In 1973, ‘The Brady Bunch’ welcomed a new addition, a young boy named Oliver. It was a truly bad idea that somehow still ends up being reused over and over. Welcome to Ten Things: Ten Cousin Oliver Characters!
Whooshman-Bicarbonate Films, in conjunction with An Amateur Comics Historian and Robbie Rist, who by all account is a nice guy who never did anything to earn the hate he somehow accidentally generated when he was 8, Presents:
TEN THINGS: TEN COUSIN OLIVER CHARACTERS!
Perhaps the quintessential example, Katherine “Kitty” Pryde was described in her first appearance as “bright and spunky”, which might have been the kiss of death for a new character in the early 1980s. Some outstanding writing established her as more than just the new masked kid on the Westchester block. Four decades later (for us, it’s unclear how long it’s been in-universe), she’s now going by Captain Kate, The Red Queen, and is the only mutant unable to visit their new nation on Krakoa, instead leading her Marauders around the globe to liberate imprisoned mutants.
9) SAILOR CHIBI MOON
Sent from the 30th century for training as a Sailor Senshi, the stage play version of Usagi Small Lady Serenity seems more interested in stealing Sailor Moon’s quasi-boyfriend, Tuxedo Mask. She nearly causes the Sailor Scouts to disband, then gets kidnapped and held hostage but dies in the conflict, forcing the other Guardians to bring her back from the dead. They say all’s well than ends well, but that’s a lot of work to go through just to have to recast the role for the next story.
I still like her, though.
A twelve-year-old badass who grew a mustache by sheer force of will, Gordito Delgado is an expert marksman whose father died in a high-wire sharpshooting act after a horde of bobcats and coyotes were fired out of a cannon at him. He travels the land on his steed, a velociraptor, and I honestly can’t decide if he’s ridiculous, awesome, or offensive. I think I’m going with “all of the above”, but you have to appreciate a character whose name is an oxymoron.
7) DANNY CHASE
It’s almost a shame that DC Comics wasted the call-in murder vote on Jason Todd, because I’ve never seen a character that audiences hated as vehemently or as immediately as Danny. The child of intelligence agents, Danny was a know-it-all, snotty, legitimate genius who treated the experienced superheroes of the Titans as though they were inexperienced idiots. He even callously revealed to Nightwing that his successor as Robin had died, treating the whole matter as a joke and showing a staggering lack of empathy.
And this was to a man raised by Batman, so you know it was serious.
Danny has died, by my count, three times, which is a startling number for a teenager, even a Titan.
6) KID JUSTICE
Younger brother of The heroic Yankee Clipper, Timothy Carney had not super-powers save for the moxie of a teen sidekick in the 1960s. With his brother, he served with The First Line in the days before the debut of the Fantastic Four, and unlike most comic characters, was allowed to age. (That’s mostly because he and his team were a retcon to try and explain some of the missing years in Marvel Comics’ sliding timeline.) Tim grew up to become the capable Mister Justice, dying in battle to fend off a Skrull invasion, but it’s clear that he was pretty lucky to have survived his early days with the team.
A young hero-in-training and student at Hero High, this unnamed young man had the power of “super-tantrums” that cause seismological disturbances. A fun game to play with the characters of Hero High is to try and figure out who they would have been, had the series followed through on the original idea of the Archie gang as superheroes. I’m kind of at a loss for this one, unless maybe Jughead’s baby sister, but rest assured that he is every bit the pain in the neck this image and that description would imply.
4) KIBA RANGER
Nine years old when he was chosen to join Gosei Sentai Dairanger, Kou of the Howling New Star pulled a legendary blade from a stone and became the Sixth Dairanger. One of his first acts was to sexually harass one of his fellow Rangers, and his sound powers make him an extremely loud young man on top of that. He was also allowed to grow into a much more sedate adult character, but was hilarious still portrayed by the kid actor wearing a mustache in a still photo during the story’s fifty-years-later epilogue.
3) WONDER TWINS
Replacing spunky Wendy and her cowardly pal Marvin, Zan and Jayna are extraterrestrial superheroes who have been sent to Earth for training with the Super Friends. Very little back story is given for them in the cartoons (but, to be fair, little background is given for ANYTHING in the Super Friends cartoons), leaving them as the young characters who had to learn a lesson each week, known in fandom as “The Cabbagehead.” Much like Howard The Duck, years of bad publicity have left them indelibly marked in pop culture, leading to something of a renaissance at modern DC after years being essentially disavowed.
Being based in part on Donny and Marie Osmond probably didn’t help.
2) LORI MORNING
The daughter of one of Chronos’ Henchmen, Lori was aged up to look like a teenager and ended up in the care of the Legion of Super-Heroes. Once she was returned to her ten-year-old self, she found the legendary H-Dial and began making a super-powered nuisance of herself. She eventually ended up running away to join Leland McCauley’s Workforce, after which she disappeared. Rumors that McCauley got her killed were never confirmed, but the theory that she was, in truth, a rebooted child version of pre-Crisis Legion villain Glorith were, thanks to the creative team spilling the beans at a convention.
The grim-and-gritty 80s are full of comic book crimes, but one of the most noteworthy came in the graphic novel “Batman: Son of the Demon”, wherein Batman and Talia Al Ghul gave in to their decade-plus of sexual tension. This story left Talia pregnant, unbeknownst to the Dark Knight, with the boy reappearing years later having been trained by the League of Assassins. Always ready to resort to violence, never afraid to condescend and seemingly responsible for the end of multiple super-teams, Damian Wayne is beloved by many, but still ends up the target of much hatred online and off.
Thanks to Faithful Spoilerite @J_Michael_T for this week’s topic! Feel free to throw out your own suggestions and 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, especially when it’s a concept that has its own TV Tropes page. Either way, the comments section is Below for just such an emergency, but, as always: Please, no wagering!