Today, we check out Deadpool #6, X-Men: Kingbreaker #1, Guardians of the Galaxy #8 and then blast to the past for Namor's first Silver Age appearance in Fantastic Four #4. Enjoy and spread the word!
What time is it? Time for Deadpool to battle it out with a shark man, Vulcan to taunt his brother, Star-Lord to meet a king, and Namor to get a shave and haircut! Two bits!
As always, you can easily check up on past articles of Super Reads. If you're reading this on Bludnet, you'll see a link titled "Super Reads SI" on your left where you can check out what happened in every issue dealing with Secret Invasion, Dark Reign, and War of Kings (because I obviously have an addiction). Our syndicated articles might not be so lucky. For you, click here to catch up or remember back on all 34 previous articles. Just you wait! I'll probably add more.
The clock's running! Let's move!
Writers: Daniel Way
Penciler: Paco Medina
There were two issues between this one and the last one I covered for Secret Invasion. In those issues, Deadpool learned that he didn't taste good after being sampled by some neo-zombies (they stayed human-looking by eating people) in Europe. On his way back stateside, he was attacked by Tiger Shark.
This issue begins with Deadpool holding a press conference in his mind. Attending the conference is Mr. Spock, the Pillsbury Doughboy, Tinkerbell, a poodle, a clown, Marilyn Manson, a gorilla, a member of ZZTop, a well busted lady, an old dude in a tux, and a guy in a full white spandex suit. They all want to know how he beat Tiger Shark. The well busted lady wants other things but Wade doesn't have time for love. Finally, a comic book writer busts on the scene to ask for pointers on how he really defeated Tiger Shark. Deadpool tells him that the only thing he really needed was a pointy stick.
Which is what he's being poked in the eye with in real life by some snot nosed kid. Deadpool's washed to shore and shows no signs of life but MANY signs of getting a nice beat down. He's not ready to dance but he'll finally recover in the city morgue.
That night, Tiger Shark gets a phone call to inform him of just how much he failed to permanently kill Wade Wilson. The caller informs him that they'll pay double if he does the killing permanently but the price of failure is a creative death all his own. That business settled, Tiger Shark deals with the guy that feeds the sharks in the pool he's been swimming in. Actually, he throws the guy in and lets the sharks have more than just a pail of fish for dinner.
After DP ran from the morgue, he made his way to a homeless shelter. The local attractive shelter worker wakes him up and gives him the times the shelter will open back up for the next night. As he's leaving the bed, the shelter worker notices that he bled a bit during his sleep and wants him to see a doctor. We all know that Deadpool's healing factor (ah... the nineties when they were handing out healing factors like candy...) has taken care of all his injuries at this point so he's not gonna need medical attention. He heads for the door aiming for a rematch with Tiger Shark but not really knowing where to find him.
No worries on that score. Tiger Shark is looking for you, too. This time, he's brought a machete!
'Pool runs back into the shelter then immediately questions that action. This could lead to his beautiful shelter worker getting killed... or, in his deranged mind, seeing him kick Tiger Shark's tail in and her worshipping the ground he walks on. Back in reality, Wade's still gotta deal with actually beating Tiger Shark. On the plus side, Tiger Shark isn't very good with weapons seeing as he's got really sharp teeth, excellent upper body strength, and no real need for actual weapons.
Deadpool IS good with weapons and, after liberating the machete from Tiger Shark, quickly gains the upper hand. Before he can finish the fight or ask who hired Tiger Shark, the police have shown up. He forgets his fight and tries his best to evade the authorities. Unfortunately, Wade's insanity works against him as he jokes around with the cops on the attractive shelter worker's cell phone (and Wade's jokes are demented: he jokes about taking hostages and killing them and... really, they're not funny and kind of WTF moments). The SWAT team enters and blows him away (which WORKS but you've got to wonder if that's protocol when someone has a knife and has threatened hostages... maybe?).
He wakes up in a body bag on a long dock.
Which is where Tiger Shark is waiting to kill him. It may have been easier to do that while he was still out of it but maybe TS has some sort of honor... or maybe he just got there himself. I don't write these things! Tiger Shark brought an axe this time which, if he uses it as competently as he used the machete, means Wade'll have a repeat performance of his earlier victory.
But there is another factor in the mix this time: Bob! The former Hydra Agent/ former DP sidekick! Bob fires his rifle at Tiger Shark and misses. Tiger Shark takes to the water, planning on attacking the newcomer. Bob throws the rifle to Deadpool (who can actually shoot) but the weapon ends up in the water instead. TS drags Bob into the drink by the head while Deadpool makes a dive for the rifle.
Now, for some War of Kings action! We're playing catch up!
X-Men: Kingbreaker #1
Writers: Christopher Yost
Penciler: Dustin Weaver
The Shi'ar Empire is expanding. While the rest of the cosmos was fighting against Annihilus and Ultron, the Shi'ar remained relatively free from those threats. They did have their own problems going on, though. Their Majestrix, Lilandra, was deposed by her older brother, D'ken (long thought dead). D'ken was then replaced by Scott and Alex Summer's little brother, Vulcan, who came to the throne by marriage to Lilandra and D'ken's sister, Deathbird. Yeah, it almost needs it's own royal family road map. Lilandra has been doing her best to regain control of the Empire but her people seem to like the expansionistic tactics that D'ken and Vulcan have employed over Lilandra's more peaceful stance. At the last engagement, Vulcan was able to capture Alex and his on again/off again girlfriend, Lorna Dane, as well as the two remaining Starjammers, Ch'od and Raza (Corsair being dead and Hepzibah stuck on earth).
Our story begins as the Shi'ar add a new planet to their expanding empire: Z'nox. Vulcan is a hands on type of Emperor and, along with his Imperial Guard, joins in the conflict to personally welcome the Z'nox king to the Shi'ar Empire with his boot.
On Planet Ovar, an assembly of alien civilizations debates re-forming the Galactic Council. The only thing that needs to be added to the mix is the Shi'ar Empire. Their expansionist nature has been noted and is alarming. No one seems to know who's running the empire but they're about to make some inquiries to find out what to do about the Shi'ar.
On Chandilar, throneworld of the Shi'ar, Deathbird is informing a cheering populace of their emperor's success in defeating the Z'Nox. Post-speach, the leader of the Shi'ar Fleet, Admiral Ka'arduum, expresses his frustration that Vulcan is no longer on the front line nor is he back on the Throneworld. Vulcan makes excursions to visit the holding cell of his brother, Havok, to torment him and to dwell in his hatred of him. Deathbird believes that Vulcan's hate makes him and the empire strong. Ka'arduum believes it's an unhealthy obsession. Still, the empire doesn't seem to be getting any smaller...
At the Shi'ar's Spaceyard, Kythri's Anvil, the resistance is attempting to liberate the Starjammer. Marvel Girl and Korvus Rook'shir, both powered by remnants of the Phoenix Force, run defense for Lilandra Neramani, former Majestrix of the Shi'ar Empire. She's seen better days. Admiral Ka'arduum and his fleet once sided with her until he saw that, through Vulcan, the empire would become strong again. Still, this isn't the first time she's been deposed. She's run with the Starjammers quite a few times and, even though the space pirates are captured, at least they can take back the ship.
After taking back the Starjammer, the trio make for a graveyard of ships and debris circling The World. The World is the home of the M'kraan Crystal and is currently circled by recently demolished ships from events in X-Men: Emperor Vulcan. Rachel (Marvel Girl) is restless and wants to head right back out to rescue Alex and Lorna. Lilandra's got informants but no one has been able to tell her where their captured comrades are being held. She vows to find them and to return to power and avert the coming war.
So, where are the Starjammers? They're on the planet Kr'kn at the edge of Shi'ar space. Vulcan has gone there with some members of his Imperial Guard in order to inspect their status and maybe gloat a little. He's most interested in Havok, his brother. Alex has been non-responsive for quite a while. The team on planet believes he's been broken but Vulcan doesn't believe it. Havok has also been depowered but not by use of an inhibitor. He's expended all his energies and been deprived access to the cosmic energy that repowers them. Almost on cue, Havok faces the camera and speaks directly to his younger brother, acknowledging his presence.
Vulcan asks for a run down on the other prisoners. Raza has been trouble. He has fashioned weapons out of his cybernetic parts and killed several guards before someone had the bright idea of removing those bits. Ch'od seems more docile but is very resistant to torture even going so far as to give his tortureres pointers and criticism. Lorna has been drugged to an incredible degree. If you haven't been keeping up, she was one of the mutants depowered during Decimation. She recieved new powers from Apocalypse against her will which made her the new Horseman, Pestilence, as well as somehow restoring her powers of magnetism through unknown, mechanical means. It is perhaps because of her time as Pestilence that she has an increasing resistance to any power dampening and the drugs that keep keep her sedated. At the mention of Alex's name, she rises and attacks Vulcan. Vulcan pacifies her, but her potential is noted.
With that, Vulcan leaves to taunt his older brother.
None of his taunts hit home, though. In fact, Alex seems to rile Vulcan up much more than the other way around. As soon as Vulcan ends this conversation, Oracle (an Imperial Guard member) informs him of the taking of the Starjammer.
This riles him up even further. He orders Rachel Grey's death. Oracle tells him how many times that has been tried and failed. With the expansion of the Empire such a high priority, there just aren't enough resources to focus on killing Marvel Girl. Seeing as he's at a prison, Vulcan decides to make a new Imperial Guard of criminals. He orders a list of those incarcerated in order to assemble his new team.
It seems that Havok has an unknown ally. Someone opens the containment door to Alex's cell just enough to sneak him some of that cosmic energy he needs to power back up. I smell prison break. It could just be gas, though.
Guardians of the Galaxy #8
Writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Penciler: Brad Walker
Two issues ago, the Guardians of the Galaxy broke up forever. You'll never see them again, honest. This is my honest face. I am terrible at poker.
In this issue, the former leader of the Guardians, Star-Lord, is on a solo mission in Kree-Space. Specifically, he's on Hala, capital world of the Kree Empire. This is before the events of Secret Invasion: War of Kings, so you won't see the Inhumans. In fact, you'll see that the Kree are employing the energy spires erected by the Phalanx that cut the Kree Empire off from the rest of the galaxy. The Kree are using them for defense while they work on reconstruction.
Star-Lord isn't there because of the spires, though. He learned about the Skrull Invasion and, knowing that the Kree are the mortal enemies of the Skrulls, he came to bring the Kree a personal warning after his message on the Kree Warnet got no replies (have you ever created a thread on a message board that quickly sunk to page two? That's pretty much the deal here. He probably should have spammed the thread back to page one a few times before making the trip). It's only after getting to Hala that he learned that the spires were being used once more.
The Skrulls DID attempt to Secretly Invade the Kree. The Kree have been facing the Skrulls for all known existance, though. If you discount the times that the Kree have been tricked by Skrull imposters, you'd think that they would have learned to detect them by now. Apparently, after Nenora was revealed (this was in those awful Silver Surfer issues I went over a few months ago. Nenora was a Skrull who, disguised as a Kree, ended up accidentally ruling the Kree Empire and went completely power mad), the Kree worked on better means of detecting Skrull infiltrators. They have used the Skrulls to power up the Spires.
Star-Lord thinks this is an incredibly bad idea considering that these spires could potentially rip a hole in the fabric of space. He demands that they are shut down but we know that Ronan the Accuser, the current leader of the Kree (remember: pre-Secret Invasion: War of Kings) isn't going to listen. They've got to fight it out. Star-Lord is completely out classed, here.
Our hero is soundly beaten. Ronan banishes him to the Negative Zone. He's got too many admirers among the Kree to feed him to the spire and, if the Guardians come looking for him, it's best they don't find him powering up the Phalanx spire.
So Star-Lord ends up in the Negative Zone. He is immediately confronted by King Blastaar, the Kree supported leader of the Negative Zone. This is actually where we found him at the very end of last issue so what we've just witnessed is sort of a flashback.
Rocket Raccoon hasn't just let the Guardians of the Galaxy fade away. He's decided to assemble his own team and keep the mission alive. His team is on the Benthus Colony fighting alien cyborgs (they're Badoon created Zoms). The team is composed of Rocket, Mantis, Major Victory, Bug, and Groot. The team does a great job beating back the Zoms. So good a job, in fact, that the Badoon send in communications to find out why they're killing their Zoms. This was a trial test run on a populated area. Why are you ruining the test? Rocket tells the Badoon to leave or suffer the consequences. The Badoon make like a tree (not Groot). The Guardians handle clean up, helping the locals and providing medical attention. Major Victory sees his future and he doesn't like it.
In the Negative Zone, King Blastaar is taking care of a challenge to his throne. After that business is despensed with he explains his kingship to Star-Lord. The Kree have appointed him king to keep the Negative Zone in line. Ronan and Blastaar both know that eventually Blastaar will betray the Kree but for now it's a working system.
Why hasn't King Blastaar killed Star-Lord, given their history together? We'll find out soon.
But first, Adam Warlock and Gamora are making an assault on the Universal Church of Truth. They're taking down a Cardinal (who are pretty tough customers but this one seems to fall to Warlock's powers). Adam Warlock has a message for the Holy Matriarch that he wants this Cardinal to deliver. It's time for a meeting.
OK, back to Star-Lord. He and King Blastaar are looking at the Earth prison, 42. Blastaar wants Star-Lord to help him take the place. It's a potential gateway to earth. Blastaar plans on doing some conquering.
Fantastic Four #4
Writers: Stan Lee
Penciler: Jack Kirby
I actually looked around for the first Golden Age appearance of Namor since he is one of the first Marvel Characters created way back in Marvel Comics #1 but I wasn't able to easily located a copy of that issue. Rest assured, we'll get to it soon enough since Marvel will be rereleasing it in April! There's also another Golden Age adventure we'll hopefully be looking at in the future but, for now, let's enjoy his reintroduction into Marvel's Silver Age!
It was 1962. John F. Kennedy was President of these United States. Dr. No was in the theaters. Beverly Hillbillies was on the television. Unemployment was 6.7%. Gene Chandler was singing the Duke of Earl. You could buy a gallon of gas for 31 cents or a new home for around $18,200. People could drink Tab soda for the very first time. Truly, the world was ready to embrace Namor the Sub-Mariner once more.
The Fantastic Four aren't thinking about Namor's impending return, though. They're more concerned about their missing teammate. Following the events of the previous issue, Johnny Storm left the Fantastic Four forever.
You're not buying it, are you? You think he's been in the team a lot since issue 4? Fine. You win this round. So much for suspension of disbelief...
Anyway, at this point in the team's career, losing a member is a totally big deal. Especially if you're Reed Richards. Do you think he's gonna get any nookie from Sue if he can't find her kid brother?
Thing is harder to convince. There's no sexy reward for the rock monster if Johnny shows up. He also gets pretty annoyed by the brat. Reed plays the blame game though, telling Ben that it's all his fault that the brat ran away... which it is. Ben was an angry guy right after he turned into a rock monster. You would be too. Ben's snarky attitude led to Johnny getting all frustrated and taking off.
After the Thing has committed to finding Johnny, the three take their components of their flying bathtub, the Fantasticar, and search the city in their own ways. Sue is very concerned about her younger brother. So concerned, in fact, that she spends about three minutes searching before getting bored, entering a soda shop, and drinking down a soda while invisible just to freak out anyone watching. Don't ask how she ordered that soda while invisible. My bet is that she stole it from someone.
Reed's more into finding Johnny than Sue is (think of that reward, Reed!) but that doesn't mean he's any more successful or logical about it. His technique is to grab random people off their motorcycles and question them. After finding that the cyclists don't know anything, he discards them to pick up the pieces of their shattered motorbikes and moves on to harrassing some kids playing baseball.
Johnny's actually playing around with car engines and using his power to do some welding work. It seems only Thing actually knows what Johnny would really be doing. Ben smashes down a wall and makes to give Johnny the beating that all kids deserve (Ben would make a terrible dad). Thing wastes no time in smashing up a car to make Johnny flame off. Before Johnny gets beat down, though, Thing reverts to being a regular dude again. It's only temporary, but it's enough time to give the Human Torch a chance to escape.
Johnny hits the bad part of town and eventually finds a shelter to rest in for the night. While he's there, he also finds some 1940's comics to read. Serendipitiously, those comics are all about the Sub-Mariner. Johnny wonders what ever became of Namor (remember kids, everything that happens in comics is TRUE!) and, before you know it, he's being introduced to a mangy old bum that is supposedly as strong as Namor was supposed to be. The bum isn't in the mood to show off and the other bums take affront to that attitude. They attack him, but he easily knocks them all away.
Johnny intervenes when it's learned that the super powered bum suffers from amnesia. Knowing that beards are the devil, the Torch decides to get rid of all that nasty hair in the only way someone with super powers can.
Yeah, he burns it off. That's logical, right? Anyway, it's easy to see that this is actually Namor the Sub-Mariner at this point but that doesn't mean that the bum knows that.
Meanwhile, Reed is still doing a terrible job looking for Johnny. His heart is in the right place but we now know that, when you're looking for a lost child, never go to the super scientist. They think outside the box far too much. Sue is so close to Johnny that she could kick him, but she believes she's wasting her time (unlike that soda drinking thing earlier) and turns around just as Johnny and Namor pass by.
Just like Johnny knew there was only one way to shave a beard off, he also knows of only one way to cure amnesia. Drowning. It's a time honored tradition dating back to the 1300's. It also cures witches. He drops Namor into the drink and it actually works. The Sub-Mariner has his memory back and quickly strips off his bum attire for his traditional trunks and mostly naked look. He heads for his Atlantean home to learn that it has been destroyed by atomic radiation. Atlanteans are immune to atomic radiation, so they simply moved, but since Namor can't find them easily and their homes were destroyed, he'll have to resort to a little thing called vengeance. Namor returns to the surface to tell Johnny just how much he's screwed up before heading back to the sea.
Johnny sends up a flare to summon the rest of the foursome. When they arrive, he tells them all of Namors return but carefully fails to tell them that it's his fault that he's back.
Namor uses the time to summon the largest and most powerful beast of the deep: Giganto! Blowing a trumpet-horn of summoning, he orders Giganto to attack the surface world starting with New York City. The Army tries their best to stop the beast but it's hella big. Their weapons don't even make a dent on it's hide. The Fantastic Four are having the same amount of success. Soon, Giganto reaches the shore and starts wrecking up the place. Ony the Thing has an idea on how to stop Giganto.
He straps a nuclear bomb to his back and heads towards Giganto. At this point, Giganto has worn himself out with all the rampaging and has decided to take a little beast-nap. Thing enters the monster through his open mouth. He makes his way deep into the creature and, after planting the bomb, fights his way out (Giganto swallowed some sea-creatures whole) before the giant sea beast goes boom.
Namor is pretty pissed that his sea monster was destroyed so he comes down to gloat about all the other sea monsters he can summon with his trumpet-horn. Sue tries taking it away from him but Namor quickly retrieves it and captures her. He's struck by her Jack Kirby drawn beauty and instantly proposes (Namor was like Pepe Le Pew at this point). Sue is obviously repulsed yet strangely aroused at the very same time. Reed, seeing that his chance at post monster destroying nookie are evaporating, heads up his team for a rescue attempt.
Still, Namor threatens like a master. Faced with the concequences of sending Thing into another beast with an a-bomb strapped to his back, Sue agrees to marry the Sub-Mariner. Reed and company attack anyway. Namor shrugs them all off but Johnny has one more plan up his sleeve. Rising to the air, he creates a tornado that lifts both Namor and Giganto's corpse and deposits them far out to sea. On the way, the Sub-Mariner loses his grasp on the trumpet-horn which means he's also lost the ability to summon terrible sea monsters to destroy the surface world.
Namor threatens to return and finish what he started as Reed guarantees that the Fantastic Four will be ready to protect the surface world from his threat.
That's that. We are officially done for the day. Prepare for next time when I write about more books than ever before! It was a big week!
Until then: Who Do YOU Trust?
Posted originally: 2009-01-24 15:55:48