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!
Rene Montoya/The Question
Renee Montoya is a fictional comic book character published
by DC Comics. The character was initially created for Batman: The Animated Series, and was preemptively introduced into mainstream comics before the airing of her animated debut in 1992. The character has developed significantly over the years. Renee Montoya is initially a police detective from the Gotham City Police Department, assigned to the Major Crimes Unit who comes into frequent contact with the masked vigilante; Batman.
Over the course of her comic book history, Renee is outed as a lesbian, and later resigns from the police force, disgusted by its corruption. After being trained by the first man to bear the name, Montoya now operates as the Question out of a lighthouse she shares with Aristotle Rodor in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Renee Montoya was created for Batman: The Animated Series, in which she is voiced as a uniformed officer partnered with Harvey Bullock.
In the follow-up The New Batman Adventures, Montoya has
been promoted from police officer to detective.
Montoya was also a recurring character in the third season of the web cartoon Gotham Girls, in which she is voiced by Adrienne Barbeau. The show's official "bible" described Montoya as the widow of a fellow police officer who was killed in the line of duty, as well as an active volunteer at her Roman Catholic Church, but this information was never mentioned on the series itself. The comic series Gotham Central describes Montoya as the daughter of immigrants from the Dominican Republic. Montoya is a recurring character in the Batman-related comics after Batman #475. After she is promoted to homicide detective by Commissioner James Gordon, Montoya is partnered with Harvey Bullock. After Bullock is promoted to Lieutenant, Crispus Allen becomes Montoya's new partner.
Gotham City is destroyed by an earthquake in the Bat Universe Cataclysm crossover. It is soon closed off from the rest of the United States in the No Man's Land story arc. Montoya and Bullock are two of the many Gotham police officers to stay behind with James Gordon in order to keep the peace among the people who have stayed behind. Montoya is the focus of an uneasy truce between Gordon's forces and the crime boss Two-Face. She reaches out to Two-Face's Harvey Dent persona in helping with aid and relief efforts, and he falls in love with her.
He keeps her restrained in his headquarters against her will.
She becomes involved when Two-Face puts James Gordon
on trial for perceived wrong doing. Montoya persuades Two-Face to offer a more fair trial, giving Gordon a defense lawyer. But Two-Face's Harvey Dent persona takes on this role, and ultimately convinces Two-Face to allow everyone to go free.
Gotham City is later re-opened thanks to humanitarian efforts spearheaded by Lex Luthor.
Jedi Master Yoda
Yoda is a character in the Star Wars universe, first appearing in the 1980 film Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. In the original films, he trains Luke Skywalker to fight against the evil Galactic Empire. In the prequel films, he serves as Grand Master of the Jedi Council and as a general in the Clone Wars. In 2007, Yoda was selected by Empire magazine as the 25th greatest movie character of all time. On their list of the 100 Greatest Fictional Characters, Fandomania.com ranked Yoda at number 60.
Yoda is a powerful Jedi Master in the Star Wars universe. Series creator George Lucas originally wished Yoda to follow his other characters in having a full name--Minch Yoda—but instead opted to have many details of the character's life history remain unknown. Yoda's race and home world have not been named in any media, canonical or otherwise, and he is merely said to be of a "species unknown" by the Star Wars Databank.
The films and Expanded Universe reveal that he had trained several Jedi, including Count Dooku, who is identified in Attack of the Clones as Yoda's old Padawan Learner; Mace Windu; Obi-Wan Kenobi (partially, before Qui-Gon Jinn takes over as Obi-Wan's master); Ki-Adi-Mundi, Kit Fisto and eventually Luke Skywalker. During the animated series Star Wars: Clone Wars, set between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, he mentions that he trained another one of the leaders on the Jedi Council, Master Oppo Rancisis. In the Star Wars prequels, it is shown that he instructs several younglings in the Jedi Temple before they are assigned to a master. This was displayed in a scene in Attack of the Clones.
Yoda makes his first film appearance in The Empire Strikes Back. Luke Skywalker arrives on Dagobah to seek his guidance, having been instructed to do so by the Force ghost of Obi-Wan Kenobi. Yoda doesn't initially identify himself to Luke and instead tests his patience by presenting himself as a comical and senile backwater individual, deliberately provoking both Luke and R2-D2. Luke is shocked when he finally realizes that this small, elderly creature is the powerful Jedi Master he was seeking. Finding that Luke has the same anger and recklessness which caused his father's downfall, Yoda is reluctant to teach him in the ways of the Force, and agrees only at Obi-Wan's behest. Before finishing his training, however, Luke chooses to leave Dagobah in order to confront Darth Vader and save his friends from the Empire's grasp at Bespin. Ignoring Yoda and Obi-Wan's warnings that he is not ready to face Vader and is being lured into a trap, Luke leaves but promises to return. Thinking his fears about Luke have been confirmed, Yoda chides Kenobi: 'told you I did, reckless is he.
Now, matters are worse.' Obi-Wan laments that Luke is their "last hope," but Yoda reminds him that "there is another", referring to Princess Leia.
Yoda makes a brief appearance in Return of the Jedi, set a year after The Empire Strikes Back. Yoda, now sick and frail, informs Luke that he has completed his training but will not be a Jedi until he confronts Darth Vader; he also confirms that Vader is Luke's father, which Darth Vader had told a shocked Luke in the previous film. Yoda then peacefully dies at the age of 900, his body disappearing as he becomes "one with the Force". He leaves Luke with the knowledge that "there is another Sky...walk.......". Moments later, Obi-Wan's ghost helps Luke come to the realization that the "other" whom Yoda spoke of is Princess Leia, who is his twin sister. In the film's final scene, after the Empire has been defeated, Luke sees Yoda's spirit looking upon him with pride, alongside Obi-Wan and the redeemed Anakin Skywalker (Vader's former Jedi self).
The Creech is an American three issue comic book series published by Image Comics in 1997, followed by a subsequent three issue series in 2001. The series was created by Greg Capullo. The series features a powerful creature created in a laboratory created out of an aborted fetus and infused with it's creator's memories. Dr.Battu was a gentle pacifist whose only simple goal was to help the world better itself through genetic research. In honor of his wife who died during childbirth, Dr. Battu decided to literally make life from death and in the process creating the Creech from hundreds of aborted fetuses. Engineered in the idyllic isolation of Battu's laboratory, the creature
is born an innocent being with no conception of good or evil. Unfortunately, the group that funded his project had different plans for the creature. Named simply The Agency, they wanted to create the ultimate weapon of war and found it in the Creech, outfitting him with strange experimental weapons.
In a last-ditch attempt to save the creature. Dr. Battu infuses the creature with his own mind patterns just before he is murdered by rogue officers of The Agency. The newly self-aware creature is a muddle of internal contradictions as the consciousness of the peaceful Dr. Battu struggles with its genetically engineered instincts for killing and destruction. During one of his battles he causes the death of an important agency member, Dross.
The character debuted in the title Werewolf by Night #32 (August 1975), written by Doug Moench with art by Don Perlin, as an enemy of the title character in a two-part story continuing in issue #33. The character proved popular with readers, and was granted a solo spot in Marvel Spotlight #28-#29 (1976). 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. After his return to the United States, Spector invests the money that he had accumulated as a mercenary and develops a small fortune. To distance himself from his mercenary past he creates the identity of millionaire entrepreneur Steven Grant, using this identity to purchase a spacious estate. To remain in contact with the street and criminal element he also creates the identity of taxicab driver Jake Lockley. As Lockley, he has acquired civilian allies such as Bertrand Crawley and Gena Landers and her sons.
Spector has also developed three new multiple personalities based on Spider-Man, Wolverine, and the original Captain America who help guide him. Moon Knight gets the head of the Ultron, and attacks a strip club as Spider-Man to get to the mysterious L.A. Kingpin. Moon Knight beats the club leader Snapdragon, but gets shot by a guard before getting answers. It was the superhero Echo who saved him, but she lost her cover in the process. Moon Knight and Echo then team up against the Kingpin. Meanwhile it is also revealed that Spector hired ex-SHIELD agent Buck Lime to design his weapons while posing as a soldier of fortune consultant for his T.V.Show. After a fight with the Night Shift (sent by Snapdragon), Moon Knight and Echo formally team up against the Kingpin. Buck, however, informs the Avengers of Ultron's head, and they visit Spector who convinces them (and later Buck) that he knows what he is doing. Together with Buck and Echo, Moon Knight beats the Kingpin who turns out to be Count Nefaria, and captures Snapdragon (although Nefaria got away). But Moon Knight and Echo keep targeting and attacking Nefaria's bases of operations. Soon, however, Nefaria strikes back, and Echo gets killed. This sends Moon Knight's Wolverine personality into berserker mode and it seemingly kills the Captain America and Spider-Man personalities.
Moon Knight proceeds to violently attack Nefaria who gets
beaten up badly. Nefaria, however, survives and sends his daughter, Madame Masque to retrieve the Ultron head, who succeeds. But Moon Knight and Buck retaliate and attack her. Madame Masque is about to beat Moon Knight, but just then he develops an Echo personality, who tells him to not let her die in vain. Moon Knight fights back, and defeats Madame Masque. Meanwhile the police have Snapdragon testify against Nefaria, and get a warrant for his arrest. Nefaria angrily attacks the police station, and is about to kill Snapdragon, but Moon Knight intervenes again.
In the ensuing battle, Moon Knight is beaten, and Nefaria orders him to return the Ultron head, and work for him. Moon Knight tells Nefaria that the head is outside, but the tables were turned as Moon Knight had called the Avengers, and Nefaria was defeated. The next day, Tony Stark commends Marc Spector for a job well done, and tells that Ultron is waiting and planning a robot holocaust. After Stark leaves, it seems that Spector developed an Iron Man personality as well. In the epilogue to the series, Spector leaves Hollywood. During the events of Avengers vs. X-Men, Moon Knight is partnered with Falcon and She-Hulk as part of a small team of Avengers assigned to watch over the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning. During the ensuing skirmish initiated by Frenzy, Moon Knight is rendered comatose by Rogue. He is last seen at Stark Tower as one of the many former Avengers celebrating the return of Janet Van Dyne.
Like most Asgardians, Sif was born with golden hair. Hers, however, was turned black after Loki jealously cut it and replaced it with enchanted hair made by dwarves. At an early age she showed great prowess as a warrior and was considered the best female warrior of all of Asgard, matched only by Brunnhilde. At one point she was given to the death goddess Hela by a giant in exchange for immortality, but Thor saved her by offering himself in her place. Hela was so impressed that she let them both go. Sif and Thor are separated when he is banished from Asgard by his father Odin and begins a life as a superhero on Earth. Many years later Thor becomes romantically involved with Jane Foster. Thor brings Jane to Asgard to be wed, where she is granted immortality but after she fails a final test Odin sends her back to Earth, stripped of her newly acquired powers and without memories of the event. Odin then arranges an encounter with Sif while Thor is battling the monstrous super-strong Unknown, and the two fall in love again.
Sif won’t settle for just being the future wife of Thor as the myths proclaim she will become, and an encounter with
a mysterious witch gives her new berserker strength and an angrier disposition. The ensuing rampage injures one of Volstagg’s daughters, forcing Sif’s brother, Heimdall,
to send Sif to another dimension for her own sake. Newer readers more familiar with Idris Elba’s turn as Heimdall in Thor: The Mighty Avenger might be surprised to know that Sif is Heimdall’s much younger sister.
Explicit details about Sherlock Holmes's life outside of the adventures recorded by Dr. Watson are few and far between in Conan Doyle's original stories; nevertheless, incidental details about his early life and extended families portray a loose biographical picture of the detective. An estimate of Holmes's age in the story "His Last Bow" places his birth in 1854; the story is set in August 1914 and he is described as being 60 years of age. Leslie Klinger cites the date as 6 January. Holmes states that he first developed his methods of deduction while an undergraduate.
His earliest cases, which he pursued as an amateur, came from fellow university students. According to Holmes, it was an encounter with the father of one of his classmates that led him to take up detection as a profession, and he spent the six years following university working as a consulting detective before financial difficulties led him to take Watson as a roommate, at which point the narrative of the stories begins. From 1881, Holmes was described as having lodgings at 221B, Baker Street, London, from where he runs his consulting detective service. 221B is an apartment up 17 steps, stated in an early manuscript to be at the "upper end" of the road. Until the arrival of Dr. Watson, Holmes worked alone, only occasionally employing agents from the city's underclass, including a host of informants and a group of street children he calls "the Baker Street Irregulars". The Irregulars appear in three stories: A Study in Scarlet, The Sign of the Four, and "The Adventure of the Crooked Man".
Little is said of Holmes's family. His parents were unmentioned in the stories and he merely states that his ancestors were "country squires". In "The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter", Holmes claims that his great-uncle was Vernet, the French artist. Sherlock's brother Mycroft, seven years his senior, is a government official who appears in three stories and is mentioned in one other story. Mycroft has a unique civil service position as a kind of memory man or walking database for all aspects of government policy.
Mycroft is described as even more gifted than Sherlock Holmes in matters of observation and deduction, but he lacks Sherlock's drive and energy, preferring to spend his time at ease in the Diogenes Club, described as "a club for the most un-clubbable men in London". In "His Last Bow", Holmes has retired to a small farm on the Sussex Downs. The move is not dated precisely but can be presumed to predate 1904, since it is referred to retrospectively in "The Second Stain", first published that year. Here he has taken up the hobby of beekeeping as his primary occupation, eventually producing a "Practical Handbook of Bee Culture, with some Observations upon the Segregation of the Queen". The story features Holmes and Watson coming out of retirement one last time to aid the war effort. Only one other adventure, "The Adventure of the Lion's Mane", which is narrated by Holmes, takes place during the detective's retirement. The details of his death are not known.
Sgt. Rock and the Howling Commandoes
During World War II, Sgt. Rock fought in the infantry branch
of the U.S. Army in the European Theatre and eventually rose to authority within his unit, Easy Company. The unit was a collection of disparate individuals who managed to participate in every major action in the European war. Rock's dog-tag number was 409966, which had been, it was claimed, Robert Kanigher's own military serial number. Robert Kanigher mused in letters columns in the 1970s and 1980s that Rock probably belonged to "The Big Red One" (First US Infantry Division) given his appearance on battlefields in North Africa, Italy, and Northwest Europe.
Rock's backstory was fleshed out in different comics over the
years; generally he is considered to have come from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he worked in a steel mill. Enlisting after the attack on Pearl Harbor, he went to North Africa as a private but promotion came quickly as his superiors were killed, to assistant squad leader, squad leader, and then platoon sergeant. During the main series, his unit is only ever given as "Easy Company", but no regiment or division is named nor is unit insignia ever shown. Rock is shown to have two siblings (Sgt. Rock #421) Larry, a Marine fighting in the Pacific and Amy, a nun. In the 2009 six-issue mini-series "Sgt. Rock: The Lost Battalion" Rock's unit is still referred to as "Easy Company" but is of the 141st Infantry Regiment.
Rock also usually wears the chevrons and rockers of
a Master Sergeant on his uniform and also applied, oversize, to the front of his helmet. It is likely Rock's official position in Easy Company was of senior platoon sergeant though dialoque and scripts are usually vague on his actual responsibilities and duties. He usually leads patrols and appears to have powers of command over the men of the company. Several officer characters also appeared in the comic, as both platoon and company commanders, all of whom were regarded by Rock as superiors. Easy's commander was usually referred to as "the skipper" by Rock. Rock in turn was referred to by others as the "topkick", or senior non-commissioned officer in the company. Most infantry companies did not have master sergeants; significantly, Rock does not have the diamond of a first sergeant on his rank insignia.
Stephanie Brown was introduced in a 3-issue story arc in Detective Comics #647-#649 in which writer Chuck Dixon reinvented a villain called the Cluemaster. Dixon created the Cluemaster's daughter, Stephanie, as simply a plot device
for this story, seeking to "spoil" her father's plans. Even so, the character was well received by fans. The following year, Chuck Dixon launched the first ongoing Robin series and featured The Spoiler as a foil and love interest for Tim Drake. The character was at the center of a high-profile teen pregnancy storyline in 1998, which caused Wizard Magazine to name Robin the best ongoing comic book of the year. Stephanie remained an integral part of Robin's supporting cast for over a decade, until her death in the 2004 crossover storyline Batman: War Games. Her death was revealed to have been faked in a 2008 story, and in 2009, she became the eponymous lead character in the Batgirl series written by Bryan Q. Miller, with pencils by Lee Garbett. The title was canceled after #24 issues and replaced with a new Batgirl series starring Barbara Gordon.
Stephanie graduates from high school off-panel, is a student at Gotham University, and is still living with her mother. Cassandra Cain has apparently become disillusioned following Bruce Wayne's apparent death
and gives Stephanie her Batgirl costume. After operating as the new Batgirl in Cain's costume, Stephanie is confronted by Barbara Gordon, who was notified of her activities by Dick Grayson. Barbara tried
to reason with Stephanie to get her to stop being a vigilante, as she still saw Stephanie as an impetuous youth, remembering her role in causing a city
wide gang war and her near-death experience at Black Mask's hands. However, a new type of recreational
drug is hitting the streets of Gotham known as "Thrill", which they discover was manufactured by the Scarecrow and Black Mask II, and the two women need each other to stop the drug trade. Stephanie eventually confronts and defeats the Scarecrow, impressing Barbara and proving that she now has the maturity and responsibility to face her fears and failures. Barbara decides to allow Stephanie to continue on as Batgirl. Barbara later takes a job as an assistant professor at Stephanie's school in order to continue to keep in
contact with her. Barbara also designs a costume for Stephanie to replace Cassandra's tattered costume, incorporating various elements of both the Spoiler and previous Batgirl costumes.
Han Solo and Chewbacca
During Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Han Solo and Chewbacca are indebted to Jabba the Hutt, having lost a valuable cargo. On Tatooine, Solo accepts a charter to transport Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, C-3PO and R2-D2 to Alderaan in his ship, the Millennium Falcon, for a payment to clear the debt. But when the crew and passengers arrive at the planet's coordinates, they discover that Alderaan has been destroyed by the Death Star, and the Falcon is then captured and held within the battle station. Enticed by the likelihood of a large reward, Solo and Chewbacca help Skywalker rescue Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) held captive aboard the station. After delivering Skywalker, Leia, and the droids to the Rebel Alliance, Solo and Chewbacca receive payment for their services and depart. Solo has a change of heart, however, and returns to save Skywalker's life during the Death Star battle, ultimately enabling Skywalker to destroy the Death Star. For his heroics, Solo is presented with a medal and is appointed a Captain of the Rebel Alliance.
Solo plays a central role in several Star Wars stories set after Return of the Jedi. In The Courtship of Princess Leia (1995), he resigns to pursue Leia, whom he eventually marries. Solo and Leia have three children:
twins Jaina and Jacen and son Anakin. Chewbacca dies saving Anakin's life in
Vector Prime (1999), sending Solo into a
deep depression. In Star by Star (2001), Anakin dies as well, compounding Solo's despair. At the end of the series, however, Solo accepts the deaths of his son and his best friend and reconciles with his family. In the Legacy of the Force series, Jacen Solo becomes a Sith lord named Darth Caedus and plunges the galaxy into a bloody civil war. Han Solo disowns Jacen, but is still devastated by each new outrage his son commits. He and Leia adopt Jacen's daughter, Allana, after Jacen's death in the novel Invincible.
Shanna The She-Devil
Shanna O'Hara, Lady Plunder is the daughter of a diamond miner named Gerald O'Hara. Born in Africa, she spent the majority of her childhood growing up in the jungles of Zaire. At the age of six, her father went to kill a rogue leopard that belonged to her mother, Patricia O'Hara. While hunting for the leopard, Shanna's father accidentally killed her mother. This traumatic incident led to Shanna's lifelong crusade against the use of firearms. After the incident, Shanna moved back to the United States to live with relatives. Shanna grows up to become an accomplished Olympic athlete, specializing in competitive swimming and track and field.
She then became a licensed veterinarian.
After completing college, Shanna began to work for the Central Park Municipal Zoo in New York City as a zoologist. While working
at the zoo, Shanna raised many animals, including a female leopard named Julani. During this period another shock to her system came when Julani was shot and killed by a zoo guard. The following day, the zoo director proposes Shanna take Julani's cubs, Ina and Biri — Yoruba names meaning "bright" and "black", respectively — to the Dahomey Reserve in Africa. While in Africa, Shanna becomes more attuned to nature, patrolling the jungle and living freely in the wild lands. She begins to wear Julani's fur pelt as a sight-and-sense cue to help with the raising of the cubs. In the jungle, Shanna becomes more and more at home with herself and her new native element, all the while protecting the reserve from poachers as Shanna the She-Devil.
A blond, alternate-universe version of the character starred in the seven-issue miniseries titled: Shanna, the She-Devil vol. 2 (April-Oct. 2005), written and drawn by Frank Cho. This Shanna is the result of a genetic experiment and she also has superhuman strength and agility. One member of a scientific expedition that encountered her named her Shanna after the "comic book character". The series was originally scheduled for release under Marvel's "mature readers" MAX imprint, but was reworked, with Cho eliminating the nudity before publication. It ran with a "PSR+" rating through issue #4, and a "Parental Advisory" rating afterward.
Blade (born Eric Brooks) was born in a whorehouse in the Soho neighbourhood of London, England in 1929. Blade's mother, Tara Brooks, was a prostitute at Madame Vanity's Brothel. When his mother experienced severe labor complications, a doctor was summoned who was in actuality Deacon Frost, a vampire who feasted on her during Blade's birth and killed her. However, this inadvertently passed along certain enzymes in his own blood to the infant. This resulted in Blade's quasi-vampiric abilities, including a greatly prolonged lifespan and the ability to sense supernatural creatures, as well as an immunity to complete vampirism. Brooks' fellow prostitutes drove off Frost before he could kill the infant as well. Blade grew up living at Madame Vanity's, and at age nine, returning home from school one December, he saw an old man being attacked by three vampires. Blade helped the old man, who used a silver cane to kill the vampires and fight off the attackers. The man was Jamal Afari, a jazz trumpeter and vampire-hunter who then moved into Madame Vanity's and trained the young Blade in both music and combat. Blade was soon able to defeat many of the weak, younger vampires that he and Afari found in abundance. Blade became an Olympic-level athlete and a formidable hand-to-hand combatant, with absolute expertise in edged weapons such as swords, knives and daggers.
However, Blade's victories made him cocky. He joined
a street gang, the Bloodshadows, headed by a much older and more powerful vampire than any Blade had met before, named Lamia. Blade barely defeated Lamia, and, in doing so, lost his girlfriend Glory. However, the tragedy of the experience left Blade more determined than ever to dedicate his life to the complete and utter extermination of vampires. Afari himself later fell prey to Dracula, the first occurrence in an ongoing battle between Dracula and Blade. Blade slew the vampire Afari and tracked Dracula back to Europe, Asia Minor, and Asia, staking him many times, but never completely destroying him. In China, Blade joined Ogun Strong's vampire hunters, which included Azu, Orji, and Musenda. Together, they staked Dracula again. Dracula survived, and killed all the hunters except Blade and Musenda (who eventually retired from vampire hunting). Orji had created a lasting impression on Blade with his use of wooden daggers to combat vampires, leading to Blade adopting that weapon as his preferred arms. Consumed by grief for his fallen comrades, Blade resumed his quest alone.
Following the western comics character who originally used the name, the first superhero Ghost Rider, Johnny Blaze, debuted
in Marvel Spotlight #5 (Aug. 1972), and was created by writer Gary Friedrich, writer-editor Roy Thomas, and artist Mike Ploog. He received his own series in 1973, with penciller Jim Mooney handling most of the first nine issues. Several different creative teams mixed-and-matched until penciller Don Perlin began a long stint with issue #26, eventually joined by writer Michael Fleisher through issue #58. The series ran through in issue #81 (June 1983).
The next Ghost Rider, a young man named Daniel Ketch, debuted in Ghost Rider vol. 2, #1 (May 1990). This Ghost
Rider was nearly identical to the previous, although his costume
was now a black leather biker jacket with spiked shoulder-pads,
grey leather pants, and a mystic chain he wore across his chest,
which responded to his mental commands and served as his
primary melee weapon. His new motorcycle resembled a futuristic machine and the front of it could lower to serve as a battering ram. Like the original Ghost Rider's bike, the wheels were composed of mystic hellfire. Unlike the relationship between the previous Ghost Rider and the demon with which he was bonded, Ketch and his demon — who in vol. 2, #91 (Dec. 1997) is revealed to be Marvel's incarnation of the Angel of Death/Judgment — are cooperative with each other. At the close of the series with vol. 2, #93 (Feb. 1998), Ketch apparently died. The following year, however, Peter Parker: Spider-Man #93 (July 1999) revealed Ketch was still alive. Nearly a decade later, Marvel published the long-completed final issue as Ghost Rider Finale (Jan. 2007), which reprints the last issue and the previously unpublished #94.
The Ghost Rider is a human who can transform into a skeletal being with a flaming skull and supernatural powers. The motorcycles he rides can travel faster than conventional motorcycles and can perform such seemingly impossible feats such as riding up a vertical surface, across the surface of water and leaping across great distances that normal motorcycles could not match. The Ghost Riders are notoriously hard to injure by any conventional means, as bullets and knives usually pass through them without causing pain (knives are seen to melt while in their body).
It is possible that they are genuinely immortal; it is said that God created them and only God can destroy them. The Ghost Riders possess superhuman strength, enough to easily pick up a truck and hurl it across a road. It has been stated that Johnny Blaze as Ghost Rider can press around 25 tons (or more as seen in World War Hulk). But a Ghost Rider's powers are more of a curse until they learn to control it. Each Ghost Rider entity also had abilities specific to him..
During the 2011 crossover story arc "Fear Itself" in several Marvel Comics titles, a Nicaraguan woman named Alejandra becomes Ghost Rider through a ritual performed by a man named Adam, in Ghost Rider vol. 7, #1. Though she demonstrated many previous unknown powers of the Ghost Rider entity, she was deprived of its full power when Johnny Blaze took back most of this power.
Lando Calrissian first appears in The Empire Strikes Back
as the administrator of Cloud City, concerned primarily with keeping the Galactic Civil War and the Empire out of his affairs.
The bounty hunter Boba Fett, working for Darth Vader, tracks Han Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, and C-3PO traveling in
the hyper-drive damaged Millenium Falcon to Bespin. Shortly before Solo and crew make it to Bespin, Darth Vader and a contingent of Imperial Forces arrive at Bespin and threaten to take over the city.
Calrissian is strongarmed by Darth Vader into betraying his old friend Han Solo and turning him over to the bounty hunter Boba Fett. Unwilling to leave the city in the hands of the Empire, Calrissian reluctantly does so, but his conscience gets the better of him when Vader goes back on his word and takes Princess Leia Organa and Chewbacca as prisoners. In the ensuing evacuation of Cloud City, he helps Leia, Chewbacca, R2-D2 and C-3PO escape. He then assists Leia in rescuing the maimed Luke Skywalker from the underside of Cloud City. Afterwards, he joins the Rebel Alliance and promises Leia he will find Han.
Lando's life prior to The Empire Strikes Back is chronicled in The Adventures of Lando Calrissian series of novels. Early in his career, Lando is a very prodigious gambler and wins the Millennium Falcon in a game of sabacc. He also wins a strange star-shaped droid named Vuffi Raa, who would be his friend and ally on many occasions. After acquiring the Falcon, and under the tutelage of his friend Han Solo, Calrissian begins to develop his skills as a pilot. In Lando Calrissian and the Mindharp of Sharu, he is conned by the Sorcerer of Tund, Rokur Gepta, into hunting down the titular object in the Rafa system. When he arrives, he finds it totally covered in sand and plastic pyramids, and inhabited by a dull and slow-witted society, the Toka. Lando eventually finds the mindharp, but the human governor of Rafa IV activates it. Majestically, the pyramids crumble and the Toka are revealed as the Sharu, an ancient civilization that had drained their intelligence away for safety. Once the Sharu are resurrected, they drive out all the humans. Lando is forced to return to Rokur empty-handed.
In Lando Calrissian and the Starcave of ThonBoka, Lando tries to save a space-borne species called the Oswaft. During the mission, strange spherical droids appear and take Vuffi Raa away, for he is actually a scout for this strange culture. Then, he enters the sabacc championships, and loses to Han Solo. Han makes off with the Millennium Falcon. In Rebel Dawn, Calrissian helps Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Solo's old flame Bria Tharen (then a Commander in the Rebel Alliance) in a raid against the Hutt-controlled slave world of Ylesia.
During the raid which promises generous rewards to Han and his compatriots, Tharen's Red Hand Squadron double crosses Lando and the rest of Han's friends. In the ensuing chaos, Han is branded an accomplice and a traitor. Back on Nar Shaddaa (then Solo's home) word soon spreads, and Calrissian punches him out. Later, he wins the mining facility of Cloud City from its current ruler, Baron Raynor. He becomes a responsible leader, keeping his operations out of the eyes of the Galactic Empire. Finally, when the newly located Galactic Senate on Mon Calamari sets out to vote for a new Chief of State, Calrissian and Talon Karrde provide "incentives" such as silence, money, and blackmail to convince a group of corrupt senators to vote for Cal Omas, who supports the Jedi. When Omas is elected, Calrissian, Karrde, and Star Destroyer owner Booster Terrik lead the Smuggler's Alliance, with Han Solo commanding, to victory over a massive Yuuzhan Vong force in the rout at Ebaq 9.
Calrissian eventually retires to private life after proving crucial in the Battle of Yuuzhan'tar and creating a new Holonet to replace the one the Vong destroyed. In the seventh novel of the Legacy of the Force series, Fury, Calrissian announces to Han Solo and Leia Organa Solo that he and Tendra are having a child. Lando is revealed to have a son Lando Jr. nicknamed "Chance".
For a long time I've been trying to find comic books that are, not only appropriate for kids, but also challenge and provide good role models for them. As I embarked on this journey I came to the realization that most cartoons and movies are directed towards boys and that young girls are in dire need of strong role models, especially in comic books, cartoons and movies. So, I made it a point to look for, study and expose young girls to these strong independent female characters that they should be following on a regular basis.
The reality is that there are far too many female characters that simply don't get the exposure or the respect they deserve as legitimate characters with an established history, and it simply boggles the mind as to why exactly this happens. I can name many strong, independent female character in comics that could be great role models for young girls but simply don't get the push from their respective publishers, or at least I don't feel they do enough to promote their books to the masses like they do their male counterparts such as Batman, Green Lantern, Superman, etc. I feel it is my duty as a comic book fan to give a little PR to those characters that I feel are deserving of the public's money and attention; especially young girls! Now, if you ask me to name a few of these strong female characters I keep talking about, off the top of my head, my list would look a little something like this... in no particular order:
I truly believe that young girls need positive role models now more than ever. Think about it, what role models do they have? Beyonce, who only performs in skimpy outfits and all she does is shake her ass for the camera? Rihanna, who grabs her crotch more than Michael Jackson used to do? Or maybe Lady Gaga? Well, you get the idea. Young girls need to read about strong, positive and independent female characters and in my opinion, there's no better character suited for that task than the beautiful Asgardian Goddes of War known in the Nine Realms as Lady Sif!
Journey Into Mystery #646 ------------------->
Lady Sif was created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, and her first appearance was in Journey Into Mystery #102 (March 1964). As a supporting character of Thor, Sif was featured predominately through the pages of The Mighty Thor, beginning with issue #136 (January 1967). The character went on to make guest appearances in several series including The Avengers, Fantastic Four, The New Mutants, Silver Surfer and Thunderstrike. In June 2010, Sif starred in a self titled one-shot by writer Kelly Sue DeConnick and artist Ryan Stegman. The issue deals with the aftermath of Loki having taken control of her body and her consciousness being forced into the frame of a dying elderly woman. Deconnick said, "Well, this is pretty much the story of how she deals with that. She was a bit cowed at first and, for a woman as fierce and proud as Sif, that's insult added to injury. This is the story of how she comes to own that fury and rises to her full stature once again."
Beginning with issue #646 (November 2012), Journey into Mystery by Kathryn Immonen and Valerio Schiti shifted focus from Loki to Lady Sif. Editor Lauren Sankovitch said, "We had it Loki-centric... going forward with #646 we wanted to mix it up a little bit. Lady Sif’s been in the thick of it, she’s a born warrior, she’s got a lot of fight and verve and fire to her!." You're damn right Lady Sif's been in the thick of it Lauren, and this journey is just getting started. I have to say though, what Kathryn Immonen and Valerio Schiti are doing with Journey into Mystery book could only be described with one word; MAGICAL!!!
With this current Journey into Mystery run, they've taken Lady Sif in a bold new direction that even I couldn't have predicted; and how sweet it is! Each story is lovingly crafted by every member of this creative team, and it absolutely shows. The new storyline involves Asgardian Berzerker warriors fighting giant mythical monsters, traveling to Midgard (Earth) through some sort of wormhole, Lady Sif being overwhelmed by blood lust after receiving Arnid's Berzerker spell, following the Berzerkers and the creatures to Midgard and encountering a familiar web crawler who happens to be curious as to why these Asgardians are destrying "his city". I mean seriously, how is this book not on everyone's pull list???
In this new Journey into Mystery run Lady Sif is portrayed as funny, courageous, independent, powerful and she's sexy without being slutty or without having to resort to any gratuitous T&A, talk about a breath of fresh air! Another thing I really enjoy about Sif is that, even though she loves Thor and she respects him as a man, she's outspoken, she demands respect and she's her own woman; something that The Mighty Thor truly admires of her.
For the record, young ladies... real men admire women who are like that. It's a great thing that you love your man (or woman for that matter), but you should love yourselves first and foremost, you should demand respect and you should do your own thing, make your own money if possible because real men love strong and independent women; just like Thor loves and respects Lady Sif!
I think young ladies could learn a great deal from a powerful female character like Lady Sif and many others throughout the comic book world, but it's our duty to introduce girls to such amazing characters and stories; our duty!!!
So, if you have a young lady in your life and you want to provide good reading material for her, good strong female role models to follow and have fun with, introduce her to Journey into Mystery #646 and up! Or maybe, you can browse your comic shop for these titles: Batgirl, Batwoman, World's Finest, Birds of Prey, Fearless Defenders, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Witchblade, Danger Girl, X-Men and many more.
If you hve any thoughts on this article please leave your comments below. Thanks for reading!
For the past two months me and two of my internet buddies have been doing a podcast delving into the world of comic books, movies, video games and everything else pertaining our geek culture. I've decided to announce it here on the blog now because I wanted to make sure we were going to stick with it and also, see if it would even work and so far; it has! We still got a lot to learn in the world of podcasting but we'll have fun getting there and hopefully you'll join us along for the ride. I'd like to introduce the Truthful Comics Podcast crew to everyone and the reasoning why we decided to do this.
First off we have the man with the most podcasting knowledge, the mastermind if you will, Aaron Hoover (a.k.a. Uncool Aaron). This is the man responsible for the recording and editing the podcast as well as being the master of ceremony if you will. But that's not all he does, Aaron is the co-host of another podcast called confessions of a Movie Snob and he recently launched the Nerdvana Network, a website dedicated to all things geek that also serves as homebase to his podcast as well as his blog. If you like movies, comic books and everything else geek, you should check it out: http://nerdvananetwork.com/
Then there's our young ward, Nolan's Batman #1 fan and Truthful Comics Podcast's boy wonder himself: Cory A. Gaitan! This dude has an encyclopedic knowledge of the Nolan Batman Universe as well as anything related to the Dark Knight. This self proclaimed DC fanboy is also writing his own comic book as well, so pretty soon we'll all be reading his work alongside our regular comic books. Cory is also an avid gamer and DC Comics connoisseur, so if you're thinking about picking up any DC book or maybe jumping into the New 52, it might do you a lot of good to listen to this young man.
And last but not least is me, Manuel A. Carmona. As you might or might not know, I'm the co-founder of Truthful Comics as well as President of a non-profit organization called Comics For Christmas (http://www.truthfulcomics.com/comics-for-christmas.html) and I'm also a comic book artist (Captain Action, Phazer, Project: New Wave). I'm a huge Star Wars fan as well as a longtime comic book fan. I read comic books on many genres and companies from Marvel to DC to Image to Dynamite and I'm a self proclaimed crusader of Ultimate Spider-Man (Miles Morales), The Mighty Thor and Stephanie Brown (Batgirl) LOL!
Listen to the Truthful Comics Podcast HERE: http://www.truthfulcomics.com/podcast.html
I hope you join us on this crazy ride and enjoy our podcasting shenanigans. If you have any comments or suggestions, please leave them on our comments section, we'd really appreciate it!
Today was one of those days when I just wanted to take my family out for a long drive without a specific destination and just wing it. Fill up the gas tank, lower the door windows, open the sun roof, turn the volume and just enjoy the ride; so that's what we did! We drove for a while and my wife spotted a dance studio (she's a professional dancer) and asked me if we could stop real quick, to which I replied: "Sure". Of course, I immediately spotted a book store right next to the dance studio and I told her I wanted to check it out afterwards. The books store was independently owned and it looked inviting.
There were tow male clerks who immediately acknowledge me and my family and were very courteous, something that employees from every field are missing more and more these days! I looked around for a few minutes and they asked me if I needed help, but before I could ask them, I noticed that one of the clerks had a pile of at least 50 comics in front of him! All I could say was "Yes you do!" He looked at me funny and I said "Comics, do you guys carry comic books?" And he said "Yes we do!" He showed me three aisles full of comics ranging from Batman to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to The Mighty Thor to Wildcats! It was a beautiful thing!!!
As soon as I turned that corner where the clerk told me to, I was suddenly in front of what can only be described as a comic book hidden treasure! Even more so when it's located in Virginia Beach, so to me it felt like I was a pirate, and I discovered an abandoned treasure chest full of comic book gold! I'm talking about hundreds, if not thousands of comic books, and at great prices too! It's too bad that I had just went to my local comic shop and spent a pretty penny there, because I only had so much extra cash to spare. But rest assure, I'll be stopping by this book store on a more regular basis and I'll be getting a bunch of those comics they had in their store.
So, next time you're in Virginia Beach and get the mood to buy some comic books, visit AFK Books, Music and Movies.
They're located at:
4801 Shore Drive, Suite D
Virginia Beach, VA 23455
Press Release- Apr. 3, 2013 - OLATHE, Kan.
You can find out everything there is to know about the Nerdvana Network by visiting: http://nerdvananetwork.com/
By Manuel A. Carmona
After reading this much anticipated Batman #18 book I find myself feeling conflicting emotions; and here's why. I like Batman's reaction to his sons death, I understand what it's like to loose someone who means the world to you and feel like your entire world is crumbling around you. Honestly, all you feel is hate. Hate for the world, hate for humanity, even hate for God because in your mind, he's taking everything from you; or at least everything that's important in your life. I think Scott Snyder portrayed Batman in a very believable way and I really enjoyed it, atleast that aspect of the book. The tone of the book was very dark and you immediately felt Bruce Wayne/Batman's pain and his sense of loss and you almost want him to release that pain onto the scum of the world. The problem with that is that at some point, you start loosing sight of the person you were and the person you've become. I went through exactly that when my grandfather died. That experience, I feel, killed the innocence and joy I felt when I was with him and made me stronger in more ways than one. But... back to the story.
Now, this Harper Row character really bothers me, but not for the reasons you might expect; let me explain. Harper and her brother Cullen's story is a very interesting one, you can tell Snyder thought about their backstory quite bit, but thats where me liking this story ends. For example, here's a list of the things that I find oddly familiar about the character:
1. Harper being inspired by Batman.
2. Practicing martial arts, boxing, etc.
3. Training to be a superhero.
4. Going out at night on patrol.
5. Batman yelling at her because she's not ready.
6. Batman telling her that she will never be his partner.
7. Harper proving herself worthy of being Batman's partner.
8. Batman apologizing for treating her like crap.
This is not Harper Rose's story, this is Stephanie Brown!!!
Scott Snyder took what made Stephanie Brown (a.k.a. The Spoiler, Robin and Batgirl) the cool character she was and adapted it to "his character" and for that reason alone, I could never get behind this Harper Row/Stephanie Brown rip off . It's mind boggling to me how Dan Didio said that they probably wont be bringing Stephanie Brown back because the sales numbers don't justify it, and yet they "green light" a character that is obviously and blatantly a Stephanie Brown rip off!!! This happened simply because the character was pitched by DC Comics' "golden boy" Scott Synder.
//By the way, if I notice this I am sure every Stephanie Brown fan out there will notice this too.//
Besides my obvious issues with the whole "Stephanie Brown rip off" thing, I feel that the character interaction between Bruce Wayne/Batman and Harper Row was executed very well, but I've seen it before, almost word for word. The same arguments, the same problems, and even the fact that Harper and her brother Cullen's father is a scumbag. Wasn't Stephanie Brown's father a scumbag as well? Good Lord!!!
One of the highlights on this book to me was Andy Kubert drawing Batman again, which is something I can always appreciate. Also, Greg Capullo's cover is simply beautiful! Even my wife (who's not a comic book fan AT ALL) loved the cover. Even Alex Maleev's art , even though it wasn't on par with Kubert's or Capullo's artwork, it was still good. All in all, this was a well written book that I absolutely didn't like because of the reasons I mentioned before.
Agree or disagree? Leave your comments below and let us know what you thought of the book.
-Art: Kubert- 5/5 Maleev- 3/5
P.S. I want to thank my wife for helping me with this blog entry by typing all this on the computer ebcause my hands where hurting. Thanks baby!
By Manuel A. Carmona
Two weeks ago I teased you all with the thought of me writing a series of blog entries about which actors/actresses I'd cast if I were given the opportunity to do the casting of a big budget movie and/or TV series. Last week i gave you my first entry, my version of the Justice League cast. This week, I decided to do what I'd really been wanting to do, cast my version of Batman and the entire Bat family. This are my choices, you may agree or disagree, but if you do, please... leave your comments below. Thanks
Let's start with the figure of the moment in the Bat family...
Damian Wayne/Robin- Kenton Duty
In order to portray the former child assassin, turned Robin, Damian Wayne, it'd take months of training and conditioning if they're going to accomplish that goal. But when it comes to looking the part, Kenton Duty is my pic for the role of Damian Wayne. He's played serious roles before in movies such as 2:13 and Forget Me Not and he had a role in the hit TV series Lost. So when it comes to a young actor who looks the part and has the acting chops to play Damian, my vote goes to Kenton.
Kate Kane/Batwoman- Laura Prepon
We've known Laura Prepon for her roles in the hit TV series That 70's Show and How I Met Your Mother, but I think she'd be an awesome Batwoman. Besides being a natural redhead, Laura has the... uhum... body to pull it off, she has a look that is sexy and dangerous at the same time. I totally see her as Kate Kane and I think men and women all over the world will fall in love with Batwoman.
Jason Todd/Red Hood- Zac Efron
Now, before all my geek guy friends freak out on me over my choice for the Red Hood, look at the pictures, after you do that, watch the movie Charlie St. Cloud and THEN, come back and tell me if the guy isn't a great actor. I think he'd be perfect to play our favorite not-so-dead-Robin turned into Red Hood, Jason Todd.
Stephanie Brown/Batgirl- Bridgit Mendler
Stephanie Brown is one of my top 10 favorite characters of all time, period! Her evolution as a hero is the stuff of legends and because of my deep love of the character, I searched the web for the perfect actress to portray my beloved Stephanie. I found her in the form of a real life Disney princess, her name; Bridgit Mendler! Of course she has a huge following because of her Disney popularity, but she's an all around great young actress with appearances in shows like House and General Hospital and she;s also been in hit movies like Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2 and Alvin and the Chipmunks 2. I think she's the perfect girl for the role of my favorite Batgirl!
Tim Drake/Robin- Thomas Dekker
Tim Drake is another character very dear and near to my heart and as such, I wanted a n actor who could portray all the qualities that make him so amazing. Thomas Dekker is, in my opinion, one such actor. We've seen him portray a badass hero in Terminator the TV Series, where he played John Connor and when you look at him, you see Tim Drake! This guy would be an awesome Robin in my opinion.
Barbara Gordon/Batgirl- Nina Droveb
Nina has been in numerous films as well as TV shows, but we know her best for her role in CW's The Vampire Diaries. She has the looks, the acting chops, the range and the fan following to make her my one and only choice to play Barbara Gordon.
Dick Grayson/Nightwing- Milo Ventimiglia
The character of Nightwing is one very dear to my heart and as such, I thought about this a lot. When I think of Dick Grayson i think of an adventurer without fear, a character full of optimism and joy, but at the same time I think of a big brother type figure. I think Milo Ventimiglia falls into all of the above mentioned categories effortlessly and he looks the part. We've seen him portray a hero and a big brother in the hit TV series Heroes and I wouldn't mind seeing him portray Batman's greatest triumph; Dick Grayson/Nightwing!
Selena Kyle/Catwoman- Rachel Bilson
Of course there has to be a love interest for Batman, and we all know who that is; Catwoman! I have only one choice for this role... Rachel Bilson! We all know she can act, she has an innocent and caring look to her, but we also know there's a dark side to her, much like Selena Kyle, and her looks... well, you be the judge. I know they'll be thousands of men falling in love with cats after this movie comes out!
Alfred Pennyworth- Ian Mckellen
I really don't have to justify my choice for Alfred because, well... Ian Mckellen is a BOSS!!! It doesn't matter what role you put him in, he's going to deliver the goods and when I think of Alfred, I think of a smart, strict and gentle soul, in my opinion, that's the precise definition of Sir Ian Mckellen.
Bruce Wayne/Batman- Ray Stevenson
I think that all the previous incarnations of Batman lack one key element of the character, an intimidating presence. Batman in my opinion should have rugged good looks, he should look serious to the point of being scary and he should have an imposing physique. My choice for Batman is none other than Ray Stevenson. We've seen his acting range when he portrayed Volstagg in the Thor movie and we've seen how intimidating and downright scary he can be in Punisher: War Zone, but he's also a very handsome man; the perfect combination to play Batman.
Agree or disagree? Leave your comments below!
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