Hello. This is my blog where I hope to go over minority heroes . Yes, as you can see, I’ve already made numerous posts prior to this one and if this is the first entry, why did I take so long? Well, I wanted to present a character first, but she was in the position of being killed at the time and I did not want to start off this blog with a dead character or soon to be dead character. Nor did I want to start this blog off with a character of my gender or race. So now that I know that the character will survive, without further adieu, here is the teenager with the radioactive powers and personality, Hazmat.
Hazmat is an upper middle-class Asian girl who lived in San Francisco. Before she gained super powers, she was just a normal teenager with good grades and good parents with a good income. Like a lot of super hero origin stories, she gained her powers at the most inconvenient time in her life.
You remember your first time? That time when you see that cute guy…and you just be staring, When your girlfriends are talking about what Billy did to Tay Tay, you staring. When you are denying to your girlfriends that you like him, you staring. When you walking to class, you staring…then you hit a pole.Then he come up and talk to your nonchalant ass and you don’t be caring about the conversation, you just want him to be the first to wear that pussy out like Lil’ Wayne mix-tape. So you start talking and then you start dating and then you start kissing and then one day you both decide to skip school and just hang out at your place under the pretense that you two are just studying. You knew what was going to happen so you got scented candles, downloaded every love-making song from Barry White to Justin Timberlake to Boyz II Men and Brian McKnight, condoms(always. Don’t rely on the other person to bring them), and make-up on. He finally arrives and you play cute trying to fake-study with your Calculus textbook and then he lifts he kisses you on the lips. You not only welcome it, but you return the favor. He takes off his shirt, you lower his chin to deepen the kiss, you both tumble in the awkward position where he is on top, but neither of you dare to release the kiss. You tangle your legs between his. Everything is perfect. Guy of your dreams. Your first time. And then…
Jennifer Takeda’s power is that she is a walking radioactive waste and toxic material. Her very breath is poisonous. Her skin is toxic to touch.What sucks about her power is that she cannot turn them on or off. So she always has to be isolated from other people for fear that she can poison them.Luckily for her, San Francisco is a safe haven for mutants…except she was not a mutant. Apparently the place where her parents work, Roxxon, exposed her to something when she was a child. Her boyfriend did not even see her when he healed. Hell, his parents threatened to sue her. Her own parents threatened to sue Roxxon. Everybody wanted to sue someone else for her predicament, but no one wanted to be near her anymore.
She went from high school sweetheart to pariah simply because of her powers. Anybody would be desperate to get out of this situation so of course devil, if there is one, came to make a deal that she could not refuse. Norman Osborn promised to cure her if she went with her. Of course, as all things go when you add Norman Osborn with teenagers, it does not go well. Instead of curing her, he amped her power up to the point that she went from being a walking radioactive toxic dump to a walking nuclear bomb.So he was eventually recruited by Avengers to join in their Academy program after they found out about Normie’s experiments. Jenny was forced to live the rest of her life inside a hazardous material containment suit and always had to wear it as long as she was in the physical proximity of anyone who was flesh and bone. Her life sucks and she knows it.
But she has some potential, right? I mean the Avengers would have not selected her to be a hero if she did not have the right stuff. Except Avengers Academy is not a superhero school. It is a super “scared straight” program for the kids that are most likely to be villains due to personality issues, powers and abilities, or lack of control of powers and abilities. These are kids that scare the Avengers witless because they have the capacity to be the next super-villain. The kids find out the truth and hate the fact that they’ve been lied to.
People have accused Hazmat of being a jerk and call her a horrible character because of that. I am sick of this need for like-able characters to be these saints of political correctness. Hazmat was (emphasis on past tense)bitter because she got the short end of the stick. Her being little ms. sunshine is incredibly tacky and cliche. Her also being too sad and mopey about life would have been annoying. She deals her frustration out by means of insidious snark and backhanded abrasiveness. It is her way of simultaneously relieving stress of her situation and refusing to allow anyone to pity her. Yes, she is a jerk, but she is a well-written jerk.
Also, no one is born a jerk. Their environment and situation forces them to have a negative attitude of life and other people. She is physically barred from having any physical intimacy with other people. She can’t feel the warmth of another individual against them anymore. She cannot feel the breeze of the wind against her skin because she is in her suit. These are the little things that we take for granted and when it is taken from us, we notice that. This is why she takes Hazmat just seems bitter all the time. However, there is one bright spot in Hazmat’s character is that she is only like this because of her power. Take away the powers, she is the sweetest girl in the world. One time, Hank Pym, one of her teachers, decided to bring in Leech, a mutant that works for Reed Richards, to help Jenny. Leech has the power to dampen super powers all around him. He also does not talk, looks like an alien(in the cute way), and has to wear a hoodie in public. Of course, Jennifer was ecstatic.The catch-22 is that this is only temporary and Leech can only do this for a day.
Another aspect of Jennifer that does not get a lot of attention is her attachment to fellow teammate, Ken Mack(I might do a intro post of him one day). Ken,otherwise known as Mettle, is probably one of the few people that Hazmat can have physical contact without killing them or it being hazardous to their health. Of course, their relationship has some rough patches in the beginning with Hazmat’s angst and Ken’s over all peace loving hippie ways. But once they get over the hill, they truly start to care for one another in a romantic way.
So they give it a shot. What makes this dynamic work is that they know how each other feel. Ken, like Hazmat, longs to return to the normal life where he too can feel the breeze of the ways. He envies the people doing normal things just like Jenny. And after a whole fiasco with Korvac and having his wife accelerate time for the Academy kids to be their future selves only to find out that neither Hazmat and Mettle will be cured just broke them emotionally.
Now you are wondering if these two ever get the chance of popping the cherry.
Oh snap. They about to do the horizontal monster mash. They about to make it do what it do, baby. Get the saxophone because they about to get bus–sayyyyyyyyyyyy.
Well, it is not that easy of course because Hazmat is still traumatized after her last sexual encounter went so horribly. Of course, Ken feels like that she would not because of his appearance and it just looks bad. This is why Gage is so undervalued as a writer. He writes people as characters and I’m glad that he is helping with Superior Spider-man(let’s face it, that book needs as much help as humanly possible). Most writers would have just got them to have sex in spite of knowing the character history about the subject. Gage was aware enough to make it a character plot within Hazmat and showing that she has PTSD about that sex in general. While he does that, he sends a message to boys and girls that you don’t have to be pressured to have sex with someone if you aren’t ready. Yes, Avengers Academy was that good.
Current Events with Character
For the past two years, Hazmat has been in a Hunger games/Battle Royale rip-offhomage called Avengers Arena in which the villain, Arcade, traps a bunch of superhero teenagers on some remote island. In typical Arcade fashion, he forces the teenagers them to play a game where their survival as at stake. In untypical Arcade fashion, the game is a deathmatch and the last one standing gets to be free. Hearing this, Hazmat thinks that this was a joke because Arcade is a joke and attacks the villain. For some reason, Arcade is Godmode on the island and he easily dispatches Jennifer while the other teenagers watched. Hazmat is about to be killed until Ken, who was transported to the island while he was just finished having coitus with Hazmat, decides to sacrifice himself. Arcade obliges and with a snap of his fingers(or was it a point?), Mettle explodes with blood and guts over his sullen girlfriend despite the character not having any bodily fluids.
Hazmat becomes paranoid and sad because of her boyfriend exploded all over her(not in that way you fucking pervs). Hatermat begins to just not trust anyone who is not part of Avengers Academy and even attacks the Pride kids(the Runaways), Nico Minoru and Chase Stein, who she formed a bond with within Avengers Academy. Hazmat, in dire straights, becomes more and more depressed as the series goes on until a fight with trigger scented berserk X-23(how Arcade even knew or he even got trigger scent is unknown) put a whole in her suit. Hazmat loses control and is about to explode until Reptil carries Hazmat into the sea…where she somehow gains more control of her power and no longer needs to wear the suit. Eventually SHIELD finds the kids and they all decide to keep what happened on the island secret. However, Arcade escaped and posted the events of the Arena battle on the internet.
Hazmat is now scheduled to appear in Avengers Undercover which serves as a direct sequel to Arena.
The Uber-rating is going to be a score on how I rate the characters. It is from 1-10. I rate them on how I like them so this is an entirely subjective rating.
Jennifer Takeda a.k.a Hazmat gets an 8. She would have gotten a 10, but fucking Avengers Arena, man. Due to the sloppy writing of Avengers Arena, Hazmat gets control of her power…somehow by the end of the series. This doesn’t make sense at all because we’ve spent 39 issues with the character prior to the Arena where she could never get a handle on her powers in spite of being in the constant communication and care of some of the greatest minds in the 616 Universe.Also, how Dennis Hopeless handled her character was similar to how a child handles Christmas wrapping around their present. He had no business handling this character, as well as other characters, because he seemed to have no idea of their history or personality. Especially the three Academy kids who have dealt with far greater threats than fucking Arcade. Hell, Reptil outsmarted him without the help of the Avengers so how in the fuck is Arcade a threat of all the sudden.
Regardless, Hazmat is a great character and I am glad that she survived that debacle of a story arc…only to be thrust in another debacle of a story arc in Avengers Undercover. Anyways, thanks for reading and I hope you give me suggestions on another character.
Recommended Readings with this Character
Avengers Academy #1-39
Avengers Arena….yeah, no. If you could skip this, you should.
Summary: You and Bucky go undercover in Lenox Hill Warnings: language, it’s hella long (4.3k)
Confusion edged into your tired thoughts as a cold bed pulled you from your dreams. “Nicky?” you murmured, sleepily throwing your arm across the bed, your confusion growing when you didn’t connect with Bucky’s warm chest. “Nic?” you called again, your voice louder than before.
Fumbling with the blankets that had wrapped around your legs throughout the night, you didn’t notice Bucky’s figure appear in the doorway. “No, no, pisoi,” he said, smiling as he meandered across the room and took your hands in his, setting them by your sides. “Stay in bed.”
“Why?” you asked, winding your fingers through his and pulling him down onto the bed next to you. “It’s cold without you. I don’t like it.” You wrapped your arms around his waist and nuzzled into his shoulder.
“Just a moment longer,” he promised. “I will be right back, soare.” Bucky pressed a kiss to your forehead and stood up, leaving you alone in the room again. You gathered the blanket around your shoulders and burrowed into the bed, reaching for the remote on the nightstand, indulging Bucky and staying where you were.
“I never thought it was such a bad little tree. It’s not bad at all, really. Maybe it just needs a little love.”
It’s a shame that Nico Minoru doesn’t use her codename all that often whenever she appears in comics. It’s quite appropriate; Sister Grimm. Writer Brian K. Vaughn created Nico Minoru during his run on the book Runaways, which ended up being quite the hit for Marvel Comics. Nico, and most of her fellow Runaways, were the children of a Supervillian crime ring known as The Pride. Her parents were dark wizards who, like the other members of The Pride, kept secret their child’s legacy. After discovering her parents true alliances, she and the Runaways choose to become vigilantes to redeem their family names. Nico in particularly learns about her magical heritage, and comes into her ability as a leader. The Japanese-American Nico has since become a vigilante, fighting crime on her own, sparsely with the Avengers, but mostly with the Runways. She’ll also be appearing in the upcoming A-Force, apart of the larger Secret Wars event from Marvel Comics.