Day 7 of 28 Days of Black Super Heroes, today’s hero is the Marvel Comics’ character Rage.
WHO IS HE?
Rage is Elvin Haliday, a 13 year old boy who was exposed to hazardous radioactive material.
The waste caused him to mutate into an adult man with superhuman strength and endurance. Elvin decided to go out and become a hero, so he sought out the Avengers.
Unfortunately, 13 year old Elvin was not well-versed in diplomacy, so when he caught up with the Avengers, he essentially accused them of racism, demanding to know why there weren’t any black Avengers on the team. He also was pissed that the Avengers only fought super-villains and didn’t try to help the people in the city who really needed it.
This lead to a fight with the team, and this memorable line of dialogue from Rage:
“You throwin’ down on me, Thunder God?” (punches Thor)
So after a couple of issues or so, they let him in, and he helped the Avengers for a few missions.
I really didn’t like the character. I thought Marvel was trying to do something cool, trying to create an interesting black character, but I thought Rage was kind of an embarrassment, and he wasn’t really on the same level as the other Avengers.
The one thing that sticks with me the most is reading a short little blurb from the creator of the character, Larry Hama, either in Wizard Magazine (now only publishing digitally), or the old Marvel Age Magazine (Marvel’s own promotional magazine).
Larry said something to the effect of “Why is it that whenever anyone creates a black hero, they always make them nice?”
Damn, man. Really? I didn’t know what to think when I read that. I mean, we’re just people like anyone else. Some of us use our powers for good and others for evil.
Well, if his goal was to create an asshole, Rage was definitely a success.
AFTER THE AVENGERS
I knew this character would never be a mainstay in the Avengers, and pretty soon he was demoted (when they finally figured out he was only 13). Then after he stole a Quinjet (the Avengers own private jets) to help out the a New Warriors, they kicked him the F$%! out.
These negroez, man. Always stealing something.
Anyway, after he got the boot from the A-Team, he accepted the offer to join up with the New Warriors, aka Marvel’s D-List heroes.
THE NEW WARRIORS
Anyway, this is where I really lost track of Rage, because I sure as heck wasn’t gonna read the New Warriors.
I tried reading it at first, but even though Nova was one of my favorite characters from way back, he really didn’t act like the Nova I remembered so I quickly dropped it.
As far as I knew, Rage didn’t even exist anymore.
The last time I saw Rage was in a few issues of Avengers: The Initiative.
The Initiative was the government program instituted after the events of Civil War, in which all of the superheroes in the U.S.A. were regulated if the cooperated, and imprisoned if they refused to fall in line.
I remember being kind of surprised that Rage, having a been a full-time Avenger before, was forced to undergo training with the rest of the kids in the Initiative comic. Seeing how a tragic accident caused by Rage’s old teammates The New Warriors kind of kickstarted the whole Civil War anyway, I guess he was on the list to be rounded up.
THE WRAP UP
I never cared much for this character. He had pretty standard-issue, uncreative powers, plus he was kind of an angry bastard all the time (hence his name). Oh, get this: Rage’s strength would grow the more he punched things or used his power in an aggressive way, kind of like the Hulk.
This is the kind of character no one would really miss if he were gone. The only good thing about this type of hero is that they’re so bad they can really only go up from there. There’s an opportunity for a really good writer to come in here and turn Rage into something viable.
Okay so that’s the wrap up, I’ll leave it with a look at the Rage raw pencil art I drew up. See you tomorrow for the next hero!