Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Vile Menagerie: THE HYPERCLAN

From Top, left to right: A-Mortal, Tronix, Armek, Zenturion, Fluxus, Primaid, Protex, and Züm

A flying saucer hovered above the White House and dropped eight silvery spheres on the lawn. Eight costumed super-beings emerged seamlessly from the spheres, claiming to be alien super-heroes. Their spokesman was Protex, whose own home planet had been destroyed by its inhabitants, leaving the superhuman survivors to wander the universe in search of new worlds. The Hyperclan members had been traveling for what scientists estimated "may have been anything up to several million years of our time." Protex insisted, "Our homeworld was destroyed by negligence and greed and profiteering. Our forests were pulped, our lakes and oceans choked and dried, our Plague Weapons ran riot."

All of this was true, after a fashion. In the Bronze Age of comics, Mars was destroyed by the negligence of her people in a land deal brokered with aliens by Commander Blanx. If you subscribe to the Post-Crisis narrative, everyone and everything that wasn't burnt out by that Blue Flame of Mars fell victim to a mysterious plague called "H'ronmeer's Curse." One imagines the Hyperclan would have visited Mars first thing after their release from the "Still Zone," (generally theorized to be the Phantom Zone) after millenia of captivity for their crimes against Mars and Earth. All that time, and the White Martians went straight back to their very old ways, plotting to conquer our planet!

To further impress Earthlings, the Hyperclan partook of some seemingly beneficial but actually superficial improvements, and began executing super-human criminals they'd managed to capture. This brought them into conflict with the JLA, but the Martians had already begun broadcasting signals to control human minds, turning the populace against her true defenders. The plan was wildly successful at first, until the JLA recovered and routed the Hyperclan.

In single combat with Superman, Protex explained his tribe's true, infamous history. "...Long before there was human life, we journeyed to this planet. Earth creatures were primitive and easy to manipulate but... ah... Unfortunately, our interventions provoked a biological catastrophe: Earth was to have been the cradle of a superhuman race. But we snapped one too many DNA chains and the creatures that should have been gods ended up just... humans. The Green Martians punished us by trapping us in the Still Zone. Can you imagine what that was like? There are... things in there, imprisoned by titanic races long gone. But we learned and used the Still Zone to travel and gain knowledge, until our return here. You see, this world is ours by right. We created its inhabitants..."

Since their being captured and telepathically forced to live as humans, the Hyperclan as a team have made no further appearances. Protex and Primaid continued to use those assumed names during a second invasion attempt, but retained their natural White Martian forms. Their only other named compatriot in that failed endeavor was Z'ush. It is unknown whether any members of the Hyperclan survived the massacre of White Martians conducted by Fernus the Burning.

Leadership: Protex
Membership: Primaid, A-Mortal, Fluxus, Tronix, Züm, Armek and Zenturion
First Appearance: JLA #1 (January, 1997)

Created by: Grant Morrison & Howard Porter

See Also:

JLA #1 (1/97)
JLA #2 (2/97)
JLA #3 (3/97)
JLA #4 (4/97)

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