|There is zero subtlety in that costume|
They might as well call him "Black Man"
First Appearance: Avengers #8 (1998)
History: An Olympic athlete in track Delroy Garret was shunned out of the sport when it came to light that he had been taking steroids. At his lowest point Garret joined the Triune Understanding, a religious organization that helped him get through that dark time in his life. In fact the group’s leader Jonathan Tremont was able to grant Garret superpowers. Garret now had three times the physical attributes of a person at their physical peek, as well as enhanced senses. Believing at the time that Tremont had simply unlocked his inner potential Garret becomes the superhero known as Triathlon and becomes the Triune Understanding’s celebrity spokesman. After several encounters with the Avengers Garret was asked to join their team mainly as a way to counteract recent accusations the team being racist and religiously intolerant (which were actually set up by the Triune Understanding in smear campaign). Hostile at first Triathlon went on to become a valued member of the Avengers.
Beta Says: I remember very clearly when Triathlon joined the Avengers. I, being about thirteen or fourteen at the time, recall there being something of a big deal surrounding the character’s creation, which was during Kurt Busiek and George Pérez’s notable run on the Avengers. Now the thing I remember the most about it was how much everyone seemed to think Triathlon sucked. I mean I recall Wizard Magazine and others really not liking the guy at all. He showed up on several “Worst Avenger List” alongside the likes of D-Man and Starfox (and Starfox may or may not be a rapist, so that’s pretty damming company). At the time I didn’t really know why people hated him so much since I wasn’t reading the book back then but if I were to guess I’d suggest it may be that Marvel thought that introducing an “awesome” new character that only joins their premier hero team because he repeatedly told fans their favorite characters were racist assholes would somehow endear him to the readership. Plus the whole "Affirmative Action" thing is a very big hot topic with a lot of people and perhaps it was not handled particularly gracefully in the comic. Also I don’t think he’s very interesting. That might be the main one.
Also is it just me or is the Triune Understanding supposed to be Marvel Comic’s equivalent of Scientology?
Three times the black superhero after the jump.
|Integration never looked so |
Triathlon wasn’t around for super long and sort of fell into the background of the Marvel Universe (since, by that time Luke Cage had become Marvel’s favorite black superhero for some reason). He showed up during Civil War on Captain America’s side on the conflict and, like the vast majority of characters during the miniseries, did absolutely nothing of worth. Afterwards he joined Iron Man’s superhero Initiative that trained heroes and assigned them to various teams across America. Triathlon acted as a teacher while also taking leadership training and, upon graduation, took the mantle and costume of the 3D-Man, which made sense considering he already had the guy’s powers.
No one gave a single shit.
|Triathlon at his most relevant|
I’m a bit ambivalent about Triathlon and pretty much have been since his first appearance and nothing has really changed my mind on the subject ever since. Now Marvel had a fantastic chance to really up his stake in their books by having him play a major role in Secret Invasion but, as I said, he didn’t even really show up outside some tie-ins and not the main story itself. Now I’m not sure they have any real interest in him these days. And yeah, this has been a common problem with characters I’ve profiled in the past but in this case I don’t know if there’s a lot of potential here. I mean let’s face it; Triathlon is less interesting than even Misty Knight and she is basically just Pam Grier (circa the 1970s) with a robotic arm. Still there’s no such thing as a fictional character that can’t be improved with the right writer so perhaps one day we’ll talking about him as an A-list character. Probably not unless he stops calling himself the 3D-Man though.
|"Awesome! Here comes the 3D-Man!"|
-Said No One Ever
The next four three blogs I’ll be sidetracked with other topics so it may be little bit before we come back to Black Superhero Month. Hopefully it won’t be too long and it will still be February when we do. I hate for this guy to be the final word on the subject. When we do return we’ll discuss a 90s superhero…FROM THE FUUUUUUUUTURE!!!