Are you rooting for your country to take home the gold the 2016 Olympics in Rio? What if our favorite superheroes were allowed to compete? I guess that would never happen. First, they would have to change some rules. Second, superheroes don't exist. But this did get me thinking about the possibilities. Were there any superheroes that were influenced or inspired by the Olympics? In my research, I dug up a few Marvel and DC heroes that competed in the Olympics according to their biographies. Let's take a look of some of heroes and bad guys who competed on the world stage. Then we'll take a look at the medal count!
1. Hawkeye Of The Avengers
Clint Barton, from Marvel's Ultimates series, was a former Olympic archer. He decided to put his sharpshooting skills to work and became a US intelligence officer. He and Nick Fury became close friends and became the founders of the modern age of S.H.I.E.L.D. He went through "The Program" that enhanced his archery skills to the point where it gave him extraordinarily fast reflexes, exceptional dexterity, and near-perfect aim.
2. Javelin, The Master Of...The Javelin
This character is the strangest one of the group. Kudos to Germany for producing an Olympian javelin thrower. But what do you do if throwing javelins doesn't land you on the cover of Wheaties? Javelin decided that he didn't need any fancy mutation or high-tech armor, not when you are the best javelin thrower this side of the Pacific. Instead, he turned that skill into a money-making machine by becoming a one-dimensional bottom-of-the-barrel bad guy.
However, he did manage to become an adversary of Green Lantern. How does throwing a javelin beat the Green Lantern? Well, not only was Javelin a master at launching those long spears through the air, he quickly learned that if he painted them yellow, Green Lantern would have a rough time taking down this low-level thug. However, Javelin did make an appearance the the super-villain team the Suicide Squad. I can't believe this character didn't make into the Suicide Squad movie! What does Killer Croc have over this guy?
3. Mr. Terrific Is A Terrific Olympian
Yes, Michael Holt, a.k.a. Mr. Terrific from DC Comics, not only holds 14 PhDs, he was also a gold medal winning Olympic decathlete. Just goes to show that even people with super-powered brains can be good at sports. I know it says "Fair Play" on his jacket, but I bet he used one of his floating T-Spheres during the shot-put.
4. Triathlon Has Abilities 3 Times Greater Than Any Athlete
No, he did not win medals for competing in the triathlon. Delroy Garrett, Jr. became a track star and competed in the Olympics. He tested positive for steroids and lost his three gold medals. But the number three turned out to be his lucky number. After losing his medals, he turned following the religion of the Triune Understanding. Turned out, the leader of this religion found some special gem, and it made Delroy become the 3-D Man! His abilities allowed him to get recruited by Captain America to join The Secret Avengers. Once they fell, he become a member of The Initiative. How's that for a feel-good story?
5. Northstar Hits The Slopes!
Northstar, famous for being part of the Canadian team Alpha Flight in Marvel Comics, was a famous downhill skier. He was introduced to skiing as a child, and it quickly became one of his passions. As his speed powers manifested, he used them to take the gold medal during the Olympics. Sure, Triathlon gets his medals taken away for using steroids, but Northstar gets to join a super team and helps capture Wolverine because he used his powers. No fair man, no fair!
6. Tiger Shark Makes A Splash
Here we have another villain that was a former Olympian. Todd Arliss was an Olympian swimmer who damaged his spinal cord when he rescued a drowning man. Desperate to regain his swimming ability, Arliss willingly participated in an experiment by the scientist Dr. Lemuel Dorcas. He pretty much became a super-villain due to the combining of some DNA from a tiger shark and DNA from Namor the Sub Mariner. He goes from sipping Mai Tais by the pool to getting a fin on his head because he fell for some crackpot scientist's shark recipe. Never trust those guys.
7. Black Lightning As Quick As Lightning
Jefferson Pierce (Black Lightning) was one of the first major African American superheroes to appear in DC Comics. Before he returned to clean up his old neighborhood in the Southside (Suicide Slum) section of the city of Metropolis, Black Lightning was a gold-winning Olympic decathlete. Who here thinks DC Comics should have an issue that features a friendly competition between Black Lightning and Mr. Terrific? It could be a modern day Superman versus Flash!
Take a look at all the times it took superhero skills to stick these impressive landings:
There you have it, several Marvel and DC Comics characters that were influenced by the spirit of the Olympics. Know of any other characters that took home the gold? Leave your comments below!