Marvelous May – Storm vs Gamora
Welcome back to Marvelous May, and today, it’s X-Men vs Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s Ororo Munroe, aka Storm, vs Gamora!
Descended from a line of African priestesses, Ororo Munroe lost her parents at a young age when a plane crashed into their home in Cairo. Afterward, she was trained by street urchins to be a master pickpocket. Wouldn’t you know it, she one day picked the pocket of one Professor Charles Xavier, founder of the X-Men, who kept an eye on her over the years, as he sensed she was a Mutant. Eventually, her powers manifested to allow her to save the life of a young Wakandan Prince, who would later become Black Panther. She was then taken to Kenya to be trained to use her powers responsibly, and was believed to be and worshiped as a Goddess. This is where, during a time period where the X-Men needed new members, Ororo was found and recruited, taking on the name Storm. She possesses atmokinesis, allowing her to manipulate the weather to her liking. Wind, rain, lightning, and snow all bend to her command, as she can create or control storms, and use the wind currents to fly. Unfortunately, the events that resulted in her parents’ death left her with a horrible case of claustrophobia, and her emotional state ultimately effects how well she can control her powers. That said, when she’s in full control, few can hope to stop the sheer force and power of Storm.
So, right off the bat, two things that people might not know about Gamora: She’s originally from an alternate universe, meaning she’s not actually native to Earth-616, and her full name is Gamora Zen Whoberi Ben Titan… … …Yeah, if it’s all the same with her, I’mma just call her Gamora. 😛 She’s the sole survivor of a race from her universe and someone brought her over to the mainstream Marvel Universe to save her. Problem? Her savior was Thanos, who molded her into a weapon, and a damned efficient one at that. She is considered the most dangerous woman in the universe, being trained to be an expert markswoman, a weapons expert, and a skilled martial artist, and all of that is on top of her natural abilities as a Zen Whoberis, which makes her super strong, super fast, and so on. Luckily for Gamora, she one day learned of Thanos’ ultimate plan: To kill the entire universe in a bid to impress Death…because Death is an actual person in the Marvel Universe, AND a woman, and he is trying to woo her by killing EVERYONE. Yeah, clearly, he’s not all there, but really, what would you expect from someone called the Mad Titan? She’s since switched over to the side of good, working with a few different heroes from time to time, until she eventually found her home with a rag-tag group calling themselves the Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s a decision that seems to be working out for her, and has led to her being empowered by the Black Vortex, which gave her the ability fly, survive the vacuum of space, and basically access hammerspace. And hey, who wouldn’t wanna ride with an anthropomorphic raccoon with guns, a Captain Kirk wannabe, a giant tree with a three-word-long vocabulary, and the former WWE World Heavyweight Champion?
Anyway, be sure to vote on who you think should win this match by May 12th, at which point the winner will move on to take on the winner of the next bout. And be sure to check out the links below to read more about these two, as well as come back for the final match of the first round: Rogue vs Jean Grey. Ja né!
The NEW MU Books Confirmed Thus Far
While the official date for the release of the full Marvel line-up for the NEW MU (or All-New All-Different Marvel, whichever we’re calling it now) is July 1st, several titles have been confirmed over the past month, while others have been alluded to. As such, let’s take a look at some of these books, starting with…
As I’ve said before, this book will be the flagship title for the new line-up. This book will feature Tony pretty much having to work from the ground up to get to where he once was in his standing as both Tony Stark and Iron Man. The new Invincible Iron Man book will include a new suit with new abilities, new characters, and new resolutions on previous story arcs, as we’ll hopefully get the answer to the question that I’m sure has been on the minds of many the past few years: Is Tony Stark too far gone after everything he’s done, or can he redeem himself for his misdeeds? It’s hard to say, but then again, consider that Tony Stark was first created as a character that no one in that time period would like and then would be forced to sympathize with. In addition, thanks to modern interpretations of the character (in large part, the first of the Marvel movies), Iron Man is ultimately the story of a man who, when his eyes were opened to the terrible things he’d done, strove to better himself as a result. As such, if anyone could come back from these things, it’s Tony Stark… … …Let’s just hope that, while he remains the magnificently snarky bastard we know, he remembers to stay sober, not indulge in petty fights with his fellow heroes, and for God’s sake, keep his friends in the know about what he’s ACTUALLY doing in certain situations. lol
Not gonna lie, I don’t really know much about Squadron Supreme. Everything I DO know is stuff that I’ve learned on wikis, or have been told by fans, comic enthusiasts, and a certain internet personality. Apparently, they come from another world in the Multiverse, although the team has been rebooted and had their stories retold on other Earths beyond that. A lot of the members are analogues for members of the Justice League (Hyperion is Superman, Doctor Spectrum is Green Lantern, Power Princess is Wonder Woman, Nighthawk is Batman, etc.). Also, some of their stories and their history can be seen as What If-type stories of the Justice League without using their trademarked names and whatnot, such as crossovers with the Avengers, and were the first to really look at things like what if heroes used their powers to forcibly turn their Earth into a paradise, long before there was an Injustice: Gods Among Us, or even Watchmen. But, that’s about all I know about the team, and I really know dick all about the individual members. As for this book, all I know is that the members on this team come from the various incarnations of Squadron Supreme seen throughout the Multiverse and are now forced to work together in this new world. It’ll certainly be interesting to see how this set-up develops, but I don’t know if it’s necessarily for me.
Again, thank goodness this book is sticking around. However, despite the fact that this is getting a new #1 issue post-Secret Wars, I’m still gonna be checking out the current book. If for no other reason, but because it helps to introduce the new character and member to the team, Singularity. Plus, it’s a good way to see how this team will gel together. With that said, can I make maybe one or two comments regarding this team? I don’t know why Nico is wearing a muumuu, but unless you’re going for the witch-like look, it doesn’t work. And even then, I feel like she should be wearing a hat or hood, just to complete the look. Also, I get this isn’t an issue with this book specifically, and it’s just the direction the character has been taken lately, but the goth look for Dazzler irks me. I mean, if it was just her being angry about what Mystique did to her, fine, I understand that completely, but I thought when she chose not to kill her in the end, that was the end of that. Plus, looking at this team, it would make them a bit more varied in colour if she was in her old look. But I’m still looking forward to this. Also, wouldn’t mind seeing Spider-Woman or Misty Knight join the team to make it a magnificent seven.
This was something that was teased a little while ago, but now we’ve got confirmation on this new Hulk. The name of the book threw me a bit, but apparently, this new Hulk is someone who is VERY excited about the role, so that makes a bit more sense. The weird thing is that both his face and his arm are blacked out in this preview, which has led to some speculation about who it could be. The obvious candidate seems to be Amadeus Cho, given his background, the hairstyle shown, and a few other reasons that’s been brought up, but we’ll see what happens. Incidentally, though, I should note that it’s been confirmed that Maestro, the possible future evil Hulk, is gonna be sticking around post-Secret Wars, so between that and this reveal, that suggests that Jen might be needing to use that cure on Bruce Banner pretty soon after all. Also, if there’s a new Hulk in town, wonder if we’ll be seeing him in this next book…
Yup, the team I will not shut the frak up about. lol I can’t help it, I’m excited about this book, and this team. It’s diverse in nationalities, powers, ages, and just overall walks of life. The only thing I find myself wondering about is how this team is gonna be at its most effective if Tony Stark won’t be funding and supplying them with money and equipment. Apparently, they won’t even have Avengers Tower, although really, that is like painting a giant bulls-eye on the island of Manhattan for their enemies…even though they tend to attack New York most of the time anyway. Also, I’m curious to know if this means Kamala told her parents about her superhero life, since I can’t imagine her being a full-time member of the team and doing her own patrols of New Jersey without telling them or having a really good cover story… … …I kinda want her to tell them, just because I wanna see her mom’s reaction. XD
So, according to Bendis, because of course he’s writing this book, Miles Morales is the main protagonist, while Peter Parker will act as his mentor. Personally, if they’re going the direction of having Miles be the primary Spider-Man from here on out, having Peter mentor and guide him is a good idea. The thing is, while Miles has been Spider-Man for at least a little while now, he’s never really had any kind of formal training as a superhero, having to pretty much pick it up as he goes with only his knowledge of how Peter worked previously in his universe. Peter Parker, meanwhile, not only got training with his fellow heroes, but he took what he learned from Shang-Chi and Steve Rogers and used these new moves in tandem with his powers to create the Way of the Spider. Given Miles’ own unique abilities (invisibility and venom sting, if he could merge them with the Way of the Spider, it could potentially prove even more effective in his hands. Plus, it’ll be interesting to see how Miles adapts to this new world and how he stacks up against Peter’s rogues gallery, who, while similar to the villains he knows from his Earth, are nonetheless different in a lot of ways.
Speaking of the Spiders of the Marvel Universe, Spider-Gwen’s solo title is confirmed to return. I say return, because Spider-Gwen #5 was the final issue of the first volume of her book…which I didn’t know about until I got to the very end of it. Granted, I understand the need to start whole new volumes for each series in this new universe, but goddamnit, Spider-Gwen JUST GOT STARTED. The new volume even has the same creative team, thank God. Hell, she’s not even part of the mainstream universe, she’s gonna be dimension hopping between her Earth and the new one. Which, FYI, for anyone saying that the Marvel Multiverse is just gonna completely up and disappear, just remember that Marvel counts EVERYTHING in the Multiverse. Well, the movies aren’t ending, the TV shows are still airing, and Spider-Gwen’s Earth is gonna be sticking around, so it’s not disappearing. It might be SHRINKING, it might have some worlds disappearing and combining into new worlds, but it’s not going away completely. But anyway, I’m just glad this book will be back post-Secret Wars. And hey, it’s nice knowing that at least one alternate take on the Spider-Man mythos will be sticking around full-time…Still, can’t we at least make some kind of distinction from the first book, so that, in the future, people looking for the first issue of the first volume don’t accidentally pick up the new #1? I know I started calling the book Gwen Stacy: The Insert-Cool-Sounding-Adjective-Here Spider-Woman as a joke, but at this point, I think I’d take it.
Another book I’m super happy to see that is confirmed to be returning is Captain Marvel, with Carol Danvers as the titular cap. Unfortunately, it seems that Kelly Sue DeConnick isn’t sticking around to write it post-Secret Wars, which makes me a little sad. She’s the one who has helmed the book since Carol took over the role. She’s a big part of the reason we have a movie starring the character scheduled. Still, good to see Carol returning in all her badass glory, with her regulation haircut back, her costume getting some minor updates, and apparently running her own orbital defense space station. Also, for worried feminists, don’t, it’s being written by Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas. If you don’t know who they are, I’ll give ya a hint: Agent fucking Carter on ABC. We’re gonna be fine, folks. lol
Yeah, you had to know that, with this guy getting a movie soon, he was gonna have a solo book. According to Jason Aaron, when he was talking to Entertainment Weekly about the new book, he and Chris Bachalo “wanted a Doctor Strange who was always having to work for what he gets,” and that “Strange has to worry about repercussions” because “We’re talking about the forces of magic. So whatever he does has repressions.” This is probably the reason why we’re seeing him use more basic weapons and tools in artwork for the new book and his post-Secret Wars situation in general: When the best weapon at his disposal has a big risk factor to it with multiple possible bad ends to using it, it’s best to keep it as a last resort. It’s like Willow in Buffy The Vampire Slayer after she went bad, having to lean on her other skills as to not abuse something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Granted, the two are doing it for somewhat different reasons, but it’s still a comparable scenario. Hopefully, like Iron Man, we see more of Strange looking back on certain past mistakes (mind wiping Steve Rogers, for example) and trying to make up for them.
Other than these, we know that Ms. Marvel will get a new volume, that there’ll be a couple of books focused on S.H.I.E.L.D. and its members, there’ll be solo books for Drax and Gamora, that there will be an Uncanny Inhumans book, and that there’ll be at least one X-Men book, probably multiple knowing that brand. Also, given the characters presented on the banners we saw a while back, we can probably expect books for Captain America, Spider-Woman, Daredevil, Thor, Ant-Man, Black Panther, and the Guardians of the Galaxy. Lastly, I’m willing to bet that there’s at least one or two more team books planned, since I don’t know what else Red Wolf and Citizen V are doing, with at least one other Avengers team present besides the All-New, All-Different Avengers, and that we may see the returns of Groot, Black Widow, and Team Hawkeye and their books, since they seem to be doing pretty well thus far. There’s also been this teaser for something potentially involving Venom, with the words “I’ve returned” present…which doesn’t seem to bode well for Flash Thompson. o.O
Anyway, what kind of books would you like to see released in the All-New, All-Different Marvel? Lemme know in the comments section below, and we’ll see what appears on the list on Canada Day. Ja né!
Who Do You Think Of When You Think Of The Avengers? Please Comment Below
Y’know, something that seems to happen a lot in comics is that superhero teams will go through multiple iterations with varying members that switch in and out of the roster. The Justice Society, the Justice League, the Avengers, the X-Men, the Teen Titans, the New Warriors, etc. Now, a word that’s been going around a lot lately is ‘iconic’, specifically as it pertains to individuals bearing legacy hero aliases or variations of superhero teams. Ultimately, though, what it boils down to is which version you think of first. Like, for example, I love the idea of people like Sam Wilson, Miles Morales, and Kamala Khan taking up the names of Captain America, Spider-Man, and Ms. Marvel. Thing is, though, as much as I love it and hope they stick around for the long-haul, unless your first exposure to the Star-Spangled Avenger was the book All-New Captain America, you’re probably gonna think of Steve Rogers first before Sam Wilson. And that is in no way a knock at Sam, it’s just how it is. Steve has now had five individuals who have taken up the shield in varying absences and has always found a way to retake it every time, meaning that in his 74 year existence in comics, he’s spent the vast majority of it as Captain America, and is therefore likely to someday become Cap again. The movies don’t really help much there either, since Marvel always tries to have their comics reflect elements of the movies for the sake of new readers that got into the characters and stories through the movies, except in rare cases. Like, I don’t expect Carol Danvers to become Ms. Marvel again now that she’s got a movie in the works as CAPTAIN Marvel, so Kamala is probably safe in her current role.
Still, that raises an interesting question: Is there a universally accepted definition of who the most iconic versions of heroes and/or members of superhero teams are? Because every comic is conceivably someone’s first, so who knows? Maybe some people’s first exposure to Captain America is the Sam Wilson version? And hey, Free Comic Book Day is meant to get new readers on board with comics, so it’s entirely possible that the first version of the Avengers for some people is the one that debuted there, assuming they don’t watch the movies of course. Likewise, people who don’t read the comics and only watch the movies would think of that team of heroes as the Avengers first and foremost, and would probably be shocked to learn that Captain America wasn’t a founding member, Hulk left within a couple of issues and didn’t return until 2012, and Black Widow didn’t join the team until a full 10 years and 100+ issues into the Avengers’ history.
As such, here’s the question I pose to you all: Who do you think of when you think of the Avengers? Do you think of the original five founding members of Ant-Man, Wasp, Thor, Iron Man, and the Hulk? Perhaps Cap’s Kooky Quartet of himself, Hawkeye, Quicksilver, and Scarlet Witch? Maybe the A-Next team from the MC2 Universe, consisting of J2, Mainframe, Stinger, and Thunderstrike? Or maybe you don’t even think of one single version of the team, but rather different members that have been on various incarnations of the team, like Spider-Man, Vision, Wolverine, Luke Cage, or Doctor Strange?
So, basically what I want is for you to list the first five to ten characters you think of when you hear the word ‘Avengers’. Keep in mind, there is no wrong answer here. It all depends on who you think of. List them in the comments section below, and we’ll see who everyone thinks of, and if there are any universally considered iconic members of the Avengers. Ja né!