All posts by symbifan777

Triumph and Tragedy

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William MacIntyre was robbed. Robbed of his destiny. At least, that’s how he always saw it. William moved from place to place growing up. He never really had the chance to make friends his own age. Instead, he primarily kept to himself when not in the company of his mother. His father, much to William’s disgust, was a professional criminal. Life pretty much remained that way until puberty hit young William. While this is a confusing and trying time for any young adult, William couldn’t be more sure of himself. This was because, along with all of the normal changes his body exhibited, he had also gained the superhuman ability to access the electromagnetic spectrum! Added to this power, he mastered: electromagnetism, energy absorption and projection, enhanced senses, the ability to fly, invulnerability, and enhanced strength! With this rather large set of powers (and an even larger chip on his shoulder), he renamed himself Triumph and began his new life as a superhero. 

640689At this time in history, other new heroes had come out of the woodwork but all operated individually until, during an alien invasion, the time had finally come for a superhero team to be born. Who would bring them together? Who would lead them? You guessed it! Triumph! Calling such heroes as: Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, and the Black Canary, Triumph led a strike against the invaders that proved completely successful, assuring victory for the planet Earth!

Triumph_Origin_01The only problem? While attacking the aliens’ energy weapons directly, Triumph had used more electromagnetic energy than he had ever before manipulated before in one powerful burst. This attack, though repelling the enemy, had created a rift in time and space, tearing him from reality and wiping him from the minds of all who had ever met him! In essence, Triumph had never existed!

Triumph_02It wasn’t until the “Zero Hour” crisis, an event that shook the foundations of the very timestream, that Triumph was released back to normal time. But, as he soon discovered, things had changed much since his time in the sun. There were no statues in his honor. No history books speaking of his sacrifice. In fact, he wasn’t even remembered period! As far as these now-legendary heroes were concerned from his era, he was just some nameless rookie! To make things worse, the invaders had followed him home. Wasting no time, he sought the help of the heroes of this time. As can be expected, it took much to convince them of this “new hero’s” sincerity. After all, he sounded like a madman while spouting off about forming the Justice League or saving the planet. But determination won out and he was eventually aided in defeating the alien creatures for good this time. But where did this leave poor forgotten William MacIntyre? Well, he tried to continue where he had left off. He was asked to join Martian Manhunter’s Justice League Task Force (jumping at the opportunity) and even went on a few solo missions.

Triumph_01But after being kicked out of the League years later for insubordination, Triumph found himself soon after selling discarded items left over from “super battles” merely to pay his rent. Yes, life had certainly taken the superhero once named Triumph, chewed him up, and spat him out. That was until the day Lkz, a magical thunderbolt from the the 5th. dimension, answered his prayers. Or rather…..seemed to. The creature gave Triumph unimaginable power and claimed that if he were to attack the new Justice League with it, the League would appear weak enough for Triumph to step in as the hero he was always meant to be and take charge. Triumph, desperate at this point, agreed. But the creature had only been preying on Triumph’s insecurities. It meant to destroy the Earth! It took the combined forces of the Justice League and the Justice Society to defeat Lkz and Triumph.

687684-triumph_ice In the end, Triumph was transformed into a block of ice by the mighty Spectre, rendering him harmless. But, as the Spectre went to smash the ice, he was stopped by the compassionate Angel, Zauriel, and instead moved to the League’s trophy room for safekeeping. This was not to be, however, as the headquarters was destroyed soon after, trophy room and Triumph included. It was a truly tragic end for a truly tragic hero. A superhero.

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Death in the Family-The Death’s Head Family Tree

Death's Head II vol 1 1_kindlephoto-303255741You never find out how truly popular you are until you’re dead. At least, that’s what it was like for the time-traveling, cybernetic, bounty hunter called Death’s Head. But, for that to make sense, you have to visit the past (or would that be future?)

3017305-death's_head_(earth-trn234)_from_iron_man_vol_5_9The Death’s Head cyborg was created some time in our near future in the pocket dimension of Styrakos. Originally built to house the consciousness of his creator, Lupex, the mechanized being soon slew his “father” and set up shop as a “freelance peacekeeping agent” for pay (or bounty hunter for those brave enough to call him that!). He went on to create quite a reputation until, as with all things, he finally met his match.

3f75f9a109e9cdd1c450e5e6f7374c9fEnter the Minion cyborg. Minion, created in the year 2020 by the scientist, Dr. Evelyn Necker of A.I.M, was built to destroy a future threat to the universe, Charnel. To do this, Minion was supposed to kill each subject in it’s database and absorb the subject’s abilities/knowledge. It did this successfully until it came into contact with Death’s Head. After a fierce battle, Minion actually defeated the bounty hunter but, when attempting to absorb his traits, accidentally absorbed Death’s Head’s entire personality! The process was so complete in fact, Minion, by all counts and purposes now was Death’s Head! Now with a new, more brutal and sophisticated body, (plus a sexy, female sidekick named Tuck) Death’s Head II went back to business as usual. It wasn’t until two other cyborgs, Death Wreck and Death Metal, appeared on the scene, that the idea of an actual family dynamic was introduced.

DEATH HA JAN94Let’s begin with Death Wreck. A prototype for the Minion cyborg, created with mostly junk, car parts, and a poor homeless wino for the frame, this cyborg was accidentally reactivated by a man searching for Death’s Head II. Dimwitted and with a drinking problem from his previous life, this creature was built for power. Next, would be the Death Metal cyborg. This being was created from living, liquid metal from an alternate timeline. Originally seen as more of a villain type, Death Metal soon got its mind to function properly and became a hero when it truly counted. This cyborg had the ability to create bladed objects or energy-firing weapons anywhere on its body. A true living weapon!

Death_3_Vol_1_1All three of the “Brothers Grim” operated solo for a short time, but came together against the resurfacing threat of Charnel, cooperating as a team (or family?) to defeat him once and for all, saving the universe. Little is known what happened to the “Death’s Head family” after that day. I, personally, would like to think they remained together but, as with even non-cybernetic families, this may not have been the way things turned out in the end. Well, there you have it. One cyborg is destroyed, and a family is born from the ashes. But a family, be it genetic or cybernetic, is still a family nonetheless.ff4f12a1b2901b055548b722b969f83b

What’s in a name? The history of Stryfe.

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Before I give Stryfe his time in the light, I thought I’d tell you a little bit about myself this time. My name is Jason Miller. I’m a 38 year old nerd that lives in Iowa. I have two children, Jade and James, and a loving fiance, Renee. I have been interested in creative writing since I could spell and have collected comic books most of my life. Though, back then, it was all horror or comedy. It wasn’t until my grandpa bought me issue #6 of the 1990’s Darkhawk title by Marvel Comics, that my true love affair with superhero comics began. And now, 25 years (And hundreds of thousands of dollars in comics) later, I have been given the opportunity to share my love of this era in comics history with all of you, through the Unspoken Decade, as an author. Who would have thought one comic book could make that much difference in one boy’s life?

Stryfe. Even the name invokes fear and dread. To fully understand this Marvel madman, you have to delve into his origins. After all, one is not named Stryfe without good reason.

62a5b1c9d22b37225dea7bba3af91838Stryfe began his life basically as a back-up plan. I’ll explain. In the far-flung future the mutant tyrant, Apocalypse, held dominion over all. His will was absolute and none could oppose him. Or so it seemed. A small band of resistance fighters, led by the mysterious Askani, needed a savior. One who could put an end to all of this death. The answer finally came in the form of an infant named Nathan Summers. Nathan was the son of Scott “Cyclops” Summers and Jean “Phoenix” Grey. You could tell by his parents alone that this was to be a very powerful mutant child. The problem was, Apocalypse believed this as well. He struck quickly and decisively, infecting Nathan with a virus that would not only halt the boy’s growing mental powers, but eventually kill him. Desperate, Askani has the child cloned to perhaps salvage their last hope. She also goes to work on young Nathan, trying to if not cure him of the virus, maybe halt it’s progress. She succeeds in the latter, saving the to-be savior of mutantkind. As for the clone? He is kidnapped by the very monster he was created to destroy, Apocalypse. Lacking a name, Apocalypse names the child Stryfe. Stryfe, as can be expected, is treated as nothing more than a weapon as he is believed to be the original child. He was raised for the sole purpose of one day becoming the vessel in which Apocalypse would transfer his essence to further his total domination of the planet. Stryfe knew this. His soul was forever tainted by his situation. And in his inner rage, plotted the downfall of not only Apocalypse, but his “brother” and all that he stood for. Finally, as his own body was now failing, the day came when Apocalypse decided it was time. To Apocalypses dismay, the procedure failed as they discovered Stryfe was a clone. Afterwards, Apocalypse was attacked and killed by the true Nathan Summers (Now calling himself Cable) and Stryfe uses this distraction to go into hiding.

197797-109571-stryfeHe would emerge later as a fierce warrior and egomaniacal madman himself. Striking out with his own army, he attacks Cable’s people and what is left of Apocalypse’s regime again and again. Though despising both armies, he centers the bulk of his rage upon Cable. It should be noted that no one knows that the leader of this faction is actually a clone of Cable save for Stryfe himself. Wearing spiked silvery armor, complete with masked helmet, his identity remained a secret. At one point, he uses this to his advantage by seeking out Cable’s wife, Aliya, and conceived a child with her, Tyler. Stryfe would later kidnap Tyler and brainwash him into being a loyal follower, renaming him Genesis.

eb97c1579235f351aa6ccfb0c59a6ce0Finally, seeking to alter the future, both Cable and Stryfe would end up time-traveling to the then present day. Stryfe would assemble another army, this time called the M.L.F (Mutant Liberation Front), and Cable would take over leadership duties of the New Mutants (Later called X-Force). The two would clash many times, one time revealing Stryfe’s true face to Cable under the helmet. More battles were fought, but one in particular would prove to be Stryfe’s “masterpiece”. The event was known as the X-Cutioner’s Song. Stryfe, dressed as Cable, entered a rally in support of mutant rights, and shot Professor Charles Xavier founder of the X-Men and face of the peaceful coexistence for mutants and humans. This caused all of the mutant teams at the time to clash leaving Stryfe ample time to strike again. This time, he struck at the past incarnations of his “parents” and Apocalypse himself! He was finally stopped by Cable. Cable thought, by killing Stryfe the conflict would be over. He couldn’t be more wrong. You see, by killing him, Stryfe had had the last laugh after all. A virus was released at the point of his death that would claim the lives of countless mutants for over a decade before being cured!

As with all comic book villains, Stryfe would not remain dead. He plagued the Marvel Universe many more times. But, he would never again be the threat he once was. In my opinion, had he only been treated like a real person at the beginning of his tragic life. Stryfe would never have been a threat in the first place. He might have even used his power and mind for the betterment of his world. But, sadly, this was never to be. He is and always will be Stryfe, in purpose and name.

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