The secret identity is a curious thing. Clark Kent is wildly different from Superman, while Tony Stark makes little pretense of being different in his costume than out. Then there are heroes who identities require a flowchart, a scorecard and a long memory… Welcome to Ten Things!
Whooshman-Bicarbonate Films, in conjunction with ‘An Amateur Comics Historian’, and Decepticon Devastator, Presents:
TEN HEROES WHO ARE ‘MORE THAN ONE PERSON!’
Ahhh, yes. Bloodlines. The Bloodlines crossover of 1993 was designed to create the new wave of DC Comics superheroes, an aim that (with the sole exception of Hitman, who wasn’t particularly superheroey anyway) pretty much wholly failed. With the nebulous ability to control minds and absorb the identities of those whose minds she controls, Sasha Green was one of the more confusing of New Bloods, never reappearing after the Bloodlines monsters were defeated. Given her bland and brutal nature, that may have been a blessing for the readers…
9) CAPTAIN UNIVERSE
Created by Bill Mantlo (who also gave us Rocket Raccoon and guided the licensed ROM and Micronauts titles), Captain Universe was billed as ‘The Hero Who Could Be YOU!’ Thanks to a nebulous cosmic power source known as The Unipower, each Captain Universe appearance found the power with a new host. Over the years, those hosts included Bruce Banner, Spider-Man, The Invisible Woman and more, with the most recent Captain Universe host being a woman named Tamara Devoux, who awakened from a decade-long coma to face the impending annihilation of the universe, even joining the Avengers as part of her mission to stave off annihilation…
8) DOCTOR FATE
After the original Doctor Fate, Kent Nelson, finally succumbed to old age, the Helm Of Nabu was passed on to a new Doctor Fate, this one a merged form of young Eric Strauss and his mother, Linda. Nabu’s consciousness left the helmet to advise the pair in their new gestalt form, but both Eric and Linda were killed (at separate times) in the line of Fate-duty, leading Kent’s late wife Inza to take on the role, with half a dozen OTHER Doctor Fates making the scene in the decades since…
7) THE COLLECTIVE MAN
China’s first superhero (at least, in the Marvel Universe), The Collective Man is actually the combined form of five brothers: Sun, Chang, Ho, Lin and Han Tao-Yu. Being the primary representative of their Communist nation, the brothers Tao-Yu are often set in conflict with the heroes of America, only teaming up as necessary for the greater good. Most impressively, they can not only channel the combined skills and strength of five men, but draw upon the collective will and energy of the entire Chinese populace to empower them to truly superhuman levels.
6) THE QUADRUPLETS
When Robby Reed dials his H-Dial, there’s no telling what he might become: A super-baby, a monstrous living boomerang, even FOUR DIFFERENT people! During the crossover event known as ‘The Silver Age’, we get to see an untold tale of young Master Reed, interacting with the brand-new Justice League Of America as several different heroes, including these four mind-linked super-dupers. (The upshot of the story came when the Leaguers each dialled their own super-forms, but that’s perhaps a story for another list…)
5) THE OVERMIND
Born eons ago as Grom, of an alien race known as The Eternals of Eyung, Overmind made his way first to Earth-616, then to the alternate world of the Squadron Supreme. After his mind was destroyed by an alien creature known as Null The Living Darkness, The Overmind’s form was inhabited by a gestalt mind consisting of seven psychics, who even served as a member of The Defenders in this form, before leaving the team and using their psychic powers to make the Defenders forget their existence. Sadly, the seven minds were engulfed and dispersed when Grom’s own psyche reasserted itself some years later…
4) THE ENCHANTRESS
Artist June Moone was given mystical powers by chance, powers that she first used to fight evil, before the Enchantress persona took over her mind. For a time, the distinct personalities of June and The Enchantress shared her form, switching back and forth reluctantly and only when necessary as a member of the Forgotten Heroes and The Suicide Squad. Eventually coming to terms with her dual nature, The Enchantress becomes a member of The Shadowpact, serving to set right magical wrongs up until the Flashpoint retcon restarted the entire DC Universe again…
Bina Chawney is the younger sister of Harry Chawney, known also as Dharma, the secretive leader of the Shadow Cabinet, in Milestone Comics. Bina’s super-power is eventually revealed to be not telekinesis at all, but the disembodied energy form of her sister Apurna, trapped in an insubstantial state. Though the Milestone Universe was eventually folded into the pre-Flashpoint DC Universe, Plus was never seen in that merged universe, and the status of the Milestone characters post-Flashpoint is as yet unknown.
The leader of the Zodiac Starforce, Gemini/Emma has the ability to split into two beings, befitting her zodiac sign. She also has a massive sword and a cool magical girl costume, and not nearly enough fans, so I totally recommend checking out her adventures. Having repeatedly faced giant menaces and monsters, Emma thought her fighting days were over, but fate had other things in store for her and her super-sisters.
1) THE MULTIPLE MAN
Jamie Madrox’ journey through the Marvel Universe has been an odd one, starting out in a random issue of Fantastic Four before dropping entirely out of sight for years. Eventually brought back into the fold as part of the mutant team X-Factor (in its incarnation as a government strike force), Multiple Man went from bit player to supporting player to leader of the X-Factor team With the ability to summon duplicates of himself (each of whose knowledge and experiences are reabsorbed into his form when the dupes are), he has become a true polymath and has escaped death a truly impressive number of times, even for a Marvel superhero…
Thanks to Major Spoilers’ own Rodrigo (@FearsomeCritter) for this week’s theme, and feel free to follow along @MightyKingCobra for more Ten Things madness on Twitter (or check out the full archive here!) As with any set of like items, these aren’t meant to be hard and fast or absolutely complete, as any of the various Firestorms will easily demonstrate…
Either way, the comments section is Below for just such an emergency, but, as always: Please, no wagering!