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That’s Not Cyborg

05/06/2012

I’m not perfect. No, no, don’t gasp, I am occasionally wrong about some things. This time it has to do with my review of the new Young Justice Invasion pilot. I erroneously referred to the new tech-support guy as a not-yet-Cyborg Vic Stone. When I watched the episode a second time, I realized I saw him in the first season, too, as the soon-to-be Bumblebee’s beau, Mal Duncan.

I guess I’d just assumed he was a background character the first time around because I didn’t recognize the name. So I hit the Internets and found there was a Mal Duncan in the original Teen Titan books. He joined the team without having any special powers, though later he’s granted the Gabriel’s Horn and becomes the hero known as Hornblower. Okay, that sounds a little more familiar to me. But other than Hornblower, he was also the new Guardian. Yeah, him we’ve seen in the series, too, but under the more familiar persona of Jim Harper, Roy (Red Arrow)’s uncle.

I’m not sure of the circumstances, but sometime later (after Infinite Crisis, I think) he becomes Herald, once again in possession of a super-powered horn. This is the guy I remember from the Teen Titan cartoon series, though I can’t recall if he was going by this name or Hornblower.

But even before I saw him in the cartoons, I remember him from the latest incarnation of the Doom Patrol under his most current name: Vox. During this run, he was married to Bumblebee and had a high-tech voice box implanted in his chest that gave him the same powers as his horn.

So, there are a few ways Mal could figure into the new season. He could, at some point in the series, gain Gabriel’s Horn and become either Hornblower or Herald. Or maybe he’ll somehow be recruited by Cadmus to replace Jim as the new Guardian – not good as he’s being controlled by (or just working with) the Light. And there’s the possibility that he’ll become Vox, sidestepping the other identities, through some horrific accident.

Whatever happens, I’m sorry Mal Duncan for not knowing who you were earlier. You have a rich and interesting background as a superhero and deserve credit for your heroics. I’m also sorry that at one point you were forced to wear this:

Mal and Dick, you two are such bad liars. Let’s hope that costume is one thing that stays out of the cartoon!

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