Marvel Handbook

Alright, I know I’m back with a fully stocked Handbook this week. I would not be shocked if Daron was back as well. But let’s find out.

I’m not Daron. I never could be Daron. I wish I was, but…I’m… I’m just…not. I’m Tim Stevens and that’s all I’ll ever be.

Unfortunately, Tim is right, he isn’t me. However, I am, and I am indeed here! Now let’s get this dog and pony show on the road.


Patrick emails

I hear that you haven’t been getting many emails for this column. Well cripes, man, I just found this webpage, so I’m going to be sure to come up with as many MU questions as possible.

Welcome aboard Pat. Good to have a new reader.

Question the First:
I had heard at one point in time that the Defenders were cursed in a way that if they were to form as a group something really bad would happen. I’ve only heard this once and it was years ago, so I have no idea if its actually true. Can you clear this up?

Actually, the curse was that they must form a group whenever something bad is happening. This occurred in their 2001 series written by Kurt Busiek and Erik Larsen and was the work of a criminal mastermind named Yandroth. Defeated and dying (apparently) after a struggle with the team, he cursed them with his dying (again, as it seemed) breath. The curse has since been lifted thanks to Gaea finally being lenient and the defeat (again) of Yandroth.

For those of you who are interested in the life and times of Yandroth, he was also known as Omegatron for a time and hails from another dimension. Which I suppose isn’t much of a surprise with a name like “Omegatron”.

So…Yandroth is a transformer, wait, what? – Daron

What in God’s name is the Siege Perilous (I know its a Round Table seat in Arthurian legend) exactly? Who has been affected by it (besides Bastion)?

The Siege Perilous was a gem in a brooch that Roma, the omniversal guardian, protected. It was introduced around the time the X-Men sacrificed their lives to stop the Adversary. Upon their resurrection, Roma awarded the X-Men with it. It could grow in size to become a doorway to another dimension where those who entered would be judged.

In other words, it was a dimension that was not unlike paying a visit to your parents’ home.

*Gets off the phone with Mrs. Stevens*

I’m not sure what you’re alluding to there, Tim, but your parents seem to be fine with your “lifestyle” choices. – Daron

The thing is Daron, my parents have been divorced since I was four. There is no Mrs. Stevens. But thanks for bringing up all those painful memories. Really appreciate that…………dick.

No problem, man. That’s what I do. Glad I could be of help. Incidentally, you might want to get that case of tourettes looked at…I don’t want you infecting the whole staff. – Daron

Anyway, this is also the same period of time when the X-Men became undetectable by electronic means which was also due to the magic of Roma. Thankfully, those days are passed.

So in X-Force Feral rips out Siryn’s larynx aaaaand, a few years later we see Feral fighting alongside Siryn and Proudstar (Siryn’s boyfriend) in the X-Corps. “What the?”

Actually Feral had a change of heart and went back to being a hero. Currently, she fights alongside Warpath and Co. in Mumbai. Siryn, on the other hand, is stationed in Paris. Her current feelings toward Feral are unknown at this time.

There was a run of Daredevil (issues 338-342) written by this “mystery writer” a few years ago under a supposed fake name. The circulating theory is that it was DG Chichester who had previously said he was going to come back on the title to wrap up some loose ends, but the story line didn’t really focus on anything that had happened in DG’s previous issues. Dude, what’s up?

Dan G. Chichester was the writer as far as I know it. But he never really cleared up a thing. The reason why would be unknown.

D.G. is, in fact, the man behind that seminal run in Daredevil Vol.1 from 338-342, writing under the famous Hollywood director pseudonym Alan Smithee. One could hypothesize that he withheld his name out of pure shame, as this was the armor costume Jack Batlin era of Daredevil, but that’s just a guess. However, at least part of the reason he wrote under the pseudonym was the exact thing you pointed out: it really didn’t deal with any of the loose ends on D.G.’s run. Thusly, D.G. (apparently) did the Marvel offices a solid, but wasn’t really interested in taking the credit.

In other news, I heard a rumor today that Brian Bendis himself will be playing DD in the upcoming sequel, Daredevil: The Man Who Apparently Destroyed Jesse Baker’s Life. – Daron

Has it been undeniably confirmed that Elektra:Assassin is in continuity? I know that some plotlines were carried over in the Daredevil: Fall from Grace storyline (issues 319-325) with Garret and Elektra, but I’m curious if the Beast and Garret were actually the President for some time.

Beast was never president. I know that. Garret would go the same way. So some of Elektra Assassin would be out of continuity since that stuff never happened in Marvel 616. I’d say it’s most likely out of continuity.

If we trust Garret’s recollection in Fall From Grace, the vast majority of those events would be in continuity. The thing of it is, though, is that Garret is pretty messed up. His memories could be reality, but they also feel very much like delusions. Of course, if you view it that way, you have to consider that Elektra: Assassin is essentially all in Garret’s head. But why then does Elektra and her dark half (Elesias?) remember him? See…if you think too hard about it, you’re head bursts. The best thing I can say is that for that one storyline, Assassin was in continuity. For all other DD stories…perhaps not.

A few years ago, the Avengers brought down AIM by attacking their island (of course, that hasn’t slowed them down at all). It was a crossover storyline between Captain America and the Avengers called ‘Taking AIM’ (um, I think that’s what it was called, at least). I remember the covers having a Bucky look-a-like working with the team. Who/what was that?

Her name was Free Spirit, Cathy Webster who was given her powers by Superia. She became Cap’s sidekick for a time after helping him defeat Superia.


A_Faceless_Name posted

I have a sickness for lists. So, I have noticed an insane amount of Spider-man villians either wear green or purple, and many times both.

I too have noticed this…

I tried making a list, but I quit. So Jim, I leave it in your hands, how many of the Rouges in Spidey’s gallery wear green and/or purple? And do you think there is a reason for it?

Now this one’s just plain weird, but ok. And I have no idea why it’s a popular color with the villains but it is. Orange seems to be another one that the villain set holds in high esteem.

A’Sai
Ace
Answer
Aura
Basilisk
Beetle
Belladonna
Big Man
Boomerang
Carlyle
Carrion
Commanda
D.K.
Delilah
Digger
Doc Ock
Dr Doom
Dragonfly
Dragonman
Eel
Electro
Facade
Fancy Dan
Fogg
Frog-Man
Green Goblin (all five of them)
Headsman
Iguana
Jackal
Jack O’Lantern (all four of them)
Kaine
Knight
Leapfrog
Living Brain
Lizard
Man-Wolf
Masked Marauder
Mr. Hyde
Mysterio
Nightmare
Owl
Painter
Princess Python
Professor Power
Prowler
Ringer
Ringmaster
Rose
Sandman
Scorpion
Sin-Eater
Solo
Swarm
Virus
Vulture (3 of them)
Xandu
Will o Wisp
Wraith

There was actually a bit about the dominance of purple and green in villain ensembles in the film Unbreakable. Samuel L. Jackson’s character says something to the effect that most heroes dress in blue or red and green and purple are diametrically opposite to those colors. Thus, many villains adorn themselves with such vestments. Not sure how accurate that is, but I think it is a great explanation/theory.

Well it does help explain Hal Jordan’s rather documented conflictions with himself… – Daron


Beadle posted

Jim,

Not a question, more of a correction for the DOL (How dare I, you ask? Hah! I laugh in the face of fear, and tweak the nose of the dreadful spindly killer-fish!)

Jolt’s no longer on the Heroes Reborn version of Earth. She came back in Avengers/Thunderbolts.

Heck I was thinking of correcting him myself on this one.

Ah, my befuddled subjects and minions you know not what you speak of, and should know by now to NEVER challenge his Lordship…especially in a public forum. It will only lead to your embarrassment and possible public flogging.

Case in point…I invite you all to turn to page 20 in your Avengers/Thunderbolts #6 text book. On panel #1 balloon #1 you will find a certain red & yellow clad armored hero uttering these lines:

“And are you sure you want to go back to Counter Earth, Jolt?”

The line that follows in balloon #2, “They need me,” is spoken by a young electric-blue female…I believe her name is Jolt.

Now unless she’s come back in New Avengers or New Thunderbolts (neither of which I’ve read), I stand as ever, unwaveringly CORRECT! – Daron


Jennertailia emails

Good day, Marvel Handbookians,

I have a couple of questions for you.

1. How much alcohol would it take to get Wolverine drunk? I mean, like really soused. How much effect would his healing factor matter? Any? None?

Logan needs to drink an Enormous amount of alcohol in a short amount of time to get drunk.. exactly how much I don’t know. I’ll say it takes at least 2 kegs back to back. (Much like Nexus staffer James Hatton) His healing factor won’t allow him to stay drunk too long though. (Very much unlike Nexus staffer James Hatton)

If anyone would like to place bets on just how much alcohol it does take Nexus staffer James Hatton to get drunk, email me, or come to Pittsburgh next weekend. We’ll be putting this question to the test! – Daron

2. Wouldn’t Wolvie’s healing factor also help with his memory loss? (No idea if this is still a problem or not. Never really read comics, just vicariously) Wouldn’t whatever parts of his brain that were damaged or tampered with be fixed eventually by his healing factor?

Actually thanks to Weapon X playing around, adding false memories and the like, even if Logan remembers stuff he can’t be sure what’s right and what’s wrong.

3. What’s the greatest amount of damage that Wolvie could take/has taken? Would it be possible for him, to say, survive a nuclear blast?

Well he can take a lot of damage. We’ve seen it go as far as Punisher blowing off his face and Wolvie still living and being capable of movement.

However, the single worst thing to happen to ol’ Wolvue is probably when Mags ripped out his adamantium through his pores.

He can’t survive a nuclear blast (Observe the Sentinel cooking him in Days of Future Past. If he can’t survive that, a nuclear blast would reduce him to a shadow, just like it would the rest of use.) or a beheading.

4. Is it true that Spider-Man really has the proportionate strength of a spider and that he can lift ten tons? If so, why doesn’t he use his full strength more often to break out of people’s clutches, or say, Doc Ock’s tentacles?

As usual, keep up the good work.

He does have proportionate strength of a spider. However, that does not mean he isn’t using his full strength when he encounters Doc’s tentacles. They are really strong, even stronger than Spidey believe it or not. Also a good amount of the Webhead’s other foes are stronger than him and manage to keep hold of him.

Another little known fact is that Spidey also has the proportionate smell of a spider. This is why whenever he pulls his mask up he always covers his nose…he can’t even stand his own smell! – Daron

Okay, who stole Daron’s funny? Seriously. Cause it is SO obviously gone.


Kent emails

Hey Jim,

Regarding the Superman versus Sentry fight: if Sentry can control light (according to what you said. I know next to nothing about the character or his powers) and Supes gets his power from the light of a yellow sun, then couldn’t Sentry use his control over light to drain Supes of his powers?

He could do that. Also remember that Sentry, as they say, possesses the power of 100,000 Exploding Suns. He does have some major power there to help him take out Supes.

A = B, but B doesn’t necessarily mean = C. Just because Sentry has control over light does not necessarily mean that he would have any affect on Supes. Supes is like a battery, he absorbs light from the sun. If Sentry did something to keep the light from the sun from hitting earth (something that would have major catastrophic ramifications on the whole world faster than it would for Supes), once his reserves were running low Supes could just fly into Space and begin absorbing the sun’s light that way. I also don’t see how having the power of exploding suns would negatively affect Supes either. As we just said, he’s powered by the sun, and if I recall correctly, in various future versions of the character we’ve seen him actually living in the heart of the sun… – Daron


Kevin emails

Hey,

In your “Marvel Handbook” recently, a Q&A article, you stated that Sentry has powers limited to (don’t have the article on my screen, sorry, I’m working off memory) invulnerability, flight, super-strength. Not much.

However, it was established in The Sentry mini-series a few years back, that due to how he obtains his powers (the elixer. though that may very well have changed somehow.), he is essentially capable of, well, -anything-.

I’d have to find the exact quote, but it’s there.

And he could violently kick Superman’s ass. 🙂

Daron looks like they agree with me on this. Supes is a dead man against Sentry.

Dude…you know I’m not Daron. You know it! Why do you do this to me? To make me cry?

If I was him, that’s why I’d do it…

But to the point at hand… so far know one has said exactly how Sentry would kick his ass, it’s just been conjecture and flag waving. Can we at least get some reasonable theories going? I’m also curious to see what Tim thinks about this one? – Daron

I think the thing that everyone forgets is that Sentry is two, two, two beings all in one. That means double the pleasure, double the fun. And for Superman, that could mean double the PAIN!

See, the Sentry’s powers, as mentioned above, are very nebulously outlined. He may control light, but it is unclear to what extent. So there’s no guarantee that he could sap Supes juice. He is strong, fast, and nigh invulnerable, but how that would compare to Supes attributes in the same area is unclear.

Sentry has an ace in the hole, however. That ace calls himself the Void and he is everything that Sentry isn’t. Except for one thing. Sentry and Void come from the same guy. So is the Big Blue Boy Scout picks a fight with Marvel’s Golden Man, chances are he’ll also encounter the Dark One. And he will mess up Spitcurl’s pretty face.

Why? Because we know he can drain energy (including solar) from his victims and lead them into canyons of deep despair. The one-two punch of Sentry and Void leaves The Last Son of Krypton weeping like…like Daron after that mean 5th grade girl takes his lunch money…again.

Well, now that was some pretty good reasoning…I may even be changing my opinion after that. I knew you were good for something, Tim. Don’t let what the other staffers say about you get you down, you know you’re my… *counts on his fingers* …10th favorite staff member.

And in my defense, that 5th grader was really big for her age, plus I’ve heard rumors that Tim got her in contact with some members of the MLB who have her hopped up on steroids. You ain’t seen nothin’ till you’ve seen 11-year on a Roid-rage compounded by a sugar high… *shivers* – Daron


John emails

Hey ya Jim,

I am a big fan of the column and while I generally read it for the interesting tidbits of information I do like it when you guys pop in with an opinion or two. That said I would really like to know what you guys think of the X-title domination of Marvel at this point. While the titles may be great (that is really not the point) and currently they are the reason for the domination of Marvel over DC, do you think they could be the eventual downfall? The public tends to turn on things that get shoved down our throat after a period of time (i.e. Randy Orton, Barry Bonds, and Snapple) and I can see this happening to Marvel. DC seems to be positioning minor characters as having a larger impact (i.e. The Atom, Blue Beetle, Elongated Man) on a consistent basis and, while short-term it may irritate some comic fans, long-term they are setting themselves up with a larger base of heroes that fans have heard, and have a background, of. I would much rather read a Marvel cross-ever revolving around Black Panther, Wasp and Speedball than yet again have Wolverine and Cyclops at the center of attention. What do you guys think?

Well I admit the X-Men make a ton of appearances and have a ton of titles. But they also have one of the biggest fan bases in Marvel comics. The shear number of titles is because of the mass amount of fans asking for them to be around. X-Men titles sell like hot cakes. The best one at the moment is Astonishing X-Men. If the titles where to lose some pull they might cancel them. Until the fans stop buying some of the books though they won’t be canned.

Also note Black Panther has a new title and Marvel is trying to push some of it’s other characters and books. Look at titles like Thunderbolts, New Avengers, Black Panther, and others out there they are trying to help push. Some titles are great. Some aren’t. Some sell. Others just don’t. The fans have to buy the books to keep them around and also help get other readers into them.

As I say, if you want to see some other characters write letters to Marvel or get your friends to help and also read titles you like. Spider-Girl for instance is never canned even though it’s been up for it numerous times because fans write letters and get more interest into the books.

Not being much of an X fan, I can certainly sympathize with your frustration I wish there were less X titles too. However, it is a logical fallacy to say that if there were less X-titles, other titles would do better. The assumption there is that if fans weren’t spending their money on Nightcrawler or Gambit or X-23 or whatever, they would spend it on Runaways or She Hulk or what not. Sadly things are not that straightforward. Limiting X titles does not guarantee that the rest of the books on the market have a better chance.

As much as I hate to say it, I have to agree with Tim here. I for one would love to see a reduction in the number of X-titles on the shelves, especially if it meant people would try ANYTHING else. But this isn’t necessarily the case. Personally, I think Marvel has over saturated the market with X-Titles, and while getting rid of some may not equal higher numbers for other titles, it could very well equal better content in the remaining titles. This is my biggest complaint. You’d think that with so many titles that most of them would be good (especially considering how well most of them sell), however this just isn’t the case…Rob Liefeld’s return to X-Force anyone?!?

I’d rather see a few good X-Titles, like Astonishing, than a ton of mediocre or sub-par titles like most of the ones on the rack now…

By the by, if you search hard enough you can find a Roundtable on this very subject where the entire staff voice their opinion on this very subject. – Daron


20 years of Thanos

Thanos

1990: Death resurrects Thanos from the grave to fix the balance of the living and the dead. He’s confronted by Surfer and Drax. He then attacked Nebula as well and had Gaeter made to look like him. He then went on a quest for the Infinity Gems. He defeated the Elders of the Universe in this order: In-Betweener/Soul Gem, Champion/Power Gem, Gardener/Time Gem, Runner/Space Gem, Collector/Reality Gem, and then Grandmaster/Mind Gem. Thanos returns to Death and pledges his love again. Then it’s off to face Surfer again.

1991: Thanos takes Drax and Silver Surfer first in combat defeating them. Mephisto pledges loyalty to Thanos. He traps Surfer in the Soul Gem where he meets Adam Warlock. Adam helps Surfer and Drax leave Soul World. He breaks Surfer’s spirit and defeats him in battle. Thanos also meets Spider-Man, Cloak and Dagger and defeats Maelstrom before the Infinity Gauntlet. During the Gauntlet Thanos defeats the heroes, creates a new being named Terraxia, defeats the cosmic beings and more until his daughter wins the Gauntlet and he has to help defeat her and is later trapped in the Soul Gem. After the gems got separated Thanos was given the Reality Gem.

1992: Thanos later got a hold of Pip the Troll after he was bragging. Infinity War: Thanos escapes the Gem and faces his doppleganger and Magus Thanos then gains the help of the Infinity Watch to help take down Magus who gains 5 of the 6 Infinity Gems. Thanos helps the heroes and Infinity Watch defeat Magus. He also battles Death during the saga but decides not to follow her orders as well. Thanos helps one of his creations: Blue Marvel deal with Quasar a little bit after the Infinity War

1993: Infinity Crusade: Warlock uses his Soul Gem to locate Thanos and forms another alliance this time to defeat his other half the Goddess and the heroes she’s got brainwashed and working for her. The other heroes help defeat her but it’s Thanos (with the Soul Gem), Professor X, and Warlock defeat her ultimately. Thanos also had offered Mephisto a Cosmic Cube but gave him a non functioning one. Mephisto vowed vengeance. Blood and Thunder starts

1994: Blood and Thunder: Thanos helps Surfer, Dr Strange, and the Infinity Watch defeat a mad Thor who was working with Valkyrie. Champion also confronted Thanos who teleported him away. Thanos also beats the crap out of Surfer after finding out Death wanted him as a consort. Thanos even brings back Captain Marvel to speak to him. Thanos also formed his own group of Secret Defenders to find Oracle (Geatar, Nitro, Rhino, Super-Skrull, and Titanium Man.). Thanos starts looking for a challenge in live as well. Thanos soon forms an alliance with Terrax to find out about Tyrant. Thanos takes Jack of Hearts out afterwards to get a hold of Ganymede. Thanos questions Ganymede after capturing her. He gains Ganymede as an ally and him, Terrax and her go after Tyrant. To get to Tyrant they must defeat Morg and do. When Jack of Hearts and Legacy arrive he gains their help as well to stop Tyrant. Thanos learns the truth of the origins of Tyrant. After finally getting his challenge Thanos ends the fight

1995: Thanos has his gem taken from him by Rune by some miracle. Thanos even impersonated Galactus for a time to gain Surfer’s aid. Thanos then goes and fights Terrax before battling Green Lantern and then Parallax before Marvel vs. DC. During Marvel vs. DC Thanos fought Darkseid but gets interrupted by Lobo, Wolverine and the JLA

1997: Thanos gets Parnival Plunder to work for him and to find some equipment he needs. Plunder has a few minions face Kazar as he works for Thanos. Thanos then faces Kazar, SHIELD (let’s just say this was a horrible plot)

1998: Thanos calls out to Hulk from the Grand Canyon and X-Man stops him from joining Thanos side in a fight.

1999: Thanos hired T-Ray to kill Deadpool. (another lame use of Thanos)

2000: Thanos, Mangog, and Tarakis go to Asgard attacking Thor at first. Thanos stops Mangog during the fight for other business. They collect the Map of All-Ending and the Chalice of Ruins. Thor chases after them. When Thor arrives Thanos has the Chalice of Ruins, the Map of All-Ending, the Illumination Stone, and the Designate so he’s gained more power and fights Thor. He even killed Thor. Designate cries over his death and Thanos gains the power by collected the tear in the chalice and drinking it. Thor fights Mangog again but Thanos stops the fight. Firelord comes to help Thor. Thanos and Mangog destroy Tarene’s people. Thanos tries to bring about the end of the universe but FINALLY Thor defeats him. Kills him in fact

2001: Thanos returns from the dead. He confronts Thor first. They discuss what happened but don’t fight. Thanos then appears to Rick Jones and Marlo but in reality his after a man named Walker who is after Death. Thanos and Walker fight to get interrupted by Captain Marvel. Turns out Walker is the god of Death and Thor even gets involved as well. They have to stop Walker. Thanos mission is to stop Walker from killing Death. Marlo merges with Death and is attacked by Walker but Thanos and Captain Marvel defeat him.

2002: Avengers: Celestial Quest: Thanos goes on a quest to make himself a god and kill Mantis. He creates his own pantheon but in the end the Avengers defeat him. Infinity Abyss: Thanos, The Infinity Watch, Captain Marvel, Dr Strange, and Spider-Man face a group known as The Thanosi a group of Thanos clones and defeat them.

2003: Infinity Abyss Ends: Thanos goes good for once and helps the Defenders and others face a new threat on Earth known as Akhenaten. Thanos fought him and they had a draw til Doom helped defeat the foe in the end. Thanos gets his own series. Thanos set about to redeem his eternal soul. . One of his many doppelgangers teamed with Mangog to destroy Rigel-3. He joins Warlock and goes to help the new civilization form a new planet.

2004: Thanos agrees to help them fight Galactus. Thanos and some of the Infinity Watch have to battle Galactus and Hunger. In the end Hunger is the one who must be stopped and Thanos and Galactus must face him. Thanos and Death met again and Thanos starts questioning his goals and life. Thanos went and found Gladiator, Star-Lord to face the Maker. They do and afterwards they have to discuss a way to deal with Thanos.


Thats it for this week. Got more emails still being held. I’ve got space for a ton more as well so keep the emails and posts coming. I’m having too much fun with this.

Now the classic sign off:

Notes:

1. Marvel.com question this week:
Is Ultimate Thor an actual thunder god or is he a few oars short of a longboat?

2. Fantastic Four Sweepstakes

3. Last one: This ones to see what type of emails I get for an upcoming handbook: tell me some of the creepiest Marvel moments you’ve read. I’ve got my top ten of them made up for a question that’s going to be in an upcoming issue so I thought I’d get fan responses. If you email one please feel free to add a question as well.

Reporting from the Marvel Universe I’m Jim Trabold. Have a great week and see you at the comic shop.

What? Oh, we’re done? Wait, I didn’t get to sign…