From 2005-2006, writer Grant Morrison had an interesting narrative experiment going on at DC Comics. He took the old concept of the “Seven Soldiers of Victory” story from Silver Age JLA/JSA team-ups, and did a new version. Original foe of the team the Nebula Man was back, though not as the main villain. Other hallmarks of the original group were brought up, but the main idea was Morrison would take seven DC heroes of varying levels of obscurity and put them on a team that needed to save the world. To make things more interesting, the seven heroes would never meet. Yes, aside from one or two brief run-ins between a couple members of the group in the last chapter of the story, the Seven Soldiers Morrison was using would be off doing their own things, each of which would add up to ultimate victory against the evil Sheeda and their queen Gloriana.
One of the Seven was a new hero named Bulleteer. She would have preferred not to get involved.
Alix Harrower was a young wife who had absolutely no aspirations to gain powers and fight the forces of evil. She was happy at her job as a teacher for autistic children. Her husband, Lance, he wants to be a superhero. Inspired, for some reason, by the Golden Age hero Bulletman and his sidekick Bulletgirl, Lance develops a substance he called smartskin. After successfully applying it to a mouse (“Metal Mickey”), Lance decides to apply it to himself. It doesn’t quite work. He suffocates, but not before touching his wife. Alix finds the metallic whatever-it-is applying itself to her, but manages not to die because small patch of skin under her wedding ring was still open for paramedics to save her life.
See, if Lance just kept his ring on…
Actually, it turned out Lance’s interests in superheroes wasn’t as pure as it turned out to be. He actually had a superhero sexual fetish and was having an online fling with someone called Sally Sonic.
As it is, a newly shiny woman with superhuman strength and near invulnerability tends to freak people out. Alix lost the job she loved and was forced to do the one thing she was even marginally qualified for, namely being some sort of superhero for hire.
She wasn’t fond of that. One of her first jobs was to team up with one of the original Seven Soldiers, the Vigilante, for some sort of team mission into the desert. She was a no-show, and the team, with only six members (which Vigilante considered bad luck), were all killed by the invading Sheeda save I, Spyder, who had betrayed the team (and later revealed he hadn’t but it was all part of a long con on his part). That didn’t stop the ghost of Vigilante from popping up to remind her she had a destiny as part of a team. She more or less rejected that, but still had to pay the bills.
But here’s the thing: you can’t just avoid the whole superheroes thing. How many times have characters like Spider-Man or, well, mostly Spider-Man, tried to quit only to have general weirdness or an overdeveloped sense of responsibility or both have said hero swinging in to save the day again?
The same proved true for Alix. She’d taken in a border to pay the bills. Said border turned out to be Sally Sonic. And Sally was nuts. It seems Sally’s powers were supernatural in nature, and she didn’t age. By blowing a special whistle, Sally turned into Sally Sonic, and had rather childlike adventures, only she didn’t age, and as her various guardians died, she was taken away and put into foster homes because no one believed she was her actual age.
Um, about that…
Well, it turns out that Sally eventually fell into superhero porn, and since she’ll never be physically mature, she took to breaking up happily married couples. Alix, by virtue of the fact that she was a well-adjusted adult, was everything Sally wanted for herself. And as Sally in her superhero form was also superstrong and nearly impossible to hurt, she was more than capable of killing the new Bulleteer, who never wanted to be a superhero in the first place. Sheesh.
That fight got messy.
All this took place in Bulleteer’s introductory mini-series. Morrison’s plan was to have each of the seven appear in a mini-series that would introduce the character, explain the basic concepts, and allow other writers and artists to run with the characters later. Each character could have stand-alone adventures, but reading the issues of the seven different mini-series in the order they came out rewarded the reader with a larger, more epic story. Two bookends introduced and concluded the main story.
Morrison had a similar concept with this past year’s The Multiversity for what it’s worth.
So, what was Bulleteer’s big role in the final battle she wanted no part in? If the Shining Knight was facing off with Gloriana, and Mr. Miracle was conquering death, and Zatanna was using her magic to combine the might of the Seven, and Frankenstein was capturing the Sheeda’s time-traveling fortress, and Klarion was taking Gloriana’s place as leader of the Sheeda, and the Guardian was protecting the streets with an army of assistants, Bulleteer must have also had an important role.
She did. While driving an unconscious Sally to the hospital, unconscious Sally Sonic didn’t stay unconscious and woke up. In the struggle for the car, Bulleteer ran the wounded Gloriana over. The resulting explosion killed both Gloriana and Sally Sonic, but Alix managed to get away.
Since then, she’s been an auxiliary member of the Justice League, but really, she never wanted any of that. Hopefully, she really didn’t want that ridiculous hat.