Friday, January 25, 2019

A Touch Closer To... Death!


Name This Marvel Villain??

An alien summoned to do the bidding of Graviton, the woman introduced as Halflife is well-named. When we first encounter her, she's emerging from a nuclear power plant at Diablo Canyon, so it's not really clear why she was on Earth when she received Graviton's signal. But the sketchy details of her arrival from space clearly make her no less a threat to human life.

Graviton at this point in time has become fixated on Tigra, the "were-woman" who has joined the West Coast Avengers. We've seen that Graviton, a ruthless and powerful foe, isn't exactly in need of a hit squad--but along with Halflife, he enlists another alien, Quantum, as well as the electrified menace known as Zzzax, to take on the WCA while he subdues Tigra on his own. And in battle, we see just what makes Halflife so dangerous in close proximity to others.

Wonder Man, however, as a being made up of ionic energy, is another matter, since a foe whose power can age her opponents can have no effect on a man whose power gives him virtual immortality.

But Graviton's arrival on the scene changes the odds considerably, and the Avengers fall to his might.  Once they've been secured, he goes on to explain to his foes what we already know about his new allies.

The WCA are definitely in a tight fix. But Tigra's human half, Greer Nelson, is able to free herself from captivity--and with a few well-chosen words, she's able to sow dissension between Halflife and Quantum. And once Graviton joins the party, their combined forces wreak havoc between them.

Their runaway powers lead to the defeat of all three--though later, as Quasar is rounding up all rogue aliens on Earth, Halflife wages her second battle against a terran super-being, and is again outmaneuvered.

It's a fairly brief career for our villainess, her capture regrettably too late to save the decimated population of her own world.  Even in the world of comics, it's difficult to comprehend how one evildoer whose power is limited to proximity can actually eradicate their world's entire population of (presumably) billions without some kind of effective intervention on the part of her species.  Surely some form of containment could have been devised before she achieved a fraction of that kind of body count.  Nor was Halflife the only such brainchild of writer Steve Englehart--a year later, he would go on to create the Obliterator (an Elder of the Universe), who killed his own world's population before moving on and continuing to live up to his name with other species.

1 comment:

Justin said...

I liked Halflife. Cool sciency-name and powerset. Would've liked to have seen her character used more...and maybe see more development to her backstory.