During our Major Spoilers Podcast trade paperback review of ‘Teen Titans: The Judas Contract’ some months ago, Rodrigo commented on how odd it was that Nightwing’s big debut was immediately overshadowed by the introduction of Deathstroke’s son (or, in story terms, his OTHER son) as Jericho.  I have never been puzzled by that decision, as I found the character of Jericho to be fresh and unlike anything I’d ever seen in comics, while Nightwing was just a grown-up Robin, a concept that DC had been toying with since the late 50s.  Even 30 years later, there’s never been another character quite like Jericho, for reasons both good and bad.  Under the pen of creators Perez and Wolfman, he had personality, specific body language and a cool power set, but subsequent artists couldn’t pull off Perez’ nuanced character art, and later writers turned him from sweet-natured reluctant hero working to offset his father’s evil deeds to just another lunatic, eventually murdering him and turning him into a recurring psychopathic second banana.   (Yes, in that order.)  It’s a waste of a great character, if ya ask me, which leads to today’s purple-chainmail query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) would refer cynics to the ‘Teen Titans’ animated Jericho for an example of how such a character could successfully play in a modern setting, asking: What single character do you feel has the MOST untapped potential?

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

8 Comments

  1. Astro City as a whole feels like this sometimes, where it’s like here’s this hero’s story. But wait I want to read about Starfighter and his shenanigans or some such. (I know this is the point of the series, but still I really just want to read everybody’s story.)

  2. I’m going to sound like a broken record, but Jade and G’nort from the Green Lantern comics. Jade actually had a bit of a fair shake at one point, but for the past decade or so she seems to be used solely as a catalyst for bad things to happen.

    G’nort, on the other hand, I feel has never properly been utilized to his full potential. He’s gotten a few good moments, but they have been so few and far between. Characters like G’nort and Perdoo (the chicken man alien from an insane asylum) showed that being fearless didn’t always mean “brave” or “warrior”, but it could mean “too crazy to know better”. G’nort may not have been truly fearless, but he had a lot of heart and he definitely had the will and attitude to be a hero, even if he didn’t quite have the skills or the smarts.

  3. Daniel Langsdale on

    I’ll have to go with Hermione.

    Wait, wrong question….

    I mean, I’ll go with Connor Hawke on this one. Your description of what happened with Jericho made me recall this Green Arrow’s tale: a son pulled into the hero life because of his father, with an identity and set of values that struggles to live down certain reputations earned by the father’s actions. Written with all the subtle nuance that Chuck Dixon could muster, Connor’s actions were rooted deeply in his Buddhist faith, in stark contrast with Ollie’s more visceral and carnal approach to life. The Rodolpho Dimaggio art didn’t hurt much, either.

    When the elder GA returned from the dead, however, no one seemed to know quite what to do with Connor, Shoved to the background as a redundancy, his asceticism written off as homosexuality instead of spirituality, he was ultimately killed and turned into a plasticized living mannequin. And now, given the timeline of the new 52 and the relative youth of Oliver Queen, this character with less fan support than Stephanie Brown* will likely never appear again.

    -Dan’L

    *also a Chuck Dixon creation. Coincidence?

      • I’m also a Connor Hawke fan. A Buddhist Superhero has great potential, if written well.

        I’d also like to see more of Klarion the Witch Boy and Stanley & His Monster. The world needs more Stanley & His Monster!

  4. Clubberlang6 on

    I know this is old school, but I would have to say jake, from jake and the fat man. Jake got so little glory.

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