Category Archives: 90s DC

Feelin’ Blue: The Tragic Story of Cobalt Blue

Captain Cold. Mirror Master. Gorilla Grodd. The Reverse Flash. Yeah. Them you know. But do you know the most underappreciated Flash villain of all? I’ll give you a hint. His name’s in the title. That’s right! Cobalt Blue! What? Who’s that?! Well let me educate you…..

(By the way, I was tempted to list “The Turtle” above just for laughs, but I held back for you Unspokenites. See. I can be serious sometimes.)

The scene unfolds in a cemetery. Wally West, the third man to carry the heroic name of the Flash, lies in utter anguish. Every part of his body feels as if it’s been broken simultaneously. He had meant to use his super-speed to vibrate his very molecules, allowing him to pass harmlessly through the nearest headstone. Instead, his powers were torn from him while he was halfway through by the maniac that currently looms over his shattered body! This action also caused the tombstone to explode! The Flash looks to the name still present on the grave marker. This was his predecessor’s grave, Barry Allen! The man who now appears to be standing, quite alive, before him! (Damn! Talk about being in utter pain! I mean, that’s gotta be worse than hemorrhoids!)

Barely able to even crawl, Wally remarks that this can’t be the man that he admired. To this the villain replies, with a menacing sneer, that he isn’t Barry Allen at all. With a strange, blue energy flowing all over his body, he seems suddenly lost in thought as he thinks back. (Great! It’s monologue-style origin story time. Ugh! The most horrific power in a villain’s arsenal! That monster!) Flashback to many years earlier. He is a little boy named Malcolm Thawne and his father has just stopped near a house where an elderly woman works on her garden out front of her home. He tells his father that he doesn’t want to do what’s expected of him. The man mutters through gritted teeth to leave the car and go earn his keep. Malcolm approaches the lady and stops. He looks to her shakey hands and remarks that his dad could cure the arthritis she’s suffering from. His father then walks up. He scolds the child to leave this nice woman in peace. She replies that the boy was simply remarking about the pain in her hands. Malcolm begs his father to help her. With a sigh, he takes her hands in his and applies a strange salve that he carries upon his person. It glows with an eerie blue flame for a moment and, before you know it, the pain is nonexistent!

The father remarks that this was a power that he was granted from birth to help people who suffer. She will be without pain for a few days. Amazed, she asks in wonder if this power could possibly heal her pain permanently. The boy pauses and his dad shoots him a warning look. Malcolm then says that it can with a full jar of salve. He then pleads that his father give her a sample. He does so and she insists to pay for this miracle cure. At first he replies that he couldn’t possibly take payment for his gift. He finally relents when she persists. Soon, all of her elderly friends are purchasing jars. Later that night, in a motel room, Malcolm’s mother asks how the boy did. His father then says with obvious rage that the kid about missed his mark. Not to worry though, this won’t happen again. He pulls off his belt and approaches the terrified child! (Guys…..I’m sympathizing with the villain here! His plan is working! Help! Must…..resist……sad story!)

The Flash tries to taunt his attacker, buying himself time. Thawne simply kneels and pushes hard on the hero’s ribs, causing mind-blowing pain. He then continues. The secret of the healing was in the blue flame. The salve was a fake. The family all seemed to be able to conjure it at will. All except for Malcolm. (I’m guessing more Taco Bell is needed in his regular diet.) He would beg his father and siblings to teach him the power, but he was denied at every turn. Finally, his mother blurted out that the reason he couldn’t do it was because he was adopted! His dad struck her and scolded her that he was needed for the con as Malcolm ran away in tears.

Now obsessed to find his true family, his search would lead him at last to a Dr. Gilmore of a small town called Fallville. Gilmore turned as the young man entered his office door. He would exclaim, “Barry?” Malcolm immediately demands to know who this Barry is. Does this man know who he truly is? Gilmore would finally tell the truth. That night was the night of a dangerous storm. Two pregnant ladies would hastily come in his door that night, ready to give birth immediately. One had the last name Thawne, the other was Allen. The doctor had been drinking heavily that night. Using poor judgement, he would accept both patients. (Excellent idea, doc. Who could ever see this situation going wrong? It’s not like this can be done while drunk. It’s not like a prostate exam!)

First he attempted to birth the Thawne child. The birth was a tricky one, however, and with Gilmore intoxicated and the sudden power outage due to the storm, he couldn’t save the baby. He quickly ran in near-darkness to the Allens’ room. He birthed what ended being twin boys into the world. But before anyone noticed, he would cover one child’s mouth and carry him to the Thawne couple. The Allens were later told that one of their twins had been stillborn. As the loving couple clutched their newborn and sobbed quietly, the others would take their “child” and leave town that night. With the story now ended, an outraged, Thawne would raise his fists and beat the elderly doctor until the breath left his body for the final time! (That’s what I’d like to do when my doctor keeps me waiting for over an hour in the waiting room. What? So I’m a tad impatient.)

Wally continues to goad the villain, forcing him to speak onward while he flexes his muscles secretly, trying to heal and regain his super speed. It works famously. With blood-soaked hands, Malcolm Thawne made his way to the Allen home. He left streaks of crimson on the windows as he peered inward. Inside he saw his twin brother and his parents at dinner. They were laughing and smiling. They were happy. It was too much to bear. He ran back into the cold night. Years passed until Malcolm felt comfortable enough to approach his brother, Barry, again. He would confess the murder and all of the bad things he had done since. That’s when he saw that Barry had become a police officer. (Well, scratch that idea. Cops are notorious blabber-mouths. They could never keep a secret of murder to save their souls. Sad really.)

While Barry worked diligently as an officer of the law, Malcolm grew to secretly despise him. Why should his twin have so much in life when he had been given nothing but misery? He kept an eye on him nonetheless, even working maintenance within the police station. But on that fateful night, when lightning had struck the chemicals his brother was working with, Malcolm witnessed the incredible! Barry had been granted super speed! He had been reborn as the new Flash! That was enough! Thawne left the station and searched out his “father’s” mother. It was rumored within the family that she knew the secrets of the blue flame. (It’s on now! I sense that Cobalt Blue is about to be born! No need to thank me for pointing that out for you. I don’t mind helping out my numerous fans.)

The old woman had little love for her offspring it seemed, so she was happy to teach Malcolm. As it turned out, the flame did more than just heal. It gave you the power that you craved just as long as you had the passion within to wield it. Malcolm had plenty of passion. Unfortunately, that passion was in his hatred for his twin sibling. Under the old woman’s tutelage, his mastering of the blue flame became so strong, that he was given an amulet to contain it. It was a cobalt blue gem. (See! His name makes total sense now, huh? You already figured that out for yourselves? Well, you know what? I curse you all to be forced to watch the later seasons of “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” on repeat forever! That’s right. I know you’re sorry.)

With the gem came a prophecy. The old woman said that the fire would burn for one thousand years and consume two Flashes before claiming the life of his enemy, Barry Allen! Thawne left the old woman behind as her house burned down around her that night, ready to make his dream of vengeance a reality! He fashioned a costume for himself and wasted no time in confronting the Flash and his young partner, Kid Flash. But when he knew he was about to face defeat, he made his enemies believe he had become the victim of the very fire he manipulated! In truth, he healed and waited.(I…..hehehe…..um…..love…..hahaha…..cough…..his first costume. Seriously! I do! HAHAHAHA! I apologize. Moving on…..snicker.)

Cobalt Blue looks off as he finishes his tale. He states that he’s already dealt with the first Flash, and now that he has Wally within his grasp….He’s interrupted as the Flash tells him that this was all for nothing, Barry Allen is already dead! As he looks down to his foe in disbelief, he notices that the Flash is no longer beneath his feet! That’s when an uppercut at blinding speed catches him under the chin, propelling him through the air! Almost before he lands, the super speedster pulls the blue gem from Cobalt Blue’s chest! The villain falls, defeated. He murmurs how this can’t be, the prophecy can’t be false. Wally replies that he never put much stock in prophecies. That’s when he looks down at the gem within his hand……and sees the dark future to come. A future engulfed in a blue inferno!

End.

Long Live the King! (part 2)

Gather around, my fellow Unspokenites, and let me tell you a tale! A tale of one of the coolest, yet frequently forgotten, characters in all of the Aquaman mythos! I speak of course of King Noble, ruler of the underdwelling people, the Lurkers. When I last left you, Aquaman and Noble had gotten into a fierce fight. A fight that Aquaman ultimately won. But when the sea king attempted to make the defeated Noble swear allegiance to him, the surrounding Lurkers pulled their weapons and took aim at the King of Atlantis!

Aquaman mentally commands Mera to strike now and strike hard! Mera musters all of her might and commands the very water within the Lurker ships to expand, exploding several vessels in their armada! Next, Tempest is let loose on the unsuspecting Lurker soldiers! First he tries to freeze the water around their bodies, but this does little as these creatures are used to the frigid depths of the ocean! He then changes strategy and blasts flame from his hands at them! That has the desired effect! This attack defeats several of the Lurker warriors! (And people thought Aqualad was lame. Well, the little boy has grown up to become a badass! It’s gotta be the facial tattoo. It makes Mike Tyson look stupid, but on Tempest, it just works!)

Finally, Aquaman gives the command for the Atlantean army to attack the Lurker soldiers! While the battle commences, King Noble gives a rallying speech to his people. There will be no surrender. (This part really reminded me of “Braveheart”. Minus Mel Gibson’s superior acting skills. You know, back when he had an acting career?) Noble turns and orders one of his people’s large war machines to open fire upon an Atlantean structure! The mighty spire collapses from the blast! Sharpened rubble propels downwards, toward a petrified Atlantean child! Surprisingly, Noble pulls the youth to safety at the last moment!

This action doesn’t go unnoticed. Mera, witnessing the whole thing, questions Noble. Why would one who brings war to Atlantis, save an Atlantean? He merely replies that the young one was innocent in all of this and does not deserve to become a victim in this fight. Mera, obviously shocked by this, attempts to reply. This is however cut short as a mentally-commanded whale slams into the King of the Lurkers with all of its tremendous bulk! Aquaman orders Mera to flee to safety, thanking her for this “distraction”. She opens her mouth to protest just as an enraged King Noble bursts back onto the scene! He roars about cowardice and deception! (I’ve gotta agree with the King here. Talk about a cheap move! Waiting until Aquaman was busy elsewhere in order to show off to his woman! How distasteful!)

King Noble hurls himself at Aquaman with unfathomable ferocity! The two udersea kings seem to shake the very foundations of the city around them as they trade mighty blows! That is until Aquaman makes the mistake of calling himself the king of all that resides below the water! Noble had not heard this boast until this very moment! He is now noticeably even more angry! How dare this man claim to be a king of something that he himself has ruled underneath of for the entirety of his life? He turns with a look of unbridled fury! (It’s really on now, folks! Aquaman’s in for the fight of a lifetime! And I mean a fight more difficult to win than the fight to tame that wild, long hair while it’s sopping wet!)

The fight continues. It rages from one end of the kingdom to the other! Neither of them holding anything back! Finally, while King Noble is distracted by a living wall of commanded fish, Aquaman leads the fight to his bed chambers. When Noble comes crashing through the wall, he finds his opponent armed with a new, seemingly cybernetic, golden hand! (Groovy! Did you youngins out there get that “Army of Darkness” quote? Let’s pretend you did so I don’t weep over how ancient I’ve become. Deal?) The King of Atlantis strikes the King of the Lurkers with such force, that he actually momentarily stuns him! He then uses this opportunity to begin forcing Noble towards the surface world above!

Mera ponders out loud, what could the Sea King’s ultimate goal be? Tempest answers that it appears as though his mentor means to see how Noble handles a serious case of the bends! Noble howls in pain as he clutches his skull, in agony from the sudden change in pressure! It’s then that Aquaman stops. Instead of killing this powerful enemy, he talks sense into him! They both obviously care a great deal for their respective people, but this pointless fight needs to end. Noble seems utterly shocked as his foe lowers him back to Atlantis. (Awww! Makes you feel warm all over, doesn’t it? Unless someone just peed in all of this water…..)

A short time passes. Both kings shake hands. Aquaman declares that not only will Noble continue to lead the Lurkers, he is making him his right hand! Shocked but touched by this sign of respect and friendship, he accepts. Well, that’s it. Who’s to say that comic books can’t have a happy ending? And I’m sure that the two undersea kings’ friendship will be a strong and lasting thing for years to come. In fact, let’s peek ahead at a cover of Aquaman just a few months later……

Well crap! Until next time, Symbifan out!

Messenger of Fate

You’ll all think I’m crazy, but I want a Fate action figure ASAP! That said, I’m aware that this particular 90’s DC character isn’t winning any popularity contests with the fans. But you know what? I like him, so I’m writing about him. (Sticks out tongue in defiance!) Seriously though, if you’ve never actually read his title and base all of your feelings on the misconceptions that Jared Stevens as an embarrassment to the mantle of Doctor Fate, you’re really missing out. I love Dr. Fate too. But there had to be room for both characrers in a comic universe so vast and diverse. Anything can happen in a work of fantasy afterall. Now that I’ve said my peace, I present to you my thoughts on “Fate” issue #0! Enjoy, Unspokenites.

Demons seem to pollute every corner of this place. Ash and brimstone poison the very air. The horrific creatures writhe and slither everywhere. Their sheer numbers make one wonder what’s up and what’s down in this living hell. That’s when Jared Stevens startles awake. He’s seated on a rickety, small plane with two others. The men remark on his health but he dismisses their concern. They are thieves and drug runners. He on the other hand deals in the theft and sale of relics and antiques. (That’s a man with morals right there. At least he doesn’t run drugs. Of course, he did arrange to help these other drug runners in the transport of said drugs…..Oh well. No-one’s perfect.)

One of the men asks if the pilot can be trusted. Jared replies that he trusts him completely. He owes him one. Just then, the subject of their conversation enters the cabin and opens fire on all three of them! The criminals drop, riddled with holes! But Jared dives to find cover! The pilot promises that he wasn’t paid to take Stevens out. If he surrenders, he won’t be harmed. Positive that this is a blatant lie, Jared pulls a knife from his boot and throws it at the traitor’s hand! It hits home and the pilot drops the gun! That’s when one of the others uses his last breath to fling a grenade at their attacker! (A grenade?! Who carries a grenade onto a plane in case of emergencies? A man that thinks ahead, that’s who!) The plane quickly explodes into flames, hurling Jared Stevens through burning shrapnel and the night sky beyond! He crashes down in a forested area, apparently uninjured!

After quickly checking himself for injury, he then makes sure the bag containing the relics he recently stole are likewise unharmed. Seeing that everything’s intact, he sighs in relief. However, this relief doesn’t last long as he’s suddenly aware that he’s not alone. An almost-skeletal, elderly couple walk slowly towards him! (I’d scream like a little girl here! Too many zombie flicks growing up!) In a gravely voice, the man says that they have been on his trail in order to reclaim what is rightfully theirs! Before Jared can say much in his defence, symbols that he recognizes as Egyptian ankhs appear in the man’s eyes as he says that this matter will be better settled at the Tower! Stevens then loses consciousness.

After the trio has mysteriously disappeared, a vehicle drives up. Two suited men emerge and scan the area. They seem annoyed as one comments that they have arrived too late. Their boss will be most unhappy should they not find their prey soon. It’s then that the two shed not only their clothes, but their skin, revealing horrific, demonic forms underneath! The bigger of the two places a clawed hand on the ground. He comments to the other that residual magics have been left behind, magics that can be followed. (Things have really heated up, Unspokenites! We’ve got two naked demons in the mix now! See? Symbifan hooks you up when he tells a story!)

Jared Stevens shakes his head as he tries to regain consciousness. He sees that he is bound by rope and seated in some type of stone room without windows. The elderly couple stands before him. The man speaks. They are known as Kent and Inza Nelson. He states that the items that Jared has in his possession are none other than the helmet, cloak, and amulet of the mystical avenger known as Dr. Fate! He continues that he and his wife used to be merged into one being and that combined, they were in fact this hero! (Can you imagine merging bodies with your significant other? Ugh! The chick flicks you’d have to endure!) It seems that a recent event involving time separated and aged them, casting the artifacts back to the place of their origin, Egypt. That’s where Jared found them and took them, seconds before the rightful owners were to reclaim the powerful artifacts.

The couple then place the helmet between them. Inza looks to Jared and comments how it’s a shame that he doesn’t believe in any of this and uses his talents on petty crime. She could see him being destined for much more. (Forshadowing, or is this old mummy actually hitting on poor Jared? And right in front of her hubby! Talk about a cougar!) Especially with the one who is coming. A dark one known only as Kingdom. Kent and Inza then concentrate, using every bit of their combined willpower to try and become how they once were trying to make Dr. Fate live again! Jared frees himself with his hidden knife. He warns the elderly duo to return the artifacts to him! Thats when the demons burst through the stone wall!

They’re the demons from earlier! They have tracked the three humans to this place and now, they’re out for blood! The demons announce that they are called Bloodstain and Thunderspawn (Do you think you can become a successful doctor or lawyer with a name like Bloodstain? Well…..maybe. Moving on.) And they’re here to kill everyone in this room! The couple attempt to use what’s left of their arcane powers to ward off the demons but alas, they break right through their weakened magical forcefield! Jared tries to attack physically, but is knocked aside as if he were as light as a feather! One of the evil creatures hurls a strange orb at the heroic couple! It states that this object will remove what is left of their already ebbing lifeforces! Unfortunately, it hits its targets!

As the sphere takes the life that’s left within the bodies of Kent and Inza Nelson, Kent stares Jared Stevens straight in the eye with a surprising look of peace upon his face. He says that he is content that his time is over, because his legacy will live on! Then, the two legendary heroes disintegrate in a blinding flash of light! The bigger of the two demons complains that his lust for death has not yet been sated. He grabs Stevens by his arm! The other demon notices that Jared has the amulet of Dr. Fate in that very hand and warns his evil partner not to destroy the relic! But this warning comes too late! The amulet is crushed along with Jared’s arm! The result is an earthshaking explosion! (There’s alot of flashing and explosions in this scene. Readers with sensitive eyes may wish to look away.)

Jared Stevens crawls from the rubble, clutching his utterly ruined arm in anguish. He hears sounds of what must be an epic battle being fought nearby. He curiously investigates. A large humanoid is fighting a man dressed in crimson, his arm wrapped in golden ribbons. He also brandishes a large golden blade. He hears the man call the large being Kingdom. It appears as though this Kingdom is winning. As the man falls, he utters through his pain that though Kingdom has defeated Dr. Fate, he will not fall so easily! That’s when Jared spies this hero’s face…..it’s his own! (Surprise! What? You knew?! Look, just because this comic originally came out in 1994 doesn’t mean that you have the right to be a smarta$$!) Jared awakens. He clears the strange vision from his head and wraps his damaged arm in the mystical cloak. He then grabs Dr. Fate’s helmet and leaves this disastrous scene behind him. He needs time to process all that has transpired and hide from any demons that might still be nearby.

Later, Jared Stevens’ ex-wife, Holly, returns home. Noticing signs of a break-in, she grabs a butcher knife and slowly looks around. The man sitting in the darkness of her living room speaks, scaring her half to death. Then, fright becomes anger as she recognizes the voice. Assuming that her ex-husband is once again in hiding from some illegal activity gone wrong, she demands that he leave immediately. That’s when he takes her by the shoulders with shaky hands and says that he needs to hide somewhere safe and collect himself after all that’s transpired. She then sees him fully as he steps out into the light. A long, red ankh completely covers the right side of his face! Little does she or he know it, but a hero was born this night! It was fate.

End.