23 years ago - Owen Mercer is born to Lisa Snart, fathered by Digger Harkness. he is taken by child services & placed in foster care.
10 years ago - 13-year-old Owen begins competing in extreme sports.
7 years ago - 16-year-old Owen becomes a professional x-games athlete.
3 years ago - 20-year-old Owen is found by his father Digger Harkness. They begin spending time together, and Owen quickly learns how to master his father's boomerang technique.
2 years ago - 21-year-old Owen discovers his latent speedburst powers shortly before his father Digger Harkness dies. He takes up his father's role as Captain Boomerang & joins the Rogues.
1 years ago - 22-year-old Owen is unable to work with the Rogues. he winds up arrested and recruited by the Suicide Squad.
In the early 2000's, the 90's trend of recasting classic characters with new, younger identites was all but over, and Dc was already on the path to start bringing back all those old heroes. Because of this, it actually feels like Owen Mercer, the new, younger, dynamic redesign of the classic Flash & Suicide Squad character Captain Boomerang, never really got his fare shake. Everything about him suggests that he really would have stood out if he had been invented a decade earlier, but it was just a little too late. We really like the idea of him, and want to find a way to make him work.
Owen Mercer's Comic History
Owen Mercer first appeared in the pages of 2004's Identity Crisis, a story that had a huge effect on the DC's narrative landscape, but that is largely remembered now for it's pretty rampant character assasination and misogyny. Still, there are some major story elements that happened in those pages, and one of them was the introduction of Owen, a character with some great design that seemed primed for great things.
Unfortunately, the character was never really given a opportunity to stand out. He served on a largely forgetable lineup of the Suicide Squad, on a reimagined Outsiders team that was reeling in the fallout of a company crossover that basically reset the book, and as a supporting character for Supergirl that essentially painted him as a creepy older dude oggling a teenager. Eventually he was just another member of the Rogues and was killed to bring the original and, at this point, more interesting original version of the character back. It was the right call, but honestly, we feel like Owen is a pretty big missed opportunity.
Our Captain Boomerang Story
If nothing else, Owen's look really works. Even the idea of reimagining the whole "dude with boomerangs' concept and making him capable of small burts of superspeed actually gives us a character concept that really isn't being done anywhere else. It's visually engaging and tacticle, and it just seems so weird that no one was able to figure out a thing to do with it.
So what DO we do with it? First, we wanted to expand his backstory a little bit, because Owen does admittedly arrive on scene all of a sudden without much explanation. Where has he been for twenty years before Digger Harkness reconnects with him, and perhaps more interestingly, why is he able to adapt to a life as a sometimes-hero-sometimes-villain so easily? Obviously there's some genetics involved what with his latent speedburst powers, but how would that manifest in his life? Given that he already has a certain early 2000's vibe to his personality and design, we actually decided that it might make sense if he was actually making a living as an extreme athlete. Even if he wasn't accessing his powers yet, it feels accurate to make him risk his life professionally.
Perhaps more pressing, however, is just what happens to him once his father dies, and he discovers both his powers and his legacy. He has some strange shoes to fill, as Digger Harkness was never the most well-liked dude (even though we, as readers, really enjoy him). At first, it makes sense that he would join what is basically his father's surrogate family, the Rogues, but that would obviously be frought with a lot of tension. Owen isn't an inherently villainous character, and while the Rogues have ther moments of anti-heroic, they are bad guys at the core, and it makes a lot of sense that Owen would very quickly find himself on the outs of that group.
Of course, Digger's next legacy is with the Suicide Squad, and this is absolutely where we want to use Owen next. Our current line-up in the Suicide Squad is the perfect place for Owen to start walking the line that will lead him toward being an anti-hero. Other current members like Ravager and Bane will play off him in very interesting ways, and we will get to see him start to develop his own priorites as he works out exactly what sort of character he's going to be. In the future, once he is done with the Suicide Squad, he will have walked in exactly the same trail as his father, and it will be really exciting to see what comes next when he chooses his own path.