Surprisingly Not a Captain Planet Villain
Another week, another article! And, somehow, another DC character, because there’s a pretty big block of those in the suggestions at the point I’ve hit! That aside, I’m actually really excited to write about this guy, so thank you Ritrezer for suggesting another great character! Also, thank you for having your name sound kind of like a Tron villain! I love it.
Moving ahead just a bit, Geo-Force is an interesting case in terms of his own renown. See, he’s tied to some pretty damn popular things in the DCU, yet he never really seems to get his due, which is an absolute shame. With some seriously cool powers and a fairly unique backstory among heroes, plus some famous friends and relatives, it’s honestly a bit of a crime that the poor guy hasn’t gotten his due outside of Pre-N52 DC. Shit, the guy barely got out beyond some less popular team books, getting shafted alongside some of the cooler characters DC has created in their long tenure. But hey, I guess that’s what you get when you join the Outsiders without being named Batman or Katana.
Well, I think I’ve kept you all waiting long enough. Let’s fake an education in comics.
Also, Shockingly, Not a G.I. Joe Eco-Force Villain Either
SCENARIO: See, Geo-Force is a character that I think you can work into conversation in a lot of different situations. Maybe you want to bring up a guy with a seriously awesome superpower, maybe you want to sell someone on the original run of The Outsiders, or hell, maybe you just want to talk about one of the least inspired costumes in comics (as much as I adore the guy, he just does not have the greatest fashion sense). So here’s what you’re gonna do: just always talk about Geo-Force. Never not be talking about Geo-Force. Make clear to anyone who has not heard that if Geo-Force is not in a comic panel, all other characters in the comic panel should be asking “Where’s Geo-Force?”. Okay, maybe don’t go quite that far. Just make clear how important the dude is, and maybe make a point of how god damn cool he would be if he made it into a movie. You know, after the DC movies get good at some point.
Step One: But Seriously, That Costume is Awful
Okay, okay, I’m cheating a little bit by using… that. But rest assured, you’ll get to see his shitty getup in all of its variations by the end of the article.
I’m totally gonna post one more shitty pic though.
Alright, alright, time to get a move on.
Geo-Force began life as Brion Markov, presumably named so because this was the easiest to pronounce Eastern European name one could give a character without making up some abortion of consonants, like Vladislav Krzrgstrg. Brion grew up better than almost any superhero, being the youngest son of the ruler of Totally-Not-Made-Up country Markovia. As a brief side note before we continue, you guys ever wonder how there’s room for the rest of the real world in the DCU with all the fake countries and cities that they have? Just seems like an odd decision in the long run. Ah well. Anyways, Brion led a fairly normal life for an Eastern European aristocrat, growing into a fair and just young man, primed for rule. But of course, as is so common in these stories, rather than Brion ascending to the throne at the death of his father, it was his dickish older brother Gregor who got the job. But of course, this was all in the wake of an invasion by some asshole named (sigh) Baron Bedlam, who sounds like a Doctor Doom knockoff but is significantly lamer in every respect.
Shortly after Gregor is crowned king, one Dr. Helga Jace comes up with an elegant solution to their invasion problem: bombarding the shit out of the surviving royal family with patented SCIENCE PARTICLES, and hoping that instead of cancer, the brothers get godlike power. Gregor, being a dick, immediately scoffed at the prospect, but Brion was totally on board for that shit, so Dr. Jace pumped him full of SCIENCE PARTICLES and he became Geo-Force! He got some pretty sweet powers out of the deal too: He can control gravity, stones and earth, lava and fire, he can channel heat from the Earth’s core to fire it out of his body in the form of energy beams, and for some reason, submerging himself in the planet’s crust allows him to heal his wounds. Basically, he’s a god, but his powers were given to him by science somehow. Seriously, beyond his one weakness (being taken off solid Earth ground), he’s essentially broken. Sure, his weakness pigeonholes him a little bit, forcing him to remain on our world, but as long as he’s on Earth, he’s essentially above Superman in terms of raw power.
Anyways, with his newfound powers, repelling the invasion should have been child’s play, but he still didn’t quite understand how to fully use his powers. Thankfully, Batman was there with a group of heroes that he was grooming into a team, an idea that he got after he quit the Justice League in a huff.
And so, the Outsiders were born, and thanks to the constant of great characters on lesser known team books barely ever getting outside of the confines of their respective team books, Brion was basically locked into being a member of the team until the end of the DCU.
Step Two: Looking in from the Outside
Brion had trouble adapting to team life at first. After all, he was used to a royal’s lifestyle, where his every whim could be catered to, and where he wasn’t working under an overbearing rich man of questionable sanity. But after a brief period of time, Brion fit incredibly well in Batman’s pseudo-League, emerging as a trusted lieutenant of the Bat and a fan-favorite character. Of course, the only three members of the Outsiders that seem to get mentioned in anything these days are Katana, Metamorpho, and Black Lighting, and even then, only Katana made it to mainstream popularity. It’s okay though, because Brion had more ties to more memorable stories than any of them. In fact, he plays an interesting (if not of major importance) role in the famous Teen Titans storyline the Judas Contract.
You see, briefly before the Judas Contract hit full swing, the Teen Titans and the Outsiders had a team-up, during which Brion was reunited with his long lost sister Tara, better known as Terra. Now, if you’ve read the Judas Contract or seen the Teen Titans cartoon, you have, at the very least, a general understanding of the event, but I’ll give a (very) condensed recap just in case anybody’s unfamiliar. Obviously, spoilers for a decades old comic story and a cartoon that’s about half that age. Basically, Terra turned out to be a spy working for Deathstroke in order to destroy the Teen Titans from within, and following a climactic battle, she works herself into a frenzy and loses control of her powers, burying herself under a large chunk of, you know, the planet. Oh, also it was revealed that Terra was banging Deathstroke, which is super gross.
Of course, this news would have absolutely crushed Brion. I mean, not as much as it crushed his sister, but still, it would have hurt enough that the Teen Titans all agreed to tell him that Terra sacrificed herself, dying a hero. However, Batman being Batman, he eventually decided to simply rip off the Band-Aid and tell Brion the truth, immediately sending him spiraling into a depression. During his depression, Brion decides that he can no longer wear his earth toned costume, as it reminds him of his sister too much. Seeking to cheer him up, his teammates give him a new costume, recolored to match the colors of the flag of Brion’s home country. Brian’s mood is vastly improved by this change in style, but my eyes still don’t enjoy looking at it.
Army Vomit Green and Piss Gold do not a good costume make. Also, I’d like to point out that the above fight looks like some sort of superhero reenactment of Dirty Dancing, and that Geo-Force is, once again, making a pooping face. Promotional art for comics used to be really bad, guys.
Brion’s costume would continue to evolve over the years, occasionally altering the shape of the symbol on his chest, but eventually reverting to a combination between his original costume and what could be described as “bargain bin Invincible”. Shortly after getting his new duds, the Outsiders split from Batman, losing their funding in the process. Luckily, Geo-Force was still a royal, and therefore had the coffers of Markovia at his disposal, so the Outsiders packed their bags and moved to Eastern Europe, as well as promoting Geo-Force to leader of the team, a role which he adapted to naturally. Of course, because superheroes aren’t allowed to have anything nice for more than a month at best, Major Disaster (surprisingly, also not a Captain Planet villain) immediately found out about the base and blew it up, causing a chain of events that led to the United States threatening to withdraw all foreign aid from Markovia unless King Gregor revealed the true identities of the Outsiders. However, before Gregor could be a huge dick once again, he was assassinated, leading to Brion finally taking the throne. Unfortunately, he was almost immediately forced to abdicate when his sister-in-law revealed that she was pregnant. After a brief period of imprisonment, Brion was told by his new teammate Looker that the one who had murdered Gregor was, in fact, Dr. Jace, the woman who had given him his powers. Turns out she was working for the Manhunters all along, a turn of events that was the last straw on the camel’s back for Brion, causing him to disband the Outsiders and spend some time with his girlfriend Denise Howard.
Step Three: Outside the Outsiders, but Mostly Still Inside
Brion would, of course, join up with a second incarnation of the Outsiders, and of course, the adventure that would spur the formation of the new team would take place in Markovia. However, this time around, it was triggered by vampire shenanigans and an elaborate framejob, resulting in the Outsiders having to clear their name. Geo-Force’s time on this team is largely dominated by dealing with what is what I believe to be one of toughest to explain twists of all time. You see, Terra reappears alongside her own alternate group of Titans, implying that she herself is also from an alternate timeline. However, at the same time, it is discovered that her casket is empty, implying that it is, in fact, the original Terra, which was further backed up by an absurdly convoluted series of events revealing that she was at least from some moment in the original timeline. Brion invited her to live in Markovia with him, where she subjected to blood tests to determine whether or not she was the original Terra, because at this point, not even she fucking knew. The tests came out positive, however, Brion told her otherwise in order to ease the burden on her mind, as she was terrified that she would also snap like the original Terra. This left Brion as the only one knowing that she was, in fact, the original Terra, a storyline that (to my knowledge, at least) was never picked up ever again, because holy shit why would anyone.
After finally marrying Denise and once again stepping away from the Outsiders, Brion was at a new high point in his life, serving as the Lord Regent of Markovia until his nephew came of age as well as being accepted into the Justice League of America, finally ascending to a level of heroism that he deserved. Except, you know, he mostly just got put in the background while the founding members and whoever was deemed important this time around did their thing. Then, Brion would once again rejoin the Outsiders under Batman’s leadership which was decidedly a downgrade. However, Batman disappeared almost immediately afterwards, kicking off a search for him led by Geo-Force and Katana that culminated in yet another Outsiders base exploding, this time killing new team member REMAC and placing fellow newcomer Thunder in a coma. Seeing this, Brion finally decided that maybe this Outsiders bullshit wasn’t really worth his time, and he quit the team for good.
Brion didn’t really do much else until he finally confronted Deathstroke during Final Crisis. At last, he was going to avenge his sister! Or that was the plan, at least. See, what Geo-Force hadn’t accounted for was that he was about to fight a post Identity Crisis Deathstroke, who essentially had the ability to pull any victory out of his ass. After getting his ass kicked up and down the street for a little while, Brion was taunted by Deathstroke, who revealed that Brion’s powers would eventually drive him insane just as Terra’s had. Hearing this, Brion decided that the best course of action was to slit his own throat in order to get Slade to drop his guard enough that Brion could stab him with his own sword. This wouldn’t kill Deathstroke, of course (he sits comfortably in a niche where he’s hugely popular and makes DC a good amount of money, yet isn’t a big enough deal to have his death be an event), but Brion felt that it was good enough for him, considering that Terra was kinda sorta alive again.
Afterwards, Brion was installed as the leader of the Outiders once again, despite the fact that he had decided that the last time he quit was for good. During this time, he was threatened by multiple assassination attempts, which were revealed to be the result of machinations by some dickbag named the Insider. After a knock down, drag out brawl, both Insider and Geo-Force are severely wounded, with Insider retreating and Geo-Force being submerged in the Earth like a giant Bacta Tank, where he was promptly forgotten about until the universe reset.
Step Four: Geo-Force Rocks!
Geo-Force suffered the same fate as many of DC’s lesser known characters after the reboot, essentially having been retconned out of existence until May of this year, when he briefly appeared as the ruler of Markovia during Deadshot and Katana’s team-up miniseries. Hopefully with Rebirth’s focus on bringing back everything the world has collectively ever loved about DC comics (seriously, it’s been that good) we might see a Geo-Force resurgence, but until then, we’ll just have to comfort ourselves with old stories and his very, very few appearances in outside media. For example, his brief appearance in Batman: The Brave and the Bold, otherwise known as the Batman cartoon that I try to push on all of you at least once a month.
He also showed up in the tie in comics to the Teen Titans cartoon, because god damn it even if he couldn’t make it into the show, he was going to be in that universe somehow. You can’t just have Terra without her brother popping up at least once.
I’d like to just take a moment to mention that it looks like Terra has no boobs and a grapefruit sized tumor on her torso. I know that’s not what’s happening here, but that’s what happens when you draw a character wearing black with no outlines of any kind. Oh, also I’m happy that they continued Geo-Force’s tradition of having terrible costumes, but they just slapped some cargo pants over the costume so that he matches Terra a little bit more.
Beyond those two things, as far as I know, his only other appearance outside of the main comics is a very, very, VERY minor role in DC Universe Online, which might as well be nothing. So, until we get some sort of Outsiders movie (which I’m just now realizing probably won’t even have Katana in it), we’re pretty much shit out of luck for seeing him in other media. This is a huge shame, because Geo-Force has not only one of the more unique backstories out of all of the DC heroes, as well as some of the coolest god damn powers out of any superhero. Seriously, just imagine seeing this dude manipulating the Earth and it’s gravity, rising above his enemies like some sort of ancient elemental god. It would be beautiful.
Of course, with Sci-Fi and comic movies having some sort of weird fascination with “glowing beam and floating rocks” being the villain’s endgame, he would probably get shafted and be used as a mcguffin for the bad guys.
I don’t really have all that much to say here this time around. I just think this character deserves another chance in the sun, I guess, and barring that, I at least want other people to know how cool he is. Well, that’s about it for this time. See you all next week!