19 Apr, 2011

TWEE-VIEWS, Illogical Character Love

Posted by Raphael in Opinion|Random|Reviews

Hello Midtown Bloggerines, I’m back this week to give you some Twee-views (Comic Reviews in 140 characters or less), and talk about something near and dear to most of our hearts: characters we love that no one else does.
Bad Romance doesn’t even BEGIN to describe this…

Batman and Robin # 22: End of 1st storyline for Peter Tomasi & Patrick Gleason. New villain interesting, anti-Batman in a way. Won’t miss Morrison, so far so good!

Journey Into Mystery # 622: Old title, new story. Following Loki through Fear Itself… seems like it’s a 2nd Thor ongoing, without calling it that. Good read though!

Birds of Prey #11 (My Staff Pick@ Midtown Comics Times Square): Date Night for Huntress & Catman… if you can call it that? Redemption a hard thing to seek and Catman is irredeemable (sorry Mark Waid!).

Okay, so this is a subject near and dear to my heart. If you are a fan of superhero comics, you have on of these guys. Mine are mostly 90’s exclusive, but these characters have been showing up pretty much since the Silver Age, possibly even the Golden Age. It’s one thing you defend despite the ridicule: Your Favorite Character No One Loves, or FCNOL.

It’s like the sports player you like that isn’t the big superstar (Renaldo Balkman, Nick Swisher and Dan Girardi anyone?), the comic book character that isn’t the superstar like Spidey or Batman, the one that most non-comic book fans aren’t aware of. For me, as a child of the 90’s, it has to be two that are emblematic of the era: Marvel’s Darkhawk and DC’s Azrael.

DH Card
The trading card that started it all….

Darkhawk was created by Tom DeFalco and Mike Manley, and surrounds the story of young Chris Powell discovering an alien amulet that allowed him to control a suit of armor. If Nova was supposed to be the Spider-Man of the 70’s, then Darkhawk was the Nova of the 90’s. He joined the New Warriors (which already counted Nova in their ranks) and also had a few adventures with Spider-Man. I didn’t actually read most of these until I was much older. I discovered Darkhawk in the form of Marvel Trading Cards, another 90’s staple. Most of the adventures of Darkhawk I know come from my own imagination, where his Darkforce blasts and claws put him in the upper echelon of heroes such as Thor, Captain America and Spider-Man. Of course, NOBODY, ANYWHERE would say these things, but like I said, Darkhawk is one of my top FCNOL.


I own BOTH of these…

Azrael comes to me by a more familiar path, the popular 90’s tale Knightfall, in which Batman gets his back broken via the villain Bane. Azrael was Jean Paul Valley, programmed by the Order of St. Dumas to be their avenging angel Azrael. Batman was trying to help JP break the cycle, and he trusted him to become the next Batman. Jean Paul was still a little too mentally unbalanced, and decided to take more extreme measures to fight crime. A lethal suit of armor (incidentally also designed by MIKE MANLEY!) was created, and I was hooked.

I apparently have a thing for armor, but in retrospect, both of these guys would look cool to ANY 6 to 8 year old. They still look great to me, and yes, I know that these two have had a dubious history In comics at best, and have been the butt of many a joke, but they also have the potential to be really good characters (although Jean Paul is dead), and if I ever follow through on my writing dream, I may just pen a Darkhawk epic that will blow your minds.

So that’s it for this week, but I would like to know who YOUR Favorite Character No One Likes is. Either comment on the blog or send me a message on twitter (@wraithmaker) with the hashtag #FCNOL. Next week is an awesome exclusive I scored In regards to Action Comics #900!

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