The Marvel Handbook

Welcome to the Marvel Handbook at the Nexus. I’m ready with another week of questions and answers. Wonder who’s editing today. Want to reveal yourself to the readers atleast?

Who do you think? You think I’d let Ben make fun of me two weeks in a row”¦what kind of Overlord would I be if I allowed that?

I know this issue isn’t to action packed but hell we do have Captain America at least. Him and a few other facts. Let’s start this up and we’ll talk later.


Ian emails

G’day and so forth,

A few years back, there was this bizarre crossover between DC and Marvel, which I think started with a group of Marvel heroes facing off against a group of DC heroes. It was individual battles and involved some sort of random universe crossing. I don’t really remember. All I know is that Batman fought Wolverine and Spiderman took on Superboy.

Actually Cap fought Batman. Wolvie fought Lobo. A good amount of fights in fact.

But my question is this: what was the deal with the whole thing? And why in the end did the two heroes combine into one new one, like Batman/Wolverine became something like Darkclaw, a Batman with huge claws. It’s been bothering me awhile so any light shed would be great.

Ah Amalgam. Actually the full story goes like this: Marvel and DC where having a good relationship at the time and did what everyone wanted. DC vs. Marvel. The heroes fought each other in grudge matches. Marvel won. The fans had voted the winners of each fight as well.

As of issue 3 everything changed. A being called Access had decided to merge the two worlds to stop the fight between the two brothers. He combined them creating the Amalgam Universe. 12 one shots came out with the new heroes in this new universe.

Access releases his mistake and unmerges them. The two brothers fight and in the end Access with the help of Cap and Bats help end the fight thus separating the two universes.

We’d get another crossover later with new Amalgam books as well. That should answer the question. Also if you’d like to check your local comic shop for Marvel Comics vs. Dc Comics the Trade paperback if you missed it.

Paul emails

Nice work on the future timeline. And thanks especially for not forgetting “The End”, because Avengers Forever is probably my favourite all-time limited series, not least because it actually impacted on mainstream Marvel Continuity (which I realize is probably a contradiction in terms along the lines of “Military Intelligence”), which sadly isn’t the case with the vast majority of limited series (“Origin” being a notable exception).

Don’t forget Ben and MordWa’s help. They did add some stuff. I let the fans handle the rest.

If it wasn’t for Avengers Forever, Peter David’s Captain Marvel couldn’t have happened (which in my eyes would have been a major crime against comicdom), Hank Pym would still be a collection of disparate personalities, and Avengers/Thunderbolts wouldn’t be quite so keenly followed, as people wouldn’t be expecting Songbird to switch teams at any time. The writing was fantastic, and the art was superb (Carlos Pacheco at his best if I remember correctly) and the cast of characters was excellent.

I’ve always been a fan of Kang as an Avengers villain, and never been quite so keen on Immortus who has always been portrayed as some sort of “higher form” of Kang that he is yet to become. So the ending for me was a very nice twist in that respect. The use of Rick Jones as the central character was fantastic, as it seemed to show why he has always been crucially involved in major events in Marvel history (Hulk’s origin, Avengers’ origin, Kree-Skrull War etc). It was never fully explained why Libra was so heavily involved (unless I’ve just forgotten that), but rather than that being just annoying, it came across as another mystery that would be resolved at a later date. It also echoed quite nicely with the pre-Onslaught Avengers storylines, which followed “The Crossing” (another Kang story) with a teaser about a new Zodiac with an immensely powerful Libra before that was all thrown away by the clusterf*ck that was “Heroes Reborn” (a very cheap and unsatisfying resolution to a lot of issues, particularly surrounding Iron Man and Wasp).

Also, as a Douglas Adams freak, I loved the fact that the whole of Avengers Forever had the feeling of Kang, Immortus, the Timekeepers, Rick Jones, the Supreme Intelligence, Libra and the Avengers eating heartily at “The Restaurant at the End of the Universe”.

But now that I’ve got that little bit of nostalgia out of the way (and let’s face it, nostalgia isn’t what it used to be), back to the point – the future timeline. In the 3 or 4 seconds that I actually spent racking my brain (and with a brain like mine, there’s not much to rack, so it never takes long), I did think of a few futures that you’ve omitted. Whether they’re significant or not, is a different question entirely.

1) Zarrko the Tomorrow Man’s time (whenever that is). And thank you Silver Age Marvel for coming up with a name like Zarrko the Tomorrow Man.

I loved Zarrko. He was a great villain to Thor for the most part. I let fans like you put him on the list though.

2) Another Thor-based one – that time long in the future when a futuristic street-punk called Dargo found Mjolnir and became the new Thor. It may be a self-contained story, but Dargo did later become part of the God Squad (or “Team Thor” or whatever it was called) so it could be relevant.

Yep. Dargo was another great addition that should be made to the list.

3) Killraven’s time. Again, could be considered outside 616 Marvel continuity, except for the fact that in Avengers Forever Killraven was shown to be a future Avenger.

Yep he’s in Avengers Forever so he fits.

4) Probably around the same sort of time as Nebula’s time-bubble is the more grounded time of SpiderGirl/A-Next/J2/Fantastic Five etc.

MC-2. The only title left being Spider-Girl but it counts.

5) Hyperstorm’s time (which may also coincide with the time in which Franklin Richards became Psi-Lord in Fantastic Force – ugh!!)

That one really was confusing wasn’t it. I have to admit that one was just weird.

That was about all I could think of straight away. Hope it helps (but it probably won’t – it’ll just confuse things). I’m off, but I’m sure I’ll be in touch again soon. I’m like that.

Hasta la Pizza,

Also remember MordWa did come up with a good amount of the list himself so don’t give me all the credit.

Lou emails

Greetings, Jim. I wanted to elaborate a bit on something Jason said in the most recent column…he referred to Charlotte Jones being allowed to board Ship in an issue of X-Factor. The issue in question was #66 (I remember it because it was the first comic book I ever bought), and Ship was malfunctioning because he was being attacked by HardDrive, one of Apocalypse’s Riders of the Storm (later called Dark Riders). Ship flew into space and blew himself up at the end of the issue. I don’t have the issue handy, but I do recall one of the other officers remarking to Charlotte that he was surprised a human could enter Ship, and that normally, only “moots” were allowed onboard.

Yep. Which still makes the Charlotte Jones thing debatable. We could say she’s mutant and we don’t know yet.

I suppose that since I’m writing in to your column, I should offer my own opinion as to why Havok can suddenly fly. Well…..
A wizard did it.

Good one. But we’ll figure it out sooner or later even if the debate is almost over.

Almost”¦I thought it was over. Though I like blaming it on a wizard. So shall it be! – The Overlord

Kevin emails

Hey, just got to say I love your column. A lot of questions are answered I wouldn’t even have thought of asking.

My question is, exactly how many Captain America’s have there been? Official ones, not robots or villians disguised as Cap. I can think of these, but I’m pretty sure there were more.

1. Truth mini series Captain America
2. Steve Rogers Captain America
3. Captain America (Listed as number 2 in the 80s handbooks. I can remember he was a member of the Invaders until Cap died and he filled in.)
4. Captain America (A different member of the Invaders when the previous Captain America either quit or died.)
5. 1950s Steve Rogers (The one who had plastic surgery and his Bucky came back as Nomad)
6. USAgent Can you help me out?

I think you have them all almost. Patriot and Spirit of 76 are listed. Most of the others where fakes. Although. There where two others around the time Cap became Nomad.

Roscoe was one. The other I can’t remember his name right now.

He’s also had a few imposters like Doppleganger Cap, two Robot Caps, Red Skull, Tumbler, and Taskmaster. Oh and don’t forget Falcon who wore the outfit even.

PS Any thoughts/opinions on the issue of New X-Men where Captain America was revealed to Wolverine as Weapon I. I heard this was going to be followed up on in Weapon X but after the Chamber arc I just can’t keep it on my pull list anymore without feeling like wasting money.

Well that’s very possible. Being Cap was the ultimate super soldier and that he did get enhanced with the Super Soldier Serum. Cap is a likely Weapon I for the U.S.

I like that idea, it makes sense to me. It make the Marvel U a bit more cohesive. And according to Joe Q that’s what we’re going to be getting in the near future. We’ll see I guess. I do really like that idea though. Someone should really come along and write the definitive “Weapon” maxi series explaining how this scientific team has affected the Marvel U. How cool would that be? – The Overlord

Richard emails

My question is about the Earth X universe. That series says as much about the origin of the Marvel Universe as it does the future of the universe. So do the events it recounts from the MU’s past fit into current continuity or is the tipping point for that alternate reality before the existance of time?

Man, I am so confused.

It could fit into the past of these characters but a lot of it doesn’t seem logical like the whole Colossus/Sinister thing and even Nightcrawler/Belascho. So it’s most likely alternate universe or even just a way to make fans think about it. I don’t think it’s all possible past. Some of it was but not all of it. Most likely alternate universe.

Jonathan emails

Re: timelines –

It’s not as hard, nor as headache inducing, as it might seem. The past is a fixed quantity – but what (or when) “the past” is, depends on where/when the observer is. The future, on the other hand, is malleable, and also depends on when you are. “Always in motion is the future…” If you travel back in time, you’ve effectively “rewound” your timeline, which can now unspool in a different fashion than the one you expected. Bishop was sent back in time with that specific goal in mind – change his own time by stopping the mysterious “traitor” in the late-20th-century X-Men, based on a fragment of a video recording. In one sense, he failed, but in another, he succeeded, as his very presence changed his own history.

Thus, in Marvel, for instance, the “Days of Future Past” timeline is still possible, by one of several changes that would result in Sentinels being unleashed (and as I recall, the basic problem there is that the X-gene is recessive in most of humanity, meaning that the Sentinels can only fulfill their programming by eliminating everybody). Also still open are the alternative once visited by some of the New Mutants, in which mutantkind, led by Sunspot and Magma, had achieved Magneto’s dream of subjugating the baselines, and a possible third set of alternatives in which everyone gets along just fine. (Remember, Malcolm X thought a racial war was inevitable, too…)

Very true. The future can still happen in all ways just different aspects of those futures. Also it’s possible that some stuff happened with altered results and even altered ways things looked.

Kokushishin emails

Magik (Illyana) was a mutant with a high proficiency for magic. Her powers seemed to be control over the stepping discs, but the new Magik seems to have control of that as well, but then again she is a teleporter.

Magik II is more debatable as non mutant then Illyana. I think Illyana is mutant. Not Amanda.

Longshot was genetically engineered on Mojoworld, so I don’t think he “counts” as a mutant.

Well I can see tha,t but you do have to be born with the powers at least and have the X-Factor gene.

Warlock was believed to be a mutant form of the Phalanx.

Yep. Can throw him out as non mutant.

Apocalypse’s technology is usually attributed to a left behind vessel from Celestials.

Don’t know what he has to do with this but he is mutant. Was born with unique powers and X-factor gene. The technology just was a way for him to become more powerful. Also note we’re talking X-Men not X-villains no biggie though.

Havok apparently flew at times in X-Factor, but this was also during the same time where he had to consciously charge up to even fire a plasma blast.

Hmm. Can you point out a few issues so I can pull them out for myself to flip through again?

He did? I think I have every issue of X-Factor that Havok was in and can’t remember him ever flying. Not saying it’s not possible, I just don’t ever remember that happening. I too would like to know what issue/issue that was in. – The Overlord

Now round 3 results:


1 Kingpin (4)
14 Mad Thinker (3)
Winner: Kingpin

10 Leader (4)
12 Baron Strucker (3)
Winner: The Leader


1 Taskmaster (4)
9 Bullseye (3)
Winner: Taskmaster

2 Deadpool (2)
4 Sabretooth (5)
Winner: Sabretooth


1 Green Goblin (Norman) (3)
4 Red Skull (4)
Winner: Red Skull

2 Dr Octopus (Otto) (4)
3 Baron Zemo (3)
Winner: Dr Octopus (Otto)


1 Count Nefaria (4)
5 Grey Gargoyle (3)
Winner: Count Nefaria

3 Wizard (2)
4 Absorbing Man (5)
Winner: Absorbing Man

You know how this works by now Villain tournament keeps going. Also if you’d like email me if you want the over all winner of this to move onto the big tourney.


1 Kingpin
10 Leader


1 Taskmaster
4 Sabretooth


4 Red Skull
2 Dr Octopus (Otto)


1 Count Nefaria
4 Absorbing Man

That’s it for today. Hey we could use some more questions from you guys out there so if there’s something your dying to ask do it please. We’ve got plenty of room and I love answering. Also keep the opinion stuff coming as well. I think we need it. We can have a big column here.

Want to sign off partner?

Well, with a lead in like that I don’t have much of a choice do I? Let’s see if I can remember how this goes. “Blah, blah, blah, Dark Overlord. Blah, blah, blah,” Yeah I think that about covers it.

Alrighty then. I’ve got a lot books to read here so I better sign off. I’ll see everyone next week. Reporting from the Marvel Universe I’m Jim Trabold. Have a great week and see everyone next week.