The great philosopher Barnabus Stinson was once heard to remark: “Nothing suits me like a suit.”  He would be proud to know how many supers appreciate this sage wisdom…  Welcome to Ten Things!

Whooshman-Bicarbonate Films, in conjunction with ‘An Amateur Comics Historian,’ Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, Presents:

TEN CHARACTERS WELL ‘SUITED’ TO HEROISM!

10) SILVER SCARAB

Silver Scarab

Where his father, Hawkman, was content to wear wings forged of mystical Nth Metal, Hector Hall chose to smith an entire armored suit of the stuff.  As a member of Infinity Inc., a team consisting of sons, daughters and successors to the Justice Society of America, his super-duds allowed him to fly, with enhancements to absorb and project solar energies (and also to look pretty dang cool.)  Sadly, Hector went the way of most replacement/legacy types, suffering a series of devastating tragedies, changing identities to become The Sandman and Doctor Fate before dying and getting a posthumous happy ending, thanks to his son, who had become the new Lord of The Dreaming.  (That’s a long story, remind me to tell you about it sometime.)

 

9) MS. THING

Ms. Thing

One of the more divisive characters of recent years, Darla Deering was The Human Torch’s main squeeze when the Fantastic Four chose to leave Earth on a short family jaunt.  Since Johnny didn’t prepare ahead, she was hastily chosen as his replacement in the team, taking on one of Ben Grimm’s old Thing armors (from one of the times when he was stuck in human form) to make her useful in battle.  Thanks to upgrades by the genius Dragon-Man, she became a key member of the stand-in FF, and the visual of a Katy-Perry-style pink-haired starlet piloting a Thing-body is just too cool, in my opinion.

 

8) THE MASK

Mask

The comic book version of Stanley Ipkiss had a much more tragic story, murdering policemen in a rage and himself being killed by a girlfriend he abused in his masked form.  The wacky movie/cartoon version of The Mask is a little more my speed, with his Tex-Avery-style antics and over-the-top goofy violence making for a more palatable version of a schmoe possessed by a god of mischief turning into a fountain of wacky shenanigans and bone fractures.  In his Jim Carrey adaptation, his trademark yellow suit had bottomless pockets full of tchotchkes, revealing photos of Kellaway’s wife, and cartoon firepower, making him a shoo-in for this list…

 

7) THE GUARDIAN

Guardian II

The founder and leader of Canada’s premier superteam, Alpha Flight, James McDonald Hudson originally created his exoskeleton to allow for more efficient mining operations, only to streamline it into a super-suit when betrayed by his employers.  As Vindicator and later Guardian, he became a symbolic patriotic symbiotic slam, fight, bright light, feeling pretty psyched superman, but unlike most technologically-derived heroes, his power was also his doom.  Guardian died when his overloaded power pack, damaged in battle with the villainous Omega Flight, exploded in his face, and though he’s been resurrected and killed three or four times over since then, it’s hard to forget the image of his charred remains burning as wife Heather looked on, horrified…

 

6) HURRICANE POLYMAR

Hurricane Polymar

Takeshi Yoroi was a gifted martial artist, investigator and member of the Secret Police Agency, when he was gifted a uniform made of the revolutionary “polymet”, a plastic-ish compound stronger than steel, but as easily sculptable as potatoes in Roy Neary’s dining room.  As Hurrican Polymar, he can morph into different vehicle/weapon forms, possesses superhuman strength and the suit even augments his formidable hand-to-hand skills. With his distinctive horned mask, he cuts a mighty heroic figure, a match for any criminal in his quasi-future Tokyo home.  (I wonder if he ever crossed swords with Kaneda?)

 

5) LADYKILLER

Ladykiller

Fashion designer and celebrity Elena LaBrava was already well-known when the mysterious JumpStart gave her the power of perfect, unerring aim.  Designing a multi-purpose convertible uniform, bristling with weaponry and projectiles of all types, Elena became Lady Killer, the financial backer and field leader of the Strangers, a team of other Jumpstart survivors.  Though not as flashy as Electrocute nor as brash as Grenade, she held her team together against villains, the defection of a founding member, and even a universal incursion by the heroes of the Marvel Universe, before being defeated by the worst villain of all: Ancillary merchandising rights.  Still technically a part of Marvel’s table, she and the Ultraverse are seldom used due to the Ultraverse contracts still requiring additional payments for the characters’ use.  It’s a real shame, she’d make a great Defender…

 

4) THE PROWLER

Prowler

Hobie Brown grew up in a very rough part of Brooklyn, and found little in the way of advancement, even with his advanced engineering skills.  When yet another job went sour on him, and he was fired unjustly, Hobie took several of his designs and combined them into one all-purpose costume: The Prowler!  With bullet-proof mesh in his costume, gas-powered projectile launchers, compressed air bootjets and steel claws for climbing, he was a natural for cat-burglary, until an encounter with Spider-man caused him to change his ways.  Hobie gave up on crime, and uses his ingenious gadgetry to occasionally fight crime, while enjoying life as a husband and father.  (Fun fact: Hobie’s brother, Abraham Brown, gained similar minor notoriety as one of the kung-fu hustlin’ Sons Of The Tiger.)

 

3) NFL SUPERPRO

NFL Superpro

Like ROM, Spacknight and the Shogun Warriors before him, Superpro is a character we will likely never see again, due to licensing issues.  Holding the distinction of repeatedly being named star of “the worst comic book ever,” Superpro is secretly Phil Grayfield, a football prodigy who blew out his knee in an act of heroism.  Thanks to an accidental fire, and the fumes from “NFL souvenirs,” he is transformed into a superhuman, and his indestructible armor makes him a fully-licensed juggernaut and walking billboard for the National Football League.  (Confused international Spoilerites, be assured we mean American Football, not the more popular kind.)  Though he is mocked for looking silly, having inane adventures and a ridiculous origin, NFL Superpro is unequivocally, one of the superheroes in the world.

No, there is not a word missing from that sentence.

 

2) EMPOWERED

Empowered

Elissa Marie Powers may have terrible self-esteem and a lot of bad luck, but she is one of the most noble and heroic beings in her world’s massive roster of superhumans.  Her alien super-suit is somehow tied to her self-esteem, and is thus fragile and easily rent, but her tenacity and bravery keep her coming back to try to save the day.  When not constrained by her own issues of self-imaged, Empowered is also one of the most powerful beings in the world, with super-strength, night invulnerability, flight powers, energy manipulation and even the ability to survive in hard vacuum without additional protection.  When she gets past worrying about herself, she has the potential to be one of the all-time greats, explaining why the suit chose her as its wearer…

 

1) AGENT VENOM

Agent Venom

Originally found by Peter Parker on the original Battleworld during the first Secret Wars, the symbiotic uniform that would become Venom seemed to be nothing more than a bit of psycho-reactive cloth in the beginning.  As time went on, though, Peter found that the creature was seemingly feeding off his life-force, and trying to take over his body entirely.  A series of other hosts followed, including original Venom Eddie Brock and the former Scorpion, Mac Gargan, but the symbiote finally met its match in Flash Thompson.  A long-time Spider-Man fan who lost his legs as a member of the American armed forces, Flash has proven able to (mostly) control the creature and use its abilities as an Avenger, a Guardian Of The Galaxy, even traveling to the symbiote’s home planet and finally perfecting the bond to make them a perfect fighting machine.

Feel free to follow along (@MightyKingCobra) for more Ten Things madness on Twitter! As with any set of like items, these aren’t meant to be hard and fast or absolutely complete, as there are easily a dozen people scrambling right now to remind me of the existence of the Invincible Iron Man.   Regardless, the comments section is Below for just such an emergency, but, as always: Please, no wagering!

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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.

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