Thursday, August 30, 2007

Item Cards

So I've been thinking about Paizo's Game Mastery Item Cards. I first learned about them on Jeffs Game Blog a few months ago. (Which by the way is a fun blog. With good stuff updated all the time.) I think this is an awesome idea. It gives the players something to hold on to and to use. I think that its helpful in reminding a player what they have too. As I have to admit I sometimes dont play attention to my equipment section. Then forget what I have. Anyways being the cheap bastard that I am. I'm not paying 20 bucks for the dragon trove or what not. So I decided a while back that I would make my own. Well I finally got around to it. Man they are sweet. Not as sweet as Paizo's, but pretty sweet. Even if I do say so myself. I've taken blank note cards with no lines on them. I drew a picture of the object (be it potion, gem, or what have you.) Then on the reverse I have a description, and use info of object. (Example: potion of cure light wounds, cures 1D8 HP's)We havent gotten a chance to use them yet in my GM's D&D game. But soon! As he's digging them too! So I'm making some to his specs for the healing potions and stuff too. I think I may make a couple sets. That way I have them for when I DM. If I can I will get some pics of some. So I can post them here for your veiwing.

Sam Noir

Sam Noir is a comic book miniseries written by Eric A. Anderson/Manny Trembley and illustrated by Manny Trembley, first published in September 2006. Rendered in grayscale, the comic is a fusion of hardboiled noir fiction and a samurai adventure tale. While originally a three-issue miniseries, the comic's popularity and critical acclaim caused it to continue, with another 3-issue "Ronin holiday" mini-series getting published by Image's Shadowline imprint.
Thats all Wiki really has on it. So let me take a step from the normal and talk a little bit about this character/comic.
This a fun read. Imagine Kuwabatake Sanjuro from Yojimbo, mixed with Sam Spade from the Maltese Falcon. Its one part detective story, one part samurai story, and maybe two parts revenge story.
Quick recap one the first three issue story. (I'm going by memory here and its been several months since I read it. Which reminds me I should dig it out and reread it.) Sam Noir is a gumshoe in the city. Hes been hired to follow around a woman named Jasmine. During this time he falls in love with her from a distance. Then one day she appears in his office wanting to hire him. Before she can she is killed by ninjas. They flee downstairs. Sam Noir jumps out a third story window to ambush them as they leave the building. He kills them. But not before discovering who hired them. A man named Fuyu. Fuyu is formerly a business man. That left the city many years ago. He now is head of a village. Well Sam's pissed and goes after him. To get to him he has to face one at a time his three body guards. A swordsman, a sneaky fighter, and a man mountain. He dispatches them one by one. Once he finally gets to Fuyu he finds out that he was tricked. Fuyus former business partner is the one that set all this up. So Sam returns to the city to deal with this person. He walks into the office building and the carnage begins. He literally cuts through a swath of guys to kill the former partner.
The second three issue mini is called "Ronin Holiday". Sam is relaxing on a tropical beech. When he is attacked. He fights them off and is on the trail of the perpetrators. During which he hooks up with the island cop/pirate. They encounter some big trouble. In the form of an assassin with a training rhino. They fend her off. They track her deep into the island. When they are ambushed by a voodoo priest. Sam wakes to find himself buried alive in a coffin. He escapes this only to find his buddy the cop/pirate being mind controlled by the priest. Sam battles his friend. Snapping him out of his trace and killing the bad guys.
This description I give doesn't do either of the mini series justice. This is a fun must read. Its not Shakespeare. But it is definitely a noir, samurai mash up of the highest caliber.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Question

(I'm ashamed to admit it. I knew very little about the question. Then one day I was watching the Justice League cartoon. And a pulpy hero appeared. One I was not familiar with. So I researched it. Discovering the Question. Since then I've come to really like the question. Its a shame that he is now passed. But I think Renee Montoya is a good replacement. I would like to hook up on some back issues. I just dont have the jack, at the moment. That and I think I'm going to work on getting some suicide squad stuff first.)
Fictional biography

Charlton Comics
Based in Hub City, Vic Sage made his mark as a highly outspoken and aggressive investigative journalist with a reputation for obnoxiousness. Not long after starting his TV appearances, he began to investigate Dr. Arby Twain.

Mysterious Suspense #1 (October 1968), Charlton Comics. Art by Steve Ditko.
Sage was approached by his former professor, scientist Aristotle Rodor, who told Sage about an artificial skin he had co-developed with Dr. Twain called Pseudoderm. Pseudoderm was intended to work as an applied skin-like bandage with the help of a bonding gas, but it had an unforeseen toxicity which was sometimes fatal when applied to open wounds. Rodor and Twain agreed to abandon the project and parted ways, but Professor Rodor discovered that Dr. Twain had decided to proceed with an illegal sale of the invention to Third World nations, regardless of the risk to human health.
Sage resolved to stop him but had no way of going after Dr. Twain without exposing himself. Rodor suggested that Sage use a mask made of Pseudoderm to cover his famous features. Armed with information, and more importantly a disguise, Sage eventually caught up with Dr. Twain, stopping the transaction and extracting a confession, then, in an ironic twist, leaving Twain bound in Pseudoderm. On television, Sage reported on Dr. Twain's illegal activities.
Sage decided that this new identity, partially inspired by The Spirit, would be useful for future investigations, and partnered with Professor Rodor, who supplied the Pseudoderm and eventually modified the bonding gas to change the color of Sage's hair and clothing. The two men became good friends, with Sage affectionately referring to Rodor as "Tot".

DC Comics
The Charlton characters were acquired by DC Comics after the former company went out of business in 1986. DC gave the Question his own acclaimed solo series in 1987, which was written by Dennis O'Neil and primarily drawn by Denys Cowan. The series was published for thirty-six issues, two annuals, and five "Quarterly" specials. In Question #1, the Question was defeated in personal combat first by the martial arts mercenary, Lady Shiva, beaten near to death by the hiring villain's thugs, shot in the head with a pellet gun, and thrown into the river to drown. Lady Shiva then rescued him for reasons of her own and gave him directions to meet Richard Dragon as soon as he recovered enough to get out of bed. Once there, Sage learned both martial arts and eastern philosophy. When he returned to the city, he resumed his journalist and superhero careers with adventures that tended to illustrate various philosophic points. To further illustrate those ideas, Dennis O'Neil had a reading recommendation in the letters page of each issue.
In the O'Neil series, Victor Sage is an investigative reporter for the news station KBEL in Hub City, who uses the identity of the Question to get the answers his civilian identity cannot. Unlike other vigilante superheroes, O'Neil's Question is primarily focused on the politics of his city, and rather than hunting down the perpetrators of petty theft, he tends to fight the corrupt government of Hub City. O'Neil's Hub City is noted as being "synonymous with venality, corruption, and violence", perhaps even outranking Gotham City as the most dismal city in the DC Universe. Despite the impoverished and scandalous nature of Hub City, O'Neil insisted repeatedly that it was based on an actual US city, though for most of the series' run he refused to comment on which one that might be. He eventually confirmed, near the end of the run, that Hub City was based on East St. Louis, Illinois. [citation needed]

The Question #34 (January 1990); DC Comics. Art by Denys Cowan.
For the majority of the series, Vic Sage is covertly assisting the good-hearted Myra Fermin to win the seat of Hub City Mayor. His interest in Myra extends beyond admiration, as the two shared a relationship before his near-death experience with Lady Shiva, and his training under Richard Dragon. Upon his return he discovers she has married the corrupt drunkard, Mayor Wesley Fermin. Despite Myra's losing the election by one vote, she becomes Mayor when her competition is found dead as a result of what is called "the worst tornado in history." At her victory speech, her husband Wesley shoots her for supporting what he believes to be Communist beliefs, putting her into a coma and sending Hub City further into chaos. Sage dons the guise of the Question, acting as the city’s only form of justice for a short while, before the Mayor wakes from her coma. Gang warfare in the weeks following the election leads Sage to Lady Shiva, first as a combatant, and then enlisting her help as an ally of sorts to get in a position to talk to the gang-leaders. As Myra adjusts into her role as Mayor of Hub City, she and Sage begin to rekindle their relationship, though Myra tells Sage she will not act on her feelings until she leaves office. Despite their long-term friendship, she never connects that Sage and “the man without a face” are one and the same until the very end of his time at Hub City.
O’Neil’s Question is very conflicted on how far to go in enforcing justice, often feeling tempted to kill. He resists this temptation during his time in Hub City, realizing that part of his desire to go so far is just to see what it feels like to take a life. His relationship with his mentor, Aristotle Rodor, is one of many things that keep him from going over the edge and back towards the darkness he had shown in his youth on the streets of Hub City.
Eventually, during a massive hallucinogenic trip, his subconscious tells him through his mother that he has to leave Hub City to ever be able to live happily. Around the same time Richard Dragon comes to see Vic, as Richard he has sensed that Vic is on the verge of a major turning point in his life, and convinces Vic that living in Hub City is killing him. In an agreement with Richard, Lady Shiva arrives with a helicopter to usher The Question and Aristotle Rodor away, at which point she decides to stay in Hub City and embrace the chaos. Vic nearly convinces Myra to come with him and escape the chaos of the city, but she is unable to leave. She leaves her only daughter, Jackie, and wanders back to the city alone to meet her duties as Mayor and do her best to stand for what she believes in.
After leaving Hub City, Vic takes Jackie with him to South America, hoping to rid himself of his "No Face" alter ego and find a land free of the clutter and corruption that filled Hub City. However, Vic quickly gets drawn into a drug war which ultimately forces him to kill a man in order to save Jackie's life. This marks a major turning point in the Question's career as he thinks to himself that he didn't feel anything and would kill again if needed. Though it is not entirely clear what the Question's current view is on murder, he kills again in the 1991 Brave and the Bold mini-series and the 2005 Question mini-series.
The Question Annual #2 retroactively altered the character's origin by revealing that Victor Sage was originally Charles Victor Szasz, an orphan who had a reputation as a troublemaker. Szasz prided himself on defiantly enduring the physical abuse of the Catholic orphanage where he was housed. He eventually managed to get into college where he studied journalism. However, his higher learning did not mellow his violent tendencies, such as when he beat up his pusher for giving him LSD which caused the frightening experience of doubting his own senses under its influence.
The 2005 Question mini-series suggested that the Question's long experience and practice with meditation had led him into shamanic trances, and later into a more permanent state of shamanic awareness, in which he was able to interpret coincidences and thus "talk to the city." In this state, he was also able to sense chi, or life force. He is now able to "walk in two worlds" for an increased awareness of his surroundings and of any disturbances in a city's natural order.


Renee Montoya and the Question in Kahndaq. Cover to 52 Week 16, by J.G. Jones.
Main article: 52 (comic book)
While Batman disappears for a year following the events of Infinite Crisis, the Question takes over as the protector of Gotham City. Partnering with ex-Gotham police detective Renee Montoya, the two investigate an invasion of Gotham by Intergang, as well as the appearance of a new Batwoman in Gotham. The Question reveals his civilian identity to Renee, as well as how he transforms into the faceless Question, as a sign of his trust in her.
Having gone to Khandaq to further investigate Intergang, Montoya and the Question are arrested by the local authorities, but manage to escape. While in hiding Montoya figures out that Intergang is planning on bombing Black Adam and Isis' wedding, and the two are able to avert the threat. Awarded the Order of the Crescent medal from Black Adam, the Question gains the help of the Black Marvel Family against Intergang. Finally, the Question leads Black Adam and Isis in the Intergang lair in Khandaq, where they manage to free kidnapped children (including Amon Tomaz, Isis' brother) from being brainwashed into Intergang operatives.
Parting ways with Black Adam and his family, Renee and the Question travel to Nanda Parbat so Renee can train with Richard Dragon. The Question reveals that he is dying of lung cancer (he confesses to being a former smoker, and that he didn't quit soon enough), and is grooming Montoya as his replacement. After returning to Gotham to save Kate Kane, the Question is forced to enter hospice care at Kate's, but is moved to a hospital after not breathing for three minutes. He continues his descent in near-death madness, reliving moments from his original series and singing "Danny Boy" as the new year approaches. Renee opts not to perform assisted suicide, as death is the one question he has left. Finally, Renee decides to take him back to Nanda Parbat, in the hopes of saving his life. However, Charlie does not survive the journey and dies after asking Renee who she "will become". Months later, Renee assumes the mantle of the Question as she and Nightwing search for the captured Batwoman and retains the role afterwards. After the recreation of the Multiverse, an alternate version of Vic Sage is shown to be alive on the new Earth-4.

The Question's mask is made from Pseudoderm, a substance made by Doctor Aristotle Rodor. According to the revamps of 52, this substance was developed using technology lifted from an old Batman foe named Bart Magan (Dr. No Face) and Gingold Extract, a fruit derivative associated with the Elongated Man. The Question's series by Denny O'Neil presented Pseudoderm as Rodor's attempt to build an artificial skin for humanitarian purposes.
The Question's specialized belt-buckle, which releases a gas that binds his mask and temporarily recolors his garb, is similar to that of the Spider-Man villain Chameleon. In his initial appearances, which were drawn by Steve Ditko, the Chameleon had used a device in a belt buckle which emitted a transformation-enhancing gas. It is possible that Ditko used that as inspiration for the Question.

Inspiration, homages and other versions

The Question's appearance — ordinary clothes, fedora hat, and a face with no eyes, nose or mouth — may have been inspired by two characters who appeared in comics in the late 1930s:
The Blank — A Dick Tracy villain who first appeared in the comic strip in October 1937. He was a former gang leader whose face had been destroyed by gunshot and covered it up while killing off his former associates. He also appeared in the 1990 film Dick Tracy.
Charles Maire — Appeared in an early Batman adventure by Bob Kane, published in Detective Comics #34 in December 1939. He was the featureless victim of a villain who used a ray that cut away his face. Batman helped Maire and his sister get their revenge.

Rorschach — When Alan Moore was unable to use Charlton Comics characters by name in his comic book series Watchmen, he patterned Rorschach after the Question, making him a merciless trenchcoat-and-fedora-clad vigilante who took moral absolutism to its most violent extreme. On a trip, the Question reads Watchmen and initially sees Rorschach as being quite cool. After he is beaten up trying to emulate Rorschach's brutal style of justice, he concludes that 'Rorschach sucks'. (The "Rorschach sucks" bit slays me. Dont get me wrong I like the Rorschach character. It just the Watchmen comic in general I have aproblem with. Not the story, or writing. But people put it up on a pedestal. Acting like its the second coming of christ or something. Yes it was a fresher perspective than had been seen by most at the time. But it is sure not the end all, be all. That it is made out to be.)

The Question was featured in Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again as a libertarian, anti-government conspirator. This version of Sage — as a nod to Ditko and Alan Moore — is Randian and preachy, at one point going on television for a series of humorous "Crossfire"-style exchanges with the liberal archer Green Arrow. Additionally, he is shown as a technophobe monitoring the dark conspiracy Batman and his allies must face.
Q, an enigmatic character from the fighting game Street Fighter III, is similar to the Question.

In the final issue of 52, a new Multiverse is revealed, originally consisting of 52 identical realities, including a new "Earth-4". While this new world resembles the pre-Crisis Earth-4, including unnamed characters who look like the Question and the Charlton characters, Grant Morrison has stated this is not the pre-Crisis Earth-4.

Other versions
Question has appeared in the Justice League Unlimited spin-off comic book.

Other media

Justice League Unlimited

The Question in Justice League Unlimited.
The Question is a major recurring character in the animated television series Justice League Unlimited, voiced by Jeffrey Combs. Like his comic book counterpart, he uses a special mask (bonded to his face by a gaseous chemical) to conceal his identity. He is portrayed as a conspiracy theorist, a blend of Rorschach from the Watchmen comics and Fox Mulder of the popular X-Files series. His character design is similar to the O'Neil/Cowan revamp of the character.
The Question of the DC Animated Universe is a completely obsessive, darkly comic loner — skeptical, eccentric, paranoid, antagonistic and unpredictable. He is often given to believing in various odd conspiracy theories and is suspicious of even his fellow League members, yet is one of the Justice League's best detectives. At one point, he mentions that Supergirl eats peanut butter sandwiches before going to bed, to which she asks him if he goes through her trash: he responds, "Please... I go through everyone's trash."
The Question's various conspiracy theories (he insists that it's a single, tied-together theory) are usually portrayed in a humorous manner. He claims the motives and purpose of aglets (the plastic caps at the end of shoelaces) are "sinister", believes in ominous links between boy bands and global warming, the Girl Scouts and the crop circle phenomenon, and fluoridated toothpaste and spy satellites. He also believes there was a literal 'magic bullet', forged by Illuminati mystics to hide 'the truth' (though this was said under torture and might have just been him mocking his captor). In recent investigations, he also discovered that Baskin-Robbins in fact has thirty-two flavors of ice cream, and is concealing the thirty-second for dubious reasons. All of these theories are apparently tied to a single, vast conspiracy by a hidden cabal dating back to ancient Egypt, which has supposedly ruled the world from the shadows for millennia, aided by the common man's ignorance of it.
After the events of "Fearful Symmetry", in which Supergirl encounters her clone Galatea, Batman assigns Question to investigate and find out whatever he can about those responsible, much to the chagrin of the other League founders. The title, "Fearful Symmetry," is a reference to Watchmen, and is derived from William Blake's poem "The Tyger".
In the episode "Double Date", the Huntress (recently kicked out of the League for making a failed attempt on the life of Steven Mandragora, the mob boss who killed her parents), appeals to Question for help tracking him down, in exchange for information she claims to have on Cadmus. He agrees, knowing in advance she's lying. After being pursued by Green Arrow and Black Canary to the dock where Mandragora was meeting his son, Question talks Huntress down from killing Mandragora, and she instead pins him under rubble to await imprisonment. Afterwards, he reveals to Huntress that, despite having known the outcome of the encounter far in advance, he helped because he likes her. In response, Huntress kisses him and drags him away, presumably to show her appreciation; the two would continue to be an item throughout the rest of the series, the Huntress dubbing him with the nickname "Q". (This episode was probably inspired by the Batman-Huntress comic book mini-series Cry for Blood, though in that story the Huntress deliberately lures an enemy into what she knows will be a fatal trap and the Question turns his back on her in disgust.)
In the episode "Question Authority", the Question discovers Lex Luthor's plot to instigate a full-scale war between the government and the Justice League. He also learns of an alternate universe (seen in the Justice League story "A Better World") in which Luthor becomes president, has the Flash killed, and is murdered in the Oval Office by Superman as revenge, an act that eventually leads to the renamed Justice Lords taking over the world. Convinced that the history in this alternate universe was in fact a predestined time loop that would eventually repeat itself, the Question decides the only way to derail this possible future permanently is to kill Luthor himself, before he can become president and before Superman can kill him. Furthermore, he was confident that his reputation for being a paranoid 'crackpot' would deflect any suspicion that he was doing this on the orders of the Justice League, allowing the League and Superman's legacy to survive his actions.
However, Luthor, now augmented with super-strength thanks to Brainiac (who, in the Superman episode "Ghost in the Machine", had planted a nanotech copy of his programming in Luthor's body), delivers a savage beating to the faceless vigilante while admitting that his presidential campaign was nothing but an expensive ruse to keep Superman on edge, "a small part of a much grander scheme." Question is turned over to Project Cadmus for interrogation by Dr. Moon. After almost a week of torture without caving in, he is rescued by Huntress and Superman and transported to the Watchtower for treatment. Although still weak from the torture when the Ultimen invaded the Watchtower, Question subdues one of the clones by hitting him over the head with a bedpan.
"Question Authority" has several homages to Ditko's objectivist beliefs, as well as to Rorschach, Alan Moore's infamous Question pastiche. As he recoils from the information he's downloaded from the Cadmus files, he begins to speak in monotone sentence fragments, as Rorschach did. ("Not alternate reality," he quavers. "Time loop.") In the same episode, Huntress' comments indicate that, while spending days at his research, Question has neglected everything else, including his personal hygiene — another Rorschach trait. In his room on the Justice League satellite is a poster warning of a global fluoridation conspiracy, a reference to the last page of Watchmen, which in turn references Kubrick's black comedy about nuclear war, Dr. Strangelove, in which mad General Ripper believes that it is part of a Communist plot.
Later, as Question confronts Luthor at his penthouse office, he declares that "A is A... and no matter what reality he calls home, Luthor is Luthor." This is similar the law of identity phrase "A is A", on which Ditko based certain characters and their opinions. Additionally, in the episodes follow-up "Flashpoint" shows the injured Sage without his mask, with bruises and injuries to his face similar to those suffered by Rorschach during his capture and imprisonment by the police. He notes that Huntress was right when she said "he had to be the ugliest man in the world" to wear his faceless mask; Rorschach, since childhood, had been teased and bullied because of his appearance.
The Question makes cameos in the episodes "Flashpoint", "Panic in the Sky" and "Grudge Match", as well as the series finale "Destroyer". In the battle between the League and the forces of Apokolips, he is seen fighting off Darkseid's Parademons by running them over with his car, while Captain Atom, Hawk and Dove and the Creeper battle them on foot and in the air; each of these characters was created by Steve Ditko. His last appearance, in the same episode, is running down the steps of the Metro Tower alongside his fellow Ditko/Charlton era Leaguers.

Yeah I cut and pasted from wiki again. I'm at work I aint got time to write out a big diatribe. Plus I'm lazy.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

State of the game

Well we did not play again this Sunday. But this is all on me. I've been helping Bungee move. So I would work all day. Then go bust ass in the sweltering heat moving furniture and comic boxes up and down stairs. Now I'm not complaining. I'm glad to help a friend. But being out late and working hard made me tired. I needed some R&R. Not having to worry about the game and such. I even got to play poker with some fellas I don't get to see very often. Which was a really good time. (Even if I did lose my shirt.)

It also gave me some time to think about the game. And the more I think about it the less sure of what I'm going to do. Football season is quickly approaching. Now the guy who plays Timmy is a huge football fan. I doubt hes going to want to miss the games to play mine. The guy who plays Mathew may be the same way. I'm not sure how fanatical he is. The guy who plays Leroy will want to watch the Bears, if they play. As hes a huge fan. But other games he doesn't care if he sees. I like watching football. But I would rather game. Certain people I haven't been so impressed with how they are playing. But I'm friends with them and don't want to kick them out of the game or scold them. But how do you tell them that they need to kick it up a notch? There are also people that have picked up their game. They've gotten better. I don't want the game to be put on hiatus or ended. And have them lose that steam they've built. Course with teh game I'm running I guess I could plug people in and out pretty easy. I think a smaller group would be OK too. Hell I may be blowing things out of proportion. I just want to game. And I dont want to deal with a bunch of drama.


(The Hitman series is one of my favorites. The perefct mix of seriousness, and humor. Action and adventure. This is Garth Ennis at his best.)
Hitman chronicles the exploits of Tommy Monaghan, a contract killer from the Cauldron, a lower-class Irish district of Gotham City. He first appeared in The Demon Annual #2 (part of the "Bloodlines" crossover in the summer of 1993), as an ex-Marine Gulf War veteran turned contract killer when he is attacked and bitten by a Bloodlines Parasite. Instead of dying, the bite grants him the unexpected powers of x-ray vision and moderate telepathy. A side-effect is that his corneas and irises are solid black, indistinguishable from his irises; the sight managed to unnerve Batman when he first saw them. The inherited powers later come with limits however, and Monaghan utilizes them selectively, both because of the difficulty of concentrating during an explosive firefight (many of which he is a part of) and the unwanted side-effects of their extended use (which includes anything between a headache and a minor illness). (The "protagonist with supernatural abilities he doesn't use" is a theme the writer Garth Ennis also used in the series Preacher, published largely concurrently with Hitman.)
Shortly afterwards Monaghan decides to specialize in killing metahumans and supernatural threats, targets typically shunned by conventional contract killers as too dangerous or too expensive to pay for. Despite his powers, Monaghan relies most on his creativity, improvisation, and impressive gunfighting skills to take down a majority of his targets. This line of work gives him an edge over his competition but also leads him to encountering a number of eclectic characters which include demons, zombies, dinosaurs, gods, superheroes and supervillains as well as more conventional, realistic characters such as CIA agents, the SAS, the Mafia and Batman. Even at its most ridiculous, the characters are realistically portrayed, if not necessarily sympathetic.
Despite its bizarre and often iconoclastic nature, the series is firmly entrenched in the DC Universe. Batman, The Joker, Green Lantern, Catwoman, Etrigan, and Superman all guest star at various points, and joking references are frequently made to then-current DC happenings (such as the long-haired Superman). It also crossed over with many DC events, including Final Night, One Million, and No Man's Land. There was even a oneshot pairing him with Lobo, and he has made a few appearances outside of the series (see below).
Although the character adopts the moniker "Hitman" in his first appearance, he only refers to himself by that name once in his own series, in the very first issue; the rest of the time, he is referred to by his given name (although he was sometimes called "Hitman" in guest appearances).

Tommy Monaghan is a hitman from "The Cauldron", the Irish section of Gotham City. He received the powers of telepathy and X-ray vision after being bitten by an alien (see Bloodlines), something which he generally tries to keep secret. With or without the powers, he is as good as any hitman in Gotham. He was raised in Saint Killian's orphanage by Sister Concepta, spending much of his childhood with Pat Noonan and Pat's uncle, Sean. He first saw a gun when a bully pulled one on him after a fight. He always wears sunglasses to hide his all-black eyes (another side effect of Bloodlines).
Natt "the Hatt" Walls is Tommy's partner. Growing up in Detroit, he joined the Marines to get away from the gangs. There he met and befriended Tommy. They went to the Gulf War together, and inadvertently killed some British SAS soldiers one night in a "friendly fire" incident they never reported. After the war, he tried to return to his gang, but a policeman saved his life and the gang suspected treachery. Natt fled, settling in to Gotham with Tommy. Natt promised his dying mother that he would curse no more, and so uses the word "mothaloving" in place of swearing.
Sean Noonan is Tommy's father-figure. He raised his nephew Pat, Tommy's best friend since youth. He was at one time a hitman of some reputation in the city. When he was seven, Sean fled an abusive father, but, inspired by the courage of a British soldier, he went back to save his mother. Years later, he joined the Marines and fought in Korea, where he saw every man in his platoon die. He came to Gotham, got a job tending bar, and eventually won the bar in a poker game. "Noonan's Sleazy Bar" became the resident hang out for local hitmen. Around that time, he saved a young police officer named Connolly from two robbers. In such ways, he collected many favors over the years.
Ringo Chen is the other best hitman in town and even more cold-blooded than Tommy (though nobody is sure who is deadlier). There is always tension between the two, as everybody expects they will square off one day. Despite this, he and Tommy get to be close. They even understand that others wonder who would win if they fought. Ringo grew up in an extremely poor village in China; in order to escape, he joined the People's Liberation Army. When he refused to shoot protestors in Tiananmen Square, he was thrown in jail and tortured. He escaped and fled to New York, where he became a hitman, initially for his cousin, but later going free-lance. Ringo believes that he met Death once, after a hit.
Deborah Tiegel is Tommy's love interest for most of the series. She gets kicked off the Gotham Police Department by a corrupt captain, because she is above corruption. She lives with her grandfather and her mother. She is always referred to as the only truly good person in Tommy's life, and often breaks up with him because he kills people for a living. She is an exceptional marksman, and often provides sniper cover for the heroes amid large firefights.
Notable Side Characters
Pat Noonan is Sean's nephew, and Tommy's best friend since childhood. The first time Tommy killed somebody was to save Pat's life. When the series begins, he is Tommy's weapon supplier. He makes fun of Hacken more than anybody else does, and the bar patrons (especially Hacken) regard him as a loudmouth. When Natt arrives, Pat grows more insecure about his friendship with Tommy.
Hacken hangs out at Noonan's as much as anybody (including Sean) and joins in with the killer talk, but does not seem to be a professional; they mostly just make fun of him. When there is big trouble, they don't want him around, because they don't want to feel responsible for his death. At one point, he refers to himself and Ringo as partners, "just like Tommy and Natt", and Ringo doesn't have the heart to dissuade him. Hacken once cut off his own hand when he thought it would save his life. His artificial hand has caused more than one continuity error in subsequent issues. In issue #50, Hacken is shown to have outlived all the original gang and still drinks at Noonan's Sleazy Bar as an old man.
Sixpack is a short drunk who thinks he is a superhero. He often has drunken delusions of team-ups with Batman and other heroes. He occasionally leads his superhero team, Section 8.
Sister Concepta is a nun who works at Saint Killian's. She took a special interest in Tommy growing up, partly because she had a romantic relationship with Sean Noonan.
Wendy is the first woman Tommy dates in the series. She believes descriptions of his life are humorous jokes, and she dumps him as soon as she finds out they are not. She returns to the series sporadically.
Baytor is the Lord of Insanity in Hell, until Etrigan steals his crown. He escapes Hell, and becomes the bartender at Noonan's. With rare exceptions, he says only "I am Baytor!". He has the abillity to project a liquid onto enemies, which dries. They then shatter.
Maggie Lorenzo is a poor local woman who first meets Tommy when her son goes missing. Eventually, she turns to Tommy whenever she has a problem, and she apparently has quite a few.
Kathryn McAllister is Tommy's last love interest in the series. A CIA agent modelled after Dana Scully from the X-Files TV series, she first shows up in a one-page gag in "Local Heroes" (in which she manipulates Green Lantern, as ordered by Agent Truman). In Closing Time, the final arc of the series, McAllister has left Truman's employ and enlists Tommy and Natt to take Truman down. It is strongly implied in the "Up is Down and Black is White" storyarc of the MAX imprint of Punisher she continues to work in clandestine circles under the name "O'Brien."
Moe Dubelz is one half of a pair of conjoined twins who share an entire body. His brother Joe is killed by Tommy, and he swears revenge for it. The brothers control one of Gotham's major mobs.
The Mawzir is a demon from Hell who attempts to enlist Tommy's services for its masters, the Lords of the Gun (also called the Arakonne). The Mawzir is actually formed from the souls of five dead Nazis who were executed by the Russians towards the end of the Second World War.
Johnny Navarone is the best assassin in the world; he travels the world killing only the best local killers. Moe Dubelz hires him to kill Tommy. Later, his son, who is an even better marksman, is hired by Truman to kill Tommy.
Agent Truman is a CIA agent who is jealous of superhumans. He attempts to hire Tommy as an agent to rein in and possibly kill heroes, and later funds experiments trying to re-create the effects of Bloodlines.
Doctor Jackson from the Injun Peak Facility always hires Tommy and Natt to clean up his messes when various experiments his scientists are performing escape into Gotham City. Though his intentions are probably good, his scientists seem quite inept, and eventually Tommy and Natt come to regard him as quite a nuisance.
"Men's Room Louie" Feretti is one of the main mob bosses in Gotham. He is so named because, due to a medical condition, he always needs to be on a toilet, and conducts all his business from there. Eventually, Tommy is falsely blamed for his death, and various other Ferettis try to take revenge.

The Series
Hitman was first published as a 60-issue comic book series with one annual, one "DC One Million" tie-in issue and one crossover with Lobo. Issues were more or less published monthly and most were 22 pages.
Since the end of the monthly series, Hitman was collected in a series of now out of print trade paperbacks which do not as yet encompass the entire series (though several early appearances are included in the first). The trade paperbacks are rumored to be coming back in print (possibly even completing the run), depending on sales of the JLA/Hitman story.
The character was due to make an appearance in an arc of JLA Classified, and Ennis had this to say about it: [1]
I miss Hitman a lot. Preacher finished when it was supposed to, so there are no regrets with it—but Hitman could have gone on a lot longer. John McCrea and I are actually doing four issues of JLA Classified, featuring what is effectively the "lost" Hitman story, the one that we never had space for in the monthly. Writing Tommy and the boys again was sheer joy."
Due to a backlog of other stories for the series, the "lost" Hitman story has been announced instead as a three-part mini-series entitled JLA/Hitman.

Vol. 1: Hitman(collects The Demon Annual #2, Batman Chronicles #4, and Hitman #1–3)
In "Hitman" (The Demon Annual #2), a hitman named Tommy Monaghan is bitten by Glonth, an alien (see: Bloodlines), and gets superhuman powers. He teams up with Etrigan to fight Glonth and kills Joe Dubelz, a mob boss whose brother Moe puts a price on Tommy's head. The issue also introduces Pat, Sean, and Noonan's Sleazy Bar.
In "Hitman" (Batman Chronicles #4), Tommy takes a hit on a walking biological agent named Thrax who escaped into Gotham, and a "tenth-rate assassin" named Martin Eckstein attempts to earn the Dubelz reward. Eckstein, captured by Batman, reveals that Tommy is going to kill the Joker in Arkham Asylum.
In "A Rage in Arkham" (issues #1-3), Tommy begins a relationship with a woman named Wendy, and hides the fact that he is a killer. The hit on the Joker turns out to be a ruse by demons called The Lords of the Gun and their agent, the Mawzir. They want Tommy to work for them, but he refuses, and Batman intervenes, along with Deborah Tiegel, the only police officer with the courage to go into Arkham to save the Joker.
Vol. 2: 10,000 Bullets(collects Hitman #4–8)
"10,000 Bullets" (#4-7) begins with Moe Dubelz hiring Johnny Navarone to kill Tommy. Navarone hires Tommy (and Natt, newly arrived in Gotham) for a hit and then injures them in an ambush. Tommy makes Natt take him to Wendy's and calls Sean to perform medical services. As soon as Tommy is healthy, she throws them out and dumps him. They go home to find Pat dying, tortured by Navarone for information. Tommy and Natt assault Dubelz directly, killing him and his mob. Navarone gets the drop on them, but Tommy gets a lucky shot off, destroying Navarone's hand. He kills him for Pat.
In "The Night the Lights Went Out" (#8), a crossover with The Final Night, Tommy, Natt, Sean, Hacken and Ringo sit in Noonan's and recount stories of the closest each has come to death. Ringo specifically tells about the time (he believes) he met Death.
Vol. 3: Local Heroes(collects issues #9–14 + Annual #1)
"Local Heroes" (#9-12) opens with Pat Noonan's funeral. Tiegel is kicked off the police force because she is an honest cop, unlike the corrupt Captain Burns. CIA agent Truman offers Tommy a career in the organization as a killer of metahumans, both heroes and villains. Tommy declines his immoral offer, so Truman makes Burns send the police to arrest him. Not wanting to kill a cop, he takes a hostage and winds up being saved by Tiegel, who wants to expose Burns. Truman's operative Kathryn McAllister tells Green Lantern that Tommy is planning to kill him. Convincing Green Lantern he's been tricked, Tommy wears a wire to record Truman's plans and blackmail him out of Gotham. Truman leaves, for now, and internal affairs investigates Captain Burns' precinct.
In "Zombie Night at the Gotham Aquarium" (#13-14), Tommy, Natt, Ringo and Hacken take a contract from Injun Peak to stop a scientist from re-animating dead sea creatures.
In "Coffin Full of Dollars" (Annual #1), Tommy and Natt become involved in a power struggle in a small Texan town between Sheriff Halliday and a land developer named Santiago, who has a gunman named Manko, inhumanly fast due to an incident during the Gulf War. The struggle comes to a head when a legendary coffin full of stolen money is found in the local cemetery. The story heavily references the spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone. The art for the annual was provided by Carlos Ezquerra and Steve Pugh.
Vol. 4: Ace of Killers(collects Hitman #15–22)
In "Ace of Killers" (#15-20), the Mawzir (from the first book) returns from his hiatus in Hell reborn and determined to drag Monaghan back to hell. While in disguise he tricks Catwoman into stealing the Ace of Winchesters, a Winchester rifle forged in the old West to kill demons. Tommy and Natt form an impromptu alliance with Catwoman (spurned over being manipulated) a surprised Tiegel (who arrives at Noonan's to speak with Monaghan moments before Mawzir makes a reappearance) and Jason Blood, the occultist expert and keeper of Etrigan. Etrigan is sent to retrieve the firearm from the Arkonne, the Lords of the Gun in Hell, while the group holes up in a church besieged by the Mawzir and his gangster minions. As the fight progresses and ammunition runs low, Sixpack reassembles Section 8 and counter-attacks just as Etrigan retrieves the powerful Crown of Thorns and murders the Arkonne, retrieving the Ace of Winchesters. Etrigan returns the gun to Earth and bargains the return of his heart. Tommy makes the trade and kills the Mawzir with the Ace of Winchester. At the end of the night, Etrigan is made whole, Tommy strikes up a new friendship with Catwoman, and Tiegel tells Tommy to call her.
Note: The Ace of Winchesters was previously featured during Garth Ennis's run on Hellblazer. Jason Blood stole Etrigan's heart, with the help of Tommy, in The Demon #54, written by Ennis.
In "Kiss Me" (#21) Tiegel invites Tommy over for a romantic dinner, and they end up sleeping together for the first time. The afterglow is marred when her family arrives home unexpectedly. Trying to slip away, Tommy winds up in the apartment next door, amid a big drug deal involving Lefty Lugano. Everybody in the room thinks that somebody else betrayed them and hired Tommy, which leads to a firefight which only Tommy survives. Tiegel, oblivious to the gunfight, asks Tommy out on another date. This issue is the only issue of the series proper not illustrated by John McCrea; he needed a break, and the art was done by Steve Pugh.
In "The Santa Contract" (#22), the Christmas story, a power plant worker named Bob is mutated into a monster whose touch melts flesh. He opts to be a supervillain and steals a Santa Claus costume. The plant's owner hires Tommy and Natt, who find Bob at a mall. He promises to learn to love Christmas, but they waste him anyway.
Vol. 5: Who Dares Wins(collects Hitman #23–28)
"Who Dares Wins" (#23-27) involves a squad of British SAS soldiers (Captain Page, Sergeant Eddie Baker, Plug, and Whitey) assigned to kill Tommy and Natt over the Gulf Storm "friendly fire" incident. Eddie dislikes the assignment for many reasons, which only grow stronger over the arc. Meanwhile, mob boss "Men's Room Louie" Feretti is angry because he thinks Tommy killed his right-hand man, Lefty Lugano (in "Kiss Me"). The SAS men and Louie's men attack at the same moment, and Tommy and Natt escape in the confusion. When next the three sides meet, the SAS men again kill the Mafioso easily, but in a struggle with Tommy, Whitey is killed by his own gun. Tommy and Natt get away, and when Page finds Whitey, he assumes that Louie's men killed him. He plans a huge hit on Louie's criminal operations, over Eddie's objections. Tommy and Natt race to Louie's hideout, where they find Page killing Louie, and Plug being killed. Eddie wipes out the Mafia men, and saves Tommy & Natt from Page before dying himself.
In the epilogue, "Door into the Dark" (#28), Tommy and Natt find out there's a big contract on their heads because of the death of Men's Room Louie, and Tommy mentions his desire to leave Gotham and do something good. Tommy and Tiegel have another fight over his job.

Uncollected issues
Hitman/Lobo: That Stupid Bastich(published around issue 53, but this is where it seems to fit chronologically)
In this one-shot crossover, Lobo comes to Noonan's one night, and Tommy thinks he's a jerk. Since he's has been dumped again by Tiegel, Tommy decides to take his frustration out on Lobo, and shoots his eyes out. He leads an angry Lobo all over town, getting sidetracked by a bunch of mobsters looking to avenge Men's Room Louie, before catching up with Sixpack and Section 8 at a construction site. Tommy knocks Lobo unconscious with a wrecking ball, and Sixpack videotapes the "marriage" of Lobo to Bueno Excelenté. A humiliated Lobo agrees to leave Gotham and not return.
Tommy's Heroes(issues #29–33)
Looking to get away from the Men's Room Louie heat, Tommy and Natt (along with Ringo and Hacken) take a job offer in Africa. They are to train an army filled with forcibly-enlisted unskilled men to fight the rebels, who are selling heroin to fund their insurgency. Tommy befriends a British Airborne soldier named Bob Mitchell who was friends with Eddie Baker (from "Who Dares Wins"). They soon realize that President Kijaro and his super-human bodyguards, Scarlett Rose and the Skull, are evil and try to escape the country. They meet the rebels, and Tommy is convinced to help install their leader, Christian Ributu, in Kijaro's place as long as he stops dealing heroin. The gang takes a Tiger tank (just like in Kelly's Heroes) straight into the presidential compound, and do what they do best.
One Million crossover
Hitman #1,000,000 was published as part of DC's One Million crossover, and basically parodies and mocks the idea. Tommy is transported to the 853rd Century by some punks who believe that he was a hero, and he corrects their mistaken belief quite violently. Interesting notes about the future: People no longer vomit due to stomach implants which transport the puke out of the body, and humans have bred cats to be unkillable. Though this does not stop Tommy from trying.
In "Of Thee I Sing" (issue #34), a starstruck Tommy meets Superman on a Gotham rooftop. Superman has just rescued a group of astronauts but was unable to save the final man. Everyone believes Superman will save them if need be, and he struggles under the burden of representing the power of The United States of America. Tommy tells him that the America that he represents is about the opportunity for people from all over the world to cast aside old baggage and join in the melting pot. Cheered up by the pep talk, Superman thanks Tommy and signs an autograph before flying back to Metropolis, oblivious to the fact that Tommy is actually on the roof to assassinate a local criminal.
Around this time, Ennis wrote "How To Be A Super-Hero!" in Superman 80-Page Giant #1. Sixpack dreams that he is patrolling Metropolis, and Superman asks to tag along. Superman lectures him about the need for proof, the downside to burning prisons, and not stabbing muggers with broken bottles.
Katie / Father's Day(issues #35–36)
Tommy's half-sister Frances comes to Gotham and explains his family history. Tommy's mother Kathryn "Katie" Monaghan was an Irish whore, who had the habit of naming her illegitimate children after the townsman who fathered them. Tom Dawson, a sadist, impregnated her and then burned her house down, so she fled to America, where her cousin worked at Saint Killian's. Unfortunately, Tom followed her, and tortured her to death shortly after she gave birth. Frances takes Tommy to Ireland, where they are captured by Dawson. He tortures Frances in the same way he tortured her mother. Tommy escapes and finds her, still alive, realizing that this is how Katie had been left as well. Tommy, as angry as he ever is in the series, kills his father.
Dead Man's Land(issues #37–38)
Natt tracks down Tommy, who has been stewing bitterly alone for three weeks and takes him to Noonan's. Sean introduces them to Maggie Lorenzo, whose son, Michael, is missing. They find the boy, killed by a vampire. Tommy and Natt find the "King of Vampires" in a church, and are gradually surrounded. Back-up arrives with a bulldozer to knock over the church and expose all the vampires to the sun.
This is a crossover with the Batman arc No Man's Land. In a very self-aware moment amid the story, the characters discuss many of the then-recent huge crossovers and acknowledge how bizarre the events always are, and how they didn't notice the earthquake in Gotham (which happened during "Who Dares Wins") until now.
For Tomorrow(issues 39–42, epilogue in #43)
In "For Tomorrow", Tommy tells Tiegel he loves her, and she asks if he loves her enough to quit being a hitman, theoretically. Ringo has been seeing Wendy (from the first two arcs), but she realizes he is a hitman and dumps him. He also tells his life story, including the first man he ever killed, a Chinese captain who tortured him in a prison cell and beheaded his parents. While escaping, Ringo rigged the body of a soldier with a grenade and left it in the captain's office. When the captain turned the body over, the grenade exploded.
Ringo goes to collect for killing a kid, but instead finds a short Chinese man called "The Waterman", a torturer with electrical powers. He was sent by the boy's father, Sir Richard Harcourt, who wants revenge on everybody involved in the hit. Ringo escapes, but the Waterman follows him and captures him and Tommy. They escape and shoot a whole bunch of thugs. The Waterman's men shoot Ringo and leave him for dead. Tommy rigs Ringo's body, and when the Waterman turns him over, a grenade blows all the bad guys up. Ringo leaves with Death (from "The Night the Lights Went Out"). Two weeks later, Tommy kills Harcourt on a golf course in Hong Kong. In the epilogue, Tommy wakes up with Wendy, whom he bedded in a moment of mutual drunken weakness after mourning Ringo. Tommy visits Tiegel, but she spots a hickey on his neck and slaps him senseless.
The title refers to Ringo's speech about how all hitmen lie to themselves and say they live "for tomorrow", the time they can quit and be a normal human being again. It was probably conceived in reference to A Better Tomorrow. The arc was dedicated to John Woo and Chow Yun-fat.
Fresh Meat(issues 44–46)
Collecting a paycheck at Injun Peak, Natt asks to use the bathroom. He opens the wrong door and ends up, along with Tommy, encountering a time-traveling hunting party that travels back to the time of the dinosaurs. A tyrannosaurus rex called Scarback leads a pack of dinosaurs through the return portal. They attack Gotham, particularly the Cauldron, eating many people and almost destroying Noonan's. Noonan himself slays one, eliminating a local food problem (as this has happened during 'No Man's Land'). Tommy is stalked by Butcher, a determined hunter who blames Tommy for the fact that dinosaurs keep eating pieces of him.
The Old Dog(issues 47–49, epilogue in #50)
Men's Room Louie's granddaughter Isabella celebrates her wedding, and her uncle Benito Gallo (a knife-wielding Mafia hitman) offers to kill Tommy. Benito stabs Tommy in the back while he's trying to apologize to Tiegel. Sean patches him up, and Tiegel and Tommy have a conversation whereby he realizes Sean is his true father, if not biologically. Sean takes Benito hostage and calls in a favor from a man named Connolly while Tommy and Tiegel go to the hospital. Tommy comes back to find Sean dead with a knife in his gut, and is unable to cry because of his bizarre eyes. Benito, escaping, was shot through the head by the dying Sean. The epilogue happens fifty years later; four friends are sightseeing through Noonan's, because of a book based (loosely) on Tommy's exploits. They meet an aged Hacken, who tells them that Tommy killed everybody at the church during Isabella's marriage (not children, possibly not wives).
The title is the inscription that Sean has requested on his tombstone. In the end, Tommy instead puts "Beloved Father".
Super-Guy(issues 51–52)
Sixpack saves Gotham from demons called "The Multi-Angled Ones" after a scientist at Injun Peak sells his soul. The story provides closure for Sixpack and the rest of Section 8, many of whom do not survive. Doctor Jackson, as a karmic punishment for repeatedly loosing experiments onto Gotham, meets his ultimate fate courtesy of Bueno Excelenté.
Closing Time(issues 53–60)
In Closing Time, the final story, the Mafia put a two million dollar contract on Tommy's head after the wedding massacre, and many would-be assassins try to collect. Tiegel's grandfather dies, and Tommy tells her they can't see each other any more, because he's bad for her. He gives her all the money he's saved, and she goes to New York. CIA agents in the employ of Truman (from "Local Heroes") want to kill Maggie Lorenzo (from "Dead Man's Land") because she saw an escaped subject of his experiment to duplicate the effects of the Bloodlines incident. Maggie seeks out Tommy, and finds him at the bar. Kathryn McAllister (from "Local Heroes") arrives, saying that she's left Truman's employ over his growing paranoia regarding superhumans. She contacts her friends at the FBI who want to take Truman down, but they offer only a helicopter with very little support.
Truman hires Marc Navarone, the son of Johnny Navarone (from "10,000 Bullets"), to kill Tommy, whom he regards as a loose end. An aging policeman named Connolly (mentioned in "The Old Dog") hears about the CIA plots, and kidnaps Tommy to protect him as a posthumous favor to Sean. After a few flashbacks, Natt and McAllister find Connolly's apartment and free Tommy without killing Connolly. Tommy, Natt, and McCallister shoot up Truman's place, slaying many, many government employees in the process. They're so overwhelmed by the horrors of Truman's experiments that Marc gets the drop on Tommy, but, having never killed anyone outside of practice, he accidentally leaves the gun's safety on. Tommy snatches the gun and shoots him.
Truman escapes and gathers his remaining 200 men. McAllister picks up the helicopter and heads to Noonan's, where Tommy and Natt share one last beer. They walk outside, and Truman's men open fire. Tommy loses multiple fingers due to a well placed bullet. Connolly is forced to watch, but has been forbidden to interfere by the Gotham PD brass. Natt is shot in the chest and falls during the run for the helicopter. He pleads with Tommy to not to leave him alive to be experimented on. McAllister tries to get Tommy to stay on the helicopter, but he runs back to defend his friend. A line of defensive fire from Tommy catches Truman straight in the forehead, killing him. Truman's men shoot Tommy down. The series ends with Natt and Tommy seemingly fantasizing about a version of Noonan's where guns are not allowed and all their old friends are alive. Or possibly, this is what they encounter in the afterlife, it was not defined.

Other appearances
Prior to his own series, Hitman was introduced during Garth Ennis's run on The Demon. After the aforementioned appearance in Annual #2, he appeared in two later arcs:
"Hell's Hitman" (#42-45) - Etrigan, newly appointed as "Hell's Hitman", is at war with the Lord Asteroth, Archfiend of Hell, over the fate of Gotham. After being overwhelmed by his Choirboy Commandoes, Etrigan hires Tommy to take out Asteroth in issue 43. Tommy telepathically learns that Asteroth is sacrificing people to bring about Hell on Earth. He shoots the Choirboy Commandoes and Asteroth's other men, but flees rather than kill police officers. Etrigan deals with the supernatural menaces, but decides not to pay Tommy for his services. (This also featured the first appearance of Baytor.)
"Suffer the Children" (#52-54) - After Jason's Blood's daughter is born, he decides to destroy Etrigan. He hires Tommy to help him, specifically guarding him against Merlin the Magician (Etrigan's brother). Tommy only agrees because Blood promises him two million dollars. Etrigan escapes and kidnaps the baby, and, when Merlin aids him, Tommy shoots the magician. Jason saves the baby, and Tommy defends him while he steals Etrigan's heart, essentially neutering the demon and binding him to Jason's will. Tommy pinches Etrigan's cheeks, knowing Blood will not allow the demon to hurt him.
He also made an appearance in Batman Chronicles #4, building to the release of the series. The Annual and the Batman issue are included in the first trade paperback.
During Grant Morrison's run on JLA, Tommy was briefly considered for membership. The only reason he shows up is to check out Wonder Woman with his X-ray vision, after which he turns down their offer due to low pay. He has also appeared in titles like Sovereign Seven and Resurrection Man, none written by Garth Ennis.

Dogwelder (from the team Section 8) was voted "Best New Character" of 1997 by the readers of Wizard.
Hitman issue 34, the Superman-starring "Of Thee I Sing", won the 1999 Eisner Award for best single issue, presented to Ennis and McCrea.
"For Tomorrow", in issues 39–42, was a top votegetter for the Comics Buyer's Guide Fan Award for Favorite Story for 2000.
The 1,000,000 issue was a part of the DC One Million storyline, which was a top votegetter for the Comics Buyer's Guide Fan Award for Favorite Story for 1999.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Atari Games I wish I had

Remember Atari 2600? All the cool little pictures on the cartridges. Well I was wandering some of the blogs I frequent and came across this, on Dave's Long Box. Its fun little toy, that lets you make your own atari games. So heres some I created.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Captain America

(Probably one of my favorite characters)

Publication history
Writer Joe Simon conceived the idea for Captain America, which was refined by his partner, artist Jack Kirby, in 1941. Captain America was a consciously political creation. Simon and Kirby were morally repulsed by the actions of Nazi Germany in the years leading up to the United States' involvement in World War II and felt war was inevitable. Simon later said, "The opponents to the war were all quite well organized. We wanted to have our say too." Captain America Comics #1 (March 1941) — on sale in December 1940, a year before the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and already showing the protagonist punching Nazi leader Adolf Hitler in the jaw — sold nearly one million copies. While most readers responded favorably to the comic, some isolationists and Nazi sympathizers took objection. Simon noted, "When the first issue came out we got a lot of . . . threatening letters and hate mail. Some people really opposed what Cap stood for." Though preceded as a "patriotically themed superhero" by MLJ's The Shield, Captain America immediately became the most prominent and enduring of that wave of superheroes introduced in American comic books prior to and during World War II. With his sidekick Bucky, Captain America faced Nazis, Japanese and other threats to wartime America and the Allies. Captain America soon became Timely's most popular character and even had a fanclub called the "Sentinels of Liberty." Circulation figures remained close to a million copies per month after the debut issue, which outstripped even the circulation of news magazines like Time during the period.

Comic Art Convention program book featuring Joe Simon's original 1940 sketch of Captain America.
After the Simon & Kirby team moved to DC late 1941, having produced Captain America Comics through issue #10 (Jan. 1942), Al Avison and Syd Shores became regular pencilers of the celebrated title, with one generally inking over the other.
In the post-war era, with the popularity of superheroes fading, Captain America led Timely/Marvel's first superhero team, the All-Winners Squad, in its two published adventures, in the unhyphenated All Winners Comics #19 & 21 (Fall-Winter 1946; there was no issue #20). After Bucky was shot and wounded in a 1948 Captain America story, he was succeeded by Captain America's girlfriend Betsy Ross, who became the superheroine Golden Girl. Captain America Comics ended with #75 (Feb. 1950), by which time the series had been titled Captain America's Weird Tales for two issues, with the finale a horror/suspense anthology issue with no superheroes.
Marvel's 1950s iteration Atlas Comics attempted to revive its superhero titles when it reintroduced Captain America, along with the original Human Torch and the Sub-Mariner, in Young Men #24 (Dec. 1953). Billed as "Captain America, Commie Smasher!", Captain America appeared several times during the next year in Young Men and Men's Adventures, as well as in three issues of an eponymous title. Atlas' attempted superhero revival was a commercial failure, and the character's title was canceled with Captain America #78 (Sept. 1954).

Revival in the Silver Age
In the Human Torch story titled "Captain America" in Marvel Comics' Strange Tales #114 (Nov. 1963), writer-editor Stan Lee and artist and co-plotter Jack Kirby depicted the brash young Fantastic Four member Johnny Storm, the Human Torch, in an exhibition performance with Captain America, described as a legendary World War II and 1950s superhero who has returned after many years of apparent retirement. The 13-page story ends with this Captain America revealed as an impostor: the villain the Acrobat, a former circus performer the Torch had defeated in Strange Tales #106. Afterward, Storm digs out an old comic book in which Captain America is shown to be Steve Rogers. A caption in the final panel says this story was a test to see if readers would like Captain America to return.
Captain America was formally reintroduced a few months later in The Avengers #4 (March 1964), which explained that in the final days of WWII, Captain America fell from an experimental drone plane into the North Atlantic Ocean and spent decades frozen in a state of suspended animation. He quickly became leader of that superhero team. Following the success of other Marvel characters introduced during the 1960s, Captain America was recast as a hero "haunted by past memories, and trying to adapt to 1960s society."
After then guest-starring in the feature "Iron Man" in Tales of Suspense #58 (Oct. 1964), Captain America gained his own solo feature in that "split book", beginning the following issue. Kirby, Captain America's co-creator during the 1940s period fans and historians call the Golden Age of comic books was illustrating his hero's solo adventures again for the first time since 1941. Issue #63 (March 1965), which retold Captain America's origin, through #71 (Nov. 1965) was a period feature set during World War II and co-starred Captain America's Golden Age sidekick, Bucky.
In the 1970s, the post-war versions of Captain America were retconned into separate, successive characters who briefly took up the mantle of Captain America after Steve Rogers went into suspended animation near the end of World War II. The hero found a new generation of readers as leader of the all-star superhero team the Avengers, and in a new solo feature beginning in Tales of Suspense #59 (Nov. 1964), a "split book" shared with the feature "Iron Man". Kirby drew all but two of the stories in Tales of Suspense, which became Captain America with #100 (April 1968); Gil Kane and John Romita Sr. each filled-in once. Several stories were finished by penciler-inker George Tuska over Kirby layouts, with one finished by Romita Sr. and another by penciler Dick Ayers and inker John Tartaglione. Kirby's regular inkers on the series were Frank Giacoia (as "Frank Ray") and Joe Sinnott, though Don Heck and Golden Age Captain America artist Syd Shores inked one story each. (Iron Man received his own, separate series.) The new title Captain America continued to feature artwork by Kirby, as well as a short run by Jim Steranko, and work by many of the industry's top artists and writers.
This series — considered Captain America vol. 1 by comics researchers and historians, following the 1940s Captain America Comics and its 1950s numbering continuation — ended with #454 (Aug. 1996). It was almost immediately followed by the 13-issue Captain America vol. 2 (Nov. 1996 - Nov. 1997), the 50-issue Captain America vol. 3 (Jan. 1998 - Feb. 2002), the 32-issue Captain America vol. 4 (June 2002 - Dec. 2004) and Captain America vol. 5 (Jan. 2005 - ).
As part of the aftermath of Marvel Comics' company crossover "Civil War", Steve Rogers was killed in Captain America vol 5 #25 (April 2007). Series writer Ed Brubaker remarked:
“What I found is that all the really hard-core left-wing fans want Cap to be standing out on and giving speeches on the street corner against the George W. Bush administration, and all the really right-wing fans all want him to be over in the streets of Baghdad, punching out Saddam Hussein."”
Marvel Entertainment Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada commented, however, that a Captain America comeback was not impossible. The character's death came as a blow to co-creator Joe Simon, who said, "It's a hell of a time for him to go. We really need him now."
In reaction to dialogue between two characters in another Marvel comic released the same day, Marvel issued a press release that said "comments from Ms. Marvel in ... Civil War: The Initiative, which seemed to indicate that Captain America is still alive, and being held prisoner by the Pro-Registration forces, may not have been exactly what they seemed on the surface ... yes, Captain America, Steve Rogers, is dead." The release also stated that the Captain America series would continue.
Marvel has announced that the Captain America from the 1940s will visit the present day in a 12 issue series created by Alex Ross.

Fictional character biography

1940s—Operation: Rebirth

Captain America Comics#1 (March 1941). Cover art by Jack Kirby (pencils) & Joe Simon (inks).
Steve Rogers is born on July 4, 1917 in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York City, to Irish immigrants Sarah and Joseph Rogers. By the early 1940s, before America's entry into World War II, Rogers is a tall but scrawny fine arts student specializing in illustration. Disturbed by the rise of the Third Reich, Rogers attempts to enlist, only to be rejected due to his poor constitution. A U.S. Army officer looking for test subjects offers Rogers the chance to serve his country by taking part in a top-secret defense project — Operation: Rebirth, which seeks to develop a means of creating physically superior soldiers. Rogers volunteers for the research and, after a rigorous selection process, is chosen as the first human test subject for the Super-Soldier serum developed by the scientist "Dr. Reinstein," later retroactively changed to a code name for the scientist Emil Erskine.
Later stories reveal that Rogers is not the first to be given the Super-Soldier formula. The night before Rogers receives the Super-Soldier formula, some military members of the project decide that a non-soldier is not the right candidate and secretly give Erskine's incomplete formula to Clinton McIntyre. This, however, makes McIntyre violently insane, and he is subdued and placed in cold storage. The criminal organization AIM later revives McIntyre as the homicidal Protocide.
The night that Operation: Rebirth is implemented, Rogers receives injections and oral ingestions of the Super-Soldier formula. He is then exposed to a controlled burst of "Vita-Rays" that activate and stabilize the chemicals in his system. Although the process is arduous physically, it successfully alters his physiology almost instantly from its relatively frail form to the maximum of human efficiency, greatly enhancing his musculature and reflexes. Erskine declares Rogers to be the first of a new breed of man, a "nearly perfect human being."
At that moment, a Nazi spy reveals himself and shoots Erskine. Because the scientist had committed the crucial portions of the Super-Soldier formula to memory, it cannot be duplicated. Rogers kills the spy in retaliation and vows to oppose the enemies of America.
The United States government, making the most of its one super-soldier, reimagines him as a superhero who serves as both a counter-intelligence agent and a propaganda symbol to counter Nazi Germany's head of terrorist operations, the Red Skull. To that end, Rogers is given a uniform modeled after the American flag (based on Rogers's own sketches) a bulletproof shield, a personal side arm, and the codename Captain America. He is also given a cover identity as a clumsy infantry private at Camp Lehigh in Virginia. Barely out of his teens himself, Rogers makes friends with the camp's teenage mascot James Buchanan "Bucky" Barnes.

Promotional art for Captain America vol. 5,#5 (May 2005), with fellow Invaders the Sub-Mariner and the original Human Torch. Pencils by Steve Epting.
Barnes accidentally learns of Roger's dual identity and offers to keep the secret if he can become Captain America's sidekick. Rogers agrees and trains Barnes. Rogers meets President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who presents him with a new shield made from a mixture of steel and vibranium, fused by an unknown catalyst. The alloy is indestructible, yet the shield is light enough to use as a discus-like weapon that can be angled to return to him. It proves so effective that Captain America forgoes the sidearm. Throughout World War II, Captain America and Bucky fight the Nazi menace both on their own and as members of the superhero team the Invaders (as seen in the 1970s comic of the same name).
In 1942 (after Rogers has become Captain America), a beta version of the formula is given to a group of African-American soldiers as part of a military experiment by another scientist given the Reinstein code name; Isaiah Bradley is the sole survivor. After the last two members of his group are killed, Bradley steals a uniform meant for Rogers and wears it on a suicide mission to destroy the Nazi super-soldier effort at a German concentration camp. Bradley is captured but the U.S. Army rescues and court martials him. He is imprisoned for 17 years in Leavenworth until pardoned by President Eisenhower. By the time of his release, the long-term effects of the formula have turned Bradley into a hulking, sterile giant with the mentality of a seven-year-old. Rogers does not find out about Bradley until decades later. The Patriot, a member of the Young Avengers, is Bradley's grandson.
Further revelations later explain that Operation: Rebirth is funded and secretly a part of the Weapon Plus program, a clandestine government organization devoted to the creation of superhumans to combat and exterminate mutants. Rogers is "Weapon I," the first-generation living weapon. Following his disappearance, subsequent phases involve experimentation on animals, racial minorities, criminals, and mutants, with results including Wolverine and Fantomex.
In 1945, during the closing days of World War II, Captain America and Bucky try to stop the villainous Baron Zemo from destroying an experimental drone plane. Zemo launches the plane with an armed explosive on it, with Rogers and Barnes in hot pursuit. They reach the plane just before it takes off, but when Bucky tries to defuse the bomb, it explodes in mid-air. The young man is believed killed, and Rogers is hurled into the freezing waters of the North Atlantic. Neither body is found, and both are presumed dead.

Late 1940s–1950s: After Steve Rogers

Captain America#78 (Sept. 1954), featuring the first Electro. Cover art by John Romita Sr..
Fearing it would be a blow to American morale if Captain America's demise is revealed, President Truman asks William Naslund, the patriotically costumed Golden Age hero the Spirit of '76, to assume the role, with a young man named Fred Davis as Bucky. They continue to serve in the same roles after the war with the All-Winners Squad, until the android Adam II fatally injures Naslund in 1946. After Naslund's death, Jeff Mace, the Golden Age Patriot, takes over as Captain America, with Davis continuing as Bucky; however, Davis is shot and injured in 1948 and forced to retire. Mace teams up with Betsy "Golden Girl" Ross, and sometime before 1953 gives up his Captain America identity to marry her. Mace develops cancer and dies decades later.
In 1953, an unnamed man (who later goes by the title "The Grand Director") who idolizes Captain America and who had done his American History Ph.D. thesis on Rogers discovers Nazi files in a German warehouse, one of which contains the lost formula for the Super Soldier serum. He takes it to the United States government on the condition that they use it to make him the fourth Captain America. Needing a symbol for the Korean War, they agree, and the man undergoes plastic surgery to look like Steve Rogers, even assuming his name. The war ends and the project is never completed. "Rogers" finds a teaching job at the Lee School, where he meets Jack Monroe, a young orphan who also idolizes Captain America. They use the formula on themselves and become the new Captain America and Bucky, this time fighting Communism.
"Rogers" and Monroe do not know of and therefore do not undergo the "Vita-Ray" process, and the imperfect implementation of the formula in their systems makes them paranoid. By the middle of 1954, they are irrationally attacking anyone they perceive to be a Communist. In 1955 the FBI places them in suspended animation. The 1950s Captain America and Bucky are revived in the early 1970s, several years after the return of Steve Rogers. They go on another rampage and are defeated by the man after whom they had modeled themselves.

1960s–1970s: Return of Steve Rogers

The Avengers #4 (Mar. 1964).Cover art by Jack Kirby & George Roussos.
Years later, the superhero team the Avengers discovers Steve Rogers' body in the North Atlantic, his costume under his soldier's uniform and still carrying his shield. After he revives, they piece together that Rogers had been preserved in a block of ice since 1945. The block had begun to melt after the Sub-Mariner, enraged that an Arctic Inuit tribe is worshiping the frozen figure, throws it into the ocean. Rogers accepts membership in the Avengers, and although long out of his time, his considerable combat experience makes him a valuable asset to the team. He quickly assumes leadership, and has typically returned to that position throughout the team's history.
Captain America is plagued by guilt for being unable to prevent Bucky's death — a feeling that does not ease for some time. Although he takes the young Rick Jones (who closely resembles Bucky) under his tutelage, he refuses for some time to allow Jones to take up the Bucky identity, not wishing to be responsible for another youth's death. Jones eventually convinces Rogers to let him don the Bucky costume, but this partnership lasts only a short time; a disguised Red Skull, impersonating Rogers with the help of the Cosmic Cube, drives Jones away.

Captain America#180 (Dec. 1974). Captain America becomes "Nomad". Cover art by Gil Kane.
Rogers also reunites with his old war comrade Nick Fury, who is similarly well preserved thanks to his Infinity Formula ingestions. As a result, Rogers regularly undertakes missions for the security agency S.H.I.E.L.D. for which Fury was executive director.
Rogers later meets and trains Sam Wilson, who becomes the superhero the Falcon, one of the early African-American superheroes in comic books. As a result, the pair have a partnership and friendship that has remained strong at varying levels to this day, (including sharing the title for some time as Captain America and the Falcon). The two later encounter the revived but still insane 1950s Captain America. Although Rogers and the Falcon defeat the faux Rogers and Jack Monroe, Rogers becomes deeply disturbed that he could have suffered his counterpart's fate.
The series also dealt with the Marvel Universe's version of the Watergate scandal, making Rogers so uncertain about his role that he abandons his Captain America identity in favor of one called Nomad. During this time, several men unsuccessfully assume the Captain America identity. Rogers eventually re-assumes it after coming to consider that the identity could be a symbol of American ideals and not its government. Jack Monroe, cured of his mental instability, later takes up the Nomad alias. During this period, Rogers also temporarily gains super strength.


Captain America#350 (Feb. 1989): Rogers as The Captain vs. John Walker as Captain America. Cover art by Kieron Dwyer & Al Milgrom.
In the 1980s, in addition to runs from such acclaimed creators as John Byrne, the series reveals the true face and full origin of the Red Skull. Long-time writer Mark Gruenwald explores numerous political and social themes, such as extreme idealism when Captain America fights the anti-nationalist terrorist Flag-Smasher; and vigilantism when he hunts the murderous Scourge of the Underworld. The series also subtly addressed the issue of homophobia when Captain America reunites up with a childhood friend named Arnold Roth who has long since known that Steve Rogers was Captain America. We first meet Roth in Captain America #270 and while the word "homosexuality" is never said, Roth is living with another man, a school teacher who helped him overcome his gambling addiction, and is shown to be heartbroken when his roommate is murdered by Baron Zemo .
Rogers receives a large back-pay reimbursement dating back to his disappearance at the end of World War II, and a government commission orders him to work directly for the U.S. government. Already troubled by the corruption he had encountered with the Nuke incident in New York City, Rogers chooses instead to resign his identity and take the alias of "the Captain.” A replacement Captain America, John Walker, struggles to emulate Rogers' ideals until pressure from hidden enemies helps to drive Walker insane. Rogers returns to the Captain America identity while a recovered Walker becomes the U.S. Agent.

Sometime afterward, Rogers avoids the explosion of a methamphetamine lab, but the drug triggers a chemical reaction in the Super-Soldier serum in his system. To combat the reaction, Rogers has the serum removed from his body, and trains constantly to maintain his physical condition.
A retcon later establishes that the serum was not a drug per se, which would have metabolized out of his system, but in fact a virus that effected a biochemical and genetic change. This additionally explained how archnemesis Red Skull, who at the time inhabited a body cloned from Rogers' cells, also has the formula in his body.
Because of his altered biochemistry, Rogers' body begins to deteriorate, and for a time he must wear a powered exoskeleton and is eventually placed again in suspended animation. During this time, he is given a transfusion of blood from the Red Skull, which cures his condition and stabilizes the Super-Soldier virus in his system. Captain America returns both to crime fighting and the Avengers.

21st century

Captain America with the Winter Soldier, after the latter has recovered his memories. Pencils by Steve Epting.
Rogers reveals his identity to the world, and establishes a residence in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York.
Following the events of Avengers Disassembled, again under the employ of S.H.I.E.L.D., Rogers discovers that Bucky is alive, having been saved and deployed by Soviet espionage interests as the Winter Soldier. It is revealed that Bucky was actually a 16-year-old operative who had been initially trained by the U.S. to perform missions that Rogers was not asked to do, such as covert assassinations conducted without Rogers' knowledge.
Rogers resumes his on-again, off-again relationship with S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Sharon Carter.
In the 2006-2007 "Civil War" crossover, Captain America opposes mandatory federal registration of all super-powered beings and leads the Anti-Registration faction and resistance movement. He becomes a fugitive and opposes the heroes of the Pro-Registration group, including his former friend Iron Man. He adopts the alias "Brett Hendrick,” a mall security guard, to avoid government detection. As the War continues, Cap enlists the assistance of several figures whom he would not choose to ally himself with under normal circumstances, such as the Punisher and the Kingpin.
During the climactic battle between pro- and anti-Registration superheroes, Captain America confronts and batters Iron Man (whose armor has been disabled by the Vision)—victory is in his grasp. However, when a group of civilians attempt to restrain him, Rogers realizes that he is endangering the very people he has sworn to protect. He removes his mask, surrenders to authorities as Steve Rogers, and orders the anti-Registration forces to stand down. As Rogers is led away in handcuffs, the Punisher retrieves Captain America's discarded mask.


Captain America is shot. Art by Steve Epting.
Following his surrender, Steve Rogers is indicted on multiple criminal charges. As he is brought to a federal courthouse, a sniper shoots him in the back. In the crowd chaos that ensues, he is wounded an additional three times by gunshots to the stomach and chest. Rogers is taken to a hospital, where he dies. The assassination, orchestrated by the Red Skull, involves Crossbones deployed as the sniper. In addition, Dr. Faustus, posing as a S.H.I.E.L.D. psychiatrist, gave Sharon Carter a hypnotic suggestion she believes caused her to shoot Rogers at a crucial moment.
The superhero community is shaken by the assassination. The Punisher adopts a costume similar to that of Captain America, while Winter Soldier and Wolverine seek to avenge his death. His shield is stolen by Winter Soldier. Captain America is publicly laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery, under a monument built in his honor. The body in Arlington is a fake: Tony Stark, accompanied by Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne, returns Steve Rogers' real body to the Arctic where he was found all those years ago, frozen in ice. Namor attends the small private ceremony and swears that as long as he rules the seas, no one shall disturb Captain America's rest.

(I think this is conjecture on the writers part. I have not heard this anywhere else. If someone has more info about this. I would be highly interested to know. Personally I would like to see Bucky/Winter Soldier take up the shield and become the new Captain America. But then again as a friend pointed out. Winter Soldier on his own is such a great character, that I would hate to lose the knid of character he is. Best of all would be if they just brought back Steve Rogers. His death being faked or hes is a coma or whatever.)

A version of Captain America from the past who has travelled through time will return in 2008, along with his team, the Invaders.

Powers and abilities

Steve Rogers' physical transformation, from a reprint of Captain America Comics #1 (March 1941). Art by Jack Kirby & Joe Simon.
Captain America has no superhuman powers, although as a result of the Super-Soldier serum, he is transformed from a frail young man into a "perfect" specimen of human development and conditioning. Captain America is as intelligent, strong, fast, agile, and durable as it is possible for a human being to be without being considered superhuman. He was once seen bench-pressing 1100 pounds (500 kg) unassisted. The formula enhances all of his metabolic functions and prevents the build-up of fatigue poisons in his muscles, giving him endurance far in excess of an ordinary human being. This accounts for many of his extraordinary feats, including running a mile (1.6 km) in little more than a minute. Furthermore, his enhancements are the reason why he was able to survive being frozen in suspended animation for decades. Rogers is also unable to become intoxicated by alcohol and is immune to many diseases.
The "Streets of Poison" storyline established that Rogers' body regularly creates the super-soldier serum.
Mentally, Rogers' battle experience and training make him an expert tactician and an excellent field commander, with his teammates frequently deferring to his orders in battle. Rogers' reflexes and senses are also extraordinarily keen. He is a master of multiple martial arts, including boxing, jujutsu, aikido and judo, combined with his virtually superhuman gymnastic ability into his own unique fighting style with advanced pressure-point fighting. Years of practice with his indestructible shield make it practically an extension of his own body, and he is able to aim and throw it with almost unerring accuracy. His skill with his shield is such that he can attack multiple targets in succession with a single throw by use of ricochets, or even cause a boomerang-like return from a throw to attack an enemy from behind. He is extremely skilled in hand-to-hand combat, sometimes taking on and defeating foes whose strength, size, or other powers greatly exceed his own. In the comics, he is regarded by other skilled fighters as one of the best hand-to-hand combatants in the Marvel Universe.
Rogers has vast U.S. military knowledge and is often shown to be familiar with ongoing, highly-classified Defense Department operations. Despite his high profile as one of the world's most popular and recognizable superheroes, Rogers also has a broad understanding of the espionage community, largely through his ongoing relationship with S.H.I.E.L.D.. He occasionally makes forays into mundane career fields, including commercial arts, comic book artistry, education (high school history) and law enforcement.

Weapons and equipment
Further information: Captain America's shield
Captain America uses several shields throughout his history, the most recognizable of which is a nigh-indestructible discus-shaped shield made from a fusion of Vibranium with an experimental steel alloy. This alloy was created by accident and never duplicated, although efforts to reverse-engineer it resulted in the creation of adamantium. Cable reveals to Captain America that this shield still exists in one of the possible futures; Cable carries it into battle and brandishes it as a symbol. Captain America often uses his shield as an offensive throwing weapon. The first instance of Captain America's trademark ricocheting shield-toss occurs in future Marvel editor-in-chief Stan Lee's first comics writing, the two-page text story "Captain America Foils the Traitor's Revenge" in Captain America Comics #3 (May 1941).
Captain America's uniform is made of a fire-retardant material, and he wears a lightweight "duralumin" scale armor beneath his uniform for added protection. Originally, Rogers' mask was a separate piece of material, but an early engagement had it dislodged, thus almost exposing his identity. To prevent a recurrence of the situation, Rogers modified the mask with connecting material to his uniform, an added benefit of which was extending his armor to cover his previously exposed neck. Since then, events have forced him to reveal his identity to the world. As a member of the Avengers, Rogers has an Avengers priority card, which serves as a communications device.

Characters who have used the "Captain America" name
Numerous individuals have claimed the "Captain America" title at one time or another in the Marvel Universe. These include:
Steven Rogers, an ancestor of Steve Rogers who is shown to have had the nickname "Captain America" during the American Revolutionary War in Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty #6 and Hellfire Club #2
Isaiah Bradley, a supersoldier serum test subject who briefly wears the Captain America costume in the 2004 limited series Truth: Red White and Black which is set in the early 1940s.
Clinton McIntyre, Protocide, a character who goes through the super soldier process the night before Steve Rogers in Captain America Annual 2000. Though he later wears a patriotic costume, he never goes by the title "Captain America".
Steve Rogers (the first Captain America), debuted in Captain America Comics #1, and was the most recent title holder until his recent death.
William Naslund, The Spirit of '76, replaced Rogers in the role in 1945 in What If? #4.
Jeff Mace, the Patriot, replaced Naslund in the role in 1947 in What If? #4.
The 1950s anti-communist Cap whose real name is as yet unrevealed, though he later went by "Steve Rogers" and "the Grand Director". In Captain America #155, he was revealed to have been the Steve Rogers/Captain America who appeared in comics published during the 1950s.
In Strange Tales #114 Carl Zante formerly known as the villainous Acrobat, attempts to create a criminal career disguised as Captain America. His escapades are brought to a quick close by his old nemesis The Human Torch
In Tales of Suspense #96 a number of unnamed individuals try unsuccessfully to assume the Captain America role after Rogers announces his retirement.
In Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty #8-9, Sam Wilson (The Falcon) briefly takes on the identity in a two-part retcon story, set in between other Captain America stories which were first published in the early 1970s.
Bob Russo, calls himself "Captain America" briefly in Captain America #178-179 (October - November, 1974).
"Scar" Turpin, also calls himself "Captain America" very briefly in Captain America #179 (November, 1974).
"Roscoe" becomes "Captain America" in Captain America #181 (January, 1975). He is killed in action by the Red Skull in Captain America #183.
John Walker, later known as U.S. Agent, serves as Captain America in Captain America #336-350. He later claims the title again in the 2004-2005 New Invaders series, despite the fact that Rogers is also active in the role at the time.
The Anti-Cap, a mysterious character wearing a version of the Captain America costume who appears in Captain America and the Falcon.
Frank Castle, following Steve Rogers' death, has changed his traditional skull shirt and trenchcoat uniform to an amalgamation of Captain America's uniform and his own to fight the new Hate-Monger, who is also using a Captain America themed costume, under Captain America's name.
Clint Barton, the former Hawkeye very briefly took up the mantle at the request of Tony Stark in the 2007 miniseries Fallen Son.