Tag Archives: roy thomas

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Marvel, Cinebook, Yen Press, and Harlequin all have New Digital Releases for you today

There are 10 new releases available now on comiXology. You can get shopping now are check out the individual releases below.

Alone Vol. 12: The Rebels of Neosalem

Written by Fabien Vehlmann
Art by Bruno Gazzotti
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The time has come for war councils, as the elders of the First Families prepare the coming campaign against their enemies of the Last Families. They’re still unsure about the leader they’ve chosen, though – Saul. In response, the latter continues to slide deeper into authoritarianism, and orders that the trials for switching families now be fought to the death. A cruel move that will only stoke the growing rebellion in Neosalem’s population – one that Leila will spearhead…

Alone Vol. 12: The Rebels of Neosalem

Gomer Goof Vol. 8: A Giant Among Goofs

Written by Franquin
Art by Franquin
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There’s no denying Gomer’s genius. Mechanics, botany, chemistry, zoology, musicology … His brain is capable of sudden brilliance in everything at which he tries his hand. The problem is that, brilliant or not, his inventions are never quite right for either the time, or the place. Which leads to disaster after disaster, fuelling his colleagues’ aggravation. Fortunately, he still has the loyalty of his cat and gull – and the unfailing affection of Miss Jeanne…

Gomer Goof Vol. 8: A Giant Among Goofs

Kakegurui – Compulsive Gambler – #87

Written by Homura Kawamoto
Art by Toru Naomura
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Read the next chapter of Kakegurui the same day as Japan!

Kakegurui - Compulsive Gambler - #87

One-Man Woman

Written by Carole Mortimer
Art by Tatsui Akijo
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Wealthy Daniel arrives at the hotel that Ellie manages. At first, Ellie is intrigued by this flashy man, but soon Daniel is pestering her at every turn during his stay. Ellie resists his advances, yet slowly she finds herself ready to give in to his charm. But is she prepared to be just another one of his whims?

One-Man Woman

Spider-Man: India

Written by Jeevan J. Kang
Art by Sharad Devarajan, Jeevan J. Kang, Suresh Seetharaman
Cover by Jeevan J. Kang
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Collects Spider-Man: India #1-4. Everybody knows the story of Spider-Man…but what if things had happened differently? What if it wasn’t a New Yorker named Peter Parker, but an Indian teenager named Pavitr Prabhakar who was gifted with the abilities of the spider? Witness the rebirth of a legend as young Pavitr learns hard lessons about power and responsibility in an all-new interpretation that has received worldwide media coverage!

Spider-Man: India

Spider-Man Team-Up: A Little Help From My Friends

Written by Todd DeZago
Art by Lou Kang, Ron Lim, Jonboy Meyers, Michael O’Hare
Cover by Randy Green
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Collects Marvel Age Spider-Man Team-Up #1-5. Some super-villains are too tough for even Spider-Man to handle alone! But with friends like the Fantastic Four, first family of super heroes; Captain America, star-spangled Sentinel of Liberty; Kitty Pryde of the X-Men; and the Mighty Thor, Norse God of Thunder, everybody’s favorite wall-crawler knows he can count on plenty of help to beat the bad guys!

Stoker’s Dracula

Written by Roy Thomas
Art by Dick Giordano
Cover by Dick Giordano
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Collects Stoker’s Dracula #1-4. Thirty years later, comics legends Roy Thomas and Dick Giordano reunite to at last complete their unfinished B&W ink-wash adaptation of Bram Stoker’s classic tale of vampire horror, Dracula, in this lush keepsake edition! Originally serialized in Marvel horror magazines VAMPIRE TALES and LEGION OF MONSTERS, their meticulous retelling of Bram Stoker’s tale of Gothic horror has been found in the Marvel tombs, and will at last be unleashed upon the daylight!

Stoker’s Dracula

The Case Study of Vanitas #53

Written by Jun Mochizuki
Art by Jun Mochizuki
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Read the next chapter of The Case Study of Vanitas the same day as Japan!

The Case Study of Vanitas #53

Thorgal Vol. 28: Aniel

Written by Yann
Art by Grzegorz Rosinski
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Thorgal and his friends are finally on their way back to the lands of the Vikings of the North. Time is of the essence, for his son Aniel is still possessed by an evil entity, and is doing increasingly poorly. But the trip is fraught with danger, and soon they find themselves marooned on mysterious – though perhaps not entirely unknown – shores. Thorgal will have to fight without rest to give his son a future …

Thorgal Vol. 28: Aniel

XIII Mystery Vol. 9: Felicity Brown

Written by Matz
Art by Christian Rossi
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Statuesque, alluring and a literal femme fatale … Felicity Brown, former waitress, former call-girl and pretend nurse, nearly caused the end of XIII when she murdered for his money the man he believed might be his father. But crime doesn’t pay in the end, and Felicity is forced to flee from the FBI. Thus begins a bloody escape that will take the black widow to Costa Verde, into the arms of a dictator and in the middle of a revolution that will soon draw in none other than… XIII!

XIII Mystery Vol. 9: Felicity Brown

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Marvel, AAM-Markosia, Yen Press, and Harlequin all deliver New Releases on comiXology

There’s 13 new releaes on comiXology right now from Marvel, AAM-Markosia, Yen Press, and Harlequin. You can get shopping now or check out the individual releases below.

Marvel Weddings

Written by John Byrne, Gerry Conway, Steve Englehart, Stan Lee, David Michelinie, Fabian Nicieza, Jim Shooter, Roy Thomas
Art by Rich Buckler, John Buscema, Sal Buscema, John Byrne, Jack Kirby, Andy Kubert, Paul Ryan, Joe Staton
Cover by John Romita Sr.
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Collects Fantastic Four (1961) #150 And Annual #3, Incredible Hulk (1964) #319, Avengers (1963) #59-60, 127, Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21, X-Men (1991) #30. Reed and Sue, heart and soul of Marvel’s First Family of Super Heroes. Peter and Mary Jane, the spider and the supermodel. Scott and Jean, childhood sweethearts sworn to protect a world that hates and fears them. Bruce and Betty, the beauty and the beast. Break out the tissues, True Believer: The House of Ideas cordially invites you to celebrate the history-making nuptials of its greatest couples in this keepsake edition! From the Fantastic Four to Spider-Man to the X-Men, with a few surprises in between, this commemorative volume proves the power of love can overcome all odds

Marvel Weddings

New Invaders: To End All Wars

Written by Allan Jacobsen
Art by Jorge Lucas, C.P. Smith
Cover by Scott Kolins
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Collects New Invaders (2004) #1-9. Soldiers, super heroes, sentinels of liberty since the Second World War – they’re the Invaders, and they’re back! In 1941, the greatest heroes of the day united to battle the Axis powers. Today, the Invaders have reunited to combat the Axis Mundi, a global terrorist network born from the ashes of the Third Reich. Beyond borders, beneath the seas and behind enemy lines, they hunt the hidden terrors that threaten civilization!

New Invaders: To End All Wars

Rogue: Forget-Me-Not

Written by Tony Bedard
Art by Derec Donovan, Karl Moline
Cover by Scot Eaton
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Collects Rogue (2004) #7-12. A bold new direction for the Southern Belle! Rogue may be a hero now, but once upon a time she wasn’t so sweet…and that criminal past may just come back to haunt her! A traumatic encounter will leave her drastically changed…permanently!

Rogue: Forget-Me-Not

Sabretooth: Open Season

Written by Daniel Way
Art by Mark Pennington, Bart Sears
Cover by Paolo Rivera
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Collects Sabretooth (2004) #1-4. The most brutal villain in the Marvel Universe returns! But has he gone too far this time? Did Sabretooth destroy an entire island of innocent humans? And what will happen when the U.S. Military tries to bring him down? Will they succeed – or pay the ultimate price?

Sabretooth: Open Season

So I’m a Spider, So What? #52.2

Written by Okina Baba
Art by Asahiro Kakashi
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Read the next chapter of So I’m a Spider, So What? on all digital platforms!

So I'm a Spider, So What? #52.2

The Last Magician #3

Written by Sean Meighen
Art by Thien Uncage
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Still grappling with his newfound destiny as the legendary Last Magician, Christian soon faces his first challenge when he is abducted by the demonic Shadow People. Will Christian be able to defeat the dark entities and escape with his life, or will his first adventure as Rookwood’s sworn protector also be his last?

The Last Magician #3

The Last Mundane #2

Written by Jorge Perez Bucheli
Art by Jorge Perez Bucheli
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Alliances are put to the test during Adam and his friends’ long journey to Nuke City, only to discover that there is no single safe place on their way to their final destination. Meanwhile, a lurid menace begins to take shape, led by dark forces and threatening to establish a new world order!

The Last Mundane #2

Monument #4

Written by Richard Perry
Art by RH Stewart
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As Nicole and DCI Venn seek out to solve the string of murders in East London, they both find different clues that lead them to who is responsible. Nicole seeks advise from her mentors whilst Venn visits an old enemy that he believes holds the key to all the answers.

Monument #4

Possession #5

Written by Michael Norwitz, Mary Ann Vaupel
Art by Enrico Carnevale
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“All this has happened before, and all this will happen again.” This issue turns away from the usual Possession cast for a tale of times past, in which the 1940’s heroes Shaman & Flame share a turbulent romance and confront the two-faced Head of Janus in a tragedy on the border of reality!

Possession #5

A Scandalous Proposal #2

Written by Julia Justiss
Art by Misao Hoshiai
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Emily finally realizes her love for Evan, which has liberated her. But he has to marry the sister of his best friend. A big hurdle is now standing between the two, and because she loves him, Emily decides to leave Evan…and return to the high society that she abandoned years ago?

A Scandalous Proposal #2

Another Time

Written by Susan Napier
Art by Jun Togashi
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Helen is being fitted for her wedding dress when her fiancé’s brother, Alexander Knight, suddenly appears. He stares at Helen with his ardent black eyes and asks her, “Have you forgotten that night in Hong Kong five years ago?” What is he talking about? She’s never met him before! But there are blank spots in Helen’s memory due to a past illness… Is there a secret between the two of them hidden in her lost memories?

Another Time

Claiming My Bride Of Convenience

Written by Kate Hewitt
Art by Imeri Tsubakino
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Daisy, a poor waitress, decided to marry multimillionaire Matteo after they met by chance. Matteo needed a wife in order to take over his grandfather’s company and he assured her the marriage would be for two years only. However, three years have gone by now and Daisy is still married! Exasperated, she asks Matteo for a divorce. But she’s shocked when he proposes that they make their relationship real. He’s never so much as looked at her in the past three years, and now he wants a real marriage?

Claiming My Bride Of Convenience

Conveniently Engaged To The Boss

Written by Ellie Darkins
Art by Tomoko Takakura
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Eva is the secretary for the president of a high-end department store. One day, the son of the president asks her to pretend to be his fiancée to comfort his father, who’s suffering from cancer. She agrees to do it, since she’s fond of his father. In order to keep up appearances, they stay at a hotel together and even choose an engagement ring. Immersed in their new pretend life, the lines start to blur between what’s fake and what’s real…

Conveniently Engaged To The Boss

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Fantastic Four, Giant-Size Marvel, Hercules, and More are New on comiXology

There’s eight new releases available now on comiXology. You can get new comics from Marvel, Harlequin, and Tidalwave Productions. Get shopping now or check out the individual issues below.

Fantastic Four: Clobberin’ Time

Written by Todd DeZago
Art by Michael O’Hare
Cover by Randy Green
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Collects Marvel Age: Fantastic Four Tales #1, Tales Of The Thing #1-3 And Spider-Man Team-Up Special (2005) #1. Check out the Thing and the rest of his Fantastic Four pals in their latest collection of all-ages adventures! Each of these four action-packed stories features a special guest from the Mighty Marvel Universe. Join the Black Panther, Dr. Strange and other heroes as they combine forces with the Thing for this contemporary spin on classic Marvel tales.

Fantastic Four: Clobberin' Time

Fantastic Four: Unstable Molecules

Written by James Sturm
Art by Guy Davis, James Sturm
Cover by Craig Thompson
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Collects Startling Stories: Fantastic Four – Unstable Molecules #1-4. In 1961 the first issue of THE FANTASTIC FOUR was drawn and written by the brilliant team of Jack Kirby and Stan Lee and set a new standard for heroic adventure comics. Few people realize that the Fantastic Four — a family of sci-fi adventurers gifted with amazing powers — were actually based on the lives of real people. As often is the case, real life was as astonishing as fiction. UNSTABLE MOLECULES is a biography that revisits the Fantastic Four’s beginnings with a historian’s eye.

Fantastic Four: Unstable Molecules

Giant-Size Marvel

Written by Gerry Conway, Steve Gerber, Tony Isabella, Donald McGregor, Roger Slifer, Roy Thomas, Len Wein
Art by Rich Buckler, John Buscema, Dave Cockrum, Don Heck, Gil Kane, Don Perlin, Frank Robbins
Cover by John Romita Sr.
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Collects Giant-Size Fantastic Four #4; Giant-Size Avengers #1; Giant-Size Defenders #4; Giant-Size Super-Heroes #1, Giant-Size Invaders #1; Giant-Size X-Men #1, Giant-Size Creatures #1. Giants roamed the Earth in those days, and now they’re back! Witness the formation of the new X-Men and the old Invaders! The rapid return of the wartime runner called the Whizzer! The debut of the multiplying Marvel Knight Madrox! Spider-Man vs. the Man-Wolf! The Defenders vs. the Squadron Sinister! The tantalizing Tigra and more! Tales almost too tall to tell, together in a titanic tome!

Giant-Size Marvel

Hercules: The New Labors Of Hercules

Written by Frank Tieri
Art by Mark Texeira
Cover by Mark Texeira
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Collects Hercules (2005) #1-5. Reeling from the tragic death of Thor, the Prince of Power knows his star is fading fast. So what better way to pump up his Q-rating than to relive his defining moment? When his most bitter foe throws down the gauntlet, Hercules agrees to the challenge: twelve labors, each more perilous than the one before it — and each updated for reality-TV consumption. Zounds!

Hercules: The New Labors Of Hercules

Partenaire en amour

Written by Jessica Hart
Art by Marito Ai
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Darcy a fait le voyage depuis Londres pour visiter Bindaburra Ranch, une propriété que lui a léguée son grand-oncle. Sur sa route vers le ranch, sa voiture tombe en panne et elle se voit contrainte de continuer à pied sur ses talons dans une campagne qu’elle ne connaît pas. Juste au moment où elle commençait à désespérer, un homme nommé Cooper arrive dans sa voiture et la sauve. Mais Cooper déclare qu’il est le propriétaire de Bindaburra. Cooper essayait-il de profiter du décès de son grand-oncle pour accaparer le ranch que son oncle aimait tant ?

Partenaire en amour

Un mariage par nécessité

Written by Christine Rimmer
Art by Kuremi Hazama
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Le père de Megan avait stipulé dans son testament qu’elle devait se marier dans les deux ans et avoir un enfant, sous peine de perdre la propriété de la ferme d’élevage. Désormais, elle doit trouver un mari, au plus vite ! Pour cela, elle se bat pour rencontrer son ami d’enfance Nathan Bravo. Alors qu’ils ont grandi ensemble, il a quitté la ville il y a longtemps pour y pratiquer la médecine vétérinaire. À présent, douze ans plus tard, Megan est décidée à lui demander de l’épouser !

Un mariage par nécessité

Welcome to Waterbury #2

Written by Dan Rafter
Art by Byron L. Golden
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Chapter 2: The Devil You Know. Living in Waterbury in an aging inn wasn’t Audrey’s dream. It was her husbands. But now her husband is dead, and Audrey is the only one who thinks it wasn’t an accident. She’s also the only one who thinks the scarecrows scattered throughout the town have been moving. What’s really going on in Waterbury? Audrey’s about to find out.

Welcome to Waterbury #2

This site contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from these sites. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

Earth’s Mightiest Heroes: An Avengers Retrospective Part 8 – In the Beginning Was…The World Within

Guest contributor Gene Selassie is back with his latest retrospective of Marvel‘s The Avengers. Steve Englehart takes the helm of the series as issues #105 to #114 are covered here!


First things first, I wanted to give a shout out to the audience. As we reconvene for the next leg of this journey, reading every issue of The Avengers from the beginning, I wanted to say thank you for coming along on this zany ride. During these issues, we see how a new writer at the helm fares. We also bear witness to the return of several villains that have close ties to members of the team. Moreover, we see affairs of the heart push a few Avengers to the limit. Finally, the icons on the roster have to juggle their responsibilities to the team with the goings-on of their own books, more than ever before. Hop aboard the Quinjet as we take flight.

Avengers #105

Iconic scribe Steve Englehart takes the helm of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes with issue #105. The transition in writing duties from Roy Thomas to Steve Englehart appeared seamless. I’m used to the modern era, where every new writer has to put their “stamp” on the franchise. These issues featured Englehart continuing plot threads from prior issues, such as Scarlet Witch’s relentless search for her missing brother, Quicksilver. Unfortunately, the demeaning writing of women continues. In issue #105, while battling Beast-Brood of the Savage Land, Lady Sif (one of several Asgardians staying at the mansion due to events in Thor’s comic) became overwhelmed and needed rescuing. FFS, CAN WE HAVE ONE DAMN ADVENTURE WITHOUT THE OVERUSED CLICHÉS WHEN IT COMES TO WOMEN??? SHE’S A DAMN ASGARDIAN! Issue #113 opens with the aftermath of an adventure from Astonishing Tales #18, where the Statue of Liberty was severely damaged. We now see the Avengers repairing said damage. Wanda is almost crushed by falling debris, but Vision saves her. I am completely over Wanda “Damsel in Distress” Maximoff. Though he tended to use more bombastic narration and had the characters use more slang then they ever have previously, Englehart was the perfect person to carry the torch after Roy Thomas.

Villains that have personal scores to settle popped up quite a bit during this series of issues.

  • Issues #106-108 feature the return of the Grim Reaper, who has aligned himself with the Space Phantom (not seen since issue 2). While the Phantom wishes to kill the Avengers, Reaper reveals the truth in that Wonder Man’s body isn’t able to be revived. Eric’s real plan was to offer him Captain America’s body for Vision’s mind to be transferred to. With the Space Phantom obviously having no intention of honoring their deal, Reaper sides with the Avengers to help take him down.
  • Issues #110-111 feature the team heading to the long-hidden X-mansion to assist the X-Men, who were besieged by an unknown assailant. Wanda quickly deduces that the attacker is Magneto. The Master of Magnetism arrives and takes mental control over the X-Men AND Avengers due to his learning to control the iron content in blood flow to the brain. I loved the X-Men costumes of this era, especially Cyclops’, Marvel Girl’s and Angel’s. Magneto’s plan was to attack a conference for the Atomic Energy Commission and force them to increase atomic output to springboard a rise in mutations. Thor, Black Panther, and Vision are forced to call in backup…backup in the form of Black Widow and Daredevil.
  • In the issues leading up to #114, we saw Mantis and a silhouetted associate planning on meeting and joining the Avengers. In this issue, it’s revealed that her paramour is the Swordsman, who has turned over a new leaf and wished to join the team to make amends. It was so annoying how Mantis only referred to Swordsman as “my man”. Can ONE WOMAN in this series not be defined by her significant other?

Though some of these villains are favorites of mine, I am thrilled that they only appear every once in a blue moon. Modern over use of these characters have made me care less and less about them with each passing year.

Avengers #107

Wanda and Vision FINALLY made their feelings known to each other at the end of issue #108, though some were not happy about this.

  • The opening page to issue #110 shows Thor interrupting a sparring session. He gathers the team in the communications room as they’ve finally received contact from Quicksilver. He explained what happened after the attack on the Sentinel base in issue 104. Lockjaw of the Inhumans teleported himself and Crystal of the royal family to Pietro, completely by accident. They took him to the Great Refuge and nursed him back to health. Along the way, they fell in love. Pietro announces that he and Crystal are getting married. Wow, that was fast, even for Quicksilver. Yet when Scarlet Witch tells him that she and Vision have declared their love for each other, Pietro flips out, telling her it is wrong to be involved with a robot. Man, for someone who constantly snaps at their teammates for not understanding the struggles of being a mutant, Quicksilver sure comes across like a hypocrite during this era.
  • Hawkeye, who unsuccessfully made several passes at Wanda in prior issues, handled the news like an angry teenager and decided to leave the team. He heads out to San Francisco to see the Black Widow…even though she’s currently dating Daredevil. With her not being home, Clint decides to hang out in one of the trees out front until she gets there. Good grief, Clint wouldn’t take no for an answer back in the day. At the end of issue #111, Cap offers membership to both Daredevil and Black Widow. DD declines on behalf of both of them, which ticks off Natasha. Though she was right to be upset at Matt Murdock making that decision for her, she then got mad when Matt peacefully departed. Both she and Clint have issues they need to work out before they get into any more relationships.
  • In issue #113, Wanda and Vision’s relationship goes public. A group of hate mongers are sickened by the thought of a mutant and an android together and try to kill Vision, via suicide bombing, to prevent “androids taking over”.

This was quite the rough opening weeks for one of the defining couples of this franchise. Yet, their love would endure for quite some time.

Many of the resident Avengers have a multitude of duties. The ones that have their own books (Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Rick Jones/Captain Marvel, and Black Panther) are beyond swamped during this run, nearly to the point of neglecting their duties elsewhere, or even neglecting their secret identities.

Avengers #110
  • In issue #110, Black Panther has been urged to return to Wakanda to take the throne once again with no more extended leaves of absence. Before he can make a decision on his future with the team, a bunch of Black protestors show up at the mansion and demand that T’Challa return to Africa. These protestors break down the front doors of the mansion and try to take Panther by force. They are led by a reporter, who we thought was slain a few pages earlier. Panther falls under his mental thrall, apparently like the protestors were. When the other Avengers step in to confront him, the reporter transforms into the Lion God, the centuries-old rival of the Panther God. He sought to siphon off all of T’Challa’s knowledge about the Panther God, but the Avengers, primarily Thor, were able to subdue the deity long enough to free the Panther. T’Challa decides that it’s not just Wakanda that needs him, so he decides to stay with the Avengers.
  •  During the Space Phantom/Grim Reaper ordeal, Captain America was flooded with memories that he had no recollection of. These memories were of him and Rick Jones storming a HYDRA base in Cap’s own book. The memories were wiped from Cap’s and Rick’s minds as this was part of the Space Phantom’s overarching plan. During this era, it seemed like Captain America was in five places at once, given all of his adventures outside of the Avengers book.
  • In issue #113, after Vision is critically wounded by one of the suicide bombers, T’Challa, Tony Stark and Doctor Don Blake have to work to repair him. Tony has to excuse himself so he can “go find Iron Man”. The armored Avenger gives Steve and Wanda an assist. Another of the terrorists attempt to detonate. Iron Man flies him high into the skies right before the explosion. Suddenly, Stark returns to assist the scientists, letting us know he’s alright. He tells Doctor Blake to “go roust out Thor” and pretty much hints that he knows Blake is Thor. Thor was pretty good about keeping his alter ego hidden, so if Tony knew, who knows how many other heroes knew at this point?

One of the reasons that I’ve always gravitated to the Avengers is that, for the longest time, it was the central hub of the Marvel Universe goings on. Be that as it may, despite enjoying seeing the big guns on the team, it seemed that many really needed to take a leave of absence to handle their other responsibilities.

When next we meet, we will recount the second event story and first official “crossover” in Avengers lore, The Avengers/Defenders War. With heavy-hitters like Doctor Strange, Namor, the Hulk, and the Silver Surfer filling the Defenders ranks, how will Earth’s mightiest heroes stand up to such power? Until next time, Avengers Assemble!

Hannah John-Kamen will Star in Red Sonja

Red Sonja

Hannah John-Kamen will wield the sword of Red Sonja in the upcoming film from Millennium. John-Kamen is no stranger to blockbusters having played Ava/Ghost in Ant-Man and the Wasp, Sophie in Tomb Raider, and been on shows such as Game of Thrones, Black Mirror, and The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. This is a potential breakout moment for the actress with her first major headlining role.

Joey Soloway is directing the project and co-wrote the script with Tasha Huo.

Red Sonja was created by Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith for Marvel ComicsConan the Barbarian comic in 1973. She debuted in Conan the Barbarian #23. Based on several characters from Robert E. Howard‘s world she has headlined her own stories and films. The Millennium film is based on the comics published by Dynamite Entertainment. Nick Barrucci of Dynamite Entertainment is one of the producers.

Earth’s Mightiest Heroes: An Avengers Retrospective Part 7: With a Bang and a Whimper

Guest contributor Gene Selassie is back with his latest retrospective of Marvel‘s The Avengers. The Kree-Skrull War is over and creator Roy Thomas departs the series after six years worth of tales.


Avengers #98

Fellow followers of those who fight the foes that no single hero could withstand, it’s that time once again. As I continue my review of every single issue of the Avengers from the beginning, the next leg of this journey deals with the fallout from the Kree-Skrull War. We see some characters coming to terms with their feelings for each other, others reverting back to their old ways and some finding themselves either completely preoccupied or in one case, obsolete. The coolness factor of seeing an adventure so grand that it requires every character who had ever been an Avenger increased exponentially as the very first instance of this occurred here. We also take a look at the more experimental storytelling by the creators during this stretch. Finally, we bid farewell to the steward of the last six years worth of Avengers tales and see what condition Roy Thomas left the toys in the toy box.

Avengers #98 opens up with Thor trying to pierce realms to return to Asgard, in the hopes that magicks there would be able to reveal the whereabouts of the missing Hawkeye. However, some unseen force prevents him from leaving Earth. Cap, Quicksilver, and Scarlet Witch confront an angry mob named the War Hawks. They seek to attack a visiting Asian dignitary. The Vietnam War seems to play quite a role in stories during the Silver AND Bronze ages of Avengers comics. A mohawked figure has his henchman play music that whips the crowd into a frenzy. Before long, it affects the Avengers on the scene. Thor and Vision investigate separately, with Vision being attacked by Iron Man, now under the same thrall that the other War Hawks were. Iron Man blasted Vision into the “Piper”, who somehow died upon impact. Thor uncovered the culprit behind the plot, Ares, the Greek god of war. Before the Thunder God could strike, Ares had the mind-controlled Scarlet Witch neutralize Thor’s hammer. The hammer is freed, from a blast arrow. Yet, no one saw which direction it came from. Hawkeye returns at the end of the issue…wearing a costume that garnered much derision back then. He doesn’t give an explanation for how he returned to Earth. However, he’s accompanied by a returning Hercules, who has no memory of who he is.

Avengers #99

Avengers #99 begins with Thor, using the power of his enchanted hammer (along with a device invented by Tony Stark) to jog Hercules’ memory. The device doesn’t work. Hawkeye recounts his encounter on the Skrull craft at the end of the Kree-Skrull War. Surrounded by shock troopers and no Pym Particles left in his system, Clint had to create a makeshift bow and arrows, to become Hawkeye once again. One of his errant arrows hit a main control circuit and caused an explosion. He got out in an escape pod before the entire ship blew up. Clint’s ship crash-landed in the former Yugoslavia. A traveling circus passed by and Clint hitched a ride with them until a torrential storm took Clint’s wagon nearly off the edge of a ravine. A strongman with the circus named “Hercules”, with blonde hair and clothing like a sideshow attraction, pulled the wagon out of harm’s way with his bare hands. Turns out, the blonde hair was a wig and the man was the real deal Prince of Power himself. They contact Tony Stark’s office to get a flight booked back stateside. Both Black Panther and Ant-Man, away on other matters, have been spending time working on a way to help Hercules, but to no avail. From out of nowhere, Clint makes a pass at Wanda, which ticks off Vision. At this point, Clint still is oblivious to the feelings Vision and Wanda has for one another. One who doesn’t let the obvious fly right over his head is Quicksilver. He asks Wanda for the truth and she admits her feelings about Vision to her brother. Vision also departs to the kitchen, where Jarvis offers his ear, as he’s done for so many throughout the years. He also can tell that there’s tension between Vizh and Wanda. Vision doesn’t know if she feels the same. Before any of the drama can play out, two Olympian warriors, Kratos and Bia, show up at Avengers mansion to retrieve the amnesiac Hercules. The Avengers put up one hell of a fight though. During the altercation, Wanda is injured (yes, again) and Vision attends to her a bit too long instead of helping during the fight, which Clint rudely points out. During the distraction, the Olympians, with Hercules in tow, vanish. Clint accuses Vision of blatantly ignoring the rest of the team in the middle of the fight. Wanda, angry at Vision for putting her above the rest of the team, just walks out. The rest of the team knows what they have to do to rescue the abducted Hercules, plan an assault on Olympus itself.

Avengers #100

Avengers #100 is a celebration featuring what has now become a classic and welcome trope of gathering every single person who had ever been an Avenger up to that point. Seeing Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Ant-Man, the Wasp, the Hulk, Hawkeye, Quicksilver, the Scarlet Witch, Black Panther and the Black Knight all gathered (illustrated by Barry Windsor-Smith and inked by the legendary Joe Sinnott no less) alluded to a tremendous adventure ahead. Black Knight summoned the entire team to Garrett Castle in England to discuss the vision he saw via the spirit of his ancestor, the original Black Knight. The Ebony Blade, which Dane tried to have destroyed on Polemachus, somehow made its way to the outskirts of Olympus, where Ares laid claim to it. The Enchantress, following the sword there, forged an alliance with the Greek god of war, promising to conquer Olympus, Asgard, and Earth. Ares used the sword to kill the Titan guarding the Prometheum flame. He then destroyed the flame and every Olympian turned to crystal, except for the half-blood Prince of Power. While in a sparring session, Hercules accidentally kills Phoebus, who was just turned to crystal. Ares makes his presence known and his minions toss Hercules off of Olympus. As he slowly falls through space down towards Earth, his memories begin to fade. The War Hawks debacle, Thor being unable to return to Asgard, the attack by Bia and Kratos, all a complex plot by Ares. Another former Avenger happens to make their presence known, the Swordsman. He stole one of the Avengers’ craft and used their surveillance equipment to ascertain what the meeting was about. He stated that he was an Avenger as well, even for a short time, and wishes to help. I had to laugh when they hinted at Swordsman having escaped prison, but no one bats an eye. Thor, Iron Man, Vision, Black Knight, and the Hulk head to Olympus to gather intel and mount a rescue of Hercules. Of course, it is a trap. The Enchantress lets them know that their assault on Asgard is next and their true target, the Odinsword, a weapon which could bring about Ragnarok, the Norse apocalypse. Meanwhile, Captain America, Hawkeye, Swordsman, Scarlet Witch, Black Panther, Ant-Man, the Wasp, and Quicksilver fight off Ares’ forces in London. One would think that the Hulk would have smashed to his heart’s content. However, he was lulled, by the music of Satyrs, away from the battlefield. He just sat, chilled, and enjoyed the music like he was at Woodstock…until the forces that attacked Earth came back through the portal and rained on Hulk’s happy day. With Black Knight and Thor dispatching Ares, Hercules rescued and the Olympians returning to normal, the Avengers went through the portal back to Earth. Somehow, the portal was sealed by Thor and Hercules, whose fists collided at the same time.

Avengers #101

Avengers #101 is the famous Five Dooms to Save Tomorrow story that Thomas adapted from a Harlan Ellison story (one that was originally written for a Hawkman script but was rejected by DC). Rich Buckler filled in on art, doing a serviceable job on pencils. We open to a story where the Avengers are special guests at Stark Industries for a tournament between a world-renowned chess master (an arrogant Russian dignitary), and a supercomputer…a supercomputer called NIMROD. WHAT? I’m hoping this is just one of those wacky coincidences that happened in comics back in the old days. Just into the opening moves of the match, the dignitary crashes to the floor, with the Avengers thinking he’s having a heart attack. Once they get to the hospital, Thor buggers off, only to change to his alter ego of Doctor Don Blake. It’s apparent that Thor and Iron Man are still keeping their alter egos secret from their teammates. Cap had a hunch and kept the last chess piece that the dignitary touched before his malady. Iron Man scanned the residue, but even his computers couldn’t identify all of the elements. Doctor Blake was able to determine it was a poison from a remote section of Brazil. He lets them know that reverse engineering an antidote won’t be possible unless they find the person who poisoned him. If they don’t the dignitary will die and an international incident of the highest order would further stain America’s reputation. While the Stark Industries auditorium is empty, one man named Leonard Tippit was laying in wait until it was abandoned. Vision appears and startles the man. He knew that when the NIMROD made a certain move that was banned in Curacao in 1962 that it would force the Russian dignitary to make a specific move with a specific chess piece. Vision tries to stop him, but without warning, Tippit emits unusual energy, incapacitating even an intangible Vision. Yet Captain America appears and is able to knock out Tippit with just one punch. Tippit disappears, but as soon as the Avengers arrive, they all fall unconscious. Just after this, Tippit flashes back to two nights ago, when he woke up in his bed, thinking he had a dream. He is promptly contacted by no other than The Watcher. Uatu reveals to Tippit that he is a solid nexus point in all timelines and that a nuclear disaster will affect several timelines and only Tippit can prevent it. Uatu unlocks latent mental powers in Tippit. Uatu then tells him that he has to kill five key people…innocent people…who will give birth to key individuals that cause this holocaust. The Avengers share the vision as well and know of the plot that’s unfolding. They debate whether or not to intervene. The team finally splits up to intercept the other targets. However, Tippit seems to be able to be in all places, nearly simultaneously. He had only enough power to place the targets into a comatose state, not kill them, as the teleporting and battling the Avengers drained him. It was finally Pietro and Wanda who took him down and brought him into custody. The Watcher once again intervened. This time, it was to reveal that it wasn’t the five targets that would be responsible for the coming apocalypse, but Tippit himself. His power level was enough to possibly even kill Uatu. The Watcher sought to take Tippit outside of space and time, to be removed from the timeline forever. Uatu used the Avengers to defeat him. While they objected at first, Tippit himself saw how much of a threat he could become and willingly went with the Watcher in the end.

Avengers #102

Avengers #102 features the Vision being summoned to a closed frozen food locker to meet with the Grim Reaper. Eric still refers to Vision as his brother in a deranged manner. He remains hell-bent on killing the Avengers as payback for what happened to his real brother, Wonder Man. Eric reveals he has Wonder Man’s preserved body and wants Vision to not interfere with a future attack on the rest of the team, promising to put Vision’s brain in the body, making him human. Reaper also stated he booby-trapped the containment unit holding Simon. Vision is, of course, conflicted. Later, in the most clichéd TV soap opera moment ever, Wanda (on monitor duty at the mansion) is about to tell Clint she has feelings for Vision. But Clint forces himself on her and kisses her right when the Vision arrives. The Starcore deep space monitoring station picks up unusual blips flying out of the sun and heading towards Earth…it is a fleet of Sentinels. Quicksilver thinks back to their last encounter with the mutant-hunting robots in X-Men #57-59. He thought the robots were gone forever. Wanda gets dressed up and goes for an evening stroll. Pietro beckons Vision to go after her, finally understanding that both need to stop playing games and tell each other how they feel. Vision declines, only until he sees in the distance, something flying in Wanda’s direction. He jets out after it, with the other Avengers following. Wanda is attacked and captured by the Sentinel. I didn’t know these early models could adapt to mutant abilities, I thought that wasn’t until the NIMROD class. The one Sentinel holds off the entire team (Thor later stated he and Iron Man were holding back to ensure Wanda wasn’t hurt), then teleports away with Wanda. Pietro blows a gasket because the “so-called Mighty Avengers” couldn’t take one lone Sentinel. He vows to find his sister, alone.

Avengers #103

To start off Avengers #103, the team exchanges intel with SHIELD to locate the Sentinels, while Pietro explores an old Sentinel bunker he was once held prisoner in with the X-men and the Brotherhood.  He chases a lead to Judge Chalmers, someone who took in Larry Trask, the now orphaned son of Bolivar Trask, creator of the Sentinels. Larry has amnesia and Chalmers was trying to keep it that way. Be that as it may, Pietro did abscond from the residence with Trask. While the team conferences with Nick Fury about the situation, Vision contemplates using the amulet that Grim Reaper gave Vision to contact him. Peter Corbeau, from Starcore, contacts the team to let them know something is causing massive solar flares in the sun that may soon reach Earth. The flare-inducing beam is tracked to the Australian Outback. Just as the team is about to take off, Rick Jones appears, intent on joining them on this mission. Cap, however, states that the mission is too dangerous and wants Rick to sit out this one. Rick is pissed, due to the fact that he saved the universe a few months earlier (Kree-Skrull War). The team flew off in an experimental jet that hit supersonic speeds, with an engine designed by Tony Stark and powered by lightning from Thor’s hammer, which was pretty damn awesome. Trask had an amulet around his neck that suppressed his memories (man, amulets were pretty popular this arc). Quicksilver ripped it off and Trask’s memories flooded back. Pietro felt guilty for exploiting a mental illness, but he felt justified because of trying to find his kidnapped sister. Trask revealed the location of the Australian Sentinel base. Pietro stated if they don’t make it in time, Trask will pay with his life. The team attacks the Sentinel base. I appreciate Thor discussing a battle plan. Sometime in the 90s-2000s, Thor went from strategist on par with Captain America to giant brute that gets trounced by the new villain du jour, just to prove how badass said villain is. Vision jumped the gun and they were all attacked by Sentinels. In a passenger jet en route to the battle, Trask discussed that Sentinels never had the ability to teleport. Suddenly, Trask concentrated enough and he teleported the plane. He remembered now that his father wanted to hide a dark secret. Larry is a mutant. In addition to teleporting, he can see into the future. He predicted not only the death of Pietro’s teammates but everyone on Earth due to a massive solar flare.

Avengers #104

Avengers #104 is the end of an era, marking the final issue of Roy Thomas’ six-year run on The Avengers. While the Avengers continued to do their best against the Sentinels (with Vision only feigning injury in the last issue to sucker punch a couple of their attackers) Pietro and Trask found an alternate entrance into the base. A captive Wanda discovers her captors’ horrific plan. They seek to use Wanda to boost the power of their flare generator to create enough radiation to make all organic life on Earth sterile, a loophole around the Sentinels’ primary programming; to not bring harm to any non-mutant humans. Once the human race eventually dies off, the Sentinels will genetically engineer humans, removing the possibility of mutation. It was The Matrix, by way of Josef Mengele, quite unsettling. Quicksilver outwits a Sentinel that can move nearly at his speed. He intentionally face plants into a wall, knowing the Sentinel was too large to change direction in time and the Sentinel smashes into a control panel, killing two birds with one stone. Yet, Pietro is injured, forcing Trask to push on alone to stop the plan of the murderous robots. Trask gets another vision. This time, he sees the complete annihilation of Earth and then…nothingness. The leader of this pack of Sentinels, Number Two, took command after the Master Mold, the gargantuan unit that manufactures the Sentinels, was destroyed in X-Men #16. Though it looks half-melted, it is the biggest threat, namely because it doesn’t have the “non-lethal against humans” protocol that the other Sentinels do. Before it can dispatch Cap, Iron Man, Thor and Hawkeye, they’re saved by Vision and a now freed Scarlet Witch. A crude Cerebro-like device is noticed by both Scarlet Witch and by Larry Trask. They both notice it’s turned off. On a hunch, Trask activates it. Suddenly, all sensors home in on Wanda, Pietro, Trask…and Sentinel Number Two. When they flew close to the sun, some of the components and organics in the Sentinel mutated, making him essentially a non-organic mutant. This also gave Number Two the ability to teleport. The other Sentinels promptly turned and engaged Number Two in battle. Once he is destroyed, the Sentinels deactivate, one of them collapsing on and killing Trask. That is why his last vision was total darkness. He willingly helped the Avengers stop the murder machines built by his father.

It was around this time that Barry Windsor-Smith started experimenting more with his art, to amazing results. I loved the thin line work and more odd “camera angles” and expressions that really made his work stand out from the pack at the time. Speaking of amazing, I have to give credit where credit is due. Despite Stan Lee’s first three years with of issues, pushing the team as Marvel’s all stars, it was Thomas who really did explore the meaty dramatic elements with the secondary characters like Vision, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch and Black Knight. He really gave Vision his voice and had the foresight to plant seeds leading to the first “event story” in Avengers lore (The Kree-Skrull War). On the one hand, reading tales penned by him will be missed. On the other hand, I cannot wait to dive into the upcoming writer’s run once again.

When next we meet, we celebrate the debut of Steve Englehart as the writer of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. The Grim Reaper’s scheme unfolds, with guest appearances galore gracing the pages of the book. We also build up towards the next event story, The Avengers/Defenders War. Until next time, my friends…AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!!!

Review: Dracula, Vlad the Impaler

Dracula, Vlad the Impaler

When it comes to characters whose stories have been told throughout the decades no one truly rivals Dracula. His story, which is based on a real person, is so regaled with lore it can be difficult to know what is true. There are a ton of legends connected to Vlad the Impaler. His most known is his connection to being the most famous vampire. Just about every country in the world has a vampire legend.

One of my favorite interpretations was Luke Evans’ inspired, yet rarely seen or talked about, Dracula Untold. It gave viewers, a different look at the ruler. Unfortunately, the movie never spawned a sequel but left an indelible portrait of this vaunted figure. In a similar retelling of this icon, Roy Thomas and Esteban Maroto give us Dracula, Vlad The Impaler, giving readers a dense look at the legend.

We are introduced to Dracula, as the world knows him, as he serves as our narrator, though his origin story. As we find Vlad the Prince of Wallachia, and the son of Vlad the Dragon, a ruthless tyrant who ruled Transylvania with an iron hand. He and his brother would travel to Galllpoli with their father on a conquest, which lead to them being wards of the sultan of Turkey. The sultan would eventually kill his father and install Vlad as the new regent, but make him beholden to Turkey.  He would eventually get revenge on those who betrayed his father, and would grow weary of the hold the sultan, leading him to wage war with the Turkish Empire. He was soon turn to supernatural means to gain victory, a path which leads him to be even more ruthless than his father , becoming what world knows him now, Dracula . By book’s end, he is eventually defeated, only to brought back from the dead by his son years later.

Overall, Dracula, Vlad The Impaler is an excellent graphic novel that gives readers a more multifarious look at this legend. The story by Thomas is engrossing. The art by Maroto is simply, legendary. Altogether, one of the best telling of this classic monster. It’s one that is sure to inspire new tellings.

Story: Roy Thomas Art: Esteban Maroto
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Preview: Dracula, Vlad the Impaler

Dracula, Vlad the Impaler

(W) Roy Thomas (A/CA) Esteban Maroto
In Shops: Apr 07, 2021
SRP: $15.99

Dracula is one of the most well-known characters in the world. Now, read the story of the man who inspired the legend in this graphic novel available again for the first time in almost 30 years.

A prince of Wallachia and son of Vlad Dracul (The Dragon), Vlad Dracul the Younger (Vlad Dracula) is taken hostage as a young man by Sultan Mehmed I to ensure his father’s loyalty. When his father is killed at the hands of traitorous nobles in his own land, he assumes the crown and wages a cruel war to regain his lands and avenge his father. Throughout his life, he continued the fight to retain his kingdom, committing acts that would later lead to the formation of the famous character created by Bram Stoker. Originally published in the 1990s, it is now presented for the first time in black and white to showcase the beautiful art of Esteban Maroto.

Dracula, Vlad the Impaler

Earth’s Mightiest Heroes: An Avengers Retrospective Part 6: The Kree-Skrull War

Guest contributor Gene Selassie is back with his latest retrospective of Marvel‘s The Avengers. He started at the beginning and he’s back discussing the classic Kree-Skrull War!


This is it, fellow Avenger aficionados. It’s here that we discuss the first official (or unofficial) event story in Avengers canon. The Kree-Skrull War is an epic that I’ve not gone back to read in almost 25 years. There are elements to the story that stuck out with clarity (the changes in art throughout the story did make for a slightly unharmonious visual flow, Rick Jones being such a centerpiece to the story, when he hadn’t factored much into Avengers continuity in the year or two leading up to this story did make the climax not hit as powerfully as it could have). Other elements did catch me off guard (I mistakenly thought Wanda and Vision’s romance was hinted at before this story, the grand cosmic side of Marvel was more interconnected back then than I’d realized). Here, I’ll be doing more of a chapter-by-chapter breakdown. Let’s begin our trek through the Kree-Skrull War.

Avengers #89

Avengers #89

  • The cover of issue 89 is almost one of my favorites as the striking image of Captain Mar-Vell getting the electric chair is a cover that I never thought would fly. My only qualm is the tagline “The Only Good Alien Is a Dead Alien”, which has some unsavory connotations.
  • Sal Buscema, who has been the “swing artist” for the book the last few years, is who illustrates this opening chapter.
  • The story opens up with Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, and the Vision chasing down Captain Marvel. He evades capture for a while, but he’s blindsided by Rick Jones. Rick fires a ray gun at him, disabling the Kree warrior.
  • Through flashbacks, we see that Rick Jones became a singer and guitarist. We also see that when Captain Marvel and Rick Jones swapped bodies, once the adventure was done, it was the Negative Zone that Mar-Vell’s body returned to. Mar-Vell showed Rick an image of Reed Richards exploring the Negative Zone and then escaping. Both men figured that the key to Mar-Vell permanently escaping the Negative Zone resided in the Baxter Building. Mar-Vell broke in while the Fantastic Four were away. This alerted the Avengers. Mar-Vell activated Reed’s dimensional gateway and Rick was able to make it through. Unfortunately, the ruler of the Negative Zone, the living death that walks, Annihilus, followed them through.
  • The powerful being, possessor of the Cosmic Control Rod, was more than a match for the team, even shrugging off Wanda’s powerful hex bolts. Vision lured Annihilus into a trap and they shunted him back to the Negative Zone.
  • Yet, before they could catch their breath, Mar-Vell fled the scene, stealing the Avengers’ Quinjet in the process. His destination, Cape Canaveral in Florida, so that he can find a ship that could make the journey back to the Kree Empire.
  • The team discovers that during the time he spent in the Negative Zone, Mar-Vell absorbed ungodly amounts of radiation, to the point where it threatens his life.
  • Once Rick and Mar-Vell separated the powerful weapons, known as the Nega Bands, dissolved from Mar-Vell’s wrists.
  • When the flashbacks are done, we see that it’s not an electric chair that Mar-Vell was put in, but a decontamination device to siphon off radiation, in the hopes of saving Mar-Vell’s life. The machine lacked sufficient power, so Vision nearly sacrificed himself to power it, saving Mar-Vell’s life in the process. I wonder how much of this plot point may have factored into the eventual Death of Mar-Vell, a decade later, given how Mar-Vell died.
  • The story then cuts to the entity that rules over all of Kree civilization, the Supreme Intelligence. A coup is staged and the Intelligence’s guardsmen are all killed. Ronan the Accuser, who was imprisoned in Captain Marvel issue 16, is released. He forces the Intelligence to cede power. Ronan also activates the titanic automaton known as the Kree Sentry, which laid dormant for months at Cape Canaveral. Its mission, to kill the still unconscious Mar-Vell.
Avengers #90

Avengers #90

  • Issue 90 begins with the Kree Sentry breaking through the walls of the facility to get to the comatose Captain Marvel. Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, and a still weakened Vision attempt to hold off the enormous automaton. Despite their combined power, they’re not able to repel the attack, and the Sentry escapes with Mar-Vell. The Sentry states that the Kree are to enact Plan Atavus, which freaked out a revived Mar-Vell so much that he shouted “No! Kill me here, Sentry. Don’t use that!”
  • As the Avengers proceeded to leave, they were stopped by the head of Cape Canaveral security, one Carol Danvers, future Ms. Marvel/Captain Marvel. She demanded a full report of the incident…at a pretty inopportune time, as the team was trying to rescue Mar-Vell.
  • Rick Jones went on to recount the history of the Kree that he gleaned from Mar-Vell. It also explains Mar-Vell’s original mission, to spy on Earth and determine if it’s a threat to the Kree.  Over time, he learned that Earth was a noble species, worthy of saving and he all but defected from the Kree.
  • One of Roy Thomas’ favorite lines is “You win the Kewpie Doll”. I’ve seen that line nearly forty times since the beginning of this run.
  • The Avengers return home, only to be greeted by an emergency message from Goliath, letting them know that Hank and Jan are in trouble up in Alaska and for the team to rendezvous with them. Storming out, they all accidentally knocked down poor Jarvis, who was bringing them tea and snacks. He gets less respect than Rodney Dangerfield.
  • Jan explained to Clint that she and Hank were exploring an unusual phenomenon, a jungle in the middle of Alaska. Hank freaked out and made a dive for it to investigate while sending Jan back to their ship. Clint decided to go it alone to search for Hank, stating that he “can’t work with women around, not since he and Natasha broke up”. Good grief, the sooner I get to the modern era, the better. The casual sexism has overstayed its welcome.  
  • There were quite a few spelling errors in this book; from Jan’s “What have you done with the I love?” to Quicksilver’s “That blast, if it had struck where the Wasp was standing“. They made for quite a discordant reading experience.
  • The other Avengers arrive and find Clint under the control of Ronan the Accuser and the Kree Sentry and so they do battle.
  • Ronan reveals to the captive Mar-Vell what Plan Atavus is. The Kree feel that humanity will become a threat to them in a short while. They plan to use a machine to devolve humanity back, millions of years. The test subject on this, a now Cro-Magnon Hank Pym, set out to kill an unconscious Wasp.
Avengers #90

Avengers #91

  • Issue 91 continues the fight, with the prehistoric Pym somehow stopping himself before he hurts Jan. The three other Avengers were able to knock out Goliath as well.
  • However, the Kree Sentry seems to have adapted to Vision’s ability to alter his mass. As Wanda attends to the temporarily disabled Vision, he unknowingly releases pent-up energy and they both are incapacitated.
  • Quicksilver is forced to flee with Rick Jones in tow until they could come up with a new battle plan.
  • The captive Avengers have an emotional moment when Wanda attempts to kiss Vision. His self-loathing nature wouldn’t just let it happen though. MAN, I don’t remember the first move coming from out of nowhere like this.
  • Rick Jones going from the gee golly character in those early Avengers issues to the wise-cracking smart aleck was also a bit jarring if you didn’t keep up with The Incredible Hulk or Captain Marvel comics to see the evolution of his character.
  • Ronan adjusts his plan and decides to juice up his devolution device to revert mankind to the primordial ooze from whence it came.
  • Quicksilver and Rick mount a rescue and free their captive teammates.
  • Before the fight can really get underway, Ronan receives a scrambled transmission from his home galaxy with a warning, “The Skrulls have invaded”. Ronan quickly abandons all plans on Earth and transports himself away. The Sentry and the secret Kree installation are both buried beneath the reformed ice caps. The humans affected by the devolution device also revert back to normal.
  • Hank feels he was pretty useless in the fight. He decides that he’s retiring from the Avengers for good. Jan joins him.
Avengers #92

Avengers #92

  • Issue 92 starts off with a seemingly relaxing day for the team (along with chauvinistic remarks from Quicksilver). This was the first time I’ve seen Vision wearing plain clothes, like in the MCU films. He rarely did so in the 80s-90s, so I completely forgot this was a thing in the comics as well.
  • Their tranquility is upended when they see a news report about the incident in Alaska, an incident that all involved, including the scientists that Hank was working with, were sworn to secrecy over. It appears the scientists broke their silence and a worldwide panic about an alien incursion has started. Also made public was the fact that Captain Mar-Vell was a Kree, which turned the public against the Avengers fairly quickly. A government oversight committee has been formed (headed up by one H.W. Craddock), which resembles a McCarthy-era witch hunt.
  • SHIELD aircraft were ordered to circle the skies over Avengers mansion. There were a few continuity errors, one very noticeable one is that Fury had no eye patch in the first few pages he was on, but later did.
  • Carol Danvers arrives at the mansion, offering Mar-Vell a place to lay low while all of this blows over. They escape in a Quinjet.
  • Craddock contacts Fury to let him know he’s monitoring all law enforcement AND SHIELD activities around the mansion. He feels Fury intentionally let them escape. Fury shuts off communications, but Dum Dum Dugan asked him why he let them escape. Fury tells him that after the war, he saw some of the relocation centers that Japanese Americans were forced to live in during World War II. He saw what it did to people. He says he didn’t allow the escape for Mar-Vell; he did it for America, or what America is SUPPOSED to be.
  • Rick Jones’ mind drifted back to simpler times when he was a kid and only read about superheroes in his comic books. Heroes like the Whizzer, the Destroyer, or even ones he met like Captain America, all come from a simpler time when there was a clear line between good guys and bad guys. Now, as Rick has grown up, he sees that line isn’t as clearly defined as he once thought.
  • The Avengers are served a summons to appear before an oversight committee about the incident in Alaska. As the proceedings occur, it’s obvious that Craddock is trying to use fear to incite the public.
  • In the courtroom, Rick Jones relives what he thought was a dream. In actuality, he had a vision of Mar-Vell and Carol Danvers arriving at the farmhouse that Carol offered to Mar-Vell. The noble Kree warrior was then attacked by some green monster. The sight was enough to make Rick flip out and flee the courthouse.
  • The rest of the team returned to the mansion, which was vandalized by protestors. Jarvis shut off the security measures, as all they needed was for some idiot rioter to get accidentally injured or killed by them.
  • At the same time, the big three (Cap, Iron Man, and Thor) show up. They’re concerned about how the team sheltered Mar-Vell and how he avoided going to the hearing.  Due to their by-laws, the big three have the power to disband the Avengers and do just that. However, their tones were so condescending, especially Iron Man’s, that it was pretty obvious that something was amiss.
Avengers #93

Avengers #93

  • The magnificent pencils of artist extraordinaire, Neal Adams, graces the book in issue 93. The intense character poses and dynamic camera angles make it obvious why he was such a huge influence on megastar artist, Jim Lee.
  • The big three are at the mansion when Vision shows up. The synthezoid fell unconscious right inside the front door. The team doesn’t know how to help him. Hank Pym arrives, in his original Ant-Man costume, as all of the founders were called in by Iron Man.
  • Hank figures the only way to determine what is ailing the Vision is to shrink down and go inside of him to do a diagnostic.
  • This is a fantastic trip through hard sci-fi land, which some of my favorite Avengers tales are. Hank and his ants are attacked by perceived monsters, but they’re only defense measures within Vision’s android body. They’re eerily similar to the human body, but still noticeably different. It’s fascinating how, unlike in humans, Vision’s mental impulses don’t have to travel through winding nerves, but dart directly to and from his brain.
  • Hank makes it to Vision’s brain and repairs some things. Although Hank finds something odd, which the readers aren’t made privy to, he has to haul tail as more antibodies show up. Hank makes his way out of Vision’s nasal cavity, ending, as the narrative caption so eloquently put it, the strangest rescue mission of all time.
  • Hank tells the others that he really has resigned from active duty, but if they ever need help, he’ll be there.
  • Vision and the big three talk about the awkward ending of the last issue. Thor and the others have no recollection of the incident, meaning that the ones who disbanded the team were imposters. Vision also recounts that the other Avengers, after leaving, tried to track down Carol and Mar-Vell. The farm they found had no one but a few cows. These same cows shape-shifted into the Fantastic Four and possessed the same powers as the team. While Vision was incapacitated, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch were abducted. Vision’s body, on autopilot, returned to the mansion.
  • The story shifts to Mar-Vell and Carol, who are prisoners of the shape-shifting Skrulls. Those Skrulls were cows due to the actions of the Fantastic Four several years earlier. They’ve been lying in wait all this time.
  • Given Carol’s military background, I had hoped she’d come off not as weak-willed as the other women featured in this comic the past eight years. I was disappointed in how she almost cowered when she asked Mar-Vell to not intimidate their captors.
  • The Skrulls depart momentarily to deal with the arriving Avengers. While gone, Mar-Vell escapes and uses his uni-beam weapon, along with stolen Skrull tech, to create an omni-wave projector and send a message to the Kree about the Skrulls being here on Earth. Mar-Vell also figures out that her fellow captive isn’t the real Carol Danvers, but Kl’rt: the Super Skrull. While they do battle, Kl’rt activates thrusters for his ship, which was hidden in the barn.
  • Goliath grows to skyscraper size to stop the ship. However, he suddenly starts to shrink. He hadn’t had the opportunity to take any Pym Particles recently. Thor saves him, but Clint is pissed off at feeling like a fifth wheel AGAIN. As the Skrulls escape with Mar-Vell, Pietro, and Wanda, Rick notes that this is probably the lowest point he’s ever seen the team at.
Avengers #94

Avengers #94

  • Issue 94 sees the Avengers coordinating intel with the Fantastic Four about the incident last issue.
  • Vision secretly stowed aboard the Skrull craft. Their next destination was the city of Attilan, home of the Inhumans. Before the Skrulls could launch their attack, Vision engaged them. Vizh and Super-Skrull were at a stalemate. However, Kl’rt wasn’t interested in fighting. He activated a superweapon, which rained down a nuclear-like energy upon Attilan, enough to topple mountains and melt ice caps. Fortunately, the energy barrier, which protects the great refuge, went up at the last moment. Vision then faced off once more against Kl’rt. His words were touching when he explained why fighting was useless; “I could accomplish nothing, save perhaps the death of one whom—I—.” Vision is starting to exhibit feelings for Wanda. Vision’s only option was to escape to warn the other Avengers of what has transpired.
  • Neal Adams draws the definitive Silver Age Vision. He feels wraith-like, yet more human simultaneously.
  • When Super Skrull and his party arrives back on the Skrull throne world, they are hit by shots from the Royal Palace. Kl’rt is still technically in exile, ordered by the Emperor himself. He even had a failsafe to ensnare Super Skrull if he ever returned.
  • The Emperor locks Wanda and Pietro into a holding chamber with other imprisoned species, making the two Avengers have to fight for their lives. The Emperor tries to barter the lives of the two Avengers if Mar-Vell gives the Skrulls the secret of Omni-Wave Projection. Having no alternative, Mar-Vell agrees and the Avengers are spared.
  • The story shifts back to Earth, within a secret facility, where Craddock is using a new alien detection device. His first test subjects, the three scientists that reported what happened in Alaska. The scientists begin to regret being so forthcoming with information on the Alaska incident.
  • Craddock also forces SHIELD’s hand and we see the first appearance of their Mandroids, agents in power armor that rivals the Iron Man suit. As their fight begins, Triton (of the Inhuman royal family) arrives on the scene.
Avengers #95

Avengers #95

  • Issue 95 continues the pitched battle against the Mandroids. Iron Man uses his power pods for precision strikes of electricity to disable them. Thor found it curious that Iron Man knew specifically where their enemies’ Achilles heel was and even brings up his concern, but Iron Man brushed it off.
  • Triton relays why he’s here. Tying into Amazing Adventures issues 5-8, the Inhuman royal family are all in search of an amnesiac Black Bolt, who is wandering the United States. His mind, tampered with by the new ruler of Attilan, Black Bolt’s brother, Maximus the Mad. Before Iron Man can state the team will help him, Vision immediately rejects this plan, pointing out that they have an interplanetary war to stop and fellow Avengers to rescue. Vision acquiesces to splitting into two teams. He almost shows guilt for sending the heavy hitters on the space mission, because he secretly loves Wanda.
  • YEEESH, Maximus had the gaudiest costume I’ve ever seen. I don’t remember him ever wearing that gold and red eyesore.
  • In San Francisco, a group of armed men chases Black Bolt into an abandoned building. Their purpose, as one of the pursuers so ineloquently put it, “We just wantcha to help us go on a lootin’ spree—same as you did them Blacks a while back.” Uggh. Mega cringe. Cap, Goliath, Rick Jones, and Triton arrive to assist him. Black Bolt, whose memories have returned, motions for the team to help him as they’re all needed back in Attilan.
  • We see a retelling of Black Bolt’s younger years. He overheard young Maximus speaking with a Kree soldier in private, making a deal that if the Inhumans assist the Kree when the time comes, Maximus would be handed the throne to rule over all of Earth. Black Bolt tried to run for help but was cornered. With no other options, Black Bolt was forced to use his deadly voice, which could level mountains, to down the escaping Kree ship. Doing so in such close proximity to his brother also damaged Maximus’ brain. Black Bolt has harbored that guilt ever since.
  • The reunited team converges on the dome surrounding Attilan. Nothing can penetrate the dome, not Iron Man’s repulsor blasts, Vision’s intangibility, or Thor’s mighty hammer. Only Black Bolt is able to collapse the dome and does so with a mere whisper. When he does, the Inhumans from within the dome all attack. Black Bolt adjusts the modulation of his whisper and it’s enough to snap everyone out of the mind control that they were under, courtesy of Maximus.
  • The Avengers, Black Bolt, and Triton storm the citadel. The Kree spy working with Maximus escapes, but with Rick Jones as a hostage.
Avengers #96

Avengers #96

  • The cover of issue 96 brings us the new design for the Avengers logo, the one we all know and love today.
  • The team is on an orbital platform, evidently run by SHIELD. Nick Fury offered them a long-range shuttle but had to pretend that he didn’t know they took it, otherwise he’d face consequences from H.W. Craddock’s commission.
  • The team enters hyperspace (not sure how they knew what direction they were to head in), but when they exit, they’re greeted by the Skrull armada. The Avengers take on the flagship of the fleet in separate attack pods. Iron Man did battle just in his armor. It would be several years before Stark has specialized armor for deep space.
  • As they tear into the flagship and order a surrender, the Skrull emperor comes on screen to let them know that they still hold Mar-Vell, Scarlet Witch, and Quicksilver hostage and that Mar-Vell is working on an Omni-Wave weapon. However, as one of the guards goes to grab Mar-Vell, he sees it’s a hologram. Mar-Vell duped the guards and frees the Maximoffs.
  • Vision, no longer able to hide his worry over Wanda, or his anger at the Skrulls holding them captive grabs one of the Skrulls and begins to beat him within an inch of his life, trying to get the location of the Skrull throne world. It took Thor and Iron Man to pull him off. The Avengers honoring Geneva Convention, even in an interstellar war, felt a bit truer than say, them murdering Skrulls left and right in more recent event stories.
  • The Skrull ship fires a rocket with a hyperspace weapon that will turn Earth into a smoldering crater. Clint, who is manning one of the ships, pursues after it, being of more use there than in a fistfight with no more Pym Particles. Clint boards the rocket, only to find four armed Skrulls…and him without weapons or powers.
  • Rick Jones is brought to the Kree homeworld of Hala, before a disappointed Ronan, who was expecting a more superhuman hostage. Rick swiftly grabs an energy staff from one of his guards and fires it at Ronan. Not only did it have no effect, but Ronan smacks Rick across the room for good measure. I don’t know why, but in that moment, I envisioned Ronan yelling “CHARLIE MURPHY!!!” Ronan explains that Earth is at a strategic staging point between the Kree and Skrull empires, so it must be taken or destroyed. Rick again tries to escape and gets blasted. Ronan cannot understand the futility of his actions, since he will be the only survivor of his species. I gained a newfound respect for Rick when he responded with this line; Y-yeah, I’m lucky, all right…’cause that means that someday, someway, I’m definitely gonna kill you, creep. And the only way you’re gonna lessen those odds, buddy, is to waste me NOW!” Dude has grapefruits, I’ll give him that.
  • Rick is locked away in the same prison that now houses the former ruler of the Kree, the Supreme Intelligence. He explains that even with his mental powers weakened, he reached across the cosmos to nudge H. Warren Craddock to hound the Avengers, he implanted the dream-like memories in Rick’s head and he influenced the Kree soldier in Attilan to abduct Rick. He states that Rick is integral to this entire conflict. Unfortunately, to get him to realize his true potential, the Intelligence teleported Rick away and back into the Negative Zone, right at Annihilus’ front door.
Avengers #97

Avengers #97

  • Regular series artist, John Buscema, returns to illustrate the finale to this saga.
  • Just as Annihilus grabs Rick by the throat, going for the kill, a bolt of concentrated psionic energy comes from Rick’s mind. He sends Annihilus hurtling across the stars. He’s temporarily safe but still stranded in the Negative Zone.
  • Mar-Vell used the Omni-Wave to contact Rick and he believes that is what sent Rick to the Negative Zone. Mar-Vell destroys it, realizing that it’s too dangerous to allow the Skrulls to have possession of it.
  • Rick escapes through a portal, only to return to the Supreme Intelligence, but now Ronan is onto them. The Intelligence tells Rick that he has unlocked the potential of humankind that it may possess one day. To protect them, the Intelligence has Rick create mental projections of the heroes he read about in comics as a youth, Captain America, Namor, the original Human Torch, the Blazing Skull, the Golden Age Vision, etc. Controlling these heroes proved a great strain on Rick’s mind and he was only able to hold it for a couple of minutes. With the Kree forces regrouping, Rick concentrated and unleashed an incalculable wave of psionic energy, one powerful enough to freeze every Kree in the facility like statues and, through mental contact with Mar-Vell, every Skrull engaged in battle as well.
  • Rick releases another bolt, across the galaxy, to Earth. He reveals that H. Warren Craddock was a Skrull all along. The same mob in which he whipped into a frenzy beat him to death, which was poetic justice.
  • The Supreme Intelligence explains to Rick that both the Kree and the Skrull have hit the zenith of their species and will not evolve any further, whereas Earth has nearly limitless potential. As he further explains this, Rick passes out. The strain on Jones’ mind was too much and he laid in critical condition. When the Avengers arrive, Mar-Vell is given the option to save him…by once again merging with Rick. Not seeing any other alternatives, he agrees to do it.
  • The Supreme Intelligence, now at full power again, returns the team home
  • Upon arriving home, the team is greeted by Nick Fury. He lets them know that the real H. Warren Craddock was imprisoned and the Skrull impersonating him had done so for months.
  • The Avengers notice that all of them were transported back to Earth…all except for Clint Barton, who is missing in action.

Upon reflection, while I do really like the story, a few minor tweaks here and there could’ve made this the definitive epic for the franchise and for Marvel in general. The Kree and Skrulls actually doing battle in minor skirmishes could have visualized the hate between the two species more so than just talking about their feud. Little hints about Wanda and Vision’s feelings for each other were a bit too subtle in previous issues and needed to be a bit more apparent for the emotional stakes to have had more weight. Less time spent on ancillary plot points (the search for Black Bolt, the battle with the Mandroids, and maybe Ant-Man’s journey into the Vision being done elsewhere) could have freed up so much more room to tell the actual “War” side of things. Most importantly, Rick is featured in the main Avengers book (instead of just in Captain Marvel’s book or The Incredible Hulk) in the 12-18 months leading up to the Kree-Skrull War could have made his near-sacrifice towards the end of the story resonate with readers more.

As we return to our regularly scheduled programming in the coming months, we’ll see familiar faces return to the book, new (and questionable) costume choices, more Barry Windsor-Smith awesomeness, and a milestone that unites every person who had been an Avenger up to that point. Until next time, AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!!!

ComiXology Featured 5 New Releases from Marvel and Harlequin

There are five new digital comics on comiXology now from Marvel and Harlequin. Get a little action and a little romance to read. Start shopping now or check out the individual issues below!

Cable Vol. 1: Shining Path

Written by David Tischman
Art by Igor Kordey
Cover by Igor Kordey
Purchase

Collects Cable (1993) #97-100.

A new direction for the mutant soldier! Ever since the apparent defeat of his lifelong nemesis, Apocalypse, Nathan Dayspring has lost his focus. Now, Cable regains the role he was born into, that of soldier, traveling the world, infiltrating political hotspots from Asia to Europe to Africa! His first mission brings the former X-Man to South America where civil war is erupting and peace is a shattered illusion!

Cable Vol. 1: Shining Path

Cable Vol. 2: The End

Written by Darko Macan, David Tischman
Art by Mike Huddleston, Igor Kordey
Cover by Igor Kordey
Purchase

Collects Cable (1993) #101-107.

The one-man-army known as Cable heads to the world’s hotspots to spread peace – and he’s not afraid to back his message up with bullets!

Cable Vol. 2: The End

Double Identity

Written by Annette Broadrick
Art by Eve Takigawa
Purchase

Carina has lived a very sheltered life with her wealthy family, but that hasn’t protected her from hardship entirely. She lost her fiancé in a car accident, and it turns out another woman was in the car with him when it happened! Ever since, she hasn’t been terribly interested in men, until one night when a famous socialite and playboy by the name of Jude approaches her. He’s the third son of a wealthy Texan family and he’s very handsome. Just when she’s starting to think that Jude can help her break out of her shell, it becomes clear he has ulterior motives…

Double Identity

Le Retour Imprévu

Written by Catherine George
Art by Riho Sachimi
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Rose, propriétaire d’une librairie, trouve une rose devant sa boutique, accompagnée d’une carte dont le message la bouleverse : « Une rose pour une Rose ». C’est un message que James Sinclair lui avait déjà envoyé autrefois. James était un homme parfait, admiré de tous et éperdument amoureux de Rose. Mais quand il a su que leur amour de jeunesse n’était pour elle qu’un jeu, leur histoire a tourné au drame. Une erreur impardonnable a été commise – saura-t-il lui pardonner ?

Le Retour Imprévu

Marvel Visionaries: Gil Kane

Written by Gerry Conway, Gil Kane, Stan Lee, Jim Shooter, Dan Slott, Roy Thomas
Art by Gil Kane
Cover by Gil Kane
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Collects Tales To Astonish #76, Tales Of Suspense #88 – #91, Captain Marvel #17, Daredevil #146, Marvel Premiere #1 And #15, What If? #3 And #24, Amazing Spider-Man #99 And #123, Marvel Comics Presents #116.

A lifetime retrospective of the legend’s greatest work for the House of Ideas! Joining the immortal Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and John Romita in the annals of The House’s history is one of the industry’s most gifted artists: Gil Kane! With his fluid pencils, Kane brought a loving familiarity to Mighty Marvel’s most popular characters in a body of work reprinted for fans new and old alike!

Marvel Visionaries: Gil Kane

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