Champion of the Red-2

On Earth-1, there are elemental forces that name a champion every generation, among them the Green (plant life, Swamp Thing), the Red (animal life, Animal Man), and the recently ubiquitous Gray (AKA the Rot, their antithesis, the Arcane family I guess). If you've been following James Robinson's Earth2, you'll have seen him take that idea to the characters there. Green Lantern Alan Scott is apparently Champion of the Green, and Solomon Grundy that of the Gray. That's close to perfect given those two are archnemesis, one born of a "life-giving flame" and the other a swamp zombie. Not only does it fit the New52 cosmology, but also the idea Robinson seems to be tinkering with of having each of his heroes powered and mandated by some kind of divine force. So that comes naturally (I credit blogger pal Snell with asking it first on Twitter) is: Who is Earth-2's Champion of the Red? Can you pick him or her out from a crowd of Golden Age heroes?There's no equivalent to Animal Man in there, but we're really looking at characters with animal totems. Hawkgirl has already appeared, but her mention of Dr. Fate probably means she's got more of an Egyptian origin just like before. Here are my top three contenders:

3. Red Bee
The guy who has trained bees in his belt and sends them out to sting criminals. Not MUCH of a contender, but he's got the word "red" in his name.

2. Wildcat
A much more popular figure than the Red Bee, Wildcat exists on the new Earth-2, we've seen an ad for one of his boxing events. "Wild" could be a key word here. But I really hope it's not him, because I'm a real fan of those powerless mystery men who just use their wiles and their fists to fight injustice. So my #1 choice is...

1. Flying Fox
Created by Roy Thomas for his Young All-Stars, this Canadian Native has shamanic powers and a fur cape that allows him to fly. His connection to nature is obvious, and it's probably ok for him to be relatively obscure because I doubt the Red will actually feature in the upcoming Green-Gray brawl. Robinson loves those obscure characters (he used how many 1st Issue Special characters in his Superman run again?), and it'd be nice to have the entire comics history of DC's Golden Age characters paid lip service, from the JSA to the All-Stars to their legacy in Infinity Inc. I'm not crossing my fingers, mind you.

Now... when is the Melt going to get in on the action?


Martin Gray said...

Is the Rot the same as the Grey? I've not read those Swamp thing issues for years, but thought the Grey was an encroaching fungus deal rather than twisted dead flesh?

It's fun to see Grundy connected to the Grey again.

As for your contenders, it'd be a hoot to see FF again ('So you're like a bat?' 'No'). I also hope Wildcat is 'simply' a scrapper - if James Robinson's rule is that Earth 2 characters have metaphysical links, Wildcat can be the exception. Just one life!

Siskoid said...

Not only do I hope he's just a scrapper, but I hope others are as well. The end of the latest issue announces the Atom, and Al Pratt's always been my favorite Atom because he's just a diminutive guy who can take care of himself in a fight. I never liked it when they gave him atomic powers.

I think the Gray and the Rot are the same, at least in the new continuity. Fungus is something that grows on rotting things, and mold, mildew etc. are part of the Gray. The "Rot" just sounds more menacing.

Jeff R. said...

Obviously, it's going to be Ma Hunkle. Or the other Red Tornado. (Are there Air Elementals in the new schema, and what would their Zone be called? The Breeze?)

Craig Oxbrow said...

Rot being German for Red is of course just to confuse passersby.

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Perhaps Atom gets his power through an atomic explosion, which might constitute red. On the cover of E2#0, there is someone along with the Trinity in red and grey or black. Could red end up the first legacy hero?

Knowing Robinson's love for obscure characters, there's even the Red Torpedo. Maybe Starman's cosmic rod is powered by a red star?

I want The Red Bee back as much as I want Hourman and Neon the Unknown.


Siskoid said...

A flame that champions the Red is no crazier than one that champions the Green!

That's if DC considers Firebrand Earth-2 and not Earth-X ;).

Anonymous said...

Turns out we had a The Atom here on Earth-Prime, our very first superhero!

There is a very good chance (not absolutely confirmed, though) that Joseph Greenstein was the inspiration for Al Pratt. And if you ("you" = "James Robinson") want a mystical source for his powers, you can do a whole Samson / Jewish thing.


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