In Which I Visit The Isle of My Fave Misfit Heroes
Kid Eternity – He calls dead (and sometimes mythical) figures from the past to battle crime. Hangs out with a ghost named Mr. Keeper. Actually brought a just-killed reporter back to finish a story and imprison a criminal. Wow.
Hoppy The Marvel Bunny – Becomes the World’s Mightiest Cottontail when he says the magic word, Shazam! (I could probably do 25 lists just on the extended Marvel Family, like the Lieutenant Marvels, but Hoppy will suffice for now.)
Isis – She had an amazing array of powers and spoke in rhyme. And in her secret identity as a schoolteacher, had a pet bird named (wait for it) Tut. “No, Rick Mason … I have no connection to that Egyptian-themed super hero who looks just like me without glasses. Zephyr winds that blow on high/Drop Rick Mason from the sky!“
ElectraWoman and DynaGirl – Batman ripoffs, but DAMN, I wanted an Electra-comp, the device that furnished their powers.
Matter-Eater Lad – The whole Legion of Super Heroes had awesomely whimsical characters and names … but Matter-Eater Lad is one of my faves. I even dressed up as him one year for Halloween! Super Power – Eats ANYTHING.
Ruby Thursday – The 70’s were weird for everyone … but this mad-scientist with a red, malleable orb for a head was … out there. I wonder if the writer was smoking and watching a lava lamp while creating this character.
Dazzler – I was 15, coming out of the closet and Marvel creates a mutant disco singer who converts sound into light, that she uses, not to save humanity, but make better light shows for her concerts. Target Market of One, perhaps, but there is almost nothing Dazz-related I won’t buy.
Aqualad – He rode a seahorse, Aquaman called him “Tadpole” and he talked to fish. What else did one need in a hero?
Elongated Man – I fell in love with Plastic Man after I met Ralph Dibny in the backup stories in Flash. He didn’t use a secret identity and he once fought a White Rabbit to save a first edition of “Alice In Wonderland.”
ALL the Metal Men, but especially Mercury – I learned more about chemistry from this comic than in all of grade school. Well, almost.
Negative Man – His negative energy body could only split from his human body for 60 seconds. Sure, his human self was radioactive and had to stay bandaged up since his face was a glowing green skull … but the Negative Man looked cool!
Ego, The Living Planet – It’s a planet … that’s ALIVE!
Thundra – She came from a future Earth known as Femizonia. GOD, I loved the 70s!
Black Goliath – I’m not sure why all these characters who took Hank Pym’s growth serum (see also Hawkeye/Goliath) had half-shirt motifs to their outfits … but I liked it.