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February 21, 2016

Character Spotlight: Captain Boomerang

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Boomerangs are a comic book staple. Whether they’re shaped like bats or attacked to arrows, they make appearances in some form or another. While the heroes may use boomerangs that they make fit their gimmicks, villains can build whole careers around the weapon. Captain Boomerang is one such villain. Who is this guy and how did he start slinging boomerangs? Is he an actual captain? Let’s find out!

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George “Digger” Harkness is the illegitimate son of Australian, Betty Harkness, and American toymaker, W.W. Wiggins. Raised with a stepfather who hated him and in poverty, Digger would learn that he had a knack for using boomerangs at a young age. As he grew up he’d become the mascot for an American toy boomerang product, using his skills to be Captain Boomerang. Moving to Central City, Digger would find that toy advertising money wasn’t enough for him and he’d already had a history with crime so falling into using this costume and gimmick to help him get cash was easy.

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Digger’s boomerang crime spree would draw the attention of Central City’s resident hero, The Flash. This would not be the first time Digger would fight the Flash, or lose to him. He’d eventually gain a reputation and join the Rogues, a team of Flash villains who would work with each other to help take down their mutual enemy.

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During one of his stints in prison, Digger would be confronted by Amanda Waller to join her Suicide Squad team in exchange for no longer being imprisoned. Turning out to be an insufferable, bigoted coward to work with, Digger showed that when push came to shove, his spot on the team was well earned. Though he was so selfish he was responsible for team member Slipknot losing a hand when trying to test out their explosive collars by tricking Slipknot. He’d also purposely fail to stop teammate Mindboggler from being gunned down because she mentally stunned him when he was being cruel to others on the team.

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So frustrating was Digger, that at one point, Waller ditched him on a desert island for a year while the team was disbanded. He’d attempt to build a giant boomerang, a favorite tactic of his, to fling his way back to the mainland by the time Waller would have a ride pick him up. Deadshot was a frequent partner of Digger’s but neither enjoyed their time together.

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While with the Rogues, Digger would be tricked along with several other members to sell their soul to Nekron the demon for power. He’d be able to break free from it thanksĀ Linda Park and her husband, The Flash. After things went back to normal, he’d help fellow Rogue, The Trickster II, find his son. During a heist, Digger would lose his hands from an explosive boomerang going off too son and get cybernetic replacements. He would gain his hands back when a variant of the Joker Gas infected him and regenerated his hands at the cost of becoming a knockoff Joker clone for a while.

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During the Identity Crisis, Digger would be hired to kill Jack Drake, Tim Drake‘s father. While he would get the kill, Drake would also mortally wound Digger in the process. His body would be recovered by the original Trickster to be temporarily revived. Digger would learn his own son, who he’d kept a secret, had taken on the Captain Boomerang mantle. He would warn him to not reveal who his mother was to keep both of them safe, then he’d return to being dead.

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When Blackest Night arrives, Digger is one of dead brought back to taunt and torture the living. He would deceive his son into bringing him people to kill under the false assumption that this would bring him back to life. This would get his son renounced from the Rouges and Digger would tear his own son’s heart out.

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Brightest Day would bring Digger back to life and he’d find he had energy boomerangs he could summon. The world is a weirder place, such an example is that Star City forest was encased in a dome of energy and Digger was one of the few who could enter it. He’d had a strange vision and while inside was compelled to strike the hero Dove which would cause the death of Deadman. This seemed to be a cosmic balancing of the scales that used Digger to help.

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In the New 52, Digger is brought into an already established Suicide Squad as a field commander. He was actually Waller’s undercover agent to help her try and suss out a traitor. While he would save many teammates he’d be knocked out by the traitor.

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There you have it! Captain Boomerang is a lot like his namesake, just when you think he’s gone, he comes back! He’s been on TV and will be appearing on film with the Suicide Squad. Will we see more of Captain Boomerang in the comics? That remains to be seen. Either way, he’ll keep popping up here and there in the comics. See you next time!

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Suggested Reading
Flash #117
Suicide Squad
Blackest Night: The Flash

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Dr. Bustos
drbustos@comicattack.net

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