John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

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Ten random things: Reader Request Month, day 42

Ten DC Comics characters who, through retcons or reboots, now "never existed:"
  1. The Lieutenant Marvels
  2. The Composite Superman
  3. Jax-Ur
  4. The Yellow Peri
  5. Quislet
  6. Doctor Mayavale
  7. Tommy Superman, Superman's adopted son
  8. Kamandi
  9. Mr. Xavier
  10. The Outsider

This list was suggested by my friend Greg. He probably thought it'd be easy for a comics geek of long standing such as myself, but what he didn't realize was that there is no comic book character too lame or misconceived that he or she won't eventually be resurrected by a comic book writer. My God, if they'll bring back J. Wilbur Wolfingham, they'll bring back anyone. And when you factor Hypertime into the equation, you have to figure that all these characters are still around in some parallel time stream. Thank you, Mark Waid. That said, the characters above seem unlikely to be resurrected any time soon. Keen-eyed readers will notice that I've recycled a character from an earlier list, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to mention him again.

Here's some quick background on the characters mentioned above:

  1. The Lieutenant Marvels: Oh Lord, I'm already regretting this. See, Billy Batson became Captain Marvel by saying the magic word SHAZAM! And there were these three other guys named Billy Batson, and they also gained super-powers by saying SHAZAM! That's so plausible!
  2. The Composite Superman was a former employee of the Superman Museum in Metropolis who received all the powers of the Legion of Super-Heroes and, once realizing he was among the most powerful being on Earth, did what I think any of us would do: used his shape-shifting powers to make the right side of his body look like Superman and the left side like Batman. You can read the first two appearances of the Composite Superman at Confessions of a Superman Fan. There's a lot of other good stuff at that site too.
  3. Jax-Ur was a Kryptonian criminal who was confined to the Phantom Zone. I think he blew up an inhabited moon of Krypton or something. Insert WMD joke here.
  4. The Yellow Peri was a girl from Smallville who discovered a book of spells that gave her super-powers and allowed her to be a super-nuisance to Superboy. All I really have to say about the Yellow Peri is that she has one of the dumbest character names in comics history, and yes, I'm including Paste-Pot Pete.
  5. Quislet was a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes. He was an energy being who could take possession of inanimate objects and animate them. He traveled around in this little spaceship dealie. I thought he was a pretty good character, actually.
  6. Doctor Mayavale. If there's one thing that almost every Legion of Super-Heroes fan agrees on, it's that Dr. Mayavale was the worst character in the history of the LSH franchise. Jason Fliegel said of him, "If I EVER see Dr. Mayavale again, I will weep uncontrollably." I couldn't possibly do justice to him, so I'll just refer you to Troy McNemar's review of LSH no. 268, the issue in which Dr. Mayavale first appeared.
  7. Tommy Superman was the name used by a boy adopted by Superman in the 1940s. Eventually, Superman realized that adopting a son was a horseshit idea, had the adoption annulled or something, and arranged to have Tommy adopted by the linotype operator at the Daily Planet. And that's why they called it the Golden Age, folks.
  8. Kamandi was the last boy on Earth, but the alternate future in which he lived was wiped out in the Crisis, so the kid who would have become Kamandi instead became Tommy Tomorrow. Better that than growing up to be Space Cabbie, I guess.
  9. Mr. Xavier was an alien who planned to use some space jewels to harness the energy stored in Superman's body to destroy the Earth. I think the plan was to trick Superman into giving up his Clark Kent identity and then expending massive amounts of energy fighting his deadliest foes and... hell, I can't remember, it was almost thirty years ago. It was a good story though.
  10. The Outsider is, in the words of The Comic Treadmill, "one of the biggest misfires of a character concept in the whole Bat-canon, no small claim." In 1964, Batman's butler Alfred died. Except he didn't really die; he really got amnesia and became the mysterious super-villain known as the Outsider. Because, you know, that's just the sort of thing that happens to you when you're a comic book character.

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