Put on your safety belts, secure your belongings and watch out for that Kamikaze Curve! Welcome to Ten Things: Ten Roller Coasters!
Whooshman-Bicarbonate Films, in conjunction with An Amateur Comics Historian and the sad fact that there are no supers named Screamroller, Presents:
TEN THINGS: TEN ROLLER COASTERS!
Operating at King’s Island in Ohio (y’know, from that one ‘Brady Bunch episode?) since 1989, Diamondback features ten hills and a huge 74 degree drop from over 200 feet/61 meters in the air, ending with a splashdown at the end, making for an exciting ride.
A former villain and member of the Serpent Society, Rachel Leighton is as dangerous as her namesake. With an arsenal of gimmicked throwing diamonds (sort of like Hawkeye’s trick arrows, only smaller and more elegant) and fighting skills that have given even Captain America a pause, she has been a part of numerous mercenary groups. When last seen, she was allied with Domino and the team unofficially known as the Hotshots.
Named for a previous coaster on Coney Island, the Thunderbolt has four loops and a 90-degree vertical drop (necessary due to the limited space available at Coney.) It was so successful that the creators actually created several more Thunderbolt coasters across the country, with three different layouts for the steel beast.
Former marine and district attorney Bill Carver was tracking down the men who killed his brother when he was struck by lightning and left hovering near death. An experimental treatment with radioactive cobalt returned him to health, and also gave him superhuman speed, which he used to battle gang violence in New York City. Unfortunately, it also accelerated his aging, forcing him to work quickly to bring his brother’s killer to justice. He succeeded, then died of “old age” while still in his 30s.
8) LIGHTNING ROD
Heralded as the “World’s Fastest Wooden Coaster”, Lightning Rod is a launched coaster that reaches speeds over 70 miles per hour/112 kph, which makes for an exciting ride but also a lot of down time for repairs. Located at Dollywood Park, the coaster goes from zero to 45 on its first hill, whipping back and forth (including one 180-degree turn) before depositing riders back at the station.
Wielding an ancient alien battle staff, Leon Rodney can channel near-limitless cosmic energies. The staff has also made him more durable to protect him from repeated use, with the side effect of making him more aggressive, in line with the nature of the alien race that created it. A native of Brooklyn, Lightning Rod’s new super-life has thrown him into the middle of conflicts both terrestrial and intergalactic, but there may be more to his super-powers than even he realizes.
7) THE BEAST
A previous holder of the title of Fastest Wooden Coaster, this King’s Island attraction is still the longest wooden coaster in existence, spanning over 7300 feet or more than 2 km! Since its opening over 40 years ago, The Beast has earned praise from riders and engineers alike, and regularly gets named in the Top 10 of its kind. The ride starts with an ascent of 110 feet,/33.5 meters, dropping into a tunnel, with the cars reaching 45 miles per hour/72 kph.
A founding member of the X-Men, Dr. Henry McCoy has also been a major player in the Avengers, the Defenders and S.W.O.R.D. His incredible agility and physical prowess are second only to his brains and Hank is usually at the forefront of mutant-related research, be it a cure for the Legacy Virus or an attempt to help jumpstart more mutants after M-Day. His furry blue form actually came about due to an experiment gone wrong, and he has mutated himself even further in recent years.
Operating from 1990 to 2016, Mean Streak was another wooden coaster in Ohio, this time at the Cedar Park in Sandusky. After a 161-foot/49 meter climb, riders would be whisked back and forth at speeds up to 65 miles per hour, with the ride lasting more than three minutes of twists and turns. It was revamped in 2017, but we’ll get to that in a bit.
Hailing from the future reality of Earth-928, aka Marvel 2099, Henri Huang was one of the first mutants chosen by X’ian Chi Xan for his X-Men. Like The Beast, Meanstreak is almost more useful for his intellect and technological prowess than for his super-powers, but eventually left the team to go to Vegas for some reason. When last seen, he was falling to an almost certain death, and the destruction of the 2099 reality means that we can assume he is (or will be?) dead.
Another wooden coaster, this one located at Knoebels Amusement park in Pennsylvania, Phoenix’s name is very fitting, as it was once The Rocket in San Antonio. Once known as the largest roller coaster in the world, it is still the largest ride to ever be relocated to another park, having been carefully dismantled and moved across the country piece-by-piece. It’s another ride that consistently gets top marks, especially for the “airtime” or upward acceleration sensations it causes.
After a terrifying near-death re-entry experience, astronaut Ed Tyler was saved by aliens who apparently were responsible for the first mutations of homo sapiens. Sadly, the world of the 70s was not what they had hoped their creations would build, and Ed was forced to steal a power-suit and destroy their base before they killed all of humanity. Taking on a role as cynical hero, he caused massive property damage, blew up Reykjavik, then tried to kill himself, only to be saved by ANOTHER race of aliens. These ETs were benign, giving him a new set of powers and a better costume, they returned Ed to Earth as a different hero who immediately got cancelled.
One of several coasters to bear the name across the various Six Flags locations, this one is a wooden ride located at Six Flags Great America. Setting record upon opening for steepest angle and fastest speed (both now surpassed) it still holed the record for it’s 180 foot/55 meter long drop. It seems confusing to have seven different coasters with the same name, but it’s nothing compared to it’s superhero namesake.
Henry Pym, founding Avenger, started as Ant-Man, then became Giant-Man, then Goliath, then Yellowjacket, then Dr. Pym, then The Wasp, with returns of various names in-between for good measure. He is currently bonded with his robot creation Ultron, giving him a seventh alias and making it clear that he and this coaster have more in common than just being giant.
3) STEEL VENGEANCE
Remember Mean Streak? After 25 years of operation at Cedar Point, it was closed and converted to steel track and redubbed Steel Vengeance, extending the track by 300 feet/91 meters and increasing the height of the peaks to over 200 feet/61 meters. they also added a couple of inversions to the track, making for 2 and a half minutes of screaming that are worth the price of admission.
After her sister was left catatonic by the hellfire of Ghost Rider Johnny Blaze, Sadae Tsumura made a deal with Blaze’s enemy Centurious. He performed extensive cybernetic surgery on her, giving her the power to battle Ghost Rider in return for her fealty. She clashed with Blaze and his allies a number of times before Centurious tired of her failures and killed her.
2) TIMBER WOLF
The only one of today’s rides that I’ve actually experience, Timber Wolf is another all-wood coaster, located at Worlds of Fun in Kansas City. I can tell you, it’s a rough ride, but a fun one, rising 100 feet/30 meters then dropping all the way back down at 45 miles per hour/72 kph, ending with a huge spiral “helix” that really packed on the g-force. That spiral was removed in 2018, but it’s apparently still a powerful ride.
From the 30th Century world of Zuun (sometimes spelled Zoon), Brin Londo was given enhanced strength, speed and reflexes thanks to his father’s experiments with radioactive Zuunium. It has also caused additional mutative effects, making him hairier and more feral as he goes. (In one redacted continuity, he became a huge lycanthropic, furry creature called Furball.) With the recent revisions to the Legion’s timeline, it’s unclear how much of the pre-Zero Hour Timber Wolf is still valid, but you have to admit, that costume rocks.
Also known as the Coney Island Cyclone, this ride has been in operation since 1927, the Cyclone is a designated New York City landmark. I personally remember it from the background of the conflict between the Warriors and the Rogues at the end of ‘The Warriors’, but it’s 58 degree drop still ranks as one of the steepest in the world. According to local legend, aviator Charles Lindbergh declared The Cyclone more exiting than flying his aircraft at top speed.
In an attempt to boost his metabolism and lose weight, Marty Eastman created special “Rocket Pills” that gave him superhuman speed, allowing him to run off his weight. He joined his hero, the hero called The Blitz, as high-speed sidekick, founding a junior team called the Whiz Kids. He later developed an addiction to his creation, retiring for a while. One of the heroes of Big Bang Comics, Marty is a broad pastiche of Kid Flash, with elements of other teen heroes thrown in for verisimilitude.
Thanks to Faithful Spoilerite Mela (@KakapoTrainer) for this week’s topic, Ten Roller Coasters (and the Supers Who Share Their Names!) 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, though there aren’t as many new coasters as there used to be. Either way, the comments section is below for just such an emergency, but, as always: Please, no wagering!