Since their introduction in 1982, the Brood have been one of the most fearsome X-Men villains, an alien race that can infect mutants (and humans alike!) and transform them into a part of the Brood hive. The buglike swarms are also deceptively intelligent, exhibiting a merciless cunning that makes them terrifying to the X-Men, and an intergalactic presence. [Read more…] about The Essential Brood Comics Reading Order!
The Russian mutant supervillain Omega Red is a remarkably distilled embodiment of the X-Men’s transition out of the 1980’s and into the 1990’s. Codename Omega Red, real-name Arkady Rossovich is Russia’s equivalent of Wolverine, Weapon X, but from the foundation of a serial killer.
Debuting in X-Men #4, in a story by John Byrne and Jim Lee, Omega Red is the very first supervillain the X-Men face after Chris Claremont’s final written issue in 1991 after an approximate 16 year tenure as lead writer for all things mutant. Red looks like Ivan Drago had a three-way baby with Doctor Octopus and the spirit animal powering all of 90’s Image Comics. He’s also a wonderfully over-the-top vampire super-soldier with the mutant ability to secret death pheromones. [Read more…] about The Essential Omega Red Reading Order!
They say “those who can’t do, teach,” but the Taskmaster – a mercenary-trainer-for-hire with “photographic reflexes” also known as Tony Masters – proves the phrase wrong. “Anything the Avengers can do, I can do better!” he boasts on the cover of Avengers #196, his first full appearance. All that skill and the heart of an educator to boot? What a catch!
2020 marks the 40th anniversary of the Taskmaster’s introduction at the end of Avengers #195 (May 1980). His capacity to mimic the athletic abilities of anyone he watches immediately made him a formidable foe for countless heroes, often thwarted only through clever tricks, as opposed to physical prowess. Acting as a foil to every hero he faces, the Taskmaster has made it into hundreds of single issues, dozens of episodes of animated television, and video games including Marvel’s Spider-Man for the PlayStation 4 – all leading up to his live action debut in this spring’s entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Black Widow. [Read more…] about Taskmaster Reading Order!
Equal parts Asgardian ally and cosmic hero, Beta Ray Bill debuted in 1983 as part of Walt Simonson’s opening salvo on what would become the best Thor comics run of all time. In the hands of a less monumental creative vision, Bill could have been lost to time as an equine oddity in the Odinson’s mythos, but instead he’s an essential part of the Marvel Cosmic fabric and oath-brother to Thor. [Read more…] about Beta Ray Bill Reading Order!
As the firstborn son of Marvel’s first family, Franklin Richards is both deeply ingrained in Marvel history, and an absolute wild card. Franklin’s a child of the Fantastic Four and an omega level mutant, meaning few character’s in Marvel have every operated with the potential to completely change the course of Marvel history. [Read more…] about The Essential Franklin Richards Reading Order!