Gorilla with a Gun. How awesome is that?"

Ken Hale was a scholar and explorer of the 1950's who was obsessed with the idea of immortality. He learned of the legendary "Gorilla Man," a half-man, half-animal monster in a remote area of Africa. If one were to kill the beast, the legend said, he would never die. Finally leaving his wife and kids to seek out the Gorilla Man, Hale ultimately couldn't kill the creature, as it was too much like a human. However, in losing his way back, he was forced to kill the monster when it came for him. As one Gorilla Man died, another was reborn-- Hale was transformed by a strange curse into a new Gorilla Man. Repulsed and ashamed, Hale elected to stay in the jungle rather than return and face the public or his family.

Later that same decade, the Gorilla Man was sought out by the heroes Marvel Boy and Jann the Jungle Girl, on behalf of FBI agent Jimmy Woo. After Marvel Boy's promise to find a cure for Hale's curse through advanced science, Hale agreed to join Jimmy Woo and his allies in freeing President Eisenhower from the clutches of the Yellow Claw. These "G-Men" operated for another six months, until the government decreed that the country wasn't ready to learn of such a super-team and its exploits.

In more recent years, Ken Hale was recruited by S.H.I.E.L.D. to join their Howling Commandos unit, a strike force squad of supernatural creatures. (He was recommended by Woo himself, now a member of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Directorate.) The squad took down the terrorist Lords of the Living Lightning and defended the Commandos' Area 13 headquarters by an invasion of monsters led by Merlin.

When Jimmy Woo was nearly killed in tracking down the Atlas Foundation, S.H.I.E.L.D. consulted Ken since Woo had kept his investigation hidden from them. Hale was just as mystified, but secretly contacted M-11, the Human Robot, one of his allies in the 50s. The two recovered Woo's body in a daring rescue, bringing him to Marvel Boy's flying saucer, where he was revived (at least to the state Marvel Boy last remembered him-- 1959.) Jimmy Woo and his allies began the search for the Atlas Foundation anew. The trail led to Mr. Lao, a literal dragon working on behalf of the Yellow Claw. The Claw revealed that Jimmy was a true descendant of Genghis Khan, and he revealed that he became Jimmy's greatest enemy in order to help him build a legend worthy of his lineage. In fact, Jimmy's adventures with his allies had been set up by the Claw and Mr. Lao from the very beginning, ever since the 1950s! For example, it was Mr. Lao (in human form) who first introduced the legend of the Gorilla Man to Ken Hale and set him on the course to Africa.

Jimmy Woo took control of the Atlas Foundation. However, he professed his determination to use such resources for the betterment of the world. He, Gorilla Man, and the other Agents of Atlas would become a clandestine force for good.

78. Star-Lord (37 points)

starlord.jpg"DnA do a great job at showing how great and flawed he is at the same time. Just when you think he has everything under control, you soon realize he is in way over his head. Guardians of the Galaxy is my favorite comic on the stands"

Once there was a man called Prince Jason of Spartoi, and he was wrongly accused of being a traitor by his father. This action caused Jason to run away. When war broke out Jason was asked to come back home. But on the way home Jason's ship converter blew out. He then had to make a crash landing in the Earth's Colorado Mountains. A woman named Meredith Quill helped him out of the ship. She would get him back on his feet and help rebuild his ship. He fell in love with her and they had a child. But, one day when Jason was ready to leave and help solve the war he had to leave Meredith behind so she wouldn't get hurt. A month later she had got together with another man so she would not suffer from Peter being gone.

When Meredith had the child the man she was with named Jake thought it was not his. She named the child Peter Jason. Jake told her the child looked nothing like him or her. Jake then tried to kill the child but on the way outside he died from a heart attack. Meredith would then spend most of her time doing nothing but raising her son. As Peter was little he often loved to watch many NASA and space shows. When the war against Spartoi and Ariguan had been in Spartoi's favor Jason asked his uncle Gareth to bring his family to him. But, instead Gareth put a hit on the Quill family. When Peter was eleven he saw men come in and kill his mother. The men left not knowing Peter was there. Peter swore that he would kill those men. Gareth had told Jason that his family had died during birth. Peter with much hope ran away from his orphanage.

He started to study and even ended up graduating college. He was then accepted into the NASA space astronaut training program. Peter still had a lack of social skills. Once, after saving a fellow student from an accident he yelled at the kid for being stupid and not saving himself. Soon enough Peter was being sent to a new space station and Peter was finally in space. He loved being in space but, while he was up there he remembered about his goal to take revenge on the men who killed his mom. When there was a project called Star-Lord Peter volunteered. Earth was trying to stop Peter from doing it saying he didn't have enough experience. Refusing not to go he stole a ship and headed back to Eve which was the space station. Shooting his way into the spot where he needed to be. When he got there he saw another man trying to be in the Star-Lord program. He then threw the man out of the way and Peter was transported away.

Later, he met up with the Master of the Sun who then turned Peter into Star Lord. He then let Peter go to take revenge. Peter then was seen destroying the same ship that landed where he lived. His master then told him to start a new life and gave him a sentient former star named Ship which would help guide him. Later Ship took Peter to his dads future time. Where Peter saw slavers who would destroy whole planets and take people as slaves. Peter than made a revolt team with some other revolt leaders. Peter tracked the leader of the slavers and one of the revolt leaders killed the leader. The group left before a dead man's switch destroyed the palace. Peter then raced to his fathers home planet there he saw a man named Rruothk'ar and he saw Gareth. Peter saw that Rruothk'ar was the man who killed his mom and he killed him. Now, Peter crossing swords with Gareth. Gareth took of Peters mask and saw he looked a lot like Jason. But, then Peter killed him and that's when Jason found him. Jason told peter about him and who he was. Jason was so happy Peter was there and asked him to become the empires heir but, Peter refused him.

Much later, a Ariguan assault force started to attack the Master of the Sun Star-Lord came to help him. But, he found out that his master was Ariguan himself and that by creating Star-Lord he betrayed his people and must face punishment. Peter accepted what the Master of the Sun had to do. Peter returned to his fathers home planet to be at Jason's 100th coronation jubilee. He regretted that he never got to know his father. Now, his father left to explore the universe. One day Peter was separated from Ship when she was caught in a black hole. Due to injuries it is said Star-lord had to have cybernetic implants.

After that Star-Lord was confronted by the Fallen One who was the first herald of Galactus. Star-Lord did happen to subdue his much stronger opponent. But, a lot of lives where taken to provide the energy needed to stop the Fallen One. He was in guilt and gave up his Star-Lord identity. The collateral damage was 350,000 dead which ended up getting Star-Lord life imprisonment in the Kyln, a super prison on the edge of the universe.

In the Kyln, Star-Lord allied with Gladiator, who was there to watch over Kosmos, the mortal form of the Beyonder. With the help of Thanos, she was defeated but another great threat broke free of his imprisonment - the Fallen One. Gladiator conscripted Star-Lord into the Imperial Guard to help them with the Fallen One and Thanos.

After he left the Imperial Guard, he became Nova 's main aide during the Annihilation Wave. He became a valuable asset against the forces of Annihilus although he refused to speak about his past to anybody. He accompanied Nova and Phyla on the mission to kill Annihilus in which they succeeded after Phyla took the Quantum Bands and Nova ripped out Annihilus' insides.

After Ultron and the Phalanx were defeated, Star-Lord formed the new Guardians of the Galaxy. The universe was in a very fragile state after the two Annihilation events and fissures in reality were beginning to form and spread. In order to prevent the collapse of the universe he had Mantis telepathically nudge Adam Warlock, Phyla-Vell, Rocket Raccoon, Drax and Gamora into joining his team. This motley crew set up base in the severed head of a Celestial called Knowhere. When Star-Lord's deception was found out everyone but Mantis quit the team in disgust and sat off on their own quests.

Star-Lord responded to a Kree summons and returned to the Kree home world to speak with Ronan. Upon arrival he is shocked to see that they are rebuilding the Phalanx Spire to protect Kree space, he argued with Ronan and then he was thrown into the Negative Zone. He was then forced into helping the newly appointed ruler of the Negative Zone, King Blastaar, into taking over the Superprison 42 so he could gain access to their portal to earth. Star-Lord was sent into 42 to convince them to open the door and surrender. Once inside he spoke with the unofficial leaders of 42 and told them not to surrender but only Jack Flag agreed with him, they tried to stop them but the doors were opened and Blastaar's army was unleashed; after learning of his betrayal Blastaar sent his men to find and kill Star-Lord. Running for their lives Star-Lord and Jack Flag located a telepath in 42 to ask the Guardians for help and they were able to escape before being killed by Blastaar.

Once he returned to Knowhere, he found that Rocket had assembled a new team, consisting of Major Victory, Bug, Groot and Mantis. Eventually, the other members returned as well, Adam and Gamora returning in order to still help the universe, and Drax and Phyla returning with the newly resurrected Moondragon.

Their first order was to split up and attempt to end the War of Kings, which would cause irreparable damage to the fabric of the universe. Peter led his team to Hala to speak with the Inhumans. Even after telling them the dangers of their war, they refused. Phyla, who now called herself Martyr, had other ideas of negotiating and took Crystal hostage. Star-Lord could not get her to release her prisoner and they were teleported back to Knowhere.

Upon their return, they soon found themselves in the middle of a battle with the Inhumans and the Imperial Guard, who had followed the other team back. After rescuing Crystal, the Inhumans left and the Guardians were left to face the Imperial Guard, who wished to take over the station. In the process of the battle, Starhawk escaped her captivity and took Star-Lord, Mantis, Bug, Jack Flag and Cosmo to her future.

In Starhawk's bleak future, she was finally able to convince them what she had been saying all along was true. A massive fissure was consuming the universe, and it had to be stopped. The two Guardians teams worked together to try to send a message back through time to warn that the fissure, known as the Fault, was actually caused during the War of Kings by Black Bolt.

With their time machine broken, they formed a new plan. The Badoon, who know ruled what little was left of the universe, had enslaved the Celestials and created what was called the Celestial Engine, used to keep the fissure at bay. They send back their message and break the alignment of the Celestial Engine, causing the destruction of this future.

To Star-Lord's surprise, this did not kill them. They found themselves in a different time with a different set of Guardians. Another surprise: he was old enough to be his own grandfather. The Starhawk of this future received messages from his previous selves and learned the truth. The team was adrift in time, which was causing their changes as well. They formed a plan to find a time machine under Avengers Mansion, but once they got their they slipped through time once again. And again. And again.

They finally arrived at an alternate future, one ruled by the Magus and the Universal Church of Truth. While battling the members of the Church, they had an unexpected guest: Kang the Conqueror. He returned them to their normal states and took them to his headquarters in limbo. He explained that all futures were becoming Magus futures and it was up to Star-Lord to stop this from happening.

Kang gave Peter a Cosmic Cube and told him that future must be saved at all costs. They were sent back to moments before Adam would turn into the Magus while repairing the Fault. Star-Lord tried to talk to Adam, but the damage had been done. He had overlapped the time lines and essentially he had been the Magus for months.

Adam transformed and began his battle with the Guardians, who were all reunited. After killing Major Victory, Mantis, Cosmo, Gamora and Phyla, Star-Lord was finally able to grab the Cube and use it to revert the Magus back to Adam. Adam told him that he must finish him, and to his own regret, Star-Lord shot and killed his friend. The universe had been saved, but the price was very high.

77. Volstagg (38 points - 2 first place slots)

volstagg.jpg"Gentlemen! I am out of pork rinds."

"Normally a forgettable niche character, Volstagg has, due to the events of Siege, been elevated into the spotlight of the Marvel Universe, where, in his few short appearances in Brian Reed's Siege Embedded, he has reminded readers what made him such a lovable character under Walt Simonson in the eighties: a boisterous, happy hero whose past exploits have won him the respect and admiration of his comrades despite his being a little out of shape and past his prime. Volstagg is possibly the most fun character in Asgard, but has also always shown he is a good-hearted, honorable man underneath all his mirth and gluttony. Volstagg is also one of the few Asgardian characters who is not taken from myth, but is, in fact, an entirely original creation."

"Yea, verily! The list doth fail without the Lion of Asgard! Shakespeare wouldst be proud."

Volstagg's origin beyond being a member of the Asgardian race and a friend of Thor has not been revealed. Volstagg is fairly advanced in age for an Asgardian, and it has been alluded to that he was a highly respected and feared warrior in his prime.

In a sense, Volstagg's entire career has been one long origin story. Volstagg is a huge, bumbling oaf much given to boasting and bragging: the last into battle and the first to claim victory (usually undeserved). Referring to himself as "The Lion of Asgard," he usually caused more problems than he solved and seemed totally unaware of the chaos that almost always followed in his wake. A flashback told of how a drunken Volstagg incurred the wrath of Odin by spilling the secrets of the first Frost Giants to a younger Thor. Strangely enough, he was considered a trusted and worthy comrade by his closest friends and allies, Fandral the Dashing, Hogun the Grim, and Thor.

Despite usually being cowardly, Volstagg has performed various acts of heroism. Volstagg once squared-off with the Hulk (before being dumped contemptuously in a roadside ditch by the green-skinned behemoth). The "Lion of Asgard" also once rushed through a tunnel to battle the demonic Mangog (a creature possessed of the power of a billion' 'billion' beings) but was prevented when the passage proved too narrow to accommodate his considerable girth. Even more spectacular examples of his peerless bravery ensued: during a trip to Hades to rescue his comrade-in-arms Thor, Volstagg offered to battle the Arch-Fiend Mephisto in return for his friend's noble soul (despite being aware that the God of Thunder had already bested the Lord of Hell in fair combat some time previously).

Another example of Volstagg's bravery and heroism was when Thor and the Warriors Three were battling the interstellar parasite Ego-Prime in the streets of New York City: hiding behind a festering heap of garbage, Volstagg saw a group of extraterrestrial monstrosities preparing to devour a little girl, a sight which drove him to a remarkable display of courage and resolution. Despite his obvious terror, the Voluminous One struck the creatures down with his bare hands and carried the child to safety (it would be revealed much later that Volstagg was himself a family man and would never stand to see an innocent child harmed in any way).

When Balder the Brave returned broken and hopeless from the land of the dead, it was the kind-hearted Volstagg who took the fallen warrior under his wing (introducing him to the twin joys of gluttony and drunkenness).

When Thor's actions indirectly deprived two mortal lads (Kevin and Mick) of their parents, he takes them to Asgard, and to the Hall of Volstagg, where he knows they will be loved and protected by the largest and kindest of all Odin's warriors. When the boys first mistake Volstagg for Santa Claus, he assures them that while he was not that particular time-honored saint, he is "yet a friend to children everywhere", as indeed he turned out to be.

When the Frost Giants descended upon a plague-ridden Asgard, Volstagg was the only warrior left to defend the ramparts, a role he fulfilled admirably, once he realized he had discovered an enemy even more stupid and cowardly than himself. Saving the day by default as always, the Lion of Asgard accepted the praise and gratitude of his companions with his usual humility, musing on how the poets of later ages will depict his glorious exploits for all time.

Volstagg and his family have also encountered the New Mutants. During the group's first trip to Asgard, Volstagg makes friends with Roberto da Costa, aka Sunspot, challenging him to feats of strength, including arm-wrestling and the lifting of Volstagg himself.

In the group's second visit, Volstagg's children encountered Boom Boom, Hrimhari and Warlock, who were on the run from Hela's forces, who were following through with a plan to kill Odin and conquer Asgard. The children switched places with the group so as to impress their elders with the seriousness of the situation. They told the heroes of Tiwaz, a powerful sorcerer who might help them in the fight. Hrimhari, wolf-prince of a far-away tribe of wolf-people, told the children that tales of Volstagg's children were told to his people and it was an honor to be in their debt.

Volstagg would later personally participate in the battle against Hela's forces, working with his Warrior's Three comrades and other Asgardian forces; in the end Odin was saved.

Soon after this point, when Odin was awake and aware, his mind became overtaken by the influence of Loki. Persecuted, the Warriors Three were forced to go on the run, gaining a new ally in the form of a heroic, young palace guardsman.

Volstagg seemed to know more about the raising of the mug (his favorite weapon, evidently) than the raising of the sword (of which he actually knew very little). Ironically, whenever his courage failed (at the slightest sign of danger), Volstagg's innate clumsiness would somehow seize victory from the jaws of defeat. In a typically Kirbyesque touch, Volstagg inadvertently saved his companions' lives on at least two occasions by stumbling onto the one weapon capable of saving the day (and later claiming that his initial cowardly retreat was all part of a vast master plan).

It has also been hinted at on numerous occasions that he ceased his full time warrior's life to be a husband and father.

After his death at Ragnarok, Asgard had been moved to Earth and hovers over Oklahoma. Volstagg went to explore the Earth when he was attacked by the U-Foes, who were sent by Loki and Norman Osborn in order to cause an event that would allow them to invade Asgard. It succeeded, Volstagg fighting back against them created an explosion at Soldier Field in Chicago, killing many spectators. Now Norman had a reason to invade, bringing the Siege event. Volstagg went to return to Asgard to accept punishment for his actions and was met by journalists Ben Urich and Will Stern. They offered to give him a ride to Asgard so they could get Volstagg to help them get information to bring Osborn down with the truth.


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