Top 50 Overlooked: Terra-Man

Bloggified by Jake on Wednesday, May 31, 2006

One theme common among the discussions about the Great Curve's top 50 DC characters seems to be "How could I have forgotten about ____?!?!?" With that in mind, I present a character who was only named on one ballot. When I saw his name on the list of characters who'd only garnered one vote, though, I immediately realized how wrong I'd been to leave him off my top fifty. Dear readers, meet Terra-Man.

Terra-Man is a human who was kidnapped and raised by an alien. He later killed the alien and returned to Earth armed with all sorts of alien technology and a wardrobe he appears to have stolen from one of those photography studios at those touristy ghost towns where you can get your sepia toned picture taken and optionally put on a wanted poster.

The reason Terra-Man belongs in the Top 50 is a case of simple precedence. If Superman is on the list, Terra-Man belongs as well, because Terra-Man is to Superman what Superman is to every other criminal.

Superman can always solve a problem by using his x-ray vision to reprogram a computer or his super ventriloquism to speak in a vacuum or pulling off any other impossible stunt by virtue of prefixing any noun with "super" and applying it to the situation. It's obviously frustrating. Just look at Lex Luthor and how insane it makes him to devise countless flawless plans only to have them ruined because he didn't account for superbiorhythm monitoring or supereconomic development.

What Superman does to others, Terra-Man does to Superman. The only difference is that Terra-Man relies on alien technology instead of alien physiology. With two characters calling upon deus ex machina after deus ex machina, Terra-Man comics--such as Superman #250--read a lot like they were cribbed from a transcript of two seven year olds on the playground.

"Ha ha, Terra-Man! I put you in jail!"
"Then I break out."
"You can't! I put you in a cell with no windows."
"Then I call my flying horse to come flap his wings so hard it sucks the wall down!""Oh, yeah? Well the guards shoot you and kill you!"
"Nuh-uh. My horse's wings are flapping so hard he blows all the bullets away.""Well, I'm Superman and his wings can't flap hard enough to blow me away!"
"I pull out my gold tooth and throw it at you--"
"Let me finish--and the gold expands until your entire body is covered in gold and you're so heavy you can't even fly anymore.""But I have superstrength. I can push an entire planet--"
"Too late! I flew away, back to my invisible space ship to get the rest of my alien technology.""Fine. I fly up to the sun to melt off all the gold. Then I wait for you to come back to Earth and I chase after you.""And I shoot you in the head!"
"I'm Superman, dummy. I'm bulletproof."
"Yeah... well, this isn't a bullet. It's my special branding iron gun."
"But Superman can't be burned, so you can't brand--"
"Alien technology!""Awright... then I'm laying here like I'm dead with your stupid brand on my forehead."
"Ha ha! I defeated Superman. Terra-Man is the best!"
"Not so fast! I grab you by the leg. I was only pretending to be dead and now with my superstrength holding you, you'll never get away.""Uh-oh, did you say superstrength?"
"Yeah, why?"
"I knew you weren't really dead all along. I was just trying to trick you into using your superpowers."
"Because my branding iron gun also makes you turn old and every time you use your superpowers you get even older.""What?"
"Ha ha ha, you're an old man and you're going to die of old age before you can beat me."
"I use my x-ray vision to see--.""My clothes are x-ray proof. Oh, and since x-ray vision is a superpower, you're even older!"
"I don't even want to play anymore..."
"Now, I put on my power glove that makes me even stronger. Strong enough to kill Superman!""I don't care."
"Ha ha, I killed Superman!""Hey, whatcha guys doin'?"
"What's up, John? I just killed Superman!"
"What? How?"
"Alien technology!"
"That's stupid. You can't kill Superman with alien technology. Only Kryptonite can kill Superman!""Shut up! I did too kill Superman."
"No, you shut up. Your alien technology couldn't kill anyone."
"It could kill you! Bang! Bang!""And the bullets bounce off Superman!"
"Nuh-uh! You were dead!"
"Yeah, but I just let you kill me so my mutant healing factor could bring me back to life back at full strength!""You can't have a mutant healing fac--"
"Guys, there's the bell. Recess is over."
"Okay, Terra-Man, I punch you and I win!"
"Wait, my alien technology stops your punch from--"
"Not this time! You can't use your alien technology when John is around because he makes it not work. Now let's get you back to jail."

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