Stan Lee and Steve Ditko invent The Tinkerer in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #2

Every Friday we use the powers of Marvel Unlimited to look back at the very first appearance of a major character, place or object that made waves this week.

When it comes to super geniuses per capita, no place compares to the Marvel Universe! Some use their powers to help keep the world safe while others try to rule the world. And some just want to make crazy weapons to sell to nutcases! The Tinkerer – newly returned in this week’s PETER PARKER: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #4 – fit into that last category for most of his villainous career. 

Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man (2017) #4

Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man (2017) #4

First debuting back in 1963’s THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #2 by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, The Tinkerer made quite an impression on his first page. The old man with glasses propped up on his forehead wearing a plaid sweater and green slacks might have seemed like no problem at all had he not blasted Spidey with a ray gun right then and there! 

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #2

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #2

  • Published: May 10, 1963
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Steve Ditko
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In the Mighty Marvel tradition of the day, the next page flashed back to Peter Parker working hard in the chemistry lab at Midtown High where his teacher introduced him to electronics expert Professor Cobbwell who needed some weekend help. Peter’s first duty included stopping to pick up a radio from The Tinkerer Repair Shop on the way over the next day.

After arriving at the business the next day, Peter’s Spidey Sense went off, but he chalked it up to electrical impulses from the nearby machines. However, we learned that he should have listened to it as the Tinkerer and his apparently alien cronies hid something sinister inside Cobbwell’s  radio!

While working in Cobbwell’s lab, Peter realized that his Spider Sense continued to react in the same way. When his new boss left to give a lecture, Peter inspected the radio and found something extra inside. To investigate, he ditched his civvies and swung his way back to the shop!

Having descended into the Tinkerer’s underground lab, our hero learned that the radios all now hide secret spy equipment so that he could learn about Earthly weaknesses and attack with his alien cohorts. After being discovered by one of the potential invaders, Spidey fought hard, but fell to the Tinkerer’s blast seen on that first page.

The Wall-Crawler used his own considerable intelligence and skill to get himself out of the Tinkerer’s death trap. In the ensuing battle, much of the equipment got destroyed and caught fire, engulfing the entire place in flames. Spider-Man tried saving The Tinkerer, but he refused to be touched and they both escaped through the smoke.

Much later on down the line, The Tinkerer returned in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #159 and 160 where he designed a Spider-Mobile to kill the Wall Crawler himself! From there he went on to update and create weapons for many a masked marauder and even played a huge part in SECRET WARS. Now he’s back to cause more trouble for Spider-Man! 

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #160

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #160

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Flash Forward

One of the most interesting parts of Tinkerer’s history remains the fact that, for the more-than-15-year gap between his first and second appearance, Spidey and the readers believed him an alien! Much of that came from Peter walking away from that first confrontation with a human mask, but also a bio published in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #1 which clearly labeled the Tinkerer as “the first, and the only alien menace Spider-Man has ever fought!” He explained the mask in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #160: “That mask I left you holding was merely a ruse – a simple ploy to deter pursuit that, I must say, worked exceptionally well!”

The aliens themselves reappeared in PETER PARKER: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #50 and 51, but the Wall Crawler learned that are and were out of work actors posing as aliens that Tinkerer hired. One of that actually turned out to be the future Mysterio who got the gang back together for the job seen in these issues.

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Digging into the roots of everyone’s favorite tree!

Everybody loves him, but nobody really understands him…and not just what he’s saying, either! Quick—where did Groot come from? What’s the name of his species? How did he meet Rocket Raccoon? If you don’t know the answers, you’re not alone.

The history of Groot weaves a complex web. Having started as a minor character, the talking tree finally received more frequent opportunities to shine in the wake of the first “Guardians of the Galaxy” film. Now he stars alongside the Guardians, his best friend Rocket—and in his own solo series!

On September 27, writer Christopher Hastings and artist Flaviano present the conclusion of I AM GROOT with issue #5!

But before we reach that ending, let’s go back to where it all began for the character. Groot’s story has to be pieced together—and while it doesn’t come to light chronologically, it’d probably be easier to hear it in the order that it happened to him in.

Okay, are you ready? Say it with me: I! Am! Groot!

Groot’s childhood exile

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #14, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Nick Bradshaw, explained Groot’s origins for the first time. Framed as a kind of nature documentary, the story explained that Groot originated as a Flora Colossus from Planet X. The book illuminated the social order of the planet, with the Flora Colossi ruled by a monarchy and an elite group called the “Arbor Masters.” Together, these leaders teach children—called saplings—via a method known as “Photonic Knowledge.” In this process, the accumulated knowledge and experience of generations of elders gets psychically absorbed by the young through a kind of photosynthesis; this ultra-advanced educational practice provides the Flora Colossi with genius level intelligence.

The planet’s biome gets tended to by subservient “Maintenance Mammals” (small, squirrel-like creatures) forced into slavery in service of the Arbor Masters. In his youth on Planet X, Groot finds an unlikely friendship with these oppressed animals—and even prefers their company to that of his fellow saplings; Groot doesn’t get along with his own kind, as the adult Flora Colossi regularly kidnap and perform harrowing experiments on other life forms to further their study of the universe. The moral implications of these scientific atrocities horrify a young Groot, as do his peers’ harsh and violent treatment of his Maintenance Mammal friends. Acting on his conscience leads to his banishment from his home world; an unseen narrator explains that Groot got exiled from his people for injuring another sapling as he protected a Maintenance Mammal from attack.

Later, in GROOT #6 by writer Jeff Loveness and artist Brian Kesinger, the tree communicates, via psychic link, to Jean Grey to explain that the original story of his banishment has actually been sanitized…because the mammal he protected from the other saplings proved to not be a Maintenance Mammal after all, but in fact a little Earth girl named Hannah. He reveals that he saw her trapped and terrified by his people and sent her home in a rescue pod—then came the consequences.

Doing time

While it remains unknown whether Groot got arrested for unrelated reasons or sent directly to a prison for treason against his people, we next see our heroin this chronology  locked up—in GROOT #2—where his roommate turns out to be a certain anthropomorphic raccoon. Rocket learns to understand Groot and they forge a strong friendship in the process.

Communication between the duo took some time to be established—the result of Groot’s most famous feature: seemingly only being able to say the words “I am Groot.” As explained in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #17 by Maximus the Mad, Groot’s race experiences a hardening of the larynx and vocal chords during adolescence, forcing them to make the same sound over and over.

Angst, Phalanx, and robbing banks

After spending an undisclosed amount of time together in prison, Rocket and Groot receive an offer to join a rag-tag group fighting the Phalanx in ANNIHILATION CONQUEST: STARLORD—written by Keith Giffen with art by Timothy Green. This team becomes known as the Guardians of the Galaxy. At this point in Groot’s life, he claims to be the monarch of Planet X while—surprisingly—speaking normal, if somewhat pretentious, English. During this arc, Groot also volunteers for three separate suicide missions—each time saved from a branch clipping by Rocket.

2008’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #2, written by Lanning and Abnett with art from Paul Pelletier and Clint Langley, sees Groot’s vocal chords re-harden and his personality settle back into what it had been in his youth: kind-hearted and goofy. The next big change in his life came in the wake of THE THANOS IMPERATIVE in 2011—in a story written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning with art by Brad Walker—when the apparent deaths of Star-Lord and Nova cause the Guardians to disband.

In 2011’s ANNIHILATORS bonus story, by writers Abnett and Lanning and artist Tan Eng Huat, Groot returns to Planet X to help liberate his oppressed Maintenance Mammal friends who ran an underground resistance operation. When Groot arrives, though, he’s arrested and tortured for returning after exile and impersonating the monarch. Luckily for Groot, he has the greatest prison breaker in the universe at his side, and Rocket saves him from incarceration. Once the two finish their tearful reunion, they re-start the Guardians alongside Drax—and try to be a force of good in the galaxy.

Rocket and Groot then embark on a road trip to Earth where Groot finds his friend Hannah, now an old woman. This story—in writer Jeff Loveness and artist Declan Shalvey’s GROOT—further delves into the tree’s mind. We hear his psychic words, “Life is not about the shadow you cast on your enemies, but the shade you provide to your friends.”

Most recently, Groot has been spending an unusual amount of time attempting to re-generate from his “baby” state—even missing out on Rocket’s bank heist team in writer Al Ewing and artist Mike Mayhew’s recent ROCKET #1 due to his vulnerable condition. As witnessed in ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, by writer Gerry Duggan and artist Aaron Kuder, the nature of this form and the unique abilities that makeit so are explored in this year’s I AM GROOT series—written by Christopher Hastings with art by Flaviano—where a tiny Groot finds himself trapped on a strange planet in another dimension where no one can understand him. And the finale of this series, issue #5, drops on September 27!

I am Groot

He certainly says an answer enough, but, really, who is Groot? Find the long answer above, but here’s the short one—proven by years of moments and stories, trials and adventures: he’s a friend.

Check out Christopher Hastings and artist Flaviano’s I AM GROOT #5 on September 27!

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Spidey crosses paths with the Frightful Four, Jack O’Lantern and... the Mud-Thing!?

For over 50 years, Spider-Man has been a sensational standout in the Marvel Universe, and this year, the web-slinger swings onto the silver screen once more in “Spider-Man: Homecoming”! In celebration of his memorable history, we present Spidey’s spectacular step-by-step story!

After wading through watery warfare from Hydro-Man in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #212, and helping Nighthawk fend off an old flame who tried to kill him in MARVEL TEAM-UP #101, everyone’s favorite neighborhood Spider-Man confronted a clutch of would-be aliens and his old foe Mysterio in PETER PARKER, THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #50 and SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #51.

Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man (1976) #50

Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man (1976) #50

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Spidey devoted all his attention to an attack by the wingless Wizard in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #213, but even with the help of Namor the Sub-Mariner against the villain’s full-fledged Frightful Four in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #214, it still took the Fantastic Four themselves to turn the tide against the baddies in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #215. Later, our young hero fought alongside Doc Samson versus the Rhino and A.I.M. in MARVEL TEAM-UP #102, and with Ant-Man against Taskmaster and his school for super villains in MARVEL TEAM-UP #103.

The wallcrawler appeared alongside mutant singer Alison Blaire in DAZZLER #1, mastered Gideon Mace in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #52, tussled with the Tinkerer and his raucous robot Toy in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #53, and held his own against a swarm of samurai meted out by the Maggia in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #54.

Dazzler (1981) #1

Dazzler (1981) #1

  • Published: March 10, 1981
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: September 17, 2008
  • Writer: Tom DeFalco
  • Penciler: John Romita
What is Marvel Unlimited?

The mysterious Madame Web reappeared in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #216 to vex Spidey, but his name really became mud when Hydro-Man teamed with the Sandman in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #217 to merge into the weird wonder known as Mud-Thing, as seen in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #218. How the webslinger found the time to take on both Captain America and the Scorpion in MARVEL TEAM-UP #106, and She-Hulk and the Man-Killer in MARVEL TEAM-UP #107, the world-at-large may never know.

The nutty Nitro blew into town in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #55, as did Jack O’Lantern in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #56, but when Killer Shrike kidnapped Dr. Marla Madison, the love of J. Jonah Jameson’s life, in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #57, Spidey felt the deck stacked against him. This became quite evident the Grey Gargoyle showed his stony face in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #219, and Moon Knight seemingly wanted to kill him in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #220.

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #220

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #220

What is Marvel Unlimited?

A new criminal called Thermo frosted Spidey and Paladin’s cookies in MARVEL TEAM-UP #108, so Dazzler shed some light on the situation in MARVEL TEAM-UP #109. The dastardly debuts continued in MARVEL TEAM-UP #110 when first-time super villain Magma decided to go all molten on the wallcrawler and his pal Iron Man.

The Ringer made the webslinger jump through hoops in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #58. The Beetle crawled out of the woodwork again in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #59, but got squashed by the combined efforts of our hero and the Gibbon in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #60. Not to be outdone, Ramrod, another first-time foe, butted heads with Spidey in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #221, the Squadron Sinister’s Whizzer adopted a new and improved codename and costume as the Speed Demon in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #222, and the Red Ghost’s so-called Super-Apes monkeyed around to drive the wallcrawler bananas in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #223.

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #222

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #222

What is Marvel Unlimited?

The day grew longer and weirder in MARVEL TEAM-UP #111 when Devil-Slayer enlisted Spider-Man’s aid in slashing away at Serpent-Men and Spider-People, and the new Moonstone enacted a scheme to steal Dr. Curt Connors’ “enervator” in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #61 to re-energize her criminal pursuits.

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The team adds a new member soon—see if you have what takes!

Can you keep your cool in a sticky situation? Do you know how to turn anything into a weapon? Do you view the law as a loose guideline? Then writer Gerry Duggan and artist Rod Reis may have just the job for you!

On October 18, the Guardians begin interviewing for a brand new position on the team in ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #12! Explains Duggan, “As the Guardians conclude their adventure on Earth to free the planet from Stevil Rogers, they encounter several characters in search of an exit from this planet. One will make the trip. However, even though this issue has its feet on the ground, there will be a very important cosmic encounter that affects the quest for the Infinity Stone.”

Check out this job application for more info about the position…

Team Searching For Celestial Chaperone

Job title: Guardian of the Galaxy

Salary: Glory and a share of the score

Job summary: The Guardians of the Galaxy are a rag-tag team of assorted criminals who travel from world to world stealing from the highest level security facilities in the universe…and occasionally, saving the galaxy.

The positions of comic relief, crazed weapons specialist, former assassin, adorable mascot, and metaphorically-challenged muscle have already been filled. But don’t worry, Editor Jordan D. White details, “They tend to gather new members as they go, like a space snowball rolling downhill. And yeah, I did just say the Guardians are heading ‘downhill’—they have no idea what sort of trouble they’re in for.” Despite the foreshadowing there, the position does promise to be a great opportunity for anyone looking to get the heck off Earth and take on what White mentions could be called an “Infinite” quest…

It’s the Infinity Stone. They’re questing for the Infinity Stone. That’s the quest.

Responsibilities: You will be responsible for assisting the team on each mission while helping keep the peace between senior members. You will familiarize yourself with the targets of each mission and be ready to fill in wherever needed—that means getting comfortable in each team role and being prepared to fake it ‘till you make it when the plan inevitably falls apart.

You will follow any and all orders given to you by a senior Guardian. If you receive conflicting instructions, use your discretion to determine which will prove most profitable to the group. This position will also play a role in caring for—or “babysitting”—a recently regrown juvenile Flora Collossus. What can we say; it can’t all be gun slinging, explosions, and glamour.

Qualifications:

  • Music lover; particularly ‘60s and ‘70s Earth music
  • Mystic powers (ideal, but not required)
  • 2+ years of criminal and/or hero experience
  • Ability to regenerate a plus
  • Advanced combat and weapons capabilities
  • Experience time traveling (preferred)
  • Ability to cope in high stress situations
  • Chemical enhancements accepted
  • Willingness to follow orders but skilled improviser
  • Comfortable around talking woodland creatures and semi-communicative trees
  • Actually, if you could just be an ex-Avenger, that’d be great

So who might the candidates be? Take a look at the cover! White teases, “Any one of the five folks on there would make a fascinating addition to the team, would they not? And yeah—I did say five.” He clearly knows something we don’t—given that Dr. Strange, Deadpool, Cable, and Man-Thing seem to be the only newbies in the image…

Send your application in today! Email pquill@dangerousfuncoolguy.org or try reading your resumé to a raccoon and hope you get lucky.

Find out who clinches the job on October 18 with ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #12, by Gerry Duggan and artist Rod Reis!

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Greg Pak introduces Marvel Legacy with a return to Planet Hulk!

On October 18, Amadeus Cho makes an unexpected interstellar trip as writer Greg Pak and artist Greg Land head back to a brutal world with INCREDIBLE HULK #709!

Marvel Legacy begins with “Return to Planet Hulk: Part One,” as the young genius goes where another Hulk has gone before—Bruce Banner. But the planet Sakaar has changed since the Doctor visited years ago. And Amadeus finds himself in unfamiliar territory—on the continent of Filia, halfway around the globe from where The Hulk landed before. Thrust into a conflict he didn’t expect, The Totally Awesome Hulk will have to use every ounce of his intellect and power to survive.

We grabbed a few minutes with Greg Pak to see what’s in store for Amadeus on Planet Hulk.

Marvel.com: Amadeus Cho has learned a lot about himself and his Hulk persona recently. How does this new self-awareness influence his experience on Sakaar?

Greg Pak: Amadeus started off as the Hulk a couple years ago with this big, loopy idea that he could be the best Hulk ever; he never saw being the Hulk as a curse. He doesn’t think of himself as a tortured soul like Banner. He figured he’d become the Hulk and show the world how awesome the Hulk could be. But over the last few storylines, Amadeus has come closer and closer to the darkness within himself. To be specific, he’s got a Dark Hulk inside that’s fighting to get out—and he’s terrified of what he’ll become if that happens.

So as this new storyline begins, Amadeus gets pulled into the brutal world of Sakaar at the absolute worst time—when he’s trying to suppress the brutal monster within.

Marvel.com: How does Amadeus find himself on Sakaar?

Greg Pak: The story took place in TOTALLY AWESOME HULK #23, which just hit stands, so I don’t want to spoil it too much. I’ll just say that Amadeus ends up deciding he’s too dangerous for planet Earth in his current state, so he exiles himself to try to figure out what’s going on with this Dark Hulk inside. But then he gets a signal from Sakaar—someone desperately needs help from The Hulk. And he’s still that cocky kid who thinks he’s going to be the best Hulk ever, so he can’t stop himself from responding.

Marvel.com: You’ve said before that we’ll see a different side of Sakaarliterallyin this story. What new friends and foes will Amadeus find in his time there?

Greg Pak: During the original PLANET HULK story, the Hulk fought the evil Red King of Imperia, freed the slaves and gladiators he’d oppressed, and united the different people of the continent in a new alliance. (Whoops! Spoiler alert!)

This time ’round, Amadeus lands on a different continent on Sakaar—the land of Fillia, which had been at war with the Red King. So you’d think the Fillians would be happy that The Hulk took out the Red King…but once The Hulk disappeared, a thousand new murderers arose in the chaos and now Fillia’s a blasted wasteland where a terrible warlord hunts small clans for sport. One of these clans has put out a call for The Hulk—and they’ve gotten Amadeus.

So we’ll meet a stalwart headman, a scrappy insectivore hiver, an eerie priestess, a manic lackey, and a brutal warlord. It’s a big, epic battle-axes-and-blasters sci-fi fantasy, and you’re going to love it.

Marvel.com: Should we expect to see familiar faces from the original PLANET HULK story?

Greg Pak: Since we’re on the other side of the planet, we won’t see exact characters from the original PLANET HULK. But this fits right into all that worldbuilding we did for PLANET HULK, so you’ll see folks from the various species we established during that story. And you’ll see a disturbing perversion of the myths and legends we introduced there too.

You’ll see a Marvel hero you might have wished appeared in the original PLANET HULK. I’ll say no more, but definitely don’t miss issues #711 and #712!

I’d also like to plug the gorgeous work of Greg Land, inker Jay Leisten, and colorist Frank Darmata. They’re taking the original designs and worldbuilding for PLANET HULK and putting their own spin on them in this new part of the world—it’s just gorgeous stuff.

Marvel.com: What has been most exciting about this return to Sakaar?

Greg Pak: I absolutely loved working on PLANET HULK back in the day. It remains one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had making comics, and I’m thrilled to have a chance to dig back into that world whenever the opportunity presents itself. With this particular story, it’s a kick throwing Amadeus into the mix, because he was famously one of the few heroes crazy enough to side with the Hulk during WORLD WAR HULK. So there’s a bit of a comeuppance here—a chance to see how Amadeus handles the kind of brutal world that the Banner Hulk endured. There’s a lot of delicious and scary stuff to dig in with that kind of set up, and I’m having a blast.

I should also note that if you’re digging this vibe, please do check out the “Planet Hulk” prose novel that hits stores on October 4! I got pulled on board to write it last year, and if you dug the original PLANET HULK, I think you’re going to love the prose novel. We got a chance to dig a lot deeper into all kinds of aspects of the story and try some surprising new things. Check it out!

INCREDIBLE HULK #709, by Greg Pak and artist Greg Land, crash lands on October 18!

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A heroic spin on a classic alien invasion story courtesy of Kirby!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

During the pre-super hero, monster-filled days of the early 60s, Jack Kirby worked with Stan Lee to create an army of aliens and other threats to help fill anthologies like TALES TO ASTONISH, JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY, and TALES OF SUSPENSE. The protagonists of those stories tended to be regular people stumbling into weird situations and, hopefully, coming out on top thanks to good old-fashioned grit and determination.

When the folks in flashy costumes took over, they also began taking on very similar threats in the pages of their own books. However, with 1976’s CAPTAIN AMERICA ANNUAL #3, Kirby brought the two worlds together in a story called “Doom is the Black Star!” The issue kicked off with a farmer named Jim Hendricks blasting a huge purple alien monster away from the Sentinel of Liberty with a sci-fi ray gun.

Once the creature vanished before their eyes, Cap and Jim remembered how the latter contacted the former after he appeared on a local talk show. It took some convincing, but eventually the hero agreed to investigate the strange beings and U.F.O. that landed on Hendricks’ farm.

More surprises came when Hendricks took Cap back to his house where the masked pilot of the ship—dubbed “The Captive”—temporarily resided. After unmasking, The Captive explained that, even though it took him a million years, he found a way to escape from a black hole! Upon doing so, though, agents of the Galactic Empire came to put him back.

Meanwhile, up in space, the ship that sent the initial monster deployed a Combatron to regain their quarry. Fighting like a furious storm, the being unleashed its fury on the two men. Cap attempted to buy time by facing off against the Combatron while Jim searched for alien weapons. Having gained the upper hand, our hero had to leap out of the way of lasers blasting from the ship to erase all evidence of the Combatron and its pod.

Captain America Annual (1971) #3

Captain America Annual (1971) #3

  • Published: January 03, 1976
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: September 17, 2008
  • Writer: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

With an army of Magnoids descending towards Earth, the Sentinel of Liberty remained behind to size them up while Jim and Captive returned to the alien’s ship. Once there, Captive’s true colors started showing through as he rambled about being feared and returning to his full power levels.

Back outside, Cap did his best fighting off a legion of mechanical men. He held his own and even made off with one of their weapons, but quickly ran back to the ship where Captive truly revealed himself. Instead of finding Jim arming himself to take on the invaders, Captain America saw his new comrade almost completely drained of life!

The Captive then revealed his origins as part of an invasive, energy vampire race that had been mostly felled by use of synthetic, non-organic life forms like the Magnoids. Cap withstood Captive’s attempts at draining him of his own life force, which gave the Magnoids enough time to get inside the ship. As the villain began powering-up, the Captain summoned the last of his strength, slung his mighty shield, and knocked Captive unconscious!

The robots then wrapped Captive up in an inorganic material, which kept him still during the super-fast trip to a star called Epsilon Four. Once there, the space cops shot the villain into the sun, which went nova moments later, presumably killing the energy vampire in the process.

The issue closed with Captain America telling his story at an official military hearing, but the complete lack of evidence—aside from Jim’s corpse—led to them sweeping the whole thing under the rug. In the end, even in the face of the government’s stance that full, public knowledge of extra terrestrials would fill the average person with terror, Cap saw hope in a future that would be more open to visits from other worlds.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

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The war of the disenfranchised wages across the Marvel Universe with survival at stake. 

Bred by an alien race to be a warrior caste and possessing alien DNA, the Inhumans exist as humans possessed of incredible and otherworldly powers when exposed to the substance known as Terrigen. Living secretly, for the most part, among their fellow man, the Inhumans forge their own destiny as a separate society. Dig into the history of the Inhumans with these Marvel Unlimited comics in preparation for “Marvel’s Inhumans” heading to  ABC on September 29!  

Even when they’re not actively getting involved in major situations, the Inhumans seem to find themselves smack-dab in the middle of conflict! In this case, we’re talking about a major problem with the mutant community that actually started in THE DEATH OF X by Jeff Lemire, Charles Soule and Aaron Kuder.

Set in the eight month gap between the end of SECRET WARS and the ALL NEW, ALL DIFFERENT launch, Cyclops and his band of militant mutants discovered the Terrigen Mist that had been floating around the world proved fatal to mutants, including Jamie Madrox who died on Genosha when the cloud passed over. 

Death of X (2016) #1

Death of X (2016) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Enraged at the prospect of more mutant deaths, Cyclops and Emma Frost alerted the world to the danger posed by the mists and then set out to destroy both of them. It worked with one of them, but a major confrontation took place that lead to the death of Cyclops at the mouth of Black Bolt. 

Death of X (2016) #3

Death of X (2016) #3

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Well, sort of. As we learned, Cyclops actually died from exposure to the mist on Genosha and Frost used his image and her powers to make it seem like he still fought the good fight, even though he actually died very early in the series. Unfortunately, driven a bit mad by her lover’s death, Frost decided that Black Bolt actually killed Scott and demanded revenge.

All of this fed right into INHUMANS VS. X-MEN, which saw the mutants and Inhumans at peace while Hank McCoy worked on a solution to the problem with Iso by his side. As it happened, though, Beast soon realized that the cloud would burst, sending the contents all over the planet which would make it uninhabitable by most mutants. 

Inhumans vs. X-Men (2016)

Inhumans vs. X-Men (2016)

What is Marvel Unlimited?

While McCoy had been working on a scientific solution, Emma had been working on a more tactical one with the likes of Magneto, his team of X-Men, Storm, Dazzler, alternate reality Jean Grey and Fantomex to take out primary Inhuman targets like Black Bolt, Karnak, Lockjaw and the rest. However, they didn’t know much about the NuHumans who not only beat Old Man Logan but also destroyed Forge’s invention for saving the day.  

Inhumans vs. X-Men (2016) #1

Inhumans vs. X-Men (2016) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Meanwhile, the captive Inhumans in Limbo worked together to free themselves and then move on to the school. Meanwhile, Inhuman Mosaic infiltrated the X-Men’s earthly stronghold and took over Magneto’s body. Once inside, he also got a look at all of the X-Men’s plans up to that point, including where they kept Black Bolt captive before being cast out. 

Inhumans vs. X-Men (2016) #4

Inhumans vs. X-Men (2016) #4

What is Marvel Unlimited?

With attacks on all sides, a major standoff took place in Limbo as Havok stood next to the chamber holding Black Bolt right in front of Medusa. Cylcops’ brother initially threatened to kill the former Inhuman king, but soon stepped aside, acknowledging that this really boiled down to a plan between Emma and Scott.

Between that and Karnak’s own escape alongside Lockjaw, the Inhumans found themselves back in the fight. However, when finally appraised of the situation regarding the cloud’s impending destruction and the adverse effects on mutants, Medusa used the Terrigen Eater to kill the cloud.

However, still driven mad by the loss of Cyclops, Emma Frost brought out a batch of Inhuman-hunting Sentinels with Magneto still backing her play, but only because of Frost’s mind manipulations. Once he realized all this, he switched sides and essentially fought alongside Medusa and Black Bolt to take Frost down.

Ultimately, they succeeded in destroying the cloud, but the relations between mutant and Inhuman may never be repaired! 

Inhumans vs. X-Men (2016) #6

Inhumans vs. X-Men (2016) #6

What is Marvel Unlimited?

THE INHUMAN CONDITION

The Inhumans saw themselves facing a new world order after the events of IVX. INHUMANS PRIME set the stage for the franchise moving forward, launching into books like ROYALS, BLACK BOLT and SECRET WARRIORS. The first would find most of the Royal Family taking off into space to discover their heritage while the second found their leader somewhat unfairly imprisoned and the final featured a group fighting against Hydra-Cap’s Secret Empire!

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Ulik, MODOK and the future Adam Warlock were all part of another great year for the King.

In celebration of Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday, we’re reviewing the man’s legendary creations with a year-by-year examination of his unparalleled career at Marvel Comics. Read on and witness the work that made him comic book royalty.

By 1967, Marvel editor Stan Lee knew exactly where to use his top artist, Jack Kirby. Together, “The Man” and “The King” whittled Jack’s output down to two main titles that year, with two main side-projects just to make things interesting. One might say it became a true “Summer of Love” between the Marvel creators and their fans at that time.

Stan and Jack continued to infuse FANTASTIC FOUR with way-out wonders and swingin’ splendors in ’67. They kicked off the year with a multi-issue tussle between the FF and Doctor Doom, and then wasted no time tossing them into a battle with the Negative Zone’s Blastaar in FANTASTIC FOUR #62, and the alien Kree Accuser named Ronin—another stand-out Kirby design—in FANTASTIC FOUR #65.

Though the fans might’ve been unaware of the history-making events occurring in FANTASTIC FOUR #67, Stan and Jack introduced another great concept in that issue’s “Him.” Jack’s visuals on the golden-skinned godling seemed a bit subdued and minimalistic, perhaps, but the character continued on to transform into Adam Warlock a few years later, one of Marvel’s most enigmatic yet engaging stars.

In the pages of THOR, Jack’s other blockbuster assignment, the Thunder God met his physical equal in Ulik the Troll in THOR #137, Kang and his Growing Man in THOR #140, and the Kirby tour-de-force of the Super-Skrull in THOR #142. Thor himself suffered under an almost-complete loss of his Asgardian powers in THOR #145, allowing Jack the opportunity to portray the majesty and grandeur of the character in an Earth-bound, civilian-dressed form.

After a break from Captain America’s adventures in TALES OF SUSPENSE, Jack returned to the strip along with Stan in TALES OF SUSPENSE #92 to kick off a storyline that illustrated the great depth of feeling from Cap for Agent-13, one of Nick Fury’s valued S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. After that, Cap met MODOK, surely the most unique Jack Kirby-designed character of the entire year, in TALES OF SUSPENSE #94, and temporarily retired to try and live a “normal life” in TALES OF SUSPENSE #95.

Apart form all the danger and drama delineated by Jack in 1967, he also poked some fun at himself and the rest of the Marvel pantheon through Stan’s latest brainchild, NOT BRAND ECHH, a comedy-parody mag. Utilizing Jack sparingly, but effectively, Stan included his star artist on the introduction of the Silver Burper in NOT BRAND ECHH #1, Sore, Son of Shmodin in NOT BRAND ECHH #3, and the ever-lovin’ origin of none other than Forbush-Man in NOT BRAND ECHH #5. What a way to go-go!

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more on Jack Kirby and join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

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Marvel Legacy ushers in a terrible new era for the Merc with a Mouth!

Wade Wilson faced the music in DEADPOOL #36.

The Regenerating Degenerate’s choices during Secret Empire have come back to haunt him…and now he’s at the mercy of Stryfe and on the run from everything he once held dear.

The turning tides in DP’s life herald a new period in his story—and on October 11, Marvel Legacy’s DESPICABLE DEADPOOL #287 marks the start of the chapter.

Written by Gerry Duggan with art by Scott Koblish, Stryfe seeks payment for services rendered. It’s a life for a life—Deadpool owes him four—and the first name on the mutant clone’s list won’t surprise anyone: Cable.

Now Wade, having recently reached higher highs than ever before, hits rock bottom as he’s forced to kill his way out—or face the deadly consequences. Notes Duggan, “He’s putting his head down and just doing what he owes in order to get out of this. He’s not really looking to be very clever at this moment.” The grim circumstances have forced the Merc with a Mouth to recede to just a Merc.

When the thought of reneging on his debt crosses Wade’s mind, he receives an immediate rebuke—if he doesn’t hold up his end of the bargain, the Preston family, and maybe his daughter Ellie, will pay the price. Outsmarting an evil time traveler has to be even harder than it sounds, especially on your own; “There really is no one left that will trust him. He used to be a member of an Avenger squad and unfortunately that’s over. His marriage is over. A lot of his friendships are done,” explains Gerry.

So, has Wade Wilson completely resigned himself to this bleak fate? Gerry doesn’t seem so sure: “Even though Wade seems like he’s still doing terrible things—and he is—he’s still doing honorable things, so that still acts as his motivation.”

Duggan continues, “We spent a lot of years building him up and we’re destroying him in quick time. We’ll see what he has left after we strip everything away, it will be interesting to see what survives of the character after this.”

DESPICABLE DEADPOOL #287, written by Gerry Duggan with art by Scott Koblish, hits on October 11!

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The Black Bolt artist taps into a well of ‘Kirby Konfidence’!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us this month to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

Christian Ward learned something very important after discovering Jack Kirby’s work, something he coins below as “Kirby Konfidence!” He’s used it to help compose everything from covers and guest spots on ULTIMATES to interiors on BLACK BOLT.

As the cover and regular interior artist on BLACK BOLT, Ward gets how beautifully “The King” put together this character who currently finds himself trying to escape from a planet size prison in the series written by Saladin Ahmed.

We talked with Ward about coming to Kirby a little later in life, taking inspiration from his confidence, and the joys of drawing Galactus lounging!

Marvel.com: How did you first come to know Jack Kirby’s work and how did it hit you at the time?

Christian Ward: As a kid of the 80s in the [United Kingdom], I always associated his work with “old comics” and mostly ignored it. It wasn’t until much later in my comic book maturity that I developed an appreciation for him. I thought I’d enjoy comics less once I became a full time artist but if anything it makes you enjoy and appreciate them even more and looking back at Kirby you realize just how amazing he is.

Marvel.com: You do a lot of dynamic cover work, something that Kirby is also known for. Do you think you learned any tricks for good compositions from him?

Christian Ward: Thanks very much. I think Kirby’s work spellbinds through its confidence. Alongside the sheer energy of his drawing Kirby often combines abstract shapes alongside his muscular characters which creates a tension which gives the work its vibrancy. This is often seen although not exclusively in the way Kirby presents technology, machinery, and costumes. All feature an array of different overlaying and contrasting shapes. Just for the love it. Some of it almost looks like automatic drawing.

So it’s less about learning tricks and more about having Kirby’s confidence—“Kirby Konfidence”?—to go for it. You hear stories of how fast Kirby was in his “dungeon” and his work smacks of someone who just trusts his instincts and goes for it. A kind of deadline-induced freeform drawing. So mostly, I just try and go for it. His work definitely gives me confidence to go more abstract sometimes. Like Kirby I love bold shapes and I’ve just got to try and have Kirby Konfidence.

Marvel.com: In ULTIMATES #6, you drew a story that added new layers to Galactus. How was it contributing something like that to one of Stan Lee and Jack’s most enduring characters?

Christian Ward: [That] was such a fun issue to draw. Best scene? Galactus sitting in an armchair! I always loved Galactus so it was surreal to be drawing him, especially as that was my single issue debut.

There’s not a day working on a Marvel book that you don’t ponder the greats that came before you but if I’d stopped to think too much about what I’m doing I think I’d be crippled with stage fright. I was lucky with ULTIMATES that [writer] Al Ewing had written me an incredible script to work from. So when I have a hobby or crisis of confidence I just focus on the page I’m working on. Let my writer guide me. “Draw Galactus sitting in an armchair.” Got it! The comic book making equivalent of not looking down.

Marvel.com: You’ve done a number of covers and interiors for various characters either co-created by Jack or based on his work. Do you look back at his origins for inspiration?

Christian Ward: Always! I think it’s important as an artist to find your own voice, even when working with existing characters, but it’s crucial that you respect what came before. I’ve tried to put Easter Eggs into each issue of BLACK BOLT as a tip of the hat to not only Kirby but other great artists who have told Bolt’s story before us.

Marvel.com: With BLACK BOLT, you and Saladin Ahmed get to put the book’s star through a variety of challenges he’s never experienced before. How does it feel continuing the Inhuman’s legacy?

Christian Ward: It’s hard to know what to say other than it’s a huge, planet-splitting honor. When I was first offered BLACK BOLT, I jumped at the chance and Saladin’s amazing scripts have made what should have been a monumental undertaking an absolute joy.

I think it’s the fact that Saladin has had this fresh approach that makes the book work. We’re not retreading ground that the Silent King has walked before. Even as a creator on the book each script in my inbox has surprised me. It makes me giddy to think we contributed to part of Black Bolt’s history going forward and [then] in years to come other artists and writers might even reference what we’ve done.

Marvel.com: Black Bolt’s is one of those Kirby costumes that hasn’t really been changed much since his inception. Why do you think that is?

Christian Ward: It’s funny because, up to our Black Bolt, Steve McNiven had designed this badass body-armor—Warrior Black Bolt—that he’d been sporting throughout UNCANNY INHUMANS and INHUMANS VS. X-MEN. It didn’t feel right that he be wearing that in our cosmic prison. Especially since the story deals with his vulnerability so much.

It was great to return him to something more stripped back and inline with what Kirby created. To answer your question why Bolt’s costume has endured, it’s such a bold and pure design. There’s so little that can go wrong with it. It’s almost pop art. Stacked full of “Kirby Konfidence.”

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

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