Hi comic lovers and welcome to my comic book review blog! Because the internet can never have enough amateur blogs. What started as weekly reviews of everything I bought has turned into the occasional article about recent series and events as that's all I can spare time for. Make sure you read your own books first as SPOILER ALERT applies at all times. Thanks for visting! Got anything to add, argue or agree with simply post in the comments.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Breaking News: Marvel Movies Update

Iconic Days of Future Past Cover.
X-Men First Class's sequel will be based on The Days Of Future Past story from the comics and will "widen the x-men universe" so does this mean we will be getting more direct links to the previous trilogy? Video below of Bryan Singer discussing details.

The Days of Future Past story was in Uncanny X-men #141 and featured an older version of Kitty Pryde possessing her younger self. At the time she had literally only just joined the X-men. Her future self came from a Future where mutants were hunted down and were all but extinct. The tipping point that started the world onto the path that the bad future came from was the assassination of Senator Kelly, someone who has already featured in the previous X-men trilogy, at the hands of Magneto's Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. This then started the hunting of the mutants etc. How much of this will be used in the film is unknown as Kitty was a teenager in the previous trilogy set forty years further in time. The X-men Film timeline continuity is already bad/ confusing enough.

Christopher Ecclestone, building quite the geek portfolio now.

Also casting news for Thor The Dark World as British actor Christopher Ecclestone (The first of the relaunched Doctor Who leads, The Invisible Man in Heroes and most recently Destro in G.I. Joe) is set to play Malekith The Accursed, an Elf Villain. I'm not that up to date on my Thor characters myself so the name doesn't mean that much to me, I'll admit.

Maracas the who?

Let's just hope he doesn't do a Scottish accent again. Yeah I watched G.I. Joe rise of the Cobra a few nights ago and the wounds are still fresh.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Top 10 Comic Book Movies

(Warning this contains spoilers for The Dark Knight Rises and probably other films- but you should have seen them by now!)

A colourful cast.
10. X-men: First Class

It has a great script set in an important moment in history, a stylish new direction with the time setting and a better more rounded cast of characters and powers than the other trilogy. This is one of my favorite X-men films for that reason.

9. Hellboy 2: The Golden Army

Guillermo Del Toro recreates the perfect fantastical horror imagery as found in the comics. Making it both a world you want to immerse yourself in but also one that can turn around and eat the bones out of your body. Although the first film probably captures it better than this, I preferred the family/ team aesthetics in this second film. Not to mention Toro really gets to flex his creative muscles creating endless creatures for that market scene. It just feels more over the top with the action- more comic book like. Also <3 Johan Kraus.

There's just something so kooky about these particular
characters on screen.

Proving he unmasks to much by
doing it on a poster too.
8. Spider-man 2

The reason why the first film didn't make the list, I'll get to that later. This one is another that packs more of an emotional punch. Peter Parker burning the candle at both ends so much that his powers go on the fritz. He realises people need him and he comes back with a purpose. Even when he unmasks to the entire train load of people and they promise to keep the secret it strikes a chord with your emotions. The themes of heroism and redemption with Doc Ock are never attempted in the source material so it's always nice to be surprised when watching a film (as with the first when it's MJ getting chucked off the bridge by Goblin).

Cumming all over the place. INNUENDO!
7. X2: The Last Stand

After one mutant commits a crime they are all targeted. The themes of hatred and fear to what you don't understand echo throughout the trilogy but this is an improvement on the first, and I hate what they did to the Phoenix so much that it tarnishes the rest of the action in the third film. This film has two really great action sequences the first being Nightcrawler's attack on the president the second being Stryker's raid on the Institute, and the youngsters fighting back. This film sees the good and bad having to work together.

Most believable romance in a comic book adaptation. 
6. The Amazing Spider-man

This is the reason I now feel nothing for the original Spider-man first installment. The way they subtly hinted at things that didn't need repeating from the first film but the amount of genuine love that Peter and Gwen show for each other. The moment when Cpt. Stacy finds Peter unmasked and allows him to save his daughter. The amount of character pieces in it almost dwarf the villain in the film. Although suffering from some dodgy "lizard" CGI moments it ultimately redeems itself by being so stylishly shot.

RDJ fits the role almost too well.
5. Iron Man

The first of the Marvel Studios films that led to the Avengers and in my opinion the best. Robert Downey Junior is a favorite actor of mine. I was blown away by how well he fits the role. It was almost like Stan Lee had made it for him personally since the 60's. The Action was perfect, and his feelings for Pepper seem genuine and stunted at the same time. You get the sense that his kidnap ordeal genuinely changed him. It was a real shame the studio was rushed into making the sequel and I hope the third "Extrimis" based one will set that right.

Love it when Bane has his mask knocked off and just
goes psycho punching through brick walls etc.
4. The Dark Knight Rises

The end(?) of the trilogy. Wether they carry on the narrative or start a fresh. They went where no Batman story ever has before. They gave Bruce closure. They gave him a happy ending. He is no longer moping about his parents deaths. This is what closure feels like. And wow what a way to do Robin. A combination of several comic ones. Blake sounds like Drake, he's lost his parents, kills someone on screen during the film and also figures out Bruce is Batman. Not to mention Talia gets some kinky time with Bruce so assuming she faked her death and escaped there could be another time jump for 8 years and lo and behold we can have a big screen Damian Wayne. Ohh I got shivers. Personally I'd carry it on with Robin Blake assuming a vigilante position and joining the Justice league but he is swamped in some over the top doomsday scenario and Bruce has to come back at that point. Gotham may not need Batman but the World does now- it would be a great fix to that ending. But enough speculating, this film seems less cinematic gold than the first sequel, but the over the top action at the end with the war between the criminals and police is so climactic that it's a fitting and explosive finale to all three films. Also Alfred makes me do manly tears.

A surprising number 3? Was it your cup of tea?
3. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

Comics, video games, romance. What's not to like? It takes it's theme and almost creates it wholly on screen. Changing the latter half from the comics originals to fit the movie audience better. It is so stylised that it feels like no adaptation or film has ever done before. It makes it's own rules and the action is spot on. Above all else it is insanely fun and enjoyable to watch. To some people who don't get it, it is the film equivalent of marmite but to me it's just the best.

Ledger's Joker is one of the best
acting performances of all time. 
2. The Dark Knight

An excellent film where not a single second of screen time is wasted. It's intricately plotted and the Joker steels the show. It's not just the perfect comic book movie, it's arguably the perfect movie full stop. But why oh why haven't you given it the top spot then?! Well that's just me personally. I've said it before and here it is again. I prefer my heroes bright and fantastical, I prefer them out of this world and flying around sky scrapers etc. not running around the shadows fighting murderers and madmen, I want them defending the planet. I don't want reminding sickos like this ACTUALLY exist, I want escapism. It's a great film but it's not a happy/ feel good one. That's why...

1. The Avengers (Assemble)

The Avengers gets my top spot. While juggling the already large cast we get introduced to even more characters and Hawkeye, Black Widow, Fury and Coulson get fully fleshed out characters. The film has an out of this world bad guy teaming with an existing one. The action steadily plods along and climaxes with the team coming together to fix the hellicarrier and then has this great big thunderous encore with the Avengers assembling to fight the Chituari in a full scale battle for NYC! They give every character perfect lines and perfect amounts of screen time. My only niggle is that Cap doesn't get enough time to shine at what he's best at, leading. He should be leading them, but there still hasn't been a chance for him to adjust to the modern world, and I'm hoping he will assume this role more in the eventual sequels to his own and the team franchises. It often takes a movie to do what the comics could never figure out, they went ahead and made the Hulk enjoyable. They showed him enjoying being the Hulk and controlling or rather channeling his anger. He stole most of the major laughs in the film. There are so many fanboy moments here too. Things like Cap throwing Widow off his shield, Iron Man bouncing his lasers off it and Hulk trying to lift Mjolnir. TDK might have being a perfect film but The Avengers got everything right for a big screen comic book feel.

Went out of my way to find one with Johansson facing front, to avoid
sexism jibes. Even RDJ's head covers the Hulks but. No sexiness allowed, gang!

Somewhat overused and miss used by rioters and the like
nowadays. But hey, it's mainstream now so who cares. 
Honourable Mentions:

Superman for making emotion a big part of superhero movies from the get go, as well as the first realistic effects. X-men for daring not to go leather not spandex. Batman Begins for making superheroes believable and serious. Captain America by Marvel Studios for having the hero with the biggest heart, and being my second favorite Avengers prequel. Spiderman for the first time seeing him web swing through New York. Daredevil for not being THAT bad in my opinion. Losers, Wanted and Kick Ass for making really fun action films. Plus V for Vendetta for making that mask go mainstream. I'm probably forgetting some but I'm just so happy that people are really embracing the characters and helping the superhero genre and comics medium go a bit more mainstream.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Modern Marvels (Marvel History Part 3)

   This is the important stuff. We skipped merrily through the origins in the first post (HERE) and glazed over the developments in the following decades (HERE) but now we find out about how the modern stories started. If you want in, listen up! Also watch your feet when you stand up because I'm about to drop some knowledge.

The last roster of the original team.
   Let's start with Avengers Disassembled. The Scarlet Witch, Magneto's daughter is married to the android The Vision, and she's loosing control of her reality altering powers, going insane, imagining the pair of them have children. She unknowingly sets about the death of Jack of Hearts and Scott Lang's Ant Man. She then crashes a Quinjet into the Avengers Mansion and gets the She Hulk into such a rage that she tears The Vision in two. All of Earths heroes come together one last time, their only choice to put her down for good, when Magneto appears and whisks her away to heal her mind himself. The Avengers shocked by one of their own being capable of such a thing the Avengers call it quits and end the team. Thor returns to Asgard as Ragnarok, the norse version of the apocolypse, takes place and all of the Gods are wiped out. 

An alternate world created by the
Scarlet Witch!
   This is directly followed by House of M. After Charles Xavier and Magneto fail to help the Scarlet Witch and they gather the ex-Avengers together in Tony Stark's Tower to think of a solution. She's too powerful though, they decide that ending her life is the only way, much to many of their disgust. Before they reach her room however, she mutters a spell and the entire planet changes. The Mutants are everywhere now and the humans are the endangered species. The House of Magneto rules the land and life is good. The human heroes, start an underground resistance after Wolverine's healing power corrects his memories and he realises things are wrong here. They take the fight to the house of M and during the battle The Scarlet Witch mutters the spell "No more Mutants". The world changes back.

Millions of mutants
left powerless.
   This world is different however. The mutant population used to number in the millions and now there are only 198 of them left. The fall out of House of M is called Decimation. Mutant town no longer exists. Many mutants de-power to still find they are hated or feared. Flying mutants fall to their deaths, healing powers no longer work, hell on earth for those who had powers. The hatred and discrimination still exists. Wolverines memories of his long past are restored. The X-Factor team becomes a detective agency and tries to figure out the cause of this all.

Evolve or die, Spider-man!
   Spider-man goes through a life changing metamorphosis after seemingly dying at the hands of Morlun. He goes into a cocoon state and comes out with organic web shooters and new stingers that emerge from his hands a la Wolverine when he is in mortal danger. In a story called The Other

   Then Planet Hulk starts as the Illuminati get tired of the Hulk and his lack of control over his anger so they send him into space in exile, destined to land on an uninhabited planet and then the ship to blow up. He instead landed on the Gladiator like planet and rose through the ranks to become a warrior and later king of the planet. He got a queen and she was pregnant when the ship finally exploded killing her and his child. As you probably know the madder Hulk gets the stronger he gets. So killing his love and child will make him pretty darn strong. He sets off back to Earth with his warrior team intending to kill every last member of the Illuminati.

Gladiatorial combat against the Silver Surfer in the arena, in Planet Hulk!

Yes a Forgetting Sarah Marshal reference. 
(Update) I should probably also add Extremis an Ironman story where a terrorist is using nano robots to execute terrorist attacks. Ironman infects himself to get a cure and winds up merging with his ironman armour. He is now the suit. He doesn't put it on to go into battle, it GROWS OUT OF HIM! Also around the same time in Captain America The Winter Soldier is revealed to be Bucky Barnes, Cap's old wartime sidekick, who has been trained and brainwashed by the Russians. These two modern stories are being mined to give the plot bases for the Ironman 3 and Captain America 2 movies. It will be interesting to see the movie equivalents up to date with the comics incarnations. Plus it makes sense from a marketing point of view. No point having people like your films and try the comics only to find a completely different story going on. 

Cap Vs Bucky the Winter Soldier.
The lines are drawn for the Super-human registration act!
   The New Warriors team, while filming for their reality show get into a fight they cant handle and a villain blows himself up killing hundreds of children in a nearby school. The Government quickly passes a Superhuman registration act, that requires each powered individual to put their secret identities into public domain and be trained by the government so no tragedy like the Stamford massacre can happen again. Heroes are naturally split down the middle. A super powered Civil War. Some already are public with their identities and others like Spider-man, would put their families and friends at risk by coming clean. Captain America turns against his government while Tony Stark heads the new initiative. Spider-man comes public with his identity and puts Mary Jane and Aunt May into Stark Tower for protection. After the Civil War Captain America is seemingly assassinated and Bucky takes his place in the suit.

   The act is carried out and each state in America is given a superteam and new powered children and older individuals are trained across the land in The Initiative.

The large cast involved in teaching and running the 50 state Initiative,
and a few students to boot.

Hulk VS Sentry!
   In World War Hulk, it's exactly what it says on the tin. Hulk gets back from space, madder than he's ever been and smashes the f*ck out of everyone and everything. Thor and Asgard are back and Asgard is now hovering over a small western town in the USA rather than in it's own realm. He takes a crack at beating Hulk but he isn't strong enough. He is only finally put down by The Sentry. A recent addition to the Marvel U, who is supposed to have been around for decades but who wiped everyones minds of his existence. Anyway the, mentally unstable, Sentry puts the smack down on the Hulk. 

Mr. Sinister and his marauders hunt the first
new mutant child.
   An X-men cluster of stories is next up. In Endangered Species, the Beast tries to explain why only a few mutants kept their powers and where all that energy went. Then when the first new mutant since M day is born the X-men, Cable, Bishop, Mister Sinister and the Purifiers go after it in Messiah Complex. The X-men disband after the mansion is knocked down are there are almost no mutants left. Divided We Stand deals with several solo stories about what the members do next. This is followed by the teams eventual reformation in San Francisco rather than Westchester New York, in a story aptly named Manifest Destiny.

The X-men relocate to San Fran!

One Moment In Time.
   And back to Spidey again as the fallout of his secret identity reveal is made deadly serious. Aunt May is hit by a snipers bullet intended for Peter and as she is in hospital he dons a black (non-symbiote) suit and goes out to take down the killer who targeted his family, in the story Back in Black. Then in One More Day, after exhausting all possible scientific and magical ways to bring Aunt May back out of her coma his only remaining option presents itself. In the form of a deal with Mephisto. He can trade his love and marriage with Mary Jane for Aunt May to be restored to health, as the demon Mephisto feeds off unhappiness, and Peter and MJ's love is super special. They make the deal and the past is rewritten. Most if not all of the stories happened the same from his marriage to present day only Pete and MJ are just friends and not married and nobody knows his identity again. The details of this new timeline are told more clearly later in the story One Moment In Time. After this new world is brought about Pete's life gets even more bizarre with a whole new bunch of villains like Mr Negative, Overdrive and Menace. 

The shape changing Skrulls launch a full Earth invasion!

  After the Illuminati meddled with the Skrulls for the first time after the Kree/ Skrull war the Skrulls wanted revenge. They developed ways to not be detected while shape changing and planted sleeper agents posing as characters on each of the major teams in the Marvel U. This Secret Invasion, was a devastating war as they try to take over the planet. It resulted in the death of long time Avenger The Wasp and the war was only won by a long range sniper attack by none other than long time Spidey villain Norman Osborn the now current head of The Thunderbolts, a government rehabilitation unit for super villains. In the aftermath Ironman the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. was fired and blamed for the breach in security. S.H.I.E.L.D. was disbanded and the madman Norman Osborn was given the lead of the newly formed H.A.M.M.E.R. world security. During his Dark Reign he formed the Cabal a sort of anti-Illuminati made up of powerful ex and present villains of the Marvel U to decide it's new direction. He created the Dark Avengers using villains like Bullseye and Venom posing as Hawkeye and Spider-man. 

Osborn in his Iron Patriot armor
takes down cyclops in his Dark Avengers.
   Learning that Bishop is chasing after Cable to kill Hope Summers the only mutant born since M day, Cyclops and Beast make time machines to send Wolverines secret assassin squad X-Force, into the future to protect her from him, in a story called Messiah War. Then anti-mutant riots in San Francisco result in marshal law and Norman Osborn's formation of his own Dark X-men to control it, in Utopia. Followed up by Nation X where the mutants eventually settle on Magento's old asteroid base that after leaving orbit crashed not far from the bay and is now an island.

The Sentry brutally kills Ares during the Siege of Asgard.

   Norman Osborns leadership ends as he crazily lays Seige on the newly reformed Asgard and crashing it into the ground. The Sentry dies taking him out and his Dark Avengers and X-men come to an end. The Superhuman act is abolished and a new Heroic Age comes about where heroes can just be that. A return to classic no nonsense story telling. Luke Cage is put in charge of the New Thunderbolts.

Asgard crashes into the desert during Osborn's attack on the Gods.

Mutant savior
Hope Summers.
   Then the third part of major X-book stories starting with Messiah War and continuing through Messiah Complex ends with Second Coming. A conclusion to Cables efforts to raise Hope Summers in the future, and not have Bishop kill her, and return her back to the present to become the mutant kinds saviour. Cable sacrifices himself to save Hope and she is left in the care of Scott Summers.

The Young Avengers hunt the
Scarlet Witch!
   Shortly after the Avengers Disassembled a Young Avengers was formed with Scott Lang's Daughter, the grandson of the original black guy who the Captain America super serum was tested on, a shape shifting skrull and what was later discovered to be the magical and speedster powered possible children of the Scarlet With. The ones they thought she imagined/ created with her powers somehow existed. They set off on a Children's Crusade to find and save the Scarlet Witch.

Daredevil takes New York!
   A prison temple of the Hand, a ninja assassin bad guy guild, is erected on the ruins of the Hell's Kitchen building Bullseye destroyed in the Dark Reign event and Matt Murdock comes back from visiting Japan, as a changed and now mind controlled individual. He seeks to utilise the Hand for good but he isn't the man he used to be and starts taking over the streets in Shadowland. Of course Marvels street heroes stop him and put and end to his nonsense. 

God of Chaos wants his Universe
back as the nothing it started out as!
   In Chaos War, the nothingness from before the big bang comes back in the form of the Chaos King with an army of demons and Gods to turn the universe back to nothingness. He pauses all mortals taking them out of the fight but as he breaks down the barriers of existence all the dead Avengers and X-men team up and take the fight to him, with Hercules leading the charge. 

   In Three Johnny Storm of the Fantastic Four sacrifices himself and is seemingly killed by trapping himself inside the Negative Zone as Annihilus and his Annihilation Wave try to break through. He saves Ben Grimm and the kids by doing so. In his honour, the fantastic four is no more and it is replaced by the Future Foundation. Where Spider-man is given his spot on the team in Johnny's will, and lots of child genius characters are taught by Reed Richards. 

The Future Foundation and the class of child geniuses.

Spidey splashes his cash on a stealth mode
suit during a team up with Black Cat.
   After his Brand New Day, Peter Parker hits the Big Time and gets a perfect job at Horizon Labs where he can come and go as he pleases and gets a private secure lab. Spending time making products for Horizon while updating his Spider-man gadgets. Plus the whopping great pay check. He starts dating forensic scientist Carlie Cooper (Yay!) but they break up after she finds out he is Spidey. 

   Shortly after Odins brother the Serpent God of Fear, is released from his underwater prison by Sin, the Red Skulls daughter and they spread fear and doubt throughout the world, in Fear Itself. They release 7 hammers to give out to "worthy" characters as weapons. Good guys like the Thing are targeted and after touching the hammers, they transform into creatures of fear and destroy all in their path. They are only eventually stopped by Tony Stark making an offering to Odin to appear and getting him to make them their own weapons to fight against them. The after affects of the event are called Shattered Heroes as the heroes pick up the pieces.

The Marvel good guys use their God forged weapons to fight back during Fear Itself.

Cyclops VS Wolverine!
   In Schism Wolverine and Cyclops' differing opinions clash. Wolverine wants to teach the kids and keep them out of harms way. With so few mutants left he doesn't want them training as soldiers. Cyclops however wants them to prepare for the worst. The X teams split in two with the two defined leaders. In Regenesis Wolverine opens the school in Weschester again, now called the Jean Grey Institute instead of the Xavier Institute and Cyclops keep things going on Utopia off of San Fran. 

   Which all leads up to the current big Summer event going on at the minute. 
The last decade of story telling has led to a fight
for the survival of the mutant race, or is it a fight
for the safety of planet Earth?
   Avengers Vs X-men. The Phoenix Force, the God of rebirth that once possessed Jean Grey and ultimately left her dead, is coming back to Earth. The Avengers want to stop it, as it has the power to wipe Earth out. The Cyclops led X-men want to capture it inside Hope Summers. With Wolverine an Avengers member and all of his X-teams and the school left in the crossfire to take sides. So far there has been a failed attempt to capture it in space and Hope rejected the Phoenix when it finally got to Earth so it has split into 5 pieces and possessed Cyclops, his current flame Emma Frost, Colossus and his sister Illyana/ Magik and Namor the Submariner. They used there power to change the world for good, planting crops for starving people ect. changing landscapes and whatnot. Only problem is they are treating Avengers like war criminals and keeping them locked up. However this story ends there must be major consequences and I'd be willing to bet that even if one side wins they will both ultimately have losses. At the end of this series lots of writers and artists are switching series and new series like Uncanny Avengers suggest a team up of Mutants and Avengers. This next initiative is called Marvel Now! and if all of this insane backstory has titillated your brains story box then i'd recommend jumping on then. Marvel now starts in september so hop on with the new issue 1's of countless series. 

Marvel Now, coming soon!

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Marvelous Expansion (Marvel History Part Two)

   Yes I soon realised as I was writing the first post (Click HERE to read the first installment), that there is too dang much to fit into a brief space. So, I'm making this a trilogy, like all good things are. This is the second part and will take us right up to just before Avengers Disassembled, where my last post will cover the modern Marvel stories.

   A lot happens between the mid 70's and the late 90's so I'm going to take this character by character like I did last time.

Doctor Doom

The Inhumans
   For starters The Fantastic Four fought Namor the Submariner, their long time nemesis, scientist and magician Doctor Doom, mind controller the Puppet Master, the Mad Thinker and his Awesome Android, The Red Ghost and his Super Apes, Diablo and Dragon Man (who later reformed and joined the team in some capacity- more next post!), The Frightful Four a team of four villains with a changing line-up and Moleman a scientist who lives underground in tunnels with his monsters and molemen. Their space adventures also discovered The Watcher on the moon, a being from a race of many who watch and record major events of other species without intervening, the alien shape-shifters The Skrulls (who also later come back in a major way), and the space species the Kree whom 25,000 years ago during their long war with the Skrulls came to earth to experiment on us to one day allow us to join their war. They made a group of humans into super humans and they went into hiding first in the hidden city, Attilan, and later on the moon. They became known as The Inhumans and went on to include their King Blackbolt and wife Medusa, as well as Crystal whom had romantic entanglements with Johnny Storm and later Quicksilver of the Avengers. Crystal owns a giant teleporting dog known as Lockjaw.

Galactus the world eater and his Herald
The Silver Surfer.

   Other major F4 stories include the coming of Galactus, a being from the previous universe to our own who eats planets due to insufferable hunger, and his herald (and later, earth hero), Silver Surfer. While searching through a dimension known as the Negative Zone the team made an enemy in Annihilus an intelligent insect creature and also recurring villain.

   Nick Fury went on to become the head of Earth Security in the organisation known as S.H.I.E.L.D. which currently stands for Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division.

   Spider-Man racks up an impressive rogues gallery for a lone hero including, perfect impressionist Chameleon, winged villain Vulture, 8 legged scientist Doctor Octopus, dusty criminal Sandman, a scientist who's self experimenting went wrong The Lizard (star of the summer film), shocking villain Electro, ex-special effects creator and illusionist Mysterio, Norman Osborn his arch nemesis Green Goblin, Kraven a deranged hunter, stinging tailed Scorpion, power suited Rhino, on again off again lover and later reformed hero, cat burglar Black Cat, another Goblin by the name of Hobgoblin, X-men villain Juggernaut and scientists The Jackal and Morbius the Living Vampire.

Spidey and Black Cat face off against The Sinister Tweleve! A team up of
spidey's worst foes.

The horrible moment when Gwen broke
her neck as Spidey attempted to
stop her fall.
  Important stories during this period include Peter's first love Gwen Stacy and her farther being shockingly killed off. His finding of an alien symbiote that became his costume for some time only to leave him and bond with others becoming the villain Venom and giving off more symbiotes that attached to worse minded individuals including serial killer Cletus Cassidy who became Carnage. Many different people assumed the mantel Spider-Woman. Kraven's last hunt where Kraven had one last no holes barred push to kill Spidey. After being framed for murder Spider-man went on to assume many new secret identities most of which were taken over by others after him. Peter Parker was cloned several times by the Jackal and many of which went on to become long running characters including one clone who couldn't be distinguished between the real one, leading to years of guessing. Ben Reilly as he was later known went on to take Spidey's place for a long while during which Peter took time off with his new girlfriend Mary Jane Watson. Ben Reilly eventually died, revealing he was in fact the clone.

   Peter went on to marry Mary Jane only to have this erased from history decades later as part of a deal with the devil to save his last living relative Aunt May. More on this in our next post about modern day marvel.

A small fraction of the X-men. Yes I said SMALL.
   X-men history is very hard to follow so here is the very basic pattern. After the second team was revealed many mutants are introduced and they sort of go on to multiply like rabbits. During the 80's a Canadian super team Alpha Flight is introduced as well as a new young team and class of x-men named the New Mutants. What with many of the previous members having graduated and the school not really teaching any more. The original X-men reformed in a team called X-factor, and a Brittish team called Excalibur emerged. The main team fights enemies including the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants headed by master of magnetism Magneto and lots of anti-mutant threats. Jean Grey became possessed by the Phoenix Force a God of rebirth, on a space mission. They introduce alien race the Shi'ar, their leader Lilandra and her Imperial Guard headed by Gladiator as well as the renegade ship and crew of misfits, The Starjammers, captained by Cyclop's father. Notable newcomers include Havok who is Cyclops's brother, his girlfriend Polaris, Shadowcat, Dazzler, Forge, Longshot, Psylocke, Rogue, Rachel Summers, and Jubilee.

The X-Statix, a recommended
read from me.
   In the 90's lots more mutant teams appeared including the new government funded X-Factor which later became pop culture and media obsessed X-Statix, a Cable lead team of X-force, a second main X-men team, another new class of mutants with Generation X, and solo characters Deadpool, X-man and Cable get time to shine in their own books. Notable villains include Apocolypse, Sinister and Mojo. Like I said this is a very brief overview as each year brought a brand new X-men crossover event between the multiple books being published. To go into detail or name every teams characters could take decades in istself.

Bullseye kills Elektra.
   Daredevil had tragedy as his on again off again lover, assassin Elektra died at the hands of his enemy Bullseye. He had many run in's as a lawyer in court and as a vigilante outside with the Kingpin of crime.

   The Avengers welcome to their elite ranks, over the next three decades: The Swordsman, the God, Hercules, African, Black Panther, the android known as the Vision, time lost Black Knight, Russian spy Black Widow, Mantis, X-men's Beast, Moondragon, Hellcat, time lost cowboy The Two Gun Kid, energy absorbing Wonderman, Ms. Marvel, Cap's team mate Falcon, Tigra, She Hulk, Captain Marvel, Starfox, Nova and Doctor Druid. They expand to have both a West Coast Avengers and often times laughed at Great Lakes Avengers. Adding Mockingbird, War Machine, The Thing from Fantastic Four, Moonknight, Firebird, US Agent, Quasar, Sersi, Spider Woman, Crystal from the Inhumans, Thunderstrike, Dark Hawk, Marvel Boy, Firestar, 3D Man, Jack of Hearts, a second Antman with Scott Lang in the suit and Lionheart a new Captain Britain.

A Small selection of Marvel's Avengers teams.

   The team up of Iron Fist and Powerman joined the Heroes for Hire. A team who worked for money on cases set by clients.

   Stunt biker Johny Blaze does a deal with the devil only to wind up being tricked into becoming his servant as the Ghost Rider.

   Ex-cop, Frank Castle's family are all killed by the mob and he starts a one man war on crime using extreme force as The Punisher.

The young pre teen, Power Pack.

   Lots of new teams emerged as Marvel's universe began to flesh out. The Defenders gathered the last of the none Avengers characters together in a separate team. Although originally it was started by a curse put on Silver Surfer, Hulk, Doctor Strange and Namor to come together when needed, others joined after. Guardians of the Galaxy were an Avengers-in-space premise that gathered the galaxies greatest heroes as apposed to Earth's. Including Nova of the Nova corps, a space police force. Seriously you are going to want to read up on them before more GotG movie news comes out. The New Warriors were a team of young super heroes who made videos and a reality show about their adventures. Power Pack a group made up of four young family members having got their powers from their Dad's failed science experiment by accident. Agents of Atlas were a team that were created recently and were fitted retro actively back into continuity so that they have been around since the 1950's in the stories (This style of writing backwards has become normal in comics story telling, as Stan Lee in the 60's wasn't writing plot lines to be resolved 70 years or so down the line). Same goes for a team known as The Illuminati. The Illuminati were formed after the Avengers joined the Kree/ Skrull war and the Skrulls got mad at Earth, so Ironman, Mr Fantastic, Professor X, Namor, Doctor Strange and Black Bolt started meeting in secret to try and save the Earth from major threats.

   And that's the end of that chapter. Next up: the last decade of Marvel stories in as much detail as I can muster, as it will be of utmost use to those of you considering picking up a new comic book.