30 Day Marvel Challenge – Day #14: Your Favorite Romance

Rogue & Gambit

Universe: Earth-616

Creators: Chris Claremont, Michael Golden, Jim Lee, Mike Collins

First Appearance: Uncanny X-Men (Gambit) #266, Avengers Annual #10 (Rogue)


Marvel has several storied romances, Jean Grey and Scott Summers, Storm and Black Panther, Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible and Mary Jane and Peter Parker. The romance that I was my favorite was Rogue (Anna Marie) and Gambit (Remy LeBeau). I was first introduced to them during the X-Men animated series. In the comics they first met while Rogue and gambit were under the control of the Shadow King on Muir Island. Their relationship was often strained due to Gambits lying and Rogues inability to touch due to her absorption powers.

This of course meant that they could never have a completely physical relationship, but flirting was an option. They both seem to at least enjoy this aspect of their relationship even if it was limiting. Eventually, they would both lose their powers allowing them to explore their relationship more. However, evetually Rogues powers return and even when trying to have sex telepathically her powers still absorbs Gambit. A new student, Foxx (Mystique in disguise) tries to use this moment to break them up. She even offers to sleep with him as Rogue, since that somehow wouldn’t be cheating. She fails, but succeed in furthering the rift between them.

Later under the influence of Apocalypse and now the horsemen Death, Gambit would attempt to kill Rogue. With the help of Xavier, Rogue learned to control her powers. However, considering the past events she was hesitant to continue their relationship. Later, at the failed wedding of Kitty Pryde and Colossus and some encouragement from Storm, Gambit proposed to Rogue. They were married shortly after. Rogue and Gambit had a lot of problems that could have ended their relationship. Despite them the managed to stay together and I always found their flirting in the animated series to be fun to watch.

Source: Marvel Wiki , Comicvine

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30 Day Marvel Challenge – Day #13: Your Least Favorite Character

Scott Summers (Cyclops)

Universe: Earth-616

Creators: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

First Appearance: X-Men #1 (Sept. 1963)


From what I can tell many Marvel fans find Scott Summers (Cyclops) to be the worst. He’s one of the original X-Men. The oldest son of Christopher Summers (Corsair), Scott became the first student of Professor X. He was given a visor made of quartz. He was also made the deputy leader of the X-Men. In the X-Men animated series Cyclops was presented as a “boy scout,” always following the rules regardless of the consequences. He was a bit of a teachers pet and often though he was superior to others. Furthermore, he would often find himself in conflict with fan favorites Storm and Wolverine. In the comics Cyclops became a cheater and a murderer.

Treatment of women

Scott had developed a tendency to move on to quickly or abandoned women. When Jean Grey dies (the first of many deaths) he moves on quickly with Colleen Wing when he thinks Jean dies in a volcanic explosion. When Jean dies during the Dark Phoenix saga he moves on with her clone, Madelyne Pryor. Worse, when he found out that Jean was actually alive he abandoned Madelyne and their child. At some point he became unsatisfied with his married to Jean, he began a psychic affair with Emma Frost. His excuse? It didn’t really count because it wasn’t physical.

Cyclops Kills Professor X

Power hungry murderer

During the Avengers vs X-Men event, Scott becomes possessed by the Phoenix Force. While he initially wanted to protected Hope Summers, he became drunk with power. When the Phoenix Force spits in five among Scott, Emma, Magik, Namor and Colossus, he goes full Dark Phoenix. He tries to kill many of the Avengers and X-Men that try to stop him. During this arc Scott kills Professor X as he tries to stop him. Cyclops was imprisoned in a ruby quartz cube.

Revolutionary and war criminal

While in prison Scott becomes more political. He originally sees himself as a matyr but after the murder of a fellow mutant he decides that he would be more effective on the outside. Magneto frees Cyclops from his prison. He then goes on to attack cops and attempts to start a “mutant revolution.” He also becomes inspiration for a mutant uprising called “The Ghosts of Cyclops.” While you could argue that Cyclops was justified in fighting for mutant-kind, his means were violent.

30 Day Marvel Challenge – Day #12: Your Favorite Weapon

Mjolnir

Previous Owners: Eric MastersonJane FosterLoki LaufeysonOdin BorsonSteve RogersThor Odinson

Creators: Stan LeeLarry LieberJack Kirby

First Appearance: Journey into Mystery #83 (August, 1962)
Appearance of Destruction: Mighty Thor #705 (May, 2018)


Mjolnir is the hammer that is wielded by Thor. Odin ordered the Dwarves of Nidavellir to forge Mjolnir. The dwarves Eitri, Brokk and Buri used heat from a star to get the forge hot enough to manipulate Uru. The star exploded, destroying Midgard. Odin couldn’t wield it so he cast an enchantment on it to prevent others from doing so. Odin gave the hammer to Thor after he successfully past several trials.

Mjolnir is a powerful “nigh-invulnerable Asgardian metal.” Odin placed additional enchantments on it making it almost indestructible. Almost nothing can survive a blow from Mjolnir. The most well known enchantment is the “worthiness enchantment.” Those who are deemed “worthy” can lift the hammer gaining the ability to manipulate the weather, fly, energy projection, barriers, energy sensing, energy absorption, teleportation, and matter manipulation.

The reason I love Mjolnir is pretty clear, it’s cool. However, I have always personally loved mythology and seeing it in Marvel always gave me joy. Finally, I love a weapon that seems to have a mind of it’s own.

30 Day Marvel Challenge – Day #11: Your Favorite Power

Telekinesis

Emma Frost and Illyana Rasputina with the Phoenix force, using telekinesis to destroy.

Art by: Olivier Coipel

From: Avengers vs X-Men

As I briefly mentioned when I choose Jean Grey as my favorite character, my favorite power is telekinesis. The simple reason was that it was cool. However, more importantly I think that it’s one of the more versatile powers in Marvel. For those that may not know, telekinesis is “the psionic ability to move, manipulate and control a multitude of people and objects with the mind without physically touching them, especially over long distances. Depending on the user’s skill and power, they may be able to levitate themselves and other objects (including heavy objects), and form powerful pushes/blasts and protective shields.” The ability has more varied uses, such as:

  • Biophysical Control
  • Concussive Blasts
  • Energy Manipulation
  • Telekinetic Aura
  • Ensnare Opponent
  • Flight
  • Force Fields
  • Gravity Manipulation
  • Healing
  • Intangibilty
  • Matter Manipulation
  • Teleportation

Source: Marvel Wiki

30 Day Marvel Challenge – Day #10: Your Favorite Costume

X-Men First Class Uniform

Art by: Marko Djurdjevic

Created by: Charles Xavier

Creators: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

First App. X-Men #1 (1963)

For superheroes the costume is very important. Within the comic book universes superhero costumes serve multiple purposes. First they conceal the identity of the hero from the public, protecting them from exposure. Many costumes come with more protection than superpowers can generate. They can protect from the weather, bullets, radiation and other dangers. Furthermore, they must sometimes accommodate unique psychical aspects of Marvel characters, such as wings (Archangel) or claws (Wolverine).

Many heroes and villains have special items or equipment that are needed for their powers to work like Cyclops’ Visor or to specifically protect them from psychic attacks, Magneto’s helmet. In addition to that, most Marvel characters are members of a team. While some teams have individual costumes that are unified by one aspect, like the X-Men logo, team costumes exists. To this end I personally love the individual costume of Storm from the X-Men animated television series. However, I like team costumes more.

The Fantastic Four’s Future Foundation Uniform is pretty good. However, I still prefer the old X-men uniform from the first class era. Designed by Professor X, the costume was suppose to “projected for body protection and ideological identification with the public, making them seem like super-heroes.” I like the overall design. Blue and yellow are contrasting colors, creating a striking uniform. The uniforms vary slightly providing some individuality while keep them look the same.

30 Day Marvel Challenge – Day #9: Your Favorite Classic Character

Steven Rogers (Earth-616)

Captain America

Universe: Earth-616

Creators: Joe Simon, Jack Kirby

First App: Captain American (1941)

I’m not sure what “classic” means in the context of the 30 Day Challenge, but I decided that I would limit myself to Marvel Comics Golden Age. Basically comic book characters from the late 1930’s – 1950’s. Their weren’t many heroes I was familiar with except Steven Rogers aka Captain America. Born to Irish immigrant parents in the 20’s, Steven Rogers was a weak young man. However, he possessed a strong sense of honor that would inform his life. He attempted to join the Army but was rejected due to his frailty. He was offered an opportunity to take part in “Operation Rebirth,” by General Chester Phillips. He agreed and was given the super soldier serum.

The Doctor that created the formula for the serum failed to write it down before he was murdered by a Nazi spy. As a result of this Steven was the only one to benefit from it. The serum resulted in Rogers becoming a “perfect” human physically. He is superior to any Olympic-level athlete and his condition is “definite.” This means that if he choose to have an unhealthy lifestyle he wouldn’t lose his powers. He has “peak” human strength, speed, durability, agility, reflexes and stamina. He has mastered strategy, martial arts, shield fighting, acrobatics, marksmanship, swordsmanship and hacking. He is most known for his iconic shield, that’s made out of a vibranium and proto-adamantium.

Steven Rogers has been show to be worthy of Mjolnir, he is one of the few people that has access to Iron Man’s armory and one of two foreigners entrusted with Black Panther’s technology. Batman (during the JLA/Avengers crossover) stated that Captain American could beat him. Captain America is one of the most recognizable heroes in Marvel. Within the universe he is considered to be one of the greatest heroes ever. He is seen as a representative of what makes a good hero, brave, righteous, virtuous and devoted to protecting the innocent. That’s why he’s my favorite classic character.

Source: Marvel Wiki

30 Day Marvel Challenge – Day #7: Your Favorite Creature

Shuma-Gorath

Universe: Multiverse

Base of Operation: his own dimension

Creators: Robert E. Howard, Gardner Fox

First Appearance: Marvel Premiere #7 (July, 1973)

I became a fan of Shuma-Gorath while playing Marvel vs Capcom. Shuma-Gorath is an Old One (ancient eldritch beings that predated Earth). Shuma-Gorath is a ruler of hundreds of dimensions. Shuma-Gorath came to earth to rule over a million years ago. He was banished by the sorcerer Sise-Neg. Shuma-Gorath came into conflict in Dr. Strange when he took control over the mind of Dr. Strange’s master the Ancient One. Strange was unable to stop Shuma-Gorath and had to kill his master.

Shuma-Gorath is a powerful ancient demon with supernatural powers. He is one of the “primal power of Chaos.” It’s unclear whether he can be killed or not. He can control and communicate with beings across dimensional barriers. Shuma-Gorath can affect transmutations on a planetary scale. He has skin that’s rubber like while being armored. Shuma-Gorath exists on many planes and cannot be seen by humans. He is so powerful that he can “destroy multiple galaxies solely through his aura-pressure.” Shuma-Gorath is just an awesome, powerful creature in the Marvel universe, he also looks cool too.

30 Day Marvel Challenge – Day #6: Your Favorite Organization

The Illuminati (Earth-616)

Universe: Earth-616

Place of formation: Wakanda

Creators: Brian Micheal Bendis and Steve McNiven

First Appearance: New Avengers #7

Some may suggests that the Illuminati is more a team of heroes instead of an organization, but considering how they operated I think the later makes more since. Regardless, they were a group of heroes that consisted of Dr. Reed Richards, Iron Man, Professor X, Dr. Strange, Black Bolt and Namor. They were a secret organization that operated in the shadows, sharing info and strategy. Each member was a representative of aspect of the superhero community.

Namor is the king the underwater civilization Atlantis, Dr. Strange represented the mystics and “outsider heroes,” Dr, Richards being one of the smartest super-humans, Professor X was the leader of the X-Men, world class telepath and a well known mutant. Black Bolt is king of the inhumans and Iron Man is like Dr. Richards one of the smartest men, as well as being the leader of the Avengers. Black Panther is king of an important nation, Wakanda was offered membership but initially declined. He was against the creation of the Illuminati and predicted that ” the people of the Earth had feared super-humans deciding to take the Earth’s affairs solely in their own hands.”

Iron Man was the mastermind behind the groups formation. He believed that could combine their considerable resource to defend Earth. He felt that “since alien races viewed the Earth’s heroes as its law enforcement, they should start acting like it.” The Illuminati would go on to work with the government (mainly SHIELD) to banish the Hulk to another planet and to register super-humans during the Civil War arc. Black Panther’s prediction was accurate as the Illuminati’s decision to shoot the Hulk into space came back to haunt them when he returned for revenge. The Hulk defeated Black Bolt, the X-Men, Iron Man, the Fantastic Four and Dr. Strange.

While the Black Panther was right and the Illuminati did overreach causing unnecessary problems, they had good intentions. However, like many of the major organizations in Marvel they were shady. Ultimately they didn’t function properly and the original members are no longer part of the group.

Source: Marvel wiki

30 Day Marvel Challenge – Day #5: your favorite team

Fantastic Four

Universe: Earth-616

Place of Formation: California

Creators: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

First Appearance: Fantastic Four #1 (Nov. 1961)

When many think of Marvel teams the X-Men and now the Avengers are the first teams they think of. The Fantastic Four actually predate those teams by a few years. The original family of Marvel, Dr. Reed Richards, Ben Grimm, Sue Storm and Johnny Storm have been an mainstay in Marvel. I was first introduced to the Fantastic Four in the cartoon series, Fantastic Four: The Animated Series. It was the third animated series for the Fantastic Four characters, that aired from September 24, 1994 until February 24, 1996. The series largely retold classic 60’s FF comic book stories by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

For those who don’t know, the Fantastic Four were a family of heroes. They are funded by the massive wealth that Dr. Reed Richards gained from his many patents. The FF gained their powers after being exposed to cosmic radiation. This radiation resulted in the FF becoming mutated. Reed gained the ability of “plasticity – able to convert t he mass of his entire body into a highly malleable state at will.” He can change his shape, stretch his body and even contain explosions. His biggest asset of course is his high intelligence, Reed is considered one of the most intelligent beings on Earth.

Fantastic Four, art by Alex Ross

Sue Storm developed the ability to ” manipulate ambient cosmic energy for a variety of effects, including the rendering of herself and other objects invisible, and she can construction of solid, invisible force fields. Sue Storm developed the ability to.” She can also create psionic force fields and can use them to create shock waves. Then there’s her brother Johnny Storm, who possess the ability to “control ambient heat energy and the physical ability to transform his entire body, or portions of his body into a fiery, plasma-like state of will.” He can fly and control the heat energy in the surrounding area even when he isn’t aflame.

Finally, there’s the wise cracking, sarcastic and hot tempered Ben Grimm. He developed rock like skin, musculature, bone structure, internal organ composition, soft tissue structure, and skin to greatly increase in toughness and density. He doesn’t age (basically immortal), possess super strength, Stamina and durability. He’s an expert pilot and is an astronaut.

As is the case in most Marvel teams occasionally members are replaced by other Marvel heroes, the FF has included Black Panther, Iceman, Crystal, Medusa, Spider-man and Storm as former members. Overall, the Fantastic Four is a team that I always enjoyed watching. Dr. Richards using his intellect to work out plans and explain the Marvel universe was always interesting to me. Finally, I liked how the family dynamic played, between husband and wife, siblings and friends.

All the former and current members of FF, art by Esad Ribic

30 Day Marvel Challenge – Day #4: your favorite royal

T’Challa (Black Panther)

Universe: Earth-616

Place of Birth: Wakanda, Africa

Creators: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

First Appearance: Fantastic Four #53 (August, 1966)

Black Panther has become one of the most popular Marvel characters since his introduction in the MCU. He was one of the first African American superheros and now the most prominent. The Chieftain of Wakanda, T’Challa is tasked with protecting the valuable Vibranium. A rare metallic ore, vibranium is highly value and it is most famous for being made into Captain America’s iconic shield. In his youth, T’Challa mastered the was of the warrior. He honored the “old ways” despite the technological advancement of his country.

T’Challa ate the “heart-shaped herb” that granted him superhumanly acute senses, allowing him to see in complete darkness. His sense of hearing was enhanced such that he could hear at greater distances than any normal human. He can memories thousands of scents and track them. He can detect someone fear through smell and even determine if they’re lying by odor. His strength permits him to be able to lift up to 800 lbs, he can run up to speeds of 35 mph and has limited healing abilities that are greater than your average human.

Of course he has heightened reflexes and agility. All this is on top of his mastery of martial arts, weapons, hunting, tactics and several languages. Being King, Black Panther has a lot of social power. He has diplomatic immunity that most leaders of sovereign nation have. His largest weakness is the potential that he’s overwhelmed by the enhanced senses he possess. Overall, Black Panther is just a all round cool superhero.