Known Relatives: George “Digger” Harkness (father, deceased), Meloni Thawne (mother)*, Bart Allen (half-brother), unnamed adoptive mother
Occupation: Government Agent
Former Occupations: Movie theater employee, Adventurer
Group Affiliation: Suicide Squad
Past Group Affiliation: The Rogues, The Outsiders
Base of Operations: Central City, Missouri
First Appearance: as Owen, Identity Crisis #3 (October 2004); as Captain Boomerang, Identity Crisis #6 (January 2005)
Death: Killed by Black Lantern Captain Boomerang I, Blackest Night: The Flash #3 (2010)
See Also: Captain Boomerang I
Long after Captain Boomerang had disappeared from the public eye, rumors began to surface that he and Golden Glider had had given a love child up for adoption. Tabloid reporters even tracked down and photographed the alleged son. They were half right. Boomerang, seeing the headlines, decided to track down and reconnect with his lost son.
“Digger” and Owen got along fabulously, as it turned out, bonding over—of all things—the father teaching the son tricks with boomerangs. While “training,” Owen threw a razor-edged boomerang straight at his father. Panicking, he rushed to his aid...only to get there first and push his father out of the way. That was his first brush with super-speed. The senior Boomerang confirmed at this point that Golden Glider was not Owen’s mother, though at this point Owen does not know who his mother is.*
Owen’s father came into his life at a dangerous time. Someone had been killing heroes’ loved ones, stirring up the nest... and Digger got the next contract. Sent to kill Jack Drake (Robin’s father), he had no idea his intended victim had been warned... and armed. The two men killed each other. Owen, idolizing the father he barely knew, chose to carry on his legacy.
Unlike the Flash, this Captain Boomerang can only manage brief bursts of super-speed. Of course, that’s all he needs to throw or catch a boomerang at the speed of sound.
At first, Owen joined forces with the Rogues. He was more interested in finding a place to belong—and in putting his father to rest—than in committing crime or fighting the Flash (Flash v.2 #220–225: “Rogue War,” 2005).
While working with Luthor’s Society (during Infinite Crisis), Owen was left to die by his fellow Rogues. Ironically, he was rescued by the heroes they had been fighting: the Outsiders (Outsiders #33, 2006). Convicted for the crimes committed during his brief career, Owen was—like his father—offered the chance to earn his freedom in the Suicide Squad. Captain Boomerang, Jr. went on at least one mission with the team of expendable super-agents (52 #33–34, 2006).
Owen was incarcerated in Iron Heights’ E-Block for lower-level metahuman criminals, where he was cell mates with Derek Cooper. In reality, Cooper was Jefferson Pierce, the hero Black Lightning, doing time under an assumed name for murder. When the Outsiders learned that the victim was in fact dead before Black Lightning hit him, and that a contract had been taken out on the hero’s life, they decided to break him out of prison. The rescue was a disaster. They did manage to retrieve Pierce, who insisted they bring Mercer along. But more than 40 guards and prisoners died, and the Outsiders’ craft was shot down. They let the world believe they had died in the crash (Outsiders #46 and Outsiders Annual #1, 2007).**
The Outsiders operated in secret for months until they were revealed to still be alive. Owen then began making ties with the outside world. He somehow learned Robin’s secret identity†, and went looking for the teen hero to make peace with him. The two reluctantly teamed up together to defuse a bomb that threatened Gotham City, though Robin was unwilling to forgive him (Robin #152–153, 2006).
Eventually, Batman took over the Outsiders, re-auditioning all the current team members. Captain Boomerang, sick of being blamed for his father’s actions and forced to prove himself, completed his audition with Nightwing, then left to rejoin the Suicide Squad (Outsiders: Five of a Kind: Nightwing/Boomerang, 2007).
Back on the Squad, he helped track down and capture his former teammates among the Rogues (All-Flash & Countdown #39, 2007) so they could be shipped off to Salvation.
During his time in the Outsiders, Owen became friends with Supergirl (Kara Zor-El).
When Black Lantern rings descended on Earth, one of the corpses they animated was that of Owen’s father. This Black Lantern Captain Boomerang convinced Owen that he could bring his father back to life...if he simply let it eat enough people. He started out with criminals, but eventually in desperation started tossing anyone he could find into the pit where he had chained the revenant—even innocent women and children. When the Rogues found out what he had been doing, Captain Cold pushed him into the pit, where the Black Lantern ripped his heart out, killing him. (Blackest Night: The Flash #3, 2010)Text by Kelson Vibber. Do not copy without permission.
- Primary Sources
- Art Credits
- Series Regular In...
- Legacy-Era Appearances
- One Year Later Appearances
- Further Notes
- Related Commentary
- Identity Crisis (2004–2005), Brad Meltzer
- Running: Outsiders #36 (July 2006) - Matthew Clark and Art Thibert
- Fully Armed: Identity Crisis #6 (January 2005) - Rags Morales and Michael Bair
- Outsiders (third series) #34–50 (2006–2007)
- Supergirl (fourth? series) #9— (2006—)
- Identity Crisis #3–7 (October 2004–February 2005), Brad Meltzer
- Flash #217 (February 2005): “Post-Crisis,” Geoff Johns
- Flash #219 (April 2005): “Truth or Dare, Part 1” Geoff Johns (cameo)
- Flash #½ (2005): “Rogue Wars Prologue: Tricksters,” Geoff Johns
- Flash #220–225 (May–October 2005): “Rogue War,” Geoff Johns
- 52 #33 (December 20, 2006): “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, Mark Waid
- 52 #34 (December 27, 2006): “Suicidal Tendencies,” Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, Mark Waid
- All-Flash #1 (September 2007): “Justice, Like Lightning,” Mark Waid (cameo)
- Outsiders: Five of a Kind: Nightwing and Captain Boomerang, Jr. #1 (October 2007): “Five of a Kind Part 1: Grudge Match,” Nunzio DeFilippis & Christina Weir
* Owen’s mother remained unidentified until Flash #224–225 (2005). At one time, the elder Captain Boomerang was stranded in the 30th century by the side effects of a battle between the Flash and Zoom II. While there he met Meloni Thawne. How and why Owen was returned to his father’s century has not been revealed. This still does not explain Owen’s occasional bursts of speed, as Meloni was not herself a speedster.
** Details of Owen’s change of heart “One Year Later” (OYL) also took a long time to surface. The covert team debuted in Outsiders #34, with the first hints of the incident at Iron Heights appearing in Outsiders #41 (2006). The full story is finally told in “Pay As You Go,” running through Outsiders #44–46 and the upcoming Outsiders Annual #1 (2007). Unfortunately, the timeline does not quite line up with 52, in which Owen fights alongside the Suicide Squad as late as eight months after the end of Infinite Crisis.
† It is not explicitly stated that Owen knows that Robin is Tim Drake, but he did visit the crime scene, and the identity of the man his father killed is likely a matter of public record. If he knows that his father and Robin’s father killed each other, he either knows Robin is Tim Drake or thinks Tim has a brother somewhere.
Thanks to Ruebert for letting me know about the Robin and Supergirl appearances.