Everybody wants to leave a legacy behind when they go, even our favorite superhumans… But what does that mean for their kids, legacies and followers? Welcome to Ten Things: Ten Junior Supers!
Whooshman-Bicarbonate Films, in conjunction with An Amateur Comics Historian and Robert Downey, Presents:
TEN THINGS: TEN JUNIOR SUPERS!
10) CAPTAIN BATTLE, JR.
The son of superhero Captain Battle, William Battle didn’t have a cool costume or jetpack like dad. Instead, he was a pilot in the European theatre, punching and shooting his way through anything that stood in his path. William even saved dear ol’ dad from a N*zi prison once.
He is not to be confused with Hale Battle, Captain Battle’s actual costumed sidekick, who was recently revived using the ‘Captain Battle, Jr.’ name but didn’t use it in his handful of Golden Age appearances.
The brains of the Young Heroes outfit, as seen in the underrated ‘Young Heroes In Love’ comic, Benjamin Newton doesn’t shrink, but is in fact stuck at a permanent high of six inches. A teenage genius, he harbored a huge crush on teammate Zip Kid, who COULD grow back to normal, but had an abusive jerk of a fiancé. They may or may not have gotten a happy ending.
The G.I. Juniors were a group of kids who spent their days in a peculiar camp, Camp Wacky Wee, where they seemingly lived and had Sad Sack-inspired adventures. (Sad Sack himself was a big hit for their publisher, Harvey Comics, during the late 50s/early 60s.) Occasionally, they would dress up as superheroes (it was 1967, after all, and Bat-Mania was in full swing) and have semi-imaginary adventures in costume. Rocketboy is a double example, as not only was he a G.I. Junior/Super Junior, he was known only as Junior out of costume. His compatriots went only by Ape, Cubby, and Tuffy, making me really wonder about the nature of this camp.
7) JUNIOR WAVEMAN KIMURA
Orphaned as a child, when his family was lost at sea, Riki Kimura was rescued and adopted by a superhero group called The Wavemen. Under the tutelage of Senior Waveman Otomo, Riki grew up to be part of Japan’s greatest super-team, Big Science Action. His daughter Kim followed in his footsteps as Shiny Happy Aquazon of the Super Young Team.
6) COLUMBUS, JR.
The official story is that he is the son of the famous explorer, somehow lost in time and space (it’s a family tradition!) and desperately seeking a way home. It’s either that, or he’s a cosplayer who’s really into his method acting, but either way, he’s as effective as any of the members of Mayhem, Inc.
Whether or not that’s any sort of endorsement is kind of in the eye of the beholder… but he’s got a sword!
5) SINBAD, JR.
Accompanied by his magic talking parrot, Salty, the son of the legendary sailor uses his magic belt to draw on supernatural abilities. Starring in over 100 short cartoons in the space of a year, he is mostly remembered for being voiced by a young Tim Matheson, aka Eric “Otter” Stratton of ‘Animal House’ renown. Though produced by Hanna-Barbera, the rights to his cartoons may be in limbo, as I haven’t seen one forever, even on Boomerang.
4) BRAINWAVE, JR.
Henry King, Jr. is the son of the Brainwave, one of the most dangerous foes the Justice Society of America ever faced. Fortunately, he takes after his mom, who was once the hero called Gimmick Girl, and was a founding hero of Infinity, Inc. Sadly, in addition to inheriting Hank Senior’s psionic powers, he also inherited dad’s mental illness, causing him to make some very bad, very rash decisions and even act as a villain more than once.
3) SUPER J / JUNIOR
Known as Junior in his native Italy, but called Super J in France, this hero was engulfed in radiation while trying to foil the sabotage of a nuclear power plant. He was known to associate with an elderly hero named Senior who likewise sported cape and tights with a single-letter chest symbol, but doesn’t seem to have any super-powers. If his real name was ever revealed, I can’t find record of it sixty years later.
2) FRANKENSTEIN, JR.
Piloted by brave tweenager Buzz Conroy, “Frankie” is actually an advanced artificial intelligence designed to be Buzz’s “babysitter”, housed in the shell of a massive military android. As such, it responds as much to Buzz as it does to official commands and is even developing a sense of humor.
Which is totally what you want in your 10-story-tall weapons of mass destruction…
1) CAPTAIN MARVEL, JR.
After being injured by (and losing his Grandfather to) an attack by Captain Nazi, Freddy Freeman was allowed to share in the power of Shazam by his idol, Captain Marvel. Unfortunately, the magic spell that gives him the ability to walk unaided only works when transformed into his Shazamified state. The question of why he’d ever change back was answered by Kid Marvelman/Miracleman’s story.
Freddy is one of the rare superheroes who cannot say his own name, and his costume and haircut inspired an obscure rock singer named Elvis to adopt similar attire some years later.
This week’s Ten Things topic, Ten Super Juniors, is all me but feel free to suggest your own by tweeting me @MightyKingCobra or check out the full Twitter archive here! As with any set of like items, these aren’t meant to be hard and fast or absolutely complete, but I’m preeeeetty sure this one actually is. Well, as long as you discount the original Super-Sons and L.J. of the Defenders of the Earth, that is… Either way, the comments section is Below for just such an emergency, but, as always:
Please, no wagering!