Ultimate Marvel Handbook 201

Hey all. Jim here as normal. Welcome to another edition of the Ultimate Marvel Handbook. Hey Daron ready to start?

Ready as I’ll ever be.

Another good week here, some interesting emails. So let’s get right to it.

Lead on brother man…

Ed emails

Hey guys…good column. For myself, I’m more of a DC fan than a Marvel fan, but that doesn’t stop me from looking at Marvel comics. That said, I’ve been keeping up with some of the Marvel titles. Your guys’ love of Brubaker made me pick up his new Deadly Genesis, and quite simply it rocked. But what I’m even more impressed with is World War Hulk. But I’m a little confused with something that’s been going on…

We‘ll be glad to help out

I don’t have money to buy issues of comics every week, so I tend to buy the trades. I bought the Prelude to WWH and at the end of it, Hulk saw that it was Nick Fury that sent him into space. However, in the prelude to CW, in the Illuminati they show that Hulk saw that it was Iron Man, Reed Richards, etc. So this is my question. Does the Hulk know who to direct his rage at when he gets back? Or is he going to be clueless? Because this is a pretty big discrepancy. I don’t know if this would nominate me for one of those no-prizes….

Alright allow me. Fury (or should I say a Fury LMD) sent Hulk to space on behalf of the Illuminati. Hulk did see that the Illuminati was behind it. It was in New Avengers Illuminati special, with a tape with Reed, Tony, Strange and Black Bolt all telling him why they sent him away. So yes Hulk knows who did it.

#2. Way back when when Marvel awarded those no-prizes, what exactly were they that they sent out?

Above is an image of what you got. You got an empty envelope like that when you got a No prize/

Keep up the good work

We try our best.

He tries, I succeed.

Side note here Ed, how familiar are you with Mr. Brubaker’s DC work? If you haven’t read any of this stuff over there, you really should check some of it out. The hype is definitely deserved. For his best work check out Sleeper, Catwoman, and of course Gotham Central.

Jag emails

Hi guys

I guess I have a couple of questions/comments about the X-Men. Growing up with the original animated cartoon of the 90s and the first two movies, the X-Men seemed to be THE team. However, I dont find that this has translated in the comics as I haven’t been interested in the team since around the X-Traitor saga thing. I mean, the truth is, they’ve bored me.

The complication is the X-Men of movies and comics aren’t exactly the X-Men of comics. The few times Marvel has tried to use the ideas from movies and all in X-Men (like mutating Toad or Mystique and the costume changes) it didn’t go well with real hard core X-Men comic fans

I guess I kind of miss the dynamic that was in place with Jim Lee and Chris Claremont’s X-Men#1. The two teams were split well and the team was filled with interesting characters and relationships. Then other teams started splintering off, thousands of mutants joined and it was just hard to follow the team and the stories seemed weak. There’s no real stability and its hard to read X-Men comics now. Emma is in charge? Give me a break. Also, an awesome character like Archangel was transformed back to his wimpy old persona (I know this happened a while ago, but it bugs the hell out of me). Why? He was cool how he was! Is he really much better now?

Well let’s recall that most of the groups where in play before the 90s which your talking about. X-Men is mostly the main group but sub or other groups like X-Factor, New Mutants, X-Force, and more sort of came out of the popularity of the X-Men in way. New Mutants came first with Chris Claremont wanting a spin off title with younger mutants. Of course in 86 X-Factor came about using the originals till they rejoined the X-Men in the 90s. Excalibur of course was formed around 88 after the Fall of the Mutants. So most of these groups like above where already in play. So they had sort of gained a lot of popularity thanks to Claremont in many ways and it also caused there to be to many titles. Now of course you don’t need to read all of these titles in the end to understand things unless tie ins. Also most of the characters or changes where to expand the ideas as well.

Well I have to say I pretty much agree with you, Jag. The X-books really haven’t been anywhere near as good as they were. It seems like good stories have been sacrificed for lots of characters and “major” events that have no significant outcome. But then again, this is something that’s plagued Marvel in general for a long time. Also, I think the X-Men have become so lost from their initial purpose that they don’t really know what to do (or the creators don’t know what to do with them.) And here again is another great reason why Marvel should really look into doing a Crisis type story and wiping the slate clean…

Now, the Avengers are back on top as Marvel’s team(s) (Mighty and New) and Civil War comes and goes and the X-Men barely registered based on their idea of not getting involved. That Civil War tie-in that the original boys were in was brutal. And Bishop became a weaker character because of it. Siding with the government after seeing the atrocities of the future? Are you kidding me?

Well Marvel sort of wanted to give the X-Men a bigger break with Civil War. After the big House of M and Decimation with them being the bigger focus mutants where taking all the focus from the other characters. That‘s why X-Men never really got as involved.

What would you guys do to spice things up again for the X-Men? I would suggest a complete re-boot because now, it seems they’re in a holding pattern, waiting for the fourth movie so Marvel can make them relevant again. I mean, even with World War Hulk on the horizon, outside of Wolverine, who in the mutant world will get involved? Probably no one.

What do you guys think?

I would never do a reboot with X-Men. Unless you went the root of New Avengers style but you won’t get that. Also if you’re reading the stuff now it’s sort of going in a better way. Separating the groups for a bit and trying to focus on a few ideas. Like with Uncanny Brubaker has taken the X-Men into space for a nice adventure which is getting a lot of buzz and goes back to the old X-Men style of the 80s. X-Men sort of are the rebel like group lead by Rogue with former villains and some different adventures. With those two groups separate and Whedon’s Astonishing selling better then the others I don’t think you’ll see any changes. Likely just more X-titles.

I think I already answered this one above. And apparently we agree.

Keep it up.

Always do…

Jeff Ritter emails

Just a couple of quick notes on Cap:

1) I don’t want to give a long list of best moments, though I do agree with several that were listed already, especially the Flagsmasher issues where Cap “capped” a terrorist. I think people today forget what this guy was originally. He was a SOLDIER. In World War II. He didn’t just knock out Nazis with a gentle tap of his shield. He went through them like a scythe through wheat. Somewhere along the way he got Comic Coded to death and became a No Killing character. That’s fine too, because he shouldn’t be Frank Castle with a shield. But he should, if necessary, be willing to cross that line. Would he, for example, given a 50-50 chance either way, attempt to protect a loved one or the President or whomever you like by jumping in front of a bullet or by taking ot the gunman with a kill? If either scenario was equally viable, would he ALWAYS take the self-sacrificing way and take the bullet? I can’t say. That’s what makes him a great character. For as black and white on the surface as he appears to be, he’s pretty complicated underneath. Good thing he’s not dead. Too bad Captain Marvel isn’t dead either, eh? Can I squeeza some explatives in here for Millar and Bendis? Ah, it’s your column, I’ll save the dirty stuff for mine.

2) My favorite Cap moment probably flies under the radar of most readers. He was being made into a HUGELY puplic supported hero. One of his enemies (Red Skull?) was trying to make him uncomfortable by actually promoting the public’s hero worship to ridiculous levels. Kill him with kindness as it were. And it was working. So there’s this scene where Cap and Thor go to a corner Malt Shop in NY. Thor’s slurping down a huge shake and they’re discussing hero worship. Thor should know, right, being a god and all. I am a big Thor fan too (more reasons for Millar and Bendis to hunker down obviously) so the thought if him wondering if he’d even exist if people didn’t believe in him was incredibly powerful to me. Of course, nobody’s touched that simple line since. But I think it gave Cap a lot to think about. He’s a little more aware of his public image than a lot of Marvel characters. Tony Stark, Asshole of S.H.I.E.L.D., obviously doesn’t care much what anyone thinks. Spider-man has never really gone too far out of his way to disprove all of Jameson’s scathing editorials. The X-Men are almost never seen in a positive light by the Marvel public at large. I don’t remember exactly what issue this all happened in but the Norman Rockwell slice of life moment and the deep philosophical questions raised just really makes that moment stick out to me.

Nice selections Jeff.

Keep up the good work. And meet us in Pittsburgh of the Comicon if you can! Not just you Jim, but all of your readers too! Even Cory! Peace!

You should come to WW Philly my friend. I‘ll be there for sure. I‘m debating Pittsburgh.

What’s to debat? Jeff and I will be there, along with a bunch of other staffers, and hell it’s a comic con with a ton of creators. Why wouldn’t you want to go. And that goes for all of you as well!

Cory emails

Cory’s here. Sup guys, here goes everything:

Hey Cory

1. CAP! I totally agree with the both of you guys. 1- Jim about Cap being “dead”, and 2- Daron about Cap “alive, but hiding”. I think Steve Rogers is alive, but him as Cap is over or dead. Cap is also in my top 3. (Him, Spidey, & Wolverine). Also Cap as a LMD is TOO obvious, especially since Nick Fury has been one like what 6 times already. I also say that he should stay gone somewhere between now – till his movie is released or starts filming. (Since movies influence the books), so from 1 year our time to 2yrs.

I agree with this in so many ways Cory. We all know Cap will return in a matter of time. Steve Rogers will return to comics

2. What’s with all this Captain Marvel took the bullets theory? Care to explain?

Hmmmmmmm ok this one isn‘t my theory so I‘m going to need someone else to explain this one.

I thought I explained it pretty well, when I did. What didn’t you get?

3. I’d love to see them start taking death seriously. (Anyone else find the irony in that statement?) So Daron, when do you think that this should start to happen, with Cap or after his return?

Daron please do explain this one.

Now would be a great time to start if they really wanted to be taken serious about it, but then again we all know they won’t keep him dead so we already know it won’t happen. And there in lies the problem. We already know they don’t take it seriously, so for them to REALLY prove to the reader they are they would have to take some rather big and drastic steps to prove it. Like say killing off (and keeping dead) some major characters…like Cap.

4. Last week, someone mentioned their irritation with “shock value in comic writing”, and I wanted to know besides Civil War, what other big summer crossovers had major/minor deaths in them?

Hmmmm ok this one isn’t hard:

Clone Saga: Scarlet Spider dies in the end
Fall of the Mutants: Doug Ramsey and the X-Men die. Of course the X-Men came back in that same issue
Inferno: Sinister died and came back later. Goblin Queen died as well
Maximum Security: Ego sort of was killed for the time being
Onslaught: Killed all the heroes but the mutants. (of course we know they came back)
AOA: Legion died
Dream’s End: Senator Kelly and Moira Mactaggert died
Mutant Massacre: A ton of Morlocks

Nothing as major though.

The problem isn’t just in “big events” and what have you, but in the medium in general. The last few years have been plagued with a forfeiting of good stories for shocks.

5. Though he seems like an “Deus ex machina”, how could you go about killing or trying to hurt Dr. Strange? Also, what rules are you guys looking for in regards to magic characters?

Strange? Hmmmmm well you could use some stronger magical items and the like. You know basically more powerful magic destroys magic.

Magic – The practice of using certain energies and powers whose nature is beyond the scope of technologically oriented science.

Magical power is the life blood of a magician (and of a magical item or creature, for that matter). In this grimoire we will see how magical power is divided into three different types: personal, universal, and dimensional. But all magic power is built on common ground, that of reshaping existing power, found in yourself, your universe, or in another dimension, to a form that you desire.
What is important to magicians, is the reference to the ultimate power coming from the sun, which is our own star. This may explain why the forces of light, usually referred to as the forces of order, good, or “white”, hold sway over the forces of darkness, usually referred to as forces of chaos, evil, or “black”.

magic

6. Plus Cap has survived a lot worse than the shots he took, the sniper shot was in the upper shoulder near the neck which isn’t necessarily a sure kill like a clean neck shot would be. The gun shots Sharon unloaded were all in the belly which are very rarely fatal because they take a LONG time to die from. (See Resevoir Dogs for an example.) He soldier serum would combat the shots because everybody has some form of healing factor now and they got him to the hospital pretty quickly. So yeah thats my response to the Cap dying angle, ummm..thoughts? This has got to be the most in-depth theory yet in regards to Cap. 1- His serum has to have some type of healing factor to it. 2- The Resevoir Dog angle: Mr. Orange was wounded over 80% of the film. I smell a trick in this angle.

I can actually see something to this little theory as well. I mean necessarily Cap‘s body might have actually gone into a coma like state and not have died.

7. You know how the major award shows do a bit honoring the players who have passed away the previous year? Have you done anything like that for comics for 2006?
Just a list of those heroes or major players who have died. J & D, you guys doing this?

I think we should do it. I don’t know how we can but heck sure we can do it.

8. About the Top 10 of Cap, I believe that a top 20 would be better for his legacy. He’s done so much in life, and even in death. In death, with many successors trying to keep his legacy alive, and those following in his footsteps. I totally forgot about alot of things (Cap No More, Cap’s Last Day, Avengers #4, 9-11 Cap, etc.)

You want to do a top 20 go for it.

9. About I.M’s guilt, I also think that somewhere Tony almost HAS to start back drinking. I also wouldn’t be totally surprised if a romance evolves between him & Maria Hill, you think so?

I could see both happening. Tony is due to get in a relationship again soon.

10. Hmmmm this was Nick’s plan? Let Crossbones shoot Cap? Crossbones who’s working for Red Skull. Then Sharon under Faustus mind control to give the killing blow? No I meant for him to die to go into hiding, not the fact that Crossbones did it. Just a valid exit to go underground. Never meant that other reason.

Ah ok now that could make sense.

11. My question last week about She-Hulk asking Wolverine for sex, had me wondering. She’s the Hulk’s gamma radiated cousin. Also in the Ultimate Universe, Hulk is like a sexual deviant, so does gamma radiation make the user “hornier”, or expresses aphrodisiactic urges?

Well Hulk‘s had his share of women if I recall right. So I can see where your going with this theory. I mean Hulk and She-Hulk are quite active.

12. Cap lifted Thor’s hammer!!! That has got to be his most defining moment, EVER! How many other of Marvel’s alumni can say that? Speaking of that, I still believe that the sh*t will hit the fan, when Thor returns to find out that the one mortal he respects is dead.

Not to many can. That’s why Thor’s hammer is one of the cooler objects. Only a few people can actually lift the hammer.

13. Since the New Warriors will be coming back with an all-new group, has it been revealed who will be on the roster yet?

New team all around:

Wondra, Tempest, War Hawk, Decibel, Ripcord, Renascence. With 3 more unknowns

14. Within the midst of Civil War, Reed Richards learned from a brief conversation with Mastermind Excello that the Hulk isn’t on the planet where the Illuminati sent him. After a conversation over the good the Hulk has done for humanity, Reed tells Iron Man of what happened to the Hulk and also states that the Hulk has friends and “may God help us if they find him before we do.” Just to play devil’s advocate, what good has he done? What friends?

Hulk has stopped some threats all himself and of course is a hero in his own right. He’s not all bad after all.

As for friends: Rick Jones, The Champions (original), Silver Surfer, Doc Samson, She-Hulk, a few others

15. I know that Namor was never quite fond of the whole Illuminati union, and may aid the Hulk on his return. But since Dr. Strange is in the New Avengers, will this lead to a battle between the two?

The new Avengers and Hulk? Sure. I can see them fighting in some form or another

16. Since Ares was labeled as a “Thor/Wolverine”, how would he fare in a 1on1 battle with Thor? Wolverine?

Well him and Thor have fought a few times. Most of those Thor won after a nice clash. With Wolverine he likely stands a chance. He is a god.

17. How will Cap’s death impact not only the feelings of the Hulk, but also impact his return to Earth? Better or worse? I mean there is no “leader” anymore to lead the heroes against him.

Well Hulk likely won‘t like it. Here‘s one of the few heroes that could give Hulk a decent fight without the big muscle power and the like. Hulk also respected Cap. Hulk is mad now. Think of him finding out Cap‘s dead.

18. About the Speedball-Penance transformation. How exactly does his powers work in the new costume? His personality has really shifted from carefree Speedball to cold-hearted Penance.

After the events of Stamford, Baldwin believed his powers to be burned out. However, they still exist, but now only manifest when he feels pain. While his powers are still kinetically based, they no longer appear to manifest as a “bubble field.” Rather, his powers seem far more explosive in nature. In order to stimulate his powers, his Penance suit constantly rakes his flesh.

That’s it for me this week. Thanks as usual fellas. Make Mine Marvel, and See ya in 7.

See you next week Cory.

Top 5 best Marvel titles of the week

1. FANTASTIC FOUR #544
The Story: In the aftermath of Civil War comes RECONSTRUCTION, the beginning of a stunning new era of fantastic adventure. The team has been rocked to its foundations by the controversial events of the last several months. Now Reed and Sue have announced their plans to take some time off to work out their marital problems, leaving Ben and Johnny to hold the fort. But they won’t be doing it shorthanded. Two new members join the team and you won’t believe who they are!

2. BLACK PANTHER #26
The Story: “TWO PLUS TWO”
In the aftermath of Civil War, the Black Panther and Storm take up temporary residence in the Baxter Building while Reed Richards and Sue Storm attend to important personal business. When a creature escapes from the Negative Zone to wreak havoc on Manhattan, can a team-up with the Thing and the Human Torch be far behind…? It’s clobberin’ time.

3. DAREDEVIL #95
The Story: DAREDEVIL #95
Written by ED BRUBAKER
Penciled by MICHAEL LARK
Cover by MARKO DJURDJEVIC
The second big year of award-winning creators Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark’s explosive run on Daredevil is here, and if you think Matt Murdock’s life is going to start getting simpler, think again! As Matt tries to deal with the changes in his life, and find a way to move forward, a threat from his past begins to creep toward daylight. And with the post-Civil War fallout all around him, the price of being Daredevil just got even higher. The next mystery begins in “To The Devil His Due” – Part One of Five.

4. SENSATIONAL SPIDER-MAN #36
The Story: “THE STRANGE CASE OF…” PART 2 (OF 2)
The mystery of the multiple Spider-Men deepens. Who are these men — these boys, really — crawling around the city of New York? And where did they acquire their powers and why? And what does Peter’s student Jordan Harrison have to do with it? Mad scientist Dr. Calvin Zabo may have the answers, but asking him risks the wrath of…HYDE!

5. WOLVERINE #52
The Story: “EVOLUTION” PART 3
GUEST-STARRING THE BLACK PANTHER AND STORM
It’s time for round three! Superstar Jeph Loeb (BATMAN: HUSH) is joined by Young Guns Reloaded artist Simone Bianchi for the biggest, best and, quite possibly, last battle between Wolverine and Sabretooth! These sworn foes have been locked in an endless grudge match that goes back longer than either can remember — or even imagine. The key to victory is eons old, and it’s certain to rock their world. The first clue to understanding it lies in the fabled African kingdom of Wakanda, home of the Black Panther and Storm.

The Initiative synopsis

Groups:

California: Champions
Canada: Omega Flight (Arachne, Beta Ray Bill, Guardian, Sasquatch, Talisman, U.S.Agent)
Colorado: Thunderbolts: (Bullseye, Green Goblin, Moonstone, Songbird, Swordsman, Radioactive Man, Venom, Penance
Connecticut: Initiative: (Henry Gyrich, War Machine, Yellowjacket, Baron Von Blitzkrieg, Ares, Beast, Black Widow, Gauntlet, Hellcat, Justice, Ms Marvel, Moonstar, Nighthawk, She-Hulk, Tigra, Wonder Man, Armory, Bengal, Cloud 9, Constrictor, Gargoyle, Hardball, Komodo, MVP, Alex Power, Puma, Rage, Rocket Racer, Shooting Star, Slapstick, Thor Girl, Trauma, Triathlon, Ultra Girl)
Illinois: Spaceknights
Iowa: Force Works
New York: The Mighty Avengers (Ares, Black Widow, Iron Man, Ms. Marvel, Sentry, Wasp, Wonder Man)
Texas: Rangers: (Firebird, Phantom Rider, Red Wolf, Shooting Star, Texas Twister, Armadillo)
Washington: Earth Force (Earth Lord, Skyhawk, Wind Warrior)
Wisconsin: Great Lakes Champions (Big Bertha, Doorman, Flatman, Mr. Immortal, Squirrel Girl, Tippy Toe)

CSA: (Valerie Cooper, Henry Peter Gyrich, General Haywerth, George Mathers, Norman Osborn, Dallas Riordan, Adrian Sammish, Orville Sanderson)
Damage Control, INC.: (Walter Declun (Dead), Ann-Marie Hoag, Henry Ackerdson, Eugene Strasser, Albert Cleary, Robin Chapel, Lenny Balinger
Heroes for Hire: (Black Cat, Humbug, Misty Knight, Orka, Shang-chi, Tarantula, Colleen Wing, Otis Johnson)
O.N.E.: (Val Cooper, War Machine, Miguel Reyes, General Lazer (dead))
S.H.I.E.L.D.: (Iron Man, Maria Hill, Dum Dum Dugan, Valentina De Fontaine, Derek Khanata, Jasper Sitwell, Gabe Jones, Clay Quartermain)
Young Avengers: (Hawkeye, Hulkling, Patriot, Speed, Stature, Wiccan, Vision)

Underground/None registered:
New Avengers: (Doctor Strange, Ronin, Cage, Iron Fist, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Echo, Wolverine)
Bad Girls Inc: (Asp, Black Manta, Diamondback)

In Between:
Fantastic Four: (Black Panther, Storm, Human Torch, Thing)
Nextwave: (Elsa Bloodstone, Captain, Pulsar, Meltdown, Machine Man)
New X-Men: (Surge, Dust, Hellion, Elixir, Mercury, Rockslide, X-23)
Runaways: (Lucy in the Sky, Bruiser, Victor Mancha, Sister Grimm, Old Lace, Chase Stein)
S.H.E.: (Amazon, Belgian Brain, Claymore, flying Carpet, Javelin, Magma, Oracle, Red Dragon, Shamrock, Yvette)
X-Men: (Nightcrawler, Darwin, Havok, Polaris, Marvel Girl, Professor X, Warpath, Rogue, Iceman, Cannonball, Cable, Omega Sentinel, Lady Mastermind, Mystique, Sabretooth, Cyclops, Emma Frost, Beast, Kitty Pryde, Colossus, Wolverine, Lockheed, Armor)

Civil War Confession #1: Iron Man arrives at the Hellicarrire and sits down and starts discussing why he saw Civil war coming. About how he sees SHIELD and when he fought Doom in King Arthur’s time. About the war was coming and he saw it. About telling the Illuminati and Fury handing him the files on the SHRA. How he commited to his side and winning. But he didn’t want what happened. As we see Cap’s lifeless body.

Two days before Cap arrived on Rykers and a guard speaks to him before Tony arrived. Cap ask why and Tony he begged Cap to stop. Cap say Tony can’t control his powers and Tony denies is and ask why Cap lost then. Cap says he didn’t and Iron Man threw everything away and starts giving him a speech asking if it was worth it. Iron Man calls him a sore loser in the end

Thunderbolts #112: Norman meets with the Thunderbolts about their missions, After the meeting Radioactive Man speaks with Norman about the Songbird/Moonstone leadership thing. Afterwards Norman gets news on the next missions. We see an SF NET commercial with Stan on a back up Thunderbolts team. We then see Norman speak with Scropion and Bullseye as well. We see Sepulcre wake up in a bed with a man and then think over what to do next. American Eagle also thinks about what he will do next. Elsewhere Steel Spidet takes out a bunch of crooks and Norman is informed and starts laughing insanely mentioning Spider-Man

New Avengers #28: The New Avengers just escaped the Hand and discuss where to go next. Spider-Woman takes them to Samurai’s place where him and Wolverine start to argue. We go to a flash back with Cage getting milk and stopped a crook before a cop shows up. He shoots Cage getting no where with that he calls SHIELD who have the place surrounded. Cage escapes on one of their vehicles though to Strange’s place. Wolvie and Cage argue as Spider-Woman arrives to reveal Cap is alive accourding to Ms Marvel and Wolvie thinks it’s a trap. Strange investigates to find Hill talking over Cap who’s strapped down. The New Avengers go and Wolvie smells Cap knowing it’s not him. The Mighty Avengers arrive with an army of SHIELD agents. Back in the present Samurai attacks Wolverine as the Hand arrive before a breaks out.

Ms. Marvel #13: We learn someone dropped a gene bomb in Indianapolis mutating the people of that town. Tony and SHIELD believe AIM is behind the plot. Ms Marvel speaks with Sarah Day about the Mighty Avengers and more. As Carol has an on and off meeting with Tony most of the issue. Araña meets with Carol Danvers about her getting pretty beat up and how she got forced out of her job. Afterwards Acachne shows up to meet with Araña

Black Panther #26: Negative Zone: The bugs start an uprising to be squashed. Panther and Storm look over the rubble of the Embassy before Panther reveals a hidden ship. Tony and Hill discuss what Panther is doing. We see the rise of a new head bug in the Zone. Panther has a video meeting with his people about a new embassy. Storm has a bad diplomatic meeting of her own. The couple has dinner with Reed and Sue taking the offer to join the FF. Torch and Thing are told of this. Panther has the Baxter building redecorated. Brother Voodoo goes on a hunt. Wakandans thinks they will be attacked as we see the FF head out.

Fantastic Four #544: Stardust searches space as Panther and Storm are introduced to Thing and Johnny. We see Reed and Panther talk at the destroyed embassy where bombs where planted. Panther and Storm are announced as members of the FF in a press conference. Deathlok shows up in human form to discuss Gravity’s body missing. After invesigating the team goes to see Uatu about the matter and find out Epoch too the body. As they search him out they find the Surfer searching for Epoch to

Back in Black synopsis

Spider-Man Family: We see the symbiote as the issue starts. Spidey in black takes out a bunch of crooks as Sandman watches. Later Pete heads home and removes the symbiote suit and goes to bed. The suit goes out and meets with Black Cat and fights Sandman before going home

Civil War # 7: Cap’s Avengers fight Iron Man’s group as the battle started last issue continues. SHIELD tries to close the prison so no one escapes but Panther deals with is and Cloak teleports everyone out in mid air as many crash in horror. Citizens watch in horror as the police try to calm the crowd. We see Spidey take out a few of the pro side as Cap is surrounded by the Thunderbolts. Namor though comes and saves him with the Atlantians. Thor, Captain Marvel and the Champions arrive to join the battle. Cap and Tony prepare to fight as Vision screws up Tony’s armor. Thing returns and saves lives as Taskmaster goes after Sue. Reed gets hit as Sue gets angry taking out Taskmaster. Hercules takes out Clor with his own hammer. Cap continues to take on Tony giving him a very good beating. He’s about to go for the kill as normal people stop him. He tells them let him go but he sees the destruction around them. He knows that this must end. So he ends it and throws his mask to the ground in surrender. Punisher picks up the mask. We see the Mighty Avengers announced as wall as a Texas based team, formation of Omega Flight and the New Avengers underground with Spidey in black. Cap in jail as Hank is named man of the year and Sue comes home to Reed. Reed asked her to come home and explained it all. Tony now head of SHIELD meets with Hill and Sharpe. He tells Miriam why the name of the prison is the 42 because it was plan No. 42 of 100 that Tony, Hank Pym and Reed Richards concocted for making America better. His next job is to clean up SHIELD and promises the best is yet to come

Amazing Spider-Man #538: Spidey calls MJ and tells her he loves her. We see parts of the fight happening in Civil War 7 as Spidey wonders if everyone knows why they are truely fighting. Kingpin and a few criminals watch the fight on TV he knows he’s got a hit on Pete’s family. Jonah picks a headline for the paper as we see the remains of the fight with many fallen. Mj hopes Pete comes home save. Pete shows up as the assassin fell asleep. as he prepares to Shoot Pete senses it and moves MJ out of the way as Aunt May is shot instead

Amazing Spider-Man #539: Pete holds Aunt May who just got shot as shots continue. Pete runs outside and picks up a jeep throwing at the room the shots are coming from. As the man runs off Pete takes Aunt May to the hospital. Kingpin learns only one of the target got hit and Fisk still is quite pleased. Pete goes and tells MJ what’s happening and then goes out looking for the man who did it. First getting past a cop to check the room and then finding something he goes after a group of gun runners where the shooter is at. Pete gets the man to talk as MJ visits Aunt May to find out she’s dying. Pete goes to a building where he’s been hiding his black costume and puts it on.

Friendly Spider-Man #17: Rykers: Sandman takes out a guard and steals his uniform to get into the prison. Inside he attacks some guards asking about Floyd Baker. Elsewhere Spidey evades a police helicopter and saves a News copter which gets the cops to stop chasing him. Sandman tries to escape only to be attacked by men with hydro tanks. Midtown: Flash meets with Ben Reilly about his money troubles and offers to help him out as he knows it’s Pete in reality. Pete takes the offer and leaves as Flash makes a call. At Flash’s place Pete questions himself until Sandman arrives. Pete prepares to fight but Sandman isn’t there to fight and wants his help to free Floyd Baker.

Sensational Spider-Man #35: Spidey takes out a crook as the cops show up as a set up. He’s unmasked as Ethan Myers who we learn was given Spider powers and the gear as he tells the police. Spidey visit’s the man in jail as he starts mutating. Spidey helps him by taking him out of their as the cops try to stop him. Spidey takes Ethan to Reed and visits Curt Connors as well about what’s going on. We see another fake Spider-Man going threw the streets to fall from a roof he missed. We find out Mr. Hyde is the one behind this plot as he offers the power to Jordan Harrison

Friendly Spider-Man # 18: Forest Hills: We see Uncle Ben kill Spider-Man 2211 who disappears after some kid takes his helmet. The undertaker of the graveyard scares him off. Jamie Madrox, SHIELD agent and another officer visit the cops. We find out it’s Spidey and Sandman in the end of course as Sandman attacks the cop to get answers. Spidey tries to stop him as other cops show up they make their escape. We see Flash have dinner with Betty. Spidey and Sandman argue over what happened. Betty in the bathroom is attacked by spiders controlled by Ms Arrow. Sandman and Spidey visit uncle Ben’s grave and find the kid in a van with the helmet. Spidey takes the helmet and ask it to help locate Uncle Ben.

New Avengers # 27: Echo writes a letter to Matt telling him all that’s happened since she became Ronin and hiding her identity. We go to Ronin surrounded by the Hand and Elektra taking a few out before Elektra kills her. The Hand resurrect her under orders of Elektra and out her in a cell where she sees visions. The New Avengers arrive taking out the Hand and Elektra with Cage kicking Elektra in the crotch as Spidey frees Echo. Strange gathers the group and teleports them away as Echo ask Ronin if he’s Matt. He says not exactly. Elektra orders the New Avengers not to be allowed to leave Japan alive.

New Avengers #28: The New Avengers just escaped the Hand and discuss where to go next. Spider-Woman takes them to Samurai’s place where him and Wolverine start to argue. We go to a flash back with Cage getting milk and stopped a crook before a cop shows up. He shoots Cage getting no where with that he calls SHIELD who have the place surrounded. Cage escapes on one of their vehicles though to Strange’s place. Wolvie and Cage argue as Spider-Woman arrives to reveal Cap is alive accourding to Ms Marvel and Wolvie thinks it’s a trap. Strange investigates to find Hill talking over Cap who’s strapped down. The New Avengers go and Wolvie smells Cap knowing it’s not him. The Mighty Avengers arrive with an army of SHIELD agents. Back in the present Samurai attacks Wolverine as the Hand arrive before a breaks out.

Friendly Spider-Man # 18: Forest Hills: We see Uncle Ben kill Spider-Man 2211 who disappears after some kid takes his helmet. The undertaker of the graveyard scares him off. Jamie Madrox, SHIELD agent and another officer visit the cops. We find out it’s Spidey and Sandman in the end of course as Sandman attacks the cop to get answers. Spidey tries to stop him as other cops show up they make their escape. We see Flash have dinner with Betty. Spidey and Sandman argue over what happened. Betty in the bathroom is attacked by spiders controlled by Ms Arrow. Sandman and Spidey visit uncle Ben’s grave and find the kid in a van with the helmet. Spidey takes the helmet and ask it to help locate Uncle Ben.

Sensational Spider-Man #36: Spidey tries to help another mutated Spider person by taking them to see Curt Conners. Detective Fogg talks to a number of other mutated Spider-Men being held as Curt Conners shows up with a possible cure saying they will take it or else. Jordan Harrison is being held by Zabo himself to see what happens. Reed and Pete meet in secret as we find out Zabo is tracking his projects. Spidey looking for Zabo as he knows Spidey is coming.

That’s it from here. What did you think Daron?

I think I need a drink…or a nap…or a drink then a nap…

Another good edition. Likely will pick up again too as we go. We‘re getting a nice amount of emails which is good. Either way more emails never hurt.

Unless they jam the server, and blocking us from getting any emails. What? I’m just saying…

1. Digital comics Comics you can read online

2. Marvel is in the process of adding new bios and added a ton of new ones. Check them out here

3. As always your opinions on anything in the article or out on the shelves is welcome. After all you never know what type of response you will get.

4. Keep those emails coming and make sure to label them Marvel Handbook. The more emails the better the article is.

And don’t forget about the Pittsburgh Comicon. It’s going to be blast, let us know if you’re gonna make it out!

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