Top 10: Avengers Members by Jerry Whitworth
The Avengers are Marvel Comics’ premier team of heroes (though the X-Men and Fantastic Four could also meet criteria for this claim, with the idea in mind several from both groups have been members of the Avengers) combining together the best of the society of super-heroes that protect Earth from alien invasions, the folly of man’s science, mystical threats from beyond, and evil given birth upon Earth itself. Threats like the Kree, Skrull, Ultron, Kang, Dr. Doom, Thanos, Count Nefaria, and the Masters of Evil have traded blows with these heroes only for time and again these guardians to come out on top. Listed below are those considered the best of the many heroes to count themselves among the Avengers.Read More
Through the Ages: Transition in Comics – Part Two by Jerry Whitworth
(see Part One here if you haven’t already)
Comic publishing continued on, but stories about colorful superheroes swooping down to save the day, which was already considered childish, seemed even more out of place during the end of the Golden Age and on with protests against the government, the growing recreational drug market, the war on segregation, the spread of venereal disease as soldiers from foreign countries return home to “free love,” the country coming to the end of the witch hunt led by the House Un-American Activities Committee to root out Communism, and a general change in what America was up to that point; about the only place this landscape largely went unnoticed was in comic books (due in no small part to the Comics Code Authority). In the early 1970s, companies DC Comics and Marvel Comics tackled the real world at almost virtually the same time (while within the next decade companies like Dell, Harvey, Gold Key, Warren, and Charlton faded away). Stan Lee and Gil Kane dropped CCA approval for several issues of Amazing Spider-Man when the hero’s best friend (and neglected son of the Green Goblin) Harry Osborn becomes addicted to an unnamed drug after Marvel was approached by the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare to raise drug awareness. Spider-Man, dealing with his friend’s downward spiral while Green Goblin hunts him like an animal, forces his nemesis back into reality when he has him confront Harry who’s near-death which shocks him into becoming Norman Osborn again (the success of this arc actually inspired change in the CCA). At DC, the creative team Dennis O’Neil and Neal Adams collaborated on Green Lantern/Green Arrow which had the heroes tackle virtually all the major controversies that divided the nation, beginning with racism and classism and culminating into the emerald duo discovering Green Arrow’s sidekick Speedy addicted to heroin. These stories reflected a change in approach by both companies to storytelling as their worlds became more real and more dangerous.Read More
The Avengers: Who are Those Aliens?
by Jerry Whitworth
The upcoming Avengers film is with little doubt going to be the blockbuster of the Summer 2012 film season. Sewing up Marvel’s previous films together to make a mega-film, Avengers follows the events of Thor (2011) where Thor’s shape-shifting, Frost Giant foster brother Loki fails to destroy his adopted home of Asgard and retreats to Earth, where he manipulates Thor’s ally and brilliant scientist Dr. Erik Selvig as he’s brought into S.H.I.E.L.D. to examine the Tesseract/Cosmic Cube. While Loki is the main antagonist of the film (shadowing a similar scenario that played out in the source material when the Avengers formed and the alternate comic series Ultimates 2), the trailer for the movie also depicts some foreign species battling the heroes. Much debate has been had as to who this species is and if they even have origins in the source comics. Some even question if the aliens in the trailer won’t have a different appearance in the actual film, a means to surprise viewers in the theaters. Lets take a look at some species that could represent the threat the Avengers will face.Read More