George "Digger" Harkness, aka Captain Boomerang was a recurring enemy of the Flash. He devised altered boomerangs which could produce astonishing effects and used them ruthlessly. He became a staple member of the Rogues Gallery, a group of villains dedicated to opposing Flash.
The illegitimate son of an American toymaker, W.W. Wiggins, and an Australian woman, Betty Harkness, George Harkness was raised in poverty in the small town of Kurrumburra, Australia. His stepfather, Ian, hated the boy and made his life miserable.
In school one day, George crafted a boomerang. He discovered he had great skill with the aboriginal weapon and often used it for mischief with his best friend, Mick Wentworth. He further honed his skills while spending some time hiding from the law in the Australian bush.
When George was eighteen, he and Mick robbed a general store and were able to make their escape with the aid of George's boomerang. However, this incident caused George's stepfather to kick him out of the house. His mother gave him a plane ticket to Central City and told him to get in touch with Wiggins.
Wiggins had been searching for a spokesman for his company's latest product, a toy boomerang. Under the alias "George Green", Harkness auditioned for and got the job. Wiggins outfitted him with a costume and gave him the name "Captain Boomerang."
Silver Age CareerHarkness, however, had other plans for his new alter ego. He began a string of jewelry thefts. This alerted the attention of the Flash, and the Scarlet Speedster caught him in the act during one of his heists. However, Captain Boomerang fooled the speedster by claiming that he was being impersonated. He even brought the Flash to his apartment and introduced him to actors posing as his parents, stating that they would starve if he was convicted of the robberies and lost his job as Wiggins's spokesman. The next time that Boomerang encountered the Flash, he knocked him out with one of his boomerangs and tied the unconscious speedster to his "Rocket Boomerang", which he sent hurtling high up into the Earth's atmosphere. However, on the descent back to ground, the Flash released himself and captured the villain.
Once, he planted special getaway boomerangs in every jail within one hundred miles of Central City, where they would remain invisible until he concentrated his brain waves to materialize them. One year later, he had the chance to use one of them. He was being transported to the state pen, but an anonymous phone call, which had actually been made by Boomerang's father, Aussie Green, said that there was a bomb in the patrol wagon that he was being transported in. The police evacuated the wagon and put Captain Boomerang into temporary custody at the police station. However, he used one of his getaway boomerangs to escape. As he escaped, he hurled a boomerang at Barry Allen for rubbing him the wrong way (a little earlier, the scientist had told one of the police officers not to take off the villain's straightjacket). Barry quickly changed into the Flash, and tried to apprehend Boomerang by creating air gusts, pushing the villain in front of him. However, the Captain contorted his body into the shape of a boomerang, which caused him to hurtle back towards the Flash, knocking him down. All of this had been recorded by Boomerang's father and put into a scrapbook entitled Flash -- This is your Death! Boomerang set Flash up in a machine, that sent the hero hurtling like a boomerang into another dimension, filled with terrible monsters. However, Flash stayed in the shape of a boomerang, knowing that he would be returned to his sender. Foiled, Boomerang and his father tried to get away with a special flying boomerang, but Flash created a waterspout as they flew over a lake, bringing them back down, where Flash could take them to the police headquarters.
Later on, Harkness became a less-than-effective member of the Suicide Squad in exchange for being pardoned for his crimes. However, Captain Boomerang's grating personality and blatant racism (among other things, he constantly referred to another team member, the Bronze Tiger, as an "abo") caused considerable friction among his teammates, and he was considered to be a dangerous, vicious, cowardly and undependable member of the team; dysfunctional even by the Squad's standards. Amanda Waller, the Squad's commanding officer, characterized Captain Boomerang as "a jerk and a screw-up."
This was not an undeserved reputation, as, among other things, Harkness simply watched by as his teammate, Mindboggler, was shot in the back. (Mindboggler had earlier used her mind-altering abilities on Harkness to shut him up when he was verbally abusing another team member.) He also manipulated another team member, Slipknot, into running away from the action just to see if the explosive bracelets the Squad members wore really did activate if the wearer attempted to escape. (Unfortunately for Slipknot, they did.)
While in the Squad, Harkness also briefly took up the mantle of Mirror Master to commit robberies. However, this career was cut short when he was caught and brought to Waller, who put an end to it, and rescinded the benefits Harkness had been given, such as his apartment in New Orleans and his status as a voluntary member of the Squad. Harkness remained with the Squad until it was disbanded.
Harkness found himself an obsolete villain in the modern world of supervillains. Regularly going up to the supervillain satellite looking for jobs, asking favors from the Calculator, he was at the end of his rope looking for a job to put him on the map again.
During this time, Harkness finally reached out to the son he abandoned, Owen Mercer. The two began to bond when Harkness was killed by Jack Drake, father of Tim Drake. Digger had been sent by the real killer to attack Jack Drake, only the killer double crossed Digger and sent Drake a warning and a pistol to defend himself. Digger managed to kill Drake but not before he was shot himself. The sudden loss of Harkness caused Mercer to take up his father's mantle, and become the second Captain Boomerang.
Harkness was one of twelve heroes and villains raised by the white light for mysterious reasons. Imprisoned in Iron Heights for crimes he committed when he was alive, Harkness makes a call to The Rogues requesting help in escaping the prison and that he become a Rogue again. Captain Cold denies helping him and tells Harkness he has to prove that he's still a Rogue by breaking out of Iron Heights himself and by taking on The Flash. Due to the exposure to the Black Ring, Harkness discovered he could manifest black construct boomerangs in times of duress. Utilizing the boomers which are able to explode on contact, he escaped from Iron Heights and sought out The Flash in an effort to win favor with The Rogues once again.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
- Explosive Boomerang: A boomerang that explodes.
- Collapsible Boomerang: A boomerang that collapses so that it can be easily concealed.
- Lightning Boomerang: A lightning-fast boomerang that even knocked out the Flash.
- Rocket Boomerang: A large boomerang capable of launching into space.
- Razor Boomerang: A boomerang capable of cutting through bone and flesh when thrown correctly. He used this boomerang to kill Jack Drake.
- Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-One era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985-86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and should be considered apocryphal.
"Digger" is a slang word for "soldier" for local australians.
- 218 Appearances of George Harkness (New Earth)
- 69 Images featuring George Harkness (New Earth)
- 2 Quotations by or about George Harkness (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: George Harkness (New Earth)
- George Harkness (New Earth) at Wikipedia.org
- Alan Kistler's Profile On: THE FLASH - A detailed analysis of the history of the Flash by comic book historian Alan Kistler. Covers information all the way from Jay Garrick to Barry Allen to today, as well as discussions on the various villains and Rogues who fought the Flash. Various art scans.
- George Harkness (New Earth) at Flash: Those Who Ride the Lightning
- Crimson Lightning, an online index to the comic book adventures of the Modern Age Flash.
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