Antaeus (comics)

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Antaeus is the name of two fictional characters from DC Comics.

Antaeus (unnamed)[edit]

Antaeus
Antaeus.png
Antaeus as seen in Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe #16 (June 1986)
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceBatman and the Outsiders #14 (October 1984)
Created byMike W. Barr
Bill Willingham
In-story information
Team affiliationsNew Olympians
AbilitiesSuperhuman strength
Invulnerable when in contact with earth

This Antaeus was seen as a member of Maxie Zeus's New Olympians, his origin has never been revealed, but he has super-human strength and limited invulnerability as long as he stays in contact with the natural earth. He fought Geo-Force of The Outsiders who defeated him, he resurfaced with the rest of the New Olympians as victims of Gog.

Mark Antaeus[edit]

Mark Antaeus
Antaeus.JPG
Mark Antaeus as seen in JLA: Superpower (November 1999)
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceJLA: Superpower
(November 1999)
Created byJohn Arcudi
Scot Eaton
In-story information
Alter egoMark Antaeus
Team affiliationsJustice League
AbilitiesOriginally had peak human physical capabilities
Cybernetic enhancements and armor

Mark Antaeus was the son of a scientist who injected Mark with experimental growth hormones as he grew up. Because of these hormones Mark pushed the boundaries of human agility, strength and endurance although never becoming truly superhuman.

Mark became a fireman and a local hero, idolising Superman to the extent that he had a large 'S-shield' tattoo across his back (This shield was the one worn by Superman in Kingdom Come foreshadowing the dark turn Mark would take). After failing to rescue a family caught in a burning building Mark had something of a nervous breakdown, disappearing for over two years; when he returned it was revealed he had volunteered to STAR Labs as a guinea pig for cybernetic enhancements. Despite being horribly disfigured under his cybernetic armour the hero 'Antaeus' was blissfully happy to be able to help people and this small town hero's exploits came to the Justice League's attention, he was quickly admitted to the JLA and shown to partake in many adventures.

Antaeus' behaviour was somewhat erratic and he came into conflict with Green Lantern, Kyle Rayner who feels that he is unreasonably driven and dotes on his idol, Superman, he also draws away from his human life, cutting off his family and fiancee.

When the JLA refuse to step in to remove a Middle Eastern despot, Antaeus goes against their wishes, overthrowing a hostile government and murdering their leader (who bears a striking resemblance to Saddam Hussein). Antaeus then comes into direct conflict with the JLA, he puts up a good fight but his cybernetic systems are badly damaged and he retreats. Seeing that his actions have destabilized the country and ultimately made things worse for its citizens, Antaeus is consumed with grief and regret and lets his damaged nuclear reactor (the source of his power) explode.[1]

In an epilogue we see Superman's grief over his inability to help Mark and Mark's Helmet is placed in the JLA trophy room.

Apart from his starring role in the one shot JLA: Superpower, Antaeus' only other appearance was in the JLA/Avengers crossover in which all previous members of the JLA and the Avengers appear.

References[edit]

  1. ^ John Arcudi (w), Scot Eaton (p), Ray Kryssing (i), John Kalisz (col), Ken Lopez (let), Peter Tomasi (ed). JLA: Superpower (1999), DC Comics