<i>By <a href=http://www.twitter.com/albertxii>Albert Ching, Newsarama Staff Writer</a>, <a href=http://twitter.com/LucasSiegel>Lucas Siegel, Newsarama Editor</a></i> <p>A 5.8 earthquake surprised the east coast Tuesday afternoon, originating in the town of Mineral, Virginia and being felt everywhere from New York City to Toronto. <p>Though the quake was light on damage no serious injuries have been reported it certainly shook people up, leading to an evacuation of The Pentagon, a brief shut down of both JFK and Newark airport and a nearly complete takeover of talk on social networks around the time of the incident. <p>Sure, the earthquake was most likely caused by benign natural causes. But stick with us here what if it wasn't? There are plenty of possible culprits in the comic book world that could have done the deed through their superhuman abilities, either accidentally or intentionally. <p>Click "start here" in the upper-left corner for our list of 10 Earth-shaking comic book characters who just may have played a part in Tuesday's events. <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> <p>
Moses Magnum has threatened many of Marvel's heroes for decades, creating such a menace that he didn't even need to come up with an alias. Like Lex Luthor (the original no-codename-needed villain), he's operated above board at times, as president of the Deterrence Research Corporation which sounds innocuous but made weapons. <P>He's not just a suit, though he's also got powerful control over seismic energy, which he's often used to shake things up rather literally. Would a surprise earthquake felt across the eastern seaboard suit his villainous desires? Well, maybe.
Vibe's creation wasn't one of the proudest moments in DC history. He's often looked down upon and generally considered a terribly broad Latin stereotype, despite being a former member of the Justice League. What he does have is the power to manipulate vibrations, which can easily be employed in creating earthquakes. <p>However, we're pretty sure he wasn't responsible for the Virginia earthquake. How come? Well, he's been dead for years, and even though he briefly came back to life as part of the Black Lantern Corps in <i>Blackest Night</i>, he didn't last too long in that form, either.
Not only is Rictor's superhero codename a reference to the Richter scale that measures the magnitude of earthquakes, his last name actually is "Richter," so it must have seemed almost inevitable that he'd end up with the mutant power to create earthquakes. <p>For years a member of X-Force and currently a part of X-Factor Investigations, Rictor actually lost his powers as a result of Scarlet Witch uttering "no more mutants" at the end of <i>House of M</i>. You'd think that would eliminate him as suspect, but wait! He recently had his powers restored in the pages of <i>Avengers: The Children's Crusade</i>, so it's distinctly possible that he could be a bit rusty and let things get a bit out of hand and unlike the bulk of Marvel's mutants, X-Factor is still located on the east coast.
Perhaps for no reason other than his superheroic codename which sounds kind of like a reject from the cast of <i>Captain Planet</i> Geoforce has gotten some amount of snickers since his first appearance back in 1983. That hasn't deterred him from making a splash across the DC Universe, including stints with the Justice League and the Outsiders. <p>Power-wise, he's certainly one of the most intimidating forces to come from his (fictional) home nation of Markovia, with a profound connection to the Earth that allows him to even manipulate gravity to make things lighter or heavier. His powers are often difficult for him to control, too, so if you got rattled in your chair a bit on Tuesday afternoon you just may have Brion Markov to blame.
Avalanche isn't exactly a good guy he's most famous for being part of a group called the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, after all but lately he's kept a (mostly) low-profile, owning a bar in San Francisco and staying away from crime. He even recently helped out the X-Men as they struggled to combat the forces of the Juggernaut, controlled by the Serpent as a member of The Worthy as part of the ongoing <i>Fear Itself</i> conflict. <p>The exact extent of his powers have never been completely explored, so while it's usually seen, say, causing some rocks to fall on Wolverine's head, it's distinctly possible that he could shake things up to a fairly major degree.
Ah, the Inhumans. The beings from the hidden city of Attilan, these were actually some of the first superpowered beings on Earth. It makes sense then that at least one of them would have Earth-based or quaking powers. <p>Gorgon's Black Bolt's cousin, and when he was exposed to the Terrigen Mists that give the Inhumans their powers, his feet turned into hooves. Luckily, getting cow feet wasn't all bad, as they can generate earthquakes in the form of seismic waves every time he stomps down hard. This is not the guy you want getting excited watching a football game on TV or really enjoying the beat to a song on the radio. It wouldn't take much to get this guy to accidentally shake an entire coast of a country.
Her codename is Quake, so she's one of these "Super Obvious" examples on our list. Daisy worked for Nick Fury during the Secret War, and again during the Secret Invasion, then became one of his Secret Warriors. For such a Secretive individual, her codename sure spells out her powers. <p>Daisy is interesting, as she's a second-generation metahuman, but not a mutant. She's the daughter of "Mister Hyde" though she doesn't exactly take to daddy dearest or his villainy. Her earthquakes are all about targeted vibrations, so a full-sized earthquake may be a bit out of her power scale.
Terra actually refers to three different characters in the DCU, but we'll be focusing on Tara Markov, the original. With a name like Tara and Terra, it's only natural her powers are control over, well, Terra Firma, or Earth. We've gone at length on our girl Terra a few times in other countdowns; for a character that was created solely for the purpose of betrayal and death, she's had amazing staying power. <p>Terra's powers operate very similarly to her big brother Brion, Geo-Force, who we had earlier in the countdown. She's basically a telekinetic that can only control rocks, dirt, gems with her mind. With how easily she switches sides, and how easily she's manipulated by creepy villains, she definitely has it in her to create large-scale earthquakes.
Once a bit of a joke of a villain that just about every hero had stomped on, his near-death while fighting the fledgling hero Invincible turned out to be Doc Seismic's tectonic shift. <p>Now the leader of an underground race of characters named Magmanites, Seismic uses a combination of his rocky minions and his own power gauntlets to wreak havoc on the world of Robert Kirkman's premiere hero. His gauntlets don't typically have wide-reaching ability enough to cause an earthquake felt by the majority of the Eastern seaboard, but with the help of his minions, he may be able to cause that much shaking.
And you thought "Quake" was obvious? Meet Earthquake, a member of the Shi'Ar Imperial Guard. <p>Earthquake has the power of earthquakes. He can cause earthquakes to happen with his mind. That's his name, that's his power, it's that simple. Now, what's a little strange, is that his name is Earthquake even though he's a member of an alien team comprised of alien races that operates just about everywhere except Earth on a regular basis. In fact, his first appearance was on Earth's Moon. For the no-prize, we suppose you could just say that Earthquake is what our heroes, the X-Men, interpreted his name to be, and that's why we see him called such. <p>That may make it a little cleaner for him to have such an obvious name, but it sure makes the X-Men seem like uncreative folks. Could he be our culprit? Sure, after all, he's Earthquake and he makes earthquakes.