Tag Archives: sunspot

81 – SUNSPOT

1 Aug

Subject: Sunspot
Real Name: Roberto DaCosta
Height: 5′ Weight: 130 lbs.
First Appearance: New Mutants Graphic Novel, 1982

Power Ratings:

  • Energy Projection: 2/7
  • Mental Powers: 1/7
  • Strength: 5/7
  • Fighting Ability: 4/7
  • Intelligence: 3/7

Wow, 5 feet tall and 130 pounds? That’s borderline littleperson, and in the world of comics, it’s virtually unheard of for an otherwise normal superhero to be shorter than 5’8″ (notable exception is our favorite 5-foot-3 razorblade bowling ball). Even Marvel’s resident scrawny nerd Peter Parker is a full 10 inches taller and 30+ pounds more massive.

Since The New Mutants were just slightly before my time, I didn’t really know much about Sunspot’s history with the other members of X-Force. In fact, my earliest vivid memory of Sunspot was in X-Force #15, when he was rescued by X-Force along with other former New Mutant Rictor (who does not get his own card, apparently).

I still never figured out why Liefeld couldn’t find room for Sunspot in X-Force, same with Rictor and Wolfsbane, whom, I’d mentioned before, was replaced with Feral, who was basically the same character. It seems as though Sunspot’s strongman role was replaced by Warpath, who certainly looked the part much more. I guess Liefeld just couldn’t process a 5-foot-3 Brazilian kid being the team’s heavy.

Of course Liefeld couldn’t help but disgrace him before his dismissal by donning him in one of the lamest costumes in X-Men history, with a bright red shirt with matching Zorro eyemask. Seriously, didn’t the Ninja Turtles bury that wardrobe element as a serious piece of fighting costume forever? You’ve got a guy with one of the more visually unique looks out there (being jet-black and radiating… black power), he really doesn’t even need a costume.

I almost forgot to review the Power Ratings, it had been so long since we’d done them. Roberto’s fares pretty well, with a powerful 5/7 rating for Strength, and even respectable Fighting Ability and Intelligence ratings, neither of which sound out of the ordinary, but I certainly can’t remember specific instances that would support or contradict such a claim.

48 – GIDEON

16 May

Subject: Gideon
Real Name: Gideon
Height: 6’7″ Weight: 220 lbs
Group Affiliation: The Profit$ (WHAT THE?)
First Appearance: New Mutants #98, February 1991

Power Ratings:

  • Energy Projection: 1/7
  • Mental Powers: 2/7
  • Strength: 4/7
  • Fighting Ability: 5/7
  • Intelligence: 4/7

Like Omega Red, Gideon came about because, among other things, top-knot ponytails were cool back in the early 90’s. Otherwise, Gideon’s creation was probably one of the biggest busts in the history of 90’s X-Men, setting up a brand new mythology of the Externals, coincidentally immortal mutants of whom Cannonball is a disputed member. Not Sunspot, mind you, to whom Gideon was pouring all his attention at the time, for some storyline involving Gideon murdering Sunspot’s father. I read this all once as a kid, and then again as an adult, and it still continues to be an unforgettable mess. No wonder Gideon was unceremoniously dropped soon after and, amazingly, has yet to be resurrected in the X-Books. He’s just that uninteresting.

Jim Lee’s art for Gideon actually, remarkably, doesn’t suck, it’s got solid anatomy (in that the character feels 3 dimensional with mass, not that the anatomy itself is accurate). He looks regal and menacing, in a way that having him in an action pose might make him look silly, like a new-age douche who does pilates and listens to Yanni.

His Power Ratings are unremarkable, and again do nothing to show his otherwise formidable power: being able to copy the powers of others (Wikipedia and other sources aren’t particularly clear to what extent this power works; I don’t recall him being able to say, shoot optic blasts and control metals). In fact I don’t recall him manifesting this power much at all; mostly he just bossed people around and did some martial arts, no?

Just as a quick PS, I don’t recall his Group Affiliation “The Profit$” ever being mentioned in the comics, though my mental defenses might have just glossed over something so stupid.