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.
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!
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