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Promotional art to the comic book series Slingers. Art by Mike Wieringo.
Top row: Ricochet, Hornet.
Bottom row: Dusk, Prodigy.
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceSlingers #0 (1998 September)
Created byJoseph Harris (writer)
Adam Pollina ChrisCross (artists)
In-story information

The Slingers are a group of fictional superheroes appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. They starred in their own eponymous short-lived comic book.

Fictional team history

The Slingers were four teenage superheroes who had been inspired by Spider-Man. The group first appeared in Slingers #0, a free promotional comic book included in an issue of Wizard. Slingers #1 used a controversial sales gimmick: four versions of the first issue were produced, each telling a fourth of the first issue's story from the point of view of one of the four team members. The series failed to sustain sales, despite a small but loyal fan base, and the series was cancelled with issue #12.

The team's four members used costumes and codenames that had been used by Spider-Man during the "Identity Crisis" crossover. During "Identity Crisis", Spider-Man was wanted for murder with a five million-dollar reward posted for his capture. Instead of his normal costumed identity, he adopted four other costumes and created a different crime-fighting persona for each suit. After this crisis had ended, he discarded the four costumes, and they subsequently disappeared, reappearing in the possession of the Golden Age superhero called the Black Marvel. The Marvel gave the costumes to four youths, and trained them to become heroes.

Aside from brief cameos in New Warriors and Contest of Champions II—during which they were defeated by the New Warriors in a game of basketball, the teams reasoning that not every contest had to be a straight-out fight—the team made no appearances elsewhere, and in their own series only received a few brief appearances by their inspiration, Spider-Man. When it was revealed that the Black Marvel had received the costumes through a deal with the demon Mephisto, the Slingers broke from him, and then returned to free his soul from Mephisto. The Black Marvel died, free from Mephisto's grasp, and the team apparently disbanded. Ricochet made several guest appearances in the Marvel comic Runaways as a member of Excelsior, a group of former teenage heroes whose goals are to help fellow teenage superheroes adjust to mundane lives, and to dissuade other super-powered teenagers from becoming heroes. They were introduced in "True Believers," the first arc of Runaways Volume Two. Ricochet (while attending their usual group meeting) followed both Darkhawk and the third Spider-Woman on their mission to take down the MGH dealers that once used Mattie as a source for the drug.

After the breakup of the Slingers, Hornet was found dead by forces of S.H.I.E.L.D. He had died confronting Wolverine, who had been brainwashed by the Hand, an evil ninja cult. Prodigy resurfaced fighting against Iron Man during the Civil War event. Eventually he joined with Captain America's underground movement, and later became a recruit for the Initiative program. Dusk has been seen as a captive of the Puppet Master. At the end of Avengers: The Initiative, Prodigy was released from Prison 42, in which he was detained for having resisted Osborn's regime, and began working as a motivational speaker while trying to reunite the Slingers.

After Hydra's takeover of America was thwarted, Hornet was seen active in Las Vegas, prompting Ricochet and Dusk to travel there to confront their apparently resurrected ally, even as the Hornet steals from a casino on the part of his employer Silas Thorne and is confronted by Scarlet Spider. After the initial confrontation, Ricochet learns that the new Hornet is not only working with Prodigy, but received his costume from the Black Marvel and is thus convinced to join the other Slingers in forcing the Scarlet Spider to turn himself over to the police for beating Silas Thorne so badly that he was sent to hospital (the various Slingers unconcerned about Thorne's reported role in the theft of food supplies from a planned charity drive).[1] After they take Cassandra Mercury hostage, she is found thanks to Ben Reilly and Kaine Parker tracking her hidden mobile phone, where they discover that the Slingers are being led by the Black Marvel. However, Dusk realizes that the Black Marvel has no soul, and damage to the Hornet's gauntlets reveal his true identity as Cyber who was revived by the as-yet-unidentified entity that was posing as Black Marvel.[2] Although the Black Marvel taunts them that they were poor heroes due to their lack of coordination as a team, the other three Slingers join forces with the two Spiders to defeat Cyber and the demon possessing the Black Marvel, the Slingers defeating Cyber while Reilly and Kaine exorcise the demon. With the battle concluded, the Slingers accept that Reilly regrets his earlier beating of Thorne, acknowledging the shades of grey.[3]

Team members

The four members of the Slingers were:


  1. ^ Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider #11
  2. ^ Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider #12
  3. ^ Ben Reilly: The Scarlet Spider #13