Marvel #1000 In Memoriam

This year marks Marvel's 80th Anniversary and along with a number of yearly celebrations, Marvel published Marvel Comics #1000. The oversized one-shot issue features stories from most current writers and artists in their library.

Along with those awesome stories, Marvel added an in-memoriam page which contains the names of the brilliant artists and writers we lost during the past decades.

Over 150 names of real-life heroes that made Marvel the name, it is today. From Stan Lee and Steve Ditko to Jack Kirby and a 150 more this names are featured in a full-page art from the "The Death of Captain Marvel" (1982) where all the heroes are gathered to pay their tributes.

Marvel Comics #1000 in memoriam

Who is Mason in Black Widow Movie

Little to nothing has yet to be announced for the character O-T Fagbenle (The Handmaid's Tale) is portraying in the upcoming Marvel movie, "Black Widow", Mason. Theories seem to suggest that this might be an entirely new character in the MCU created specifically for this movie.

Trying to connect the dots from the Marvel Comics to the Marvel Cinematic Universe we believe that O-T might be portraying Mason a character simply called "The Agent" in the Marvel Comics.

Marvel Graphic Novel #57 - Rick Mason the Agent
Marvel Graphic Novel #57

First appeared in the Marvel Graphic Novel #57 back in 1990, Mason was the son of Phineas Mason and Deborah Watts Mason. Having grown in an environment of advanced technology due to his father being the famous criminal inventor, Tinkerer, Rick Mason grew up to become a mercenary specialized in handling superhumans in a non-lethal way.

Rick Mason was a freelancer with huge expertise built not only from his father but from training alongside Nick Fury, Alexi Vazhin and Sir Denis Nayland making his one of the best-trained convert operatives only found online with the name "The Agent".

Mason fought off renegade members of China Force which were trying to undermine the British government in Hong Kong and similarly in South America. He was then forced to kill Teng Yun-Suan, one of his oldest mentors for being responsible for these attempted coups.

Unfortunately "The Corporation" a criminal organization, took Mason hostage in an attempt to force Tinkerrer, Mason's father, to work for them exclusively. Mason managed to escape only to find that his father had sent Luke Cage and Dakota North to rescue him and together they defeated "The Corporation".

Unfortunately, later Rick Mason was assassinated by an unnamed super-villain and his identity as "The Agent" became public knowledge.

The Origins of Red Guardian

Red Guardian is a fictional comic character created by Roy Thomas and John Buscema and published by Marvel Comics. First appearing in The Avengers #43 back in August 1967, Red Guardian was created as a Soviet equivalent of Captain America.

Before his apparent transformation to a super soldier from the Soviets, Red Guardian's alter ego, Alexei Shostakov, was a renowned  soviet pilot that fought in numerous battles against the Nazis in WWII and a national hero in the magnitude of Yuri Gagarin. Alexei met Natalie Romanova aka Black Widow in his years of fame and they got married before he decided to become the Red Guardian.

The History of the Red Guardian

During the 50s Alexei was approached by Soviet Premier Nikita Kruschev and was asked to become a national icon by taking the mantle of the Red Guardian. After accepting the responsibility of becoming a weapon for his country Alexei had to fake his death to even his wife.

After intensive training from the KGB Alexei became the Red Guardian reaching the peak of human performance even without a serum.

Red Guardian - Alexei Shostakov

As it was expected eventually Alexei as the Red Guardian came to a crash with the Avengers for trying to protect Chinese weapons from the Avengers where he came face to face with his wife Black Widow. After recognizing each other the Red Guardian refused to harm her and he was shot and killed by Colonel Ling, a Chinese Communist ally.

It was afterwards revealed that Alexei had survived the shooting and was operating under the name of Ronin in Bulgaria.

Just as with many characters of the Marvel Universe, Alexei Shostakov was not the first or last to use the name Red Guardian. There are actually numerous iterations of the name and Shostakov was the second to pick the mantle.

Aleksey Lebedev was the one to be called Red Guardian first in the Golden Ages and most notable Red Guardian is Josef Petkus, the fourth Red Guardian in line, the leader of Winter Guard who fought along site the Avengers to protect the Earth. Unfortunately the story of the Red Guardians in most cases lead to the death of the person carrying the weight of the red shield and Petkus was also killed by the Dire Wraiths in an attempt to resurrect a comrade.

Recent News

The Red Guardian is going to be portrayed by David Harbour in the upcoming film of Black Widow that is set to be released in May 1, 2020.

David Harbour is going to portray Alexei Shostakov.

Marvel Comics #1000 - Marvel 80th Anniversary Special

When everyone is preoccupied with the 22 movies that Marvel Cinematic Universe has launched over the past years we tend to forget that Marvel itself has been out there since 1939 and is soon to turn 80 years old and recent chatter on the net and a few hints from our favorite comic authors and artists have been pointing out to the obvious.

Marvel is preparing a secret gem that will be available in August at your nearest comic shops.

Tom Brevoort, Marvel’s executive editor and senior vice president of publishing, said in a conference call with C.B. Cebulski, Marvel’s editor in chief said,
“This is by far the most complex and complicated and difficult book I’ve ever had to assemble".

Marvel Comics #1000 will be quite unique in more than one aspects. It's a monster 80 pages book, featuring 80 creatives working on 1 story per page which each one of them will represent one of the eighty years of Marvel's history.

Marvel started teasing the celebratory issue by containing ads in their recent comic books with the names of 2-3 creatives at a time along with the "August 2019" date at the bottom of each ad.

The creative teams include modern and legacy comic authors and artists. For a full list of known creatives check below. The main cover as seen above has been painted by Alex Ross.

Star Wars Day - May the 4th

May the 4th be with you young padawan.

Another glorious Star Wars day has arrived and like any normal, geeky fan out there we are thrilled about it but first of all, we decided to spend some time explaining what this is all about.

May the 4th is considered a holiday across the universe. Also known as Star Wars day, May the 4th goes back decades, from what it might be the first reference of May the 4th as a Star Wars pun on May 4th, 1979 when Margaret Thatcher took office. Her own political party, the Conservatives placed a billboard congratulating her for her victory. The billboard read "May the Fourth Be with You, Maggie. Congratulations."

After that one first occurrence, the game was on for millions of Star Wars fans who used the catchphrase for celebrating in spread occurrences throughout the years until social media brought us together.

In 2011 the first organized Star Wars Day took place in Toronto, Canada at the Toronto Underground Cinema and since 2013 Disney officially participates in the celebratory events.

But let's take a look back into what made Star Wars a great addition to the comic world.

Star Wars Comics

Star Wars #1 1977

Information

Writer(s): Roy Thomas
Penciller(s): Howard V. Chaykin
Inker(s): Howard V. Chaykin
Colorist(s): Marie Severin
Letterer(s): James R. 'Jim' Novak
Editor(s): Roy Thomas
Cover Artist(s): Howard V. Chaykin, Thomas 'Tom' Palmer Sr.
Release Date: July 1, 1977
Price on Cover: $0.30

It all started with this one back in July 1977 just about the same time the first movie came out, Marvel published the first Star Wars series that ran from 1977 till 1986 with the first six issues of the comic being the adaptation of the first movie and the original stories started from issue seven onwards. Since then a number of publications have worked with the title on dozens of different unique series.

After the success of the initial stories, Marvel Comics, kept on producing original stories expanding the Star Wars universe in a way that helped the francince reach new heights. In a way, Lucasfilm and Marvel Comics in collaboration grew the universe together with various creative teams participating in the comic stories.

During the decade of '77 and '87, Marvel Comics had published four comic series along with three annuals and two illustrated books.

Blackthorne publishing took over for a short while during '87 publishing a three-issue series called Star Wars 3-D.

Dark Horse stepped up early '90s picking up the Star Wars flame and publishing dozens of Star Wars related mini-series making it one of the largest collection of mini-series in the comicverse. A simple search within the Dark Horse website produces around 1,300 Star Wars related results.

Finaly in 2015, Star Wars found it's way back to Marvel. With Disney acquiring both Marvel Entertainment and Lucasfilm the turn to Marvel Comics once again was inevitable and it was welcomed by the fans since the creative teams behind Marvel Comics brought us some amazing stories. From Star Wars: Darth Vader and Star Wars: Doctor Aphra to the Age of Star Wars: Maxiseries (Star Wars: Age of Republic, Star Wars: Age of Rebelion and Star Wars: Age of Resistance).

Star Wars Merchandising

It wasn't just the movies and the comics that made history when it came to Star Wars. Everyone around the globe whether a fan or not, owned some kind of a Star Wars merchandise whether that was a toy Luke Skywaker or a lightsaber to mimic fighting the Siths with their friends (or being the Siths).

George Lucas took a whooping $500,000 pay cut in order to exclusively own the merchandising rights which after the first six movies returned revenue of approximately $20 billion dollars.

Fans all over the world started competing who would have the greatest toy collection and things got very interesting when single toys such as
Rocket Firing Boba Fett was sold for $150,000 dollars or Telescoping Darth Vader which sold for $30,000.

Today toy collectors genuinly present in the most prominent positions of their shelves Star Wars toys and for a great reason. It's a line of toys that made history and will continue for decades to come.

Check out some of our favorite, all-time best Star Wars Toys!

May the force be with you all and from the team at 101Comics.com we hope you have a fanastic Star Wars Day!

The Immortal Hulk Reading Guide & Review

Immortal Hulk has been on shelves for a while now with fans going berserk for it. It's been hovering over the greatest comic of the year to the greatest comic of the decade with Bruce Banner fans lining up the comic book stores to get there hands onto a copy of the series.

So here comes the great question. Where did it all start?

Bruce Banner was dead for pretty much a couple of years before we got a glimpse of what's to come in Avengers #684 which featured the face of Hulk after weeks of hints over his apparent resurrection.

What Led to the Immortal Hulk?

What you must understand is that Hulk hasn't always been conceived as a superhero but mainly a monster. In some cases fighting supervillains and in some terrorizing cities depending his emotional state. Much like Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hide which as also the inspiration for his creation.

Though the decades though Hulk and his alter ego Bruce Banner changed a lot from a Monster to a Hero to a Super Intelligent Doctor fighting crime to this moment which is a combination of all of the above.

At the start of the All-New, All-Different Marvel Comics series we find out that Bruce Banner was no longer the Hulk but just a scientist which was now dedicating his time to helping humanity.

Amadeus Cho, a long time friend was able to extract the Hulk from Banner and absorb it himself in order to help Banner. Amadeus Cho was also able to maintain his intelligence while on the Hulk form.

Unfortunately not long after his separation from Hulk, Banner became the center of attention at Civil War II #5 where the Inhuman Ulysses had a vision which saw Bruce Banner regaining power and slaughtered the majority of superheroes on Earth.

A team led by Captain Marvel tried to find and stop Banner's transformation and during the standoff which was basically a heated argument of Banner trying to explain he no longer possess the powers of Hulk, Hawkeye releases a special arrow that instantly kills Bruce Banner. The arrow was specially made from Bruce Banner and given to Hawkeye in order to make sure that if he ever loses control to the Hulk, Hawkeye will end it for him.

After Banner's death Hawkeye swore that he saw a green spark in Banner's eyes which caused him to release the arrow. Unfortunately he terminated his services from the Avengers not long after.

First Appearance of the Immortal Hulk

There has been a number of resurrections since his death but this one seems to be the last and most permanent.

In the Uncanny Avengers #15, Daniel Drumm, brother of Brother Voodoo, resurrected the Hulk powered by a demonic force, and used him as a weapon against the Avengers while they tried to recruit Elektra. That concluded fast with Hulk's lifeless body since the connection to the demonic realm was broken.

Soon thereafter in Secret Empire, the evil version of Steve Rogers resurrected the Hulk and used him against the rebels hiding within the Nevada mountains. Even though the use of the Hulk was a success it was revealed that the method used was only temporary and only gave life to the Hulk for a few hours.

The main attraction came later on at the Avengers: No Surrender event, a 16 issue mini-series that took place from Avengers #675 till Avengers #690 that saw two great forces of the universe the Grandmaster and Challenger, steal and transform Earth into a "chessboard" for their next game.

During those events we see the Hulk resurface as a secret pawn of the Challenger and... well he is a little bit different and a little bit all the same. As we mentioned above the "new" Hulk is all about revenge, rage, and fury and resembles more the first Hulk than anything else.

Immortal Hulk Series

As expected right after the events of Avengers: No Surrender and with the conclusion that the Hulk just cannot die, came the new series of the Immortal Hulk and soon thereafter became one of the best comics series of 2018 as well as holds a top position at the Best Marvel Comics of 2019 so far and how could it not.

The Immortal Hulk brings out what we hoped for many years to come, portraying one of Marvel's oldest and fan favourite superhero into something that barely resembles anything that we have seen before.

The Immortal Hulk is something in between all the variations we have seen. Al Ewing and Joe Bennett made it clear that they wanted to create something unique and they did. There is a horror vibe in the comic story and the art it self which was the pain point missing from Hulk's previous stories and we love it.

Hulk is not roaming the earth fighting crime in a way that is strangely small for his size but in all reality it makes sense. He was used from so many forces before that he just wants to be left alone and yet it seems that he can't find the peace he wants. From one adventure to the other Bruce Banner finds himself in trouble and when that happens he simple, dies.

Well, that's the twist, Bruce Banner dies for the Hulk to live and dig out of his grave to get the revenge it seeks. The story is closely related to the initial story of the Hulk (being mostly portrayed as a monster) instead of a hero and what better analogy for Bruce Banner and the Hulk than the one of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hide.


Best Marvel Comics of 2019 (so far)

2018 has been a great year for Marvel with hundreds of comic series being published and with the publisher gaining 2% up among all other publishers with a total of 38.24% of market share.

Things seem to be keeping the same uptrend for Marvel with some amazing series kicking off in 2019.

In an effort to highlight this year's best Marvel comic series we've created an on-going list of the fans favorite Marvel titles.

Ashe: Warmother #1

Writer: Odin Austin Shafer

Artist: Nina Vakueva

Letterer: Cardinal Rae

Cover Artist: Yasmine Putri

One of the most popular “MOBA” (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) game in the past few years is “League of Legends” developed and published in 2009 by Riot Games. It’s a game filled with champions, magic, and strategy, where each team tries to destroy the enemy team’s “Nexus”. Although in-game there isn’t much of a story to tell, due to its own nature, there are a few hints of storyline (connected to the main lore) once the champions enter the arena, for example «I will unite the Freljord» by Ashe.

Riot has built a large universe with plenty of interesting characters and stories. In that note, the company, has created a few comics for several champions such as “Ryze: The Burning Lands”, “Varus: Retribution” and others. After the feedback on these comics the company has decided to fill in and expand its universe even more and what better partner to help them do that than Marvel. Both companies have created their own unique world, with thick storylines and heroes with amazing abilities and with Marvel’s understanding of the comic book world you can expect great results for the League of Legends comics.

That being said, this collaboration has already given us part of the first out of three series lined up. You already know from the title that this first series revolves around Ashe’s origins. The first issue was published on 19th December of 2018 and the next one comes up on the 16th of January. The comic is free to read digitally but you can expect a physical copy later this year.

According to Greg Street, Head of the Creative Department, there will be multiple series published each month and after six months since release, those comics will be posted on the League of Legends Universe site for free.

Who is Carol Danvers? - Captain Marvel Origin Story

Captain Marvel aka Carol Danvers is a fictional superhero created by writer Roy Thomas and artist Gene Colan, first appearing in Marvel Super-Heroes #13 back in March 1968. Carol Danvers appears as a United States Air Force officer who is working together with Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell) unaware of his true identity. Later on, Carol Danvers is caught in an explosion occurred in one of Captain Marvel’s fight with Colonel Yon-Rogg, which essentially gave her the amazing powers she possesses.

Ms Marvel #1 - Carol Danvers

A few years later we see Carol Danvers who again makes her appearance at Ms. Marvel #1 (1977) in a comic book written by Gerry Conway and later by Chris Claremont, that includes Peter Parker aka Spider-Man, Mary Jane and J Jonah Jameson fighting against the Scorpion with a little to no memory of how she became Ms. Marvel.

Carol now working as an editor of a magazine called “Woman” published by the infamous J Jonah Jameson (don’t ask how the person that absolutely hates superheroes ends up employing a few) after losing her position as a security chief since she failed to capture Captain Marvel.

During the series it is revealed that the reason for her superhuman powers was the explosion of a device called "Psyche-Magnetron" which caused her DNA to alter and meld with Captain Marvel’s making her a unique Human-Kree hybrid giving her cosmic powers that included superhuman strength, the ability to fly and the seventh sense which allows her to sense when people want to harm her or others.

During the 70’s Ms. Marvel had a series of appearances in various comic lines, including but not limited to The Avengers, The Defenders, Iron Man, Spider-Man and the Thing. She was portrayed as a strong woman that fought crime as a superhero but also injustice in diversity in the workplace and equal pay for equal work.

Gerry Conway writes in the introduction of Ms. Marvel, "you might see a parallel between her quest for identity, and the modern woman's quest for raised consciousness, for self-liberation, for identity".

The Avengers #200 Incident and the Rape of Ms. Marvel

The Avengers #200 - Carol Danvers

The early 80’s were quite an uneasy period for Ms. Marvel (for Marvel as well) with The Avengers #200 being the main reason behind it. As said previously Ms. Marvel was seen as a strong feminist character supporting women rights and equality of the sexes in the Marvel comics universe so what happens to her was something that almost no fan left without criticizing.

In The Avengers #200, Ms. Marvel is kidnapped taken to another dimension, brainwashed and rapped by a character called Marcus. Even though they later return and gives birth to earth she later is again taken with absolutely no support of the Avengers since they all believe that she has fallen in love with Marcus.

Book historian Carol A. Strickland as well as Chris Claremont (former writer of the solo series) both heavily criticized the incident. Claremont says in X-Men Companion #2 "Actually, my reaction was a lot stronger than that. But how callous! How cruel! How unfeeling! Considering that [the Avengers] must have seen Ms. Marvel only a couple of days before, or even a couple of months before. She wasn't pregnant then. How could she be eight months pregnant now?"

Thankfully a year later Claremont finally undid the actions of Marcus in Avengers Annual #0.
Claremont also tried to develop the character further in the Uncanny X-Men were in a space adventure with the team she is changed due to experimentation was done to her by the alien race Brood thus getting the name Binary. As Binary she has the ability to draw strength equal to that of a Star.

Carol Danvers - Binary

90’s Carol Danvers becomes Warbird

In the 90’s Carol Danvers lost a lot of popularity and even though she made some sporadic appearances her planner original title was canceled a number of times. In one of the stories, the character was used “Operation Galactic Storm” she loses her Binary powers reverting her back to Ms. Marvel with a little bit of extra kick.

After a little while, she rejoins the Avengers with the name Warbird and Kurt Busiek explores her character by adding a number of traits that are more humane such as alcoholism (after losing her powers and memories) and a lot of mental struggles.

Warbird is soon marked unfit for duty and gets suspended.

2000 Carol Danvers returns

In early 2000 Carol Danvers, still known as Warbird rejoins the Avengers and plays a huge role in the “Kang Dynasty” plotline and later after the Avengers disband together with other prominent superheroes such as The Wasp, Hank Pym, Falcon and Wonder Man they are not included in the New Avengers created by Iron Man and Captain America.

Later Ms. Marvel comes back to prominence leaving the name Warbird back. The story is also revolving around her support to the Superhuman Registration Act together with Tony Stark and her battles with anti-registration supporters led by Captain America.

Ms. Marvel later becomes the leader of the Mighty Avengers and after making an agreement with Tony Stark (director of S.H.I.E.L.D.) she leads a strike team with the goal of eliminating supervillains before they become global threats.

Ms. Marvel also played a big role in the plotline of “Secret Invasion” but also after leaving from the registered Avengers team due to Norman Osborn taking the lead she becomes second in command in the New Avengers.

2010’s Carol Danvers becomes Captain Marvel

The last couple of decades were very important for Carol Danvers and her character development. Nonetheless, nothing was quite as important as the past 8 years of her existence which led up to the Captain Marvel movie. It would have been a great miss for the Marvel cinematic universe if they were to wait a little while longer.

At the conclusion of the second volume of the aforementioned Ms. Marvel comic series, Carol Danvers finds herself against Mystique and a clone of Captain Marvel created by the Skrulls during the Secret Invasion.

She finds herself playing a very important role at the Siege of Asgard storyline as well as starting to develop a relationship with Spider-Man who later she develops genuine feelings for.

Most importantly at June 2012, Carol Danvers in the hands of Kelly Sue DeConnick with art by Dexter Soy assumes the mantle of Captain Marvel in an ongoing series and later re-joined the Avengers as Captain Marvel in volume 5 of the Avengers and in the spin-off series Avengers Assemble, also written by Kelly Sue DeConnick.

Captain Marvel #1 2012 - Carol Danvers

In November 2013, Marvel announced that Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel will be joining Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014 under the supervision of Bendis. In 2014 Captain Marvel gets her 8 volume storyline written again DeConnick who said "The big difference is we were grounded in New York City for the previous volume; at least in the latter part of it. With the new Captain Marvel #1 we start in NYC but after that we're letting her go cosmic. Carol will be spending time off planet."

Later on 2015 event of “Secret Wars” Danvers gets her own tie-in series called Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps again written by DeConnick but with the help of Kelly Thompson. Danvers is in charge of an elite squadron of female pilot fighters who end up helping her answer questions regarding her origins. During that time Danvers becomes a member of the A-Force, Battleworld’s all-female team of Avengers.

The story written by Gwendolyn Willow Wilson or most commonly known as G Willow Wilson (Cairo, Air, Alif the Unseen) continued within Marvel’s “All-New, All-Different Marvel” which was the relaunch campaign that followed Carol Danvers within the “Secret Wars” in a key role.

After the events of the “Secret Wars” we see Danvers taking over the responsibilities of the S.W.O.R.D., a military agency responsible for the protection of earth from intergalactic threats and she also joins “The Ultimates”.

Come 2016 Danvers is a key player in the “Civil War II” events written by Brian Michael Bendis and illustrated by David Marquez. Danvers is the leader of a group of heroes that want to use the powers of Ulysses an Inhuman that with his precognitive powers can see visions from people that will commit crimes in the future.

In July 2018, Danvers headlines in “The Life of Captain Marvel” a limited series written by Stohl and artist Carlos Pacheco. The story tells the story of how Carol Danvers came to be Captain Marvel from her early days. As Stohl explained this was not a re-write or a change of her origin but just telling the story from a different point of view.

“You look through a different lens. It's nothing you'll expect and nothing you've seen happen but there will be parts of her life that change the context of what you've seen before, so it's telling the other side of the story, of how she came to be."

Stohl also mentions that there are going to be similarities with the upcoming Captain Marvel movie but that ultimately the film is “it’s own thing”. Which basically brings us to today and the upcoming film of Captain Marvel produced by Marvel Studios starring Brie Larson.

Check out the Captain Marvel’s official trailer right here.

Carol Danvers is by far one of the strongest most unique characters in Marvel comics in the history of Marvel. From all points of view, she survived in situations that most people would have cracked but also she was a symbol of Equality and Strength for women in the industry of comics when most women heroines were by far a companies longshot to amuse its fans that were usually a copy of a male counterpart.

Death of Daredevil is Officially Here

While most of us are celebrating the return of Wolverine, Marvel is setting up another drama for their fans to worry about.

The "Death of Daredevil" comes to us from a Marvel announcement. Starting Daredevil #609 on October 17 it will mark the beginning of the end for Matt Murdock and it's writer Charles Soule. As promised in a video interview Soule is going to participate in the long tradition of Daredevil writers of leaving Matt Murdock in an impossible situation that the next writer needs to untangle.

Soule mentions in the interview “A lot of writers in the past have left Daredevil in terrible situations at the end of their runs, Brian Michael Bendis put him in prison for Ed Brubaker to handle; Mark Waid, who preceded me, had Daredevil in San Francisco, his secret identity was blown, he wasn’t a lawyer anymore. I had to handle all of that."

The final arc of Daredevil is going to begin on October 17 and it's going to come out bi-weekly with the final volume being #612 that's going to hit the shelves on November 28.