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Knowledge Waits: All of DC’s Original Bloodlines Characters

by  in Comic News Comment

This is the latest in a feature where I just share some bit of comic book history that interests me. Here is a collection of all of the installments in the feature so far.

With the recent news that DC Comics is coming out with a new Bloodlines series later this year, I thought it would be fun to take a look at each of the characters (the “New Bloods”) who debuted as a result of the original 1993 Bloodlines crossover.

Enjoy!

I’m going to go in alphabetical order of the title of the comic the character debuted in.

First off, a quick refresher on the concept – aliens have landed on Earth and they are feasting on humans by drinking their spinal fluids and injecting parasites into humans as they eat. This kills most people. However, every so often, they feast on someone with a dormant “metagene,” and the parasites instead activate the person’s powers and we get a superhuman person.

In Action Comics Annual #5, by Jeph Loeb, Lee Moder and Joe Rubinstein, a jerky loose cannon cop gets into an accident and loses the use of his legs. He is about to go home and kill himself when he is approached by one of the aliens (who appears first as a beautiful woman before changing into her true form) and soon he wakes up as a hulking behemoth. He eventually regains his memories and begins to fight the aliens alongside “Superman” (actually the Eradicator – this was during the Reign of the Supermen storyline, where Superman was dead and a bunch of new Supermen showed up on Earth). He changes color depending on his mood. He ends up taking the name Loose Cannon…






Loose Cannon got his own mini-series by Loeb and a young Adam Pollina.

In Adventures of Superman Annual #5, by Karl Kesel, Tom Grummett, Ed Hannigan and Andrew Pepoy, we meet a young woman, D.C. Force (wokka wokaa), from a whole family of superheroes who does not yet have powers of her own. She comes to Metropolis with her uncle (who can turn into a bear-like creature) the intent of getting the aliens to give her powers. She changes her mind at the last moment but it is too late and her powers are activated. She becomes Sparx and ends up as one of the best heroes from the whole storyline…




I really liked Sparx. When I did a Top Five Bloodlines Characters years ago, she was #2 on the list (behind the obvious #1, which you will see later).

Sparx was a member of a short-lived superhero team made up of New Bloods called Blood Pack. Nearly all of Blood Pack’s members were slaughtered by Superboy Prime during Infinite Crisis. Sparx later joined Superboy and the Ravers (which was written by Kesel, as well), so she got a TON more character development than most of these characters.

In Batman Annual #17, by Doug Moench and Eduardo Barreto, we meet a Gotham SWAT team member who is ostracized because he is Korean-American. When his team gets slaughtered by the aliens, he survives and quickly decides to adopt his new armored body into crimefighting as Ballistic. He teams up with Batman (who is Jean-Paul Valley at this point, as Knightfall was running concurrently to Bloodlines)…




Ballistic was also a member of Blood Pack.

In Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Annual #3, by Denny O’Neil and Mike Manley, Luke McDonnell, Gray Morrow and Ricardo Villagran, a psycho killer hits up his half-brother, a priest, for some help while he is on the run. But when the authorities track them down, he takes the priest and the kids the priest is on a retreat with his hostage. Before he can begin killing the kids, though, the aliens show up and feast on both the killer and the priest.

The man survives, but he is now changed by the experience. He can heal people. He heals his brother, who awakes and ALSO has powers – he has the power to destroy. The whole “feasted on by an alien” has affected them differently. The good brother is now evil, calling himself Cardinal Sin and the evil brother is now good, calling himself Samaritan…




Go to the next page for the next batch of New Bloods!

In Batman: Shadow of the Bat Annual #2, by Alan Grant, Trevor Von Eeden and Dick Giordano, Batman teams up with Pagan (a short-lived vigilante from Grant’s run on Batman) to take some bad guys down. At the same time, though, a young man has decided to become a vigilante of his own to take down the drug dealer whose drugs killed one of the man’s students (he’s a gym teacher). The aliens attack and the man, Joe Public, gets the ability to increase his own strength by sucking away the strength of the people around him…





The Batman in this story was the real deal, as this came out right before Knightfall started. It was one of the first Bloodlines annuals.

In Deathstroke the Terminator Annual #2, by Len Wein, Steve Erwin and Will Blyberg (plus a ton of other inkers), a young man whose father owns a major arms manufacturing company is murdered by the aliens and then they feast on the son. He survives and decides to get revenge, using his own company’s products and calling himself Gunfire…




Along the way, he discovers that the name is particularly apt as his new power is the ability to turn any object into a gun. Hey, it was the 1990s…



Gunfire got his own series that lasted a lot longer than you might have expected.

In Demon Annual #2 by Garth Ennis and John McCrea, the aliens attack an assassin and, well, do I really need to tell you anymore about the only real success story of Bloodlines, Hitman?



In Detective Comics Annual #5, Chuck Dixon, Jim Balent and Gerry Fernandez gave us a young man who, when attacked by the aliens and discovering he had powers now (the ability to turn invisible), went the old fashioned route and decided that, without any other motivations (like a lot of the other characters mentioned so far), just decided to become a superhero known as Geist…




Geist was a member of Blood Pack.

In Eclipso Annual #1, by Robert Loren Fleming, David G. Klein and Ray Kryssing, we meet a man who is coming up with ways to wipe out Eclipso’s ability to possess people and he, of course, ends up with superpowers that make him a walking prism (this is one of the last annuals, so by now the various heroes had begun to team up with each other and they sought out Prism)…



Go to the next page for the next batch of New Bloods!

In Flash Annual #6, Mark Waid, Phil Hester and Aaron McLellan debut a mob guy who is attacked by the aliens…


But the twist is that he’s actually an undercover federal agent. So he uses his new powers and some stolen armor to become the hero known as Argus and decides to take the mob down…





Hester did an Argus mini-series after this.

In Green Arrow Annual #6, Mikes Grell and Collins (and a bunch of inkers) introduce us to a Vietnam veteran with a hook for a hand who, after getting attacked by an alien, becomes The Hook, complete with energy hook hand…




Grell was on the way out, so I doubt he was too into the whole concept.

In Green Lantern Annual #2, Gerry Jones, Mitch Byrd and Dan Davis gave us Nightblade, a paralyzed teen who gets powers from an alien, but then the alien kills his mother and sister, so he decides to avenge his family and along the way, he discovers he has regenerative powers…





Nightblade was a member of Blood Pack (by the way, another New Blood, Loria, was introduced as a member of Blood Pack and as a love interest for Nightblade. She wasn’t in the original annuals, though).

In Hawkman Annual #1, by John Ostrander, Jan Duursema, Steve Leiber and Rick Magyar, we meet a teenager who is dubbed a “mongrel,” since his dad is black and his mother was Cambodian. He gets treated like crap at school, so when he gets powers, he is almost a bit of an anti-hero more than anything…




Despite being a sort of anti-hero in his debut, Mongrel ended up joining Blood Pack (dude needs a new name, though).

In Justice League America Annual #7, Bill Loebs and Greg Larocque (and a bunch of inkers) introduced a man, down on his luck, who gets turned by the aliens into Terrorsmith, a man who turns other people into monsters…



In the same issue, they introduce a couple of heroic “New Bloods” to balance things out…





Go to the next page for the next batch of New Bloods!

In Justice League International Annual #4, Gerry Jones, Mike Parobeck and Luke McDonnell introduce a new hero for England, Lionheart…



Oddly enough, he’s a hero BEFORE the aliens then attack him. So they don’t actually give him any powers.

In L.E.G.I.O.N. ’93 Annual #4, Mark Waid, Mike McKone, Tom Tenney and a bunch of inkers introduce us to Pax, a sort of Space Shaman who is from the same dimension as the aliens…


In Legion of Super-Heroes Annual #4, Tom and Mary Bierbaum, pencilers Stuart Immonen, Darryl Banks, Joe Phillips, Christopher Taylor and Nick Napolitano and a whole bunch of inkers gave us “Jamm,” a skateboarder who ends up in the future along with alien-given powers. He can manipulate people’s minds. It’s kind of disturbing, especially since it is mostly played for laughs when he does some messed up stuff…



After some more “Radical” adventures, the Legion send him back to the past to get rid of him, which isn’t exactly the best solution, since he’ll just use his powers in the past, right? Weird.

In Lobo Annual #1, Alan Grant and Christan Alamy create a LEGION operative named Layla who, after given powers from the aliens, is more than a match for Lobo….





In New Titans Annual #9, Paul Witcover and Elizabeth Hand, penciler Malcolm Davis and a bunch of inkers gave us a young woman who, courtest of alien parasites, becomes a new hero known as Anima…




She sort of has energy powers but also taps into mystical “Animus” stuff….


She also got her own series that lasted longer than you might expect.

Go to the next page for the last batch of New Bloods!

In Robin Annual #2, Chuck Dixon, Kieron Dwyer and Joe Luis Garcia-Lopez debuted a hacking team known as the Psba-Rats. After being attacked by the aliens, two of the members, Razorsharp and Channel, gained powers…





Razorsharp joined Blood Pack.

In Superman Annual #5, Dan Jurgens cleverly tied the Bloodlines thing into a plot point from the Superman comics, where Lex Luthor Jr. (secretly the original Lex Luthor in a cloned body) kills one of his trainers, just for the heck of it. The trainer, though, gets bit and survives and becomes Myriad, an assassin who can take over people’s lives…



David Lapham and Mike Machlan did the art.

I think Superman: Man of Steel Annual #2 was the first Bloodlines story after they initially debuted in the first part of the Bloodlines series. In it, Louise Simonson, Eddy Newell and Mike Barreiro give us a young teen from the tough part of Metropolis who becomes Edge…a dude with knives all in his body. Hey, it was the 1990s…



Finally, in Team Titans Annual #1, Marv Wolfman and Art Nichols gave us Chimera, a teen who can make dreams become reality and can read your minds and find your biggest fears and make them come true!




Well, there you go! I hope you enjoyed this trip to the wild, wacky world of 1993!