Editor’s note: Newsarama contributor and Olympics fan Seth Robison joins Blog@ for the next 10 days or so to highlight “tangentially Olympic-related” comics and pop culture moments. You can read more from Seth on the Olympics at his blog Off The Podium.
by Seth Robison
Who needs one hero, when you can have three? Well, it’s not really three heroes, its one guy with the power of three people. Three regular people, mind you, but three fit and healthy people, which helps this one hero be three times and strong, fast, and agile as any one person could be by himself.
Confused? Let me help. This hero, Triathlon, is named after the endurance sport that subjects its competitors to a contest of swimming, cycling and running great distances sequentially. This sport, popular with the self-flagellation crowd, made its Olympic debut at the 2000 Sydney summer games (what, they couldn’t do it in the winter? Wimps!) where Simon Whitfeld of Canada won with time of 1:42:24.02 after 1500 meters in the water, 40km on a bike and 10km on foot (not counting time spent powdering chafe marks).
The Marvel Comics Triathlon is really Delroy Garrett Jr., a triple (ha-ha) Olympic gold medalist whose titles where stripped from him after a positive steroid test. Soon after Delroy joined the “Triune Understanding,” a philosophical religion (to-MAY-toe) slash cult (to-MAH-toe) who were chafing The Avengers with accusations of intolerance. The Triune created their own spokesman in Delroy, who was supposedly helped to unlock his latent “of three people” powers and joined Earth’s Mightiest Heroes as Triathlon.
Triathlon chafed with the team at first, but soon became a valuable member, and when it was revealed that the heads of the Triune were up to no good, and that Triathlon’s powers were stolen by them from the 70’s era hero 3-D Man, Delroy was key in saving the Universe from the malignant force called the “Triple Evil.” (Do you sense a pattern here?)
He soon after left the Avengers and just about faded into obscurity until he joined Captain America’s anti-registration side of the Civil War, and afterward, done chafing against the will of the government, he joined the Superhero Initiative team for the state of Hawaii under a new alias, inheriting the title of The 3-D Man.
I give him and his formally eponymous sport a hard time, but I can see that a triathlon is no lightly undertaken challenge. The closest I ever came was the time I accidentally walked a bike into a swimming pool. Does that count?