When it comes super titles, it seems like the Captains get all the love, but even they can be outranked… metaphorically, anyway. Welcome to Ten Things: Ten Lieutenants!
Whooshman-Bicarbonate Films, in conjunction with An Amateur Comics Historian an the most senior of the junior officers, Presents:
TEN THINGS: TEN LIEUTENANTS!
10) LIEUTENANT COLONEL BLUEGRASS
Second-in-command of the mighty SilverHawks, Bluegrass doesn’t let his lack of flight get him down. As the pilot of the team’s spacecraft, he’s a key part of every mission, and his trademark guitar is also his cybernetic hawk/weapon/partner. Like all the SilverHawks, he’s had extensive cybernetic enhancements to make him a better crime fighter throughout the Galaxy of Limbo, taking down the likes of Mon*Star, Mo-Lec-U-Lar and other outlandish crooks.
They’re totally NOT just ThunderCats in space, y’all.
9) LIEUTENANT LIBERTY
Xenophobic, sexist and full of himself, this unnamed “hero” worked hard to keep the world just the way he likes it: Essentially, ‘Pleasantville.’ In his efforts to keep America great, he clashed with DV8, a team of Gen-Active anti-heroes whose very existence offended his delicate sensibilities. After he was defeated by that team, it was revealed that he was a failed government experiment that somehow got loose after being dubbed utterly useless, adding literal insult to his literal injuries.
Couldn’t have happened to a nicer bigot.
8) LIEUTENANT HERCULES
Empowered by Merlin himself, Wilbur Klutz saw nothing but dollar signs in his newfound super-powers. Setting himself up as the first Hero For Hire (this was 1945, nearly 20 years before Luke Cage hit the scene), Wilbur set out punching crime with his classic flying brick power suite. In a roundabout way, he seems to be a parody of Captain Marvel, right down to his superhuman wisdom and red tights. Sadly, though he was years ahead of his time, Lt. Hercules made only a handful of appearances before disappearing forever.
7) LIEUTENANT STRIPES
A member of the team called Justice Forever, Mr. Bertolinni (last name unrevealed) was inspired by Kick-Ass to become a costumed hero, even though he lacked any super-powers. Working with his brother, Colonel Stars, he used his military training to patrol the streets until Stars was murdered by an angry villain whose name isn’t suitable for an all-ages website.
Jim Carrey’s character in the movie adaptation of ‘Kick-Ass 2’ seems to be a composite of both brothers.
6) LIEUTENANT GABRIEL VARGAS
Honorably discharged after being wounded in combat, Lieutenant Gabrial Vargas got an upgrade in rank when he was possessed by the cosmic Uni-Power and transformed into Captain Universe! He was arrested by The Kree and thrown onto a Special Ops team assembled by Star-Lord that eventually turned into the modern-day Guardians of the Galaxy. Sadly, Gabriel didn’t survive to join that team, as the Uni-Power left him after he neutralized the Phalanx virus, leaving him vulnerable to attack by Blastaar.
5) LIEUTENANT SMITH
Though her first name is unknown, possibly classified, former S.A.S. Commando Lieutenant Smith was awarded leadership of Australia’s premier super-team, The Southern Squadron. Though she lacked the powers of her comrades, her tactical and combat skills make her a force to be reckoned with in the field,
You can tell she’s from the 80s, because she looks like the perfect synthesis of a Nagel painting and Sigourney Weaver.
4) THE LIEUTENANT MARVELS
The power of Shazam is mighty, indeed, but it is sometimes not so good with faces. When Dr. Sivana’s thugs were sent to kidnap Billy Batson, they didn’t realize how common a name it was, getting it wrong not once, but THREE times! In order to tell each other apart, the trio dubbed themselves Tall Billy, Fat Billy and Hill Billy, but when they were trapped in a loud sawmill, all four boys had to shout “SHAZAM!” in order for it to be heard, leading them ALL to be transformed into Marvels. Each Lieutenant Marvel was roughly 1/3 as powerful as The Big Red Cheese, and the team (also known as The Squadron of Justice) appeared less than a dozen times across several decades.
3) LIEUTENANT LANCE
Never appearing in the video game series, Lance is nonetheless part of the extended ‘Mortal Kombat’ mythos, whatever that means. Former partner of Sonya Blade in the Special Forces (a paramilitary branch specifically designed to fight off ninja incursions around the globe, apparently), Lance used his cybernetic arm to good effect in
kcombat. He was killed by Kano in the early stages of the Mortal Kombat tournament, leading Sonya to seek vengeance on the big cyborg jerk.nterestingly
Interestingly, Sonya’s later partner, Jax, also has robot arms.
2) LIEUTENANT LIGHTNING
Struck by lightning as a child, this unnamed British hero gained the ability to channel electricity and punch evil, which he used in the far-flung year 2250. His chest emblem “TIN” stands for Transworld Investigative Network, the organization for which he works, rather than any sort of endorsement of the metal.
The limited black-white-red color palette was used in several British comics of the era and was much cheaper than traditional four-color printing.
1) LIEUTENANT UHURA
With this entry, it’s important to remember the rules of Ten Things: “My list, my rules… I make ’em up.”
Honestly though, if you don’t appreciate the wonder that is Nyota Uhura, you’re probably getting ready to complain about half a dozen other things on this list anyway. Regardless, whether rebuilding her console with her bare hands or distracting enemy forces with a fan dance (at nearly sixty years of age, I might add), Uhura is among the finest Starfleet has to offer, and Nichelle Nichols portrayal was a trailblazer in multiple ways. Even the most casual Trek fan should be impressed that she and Commander Scott made it through all three years of the series unscathed, while wearing the red shirts that so often meant certain doom.
And she made all sixty-five of her appearances sans pants! Beat that, Scotty!
This week’s Ten Things topic is all me, but feel free to follow along @MightyKingCobra to suggest your own! There’s more Ten Things madness on my 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, even if you’re one of those European folks who pronounce it “Lefftenant.” Either way, the comments section is below for just such an emergency, but, as always: Please, no wagering!