The late Marvel Comics writer Mark Gruenwald had a rare talent: an encyclopedic knowledge of old comics. Gruenwald was apparently the only man who could beat Mark Waid in a comic book trivia contest about the Justice League…which, of course, was published by DC, not the company Gruenwald actually worked on.
As a result of this, Gruenwald, during long runs on series like Captain America and Quasar, would much prefer to resurrect long forgotten characters for story lines rather than create new ones. He even did the most mature Justice League story ever when he used the Marvel knock-offs versions to tell what many consider the first mature readers comic book storyline with the fantastic Squadron Supreme mini-series, a story showing the Squadron taking over their Earth as benevolent dictators, unmasking in public, and all the eventually horrible repercussions that came with that. Not only does this story predate Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns, but Gruenwald told a story with mature themes without anything that would have gotten the book censored by the Comics Code. That’s right, folks: his mature story had no nudity, sex, or swearwords.
But he did create a few characters too, and into that mess came the unfortunate example of Hauptmann Deutschland.
I was recently writing up my walk through for Secret Wars #6 and when I reached the end I flipped the page to see a preview of the cover for issue #7. I had seen it before. But as it sat there before my eyes, the longer I looked at it, the cooler I realized it was. “Is that the Lou Ferrigno Hulk? Forbush Man?? Goose Rider???” What was going on with this cover?
It seems the Marvel multiverse is back and they are not happy with one Victor Von Doom. After the cut, check out the full cover and our best guesses at who’s who. We’ve identified must, but there are a couple we need your help with. So get your Marvel dukes shined up and have a look…
Oh those pesky Thors. Tasked with being the “police” of Battleworld, they are one of the truly cool new concepts introduced with Secret Wars. And while there have been lots of Thor’s across Marvel’s multiverse and history to fill up a corps as is, we also get some cool new Thor’s based on the likes of Iron Man and Groot for example. They’ve shown up in pretty much every book so far in one way or another, but they also get a series of their own.
In this episode of “Jimmy’s Way Behind On Deadlines”, I’ll look at that Thor-centric book with Thors #1. I’ll also look at Armor Wars #2 (hey, there’s a James Rhodes Thor on the cover!), Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars #2 and Squadron Sinister #1. As usual, spoilers abound.
Kurt Busiek and George Perez had a fairly epic run on The Avengers starting in the late 90s. They had the team take on Ultron and Kang. They had a mix of old and new characters. They made Carol Danvers interesting (yes, Jenny, I said it, and she’s been interesting ever since). There was beautiful artwork, stories that showed great understanding for everyone on the team, and a silent issue where Washington D.C. got destroyed, but the Avengers managed to get George W. Bush out, and only George W. Bush out, before everything went boom. I did not make that up.
They also put a new character named Triathlon on the team, and he was fairly lame. I only recently learned why.