Wanda Maximoff. Wanda Frank. Just Wanda. Or the Scarlet Witch. The Great Pretender. The Great Redeemer. Whatever you may call her, she’s one of Marvel’s powerhouses, and that universe’s Nexus Being—that is, the living focal point for all its mystical energies… and, if that mumbo-jumbo doesn’t clue you in, she’s a character with a remarkably complicated history, too. I’ve discussed her before in this site (my first time writing for Comic Book Herald, actually), so I’ve already made my case for why she’s a worthwhile character despite all the many, many controversies and mistreatments. What I’m here to do today is try and coalesce all her convoluted continuity, which has mostly been told through team books instead of her own title, into a single omnibus Marvel could believably publish… as well as a fantasy version they certainly won’t.
Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster returns to the MCU this summer in Thor: Love and Thunder—as the Mighty Thor, no less! And, with the arrival of this movie, just like in 2014 when Jane became Thor in the comics, you’ll probably see a ton of retrospectives about Jane that go a little something like “Jason Aaron saved this Silver Age character from obscurity, turning a forgotten damsel in distress into one of Marvel’s most iconic heroes.” And they’ll be mostly right—about the latter part! In truth, we shouldn’t minimize Jane’s long comic history to only the early days, when her only purpose really was pining for Thor and getting kidnapped by villains. Granted, this erroneous view of Jane is popular for good reason: she’d never been the protagonist of her own story until 2014, and her best stories—without exception—have been told since. So, to be clear, my purpose here isn’t to uncover hidden gems but to contextualize how Jane Foster became what she is now, and how Jason Aaron didn’t so much reinvent her as he did advance her into the next logical step. Even with sixty years worth of scattered stories through so many different creators, very few of whom were concerned about Jane’s legacy, a clear picture still emerges if you know where she’ll end up. [Read more…] about The Saga of Jane Foster: Before the Mighty Thor
Nick Fury must be a difficult character for Marvel to know what to do with. For the average Joe, Fury is the guy who founded the Avengers while looking a lot like Samuel L. Jackson. That’s not the Nicholas J. Fury you’ll encounter in most comics: Jackson’s depiction is based on a version of the character from the now-defunct “Ultimate Universe” line, an attempt to modernize Marvel for a new audience, free of decades of continuity. In fact, artist Bryan Hitch based the likeness of his Fury on Jackson long before he’d ever been cast for the Marvel Cinematic Universe!
In the main comics, meanwhile, the director of SHIELD is an old white World War II veteran who usually has little to do with the Avengers, let alone their creation. Nevertheless, the need for MCU synergy eventually reached Fury too, and the old man was retired from service while his hitherto unknown son, who looks a lot like a younger Jackson, took over as an agent of SHIELD. Before all that mess, however, “classic recipe” Fury had half a century of stories focused on him and in the SHIELD organization that he runs (if only sometimes!). There is a lot of classic material here, from the Silver Age to this past decade, most of which hasn’t yet been collected in omnibus format. So let’s change that, shall we? With the Secret Invasion Disney+ show starring Jackson’s Nick Fury coming soon, this may not just be an exercise in daydreaming. [Read more…] about Omnibussin: Nick Fury, from War World II to S.H.I.E.L.D.
Our attempt to decide how Marvel should ideally collect all of Thor comics in omnibus format continues, with all the Silver Age and Bronze Age material already covered in the first part. Thankfully, things get much easier to work out from here: after Simonson, whose work on Thor received a dedicated omnibus back in 2011, writer Tom DeFalco and artist Ron Frenz collaborated on the title and a few spin-offs for nearly a decade, taking Thor well into the nineties. [Read more…] about Omnibussin: Give Thor Some Love (and Thunder), Part 2
Thor’s had knockout run after knockout run in comics for the last several years, and with the release of the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder film this will be the first character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to get a fourth solo film. So, with interest in Thor at an all-time high, it’s the perfect time for Marvel’s publishing arm to give Thor some more love (and thunder) in the omnibus department, and our aim today is to ascertain just how they should go about it! [Read more…] about Omnibussin: Give Thor Some Love (and Thunder), Part 1