Saturday, June 22, 2019

Saturday Showcase: the Reavers

Lady Deathstrike and the Reavers
    This Saturday Showcase spotlights one of my favorite band of villains that the X-Men have ever faced.  I am talking about the Reavers.  Who are the Reavers?  Well, The Reavers are a team of criminal cyborgs dedicated to the destruction of the mutant X-Men, and a number of them especially wanted to take revenge on one particular X-Man, Wolverine. The name was originally used by a gang of Australian cyborgs. The name later referred to a group under the leadership of Donald Pierce, consisting of the three survivors from the original Reavers along with other cyborgs.

    The Reavers first appeared in Uncanny X-Men #229 (May 1988) and were created by Chris Claremont and Marc Silvestri.  Members include Donald Pierce,
Lady Deathstrike, Pretty Boy, Bonebreaker, Skullbuster, Wade Cole, Angelo Macon, Murray Reese, Skullbuster #2 (Cylla Markham), and Josh Foley.

Reavers in action.
    The team roster has change many times during the years due to deaths at the hands of Wolverine and the X-men as well as other heroes like the Punisher.  Yes, the Reavers were stupid enough to tangle with Frank.  The rosters can be seen below.

First Team

  • Bonebreaker
  • Skullbuster
  • Pretty Boy
  • Various unnamed other members (deceased or reincarnated)

Second Team
  • Donald Pierce (leader)
  • Lady Deathstrike
  • Wade Cole (deceased)
  • Angelo Macon (deceased)
  • Murray Reese (deceased)
  • Bonebreaker (arrested)
  • Skullbuster
  • Skullbuster (Cylla)
  • Pretty Boy (arrested)
    There were several more teams to follow, but they did not have the same spark or fire as the first two teams.  My favorite team will always be the second team.

1st Appearance Uncanny X-men #229 (One of my favorite all time covers as well)
    The Reavers were all about getting what's theirs.  They started off as a mutant kill team and then they went on to any crimes, but mainly focused their hatred on mutants.  Wolverine was always a pain in their side, which made me love the characters even more.
    In 2017, a team of Reavers showed up in the film Logan.  They also saw a resurgence in the comics in 2018 when they joined Havok to destroy a threat that was even bigger than them.  Although it was strange seeing the Reavers fight for good, it was still good to see them.  Recently, Skullbuster got his own Marvel Legends figure.  I would also love to see a Pretty Boy and Bonebreaker come out in future Marvel Legends figures.  I mean they for a cool look.  They are Cyborgs for crying out loud, LoL.  That;s just my opinion though.
Rogue, in the hands of the Reavers
    This has been my spotlight on the Reavers.  I suggest you do some back issue digging at your local comic store so you can enjoy these classic battles with the Marvel Universe.  I am giving you a reading list to help you realize exactly who the Reavers are.
  

Issues you should read:

  1. Uncanny X-Men #229
  2. Uncanny X-Men #247-249
  3. Uncanny X-Men #251-255
  4. Punisher  (Vol.2) #33-34
  5. Wolverine (Vol. 2) #35-39
    That is all for now.  Until next time, get your READ on!

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Saturday Showcase: Adam Strange

Adam Strange Vs Giant Robot
    With all the excitement from the 2nd Season of Krypton, I decided to share my love of the character that can be seen weekly on the show.  Of course those of you who are not die hard comic fans will not recognize Adam, but I assure you, they are the same person.  I realize the Adam Strange you see weekly is not in a fancy space outfit, but the heart of the character is there.

     I was first introduced to Adam Strange, in the DC Comics Presents series.  It was the 3rd issue of the series back in 1978.  I was in awe of this "space man" who was fighting along side Superman.  I thought to myself, " where can I see more of this guy?"  Well, I found out that Strange first appeared in the Showcase titles and then the Mysteries in Space run as well.  He was also know to appear via other titles like Justice League and Green Lantern.

Justice League #138
ORIGIN:
    In the comics, Strange is an archeologist suddenly teleported from Peru to the planet Rann through a "Zeta-Beam". Upon his arrival, he is attacked by one of the planet's predators and rescued by a dark-haired woman called Alanna. She takes him to her father Sardath, who explains that the Zeta-Beam was transmitted to Earth in the hopes that whatever form of intelligent life lived there would trace it back to Rann, and he also theorizes that in the 4.3 years it took the Zeta-Beam to reach Earth, it was altered by space radiation into a transportation beam. Called on to protect the planet from extraterrestrial threats using Rann's technology, Strange grew to care for the planet and its inhabitants, especially Alanna.
   Eventually, the effects of the beam's transportation wore off, automatically returning Strange to Earth at the exact point of departure -- but not before Sardath had given him a schedule of beam firings, allowing him to periodically return to the planet. Using mathematical calculations, he was able to determine the exact time and the precise locations at which the Zeta-Beams would arrive. He travels the world and intercepts them, to defend Rann and be with Alanna.

The Green Lantern #6
    In 1997, thanks to Grant Morrison and Mark Waid, Strange was brought back to the fold in a more productive manner.  Sure the suit had changed, but the man was the same.  A hero for 2 worlds.  His popularity grew from this period of time, in my opinion.  He was featured more often and eventually made his mark on the DC toy line as well as appearances on popular cartoons.

Adam Strange, Batman, and Aquaman from the Brave and the Bold series.
    Fast forward to 2017, when the now hit show Krypton was announced for 2018 and one of the characters was none other than Adam Strange played by Shaun Sipos.  There are some major differences between the comic Adam and the television Adam, but I think those changes made the character more believable and definitely more entertaining.  

Shaun Sipos as Adam Strange on SyFy's Krypton.
Just the Facts:

  • First appearance: Showcase #17 (November 1958)
  • Created by Julius Schwartz & Murphy Anderson
Abilities:
 - Wears a jet pack spacesuit that allows for sustained flight and interstellar travel

 - Carries energy blast guns
 - Generates solid-light equipment via spacesuit
 - Cloned eyes can see into the whole electromagnetic spectrum

Allies:
 - Superman
 - Hawkman
 - Green Lantern
 - Batman
 - Sardath

Well, that's all folks.  Until next time, get your READ on!

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Classic Cover of the Week


Classic Cover of the Week

Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man Vol.1 #126

MARVEL COMICS

Saturday Showcase: the Wrecking Crew

the Wrecking Crew: Piledriver, Thinderball, Wrecker, and Bulldozer
    For today's Showcase, I decided to go with a crew of villains that have fought gods as well as heroes.  Who is this quartet of villainy?   Well, I'm talking about the Wrecking Crew.  The Wrecking Crew is a team of four fictional super villains known individually as Bulldozer, Piledriver, Thunderball, and the Wrecker.  

    They made their first appearance  in The Defenders vol. 1, #17 in November 1974.  The team was created by Len Wein & Sal Buscema.

RAMPAGE!!!
    The Wrecking Crew are formed when Dirk Garthwaite—the Wrecker—is approached by Dr. Eliot Franklin in prison and asked to retrieve a gamma bomb Franklin had designed, with the intent of ransoming New York for millions of dollars.  Once the band was put together, nothing could stop their bond.

   Over the years the Wrecking Crew have followed a very familiar cycle; escape prison, fight and subsequently lose to superheroes, and return to prison. The Wrecking Crew have battled the Avengers, Captain America, Iron Fist, the Runaways, Spider-Man, Deadpool, the Sub-Mariner, the Thing, Doctor Strange, Daredevil, Alpha Flight, She-Hulk, X-Men and their main foe, Thor. 

Spidey and Deadpool Vs the Wrecking Crew
I've talked about the Crew, but let's take a look at the members.

Dirk Garthwaite aka the Wrecker

the Wrecker:

    First appearance: The Mighty Thor #148 (January 1968)

    Created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

    Abilities:

  • Superhuman strength, stamina and durability
  • Via enchanted crowbar:
            Energy absorption and projection
            Force field generation
            Illusion casting
            Mind control
            Teleportation
            Ability to create minor earthquakes


Eliot Franklin aka Thunderball 

Thunderball:

    First appearance: The Defenders #17 (Nov. 1974)

    Created by Len Wein & Sal Buscema

    Abilities:

  • Gifted physicist
  • Experienced planner and tactician
  • Superhuman strength, durability and endurance
  • High-level intellect
  • Wields a virtually indestructible wrecking ball
Brian Calusky aka Piledriver
Piledriver:


    First appearance: The Defenders #17 (November 1974)

    Created by Len Wein & Sal Buscema

    Abilities:
  • Superhuman Strength and Durability
  • Over-sized Hands
Henry Camp aka Bulldozer
Bulldozer:

    First appearance The Defenders #17 (Nov. 1974)

    Created by Len Wein & Sal Buscema

    Abilities:
  • Superhuman Strength, Durability, and Endurance
  • Wears a specially-made armored helmet, neck and shoulder apparatus.
Back in Business
    Well, I hope you enjoyed my Showcase on the Wrecking Crew.  I know I only shared the basics of each villain, but if you want to find out more just head over to Marvel and do some research.  As individuals, they were tough but as a crew, they are merciless!  

Until next time, get your READ on!

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Saturday Showcase: Speed Demon

Speed Demon
    I have been wanting to showcase this villain for some time now.  I do not know why now, but I decided now was the best time to showcase the Speed Demon.  Maybe, it's all the talk about Spider-Man: Far From Home as well as watching Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse that moved up this showcase about the original Speed Demon.  

    Speed Demon (James Sanders) is a super villain appearing in Marvel Comics. He was originally created by Roy Thomas and Sal Buscema.   The character made his first appearance in The Avengers #69 (Oct. 1969) as a member of the Squadron Sinister known as the Whizzer then made his debut in the Amazing Spider-Man #222 (Nov. 1981).

Battling the Avengers as the Whizzer
    James Sanders introduction into crime was withe the Squadron Sinister.  After several humiliating losses to the Avengers, the Whizzer disassociates himself from the Squadron Sinister and adopts a new costume and alias, Speed Demon.

    As Speed Demon, he attracts the attention of your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.  It is here where I really feel in love with the character of Speed Demon.

Enter the Speed Demon

Powers and Abilities:

    As a result of mutagen chemicals concocted under the Grandmaster's mental guidance, Speed Demon possesses superhuman speed, stamina, and reflexes. He can create cyclones (by running in circles) and run up walls and across water. Speed Demon's super humanly fast thought processes and reflexes enable the character to perceive his surroundings while moving at high speeds, pick up objects, and execute complex acrobatic maneuvers.

   James Sanders also possesses a master's degree in chemistry.  Which has come in handy for several of his crime sprees.

Catch me if you can

Vital Stats:

    First appearance:

As Whizzer:
              The Avengers #69 (Oct. 1969)

 As Speed Demon:
              Amazing Spider-Man #222 (Nov. 1981)

    Created by: Roy Thomas & Sal Buscema

Sinister Six Vs Spider-Man

Other Stats:

    Alter Ego: James Sanders

    Team Affiliations:
Squadron Sinister
        Sinister Syndicate
        Thunderbolts
        Sinister Six

    Notable Aliases:

        Whizzer    
        Harvey James

    Abilities:

Genius-Level Chemist
        Superhuman Speed
        Superhuman Stamina 
        Superhuman Reflexes

Here comes the HEAT

   Well, this concludes the end of my showcase this Saturday.  If you have never heard of Speed Demon until today, I suggest you do some research and read up on James Sanders.  

   To help here are some key issues:


  •       Avengers #69–71 (Oct. – Dec. 1969)
  •       Defenders #13–14 (May – June 1974)
  •       Amazing Spider-Man #222 (Nov. 1981)
  •       Marvel Team-Up #121 (Sep. 1982)
  •       Amazing Spider-Man #280 (Sep. 1986)
  •       The Deadly Foes of Spider-Man #1 – 4 (May – Aug. 1991)


Suck on this!
Until next time, get your READ on!