Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Karate Spears

Karate Spears

Created by Chuck Spears

Real Name:  Karate Spears

Alias:  Interstellar Ninja

Current Occupation:  Mercenary

Parents:  Unnamed

Siblings:  Charles Spearing Senior, Brian Spearing

Spouse:  None

Children:  None

Group Affiliation:  Powerkid Haters, Bad Guys

Place of Birth:  Earth-K

Current Place of Residence:  Orange City

First Appearance:  Powerkid # 1, September 1982


In an alternate reality, life on Earth had evolved differently, in a warrior culture where only the mightiest warriors ruled.  In the late 20th century, Karate Spears was that warrior ruler.  However, Spears grew bored with no challenges to his rule, and sought to find one elsewhere.

Despite being a very uncivilized world, they were much more technologically advanced, and Karate Spears used a device that allowed him to view alternate Earths to find a challenge.  He came across the universe of Powerkid, and found Powerkid to be a worthy opponent.

To that end, he came to Orange City and found Powerkid, and began attacking him.  Powerkid and Karate Spears at first seemed evenly matched, but it turned out that Powerkid began weakening because Spears was using a power draining device called Apple Crisp on the hero.

Mustering the last of his energy, Powerkid fled.  Karate Spears had given Powerkid the clue on who to seek out for aid.  When Spears revealed he was from another Earth, this let Powerkid know that he multiverse was real, just like in his comics.  He had previously used the Forbidden Forest as a portal to travel through time and to other weird dimensions, so likely he could do so to travel to alternate Earths, and he did just that.

In the meantime, Spears gloated over his victory, and threatened to keep destroying the city until Powerkid returned to face his demise.  But Spears didn't have to wait too long when both a red and a blue streak came towards him, and Spears found himself toppled over by both Powerkid and Superman!!!  (Even though there was two Supermen in the Wronskiverse at this time, they operated in secret and Powerkid was not aware of their existence, thus he traveled to another reality to get their Superman.)

The two defeated the villain, who teleported back to his own world.

Humiliated, Spears had to redeem himself (especially since on his world, weakness was surely a sign that he was unfit to rule and easy to kill.)  Over the next few years, Spears constantly tried to kill Powerkid and failed each time.  Eventually, he became a constant foe of Zap and the Powerkid Police as well.  Karate Spears eventually found it in his best interest to form a lasting alliance with Doctor Deadly, the evil ageless ruler of Death Planet.  He also joined a team of Powerkid's greatest foes called the Powerkid Haters.

During the Crisis on Infinite Earths, everything changed.  The wave of antimattter and the environmental damage were combining to tear Karate Spears' Earth apart, and only with the aid of Powerkid was it saved, when Powerkid actually moved the planet out of that doomed reality and into an orbit between Death Planet and Booer.  Overcome by the generosity of a hero who he's tried to kill dozens of times, Spears redefined in his mind what makes a warrior, and vowed that his world, renamed Kearth, would never do harm to Powerkid or Earth ever again.

That would be Spears' undoing.  One of Spears' top aids, General Leers, was able to convince the public that their leader's newfound outlook was weakness, and toppled the government and assumed control.  Leers did not slay Spears, however, as Spears still had a large following, and instead locked him away in a dungeon.

Eventually Leers himself was killed and replaced by Spearon, and a decade passed with Spears locked away, until he eventually escaped and fled to Earth, where he began operating as a super-hero called the Interstellar Ninja.  A few years later, a mutant named Adam took over the Earth, and aliens were all deported, including Spears.  Spears recently returned to Earth, and joined a team of mercenaries that consisted of reformed super villains called the Bad Guys.  He currently works this this team going around the world helping people in need.


Karate Spears has the distinction of being the first Powerkid foe, and replaced the Lightning Kid as Powerkid's primary foe.  The character was created by my then neighbor Chuck Spears.  He was creatively involved in almost all Karate Spears stories from 1982 - 1985.

Ironically, as my friendship with Chuck was ending, I did the reverse for the characters.  Karate Spears' final appearance was in 1985's The Crisis Within, until I brought him back in 1994 in the Powerman series.  Karate Spears appeared a few times as the Interstellar Ninja between 1994 - 1995, then again stopped appearing until 2008 when he was brought back in Crisis, and is now a team member of the Bad Guys, which is published monthly.

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