- Captain Boomerang
caption=Captain Boomerang as he appears in "Identity Crisis".
real_name=George "Digger" Harkness
Secret Society of Super Villains Suicide Squad Injustice Gang
powers=Uses a wide variety of gimmicked boomerangs.|
Captain Boomerang (George "Digger" Harkness) is a
fictional characterin the DC Universe. The character's son, Owen Mercer, later assumed the title of Captain Boomerang.Citation | last = Greenberger | first = Robert | author-link = Robert Greenberger| contribution = Captain Boomerang | editor-last = Dougall | editor-first = Alastair | title = The DC Comics Encyclopedia | pages = 66 | publisher = Dorling Kindersley| place = New York | year = 2008 | ISBN = 0-7566-4119-5 | oclc = 213309017]
Secretly the illegitimate son of an American soldier and an
Australian woman, Harkness was raised in poverty, during which time he developed great skill in making boomerangs, and in using them as weapons. As a young adult, he was hired as a performer and boomerang promoter by a toy company which was, unbeknownst to him, owned by his biological father. Audiences ridiculed him, and a resentful Harkness turned to using his boomerangs for crime.
Although he lacked any actual superhuman abilities, he became a recurring enemy of the Flash, typically by devising altered boomerangs which could produce astonishing effects (some would explode, others had razor-sharp edges, etc.), and using them ruthlessly. He became a staple member of the Rogues Gallery, a group of villains dedicated to opposing Flash.
Throughout the first several years of the character's existence, Captain Boomerang spoke with no discernable accent. Beginning in the late 1980s, possibly as an influence of the then-recent film "
Crocodile Dundee", he developed a cliched Australian accent, which became even thicker and more s _ri. Slipknot] , into running away from the action just to see if the explosive bracelets the Squad members wore really did activate if the wearer attempted to escape. (Unfortunately for Slipknot, they did.)
While in the Squad, Harkness also briefly took up the mantle of
Mirror Masterto commit robberies. However, this career was cut short when he was caught and brought to Waller, who put an end to it. She rescinded the benefits Harkness had been given such as his apartment in New Orleans and his status as a voluntary member of the Squad.
Many times Digger would have to be tricked into battle, but when faced with enemies he proved more than competent in upholding his end of the fight. Harkness also would play a few undercover roles for the squad, convincingly managing to be other slimy, criminal types.
Later, Digger would try a simple series of pranks for amusement, hitting various members of the Squad with pies. For a time, suspicion had been diverted from him because had used his skills to pie himself, seemingly being hit by the 'assailant' from behind a wall.
Due to various events, mainly Waller breaking many rules by having a criminal gang ruthelessly gunned down, the Squad broke up for a year. Digger ended up being dropped onto a deserted island by his Squad allies. When Waller was approached again because she was needed, she reformed the team and had Digger picked up
It was during the series that Harkness revealed a deep patriotism for his home country of Australia, though his countrymen do not care at all for him. Harkness remained with the Squad until it was disbanded.
Digger later showed up in "Superboy" with another Squad. While on a mission to destroy an underwater criminal hideout, he was shot through the hands by Deadshot and apparently fell to his death.
He later appeared in the pages of "Flash" with cybernetic hands. Alongside four other Rogues, given a chance by fellow Rogue Abra Kadabra to become much more than they ever were. Unfortunately for Captain Boomerang,
Captain Cold, Mirror Master, Weather Wizard, and Heat Wave, Kababra's promise of glory was actually a ruse to free Neronand empower himself. Neron then resurrects the five Rogues, superpowering them and sending then on a bloody rampage that destroys much of Flash's hometown and kills thousands. Eventually, the Flash and Linda Parkable to free the Rogues; the dead are restored to life.
After being restored to life, Boomerang and the Rogues, along with the Trickster, sought out an artifact that would protect them from Neron should he ever take an interest in them again. The Trickster accompanied them to help an old ex-girlfriend recover her kidnapped son. In the end, the Trickster found the boy, who turned out to not only be the prophesied agent of a god, but also the Trickster's son. He was also able to convince Neron to leave the Rogues alone, with the Rogues either coming away darker from their experiences, or seeking enlightenment, like Heat Wave, who retired with the monks.
Captain Boomerang is also involved with the event. After having suffered a mishap with one of his exploding boomerangs, Digger is transferred by ambulance to Keystone City. En route, the ambulance is attacked by a Jokerized
Deadshot, who decides to lend his old pal a hand by injecting him with Joker's serum. The serum's healing factor revives Digger, who is cured of his massive full-body burns and ready to attack the Flash at Iron Heightsprison. However, once there, he is choked unconscious by a Jokerized Pied Piper.
Captain Boomerang was killed in the "Identity Crisis" miniseries by
Jack Drake, father of Tim Drake. Digger had been sent by the real killer to attack Jack Drake, only the killer double-crossed Digger and sent Drake a warning and a pistol to defend himself; the killer later defended the action by saying that Boomerang was hired because he was such an incompetent that Jack would only need to pull the trigger and he would be safe. Digger managed to kill Drake but not before he was shot himself.
Digger was later temporarily revived by Agent James Jesse, the former Trickster, during the "Rogue War" storyline, when Jesse used unspecified technology to temporarily revive Boomerang in an attempt to find out information about the Rogues' current hideout. However, Jesse was called away due to the latest attack by the Rogues before Harkness's revival, meaning that the only person present when Harkness was briefly reanimated was Ashley Zolomon, the estranged wife of Hunter Zolomon (the latest
Reverse-Flash), who had been brought in based on her expertise in dealing with Rogues. During his brief return to life, Harkness asked Ashley to tell his son that he loved him and warn him never to reveal his mother's real name out of fear that the Rogues would kill him
Powers and abilities
Captain Boomerang carries a number of boomerangs in his satchel. He is an expert at throwing the weapons and as well as ordinary Boomerangs he has a number with special properties.
During the beginning of "Identity Crisis", Harkness found himself an obsolete villain in the modern world of supervillains. Regularly going up to the supervillain satellite looking for jobs, asking favors from the Calculator, he was at the end of his rope looking for a job to put him on the map again.
During this time Harkness finally reached out to the son he abandoned, Owen Mercer. The two began to bond when Harkness was killed by
Jack Drake. The sudden loss of Harkness caused Mercer to take up his father's mantle as Captain Boomerang. Captain Coldtook Mercer in as one of the Flash's enemies, the Rogues Gallery because Cold believed his sister, Golden Glider, was Mercer's mother. It was revealed in the Flash's title that Mercer's mother is actually Meloni Thawnewhich makes Bart Allenhis half-brother. He has since then reformed and joined the Outsiders and has attempted to start a relationship with Supergirl, but left the Outsiders to help the Suicide Squad hunt his half-brother Bart's killers.
Harkness has made an appearance in the animated series "
Justice League Unlimited" as a member of Task Force Xled by Rick Flag. He also appeared later in the episode "Flash and Substance." In that episode, he appears in a streamlined, trench-coated version of his traditional costume. In both appearances, Boomerang's character is defined by his fiscal frugality; he almost gives Task Force X away by refusing to part with 75 cents ("75 cents is 75 cents. I'm supposed to throw away money?"), and he badgers his fellow Flash rogues for cost assistance with his giant boomerang. Captain Boomerang also made an appearance in the episode "Eclipsed", though that character is played by an actor in a commercial the Flash was starring in. He is voiced by Donal Gibson.
* [http://www.monitorduty.com/mdarchives/2005/12/alan_kistlers_p_3.shtml Alan Kistler's Profile On: THE FLASH] - A detailed analysis of the history of the Flash by comic book historian Alan Kistler. Covers information all the way from Jay Garrick to Barry Allen to today, as well as discussions on the various villains and Rogues who fought the Flash. Various art scans.
* [http://www.hyperborea.org/flash/boomerang.html Hyperborea entry for Captain Boomerang]
* [http://www.fourthhorsemanpress.com/Flash/ Crimson Lightning] - An online index to the comic book adventures of the Flash
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
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