Friday, February 19, 2010
Ranking high up there on most desired superpowers would have to be defying gravity. Scores of costumed crusaders crowd clouds above their adoring public. Yet heroes aren't alone flying the friendly skies, there are those who would like to make those same skies a bit...fiendish. First up, August 1967's Blue Beetle #2, Steve Ditko's Banshee debuted. Originally the apprentice of famed acrobat, the Flying Dundo, he saw an opportunity and snatched it to embark on a criminal life away from under the big top.
A similar pair of hovering hoods appeared in March 1985's Mighty Crusaders #11, the Buzzard and an insect man known only as "Sting", were presented.. Recruited by Eraser (whom we considered earlier) to bedevil the assembled heroes as the Riot Squad, there first target was the elder Black Hood from the 1940's which led to his untimely demise...and a drastic personality change in his heir apparent, Kip Burland, Black Hood II:
Immediately gaining the attention of news commentator Vic Sage during the Banshee's Crown City crime spree, Sage's alter ego the Question begins a one-man mission to bring the cruising crook back down to Earth and bring him...not back to the big top...but the big house...to face justice for his felonies and the demise of the fiend's inventive instructor, Dundo.
The Question was not alone in his obsessive drive to use his everyman approach against a seemingly superhuman adversary such as the Banshee, as the Black Hood went after the pair of flying fiends and their leader, despite lacking powers of his own, aided by Fly and the Crusaders:
When he finally had the Banshee in his grasp, the Question's actions led to the former acrobat's exile from the mainland to a deserted island for seven long years! Although reappearing for a rematch against the crusadering crimefighter, Banshee later joined Manipulator's evil Squad against Question alongside Blue Beetle and the Sentinels of Justice:
Decades after their seeming demise at the hands of the Comet, Vulture and Sting reappeared alongside a veritable legion of lethal larcenists for a rematch against the dimension traveling Mighty Crusaders, themselves now expanding their own membership to near unmanageable proportions:
Buzzard and Sting as well as Banshee and his mentor Dundo were only a few of the many in comics who made their mark above Terra Firma. Yet for their respective publishers during a handful of appearences, they provided a couple of memorable challenges for their flightless foes.