See how a Kree warrior went from spying on Earth to protecting it!

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.

For legions of readers, the name Captain Marvel instantly leads to images of Carol Danvers flying around, punching bad guys and being generally awesome. However, as many longtime fans know, she’s but the latest in a line of characters to use that name at the House of Ideas.

The first debuted in 1967’s MARVEL SUPER-HEROES #12 by Stan Lee and Gene Colan. Seeing as how Carol teamed up with the earlier Captain Mar-Vell in this week’s GENERATIONS: THE MIGHTY, it seemed like the perfect time to look back at the latter’s origins. 

Marvel Super-Heroes (1967) #12

Marvel Super-Heroes (1967) #12

  • Published: December 01, 1967
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: August 17, 2010
  • Cover Artist: Gene Colan
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As the issue opened, a Kree ship approached Earth with Colonel Yon-Rogg in charge. He ordered Captain Mar-Vell to head planetside even though it flew in the face of protocol. Even though he and his medic-girlfriend Una thought the colonel planned on betraying Mar-Vell, he did his duty and continued on the mission.

Decked out with a protective green and white suit, emerald helmet, air-ject belt, universal beam blaster and a potion that allowed him to breathe Earth air for an hour at a time, the captain leapt into action.

Thanks to his own remembrances, we came to understand what brought him to Earth: the destruction of Kree Sentry #459 as seen in the pages of FANTASTIC FOUR #64 plus Ronan’s defeat by the FF in the following issue! 

Fantastic Four (1961) #64

Fantastic Four (1961) #64

  • Published: July 10, 1967
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Almost immediately, Mar-Vell stumbled upon a missile test that went sideways. While searching for the cause of the failure, the operators quickly discovered Cap’s presence and set out to investigate. Not wanting to threaten his mission, he ran away, changed into Earth clothes, hitched a ride and got himself a room at a nearby hotel.

There, the colonel teleported a wrist monitor onto Mar-Vell. He then received a message from the Imperial Minister of the Supreme Intelligence that he would be the new Kree agent on Earth. Only success would be tolerated, failure would result in death.

Literally flying solo on a strange planet with no back-up, Captain Mar-Vell continued his adventures in the following issue, written by Roy Thomas where he not only took on the identity of Walter Lawson, but also met Carol Danvers in her first appearance. From there he transitioned into a solo series, CAPTAIN MARVEL, which ran from 1968 to 1979. Three years later, in MARVEL GRAPHIC NOVEL: THE DEATH OF CAPTAIN MARVEL, the world lost a hero as the Kree warrior succumbed to cancer that started developing thanks to his battle with Nitro in CAPTAIN MARVEL #34

Captain Marvel (1968) #34

Captain Marvel (1968) #34

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Flash Forward

Not counting time travel and Vanishing Points, Captain Mar-Vell continues to be one of the few dead heroes who hasn’t come back. During Civil War, though, it seemed like he’d come back from the dead as seen in CIVIL WAR: THE RETURN. That version of Mar-Vell continued on in five issue CAPTAIN MARVEL series which eventually crossed into Secret Invasion and revealed that the Skrull Khn’nr had been masquerading as the beloved character. It turned out that his mental programming failed and the Mar-Vell identity actually took over, so even after learning the truth about himself, he remained loyal to Earth and fought against the Skrulls. After fighting a losing battle that eventually killed him, he crossed paths with Noh-Varr and encouraged him to carry on the legacy of Captain Marvel which he did in the pages of DARK AVENGERS.

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See how Marvel's number one deathtrap builder got his start!

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.

Arcade resurfaced this week in the pages of SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL #21 by Elliott Kalan and Todd Nauk looking to test his brand new Murderworld on the title characters! This, of course, fits right in with his history of putting the Wall-Crawler through a series of deathtraps going back to his first appearance in 1978’s MARVEL TEAM-UP #65 and 66.

Created by Chris Claremont and John Byrne, Arcade made his first appearance right after the Dean introduced Peter Parker to his new roommate, Brian Braddock, otherwise known as Captain Britain! 

Marvel Team-Up (1972) #65

Marvel Team-Up (1972) #65

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Back in England, representatives of the Commission inquired about hiring Arcade, a master assassin, to kill Braddock because they think he might be Captain Britain.

Meanwhile, in NYC, thanks to a misunderstanding, Braddock assumed that Spider-Man had done something shady to Peter Parker’s apartment, turned into Captain Britain and gave chase. After the requisite fight and origin swap, the heroes made friends just in time for a tricked-out trash truck to trap them both!

In the following issue, Spidey and Cap found out why Arcade charged so much for his hits. Instead of simply killing his targets, the murderer put them inside incredibly complex death traps. In this case, they awoke inside large clear balls that turned out to be part of an enormous, murderous pinball machine. 

Marvel Team-Up (1972) #66

Marvel Team-Up (1972) #66

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The implements of death proved more outlandish and dangerous from there. The heroes figured out how to work together in order to eventually escape Murder World, and also save Braddock’s girlfriend Courtney Ross, destroying what Arcade built in the process. Surprisingly, undeterred by the fact that his quarry escaped and that the people who hired him died, Arcade jauntily moved on to his next project.

Over the years, Arcade’s plied his wicked wares on everyone from various X-Men and The Thing to Hellcat. Luckily, he always leaves a small chance of escape to keep things fair, so our heroes tend to walk away relatively unscathed.

Flash Forward

One group of heroes who did not walk unharmed starred in the book AVENGERS ARENA. In that 18 issue series by Dennis Hopeless and Kev Walker, the bow tie-loving villain had 16 young heroes captured and brought to an elaborate island version of Murderworld. The captured young men and women – including X-23, Chase and Nico from RUNAWAYS and AVENGERS ACADEMY alums Hazmat and Mettle – found themselves dealing with a very serious version of Arcade, not averse to killing kids or releasing the footage he recorded of the event to the public in an effort to expose their actions to the world. Some of the survivors decided to go after their enemy once and for all in the follow-up series AVENGERS UNDERCOVER.

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A look back at Wanda's checkered past.

 

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.

We bet Wanda Maximoff would feel a bit green if she looked back at her first appearance in 1964’s X-MEN #4 and not just because she was mis-colored on the cover! 

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #4

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #4

  • Published: March 10, 1964
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Rating: T+
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Earlier that year, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby introduced the merry mutants starring in the series as well as their number one enemy, Magneto. By this issue, he’d surrounded himself with a group calling themselves the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.

Consisting of all-new characters Toad, Mastermind and the sister-brother combo of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, the group seemed as focused on giving each other trouble as they were the X-Men.

In fact, Pietro and Wanda almost left, but then Magneto recounted their shared history which saw Magneto saving her from a mob of angry villagers. She pledged her loyalty to him right there and was soon joined by her brother.

By sticking around, the super powered siblings played a part in Magneto’s plot to use a stolen battleship to take over the small nation of Santo Marco. Though not a fan of Magneto’s fear-mongering, Wanda did take on the X-Men, specifically Angel with her mysterious hex powers.

The X-Men gained the upper hand and the villains made their escape, but before doing so, Quicksilver ran back to stop a bomb Magneto left behind. After several more missions with Magneto, the siblings’ distaste for Magneto and his methods outweighed their loyalty to him and the broke out on their own after the Stranger took their one-time leader in X-MEN #11

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #11

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #11

  • Published: May 10, 1965
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Rating: T+
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Not long after, the Avengers found themselves at a crossroads. The team of Iron Man, Thor, Giant-Man, Wasp and Captain America had been getting along pretty well, but other concerns lead to a massive roster change. Pietro read about their acceptance of former villain Hawkeye to the squad in the newspaper and told Wanda. Before long, the two traveled to New York City to see about joining up.

By the end of that same issue – 1965’s AVENGERS #16 to be exact – all of the original members left, leaving Captain America to lead three former criminals on the world’s most renowned super team! Wanda soon proved herself and became an integral part of many Avengers line-ups. She’s also known as one of the team’s biggest threats, having played a part in destroying the team, creating the House of M universe and diminishing the mutant population severely. 

Avengers (1963) #16

Avengers (1963) #16

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Back in good standing now, she returned to fight alongside her teammates in the pages of UNCANNY AVENGERS #26 after being controlled by the demon Chthon during Secret Empire, which ended with #10 this week.

Flash Forward

For a more detailed account of Wanda and Pietro’s past, check out AVENGERS ORIGINS: SCARLET WITCH AND QUICKSILVER by Sean McKeever and Mirco Pierfederici. In this OGN we see the siblings trying to make their way alone in the world until Magneto appeared to help them. We then see the Maximoffs join up with the Brotherhood, even though they don’t exactly see eye to eye with its leader, who we know is actually their father! The issue shows some of the parent-child moments behind-the-scenes even if the participants didn’t know it!

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Relive the early days of the mysterious Russian energy vampire mutant known as Omega Red!

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.

X-MEN GOLD #10 by Marc Guggenheim and Lan Medina reintroduced the world to one of the merry mutants’ more dangerous foes: Omega Red! The Russian killer-turned-super-killer beat Colossus and Magik to their quarry in their shared homeland. With tentacles a-flying, let’s look back at the man known as Arkady Rossovich’s past.

Readers first got a glimpse of Red in the historical X-MEN #1 in 1991 by Chris Claremont and Jim Lee. He’s only seen at the very end of the issue in a page dubbed “things to come.”

The first actual appearance came a few issues later when he burst onto the scene in X-MEN #4 which John Byrne scripted. The very first page of that issue showed 25 people giving their lives so that Omega Red could continue his own thanks to the efforts of Matsu’o Tsurayaba. In exchange, Matsu’o sent Red on Logan’s trail which lead to a full-on assault at the X-Mansion. 

X-Men (1991) #4

X-Men (1991) #4

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In the next issue, with the rest of his team in the hands of high tech ninjas, Wolverine found himself a guinea pig for Omega Red’s masters, an experience he’d grown to despise over the years. Given the chance, he escaped as soon as possible. Along the way, though, he remembered parts of a Team X mission that put Maverick, Sabertooth and himself in direct conflict with Arkady. 

X-Men (1991) #5

X-Men (1991) #5

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In further appearances, we learned that Omega Red’s iconic tentacles consisted of an Adamantium-like metal called Carbonadium that allowed him further reach with his Death Factor mutant power. The energy vampire also revealed that he could release certain “lethal pheromones” into the air. He used all of these abilities to take on the X-Men in #6.

The next installment featured a reunion of all four individuals involved in that particular mission along with a nice battle between Psylocke and Omega Red, followed by a series of explosions and fights that lead to both sides getting away from one another. 

X-Men (1991) #7

X-Men (1991) #7

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Omega Red would return to plague the X-Men over the time, but has also appeared in CABLE, WEAPON X, WOLVERINE ORIGINS and even DAREDEVIL

Daredevil (1964) #368

Daredevil (1964) #368

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Flash Forward

Recently, Omega Red showed up in the pages of UNCANNY X-FORCE as part of the Omega Clan as part of the epic Final Execution storyline which ran from #25 through the last issue, #35. After his death in WOLVERINE ORIGINS #39, a group called The White Sky cloned Red, creating three copies with different abilities dubbed The Omega Clan. They also turned out to be a part of Daken’s Brotherhood, which became a huge target for X-Force. As you can imagine, that means that an incredibly violent confrontation ensued without everyone walking away fully intact. 

Wolverine Origins (2006) #39

Wolverine Origins (2006) #39

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Recapping Manifold’s earliest exploits—fighting Norman Osborn!

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.

As Manifold jumped into the search for Ezra Keith’s killer this week in Ta-Nehisi Coates and Butch Guice’s BLACK PANTHER AND THE CREW #5, we decided to review where everything began for the mutant.

An Aboriginal Australian with teleportation powers, the man also known as Eden Fesi made his first appearance in 2009’s SECRET WARRIORS #4 by Jonathan Hickman and Stefano Caselli. The series—about a team of young heroes assembled from Nick Fury’s personal files on super powered individuals—saw Fesi join the crew in the middle of Dark Reign, as Norman Osborn accumulated an immense level of power with H.A.M.M.E.R.

Nick Fury worked in the shadows to combat this new organization by recruiting his list of super humans as well as hundreds of former S.H.I.E.L.D. agents who refused to shift allegiances to Osborn.

Fury sent Daisy Johnson and Sebastian Druid to remote Australia, where they found Eden alongside his mutant mentor—fellow teleporter, Gateway. Though Gateway initially refused Johnson and Druid’s advances, he eventually agreed to allow his protégé to join the battle against Osborn.

On Eden’s very first mission, he teleported alongside his team to a flying Hydra base where they saved Fury and a group of captive S.H.I.E.L.D. soldiers.

Eden Fesi stuck around the Secret Warriors until the series ended with issue #28. During this run, he suffered an injury that left him in a coma—though emerged stronger, with a sincere understanding for what it takes to be a super hero.

Later, writer Jonathan Hickman had Eden join the Avengers, where his reality-bending powers proved to be a vital method for his teammates and him to jump in and out of delicate and dangerous situations. During this course of events, Eden adopted the codename Manifold.

In the wake of Secret Wars, Manifold fled to the secluded nation of Wakanda in the pages of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ other book, BLACK PANTHER.

Flash Forward

Manifold once saved all of existence from the machinations of Doctor Victor von Doom.

In SECRET WARS #1, the Ultimate Universe entered a collision course with the central 616-universe. As certain heroes assembled to fight the Incursion, others attempted to save the group of super powered beings at-large.

With all of reality at stake, T’Challa connected Eden a machine that enhanced his teleportation abilities, allowing the Australian to jump across space and rescue their heroic allies from the brink. After transporting his allies to the safety of a lifeboat vessel, Manifold eschewed the safety of the ship to continue the fight. One of those lifeboats—filled with people he just saved—untethered from reality and supplied Doom’s headquarters, Doomworld, with the combined power required to reassemble the universe to its (nearly) original state. Well done Manifold!

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Rewind back to Amadeus Cho's pre-Totally Awesome Hulk debut!

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.

GENERATIONS: THE STRONGEST brought two jade giants together thanks to writer Greg Pak and Matteo Buffagni. Of course, it’s far from the first time Bruce Banner and Amadeus Cho encountered one another, so let’s look back at their actual initial meeting!

Back in 2004, Marvel re-launched AMAZING FANTASY, the series that introduced Spider-Man. In an attempt to bring even more new characters into the House of Ideas, issue #15 debuted a group of new characters including a plucky genius kid named Amadeus Cho who happened to be the seventh smartest person on the planet.

As we learned in the 2005 tale by Pak and artist Takeshi Miyazawa, his house got blown up not long after his breaking records and being crowned “Mastermind Excello” in the Excello Soap Company’s “Brain Fight” Internet game show. From there he went on the run, which not only introduced him to his new coyote pup Kirby, but also a fellow diner patron in Jackalope, New Mexico.

After displaying his amazing abilities to calculate how to use simple objects like a straw, a lemon seed, and a pepper shaker as efficient and effective weapons, Cho rushed outside to find a helicopter shooting missiles at him! One deflected piece of ordinance rocketed towards Amadeus’ compatriot, exploding to reveal Bruce Banner as the near-victim. The Hulk emerged from the smoke, made short work of the helicopter and gave Cho a vote of confidence.

Pak dusted the character off a few years later after launching the green behemoth into space for the “Planet Hulk” storyline. Back on Earth, Cho figured out what the Illuminati did and revealed to Mister Fantastic that Bruce didn’t actually land on the planet they intended him to arrive on.

As World War Hulk raged on, Cho put together a version of the Champions to help their old friend out in the pages of INCREDIBLE HULK. In that series, Amadeus became pals with another big bruiser: Hercules. The two went on to adventure through INCREDIBLE HERCULES, facing everyone from Ares and Athena to Amatsu-Mikabshi and Super Skrulls. Cho even took on the role of the Prince of Power for a time.

Later on, eight months after Secret Wars, Cho transferred the power of The Hulk to himself thanks to the use of nanobots and went off to stop monsters in his somewhat reckless style. Since then, he’s honed his Hulk skills and even joined up with a team as seen in CHAMPIONS. He, Miles Morales, Ms. Marvel and Nova continue to try and fix the world, going so far as to join up with Black Widow in her mission to take Steve Rogers out as we’re seeing in Secret Empire.

FLASH FORWARD

After splitting from his Greek god pal, Amadeus decided to look further into his parents’ deaths. In INCREDIBLE HERCULES #133, #135, and #137 he traveled to Excello, Utah, a town built around the Excello Soap Company, whose contest he won, leading to the destruction of his house. Once there he not only met Agent Sexton, but also realized that the town actually blew up decades ago and yet geniuses still found themselves drawn to the place after winning various competitions. He soon found the cause behind all this: the supposed sixth smartest person in the world, Pythagoras Dupree.

After Amadeus escaped from Dupree’s bubble universes and unmasked Sexton really Athena, the eccentric villain explained that the Greek goddess of wisdom had taken an interest in him as a boy, but he didn’t like the idea of being controlled so he tried to blow her up. He also set up the tests as a way to prove his own vast intelligence. Dupree eventually shot himself and Athena explained that she asked Zeus to send Hercules to Earth, knowing that he’d eventually find Cho, her next choice as the Prince of Power.

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See how Robbie Reyes became the Spirit of Vengenace as Venom overtakes him in EDGE OF VENOMVERSE #3!

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.

Back in 2014, the Marvel Universe experienced a new flame-headed traveler for vengeance! ALL-NEW GHOST RIDER #1–by Felipe Smith and Tradd Moore–introduced the world to Robbie Reyes, a character who would go on to appear in both “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and this week’s EDGE OF VENOMVERSE #3.

All-New Ghost Rider (2014) #1

All-New Ghost Rider (2014) #1

  • Published: March 26, 2014
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: September 22, 2014
  • Cover Artist: Tradd Moore
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Though symbiote-covered now, Reyes began his comic book career as a high schooler with a mechanic job he used to help raise his wheelchair-assisted brother. One night, he borrowed one of the cars from the shop to do a little fund raising by way of an illegal race and wound up on the wrong end of a mercenary squad.

Riddled with bullets, Robbie fell back expecting to die. Instead, the Spirit of Vengeance–who introduced himself as Eli–saved him as well as the car and returned them both to their homes.

We eventually learned that the car itself belonged to a local gangster named Grumpy whose people stole a bag of pink pills that were created by Calvin Zabo, the alter-ego of one Mr. Hyde! The drugs turn users into rampaging monsters.

After taking care of both Grumpy and Hyde, Reyes’ fiery exploits attracted the attention of Johnny Blaze who wanted to know about this new Ghost Rider.

Eventually Robbie learned the truth, that he wasn’t actually the next Spirit of Vengeance, but that his dead, Satanist uncle Eli Morrow had possessed him. He still exhibited many of the traditional Ghost Rider abilities, but existed as something else entirely.

Robbie appeared in the Secret Wars series GHOST RACERS and most recently in his second solo GHOST RIDER series!

Flash Forward

As mentioned above, in addition to packing the comic page with action, Robbie Reyes also made the jump to the small screen. Debuting on “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” in the fourth season, the character played by Gabriel Luna looks very similar to his comic book counterpart. Their origins remain somewhat similar as well, though he and his brother Gabe got gunned down in the TV series, which brought the Ghost Rider into his life. Thinking he sold his soul to a devil, Robbie worked to not only exact revenge on the people who hurt him and his brother, but also do some good in the world. That included making some sacrifices at the end of the season that revolved around the Darkhold, but we don’t want to get into too many spoilers here!

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Discover how a nameless man in an alley became one of Miles Morales' biggest foes!

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.

Some bad guys are just too dense to give up the life of crime. No one embodies that more than Hammerhead, a gangster originally working for the Maggia who continues to offer trouble for arachnid themed heroes in the pages of SPIDER-MAN.

The mobster still uses his thick skull and underworld connections to make life hard for Miles Morales along with some help from Black Cat. Originally created by Gerry Conway and John Romita, Hammerhead debuted in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #113 back in 1972. 

Dubbed “Mister H,” he first appeared in a darkened boardroom as one of his men called in to tell him he’d offed Doctor Octopus’ informant Bernie. At the time Hammerhead wanted revenge on the multi-armed menace for taking out one of their numbers running operations.

An exhausted Spider-Man had to build an exo-skeleton to take out Doc Ock. Standing victorious over his fallen foe, the Wall-Crawler turned around to find Hammerhead and his goons with guns aimed at him!

In the next issue, the hero fully faced the new villain, going so far as to punch him square in the dome, quickly learning why he called himself Hammerhead. Though the mobster refused to explain his unique ability, we saw a flashback showing the details.

A discredited Doctor Harrow found a nameless man in an alley and decided to perform one of his unconventional experiments that gave him a steel alloy head. While unconscious, the man dreamed of old gangster movies which helped shape his identity after he awoke.

Though Hammerhead tried to bring Spider-Man over to his side, that failed and our hero did his best to squash the bubbling mob war between the two super criminals. Smacked down, Hammerhead fled the country for a while, but eventually returned to New York City to plague the Big Apple.

Flash Forward

After Secret Wars, Miles Morales not only found himself living on Earth-616, but also dealing with some of Peter Parker’s enemies including Black Cat and Hammerhead. The former, not a gangster in her own right, approached the latter about working together to take out the new spider on the block. Though neither fully trusted the other, ‘Head got swayed by the Cat showing him respect for his long career as a crook. They actually succeeded in getting the drop on him in SPIDER-MAN #45, but Miles dug deep, powered up his Venom Blast to unprecedented levels and took out an entire room full of bad guys! Miles even beat Hammerhead down, but couldn’t find Black Cat when she mysteriously disappeared. Clearly, the two criminals hold a grudge though as they continue going after him!

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We return to Frank Castle’s first skirmish with Spider-Man!

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.

Frank Castle returned to New York City in this week’s PUNISHER #13 by Becky Cloonan and Kris Anka. Homecomings always bring up old memories, so it’s the best possible time to take a look at the first appearance of The Punisher in 1974’s AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #129.

Writer Gerry Conway dreamt up the gun-toting vigilante and then had resident Bullpen artist John Romita whip up a design that Ross Andru brought to life in the pages of that issue. In fact, the installment began with Punisher blasting a plaster model of Spider-Man as The Jackal watched. Their initial retort ended with Castle claiming that our favorite Wall-Crawler deserved to die for unknown reasons.

Cut to the future target slinging around the city, stopping an armed robbery, and then heading to the Daily Bugle where J. Jonah Jameson chastised him for not getting the first photos of The Punisher.  Peter put his costume back on in an attempt to find JJJ’s new quarry, but accidentally swung right into the assassin’s sights. Luckily, the old Spider-Sense kicked in and our hero dodged the gunman’s first blast.

Spidey immediately gave chase, but Punisher pulled a fast one, grabbing a hidden weapon to wrap the Web-Slinger up, giving him time to spout off about the evils of the world. Just as Spider-Man broke free, Jackal jumped out and swatted him off a roof! The antagonists thought they succeeded in killing their prey and ran off.

Back in their secret lair, Punisher and Jackal argued about methodology, but also explained that the newcomer wanted to kill Spider-Man for supposedly murdering Norman Osborn. “If I’m ever to live with myself, I have to know I’m doing the right thing…and letting a man die by accident doesn’t qualify,” Castle explained.

Later, as Spidey followed up on a lead to check out weapons-maker The Mechanic, Punisher showed up right after him and attacked. He became even further enraged when he saw the Mechanic’s body on the floor, but Spider-Man used his superior strength to knock him down and tie him up. Instead of swinging away, the hero pointed out to Punisher that Jackal actually killed his armorer and the black-clad man swore his vengeance before retreating into the shadows.

Eventually, Punisher’s backstory came to light: the former Marine had returned home to his wife, son and daughter. The quartet had gone to the park for a picnic when gunshots rang out, killing all but Frank. That day, he swore to use his particular skills to wipe evil off the face of the Earth, a mission he’s continued to this day.

Flash Forward

Thanks to Frank’s status as an anti-hero, he became incredibly popular, eventually earning his own limited series and then, basically, at least one ongoing series going from 1987 all the way to today. Though usually a loner, he’s taken part in some of the biggest events in the Marvel Universe. He sided with Captain America during the first Civil War, helped investigate the Watcher’s death during Original Sin, killed a whole bunch of villains as Secret Wars kicked off, and can currently be seen working for Steve Rogers once again in Secret Empire.

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The Living Planet clashes with Thor in his earliest incarnation!

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.

In the pages of this week’s ULTIMATES 2 #8, Al Ewing and Aud Koch brought two powerful cosmic entities into conflict once again as Galactus faced off against his old foe Ego. We’re not going to spoil how that encounter ended, but we will talk about the Living Planet’s first recorded bout!

Stan Lee and Jack Kirby introduced readers—and the title Asgardian warrior—to Ego on the very last page of THOR #132 back in 1966. You might wonder what brought the God of Thunder into outer space at the time. In THOR #131, Jane Foster’s former roommate Tana Nile revealed her true identity as a Space Colonizer. Since no one else cared about the backwater planet Earth, she called dibs and took control. When Thor came to visit the missing Jane, he discovered Tana’s secret and battled the supposedly unbeatable Colonizers from Rigel. He allowed himself to get captured and easily broke free to confront the entire organization in issue #132. After a battle, the Colonizer leader told Thor of the true threat, a being living in the Black Galaxy.

Agreeing to face this unseen enemy head-on, Thor flew off in a space ship with a humanoid robot called The Recorder. The duo witnessed the Living Planet as a beautifully rendered Kirby collage at the end of #132, and then far more fully in the next issue. Upon the Thunder God’s landing on Ego’s surface, the enormous creature revealed seemingly unlimited powers like the ability to peer into minds and manipulate the molecules around them to create familiar environs. He quickly exposed his desire to use these powers to escape the Black Galaxy and take over “all of space.”

Thor (1966) #133

Thor (1966) #133

  • Published: October 10, 1966
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: September 17, 2008
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Ego further explained that his plan revolved around using the Thunderer as a molecular model to create an army of powerful anti-body-based minions that would travel from the Black Galaxy to fulfill his machinations. Though the Living Planet offered plenty of obstacles for Thor and Recorder to survive, the Son of Odin called down a storm of epic proportions that allowed them to free themselves from his grievous gravitational pull. In his rage at losing, Ego swore to seal off his bio-verse and never attack an outside world again.

Flash Forward

Of course, Ego’s vow of non-violence didn’t stop another cosmic threat from threatening the Living Planet! Galactus stumbled upon Ego during one of his many searches for sustenance and the two quickly came into conflict in THOR #160. Meanwhile, Tana Nile appeared on Earth to bring Thor to the Black Galaxy to help stop this war of cosmic proportions. The Thunder God joined the fray, fighting Galactus for the very first time, in an effort to defend Ego from being devoured. Thanks to some help from the Wanderers, who provided equipment to enhance Mjolnir, the heroes drained Galactus of his life energy and sent him packing! Ego offered his thanks by giving the Wanderers a place to live on his surface.

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