Fear Itself: The Final Score

R.I.P. Thor Odinson. Now that Fear Itself is over (I know, we’re still in epilogues but if I wait for those to be over, I’ll never get to write this) I get to give my final overall response to this EPIC sized crossover. There’s honestly so much to cover that I barely even know where to start with this monster, but I’m just going to dive right in.

Let me get my biggest complaint out of the way now. TOO MANY TIE-INS! To collect this entire cross over was a financial and timely nightmare. I went from picking up 5-9 books a week to collecting 9-15 books a week for the last 8 months. And it would have been one thing if they were all amazing and relevant, but we had entire limited series that had almost no point or purpose to the story like Deadpool, Wolverine, and Uncanny X-Force. At least Black Widow and FF had the decency to only be a one-shot, these other 3 were just complete crap. Not to mention the fact that there were so many extra issues that by the end when I was reading Hulk vs. Dracula I had all but forgotten about the Spider-man limited series from the beginning. I am all for tie-ins so we can see what’s going on all over the place but this time they just went completely overboard.

The Serpent. FANTASTIC! What a classic evil villain. No ambiguities, or second guessing the plan at the end. No sir! He woke up wanting to ruin the world and take down Odin, and by god he was doing it come hell or high water! Conjured up his faithful Worthy and his floating Dark Asgard and went to it without ever looking back. I liked his entire back story and I was glad they waited until the story was over before giving up all the details about his history because IT DIDN’T MATTER. Whether he was Odin’s brother that was a mad king or he was a mindless evil demon bent on destruction, the desired endgame was still the same. He never once took his eye off the prize so for that we must give him credit. Unfortunately the prize was the destruction (or enslavement, I’m not completely clear on that) of humankind and his brother and death, and that simply could not be allowed.

Thor actually died. I mean, they hinted that he might and he wasn’t in any of the Shattered Heroes promotional images but I really thought it was going to end up a cheap marketing ploy. Alas, no…they really killed him. And not one of the Ragnarok or godly deaths where he travels through a field in the afterlife and comes back. He’s dead dead. Now assuming he doesn’t come back in the next 3 to 6 months in some ridiculous manner, I think that this was one of the best comic deaths that I’ve ever read. I loved that they took an old story, Thor fighting a serpent and dying afterwards, and gave it a new twist. It was always assumed that this prophecy was referring to the Midgard Serpent but clearly this is an error. He will be missed until he ultimately returns.

If I wanted to nitpick I have one other complaint: Where did Red She-Hulk come from at the end?? She was with Hulk when he got his Worthy hammer but then she disappeared for the rest of the storyline until the very end. Suddenly she not only shows up out of nowhere in Fear Itself #7 but she also has a Mighty weapon made by Tony Stark in Asgard! Where was she before the opening of Fear Itself #7 and how did Iron Man know to make her a weapon? Wouldn’t it have made more sense for him to make one for her father, the Red Hulk? Or I don’t know Luke Cage or Protector? Someone that would have been expected to be there as opposed to Betty just randomly showing up.

Overall I have to say that this was one of the best storylines I have read in a good long time. The characters were amazing, the plot fantastic, and it showed us another side of some of our favorite heroes. I am sure no one ever expected Spider-man to ask in the midst of battle “Can I leave to go home and check on my Aunt?” But this was the time to do it. We watched these idols get beaten and battered both emotionally and physically but when push came to shove (even if we thought they were going to quit) they stood right back up and kept on fighting.

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The Fashion of the Con

OK it took me a long time to get it all together, but I finally have all my pictures from the New York Comic-Con together! There were honestly so many amazing costumes at this convention that I couldn't possibly have seen them all let along post them here so here are my favorite ones.

It was a night out for the ladies of the Avengers with Ms. Marvel (right), Wasp and Baroness (center), and Black Widow (right) all came to the Con to see what's hot in the comic world this year

And not wanting to let the Avengers have all the fun, the X-men girls came out to paint the town black, white, yellow and green. Here we have Emma Frost and Storm (left) along with Rogue and Marvel Girl (right).

The Black Cat (left) was on the prowl while I put my life on the line with Lady Deadpool (right) with Black Canary and Sailor Mercury not far away (right).

Who you gonna call?

This Green Power Ranger seems to have lost his Zord.

And the Con isn't just for comic book fans, we have more then our fair share of video gamers that come to celebrate and revel in their nerdiness with the rest of us. Here's dual Marios and Peach (left) and Chun-Li with Sub-zero (right).

If anyone is going to paint the town red its these crimson clad "heroes". First we have Deadpoll along with X-23 and Gambit (left), the mutant decimating Scarlet Witch (center), and Sora and Kairi (right)...

...while Carnage is furious to be left out of the mix.

Taskmaster took this opportunity to get a little bit of shopping in

He of the long golden locks Thor Odinson meets hair master Edward Scissorhands.

Some people weren't shooting for a specific character per say so much as just trying to make a lasting impression. Kudos to these innovators!

Here we have some cast members from AMC's the Walking Dead. You can't tell from here, but these walkers were especially creepy.

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Where did Red She-Hulk come from in Fear Itself #7?

In Fear Itself #7 Red She Hulk was there in the battle and even had an Asgardian weapon to wield but, I went back and looked at Fear Itself #6 and she was no where to be seen in any groups. In fact her father, Red Hulk, was present at the end of #6 and he was then mysteriously absent from the group at the beginning of #7.

So does anyone know where she came from? Did I miss it somewhere or is this an outrageously glaring error in continuity?


I Think Wolverine Has Some Nerve

OK So now that all is said and done, and the Schism has happened. I have to ask…Where does Wolverine get off! I know that this topic is highly controversial in comic circles, and I want to be clear that this is just my opinion.

When we were waiting for the series to start, we all had our theories as far as what the schism would be caused by. Even as it was happening my guesses were changing with every issue! Is it over how to handle Quire? Is it how to deal with the Sentinel? Is it over something else entirely?? No, it was over sending children into battle. Let me be very clear, I am by no means advocating children being sent to war. I don’t want to get any hate mail where people say that I am evil for sending kids to fight epic battles. That being said, let me repeat, Where the hell does Wolverine get off?!

I understand that what happened with Idie was awful. And yes, the children were marginally in better shape when they lived in a school. But! Come on guys this is nothing new, right? Haven’t the X-men been sending kids to battle since their very inception? Didn’t Charles Xavier recruit a 16 year old Bobby Drake and send him against a powerful terrorist foe, Magneto? Knowing full well that at that point in his crusade, the battle could have gone fatal? And I didn’t see Wolverine throwing a fit when Kitty Pryde was brought to space to battle Brood creatures. And just where was Logan when the New Mutants were traipsing through Asgard? I didn’t see him take his ball and go home after that ordeal was over because Xavier didn’t shut down that team. Back to Kitty Pryde, Wolverine couldn’t say anything to her about moving to England for Excalibur and fighting Necrom and Jaime Braddock, or Sat-yr-9 because by then he was dragging a 15 year old Jubilee (a mere 1 year old then Idie I might add) through Madripoor with a newly reconstructed, and possibly a touch insane, Psylocke then. So all these situations were fine at the time but now, when there’s only a handful of mutants left and each regularly has to fight for their own survive, he suddenly has a massive non-ignorable problem.

Again, let me clarify that I am NOT supporting the flagrant sending of children to war, but Scott has a major point that is being completely ignored. They don’t live in a world where they can hide anymore. These children are on display for friend and foe alike and are expected to fend for themselves on a regular basis. Not to mention that this specific situation they were literally the only force available to fight. While Cyclops and Wolverine were having a childish tantrum with each other, the children defeated the sentinel that defeated or scatter many of the senior members of the team. Should they be called on for that purpose as a regular occurrence, of course not, but if another force arises that requires their power and the skills they’ve been learning for years now, then why shouldn’t they be allowed to fight for their own lives. If anything they have more of a right to it then Kitty or Jubilee did because back then there were only a small number of children at a time to watch out for and a lot fewer massive threats directed at them, but now is a much larger number of children to be responsible, to the point where they couldn’t possibly be expected to keep track of each one at all times and they need to somewhat be responsible for themselves.

In the end, Wolverine is just being stubborn and unfair to Scott. It was a tough situation where tough calls had to be made. There was no right answer, there was only decisions made while trying to survive, and, in all fairness, that is exactly what Scott (or any leader) was chosen to do. No major decisions are loved by everyone at all times, but for a top general in an army (for lack of a better metaphor) to quit just because he doesn’t like a call made is both immature and, I thought, beneath him. And like it or not, the kids won the day. There were no casualties, Utopia still floats, and the major threat was defeated with little to no help from any senior members. If anything Wolverine should give credit that he made the wrong call rigging the place to blow up. He doesn’t have to like it but, in the end, Scott made the right call and deserves, if not an apology, then at least the respect he earned. But again remember, this is just my opinion and everyone is entitled to disagree with me.


My Day at the 2011 New York Comic Con - Part 2

I pushed my way through the crowd to get to the stage stairs and, as I waited on the line of jittering fans, realized that I wasn't prepared to have anything signed by Stan (since I never thought I would get chosen). So I dropped to the ground and began digging through the bag full of comics I had already bought and tried to find something worth his signature. And what do I find, but the same copy of Uncanny X-men #199 that was already signed by Chris Claremont. I waited my turn and when I got to the front it was all I could do not to jump clear out of my own skin. I walked up to Stan, he smiled at me and said "hi", and got right to signing comic. After he was done, he shook my hand and, realizing that I might never get a chance like this again, I said "Thank you so much, its an absolute honor to meet you, sir". Still holding my hand, he answers, "Thank you, I appreciate hearing that". Definitely one of the more amazing moments in my life, and I left the stage in a state of near shock. My heart was racing, I was still jittering, and I had one of favorite issues ever with the signatures of not one, but two, comic book super hero legends.

After this unbelievable event, I had a bit of a lull in the day (which I sorely needed). The next signing I wanted to attend wasn't until 5 so I had lots of time to get lost in the madness. This is when I dove straight into the sea or anime, manga, pornographic cartoons, dragon statutes, and yet more costumed enthusiasts (snapping pictures of all as I went, to be posted later). I made it a point to hit all the good booths (and of course by good I mean cheap) and, finished out lots of holes in my collections (finishing of entire runs like New Mutants (Vol. 1) and X-men (Vol. 2)). I don’t recall if they were selling liquor last year at the Con , but they certainly were this year!! So I went and got some food (needed to recharge) and had a cocktail (or two but who’s counting) and then before I knew it, it was 4:45 and I was off to the Midtown Comics booth for the next signing.

It approached 5pm and now I had some figuring out to do. There were two signings happening at the same time and how to do both?? Well since they were for Kieron Gillen (writer, Uncanny X-men and X-men: ReGenesis) and Christos Gage and Rebekah Issacs (writer and artist, respectively, for Angel & Faith). Now no offense to Christos and Rebekah, but with Uncanny X-men (Vol. 1) ending and X-men: ReGenesis coming out I felt like Kieron was going to be in higher demand so I decided to get the Angel & Faith creative team first. GOOD CALL! There were only about 3 people on the line to get their autographs (including one wonderful seller who had a stack of duplicate issues for them to sign over and over again) so luckily I was able to get my copy of Angel & Faith pretty quickly and move on to the next signing.

Now of course as luck would have it, Midtown (where Christos and Rebekah were signing) was clear across the entire show floor from Marvel where Kieron Gillen was signing so I had to book it as quick as I could to make it to the next signing. And thank god I did…there wasn’t quite the mammoth line there had been for Claremont, but this was still a sizeable queue to wait on. The line was uneventful, the usual fan boy types to chat with as I waited for the line to move a bit, but even more fun was when it got to be my turn. If anyone has read X-men: ReGenesis yet, they saw the tribal battle backstory between Cyclops and Wolverine. Well I had been debating the relevance of the animalistic encounter with a friend of mine recently and we couldn’t come to an agreement about it, so now I had the opportunity to go to the source. Luckily I was towards the end of the line so by the time I got up to the front there wasn’t too much of a rush behind me and I had time to actual talk the British writer. We talked about how he felt about the Schism and his thoughts and reasons behind the entire tribal aspect of the encounter, and it was a lot of fun to hear his reaction to the fan community’s split reaction to Schism and ReGenesis. At the tail end of our chat (almost an afterthought really) he took my copy of Uncanny X-men #534.1 and signed it, shook my hand took a picture with me, and I moved on to the next meeting in my exciting day!

Now it was 5:20 and the end of the Convention day was looming in the immediate distance. My next signing was at 6 so I figured I had some time to relax first…WRONG! As I walked away from Mr. Gillen, I noticed that there was already a huge crowd on the other side of the Marvel area so I walked over and asked someone online. Apparently they were all there to meet Matt Fraction at 6…JUST LIKE ME! So instead of having 30 minutes to wander aimlessly in the craziness, I had to jump right online. Thankfully I had some fun chatty fans to stand with (including a father and son pair with a large stack of Fear Itself issues to be signed) or else this wait could have taken a very long time. Now I feel like I should put a disclaimer here: I am just not that bright. Here I was about to meet Matt Fraction, the writer for the epically sweeping Fear Itself storyline, and I forgot to bring ANY Fear Itself issues!! Instead I brought a copy of Uncanny X-men #514, part of the Dark Reign/Utopia storyline… Whatever though right? The point is that I was getting an issue signed by this awesome writer! Or so I thought, as I got to the front of the line and approached Matt his first words to me were, “Really? Why this issue??” I was a little shocked but I rolled with it. “Well to be honest I forgot to bring my copies of Fear Itself and Uncanny X-men is my favorite title”. This seemed acceptable to him and we moved on. I got him talking about the current state of Fear Itself and I learned a very important fact: He is as sick of that storyline as the rest of us are and can’t wait to move on! More chatting, hand shaking and pictures taken with Mr. Fraction and then I was done.

Whew! 6:25 and I had gotten all the signatures I wanted (and then some), bought more comics then I could almost reasonably carry, and snapped copious amounts of pictures of amazing costumes. All in all a good day. With the Convention closing at 7, I only had so much time left to squeeze more excitement in and I decided there was only one to spend these remaining minutes: Playing the demo for the upcoming Final Fantasy XIII-2. I made my way to the Square-Enix area of the floor to see what the line situation looked like. The exhausted looking worker at the stand told me it was a great time to get on line since this was the shortest it had been all day. Thrilled at my great timing I jumped on the line (which really didn’t look very long at all) and waited…and waited…and waited… I know it was really only about 25 minutes but it seemed like forever and the line had no moved at all. So unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to play the demo myself but I got to see several other people playing it and got a good idea of the game play. It looks really similar to the original with just updated graphics and new characters to be honest, but, to obsessives like me, that’s just fine.

And there does my day come to a close. At the end of a fantastic and exhausting day, I dragged my sorry carcass off that showroom floor at about 6:55 and sat down right outside. I already saw a night of reading new comics and basking in Stan Lee’s autograph spreading out ahead of me and I couldn’t wait! I looked around at the colorful people littered about me, all with the same drained and exhausted look that I am sure I had on my own face. All in all this was an amazing Convention experience, even better than last year’s! I met some amazing people (both famous and not), finished out several series that I had been trying to finish for some time and had the time of my life. I was so sad to not be able to come back for another day but even just having this one day felt like a whole weekend and I already can’t WAIT until next year!

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My Day at the 2011 New York Comic Con - Part 1

So yesterday I went to the New York Comic Con and it was, in a word, MINDBLOWING! This was only my second year going to this legendary event and, to be honest, last year was almost overwhelming as I got lost in a sea of costumed heroes and gothic existential art. So as I made my way to the Jacob Javitz Center in New York City, I was filled with a mix of nervous energy and unbridled excitement! But this year I had a plan...

Last year my biggest mistake was going into the Convention blindly with no plans for what I wanted to do/buy. So this time I did a little research ahead of time and found out what stores and companies would be there, what artists were signing in what area and when, and even tried to pull together a rough list of comics I was looking to buy (which is practically an endless list, but at least I tried).

So as I arrived in the Comic Con I thought I was READY! I remembered the floor plan from last year so I was all set to go to my favorite areas...but the Con (looking to keep us all on our toes) had other ideas, and not only did I enter from a different door then last year but the entire floor plan was completely rearranged and different so already I was a bit thrown off. But that was not stopping me!!! I quickly found my keys areas in the convention hall: Marvel Comics, Dark Horse Comics, Midtown Comics, Square-Enix and also kept an eye out for all the different stands with boxes upon boxes of 50 cent and $1 comics. Then it was time to get ready for the day of comic buying and autographs!

I made my way to a random the stand for JC Comics (located in North Plainfield, NJ) and dove into their plethora of $1 comic books. Where I found a copy of Uncanny X-men #199 (which I already owned but was a key Phoenix related issue) and made my way back to the Marvel Comics stand to meet legendary X-men scribe, Chris Claremont. I waited on an ever growing line for what seemed like an eternity, and then he showed up (a little late, but when you are a comic god, you can do what you want). He was friendly and funny and took the time to talk to every fan on line and signed as many as Con rules (and security) would allow. When I got to the front he spent a few minutes talking with me about some of my favorite characters and stories and I got to show him my Phoenix tattoo. He let me take a picture with him (which you see above) and shook my hand before I walked away thrilled to beyond belief.

The next person on my list was former Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada, but I needed to prepare! So I dove into the madness of the showroom floor to seek out the next gem to have autographed by a Marvel bigwig. Keep in mind that whenever you hear me say I stopped and picked up a comics to have signed, it is strongly implied that I took the time to decimate whatever stand I was at and also picked up at least 10-15 other issues at the same time. So I picked up a copy of Marvel Knights #6 (and many many other issues) and made my way over to the stand where Mr. Quesada would be signing. Nothing to crazy this time, I was close to the front of the line so it was a short wait before I got to Joe. He signed my issue with a big smile on his face and leaned right in for a picture (also features above).

Now the greatest moment ever happened...but first some backstory. I had been running a little bit late getting to the Con that morning so, rather than being inside right at 10am, I didn't make it inside until about 11-11:15 (which still left me with many hours to roam so I didn't really mind too much). What I didn't know was the between 10 and 11 Marvel had given out tickets to get autographs from Stan Lee, the godfather of comic books, himself. So now at around 1:30 there was a huge crowd gathering at the Avengers stage (because, you know, at Comic Con there's a HUGE Avengers stage) as they brought Stan "The Man" out and began calling up people with golden tickets (because, of course, you need a golden ticket to meet Stan Lee) up onto the stage. I was disappointed but I still stayed just to be able to see this comic god in action. And then the amazing happened... A security guard comes to the front of the stage and yells "Does anyone else want to have something signed by Stan?" The crowd went berserk!! Every single person in listening distance went lost all composure and began yelling, jumping and waving their hands in the air...myself included, that is. The guard begins picking random hysterical fans from the crowd to come on stage and have an item of their choice signed. He must have passed over me 5 or 6 times, including once where I KNOW he made direct eye contact with me and moved on but I digress. I was positive that I wasn't going to get chosen but I refused to stop trying to get his attention. Then at the last second he swings back around comes to the edge of the stage in front of me and points right at me and say "OK you too", then to the crowd, "Alright everybody that's the last one!" I was in and I made it by the skin of my teeth.

End Part 1 – Tune in tomorrow for the rest of my Comic Con experience!


Starting All Over Again With the Avengers!!

So back in 1991, a friend of mine came over with his latest pack of Marvel Universe Series II trading cards. At the time all I knew of comics was Spider-man (who I assumed was on a team with Iceman and Firestar) and the Hulk, because they both had had awesome cartoons that I had watched as a kid. Well I quickly got sucked in to this madness and HAD to have my own. So as I started to collect the trading cards, I noticed that the backs of the cards had all kinds of information on them! First appearances, major storylines, crossovers, battle issues, and all kinds of stuff that I would never otherwise have known…and so it started…

I began by picking up 1 appearances because I knew that these characters looked cool now but how much cooler would it be to see when they actually first showed up right!? Well from there I also got into other big issues: epic battles, death issues, major change ups on a roster that sort of thing… And then I got to the new comics and it all got a little dicey from there. 1 appearances turned into recent appearances, major storylines turned into current crossovers (at the time it was Rise of the Midnight Sons and X-cutioner’s Song), and whatever “milestones” were happening (as luck would have it, the Mutant Milestone issues of X-men had just recently happened). And so began my obsession with collecting comics, almost exclusively X-men, but I was also dragged into the entire Midnight Sons line and I wasn’t exactly kicking and screaming.

Since then, as many of your will already know, my X-men collection has taken on a life of its own. I have full sets of many (if not most) of the X-related series that Marvel has ever released. I have limited editions, signed issue, comic cells, doubles and triples, and god knows what else X-related I can dig up in my piles if I really looked. But then came a new problem…what do I do now? Half the fun of collecting is getting all the issues, finding the good deals on the great issues, and the search in general, but I now have most of what I set out to collect with just the odd limited series or gap of issues to fill in. The chase was done, for the most part. The only thing stopping me now was money, I know where to get everything I want if I feel like it. Enter: The Avengers.

I will be the first to admit that, as a die-hard X-men fan, I wrote off the Avengers YEARS ago. Something about mutants being born with powers, and the struggles they endured really grabbed me in a way that old war heroes, billionaires in iron suits, and a crack shot marksmen simply didn’t. So I stuck with my X-men and remained polite rivals with the OTHER TEAM. Until Avengers: Disassembled, House of M, Civil War, Secret Invasion, and Siege happened! I was actually on a break from collecting comics during much of this or I may have missed it to be honest. I came back to collecting comics during the opening parts of Dark Reign (which didn’t affect X-men much so I didn’t collect it as I was coming back) and I realized that between House of M, Messiah Complex and everything else going, I had missed a lot so I set out to get everything I missed. Thanks to the magical miracle of eBay I had great success!! I managed to get the entire storyline for House of M (including Disassembled and all the HOM tie-ins) and Decimation (including spin-offs like Son of M/Silent War and Deadly Genesis/King Vulcan), Civil War, and Secret Invasion.

Now maybe it was the lack of X-men comics to buy, or maybe I just needed to read about them all in one big lump, but I was suddenly DRAWN to the Avengers comics. Tony Stark’s alcoholism (which never really went away), Steve Rogers’ constantly struggling to uphold an ideal that many people feel is antiquated, or Carol Danvers’ inner turmoil as she struggles to be the best superhero she can be. These were all real issues and problems that I had felt was missing from Avengers earlier years while the X-men were rife with strife and fighting the world and sometimes each other. But here they are!! So I never bothered to get on board with Dark Reign, but, thankfully, Marvel gave us all a very convenient jumping off point for new reader: The List. You didn’t have to read Dark Reign to understand the general ideas of what was going on in The List and the status quo that it was trying to set up. This lead right into my first major company crossover since Onslaught (I touched on Maximum Security but it didn’t really have the all-encompassing scope or the infinite tie-ins that most crossovers have), which was Siege. Siege came and went, and thus began the new Heroic Age! I instantly jumped on the 4 main Avengers books, and I was hooked!

Well from reading the beginning of this article, you can guess what happened next… I instantly got right on eBay, hit the 50 cent bins, raided some old back issue racks, and whatever I could to start up my new Avengers collection! So now I have a whole new arena of comics to fill up and feed my insatiable obsession. And unlike with my X-men, where I am down to needing the odd issue here and there, there’s huge selection of issues that I still don’t have yet! Unlike Uncanny X-men, the number of Avengers issues I’m missing still numbers in the hundreds! So in a way it’s like I’m starting all over again. I remember getting my random back issues back 1991 and how exciting it was to get an issue here or there and then get the middle ones to have the whole story come together. As of now, I have about 30 or so individual Avengers issues (and a major lack of money) not including anything after Onslaught with my oldest issue being #193. I still have almost no idea what going on with these characters at this point, but it’s going to be so fun to fill in the blanks and see how they became the heroes that I buy every month now, whether they ended up Avengers (old or New), teachers (like in Academy), or secret operatives (shhhh no one knows about Secret Avengers). Avengers Assemble!!!

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Some non-traditional places to get comics book?

I am trying to put together a list of some great places to look when your trying to find back issues. Where is some places besides the LCS or eBay that you have found good back issue selections? Or even just somewhere you found a few good ones and werent expecting to. Let me know! :)


Mutant Generations 4: Magneto's Legacy

In my last installment of Mutant Generations, I explored how the children of two human parents don’t necessarily guarantee human offspring.   This time I’m going in the other direction.   This time I’ll be showing how powered and powerful parents don’t really guarantee that you’ll get a super powered child as I explore the family line of one the greatest mutant terrorists/saviors of all time: Magneto.

 Anya (last name unconfirmed, maybe Eisenhardt) – After escaping from the Auschwitz, Max Eisenhardt and his wife, Magda, made their way to a city called Vinnytsia.   They had a daughter named Anya and it came to no surprise to anyone (since her father’s mutant powers of magnetism had not yet surfaced) that she was completely human.   It was Anya’s death in a burning building (having no special powers to protect herself with) that catalyzed Max Eisenhardt’s powers, which he used to raze the entire village.

Horrified by her husband’s actions, Magda ran from her husband and they never saw each other again.   What Magneto didn’t know was the Magda was pregnant with twins.   Each of these twins grew to be great heroes and villains in their own right.

Pietro Maximoff (Quicksilver) – Pietro and his sister were raised by gypsy couple Django and Marya Maximoff.   He used his super speed powers to protect his helpless and unpredictable sister as they traveled around Europe.   The twins were later recruited into their father’s Brotherhood of Evil Mutants (with all parties aware of their relationship) but eventually escaped his indentured servitude.   As Quicksilver he became a valued member of both the Avengers and the government sponsored X-Factor.   He eventually fell from grace during the House of M where he manipulated his sister into altering reality then followed by his subsequent theft and abuse of the Inhumans’ Terrigen Crystals.   He has since redeemed himself and is now a teacher for the Avengers Academy.

Luna Maximoff – Pietro eventually married Inhuman and fellow Avengers Crystal.   These two had a daughter and named her Luna, after the moon that the Inhumans lived on.   As Luna grew older, her parents decided not to expose her to the terrigen mist, as was the Inhumans custom, and despite her Inhuman and mutant parentage, an d after being tested it was determined that the Inhuman and mutant genetic markers cancelled each other out and left her as a baseline human.   Eventually, during a bout of m adness, her father exposed her to the mists giving her an unstable and addictive mutation that gave her empathic abilities which she has learned to utilize in many different ways

Wanda Maximoff – The other child of Max and Magda Eisenhardt grew into an equally powerful and tragic figure.   After running from her husband and his new powers, Magda made her way to Wundagore Mountain.   Upon reaching it, she met the bovine midwife Bova, who helped deliver the twins.   At the exact moment that the twins were born, the Elder God Chthon was being banished from the Earth and, as he left, he left a touch of his magic on the baby Wanda.   As Wanda grew, she developed not only her unpredictable hex power, but also she developed a skill at magic, tutored by her mentor Agatha Harkness.   After her and Quicksilver left Magneto’s Brotherhood, she became a long-time and valued member of the Avengers and the Avengers West, and also married her android teammate, the Vision, and the two miraculous had twins boys.   These babies turned out to be only manifestations of Mephisto’s soul and eventually disappeared into the ether.   Eventually the combination of her hex ability and her magic developed into a mastery (or lack thereof) in Chaos magic which proved to be her undoing as, upon revelation of the truth of her own children she had a nervous breakdown and, through the manipulation of her brother, altered reality and caused the depowering of 98% of the mutant race.   Recently she has resurfaced, sans her memory, during the Children’s Crusade, where the reincarnations of her lost children have been searching for her.

William Kaplan (Wiccan) – Billy Kaplan had all the regular troubles of a gay teenager, along with a fixation for his favorite Avenger, the Scarlet Witch.   He even got the chance to meet his idol outside of Avengers Mansion after being bullied by a boy at school and she assured him that everyone had a gift.   During his next confrontation with the bully his electrical powers activated and he almost killed the boy.   He joined the Young Avengers, first going by the name Asgardian (and later Wiccan), it was later revealed that, in addition to lightning, he could also cast spells and fly.   He later met Tommy Shepard, another super powered youth who was his exact double (except for Tommy had white hair as opposed to Billy’s black hair).   During a confrontation with the Super Skrull, it was noted that Billy had very similar powers to the missing Scarlet Witch.   It has since been confirmed that Billy and Tommy ARE in fact somehow reincarnations of Wanda’s dead/missing children.   There are major concerns that Billy Kaplan may become another Scarlet Witch.

Thomas Shepard (Speed) – When the Young Avengers were looking for new members, they discovered speedster Tommy Shepard.   Upon rescuing him from captivity in a high powered juvenile detention center (where he was because he accidentally destroyed his school), it was immediately noted that he had a striking resemblance to Billy Kaplan (teammate Wiccan).   The two boys, who grew up separately, consider themselves to be brothers, and the children of the Scarlet Witch.     While Billy appears to have inherited Wanda’s reality warping powers, Tommy has developed super speed like Wanda’s twin brother Pietro (he also has Quicksilver’s trademark white hair, just like he father before him)

Lastly, we have a relatively recent addition to Magneto’s family.

Lorna Dane (Polaris) – Originally Lorna Dane was a latent mutant with no powers and only green hair to show that she was any different from the general populous.   After being kidnapped by Mesmero and subjected to the psyche-generator which activated her latent powers of magnetism, and she was hailed as M-2, the daughter of Magneto.   At first this was shown to be false, and Lorna (first adopting the codename Magnetrix, and then later Polaris) joined the X-men and fought mutant villains by their side.   She eventually left the X-men but kept being dragged back in by various enemies (like being mind controlled by Erik the Red and much later, possessed by the Marauder Malice).   She joined the government sponsored X-Factor team and later rejoined the X-men again.  Following a battle with Apocalypse, Lorna journeyed to Genosha with Magneto to learn how to better use her own magnetic powers, and it was during her stay here that she learned that she WAS in fact magneto’s daughter from an affair he had had many years ago.   Since then, since being cast out and disowned by the twins, he has come to think of her as his own child and legacy, even hailing her as his one true heir.  

So this just goes to show you that having a powerful mutant father or grandfather does not necessarily guarantee that a child will also be a powerful mutant.   In the case of Anya, it is possible that she would have later developed powers but she was already old enough to where that would have happened.   With Luna, we have a case where having so many powered family members actually cancelled out her chances of getting powers of her own and left her baseline human, until of course she was exposed to the mists.   And with Polaris, it has been stated that she was a latent mutant and wouldn’t have ever manifested her powers without outside help, although her children would like have the potential to gain these powers.

Next Big Thing: Shattered Heroes

Time for Marvel's Next Big Thing - Shattered Heroes!  Much like Dark Reign and Heroic Age, this won't be one big sweeping storyline, but instead just a general tone and direction for a many (or most) or Marvel's books...but that means its JUST like Dark Reign AND Heroic Age.

Fear itself has been very exciting with a lot of action, character developments, and more then one pointless tie-in series, but its also coming off the Heroic Age where Marvel swore to us that they were done with large sweeping crossovers.  Let's also not forget the Heroic AGE only lasted a year.  It was supposed to be the new status quo for the Marvel Universe but at most it was about 12 issues in each of the Avengers books and the first 4 issues of many other books (and one Uncanny X-men special).  Personally, I was just getting really comfortable with the current teams and now it seems that anything and everything is changing...YET AGAIN.  Are we going to get a slew of new #1s also??

And there is at least a small chance that Thor will be dead by the end of Fear Itself, again, and that leaves me wondering what are we going to get in Fear Itself 7.3?  Are we getting a new God of Thunder (much like the old new Captain America and the new Ultimate Spider-man)? Or will it just be a depressing mourning issue showing the reaction of the other Asgardians?  Didn't they just make a big deal about Cap, Iron Man and Thor being back together again??? I guess people got bored with that.

Now I am very intrigued to see where Iron Man goes from here.  He, in my honest opinion, that voluntarily gave up the most.  I understand that Captain America lost his best friend, and Thor is either dead or possibly at odds with all of Asgard, but Tony had to make the conscious choice to leave his friends and comrades in the midst of a war. He also had to sacrifice his hard earned sobriety in the hopes that All-Father Odin will not only choose to NOT incinerate him on the spot but also will listen to him and help him save the planet that Odin is ready to raze...

Now if Shattered Heroes ends up just being Fear Itself 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, Battle Scars and the Fearless then I'll be ok with that.  However, if it turns into Dark Reign year of fallout and backlash from the even then I'll honestly be more then just a little disappointed.  I just don't think that every big event needs to be followed by a company reset of the status quo in order to keep it interesting.  I mean really, after only 1 year of Avengers stories, they can't possibly have exhausted all the angles from these groupings of characters, and if they think that they have then they just aren't trying hard enough. 

I'm definitely going to read Shattered Heroes, and I definitely want to know what happening to everyone afterwards.  I just wondering if it needs to be a huge storyline that covers every book.  I remember years ago after Onslaught, which covered basically every Marvel book, they didn't follow it up with a huge storyline covering every book.  It led into Heroes Reborn (which only included 4 books) and everything else had an issue or 2 to just show the fallout from the storyline.  I think that this should be more like that rather then drag out a big Dark/Heroic Reign/Age.  I don't want to see the Shattered Heroes banner all the way until next Summer.

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