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Lemar Hoskins (Earth-616)
Battlestar
(Lemar Hoskins), who was also the fifth Bucky, is a fictional character, who is a superhero in the Marvel Comics universe. He was created by Mark Gruenwald and Paul Neary in Captain America #323 (November 1986).

Publication history

Battlestar was created by Mark Gruenwald and Paul Neary, and was originally introduced as a nameless member of the Bold Urban Commandos in Captain America #323. In Captain America #327 he is called "Lemar" for the first time, but generally is still treated as interchangeable with the other BUCs. He rises from anonymity in Captain America #334, in which his full name is revealed and he adopts the identity of Bucky. Gruenwald later explained,

I get several letters every month asking when Bucky's coming back. And I said, "Well, if the government's getting a new Captain America, maybe they'd want to get a new Bucky." I had previously introduced three Buckies as the friends and partners of the Super-Patriot, the Bold Urban Commandos, and rather than create someone new, I decided one of them would be the Bucky. There were two white guys and a black guy, and I said why not the black guy. He at least stood out in the group. Cap had a black partner before in the Falcon, but he's had three other white partners so I said it's time for another black one. Thus, Bucky was black. Now I'm getting a lot of bad mail, and deservedly so, for my ignorance.[1]

Angered fans wrote to Marvel Comics, informing the company that "Buck" is considered a derogatory term among African-Americans, as it was a term used before the American Civil War to refer to male slaves, and complaining that it was also racially offensive to have an adult black man taking on the identity of a teenage sidekick.[2] Writer Mark Gruenwald had not known of the racial connotation of "Bucky", having grown up in a region with very few African-Americans,[1] and agreed to give Hoskins a new name. In Captain America #341 he is renamed Battlestar, dons his own unique costume, and is more explicitly presented as a partner to the new Captain America, rather than a sidekick. Gruenwald recalled, "The search for a good name for a partner to Cap is a whole half-hour unto itself. [laughs] We came up with every single name which was vaguely patriotic, vaguely military, and yet stood on its own, because some day these guys may split up."[1] The name "Battlestar" was ultimately suggested by Captain America penciler Kieron Dwyer.[1]

Fictional character biography

Lemar Hoskins was born in Chicago, Illinois. Along with his Army buddies John Walker, Hector Lennox, and Jerome Johnson, he is given superhuman strength by Dr. Karl Malus on behalf of the Power Broker, and they become wrestlers.[3] The four later form the Bold Urban Commandos (also known as the "BUCkies"), and are employed by John Walker, now known as the Super-Patriot. The Buckies stage a fake attack on the Super-Patriot for publicity.[4] As a Bucky, Hoskins also attacks a group of foreign students.[5]

Bucky

When the Federal Commission on Superhuman Activities selects Walker to replace Steve Rogers as Captain America, Hoskins is the only one in his group allowed to accompany the new Captain America. He takes the identity of Bucky (after Rogers' original partner Bucky), and undergoes a rigorous training under the supervision of the Commission. Walker and Hoskins go undercover on a mission to stop the Watchdogs.[6]

Battlestar

Hoskins, who is African American, is persuaded by another black man that "Bucky" is a demeaning title, since American slaveholders often referred to male slaves as "bucks". Consequently, Hoskins takes on the identity of Battlestar, wearing a new costume and wielding a shield patterned after the one Steve Rogers originally carried.[7] Captain America and Battlestar capture Quill but are defeated in combat by his team, the Resistants. They then fight and defeat Demolition Man.[8] Battlestar witnesses the Flag-Smasher's capture of Captain America. Battlestar persuades Rogers, the original Captain America, to help him rescue Walker from the Flag-Smasher, and they battle ULTIMATUM.[9] Battlestar then witnesses the faked assassination of Walker, and leaves the Commission's employ. He confronts Dr. Valerie Cooper and learns that Walker is still alive. Battlestar meets the Falcon and aids him in battling Coachwhip, Puff Adder, and Rock Python of the Serpent Society.[10]

Battlestar then confronts and fights the U.S. Agent. Battlestar is captured by the Power Tools. Dr. Karl Malus employs the Power Tools to collect previous clients of Power Broker, Inc., so that Malus can perform tests upon them. Malus subjects Battlestar to the de-augmentation process. Subsequently, Hoskins fights the Power Broker, and his superhuman strength is restored by Malus. Hoskins then reconciles with the U.S. Agent.[11]

When Steve Rogers resumes the identity of Captain America, Battlestar leaves Federal employment and returned to his native Chicago. He becomes a member of Silver Sable's Wild Pack for some time.[12] When Ernst Sablinova, Sable's father, wants the Pack to murder a captive, Battlestar disobeys.[13]

Civil War

Battlestar allies himself with many opposed to the Superhuman Registration Act.[14] His group includes, but are not limited to, Typeface, Gladiatrix and Solo. During a visit by reporter Sally Floyd, S.H.I.E.L.D. agents operating alongside Iron Man attack and capture many of the group. Floyd and a few others escape.[15] Battlestar suffered a back injury during the battle and due to an oversight, did not receive proper medical care while in custody in Prison 42. He was freed by Captain America's forces and took part in the final battle despite his injuries.[16]

Project Pegasus

Battlestar later returned, working as a security guard for Project Pegasus. He was there to witness a zombie invasion from a parallel Earth and the return of Jack of Hearts.[17] He also participated in an A.R.M.O.R. raid on a parallel Earth, infested by Nazi zombies, alongside a team of heroes which included Dum-Dum Dugan and Howard the Duck.[18]

Death of Wolverine

It was later mentioned that an unknown party had managed to steal Battlestar's adamantium shield.[19]

Captain America: Sam Wilson

Battlestar later participates in a UCWF match against D-Man, as part of a charity event. It's revealed that prior to becoming a superhero, Lemar had been an aspiring wrestler whose career was ended by D-Man. The charity fight ends when it is revealed that the current head of the UCWF is trying to abscond with the money raised by the event, and the two heroes team up to stop the robbery.[20]

Powers, abilities, and equipment

As a result of the experimental mutagenic process conducted on him by Karl Malus on behalf of the Power Broker, Lemar Hoskins has superhuman strength. His endurance is also heightened albeit to a lesser degree. His agility and reflexes are of the order of a superior Olympic athlete. Additionally, he possesses superhuman durability and resilience, enabling him to survive high impacts and blows, and in one instance to survive being hanged by the Watchdogs (a Red Skull front group).

Battlestar is highly trained in gymnastics and acrobatics. He is an exceptional hand-to-hand combatant, and received rigorous training in unarmed combat and the use of his shield, in a style similar to the original Captain America, from the Taskmaster. He carries a near indestructible blunt-end triangular adamantium shield in combat, and is capable of using it defensively against kinetic and energy based attacks, and offensively as a missile weapon.