Mighty Week of Marvel #33

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Bouncing around the Marvel Universe a bit this week, as there is an odd mix of books out including the penultimate issue of War of Kings. But first…

The past comes back to haunt Namor and Namora in Agents of Atlas #7, when Bob Grayson discovers a disturbing secret; the Sub-Mariner and his cousin have been manipulated all their lives (and indeed, in Namora’s case her birth actually engineered) as part of a decades old Atlantean eugenics program intended to create Atlantean/human hybrids! Worse, Namor’s trusted advisor Tulem is a part of this conspiracy and has plotted to kill the Atlas crew in order to separate Namora from them. The question now is, can Namor and Namora’s newly discovered love for one another withstand these revelations? Meanwhile, Derek Khanata gets offered a job by Atlas, and Jimmy Woo tries to find out whatever became of his former love Suwan, grandniece of the supposedly now deceased Yellow Claw.

Continuity: Suwan and her villainous granduncle both debuted-along with Jimmy Woo- in Yellow Claw #1 (1956) but Suwan’s subsequent history is still a little murky. While she appeared to resurface in Strange Tales #161 (1967) but this Suwan (and the Yellow Claw) were eventually revealed to be robots created by Doctor Doom. What appeared to be the real Suwan reappeared in Captain America #164-167, but was possessed by the spirit of an ancient Egyptian princess and subsequently seemed to crumble to dust. Whether this really was Suwan remains to be seen.

Keene Marlow finally realizes he can’t fight crime forever in Destroyer #4, but also realizes he may already have a successor. Always assuming they can survive their final battle with Krakoom and the hordes of Horde, of course…

Continuity: another confusing one, since there have been three Destroyers in the Marvel Universe. The original-first identified as Kevin ‘Keen’ Marlow-debuted in Mystic Comics #6 (1941) and had a lengthy career but was eventually retconned out of history when, in Invaders # 18-19, it was claimed that the ‘real’ Destroyer had been English aristocrat Brian Falsworth all along, and that Marlow was a fictional character. Falsworth subsequently gave the Destroyer identity to Roger Aubrey, who still uses it to this day, but Marlow was later retconned back into continuity, too! Of course, this may all be academic since this series appears not to be even remotely connected to mainstream Marvel continuity anyway…

The Utopia storyline continues in Uncanny X-Men #513, and tempers are flaring in San Francisco. Beast and what appears to be Charles Xavier are in the hands of Norman Osborn and the latest addition to his crew of underlings, the ever sinister Dark Beast, who is on the point of feeding Beast into his ever so ominous sounding Omega Machine. Meanwhile, Emma Frost has agreed to lead Osborn’s new team of ‘X-Men’, including Namor, Cloak & Dagger, the Mimic, the Dark Avengers’ Wolverine and the power stealing Weapon Omega (It doesn’t take a genius to work out that Weapon Omega and the Omega Machine are linked). These ‘Dark X-Men’ are quickly deployed to deal with a mutant rights protest organized by Hellion; in violation of the curfew Osborn has imposed on the city. Question is, will the real X-Men actually decide to get involved, and if so, when? Because so far, they haven’t been a whole lot of use…

Continuity: Osborn’s new recruits have been pulled together from the four corners of the Marvel Universe, it seems. Mimic is the real veteran of the team (excluding Namor, of course), having first appeared in X-Men #19 (1966). Following a handful of appearances though, he apparently died in Incredible Hulk #161and was not seen again for some years. Cloak & Dagger debuted in Peter Parker the Spectacular Spider-Man #64 (1982). As Osborn mentions in this issue, they fought against the Superhuman Registration Act in the Civil War, so their presence on Osborn’s team is baffling. Dark Beast first appeared in X-Men Alpha (1995) during the Age of Apocalypse storyline. A sadistic alternate universe version of the original Beast, he has until recently been easily distinguishable from his heroic counterpart since he had not undergone the ‘real’ Beast’s recent secondary mutation into a more feline form (Dark Beast still resembled a blue gorilla), but now inexplicably seems to have become a virtual duplicate of the other Beast. Weapon Omega first appeared (as Michael Pointer) in New Avengers #16 (2006) before being given the name and costume of Canadian superhero Guardian (who he inadvertently slew in the New Avengers storyline) and starred in the limited series Omega Flight (2007) before resurfacing as Weapon Omega in the last series of Marvel Comics Presents (2007-8).

Reed Richards discovers the true identity of Doctor Doom’s master in Fantastic Four #568; the so-called Marquis of Death is actually a future/alternate reality version of Clyde Wyncham, the reality warping mutant who was the only super-being on his own world and who Reed took custody of following the events of the limited series Marvel 1985. Not that discovering the Marquis’s true identity is a lot of help by this time-he remains all powerful, and has now (horror of horrors) apparently killed Ben Grimm’s Aunt Petunia!

Continuity: Clyde Wyncham first appeared in Marvel 1985 #1 (2008). His appearance here throws certain aspects of the limited series into question, as it at first appeared to be out of continuity and was indeed contemporaneous with Marvel comics published in 1985. In the FF’s reality, needless to say, they weren’t even around that long ago! Aunt Petunia has been the subject of countless jokes made by Ben Grimm since the FF’s early days, but was generally thought to be a product of his imagination until the surprisingly youthful ‘Penny’ eventually turned up in Fantastic Four #238 (1982). She later returned in The Thing #8 (2006), though it looks like she won’t be becoming a recurring character after this issue.

Meanwhile, out in space the Kree/Shi-Ar War rages on, but Black Bolt of the Inhumans may be on the point of stopping it. Unfortunately, the solution the Inhumans have come up with (without the knowledge of Crystal and Ronan the Accuser, both of whom are less than thrilled by it) is somewhat extreme: Black Bolt will use his voice to activate the Terrigen Bomb, which will expose the entire galaxy to the Inhumans’ Terrigen Mists, and everyone will become an Inhuman! Well, everyone except the Kree anyway, since they are an evolutionary dead end. Ironically, it seems the one man who may have the power to stop Black Bolt and save the galaxy is the insane Emperor Vulcan! We’re doomed…

Continuity: the Terrigen Mists are responsible for the Inhumans’ bizarre appearances and abilities, but it has been demonstrated (most recently in the Son of M limited series in 2006) that their effect on non-Inhumans can be unpredictable and even fatal.

Also out this week: USA Comics 70th Anniversary Special (featuring the Destroyer, this time in his original incarnation it seems), Marvel Divas #1 (in which Firestar breaks some horrifying news), Invincible Iron Man #15, Exiles #4, Cable #16, Astonishing Tales #6 and Amazing Spider-Man Family #8 (featuring Spider-Girl).



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  • Andy Oliver

    Andy Oliver Jul 11, 2009 at 10:50am

    They killed Aunt Petunia! Surely not!

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