Well my friends... I think my pull list is about to get a big hit in terms of how many print books I get on a monthly basis. Here's the thing, last Christmas my wife gave me a NOOK from Barnes & Nobles as a present and, even though I loved it, I was kinda ignoring it because I felt that if I read too many digital comics I'd be turning my back on this medium that I love so much. As it turns out, prices on comics keep going up, page count keeps going down, plot lines are being dragged on way too long in order to sell trades and my bank account keeps suffering because of it I feel I have to support the comic book industry. So, last night I got my NOOK, charged it and I said to myself: "the heck with it"! Today i took my NOOK out at lunchtime, downloaded Thor: The Mighty Avenger Vol. 1, read it, took it all in and... I LOVED IT!!! The colors were as vibrant as they were intended to be, the pages moved just like a comic would, the prices are far less than the print versions and more importantly; I can carry 100+ books anywhere and everywhere I go without a problem. I absolutely love my NOOK. So, from this day on I solemnly swear that I'll cut my "pull list" at least in half and I'll be reading the trade version on my NOOK. Thanks Barnes & Nobles and thank you NOOK! (This read like a paid advertisement for NOOk and/or Barnes & Nobles but I swear it wasn't!) LOL!
Sometimes I wish everyone had my same moral compass and I'll tell you why. I say this because in this day and age, it seems that wanting fairness for everyone makes you naive or an idiot in society's eyes. I feel we should treat others the way we want to be treated no matter who we are or what we do, that's how I was brought up; that's how I live my life. I say this and the example I want to present to you is how unfair the comic book industry has been, is and if we don't act on it; always will.
One of my biggest gripes is the fact that the comic book industry was built on the backs of a few, very talented artists and writers like Jack Kirby, Bill Finger, Steve Ditko, Gary Friedrich and many more that simply got taken advantage of by greedy individuals who only cared about dollar signs. But this is not exclusive to the comics industry, I'm just expressing my disgust with the industry as whole due to this important fact. The thing is, corporations made, and are still making millions upon millions of dollars while those people who actually put in the work and created these characters got nothing in comparison. It's sickening really!
I understand they signed those contracts, I understand they had a choice (if you can call it that) and I know that the "Big Two" aren't doing anything "illegal", but just because something is legal, doesn't necessarily mean it's right. Like the great Dr. Martin luther King Jr. once said: "Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal". Now I'm not comparing these corporations to Hitler, my point is that wrong is wrong, it doesn't matter if the law covers your heinous acts, if you treat someone unfairly; you're still wrong!
I do know, without a shadow of doubt, that those creators who started this medium we love so much should've had a far better compensation and recognition than what they got; regardless of what the the law stipulates. I wish I woke up tomorrow and when I checked the news I find out that the "Big Two" were announcing that their golden age creators were going to get a % of the sales from those characters they created, that the Kirby heirs would be getting a piece of the pie, that Bill Finger would be credited with being the co-creator of Batman and all those characters he created and his heirs would be getting a retroactive payment of what he should've had in the first place if it weren't for scumbag lawyers taking advantage of honest
and hard working creators. Now THAT would be super heroic.!
-Manuel A. Carmona
Here are some links so you can understand what I'm talking about and why I'm so angry about all this.
Why boycott Marvel?
Jim Starlin on Cosporate comics
Jack Kirby Documentary
In Search of Steve Ditko Documentary
-Manuel A. Carmona
Today we celebrated Tabernacle Church's Harvest Festival 2013 and I can only described it by saying... it ROCKED! There were plenty of kids from all over Norfolk, dressed in their Halloween costumes and having a grand ol' time. There were tons of games for the kids to play, there were clowns, balloon animals, tons of candy and of course; FREE COMIC BOOKS!!! That's where we come in. Through our non-profit organization Comics For Christmas, we gave away more than 400 comic books to at least 80 kids; completely FREE of charge!
We had an absolute blast handing out those comic books and what a reward it was to see all those kids' smiles when we handed those comics to them... priceless! There were a few kids that we've come to know because they follow us from event to event, which makes us feel good for two reasons: 1.They know what were about and 2. They like comic books and in some way it's because we gave them their first comics; which makes me feel pretty darn good! As if handing out free comic books wasn't enough, we also handed out candy to the kids so everyone left our table with a big smile; and that makes me very happy.
We want to help Tabernacle Church of Norfolk for organizing such a wonderful event for the kids around the community and for allowing us to be a part of it for the second straight year, we hope to be there next year and every year after that. It was truly a blessing!
-Manuel A. Carmona
As we promised, we're going to be doing a series of Cosplayer Spotlights and were going to give a fun interview to those Cosplayers whom we are fans of. This week we're spotlighting the lovely Kitten Cosplay!
Truthful Comics- How long have you been Cosplaying?
Kitten Cosplay- I've been cosplaying almost 3 years now.
TC- Cosplay or Crossplay? Or both?
KC- I love to cosplay but sometimes I will crossplay if it's a character I like enough.
TC- Why do you Cosplay?
KC- I cosplay because I can be me, I don't have to conform to normal standards so I can just have fun, that to me is another great reason for anyone to cosplay.
TC- Is Cosplay a hobby you consider yourself doing for a long time?
KC- Oh yes, definitely, I love dressing up and meeting new people, so I would hope to cosplay as long as I can.
TC- Homemade Cosplay or bought/comissioned cosplay?
KC- I usually make most of my stuff, but this is the first time in getting a bought cosplay, thanks to my cosplay mother and father (foxy cosplay and under dog cosplay).
TC- Do you have a current Cosplay fav?
KC- My favorite cosplay probably has to be inner Moka at the moment.
TC- What is your most expensive cosplay?
KC- My most expensive cosplay........Yui from Alfheim Online (debuting at Anime Weekend Atlanta).
TC- What is a cosplay pet peeve of yours?
KC- A cosplay peeve I have is cosplayers who can't have fun and criticize everything that isn't PERFECT. Those who think everything needs to be the perfect shade of a colour, have every little detail, and will talk about you because he/she don't like you for any reason.
TC- What Cosplay has gotten more attention from your fans?
KC- Either inner Moka or Zatanna, it's about even, but most people love them. >w<
TC- What was your first convention? What was the reaction?
KC- Oh my first convention was my birthday present, Sukoshicon Auburn. I was amazed when people were dressed up and even recognized my cosplay.
TC- Photoshopped or un-photoshopped images?
KC- I think both, I think that if you've got a blemish and you want it gone then go ahead and shop it out, also if you need to add details them shop them too, there's no rule book telling you whether or not to, besides it's your cosplay and if it makes you happy, do it.
TC- When do you do Cosplays? At conventions only?
KC- I love cosplay, so I cosplay whenever I get a chance. I cosplay at cons, shoots, when I'm with friends, etc.
TC- What got you into Cosplaying?
KC- There was a sailor moon cosplayer on YouTube I saw one day and I thought "well hey I wanna do that!" And now this is where I'm at. ^w^
TC- Well, we'd like to thank you and I have to say, this was a fun interview! We'll definitely keep an eye out for your next Cosplays.
If Jack Kirby was alive and in his prime today, would his books sell and/or would he be relevant in the comic book world? Before we go in depth on my thoughts on this matter, I feel is extremely important to give everyone a brief history on who was Jack Kirby and why he's consider by everyone in the comic book field as the "king" of comics.
Jack Kirby (August 28, 1917 – February 6, 1994), born Jacob Kurtzberg, was an American comic book artist, writer and editor regarded by historians and fans as one of the major innovators and most influential creators in the comic book medium. Growing up poor in New York City, Kurtzberg entered the nascent comics industry in the 1930s. He drew various comics features under different pen names, including Jack Curtiss, ultimately settling on Jack Kirby. In 1940, he and writer-editor Joe Simon created the highly successful superhero character Captain America for Timely Comics, predecessor of Marvel Comics. During the 1940s, Kirby, generally teamed with Simon, created numerous characters for that company and for National Comics, the company that later became DC Comics.
After serving in World War II, Kirby returned to comics and worked in a variety of genres. He produced work for a number of publishers, including DC, Harvey Comics,Hillman Periodicals and Crestwood Publications, where he and Simon created the genre of romance comics. He and Simon also launched their own short-lived comic company, Mainline Publications. Kirby ultimately found himself at Timely's 1950s iteration, Atlas Comics, soon to become Marvel. There, in the 1960s, he and writer-editor Stan Lee co-created many of Marvel's major characters, including the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, and the Hulk. Despite the high sales and critical acclaim of the Lee-Kirby titles, however, Kirby felt treated unfairly, and left the company in 1970 for rival DC. There Kirby created his Fourth World saga, which spanned several comics titles. While these series proved commercially unsuccessful and were canceled, the Fourth World's New Gods have continued as a significant part of the DC Universe. Kirby returned to Marvel briefly in the mid-to-late 1970s, then ventured into television animation and independent comics. In his later years, Kirby, who has been called "the William Blake of comics", began receiving great recognition in the mainstream press for his career accomplishments, and in 1987 he was one of the three inaugural inductees of the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame. The Jack Kirby Awards and Jack Kirby Hall of Fame were named in his honor.
Recently, there have been conversations in a forum I frequent on a daily basis about the impact Jack Kirby would have, if any, if he was alive and in his prime in today's comics. Some comic book fans think that his books wouldn't sell and basically he wouldn't be relevant in any real way; to which I say thee nay! :) Now, if you look at Kirby's art for the first time it would be kind of jarring and off quilter, but to say that the books wouldn't sell or that the art in comics has gotten better... than Kirby's art, again... I SAY THEE NAY!!!
Let's look at the facts, Jack Kirby was, and still is to this day, the most creative person in the comic book world, and quite possibly any media. Look at the hundreds, if not thousands of characters, concepts and stories that he came up with, the amount of work he produced, the quality or his work, any way you look at it; he's known as the king for a reason. Another important fact that we cannot overlook is the amount of creators who've been directly influenced by Kirby. You can literally see and feel Kirby's influence in some of these creators' art style and they're some of the most respected professionals in the comics field today; to think that they're relevant, on top of their game and moving the comics world forward and think that Kirby wouldn't be relevant in today's comics is plain stupid.
Let's look at some of the creators who've been so heavily influenced by Jack Kirby shall we?
Bruce Walter Timm (born on February 8, 1961) is an American character designer, animator and producer. He is also a writer and artist working in comics, and is known for his contributions building the modern DC Comics animated franchise, the DC animated universe. Timm is known primarily for his work in animation, his first ambition was to become a comic-book artist. Although this dream did not materialize, leading him to a life in animation, nevertheless produced several one-shots and miniseries, mostly for DC Comics. In the 1980s, he made some mini-comics for Masters Of The Universe.In 1994, Timm and writer Paul Dini won the Eisner Award for Best Single Story for Batman Adventures: Mad Love. Timm won the same prize the next year as well, for Batman Adventures Holiday Special with Dini, Ronnie del Carmen and others. Later, Timm was involved with Batman Adventures and has also worked on Avengers and Vampirella. He is also a popular cover and pin-up artist.
Erik J. Larsen (born December 8, 1962) is an American comic book writer, artist and publisher. He is known for his work on Savage Dragon, as one of the founders of Image Comics, and for his work on Spider-Man for Marvel Comics. In 1992, seeking greater control and profit over the work they created, Larsen and six other illustrators left Marvel to form Image Comics, where Larsen launched a series featuring a reworked version of Savage Dragon. This time, the Dragon was a massively muscled green amnesiac, who joined the Chicago police department after being discovered in a burning field. Initially debuting in a three-issue miniseries, the series met with enough success to justify a monthly series, launched in 1993. To this day, Larsen continues to write and illustrate the series entirely by himself, and has maintained a reasonably consistent monthly schedule (save for occasional lapses) in comparison with the other original Image Comics titles.
Darwyn Cooke is a comic book writer, artist, cartoonist and animator, known for his work on the comic books Catwoman, DC: The New Frontier, The Spirit and Richard Stark's Parker: The Hunter.
With just these three names alone it should be understood that Kirby is, and always will be the most important creator in comics, but the list doesn't end there, there are hundreds of creators who specifically point to Jack Kirby for their inspiration and view him as a teacher of the medium, and to say that a book drawn by Kirby wouldn't sell in this day and age is not only ridiculous, but also incredibly disrespectful. Another ridiculous statement is that art has gotten better with the years, to which I say not really. The art in comics specifically has gotten flashier and more colorful, but not necessarily better.
If you claim that the art has gotten better, how can you explain that some of the most coveted artwork, and most impressive I might add, is none other than George Perez's work from the 80's and early 90's. His art hasn't changed much in the last 30 years, but is it not at the top of the game still to this day? It absolutely is! Same goes with artists like Phil Jimenez, Howard Chaykin, Walt Simmonson or even Neal Adams. The same rule applies to Jack Kirby's work. In this day and age, inkers and colorists are much more talented and have more freedom to take the artwork and make it much better than what it originally was, and if Kirby would've had an inker like, oh let's say Danny Miki (Spawn, Batman) or Jonathan Glapion (Batman), or a colorist like Brian Haberlin (Spawn) or Nathan Eyring (Earth 2) and you'll see somthing you've never seen before, you'll see Kirby's pencils in a whole new light because they'll have that little "extra" push to it that will bring it to the current era of comics. But, this is all and educated guess knowing what I know about art and how comic book artwork gets done, others that might not have the knowledge or the art education might see Kirby's work as "old" or "dated" but all I see when I flip through a comic drawn by Jack Kirby is... genius!
Yesterday the comic book world was officially rocked with the announcement that Ben Affleck (The Town, Argo) would be reprising the role of the Dark Knight Crusader in Zack Snyder's Man of Steel sequel. In a somewhat unexpected matter (yeah... right!!!) fans were outraged by the news and immediately started flooding the internet with disgust and filled media forums with incoherent rants about how stupid this casting is, how wrong are WB/DC producers for choosing Ben Affleck over the many other choices they had, etc.
This childish behavior from fans is nothing new, back in 1989 fans were equally outraged when Michael Keaton, and actor mostly known for his comedic performances, was cast as the caped crusader in Tim Burton's Batman. After the first images of Keaton in suit came out the outraged subsided and eventually the film became a cultural phenomenon rivaled only by the theatrical release of Star Wars in 1977.
And of course, who could forget the fans original hate and uproar over WB and Christopher Nolan's choice to play the Joker. In fans view, Heath Ledger was a horrible choice to play the clown prince of crime and they made their thoughts heard all over the internet in a sea of rants, blog posts, you tube videos and any other media outlet available to them. Eventually, The Dark Knight was released and the world witnessed a Tour The Force performance from one of Hollywood's youngest stars and all those fans who hated the notion of Ledger portraying The Joker finally came around and embraced him as their definitive version of the character in film, even surpassing Jack Nicholson's performance in 1989.
The moral of the story is kids, don't get your panties in a bunch over a movie you haven't seen yet, or over a performance that hasn't been filmed yet, or an actor that you think might not be the "right fit" to play your favorite character, because you never know who might be the actor whose performance will blow your socks off with the performance of a lifetime. Let's wait at least until a single frame of this film is filmed and let's give Mr. Affleck the benefit of the doubt because you never know, he could be the best Batman we've ever seen before; you never know. Either way, I'll be there day one when Man of Steel 2 hits the movie theaters.
As we promised, we're going to be doing a series of Cosplayer Spotlights and were going to give a fun interview to those Cosplayers whom we are fans of. This week we're spotlighting the lovely Breathless_ness!
Truthful Comics- So Breathless_ness huh? Cool name. So, how long have you been Cosplaying?
Breathless_ness- I've been cosplaying for 9 years now. Really excited to be celebrating my 10 year anniversary next year!
TC- Wow! You've been doing this for a while then. Do you prefer Cosplay or Crossplay? Or both?
Breathless_ness- I've done both cosplay and crossplay. For me there is no difference, they both require the same skills and the art form of being able to represent a character, whether of the same or opposite gender.
TC- Why do you Cosplay?
Breathless_ness- I cosplay for me. I get a lot of enjoyment out of becoming my favourite character and the creativity I can release through it. I love getting together with friends in cosplay and e opportunity to meet new, like-minded people because of it!
TC- Is Cosplay something you consider doing for a long time?
Breathless_ness- While I've been doing this for so long and sometimes I feel like I might've run out of characters I want to cosplay, I'm pretty sure I'll be doing this for a few more years lol
TC- Do you prefer Homemade Cosplay or bought/comissioned Cosplay?
Breathless_ness- Personally I'm a homemade cosplayer but I hold nothing against people that want to buy their costumes. Not everybody has the skills to construct something and that shouldn't discourage them from wanting to join in the fun! I'm pretty awful at making weapons and armor so I'm not above asking for help and commissioning something from some very talented people out there.
TC- Do you currently have a Cosplay favorite?
Breathless_ness- My current favourite costume is my New52 Batgirl. I put a lot of time and effort into it which has definitely paid off. It's a costume I can wear again and again and it's something recognisable to the general population, so people get a kick out of seeing Batgirl.
TC- What is your most expensive cosplay?
Breathless_ness- I think my most expensive costume was a kimono version of C.C. from Code Geass. I used a lot of silks, special Japanese fabrics and ribbons etc to achieve the results I wanted. While it was a good idea for this costume, I don't think it's something I'll do again hahahaha!
TC- What Cosplay has gotten more attention from your fans?
Breathless_ness- I think the costume that has gotten me the most attention is Stephanie Brown Batgirl. She's is such a favourite amongst comic fans and its a costume I really spent a lot of time on to get right. To this day I still love the costume and love to wear it to conventions!
TC- Well, we absolutely LOVE your Stephanie Brown Cosplay! What is a cosplay pet peeve of yours?
Breathless_ness- A pet peeve of mine is fabric choice. It can be really crucial in making a costume look a million bucks or totally awful. While I understand that not everyone can afford expensive materials, if you try looking in different fabric stores, shop sales, use vouchers or look in bargain bins/scrap bins you can usually find something that is better than that $4/m poplin. Research the design of the character or the environment they're from to get ideas.
TC- What was your first convention and what was the reaction like?
Breathless_ness- My first convention was Comic-Fest, which is now known as Supanova in Australia. (That's how long I've been around the scene!!!) It started quite a while ago and focused mainly on comics and artists as anime/manga had only just hit Australia. I think I went in like 1998/99. It was such an exciting experience as I was just getting into comics and the concept of cosplay was still some years away for me.
TC- Do you prefer Photoshopped or un-photoshopped images?
Breathless_ness- I'm a believer in Photoshop. You may think you have an amazing photo but most of the time whatever comes straight off the camera will not be perfect. Whether its something minor like colour balance or contrast, it needs to happen. Smalls things like that can really bring a picture to life. In regards to changing the way you look in pictures, I'm guilty of it. I'm sure we all wish we could remove blemishes or nip and tuck in real life. While I don't stray too far from the truth in my pictures, it's hard not to hold yourself to the standard of a comic book character.
TC- How do you pay for your Cosplays?
Breathless_ness- I work as a graphic designer in real life, so my income goes into cosplay, as well as comics!
TC- When do you do Cosplays? At conventions only?
Breathless_ness- I Cosplay any chance I get! Not all the costumes I want to do are recognisable to the public though, so I tend to stick to popular characters at conventions. If there is something I really want to do, then I'll just do a photoshoot to put up online.
TC- Last question, what got you into Cosplaying?
Breathless_ness- The thing that got me into Cosplay was Cosplayers! Seeing people at those early conventions in Australia, that were really the pioneers of Cosplay, really inspired me to give it a go. It seemed so appealing and so much fun. Being a creative person, cosplay just screamed at me to try it!
TC- Well, we'd like to thank you and I have to say, this was a fun interview! We'll definitely keep an eye out for your next Cosplays.
If you consider your self a geek or a comic book fan, you probably know by know about (and are eagerly anticipating) Joss Whedon's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show. We also know who the main characters are and we know that Agent Coulson will be the leader of the group, and the main star of the show. As you might have imagined, we've been speculating, debating and wishfully thinking about what super heroes we'd like to see as guest appearances on the show. Here's our "from the top of our head" guest superhero appearances list:
Daredevil (a.k.a. Matt Murdock)
Living in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New York City, Matt Murdock is blinded by a radioactive substance that falls from an oncoming vehicle. While he no longer can see, the radioactive exposure heightens his remaining senses beyond normal human ability. His father, a boxer named Jack Murdock, supports him as he grows up, though Jack is later killed by gangsters after refusing to throw a fight. After donning a yellow and black, and later a dark red, costume, Matt seeks out revenge against his father's killers as the superhero Daredevil, fighting against his many enemies including Bullseye and the Kingpin. Daredevil's nickname is "the Man Without Fear".
Elektra (a.k.a. Elektra Natchios)
Elektra is a kunoichi – female ninja assassin – of Greek descent. She wields a pair of bladed sai as her trademark weapon. Created by Frank Miller, Elektra first appeared in Daredevil #168 (January 1981). She is a love interest of the superhero Daredevil, but her violent nature and mercenary lifestyle divide the two. She has also appeared as a supporting character of the X-Men's Wolverine and in other series and mini-series as well as adaptations for the screen. In the 2003 film Daredevil and its 2005 spinoff, Elektra, the character is portrayed by Jennifer Garner. Elektra was ranked 22nd in Comics Buyer's Guide's 100 Sexiest Women in Comics list. Miller initially based the character's appearance on Lisa Lyon, a female bodybuilder.
Luke Cage (born Carl Lucas, legally changed to Luke Cage)
Luke Cage first appeared in Luke Cage, Hero for Hire #1 (June 1972). A streetwise youth, the man called "Lucas" was sent to prison for a crime he did not commit. In exchange for parole, Lucas clandestinely underwent an experimental procedure, originally intended to generate immunity to all illness; instead, it inadvertently granted him steel-hard skin and heavier, enhanced muscle. After escaping Seagate Prison, he forged the identity of "Luke Cage" becoming a "hero for hire," a sort of super-enhanced private detective—although Cage commonly refused money, or simply received none, for cases gone awry (a fair portion, for the unlucky Cage). Later, he formed a business partnership with the martial arts hero known as Iron Fist in the series Power Man & Iron Fist.
Iron Fist (a.k.a. Daniel Rand)
Daniel Rand was born in New York City, the son of American businessman Wendell Rand, a wealthy entrepreneur who discovered the mystical city of K'un-L'un as a young boy. During his time in K'un L'un, Wendell saved the life of the city's ruler, Lord Tuan, and was adopted as Tuan's son. However, Wendell eventually left K'un L'un and became a wealthy entrepreneur in the United States. He married socialite Heather Duncan and had a child, Daniel. When Daniel was nine, Wendell organized an expedition to again seek out K'un L'un, taking his wife Heather, his business partner Harold Meachum, and Daniel. During the journey up the mountain, Daniel slipped off the path, his tie-rope taking his mother and father with him. Meachum, who also loved Heather, forced Wendell to plunge to his death but offered to rescue Heather and Daniel. She rejected his help, preferring to journey without him or die.
Heather and Daniel come across a makeshift bridge that appears out of nowhere and are attacked by a pack of wolves. Heather throws herself on the wolves to save Daniel and is killed even as archers from K'un L'un attempt to save her. The archers take the grieving Daniel to see Yü-Ti, the hooded ruler of K'un L'un. When Daniel expresses his desire for vengeance, Yü-Ti apprentices him to Lei Kung, the Thunderer, who teaches him the martial arts. Daniel proves to be the most gifted of Lei Kung's students. Rand conditions his fists by plunging them into buckets of sand, gravel, and rock to toughen them. At 19, Daniel is given the chance to attain the power of the Iron Fist by fighting and defeating the dragon known as Shou-Lao the Undying, which guarded the molten heart that had been torn from its body. During the battle, Daniel throws himself against the scar of Shou-Lao, which burns a dragon tattoo into his chest. Having killed Shou-Lao, he enters its cave and plunges his fists into a brazier containing the creature's molten heart, emerging with the power of the Iron Fist. It is later revealed that there have been many Iron Fists before Daniel, making him the modern member of a long lineage of Iron Fists.
The Punisher (a.k.a. Frank Castle)
The Punisher is a vigilante who employs murder, kidnapping, extortion, coercion, threats of violence, and torture in his war on crime. Driven by the deaths of his wife and two children, who were killed by the mob during a shootout in New York City's Central Park, the Punisher wages a one-man war on the mob and all criminals in general by using all manner of conventional war weaponry. His family's killers were the first to be slain. A war veteran of the U.S. military, Frank Castle is a master of martial arts, stealth tactics, guerrilla warfare, and a wide variety of weapons.
Moon Knight (a.k.a. Mark Spector)
Born in Chicago, Illinois, Marc Spector is an American rabbi's wayward son. As an adult, Spector spends time training to be a heavyweight boxer, a U.S. Marine, and a mercenary. He becomes a skilled combatant and befriends the French pilot Jean-Paul DuChamp, whom he calls "Frenchie." While the pair work for the African mercenary Raoul Bushman in Egypt, the group stumbles upon an archaeological dig whose crew includes Dr. Peter Alraune and his daughter Marlene. The dig had uncovered an ancient temple where artifacts included a statue of the Egyptian moon god Khonshu. Intent on looting the dig, Bushman kills Dr. Alraune. In response to Alraune's murder, Spector challenges Bushman to personal combat but is beaten nearly to death and left to die in the sub-zero temperatures of the desert night.
Roaming Egyptians who worship the ancient Egyptian gods find Spector and carry him to their temple. Helpless before the statue of Khonshu, Spector's heart stops. Khonshu appears to him in a vision, offering Spector a second chance at life if he becomes the god's avatar on Earth. Spector awakens, wraps himself with the silver shroud that covers Khonshu's statue, and again confronts Bushman. He defeats Bushman and returns to America with Marlene Alraune, Frenchie, and the statue of Khonshu. Deciding to become a crimefighter, Spector creates a silver cloaked costume, based on the silver shroud, and becomes the Moon Knight.
Cloak and Dagger (a.k.a. Tyrone "Ty" Johnson & Tandy Bowen)
Tyrone "Ty" Johnson (Cloak) and Tandy Bowen (Dagger) met in New York City as runaways. Tyrone was a 17-year-old boy from Boston, Massachusetts, with a debilitating stutter. He ran away to New York City when his speech impediment prevented him from stopping his friend from stepping in front of a moving vehicle. Tandy was a 16-year-old girl from a privileged upbringing (born in Shaker Heights, Ohio) who ran away because her multi-millionaire supermodel mother was too busy with her career and social life to spend time with her daughter. When they met, Tyrone considered stealing Tandy's purse, only to be shamed when she kindly offered him money. A thief stole the purse and Tyrone retrieved it for her. Afterwards, they had dinner and became fast friends.
When the naïve Tandy accepted an offer of shelter from some strange men, a wary Tyrone went along to protect her. The two teens were soon forcibly delivered to a criminal chemist named Simon Marshall, who was developing a new synthetic heroin for Silvermane and the Maggia, testing it on runaway teens with fatal results. Johnson and Bowen somehow survived injections of the drug, and they fled. During their escape, the drug turned them into superpowered beings. Tyrone found himself engulfed in darkness and seized by a strange hunger which eased in the presence of Tandy, who was glowing with a brilliant light. Trying to hide his newly shadowy appearance in a makeshift cloak, Tyrone began absorbing Marshall's thugs into his darkness while Tandy struck them down with daggers of light. The two teens dubbed themselves Cloak & Dagger and declared war on drug crime in combating drug-dealers and helping runaway children.
White Tiger (a.k.a. Angela Del Toro)
The fourth White Tiger is Hector Ayala's niece and ex-FBI agent Angela Del Toro, who inherited her uncle's Jade Tiger amulets. Angela quit the FBI to understand the amulets, and was trained in the use of their powers by Daredevil. Using the amulets' power to foil a robbery, she was touched by the overwhelming gratitude from the shopkeeper. Angela actually saved Daredevil from a crime lord and his bodyguard, using the amulets to give herself cat-like speed and fighting abilities. Realizing the powers she now possessed, she assumed her uncle's identity as the White Tiger. She was stabbed by Lady Bullseye and resurrected by the Hand, under their thrall until being healed by Black Tarantula.
Paladin is a mercenary and private investigator, whose past is largely unrevealed. When first seen, he sought Daredevil while engaged in an assignment to track down the Purple Man, and battled Daredevil. He clashed with Daredevil a second time after the crime fighter inadvertently interfered with Paladin's search for the Purple Man. Paladin allied with Daredevil in battle against the Cobra, the Jester, and Mister Hyde, who were under control of the Purple Man. Paladin once took down Daredevil with a sniper rifle from a helicopter at a great distance. He did so for the FBI, in exchange for getting his record expunged. The hit, while serious, was not fatal; Paladin's sniper attack led to Daredevil's arrest.
Paladin was a main character in the 2006 Heroes for Hire series, although as Misty Knight said he was just there for the money. As it turns out, he was a traitor to the group, only using the Heroes as a means to hunt down Captain America for S.H.I.E.L.D. as part of the Civil War. He single handedly defeated Captain America and the entire Heroes for Hire team, with the exceptions of Tarantula, and Orka, who weren't present when the fight took place, with a special gas weapon that affected the nervous system.
She-Hulk (a.k.a. Jennifer Walters)
A cousin to Dr. Bruce Banner, Walters once received an emergency blood transfusion from him when she was wounded, which led to her acquiring a milder version of his Hulk condition. As such, Walters becomes a large powerful green-hued version of herself while still largely retaining her personality.
She-Hulk has been a member of the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, Heroes for Hire, the Defenders, Fantastic Force, and S.H.I.E.L.D. A highly skilled lawyer, she has served as legal counsel to various superheroes on numerous occasions.
Of course we have many more characters we'd like to see guest starring in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. tv show but these are the first ones off the top of our heads. Let us know if you agree with us or if you have different choices, maybe you'd like to see Spider-Man or the Hulk, or maybe Squirrel Girl; whoever it is let us know. We'd love to hear from you guys and gals! Till' next time...
If you recall, last week I wrote a blog entry here on the website regarding the importance of strong female characters in comic books (http://www.truthfulcomics.com/1/post/2013/07/the-importance-of-strong-female-lead-characters-in-comics.html), the importance of good role models in movies and comics for young ladies and I wanted to hear feedback from as many people as possible. So far I've received good feedback on that last blog, I've seen many people sharing the link on Facebook and I've also seen a very positive reaction to the blog entry which means I might be unto something.
One of the many who gave me feedback on the blog was our
good friend Mr. Tom Harris, host of the Radio Free Asgard Podcast. He actually dedicated the first half of his latest episode to our blog and gave us his honest opinions on the matter and I couldn't be more happy about it. Here's the link to the latest Radio Free Asgard Podcast episode: http://www.comicspodcasts.com/2013/07/18/radio-free-asgard-112/
Tom had some good points regarding my article and he mentioned that at least two of the characters I mentioned as good role models (Power Girl and Witchblade) are very much in the "T&A" style of making comics. While that is a valid point, Sara Pezzini (Witchblade) was a police officer and is now a detective and a single mother; which makes her a compelling character and in my opinion, a good role model. Kara (Power Girl) has a running joke about her ginormous boobs, but besides that, she's a self-made multi-millionaire business owner/entrepreneur, she's a single woman and she's powerful, beautiful and fun; all great qualities to find in any woman. The big boobs is something that's made to attract male readers, but many women have big breasts too, so as long as the characters are well written, big boobs shouldn't come into the equation. Regardless, I'd like to thank Mr. Tom Harris for dedicating half the episode to my blog and hopefully in the future we can do another episode of Radio Free Asgard and talk about my favorite character: The Mighty Thor! FOR ASGARD!!!!!!!!!