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Avengers

A detailed look into the evolution of Iron Man throughout Phase One.


If you’re not like me and you don’t keep up with Tony’s ever increasing array of suits, then this will probably be of benefit to you. How many times have you seen Stark in something new and thought, “Hold on, has he worn that before?” I’m not talking about his Queen Amidala-like ability to change costumes every few minutes as he sets the new fashion trends for the more astute among you – I’m talking about the Iron Man armour. Some changes have been more obvious for even the most die-hard Captain America supporters out there, and other changes have been more subtle. Let’s explore Tony’s achievements by looking at them one by one.

MK I. This suit only received its name in hindsight, post-capture by the Ten Rings. It’s the bulky suit made from scraps that bought him freedom in the first place, proving that Stark indeed is a genius amongst men. It was incredibly clunky with exposed fans and even leather gloves underneath the iron outer. Although it certainly packed a punch when it came to fire power, the suit fell apart after its initial flight. Luckily for Tony, however, this suit got him to safety, even if Yinsen had to buy him some time in the first place (what a noble hero!).

MK II. When Stark returned home with the new responsible mindset, he started working on an updated model. He knew that what he had made was functional, but he was probably itching to see what he could do with all the resources available to him in his own workshop. With the goal of creating a suit that could fly without falling to pieces, he set to work on a new model, giving us the Iron Man image that has become so iconic.

After finally creating a more impressive suit, this is the one that Tony takes for a spin as he flies iron-man-06around Malibu with much success. “J.A.R.V.I.S., sometimes you gotta run before you can walk.”

MK III. Rather than spray-painting the new suit, what better way to spend your resources than to make a newone but in a different colour? The MK III is a result of fine-tuning the errors and little grievances that Tony discovered in the MK II. Most specifically, it solves the “icing problem” that he encountered because this one is made from gold titanium alloy. This is the suit we see for the remainder of Iron Man; it’s the one that he flies to Afghanistan in to destroy the Ten Rings and it’s the one that he uses to fight his mentor, Obidiah Stane. Unlike the MK II, this one packs some firepower that isn’t just a repulsor blast.

MK IV. This is the suit we see at the start of Iron Man 2 – the one that he lands at the Expo in.

It differs only minimally from the MK III in that there are mostly just aesthetic changes to the body and legs. This is also the first suit to feature the palladium core, the cause of Tony’s turmoil within this film, seeing as it’s poisoning him.

MK V. This is the suit that Jon Favreau wanted included in the film, due it being so iconic within the comics: “That’s one I’m very proud of.” Tony always had his suit on him in case of emergencies, and this comic cover shows us exactly why. Tony could never be sure when he might need to suit up and he obviously couldn’t run home to get changed in the meantime. This is the emergency suit, the one that features when Ivan Vanko turns up as Whiplash in Monaco. Secured with Happy Hogan, it safely transports the armour as a suitcase until needed. Of course, the armour is less durable and the weaponry is only very basic to reduce on weight and increase mobility.

MK VI. Featured in both Iron Man 2 and Avengers Assemble, this is the suit that stemmed from the invention of the vibranium arc reactor. It features a triangular chest piece and subsequently has more energy at its disposal due to the new power from Tony’s chest. It also features high-powered lasers that he uses to cut down the “Hammeroids” and clear the debris from the turbine on the original hellicarrier. It seems to have a one-time-use, working on a cartridge system, which he ejects from the back of his hand after use.  We’ve also seen this suit as incredibly durable, surviving a lightning blast from Thor and a mash-up in the rebooted hellicarrier turbine.

MK VII. We see this suit deployed in Avengers Assemble,  as an updated version of the MK V – it’s easily transported because of its flight capabilities, and it hones in on Tony’s bracelets, attaching itself to Stark for a quick and effective deployment. This suit is the first to feature thrusters on the shoulders, as well as missiles deployed from the thighs. The laser system that we’ve seen in the MK VI seems to have been updated to a three-pointed laser which utilises the arc reactor technology – “Sir, we will lose power before you cut through that shell.”

That is as far as Tony manages to get inside Phase One of the MCU. Seven suits down, and he’s come a long way from scrounging together scraps inside a cave. His engineering genius certainly knows no bounds when it comes to ingenuity and design, having shaped and reshaped his image based on various performance issues. The next article will look at Iron Man’s transformation throughout Phase Two.

2015 has been huge in the world of comic books so here is a quick retrospective in case you missed any of the big events.

2015 is slowly coming to a close and it has been one insane year in the world of comic books. The Marvel Universe ended (sure, it might have been rebooted eight months down the line but it still ended), DC comics are slowly undoing their New 52 relaunch from a few years back, and Image comics are edging closer and closer to rivalling the big two. Meanwhile, in the industry, the independent market has continued to boom. Mark Millar has taken on his first set of thirteen young wards in his talent search, DC Comics have announced a need to cut story lengths and increase advertising, Marvel are reporting sales figures that rival some major blockbuster films, and Brian Azzarello dug Frank Miller up from his grave to finish the Dark Knight Returns trilogy. With so much going on in the industry, here is run down of the top five comic book events of 2015.

5) Star Wars came back to Marvel

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The year of films might have ended with Star Wars but the year of comics started with it as Marvel comics regained the rights to the universe and started big. Smashing almost every known sales record and selling over a million copies, Star Wars Issue One boosted an all-star line-up of both characters and creators. This gave Marvel a significant boost to their sales to start the year on, a boost that never seemed to diminish,  and led to a veritable slew of Star Wars comics flooding the shelves. Almost every Star Wars series has been met with high critical and public acclaim which can only mean we are going to be receiving more in the future.

4) DC Comics struggling

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While Marvel Comics have been booming this year, their old sparring partner, DC Comics, have been having some serious problems. The year started fairly well for them with the Convergence cross-over arc, however it was overshadowed by Marvel’s Secret Wars arc and heralded a slow decline in sales. In October DC Comics released a statement saying that they would have to decrease the number of pages in their comics and increase the amount of advertising. This led to a hefty amount of critical discussion and some debate over whether this was ‘the end’ for DC Comics. Luckily, as the year draws to a close, The Dark Knight Returns series appears to be pumping a little cash in DC Comics vaults. The next year could make or break DC Comics as the release of some big budget films and comic series may bail them out of their slow decline.

3) The Image boom

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Sex Criminals, Saga, The Walking Dead, I Hate Fairyland, Tokyo Ghost, Head Lopper, Lumberjanes, Southern Bastards and Chew. Few of these series started this year but each and every one of them have seem a boom in sales as many have become optioned for films and have become founded by the mainstream public. The combination of Image’s collaboration with Millarworld and their slow monopolisation of comic book talent has led to their steady increase in the market, filling a lot of the space left by DC Comics. Every writer and artist worth his salt seems to be making an appearance over at the Image offices. This is leading to a genre change in the market as more readers are looking for something different from the norm. Over the next year this trend could increase further and begin to seriously challenge the other industry titans.

2) The winter war

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In my experience this has happened almost every year on the comic book industry. Around October both Marvel and DC start to pump out the equivalent of Oscar bait in hopes to garner some Eisner awards in the coming year. This year DC Comics came out swinging, possibly in hopes of increasing their sales in the final quarter of the year. Fans were presented with Dark Knight Returns, Superman: American Alien, and Batman: Europa which are all selling well and look set to lay out a strong couple of months for the publishing house. Unfortunately for DC, Marvel came back with Captain America: White, Vader Down, and their vast All-New All-Different line-up that left their competition in the dust.

1) An All-New All-Different Universe

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Marvel have had a brilliant year in the world of comics and it all started with their big cross-over, Secret Wars. The event started with the destruction of the Marvel universe and ended with a gentle reboot and the closure of the Ultimate Universe. After some horrendous scheduling problems, Marvel began to produce their All-New All-Different line-up consisting of brand new starts for almost every recognisable character. There were many controversies over the line-up, including the cancellation of the Fantastic Four and the reduction of the X-Men lines, but most fans seem to have been won over by the change. This bodes well for the New Year and it’s possible we could see Marvel rising to a position of industry dominance throughout the coming months.

Last week Netflix released the newest chapter in the Marvel Universe, Jessica Jones, and you need to go watch it!

I was sick of super heroes. Honestly, as a huge fan of Marvel and DC Comics even I was starting to feel a little tired, I felt like we needed a year off. Just one year with no super hero related films, TV shows or video games. That was how I felt last Thursday, then I watched Jessica Jones, the antidote to super heroism hysteria. Jones works hard to create something new and unlike any super hero series to date. The first, and probably most obvious, difference between Jones and any other Marvel property is that it features a female protagonist, but Jessica Jones isn’t just any female protagonist. Jessica Jones may be one of the most interesting women in world of television at the moment. Before we go any further I want to make it clear that this is not a review and it will contain no spoilers for the TV series, if you want to know what happens you’ll have to find out for yourself.

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As I explained in a previous article, Jessica Jones was popularised by Brian Michael Bendis back in the noughties. Jones quickly became a fan favourite as she is a strong, kick-ass protagonist, but what makes her stand out is that she is also broken, cynical and filled with hatred for the entire super hero shtick. This translates almost perfectly to screen, setting Krysten Ritter’s character apart from the likes of the Avengers or the Guardians of the Galaxy who revel in their roles as heroes. There is never a point when Jones enjoys being a hero, she just wants to be numb and ignorant but there is some aspect of her that feels a responsibility to her powers. This aspect of the series can feel a little angsty but it’s a brilliant change of pace from most of the other super powered stories out there. Almost as if Jessica Jones is sat next to you on the sofa saying ‘yeah I know it’s all the power stuff is dumb’. However, the genius of the series comes from everything that is left once you take the powers away.

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Netflix’s first Marvel series, Daredevil, showed us that super hero stories can work as vehicle for great drama and Jessica Jones continues that trend. The main plot could be from an episode of EastEnders. Jones’ Ex is back in town looking to cause trouble. No, that wasn’t a spoiler, if you have watched any of the trailers you already know this. The Ex in question is self-centred, controlling and manipulative and these characteristics are then reflected in his powers. The other powered characters in the series all have their characters reflected in their abilities too, Luke Cage is an unstoppable force for good and Jessica has an inner-strength she’s reluctant to unleash. The writing revolves around how these characters interplay with one another and how people without abilities get caught up in their drama. The finished project is intelligent, dramatic and impossible to stop watching.

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I’m not going to harp on the female protagonist stuff but if the rest of my article hasn’t convinced you to watch Jessica Jones then at least watch it to support a well written female hero. There’s a growing trend for gender diversity in the world of super heroes and it’s something that needs to be encouraged. If none of that sells you, Jessica Jones does have a final secret weapon in the form of David Tennant who takes on the role of Kilgrave, the aforementioned ex. This may be a return to form for Tennant, since his days as a certain Time Lord, as he plays a villain you love to hate! So, there’s good writing, good characters, great drama, gender diversity and Tennant, you really should watch Jessica Jones

After all the moves Marvel have made recently to alienate fans of the X-Men franchise, how is the publisher treating the team in their new line-up?

I’ve given Marvel a lot of stick recently. In fairness they do deserve a lot of it, they have reduced their merchandising of the X-Men and the Fantastic Four because they don’t want to create any hype for the Fox-owned franchises and would rather spend time and effort on things they can turn into films. That’s fine, I understand the way business works and I’m okay with no Fantastic Four or X-Men merchandise, but it’s not cool when it carries over to the world of comic books. There is now no Fantastic Four comic books and only three X-Men series, which is a harsh reduction from Marvel’s previous list of titles, which is alienating a large part of the fan base. With that in mind, Marvel released their main X-Men book this week, Extraordinary X-Men, and I think it might be one of the most amazing things they have released in years.

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As part of Marvel’s targeted attack on the X-Men, the powers that be have decided that the terrigen mists which create the Inhumans, Marvel’s new flavour of the week, kill mutants who breath it. In fact, as Jeff Lemire writes, the mists don’t only kill but also sterilise mutants meaning that no new mutants can be born. This looks like the end for the X-Men, and we are told all this information in the first couple of pages of the book, but the X-Men have a plan. Lemire knows how to save the team, by bringing together all the biggest mutant badass’ for one last fight on behalf of mutant kind, the concept gives me chills. Lemire has assembled a roster of the greatest X-Men in the history of the team, including alternate versions of Jean Grey and Wolverine. The line up is perfect and allows Lemire to create some fantastic interactions between characters that makes the book vibrant and exciting. There is a constant feeling that the X-Men are on the ropes and the team, lead by Storm, are calling in all their favours just to survive. However, I just wish the artwork could live up to the writing.

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I am not an art critic, I have no formal training in art or illustration, but even I can tell Humberto Ramos was the wrong choice for this book. Lemire needed someone with a clean and slick style that could give the X-Men a stylistic edge over the Avengers or the Inhumans. McNiven or, if I could choose absolutely anyone, Jim Lee would have made this comic one of the greatest X-Men runs to date. Instead we get Ramos’ cartoony style which makes the team a complete joke, everyone looks far too angular and Colossus has now become as wide as he is tall for some ungodly reason. The art work In this book holds it back so much that I almost wonder whether Marvel have concocted some sort of scheme to hold the X-Men back from true greatness due to a fear of them out-shining the other team books, such as Inhumans and Avengers.

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Should you buy Extraordinary X-Men Issue One? Yes, a thousand times yes, I am asking you as a long time fan of the X-Men to show your support. Even if the art work doesn’t fit, the team deserve it. Let’s not forget, if it wasn’t for the success of the X-Men film franchise we probably wouldn’t even have the current craze of Marvel-mania. The X-Men heralded the beginning of everything that is now killing them and, as far as I’m concerned at least, that means the team deserves our support. I think the slogan says it all; ‘Still hated. Still feared. Still Standing.’

As scripting commences on Thor: Ragnarok several crucial plot details have already been leaked including Hulk’s involvement in the film.

We still haven’t been given a trailer for Captain America: Civil War and Doctor Strange hasn’t even begun filming but the Marvel hype-train is already warming people up for the films of 2017. It was leaked last week, and confirmed, that none other than the Incredible Hulk will be appearing alongside the God of Thunder in the 2017 Thor: Ragnarok. The two characters have a long history together as two of the strongest heroes on the Avenger’s roster so it’s interesting to consider the potential this titbit of information opens up for Thor: Ragnarok as well as other movies. However, the first thing that needs to be said, this probably means we won’t be seeing much of Bruce Banner at all for a while.
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I have been following the world of Marvel Comics for the best part of two decades and I cannot think of a single time where Bruce Banner and Thor have hung out, they just don’t do it. The Hulk and Thor get on like a house on fire, going through entire story arcs together, but Banner doesn’t tend to pop up in those issues. This is probably because Banner doesn’t really have much in common with Thor whilst the Hulk respects him as a sparring partner and fellow warrior. I would wager that we will see less than ten minutes total screen time of Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner in Thor: Ragnarok. This could be a good thing though, as it means we might begin to see the separation between Hulk and Banner.

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Something Marvel haven’t really tapped into about the Hulk is that he is a completely different person to Banner, he may be born from Banner’s subconscious but he also has his own hopes and fears. If we are ever going to get a Hulk solo film (which I will get to in a minute) we need to begin to get a feeling of this duality that lies at the heart of the Hulk as it is a key aspect of the character. I am going to assume that there will be a moment in this film where Hulk is used by Loki as a weapon against Thor. It would be really nice for the Hulk himself to fight off such an enchantment after the manipulated from Scarlet Witch in Avengers: Age of Ultron. This level of independent thought would also bring us on nicely to Planet Hulk.
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The big reason that all the geeks and nerds out there are losing their minds about this news is that it seems to suggest that we might be getting a Planet Hulk film. In the comics Planet Hulk is a long story arc in which Hulk is exiled to a planet where every threat he faces is almost as strong as he is. With Thor essentially being set in space, and with all the teleport technology the Asgardians have already displayed in the previous films, it makes sense that Hulks exile could come as a result of Asgardian action. In fact, I think Hulk may even get framed for killing Odin (who Loki is currently masquerading as). This could lead to Thor, or whoever remains on the throne of as Asgard, being forced into banishing Hulk to some planet filled with alien horrors, which could spark the Planet Hulk story arc. The best part is, if we get a Planet Hulk film is means we are probably going to get something like this one day…
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Fox and Marvel are co-producing two new TV series set in the X-Men Universe, could this be the start of a beautiful friendship?

Am I dreaming? Seriously, if this is some sort of weird Marvel themed coma that I’m currently living in can someone come and slap me out of it. In case you haven’t heard, Marvel and Fox have decided to come together to co-produce two new TV shows; Hellfire and Legion. Now what the shows will be about is something I’ll get into in a minute, but first it’s really worth pointing out that Marvel and Fox are working together on a superhero license.

Okay, it’s not a film but this marks the start of a working relationship between Marvel and Fox that could lead to some great things. Combine that with news that Kevin Fiege has confirmed he has an alternative plan for a Marvel Universe with the X-Men and suddenly the idea of a combined Marvel Universe doesn’t seem too farfetched. The chances of such a collaboration continuing into the world of film will most likely depend on the success of the series and there is one series that has potential to bring in the big bucks.

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The first show Marvel and Fox have announced they are working on is Legion. Although we’ve had no confirmation yet about the focus of the series, it all seems to point towards one character from the X-Men Universe, David Charles Haller also known as Legion. Haller is the son of Professor X and possibly the most powerful mutant in the entire universe, possessing the ability to warp all of reality to his will.

However, Legion suffers with a severe case of multiple personality disorder, meaning each of his personalities exhibit different manifestations of his power. This already sounds like an amazing idea for a super hero TV series, but it sounds even better when you hear that Noah Hawley, of Bones and Fargo fame, will be scripting the series almost guarantying that the script will be strong!

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Then there’s Hellfire, the second series Marvel and Fox have announced, which looks to be gracing our screens before Legion. Hellfire will be set around the nineteen sixties as a young special agent begins to uncover details of the shadowy organisation known only as the Hellfire Club. This one is a little less interesting to me, as it feels like a more prolonged version the first half of X-Men: First Class, but that is not to say the concept won’t work. I think this series will hinge on how much the writers can bring the world of the X-Men into the series, which will ultimately be restricted by budget. Hopefully, Fox and Marvel will be able to work together to throw enough cash and technology at the project to make it work.

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The thing is as good as both of these series sound they are still in fairly early stages of development, with release dates unlikely to come until the fall season of 2016. I have my doubts that either series will make it all the way through production but if they do we have a mission. Yeah that’s right, you and me both have a mission, we need to make it work. If everyone with any interest in the comic book industry takes the time to watch these shows it will send a clear sign to the head executives at Marvel and Fox, they can get rich by working together. Money is the only language these people understand, so I need to ask you to help me show those big wigs what a great idea bring the X-Men back to the Marvel Universe would be. Because if five years from now the rights to all characters were shared with Marvel and Disney maybe we could see something like this on the big screen…
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Marvel and DC Comics may be threaten by rising comic book mogul, and all round creative genius, Mark Millar.

Over the last few weeks I have mentioned Scott Snyder’s run on Batman a lot, but to be honest I have been leaving out one crucial piece of the puzzle. While Snyder’s writing may indeed be fantastic, the legendary run would be nothing without the work of the artist Greg Capullo. Capullo is a simply gifted artist, able to recreate anything Snyder writes with a visceral style that the reader cannot take their eyes off. Yesterday, Greg Capullo announced that he was leaving DC Comics. That’s right, a comic book artist at the height of his career decided to leave one of the biggest publishers in the industry. That leaves one all-important question, why? Mark Millar, that’s why.

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Mark Millar is a genius, there is simply no other way to put it. He wrote Marvel’s Civil War, still considered to be one of the greatest Marvel story lines of all time, Old Man Logan, possibly the strongest Wolverine story in the history of the character, and Kick Ass, a brilliant parody on super heroes and fan boy culture. On top of those career highlights, Millar has consistently produced ground-breaking work in the comic book industry. Then, in 2004, Mark Millar started a project entitled ‘Millarworld’. Millarworld works with other publishers to put slightly more irregular work into the main stream, almost all work so far has involved Mark’s contribution at some point, and it all has Millar’s stamp of approval on it. The thing is, it’s starting to grow.

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This year, Mark has started a talent search for young artist and writers to work on a Millarworld annual (which you can find out about here). The interesting thing is, the contest seems extremely high profile for a simple annual, he has being promoting it on a tour around both England and America, there have been adverts in the New York Times and across a lot of industry sources. Millar is also stumping up to pay similar rates to Marvel and DC which suggests, to me at least, that Mark Millar may be looking to rival the big two. It could just work as well.

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We’ve already seen that Millar has managed to entice one of DC Comic’s prized artists over to Millarworld and, with the promise of more creative freedom, it’s easy to see why. A lot of this is speculation, but it’s about time that someone stood up and challenged Marvel and DC for supremacy in the industry. Before I get a million comments telling me this, yes, I know Image, 20,000AD, Dark Horse and Vertigo all exist. The other publishers have always been out there but no one has ever really had the chance to take on the big guys like Millar could. Millarworld, with Mark as a figure-head, could be the next industry giant.  That’s right guys, Mark Millar could be the next Stan Lee.

Last week we saw Marvels 'All-New, All-Different' line-up begin to hit shelve, but has the universe really change? Have Marvel made a huge mistake?

After a week long break, I’m back and it has been a ludicrous week in the world of comic books. I like to believe this might have been caused by the entire industry realising that I had gone away and deciding to finally do something interesting, but in truth it’s all down to something much more mundane, scheduling. Last week, Marvel Comics started the main event for their 2015 fourth quarter, ‘All-New, All-Different‘ in which they rebooted their entire comic book universe. This process involved Marvel setting all their series back to issue one which is insane because, unlike DC Comics, they have never done this in the history of the company. The reboot could mean that Marvel fans are about to lose sixty years of storylines and continuity. Pure madness.

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Alright, I confess that is a bit of an over reaction. Not even Marvel are crazy enough to pull a full reboot like that off, the fan backlash would be terrifying and could completely destroy the company, but they want you to think that this is what they’re doing. In truth, Marvel Comics are attempting to give all their heroes a fresh start. Essentially, the continuity fans know about has still happened, but the new story lines aren’t going to talk about all that history. This makes now the perfect time for new fans, fresh from seeing the Marvel films, to jump into the universe. The fresh start also allows Marvel to change things to be more in line with the films, so the X-Men and the Fantastic Four are being brushed under the rug while the Avengers are front and centre. But the real question is, has it actually worked?

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Amazing Spider-Man Issue One, Invincible Iron Man Issue One, Avengers Issue Zero, Contest Of Champions Issue One and All-New, All-Different Point One all hit the shelves this week. Therefore, it fell to your friendly neighbourhood comic book fanatic to pick them all up to read and I have to say I was surprised. I had dismissed the entire thing as a publicity stunt, something to raise sales, but Marvel have played this very well. The first week’s line up are all worth picking up and garner a first class recommendation from your’s truly but there are a few points I need to stress.

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Invincible Iron Man is now being written by Brian Michael Bendis, one of the strongest writers in the Marvel bullpen, who has brought the thunder on his new book. Tony Stark is very much at the centre of this new universe, most likely because he performs a similar role in the cinematic universe. Amazing Spider-Man now sees Peter Parker as a tech industrialist, who is more of a rival to Tony Stark instead of the average New York heroes. Contest of Champions annoys me because, while it is a good book, it’s a very blatant tie-in to one of Marvel’s weaker app games. Avengers Issue Zero covers a set of short stories introducing all the new Avengers teams, and there are a lot of them, I’m not impressed with all the rosters but I have to admit the issue is very well written. Then there is All-New, All-Different Point One.

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All-New, All-Different Point One gives us a window into almost every aspect of the ‘new’ Marvel Universe. It’s fantastic and has me, and a lot of other comic book fans, psyched up for the coming months in the world of comics. I have to insist, if you have a tenner spare this week you really should consider buying it and Invincible Iron Man Issue One. Only the coming weeks will tell whether the full line-up will keep this momentum going but in the meantime I have three words for you: Civil. War. Two.

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He's one of the strongest leaders in the Marvel Universe, soon to be played by Mike Colter in the upcoming Netflix series, but who is Luke Cage?

I know I was only saying a few weeks ago that Marvel suffers with a lack of ethnic diversity and since then I covered Black Panther, an African hero, and now I’m covering Luke Cage, an African-American hero. In truth, this is because both heroes are two of the most interesting in the entire history Marvel universe. Luke Cage has developed over the years from a background vigilante setting up the Heroes for Hire to a full time Avenger and father to the first baby born to two Avengers.

Origins

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Luke Cage, born Carl Lucas, was a member of a street gang when he was younger, early in his life he was framed for holding drugs he didn’t own by a resentful thug called Stryker. Luke, feeling like he wanted to turn his life around, agreed to a set of experiments in prison that led to him being granted super strength and bulletproof skin. Luke then broke out of prison and then, after a series of events and soul searching, set up an agency known of the Heroes for Hire with fellow hero Iron Fist.

Friends And Allies

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Luke Cage has worked alongside his life long friend Danny Rand, the Iron Fist, first as Heroes For Hire and later as Avengers. In recent years, Luke has become a fully fledged member of the Avengers, even leading his own team and changing certain aspects of how the team operate. Luke has also recently married fellow Avenger and Private Detective Jessica Jones, the couple have remained strong through a lot of major Marvel events, including Civil War and the Secret Invasion. The couple have a daughter named Danielle, named after Danny Rand.

Top Three Luke Cage Graphic Novels

If you want to read more about Luke Cage these graphic novels are great places to start:

New Avengers Volume One: Breakout

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Breakout marks the start of Luke Cages membership as an Avenger, it also represents a great moment in the heroes life as he finally resists his long time enemy, the Purple Man, and defeats him.

Secret War

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Nick Fury recruits Luke and a group of other heroes to deal with the rogue nation of Latveria, however Luke is the focus of a terrorist attack that unravels a plot that revolves that destroys Luke, among others, relationship with S.H.I.E.L.D.

Mighty Avengers: No Single Hero

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Luke Cage is put in charge of creating a New Avengers team to protect New York on a street level, this really displays Luke as a well rounded and experienced leader, like we’ve never seen him before.

Other Appearances

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Luke appeared alongside many other heroes in the Ultimate Alliance video games, he also appeared as a boss in the second game fighting alongside Captain America in the Civil War story arc. In the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon series, a younger Luke stars with the alter ego of ‘Power Man‘ which Luke has used at various times when it has suited him. Apart from that, Cage as seen very little action in the multi-media world of Marvel, but all that could change this November as we might see the Hero for Hire become a household name!

There was a time when Spider-Man, Luke Cage and Wolverine were all members of the Avengers and it was awesome!

Today marks my one-hundredth article! I honestly can’t believe it, all the work I’ve done with this site has been fantastic. So I have decided to celebrate by discussing my favourite Marvel team of all time, the New Avengers. For the sake of this discussion, I’m going to focus on the team as it is presented in the story arc ‘Breakout‘ which comprises of New Avengers Issues 1 to 6. So why is the New Avengers team so awesome? Let’s just lay out the team; Iron Man, Captain America, Spider Woman, Spider Man, Luke Cage, Wolverine and Sentry. Freaking awesome!

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As Brian Michael Bendis said when he created the team ‘they should be earth’s mightiest heroes’ which has alway been the tag line for the Avengers. The team truly represents every corner of the Marvel Universe with the most popular characters from each aspect. Iron Man represents the technological heroes, Captain America represents the World War Two heroes, Spider Man and Luke Cage represent New York, Wolverine; the Mutants, Spider Woman; the spies and Sentry is just a pure powerhouse. It’s a perfect blend, representing the entire Marvel Universe, making the team the closest thing to the Justice League in the entire Marvel Universe.

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The variation between the Justice League and Avengers has always been interesting, the Justice League are Gods and the Avengers are more like a paramilitary force, so each team fights very different levels of threats, creating diversity in the comic industry. The great thing about the New Avengers is that while they represent every facet of the Marvel Universe, they are actually even weaker than most Avengers teams. Sentry has more psychological problems that Thor and Luke Cage is nowhere near as strong the Hulk. This makes the team fresher than most others and it also makes them much more interesting as they have to adapt a lot more to defend the planet. The funny thing is, there is someone who agrees me and that man’s name is Joss Whedon.

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At the end of Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Whedon chose to include this small hint towards the New Avengers series and I like to believe that this is because he has a fondness for the team. The roster he gathered is also very interesting as they represent the many facets of the current Marvel Cinematic Universe while also being much weaker than the original line-up. So when you head over to the cinema to watch Captain America: Civil War remember that it’s going to include at least a little reference to one of the greatest teams in Marvel history. Also, if they ever call themselves the New Avengers on screen I will take that as the Russo brothers agreeing with me and that will make me awesome. Happy 100th article!