March 24, 2023

Gabbing Geek

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Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Characters Case File #396: Mister Bones

A man with invisible skin and a cyanide touch goes from villain to hero to spymaster.

I saw that the live action Stargirl series returned to the CW for a new season recently, and the second season ended with, among other things, the sudden appearance of a character DC fans recognized as Mister Bones.  Now, I write these a couple weeks in advance, so it’s possible the character has reappeared since then by the time this goes live, but at this point in time, I have no idea.

Regardless, I might as well do a write-up for the guy.  It’s not every character that can claim to be a co-creation of both Roy Thomas and Todd McFarlane.

Mister Bones, originally appearing in Infinity Inc #16 in July of 1985,  was the product of an experiment by a crooked gynecologist named Dr. Love.  Because comic books.  Dr. Love used an experimental mutagen on six pregnant women and kidnapped the babies for himself.  Raising the six in seclusion, they grew to adulthood and learned the truth.  The group decided to let Bones kill Love, but Bones had second thoughts and Love would live.  Love then declared the six kids he raised would be the villain group Helix, a team that would clash with the Infinity Inc team, a group made up of the children and legacies of various Golden Age heroes.  Bones, in particular, was probably one of the more dangerous ones.  With a habit of speaking in rhyme, he possessed superstrength and endurance, to say nothing of his invisible skin.  But most dangerous was a cyanide touch capable of killing anyone he made contact with.

However, Bones would later see the light.  After one of his Helix teammates, in an act of suicide, bit Bones’s leg off and died of the cyanide touch, Bones received medical treatment from Dr. Beth Chapel, Infinity Inc’s Dr. Mid-Nite.  The two developed a friendship.  Helix itself was disbanded by a court, with most of its surviving members being deemed legal minors and therefore not responsible for what they did.  An exception was made for Bones as he was dubbed a bad influence, but Infinity Inc sort of adopted him.  While Bones never formally joined the team, he did go on missions with them and gradually became a hero himself.

You know, more recent stories would reveal Bones, despite his invisible skin, was actually African America.  And he was the one dubbed a bad influence…

Well, he is a chain smoker…

That said, Bones’s time with Infinity Inc ended tragically.  During a wedding of two of his teammates, Bones and Skyman (the adult codename the original Star-Spangled Kid took for himself) were tricked into a confrontation with the undead Solomon Grundy.  Grundy forced Bones to touch and kill Skyman, an incident that eventually led to Infinity Inc’s disbandment.

Oddly enough, Bones would then go into government service, joining the Department of Extranormal Operations, or the DEO.  He rose to the rank of director, becoming a supporting character in a number of DC books, with the one I remember best being the Kate Spenser Manhunter series.  Basically, he became a DC version of Nick Fury from the looks of things, a man behind the curtains sort of guy who has his fingers in a lot of pies.

And it looks like he’s going to be on Stargirl, voiced by the very vocally recognizable Keith David.

Man, I hope the CGI gets a little better than that, but it’s the CW, so I doubt it.

Anyway, that’s Mister Bones, the former villain, former hero, current government department head who you should never accept a handshake from.

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