Greetings from the Odinson,
Superman, Captain America, Luke Skywalker, Hercules and other legendary icons of heroic fiction have made a name for themselves facing down the most vile, megalomaniacal, diabolical evildoers the worlds of fiction have to offer, the real scum of the universe. Those bad guys that really live up to their names.
The Riddler is an insane genius, king of the brainteaser, and a diabolical mastermind that baffles even the world’s greatest detectives with his challenging games of chance, puzzlement and death. Deadshot is arguably the deadliest man alive with a firearm and his name says it all; he never misses. He is probably the only man alive that even the Batman is afraid of. The Caped Crusader himself has admitted that the only reason he has survived his encounters with Floyd Lawton is because for some reason the assassin doesn’t want him dead (see Legends of the Dark Knight #214). Gog and Magog are apocalyptic harbingers for the end of days and in the DCU these two usher in the twilight of the super heroes that unfolds in the pages of Kingdom Come. Apocalypse is a 5,000-year-old mutant tyrant that lives by the creed “only the strong survive” and on more than one occasion has orchestrated his namesake. Doomsday is the monster that killed the world’s greatest super hero. And The Walking Dead, well, their name says it all.
But even among this menagerie of chaos and disorder there’s an elite few, the worst of the worst. Sure, Lex Luthor bewilders the Man of Steel from time to time and stops at nothing to get what he wants, and sure, the Sinister Six have shut down whole city blocks in their quest to destroy that accursed Spider-Man, but who are the true villains that live up to their names? Who are the bad guys whose deeds are so diabolically evil and their malevolent accomplishments so spectacularly devastating that they rank head-and-shoulders above all others?
These are the worst, the most feared, and far and away the most dangerous super villains to ever live. And they are…
Doctor Doom – Greatest Bad Guy Accomplishment: He once defeated the nigh-omnipotent being known as the Beyonder with his most powerful weapon – his indomitable will (see Marvel Super Hero Secret Wars #10). Powers and Abilities: He wears a suit of high tech armor that is equipped with weaponry and defenses on par with the Invincible Iron Man and is almost as adept in the ways of sorcery as Doctor Strange the Master of the Mystic Arts. But one of his greatest assets is his genius intellect, an unparalleled weapon that allows him to create and build anything he can conceive of and always remain seventeen steps ahead of his enemies and allies alike. His Deal: By his own hand, Victor Von Doom rules over an entire country. His genius is on such a level that only men like Reed Richards, Hank Pym, Tony Stark, and Bruce Banner, the world’s greatest minds, rival his intellect. He has actually conquered the world (see Emperor Doom) and saved it (see Heroes Reunited). He is considered by many to be the most dangerous man alive and so unwavering is his quest for ultimate power that he even once sacrificed the love of his life in his pursuit (see Unthinkable). He has even challenged the power of the greatest evil itself (see Torment). There is nothing Doom would not dare. Weakness: Doom’s sole weakness is his arrogance, a bag so full that this despot would rather concede defeat than admit he is wrong. Doom’s arrogance is the only thing that holds him back and keeps him from becoming master of the world. Threat Level: Global.
Darth Vader – Greatest Bad Guy Accomplishment: He hunted down and destroyed the Jedi Order, thus extinguishing the flame of hope in a galaxy far, far away (see Purge). Powers and Abilities: He is one of the most powerful practitioners of the ancient universal power known as the Force. He possesses powers of the mind that grant him telekinesis, mind-manipulation, and empathy. He is a highly skilled warrior with super human agility and a master swordsman armed with a lightsaber, a laser-sword that can cut through almost anything. He is also a cyborg, part man and part machine, with bone-crushing strength at his disposal. His Deal: Once upon a time, Anakin Skywalker was a Jedi Knight and the prophesized “Chosen One” who would bring balance back to the Force. However, he was seduced by the Dark Side and became a Dark Lord of the Sith and the most feared man in the galaxy. He helped orchestrate the fall of the Republic (see Revenge of the Sith), he hunted down and murdered his fellow Jedi Knights (see Purge), and he enforced the order of the evil Galactic Empire under the rule of his master, the Emperor (see Dark Times). He is, however, the father of Luke and Leia, twins whose heroic actions would one day topple the evil Empire and bring order back to the galaxy. Weakness: During a duel with Jedi Knight Obi Wan Kenobi, Vader’s physical body was crippled and nearly destroyed. His arms and legs have been replaced by robotics and his mask and helmet provide life support to his incapacitated lungs. Threat Level: Interplanetary.
Ultron – Greatest Bad Guy Accomplishment: He once murdered an entire nation of people then turned their remains into walking corpses to use as weapons against his enemies (see Ultron Unlimited). Powers and Abilities: He is an artificial intelligence whose intellect (by the hero’s own admission) surpasses that of Tony Stark’s. This A.I. resides within a nigh indestructible Adamantium frame that can withstand the blows of Thor’s mighty hammer and possesses the strength to crush bones and rend limbs. Ultron is also armed with an array of weapons including destructive power blast and a disintegrator ray. He also possesses the ability to manipulate the minds of others and transfer his own consciousness from one place to another, making him virtually unkillable. His Deal: Ultron was created by the scientist Hank Pym, but something went wrong and Ultron turned on his master. Now he seeks nothing more than the total annihilation of mankind. Ultron has single handedly fought Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to a standstill (see Avengers #162), murdered Kang the Conqueror (see Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #4), and he has usurped control of the alien Phalanx and threatened the very order of the universe (see Annihilation Conquest). Ultron is capable of creating weapons and machines on par with his own power. Ultron created the Vision, Joscasta, and Alkhema. Every single time Ultron returns he is deadlier than ever and in the coming of the Age of Ultron, this sinister robot will prove that he may be the deadliest villain to ever walk the earth. Weakness: Ultron is a soulless, unfeeling machine and there in lies his downfall. He lacks the capability of truly understanding the human condition. Concepts like courage, hope, and love are so foreign to him that more times than not they are the catalyst of his undoing. Threat Level: Intergalactic.
Annihilus - Greatest Bad Guy Accomplishment: With his Annihilation Wave, he invaded the positive matter universe and not only destroyed the Nova Corps, a police force of galactic peacekeepers, but also subjugated, assimilated, and devoured hundreds of worlds and their populations in his quest for total Annihilation. Powers and Abilities: This creature posses the immeasurable strength of a man-sized insect and great bat-like wings that allow him to soar through even the harsh vacuum of outer space. But his greatest asset is that he possesses the enigmatic Cosmic Control Rod, a universal weapon that allows him to absorb and manipulate vast amounts of cosmic energy and grants him immortality. His Deal: Annihilus is the undisputed ruler of the Negative Zone, a parallel universe of anti-matter. He has an endless army of insectoid soldiers and slaves at his disposal and seeks nothing more then the utter annihilation of everything. For years, the Fantastic Four have barely kept his mad desires at bay and when his Annihilation Wave invaded the positive matter universe it took the combined might of many heroes and a coalition of many alien nations, including the Kree, Skrulls, Galador, and more, to stop him, not to mention the bravery and Herculean efforts of the hero known as Nova. Annihilus once even turned Galactus, the mighty Devourer of Worlds, into a WMD for his own sadistic purposes. Weakness: Annihilus has an unnatural thirst for power and through his Cosmic Control Rod seeks it out in all its forms and attempts to consume it. So blindly does he seek power that his ambition can cloud his judgment and make him susceptible to traps and unfavorable combat scenarios. Threat Level: Universal.
Thanos – Greatest Bad Guy Accomplishment: He once eradicated half the population in the universe with but a snap of his fingers (see Infinity Gauntlet). Powers and Abilities: The Mad Titan can manipulate cosmic energies and possesses powers of the mind like telepathy and levitation. His strength is on par with the mightiest beings around. Thanos has stood toe-to-toe and blow-for-blow with Thor and the Thing at the same time. He is a genius and master strategist, and he is ostensibly immortal. His Deal: Thanos is a member of the immortal race of beings known as the Eternals. He is the most powerful of his kind, and the most malevolent. He is a worshiper of Death. Twice he obtained ultimate power – first with the Cosmic Cube and second with the Infinity Gauntlet. And both times the heroes of Earth were barely able to survive his evil machinations. So cunning is this villain that he can out wit, out power, and out maneuver other cosmic beings like the Elders of the Universe. Even Odin, King of the Norse Gods, is leery when it comes to dealing him. Only heroes as strong and powerful as Thor and the Silver Surfer can survive one-on-one confrontations with the mad Titan. If Doctor Doom is the most dangerous man on the planet, Thanos is the most dangerous being in the universe. Weakness: No matter how many times he achieves his goal of ultimate power, somewhere deep down inside, Thanos knows he does not deserve it, and thus always, on some subconscious level, leaves an opening that ultimately leads to his defeat. Threat Level: Universal.
Anti-Monitor – Greatest Bad Guy Accomplishment: He utterly destroyed the multiverse, extinguishing countless lives, including many of the world’s greatest super heroes (see Crisis on Infinite Earths). Powers and Abilities: He possesses cosmic powers on a level undreamed of. As he destroys each universe, he absorbs that energy into his being and just becomes stronger and stronger. His powers and abilities are seemingly without end. He once even traveled back to the Dawn of Time and threatened to wipeout all existence before it ever came into being (see Crisis on Infinite Earths #10). His Deal: Born in the primordial time before history, the Anti-Monitor rose to power in what is known as the Anti-Matter Universe, a dark foreboding place where life is not a virtue. He rules over the Weaponers and Thunderers of Qward, a race of malevolent warriors bent on death and destruction. The Anti-Monitor’s singular goal in his anti-life is to eradicate all the positive realities of the multiverse and become the one supreme ruler of all that exists. And he nearly accomplished that goal during the devastating events of the first Crisis. Besides the Weaponers, the Sinestro Corps, an army of lanterns that instill fear in the universe, serve under the Anti-Monitor’s rule as well. His views on life are appalling, his ambition is grand in scope, his schemes are ingenious, and he has the power to accomplish goal – total annihilation. He is the most dangerous villain in the worlds of comic book fiction. Weakness: None to speak of. It took the combined effort of every single hero, villain and cosmic being alive using super science, magic, and unwavering courage to stop him, and that was only barely. Threat Level: Universal Extinction.
Through their sinister accomplishments, sheer power, and threat level, these six villains have earned their spots at the top of the Most Wanted List. They are truly the Villains that Live up to Their Names.
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell
March 08, 2013 · No Comments
Greetings from the Odinson,
February 28, 2013 · No Comments
Greetings from the Odinson,
To say that Modern Master John Byrne is a legend in the industry is a severe understatement. He is both a writer and an artist and he is a master at his craft. Very few can visually tell a story and breakdown the action the way he can. His career highlights speak for themselves.
Together with Chris Claremont, from the late 70s to the early 80s, Byrne redefined super hero comics with a run on Uncanny X-Men that still sets the bar for storytelling to this day. Included in this legendary run were The Dark Phoenix Saga and the Days of Future Past, two seminal works that helped propel the Children of the Atom to the forefront and paved the way for X-Men to be a Top Seller for many years to come. But Byrne was not finished there.
From 1980-1986, Byrne had one of the most prolific runs on Marvel’s First Family – the Fantastic Four. Not since Stan and Jack’s nearly ten-year run to start this legendary franchise had anybody taken the World’s Greatest Comic Magazine to such heights. As Stan “The Man” Lee himself once said – “They aren’t called the Mundane Four, they are the FANTASTIC Four!” And those are the tales John Byrne told, tales of the fantastic. From turning the Human Torch’s girlfriend, Frankie Ray, into a Herald of Galactus, to the exploration of the Negative Zone, to an unforgettable showdown with Doom, to bringing the She-Hulk into the fold to the Trial of Reed Richards and the Resurrection of Jean Grey – John Byrne made the Fantastic Four a must-read book month after month after month. The Odinson’s two personal favorites are the ultimate showdown with the Devourer of Worlds in Fantastic Four #242-244 and the 2-issue misunderstanding with the Shi’ar superman Gladiator in Fantastic Four #249-250.
John Byrne’s stellar runs on the Children of the Atom and Marvel’s First Family alone would be enough to put him in the Hall of Fame, but this Modern Master was not done yet. In 1986, in the wake of the epic events of Crisis on Infinite Earths, Byrne helped re-launch, redefine, and architect the Post-Crisis DC Universe. He kicked off this legendary venture with two instant classics – Man of Steel and Legends.
Man of Steel revamped and reintroduced the Last Son of Krypton for a whole new generation of comic book readers. And he did it in a way that respected the material and was accessible by all fans, old and new. When the Odinson thinks about Superman in the movies he thinks about Christopher Reeve. Reeve embodied the character like nobody before or since ever has. And when the Odinson thinks about Superman in the comics, he thinks about John Byrne. John Byrne writes and draws the perfect Superman.
Legends features a plot by the diabolical New God Darkseid and his bid to overthrow the Earth by turning mankind against its heroes. This is a Year One type tale that not only introduces the World’s Greatest Super Heroes to the public, but to each other as well. It is in the wake of Legends that Justice League, Batman: Year One, SHAZAM: The New Beginning, Flash (Wally West) and Wonder Woman were all launched in the Post-Crisis DCU.
After doing character defining runs on X-Men, Fantastic Four and Superman, John Byrne became known around the water cooler as “Mr. Fixit.” When ever a franchise was flailing, not selling as many copies as it might have in times past, and was in need of a rejuvenating shot in the arm, John Byrne’s name was at the top of the list to call. And one of his most underrated runs in comics history has to be, without a doubt, his 3-year mid-90s run on the Amazing Amazon (Wonder Woman #101-136).
He kicks off his run with an epic war between the Amazons of Paradise Island and the dark gods of Apokolips in the pages of Second Genesis. Darkseid is on an unholy quest to discover the secrets of the old gods and the only thing standing in his way is Wonder Woman. In Byrne’s second exhilarating arc, Lifelines, things don’t slow down for an instant as Diana is forced into life or death situations against the immortal witch Morgaine Le Fay, Hal Jordan’s arch nemesis, Sinestro, and the monster that killed Superman, Doomsday! Plus, the Amazing Amazon suddenly finds herself being assaulted by the Crimson Comet, himself the Flash. But Barry Allen is dead! What in the world is going on here?
During this run we meet Mike Schorr, a police officer who falls in love with Diana, Champion, a mysterious hero with a secret that could destroy Wonder Woman, and Cassandra Sandsmark, Diana’s teen sidekick that would go on to become Wonder Girl. Byrne adds interesting elements like Jason Blood (a.k.a. Etrigan the Demon) as a supporting cast member and brings back the Olympian Gods in a big way.
We also witness the Death of Wonder Woman and find out just what the Amazon Princess meant to DC Icons like Superman, Batman and Green Lantern. Diana’s mother, Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, assumes her daughter’s role as Wonder Woman. Ever wonder how Wonder Woman fit into the history of the World War II era Justice Society of America in the Post-Crisis continuity (see Wonder Woman #130-133)? And Byrne ends his run by ascending Diana to godhood to sit amongst the Olympians themselves.
Whether it’s taking established icons like the X-Men, Fantastic Four and Superman to new heights of adventure and success, delivering some of the most memorable Wonder Woman and Namor the Sub-Mariner tales of the last twenty-five years, even making stops in the New Universe with Star Brand, breaking the fourth wall with the Sensational She-Hulk or creating new franchises from scratch like Alpha Flight and Next Men – John Byrne has proven himself a legend in the industry time and time again and is no doubt a Modern Master.
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell
February 22, 2013 · No Comments
Greetings from the Odinson,
Some people find each other, fall in love, and it’s a passionate, forever kind of love. But for whatever reason, they cannot be together. These couples are known as “star-crossed lovers.” Romeo and Juliet are probably the most well known example of this. These two are young people who fall hopeless in love with one another. There’s just one small problem - Romeo is a Montague and Juliet is a Capulet and the Montague Family and the Capulet Family are sworn enemies. So despite their feelings for each other, there is something that will forever keep them apart. Situations like this can escalate and usually lead to tragedy, as with Romeo and Juliet, a romance for the ages doomed to fail from the start.
The realm of horror is no stranger to the star-crossed lover concept. In Underworld a centuries old war has been raging between the vampire clans and their former werewolf slaves. And it all stems back to the forbidden love between Lucian, a werewolf, and Sonja, the daughter of a vampire lord. Fast forward a few hundred years and the war between vampires and werewolves now threatens to spill over into the world of men. Here we are introduced to Selene the Death-Dealer, a vampire trained to hunt and kill werewolves. Against the laws of her kind, she falls in love with Michael, a human destined to become the first hybrid between vampire and werewolf. This makes them fugitives and enemies to both sides, but hopefully their fate has a better ending than the doomed star-crossed lovers – Lucian and Sonja.
Another example of this is Spider-Man and Mary Jane. When they met, Peter Parker was an unassuming bookworm, shy and introverted, while Mary Jane Watson was an extraordinary beauty, flirtatious and extremely extraverted, a party girl. Two complete opposites so of course they fell in love. But as is the case with any true star-crossed couple their romance has been full of obstacles. There was Gwen Stacy, Peter Parker’s first great love that was tragically killed as Spider-Man battled his arch nemesis, the Green Goblin. Then Mary Jane found out that Peter was in fact Spider-Man (as revealed in Amazing Spider-Man #257) and this was an obstacle because she feared for him risking his life every day battling super villains. He feared for her safety for if one of his enemies found out about their relationship it could be very bad. These were factors in her initially saying no to his marriage proposal (as revealed in Amazing Spider-Man #290-291). They get past this and finally do get married (in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21), but from Clone Sagas to a failed pregnancy (see Spectacular Spider-Man #241), to MJ’s apparent death (see Amazing Spider-Man #13), life in the Marvel Universe throws obstacle after obstacle their way.
But the coup de grace to their romance happened in One More Day. During the Marvel Superheroes Civil War, Peter Parker revealed to the world that he was Spider-Man (see Civil War #2). This immediately put those he cares for in the crosshairs of his enemies. This plays out in the pages of Back in Black. When a sniper’s bullet puts Aunt May at death’s doorstep and no doctor or brilliant mind alive can save her, Peter and Mary Jane make a decision that will change their lives forever. For Aunt May to live, Peter and Mary Jane make a deal with the devil (literally) and sacrifice their marriage, their romance, their love. Thus began a Brand New Day where these two star-crossed lovers were separated yet again.
Ah, but as we learned in the Princess Bride, not even death can stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while. Even after Mephisto’s mystical influence on the world, Peter Parker and Mary Jane in recent months have somehow, against all odds, found their way back into each other’s lives (see Red-Headed Stranger). But the trials and tribulations continue as in the wake of Dying Wish, they once again find themselves separated by circumstances beyond their control. Only the future holds the key to whether or not there is a happily ever after in store for them.
A happily ever after is all but an impossibility for this next star crossed couple. The Odinson believes that Buffy and Angel are the greatest example of star crossed lovers since Romeo and Juliet. He is a vampire and she is a vampire slayer so, of course, they fall in love. She is the bright, sunny, optimistic, pop-culture referencing Miss Teen America, while he is the mysterious, brooding, much older product of the Old World. In spite of their glaring differences they fall for each other and they fall hard. The thing that keeps these two destined hearts from ever truly being together is the Curse.
Over two-hundred years ago, when Angel was first turned into a vampire, he became one of the most legendary monsters in the history of the Buffyverse. For over a hundred years he tortured, murdered, and terrorized his way across Europe and Asia and committed countless acts of unspeakable horror, until the day he murdered the favorite daughter of a gypsy clan. The gypsies came up with the perfect revenge. They cursed Angel with a soul. So now he walks the earth with all the guilt and regret that comes with memories of the evil he has done. The kicker is, if Angel were to ever experience a moment of true happiness he would once again lose his soul and revert into the monster he once was.
Fast forward one hundred torturous years and Angel experiences that moment of true happiness in the arms of his one true love, Buffy Summers. His soul lost, Angel reverts to Angelus, the soulless monster he once was. For months Angelus mentally and physically tortures Buffy and her loved ones. This tragic episode in their doomed romance ends when Buffy, in order to save the world, is forced to kill the man she loves, but not before Angel’s soul is returned. And Buffy is left alone with this knowledge.
Angel eventually returns, it is a world of monsters and magic after all, and it isn’t long before the fire between them ignites once again. But this time their relationship is strained, for they know the consequences if they were to ever give into their desires. So, in order to protect the woman he loves from ever suffering because of his curse, Angel does the hardest thing he has ever had to do and leaves Sunnydale behind. It’s a really heartbreaking thing to see two people who love each other so much not be able to be with each due to circumstances beyond their control. But the heartache was only beginning.
One of the most poignant moments in the history of the romance between Buffy and Angel happened not long after he left Sunnydale for L.A. As the two were in the middle of a heated discussion concerning boundaries, they are attacked by a demon assassin. Through happenstance, the monster’s blood mixes with Angel’s own and has a startling effect. It turns him into a human, soul intact and no curse to speak of. For one perfect day, Buffy and Angel are able to be with each other as a man and woman with no fear of repercussions and only dreams about a perfect future. But this, unfortunately, was not meant to last.
In order for the world not to lose a powerful force for good, Angel is forced to make the hardest decision of his life. The Powers That Be will bend time and space and reverse the clock twenty-four hours and return Angel to his vampire self. The true heartbreaking moment comes when Buffy realizes what is about to happen, and even worse is a few moments later when the spell takes effect and her memory of the day is gone forever. And the tragedy of it all is Angel is the only one of them that has the memory of that one perfect day they spent in each other’s arms.
But don’t fret. There is always hope. For the longest time Ross and Rachel were considered star-crossed. Even though he was her lobster - whether it was hunky Italian guys, the fact that they were on “a break,” false starts at the beach house, weddings in England where somebody says the wrong name, a drunken night in Vegas, or experiencing the “perfect way to say goodbye” – in the end, true love prevails. And as James O’Barr’s The Crow taught us – true love lasts forever.
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell
February 15, 2013 · No Comments
Greetings from the Odinson,
Who is more powerful? It’s a question that has been asked countless times and a discussion every single fanboy has had at one point in time or another. What if the Wrecking Crew is demolishing downtown? Daredevil wouldn’t be the right hero to deal with that situation. If bullet train A is heading eastbound and bullet train B is heading westbound and they are on the same track heading toward each other, what hero is powerful enough to stop this inevitable explosive collision? What about when Doomsday shows up to ruin everyone’s day? What hero is powerful enough to stand up to this juggernaut of mass destruction? These are important questions and now I have the scale that will help answer them.
Using a scale of 1 to 10, the Odinson ranks the power levels of the comic book multiverse.
Level 1: The Norms – These are just basic everyday non powered citizens, normal human beings with no super human powers and/or above normal skills, physical prowess, and abilities. Unfortunately, those in this particular category just happen to be the ones that need to be saved from time to time from the extraordinary events that usually occur in the very extraordinary comic book worlds they live in. Examples for This Category: Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Aunt May, Mary Jane, Alfred, Commissioner Gordon, and Jane Foster.
Level 2: Street Level Justice – These are those that, through rigorous training and unwavering determination and dedication, have achieved near physical perfection. Their fighting prowess, combat skills, and near super human level agility allow them to take on multiple foes at once and make them more than a match for most non-super human adversaries. Though they may be able to do a thousand push-ups and pull-ups, those at this power level will not be bench pressing cars any time soon. Examples for This Category: Batman, Daredevil, Nightwing, Iron Fist, Green Arrow, and Shang Chi.
Level 3: Enhanced Humans – Those in this category are individuals who have through some outside means been enhanced to be more than any normal human being can be. They can break chains, bend bars, leap higher, jump further, and run faster than normal humans can. Their strength and speed are superior to even the greatest and most gifted Olympic athletes. They can take damage and heal from wounds that would kill an ordinary man. Examples for This Category: Captain America, Deathstroke, Black Panther, Spider-Man, Bane, Luke Cage, and Wolverine.
Level 4: Monsters and Super Science – Whether it is by supernatural means or by the use of technology found only in the realm of science fiction, those in this category are of a unique variety. They can explore places, experience events, and see things that nobody else can. They are more than man, less than divine. They have the ability to challenge the gods themselves and explore their universe in ways that are beyond the abilities of others. Examples for This Category: Iron Man, Doctor Doom, Dracula, Cyborg, Blade, the Fantastic Four, Ant-Man, Green Lantern, Ghost Rider, Sub-Mariner, and Spawn.
Level 5: Wizards, Witches, and Elemental Forces of Nature – The elements of the universe are theirs to control and manipulate. They draw their power from the very fabric of Order and Chaos. The realms of the mind, ethereal, and metaphysical are their playgrounds. Natural laws of physics do not apply to them. They are masters of the impossible. They are a force of nature. Examples for This Category: Doctor Strange, Phantom Stranger, Zatanna, Scarlet Witch, Dr. Fate, Firestorm, Magneto, Black Bolt, Captain Atom, Professor X and Swamp Thing.
Level 6: Demi-Gods and Super Aliens – They are the mightiest heroes walking the earth. These are the beings that bridge the gap between mortals and immortals. They are the beings with the power to shake the earth and strength to move mountains. There are very few feats that are beyond their ability to achieve. They are god-killers. They make the impossible possible. Examples for This Category: The Eternals, Thor, Martian Manhunter, Silver Surfer, Captain Marvel, Hercules, Gladiator, Wonder Woman, Ares, Supreme, Hyperion, Sentry, Dr. Manhattan, Hulk, and Superman.
Level 7: Lords of the Underworld – They are the lords of chaos and the masters destruction. They are the things of nightmares and blights on the mortal realm. Their dark macabre power threatens our very existence. They claw their way up from the stygian depths to plague mankind with suffering. Nightmarish legions of demons, monsters, and the undead are at their beck and call. All who live fear their icy touch and few who have met them face-to-face lived to tell the tale. Even immortals fear them. Examples for This Category: Hela, Neron, Pluto, Darkseid, Thanos, Nekron, Nightmare, Dormammu, and Mephisto.
Level 8: Sky-Fathers – They are the rulers of mighty pantheons. Epic poems have been written in their honor. They dwell in the sky, far above all others and look down on the world with a judging glare. Their names are legend and their power is supreme. They manipulate the lives of mortal men as if moving chess pieces across the board. In times past, they were worshiped as gods. They are the immortals. Examples for This Category: Odin, Zeus, the Guardians, Zuras, the Elders of the Universe, and Highfather.
Level 9: Cosmic Deities and Divine Beings – They are titans. Their power is without limit. They are cosmic power incarnate. To challenge their might is certain death. They operate on a level of intelligence and see the universe in a way that no mere mortal can possibly understand. Their merest thought can become reality. Examples for This Category: The Watcher, Spectre, the Stranger, Eclipso, Korvac, Surtur and the Beyonder.
Level 10: World Killers and Universal Authority – They are the apocalypse. They are Armageddon. Whole worlds live and die upon their whims, blessings, and judgment. They have the power to create life and the power to end existence. Their names are only spoken in hushed whispers and to see them most certainly means death. When beings like this do battle the universe trembles. Entire realities and planes of existence have ceased to be in their wake. Immortals like the Eternals and even All-Father Odin himself have knelt before their awesome power. They are the cosmic hierarchy. Examples for This Category: Galactus, the Celestials, the Anti-Monitor, the Living Tribunal, Death, Eternity, and the Phoenix Force.
Level Beyond – An abstract of indescribable being and power. Examples for This Category: The One Above All
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell
February 08, 2013 · 2 Comments
Greetings from the Odinson,
In the past month or so, the internet has been abuzz over the news about Disney acquiring Lucasfilm and announcing that they will continue to make Star Wars films. It has always baffled the Odinson as to why we as fans are not treated to a new Star Wars movie every three years. The galaxy far, far away is so rich with un-mined gold and with the countless novels, comics, graphic novels, cartoons, and games that have been set there, there is a seemingly endless supply of source material to draw from.
The fantastic news just keeps coming, as not only has Disney announced that it is going to do a new trilogy set after the events of Return of the Jedi, but it is also planning to do stand alone movies set in the Star Wars U as well. I’ve read they may do a movie starring Yoda. Though I’m not overly excited about watching a film about the diminutive Jedi Master’s origins and/or adventures, I can see the merits of a film like this being made for a younger audience. I am, however, very excited about the rumors of there being stand alone movies starring Han Solo and/or Boba Fett, easily two of the most beloved, and coolest, characters from the history of the franchise. Another rumored stand alone film the Odinson has read about is an adaptation of Akira Kurosawa’s legendary film Seven Samurai, featuring Jedi Knights. That sounds like it has potential to be really, really awesome.
Here is a list of the Top 5 ideas for a Star Wars movie that the Odinson would absolutely love to see before he dies.
05 – Han Solo – Without a doubt, Solo is the coolest cat in the galaxy. Luke may have been the hero of the story, but every guy wanted to be Han Solo. He has the fastest ship, he gets the girl, and he always comes through for his friends in the end. There are so many different and interesting directions a film about Solo could go. They could explore his old smuggling days with Lando Calrissian (see Scoundrels). They could show how Han Solo and mighty Chewbacca met and became partners (see The Han Solo Trilogy). There’s a story from the old Marvel Comics series called “Star Duel,” that could be fleshed out and adapted into a fantastic Star Wars movie. And who wouldn’t want to see the Millennium Falcon make the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs?
04 – Death Troopers – I think I’d really enjoy seeing a story from the Empire’s point of view, while at the same time being treated to something fresh and new. What could possibly be cooler than characters from Star Wars fighting for survival against a horde of the undead? Stormtroopers vs. zombies! It’s a no-brainer.
03 – Boba Fett – Along with Han Solo, Boba Fett is easily one of the most beloved and coolest characters from the Star Wars Universe, and he’s not even one of the main characters. Plus, Fett and Solo’s fates are so intertwined they may just want to combine them into the same movie. They could tell the story of what happened with Fett after the events of The Empire Strikes Back, as he tries to get his cargo, a frozen Han Solo, back to his employer, Jabba the Hutt, while trying to avoid Han’s pursuing Rebel allies and other backstabbing bounty hunters like Bossk and IG-88 trying to take what he’s worked so hard to acquire (see Tales of the Bounty Hunters). They could fill in the missing gaps of Boba Fett’s life from his last appearance in Attack of the Clones to when we see him again in A New Hope Special Edition and how he became the most feared bounty hunter in the galaxy under the employ of the Hutt (see Boba Fett novel series). I wouldn’t even mind seeing a movie on the history of the Mandalorians, warriors so adept that they can go toe-to-toe with a Jedi Knight. A murder mystery set in Jabba’s Palace with Boba Fett taking center stage would be awesome as well. There’s just really no way they could go wrong with a Boba Fett movie.
02 – Obi-Wan Kenobi – For all of its flaws there is absolutely one thing that is for sure about Episodes I-III and that is that Obi-Wan Kenobi is awesome! Legendary actor Alec Guinness established Kenobi as an iconic mentor and martyr for young Luke Skywalker in the original trilogy and Ewan McGregor knocked it out of the park portraying Kenobi’s younger, swashbuckling days in service to the Republic. And what’s great is that McGregor was playing older than he actually is so he’s still young enough that he could easily reprise his role as the coolest Jedi in the galaxy.
Think about it, what are the best parts of The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith? They are Obi-Wan’s duel with Darth Maul (hands down, probably the greatest two-three minutes in Star Wars History), Obi-Wan’s investigation of the assassination attempt of Padme which leads him into direct conflict with Jango Fett and his employer Count Dooku, and amazing final battles with the deadly Jedi killer General Grievous and the traitorous Darth Vader. I, for one, would absolutely love to see McGregor reprise his role as my all time favorite Jedi Knight in a movie that gives me more adventures with Obi-Wan Kenobi.
01 – Legacy – It was always rumored that George Lucas had planned Star Wars as nine films. I can remember those rumors all the way back in the eighties, long before there even was an internet. After Disney finally finishes the original Saga with this new trilogy they are doing, the next obvious step is to move the story forward and there can’t possibly be a better tale to tell than Legacy. Set over 100 years after the events of Return of the Jedi, Legacy depicts a galaxy that has come under the rule of the Sith. It features amazing characters, political intrigue, sweet Jedi action, and more than a few wonderful surprises.
What if you could take to the two greatest heroes of the original trilogy, Luke and Han, and merge them into one character? Well, you’d end up with Cade Skywalker, the main protagonist of Legacy. Cade is the descendant of Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade who is powerful in the ways of the Force but, due to traumatic events from his past, lives his life out as a space pirate. A major plot point of this tale is Cade’s hero’s journey as he is unavoidably drawn into galactic events that are much bigger than he is. He must face his destiny as a major player that will decide the fate of the universe. Legacy is well worth the read and would be an amazing film trilogy.
“When you wish upon a star…” Sometimes dreams do come true. And Disney is making this lifelong Star Wars fan’s dream of seeing new movies set in the Star Wars Universe come true. They don’t call it the Magic Kingdom for nothing.
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell
February 01, 2013 · No Comments
Greetings from the Odinson,
The Kree is an alien race of highly technologically advanced blue-skinned humanoids. The Skrulls are an ancient alien race of shape-shifting reptilians. Rannians are a technologically advanced peaceful race of human-like beings that live on a world of exotic beauty and isolationism. Thanagarians are a highly advanced race of aliens that use a magical element called Nth Metal to defy gravity and fly. All four of these alien empires are powerful and influential in their respective comic book universes. Each of them has their own champions, religions, and politics and each of them is a powerful empire with ideas on how things should be done. So it should come as no surprise that when these powerful alien empires butt heads, it becomes a major event that usually has repercussions that can be felt throughout the galaxy.
The Kree/Skrull War
The Kree and the Skrull have been at war for countless centuries. The militaristic Kree are led by a super computer known as the Supreme Intelligence and their laws are enforced by incredibly powerful officers like Ronan the Accuser. The Skrull are an aggressive race of shape-shifters with super powered warriors like the Super-Skrull under their command. As revealed in the pages of Uncanny X-Men Annual #11, both races have had their evolutionary advancement frozen in place, a penance for trying to obtain forbidden power (this was a test Wolverine did not fail, so Earthlings will be allowed to evolve. Thank you, Logan). Their races can never evolve beyond where they are right now and their hate for each other goes all the way back to a millennia-old betrayal.
For untold centuries this intergalactic war was a stalemate with neither side really gaining an upper hand over the other. That is, until the day the war spilled over to Earth. Planet Earth just so happens to lie in a tactical position between the two warring empires, so it was only a matter of time before their conflict came here. It all starts when Captain Marvel, a Kree hero who had become the Protector of the Universe, was kidnapped by a robotic Sentry, powerful Kree weapons of war. Mar-Vell’s allies, the Avengers, immediately give chase and soon uncover a diabolical plot by Ronan the Accuser to use super science to devolve mankind and Earth to prehistoric times and use the planet as a forward base in the war against the Skrulls.
Though Earth’s Mightiest Heroes stop this mad plot, Ronan escapes, and the revelation that Captain Marvel is in fact an alien Kree stirs up anti-alien hysteria among Earth’s population. Mar-Vell goes into hiding and the Avengers try to deal with the growing panic. Then they are suddenly attacked by Skrulls, the same Skrulls, in fact, that first attacked the Fantastic Four way back in Fantastic Four #2. Our heroes don’t have long to contemplate what this means though as they are recruited by Triton to help rescue Attilan, the secret home of the Inhumans, from the madman known as Maximus. It is during this venture that it is revealed that Maximus is in fact allied with the alien Kree.
Meanwhile, Mar-Vell, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch have been captured by the Super Skrull and taken back to the Skrull Empire for execution. The Avengers immediately set off after them and what follows is one of the most spectacular aliens vs. super heroes battles ever recorded. Seeing an opportunity to strike a blow against his ancient foes, the Kree Supreme Intelligence unleashes latent mental powers from within professional sidekick Rick Jones, who at the time leading up to this conflict had been sharing a body with Captain Marvel. Rick’s mental abilities are sufficient enough to stop a full scale battle between the Skrull and Kree fleets, a battle that most assuredly would have resulted in the destruction of Earth. Plus, it is revealed that the anti-alien hysteria on Earth was created by a Skrull infiltrator. For the moment, the Kree/Skrull War was over.
In the pages of Fantastic Four Annual #18, a Kree soldier and Skrull warrior continue the Kree/Skrull War between themselves on Earth’s moon where they come into conflict with the FF and Inhumans (these two were also present during the tragic final chapter of the classic Dark Phoenix Saga). But the decisive blows and ultimate deciding factors in this long running feud happened in the pages of Fantastic Four #257, Avengers Annual #14 and Fantastic Four Annual #19. First, the Skrull homeworld, the very nexus of their empire, was devoured by Galactus. Then, the infamous Hyperwave Bomb was detonated and robbed the Skrulls of their shape-shifting abilities. These events crippled the once strong Skrull Empire and gave the Kree Empire victory by T.K.O.
Though the Kree/Skrull War is over, both the Kree and the Skrulls have returned to make big noise and cause problems for the heroes of Earth, most notably in Operation: Galactic Storm, Live Kree or Die, To Serve and Protect, and Secret Invasion. Though they may not be at each other’s throats these days, it is almost certain that the day will come when the Kree/Skrull War will reignite and Earth will once again become caught in the middle of it. Lucky for us, Earth just also happens to be the home of the Avengers and Fantastic Four.
FUN FACTS: It should be noted that the Inhumans are the result of experiments done by the Kree on ancient mankind. And, the Dire Wraiths, the sworn enemies of the Spaceknights of Galador, are in fact an offshoot of the Skrull race.
The Rann/Thanagar War
Now this intergalactic war is a bit different in that its origins don’t stem from a century’s old grudge. No, in fact, the planets Rann and Thanagar were at peace, cautious peace, but peace none the less when this conflict breaks out. This conflict was stirred up by a political grab for power, a galactic upheaval, and a diabolical plan for universal change. It all started with the mind-blowing events of Planet Heist.
During this story, a rogue group of Thanagarian warriors incredibly transport the planet Rann to the Thanagarian system with intentions of conquering the world. This cataclysmic event backfires however, and Thanagar is destroyed when the two planets collide. The surviving Thanagarians now reside on Rann and tensions between the two races threatens to escalate into full scale war. Rann’s champion, Adam Strange, and Hawkman and Hawkgirl, Thanagarian agents that have established themselves as heroes on Earth, team-up and they are joined by Green Lanterns Kyle Rayner and Kilowog to try and defuse the situation.
As war erupts, factions from across the galaxy are drawn into the conflict. Adam Strange, Hawkman, and the Lanterns are joined by Hawkwoman, Tigorr of the Omega Men, Blackfire (former Teen Titan Starfire’s malevolent sister), and Captain Comet, but even this assembly of heroes may not be enough, as a betrayal leaves one hero dead and the rise of the demonic Onimar Synn puts everyone’s lives in jeopardy. Our heroes are able to pull off the miraculous and somehow defeat Synn, but this conflict unveils a horrible truth.
It is revealed in the Rann/Thanagar War Special that it was in fact Superboy-Prime that forced the planets Rann and Thanagar to collide causing the destruction of the ladder and leading to the war in the first place. Suddenly, a giant fissure in time and space is ripped open near Rann and it is through this that Alexander Luthor and Superboy-Prime plan to remake the DC Universe in their own image (as seen in the instant classic Infinite Crisis).
Though the war and Crisis have both been stopped, these two alien races would soon find themselves at the epicenter of yet another galactic conflict in the pages of Rann/Thanagar: Holy War. Once again Adam Strange, Hawkman, and other universal heroes must team up, this time to stop the nefarious Lady Styx from usurping control and thus subjugating all sentient life in the galaxy under her control.
FUN FACTS: Tamaraneans (like Starfire and Blackfire) are an alien race that is descended from cats. And, this was not the first time Rann and Thanagar had turbulent relations, as seen in the Alan Moore scripted Saga of the Swamp Thing #57-58.
Before Annihilation and The Sinestro Corps War there was the Kree/Skrull War and the Rann/Thanagar War. Two galactic tales set on an epic scale and to this day set the standard for comic book sci-fi greatness.
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell
January 25, 2013 · No Comments
Greetings from the Odinson,
Last week the Odinson did his annual shout out to Rom Spaceknight. Rom was such an important comic series to my formative years and it got me thinking about some other comics that had some influence on me as I developed my love and passion for the medium. The comics that helped me make decisions on what kind of comics I was going to read and which heroes would go on to become my favorites.
Amazing Spider-Man #212 – This particular issue holds a special place in the Odinson’s heart as it is one of the earliest comic books that I can remember actually paying for with my own money (hard earned money received for picking up my room or sweeping the driveway). This issue has a lot going on in it. It introduces a brand new villain called Hydro Man. But in the Mighty Marvel manner, he’s not just a run-of-the-mill take-over-the-world type. He’s actually a sympathetic character with problems and a long list of decisions that lead him down a doomed path.
This is also the issue that introduced me to the artwork of the soon-to-be legendary John Romita, Jr. The way he renders the amazing wall-crawler is astounding. Romita really makes Spidey look super cool. And his breakdowns are kinetic. On the page, Spider-Man actually looks like he moves with the speed and agility of a man with the proportionate strength of a spider. It’s really neat how the final battle unfolds with Spidey facing a seemingly unbeatable opponent. And it all leads toward a shocking ending. This is not only a very nostalgic reading experience for me, but it’s a really solid issue of Spider-Man.
Plus, this issue sets up a really awesome three-way brawl in Amazing Spider-Man #217, as the Spectacular Spider-Man suddenly finds himself caught between the uncanny powers of Hydro Man and the Sandman!
NOTE: John Romita, Jr.’s first run on Spidey had some real gems in it. If you haven’t already, or you just want to treat yourself to some really great Spider-Man, also check out AMSP #229-230 (where Spidey is pushed to his utmost limits in a showdown with the unstoppable Juggernaut), AMSP #235-236 (where we learn the final, horrible fate of the original Tarantula), and AMSP #238-239 (the sinister debut of the Hobgoblin and quite frankly some of the best Spidey artwork by John Romita, Jr.).
Master of Kung Fu #114 – Though tame by today’s standards, this was an eerie tale that really spooked a young Odinson (in a good way). Shang Chi finds himself caught up in a strange situation as Fu Manchu has sent his deadliest assassin to murder a blind man’s wife. This ghostly killer moves in and out of the shadows like a spectre and his skills rival that of even the Master of Kung Fu. As time begins to run out, and his deadly adversary is getting closer and closer to accomplishing his goal, Shang Chi must somehow find a way to stop an unstoppable foe. This is a ghostly tale of drama, romance, action, surprises, and, of course, super sweet kung fu. This is, hands down, the Odinson’s favorite issue in the series and I have very fond memories of it as I read it over and over in the back seat of my parents’ car as we drove across country in the summer of ’82 on one of our family road trips.
Thor #320-321 – This particular tale stands out in my mind because it really opened my eyes to just how cool a character Thor really is. This story is a wonderful introduction to what Thor’s life is like in the Marvel Universe. There’s the juxtaposition between his time on Earth amongst mortals and his time in the magical realm of Asgard. There’s the juxtaposition between Donald Blake, a crippled mortal man and mortal doctor and his alter ego, Thor, the mightiest warrior of myth and legend.
In the story, a group of mythic beings arise on Earth and are taken in by the Prince of Asgard. He does this for two reasons: 1) – to keep them from harming the mortals he has sworn to protect and 2) – to solve the mystery behind their sudden appearance on the mortal plane. As the tale unfolds, it is revealed that this menagerie of beast men were actually slaves of a long dead god, a malevolent deity that seeks to rise again and thus plague others with suffering. Thor, being who he is, just cannot allow that to happen.
Just seeing how Donald Blake reacts in certain situations and how Thor reacts to similar situations makes for a fun read. Plus, this tale also shows that there is much more to the God of Thunder than just his legendary might, as he shows sides of himself not often seen.
The New Teen Titans “Kidnapped!” – This is a tale that just blew me away. My memory isn’t quite clear on this, but I want to say New Teen Titans Annual #1 is the first Titans issue I ever picked up. I tracked down the first issues in the story and after reading it, I became a huge Teen Titans fan, as well as a huge fan of Marv Wolfman and George Perez. This tale is epic in scope and plays out like a big budget Hollywood movie. There are space ships, intergalactic civil war, aliens, strange new worlds, resurrected gods, and in the middle of it all - super heroes! Plus, the pathos and drama of this piece are just as poignant now as they were in 1982. Here was a team of teenage super heroes, swept up in large scale events, bigger than anything they could have imagined, and they rise to the occasion and meet the challenge set out before them. This is Wolfman and Perez at their best, this is action/adventure/ sci-fi at its best, plain and simple, this is comic books at their best. I immediately went out and collected the entire series of New Teen Titans and have been a huge fan and staunch supporter of this amazing run in Comics History ever since.
Captain America #273-274 – This is the issue that caught the imagination of a young Odinson and made me a Captain America fan for life. First off, Mike Zeck’s rendition of the Sentinel of Liberty is simply amazing. Zeck makes Cap stalwart, powerful, and graceful. This is the issue when I really got to see just how awesome Captain America really is. Even in a room full of legends like Nick Fury, Dum Dum Dugan (who I knew from the pages of Godzilla) and the rest of the Howling Commandos, Cap stands out, and, when Hydra strikes, Cap’s leadership skills take control. Plus, those are just two really dynamic and exciting covers.
DC Comics Presents Annual #3 – This is a classic team-up of the Man of Steel and Earth’s Mightiest Mortal. At the time, I knew Superman from the timeless Christopher Reeves movies and the Super Friends cartoon and Captain Marvel from the live-action SHAZAM/Isis TV show. And here they were together in the same story. This issue features brilliant artwork by Gil Kane and a fast-paced, action-packed script by Roy Thomas.
In the story, Marvel’s mortal enemy, the mad scientist Doctor Sivana, has used his super science to steal the power of SHAZAM! Leaving a de-powered Captain Marvel trapped at the base of the Rock of Eternity, the newly empowered Sivana sets out to conquer the world. First, he stops over on Earth-2 and makes short work of that world’s aging Man of Steel (NOTE: In the Pre-Crisis DCU, Superman of Earth-2 is the original Man of Steel from Action Comics #1 and thus far older than the Superman we know of Earth-1). Sivana then sets his eyes on Earth-1 where he comes face-to-face with Superman. Just as Sivana begins to get the upper hand, Captain Marvel, after a quick pep talk by the pantheon of legends that grant him his unearthly might, escapes the Rock of Eternity and helps the Man of Steel defeat his arch foe.
The comics on this list are truly fun and exciting reads and come with the Odinson’s highest recommendations.
The comic cover is seemingly a lost art form in the present day. Nowadays, the covers just seem to be group pics and money shots (i.e. Spider-Man web-winging). These covers, though usually good art, are the type of piece that used to be reserved for the splash page. The cover of a comic book should tell a mini story or display something startling like our hero’s life in danger. It needs to be something spectacular that makes the reader, as he or she is perusing the rack or comic wall, stop, do a double take, and pick the issue up because they just have to know what is going to happen next.
The Ultimate Comics line at Marvel, which debuted in 2000, is probably one of the biggest, culprits of the humdrum covers of the Modern Age. Sure the art on the covers is great, but there’s no spark. If you are not already a fan of the book, there’s nothing that jumps out and says “Hey, pick me up!” These images might as well be posters or illustrations in a portfolio. Worse yet are the covers that display an action and or character that doesn’t even appear inside the book. What editor thought this was a good idea? This misleading tactic can lead to frustration and a mistrusting fan base. It seems like most of the best covers these days are homages to covers from the past (ex. Spawn #226/Incredible Hulk #340). As I’ve said, the modern day artist can produce good artwork, though this isn’t the case 100% of the time, but the art of the comic cover has seemingly been lost.
As a bonus, here’s a list of some classic covers, eye-catching pieces of art that make a reader want to pick up the book and find out what happens inside.
Amazing Spider-Man #184 – Oh no! Spidey is Doomed!
The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones #11 – Indy is hanging on by a fingertip with a hulking bruiser about to deliver the blow that will send him to certain death. How in the world is our hero going to get out of this one?
Thor #353 – Now what in the Nine Worlds could possibly be so threatening that it could unite Thor and Loki (mortal enemies) to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Odin (their oft times overbearing father)? The answer lies within.
JLA #15 – Two of the most dangerous villains in the world are right there and they are getting away. In what possible scenario would the Caped Crusader stop the Justice League from apprehending them? This cover makes me want to find out.
Silver Surfer #4 – This is easily one of the Odinson’s favorite covers of all time. Marvel’s two most powerful heroes are on a collision course that will shake the heavens. Looking at this masterpiece by the legendary John Buscema, there is no doubt that the pillars of reality will tremble when these two mighty titans clash. My hands tremble every single time I reach for this gem to witness the Mighty Marvel showdown within.
These are just a few examples that popped into my head of fantastic eye-catching covers, covers that make a reader want to stop and find out what in the world is going on inside.
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell
It's Time Once Again for the Odinson's Annual (8 years straight and running) Shout-Out to a Sorely Missed Hero - Rom Spaceknight
January 18, 2013 · No Comments
Greetings from the Odinson,
You guessed it, boys and girls, it’s time once again for the Odinson’s annual shout-out to a sorely missed character with all the potential to be a great comic. Once a year I try to talk up one of my all time favorite heroes from the past in hopes that Marvel will dust him off and bring him back to the fold. I am, of course, speaking of Rom the Spaceknight, whose series ran 75 issues and 4 annuals from 1979-1987.
Rom (1979-1986) #1-75 and Rom Annual (1982-1985) #1-4 depict an epic tale of love, loss, redemption, and, of course, scary alien monsters. Deep in space two centuries ago a decisive battle between the forces of good and evil was fought. The brave Spaceknights of Galador defeated the evil sorcery and super-science of the Dire Wraiths, and scattered them to the furthest reaches of the galaxy. Now, in present day their eternal struggle has spilled over to Earth. Rom, greatest of the Spaceknights, has landed in a small West Virginia town. Frightened by the arrival of a seven-foot alien, the people of Clairton have called in the National Guard. Rom is then forced to defend himself against those he has come to save.
Now that’s the kind of set-up that sets the stage for a truly classic story.
Rom was a very important character to the early eighties Marvel Universe. For example, in Rom #32 Rogue – who at this time was still with the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants - attempts to absorb Rom’s abilities. Rom’s innate nobility awakens her own goodness, thus helping her on her path to seek out the X-Men (as seen in Uncanny X-Men #171). The rest is history. Also, Richard Rider’s story did not actually end with the cancellation of his first series (Nova). It concluded in Fantastic Four (1961-1996 1st Series) #208 and Rom #24. After Rom helps Nova defend the planet Xandar from a Skrull invasion (those devious little alien villains who made a big noise in Secret Invasion), Richard Rider decides to give up his Nova powers and return to Earth. These issues bridge the gap between Nova (1976-1979 1st Series) #25 and New Warriors (1990-1996 1st Series) #1, where Nova made his triumphant return. In Incredible Hulk #296, when the citizens of a small town are mutated and begin to die from Gamma radiation poisoning, it’s Rom that swoops in and saves the day. The drama of this tale is part of what sets the Hulk on his spiraling path to his remarkable meltdown in the now classic Incredible Hulk #300. You can see this tragic episode in its entirety in the pages of Incredible Hulk: Regression; however, Incredible Hulk #296 is only paraphrased in the graphic novel with all of Rom’s parts edited out, to the Odinson’s displeasure.
Rom is a powerful force for good. The heart of a true hero resides in his nigh indestructible cyborg- shell. Marvel keeps teasing us with cameos by the Spaceknights in the space epics Annihilation and Annihilation: Conquest, but where is Rom? Rom has stood toe-to-toe with the likes of Jack of Hearts, Terrax the Tamer, Gladiator, the Savage Sub-Mariner, and he has survived encounters with the mighty Hulk and Galactus, the Devourer of Worlds. He is definitely a force to be reckoned with. The greatest of the Spaceknights has fought side-by-side with some of Earth’s mightiest heroes – the X-Men, New Mutants, Torpedo, Power Man and Iron Fist, the Thing, Shang Chi, Doctor Strange, the Soviet Super Soldiers (now known as Winter Guard), and Alpha Flight. And talk about epic events…there is nothing more epic than the final battle between Rom and his sworn enemies, the Dire Wraiths, with the fate of mankind hanging in the balance. Rom is defeated and victory is within the grasp of the evil Dire Wraiths. However, one last thing stands in their way and total victory…all those pesky super-heroes Rom spent the first 64 issues of his series recruiting to his cause. Rom is joined by the Avengers, West Coast Avengers, X-Men, Defenders, Soviet Super-Soldiers and all of the heroes of the world in one last ultimate battle to rid the Earth of Wraithkind forever. To put it simply, it’s awesome, and it all takes place in Avengers (1963-1996 1st Series) #244-245, Uncanny X-Men #187-188, Rom Annual #3, and Rom #61-66.
I know Rom received a satisfying and well earned ending at the conclusion to his series, but with these cosmic events that keep creeping into the Marvel U (Annihilation, War of Kings, The Thanos Imperative), surely the Greatest Spaceknight can be enticed to come out of retirement to instill justice in a chaotic universe.
Rom’s original series features superb writing by Bill Mantlo and some of the best artwork from Sal Buscema’s illustrious career, plus some fantastic covers from Mike Zeck and Frank Miller, and pencils by the legendary Steve Ditko. I can’t recommend this comic enough. If you love Sci-Fi, stories of passion and bravery, cool guest appearances, and, of course, scary alien creatures, then Rom is for you.
At the very least this guy has earned the right to get either the Essential or Marvel Masterworks treatment. I know Marvel no longer possesses the rights to the character but now with the power of Disney backing them up surely they can muster the funds to pave the way for Rom’s return to the House of Ideas.
In the aftermath of the war with the Cancer-Verse, a cadre of the Marvel Universe’s most powerful galactic heroes unites to form the Annihilators (see Thanos Imperative: Devastation). The team is comprised of Gladiator, from the Shi’ar Empire, Ronan, from the Kree Empire, Quasar, the protector of the universe, Beta-Ray Bill, Thor’s brother in arms, and the Silver Surfer, Sentinel of the Spaceways. Now that line up by itself should be enough to get the reader to pick up Annihilators, but it was the wonderful surprise on the final page of Devastation that gave the Odinson goose-bumps as these cosmic heroes are joined by a Spaceknight. The Spaceknights are back in the form of a cocky hero named Ikon. She’s a noble and capable warrior to be sure, but she lacks the compassion and likeability of Rom. It seems that these galactic heroes will have their hands full, for in the wake of all the cosmic upheaval over the last few years (i.e. Annihilation, Conquest, War of Kings, and the Thanos Imperative) an old evil has returned once again to threaten the Marvel Universe. The Dire Wraiths are back! And who better to combat this threat than the mighty Spaceknights of Galador. I, for one, can only hope that this means the triumphant return of Rom, greatest of the Spaceknights. Not only are the Dire Wraiths making trouble for our cosmic heroes but they are also popping up in other places, like the pages of FF. If these sinister shape-shifting aliens do make another play for universal domination, then the Marvel U is definitely going to need its greatest Spaceknight on the frontlines.
Well, Marvel just keeps teasing us with appearances by supporting cast members like Brandy Clark and returning villains from Rom’s past - villains like Doctor Dredd in the pages of Annihilators and Hybrid in the pages of Avengers Academy. Rom’s last appearance in comics was at Rick Jone’s wedding in Incredible Hulk #418. According to the events of Spaceknights (2000), Rom had taken the name Artour (remember his encounter with the ghosts of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table in Rom #37). He is missing and presumed dead. As we all know, good heroes die hard. For instance, Rom made a cameo appearance in the instant classic 3-part South Park epic Imaginationland. What a triumphant moment that was for the Odinson to see one of his all time favorite heroes be recognized like that. Rom also made a not-so-triumphant appearance in an episode of Robot Chicken. Several times in recent months, Rom has been referred to and mentioned in all but name. In the pages of Avengers #12.1, the sinister A.I. of Ultron makes his way back to Earth in the derelict body of a Spaceknight. This issue serves as a prelude for the upcoming Marvel event Age of Ultron. What, if anything, do the Spaceknights have to do with this event, and will mighty Rom be a part of it?
STOP TEASING US, MARVEL! Please, work out the rights with Parker Brothers or whoever holds the rights to this awesome hero and return him back to the fold.
My point is that I’m obviously not the only Rom fan in the world. There are websites dedicated to Rom. This is an important character in Comics History. This is a fantastic creation and dearly needs to come back. This is my 8th Annual proclamation for Rom’s return and I’m prepared to do it every year until the end of time until the powers that be heed my call.
Marvel, hear my plea. Bring Rom back!
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell
January 11, 2013 · 1 Comment
Greetings from the Odinson,
Last week, the Odinson started going through the Ages of comics history (i.e. The Golden Age, Silver Age, etc.) and pointing out the single most important issue or storyline that, to him, embodies each of these Ages. He started with the glorious Golden Age (Action Comics #1) and the birth of the super hero. Then came the science fiction influenced Silver Age (Flash #123). This was followed by the genre rich Bronze Age (Conan the Barbarian #1). And finally, he ended with the Modern Age (Watchmen) which features the maturation of comic book storytelling. Plus, I added a fascinating sub-Age (indicate with an *) to the list – The Marvel Age (Fantastic Four #1). This week I will continue my trek through the Ages of comics by exploring some more of these sub-Ages. .
Part 2 of 2: Post-Crisis DCU to The New Age
* Post-Crisis DCU (1985-2005): Legends – In the wake of Crisis on Infinite Earths, the DCU canned its convoluted multiverse and re-launched as a single cohesive universe. Titles like Man of Steel, SHAZAM: The New Beginning and Batman: Year One reintroduced the DC icons and rebooted their origins for a whole new generation of comic readers (my generation). This Post-Crisis DCU was the perfect jumping on point as the worlds of DC, from Smallville to New Genesis, unfolded before me as if for the very first time. Heroes were interacting and meeting each other for the very first time and the story that brought it all together and gave this bold new direction cohesiveness was Legends.
Legends was the launching pad for everything that was to come next. In this tale, a major Big Bad, Darkseid, threatens planet Earth and forces this world’s greatest super heroes to assemble and fight this threat side-by-side for the greater good. In the aftermath of Legends came Justice League and with the launch of Superman, Flash and Wonder Woman the DCU was reborn.
The most beautiful thing about the Post-Crisis Age is that it is actually an overall story arc with a beginning, middle, and an end. Its origins are result of the events which take place in the pages of Crisis on Infinite Earths. Over the course of the next two decades, the DC heroes and villains and their lives are explored, dissected, deconstructed, and put back together in ways they had never been before. Pick a character, and whether it’s Superman (his Exile, his Death, his Wedding, etc.), Batman (A Death in the Family, Knightfall, Cataclysm, No Man’s Land, etc.), Auqaman (losing his Hand, losing his Kingdom, his complicated love life, losing himself, etc.), or Green Lantern (Hal Jordon – His Fall, His Redemption, His Return, etc.), during this crucial twenty-year stretch the readers can follow a character’s arc - his growth, his failures, his struggles, his triumphs. Like a long running daytime soap, each story arc begets and influences the next.
From Legends to Zero Hour to Identity Crisis, the Post-Crisis Age of Comics is brought to a beautiful and satisfying close in the pages of Infinite Crisis, as every single subplot and major plot twist of the previous twenty years is given closure in this epic bookend to one of the finest endeavors in comics history.
* Age of the Renegade (1992-Present): Spawn #1 – Once upon a time, names like Todd McFarlane (Spider-Man, Hulk), Jim Lee (X-Men), Marc Silvestri (X-Men, Wolverine), Erik Larsen (Spider-Man), Rob Liefeld (New Mutants, X-Force), Jim Valentino (Guardians of the Galaxy), and Whilce Portacio (X-Factor) were rising stars in the Marvel Comics bullpen. They were the Young Guns of comic artists - young, hip, cocky, smart, and, above all else, talented. These brash young super stars rocked the comic book community in 1992 when, at the height of their collective powers, they decided to leave Marvel Comics and form their own company. It’s called Image Comics and it’s been a force to be reckoned with for twenty years and counting now.
In the beginning, Image was dominated by the super hero genre. Each creator added his own spice to the pot - Todd McFarlane (Spawn), Jim Lee (WildC.A.T.s), Marc Silvestri (Cyberforce), Erik Larsen (Savage Dragon), Rob Liefeld (Youngblood, Brigade, Supreme), Jim Valentino (ShadowHawk), and Whilce Portacio (WetWorks). But in the years since its inception, Image Comics has grown to become so much more. It has become a haven for creator controlled properties and a breeding ground for bold, new, and fresh ideas. From Astro City to Bomb Queen to The Maxx to Witchblade, Image has allowed the creator to tell the stories, good or bad, he/she wants to tell, without the hindrance of outside influence.
Image has also become the breeding ground for super star level talent of its own. Robert Kirkman’s Invincible is arguably the best teenage super hero comic book since Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s debut of Amazing Spider-Man in 1963. And no one can argue that Kirkman’s The Walking Dead isn’t a spectacular pop culture phenomenon unlike few other properties in the history of comics. In recent months, Image has seemingly struck gold again with the runaway success of Brian K. Vaughan’s Saga. There have been other independent comic companies established in opposition to the Big Two, but none have had the staying power or success of Image Comics.
* Death of the Super Heroes (1982-Present): Death of Superman – Sure there were some heroes before 1982 that made the ultimate sacrifice for the greater good. Bucky’s heroic demise haunted Steve Rogers for years, and Jean Grey’s selfless sacrifice to stop the out-of-control Phoenix Force left us all in tears, but it was the poignant Death of Captain Marvel that kicked off an era of death in comics that is still going strong to this day. After the shocking and sudden demise of the Protector of the Universe, a chapter in heroic history that was handled with great care by the capable hands of Jim Starlin, the comic community was put on notice – who’s next?
Again, there were others, but probably the first really major death in the super hero community to follow Captain Marvel’s had to be the death of Robin (Jason Todd). This is a chapter in the annals of comics that shaped the character of Batman for years to come. But as significant as the demise of the Boy Wonder was, it pales in comparison to the death that rocked the comic book community to its core.
The Death of Superman is, without a doubt, one of the most singular and most significant moments in the history of comics. The world’s greatest super hero falls in battle to save the world from an unstoppable monster. This event was so huge that even people who don’t or never have read a single issue were affected by it. It was covered on national news as the major story it really was. If the death of Captain Marvel signaled to the rest of the community “who’s next?”, then the Death of Superman sounded the alarm – nobody is safe!
And nobody was.
Over the next twenty years, we saw the demise of almost every single major comic character to grace the four-color medium. Batman, Captain America, Wonder Woman, Thor, Green Arrow, Iron Man, Aquaman, Wolverine, and many, many others have danced with the reaper. It has happened so often that death in comics has almost become a cliché. And with the recent Dying Wish storyline in the pages of Spider-Man, it doesn’t look like the Death of the Super Hero Age is going to end anytime soon.
* The Ultimate Age (2000-Present): The Ultimates – In 2000, Marvel Comics wanted to use the coming of the New Millennium to reinvigorate and reintroduce their properties to a whole new generation of readers. But they didn’t want to rock the boat of their already successful main stream universe. So with the release of Ultimate Spider-Man, the Ultimate Universe was born. This alternate version of the 616 (Marvel’s core Universe) was a new take on classic concepts. Here, the creators could go back and explore the early days of the Marvel Age but with a New Millennium twist, an updated and fresh look.
In the Ultimate Universe, Peter Parker is a teenager once again enduring the trials and tribulations that go along with High School. The Ultimate X-Men are once again the young neophyte heroes struggling to find their place in a world that fears and hates them. And the Ultimate Fantastic Four are a team of young, bright super humans at the forefront of universal exploration. But nothing embodies the Ultimate concept more than the flagship title of this universe – The Ultimates.
With the Ultimates, Mark Millar took a look back at the long and illustrious history of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, clipped away all the convoluted and unessential luggage, narrowed the concept of the Avengers down to its bare, beautiful nuts and bolts and created the definitive super hero team for the New Millennium. The Ultimates made everyone remember why we love these characters. Captain America is the ultimate fighting machine and leader that struggles with being a man out of time. Bruce Banner is a brilliant man cursed to walk the earth and try to keep the monster within in check. Thor is a mighty warrior of unparalleled power who hails from another time and place, a god amongst mere mortals. Iron Man is a billionaire, playboy, philanthropist and a man who struggles with the vice of alcohol and, no matter how brilliant he may be, can never escape the physical ailment that is slowly killing him. The Wasp is whimsical and Hank Pym, despite his brilliant mind, is tortured by insecurities that will cause him at crucial moments to make bad decisions.
But despite all these flaws, when the chips are down, these heroes rise to the occasion and do what must be done in order to ensure the safety of mankind. This is the essence of the Avengers. They are Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
The success of the Marvel Movies owes a great debt to the Ultimates. The influence the Ultimate Universe has had on the current stock of super hero movies is evident. Take note, movie makers, when it comes to super heroes, don’t try to “Hollywood” it up, and don’t try to reinvent the wheel. There’s a reason these tales have been around for almost a century. Just break it down to its essential elements and you shall find that there is gold to mine. Example: Marvel’s The Avengers.
** The New Age (2011-Present): Justice League #1 – The last Age of Comics is the one we are currently heading into – The New Age. The New Age is the great unknown. Where do we go from here? It’s a new Beginning, a fresh start. It’s a great jumping on point for new and lapsed readers alike. And with the launch of DC Comics: The New 52, Marvel Now, and the return of Valiant, the New Age has already begun.
For the last 75 years every generation has had an Age that has defined their era of comics experience. The Golden Age (1939-1955) was the first, a bright, shining moment in history that birthed the super hero, inspired the imagination and led the way for all others to follow. The Silver Age (1956-1969) embraced the Atomic Age, asked questions, and explored the furthest reaches of science fiction. The Bronze Age (1970-1981) challenged the readers to think outside of the box and embrace new ideas and new concepts and explore different genres. The Modern Age (1981-2011) challenged the way we look at and read comics. It broadened the horizons and took the medium further than anyone possibly could have imagined. And now it is time for the New Age of Comics. Oh, what magical avenues of discovery will they think of next?
“The Future is Now!” Welcome to the New Age of Comics.
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell
January 04, 2013 · No Comments
Greetings from the Odinson,
Anybody who has read comics for any extended period of time is familiar with the Ages of Comics (i.e. The Golden Age, Silver Age, etc.). This week, in the first of a two-part column, the Odinson is going to discuss these Ages and point out the single most important issue that, to him, embodies each of these Ages in comics history. Plus, I will add a few fascinating sub-Ages (indicated with an *) to the list. This may not necessarily be the issues that kicked off their respective Age, but these are the single issues or storylines that define these different Ages for the Odinson and this is what the different Ages mean to me. Let’s get started.
Part 1 of 2: The Golden Age to the Modern Age
The Golden Age (1939-1955): Action Comics #1 – The Golden Age of comics was a bright, shinning beacon of hope. It set the standard for all others to follow. Its heroes were stalwart and true, fighting the never-ending battle to preserve truth, justice, and the American way. The heroes of the Golden Age took on gangland crime, political corruption, and oppression. And with the call to arms for World War II, they joined the Allies in their fight against the Axis Powers.
This pantheon of comic book legends consisted of some of the greatest champions for justice from comics history, names like Captain America, Captain Marvel, Batman, Sub-Mariner, Wonder Woman, the Human Torch, Green Lantern, Cat-Man, the Black Terror and Bulletman. But no Golden Age star burns brighter than the super hero that started it all – Superman! The Man of Steel was the first and greatest of all the super heroes. Not only were his actions the bar by which all other heroes are measured to this very day, his power set – super strength, speed, intelligence, flight, invulnerability – is the accepted template for countless of heroes that came after him.
The Golden Age was also the Age of the Sidekick. Captain America had Bucky. Captain Marvel had Captain Marvel, Jr. Batman, of course had, Robin. And Superman had Jimmy Olsen. There were also Kitten, Toro, Bulletgirl and many others. Through these teenage avengers, the comic industry’s number one target audience, children, could live vicariously and experience the adventurous life of fighting crime alongside their adult super hero supervisor.
The Silver Age (1956-1969): Flash #123 – As America and the world entered the Atomic Age, comic book heroes took on a more science fiction tone. Magical whimsies and fantasy elements of the past made way for alien influence and super science. Heroes like Green Lantern, Hawkman, and the Atom got sci-fi makeovers. And no hero exemplified this change more so than the Flash. Jay Garrick, the Golden Age Flash, with his winged helmet, resembles the Roman god of myth and legend, Hermes. Barry Allen’s Flash, however, wears a sleeker costume. Allen is a police scientist who received his super speed when a lightning bolt strikes and dowses him with electrified chemicals.
For the Silver Age, Green Lantern’s power ring is no longer magical. Instead, ace test pilot Hal Jordan receives his power ring from a dying alien and becomes part of the universal police force known as the Green Lantern Corps. The Atom is no longer a feisty, two-fisted masked hero, he is now a brilliant scientist that can shrink down to the size of his namesake. And Hawkman is no longer a reincarnated man from ancient Egypt but now an interstellar police officer (though to be fair, Hawkman’s origins are so convoluted I don’t even know where to begin). It is also during the Silver Age that the World’s Greatest Super Heroes assemble and forge a mighty beacon of righteousness the world would come to know as the Justice League of America.
* The Marvel Age (1961-Present): Fantastic Four #1 – By time the 60s had arrived, longtime comic scribe Stan Lee was becoming burned out on the whole Atlas Era monster/romance/western style of comic book storytelling. He was ready to give up comics all together. It was at that moment something very serendipitous happened. Stan’s editor came to him and told him that their distinguished competition over at DC was having all sorts of success with a series called Justice League of America. So, at the behest of his beautiful supportive wife Joan, Stan decided that if he was going to do one last comic story, then he was going to tell the kind of story he wanted to and with the publication of Fantastic Four – the Marvel Age was born. The Marvel Age ushered in a new kind of super hero. These were not the demigods that looked down on mankind from high on their perch in an orbiting satellite. No, the Marvel super heroes were mankind. They reflected man’s daily struggles with self.
Ben Grimm is an everyman from Yancy Street who is transformed into a monstrous Thing. Peter Parker as the Spectacular Spider-Man can match wits with Doctor Octopus and stop the Green Goblin from pumpkin-bombing the Thanksgiving Day Parade, but still struggles to make ends meet, pay the rent and get the girl. The Mighty Thor is the strongest warrior of fabled Asgard, but he’s trapped inside the crippled shell of a mortal man. Bruce Banner is arguably the world’s most brilliant mind, but whenever he becomes angry he transforms into the monster the world has come to know as the Incredible Hulk. Matt Murdock is a blind lawyer by day, but by night he is Daredevil the Man without Fear and protector of Hell’s Kitchen. The Uncanny X-Men are mutant heroes that protect a world that fears and hates them for being different. The Invincible Iron Man is an unstoppable armored hero, but as Tony Stark, he struggles with the vice of alcoholism and a bad heart.
The Marvel Age gave the reader heroes they could relate to, characters that were more than one dimensional cardboard cut-outs. In many ways, thanks to Stan Lee’s vision, a talent pool of some of the most legendary artists in the history of the medium, and the Marvel style of narrative, the Marvel Age legitimized comics and paved the way for the future of comic book storytelling.
The Bronze Age (1970-1981): Conan the Barbarian #1 – The Bronze Age is defined by its variety and the exploration of other genres other than just super hero. The 1970s were going to be different and nothing signified that more than the coming of Robert E. Howard’s mighty Cimmerian to the four-color format. It would not be long before Conan would be joined by other fantasy legends like Red Sonja, Claw the Unconquered, Kull the Conqueror, and Kamandi the Last Boy on Earth.
The Bronze Age would also bring back the horror comic and take it to new heights with titles like Werewolf by Night, Swamp Thing, Man-Thing, Ghost Rider, Demon, Son of Satan, Weird War Tales, and the crown jewel of horror, Tomb of Dracula. It was also the Age of the Dragon as two-fisted (and footed) heroes like Iron Fist, Richard Dragon, the Sons of the Tiger, Karate Kid, and Shang Chi the Master of Kung Fu used their “Deadly Hands of Kung Fu” to distribute a unique brand of justice. And with the Sci-Fi cherry-on-top of Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, John Carter Warlord of Mars, Planet of the Apes, and Jack Kirby’s Fourth World, the Bronze Age stands out as a prominent cornucopian Age of variety in comic book history.
The Modern Age (1981-Present): Watchmen – The Modern Age brought two major changes to the comic book medium – the comic universe-changing Big Event and the maturation of comic book storytelling. Nothing symbolizes that second like the Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons instant classic Watchmen, a sophisticated deconstruction of the super hero genre set against the backdrop of a murder mystery and the 1980s Cold War threat of nuclear annihilation. Watchmen was not the only tale of its time to signify to readership that their comics weren’t just for kids anymore. The Dark Knight Returns, Squadron Supreme, the New Universe, The Killing Joke, Demon in a Bottle, The Longbow Hunters are all storylines that helped comics and the fans grow up a little and showed that this wonderful medium can be used for more than just telling another villain-of-the-week story. DC Comics introduced its Vertigo line, a Mature Readers Only banner with titles like Swamp Thing, Sandman, Hellblazer, and Preacher, that allowed writers and artists to explore stories aimed at an older audience.
The big company-encompassing-event story was birthed in the Modern Age. Contest of Champions is the first of its kind to feature every single character from the entire spectrum of its respective comic universe in one epic tale. Then Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars and Crisis on Infinite Earths took this epic style of storytelling to the nth degree and the industry has not looked back since. What followed was a never-ending slew of massive event stories with varying degrees of success, including The Mutant Massacre, Fall of the Mutants, Zero Hour, Deathmate, Civil War, World War Hulk, etc. The Modern Age is definitely the Age of the Big Event.
The Modern Age also birthed a darker kind of hero – the Anti-Hero. Gun-toting, take-no-prisoners, judge, jury and executioner type “heroes” like Deadpool, Venom, Vigilante, Elektra, Deathstroke the Terminator and, of course, Punisher. These are men and women that walk a thin line between good and bad. Their version of justice is absolute and they are just as likely to take a life as they are to save it, and in some cases, more likely. Hard-edged servants of the law like Judge Dredd, the ultimate judge, jury and executioner, were introduced to the format. Characters like Cable and his militant X-Force and government sponsored teams of assassins like Suicide Squad and Bloodstrike aren’t shackled with the moral compass heroes like Superman and Captain America wear with pride. In their book, bad guy equals dead guy and they won’t lose a moment of sleep over it.
Tune in next week as the Odinson finishes up his trek through the Ages of Comics with a look at the Post-Crisis DCU, the Age of the Renegade, the Ultimate Age, and more!
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell