In the words of the great sage George, names have emotional value. Some even remind us of our favorite big-screen experiences! Welcome to Ten Things: Ten Film Titles!
Whooshman-Bicarbonate Films, in conjunction with An Amateur Comics Historian and Titanic-Man, Presents:
TEN THINGS: TEN FILM TITLES!
10) THE YANKEE CLIPPER
All-American boy Patrick Carney gave up his baseball career to become an engineer, eventually finding work with the government project that kept the William Burnside (the 50s Captain America) in cold storage. A random encounter with a time-traveler left him in possession of a special belt that enhanced his strength and gave him the ability to bounce through time, with a costume inspired by his childhood love of the original Cap. He probably got his name from Joe DiMaggio and not the 1927 maritime adventure of a race to bring tea from China to Boston.
The nuclear-powered amalgam of Professor Martin Stein and Jefferson “Jax” Jackson traveled through time with the Legends of Tomorrow, setting right what once went wrong and generally never using their massive powers to the fullest potential. A tragic encounter with Nazis ended their career, but Jax went home to further his education without getting shot at or stabbed by Roman centurions, so happy ending for him, I guess. Their namesake film is a Howie Long vehicle featuring a heroic firefighter matching wits with a serial killer played by Scott Glenn, which at least means that scenery will get chewed.
8) THE WITNESS
Though his name was never revealed, The Witness had a short career as a mystery man circa 1941. H was eventually revealed to have been placed in suspended animation and awakened in the present day as one of The Twelve, where things went pretty badly for him and all his comrades. H (strange mystic power to witness terrible acts did him no favors when he and the United States army found the camp at Auschwitz.) Somewhat less horrifying is the similarly named movie wherein Harrison Ford goes undercover in Amish country to protect a witness from being whacked before testifying in a big murder trial, featuring one of the most doomed of doomed movie romances.
A memorable throwaway villain from the pages of Savage Dragon, he is both a silly visual gag and a nice history of the evolution of The Thing’s head through the decades. He eventually died in battle, leaving Wes Anderson’s 1998 movie opus as the last Rushmore standing. A fave-rave of Otter Disaster, it’s not my favorite Anderson flick (mostly because I have issues with Jason Schwartzman’s Max), but it is a good one and has both Bill Murray AND Brian Cox having great fun.
The leader of The Paladins, a sixties super-team, he and most of his friends and teammates were captured by the government and stuck in a shared, simulated reality. Decades later, as the Wildstorm world was ending, they were freed, only to find their old-fashioned heroics and values out of step with the times. I’ve never seen Matthew Modine’s 2002 movie outing, but I enjoyed his Private Joker in ‘Full Metal Jacket’ and would be willing to give it a watch if it turned up on cable and I was looking to fill an hour or two.
5) LADY LIBERTY
A rare example of both a POC and an overweight hero, she was part of a literal army of superheroes empowered by Lex Luthor’s Everyman project. Lady Liberty participated in the big clusterschmozz battle between The Justice League and a possessed Skeets in the pages of ‘52’, and sadly died in her first appearance. Her backstory is wild, but not as wild as Sophia Loren working in a meat-packing plant, then following her love interest to the United States to gift him a salami and perhaps her love?
They had me at “cured meats.”
A member of the Foundation, a group of heroes who represent classical elements, Nathan (last name unrevealed) teams with Hotshot, Mudslide and Misty to fight evil in a very Fantastic Four kind of way. H namesake film is actually pretty excellent, featuring Tom Hanks falling in love with Darryl Hannah (who is secretly a mermaid.) In the end, they swim to the bottom of the ocean, united by the power of love in Atlantis. There’s also some good John Candy moments in there.
One of a legion of upper-cruster idiots with no day job who fight crime in top hat and tails, Barry Graham made a handful of appearances beating down crime with nothing but good breeding and a mid-Atlantic accent. (Also a cane, which made a fine bludgeon.) He bears no relation to the 1937 Cary Grant film, which introduces us to the Kerbys, a loving couple who happen to be ghosts and have a mission to redeem a stick-up-his-bum bank president in order to get into the afterlife. The movie inspired a spinoff television show over a decade later, which I used to watch late at night, back when there were only three television stations in range.
Michael van Patrick was the designated hero of the first class at Camp Hammond, a vaguely fascist training center for young heroes established by Iron Man, post-Civil War. He died in a training accident, but was cloned by the amoral Dr. Blitzschlag to create his Scarlet Spiders. Eventually, it was revealed that Michael’s great-grandfather was Professor Erskine, the mind behind super-soldier serum, explaining his almost-superhuman prowess. A for the movie, who doesn’t love chimpanzees wearing helmets, playin’ hockey?
It’s like ‘Air Bud’ with opposable thumbs!
Action movie star Ricky Silver was famous before nearly dying in a motorcycle accident, which meant that his post-resurrection career as a cyborg mercenary required a lot of disguised to avoid recognition. Pretending to be dead may have been bad karma, as Superstar was the first member of H.A.R.D. Corps to die in action, as he continually used his invulnerability in more reckless, thrill-seeking ways. It was suspected that sabotage was involved, but that was never proven. His film namesake featuring Mary Katherine Gallagher, whose confidence far outstrips her talent, with spectacular results. As SNL spinoff films go, it’s not half-bad.
Thanks to Major Spoilers own Rodrigo for this week’s topic. 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 somebody, somewhere is going to create a super-team called The Hateful Eight. Either way, the comments section is below for just such an emergency, but, as always: Please, no wagering!