Dedicated to the definitive superhero non-team.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Assembly Required

The alternate reality in What if? Age of Ultron #2 flashed forward to a speculative future where a salty Wolverine assembled a one-time team consisting of Spider-Man, Hulk, and a new Ghost Rider (a call back to the Secret Defenders from Fantastic Four #374).

Long retired from his crime-fighting days as Spider-Man, the Peter Parker in this future was living in Rutland, Vermont. He moved there, at least in part, because of the city's tradition of throwing memorable Halloween parades.

Hulk, meanwhile, was now decidedly non-violent and residing on Mount Song, China. Through the practice of Zen meditation, the green goliath had found peace of mind in his own right—without integrating the personality of Dr. Bruce Banner.

What If? Age of Ultron. No.2. June 2014. Joe Keatinge (writer), Ramon Villalobos (artist), Ruth Redmond (colorist), VC's Joe Sabino (letterer), Jon Moisan (editor), Axel Alonso (editor in chief).

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

What If ... Defenders?

In a series of intertwined tales, What if? Age of Ultron (2014) explored how repeated attempts to travel back in time might cause the multiverse to come apart at the seams.

As one timeline unraveled, Wasp died inexplicably during a conversation with Henry Pym (then Giant-Man) about his initial plans to create Ultron. After that treacherous machine turned on him and the Avengers, Pym (now Yellowjacket) joined a team of Defenders consisting of Black Widow, Nick Fury, Falcon, Silver Sable, and Shang-Chi (Master of Kung Fu). But Ultron defeated them as well.

Another tear in the fabric of reality brought about the unanticipated death of Thor. The Defenders from before now included technologist Lieberman (a.k.a. Microchip) instead of Pym. While the team faced an army of Frost Giants and the Norse doomsday serpent Jormungand, Black Widow recovered the hammer Mjölnir that had belonged to Thor and earned the title of Thunder God.

The featured panels come from What If? Age of Ultron #1 (top) and #3 (bottom).

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Silver Skrull

When numerous heroes of Earth traveled to a moon of Saturn to mourn The Death of Captain Marvel, a spy was among them.

Sent to gather information about the heroes, a shapeshifting agent from the Skrull Empire came disguised as Devil-Slayer. After seeing that the real Devil-Slayer was also there, the Skrull changed form to masquerade as the Silver Surfer instead.

The real Silver Surfer, meanwhile, was still trapped on Earth at the time. The former herald to Galactus only learned of the charade in when he encountered the Skrull double in Silver Surfer #14 (Volume 3).

Silver Surfer. Vol. 3. No. 14. August 1988. "Silver Mirrors!" Steve Englehart (story), Joe Staton (pencils), Joe Rubinstein & José Marzan (inks), Ken Bruzenak (letters), Tom Vincent (colors), Craig Anderson (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor in chief).

Friday, August 1, 2014

Happy Birthday, August!

The back covers of each issue of Marvel Age in 1985 featured a monthly calendar with fun illustrations on most dates. Each month acknowledged the appropriate astrological sign by picturing a member of the Zodiac gang, such as the villainous Virgo on August 23.

The square for August 27 pictured Angel, Beast, Valkyrie, and Gargoyle wishing a happy birthday to Defenders artist Don Perlin.