Bob Rozakis writes the main story of Adventure #488 and brings to it some freshness, but there is one major plot hole that is left unattended. The villain of the piece, the Jinx, discovers Chris and Vicki's identities and takes a picture of them transforming. At the end of the story, no mention is made of it. It's not clear if he was ever captured (it would be off-panel), but regardless, that's a villain who knows their secret (not that he knows who these two kids actually are, but he can probably go on Facebook and find out), and photographic evidence anyone could lay their hands on. One of comics' great untold stories.
Case 34: Adventure Comics #488
Dial Holders: Chris and Vicki
Dial Type: Watch and Pendant Dials
Dialing: By this point, people are starting to wonder why there are so many, only briefly seen, superheroes in Fairfax. The newspapers are asking if the town is a training ground for heroes, while statistical expert the Jinx, is convinced that they have to be same people using different identities. "Bad luck" power affects the Dials, giving heroes less than useful power combinations, and in one instance allowing the hero personality to completely overwhelm the user (see Ragnarok).
Name: Oxide (cool name)
Created by: David Mark, Age 13, of Agincourt, Ontario
Costume: There's something endearing about noseless characters, for some reason, but profiles do show one. Oxide is only wearing a full facial mask with a slit for the mouth. Cute, maybe, but the actual costume is something of a mess. Hot pink spandex with pale yellow trunks, ear guards and bracelets, and a grayish blue belt with the shape of a utility belt, but no utility. Similar blue thingies around his ankles make it look like he has throwing darts on him, but there's no other indication he does. The chest emblem is a bright white dot with a fancy Greek-ish letter in the center (alpha? the number "2"?), and he completes his look with a yellowish orange cloud in the middle of his forehead.
Powers: Oxide fires a beam from his hands that rusts things that are vulnerable to rust.
Sighted: In Fairfax, defeating Cancero the electrical crab-man.
Possibilities: The silly look and limited powers seem to place him in the silly column, where you'll find the Legion of Substitute-Heroes or more likely, Hero Hotline.
Integration Quotient: 15% (being unusual gets him there, but no farther)
Name: The Harp (a play on "harpy", is it?)
Created by: Deron Gooden, Age 13, of Houston, TX
Costume: The Harp wears a forest green uniform with loose sleeves and apple green accents. Her belt buckle is a tiny harp, an image of her actual golden harp. Her H Dial is rather visible over it. She has orange-feathered wings and a big do of brown hair.
Powers: The Harp can fly, assisted by her wings. She wields a harp in battle that magically influences those who hear its music clearly. She has a "sleep-song", for example, but it is not known if she knows any other tunes.
Sighted: In Fairfax, defeating Cancero the electrical crab-man.
Possibilities: From the magical side of the DCU, the harpy element might tie her to Wonder Woman's world. A Greek myth who turned hero to atone for all those lost sailors?
Integration Quotient: 35% (not a bad concept, but I'm not convinced the powers can be made compelling)
Name: Ragnarok, the Cosmic Viking (great name for a Norse character, but cosmic viking? Really?)
Created by: Nelson Jimenez, Age 18, of Stamford, CT
Costume: Ragnarok is a red-bearded comic book viking (i.e. he wears horns on his helmet, despite the fact the vikings didn't) with pelts and small pieces of armor. He sports a glowing broadsword.
Powers: In all probability stronger and tougher than a normal person, Ragnarok is mainly seen using his big sword to cut through walls.
Sighted: In Fairfax, defeating Jelly Woman and resisting arrest.
Possibilities: I'm not sure Ragnarok can steal Thor's thunder (see what I did there?) and fill the same niche. Is he an olden time viking with cosmic powers, or a viking from the stars? Better have him killed by Lobo and be done with it.
Integration Quotient: 40% (the cosmic element is a bit silly and holds him back)
Name: The Pixie (one of the names used and rejected by Kitty Pryde
Created by: Bill Cunningham, Age 18, of Aiken, SC
Costume: Sexy Peter Pan outfit. SEXY. PETER PAN. OUTFIT. (Not my fetish, but it might be someone's.)
Powers: The Pixie is as tall as the Atom and flies. She also has a purse full of pixie dust, which can achieve magical effects such as turning into a holding jar.
Sighted: In Fairfax, defeating Jelly Woman.
Possibilities: Looks like a real fairy to me! How about taking the old Bat-Mite/Quisp trope and make her a pesky, but friendly magical companion for a heroine like Power Girl? I think that would play comically.
Integration Quotient: 65% (fairies probably aren't cool anymore, but I like classic tropes)
Name: The Jinx (the "the" is important, so we don't confuse him with the Fearsome Five sorceress)
Created by: Larry King, Age 19, of Morrisville, VT (so not the talk show host)
Costume: A black and orange number, with slatted glove and boot flares, vaguely samurai-inspired suspenders, a stripe running down the middle of his mask with a vertical mouth slit, and the letter "J" both on his chest and his belt (that's once too many, dude).
Powers: The Jinx can zap people with bad luck. How that mischance manifests itself is up to the universe, but it may even cause super-powers to backfire completely. Note that the luck does not automatically help the Jinx. When Chris and Vicki decided to help him escape, for example, the bad luck actually hampered that escape.
Sighted: In Fairfax. The shadowed the Dial heroes for a while, watching them defeat Cancero and Jelly Woman, and finding out their secret identities in the process. He tried to use that knowledge to kill the duo so that they wouldn't interfere with his own crime spree. He may or may not still be at large.
Possibilities: Bad luck powers flexible and fun to write, so the Jinx would definitely work as a recurring villain in the DCU with just a few tweaks. He looks like a mercenary type (it's the mask, I think), so might be hired by bigger villains to hinder the heroes' attempts at foiling their plans.
Integration Quotient: 80% (sometimes, it's all about the powers)
Name: Cancero (based on the astrological sign, but it's ugly in light of the disease also named after it)
Created by: Michael Clark, Age 16, of Cincinnati, OH
Costume: Cancero's armor makes him look like a humanoid crab, with big pincers, antennae and odd winglets on his back. He is red and reddish brown, a bit like a boiled lobster.
Powers: Cancero's armor allows him to breathe and maneuver under water, and fire electrically-powered force blasts from his antennae. You can short-circuit his antennae by simply jamming some conductive metal between them.
Sighted: In Fairfax, attempting to steal a nuclear submarine. He was captured by Oxide and the Harp.
Possibilities: We're always saying how Aquaman needs a bigger and better rogues' gallery, right? Right? RIGHT?!
Integration Quotient: 25% (it's important to have a well-defined niche, but it may be more important to have a cool name, look and powers)
Name: Jelly Woman (silly, yes, but I'm a bit jealous, because I have a superhero design I made in the 7th grade somewhere of a similar character called JELLO Woman... so close!)
Created by: Lincoln Wert, Age 12, Address unknown
Costume: Jelly Woman is a monstrous segmented creature whose apparent purplish exoskeleton can amorphously change shape. You know she's a woman because of they eyelashes, of course.
Powers: Jelly Woman's shape is essentially amorphous, so she can slide under a door or smother her enemies. If part of her body is sectioned off, she can continue to animate it. She does not appear able to speak, nor is it known if and how she reverts to human form.
Sighted: In Fairfax, attempting to rob a bank. She is stopped by Ragnarok and the Pixie.
Possibilities: This bizarre creature surely merits an origin story and further appearance. She's a kind of female Clayface, but with far less control over her powers. We see a lot of monsters in comics, but they're rarely female.
Integration Quotient: 25% (I can only imagine the pb&j jokes...)
Still a few creations from this comic, so stay tuned for more.