Tag Archives: Avengers

ASK BALLADEER: KANG THE CONQUEROR AND IMMORTUS

kang picIn the past handful of days Balladeer’s Blog’s 2017 blog posts examining the Marvel Comics villain Kang the Conqueror and some of his other selves like Immortus and Rama Tut have been getting incredible amounts of hits. I looked into it and it turns out that when the latest Marvel streaming miniseries, Loki, ended, the cliffhanger involved Kang and Immortus at Immortus’ castle in Limbo, the realm outside the time stream.

immI thought that people were just going to my 2017 blog posts because they had no idea who Kang and Immortus are. Instead, I started getting comments from readers expressing thanks for the clarity of the “Timey-Wimey” nature of Kang’s labyrinthine saga. They said that the people writing the Loki miniseries plopped everything into the far later stages of the Kang/ Immortus stories, bypassing the earlier tales that would help people understand it.

So, in the style of an FAQ, here are the links to my articles which let people in on the Kang storyline from the beginning, through his eventual metamorphosis into Immortus by way of Rama Tut II, the Scarlet Centurion and others. Think of Kang’s various selves like you’d think of the Doctor’s various regenerations on Doctor Who to simplify it. Anyway, here are the links for my reviews of early Kang stories up through the Celestial Madonna Saga. (And with The Eternals movie coming, Marvel may well work the Celestials into their movie universe, too.)

Originally, Immortus wasn’t overseeing a “Sacred” Timeline as much as he was making sure events played out properly to bring on the Celestial Madonna.

kang bid tomorrowONE: BID TOMORROW GOODBYE – Kang wants the Celestial Madonna (Mantis, who started out as an Avenger in the 1970s) and reveals she has been the reason he frequently targeted the 20th Century. Agatha Harkness guest-stars, from the years when she was the Scarlet Witch’s mentor. CLICK HERE.

TWO: A BLAST FROM THE PAST – The actual, REAL death of an Avenger as the team tries to stop Kang from obtaining the Celestial Madonna, whose offspring would grant Kang control of all time and space. CLICK HERE

THREE: THE REALITY PROBLEM – The funeral for that first Avenger to be killed in action, plus further investigation into Mantis’ mysterious past to learn how she became destined to be the Celestial Madonna. CLICK HERE. Continue reading

9 Comments

Filed under Superheroes

MARVEL MANIA

mascot sword and gun pic

BALLADEER’S BLOG

At present pop culture is still Marvel’s world given how their superheroes continue to dominate movies and streaming services. Readers have been asking for a convenient one-stop blog post to use as an access point for Balladeer’s Blog’s assorted Marvel Comics articles, so here we go.

SHANG-CHI: HIS FIRST TWELVE ADVENTURES – Shang-Chi, the Master of Kung Fu, is set to star in the upcoming movie Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. This blog post covered his “senses-shattering origin” (R.I.P. Stan Lee) plus his first dozen stories, featuring his villainous father, his adopted brother Midnight (M’Nai), Black Jack Tarr and more. Click HERE

kang bid tomorrowKANG THE CONQUEROR, MANTIS AND THE CELESTIAL MADONNA SAGA – Plenty of Easter Eggs point to Kang’s imminent debut in Marvel movies and/ or tv shows, plus his true love Ravonna Renslayer has already debuted. Kang’s alias as Rama Tut even showed up in X-Men: Apocalypse.

              Mantis, though a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy in the films, started out as an Avenger in the 1970s. For my detailed look at her first appearance on up through her starring role in the original Celestial Madonna Saga click HERE.  TO JUMP STRAIGHT TO THE KANG PART CLICK HERE. For Mantis’ role in the first THANOS WAR click HERE and HERE.

AGATHA HARKNESS AND THE SCARLET WITCH – Their first meeting HERE.

adam warlock poseADAM WARLOCK, THANOS, GAMORA AND THE MAGUS – And speaking of Thanos, and with Adam Warlock having been hinted at since the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, here’s another 1970s Young Adult Classic from Marvel. Adam took on his vile other self the Magus, his galaxy-spanning 1,000-world empire and Thanos in his first post-Thanos War appearance. Plus Gamora’s very first appearance. Click HERE.

KIT HARINGTON’S BLACK KNIGHT – This post covered Marvel’s various incarnations of the Black Knight, from the heroic figure who fought in the Crusades through the modern-day supervillain version who fought the Avengers to his nephew Dane Whitman (Kit Harington), who became a hero and redeemed the family honor. Click HERE.

killraven poseKILLRAVEN – The heroic rebel leader and his Freemen take on Earth’s alien invaders on a war-torn post-apocalyptic world crawling with extraterrestrial tyrants and assorted mutated menaces. Click HERE.

THE X-MEN – For the first twenty stories of the ORIGINAL 1963 X-Men, featuring their initial encounters with Magneto, Juggernaut, the Mimic and the Sentinels, click HERE. For the NEW (Wolverine, Storm & Phoenix) X-Men from 1975 click HERE.

BLADE THE VAMPIRE SLAYER – With his own tv series on the way, here’s his early tales, from 1973-1983. Click HERE. Continue reading

9 Comments

Filed under Superheroes

THE FIRST TWENTY AVENGERS STORIES FROM THE 1960s

As always, Balladeer’s Blog listens to you readers! You wanted a look at the first twenty Avengers stories similar to my recent look at the first twenty Captain America stories from the 1940s, so here we go:

Avengers 1THE AVENGERS Vol 1 #1 (September 1963)

Title: The Coming of the Avengers

Villain: Loki

Synopsis: Loki sits imprisoned on the Isle of Silence in Asgard. He cannot leave but is determined to get revenge on his archenemy Thor. Sending his astral body to Earth/ Midgard he uses an illusion spell to trick the Hulk into seeming to destroy a railroad line.  

           Rick Jones, just an ordinary teenager back then, is still the Hulk’s friend and wants to round up superheroes to corral the Hulk before the army moves in and possibly kills the green-skinned brute. He and his fellow Ham Radio Operators (LMAO), called the Teen Brigade, send out a radio summons.

           Loki arranges for Thor’s secret identity of Dr Donald Blake to hear the message, but the radio waves are also picked up by Tony Stark/ Iron Man (in his original clunky armor) as well as Ant-Man (Hank Pym, PhD) and his crime-fighting partner the Wasp (Janet Van Dyne).

           While Iron Man, Ant-Man and the Wasp battle the Hulk, Thor suspects Loki’s involvement when an illusory image of the Hulk is used to lure him to the site of the ongoing fight. Thor flies to Asgard and tries to reach the Isle of Silence but must overcome Rock Trolls, Frost Giants and Silent Ones set upon him by Loki. Continue reading

32 Comments

Filed under Superheroes

CAPTAIN MARVEL, NICK FURY, AVENGERS AND THANOS

Captain Marvel 31CAPTAIN MARVEL! CAROL DANVERS! THE AVENGERS! NICK FURY! THANOS! THE KREE-SKRULL WAR! RONAN THE ACCUSER! OMNI-WAVE PROJECTORS (Intergalactic Pagers)! AND EVEN MORE EXCLAMATION POINTS!!! 

Here are links to all the chapters for reader convenience.

Avengers 89I. THE ONLY GOOD ALIEN IS A DEAD ALIEN – Ronan the Accuser overthrows the Supreme Intelligence to take control of the alien Kree Empire. Meanwhile, the Avengers help the Kree officer Captain Marvel and Rick Jones stop Annihilus from escaping the Negative Zone after Mar-Vell and Rick break out. CLICK HERE 

II. JUDGMENT DAY – Ronan the Accuser comes to Earth to personally oversee Sentry 459’s attempt to kill the Avengers as well as to launch Plan Atavus, a project that will set back Earth’s evolutionary clock by millions of years. CLICK HERE  Continue reading

14 Comments

Filed under Superheroes

AVENGERS: KREE-SKRULL WAR CHAPTER LINKS

Marvel Comics continues to rule current pop culture. This year’s look at the Kree-Skrull War (1971-1972) was as big a hit as last summer’s examination of the Celestial Madonna Saga (1973-1975). Here are links to all the chapters for reader convenience.

Avengers 89I. THE ONLY GOOD ALIEN IS A DEAD ALIEN – Ronan the Accuser overthrows the Supreme Intelligence to take control of the alien Kree Empire. Meanwhile, the Avengers help the Kree officer Captain Marvel and Rick Jones stop Annihilus from escaping the Negative Zone after Mar-Vell and Rick break out. CLICK HERE 

II. JUDGMENT DAY – Ronan the Accuser comes to Earth to personally oversee Sentry 459’s attempt to kill the Avengers as well as to launch Plan Atavus, a project that will set back Earth’s evolutionary clock by millions of years. CLICK HERE 

III. TAKE A GIANT STEP … BACKWARD – With the De-Evolution Zone spreading at an alarming rate the Avengers (The Wasp, Yellow Jacket, The Scarlet Witch, Goliath, Quicksilver, The Vision and Captain Marvel) battle Ronan and the Sentry. Meanwhile the Skrulls launch a pre-emptive assault on the Kree Empire. CLICK HERE   Continue reading

21 Comments

Filed under Superheroes

AVENGERS: THE FINALE OF THE KREE-SKRULL WAR

FOR PART ONE OF THIS LOOK AT THE KREE-SKRULL WAR (1971-1972) CLICK HERE 

Avengers 97THE AVENGERS Volume One, Number 97 (May 1972)

AVENGERS ROSTER: THOR (Donald Blake, MD), IRON MAN (Tony Stark), CAPTAIN AMERICA (Steve Rogers), THE SCARLET WITCH (Wanda), GOLIATH (Clint Barton), QUICKSILVER (Pietro), THE VISION (Not Applicable), CAPTAIN MARVEL (Mar-Vell, Kree Captain)

NOTE: CAPTAIN MARVEL IS THE HERO THAT NICK FURY SUMMONED TO FIGHT THANOS IN THE POST-CREDITS SCENE TO AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR.

GODHOOD’S END

Avengers 97Synopsis: We pick up right where we left off: Rick Jones has just been transported back into the Negative Zone, the buffer dimension between the Matter Universe and the Anti-Matter Universe. He is being attacked by Annihilus, the Lord of the Negative Zone, who wants revenge on Rick for the way the Avengers prevented him from invading Earth back in Part One.

As Annihilus flies toward Rick as he floats around in the Negative Zone, Rick finds time slowing down for him. His mind begins to expand and – though he does not yet understand why – he begins to approach omniscience. His mind is filled with images of the perils faced at that very moment by the other Avengers and by the entire Earth:

… On the Skrull homeworld (name unpronounceable by a human tongue), Captain Marvel, the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are fighting against an entire army in the palace of Emperor Dorrek IV …

… On the flagship of a Skrull space fleet just outside our solar system Thor, Iron Man, Captain America and the Vision are fighting frantically to prevent that fleet from reaching Earth …

… On Hala, home planet of the Kree Empire, Ronan the Accuser watches his own fleet of spaceships depart for the Earth, intent on preventing the Skrulls from seizing the planet, even if that planet gets obliterated in the cataclysmic battle of starfleets …

… On a small Skrull spaceship hurtling toward Earth, Goliath, no longer possessed of his superpowers, stands unarmed against a squad of Skrull soldiers on a kamikaze mission to wipe out the Earth to prevent it from falling back into the hands of the Kree Empire … Continue reading

35 Comments

Filed under Superheroes

AVENGERS: THE KREE-SKRULL WAR PART EIGHT

FOR PART ONE OF THIS LOOK AT THE KREE-SKRULL WAR (1971-1972) CLICK HERE 

Avengers 96THE AVENGERS Volume One, Number 96 (February 1972)

AVENGERS ROSTER: THOR (Donald Blake, MD), IRON MAN (Tony Stark), CAPTAIN AMERICA (Steve Rogers), THE SCARLET WITCH (Wanda), GOLIATH (Clint Barton), QUICKSILVER (Pietro), THE VISION (Not Applicable), CAPTAIN MARVEL (Mar-Vell, Kree Captain)

NOTE: CAPTAIN MARVEL IS THE HERO THAT NICK FURY SUMMONED TO FIGHT THANOS IN THE POST-CREDITS SCENE TO AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR.

Readers can’t get enough Marvel Superheroes. I’m glad to oblige since I still have a soft spot for superhero stories because reading them as a kid served as a gateway to two of my adult passions: mythology and opera. 

Avengers 96THE ANDROMEDA SWARM

Synopsis: This part picks up a few days after the Avengers defeated Maximus the Mad and restored Black Bolt to the throne of Attilan, the Great Refuge. With the Kree now prevented from using the Inhumans as super-soldiers in their war with the Skrulls, our heroes were allowed to rest, regroup and plot their next move.

By staying in the hidden city of Attilan they also avoided having to deal with the ongoing manhunt for them run by Senator Craddock (a sleazy Robert Mueller type) and his reluctant S.H.I.E.L.D. allies. The Avengers have piloted their Quin-Jet to the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier, which is in my opinion one of the dumbest things in the otherwise impressive Marvel Comics Universe. They should have at least dropped the absurd helicarrier bit for the movies.  

Nick Fury has agreed to sacrifice his job by letting our heroes steal an internationally- constructed ship capable of space flight … if it only had a power source. Again, really dumb. The writers could have had the Avengers use a ship created in Attilan since it has futuristic Kree technology.

Avengers Kree-Skrull WarAnyway, Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Goliath and the Vision board the ship, named Bogie, in honor of Humphrey Bogart. (?) With Thor’s hammer serving as the nearly infinite power source for the spacecraft – just like it could have for a craft built in Attilan – the Avengers fly off.

First they shatter the Kree Nega-Shield which has been surrounding Earth ever since Ronan the Accuser was forced to return to the planet Hala back in Part Three. After that it’s off through our solar system, just outside which lies the Stargate which the Kree, Skrulls, Shi’ar and other alien races use to bop to and from our solar system to deep space.

The Avengers plan to free the Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver and Captain Marvel from captivity on the Skrull homeworld and then free Rick Jones from captivity on Hala, homeworld of the Kree Empire. Thor notices how tense the Vision seems, and Iron Man, who has gleaned that the android has fallen in love with the Scarlet Witch, begins to explain on the Vision’s behalf.  Continue reading

23 Comments

Filed under Superheroes

AVENGERS: THE KREE-SKRULL WAR PART SEVEN

FOR PART ONE OF THIS LOOK AT THE KREE-SKRULL WAR (1971-1972) CLICK HERE 

Avengers 95THE AVENGERS Volume One, Number 95 (January 1972)

AVENGERS ROSTER: THOR (Donald Blake, MD), IRON MAN (Tony Stark), CAPTAIN AMERICA (Steve Rogers), THE SCARLET WITCH (Wanda), GOLIATH (Clint Barton), QUICKSILVER (Pietro), THE VISION (Not Applicable), CAPTAIN MARVEL (Mar-Vell, Kree Captain)

NOTE: CAPTAIN MARVEL IS THE HERO THAT NICK FURY SUMMONED TO FIGHT THANOS IN THE POST-CREDITS SCENE TO AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR.

SOMETHING INHUMAN THIS WAY COMES

Synopsis: This story picks up where we left off last time around. The scaled, amphibious Inhuman named Triton emerges from a manhole at Avengers Mansion while Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Goliath, the Vision and Rick Jones are still fighting the Mandroids.

Those Mandroids – S.H.I.E.L.D. agents wearing high-tech combat suits designed to defeat the Avengers if they ever went bad – are trying to arrest our heroes for Senator H Warren Craddock. That Senator has special powers from the U.N. to deal with the ongoing crisis in which two alien races – the Kree and the Skrulls – are fighting over the Earth. The Avengers are wanted for failure to comply with Craddock’s subpoena regarding the heroes’ role in helping their Kree member – Captain Marvel – escape S.H.I.E.L.D.

The Mandroids seem to have the upper hand on the Avengers and Senator Craddock, observing the battle from his nearby command post, compliments Nick Fury on the performance of his agents in the Mandroid armor. Fury makes it clear that he’s only helping Craddock (a sleazy Robert Mueller-type abusing his authority) under orders. He also warns the Senator not to celebrate prematurely.

Fury turns out to be right as the Avengers suddenly turn the tables and defeat the Mandroids, thanks to a maneuver from Iron Man. Tony Stark – whose double-identity was NOT known back then – had designed the Mandroids and so Iron Man was finally able to exploit a weakness of theirs to knock out the men inside the armored suits with mild electrical shocks.

Rick Jones now helps the wounded Triton, who has been keeping out of the way while the battle raged. The member of the Inhuman Royal Family tells the Avengers what we readers learned last time around: Black Bolt, King of the Inhumans and ruler of Attilan, the Great Refuge, is lost in San Francisco with amnesia. His evil brother Maximus the Mad has taken over the Great Refuge and allied himself with the Kree invaders of Earth. Continue reading

23 Comments

Filed under Superheroes

AVENGERS: THE KREE-SKRULL WAR PART SIX

FOR PART ONE OF THIS LOOK AT THE KREE-SKRULL WAR (1971-1972) CLICK HERE 

Avengers 94THE AVENGERS Volume One, Number 94 (December 1971)

AVENGERS ROSTER: THOR (Donald Blake, MD), IRON MAN (Tony Stark), CAPTAIN AMERICA (Steve Rogers), THE SCARLET WITCH (Wanda), GOLIATH (Clint Barton), QUICKSILVER (Pietro), THE VISION (Not Applicable), CAPTAIN MARVEL (Mar-Vell, Kree Captain)

NOTE: CAPTAIN MARVEL IS THE HERO THAT NICK FURY SUMMONED TO FIGHT THANOS IN THE POST-CREDITS SCENE TO AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR.

BEHOLD THE MANDROIDS

Yes, this is the very first appearance of the Mandroids, the S.H.I.E.L.D. combat suits designed by Tony Stark to defeat the Avengers themselves if they ever turned bad. X-Men fans will remember that years later Moses Magnum used stolen Mandroid technology in his bid to conquer Japan.

MandroidsSynopsis: Our story this time picks up just over an hour after the Avengers defeated the three Skrulls who were simulating the powers of the Fantastic Four. During that same battle Super-Skrull, the Skrull agent with ALL of the Fantastic Four’s powers in one defeated his Kree archenemy, the Avenger called Captain Marvel, and fled in a spaceship with Mar-Vell, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch as captives.

Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Goliath and Rick Jones have taken the captive Skrulls back to Avengers Mansion where they have subjected them to sedatives that will keep even those three alien agents unconscious for an extended period.

That accomplished, the Avengers contact Reed Richards – Mister Fantastic of the Fantastic Four – on their visi-screen. Since the Fantastic Four had Earth’s first several encounters with both the Skrulls AND the Kree the Avengers want to know if Reed has any idea what kind of strategy the Skrulls may be pursuing with the captive Avengers now that both alien races are fighting over possession of the Earth.

Reed promises to scour the Fantastic Four’s extensive records on the Kree and the Skrulls and get back to our heroes. While waiting to hear back from Mister Fantastic the Avengers turn their thoughts to what became of the Vision after the earlier battle. He was not defeated by any of the Skrulls so they are not sure where he disappeared to. 

We readers now learn that the Vision stowed away on the Super-Skrull’s spaceship in order to keep close track of the captive Avengers – especially the Scarlet Witch, with whom his romance has barely begun. As it develops the Super-Skrull is using advanced Skrullian technology to leech off the “X-Waves” (named for Professor Charles Xavier) that emanate from the mutant brains of the unconscious Scarlet Witch and her brother Quicksilver. Continue reading

10 Comments

Filed under Superheroes

AVENGERS: THE KREE-SKRULL WAR PART FIVE

FOR PART ONE OF THIS LOOK AT THE KREE-SKRULL WAR (1971-1972) CLICK HERE 

Avengers 93THE AVENGERS Volume One, Number 93 (November 1971)

AVENGERS ROSTER: THOR (Donald Blake, MD), IRON MAN (Tony Stark), CAPTAIN AMERICA (Steve Rogers), ANT-MAN (Hank Pym, PhD), THE SCARLET WITCH (Wanda), GOLIATH (Clint Barton), QUICKSILVER (Pietro), THE VISION (Not Applicable), CAPTAIN MARVEL (Mar-Vell, Kree Captain)

NOTE: CAPTAIN MARVEL IS THE HERO THAT NICK FURY SUMMONED TO FIGHT THANOS IN THE POST-CREDITS SCENE TO AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR.

THIS BEACH-HEAD EARTH

Synopsis: We open at Avengers Mansion. Iron Man has summoned Thor, Captain America, the Wasp and Yellow Jacket in response to an alarming and confusing letter that Tony Stark (Iron Man) received. That letter was from Jarvis, the Avengers’ butler, resigning his position since – as we saw last time around – Thor, Iron Man and Captain America expelled the Scarlet Witch, Goliath, Quicksilver and the Vision from the team.

Iron Man, Cap and Thor make it clear they have no idea what Jarvis was talking about. Obviously some imposters threw out the four expelled Avengers using their apparent complicity in Captain Marvel’s flight from S.H.I.E.L.D. as the excuse.

VisionSuddenly the Vision bursts into the room. He has clearly been in a fight and is badly wounded. Before he can tell Thor, Iron Man and Captain America what happened he collapses into unconsciousness. The Big Three get the Vision to the Avengers’ infirmary and are alarmed to realize that he no longer has a pulse.

Ant-Man (Hank Pym, PhD) arrives from Alaska, where he says his wife the Wasp (Janet Van Dyne) is laid up with an illness after the Avengers’ recent battle with Kree forces there. Since Ant-Man created Ultron who in turn created the Vision, Hank’s expertise is called upon to see if the Vision can be repaired.

Ant-Man shrinks himself down the most that he can and enters the Vision’s body through the android’s nostrils. This begins an adventure through the Vision’s body in which Ant-Man will face the android’s dangerous artificial defenses. Obviously the whole setup is an intentional homage to the sci fi movie Fantastic Voyage.   Continue reading

5 Comments

Filed under Superheroes