It’s an unwritten rule of comics: How can anyone tell you’re psychic if you actually have hair? Welcome to Ten Things: Ten Bald-O-Paths!
Whooshman-Bicarbonate Films, in conjunction with An Amateur Comics Historian and Cy Greenbloom, who liked their products so much, he bought the company, Presents:
TEN THINGS: TEN BALD-O-PATHS!
10) PROFESSOR X
While I try to avoid the incredibly obvious examples for Ten Things, sometimes it becomes necessary to turn into the skid, as they say. Professor Charles Xavier may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think “hairless mind-reader”, but he’s almost certainly going to be in the first five. When his powers manifested at the age of ten, Charles lost all his hair, making for a rare canonical connection between psychic energy and alopecia.
9) KING MOB
Born Gideon Starorzewski, the leader of (one cell of) The Invisibles, King Mob is a master of psychic combat, martial arts, chaos magic and other destructive arts. He’s also a dead ringer for his creator, Grant Morrison, with elements of Moorcock’s Jerry Cornelius and other metatextual characters and fights a war against extradimensional creatures who may or may not be fictional, making for a truly convoluted backstory. He is conflicted about his anarchic persona/actions, but is also aware of his own fictional nature, so what I’m really saying here is “Read The Invisibles.”
8) THE VISIONARY
Trying to follow Sentinels of the Multiverse continuity is like plugging your face into a live outlet to charge your phone, but the time-traveling antics of Vanessa Long are almost the last straw. Traveling back from a terrible future to try and save reality, she not only has multiple universal counterparts, but a younger self who takes on the identity of The Muse in one timeline.
I just wish her suit wasn’t green…
The leader of a group of teens calling themselves Pride High, Craig Newman’s psionic abilities manifested at the age of 12. Seeing himself through others eyes was a truly disturbing experience, leading him to seek out the Poseidon Preparatory Academy for Heroic Youth, where he found kindred spirits. His telepathic powers allow him to mentally “make out” with his sorta/kinda boyfriend, Kid Mischief, which is what I think many teenagers would do with telepathy.
Though empowered as a “god” and member of the Pantheon, he was once just a young man named Umar, last name unrevealed. He mostly held raves for his loyal followers, psychically connecting them into a blissful hive mind, but was drawn into the intrigues between his fellow Pantheon members. This ped to his eventually falling in love with Urdr and using his powers while stressed and exhausted, leaving him open to betrayal by Odin and injuries that left him brain-dead.
5) BRAINWAVE, JR.
The son of the nefarious Golden Age telepath, Brainwave, Henry King Jr. teamed up with the sons and daughters of his father’s worst enemies in the Justice Society of America. He served with Infinity Inc. as a hero, but eventually succumbed to madness and unresolved guilt about Henry Sr., shaving his head and forming a villainous team called The Legion of Doom. Eventually, it was discovered that he was being telepathically controlled by Mister Mind, after which he sought treatment for his mental illness.
In the reality designated Earth-9, Harvey Dent accidentally fell from a tall building but landed unscathed, thanks to mind-powers unlocked by the shock of it all. Dubbing himself The SuperMan, Harvey set out to make his world a better place, but the increasing void between his super-mind and normal humanity proved to be a problem. In the hopes of making a more orderly world, Harvey just took it over, leading to a superhuman war and a battle with his Prime Earth counterpart.
It went badly for him.
After a routine time-travel mission, Superman failed to return, and sent back his future counterpart Ultra-Superman (you can tell he’s from the future by the elongated fingers and that massive dome) in his stead. Using the tremendous mental powers of his future brain, he stops a series of disasters to prove his bona fides, he then sets out to thwart the last disaster, the assassination of a sitting President! (This story takes place in 1959, if you’re wondering.) When the spies behind it reveal themselves, they are shocked to find that it’s all a scam by the real Superman, whose big rubbery head prosthesis hides a special movie projector to generate his psychic images.
2) THE MARTIAN MANHUNTER
A noble lawman and hero of another world, J’onn J’onzz was accidentally teleported to Earth by an experimental transmitter and/or telescope, depending on the telling. Once on our world, J’onn used his amazing Martian abilities (including super-strength, flight, energy projection, intangibility, invisibility and a host of psychic powers) as one of Earth’s greatest defenders. A founding member of the Justice League of America, J’onn often gets disrespected, but because he’s a calm, noble guy, he doesn’t let it get him down.
It’s a good thing, too, because if he used his power set for revenge, no one would be safe.
Remember how I said that I wish Visionary didn’t wear green? Here’s why. Nearly killed by Thanos (as an afterthought, no less), Heather Douglas was saved by the Mad Titan’s father and raised by a sect of telepathic alien monks. Returning to Earth as an adult, she became a powerful, if high-handed, member of The Avengers, Defenders, The Infinity Watch and more. Thanks to her immense psionic powers, Moondragon is a regular player in the antics of cosmic Marvel, and even though she’s currently dead, it won’t last.
Thanks to Faithful Spoilerite Sir Patrick Stewart for this week’s topic! (No, not really.) But, 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 some things keep happening without explanation or notice. Either way, the comments section is below for just such an emergency, but, as always: Please, no wagering!