Cyclops fires energy out of his eyes, Fire Lad emits flames from his mouth, and Iron Man’s Uni-Beam emits from his chest. But what about those who see things more manually? Welcome to Ten Things: Ten Hand Blasts!
Whooshman-Bicarbonate Films, in conjunction with An Amateur Comics Historian and Stardust the Super-Wizard, who fired energy from his hands in the fall of 1939, which might make him the earliest example, Presents:
TEN THINGS: TEN HAND BLASTS!
A high school science teacher, Thomas N. Thomas (the “N” stands for Nhomas) found himself charged with a strange energy after an accident involving “radioactive salts.” With the help of one of his students who gained similar powers, Thomas became the masked adventurer TNT, creating a special ring to dampen his biological reactor. When TNT and Dyna-Mite brought the rings together (usually with a fist bump or a high five, both ahead of their time) they became super-charged super-fellers, able to fire undetermined bursts of power from their hands. TNT made less than 20 appearances in the Golden Age, but has been very active in retcons, joining the Seven Soldiers after a retcon, while Dyna-Mite became a regular member of the Young All-Stars.
9) BLAST STERNUM
With a nom de guerre like “Blast Sternum” (real name unrevealed), you’d expect this member of The Ultra-Mega Super Five to emit energy out of his pectoral regions, but as you can see, he’s also adept at shooting from the hand. One of the most seasoned and powerful heroes of his reality, Blast and his colleagues are so impressive that their team regularly has more than five members in it, and nobody dares to say anything about it. It’s just too bad they’re all prima donna jerks.
8) GREEN LANTERN
In an undesignated future reality, the Justice League was wiped out by an alien invasion, after which the invaders occupied Earth. After years of living under the boot of intergalactic overlords, a few remaining heroes united as The Super Seven, including an aged, dejected Hal Jordan. Years of hard living (and personally digging a grave for every single person in the devastated Coast City) knocked a lot of the arrogance out of the least impressive of Earth’s Lanterns, seemingly limiting his powers to force fields and barely-restrained energy blasts. Still, he was the only original Leaguer to survive the battle, freeing the world, then setting off to find new heroes to become a new Justice League.
7) EMERALD GAUNTLET
And speaking of Green Lantern, Kevin Kramer is a student at PS 238, the School for Meta-Prodigies. The son of the adult hero by the same name (a pastiche of Hal Jordan), whose own gauntlet just created one for Kevin as well, Emerald Gauntlet is one of the most powerful seven-year-olds in existence. Though not usually one of the focus characters, Emerald Gauntlet did stave off an interstellar war through diplomacy and logic, albeit with help from fellow kid hero, 84. On the one occasion that his blastin’ glove was removed, Kevin was traumatized and responded almost as though he had extensive neurological damage, like part of his body had been excised and reattached.
6) KID JUSTICE
A synthezoid created by the villainous Ultron as a Trojan Horse, Victor Mancha found a home as one of The Runaways, a group of super-powered children of murderers and villains. When the kids connected with vigilante Doc Justice, he recruited them to become a new incarnation of his super-squad, The J-Team. Having an altruistic reason to fire his various electrical bursts and blasts for the first time, Mancha was excited to become the newest Kid Justice, enthusiastically taking to the superhero life.
But, if you know about the life of The Runaways, you know that there’s always a dark secret hiding behind every silver lining.
One of the native heroes of Earth-Z, the home of the Crisis Command, Dawn (real name unknown), and his partner, Dusk, and Canada’s greatest heroes. When a multiversal threat came to destroy their world as it had many before, the duo fought bravely to protect Toronto from the alien threat. I’m not sure what exactly is happening with his power blast right here, but I have to say, I like anybody who can make that kind of Star Wars reference in the heat of battle.
Believe it or not, Kenneth Yeager’s skull face predates his cryogenic powers, meaning that the logical explanation that he froze his own face off cannot be true. After suffering an accident in prison, possibly related to unethical attempts to freeze prisoners for easier incarceration, Yeager became a living blizzard, seemingly firing ice and snow from his hands. Given the nature of “cold powers,” he’s not actually shooting anything, so much as he’s removing thermal energy from air and vapor, but if you try too hard to explain comic book physics, you’ll end up penniless and insane, still trying to figure out how the heck Giant-Man avoids the inverse-square law.
Japan’s emissary to the super-team, Impact International, Temasura’s flight power is actually mechanical, provided by her belt. The energy hands are her own doing, though, and can be projected as a blast/punch attack. If her real name and backstory were ever established, I can’t find a record of them.
2) THE POLKA-DOT MAN
A member of Task Force X during their disastrous mission into Corto Maltese, Abner Krill received his unusual superhuman abilities from experiments performed by his amoral scientist mom. Thanks to that trauma (including watching several of his siblings die during the experiments), he suffers from severe mental illness and sees the face of his mother everywhere, even on top of a giant cosmic starfish. Sadly, his ability to weaponize bizarre extradimensional polka-dots didn’t save him from a sudden, violent death with the Suicide Squad.
1) SPACE GHOST
A mysterious hooded hero from the depths of the Ghost Planet, Space Ghost’s origins, identity, and backstory were never revealed. With his sidekicks, Jan, Jace, and Blip The Space-Monkey, he patrolled the spaceways and fought all manner of monsters, conquerors, and would-be interstellar dictators. His powerbands have a number of attack modes, including heat, cold, magnetism, energy, and sheer force beams, far too many distinct functions for a mere six buttons. In addition, he can fly and turn invisible, but perhaps his greatest power is making a mere forty-two episodes stay fresh and exciting for nearly two decades.
Later sources have given him the secret identities of Tad Ghostal and/or Thaddeus Bach, but current multiversal theories would mark those as alternate Space Ghost incarnations.
Big thanks to Faithful Spoilerite Sarah for this week’s topic, Ten Hand Blasts, and feel free to follow along @MightyKingCobra or the Major Spoiler Discord to suggest a topic of your own! There’s always more Ten Things madness to be had, so 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 the hands are among the most basic ways to aim your various superpowers. Much more useful than the knee, for instance. Either way, the comments section is below for just such an emergency, but, as always: Please, no wagering!