We all love to look back at the moments that our favorite characters came to life on page. Deadpool, one of Marvel’s few characters that hasn’t undergone a horrific transformation in recent years, no doubt serves as one of today’s most popular characters. His quips are sharp, his skills are sharper. He’s not pretty. But his introduction, in New Mutants #98 is pretty damn awesome.
The book opens and pulls absolutely no punches: we immediately meet the Green Goblin, who clearly has some heinous ideas tucked up his sleeve. But first, he’ll need to lure Spidey out into the open. It isn’t a tough feat.
The Vulturions aren’t exactly marquee menaces in Spider-Man’s world. They’re actually two-bit hooligans who joined forces to claim power and riches after their eventual leader, Honcho duped an imprisoned Adrian Toomes (better known as The Vulture) into spilling the technical secrets of his by-now infamous wings. When Honcho gets out of the slammer, he does so fully prepared to assemble four pair of wings, one for he and the thugs in his crew.
Batman comics feel as though they’ve always flip flopped between an incredibly bleak existence and a ham-fisted, over-the-top goof-athon. I enjoy both stretches for the caped crusader, though I’ll openly admit that the darker side of Batman’s existence has always intrigued me more than any other character during any period of time. But that doesn’t mean the light-hearted books stink, or underwhelm. They’ve got a charm all their own, and that’s evident in Detective Comics #359, the very book that introduced the Batgirl to the world of the comic book fan.
Those that know this stretch of Swamp Thing, or Saga of the Swamp Thing, as it eventually became, know that every issue is special. With Alan Moore handling writing duties you know you’re in for something huge, like, say, altering the entire origin of the Swamp Thing. This particular issue isn’t necessarily special as a result of some epic shift in the Swamp Thing’s existence, it’s special because a very, very important character earns his introduction within these pages. Within the very first few pages, actually.
We’ve seen a staggering number of Marvel heroes and villains introduced within the pages of X-Men (and just about every sister-book to the original series), and we’re going to spend time looking into those books in the future. Today we’re digging deep into the crates to pull Uncanny X-Men #121 into the light.
I didn’t start reading Incredible Hulk until 1990. I honestly can’t tell you why, as the character always seemed to spark curiosity. There was always something magnetic about the character, I suppose I just got swallowed in Spidey, Supes, X-Men and Batman books, primarily.
Once I did give the big green beast a try, I only looked back to track down vintage issues. One that’s always stood out to me was Incredible Hulk #162, the debut appearance of the awesome Wendigo.
The story was titled Spawn on the Flesh-Eater, and opens with a dose of reality for readers: people hate what they fear, and they fear Hulk. Men ambush him, unleashing gunfire. “Can’t Hulk ever have peace? He only wants to find friend-“ The Hulk, as big and intimidating as he may be, is a sad soul, sympathetic on a near immeasurable level. It’s hard not to feel for the character… unless you’re a frightened military man or a rogue trigger happy local.
Interestingly enough, it’s an attack by rural folk that inadvertently leaves the Hulk looking for a missing man named Paul, believed to have been taken by the Wendigo. Needless to say, it isn’t long before the Hulk meets Wendigo for the first time.
To Hulk’s surprise, the Wendigo is nearly unshakable, a beast of equal if not superior strength and ability to the Hulk. Eventually, after a back and forth battle Wendigo makes a getaway, but not before hurling Paul from a cliff. Hulk catches the falling man, and proves successful in saving the day.
But there’s an insanely clever twist to the story, as writer Steve Englehart really flexes his mental muscle. It wasn’t Paul the Hulk saved, it was his friend. Paul, as it turns out, had devoured a man while stranded in the wilderness. A curse set in, and Paul transformed into the very Wendigo that Hulk just battled.
It’s a brilliant spin on things, and even today, a reminder that I missed out on some stellar books having avoided this specific title until 1990.
Wanna talk killer Hulk tales? Talk about he first appearance of Wendigo, talk about issue #162.
A true classic that introduces a number of characters that would, decades later, find themselves firmly entrenched among a blossoming group of iconic names and faces. In X-Men #1 Stan Lee gives us the chance to meet Professor Xavier, Cyclops, Beast, Angel, Iceman and – eventually (she arrives at the Professor’s school for gifted youngsters about halfway through the book) – Jean Grey, then known as Marvel Girl. We also learn of the professor’s intentions to hone his pupils into warriors capable of defending and preserving the safety of the world’s average men and women.