<p>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>Right now, all the buzz is on <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/comics/new-ultimate-spider-man-revealed-110802.html><b>Ultimate Spider-Man</b>, and the fact that a new Webslinger is in town</a>. However, this sort of thing actually happens more often than you might think. <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 "start here" in the upper-left corner and let's get started... <p><i>Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's <a href=http://www.facebook.com/Newsarama><b>FACEBOOK</b></a> and <a href=http://twitter.com/newsarama><b>TWITTER</b></a>!</i> <p>
Spawn actually has an amazingly complicated history. For the basics, there have been a number of Spawns throughout history. The most well known is Al Simmons, an African-American government agent who was betrayed and murdered but had a chance to come back to Earth. Of course, the dark power offering the deal screwed Simmons, and he comes back to Earth five years later. He has a finite amount of power, his wife has remarried and the disfigured Simmons can only appear normal as a white man. <p>Ooops. <p>Over time, Simmons/Spawn becomes embroiled with battles of ultimate good evil, even trapping God and Satan on separate plane so they can continue their eternal struggle away from Earth. Simmons, after trying to do everything he can to make as much of the world right, kills himself. <p>Elsewhere, Jim Downing awakens from a coma. When a powered individual tries to take Downing from the hospital, he turns into a new Spawn. From there, it only gets crazier, involving Image United, The Clown, vampires, and being famous. <p><b>Status</b>: Jim Downing is still Spawn.
Eric Masterson is an architect, making it the most popular career choice for potential replacement heroes (more on that later). Masterson had befriended Thor and was mortally wounded by one of his enemies. Odin used his powers to essentially merge Masterson and Thor. They were later separated by Heimdall, with Masterson able to change into a version of Thor while Thor led an independent existence. <p>Later, the two fought and Thor reclaimed his Thor-ness. Odin then created a new identity for Masterson as Thunderstrike. Unfortunately, Thunderstrike was killed defeating the Bloodaxe. <p><b>Status</b>: Eric Masterson is dead, and Thor is Thor.
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 is warden of The Raft, as seen in Thunderbolts.
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? <p>The original's name was Orana, and her story was in <b>Wonder Woman #250</b> and <b>251</b> 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><b>Status</b>: Last seen on Themyscira, but that's probably up for grabs after August.
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.
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>: Fluid. After August, we know that Superboy will have his own book <i>and</i> be with the Teen Titans.
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 <b>Amazing Spider-Man #141-151</b> 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 <i>Peter</i> 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 <i>he</i> 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.
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 a member of the Secret Avengers and holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel with the military.
The first sidekick to fulfill the promise of taking over for his mentor, Wally West became The Flash at the close of the Crisis on Infinite Earths. 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 <b>Crisis on Infinite Earths</b>, 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 <b>Crisis on Infinite Earths #12</b>, 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>: Recently nudged aside by the return of Barry Allen, Wally hasn't been around much, though he has popped up during big events. As for the future, we'll see. He got asked about at Comic-Con ... a lot.
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 2004 and into 2005, 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 Final Crisis 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 Damien watched over Gotham as Bruce took Batman on the road to form Batman Inc. <p><b>Status</b>: Right now, Dick is still a Batman. However, the DCnU will soon put him back in the role of Nightwing. <li> <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/php/multimedia/album.php?aid=43771><b>Cover Convention: When Heroes Say "I QUIT!"</b></a>