Movies & TV / Columns

Alternate Takes 02.02.13: Top 10 Replacement Heroes (#10 – 6)

February 2, 2013 | Posted by Shawn S. Lealos

Welcome to Week 239 of Alternate Takes, my name is Shawn S. Lealos and you have entered my world.

I’m loving Superior Spider-Man. The inner dialogue from ghost Peter Parker is a riot as Doc Ock/Spider-Man goes through his life. I especially love how Peter is amazed that anyone is buying it because Doc Ock still talks like a super villain. Now, that could get old really fast, but I like the differences in how Spider-Man goes about his business when Ock in the costume. It is really good storytelling. Now, a lot of people refused to give this a chance because (a) they thought Peter was actually dead or (b) they knew Peter would come back. The more I think about it the sillier those ideas sound.

The people complaining because Peter was dying and they knew he was coming back makes the least sense to me to stop reading the book. When you read a comic, you know the good guy is going to win, so you should hate reading those books too, right? Isn’t the joy of reading comics to see how the characters deal with adversity and overcome them to become stronger heroes. Sure, Peter will be back, but isn’t seeing how it happens what reading comics is all about?

Anyway, I also love the fact that I called it in Amazing #700 when I figured that Carlie was going to play a HUGE role in bringing back Peter. This issue, she realized something was wrong with Peter and remembered when Doc Ock told her he was Peter. I don’t think this will be a really long storyline (ala. Clone Wars), but I am enjoying the ride and the nice dynamic between Peter and Octopus, as they try to figure this out.

With that in mind, here is this week’s list – part one of a two part look at the best replacement heroes.

10: Eric Masterson as Thor
It is no wonder that Thor always walks around with a giant chip on his shoulder, seeing as how poorly his father treated him over his life. Odin kicked him out of Asgard to teach him some manors. Then, when Thor killed the most unpredictable enemy Asgard ever saw in Loki, Odin damned his own son to hell. Basically, Thor and Eric Masterson shared one a body, much like he did with Donald Blake. When Loki brutally murdered Eric’s secretary in cold blood, an enraged Thor used Mjolner to suck out Loki’s life force. Odin had a decree that no Asgardian could kill another Asgardian, so Loki had actually possessed Odin and exiled Thor to Mephisto’s realm, separating him from Eric. However, Eric could still use the power of Thor and took over the mantle on earth, without the real Thor involved at all. It all ended when Odin regained control and Eric gave Thor his power back. In exchange, Odin granted Eric his own powers as Thunderstrike. Eric ended up dying in battle with Bloodaxe.

9: James Rhodes as Iron Man
Tony Stark was becoming quite unstable as Iron Man, thanks mainly to his alcoholism. James Rhodes had been Stark’s best friend since he saved his boss’ life years before. The two worked together on many of Stark’s superhero cases and Rhodes was always his backup, the one man there we he needed help the most. That meant, when Stark really fell off the wagon and lost his company, he turned to Rhodes to take over the mantle of Iron Man and to protect the world in his absence. Rhodes was the man who was Iron Man in the West Coast Avengers. Rhodes was the Iron Man who fought in the Secret Wars. Over time, Stark sobered up and Rhodes began to go insane thanks to the effects of the Iron Man armor. Stark returned in new armor, saved Rhodes, and re-took over the mantle of Iron Man. Since then, Rhodes has become War Machine.

8: Bucky Barnes as Capt. America
Later in this countdown, I will talk about the sidekick most destined to take over the mantle for the hero they once learned from. However, here I talk about someone who deserved the role, but no one could have ever expected to take it over ten years ago. Captain America had hung up his shield before, and at one time a man named John Walker (US Agent) became the new Captain America, working for the government. However, a couple of decades later, Steve Rogers died and the man who took over the role was one of the comic book characters that remained dead longer than almost any other. It was only recently that Cap learned Bucky Barnes was still alive. As a result, when Cap died, it was Bucky who picked up the shield and took over the role of America’s greatest hero. It wouldn’t last, because Steve wasn’t really dead, but Bucky was a worthy replacement when the time came.

7. Hal Jordan as Spectre
Hal Jordan was, at one time, the most honorable superhero in the DC Universe. He was right up there with Superman when it came to nobility. However, a number of things led to him losing control of his emotions and when the entire city he dedicated himself to protect was destroyed, killing everyone there, he lost his mind. Imagine if Gotham City was obliterated and no one was left alive. How would Batman react? Well, Hal allowed Parallax to possess him and he became the greatest villain in the universe, killing all the Guardians of Oa and then taking on all his old friends. However, Hal regained some control when the sun was dying and sacrificed his life to reignite it and save earth. Jim Corrigan, who had served as The Spectre, finally found peace and relinquished control of the being, which gave Hal a chance to take over the role as he searched for atonement for his sins. Hal finally returned as The Green Lantern when The Spectre completely purged all the remaining remnants of Parallax from Jordan’s soul.

6: Tim Drake as Robin
Tim Drake wasn’t the first replacement for Robin – that would be Jason Todd. He also isn’t the last, because Damien Wayne has now taken up the role. However, of the three replacement Robin’s, Tim Drake is miles above the other two. Jason Todd was pretty much despised when he had the role, and is now cool once against as Red Hood. Damien Wayne is just a horrible character overall, and when he finally turns bad, it will be a glorious day. However, Drake is the most like Dick Grayson, a good hero with a good heart. The reason that Drake became Robin was great as well, as he noticed that Batman was becoming reckless and dangerous since the death of Jason, and he intervened and ended up convincing Batman, who Drake figured out the identity of on his own, to let him take over the role as Robin. With Damien now holding the mantle of Robin, Drake has become Red Robin.

Come back next week for Part 2 of the countdown, as I look at the Top 5 superhero replacement characters.

In last week’s Knockout matches, She Hulk beat Green Arrow 303-130 (Arrow had nothing to pierce her Hulk skin), Wonder Woman grounded Nova and beat him 285-143, Wolverine was able regenerate himself enough to dispatch of Ghost Rider. 335-99, and Professor X was able to mind-blast Supergirl and win 329-105.


Savage Hawkman


Invisible Woman


The Beast


Luke Cage

Welcome back to the 6th week of D-Rock’s Corner!! This week we will discuss the significant meanings behind Disney/Lucasfilms decision to hire J. J, Abrams. The reactions to Abrams directing Star Wars VII has been heavily divided. I must admit my own skepticism when I heard this news. What worries me most as a moviegoer is having two major space franchises having the same stylish signature in their experiences. So what does this decision mean? Here is a few possibilities:

(Note: None of the content below will contain “Lens flare” jokes)

J. J. has a Strong Unique Vision

We all know the accomplishments he made with his Star Trek reboot. Is it possible that his take on the property can be boldly different from that universe? A part of me is curious what exactly he said to Kathleen Kennedy to make her fight for him on taking director. It was reported recently that she was the actual person who talked him into the job. I’d give an arm and a leg to see a video of that full conversation.

Michael Arndt and Larry Kasdan Have a Solid script

So far, Disney has a tremendous writing duo tackling the famous property. Michael Arndt is most notably famous for Little Miss Sunshine and Toy Story 3. Larry Kadan is a familiar face with my favorite Star Wars entry on his resume, The Empire Strikes Back. Did these two guys have an outline for Mr. Abrams that changed his mind?

Star Trek Into Darkness IS Amazing

This is the biggest item on my list. What does the hiring of J. J. Abrams say about Star Trek Into Darkness? I find it hard to believe Disney would bring him into Star Wars, without first knowing how the other space-saga sequel was shaping out. Lord knows you wouldn’t want fans losing hope. It makes me wonder if Star Trek Into Darkness is in-fact an improvement over the 2009 film.

The Safest Decision for the Property

If Disney/Lucasfilms chose him for this reason then it certainly would not surprise me. Star Wars fans are the most cynical of all the fanboys and they have every right to be after the “Prequels.” Going the safe route is likely the best marketable decision for an audience that needs a restoration of faith in the franchise. Taking a risk on an unproven director was probably scaring the shit out of the Mickey Mouse club. If the hiring of J. J. still aggravates you, just remember… They could always bring back George Lucas.

Overall, I’m excited for Star Wars VII regardless of my feelings on J. J. Abrams in the driver’s seat. What do you think though? Is J. J. the best choice for Star Wars?

February 1 – Bullet to the Head
March 1 – Jack the Giant Slayer
March 8 – Oz: The Great and Powerful
March 29 – G.I. Joe: Retaliation
April 12 – The Evil Dead
May 3 – Iron Man 3
May 17 – Star Trek: Into Darkness
June 14 – The Man of Steel
June 21 – World War Z
June 28 – Kick-Ass 2
June 12 – Pacific Rim
July 3 – The Lone Ranger
July 19 – R.I.P.D.
July 26 – The Wolverine
August 2 – Red 2
August 2 – 300: Rise of an Empire
August 6 – Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
September 6 – Riddick
September 13 – I, Frankenstein
September 13 – Machete Kills
October 4 – Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
October 25 – The World’s End
November 1 – Ender’s Game
November 8 – Thor 2: The Dark World
November 22 – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
December 13 – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

April 4 – Captain America: The Winter Soldier
May 2 – The Amazing Spider-Man 2
July 18 – X-Men: Days of Future Past
August 1 – Guardians of the Galaxy

March 6 – Fantastic Four
May 1 – The Avengers 2
November 6 – Ant-Man

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Shawn S. Lealos

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