Tag Archives: Marvel Comics

AVENGERS: KREE-SKRULL WAR, THE CONCLUSION

This weekend’s light-hearted, escapist superhero post features the final three chapters of the original Kree-Skrull War from 1971-1972. For parts 1-3 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)

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.

mandroids avengersThe Mandroids seem to have the upper hand on the Avengers, so 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

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KREE-SKRULL WAR: AVENGERS PARTS 4-6

For this weekend’s light-hearted and escapist superhero blog post here at Balladeer’s Blog will examine the 4th, 5th and 6th installments of the 9-part Avengers classic The Kree-Skrull War (1971-1972). For parts 1-3 click HERE. 

Avengers 92THE AVENGERS Volume One, Number 92 (September 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)

 ALL THINGS MUST END

Synopsis: We pick up several days after the Avengers and their old civilian ally, rock singer Rick Jones, saved the world from Ronan the Accuser. Ronan was the new ruler of the alien Kree Empire after a coup d’état against the Supreme Intelligence. When his plan was stymied by the Avengers, Ronan was forced to retreat back to Hala, the homeworld of the Kree Empire, because the Kree’s ancient foes the Skrulls had launched attacks on every Kree-held planet in the galaxy.

The Scarlet Witch, Goliath (formerly Hawkeye), Quicksilver, the Vision and Captain Marvel are enjoying down time at Avengers Mansion. Soon their butler Jarvis brings their attention to newscasts stating that the Avengers are being investigated by the U.S. government and the U.N.

captain marvelWord has leaked from a Senator named H. Warren Craddock and from the technicians the Avengers swore to confidentiality following last issue’s action. The entire world now knows about how the alien race called the Kree attempted to destroy the Earth.

Captain Marvel’s status as a renegade Kree captain helps draw attention to the Avengers and his place with them. Not helping the situation is the way Captain Marvel – aka Kree Starfleet Captain Mar-Vell – impersonated Earth scientist Doctor Walter Lawson as part of his original mission to infiltrate NASA at Cape Canaveral.

That circumstance leads to suspicion about how many other alien Kree may be infiltrating Earth bases, fanning the inevitable Witch Hunt. Continue reading

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AVENGERS: THE KREE-SKRULL WAR

This weekend’s light-hearted and escapist superhero blog post here at Balladeer’s Blog will examine the first three installments of the 9-part Avengers classic tale The Kree-Skrull War (1971-1972). 

Avengers 89

THE AVENGERS Volume One, Number 89 (June 1971)

The Only Good Alien … Is A Dead Alien

SETTING: The Kree race and the Skrull race are a pair of alien races who have been at war for untold thousands of years. Both races were introduced in the pages of the The Fantastic Four in the 1960s and became staples in the Marvel Comics Universe, which I will once again praise for being as enjoyably detailed as the Star Trek or Doctor Who universes.

Synopsis: The story opens up in Miami, where a trio of Avengers – the Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver and the Vision – track down and engage in a battle with the Kree superhero called Captain Marvel.  (THIS IS THE ORIGINAL MARVEL COMICS CHARACTER CAPTAIN MARVEL, A MAN.) 

NOTE: There is often confusion between the Marvel Comics figure called Captain Marvel and the Fawcett Comics figure of the same name. The Fawcett Comics figure dated back to the Golden Age and was one of the victims of DC Comics’ legal attacks on ANY superhero that they felt was too similar to their character Superman.

Fawcett Comics eventually went under and nearly all their characters were bought by DC. DC doesn’t mind an alleged Superman ripoff as long as they OWN the character so the Golden Age Captain Marvel is still being published but because Marvel Comics over the years acquired the rights to the character NAME Captain Marvel the original Captain Marvel now goes by Shazam.

Captain MarvelAnyway, the Marvel Comics Captain Marvel, who debuted in the 1960s, was an alien Captain of the Kree Starfleet ships sent to conquer the Earth for the Kree Empire. His real name is conveniently Mar-Vell so when he identified himself in his early adventures the media mistook “Captain Mar-Vell” for Captain Marvel, hence his superhero moniker.

Like many other aliens in pop fiction the good Captain came to feel grudging sympathy for us Earthlings and tried to save us primitive schlubs from conquest by the Kree Empire. He thus became labeled a traitor to his own people but was also distrusted by Earthlings because of his alien nature, hence his old Marvel Comics tagline “The Man Without A World.” Continue reading

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WHEN HERCULES JOINED THE AVENGERS

This weekend’s light-hearted, escapist superhero blog post will deal with the first time Marvel’s version of Hercules joined the Avengers in the 1960s. The demigod had subsequent periods as a member of the team, but this first time carried on from the lengthy Hercules/ Thor/ Pluto storyline that Balladeer’s Blog reviewed HERE.

ave 38AVENGERS Vol 1 #38 (March 1967)

Title: In Our Midst … An Immortal

Avengers Roster: The Wasp, Goliath, Captain America, the Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye, Quicksilver, Black Widow 

Villains: The Enchantress and Ares

Synopsis: The Black Widow is secretly recruited by Nick Fury to go under deep cover by leaving the Avengers and pretending to once again become a communist agent. She is not to tell anyone that she is only faking her return to communism, not even Hawkeye, who is heartbroken and outraged when she departs Avengers Mansion. 

Meanwhile, partway down Mount Olympus, Hercules is engaged in a battle with the god of war Ares. Herc challenged Ares to this fight out of anger over Ares’ taunting refusal to help Hercules against Pluto in the storyline mentioned above. Continue reading

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NEW YEAR’S EVE REQUEST: ARENA KILL

mascot sword and gun pic

BALLADEER’S BLOG

A reader requested that I review the Marvel Comics sci-fi dystopia/ alien invasion series Killraven, the Warrior of the Worlds. I already did from 2019-2020, but in honor of New Year’s Eve here is a look back at one part of that review, which was posted on New Year’s Eve of 2019 into 2020, the exact date that the story itself was set on. 

FOR PART ONE OF BALLADEER’S BLOG’S EXAMINATION OF THIS OLD, OLD MARVEL COMICS STORYLINE CLICK HERE  The revisions I would make are scattered throughout the synopsis below.

Killraven Arena KillAMAZING ADVENTURES Vol 2 #37 (July 1976)

Title: Arena Kill  

Synopsis: NEW YEAR’S EVE, 2019 into 2020, which is why I held off the extra day or two to post this review, since I wanted it to actually appear on the REAL December 31st, 2019.

Northern Florida, in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge along the Suwanee River. Killraven and his Freemen continue their guerilla uprising against Earth’s alien conquerors. They have encountered another of the pitifully few bands of humans who also defy the aliens.  

We jump right into the middle of some action, as Killraven is pitting his sword against the two battle axes wielded by Brother Axe, the leader of this rebel colony. Brother Axe’s dozens of followers and Killraven’s own Freemen stand in a large circle around the combatants, watching the battle.

Killraven 2The cause of the conflict soon becomes clear – Brother Axe is skeptical that Killraven really is THE Killraven, the world-famous scourge of Earth’s alien conquerors. He suspects KR and his band may be fakers trying to bamboozle him or – even worse – undercover human quislings trying to pinpoint the location of Brother Axe’s rebel band so they can betray the band to their alien masters.     Continue reading

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A CHRISTMAS CAROL: LUKE CAGE AND THE TEEN TITANS

Christmas Carol-A-Thon 2022 continues, this time combined with the weekend’s light-hearted, escapist superhero blog post. This item looks at A Christmas Carol getting adapted through two separate stories – first with Luke Cage/ Power Man and then with the Teen Titans.

luke-cage-christmas-carol

LUKE CAGE, HERO FOR HIRE Vol 1 #7 (March 1973) 

Jingle Bombs was the real title of this holiday tale which pitted superhero Luke Cage aka Hero for Hire aka Power Man against the one-off supervillain called Marley. Like a Guest Villain from the Adam West Batman show Marley uses a campy Christmas Carol motif for his nefarious plan … yet, oddly the story is kind of quaint.  

On Christmas Eve, Luke Cage is hanging out with his then-girlfriend Claire Temple, a doctor who worked at a clinic in the New York ghetto. Later on in the series Claire would be the center of a romantic triangle between Luke Cage and another of Marvel’s black superheroes – Black Goliath, Hank Pym’s former lab assistant who used Pym’s inventions to turn to giant-size and back. 

As night approaches Luke sees a ruckus outside the clinic: a man in Dickensian 1800s clothing is using his walking stick to beat a little handicapped boy named Timmy. Our hero goes out to save the little boy and is attacked by the strange man, who identifies himself as “Marley.”   Continue reading

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SPIDER-WOMAN: HER EARLY STORIES

This weekend’s light-hearted and escapist superhero blog post will look at Marvel’s original run of the Jessica Drew version of Spider-Woman.

marv sp 32MARVEL SPOTLIGHT Vol 1 #32 (February 1977)

Title: Dark Destiny

Villains: Hydra

NOTE: The origin of the Jessica Drew character presented in this issue, which claimed she was a creation of Marvel’s hero-villain the High Evolutionary, was soon retconned. In the new version, her father was a scientist working with the High Evolutionary, who injected her with experimental chemicals and spider DNA to save her life from radiation poisoning, and that was how she gained her super-powers.

           Those powers: Spider-Man level strength, bioenergy “venom blasts” that she shot from her hands, wall-crawling abilities and limited flight through her web-wings.

spider-woman picSynopsis: Misled into working for Hydra, Spider-Woman is sent on a mission to assassinate S.H.I.E.L.D. chief Nick Fury on the Riviera. Nick survives her initial assault and then uses news and intelligence reports to show her how she was deceived into thinking that Hydra was a revolutionary organization rather than a criminal cabal.

Jessica, furious over the way she was used, leads a S.H.I.E.L.D. assault on the Hydra base from which she was sent to kill Nick Fury. After the base is shut down and all the Hydra agents are captured, the heroine declines to join S.H.I.E.L.D. and goes off to contemplate what she wants to do with her life. Continue reading

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MARVEL MYSTERY COMICS

cap original human torch and sub-marinerThis weekend’s light-hearted, escapist superhero blog post will examine the early years of Marvel Comics, which was called Timely Comics back in 1939.

Their first superhero series was titled Marvel Comics, which was changed to Marvel MYSTERY Comics beginning with the second issue.

mar c 1MARVEL COMICS Vol 1 #1 (October 1939)

Title: The Human Torch

Synopsis: A human-looking android is created by scientist Phineas Horton and made known to the public. Bizarrely enough, the android’s body bursts into flames upon contact with the air (it’s the little things, really) so this misnamed Human (Android) Torch is sealed up tight to prevent it from running amok.

1939 human torchThis figure escapes, learns to control its ability to “flame on” and “flame off”, and defeats the crime boss Anthony Sardo and his gang. When Phineas Horton hints at using his android creation to make money, the Torch rebels and flies off to function in the world on his own. Continue reading

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PALADIN

paladin realizingThis weekend’s light-hearted, escapist superhero blog post deals with Marvel’s enigmatic mercenary Paladin, whose activities on behalf of his clients often put him on both sides of the law.

He has no connection to the Paladin character from the Have Gun Will Travel radio and television shows.

dd 150DAREDEVIL Vol 1 #150 (January 1978)

Title: Catastrophe

Villain: The Purple Man (Killgrave)

NOTE: This was the first appearance of Marvel’s Paladin. To this day they have not revealed his real name, but he sometimes uses the aliases Paul Dennis and Paul Denning. Paladin is as agile and acrobatic as Daredevil, wears resilient body armor that does not restrict his movements and wields a Stun Gun.

          That weapon’s ray-blasts stun and scramble the nervous system, so they are effective even against super foes but have no effect on unliving matter. Through some STILL unexplained biological mutation or scientific enhancement, Paladin is strong enough to lift an entire ton. Continue reading

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MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE

This weekend’s light-hearted, escapist superhero blog post comes a little earlier than usual. This one examines various stories in the Thing’s team-up series titled Marvel Two-in-One after two adventures in Marvel Feature.

mf 11MARVEL FEATURE Vol 1 #11 (September 1973)

Title: Cry: Monster

Villains: The Leader and Kurrgo

Synopsis: The Thing and the Hulk get pitted against each other as part of a conflict between the Hulk’s archenemy the Leader (lower right) and the Fantastic Four’s old foe Kurrgo, the former dictator of Planet X. The Leader chose his greatest foe the Hulk as his champion in this fight, while Kurrgo chose the Thing, a member of his team of enemies the Fantastic Four.

LeaderThe villain whose champion wins the battle will win the prize – abducting BOTH monsters to serve them in their plans. In the Leader’s case, to take over the Earth, and in Kurrgo’s case, to conquer and once again subjugate his people.

While the battle goes on in a ghost town in the American west, Kurrgo cheats by secretly amping up the Thing’s strength via periodic cosmic energy transmissions. This causes the Leader to declare Kurrgo the loser by default. Meanwhile, the Hulk and the Thing battle Kurrgo’s high-tech robot. Continue reading

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