In just the last decade, the comic book character, Wolverine, has undergone a surge in popularity and renown. He has always struck a chord with readers as a prominent and important character; from his humble, slightly silly (and heavily retconned) beginning in the pages of The Incredible Hulk in 1974, to his re-introduction and subtle reimagining in the Marvel Universe-changing Giant Size X-Men #1, and then his foray into a self-titled comic line starting with the iconic Frank Miller/Chris Claremont mini-series and spanning into a monthly series for almost 25 unbroken years. Yet, recently, his saturation in the comics and movie universes has led to a mere shell of the man known as Logan, James Howlett, Patch, and The Wolverine. Now Marvel plans to kill him off in the comics, and this is seen as a poor move by some, a welcomed move by others, and has outraged die-hard fans and new believers all the same. I am penning this as a letter to address the points from both sides of the argument, and shed some light on the life, and inevitable demise, of this tragic super hero. [Read more…] about Wolverine: A Love Letter for the Demise of the Tragic Super-Hero
It all began when a reader wrote in asking for a chronology of the X-Man called Gambit. What followed took me from the Claremont era through the Rogue romance of the ‘90s, with Gambit’s secret ties to Sinister revealed in Uncanny X-Men #350. In the years that followed, he redeemed himself and even led an X-team on occasion.
And then everything changed. [Read more…] about Gambit Reading Order Part 5: Mid-2000s to the Present Day
Last week’s installment was a pretty zany one-off featuring Arcade and Dr. Doom that nevertheless managed to serve a purpose in the overall 80s X-Men story–namely, the rekindling of Colossus’ and Shadowcat’s kinda-relationship, which Piotr dumped water on by hooking up with an alien chick during the Secret Wars. This week, we get the sequel to Barry Windsor-Smith’s epic LifeDeath collaboration with Claremont. The original, which appeared in Uncanny #186, dealt with the repercussions of Ororo being de-powered by a device created by the tech-wizard mutant Forge (at this time, still a new character known only for creating this weapon). Subsequent repercussions include her leaving the X-Men, returning to Africa, running afoul of the Strucker Twins (Fenris, to long-term Marvel fans, and also brand-new creations in 1985) and being gunned down by them a few issues later. [Read more…] about Old-School X-Men with Lincoln Crisler: Uncanny X-Men #198
This past July, Marvel announced that they’ll be launching “Avengers NOW” in the fall, another revamp of their comic book universe. More dramatically, Marvel has unveiled key details of this initiative, including the reveal of Thor becoming a woman (but not Lady Thor), Sam Wilson upgrading from Falcon to Captain America, and Iron Man donning a new suit in a series titled “Superior Iron Man.” It’s a continued, largely successful effort on Marvel’s end to inject new life into their comics since Marvel NOW!, but as you’d expect the major character transformations are met with both praise and abject hate, cheering and cries of political correctness gone wrong. Personally, I’m a big fan of new stories and Marvel taking chances with their characters. Don’t buy it? Here’s a whole bunch of suggested reading from the past where Marvel dramatically changed established heroes along with the end result: [Read more…] about Suggested Reading: The History of Marvel Comics Dramatically Transforming Key Characters
Arrow has kicked off with two great seasons. Season 1 gave us Ollie’s origins and his experiences on the island. It recreated the “Dark Archer” as the vengeful Malcolm Meryln and actually gave him a purpose (unlike the comics). Season 2 was amazing with Manu Bennet’s Slade Wilson/Deathstroke upping the stakes for the Arrow and his team. Clearly The CW knows how to use its villains for this show. After all they’ve included Bronze Tiger, China White, The Clock King, Deadshot and many other DC favorites. Given Queen’s small roster of iconic villains, what new villains are going to challenge the Arrow this season? Here’s a list of some baddies who could give Ollie a run for his money. [Read more…] about Arrow Season 3: Five Villains and How They Can Be Used!