Sometimes, a Ten Things topic is easy. That’s not the case, this time around. Welcome to Ten Things: Ten Supers Whose Alias Is Another Super’s Real Name!
Whooshman-Bicarbonate Films, in conjunction with An Amateur Comics Historian and probably overthinking things, but only in the best way, Presents:
TEN THINGS: TEN SUPERS WHOSE ALIAS IS ANOTHER SUPER’S REAL NAME!
10) JUDOMASTER (Rip Jagger)
A gifted athlete during his school days, Ripley Jagger patriotically enlisted when World War II broke out, serving in the Pacific Theatre. Trapped on a small island of Japanese refugees, he learned the secrets of the martial arts from an elderly sensei, who gifted him a colorful symbolic outfit. Wearing his new togs, Jagger became the Judomaster, scourge of the Imperial Navy, eventually returning home to the United States. Canonically, he is a member of the All-Star Squadron, but has never (to my knowledge) appeared in that role.
One of my pet peeves is when not only can I not find any information about a character, even if I read the issues in which they appear, but the universe seems to want me to believe that they don’t. I know he exists, as he was an ally of Bloodstrike for a bit in the mid-’90s, but I can’t find anything to identify his real name, powers (if he has any) or raison d’être. He seems to be another of the impossibly fit weapons-master types that proliferate Liefeld books, but if there’s more to him, I can’t find it.
9) MANTRA (Eden Blake)
Fifth-century magician Lukasz had been fighting a centuries-long war with the evil Boneyard when he was struck down and reincarnated into a new body, that of young mother Eden Blake. He had to come to terms with his new situation before facing his ancient foe in his new form. Thanks to the spell that called her weapons (“Mantra Change, Growth, Power”), Lukasz/Eden became known as Mantra.
9a) KAMEN RIDER EDEN
One of the most visually striking Kamen Riders ever, Rihito Isshiki isn’t actually a man anymore. After the loss of his beloved fiancée to a unknown malady, he downloaded his mind into a flock of nanobots, becoming a digital presence known only on S. He eventually finds happiness with a digital copy of his lost love, though their server is blown up, leaving their fates uncertain.
8) MYSTIQUE (Raven Darkhölme)
Our first asterisk comes here, as the shape-shifting member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants known as Mystique just CAN NOT actually have been borne with that name. I mean, come on, you guys… She obviously made it up for a ‘Vampire: The Masquerade’ LARP, and her real name is like Nadine Snotpockets or Melanie Nazelrod or Jessica Frampton or something. I mean, given how much we’ve discovered this woman has lied about, including parenting TWO different X-Men, it only stands to reason, right?
8a) AGENT RAVEN
Born with the silverest of spoons in his precious mouth, Sterling Shelby uses technology his father created (and the phenomenal family fortune) to become a superhero. So rich is he that he *purchased the comic book company that published his favorite superhero* so that he could use that costume and alias in his own part-time superhero antics. He does good, as best he can, but mostly serves as an irritant to fellow hero Agent Wildfire.
7) BOOM BOY (Ray Gene Golic)
Born with a body of stone, Ray Golic was locked in the basement by his horrible, abusive parents due to his perceived deformities. Finally escaping in his teens, Ray hooked up with a group of fellow powered runaways, dubbing themselves The Freex. It’s unclear whether Ray is learning disabled, or just under-educated, but he makes up in idealism and wisdom anything he lacks in intellect.
7a) THE RAY
A member of the Freedom Fighters on Earth-11, where female heroes become male and vice versa, The Ray (real name unknown, but I’d bet a week’s pay that it’s Rae Terrill) and her team appeared in order to defend the world against Amazon warriors under the command of Wonder Man. Her compatriots included The Human Bomb, Phantom Man, Black Condor, Columbia (a distaff counterpart to Uncle Sam) and The Demon, for some reason.
6) GREEN LANTERN (Alan Ladd Scott)
We get our second asterisk in the number six slot, but this time I feel like it’s much more justifiable. As conceptualized, The Green Lantern was originally Alan Ladd, a play on Aladdin, thanks to the magic lantern, and his magic ring could effect anything metal, but could not control wood. The name was changed before publication (hence our asterisk), but later stories maintained Ladd as Alan’s second name. Some say that the emergence of actor Alan Ladd was the reason for the change, but Green Lantern’s 1940 debut was earlier than the Ladd’s fame, making the timing sketchy at best.
The actual mythical orphan from ‘The Book of One Thousand and One Nights’, the boy with the genie is heralded in story, song and the Disney vault. As a member of the League of Infinity, he fights alongside heroes of all eras, from Achilles to Wild Bill HIckok to a teenage Supreme. HIs team is a pastiche of the Legion of Super-Heroes, with a few Alan Moore twists thrown in to make it even weirder.
He is NOT the last League member we’ll see today.
5) THE BLACK WIDOW (Claire Voyant)
Born to parents with an absurdist streak, Claire Voyant and her sister Debbie moved to Hollywood circa 1928, seeking fame and fortune. After her sister was killed by her boyfriend, Claire swore vengeance, and the depth of her anger was such that it called forth an actual demon who offered her infernal power in return for occasionally murdering people in its service. She was one of The Twelve, a group of heroes who were left in suspended animation from 1945 to “the present”, awakening to find her bargain was still very much active.
5a) CLAIRE VOYANT
First seen as a member of Capes, Inc., Claire Voyant (real name unknown) has a full array of psionic power, from telepathy to telekinesis and back. She was later called up to be part of a secret arm of the Guardians of the Globe, undertaking black ops missions that the high-profile heroes couldn’t touch. When not on the job, Claire is a hedonist, seeking recreation and pleasure with many of her caped co-workers, and not feeling the slightest bit of shame about it. (Nor should she…)
4) MICROWAVABELLE (Belle Jackson)
One of the punch-clock superheroes who work at Hero Hotline, Belle Jackson is a mother of three who uses her microwave powers as a superhero while juggling her responsibilities. Also known as Microwave Mom, which is not nearly as cool a name, Belle fights the good fight from 9 to 5, knowing that the tide’s gonna turn and it’s all gonna roll her way, with a little help from her super-friends.
In the world of Grimm Fairy Tales, all the stories we used to hear as cautionary tales are true, and all of them happened to beautiful, busty young women. Anabelle Di Marco, for instance, comes from a long line of beast-hunters, descended from the original Beauty who slew the proverbial Beast. Any resemblance to Disney’s 1991 film heroine is likely meant to be intentional, but far enough under the radar to avoid any sort of legal action.
3) THOR (Siegfried)
It is established canon in the Marvel Universe that Thor, son of Odin, was actually Teutonic folk hero Siegfried, the heroic legend of Der Nibelungenlied, having been sent to Earth by Odin to learn humility. It’s similar to what he would later do to Thor with the Donald Blake identity, with the added frisson of his lady-love being the essence of Brunnhilde the Valkyrie.
It’s all very complicated.
Of course, the League of Infinity, a cross-time organization of heroes in Awesome Comics, one-upped that by just recruiting the real deal from his native time. Thanks to writer Alan Moore, this Siegfried references specific mythical moments and ends up getting inducted into the team with fellow mythological hero Chu-Ko Liang and real historical figures Mata Hari and Wilhelm Reich, AKA Orgone Lad.
it’s that kind of book.
2) BATWOMAN (Kathy Kane)
The rules of Earth-11 may seem simple (“Every established character who is a man is now a woman, and vice versa”), but Kathy Kane makes it all confusing. Working alongside a Superwoman who is clearly just a Rule 63 Clark Kent, even having a child with a counterpart of Talia Al Ghul, she is still somehow NOT a femme Bruce Wayne, nor is she Helena, the name of the pre-Crisis version of the same character. It’s all very confusing.
2a) KANE THE IMAGINEER
Perhaps the best part of Alan Moore’s run at Awesome Comics was the concept of The Imagineers, freelance agents who create holographic stories in-universe. The first was a tribute to Jack “King” Kirby, appearing shortly after his death, but the second is a loving tribute to Silver Age genius Gil Kane. Not only that, the art for the story is BY KANE HIMSELF, making for a fun celebration that promises wonderful Awesome Comics to come.
The fact that they never arrived, and that Gil Kane passed away less than two years later makes it all a little bit bittersweet.
1) STEEL (John Henry Irons)
A genius weapons designer and engineer, John Henry Irons was saved by Superman shortly before the Man of Steel’s death at the hands of Doomsday. To honor his sacrifice, Irons created a powerful armor and went public as Superman, only to choose the name Steel after the real Superman was resurrected. He has served with the Justice League and the Supermen of America, as well as working with Lana Lang during her tenure as Superwoman.
1a) JOHN HENRY
The actual hero who sparked the legend more than a century ago, reports of John Henry’s demise with somewhat premature. While buried after his not-quite-death as a steel-drivin’ man, he was resurrected by the spirit of Mother Earth herself, given the ability to turn his body into pure molten steel, as well as superhuman strength. In the ensuing century-and-a-half, he assembled T.A.S.K. (Tactical Allied Superhuman Kommand), the greatest assembly of superhumans in the history of his world, serving as their Executive Director and awaiting the mysterious task for which he was empowered.
This week’s Ten Things topics, Ten Supers Whose Alias Is Another Super’s Real Name, is all me, but feel free to follow along @MightyKingCobra to suggest your own! You can also check out 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, but if you can come up with another ten, I’d be seriously impressed. Either way, the comments section is below for just such an emergency, but, as always: Please, no wagering!