Comic Books – Marvel: Meeting the Line-Up (part 1)
Getting back on the comic book train, there is a need to talk about the big producers of comic books. With that I’m going to write up one on Marvel and an article on DC. These two have been the heavyweights in the comic book industry producing so many of the characters that you know and love.
Meeting the Line-Up
Comic books all have their certain heroes and villains that everyone knows and cares about more than others, so let’s meet the line-up for Marvel.
Captain America: Cap is the icon of America. He was originally create to drive that American spirit and go after Hitler. When Cap was created it was actually just prior to the involvement of the US of A in World War II. The big story element of Captain America was that he was a super soldier, a soldier modified to be bigger and stronger than anyone else, but originally he was the little guy. He was a scrawny kid from Brooklyn who couldn’t even get into the army if he tried, but because of his heart and never die attitude, he was selected for the super soldier program. The other big element of Captain America is that he was the man forgotten in time. He was lost at the end of the war and frozen in the Arctic Ocean, and only after a long time was he revived again.
Iron Man: Son of the brilliant Howard Stark, Tony Stark had everything that he wanted growing up and was a genius himself. However, he was captured by a militant group and ordered to build weapons. He didn’t do this, however, as he built himself a suit that had weapons and was powered and broke free and Iron Man was born. Iron Man has then evolved into many different suits that Tony Stark wears. In my opinion, the most interesting about Iron Man is Tony Stark. Stark is a playboy type of personality who struggles with actual issues. He has struggled with drinking throughout the comics. To go along with that, he knows that some of the technology that he and his father have created have caused destruction, and he wants to atone for that. He generally has his heart in the right place when he comes up with ideas, but his brain doesn’t allow him to see potential issues that could come from what he does. He is the solution to and the cause of so many problems in the Marvel universe.
Spider-Man: Spider-Man is just an ordinary nerdy high school student. He is smart, but not popular and definitely not who he really wants to be. One day, he gets bitten by a radio active spider and becomes Spider-Man. He doesn’t use his powers for good, immediately, but only once his Uncle Ben is killed by a robber he could have stopped does he start using his powers for justice. Spider-Man generally is the character that has the one-liners and can’t really get out of his own way while talking. But he has some seriously tragic story arcs as well. Spider-Man has some of the best villains as well, fighting against the Sinister Six, The Kingpin, and many other memorable villains. In a general classification, I would say that Spider-Man for a long time was how Marvel dealt with characters coming of age, and looking at someone who wanted to be greater, but knew the risk of people knowing who he was.
Thor: The God of Thunder is bit of a departure from the rest of the characters in that he wasn’t man-made. He is the Norse god, not coming from the mortal realm, just instead visiting it. Instead of being an overpowered super-human who has few weaknesses, he deals with the struggles of Asgard, the tricks of Loki, and his desire to help the humans when he doesn’t completely understand them. Thor’s stories also bring magic into the world with the tricks of Loki and the Enchantress who use their magic to try and take over the world or Asgard time and time again.
The Hulk: Possibly the most tragic character in the Marvel universe is Bruce Banner, or The Hulk, blasted with gamma radiation while saving someone else, he turned into Jekyll and Hyde. The mild mannered Bruce Banner had to try and control a raging monster that he wasn’t sure could be controlled. The Hulk is at times the greatest strength of the Avengers and at other times the greatest threat. The balance of risk and reward were often too difficult for Bruce Banner to deal with and he’d run away, only to find himself in a spot where he was needed, but not only him, but also the Hulk. He fights against himself, and also against those who want to create more like him in the comics.
That is part one of what is likely to be a lot of different parts as we delve into the rosters of both Marvel and DC, starting with the better known characters and eventually ending up with lesser known, but equally as interesting characters. I hope you’ve enjoyed it thus far. Who is your favorite member of the Marvel universe?
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