Monday, February 28, 2011

Heroes and Villains of the Spectrum - the Rest

There are a lot of characters who choose red, green, or black for their names, but the rest of the colors are a little cheated. Here is our final list of "color name" characters, filling the gaps from the colors I've missed...

Booster Gold

Now called "The Greatest Hero You've Never Heard Of", Booster Gold's image has changed dramatically since he got his latest series.

He was little more than a walking joke--a self-absorbed hero--until the events of the DC maxi-series 52 kicked him square into the spotlight and killed him...before bringing him back again. 

Now Gold goes through time changing what he can and fixing the little anomalies that pop up here and there. I've followed the series since the first issue and I can honestly say it's one of the best I read now. Each storyline seems consistently strong, and the fact that Blue Beetle still pops up from time to time makes it that much better.

Bronze Tiger

Originally a member of the Suicide Squad, Bronze Tiger started out as a villain before becoming the anti-hero he is today.

Recently he battled Catman to the brink of death for both of them, and I have to give him credit on that. DC has upped Catman's cred a lot with recent storylines, and letting Bronze Tiger keep up with him shows the respect they still have for the character.

In one alternate universe, he was a character called "Blackwing", their version of Batman. That would mean he was the only character who made it onto two lists...but I didn't think that would be fair since he was only Blackwing for the one issue.

Silver Sable

She's bad, she's a secret agent, and she has her own minimate! Not bad for a kind of obscure character!

She has tangled with Spider-Man on more than one occasion and sometimes it's hard to see which side she's playing on. For the most part, however, she usually leans toward the good guy angle. She's not above twisting the law where needed though.

Currently, she leads her own group of highly-trained heroes and mercs wherever the money leads

White Tiger

Hector Ayala was the first major Puerto Rican superhero way back in the 70's. Using the magic amulets of the Sons of the Tiger, he became a martial arts madhouse with one of the simplest costumes every created. Since he made his debut in the "Deadly Hands of Kung Fu" magazine and it was black and white, he was a perfect fit.

Eventually he moved into the "Spectacular Spider-Man" title and was a regular for the first 50 issues or so. When his secret identity was revealed on television, his family became a target. Cancer began to kill him as well, so he gave up the amulets to face his sickness on his own.

Hector was killed in Daredevil a few years ago after being framed for murder, and is replaced now by Angela Del Toro.

Purple Man

A more sinister guy you'd be hard to find. Anything he tells you to do, you're going to do it. He's been around for a long time, but it was the 2000's that saw him become the truly twisted person you'd think he would be.

He started and stayed as a Daredevil villain for a long time, able to control anyone and force them to do whatever he wanted. He held Jessica Jones for a long time as a personal servant until she finally escaped during a battle with the Scarlet Witch.

A very short stint with the Thunderbolts saw him returned to the Raft. Once there, Luke Cage got the opportunity to settle the score for what Purple Man had done to the woman who eventually became his wife. It wasn't pretty.


Does it really count as a color-named hero when your name is one word? Yeah, it's close enough. Hank Pym has had many different identities, but the most infamous would have to be Yellowjacket.

He started out in this identity claiming to have killed Hank Pym and eventually marrying the Wasp before getting his memory back. Then when he was forced out of the Avengers it was again as this character.

After Janet's tragic death in "Secret Invasion", Hank decided to become his own version of the Wasp as a tribute to her. To most comic book readers, however, he'll pretty much always be remembered as either Yellowjacket or Ant-Man.

Silver Surfer

Herald of Galactus on more than one occasion, the Silver Surfer has been more of a tragic hero than anything else since his introduction. Trapped for years on Earth because of a field Galactus placed on it as punishment for his siding with the humans, the Surfer eventually was able to break through and get back out into space again in his own book. He was one of the original Defenders and has teamed up with just about every major hero in the Marvel universe.

His treatment in the second Fantastic Four movie is a polarizing subject. Some people feel he was treated almost perfect to character, while others think it was a horrible take on the character. Either way you feel about his role in the film, you can't deny they did a great job of bringing him to life. Galactus, on the other hand, got robbed.

Honorable Mentions: Doctor Spectrum and Rainbow Raider

The Squadron Supreme character Doctor Spectrum has to win the "Best of Show" title since he carries all the colors in his name. Of course, I guess Rainbow Raider would get upset if we did that, so we'll just say both should get their names in this list just because.

Rainbow Raider...heh...still gets me every time I hear the name. How on Earth did he ever expect to strike fear into the heart of any hero?

I briefly considered adding Crazy Quilt to the list because he used colors as his weapon, but it has to be the name or they don't make it. 

Guys I Missed That Should Have Been In Previous Lists:

Black Mask

Dr. OTR made mention of this fellow. Thanks again!

I guess he would have to be considered the "Kingpin" character of the DC Universe (though, ironically, you'd think he would be the Red Skull counterpart or something). A crime boss extraordinaire, he was a major force in Batman comics for a while and even played a major part in the death of the fourth Robin (previously the Spoiler).

He was eventually killed off and has since been replaced. He did pretty well for himself for a guy with no super powers to speak of. He definitely wouldn't win any beauty awards or anything, that's for sure.

Black Vulcan

Oh man, how could I have missed this one? During the 70's Super Friends cartoon craze, they needed to add some minority characters. We ended up with greats like Apache Chief, Samurai, El Dorado, and of course, Black Vulcan. Originally, they wanted to use Black Lightning for this spot, but due to a dispute with the creator of the character they ultimately decided it was easier to just make their own and move on. To my knowledge, he's never appeared anywhere but in the Super Friends show and comic book, and one other place I'll mention below.

He was able to turn into a living lightning bolt to fly and could fire lightning from his hands. But perhaps the greatest moment in his career came when he appeared in one of the first episodes of Harvey Birdman, Attorney At Law and created the catchphrase " my pants."

Black Widow

There may be two of them now, but the original will always stand out for me. Natasha began as a villain and hooked up with Hawkeye early on in her career. Soon she became a hero and spent a large part of the 70's with Daredevil, even becoming his regular sidekick in the series.

She was one of the charter members of The Champions, and has served as an Avenger also. She even spent some time with SHIELD for a while. She's currently the girlfriend and partner of Bucky Barnes and has helped bring this newest Captain America to true hero status. She's one well-traveled lady, that's for sure.

Black Cat

Felicia Hardy was a cat burglar who developed a rather unhealthy fixation on Spider-Man. Her love affair for him faltered when he wanted to remove the mask, however. She wanted the Spider, and he wanted her to love the Man. They worked it all out over time, and he finally chose Mary Jane over her (and then stabbed MJ in the back for Aunt May...but don't get me started).

How popular is this character? Go to any comic book convention and see which cosplay babe has the most fanboys lined up to get their picture taken with her. She has more fans than Lara Croft!

I'd love to see her fight Catwoman, but I'm sure the writers would give the fight to Selina over Felicia. I prefer to think it would be a pretty close match.

Red Raven

This forgotten character was a member of the Liberty Legion in the 70's during the Invaders comic book's first run. He was sort of like the Angel from the X-Men in that he could fly and fight. He actually did make his first appearance in the Silver Age fighting the Angel in X-Men #44.

To find his first appearance, however, you've got to go waaaaaaay August 1940. Red Raven was one of the earlier costumed heroes to appear. It wasn't the same character, but the similarities are too close to ignore.

The Marvel version of this character died in a battle with the Sub-Mariner.

Blue Jay

Another one suggested by Dr. OTR, this relatively unknown character has recently stepped back into the DC Universe in JLA comic books.

Originally created as a Hank Pym-type knockoff (his other hero identity is Massive Man...sound familiar), the pint-sized hero has one of the more unfortunate names out there. I can't think of many bad guys who would tremble at: "Oh no! Here comes Blue Jay!" He sounds more like a sidekick than a main hero.

Hey, if Blue Jay, Red Raven, and Robin formed a team, they could be "The Bird Boys"! Just sayin'...

And that's it! We've looked at colors galore and I hope I managed to introduce you to a few characters you might have missed. Of course, I didn't hit them all, so feel free to comment away on any colorful named heroes or villains you think should have been included!


Anonymous said...

Just remembered another one you left out: Golden Glider, a minor Flash Rogue (whose power was super-figure skating, or something like that) who was also Capt Cold's sister before she was, um, iced.


Omega Agent1 said...

I like Catman but Cat man is a glorified knockoff.That fight between those two was a joke at best. And letting Catman even keep up was an insult.

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