May 26, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Heroes Case File #265: Synapse

Marvel kept trying to make the Inhumans happen and just dropped them into random books. That includes Synapse.

As Jimmy Impossible and I like to remind people, particularly Marvel Comics, the Inhumans will never be a Thing.  But there was a period until fairly recently where Marvel tried to make “fetch” happen, and that one just ain’t gonna fly.

That’s probably why a brand new Inhuman popped up on the Avengers Unity Squad in the form of the seemingly now-forgotten Inhuman named Synapse.

Why would the Inhumans ever be a thing?  They’re an odd bunch of characters that mostly work as allies and associates of the Fantastic Four.  Few of them have really distinctive personalities of their own to hold down a solo series.  Black Bolt, their king, is sometimes portrayed, even sometimes effectively, as a master strategist.  The Marvel Knights imprint Inhumans mini-series from the 90s by Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee actually did that very well.  Aside from that, well, Crystal gets around a lot, but what I know best about her is she’s been romantically linked to the Human Torch, Quicksilver, the Black Knight, and finally married Ronan the Accuser.  Jenny will probably stick up for Medusa, but the rest of them are more just a bunch of weird-looking guys.

But it isn’t too surprising why Marvel did what it did.  The MCU was taking off, but Marvel didn’t (and still doesn’t) own the film rights to many of their own characters.  Fox Studios had the rights to the mutants and Fantastic Four, so while the FF could be shunted aside, no way was the publishing arm of Marvel going to make their most popular characters disappear until they got the rights back.

As such, it does seem as if Marvel decided that instead of having random characters gain superpowers through mutation, they gained them through inhaling Terrigen Mists that were floating around the planet since Black Bolt released the stuff into Earth’s atmosphere.  Oh, and the stuff suddenly had the power to kill mutants!  That takes care of that!

And really, Marvel did make a couple fun and memorable characters that way in the form of both the Kamala Kahn Ms. Marvel and Lunella “Moon Girl” Lafayette.  But these two would have been fine even if they weren’t Inhumans.

No, being an Inhuman was part of Synapse’s whole thing.

See, I did eventually get to her.

Here she is.

Synapse was part of the Avengers Unity Squad.  Also known as the Uncanny Avengers, this was originally a team made up of notable Avengers and X-Men in order to promote human and mutant unity.  After the most recent Secret Wars, with that whole “Terrigen Mists are everywhere, mutants are dying, and Marvel really wants to make Fetch Inhumans happen” thing, then there had to be an Inhuman on the team to promote unity with those oddballs too.  Enter Emily “Synapse” Guerrero.

What was her deal?  Well, she had some telepathic powers and worried because X-Men rep Rogue didn’t like her.  She managed to defeat the Super-Adaptoid at one point by commanding a flock of pigeons to attack it.

No, really.

And writer Gerry Dugan on Uncanny Avengers was really trying to make something of her.  Then again, that was a really odd grab-bag of characters.  Besides Rogue, there was elderly Steve Rogers, Deadpool, the Human Torch, and for about a minute, Spider-Man.  The first arc even had Emily’s also-just-changed-into-an-Inhuman grandpa as the villain.

What happened to Synapse?  You know, I have no idea.  Disney bought Fox, Jonathan Hickman made the X-Men HUGE again, and the Inhumans, well, it looks like they went away again.  I think they did a mini-series called Death of the Inhumans, but I’d have to care about the Inhumans enough to look that up.

So, she might be dead.  Or she might not.  Would anyone care if she was?