Timing is everything, especially when your job is saving the world. But sometimes, our favorite heroes arrive just in time to get cancelled… Welcome to Ten Things: Ten Eleventh-Hour Heroes!
Whooshman-Bicarbonate Films, in conjunction with An Amateur Comics Historian and extensive use of Super Sentai footage, Presents:
TEN THINGS: TEN ELEVENTH-HOUR HEROES!
10) THE RED BEETLE
Carrying on the mantle of Ted Kord’s Blue Beetle before Jaime Reyes, Sara Butters joined the already-overcrowded Justice Society of America in 2011. Spoilerites with long memories will recall that the New 52 revamp hit in the fall of that year, meaning that Sara (along with a couple of other additions to the team) got virtually no page-time before being retconned entirely out of existence. It’s kind of a shame, too, as she was one of the characters about whom I wanted to know more, unlike the writer’s pet character, Darknight, who is literally just hornless Batman.
Another hero who arrived right before a retcon removed her entire reality, Giselle Smith was the last recruit to the “Threeboot” Legion of Super-Heroes (and was created by Jim Shooter, no less!) She appeared in seven or eight issues, and was only the focus of two of them, before Final Crisis reinstated the original Legion of Super-Heroes continuity, for all the good it did them. It’s rather a shame, too, as her strange metabolic powers had the potential to be something weird and different for the Legion. I’d have loved to see her hanging out with Timber Wolf, but sadly, it was not to be…
8) THE HARLEQUIN
Unlike the psycho-killer of the modern post-Flashpoint reality, the Duela Dent of the Earth-1 continuity wasn’t a complete monster, though she still claimed to be the daughter of The Joker, Catwoman, Scarecrow, Riddler and Penguin before revealing that her father is, in fact, Two-Face himself. After a confrontation with Daddy dearest, Duela declared herself the Harlequin and joining the Teen Titans for three issues before their book got the axe. When the team reappeared as The New Teen Titans, Duela was nowhere to be found, and her story remained untold for years.
7) THE INTERLOPER
An Eternal, which is to say, an immortal being with mighty psionic powers, his personal quest was to battle the Dragon of the Moon, an alien creature that had possessed the Defender called Moondragon. Arriving just in time to fight alongside the Defenders, Interloper died in their final battle, alongside Valkyrie, Gargoyle, and another new kid named Manslaughter. Some time later, the dead Defenders returned from the beyond as The Dragon Circle, with Interloper and Manslaughter being treated as former Defenders, even though they fought alongside them exactly that one time.
Using the technology of The Web for her own heroic purposes, Kim Brand created her own superhero identity in the DC Universe, during a time when Archie’s superheroes were licensed as a part of the post-Final Crisis reality. Sadly, her first appearance was in the final issue of The Web’s book followed by a six-issue membership in the Mighty Crusaders, after which all the Archie heroes returned home.
5) NOVA RANGER
Arriving so late in the game that she doesn’t even get a name (and her actress is completely uncredited in the episode, no less), the Nova Ranger pops into the final battle of the final episode of Power Rangers S.P.D. to aid Sam, the Omega Ranger. (Sam himself isn’t seen unmorphed throughout most of S.P.D. either, reputedly to save money on the budget, instead being portrayed as a ball of light.) Nova’s Super Sentai counterpart, Dekabright, gets more explanation for her one-episode role, which appears in the middle of the season rather than at the very end.
4) WHEELS WOLINSKI
Once a teenage member of the street gang/dojo/super team called The Wolfpack, Nico Wolinski protected the South Bronx with his pals, fighting threats both mundane and mystical. Years later, now grown into an adult, Wheels became an associate of Clint Barton, the Avenger known as Hawkeye, assisting him in his strangely named ‘Occupy Avengers’ team. Sadly, Clint’s team and Wheels’ Avengers membership was short-lived, thanks to the clusterschmozz that was ‘Secret Empire’, leading to cancellation and an unknown fate for most of the team.
3) CAPTAIN MARVEL
Though established as a part of the Earth-1610 Ultimate Marvel universe, Rick Jones was empowered by The Watcher with great power, just in time for the Ultimatum crisis that nearly led to the end of his world. The real end was just around the corner, though, as Galactus from Earth-616 merged with his world’s Gah-Lak-Tus to form a more terrible gestalt being, leading to more devastation and the eventual loss of his world in ‘Secret Wars.’
2) AMBUSH BUG
Somehow aware that the world in which he lived was a television series, Irwin Schwab became aware of Bat-Mite’s plan to get the show cancelled because he didn’t care for the version of Batman seen in ‘Batman: The Brave and The Bold.’ The final episode ends up being a fourth-wall shattering battle that is unsuccessful in saving the show, ending with the Bug congratulating Batman on a good run, to which the Caped Crusader corrected him: “A GREAT run.” #RIPB&B
1) THE FLASH
After a full season of the villainous Zoom impersonating him, Jay Garrick was freed from imprisonment by Barry Allen and Team Flash. Revealing himself to be some sort of dimensional duplicate of Barry Allen’s dad Henry, Jay even takes up the winged helmet that Zoom wore to impersonate him, wearing it to take back some of what was stolen from him. He then returns to Earth-2 in the hopes of making it back to his own world of Earth-3, and though he makes additional appearances in later seasons, that closes up Flash Season 2. For my money, anything that has John Wesley Shipp doing any sort of Flash thing is a good thing, though, and I look forward to the occasional appearances by Mister Garrick.
Thanks to Major Spoilers’ own Rodrigo (@FearsomeCritter) for this week’s topic. Feel free to follow along @MightyKingCobra for more Ten Things madness on Twitter 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, if only because timing is everything… Either way, the comments section is Below for just such an emergency, but, as always: Please, no wagering!