Respect Thread – Thanos

My list of five favourite Thanos stories went down really well so today is a respect thread for the Mad Titan himself. Thanos is pretty damn powerful, I’m not sure how much of his power outside of his use of the Infinity Stones we’ll see in the film but this respect thread is to show how ultimately powerful he is. With and without the stones he’s a complete monster.

For those that don’t know, Thanos is an Eternal who was born on Titan. He was born with a deviant gene that gave him the leather-like purple skin and also vast powers. He rapidly became the most powerful of the Eternals and later on, after seeking a courtship with Death herself, slaughtered his own race. Being an Eternal, Thanos has superhuman strength, endurance, reflexes and agility. He is nearly invulnerable, able to endure extreme heat, cold, energies, radiation, and poisons. Due to his genetic heritage, Thanos is immune to aging and disease. Thanos’ birth is estimated to be around 4000BC. I’ll be delving into these powers a little more now, so if you’ve had your fix already then be gone with you!

Strength and Durability

So we’ll kick this extensive review of feats off by saying that Thanos is in fact respected by some of the most powerful beings in the universe including Odin – the All Father, Galactus – the World Devourer, and Aegis & Tenebrous – the Promiel Gods.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

That’s some pretty mad levels of power right there and he’s threatened Mephisto too. Mephisto, for you that don’t know, is essentially the Devil. Mephisto is more powerful than Surtur – that demon fire guy who destroyed Ragnarok in the third Thor film, and Thanos flat out threatens him, and he has the feats to back it up, honestly. Thanos is one of the most impressive characters in Marvel with such a large array of feats, starting with some examples of his strength now.

Thanos has immense strength, he has made the In-Betweener bleed with a single blow – that alone is an incredible feat (pictured below). The In-Betweener is a being capable of In-BetweenerPunchbending reality and is the physical embodiment of balance between chaos and order. Thanos has carried the Galactus Engine out of Ego (Living Planet), has gone toe to toe with an enraged Hulk, and has knocked Black Dwarf out with a single blow (Black Dwarf has almost completely impenetrable skin).

Not only does Thanos have insane physical strength and power he also has ridiculously high levels of durability. Thanos has survived being sucked into a black hole (I know right), tanked three shouts from Black Bolt – the Inhuman king with a shout that can destroy cities when and more and then Thanos went on to smash Black Bolt into the ground. He has survived, pretty easily, Thor doing his utmost best to bring him down with physical strength, lightning, AND mjolnir – which does very little to which Thanos knocks Thor down with a single blow.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Hell, even Odin and Galactus have tried to take down Thanos before and he defeat them both separately. Odin even charged his staff to the point of exploding and charged it at Thanos who tanked the blasts and on another occasion he absorbs energy blasts from Silver Surfer with no thought or care.

Reflexes and Senses

Let’s remember that Thanos is a large fellow, he’s as tall if not taller than the Hulk and other beings of that stature, and has traded blows with hugely powerful beings like Thor, Hulk, Hercules, . Yet he has surprisingly great reflexes and senses, capable of matching some of those considered to be great assassins, known for being agile, light, and nimble. JackOfHeartsAttack

Thanos has dodged immensely powerful beings such as an attack from a rampaging Ego and a classic Drax (the classic version of Drax is one of the most ferocious fighters in the galaxy with super strength and reflexes making him a hard fight for even Nova). Thanos has also blocked Silver Surfer’s energy blasts while the Surfer was moving at supersonic speeds, detected an attack from Moondragon while facing away, and even got the edge on Jack of Hearts who attempted to speed-blitz him.

Intelligence

Thanos isn’t only one of the strongest, he’s also one of the smartest. He has wildly impressive feats of intelligence. At a young age of around 20, hacks into the Shi’ar technology guarding their system firewalls. Hacking

He has displayed incredible understanding of even Galactus’ technology, equipment, power, and the Power Cosmic in total. He’s also outsmarted Silver Surfer when he was linked to the Power GalactusTechCosmic.

Thanos has even applied his intellect to best one of the Brothers Primordial – Grandmaster, by creating a robot disguised as himself, throwing Grandmaster off guard. Grandmaster is one of the master-tacticians of the Marvel universe, having encyclopedic knowledge of thousands of exotic games played throughout the universe. He can calculate diverse low information probabilities within a tenth of a second and remember countless rules and data. Thanos topped that. Pretty cool.

Telepathy and Energy Projection/Manipulation

Thanos, along with everything else so far, has the power of telepathy and can manipulate energy. His telepathy has rivaled Moondragon and Mantis, who are both known for the telepathic abilities. Even with the Mind Stone, Moondragon couldn’t breach his mind. Thanos has also mind-controlled Hulk and turned him against the Avengers, he’s not above trickery to get what he wants.

Thanos has a lot of amazing energy projection/manipulation/control feats, he has eye beams. Yes, eye beams. He’s used those to obliterate Phyla-Vell, he’s damaged Galactus armour and knocked him off his feet – although this didn’t turn out too good for him it was still an impressive moment. Other energy manipulation feats include creating a shield around Stormbreaker (Beta Ray Bill’s weapon), stopping Mjolnir and dropping it from the air when thrown by Thor Odinson, heals Adam Warlock, turns Skragg – a powerful skrull warrior into stone, and knocking Thor and Thing out with eye beams. ALSO, Thanos has expressed more than once that he has knowledge over the “black mystic arts” and is responsible for why Deadpool can never die. Thanos cast a spell on him making him immortal forever.

Infinity Gauntlet feats and other achievements.

Thanos is most well known for his use of the Infinity Gauntlet and Infinity Stones. With the Gauntlet he has achieved some mighty impressive feats, and here I will also list a few more of his particular great achievements, finishing with them pictured below. With the Infinity Gauntlet, during the Infinity Gauntlet story line, Thanos manages to get all of the Infinity Stones and wipes out half of the entire freaking universe with the snap of his fingers. (If you’ve seen the Avengers: Infinity War trailer you’ll have seen Gamora mimicking this in a description, this is an Easter egg towards this and maybe we’ll see it actually happen in the film). However, Thanos has also created life with the Infinity Gauntlet in a strange turn of events. Thanos has battled Eternity himself while in possession of the Infinity Gauntlet, he once bent reality and time to his will and stated that he was more powerful than Mistress Death, and has destroyed multiple planets while fending off the Celestials themselves.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Fun Facts

Some interesting and fun facts about Thanos now, to end on. Thanos and his brother; Eros, exchange gifts ever year and call it a truce, for they are still brothers. Thanos celebrated Christmas when Gamora was a young girl, so, I guess he’s not all bad. Right?

ThanosChristmas

I hope you enjoyed the read, this respect thread was one of the most enjoyable to write. Thanos is well and truly a powerhouse to be reckoned with. Avengers: Infinity War is almost upon us! On Wednesday before the midnight release, probably mid-morning, I will be releasing my favourite Iron Man stories. As always. Peace ❤

 

 

Advertisements

A Quest for the Best

It’s getting closer! Infinity War is almost upon us, I can not contain the excitement. I still watch the trailers every day. Today I will be giving a countdown of my five favourite Thanos titles, the Mad Titan himself. Some of these will have already been listed in other posts on my blog but not in an order whereas this is my official 5th – 1st favourite Thanos stories.

Let us begin.

5. Thanos Rising

Thanos Rising is the best place to start on this list and was obviously going to make the cut. Thanos Rising is written by one of the best Marvel writers of recent years; Jason Aaron, and is illustrated by Simone Bianchi.

If you’ve read my To Infinity and War titles of comics to read before Infinity War, this will be of no surprise. Thanos Rising is a five issue series that focuses on the origins of ThanosRisingthe Mad Titan himself. The story starts with Thanos returning to his home world – Titan, to visit his mother’s grave. The story then goes back in time to his birth and recalls the tale of his life – his birth with the deviant gene, which is the source of his vast power, his early life, rise into adulthood, his banishment and then his return. Thanos is wildly intelligent, he showed extremely advanced levels of intelligence during school and was also a pacifist though he kept to himself and stayed isolated due to being ashamed of his own appearance. He really only played with his brother, Eros. Thanos also had recurring nightmares about being killed at birth. On one fateful day, in an all but forgotten subterranean temple, an enterprising young Thanos would find companionship in the form of Mistress Death. Thanos’ relationship with Mistress Death grew and eventually blossomed into a dark and forbidden romance. Under Death’s tutelage, he grew even stronger and more powerful – well versed in the Black Arts, which had long been forbidden on Titan. He was banished but returned years later with the intention of showing those all who banished him, how powerful he had become.

Thanos Rising is an excellent story, it’s rather essential in understanding Thanos himself and I love the plot. Jason Aaron has made quite the name for himself in recent Marvel years handling Thor superbly well and I think it was a natural calling for him to take on the origins of Thanos.

4. The Infinity War

The Infinity War. What a name. The Infinity Gauntlet is a direct sequel to the Infinity Gauntlet story-line and is written by Jim Starlin and illustrated by Ron Lim, and was followed up with Infinity Crusade.

The story of The Infinity War starts with Adam Warlock. He uses the Infinity Gauntlet to expunge the good and evil aspects of his personality to become a totally and completely Infinity Warlogical being, who can therefore use the Gauntlet wisely. However this action creates an evil persona called Magus, who desires universal conquest above all else, and revenge against both Adam Warlock and Thanos. Thanos meanwhile senses a massive spike of cosmic energy, which is revealed to be Magus himself.  Magus believes Thanos to be similar to himself, but after some time, Thanos has thought much and changed his priorities. He believes that neither of them are meant to possess such power. The persona of Magus casts him from his dimension, as one does.  Thanos and Adam Warlock form an unlikely alliance and they travel into Death’s own dimension to study the Infinity Well and learn how Magus came to be and learn what his plans are. A plot is introduced that leads Magus and Thanos with Adam Warlock into contact with Earth’s greatest heroes and Galactus himself who begrudgingly admits that Thanos and he are on the same side.

Many other amazing cosmic characters are a part of the story including Eternity and the Living Tribunal. Jim Starlin really utilities the characters in their powerful glory. It’s such a great story and I loved reading Adam Warlock and Thanos as allies in this unlikely crusade for power and protection of the universe, even if they each had their own desired outcome.

 

3. The Death of Captain Marvel

For as bad as Thanos can be and is, for calling him bad is the understatement of the century. The Death of Captain Marvel shows his some-what (and very few) good qualities. The Death of Captain Marvel is written and illustrated by Jim Starlin.

Captain Marvel was Thanos’ first major rival and in this classic Marvel comic, Captain Marvel is fighting a form of cosmic cancer. He received this cancer as a result from an Death-of-Captain-Marv-02earlier battle and has roughly three months to live. Throughout the story he says his farewells to many of Marvel’s greatest heroes, those who have fought along side him in the past, allies and friends. However, right at the end. It is Thanos who greets him. Thanos is gracious to Captain Marvel and introduces him to his lover, Death, and as Marvel dies it becomes apparent that he and Thanos are no longer enemies. The Death of Captain Marvel is a touching story that evokes great sadness, the ending is a moment that rises above the super-powered battles of comics, that destroyed worlds and civilizations to remind us that even the greatest enemies can share a final moment as they are greeted by Death.

Jim Starlin worked wonders in this comic. If you can find a copy, I really do implore you to read it.  It holds up so very well for a book that was written in the 1980’s, that can be said a lot for Jim Starlin’s work. The story’s ramifications are particularly powerful for Mar-Vell (Captain Marvel) is one of the few characters who has actually stayed dead for a prolonged time after this story, giving it an extra thoughtful ending.

2. Infinity Gauntlet

This one will really be no surprise, or it really shouldn’t be if you were surprised. Infinity Gauntlet is written by Jim Starlin and focuses heavily on Thanos. Infinity Gauntlet was the first of three major stories for Marvel, it was followed by two direct sequels. The Infinity War and Infinity Crusade. The story has other characters in the spotlight but Thanos is certainly the centre role.

The story follows Thanos as he attempts to court Death. Thanos takes control of the Infinity Gauntlet and promptly eradicates half the sentient life in the universe. A vast Infinity Gauntleramount of big heroes perish in the event and it’s left to a handful of survivors to bring Thanos down including Adam Warlock, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, and Nebula. The Infinity Gauntlet also showcases the importance and power of the wearable weapon itself, as much as the power behind the stones/gems that fit into it. The Gauntlet harnesses the power of each stone and when the gauntlet is filled up, it gives the wearer complete control over each of them allowing he/she to really do whatever the hell they want to space/time/reality. The story is SO intense at parts, and there’s some unimaginable plot twists that you just won’t see coming. There’s not many stories that really make you understand quite how extremely powerful Thanos is, and the Infinity gems too.

As well as being an amazing Thanos story it’s also one of the best kept stories, having time-travel, drama, death, suspense, action, and twists. Definitely some of Jim Starlin’s best writing.

1. Infinity

Can I get an Amen? No? Maybe a praise to Death? That’s better. We hit first place upon this list with none other than Infinity itself. Infinity is one of my favourite Marvel cross overs, there’s literally something for everyone. Infinity is written by Jonathan Hickman and that man is literally a comic-writing legend. Hickman made a name for himself on my radar with the breakout series East of West from Image Comics. The man’s a genius at handling apocalyptic events and stories and Infinity is right up on that list. The story is illustrated by a rotating team of artists.

Infinity is a cross over event that brings together the Avengers, New Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Illuminati, Inhumans, a race called the Builders, and Thanos with his Black InfinityOrder. The story is about Thanos building his army and attacking Earth while the Avengers are in space dealing with another threat known as the Builders, who are a threat to the whole galaxy. The Builders are one of the oldest races in the Marvel Universe and hold such incredible power. They travel through the galaxies building and creating entire worlds at will – something that only beings like the Celestials are capable of. The story event of Age of Ultron serves as a catalyst for the rest of the universe to target Earth with the various tie-ins telling Thanos’ attack through the perspective of a variety of characters such as Captain America, Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain Marvel, and Nova. The story is so well written, and every character and team is handled so well including the Outriders and Black Order, who had their first formal appearance bearing the title of Black Order in Infinity. The story also brings in a variety of other problems for the heroes, including dramatic political ramifications between Earth and other-world galactic communities. It is truly a story where all hope feels lost. A desperate battle for Earth and its heroes with Thanos right in the spotlight of it all.

Infinity has something for every single type of Marvel fan. The destruction of entire planets, advanced alien races hellbent on bringing annhilation, desperate space battles, sinister team-ups, wicked villains, political machinations, and some seriously kick-ass battle theaters! This book delivered in spades. Not even to mention the cast of characters rolled into all of this! I loved how eclectic the amalgamation of heroes and villains were, and we got such an incredibly detailed look into the power behind some of these previously barely seen characters.

.

So there we have it! My five favourite Thanos stories. Avengers: Infinity War draws ever closer, I am not ready. I will never be ready, not even after I’ve seen it. Coming later this week is a respect thread for Thanos. Hope you enjoyed the read, and as ever. Peace. ❤

Ain’t no list like this, ‘cept this.

Yo! It’s a lovely misty morning here, mist is probably my favourite weather so I’m sitting outside and listening to Super Freak while I write this. It’s one of those mornings. Infinity War is drawing nearer and nearer, and today I’ll be doing a list of my five favourite Guardians of the Galaxy stories. The Guardians are going to have a major role in the film, and I’m so excited to see where the film takes them afterwards. The Guardians are probably my favourite team in Marvel comics. As per usual, this post will contain spoilers in one regard or another of the comic stories.

5. Rocket Raccoon: A Chasing Tale

Rocket Raccoon was a breakout star of the 2014 Guardians of the Galaxy film. Marvel responded by writing his own solo story. A Chasing Tale is both written and illustrated by Skottie Young.

The story follows what-do-you-know, Rocket Raccoon. The story follows Rocket as he has to figure out why he’s now a wanted rodent and not a guardian in status. He’s framed for A Chasing Talemurder – and the authorities aren’t the only one on his tail. Ah, puns. The real killer is an imposter who is seemingly ahead of Rocket at every turn. The story dives into the complex being behind the mask of not-giving-a-damn attitude and Groot makes an appearance too, happy to help his other odd-ball friend, and fellow Guardians. Skottie Young’s approach to the character is excellent, it further proves that Rocket doesn’t necessarily need the Guardians to have a story. In the story we get to see a side of Rocket, cute and menacing all at once, that you’d never see expressed better. The first four issues follow Rocket’s adventure while issues #5 and #6 take another approach. Issue #5 is from the perspective of Groot, while #6 is Rocket again but this time he’s accompanied by Cosmo – the dog.

Skottie’s scripts are on point and follow intensive structures. A Chasing Tale is also jam-packed with tons of references and clues to the bigger picture. The artwork is gorgeous too, literally filled to the brim with explosive colours; ranging from lullaby pastels and brilliant inks. One of the most-fun comics I’ve ever read from Marvel. From the snout of Rocket himself – “There ain’t no thing like me, ‘cept me.”

4. Guardians Of The Galaxy: New Guard Vol. 2 – Wanted

In this story the Guardians are split into two teams as they attack a prison-planet. Brian Michael Bendis writes this tale and Valerio Schiti provides gorgeous illustrations!

There was no way this story wasn’t making the list. It’s so much fun and so beautifully drawn. Peter Quill returns to the fold after an absence and time as Emperor of the Shi’ar. Wantedand is reunited with Kitty Pryde who has been serving as Star-Lord in his time away, and it’s nice to see that Peter and Kitty get a nice heart to heart in the first issue. The two teams of this story make for quite the roster, including Flash Thompson/Venom, the Thing, Angela, Drax, Rocket and more. Rocket was a particular highlight for me in this story. They all are given ample time on the page, not to mention that the story was fun and fast paced, the art was all kinds of awesome, the action was brilliantly illustrated, the humour wasn’t forced in at every angle. The Guardians are such a charming group of misfits and this story was nice to see them actually sticking to something that even vaguely resembles the original plan, not everything goes as they had hoped but it’s a nice take on them.

Guardians of the Galaxy, vol 2: Wanted is some good old fashioned wacky nonsense, with brilliant colours and exceptionally fun writing. A lovely chemistry between Peter Quill and Kitty Pryde at the centre of it all.

3. War of Kings

What a name War of Kings is. You know, just from that title that it’s going to be an epic story. War of Kings was written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning who make another appearance later on this list too. They’re quite the power-couple.

War of Kings is a crossover story and mainly spot-lights the Inhumans led by Black Bolt, the Shi’ar Empire led by Vulcan, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and Nova, with other War of Kingscharacters too. The plot is about a war between the Shi’ar and Kree. If you don’t know, the Inhumans were created by the Kree to bring down the Shi’ar empire, the Inhumans are wicked powerful in their own ways, none more so than their king and leader – Black Bolt. Straight in the aftermath of the Secret Invasion story, Black Bolt and the Inhumans return to the kree for their right to rule separate. However they come into direct conflict with the Emperor Vulcan (Gabriel Summers, yeah, Cyclops and Havok’s older brother), and his conquest with the Shi’ar. The story sets up the conflict between the two with an attack at the wedding between Ronan the Accuser and Crystal – an Inhuman. Which had been arranged to unite the two races. There’s so many factors to this story but the main focus is on Vulcan and Black Bolt who’s battle eventually causes some destruction beyond which the likes of the Marvel Universe has never really seen. The Guardians of the Galaxy get brought into the conflict along with another group called the Starjammers, they attack Gladiator who is one of the most prestigious warriors of the Shi’ar, and his fleet.

War of Kings is such an epic crossover yet handled so tastefully. It gives the Guardians of the Galaxy ample page time while not subtracting from the overall story and spotlight of the Inhuman king and Emperor Vulcan. Each of the Guardians are written very well and it’s definitely a must-read for any Guardians fan, old or new.

2. Guardians Of The Galaxy, Vol.  1: Legacy 

Legacy is the first volume in the 2009 run of Guardians of the Galaxy. The story takes place right out of Annihilation: Conquest and is written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. Again. They’re winners. They’re even collectively known as DnA.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Legacy was one of the biggest inspirations for the 2014 Guardians of the Galaxy film. You can see many similarities to it, and it’s just as Legacyenjoyable. Legacy’s initial run reunites the Annihilation: Conquest team of Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Quasar, Adam Warlock, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, and Groot. The story follows the team as they combat dark gods and monstrous beings that are pouring from ‘cracks’ in the universe, for they’re the Guardians of the Galaxy. B***h. The story combines a lot of elements seen previously in the likes of Annihilation, Annihilation: Conquest, and War of Kings. Star-Lord’s team of rag-tags and odd-balls get proactive. The story brings a real element of pathos too, the story twists and winds around characters from across the team, giving us a great look at them individually as well as part of the group. Adam Warlock and Rocket Raccoon especially stood out for me, after Star-Lord of course. Dem guns.

DnA deliver again and again with their Guardians of the Galaxy stories and the art work is so catchy, I re-read this volume twice after I first picked it up, one was just to admire the art in every panel. If you want a story with a terrific look into the team’s diversity and their twisted misfit personalities, with action packed moments and brilliantly written humour…. What do I mean, ‘if’, of course you want this.

1. The Thanos Imperative

The Thanos Imperative is such a wow-fest. it was written by the power team of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. Yes, that’s right. The top 3 of mine are all written by those two.

The Thanos Imperative is a cross over storyline. The plot is the culmination of events which started with “Annhilation” focuses on the cosmic, or space based heroes of Marvel. Thanos ImperativeThey band together to deal with a rift in space-time that formed at the end of the “War of Kings” story, which is listed above. The story stars the Guardians of the Galaxy in a major spot light and starts with them watching over a newly resurrected and imprisoned Thanos while Nova pursues Quasar while Magus and the Universal Church of Truth tear open the ‘Fault’ which is a massive rip in the universe leading to a seemingly infinite amount of realities through space and time. Through it comes monstrous creatures led by an alternative Captain Marvel ‘Lord Mar-Vell’ who is the existing leader of the Cancerverse (which is a reality in which Death itself has been banished from so Life runs rampant and seeks to spread his/its plague to all over verses). The Guardians of the Galaxy must team up with Thanos of all people for he is the Avatar of Death and journey into the Fault. Meanwhile Nova also leads Quasar, Beta Ray Bill, Gladiator, Silver Surfer, and Ronan. This leads to more events that I shan’t spoil, it’s a fantastic story

The artwork is gorgeous and the writing is superb. Everything falls into place so well, there’s action and plenty of it, suspense and tension, and some shockers too. If you had to read just one Guardians story it should be this one.

.

So there we have it! my five favourite Guardians of the Galaxy stories. Next week’s top five titles will be Thanos and in the week following I will be doing another respect thread for Thanos too! After the release of Avengers: Infinity War I will be holding a sweepstakes draw with the prize of a mystery character pop vinyl figure and a signed comic featuring a character from the film. I will also be running a random draw from subscribers/followers to this blog, so if you’ve not got a wordpress account, getting one is the way to enter that.

Stay tuned! Peace out.

To Infinity and War. Part 3.

Here we are! The last of my three-part post on the comics to read before Infinity War! The second and official official trailer dropped, I say two officials because the first one that dropped is also an official. I love how that the first trailer we saw was very much about the story of the film and the second one was more so about the action, and interactions we will see of it. The T.V spot was nice too, a few tasty Easter Eggs were dotted in that. Anyway, this post; part 3 is mainly about Thanos himself. 3 in fact are and we’ll get to those in a bit. At the end of this blog will be my round up, as the total 15 comics make quite a large list. And also details on the give-away that I will be doing on a post after the cinematic release of Avengers: Infinity War.

5. Captain Marvel: Higher, Further, Faster, More

Captain Marvel has recently been confirmed to appear in Infinity War, although we don’t know to what capacity. After all, Bucky was confirmed for Black Panther and he was only in a credit scene so who knows in what way we’ll see Carol Danvers.

Captain Marvel has played a big role in Marvel’s universe and Captain Marvel: Higher, Further, Faster, More, is an excellent place to pick up her tale. Captain Marvel, a.k.a. CaptainMarvelCarol Danvers, comes to a crossroads with a new life and new romance, she makes a dramatic decision that will alter the course of her life, and the entire Marvel universe, in the months to come. Carol takes on a mission to return an alien girl to her homeworld, she lands in the middle of an uprising against the Galactic Alliance. Carol discovers that she has a history with those behind the plot, and when the villain tries to blackmail Carol and turn the Avengers against her, it gets personal. The Guardians of the Galaxy also make an appearance, and stick around for a while too. While this story may not be on everyone’s list before Avengers: Infinity War, it’s on mine because everyone needs a bit of Carol Danvers in their life.

Carol Danvers has sass, sarcasm, badass powers, and a bitchin’ outfit. This volume follows a story that reminds me of Firefly, with cameos from Iron Man, the Iron Patriot and the Guardians of the Galaxy. AND it has some Star Wars references, from the good ones.

4. Annhilation

Annhilation is, to be honest, a weird choice for this list. Annhilation is a 2006 cross over event that highlights several outer-space characters including the Guardians of the Galaxy, Galactus, Annhilators, Silver Surfer, and Thanos.

The reason I’ve included it, however, is that it’s probably the best Marvel cross over, and it features several locations and events that we’ve already seen in the MCU such as the AnnhilationKyln, that features as the prison in Guardians of the Galaxy. The story centers on the big baddie Annhilus as he declares war, and with his unstoppable Annihilation Wave, he swarms into the Marvel Universe, demolishing all in its path with only a handful of heroes resisting his grasp. Nova is given advice from Drax the Destroyer and Silver Surfer seeks out Galactus for aid. Nova and Quasar’s army leads the charge, but as heroes fall and Annihilus rises, growing stronger and stronger, an unlikely character is called upon for a last hope. Thanos himself. Yep, you read that right. Thanos aka the Mad Titan. Annihilation is told through a variety of different stories, from the perspective of Thanos, Drax, Nova, Silver Surfer, Super-Skrull, the Heralds of Galactus, and Ronan the Accuser.

Ultimately the Annihilation story is one of the biggest cross overs in Marvel’s history, with fantastic action and mind-warping tension as Annhilus’ grows in power. It’s a story that really seems like all hope is lost and the villain will ultimately reign victorious… sound familiar to an up-coming film at all? Annihilation may be a vast read but it’s really very good and shows Thanos under the spotlight once more.

3. Thanos Rising

Onto the Thanos Three now. Kicking off the three stories that center around the Mad Titan himself is Thanos Rising. I feel this is a must read before Infinity War for it is about his own origin.

Thanos Rising is written by Jason Aaron and details the story of how Thanos became known as the Mad Titan. Thanos was born on Titan to two eternals, he was born with a ThanosRisingdeviant gene that resulted in Thanos becoming a ‘mutant’ of Titan. Due to this gene he developed purple hide-like skin, and powers that vastly surpassed that of other Titans. This mutation also augmented the powers he inherently possessed as a descendant of the Eternals. Growing to become the most powerful Titan, his skin developed in such a fashion so as to allow the Titan to not only absorb cosmic energy on a atomic level, but also then manipulate it as kinetic force via conscious choice. Thanos was shunned and feared by fellow Titans. On one fateful day, in an all but forgotten subterranean temple, an enterprising young Thanos would find companionship in the form of Mistress Death. Thanos’ relationship with Mistress Death grew and eventually blossomed into a dark and forbidden romance. Under Death’s tutelage, he grew even stronger and more powerful – well versed in the Black Arts, which had long been forbidden on Titan. She taught Thanos that knowledge is power, and that power is everything. He eventually surpassed all other Eternals and returned to Titan to display his power. I won’t spoil the rest for it is glorious.

Thanos Rising is definitely a MUST read before Avengers: Infinity War, there’s no greater story to detail Thanos before he started terrorizing the rest of the universe.

2. Marvel: The End

The End. No, we’re just starting this part. Onto the second comic that primarily features or centers on Thanos. I actually always think of this comic every time I hear Thanos say “The end is near” from the second official trailer, I get chills.

Anyway, Marvel: The End is written by Jim Starlin, it’s a story where we see Thanos at probably the most powerful (apart from in Infinity Gauntlet, good game universe, good The Endgame), and features spot-light roles for Thor, Zeus, Captain Marvel, Dr. Strange, Namor and the Silver Surfer. Marvel: The End is not one of the best written stories ever but it is key for this list. The story is mainly about something called ‘The Heart of the Universe’ which is an energy source first discovered millennia ago by a group of alien explorers who then became the “Celestial Order”, who learned to harness its great energy. The explorers decided to use the power to attempt to forcibly bring peace to the universe, by appointing beings they deemed worthy of the Heart’s power to rule sectors of the universe. The Order chose the ancient Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten as their agent on Earth. The power, however, corrupts Akhenaten, who arrives on present day Earth and uses the Heart’s power to conquer the world, killing most of Earth’s heroes in the process. Thanos, who has become aware of the Heart’s power, gathers the last of the heroes, including the Defenders and Captain Marvel, in an offensive on the Order. Thanos successfully destroys the machinery that allows the Order to channel the Heart’s power and then absorbs the power into himself.

Various other crazy cool things happen after this but I’m not gonna give it all away, there’d be no point in you reading it then! Marvel: The End is definitely worth the read up to Infinity War, it one of the best stories for observing quite how much destruction can happen.

1. Infinity

Infinity. What a story ‘Infinity’ is. Arguably one of the best cosmic stories of Marvel’s history and definitely one of the best, if not the best, story of Thanos in modern comics.

Infinity, written by Jonathan Hickman (the man’s a comic-writing god), combines multiple issues that were built up and spread across the ‘Marvel NOW!’ initiative. These issues include a threat to the universe by an ancient race of aliens Infinityknown as the Builders. The second is the mysterious ailments plaguing the universe with Earth at the center. The third is the political ramifications these events have on Earth’s relationship to the rest of the galactic community. The story itself involves Thanos attacking Earth while the Avengers are in space uniting the universe against the ‘Builders’, with the events of the 2013 “Age of Ultron” story-line acting as a catalyst for the rest of the universe to formally target Earth. A particularly great reason Infinity War is on this list and a very important one is that the main characters are as follows – Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Cull Obsidian (Black Order), Thanos, Illuminati, Inhumans, and the Builders. As you may have seen, in the various trailers and TV spots, Avengers: Infinity War will feature at least four of those with The Cull Obsidian and their army, the Outriders, taking a huge chunk of the story. It’s a fantastic story spreading far and wide with dramatic implications for Earth and Earth’s heroes, much like Avengers: Infinity War will have. The Cull Obsidian and Outriders are fascinating too, it’s certainly one of the best stories to witness them do what they do.

Infinity has something for every single type of Marvel fan. The destruction of entire planets, desperate space battles, sinister team-ups, wicked villains, political machinations, and some seriously kick-ass battle theaters! This book delivered in spades. Not even to mention the cast of characters rolled into all of this! I loved how eclectic the amalgamation of heroes and villains were, and we got such an incredibly detailed look into the power behind some of these previously barely seen characters. There are some amazing moments and some moments that make you nervous to turn the next page, out of fear for what may happen to your beloved characters. Read Infinity.

So here’s the final list, you can find the other parts on my blog or just click here for Part 1 – 15th to 11th. Part 2 – 10th to 6th. 

There’s a lot of comics on this combined list and if it were my choice to just read five of them before Avengers: Infinity War they would be: Journey Into Mystery, Infinity Gauntlet, Vision: Little Worse Than A Man, Thanos Rising, and Infinity. I am so unbelievably excited for this film, I’ve watched the trailers so many times. I hope ya’ll are.

GIVE-AWAY DETAILS!

After Avengers: Infinity War releases I will be doing a geeky give away featuring a pop vinyl figure from the film and a signed comic. I’m still working out the specifications of this give away but stay tuned, details on how to enter will be on one of my next few posts.

As always, I hope you enjoyed the read!

To Infinity and War. Part 2.

TO INFINITY AND… WAR. Buzz lightyear is confused.

Anyway, welcome back! My first part to this three-part post got an incredible amount of views compared to my other posts. Black Panther Easter Eggs has the most with just over one-hundred views and then part one of this list got seventy-four, thank you so much guys! The first posts got one or two views, we’re climbing. To celebrate the climbing views, I’m going to be doing a give-away after the release of Infinity War! All details will be posted later but having a wordpress account will help significantly (doesn’t take long to sign up)

Now, let us begin the second part of the stories to read before Avengers: Infinity War. Counting from 10 – 6. Again, as usual, the post will have spoilers for the comic stories and as with the last post, these aren’t in order, they’re all very essential. You can use your head to work out which are more important to you.

10. Vision: Little Worse Than A Man

Vision has become a centre stage role within the MCU since his creation in Avengers: Age of Ultron and it certainly looks like things are going to be a little rocky for our favourite

Vision

android come Infinity War seeing as Thanos wants the stones, Vision has a stone… in his head, rest in pieces. It stands to reason that Vision could survive without the stone but we don’t know to what capacity, if at all. No Worse Than A Man explores a rather normal approach to a character you’d expect to have one of the least-normal lives.

There is really no better series to explore Vision than Tom King’s comic. King was something of a brilliant surprise, his writing has been excellent across the board. King’s Vision: Little Worse Than A Man is particularly excellent because it explores a study of Vision’s character. It poses big questions and describes the collapse of the character’s very life.

9. The Defenders

The original Defenders, before the world of Netflix-Marvel, was comprised of Doctor Strange, Hulk, Silver Surfer, and Namor. Although Silver Surfer and Namor aren’t a part

Defenders

of the MCU it provides a great insight into Doctor Strange and Hulk in a defend-the-world context. The story/run show cases Hulk’s extreme power but contained in a way that won’t cause mass damage, and Doctor Strange’s extreme knowledge of the mystical arts combined with powerful, far-reaching spells. Matt Fraction’s run on the Defenders is definitely a must read before Infinity War.

One of the more recent Defenders stories, written by Matt Fraction, featured that same roster with the additions of Iron Fist and Red She-Hulk. What makes the series so important is that it combines the mystic and cosmic elements into one Marvel story, running side by side, much the same as Infinity War is going to have.

8. The Thanos War/Captain Marvel Complete Collection.

Even before Thanos had the Infinity Gauntlet he was a pain to Marvel’s heroes. He’s tremendously powerful even without using the Infinity Stones. Thanos has superhuman

Thanos War

strength, stamina, durability/invulnerability, intelligence. He can manipulate matter and energy, create force fields, has telepathic abilities, anddd he’s technically immortal. The Thanos War is a refreshing read, a slow burner with Thanos appearing in the shadows – interfering in the lives of heroes; turning them against each other, to further his own agenda and impress Death. The Thanos War has a vast roster of characters too, and serves as the first major introduction of Thanos himself.

Although this introduction of Thanos was never fully collected, the most important parts – such as Thanos’ big reveal, his collection of the cosmic cube, temporary rise to godhood, can be found in the ‘Captain Marvel Complete Collection’. Some of these issues as well as a variety of Avengers issues can also be found in the ‘Avengers vs. Thanos’ trade. This story is definitely a must read or must study of Thanos before the film.

7. New Avengers vol 1: Everything Dies

This is a particular favourite of mine for the list. Under Jonathan Hickman, the New Avengers took a surprisingly dark turn. New Avengers brings the Illuminati back

New Avengers

together and to the front-lines of a war. The Illuminati, for those of you that don’t know, were assembled after the skrull invasion of Earth. The original members were Iron Man, Mr Fantastic, Namor, Doctor Strange, Black Bolt, and Professor X. Iron Man realised that if they had worked together before the invasion, they could have each used their own respective information and stopped it, instead of creating a government of superhumans, they instead formed the Illuminati. After the events of Civil War, Mister Fantastic managed to get hold of the Infinity Gauntlet and a few of the stones, the stones were assigned to members of the Illuminati who would look after and protect them.

In vol 1: Everything Dies, Black Panther, Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Black Bolt, Mister Fantastic, Namor the Sub-Mariner and Beast must face a seemingly infinite alternative realities, yhe Illuminati gather to plan for the death of everything…but their task is complicated by old wounds, lies and secret agendas. Jonathan Hickman writes a dark and powerful story that provides a great insight into the Illuminati and their roles with the infinity stones.

6. Thanos Quest

Right, let’s be clear here, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), everyone has been trying to get their hands on the Infinity Stones – whether to protect them from Thanos’ reach, or to power androids, power their weapons, add to their lavish collections, or A1gCdLP8buLsimply to combine and destroy. They’ve, for the most part, been left in the hands of the heroes of Earth who have mostly no idea about the universe-warping potential, good job. In the comics, however, to find the Infinity Stones Thanos has to travel from planet to planet, galaxy to galaxy, dimension to dimension which left many a dead-being in his wake. He did all this to combine the Infinity Stones (or gems as some call them), in the Infinity Gauntlet and then destroy Earth, along with a large portion of the entire universe so that he can impress his would-be lover Death.

Thanos Quest is a really great story that gives you a great look at the Infinity Stones, as well as a detailed observation of Thanos and how much of a swell guy he is. Rip. Not only does it provide these details but it also is a fun, action-packed, quick-paced story.

So that’s the second part done! More details for the give-away, after Avengers: Infinity War, will be in the third part! I hope you enjoyed the read! Peace!

To Infinity and War. Part 1.

The first of March has dawned upon us earlier this week. Infinity War looms in the near-future with a 27th of April UK release date (score). This post will be the first of a three-part series post on the essential comics to read or study before the big release! The comic-stories will be a mixture of ones that both aid your knowledge on some of the major players and also comics that the film will most certainly draw from. Infinity War is going to be packed with Marvel characters, and we will finally see Thanos in action along side his Black Order, who also bear the title of the Children of Thanos. I personally can not wait to see Thanos in action, along side Proximita Midnight of the Order; she’s a favourite of the Children of Thanos to me. Dat staff. As usual, this post will have spoilers regarding the listed material.

Part 1, this post, will reveal stories 15 – 11, and unlike my other lists these aren’t in descending order of greatness; they’re all fantastic and all essential. So, let us begin the countdown.

15. Journey Into Mystery

If you thought this list would all be about Thanos and the Black Order then you were wrong. This is certainly a contender for one of the saddest comics out there. Kieron Journey into MysteryGillen is one of the best writers to come to Marvel so it should be not much of a surprise to the hard-core fans among you to see one of his best stories here. One of the most talked about shots from the Infinity War trailer is Loki presenting someone the Tesseract, which is undoubtedly Thanos given with how Thor: Ragnarok ends. Thanos is one of the greatest threats in Marvel so to have him appear in this film will certainly mean the end of one or two, if not several beloved characters, and unfortunately Loki is one of the biggest contenders of this category. We saw amazing development in Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok for both Thor and Loki but I feel that Loki’s death will serve as a major motivator for Thor in Infinity War.

Thor is one of the heavy hitters and will be a definite asset in bringing down Thanos. Journey into Mystery is a story about Loki’s demise, the story is brilliantly written and hits all the right notes while also concreting the tragedy of Loki’s place in myth and legend.

14. The Death of Captain America

Hear me out yo. Captain America’s death has been a topic of great discussion among the fans of the MCU, both in hushed whispers on dark internet forums and large group Death of Captain Americadebates on the world of Facebook. Kevin Feige has said that there will be two very different times of the MCU – before the climax of Infinity War and its sequel, and after. Tony Stark aka Iron Man, and Steve Rogers aka Captain America have been the two in the centre spotlight roles of phases 1 – 3, while other characters have had their own arcs and times to shine, the overall plot has been entwined around Iron Man and Cap’s relationship. For Phase 4 to be a very different story, both of them need to go. Of course, plenty believe that Bucky will take over as Cap sometime in the future but the death of Cap will be a hard hitting event regardless, being a crucial building block that has definitely been one of the strongest assets in the MCU.

The Death of Captain America is written by Ed Brubaker and is certainly one of the most heart wrenching stories in modern comics. Although Infinity War is definitely an Avengers film, Cap’s role will certainly be a centre one especially with how Civil War ended, with him disappearing alongside his Secret Avengers. While the death of this beloved character would differ from how it was in the comic, this story is an almost guaranteed must-read before this climax film.

13. Kree-Skrull War

We will actually be seeing the fan-favourite Skrulls appear and make their cinematic debut in Captain Marvel (2019), after Infinity War however this brilliant comic is still an Kree-Skrull-Waressential read before the film for the chances of a full-scale conflict breaking out in future phases certainly aren’t unrealistic. The Kree/Skrull War definitely is a real contender for the next Avengers or other team film.  The comic’s story is written by Roy Thomas and drawn by both Buscema brothers and Neal Adams, centrs around… did you guess it? Probably. A war between the Skrulls and the Kree. The original Captain Mar-Vel was involved too and we know now that he will be the primary antagonist of the 2019 Captain Marvel film, and it also introduced the now iconic Scarlet Witch-Vision romance which, from the trailer of Infinity War, we can see has evolved from romantic feelings into a fully fledged coupling.

The Kree-Skrull war features many of the characters that will be prominent in Infinity War as well as including many assets that I’m sure Infinity War will draw upon, it certainly holds a lot of hosts for the film and surely for the upcoming Phase afterwards too.

12. Invincible Iron Man Vol 1

While this one may be a bit of a surprise, I feel it’s pretty important to Tony Stark’s appearance in Infinity War. in the Infinity War TV spot we got a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it Invicible Iron Manlook at the Bleeding Edge armour that debuts in Invincible Iron Man vol 1 #25, released in April 2010. The Bleeding Edge armour is essentially Tony’s “ultimate” armour that resides within his very body. Its main feature was that the armour was made up entirely of nano-technology, and almost appeared to be liquid, flowing out from Tony’s own body to wrap him in an Iron Man shell, and even other weapons if need be. While this comic may not be key for the story of Infinity War it will give you a look into Tony’s full creative talent for building armour and really does enforce the seriousness of the situation, also the story is a great jumping on spot for new readers which I always encourage, as well as giving a great example of how resourceful Tony can be.

Tony Stark is actually one of the great tacticians of Marvel and while he’s not on the level of strategic planning that T’Challa might be, he’s certainly a good’n. As mentioned above, Tony Stark has been one of the centre spot-light roles in phases 1 – 3 of the MCU and his death, along with Captain America, as well as a few others is something that I’m sure we will see. Invincible Iron Man is a great story and peek inside the armour, and the man who wears it.

 11. Infinity Gauntlet

This one will really come as no surprise, or it really shouldn’t give that Thanos’ Infinity Gauntlet is the centre piece to the whole film. Every Marvel fan should have this on their Infinity Gauntlerreading list before the film. Infinity Gauntlet is written by Jim Starlin. The book focuses on Thanos aka the Mad Titan, as he attempts to court Death. Thanos takes control of the Infinity Gauntlet and promptly eradicates half the sentient life in the universe. A vast amount of big heroes perish in the event and it’s left to a handful of survivors to bring Thanos down including Adam Warlock, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, and Nebula. The Infinity Gauntlet also showcases the importance and power of the wearable weapon itself, as much as the power behind the stones/gems that fit into it. The Gauntlet harnesses the power of each stone and when the gauntlet is filled up, it gives the wearer complete control over each of them allowing he/she to really do whatever the hell they want to space/time/reality.

It’s unclear as to how much of this story will be used for the Infinity War film but my bet is that quite a lot of it will. As well as being an essential story before the film it also reads well as a fantastic story. It has time-travel, drama, death, suspense, action, and twists.

So that’s the first part of this list! The next part will drop in the incoming week or weekend and will feature many other characters such as Vision, Captain Marvel, Kang, the Illuminati and more. Listing stories 10 – 6. Part three, the final part, will drop a week or so after that and feature stories 5 – 1.

Hope you enjoyed the read! Peace.

Easter Eggs fit for a King

So! It’s been just over a week since Black Panther released in the United Kingdom and I thought I would give a little breakdown of some of the best Easter Eggs in the film. What did you all think of the film? I thought it was pretty flawless, giving it a strong 8/10, making it my third favourite MCU film behind Thor: Ragnarok with 8.5/10 and Captain America: The Winter Soldier with 8.3/10. While there was nothing immediate about Black Panther that I didn’t like, it wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea/unicorn blood/whiskey and there were certainly a few minor things I found to be a flaw with it. That being said, almost every single film I have ever watched has flaws in it, and I take my own rating process quite seriously (I’ve only ever given one film the strongest there could be, a 10/10 rating).

Black Panther was a gorgeous film, even if you didn’t like it you can’t deny that it was one of the most colourful, exotic films to date. Brilliant use of colour, gradients, shading and textures to create a truly staggering to look at film. There were parts of it where I had a hard time looking away from the scenery in the background, and on top of that, the costume design was excellent and the writing excelled all round. While there were just over 20 Easter Eggs that I noticed, I will be listing today, my favourite 15 nods/references/ general Easter Eggs. Starting from 15th. As with most of my posts, this will have spoilers.

15th. Stan Lee Cameo

Stan Lee has a cameo of course, and I think it’s one of my favourite in the MCU, hell, out of all his cameos. Stan Lee appears in Busan shortly before the chase in Busan. T’Challa places a bet on the roulette tables and walks off before the winnings come in, and Stan Lee appears, talking to Everett Ross and says that he’ll hold onto them. It was really nice to have Stan appear outside of Wakanda, I was worried a little before the film that he’d show up in the secret kingdom and that would stick out a little too much, even for a MCU film.

14th. Sorcerer Supreme

The presence of magic is everywhere in the world of Marvel but you have to look closely to see it, and the same is for the nod towards the sanctums in Doctor Strange. The line is a quick one and if you’re not paying active attention then it might fly right over your head. When Erik Kilmonger takes the mantle of king he starts to send weapons out into the world, towards cities where the black population are ready to rise up again. W’kabi, the head of Wakandan military, informs Killmonger that spies all over the world report that most people are hesitant towards this. But the forces held in reserve in New York, London, and Hong Kong are ready to attack. The three sanctums that protect Earth from magical threats are also in those cities, quoted almost exactly the same by Wong when talking to Stephen Strange. While it may just be a nod by Coogler to Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson, it may hold more importance; specifically something to do with Infinity War perhaps?

13th. Public Enemy

Black Panther was splashed with references towards black history and culture, a notable nod to Public Enemy was well placed. Public Enemy became famous for their powerful, politically charged lyrics and their incredibly distinct, Black Panther Party-influenced look. In the film, N’Jobu’s apartment in Oakland has a Public Enemy poster on the wall. it doesn’t take a lot of thinking to see the connections between N’Jobu’s view of the world and the famous Public Eenmy album title, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back.

12th. Waterfall Death

While it may seem something of a fashion for films, not just superhero ones, to kill off their heroes only to reveal later on that they survived and have come back for vengeance but in Black Panther, the scene where Killmonger throws T’Challa from the waterfall, which supposedly killed him, actually happened in the comics so was a direct reference to the source material as well as being a plot device. In the story “Panther’s Rage” (which is the film’s major source material for adaptation), Killmonger throws Black Panther off the edge of a waterfall.

11th. Klaue’s Cannon

It finally made an appearance. When rumours spread about Ulysses Klaue appearing back in Age of Ultron (Avengers 2), one of the big things on everyone’s mind was his signature arm cannon, and although he did not have it in that film, it was set up for him to have it in Black Panther. In Age of Ultron, Ultron cuts off Klaue’s arm from the shoulder and then he disappears, now appearing again in Black Panther we are greeted with a prosthetic arm but it doubles as a tool and weapon. The arm itself is made from Wakandan technology and is capable of transforming into a cannon. Klaue even explains to Everett Ross that it’s adapted from Wakandan mining technology. Sadly Klaue meets his demise in the film but Andy Serksis played him brilliantly, I can hardly imagine anyone else in the role of it, and credit to Ryan Coogler for giving the fans that villain they had been craving as an epic addition to the film.

10th. Back to the Future

A clever pop culture reference in the film is when Shuri, T’Challa’s sister debuts a new type of footwear. The shoes are made of a vibranium mesh to make them absorb sound and impact, Shuri says she calls them “Sneakers” as a joke. Interesting enough, the shoes are not just a cool reveal for the film, they actually debuted on the comic page during Christopher Priest’s run on Black Panther which was shortly after T’Challa started wearing vibranium gloves/gauntlets. This isn’t the only pop-culture, media reference in the film but definitely one of the most memorable.

9th. Father and Son

A clear and powerful theme of Black Panther is the importance of fathers on the lives of their sons, even after death, with Killonger killing hundreds of people just to find a way to get back to Wakanda to see his father’s legacy fulfilled and T’Challa struggling with the fact that the father that he thought he knew in and out, actually had a dark secret and was an imperfect person.

Ryan Coogler cleverly connected the father/son theme with the scenes back in time of the film. In flashbacks to 1992 T’Chaka is played by Atandwa Kani, and the T’Chaka that we all saw in Civil War and see again on the Ancestral Plane is played by John Kani. The two men are father and son, this was a brilliant Easter Egg as it is a nod to the underlying themes of the film’s setting.

8th. White Wolf

Really, it should not come as too much of a surprise that Bucky is still in Wakanda, given how Civil War ended. One of the credit scenes, second of the two, reveals to us that Bucky is not only in Wakanda but he’s healthy and that Shur has ‘cured’ him of his brainwashing. This, of course, is a direct set up for Infinity War and probably a nod to the idea that Bucky will join T’Challa on the battlefield to defend Wakanda. On top of this, the Wakandan children who are what we see as the scene first starts are calling Bucky “White Wolf”. The White Wolf is a comic book reference to Hunter, a young boy whose parents died in a plane crash in Wakanda who later rose to become one of T’Challa’s most trusted soldiers. We also observe him with no arm in the post credit scene, hinting that his new arm (as seen in the Infinity War trailer) will be unveiled then, and who wants to bet it’s gonna be from vibranium? Now, back to the Easter Egg, I don’t imagine Bucky will become the masked hero in costume, known as the White Wolf but maybe he will take on the name from the Wakandan people in Infinity War and after? If he survives of course (we’ll get to something about that a little later).

7th. The Face of War

Erik Stevens aka Killmonger was the star of the show in Black Panther. T’Challa was, of course, exceptional as were his supporting characters; Shuri, Okoye, Ramonda, but the villain, in my eyes really hit everything spot on. Definitely one of the hardest areas of comic-book film adaptations is the costume design. Making a costume look close enough to the comic-counter part but without being impracticable or silly as most of the character’s costumes were designed wayyyy back when the character was first created, or they’re so wonderfully creative that there is no way that a film, with a small or large budget, would be able to re-create it. It’s not even a matter of respect or reverence to the source material, it’s just that things drawn for a comic often look weird in a film.

However, films can make certain parts of costumes work, or adapt them to look sometimes better than the comic. The mask that Killmonger wears to break Klaue out of CIA holding is an almost direct lift from the comics, it has been adapted a little to change the texture or details, but for the most part and overall design it is the same. Killmonger often wears this mask in the comics. The mask is from Africa and was worn by tribal warriors in battle, partly for protection but also for ceremonial use, and fear tactics.

6th. Panther vs Rhino

One of the best action and visual scenes of the film was the last battle in which the Wakandan military, who are loyal to the now-king Killmonger, are pitted against T’Challa and his Dora Milaje. As the fate of the battle looks to be an even chance for either side, the Wakandan soldiers release their surprise weapon; vibranium armoured rhinos. T’Challa’s first attempt to bring down a rhino is a callback to his very first story arc, “Panther’s Rage” in the pages of Jungle Action comics (which was the story to provide the basic structure of the MCU adaptation).

5th. A New Captain

Right from the first Captain America film (The First Avenger), Bucky Barnes has been foreshadowed to take on the mantle and pick up the shield after Steve Rogers departs from the role, which is something many fans speculate he will do in Infinity war or its sequel. Although Bucky is only seen for about 30 seconds on screen in the post-credit scene of Black Panther, the colours of his clothing would certainly suggest more foreshadowing. Bright red and blue clothes definitely suggest something along those lines, and while we see all throughout the film that red is a strong choice of colour for the warriors in Wakanda, especially with Black Panther’s personal guard; The Dora Milaje, this detail seems too good to be just coincidence.

4th. What are thooose?!

Shuri, T’Challa’s younger sister, was an amazing addition to the film; she may well have been the film’s break-out character. Shuri is quite the tech wizard, she develops and tests extremely advanced technology, such as the Black Panther suits as well as outstanding communicators and EMP charges; I imagine we’ll see more and more of this wondrous technology in the films to come. A particularly brilliant Easter Egg in Black Panther comes when Shuri addresses T’Challa on his choice of footwear, just before revealing the “Sneakers” as listed above. She points to them and laughs, snickering “What are thoooose?!” this of course is a reference to pop-culture and media sharing platform; Vine. The Vine in question is a woman talking to a police officer, asking the exact same thing. However, the original appearance of this quote comes from Disney’s 1997 Hercules, when Hades expresses his distaste over Hercules merchandise of which Pain; one of his minions, is wearing.

3rd. An Amazing Adaptation

Near the start of the film when T’Challa is back in Wakanda to take his rite of passage and ceremonial practice into becoming king, in which other tribe leaders may challenge the heir and if they win they take the throne, the Jabari tribe make a surprise appearance and their leader challenges T’Challa to combat over the crown. T’Challa beats M’Baku in single combat but doesn’t kill him, allows him to tap out and live another day. M’Baku also appears later in the film after Erik supposedly kills T’Challa by throwing him from the waterfall. Winston Duke plays M’Baku and was definitely the best surprise of the film. M’Baku in the comics is also a villain, he is an enemy of Black Panther and they have often clashed, he goes by the name of Man-Ape as this villain. Yet another example of how difficult it is to adapt certain characters into the Marvel Cinematic Universe comes from characters who were created in a different time.

Calling an African character “Man-Ape” today would be awful, because it’s considered a racist remark, however, M’Baku is an exceptionally strong character and portrayed brilliantly, so the film adapted him into the story. Marvel’s creative teams still managed to keep a lot of the design effects of the original character including M’Baku’s ape helmet, and while they changed his costume to a more tribal approach, it still delivers a strong design. Winston Duke was definitely a scene-stealer, both comedic and frightening.

2nd. Oakland Roots

The Oakland Roots of Killmonger are an important one but for more than one reason. Ryan Coogler, who wrote and directed the film, was born in Oakland, California. Oakland has appeared in one significant way or another in all three of his major films – Fruitvale Station, Creed, and Black Panther. However, Oakland was also the birth place of where the Black Panther political party was founded in 1966, this connects the superhero Black Panther to the city in such a strong way.

1st. Mercy

This one the a big one in my books, and a two-in-one Easter Egg.

In the film, T’Challa takes it upon himself to track down Ulysses Klaue in Busan, South Korea as his first act as king. After a rather incredible chase scene in which we see some of the glamour Wakandan technology and their brainstorming creator; Shuri, in action, T’Challa catches up to Klaue and almost kills him, filled with anger, but the world is watching as a crowd gathers taking pictures and filming so instead T’Challa grants him mercy, letting Everet Ross take him into custody instead. The exact line that T’Challa speaks is “every breath you take is mercy from me!” It’s quite the line, very memorable and hard hitting but it’s not just from the film, the exact quote is from New Avengers #22 by Jonathan Hickman and Kev Walker, spoken by T’Challa to Namor before their fight goes to a brand new level. The Atlantean king and the Wakandan king were allies for a number of years but their relationship degraded over the years until it finally broke during Avengers vs. X-Men when Namor invades Wakanda. So this line is both a powerful and fitting quote for the film, and also a shout out to Namor. Maybe this could be a sign of Namor to come in the future? Probably not, probably just a nice nod to the line itself but I’d love to see Namor on the big screen and as an enemy to Black Panther could be a great way of introducing him into the MCU.

So there we have it! My list of favourite Easter Eggs from the MCU film Black Panther. Did you spot all of these? What are some others that you saw that didn’t make my list but made yours (as I saw more too)? Hope everyone has an Eggcelent day, and weekend. My next post will be my favourite Captain America stories and then shortly into March I am going to write a post on the essential comics to be read  before Infinity War hits on the 27th of April. Peace ❤

One List To Rule Them All

So today’s the day. I’m 25 years old and you can betcha ass I’m gonna have me some Colin the Caterpillar cake. I’m also now going to share with you my favourite comic arcs from Marvel and DC comics. Now, lets be clear, Marvel and DC both have a LOT of extremely good arcs, so narrowing my favourites down to ten was pretty hard, yo. If you don’t like my list… well, that’s fine, you’re allowed to not. This will have spoilers!

Starting at 10th place! Lets begin!

Number 10.

10th place is Flashpoint from DC comics. Flashpoint is written by Geoff Johns and illustrated by Andy Kubert.

The story centres on Flash, and he wakes up at his desk and the whole world has changed – Aquaman and Atlantis are at war with Wonder Woman and the Amazons, the

flashpoint

war is threatening the whole world. So imagine Bruce Wayne died in the alley instead of his parents! In the Flashpoint universe exactly that happened, and then his mother went mad with grief and her descent into madness ended with her becoming the Joker and his father became the Batman but a far darker Batman than we had previously seen; a Batman that kills, drinks and preys on criminals. Superman is a prisoner of the U.S government and has never seen the sunlight, Shazam exists but in this world is made when a combination of teens shout ‘Shazam’ and transform into Captain Thunder and other new-but-altered faces. This story packed such a huge punch, it was so refreshing and an interesting concept. Plus when you find out who is responsible for this new timeline, you’ll be so surprised.

Flashpoint is a crazy story full of twists and turns all the way through. Gorgeous art work by Andy Kubert, fantastic pencilling and brilliant proportions, Geoff Johns outdid himself yet again with the story. ‘Ol Geoff makes a few appearances on this list.

Number 9.

9th place is Thor: God of Thunder, Vol 1: The God Butcher from Marvel comics. The God Butcher is written by Jason Aaron and illustrated by Esad Ribic.

Now, this one may be of a surprise, even to my close friends. This is the most recently published story on the list, published in June 2013. Personally I’m not one of those people

GodofThunder

that think because something is recent, or new, that means you can’t include it in your favourites of something. Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic are an almighty force when creating comics. One of the best writers of recent Marvel history and certainly one of the most incredible artists right now. Thor is one of my favourite characters and while he has many good stories, God of Thunder captured something exquisite in my eyes. I was transfixed upon the pages as soon as I picked up the first issue. In this series they introduced the terrific villain, Gorr the God Butcher who is as terrifying as he is amazing, and certainly one of the best villains the God of Thunder has ever faced. God of Thunder is split across three timelines within Thor’s life and the story is looked at from these three times. In the past, we see Thor as he follows the bloody wake of murdered gods across the depths of space and throughout the realms. In the present, Thor discovers a forgotten cave that echoes with the spilled blood and forgotten voices of the gods, including his own, and finally; thousands of years from now, the last God – Thor of a ruined Asgard makes his final stand against the God Butcher’s berserker legions. God of Thunder, Vol 1: The God Butcher is a must read.

With beautiful pastel colours that bring a true sense of mythology from the pages and into your mind, and Jason Aaron’s superb story telling, this is one of the best Thor stories. No, one of the best Marvel stories ever written.

Number 8.

8th place is Hellblazer: Original Sins from Vertigo comics and published by DC comics. Original Sins is written by Jamie Delano and illustrated by John Ridgway.

This is where it all started. The first volume of Hellblazer set the tone for the decades of John Constantine stories to follow and it was a pretty darn good start. Original Sins is a

hellblazer.jpeg

comic that blends horror and fantasy, venturing well and truly into the realm of magic, hell, angels, and demons. John Constantine is an unconcerned, somewhat amoral occultist and con artist with a British working-class background. He’s a hero, of sorts, who manages to come out on top through a combination of luck, trickery, and genuine magical skill. The Original Sins collection is a loosely connected series of tales of John’s early years where Constantine was at his best and at his worst, all at the same time. This comic is what made me fall in love with John Constantine. This volume of Hellblazer is very noticeably late 80s, which is when it was written. The whole thing is very closely tied to a lot of the issues at the time, both politically and socially, and both in the UK and the US (homophobia, Margaret Thatcher, Vietnam, etc.). This doesn’t negatively affect its readability, though, in fact, it enhances it. Origin Sins is a gritty and murky collection of stories, the book makes your skin actually crawl as you read it and there’s some pretty grim stuff in it about Constantine and his enemies. The art is utterly staggering as well, the combination of bold pen-work and pastel/faded paint brings the feeling of a somewhat disturbed setting. Ultimately, if you want to truly see Constantine at work, the original Vertigo/DC Hellblazer run is the place to start. The whole run is considered, in my eyes, one of the best runs in comics ever but Original Sins stands out beyond all for it’s bold approach on the start of what will be an iconic and classic character.

Jamie Delano is a superb writer and creates such an atmospheric tale of Constantine, and truly defines his character. This writing combined with John Rdigeway’s beautiful art work makes for one of the best comics I’ve ever seen.

Number 7.

7th place is Avengers: The Children’s Crusade from Marvel comics. The Children’s Crusade is written by Allan Heiberg and illustrated by Jim Cheung.

The story was an emotional ride from start to finish. I remember picking it up and being completely blown away by the final result. Allan Heinberg, who is very familiar with the

ChildrensCrusade

Young Avengers, bringing huge success to Marvel Comics with their series was the obvious choice for this story. He perfectly blended the different teams and characters, and gave Wiccan a brilliant spot-light. Jim Cheun is no stranger to Marvel and I think the perfect choice for the art of this story. The story in a comic is nothing to the wrong artist and Cheun nailed the incredibly complex theatrics. The Children’s Crusade focuses on Scarlet Witch’s children and her father, Magneto, as they search for her and are followed by the Avengers and Young Avengers after the disaster of Avengers: Disassembled and House of M. The story gives us significant focus on Doctor Doom too. Doom reveals that the entity of the Life Force had passed onto him, giving him supreme god-like powers, even surpassing those of Beyonder, and reveals that he was also responsible for Wanda’s actions in Disassembled and House of M. Wanda and Wiccan successfully remove the entity from Doom during a battle between himself, the Avengers, Young Avengers, X-Factor, and X-Men. The story goes on a little longer but there’s some really excellent things I’ve not mentioned and you’d much rather read them there than here for the first time, I assure you.

Allan Heiberg and Jim Cheung explore the fascinating characters of Scarlet Witch and her family through this heart-felt tale with brilliant art and an unforgettable story. You get a good feel of how powerful Wanda truly could be in this story.

Number 6.

6th place is Batman: The Killing Joke from DC comics. The Killing Joke is written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Brian Bolland.

“All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That’s how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day.” That quote will remain with me for

XXX _MOORE KILLING JOKE COVER BOOKS 598 .JPG A ENT

the rest of my life, one of the best lines in comic history. The Killing Joke isn’t officially canon for the origins of the Joker being unknown are one of the things that make him so dangerous, but if there were to be an origin story, this is the one I would choose. It’s such a simple idea, but so real and powerful. I mean one bad day is all it takes. One push, one snap, one descent into chaos and it’s over. Once you’ve crossed that threshold then things will never be the same again. And the Joker, being the sly and brilliant villain that he is, wants to share the experience with the world. The Joker was once normal or as normal as people can be, in a world like theirs/ours. He had a girlfriend and a job, he was a stand up comedian but money was tight and so he took up a job with some crooks and it went badly wrong. Joker fell into a vat of acid while trying to escape from a robbery dressed as the original Red Hood (something that is then referenced by himself in Batman: Under the Red Hood when comparing the new costume to his original one) and then his girlfriend left him after seeing him, that was his bad day. One bad day. The Killing Joke is almost two stories running parallel to each other and yet woven together at the same time; the story of how Joker came to be who and how he is, and the separate story of how Batman, Gordon, and the world came to know Joker. The Killing Joke is not one for the feint of heart, the story contains many brutal features of violence, torture, even rape but my god is it a good story, and the ending, the whole story really defines itself by the ending. The last page, last few panels. The end is suggestive of two things and both will leave you gasping for more.

Alan Moore delivers an insane story and creates a path of entwining chaos, and poetic beauty nonetheless. Brian Bolland’s exceptional talents for the gritty and murky stories stand out here as the obvious choice but that doesn’t make his art for The Killing Joke any less staggering. A beautiful tale, told to use through exceptional storytelling and exceptional art.

Number 5.

Top 5 now! 5th place is Watchmen from DC Comics. Watchmen is written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons.

Watchmen originated from a story proposal Moore submitted to DC. I’m sure many of my friends were expecting this story to be on the list so if you were, have a chocolate button

Watchmen_1

or something on me. How could Watchmen not be on this list, it is one of the greatest comics ever written. depicts an alternate history where superheroes emerged in the 1940s and 1960s and their presence changed history so that the United States won the Vietnam War and the Watergate break-in was never exposed. In 1985 freelance costumed vigilantes have been outlawed and most former superheroes are in retirement or working for the government. The story focuses on the personal development and moral struggles of the protagonists, and one in particular known as Rorschach, as an investigation into the murder of a government-sponsored superhero pulls them out of retirement, and World War Three with the Soviet Union is approaching on the horizon. Gibbons used a nine-panel grid layout throughout the series and added recurring symbols such as a blood-stained smiley face (the smiley face badge was that of the symbol of the Watchmen). Watchmen, simply put, is iconic.

The powerhouse team of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons created a truly fantastic masterpiece. A gritty crime-horror thriller with the superhero aspect mixed in. The illustrations draw you in almost as soon as you pick up the book, and the story will have you questioning your own morals in this past that is almost as dystopian as many future science fiction stories of nuclear holocausts.

Number 4.

4th place is Aquaman: Throne of Atlantis from DC comics. Throne of Atlantis is written by Geoff Johns and illustrated by Ivan Reis.

We all knew it was coming. Aquaman is my favourite superhero character so to think this story wouldn’t be appearing would be daft. Throne of Atlantis is one of defining

Throne of Atlantis

Aquaman arcs. The story centres around the rivalry of Ocean Master and Aquaman as to who should rule and lead Atlantis. During the conflict of brothers, Ocean Master attacks the surface and the Justice League is called to aid the humans on the surface. Aquaman has to decide whether he will stand with the Justice League or his brother. The story is a show case of Aquaman’s complex characteristics as both a leader and a warrior and explores his moral struggles as he tries to lead a kingdom that does not want him. The story serves as a cross over with the New 52 Justice League too.

Geoff Johns has worked miracles with this character, he shaped this character from the joked-about, throw-away Justice League member to a truly incredibly character with an intense backstory and fully fleshed out powers that rank him high on the list of super powered beings. The story here was gripping. It was both action packed, and emotional with suspense and passion. The art, meanwhile, was truly breathtaking. Ivan Reis and Geoff Johns are an incredible team for the New 52 Aquaman run. They did justice to every one of the great DC characters as well as the undersea world itself.

Number 3.

Into the top 3 now. 3rd place is The Incredible Hulk: Planet Hulk from Marvel comics. Planet Hulk is written by Greg Pak and illustrated by Carlo Pagulayan.

If you’ve read my favourite Hulk stories you’ll know why I rate this story so high. If not or you don’t remember, I will now explain. after my dad passed away a few years ago, I

Planet Hulk

carried it virtually everywhere with me. It served as such a massive inspiration for me to get through every day tasks when my depression, anxiety, and PTSD almost broke me. Every so often, there comes a tale; with equal parts passion and pathos, that not only redefines what a character has meant throughout the already established comics and story-lines but also re-establishes the hero as a dominant force for storytellers, readers, the company’s universe, and (arguably) the entire comic book industry. Planet Hulk is that tale. The story of Planet Hulk is that of tremendous heart-break and incredible action, with superbly written characters and the most gorgeous, cosmic-level of art work. Planet Hulk is a story that will change the way you see Hulk and the way you think he sees the world, his friends, and his family.

Greg Pak delivers some of his best writing, and accompanied by the tremendous illustrations of Juan Santacruz, Planet Hulk evolves into a timeless Hulk story that will remain one of the best Marvel, and best Superhero-genre stories of all time.

Number 2.

2nd place is Sinestro Corps War from DC comics. Sinestro Corps War is written by Geoff Johns and illustrated by Ivan Reis.

This is to date my favourite Green Lantern story ever, even surpassing the likes of Blackest Night and Green Lantern: Rage of the Red Lanterns. Sinestro Corps War centres

Sinestro Corps War

on the Green Lanterns of Earth, primarily Hal Jordan, Kyle Rayner, Guy Gardner, and John Stewart, as well as the rest of the Green Lantern Corps as they engage in a war with Sinestro and his Yellow Lantern Corps. Using his power to insight fear he attracts many extremely powerful beings to his ranks including Cyborg Superman, Akrillo, the Anti-Monitor, and even Parallax the entity of fear. Kyle Rayner, possessed by Parallax, assists the Sinestro Corps in cutting a swath of evil across the universe. Hal Jordan must battle his way through and escape from the Sinestro Corps’ Citadel to join the fight against fear. Also, one of the Book of Oa’s prophecies comes true, the Green Lantern Corps makes a last stand that reveals the reincarnation of one of their fold! The Sinestro Corps War is a massive undertaking. Sinestro Corps War is one of the most brutal wars in superhero comics, many Lantern Corp members fall on both sides and the galaxy is plunged into chaos. We see the Guardians have to take a proactive approach to things and the foundation is laid for future storylines, especially the Blackest Night.

My man Geoff Johns wrote an excellent story which landed Sinestro Corps War 2nd place on this list, and to be considered one of the best Green Lantern stories ever written across the fanbase. Ivan Reis is no stranger to those who have read my other lists, he has made regular appearances and the illustrations for Sinestro Corps War were truly outstanding.

Number 1.

1st place is the Injustice from DC comics. Injustice was written primarily by Tom Taylor and illustrated by a number of artists, including Jheremy Raapack, Mike S. Miller, Bruno Redondo, and Tom Derenick.

Injustice is set in an alternative universe, set over 5 years and basically the writers were given almost complete control over it. It. Is. Mental. It was inspired by the video game

Injustice_Gods_Among_Us_Vol_1_1_Raapack_Variant

Injustice: Gods Among Us, the game starts at the beginning of the fifth comic year. The story of the comic starts with Joker tricking Superman into killing Lois and his child, and then by killing the Joker as revenge, sets off a nuclear bomb in Metropolis that was rigged to Joker’s heart beat. The bomb explosion kills millions of people. Superman then decides to take those who will join him, and create a world of peace by policing it. The Justice League divides into Superman and his policing regime and the resistance led by… you guessed it. Batman. Over the course of 5 years we are shown the rise and fall of many great heroes and villains as a war breaks out on earth between the two sides. Many elements of the DC universe are dragged into the war too, including Trigon; the lord of hell, Spectre; the voice of God, the Lantern Corps, Greek and Norse gods, new Gods, and more. The story is a superb piece of writing by Tom Taylor. I fully recommend Injustice years 1 – 5, every year has amazing pacing, brilliant turns and twists, supremely gorgeous art, and a heart-pounding emotional ride from the first pages to the last.

Tom Taylor really blew my expectations out of the water. I was curious but also cautious when I learned it would be ‘based on a video game’ but Oh. My. Darkseid. It was utterly brilliant and the various artists packed so many wow-factors into the comic. Every single year had brilliant and stunning art, which flowed together beautifully, none of it felt out of place.

So there we have it! My favourite stories from across DC and Marvel comics, these are all subject to change of course and move up/down the list as more comics are released but this is the order that they’ve been in for a few years now. Hope you all have a great day! I’m gonna enjoy me some Colin the Caterpillar Cake, and Black Panther later! ❤

The Strongest List There Is

Yo! Back today with my favourite five Hulk stories. There’s a few on here which will be expected, although maybe not the order, and a few that are will surprise. Also, I’m so freaking excited for Black Panther. Not long now my friends, and enemies, and anyone else reading this! As usual, the list will contain some spoilers about the stories.

Let us begin, starting at number 5 on the list.

Number 5.

Number 5 is The Incredible Hulk, Vol. 1: Return of the Monster. Return of the Monster is written by Bruce Jones and illustrated by John Romita, Jr.

The story is when Bruce Banner/Hulk is believed to be responsible for the murder of a child, he flees both the police and the attentions of a sinister organisation with an Return of the Monsterunknown agenda. This read was a surprising pick up for me, Bruce Jones focuses more on Banner rather than Hulk for the first half, and while this was surprising, it wasn’t in a bad way. It was a refreshing change rather than Hulk being in the spotlight and only seeing Banner as a back character. It also features the character ‘Mr. Blue’ who was in the MCU (just) film The Incredible Hulk. Return of the Monster is a much recommended read for fans of Hulk or simply fans of Marvel comics alike.  It is written smartly, rarely showing “Mr. Green” and instead, deciding to focus on Bruce Banner.

The story is suspenseful and grounded with clever twists, and sets the tone for pretty much the whole of Bruce Jones’ run. John Romita, Jr.’s art is beautiful, the illustrations are gorgeous and particularly bold. John Romita, Jr. makes an appearance more than once on this list.

Number 4.

Number 4 on the list is World War Hulk. World War Hulk is written by Greg Pak and illustrated by John Romita Jr.

I’m sure more people would think this to be higher ranked on the list. World War Hulk is one of the most famous Hulk stories, hell, one of the most famous Marvel stories ever World War Hulkwritten. So imagine a day that Hulk turns on the world he came from, that’d be scary huh? I present: World War Hulk. World War Hulk takes part just after the events of Planet Hulk, and Hulk is returning to Earth to enact revenge on the Illuminati and Avengers for banishing him into space and to Sakaar in the first place. World War Hulk is a story where we get a glimpse of how powerful Hulk is or could become, his strength has never been fully measured for it is infinite but World War Hulk comes pretty close. Hulk returns to Earth and is challenged by the defenders of the planet that include the Avengers, Black Bolt, Doctor Strange, Fantastic Four, and he defeats them time after time. The conflict eventually leads Sentry to engage Hulk in New York and their battle rages so long that it threatens the entire Eastern sea front. Sentry eventually stalemates Hulk being the only being strong enough to stop the World Breaker. Lots of details in between those events but that’s the gist and the book is utter carnage. I loved seeing a good look into Hulk with no limits, you really feel that he is a world-threatening being in the rage that he has. The story also shows us Hulk’s son, Skaar, not to be confused with Sakaar – the planet he was born on. They have an interesting father/son relationship to say the least.

The story of World War Hulk, written by Greg Pak was so intense, with every turn of the page I was anxious as to what would happen next and while Romita Jr.’s art is often in debate, he really came into his own for this story. The illustrations; textures, and shading are the perfect addition to the chaotic story. I definitely recommend this story as a follow up to Planet Hulk, although you could easily read it as it’s own story.

Number 3.

Number 3 is Hulk: Gray. Gray is written by Jeph Loeb and illustrated by Tim Sale.

Before becoming the Green Monster that everyone knows today, Hulk was grey (gray for the Americans reading this). Hulk: Gray tells the story of what happened during the Hulk Graydisappearance of Bruce Banner in the Gamma accident, and then after he reappears when everyone thought the Hulk killed him. Gray also shows us the area in time and the events of the romance between Banner/Hulk and Betty Ross, as well as getting a look at how Betty must see a connection between Hulk and General Ross.   A conversation between Bruce Banner and Leonard “Doc” Sampson is the reasons that Banner’s memories return, the story is written from Bruce’s perspective and it timelines the Hulk’s first days. Gray is one of my most read stories, I find myself re-reading it every other month or so, it really packs a punch (no pun intended, well, maybe a little) and it was totally refreshing compared to the kind of writing for Hulk at the same time.

Hulk: Gray is a wonderful read. I found it completely fascinating, and I flew through the pages. It’s both heart breaking and gripping, and an excellent gateway for Hulk fans. A take on his origin like no other. The Eisner Award-winning team of Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale really produced a masterpiece of writing, with beautiful art; textures, gradients and shading that perfectly mirror the tragic origins and events that followed, it will stick into your mind forever.

Number 2.

Getting close to the best now, 2nd place is The Incredible Hulk: Future Imperfect. Future Imperfect is written by David Peter and illustrated by George Pérez.

Future Imperfect is a terrific concept. The Incredible Hulk travels to an apocalyptic, post-holocaust, dystopian future that is a world ravaged by war and chaos, to face his ultimate Future Imperfectchallenge…himself. So, this story is essentially Hulk vs Hulk only the Hulk in the future is called Maestro, he’s a tyrannical ruler, and is vastly more powerful, skilled and intelligent than Hulk. Maestro was unable to put down all the rebels in his city (in the future he is from), and eventually a small group manage to use Doctor Doom’s time travel device to bring the Professor Hulk forward from the past in the hopes that he will be able to defeat the Maestro. The Hulk only wins via fighting dirty, so to speak, he barely defeats Maestro. The story is an amazing idea of pitting the strongest there is against the strongest there is.

David Peter really blew me away with the writing on this, for a story which in concept is just two immensely powerful beings hitting each other over and over, he did a terrific job. Future Imperfect is a heartfelt tale with surprises, and intelligent storytelling. George Perez’s artwork is incredibly detailed and really quite breathtaking, the textures, and drawings really were an outstanding addition to the story; bringing a real sense of dystopia.

Number 1.

1st place on the list is The Incredible Hulk: Planet Hulk. Planet Hulk is written by Greg Pak and illustrated by Carlo Pagulayan.

What a story Planet Hulk is. I’ve read this story so many times, and I am emotionally attached to it for more than one way but the biggest reason is that after my dad passed Planet Hulkaway a few years ago, I carried it virtually everywhere with me. It served as such a massive inspiration for me to get through every day tasks when my depression, anxiety, and PTSD almost broke me. Every so often, there comes a tale; with equal parts passion and pathos, that not only redefines what a character has meant throughout the already established comics and story-lines but also re-establishes the hero as a dominant force for storytellers, readers, the company’s universe, and (arguably) the entire comic book industry. Planet Hulk is that tale. Planet Hulk is one of my all time favourite main-stream comic-book stories. It’s difficult to talk about without giving too much away, and I by no means want to give too much away but the basics (and a little more) are that after being deemed too dangerous on Earth, the Illuminati decide to send Hulk into space, and to a beautiful and peaceful world where he can remain for the rest of his days. They tricked Hulk into thinking he was being sent into space to destroy a rogue satellite which instead was owned by S.H.E.I.L.D, after this, and finding out their real plans Hulk begins to smash the ship which he was sent into space on, sending it off course. The ship goes through a wormhole, leading Hulk to the planet Sakaar, a harsh war-filled planet. Hulk is captured and becomes a gladiator for the king. As the story progresses, Hulk befriends other gladiators and ignites a war between the slaves and the royal family. All three parts of the start, middle, and end are almost flawless. I remember that I could not put the book down once I started it. Planet Hulk served as a major inspiration for the MCU film Thor: Ragnarok.

The story of Planet Hulk is that of tremendous heart-break and incredible action, with superbly written characters and the most gorgeous, cosmic-level of art work. Planet Hulk is a story that will change the way you see Hulk and the way you think he sees the world, his friends, and his family. Greg Pak delivers some of his best writing, and accompanied by the tremendous illustrations of Juan Santacruz, Planet Hulk evolves into a timeless Hulk story that will remain one of the best Marvel, and best Superhero-genre stories of all time.

There we have it! I hope you enjoyed the read! I’m sure many of you didn’t see that order, or a few of those stories on the list coming. 1st and 2nd place on this list were incredibly close again, much like my Avengers list, Future Imperfect was a 4/5 Green Monsters and Planet Hulk was a 4.7/5 Green Monsters. My birthday is next week, the 17th, and on it I will be publishing a collective of my top ten Marvel and DC arcs, Planet Hulk will be seeing you there.

As always, peace. ❤

Respect Thread – Martian Manhunter

It’s that time again! Respect Thread time! Really appreciate those who read my last post, it was one of the highest viewed so far which is very positive! Martian Manhunter is very much a gem of DC comics and one of the most capable, most powerful heroes but a huge amount of people don’t know much (if anything) about him apart from his rather questionable choice of outfit. The dude can literally change his physical form to anything he chooses and that’s what he went with.

Right! To the matter at hand. J’onn J’onzz aka Martian Manhunter is one of the last two survivors of the Green Martians. J’onn was supposed to become the next leader of his people and take a Rite of Passage wherein he was to detach himself from his people and understand what it meant to be truly alone. When he returned J’onn found that the paradise he once knew and called home was nothing but ashes. Standing in the burning ruins of the civilisation he once knew, J’onn adopted the name “Manhunter” as he is now alone and in search for the being behind his misery. It was later in fact revealed, after he thought he was the last survivor of his race, that his twin brother was responsible for the annihilation of his people and destruction of his planet. Martian Manhunter has been a member of the Justice League, the Justice League of America, and Stormwatch among other affiliations.

Martian Manhunter possesses powers and abilities common to all Martians but has shown to be the most powerful of his race, largely due to be from his training as a Manhunter of Mars, and also his years as hero of Earth training with other members of the Justice League such as Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman.DurabilityBlast

Martian Manhunter possesses incredible superhuman strength and durability, his strength is easy comparable to that of Superman and he has shown able to overpower beings like Lanterns and Superboy-Prime, and his durability means he has taken punches from Superman, Despero, and Mongul, he once ever withstood a blast that incapacitated the entire League long enough to download all the details of the confrontation to an alternative League. He can also increase his invulnerability by altering his density to become super dense.

He has the ability to fly at vast speeds, easily keeping up with many experienced Lantern Corps members, and has exchanged blows with Barry Allen in a speed-blitz brawl.FlashFight He has superhuman stamina, agility, reflexes and speed. He can even utilize his telepathy at super speed, able to create a telepathic conference room for the Justice League to discuss matters in the privacy of J’onn’s mind in just an instant. He has a healing factor that is even capable of recovering from limbs being cut off.

Martian Manhunter’s greatest weapons though are the control over his own molecular structure and his telepathy. Martian Manhunter has vast shape shifting abilities that stem from complete control of his molecular structure. He is able to take on any shape he pleases, often taking the human guise of Detective John Jones. It has been revealed in the older comics, that he takes the powers and weaknesses of whoever he turns into, he has often shown to grow an extra pair of arms to supplement his fighting abilities and his strength. When increasing his size, J’onn often borrows mass from matter around him and incorporates it in his body, expelling it when he returns to his normal size. Martian Manhunter has used the power to imitate other characters too such as Mera during a battle with Black Adam, phased through the atmosphere, and also phased through Aquaman’s trident of Poseidon.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

He has elongated parts of himself into bladed weapons during combat. His density is also variable and changes as he wills it. He can use this ability to become intangible and move through objects or allow attacks to fly by harmlessly through him or to become extremely dense to add more mass to his blows and increase his invulnerability. J’onn’s control over his own molecular structure also allow him to adapt his visibility, granting him the ability to become invisible at will.

J’onn is the most powerful telepath on earth, being able to effect even the Spectre and Doctor Fate with his telepathy. Aquaman has stated that Martian Manhunter’s telepathy exceeds even the telepathy of other members of the Martian race.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

He has even read all the minds of every single person on the planet at the same time and is capable of linking the minds of all superheroes at once from a distance of the moon to all corners of the earth. He has used his powers to make charcters think he’s beating them up, and has even erased all the memories of himself from the minds of the Stormwatch. His telepathic abilities also allow him to create realistic illusions; telepathically trace and locate people; shut down peopleSupermanJonnz‘s minds; brain blast; mental shield; influence thoughts; mind control people; manipulate memory; astral projection; possesion; induce sleep; reprogram or reorder minds; and transfer information directly into people’s brains. Even the likes of Superman himself has stated that J’onn is the most powerful being on the planet Earth, and says there’s no one he’d be more afraid to face in open combat and that’s not a compliment Superman throws around lightly.

So there it is! Martian Manhunter is one of the most incredibly gifted characters across DC and Marvel for that matter.  It’s a real shame his own series didn’t last long and that they’ve not started another of his own. I’d love to see him more in the Justice League stories, maybe a regular addition to the team! Hopefully he’ll be a part of the next big DC event.

As usual, I hope you enjoyed the post! My next post will be a list of my top 5 Hulk stories, I’ve been reading and re-reading more of Hulk recently and it dawned on me that he’s such a famous character and I’ve not done a list yet. If you have any characters that you’d love to see me do a respect thread for, or to list their favourite characters, just leave a comment, or inbox me if you know me. Peace ❤