The Replacements

In rock, The Replacements refers to the seminal Minneapolis band that fused ramshackle drunkenness and post-punk power-pop for a legion of fondly remembered tunes. <p>In comics, The Replacements are those heroes that step in and assume the mask, name, or tiara of another hero (or heroine) that's been sidelined by injury, personal problems, or the occasional fleeting case of the deaths. <p>Today, Marvel debuted the All-New, All-Different Avengers - sort of. While they did preview a teaser image featuring the team, most of the members were only shown in silhouette. <p>Of course, it's not so hard to parse out many of the characters. In addition to Ms. Marvel and the new Thor, the other characters featured also seem to be legacy heroes - characters who got their start as replacements for established heroes. <p>Sure, we can all think of one or two, but did you consider the second Invisible Kid? What about the second Monolith from The Elementals? While they are not the most well-known substitute heroes, they're but two examples of the pervasive phenomenon of the Replacements. <p>So with due apologies to Kyle, Jean Paul, Bucky and a few others, click through and let's get started...

JOHN WALKER - CAPTAIN AMERICA

Steve Rogers, <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/php/multimedia/album.php?aid=43771>you quitter!</a> <p>On one of the occasions when Steve Rogers vacated the role of Captain America (becoming instead the black-and-red clad Captain), the U.S. government filled the costume with John Walker, who had once been Super-Patriot. <p>As Captain America, Walker's rage fed mental problems that pushed him closer to the edge. He even killed several opponents in combat. <p>Eventually, after a battle with the Red Skull, Walker persuaded Steve Rogers to become Captain America again. Walker's death was faked and he got a new identity (as Jack Daniels. Yes. Johnny Walker. Jack Daniels. We just report it, folks). After that, he began operating as the hero called U.S. Agent. <p><b>Status</b>: Walker was last seen leading the Dark Avengers, determined to be a positive influence on the ex-villains.

ARTEMIS - WONDER WOMAN

We know that this replacement thing happens a lot, but did you know that this was the second time that Diana was replaced as Wonder Woman by a red-haired Amazon? The original's name was Orana, and her story was in Wonder Woman #250 and 251 from 1978. Artemis came about because Hippolyta, after the Amazons had been trapped in a demon dimension, saw a future where Wonder Woman died. Hippolyta sought to arrange a replacement for Diana so that she might live. <p>Due to some subterfuge from Hippolyta, Artemis won the right to be the new Wonder Woman. As in the '70s story, Diana followed her replacement back to the states. After a series of battles (some real, some arranged by a PR firm), Artemis fell in battle against the White Magician (himself a demon). Diana took over as Wonder Woman again. Artemis did eventually return to life. <p>Speaking of Hippolyta. she's also served as a substitute Wonder Woman a few times, most notably after the Crisis on Infinite Earths, when she traveled to the past to become the Golden Age Wonder Woman, ensuring the protection of her Amazon sisters. <p><b>Status</b>: Artemis the Amazon played a medium role in Flashpoint, but hasn't had any kind of known role in the DC New 52. Hippolyta has appeared in a supporting role in the New 52's <b>Wonder Woman</b>.

THE FOUR SUPERMEN

Superman's another guy that's <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/php/multimedia/album.php?aid=43771>taken a powder from time to time</a>. Clearly, the most famous round of replacements came in 1992 after the big guy seemingly took the dirt nap versus Doomsday. Each of the four characters claimed to be Superman, though ultimately, none were. <p>You had Superboy (the clone), Eradicator (the Kryptonian artifact), Steel (the inspired), and The Cyborg (villain in disguise!). <p>To the credit of all involved, the four replacements were made into viable characters, with Superboy and Steel getting their own books. The Eradicator has appeared from time to time, and Cyborg Superman has proved a popular villain, appearing significantly during the Sinestro Corps War and recent goings on in Justice League. <p><b>Status</b>: They all exist in the New 52, but with significantly different origins and identities. It is unknown if Superman's death lasted long enough to have replacements. Superboy is the most prominent, but is now a Lois and Clark's (mostly evil) son from the future.

BEN REILLY - SPIDER-MAN

Yeah. Clone Saga. Hang on... <p>This whole thing started due to a confrontation that Spidey had with Professor Miles Warren, aka The Jackal (which played out across <I>Amazing Spider-Man #141-151</I> in the mid-'70s). Warren was a cloning expert, and he created clones of both Spider-Man and the late love of his life, Gwen Stacy. Warren also loved Stacy, and blames Spider-Man for her death. Spider-Man eventually defeats the clone and the Jackal, and it's implied that the clone was incinerated. Spidey believes that he's the real Spidey because he feels true, deep love for MJ, which a clone of a younger Peter would not. Follow? Okay. <p>Flash-forward a couple of decades. The clone reappears, using the name Ben Reilly. An enormously complicated storyline ensues, crossing two years of time and literally dozens of issues. Reilly adventures as the Scarlet Spider, but becomes Spider-Man after he and Peter are duped into believing that Peter is the clone and Peter retires, with Ben stepping in as Spider-Man. <p>Eventually, the true enemy of the piece turns out to be Norman Osborn (the original Green Goblin) who had never died. Reilly is killed in the final battle, and turns to dust, confirming the fact that he is the clone. <p>This is a ridiculously compressed version of events, but we are talking about (by our count) approximately 764 comics. <p>Today, the event is widely seen in fan circles as an event gone off the rails (although that's not to say it doesn't have its very devoted fans). <p>The upshot: Spider-Man was indeed officially replaced for some time, but when the clone dust cleared, Peter Parker was back in the suit. <p><b>Status</b>: Ben Reilly, still dead, but an alternate universe version did appear in "Spider-Verse."

DICK GRAYSON - BATMAN

A replacement so nice DC did it twice. <p>The first time went like this: The original Robin, Dick Grayson took on the more mature Nightwing persona in 1984. Long-viewed by most at Batman's eventual successor, Dick got his chance to fill the cowl in the Knightfall/KnightsEnd follow-up, Prodigal. In that story, which stretched from fall of 1994 and into 1995, Bruce Wayne passed the mantle to Dick, whom he had raised after the death of Dick's parents, while he did some soul-searching over his role. After a brief period, Bruce returned to the Batman role, and Dick went back to being Nightwing. <p>As for the second time, Batman seemingly died during <I>Final Crisis</I> after taking out Darkseid. While the real explanation is pretty complicated, let's just say that he didn't. During his absence, Dick again donned the cowl as Batman, and Bruce's son Damien became Robin. Although Bruce eventually returned, both he and Dick kept using the Batman identity. Dick and Damian watched over Gotham while Bruce took Batman on the road to form Batman Inc. <p><b>Status</b>: As the New 52 dawned, so Dick returned to Nightwing (though now with red accents instead of blue). He was definitely still Batman, at least the second time around, and talked about it a few times early in the recent run of the <I>Nightwing</I> solo series. Now he's left Nightwing behind again, but this time to operate as a super secret agent of Spyral in <I>Grayson</I>.

JAMES RHODES - IRON MAN

Another Marine, though not an architect, James Rhodes met Tony Stark shortly after Stark created his Iron Man armor and escaped his captors. Becoming Tony's friend and pilot, Rhodes joined Stark and/or Iron Man on a number of adventures, including the defeat (at one point) of one Justin Hammer. <p>When Stark lost his company (due to the machinations of Obadiah Stane) and fell off the wagon, he ceded the Iron Man identity to Rhodes. Rhodey operated as Iron Man for quite some time (in fact, <i>he</i> is the Iron Man in the original Secret Wars, not Stark). <p>Unfortunately, the Iron Man armor, not made for him particularly, began to drive him crazy. Stark, now sober, put on a new suit and saved his friend. Rhodey later received a new suit from Stark and became War Machine. <p><b>Status</b>: Rhodey is now working as Iron Patriot, and a frequent support member of various Avengers teams.

DR. OCTOPUS - SPIDER-MAN

When Spider-Man's arch-foe Dr. Octopus was diagnosed with a terminal condition, he set about enacting his ultimate revenge plot against Spider-Man. With little time left to live, he nefariously used his cybernetic tech to swap minds with the hero, taking Peter Parker's place as Spider-Man. <p>However, Peter didn't go down without a fight, and as Peter's mind in Doc Ock's body breathed its last, he used his connection to Dr. Octopus - now in Peter's body - to make Octavius feel the weight of responsibility of being Spider-Man. <p>Of course, great responsibility or not, Octavius's hubris was left intact, driving him to become a darker, more brutal, and, if you asked him, more "superior" Spider-Man. <p>It all crumbled when Octavius's arrogance led him to be tricked by Norman Osborn, the Green Goblin, forcing Doc Ock to relinquish control of Peter's body back to the sliver of Peter Parker's consciousness that remained in order to save the day. <p><b>Status</b>: Doc Ock is no longer inhabiting Peter's mind, but some cross-time shenanigans allowed a past version of Superior Spider-Man to appear in "Spider-Verse."

JOHN STEWART - GREEN LANTERN

Hal Jordan's done <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/php/multimedia/album.php?aid=43771>his fair share of quitting his GL job</a>. On one occasion in the '80s, the Guardians replaced him with a most logical choice: Hal's back up GL, John Stewart. <p>Stewart was well known to readers of the book, and had adventured with the Justice League on more than one occasion. Stewart was an architect by trade (ah-ha!), as well as a veteran Marine. Stewart has served with distinction over the years, including fighting in the Crisis on Infinite Earths and joining Jordan when the GLC relocated to Earth. His first wife, Katma Tui, was a GL. <p>When the Corps was destroyed during Jordan's rampage, Stewart later became a Darkstar. With the Corps restored, Stewart returned, and has been active ever since. And, lest we forget, he's the animated GL that today's kids know best. <p><b>Status</b>: Green f'n Lantern. John Stewart bleeds green, kids, with a major role in both the <b>Green Lantern</b> and <b>Green Lantern Corps</b> series.

CAROL DANVERS - CAPTAIN MARVEL

Carol Danvers has been a superhero since the '70's, when a run in with a Kree device called the Psyche-Magnitron bestowed her with enhanced physicality, and energy manipulating powers. <p>She spent most of her career as Ms. Marvel, working alongside Mar-Vell, the original Captain Marvel until his death. Though she occasionally went by other names - including Binary and Warbird - usually when her powers underwent some kind of transformation, it's only within the last few years that Carol decided to truly live up to her potential and officially become the new Captain Marvel. <p>Of course, this also paved the way for a new Ms. Marvel, with young Kamala Khan taking on that title, and while we considered her as part of this list, she's still got a ways to go before she ranks among the best legacy heroes. <p><b>Status</b>: Carol Danvers is still active as Captain Marvel, and plays a major role in the Avengers, as well as appearing in her own solo-title, and a stint with the Guardians of the Galaxy.

WALLY WEST - THE FLASH

The first comic superhero sidekick to fulfill the promise of taking over for his mentor, Wally West became The Flash at the close of the <I>Crisis on Infinite Earths</I>. Wally West originally became Kid Flash when he experienced an accident similar to that of his uncle-by-marriage, Barry Allen. <p>For many years, Wally adventured alongside his mentor and his own group of friends, the Teen Titans. After experiencing a disease that began to shorten his life each time he used his powers, Wally retired from heroics. During the original <I>Crisis on Infinite Earths</I>, Wally put his costume back on to aid the heroes and search for his missing mentor. Wally discovered that Barry gave his life to save the surviving universes. During the final stages of the last confrontation with the Anti-Monitor, a blast of energy sent Wally's disease reeling into remission. In <I>Crisis on Infinite Earths #12</I>, Wally resolved to carry on in Barry's stead as the new Flash. Wally held the spot for many years, joining Justice League Europe, the later JLA, the re-formed Titans, and the present Justice League of America. <p><b>Status</b>: Wally West was erased from all of time and continuity by the dawning of the New 52. He has recently made his first appearance in the new universe, with a few major changes: he has no superspeed yet, and his race has now changed to African-American.

The 10 Greatest LEGACY Superheroes of All-Time

Date: 24 March 2015 Time: 03:30 PM ET