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

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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

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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

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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!

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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
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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

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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

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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!

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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

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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.

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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
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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?

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As Scott Lang joins the Guardians as Ant-Man we look back at how he joined the Marvel Universe!

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.

A first day on the job usually leads to some uncomfortable situations. You’re not quite sure where to park or sit for lunch. Maybe the people don’t take to you immediately or show even a remote sense of interest in your existence. And then sometimes, Wonder Man tries to punch you in the face because the Avengers Mansion security tried taking him out.

That wasn’t just Scott Lang’s first day on the job as an employee of Tony Stark’s installing the security system at the famous domicile, but also his very first appearance as seen in AVENGERS #181 by David Micheline, John Byrne and Gene Day. 

Avengers (1963) #181

Avengers (1963) #181

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Now that Lang has joined up with the team in ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, it’s the perfect time to look back at how he made his less-than-spectacular debut in 1979. In an interesting little twist of fate, Iron Man actually saw the original Guardians off after a shared adventure they had in #177.

Anyway, Lang walked away with his head intact thanks to Stark interceding on his behalf, which allowed him to show up again in MARVEL PREMIERE #4748 by Micheline, Byrne and Bob Layton. 

Marvel Premiere (1972) #47

Marvel Premiere (1972) #47

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This issue kicked off with Lang already in the Ant-Man duds thinking to himself about saving his daughter while interrupting a surgery. He held his own, but didn’t succeed in completing his mission, which gave him time to think back.

In that second appearance, Lang remembered being an inmate in a prison that helped him get a job interview with Stark International. Wanting to put his burglary days behind him and embrace his electronics background, which worked out, but only for a while. Soon, his daughter Cassie exhibited an inoperable aorta condition that seemed to leave them all with little to no hope.

Desperate, Lang broke into a an old mansion belonging to Hank Pym. He wanted cash to help pay for Cassie’s treatment, but wound up stumbling upon the Ant-Man costume and helmet, which he made off with. He soon put the duds on and found himself at eye level with the insects.

Only later did the opening scene come into focus more fully as he intended to kidnap Dr. Sondheim who was working on the procedure and force her to help Cassie. Instead, he discovered that a hulk of a man named Darren Cross had actually kidnapped Dr. Sondheim already in search of her services.

After rescuing the good doctor, she helped save Cassie’s life and things started looking up for Lang, and then Pym appeared in his Yellow Jacket costume. Instead of chewing the thief out, Hank congratulated him on a job well done and said he could keep the suit if he kept doing good with it.

Lang jumped at the chance and has been striving to stay on the right side ever since. He even did a good enough job parenting to help raise Cassie into a strong young woman who became a hero in her own right known as Stature!

Flash Forward

The MARVEL PREMIERE issues as a test to see if this new Ant-Man could shoulder his own series. The numbers didn’t quite work out for that, but he did wind up becoming an Avenger. In #181, he showed up at Yellow Jacket’s request to help the team find out what the Wasp might be doing at the Solomon Institute for the Criminally Insane. The two shrunk down to infiltrate the building and free Jan, which succeeded. Unfortunately they ran into a new foe: The Taskmaster! They put up a good enough fight to eventually earn Scott a spot on the team!

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The ruler of Mojoworld proves that vapid, awful personalities can hold places of obscene power.

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.

Last week the Mojoverse invaded Manhattan and all hell broke loose. The action moved from X-MEN: GOLD #13 to this week’s X-MEN: BLUE #13 and along with it came a variety of former foes all conjured up by the villain himself, Mojo.

It’s fitting that Art Adams worked on connecting covers for the first two parts of this crossover because he drew Mojo’s very first appearance back in the LONGSHOT limited series, penned by the equally legendary Ann Nocenti. That 1985-1986 book first introduced us to the amnesiac title character who seemed luckier than the average runaway.

Longshot wound up on Earth where he began remembering bits and pieces of his past which included being grown in an alternate dimension to serve the huge Spineless Ones who used large machine walkers to get them around. Seeing those beings paved the way for Mojo’s grand debut in #4 as he complained about plant-ruining holes in clouds to Major Domo. 

Longshot (1985) #4

Longshot (1985) #4

  • Published: December 10, 1985
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: October 09, 2009
  • Writer: Ann Nocenti
  • Penciler: Art Adams
What is Marvel Unlimited?

The out-of-control ruler of all he saw with a mouth that wouldn’t quit wanted everything around him to look like his own reflection, thus becoming godlike in his own mind. He’d also sent out a pack of his best hunters, including Quark, to track down Longshot, not wanting to lose his own property. When they failed, Mojo ordered Spiral to take them both to this mysterious planet filled with humans that looked exactly like their genetically created slaves.

As it turned out, those slaves were designed to reflect The Spineless Ones’ nightmare demons of myth, so this whole Earth thing really freaked them out. After jumping from Earth and otherspace back to Mojoworld, the Spineless One finally faced off against Longshot and it didn’t go so well for the villain. Instead of ruling completely, he found himself on the wrong side of a dimensional portal.

Mojo and Spiral would later appear in a series of X-related annuals in the mid-to-late 80s. First, they popped up in NEW MUTANTS ANNUAL #2 to kidnap Betsy Braddock, otherwise known as Psylocke in her original body. He used Betsy to create a new cartoon that was then broadcast to humanity, called Wildways. After Mojo also grabbed Sunspot the New Mutants became involved and eventually put a stop to his plans. 

New Mutants Annual (1984) #2

New Mutants Annual (1984) #2

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Over the years, Mojo solidified himself as one of the most deranged and heartless villains in the Marvel Universe by routinely trying to invade our reality or poison his own with the kind of television programs that, well, have become fairly commonplace these days.

Flash Forward

Though an absolutely egomaniacal monster, Mojo did help create something of adorable beauty: the X-Babies! In UNCANNY X-MEN ANNUAL #10, by Chris Claremont and Art Adams, Mojo de-aged the X-Men to look like kids. However, two years later in UNCANNY X-MEN ANNUAL #12, when the X-Men appeared to have died, he created the X-Babies. As you might expect, the cartoony kid heroes eventually fought back against their creator. Mojo thought about giving them the axe himself, but decided against it when the ratings showed just how popular they turned out to be!

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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
What is Marvel Unlimited?

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

What is Marvel Unlimited?

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

What is Marvel Unlimited?

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

What is Marvel Unlimited?

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

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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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