Saturday, September 24, 2022

Saturday Showcase: Mr. Immortal

 

Today's Showcase features the leader of the Great Lakes Avengers, Mr. Immortal.  Why did I choose to do my showcase on an Avenger B Team member?  Well, you have the Disney+ hit series She-Hulk: Attorney at Law to thank for that.   


Craig Hollis, aka Mr. Immortal, was created by John Byrne and he first appeared in The West Coast Avengers vol. 2 #46 (July 1989).  He was the leader of a group of heroes calling themselves the Great Lakes Avengers.  They caught the attention of Mockingbird and Hawkeye from the West Coast Avengers so the couple decided to go check them out.  It was during a battled with Mockingbird that we realized that Mr. Immortal was actually immortal.

Craig's origin story was not fully disclosed in his first appearance but the story goes something like this.  A cosmic entity known Deathurge first appeared to Craig shortly after his birth and the death of his mother. We find out the mother made Deathurge promise that he would look after Craig. Craig called Deathurge, "D'urge", and the two became the best of friends. His father believed Craig had an imaginary friend.  Deathurge would often find ways for Craig to tempt Death so he could be free of his promise.

On Craig's eighth birthday, Deathurge goaded Craig into setting his house on fire, and then hiding under it as it burned.  This event wouldkill Craig's father.  After the fire, Deathurge stopped visiting Craig and Craig was moved into a new home. His foster father, Mr. O'Doughan, was an abusive man, though Craig became close to his foster sister, Terri, the two eventually falling in love as adults. This ended with Terri's suicide, prompting the return of Deathurge. The grief-stricken Craig begged Deathurge to take him but Deathurge refused and departed again. Craig attempted the first of a number of suicide attempts by jumping off a building, only to discover with this and subsequent attempts using other methods, that he could not die.

With the discovery of his immortality, he takes on the codename Mr. Immortal. In his first outing as a superhero, trying to foil a bank robbery, Mr. Immortal is shot and left for dead. He decides that forming a team will allow him to apply his abilities more usefully.  Although he is given to fits of rage upon regaining consciousness following otherwise-fatal injuries, his teammate and sometimes lover Dinah Soar can utter vocalizations that can calm him. On account of his immortality, he often engages in life-endangering stunts, and is invariably willing to take on the deadliest aspects of missions.

The team first encounters the Avengers when they are lured to the Germania Building by Hawkeye and Mockingbird, who become their mentors.  They helped Hawkeye and the West Coast Avengers against "That Which Endures." They also assisted Mockingbird in a holding action against Terminus.  After aiding the Thunderbolts against the villain Graviton, the team clashes with the mercenary Deadpool. 

Deathurge eventually returns and lets Craig know that his destiny was to outlive everyone as the one true immortal, and then learn the grand secret that will reveal itself at the end of things, in addition revealing Mr. Immortal not to be either Homo sapiens or homo superior, but rather Homo supreme: a being that has evolved past death itself, making him the ultimate human. Deathurge thought by taking away some of his loved ones, would prepare Mr. Immortal so that he could truly live to that destiny, but this is jeopardized by the supervillain Maelstrom, who threatens to destroy the entire universe. 

This gives Mr. Immortal a new incentive to live, and he sets out to stop Maelstrom and save the universe. The GLA confront Maelstrom, who in the course of the conflict, commits suicide. The GLA, however, gain no recognition and circumstances force them to cease using the Avengers name. After discovering that they were all mutants, the team decides to change their name to the Great Lakes X-Men, and adopt new costumes.  Which in turn really wouldn't last that long.


Publication Information

Publisher:  Marvel Comics

First Appearance: The West Coast Avengers Vol. 2 #46 (July 1989)

Created by John Byrne

Alter Ego:  Craig Hollis

Species: Human Mutant

Team Affiliations:

  • Great Lakes Avengers
  • the Lightning Rods (GLA play on the Thunderbolts name)
  • Great Lakes X-Men

Abilities

  • Highly Skilled Acrobat & Athlete
  • Immortality 

Until next time, get your READ on!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Derf's Picks of the Week (September 21, 2022)

 

BOOM!

BRZRKR #10

Stuff of Nightmares #1

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DARK HORSE

Frankenstein: New World #2

Star Wars: Hyperspace Stories #2

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DC COMICS

Batman: One Bad Day - Two-Face #1

Batman: The Knight #9

Batman / Superman: World's Finest #7

Dark Crisis: Young Justice #4

DC vs. Vampires: All-Out War #3

DCeased: War of the Undead Gods #2

Harley Quinn 30th Anniversary Special #1

Nightwing #96

Titans United: Bloodpact #1

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IDW

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #298

Transformers: Best of Starscream #1

Usagi Yojimbo #31

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IMAGE

Gunslinger Spawn #12

Radiant Black #18

Vanish #1

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MARVEL

The Avengers #60

Avengers Forever #9

A.X.E.: Judgment Day #5

Edge of Spider-Verse #4

Fantastic Four #47

New Mutants #30

Star Wars: Darth Vader #27

Star Wars: The Mandalorian #3

Strange #6

X-Terminators #1

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Until next time, get your READ on!!!


Saturday, September 17, 2022

Saturday Showcase: Molten Man

 

This is the last showcase to be inspired from the Spider-Man Marvel Legends set announced a few weeks ago from Hasbro and Amazon.  This week we will showcase the Molten Man.  Molten Man is best known as a villain in the Spider-Verse but has also come to Spidey's aid on more than one occasion.

The man known as Mark Raxton was born in New York City.  He was a scientist who could not wait to use his skills to become rich.  While working at Oscorp Industries as the laboratory assistant to Dr. Spencer Smythe (Yes, the creator of the Spider-Slayers).   Raxton and Smythe developed an experimental new liquid metallic alloy for the Spider-Slayers from a radioactive meteor.  That was not enough for Raxton.  His greed and impatience, caused him to attempt to steal it and sell it, ignoring Smythe's protests that it needed further testing.  In the ensuing fight with Smythe in the laboratory, Raxton spilled the liquid alloy all over himself, causing his skin to absorb it and turning him golden.

Fearing for his life, Raxton ran for the nearest hospital, only to discover that the alloy had changed him for the "better".   When he realized he was stuck in this form, he angrily punched an irate motorist's hood, buckling it. Realizing the great potential his new abilities afforded him, Raxton, calling himself the Molten Man, turned to crime to further his monetary gains. Peter Parker, as Spider-Man, nearly missed his high school graduation to stop the Molten Man's first crime spree.  Raxton was later released from jail, only to continue his criminal activities. However, he was once again defeated by Spider-Man.

In his third encounter with Spider-Man, it was revealed that Peter's friend Liz Allan was Raxton's stepsister, and the Molten Man's metallic skin had begun to give off intense heat and to consume itself. His metallic skin became molten and he steals meteor fragments from a museum to attempt a cure. An encounter with Spider-Man resulted in his submergence in the polluted East River, which temporarily reversed the deterioration.

In another encounter, Raxton broke into a pharmaceutical company to steal chemicals which would reverse his condition permanently. When the procedure failed, he went berserk and demanded to speak to Liz, who agreed to talk to him and also tried to convince him to surrender. Liz was saved by Spider-Man and the Molten Man became buried beneath the laboratory. He later resurfaced at the same site and once again sought his stepsister. Spider-Man prevented the Molten Man from hurting her, knocking him into a swimming pool which extinguished the Molten Man's flames and cooled his metallic skin. He was then taken to the Vault, a prison for superhuman criminals.

He has had many more adventures tangling with the likes of the Green Goblin, Spider-Man,  Clones, Captain America, and even the Punisher.  Needless to say the Molten Man aka Mark Raxton has lead an interesting life.  Who knows when we may see him next? That is a story that only time can tell.


Publication Information

Publisher:  Marvel Comics

First Appearance:  The Amazing Spider-Man #28 (September 1965)

Created by Stan Lee (writer) & Steve Ditko (artist)

Alter Ego: Mark Raxton

Team Affiliations:

  • The Exterminators
  • Alchemax

Notable Aliases:  Burning Man

Abilities 

(Raxton):

  • Genius chemical engineer

(Molten Man)

  • Organic Metal Skin
  • Superhuman Strength, Stamina, & Durability
  • Tactile Thermokinesis
  • Pyrokinesis


Until next time, get your READ on!

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Derf's Picks of the Week (September 14, 2022)

 


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DC COMICS

Batman: Urban Legends #19

Batman vs. Robin #1

I Am Batman #13

Jurassic League #5

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IMAGE

King Spawn #14

The Bone Orchard Mythos: Ten Thousand Black Feathers #1

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MARVEL

The Amazing Spider-Man #9

Daredevil #3

Edge of Spider-Verse #3

Midnight Suns #1

Ms. Marvel & Venom #1

Predator #2

Spider-Punk #5

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Until next time, get your READ on!!!

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Saturday Showcase: Silvermane

 

My Saturday Showcases are continuing to feature the characters announced for the Amazon Exclusive Marvel Legends Spider-Man Five Pack.  Today's showcase is on the mobster known as Silvermane.  


Silvio Manfredi, nicknamed "Silvermane" for his near-white hair, is a professional criminal originally from Corleone, Sicily that started his criminal career as a racketeer in the Maggia, eventually forming his own crime family and becoming a powerful Maggia Don.

In his first appearance, an elderly Silvermane forced Dr. Curt Connors to make a potion from an ancient clay tablet in order to grant himself immortality. He first crossed paths with Conners's alter-ego, the Lizard, and Spider-Man during this scheme. Drinking the serum made Silvermane younger, but its effects caused him to de-age further and further until he was a infant before completely disappearing.

 

Silvermane eventually reappeared, as allvillains do, revealing that he had mystically aged to his forties. He started a new career and again quickly rose through the Maggia's ranks until he regained control of his family, then sought to form an alliance with Hydra, determined to take over the world as their leader, the Supreme Hydra. He was defeated by Daredevil, Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D.  

Silvermane reappeared in New York in an attempt to unite all of New York's gangs under his leadership and take over the criminal underworld, but his plans were complicated by the Green Goblin, who opposed him. During a confrontation between the Goblin, Silvermane and Spider-Man, Silvermane fell from a great height but survived.

In his old age, Silvermane's injuries caused his youth serum to wear off, rendering him an invalid. Though bedridden, he continued to run his criminal empire until Dagger nearly killed him. Silvermane attempted to prolong his life by transforming himself into a cyborg.  Kingpin gained control of his cyborg body until Dagger restored his life energy to him. His cyborg body was badly damaged by the first Jack O'Lantern during a gang war between Hammerhead and the Kingpin. 

Silvermane used a remote-controlled android doppelganger to battle Spider-Man. This was part of an attempt to boost the power of his remaining organic parts by harvesting new ones from Spider-Man's body. He attempted to drain his nemesis's radioactive blood to power a new, much stronger cyborg body.   

Silvermane has also had conflicts with Deathrock, the Punisher (on several occasions), and many rival "kingpins" of crime.  He has met death more than once but he always seems to find a way back.



Publication Information

Publisher: Marvel Comics

First Appearance: The Amazing Spider-Man #73 (June 1969)

Created by Stan Lee (writer) & John Buscema (artist)

Alter Ego: Silvio Manfredi

Team Affiliations:

  • The Maggia
  • HYDRA

Notable Aliases: Supreme Hydra

Abilities

  • Superb hand to hand combatant
  • Excellent marksman
  • Brilliant strategist and organizer
  • Superhuman strength and senses via cyborg body
  • Use of various handguns

Until next time, get your READ on!!!