One of the mainstays of the superhero team is that someone is the member with superhuman strength. There may be more than one, but there is always at least one member of the team that is the team’s muscle, usually physically larger than the rest, and the one sent in when the team just needs someone pounded into dust.
That’s actually how today’s entry got his superhero name.
There was a time when Marvel’s X-Force was one of its hottest properties. As drawn by Rob Liefeld, the book chronicled a group of hard-hitting mutants who believed in preemptive strikes against the bad mutants of the world, and likewise for not being so gentle and leaving them to walk away. The original line-up has gotten a lot of mileage at Marvel, with many of the characters appearing in various X-books since the team first premiered in 1991.
The Marvel Crossover House of M posited a world where the Scarlett Witch, temporarily insane, would first change the planet to one where mutants were in charge, and then after some stress changing everything back to a world where hardly any mutants still had their powers. Wolverine alone knew the changed world was wrong, because Marvel and writer Brian Michael Bendis seem incapable of doing a massive crossover storyline that doesn’t give Wolverine a major role, and he found a way to make the other heroes he needed remember with the help of a young girl named Layla Miller. Layla had the power to make people see the Scarlett Witch’s changes weren’t right.
For many years, the X-Men had the backstory that the original team, minus Beast as he was with the Avengers at the time, went on a mission to the mysterious island of Krakoa and disappeared. Cyclops escaped and he and Professor Xavier put together a new team of mutants who went back to Krakoa and rescued the captured X-Men, making a new team that would go on to become Marvel’s biggest book.
More recently, a retcon came in. There had been for years talk of a third Summers brother after Cyclops and Havoc, and finally, that story was coming out. The third went by the codename of Vulcan, and he was part of a brief X-team that attempted a rescue of the original X-Men from Krakoa. That team appeared to die, and the distraught Cyclops was so upset that Professor X wiped his memory of this second X-Men team before sending out the familiar team that included Colossus, Wolverine, Storm, and Nightcrawler. Vulcan had managed to survive and came back much later very powerful and evil, but how?
In an event that is rife with ideas and revisited storylines from the 70’s on up, there is still room for it to be unique. One of those new ideas is that of The Shield. A planet wide border wall that keeps the likes of Marvel Zombies, Ultron and the Annihilation Wave from overruning the more “civil” domains on the rest of Battleworld.
The Shield and the domains it protects the rest of the planet from, are also where anyone that defies God Doom and his rules are cast. Sentenced to either serve for the rest of their days as a defender of The Shield or to fight to stay alive against the horrors on the other side.
This concept has been the backbone of some great series (Siege, Marvel Zombies, Infinity Gauntlet) but also of some that started with great set ups and promise and fell flat (Age of Ultron vs Marvel Zombies, Red Skull).
After the break I’ll look at this weeks biggest movers including Red Skull as well as get Tom and Ryan’s thoughts on the most over and underrated series.
I mentioned when I covered Future Imperect #1 in part 8 of this series that I had not read the original source material. It’s on a long list of “to reads” that I have, but I don’t believe you need to have read it to enjoy this series. I think all you really need to know is that The Maestro is an evil future version of the Hulk who has pretty much killed all the other heroes. (Edit: or not…see Tom’s comment…) He’s not a very nice guy.
After the break I’ll look at the remaining issues of this series: Future Imperfect #2, Future Imperfect #3, Future Imperfect #4 and Future Imperfect #5. Currently sitting in the number 14 slot in our Secret Wars Power Rankings, the series is a good read.
Welcome back to our Geek Monthly Mystery Box subscription round up! For anyone new to this concept, mystery subscription boxes are mail order boxes filled with “stuff” that you pay for on a monthly basis. The catch is that you have no idea what is going to be in the box month-to-month. You have to go on faith that what is being delivered, will match the value of the monthly subscription fee.