With all the new titles and crossovers that Marvel has been and will be putting out, there are definitely some characters falling through the cracks of the ever-changing Marvel Universe. Some are long time heroes and some were major stars a few years ago yet they have seldom seen recently, if at all.

(Of course, I don't read EVERY Marvel comic anymore so I would welcome corrections.)

So, HEY MARVEL!! What about...

  • HERCULES--when the Prince of Power took over the Hulk's numbering as Incredible Hercules, he finally became a big time player in the MU. He was revamped several times since as the God of Heroes with a couple of titles. But now he's not even included in Avengers World or Secret Avengers. How the mighty have fallen...
  • HENRY PYM--yes he was in Avengers A.I. but that didn't last long. He's a founding Avenger who's not even the star of Ant-Man: The Movie!! Talk about no respect!
  • AGENTS OF ATLAS--at one point, they were everywhere! Several series and a couple of solo minis including my personal favorite, Gorilla Man. Then they all just vanished! I guess the Guardians of the Galaxy took over the "Eccentric, Edgy, Non-Avengers-Team" slot!
  • ADAM WARLOCK---speaking about the Guardians, Warlock's girl-friend Gamora is a movie star and Golden Boy is a no-show! Poor HIM! Is Marvel waiting for Jim Starlin to resurrect him again?
  • KA-ZAR--Laugh if you want to but the Lord of the Savage Land had two very good series to his credit and ties to the X-Men. But since Frank Cho would rather draw an inflatable Shanna, Marvel's "Oldest" character has been ignored.
  • BLACK PANTHER---I know that he's in New Avengers but what happened to his star turn? Where he was the most dangerous man in the MU? Where he was married to Storm? When the Avengers were a bit afraid of him? Where is the King?
  • QUASAR---Y'know, the Cosmic Crusader IS Marvel's Guardian of the Galaxy! He was the vanguard of newer Avengers getting their own titles and he explored the MU and beyond. I think Marvel needs a character who can delve into the unexplained mysteries that are left behind from all these crossovers and epic events.
  • MARVEL'S MONSTERS--Halloween's coming and where is Dracula? Werewolf By Night? The Frankenstein Monster? They starred in Legion of Monsters but that was more of a showcase for the evolving Elsa Bloodstone. They can't be lumped together all the time, at least without Abbott and Costello showing up!
  • THE ORIGINAL THUNDERBOLTS---Atlas, Mach-One, Techno and especially Songbird looked like that they were leaving their criminal pasts behind and about to become major super-heroes but were left behind after each passing Thunderbolts revamp. So much for second chances!

I make no denials that I enjoyed all these characters at various times and wouldn't mind them returning to prominence.

Do any of you have favorites that Marvel has been ignoring? All comments are welcome!

Until Marvel announces The All-New, Superior It the Living Colossus!

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As far as Black Panther is concerned, Reginald Hudlin happened.

I have some answers, some questions and some stupids.

* Hercules: Isn't he currently dead?

* Randy, can you elaborate on your Hudlin remark? I confess I'm not sure when he became the writer, and what innovations/changes/mistakes he made.

* Isn't Henry Pym in one of the bajillion Avengers titles out currently? I'm thinking Secret Avengers, but I don't read all of them (but I do read all the solicitations, and I've seen his name a few times).

* Yes, the Agents of Atlas were everywhere for a time, because Marvel was really pushing them, despite a genuinely awful sales record. Credit to Marvel for sticking with them as along as they did, but eventually they had to face reality and let them go to limbo. I'd hate to see them come back, because they'd inevitably be changed from what you and I liked into something that would probably sell better -- you know, killers and sluts and whatnot. The charm would be gone, so I'm content for them to lie fallow and remain a charming corner of the Marvel U's past. I don't want Gorilla Man to become the best at what he does!

* I confess to not knowing the current state of the Thunderbolts you mention, who all seemed to evaporate two Thunderbolts revamps ago. Is Mach One still black? Is Fixer (or whatever he's called now) still with Baron Zemo? Where IS Baron Zemo? I thought I saw him somewhere "recently." ("Recently"is always subjective when you trade-wait.) And did Citizen V and the V Battallion (or whatever that was) evaporate with that terrible Invaders revival? I wouldn't mind seeing Thin Man (with his bizarre Golden Age origin and motivations intact) and the new, crazy Blazing Skull back. Plus, I'd like seeing the Destroyer/Union Jack back story fixed so that it's simpler and the characters are more useable (like Geoff Johns did with Hawkman).

* I confess that jungle characters do nothing for me. Ka-Zar can remain without a series indefinitely for my money.

* I can also live without Adam Warlock. Heresy, I know. But I'm older than most of you guys, and he's always been a bit of an ad hoc character for me, whose motivations and powers have changed so many times that he's become completely meaningless to me -- anything he does or doesn't do can't be said to be "out of character," so therefore he has no characterization. He is usually more plot device than character, and I groan when I see him coming.

* Quasar was dead for a while, too -- or is he still dead? Not clear on that.

* The Marvel Monsters have shown up here and there, and I'm saying that as a guy who stopped reading Marvel's entire run in 2010, so they may have shown up more often than I have seen. Dracula is no longer an opera-caped guy, but was revamped in X-books (of all places) as a guy with white hair, a pony tail and red armor. He seems content to run his secret vampire kingdom, and the last place I remember seeing him is when an Asgardian-armored Hulk dropped in on Romania in "Fear Itself." Jack Russell showed up "recently" in X-Factor, where he became (secretly) the guardian of Wolfsbane's child with the Asgardian wolf god Hrimhrar (whom everyone thinks is dead). I dunno about Frankenstein, aside from the Frank Castle-stein nonsense. But speaking of which, that series established most of the monsters living in a society under New York, including Morbius, N'Kantu the Living Mummy, the sea monster creature from Bizarre Adventures and other familiar faces. I dunno if that's still operative, and I kinda hope it's not -- too Morlock-ish for me.

When Hudlin took over, Marvel decided they needed to "reboot" T'Challa. They changed his origin for no apparent reason and pretty much did away with everything Christopher Priest had done to build up the character.  The Panther went from essentially Marvel's version of Batman to just another guy in tights.

I was very dissatisfied with Hudlin's take on the character. It's probably unfair to lay the blame entirely upon him, as Marvel's editorial approved the changes.

Captain Comics said:


* Randy, can you elaborate on your Hudlin remark? I confess I'm not sure when he became the writer, and what innovations/changes/mistakes he made.

I wonder if I even read that. If so, it sure didn't stick with me!

As far as I'm concerned, T'Challa IS Marvel's Batman, the most prepared and dangerous man on earth.

To be honest, I didn't read much either, other than the first few issues. I don't recall specifically what made me drop the series utterly and completely, but I was pretty unhappy.

He's a member of the Illuminati now (bleah) and seems to be pretty much there as window dressing, the "guy who should be there but really doesn't make a difference one way or the other".

Christopher Priest's run on The Black Panther was, for me, like the George Pérez run on Wonder Woman or the Walt Simonson run on The Mighty Thor -- that is, a time when a writer made the series lively by really, seriously rethinking what the character should be.

In Priest's case with the Black Panther the character and The Black Panther the title, he made it clear that T'Challa is a KING. Not an adventurer, not a superhero, not a costumed clown; he was a head of state, ruler of a land of august traditions, one both gifted and burdened with the awesome responsibilities that come with being in such a role.

It never made sense to me that someone like that would hang around New York working as a classroom teacher (long before Priest's run) or would step in and impersonated for Daredevil (long after). That's something any schmoe would do. It's not something a KING would do.

...you know, killers and sluts and whatnot...

A whole publishing ethos in seven words!

This run is, by far, one of my all-time favorites. It makes absolutely NO SENSE that Marvel doesn't have this published in a two-or-three volume omnibus editions. There has to be some bad blood between Marvel and Christopher Priest; otherwise, the world makes no sense at all.

ClarkKent_DC said:

Christopher Priest's run on The Black Panther was, for me, like the George Pérez run on Wonder Woman or the Walt Simonson run on The Mighty Thor -- that is, a time when a writer made the series lively by really, seriously rethinking what the character should be.

In Priest's case with the Black Panther the character and The Black Panther the title, he made it clear that T'Challa is a KING. Not an adventurer, not a superhero, not a costumed clown; he was a head of state, ruler of a land of august traditions, one both gifted and burdened with the awesome responsibilities that come with being in such a role.

It never made sense to me that someone like that would hang around New York working as a classroom teacher (long before Priest's run) or would step in and impersonated for Daredevil (long after). That's something any schmoe would do. It's not something a KING would do.

Henry Pym has had a pretty good run for the last several years.

He came back from that Skrull spaceship.  (The Skrull spaceship in Secret Invasion was, admittedly, STOOPID.) Then he was a player in The Initiative for a while.  Then he was in Secret Avengers was it(?), being written by Slott, who's a good writer.  There he had inappropriate sex with his substitute daughter/dead wife/robot science project Jocasta.  Then he got called Scientist Supreme by one of Marvel's Great Big Heads.  Which was a nice idea, but maybe Silly too?  And not in a good way. 

Then he became a teacher in the Avengers Academy and seemed to be having ocassional friend sex with Tigra, which ...why not? :-)

Avengers Academy was a great series with loads of great new characters (I loved it and heartily recommend it to everyone) and Pym grounded it in a very long Avengers tradition.

There is a long Pym thread going through all these books, mainly steered by Slott and Gage, who seemed to like and identify with him.  I think the last I've read of him was a one-issue interlude in Avengers Arena, where he doesn't quite work out that some of his students have been kidnapped and have been forced to murder each other for Arcade's amusement.

Just as some here argue that T'Challa should always be super-confident, capable and dangerous, Pym has pretty consistently been shown as all too human, and prone to poor decision making, but likeable in his way.  All these appearances have been consistent with that, at least. 

It was satisfying for me following Pym's thread through the handful of Marvel books I've kept in touch with, but if they rest him for a while, I'm cool with that.  It was nice seeing a character just getting along, rather than dealing with major life-changing trauma and being reconfigured as a 'killer and/or a slut'.

Last I saw Pym was in She-Hulkas some former associates were attempting to take a less expensive alternative to Pym Particles to market. Surprisingly enough, their version had the side effect of the shrunken object exploding after a period of time.

I like it.  I'm not quite caught up with She-Hulk yet, but I soon will be.  Great series.

Growing up, I knew that the Black Panther was an Avenger but I didn't really consider him a vital part of either the team  the Marvel Universe. Christopher Priest's series made me see the potential and the scope of T'Challa.

Hercules and Quasar being dead is NOT a compelling argument anymore.

I really liked the Union Jack mini that featured Israel's Sabra and the new Arabian Knight that looked like Sayid from LOST. Did he ever reappear?

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