Paging Dr. Howard! Dr. Fine! Dr. Howard! You have a consult! Welcome to Ten Things: Ten Illness-Themed Supers!
Whooshman-Bicarbonate Films, in conjunction with An Amateur Comics Historian and Being Perhaps A Bit TOO Topical, Presents:
TEN THINGS: TEN ILLNESS-THEMED SUPERS!
10) SAILOR PLUTO
Guardian of the Space-Time Door, Setsuna Meiou is possibly immortal but definitely older than her Sailor Scout compatriots, attending college while they’re all still high school students. She’s also much more stoic, thanks in part to the isolation that comes with the heavy burden of her guardian role. The daughter of Greek god Chronos, she has the requisite time powers (which she is forbidden to use) but also has a power called The Dead Scream, as Pluto is the God of Death. A powerful necrotic energy blast, it causes intense pain in those targeted, and can even be fatal.
9) CRIMSON PLAGUE
DiNA Simmons (the capitalization is important) has been genetically altered so that her blood is both toxic to humans and incredibly corrosive. Making matters even more deadly, during her menstrual cycle, she emits an airborne virus that can literally melt those who come into contact with it. I’m a HUGE fan of George Perez, her creator, but the theme here is more than a little bit disturbing and may be part of why her titular book has been cut short not once, but TWICE. DiNA is actually named for a particular comics fan, who has been known to dress up as the character.
8) WHITE SATIN
With the ability to disrupt a person’s physical and mental systems with a single touch, Janet Valentine can induce pain, paranoia, pleasure or intense illness. She is a member of The Seven Seconds, agents of the mysterious Thriller, and is romantically linked to Salvo, one of her teammates. White Satin is also a skilled pilot, which helps in the whole “hunting down evil and organized crime” part of their job description.
When the entire city of Metropolis was transformed by the H-Dial, Tara Shimura was hospitalized, doing battle not only with her illness but with LexCorp’s insurance department, which was denying her coverage. Transformed into a powerful hero of the abyss, Phantasma took her battle straight to the adjustors in question, giving them a taste of her pain before choosing compassion. She also shared it with the firm’s chief executive, who was immediately overcome with regret for all the stress and pain he had caused to his clients, and immediately began reversing course on his coverage decisions.
6) TOXIE DOXIE
Once a bored-but-brilliant biologist, Dr. June Covington eventually resorted to experimenting on herself, giving herself gills to breath underwater, an enhanced pain threshold and other enhancements, including a neurotoxin in her blood. She can also sample the genetic materials of others, allowing her to track and sometimes manipulate them. Initially a member of Norman Osborn’s Dark Avengers as an ersatz Scarlet Witch, she has since taken on her own alias and continues spreading genetically-engineered chaos around the Marvel Universe. Try not to breathe if you fight her.
5) DARR THE AFFLICTER
Empowered by a mystical Noor Stone, John Weller can channel his anger into the ability to cause intense pain in others, emulating illness or disease. A member of The 99, Darr works with Dr. Ramzi Razem and other Noor-empowered young people, each embodying one of the 99 attributes of Allah in the Muslim faith. Stars of comics and cartoons, Darr and his compatriots must also deal with the evil Rughal, who wants to assemble the stones for himself and claim ultimate power.
4) THE SCORPION
Carmilla Black, born Thanasee Rappacini, is another young woman (WHY are almost all the examples of disease or illness themed characters women?) who underwent extensive genetic engineering to be completely immune to ALL toxic effects, be they chemical, biological or atomic. Those toxins are absorbed into a special gland and can be focused through her stinger, allowing her to fire powerful blasts of pure poison at her foes. An accomplished acrobat, combatant and spy, Scorpion is as dangerous a friend as she is a foe, constantly shedding toxins that can make anyone around her sick.
A violent, combative and belligerent young man, Thomas Boyd ran away from a life of privilege and still has the upper crust Boston Brahmin accent to prove it. The White Event (a mass empowering of superhumans, known locally as paranormals) gave him an ability he calls “psychic vampirism”, allowing him to drain energy from his victims, weakening them by releasing their own fatigue toxins while empowering him. Though he was initially a foe of Psi-Force, he eventually joined their number, becoming less of a jerk as he built the first real emotional connections of his life. When last seen, Boyd was acting as adoptive dad to a young boy with autism, trying avoid the pitfalls of his own family.
Seemingly a reincarnation of the Egyptian goddess of the sun, wrath, war, destruction, plagues, sex, healing and more, Ruth Clarkson is part of the latest recurrence of The Pantheon, wherein young people receive god-like powers. They also tend to die within two years, which is fine with Sakhmet, who is as hedonistic as the cats she emulates. She also claims to have killed and eaten her abusive father, and while she didn’t overtly use her plague powers before her demise, they’re part of her portfolio, along with telekinesis, fire-projection, enhanced agility and surviving her excessive drinking.
1) INFECTIOUS LASS
A native of the Legion of Super-Heroes’ future reality, Drura Sehpt comes from a planet where colonies of microorganisms have learned to co-exist with the humanoids, punnily called Somahtur. Able to use her inherent biome to make others sick, Infectious Lass was rejected from Legion membership due to a lack of control. In order to train in the use of her abilities, she joined The Legion of Substitute Heroes, which eventually led to her become lost in time and space. Joining up with a group of other temporal refugees calling themselves Team 13, Infectious Lass made a desperate bid to maintain her existence, the results of which are unclear. Due to the rebooting of Legion continuity, it’s unclear if she exists at all any longer.
Thanks to Faithful Spoilerite and unofficial Top Five archivist Karl for this week’s topic, Ten Illness-Themed Supers. 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, because pretty much everyone with healing powers can also reverse them. Lookin’ at YOU, Elixir. Either way, the comments section is below for just such an emergency, but, as always: Please, no wagering!