Been a while since I’ve done one of these, so let’s keep the ball rolling!
- Character Summary: Logan – Equal parts mysterious loner and gruff father-figure; Some of his deepest, most impressive moments occur in relation to his team, his lovers and his nemeses; Another tragic figure, Wolverine is balancing a long, often sad and violent life with his new responsibilities; Prone to anger and violent outbursts, Affinity for cigars and booze; No sense of humor; Currently… um… well…. “dead.”
- Common Themes: The Beast Within; The Way of the Samurai; Reluctant Leadership; Running from the past
- Good For: People who like characters with a lot under the surface; People who like very direct, aggressive fight sequences without a lot of diplomacy; Machismo hunters; Canadians
- Go To Series: Wolverine (Claremont Mini-Series), Origin, Logan, Wolverine: Weapon X
- Stand Out Stories: Old Man Logan, Get Mystique, Vicious Circle (Incredible Hulk #340), Enemy of the State, The Package, 24 Hours, The Logan Legacy
- Character Summary: T’Challa, King of Wakanda; Leader of a technologically advanced nation in Africa built around the world’s only reserve of the mineral Vibranium; Constantly struggling to protect his homeland and the resources that have made it so prosperous from villains like Klaw and Man-Ape; Black Panther is noble, a skilled fighter, and determined to uphold justice and positive morals; The Black Panther is often seen protecting enslaved or downtrodden peoples and protecting values like freedom and honor; Though very regal, older Black Panther stories do run into the usual problems of 60s/70s white men writing stories for a black hero, and there can be some sense of “noble savage” from time to time; Still, in more modern iterations, a lot of emphasis is placed upon T’Challa as being wise, incredibly scientifically gifted, and one of the most skillful fighters in the Marvel Universe; On his resume, TChalla has defeated the Fantastic Four, Daredevil, an army of skrulls and many others, as well as being skillful enough to take over for Matt Murdock when he steps down from the Daredevil mantel for a time.
- Common Themes: The power of will and determination; Training and Education as weapons; ramifications of false pretenses; Nobility and Obligation
- Good For: Fans of Martial Heroes; People looking for a hero whose abilities come from Training and Determination; Fans of stories in exotic places; People who like heroes who mix technology and martial skill
- Go To Series: Black Panther (vol 3 and 4); Black Panther: The Man Without Fear
- Stand Out Stories: Fantastic 4 (Vol 1) #52-53; Black Panther (Vol 4) 39-41
- Character Summary: Peter Quill; Ultimately quite different from his movie counterpart, though no one seemed to care much (thus is the power of the Han Solo trope); Quill was born during an odd astrological anomaly of planets aligning and whatnot; His father tried to kill the baby, thinking his mother was cheating on him, but died from a sudden heart attack; As the boy grew older, his home was eventually attacked by two aliens who killed his mother and Quill dispatched with a shotgun (he was like 8); He then grows up to be a pilot/astronaut for NASA and is granted the title of Star-Lord by a cosmic being known as the Master of the Sun; In the comics, Star-Lords are intergalactic peace-keepers, not just goofy names some a-hole uses to try and be cooler (a-hole used here as a reference to the movie, not a jab: I friggin loved the movie); Though arrogance and quippiness are often present, the Star-Lord of the comics deviates from from his movie presentation in that he is first and foremost a soldier, not just a plucky rogue; Star-Lord was a integral part of the fight against the Annihilation Wave alongside Nova Prime and Ronan the Accuser; He also sacrificed himself alongside Nova to trap Thanos in a microuniverse known as the Cancerverse; His current appearance in the comics is much closer to his movie appearance, with him forgoing much of his uniform and armor for the jacket and wavy blonde hair people are used to; His origin has also been retconned a bit, removing that he was granted the title and taken into space and making it that he went into space to protect the Earth from the race that killed his mother; If you absolutely want Movie Star-Lord (or something much closer) stick with his current stories.
- Common Themes: Hidden Dangers and the Threat of the Unknown; The importance of Alliances and Teamwork; Everyone deserves redemption; Space Girls are Sexy
- Good For: Star Wars and Star Trek fans; Fans of the Guardians Movie; People who like Sci-Fi with a lot of convoluted words and little actual science
- Go To Series: Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol 2 & 3); Legendary Star-Lord (for new version)
- Stand Out Stories: Annihilation: Conquest; Thanos Imperative; Thanos (vol 1) #7-12
- Character Summary: Stephen Strange; The short form of his rather long origin is: Nice boy from nice family – Nice boy destined to be next Sorcerer Supreme, is distracted away from that life by a curse from a rival – Nice boy goes to school, med school, becomes surgeon (all really fast) – Nice boy becomes arrogant boy – EVERYTHING BAD HAPPENS TO ARROGANT BOY AND EVERYONE HE LOVES LEAVES HIM OR DIES (mostly dies) – Nice boy decides to seek out Sorcerer Supreme thing after hands are debilitated in car accident – Nice boy becomes Sorcerer Supreme with help of the Ancient One; Over the years, Strange’s power level, love life, and team affiliations have fluctuated quite a bit, but he has always remained as one of the single most powerful mystic beings in the world and even the universe; He is always the first person any heroes go to when dealing with mystical beings, and has been an important part of the New Avengers, the Illuminati and the Defenders, among other more mystical based groups; Though more reserved in his art now, Strange still maintains plenty of the arrogance he adopted as a surgeon, making him a brash and often impulsive fighter, one that rarely gets crippled by fear or doubt; Strange’s main weakness are (sometimes) when fighting against Science-Based characters and his need to use gestures and incantations for his skills; However, with his knowledge and abilities in magic, Strange is essentially the Marvel version of the kid who plays super hero and claims that he has the power to have all powers, making him a highly valuable ally for the Marvel Heroes.
- Common Themes: Magic and Demons; The power of research and planning; Arrogance as both a strength and weakness; The importance of the Human Condition; The Dangers of the Unknown
- Good For: Magic/Fantasy/Occult fans; Benedict Cumberbath Fans (pretty soon); People who like heroes whose powers are sometimes too much for them; People who like a LOT of lore in their stories
- Go To Series: Strange Tales (vol 1) [first appears in #110]; Dr Strange (vol 2);
- Stand Out Stories: Dr Strange: The Oath; New Avengers: Illuminati; X-Statix presents: Deadgirl (#1-5); Strange and Doom: Triumph and Torment
- Character Summary: Danny Rand; As a young boy, was off on an expedition with his father and mother to find a mystical city called K’un-L’un; As to be expected of any mountainous exploration that includes a 9-year-old, things go poorly and Danny’s father is killed after being betrayed by his business partner; Danny’s mother then dives into a pack of wolves to save the boy, who is eventually rescued by soldiers from K’un-L’un; There, Rand is trained in martial arts by Lei Kung and through a series of trials is gifted with the mystical Iron Fist power that allows him to focus his chi into his hand, allowing him to hit with extreme force; Iron Fist has had a fairly varied career over the years, one that often mirrors that of his most notable partner, Luke Cage; He has gone from a street level fighter for Heroes for Hire, Inc. to a full fledged Avenger and almost everywhere in between; Danny’s ties to Lei Kung and K’un-L’un have given him and his friends a nice safety net on more than one occasion, and his prescence on the various teams often stands as the voice of calm and reason.
- Common Themes: The power of focus and calm; Strength through belief in one’s self; Revenge vs. Justice; Law vs. Honor
- Good For: Kung Fu Fans; Fans of Street Level heroes; People who like just a dash of mysticism in their comics; People who are fond of Eastern Mythology and Religions
- Go To Series:The Immortal Iron Fist; Power Man and Iron Fist; Iron Fist: The Living Weapon
- Stand Out Stories: Daredevil #87; Power Man #48-50; Marvel Premiere #15-16; Immortal Iron Fist #8-14