Prep for the new series by looking back at David Haller’s first appearance!

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.

While fans have been celebrating David Haller’s return to comics in writer Peter Milligan and artist Wilfredo TorresLEGION #1 (out next week!), the character’s presence hasn’t always prompted such a positive response. In Haller’s first appearance, his arrival wasn’t cheered—it was met with dread.

The young man known as Legion debuted in 1985 on the second-to-last page of writer Chris Claremont and artist Bill Sienkiewicz’s NEW MUTANTS #25. Presented as an entry in Moira MacTaggert’s notes on the mutant subjects of Muir Island, the reveal not only gave us our first look at Haller, but a wealth of introductory information.

New Mutants (1983) #25

New Mutants (1983) #25

What is Marvel Unlimited?

He looked like a teenager. He’d been catatonic for half of his life. And he possessed telekinetic and telepathic abilities passed onto him by his father…Charles Xavier. Haller’s mother, Gabrielle, was one of Xavier’s patients when he worked as a therapist. And, despite their relationship, the Professor never knew that David was his son.

In the following issue, David lost control of his powers and blew up part of Moira’s facility. Concerned for the well-being of her mutants, MacTaggert called in Professor X for some assistance. Charles came, and brought Banshee, Warlock, Doug Ramsay, Wolfsbane, and Dani Moonstar with him.

New Mutants (1983) #26

New Mutants (1983) #26

What is Marvel Unlimited?

In his inspection of the Island, Xavier began suspecting foul play when he met Gabrielle Haller there. She explained that David was her son, but held back on telling him the father’s identity. In an attempt to quell the chaos, the world’s most prominent telepath then entered Legion’s mind—but found himself, shockingly, ousted from his mental plane.

Haller’s mindscape proved to be an expansive and potent place. When Xavier returned to Legion’s mind, he found himself in an epic Soul War with one of David’s alternate personalities that’d hijacked one of the young man’s mutant powers. During this battle, Charles also learned of his own connection to the boy.

New Mutants (1983) #27

New Mutants (1983) #27

What is Marvel Unlimited?

After resolving the fight and concluding the mindscape adventure, Charles sat down with David in the real world only to discover that three other personalities all still lived inside Haller’s head. Saddled with such a complex and fragile mental state, Legion received word from his father that he would have his support as he grew older. Despite this promise, Charles and David were set for a challenging father-son relationship in the many years ahead.

FLASH FORWARD

A decade after making his first appearance, David Haller changed all of reality in a story called “Legion Quest” that ran through X-FACTOR #109, UNCANNY X-MEN #320#321, X-MEN #40#41 and CABLE #20. In that crossover, David decided that Magneto’s madness was the source of much of the world’s trouble, so he traveled back in time to kill him. Ultimately, however, Haller ended up accidentally killing his father instead, kickstarting the “Age of Apocalypse” storyline in the process. That event eventually led to the X-Men sending Bishop back in time so that he’d stop the wrongful assassination. In the process, Bishop stabbed Legion with his own psi-blade, sending them both spinning into Limbo.

Read More

Cable's bladed clone-brother stands solo in the retro spotlight.

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.

Wade Wilson’s had his old pal Cable in his sites ever since Marvel entered the Legacy era and he seems to be having a great time with the idea in DESPICABLE DEADPOOL by Gerry Duggan and Scott Koblish. As seen in this week’s #291, Cable’s clone and enemy Stryfe’s also pretty high on the idea.

But who is Stryfe and where did he come from? For the very first look, we have to turn the time dial back to the nifty 90s — 1990 to be exact — when Louise Simonson and Rob Liefeld introduced the character in NEW MUTANTS #86, though we only got a glimpse of his arm and discovered that he lead the Mutant Liberation Front.

New Mutants (1983) #87

New Mutants (1983) #87

What is Marvel Unlimited?

In the following issue, NEW MUTANTS #87, his hench-people — like Wildside, Reaper, Strobe, Forearm, Thumbellina and Tempo — smashed into a research facility. Cable, making his own debut, did the same not long after and got caught in a blast that knocked him out of commission, but only for a time.

Later in that issue, Stryfe fully revealed himself to us visually while talking over plans with Wildside. In that conversation, the underling implied that demanding mutants be freed acted as a ruse to distract the government, but Stryfe explained: “We care, Wildside, because they are symbols of the injustices visited on our kind. And so, as proof of our natural superiority, we will enter their secret complex, and take their prisoners from them.”

This mission wound up putting the MLF directly in the path of Cable who battled them. Between Cable’s own battles and the actual New Mutants team finishing up their trip to Asgard, Stryfe remained off-panel for a while before returning to the spotlight with NEW MUTANTS #93 and #94 when the Cable-lead New Mutants teamed up with Sunfire and Wolverine to take down a MLF operation intended to kill many people just to show the world Stryfe’s seriousness.

New Mutants (1983) #100

New Mutants (1983) #100

What is Marvel Unlimited?

The biggest shocker came at the end of NEW MUTANTS #100 when Stryfe pulled off his helmet to reveal Cable’s cloned face underneath! For a full recap on how the Askani cloned a young Cable and Apocalypse had the child stolen, check out THE ADVENTURES OF CYCLOPS AND PHOENIX #4 by Scott Lobdell and Gene Ha!

FLASH FORWARD

Though he started out as more of Cable’s direct enemy, Stryfe upped his game when it came to the 90s X-over X-Cutioner’s Song. Running through X-FORCE as well as X-MEN, UNCANNY X-MEN and X-FACTOR, the epic kicked off when Stryfe posed as Cable and shot Professor X up with the Tecnho-organic virus. The series also included the likes of Apocalypse and Mr. Sinister also working towards their own nefarious ends, but also revealed more details about Stryfe’s strange history with Cyclops, Jean Grey and even Apocalypse. As you might expect from a multi-month crossover, this one featured all kinds of ins and outs, double crosses and major changes for the teams moving forward!

Read More

Kurt Wagner bamfs his way into our hearts and minds in GIANT-SIZE X-MEN #1!

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.

Everyone’s favorite teleporting, blue, furry hero has been working hard for mutant equality in the pages of X-MEN: GOLD since the series launched earlier this year. In this week’s issue, #18, Kurt Wagner came to the forefront as a captive of the Dartayan Empire and even had a nice shot on the cover.

With that in mind, it’s the perfect time to look way back to 1975 when the elf made his very first appearance alongside his fellow new X-Men: Storm, Warpath, Colossus, Storm, Banshee, Sunfire and that guy Wolverine who debuted over in INCREDIBLE HULK in the pages of GIANT SIZE X-MEN #1.

Readers of that classic issue by Len Wein and Dave Cockrum will remember that Nightcrawler earned the first spotlight in the issue back in Winzeldorf, Germany. The usually quiet place soon found itself up in arms as the townspeople chased poor Kurt Wagner filled with hate and fear.

He mulled all of this over as he ran, thinking, “The fools! It is they who are the monsters – they with their mindless prejudices.” He also recounted a history that we wouldn’t see fleshed out until later, including time spent as a carnival performer.

Kurt used his incredible acrobatic abilities to avoid their pitchforks and torches for a while, but eventually fell into the growing crowd below. They probably would have succeeded in their attempts to destroy this kind-hearted individual had Professor X not appeared seemingly out of nowhere and used his own incredible mental abilities to stop them dead in their tracks.

Giant Size X-Men (1975) #1

Giant Size X-Men (1975) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

As confused as his attackers, Nightcrawler stood and watched in awe as Charles Xavier offered him a place on his team as well as one at his school. Once the new team fully came together, they learned that the original X-Men — along with Polaris and Havok — had gone missing on the mysterious island of Krakoa. Professor X assembled this new batch to help save the previous one.

On the island itself, Nightcrawler teamed up with Sunfire to infiltrate the south side. Though they didn’t exactly get along, they used their abilities to survive the descent through killer birds.

Upon reuniting the team, they all ran in to save the trapped X-Men only to learn that their enemy turned out to be Krakoa himself! Alongside his new teammates, Kurt fought valiantly to stop the strange mutant. As you know, Nightcrawler would become a stalwart member of the X-Men, continuing his adventures in the main series starting with UNCANNY X-MEN #94.

Flash Forward

If you’re looking to dig into Nightcrawler’s world, there are plenty of options. In addition to his various appearances in X-books, he’s also earned the spotlight himself on a few occasions. To get a solid look at his early days, you can read the X-MEN ORIGINS: NIGHTCRAWLER one-shot from 2010 by Marc Bernardin, Adam Freeman, Cary Nord and James Harren. The tenacious teleport has also starred in two of his own solo series. The first ongoing NIGHTCRAWLER comic ran from 2004-2005 thanks to creators Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Darick Robertson. From 2014-2015, Chris Claremont, Jamie McKelvie and Todd Nauck chronicled NIGHTCRAWLER‘s adventures for another dozen issues.

Read More

The son of Mephisto challenges his first heroic foil in Daredevil!

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.

Sam Wilson just can’t seem to catch a break. First he had to deal with bigots and nuts during his tenure as Captain America, then he thought Steve Rogers turned evil during Secret Empire and now Blackheart’s trying to destroy him in Chicago. With Mephisto’s son causing all kinds of problems for the FALCON star, it’s time to look back at his first appearance in 1989’s DAREDEVIL #270 by writer Ann Nocenti and artist John Romita Jr.!

Blackheart sprang up in the modern era when a couple snuck onto the hill and the man attacked the woman. The newly formed demon lashed out, destroying both before a brief meeting with his father. Mephisto appeared to offer his offspring some advice after making him look more human: “You must walk among men in this form, for the eyes of men diminish evil. If too many see your true form, you lose power.” As the devilish dad disappeared, he offered one more pearl of wisdom: “When you see a worthy foe, you may reveal your true self.”

A few pages later, the humanized form of Blackheart laid eyes on Daredevil leaping around an abandoned amusement park. Sensing a worthy foe, the villain changed back to his real form and attacked ol’ Horn Head. Thanks to his advanced senses, our hero dodged the initial attack. Nearby, Peter Parker found himself sitting on a bus returning from a trip when he saw smoke rising from the old park. Spider Sense a-tingling, he swung into action, knocking the creature away from DD right before a potentially catastrophic blow. However, Blackheart’s physical attacks acted to mask his real intention of corrupting the goodness in Matt Murdock’s heart.

Daredevil (1964) #270

Daredevil (1964) #270

What is Marvel Unlimited?

The do-gooders used their combined might as well as the disposable roller coasters around them to try and stop Blackheart, but didn’t do much aside from draw a crowd. However, that proved exactly the right move as their foe remembered his father’s words about familiarity diminishing evil’s power and used a distraction to return to a more human form and escape—but not before Daredevil recognized the stink of Mephisto on the departing demon.

Blackheart returned in DAREDEVIL #278282, a story that found DD helping Black Bolt find his son, but ultimately lead into Hell and a confrontation with Mephisto. Since then, the villain has popped up in a variety of books ranging from GHOST RIDER and X-FORCE to WONDER MAN and now FALCON.

Flash Forward

For a character without a plethora of appearances in comics, Blackheart’s done a great job of getting his name out there in other formats. Many people first heard of him when he appeared as a playable character in 1995’s arcade-turned-console classic “Marvel Super Heroes.” Mephisto’s bouncing baby boy would go on to appear in crossover games like “Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter” and “Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes.” You may have also seen him on the big screen portrayed by Wes Bentley in “Ghost Rider”!

Read More

Review the history of the Iron Spider as a new villain takes up the mantle!

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.

Young heroes often look to their older counterparts for inspiration. Sometimes they need help managing a super villain or bearing the weight of responsibility, and sometimes they just need help coming up with a codename.

Taking on an identity previously held by a hero can be an act of honoring what came before—or a convenient shortcut to earning the public’s trust. That, however, usually doesn’t end up being the case with villains—their identities and gear often wind up on the black market, which is how Miles Morales’ uncle Aaron Davis became the new Iron Spider!

Having assumed his new identity, he then gathered Spot, Bombshell, the new Electro, Hobgoblin, and Sandman to form a new Sinister Six in order to harass our hero in SPIDER-MAN, by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Oscar Bazaldua.

This Iron Spider sports a different color scheme than the original—black and gold instead of red and gold—and adds to the long journey the mantle has gone on since its full debut in 2006’s AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #529. At that point, Peter Parker had been a member of the Avengers for a while and, as a result, Tony Stark had taken an interest in the kid that he saw as a kindred spirit in the sciences. So, naturally, one technological genius gave another a bleeding edge upgrade in the costume department—and the resulting hero collaboration resulted in the Iron Spider.

Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #529

Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #529

  • Published: February 22, 2006
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Rating: T+
  • Writer: Stan Lee
  • Penciller: Mike Deodato
What is Marvel Unlimited?

The first version of the suit featured a bullet and heat-resistant surface, built-in scanners, a heads-up display, GPS, a gas-resistant mask, and a mesh webbing that allowed the hero to glide through the air. By AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #530, Stark added even more goodies, like an invisible mode and the ability to look like other existing costumes.

As this story took place during the buildup to Civil War, Peter started to wonder if Tony only gave him the new costume as a means to convince him to support the Super-human Registration Act, though he supported it (and revealed his true identity to the world in the process) nonetheless. But as the world—and its super villains—seized on the innocent lives connected to Peter Parker, and thus Spider-Man, the Wallcrawler’s support for the SRA receded as he saw its potentially disastrous personal ramifications.

Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #530

Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #530

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Finally changing his mind on the matter, Parker threw down with Iron Man—and only narrowly escaped the fight when The Punisher stepped in to save him. After joining Captain America’s anti-Registration side, Parker ditched the Iron Spider costume, eventually switching to his classic black costume after Civil War ended with Steve Rogers’ death.

Flash Forward

The Iron Spider costume didn’t just gather cobwebs in Parker’s closet, however. It next appeared in AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE #3 on a trio of heroes referred to as the Scarlet Spiders. Read more about the arachnid triumvirate in THE INITIATIVE #7!

Even Mary Jane Watson got in on the Iron Spider action in last year’s AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #15, by Dan SlottChristos Gage, and artist Giuseppe Camuncoli with a stunning Alex Ross cover! She pulled it on while Iron Man and Spider-Man took on Regent, eventually attacking the villain herself, giving Spidey enough time to save a prison full of captured innocents and close out the climactic “Power Play” storyline.

Read More

As the one-time White Queen faces off against young Jean Grey, look back to how Emma got there!

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.

Emma Frost continues to have a rough go of it lately. She lost her love, Cyclops, back in INHUMANS VS. X-MEN and took on the huge responsibility of governing New Tian during Secret Empire. Now she’s facing off against an alternate reality version of Jean Grey in the 9th issue of that character’s series.

Longtime readers know, though, that Emma’s had more than her fair share of dark times. In fact, when she first debuted back in 1980’s UNCANNY X-MEN #129 by Chris Claremont and John Byrne, she pledged to take on the X-Men for the Hellfire Club as the White Queen. 

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #129

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #129

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Part of that mission involved trying to recruit Kitty Pryde – also in her first appearance – for The Massachusetts Academy instead of Xavier’s School. She even sent some minions to attack the X-Men while Storm, Wolverine and Colossus took the future Shadowcat out for ice cream. The Club made off with the mutants, but didn’t realize that Pryde had used her phasing abilities to stow away on their getaway ship.

In #131, while still holding some of the X-Men captive, Jean Grey showed up as Phoenix and the two entered into a battle that literally brought the building down around them both. As we learned in #151, Frost used the opportunity and her own abilities to make her enemies think she’d died in the process. In reality, she returned to the Massachusetts Academy where she would use her mind-control powers to make Kitty’s folks transfer her to the school Frost acted as the head mistress for. 

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #131

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #131

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Emma’s plan didn’t just involve transferring Kitty, though, she also took the opportunity to switch minds with Storm! After much scheming and subterfuge, Frost eventually realized just how much power Ororo wielded and resorted to her own body. 

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #152

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #152

What is Marvel Unlimited?

From there, Emma Frost continued to cause trouble for the X-Men and their younger members known as the New Mutants. As seen for the first time in NEW MUTANTS #16, she even put together her own group of powered teens that she trained her own unique way. 

New Mutants (1983) #16

New Mutants (1983) #16

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Truly dedicated to these young people, Frost felt devastated when they were slaughtered in UNCANNY X-MEN #281282. In fact, she used that guilt to fuel her desire to switch sides and joined the X-Men during The Phalanx Covenant, going on to take a teacherly role in GENERATION X.

Since then, Frost has continued to align herself with the X-Men and has become a major feature in the X-World making her one of the more multi-faceted characters around and not just because of her diamond form!

Flash Forward

For an even more in-depth at Emma’s early days, check out the Karl Bollers-penned EMMA FROST series from 2003-2005. With art by Randy Green, Carlo Pagulayan and Adriana Melo, the series began by examining a meek, brunette, high school age Emma as she started developing her incredible mutant psychic powers. From there, she develops the basis for the character we’d come to meet in her first appearance.

 

Read More

As Amadeus Cho arrives on Sakaar, let's look back at the planet once ruled by his predecessor!

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.

Amadeus Cho intends to avoid many of the same pitfalls that Bruce Banner fell into over the years as Hulk. However, with this week’s INCREDIBLE HULK #710 we see him fully embracing a place that meant a lot to his Jade Giant predecessor: Sakaar.

Back in 2006, the heroes of the Marvel Universe – specifically Iron Man, Reed Richards, Black Bolt and Dr. Strange – got fed up with the Hulk and decided to send him off to a planet where he couldn’t hurt anyone and he could finally get the solace he claimed to want.

Instead, as seen in INCREDIBLE HULK #92 by Greg Pak and Carlo Pagulayan, he got sucked through a strange portal and ended up on a planet called Sakaar where the locals immediately enslaved him and he soon started fighting in a gladiatorial arena. 

Incredible Hulk (1999) #92

Incredible Hulk (1999) #92

What is Marvel Unlimited?

In those battles, Hulk met a group that would become known as the Warbound, who would help him first escape from the Red King and then eventually take over as king himself. Along the way, Hulk fell in love with a Shadow warrior named Caiera, who would have borne him twins, had a catastrophic accident not seemingly killed her. 

Incredible Hulk (1999) #93

Incredible Hulk (1999) #93

What is Marvel Unlimited?

The ship that Hulk’s “friends” sent him off on exploded, apparently by accident, but not. The resulting explosion tore through Caiera and many others, leaving a large chunk of Sakaar in lava-engulfed ruins.

Feeling a rage like none other, Hulk agreed to fly off with his surviving Warbound comrades and return to the true source of his misery: Earth. That story came to fruiting in WORLD WAR HULK, but what of the planet that the Jade Giant left behind? 

World War Hulk (2007) #1

World War Hulk (2007) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Well, as seen in SKAAR: SON OF HULK – simplified to just SON OF HULK on Marvel Unlimited – the planet kept on turning, even giving birth to not one, but two sons of the Green Scar. Skaar hardened himself in battle and even harnessed the full power of the Old Strong that ran through the planet. Meanwhile, Hiro-Kala, the twin, also began experiencing his own trials and tribulations on the harsh planet.

Galactus visited this place. The Silver Surfer had been drawn in by the same portal that grabbed Hulk during the original storyline, but he brought his master there in SKAAR. Thanks to the Old Strong power that flowed through the rock, Surfer figured that its energy could sate his master’s hunger for 10,000 years. Skaar had his own plans, but so did other familiar faces who appeared in an attempt to save the planet.

Now, Amadeus Cho will see exactly how Hulk-like he can be in the place that both gave his namesake his greatest challenge and also one of his most cherished triumphs.

Flash Forward

The history of Sakaar was nicely chronicled in the pages of a one-shot called GLADIATOR GUIDE BOOK. The mostly-text issue goes into great detail about everything from the Tayo Star System that Sakaar inhabits to the geography of the planet. You also get to more fully understand the hierarchy that exists on-planet with the Imperials at the top who subjugate their own kind as well as the insectoid Natives, Shadow People and Spikes. All of these groups and ideas play important parts in Planet Hulk as well as all the ensuing stories set on Sakaar!

Read More

Leader and Hulk continue the longstanding argument about the superiority of intellect & strength!

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.

Great villains often show the darker potential of the heroes they face off against on a regular basis. In the case of The Leader – who reappeared in this week’s SHE-HULK #159 – he represented the brain side while Hulk clearly leaned towards brawn.

With his return, it’s a great time to look back at this character created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko and his rise to power starting in 1964! The man simply known as The Leader debuted in TALES TO ASTONISH #62 as a masked figure sending The Chameleon to the base that Bruce Banner worked at to steal his military secrets. 

Tales to Astonish (1959) #62

Tales to Astonish (1959) #62

  • Published: December 10, 1964
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Steve Ditko
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

In the following issue, we learned not only that this man sported an enlarged head but also green skin! He also very helpfully revealed his origin! A simple laborer at a chemical research plant happened to pass a Gamma Ray Cylinder as it exploded. Though seemingly unhurt at first, the man gained an intense thirst for knowledge and an uncanny ability to retain what he read. More shockingly, though, he eventually developed a larger cranium and his skin turned an emerald color!

At first, The Leader didn’t even know about the Hulk, but wanted Banner’s secrets. However, when he sent a Humanoid to do his bidding, the Hulk popped up to defeat it. During this time, Banner did his best to keep his double life as the Hulk a secret from his boss, General Thunderbolt Ross.

Enthralled by the appearance of a fellow green-skinned human with abilities far beyond mortal men, The Leader intended to partner up with the Hulk at first, or else destroy him!

Though The Leader would attempt to use even more Humanoids to steal the secrets and grab the Hulk, he didn’t take into account the fact that Hulk would turn into Banner if he got too agitated. After that happened without the Leader seeing, Banner made a break for it, turned back into the Hulk and wound up swimming far out into the ocean where a Russian sub picked him up.

The Leader worked with the Russians at that time, but decided to sit back and wait until Banner and Hulk broke back through the Iron Curtain. That happened in TALES TO ASTONISH #68 – now drawn by Jack Kirby – wherein Leader attempted to steal Banner’s Absorbatron with the help of cell-sized Humanoids that could grow to much larger sizes.  

Tales to Astonish (1959) #68

Tales to Astonish (1959) #68

What is Marvel Unlimited?

The two gamma-powered individuals finally met face-to-face in #69 when the Humanoids brought a knocked-out Hulk to the Leader’s lab. Upon finally waking up, the Hulk destroyed Leader’s lab. Not long after, Hulk seemed to actually consider the Leader’s offer of partnering up and they did after a fashion as Leader sent Hulk to get the Ultimate Machine from the Watcher. The Jade Giant succeeded, but the immense amount of galactic knowledge absorbed by The Leader seemed to kill him! 

Tales to Astonish (1959) #69

Tales to Astonish (1959) #69

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Of course, good villains never stay dead and the big brain returned to hassle Hulk and other heroes on more than one occasion. Considered one of Hulk’s main villains, Leader – now also known as Samuel Sterns – made the jump to other media ranging from cartoons and video games to the big screen!

Flash Forward

Curious about how The Leader recovered from his apparent brain drain? Well, readers found out for themselves in the pages of INCREDIBLE HULK #115. In that issue by Stan Lee and Herb Trimpe, Leader said that he’d taken precautions before using the Ultimate Machine. He’d set it up so that, if his heart stopped beating, a specially-designed Humanoid would use a Revivor Beam to bring him back! He then spent his time planning his revenge on his nemesis!

Read More

Head on back to the first Power Pack appearance thanks to Louise Simonson and June Brigman.

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.

Comics might not just be for kids anymore, but it’s important to have some that they can read. That was part of the mission statement when Louise Simonson and June Brigman launched POWER PACK in 1984.

With POWER PACK #63 hitting stores earlier this week, it seemed like the perfect time to take a look back at the Power family’s first foray into the world of super heroics. 

Power Pack (2017) #63

Power Pack (2017) #63

In that debut issue, we met Alex, Julie, Jack and Katy Power, a quartet of siblings living with their folks. One night they decided to sleep outside in an effort to see the reported UFO soaring through the skies. The plan worked as one such ship washed up on the beach outside their house while another landed, revealing its pilot Aelfyre Whitemane. 

Power Pack (1984) #1

Power Pack (1984) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Another ship unleashed the Snarks, lizard-like aliens, who captured the Power parents. Whitemane later explained that the Snarks wanted their dad because of his work on a matter/anti-matter converter machine. While Whitey’s planet used the process to power their planet, the Snarks intended to wield it as a weapon!

Worried that he would soon die, Whitemane figured out a way to transfer some of his powers to the children before disappearing and leaving them to face a vicious alien race with no clue about their new abilities.

Luckily for the galaxy, the kids figured out their powers and got to work sending the Snarks packing – at least for now – before coming up with appropriate code names! Alex went with G because of his gravity control, Julie became Lightspeed because she flew with a rainbow of light behind her, Katie dubbed herself Energizer because of her energy powers and Jack decided on Mass-Master!

The Power Pack would go on to get their own unique costumes and become a well known name in the Marvel Universe, working with the likes of Spider-Man, Cloak and Dagger, the X-Men and even a few Asgardians. Along the way, the series tackled important social issues of the day as well ranging from homelessness and drug abuse to orphan-hood and kidnapping.

The original POWER PACK series ran until #62 in 1991, but the kids continued appearing throughout the years. They scored new limited series’ in 2000 and 2005 not to mention other books like SKRULLS VS. POWER PACK, WOLVERINE/POWER PACK, SPIDER-MAN AND POWER PACK and even HULK AND POWER PACK. The title and these characters still remain one of the best gateways to get kids into comics. All you have to do is find the right book!

Flash Forward

While the Power Pack team hasn’t remained at the forefront of comics over the past few decades, some of its members have kept a relatively high profile. Julie helped found Excelsior over in RUNAWAYS before joining up with the Avengers Initiative and appearing in AVENGERS ACADEMY. Meanwhile, Alex joined up with Reed Richards’ Future Foundation in the pages of FF where he and the other geniuses tried to solve some of the biggest problems in existence.

Read More

View Ulysses Klaw's change from an invader to a super-powered sound slinger!

 

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.

Klaw made his diabolical return to comics with this week’s BLACK PANTHER #166. He and T’Challa have raged against each other for years, which means that he makes an excellent candidate for this week’s FLASHBACK FRIDAY!

The character debuted in a very different form back in 1966’s FANTASTIC FOUR #53 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, which also happened to be Black Panther’s second appearance. In the previous issue, T’Challa brought the Fantastic Four to Wakanda and challenged them physically. In this one, though, he revealed his true purpose for bringing them to his homeland.  

Fantastic Four (1961) #53

Fantastic Four (1961) #53

  • Published: August 10, 1966
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

The king showed his guests around and explained both the mantle of the Black Panther and the existence of Vibranium. In a flashback, we met Klaw who had arrived in Wakanda to mine the unique element. He needed it to power his own invention, the Sound Transformer. When T’Challa’s father refused permission, Klaw killed him.

Back in the present, Wakanda had been plagued by mysterious red creatures that left no trace when they finally fell in battle. While the Fantastic Four fought the projections, T’Challa went after the perpetrator himself. Klaw intended to kill anyone who stood between him and the Vibranium he craved. To put a stop to his enemy and avenge his father, T’Challa brought an entire mountain down on Klaw.

Instead of dying, though, the villain leaped into his own sound converter, thus turning his body into pure sound. The villain returned in a far more familiar form not long after in the pages of FANTASTIC FOUR #56. He popped up out of nowhere to trap Mr. Fantastic and Thing in Reed’s lab.  

Fantastic Four (1961) #56

Fantastic Four (1961) #56

  • Published: November 10, 1966
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Klaw then attacked Sue Storm and explained his new look and powers. “My physical structure is now composed of solidified sound – sound which serves me as a weapon, far greater than any ever known!”

Sue did her best to hold her own against the mad villain looking to prove himself. Meanwhile, Ben and Reed continued to try and escape from Klaw’s trap, which they eventually did! After Thing failed to drop the bad guy, Reed received a pair of Vibranium knuckles rocketed to Manhattan by T’Challa.

Properly armed, Richards knocked Klaw out with a few punches that would make Ben Grimm proud before smothering him with his own stretchy body. Having properly drained the villain of his powers, the team disabled his weaponry and then thanked Black Panther for his well-timed delivery.

Flash Forward

Klaw returned next in AVENGERS #5455 as a member of the Masters of Evil along with Whirlwind, Melter, Black Knight and Radioactive Man lead by the mysterious Crimson Cowl who turned out to be Ultron-5. The villains worked well together to take out the heroes! In the second issue, Klaw tried killing the Crimson Cowl, but failed. He then swore his allegiance. That failed to help, though, as the Avengers eventually escaped and Black Panther appropriately put Klaw down in the final battle. 

Fantastic Four (1961) #56

Fantastic Four (1961) #56

  • Published: November 10, 1966
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Read More