Monica Rambeau has had a fascinating and frustrating history since her first appearance in 1982. Monica (AKA Photon, AKA Pulsar AKA Spectrum, if you nasty) has the unique ability to transform herself into any form of energy within the electromagnetic spectrum with power levels that have spiked and waned throughout her career. Monica was the first female Captain Marvel and also the first African American female Avenger, a team that she eventually led. Her history is often seen as a hot button issue among readers due to the character’s long stretches of inactivity and underutilization. Monica made her live action appearance in tiny human form in Captain Marvel and appears in Disney+’s WandaVision. [Read more…] about Monica Rambeau Reading Order
Time based hijinks are a well known trope in comic book history. While DC typically has Booster Gold and the Flash to thank for timeline troubles, in the Marvel Universe, Kang The Conqueror is usually to blame.
Kang, whose first Marvel appearance can be tied back to 1963, was born Nathaniel Richards in the 31st century on an alternative peaceful earth (earth-6311). Kang stumbled upon time travel technology developed by Doctor Doom and has been a major threat to the Avengers and earth itself over the past 60 years. [Read more…] about Kang the Conqueror Reading Order!
Marvel’s SWORD, the Sentient World Observation and Response Department, is the intelligence equivalent of SHIELD, dealing with the extraterrestrial threats of the Marvel Cosmic scene. Whereas SHIELD has been with the Marvel Universe since the Jack and Stan Silver Age, SWORD debuted in 2004’s Astonishing X-Men by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday. Since that time, SWORD, and most specifically the unit’s delightfully no-nonsense commander, Abigail Brand, have been an integrated, yet sporadic part of the Marvel Universe fabric, although most commonly tied to the pages of X-Men.
Despite the memorable debut, clear purpose, and compelling role in Marvel Cosmic, SWORD only has one solo five issue miniseries prior to the launch of Al Ewing and Valerio Schiti’s hotly anticipated entrance into the X-Men’s Dawn of X. There are good stories involving SWORD and Agent Brand – as a matter of fact I have a list of 10 essentials – but I’d also argue there’s a definite sense of untapped potential.
I’ve been thinking about it for a hot ten minutes now, and you’d be hardpressed to find a more famous hungry character than Galactus. The cosmic planet eater created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee is right up there with Scooby and Shaggy, Kobayashi, and Garfield for famous personas revolving around eating.
Of course, Galactus has plenty more going for him, starring in arguably the first Marvel Comics event, and functioning as the center of the entire Marvel Cosmic universe for decades since the Silver Age. Galactus inevitably brings a presence – and yes, a hunger – to any story, enhancing the stakes and consistently taking traditional “beat ’em up!” solutions off the table. [Read more…] about The Essential Galactus Reading Order!
The tale of Illyana “Magik” Rasputina is a tragic one, full of torture, dashed hopes, and betrayal. Born and raised to early childhood behind the Iron Curtain, Illyana’s young life was saved from a tractor accident when the mutant powers of her brother Piotr manifested. Piotr went on to become the X-Man Colossus, and Illyana eventually joined him in the United States under the supervision of Charles Xavier. That’s the happy part of the story.
Illyana spent 7 years in the Limbo dimension as the captive of an evil sorcerer named Belasco, during which time her own mutant abilities of teleportation presented themselves. Illyana also learned to use magic under the tutelage of another reality’s version of Storm. When Illyana finally emerged from Limbo, almost no time had passed in the real world. Illyana was never quite the same after this. Joining the New Mutants and becoming friends with her teammates helped, but the dark aspect of Illyana’s soul never healed, even after a death and rebirth. [Read more…] about Magik (Illyana Rasputin) Reading Order!